Last week I went to the launch of another innovation hub, this time at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This follows hot on the heels of last month’s launch of the innovation hub at City College Coventry.
Like the five that precede it, this hub contains the latest technology from our Global Partner Fujitsu, but it’s more than a simple computer room. We also provide support on infrastructure to give students and educators the opportunity to develop their digital skills. What’s more, this is the first hub at a primary school, and will be for parents and the local community too. According to Headteacher Tina Barry, “educating not just the child, but the whole community, is something that’s really important to St Joseph’s”.
One of the initial ways that the school plans to use this hub with the community is to offer educational sessions on e-safety. It’s great to see a school engaging with parents, showing them how they can keep their children safe online and helping them understand the different communication platforms out there.
“St. Joseph’s is quite isolated and in a weaker economic position,” says Barry, “which can lead to a glass ceiling for the aspirations of young people. The Ambassador Programme will really help us to set our school in a new direction, to raise the aspirations of our students, and IT plays an integral role in this.”
Deputy Headteacher Helen Cook was excited to tell me how much this means to the school and its children. Even more exciting was hearing what the children plan to do with it. Helen wants to start a school newspaper published on the new devices and set up connections to charities like CAFOD to link the children to charity work in different countries. That’s what we like to hear!
I also chatted with ICT Co-ordinator Claire Hill. Working in education we often lose perspective on what strides have been made in the past decade. She said: “I can’t believe how far we have come with ICT in the 12 years since I started at St Joseph’s. The complexity of what children are doing has increased hugely and we are now writing and de-bugging code, and that’s just in year 1 and 2.” If you follow @IntelEDU on Twitter you’ll probably know that teaching code at an early age is something close to our hearts.
Also speaking at the launch, Tom Roche, Executive Director of Fujitsu's Technology Product Group, said: “With this hub we want to capture young people at an early age, inspiring them through a combination of great technology and great teaching, and broadening their horizons as to the sort of career that they may wish to enter into in the future.”
Together with Fujitsu we’d like to thank Tina Barry, and the school’s Business Manager, Shirley Hunter, as well as the rest of the team at the school, who have been instrumental in bringing this Innovation Hub together.
We hope that the hub becomes embedded within the community. We don’t just mean the technology, but the training and expertise that goes with it. In turn, we hope that this leads to improved learning and better opportunities for Goole’s young people.
Next week we’ll be launching the seventh of ten innovation hubs this year at Borders College.
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