A teacher from Hillcroft Primary School in Caterham has been attracting pupils from all over the world after her IT lessons proved a global hit.
Twelve months ago Wendy MacLeod, the school’s computing lead, was awarded the Computing at School’s Master Teacher status in recognition of her outstanding IT teaching skills. As a result of this, Hillcroft was elevated to a lead school in the organisation’s Network of Excellence, and asked to pass on those lessons to other schools locally – but interest has proved so wide that recently Mrs MacLeod has had visitors from as far afield as Zambia, South Korea and Japan coming to learn about her teaching methods.
“To have received that award was a great honour personally and for the school, but I could never have imagined quite how widespread the interest would be,” Mrs MacLeod explained.
“Technology is already a part of the everyday lives of young people and that’s only going to grow, so the sooner we can get them learning about how to get the maximum out of it, the better. I’ve been teaching my Year one pupils how to use Zu3D, an app which brings their models to life through simple animations. My Year Four pupils have been learning to code using an online program called Scratch and have loved making quizzes, games and music programs. Our visitors have been fascinated by it, and keen to find out what we’re doing at Hillcroft and take those lessons back home with them.
“The fact that someone can come from somewhere like Zambia, where most of the children have had no previous experiences with technology, and find a way to make the work we’re doing here adaptable and practical to that environment shows how simple but how life-changing these lessons can be.”
The global attention on Mrs MacLeod is just another example of the importance of Computing in the curriculum at Hillcroft, a member of the Surrey-based GLF Schools multi-academy trust.
In addition to her award last summer, Hillcroft also has a former Primary Science Teacher Trust national teacher of the year – Tom Holloway – on its staff. Earlier this term, he was selected to take part in a live Q&A link up with Commander Tim Peake on the International Space Station on behalf of the school. Hillcroft also has a special Charles Darwin-themed garden, and recently Hillcroft pupils were amongst the first people in the world given a chance to try out Google’s new Expedition kit.
“Computing is such a central part of teaching here at Hillcroft that it’s a really exciting place to work,” said Mrs MacLeod. “A lot of people have worked very hard to build up its reputation and that means children come here wanting to learn about Computing, because they know how well regarded it is. The fact other people also want to come to Hillcroft to learn about Computing, from as far away as Zambia, South Korea and Japan, is a sign we must be getting it right, and a huge compliment to everyone who’s helped Hillcroft get where it is today.”
Barking Dog Media
We provide a range of media services to help you promote, market and represent you or your organisation, club or business in public.