Since 2017, global education technology company, Promethean, has ran an annual competition that gives schools from across the UK and Ireland the chance to win the latest ActivPanel. With this year’s ‘Classroom Stories’ competition open for entries – and 20 of the company’s market-leading interactive displays available to win – we’ve spoken to Dave Shaw, Headteacher at Spire Junior School, to find out more about their experience of entering… and winning!
Why we entered
There is a large education community on Twitter, and we regularly use the platform to share our innovative ideas at the school with like-minded educators. We found out about Classroom Stories on Twitter following one of our tweets gaining a lot of traction and someone suggesting we should enter. Upon watching several of the other entries, we decided to give it a go and see if we could win ourselves an ActivPanel for one of our classrooms. We have two ActivPanels at the school and have seen how they can transform the learning environment, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to upskill one of our classrooms while sharing one of our recent innovations.
Our Classroom Story
In our school, we have been working hard to come up with exciting ways to engage students in reading and inspire a culture of reading for pleasure. We came up with an idea to install a reading vending machine to encourage children to read more independently and enjoy reading. We bought the vending machine on eBay and transformed it into a reward for students who read three times a week with an adult at home. Students who achieve this are entered into a draw for a token that can be inserted into the machine and they will then receive a book to keep, a hot chocolate and a chance to enjoy the new book on a Friday afternoon. Our Classroom Story saw students take a trip through time and find out what impact Spire’s reading vending machine has had on independent learning at the school.
What winning meant to us
Almost every child that comes to school in this day and age has had some sort of technological experience at home, and as teachers, it is important to replicate what they will see in modern life and ensure that they are prepared. Children are incredibly versatile and pick things up quickly, but it is important to keep students engaged and interested in curricular lessons, and that has proven to be possible with the use of the ActivPanel, which we have seen in our other classes. Teacher Alex Bramley and his students came up with the idea of the video and he is incredibly excited about creating a learning space that is more interactive and engaging and can involve the entire class. The Classroom Story competition has been an amazing opportunity to learn more about the education community and what they think of our ideas, but also to help us to get another ActivPanel into our classrooms without the budgetary barriers!