Advancements in digital technology are changing the way we live, learn, work and communicate. The digital strategy of Leigh Academies Trust is to develop an integrated digital ecosystem that harnesses these advancements across the various elements of the Trust, which in turn will produce mature, responsible digital citizens who are ready for the world of employment in a 21st century workplace.
In our academies, leaders, teachers and students work together to find and develop new approaches to learning by blending traditional and digital pedagogies together. Digital technology becomes an integral part of the learning journey, creating opportunities for educational communities to extend learning beyond the classroom, to share information in a variety of engaging formats, and to efficiently review, reflect and respond to learning outcomes.
We believe that all learners should have access to digital technology; indeed, it is crucial to the principles that underpin our all-age curricular vision, which is based upon the International Baccalaureate (IB). We believe technology should not be used for technology’s sake, but should be implemented in lessons through a meticulously-planned approach to ensure its use is highly pertinent, varied and creative. Technology use will enhance the learning and progress students make as they journey through the curriculum, supplementing their learning through the development of their digital skills and digital literacy. At LAT, we are committed to ensuring students and teachers can employ the most appropriate tools for learning at the right time, including when they are not in the academy itself.
To achieve this we:
- Provide every LAT student access to a tablet/ laptop via a one-to-one device scheme;
- Utilise the Google Workspace for Education digital tools (nearly all of our teaching staff are Google-Certified Educators);
- Integrate other key educational software and digital resources; and
- Promote good digital citizenship across all age groups.
We recognise that by enhancing our learners’ digital access we have a responsibility to educate our learners to use technology appropriately and safely in achieving our aim for them to be responsible digital citizens.
At LAT we also realise that the life of a school involves more than what happens in a classroom. Some of the other areas we are actively engaging with as part of our digital strategy are:
- Equipping staff with appropriate training on digital tools;
- Connecting with families through digital systems, thereby creating a paper-lite Trust;
- Building partnerships between our academies, higher-education providers and industry experts; and
- Effectively operating a robust and suitable digital infrastructure.
The LAT digital strategy aims to bring together all of the key aspects of a digital ecosystem, so that they holistically drive learning and development. We believe that well-considered, appropriate financial and resource investment is vital in delivering these desired outcomes.
At LAT we believe that there can be no shortcuts to making lasting and meaningful change. If we want to create digital schools that produce digital citizens then we must invest sustainably, not just in technology, but in all of the supporting elements such as training, infrastructure, curriculum and IT support. Our vision is that the implementation and delivery of this strategy will help to raise digitally-fluent, digitally-mature and digitally-creative children.