Journal posts Journal posts

Inspiring design ideas in different learning spaces

  At Broadclyst Academy , one of the other dominant features was the different types of classroom space available and it soon became apparent that over the years, the head teacher and the team...

All smiles for the reception at Broadclyst Community Primary School.

  Broadclyst Community Primary School is a UK primary academy situated 191 miles south from the University of Wolverhampton, and so I made this journey by train. It is set on the main...

Observation visits Observation visits

Link observation visits schedule 2013

  • UK: 12 June and 27 June
  • Czech Republic: 16 September
  • Finland: 23 September
  • France: 30 September
  • Norway: 14 October
  • Italy: 21 October
  • Cyprus: 11 November
  • Belgium: 18 November
  • Portugal: 13 January 2014
  • Ireland: 20 January 2014
  • Austria: 27 January 2014
  • Lithuania: 10 February 2014
Journal: Observation visits Journal: Observation visits
Blogs »
All smiles for the reception at Broadclyst Community Primary School.

 

Broadclyst Community Primary School is a UK primary academy situated 191 miles south from the University of Wolverhampton, and so I made this journey by train. It is set on the main road through Broadclyst just five miles away from the city centre of Exeter. I took a taxi to get to the school and not wanting to be late, asked to be picked up early.  However, no inner city traffic to negotiate, I arrived ahead of schedule and I was taken to the school reception. 
From the outside, Broadclyst looks like the English “small village school”, but it soon became apparent that beyond the external fa├žade, is a multi-faceted larger set of buildings that have grown over the years to accommodate the growing community and are just about to expand even further with a proposed new building being added in the next year. More significantly, what is embedded within is layer upon layer of technology that has become an essential part of the approach to teaching, learning and the administrative processes in this two-form entry school.
From the moment I entered the reception, I was immediately fascinated because I was asked to do something that I haven’t been asked to do before in a primary school, and this was to register my arrival by having my photograph taken. 
In the reception, was a screen (“InVentry”) to register arrival and I could click for STAFF, VISITOR or STUDENT and then it proceeded to take me through a short simple registration, including taking my photograph. As a visitor to the school, there was a drop down menu, which recognised that I was due to be on site that day. This actually then meant that I could be tracked around the school all day.     This made me feel very welcome to the community of the school, and I can also see how useful this is for the rest of the school to see who will be in school that day. It also makes you realise how just this one use of technology can help schools gather evidence to inform thinking about the school day. 
As a teacher the system has the potential to allow me access to specific buildings. As a student, I could demonstrate my presence in school, access particular areas of the school, but also confirm my attendance at individual lessons. This is a great system and not just about “security”, for me it also demonstrated the significance of “presence” and “digital identity” in the real world that exists beyond the school. 
Another feature in the entrance hall which gave me an insight into the school was a digital screen showing photographs of the students learning. Along with the prospectus of the school, these kinds of presentations all help the visitor build up an understanding of the “living school” and I can begin to see just how exciting it is to be a student at Broadclyst.
This fantastic reception area got me wondering a lot about other kinds of access and registration that schools offer using technology. How is technology used in your school to welcome visitors? 
Having done hundreds of observations visits to schools all over the world, I often say that getting into a school reception can be one of the biggest challenges. Consider what it is like for someone visiting your school for the first time; is your office reception clearly signposted? Are the doors and entry bells or buzzers labelled? What is the initial impression that your school gives?     How do people get from one building to another, are the buildings themselves labelled? Do you make the student learning visible using technology in your reception area?