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From VR to 3D printing: The technologies Norfolk children are using at school

PUBLISHED: 14:38 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 July 2019

Inside the Spark Lab, the bespoke science, technology, engineering and maths(STEM) classroom at Howard Junior School in King's Lynn. Picture: Greg Hill

Inside the Spark Lab, the bespoke science, technology, engineering and maths(STEM) classroom at Howard Junior School in King's Lynn. Picture: Greg Hill

Greg Hill

Technology is everywhere in society - but is it a friend or foe in Norfolk's schools?

Inside the technology-focused Inspire Suite at Howard Junior School in King's Lynn. Picture: Greg HillInside the technology-focused Inspire Suite at Howard Junior School in King's Lynn. Picture: Greg Hill

Alderman Peel High School in Wells reportedly ran into problems with the roll-out of a new fingerprint-scanning system this week, with some pupils claiming they went hungry at lunchtime.

Principal Alastair Ogle said the technology - quite a step up from interactive whiteboards - had been tried, tested and used successfully by many schools in the county.

Here are a few more examples of how Norfolk's schools are deploying top-notch tech to help their pupils:

Howard Junior School in King's Lynn is a regional training centre for Apple, which supports its use of educational technology.

Chris Jennings, principal at Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich, with an example of the digital homework and feedback programme the school has implemented to improve students' learning. Pictures: Sir Isaac Newton Sixth FormChris Jennings, principal at Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich, with an example of the digital homework and feedback programme the school has implemented to improve students' learning. Pictures: Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form

In its Inspire Suite, pupils use iPads for digital learning such as quizzes, and in the Spark Lab, its dedicated STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) classroom, students take part in live coding challenges alongside their academic learning.

The school also makes use of 3D printing and virtual reality to enhance its lessons.

Headteacher Greg Hill believes embracing technology has accelerated pupils' progress.

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"We believe that teaching with technology not only makes our lessons more dynamic, exciting and engaging, but also equips our learners with crucial skills that they will need for the future," he said.

"By weaving the iPad and other technologies in to our lessons, we support our pupils as they develop key digital skills that will benefit them in their future education and employment."

Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich has developed an online system where pupils do their homework and can then review it and watch their progress.

Students now have a dedicated lesson each week to look back on homework and see where they could improve.

Chris Jennings, principal at the outstanding-rated school, said digitising resources had worked wonders to plug gaps in students knowledge across the curriculum.

"We have digitised our resources and found it gives us great flexibility in the classroom," he said.

"The students see every week on spreadsheets how they are getting on in their subjects. We've found it incredibly useful because of the ability to repeat things students are not doing very well on.

"The teachers and students are now consistently improving their work.

"The system I would argue would not be possible without the Google world. It is a big driver for us in making the students more successful learners."

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