Four UK schools have won a cut of a £20,000 prize to invest in boosting pupils’ digital skills in BT’s Tech Factor competition.
The prize money will be shared between Euxton Primrose Hill primary school in Lancashire, Moor Hey Special Needs School, also in Lancashire, Frewen College in East Sussex, and North Tyneside Trust.
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Each school was required to submit a short video to demonstrate how they would use the funding to benefit their pupils.
Euxton Primrose Hill primary school won the primary school category, and plan to use their winnings to invest in virtual reality headsets for an entire class.
Moor Hey Special Needs School, winner of the secondary school category, also plans to invest in VR equipment, along with laptops and iPads.
Debbie Townsend, English subject leader at Moor Hey, said: “The laptops will be a very welcomed resource for our school and will help enhance learning across all key stages.
“Our pupils are very proud of this achievement and it has taught them the valuable lesson that ‘you have to be in to win it’ and having special needs does not mean that you can’t achieve great things in life.”
The competition also awarded a special educational needs category, in which Frewen College walked away with the top spot.
Our Little DigiLadies were so excited to receive their DigiLadies kit box, full of robotic equipment that can be used to run after-school coding clubs.
– Laura Dickinson, North Tyneside Trust
Head of Frewen Prep School, Sally Welch, said: “Assistive technology – dyslexia-friendly software – has made such a difference to our dyslexic students.
“One of our pupils can now dictate his stories so he is able to really enjoy story writing. We will be spending the prize money on more IT, including upgrading our existing computers so we can maximise the effectiveness of assistive technology.”
After-school clubs also had a shot at winning a portion of the prize, and North Tyneside Trust’s Little DigiLadies club will be using the funding to help develop girls’ technology skills.
Laura Dickinson, eLearning lead practitioner at North Tyneside Trust, said: “Our Little DigiLadies were so excited to receive their DigiLadies kit box, full of robotic equipment that can be used to run after-school coding clubs.
“The kit boxes are allowing the girls to work collaboratively across schools on coding projects to raise standards, and inspiring them to have careers in technology.”
All pitch videos from the winners and runners-up, as well as information on how to enter the next competition, can be found at www.businessdirect.bt.com/promotions-and-press-releases/latest-news/tech-factor/