The Cooper School is a mixed 11-18 comprehensive secondary school in Bicester with 1270 students currently on roll. We received our ICT Mark Award in 2009 and have been working since then to really embed technology in lessons and radically alter the way we teach.

We are very excited to have been awarded the Naace 3rd Millennium Learning Award in recognition of the leading-edge, innovative work carried out by staff and students. The school has also been highly commended in the ICT Excellence Awards, presented with the ICT Innovation award by the Business Times and most recently become a lead school in the Network of Excellence for teaching Computer Science.
We’re always using the connections we make through Naace, SSAT and CAS to visit other schools and share ideas so if you’d like to visit or have some technologies\techniques we could look at please contact our Head of Computer Science and New Technologies: Alistair Surrall (asurrall@thecooperschool.co.uk).

Points to note in the Award submission video

The school starts the promotional video by talking about their philosophy which is driving the changes – to create a learning environment which is engaging and encourages students to drive the learning. They have integrated a wide range of technologies to empower learning, for both staff and students, and this is changing the way teachers teach and students learn.

Look out for:

  • Staff across the curriculum talking about how the technologies have improved their teaching and thus the learning of students
  • References to student driven learning
  • How staff and students talk about collaborating on creating an outcome and receiving feedback from a teacher as it develops – thus helping them to improve the finished product
  • Staff talking about creative learning environments with sofas, bean bags and bar stools
  • How passionate staff are about the opportunities the technologies offer for creativity, collaboration and an audience
  • How the use of software and iPads are being used in PE to improve performance through self and peer review
  • A student being amazed at how much has developed/improved over the last 7 years since he started at the school
  • How many different types of resources are mention and how they are used to enhance learning
  • Staff and students talking about different opportunities to be creative – and how much fun it is
  • The importance they place on anywhere anytime learning and how the technologies empower this.
  • How students can get support from teachers on homework issues
  • How transition is facilitated between the local primary school and the Cooper School.

Students, and staff, clearly enjoy using different technologies and it sounds like they use very creative approaches but these are not really shown or talked about by students in either video. There are so many resources available in the school and they are there for a purpose – to enhance learning and teaching – and the school has come such a long way on its journey that it seems to ‘not see’ how much has changed and what the impact is – this is what needs to be demonstrated.

The Head Teacher, Mr Baxter, believes that if the school does not utilise the technologies that young people of the 3rd millennium use on a daily basis in their day to day lives then they will lose a generation of learners.