www.lowickschool.org.ukholy islandholy island2

These schools are much smaller than average and form a soft federation, sharing provision for pupils’ education, along with the same headteacher, but retaining their own governing bodies. The six children from Holy Island attend the school on the mainland when tides allow; at other times they are educated as one class on the island.

The majority of pupils are from a White British heritage. There are no pupils who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals is broadly average. There is a higher than average proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. There are currently no pupils with a statement of special educational needs. The schools have been subject to some high mobility in recent years with a number of pupils moving in and out of the schools at times other than usual.

Because of their size, the schools operate in mixed-age groups – sometimes extending from four years to nine years, with all teachers teaching all groups in the course of the year.

The Award submission video (points to note below)

  • The use of technology in the school, while obviously a key enabler, has become invisible; it is just ever-present as a natural part of the learning environment.
  • The school uses an open-plan environment where they have reduced barriers that could inhibit more flexible learning and teaching approaches.
  • They have adopted an approach, ‘Mantle of the expert’, that is highly engaging for pupils and which makes the curriculum tasks very real and relevant, giving a very strong purpose for the work.
  • Note the examples panels that appear while the pupils are explaining which tasks they enjoyed most, as these clearly show the range of ways in which technology tools are being used in the tasks.
  • The children are being encouraged to become ‘experts’ in all sorts of areas of the grown-up world, setting high expectations.
  • The level of engagement of the pupils with the work is being hugely increased by drawing on the pupils’ abilities and excitement in playing, making school feel ‘not like school’.
  • The technology is being used to capture and enhance the pupils’ experiences. As the schools uses what is available in the local environment and community these experiences are very wide and diverse.
  • There is clarity amongst the staff of the impact of the pupils’ learning experiences, with real and strong outcomes driving pupils to produce good work.
  • The pupils are being encouraged to become independent learners from an early age.