Background and Vision Statement
Technology and digitalisation are central to life in the 21st century. Such technological innovations have the potential to make the world better, fairer and more inclusive but, in the wrong hands, they can be destructive to the individual, the family and society as a whole. The Park Federation vision is to equip our children with the knowledge, understanding, analytical skills and emotional intelligence to utilise the positives and to protect themselves and others from the negatives. We want our children to be discerning creators and consumers of digitalisation.
The Park Federation wants its children in the Digital Driving Seat so that they can navigate their own journeys through safe, truthful and ethical virtual worlds where fake news, hateful extremism and dangerous disinformation can be assessed and avoided. We want them to judiciously mix the technological and non-technological. We want them to experience and cherish traditional endeavours like in-person conversation, debate, dance, drama, and sport while enjoying and benefitting from digitalised environments too.
We also want to close the Digital Divide which often exists between children from less economically advantaged families, and their more affluent peers. Our ambition is for all children in The Park Federation to become confident and critical users of all things digital and hence acquire the knowledge, skills and future-orientated outlook necessary for school, university, employment, active citizenship, and personal development and happiness.
The Park Federation has already begun its digital transformation with investment in
infrastructure and connectivity in all its schools and the rollout of a Chromebook for every
pupil in Year 5. Staff training and development has run in parallel to support this exploratory
phase of a strategy to position the Trust and its pupils for the future.
Initial findings, after a year in, affirm our direction of travel and momentum:
- Infrastructure has not proved a significant hurdle.
- Those staff directly involved in the project, whilst carefully chosen in most schools, have adapted well and are leading the way for colleagues who are less digitally confident.
- Technology has not been a distraction in the classroom, it has enhanced lessons and, in some cases, improved inclusivity.
In fact, our academies have brought about considerable innovation and experimentation since launching the project last summer. The digital technology team is a particular asset and at the heart of knowledge sharing across our eight academies. Nor must we overlook the early endeavour by central support that has enabled such a seamless insertion of additional technology.