When in Sweden…
It is not just the pupils who benefit from the Global Schools Exchange Programme at Downe House. Lower Fifth students can apply to spend time at one of our 12 partner schools across five continents but earlier in the Summer Term, our Director of Information Systems made his own trip to Campus Manilla Gymnasium, Sweden, to witness the progressive use of technology in the classroom, along with Mr Gareth Bouwer, Head of Computing and ICT.
Campus Manilla Gymnasium is one of the best schools in Stockholm, with strong academic values and inspiring teachers at its core. The latest in technology plays an important role in the education. Traditional methods of teaching are combined with online and web-based exercises to best advantage.
Downe House Director of Information Systems, Mr David McClymont, takes up the story.
“Sweden as a country is very progressive so it was no surprise to learn that Campus Manilla integrates technology fully in its teaching practice. At state level, the central department for education delivers its schemes of work and lesson plans online, so this filtering down of information to all schools cuts down on administration, making for a streamlined system that allows teachers more time to plan outstanding lessons.”
“I was fascinated to see that at the level of parent/teacher communications, there is real time reporting on a pupil’s work, so parents can log on to the management information system to instantly capture their child’s progress.”
“At classroom level, we were absolutely amazed to see every child from Years 4 to 6 in possession of an iPad for classroom learning, and every pupil from Year 7 upwards with a Macbook Air. The school operates a scheme whereby the pupils can purchase the iPad or Macbook after three years. There is a strict code of use and all work is digitally assigned and submitted. This shows a real commitment to learning with technology at the helm.”
“In terms of staffing, teachers are encouraged to teach with IT literacy in mind and the IT team at Campus Manilla, consisting of three women, are all champions of technology, flying the standard for learning through progressive use of IT.”
Having assessed the way in which IT plays its part so prominently in Sweden, Mr McClymont concluded, “This was a fascinating trip and it was very valuable to see IT in action in one of the most progressive schools in Sweden. We will be looking to use the best of their ideas to add value to the learning environment at Downe House, rather than to replace our trusted methods. The opportunity to see best practice in one of our partner schools has been incredibly beneficial and we hope that Downe House, in turn, can offer know-how to our network of global schools.”