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Risk IT!

This March, classes across the whole school made the most of the state-of-the-art technology available at Sheffield Girls’ to step out of their comfort zone and try something completely new for RiskIT week, based on this year’s theme of ‘Chromebooks’.

Chromebooks are a type of lightweight, high quality laptop that have been rapidly gaining in popularity in other schools and colleges for their incredible speed, built-in virus protection, premium hardware and ease of use. Pupils from Year 4 to Year 8 have the unique advantage at Sheffield Girls’ of having their own personal Chromebook for use in lessons and personal study, and they are also readily available to reserve across all year groups.

Organised by Head of E-Learning Mr Wiles, the aim of the week is to encourage teachers to have a better understanding of Chromebooks, make full use of technology to enhance pupils’ learning and understanding, and stay aware of the latest Chromebook developments in a fun and useful way.

Over 20 teachers recorded their Risk IT endeavors online. Mr Bramall said, “We used Chromecast (a device for sending media from small devices to devices with a larger screen) in our science lesson to share our generated microbes to the class and discuss their features. This engaged the class and allowed for a more in depth discussion.”

Mrs Nyarko said,“Y1 created pictures of the first female vet, Aleen Cust. We researched some facts about her and added a speech bubble to our art. We then made videos of each other reading out the facts we had found. As part of the Science Fair on Friday, we created QR codes so parents could watch the videos whilst viewing the artwork.”

Miss Barrachina Plo said, “We were revising for one of the languages speaking exams and I wanted the class to make sure they included some complex language. They filmed themselves having a conversation, which helped them realise whether they were hesitating too much and whether their language was complex enough. They seem to really enjoy it.”

Other fun ‘Risks’ included classes editing and improving documents together on Google Docs, documenting their performances in drama, and making an animation to show the life cycle of a star.

Sheffield Girls’ has been recognised in the past as being a school at the forefront of innovating lessons with technology, being shortlisted for the prestigious TES awards for ‘Best use of technology’ last year.

Technology, and most notably the online learning platform Firefly, is thoroughly integrated into school life. Firefly has been used in the past year to streamline everything from communication with parents and daily administration to trip information and weekly bulletins to keep staff and pupils updated. Refurbished classrooms use touchscreen technology to open up exciting approaches to learning, and every student from Years 1-8 has their own digital device to support them in lessons.

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