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Girls’ school shares a vision for digital learning


Birmingham student wins place at university to pursue career in science


One talented student from St Alban’s Academy in Birmingham has been awarded the Millennium Point Young Innovator Prize - an initiative which has secured them a place on a sponsored undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE). Malik Sheryar-Karamat competed against three other finalists in a nail-


biting live final at Millennium Point on Tuesday, 17th March, where he presented to an audience and an esteemed judging panel in order to win his place on a three-year course starting in September. The judging panel was made up of Philip Singleton, CEO at Millennium


Point, Paul Glennon, assistant director for partnerships and collaboration from Birmingham City University and Lauren Deere, visitor services manager at Thinktank and Birmingham Museums. The 18-year-old winner who impressed the judges with his presentation on


One of the UK’s oldest independent schools has revealed how it blends traditional learning with digital engagement, to create the classrooms of tomorrow. Loughborough High School in Leicestershire, part of Loughborough


Endowed Schools, held a special conference entitled ‘A Tablet for Every Pupil’, to share some of the issues and experiences involved in 1:1 iPad deployment to all staff and pupils. Over sixty delegates from 37 schools across the UK attended the one-day


interactive event to find out more about the school’s vision and its journey so far. School leaders and staff shared details of the journey, and insights from a


keynote speaker from Apple demonstrated the importance of engaging a new generation. The school’s key partners for IT infrastructure and device management were also present to offer expert advice and guidance throughout the day. Delegates including teaching staff, network managers, bursars and


governors, took part in interactive sessions, giving pupils from both the High School and Fairfield Preparatory School the opportunity to share their first- hand experiences of iPad learning. Attendees then moved on to a series of workshops which focused on the technical and the financial aspects of the roll out and the subsequent deployment of iPads at the prep school. Gwen Byrom, Headmistress at the school, explained that they found the


iPad deployment a positive and exciting way of enhancing the girls’ education. She said: “It has helped to close the gap between what pupils expect from


technology outside school and what they see in school. Now all 600 girls in the school have their own tablet, as do all our staff. “To achieve the roll out of iPads there was a significant amount of work to


do on our IT infrastructure. We also worked to establish our philosophy regarding filtering and use of devices in the classroom. “A term in advance of the girls being given iPads, they were handed out


to all staff. This was along with our reassurance that the school would offer support and training while also giving staff a chance to explore their iPads for themselves. This worked very well, and in no time teachers were sharing ideas about how they could use the devices.” Mrs Byrom added: “Another important factor on our journey was keeping


parents informed. We developed a good communications plan so they would fully understand the scheme, our philosophy and the rules and policies for usage.” She highlighted the importance of pupil involvement, and explained how a


former study area at the High School has been transformed into a student-led iPad help facility called the Genius Bar. Mrs Byrom concluded: “Technology won't stand still, and we have chosen


to embrace and move with it rather than feel that we are not preparing our pupils for the technology-heavy lives they already lead outside of school and when they enter the world of work. “Where we go next isn't set: six years ago we could not have


contemplated doing what we achieved last year, so who knows where it might lead? It's going to be an interesting journey!”


12 www.education-today.co.uk April 2015


‘will robots save or destroy us?’ will also gain experience in the workplace through a summer placement with Millennium Point. Malik Sheryar-Karamat says: “Taking part in the Young Innovator Prize


final has been so rewarding but to win the prize is definitely a dream come true. I am so thankful that I can carry on my passion for mechanical engineering at Birmingham City University. “I am very grateful to be given the opportunity, which will give me the


chance to broaden my knowledge and expand my education and hopefully lead to a career in a science-based subject.” In collaboration with the British Science Association, STEMNET and the


Association of Science Education, Millennium Point launched the initiative last year and identified schools in Birmingham whose Year 13 pupils would benefit most from financial assistance. Each school then nominated students who they believed to be worthy of the prize. Runners up were Imran Choudhury and Rayyan Abdool-Carrim from Holte


School, and Hannah Begum from Swanshurst School. Philip Singleton, chief executive at Millennium Point, says: “With the


youngest population of any city in Europe, it’s important that Birmingham takes action to ensure a generation is not deprived of opportunities. “The Young Innovator Prize is just one way we can support the young and


talented individuals we have in our fantastic city and give them the chance to shine, follow their dreams and build a successful career. “I’d like to offer a huge congratulations to Malik for winning the prize and,


on behalf of everyone involved in the Young Innovator Prize, I wish them all the best for a bright and promising future.” Simon Handley, associate dean for academic portfolio and market


development from Birmingham City University, adds: “It has been an honour to partner with Millennium Point to create this opportunity for a young individual who we hope will go on to have a flourishing and rewarding experience at Birmingham City University. “We hope the Young Innovator Prize will continue for years to come and


provide further opportunities for ambitious young individuals who wish to continue their passion for science, technology and engineering.”


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