Ben Tipton from Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Bolton wins The 2012 Pearson Award for Outstanding Use of Technology in Education in the North
Published by Hayley Enright for Livewire Public Relations in Education
Ben Tipton, Leader of Connected Learning and Standards, Sacred Heart RC Primary School
Bolton-based teacher, Ben Tipton, Leader of Connected Learning and Standards, Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Westhoughton, has been named winner of the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards in the category Outstanding Use of Technology in Education in the North. Ben attributes much of his and his school’s success to their UniServity cLc learning platform1, which they have used to systematically raise standards of teaching, learning, attainment, and motivation. He said UniServity’s learning platform was also instrumental in helping the school achieve an Outstanding rating from Ofsted this year.
Commenting on Ben’s success, Pearson Award Judges said; “His work in technology has had a tremendous impact strategically throughout the whole school. As leader of “connected learning and standards”, his implementation of the school’s learning platform has transformed teaching and learning. The school is developing rapidly and Ben’s contribution has been tremendous.”
His excellent work in ICT at the school has been inspirational and Ben, keen to share his expertise with others has held best practice sessions with a cluster of 9 local Primary schools. He is also leader for his Local Authority’s ‘no school left behind’ project in Westhoughton. It is this continued commitment and positive attitude that led Head Teacher Martin Johnson to nominate him for the prestigious Pearson Award. Ben said; “I’m excited, it’s been a whirlwind year and I’m surprised and happy.”
Ben and Head Teacher Martin Johnson said that the use of the school’s UniServity learning platform also helped them to gain an ‘Outstanding’ status in this year’s Ofsted Inspection. They said, “To achieve this exemplary rating, the teaching has to be outstanding and to get that you need to use new technology in your lessons. Our UniServity learning platform helped us to achieve impact - it makes everything so interactive, making it real and useful for today’s children.”
All children from Reception to Year 6 use it at Sacred Heart and families are kept involved and informed on a regular basis via the platform which enables them to view and access their children's learning 24/7. ICT is used to support all school activities. Martin said, “Our school hall is where we meet physically, but our learning platform quickly became a place where our whole school family comes together to share comments and learning.”
This is not Sacred Heart’s first brush with awards for their use of technology. In 2010 it won The UniServity Award for Learning Platform Excellence and in 2011 it was named as runner up in UniServity’s Online Learning Awards. Ben acknowledges that they have put a lot of effort into making the best of their resources. He says it has taken all the teachers and children getting involved to make it such a success.
The school is currently migrating from the cLc to Uniservity’s next-generation Life Learning Cloud learning platform which users will be able to access anytime anywhere. Martin said; “Uniservity’s cloud based solution ‘Life’ was installed about a month ago. We will be keeping the cLc until 2016 and will use the two platforms in tandem. We are doing it this way to ensure a smooth transition. We have used our cLc system strategically, which has contributed to our outstanding Ofsted and we want to do the same with Life.”
Ben was shortlisted from a record number of nominations and will join the other winning teachers from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the prestigious UK Ceremony which will be aired on BBC2 in the autumn.
A ‘Thank a Teacher’ event, part of the Pearson Education Awards, took place at Sacred Heart School on 20th June at 9.30am. As well as the Outstanding Use of Technology in Education Award, Sacred Heart was also runner up, receiving a ‘Distinction in the North’ in the category ‘School Team of the Year’. Ben’s colleague, Teacher Jason Bilinkewycz also won’ The Award for ‘Outstanding New Teacher of the Year in the North’. It’s celebrations all round!
1 A learning platform is an integrated set of interactive online services that provide teachers, learners, parents and others involved in education with information, tools and resources to support and enhance educational delivery and management.