Kids at The Lantern Community Primary School are celebrating a major tech upgrade at their school, thanks to a £18,000 cash boost.
Sixteen iPads, 30 laptops and an interactive classroom board have now been delivered to the Ely primary school, which will help children stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Digital leaders, made up of students, are piloting the new equipment, with every class benefitting from at least one weekly session on the new laptops.
The upgrade was totally funded by a £18,000 cheque, presented to the school at the end of last year by Friends of the Lantern School (FOTLS), the Lantern’s PTA committee.
It was the result of years of fundraising, from school fairs to uniform and cake sales, movie nights, school discos, quizzes and other events.
A small sum of that money will go towards an eSafety drama workshop at the school.
Coding is now part of the National Curriculum, with students taught elements of computer programming right from reception, so having modern devices to use in the classroom makes a world of difference, the school’s computing co-ordinator, Katie Holmes, told Spotted in Ely.
“They stay engaged because the equipment is so much faster and more reliable.”
The iPads are being piloted in Swans class (year five) but other classes are also using them.
“We hope to integrate them into everyday lessons such as literacy and maths, not just computing.”
With children frequently using tablets at home, the need to have modern technology at school has become all the more important, Mrs Holmes said.
“When they come to school, if they’re not using them frequently, they’re not making the best out of that knowledge.
“We’re teaching them that iPads aren’t just for playing games, how to use that technology in a really positive way. They feel so privileged to use them.”
Doves class (year 1) has benefitted from a new Clevertouch interactive touchscreen, replacing a very old model.
The new, state of the art board boasts a much crisper picture, superior sound and a host of educational tools.
“You can have more children using it at the same time. It’s far more interactive than the old board.”
Eventually the school hopes to be able to roll Clevertouch screens across all of its year groups.
Jenny King, who teaches Doves, said the board was used for telling stories, playing videos and teaching art, handwriting and phonics to five and six-year-olds.
“The children are much more engaged by it, it’s a very visual tool.”
The Lantern School caters for about 450 primary school children and is also responsible for the Lantern Goslings pre-school.
Mrs Holmes has a last message for FOTLS and the families that have supported the school through years of fundraising.
“A big thank you. I would love parents to know what a difference it makes. It makes such a huge difference for the teachers, for the TAs, for all the staff in the school – and especially for the children.”
FOTLS is planning a host of further fundraising throughout the year, including its popular Summer Fayre, which will take place from 12pm to 3pm on June 23.