Advancements in digital technology are changing the way we live, work and communicate, and as today’s digital pioneers young people are at the forefront of this change. Stationers’ Crown Woods are using the Digital Media Centre to create a new, technology rich, environment and approaches to learning which give students confidence and skills to negotiate the challenges ahead.
The DMC is located on the ground floor of the William Morris building and includes a Digital Learning room, a flexible Creative Suite and a digital studio.
The Digital Learning Lab
- To equip KS3 students with the skills to code, create and research using digital media technology
- To develop an awareness of the issues around digital citizenship
- To develop opportunities for cross-curricular learning
- To study aspects of the digital media industry
- To provide a pathway towards the suite of digital media subjects at KS4, 5 and beyond
The Creative Suite and Digital Studio
A space for the creation and study of digital media products as part of the KS4 and KS5 Media courses, Arts courses or cross curricular study. It is here that students can really focus on creating for the future.
The Shine Media Awards 2019
Each year the Worshipful Company of Stationers hosts the Shine Media Awards Ceremony primarily aimed at discovering and rewarding schools for producing a school magazine.
The Creative Digital Media department have produced two magazines in the past called ‘Squawk’ – available here: Issue 1 and here: Issue 2. Last year, the photograph Yellow Man by Conor Shields won an award. This year, students decided to enter a podcast.
What is a Podcast? The ‘old folks’ would recognise it as a radio programme – it is simply an audio show which is available for download or streaming. It usually has several episodes and can be factual or fictional. There are a whole raft of platforms publishing them: BBC, SoundCloud, iTunes, to name but a few. Like all streaming and downloading services they allow people to listen when and where they want. It is generally agreed that the first podcast was called ‘The Backstage Pass’ and launched in 2003. It’s not a new idea. Back in the 80s there was a short-lived audio magazine called SFX which was distributed on a C-60 cassette tape.
Movin’ on up Podcasts have taken a while to move into the mainstream. Partly due to the rise in smartphones amongst the young listening main on their headphones and the availability through reliable sound distribution platforms. It is the intimacy that this sound in your head creates, that has made them particularly popular as the young have taken to the ‘less than polished’ products, compared to the perceived stuffiness of speech radio.
SCWA podcast – and why not?
So back to the SCWA podcast ….A small team of students were assembled including some members of the Year 7 media club to work on it. We had no idea how it would work out but after editing the final piece, we were blown away! It was a great reflection of students’ interests and concerns and for a first time effort, it felt fabulous. We have duly entered it in the Stationers’ Shine Media Awards and we wait with bated breath on how it has gone down with the judges. The podcast is available here.
Mr Milliken and the team of students are already hard at work producing the next instalment of the school podcast so look out for the next issue of The Squawk just in time for the summer break.
Within a LAT digital school, our curriculum is constructed to promote collaborative, cross-curricular and phase learning whenever and wherever possible. Learning opportunities reflect professional business approaches with ‘real life’ projects, delivered through project-based learning; giving students valuable insight into working for a client, as part of a team and to deadlines.
The close involvement of employers and the extensive range of contacts provided by the Stationers are central to the mission of a LAT digital school. Employer involvement takes one or more of the following forms:
- Work experience
- Apprenticeship work placements for Post 16 students
- Enrichment Programme with employers leading sessions
- Conferences with employers as outside speakers
- Mentoring of students by industry volunteers
- Educational visits to related vocational settings
- Secondments for staff in both directions
- Training for staff to remain fully up-to-date with industry standards and expectations
The role of universities is also central to the work of a LAT digital school to ensure effective progression pathways and to raise aspirations about achievement. Leigh Academies Trust already has very close links with The University of Greenwich and The University of Kent, as sponsors of its existing academies. Close ties with these high quality and leading-edge higher education providers – including new partners in Ravensbourne – bring about the following benefits in the interests of the Academy’s students:
- Access to guest lecturers and a pool of ‘sessional’ expertise
- Involvement in ‘research user groups’ so that students understood what constitutes real-life research and collaboration
- Creation of a ‘digital classroom’ to explore the ever-changing nature of technology
- Involvement of ‘ambassador’ programmes to stimulate interest in students for higher level study at university
Within a LAT digital school, our curriculum is constructed to promote collaborative, cross-curricular and phase learning whenever and wherever possible. Learning opportunities reflect professional business approaches with ‘real life’ projects, delivered through project- based learning; giving students valuable insight into working for a client, as part of a team and to deadlines.
With the rapid growth of both the creative and high tech industries there is increased demand for highly trained professionals in these areas and at LAT we aspire to develop tomorrow’s digital leaders and entrepreneurs. To ensure our students are equipped with the skills needed to achieve this we ensure all students from Key Stage 3-5 have allocated curriculum time to acquire, develop and secure key digital and business skills.