Tapping into technology

21 October 2019, The Jewish Chronicle

David Reuben, the businessman and philanthropist in whose mother’s memory our school is named, has expressed the hope that many Nancy Reuben Primary School pupils will become “engineers and technologists — because that’s tomorrow”. The school has enthusiastically embraced this view. Pupils use one-toone class iPads across the curriculum, under careful supervision. The positive impact on learning is significant.

Aside from our computing curriculum, which includes teaching coding, we now offer the children drone and Lego robotics workshops, in which programming is taught as a core skill.

New this term is the Nancy Reuben Primary podcast. Children use technology to research, prepare questions and carry out interviews for the podcast, which has listeners as far away as the USA, Belgium, France and Israel.

Kahoot! is a popular app, widely used in school. Teachers can create games such as a timed quiz based on multiplication tables or the parashah. Children participate on iPads and earn points for their team.

According to co-founder Johan Brand, the app’s success is down to its ability to create an “inclusive classroom. All of a sudden, being expressive and loud is seen as positive,” so the technology brings pupils together, rather than isolating them.

Another positive development is the use of ClassDojo, to share pictures, videos and messages between teachers and an individual or group of parents and across the whole school, securely. The system is transforming our ability to share pupils’ successes with their parents, as well as whole-school highlights with the wider parent body, helping to foster a sense of community, for which our school is so well known.

We are heeding David Reuben’s message of embracing technology and, for many children, its use has made the impossible possible. They are now more motivated and successful, with a positive attitude to learning.