Redgate Primary School has enhanced its learning by developing new partnerships with three schools in the UK and Norway, thanks to Google for Education.
Gill Stratton, Year 5 teacher and computing lead, and her pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to develop their collaborative work by sharing their classroom with over 120 children from Crosthwaite School in the Lake District, Grafton Primary School in London and Mosby School in Norway.
The collaboration first came about two years ago, when the headteacher from Crosthwaite Primary School visited Redgate’s Year 5 class to see how the children work with Google Classroom and use Google tools.
Gill reached out the headteacher and asked if he would be interested in joining Redate in a shared classroom, offering to lead the learning in order to develop his school’s use of Google Classroom. The project was the first of its kind, using Google Classroom to work with children in different locations.
Redgate’s Google advisor, Pete Rafferty, was so impressed by the partnership, he highlighted the project to Google For Education. In January 2020, the school was invited by Google to present the project for them at the Bett Education Show at the ExCel Arena in London.
In the audience were teachers and headteachers from other schools across the world and approached Redgate to see if the school would be interested in developing the project on a broader scale. Last month, children in Year 5 had the opportunity to do just that with the latest project ‘A New Hope’. 125 children from Redgate, Crosthwaite School, Grafton Primary School and Mosby School joined together in a shared Google Classroom and worked together in real-time on a healthy lifestyle project.
During lockdown, headteachers and teachers from the schools used Google Meet to generate ideas and develop the project. Crosthwaite Primary has since invested heavily in technology and are now a Google Reference School.
All four schools involved share the same goal – using Google to create connections, collaborate and learn from each other, while encouraging a sense of ownership, independence, leadership and project management in the children.
Working in this way has become a way of life at Redgate, particularly in Key Stage 2, and has been highlighted by the local authority as an example of excellence.
Gill said: “We are now in the fortunate position of having almost 1-1 provision of Chromebooks in our KS2 classes and we are all looking forward to how this will enhance our learning and enable other classes to be part of future similar projects.”
A representative from Google For Education said: “This is an exciting and inspiring project. I have heard about this project since I started working for Google and it is so amazing to see what is happening and how the children work together.”
The members of the project are hoping to encourage wider participation with India joining the launch and Australia and America future possibilities.