Collaboration Through Technology is at the Heart of Improvement at Benhurst Primary School

When Ofsted evaluated Benhurst Primary School as “requiring improvement” in 2012, it was widely recognized that the school needed a change of direction.

Head teacher David Denchfield and the leadership team began work in 2013 to bring forward a new plan – a clear vision that would raise standards but also embrace their diverse learning community, awaken the passions and interests of children and create learning with a sense of fun. “In 2013, Benhurst did not have a sufficiently adequate ICT provision which enhanced the quality of teaching and move learning forward. We developed a three-year vision for our school to ensure we maximized every opportunity for our children and staff,” outlined Mr. Denchfield.

What are the top priorities for Benhurst?

  • Enhanced, extended cross-curricular learning for sustained, accelerated progress
  • A wide range of technologies embedded in classrooms, both new and established
  • High quality skills-based curriculum to ensure success for all
  • Relevant ICT knowledge imparted for life skills, including computing and coding skills
  • Responsible users of ICT, in particular the Internet
  • Continued high quality staff CPD
  • Fun, engaging and inclusive learning!

Central to the vision was an “open door” culture to provide parents with a greater understanding of their child’s education. They wanted to better engage learners and cultivate a deeper trust in the activities at school – a true learning community.

“We redesigned and launched the school website which provides relevant and up-to-date information for our children, parents and wider community. In April 2014, Benhurst started a Twitter account to showcase our children’s excellent work and provide an informal method of communicating with our stakeholders. Last month, we also opened a You Tube account which we use to demonstrate key mathematical strategies. This has proved very popular and we plan to develop this further this year and introduce new subjects to support our parents and children at home.” – David Denchfield

The school’s culture is now more collaborative, where children take greater ownership over their learning, with the focus on facilitating cross-curricular, question-based learning – working towards individual goals within the framework of the National Curriculum.

The focus of the ICT program is aligned to the new school philosophy. They employ a mix front of room technology (interactive projectors) and a school supply of 32 iPads. There are also six laptops per classroom dedicated for children’s use and the school also recently implemented Google Apps for Education.

Teacher Stella McCarthy agreed to pilot SMART amp software which leverages Google Cloud Services and empowers pupils to collaborate with devices in self-directed, peer-collaborative spaces. Early lessons during the pilot have focused on brainstorms, collaborative writing and validating statements with child-friendly research resources at the ready.

To find out what Stella discovered and the year 3 children in her class thought please read the full article.

Anderton Tiger Radio App – Download, Listen and Be Engaged!

Russell Prue interviews Havering’s very own radio star Penny Patterson


A dear friend to the Hsis Computing and eSafety Team, Russell Prue has recently launched a new app ‘Anderton Tiger Radio’ broadcasting 24 hours a day to the education community.  Russell tells us all about it here…

“I’ve been broadcasting on the Internet Radio since 2008.  Listeners usually come to the live stream through a link on Twitter or Facebook or initially through a link on my webpage but this isn’t always possible and with the increase of mobile listening I thought it was time to get an App!  My Android App went live last year and just a week ago I submitted my iPhone App to iTunes for approval.  Today, I’m published, there are costs of course each month for us to keep the App live, but our listeners have been asking for it for a year.  Anderton Tiger Radio is live 24hrs a day with a mix of non-stop interviews, student bands and chat about issues affecting education and young people.  The programmed rolling schedule is interrupted for live events and to air student workshops, check out our schedule at   We’re at BETT next year broadcasting from the Toshiba Stand and you’ll be able to listen through the App on your iPhone or Android device.  Download the free App and let us know what you think, there’s always something interesting on the show and you can comment live using the App too.”

Anderton Tiger Group

Conference Speaking, INSET, School Radio Equipment
Student Workshops and Live Radio

T 0845 838 5150 or 0203 479 5258
10.00am to 10.00pm seven days a week

Anderton Tiger is the registered trademark of Anderton Tiger LLP

Havering Primary Computing and ICT Network Meetings – Spring Term 2013



Please find the agenda below for the Havering Primary Computing and ICT Network Meetings on 6th and 14th March 2013.

These meetings are open to Havering schools subscribing to the Havering School Improvement Services’ CPD Packages.

Click to download from here: Havering_Primary_Computing_and_ICT_Meeting_Agenda_Spring_2013

Meeting Date choices: Wednesday 6th March 2013 and Thursday 14th March 2013 (Content Repeated)

Please apply via the Havering Online Course Booking System

Time: 4.15pm – 5.45pm (Refreshments available from 4.00pm)
Venue: Ravensbourne School, Neave Crescent, Harold Hill, Romford, Essex RM3 8HN


Primary ICT Subject Leaders, Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers, ICT Development Team Members, ICT Teaching Assistants, ICT Technicians and others interested in ICT
1. Welcome, Introductions and Housekeeping Hsis Computing and ICT Team
2. Elm Park Primary School Digital Leaders and Digital Researchers – Pupils sharing their experiences Elm Park Primary School Digital Leaders and Researchers
3. ICT at Ravensbourne School


Debbie Foster

Ravensbourne School

4. Games-based Learning – How it can support teaching and learning across the curriculum Hannah Fox – Broadford Primary School
5. Roamer Too – back and ready for the new Computing curriculum

(Your chance to participate in a Roamer case study and get a free Roamer Too)

Dave Catlin – Valiant Technology
6. The 2014 Computing Curriculum – what will it mean with you Hsis Computing and ICT Team
7. Switched on ICT Updates: Community improvements, iPad units, iPad matching chart – Do you have anything to share? Hsis Computing and ICT Team
8. What was new at Bett 2013? Hsis Computing and ICT Team
9. 2013 Hsis Computing and ICT Survey – what would you like to see provided? Hsis Computing and ICT Team
10. Havering Apple Regional Training Centre Courses Hsis ICT Team/Havering Apple RTC Team
11. Hsis Programming Network and the future of the Hsis Team Hsis Computing and ICT Team

My first reactions to the new national curriculum – Miles Berry, Chair of the Naace Board of Management

Miles Berry, the Chair of the Naace Board of Management gives his first reactions to the new national curriculum, as posted on his blog today…

“Thursday saw Mr Gove publish the draft of a new National Curriculum for English schools. Not all English schools, of course, which means that the ideal of ‘entitlement’ which underpinned the whole project from Kenneth Bakers’ has been lost somewhere in the drive to academies. Independent schools, academies and free schools have autonomy over their curriculum and thus can opt in to the proposals. Indeed, some progressive heads may see Gove’s work as so reactionary that the price of giving up local authority support no longer seems too high for the freedom to create a curriculum around a love of learning and the attitudes, skills and understanding appropriate to a third millennium, rather than 19th century, education. A cynic might think that this was part of some Machiavellian hidden agenda…”

Read the article in full here…