Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Communities are becoming increasingly divided between those with digital knowledge and those without. Those without the knowledge (e.g. older people) are being left behind in a world where access to the best deals, services and even communications with family and friends, can only be available to the digitally aware. Those with the knowledge (such as our ‘digitally-native’ kids) are consumed by a virtual world, often not building the social and interactive skills. We want to remove this separation. We already have an excellent track record in this area; however we want to do more.

We wish to create a mobile digital classroom which will travel throughout remote rural areas of Norfolk; connecting not just our two schools (which are 20 miles apart) but also giving residents of remote villages, who may not ordinarily have access to such facilities, the benefit of a high tech learning space. The classroom will be contained within a reconfigured bus.

As part of this project, we will be empowering our pupils to become digital teachers. They will follow the schools’ computing curriculum and then share the skills learnt with members of the community. It will help the children to build social confidence while also providing new learning for local communities. We will teach children that ‘digital can be social’ and enrich lives. We have a long term ambition – within five years the coach will enable us to train 100 children who in turn will help 1,000 members of the community learn new skills.

Why Cantley & Horning Schools Federation?

We represent a dying part of the education system. We are two tiny rural primary schools that survive by innovating, never resting and always evolving to build confidence in life-long learning. We don’t have computer rooms, we don’t have dining rooms, nor do we have an assembly hall. We have to ensure that the few rooms we possess work in a multi-purpose way. Limited space limits progression.

Having a bus will not only open up space to achieve greater skills-development, it will also enable our two schools to come together, and interact with other schools across our rural community. It will allow us to take our school to many of the remote villages our pupils come from and engage with their families and communities, including older or more isolated residents who are looking for new kinds of stimulation and the opportunity to learn new things.

Our schools’ vision is “to make learning fun” because pupils that have fun build a joy for learning as a critical foundation, before going into further education and life after primary school.

How have we delivered on our promise to make learning fun already?
• We start the day with ‘Go Noodle!’ (a three-minute daily dance to wake up in the morning and fix attention).

• Our schools were amongst the first to remove homework and encourage families to spend more quality time together. Families get to do fun and engaging things and then share photos and videos to the schools’ active Facebook sites.

• We've launched 'Everyone Leaves Ready’ which adds vital, missing links to our curriculum, which national policy has ignored. This is having a significant impact on the school readiness and ambition of our children before attending high school. We are making children more happy, confident and inquisitive, leaving them focused and actively engaged in their rich and varied learning opportunities.

• One of the senior teachers in the Federation behind the digital classroom idea is Adam Parkhouse. Adam is already one of only 56 teachers in the UK to be given a silver Pearson Teaching Award. He has also been selected in the Teacher of the Year in a Primary School category and is now in with a real chance of winning one of 11 top gold awards in the country.

Taking a bus and creating a digital, mobile classroom is our next ambition in pursuit of making learning fun.

Project Video

Cantley and Horning Primary Schools Federation

Moment of Pride

The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. People are being left behind. We can change that. Distance and mobility are two barriers so we’re taking education to the people. And by using children to play a lead role it’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved. Not many projects achieve that.

Location: Cantley