The Connected Learning Centre
The Connected Learning Centre (CLC) supports schools and other settings in using digital technologies creatively and critically. It provides outstanding curriculum support, technical services and professional development.
The award-winning centre aims to embed technology use into all areas of the curriculum based on the principle that every young person deserves the digital skills and critical mindset to prepare them for life. Its curriculum workshops and CPD programmes are effective, engaging and always based on sound pedagogical research. Its technical team offers expert, independent advice with best value in mind.
The CLC helps senior leaders make informed choices about IT, supports teaching staff to feel confident in using technology and works with school technicians to provide high quality technical services. The team works with the whole school community from governors and business managers to pupils and families to help them understand, use, benefit from and enjoy new technologies.
The result is a measurable impact on each school that CLC supports. It is proud to have an exceptional track record of improving teaching and learning with 98% of teachers reporting that pupil learning outcomes improve following attendance at its curriculum support workshops and CPD sessions. A further 97% say that their own teaching practice will improve following attendance at these events. Teachers also say that not only is CLC’s CPD beneficial for teachers’ practice and students’ learning, it also gets them excited about computing.
The CLC has provided effective support to teachers and school leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic through specially developed remote PD sessions and virtual communities of practice. It has also supported children and their families at home: lending laptops to schools with the most disadvantaged children who had no access to computers for home learning during the pandemic and supporting over 1,200 families in Lambeth with technical guidance under the UK government’s ‘laptop for parents’ initiative. The team also used their online learning expertise to support the Jordanian Ministry of Education’s ‘Education During Emergency Plan’, including delivering training materials for teachers and headteachers, and providing an online safety course.
The CLC offers schools the opportunity to work on special projects with corporate and cultural partners such as IBM, TATE and the Southbank Centre. It is the IBM’s delivery partner for the IBM teacher summer schools (which won an award from the Lord Mayor of London) and the IBM Junior Developer Challenge. In 2018, 100% of pupils who took part in the IBM Junior Developer Challenge said they had learnt something new from the project, often highlighting personal and social development as well as STEM-related skills: “I have learnt how to programme a robot and work as a team,” said one pupil.
The CLC’s involvement in research projects helps inform its work. It has worked with University College London on its Scratch Maths project and is a partner with Rosendale Research School, one of a network of research schools run by the Education Endowment Foundation. It is also working on Co-Think, a European Union-funded project exploring best practice in teaching computational thinking in an inclusive way.
Committed to quality
The CLC team is made up of consultants and experts in the teaching of computing. Committed to delivering high quality services, it is part of the Department for Education-sponsored Network of Excellence in Computer Science Teaching and has a Computing at School master teacher on its teaching team. CLC is also a recognised Apple Regional Training Centre and its technical team has won the NAACE impact award for its services. In January 2020, CLC was awarded a prestigious Bett award in recognition of its support and service to schools, for the second year running.