My Favourite DRET Thing

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I wanted to mark my time with the David Ross Education Trust with at least one blog post - it’s been more than six years of my professional life and although I don’t want this blog to become “a work thing” (which is what pretty much every blog I’ve done has become) I think the video above is the one thing I’d most like to share.

The video, which highlighted our Star Classroom project was filmed at Greenfields Primary School in Kettering, which has won an award or two in recent years. Making the video was a lot of fun, and I think it showcases the technology and the people really well. The most notable quote for me is at 2 minutes in from Claire Tyrrell Smith with

The difference with Greenfields and DRET is that there has been an investment by the multi academy trust into ensuring that everybody is skilled enough to use the technology to support the children’s learning and also their own professional practice.

Star Classroom was never a hardware project - indeed the association with it being “a thing you installed” wasn’t always helpful - it did open doors though. If it was just hardware - a good value standard setup for a teaching room, we’re finally rolling it out to every single DRET primary classroom in my final days in the job and that is a real achievement. But it wasn’t. It was a professional development programme linked to new hardware and software - and that is the real impact. Wandering into classrooms this year (as you do) and seeing first hand people going so far beyond what we originally set out to develop with them is awesome.

I could have picked many other things - it’s been a busy old six years. The IT Support team that Ellis Jacklin will now be leading has gone from a lot of great individuals (and an assortment of contracts with many third parties) to a genuinely world class operation. To have a technician in Hull put out a request for an obscure widget and get help from a colleague in Daventry may not sound like a big deal - but the collective intelligence and work and enthusiasm of that group is unstoppable.

There are lots of other things and lots of other people. I think it’s fair to say that MATs don’t actually get a great press all the time, and seeing it from the MAT side that has seemed harsh. I see people who are dedicated, professional and great colleagues doing their best, and I will miss them.

Empire State Human @guyshearer