Ormiston Park Academy launch

“We need to let education not industry have the latest technology first”, said Principal Tess Walker at the launch of Ormiston Park Academy’s new digital innovation suite.

The academy’s new innovation suite is a hi-tech learning centre with tiered seating, 3D screens and projectors to provide immersive learning and complete interaction with cutting edge technology. Students can be immersed in the Roman coliseum, in the trenches of the first world war or travelling through the Grand Canyon.

Ms Walker introduced the suite, which aims to immerse students in their learning and to help students move into the future with a thorough understanding of the latest developments. Students demonstrated an immersive drama performance, acting scenes from the first world war against an interactive backdrop.

The academy in Aveley, Thurrock, opened in 2009 in the existing buildings but will soon undergo a complete rebuild to move into new buildings in late 2013.

The innovation suite will help staff and students get used to learning with new technologies before they move into their state of the art new building.

Ms Walker is keen to embrace the evolution of technology, but is conscious that learning outcomes are the key focus: “Lots of technology can be suitably applied to education and it’s also now much cheaper. However, engaging students is only one part of this; there must be a sound educational reason and so we are involving staff and students early on to find out what will help students achieve. If we need students to have a greater understanding of quadratic equations this will be addressed to help students move from concrete to abstract thought.”

The academy has already seen great improvements since its opening with a recent Ofsted report rating it as good with outstanding features.

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