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EdTech Demonstrator Programme 2021/2022

Kibworth CE Primary School & Discovery Schools Trust

Gilly Paterson Headteacher
Mick Beck Deputy Headteacher

Kibworth CE Primary School is the Lead EdTech Demonstrator school for The Discovery Schools Trust.  The headteacher, Gilly Paterson has a strong blended learning vision and strategy for the school, and this has enabled the school to create an effective and stimulating, digital learning environment. Gilly has inspired her staff to enhance the curriculum with technology and this has made a dynamic impact to the way that the children learn and respond to their education at Kibworth CE Primary School.

Mick Beck, the deputy headteacher, has been an integral part of this journey and he has designed the blended learning strategy so that it is naturally integrated into the curriculum. The teaching and learning has always been of an exceptionally high standard but the digital element has personalised the learning and therefore impacted on the outcomes, the quality, efficiency of the teachers and the skill set of the entire school.


The EdTech Team

Joanne Stone Digital Curriculum Lead Professional & EdTech Demonstrator - Discovery Trust
Jo works for the Discovery Schools Trust and is the Lead Professional for Online Learning and this year she is based at Kibworth C of E Primary School. Her role is to support schools within the Trust and schools around the country that have requested guidance from the EdTech Programme. Jo has been teaching for 15 years in Primary Education, she has experience of working in all of the KS1 and KS2 phases as well as being an SLE, Maths Lead, Assistant Headteacher and now an EdTech Demonstrator for the DfE EdTech Programme. The school-to-school support focusses on collaboration and building links between educational communities. The more we share and support one another, the more successful we will all become. Therefore, we can create the greatest impact on children’s learning and lives. Jo’s goal is to share the ideas and experiences of using the online learning platform and to communicate how the various strategies/beliefs for the future of EdTech can be utilised.
Adam Lapridge Assistant Director of IT – Discovery Trust
Adam is the Assistant Director of IT and Online Safety Lead for the Trust. Adam has worked in schools for the past 10 years, gaining a wealth of knowledge around IT technologies. This has helped him support the Trust in implementing its IT and online learning strategy. Adam has recently taken up the role of Online Safety Lead for the Trust and promotes the safe use of technology to all users. He is currently working on becoming a 360 Safe Online Safety Assessor for South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) to further enhance his knowledge on Online Safety strategy and leadership. In the recent lockdown, Adam has worked hard on ensuring all platforms and apps are thoroughly researched for safeguarding and GDPR issues before being used.
Nathan Thirlby Director of IT – Discovery Trust
Nathan is the Director of IT for Discovery Schools Academy Trust. He started his career in IT within education 15 years ago, working as a technician for a local support company. From there he joined Kibworth Primary School as a Network Manager just as Kibworth and Parkland joined to form Discovery Schools Academy Trust. As Discovery grew, so did his role. Eventually becoming the Director of IT, in this role he is responsible for the strategic direction of IT in the organisation and leading the technical services team, to ensure we have reliable and secure systems to enable the delivery of EdTech.
Lauren Day Teacher at Farndon Fields Primary School & EdTech Demonstrator – Discovery Trust
Lauren is an experienced Early Years teacher and SENCO with 10 years’ experience in a primary school setting. Her extensive background and professionalism in Early Years, SEND and the passion to develop blended learning further, equips her with the necessary skills to help inspire other Early Years/KS1 professionals to support their children in embedding blended learning into their everyday practice - with a careful mix of instruction and technology, it is a fantastic tool to boost learning outcomes.

Our EdTech Journey

Kibworth C of E Primary School  is truly a place of discovery. Our aim is for all children to develop their talents, reach their potential and be happy during their time with us. We provide an outstanding learning environment rooted in Christian values, as a Church of England school we pride ourselves with the link we have with the Leicester Diocese and the Parish of Kibworth.

We strive continually at the school to provide learning of the highest quality, alongside providing training and support to Early Careers Teachers and experienced staff in other schools nationally.  Our digital journey is always evolving, the teachers have embraced a blended learning approach within the classroom and digital tools are enhancing our weekly lessons.


Kibworth is an academy and enjoys the benefits of being part of the Discovery Schools Trust. We work collaboratively with other schools in the trust, sharing practice and resources, whilst focussing on an outward facing vision. The Trust’s curriculum has been enhanced by technology, the devices/apps have empowered the children as well as making teaching increasingly effective and efficient for our educators.

Kibworth CE Primary School has a proud history of working with and pioneering remote learning. The school has a long-term commitment to technology and supporting others to harness its benefits, having been the lead school in Leicestershire LA’s e-Pal project as far back as 2007. This project to support more able pupils across the county evolved into a leading role in the adoption of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and offering support to other schools with purchasing advice and setup support. We continued to develop the use of a VLE to develop online learning opportunities to enhance the curriculum and offer flipped learning opportunities.


As the lead school for Discovery Schools Academy Trust in 2012 our use of VLEs played a key role in the developing the partnerships with schools choosing to join the Trust. This allowed online learning communities to be built across schools, sharing of resources, and developing of a consistent approach to teaching and learning across the Trust.

After the adoption of Microsoft 365 in 2016 our online learning offer became more dynamic with all schools developing the use of Microsoft Teams to develop virtual classrooms. All children in KS2 are now active users of Teams and are developing their own ePortfolios using OneNote. The use of Teams has also enhanced the curriculum through the use of virtual field trips and live expert speakers. This has allowed classes to connect with experts from all over the world and have virtual tours of museums, historical sites, and zoos. They have also allowed the opportunity to take part in live Q and A sessions with subject experts. The Trust have similarly developed a virtual Pupil Parliament across the trust and also offer staff CPD via Teams meetings.


Last year, we worked with 93 EdTech schools which we calculated to be 464 participants.  Throughout the year we also held EdTech conferences, network meetings and live event webinars in which 820 people engaged. Within our own Trust we supported schools and staff which meant we supported an extra 856 colleagues. In total we were able to reach 2,140 people through numerous forms of support.

Overview of EdTech Demonstrator Programme in 2020/2021

It was the most remarkable experience to be part of the EdTech Demonstrator Programme last year.  The greatest benefit of the programme has been to build relationships with colleagues in other schools, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.  Kibworth and the Trust offered a variety of guidance throughout the year. Initially, we supported schools with remote learning and contingency planning.  Our team shared knowledge and advice about the online learning platform,  discussed planning and key documents and shared our policies and protocols.  Over the year the support developed, and virtual staff meetings (bespoke to the school’s needs) and networks were offered. Some of the staff meetings were an introduction to remote and blended learning, others were planned over 6 weeks and supported whole school training needs.  For smaller schools, the approach was changed again, and group training was offered and in other contexts it was necessary to provide 1 to 1 support.  Many schools required strategic support so SLT meetings were delivered alongside running virtual network meetings for MATs.  The virtual training meetings covered a range of topics such as demonstrating how to use key apps, set up virtual learning platform, structure the pupil’s online workspaces in the Class Notebook, show staff how to teach online, remotely and in a hybrid-setting was an integral part of the support too.  Eventbrite webinars were scheduled to enable a flexible approach to support, teaching staff were able to join and share examples of teaching and learning too.

Towards the end of the programme:

  • Discovery collaborated with Century Tech to show how schools can utilise different learning platforms into their curriculum.
  • The EdTech Demonstrator Programme devised an EdTech Week in November 2020, we participated in a live discussion forum and then we shared our EdTech journey on the final day of the event.
  • In March 2021, our Trust held an EdTech Now and Next Conference, other EdTech Demonstrator Programme Schools were invited to join as keynote speakers in the morning and in the afternoon, delegates were able to attend workshops.
  • Finally, the team were asked to speak about Technology and Inclusion at the EdTech Update (EdTech Summit) in April 2021.

Areas of Support for 2021/2022:

This is an exciting time, and we need to build on the digital gains that schools have just made.

School / College Recovery – We can offer support such as:

  • engaging staff with blended learning
  • CPD – how to find the time and where to find the courses
  • digital champions – choosing the right members of staff
  • blended learning in EYFS and KS1
  • embedding 1 to1 devices into your curriculum effectively
  • the importance of technical support


Reducing Teacher Workload – Our aim is to share our knowledge of:

  • digital devices in the classroom
  • help schools to understand the benefits of the digital devices and tools
  • the importance of sharing planning and resources with colleagues but also across schools too
  • collaborating with colleagues in Microsoft Teams and OneNote


School / College Improvement Plans – We can offer advice to schools about how to:

  • create a long-term digital implementation plan
  • discuss termly action plans
  • when to integrate the blended learning into the whole school teaching and learning strategy


School / College Resource Management – Our team can discuss:

  • how and why the Trust purchased shared STEM Technologies
  • the importance of network meetings to share knowledge and ideas
  • how to increase the amount of digital devices – grants, donation schemes and BYOD


Securing an Accessible and Inclusive Curriculum – We can share our approach to:

  • digital inclusion and discuss the skills of our pastoral team
  • talk about improving pupil’s knowledge of digital tools in a range of apps and on the device
  • explain how we engaged parents and pupils with online learning platforms


Key Applications

  • Microsoft Teams – The strength in a consistent structure and approach
  • Tapestry, and the child account in EYFS and KS1
  • how to support your preschool provision

Our Trust is also happy for EdTech schools to visit once it is safe to do so. We will be delighted to arrange face to face training, whole school tours to observe blended learning in action and digital learning discussion sessions for teachers.