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Innovation Room Opening at The Dukeries Academy

Innovation is at the heart of new classroom at The Dukeries Academy

A unique classroom in Nottinghamshire was opened last week by local MP Mark Spencer.

The innovation room at The Dukeries Academy in New Ollerton, part of Academy Transformation Trust (ATT,) will provide pupils with a technology enhanced ‘future learning environment’. 

The aim of the new classroom is to increase opportunities for pupils and teachers to approach learning and teaching in innovative ways.

The technology enhanced classroom was opened at a launch event on Friday 6 November.  Mark Spencer MP officially opened the room and partners Gaia Technologies, Acer and Discovery Education were on hand for the event along with ATT CEO Ian Cleland, academy governors and pupils from local primary schools.

A group of pupils at the academy took on the role of ‘digital champions’ working with teachers to develop the different features of the innovation room.

The space is by no means a traditional school computer room.  There are areas for groups of pupils to conference, plan collaboratively, give presentations, research, immerse themselves in 3D environments, explore film making technology and produce digital content. 

This unconventional classroom will facilitate and promote the development of genuinely engaging learning activities that fit more closely within contexts outside of school.  Examples of projects already being planned by teaching staff include writing scripts for presentations that can be filmed and enhanced using green screen technology, creating digital revision resources and developing professional standard 3D design work for 3D printing.

At the opening event, pupils, staff and visitors had the opportunity to take part in workshops to develop their skills in digital sculpting and green screen film making.

Principal Ian Barton made an opening address, thanking the partner organisations, Gaia, Discovery and Acer for their support in establishing the room.  He also thanked the ‘digital champions’ for their commitment to working with teachers to make the innovation room a reality.  

MP Mark Spencer then presented certificates to the ‘digital champions’ before officially opening the room.  Year 11 pupil Lewis Brain then presented Mr Spencer with a gift of a set of The Dukeries Academy coasters made on the academy's new laser cutter.

Principal Ian Barton explained the value of such a rare resource at the academy, “The innovation room will be a truly unique learning experience for pupils at The Dukeries. 

“As an ATT academy it is our aim to be at the forefront of technology and to give our pupils every opportunity to prepare for life beyond the academy.

“We want our pupils to be excited about learning and our innovation room will most certainly inspire them and give them experiences that they can take forward into future learning and careers.

 “Pupils will have the latest industry standard technology at their fingertips so they can explore cutting edge developments and learn new techniques which will help them to develop key skills they can take with them as they move through the academy and into the future.”

This initiative has been sponsored by partners including Gaia Technologies, Acer and Discovery Education. The academy has the full support of these partners in developing its digital provision and its vision to become a pioneer for digital literacy in North Nottinghamshire.