Hove Park named Apple Distinguished School

Hove Park School is pleased to announce that it has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for the third time in recognition of our continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment. Over the last two years, we have demonstrated our commitment to digital learning by having a strategy that continuously stretches, challenges and influences learning for the whole school community.

Brighton & Hove is part of a national digital hub and it is our goal to ensure that our students leave Hove Park School & Sixth Form with the skills they need to work in our city, and to upscale those skills enabling them to work nationally and globally in the confidence that they are digitally prepared for the challenges that face them. Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

“A school is more than just a place where students come to learn. It is also a place where a community develops and thrives. It is a place where we come together to support each other achieve. Our digital strategy has been an enabling factor in making this happen. I have been fortunate enough to have been part of this journey since we started in 2013, and have seen our digital strategy continue to impact on pedagogy and practice and become part of the everyday experience for all students. Having established this foundation we have now begun the most exciting phase of innovation through student engagement and leadership. Our Digital Leaders are now an integral part of co-constructing the next stage of our development including the planning of a key learning environment. Our new vision statement ‘Together we Achieve’ acknowledges and demonstrates the importance of this collaboration. Student progress will always remain a key priority because outcomes so often dictate future pathways and opportunities for young people. However, in addition, I am clear that students will also leave us with 21st Century learner skills including problem solving, leadership, communication, team working and resilience. It is no coincidence that student confidence in these areas has grown as a result of us embracing the use of technology. Our students go into the communities they live in and the wider world ready and able to make a positive contribution.” - Jim Roberts Head Teacher

The selection of Hove Park School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. Over the last academic year we have focused on staff development and student leadership.

The ongoing professional development of our staff is crucial to our journey so far and in moving forward. At the beginning of September 2017, 120 teaching staff were trained on the new Learning for Life programme. Learning for Life is a lesson that is taught daily to Years 7 through to Year 11. It is a lesson that focuses on delivering high quality literacy and Personal Social and Health Education PSHE. All lessons are supported by digital resources and the use of iTunes U to disseminate these is now embedded as an integral part of Learning for Life lessons.

The introduction of Learning for Life lessons has been an area where we have been able to develop student leadership. We have always taken a student-centred approach to learning with technology, and we recognise that students have a role to play in supporting our teachers. We created a peer-based coaching and mentoring process to ensure retention of students, the result being a sustainable network of leaders that drop into learning for life lessons to coach students and support teachers.

Our school vision is ‘Together We Achieve’ and there is a continual drive to maintain this throughout all of the school. Our 1:1 iPad strategy is at the core of delivering this vision and our goal is to ensure the strategy remains sustainable, relevant and innovative in the years to come.