Starting out at a new school for a student or new member of staff can be both exciting and challenging. There are so many new things to get to grips with and understand and it simply takes time. I have a new Year 7 class and in our first lesson we have began to ease them in to becoming more confident with one particular element of this which is our school IT systems.
When new people begin their journey with us whether it be experienced members of staff or new Year 7 students, as an organisation we are reminded by them just how daunting the high level and sophistication of our IT systems can be and how much they underpin the way that we work as an organisation.
In recent years we have got better at easing new people in, one way of doing this is devoting time in the curriculum for new Year 7 students to understand and explore these systems with support. In our first lesson we started at the beginning, students reflected on their use of IT and Technology in their previous schools, they shared their good and bad experiences and then they reflected and shared their thoughts and feelings on what they know so far about our school and how they have found the transition particularly around IT. The key areas we have considered and discussed in groups and as a class are:
- The IT facilities and access to the internet they had at their primary schools
- Examples of where IT has made a positive impact to their learning and when it hasn’t
- Whether they will need more or less access to IT and the internet here at our school
- Their initial observations of our IT and their feelings
- Whether books are more important than IT (this is one thrown in for fun)
We then moved onto ensuring that they fully understand our Responsible User Policy (RUP) and more general tips and advice around THINK (see the image above). Through our discussions we navigated and came to a conclusion that many of the points stated in the are the same as our common set of values as a school and as human beings if you removed the IT element.
What does your RUP look like? What do you think of the one above?
What do you do in your school? Do you support new students in understanding your IT systems?