Bartholomew School became a Specialist Technology College in 2004. Our choice of this specialism was founded in the strong belief that we could build on our existing strengths and that Technology would be of greatest benefit to the progress and development of the whole child in the whole school. The significant financial boost to the four original specialist subjects, Design and Technology, Science, Mathematics and ICT, allowed many innovative and exciting developments to take place through the guiding aim of ‘Learning through Technology’. The curriculum has been enhanced, resourcing has improved, student experience has been enriched and the whole educational experience of our students has received a massive boost. Technology status has been a prime driver in making Bartholomew an outstanding school. We are proud that throughout this journey we have been able to hold on to our core beliefs in the value of every child and been able to maintain Bartholomew as an excellent provider of a truly comprehensive, caring and rounded education. Some of the specific benefits (there are too many to list in total) are as follows.
- Technology Status has supported the upgrade of ICT facilities, Technology learning materials and resources, Digital Signage and the ‘Computers for Teachers’ scheme, which guarantees that every teacher has either a laptop or assistance in purchasing a computer (which will give access to the Learning Platform).
- All departments have access to improved funding to develop use of technology for teaching and learning. Recent beneficiaries include Music, English, Film Studies, Art, History and Modern Foreign Languages.
- The use of Interactive Whiteboards and other new teaching technologies has developed with funding and support from the specialist status.
- New courses within the specialist departments have provided more opportunities for success. These include the new flexible Science GCSE, Triple Science GCSE, Applied Engineering (D&T), Food Technology AS and A2 (D&T), Performing Engineering Operations (through Oxford and Cherwell Valley College). The status has enabled us to maintain and develop strength with Further Mathematics.
- The take up of A Level in the specialist subjects has increased markedly and is currently at a very high level. A significant proportion of these learners continue in Higher Education and career paths in the science and technology disciplines.
- A huge amount of enrichment events have opened up new opportunities for students of all ages. These include Eco-club (Science), Formula Schools (D&T), Technology Day (D&T), STEM Week (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Engineering Education Scheme, Crest Awards (Science and D&T), Maths Challenge and ‘Gifted and Talented’ events.
- Environmental projects are becoming a real feature of the school and these are funded from Technology Status. We have recently achieved the national Eco-school silver award and in consequence hare participating in an environment technology link within the Commenius Project.
- Purchase and use of SAM Learning and other independent study materials has a huge benefit.
- The significant improvement in results impacted on our 5A*-C (including English and Maths) GCSE results, which led to our gaining status as a High Performing Specialist School.
- As a high performing specialist school we were able to secure our second specialism - Thinking Voice - which is already proving to be a huge stimulus to the quality of teaching, learning, thinking, student voice and hence whole-school achievement.
- Raising standards in our primary feeder schools through our comprehensive and very well coordinated community programme. There is positive ’Value Added’ at every key stage from 2 to 4 to give the young people of Eynsham and the surrounding villages a truly excellent educational experience.
We are confident that we will continue to be a specialist Technology School and that the status will be a huge influence on the future successes of the school and our learners.