Digital School Host World Book Day Celebration
Following the success of the Christmas sensory story the Digital School were back in action this week with a multi-sensory celebration of World Book Day at Sutton’s central library.
Creative Director, Simon Gale penned an original composition that took students from our VPC college centre on a virtual journey to a library were they were transported through a web of literary classics from ‘Moby Dick’, to ‘Space Odyssey’. The books were bought to life via 4D sensory experiences including; smell, touch, sound and visual delights. Students were completely engaged in the session and enjoyed the whole experience.
Media Day at The Stoop!
The Digital School took a group of lucky students to The Stoop last week, home to Harlequins women’s Rugby Team, where they took part in their media day.
They had access to all areas and whilst taking a tour of the pre-match changing room, the team popped in to say “Hi!” Orchard Hill College student Evie, said: “I was so surprised to see them, I can’t believe it.” Students got to watch the team train and had a chance to ask them some questions they’d prepared in advance and take some selfies!
The team spent half an hour chatting to students, who were thrilled to meet the mighty Harlequins. Students from St Philips School were surprised at how big the stadium was, how hard the training session was and how physically fit the players needed to be to play at that level. Thank you, Harlequins, for an inspiring and memorable day out.
Simon Gale, Creative Director of the Digital School, said: “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership work with the Harlequins and can’t wait to host the weekly community digital hub every Monday at The Stoop’s media centre.” Simon also added that a video of the trip will be available to view soon, so watch this space.
Sensory Christmas Story
Students across OHC&AT were treated to a truly interactive Christmas story at Sutton Community Library. The event was led by our Digital School team, who penned an original story especially for the event.
Students settled into their chairs, the lights were dimmed and the story began. In the tale we followed busy Dad, Howard on Christmas Eve as attempted to buy Christmas presents for his family in the bustling shops. Simon Gale, Creative Director of the Digital School read the story aloud and his team brought it to life with a series of sensory experiences.
A screen played out a bus tour through the festive streets of London, Christmas scents filled the air, students sampled Christmas beverages and handled snow, fairy lights and Christmas tree branches. They even helped Howard choose a perfume and a new jumper for his wife by smelling a variety of scents and touching soft fabrics. At the end of the performance their eyes lit up with a beautiful light show.
Lights, Cameras, Action!
Pupils and students across the Trust got together for this year’s OHC&AT Film Festival. The event was hosted at Sutton Salvation Army, where visitors were treated to a screening of 15 short films. The entries were an eclectic mix; from “Minecraft Movie” by The Link Primary School and “Green Screen Adventures” from Dysart School to “Sonic Meets Splatoon”, Orchard Hill College’s entry.
There was also a commanding interpretation of the book “Matilda” by Carew Academy. Each film was well received with rapturous applause from the packed audience.
Simon Gale, Creative Director of the Digital School said: “This has been a student led project, they came up with the great ideas and we simply guided them through the creative process of film making. All of the entries are very different, but equally amazing.”
Students Lead the Way in Digital Innovation
A digital showcase event took place at the Virgin Money Lounge in Haymarket last night with students from Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT)
Guests from the world of Tech and Education gathered for the “Celebration of Digital Discovery”. During the event, students demonstrated a range of cutting edge technology from virtual reality (VR) to Lego Education challenges where they put their coding and building skills into practice to create vehicles out of Lego and that are activated via iPads.
Visitors were also treated to a live podcast and a preview of a new 3D game, “Food Busters”, designed to help students make healthy decisions about their diet.
Music was provided by OHC&AT’s resident DJs, Josh and Matt who said: “It’s brilliant to put the skills we learn at college into practice, this is a great gig!”
Simon Gale, Creative Director of the Digital School, commented: “I am so proud of the students. This event provides the perfect opportunity for them to show their innovative thinking and digital skills. Our aim is to harness students’ creativity and this evening is the result of their hard work and enthusiasm.”
Whilst students learn digital skills for the workplace, the Digital School has always stood for more than just technology, it is about communicating, working as a team, making new friendships, trying new things as well as developing practical digital skills.
Dr Caroline Allen OBE, Principal & CEO of OHC&AT: “I am delighted to see so many people here to support the incredible work of our students, they continue to amaze me with their ideas, imagination and forward thinking. As London is committed to becoming a digital city, now is the time for our young people to become more involved and engaged with technology.”
On Your Marks, Get Set, Tech! – Digital Hub launches at The Stoop
Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT) in partnership with The Harlequins Foundation launched a new digital hub based at the home of Harlequins.
The Digital Hub, which is being piloted over the next twelve weeks, provides students from a range of schools including the Harlequins Foundation’s own HITZ programme, and St Phillip’s School the opportunity to explore core STEM concepts in an engaging and accessible way. Using a range of cutting-edge technology including green screens, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and Lego Education sets, students will learn to design, build and code different technological solutions to overcome real life challenges.
The current pilot, lead by OHC&AT’s Digital School team will ascertain individuals’ capabilities and interests and design future sessions in order to maximise their engagement. There is lots for students to look forward to, including a Lego Education session, where students will build a robotic hand and programme it to grab, lift and place objects.
Andy Carpenter, Harlequins Foundation Manager, said: “The Digital Hub is a great opportunity for students to explore a range of core curriculum topics through interactive workshops. These skills can easily transfer into a range of different subjects and careers and hopefully the sessions will inspire young people to continue engagement with essential STEM subjects.
Karen Cunningham, Project Manager for OHC&AT, said: “Digital Technology is an integral part of improving opportunities and outcomes of our pupils and students. As education, work and life become more intrinsically dependent on digital skills, we need to ensure that we are using new and innovative ways to engage and deliver a curriculum that meets these demands.”
Comic Shop Entrepreneur joins Pod Radio for an Interview
Tom from the incredible comic shop “A Place in Space” in Croydon, joined our Digital Ambassadors to take part in a podcast. Students interviewed Tom and asked him about working in the industry and also found out other interesting facts like, the most expensive comic book ever sold at the shop, retailed at a whopping £4,000! Click here to listen to the interview
Click here to watch a short film A Place in Space can be found at 96 Church Street and you can follow them @aplaceinspaceuk
Digital School joins Cisco Networking Academy
Orchard Hill College (Digital School) have been invited to join the Cisco Networking Academy (CNA).
Since 1997, Cisco Networking Academy has been working toward a single goal: fostering the technical and entrepreneurial skills that people, educators, and companies need to change the world for the better.
Historically their offering has been targeted at mainstream learners, but they are expanding their provision to encompass students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The Digital school lead by Simon Gale will work closely with Andrew Smith from the Open University to develop new resources for students learning at a lower level that can deliver real social impact. We look forward to bringing you more progress updates about this venture.
New Digital Skills Qualification
We are proud to announce that our Digital School students’ will be offered an opportunity to work towards an entry level Digital Skills qualification accredited by Ascentis.
The qualification is made up of two mandatory modules in Online and Computer basics. Students also choose two from the following five optional modules; Digital Photography, Digital Music, Audio and Video Software, Digital Media and Social Networking. We have an initial cohort of ten students, who on successful completion of the programme will be awarded a Diploma in Digital Skills.
Senior Teaching Aide, Rhys Johnson, said: “I am proud to lead our first cohort of students through this programme, I feel really strongly about digital inclusion and this will open doors for students to access new avenues of employment utilising their recently acquired digital skills.”
Digi Café – Official Launch
Principal and CEO, Dr Caroline Allen OBE, Simon Gale, Creative Director of OHC&AT’s Digital School and his team joined students from VPC to officially launch the DigiCafe.
Students looked smart in their branded uniforms and were ready to serve customers with delicious homemade cakes and beverages. The café is a great environment for them to hone their catering, customer service and front of house skills.
New DigiCafe opening at the Riverside Centre in Carshalton
DigiCafe is a new initiative launching on September 2018 at the Riverside Centre in Carshalton.The cafe will be open every Wednesday (during term-time) from 11.30am – 1.30pm to serve the local community. Visitors can pop in for coffee and a slice of homemade cake, or sample one of our savoury mini-bites, all made and served by students. The digital team and students will be on hand to help visitors check out the latest Apps, try out new gaming consuls and chat about all things digital. There will even be a Lego Education zone, perfect for parents/carers with young children. Riverside Centre, 113 Culvers Ave, Carshalton, SM5 2FJ.
MCM Comic Con – Is it a bird…is it a plane…no, it’s the Digital School at Comic Con!
The Digital School enjoyed a trip to MCM Comic Con 2018 at London’s Excel. It is a huge event for super fans, some of whom dress up to display their love for their favourite superhero, anime or video characters. (Yes, that really is a tribute to Splatoon 2 you can see in the photo!) Students got to visit the Creator Zone where they met industry vloggers, artists and other fans. They also picked up the latest exclusive news about gaming, TV and films. A highlight was a visit to the Comic Village, home to the largest gathering of comic creators in the UK.
A Celebration of Digital Discovery
Special guests from Tech and Education gathered for the “Celebration of Digital Discovery” eagerly anticipating what the students had in store for them, and they weren’t disappointed. The event revealed some truly innovative digital thinking with products such as Contour (an e-learning portfolio enabling and empowering students to have autonomy over their learning journey and present their work independently through the portfolio).Students also demonstrated a series of augmented reality training cards which bring static items to life making their lessons even more engaging and interactive.
Visitors were also treated to a live podcast and a preview of a soon-to-be launched 3D game, “Road Sense”, designed to raise awareness of road safety and to promote travelling independently in a safe way. Students at the Digital School also publish a student e-zine that can be enjoyed by those with visual and hearing impairments and broadcast a weekly live radio podcast.
Attendees were encouraged to get interactive and try out the virtual reality headsets that can transport users to Egypt or even experience life on Mars, but more practical for students with SEND, it enables them to become familiar with places and environments before they visit them.