Bobby Moore Academy, the latest school to open in our network, is just having the finishing touches applied prior to opening. In September Year 7 will start their career with us in the primary building, transferring next year to the secondary site as reception join us in what will be an all through school. The setting - right up next to the Olympic stadium in the Queen Elizabeth park is special - goosebump special, but for those of us working in IT and eLearning at the David Ross Education Trust, it is goosebump special for so much more than that.
When we first conceived the IT for the as yet un-named academy several years ago and went through the exhaustive tendering process, we formed a vision for how technology was to work for our schools that was far more ambitious than anything that had been in place before. At that point each school was developing its own IT vision and as a Trust we advised, encouraged and helped. The design for this new school meant we had to properly debate and plan for how a network between schools would work - a vision that we've had in place for a couple of years now as dret.cloud. We also took the thinking we'd already developed around a much lighter-weight kind of IT system using Chromebooks and iPads and thought about what a school would be like if that was the point of departure, rather than the latest thing grafted on.
We wouldn't have designed the Star Classroom setup and rolled it out at all our academies (I think we now have crossed the two-hundred barrier) if it hadn't been for the thinking and planning for Bobby Moore Academy.
That's why going into a classroom there today and seeing the first teaching wall set out was strange. Because what was our ideal and vision just three years ago isn't new. What is now being prepared there for Year 7 is now established practice at a whole network of schools.
Just listening the the passion of Stuart Burns who is leading the new academy for every detail of the project and the experience that waits for the new students, and seeing the academy in the setting of QE park makes me wonder how, given the legacy free starting point quite how far they will go.