Building a school from the ground up – Andrew Howard’s journey of education transformation with Sandymoor

We like to promote work of other people as much as possible on this blog, and you’ll likely have read guest posts before that have come from teachers, students, our partners, or indeed from our MIEEs (Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators). Not only does it keep things fresh on here, but it also allows us to step back and offer an opportunity for those who are on the frontlines of education to reflect on their experiences and share their knowledge with others. That is, after all, the fundamental idea of what education is all about – sharing knowledge.

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Andrew Howard portrait Today we’re going to highlight a post from Andrew Howard, Head Teacher at Sandymoor School in Runcorn. Recently he spoke at the Microsoft Education Leaders’ Briefing; a forum for presenting the latest thoughts on the integration of technology and education, attended by people from across the globe. In his address at the ELB, he spoke of how he – and others – created “a brand new school, built entirely from the ground up, metaphorically as well as literally…”

Andrew’s story so far at Sandymoor is a remarkable one, and well worth reading. Trying to paraphrase it would be an injustice, and again, we thoroughly recommend you read the whole article. In any case, here is a short excerpt that nicely crystallises the sentiment of Sandymoor School’s and Andrew’s own attitudes towards the role of technology in education transformation:

“…it needs a strong vision, clearly focussed, with the modern student at the heart, to ensure that we truly transform education. And it does need transformation, if not revolution, across the world - we are failing so many young people and politicians talk about percentage improvements in test scores, without really recognising that every percentage point that fails is a real student who learns that they are not a success… Technology will not transform learning, but without it learning will not be transformed.”

Andrew has also made use of a relatively new addition to the Microsoft Office suite, by creating a Sway based around the presentation he gave at the Education Leaders’ Briefing:

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