St. Pius X College in Magherafelt was celebrating being announced as one of the top schools in the UK when it comes to the best use of technology, at the BECTA ICT Excellence Awards in Bristol, on Thursday 19 November 2009.
The school is one of just 70 from the country’s 25,000 to have reached the finals of the prestigious ICT Excellence Awards 2009 run by Becta – the Government organisation that led the national drive to improve learning through technology. St. Pius X College, Magherafelt was highly commended in the ‘Best Whole School’ category for Northern Ireland. The College was one of only two Northern Ireland’s post-primary schools to be awarded in the prestigious ceremony.
Mrs M White, Principal of St. Pius X College, said: "This award reflects the inspirational commitment of all in the St Pius X community to an ethos where innovation is encouraged and good practice shared without fear of failure. Our vision for ICT stretches across the whole college and beyond and is having a clear impact on the outcomes for pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. I am delighted this vision is recognised with the achievement of this prestigious award."
Teachers and pupils went head-to-head with other top-of-the-class teachers and students on 19 November at the national awards ceremony at Bristol’s newest science venue, At-Bristol. They were delighted to hear that they had been chosen as Highly Commended in the Best-Whole School - Northern Ireland category.
To be shortlisted for the award teaching staff had to demonstrate they had successfully placed technology at the heart of both learning and wider school management. By helping to enhance teaching and bringing lessons to life, the school has shown clearly how technology makes a difference, not just in the classroom, but at home within the family, and across other school activities.
Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of Becta, said: “We believe that integrating technology across the entire curriculum – not just using it in ICT lessons – is essential to higher achievement in schools and it makes lessons and learning more enjoyable and rewarding. The ICT Excellence Awards are a fantastic way to show just what can be achieved to boost the achievements of young people using technology. In being short-listed for this award, St. Pius X College has shown excellent use of technology and is a shining example of what can be done. We wish the students, teachers and parents luck in next year’s ceremony.”
This achievement follows the prestigious ICT Mark by BECTA, awarded to St. Pius X College earlier in the year. Both accomplishments reinforce St. Pius X College as a centre for ICT excellence. St. Pius X College has demonstrated that they have successfully placed technology at the heart of learning as well as wider school management. This has helped to enhance teaching and bring lessons to life showing clearly how technology makes a difference, not just in the classroom, but at home and in the wider community.