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Rugby School wins the best use of technology award at the Tes Independent School Awards


Rugby School has won the best use of technology award at the Tes Independent School Awards, one of the biggest nights in the UK education calendar which was held on Friday 30th April.

 The Tes Independent School Awards celebrate the teachers and teams from independent schools across the UK that are raising the standards of education and making a positive impact on the personal and academic success of students and the wider community. This year’s awards have highlighted the extraordinary work that schools have done in spite of a most challenging year.

Rugby School caught the judges’ attention through its use of technology to help students adjust to lockdown restrictions. Lead judge David James said its online teaching and learning programme “stood out, not only for the depth and breadth of its provision but also for its admirable determination to make its resources available to local and international students, including helping children in Nairobi learn English and maths”. Academic and co-curricular programmes were reinvented for lockdown, he added, “with the performing arts standing out as being especially impressive and popular”.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the school was already live-streaming music performances and sports events – such as the annual Crick Run – so that parents could cheer on their children in real time. The sports department also uses the latest technology to track students’ fitness, with each student able to access a personalised coaching programme through an app, which has helped them restore their fitness to pre-lockdown levels.

Investment in technology enabled Rugby to continue with a largely normal timetable within three days of school closures. Lectures continued online, while virtual music lessons started the day after pupils went home. The lockdown did not prevent ensembles from continuing to play and record, with the music department creating its own YouTube channel to share performances. And house singing competitions were introduced to maintain bonds for pupils who would usually be boarding together.

Peter Green, Executive Headteacher of Rugby School said:

“Our technology team are truly deserving of this accolade for the impressive remote delivery of the entire school timetable enabling our students to continue to not only learn, but to flourish during lockdown.”

Jon Severs, Editor of Tes magazine and Chief Judge of the Awards said:

“The Tes Independent School Awards is a celebration of the fantastic achievements of the independent sector. These winning and shortlisted schools have shown ingenuity, ambition and perseverance during what has been an unbelievably challenging year.”

The Tes Independent School Awards were held virtually for the first time to comply with the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. In previous years the awards ceremony has been held at the Grosvenor Hotel, on London’s Park Lane.