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TES Schools Awards 2009 - Best e-learning initiative

Winner - Evelyn Street Community Primary, Warrington, Cheshire

Most schools have to grapple with the challenge of engaging boys. Evelyn Street Primary, in a deprived ward near Warrington town centre, is using hand-held computers to encourage their interest in learning.

The school began by giving junior boys a computer to take home. After they had done their homework, they could access games and websites controlled by the school's ICT technician. For a small charge, families were also able to use the computers, except when pupils were in school. The aim was to encourage parental support for education.

The project was so successful that it was extended to girls. Parents began to enrol for courses in school and at the local college. Pupils now share their knowledge of websites and innovative ways of using computers. The school says: "They teach each other how to find songs and screen savers, games and mobile phone features, bluetoothing videos to each other. Their enthusiasm and imagination spill over into making effective homework presentations."

Pupils use the e-learning network to make contact with those in five other schools. After school, they use websites to compete around the world in computer games. They say the project is fun. Staff know it is raising standards because they monitor pupils' performance on the topics that involve computers. The results are impressive.

Judges' verdict: "This is a very exciting project which appears to have had an increasing impact on the pupils and the community." The judges also liked the way in which the project was supporting home-school links and the school's use of ICT to enhance the enjoyment of learning.

TES Schools Awards 2009:

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