Concord recognised as a Microsoft Showcase School!

Thursday October 21, 2021

Concord is delighted to announce that it has been named a Microsoft Showcase School for 2021-22 – a prestigious achievement, with only hundreds of schools around the world achieving the accolade each year. In fact, in 2020, there were only 325 education institutes from 58 countries who were granted Microsoft Showcase status, according to the official Microsoft Education Blog. In a recent email to the College, Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Vice President, Anthony Salcito and Senior Education Industry Manager (School Leader Engagement Programs, Microsoft Education) Dina Ghobashy said: “Microsoft has recognised your institution as a Showcase School, an elite group of schools that exemplify the best of teaching and learning in the world today.” “Your school can take pride in knowing that Microsoft recognises your impact on the future of education – Microsoft Showcase Schools are pioneers in education.” A Microsoft Showcase School is committed to school-wide digital transformation, specifically, using Microsoft’s Education Transformation Framework – and the technology that it entails – to drive a culture of learning, innovation and continuous improvement. The schools are dedicated to providing improved teaching methods for staff and improved learning outcomes for students, having the necessary technology in place to effectively manage transitions, such as to remote or hybrid learning scenarios. The announcement follows Concord’s previous success in attaining Microsoft Incubator School status last academic year, with an application based on ‘A Catalyst for Change’ – specifically, the establishment of Concord’s £11m state-of-the-art Science Bock which would ultimately put Concord at the forefront of science facilities in schools across the UK, and as a consequence, alongside the changes brought about by the pandemic, inspired the College to explore the exciting world of EdTech. Since gaining Incubator status, Concord’s Head of Chemistry and one of the College’s founding IT Teaching and Learning Leads (ITTL), Dr Richard Beard commented: “We have improved on previous successes, through the rapid innovation and creativity that was utilised to maintain teaching in-person and online throughout the pandemic. “Many processes are in place through our IT Teaching and Learning Leads (ITTL), Digital Champions (DC), staff & student support system protocols, frequent training tips, Bring Your Own Device system (BYOD), Office 365 (O365) for all staff, Engineering Club, Medic provision, EPQ to foster collaboration, and overall creativity to generate numerous ideas – all of which has resulted in massive expansion of EdTech throughout the staff and student community.” In this same period, 46% of the teaching staff at the College have become Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) and 4% of teaching staff are MIE Experts. This is highlighted on the Microsoft Showcase Schools Directory (Page 95) with further information about the pandemic and its effect on EdTech at Concord. In becoming a Showcase School, Microsoft will be supporting Concord in its quest to inspire lifelong learning, stimulating development of essential future-ready skills so students are empowered to achieve more. Benefits include groups, teams and worldwide collaboration with like-minded school leaders and education innovators to further transform learning; access to Microsoft events and tech launches; partner and product support; access to up-to-date guidance, resources, and research; and elevating Concord’s visibility and role as a leading institution. Alongside Dr Beard, Concord’s Head of Physics and ITTL, Dr Lee Garland was also instrumental in Concord’s recent developments and application to become a Showcase School. Reflecting on the latest accolade, he said: “Becoming a Showcase School is a wonderful recognition of the hard work, ingenuity and innovation of teachers, students and staff at Concord. It is with huge thanks to all involved. “The rollout of educational technology been successful because of the collaborative approach that has been adopted and we will continue to use it to prepare our students for the 21st Century. “We are excited and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate, learn and share best practice with staff and students at Concord – and other establishments around the world – that being a Showcase School will now enable.” If you would like to read more about Concord’s commitments to digital transformation and access the College’s full Showcase application, please click here.