Thursday, 15 April 2021

Pupils love learning again thanks to donated laptops

Pupils love learning again thanks to donated laptops

A PRIMARY school in Caversham has received refurbished laptops to help the children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Göran Lennartsson, who teaches maths at the Oratory School in Woodcote, has been fixing broken machines to give to children who are learning at home.

The laptops were donated by families as they were broken or no longer wanted and Mr Lennartsson, who has IT experience, carried out repairs such as mending broken keys and replacing vital components.

Once the computers are working again, he securely wipes the hard drives so confidential data can never be recovered. He also installs CloudReady, an operating system like Windows but based on Google’s Chrome technology. This means applications like Microsoft Office can be accessed through the internet and don’t have to be installed.

Mr Lennartsson donated 27 machines to St Anne's Catholic Primary School in Washington Road.

Headteacher Sarah Bernto said the laptops had helped revitalise students’ love of learning.

She said: “It’s had a huge impact on our kids and has helped them get online. We have a lot of vulnerable people so we had a lot trying to access their online work from their parents’ mobile phones.

“Without the laptops they wouldn’t be able to meet their friends on the virtual lessons, which it is important to feel part of a community.

“They can access their lessons from 9am to 3pm and they can write their work straight on to the screen instead of writing it out, taking a photo and sending it in.

“It has also had a hugely beneficial impact on engagement and we’ve seen much better quality of work.

“It has revitalised their love for school as they can virtually see their teachers, watch videos and the lessons which they couldn’t before.

“Online learning isn’t easy, especially for primary school children. They need to see someone modelling what they need to do. They need someone to read for them as they can’t just read lots and lots of text all day.” Mrs Bernto said that students and staff were excited about returning the school on Monday.

“We just want to be back together as a community,” she said “We will still be in year group bubbles when we return but we’re really lucky as we’re a small family community school and we all know each other. It’s like coming home to your family.”

The school will continue to use the laptops to expand its technology lessons when it re-opens.

Mrs Bernto said: “We’re quite excited about that as we only had one small trolley of laptops for the whole school.”

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