The Third Millennium Learning Award was created by Naace because we knew from ICT Mark assessments that there were a few schools providing an exceptional education experience for their pupils. We wanted to provide an Award that would recognise this and through the award discover how they were achieving this and inform other schools. The award started in 2011 and ran until 2015.
It is not a matter of coincidence that it was Naace that noticed these schools. Analysis of the very different ways these schools provided exceptional education showed that there was an underlying commonality – engagement of the pupils in learning. This engagement was developed through a process we described as a ‘virtuous spiral’. The elements of the spiral are all strongly supported by technology, so all the schools had invested strongly in technology and in developing how they used it. The digital mindset the pupils were developing also has a lot of similarities with growth mindset.
The schools were challenged to produce two 15 minute videos. The first was to show parents the third millennium learning experience their children would experience in the school – known as the promotional or parent video. The second was to inform other educators how and why the school was doing what they did to provide this education – known as the commentary video.
In the first two pilot phases schools that we knew to be providing exceptional education were invited to apply for the award. Their videos were extensively discussed by a group of experienced ICT Mark Assessors and the standard for the award set and a judging tool developed. The award was then opened up to any school who thought they could match or exceed the standard set. The videos from the pilot schools were available for all to view on the Naace website, which were added to as other schools gained the award. Due to changes in Naace these videos are no longer on their website however there are direct YouTube links to many of them – see the videos page.
The judging tool is a school improvement tool that can be used by any school. The suggested approach is for a school staff to discuss and list the 10 things that they do which they are most proud of. These may well be things that are not directly educational in a required curriculum sense. The list could for example include extra curricular and sport, pupil well-being activities, family support and relationships, community action or charitable initiatives.
From this list of 10 ‘most proud of’ activities, make the two videos. In so doing the discussions involved will have a deeply improving effect on the school.