COMBINING technology with learning has led to the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy being nominated for a top award.

IPACA has been shortlisted for the prestigious Ed Tech Award category in the 2014 Times Education Supplement (TES) School Awards.

It is the second year the academy has been shortlisted.

Director of Digital Learning and Innovation Gary Spracklen said: “We are really excited to be nominated for the second year running by the Times Education Supplement.

“It’s a real measure of the success we are seeing here on Portland.

“We are passionate about the difference technology makes in supporting learning and have worked closely with our partners at Samsung, Google and European Electronique to deliver a 21st century solution fit for our vision.”

In September 2013, IPACA became one of the first schools in the UK to give 1:1 Google Chromebook provision. Students are each given a Samsung Chromebook at no charge to support their learning both at school and at home.

Mr Spracklen added: “Getting this recognition shows that a 1:1 computer initiative means so much more than just handing out a device for students to type their homework on.

“It is about encouraging a whole organisation to re-think learning and to develop pedagogy that reflects the 21st century skills that successful learners require.”

Principal Alison Appleyard said the programme is all about ‘what is best for the learner’, adding: “This environment supports students and teachers to implement transformative uses of technology.”

The 1:1 programme is to be extended at the Portland Academy to its innovative Sixth Form Centre, which will open this September.

Mr Spracklen said the Chromebooks were being used alongside other developments including the use of one-hundred minute lessons in the secondary phase to extend learning opportunities and ‘shoeless learning’ in the new Osprey Quay Campus to foster a homely and comfortable feel in learning environments.

Mr Spracklen said it is because of an ‘academy-wide holistic approach’ that IPACA is seeing the difference being made.