Photography Extravaganza!
Written by Lesley   
Friday, 13 July 2012 15:37

Our Senior Consultant was invited to the Kingsbridge Excellence Centre Photography Extravaganza as the grand finale to the digital photography boot camp and Olympic competition. Here she explains how it went!

"This afternoon I had the pleasure of being a VIP at the Kingsbridge Photography Extravaganza, organised by Kingsbridge and held at Standish High School.

What a wonderful event it turned out to be...

Each of the participating 13 schools attended with their 'winners', the 3 children whose photographs had been chosen as 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their school in-house digital olympic photo competition. The competition was styled around 5 of the olympic standards: courage, determination, friendship, excellence and respect. The children took photographs of school life under these themes and entered them accordingly.

I have to admit that although my experience of working with the children on the boot camp sessions developed their photography skills and in doing so I could see just what they were capable of, the competition themes themselves were very challenging. So, I was a little worried about how they would fare when actually undertaking the competition tasks!

As it turned out, I need not have worried, as the children excelled themselves. I have never seen such inspiring photographs from young people, so much so that it is incredibly difficult to distinguish their work from that of professionals. The standards were so high. Children ranging from nursery level to Y9 took part demonstrating exceedingly high levels of understanding and skill using a range of techniques and employing different editing tools when appropriate.

During the afternoon each pupil was invited up to the front of the hall to show off their photograph and the organiser Mrs Biddlestone read out each pupils' explanation of their photograph in their own words. Some of the reasons children chose their photos was awe inspiring and many of them were able to demonstrate how much they understood about photography, and at such a young age. Some children even said they had been inspired by our photography boot camp and wanted to carry on taking photos as a hobby and older entrants explained how they intended to go on and take GCSE photography in future! I wish I had been able to take GCSE photography at school. How lucky our young people are today!

There were lots of prizes too! Each entering school received a Canon PowerShot camera, a photography book and individual children were given gift vouchers and professionally produced copies of their images. Canvasses of the photographs will also be displayed at the Excellence Centre for the next term and then passed back to each school. It was a great afternoon full of great delights!

So, the event was a wonderful success and a really satisfying afternoon for us, knowing how much impact our work has had on the lives of young people. It is so pleasing for us to know that we have inspired young people to find new hobbies or take up photography more seriously.

All I can say is "watch out teachers" as you have a real job on your hands taking these pupils further with their photography skills!"

To read more about our Digital Photo Boot Camp follow these links: Boot Camp 1Boot Camp 2

Last Digital Photography Boot Camp Session
Written by Lesley   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 20:47

Today was a rather sad day for us, as it was our last day working in Kingsbridge with the schools on our Digital Photo Boot Camp session, as the competition is coming to an end.

However, what a fantastic day we had working with Y8 Rose Bridge High School pupils on their photos in the allotment and classroom workshop sessions. We couldn't have had a better group of pupils, their enthusiasm and attitude was outstanding!

The allotment is always a fun place to visit regardless of the weather, with so many opportunities to capture insects and colour, shape and texture shots. Today was quite a mixed day in terms of weather, being windy and rainy, so we are extra proud of the quality of the photos. As always, these photos are copyright to the school and Kingsbridge, so please ask our permission before using them.

One of our favourite photographs of the day was a shot of a wasp on a flower, it was so sharp with lots of detail.

Another lovely photo is this one of a white cornflower, which we had to hold as it was so windy! The young lady taking the photo decided she liked the 'hand' in the shot, so in it remained and we think it truly adds to the overall photo by giving it a sense of proportion and context. Take a look for yourself!

We are really looking forward now to Friday, when we are pleased to be attending the Kingsbridge Digital Photography Competition Winners' Event at Standish High School, as a guest of honour! Of course, we'll report back on the event and share with you some of our favourite moments!

If you are interested in having a Digital Photography Workshop or Boot Camp at your school, which I am sure you are, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We also have a flyer outlining what we can do for you which you can download from here: Digital Photography Boot Camp 4 Kidz

More Testimonials!
Written by Lesley   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 16:01

Our ICT Subject Leader meeting in Wigan was a great success, we were again sold out, and there was such a buzz amongst everyone attending.

While the main focus of the meeting looked at the new ICT curriculum proposals, we also spent quite a bit of time exploring new web tools for learning and teaching, particularly of Literacy.

E-Safety is now a standing agenda item and we shared a few web resources that teachers could use when they return to school after the summer break, when re-introducing their class to e-safety rules, along with some exciting websites to reinforce e-safety knowledge over the summer holidays.

Finally, we shared some exciting news about a new app pilot that we are running, which went down extremely well with everyone!

We thought we would collate the feedback in an interesting format this week, so to view the testimonials and feedback from the meeting please click on the images below and watch our slideshow!

ICT Subject Leader Meeting Feedback June 2012

Digital Photography Boot Camp 4 Kidz
Written by Lesley   
Thursday, 24 May 2012 15:32

Below are some examples of photographs taken by primary and secondary pupils on our past Photography Boot Camp. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as the children enjoyed shooting them! For a testimonial about our work on this project please click here.

Primary gallery        Secondary gallery


Disapplication of ICT Programmes of Study
Written by Lesley   
Monday, 11 June 2012 14:17

The DfE has this week announced that it WILL be disapplying the ICT Programme of Study from September 2012. However, as many schools had previously assumed, this does not mean that ICT is now out of the picture. In fact, Mr Gove has forthrightly said in his letter about the National Curriculum Review, that ICT will remain a national curriculum subject, with programmes of study available from Sept 2014.

This is great news and we, here at Smithills ICT, never believed ICT would disappear and are so pleased to see that we were right! We are, however, quite disappointed that there were only just over 300 responses to the consultation compared to over 4000 for the national curriculum consultation. Maybe there are just too many consultations for people to have the energy to respond!?


We are sure you are now, like other schools, wondering what to do next. Should you make changes to your ICT curriculum should you wait? What should you do about assessment? We are here to help you and are in the process of preparing support packages to help schools work through the ICT maze over the next year or so, with a thorough package to support ICT Subject Leaders and advice for Headteachers.

Read the full article here and keep an eye on the website for details. We will be announcing our package soon!


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