TEACHERS are using the latest technology to ensure pupils maximise and enjoy their distance learning.

Pupils at Springfield Academy, part of the Education Village, Darlington, enjoyed a stirring start to school with a video rendition of I’m Still Standing, introduced on piano by principal Richard Gartland, with staff throwing some serious moves, dancing around their homes.

Meanwhile, nursery school teacher Jen Foster even bought herself a moviemaker-style green screen so she could project the right images as she read stories to children – some of which parents have been using as bedtime tales.

Mr Gartland said: “The video of the staff dancing went down really well with the children and families. Staff were great playing their part and looked to be having a lot of fun.

“It was lovely to hear from one parent who said ‘the video definitely cheered us all up and even brought tears to our eyes – who would have thought that about a school – but at this moment in time I think we can say Springfield definitely isn’t just a school; we all feel like a family coming together in more ways than we realise’.”

Mrs Foster added: “The green screen is amazing and lets me read the stories in front of an appropriate background, which has been warmly welcomed by children and their families. It is lovely to think that my stories are ending many children’s days and helping them right up until bedtime.”

Springfield Academy teachers, pupils and families are able to keep in touch via a sophisticated virtual learning environment provided by the Education Village Academy Trust.

Work can be set and feedback provided on a daily basis and pupils can enjoy interactive learning complete with video.

Mr Gartland said: “Springfield Academy is a very close-knit community and our technology has been fantastic offering us the opportunity to keep in touch and teaching during these challenging and potentially isolating times.

“Where families have struggled with the technology we have been able to help by lending them some of ours and supporting them with its use. We have also been able to drop-off exercise and work books to complement the digital platforms and I think when we come out of lockdown we all will have learned a host of new digital skills.”