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We Welcome Mr Caballero Cabello as Head of Digital Learning

Mr Caballero Cabello joins us this year as Assistant Head (Academic), Head of Digital Learning and Teacher of Computer Science.

He brings with him 15 years of experience at Portland Place School, where, in his position as Head of Computer Science Faculty, IT Services and eLearning, he helped the school to move towards the last step of the prestigious Apple Distinguished Status. He now hopes to do the same at The Mount, Mill Hill International.

‘At The Mount, Mill Hill International this year we have gone entirely digital. All of our lessons are taught using iPads, the school is paper-free; pupils use digital textbooks and we use Microsoft 365 for collaboration, communication, homework…

Everything moved faster than expected because of the current Coronavirus situation. Essentially we had to make the decision because of COVID-19 to switch entirely to Microsoft 365; our pupils needed to be able to access their learning resources wherever they are.

At the moment we are in a hybrid situation because we have some pupils learning remotely while the majority are physically present in classes. We have new cameras and microphones to help our Microsoft Teams calls in class, so that pupils who are isolating can feel as though they are still in the classroom.

We are investing a lot in digital learning across the school, which is nice to see, and we are looking at the best ways for pupils to learn; there are many different apps which can be used in the classroom, for example Classroom, Seesaw, ShowMe and Socrative, which can be used across all subjects. We just have to keep thinking about what else can be done to help our pupils.

The goal is for all the teachers to become ‘Apple Teachers’. There is a lot of room for growth but what I have seen so far has been very encouraging.’

Day to day, what are the benefits of the school being entirely digital?

‘Having everything in one place means that our pupils can become more autonomous learners; they are more in control of their learning. They also have a clearer understanding of where to find their resources which is an important part of any learning process – they are all in one place on their iPads.’

What have been the successes so far?

‘So far I have been extremely impressed with how the staff have responded. The management of all the iPads in the school is a huge task, it involves the staff learning how to use them to teach and ensuring their pupils are using them safely and properly for learning. They have also been helping each other when necessary, creating and sharing videos, tutorials, recording lessons.

The pupils have also had a good reaction to the change. Some still feel more comfortable having a physical textbook, but I am confident that this will change within a matter of weeks. ‘

What are your aims for Digital Learning in the school for 2020-21?

‘My first target is to ensure that everyone is comfortable using Office 365. My next step will be to ensure that teachers are highly proficient in the use of their iPads, so both staff and pupils demonstrate how best practices in learning and teaching are permanently evolving with Apple technology, and then for the teachers to become ‘Apple Teachers.’ In my previous school, 94 per cent of the staff was recognised as Apple Teacher, and that had a big impact in creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, among other benefits. ‘

Moving on from digital learning, why did you want to come to The Mount, Mill Hill International?

‘I came from a school where we had moved from having a very scarce use of technology, to a very impressive use of Apple devices when I left. I wanted to come and bring my expertise to Mill Hill International and help bring the school to the same level, and hopefully, one day to achieve Apple Distinguished Status.

The staff have all been so friendly and helpful here so far. You can tell they are a team. They always do their best to support each other and to help students. This is like a family’

Can you describe The Mount, Mill Hill International in three words?

Friendly, Efficient and Reliable.