LEO Academy Trust, which serves pupils across six schools in Sutton, have announced one of their schools has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Cheam Common Junior Academy is in the running for the Tes Schools Award which celebrates hard work in schools.

The school has been selected as a finalist for the Best use of Technology category, in recognition of its "outstanding digital provision" for pupils and staff.

With the coronavirus pandemic creating significant hurdles for teachers and families to overcome during the past year, the annual award is a timely opportunity to applaud schools who have gone the extra mile to support their communities.

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Cheam Common Junior Academy was recognised by judges for its pioneering digital strategy, which harnesses edtech to create the best possible education environment for pupils and staff.

Prior to the pandemic, the school had equipped each child in Key Stage Two with personal Google Chromebooks, to help them develop their digital skills and a genuine passion for learning.

When Covid-19 hit, the school offered an additional 1,000 devices to Key Stage 1 and Early Years Foundation Stage pupils who did not have access to a laptop or tablet at home, to support remote learning.

Leo Academy Trust says they prioritise Continued Professional Development for staff to help them make the most of technology in the classroom.

The school’s digital provision meant they were able to quickly transition to online learning during lockdowns, which helped children to stay motivated and engaged while learning at home.

Graham Macaulay, Director of Technology at LEO Academy Trust, said: “It is wonderful to be a finalist in the TES Schools Awards.

"At LEO Academy Trust, we believe that technology is key to enhancing standards of teaching and learning, and this has been especially evident during the pandemic.

"We encourage our pupils to be confident digital learners, using technology to their advantage to work more creatively and in collaboration with classmates.

"The success of our digital strategy is also due to the hard work and determination of LEO staff, who are working hard to help pupils maximise edtech.”

Tes editor Jon Severs said: “It is more important this year than ever before to celebrate the fantastic work schools do, because in the past 12 months they have gone above and beyond to ensure pupils were able to be educated and be kept safe in extraordinary circumstances.

"We were inundated with entries that demonstrated just how hard the pandemic made the work of schools, and just how amazing the response from staff has been.

"We are looking forward to showcasing, as we do every year, just how vital our education professionals are to every facet of this country.”