DCIS Digital

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Welcome to the DCIS Digital area of the school website. Throughout these pages you will find lots of information regarding our Digital Strategy, including but not limited to:


Why do we feel that technology is such an important facet of modern day and future learning?

The world around us has, is, and will continually evolve. Innovation, automation, machine learning and machine intelligence have been, and continue to be, major drivers of change across society.

Yet, many of societies’ education ideals remain. As we continue through the 21st century it is imperative that schools adapt their approaches to meet the needs of the now as well as the future. Many believe that we now find ourselves in a fourth industrial revolution1, one in which new technologies and people coexist, where automation of technology has replaced some jobs but the ‘human’ element of these has also been lost.

Similarly, we have seen the power that utilising technology can have within society to evoke change, spread messages and mobilise vast numbers of people. This has not always been done positively or led to actions which we, as society, can fully condone. But the power and breadth of technology throughout society cannot be ignored.

It is for this reason that, in schools, a measured, progressive and purposeful approach to the use of technologies and elements surrounding its use is needed. We are preparing today’s learners to be tomorrow’s leaders and change makers. Our challenge is to not only acknowledge that technology is and will continue to be a prevalent factor across all that we do but more importantly to guide students through the learning process to make positive and appropriate choices. We need to guide them through a move from ‘engagement with’ to ‘empowerment through’ and how to best leverage current and emerging technologies with agility and modelling the correct ethics that must drive our use of, and interaction through, technology.

Therefore we must learn: how to use technology, how we can leverage technology for our use, and how technology can be used to help us to learn. This must then be balanced with the development of social skills; the ability to communicate with clarity and confidence; to be critical-thinkers; to show humility; to be aware of our responsibility to the natural world around us; and to show a respect and understanding of self and others’ wellness, wellbeing and mental health.

The task at hand is no easy feat. Technology isn’t the answer to all problems, the provider of all solutions or the most efficient outlet for all tasks. However, it can be a tool through which a multitude of possibilities are endless, creativity can be unleashed and much of what was once deemed impossible can become reality.

With a nod to Dover’s traditions and core values, coupled with an acknowledgment of the present and to the future, our Digital Strategy is designed to guide our whole community between 2023 and 2026 to ensure learning across the whole curriculum is supported by a shared vision, a progressive developmental framework, a set of common and focused core pillars, and appropriate devices. Most importantly, there is a clear focus on learning in order to achieve our vision statement:

“a digitally proficient, curious and resilient community of learners who leverage technology to have a positive impact on themselves and others.”

1. Marr, B. 2018, The 4th industrial revolution is here - are you ready?; Forbes Online


Progression Map


“An analogue only education seems of diminishing relevance to the modern world; a digital only education seems a hugely impoverished early childhood experience1


It is widely acknowledged that the interaction that our youngest learners have with technology outside of school has steadily increased over time2. Data from both the UK and the US suggest that nearly a quarter of all three/four year olds have their own tablet with, on average, two and a half hours of screen time per day3. Although this isn’t the case in all households, the increase in digital products in the home, and digital elements to children’s toys, mean that our youngest students in school will be experiencing a more digital childhood than generations before.


Play is a key component to early childhood and here at DCIS we hold a firm belief in the role of ‘play’ and ‘learning through experiences’ within our Early Years and Lower Primary age groups. As the above quote alludes, it is imperative for us to ensure that digital play is a balanced component of a student’s learning experience in school. It is important to make developmentally appropriate choices when considering device use; however, research shows that many devices designed primarily for children lack many of the features which can actually extend a student’s scope of learning4. Allowing students to follow their natural curiosities, both in and out of school, can help our youngest learners understand how something works and what its role is within the world around them.


  1. Berry and Goto, 2016, Laying the Foundations for Computing in the Early Years; Computing at School
  2. Aubrey and Dahl, 2008, A review of the evidence of on the use of ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage; Becta
  3. Ofcom, 2020, Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2019 / Common Sense Media, 2020, The Common Sense Media Census: Media use by kids age zero to eight.
  4. Plowman, 2020, Digital Play; The University of Edinburgh
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“Children secure through their digital play the kinds of transversal skills that will be essential to engage as a global citizen as the 21st century advances. Digital citizenship in an international context will be critical to future societies and, through digital play, children can connect with remote and both known and unknown others, learning how to connect in a digital age1


As children move in to the Upper Primary ages, there is an increase in the use of technology outside of school. Data shows that two thirds of 8-11 year olds have their own tablets, around 50% have their own smartphone by age 11, and average screen time is up to four and a half hours each day2. It is important during this phase that in school students are provided opportunities to discover more about technology use, ways to use technology and supported to understand more the importance of responsible use of technology.


Technology use will become more of a personal and an increasingly independent experience as children get older. In school, encouraging a culture of creation over consumption will promote productive use of technology and embed good digital habits in preparation for the early teenage years. The concept of ‘play’ continues at these ages but may evolve to include more digital experiences. There are many examples, Minecraft being one, where there is often a transference of the physical world into the online world1.”


  1. Lego Foundation, 2020, Children, Technology and Play
  2. Ofcom, 2020, Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2019 / Common Sense Media, 2020, The Common Sense Media Census: Media use by kids age zero to eight.
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“Adolescents’ developing brains and bodies are primed to adapt to their environments and are shaped by both biology and these rapidly changing economic, social, cultural, and technological dynamics1


The main digital developments in this category can be attributed to increased access options, increased general device use and a greater level of independence. The mental and physical development of teenagers adds an additional dimension to this stage which must be considered whilst the allowed age range for many Social Media sites is also during this phase.


Technology use within this age category makes a significant jump2, with 91% of 12-15 year olds having a smartphone and it being the main vessel for internet access. Overall, there is a leap to an average of 7 hours 22 minutes of screen time per day with watching videos being a dominant source of that screen time use3.


In this stage of development, positive relationships, shared experiences and collaborative use between children and adults can be beneficial; this is applicable both at home and in school through teacher modelling4. This is a message which needs to be conveyed across our whole community and supported with a focus on promoting a people-oriented approach to technology use.


  1. Common Sense Media, Tweens, Teens, Tech and Mental Health. 2020.
  2. Lenhart and Madden, 2005. Teens and Technology. Pew Research Centre
  3. Ofcom, 2021, Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2020/21 / Common Sense Media, 2019, The Common Sense Census: Media use by Tweens and Teens.
  4. Common Sense Media, Children, Executive Functioning, and Digital Media: A Review. 2020 / EdTech UK, 2020. Ed Tech Vision 2025: Interim Report from the EdTech Advisory Forum
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“All adolescents today are growing up against the backdrop of rapid technological advancements - named the Fourth Industrial Revolution by the World Economic Forum - marked by the widespread adoption of the iPhone, artificial intelligence, and digital technologies that are fundamentally changing the way that we live and work1.”


The later years of school are dominated in many ways by examinations and preparation for students next stage of learning, be that college, university, a gap year or entering the workplace. However, it is also a time of increased independence and choice and when students begin to define who they are and how their choices impact on their future. Social Media and the use of digital technologies is high during this phase of development. The pandemic created an increase in the need for digital interaction and some social isolation and (although also reported prior to the pandemic) there is evidence of negative effects on social behaviours, and physical and mental health and wellbeing2.


  1. Common Sense Media, Tweens, Teens, Tech and Mental Health. 2020.
  2. Yang, 2020. Our kids are walking around with slot machines in their pockets. Common Sense Media, Tweens, Teens, Tech and Mental Health. 2020.
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  • Four Core Pillars

Four Core Pillars

As embedded elements across all areas of curriculum at DCIS, the four core pillars are the main areas which we see technology either having an impact upon, or being a direct impact of the use of technology. These areas should be considered, critiqued and purposefully planned for across all ages and subject areas. As new technologies emerge, these pillars also provide four key perspectives from which to consider the use of new hardware, software or websites to understand how best they can be leveraged or whether they are inappropriate for use to support learning.

To see some examples of how these are approached across the curriculum, take a look at this map.

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Being digitally agile allows us to be aware of our purpose and audience and to make informed and developmentally appropriate decisions about the what, how and why of our technology use.
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The relationship between creativity and technology is symbiotic and, as a core element of human endeavour, we must learn how to harness the potential of technology within the creative process.
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We must ensure that we are all cognisant of how technology can hold a positive role in both our own and others’ personal wellbeing and learn strategies to guide and promote this.
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As technology evolves and the architecture of the digital world becomes more real, we must increase awareness of, and embed, ethical approaches, behaviours and actions.