2019 Pioneering Spirit Grants announced

2019 Pioneering Spirit Grants announced

In 2018, Dulwich College International (DCI) launched the Pioneering Spirit Grant, with a total of 1.5 million RMB available for individual teachers or collaborative groups to fund innovative ideas to improve their students’ learning experiences. Teachers and staff from across the DCI network were invited to participate by submitting Pioneering Spirit grant proposals to develop pedagogy, curriculum and/or learning environments that utilise new technologies, delivery methods or tools to contribute to student success.

Due to the success of the projects and the innovative learning they bring to our schools, we are excited to announce seven new successful Pioneering Spirit Grants for 2019-2020.

Project Descriptions

Plant Tissue Culture Technology - Dehong International Chinese School Shanghai

Lily Li

The aim of the Plant Tissue Culture Technology Project is to deepen students learning of science; transforming them into active contributors to scientific knowledge, and integrating school and real-world problems and challenges. This immersive development of student understanding will be established in partnership with the Laboratory of Photosynthesis and Environmental Biology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a research unit focused specifically on engineering improvements in photosynthesis that will help to alleviate challenges to food supply in the rapidly changing environmental conditions presented by global climate change.

Princeton Laptop Orchestra

Dulwich College Laptop Orchestra (DCLO) - Dulwich College (Singapore)

Scott Riby

The Dulwich College Laptop Orchestra (DCLO) is a project devised to enable students across multiple disciplines, ages and colleges to participate in and learn about sound creation and manipulation using technology. Via the use of both digital and analogue equipment, the DCLO will establish common ground between the logistics of computer science and creative expression. This will be achieved through performances and hands-on collaborative workshops between the Arts (Music, Dance, Art and Drama), Design Technology, Media and Computer Science departments. In a rapidly changing world where sonic art will far exceed the boundaries of traditional and conventional musical instrumentation, students need to develop an understanding of how the entertainment industry will adapt to accommodate new and exciting technological demands enforced by public interest. In gaining the skills early in their academic journey, the DCLO hopes to inspire students to become pioneering developers within a creative environment.


Developing Creativity and a Maker Mindset using Immersive Technology - Dulwich College (Singapore)

Kathryn Hall

This project, Developing creativity and a maker mindset using immersive technology, aims to use immersive technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) across the College to develop creativity and a 'maker mindset'. This mindset will allow students to try out new ideas and put them to the test, collaborate with others within the College (and potentially across the Dulwich College International network), take risks and try out new technology, learn through mistakes, reflect and evaluate.

The focus of this project will be to encourage students to create content rather than to use ready-made applications. VR & AR will be used to create a technology-enhanced curriculum and will develop student efficacy and agency, particularly in project based learning. Across the College from DUCKS to IB, elements of VR and AR will be embedded into the curriculum and enrichment exercises. Using a framework of maker center learning, students using VR will be able to construct deeper learning from the experiential opportunity, consider and question their environment and discover new opportunities through risk taking and product development.

Idea Pod

IdeaPod - Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi

Sarah Leonard

The ideaPod will become the rich digital soil from which great ideas will grow. It is a turquoise glass walk-in pod with a futuristic feel. It has two functions as both a digital ear and a digital voice. As a digital ear, anyone in our school community can come and drop off an idea or problem they have spotted in our school, community or indeed the world e.g. my backpack is too heavy! Can we have solar powered charging stations? The ideaPod is a representation of how much we value independence, democracy, pupil voice, brilliant observations and ideas. Student ideas may be woven into our Primary curriculum as part of our SE21 (STEAM and Entrepreneur) approach.

In acting as a digital voice, students can go and pick up an idea from our Puxi Podcasts – podcasts created by the students for the students. These podcasts will be a representation of students learning, observations and passions with the intention being to challenge, inspire and encourage yet more good ideas. If you see a change you want to make, we will listen - a change in our College, organisation or indeed the world.


Innovative PE Movement - Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

Rachel Crossland, Matt Gilvary, Fiona Anderson, Ness Matthews, Cathy Taylor, Tony Pickhaver, Elle Coughlan, Paul Sparks, Kim Gillingham, Marischen Neefs, Helen Matthews, Allan Kerr, Neil Crossland, Phil Wittaker, and Faye Hardy.

The Innovative PE Movement is a highly personalised, inclusive and responsive physical literacy curriculum, in which students are the agents of change. Emerging technologies will be used collaboratively by staff and students to innovate the teaching and learning of movement, fitness, exercise, sport and well-being. Tech-driven activity, (including smart-spaces, interactive floors and walls, handheld devices, wearable tech and motion-capture technology), will be built into the curriculum at every stage to motivate all children, improving cognitive, affective and psycho-motor outcomes. Children will be hooked into physical activity and movement by building on their existing passion, competence and engagement in technology, embracing the fact that this is now, the focus of modern play and entertainment.

The curriculum is meticulously planned to maximise potential in every child, enabling them to build on existing tech-savvy skills, to use interactive technology and audio-visually rich resources, extending and deepening cognitive understanding and psychomotor movement skills. By creating smart-spaces and using these emerging technologies, learning and creativity in the PE domain will no longer be interrupted and stifled by scheduling, timetabling, pollution, weather or calendar restrictions. Students and staff are tech-rich, tech-savvy and tech-driven, using movement technology to create transformational behavioural change in students in PE settings. Students' interactive PE experience leads them to choose to be active on a regular basis in and out of College. They prioritise and sustain involvement in a range of meaningful and challenging activities, as an integral part of their well-being whilst at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong and beyond into later life.

Bird Cams

BirdCams - Dulwich College Beijing

Helen Herbert and Liam Benjamin

We share this planet with many different creatures. It is important to establish a balance that allows wildlife to thrive in an urban environment. The BirdCams project aims to help students understand the needs and requirements of local wildlife, using technology in a way that provides a rarely seen glimpse into the local habits of the creatures that share our campuses. By installing feeding and nesting areas into the school grounds allows wildlife to establish homes in controlled observable situations, extending the curriculum into further real world situations.


Where the Magic Happens - Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

Stephanie Beck, Andy Mcilwain and Ness Matthews

Where the Magic Happens is an interactive project where literacy and technology combine to build bridges to the exciting and interactive experience of augmented reality books. High-quality non-fiction texts with 4D augmented reality provide a way of connecting diverse readers to the text, delivering a more enjoyable reading journey. This unique approach links directly to English, humanities, science, library and computer science. Augmented reality reading experiences allow us to be at the cutting edge of technology integration for reader engagement.

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