ACS International Schools (@ACSintschools) is donating 300 brand new laptops to 20 partner state primary schools in and around Cobham to support local children who do not have access to technology at home. The donation is being made as part of ACS’s continued commitment to supporting its community and advancing education. Through this initiative, 300 more children will be able to learn safely and securely at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

All 300 laptops are being delivered during the week beginning Monday 18 January, with each school receiving 15 laptops which they can issue to children who do not have a laptop or device to learn from at home. ACS will also provide support to ensure children are able to use them effectively for their learning.

ACS, which has three UK school campuses in Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon, became a registered charity in September 2018 with a mission to advance education. As part of this mission, ACS regularly works in partnership with local state and independent schools, higher education institutions, corporate partners and communities to share facilities, resources and educational expertise, ensuring young people across the region have access to the highest quality education and learning experiences.

Graeme Lawrie, ACS's Partnerships Director, comments:

"Speaking with many of our partner schools over the past couple of weeks, it is abundantly clear that there is the need for support with additional resources. Teachers are juggling the delivery of remote learning, while also supporting children who, without access to technology at home, are allowed to come into school. During these challenging times it is essential that we do what we can to ensure the continued learning of children in our community - we hope that the laptops will help students with their learning and development, while also easing the load for some of our partner teachers too."

When children in England return to school, the donated laptops will be kept for use by the 20 schools to deliver enhanced STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Mathematics) learning, which will be supported by a Professional Development programme and student workshops organised by ACS's Partnerships team exploring robotics, coding, electronics and computational thinking/creative use of technology.

Lawrie continues: "Community collaboration, digital innovation and teaching excellence are the key focuses of ACS's partnerships activities and we have exciting plans this year to deliver a series of technology-focused teacher training and student workshops with our partner schools, supported by the provision of laptops and other classroom technology. In response to the national lockdown, we are now delivering more laptops to schools, much earlier than intended, so that they can be lent to children struggling to learn at home due to lack of digital devices. We will then continue with the planned technology workshops after the lockdown, when these laptops are gathered back in by the schools and made into a class resource."

Amongst the 20 schools is The Royal Kent School, Oxshott. Katie Hancock, Headteacher, comments:

"The Chromebooks are essential devices for those without sufficient technology at home. We have already reached the limit of our existing devices from the school, so these additional Chromebooks will make a real difference to the teaching and learning experience of children at home.”

Tim Cagney, CEO, ACS International Schools, comments:

"We hope that the donation of 300 laptops to our local state primary schools will have a big impact for children, families and teachers in our local community. In times of crisis, it is essential we keep quality education and learning experiences a priority, continuing the ACS commitment to supporting our community and advancing education, even in these uncertain times."

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