The ‘amazing’ piece of tech helping Teesside kids catch up with school work – and play – By Joanne Welford -The Middlesbrough Gazzette

It was developed on Teesside and pupils are making the most of it.

Catching up with school work – and play – just got interesting for pupils at three Teesside schools.

For a trio of primaries across Middlesbrough have installed a clever piece of electronic wizardry that manages to combine learning with keeping fit and active all at the same time. The system works by converting sports halls into classrooms.

Teachers are hoping the ISportsWall will help ease their young pupils back to school, filling in the gaps of lessons missed whilst classrooms have been closed through lockdown as well as making up for lost opportunities like sports day.

Put simply, the piece of kit is a kind of interactive quiz for pupils and is specially tailored to the curriculum.

It stretches across a whole wall in the school hall and displays puzzles, moving target and all kinds of questions to answer in a team environment – kids can touch it, tap it, throw balls at it and work individually or part of a team to test their knowledge and solve the puzzles it poses.

Lessons are specially tailored to the curriculum and combine fact recall and learning with keeping fit – and with Covid-19 safety in mind, the children use their own individual ball and the wall can be cleaned down at the end of the lesson.

Children at Park End Primary in Overdale Road, Middlesbrough were the first to give the ISportsWall a go and they love it, said head teacher Julia Rodwell.

“It is an interactive wall which we have set up in the sports hall. Our children tried it and loved it and a few other schools have had them installed over the summer.

“Put simply, it combines things like fact recall from subjects in all areas of the curriculum with doing PE at the same time and all in a socially distanced way. It’s had a real wow factor,” she said.

The ISportsWall has been installed on one of the walls in the sports hall at Park End Primary and is helping to engage the school’s young learners after the long absence from the classroom caused by the pandemic.

The curriculum content within the programme enables teachers to present lessons across many subjects, said Mrs Rodwell. Designed by teachers,  the quizzes link directly to what the children have been learning in programmes designed to support social distancing.

Kader and Breckon Hill primaries have also had the wall installed. Kader head Alison Mitchinson said: “The technology was amazing. Our hall space has been developed to create an enhanced learning environment. I am really keen to see how our children enjoy and progress through it’s continued use.”

ISportsWall was developed by Teesside company Amazing Interactives Ltd, based on Teesside Industrial Estate. The company was able to work closely with the schools to ensure the content was linked in to the current curriculum. This partnership led to the development of a custom quiz builder allowing both teachers and pupils to create their own content for the system.

Joanne Smith, Breckon Hill’s head, said: “The children have lost so many valuable experiences. For us we have a sports week in school which is a really big event and although this cannot be replaced, ISportsWall will enable children to have lots of opportunity to exercise safely whilst learning.”

Converting sports halls into classrooms -Children at Park End Primary playing the new ISportsWall system.