A great year for OpenZone

We cannot believe it’s been nearly a year that we have been in our new home. Time has gone so fast and we have had so many excellent memories working with schools and teachers in our first year.

For those who don’t know, OpenZone @ The Word primarily works with pupils from South Tyneside schools and their teachers. Our aims are to teach children by using exciting and innovative ICT as well as help teachers develop their skills. Before moving to The Word, we had our own building based next to St Wilfrid’s RC College, so it was a new experience for us to move to a public space. Although this move meant a few changes, it has been really positive and we have really enjoyed the new opportunity of working close to the general public.

Having worked at our old base for over 15 years, it was obviously a big step to move but our staff have embraced this new opportunity and it’s been great making new friends in our fantastic new home.

During our first year, we have worked with over 7987 pupils/staff and have delivered around 400 sessions. We now have a state-of-the-art TV studio to use as well as StoryWorld to immerse students into virtual worlds ranging from the First World War to Ancient Egyptian times!

Our standard day’s work involves using digital technology to enhance learning and in particular we are keen to develop the coding skills of the Borough’s young people. This is the way forward as everybody’s lives will need these skills and so many jobs will require them. Here at OpenZone, we believe that “Code is the New Word” and our aim is to add this dimension to a building that is celebrating the written word in its many forms.

To celebrate our first year here at The Word we invited schools to have some birthday cake with us where we shared a fantastic video showcasing our successes over the past year.

If you are interested in finding out a little more about what we do, why don’t you have a look at our website: www.ictinschools.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s to the next year! May it will be just as successful as the first!


Mike Hamilton, Strategic ICT Manager, OpenZone