As part of the government’s plans for developing the use of technology in education, every school is being asked to provide pupils with an ‘online learning space’. This involves pupils having access to an individual, school-based e-mail account and an area online where they can upload and download work to be accessed at home and school.  These are called Learning Platforms.

In response to this, the Cambridgeshire ICT Service has developed ‘Starz+’, a website designed to do just that (and a little bit more!). Through Starz+, pupils will have access to useful homework websites, projects that they can take part in with their class, copyright free pictures and music and galleries where they can share work with Fenstanton & Hilton pupils.  Pupils will even be able to e-mail work to school if they want to!

Many pupils at Fenstanton & Hilton School have already experienced Starz+, taking part in projects such as Story Circles.  Some pupils have also used class based Starz+ accounts to send and receive e-mail in school.  Hopefully, you are aware of any involvement your child has had in these projects and may already have some knowledge of the Starz+ website.

In response to these initiatives, we have arranged for our pupils to access their own learning space and e-mail account through the use of Starz+. We are very excited about this opportunity for pupils to access work at home and know it will have a very positive impact on children’s learning. The accounts are stored within the county’s secure environment with a high level safety filtering system.  The children’s use of Starz+ is within a closed community at school level and we will be encouraging the use of Starz+ for safe e-mailing and for the storage of work which can be accessed by home and by school.

Pupils will be reminded of the need to keep their information and personal details private and will be taught to use their accounts safely and sensibly. Pupils will only be able to send and receive e-mails to / from other Fenstanton & Hilton School users and all e-mails will automatically be sent to a teacher account for monitoring.  As these accounts are designed to also be accessible from home, pupils will be given individual usernames and passwords which will be shared with you so you can explore the site with your child and monitor any activity at home. 

We would like to recommend that parents still monitor the children’s use of the internet at home as other sites and chatrooms do not provide the secure level of safety that we can be sure of in school.