Innovative Learning at Amity International School, Abu Dhabi

Find out how immersive learning improves pupil engagement, encourages positive behaviour and supports literacy standards at Amity International School.

Written by Ben Wilkinson, Upper Primary Year Group Leader at Amity International School in Abu Dhabi.

Our School

We are a large British International School located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. As a school, we are consistently looking for ways to innovate our teaching and learning and create more engaging experiences for our children. Therefore, now>press>play was an exciting prospect for us and we are delighted to have recently implemented the platform across the Upper Primary School (Y3-6).

Dynamic Teaching & Learning

now>press>play has enabled us to diversify our teaching and learning in a number of ways. The broad range of Experiences and depth of content provide a platform for the use of many effective pedagogies. We found that different experiences on the platform suit different teaching and learning strategies, promoting dynamic classrooms.

Some experiences lend themselves to the flipped classroom model. In some cases, this allowed us to pre-engage children by using the Experiences as hooks to new units/topics. This really got the children excited for their new topics, stimulating their minds and supporting sustained engagement. 

The immersive Experiences and questions within the sessions, promote independent thinking and learner agency, whilst boosting metacognitive skills amongst learners. 

Blended learning is more important than ever in the modern classroom. Incorporating the now>press>play technology into our teaching practice further ensures that we are equipping our learners for the future world. Children can be trained to monitor, charge and setup the equipment, further broadening their technological skills

now>press>play can promote literacy standards. All of the Experiences provide a wealth of writing opportunities. This flexibility allows Experiences to be more closely tailored to our curriculum whilst promoting literacy skills. Grammar and punctuation curriculum objectives are also considered within learning materials.

Whilst the maths Experiences are currently limited, we have seen a positive impact of those which have been used and are excited to dive into more maths experiences in the future! The science and topic sessions also offer great curriculum coverage and transform learning in those subjects too. 

"Using the headphones was really different and exciting"

Engaging Classrooms

Engagement levels seen across lessons using now>press>play has been undeniably high. The children are excited the minute that they spot the equipment box on their corridor and are eager to find out which Experiences they will explore next.

Most notably in Upper Key Stage Two, many children seem to lose their inhibitions once they are immersed in now>press>play Experiences. Children who would often consider themselves ‘too cool for school’ now believe, in fact, that school is cool!

The engagement also continues beyond the Experience. In cases where the sessions have been used to as a hook for learning, the memorable start stimulates children throughout the topic. 

Experience tells us that engagement in the classroom promotes positive behaviour. Despite high excitement levels within classrooms, the immersive nature of now>press>play captures the children’s imagination thus promoting positive behaviour and reducing levels of disruption. 

"I felt like I was learning in a different place"

Time Effective Planning

Teacher workload has long been an issue within education. We found that now>press>play can promote a better balance by reducing time spent on planning and preparing engaging lessons.

All Experiences come with a thorough set of pre-planned activities which include questions, quizzes, SPaG activities, writing prompts and comprehension activities.

The Experiences also include discussion prompts which can be used both during and after the session.  The resources are of good quality and are age appropriate as they are well linked to the objectives set out by the curriculum

The set up process of the equipment is quick, easy and can be done with very little technical expertise. Most of the equipment is portable and can therefore be used to transform any learning space within the school quickly and easily. The signal range of the equipment is also impressive, meaning that teachers can plan to use experiences in spaces that are larger than their own classroom.

This lesson was so cool, it felt futuristic

Amity 5

Assessment Opportunities  

When using Now Press Play, we identified ample assessment opportunities spanning across different areas of learning.

The discussion prompts that come with each Experience provide a basis for active and effective assessment for learning. These prompts are particularly useful for children who prefer to share their learning verbally.  Discussion prompts can be used effectively both during lessons as quick questions or mini plenaries and summatively at the end of an Experience. 

The curriculum quizzes use relevant and interesting questions, giving children opportunities to share their learning in writing. The curriculum is considered throughout, ensuring that assessment objectives for each Experience are clear and concise. The glossary within resource packs, enable teachers to explore and assess children’s understanding of key vocabulary.

Classrooms and learning spaces are signposted during Experiences, which allows teachers to assess children’s comprehension and engagement throughout the Experience as they move to the different signposts.

Amity 1

Many thanks to Ben Wilkinson and Amity International School for sharing their use and impact of now>press>play. We look forward to working together to help all children fulfill their potential.

Children and teachers in a school hall hold their arms out as they imagine themselves flying while using Now Press Play.