Digital Learning | Academic | Hurst Junior Prep

Digital learning

At Hurst, our priority is clear when it comes to technology and education. That is to ensure every pupil is well prepared for the digital world and has exposure to digital learning both inside and outside of the classroom.

Online services

After looking at the major cloud providers on the market, the College made the decision to implement Microsoft Office 365. This platform enables students to progress academically and have all the necessary tools and resources available 24/7. Not only does the service ensure students have consistency at school and at home, but it also prepares the students for the professional world of business. The Microsoft 365 suite of applications includes several online services, including: Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, and a lighter version of Office Suite,presented as Office Web Apps.


Male teacher domonstrating work on an interactive whiteboard

Continuing the Microsoft hardware theme across the college, there are some Surface Go devices available for use by Junior Prep pupils, which are smaller versions of the Surface Pro used by Senior School students. Pupils use Hurst Online to access files and lesson resources by utilising apps and similar software. We encourage our pupils to develop core digital skills throughout the curriculum, and staff also have regular IT INSET days.

When students join us in Year 9 (Shell), each receives a Microsoft Surface Pro to ensure they have the latest technology at their fingertips. Not only is the Surface Pro a useful laptop, but it can also become a touchscreen device. We encourage the use of Digital Inking, which is part of an exciting project Hurst is currently exploring with Microsoft. Students are encouraged to bring their Surface Pros to all lessons, as with the integration of interactive whiteboards and docking stations, they can share their work through their teachers’ whiteboards.

Hurst Online

Boy in classroom working on a digital tabletOur pupils have 24-hour access to Hurst Online, a bespoke cloud-based network which runs on Microsoft SharePoint. Useful resources such as revision packs, past exam papers, classwork notes and prep information are stored here. In addition, school announcements and documents such as prep timetables are posted. Hurst Online also brings together the use of Microsoft Teams, which is fundamental to how classes can communicate and share resources. Hurst was one of the only schools to host internal exams via Teams, a success story that has been explored further by Microsoft.

This thoroughly tried, tested, and researched use of technology ensures all pupils and staff utilise the latest software and hardware to ensure the absolute best educational provision.

Digital literacy

Digital literacy is an important part of education and business. Our pupils are encouraged to learn skills in Microsoft Excel and Word through lessons and tutor sessions. Expertise that can be used in the corporate world – such as constructing professional emails, setting up meetings via Outlook and using Excel for financial tracking – are all part of school life. Within our tutorial programmes, all pupils are expected to communicate online and will have training sessions on the use of Office software.

Digital Learning Team

Child's hands working on a digital tabletA Digital Learning Team was formed at Hurst, to ensure the continuation and development of technology use throughout the college. Members of the team offer training to staff, and research technology, which can help in the education of pupils in the digital world. The Student Digital Learning Team enables pupils to have a voice for the technology they would like to see within the College. They also enjoy trips to Microsoft’s headquarters to experience new immersive technology.