St. Pius X College: A Global Olympic Player of Excellence in Microsoft Pathfinders ICT Programme


St. Pius X College: A Global Olympic Player of Excellence in Microsoft Pathfinders ICT Programme

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St. Pius X College has been selected as one of the 64 new Pathfinder Schoolsas announced by Microsoft Partners in Learning.  The college has joined an elite number of leading-edge schools from around the world. These schools must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing their students to be 21st century learners, and must have developed Programmes that can serve as models for other schools.

To be selected to the Pathfinder Programme, schools must demonstrate scalable and repeatable models that can help other schools work toward their vision for transformation. Selection begins with a rigorous application process focused on educational leadership, learning vision, and the roles of students, educators, curriculum, and technology in their school community.

This year’s Microsoft Global Forum took place in Prague, Czech Republic from November 28 - December 1, 2012. The Global Forum – with the theme, “Your ideas matter” brought together more than 500 of the most innovative teachers, school leaders, education leaders, and government officials from 75 countries.

Mrs E McStocker (ICT co-ordinator) and Mr G Duffy (e-learning co-ordinator) represented the college in Prague. Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder Schools are selected through a rigorous application process that includes written and video documentation. Year 14 students in the college led the application process with their unique view of how and why ICT is innovative at St. Pius X College.

Ms J Bartley (St. Pius X College Principal):

“St Pius X College is delighted to work with Microsoft in leading educational ICT transformation in our school community. We are proud of our teachers and pupils who have shown wonderful innovation which has been recognised in a global forum. This has enabled our school to benefit from the use of Microsoft ‘ Partners in Learning’ which enables us to utilise ‘cutting edge hardware and software’. We thank Mr Tom Jackson, Microsoft’s Education Business and Programme Manager - Northern Ireland for his continuous support.”

The Microsoft Innovative Schools Programme is an educational Programme that is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Programme, a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment to help transform education systems around the world by connecting teachers andschoolleaders in a community of professional development.

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to providing real impact toward improving education and supporting a holistic transformation of learning, the Microsoft Innovative Schools Programme helpsschoolleaders transform theirschoolcommunities into environments that foster innovative teaching practices and 21st century learning by providing the tools and resources needed for greater impact on educational transformation and student preparation. Through the programme,schoolleaders become part of a global learning community and gain access to expert advice and mentoring.


Mr Tom Jackson (Regional Manager – Microsoft Northern Ireland):

“I have had the good fortune to work with St Pius X for the past four years. They have been active participants in the Innovative Educators Programme and were Northern Ireland winners who competed in the Worldwide Global Forum in Hong Kong in 2008. St Pius X is constantly striving to ensure their students not only have access to the latest technology and devices but also a learning environment that is challenging and exciting. Their students are learning the key 21st Century Skills which will empower them to greater achievements in further education and in their working careers. I am looking forward to sharing this journey with them on the well-deserved awarding of the Microsoft Pathfinder Status of which there are only 62 worldwide”!

“These schools have proved the impact that can be had on student success when technology is creatively and appropriately incorporated into the classroom curriculum,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “We know technology alone does not improve student outcomes; it’s the schools that undergo systematic change, rethinking curriculum design and assessment, school leadership, teacher capacity, and learning environments that make the world of difference for our students and their futures.”

The invitation to the Partners in Learning Global Forum to attend Microsoft’s premier global event for educators allowed Mrs McStocker and Mr Duffy to network and collaborate with other leaders from around the world. Additional benefits of the one year project include:


Expert coaching:

The college will participate in a mentorship team coached by education experts and MentorSchool leaders from a range of global educators.

How-to training for educators on Microsoft technology:

Detailed training from education experts who are implementing solutions in the classroom today.

Virtual University workshops:

These workshops are hosted by leading education experts and MentorSchool leaders relating to topics on innovation and school transformation.

Partners in Learning School Research tool:

These surveys and reports are a complimentary research tool that help schools measure how their own innovative teaching practices develop student skills.

Case studies profiles:

St. Pius X College will be used as global case study designed to highlight the great innovations occurring in the college and wider community, including feeder primary schools.


Mr G Duffy (e-learning co-ordinator), Ms J Bartley (College Principal), Mr T Jackson (Microsoft) and Mrs E McStocker (ICT co-ordinator) pictured with Matthew and Emer


St. Pius X ICT students - these students greatly assisted in St. Pius X College's Pathfinder status - Matthew (Year 14 student), Emer (Year 12 student), Marc (Year 12 student) and Conor (Year 14 student)




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