On Your Marks, Get Set, Tech: Digital Hub Launched at The Stoop

Thursday, 21st March 2019 @ 18:00

On Friday the 8th of March, the Harlequins Foundation, in partnership with Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHCAT) launched a new Digital School based at the Home of Harlequins

The Digital School, which is being piloted over the next twelve weeks, provides students from a range of schools including the Harlequins Foundation’s own HITZ programme, Twickenham School and St Phillips School the opportunity to explore core STEM concepts in an engaging and accessible way.

Using a range of cutting-edge technology including green screens, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) Lego Education sets students will learn to design, build and code different technological solutions to real life challenges.

The current pilot programme provides two taster sessions per group. Weeks one and two have been delivered to a sixth form SEND group and a mainstream year 7 group. In all instances the first session is an open interactive session where students work in small groups to try out the different digital technologies. This allows the Digital team to assess their capabilities and interests and to differentiate the next session to maximise engagement.


The second session for these groups has been a Lego Education session based around developing a prosthetic arm. The students built a robotic hand that they programmed to grab, lift and place objects. The hand is equipped with a Motion Sensor that can be used to detect objects, detect a table and detect movement of the arm. The students then used the robotic hand to move small objects. Once they had completed the task they then looked at ways of improving on the standard design and discussed how restricted movement affects people in real life.

Andy Carpenter, Harlequins Foundation Manager, said: “The digital school is a great opportunity for students to explore a range of core curriculum topics through interactive workshops. These skills can easily transfer into a range of different subjects and careers and hopefully the sessions will inspire young people to continue engagement with essential STEM subjects.”


Karen Cunningham, Lead Project Manager for OHCAT said: “Digital Technology is an integral part of improving the opportunities and outcomes of our pupils and students. As education, work and life become more intrinsically dependent on digital skills, we need to ensure that we are using new and innovative ways to engage and deliver a curriculum that meets these demands.”

The digital school will run for the next 12 weeks, and although spaces are limited, if your school is interested in a session please contact 

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