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21 November 2023

Written by Liliana Bannon - Repton School Cairo

Integrating AI into Teaching and Learning

At Repton Cairo, Artificial Intelligence is currently being integrated into teaching and learning. By using AI-powered tools and strategies, our teachers personalise learning, improve pupil outcomes, and better prepare them for success in the digital age. 

Our Repton AI tools, which include our very own, designed, and created in-house, chatbot ‘Nour,’ assist teaching and learning through tailor-made lessons and customised learning based on the specific needs of individual learners. ‘Nour’ enables teachers to blend different curricula by generating lesson plans that draw activities from the IPC thematic units and/or other curriculum resources.  

By using AI and blending IPC themes and core learning objectives teachers support children in making connections between different subjects, thus making the curriculum relevant, engaging, and more meaningful to them. 

Here is a summary of ways in which Nour can assist our teaching staff: 

  1. Answering Questions - provides answers to a wide range of questions, using the Repton Cairo knowledge base and selected internet sites as sources of information.  Answers to curriculum-related questions draw from a knowledge base that extends beyond the English National Curriculum, by including Personal and International Learning Goals linked to the IPC thematic units as well as to other international curriculum perspectives. 

  1. Giving Advice - offers advice based on the information available. 

  1. Providing Suggestions - provides suggestions to guide staff. 

  1. Generating Ideas – for various tasks or projects. Curriculum units are adapted to include international and local resources, such as literature, artifacts, and geographical features, to enable the children to gain an increasingly sophisticated national, international, global, and intercultural perspective. 

  1. Resolving Problems 

  1. Writing Content - writes content, whether it is for a report, a presentation, or any other purpose. Online-based content, that children may use during research, or which may be used in class to support teaching and learning, can be adapted by ‘Nour’ to meet the needs of learners of different ages or at different language proficiency levels. 

  1. Translating - translates text from one language to another. ‘Nour’ provides responses in the language used (e.g. English, French as well as Arabic), and makes sure they are concise and detailed as needed. 

  1. Fulfilling Requests - ‘Nour’ includes relevant videos, links, and images, and even uses emojis to make the interactions more friendly!  

‘Nour’ enables teachers to customise individual lesson plans, to include purposeful differentiated and adaptive learning, to build solid knowledge and understanding foundations for all learners, as well as to foster the development of skills. These are then supported by selected AI-powered software, games, and applications, which are used to set strategies for pupils to reinforce these foundations and practice their skills, through repeated practice and consolidation.  

For example, in addition to ‘Nour,’ Read Theory and Atom Learning are used by teachers to identify different levels of challenge, as well as if a pupil struggles with a particular concept in reading comprehension, grammar, other language skills, mathematics, and sciences. Through these platforms, the teacher would then provide the pupil with additional resources and support, such as targeted practice problems or videos, to help them progress and master a concept. As pupils progress, the system, controlled by the teacher, would then continue to adjust the instruction and adapt tasks to meet the pupils’ changing needs. 

In addition, the virtual learning environments provided by our teachers, facilitate an immersive learning experience. VR headsets help pupils experience out of reach locations and artefacts. For example, Year 5 pupils, during a humanities lesson, were able to virtually visit Hampton Court Palace kitchens and gardens, and view various artifacts from different angles and positions, while researching and analysing the diet habits of the Tudors and comparing these with those from the present day. Year 2 pupils, supported by VR, have taken a trip to different world oceans to investigate the impact of global warming on ocean habitats. In addition to the provision of immersive learning experiences, teachers have noticed other benefits of VR, such as the impact that VR has on pupils’ focus in lessons by blocking out distractions and increasing attention spans.  

AI-powered educational games, such as Spelling Shed and Timetables Rock Stars, used by our teachers, make learning more engaging and enjoyable by using game elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards. Gamification motivates pupils to learn, it encourages children to be actively involved in their learning and to take responsibility for it. By using AI-based games, which adapt to their responses, children develop core skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, which can then be used and applied during class-based learning. 

As a school, we are at the start of the process of integrating AI into teaching and learning. Our plans focus on developing processes to continuously monitor and evaluate the AI impact so that we can develop the confidence that both teachers and learners will benefit from these unstoppable advances in education. 

Learn more about the International Primary Curriculum