A DIDCOT secondary school has gained a top honour for its use of computer technology.

St Birinus School, in Mereland Road, has become one of just eight secondary schools in the country to gain an excellence award. The initiative was launched by Milton Park-based Research Machines, a leading supplier of ICT equipment to UK schools, in 2004 and is aimed at recognising innovation in the use of technology.

St Birinus won the award for its use of innovative MathsAlive software as a tool to increase student motivation.

Andy Bruce, head of maths at the school, said: "In terms of student involvement the activities encourage students to take part whilst practising maths in a friendly competitive environ- ment." Tim Pearson, chief executive at RM, said: "St Birinus School has achieved so much in the development of ICT in secondary education, which made it a clear recipient for our Schools Excellence Award.

"By integrating MathsAlive technology into the classroom alongside innovative software and hardware, the Maths department has seen real improvements in student motivation."