A change in the National Curriculum demands meticulous data capture within the primary school environment.
This change has been embraced by Sandylands’ headteacher as an opportunity to develop the way pupils learn, while keeping the curriculum broad and balanced.
What we did:
Working alongside Sandylands, we created a software platform consisting of an iOS app and data management toolkit. The aim was to provide a comprehensive interface for both students and teachers to document the learning journey.
Why we did it:
Recording and reviewing evidence for the national curriculum proved challenging for teachers, as it impacted on teaching time. The idea was to create an iPad app which could be used to record images and notes (which could be stored centrally), and allow a full review of the student’s progress by teachers.
The app connects to a hosted database application, which lets teaching staff review all evidence collected, in order to push their students on to the next level in each subject.
How we did it:
Our mission was to develop a viable product that met the school’s needs, and test it in the field. We routinely tested the app in order to specify the next set of updates.
Managed through the Apple Volume Purchase Programme (which ensures the app isn’t available publicly), we were able to use the app on any number of devices within the school.
And of course no App is complete without a mascot, so our design team created Super Sandy, the Inquisitive Owl!
What we achieved:
Still in ongoing development, the application is now used throughout Sandylands, with positive feedback from staff throughout the school.
The school has found that learners are enjoying using the app to enhance their studies and are focusing on learning, rather than tasks.
The students are motivated to push themselves, pupils with SEN are achieving higher than expected levels in some areas of the curriculum, while teachers have found the app easy to use and appreciate the learning conversations it entails – with an accelerated learning progress as a result.
One Sandylands teacher said of the app:
“Since I started using the app with my class, it has given me a deeper insight not only into my own practice, but also how my class feel about themselves as learners.
The realisation that learning is more multi-faceted than I ever could have imagined has helped me to look at the learners in my class in a whole new light… The app has allowed children to take the lead on certain aspects of learning, having the confidence to mentor other class members and help them understand concepts they may struggle with.
…I never imagined I could be so in tune with the learning of each individual, the steps that they need to take to make progress, the elements that they may be missing, and potentially more importantly, the way that they feel about themselves as learners.”