A bit of background
Lee Chapel Multi-Academy Trust is a partnership of schools across the Basildon area that are working together with a clear focus on school improvement to ensure all children achieve the best possible outcomes. There are six schools which make up the trust; Lee Chapel Primary School, Ryedene Primary School, The Phoenix Primary School, Greensted Junior School, Northlands Primary School and Greensted Infant School.
The whole trust prides itself on being a busy and friendly environment with lots going on. The family of academies in the Multi-Academy Trust are quite unique, led by a team of experienced educationalists. Lee Chapel Primary was the first school in the trust and is now one of the largest and most successful primary schools in Basildon.
Sue Jackson has been Headteacher at Lee Chapel Primary for the past 19 years and now leads the Lee Chapel Multi-Academy Trust as CEO. With a wealth of experience, Sue is a National Leader of Education and a trained Ofsted Inspector.
Collectively, the academies aim to offer a world-class 21st century education to all pupils, creating centres of educational excellence. Alongside Computing and Online Safety Lead, Hayley McKechnie, Sue identified a need to update the front of class technology at Lee Chapel Primary School and across the wider trust, to further enhance the delivery of the curriculum and boost teaching and learning experiences.
The Lee Chapel Multi-Academy Trust has a commitment to a minimum of one hour of computing each week for every pupil, so wanted to ensure that the edtech provision across the trust would allow pupils to get the most out of digital technologies as part of their learning. In line with the commitment to computing, Lee Chapel Primary school invested in two new state-of-the-art ICT suites to support delivery of ICT lessons. New front of class displays were needed for the ICT suites in addition to the classrooms across the school.
The aim was to partner with a brand across the Multi-Academy Trust to standardise the technology offering and streamline processes. By standardising the tech, a culture could then be created where teachers could actively support each other with teaching best practice using the technology and also have confidence in using the tech. It would also make the transition between classes easier for pupils as they would be familiar with the technology from their previous classroom.
A key consideration in finding the right solution was being able to develop a long-term relationship with a brand that was passionate about education. The technology offering needed to be upgradable and host a wealth of educational resources and applications, giving teachers freedom of choice. In addition, Lee Chapel specified that the display would need to support seamless connectivity with other classroom devices.
When researching potential solutions for the new ICT suites, Hayley approached the school ICT partner to see if they had any suggestions. The partner recommended the Promethean ActivPanel and invited Hayley to London to attend education technology show Bett to learn more about the capabilities of the ActivPanel.
At Bett, Hayley visited Promethean and watched some of the on-stand demonstrations delivered by teachers which gave her first-hand experience of the level of interactivity and numerous resources accessible via the ActivPanel. Hayley was also invited to a seminar on gamification and learning in the Promethean Platinum Suite which discussed the benefits of using games as valuable learning resources.
“It was fantastic to be able to meet the Promethean team at Bett and see what they are all about. It was so refreshing to experience the passion for education Promethean has and to see real teachers on the stand talking so positively about how the ActivPanel is used in their classrooms. There was a real infectious buzz,” said Hayley.
Lee Chapel Primary School organised a demo session with their ICT partner and Jim Wallis Head of Promethean’s Market Development Team visited the school for a meeting to discuss how Promethean could help the trust achieve its ambitions.
With support from Jim, Lee Chapel Primary invested in its first six ActivPanels and it quickly reaffirmed the value they added to teaching and learning. There are now another five ActivPanels on the way.
“Jim Wallis has been extremely friendly, helpful and transparent since we met him for the first time at Bett. We have developed an excellent relationship and Jim has supported us considerably in being able to align the ActivPanel with our wider ICT strategy and vision. Promethean has been with us every step of the way and I’m really excited about the plans we have for the future,” added Hayley.
All the headteachers from the Multi-Academy Trust went to Lee Chapel Primary for a meeting where Headteacher and CEO Sue Jackson put forward her ideas about why Promethean and the implementation of the ActivPanel could transform the schools’ tech provisions. Hayley delivered a session showing all the Headteachers the exciting lesson activities Lee Chapel Primary had been delivering using the ActivPanel.
Following a series of discussions, the decision was made that moving forward the trust would choose the Promethean ActivPanel as their preferred front of class display and that Promethean would support the wider academies to implement the technology.
“I am so pleased that Lee Chapel Multi-Academy Trust has been able to develop such a valuable partnership with Promethean. From the outset it was our vision to find not only advanced front of class displays, but a brand that had education at its core. The response we have had from the trust has been exemplary, there is real value in the ActivPanel as a teaching a learning device, but also a tremendous value in Promethean collaborating with us and supporting us to ensure we get the most out of the investment for many years to come,” added Sue.
Lee Chapel Primary are amazed by the ActivPanel and it has quickly become embedded as part of classroom environments, adding the level of interactivity, engagement and access to resources they were looking for. Hayley is also the NQT mentor for the trust and is enjoying supporting the next generation of teachers using the Promethean ActivPanels. Sharing her passion for supporting teachers, Hayley is excited to be attending Bett 2019 with Promethean to share an insight into teaching best practice and how the ActivPanel has transformed teaching and learning for Lee Chapel Primary and the wider trust.