Delivering best-practice educational experience

Culcheth High School

Culcheth High School delivers best-practice educational experience with Salamander Integration Suite and Google Classroom

The Customer

Culcheth High School is a highly successful and popular community school in Warrington. High performing, ambitious and forward-thinking, it strives to deliver the best possible educational experience for its students. To further its ambition to become a beacon learning institution, providing the best technologies for its students, teachers and the wider community is vital. Culcheth High School selected Google’s G Suite for Education to power its innovation and strategic mission, and SalamanderSoft as its integration partner.

The Challenge

As a consistently high performing school, Culcheth High School strives to be the best in all aspects of its service to 1200 students, its teaching body and the wider community. A move to a new £28million school facility in 2010, marked the start of an exciting transformation project and over £1M investment in creating and delivering next-generation technology services.

Having previously used UniServity VLE, Culcheth High School had begun to notice a significant downshift in terms of functionality and usage and needed to implement a succession plan for the deployment of a more advanced educational platform. As the school was in already using Gmail, G Suite for Education and Google Classrooms were the obvious choices, but Culcheth High School recognised it needed specialist guidance to get the very best out of the solution for both teachers and students. With students joining and leaving the school at regular intervals, it was imperative that ongoing account set-up, provision and deletion was as automated, secure and simple as possible. Furthermore, it wanted to give teachers advanced teaching resources without administrative burden.

Culcheth High School turned to SalamanderSoft, whose specialist Salamander Integration Suite and experience of the education sector would provide the ability to customise G Suite to the school’s individual needs, automate deployment, activate Google Classrooms, and ultimately deliver the advanced learning opportunities from within and outside the classroom.

“We didn’t want to use old tech anymore; we wanted a more collaborative online environment. We started using G Suite and found lots of success with this and after a survey with staff and students we knew the direction we wanted to go and what we wanted to achieve so we reached out to SalamanderSoft”, explains Stuart Piggott ICT Strategy Lead. “Integrating Salamander Integration Suite within our technology stack made the deployment slick, simple and cost-efficient. We don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, but a suite of tools customised to our individual needs that can be automatically provisioned for new students and new teaching requirements.”

The Solution

To get the best out of the platform, SalamanderSoft consulted closely with the Culcheth IT team to truly understand the school’s unique needs. Detailed information about the schools MIS (SIMS) system, goals, day-to-day requirements and aspirations for future technology use were gathered, forming the blueprint for a customized instance of Salamander Integration Suite which would ultimately be deployed in just 2 days and fully operational after one week of testing.

The Salamander Integration Suite uses Culcheth’s existing SIMS data source to automatically provision and manage user accounts, groups, mailboxes, calendars and Google Classrooms, and provide staff and teachers with a simple and easy way to get the most from the technology straight away. The blended solution has enabled Culcheth High School to integrate technology into every aspect of teaching, learning and school life.

“The functionality is superb. Automated provisioning has improved overall efficiency and enables us to set up new students easily, whilst automated management of Google Classrooms allows our staff to set up classrooms very quickly, leaving teachers to get on with what they do best. Additionally, the calendar sync provides students and staff with updated timetables in real-time, accessible on any device, thereby ensuring homework and coursework are always submitted on time.”

The Results

The power of a robust infrastructure, leading educational tools and automated management has revolutionised the overall efficiency of Culcheth High School’s learning environment. Teachers praise the ease of use of the management system, and the advanced tools they’re using have been pivotal for teaching advancement and classroom productivity. The IT team are liberated from admin tasks, giving them time back every day to refocus on initiatives which deliver increased capability.

With a truly online world now in place, every single teacher and student has a single view of study group information, classroom assignments and calendars on any device at any time. Students can see their timetable and the homework or coursework that needs completing, leading to staged improvements in results and improved student-teacher engagement.

“Without the Salamander Integration Suite we wouldn’t have the same engagement with staff and students, and we wouldn’t have been able to continue to develop our systems to ensure that engagement is sustained.”

Comments from Culcheth High School

We’re a far more proactive educational environment, and when I think about what we are now achieving and the development taking place within our school, I can honestly say we wouldn’t have been able to do that without Salamander Integration Suite and our Google environment.

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