Remaining cutting edge on tightening budgets

Hardenhuish School

Hardenhuish School
For Hardenhuish School, remaining innovative in its use of new technology to support teaching and learning was becoming difficult. Until the ICT Strategy Group saw potential in the cloud supported by Salamander.

The Customer

Hardenhuish School is a larger than average secondary academy, with 1600 students, serving the town of Chippenham and the surrounding area of Wiltshire. The school was judged Good in all aspect at the last Ofsted Inspection in 2013. Hardenhuish is an ICT Mark School with a strong track record of technological innovation, and the decision to work with SalamanderSoft is evidence of the leadership’s determination to seek out the technologies and applications which will most effectively support teaching and learning.

The Challenge

A school that seeks to give its students and teachers the best and latest technology has to be not only up to date with trends and innovations but also aware of what’s possible within an always tight budget. In many schools – Hardenhuish among them – this has led to a position where replacing ageing computer provision like-for -like is not the best or most cost effective option.

The Solution

Matt explains, “We don’t have the resources to manage our own SharePoint portal and choosing SalamanderSoft took away this pressure. The pricing point is very good and it offers value for money. “We knew that Salamander offered completely customisable and adaptable products that would grow with us, without additional costs.”

Most remarkable is the way that everyone has quickly seized on the benefits for teaching and learning.

The Results

The Salamander SharePoint portal which is now at the start of working up towards its full potential is going to meet a long standing need at Hardenhuish.

The school has been seeking a technological route to becoming the ‘community of learning’ which David Clarke envisages.

Matt Evans describes how some years ago he and colleagues looked at various proprietary VLE products which turned out not to offer the return on investment that they were looking for. Even the free open-source ‘Moodle’, which the school still has, needs a level of in-house support which the team simply does not have time to provide. SalamanderSoft, and Microsoft Office 365 together cut through all of those barriers. Says Matt Evans, ‘The pricing point is good, offering competitive value for money.’ Most remarkable of all is the way that staff and students have begun very quickly to seize on the benefits for teaching and learning which are on offer.

Comments from Hardenhuish School

The students upload material to their drop-box which is an area their teachers can access. I correct it and feed it back, all within the portal.

Tim Phillips - Lead Practitioner in Technology and Computing Teacher from Hardenhuish School
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