Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

Transforming teaching and learning with Salamander SharePoint
Challenged with improving communication, collaboration and the management of learning on tightening budgets, Assistant Headteacher Steve Gillott turned to Salamander SharePoint.

School FactsRWBA

A secondary school with 1600 students in Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire.

Key Objectives

  • To find cost effective ways to improve communication, collaboration and the management of learning.
  • To reduce costs without impacting on the resources offered to pupils.

Steve Gillott explains.

“Like all schools, we need to reduce costs without negatively impacting on what we offer pupils. We ran our Microsoft applications: email; SharePoint learning environment; and associated storage all in-school which was expensive and time consuming.”

Finding the Solution in the Cloud

“Moving our applications to the cloud seemed like the obvious way to save money and enhance what we offer pupils and staff.”

RWBA 1 - HomeHow is SalamanderSoft Helping?

“We already used Salamander Active Directory and I trusted the company and knew we could rely on them to migrate us to the cloud. Salamander SharePoint offers flexibility, there is a common template but it’s very flexible and is tailored to our needs.”

Highlights for the School

Improving the management of learning

“Office 365 takes away all of the updating and maintenance issues, so we can focus on teaching and learning. Every user can access one terabyte of storage which means we can consider using video in class which we couldn’™t before.”

“We now have an online learning environment, built to our requirements and always up-to-date with the correct pupils and teachers.”

Easy access to resources

“Every lesson has its own class site where the teacher leaves resources for the pupils, saving time and money on reproducing and distributing materials. Now we are on the cloud, pupils can access these resources wherever they are and on any device.”

Supporting live collaborationRWBA 2 - Class

“There are various ways Salamander SharePoint supports collaboration as several people can simultaneously use a document. For example: teachers work together on joint research and to develop pupil resources; teachers can annotate exam papers for pupils; teachers and pupils can add feedback to work; teachers can monitor pupil progress on an ongoing basis; and pupils can work together on projects.”

“The exercise book is no longer a pupil’s domain until they hand it in. It’s available to the teacher at any time to offer support and feedback.”

Paul Day, PE Teacher and Lead Practitioner for Teacher Development, says.

“The use of live marking, as formative feedback, is highly beneficial for pupils. Away from class, I can see how hard they are working on independent study.”

RWBA 4 - Student ListAn instant hit with teachers

Steve continues, “All teachers see that they could use it. Everybody said, straight away, ‘Yes, we can use that, it’s very powerful.’ It’s rare to come across a technology where everybody says that.”

Saving money on licenses

“Moving everything to the cloud is saving us £2,500 per year just from licensing.”

What’s next?

“The more we use Salamander SharePoint, the more we will find out about it. As pupils use Salamander SharePoint, they will develop a complete record of their learning that can’t be lost. This will be useful to see their progress and for revision.
The extra storage means we can make more use of video and audio. Ideas we have include; giving audio feedback which will reduce teacher marking time; more use of video in subjects like PE; and using the camera in OneNote to create evidence straight into a project.”