Moving to UniServity's latest Learning Platform (Life) wasn't the only significant change for Gorse Ride in September 2012.
Gorse Ride Infant & Nursery School and Gorse Ride Junior School, both well respected within their community and judged 'good' in their most recent Ofsted inspections, federated at the start of September 2012. The process of federation gave the schools a chance to review both their online learning provision and their public-facing websites.
UniServity have been working with Wokingham Local Authority since 2007 and were delighted when the Authority used the latest Government Accredited Framework (the IMLS Procurement Framework) to continue to appoint UniServity as a preferred Learning Platform solution for their schools.
Having worked with UniServity for the previous 5 years, both schools were already happy with the relationship and support that UniServity provided. But in early 2013 felt it was important to consider what other options might be available.
Having reviewed other options the schools chose Life as they felt that the look, feel and ease of use were more suitable for them, and it was also an advantage that Life enabled the schools to have full control without needing to ask the provider to make changes for them. They also felt the product was geared towards interactivity and collaboration whereas other products appeared to have a main focus on tracking progress.
Another major factor in the decision was that the schools wanted a product that would be both a learning platform and could be used as a website for the schools. The Infant School had been using the previous UniServity cLc platform as their website whilst the Junior School made use of the in house web design skills of School Business Manager, Clare Garner.
As part of the planning and implementation process the schools identified which members of staff would be responsible for making changes to which areas of the site. These people were then given the ability to edit the relevant pages or to upload newsletters etc. and with some basic training have taken responsibility for keeping parts of the site up to date.
It's even possible for Eileen Rogers, Executive Headteacher to update the home page to tell parents whether or not there will be a snow day within moments of having made the decision.
Wanting to create a website that would bring a great deal of information together from both schools while giving a professional yet friendly impression to the school community and the wider public could have been a time-consuming job for already busy staff so the schools decided to buy into our optional site design service. Following a meeting with one of our consultants where the structure, layout and general design of the site was discussed and agreed, the school were then provided with a ready to use site.
Parents now have a single point of information to access for both schools. As many families have children in both the Infant and Junior schools it saves them considerable time when checking dates, looking for updates to after school clubs, or checking contact details.
Now that the public facing website is up and running the focus will be on using Life to provide an interactive, child-friendly learning platform as well as enabling staff to share learning resources and experiences quickly and easily with their students and parents. The Junior School are already well into developing their areas and the Infant School are currently exploring the potential of Life to support and engage younger learners.