Bury Grammar School, UK
Prestigious Independent School Implements Interactive Technology Solution
Upgrading to interactive technology proved an easy and popular move for Bury Grammar School and one that is now paying dividends for staff and students alike.
As part of its ongoing commitment to educational excellence, the prestigious Bury Grammar School (Lancashire, UK) began a major overhaul of its technology assets before the global pandemic hit. The challenges of COVID and blended learning only accelerated the demand for better technology, and the school group responded by signing up for a customized 1:1 device plan supplied by educational technology specialists, IDNS. More recently, Bury Grammar School continued its exciting technology upgrade plan with a switch to interactive technology across its multi-site campus to fully take advantage of all the benefits of the new devices to be implemented. Vicky Leaver, Assistant Principal, and Director of Academic Provision explained, “Our teachers and (students) already had Microsoft devices, so it was time to address the missing piece of the triangle - what happens in the classroom itself. Collaborative activities are crucial for successful learning, so we wanted to upgrade to an interactive digital system that would seamlessly link teachers and (students) in the classroom.” Bury Grammar School’s senior team had specific requirements that any new display system had to meet. The new system:
- Needed to improve the teaching and learning experience for users
- Make it easier for users to access more sources of knowledge
- Streamline the process of sharing and working collaboratively on different documents and media
- Integrate well with the Microsoft Surface devices now used by all students and teachers
- To be an all-in-one solution capable of replacing a complex mishmash of different brands’ technologies used up until now
Generally, the objective of the upgrade project was to minimize system downtime, reduce the IT team’s workload, and create an identical teaching and learning experience across every classroom. The right standalone system would achieve all these goals.
Finding the Right Solution
The school began by conducting its own research of possible options, which included engaging with other institutions to gather knowledge and opinions about the different products available. With an investment as significant as this, it was essential that the selection process was also a consultative one internally, involving as many Bury Grammar staff as possible. It was clear that the tech upgrade’s success would also depend on the choice the Bury Grammar staff – both teaching and non-teaching – made; their buy-in was imperative.
On the strength of its already successful relationship with the technology provider, Bury Grammar School asked IDNS to suggest a solution and demonstrate it to the entire project team. IDNS was confident that the interactive technology solution from Clevertouch Technologies would meet each of the school group’s needs. Together, IDNS and Clevertouch spent a total of three days demonstrating the capabilities of its award-winning interactive technology. They explained its features, answered questions, and gave the team at Bury Grammar School a chance to see for themselves just how smooth, intuitive, and feature-packed the product is.
The staff at Bury Grammar School were quickly and completely won over by the Clevertouch solution product. More accurately, they were wowed by it. Leaver explained, “There wasn’t just buy-in among our academic leads and teaching staff; there was genuine excitement about the new product. In fact, we had teachers virtually pleading to be the first ones to have it in their classrooms!” Ben Whittaker, Bury Grammar School’s Head of IT Services, went on to explain, “IDNS’ sector experience means they really understand how educators will use the technology, and this meant they had answers to all of our questions. This kind of expertise added significant value to our partnership with them.”
Clevertouch solutions have a well-founded reputation for proven functionality and innovation in the world of interactive technology. Most importantly, the Clevertouch solution met each requirement required by Bury Grammar such as compatibility with the existing Microsoft ecosystem that included Teams and Office 365. In addition, the Clevershare feature clearly supported the school’s goal to strengthen collaboration and make it easier for all. Bury was confident that with the Clevertouch technology upgrade, their objectives would be successfully met.
“Going down the interactive touchscreen route was a great way of future-proofing our (students). This is the technology they’ll use at university and in the workplace, so introducing it at this age helps them prepare for life after school to hit the ground running when they get there.”
Vicky Leaver – Assistant Principal & Director of Academic Provision
Just a few months after the installation and implementation of the Clevertouch solution, students and staff at Bury Grammar School are reaping the rewards of it daily. Teachers are enjoying simplified lesson planning and greater possibilities for including interesting content more easily. For example, teachers can access online media and students’ own documents, which can be shared from personal devices, discussed, and annotated digitally. The online capability puts more internet-based resources at the users’ fingertips enriching the learning experience. Students also enjoy the exciting interactive dimension the Clevertouch solution brings to lessons since they can go to the front of the class displays themselves or share their device screens with the entire class. The fact that the Clevertouch displays can still function as a simple whiteboard adds to their versatility.
Bury Grammar School’s IT and estate staff have especially welcomed the new technology since it performs reliably, integrates seamlessly with other technologies and software, and reduces the amount of peripheral equipment that they need to manage, maintain, and move around the campus.
There has been another significant benefit of going down the digital display route, less obvious but nevertheless important. The leader explained, “Going down the interactive touchscreen route was a great way of future-proofing our (students). This is the technology they’ll use at university and in the workplace, so introducing it at this age helps them prepare for life after school to hit the ground running when they get there.”
Ultimately, the switch to digital displays has helped to transform the classroom experience for teachers and students alike at Bury Grammar School and in that respect, the interactive technology implementation has been a win-win situation. Escaping the limitations imposed by conventional whiteboards was always one of the school group’s ambitions, and the Clevertouch solution has opened exciting new possibilities for both teaching and learning while also helping to increase staff morale and student engagement. Speaking on behalf of her teaching staff, Leaver has no reservations whatsoever about making the switch to Clevertouch - “We’ve only had them for a matter of months but already I don’t think the staff would know what to do without the new screens!”
“We've only had them for a matter of months but already I don't think the staff would know what to do without the new screens”
Vicky Leaver – Assistant Principal & Director of Academic Provision
Thank you, IDNS, for the successful introduction and implementation of Clevertouch solutions at Bury Grammar School. We value your support and contributions to helping schools with their ed-tech.”