“What used to comprise of ten hours’ work, can now be achieved in only an hour.”
Grange Park Primary wanted to equip their teaching staff with the technology they need to meet the challenges of a 21st century education system. They asked Bluewave Education
to help them with putting together a bespoke three-year plan, which started in July 2015. A year on, Head Teacher Pauline Wood is thrilled with the benefits and the results achieved in only twelve months.
Grange Park Primary School caters for pupils in Sunderland and the surrounding areas. The school currently has 216 pupils aged 3-11 years.
Grange Park has proven that much can be achieved with hard work, good resource planning and the right partners. The school has in fact been shortlisted twice (in 2013 and in 2015) for the prestigious Times Educational Supplement’s awards in the best ‘primary school’ category.
The school also enjoyed high levels of success, including being top in the city in the 2015 KS2 SAT’s results for both Average Points Score and outcomes for Pupil Premium students.
Grange Park Primary School wanted a school improvement management system that would liberate their teaching staff from time consuming paper-based systems, but still allow them to further develop the way in which they action school priorities, collaborate with others and, ultimately, how they monitor and evaluate the quality of teaching and trends in the impact on outcomes.
After taking the time to consider the options available, Grange Park Primary’s Head Teacher, Pauline Wood, decided that there was really only one service that met their needs: Bluewave SWIFT.
Pauline explains: “We chose this product from Bluewave because of the flexibility they offer, because of the range and quality of apps, and the large amount of support available to myself and our staff”. It also was recommended to me by a colleague from an outstanding school in a different Local Authority.
“Bluewave SWIFT has empowered all staff to take the lead in their own development resulting in improved outcomes for children.”
Bluewave SWIFT is an online system that connects documents and school information for self-evaluation across school inspection reports, strategic planning, professional development and performance appraisal. Schools can then drive improvement processes, keep ahead of ever-changing accountability and inspection requirements while saving time and cutting costs. The range of analyses grows with the demands of the school ensuring that everyone is informed in context with their role.
As well as helping to transform school improvement, the system is massively freeing teachers’ time, says Pauline. “I really like how the system works and my colleagues are really excited about the successes achieved so far, after only twelve months. Its potential is huge because we never had a system like this in place. We had tons of paper documents of performance management data, and it was becoming an issue to organise it all, without spending so much time on them.
Pauline Wood pioneered Bluewave SWIFT in July last year and the school has since readily adopted it throughout to support their school improvement. With obvious improvements to their CPD performance, Pauline’s experience with the product has become a beacon of inspiration for other schools nationally, with visiting LAs and Head Teachers keen to see the system in action.
“Teachers are really pleased with it,” says Pauline. “The quality of feedback you can give is really impressive. You can build up a rich picture of practice that is helpful to me and helpful to the teacher as well”.
Grange Park Primary wanted a specialist service provider that could understand the current challenges in education while offering competitive pricing and fantastic customer service. They also wanted someone prepared to listen to their needs and share their vision for greater coherence in school improvement endeavours.
When asked to describe what Bluewave SWIFT means to the school, Head Teacher Pauline stated: “A real time saver, as well as accountability and efficiency”.
In addition, these are the main benefits the school has discovered:
Centralised and digitalised CPD system
Staff now take more ownership of their own appraisal targets
Getting rid of paper records and old documents
Collecting elements online, in a fast efficient way
A “Little and often” approach of recording good evidence before it gets forgotten
A more manageable way to support internal and external meetings
Governors can access the School Development Plan and other key documents remotely, and in advance of Governing Body meetings, allowing time in those meetings for Head Teacher challenge.
Pauline has stated the quick and efficient turnaround of calls and email has made Bluewave the education partner of choice. With less paper work to manage and handle, the system has freed up time to enable the school to be better at what they what they do, which is of course education and the pupils’ development.
The school is not due an Ofsted inspection as it was rated “Outstanding” in November 2011. However, should an inspection occur Pauline and her colleagues are confident that the results will be outstanding, due in part because they have so much excellent evidence in the Bluewave system. The staff know that whatever is asked of them, they will be able to retrieve it in a matter of seconds.
Pauline Wood, Head Teacher: “What used to comprise of ten hours’ work, can now be achieved in only an hour. We find it so very easy now, during lesson observations to go straight into laptops and use the technology this way. It has revolutionised the way we work, for sure”.
Emma Monaghan, Deputy Head: “Bluewave SWIFT has empowered all staff to take the lead in their own development resulting in improved outcomes for children. Appraisal has been overhauled by the use of Bluewave SWIFT and has made systems such as adding professional standards objectives as simple as the click of a button.
Time saved has been phenomenal allowing Bluewave SWIFT to be at the heart of a refined system so the staff can focus on our core business of teaching and learning.”
For more information on SWIFT and how it can support your school to streamline your school improvement processes, contact us to book your personal demonstration.