St Olave’s standardises digital access and enhances security with the ActivPanel

Published: July 5th, 2022

St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington has been providing high-quality learning experiences for over 450 years, and with a rich heritage in academia and the arts, the school prides itself on equipping students with the skills to achieve bright and brilliant futures.

One way the school aims to reach this goal is through an advanced digital strategy that supports the best teaching and learning experiences for every student that walks through its doors.

When developing this strategy, Neil Clegg, Head of IT Strategy, set out to establish consistency of digital access, improve system security, and effectively embed edtech use in curriculum delivery.

“We recognise that the key to maintaining excellent standards and achieving the highest quality classroom experiences is through quality digital provision, and as technology continually evolves, we need to keep ahead of change. Following a review of our approach, we identified that we could raise standards further by focusing on consistency, security, and training.”

From vision to reality

With a clear vision in place, St Olave’s Grammar School began the search for an edtech partner that could support the achievement of its goals, which led to Promethean and its award-winning ActivPanel.

“We were looking for a trusted edtech provider that would help transform learning in our classrooms. The ActivPanel was the perfect solution,” explains Neil.

While the ActivPanel provides access to a variety of powerful digital tools to transform learning, its standard security features can be further enhanced with the addition of Radix, a comprehensive mobile device management system.

Delivering against its objectives of achieving consistency and security across the ICT estate, 56 Promethean ActivPanels with Radix panel management were installed throughout the school.

“Our primary aim through the standardisation of the technology was to level the playing field, enabling our teachers to walk into any classroom and teach without having to grapple with inconsistent edtech. This was part of our vision to create a seamless technological experience that would allow the teachers to focus on their main priority, delivering quality lesson content to help our students achieve excellent results.

“Radix provides an additional layer of security and control which enhances the performance of the ActivPanels, giving us peace of mind that our entire estate is up-to-date and secure at all times,” continues Neil.

With the core foundations firmly in place, the next step was to embed technology in curriculum delivery by providing access to training.

Kickstarted with orientation sessions from Promethean, teachers quickly learned how to make effective use of the preloaded ActivPanel apps and accompanying ActivInspire software. These essential skills sessions provided a solid base from which St Olave’s could go on to further develop ActivPanel best practice with in-house initiatives.

A best practice approach

One of the first initiatives off the ground was the development of an ActivPanel handbook. Initially pioneered by Neil, it’s rapidly become a team collaboration: “The handbook has proven to be an effective way of collecting teachers’ tips, tricks, and ideas for getting the most out of the ActivPanel. It’s rewarding to collaborate on something so useful, which ultimately contributes to developing the competence and confidence of our educators,” explains Neil.

As well as developing their own training initiatives, the school also drives best practice through a steering group made up of senior management, teachers, and support staff, representing all school faculties. The group meets regularly to discuss the wider potential of the ActivPanel and disseminate helpful information.

With all faculties actively participating, the classics department feels it has particularly benefited from taking part in the steering group. Alex Carrol, Head of Classics, elaborates on why he believes this to be the case: “Being part of the IT steering committee has given me the opportunity to share my experiences with colleagues and learn new things. It’s a great opportunity to come together and learn more about the ActivPanel and how it can help us to deliver key teaching objectives.

“I love the interactive features of the ActivPanel, especially the apps that help me to explain poetry, linguistics, and the intricacies of Latin, which are often hard to communicate without a strong visual aid.”

With Promethean as a trusted partner, St Olave’s Grammar School is looking forward to furthering its commitment to delivering excellent teaching and learning experiences. At the same time as reflecting how far they have come with turning strategy into action, Neil looks ahead to what the future now holds: “Working with Promethean to create a tailored edtech plan has been so beneficial for moving our digital approach forward. Together, we’ve been able to implement an effective strategy which reinforces our high standards and ambitions for the school.

“We’re now in the best position to really lean into our strategy with the peace of mind that our IT estate is consistent and secure, and our teachers have the skills and confidence to make the most of the ActivPanels. All of this was possible because of our excellent relationship with Promethean, who have supported us in achieving our objectives.”

To explore the many features and applications of the Promethean ActivPanel, please book a live demonstration, hosted by a Promethean Education Expert.