The opportunity to move into a state-of-the-art school, designed with the modern learning environment in mind, is every educator’s dream and one that came true for Ark St Alban’s Academy in Highgate, Birmingham.
Ever since the academy relocated to its new premises in 2013, Ark St Alban’s has been on an inspiring journey to improve and enhance the classroom experience, drawing on its long-standing history as a first-class provider of education.
Through careful planning and setting ambitious goals, the school’s leadership has been paving the way to success by creating a truly special environment that nurtures the potential of both its students and staff.
With technology lying firmly at the centre of its strategy for progress, the academy made the important decision to upgrade the entirety of its front-of-class solutions and take valuable steps towards achieving technological ambitions.
Partnering for progress
Ark St Alban’s Academy had long used interactive whiteboards from global education technology company, Promethean. So, with the move to the new school premises, the academy wanted to continue this valuable edtech partnership.
Kassim Ahmed, the Operations Manager at Ark St Alban’s Academy, led the procurement process.
“We’ve had Promethean interactive whiteboards in place since the school opened, and they really stood the test of time. So, when it came to upgrading the education technology, continuing our relationship with Promethean was an obvious choice.
“We chose the Promethean ActivPanel because of its advanced interactive flat panel display and ability to deliver captivating learning experiences for students across the academy.”
During the summer period, the installation and commissioning of 50 ActivPanels was managed by an authorised Promethean partner, who also supported Ark St Alban’s Academy with its wider edtech strategy”.
Beyond the ActivPanel being a market-leading hardware investment, Ark St Alban’s recognised the extensive after-sales support that was available through Promethean, which would ultimately enable them to make the most of the technology.
For example, Promethean delivered free orientation sessions that equipped the teachers with the fundamentals of using the ActivPanel, helping them get to grips with key features and demonstrating how to apply these in lessons.
Kassim went on to explain: “The orientation sessions not only equip the teachers with the key skills to begin their journey with the ActivPanel, but they instil confidence within the staff which encourages them to take ownership of their pedagogical journey. The orientation sessions are one of the most important parts of the attentive after-sales support that Promethean provides.”
Harnessing the power of technology
Now equipped with the essential skills to get started, the teachers are following their own path to explore how the Promethean ActivPanel can reinvigorate lessons.
One impressive example of how the teaching staff at Ark St Alban’s are exploring the Promethean ActivPanel is Key Stage 3 RE teacher, Akeel Iqbal, who uses the sophisticated interactive display to support his lesson delivery.
Akeel has begun to discover the brilliant ways the Promethean ActivPanel can support his lesson plans. Using the crystal-clear display of the Promethean ActivPanel, Akeel provides his Key Stage 3 class with an immersive storytelling experience that encourages the children in his class to understand more about the parables he teaches.
When discussing how the ActivPanel has transformed the classroom experience, Akeel said, “it offers great clarity for the students, particularly from a visual perspective. We’re currently studying the parables from the Bible with Year 7. Through the ActivPanel’s advanced visual display, I’m able to show a storyboard, so while the language used within the Bible is quite complicated, the students are able to follow along and further their understanding through the brilliant visuals.”
Milly Smart, Year 8 English teacher at Ark St Alban’s Academy, has also taken things into her own hands to improve her technological capabilities and better understand the potential of the ActivPanel. Making significant use of preloaded essential apps on the ActivPanel, Milly uses the various tools available to support the content of her lessons and provide further assistance for visual learners.
Milly explained: “I use the Annotate App to comment on the students’ work in real-time, or the texts we are covering in the class. It’s a great tool to emphasise why certain things are important. I find duplicating the screen and the split-screen functions are excellent for bringing learning alive for the students. We can also connect our classroom visualiser to the ActivPanel, which is a creative way of sharing the students’ work to the front of the class and highlighting their achievements.”
Building a future with Promethean
The overall impact of having the ActivPanels in place has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only has the brand-new technology provided a great teaching resource that supports the delivery of lessons, but the teaching staff are now equipped with skills that will allow them to evolve pedagogical approaches in years to come.
For Ark St Alban’s, the ActivPanel is just the start of their journey, as they begin to pave the way towards an even brighter future with support from their trusted edtech partner, Promethean.
Moving forward, the academy will have unlimited access to the wider support available including online CPD platform, Learn Promethean, practical webinars, and additional training opportunities to help advance their technological capabilities and discover new ways of engaging their classes.
To learn more about the advanced features of the Promethean ActivPanel, book a free demonstration, hosted by a Promethean Education Expert.