Ellesmere College is a special school on the outskirts of Leicester City, with a specialism in sport. The college has primary, secondary and post-16 departments and caters for the needs of 220 students between the ages of 7 – 19, with a wide-range of educational difficulties from moderate, to severe and complex needs. Some students have additional sensory, autistic or speech, language and communication needs.
In August 2014 the college relocated to a brand new building, providing the opportunity to upgrade its existing classroom technology. After undertaking a detailed evaluation of a number of manufacturers, Ellesmere decided to implement 38 of Promethean’s 65” screen ActivPanels with ActivSoundBars. Having previously used ActivBoards, the college chose to stay with Promethean because of the longevity of the product and comprehensive five-year warranty available.
Sarah Treanor, ICT Consultant at Ellesmere College said: “The overall package made Promethean the best value for the money, which is hugely important when managing the IT budget for a new school build. The comprehensive and extended warranty is what really set Promethean apart from other providers. Having this level of guarantee in place protects our investment and removes the risk of lesson downtime.”
Classrooms in the new building all centre around four hubs, which are large open spaces on each floor used to host activities to entertain the students or for open days and breakout sessions. Ellesmere has installed ActivPanels with SoundBars in every classroom and all the hub areas: “The use of technology in a special education setting is advantageous. Students are drawn to the technology so they become more involved in their education, and for the teachers, it allows them to work with more than one student at a time, meaning lesson time feels more inclusive. In our hubs we find that the ActivPanels encourage student collaboration outside of teaching time, which is an important skill for our students to learn,” continued Sarah.
The move from ActivBoards to ActivPanels was made effortless for the school; the ActivInspire™ software supplied as standard with both systems meant that teachers could still use all of the same lessons that had been created previously, only now they are delivered using a high-definition screen. Sarah, said: “Working with children with a variety of needs – many of them sensory, meant the clarity of the screen and improved sound quality from the ActivSoundBars has been a great asset. These features really equalize education for students, build confidence and support individuals in achieving academic success.
“The ActivPanels are being used all day, every day. The college aims to develop confident learners who take ownership of their learning and are proud of their achievements. The fact that ActivPanels champion this approach means that it’s helping us to achieve one of our primary goals.”
Available in 55”, 65”, 70” high-definition and 84” ultra-high-definition displays, the ActivPanel facilitates collaborative learning opportunities and interactive teaching for all classroom sizes. With unique ActivGlide™ technology, the ActivPanel glass surface eliminates the risk of finger burn and enables content to be viewed with great clarity – even at wide viewing angles.
Supporting a full-range of learning experiences, including whole class, individual, duo, small-team and multi-team classwork, the ActivPanel allows the whole class to simultaneously share ideas, practise team-based problem solving and manipulate images. Sarah continued: “We offer a student-centred approach to teaching and learning, to support this we supply tablets and also have a BYOD strategy in place, to enable students to engage in 1:1 learning. The use of tablets means education opportunities are limitless, and both the software and hardware that comes as standard with the ActivPanels supports the strategy we have in place. This makes lessons truly interactive, which we find is a key motivator for our students.”
Supplied and installed by Promethean reseller partner, CDEC, Sarah concluded: “The support we have received from CDEC has been invaluable. We were given excellent advice and support in the initial stages, and the support has continued when needed following installation.”
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