Parental and student engagement is an important mission of Hornsea School, a school with 1,100 students on roll.
For Network Manager, Rob Coles, this has meant implementing effective measures for real time reporting, as well as messaging. Rob explains why they chose EduLink One as their preferred tool for ensuring student and parent participation is maximised.
“Firstly, ‘keeping it simple’ has been my motto. If we can make access to various 3rd party tools and services easy, it is significantly more likely parents and students will use it. As EduLink One is a single unified platform that delivers several fundamental services that we want parents and students to interact with, a single login to access all of them is an attractive proposition. We previously used SchoolsComm and Emerge, but with EduLink One we could consolidate everything we needed within one solution, simplifying access. Even better, it saved the school money. EduLink One complements our Moodle Learning platform, sharing the same login, so we have a truly holistic approach to our digital services.
Secondly for teachers, they can take registration electronically, which writes back to SIMS. As it runs on a smartphone, this is really useful for subjects like PE and drama, where you don’t want to be lugging round a cumbersome laptop or tablet. We can also use it on school trips. There is no limitation to how many staff can access EduLink One, which is really convenient and flexible.”
So what has been the appeal of EduLink One?
“The user interface is easy to use and engaging and will run on any device including smart phones. This means teachers, students and parents can install it on their own device for ultimate accessibility. With an unlimited site licence, the whole school gets access.”
What has been the impact of using EduLink One?
“For students it allows them to take ownership of learning. With the app they can review their own attendance and academic performance including achievement and behaviour.
Like all schools, we have a cohort of students who never know where they need to be and when. This has an impact on their learning. But with EduLink One they have access 24/7 to their timetable to help them get organised. The Senior Leadership Team see this as a key benefit.
For parents, realtime reporting means they can really participate in their child’s education, with similar access to timetable information and data on achievement, behaviour etc. Before, they could access this information on our parental portal in Moodle. But now it is even more convenient to get to via their smart phone.”
And what about teachers….
“For teachers and the senior leadership team they now have data available at the touch of their fingertips. For example what has been really useful is quick and convenient access to student medical information whilst on school trips. Plus the ability to rapidly get hold of key contact details for parents etc.”
Were there any unexpected benefits?
“The integration of EduLink One and our cashless catering system has been an unexpected boon. Before a student wanting to know their balance would have had to rely on their mum or dad to login online to find out. Or alternatively they would need to stand in the queue at the kiosk in the school to find out, which could be a bit of a wait! Now a student can find out instantly on their phone.
Also, parents can find out on their phone exactly what their child is eating.”
So what is the next plans for EduLink One for Rob.
“As part of our planned roll out of EduLink One, we will use the Communicator messenger service from September 2017. From then on, many SIMs admin tasks completed by teachers will be done via EduLink One.”
Rob summarises his experience of working with Overnet Data.
“What we like about working with Overnet Data is that they are always prepared to listen to our needs and will make genuine effort to address these, often in as little as 24 hours!”
Testimonial kindly provided by:
Rob Coles, Network Manager
Hornsea School and Language College