Andy Jackson of XP School describes his use of smartportfolios
smartportfolios are the most powerful way to demonstrate and track learners’ progress, give real-time feedback and continually assess learning. smartportfolios provide an integrated gradebook and include target setting and tracking
We caught up with Andy Jackson to see how smartportfolios has improved education at XP Schools.
how did you structure your first smartportfolio?
what happened the first time you used it with students?
how did the Google Drive integration help?
what did your course moderator think?
how did smartportfolio add value over a physical or digital folder?
Valley Gardens is an outstanding middle school located in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. Headteacher David Godfrey appointed realsmart to support the school in March 2017. Since then, realsmart have worked in partnership with the team at Valley Gardens to: create a new website, develop the school’s own Google Apps domain for email, calendars, online storage and Google Classroom, and launched smarthomework with staff, students and parents.
A New Website
David wanted the new website to be easy to update, work well on mobile devices and make it easier for parents to find out the most important information on a day to day basis.
“I’m delighted with our new website; there is always more to be done but with the support from realsmart I know I can keep the website up to date myself. Using realsmart to support our website keeps our design fresh and ensures stability and performance across mobile devices. Our staff and students all log in to the website to access their own resources and have a single sign-on to Google and the new smarthomework application.” David Godfrey – Headteacher
Take a look at Valley Gardens Middle School website here and some other smartsites from realsmart here.
Taking Control of Google
As a North Tyneside school, the staff were already well acquainted with using Google Apps for Education though control for this was managed by the local authority. Now David and the team have full administrative access to their own Google Apps environment meaning they can quickly add new features, can control which users have access to certain resources, and it’s all automatically managed from the school MIS system (SIMS) so that all user accounts and teaching groups are constantly up to date.
Find out more about smartsync to Google apps here.
A Smarter Approach to Homework
smarthomework was launched during a staff Inset session earlier this term. It took less than 10 minutes to present the technology to teaching staff and they were asked to trial it for themselves. smarthomework enables leadership to have an overview of the quantity and quality of homework set in school and makes it easy for teachers to set, collect and assess. Google Apps are deeply embedded in smarthomework meaning that copying sharing and collecting documents and resources is all automatically managed for you. For more information take a look here.
“Using smarthomework has made tracking homework a hundred times easier for me; it saves precious time in the classroom and parents love being able to see what is expected.”Charlotte – Science Teacher
In October the school shared a public homework calendar with parents, meaning parents can quickly see what homework is due.
In the new year realsmart will release smartparents; an application for parents to receive school notifications and to promote engagement with homework, attendance and rewards. Find out more here.
“I’m really happy with the support and technology provided by realsmart; we’re still just at the beginning of our journey but I’m excited to see how we progress. I’d recommend any school take a look at what they can offer.”David Godfrey – Headteacher
Teaching & Learning Leader at St Giles Academy and Director of Digital Futures at New Dawn Trust
In 2013, we approached realsmart as our online presence and cloud tools were extremely disjointed, non-user friendly and were not impacting upon learning and pupil outcomes. realsmartcloud offered a service that would enable us to access, build and edit our website easily. Moreover, the solution would also incorporate all of our Google Apps for Education and digital portfolios.
Do you want to design and deliver a personalised curriculum for the 21st Century?
With realsmart you can.
Realsmart, Whole Education and Kunskapsskolan have teamed up to support the Whole Education Student Agency in Learning project.
Inspired by the pedagogy of the Kunskapsskolan schools in Sweden, realsmart have supported the SAIL project in bringing together schools across the country to collaboratively plan and resource thousands of lessons.
Come and visit us, our partners and the teachers involved in the building of the SAIL project at BETT in January.
Book an appointment for BETT now or arrange an in school consultation today.
smarthomework was trialled in the Summer term of at Queens and a whole school launch began in September.
“I’ve launched many new products in school and this has been the most successful and had the biggest impact on teaching and learning. I was surprised as it involved so many stakeholder groups, teaching staff, SLT, students and parents”.
The team at Queens’ should be proud, the figures show that:
This term alone teachers at Queens have created 2717 homework items.
Each student has on average completed 38 homeworks in the last 6 weeks.
That’s 65622 homeworks submitted
Each teacher has on average created 22 homework items.
“It’s good to see exactly what the teacher has set rather than the students quick notes.” “Looking at smarthomework together gives us a good moment to chat about the week/last few days” “When I’m told “there is no homework” at last I can actually see if there is!”
The school went on to add:
“Your support team is amazing, always on hand with support, advice and a sympathetic ear. I would recommend realsmart to anybody”
Queens School is a large 11-18 secondary school in Bushey, Hertfordshire.
Other Quotes from staff
“smarthomework means I know that both students and parents are clear about what homework has been set and when. I can attach copies of worksheets in case these get lost. It is also useful for students who have missed lessons to see what they need to catch up with.”
“I can see smarthomework is going to be a real time saver. With groups that follow a rotation we can simply change the group numbers and reset the homework with the relevant attachments. It also allows the whole department to work collaboratively; after writing the year 11 mock exam revision list, I could set this as homework for the whole year group, saving the other teachers time “
“…, I like the way that you can constantly adjust/ update homework even once it has been set.”
“It’s good to see exactly what the teacher has set rather than the students quick notes.“
“Looking at smarthomework together gives us a good moment to chat about the week/last few days”
“When I’m told “there is no homework” at last I can actually see if there is!”
“It’s a great way to see if my child is able to manage their time by seeing the deadlines.”
smartportfolios is the ideal solution for delivering and monitoring any qualifications.
BTEC, GCSE, KS3- it’s all easy with smartportfolios. Our innovative mastery statements make the portfolios agile for the implementation of any grading structure. 1-9, Pass to Distinction, A-G or your own solution to life beyond levels.
smartportfolios make it easy to create customised, shareable, consistent course structures to guide your learners. As the teacher you can see clearly where learners are making progress with our flight path function. Our brand new attachments system make it incredibly easy to add resources from your computer, Google drive, your webcam or even from your mobile phone.