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
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