CASE STUDY: BRIGHTON HILL COMMUNITY SCHOOL (BHCS)
Brighton Hill Community School (BHCS) is located in Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, in the South of England County, Hampshire. Founded in 1975, the school prides itself on providing the best teaching and support, creating a family atmosphere for their pupils to thrive in and achieve exam results comfortably higher than the average.
Recently, they were graded “Good” by Ofsted, who stated, “Pupils are confident and articulate. They value their learning and display very positive attitudes. They are proud to be members of the school.”
Welcoming the benefits of Microsoft teams
Brighton Hill looks to equip their staff with the best resources to perform as technology in education continues to increase in prominence. Following an unflattering experience with an alternative digital education platform due to its complex management on a modern network, and impressed with O365’s commitment to innovation in the education sector to deliver a variety of tools to better digital learning; the school rolled out Office 365 for Education in September last year.
Following the initial deployment, and in line with the urgent requirements that came as part of their COVID-19 response efforts, Microsoft Teams was rolled-out with the modern learning environment in mind - bringing features such as:
- Simplified View
This provides clear, swift, and simple navigation of Teams with minimal visual diversions.
- OneNote Class Notebooks
A useful feature that allows teachers to structure interactive sessions and deliver a more personalised touch to their digital lessons.
- A chat function
A fundamental chat function between teams, groups, and individuals that comes complete with video calling and screen sharing.
- End-to-end assignment management
Teachers can smoothly shift from content creation, distribution, grading, and feedback with this Teams function.
- Document storage in SharePoint
Every team has a site in SharePoint Online, which contains a default document library folder. All files shared across all conversations will automatically save to this folder. Security options can be altered to protect sensitive information.
However, due to COVID-19, the deployment timeline was sped up to meet the urgent need that arose from the then looming lockdown, which led to inadequate training, understanding, and use of Teams. As such, they needed someone who could restructure their Teams usage in an organised way, to allow staff and students satisfactory communication and access to teaching materials and other resources used to create the ideal digital classroom.
A centerprise helping hand
The Department for Education (DfE) reached out to BHCS, detailing their ‘Platform Provisioning Programme’ initiative in which they partnered with Microsoft to support schools efforts to continue teaching and learning efforts in a world faced with the threat from COVID-19. The recently launched scheme offers financial aid to deploy a new digital education platform, or put in place improved processes for an existing one.
As a Microsoft education partner, Centerprise was assigned to Brighton Hill and subsequently contacted the school to discuss in detail their requirements. Centerprise’s IT engineers and specialists were able to work with the staff to provide the perfect solution and improve user comfortability through constant consultation and swift action on feedback. They worked diligently to ensure that the Teams platform remained organised in the best way for users to navigate their relevant files, lessons, and improve student-staff communication.
As they look towards the upcoming school year and navigating through another potential lockdown, Brighton Hill is proactive in its provision of a consistent blended learning model. The community school aims to build SharePoint pages to allow convenient remote access for staff and students alike. For the less fortunate students who may not have the end-user devices to access such files, BHCS has provided 30 laptops from their inventory and are communicating with the DfE and Hampshire County Council to deliver more.
Brighton Hill is currently orchestrating a 5-year plan, building on the Teams and Assignments integrations, as they look to embrace the numerous benefits that O365 has to offer, especially as they look to minimise their paper usage. Due to the resounding success of the Teams deployment, the school anticipate partnering with Centerprise soon to utilise their expertise in facilitating the fruition of the plan and increase their usage of O365.