The Cam Academy Trust was set up in 2011 to oversee the conversion of Comberton Village College to academy status, its role is now to ensure excellence for all in each of the Trust’s academies. The Cam Academy Trust required a digital solution that brought their group of primary and secondary schools together.
Cloud Design Box, who specialises in crafting SharePoint platforms for the education sector, has worked closely with the Trust to create and implement a digital strategy.
The result was theCATalogue - a suite of software that encompasses Office 365, SharePoint, Teams and OneNote.
The combination of Microsoft products has empowered the Trust to share educational resources, enhance collaboration and improve connectivity outside of the classroom.
“As a growing Trust with five primaries and four secondary schools, we believe that Office 365 provides the most comprehensive foundation for an outstanding platform that supports sharing and collaboration and nurtures essential digital skills for lifelong learning and the modern workplace,” Digital Learning Developer, Jonathan Bowers, explains.
The move to a cloud-based suite of software is part of a wider IT strategy, which started five years ago. In the future, the Trust’s digital transformation will see the adoption of one-to-one devices to further endorse pupil development.
“We’ve been on a journey of cloud migration and the last part of the puzzle was to move our file data up to the cloud. This reduces costs associated with maintaining onsite servers, but also enables us to access our information anywhere at any time,” Paul Middleton, IT Manager, continues. “It’s all about using the capabilities of IT to support the provision of the best possible education to all pupils of all of our schools,” Stephen Munday, Chief Executive of the Cam Academy Trust, points out.
The switch has allowed the Trust to continue to achieve and deliver their core principles.
Firstly, the Trust ensures their education is of the very highest standard and accessible by pupils of all types and abilities.
Transitioning to the cloud means that class materials and assignments can be accessed and completed on any device, at any time, from anywhere. This eliminates the geographical, physical and time boundaries that children may face when trying to learn outside of the classroom.
With Office 365 and SharePoint, students no longer have to worry about spending money and installing widely-used Office programmes, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.
Meanwhile, CAM also strives to seek to work positively in partnership with others for mutual benefit.
The Office 365 suite promotes collaboration in real-time, allowing users to work together on documents, removing the risk of inconsistent information being shared due to multiple versions of documents.
“Whilst we have a WAN network that connects our schools, it has been difficult to allow collaborative work across all our sites, as each school has its own server. SharePoint simplifies everything, encouraging a standardised system, rather than the use of different drives and folder structures,” Paul enthuses.
Jonathan adds: “By migrating to Office 365, we aim to embed convention, consistency and consolidation. We have worked with Cloud Design Box to design a system where resources are stored logically and always available, implementing common, standardised practices. Essentially, everything we need for teaching and learning is now in one place.”
Tailored to suit the distinct needs of a Trust, theCATalogue is a secure, safe digital space for everyone at the Trust to collaborate in new and exciting ways,“Schools need a much more bespoke, education-focused solution. Cloud Design Box have delivered just that,” Paul tells us. “Working with the team at Cloud Design Box means that we get the best of both worlds: a unique portal that promotes consistency across the Trust, yet reflects the individual character of each of our schools.” Cloud Design Box will be at The Schools & Academies Show in Birmingham on 21st November. You can also find out more information sign up to webinars and contact them via their website.