SharePoint provides a wealth of advantages for modern schools, academies and multi-academy trusts who wish to enhance learning and teaching experience.
Whitley Bay High School has recently made the exciting move to the cloud, and Cloud Design Box has helped them set up a branded SharePoint intranet, with Microsoft Teams integration.
Today, we're taking a look at how SharePoint has transformed teaching, learning and communications across the whole school.
Based in North Tyneside, Whitley Bay prides itself on quality of teaching and learning, with a very distinct ethos that's built on strong, positive relationships and the desire to help students develop a love of learning.
The switch to SharePoint was a natural step, empowering Whitley Bay to further strengthen relationships between teachers and their students by allowing them to communicate and collaborate in a frictionless way in and outside of the classroom.
"Teachers can now directly interact with pupils and share valuable learning resources," Duncan Thurlow, a Science Teacher and Whole School IT Coordinator at Whitley Bay.
"Previously, it required a lot of legwork to provide students with access to resources when they stepped foot out of the school gate. However, now, things can be uploaded and worked on in real-time, instantly."
Cloud Design Box has worked with the staff at Whitley Bay to create a branded intranet and Class Dashboard to make navigation between SharePoint and Microsoft Teams as easy as possible for users.
"Not many pupils use laptops or desktop computers; instead, it's all about smartphones and tablets. So, having resources stored in a system that can easily be connected to with a mobile device is brilliant," he continues.
"Teachers are also enjoying the collaboration capabilities of SharePoint. Staff can edit documents together in real-time, collaborating, sharing and improving vital resources."
Additionally, SharePoint has benefited the administration team.
"Of course, most admins won't use the SharePoint in the same way as teaching staff. Instead, they use it to ensure important bulletins and information are sent out to the right people at the right time," Duncan tells us.
"In the past, communications were done mainly over email, or on paper in pigeonholes, which can get lost or overlooked. Now, I can take a look at the area on SharePoint and all the information I need is in one place."
The messaging application Teams continues to play a significant role in the lives of pupils and teaching staff.
"The combination of SharePoint and Teams is powerful. It reduces a lot of barriers when it comes to homework and assignments," Duncan adds.
"For example, everything they need is in the cloud, so they don't have to worry about losing paper worksheets. Pupils can also use SharePoint and Teams to download assignment tasks, refresh their memories, take quizzes and be in touch with the teacher in between lessons."
Duncan tells us that, for Whitley Bay, SharePoint has provided a more dynamic solution. While previous online applications and platforms have been static, Microsoft enables pupils and teachers to have a more effective, fluid learning experience.
"At the end of the day, we want to make it as easy as possible for our pupils to get the help, resources and support they need to take control of their learning. By giving them a solution that is native to them - i.e. it's on the devices they use every day - we are breaking down some of the hurdles young people face."
We continue to work with Whitley Bay to create solutions that encourage pupils to develop a love of learning.
You can find out more about our SharePoint packages for Education here.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about how we can help your school or multi-academy trust, get in touch with one of our experts in SharePoint for education, Teams and OneNote Class Notebook now.