Case Study: Chilwell Secondary School and Sixth Form College
Friday, 23 September 2022 by Weduc
Chilwell Secondary School and Sixth Form in Nottingham is a large and busy school with over 1000 pupils from years 7 to 12. The school has high expectations of its students, with a focus ‘on enabling students to make the best choices every day.’ We talk to them about how using Weduc has transformed their communications.
The school knows that at the heart of student success is parent involvement in school life, but this can be extra challenging in a secondary school, as students become more independent, and parents are less present in daily school activities, most notably drop off and collection.
On many levels this is the right thing, secondary school marks an important time for students to develop maturity and resilience, but this should also be underpinned by a strong bond between parents and teachers. As many education research articles talk to, it is a mutually respected relationship between all parties that will produce the best educational outcomes.
‘At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of the parents.’ Jane D Hull, American educator/ Writer/ Politician
Before Weduc, the school used email and texts to contact parents, but they found this was arduous and only allowed for one-way dialogue. The office team still had to regularly spend hours of valuable time ringing parents, sometimes repeatedly to chase reasons for absence.
With such a large and busy school, the school needed an effective and simple communication system that gave parents the ability to input their child's attendance directly, reducing the overall administrative burden on the staff team.
The school chose Weduc to provide the solution.
The School’s Information Systems Manager, Matt Lucas explains that Chilwell chose Weduc above other providers because, ‘All the information was in one place, with one strategy and one app, which made it easy for staff and parents to use.’
As such a large and busy school, the school needed an effective and simple communication system. The school chose Weduc to provide the solution.
This allowed parents, amongst many other things, to report absences at any time of the day or night, see what events are upcoming and all details via the calendar link and view safely shared content about their child’s year group or class via the newsfeed. Content that has strict permissions regulating who can access it. Parents have cited this as a strong feature of the system, as they have confidence in who can interact with specific posts.
In addition, parents now had complete transparency over their child’s attendance, which was a strategic priority for Chilwell. Parents can go to the app and easily see when their child has been marked in, late or absent. The result of which means parents and teachers now work together in real time to manage any attendance issues.
Internally this is managed by the seamless link to the school’s MIS system SIMS. This has allowed for easier attendance monitoring for the administration team too and delivered on another strategic aim; to streamline all software systems. So, in essence a win, win.
Matt believes that it’s the usability of the system that is a primary reason for the huge parent and staff take up.
He says, “The simplicity and the ease of the whole system is so effective and a major factor in its success with our parents. It is such an easy communications system to use.”
One example of this effectiveness was seen when the school used the app to organise its large football tournament. Weduc was able to gather permissions and pupil information for all the matches remotely and instantly, which in turn allowed staff to access all permissions with ease. As Matt commented, “It has helped us to organise extracurricular games really easily.”
Since Chilwell Secondary School adopted Weduc in 2018, the school has seen a huge increase in the level and value of engagement and communication by parents
Another feature that Matt said the school has found invaluable was the chat feature, as it enabled parents and staff to access support and advice from the UK-based support team quickly and easily.
Going forward Chilwell Secondary School plans to integrate other learning tools into the app’s unique portal hub, providing a simple and seamless ‘one stop shop’ for students as well as their parents.
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