One of the last changes we have made to our Twynham Learning Gateway focuses on the design of the sites. The original sites were almost entirely undeveloped and an example of these is shown below.
In February this year we decided it was time to take a serious look at the overall design to create a more professional and blended look across all the sites. This is the first time we have outsourced any work for our internal gateway and the best investment we have made in the three years. For this work we went to the undisputed king of SharePoint design, Sam Dolan who is also known in SharePoint land as Pink Petrol. The end product can be seen below with a unified and engaging look:
The overall change is very clear and at the same time there are more subtle changes with the use of the same 4 colours from the banner and navigation bars throughout the page. This particularly makes a difference in blending the written elements into the colour scheme to give a very professional look. I would happily recommend Pink Petrol based on the work we have done and he can be contacted on twitter as @pinkpetrol or by email through email@example.com Sam’s website with examples of his work and service can be found at http://www.pinkpetrol.com/ I will also be joint blogging a more detailed explanation of Sam’s work in a joint post later this month.
One of the key engines of our Twynham School Learning Gateway is the student learning areas. These began on March 22nd 2007 with the development of our Revision Gateways based on the structure shown below.
Our Revision Gateways took off very quickly and led to us building full subject sites later in 2007 so that students could easily navigate across all subjects and within all areas. The top level of our subjects sites can be see below with our Technology home page.
Having navigated one click to the subject site above students have just one more click to get to any area of the subject sub sites. An example is shown below with the Biology sub site.
Students running or taking part in the Student Council can also communicate their current work with all students through the Learning Gateway. The Student Council has three sub-committees which focus on Teaching and Learning. Technology and Culture.
Student Council Teaching and Learning site.
One of the key areas of student support work at Twynham School is our SOS or Stamp Out Substances programme. This aims to support and advice students who have any concerns about substance misuse. The team and site below was entirely designed and created by the student team working with staff on the SOS project.
Student Access to the Library
Students can directly access the school library system through the student page of the Learning Gateway. The library site contains recommendations through a ‘Book of the Week’ system along with a current summary of the student’s current and previous lending. Students automatically receive updates informing them of when their books are overdue. Students can search for books online and reserve them through the system so that they can be collected at their convenience.
The Student Gateway
When we started to build a Student Gateway and discussed with students what they wanted we were a little surprised when they said- ‘the same as the Staff Gateway’. Students liked the clean simplicity of the icons and wanted to get rid of the right navigation bar altogether. They also wanted as little writing as possible on the page and the addition of a Picture Gallery. For students most of their time on the Gateway is spent in the Learning Areas- subject and revision sites. The Student Gateway is shown below.
Students have the same basic functionality with the timetable showing a one day/two week view. Gift and Talented Year 8 Students have started experimenting with ‘My Site’ as an e-portfolio but major developments in this area will take place with SharePoint 2010 when greater functionality will make a better solution.
Students also have access to the ‘My Progress’ site which displays their key details, tutor time and lesson by lesson attendance, grades and reports. See page 7 in this guide for further details or for a breakdown of all our Online Reporting solution along with availability see the ‘Online Reporting to Parents’ guide on this site. We also give students access to the same software as teachers through the ‘My Programs’ link. This is used largely out of school but our netbook roll out could see no software being made available on the machine but through the Twynham Learning Gateway.
One of the key challenges for schools with the importance of outcomes and league tables is the quality of data analysis and an appreciation of a school’s strengths and weaknesses. At Twynham we have used the Learning Gateway as a vehicle for the instant analysis of both Reviews and Reports throughout the year but also public examination results. Not only does this data system provide a powerful tool for senior leaders to analyse headline data it allows middle leaders, pastoral leaders and classroom teachers to drill into specific information and form accurate judgement on the quality of results.
The Data Analysis Pyramid consists of:
- Headline Analysis showing an overview of results and breakdown by gender.
- All subject report giving a subject by subject overview with gender breakdown.
- Individual Subject Report with gender breakdown.
- Individual Class Report with Key Stage Tracker.
- Individual Student Report.
- Teacher Analysis Report to present feedback on results.
The Data Analysis Pyramid is created within Reporting Services and then integrated into SharePoint. To access the data teachers click on the data page and are presented with the interface below.
The Headline analysis is shown below and gives a clear overview of results with key figures.
Clicking on the top right of the Headline Analysis brings up the All Subject page.
When teachers click on any subject it will bring up the Individual Subject Analysis shown below.
This then leads to the Individual Class Analysis which is shown below. This consists of the students names (removed in the example), their KS2-KS4 projections and their performance across the current Key Stage. Where student grades are lower than their target they are shown in red and grades above target are shown in green.
If a teacher would like to see how a student performed across all of their subjects against their subject this can be done simply by clicking on a student name from the page above which brings up the Individual Student Report.
At the start of the autumn term all teachers with year 11 and 13 classes have to complete a Teacher Analysis Report which is automatically generated from within the Learning Platform.