Xporter Xpress: June 2023

Giulia Tramontana
9 minute read
xporter xpress

Xporter Xpress is here! We are rounding up the quarter with some insights from some of our education partners to discuss the current education climate and trends. Featuring A Star Attendance, globalbridge, GLUU, and Pupil Progress.

Unlocking Student Potential: Showcasing Experiences Safely

Picture this….

Ewan, a secondary school pupil in year 10, is off on a trip to the local outdoor activity centre. His friend Alex is playing guitar in the pit band of a local musical production that same evening. Their mutual friend Amelia has volunteered to marshal at a local city marathon at the weekend, and another of their friends, Jenny, has just finished a presentation to a local business to pitch an idea in a Dragon’s Den-style competition, which she ends up winning.   

Each one of those young people has documented these experiences via their social media channels. Ewan has edited a full Gopro video of him completing the assault course at the Activity Centre and uploaded it to his youtube channel, as well as taking a selfie of himself at the top of the Jacobs ladder that he’s put on Instagram.

Alex uses his phone to live stream his guitar playing onto TikTok where his thousands of followers comment about how great his playing is.

Amelia creates a vlog about a day in the life of a volunteer, using interviews with other people who are giving up their time about their reasons for volunteering, as well as capturing the atmosphere in the city as the marathon is happening. She shares this with the local Uni who use it in a promotional video.

As part of her winning pitch, Jenny has also created a slide deck which she shares with the Senior Management, and as the winner, she is given a month’s work experience, working across different departments and being involved in several projects. She is a guest on their latest podcast, talking about how to identify careers early in life and get as many experiences as possible. 

Now, you might be thinking that this is nothing special. In modern life and through education these days, experiences such as those detailed above happen fairly regularly, and the way that the young people document them via interactions with social media is nothing new anymore. Indeed, teenagers live by and through social media and use it to build a picture of what they do, what they like, how they think and feel. In schools across the land, teachers are keen to harness that enthusiasm for the promotion of self and others, embrace technology, and empower young people to take control of how they are seen. However, there is a problem here. They have to consider safeguarding, how to promote the welfare of their pupils, and protect them from the threat of harm. It is something that is paramount in the delivery of a curriculum in which they are trying to give them ‘worldly’ experiences but equally trying to protect them from those not-so-nice ‘worldly’ bits. 

Social media is a prime example. Even if schools want to embrace it, they can’t. There is too much at stake for them to risk allowing an overt link between the school and pupils’ social media accounts or for pupils to access social media platforms at school due to privacy issues. It makes it difficult for students to express themselves within the confines of the school environment, and in addition, makes it even more difficult to showcase what they have been doing within the school through safe and acceptable means. 

Some schools have tried different things. Some schools have bought into platforms that purport to offer student profiles where they can store information and details of things they have done but often don’t have the means to do so fully. Other schools have tried to use in-house solutions with the ability to communicate between pupils, but too often, these are clunky and have too many restrictions. Most are using traditional methods – paper-based folders, assemblies, and email newsletters to showcase what pupils have achieved, but that is difficult to keep a record of. Some even make pupils from year 10 open a LinkedIn account but don’t allow them to connect with anyone, nor allow anyone to connect with them or to even add anything to their profile for fear of them being identified or targeted. It was just to ‘prepare them for the world of work.’  

So where does this leave us? Too many schools with no ability to evidence and showcase what their pupils are experiencing. Schools have a duty of care towards their students not only in terms of safeguarding but also in terms of showcasing their amazing talents and skills to support them with their future. Although social media can play a role for perhaps the older year groups within their own life, within the school it still seems difficult to allow students to highlight and bring to life what they have been doing beyond simply their academic grades. 

Here at globalbridge, we fill that ever-increasing void. In the examples at the start of this article, each and every one of those young people could evidence exactly what they had done via their globalbridge profile by uploading their photos, videos, slide decks, Soundcloud clips, and even creating digital badges. Over time, they can then build up a portfolio of evidence that showcases their unique skills and talents in action, not just a list of grades or bullet points. Not only that, but once they are old enough, they can then share their profile via a unique URL so that potential employers, apprenticeship providers, Colleges, or Universities are able to see exactly the type of young person they are. The globalbridge platform is a totally closed and safe environment meaning students cannot communicate with each other, there are no outside influences, and teachers can keep a close eye on how a student is developing their learner profile. Not only that, it levels the playing field of opportunity for all and allows everyone to highlight their strengths, whatever they may be. Just like a hybrid mix of Instagram and LinkedIn, but safe and secure. 

At globalbridge young people are more than just a list of grades; they are a patchwork of unique skills and talents that are there to be showcased to positively influence their future aspirations. We believe strongly in a safe, secure but vibrant and engaging platform for young people to bring their stories to life. If you feel that globalbridge could be right for your young people and your school or college, please visit our website or email hello@myglobalbridge.com for a free demo.  

Russell Paterson, Account Manager

High-Dosage Tutoring: Unlocking Student Wellbeing through Personalised Support 

As we reflect on the state of student wellbeing within the education system, it becomes evident that significant changes are needed to support students and teachers. The current educational landscape is not built to support this level of wellbeing need. One powerful approach has emerged as a game-changer for schools: high-dosage tutoring.  

Recognising the crucial link between academic success and emotional wellbeing, high-dosage tutoring offers personalised and intensive support to students. By focusing on individual needs, this approach not only enhances academic outcomes, but also positively impacts students’ overall wellbeing. In this article, we delve into the concept of high-dosage tutoring and explore how it can be a key factor in supporting student wellbeing. 

Understanding High-Dosage Tutoring

High-dosage tutoring is an intensive, one-on-one, or small-group tutoring approach that provides students with concentrated and targeted academic support. Unlike traditional tutoring, which may occur sporadically, high-dosage tutoring involves regular and frequent sessions, often spanning several months or even an entire academic year.  

The Impact on Student Wellbeing

  • Individualised Attention: High-dosage tutoring provides students with a dedicated tutor who tailors instruction to their specific needs. This personalised attention helps students build confidence, overcome learning obstacles, and develop a positive self-image. As students experience progress and success, their overall wellbeing is uplifted.
  • Emotional Support: The rapport established between students and their tutors fosters a nurturing environment for emotional support. The Online Learning Assistants who work with askOLA for example, not only focus on academic growth but also act as wellbeing coaches, offering guidance, encouragement, and empathy. This emotional connection creates a safe space where students can express concerns, manage stress, and develop resilience.
  • Increased Engagement: High-dosage tutoring engages students in active learning, encouraging them to take ownership of their education. By tailoring instruction to their unique needs and interests, tutors ignite a sense of curiosity and motivation. This increased engagement leads to a greater sense of purpose, satisfaction, and overall wellbeing.
  • Academic Growth and Confidence: As students receive targeted support through high-dosage tutoring, their academic skills improve. This progress enhances their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and belief in their abilities. With each achievement, students develop a positive mindset and a resilient attitude toward challenges, contributing to their overall wellbeing. 

High-dosage tutoring has emerged as a powerful tool for nurturing student wellbeing through personalised support and academic growth. By providing individualised attention, emotional support, and fostering engagement, this approach helps students overcome challenges, build confidence, and develop resilience. 

As educational institutions increasingly recognise the link between academic success and overall wellbeing, implementing high-dosage tutoring as a key strategy can empower students, unlocking their full potential, and laying the foundation for a brighter future. 

If your school is interested in affordable high-dosage tutoring, askOLA by GLUU is a trailblazing platform that goes beyond traditional academic support by providing online, on-demand access to highly qualified Online Learning Assistants from just £1.50 per student per month. Find out more here!  

Making KS3 Data Meaningful: Streamlining Assessment and Tracking 

Introducing changes to KS3 assessment may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are essential guidelines to make KS3 data more meaningful and manageable without starting from scratch. 

Simplicity is Key 

The core assessment model should be easily explainable in just 30 seconds. By using simple diagrams or words, educators can explain how attainment is measured, how individual student progress is shown, and the assessment methods used. When parents and students understand how well a student is performing and if it aligns with expected progress, they can better support and celebrate achievements. 

Defining Attainment and Progress 

It is crucial to clearly define attainment descriptors by linking them to attainment in the keystage before and after. Reporting progress without referring to attainment leads to inconsistency in application, rendering the data meaningless. Establishing a common language for attainment ensures accurate assessment of student progress. 

Utilising Data Effectively 

Data tracked should be both formal and formative, offering comprehensive insights into students’ actual attainment; however, overloading with excessive data can dilute its meaning and undermine its purpose. 

Consider the actions that will be taken with the collected information and whether sufficient time is allocated to take remedial action. The school-wide attainment descriptors and progress indicators should provide clear insights into which: 

  • students are making progress, 
  • classes or teachers require support 
  • subjects need assistance 
  • areas of the curriculum or assessment process need reviewing.  

This information must be readily available to teachers so that appropriate actions can be implemented within curriculum time. Introducing a simple tracking system alongside changes to the KS3 assessment strategy helps provide real-time data for effective implementation and improves adoption of new processes. 

Flexibility at the Subject Level 

Different subjects assess skills and knowledge differently, and this diversity should be accommodated at KS3 in a way that aligns with their specific curriculum.  

Subjects often adopt either a test-driven approach with questions and mark schemes or a criteria-driven approach using leveled descriptors to evaluate work, performances, or practical tasks. Tracking systems should support the various types of data collected and simplify the conversion of raw values into the school’s attainment descriptors. 

Implementing Change with Ease 

When introducing changes to the KS3 assessment strategy, concerns about workload and resistance from departments may arise. To reduce this, first establish the attainment descriptors, progress indicators, and expectations. Most subjects can continue using their current assessment models with minor adjustments if given the flexibility they need.  

Implementing tracking systems concurrently empowers staff to review their assessment practices gradually. Schools have found that simplifying and clarifying the process not only reduces workload but also generates more meaningful data. 

Simplifying the assessment model, defining attainment and progress, utilising data effectively, focusing on relevant information, allowing flexibility at the subject level, and implementing changes with minimal resistance or workload contribute to a successful KS3 assessment strategy.  

The result is a comprehensive understanding of student performance, informed decision-making, and improved teaching and learning practices. 

Discover the importance of a unified and consistent approach to making KS3 data meaningful and how to make it happen in less than a minute! I have recorded three short video clips offering valuable insight and to help you find the right solution for your context

Barnaby Grimble, Co-Founder

The Importance of Tracking Attendance in Schools

A Star Attendance Solutions are a company with a wealth and breadth of experience specialising in school attendance. Our passion was always to support, train and consult schools to improve individual and whole school attendance.    

In conjunction with Waterstons, the natural expansion of developing an intelligent EdTech attendance software transpired. My vision was to produce an Avatar Attendance Officer in a system that is user-friendly and includes integrated and automated data entry. The A Star System allows schools to ‘put into practice’ an easy and simple whole school monitoring programme, reducing absence by supporting schools to meet their statutory responsibilities for attendance.  

The A Star System uses Xporter to extract the pupils’ attendance information recorded from the school’s MIS and present this in a simple, user-friendly, and efficient way. The system will systematically manage every student’s attendance every school day. At a simple click of a button, the system will generate the required stage letter at each stage of the process, and when appropriate it will include the necessary surveys or action plans, making the process as efficient as possible for the member of staff using the system.   

Our product has transformed the way in which our current portfolio of clients monitor, scrutinise, report, and deal with pupil attendance. Current school users of the system have reported a positive reduction in the administrative burden when using the system to deal with attendance and this has enabled their attendance and administration staff to focus on supporting pupils with attendance issues.   

Schools using our products have reported that it has had a positive impact on their school attendance as the process of monitoring attendance is simple and streamlined. As a result, a current school using the system has reported that their recent Ofsted report stated, “The level of attendance is better now than before the pandemic.” Their Ofsted rating improved to ‘Good.’ 

In recognition of our dedication and commitment to the development of the System, and in collaboration with Watersons, the A Star System was nominated for several honours at the 2022 Dynamites Awards. The ‘Best Use of Data ‘and ‘People’s Choice’ awards were collected, recognising innovative activity rooted in data-driven insight. 

“The best attendance management system I’ve ever known. Easy to use with maximum results! Fantastic customer service from demonstration, set up to current system support. 10/10!” – Farringdon Community Academy 

Try the A Star System today and discover how to improve attendance in your school. Request a demo here

Jill Robson, Director and Founder

If you’d like to get involved in our next edition of Xporter Xpress, get in touch! Until then, find out more about Xporter and become a partner today.

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