Multi Me at Bardwell School
Multi Me was introduced to teachers at Bardwell School in Spring 2015. It was seen as an exciting tool that would revolutionise our assessments enabling our pupils, their parents and families and our staff to recognise and celebrate their achievements.
It is important to note that as a special school that prides itself on a pupil centred-approach we are focused on qualitative formative assessments for our pupils, whilst we use nationally recognised progression documents to judge our school performance we do not feel these do our pupils justice in terms of planning and recognising their many abilities and achievements.
Multi Me was launched with one aim for the first term, that every child and teacher would set up his or her My Multi Me page. This page is accessible to all others in the Bardwell Community. Overtime we expect this to develop as an All About Me type page, but to start with it is more an ‘introduction to me’. Pupils and staff used a range of media to produce this page, favourite photos; lists of hobbies of a simple video introduce them to the secure Bardwell community (one of our students is particularly proud of his Michael Jackson dancing, so he videoed himself and uploaded it).
The benefit of this steady launch was that it started to build an understanding and confidence of Multi Me. It really is an intuitive interface but we wanted to move forward together as a school community.
The second term was more about celebrating achievements. In each class students either produced a ‘story’ of their year, or one lesson was focused on evidencing achievement of the ‘Goal’ (or lesson objective). This immediately provided professional development for our teachers. There has been a real focus across the school on setting SMART targets for all pupils, by writing these targets onto Multi Me, this not only supports the teacher in ensuring the target is well considered, but also ensures it is written in a format that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.
Confidence and skill has developed across the teaching team. Since September 2015, we are using Multi Me across the curriculum. For each sequence of lessons pupils have a goal. The teacher or pupil then record evidence against this goal when it has been achieved. This not only supports the students in recognising their achievements, but also allows parents to share in the achievement, enabling the skill to be applied and consolidated beyond school. There are challenges with this, mainly that staff are focused on supporting pupils, so don’t always have an iPad to hand to get that key video or photo, however the fact that the whole process can be completed on an iPad means that it is streamlined.
A key focus for us was bringing in a multimedia based assessment tool that did not create additional work for teachers. Early signs are that we are on the way to achieving this. Instead of lengthy end of year reports, teachers now have a four sided overview of achievements that they complete, sign-posting Multi Me for evidence and further information. There is far less ambiguity in judgements, and it is a target that is achieved with support, it is clear for everyone to see the level of support and how the Goal was approached.
We are now opening up access to wider circles of support, including respite centres and carers, social workers and therapists who support our students. The potential of the online ‘Circle of Support’ feature is very exciting, videos of students physiotherapy and position programme can be uploaded alongside key documents, ensuring everyone supporting the pupil has the latest information, the circle will promote and enable all of those support the young person to contribute to their Education, Health and Care Plan outcomes and share in their successes and achievements.
Whilst we are early on in our journey with Multi Me, we can already see it is going to have a significant and measurable impact on our pupil’s learning, outcomes and their futures. We know that in three years time we’ll be able to look back at students achievements and celebrate how far they have progressed, with the evidence being easily accessible and unambiguous – supporting teachers to plan further suitably challenging goals across the curriculum.
We are happy to share our approach with Multi Me. Anyone wishing to know more should contact the school on 01869 242182 and book an appointment (telephone or in person) with John Riches, headteacher.
Download the PDF case study here