Pate’s Grammar School
Helping school leadership
Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham has just shy of 1,100 students. Geoff Worth’s role within the school’s IT team is looking after the database systems as an administrator, which includes SIMS and Moodle and everything that goes with it.
For the best part of a decade, Pate’s Grammar School has been using Moodle. So why did they choose Moodle? Geoff explains:
“The simple answer is that it’s free. And it’s pretty good for being a free product… really! And because it’s used globally, there are often other third parties who develop plugins to enhance its features, which is a win-win for us.
At the moment I cannot see the real benefit of spending another £3,000 – £4,000 for a proprietary system when Moodle does exactly what we need, and it’s fairly easy to use. We want it to be as easy to manage as possible and combined with Linux, it’s very reliable.
I know in the past we’ve used SCORM type activities in science and plugged them straight into Moodle. That was pretty good.”
From a school leadership perspective, how has Moodle helped?
“Parental communication is the key facet for Moodle. Through the parental portal we can push stuff to parents and show things that are appropriate for different groups. There has been a big emphasis by the senior leadership team on online reporting. This is actually cutting down our work because I used to be the one who used to have to produce those wonderful printed booklet reports, that, you know, were just a nightmare…formatting, data processing, printing, folding and stapling. I wouldn’t like to think how many man-hours I did it for.
Plus we’ve got a lot of part-time staff, about 45%, which is a massive proportion! But it means with Moodle, staff set homework for kids or upload classroom work. With remote access, teachers can mark and update grades from home using Moodle.”
What has the school’s experience been like working with Overnet Data?
“Generally, it’s been excellent. If we’ve got a problem, it gets fixed pretty quick!”
From their experience, would they recommend Overnet Data to other Schools? Geoff’s answer is,
“Oh, 100%, 100%. Yes.”