Brough Community Primary School

Brough Community Primary School is a rural school, located in the Eden Valley in Cumbria. With 82 children on roll in four classes, the school is at the heart of the community. We pride ourselves on providing a broad and balanced curriculum, celebrating our local environment and culture whilst ensuring children gain an understanding of British values and global issues.

At Brough School we specialise in giving children access to and understanding of the environment and opportunities to enjoy the rich landscapes around us. We run a comprehensive programme of outdoor and adventurous activities and we are on a journey to Green Flag Eco-Schools status. We also use technology to enhance the curriculum and are recognised as a Google Reference school.

Our Journey With Educational Technology

The Head Teacher is a Google Certified Educator. He was an early adopter of the Google platform at his previous school and has now worked on the Google Education platform for over 6 years. In 2017 the school switched to the Chrome platform and introduced Chromebooks into Key Stage 2 classes, starting with the older children. We now deploy Chromebooks on a 1-1 basis throughout the school. All teaching and learning staff are skilled users of Google Classroom and other key Google apps such as Docs, Drive and Google File Stream. We integrate Google Meet into online learning opportunities and have skills to enhance learning, blending things like our own YouTube channels and screencast apps to enhance lessons.

Essentially, we are experts in the Google platform and can advise at all levels of adoption, from initial start-up to product selection and deployment, through to building and maintaining excellent online learning systems.

Areas of Expertise

  • School enrolment on G-Suite for Education and Device Deployments

  • Google Classroom and associated apps

  • Teaching skills for home-learning

  • Educational Apps & Extensions

  • Integration of Google alongside Microsoft

  • Use of Smart Learning Suite with Google

Key Wins

Deployment of any online learning system cannot happen overnight. We learnt to make the change organically, training key staff to enable others to get on board with the platform. We also worked with parents, inviting them into school for orientation and training sessions, to give them the confidence and peace of mind to understand the versatility and safety of Google Classroom and its associated apps.

We have worked with several local schools and given advice and support to allow them to move onto the Google platform. This led to our application to and selection as a Google Reference school in 2020.

Moving away from the classroom, use of Google Drive and Google File Stream has allowed us to move to a completely cloud based office and data storage system, removing the need for a school server and significantly reducing annual IT costs.

Mistakes made

When providing for home learning we learned to not set expectations too high at first. The initial stages of online learning using live webinars, coupled with online resources was often challenging for staff, pupils and parents.

Lessons learned

Keep it simple at first. Start with small groups, whether that is in school or at home. If you are developing an in school system, it is crucial to have a robust WiFi and broadband service. Nothing happens well without that.

As a maintained school, we run Microsoft 365 for emails and other aspects of school operations. We also use desktops, running Windows alongside Chrome. It is absolutely possible to exist on both Microsoft and Google platforms as a school, they can integrate together and we can advise on this. You do not have to switch completely from one platform to another, they can sit alongside each other.