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Proud to be recognised by the Chief Executive for our work helping schools to use online technologies to support remote teaching and learning through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our certificate arrived today.

Innovations Award Certificate 2020

We were awarded Runners Up in the hotly contested Chief Executive’s Award ‘Going the Extra Mile’ category at the NYCC 2020 Innovation Awards. Our entry, ‘How Schools ICT kept teaching going through Covid-19 lockdown’, celebrated the work of the Cirrus team who went the extra mile in supporting Schools during times of crisis enabling our teachers to continue teaching and communicating with students throughout Covid-19.

Without our solution many thousands of primary school children across the county would have missed out on high quality remote learning. Not only was a technical solution rapidly put into place then refined, but also staff within Schools ICT were redeployed to help on this front line of remote learning. The Cirrus team comprises of only 4 full time staff but it swelled to over 15 as we redeployed our school technicians to help.

When lockdown was announced and schools closed we threw everything at finding a solution to enable teachers to make the most of technology to continue teaching and communicating with their students all-be-it remotely.

Quickly we started to develop and deploy a solution to help teachers have real-time contact with their students delivering lessons remotely just as if they were in the classroom all together. This allowed teachers to:

  • give a live lesson that students could watch and engage with
  • set homeworking tasks which students could open and work on then submit and be marked
  • give students access to resources such as videos, worksheets or links to information

As lockdown continued we were able to work with schools and experts to develop a far smarter solution using all the fantastic features of Teams which enabled teachers to deliver learning in an effective and modern way. So for example we could set up virtual classroom teams so students were together in their peer groups. We could also set up groups for just the Governors or just the staff to communicate together in a secure and private environment. Teachers could also set work for breakout groups within a classroom and monitor progress in each group dipping in when needed to give tips or additional support.

We are proud of the way we supported teachers and made online learning a reality for many schools and many pupils. Schools were forced almost overnight into a new way of working and due to the innovative and can do approach of the Cirrus team we have been able to rapidly put together excellent technical solutions. As lockdown continued and schools evolved and became more technical savvy we evolved with them and were able to develop more technically sophisticated and innovative solutions.

Commenting on the award Cirrus said “We are all overwhelmed to be recognised as we know so many people and teams have achieved so many great things over this period. The hard work the team has put in since March has been immense and it is great to know it has been justified. It has been tough and we almost hit break point a few times but with dedication and support from our colleagues we came out the other side stronger delivering what the Schools need when the schools needed it the most. We are proud to have been part of the solution and to have helped so many children and teachers continue the great work they do.”