Rugby High School is a Girls’ Grammar school in Warwickshire, specialising in science and language. It has around 800 high-performing pupils, with a higher than average percentage of gifted and talented students. The school fosters a culture of independent learning, and there is a strong emphasis on soft skills, teamwork, leadership and students taking ownership of their studies and learning.
In 2013, the school were having trouble with their existing learning platform. Not all members of staff were confident with ICT and this made implementing the platform difficult across the school. Many members of staff also complained that it was unintuitive and difficult to use.
E-learning Leader, Sean Quinn, was given the challenge of shortlisting and installing a replacement platform.
“We put a panel together and reviewed and road tested five systems. Frog was the obvious frontrunner from the very beginning, although its ease of use was actually slightly off-putting because the panel needed persuading that such a simple, intuitive system could deliver everything we wanted.”
Having trialled Frog, the panel’s concerns proved unfounded:
“I found that I could create a site, and upload a file like a video, in less than a minute. And six months on, most staff can do it as quickly as that now.”
Frog is now in use throughout the school, and the site gets around 2,000 visits every day.
“Frog enabled us to become a ‘Bring your own device’ school. Students can either use their own laptop or notebook, or lease one from the school. This has helped us to reduce department budgets dramatically, not least because we no longer have to photocopy worksheets, or buy textbooks in bulk. Everything is accessed via Frog.”
Sean Quinn has been particularly impressed with the forums set up in Frog:
“They give every student a voice. We have found that even students reluctant to put their hand up in class are happy to get stuck in and contribute something on the forums. So Frog gives them the confidence to ask questions and contribute to the debate.”
Frog has had an especially positive impact on the students’ homework and lesson preparation.
“All the school’s homework is now on Frog, and there can be no misinterpretation of what is required from the students, or when a particular piece of homework is due.”
It has also had a beneficial impact on lessons themselves:
“Since we introduced Frog, students come to lessons much better prepared. So we no longer spent the first ten or fifteen minutes of a lesson setting out what we are going to cover. It has bought us valuable time.”
And what about the results that the school has achieved? Their most recent GCSE results were their best ever. Whilst no one is suggesting that this is entirely down to Frog, the school definitely think it has played a big part:
“It’s certainly fair to say that Frog has helped more students to reach their target grade.”
The school’s culture has changed markedly now that Frog is embedded:
“We are digitally literate now in a way that we weren’t two or three years ago. And Frog has allowed us to flip the learning and place ownership with the students. It’s this independent learning that the school is all about.”