The British School is an international, not-for-profit school located in the heart of New Delhi. The 54-year old school offers high quality education to expatriate and local families by drawing on the best facets of a rich and culturally diverse community. With students from nearly 60 nationalities, the school provides student-centred education in a safe, stimulating and multicultural environment.
What were the challenges you were facing before Firefly?
Before Firefly, we were using a variety of digital tools. This created confusion for students and staff, who had to organise their materials differently depending on the systems being used. As teacher resources were saved on different platforms, sharing between colleagues was difficult. Additionally, for parents trying to keep track of their child’s progress, it was nearly impossible due to the need to switch between systems. Home school communication was mostly email and paper based which led to a lot of repetition and took a significant portion of time of the staff involved.
Why did you choose Firefly?
Firefly is a well established platform utilised by a great number of international schools. We analysed a number of platforms based on a range of factors including ease of use, support available, a rich feature list and a modern user interface. Firefly came up on top for each one. We visited schools that were already using it and heard nothing but praise for it. It is a great tool for starting out and the learning curve is just about right. It plays nice with all popular systems like the Google Suite and One Drive and can be customised to allow the expert user to really showcase their ideas. The potential of tasks and the markbook for online reporting is huge especially in empowering parents to support student learning and that appealed to us along with the variety of easy to use templates.
What has been the outcome?
We used a scaffolded approach to integrating Firefly. Instead of introducing everything at once we took one part of Firefly and ensured that it was embedded consistently across school before moving on to the next. This was developed through the use of gamification principles like leaderboards and trophies. Yes, you read that right. We give out annual trophies and awards to celebrate exceptional Firefly use to inspire and encourage each other.
Now when you have great content which is updated regularly, it always leads to a great audience. Just over 13.3 million Firefly resource pages have been viewed by our community. This is phenomenal and the kind of figures most websites would dream of. Each user on average has visited 4088 Firefly pages which equates to approx 6 pages per day!
Home School communication is delivered via a Firefly blog which allows parents to catch up on missed notices. Through the use of the Firefly App for Parents they get immediate notifications. New parents find it “a god send” as it quickly helps them integrate into the school community. Student information such as reports, timetable and attendance etc. can be accessed via Firefly along with feedback on their current tasks.
Each department is represented on Firefly allowing students access to learning materials and some have interactive courses which are used in day to day teaching. Tasks and markbooks are being actively used with some departments truly integrating them into their workflow. The outcome of all this is that over the last two years Firefly has become integral to everything we do. It has become the one stop shop for all matters school related for our community.
What are your future plans for Firefly?
We are excited to work with Firefly on the use of data and their approach to online reporting and analytics. There is still a lot to explore for us like digitising the student planner and ensuring that Firefly becomes part of each lesson in every subject. Student involvement with Firefly has just begun and the next step in our plan is to ensure they get involved in teaching each other. Other areas we are looking at is greater use of the Firefly for Student app and exploring the rich tapestry of tools which are part of the Firefly suite. We continue to train our community in using Firefly as part of parent tech sessions and staff INSET to help us achieve our vision of helping each student to thrive, believe and succeed.
What are some of the projects Firefly has been used in?
The amount of projects Firefly has been used in are too many to list and these are just a sample of the ways we use it across school.
- Our Digital Citizenship pathway delivered via Firefly has been globally recognised this year and helped us achieve the British International School Award 2018 for Outstanding Initiative to support Student Safeguarding.
- Student driven reflection blogs are being used to deeply embed learning.
- Students can access curriculum content via subject and year group pages.
- Our thought leadership blogs highlight cutting edge pedagogical practice to our community each week.
- Our Enrichment Programme is underpinned by Firefly and from bookings to information, all aspects are delivered via Firefly.
- All photographs showcasing school events are uploaded on Firefly for easy viewing by the community.
- A digital hub/dashboard for all our systems available to all stakeholders via Firefly/Single Sign-on. Everything in one place. Just log in to Firefly daily.
- Our Parent Association (PSA) use Firefly to communicate and organise events.
90% of parents access school notices on Firefly
Staff training for e-safety and digital skills is delivered through Firefly
Use of tasks and markbooks to provide feedback to students and parents