Serif in Education

How Serif is supporting schools and teachers to fulfil the curriculum

Calling all teachers! Do excuse us if we’re telling you what you already know, but we felt that this week, we’d like to discuss how education companies can play an important role in helping you, as a teacher, fulfil your role in the best possible way.

The reality and challenges of classroom life

There are approximately 610,000 teachers in the UK alone, and whilst teaching can be a challenging and frustrating occupation, the rewards of making a difference to a students level of attainment and intelligence, and paving their path through life, leads thousands of students every year to choose teaching as their future profession.

As a job, it is often a vocation and passionate role, so is it surprising that according to Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, an estimated 40% of new entrants leave the teaching profession within the first five years.* So why is this the case?

Through their 24/7 support line, the support group www.teachersupport.info, which provides practical and emotional support to teachers, found new teachers are often struggling to deal with their expectations of teaching and the reality of classroom life.  Whilst their first job or training placements were supported, when placed in a second environment without the same level of support, they feel ill prepared.

Whilst teacher training may give teachers the knowledge and capability to improve pupils understanding of a chosen subject, teachers may need further support, offering advice, expertise and training ideas, to fully incorporate and integrate a system or product into their lessons.

With this information, there appears to be a huge importance for education providers to support teachers in the classroom and assisting where possible with pupil learning.

Serif is committed to supporting teachers in their role, and investing in training, creative computing guides, and other materials such as video tutorials.  We have worked closely with LA Advisors, teachers and teaching departments of Universities to develop resources that support the creative classroom.

The Frederick Gent School is just one example of a school who has found the teacher resource material that Serif includes with their Design Suite extremely useful.  You can read their case study here: www.serif.com/Education/CaseStudies/FrederickGent.

This is mainly down to the fact the materials are teacher focussed and contain useful “how to” guides.  Providing the teacher with easy solutions and support tools so they can concentrate on the teaching element of their role is important, so that students can explore creativity whilst learning what is required by the curriculum.

With teachers having to not only teach but plan lessons, mark, and now take on additional admin, we know that they rarely have time to learn new technology, so need a product that is a simple to use and that supports them in the best way possible. With resources mapped to the curriculum (Cambridge Nationals), Serif’s Design Suite allows teachers to easily download information to teach students the specific criteria they will require for their exams.

The difference in education compared to the wider commercial world

The education sector differs in comparison to many other commercial sectors.  The school curriculum is constantly changing, and trends are emerging in the business world that are shaping the way pupils are taught and how they are responding to lessons and materials/tools used in these lessons.  ICT is an example of a subject that is part of the changing curriculum, and will in future give young people a better understanding of computer programming and solutions, as well as basic computer knowledge as taught in the past.

Unlike corporate or consumer companies, most schools must incorporate changes to the curriculum and must adhere to Government standards and procedures, so are constantly having to re-educate themselves on elements of their classroom activity.  They need to choose a product that will adapt to these constant changes.

Serif understands that teachers need products that are not only easy to use but resources that help them to fulfil their job as a teacher and not limit them, with endless hours of training required on each system.

Providing cost effective solutions with cross-curricular resources

The decision to protect schools’ budget was under some pressure in 2014 as a result of higher than expected inflation, and many schools are already facing a squeeze on finances, according to the Education reform.** Teachers are already restricted to a budget either by Head Teachers or the government.  Whereas private commercial companies have limited resource, they can channel this budget into their chosen areas, yet teachers have to save money by using cross-curricular resources that they can use across the board in any lesson.

Serifs’ educational products are designed to be utilised by any subject teacher and engage pupils to communicate their ideas. PagePlus X7 can be used in English for example, when presenting work, DrawPlus X6 or CraftArtist in D&T for designing products or creating scrapbook effects, or MoviePlus X6 for almost any subject to create digital videos.

The materials Serif supply can be adapted easily into your own lesson plans to help raise standards in every subject, including the International Baccalaureate iGCSE and Diploma Computer Science Course. So go on, be creative!

 

*http://www.teachersupport.info/

www.education.gov.uk – Department for Education

**http://www.reform.co.uk/content/27903/research/education/must_do_better_spending_on_schools