Littleport and East Cambridgeshire Academy
A brief overview of your school and its geographical context? Littleport and East Cambs Academy (LECA) in Cambridgshire. New school (built in 2017) and has a roll of 469 which will rise to capacity of 600 in 2021/22.
What are the most pressing challenges at the moment that you feel SAM Learning has helped you with? The Pandemic. With the first closure it allowed us to set work immediately so the students we able to get on with their curriculum straight away. It gave us time to prepare our own resources and fine tune our protocols so we could deliver a full curriculum as soon as possible. Now, we use to plug gaps and set extension work so part of the catch up funding will go towards SAM.
What were the main reasons that you purchased SAM Learning? It fed straight into our vision for creating independent learners at LECA. We wanted to give students a safe platform to practice being independent and to extend their learning. We also wanted a platform that could tailored and customised and SAM delivers that.
What has the impact been of your school buying SAM Learning? Firstly, the students love it. They like competing with each other, they like being part of a tutor group team. They like that they can customise their avatars as they make more progress. Secondly, we can see that some students who would not otherwise engage with homework, do engage with SAM.
How have your students taken to SAM Learning since you introduced it? They liked it from Day 1. The format is appealing and they soon began competing with each other to top the leaderboards. They now see it as a part of a package of resources they have available 24/7 alongside other platforms we use.
What about your parents, what do they think about SAM Learning? They really like it. The feedback we get from parents is really positive and they see the same as us – some students who wouldn’t normally engage with home learning do engage with SAM
What do you think are the most powerful parts of SAM Learning for your school? The built-in Intervention Waves are great. The fact that you can customise and create intervention groups so quickly and easily. That the resources are customisable. The problem with some packages is that they are fixed – with SAM you can make them bespoke to your students.
Would you say that SAM Learning has made the lives of your teaching staff easier and if so, how? Definitely. 100%. Quick and easy to set and check homework; real time data so you can who’s engaged with work; self-marking and very easy to use.
What advice would you give to other headteachers in the ALT that are considering buying SAM Learning? Definitely take a look. It’s really good right now but it’s getting better all the time. The support is excellent and the platform is particularly useful to engage learners who otherwise might not engage and to drive progress and independence. We wouldn’t be without it.