Homewood found the perfect solution
See how MINTclass 'Did It' for Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre 

Seating plans are awkward. They’re time consuming and are almost always going to have to be redone soon after you get to know the students personally, with their unique needs and personalities. But is there a way to not only cut out the fuss, but also help to enhance teaching and learning? Grant Wilson, Lead Practitioner for Science and Digital Learning of Homewood School, shares his experience with us…

"Teachers were trying all sorts, they tried it all!"

When it came to seating plans at Homewood, teachers were trying all sorts. From organising them on Excel, to cutting and pasting names - they’d tried it all. “The problem was that it was a lot of work,” explains Grant. “You almost always had to redo it because someone would move class, or you’d need to reposition someone. It was quite simply, ineffective and we felt like there must be a better way of doing things, especially in this digital age.”

Grant first came across MINTclass on Twitter, while at a previous school. “I’d seen someone saying how good it was, so I looked it up. It seemed like the perfect solution, so straight away I brought it in. It was great.” MINTclass took all the pain out of arranging his schools’ classes, but it had many other features that made it way more powerful than simply being a seating planning tool, as Grant explains: “There’s a lot of emphasis these days on being able to impartially select students to answer questions or perform tasks. It’s difficult to evidence this- but with MINTclass I can select a student randomly at the click of a button. The students can see that it’s random, and it helps to ensure they’re paying attention!”

"MINTclass seemed like the perfect solution, straight away I brought in"

“When I was interviewed for my job here at Homewood, I was asked for one thing I’d like to bring with me from my previous role, and I said MINTclass.” Because it’s linked with SIMs, it’s able to consolidate all the useful information on each student, i.e. SEN, target grades etc, and put it into easy and simple cards for the teachers to see, making classroom planning incredibly simple. “Homewood ended up taking MINTclass on, even before they’d officially hired me!”

"It really couldn't be any simpler"

MINTclass has been great here at Homewood, but not just for the staff, the students love it, too. Grant explains: “Because you can customise MINTclass to suit the school, we’ve created a great rewards scheme which has been brilliant for motivating the students. When I open MINTclass, I click the  ‘rewards’ button, then select whether I want to award a point for behaviour, effort and so on. Then all I do is choose the student to award the point to, and it’s done! Alternatively I just click the ‘point’ button twice, and everyone in the class is awarded, or de-select students from the class to be awarded if needs be.” All this can be done in under five clicks, “It really couldn’t be any simpler,” says Grant. “It also feeds that information back to SIMs, which means we can monitor and evidence students’ behaviour easily with it, too.”

It’s also possible to monitor how other teachers are using it, which means you can encourage them to award more points if they haven’t been using it much to engage with their students.

"MINTclass are always responsive to any queries"

Grant continues, “MINTclass are always responsive to any queries we’ve got, getting back to us in a matter of hours and are more than willing to take on feedback we’ve got about the platform to make it better.” Homewood reached out to ask if they could integrate MINTclass with our email system to make it more efficient: “And they did it!” says Grant. “Before, if we needed to email all the appropriate staff members in relation to a specific child, we would have had to send out blanket emails, or go to the school office to check who I need to speak to before we could email them. It was time consuming and we felt there must’ve been a better way. MINTclass agreed, and so they fixed this for us! Now we can just select the child, and with a couple of clicks you can message all their teachers at once in seconds. It may sound like a small thing, but it saves so much time!” 

Ultimately though, it’s the ease of use that makes MINTclass a success at Homewood. “We wanted something simple, that made arranging classes easier - but it does so much more than that, all without fuss on an incredibly intuitive interface. It saves teachers time, and presents data about my class in a user friendly way. What more could we want?”
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