We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the BETT 2022 ‘Innovator of the Year’ Award for BlueSky Learning, our flexible online CPD for teachers and schools.
The Bett Awards, produced in association with Besa, celebrate innovation and creativity in technology for education and form an integral part of the Bett show each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions.
BlueSky Learning is an online platform offering easy-to-access, flexible continued professional development modules. Featuring over 120 hours of research-based and practitioner-led modules, BlueSky Learning provides focused interactive learning sessions that enhance current knowledge, develop new skills and improve strategies for classroom teaching and behaviour management.
At BlueSky we take pride in ensuring we are listening to the needs of our schools at all times, and at the beginning of the lockdown last year, we immediately recognised that this would have a huge impact on the training of trainee teachers and the induction of Early Career Teachers as well as putting the whole profession under enormous pressure.
Education as a service means that teachers and all education professionals in schools will always step forward to place the needs of their young people ahead of their own. With trainee teachers missing their vital summer placements, and Early Career Teachers losing their Professional Learning support programmes, we felt as a supplier that we too wanted to step forward. Our motivation was to pull together Early Career Teachers, trainees and indeed all education professionals, creating a true community of learning, providing an agile, current and motivational experience for the professionals themselves as they worked tirelessly to support young people.
I am so proud of the achievements of our team in developing BlueSky Learning. In less than one month, they consulted with sector bodies, designed and built the platform, planned and sourced contributions from education experts, and then promoted and delivered a comprehensive professional learning programme free of charge to all education professionals, pulling together some of the biggest names in the education sector today. The platform provided state of the art technology, delivering research-based and professionally-led live webinars with follow-through strategies supporting implementation. We called it a ‘Festival of Learning’, and the programme was in fact so successful, that we ran our second ‘Festival of Learning’ in the Autumn Term to support the same Trainee and Early Career teachers. In total, our Festivals of Learning supported more than 15,000 teachers and trainees.
Following the success of the Festivals, the complete BlueSky Learning package was developed and launched in late November 2020. Since then, the platform has gained over 18,000 subscribers, with more than 130 schools subscribing to BlueSky Learning for their staff.
BlueSky Learning is available through an affordable annual subscription, with a variety of licences for individuals, schools and Trusts that include free access to the CPD elements of BlueSky Education. Individuals can use BlueSky’s award-winning portable portfolio to build a complete record of their CPD journey, while Senior Leaders use BlueSky’s market-leading tool to report, track engagement and evidence impact.
Here’s some feedback from our clients who use BlueSky Learning to support their school CPD programmes:
“We subscribe to BlueSky Learning because of the BlueSky system, the ability to track CPD and personal ownership potential. It supports the independence of staff’s own CPD and journey, as well as the reporting of the impact of CPD.” – Marie Curtis, Headteacher, Ash Grange Primary School
“It had the most impact for NQTs who had their first year of teaching severely disrupted and trainees who had their training year cut short. This kind of quality CPD has meant that the gap created by our own in-house Professional Studies sessions not being able to take place has been filled.”- Steve Nixon, Assistant Headteacher, Denton Community College
At BlueSky we are committed to working to bring innovative solutions to teachers and school leaders that provide intelligence and build capacity. When innovation is part of the life blood of your organisation, being agile and responsive to sudden and immediate needs is something we thrive on. I am delighted and grateful to BETT 2022 for recognising the effort and commitment our team made during a very challenging time for schools.