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Aston Engineering University Academy will be 10 years old in September 2022 making us the oldest and biggest UTC in the UK. Originally created by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing through the Baker Dearing Trust, AUEA was created to fill the employee skills gap within the UK education system.

Catering for pupils 13-19 years we offer a different route to traditional schools. We teach our students technical and scientific subjects in a whole new way and are educating the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow. We want to develop our students to get them to where they want to go next, and with 80%+ of our students going on into STEM related degrees and apprenticeships we are fulfilling the Baker Dearing Trust remit – we are developing students to fill that STEM employee gap. The destinations of our students is one of our biggest measures and of course this is also measured by governing bodies such as Ofsted so it’s important that we get our students to where they want to go. We have created strong partnerships with The Armed Forces as well as Aston University, NHS, and Jacobs to name but a few, to ensure the very best destination pathways for our students.  

Of course, to ensure our students are ready for their next challenges we have to ensure they are being provided with the very best learning experience whilst they are here at AEUA. ONVU Learning has a vital role to play in our ability to ensure our teaching is successfully impacting on the students.  

We initially came to ONVU Learning at a time where our GCSE results weren’t where we wanted them to be. We wanted to know what was going on: we knew we had good quality teaching, but the outcomes didn’t suggest that. What was the disconnect? We wanted to ensure we had good learning within the classroom, but it’s a difficult undertaking for a teacher standing in front of a class to detect the effectiveness of their teaching easily and efficiently, especially when they have up to six lessons a day to teach. ONVU Learning gave us the ability to look into the discrepancy between the results and the quality of the teaching. When we introduced the system, everyone from Governors to teachers were excited and fully invested in making it a success, what we needed to next was to make the solution work for us.  

It’s all well and good having a video that shows the class but what exactly where we looking for? Initially we took the time to upskill to be able to understand the more subtle indicators, such as body language, the little tells that identify if students are engaged or not. We then aligned that with a pedagogy called TEEP using the ONVU Learning footage we could map where elements of TEEP were happening. By plotting against TEEP were able to advise teachers on their processes and how by moving elements around they can keep their students engaged for longer. Lessons are 60 minutes long you can’t keep students in the learning zone for that entire time, they need time to reflect, be presented with new challenges, construct their learning and be able to go and actually demonstrate that learning. ONVU Learning  has become a very powerful tool to enable to achieve this effectively, so much so we have had a 98% satisfaction rate from our teachers who have used the solution, and this has enhanced the learning of our students.  

We have also found ONVU Learning to be incredibly useful within our recruitment processes. Being able to give the applicant the opportunity to view their lesson observation allows us to be able to assess if they are able to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses, which they also found very useful. ONVU Learning  removes the Hawthorn effect from an already high- pressure situation everyone is more natural and that’s a very positive thing.  

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For me ONVU Learning has allowed for better time management and better learning visit capabilities. The camera technology allows me to call up four different lessons year 10 maths for example, and compare how each class is doing (with permissions shared by the teacher of the class). This saves time and means I’m not disrupting lessons, I can then identify (or the teacher can identify) sections of the recording to review together at the end of the day. This is where our internally designed desk pad comes into play. We have time stamped sections which allows teachers to mark the time they felt something went well or when something didn’t seem to work during the class, so they can go straight to that point in the video for reflection once the class is over, rather than having to through an entire 60 minutes worth of footage. This has become an aide memoire which has been positively received by our teachers. The cameras are also very discreet, there is no big whirling camera in the corner of the room, people very quickly start to behave naturally which is a real positive when assessing learning in a classroom.  

We are really excited to be working with ONVU Learning and are already implementing the technology further into our processes from initial teacher training to enhancing and improving the coaching abilities of our mentors. We also plan on using ONVU Learning  to aid the performance of our students, through confidence building exercises and presentation skills development, in the near future. The support we receive from ONVU Learning has been tremendous and our partnership is set to continue as AUEA develops and grows and continues its dedication to getting our students to where they want to go. 

 

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