In this podcast episode, we spoke with Martin Edworthy, eLearning Coordinator at Sacred Heart Catholic High School about how they moved from their school’s Microsoft 365 tenant to a centralised tenancy for their trust (The Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust).
“Working between two tenancies was becoming unnecessarily complex as our members of staff needed multiple logins to access the resources they need,” Martin tells us.
“We made the decision to move to the central trust tenancy to make life easier in the long run. As the trust grows, new members of staff will be able to join and instantly have access to resources with a minimum amount of effort.”
The challenges of migrating from one tenancy to another.
Sacred Heart was already using SharePoint and Teams for teaching and learning; storing learning resources in SharePoint and setting work and assignments in Teams.
“We had gradually moved departmental resources from our network drives into SharePoint. And during lockdown, there was a massive uptake in Teams as teachers used it to deliver live lessons and teach their classes,” he explains.
“So, when it came to migrating everything across to the trust tenancy, it required a bit of thinking to make sure everything was moved across seamlessly and permissions and access was set up correctly.”
As our Operations Manager Darren Hemming explains, SharePoint permissions can quickly get messy if it’s done on an individual basis:
“We recommend using groups instead (that’s security groups, not distribution lists). For example, ‘All staff’, ‘All students’, ‘Senior Leadership’. This makes it a lot easier to manage permissions and access to files,” Darren describes.
“The shift in how permissions are managed took time to get our heads around, but we are seeing the benefits of this now. One example where having groups is useful is if a new teacher joins a department and needs to change something on a site, we can just drop them into an appropriate group,” Martin acknowledges.
Teaching and learning with Microsoft 365.
Equally, Martin is impressed with how easy it is for teachers to be able to find and share resources now they’re all centralised in SharePoint:
“One thing that’s caught my eye is the ability to attach resources to assignments without having to look for files in different drives,” Martin enthuses.
“It makes it easier for both teachers and students to have all the resources in the same pool, rather than spread across different storage areas.”
This centralised approach to resources has also given students the opportunity to take control of their own learning.
“We’re moving in the direction of embedding learning journeys for students so they know exactly where they are in their learning. This is to help tackle lost learning due to Covid-19,” Martin continues.
“If they need to have time off due to illness or isolation, they can easily go into SharePoint and for example go to ‘Maths, topic 3, lesson 5’ and catch up with any learning they’ve missed.”
This has also led to keen students looking ahead at what they need to read up on and completing work before it’s even been set in the classroom:
“One or two students have seen something before the lesson and done the work off their own backs – it’s great to see that when it happens.”
Not only does this help students develop independence, but also instils important skills for the future – whether that’s in further education or a job.
If you would like to find out more about our Cloud Box platform and how we can help your school or MAT achieve more with Microsoft 365, book a free demo today.