How RM Books is turning
learning upside down at the
Shireland Collegiate Academy
Following a ground-breaking pilot using RM Books to deliver flipped learning, sharply focused interventions, independent learning at 16+ and support for students in the transition process, 220 Shireland students were asked what they thought about RM Books:
95% of students said that RM Books was a useful learning tool.
81% of students read more often and for longer with RM Books.
100% of the teachers who used RM Books said it had improved their lessons.
Shireland Collegiate Academy part 1, case study video
Students can access curriculum titles online or offline, at school, at home, from anywhere, at anytime. RM Books can be viewed through apps for iOS and Android devices or downloaded to your PC or laptop. To ensure maximum device compatibility we also provide a web-based reader to work through any internet browser. Students can quickly download a single title, or their entire booklist, for instant access. Ebooks can also be added to the online library enabling students to check out titles as they would with a physical book.
I feel really proud because it feels like I've moved up on my grades and it was all to do with RM Books
Shireland Collegiate Academy has been rated Outstanding since 2007 and is described by Ofsted as 'an exceptional academy'. Praised for its ability to precisely tailor learning to its students' exact needs, the Academy has been using RM Books to deliver targeted interventions for specific cohorts and to support its Literacy for Life theme-based curriculum in Year 7. Keen to understand exactly how this inspiring school has been using RM Books, we were privileged to spend a day talking to students and staff about how they are using RM Books and its impact on teaching and learning.
"RM Books has given us a completely different way of using the resources that we put into our subject areas," says Executive Principal, Sir Mark Grundy. "This ﬂexibility means we are using resources far more effectively than we've ever done before. It has given us the ability to deploy resources for interventions, for ﬂipped learning, for transition and for really individualising some of the attention and support we wanted to provide."
In order to teach reading skills effectively you need a broad range of books and that's what RM Books has brought us
Teachers using RM Books at Shireland have seen significant changes in their students' attitudes to reading. Mo Yafai is a Year 7 teacher delivering Literacy for Life, a theme-based curriculum with literacy at its heart that encourages child-led learning. His students read every day and the breadth and depth of content available on RM Books means students can pick what they want to read from a variety of
books or be assigned specific content to read at school or at home. "In order to teach reading skills effectively you need a broad range of books and that's what RM Books has brought to us. The students do their reading wherever and whenever they like, then bring that into the classroom and swap information - so effectively you're halving the teaching time. I've noticed that reading is becoming a shared activity, a community activity rather than something you just do by yourself."
We've been using RM Books with students who need additional support with their literacy and they absolutely love it
One of Shireland's sharply-focused interventions being supported by RM Books is a Literacy Boost for Year 7 students, delivered by the Learning Support team. Students are assigned a chapter to read, about which they create a presentation or drama piece to share with the whole class. Learning Support team member, Deanne Howe, explains why RM Books appeals to reluctant readers, "We've been using RM Books with students who need additional support with their literacy. They read on the iPads and they absolutely love it. Because it's through a device, for the boys it's a bit more 'cool' and they find it more engaging. When you get a book, you see how thick it is - that's one of
the first things young boys look at. On a device, they don't know, so they just go through and before they know it, they've read the whole thing!"
I've seen a big change in the students' behaviour when they are using RM Books on their iPad. They are much more motivated, much more interested in their topic
In the sixth form, RM Books is proving its value as a tool to encourage independent learning. Science teacher Gulfam Shahzad has been using RM Books as a mechanism for flipped learning, "The majority of students prefer having to research things for themselves rather than having someone standing there telling them about it. It's changing the way we approach teaching," he said. General Studies teacher Daniel Hanbury agrees, "RM Books provides each student with a way of independent learning, which is very beneficial for the individual and for whole class learning. I've seen a big change in the students' behaviour
when they are using RM Books on their iPad. They are much more motivated, much more interested in their topic."
You're only limited by your imagination in terms of what you can do with RM Books
So far so positive for RM Books at Shireland, but, never ones to rest on their laurels, the school has big plans for the future. To enhance existing support for the transition of students joining the school, Family Challenge Packs are being sent out with reading tasks to complete before they start at Shireland, enabled through RM Books' short term rentals. Also, a family literacy group is being set up, focused on teaching SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) using RM Books to deliver a suite of learning resources to students and their families.
The driving force behind Shireland's successful implementation of RM Books is Kirsty Tonks, Director of E-Learning, "If I'm honest, what's really driven this is the students. They were asking why they couldn't have an electronic copy of their textbooks. They've said that finally the Academy has caught up with them in terms of accessing things through electronic means! I think you're only limited by your imagination in terms of what you can do with RM Books and teachers are very creative and resourceful individuals so it will be interesting to see what we come up with next!"