Mellor Primary School
Mellor Primary School, in Stockport, Cheshire, has been a centre for educational excellence since its foundation in 1881 and has served the Stockport community well over the decades. This standard was reflected by the School's October 2008 inspection by Ofted, who graded the School “Outstanding”.
One reason for the school’s continued success over the years has been its willingness to take on new technologies and adapt them to best serve the classroom. This was recently demonstrated by its purchase of two cutting-edge PolyVision eno interactive whiteboards, supplied by Anders + Kern (A+K) UK Ltd and installed by Saville Audio Visual.
We recently spoke to Gemma Hulme, Deputy Head of Mellor Primary School, about their experiences with eno.
Is this your first experience using interactive whiteboards?
No - we’d been using another brand of interactive whiteboard for over five years. It sufficed in the beginning, but once we switched over to eno we were much more satisfied with its capabilities.
What factors went into your decision to switch to PolyVision?
I was mostly happy with what we had, but one thing that frustrated me about the previous whiteboard’s set-up was its inability to incorporate the use of normal dry-wipe pen, meaning I needed to make space for two whiteboards in my classroom, which cut down on the wall space I had available for other visual teaching aids.
What were your first impressions of eno?
I was instantly taken with it, because it’s more than just an interactive board. It does everything any interactive board would do… and lots more.
eno allows you to use a normal dry-wipe pen, which is perfect for quick annotations, notes or just those times when you want to use a regular dry-wipe board. This means everything we need is incorporated in one board...there’s no need for separate boards anymore; there’s less clutter and much less distraction when teaching.
Have any of the whiteboard’s features surprised you?
The board is magnetic! To be honest, when I saw that at first I thought “So what?” As it’s turned out, though, I use this function a lot in quite a few ways – from marking a spot on the board, such as on a map, to being able to hold up work to display to others.
Another thing is that the board is totally wireless. That’s fantastic. It makes the whole area look tidier and really cuts down on the risk of me or my students tripping on cords.
Any problems with using the eno whiteboard?
Because I had become accustomed to doing my lessons with specific software, I was concerned about having to switch programs. But because eno has open architecture and works with any program, I was able to make an easy transition.
How are the students finding the eno board?
The board’s stylus has a nice feel to it and writes well, so the children find it easy to use. When you want children to be interacting with the board, you can sometimes waste a lot of time passing pens from one person to the other. eno allows you to have more than one pen paired to it, and more pens to go around means less waiting time and more learning time!
What would you say was the chief benefit of an interactive whiteboard over a plain and simple, non-electronic whiteboard?
eno tools make annotation possible in all documents. These can be saved or printed quickly, which is great when work has been done collaboratively and needs to be printed as evidence, or for when children are going to continue working later in the day or in future lessons. eno makes it easy to incorporate material from lots of different sources into a lesson - for example, websites - and to have it available instantly.
Any final thoughts?
I would recommend eno without reservation to anyone. Its flexibility to be used with a range of programmes plus its ability to be used as a standard dry-wipe board make it an ideal choice for us. When funds allow, we’ll eventually replace all our existing boards with eno interactive whiteboards.