We are indebted to Sue Redelinghuys, Principal of St Cyprian’s School, Cape Town, and to Murray Thomas, Executive Head of Roedean School (SA), for so generously allowing us to use their magnificent facilities on 26th October and 30th October, respectively.
This year saw record attendance for two key reasons. Engage has been taken by so many more schools this year, and more staff from each school attended wanting to add to their Engage knowledge.
The order of the day
With over 40 attendees at St Cyprian’s and over 50 at Roedean, the days were both excellent and really effective.
We’d asked the Engage System Administrators of each host school to speak on their experience of choosing, implementing and running Engage.
In Cape Town we were addressed by Sarah Mitchell, IT and Innovations Manager, whilst in Johannesburg, we were addressed by Dorian Love, English, Cog Ed & ICT Teacher.
Key Note Speaker
Alistair Dry, executive Headmaster of Bishop Bavin School, Johannesburg, brought the key note address to both user groups. Alistair’s subject was, “Eighteen months later, is Engage all it’s cracked up to be?”
The days’ agenda
The two days were handled along similar lines:
- Delegates were welcomed and greeted with teas and coffees
- A recap was held to cover the last year’s main developments
- The next tranche of Engage developments were given a pre-view
- Case Studies were presented by Sue Mitchell (St Cyprian’s) and Dorian Love (Roedean School, (SA))
- Tea and coffee break
- South African specific developments, including Lurits, SMS, e-commerce payments, Boarding, Engage Forms and Work Process
- Keynote Address, Alistair Dry, Executive Head, Bishop Bavin School, Johannesburg. “Eighteen months later, is Engage all it’s cracked up to be?”
- ‘Engage User Tips’ – Jenny Dry, South African Support Services
After delightful lunches, five Breakaway sessions were held to cover:
- Engage Accounts
- Analytics and Dashboard
- Co-Curricula Activities
May we at this point apologise for those who were expecting recordings of the Breakaway sessions. For ‘technical’ reasons, these failed. In their place, we are preparing webinars on the subjects in question and will circulate the details as soon as they are available.
A common request
A request supported by many attendees was to be able to spend more time just networking. This was noted for future User Groups. Piers hinted at an international Engage Forum to be launched on 2018, but that he wan’t allowed to mention it – yet.
When are the next User Groups?
Current plans are to have the next User Groups in June 2018. Again, one in Cape Town, the other in Johannesburg. Details will be published as soon as we have we them.
A general request was raised by Jenny, asking all schools to ask their Engage users to subscribe to the Newsletters. The reason is simple – to enable school staff to stay informed of key developments within Engage.