LEO Academy Trust: The benefits of using now>press>play across a trust

Senior leadership from six schools in the LEO Academy Trust explain why they signed up to now>press>play, the impact it has had, what priorities it helps with, and the benefits of using it trust-wide.

What school/trust priorities has now>press>play helped with?

As a school and as part of the academy trust, we are all constantly striving to improve the quality, diversity and creativity of our whole school curriculum. We aim to provide all our pupils with a wide range of engaging learning opportunities.

The use of now>press>play has provided our pupils with a range of creative and engaging learning opportunities and has been used to transport children back in time or to visit a distant location or deal with difficult feelings.

More recently, we have also started to integrate now>press>play within our core curriculum too by using it to explore more tricky areas within mathematics (for example fractions and decimals) or deepen children’s reading skills through the use of the Reading Comprehension resources provided. It has certainly sparked the children’s interests and engagement across the curriculum.

What is the impact?

The use of now>press>play has made learning more engaging and immersive. It has been a great way to launch new topics within the curriculum. The excitement for now>press>play is huge and children enjoy the sessions. In addition, the sessions are simple and easy to use for teachers to deliver with very little need for planning and preparation. Therefore, the impact is positive for teachers and students.

What is the benefit across the academy trust?

As an academy trust, as we all use the resource, we can share ideas/suggestions that we have found on the resources and share good practice. We are also able to share the resource boxes across the trust so that we can have several classes using it at one time.

–  Julaan Govier, Class Teacher & Catherine Lester, Executive Principal, Cheam Common Junior Academy

Primary school children from Cheam Academy stand in a line while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a read uniform and pink headphones. Some of them are pointing up.
Cheam Academy Trust students lie on wooden benches in a school hall, using Now Press Play. They look shocked and excitable.

‘I liked the Titanic session as it was fun and I enjoyed the acting and drama.'

Year 5 Pupil

'I like now >press>play as it is fun and you learn at the same time. I liked the maths sessions as they helped with my confidence in maths.’

Year 5 Pupil
Cheam Academy Trust students sit on a wooden bench in a school hall, enjoying using Now Press Play.
Cheam Academy Trust students stand in a school hall using Now Press Play. They're wearing pink headphones and exploring the space.

‘My favourite session was the global warming [Climate Change] session as we were able to go outside and imagine from their shoes or point of view and another thing that I like about now>press>play is that you can do it whenever and you can learn and have fun.’

Year 5 Pupil

'I like now>press>play because it is fun and interactive. I like that you can learn and have fun like when we did the maths decimals one with the worksheet, and with the titanic and sometimes that we can go out as well.'

Year 5 Pupil

Why did you decide to use now>press>play?

We decided originally to use now>press>play because we had heard such incredible things from other schools in the academy trust. We had dabbled in the idea of using VR headsets but were looking for a resource that would enhance our curriculum without causing unnecessary stress or work for teachers.

now>press>play offers us an enhancement that allows the children to develop their listening skills and broadens their imagination. The engagement has been huge from our very youngest children all the way up to our very mature Year 6s.

What school/trust priorities has now>press>play helped with?

We are consistently trying to enhance our curriculum so that it is ambitious. The use of now>press>play has opened a whole host of opportunities for our children to visit worlds and times that they would never be able to normally.

We have also tried to incorporate more opportunities to use speaking and listening activities to help support writing. The use of now>press>play has enabled our children to have those experiences of other places to lead into writing without even leaving the classroom. Teachers love the easy set up too.

What is the impact?

Children are engaged in whichever area it has been used for, including History, Geography, Maths, and English — the resource is well planned and links so well to our curriculum topics.

Teachers are actually using the resource! — easy to set up and simple to use. Plus, lots of variety in the sessions available.

What is the benefit across the academy trust?

The fact that many schools in the trust use the resource means that we can share ideas that we have found on the resource. We are also able to share the resource boxes so that we can have more than one class using it at one time.

We would highly recommend now>press>play to anyone looking for a high quality, easy to use resource which enhances any curriculum.

– Michael Raney, Vice Principal & Emma Potter, Vice Principal, Cheam Park Farm Junior Academy

Three Cheam Park Academy students smile while using Now Press Play.

“What did you think of now>press>play Year 6?”
Amazing!”
“I really enjoyed doing that!”
“I felt like I was really there…the questions were fun too!”
“When are we doing it again?”

“I really liked it. It was fun and you learnt something new in a really different way.”

Year 6 Pupil
Cheam Farm students use Now Press Play in their classroom. Some of them are crawling on the floor while learning.
Cheam Farm students stand up in a classroom, using Now Press Play. They're holding worksheets and listening to a Now Press Play experience through pink headphones.

“This was one of the best lessons I’ve ever done”

Year 2 Pupil
Young Cheam Farm students wave at the camera while using Now Press Play in their classroom.
Young Cheam Farm students march along while using Now Press Play in their classroom.

Why did you decide to use now>press>play?

We saw a demonstration of now>press>play at an event and were extremely impressed by its interactive quality.  Also, the activities related very well to our IPC curriculum so we had a lot of interest in it.

What school/trust priorities has now>press>play helped with?

now>press>play has played a key role in supporting our curriculum. The PSHE activities contribute towards our pupil outcome of being active citizens in a global community.

In addition, the activities are thought-provoking and lead to quality discussions that enable children to broaden their outlook, leading to our pupil outcomes of leadership and lifelong learning.

What is the impact?

In particular, the activities bring our curriculum to life and help children visualise and empathise with their learning. For example, children are able to visualise and role-play the discovery of an Egyptian tomb which not only helps them understand it better but supports their writing that is linked to this topic.

– Amy Mann, Vice Principal & Matt Clements, Class Teacher, Cheam Fields Primary Academy

"You can imagine where you are and it describes it in a nice way and you can go on an adventure which is really fun and I learnt a lot."

Year 2 Pupil
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.

“I really enjoyed exploring the rainforest and learning about the benefits of the rainforest. By using now>press>play I felt like I was really there and I wanted to protect it.”

Year 4 Pupil
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students lie in a circle in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Cheam Fields Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.

“I really loved the one on Ancient Egypt because I really felt I was in that time and I was actually doing it.”

Year 4 Pupil

Why did you decide to use now>press>play?

It was recommended by teachers across the LEO Academy Trust as a fantastic resource for engaging pupils and immersing them in another world. It requires little training and technical support to set up and get going which really attracted us to the resource. 

What school/trust priorities has now>press>play helped with?

To deliver an ambitious curriculum that caters to all. At Shawley we want all pupils to thrive. now>press>play meets our school vision by:

  • Togetherness – Pupils working together as a community and engaging in the resource as a team/class
  • Healthy – Happy pupils enjoying the immersive Experience suitable for all abilities
  • Inspiration – Inspiring all pupils to get lost in an amazing opportunity inclusive of all needs

What is the impact?

now>press>play is allowing teachers to recall learning across the curriculum in an interactive and immersive way. Pupils are so excited when they know it is a now>press>play session! It has brought learning and our wider curriculum to life. It also links learning to current events (e.g. anti-bullying week).

What is the benefit across the academy trust?

Shared experiences and recommendations save precious teaching planning time.

– Faye Gibney, Deputy Head & Alison Day, Executive Principal, Shawley Community Primary Academy

A group of Shawley Community Academy students walk as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Shawley Community Academy students sit as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Shawley Community Academy students dance as a group in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Shawley Community Academy students lie down in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Shawley Community Academy students lie down in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.

“The Great Fire of London because it felt so real! I really felt like I was helping to put out the fire on Pudding Lane and rowing a boat on the River Thames. I was so happy when we found the missing cat!”

Year 2 Pupil
A group of Shawley Community Academy students cover their eyes in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.
A group of Shawley Community Academy students dance in a school hall while using Now Press Play. They're wearing a burgundy uniform and pink headphones.

Why did you decide to use now>press>play?

We decided to use now>press>play because of the fantastic virtual Experiences that could be provided to the children and because it could be used inside and outside of the classroom. The ease of using the device also was a huge selling factor!

What is the impact?

It is enhancing our curriculum, it is also engaging some of our reluctant learners in certain subjects, such as writing.

It has a huge variety and links to our curriculum which has meant all of the teachers have used it. Therefore the impact of now>press>play can be seen throughout the school.

What is the benefit across the academy trust?

The interactive nature enhances the curriculum and brings the lessons to life. It can inspire and motivate the children to actively engage in their learning. 

In addition, the fact that it is so quick to set up and use is a huge benefit and because it does not take up too much storage room.

– Rachel Texiera, Vice Principal, Brookfield Primary Academy

“We did the Arctic now>press>play. It was so good because I haven’t been there and I got to understand what it would be like, moving around and the compass points. I love it when my teacher says we can do a now>press>play Experience.”

Year 2 Pupil
A group of Brookfield Academy students use Now Press Play in their classroom. They're wearing a red uniform and pink headphones. Some of them are crouching and some are standing.
Four girls from Brookfield Academy fill out worksheets while using Now Press Play.
A group of Brookfield Academy students crouch on their classroom floor while using Now Press Play.

“The Tower of London was amazing as the jewels got stolen, and guess what, it was the teacher that stole them. It was a reading task, normally I find them really boring, but today’s now>press>play task was awesome and I really enjoyed it.”

Year 6 Pupil
A group of Brookfield Academy students fill out worksheets while using Now Press Play.
A group of Brookfield Academy students fill out worksheets while using Now Press Play.
A group of Brookfield Academy students fill out worksheets while using Now Press Play.

Why did you decide to use now>press>play?

We chose to use now>press>play to support our curriculum. now>press>play improves interaction and helps the children to deepen their understanding of a topic.

What school/trust priorities has now>press>play helped with?

One of our school priorities is to embed an ambitious curriculum for all and this tool allows us to explore topics in an immersive way. This tool can be used by all children.

What is the impact?

During learning walks, we have observed that the level of engagement is high and the children enjoy the activity.

In a recent History review, children remembered more about a significant figure (Neil Armstrong) and children talked extensively about their now>press>play Experience of this.

What is the benefit across the academy trust?

now>press>play is one of the strategies we use to engage the children. It has supported the children’s learning. It brings the topic alive!

– Louise Thorndycraft, Principal, Cheam Commons Infants Academy

Two Cheam Commons Infants students crouch on the floor as they use Now Press Play.
A group of Cheam Commons Infants students stand in a close group as they use Now Press Play together.

“I really enjoyed the Neil Armstrong experience because it was active and we got to move around a lot. I also learnt some new facts about his life.”

Year 2 Pupil
Two Cheam Commons infants students look shocked as they listen to Now Press Play through their pink headphones.
A group of Cheam Commons Infants enjoy using Now Press Play together in a school hall.

"I enjoyed Jack Frost and Jack and the Beanstalk because you can hear stories and help catch bad guys."

Year 1 Pupil

We’re delighted now>press>play is having such an impact across the LEO Academy Trust, if you want to see now>press>play’s impact in your trust or school, just get in touch.