Case Study 6th July 2023

Bryanston School

At a glance

”There’s so much enthusiasm from the team at BridgeU about helping us to integrate the platform. They’re invested in our success, for all the right reasons.”

Ian McClary, Head of Sixth Form, Bryanston

BridgeU and Bryanston

Bryanston School has just under 700 pupils, who have a choice of studying for A-Levels or the IB Diploma when they reach Sixth Form. Ian McClary, Head of Sixth Form, inherited an inhouse database for university admissions when he took up his post seven years ago.

“It was the brainchild of a very clever colleague, which then became more and more complicated and unwieldy. When he left, it was impossible to administrate, so we needed something in its place.”

“BridgeU makes an emotional and stressful process easier. It was our first port of call”

Ian McClary, Head of Sixth Form

In 2016, Bryanston turned to BridgeU to provide a platform for university and careers guidance.

Crucially, students and staff could access BridgeU from wherever they had an internet connection, and not just on school grounds, a source of much prior frustration. What’s more, “it had to be easy to navigate,” McClary says, “and make what is a quite emotional and stressful process easier. BridgeU was our first port of call.”

Starting to use BridgeU

“There were a number of things we really liked from the start,” says McClary. “BridgeU is clearly designed, by people who knew what our pupils would be used to using, and how they would be used to using it.” Bryanston has seen that students find BridgeU very intuitive: “they require very little training.” McClary’s colleague trialled the platform on his son before rolling it out to the Sixth Form, who reported back that the students would have “no problem” with BridgeU, a prophecy that proved true. “It’s just really easy for them to use.”

Staff have also got used to the platform very quickly. “My colleagues have responded really positively to the training provided by BridgeU,” says McClary. “The chat facility is really great, because I can always point students and colleagues towards it, and they come back and say ‘that was sorted really quickly’.”

A simplified process

BridgeU has provided Bryanston with greater flexibility in how students are organised by staff – helpful when managing hundreds of pupils, studying different curricula, subjects, and applying to multiple destinations.

The reference writing tool on BridgeU, which enables staff to coordinate, write, and track reference letters for students, has improved Bryanston’s university application process.

In addition, “there are far fewer drafts of statements all over the place,” says McClary, “because we can say to the kids ‘Put it on BridgeU and we’ll look at it there.’ Staff don’t get frustrated about which draft they’re working on.” With the reference writing tool, teachers can access summarised information on a student’s academic and personal history, and collaborate with other teachers to compile detailed, personalised letters.

“The support from BridgeU is absolutely brilliant – they get back to you so quickly, even when it’s something tiny”

Ian McClary

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