Case study: St Albans School

Using video to engage secondary school pupils and build confidence in science.

A chance encounter at a CPD event put senior science teacher Ben Scott on a path to digital learning. Find out how he’s successfully introduced digital tools into his more traditional science classes, and why he believes this helps his pupils retain more knowledge and grow in confidence.

Meet Dr. Ben Scott, science teacher at St Albans School.

Ben Scott is a science teacher at St Albans School in Hertfordshire, a leading independent school renowned for its heritage and high educational standards. Ben wanted to use more digital and educational technology tools alongside his traditional teaching methods, so in early 2020 he attended a teacher CPD day on ‘Developing Schools’ IT Strategy’. It was during this insightful day that Ben discovered Adobe Spark.

“When I saw Adobe Spark in action, I was blown away by how easy it was. I knew that if I could do it, the students definitely could.”

Dr. Ben Scott, Science Teacher

Exploring the power of video in learning.

Ben says, “I knew there were different technologies out there that I could be using, but like most teachers, there was never enough time to sit down and figure it all out, simply due to the everyday demands of the job. But I wanted to learn more, and when I saw Adobe Spark in action during the CPD day, I was blown away by how easy it was. I knew that if I could do it, the students definitely could.”

Ben could not have predicted that the country would be under lockdown and schools closed just a couple of months later, forcing him to rapidly upskill his IT skills for teaching remotely. Luckily, he had already set his pupils up on Adobe Spark, which they could use on any device they had at home.

Spark video by a student at St Albans School.

Spark video by a student at St Albans School.

The scope and simplicity of using Spark in science.

During the CPD session, Ben had a couple of ideas for how to use Adobe Spark with his pupils to explore different aspects of science. 

He says, “My first idea was for my Year 11 chemistry pupils to create revision videos for their GCSEs. I wanted them to pick a chapter from their textbook and make a video summarising it, and then share it so everyone had a revision video for each chapter. I thought it would be a great way to not only make revision more fun, but also to help my pupils remember what they’d learnt.” 

“Even though it was both my pupils’ and my first time using it, they created some amazing videos and I was really pleased. At that point, I knew I’d be using Spark video in my lessons more often. When these pupils came back for the autumn term, one thing they really retained from last year were the Spark videos they made.”

“My pupils have really surprised me with the quality of their work, their confidence in presenting, and in the creativity and digital understanding that shone through in their videos.”

Dr. Ben Scott, Science Teacher

Boosting future skills.

Ben goes on to say, “Something that stuck with me from the CPD day was learning that kids love YouTube, and with Spark they’re basically making a YouTube video. It’s simple, easy, and I can say now that they really do love it. During lockdown, the topic for my Year 8 pupils was genetic diseases. There’s so much information and scope for this topic that I thought it would be great for each pupil to create an informative video on a different disease. They were fantastic, and as I watched them, I realised that video works particularly well because it also boosts their presentation skills, and I could see even the quietest kids becoming more confident in speaking.”

“The students were better at presenting on video than they were in front of a class. Some of them really surprised me with what they came out with, as well as with the quality of their work. I didn’t expect such confidence in presenting, or in the creativity and digital understanding that shone through in their videos.”

And it’s not just future skills that are boosted by using Spark. Ben says, “The real underlying focus behind this task was to re-enforce the scientific terminology we had been covering in class to real world examples, which was definitely achieved.”

“Adobe Spark boosts pupils’ presentation skills, and I could see even the quietest students becoming more confident in speaking.”

Dr. Ben Scott, Science Teacher

Ben’s tips for science teachers bringing video into their lessons.

Ben has introduced Spark to his fellow science teachers, who have also used it in their classes - but this time, the teachers didn’t have any experience of using Spark themselves, and simply passed on Ben’s worksheets and instructions to their pupils. 

Ben says, “They still got great videos and posters back from their students. The students just figured it out for themselves. To me, that just shows the power of Spark, it’s clearly that easy, and very effective.”

“One piece of advice I’d give to teachers is that it’s important to create a framework for your pupils to work in when they’re creating their videos. Getting them to gather the information they need before making a start on the video, for example, ensures their time is focused on the subject matter and not lost in the video presentation.”

What’s next?

Ben is using Adobe Spark across his classes, and one of the big projects he wants to work on this year is creating the revision videos with his Year 11s. He says, “I’m always looking for an opportunity to use it now. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I know my pupils do, too.”

See how the apps are supporting pupils.

Adobe Spark


Try for free

Adobe Spark is a free educational tool for making presentations, graphics, posters, videos, web pages and more.

Check out these other inspiring stories…

Adobe Spark is making content-heavy subjects more digestible.

Teachers at Langley Park Girls’ School have realised their multi-sensory approach for teaching history is helping pupils to remember more.

An ancient language gets a modern twist.

How making Adobe Spark available in Welsh brought students closer to their culture while learning new digital skills. 

Putting pictures into words.

How pupils at United Learning are expanding their vocabulary and retaining newly learned words through visualisation. 

Creative Cloud Education pricing for schools.

Adobe Spark is available FREE for Schools.
Creative Cloud is available as a Named User Licence or a Classroom Licence.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark for your school or MAT

Spark is, and always will be, free for schools to use – making it easier than ever to boost creativity in the classroom.

Free for schools

Regularly valued at £101.15 /year incl. VAT

Creative Cloud

Named User Licence - One School

Get the complete set of Creative Cloud apps and services for individual students, faculty and/or staff. Licences are accessible at school or home, because creativity can happen anywhere.

300 unit minimum purchase
Plans start at:

£4.21/license/year

Excl. VAT

or call 0800 3892 041

Creative Cloud

Named User Licence - District or MAT

Get the complete set of Creative Cloud apps and services that can be deployed across any school within the trust or district. Distribute licences to any school within the organisation.

2,500 unit minimum purchase
Plans start at:

£4.21/license/year

Excl. VAT

or call 0800 3892 041

Creative Cloud

Classroom Licence

Complete set of Creative Cloud desktop applications. Perfect for computer labs, shared device licences are available for each computer, rather than each user, with rights to install on one computer per licence. 

25 seat minimum purchase
Plans start at:

£21.12/license/year

Excl. VAT

or call 0800 3892 041