Maybe we can help with blended learning?

Blended Learning

“Maybe we can help with blended learning?” is not a great blog title. Not like, “The Ultimate Guide to Blended Learning”. That is a great blog title. The problem is there is much confusion about blended learning as schools return following the lockdown. No one is feeling ultimate. Please take a few minutes to read about what we do at Freeperiod. We may be able to help your organise your blended learning.

Freeperiod is a room booking system used by schools around the UK and Middle East to share rooms and resources. We started out sharing rooms then realised we could put any name to a timetable. So now schools share rooms, laptop trolleys, iPads, swimming pools, gyms, minibuses and much more.

School Timetable

So why do schools need a room booking system when they already have timetabling software? Two reasons; timtable systems like Capita SIMS do not support the booking of free spaces. Secondly, the explosion of IT exacerbated the first reason. Schools can’t afford to have computers in every classroom. Teachers need access to other rooms and resources to deliver the curriculum.

Important information is gathered in Freeperiod when a teacher books a room or resource. Freeperiod records the date, time, teacher, subject and yeargroup for each booking. The “Additional Info” field below is a custom field schools use to collect any other data which they see as important.

Room Booking

An important developement in Freeperiod was the ability to attach multiple resources to a specific period. One of our schools needed a system where they could book random numbers of desks and chairs in their school library. It wasn’t enough to just book the library. Staff can now book quantities of desks and chairs in the library until they are all used up.


Reporting is another important feature of Freeperiod. Without reporting you have anecdotal views on the availability and usage of your resources. “I can’t deliver the curriculum as the IT rooms are always busy”. This may or may not be true. Reports will give you the answer.

Timetable Report

Freeperiod is already solving the problem of sharing rooms and resources for many schools. If you have identified a blended learning problem we can help with please get in touch. We hope you manage to work through the next six months with as little stress as possible. The Covid-19 lockdown has given parents a renewed appreciated for educationalists. Thank you for all that you do.

Why we don’t integrate with Capita SIMS

A few people have called me and asked if our Freeperiod room booking system integrates with Capita SIMS.

Freeperiod schools using SIMS export their timetables from SIMS to a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year and then email us the spreadsheet. We then import the timetables into Freeperiod within one working day. It will be another year before we hear from the school again. The whole process is quick and easy.

So no, we don’t fully integrate with SIMS but then again we don’t need to. We have avoided this integration to keep Freeperiod simple and cost effective. It’s worked for our first million bookings and I’m confident it will work for our next million.