“Medhurst was different from other ICT suppliers. They took the time to look at our individual needs and existing infrastructure, and proposed a bespoke solution tailored to our needs and to make the best of existing resources and our available budget.”
Rachel Peel, head of ICT at Hook-with-Warsash.
Hook-with-Warsash Church of England (Controlled) Academy is dedicated to maintaining the highest possible standards not only in education, but also helping to develop self-confidence and self-esteem to help its pupils prepare for now and the future. The school needed to upgrade its ICT infrastructure to provide a more familiar desktop and software environment for the children and to merge the school’s separate administration and curriculum networks to improve file access and sharing amongst its 420 pupils and 40 members of staff. The school chose to work with education ICT specialist Medhurst based on its education knowledge and experience, and recommendations from local Hampshire schools.
Hook-with-Warsash was running an old Winsuite application across its PCs that was difficult to navigate and made file access and sharing slow and cumbersome. The school wanted to use its ICT resources to enhance the curriculum, provide an interactive environment for the children with full wireless capabilities across the school grounds and to improve efficiency for the school’s back office functions. Also, with the approaching retirement of its ICT technician, the school had to decide on the best option to look after its ICT resources in the future.
Over the summer of 2012, Medhurst upgraded the memory in 55 PCs ready for Windows 7 and Office 10 and installed new 18.5” monitors in the children’s ICT suite. One network was set up to host both the back office and curriculum systems with security policies set up for each user and a new file structure designed to offer ease of access and use. A Hewlett Packard wireless solution now provides full wireless access across the school grounds via nine new wireless access points. Three mobile units, each containing 16 laptops, were also installed together with docking stations for teacher’s use in each of the classrooms.
To deliver a more visual learning environment for the children, Medhurst installed AB Tutor software in the ICT suite to enable teachers to manage all the PCs remotely from one laptop and demonstrate and share work easily as a group. A 42” TV screen in the reception updates visitors to the school on the latest news and events.
The wireless environment has freed up the ICT suite and meant that staff can now work anywhere in the school and use ICT in a much more flexible way to support the curriculum. All the children are now working in a creative environment that is familiar and using the same software applications that they have at home. Medhurst took over the management support of the network on the retirement of the ICT technician and works daily with the school to maintain the systems.
Rachel Peel explains,
“The Medhurst team was very helpful from the start. They made working with them so easy. Not only do they understand the role of ICT in education but the team could advise us on the latest technology to help us define our future IT strategy. ICT is constantly changing and we need to be able to offer our children the most interesting and exciting way to learn. The new network is very fast, reliable and offers instant access for the children. We can now take a laptop anywhere in the building and be up and running within minutes.”