“As we needed a complete refresh of our ICT offering, we looked to our supplier to research all available solutions and financing options for us. Medhurst provided us with the most cost-effective and exciting proposal to deliver what we needed, with proven solutions and local references.” Mark Partridge, Head Teacher, Mudeford Junior School
Ahead of the recent Government announcement on the launch of the new ICT curriculum, Mudeford Junior School, based in Christchurch, Dorset, wanted to ensure that not only was it in a position to deliver on the new curriculum, but also that it could work at the forefront of technological change to maintain the school’s enviable position. The school chose to work with Medhurst based on the company’s vision and specialist education knowledge and experience.
MudefordJuniorSchool’s old ICT system was disparate and unreliable, with wireless down spots and no back up. Additionally, due to the lack of laptops for both staff and pupils, combined with unreliable interactive software, ICT could not be taught efficiently across the curriculum and was limited to timetabled classes in the ICT suite. This was also an issue as pupils had to share the PCs. The school required a complete ICT refurbishment including a managed wireless infrastructure, as well as a suite of specialist hardware and software to provide an interactive visual learning environment.
Mark Partridge explained: “It was important for us to work with one supplier that could provide everything we needed, including a comprehensive replacement of the existing network in the short term, and to be a proactive part of our strategy team, working with us in the long term to ensure we could deliver an ICT curriculum for the future of visual, interactive and fun learning.”
Over the summer of 2011, a new ICT infrastructure was implemented to replace the disparate old network including CAT 5e cabling and nine new wireless access points to ensure full wireless access to the school network across the entire grounds. The 14 old PCs in the computer room were upgraded and redistributed across the school to provide additional ICT break out and work areas, and 34 new HP PCs were installed in replacement. A mobile unit for pupil learning, consisting of 16 laptops, was also deployed and 12 laptops and docking stations were provided for all of the teaching staff.
A multimedia visual learning environment was also installed into the main hall, consisting of a Sanyo XGA Projector and screen 11 active speakers (all housed in a specialist cabinet). Two 42” TV screens completed the audiovisual experience around the school, updating pupils on news and events happening. Medhurst also replaced an expensive Merlin Virtual Learning Environment with a remote desktop server to offer all staff remote access to the school server, enabling them to work remotely and safely access files for lesson plans if necessary.
Each classroom has now got a staff laptop, mounted onto a docking station with links to the Promethean interactive whiteboard and speakers. Mudeford School has also been the first school in the county to install AB Tutor management software onto all of the staff laptops. Using this remote access software, teachers can now control and interact effortlessly with the pupils on an individual, group or full classroom basis. From their laptop, it is possible to lock down all the PCs and share their desktop across the entire group.
“We are delighted with the new ICT infrastructure. The new system is now secure, fast, reliable and with the added bonus that we can work remotely and from home if needed,” said Mr Partridge. “The new education technology installed has made the classroom a visually exciting, dynamic and interactive learning experience for all the pupils.”