Panshanger Primary School
In primary schools across the country, pupils enjoy using the Internet to enrich their learning. There are many on-line resources available to help reinforce curriculum teaching, while at the same time allowing pupils to develop important ICT skills.
The teachers at Panshanger Primary School were looking forward to using the new laptops in class. However, it soon became apparent that the existing wireless network at the school was far too slow and inadequate for all the laptops to be in use at the same time. The network became unreliable and would often crash, wasting valuable teaching time and disrupting lessons.
Many primary schools add to their wireless networks over time, often starting out with a single access point and adding ‘repeaters’ to extend coverage to individual classrooms. This can result in a wireless network that doesn’t perform as intended, leading to the frustrations that the staff and pupils at Panshanger Primary School shared.
“These days children expect everything to be instant. They don’t want to wait while they log in or for Internet pages to load. It got to the stage where teachers were put off using the Internet as a classroom resource and what was the point of owning new laptops if we couldn’t use them properly? ” Mrs. Sarah Holt, deputy head teacher and ICT Co-ordinator.
To solve the problem, Leverstock, Panshanger Primary School’s trusted ICT provider, recommended and installed a new wireless access system, Leverstock carried out a detailed survey of the buildings and listened to staff to understand their needs.
As a result, Leverstock installed four long-range UniFi AP wireless access points, along with a virtual management system so that Leverstock could monitor and support the wireless installation remotely. Leverstock manages the new installation, which means that the school enjoys peace of mind and the advantage of paying for the service through affordable monthly payments, rather than incurring an upfront cost.
Panshanger Primary School now enjoys reliable connection speeds of up to 300Mbps throughout the school, allowing the laptops and other mobile devices to be used more frequently in lessons.
“The connectivity has had a positive impact on the children’s learning. As the network is now more responsive, the teachers are more confident using the ICT resources we have. Internet connectivity is just as important for them as it is for the pupils, as we often use the Internet as a resource tool when planning lessons.”
Schools achieving a good standard and effective use of technology are able to apply for an ICT Mark. Panshanger Primary School was awarded the ICT Mark in 2011 and it is valid for three years.
“Now that we can demonstrate the impact our ICT investment has had, we are more likely to be awarded the ICT Mark again. The accreditation gives us a competitive advantage over other schools without the ICT Mark and helps attract pupils to the school.” Mrs Holt