The project at Westfield School will be implemented by IT specialists Technology Services Group (TSG) and will modernise the school’s IT infrastructure as well as introduce the latest educational upgrades.
Westfield Independent Day School for Girls in Gosforth is investing £200,000 in its IT systems over the next three years, giving staff and students much greater learning and teaching flexibility.
Graeme Wilson, assistant head at the Gosforth school said: “Our existing system needed updating to bring the on-site site infrastructure and networking fully up to speed. Now we’re able to provide the latest technologies that will enhance the learning experience and allow students and staff to collaborate so much easier.”
The first phase of the project includes the renewal of 130 laptops and PCs and will also bring new servers out of an external data centre back on to the school’s premises.
Mr Wilson continued: “We use up a lot of data storage, especially at exam time with large graphics and videos in our students’ art coursework. It doesn’t take long for the virtual storage to get used up and the systems to slow down.
“This led to staff transferring work via memory sticks which meant that lots of files were duplicated over a number of devices. This was neither resourceful or efficient.”
TSG will implement a hybrid solution of cloud and on-site services to Westfield School.
Paul Burns, national technical director at TSG explained the solution they’ve delivered to Westfield School: “Having conducted our ‘Cloud Readiness Assessment’ it was clear a hybrid solution was best. Full cloud adoption can benefit operations with multiple buildings across multiple sites, but given that all the staff and pupils work from the one building this wasn’t necessary.”
TSG has put a fully resilient, on-premise server solution in place to manage all the school’s larger files whilst introducing Microsoft Office 365 to take care of the day to day work. The latest suite of products offered by Microsoft Office 365 will reduce the workload for teachers and improve efficiencies when delivering lessons and for the students submitting coursework.
Paul Burns continued: “Office 365 gives the staff and pupils at Westfield School access to many of the tools that businesses use on a daily basis such as Exchange Online for their email, or OneDrive for document sharing. There’s OneNote as well which has a specifically designed educational add-on allowing for lesson planning and set up. OneDrive also allows for the senior students taking their exams to securely manage their coursework from anywhere, at any time.”
TSG has also facilitated a trip to Microsoft’s main offices in London for students from Westfield in the new year. They’ll receive a tour of operations and will also get extra lessons on using Office 365 for educational purposes.
“By taking the staff and students to Microsoft they will be able to learn first-hand about the powerful educational applications that have been developed and just how they will make their daily lives so much easier in school,” explained Paul Burns.