St. Anne's Catholic Primary School, Ormskirk
Supporting teaching and learning by improving connectivity and installing CTOUCH interactive boards
The Solution deployed?
We initially implemented a new network and infrastructure, with updated servers, MDM security and a new cloud backup solution.
We built in a plan to refresh all the interactive boards with new CTOUCH boards and created a brand new ICT suite using Lenovo laptops and a staff laptop replacement programme. To ensure staff and students could get to their work any time, anywhere we also deployed Microsoft Office 365.
Following our initial upgrade plan, we also support the evolution of St. Anne's ongoing IT Strategy.
Increase in Interactive
of Classroom Time
Gained per Month
Faster Login Speeds
for Students & Staff
About St. Anne's
St. Anne’s is a Catholic Primary School supporting around 400 boys and girls aged 4-11. The voluntary aided school serves the parishes of St. Anne’s Ormskirk and St. Mary’s Aughton, in the North West of England.
St. Anne’s aim is to provide the best possible education and support for all the students in their care. They focus on the school being a family, operating as a part of and trying to bring closer together what they call the "essential triangle" of home, school and parish. They believe these three areas working together will provide the best outcomes for their pupils.
Years Working Together
Customer Satisfaction Score
for Our Project Work
Prior to engaging Virtue Technologies for support, the IT at St. Anne’s was in a complete mess. The team at the school felt they had lost their way and had no strategy to work towards. In order to address the situation, they brought in an accredited National Leaders of Education (NLEs) Executive Head Teacher. Prior to this appointment, the school had no head in place. The first thing new leader, Philip Bates, did was to advise an overhaul of their IT. The current set up wasn’t fit for purpose and was having a detrimental effect on teaching and learning.
St. Anne’s approached a company to create an IT survey so they could understand the scope of their technology problems, prior to engaging with a supplier and partner.
Their existing survey highlighted issues with their cabling, their infrastructure was disjointed and not working, they had an ageing server and their wireless wasn’t working. This had led to slow login times, poor internet connections and a complete loss of confidence in IT from the teaching and admin staff. On top of this, they were not operating a backup system, so the potential for data loss was extremely high.
Virtue provided the expertise, experience and buying power
to maximise budgets and achieve effective IT solutions.
Because it was over-complicated or just didn't work, IT had become a barrier to learning. With slow login times, intermittent wireless and often a failure to connect to internet, the staff were tackling multiple problems at the same time, compounding the issues and resulting in staff spending time when they should be helping students, fixing technology. The school’s old interactive boards were an example of this, often they didn't work, and the time taken to re-calibrate, reset and try to get them to work regularly resulted in lost teaching time.
The School Business Manager, Helen Oates, was concerned that the IT improvements required would be so costly, they’d be well beyond the school’s allocated budget, potentially making plans for an overhaul unachievable.
Working with Virtue’s to find a solution
After perusing the existing survey, the school had done, we advised St. Anne’s to undergo 2-year project to overhaul and implement effective IT systems. This would enable them to budget effectively and provide time to systematically update ageing kit and embed the technology properly, enabling the IT team and teachers to utilise the new technology in ways that could enhance classroom learning and engagement.
We translated the Leadership Team’s objectives into technical solutions,
creating projects to systematic deployment them
We suggested that we overhaul St. Anne’s IT from the ground up, obviously starting with the infrastructure, from the cabling and switching to new servers.
Once the network had been rebuilt, the speeds were astronomically faster, and we could then begin adding their end-user devices to it. We started with reconfigured all St. Anne’s existing iPads, we connected them to a central MDM solution so they were more secure, easier to manage and monitor in terms of safeguarding.
With regards to their old and failing interactive boards, we designed a phased approach to replace every one of them with a CTOUCH over the project’s 2-year time period. Because CTOUCH boards come with software designed for education as well as a 7-year warranty, they were the most cost-effective solution for St. Anne’s to adopt.
Implementing best-practice equipment to enable improved delivery of the teaching curriculum
Then to add to the school’s long-term IT plan, we added a layer of business continuity, by delivering Office 365 to St. Anne’s and implementing a cloud backup of their servers. By deploying Office 365, we were able to give the team at St. Anne’s ability to work anytime from anywhere. This means the staff are now able to lesson plan wherever they’re most comfortable, they can collaborate with ease, even if they’re not in the same room and all their data is stored in one central place, the Cloud, so they don’t even need to worry if they have to move classrooms unexpectedly.
To ensure that students had access to devices, we also delivered a new ICT suite with Lenovo laptops to St. Anne’s Catholic Primary. This is used for lessons and has helped improve the students’ IT literacy, which is an important way of future-proofing their skills.
The final part of our technology improvement plan at St. Anne’s was to provide a staff laptop replacement programme to ensure that the teachers’ devices weren’t a hindrance or barrier to their time in the classroom. We also suggested that we support St. Anne’s with a managed service and ongoing support to ensure their IT is well maintained and never deteriorates to the level where they’d require an entire refresh all at once again.
- Fit-for-purpose IT
- An IT Strategy Designed & Implemented
- Faster user access
- New, affordable IT kit
- Less Teaching Time Wasted on IT
- Easy to Maintain IT Implemented
- In Budget IT Infrastructure Built & Deployed
“Virtue provided an extensive overview of the IT improvements that were needed and made the purchasing flexible for us in order to maximise our budget. We’ve ended up with IT that’s easy to maintain and was built and deployed in budget. To be honest, it’s so much more than we expected” shared St. Anne’s School Business Manager Helen Oates
The infrastructure and new, affordable kit we provided enabled St. Anne’s to waste less teaching time on IT. By providing them with more reliable devices, we gave users faster access to the internet and their data, especially when working in conjunction with the new cabling and servers we implemented.
The fact that the CTOUCH interactive screens work when teachers and pupils enter the classroom, first time, every time meant that their confidence in the new IT grew very quickly. This helped the Head Teacher Philip prove that the new IT deployed didn’t need daily troubleshooting in order for teachers to be able to use it.
The solution we developed and deployed at St. Anne’s was in entirely within budget, with no hidden costs or fees. After speaking with the Philip as a new Executive Head Teacher and Helen as the lead Finance person, we designed and implemented an IT strategy that was fit-for-purpose and reinvigorated the school’s passion for technology.
School Business Manager Helen concludes“Working with Virtue has transformed our relationship with IT. St. Anne’s now uses technology to enhance teaching, rather than it being a barrier to learning.”