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Case study : Warwick School.

Inspired Technology

Why Warwick School needs laptops, what research was done and why rockdirect were chosen.
- A conversation with the Head of ICT.

Warwick School believes that, if we are to prepare our pupils adequately for higher education and future employment, we must give them the ability to use ICT appropriately and to take the use of ICT for granted.

This can only be achieved if staff are also in this position. If staff are expected to use ICT as a tool in their teaching then they must not only be familiar with it, they must be confident enough to deal with the unexpected. This level of confidence only comes with practice in using the technology to do real tasks.

It was decided that this level of confidence would best be developed by the use of laptop computers. The free access to ICT that this allows will facilitate four prime areas: administration, assessment, lesson preparation and lesson presentation.

Our approach to curriculum ICT is from two directions: as a specific timetabled subject leading to external
examination and in a cross-curricula fashion. The free access to ICT facilities will facilitate the full integration of ICT into the work schemes of subjects across the board as opposed to an add-on that it can be at

All the big players were approached, including IBM, Dell and Toshiba, and asked to provide a quotation for 80 laptops, based on a standard specification of machine. rockdirect responded very positively from the outset. Their quotation was very competitive. Several companies, including rockdirect, supplied evaluation machines. The rockdirect laptop felt robust and featured a very high quality screen and keyboard, for many users the most important aspects of any laptop. After-sales support was a key area for us and it was clear that rockdirect would provide a high level of support. This included the provision a free machine for use in the event of a problem.

These factors, along with substantiating references, helped us decide to place the order with rockdirect.

What will they be used for and by whom?

At this stage they will be used by teachers only. We are providing all full-time and part-time teachers with a
laptop. For many, personal administration and lesson planning will be the main use, but for some the machines will be used in lessons as part of their teaching aides. The school is developing a computer-based system of pupil monitoring, allowing a more efficient method of setting realistic but challenging targets for our pupils. This includes the recording of all pupils assessments, reports and exam results throughout their time in the school. The laptops should go some way to facilitating this.

What about Pre and after sales support?

From the outset rockdirect have responded very positively. They have listened to our requirements and proposed what we believe is the right solution for us. They have been very helpful in providing evaluation machines and offering valuable advice on wireless networking. The combination of high build quality,
excellent components, the support package offered and financial expediency persuaded us to enter into what we hope will be a fruitful partnership between Warwick School and rockdirect.

How many have we purchased?

103 Sigma Si notebooks.

History of Warwick School

Warwick School is one of the oldest and most established academic institutions in the country, having provided over one thousand years of education to boys of Warwick and its environs.

The school traces its origins to the year 914. The Foundation was strengthened by a charter issued by King Edward the Confessor. In 1545 King Henry VIII increased and re-organised the endowments. The school subsequently moved to the Lord Leycester Hospital in central Warwick and moved again in 1571 to another
site within the boundaries of Warwick. In 1879 it moved to its current position on spacious grounds adjacent to the River Avon and overlooking Warwick Castle.

As a result the School has been able to grow substantially and to use to the full the fifty acre site that lies behind its imposing rococo Tudor-style frontage.

The School welcomes boys from the age of seven to eighteen. The first four years are spent in the Junior School. The School is now a large community with over two hundred boys in the Junior School and over eight hundred in the Senior School. The School is part of the Warwick Schools Foundation, an educational charity which also includes the King's High School for Girls and the Warwick Preparatory School.

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