Guillemont Junior School
Nicola Dobby | ICT Coordinator
The first two things you notice at Guillemont Junior School in Cove,
Hampshire, are that the kids are not only able to express their
individuality by wearing their own choice of clothes, they’re also
expressing themselves on the 32 rockdirect Pegasus CTS notebooks
that are the talk of the playground.
rockdirect’s Andrew Houghton has worked with the ICT team at
Guillemont from the start. “While setting up we were in contact a lot”,
says the team’s Roger Blackburn, “which made it so much easier. We
dealt with Andrew direct, not a different person every time”.
Following a day of internal staff training conducted by Roger, all
subjects on the curriculum are being structured around using the
machines and teachers are finding that pre-booking of the two Bretford
trolleys – each holding 16 charging notebooks and wireless access
point – is vital.
The wireless access point means that setting up and ending classes is
a painless process – “there’s no wires to trip up on”, chipped in one
eager young surfer, intently scrolling down a page of search engine
results – and the children are given the task of managing this to
encourage responsibility for this new technology. Guillemont-approved
websites give the children the chance to navigate the Internet to help
with learning, for example the BBC’s education site.
Guillemont’s management of technology has won the school a coveted
Naacemark, which recognises a school’s success in developing and
implementing a strategic approach to ICT for teaching and learning. A
target ratio of 7:1 pupils to machines is a requirement of the Naacemark
which Guillemont has surpassed, currently operating at 5:1. The two
portable classrooms offer a 1:1 option which is a huge advantage. A
recent mathematics class used spreadsheet, graphics, wordprocessing
and publishing packages to produce a fantastic booklet that
was also uploaded to each child’s homefile area on the server,
protected by a login facility.
The notebooks get heavy usage, five days a week. Nicola Dobby, ICT
Coordinator, says “We’ve got 7 hour batteries. We’ve had the
notebooks on and being used all day yet they only start to flag right at
the end of the day; that said, they charge really fast anyway. Plus, the
battery is the perfect size for the younger children to hold onto when
they’re moving the notebooks about!”.
So what does the future hold for pioneering Guillemont’s staff and
students? A third trolley is on the way and Head Teacher Barbara Cook
is keen to maximise the use of the investment – “the kids respect our
notebooks so we’re thinking of making them available at lunchtime for
personal use and additional learning time”. One child views it slightly
more simply, “they’re much better than writing”, before eagerly
returning to the online job at hand!