Background

With funding from Sunderland City Council to create a new primary school specifically designed to teach special educational needs students, construction started in July 2011 to develop an innovative purpose-built school capable of supporting 65 pupils on part of the former site of Quarry View Primary School.

Situation

North View caters for five to 11 year old children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and provides a caring environment, personalising support and the curricular activity to the needs of the individual child. The school recognised that the reliability of technology is key to the development and support of the students so needed to implement a complete AV and ICT solution to service the entire school including the eight classrooms, main hall, ICT suite, library and specialist technology and social skill areas. North View, therefore, sought an experienced technology partner that could understand the specific brief due to the requirements of the students and successfully develop, design, deliver and install an AV solution to meet the unique vision of the new school.

Solution

North View put the contract out to tender and received quotes from three technology providers – Stone, an IT competitor and a high street retailer. Stone were successful due to their custom built approach, extensive experience in the education sector, specialism in AV and competitive price.

 

Once selected, Stone worked with North View’s ICT technician, Gavin Kershaw to tailor the initial design to ensure that the learning environment would be engaging, interactive and appropriate to a range of students with multiple learning requirements. For the AV solution, 8 Casio projectors and 8 SMART interactive whiteboards were installed into each of the classrooms the ICT suite and this was complimented by 40 StonePCs and 16 Samsung laptops throughout the school, empowering teachers to apply alternative teaching techniques and providing the students with the ultimate interactive learning experience. For example, the teachers are now able to teach all lessons through the projector and whiteboard, incorporating visuals, which allows students to maintain a high level of interest and in turn promotes a higher level of learning. Individual teachers can use programmes such as Education City and Espresso to enhance the teaching experience with ease with such interactive equipment which is time saving for some staff, allowing them time to pursue individual interventions with specific focus on pupil’s academic strengths and areas for development.

 

Teachers can also make use of interactive resources made available through Smarttech/Smart Notebook such as clocks, counters, animations for science or food technology topics and other web-based content.

“Essentially, we were looking for a technology partner that had deep insight into the education environment and could guide us on what was needed not only for today but also for tomorrow, future proofing our investment. Having already used Stone products and being subject to their first rate service, I knew they would be a serious contender,” said Gavin Kershaw, ICT Technician, North View School.

 

“Stone is unique in that it acts like a true consultant, offering the best AV products on the market but also having a manufacturing arm so they could custom build PCs to fit my exact requirements. This was a huge draw. I could also mix and match products to give me the ultimate package.

 

“Stone’s customer care and quality of service has made my job that little bit easier. For example, out of all the suppliers in the construction process, Stone was the only one to come in with no fuss and get the job done. They were able to install all AV equipment in the agreed way in the plans without questions in three days, which is impressive. Also, we’ve been open for a few months now and there have been no issues. However if we did then I know I can speak to my assigned account manager directly and if any problem can’t be fixed remotely then I will have a technician on-site within four hours.

 

“I am really pleased with the installation and the teachers and children are overjoyed with the outcome. Due to the nature of the children, they react better to audio visual aided learning and are engaged for longer so to teach interactively in this way with such advanced state-of-the-art AV kit means progress can only be made.”

“Stone’s customer care and quality of service has made my job that little bit easier. For example, out of all the suppliers in the construction process, Stone was the only one to come in with no fuss and get the job done."

— Gavin Kershaw, ICT Technician