Ridgeway High School in Wirral have strived to deliver inspirational learning that enriches, engages and promotes excellence since their opening in 1974. This is something that remains as true today as it did back then, with the school carrying over these values to their brand-new buildings.
Just like their ambition to deliver inspirational learning, Ridgeway understand that their technological capabilities need to be equally as up to the task when providing students with the best tools possible for them to achieve their true potential.
Having recently moved to a new school building, Ridgeway High School were considering the current technology they had in place and if it would be in fitting with their new school environment. Having examined the current situation, it soon became evident that several aspects of their technology offering were no longer up to the task and seriously falling behind the curve. Dave Barney, Network Manager at Ridgeway High School explains: “When reviewing the tech we had in place, we found that it was becoming somewhat outdated and not in keeping with our goal of providing inspirational learning.
“One of the biggest problem areas was our AV capabilities. As we only had old style projectors and bulky boards in place, the tech wasn’t matching up to the schools or student’s expectations, and this was something we knew needed to change.
“A lot of our teachers rely on these boards for their lessons and delivering content, so it was vital that these outdated solutions weren’t going to negatively impact on their teaching ability or student participation in class.”
The school knew something needed to be done about this sooner rather than later and, as they had just moved over to their new school building, decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for a fresh start in regard to their technology provision.
The first obstacle the school had to overcome was who would be able to provide them with the quality solution they were looking for. Dave knew that fresh screens and signage around the school would really enhance the learning experience for the whole school, so this was a huge priority. Equally as importantly, how much it was going to cost the school was a focus point. Speaking about Ridgeway’s decision-making process, Dave comments, “When we out to tender we knew that we were looking for a quality solution, but we were also very conscious that a project of this scale could easily become quite pricey so that was another huge factor for us.
“We had several suppliers get in touch showing interest in working with us and there were some very impressive solutions coming through, but the common theme we noticed was how expensive they all were.
“There was one other supplier though who we spoke to in the process, and that was Stone. Following a thorough evaluation, it became clear that they may just be able to help us out with a solution that would not only fit our requirements but also keep in nicely with our budget too.”
As Dave had worked with Stone in the past, he knew that they could offer an effective and personalised solution – tailored to their exact needs. Having discovered they could also help him with the school’s AV refresh, Dave was keen to move the project along and opted to bring Stone on board as his partner of choice.
Talking about his experiences with Stone, Dave comments, “We’ve worked with Stone before and they’ve never let me down with the various projects we’ve done. Considering the school currently has nearly 200 Stone devices – a mix of both desktop and notebook, we knew that they could supply the high-quality tech we needed, deliver the project to a high standard and meet our requests. The fact that their solution was coming in at significantly lower price than some of the other suppliers, really was the icing on the cake.”
In order for the school to get the most out of their budget, whilst also getting high quality technology, Stone proposed the following AV solution and tech that could be installed across the campus:
- 2 x Samsung 32” Displays
- 4 x Samsung 49” Large Format Displays
- 2 x Samsung 55” Large Format Displays
- 32 x Phillips 55” Displays
- 30 x Stonebook Mini and charging trolley
The new screens were vital for Ridgeway to ensure that the school kept up its standards of delivering inspirational learning to facilitate educational excellence. As such, the biggest critic they had to impress was their students and teaching staff.
Due to the fact teachers had been using outdated boards and projectors, any kind of technological enhancement to the learning and teaching experience would be a welcome addition for the students at Ridgeway, however the school were still anxious to how well the new tech would be received.
Following the rollout of the new AV across the school, Dave has seen some very positive developments. Commenting on this, he explains, “The screens have been a real hit with both our students and teachers, because they had been using old projectors and the bulky boards before, the increased engagement we have seen since the new tech has been installed has been a breath of fresh air.
“Each department has been able to use the technology in different ways, from showing video clips to spark student engagement to learning software, so I would definitely say that the project was a huge success.
“The fact that we have a set of laptops to work alongside the screens has also been amazing. We have seen students really getting involved in lessons with the Stonebooks and really pushing the limits of what they can do. Moving forward I am keen to invest in more of the Stonebooks so we can offer access on each of the school’s the floors.
Commenting on the solution and the reasons this worked for the school, Dave explains, “The solution that Stone have given us is excellent, their AV team knew exactly how to get the best out of our budget and the screens put forward really were of a high standard.
“Since the install we have seen how the solution has really benefitted the student’s engagement not only within the classroom but also around the school, which I think is largely due to the video wall and digital signage. The real winner here is our students, with the new laptops alongside fresh screens in the classrooms, we have seen everyone engage a lot more with topics so I’d say we really have been successful in impressing our biggest critics.
“The displays we now have in place offer us a modern take on this and provide us with an effective digital signage solution around the school. This is great for us because it means we can showcase content relevant for the students, and really push home messaging across the school to enhance the overall learning experience.
“Going back to one of our biggest stand out features from the entire project, the 3×3 video wall in the main hall has become a hit. We now use this for school assemblies as well as when we have external speakers coming in, it’s been really useful. Thankfully with the new screen, gone are the days of boring presentations that the kids didn’t want to listen to. Speakers can show content and videos on the screen that really brings their presentations to life.
“Aside from the great tech that was suggested and the benefits it gave to us as a school and education provider, one other reason why we opted for this solution from Stone was the price. It came as the most cost effective option whilst also giving us the ability to give our students, and our teachers, access to the latest cutting-edge technology.
“Stone have been an incredible help with this project – from beginning to end, and even during the installation. They were doing everything and anything asked of them and were particularly good with both the teachers and students which is something you don’t often see.
“This project has brought out the best in our students and really brought the school to life. We’re all really excited to continue seeing the innovative ways that our teachers and students are able to utilise these screens, and how we can deliver inspirational learning that enriches, engages and promotes excellence across the board.
“I would definitely recommend Stone to anyone; our account managers really go above and beyond to ensure you get most supporting and friendly service possible.
“Alongside these services, we’ve only had to contact Stone’s support team once in my four years at Ridgeway and that once was dealt with superbly, a real testament to both their products and level of dedicated support.
“We hope the strong and lengthy relationship we have with Stone is set to continue in the future and we already have several plans in the pipeline moving forwards which we are all really excited about.”