The Holy Trinity CEP School is a small, caring and vibrant Primary School located in the heart of the village of Lower Beeding in Horsham, West Sussex. The school aims to create an excellent and inclusive education environment that not only helps each child achieve the highest standards they can academically, but also means they experience happy, challenging and fulfilling school lives. With the full support of pupil’s parents, the school works to deliver a wide-ranging curriculum in a fun and interesting manner.
Paul Curtis is an ICT Technician and Teacher at the school. After working in education and secondary schools for many years, Paul joined Holy Trinity in 2019, and alongside teaching, he offers technical support and is helping to improve the IT landscape within the school as well as running the school’s PTA.
As a small school in a rural location, Paul discussed how they were working to bring the IT infrastructure of Holy Trinity to a higher standard. They had recently upgraded the school’s wireless network and the next step was to implement modern devices to be used in the classrooms.
Paul was interested in helping the children develop their digital skills and utilising technology in the classroom across the curriculum. He had been speaking with other schools, taking IT audits and doing research online to assess how the school could use devices in different subjects to help with the students learning, creativity and collaboration.
Paul explained how he had experiences in the past where he’d tried equipment that had looked good but hadn’t necessarily worked well in an education environment.
And so, he looked to find a supplier who could offer advice and help him explore flexible devices that would offer both quality design and functionality for the classroom.
Paul not only found Stone Group on the HP for Education list of recommended suppliers, but had also worked with them previously in his roles in other schools and had always had a positive experience.
Stone has over 25 years’ experience as a leading IT partner to the education sector and hold an extensive number of partnerships with the biggest names in technology. This means they have an abundance of understanding and expertise combined with strong industry relationships that allow them to deliver added value and advice on a huge range of technologies.
Paul reached out to Stone on behalf of the school and was assigned a dedicated account manager who listened to his requirements and made a number of suggestions that would meet these.
The key criteria Paul outlined were that the devices needed to be robust enough to withstand the agile learning environment, yet lightweight and flexible enough for younger KS1 students to handle. Other important factors included long battery life and touchscreen. Paul said, “We wanted a device that could be used as a tablet and laptop. A lot of the children have tablets and iPads at home, so we wanted to provide devices that they would be familiar with and which they could use intuitively.”
Stone offered several recommendations, and out of a shortlist, arranged for a device to be delivered to the school for them to try out for a couple of weeks to help with their decision making. After some evaluations, Paul decided on the Microsoft Surface Go, an ultra-small, ultra-light yet robust 2-in-1 device perfect for education.
The Microsoft Surface Go features a 10” touchscreen, all-day battery life and weighs just over 500g so it’s ideal for young children to use as an agile learning companion in the classroom. And with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 it’s tough enough to handle the education environment.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner Stone were able to preinstall Windows 10 Education to each device to save any hassle with licensing. Windows 10 Education combines the latest features and security updates that deliver personalised learning, save teachers time and create safe and engaging digital environments. And for added peace of mind, Stone also organised warranties to cover any accidental drops and bumps that are so common in the classroom.
Paul placed the order with Stone on a Friday and the devices complete with detachable keyboards were delivered by the school on the Monday. “Keyboards and typing can be difficult particularly for the younger children, so the touch screen is massively helpful. The keyboards are also detachable which also means they won’t be damaged when the device is being used as a tablet.”
Paul discussed how they are starting to use the devices in the classroom to enhance the students learning; “We’re trying to teach the students, particularly the younger ones, to use the devices more creatively, using media and videos.” Paul explained, “We don’t want the children to just stick images on word documents but are teaching them to use the cameras and audio, along with many other new and exciting interactive websites and software.”
The devices were bought mainly for use within the classrooms, but they are also being used across the school by staff where they have been very well-received. In fact, the school are so impressed with the devices, they are seeking to procure another fifteen to kit out entire classes of students at a time, with help from their Parent Teacher Association.
“I originally chose Stone as it is one of the few HPFE accredited suppliers. However, after such brilliant customer service from Richard Cooper and very competitive pricing, I started using Stone for all our hardware needs.”
Paul Curtis, ICT Technician and Teacher