Bedales School is a co-educational, boarding and day independent school in the village of Steep, near the market town of Petersfield in Hampshire, England.
Bedales was founded in 1893 by John Haden Badley and since 1899 the 120-acre rural estate has been the schools’ home. There are 3 schools within the campus, Bedales Senior School (for ages 13–18), Dunhurst Prep School (ages 8-13) and Dunannie Pre-Prep School (ages 3–8).
Early in 2015 the Head of ICT at Bedales, Reece Percival, selected Softcat and partners TSI to deliver, install and test 71 interactive flat panel screens across the 3 schools during July and August 2015. These were a mixture of fixed and adjustable Smart & VividTouch screens.
Reece explains “I have used Softcat previously for a number of major projects and their vendor agnostic stance and ability to act as a single point of contact made them the right solution provider. Along with TSI, Softcat helped us showcase various technologies via a number of vendor open days which were important in enabling teachers to engage with the screens and software. This was a critical part in teachers choosing Smart due to Smart Notebook and SmartAmp’s more intuitive and easy-to-use interface”.
The key driver for the project was teaching and learning. The screens were supplied with SMART Notebook interactive teaching tools that enable teaching staff to create and deliver a range of collaborative and exciting activities for students.
Staff can easily create engaging, interactive learning experiences, while having the flexibility to respond to the needs of the students in real-time. Reece continues “The new software made an instant impact across all three schools, especially with Dunhurst and Dunannie teachers. The decision to deploy electronic height-adjustable stands was key in helping younger children interact with the touch-screen technology”
In addition to the screen installations Softcat and TSI installed all faceplates, cables and cable management. Cables were fed through fixed trunking where possible and flexible cable tidy was used for the rise and fall mounts and also in places where the use of trunking was not possible. Where cables had to pass over the floor, cable mats were used to ensure adherence to health and safety standards. The project included decommissioning of the old interactive whiteboards and projectors and all rubbish and waste management.
The Softcat / TSI installation is a complete service including project management and full testing including the cable management. The teaching ‘wall’ is left fully tested and functioning at completion of the project.
Following the installation and completion of the faceplates, all teacher PCs and screens were tested against a full test script and signed off by one of TSI’s qualified desktop engineers. Andrew Pigott, Deputy ICT and Project Manager said “Working with Softcat and TSI enabled us to install screens in over 70 classrooms, each with their own bespoke layout and unique set of challenges. Working together we overcome a number of logistical hurdles to successfully complete the project on time and to budget in a little over 6 weeks.”
The impact of the project has been significant. Since installation there have been zero returns to site for any snagging or rectification works regarding the installation. For Bedales, ICT has moved into a new era at the school. Reece continued “The screens provide teachers with a reliable and robust platform to deliver high quality, engaging teaching content. We plan to build on that success with SmartAmp and the recently installed wireless network to further enhance teaching and learning around the schools”
The screens are in full use in every classroom and meeting rooms every day.