That all changed when Gigaclear connected the school to its ultrafast full fibre network. Lucy Miles, Headteacher at Great Tew Primary School, explains: “Our previous experience with the internet had been delay, delay, delay. We couldn’t rely on it to load, or even work on some occasions, so we simply couldn’t trust it. Since our connection to Gigaclear’s ultrafast broadband we have been able to move away from server based teaching, and enhance what the school offers the children in terms of the learning experience they receive. We now have 45 Chromebooks to support and enrich their education.”
Since its broadband upgrade, the Primary School has been able to double the amount of students participating in its computer curriculum. Historically, classes of 30 students had to share 15 computers operating on the slow server, whereas now, entire classes are able to learn, online, simultaneously. The school has also been able to save money, avoiding the need to buy a new, expensive server, by moving everything to the cloud.
Teachers can now easily and consistently access the very latest online tools, which adds value for students across all lessons. In assemblies, short video clips are played to the school to enhance a learning opportunity, which it could never do before. Mrs Miles continues: “I still remember trying to play a video clip in an assembly once, before we were connected to Gigaclear, and it wouldn’t load. One of the Reception pupils pointed out that the video was buffering, and it really hit home that a four-year old even knew the term buffering.”
Away from the classroom, the 300mbps that the school now operates at has helped the entire staff move onto Office 365, improving collaboration and allowing for remote access for when teachers are planning and preparing at home – something which had previously been impossible.
Faster broadband has also enhanced the extra-curricular offering for pupils. The school now operates a computing club and provides online music resources to all pupils. Mrs Miles concludes: “When you don’t have internet, everything just stops. We have been able to move away from planning around ‘bad internet’ now that we have a reliable service in place. Everything we do is designed to enhance what we can do for our students, and the new Gigaclear broadband has helped us achieve that and more. When I walk around the classrooms and see children busily working away independently on their Chromebooks, it is fantastic!”