Case Study: Gillotts School, Oxfordshire
Gillotts School is a high-performing multi-specialism secondary school located in the picturesque town of Henley-upon-Thames, South Oxfordshire, serving approximately 900 students aged 11-16. The school is committed to innovation and development and has two specialist status awards, in Maths & Computing and Languages.
The Education Challenge
The Music Department had previously been fitted with PC workstations, which in common with many music ICT facilities up and down the country, had never really delivered its true potential. In early 2010 it was determined that the music department's ICT provision was in urgent need of review.
Oxfordshire is home to a number of the UK's major education ICT suppliers, yet Gillotts were recommended to use a specialist music ICT provider by both the Head of Music Celia Richards and the Head of the County Music Service, Tony Mealings.
Following consultation with all concerned, Counterpoint designed and proposed a solution that would guarantee full operation of the music software and provide rapid technical support by it's specialist engineers, via internet-based remote control.
"We were especially keen that a company provide us with a single point of technical responsibility and support, and that the company understand the specific context of curriculum music technology, particularly the emerging needs of KS3."
- Stefan Gawrysiak, Deputy Headteacher
The music ICT suite consists of 16 student computer workstations with musical keyboards, a workstation with additional functionality for the teacher and a dedicated music network server with RAID data storage. To ensure data security, the music server was also integrated into the schools main backup solution.
With students wearing headphones and listening to their musical instruments, directing activity and keeping students on task can be more challenging. Therefore specialist classroom control software was included to allow teaching staff to communicate effectively with students, distribute resources, share screens and direct student focus.
Due to the disproportionate level of resourcing required to support specialist departments such as music, a tailored remote and onsite technical support service was included with the solution. This would be a crucial component in ensuring that technical and application specific issues would be resolved promptly, allowing the teaching staff to focus on providing effective classroom tuition.
"Music ICT is a specialist area of technology provision, and Music ICT in education even more so. It's vital that music teachers can be confident in the equipment within their classroom, and that the technical support they receive is comprehensive and inclusive. I'm very pleased that Gillotts now have a facility which meets the needs of KS3 and 4 Music, and that they are supported effectively."
- Tony Mealings, Oxfordshire Music Service
To ensure the music department was able to achieve the maximum benefit from the new music facilities, Counterpoint delivered INSET for teaching staff. This was designed to build confidence in the new solution and provide the necessary skills to begin embedding the technology into the curriculum.