Case Study: Manor CE Academy, City of York
Nether Poppleton, York
Manor CE School is a Specialist Arts College and Leadership Partner School catering for approximately 950 students aged 11-16, drawn mainly from the City of York and the surrounding villages. The school was categorised as Outstanding in OFSTED's report of 2007. Established in 1812, Manor CE extends back two hundred years and over several sites in the city of York.
The Education Challenge
Performing Arts have long been a strength of Manor School, and the music department was the first in the UK to deliver the NCFE Level 2 music technology course. The school was recently relocated to entirely new premises, and the music classrooms benefitted from a full refit using the latest classroom technologies.
Counterpoint was appointed to design & provide exemplary facilities for teaching and learning in KS3/4 music and music technology. The new facilities were to include two Music ICT suites each with 12 student stations, integrated teacher computer, control software and KAAN 3 audio networking infrastructure.
KAAN 3 enables the teacher to listen to student's keyboard and computer work on Cubase, Sibelius and Reason. The teacher can speak directly to students individually, in groups, or to the whole class. Listening exercises can be delivered directly to student headphones, or via output speakers.
All computer systems were to be fully networked with a dedicated music server, providing high capacity, high bandwidth storage to all music computers, and facilitating the provision of specialist remote support. The vision for Manor School was to provide an effective, reliable and integrated facility, suitable to support delivery of the music curriculum in the 21st Century.
"We've seen greater interest in music generally: our music technology group is up from twenty pupils to two groups of twenty-five, including many non-musicians. Some pupils are taking both music and music technology courses simultaneously."
"For our higher ability pupils, the technology is providing more scope for development, and a more diverse range of musical skills. For the more challenging groups, we've seen clear improvements in behaviour, inclusion, engagement and achievement. Our KS3 standards have improved, and our GCSE results are higher, all of which I would directly link to the music ICT facilities."
- Adam Laird, Music Teacher
The key to gaining the maximum ongoing benefit from ICT in specialist departments such as music is in the quality of training and support provided. The Manor School project included a tailored INSET package and a full remote and onsite technical support contract.
"The audio network has changed the way we teach. We can very quickly listen to all of the pupils, identify who needs assistance, and work with them one-to-one. We play student's work at the end of a lesson, and we are using the audio network to make more recordings, more often, and we're doing more with them; including cross-curricular and out-of-school projects."
"The impact of music technology at Manor CE School has been considerable: the music department has never been more popular, and widespread enthusiasm is a great asset. The technology engages the pupils, and the classroom controls help us to focus their efforts."