RM was chosen as the technology provider for Stour Valley Community School on the basis of its innovative approach and strong heritage as a supplier of technology and resources to UK schools.  The experienced RM Account Management and Educational Specialist team worked with the school to define the final solution and collaborated with the design and build provider Balfour Beatty, to ensure the purpose build buildings were ready for the start of the 2011/12 Academic Year.

About the school

Stour Valley Community School is a coeducational Free School in Suffolk for pupils aged 11 to 16. It opened in September 2011 as one of the first 24 Free Schools in England. With around 170 pupils and 29 staff, the school plans to reach 500 pupils by 2015. The surrounding community is incredibly important to the school and is put at the centre of everything it does.   

"Technology will play a pivotal role at Stour Valley to enhance learning and development of our pupils. RM Education met our requirements for technology that will deliver exciting learning opportunities, such as developing strong and long-term links with communities from Brazil to China. This will also significantly improve workplace learning and allow for more field trip activities."
Mrs Christine Inchley - Head Teacher at Stour Valley Community School

The Technology

The technology installed was designed to support pupils learning with appropriate and affordable personal computing devices, a secure network and a learning platform providing a virtual learning environment and e-portfolios for students. All this means that children will be able to learn in a way that works for them, at school and at home, and that teachers and parents will have an easy, online way to support them and view their progress.

The core Virtualised Community Connect 4 network with Apple Mac integration was designed to be scalable as the school grows, it provides tools that support:

  • Easy management of users and their profiles
  • Easy installation and allocation of applications to user desktops
  • Simple print management and security

Pupils and staff have remote access to both documents and programs using the RM CC4 Anywhere Citrix based solution. Facilitating collaboration internally, locally, nationally and internationally was a key requirement for the school. A video conferencing solution has been installed using our intuitive Learning Platform interface and a mobile video conferencing unit that can roam between ICT suite and classrooms.

The school chose a wide range of devices, ranging from Apple iMacs to a number of touch sensitive RM One PCs, RM miniTablets and EcoquietPCs. Classrooms are furnished with Interactive Projectors and there is a VerTable for group work in non-classroom-based lessons. Eclispe.net from Microlibrarian was chosen as the Library Asset management system because of it's intuitive user-friendly interface that can be accessible from any local network computer with a web browser. Integration with the active directory also allows single sign on.

Support for facilities management is provided by RM Utileyes which monitors the schools use of electricity, gas, water and fuel oil online in real time.

With the introduction of this new technology, a range of training and support was needed to enable the staff to hit the ground running when the school opened its doors in September 2011.

Flexible finance options and project phasing made this solution an affordable and manageable one over the five-year contract.

"Our school would not have opened successfully and on time without Arron's [RM Account Manager] expertise, willing support and teamwork..."
The Chair of Governors, Stour Valley School

"At all times one felt secure in the knowledge that everything was 'Customer First'. A credit to RM in every way..."
The ICT Technician said of Simon [RM Infrastructure Specialist]

Find out more about RM Community Connect.

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