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Case study | Kirkby Woodhouse School

How Connect the Classroom funding has allowed teachers at one primary school to engage learners more effectively.


Kirkby Woodhouse School is a primary school with approximately 440 pupils in the Nottinghamshire village of Kirkby in Ashfield. It caters for children aged 3 to 11 years and is part of the seven-school Aspire Multi-Academy Trust. Its motto describes it as “a ‘Take Care’ school where we strive to be the best we can be and even go beyond expectations. It’s never boring here!”. In 2022 it obtained funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Connect the Classroom (CtC) scheme to upgrade the school’s wired and wireless network infrastructure.


  • Bring more reliable connectivity to the whole school site, including outdoor areas.
  • Enable the school strategy of removing its onsite server and embracing more cloud-based technologies


According to Paul Stimpson, Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator, the school's old network infrastructure was not sufficiently reliable to support a modern school. Teachers could not rely on the infrastructure to support their desire to use technology to enhance lessons for pupils. Despite knowing how to bring enriched learning to classrooms, teachers were reluctant to exploit the potential of online resources. The need to have a contingency plan in case of IT failure meant that teachers avoided embracing those opportunities.

The school had 75 devices for pupil use, but they would not log in or connect to the internet reliably, meaning they were seldom used.

The less-than-ideal network situation impacted the school in other ways. The only room large enough to accommodate the whole school did not have internet access, limiting what could be done by visitors talking to all the pupils or in whole-school assemblies. There was no connection in outdoor areas which restricted outdoor learning opportunities and holding whole-school or community events.


The CtC scheme offered the chance to completely upgrade. The school received several emails from the DfE about the scheme but was unsure whether it was eligible. During a service review meeting, the school's RM account manager explained the scheme in more detail. Paul then understood the opportunity to apply for funding and make the much-needed improvements.

Paul conducted a site survey to work out what the school needed. While doing so, he kept in mind that merely because connected devices weren't used in a particular location at that time, building in the capacity to do so in the future would probably pay dividends.

The school’s RM account manager reviewed the survey with Paul and created a proposal with three possible solutions based on new Aruba access points, switches and the Aruba Central network management, monitoring and security software. The school submitted its chosen option to the DfE, which approved the application.

"The difference is that everyone can focus on their job without the worry of unreliability. Teachers can plan lessons involving the use of technology, confident that it will work."

Paul Stimpson, Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator



Network connections throughout the school are vastly improved. The school now has more than 300 devices for pupil use, plus systems like CCTV which need network access. All can be used across the school site with no connection problems.

The improved network capacity has allowed technology to play a central role in teaching and learning. For example, the entire Year 6 maths curriculum is now cloud-based. The school creates rich lesson content that includes revision pages, instructional videos and online games. Each pupil accesses their work on an iPad, and the teacher can cast their own iPad screen to the large classroom display. Not only does this help keep children engaged with their learning, but it has also eliminated the use of photocopied worksheets.

In science lessons, children now use an augmented reality app to get a realistic look at the human circulatory, digestive and skeletal systems.

“The upgrade has been in place since February, and we have not had a single incident relating to connectivity for staff or children.”

Paul Stimpson, Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator

One key objective of the upgrade was to bring wireless connectivity to outdoor areas. Following the Connect the Classroom improvements, pupils can now use devices outside for guided orienteering and learning in the school’s pond area, nature area and woodland walk.

Alongside his responsibilities as Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator, Paul also teaches Year 6 pupils. Since the upgrade, his classes aren't interrupted by colleagues asking him to fix their technology not connecting as required.

RM as a partner for Connect the Classroom

RM has provided IT support to Kirkby Woodhouse School for several years. This long-standing relationship allowed the school to understand the potential of the DfE-funded upgrades. Thanks to RM’s experience with the Connect the Classroom scheme and decades of serving the education market, the installation was planned to cause the minimum disruption.

“We feel that the project is designed around us, we knew what we were getting and that we will get the support to make full use of the installation.”

Paul Stimpson, Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator

Find out more about Connect the Classroom
Call: 01235 645 317
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