Serving Newark in Nottinghamshire, the 1,070 pupil Dukeries Academy (11-18) is part of the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), which steers a collective of 19 academies in its use of ICT. Previously known as the Dukeries Comprehensive School, it converted to academy status in 2013; celebrating its 50th anniversary the following year.
With its specialism in technology, the Dukeries Academy ethos is to give pupils access to the latest technology; delivering a wide range of learning opportunities and experiences to ensure individual students reach their full potential.
Gaia was brought on board early 2014, as an approved Department of Education Services ICT Framework Provider, to support the academy’s ambition to stay at the forefront of educational technology. Gaia has worked closely with the Academy to understand their vision and needs and to offer creative, innovative solutions using hardware and software from trusted brands such as Microsoft and Acer, and utilising our CPD training has enabled the Academy to maximise the benefits of the technology Gaia have implemented.
Gaia’s partnership with these companies offer a great deal more than just providing hardware and software, as we are also an approved Acer repair centre and supplier of Shape the Future Win 10 Education Licences on approved devices – this means the benefits to the Academy go beyond just procurement. As an Acer Platinum Reseller and Microsoft Gold Partner, Gaia implemented an Acer-based user device and software solution, giving the Academy a range of devices that would be both flexible and robust, within the budget available.
The benefits of a Gaia retained contract, enables the Academy to budget for services on a year on year basis to prevent any unpredictable or unwelcome cost implications. Gaia provides a reliable service which allows teachers to focus on teaching rather than have to troubleshoot ICT issues.
2015 was a seminal year for the Academy – not only did the school expand its use of Windows devices Academy-wide, but significant investment from the Academy and its strategic partners saw the launch of a new innovation centre to act as a beacon of innovation within Dukeries and the wider community.
The project saw the conversion of a large room into a versatile learning space enabling students, community groups and partner institutions to use the latest Windows devices, software and projection technology. Innovation centre features include:
With Gaia having supported the entire project, from procuring and setting up equipment to providing suitable lighting, a partnership with The Discovery Channel is further developing the digital learning environment. Bespoke training programmes within the innovation centre are aimed at developing the use of both content and technology, with CPD to digital leaders, teachers and students to maximise the impact on teaching and learning.
With the academy keen to make the most of advances in 3D technology, Gaia provided a whole site licence of the Gaia 3D curriculum-matched software. This incredibly powerful, yet simple to use educational software requires specific technologies to run successfully, which Gaia provided and implemented. At the heart of this was the Acer Veriton small form factor desktop with the latest quad core processor and NVidia graphics card. To allow the Academy to extend their experience and develop their own 3D content we also provided 3D cameras plus a 3D Printer for the innovation centre as well as a 3D setup in the new drama hall.
From 3D history resources to curriculum-focused immersive software and flexible apps to support home/academy working, Gaia is supporting Dukeries Academy in creating innovate projects that harness the full power of its learning technology.
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