Wootton Park

Wootton Park Free School is a new school in Northampton

The Challenge

Wootton Park Free School is a new school in Northampton. Gaia were involved in the delivery of all the ICT into a temporary building. The new temporary and permanent school is based on land next to the Northampton Police and Ambulance Headquarters. The solution was designed for use over the next 3 years in its current site. For the new build, in September 2019, Gaia will move the technology over to the new site. Gaia will then provide a fully managed service to Wootton Park School. This project was to be delivered in a short timescale, ready for the opening, in September 2016, for the Reception and Year 7

Gaia was successful in being appointed as the school’s ICT partner via the competitive RM1050 procurement process in April 2016. The flexible ICT solution delivered was to grow as the school numbers increase. As an education specialist ICT provider, Gaia’s education team will also support the new Wootton Park School in delivering on their principles and links to their specialist areas of forensics and criminology.

What We Did

Gaia structured the project over two phases; phase one in the temporary new build in September 2016 and phase two in the new permanent building opening in September 2019.

The initial phase was the project management, with school and builders, to commission and setup a new server and backup infrastructure in the school’s temporary building. Gaia were also to supply all aspects of ICT in 15 classrooms, LFD’s and Hall AV, desktops/notebooks, tablets, curriculum and finance software, cashless catering, broadband, telephony and training from day one. Gaia are also providing a 5 year, full managed service during both phases.

Gaia undertook regular communications with the builders and the School Leadership Team (SLT). They both agreed that Gaia should have access to building site and Gaia resourced accordingly.  Gaia worked on and off site to build an off site ICT image and set up, thus saving time when installing the core solution.

Gaia are are now working on planning phase two. We are working with Kier, the builders, to enable a smooth migration, combined with the additional deployment of the ICT solution to the final site in 2019. Additionally, Gaia has sponsored loan desktops to Wootton Park for the duration of the first phase. This has enabled the school to purchase new desktops in 2019.

The Outcome

Gaia’s relationship manager coordinated all aspects of the project at strategic level to ensure personnel and resources were available and deadlines met. Phase one completion of the new temporary building, in difficult circumstances and with a very short time window (July to Sept) offered challenges to the project and technical team to install all the ICT ready for the September go live.  Phase one of the project was delivered on time and with sufficient budget remaining for phase two.

The following are some of the key technologies provided as part of phase one of the project:

  • New Cisco network, including switches and complete internal and external wireless, and backup software.
  • User desktops, laptops and 65 iPads with charge and sync trolleys.
  • 15 65” LED interactive screens on a mix of fixed and mobile electric stands.
  • High quality projection and audio system in the hall and digital signage.
  • Cashless Catering, Telephony, Broadband.
  • Staff training and ICT support from day 1.

Gaia provided a bespoke hall AV solution that was suitable for the current hall but also has the capacity to be used in the larger hall in the permanent new build. For example the screen in the temporary building in retractable and the projector is fully protected in the multi-use space. Gaia also worked with the cashless catering suppliers to ensure that the tills and software are fully portable in both halls.  They also supported the staff trained and pupils registered on system.

Gaia also supported the staff as they have become accustomed to the new technology within their classrooms by providing whole school and individual training and hands on support. Gaia also supported the school open days with VR and 3D software combined with green screen activities. Additionally Gaia sponsored an annual education project within the school.

In Phase two the Gaia ICT solution and managed service will be transferred to the new site and broadband and additional ICT deployed on site.

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