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The ICT Suite

From Wednesday 15th November 2000

A report given to the assembled audience at the official opening of the ICT suite by Rose Darwin, IT co-ordinator.....

The ICT Suite was officially opened in November 2000
The ICT Suite was officially
opened in November 2000

We had a vision for the future of our school. This time last year I remember asking the Headteacher if I could invite a few interested parents to a meeting to discuss creating an ICT suite in our school. No problem!

Eight of us sat round the table with note pads and pens, everyone looking at everyone else. Where do we begin? What are we looking for here one parent asked. The conversation continued........

A room full of computers. How many computers? At least 12. How much money do we need? 30,000. When do we want it to happen? By September 2000.

Pens were put down and after a stunned silence of at least 30 seconds everyone started talking at once. By some miracle we had someone who knew about hardware, someone who knew about cabling, another about software, another about building work and the rest of the team who were prepared to sit on the phone and ask companies for help, mail shot local businesses, contact the press etc.

Before long, everyone had research to do, fundraising to initiate and people to contact. The spark had been lit! I have never seen such infectious enthusiasm.

Throughout the year parents have come up with brilliant ideas for fundraising from go-karting to cake stalls and even one little girl selling conkers to raise money for our ICT suite.

Over the summer holidays the school was buzzing. Scores of volunteers moved furniture, ripped up floors, sanded woodwork, painted walls, ceilings and skirting boards, moved furniture and moved it back again, supplied cakes and sandwiches, locked and unlocked the school day after day - such unending hard work and dedication.

By the time the children came back to school we had almost achieved our aims. But still we needed computers. With the fundraising efforts over the year we had enough funds to purchase 7 new computers, complete with software which arrived at the beginning of November.

We had created a room which could be used to inform and enhance all areas of the curriculum, offer exciting ways to teach maths, art, special needs, give teachers a space to work together. In a nutshell, a room which would give the children of Helmdon School a tremendous advantage as they go forward into the 21st century.

Rose Darwin
ICT Co-Ordinator
Helmdon School

Mike Kendall
Mike Kendall

The computer suite is now fully operational. It has ten machines, seven of which have been purchased from donated funds.

The new Headteacher, Sue Blackburn praised the previous staff, parents and governers who had been in at the conception of the new computer suite and promised that it would be used to the fullest extent to enrich the national curriculum.

Mike Kendall, Primary Adviser for Information Technology, said that a feature of all successful schools is an IT suite, so the already good progress of Helmdon school will now be enhanced even further.

Rose Darwin, ICT co-ordinator (left) with Niki Phillips, Chair of Governors.
Rose Darwin, ICT co-ordinator (left) with
Niki Phillips, Chair of Governors.

Niki Phillips said that the activity in the summer holidays had to be seen to be believed. Everyone worked extremely hard and must be congratulated. She couldn't believe all the activity which had gone on in the summer holidays. "The spirit of Helmdon is alive and well".

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