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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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".
Read What The Papers