Following four years of building work, in January 2013, Kettering Buccleuch Academy moved into a modern, purpose built facility for all of its 1,400 students and 250 staff. The new facility enabled them to accommodate all of its students from ages 4 through to 19 on one site for the first time.
With a new start in the state-of-the-art building at Kettering Buccleuch Academy it was essential that its IT infrastructure and services were fully modernised and matched the environment. To provide this IT overhaul United Learning, the Academy’s sponsor, chose to partner with European Electronique one of the leading suppliers of ICT in to education in the UK.
European Electronique implemented a full IT infrastructure and AV equipment solution across the Northamptonshire site. With its extensive experience at other Academies, European Electronique recommended the use of a Digital Signage, IPTV and Video on Demand portal solution from Tripleplay; a decision Kettering Buccleuch Academy’s Network team were happy to endorse.
Craig Wardle, Network Manager, is delighted with the solution; “Having tried several systems we found that Tripleplay was much simpler to use, it has a self explanatory front end user interface and contained some excellent management features.”
In addition, with ten screens installed over three wings and three floors it was vital to have a solution which could be centrally managed; also the ability to remotely turn on all TV screens through the TripleSign system via a web browser was another vital tool. “Our previous signage solution was very basic; we operated six screens each with its own PC and PowerPoint presentation that needed to be updated manually. Every morning a member of the Learning Resource Centre team would have to physically visit every screen, turn the equipment on, log in to the PC and load up the Presentation. It was a simple job, but owing to the size of the site it was very time consuming and inefficient. The Tripleplay system has turned this into a 30 second process.”
As well as implementing a Digital Signage and IPTV solution on the Academy’s network of screens, they have also implemented a Video on Demand solution, TripleChoice, a solution that will enable the Academy to manage and monitor its entire catalogue of digital video resources, making them more readily accessible to its 250 staff, both from home and in the classroom.
TripleChoice also enables staff to record content from Live TV, bookmark relevant sections of content and add to their personal resource library, ensuring that appropriate video content is available to them when and where they need it.
Craig Wardle commented; “With our old set up, recordings had to be requested by employees to the Library staff who would then manually record the content and then rip it to DVD. With the TripleChoice system we can record content and give access to staff via a thin client device.
“This is perfect for our staff as we supply thin client PCs connected to interactive whiteboards in almost every teaching room. All content can now be accessed via web browser, meaning there is no requirement for costly and cumbersome TVs and DVD players in the classroom.”
Since its implementation, the Academy has used the Digital Signage equipment to promote internal messaging; this has included the promotion and announcement of Academy competition winners and is intended for use by the Academy’s Principal to reinforce their core learning principles and ethos.
With the Academy split into three core divisions, Primary, Middle and Senior, it was important that the solution was accessible by all but also easy to scale. This would enable the Academy to add further screens to its solution as and when it needed them. This will also prove useful should Kettering Buccleuch Academy ever choose to expand the building.
The future of Kettering Buccleuch Academy looks bright, with a wonderful environment provided by United Learning, superb IT and AV infrastructure provided by European Electronique and a Digital Media solution from Tripleplay creating a platform for its staff to get the most from its pupils.
Craig Wardle summarised; “We really are delighted with the solution, it has exceeded our expectations and has met all of our criteria. Our partnership with Tripleplay and European Electronique has been everything we hoped and has helped us to create an inspiring platform for learning.”