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Published on February 10th, 2014 | by Alexis Argent

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Giffard Park Primary School Upgrades Wireless to Support Digital Learning

Xirrus has announced that Giffard Park Primary School has deployed a Xirrus wireless network to deliver school-wide Wi-Fi connectivity for both staff and pupils.

Based on a combination of wireless Access Points and Wireless Arrays, the network supports the school’s delivery of digital learning within every subject, with notebooks provided for all of its Key Stage 2 pupils. Teachers and pupils are now able to access online resources and applications from anywhere within the school grounds and share files in a secure environment.

The Xirrus XR series’ of wireless arrays provide cost effective solutions to fit a wide range of deployment needs. With products such as the XR-1220 and the XR-4420, Xirrus wireless solutions are cost effective and feature rich.

There was a real need for Giffard Park to upgrade its existing wireless infrastructure to support the influx of Wi-Fi enabled devices coming into the school, which now consists of 219 notebooks, 20 laptops, and 14 tablets. The school is also planning to migrate pupils from netbooks to iPads over the coming year, so needed to future-proof its wireless network to support this rollout.

A key reason why Giffard Park opted for the Xirrus network was the unique multi-radio design of the Arrays, supporting 2 to 16 radios, which will enable the school to easily upgrade and scale in line with changing user demands.

Wireless connectivity is absolutely critical to the learning environment,” says Natalie Goodman, School Business Manager at Giffard Park Primary School. “Without it we can’t deliver learning in a way that benefits pupils and fits with the way that they’re consuming content in the home environment.”

Giffard Park’s existing wireless network had been in place for about five years and didn’t provide complete coverage across the school grounds, which is what was needed to support such a high proliferation of devices. “We regularly experienced coverage black spots and it wasn’t fast enough to deliver learning in a seamless way,” says Natalie.

We pride ourselves in being ahead of the curve when it comes to ICT and our Xirrus network will enable students to use their notebooks in every class, whether it be English, Maths or Science. We now no longer need a dedicated IT suite, which means that we’re providing pupils with an enriched and collaborative learning environment. Pupils can even take their notebooks outside and connect to the Internet without any lag or dropouts.”

Children have no fear when it comes to ICT nowadays said Sean Larner, VP International at Xirrus. “It’s increasingly part of their everyday life, whether it’s using smartphones or smart TVs, and their skills are far more developed than they were ten years ago. Therefore, it’s vital that schools are providing the necessary tools to move in line with this and deliver a rich learning experience. This is exactly what Giffard Park is doing, and high performance Wi-Fi is a critical enabler.”

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