In January, the Minister for Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, paid a special visit to Woodland View Primary School in Grange Park to see why both pupils and staff were getting excited about their new superfast broadband connection.
Ed Vaizey, MP being greeted by Head Teacher Mark Thomas and Deputy Head Teacher Miss Mee
Ed Vaizey, MP being shown by pupils how to do stop animation
The fibre broadband upgrade was delivered at Grange Park by the Superfast Northamptonshire project and was completed at the end of 2015, ahead of schedule. The Minister was welcomed by Mr Mark Thomas, the Head Teacher, who was proud to showcase how superfast broadband was helping to enrich the children's learning experience.
Mr Thomas explained that before the arrival of superfast broadband the children studied IT subjects such as coding and animation, but they were severely hindered by the slow speed. Even though the school is not equipped with enough tablets and computers for every child, there just wasn't enough band width for everyone to use their devices at the same time. This meant devices are shared and learning was slow and frustrating. Teaching would be frequently interrupted by 'buffering' making it difficult for teachers to maintain the flow of a lesson.
Year 6 pupils at the school showcased the superfast broadband speeds and their digital skills to the Minister along with representatives from the County Council, South Northamptonshire Council and BT. Superfast broadband has meant that each child can now learn at their own pace and achieve so much more in the same amount of lesson time as their internet service is much quicker and responsive - they are now all able to use a computer or device to get on line at the same time. The children demonstrated how to create a short stop animation film using a special programme and static web cams, how to code, how to calculate distance from home to school using a mapping programme and how they make use of the online Encyclopedia Brittanica for research.
County Councillor Michael Clarke, Cllr Ian McCord Leader of SNC, Ed Vaizey MP and Mark Thomas Head Teacher
The County Council brought local partners together to help fund the fibre broadband solution at Grange Park and secured plans with BT to deliver it for the project. Along with the school, local residents and businesses are now able to take up faster broadband services of up to 330Mbps.
To celebrate the schools superfast broadband connection, Head Teacher Mr Thomas ran a poster competition for the Year 6 pupils about 'How Superfast Broadband will change my life'. Being able to work independently and more quickly were high on the list, as well as being able to complete homework more quickly!
The Minister was pleased to present the two competition winners each with a prize 'Kindle', kindly sponsored by BT. The Minister seemed to thoroughly enjoy his visit to Northamptonshire and the school to see first hand what benefits the Superfast Britain programme is delivering and how it's helping to change and improve people's lives.