Tandragee Junior High School is celebrating a double boost with the installation of a new WiFi system and work starting on a new art and design department.
The school was selected as the first in Northern Ireland to have a new state-of-the-art WiFi system installed.
The Education Network for Northern Ireland’s schools will connect over 1,2000 schools and over 350,000 teachers and learners through a private education cloud platform.
Tandragee has been provided with over 100 megabytes of bandwidth with the aim to support collaboration between schools and help develop skills.
A key aspect will be to facilitate the increased use of personal smart mobile devices, including iPads through a filtered Meru wireless system. Pupils and teachers will have access to their documents from school and home via the My-School platform. Pupils’ work will be available in their own documents area throughout their school career.
Work also started earlier this month on the ultra-modern art and design department at the school, including a fully equipped Apple Mac computer suite.
The school had been pushing for the upgrade to existing facilities in light of the revised NI curriculum at Key Stage 3. The SELB had hoped to be in a position to fund the project in 2012/13 but the funding was not available.
Just before Christmas, principal David Gillespie received a phone call to say funding was now available and contractors intended to commence work at the beginning of the new term.
“It was a nice Christmas present,” said Mr Gillespie. “As planned, work began last week and hopefully will be completed by the Easter holidays. Existing pupils will avail of the new facilities in term three and the new year eight pupils joining the school in September will benefit greatly from the new art and design department
“It is great boost for the school - the principal and board of governors wish to express their gratitude to the SELB for funding the project.”
Mr Gillespie praised the role of Brian Turner, Tandragee’s ICT technician, who “did a lot of the work solving problems” after the W-FI installation, and Melanie McMurray, the school’s ICT coordinator in the training she provided for staff and for ”working closely with Brian”.
He also praised Nuala McKee, C2K, Support Services, Southern Region who coordinated the installation and worked with Capita, the company that carried out the installation.