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IT Systems and Services

Since 2015 we have made significant changes to the IT systems here at St Bede's designed to improve the resources available to support teaching and learning and it has been a while since we shared information about our IT systems with parents.

The school has deployed many relatively inexpensive but well featured general purpose Chrome devices; these are much used by all - from A level research to year 7 - for writing up work and collaborating on documents, presentations and other learning materials, then often shared with teachers using Google Classroom.

There are now 2 rooms dedicated to 6th form study containing these devices, and 8 trolleys each containing a class set of portable Chromebooks for use in any classroom, connecting via the school's updated wi-fi system. For a while now, all classrooms have had a PC for the teacher, connected to a projector and the local network and internet.

Alongside these, we now have 5 specialised Apple iMac rooms for Photography, Music (and Music Technology), and Media Studies and also PC facilities for Computing and Design & Technology.

We have also made efficiencies when replacing our internet provider, CCTV and telephone system with more current and effective services.

Significantly, we provide a range of IT systems and services to allow good quality learning to take place. These include subscriptions to subject specific website resources, software purchased to use within school and accounts with more general internet services such as Google's G Suite for Education (GSFE). These resources are essential learning tools for all students and are an integral part of the 'outstanding' education provided here at St Bede's.

By providing access to online resources teachers and administrators can communicate more easily with students, and vice versa. There are more opportunities for teachers to support learners’ individual needs, as appropriate through sharing of documents, with comments and feedback through a ‘Classroom’ portal.

Being online, these resources are available to all students anywhere and anytime - in school, at home or even if away on a trip. As part of an integrated system, information can be shared across applications and assessment data and other information can be handled more efficiently. Resources do not need to be reinvented; they can be adjusted easily for particular classes and then shared online without handling or losing pieces of paper. Similarly, when requested, students can submit work promptly online without the risk of it being lost or damaged.

Feedback from students about the school’s IT systems and online learning resources has been very positive. In particular Google Drive and Google Classroom are praised for their ease of sharing resources across a range of devices. Other G Suite applications such as Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Sites and Keep are the underlying applications for working within these collaborative tools.

Common Questions

Parents have also been very supportive of student use of school IT and online resources at home and in school, and occasionally ask questions:

  • Which online services does the school use?

    • A list of online services used for teaching and learning at St Bede’s is being made available on the school website and then will be updated periodically; they have all been chosen for a combination of relevance, cost  and functionality. In the case of subject based systems, they fit with courses, textbooks and/or exam specifications. Google's G Suite for Education, was originally chosen in 2013 when there were no comparable alternatives. Since then G Suite has retained more relevant features, lower cost and greater performance advantages over other systems covering similar functionality. Consequently it has become embedded as the primary system for teaching learning and administration for all students.

  • What is the cost?

    • Some online resources are paid for by the school on a subscription basis - most notably the subject based online textbooks to support exam courses. The G Suite for Education (Google) license is free to schools and covers all core services (and currently an additional service for managing pupil experiences online, helping to direct them to resources and protect them from inappropriate resources)

  • Is student personal data safe?

    • All online services the school provides comply with UK/EU data protection legislation, now and with the new GDPR legislation for 2018. This includes the secure storage and transmission of data.

      • Personal data associated with student G Suite for Education accounts is limited to name, school email address and school year and is not shared for commercial purposes. These accounts are not linked to Youtube, Maps or other services not previously mentioned and thus their personal data is not accessed by tsuch services. Within G Suite for Education, advertisements are not shown and student data is not tracked for commercial purposes.

      • Please note that an account within G Suite for Education is not the same as a private Google/Gmail account that you may have at home and which is subject to different privacy policy and terms of use.

      • Parents should be aware that some personal data may be stored outside the UK/EU and therefore could be subject to examination by government agencies if the system provider acquiesces to such a request (as could also happen when stored within the UK/EU).

Details of the school's e-Safety and IT Acceptable Use policies are available on the left of this page. Further to this, if you have any other questions about the school's provision of IT systems and services please email Mr Hawkins, IT Coordinator via the contact form on the main school website (selecting Web Administrator from the drop list).