Now they can learn anywhere

10 May 2019

Godolphin School, an independent girls’ school in Salisbury, was founded in 1726 and has 480 pupils aged three-18, half of whom are boarders.

Former pupils include the writers Jilly Cooper and Dorothy L. Sayers and the Dragon’s Den panellist Deborah Meaden. The school’s network needed updating to improve performance, and enough bandwidth for consistent coverage across the estate, particularly as it had introduced bring your own device (BYOD).

Godolphin chose its long-term IT supplier, Medhurst Communications, founded in 1999 and headed by director Iain Baynes, to install a new network. Medhurst used products from Aruba Networks, since 2015 a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

They comprise a 10gb/s network based on an Aruba 5412R switch, 16 2920F switches at the edge, and 138 high-density access points (APs) fitted inside and outdoors. The APs are managed by a 7205 mobility controller.

Network access policies are now defined and enforced through Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and both onboard and guest modules are in use to allow BYOD and guest access.

Godolphin pupils can now use their favourite devices and connect anywhere on campus. It means, says Aruba, that they can collaborate on projects using video, or FaceTime, or chat – allowing them to study more effectively outside of the classroom. And, with the ability to connect to school resources anywhere anytime, they are able to learn when they want, where they want.

New initiatives include interactive classroom projectors to allow teachers and students to collaborate more effectively.

Wi-Fi coverage around the sports pitches and seamless roaming around the entire campus is now possible. Sudden spikes in network usage can be accommodated, enabling the school to support activities such as open days or literature festivals.

Displaying information around the school on digital signage is also possible. It has also moved to Microsoft Office 365 to put more resources in the cloud. ClearPass Policy Manager controls access to the network, including who sees what and what information is restricted.