Thursday, 12 May 2016

Views of the New School Inside

Hi all,  Just a few pictures showing some shots of the new build...

The start of the landscaping, this will be block pave

The New Theatre

The New Canteen

The New LRC

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

"My" Network...

It's well into the new year and I have been reflecting on my life and how it's going at the moment... and to be frank it's not all "rosy in the garden" as I cast my mind back over the last year! Take school for instance...

Over a period of eleven plus years, I have watched the school network grow from an infant into a sophisticated adult. I was not there at it's inception but I would liken it to perhaps adopting a toddler, about to take it's first few steps into the world!

We had one server back then, two classrooms of Pc's and a few more in the offices. No more than a hundred Pc's maximum. Broadband was unheard of and we fed the school an internet, sparsely populated by pictures as they took too long to download, via no more than a twin isdn line. Total speed? 128kbs per second from memory. Compare that with the 10 Mb's per second now, or, put another way, 10,000,000 kbps which is what we currently use and we complain at that!(That’s approximately 78125 times faster!!)

Sparsely populated by pictures... can you believe that? No YouTube video's, no Facebook, no EBay. Very scant resources for teachers and even if there had been, the Teachers had not yet had the training to use what was there! That’s where I came in along with others like me. We had to learn this gobbledegook and pass it onto them and always be one or two steps ahead!

Email...we take it for granted now. But we had about ten accounts in school when I started back in September 2000 and look at us now! I have five of my own personal accounts and look after two at school!

My, how times have changed... for the better? I think so!

I watched that “toddler” grow, liken it to puberty, as we expanded and added more and more facilities. We had the first few projectors, interactive whiteboards and speakers with amplifiers that suddenly failed for no apparent reason!

The extra rooms, like rooms 14 and 15 and who can ever forget room 4? The remodeled small classroom done in BSF style that frankly was a little unusable at times, very modern looking but, surprise surprise, not a lot like we appear to be getting now!

We can now communicate better; staff are so much more Pc literate, and having seen what can be done, some members, flew like eagles, soaring to great heights making blogs and video diaries whilst others, for whatever reason, struggled and not so much soared, as, well plummeted, like a fledgling bird from its nest, only to slowly, eventually learn to take flight or sadly, in some cases, fall by the wayside!

I witnessed all this from my office and whilst walking around the school helping and offering guidance where I could. I too had to rethink my directions, so many times, as the network grew and with the onset of, for example, the Google Mail and documents system, which easily allowed each member or department to make their own websites. What had previously been the domain of Techies and Geek's was now firmly in the realms and reach of anyone.

The network was truly now an adult!

Now I witness "BSF". Building Schools for the future! It is something to be celebrated I am sure. A new school, a new Network and a new beginning.
The school will soar to even greater heights because it has to. The option to fail is... well frankly, not an option!

However, for me, BSF is like a Cancer! Yes, you read that right!

Sadly, having watched a loved one die over an extended period, I can now only watch, as like a Cancer, the network I have built for eleven long hard years, the cables I have pulled around school and the classrooms I have commissioned, slowly die.

I now have to relinquish my Network to BSF, it will be managed by others and they will build a new, bigger and better Network without me. By September 2012 if things go to plan, I will have had to give up all my knowledge and information to others and step aside, hopefully to work with them on the new network.

My job will never be the same! I will no longer work for the school as I am transferred to the new supplier, to do what? Who knows! I may not even work in computers anymore as, at my age, (56) even I can see it's a younger person’s game. 

Amazingly, I am not bitter about it. I am just disappointed with the way it has been done! The feeling of a lack of honesty, being kept in the dark, like on that first day when we all sat in the Jack Hayward suite at the Molineux listening to a very poor presentation on BSF, as like a "Lead Balloon" it "dropped out" that Network Managers will lose their jobs. To the way I have to pass over all my information and knowledge on the network to people who, act like "crack heads" after a fix and "need it now!" The pace at times is relentless... then it seems to stop and go away as if building up for another onslaught.

That's why, I liken the loved one that died of cancer, to my Network...because I loved and I will have lost, them both and it was a constant battle along the way. I truly hope it's worth it!

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all those who have helped me with contributions of stories and pictures over the period of writing this blog as without them it would have been so much harder. There are no pictures to this post as it is a purely personal post from an ex-pupil of the school who much later played a part of the schools history molding its way forward for over a decade. To this end, I have so enjoyed giving something back to my former school...


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's all gone quiet! Or, perhaps not!!

So, what's going on at the school then?

Well, to the casual passer by not much really as its all going on behind the scenes with fitting out of the new build and ripping out the old build in what was the centre and end staircases and over parts of the bridge as it was once known. The new build we have moved into is bearing up under the strain of all the pupils and staff but I personally have a few worries about longevity of fixtures and fittings. I see paintwork being badly scuffed and door hinges getting bent making doors ill fitting and stiff to use. Sections of vinyl flooring seemed to be lifting and I suppose proof was during half term they relaid whole sections in the stairwell. I somehow feel that vinyl as warm and as practical as it can be, just is not up to the wear and tear of the old terrazzo flooring. Remember, at half term that was only six weeks of use!!
Other "problettes" that have appeared are fire/burglar alarm problems and the main front doors which took ages to get to work as they should.

It's that time for pranks again...

Every school has it's pranksters and we have our fair number, but of late, the pranks have become serious as well as tedious. For once and for all please spread the word...


The good news is...the new CCTV works well and certain individuals were caught hook line and sinker! The continued use of remote controlled CCTV is a debatable point of which I will not go into here. It is a part of  our society that will, I fear, sadly have to remain as used well, its efficacy is unquestionable!
CCTV - the nerve centre

Finishing off on a high note...

If you look at the funny gurkin shaped structure towards the rear of the school, (Shown above) this is going to be our new Faith Centre. Have you seen the roof?  It is superb!!
It looks like panels of coloured stainless steel with millions of small indentations set into the surface. The effect is to make an iridescent bronze/green hued surface that in the sunshine looks absolutely drop dead gorgeous!! I just wish the same could have been done for the new theatre roof...

Have a good autumn and let's hope it's a dry mild winter!