A NEW computing suite has revolutionised teaching at a North Yorkshire secondary school.
The Hemingway Suite at Selby High School - named in honour of long-serving ICT manager Malcolm Hemingway - houses 100 PC stations in three distinct areas, identified by screen savers in green, yellow and blue.
The room can now be used for simultaneous sessions - for three different year groups if required - or for a total classroom lesson for up to a hundred.
ICT lessons were formerly held in an external rear annex that was difficult to keep cool in summer and hampered by restricted natural light.
Despite weight bearing restrictions on building upwards, an ingenious solution saw a complete new floor added, by suspending the room from the cantilever roof.
Steve Gore-Browne technical manager for Saville who installed the system, said: "Control is provided by an AMX system using an iPad, with a graphical user interface.
"There are six input locations and any PC connected at these points can be sent to any or all screens via a HDMI matrix switcher. Apple TV is also included."
Using a laptop PC or an iPad, the teaching team can watch students' screens and display any on one or more of the big screen monitors. They can also talk privately to any student via on-screen text.
Deputy head Stuart Lewis said: "The suite is designed and furnished to a high professional standard, to simulate a modern office environment. We hope it will help pupils develop the sense of personal responsibility and independence needed for the world of work."
Subject leader Shaun Martin said: "The facility has made for happy, productive lessons but that can sometimes lead to a rise in noise levels. We have an ingenious iPad app that displays a visual ‘soundometer' on screen.
"Those who respond and keep the chatter down win reward points - it works a treat."