IT at the heart of learning

Everyone who comes into The Reach Free School in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, œclocks in with a computerised log-in system at the front desk

When pupils arrive at The Reach Free School each morning, their day starts with technology. Children and teachers arriving at the school in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, “clock in” with a computerised log-in system at the front desk. It stores identification details of staff, students and visitors along with their photographs to make sure the school is safe and secure.

As the school day goes on, IT remains at the heart of almost every aspect of pupils’ learning. They have iPads to use in lessons, and can take them home to complete homework. They use Google apps to seamlessly sync their work across laptops, PCs and tablets.

A comprehensive IT suite includes PC and Mac computers, ensuring students experience a range of applications and operating systems. Pupils are even able to plug in Raspberry Pi units to help them learn the basics of computer programming.

­­Academy and free school experts Centerprise IT Services worked closely with the headteacher and staff at The Reach to build a system from the ground up so the school, which opened last year, could ensure that the smart use of IT was central to its teaching philosophy.

This collaborative working approach means Centerprise’s clients get a bespoke service that fits their needs. No two schools are the same, and that’s why the IT setup provided by Centerprise is tailored for each client.

For example, The Reach has opened on a temporary site and will move to a new building as it grows. Centerprise worked with the school to ensure the system could be easily moved when the time comes. Servers were placed in mobile cabinets and all the systems were linked wirelessly to minimise the need to rewire at the new site.

Centerprise is quickly becoming the go-to provider for academy and free schools and has installed tailored systems at schools up and down the country with an emphasis on security, flexibility and value for money.

Jeremy Bruty, education director at Centerprise International, said: ‘The headteacher at The Reach really wanted to put IT at the heart of everything the school does.

“Our challenge was to work within their budget to deliver equipment that works seamlessly and will grow as the school does. By working closely with The Reach Free School, as we do with all our clients, we were able to deliver a package that exactly meets their needs.’

Richard Booth, headteacher at The Reach, said: ‘Our IT is at the heart of everything we do – it’s not just confined to IT lessons. For example they’ll use language apps to learn Spanish, or use their tablets to research history for humanities.

‘We told Centerprise what we wanted and our budget and they came up with the equipment and set it up. Every single thing we asked for, they have delivered.’

For more information on how Centerprise’s range of services can help with your organisation’s IT, contact the team on 01256 378000 or email

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Don’t take our word for it…

“I have been really impressed with how quickly things were set up, but completely bowled over with how things have been embedded so thoroughly. The support whether on the phone, working remotely or through visits has been really great I just wanted you to be aware of how pleased the school has been with our choice of Centerprise.” – Dave Strudwick, headteacher, Plymouth School of Creative Arts.

“It doesn’t make sense to employ someone on a full time basis to manage our ICT when we can use the services of Centerprise for a fraction of the cost. Centerprise manage and support our entire network infrastructure and their advice and guidance is invaluable when planning for future investment. Their dedicated field service engineer fully understands our setup which means he is able to resolve issues quickly and with minimal disruption to our teaching.” ­– Matthew Lowden, headteacher, Anton Infant School, Andover, Hampshire.

Centerprise representatives have listened well and have worked closely with us to understand our vision for learning within a pioneering setting. They have sought to present solutions that are future-proof and represent best value for money. The level of support offered to us by Centerprise International has been excellent. We recommend Centerprise’s service wholeheartedly.” – Ann Cockerham, headteacher, Rye College, Sussex.

“We have found each of the meetings with Centerprise useful and fruitful, each time coming away with better solutions, improved efficiency and an awareness of new technology that could be applied in the learning environment. We appreciate the pragmatic and analytical approach that Centerprise has taken, getting the most of the existing ICT investments, rather than a “rip and replace” approach, which we have experienced in the past.” – Nancy Kirk, governor for ICT, Gumley Convent School, Middlesex.