A proud multicultural school at the heart of the Daisyfield community in Blackburn, Daisyfield Primary caters to almost 300 children across 11 classes. Each class was struggling with dated smart board screens that impacted learning and lesson flow. 58 staff also needed access to a robust printer that could deliver a high print quality, whilst also finding a way to drive down colour print volume. Additionally, Daisyfield Headteacher Joanne Ramsbottom sought something fun and educational to innovate their nursery, so Sharp got to work on a solution.
Dated technology impacting lessons
A key concern for Daisyfield was their dated smart board technology. Joanne Ramsbottom, Headteacher at Daisyfield Primary said: “Our previous boards were very old and desperately needed replacing. They were slow and unresponsive, lessons that involved interactivity often had to be changed last minute, they really hindered teaching and learning towards the end.”
The next challenge was the school’s singular printer. Joanne says: “Our pre-Sharp photocopier was coming to the end of its lease, we’d had a few issues with it breaking down and the quality wasn’t quite where we needed it to be. We wanted something robust that could support all 58 members of staff and each of our 11 classes.”
Additionally, Daisyfield wanted to breathe new life into their Early Years curriculum. “We needed something that was fun, whilst also being an incredibly useful tool for education”, said Joanne. “We didn’t want something that would get used once and then get left in a corner when our pupils got bored, so it really had to be entertaining and engaging.”
Finally, Joanne said: “As you’re probably aware, school budgets continue to decrease, so cost is always high up on our list of priorities when it comes to procuring new technology for our school. One area where we really needed to curb costs was with colour printing, we needed a solution that would help us control colour output and manage waste.”
Best-in-class technology to improve learning
Sharp’s first solution was to remove the 11 dated smart board screens in classrooms and replace them with interactive BIG PADs. These screens would provide teachers with a platform to present lesson content in immaculate full HD, ensuring engagement throughout. The devices also come equipped with white board software and pen software, for a natural pen-on-paper experience that maintain lesson flow.
Next, Sharp wanted to supply Daisyfield with a single light production printer to bring their output up to standard. The newfound print quality would allow staff to print important previously outsourced documents in-house; documents like booklets, photographs or the school prospectus. Scan2Sims functionality would also speed up admin-heavy tasks by allowing staff to scan records accurately, directly into Sims.
To breathe new life into the Early Years Curriculum, Sharp proposed the installation of the Interactive Touchscreen Table: Early Years Edition. The ability to seamlessly transition from table to upright, and a lightweight frame with safety lock wheels provides the perfect platform for educational games. Learning apps like the award-winning Yellow Door suite make literacy and numeracy fun, whilst laying the foundations for fundamental gross and fine motor skills.
Lastly, to help alleviate the worry of budgetary constraints, PaperCut Print Management Software was proposed to provide Joanne with complete oversight of the print process. In a bid to drive down costs, the software would allow Joanne to cap colour printing at a certain level, and discourage unnecessary waste by making students and staff accountable.
Innovative solutions that cut costs
Since Sharp’s involvement, Daisyfield has enjoyed many benefits. Joanne Said: “A lot of our old boards had a problem with the projection, but the BIG PAD picture quality is so much better. The touch is smoother like pen-on-paper - I know the teachers like having control over content again, they can freeze frame and prepare the next portion of the lesson on their laptop, so it’s really handy.”
Secondly, “Our new printer is excellent”, says Joanne. “The quality is amazing, we can print everything in-house and to a really high standard, from letters to our school prospectus booklet. We actually shopped around to see what else was out there but Sharp’s device came out on top!”
When talking about the Early Years Touchscreen Table, Joanne said: “The touchscreen table continues to be a worthwhile investment. The apps are brilliant because they work on developing fine and gross motor skills, and we’ve already noticed marked improvements in our pupils handwriting. The Yellow Door learning apps are also fantastic because they make numeracy and literacy lessons fun, and they use a feedback/reward system that keeps their learning on track.”
Costs have also been reduced. Joanne says: “Sharp worked very hard with us to drive down colour printing. PaperCut lets each person see how much they are spending and how much waste is being produced, and I can see it too! So they’re being less wasteful and not printing colour unnecessarily. Sharp helped us achieve our 40% colour to 60% mono target within 90 days which is just phenomenal.”
Joanne concludes: “Essentially it boils down to the relationship. We don’t want someone to flog us technology, we want someone that’s going to provide us with solutions, and Sharp really have done that - I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”
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