From the Principal’s Desk – 1 December 2016

Dear School

The last few days of a school year are always busy. We had our Primary School ‘Meet and Greet’ evening for  the 2017 classes on Tuesday, High School examinations will finish tomorrow; tonight, we have our Picnic in the Park and next week we will celebrate a year of learning when we hold our three prize-giving ceremonies throughout the day and into the evening on Tuesday, 06th December! We are certainly ending the year on a high note.

Last week we looked back on some of the developments that have happened at ISH in 2016. Before we send the final newsletter for the year next week, I wanted to use this week’s news to share another important area that was focussed on in 2016, the improvement and development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

We welcomed Mrs Clarke to the school in August 2015 and I want to extend our thanks to her for the tremendous amount of time and effort she has put into driving the developments and improvements in ICT. She has successfully taken the students through the Information Technology IGCSE examinations in May and November 2016 for the first time in the school’s history. The progress of the ICT Department in the year that she has been part of the staff has really made a significant difference.

We started off by creating a set of goals in 2015 for the development of ICT at ISH from August 2015 – April 2017. They looked like this:

  • To have a desktop with multimedia access including projectors and speakers installed in every class room for the teacher to work from so that it is directly linked into the teachers’ server in order to utilise Engage (Engage is one of the world’s best digital, cloud-based school administrative systems) or any other IES International Helderberg School server folders and teacher folders
  • For teachers to be able to log on to the server from any desktop or laptop in any office or classroom, which is linked into the teacher’s network and print from any such computer
  • Protocols to be put in place for internet and data security to protect the confidential information shared on the server.

This is how it turned out…and 2017 hasn’t even arrived yet!

April 2016

  • Fibre Optic Cable installation to the school
  • Access to Wi-Fi throughout the whole school for the first time since the port-a-cabins were erected.

September 2016

  • TeamViewer for ease of access with remote assistance from service provider installed on all desktops and laptops
  • Installed the Teacher Server with Microsoft Server (MS) 2012, Engage and Microsoft Office 2013 (MSO) Professional Plus
  • Connected all desktops, projectors and speakers in all classrooms
  • All network settings, usernames and passwords now kept off site for a more secure digital environment
  • Kaspersky (Anti-Virus) running on all new desktops
    Printing can be done from anywhere after login to the credential manager.

October 2016

  • Cloud back up runs on a weekly basis over weekends by the service provider for IES International Helderberg School
  • Monthly Service Level Agreement (SLA) implemented with the Service Provider to accept responsibility for two sites visits per month, running of all local and cloud backups as well as the full security of the network and data.

Up to April 2017

  • Library books and control of resources and stock will all be digitally controlled
  • Student server will be linked to all desktops in the Library
  • Teachers will have access to the student files from the student server
  • The remaining projectors, speakers, e-Boards and desktop equipment in the various classrooms will be installed
  • Introduction of Coding and Virtual Reality for students
  • Full implementation of ENGAGE by April 2017 will take place

We look forward to another year of development and growth at ISH in 2017 and look forward to meeting you all at the various events and celebrations that are planned over the next week.

Yours in education
Mr G. Kitching
Head of School