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General Chat Thread, 6th Form - How do you do it? in General; Hi all. We have just been given the nod by DfE to build and open a 6th Form ready for ...
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    6th Form - How do you do it?

    Hi all.

    We have just been given the nod by DfE to build and open a 6th Form ready for September 2014 - exciting and interesting times ahead. It's still early days, the dust is still settling after all the hard work put in to convince DfE that it was needed but now we need to start looking at how we're going to do it!

    The Deputy Head has already come to me with the idea that he wants every 6th Former to have a laptop, and the exact mechanics of that have yet to be decided, but it's all ideas going into the melting pot before we decide on an actual approach. It's suggested that there will be an additional 300 students on roll, with at least 18 new classrooms, teachers for those rooms and all the admin and pastoral required. My whiteboard is filling up with items that we need to think about.

    My question to you lot; how do you run your 6th Form and your 6th Formers in terms of ICT? Do you do pure BYOD? Do you just have a pool of portable devices issued? Or do you just treat it just an extension of your current school? How much ICT staffing does a 6th form take? Infrastrucutre? There is currently 3 of us looking after this place (2 x full time and 1 x term time only) and we're pretty much busy all the time especially during school holidays.

    Again, appreciate all your input.

    Pete

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    nickbro's Avatar
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    We do a mix, dedicated ICT room for them in there block, plus BYOD policy.

    We can't afford 1 laptop each.

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    FragglePete (8th January 2013)

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    CAM
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    For the students you will need to look at your ICT facilities and see how to expand them to accommodate those extra students. Sixth Form have far more "spare time" then the rest of the school during which time they are supposed to be working on assignments and research. If you collaborate with other schools, you may also find they have certain times each week where their frees clash due to your timetable's block system.

    On the admin side, you will need a few new members of staff as the Sixth Form is very admin heavy with Post-16 census, UCAS applications, bursaries, even more exams, etc.
    Last edited by CAM; 8th January 2013 at 10:34 AM.

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    Two rooms of pc's, one smaller room of thin-clients and another even smaller room with tin-clients.

    No BYOD, we don't have the wi-fi infrasructure necessary.

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    FragglePete (8th January 2013)

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    gmonks's Avatar
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    Where I used to work, we had a IT suite in the sixth form area and then the students were also allowed to use there own laptops. There was also a sixth form office with a couple of staff.

    Oh but the computer's in that room got mistreated - I think this was a mixture of misbehaving students and no supervision.
    Last edited by gmonks; 8th January 2013 at 10:51 AM.

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    Dedicated IT room for sixth form private study, small IT base that's sixth form only and and a medium-sized mostly sixth form IT base. There's also a laptop trolley for their use.

    Pressure for BYOD is increasing (and I'm willing), but we need to thrash out the whole implications for lessons/teacher's supporting it thing before we go any further. There's impending capital spending that needs rethinking (or at least made more flexible) if BYOD gets the nod in the near or medium term.

    270-odd kids, who are pussycats.

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    FragglePete (8th January 2013)

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    AJWhite1970's Avatar
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    One large Sixth Form workroom that is all cabled with 20 PC's and well looked after (nice kids here...). Student Wifi in the workroom and common room for BYOD. Staff Wifi in the whole building. Also six dedicated sixth form classrooms, again all flood wired with cat5, two trollies of laptops that use the staff Wifi and four offices that use cat5.

    If it's a clean build, work out the number of Cat5 sockets you need then add a 0 to the figure and flood the whole building, cat5 is a tiny fraction of a new build cost but there is no guarantee that a room built for a specific purpose will still be doing that in 12 months time and it saves having to add new cables at a later date. Also factor in cat5 sockets high in corridors etc for wifi access points, interactive notice boards, projectors etc. I also went for 3 compartment dado trunking for all the cables rather than the nice neat cabling built into the walls, not quite as nice to look at but much easier to add new cables to. Plus, make sure that you get access to the cable trays in ceilings and especially areas where they go up and down through floors

    I also had cable management built into the floors of all the classrooms so the teachers desk faces forwards with only screen, mouse, keyboard and USB extension lead on the desk, the PC, AV etc is in a nice cupboard in the corner of each room out of harms way with cables running under the floor between the two.

    Finally, get yourself on the build committee. So much easier if you have direct access to the architect!!!

    Andrew

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Just an extension of normal school here, with a few free periods and no uniform. They have a block of the school that is more or less only their lessons, including a couple of study rooms with PCs in - one with 9 machines, one with 4, and they have a couple in the common room as well. An extension to said common room is being mooted for Summer 2014, and they want another 10 machines in there if so. They also have access to computers in the library and various other classrooms if they're not being used and ask politely.

    I'm all for BYOD for KS5 but SMT aren't too hot on the idea at the moment, so managed wireless is on the backburner again for now. It's inevitable though, I think.

    We give them greater access to the internet here as well - webmail and such like. It's voluntary education, if they want to waste their time, that's their responsibility.

    And as others say - pretty admin heavy. There's a (teacher) Head of Sixth Form here and a newly employed Sixth Form Administrator working with them full time.

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    The implications of 1 laptop per pupil have to be taken and analysed very very carefuly .

    Theaft, ( Agrivated, unattended and intentional )
    damage, ( user and by other)
    Maintenace, software update etc.
    Misues, ( lock them down so )
    Funding,
    EOL,
    Refresh cycle,
    Safe Charging, ( and other H&S issues )
    Wi-Fi load,

    the Lsit goes on.


    we have two banks of 60 laptops that they can take out, some fixed terminals, classroms for formal lessons, and we are just rollign limited BOYD ( It's very lcoked down! )

    Don't underestimate P2P issues using your wifi either so you need client segrigation on your wi-fi

    Rob

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    Our 6th form are just an extension of the normal school - all classrooms and IT rooms etc are shared. Our 6th form is run a little differently to most however, they don't get traditional free periods and aren't allowed to leave site. Outside of lessons they're timetabled for quiet study periods within our 6th form study centre (our only dedicated 6th form room) which is a room with around 60-70 PCs plus additional desk space for those not using a computer. This is supervised at all times by members of teaching staff. The head of 6th form, our full time careers advisor and the 6th form student achievement manager (essentially a non-teaching head of year) also all have their offices coming off of this space.

    We do run a 1-1 laptop scheme but this is across the entire school not just 6th form. We do let students connect their own devices to the site-wide wireless network however.

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    We have a suite of 30 PC's dedicated to sixth form use, a laptop trolley of 30 laptops for sixth form students to book / sign out as and when needed as well as BYOD across the entire site (can only be used by staff and sixth form).

    We also have digital signage around the sixth form area as this is the easiest way to communicate to them en mass.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    My question to you lot; how do you run your 6th Form and your 6th Formers in terms of ICT? Do you do pure BYOD? Do you just have a pool of portable devices issued? Or do you just treat it just an extension of your current school? How much ICT staffing does a 6th form take? Infrastrucutre? There is currently 3 of us looking after this place (2 x full time and 1 x term time only) and we're pretty much busy all the time especially during school holidays.
    We have the following:

    Similar Group Policy setup as with the students. There is no software currently that post16 require over students so it doesn't really matter.
    Increased Internet Access - Media sites for music mainly.
    Around 100 PCs in their block, two open areas and PCs in nearly every class. For us as much as Open area's are nice, they do get abused far more and we purchased low grade PCs which frankly could do with an upgrade with the likes of CS3/Macromedia software. So might be a good idea to actually confirm several times "What exactly do they want to do on the PCs".
    BYOD is allowed for Wi-Fi and Internet access, we manually put the password in - our system is pretty locked down so they will require an account to get anything.
    Extra home drive space
    Personally I wouldnt go for Laptops for all. I am not a fan of wireless for students (Domain access anyway), we have had two sets of Laptops over the years and abuse/wireless was just utter CRAP.
    We also have wireless covering most of our 6th Form area but the walls are a bit thick and wireless does not exactly reach every corner and age has certainly affected it as well.
    They also get an email account with a Quota of 150MB.

    Depending what you go for, would you also require an additional IT Technician and server capacity. Our 6th form students use up more then what our Year 11's do, about 100GB of storage on their Home drives.

    Hope all this helps.

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    rad
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    We have 500 students in KS5. They have a SCR with 25 computers and a new study room with 12 computers plus desks.

    The Sixth Formers have their own cafe for drinks and food. They are taught in the main part of the school although some classes are used mainly Sixth Form lessons.

    Regarding Administration staff, we have 5 staff covering the sixth form, yr 12 head, yr 13 head, ass yr 12, ass yr 13, and admin to sixth form who does bursaries etc.

    Regarding ICT, they are not a huge resource, we have 1 NM, 2 techs and an admin. The admin lady tends to get involved in the ICT exams but apart from general day to day, we dont see Sixth Form students often.

    As for BYOD, we provide a WiFi for students to use (and staff) but do not provide them devices. I cant see it working as some students, ie those that do Drama, Art etc wont need it. those that do Media will want power hungry devices and those doing Science, maths etc wont use it as often.

    Also has the school thought about power sockets. How do schools add sockets around the classrooms?
    Last edited by rad; 8th January 2013 at 02:55 PM.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    BYOD for students. We provide the wifi though.

    6th form here is integrated with the rest of the school, so shared classrooms etc etc. I would strongly suggest against provided equipment to them and push to provide fantastic and secured equipment in classes\common room

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    We have a sixth form of 350 ish students.
    Every student who qualifies for a bursary gets a 'free' netbook (about 15 have them)
    All other students are expected to bring in a device. This is compulsory - like bringing in calculators, pencils etc. There is a bank of 11 thin clients and 20 laptops (linux) to use if they forget.

    The IT requirement is next to nothing for support given that only 40/350 machines are actually belong to the school.
    We provide wireless, help getting connected and broadband. Email (25GB per student) and filespace (unlimited for google docs, or 5GB for other files) is all provided online for free by google and works with everything the students chuck at us.

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