Carlton School, Whanganui


Carlton School is a fully-digital Whanganui primary school that uses Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) to improve education outcomes for its students. The school uses cloud-based learning which enables students to edit and save their own documents and teachers to look at them in real time.

Each student has his or her own device to work on everyday, and all classes have their own website, which is regularly updated with a blog. Principal Gaye O’Connor says UFB has improved the students’ education and the school will not look back. “What it means is everything is much faster,” she says.

“We have around 100 devices online at one time and people aren’t being dropped off. We can upload big pieces of information without the network grinding to a halt or slowing down. “There are no impediments to learning now.”

Ms O’Connor says Carlton School students are noticing a difference with UFB, and are more actively engaged in their schooling when an audience is created for their work.

“Particularly with their blogs,” she says. “When students receive responses from around the world they are really blown away.” Ms O’Connor looks forward to a time when all schools are able to take advantage of UFB and online learning. “With Whanganui’s fibre network completed now, I think our local schools will have a big advantage,” she says.

Tokoroa Central School

Tokoroa Central School students show Louise Upston MP and William Hamilton, Ultrafast Fibre CEO, how they are using UFB as part of their learning.

Tokoroa Central School students are speeding ahead with their schoolwork by using the latest internet technology, thanks to the school’s ultrafast broadband (UFB) connection. “We got UFB connection last June, and we haven’t looked back,” says Tokoroa Central School Principal, Debbie Follas. “In the last eighteen months, our school’s roll has doubled, and we have put a lot of investment into providing the best learning environment we can for our growing number of students,” she says.

Local MP Louise Upston and Ultrafast Fibre CEO William Hamilton joined Principal Debbie Follas to discover just how the children are benefiting from a faster and more reliable internet service. “I am so pleased to see our local children enjoying such an excellent range of ICT tools,” says Ms. Upston. “I am particularly impressed with the ‘Google classroom’ and the way the students are so skilled at working on their Chrome Books.”

Principal Debbie Follas says that Tokoroa Central School has worked hard to make the most of the opportunity that UFB provides. “ICT has been a major focus for us, and being connected to UFB means we can offer the children a modern and exciting learning environment,” she says.

Cambridge High School

(L-R): Tony Eccles (IT Manager, Cambridge High School), William Hamilton (CEO, Ultrafast Fibre), Louise Upston MP, Phil McCreery (Principal, Cambridge High School) and Richard Riley (GM Ssales & Marketing, Ultrafast Fibre)

Cambridge High School was one of the first schools in Cambridge to be connected to UFB. Principal Phil McCreery says that UFB has allowed the school to introduce “bring your own devices” for its Year 9 students. “Looking at demand, by next year I think all Year 9 classes will be using their own devices and 80 percent of the school will be, by 2017,” he says.

The school’s IT Manager Tony Eccles says that the school has about 3,000 devices running on the network, and getting UFB is a big deal for them. “It’s huge, the data usage is through the roof,” he says. “Four to five years ago we’d go through about 100GB a month; now we’re looking at around 500GB a week.” The School has six computer suites for its students to use.

Waipa District Council Mayor Jim MyIchreest says he is enthusiastic about the educational opportunities that UFB brings to the town. “Cambridge is home to some of the top schools in the country,” says Mayor MyIchreest. “The availability of UFB is a major boost for our students, giving them the ability to study online much more efficiently.”