INFORMATION SYSTEMS (IS)

The IS department has core responsibilities for maintaining and supporting all computer equipment, including the network infrastructure, audio visual systems in classrooms plus sound and lighting support for all our indoor and outdoor performance venues. In addition the department is responsible for the operation and development of the School's Management Information System (MIS) known as Merlin. Merlin provides all the key information for administration of the school from timetabling and pupil achievements / academic tracking to internal and external exam management in addition to basic data processing and communications. The department is also responsible for all telephone systems and security access arrangements.

The School invests in a comprehensive programme to support and develop staff with the requisite IT skill set. IT training is available at various INSET sessions during the year as well as dedicated one to one sessions which staff can book at any time. There are also sessions specifically devoted to new staff joining Downe House.

The Downe House network connects around 800 computers and mobile devices (including our school in France in Veyrines) with the necessary infrastructure to provide access to a complete range of teaching and learning resources plus day to day administration. Each classroom is fully equipped with both IT and audio visual installations. There are approximately 100 computers installed within five IT suites. The School accommodates a range of equipment platforms including Microsoft, MAC, iPads and smart phones. Access for students to some mobile devices is limited at certain times of the day to ensure a satisfactory balance of usage is maintained.

All boarding houses accommodate computers that are available for the exclusive use of students. Students each have their own login that they use to access their files and their email whilst at School or at home. All boarding houses and classrooms offer wireless connectivity and all internet access is filtered and age appropriate. Students have access to a dedicated intranet/extranet known as 'Elaine' while at school or at home which allows students to retrieve a broad range of learning resources, interact with teachers and tutors and keep up to date on all the available activities each week.

Parents also have secure access to the Downe House Extranet which contains key academic/pastoral information pertaining to their daughter, plus key event information. Many services are now available on-line.