Raynes Park High School is a mixed comprehensive school with 120 members of staff charged with the care of 1400 pupils between 11 and 16 years of age. The school campus includes: Autism Centre, SEND Department, Sixth Form, Sports Centre and Design & Technology buildings. Head teacher Kirsten Heard is “proud of the calm, friendly learning environment and positive relationships existing in the school.”
After the calm was temporarily broken by the school becoming the target of two bomb threats, Sam Barnard, the school’s Core Operations Manager was tasked with improving safety throughout the campus. Her solution was to establish an across-site paging system that could be used in emergencies to direct people to safety as well as paging day-to-day announcements to one or more zones.
Having had previous experience of working with Clarity for the successful design and installation of sound and lighting systems into the school’s Drama Studio and School Hall, Sam contacted us again. Clarity was uniquely placed to assist the school, as not only do we enjoy a close relationship with Cloud Electronics, manufacturers of zonal paging systems, we also represent the Bosch Plena timer system which stores audio notifications and seamlessly integrates with the Cloud Electronics product.
Furthermore we had previously completed a fully certified evacuation system at Ebbsfleet Academy in Kent on behalf of Sodexo, who are also the managing agents for the Raynes Park High School. With all these factors in our favour Clarity was able to commit to installing the system within the very short timescale required.
Our design was largely dictated by the campus topology requiring us to install approximately 150 loudspeakers to ensure full site coverage. Single-way and bi-directional speakers were distributed in corridors and staff areas while music horns were used for larger areas and open spaces such as playgrounds, sports fields and school halls. Some of the speakers were connected with underground cable lengths of greater than 350 meters so we used a number of Cloud’s 100 Volt multi-channel amplifiers to ensure speaker operation over all distances. We installed further Cloud Electronics equipment; the DCM-1 Digital Control Zone Mixer and Cloud PM-8SA paging microphones to work in conjunction with the PLN6TMW Bosch Plena. The Plena automatically plays pre or self recorded audio tracks on a real-time programmable schedule.
Additionally, Clarity installed a Sennheiser wireless radio microphone system. The microphone is stored in a fire safety box accessible to nominated staff members, for emergency announcements on the move. It facilitates both indoor and outdoor use during fire assembly situations, for example, so that staff members can oversee events and direct people to safety via the paging system.
The paging system also assists pupils and staff at Raynes Park on a general day-to-day basis with timed announcements, music or tones denoting school assemblies, lunch breaks, lesson changes etc. The school reported that the paging system does more than assist with the smooth running of the daily timetable, with the sympathetic selection of music and tones it also helps to create the calm, friendly atmosphere that the head teacher strives to maintain.
There was unfortunately a recent occasion for the paging system to prove its worth when a small fire broke out during the school day. A staff member was able to use the wireless microphone to make an announcement evacuating the affected zone without alarming pupils and staff in other buildings.