Founded in 1611, Charterhouse is one of the nine great public schools in England. Located in Godalming, just outside of London, it is home to 960 students – called Carthusians – aged 13 to 18, the majority of whom board onsite. Having educated a vast number of prominent alumni, the School maintains a reputation for imparting scholastic excellence alongside life skills and the School’s values of perseverance, responsibility, moral courage, open-mindedness, and kindness.
In 2019, Charterhouse set its vision on becoming the best coeducational boarding school in the country. Central to this vision was developing a truly world-class campus with targeted investment in its academic and co-curricular facilities.
Chris Hibbs, Director, External Relations & Foundation at Charterhouse, says the School wanted to “provide a technologically rich environment that would enable us to transform and step-change the experiences and learning of our pupils, in preparation for their adult lives.”
However, its lecture theater, built in the 1980s, was technologically outdated and therefore was underutilized. The School needed an AV system advanced enough to meet high expectations for modern program delivery, with the potential to be utilized for real-world and business scenarios, not just traditional teaching.
The new Charterhouse Entrepreneurship Diploma is one of the signature programs to be delivered from this facility. It combines a taught syllabus through lectures and speakers, with a framework for pupils to get involved in creating their own presentations. The lecture theater needed to be equipped with modern AV technology that would enable pupils to present and pitch, emulating the type of workspaces they will encounter at university and in professional workplaces.
Chris adds that “it was also essential that pupils and teachers alike are able to use the equipment with ease and efficiency.”
With the renovation of the lecture theater entirely funded by donations from the School’s community, the transformation of the AV solution began.
Prime AV, the integrator for the project, recommended Kramer as the ideal technology vendor for the new AV system. Kramer was chosen for the high robustness, reliability, and ease of integration of its products, and because the Kramer Control system is sophisticated without being complicated, delivering a good user experience. The Kramer equipment installed included a control keypad (RC-74DL), a room controller (SL-1N), and a presentation switcher/scaler (VP-440X).
In October 2022, the School opened its newly renovated lecture theater, a modern auditorium with sophisticated AV and presentation facilities.
“We are now in the advantageous position of having an AV-rich facility that is being utilized by all year groups, across all academic disciplines,” says Chris.
He notes that “Pupils are now able to practice live presentation skills as well as receive feedback from peers and through video analysis reviews. This takes them through real challenges and real problems, and gives them proper exposure to some of the technologies that they’ll encounter, preparing them for future work.”
In addition to meeting the needs of the Entrepreneurship Diploma program, the collaborative and inclusive environment facilitated by the Kramer AV equipment means Charterhouse is also able to host dynamic speaker events and loan the space through its Community & Partnerships Program to assist with external educational endeavors.
For example, the School hosted a lecture on ‘The Science of Fireworks’, which was attended by several other local schools. “The space was a brilliant area for demonstrations, and guests could clearly see the projector screen from all angles in the room,” comments David Dickinson, Head of Chemistry at Charterhouse. “The display and audio-visual equipment were also very easy to use, and provided a great backdrop for the demonstrations while presenting key information to pupils.”
The quality, ease of use, and reliability of the Kramer solution are all appreciated by Charterhouse’s IT department. According to a team member, “The AV solution is easy to use, with interfaces that are self-explanatory. I’ve been impressed with how the audio sounds, and the quality of the visual definition. The solution is reliable and straightforward to troubleshoot.”
Overall, Charterhouse is very pleased with how the comprehensive Kramer AV solution has helped the School transmit and build the desired skills in students. As Chris notes: “Being business-minded, entrepreneurial, adaptable, creative, and technologically savvy are fundamental skills for both further education and professional environments.”
While he is proud of the School’s achievements thus far, Chris says he recognizes that great institutions do not rest on their laurels. He looks with optimism toward more development to ensure that “modern, progressive, and enjoyable learning at Charterhouse truly prepares Carthusians to lead fulfilled and purposeful lives.”