As the UK eases into a phased re-opening of schools, Matterport is offering schools free access to its platform to create and share a digital twin of their institution in full and immersive 3D. Matterport scans enable qualifying schools to map out their premises for safe reopening which parents and teachers can view to see how their school is following COVID-19 regulations. Matterport also enables schools to virtually showcase their campuses to prospective students, and allow off-site collaboration for essential works. King Alfred is one of the 50 schools currently participating in the initiative.
We caught up with Zah Rasul, Head of Operations at King Alfred School, to explore how Matterport is helping them showcase the school to prospective students, and collaborate with contractors to reduce on-site visits, and map safe-distancing spaces as they work to safely reopen.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture of King Alfred School?
Matterport invited us to participate in the work they are doing to help schools reopen safely due to COVID-19 restrictions and of course, we signed up. We have a lovely campus split across two sites and unlike many schools, ours is made up of a number of low-level buildings. We wanted to capture that feeling, as well as show off the grounds of the Manor Wood and Ivy Wood, and give parents and teachers confidence that we are reopening safely.
Q: The pandemic has meant schools across the UK have had to close. How will the 3D capture of the school help to improve safety measures once pupils are allowed back in the classroom?
We Matterported King Alfred School after making safety-driven layout changes to classrooms in line with UK Government regulations, so our scan enables parents and teachers to see these and feel comfortable that their children will be safe and protected when schools reopen.
Also, as the Head of Operations for the school, the scans will help me in working with contractors. We can collaborate without needing to meet on-site, adding another level of safety for students and teachers on the campus.
Q: Has the 3D capture of King Alfred School had an impact on welcoming prospective students? Will offering a virtual tour continue to be an option even after the global pandemic is over?
During the pandemic, we have been hosting Open Mornings by webinar, we weren’t able to take prospective parents and students on tours of the school at all. But now that we have the Matterport scan, we can do that, which has made a positive difference and enabled prospective students to see and get a feel for the school.
And for those joining, it has also given the Admissions team the ability to continue welcoming new families and students to our site, virtually.
Moreover, Matterport has allowed our Estates staff to reduce the number of in-person meetings to show contractors our spaces.
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring King Alfred School?
We want prospective parents to see the bright, vibrant, and inspiring spaces we have throughout the school that encourages learning. I’d hope people notice the lack of corridors and connection to nature in every classroom. Even when in-person tours resume, we’d like to keep the virtual tour as a useful fact-finding tool for prospective parents and students.
To find out about how your school can participate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org