Most of the specialist subject specific software used in school will not need to be available at home – homework will not be set that requires this level of specialism on a home computer.
You can use Office 365 (or your own copy of Microsoft Office if you have one) to do work at home and save or send documents to school. Note the web versions of Office 365 do not offer the full capabilities of the main Office programs but will normally be more than sufficient for the tasks set in school.
- Save these documents to your Office 365 ‘OneDrive’ and then retreive a copy when in school and save it to your school folders
- Save them in the documents folder of your school e-mail account and retrieve them when in school
- Send the document(s) by e-mail to your school e-mail account (or another address given by your teacher when setting the homework).
All you need for Office 365 is an internet connected computer or device (use your school e-mail address* and school network password to log-on) and a compatible web browser or the Office 365 Apps. Office 365 is provided under the school licence and does not cost you anything.
* Your school e-mail address is your normal school network log-on ID followed by @flhs.wigan.sch.uk
You can also download and install LibreOffice. (We currently recommend the ‘mature stable version’, v 5.3.5). This is a ‘no-cost’ alternative to Microsoft Office. If you need a PDF reader for your computer, follow this link to the Adobe download page.
We do recommend that you keep your computer up to date so that any work you prepare on it can be easily and safely transferred between home and school and vice-versa. You can also transfer some small files using your school e-mail account.
Your computer comes pre-installed with a web browser which, along with the operating system, you should keep up to date to minimise security issues. If you want to install an alternate web browser, you could try the following links (other browsers are available):
- For Mozilla Firefox click here. (Recommended for use with Frog VLE and our other systems)
- For Google Chrome click here.
- For Opera click here.
You should ensure that you have good Anti Virus software installed and that it is kept up to date. This applies to any operating system, Windows, Mac or Linux. If your subscription to a paid for product has expired your protection will be out of date and your machine and data at risk. We recommend you renew your subscription or replace your product.
There are some free alternatives and, if you currently have no Anti Virus installed, we recommend that you install one now even if it’s only while you consider which package to buy.
Windows Anti-Virus Products (Free)
- Sophos Home (other Sophos Free Tools)
- Avira Anti Virus
- Avast Anti Virus
- AVG Free
- Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Vista / 7)
Mac OSX Anti-Virus Products (Free)
The above list is not a recommendation or endorsement, other packages are available. Free products may provide limited functionality. You should compare products, take advice if in doubt.
Other Free Useful Software:
- SketchUp Make (Files created or edited in this version may not be fully compatible with that used in school)
- GIMP (Image Editing)
- Audacity (Audio Editing)
- VLC (Media Player)
Basic Broadband should be more than sufficient for accessing our systems from home, however at peak times you may notice some delay in response times if your ISP’s network is congested. You can check out the performance of your broadband connection by visiting “Speedtest.net” or other similar sites.
If you find your web pages load slowly or have problems but your speed check is OK, try deleting your browser cache and history files.
Carry out a full Anti Virus scan to make sure your computer is free from Malware which may be affecting performance. If you find anything, you’ll probably need to go through the recommended clean up procedures of your Anti Virus software to restore performance.
Sometimes you may need to fine tune the performance of your computer by removing unnecessary programs loaded at startup. Browser toolbars, especially those you may have been “tricked” into installing, are often the cause of poor internet performance and frequent pop-ups, remove them if you can – keep your browser clean of add-ons.