Working from home
This guide will hopefully assist you in best utilising school resources when off site.
Some initial notes:
- Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) will be required from all devices when off site that aren’t provided by the school, or any school provided device that isn’t a windows-based laptop.
- Never leave a logged in device unattended in a public location.
- All school provided laptops are encrypted, any tampering with hardware or core settings may result in protections locking the device from booting, requiring IT to resolve.
School provided staff laptops at home
School laptops are configured to automatically connect back to school via VPN (Virtual Private Network) which creates a secure, encrypted connection between your laptop and an internet facing server at the school.
The VPN connects once you’ve logged into your home Wi-Fi, which you can add from the login screen here by clicking the Wi-Fi icon, and selecting your home Wi-Fi (Should only be required the first time you take it home):
Once you’ve connected to your home or a public Wi-Fi network, the VPN will connect in the background.
You can check the VPN has connected by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the task bar, this is how things should look:
Windows 10 – In school: Windows 10 – At home (replace Mobilehotspot with the name of your home Wi-Fi):
Windows 11 – Click the “VPN button” to see VPN connection status as below:
The VPN won’t connect in school, as it isn’t required. It should automatically say “Connected” when at home.
If you have a poor internet connection, or weak Wi-Fi signal, this connection can be problematic. You can check your connection speed with a speed tester such as fast.com and keep an eye on how many bars light up on the Wi-Fi signal, any less than two and you may need to move closer to your Wi-Fi router.
If you get an error connecting to the VPN, either take a screenshot or let IT know what the error says, and we’ll see what we can do to assist.
Now that you’re connected, you’ll be able to use the laptop in much the same way as you use your classroom or office desktop, with mostly the same software.
Your default document location, and anything saved to your desktop on your laptop, saves to your H drive > Laptop Documents folder.
There are the following additional notes to be aware of if you have a school staff laptop:
- SIMS should be installed – Note that if there is a sims update, it should pick this up automatically, however if you don’t use your laptop for more than 3-4 months, you will likely need to bring your laptop to IT to have SIMS forcefully updated, as the auto updates don’t work if SIMS is more than one version out of date.
- Access to T drive, O drive, H drive etc. should all be available through file explorer. Bear in mind that you are accessing all these files through the internet rather than local network, so depending on file size and your internet connection this may be slower than you’re used to in school.
- Staff laptops are not setup to be used offline. There aren’t many places you can save files to the device, and all pre-configured default locations writeback to the network or to your school OneDrive account (user dependent). IT takes no responsibility for files lost if you store them on the device.
- Web browsing traffic does NOT go via the VPN, nor do we monitor that traffic when you are at home.
- The tax and NI liabilities guide says private use of laptops and other school devices should be less than 10%. We won’t install or permit installation of personal software such as Games or Music tools such as iTunes etc.
- IT can connect to your device remotely if you request support, so long as you have an active internet connection. These connections are logged and audited.
- Your laptop will automatically install windows and office updates; however, we may request it back from you from time to time for larger updates or if your device doesn’t appear to have updated or reported back for an extended period.
Access from personal devices
There are a few ways you can connect in from a personal device, and which way will best suit you depends on the task you’re trying to achieve, and what type of device you’re using.
Mobiles/Tablets: For best compatibility we recommend Google Chrome, or the associated app with the service you wish to use.
PCs/Laptops: We aren't aware of any specific incompatibilities with desktop web browsers and any of the below services.
These options are all accessible through the archway website staff access page.
Available to you are:
- Remote desktop
Remote desktop in a web browser:
For best experience only use this on a laptop or desktop. Not recommended on mobile or tablets.
There is a two-stage login to this system. First, you’ll be asked for your office 365 login and MFA details. Second, you’ll be presented with another login box requiring your username and password.
If you get stuck on a white screen after entering your office 365 details and it doesn’t progress, just refresh, and try again. The handoff between the two logins has a known issue.
You should now be on a screen with an “Archway” shortcut that looks like a computer. Click that to open the RDP connection in your browser window.
Remote desktop is best used when you need to use the full version of SIMS, SIMS reports, FMS, or other school software that you won’t have on your personal device. It’s not recommended to use this to work on satchel one, teams etc. or anything else web based, open those in a separate tab within your own browser instead.
This is listed as “File and Folder access” on the school website.
As with remote desktop, there is a two-stage login to this system. First, you’ll be asked for your office 365 details along with your MFA details. Second, you’ll be presented with another login box requiring your username and password.
Foldr gives you browser-based access to your H drive, T drive, O drive from any device. Depending on the file type of what you want to edit, you can edit directly in office 365 (file autosaves changes) or download the file to your device, edit, and re-upload the changes you’ve made.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, for guides on how to use foldr effectively, see the knowledgebase here: https://kb.foldr.io/knowledgebase_category/user-guides/ which covers use across multiple device types. There is also an app you can install for apple and android devices.
Foldr is best used when you just need to modify office documents such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files or upload files from your personal device to one of your drives from a personal device for access in school.
School code is “arch” or “gl54ax” whichever you choose.
Logins for staff are always via the “Login with Microsoft” button, the form above that link won’t work for staff logins, and you will be asked for your MFA details when offsite.
You should already be familiar with Edulink as a web-based solution for accessing SIMS data and doing registers in school, among other staff and parent engagement functions. If not, you can familiarise yourself with all aspects of Edulink here: https://support.overnetdata.com/
OneDrive has made the old-fashioned USB storage drives entirely redundant.
OneDrive is your personal work storage area in the cloud. It’s also integrated with your school login; you can access OneDrive the following ways:
- School desktop via file explorer (“OneDrive – Archway School” on the left side of file explorer)
- School desktop via web browser
- Home PC or laptop via any web browser
- Mobile or Tablet via any web browser
- Apple app store or Google play store OneDrive app
There are shortcuts in the staff access area of the school website, or you can go direct to office.com and sign in there to get to the office 365 portal which has links directly to OneDrive.
Any method you use to access and store or create a file, will be accessible on all others in the same way.
Additional benefit of working on office documents stored in OneDrive:
Your documents will autosave changes, with tons of steps you can restore back to. You can also share files directly from OneDrive and collaborate on the same file together.