Yew Tree Primary School, in Sandwell, became an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC), offering training courses on how Mac and iPad can enhance the curriculum. When they decided it was time to move to a 1:1 iPad deployment for KS2, they tendered for an IT provider.
Thanks to our iPad expertise and successful e7 Project, Yew Tree decided we were the best partner to help them get the full benefit of iPad. We now help them with all of their IT solutions and services. As long-standing Apple users, Yew Tree knew that Mac and iPad would get pupils working creatively, and both collaboratively and independently, to achieve their aim of pupils becoming ‘self-organised, independent creative learners.’
The logical way to go from there, headteacher Howard Martin thought, would be a 1:1 rollout: “giving access 24/7 and 365 days a year was a natural progression – it is about totally taking the lid off pupils’ opportunities to learn and at the same time opening their eyes to the world and raising their aspirations.”
Engaging pupils, raising teaching standards
Howard wanted to engage pupils, enrich the curriculum and raise teaching standards, and chose us to help implement a 1:1 iPad mini deployment at Yew Tree, winning a bid over other IT providers. “Deploying 270 iPad devices to our KS2 pupils with 24/7 access was a brave step,” he explained, “but we had the confidence in our staff, our parents and pupils to make it a success. The fact that we had the support of, and confidence in Jigsaw24 was comforting.”
We provided Yew Tree with all of their 270 iPad mini devices, pre-loaded them with the apps, pre-configured them to the school’s network and asset tagged everything for easier management. Doing all of this at our end meant Yew Tree could start using iPad in lessons straight away, without any awkward in-class setup time. We then repackaged them so staff and pupils could open them for themselves. “Issuing the iPad devices to pupils and letting them experience the unboxing of their own iPad mini was a bit like Christmas day – almost an emotional experience,” Howard said.
A secure, managed deployment
We then suggested Yew Tree consider security options and some form of mobile device management (MDM). We recommended Lightspeed Systems’ Bottle Rocket, Web Filter and MDM solutions to tackle both of these, and Howard was impressed by the granular control, which enabled the monitoring of iPad usage, web filtering for home use, reporting on inappropriate searches, teacher-controlled restrictions and ease of use it would all give the school. The Web Filter tool was particularly important for keeping pupils safe online and making sure they weren’t accessing anything inappropriate, both on and off the school network.
“Since the iPad devices were going home [with pupils], we needed to be sure that any filtering device would be robust and secure, and Lightspeed’s track record gave us that confidence to choose Bottle Rocket – an extremely effective filter,” he said.
Both pupils and parents have reacted in a very positive way since the 1:1 iPad mini deployment, according to Lisa Hollan, RTC manager at Yew Tree, and have readily signed a user agreement respecting what Yew Tree is trying to achieve by giving each KS2 pupil their own iPad. She said: “Parents’ meetings explained the iPad devices’ purpose, the e-safety precautions we were putting in place, and also how to take care of the devices.”
Enhancing teaching with iPad
Staff, after having used iPad for teaching for some time, have also reacted well to the 1:1 deployment. “Staff had been used to using iPad to deliver aspects of the curriculum, so when we announced the 1:1 rollout, they were delighted. They knew the value they would bring to enhancing their teaching. Over time, iPad has become indispensible to them.”
Engaging learners, empowering teachers
The 1:1 programme has let Howard offer pupils greater personalisation, creativity and choice, facilitate independence and collaboration, engage the most reluctant learners and empower teachers, all of which supports any time, any where learning (he now aims to roll out to KS1 pupils soon). And Jigsaw24’s services have made him confident in achieving that:
“We would recommend Jigsaw24 wholeheartedly,” said Howard. Their pre-delivery service was excellent, even down to all the iPad devices being pre-configured to our network and the apps being deployed. It was excellent. All the sales, technical and support staff have been extremely helpful and always very professional.”
For more information about iPad for your classroom, get in touch with us on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our education site for the latest education news, tips and resources.