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Apple Distinguished Schools: Their stories

What is an Apple Distinguished School (ADS) you may ask? Apple Distinguished Schools are schools that are using Apple technology to inspire student creativity, collaboration and critical thinking to reach extraordinary heights.

This prestigious title is awarded by Apple to schools they believe are using their products to create a truly amazing learning experience for students. Some of the current qualifications to be accepted onto the programme include:

-       Established one-to-one programme.

-       Innovative use of the Apple platform.

-       Staff proficiency with iPad or Mac.

-       Documented results.

Schools that qualify can enjoy support for school leaders through leadership events, opportunities to engage with experts, collaboration with peers who share an interest in innovative learning and teaching, and most importantly: the opportunity to make a lasting impact on their students.

Jigsaw24 is proud to have worked with a number of schools to help them achieve ADS status. In this article, we will share some of the work we’ve done with these schools to help them reach their goals.

Holy Trinity C of E Primary School

We worked with Holy Trinity Primary School to help them roll out 1:1 iPad so that every student could benefit from having learning resources at their fingertips. The aim was to give pupils the opportunity to continue learning from home and to better tailor work to students’ individual needs.

Building on the success of this, we helped them ditch expensive and unreliable PCs and upgrade to a full Apple IT suite. We audited their existing IT estate and deployed Macs based on their school’s unique requirements.

To help the school optimise their resources, we worked with them to implement Jamf Pro mobile device management, which allowed them to configure all profiles from one centralised system and tailor their devices to each student. Not only did this help to enhance students’ learning through a more personalised experience, but it also even enabled the school to save nearly £16,000 in IT costs.

One of the ways Holy Trinity has been using Apple devices to foster innovation is through use of the ‘Explain Everything’ App, where they use iPads in the same way that they would use a whiteboard – with a twist. Students were empowered to become their own teachers by sharing their work with the rest of the class and talking through their reasoning. Teachers were able to record this to capture students’ thought processes so students could see exactly where they were going wrong and what they’re doing right. Students were also able to work on projects collaboratively, increasing their problem solving and teamwork skills, which significantly boosted student engagement levels.

We know all too well that no matter how much potential technology has to transform learning, but its success is always underpinned by staff proficiency. That’s why Jigsaw24 worked with Holy Trinity Primary School teachers to teach them how to use the devices in their classrooms and administer their own machines. We also worked with them to document their results so they could see how Apple technology was directly impacting their teaching and learning. 

Who are they?

Holy C of E Primary School Hackney – they have eight classes of 30 children, running from Reception to year 6, as well as a pre-school and nursery. They play a key role in the Primary Advantage National Teaching Schools Alliance, delivering training to new teachers.

How did we help?

-       IT estate audit.

-       Provided the infrastructure and support to roll out Macs.

-       1:1 iPad deployment.

-       Jamf Pro mobile device management.


-       Greater student engagement levels.

-       Significant drop in software and printing costs.

-       Easier management of devices.

-       Reliable WIFI.

-       Apple Distinguished School Accredited.

Stephenson Memorial Primary School, A Transform Trust School

Stephenson Memorial Primary School, a Transform Trust member school, we're struggling to meet minimum Ofsted requirements despite their hardworking staff and bright students – but they had a vision.

They believed that the use of iPad was just as important as being able to use a pencil, and they knew that integrating iPad into their learning would be a game-changer.

We helped Stephenson Memorial Primary School roll out 1:1 iPad across their Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils for as little as £3 per week per device using their iPad@MyPad student purchasing scheme. Staff members were also equipped with an Apple toolkit to help them introduce technology into their teaching.

Because each child was given their own device, teachers were able to send them a personalised workload, tailored to their unique needs and skill level. They were also able to keep going during the UK national lockdown, with their newly incorporated Apple technology working as the cornerstone of virtual lessons. The school was able to thrive during a global pandemic, providing quizzes and personalised feedback to help students stay on track, and video tutorials to help parents feel supported in at-home learning.

And in face-to-face lessons we showed them how they could use tools like Apple TV to showcase students’ work, teaching students how to lead and allowing teachers to simply facilitate lessons. The school also used Apple technology to foster a more creative learning environment by allowing students to complete homework in a variety of different forms: from eBooks, movies in Clips and iMovie, illustrations, and everything in-between.

All of this worked to help Stephenson Memorial Primary School see huge improvements across reading, writing and maths, with a significant jump in attainment compared to the previous year and their best SAT results to date.

Jigsaw24 also gave Stephenson Memorial Primary School in-house training for their members of staff to set them up for success. The school has even gone on to lead the first ever Apple Regional Training Centre in North Tyneside and have been awarded the Edtech50 – an award celebrating the projects shaping education technology across the UK.

Who are they?

Stephenson Memorial Primary School, Wallsend. They are part of Transform Trust and they serve 425 pupils from nursery age to year 6.

How did we help?

-       1:1 iPad deployment

-       MacBook Air for each teacher and Apple TV for every classroom


-       The original year 5 cohort made 4.6 Points Progress in writing, compared to 1.8 points in the previous year.

-       Year 4 students with iPad are a term ahead of the previous year in terms of attainment.

-       Parents can support their children’s learning at home.

-       Teachers were able to flip learning by sending lesson plans and content in advance.

-       Students given access to technology and resources they would not have experienced otherwise.

-       Students can collaborate beyond the school day.

-       Apple Distinguished School Accredited.


Western Primary School, A Red Kite Learning Trust School

Jigsaw24 has been working with Red Kite Learning Trust to implement Apple technology throughout their member schools, and so far, Western Primary School is one of their first schools to proudly hold the status of ADS.

The trust wanted to create an even playing field for students across different backgrounds and ability levels, and better support EAL and SEND pupils.

They believed it was important to flip the learning experience and give students more ownership over their learning.

After understanding their vision and goals, we worked with them to deliver a bespoke offering based on their needs. We deployed 1:1 iPad so students would have the ability to access their work outside of lessons and continue learning beyond the classroom.

We also introduced Jamf Pro mobile device management so they could manage their devices across their school with ease, provided them with a fast and stable network and management solution, and trained staff to show them what was possible with their new technology.

Through all of this, the trust was able to break barriers and create a more consistent learning experience to support children across all backgrounds and ability levels, including those with EAL and SEND. Staff were able to share resources using apps and native software on the iPad, removing the stigma for children who received differentiated printed resources in front of their peers. This helped students to work in a way that accommodated their individual needs and built their confidence.

Who are they?

Western Primary School, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. They became part of the Red Kite Learning trust in 2015 and educate children from age 3 (nursery) through to age 11 (year 6)

How did we help?

-       1:1 iPad deployment.

-       Jamf Pro mobile device management.

-       Network management.


-       Improved teacher, student and parent communication.

-       More consistent student experience.

-       Better support for children with EAL and SEND.

-       Reduced teacher workloads.

-       Apple Distinguished School Accredited.


Want to get involved?

If all of this sounds inspiring and you’d like to see how your school can get involved and become an Apple Distinguished School, a member of our team would be happy to assist you. Simply fill in the contact form below.


Want to know more?

Just drop your details in the form and our education team will be in touch.

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