Improving Ofsted grades at Stephenson Memorial

Improving Ofsted grades at Stephenson Memorial

Stephenson Memorial Primary School in North Tyneside serves over 400 pupils in what is, historically, a very deprived area. Despite having incredibly hard working staff and a fantastic learning environment, they were still struggling to hit national averages, so they took part in an iPad purchase scheme to help whole families engage in learning. The result? A massive jump in Points Progress and APS.

In July this year, Stephenson Memorial became an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC) so that they could share their learning and help other schools achieve similar results. Here’s what happened when we stopped by their 70s-themed RTC launch event…

Want to find out more about our education solutions and services? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and updates follow  @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Infographic: Introducing the e7 iPad scheme

Infographic: Introducing the e7 iPad scheme

e7 is the UK’s leading iPad deployment scheme for schools. Made up of three separate programmes – a free iPad pilot, iPad training for teachers and a full iPad 1:1 rollout – it’s everything you need to successfully roll out iPad on a 1:1 basis.

But how does the e7 scheme work? Our talented design team have explained the whole thing in this natty superhero-filled infographic (just give it a click to see it in more detail). If you have any more questions about the scheme, and want to get involved, give us a call on the details at the bottom.

Infographic: Introducing e7, the UK's leading iPad deployment scheme for schools

Want to know more about the e7 scheme? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

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e7 explained: iPad 1:1 pilot

e7 explained: iPad 1:1 pilot

If you’re certain that a 1:1 device scheme would help your students and staff, but need to run a proof of concept trial to show teachers, parents and governors that you’re right, you want to get in on the ground floor of e7 with our 1:1 pilot scheme…

For a whole term, we provide you with everything you need for a 1:1 ‘proof of concept’ to explore how you will use iPad, and to show the full benefits to the whole school, governors, parents and key stakeholders. You get access to:

•  40 iPad (in cases) preloaded with chosen learning apps and resources, and pre-configured to your school’s network so that they work as soon as you turn them on.

•  Full support from our e7 team and experienced tech support engineers.

•  Teaching and learning guidance so you get the maximum benefit from the devices.

•  Technical advice on iPad management.

•  Apple TV.

To take part in the trial, you must…

•  Have a headteacher and SLT committed to rolling out iPad on a 1:1 basis to all pupils.

•  Have a dedicated e7 champion (or group of champions) who will promote the benefits of the scheme to pupils, teachers, parents and governors.

•  Understand that a significant amount of time will be needed to ensure the pilot is a success.

•  Acknowledge Jigsaw24 as your partner of choice.

Extra services: Ask us about…

•  Essential teacher training, including Vision & Plan for SLT and basics for staff, from Apple Professional Development accredited trainers and former teaching staff.

•  Technical consultation on app licensing, Apple IDs and VPP to ensure your school is legally compliant.

•  Technical handover training to make sure your IT team are fully up to scratch on equipment.

•  iPad configuration with network settings and learning resources, and pre-enrolment into a trial MDM solution.

Want to know more about deploying iPad in your school? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, how-tos and recommended resources, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or Like’ us on Facebook

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Congratulations to Netherfield on winning Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations to Netherfield on winning Teacher of the Year!

One of our earliest e7 adopters, Netherfield Primary School, have just had some amazing news: headteacher Sharon Gray has won teacher of the year at the Pride of Britain awards!

Netherfield Primary School students working with their e7 iPad

We couldn’t be happier for Sharon and the rest of the staff over at Netherfield, who have put a huge amount of work into creating an inclusive, nurturing environment that plays to their students’ strengths. As our interview with assistant head Nadeem Shah shows, the school has put some fantastic ideas into play, including creating a week-long investigation into an ‘alien landing’ that included every school department as well as the local community.

As well as working with them on their e7 iPad deployment, we’ve helped Netherfield Primary bring literacy to life with NewTek’s TriCaster, and can attest the staff there are some of the hardest working and most enthusiastic we’ve seen. Congratulations to everyone there on their well-deserved win!

To find out more about how technology can bring out the best in your classroom, get it touch with our team on 03332 409 333 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, tips and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Helping students with complex learning difficulties communicate at Great Oaks School

Helping students with complex learning difficulties communicate at Great Oaks School


After working with Creative Partnerships and the Department of Electronic Computer Science at Southampton University on a range of new technology trials, Great Oaks School joined Jigsaw24’s e7 Project to see if iPad mini would be able to help students with a range of learning and communication difficulties access the curriculum. The results? Increased engagement and communication, plus one or two surprises…

Download this case study as a PDF

Great Oaks School initially started using iPad as a communication device for SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties) students. Working with Erica Smith from Creative Partnerships and E.A Draffan from the University of Southampton, they attempted to find a digital alternative to their existing PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and to set up their own social networking system, which eventually became the Go!Platform.

“To make a new symbol for the PECS really is an onerous task,” explained Creative co-ordinator Roger Hardy, “because you have to go to the internet, you need to purchase a license to be able to use the symbols, get the symbol up, print it out, chop that out and velcro it both sides to create a set of new resources. That’s a lot of work for our support staff, so we were originally looking to see if there were ready-made apps on iPad that we could use to replace that.”

Despite some initial frustrations with the apps on offer – many used a different PECS symbol set to Great Oaks’, were “too American”, “gimmicky” or “made the massive assumption that SLD students would be able to navigate away from a page and come back” – Great Oaks’ team were impressed with the potential of iPad, and the volume of resources available through the App Store. They began looking into other potential uses for the device.

Joining the e7 Project

“I was looking on the Internet for organisations that were doing development work with schools and iPad, and Jigsaw24 came up,” said Roger. “Originally, we were told that because of the size of the school we didn’t really qualify. Then I got a call back saying that they were thinking about working with special schools and schools of different sizes and they were happy with what I’d put in writing already and thought it might be worth developing.”

After consulting with their e7 representative, Andy Cain, the Great Oaks team decided to opt for iPad mini during their trial, as these devices were not only easier for children to hold, but included a built-in camera that could be used as part of the school’s many cross-curricular creative projects, and would allow staff to take pictures of real items around school to use as PECS symbols.

Getting staff trained on iPad (and winning over parents)

A few of the teachers at Great Oaks already used iPad as their main device, so were receptive to twilight training sessions run by Erica Smith and creative trainer Ricky Tart. Other staff members were then encouraged to pass on what they’d learned to other users. But “the best way that we’ve found to get people’s skills up is to do projects,” Roger explained. “Working with creative people like Ricky Tart on film-making, animation and poetry projects has really helped to cement the learning that has taken place.

“A lot of our training has happened by one of us seeing what everyone else is doing and saying, ‘ooh, I’d like to do that,’ so we’ve trained each other up. It’s becoming more integrated in the school that we just use iPad. We’re making short films as part of our Arts Week, and we’re going to do that almost completely on the iPad. These films will be entered into several national competitions and really develop the skills of both pupils and staff. We might even use the minute-long preview template in iMovie for making the films. But obviously that is a great way to do training, and it lends itself not only to all the technical elements of making a documentary, but also uploading and editing it.”

Using iPad for project work has also helped the school win over parents who were unsure about the scheme. Using a combination of their e7 iPad mini deployment and the school’s social media site, Go!Platform, students were able to create and upload content for their parents to view before the day was over, so they could catch up with what their children were doing during the day.

“When we had the e7 iPad deployment we were encouraging the kids to film all the time,” said Roger. “I’ve got a three part film of a boy in my class making a clay rhino, and he’s not got great speech and language but you could see him developing as he went along, because he’d seen YouTube videos and he understood the format. It’s the unexpected stuff that’s been really amazing.”

Introducing students to iPad and launching the e7 Project

“When we did the first pilot project, using iPad as a communication tool, I was terrified,” admitted Roger. “One of the very first students looked at it – she’s not a verbal communicator and we thought she’d really like it, but she picked it up and just flung it across the room. But it survived and it’s fine. We’re still using that iPad!”

With the iPad crash-tested, Roger and the rest of the staff set about using sensory apps to acclimatise students with very high support needs to the new devices, and “by time we started the e7 Project with the iPad mini it was completely different. The kids could literally not wait because they’ve already seen iPad devices around the school. Andy from Jigsaw24 came down and we had all the tablets stacked up in a pile with a spotlight on them in the hall, and all the parents came in and [the pupils] couldn’t believe that they were actually taking these things away with them.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing, but Roger and the team found that the sense of ownership generated by a 1:1 scheme like the e7 Project meant that pupils took far better care of their devices than expected. “Of the 40 we had, none were broken. An iPad trolley that moves around and you log in and log out, that’s not really anything to do with you [as a pupil]. But having an iPad that’s yours and that you take home and do all your work on, compose your own music on, that was a huge development. We had one case where [one of our pupils with behavioural difficulties] was losing her temper, she knew she was about to trash the room and she asked someone to hold her iPad mini for her.

Improving speech and communication with iPad and game-based learning

While Great Oaks are still searching for their ideal PECS app (current favourite Widgit Go is still being developed for iOS) they’ve had some major success with MLD students, which Roger puts down to the more interactive, role-based nature of learning through apps and games. “There’s one particular child in my class who’s really weak on speech and language, ” he explained. “He loved [playing Minecraft on the iPad], joined in with everyone else, and as a matter of course if you see a group of children playing Minecraft together, they don’t stop talking and listening. Our speech therapist could not believe how much his speech and language had improved over that one term. And I had to say, to be honest this is solely down to Minecraft, because he wants to be a peer. We are developing a Minecraft after school club in the autumn of 2013.

“If you have a lot of learning difficulties and you’re used to not being able to keep up with everyone, and then suddenly when you immerse yourself in a game, you can become somebody who looks like everybody else, behaves like everybody else in the game. That alter ego is a brand new person. And I think that enabled him or encouraged him to work in that role, because there he was on an equal footing with the others and he had the cognitive capacity to do all the tasks in the game, so the only thing that was holding him back was his own lack of confidence. And now he doesn’t stop talking – he’s alive with it! He talks all the time about getting the iPad mini back.”

The future of Great Oaks’ iPad deployment

After three years of testing out various devices, Great Oaks have now purchased enough iPad devices for all Key Stage 4 pupils. All teaching staff have now been issued with an iPad mini as well. They’re also looking to revamp their Wi-Fi network in order to better support the 70 devices they do have, and are hoping that they’ll be able to access a broader range of apps and features when they leave their local authority and take control of their own IT setup later in the year. And would they recommend the e7 scheme? “I have! I’ve been recommending it to people I know at other schools and have been saying please get in touch with Jigsaw24, because I think maybe they might not be aware the e7 Project exists or think that they won’t qualify, but everyone should ask!”

Download this case study as a PDF

If you want to know more about the e7 Project or iPad in SEN, give the team a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter.

Motivating students and liberating staff at Hertfordshire & Essex High School

Motivating students and liberating staff at Hertfordshire & Essex High School


In 2012, The Hertfordshire & Essex High School decided to roll out a 1:1 iPad scheme, starting with their 200 sixth form students. However, they were unsure whether to also offer the devices to staff, as teachers were already provided with a school-managed laptop. They worked with our e7 team to set up a term-long trial in which 40 key staff members were given an iPad.

Pupils in Hertfordshire & Essex High School now have their own iPad to use in lessons and at home

Pupils in Hertfordshire & Essex High School now have their own iPad to use in lessons and at home

“There’s obviously been a huge shift in focus away from desktop PCs towards mobile devices,” explained the school’s Strategic Leader of ICT, Ross Woodall, when asked about the decision to roll out iPad. “We wanted to have a device that was friendly and intuitive for the students to use, and we didn’t want to deploy a Windows-based device and make it part of our domain, because a lot of our services are delivered via web interfaces. We thought that iPad was well made and well supported, and it really engaged and enthused the students. We trialled it with a few students and they were particularly keen on iPad over any other device.”

Trialling iPad with staff

The school rolled out iPad to their sixth form first, partly due to the increasing popularity of the sixth form but also because “we really wanted to provide a device that they could embed in their lessons [from the start of the academic year].” However, after the initial rollout, it was clear that a few of the staff were a bit uncomfortable because some of them were less familiar with Apple products. “We decided to do the e7 trial so that the staff could get some hands-on experience with the iPad and see if it was beneficial as a teaching resource.”

Although our e7 deployments are usually split between staff and students, we were impressed by what the school had planned, and worked with them to identify 40 key staff members who would receive an iPad for a term. The school already provided staff with laptop computers, and one of the main aims of the trial was to assess whether providing an iPad as well would be an effective use of the school’s ICT budget.

“I think the e7 Project was very helpful in reassuring us that iPad for staff was a worthwhile expenditure,” Ross said. “Trialling the device enabled us to see the benefit it brought, while actually supporting the staff. This meant that they could make better use of the hardware with the students, as well as using it themselves. It meant that their teaching became much more mobile. They were able to teach out in the field or the playground if they needed to, and could do audio and video recordings in lessons with no planning needed in advance. Things like that were much, much less viable with a traditional laptop.”

Assessing Mobile Device Management (MDM) options

When the school joined the e7 Project, our team met with them to discuss how they planned to manage their iPad deployment. While many schools are locking down their ICT equipment and filtering the type of apps that their students can download, the Hertfordshire & Essex team decided that when it came to getting older students to buy into the scheme and use their devices as much as possible, freedom was key.

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,” explained Ross. “We already have a system where students can borrow laptops, and we found that this was underused because there wasn’t the flexibility [to allow students to put] their software on the laptop they were using, whereas with the iPad, freedom has allowed them to become a much more valuable resource rather than just being another item to carry round. We have very responsible students, so I’m sure we have the odd game installed on the devices, but we see them being used a lot for taking notes and recording lessons (to video or audio). I think that’s really valuable for them, the ability to access the teaching outside of the lesson.”

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,”

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,”

Increasing usage while maintaining network security

The school’s tactic of keeping the iPad deployment relatively open seems to be paying off: they rolled out a new WiFi network to support the deployment, and of the 170 devices they handed out, Ross has seen “a hundred and twenty Apple devices connected all day, every day. We’ll have between 170 and 180 devices on the wireless network daily and seventy five per cent of them will be Apple devices.”

And how does the school cope with having so many unmanaged devices on their network? “We deliver a lot of our services through web interfaces: our VLE, our email and remote desktop access – all of that is accesible through a web browser. All devices on the wireless network authenticate against our Windows domain and all traffic is transmitted securely.”

Encouraging more mobile teaching and learning

When it comes to working with the iPad, the school is happy for students to take the lead, encouraging them to use the devices for general note-taking, research and organisation rather than structuring lessons round specific apps. “We have many teachers who have really embraced the iPad in their teaching,” Ross noted, “particularly the arts and the technology faculties. PE and music are using them a tremendous amount and designing lessons around them – I think a lot of that is to do with the touch interface and the flexibility and portability that you get with the device, which really feeds into those faculties.

“PE and sports sciences are now able to film people moving [using the iPad] and play that back so they can analyse it frame by frame. I think that sort of thing is much easier for the teacher compared with borrowing one of the school’s cameras and having to take it back to the classroom to analyse the video. [With iPad they are] able to record and play it back and have instant feedback. It’s also very nice that students can project via an Apple TV in the classroom to show what they’re working on at their desk. You get collaborative use of a projector, with everybody in a class connecting to show what they’re working on and share their ideas, and that’s really quite valuable.”

The school’s next initiative is to deploy Apple TVs throughout the school and use them to allow students to share their work with the rest of the class. “We held off on rolling them out originally because the firmware didn’t quite offer the level of security we wanted,” Ross explained. “We were worried that a student would be able to share content via an Apple TV from anywhere in the school unless there was some way of locking them down. But one of the updates has enabled us to have a PIN-based access to the Apple TVs [that prevents people without the right password from sharing content].”

Once there are Apple TVs throughout the school, Ross and his team plan to look at ways to allow multiple teachers to FaceTime with a class during lessons in order to explain key points. “For example, if we have a teacher who’s teaching some tiny aspect of computing in a design technology or graphics lesson, they’ll actually be able to FaceTime with one of the IT teachers over the projector to explain that specific point, so you can pull that expertise directly into the lesson.”

You can find out more about the e7 Project on Jigsaw24.com. Alternatively, get in touch on 03332 409 306 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and app recommendations, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter

Transforming teaching with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

Transforming teaching with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

When their site was rebuilt as part of the Primary Capital programme, Hartlepool’s Jesmond Gardens Primary School moved from PC to Mac and launched an ambitious 1:1 iPad rollout across years five and six, as well as using the devices with EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) pupils. Deputy Head Paul Martindale explains how Apple technology is helping staff transform the way they teach.

‘Buying time’ by moving to Apple

In September 2011, Jesmond Gardens received funding for a new school build as part of the Primary Capital programme. As part of the refit, they decided to move from PC to Mac computers because, as Deputy Head Paul Martindale explained: “we liked the concept of being able to buy time, and we felt like the Apple equipment would let us do that because the software was very intuitive and the transitional workflow between apps was much easier. We felt the whole Apple solution enabled us to use technology as an aid to learning instead of a barrier.”

At the same time, the school introduced iPad to its EYFS classes, and rolled out a 1:1 scheme among older students in years five and six. “We felt tablets and smartphones were going to be part of our children’s lives soon if they weren’t already,” explained Paul, “and we wanted their education to be purposeful and real, so we tried to replicate some of the learning that goes on outside of school in our classrooms.”

EYFS pupils learn with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

EYFS pupils learn with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

This has also been reflected in the school’s approach to iPad training – they’re letting students take the lead, with appointed ‘Digital Leaders’ holding after school workshops every Wednesday to recommend apps and demonstrate new things they’ve learned to do on their devices. (There has also been a day’s training on iLife from an Apple Distinguished Educator, in order to “take away the fear factor” that surrounds new software.)

Aside from making classroom learning more relevant to the outside world, Paul and the rest of the staff saw another immediate benefit from using iPad: instant access to teaching resources through the App Store. “Very quickly what we noticed was the quality of materials that we could provide our kids with was 100 times better if we were using the iPad than if we were just using a traditional textbook approach,” he said. “We’ve also had brilliant outcomes from apps like Talking Larry and Puppet Pals with our EAL children and a couple of children we had who were diagnosed with selective mutism. The first time those children talked to our staff here was via those apps, so they certainly helped to break down barriers and to give children access to learning more quickly than they would have had usually.”

Embracing multi-modal learning and assessment with iPad

Staff at Jesmond Gardens now use iPad to carry out multi-modal lessons and assessments

Staff at Jesmond Gardens now use iPad to carry out multi-modal lessons and assessments

Another area which was unexpectedly transformed was assessment, where Paul and his team now have “more evidence than we know what to do with” thanks to the cameras and microphone built in to iPad. “We have visual and verbal dual feedback, which usually you wouldn’t have any evidence trail for, but now we Dropbox video files and explain everything.”

But it’s not just assessment where teachers are taking the initiative and using iPad to deliver more detail. Staff who were encouraged to take their iPad home and experiment with it soon found out that they could film themselves delivering lessons, effectively allowing them to have multiple teachers in a single classroom. “They’re a vain bunch,” Paul explained, “so the first time they got an iPad, they went home and videoed themselves. They loved the fact that activities that would have been independent could be structured by the teacher. They could [make videos saying things like] ‘Play the first 40 seconds of this video and then press pause and see if you can do activity one.’”

Staff have also embraced creating different inputs for different ability levels within mixed classes, so children with similar needs can sit together, share an iPad and work with a virtual teacher who gives them the level of support they need. “It means that while the teacher’s doing a traditional input, all those children are getting what they need too,” said Paul, adding that it was an initiative spearheaded by one of the teaching staff, who then passed the idea through the school. “The biggest successes for us have been when staff discovered things for themselves.”

Ensuring the setup is supported with Jigsaw24

As well as supplying iPad devices and accessories to Jesmond Gardens, we provide Jesmond Gardens and their Windows-based IT service provider with support for their Mac and iPad hardware and software. “Working with Jigsaw24 has been absolutely brilliant,” said Paul. “They can provide levels of technical expertise that we couldn’t hope to get to access otherwise, and have been absolutely brilliant about understanding the direction we want to go in from a pedagogy perspective, then making sure that the solution and the infrastructure help us to deliver that pedagogy.”

Want to know more about iPad in education? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 333 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

Assistant Head Nadeem Shah explains how iPad is helping to engage students at Netherfield Primary, an inclusive urban primary school in the second most deprived quintile in the East Midlands whose head teacher was recently named teacher of the year at the Pride of Britain awards

You provided staff with iPad devices back in 2012 – what were your main goals in doing so?

We wanted to introduce staff to the new technologies available. With iPad, that was mostly
the vast App Store, that would open up so many new opportunities for the children, and also the touchscreen technology that made it so accessible for students and for adults. We took an educated guess as to whether people would be totally involved with it, and they were. Some of our staff who were maybe reluctant ICT users actually turned to keen ICT users very quickly.

Was it important to you that staff got comfortable using the devices before handing them out to pupils?

Absolutely, which is why we invested in having 18 for staff across the school, mostly in areas where we were going to deploy iPad devices to students. When we had the whole school iPad training session it was just such fun. The laughter around the staff room was fantastic. The staff engaged very much straight away, and giving them that time to go away and get familiar with the iPad first meant that they were able to engage fully with the learning on the iPad in the term that followed. It was absolutely the right decision to make.

What made you decide it was time to trial a student 1:1 scheme?

We need to keep up with the times. ICT is constantly evolving and developing, and this is what they’re used to at home. They have access to this kind of technology on a daily basis, and if we don’t provide them with it in school then very soon […] children aren’t engaging with ICT because the technology that we’re using is obsolete, and then the learning across the curriculum can be at a disadvantage. We obviously want to keep up to date so kids are engaged and involved with new technologies as they happen.

Why did you choose the e7 Project?

We stumbled across the e7 Project and are delighted we did. We were at a seminar where Apple and some education agencies were running a session, and one of the teachers mentioned that they were having an e7 rollout and that the Jigsaw24 team were at the event. In our inimitable style we tried to crash the party and see if any more iPad devices were going.

Did you have to do any work to prepare for the trial?

Yes, we had to make sure the WiFi was capable of handling the workload, so we actually had some guys from Jigsaw24 in to do a survey for us. We’re really glad we did it because it brought up some blips and some gaps as well as some over-use of the WiFi – where the signals were too close and bouncing off each other. We had a bit of a redeployment and moved around some of the access points, and it made a big difference.

Talk us through how you used the iPad devices during your e7 term.

We had 16 based in our Foundation unit along with ten staff ones. We had eight in our Nurture provision classes, and then the other 16 around school to be booked out. They were out in every class, all the time. We had to create a separate log out book for the tablets because they were being used so often and so positively, to move the students’ learning on with the fantastic array of apps available, so that was brilliant.

Tell us a bit about how you went about finding apps for your classes.

Because we were able to give staff the opportunity to try out iPad over the holidays, they
found some fantastic stuff app-wise that we were able to install, and as the weeks and months progressed we would have regular weekly meetings where staff would talk about apps that they’d found and recommend that we should roll them out.

GarageBand was phenomenal for our music tuition. What has been particularly good for us has been being able to target specific aspects [of apps] to pupils’ individual learning. So if a whole class is doing something, you can tailor the apps to suit their individual needs and learning gaps.

It’s not just, ‘Right kids, you’re all going on this program’; they might be going on different apps, or they might be going to different aspects of the same app to hit their individual needs, which is perfect for us. Rather than generic teaching, it’s all about personalising the learning, and iPad and the apps are a fantastic tool to help personalise learning for the children.

What were the main benefits of the trial for students?

We specialise in supporting children with challenging behaviours, and this is a fantastic carrot for them to have. I’ve got a pupil with me now who’s a great example of a pupil who’s gone from having specific difficulties to really turning himself around and getting on in class, and the iPad has been a fantastic tool for doing that. Not only does it engage the children, who want to learn through those devices, it supports them in being occupied but in a positive way, a learning way.

You’re not just saying ‘Here, play on this game,’ it’s about learning. And it’s a fun way for them to engage with their learning, he’s telling me. The opportunities that they may have had to switch off in a classroom, which led to negative behaviours, become much less of an occurrence because they’re engaged in their learning full time.

How have parents responded to the scheme?

It’s been great, the parents are getting involved and the kids are coming in saying ‘We’ve downloaded this app at home, Sir, have a look at this one, it’ll be great for what we’re doing at the moment’, so the home learning is being engaged in that way as well.

Did you encounter any problems, and if so how did you overcome them?

There’s always the funding thing. Obviously ideally we want one per person full time, but the funding issue involved in that is what it is. Because they were so popular, getting them to everyone who needed them was an issue, but it was workable because we had what we had. I think if we had any more it would have been easier.

The one issue we did have was that we weren’t able to get Apple TVs working, but straight away Chris came to me and said that he’d found a solution to that at another school, so we should be able to use them effectively now.

What were the key factors in deciding whether or not to keep the iPad deployment?

Once that resource had been in school and the children had access to it, there was no way we could take it away from them. The learning that they’d done, the enjoyment they got out of it and the engagement that they’d had meant we couldn’t. And the staff ’s faces when we said that the iPad deployment was going back were, ‘What are we going to do now?!’

How did you find working with the e7 team?

Great! Chris was always at the end of the phone.

I’d often call him or send him an email and to his credit, he was available at hours I wasn’t expecting him to be. I’d send an email at nine, ten o’clock at night expecting him to pick it up in the morning, and I’d get a reply within a couple of minutes nine times out of ten. And he was local as well, so if there was an issue we couldn’t handle over the phone or digitally, he would pop in either for an extended period of time or on his way to somewhere else, so the support was always to hand, prompt and of a very professional standard.

We’re just delighted with the project and long may it continue!

Want to know more about the e7 Project? Give us a call on 03332 409 333, email e7@Jigsaw24.com or visit our site. For all the latest news, tips and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page

e7 resources: e7 iPads make an impression at St John’s

e7 resources: e7 iPads make an impression at St John’s

The last time I caught up with St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, one of the schools taking part in our free e7 1:1 iPad trial, they had been using iPad in a wide range of subjects, including humanities and biology

For a recent assignment, they had to capture a range of emotions using iPad’s built-in camera. Senior network manager Keith Nolan asked them to “think of as many emotional responses as possible but show us without words how you would express these with your facial expressions, so it could be surprise, it could be laughter, it could be a smile or a sad face.” We think you’ll agree from the picture below that no-one’s gone with ‘boredom’!

– You can keep up with how St John’s are getting on on their 1:1 iPad journey over at their blog.

Want to know more about 1:1 iPad deployments in schools? See our e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email e7@Jigsaw24.com. You can also follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

e7 resources: Design Day with iPad at Fernwood School

e7 resources: Design Day with iPad at Fernwood School

We were recently at Fernwood School, Nottingham, to lend them some iPad devices they could use as part of an upcoming Design Day event. This was a chance for staff and students to find exciting ways to use iPad for a wide range of creative subjects such as home economics and CDT, as well as get to grips with using iPad as part of a real lesson environment, before embarking on our free 1:1 iPad trial scheme, the e7 Project.

Handily, they filmed the whole thing, so you can check out how they got on below…

Want to know more about 1:1 iPad deployments in schools? See our e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email e7@Jigsaw24.com. You can also follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.