This is an exciting time to be a student, member of staff and parent at WVC as we embark upon our 1:1 iPad scheme as part of our drive towards raising attainment.
Digital technology is an essential skill in the modern world and we have a responsibility to equip students with the skills they need to thrive. We are confident the scheme will enhance existing practice and create additional learning opportunities in the classroom and at home, whilst improving digital literacy, developing student’s ability to collaborate and problem solve.
Our 1:1 iPad scheme has the potential to:
Financing the scheme
Following overwhelming support from families (91% in a recent survey) to introducing the iPad scheme at Witchford we are shortly due to ask for your financial contributions.
For the scheme to work, we need to work together to generate enough funding to provide for all, or we cannot run the program.
We will be asking for a donation of £10 per month for the time that your child is at Witchford Village College.
In return for supporting the scheme, we will ensure that your child, along with every child that attends Witchford, has a working safe iPad. The iPad will be fully equipped with all of the apps and safety features that are needed including a protective case and screen so you can be confident that they are able to work online safely in lessons and when at home.
At WVC we use an internationally recognised Education Specific global web filter. This provides web filtering at home and at school, allowing you peace of mind that that your children are always safe on the web. Unfortunately, the way the filtering works means that sometimes perfectly safe websites or images get blocked.
Within the scheme, all iPads come with this filtering service as standard and can not be removed for the safety of your child. We do encourage Parents to be aware of VPN Apps which can be used to try to circumnavigate the security on any device and network.
Insurance, Warranty and Theft Claims
The first step would be to send the Student to our 'iPad Clinic’ which will run each lunchtime in the IT office which is located within IT4.
The device will be assessed by our IT team who will take steps to repair or replace with a working device in the event of accidental damage.
If a student has lost their iPad or believes it to be stolen they need to contact IT straight away, the sooner we know the easier it is to find it. Please make sure that the student has also checked with their teachers and in the classrooms that they had been in the day of losing the device. A crime reference number is required for stolen iPads, this would require you to phone the non-emergency police line 101
Things to remember:
Frequently asked questions
Why introduce 1:1?
We are committed to giving every student the best education possible and believe that technology can play a crucial role in the classroom.
Why 1:1 as opposed to a class set of iPads?
Is it good value for money?
The program provides a device set up ready for use in the classroom, case, warranty, insurance and core Apps including tailored security and safety filters. We believe this program provides outstanding value for money
Do I get to keep the iPad?
Your contributions mean your child has access to an iPad for the duration of their time at the College. The iPad remains the property of the school.
Is it the latest iPad?
The scheme will provide an apple supported generation of device fit for education and checked by our in house team of experts.
Can we buy our own iPad independently rather than join the scheme as costs are significantly more?
No. It is important to note that the scheme is not about the price of an iPad. The 1:1 scheme we are providing will involve a device that is fully insured and with a warranty. It will have all the up-to-date software that your son/daughter will need, and we will provide technical support during school hours.
These devices can be used at school during the day, as well as at home in the evenings and at weekends. In contrast, personally owned computers cannot be connected to the network at school, would not be managed by our Mobile Device Management (MDM) and would not be supported by our technical team. You would also be responsible for insuring your device against damage, loss or theft.
Who owns the devices?
The devices are the property of the College. If your son/daughter leaves the College during this lease period, you will be required to return the iPad, with accessories to the College.
What happens if the device gets damaged or stolen?
The warranty and insurance is unique to this scheme and offers a number of key features, including accidental damage cover. We will manage all claims within the College. Please note that the insurance does not cover accidental loss; for example, if your son/daughter leaves their iPad on a park bench, this would not be covered under the terms of the insurance policy.
It is expected that your son/daughter will look after their device, ensuring that it is transported in a suitable school bag and not used whilst travelling to and from school. It is expected that the device will never be removed from its case. Claims for accidental damage will only be accepted by the insurance company if the device is stored in the case provided. Claims for theft will require a police crime number.
What happens if I can’t make the regular donations?
We understand that some families are unable to contribute financially. If you are not able to contribute, your child will still have access to an IPad.
We need the majority of parents to contribute for the scheme to be able to run. We ask that if or when you are able to contribute that you will consider doing so. Smaller donations are very welcome.
How much do we need to donate?
We ask that you make a voluntary donation of £10 a month for the time that your son/daughter is at school. In return your son/daughter will receive a new iPad, case, wall charger, full insurance against accidental damage and theft, all software and applications needed and technical support during school hours.
Why should I donate if others don’t?
We will only run this scheme if parents/carers want it and are prepared to donate. While a small number of families in difficult circumstances can be accommodated, unless there is widespread support for the scheme then the school will not be able to provide an iPad to your son/daughter.
What about parents/carers who don’t want to be part of the scheme?
The contributions are voluntary but in order for this scheme to be viable we need the majority of parents/carers to participate. While we would encourage all families to take part, it is your right to choose not to do so. If a significant number of Parents/Carers do not support the scheme, then we will not be able to continue the scheme.
What if I have more than one child at the College?
If you have more than one child in this year group, please talk to us when we launch the scheme.
How can you make sure that students are safe?
We already have an Acceptable Use Policy to ensure all students adopt a safe and sensible approach to using the device. A series of assemblies and guidance sessions will be organised to ensure all students are aware of this policy and are aware of how to use their device appropriately.
In addition to this, a MDM system will be used by school to provide full control over the device. The MDM provide a school-curated selection of Apps and will prevent students from installing any apps from the Apple Store the school do not deem necessary,
Students’ internet use will be filtered using the same filter we use in the school, but it is the responsibility of parents/carers for filtering/monitoring what their son/daughter does at home. We will of course help parents/carers with this.
How will you ensure that students are not in danger when using social networking sites?
It is possible to block access to certain sites within school on iPads in the same way that it has been with PCs. We also have a duty of care to continue to educate students so that they understand the risks associated with social media and use it safely and positively.
What if students use the iPad to photograph each other without permission?
This issue will be taken very seriously, in the same way that it is now if a student uses their phone in this way. Playing games and taking photographs/video are possible now, as the majority of our students carry mobile phones. iPads would fit into our existing policies for dealing with such incidents.
Won’t my son/daughter just be a target when traveling to and from school?
There is no evidence that student iPad schemes have led to a rise in thefts / muggings etc. The reality now is that iPads and iPhones running the latest iOS are less of a target as Apple have implemented technology that prevents them being used by anyone else while there is an account attached to the device. Each device can also be tracked and disabled by the College if stolen. A large number of our students currently carry expensive smart phones to school and are not under threat because of this.
Will my son/daughter spend all day looking at a screen?
As passionate as we are about the opportunities that iPads offer, we are also keen to ensure that other important traditional skills such as writing, sketching and group discussions continue. The role of iPads is to enhance and extend learning opportunities rather than replace those currently being used.
We will educate the students to think about the quality of their screen time. We hope that our projects encourage a larger proportion of purposeful, quality screen time. Young people need to learn positive digital behaviours and habits, and schools are well placed to encourage this and give the right pointers and encouragement.
The iPad is intended to be another part of the Teaching and Learning toolkit and not to replace the currently diverse methods of teaching that our students enjoy. It will not be used in every lesson, all lesson.
How will using the iPad impact on the quality of students’ handwriting?
Students will still be expected to handwrite work in most subjects. There will be no need to word process all their work, and much will still be completed in exercise books. However, there are many advantages to word processing some work on the iPad using an app such as Word or Pages. Students can spell-check their work, look up definitions, add electronic notes and email work to their teacher for faster feedback. However, there is an argument, in terms of sustainability, that work stored electronically would reduce paper wastage.
Will my son/daughter be able to access their school work from home?
Students will have access to their Office 365 account where work saved on school computers can be accessed on the iPad. This access is cross-platform, enabling students to access saved work using PCs and iPads.
How will the iPad affect homework?
The iPad will be an invaluable tool to support home learning, giving simple access to a variety of apps and internet resources. All homework assignments are set electronically and can be accessed with ease using the iPad.
A device that can be used both at school and at home can improve continuity of learning, with all the resources needed available in one place. Parents/Carers can play a greater part in supporting and understanding the work that students are doing in class. We anticipate that homework tasks can have much greater depth and use a much wider range of media than conventional paper-based homework.
Exams still take place on paper, so how will the iPads help with this?
Practice exams and essays will still be handwritten. If these would benefit from electronic marking then they can be photographed and emailed to the teacher, consequently providing an electronic backup of the work.
How will you measure the impact of iPads on learning?
We are rigorous in our approaches to assessment at all key stages, across all subject areas. Regular assessment that is consistent year on year will provide some data on the impact of iPads; however, we are aware of the challenges in linking this data solely to iPad use. More meaningful information will be gathered during our current school self-evaluation procedures, which include regular lesson observations, learning walks, work scrutiny and student voice surveys.
Can my son/daughter use their iPad at home?
Yes, we are keen to promote learning beyond the school gates so taking the iPad home is a key part of this scheme. Students will use their iPad to access and complete homework assignments. It will be the students’ responsibility to ensure the iPad is fully charged for the next school day, there will not be facilities to charge the iPad in school.
Can my son/daughter use their iPad during breaks or lunchtime?
We are keen to get the balance right in terms of students accessing technology. We are committed to ensuring that students do not become dependent on technology and can develop their interpersonal and social skills. In light of this, students’ access to their iPad will be strictly limited to the Library during break and lunchtimes. Our MDM system mentioned earlier can help us enforce our policy when necessary.
Will my son/daughter be able to install their own apps?
Initially only apps approved by the College can be used on the iPad; however, this is something we may reconsider in the future.
What amount of time will the iPad be used in a lesson?
This will vary from lesson to lesson. In some lessons the iPads may be used extensively, but in other lessons use of the iPad may not be relevant or appropriate. Likewise, some lessons may use the iPad for a brief starter, or at the end for a plenary. iPads will not replace good teaching; iPads will be used to diversify the range of effective learning and teaching strategies available to the teacher.
Will iPads become a distraction in class?
Effective classroom management is just as important as ever when iPads are being used. When iPads are not in use, they will be left face down on the table and in view of the teacher.
Will the Wi-Fi be able to cope with all these devices online at once?
Yes. The school has upgraded its wireless network to provide full wireless coverage across the College.
What happens if a student forgets to charge their iPad?
It is expected that students ensure their iPads are fully charged at the beginning of each school day.
What happens if a student forgets their iPad?
If a student forgets their iPad, if possible, they will be issued with an iPad which they can use until the end of the school day, when they need to return it to the IT team. They need to ensure that any work they need to keep has been saved to their OneDrive account. Once the iPad has been returned, it will be wiped to ensure it is ready for the next student to use it.
What do I need to provide at home?
All you are required to provide is a suitable school bag for the iPad to be stored in. Many apps and features of the iPad work without Wi-Fi. Having Wi-Fi at home, however, will give access to additional features including the internet.
Will my son/daughter have to bring his iPad home every night?
Yes. They will need to take it home to make sure it is charged ready for the next day. It is also very likely he will have homework to complete that will require access to the iPad.
What provision will be made to support parents/carers and students in learning how to use their new device?
We recognise that, in order to fully support your son/daughter’s learning, it is also important that as a parent/carer you also feel confident using the iPad. Over the coming year we will aim to host a number of iPad training sessions for parents/carers that will focus on specific issues, such as: an introduction to Office 365 including the use of OneDrive and OneNote; how to use iPads creatively; how to set up safety features; and e-safety.
Can my child use the iPad to watch Netflix, play games and access social media?
No. The iPad scheme is solely for educational use and students will not be able to download apps for social media, video streaming or gaming.
Don’t they just get broken?
Of course some accidents happen and accidental damage is covered in our iPad scheme.