FAQs

Who owns the device?

Once you have made the final donation, you own the device. There is no additional transfer of ownership cost: that is the final donation.

Legally we own the device until all the donations have been made (since we paid for it up-front and are offering you a donation plan), but we don’t lock it down, and won’t ask for it back.

You could make one donation for the full cost and own the device outright immediately if you wanted to. The donation plan is just a suggestion, you can make fewer, larger donations, but there is no financial incentive to do this.

Do I have to buy my child an iPad for them to be at Bournside?

No, not at all. Students will be allowed to bring a device into school to use in lessons, but this is about providing an additional opportunity for those who wish to do so, it is not compulsory. The existing learning opportunities will still be available for all learners.

Can you provide insurance for a device I already own that my child will bring in from home?

No. You may be able to get your home insurance to cover this, but we cannot advise you. We can only insure devices from our programme.

My child already has the top of the range iPad Pro, and it is too expensive for them to bring it into school, what can I do?

You need to talk to us about this scenario. It may be that sourcing the cheapest device you can to use in school is the only way around this. As the Apple eco-system would allow you to have multiple devices for one account, they will synchronise really well. Use the expensive device at home and the cheap device in school for the same work. You won’t need to transfer files between the devices at all. iCloud and Foldr will do this. We may be able to help you source a cheaper refurbished device, but cannot guarantee it.

What is the advantage of my child having an iPad?

They will be able to make choices about how they respond to learning activities. Making presentations, animations, videos and word processing for example. They will also be able to receive recorded oral feedback from teachers and more easily continue learning outside the classroom at home. Some subjects invest in e-books.

Aren’t there enough distractions already?

School has a responsibility to prepare young people for the world they will live in beyond school. Employers don’t appreciate the use of text messaging, browsing and Facebook during work time. This is an ideal opportunity to teach students about appropriate use. The teacher will continue to use classroom management strategies, as they do already with mobile phones and in computer rooms. Students will not be using devices for a whole lesson, just at the most appropriate times.

For your peace of mind we have disabled Facebook, Facetime and iMessage in school through our internet service provider.

What about existing proven teaching methods?

Using tablets in classrooms builds on, it doesn’t replace traditional methods. We are creating a blended learning approach: the right tools at the right times for the right learners. We also have to be bold and recognise young people expect to be taught in contemporary ways. What worked in the past, does not always work now. Personalising learning, rather than one-size-fits-all is a much better approach. It is these innovations that make great teaching and learning, enabling learners to make progress by meeting their individual learning needs that Ofsted are looking for. There is also an assumption here that “proven teaching methods” cannot be bettered. We don’t believe that is true.

Will my child be more at risk on the journey to/from school?

This was one of our primary concerns when we first considered introducing a 1:1 scheme, and we have asked about this at the schools we visited. None of our Year 7 or Year 12 students have experienced an issue. If they did the advice is to simply hand over the device. It will be covered by insurance if sourced through our programme. Many students already carry expensive smart phones and other equipment without these issues. Thieves know the iPad can be disabled remotely. It is not worth it to them.

What about the security in PE changing rooms?

We have custom built lockable cabinets in the changing rooms.

If the school believes this is the future, shouldn’t they supply the resources?

If we could, we would. Education, especially in Gloucestershire is under-funded. Did you know that children living in different areas of the country get a different amount of money for their education? Gloucestershire is one of the worst funded areas of the country for education. We are putting tens of thousands of pounds into this initiative, including banks of devices, apps, training, and network infrastructure. We also make a £10,000 annual donation to Belf to support the inclusivity and sustainability of the programme for all parents. Students also respect a device they own.

Have you investigated leasing iPads? Or raising funds through PTA activities?

Yes, but it is too cost prohibitive for the school to fund entirely itself. We have invested in the wireless infrastructure, staff training, banks of loan iPads, and make a contribution to Belf for supporting parents financially. We are putting tens of thousands of pounds into this scheme.

We do not have a PTA.

Is there a possibility of insurance and services for the children who bring in their own tablet to school?

Not insurance. It is part of the 1:1 package we are able to offer from the Apple resellers, but we are not handling the insurance ourselves. We are able to gift apps to students who have their own iPad, but we can only do this with Apple devices due to our volume purchase agreement and MDM deployment software.

Can we buy into the scheme at a later date?

Yes, the 1:1 scheme will be rolling out each year.

What about the advice of limiting exposure to electronic devices for a variety of health, educational and social reasons?

It is very much about blending traditional and new approaches. We don’t anticipate students using tablet devices in every lesson, every day. It’s about the right tools at the right times. We will still be encouraging a healthy lifestyle, exercise and talking to each other without messaging and Facebook!

Access to the internet via Wifi will still be filtered.

Is there a concern about inappropriate use?

No more so than the situation we have now with students using mobile phones in school. We have clear guidelines in place for students, and they do respond to these appropriately most of the time. We have disabled Facebook, Facetime and iMessage in school.

Shouldn’t all software be free for all students?

We just can’t do that very easily. If students bring an iPad to school whether purchased through the school or not, we can purchase and distribute apps very easily to the target devices. We cannot do this so easily with other platforms so have decided to focus on the device we consider to be the best experience for students. We want our focus to be on creating suitable learning opportunities, not spending time managing lots of different platforms and form factors.

Some students already have tablets and they have already bought into the relevant ecosystems, does this mean parents will end up having to invest again for what they have purchased elsewhere?

That is very much your choice. If students already have an alternative device with apps they can use, that is absolutely fine. We will embrace BYOD.

Apple aren’t helpful for philanthropic kudos, they know that they will be reaping the rewards of locking students into their ecosystem for years to come, Apple products don’t give much choice do they?

Everyone will have their own opinions about Apple. We think they offer the best experience for teachers and learners, but we are not trying to convince you of that. We know that Apple want to sell devices and this is a good market for them now, and in the future. It’s hard to criticise sound business planning! What we can say is that Apple have been willing to hold our hand when we reached out, come into school, introduce us to other schools, lead training sessions for free, get teachers from other schools in to show us new things, and help us with our planning without any pressure to commit. We just haven’t had that from any other manufacturer. We like the fact there is not much choice with Apple. One unified operating system that is consistent across devices and is intuitive to use is ideal. Times may change, but educational publishers tend to develop for Apple first, Android second.

Are there sibling discounts for 2016?

There is no specific discount for siblings in 2016-17, but please contact Belf directly if you want to discuss your personal circumstances. We recognise this can be a significant outlay if you have two or more children at our school, and working with a charity helps us to help you. We contribute £10,000 into a pot for supporting parents in need.

Writing essays in Pages, spell checking, reader, dictionary, thesaurus, how will this help them prepare for exams?

There will still be an emphasis on handwritten English when the time is right, and it is correct to say that the examination system hasn’t yet caught up. That said, there are many subjects where there is a requirement to submit controlled assessment tasks or coursework, and these can be completed using computers. The intention of the initiative is not to help prepare for exams per se, but to having interesting ways to learn the content necessary.

Have we asked students what they think of tablet technology?

Absolutely. They report that it makes them more efficient, more independent and more interested in what they are learning.

Can I find out more and see for myself?

Apple are more than willing to send distinguished educators (teachers who have seen success in their own classrooms and now share this nationally with other teachers) to our school and run hands-on sessions for parents, so you can sample a typical technology enhanced lesson. These sessions are offered free of charge due to our 1:1 scheme. If you would like that, please ask and we can arrange that during the school day, or in the evening.

Isn’t it a shame that some students are not going to have the same advantages as others due to an exclusive rather than an inclusive technology policy?

That is not what we want. Working with the charity Belf enables this to be an inclusive scheme, where everyone contributes something, but they are able to help those in most need. Less than 10 out of 270 students in year 7 contribute at present. We have a small number of loan iPads for those times where use is absolutely essential.

Will you get a 5 year life span out of the device I buy-into now?

Answer from Apple: A major reason for iPads doing well in Education is the life cycle of refresh. Apple are very committed to legacy updates and even the 2011 iPad 2 can upgrade to iOS9 and use 95% of the features. Therefore the Airs will be supported for at least 5 years with Apps and iOS updates.

Additional note from school: For those parents that are interested, this scheme will roll out each year. It will be possible for you to start a new donation cycle if you wanted to upgrade in the future, but we are not epecting you to do so. It might be an option to consider if your child is with us for 7 years.

How practical is it without a proper keyboard to use a tablet to create rather than just receive information?

We have been using an iPad as a content creation device for some time now, and it really is an overstated issue. The processors in the iPad Airs and mini are capable of keeping up, and the on-screen keyboard is not difficult to use. It’s the auto-correct that is frustrating!! You can plug a standard qwerty keyboard into an iPad quite easily, but cheap bluetooth keyboards are an option if your child will be doing lots of essay work!

How does work get backed up and saved?

iCloud is pretty good for this. Even though you only get 5Gb for free, for pure data you are currently working on it is adequate. We also have the Foldr app to archive work to our Windows server. Once submitted, a lot of work will also be in the cloud in Showbie. Part of the responsibility and education for the students will be to understand how to look after their data. This is a good lesson for life!

Whilst exams remain traditional pen and paper based won’t it be essential that students continue to train and perfect their ability to respond in that format?

Yes.

Is it fair or practical to burden eleven/twelve year olds with the responsibility to be constantly monitoring their bags?

A stolen iPad is no use to a thief because it can be disabled remotely. We keep the serial numbers of all iPads sourced through our programme to be able to do this. There have been no instances of theft of iPads in our school. One was lost, but we used the ‘Find iPhone’ app to locate it.

A stolen iPad is no use to a thief because it can be disabled remotely. We keep the serial numbers of all iPads sourced through our programme to be able to do this. There have been no instances of theft of iPads in our school. One was lost, but we used the ‘Find iPhone’ app to locate it.

Does the insurance mentioned cover loss/theft, both in school and on the way to and from school?

Yes, but it does not cover negligence. i.e. leaving it on the bus. No insurance company will cover against that.

Can the iPad be set up to be tracked if lost/stolen and to be unusable by an unauthorised user?

Any device sourced from us is locked to our MDM before it is even taken out of the box. It sits silently in the background. Even a full reset does not remove it. We will remove it remotely when a child is taken off-roll. The moment a stolen device is connected to the internet it can be blocked by Apple.