Year 11 and Year 6 students and pupils in PKAT have individual iPads with more year groups to follow.
A team of extremely dedicated staff from all 5 schools worked together for more than a year on a truly innovative and exciting learning and teaching initiative to provide a group of students and pupils with individual iPads to use at school and at home. These are not part of the government’s plan for devices, they are the most up to date, generation 8 iPads and crayons, provided by PKAT itself.
The team researched how the purposeful use of iPads could innovate learning further, reduce teacher workload and improve student outcomes. As part of process there were visits to Apple Headquarters; secondary and Primary schools who use iPads as 1 to 1 devices; finance and EdTech strategy workshops; plus trailblazing with small groups of students in all the PKAT schools. Significant staff training through Apple also took place before the devices were given to pupils and students.
PKAT were delighted to be able to distribute the first 540 iPads to Years 11 and 6 during the lockdown in January 2021. They were especially important at the time in supporting remote learning before schools reopened in March, and the lockdown has proven more than ever the need for students to be able to access the internet on a device that allows them to continue their learning as effectively as possible at home. It is quite clear that the blended learning model of learning will not end with the pandemic and the use of iPads allows staff to further develop the ‘flipped learning’ strategies.
Already the children are making the best use of this technology and the wonderful opportunity which they have been given. Year 11 students speak of the iPads helping them in their career ambitions, making revision and homework much easier and allowing them to access multiple resources they need in one place. Year 6 children love the crayon and being able to edit work easily, enjoy Garageband and the specialist music training videos, they benefit greatly from supporting each other with issues and problem solving while using the ipad. Staff are equally excited by the potential, with one Year 6 teacher saying; 'The iPads have been an invaluable tool for our children, at home and at school. They have loved the freedom that they get in their learning- to research topics in depth, to have more choice and control over their learning. The fact that they have one each and do not have to share the resource means that they get so much more time to learn new skills'.
As part of the catch up funding iPads have now been purchased for all students and pupils in Years 10 and 5 and they will receive them after Easter. In addition, Year 12 will receive iPads as they go into Year 13. It is the aim of the Trust to measure the impact of the iPads on progress and outcomes and provide as many children with this superb support as they can.