In September 2021, we launched a new digital strategy that allows us to build on the rapid progress during the pandemic as we integrated Google Classroom and Google G Suite Apps into our teaching and learning provision. All students in Years 6 to 11 will be given their own 500e Lenovo Chromebook and students in Years 12 to 13 will be permitted to bring their own device to school. We are excited about the learning opportunities this will bring and, while achieving maximum flexibility has been a key driver in our decision to move to 1:1 devices, there are three important strands to our digital strategy:
- To promote collaboration
- To celebrate innovation
- To champion diverse learning styles
Chromebooks (Years 6 to 11)
All students in Years 6 to 11 will be given a Lenovo 500e Chromebook for use both in school and at home. The devices are being leased to the school through our partner, Freedom Tech. While students will be responsible for their device on a day-to-day basis, the Chromebooks will remain the property of Freedom Tech and will be managed by the school.
- Chromebooks will be used in the first week of term, along with instructions and guidance. Each device will be initialed and given a unique identification code.
- Chromebooks are for teaching and learning purposes only – students will not be able to access social media or entertainment apps on their school device and all internet searches will be monitored – this applies to both home and in-school use.
- The Lenovo 500e Chromebook is a rugged device, designed specifically for school use. A case or sleeve is, therefore, not required, but students may wish to purchase a case or sleeve in order to personalise their Chromebook.
- The Lenovo 500e Chromebook has a long battery life, sufficient to last the school day. However, opportunities to charge devices in school will be limited so it is imperative that students arrive at school each day with the device fully charged.
- The devices are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty and are covered for accidental damage. If students encounter any problems with the device, they must report to the IT department.
- A useful guide on how to get the most out of your Chromebook can be found here: https://www.google.com/chromebook/howto/
Bring Your Own Device Scheme (Years 12 to 13)
Students in Years 12 to 13 are permitted to bring their own device to school. Please note that this is optional, not a requirement.
Students will not be disadvantaged if they do not have a device. Those bringing a device to school do so at their own risk. While the IT Department will be on hand to help with any network and accessibility issues, the school will not be able to help with issues relating the general maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions (Parents):
Will students be on screens every lesson?
No. The introduction of 1:1 devices in Years 6 to 10 and a Bring Your Own Device scheme in Years 12 to 13 is designed to give students and teachers maximum flexibility in their learning and teaching. Teachers will be encouraged to champion a variety of learning methods – some of these may be screen-based, but only where a screen will enhance the learning (for example, a quick-fire class quiz, creating a collaborative presentation, or an independent research task). We are well aware that many students will face written exams at the end of their school career. Until this changes, the pen and paper will remain.
What if my daughter’s Chromebook breaks?
If a Chromebook is broken or damaged, students must return the device to the school’s IT department. A replacement will be given if available. The school will liaise with Freedom Tech to replace or repair the Chromebook.
What if the devices run out of charge during the day?
The battery life for the Lenovo 500e Chromebook lasts up to 10 hours so should be ample for the school day. Charging stations will be limited in school. We will be reminding all students to take their device home every evening to recharge and encouraging them to turn their device off when not in use.
Will the school monitor internet searches on the device?
As with all our school devices, there will be a content filter running in the background. Students will have no access to social media through their school device and inappropriate sites are inaccessible; any inappropriate or concerning words used in internet searches are flagged and followed up by Deputy Head Pastoral where necessary.
Is the school going paperless?
Not yet. While we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and are doing everything we can to become more sustainable as a school, we have no ambition to become entirely paperless. While we are working within an education system that requires the majority of students to sit written exams, there will be a place for paper within our school.