Sunday, 11 September 2016

Update on iPad Deployment at Sciennes

In January 2011, Sciennes began investigating the possibilities of introducing a leasing scheme for mobile devices, which would involve personal parental financial contribution, by approaching the eLearning Foundation at BETT in London. In March 2011 we took part in a webinar with the eLearning Foundation to discuss possibilities further and in May 2011 attended a meeting with staff from Portobello High School and Sciennes Primary School, hosted by Senior ICT Development Officer, Dave McKee, and other key local authority leaders. After lengthy due consideration, a decision was taken at authority level, in consultation with the Scottish Government, that schools should not seek personal parental financial contribution in purchasing mobile devices, but should instead use their devolved school budget and fundraising to acquire devices.

Towards the end of term in June 2014, Sciennes' Parent Council agreed in principle to support school plans to acquire additional iPads through a school budget leasing scheme, which would run over a number of years. An annual contribution from Parent Council funds to support the leasing scheme was agreed, however, by August, our key priority for 2014-2015 had shifted towards improving our school playground, and so all available funds were required to deliver that ambition. Ambitions to extend 1:1 (one device for each individual) to all P6 and P7 classes and increase access to devices for other year groups were shelved to enable all efforts to be concentrated on enhancing our school grounds. All community stakeholders worked tirelessly throughout the year and in August 2015 our wonderful new playground was open to pupils on the first day of the new term.

In 2015-2016 we were able to purchase a class set of iPads for P3 and an additional half class set for P6.

In 2016-2017 we currently have:
1 to 1 in three P7 classes
iPads for half the year group of three P6 classes
1 class set shared between three P2 classes
1 class set shared between three P3 classes

and have recently invested in providing one iPad per class for staff. We are currently exploring how we can continue to extend access to technology for our children and have received sterling support from parent, Colin Sim, who is investigating various grant bids on our behalf. Though unsuccessful, thank you to all parents who supported our bid for £25,000 from the OneFamily Foundation and grateful thanks to Colin for submitting the application.

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