Apple Authorised Education Specialist Jigsaw24 has helped a top preparatory day school in Greater Manchester deploy iPad on a 1:1 basis – just in time for the devices to be used for remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lady Barn House School in Cheadle, which can trace its history back to 1873, commissioned Jigsaw24 to help develop a perfect iPad solution that would improve classroom learning and reduce teachers’ workload.
But when the coronavirus crisis led to a UK-wide lockdown soon after, the company’s education experts worked with the school’s leadership to accelerate the deployment and ensure students and teachers would be able to work on their new devices immediately regardless of their location.
Jigsaw24 pre-configured the iPads so they were fully set up and ready to use on arrival, provided remote management so that every device can be updated wherever it is, and offered ongoing support for all devices to ensure any technical issues are resolved quickly.
School staff also benefited from the Leading Innovation Programme and intensive teacher training – partially delivered via Zoom throughout April and May – that was tailored to focus on delivering a remote curriculum with iPad and adapting lesson plans to make them suitable for remote learning.
It meant lessons could be delivered to anywhere, with teachers’ plans shared on Microsoft Teams or videos broadcast from the premises for students to view on their iPad, and has ensured the school could respond more easily to the changes necessitated by the virus.
Jigsaw24 also worked with its finance partners to provide the bulk of the devices on lease contracts, rather than through capital expenditure as originally planned, to give Lady Barn House School more flexibility while rolling out the new technology at speed.
Samantha Gibbons, Academic Deputy Head at Lady Barn House School, said: “Our iPad deployment has been highly positive. With professional development accelerated in this area, teachers are now competent users of Apple technology. Most staff have now acquired their Apple badges, which has underpinned high levels of creativity – for example, one member of staff in our Early Years Foundation Stage recorded a lesson from her caravan at home, worthy of a slot on CBBC!
“During lockdown, we reached a point where teachers were working in teams to deliver ‘live’ lessons to whole year groups, and with others producing videos modelling maths techniques or simply sharing a book with their class. Our pupils were able to watch and re-watch the lessons being prepared by their teachers. The most important thing that we have learned is that anything is possible!”
Alan Doyle, Education Consultant at Jigsaw24, said: “1:1 iPad deployments are perfect for increasing engagement and revitalising the curriculum, but our work with Lady Barn House School highlights how well suited Apple devices are for remote learning, too.
“By truncating the timelines in our rollout plan with the school, we were able to speed up the rollout and make sure students could enjoy learning from home with as little disruption as possible in what are truly unprecedented circumstances.
“Now the majority of students have returned to school on a permanent basis, the school will continue to benefit from the new educational opportunities their iPad devices offer, too.”
Samantha added: “Now that all our students have returned to school, we are working on our blended learning policy. Accepting that some children may well have to spend time out of school over the next few months means we must be prepared to switch seamlessly to remote learning.
“We also need to think about using technology in the long term, not least how it can assist children in closing the gap in learning brought about by three months off school. We are beginning to train teachers in Showbie and Socrative with the help of Jigsaw24, and with our new head of computing already a Showbie Certified Educator, the future looks very bright indeed!”
Jigsaw24 works with schools, colleges and universities across the UK to support teaching and learning, offering devices, IT services, staff training, classroom displays, software subscriptions, networking solutions and more.