NexusOne - Our iPads for all Programme

We are very excited to announce NexusOne - our iPads for all Programme.

Starting in September 2024 Years 7, 8 and 9, we move to being a fully digital school, in which every child and teacher has an iPad to support their learning.

This is an exciting and big step for us which will take teaching and learning in this school to its next level and unlock fantastic opportunities for students.

We are able to do this because our Trust, Scholars’ Education Trust, is a leader in digital classroom technology and one of our sister schools, Samuel Ryder Academy is an Apple Regional Training Centre and was a pioneer in this area, being one of the first schools in the country to introduce iPads across the curriculum.

This is a really exciting moment for the school, a chance for us to take a big, bold and important step in modernising and transforming the way we help our young people realise the very best education, outcomes, universities, careers and opportunities.

ParentPay is open for current Year 6 parents to start making their payments and will be open for parents in Years the current Year 7 and 8 from the beginning of May. Importantly:

  • The full value of £104 will show for everyone
  • If you know that your child is entitled Free School Meals (which we may not know for those currently in Year 6) you only need pay £52
  • Anyone can spread their payments over time, so you could choose to just pay £10 per month, for example, to spread the cost

Frequently Asked Questions:


We live in a digital world in which workplaces are increasingly computer and device based. We must prepare our students for the world of work as it actually is and will be in the future so that they can have the very best careers, and opportunities. They need to be digital leaders.

Digital technology allows us to improve the way we teach, with greater interactivity, greater adaptation to individual needs, greater feedback, and greater access to knowledge and information. Producing and storing work online adds security, reduces loss and damage and improves sharing and peer working.

There is an intention, nationally, to move to digital public examinations in the next few years. Our children need to be ready for that (and even better ahead of the curve).

If we want young people to be safe and competent online then we must teach them how to be so.

iPads provide an incredible opportunity for student leadership - our young people will be central to the training and delivery of this project.

Finally, we are in danger of being behind the curve. Many schools have already done this, including some locally. Schools within our Trust have reaped real benefits from having moved to iPads and suffered far less from the impact of Covid, for example, because they had done so.

What will it cost?

There is a contribution from parents/carers and we want to be open and up front about that from the outset and also explain how we will help you to manage that and make it affordable.

The iPads are the latest generation 9 devices that come with a protective case and stylus and are worth over £450 each. 

iPads will belong to the school and will be leased to students for their whole seven years at the school. 

Parents will be asked to make a financial contribution of £104 in year 1, £80 in year 2 and £80 in year 3.  That will secure the iPad for all seven years at school. 

The iPad is returned to the school when the student leaves the school.

My child is in receipt of Free School Meals or is on the Pupil Premium, is there a reduction?

Yes, the three year lease payments in that case are £52 in year 1 of the programme, £40 in year 2 and £40 in year 3.

Where will they store their work, and might it get lost?

With the IT migration everything is now stored by Microsoft on their Office365 and OneDrive platform. This is a world leading, incredibly secure platform I am sure familiar to many parents and carers from your places of work.

The iPads will work directly with Office 365 and OneDrive.

So if an iPad is lost or damaged, student work is safely stored online and won’t be lost. Equally a cyber-attack on the school would not affect your child’s work.

What about Years 10 and 11?

Following advice from our colleagues across the Trust that introducing iPads during examination courses, when they haven't been used in key stage 3, is counter-productive because the introduction of the new technology at the same time as GCSE syllabuses places too great a demand on students and teachers.

The programme will roll through the school so, eventually, every child in all years will use iPads, but the current Years 10 and 11 will complete their courses with the curriculum and IT provision as it is now. They will have greater access to the Chromebooks as they will not be being used elsewhere.

What about Years 12 and 13?

For the moment they can continue to bring their own devices and use them in a different and less integrated, but still useful way.

We will announce more about bringing iPads into the Sixth Form in the future.

What if my child's iPad gets broken?

In the event of accidental damage the school will repair the iPad, in the first instance, as part of the lease. A small stock of spare iPads will be kept so your child does not have to wait for the repair. This loan pool can also be used if for any other reason a child's iPad is not available.

If the damage is malicious or deliberate there will need to be an individual assessment and discussion with the parents/carers.

If an iPad is repeatedly damaged then we may need to charge parents/carers. Experience in other schools is that this is very rare and when it occurs the average cost of repair is just £35.

Will my child be able to bring their iPad home?

Yes. In fact, they will have to. In line with our Values, they will take Responsibility for the iPad like the rest of their school equipment.

They will need to charge it overnight and ensure it is remembered and fully charged for the next day at school.

They can use it at home to support their learning, for homework, for revision and for some social activities.

They will be able to show you their homework and classwork on it.

We advise that iPads (and for that matter phones) are charged in the kitchen at night to ensure students get a good night's sleep without any distractions in the bedroom.

Will the iPads be safe?

Yes. The school will control what apps and protocols are on the devices.

In school students will not be able to access any dangerous or pornographic sites, any social media, any non-educational games or any sources of hate speech or misinformation - just as is the case with the desktop machines and Chromebooks currently.

Teachers will be able to see, at all times, what students are looking at and engaging with on their devices. Logs and records will be kept of what they search for, what apps they use and messages they send, just as is the case with the desktop machines and Chromebooks currently.

If your child uses their iPad at home connected to your Wi-Fi then you will need to be responsible for their online safety, just as you currently are for their phones or any computers at home. Guidance for parents and carers about this will be in the Parent’s Guide which will be issued with the iPad.

Can you give me some examples of what my child will use their iPad for?

As a watch - to be on time; as a timetable - so they know what lesson is next; as a diary - so they do not forget a club or a meeting.

As a place to store all of their work, in a safe and organised way, and in a way that they can share it with teachers and peers and work on it collaboratively.

For writing essays, long answers, short answers, pop quizzes, quick notes, revision notes, recipes, keywords and reports.

For drawing graphs, tables, diagrams, equipment lists, making plans, feedback sheets, coaching guides, musical scores and storyboards.

As a research tool, dictionary, encyclopaedia, translation tool, calculator, simulator, and a safe way to access and use Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a notebook, post-it-note, a moodboard, an artist's pad, a photo library, a scrapbook and a place for voice notes and thoughts.

As a reading book for DEAR, a careers magazine, a brochure for a university, a college application form, a careers library and an almost infinite library full of stories and world literature.

As a tool for revision, study, examinations, completing past papers, and getting feedback from teachers.

As a communicator, via email and through safe, school-provided apps, to collaborate with teachers and peers in this school and across the trust.

As a sound recorder, camera, video recorder and editor for recording work, projects, portfolios, made outcomes and homework.

There is also a helpful guide here from Apple.

Does this mean that my child no longer needs to worry about handwriting?

Handwriting remains an important skill and is still the way of public examinations at the moment. The iPad will in fact be able to help with handwriting improvement apps which we can use with students to improve their neatness and speed.

However, typing will also become important and the iPad will help develop those skills too and we will explicitly teach them.

Will the iPads replace everything?

There will never be a time when an iPad is the same as applying acrylic gouache to canvas or an iPad can replace throwing a rugby ball into a line out, or an iPad replicate the mouth embouchure of playing the flute

However,  in each of these examples the iPad can support - a practice sketch book, moodboard and artist research tool for the first; a skills guide, coaching video recorder and ball speed/spin recorder for the second; a score, metronome, sound recorder, tuner and audience sharing platform for the third.

Why can't my child bring their own device of my choosing?

We cannot then keep students safe. We have to be able to control the apps and protocols centrally.

It would prevent us from being able to do the leasing scheme at such a low cost making it unfair to many.

We will train staff and students to use the same devices so that this training maximises their learning.

We are part of a trust who are experts and leaders in the educational field in the use of iPads in schools.

What will happen to phones, as these are sometimes used in the classroom?

We will be able to say to students that whilst they are welcome to bring phones to school if their parents and carers wish them to have them for the journey, for example, once in school they will be turned off, not used and not seen.

There will be no need for any students, in Key Stage 3, to use their phone, in school, at any time.

What will happen to all of the Chromebooks, which you have in trolleys in faculties, when you no longer use them?

Most will have reached the end of their life. They only last a couple of years unlike the iPads which last at least seven.

Those which do still have life will be donated to our partner school in Sierra Leone, if they are suitable for them.

Why is the school not fully funding this project?

The school is funding the vast majority of the project: 40% of the cost of the iPad, 80% if your child is entitled to Free School Meals, the cases, the styluses, the insurance, repairs and maintenance, the software, the training, the network infrastructure and Wi-Fi, and the VAT. The government does not provide us with any funding for this, we have saved to make it possible.

Spread over a year the first payment equates to just £8.67 per month. Over the whole seven years the total cost is just £3 per month. If your child is eligible for free school meals, then the costs can be halved.

Will students spend too long on the screen and get eye strain?

Each lesson is only an hour, and children take breaks between lessons as they move classrooms, as well as break and lunch, so the risk of eyestrain is very minimal. The iPads also offer a technological solution, a feature you can turn on to control the screen brightness/contrast and warn you if it is too close or too far from your face. The iPad also tracks and reports on screentime for the students and parent to be aware of and be able to monitor.

We will be giving out a parent guide sheet with each device and detail of these settings will be included.

Will students be able to personalise their iPads?

Yes, they can put stickers and logos on the cases. They can, if they wish, buy different cases for their devices, though we recommend they stick with the one we issue.

What is the exact model number?

This will be included in the parent guide issued with each device.

Will the children need keyboards?

I will admit I am a convert on this as I thought the same thing. In fact, I insisted that mine had a keyboard and now, after three weeks of using it, I have given it back in.

The on-screen keyboard is brilliant, extremely easy to use and much more accurate. Our sister schools have also reported this, that students find the onscreen keyboard better.

There may be one or two exceptional cases, such as a specific SEND need, where we would provide a separate keyboard as well.

Will all children use the iPads, including those with SEND?

Yes, absolutely, the iPads are a great leveller, because they are accessible by all, and everyone will be using them equally.

For those with SEND there are a host of settings, such as magnifiers, voice to text and speech readers, for example, which can help to meet needs and accelerate progress. These will be detailed in the parent guide issued with each device.

The iPads are brilliant for supporting all kinds of needs such as dyscalculia, dyslexia, visual and hearing impairments and processing difficulties.

Will YouTube be accessible?

For teachers to use in lessons yes. For students, no, as some of the content on that site is not suitable.

Will WhatsApp, TikTok, WeChat, Viber, Signal, Telegraph, Line, Snapchat etc be accessible?

No, as those apps allow communication anonymously with strangers and are not suitable for children.

Will games like Roblox and Minecraft be accessible?

No, whilst these are fine for supervised use, they do contain chat functions and some spaces are used by ill-intentioned adults for illegal or immoral purposes.

If an iPad gets lost can 'find my phone' or similar be used to find it?

Yes if the device is on the school site and connected to our wifi.

Will the students be trained on the iPads?

Yes, by their teachers and by a new colleague called Nick Acton, whose company are experts in the use of iPads in schools.

We will also be training around 60 young people, who have volunteered for and are suitable for training as Digital Student Champions; they will help tutor other students and staff.

It will take around twelve months to fully train ourselves up as school and for the iPad to become second nature in the way we would.

Will my child be able to see their lunch money balance on the iPads?

Edulink will be on the iPads and therefore we hope that students will be able to see their balance through Edulink.

Who owns the intellectual content on the iPads?

We are finding out the answer to this question.

Will children need headphones?

No, students should not be wearing headphones, or in earphones/pods at any time at school, unless given permission by a teacher.

If in a lesson, such as languages, they need to use headphones, or microphones, the school will provide those as we do now.

We are an Apple household. Will my child be able to Airdrop to home Macs or printers etc.

No, unfortunately not.

Will students use spelling and grammar checkers?

Yes, as they are part of the Office suite. They can also use dictionaries, online encyclopaedias, translation tools and powerful calculators.

This may be different for public examinations when they inevitably move to digital devices in the future, but we and every other school in the country would follow the same rules, from Ofqual and JCQ, in that eventuality.

What is the battery life of the device? Will the software update?

This does depend on usage but they easily last a whole school day and long into the evening if needs be. Battery life will decline with age, but not notably over the 7-year period of issue.

Software will be updated automatically and remotely by the school, throughout the full 7 years and Apple guarantee to support the operating system for that entire period also.

Will you ask for feedback from parents as the rollout commences?

Yes, of course, and at the end of the first year as we learn how to best use the new technology together.

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