A Chester high school is accelerating its roll-out programme to get students using iPad Minis as part of the learning experience.
In 2013 Year 7 pupils at Upton-by-Chester High School began using the tablets with a plan for each new intake to do the same so that eventually the whole school would be kitted out.
Now the school is speeding up the process by suggesting Year 9 students would also benefit from iPads meaning the first three years would then be equipped.
Deputy headteacher John Keegan said: “It has been a very successful year and they are being used really well by staff and students. We decided to roll them out to Year 9 due to requests from students and parents.”
The school is running the project with the E-learning Foundation charity.
Families donate what they can afford each month towards the £400 cost – usually about £10 – and after three years the machine is theirs.
The cost includes insurance for faults and accidents.
This way the parents get a good deal and the school receives Gift Aid which can be ploughed back into the scheme.
Some parents who have already bought iPads for their children were concerned their machines may not be accepted into the scheme because the school has previously said it wanted to have full control over viewable content.
The school iPads are linked to a server that filters out gambling and pornographic sites as well as Facebook, although Twitter is allowed. Games can be downloaded but these can only be played at home.
But Mr Keegan explained: “We are allowing students to bring their own device in as long as the parents agree to have a profile put on it which will allow the same security protection as the iPads in the scheme. Technology moves on fast!“They also have to provide their own insurance and buy any apps which the school sends out to those in the scheme.”