Apple at Oakmeadow Primary School

When Oakmeadow Church of England Primary and Nursery School in Shrewsbury decided to buy a selection of Apple equipment for use in school, it chose RM Education to provide it. RM Education is an Apple Solution Expert for Education, which means that it is a trusted partner in delivering Apple solutions for schools.

Oakmeadow’s Head, Huw Roberts, believes strongly in helping its 322 pupils become confident users of technology. The school already uses robust, high-quality RM PCs across the curriculum, and with the addition of Apple equipment, Oakmeadow’s pupils are competent computer users across a broad spectrum of hardware and operating systems.

With advice from RM Education’s Apple experts, Oakmeadow invested in:

  • iMacs – Apple’s ultimate all-in-one computer, with superb video capabilities
  • MacBooks – an advanced notebook, combining a thin, light design with powerful processing
  • iPod Touches – the world’s most popular portable gaming device, offering access to over 500,000 apps, HD video and messaging, as well as cloud storage for photos, music and other files
  • iPad – with an incredible variety of free educational apps available to touch, see and use through its stunning large-screen display, the iPad is an inspirational addition to any classroom
  • Charging and sync dock – durable, lightweight docking station for up to 20 iPods at once

‘We try to make sure that our children have a spectrum of opportunities to use different types of hardware,’ said Huw. ‘It’s good to have Apple devices as well as PCs, as it means that the kids can access different facets of learning.’

What was his experience of buying Apple from RM Education? ‘RM’s involvement has been crucial. They never pressurised us into anything, they advised us to go to BETT (the annual global exhibition of learning technology) to see and discuss what was on offer. After that, we had a session at RM Education’s REAL (Rethinking Education and Learning) centre, where we got some hands-on experience of the equipment we were considering.’

‘But once we’d made the decision and ordered our Apple equipment, RM didn’t just disappear, as some suppliers would have. We’ve really appreciated their involvement since then.’

Tim Daly, class teacher and ICT coordinator, also feels very positive about RM Education’s after-sales role, in particular its expert technical support team.

‘RM’s technical support is excellent. Their level of technical knowledge is very good. If there are any problems, they sort them out straight away, usually within a day.’

Tim has been closely involved with the implementation of Apple at Oakmeadow. ‘Apple equipment may come at a slightly higher price, but it’s fantastic to be using equipment that that is so well put together. The teachers have really embraced the technology. They found the training much easier than they expected it to be.’

‘The kids are really motivated by the Apple kit, and are really enthusiastic about their learning. As keeping them motivated is an important aspect of teaching, you could say that Apple does part of the teachers’ job for them!’

Rhiannon Reece, Oakmeadow’s DT Coordinator and a class teacher, found no problems in familiarising the pupils with their new equipment:

‘The children were very conversant with the kit – especially the iPod touch – and they were immediately enthusiastic. In many cases, in fact, they knew how to use them better than we did.’

Our Verdict

What do the children say?

Jordan, in Year 6, said ‘It’s easier to enjoy lessons when we use the Apple kit. When we hear we’re getting the laptops out we’re like ‘yay!’

Describing how the iPod touch helps make learning fun in Year 4, Joseph said: ‘We use the iPod to search for stuff on the Internet, and sometimes we make live videos…’

Children in their last year at primary school are often desperate to move on, so perhaps the most telling comment came from another Year 6, Joshua, who said: ‘I don’t ever want to leave this school…!’

Pie Corbett