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1:1 iPad

1:1 iPad programme at The de Ferrers Academy


The de Ferrers Academy began to roll out 1:1 iPad in October 2012 as a pilot project with the sixth form and teachers. Feedback was incredibly positive and by September 2014 we had expanded the project to include every student in Years 9 -13, the entirety of Trent Campus and Sixth Form campuses, with a couple of bookable crates of iPad on Dove Campus.

In September 2021 we will be expanding the programme to cover all students in Years 7-8 on Dove Campus as well. 

Our vision was based on 4 key areas:

  • To improve student learning outcomes 
  • To equip all our students and staff with 21st century digital learning tools
  • To ensure that our 1:1 iPad programme is both 100% inclusive and sustainable
  • To leverage potential of mobile learning technologies to support 24/7 access to learning resources

By providing every student with access to their own digital device we have been able to significantly increase access to creative & organisational tools, online resources and more effective feedback and assessment.


How have we achieved this?

The Academy has a long history of involvement in learning technologies, including use of VLEs and assessment tools and was previously a Secondary Focus School for the SSAT ICT Register.

With a clear vision, careful planning and enthusiastic staff and students we have been able to implement a major and successful 1:1 iPad programme across the entire Trent Campus.  Most importantly, we have been able to do this in an affordable and inclusive way.

By reducing spending on some traditional ICT equipment (sets of laptops, PCs at the back of rooms, Interactive White Boards), eliminating paper student planners, cutting back on worksheet photocopying and online services we have been able to reallocate money towards the 1:1 iPad programme. We have moved our learning resources from paid hosted sites to free sites and services including interactive digital textbooks and Google Drive. Instead of students sharing slow sets of laptops in some lessons, every student can now use their own personal device in every lesson and at home.


Over the last 9 years, the Academy has had hundreds of visits from interested educators to see our 1:1 iPad programme in action, including researchers and visitors from the USA, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands, as well as senior ICT Company executives.

Driving Change, Improving Outcomes - Download our interactive book about the 1:1 iPad programme at The de Ferrers Academy and learn more: 

In September 2013 we became an Apple Regional Training Centre (see our webpage and in December 2015, the Academy was invited to join the Apple Distinguished Program for Schools, recognising outstanding leadership and learning in the use of Apple technologies.  In 2018 the Academy was reaccredited as an Apple Distinguished School. The de Ferrers Academy was shortlisted as a finalist for the TES Digital Innovation Award in 2017.

The Academy was one of the first schools to have 2 Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) amongst its staff,  working with schools locally, nationally and internationally on training. We have been invited to take part in events including:

  • Apple ADE Global Institutes (2014, 2016)
  • Apple Leadership Summit (2015, 2018)
  • MTTEP Erasmus+ Teacher Education Multiplier event (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • BETT (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020)
  • Apple Hong Kong Festival of Learning (2016, 2017)
  • Times Festival of Education (2016)
  • SSAT Achievement Show (2016)
  • Learning Teaching Expo, Hong Kong (2017)
  • SSAT National Conference (2017, 2018, 2019)

Greg Hughes also served on the Apple Distinguished Educators Advisory Board for EMEIA region (2015 - 2017) and the Apple Regional Training Centre Advisory Board. Three of our staff (Emma Brown in Enterprise, Rob Taylor in Maths and Greg Hughes) were amongst the first global Showbie Champions. We use Showbie extensively as a free tool to collect /mark work on iPad and provide multimedia feedback.

There are now several case studies videos about our use of iPad, made with various Apple Solution Expert partners: 

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The de Ferrers Academy - Learning with iPad from Academia Group on Vimeo.

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Case Study: The de Ferrers Academy from Academia Group on Vimeo.

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Academia 1:1 from Academia Group on Vimeo.


Case Study by Lightspeed about Mobile Device Management: 


Lizzy's Story from Academia Group on Vimeo.


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You can read more detail in our separate ‘Impact’ sections, but over several years we are already seeing:

  • Greater confidence, independence and work quality from students, especially those that are non-native English speakers
  • A level and GCSE level students achieving well-above their target grades in subjects that made extensive use of iPads/Flipped lessons embedded into learning cycles
  • Some GCSE Maths & Science classes using iPads significantly outperformed similar sets where iPad and digital tools were used regularly and robustly
  • Much more effective/rapid feedback and communication between students and teachers
  • Improved support & scaffolding for students aiming to exceed their target grades
  • Improved workflow & challenge in lessons

We have been involved in several international research projects on the impact of learning technologies, including FASMED (with the University of Nottingham Maths Faculty) and 2 ERASMUS+ projects: Girls into Global STEM (with the University of Hull and partners in Sweden, Poland and Cyprus) and E-Teach The Teacher (with partners in Germany and The Netherlands).

We also work closely with local universities on Initial Teacher Training, including the University of Nottingham (especially English, Maths, Science) , by running hands-on workshops in how mobile technologies can be used in the classroom. All of our PGCE and School Direct placement students receive an iPad for the duration of their teaching practice and training. We encourage them to get involved in research projects and evaluative studies, including our nationally recognised Digital Author program.

You can download our free multitouch books for iPad here: