Kenninghall school introduces iPads to lessons

A rural south Norfolk school has becomes one of the first in the country to introduce iPads into the classroom.

Children at Kenninghall Community Primary School, near Diss, can take photographs, shoot videos, research lesson topics on the internet, play educational games and even track the planets in the sky using the light-weight interactive tablets.

Next month, staff aim to go a step further and install Apple TV, which will allow pupils to broadcast their work to their classmates using the school's existing projectors.

The children were surprised with the iPads at the start of the new term and news of the small school's technical advancement is already creating a buzz in the education world.

New headteacher Sam Nixon said teachers from other schools have been in contact keen to learn how they can also utilise the latest gadgets, which have been given the thumbs up by both pupils and parents.

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'The order arrived over the summer and we had to keep it a secret from the children. We then surprised them on their first day. They were very excited,' said Mr Nixon.

'It's had a very good reaction. We're only a few weeks in but parents have been enthused seeing children coming home excited about what they're doing in class.

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'I think every school has a duty to teach its curriculum the best and most engaging way it can. One of our main aims and values is enjoying but also achieving, and this helps those go hand in hand.'

Since their launch 18 months ago, iPads have become one of the top 'must-haves' for gadget fans around the world.

Staff began researching the possibilities of using the tablets when the 94-pupil school was considering renewing its ICT equipment prior to the summer holidays.

As a test, some pupils were invited to spend the day at the Apple store, in Chapelfield shopping centre, Norwich, to try out the technology – although teachers kept the real reason for the visit under their hats.

Mr Nixon said the low cost of the required software and the long battery life of iPads meant investing in the tablets was cheaper than buying a collection of laptops and paying for further equipment such as digital cameras.

He added that the technology has not been introduced as a replacement for traditional reading and writing tasks, but as a modern supplement to the children's lessons.

Pupil Katie Halmshaw, 10, said: 'I think they're really good. They are easy to turn on and you can get lots of apps which can help you learn more about maths.'

Classmate Elise Jefferis, nine, added: 'Instead of having to use a video camera you can hold them up anywhere and you can take them outside.'

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