Anson Primary School Case Study blog

Anson Primary School Case Study – Apple iPad
We spoke with Simon Pile, Apple Distinguished Educator and Deputy Head at Anson Primary School

At Anson, the heart of the school vision is to inspire happy, confident and creative young people with a lifelong love of learning. As a school that has always embraced the use of technology in the classroom, choosing the correct technology that can support this is key.

Why the introduction of iPad?
The capability of iPad devices, coupled with mobility and the amazing apps on the App store, makes the iPad an attractive product for the School. Simon said that:

“We encourage the walls of our classrooms to be fluid, with children able to learn inside, outside and beyond the physical room. When you factor in the creative core of our vision, Apple technology is the key to our success. iPad allows our children to use video, music, photography, drawing and coding2 to be creative1, share their ideas and show their understanding across the curriculum.”

The school has gone through a process of vision and planning. This has allowed them to make a sustainable step by step introduction of iPad at a time when the budget was tight. The changes to teaching and learning ensure that savings could be made in other areas of the school. They are now in a position to not only purchase devices, but also to ensure that the whole ecosystem is sustainable.

Step 1 – Review the school vision.
Year 0

  • What role does technology play with each element of our vision statement and across our curriculum?
  • How will we ensure that the technology we deploy is sustainable?

Step 2 – Deployment of devices
Year 1

  • Deploy devices across upper Key Stage Two and for every member of staff.
  • Launched multiple staff training events

Step 3 – Deployed devices
Year 2

  • Deploy devices across Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.
  • Launched multiple staff training events

Step 4 – Deployed devices
Year 3

  • Deploy devices across Lower Key Stage Two

Step 5 – Review and Revise
Year 4+

  • Ongoing rolling programme of review and refresh of devices from Year 1.

In a time when school budgets are under increasing pressure, Anson Primary found themselves having to carefully plan how they would be able to sustain the use of iPads across the School. Simon said:

“Due to our phased roll out programme, the refresh will also be able to happen in phases. This means that the costs for each refresh are much more manageable and can be factored into the budget or use devolved capital to complete a purchase. Any existing kit that we have is either repurposed for vulnerable and disadvantaged families, used for specific schemes in the school where core apps are run, or we trade in the devices using Academia’s ReviveIT programme”  

Staff development
Staff Development is key to success of anything you implement in a school. Initially, Anson Primary ran whole staff training sessions, but these were not to do with the technology. The most important factor to the success at Anson is that the people understood and shared the vision. Simon said:

“The school is special and unique in so many ways. Unless you understand why the vision exists at Anson and why we want to embed creativity across the curriculum you won’t really understand why Apple technology is the best to meet those aims.  

We worked on understanding why creativity was important and what we can learn from the creative processes of artists, inventors and academics. We looked at how we should approach the design of our work space to allow for less cognitive load, more signal and less noise. We looked at our own creativity as a staff and where our strengths and areas for improvement lie.

iPad wasn’t introduced to the staff until after these Vision and Plan sessions and then the training programme began. Simon said: 

We run a bespoke menu system of training which is available online and offline for our staff. Our menu systems run throughout the year and allow staff to drop in for 10 minutes, 30 minutes or one hour to pick up a new skill, a new idea and take it back to their classroom.

Staff at Anson Primary School are encouraged to follow the Apple Teacher Programme. Apple Teacher is a free professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an educator, you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things that you learn and be rewarded for the great work you do every day. The Apple Teacher qualified staff at Anson Primary School are paired with non-Apple Teachers to support their improved practice and use of Apple technology in the classroom. Simon said:

“I put each set of training materials into Apple Books so that teachers can continue to delve into these ideas once the training is complete. With over a million downloads worldwide, the books are having an impact on more than just the staff at Anson.”

You can view Simon’s library of books via

Maintaining student confidence and understanding
Student support is critical, not just for each other but for the staff at Anson too. Each year the School recruits a new set of digital leaders who are trained on how to use all the technology across the school site. They run the live radio station, film class assemblies, run online safety sessions, develop computing clubs and support teachers in the classroom with the implementation of Classroom3, Keynote4, Apple TV5 and sharing work using AirDrop6 and iCloud7.
The Digital Leaders are also support visitors to the school during Bett week and support Digital Leaders from other schools.

 Advice to Schools thinking about introducing Apple technology
There are many benefits to implementing Apple technology in the classroom, but the key starting point is the vision for your school. Consider the ways in which technology can help to support that vision. Consider how Apple Technology will break down the walls of your classrooms and give students the chance to be creative, to have a voice and to make an impact. Simon said:

“Apple technology can allow pupils to show their understanding in ways that suit them, rather than what is considered traditional. It means that, with the right support, every child has a better chance at succeeding because they can play to their strengths when it matters.

The management of Apple Technology has also reduced our costs across the site. We have no onsite technical support and this saving is helping us at a time when budgets are exceptionally poor.”

Apple Regional Training Centre
The school are committed to supporting colleagues across Brent by sharing ways to use their Apple devices effectively in their schools. The Brent Apple Regional Training Centre offers free training, covering how to use core applications as well as looking at how, as teachers, they can be more productive or creative when utilising Apple Technology. Simon explained:

“As well as welcoming teachers to the school, we also work in schools to develop whole teaching teams and present at conferences across the country to showcase our school story. We also host pupil Digital Leaders at the school to showcase how pupils can use technology and have begun offering bespoke training online to colleagues around the world.”

To view the Schools forthcoming Apple courses visit

At Anson, the outcomes are related back to their vision. Do they have children who are happy, confident, creative and are developing that lifelong love of learning. The answer is yes.

They have become a school that has a voice, with children being nominated for national awards in filmmaking. The students work has been showcased as part of global events and other schools and educators look to the school for inspiration and guidance. Simon said

Our radio station, podcast, TV channel and Film Club have all been strengthened by the embedding of Apple technology. We have seen such a transformation in the way our teachers utilise iPad. As an example: in mathematics, pupils are using photography to capture angles or shapes, Augmented Reality (AR) to walk inside a graph or explore ratio, video to screen record their understanding and drawing to break apart problems. We’ve even seen the use of music to showcase fractions or symmetry. Results for mathematics are on an upward trend and similar patterns are emerging across all areas of the curriculum.

On working with Academia, Simon says:

Academia have become critical partners in our ability to improve our use of Apple Technology at Anson Primary School. Their high quality events, vision and planning session and mentoring has allowed us to continually reflect on what we do at Anson and consider how it could be improved.

We work closely with Academia to share our story so that others can benefit from our experiences but are continually learning from the network Academia provides.

Academia are professional, friendly and honest. One of the reasons we have worked closely with the company is not only because of what they can do for us but because of the challenge they give us over our ideas. With many companies you state an idea and they will sell you the products for the idea. With Academia, they will ask you ‘why’ you want to do something and work with you to find the best fit for your setting. As an educator, I can often have an idea of what I want to happen in my school. As a leader, I value the support that Academia gives me to ensure the decisions I make will be sustainable and work for every teacher and child.

About Anson Primary School
Anson Primary School is two-from entry primary school serving a vibrant multicultural community in the Cricklewood area of North London. The school has a reputation for creativity in teaching and learning and the embedding of Apple technology across the curriculum.

1Everyone Can Create –

2Everyone Can Code –

3Classroom –

4Keynote –

Keynote is the most powerful presentation app ever designed for a mobile device. Built from the ground up for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, it makes creating a world-class presentation — complete with animated charts and cinematic transitions — as simple as touching and tapping.

5Apple TV –

6AirDrop –

7iCloud –

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