Email from the Headteacher:
Dear Parent or Carer,
Thank you for attending our information evening, if you were able to come along. We are grateful to those of you who have already given their informal feedback to us following the launch of #AmbroseAnywhere, our programme for the future of IT provision here at St Ambrose.
In case you were not able to come, there follows some background to the choice we are now asking you to consider.
In 2016, teachers at St Ambrose started piloting Google's G-Suite for Education in order to:
• engage students in a new way, with rich, interactive learning materials;
• allow students, while away from the classroom, to check the details of the work they had been set;
• enable new collaborative methods of work;
• provide timely formative feedback to students;
• allow peer review of students work without risking plagiarism;
• simplify student-teacher workflow.
One limitation we found during the pilot was that to take full advantage, lessons needed to be conducted in an ICT suite so that students had access to a computer each. We investigated and, after considering a range of options, found that Chromebooks, with their extensive security and management facilities, their simplicity, good battery life, and quick start up times gave us the good value we needed.
If students have a Chromebook each, we can offer these 21st Century advantages outside the computer suite; in fact, anywhere there is wifi coverage.
So, in recent months, the pilot has broadened into a trial of the use of Chromebooks with G-Suite that we are calling #AmbroseAnywhere.
Here are some comments from those involved in the trial:
I had the privilege to test one of the Chromebooks and to use it in most of my lessons. I have found great new learning opportunities that paper can not do. This has helped me understand more about a certain topic or subject. This has allowed me to see things more visually and I have been able to interact with different software and learning apps. I have been able to access and edit all my school work anywhere where there is internet available to use. This was an amazing idea of school and I can't wait for them to release the Chromebooks to others.
Logan, Year 10, St Ambrose Barlow
G-Suite for Education, and in particular Google Classroom, has proved fantastic in English lessons from my time using it. Students are able to work collaboratively with myself as the expert to develop and redraft the fantastic ideas that they come up with in response to some of the greatest works of literature ever written. G-Suite allows teachers and pupils to be organised, reflective and removes the old excuse of losing work!
For St Ambrose to have the opportunity for children and staff to immerse themselves academically and creatively using modern technology is such an exciting chapter for this school.
Mr K Judge, Teacher of English, St Ambrose Barlow
Not only have we found that AmbroseAnywhere will enhance learning and teaching in the ways discussed, but we can start to remodel the school based around the reduced need for computer suites, providing yet more opportunities to enhance the student experience here at St Ambrose.
We now propose to roll these facilities out to all students in years 7-11. For this to work at its best, we will need students and parents to have ownership of a device.
We are investing heavily in infrastructure and a large number of devices. We are also making financial support available to families who may find it difficult to meet the cost. This is why we are asking you, the parents of our students, to help us by paying for the Chromebooks that your children will use.
We have negotiated with our suppliers and Wesleyan Bank to provide a number of options to help ease the burden.
• An HP 11” touchscreen Chromebook with rubberised edges for increased ruggedness.
• Insurance against loss and accidental damage with £0 excess
• Full Warranty
The insurance continues for as long as your child is a student at St Ambrose. Warranty is valid for three years.
Your choices are:
1. Purchase the Chromebook for £249 including insurance and warranty;
2. Pay £17 a month over 2 years including insurance and warranty;
3. Pay £13 a month over 3 years including insurance and warranty;
Alternatively, if you have a recent-model Chromebook already you can pay a one-off £30 ‘adoption fee’ and we can add the security and management software to your existing machine. With this option, you would need to provide your own insurance and warranty.
These prices are indicative, subject to take-up, and we are working to try and bring the prices of the monthly payment plans down. However if you can afford to pay outright, it will be always be cheaper than paying monthly.
We recommend that you also buy a neoprene sleeve to protect the Chromebook and allow students some individuality. These are available from around £5 from online retailers.
We are now seeking to ascertain how many families would like to enter into the scheme to buy a Chromebook. In order that we can gauge the level of interest in this opportunity, please complete a short form in as much detail as possible. Please complete the form whether or not you attended one of the information events.
You will find the form here: http://bit.ly/MyChoiceAmbsAny
Finally, if you were not able to attend one of our Parent Information Evenings, you can find out more about the programme here: http://www.stambrosebarlowswinton.org/eleven-to-sixteen/ambrose-anywhere/ where there is an overview of the programme and answers to some of the many valuable question we have received.
We will keep you up to date through the school website and the usual social media.
Check the Countdown to #AmbroseAnywhere here