Innovative Hartlepool primary achieves Apple award held by only 535 schools in the world

A Hartlepool primary has been recognised as one of the most innovative schools in the world by technology giant Apple.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 3:33 pm

Jesmond Gardens Primary School has been awarded Apple’s Distinguished Schools award for the third time.

Only 535 schools in the world currently hold the status for the way they use Apple technology to aid teaching, learning and inspire creativity and continuous innovation.

At Jesmond Gardens, every child has an iPad tablet device which they use every day.

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From left: headteacher Phil Pritchard, technology and innovation lead Simon Curtin, deputy headteacher Rebecca Nicholson and IT technician Josh Brown with pupils (left to right) Noah Turnbull, Nicola Wallace, Macey Woodhall and Elijah Wilson.

The award is also in recognition of how the school has used such technology to support children with remote learning during the pandemic.

Apple stated: “Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of leadership and educational excellence ​that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology — and we believe they are some of the most innova­tive schools in the world.​

"Apple Distinguished School leaders, teachers and the extended community have a clear vision for how their technology-rich environments support learning goals.

"They use iPad and Mac products to inspire student creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. And they cultivate environments in which students are excited and curious about learning.”

Jesmond Gardens Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID

The Apple Distinguished School programme is by invitation only and recognition lasts for three years.

To achieve the award, Jesmond Gardens had to submit a detailed review of how it uses Apple technology to support and enhance teaching and learning in school.

A number of stakeholders contributed to the review led by Simon Curtin, the schools technology and innovation lead.

The school said the use of iPads enhances its outstanding teaching and learning and has become integral to the curriculum.

Philip Pritchard, the school’s executive headteacher, said: “As a school we constantly evaluate how we can provide an outstanding curriculum to ensure children reach their potential and we develop their life long technology skills.

“Apple technology allows us to be creative with our curriculum and inspire our children whilst giving them skills to help them beyond school.”

He added: “This is the third time we have received the award. The award this time also recognises how we supported children with remote learning using apple technology.

“The process is extremely rigorous and requires a lot of evidence of impact hence why there are so few schools who have achieved.”

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