iPads at NMPS 2021

The first iPad was released 10 years ago. North Melbourne Primary School saw this mobile technology as a powerful learning tool and began embedding iPads into our curriculum in 2011.

Fast forward to 2021 and today's children are growing up in a rapidly changing world powered by technology. Technology is driving innovation, progress and holds the key to future employment. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, two thirds of children entering primary school today will end up working in industries and job types that don’t even exist yet. Transferable skills such as Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, Critical-thinking and Problem Solving are recognised as essential for future careers. The nature of education and learning is also changing, and at North Melbourne we have created digitally rich, flexible learning spaces that foster these 21 century skills.

We are committed to giving students the best possible start to their education: building skills to help them thrive in the future. We embed technology throughout the curriculum and provide new opportunity for students to represent their thinking, clarify ideas, make connections, identify patterns, and reflect on their thinking across the curriculum.

We began using iPads at North Melbourne in 2011, and over the last 10 years have been using iPads to create engaging, personalised learning environments. Students learn to be digitally fluent, responsible users of technology, They develop skills that prepare them for the digital expectations of high school, university and beyond.

This year, North Melbourne Primary School was selected as one of 5 Victorian Schools to participate in Apple Education's Inspire Innovation program. Click here to see our journey and examples of student work.

In Prep to Year 2, the school leases iPads to enable 1 device per 2 students in each classroom. In Year 3-6, students have the option to bring an iPad from home to use at school, or can lease an iPad from the school to use. In 2021, the lease cost is $160 per year.

BYO iPad Program Y3-6

For an iPad to be used at school, it must be enrolled in to Jamf - our school Mobile Device Management (MDM) system. This provides access to a safe and secure learning environment (we use the Department of Education’s network filter, Eduproxy).

JAMF enables the following to occur automatically at school:

  • Connection to the school network, server and WiFi.
  • Connection to the education department filtering system, ensuring safe internet searching.
  • Connection to compatible school hardware, such as Apple TVs, printers.
  • Installation of educational apps.

Our school technician will enrol your child’s iPad in the MDM system.

Enrolment does not affect or control any use at home. You may withdraw from the school MDM system at any time and this will remove any connection your iPad had to school, including provided apps.

iPad safety at school: Usage & the Responsible Usage Agreement Policy

The North Melbourne Primary School Responsible Usage Agreement Policy outlines the rights, responsibilities and regulations of iPad use at school. It is designed to ensure that iPads are used safely and appropriately at school to enhance student learning.

All students, parents and teachers are required to agree to the School Acceptable Usage Policy of ICT. For the safety of all students, North Melbourne Primary School reserves the right to limit student access to technology and the school network if they disregard any part of the policy.

At school we promote a safe learning environment by:

  • Using Education Department Internet network filters for safe internet searching.
  • Teaching positive & responsible online behaviours.
  • Creating school agreements that outline student expectations when using technology.
  • Linking cyber-safety and to our school wellbeing program.

Safety at home: supporting parents

We have had an incredibly successful history of responsible technology usage at North Melbourne Primary School. We have established a safe environment for students to explore how to use technology responsibly. When technology is used, it is supervised and the internet is filtered by the Department of Education.

For many parents, this will be the first time their child has access to an Internet capable device. If you have the internet at home, set the expectation that your child shows you what they are doing online. If they are reluctant to show you their iPad or specific apps, there may be a reason. The small number of issues we have experienced had the following things in common:

  • They occur outside of school hours (e.g unsupervised at home, or a friends house or the technology was being used in a private space such as the bedroom).
  • They involve Mobile phones (students see iPads as "school" related so are less likely to use them irresponsibly).
  • They are social media related (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messages, Skype, Group chat functions on games) and their accounts were not being supervised by parents.

Using Apple Screen Time to manage your child's device (IOS 12+)

Any iPad running IOS 12 can be managed by Apple Screen Time which allows parents to control access to various apps and web content using a private passcode. Full instructions can be found on the Apple website, however the following video shows how to set it up.

How to restrict Messages & Facetime without using Apple Screen Time

This is another way of restricting Messages and Facetime.

We strongly recommend that parents ensure they have set up a safe environment for technology use at home.


  • My child doesn't have an iPad, do I have to join the iPad program? No you do not have to purchase an iPad for your child to use, however there is an annual charge of $160 to lease an iPad from school.
  • If I lease an iPad, can my child take it home? Yes. The iPad can be taken home during the lease period if you wish - although please add this to your home and contents insurance as you will be liable for any damage or loss at home. It can also be left at school if you prefer.
  • Can my child bring an Android or generic tablet? Unfortunately we not yet able to set up Android or generic devices at school. Our school infrastructure has been developed for the use of iPads (several examples include the use of JAMF Management System, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Airplay/Apple TVs, Apple Classroom). Our teachers are also trained to teach with apple technology.
  • Which iPad should I buy? An iPad running IOS 14 and with 32GB+ of storage space available for school use.
  • My child already has an iPad, can we use that? Yes providing it is running IOS 14+. Please ensure there is enough storage space on it for school use.
  • What apps should I purchase and install so I am ready for school? None. The school provides all apps.
  • Do I need to create an Apple ID or any other accounts? No. An Apple ID is not required for school. However, if you wish to set up Apple Screen Time for home, an Apple ID is required.
  • Will the iPad be safe at school? The school is a safe place however we accept no responsibility for any damage or loss of iPads and recommends that parents ensure their devices are fully covered by their home insurance. We also recommend parents set up iCloud on their Apple Devices which helps locate devices if they are misplaced.
  • Will my child be using the iPad all day? No. Just like pencils, paper, concrete materials, books, rulers and calculators, iPads are one of many tools used to help students learn. During unit planning, teaching teams carefully consider which tools can be used to enhance or personalise student learning.
  • What about handwriting? Students will continue to write with paper and pencils and work to improve their handwriting.
  • I’m concerned about internet safety? Please read the safety section above. The easiest way to reduce risks is to Set up Apple Screen Time, restrict 13+ apps, monitor your child’s iPad use and keep the device in shared areas of the home.
  • What kind of things will my child be using technology for? As a general guide, technology lends itself to creative responses, reading & research. Technology is also an important tool for personalising learning. In other learning areas they are most likely to be used when capturing their learning, recording a thought, explaining a concept, or creating a project.
  • Where do I go for technical support? Believe it or not, but restarting an iPad or restoring it to factory settings fixes most problems. The Apple support page is without doubt the most comprehensive support available and should be the first place to look when troubleshooting. You can also contact our school ICT Technician.
  • What if my question isn’t answered here? Please email joe@northmelbourneps.vic.edu.au
Created By
Joe Grabin