Pleasant Heights Public School

Academic excellence and social responsibility in a caring environment

Telephone02 4284 6962

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What happens if my child's device is lost or stolen?

A. Any damage or loss to a device that a student brings to school will be the student's responsibility. The school will not accept responsibility for any loss or damage. Families may choose to consider purchasing insurance and/or extended warranty for the device.


Q. Can the device be charged at school?

A. Most learning spaces do not have the capacity to charge devices. Students should make sure their devices are fully charged every day. It is recommended that devices should last 5 hours without being charged.


Q. Will there be a place at school for devices to be stored when they are not being used?

A. When students are not in class their devices should be stored in their bags in a safe place. They should not leave their bags unattended at any time. They should also not leave their bags in places where the device can be easily damaged.


Q. Will there be an internet filter applied when the device is used at school?

A. While at school, students will be restricted by the NSW Department of Education and Communities filtered internet service. All social media sites and inappropriate sites are blocked while students are at school.


Q. Will I be able to put on my own apps or programs onto my device, other than the ones the school has asked for?

A. Yes. Parents and students are allowed to install their own apps and programs on their devices. These are at the discretion of parents and students.


Q. Do students still have to use exercise books at school?

A. Yes. A device is another tool for learning just like all other equipment. Students will still be required to use exercise books and writing materials in addition to their device.


Q. Do students have to bring their devices every day to school?

A. Yes. The device is part of a student's equipment set for learning. Students will be expected to bring their device fully charged to school every day.


Q. Will the school ask students to download apps at school, where they will need the iTunes password? 

A. No. We will never require students to know the iTunes password. Students DO NOT NEED TO KNOW THE PASSWORD. 


Q. Should my child have the admin password for their device? 

A. NO. We strongly recommend that parents are the device administrators and that you are the only ones that have the passwords required to download applications and software.  


Q. Will students use ICT too much for schoolwork?

A. The 1-to-1 device will complement the existing school curriculum by providing appropriate digital learning tools in balance with more traditional learning tools. The goals of the curriculum are supported, not changed by the use of 1-to-1 devices. Students will use 1-to-1 devices where they serve a purpose, for instance, in research, data analysis and generating presentations. Wireless access will allow for ‘just-in-time' learning where students can search for information or collaborate with others in real-time. Students will be able to use their school files at home and be able to collaborate with their peers. 


Q. How much time will my child spend using the iPad each day?

A. The iPad becomes a tool amongst many at the disposal of the teacher and students throughout the day. With any learning experience, the teacher is best placed to decide which tool will be most effective in meeting the intended learning outcome. iPads are not intended to be a replacement or a substitute for any of the more conventional tools teachers have at their disposal. It is the school's belief that any well rounded approach to education involves balanced access to a variety of tools. iPads simply increase the number of tools at the teacher's disposal and are only used when they are the best tool for the job.


Q. How can 1-to-1 devices improve learning?

A. With greater access to real-time information, digital learning resources, educational software and collaborative work spaces, students experience higher levels of motivation and engagement in their learning. Typically students experience initial improvement in areas such as organisational and technological skills, revision, writing and editing work. With the development of presentations and other multimedia projects, students experience subsequent improvement in analytical, presentation and speaking skills. Involvement in ‘virtual work spaces' creates opportunities for collaboration and communication, improving relationships in the classroom through a greater level of interaction between students, their peers and their teachers. A networked environment, where it is easy to share developing work and research with peers and teachers, is the environment students will live and work in during secondary school and the future. Students working together and providing solutions to real-world problems will create links beyond the classroom and move levels of thinking beyond a simple knowledge framework to complex analysis and evaluation.  Increased levels of learning both in and out of school with an emphasis on higher order thinking, creative thinking and expression will be promoted.


Q. Will learning outcomes be evaluated differently?

A. Students will continue to be evaluated against the outcomes in the NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. The devices complement the existing school curriculum by providing digital learning tools that link in with planned classroom activities. Wireless access points at schools will foster collaboration and teamwork, allowing students to search for information together and share the learning experience.


Q. Will they be doing word processing? 

A. Yes, they will be doing word processing on them and this can be done by either using the touch screen or using a key board insert. 


Q. What are the recommended apps for the devices?

A. Visit the Apps - Primary for a list of the suggested apps. 


Q. Are students only accessing the school intranet? 

A. The device will be able to access both the intranet and internet, so it needs to be WiFi. The school's server has the capacity to filter certain sites. Parents will need to set up internet connections at home if you want your child to access the internet at home. 


Q. Will I have to buy a new device every year?

A. No. The devices you purchase in grade 3 should last your child until the end of grade 6. However, some families may want to upgrade their devices and this is fine. 


Q. Can the students print from their devices? 

A. Yes, we have organised a way to print from all the selected devices. However, we will be encouraging students to 'think before you print'.  


Q. Will the students still be writing? 

A. Yes the students will still be writing. It is still important that handwriting must be neat and legible for students to be successful writers. However, we as teachers and parents must also recognise that typing is also a valid way of writing and one that most of us use far more frequently than handwriting. As our students move through their education and into employment, the need for them to be competent typists is only going to increase.   


Q. Won't students be able to ‘cheat' by using the spell checker?

A. The spell checker is a tool to allow students immediate feedback on the correct spelling of words they use. It supplements our existing school spelling program, but does not replace it. We will still be explicitly teaching spelling from the English Syllabus. 


Q. What if students play on the devices during the school day instead of going outside for recess?

A. The devices will provide additional support for student learning, and therefore students will be supervised as they would be for any learning activity. Students WILL NOT be permitted to take their devices outside at recess or lunch times. All devices will stay inside the locked classrooms where they are secure. 


Q. Will students be able to access inappropriate apps? 

A. Students will not be able to download apps without the password for either the iTunes App Store or the Microsoft Windows Store. It is a family decision as to if students know these passwords or not. It is the responsibility of families to monitor the apps / content on student devices. 


Q. How will 1-to-1 devices be used in the classroom?


  • Researching topics and concepts being covered in class
  • Reflecting on their learning in a safe online environment that will be provided by the school.
  • Developing strong critical thinking skills through using multiple sources of information. 
  • Learning about cyber safety and being a good digital citizen.
  • Accessing, exploring and sharing learning using a range of media and skills including: animation, concept and mind mapping, digital video and image creation, drawing and painting, interactive curricular resources, logic and problem-solving, 3D modelling and game-making, presentation and multimedia tools, sound and music making and typing tutors. 
  • Accessing the school online learning portal. 
  • Reflecting on learning, goal setting, providing evidence of learning and much, much more. 


Q. Will my child's Internet usage be monitored at school?

A. The school has an internet filtering system that aims to stop inappropriate material reaching the students. Teacher supervision is also important in monitoring student usage and behaviour online. As always PHPS is committed to online cyber safety education for all students. This will be an ongoing focus across the curriculum as we continue to reinforce strategies for appropriate and safe behaviour online. Students can and do occasionally come across inappropriate content. We believe that providing them with strategies to deal with such occasions in a safe and supportive environment is preferable to them dealing with the issue in unsupported circumstances.


Q. Will my child have to share their device? 

A. No. Students will only use their own personal device. Students may work in pairs or small groups, but they will only ever use their personal device. 


Q. Will teachers check up on what students have on their devices? 

A. All devices will be made available to teachers, the school Principal or school technology coordinator on request. If any member of staff believe that a student may have inappropriate content on their device (eg: photos) they will inform the student that they are going to conduct a 'Device Check'. 


Q. What happens if my child damages their device at school?

A. The school will take every possible measure to protect equipment; however, students will ultimately be responsible for their device. Devices will not be covered by school or DEC insurance. If your child damages their device, you will be liable for the cost of repairs. 


Q. What happens if ANOTHER child or a teacher damages my child's device at school?

A. The school will take every possible measure to protect equipment; however, accidents do happen. Ultimately, the person responsible for the damage will also be responsible for the cost of repairs. If a teacher damages a device, the school will cover the cost or repairs. If another child damages a device, their family will be responsible for the cost of repairs. 


Q. What happens if a device is damaged but it is unclear who was responsible for the damage? 

A. In the case where a teacher did not witness a device being damaged and students cannot agree on who is responsible for said damage, both students will be asked to write down their account of events and the school Principal will determine who is liable for the repair costs. We will do all we can to avoid any damage to student devices and will work with families to resolve any issues.


Q. What if I don't sign the Agreement?

A. Parents/carers and students are required to sign the Agreement regarding the acceptable use of internet and equipment. If this Agreement is not signed and returned the student will be excluded from the BYOD program. They will have some access to a school owned and managed device that will remain at school. 


Q. What happens if I don't have a device? 

A. If this is the case, your child will have some access to the school's existing technology to support their learning.


Q. Will my child be able to install other apps and games?

A. Yes, however the purchase of all apps, games, music etc must be made with an Apple ID which requires a password. The owner of the Apple ID must be at least 13 years of age and it is strongly recommended that this is a parent. Hence parents have control over the Apple ID password and what is installed on the iPad.


Q. Will students be able to store music on the Devices? 

A. Yes, students can store their music on the devices. Again this requires the use of the Apple ID / Windows ID which the parent should have control over. It is the responsibility of the account owner to ensure that music is appropriate for school. 


Q. What happens if inappropriate apps or music are on the iPad?

A. If school staff notice that inappropriate apps or music are on the device, the parent will be contacted and asked to remove the inappropriate material. Educational applications will be considered the priority on the devices and the school reserves the right to request information which does not support educational outcomes be removed if it impedes the tool's intended purpose or is taking up too much space on the device.


Q. Will students be able to use Facebook on the device? 

A. Users of Facebook MUST be 13 years of age or older, hence Facebook should not be used on the device. Access to Facebook is blocked at school.


Q. How will the school regulate student use of the Internet at home?

A. The school is unable to regulate student internet usage at home. We encourage parents to be aware of what their child is doing on any Internet enabled device (computer, iPad, iPhone, iPod) and strongly encourage the use of these devices in family areas only (not in private areas such as bedrooms).


Q. Do devices need to have a case? 

A. Yes, all devices must have a protective case and screen protection. 


Q. Who is responsible for backing up the data on the devices? 

A. Families are responsible for ensuring data is backed up at home. We will not be backing up student devices at school. 

We WILL be showing students how to save individual files and work samples to our school server / online platform. 


Q. Will the battery last all day?

A. All the selected devices will last all day with no problems at all. The iPad has an up to 10 hour battery life and that is more than adequate for a day's use in the classroom. There is an expectation that devices will be bought to school fully charged each day. There will NOT be charging facilities at school for your child's devices. This reinforces to the students the importance of being responsible for your device and ensuring you are prepared for each day of learning.


Q. Is the program compulsory?

A. No, the BYOD program is not compulsory. However, we hope that parents follow our professional recommendations and participate. But, ultimately each family will make a decision based on their individual circumstances.


Q. What happens if I choose not to participate in the program?

A. Your child will have access to the schools current shared technology resources. 


Q. How does my child save work?

A. This depends on what work we are talking about. Students will be able to keep their work on their devices as they are a personal (not shared) device. Students will be able to share / save some tasks and work on our school portal also. If work is required to be printed, this is possible via our school servers. 


Q. Can a family member use the device when it is at home?

A. The device is yours. You decide how it is used, however, it is essential that you understand that we have selected 'personal' devices. They are intended to be an individual device not a shared device.


Q. What can we do to keep the device safe?

A.Do not share your passwords with anyone.

Find a safe place to store your device at home so that it is inaccessible by small children and difficult to locate in the event of a burglary.

Ensure basic household security measures are followed at all times, such as locking doors and windows.

When travelling in the car or on public transport ensure the device is placed inside its protective case. 

Do not throw your school bag as this could damage your device.