25 Jan


I’ve had another really productive week.

As you know, our trust has been working alongside The Apple Corporation for a year or so now.

On Monday evening I travelled down to an international conference with a number of our Headteachers. The conference attracted around 1200 delegates from all over the world. We heard inspirational stories of how schools are using 1:1 to modernise and energise their curriculum offers. We listened, and watched demonstrations of the latest possibilities that iPads can now offer. I was blown away with the changes in GarageBand, the revised potential of Virtual Reality and how easy Apple have made coding (using Swift Playgrounds).

On Wednesday the team at Apple had asked if we could meet with Doug Beck, the Vice President of Apple, to tell him our story from “a trust” perspective. Myself and Laura spent around 3 hours with Doug and a number of other senior executives from the international team. We were able to talk through our journey of 1:1 and show them films of the young people using technology to enhance their learning. The Apple team loved the fact that our Digit4ll Pathway had edited and recorded most of the films using iMovie and Logic Pro. The quality our Pathway produces is industry standard. Massive nods of appreciation of our staff teams up at Medtia and on the New Bridge School site. If you want to see the quality of their work, the link is here. We left the meeting on Wednesday with a multitude of ideas, not just relating to our trust but also as to how we can bring the knowledge and skills of one of the world’s largest and most successful organisations into Oldham and Tameside.

On Thursday I had an early start at the House of Commons where I had been asked to speak to an invited audience of MPs and members from the House of Lords about the power of technology. I do find this quite amazing as my skills are incredibly limited (I keep telling everyone I used to get paid for playing a guitar and a piano!!). I spoke at length to a gentleman with an invention background. Some of the possibilities that are becoming available really are from the realms of science fiction! I am so looking forward to observing the roll out of 1:1 at New Bridge and Hawthorns, as the possibilities relating to children and young people who have some physical impairments could be astonishing.

So, back in the office on Friday with thoughts and ideas buzzing through my head. Our “to do” list appears to be getting even longer and (if it’s possible) even more ambitious. What makes our trust unique is that without an academy sponsor we are free to partner with some of most successful companies in the world (Manchester City, Hays, Apple) alongside our local partners (Local Authorities, NHS and the many, many local businesses). With all these possibilities, I always have to remind myself of the “So what?” question! Our “So what?” question always relates back to the children, young people and adults in our trust and group. By working together, can we make the world a better place for our youngsters? Can we improve their lives? Can we be pioneers in creating truly inclusive communities? You bet we can!

Have a great weekend,


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here