iPad Information for 1st Year Parents / Guardians and Students of Carrigallen Vocational School 2022 – 2023

Why did Carrigallen Vocational School Introduce iPads for Incoming 1st Year Students?

  • The heavy digital content of the new Junior Cycle: As all the subjects have now come on stream in the new Junior Cycle, the iPads have been proving invaluable for students in the completion of their Classroom Based Assessments in all subjects. They now have the ability to research, organise, collaborate and create presentations, projects and documents required for these assessments. Having the iPads allows both students and teachers to organise and access the material in one digital setting.
  • Access to an enormous range of excellent educational Apps and software across all subjects.
  • The use of filesharing software which helps students to manage themselves in a much more organised way.
  • The on-going issue with the debilitating weight of schoolbags caused by very heavy books in addition to notes and exercise copies. We would hope that over time we could reduce this load by having a percentage of the books required as e-books and by using the iPad to store notes and project work.
  • Carrigallen Vocational School would like to prepare its students to compete in increasingly digitalised third level education and workplace environments.​
  • The use of the iPad or similar digital devices has been shown to improve the participation, interest, and confidence for students with learning needs
The multi-year strategy will examine how to exploit innovation and technological change in moving to a digital economy - vital given a recent OECD study estimated a 46% probability that the average worker's job would be automated by the 2030s. More than 57% of Irish adults have minimal or no computer or technology skills, so boosting those skills will be crucial.

What Type of iPad can be Purchased for Suitability in Carrigallen Vocational School?

An Apple Authorised Reseller (AAR) is a business partner that has entered into a contractual relationship with Apple Computer Inc., to sell software and/or hardware products.

Local Authorised Apple Resellers

  • Argos (Cavan, Longford, Sligo, Castlebar)
  • Harvey Norman (Castlebar)
  • Currys PC World (Sligo, Letterkenny)
  • Hayes Expert (Cavan)
  • Archers Expert (Ballina)
  • Ganlys (Athlone)
  • John Finn Electrical (Roscommon)
  • Sheridan Electrics (Castlebar)

Dublin Area

  • Argos, Harvey Norman, Currys, Brown Thomas, Power City
  • Arnotts Expert Electrical
  • *Compu B (Grafton Street, Dundrum, Pavillion in Swords)
  • *iConnect (Henry Street, Liffey Valley)
  • Currys PC World (Blanchardstown) has an official Apple Shop
*These are PREMIUM Apple Reseller stores (i.e. they have been recognised by Apple for providing superior customer services with a focus on Apple solutions, service and support) The full list of AAR stores in Ireland / Northern Ireland is available on the apple.com / apple.ie website

Apple Online Store

All the current iPads can be bought directly from Apple and can be engraved with your name and delivered to your home: apple.com / apple.ie website

What size screen should I choose?

The more recent iPads are available in 10.2 screen size which is perfect. The iPad Pro is a more expensive option and they have larger screens. They are not necessary for school purposes.

What about internal space / storage?

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing your iPad. Space fills up very quickly on the iPad in school (eBooks) so it’s best to buy the model with the largest amount of space you can afford. 64GB is the minimum that we recommend for students and ideally, for longevity, more than 64GB storage is ideal.  


These are the most current models in production by Apple:

– iPad 9th Generation (2021)

– iPad Air 5th Generation (2022)

Some of these models are no longer in production by Apple but the software and updates are still being supported and they may be available for sale in AAR stores:

– iPad 6th Generation (2018)

– iPad 7th Generation (2019)

– iPad 8th Generation (2020)

– iPad Air 3rd Generation (2019)

– iPad Air 4th Generation (2020)


iPad Minis are too small for school purposes and viewing textbooks / notes

Refurbished iPads have proven problematic and have often resulted in parents / guardians having to repurchase a new iPad within a year or so. Apple updates its operating systems frequently and refurbished iPads can lose their effectiveness if they are older models

Models that are currently discontinued by Apple and cannot update to the latest software


What kind of Policy does the School have in Place for iPad Usage?

(Revised from previous Version)


In Carrigallen Vocational School, the introduction of iPads for students aims to uphold the Mission Statement of the School – in particular to recognise uniqueness and to develop the potential of each person. This policy aims to safeguard a safe and secure environment for all students in order that the iPads may be used to their full educational and creative potentials. 


Please also note, Carrigallen Vocational School sees the iPads as educational devices for school use and NOT devices purchased for general use that can ALSO be used in school. This distinction is important as it clearly states the function of the iPads during school time. The iPads are an educational tool, not a source of entertainment or informal communication using prohibited social media apps, games and software during school hours.


Carrigallen Vocational School recognises the negative pervasion and influence of social media in today’s society, in particular for young people. By contrast, the school seeks to highlight the use of the iPad as a positive experience – a device that greatly aids learning and creativity, in particular self-directed learning.


The new Junior Cycle underpins digital learning as one of its core aspects, acknowledging the demands of an increasingly digitalised society and workplace. Wellbeing, which is a unit within the new Junior Cycle, stresses the importance of the student feeling safe and secure within the school environment and we feel that the use of certain apps and software do not comply with this.


Sites like Facebook and Twitter are completely blocked on the school server. Other specific social media and communication apps are also prohibited from use during school time (Snapchat etc…). A list of downloaded or purchased apps downloaded by each individual student can be retrieved from the school server if necessary. Students may use these apps on their mobile phones or home PCs / laptops at home or during the holidays but it is expected that they are never used or active / visible on their devises in school. Spot checks will be carried out and sanctions will apply.


Expectations for Parents \ Guardians

Parents \ Guardians are responsible for:

  • Acquiring and paying for the iPad for their son \ daughter \ guardian based on advice of iPad model type from the school
  • Acquiring and paying for an appropriate protective case for the iPad, as advised by the school
  • The safe keeping (in the home environment), repair and insuring of the iPad (There is a one-year manufacturer’s warranty with the iPads). It is not the responsibility of the school to replace the iPad if it is damaged. 
  • Taking note of the Serial Number of the iPad and keeping it safe in case of theft
  • The regular inspection of the iPads to see that they are in good working order
  • Reporting any damage to the school
  • Reporting any issues of conflict related to the iPads to school management
  • Parents are urged to regularly check the iPads for apps that are prohibited in school, inappropriate photos and / or videos and any other inappropriate material

While it is acknowledged that the purchaser retains ownership of the iPads, Parents \ Guardians agree to grant the teachers and school management the right to confiscate and \ or inspect the iPads at any time for inappropriate material, and to delete this material where necessary.


Expectations for the Students:

It is expected that students:


  • Do not remove any identification labels put on the iPads by the school
  • Do not remove software and eBooks uploaded by the school
  • Take immediate note of school related usernames and passwords and keep them in a secure place and do not share this critical information with others
  • Arrive each day with their iPad fully charged
  • Make sure that the iPad is always in its protective case when not in use in class or during transit, between classes and at break times
  • Do not have any social media / communication apps downloaded and / or visible on their iPads. This includes TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and other similar apps.
  • Do not have games downloaded and / or visible on their iPads
  • Be logged out of core iPad app iMessaging during school hours and not use it as a means of contacting other students during the school day
  • AirDrop must also be disabled unless instructed otherwise by teacher for school use. Students must not distribute material using AirDrop unless given permission by a staff member
  • Notifications relating to apps other than approved school apps must be disabled
  • If students have an iPhone and therefore have prohibited apps that they have downloaded on this phone, these must remain in the iCloud on their iPads and not be downloaded during school time.
  • Disconnect (un-sync) their school iPad from other Apple devices that they might own, being particularly mindful that photos taken on an iPhone could load into the iPad.
  • Do not download proxy (alternative) VPN servers or attempt to bypass the school server in any way
  • Use their phone or other devices as ‘hot spots’ to bypass the school WiFi
  • Keep the iPad stored in the locker during break times or when not being used for class or when the class goes away on a school trip
  • Do not allow anyone else to have possession of their iPad or passwords or alter it in any way
  • Report any damage or theft immediately to your Class Tutor (N.B. If damage is not reported before the end of the school day, it will be assumed that the damage took place outside of school).
  • Report any issues relating to ownership or conflict relating to the iPad to your Class Tutor
  • Be mindful not to eat or drink while using the iPad
  • Do not download inappropriate or profane material 
  • Do not download or distribute personal material relating to another member of the school community
  • Delete any personal material relating to another member of the school community if it is electronically distributed to them
  • Use the camera or video in such a way that it interferes with the privacy of other members of the school community
  • Use school email addresses for school related material only
  • Do not use the iPad in class for anything other than the specific classwork that is being conducted at that time
  • Do not connect personal email addresses to the Mail App on the iPad. The school email should be the only active email on the iPad

Positive Use of Electronic Devices for Student Wellbeing:


  • iPad training during induction
  • The use of educational file sharing and communication apps for positive learning experiences
  • Focus on cyber-bullying within CSPE and Religion
  • Talks on staying safe online from Garda School Liaison Officer
  • Contact details for local Garda distributed to each student
  • The prohibition of the use of social media and communication apps within school hours as a possible source of distress to any member of our school community
  • The use of the school website and social media site(s) as a place to promote positive achievements and useful information for our school community
  • The provision of a school email for professional and safe communication between school staff and students
  • The use of filesharing to help with organisational skills
  • The use of filesharing apps for individualised feedback and differentiated material
  • Promotion of creativity
  • Promotion of self-directed learning and research

Misuse of the iPad includes:

  • Playing games
  • Downloading and / or spreading inappropriate, personal or profane material
  • Having prohibited apps on the iPad during the academic year
  • Having notifications on for prohibited apps, iMessaging, games etc…
  • Misuse of school email addresses
  • Unsanctioned Recording (video, camera etc…) of other members of the school community 
  • Messaging other students during school time using communication apps on the iPad (Snapchat, iMessaging etc…). This can indicate the unsanctioned use of VPN servers or hot spotting the iPad from another device.
  • Using the iPads for any communication that may be construed as online bullying, harassment or inappropriate contact with any member of the school community
  • Uploading unsanctioned recordings (particularly those recorded on school grounds) to social networking sites or passing these recordings around electronically
  • Refusal to hand up the iPad when asked by a member of staff
  • Altering software uploaded by the school
  • Browsing inappropriate websites
  • Any evidence of cyber-bullying
  • Etc….

Sanctions in Relation to Misuse of the iPads or failure to comply with expectations include:

iPad usage in the school is a privilege and not a right. If a student misuses the iPad in any way, then, depending on the severity of the misuse, sanctions will be applied ranging from:

  • Confiscation of the iPad for a period of time (Paper books can be provided in the place of eBooks)
  • Notes home to parents / guardians in diaries or parents being called in
  • Persistent misuse can result in the student going On Report
  • Serious misuse may result in suspension or in some cases, referral to outside agencies like the Gardaí. 


Getting Started on the iPad

When you purchase your iPad and turn it on for the first time, follow the instructions for setting it up. You will be asked to give an email address and a password which will become your APPLE ID.

Alternatively, the IT team in the school will work with students to set up their iPads during 1st Year induction. 



If the student already has an iPhone or another Apple device, then they will already have set up an Apple ID and they can use this one. However, they need to disconnect their iPad from their iPhone to prevent photos, videos and other material from their iPhone transferring to their iPad:

How to remove your associated devices on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Tap Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store.

Tap your Apple ID. Tap View Apple ID. You might be asked to enter your password.

Scroll to the iTunes in the Cloud section, then tap Remove This Device. 

Don't forget!

to take Note of your Apple ID and Password when you set up your iPad first - You will need it to Download Apps for School. Keep it in a Safe Place!

What Apps are used in the School and do they have to be Paid for?

  • The main document / presentation apps are called Pages and Keynote and these are free generic iPad apps. Pages is similar to MS Word and Keynote is similar to MS PowerPoint
  • Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) provides a school specific email and password for every student and also provides free access to the suite of Office 365 apps (Word, Publisher etc…).
  • The student gets access to their ebooks (text books) in a selection of book company apps. These are uploaded via the students’ emails and passwords. 
  • Showbie is an app used by both students and teachers to share information, record homework daily, upload notes, upload written and recorded homework, correct homework online and provide personal feedback for students.
  • Subject specific apps are used by each teacher.
  • PDF versions of books and notes can be downloaded and stored.

Where can I get more Help?

Apple have a very good guide to setting up the iPad – just google ‘Parent Guide Setting up the Apple ID for students
  • Apple also have online tutorials
  • Another good site is www.ipadbootcampforparents.com
  • If you prefer, a good book is ‘A Parent’s Guide to the iPad’ by Nick Vandome