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Do secondary schools require pupils to have their own laptop or computer? and if so do they sell them through school?

(18 Posts)
megletthesecond Wed 23-Nov-16 07:42:09

DS is only year 5 but I suspect he will need a laptop or computer for secondary school. My laptop only works with duck tape holding it together which is bearable for me but he couldn't do homework on it as it tends to cut out. Printer is knackered but they're cheaper so I'm not too worried about that.

Do school sell slightly cheaper laptops for pupils? I'm trying to budget ahead and decide what I should do.

titchy Wed 23-Nov-16 07:46:54

I doubt schools will sell them. Although some provide iPads to everyone what a waste

He could manage without by doing home work in the library after school, but it does make life easier if he has access to a laptop with internet access. Or a tablet. It won't have to be high spec though - a refurbished cheapy less than £200 will be fine.

We haven't had a working printer for years. Homework gets either emailed to teacher or put onto a stick and printed at school.

sashh Wed 23-Nov-16 08:16:06

You don't actually NEED a laptop but it is useful as homework is often given on paper but then duplicated online, if the child loses the paper copy then they need access to the internet.

But it doesn't need to be an expensive laptop, HP do one for £149 which has everything you need. I know this because I have just got one myself, I'm sure there are others.

Computers get cheaper all the time, if you could afford £10 a month to put away then you should be able to get him a laptop for year 7.

As long as you can word process and use the internet you will be fine. And don't worry about MS office, open office does everything MS office does and is free.

megletthesecond Wed 23-Nov-16 09:26:03

Thanks both smile.

I'd forgotten about open office and memory sticks. That's a bit less expense to worry about.

deepdarkwood Wed 23-Nov-16 09:31:58

At our school I think you'd struggle without a laptop - although it would be possible via library/afterschool homework club. Our school they have a certain number of print-outs free per term, then you pay after that.

All homework is put up on a centralised hub (well, nearly all...!) and often not printed out, and some homework (esp maths) is done online, as well as them having access to lots of revision/self practice sites (languages, maths etc)

Agree that I'd go for a cheap laptop - laptops are changing so fast, and drinks are so easily split ;-)

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 23-Nov-16 09:36:32

DS has quite a lot of homework on online programs. MyMaths is one and there's a science one and a language one. I'd feel awful if it cut out without saving his progress!

He started using MyMaths in Yr5 so you may need one sooner rather than later!

golfbuggy Wed 23-Nov-16 10:37:13

DS would struggle without a laptop - although he does manage quite a lot of things on just a tablet (although there was a thread recently saying that school's online homework system didn't work on tablets).

He gets homework that is online.
He prefers to type up homework (though handwritten would be ok).
If you're doing research type homework it's easier than on a phone/tablet.
Some homework is created as a powerpoint/video (again not required as could be done in other formats, but nice to have the option).

They have a computer room at school but DS is reluctant to go in early/stay late and has very little time at lunch times. Plus at certain times of year it is mobbed by older DC and younger DC are not allowed in.

I think it's possible to manage without but easier with! (we have a cheap reconditioned laptop from ebay)

Fockers Wed 23-Nov-16 10:40:07

Dd would struggle without, so much needs to be printed off, she can do it at school but she'd have to save work at home anyway & take it in on a stick

Lottie4 Wed 23-Nov-16 11:06:39

Again, DD would struggle without a laptop or computer. It doesn't have to be anything fancy though. They do have homework club at DD's school, but she wouldn't get it all done in an hour there.

Some teachers tell them about homework, others sometimes just put it on the school website, so it's handy to check at regular times.

NicknameUsed Wed 23-Nov-16 22:56:52

I think more and more these days it is a given. So much homework is set online these days. There are also some great online resources to help with home learning, and as more libraries are closing, reducing access to free computers you really need to consider getting one.

A lot of DD's homework is set online. She also gets it emailed to her.

I doubt if the school will buy laptops in bulk to sell. It is a large capital outlay and I doubt if their budgets will support it.

BackforGood Thu 24-Nov-16 23:26:06

They do certainly need access to a computer (could be a desktop), but no, schools don't sell them.

ComputerUserNumptyTwit Tue 29-Nov-16 07:07:57

Much of ds's homework is online. Many schools have Office 365 accounts for their pupils though, allowing them to access files stored in the cloud and to use web versions of Word etc. This means that an inexpensive Chromebook will generally suffice - I bought a great one for £110 (on offer on Amazon but currently more like £150 - keep an eye open though).

EdithWeston Tue 29-Nov-16 07:24:05

2 of my DC (with dyslexia) required laptops and we paid for them ourselves.

Your council will have some funds for supporting diagnosed educational needs, but it's never up to the calls in it and next to impossible to get one that route unless there are other needs as well.

Schools don't have a budget for it.

Only school which are relatively affluent can expect to be able to have lessons/homework online. Because it is still not a given that everyone has decent access at home, and some schools serve communities where it is just unsuitable to go down that route (without. making it hard for thise already disadvantaged) or impossible (rural broadband speeds)

differentnameforthis Tue 29-Nov-16 08:43:52

We are in Oz, and yes, it is increasingly common for high school students to need a laptop.

The school secured a deal with a local electronic retailer who gave us a choice of 3 different laptops, extended warranty, and same day call out if anything goes wrong with it.

Badbadbunny Tue 29-Nov-16 13:05:59

Plenty of perfectly adequate second hand laptops on ebay. I've just sold a couple of surplus ones for £75 each which were fully working and more than adequate for surfing the net, spreadsheets, word processing, power points etc.

Personally, I wouldn't go for those cheap £149 laptops as they tend to have tiny hard drives so loading programs may quickly fill it up.

A 5 year old laptop from Samsung, HP, Toshiba, etc will be fine and cost less. For the basics, you really don't need the latest, fastest processors etc.

alltouchedout Wed 30-Nov-16 09:20:18

Reconditioned laptops can be had on eBay for less than £70. Two of my dc are having them for xmas smile

ComputerUserNumptyTwit Wed 30-Nov-16 15:48:22

The main advantage of Chromebook is that there are no applications to load as such - everything is done through the browser (Chrome, obviously!). They boot up in a second. They're also inexpensive - partly because there's no massive Microsoft licensing cost associated with it.

The disadvantage of course is that you need internet access. You can work offline, but this is limited.

I love mine. I work in IT and all who've seen mine have been hugely immersed.

OddBoots Wed 30-Nov-16 15:53:27

At my dd's school the LRC is open with laptops available until 5pm daily for anyone to use it, this is partly for those without computers at home, partly for those without childcare/supervision and partly for the enthusiastic students.

It seems like that kind of thing varies a lot from school to school though.

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