What’s an Apple Regional Training Centre and how can it help you?

London CLC’s co-director Christian Turton is an Apple Regional Training Centres (RTC) stalwart. Not only does he run one, as London CLC itself is an RTC, but he’s been going to RTC conferences on and off for 13 years. Here he shares what they are and how the RTC community support each other in delivering the regional training centre programme.

Apple Regional Training Centres is the name for schools that support other schools by running CPD courses on all things iPad and Apple. They apply to Apple to be part of the programme. Having proved their own expertise they help to build the skills and confidence of other educators to use Apple technology inside and outside the classroom to support teaching and learning. 

Apple RTC conference

The list of free courses on offer around the country – from ‘Amazing animations with iPad’ and ‘Be courageous with Keynote’ to ‘Everyone can code with Swift Playgrounds’ and ‘Reaching all learners – accessibility with iPads’ – is a rollcall of all that is creative and useful about this kind of education technology and it’s a great example of how educators can cascade their learning to each other.

More than that, though, RTCs feel like a community.  We share best practice and inspire excellence, and nowhere more so than in the regular RTC conferences that I’ve been going to since 2006. 

Pedagogically sound

In recent times the emphasis has has firmly been on pedagogically sound, evidence-informed use of iPad and the benefits learners have gained from it, a shift that feels like a very positive and welcome development to me. 

At the latest conference there were workshops on evidence-informed use of iPad and saving time and workload with technology. The session on accessibility features was especially useful for teachers as it covered those features not just for those who need them but also focused on how they can  improve productivity for all of us. For example, there’s a new feature called Voice Command on iPad that lets you open apps, dictate into them and email the note to one of your contacts, all without touching the device. We also looked further into some of the everyone can create resources (we first blogged about them a year ago, here) as they now include an early years version. We also heard about the latest developments in Swift Playground, the apple app for teaching coding in primary and secondary schools, allowing children in upper KS2 to build AR-enabled apps using Swift.

One child, one story

However, for me the most powerful part of the conference was towards the end with ‘One child, one story’ as educators shared their stories of how using iPads in the classroom has increased accessibility to learning for a wide range of learners and enabled them to pursue their passions, highlighting the power of technology to bring people ‘out of their shell’ and create and communicate when they might not otherwise be confident in doing this in class.

We heard a moving story about a child who found traditional activities in school very challenging and, as a result, was disruptive but found themselves able to communicate and access learning through the iPad. Another was about a young girl who loved art and was able to take her art and photography to the next level using the ‘everyone can create’ resources. She now designs the school’s posters and those for local community events on her iPad.

Apple RTC Digital Leadership Academy

My story centred on the Apple RTC Digital Leadership Academy and its impact on teachers. 

 London CLC ran the first Apple RTC Digital Leadership Academy in March this year and we’ll be running it again at the end of October (Find out more here). Designed for senior leaders, deputy headteachers, assistant headteachers, IT directors and others responsible for leading technology strategies within their school, it’s a two-day comprehensive academy in which you’ll learn how to strategically lead the planning and implementation of an iPad one-to-one programme across a school. We’re excited that the University of Northampton have create a PGCert in digital leadership to complement it: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-certificate-in-digital-leadership/

  • Important! London CLC supports all devices and platforms. As well as being an Apple Regional Training Centre we are also a Google Partner and we support Microsoft products across the schools we work with. We always give independent and impartial advice to schools. 
  • Sign up to our weekly newsletter to get edtech news and views, free resources and reviews direct to your inbox every Thursday lunchtime – including a weekly ‘give it a try’ app or tool recommendation.


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Creative technology projects

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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