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Bring Your Own Device

'The Connected & Disconnected College'

The Connected


The use and growth of personal technology in learning is widespread in schools around the UK and is firmly embedded at Pangbourne. Many teachers, subjects and departments make extensive use of these devices in lessons and for prep, particularly in public exam classes. As a result, the College has been recommending that all students have a minimum level of equipment to complete GCSE and A Level courses. 

From September 2020, all pupils in the College (including Dunbar) are required to have a productive IT device for all lessons

The College network supports a wide range of devices and operating systems including Windows 10, Apple Mac OS X and iOS, Google Chrome OS and Android. The choice of device is normally a matter of personal preference. However, as the device will be used for productive activities including word processing we recommend a device specification as follows:

(The enhanced specification should be considered if pupils are considering courses for GCSE like Art, Computer Science, Music and Design Technology - please contact the department if you have any doubt about the necessary requirements or require further information.)

Standard Laptop Specification

Enhanced Laptop Specification


  • Minimum screen size of 10 inches with a recommendation of 12 inches;
  • A full-sized physical keyboard, suitable for the device;
  • Wi-Fi connectivity;
  • Battery life of 7 hours or more as stated by the manufacturer;
  • Audio output, via headphone jack or Bluetooth;
  • A suitably robust case to protect the device
  • Please note: whereas a tablet paired with a keyboard may meet these requirements, a smartphone will not support the extended use for academic work. 



  • Google Suite is the preferred productivity software; it is web-based and will work on any device with a web browser. However, some subjects (e.g. Art, Computer Science, Design Technology) may use specialist software that is only available for Windows. This software will continue to be available on College PCs.
  • We also require that appropriate antivirus / antimalware software is installed.



  • Minimum diagonal screen size of 12 inches but 14-inch is preferred;
  • A full-sized physical keyboard, suitable for the device;
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or  Mac 10.14;
  • CPU: quad core i3/i5 or similar is suitable for most subjects requiring the enhanced specification but an i7 is preferred for subjects that make extensive use of audio or image manipulation such as Art, DT, Music and Photography.
  • Memory [RAM]: Minimum 8 GB
  • Local Storage [HDD]: a 1 TB magnetic disk drive or 256 GB SSD with access to Cloud storage;
  • A separate graphics chip / card is preferable but not essential [these are still built into a laptop and handle the graphics processing, rather than the CPU];
  • Wi-Fi - 80211ac;
  • USB 3 or higher.
  • Battery life of 5 hours or more, as stated by the manufacturer under normal load;
  • Audio output, via headphone jack or Bluetooth;
  • A suitably robust case to protect the device.



  • As specified by departments.
  • Antivirus / antimalware software.

Modern laptops now have a lifespan of at least 3-years and often considerably longer. You may wish to consider choosing a device that is capable of supporting study into the Sixth Form and beyond.

Insurance and Storage

Personal devices are not covered by the College insurance policy. It is usual for such devices to be covered by domestic household insurance and we advise you to consult your policy details. The College operates an optional insurance scheme that covers all personal effects, including PCs and laptops. Details are available by contacting the Bursary. It is, however, the responsibility of an individual to look after their own possessions and we continue to stress this to all the pupils. Devices should be stored in their cabin or locker when not in use.


The Disconnected

Mobile Phones

The College mobile phone guidelines were originally produced by the pupils and staff in consultation. The guidelines were very effective in allowing pupils to put down their devices and commit to their group activity, be it lunch, lesson or social time.

However, with the introduction of BYOD and amid growing concern about teenage mental health and the impact of being always connected, we have reviewed the guidelines and introduced a new protocol. The new protocol excludes mobile phones from pupil possession during the working hours of the College to a new default setting of "always off but in possession". You can view the new Mobile Phone Protocol here.