Surface Program

History and Reasoning

In 2016 Christ Church Grammar School completed a review of its current device program (iPads and Apple labs) to identify its ability to address schooling requirements. The significant findings were:

  • the iPads and labs combination could still deliver on CCGS main device requirements
  • iPads perform well in the Preparatory School
  • the Senior School required more capable devices which enabled easy and complete coverage of STEM/STEAM needs
  • the students preferred a computing device over an iPad like device (~80%)

Considering the above, the School conducted a trial of Microsoft Surface Pro devices in 2017 and found the devices:

  • offered the best blend of tablet, pen and laptop technology on the market
  • are increasingly being used in schools world wide
  • are provided by a vendor of comparable quality to Apple
  • provide access to software for majority of specialist applications (Catia, Adobe, Vectorworks, Sebelius, Python etc.)
  • provide a potential replacement for computer lab environments
  • provide a superior experience with Microsoft Office and Onedrive, which are produced by the only vendor who conforms to the Australian Privacy Principals for schools by default.
  • introduce technological diversity within the school when balanced with an iPad program in the Preparatory School

A technology committee has been formed to evaluate the effectiveness of the device in reference to the following, the:

  • quick and reliable access to the Internet and associated services
  • provision of document management (create, edit, storage and backup)
  • provision of tools for student organisation and communication (e.g. Nexus, timetables, email etc.)
  • ability to access specialist applications (e.g. Python, Adobe, etc.)
  • management effectiveness of the devices within and outside the classroom

Towards the end of 2017 the School decided phase in a Microsoft Surface program into the senior school as of 2018.

Deployment within the School (2018)

Students in years 10 to 12 will be assigned Microsoft Surface devices as part of the phased roll-out of these devices into the senior school

Devices and accessories

Students in Year 12 will continue to use the device and accessories assigned to them in 2017:

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4
  • charger
  • keyboard
  • pen
  • a Kensington “military grade” protective case – Backbelt 2nd degree

Students in Years 10 and 11 will be assigned the following devices and accessories on the first day of Term 1

  • Surface Book 2 (i5, 8GBRam and 256GB Storage)
  • charger
  • pen
  • a “military grade” UAG protective case

Be ready to learn with the MS Surface:

  • be familiar with the Microsoft One-drive tools and associated software
  • have the requested software installed (via self-service) and ready for use at school
  • carry the Surface device while within its school supplied case at all times
  • bring the allocated keyboard and pen to school each day
  • charge their device nightly and bring their devices in a ready to use state each day. Chargers should remain at home and returned when requested
  • store their devices in lockers during sport or other activities not requiring this device
  • take care with their device and accessories safeguard them from any physical damage
  • always comply with teacher requests and adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy (below) and follow best practice digital citizenship guidelines, as taught by the school, when using their Surface devices.

Surface devices at home

Considerations for home use of the device include:

  • the expectation of boys to charge their Surface device each night
  • boys may be required to check for or complete homework on the device
  • Parents are encouraged to look the nexus website (via the students login) regularly

Christ Church recommends the following for parents and guardians:

  • devices should be used in an open area, where it can be visually monitored
  • invite your boys to show you what tools they have been using
  • you, the parent or guardian, regardless of any persuasive argument your son makes, always govern the use of the device at home
  • the Surface device is owned by Christ Church Grammar School, which explicitly gives parents or guardians full authority over the device when it is at home


Christ Church Grammar School will continue to:

  • educate boys on safe and responsible internet and social media use
  • follow Federal Government and best practice approaches to cyber-safety in schools
  • filter and monitor all content accessed by boys while at school. As such Christ Church strongly discourages parents and guardians from purchasing wireless hotspot devices, such as Internet enabled smartphones or routers or any form of independent Internet plans for their boys, as these circumvent the School filtering system
  • limit access to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and the like) at school only to boarding students for defined periods out of school hours
  • educate boys on digital citizenship and the expectation / responsibility of each person to protect their own online reputation as well as the reputation of their peers or teachers online

Special CCGS Surface rules

Boys should/are:

  • refrain from taking and/or publishing photos and/or video of other students or staff without explicit prior consent of the person(s) involved
  • not play games or engage in any off-task access between 8:30am and 3:05pm each school day
  • prohibited from using the device during recess
  • to always abide by the school Acceptable Use Policy
  • should not damage a device or case or related IT equipment intentionally.  If deemed purposeful, damages to equipment will be repaired at a cost to the parent / guardian. (This includes cutting or tearing holes in the case provided)

All boys are expected to abide by these rules at all times. As these rules exist to protect students, staff and property any breaches of these rules can escalate to the application of severe consequences based on issue and iteration of repetition.

Microsoft Surface Pro damage and replacements

While Christ Church encourages boys to take the utmost care with their Surface devices, accidents and damage will happen. When it does the following principals apply:

  • stolen, lost or tampered-with devices will incur a replacement cost of $950. The School will support the replacement of the device with any genuine replacement via any form of personal insurance
  • if the device screen is damaged (cracked, chipped or shattered) this will incur a replacement fee of $200 for the first two times this occurs with a Surface Pro 4
  • if the device screen is damaged (cracked, chipped or shattered) this will incur a replacement fee of $200 for the first three times this occurs with a Surface Book 2
  • each subsequent repair will attract a fee of $950 per incident within a three year period track on a per student (not device) basis
  • the lost or break-fix cost will be charged to the student’s fee account
  • please note that the repair or replacement costs charged are subject to the manufacturer repair process and as such subject to industry fluctuations
  • the school actively discourages third party fixes of screens or of screen protector films. If such an event is discovered the full cost of a replacement may be charged, as it voids the Microsoft 3 – year warranty
  • any damage to the case will be charged at $60 per incident if the damage was deemed to be intentional or through deliberate misuse
  • if a student loses a pen, keyboard or charging unit, they will need to purchase a replacement from the Christ Church bookshop. Please visit the shop for pricing
  • damaged equipment will be kept at the Christ Church Helpdesk for the duration of a week before it is sent off for break-fix replacement. During this time this equipment will be available for inspection if required

Note: when the School requests the devices to be returned, this request includes the following: device, pen, case, keyboard and power supply.

Surface device acceptable use policy

All boys are expected to adhere to the following conditions when using a school approved or provided Surface Pro Devices. If these conditions are breached, students risk having disciplinary or legal action taken against them, or their parent or guardian.

While boys are encouraged to explore and discover methods utilising this technology effectively within the schooling context, they are expected to refrain from:

  • using this device to transmit any material in violation of any local, state, or federal law
  • the use of profanity, obscenity or other language that may be offensive to another student, member of staff or member of the community, when using this device
  • committing any form of vandalism to and/or with this device
  • copying and/or downloading (and sharing) of commercial software or other media (e.g. music / video) in violation of federal copyright laws with this device
  • using this device for commercial trade
  • using this device for gambling
  • using this device to participate in illegal activities, eg hacking or spamming
  • accessing pornographic or obscene content or networks via this device
  • creating and/or introducing electronic viruses or malware with this device
  • taking images or videos of other students or staff without their explicit consent
  • accessing another student’s iPad without their consent
  • accessing another student’s or staff member’s account
  • bypassing the network security at the school via portable wireless devices (including smartphones),proxies or tunnelling
  • hacking or jail-breaking the device
  • installing beta or pre-release software on the device
  • spoofing another device’s address details
  • playing games on the device during school times
  • removing the school network connection software from the device eg. certificates
  • leaving the device unattended. (Store the Surface in your locker when it’s not needed)
  • taking the device to your PE class, except when specifically requested by the teacher
  • intentionally damaging any device or case

See glossary for explanations of technical terms.

Glossary of terms

  • Hacking – Gaining access to a file, device or network illegally or without authorisation or in a manner not intended by the manufacturer (in this case Microsoft)
  • Spamming – Sending of unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups. This is also known as junk e-mail
  • Malware – Malicious computer software that interferes with normal computer functions or sends personal data about the user to unauthorised parties over the internet
  • Smartphone – A high-end mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a basic mobile phone. A smartphone combines the functions of a personal digital assistant (PDA) and a mobile phone
  • Proxies – Website services that act as ‘intermediaries’ to access restricted websites
  • Tunnelling – Breaking through a restricted network (such as Christ Church) format using another approved network format eg to access file sharing networks, which can contain material legally subject to copyright and inappropriate content
  • Jail-breaking – A technique for overriding the software restraints on the iPad in order to install applications that Apple has not approved
  • Certificates – Are electronic documents, which uniquely identify devices and their owners
  • Spoofing – Masquerading a device as another device
  • Catia / Vectorworks – 3D design tools
  • Sibelius – Music annotation and creation tool
  • Python – Well known programming language