Newcastle High School

Quality education in a caring environment

Telephone02 4969 3177

BYOD Assistance

Bring Your Own Device - BYOD

NHS Digital Device Procedure Flyer SEP 2023

Newcastle High School values preparing our students for a rapidly changing world, where technology plays a critical role in personal, social, and professional lives. Staff at Newcastle High School have taken great strides to integrate the use of devices into all aspects of teaching, including the implementation of a state of the art learning management platform, Canvas. BYOD is an important step in ensuring all NHS students are working with 21st century learning capabilities.

Parents can now access the Newcastle High School JB Hi-Fi Education parent portal where a selection of Apple, HP and Lenovo devices may be purchased. These laptops are specifically chosen for the classroom and have a variety of pricing options available.

Simply go to JB Education BYOD and enter our school code NEWCASTLEHSBYOD and make your choice. 

The Bring Your Own Device program has responsibilities for students and our school as outlined:

In the BYOD program students must:

  • read the policies and procedures for bringing your own device
  • understand and continue to demonstrate knowledge of their responsibilities
  • seek to register the device online and not connect to the school before being approved
  • ensure their devices are safe and secure at all times
  • keep their devices safe using carry cases, screen guards, etc
  • use devices according to school and NSW DEC policies

The school will provide:

  • access to the wireless network for registered student devices
  • access for students to download and use Microsoft and Adobe Software
  • access for staff to download and use Microsoft and Adobe Software
  • guides to connect common devices to the wireless network
  • authenticated, monitored, filtered internet access through the DEC network
  • limited loan Laptops for students who do not wish to bring their own device
  • support for teachers to use device-neutral activities to enhance learning in their areas
  • access to Google Apps for collaborative learning on their portal under learning

The school will not provide:

  • wireless access for non-school activities
  • charging, insurance or secure storage for student devices
  • technical and warranty support or training for student devices
  • repairs, maintenance or replacement of damaged student devices
  • one laptop per student as under the replaced DER program

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to purchase through the JB Hi-Fi portal?

No. Parents and students are free to purchase devices from any retailer, but must ensure the specifications of the device meet the school’s requirements.   

What if the device is broken at or lost school?

By purchasing through the JB HiFi portal, servicing due to laptop fault can be submitted online by parents and a technician from the manufacturer will repair the device. An additional warranty option is also available, to cover repairs due to damage.

What specifications does the laptop require?

All laptops on the JB Hi-Fi portal meet our specifications, but most Windows and Apple Devices with dual band 5GHz wireless, a 64GB solid state drive and 9.7inch screen should be sufficient. Ensure that you are able to install software from third parties (such as installing Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows 10). A carry case is also required. Mobile phones are not considered appropriate devices. 

Is BYOD designed for all students?

All students at Newcastle High School are required to bring their own device and use it as part of the learning in the classroom. Year 7 students are guided at the commencement of their schooling how to use the various systems at their BYOD Boot Camp.

As we move towards a more technology supported curriculum, we require all students to bring a laptop to class to support their learning in the classroom. Students will access their device for a number of different activities in all subjects.

What software will teachers be using at school for class work?

Depending on the course, a variety of software will be used in the classroom ranging from word processing and spreadsheet calculations to game development and film editing. All NHS students now have access to Canvas - our new learning management system at where staff can issue and receive student work of all media types. Students can access Canvas using their Office 365 student login.

Do I have to buy a new device each year?

No. The lifecycle of a device that is cared for should last approximately four years.

What is BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a technological trend in education and in the corporate world.

BYOD recognises that technology and choices about technology are very much personal.

BYOD acknowledges technology in education means more than meeting specific curriculum requirements.

BYOD is designed to give you, as students and families, freedom to make technology choices that suit you and all your circumstances.

How does it work?

Students at Newcastle High School are encouraged to bring their own computing device to school every day.

We are making recommendations as to the model of device you may choose to bring.

Or, if you have a strong technical background, there may be something of your own choosing that meets our Device Specification that you choose to bring.

There is also some software that you have must on the device.

In most cases there are free options for software.

A member of the school staff, the BYOD Technical Support Officer, is available to answer questions and to give assistance.

However, the school does not manage, support, own or warranty the device - it's your device.

Why do you operate a portal with JB Hi-Fi?

Some of the Device Specification requirements are quite particular. By choosing a device from our parent portal at JB Hi-Fi, you are ensured the right type of device has been chosen. Just visit JB BYOD and enter the school code NEWCASTLEHSBYOD, and you won't have to worry about whether the laptop ticks all the requirements. 

There are only a handful of devices available through the portal by design. Allowing a smaller selection of choices between the low, medium and high price points makes it easier for parents, students and teachers who will all be using the same group of devices. This enables staff to assist students more effectively in the classroom.

Why do you operate a BYOD program?

The BYOD program was first implemented to replace the Digital Education Revolution (DER) program which ended in 2013.

Our teaching staff expressed their desire to expand the program across the school. This allows each subject to move from physical to electronic texts over time, to deliver lessons with a unified teaching methodology across all year groups and to bring the rich learning experiences to all schools. All faculties are committed to developing increased integration with the BYOD program over the coming years.

What type of device can we bring?

A range of devices in a range of price categories meet the Device Specifications listed at the bottom of this page. We recommend only Windows laptops or MacBooks.

You should carefully consider all your options for purchase and lease/rent-to-buy. Consider also that a good quality device could comfortably last four years.

Additionally, it's possible you already own or use a device which meets the Device Specification, in which case just bring that.

I'm concerned about the costs

The purchase of a device is a major decision and a significant expense. A good quality device should last for at least four years if it cared for appropriately and stored securely. Newcastle High School has taken strides to integrate device use into many aspects of teaching and learning. Your investment allows the school to maximise learning outcomes for all students. We are committed to our obligations as a public education institution to deliver the same learning outcomes to all our students no matter their families' financial means.

I'm concerned about device security

The school does not own the device, support the device or warranty the device. Experience from the previous Commonwealth-funded Digital Education Revolution scheme indicates that students who took good care of their device and considered themselves the device's owner rarely had device security issues.

If you are concerned the device is going to be broken, lost or stolen, you may wish to consider specific accidental damage insurance for the device. You can specifically list the item on your home contents insurance, or you can purchase an Accidental Damage Protection plan for your device. Accidental Damage Protection is available as an option for all our recommended devices.

You may also consider using a device locator service. These services include the "Find my iPad" service built in to Apple iOS devices, "Prey" for Windows or "LoJack for Laptops".

Internet access on the device will be filtered at school and students will be prohibited from connecting to other networks while at school.

Newcastle High School “BYOD” Program Device Specification

Hardware Specification Requirements:

Form Factor

Windows Laptop or Apple MacBook

A tablet device must have a physical keyboard available with separate keys for A – Z and 0 – 9. A separate Bluetooth device is sufficient to meet this requirement.

Note 1: The Device must also have a camera and microphone. A stylus may be appropriate for touch screen devices.

Note 2: NHS has made the decision that mobile phones/ smartphones will not be part of the BYOD program.

Physical Dimensions

Minimum Screen Size: 9.7”

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple MacOS

Note: Windows 10 and Office 365 are available as a free download to students through the DET portal. Chromebooks and MacOS come with built in software. You must be able to install your own software from third parties (such as installing Google Chrome onto Microsoft Windows 10)


Dual core processor or better.


Minimum RAM: Laptops 4GB 

Wireless Compatibility

Wireless connectivity required. Devices that connect via the 802.11n wifi standard, on the dual band both 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz frequency devices will connect.

Battery Life

Advertised battery life of 5 hours or more.


Minimum 64GB storage on device.

Note 6: Students are recommended to make use of a storage device such as the Office 365 OneDrive or Google Drive to save work. These accounts are done through the student’s DET login and allow unlimited storage. 

Protective casing

Students are required to store their device in a suitable protective case when not in use.7

Note 7: A scratch/impact/liquid-splash resistant case is recommended. A screen protector may also be advisable for touch screen devices.

Additional Recommendations

  • USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port (Highly desirable)
  • Accidental loss and breakage insurance

Software Requirements

In addition to the hardware requirements outlined above, the device must also have access to the following software.

Please note that a free student download exists for most of the software solutions below through your student’s DET portal login.

Software - One of the following:

Learning Management - Canvas.                

Web Browser - Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox (Internet Explorer is not capable of running some software).

Note Taking/ Word Processor - Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft OneNote, Apple Pages. 

Spreadsheet Software - Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers.

Presentation Software - Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote.

Pdf Document Viewing Software - Adobe Acrobat Reader or Equivalent Software.

Office 365 and Google Apps - Either through the browser or via a dedicated application.

Additional Recommendations - Adobe CC suite (cloud access from student’s DET portal account)

Note: Adobe flash is not compatible with Apple IOS devices.

Connecting to WiFi



Mac / OSX

Windows 10