North London Pupils Lead World in Trialling New Technology

Pupils at a North London primary school are discovering a whole new way of learning, as the first children in the world to use a new app that brings 3D dinosaurs, spaceships and ancient civilisations into the classroom.


Anson Primary School in Cricklewood is the first school to use Sandbox AR, a cutting edge, no-cost iPad app that lets pupils use Augmented Reality (AR) to build and explore virtual worlds.  From walking with dinosaurs to visiting the pyramids of Egypt, the app brings learning to life by allowing pupils to travel through space and time without leaving their classrooms.


Sandbox AR was created by EdTech company Discovery Education, who collaborated with London-based edtech charity LGfL-The National Grid for Learning, to pilot it at Anson Primary. The school was chosen thanks to its reputation for teaching with technology and innovative staff.  Once introduced into the classroom, pupils used the app to visit the natural world, explore scenes from history and even come face to face with dinosaurs!


Anson Primary School’s pupils and teachers had lots of fun experimenting with the new technology before the app was launched around the world. From small beginnings in Cricklewood, Sandbox AR is now being used in schools across the UK, America, Asia and Australia. 


Simon Pile, Deputy Headteacher at Anson Primary School said:


“At Anson Primary School we believe in pushing the boundaries of education and we love teaching with new technology. We were delighted to be chosen as the first school in the world to use Sandbox AR, working in partnership with Discovery Education and LGfL.  Our pupils enjoy the interactive experiences AR creates, and the app has helped us to deepen learning and bring the WOW factor into the classroom.” 


Howard Lewis, Discovery Education’s Managing Director UK and International, said:


“Sandbox AR allows teachers to create immersive, interactive learning experiences that unlock students’ natural curiosity and help them push learning beyond the classroom walls. Discovery Education is proud to work with LGfL and Anson Primary School to make this cutting edge, no-cost app available to educators everywhere. ”


Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager said:


“Sharing inspirational and accessible new technologies to help schools improve everyday teaching and learning is LGfL’s priority. Our partnership with Discovery Education helps LGfL schools to stay on the leading edge when it comes to using innovative technology. We think that Sandbox AR has huge potential for use across the curriculum, for all learners.”


Discovery Education’s Sandbox AR app empowers students and teachers to create, share, and even inhabit virtual environments. Within Sandbox AR, users can create virtual worlds and populate them with some of the hundreds of unique objects from history, the built world, science and nature, and more. Sandbox AR also gives students new ways to express themselves and demonstrate their learning through a feature that lets learners take photos or record a video walkthrough with their own voice over. Sandbox AR even offers a mode that allows users to scale up and inhabit their own life size virtual environments.


For those new to AR, Sandbox AR includes many pre-built sandboxes exploring diverse subjects such as ancient Egypt, space exploration, Mayan civilization, road construction, and more, with additional sandboxes coming soon. Discovery Education is also making available several free, pre-built lessons educators can use with the app to familiarize themselves with integrating AR into classroom instruction. Sandbox AR is available for download here.


Discovery Education will be at Bett 2022. Join us in the Bett Arena on Friday 25th March at 11.50am to discover how immersive experiences are transforming classrooms everywhere. 


For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.