Kirkcolm, Leswalt, and Portpatrick Primaries Achieve an Authority First for Digital Award

Kirkcolm, Leswalt, and Portpatrick Primaries are jointly the first schools in the Dumfries and Galloway authority to be awarded the prestigious Digital Schools Award Endorsement Award.  Having previously achieved the Digital Schools Award together, we were invited to submit for this new award.  The accolade is an endorsement of the three schools continuing excellence and development in digital learning and teaching. In order to achieve the award our schools were required to evidence a continuing journey of self-reflection and development in digital learning and teaching.  There were six key criterion that had to be met; namely: Professional Learning, Learning and Teaching, Innovation, Leadership & Vision, Managing Challenges and Resources & Infrastructure Validator Malcolm Wilson of Digital Schools Award commented that: It is a privilege to have undertaken the validation process for the Kirkcolm, Leswalt and Portpatrick Partnership of schools to confirm the Endorsement Award to the Digital Schools Award. The schools demonstrated, through their continuing development of effective and varied digital learning and teaching, an understanding of what it means to be digitally literate schools. We are committed to supporting our children to be develop the skills for learning, life and work in today’s technologically advancing world.

"Our children, staff and families are very proud to have achieved the Digital Schools Awards Scotland in recognition of our digital learning journey. We are excited to share our good news with our wider community and continue to learn and grow while supporting others as a mentor school." Ashley Walker (nee Lonie),  Quarry View Nursery, Dundee

Quarry View Nursery celebrate their Digital Schools Awards achievement

“Our children, staff and families are very proud to have achieved the Digital Schools Awards Scotland in recognition of our digital learning journey. We are excited to share our good news with our wider community and continue to learn and grow while supporting others as a mentor school.” Ashley Walker (nee Lonie),  Quarry View Nursery, Dundee

Tayview Primary School delighted to achieve their Digital Schools Award

Tayview Primary are delighted to be award the Digital Schools Award. We have worked hard to ensure that digital technology is embedded within our curriculum at Tayview. Our learners really enjoyed showcasing their digital learning experience as part of the validation process. Callum Hay, Acting Principal  Teacher, Tayview Primary School 

East Calder Primary delighted to be one of the first schools in Scotland to achieve their Digital Schools Endorsement

“Receiving our Digital Schools Endorsement award is perhaps even more exciting than achieving our original award in 2021!  This award recognises our ongoing dedication and commitment to, as well as our enthusiasm for, ensuring that the curriculum and tools offered to children within East Calder Primary School embraces the most up-to-date digital technologies effectively; develops computer science and data literacy skills in our children; and consistently supports and enhances children’s learning experiences.” Fiona Stewart, Headteacher, East Calder Primary

Goodlyburn Primary School on achieving their Digital Schools Award

“Achieving the Digital Schools Award has been a hugely rewarding experience for everyone involved. Learners have developed and showcased their knowledge and skills, teachers have collaborated and benefited from the expertise of one another, and, in turn, the school has become a more digital and innovative community.” Hamish Munro Bun-sgoil Goodlyburn Goodlyburn Primary School

Noblehill Primary School delighted to achieve DSA Digital Wellbeing Award

Following Noblehill Primary Schools successful achievement of the Digital Schools Award in 2022, they are delighted to announce that following a successful verification process in October of this year, they have now been awarded the Digital Well Being Award. This Award for Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety is designed to provide education professionals with the resources and support required to help pupils safely navigate the digital world. Schools that successfully complete the programme receive a nationally recognised award by Education Scotland. This is a fantastic achievement for the school as the award recognises that digital wellbeing and cyber resilience/ internet safety skills are being embedded throughout the school. Well done to all our staff and pupils for their hard work throughout the process.

Newmains Primary Digital Schools Award

Newmains Primary is delighted to announce that, after a successful validation visit, we have received the Digital Schools Award. During our visit our staff and pupils demonstrated how the use of digital technology is used to enhance the curriculum, deliver high quality learning and teaching and to provide equity in accessing learning at Newmains PS. Our pupil digital leads have been vital in supporting our digital journey, not only helping with device management, but also in supporting staff and pupils during ICT lessons. They were awarded with certificates, recognising the important work they do. Some of our pupils were able to talk about how the use of assistive digital technology, such as speech to text, supports them in accessing the curriculum. Our pupils also shared what they have learned in ICT lessons and how these skills can used in the future. Our teaching staff were enthusiastic in sharing how digital approaches have increased engagement and had a positive impact on learning, teaching and assessment. Our teachers have engaged in a variety of CPD opportunities and have upskilled themselves significantly in the use of digital technologies, particularly since the need for remote learning. We are delighted to be recognised as a digital school and we are committed to continually providing digital approaches to meet the needs of our learners and to provide the high quality learning and teaching opportunities our children deserve. Mrs M Brown (Principal Teacher) Newmains Primary, Wishaw Newmains Primary Digital schools award press release

Digital Schools Award For Heathhall Primary School

On Tuesday 28th June 2022 Heathhall Primary School were awarded their Digital Schools Award!   Digital Schools Awards is a national awards scheme to promote, recognise and encourage a whole school approach to the use of digital technology in schools. Schools that successfully complete the programme receive a nationally recognised award by Education Scotland. In order to achieve this award Heathhall School has worked very hard at incorporating Digital technologies across all areas of the curriculum. During the validation interview it was commented that ‘Digital technologies are used to enhance and extend learning experiences and to foster independent learning within and beyond the school.’ It was noted that Young Digital Leaders were able to enhance pupil and staff confidence and that the school worked well at enhancing digital communication with parents and the wider community. While working towards the award the Young Digital Leaders at Heathhall have developed their digital literacy skills and have shared this with other pupils and teachers across the school. They have developed their knowledge and understanding of different software used throughout the school and have enjoyed experimenting with new resources which have been acquired. More information about what is happening at Heathhall can be found on the school website. Heathhall Young Digital Leaders Heathhall Primary School gives children in the Upper School a chance to become Young Digital Leaders. As Young Digital Leaders we are here to help children and teachers learn more about technology. We teach a wide range of skills in ICT. To be a Young Digital Leader, we must complete an application form on why we would like to be a Digital Leader, what experience we have had before with computers that would make us a good Digital Leader and strengths and skills we have that can help us in this job. After a discussion with our teachers, we vote for who we believe should be the Young Digital Leaders for the year. The Young Digital Leaders attend an after-school club with Mrs Brown to learn new skills and work with new resources. This can range from Scratch, all the way up to various Microsoft applications and computer robots such as Botleys and Move Minis.  The Young Digital Leaders then prepare lessons and take the place of the teacher to teach the class a new skill. They are then able to work alongside teachers to develop everyone’s skills. Our aim is to help people get better and enjoy ICT as much as we do. -Alex Leed and Tyree Dyson P7 Young Digital Leaders

Woodfarm High School delighted to achieve Digital Wellbeing Award (CR-IS) and Mentor Status

Our young people, staff and wider community supported our commitment and drive in achieving this prestigious award. Our journey in providing a high quality digital foundation for learning and teaching began pre-Covid, there was an energy from our school community to enhance the digital tools that were available to support curriculum development and to provide learners with stimulating learning experiences. Building on this we constructed a digital strategy that was led by ‘pupil voice’ to ensure well-being was a focal point in delivering a high quality service. Young people have a sound knowledge and understanding of the support mechanisms that are in place across the school and beyond that are available to support their digital wellbeing. In striving to develop a positive ethos for digital learning this has supported the school during the education recovery period since lockdown. Our colleagues at local authority level also continue to support us by providing professional learning opportunities and sharing key information via the Digi Hub Digest that is packed full of advice / support. At the heart of our success is leadership. This has shaped the vision for taking forward digital technologies to enhance learning and teaching. This collaborative approach to leadership based on positive relationships has led young people to work alongside practitioners and other key stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes. Woodfarm High School are delighted to be awarded recognition for our approach to digital wellbeing and are keen to engage with other schools to support them in their own journey towards digital excellence. We also thank Digital Schools Scotland for their support in providing us with an opportunity to share our practice. Mr Paul Lindsay Depute Head Teacher (Acting) Woodfarm high School

Digital CLD Award to be Developed Following Funding from Scottish Government

A new Digital Community Learning and Development (CLD) initiative is set to begin development following funding from the Scottish Government. Due to be rolled out nationally in autumn 2022, the Digital CLD Award will seek to recognise the ways that CLD services and organisations promote effective use of digital technologies to enhance learning opportunities in youth work, adult learning, and community development programmes. It is the first initiative of its kind in the sector to be delivered through a collaboration between education bodies and industry partners. It has been funded by Scottish Government’s Community Learning and Development policy team and will focus on strengthening organisations’ skills across key areas, helping them to build their own, and their learners’, digital skills, digital literacies and strong digital wellbeing for cyber resilience and internet safety practices. The development of the programme is being led by the Digital Schools Awards, an organisation which was established to encourage a whole-school approach to the use of digital technology in the classroom. It brings expertise from education and industry and is backed by multinational technology companies including HP and AMD, as well as Education Scotland. To date, more than 1.1 million children in 4,200 nursery, primary and secondary schools across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland have taken part in Digital Schools Awards initiatives. For the first time it is set to engage with organisations throughout the community. It will seek to create a strong legacy of digital skills in the CLD sector by promoting and celebrating improvements in high-quality digital services and learning experiences, and supporting the growth of digitally talented young people and adults. The award will be based around four key principles and designed to be: • Policy-led and reflective for organisations and individuals. • Inclusive, with an emphasis on inclusion and co-creation through the voice of learners so that digitally mature organisations can celebrate their achievements, and digitally developing organisations can use the framework as a road map for improvement. • Encourage and support improvement by acting as a road map for organisations at all stages of their digital development. • Sustainable through the support of a wide range of sectoral partners. The programme is being shaped by a Development Group of specialist partners, including CLD Managers Scotland (CLDMS), CLD Standards Council, Community Development Alliance Scotland (CDAS), Education Scotland, Lead Scotland, Learning Link Scotland, Scotland’s Learning Partnership, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Youthlink and Youth Scotland. Alan Armstrong, who is leading the development for Digital Awards Scotland, said: Digital technology is already playing a fast-growing and increasingly significant role across all sectors of our education system, and we are pleased to have been given this opportunity to extend our support beyond schools to CLD. The success of our programme lies in our recognition of the importance of local partnerships in shaping how we develop our digital awards, and helping practitioners engage learners, improve learning and reflect key policy requirements and national advice through our reflective framework approach. We are bringing this expertise to the new Digital CLD Award. I am delighted to be working directly with our industry and CLD partners, in a collaboration which will enable us to draw together their high levels of digital expertise, innovation and knowledge. Their support will be invaluable in helping us to co-design a programme which will encourage, highlight and celebrate greater digital inclusion in CLD organisations of all sizes, benefit learners and promote social justice.” Annmarie Whelan, Education Manager, HP Inc. said: It is now widely recognised that fostering digital skills amongst young people needs to be a top priority of our education agenda, and as the world continues to rapidly adopt the use of technology across all areas of life this mission only grows in importance. Over the past few years, the Digital Schools initiative has been incredibly successful in helping educational leaders to understand this message, while providing them with the support and resources needed to implement digital learning strategies. “Expanding the programme beyond the school gates and into community organisations is the next natural step, and will provide local groups with the knowledge and support required to make a real difference. The programme’s ambitions align very much with our own as we strive to give children, young people and adults the skills they need to thrive in a modern world.” The DSA award is one of various projects being funded to support development of digital deployment in the sector. -Ends- Digital Schools is an independent organisation specialising in digital education programmes. Digital Schools operates the Digital Schools Awards and Awards4SELFIE education programmes to support ministries and schools to enhance digital education practices. In 2015, Digital Schools backed by industry partners led by HP Inc., launched the Digital Schools Awards in Scotland and Ireland to provide teachers and school leaders in schools with opportunities to use digital technology and to enhance their digital competences and have these acknowledged. Over 3,900 schools are registered for the programme and 965k pupils from nursery through secondary level have been supported. Digital Schools is leading a consortium of ministries, industry and education partners from five countries (Ireland, Lithuania, Scotland, Serbia and Slovenia) in an EU Erasmus project to explore a new European Digital Schools Awards and demonstrate the potential to be sustainable in the participating countries and beyond. In 2021, Digital Schools will lead a consortium from four countries to design, build and validate a practice sharing hub and mentor system focused on the development and dissemination of best practices in digital deployment. The Academy will facilitate the transfer of digital competence from digitally mature schools to those whose digital journey is less developed.