Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Awards delight


A Coatbridge primary school is celebratin­g a dynamic double after scooping a prestigiou­s national digital award for its exceptiona­l digital skills – and being named National Mentor School for its innovative use of digital technology.

The delighted staff and pupils at Glenboig Primary were over the moon to receive the Digital Schools Scotland award earlier this month, as well as its National Mentor School honour.

The former award, which is accredited by Education Scotland, recognises the school’s excellence in integratin­g digital technology into learning and teaching.

Over the past three years the school has invested heavily in digital equipment to ensure a minimum device to pupil ratio of one-two in each classroom.

The award reflects the commitment of the hardworkin­g staff, who have sought opportunit­ies which enhance the children’s experience­s in class in innovative ways.

As a result, the pupils have grown in confidence in their digital skills, lead learning and digital committee work, collaborat­ing to promote a positive digital ethos throughout the school.

Glenboig Primary’s digital champion, Stephen O’neill, said: “I am so proud of our pupils. The digital leaders have created ‘how to’ videos to support our parents and pupils in digital skills and they have challenged each other and us to make learning better for everyone in the school.”

The senior digital leaders are highly trained and able to guide younger leaders in supporting their peers in the class room.

And during lockdown they met weekly to provide feedback to digital champion Mr O’neill, who then discussed ironing out any issues.

They also set digital challenges for the school to supplement the remote learning on offer. One leader also managed a Microsoft team for children to ask trouble-shooting questions.

Over and above the curriculum, the school created two after school coding clubs over the lockdown period, which were well attended and supported its implementa­tion of a coding programme.

The staff also ran remote workshops for parents to support their digital skills.

Catriona Calvert, head teacher of Glenboig Primary, said: “This level of improvemen­t couldn’t have happened without dedicated team work involving all stakeholde­rs.

“I am delighted with this achievemen­t, as are our staff, pupils and parents.

“From that first lockdown we had 85 per cent engagement and we then worked during the next two terms to work with parents so that they were able to access our learning platforms. It upskilled the parents and that led to us having 100 per cent engagement.

“We also had live PE lessons and ran four digital clubs. We had a junior and senior coding club that led to our P6s designing their own two-player computer games.

“We have taken small tentative steps and were able to evaluate the children’s digital skills which were really quite advanced.”

In her recent letter to the school, Aoife O’connor, programme coordinato­r of Digital Schools Award Scotland, said: “We are confident that Glenboig Primary School will be a pioneer among schools where digitally enhanced teaching and learning is helping our children and young people prepare for living and working in the 21st century.”

The school also recently awarded its own inaugural P7 digital skills award – sponsored and presented by businessma­n and former Glenboig pupil Bill Mccracken, managing director of Glasgow-based Prosperity Financial Solutions – to 11-year-old Katee Hardman.

And in response, Mr Mccracken said: “I was delighted to support my old school by sponsoring this award and hope it will be a continued process.”

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