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Coatbridge school receives digital skills award

A Coatbridge primary school is celebrating 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 in Coatbridge were over the moon to receive the Digital Schools Scotland award earlier this month, as well as being named National Mentor School for their imaginative, innovative and progressive use of digital technology.

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

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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 class room. The award reflects the commitment of the 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 the digital committee work collaboratively to promote a positive digital ethos throughout the school.

Coatbridge school receives digital skills award
The Glenboig Primary pupils and staff are delighted with their recognition

The school’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 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.

Coatbridge school receives digital skills award
Pupils completed a range of digital challenges

Over and above the curriculum the school has created two after school coding clubs over the lockdown period, which were well attended and supported the school’s 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 we 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.”

Coatbridge school receives digital skills award
Businessman Bill McCracken and Headteacher Catriona Calvert with winner Katee Hardman

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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