Kelvinside Academy first secondary in UK and Ireland to be named a ‘digital school’

Written by Jenni Davidson on 13 December 2017 in News

The school was praised for supporting learning “seamlessly” with digital technology

Kelvinside Academy Digital Skills Award - Image credit: Kelvinside Academy

A Glasgow independent school is the first senior school in the UK and Ireland to earn a Digital Schools Award.

Kelvinside Academy was recognised for creating an environment where pupils can engage with the digital world and where teaching is “seamlessly” supported by technology.

The Digital Schools Awards, which are supported by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government, as well as HP, Microsoft and Intel, were initially launched in Scotland last year to cover primary schools.

Minister for science Shirley-Anne Somerville announced in September that the programme would be expanded to secondaries.

Forty-three Scottish primaries have so far achieved digital school accreditation, with Kelvinside Academy’s primary also one of the first to be named a digital school, when the awards were initially launched.

The school has a ‘Thinking Space’ inspired by Silicon Valley, which is designed to foster creativity and collaboration.

The space houses computers and iPad stations, intended to encourage pupils to make use of digital devices to access the school’s online subscription content platforms.

It also includes an experimental teaching room, the ‘Think Tank’, with tables and walls that pupils can write on where they can take pictures of their work on the walls.

All teachers have iPads which connect to classroom smart boards and the school uses Virtual Learning Environment Frog which works on tablets and laptops and has a library of online resources and digital files.

Teachers use it to create dynamic websites, set and mark homework online and collaborate with students.

The school has also invested in 3-D printers and a laser cutting machine.

In addition, last summer, the school collaborated with Boston-based innovation school NuVu to offer design and technology camps where pupils worked with experts from MIT and Harvard to code robots to solve problems.

Digital Schools Awards validator Dr Victor McNair commented: “Kelvinside Academy is an excellent example of a digital school where the learning, teaching, assessment, monitoring and administration are seamlessly supported by digital technology.”

“Teachers have not lost sight of the primary goal of education, to inspire and enable lifelong learners and they have managed to enhance this vision by creating a learning environment that will allow Kelvinside Academy pupils to engage with, and indeed shape, the future digital world.”

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