Breaking News! Whinhill has achieved the Digital Schools Award! Please read our Validation Report here!
Digital Learning at Whinhill
At Whinhill we promote the use of digital technologies and develop a level of digital skills that will be essential in today’s increasingly digitised world. Digital technology enhances teaching and learning and engages our pupils, helping make links between learning in the classroom and work at home. At Whinhill pupils have access to a range of digital technologies including tablets, Micro:bits and computers in our ICT suite. They have the opportunity to use a variety of apps to support learning, online educational content and a green screen to create videos. Pupils are trained in cybersafety and take part in National Digital Learning Week every year.
Digital Schools Award
We are now certified as a Digital School! Staff have been working hard to develop their skills within digital technologies and provide our pupils with new learning experiences.
Following our Digital Schools Award Scotland validation visit by Karen Doherty in December 2020, we are delighted to inform you Whinhill has been successful in its application to become a Digital School in Scotland. Please read our validation report here which summarises the validator’s view of the extent to which Whinhill addressed the award criteria. The Digital School Award is recognised by Education Scotland.
Feedback from the validation visit highlighted that “Whinhill 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.”
We plan to build on our digital success and will continue to provide our pupils with digital learning, which will evolve over time.
We learn how important it is to stay safe online. We teach our pupils how to keep their personal information private and never give out any details over the internet. We regularly discuss how to stay cyber safe and how to protect themselves from danger throughout the whole school. Specific workshops are delivered to Primary 6 and 7 classes.
To find out more about cybersafety, please see this website:
Our pupils are exposed to a wide range of coding experiences including using Micro:bits and programmes such as Scratch, Hour of Code and Blockly. Coding helps children to be articulate and think logically. It encourages them to think about how things are constructed, create sequences and use computational thinking combining maths and logic. We run a weekly lunch time Coding Club at Whinhill.
Whinhill were part of the launch of Digital Superfast Broad band in our local area. The Digital Scotland team visited the school and involved some of the pupils in helping launch the latest fibre broadband. It was great opportunity for pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. As well as this, it also showed them how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.
One P7 pupil said: “Usually I use the internet for social media to interact with my friends. Also, I’m a big gamer so it’s really important to have a strong, quick connection so that the games will run smoothly and my messages will send. During a team game, a fast connection is important so you can keep pace with your friends who are gaming on the internet with you.”
For many classes, blogging is part of a weekly routine and invaluable to our pupil’s learning. Blogging has also had significant impact on pupil’s ability to think reflectively about their learning and skills they are developing when writing their posts. When writing a blog post, pupils develop their thinking by questioning what, how and why they are learning and document how they overcome any learning challenges they faced and identify their next steps. This was largely facilitated by creating a blogging guide by pupils (or what one of our pupils named a ‘Blogopedia’!). We have presented our work on how we use Glow Blogs in our learning at the Scottish Learning Festival.
To help organise and develop ICT activities across the school, pupils apply to be part of a Digital Leaders team. They have been instrumental in helping bring digital technologies to the forefront of learning at Whinhill and have been working to ensure pupils have an understanding of staying safe online. They worked together to update the pupil version of our Acceptable Use Policy and shared this with classes. We plan to develop our work on Digital Leaders further, giving support to staff, parents and pupils across the school! Our Digital Leaders have started their very own blog they hope to use this to share all the digital learning going on at Whinhill.
Check it out here: Digital Leaders Blog