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Top digital award for Kelvinside Academy proves you are never too young to e-learn

West End school becomes one of only two in Scotland to gain Digital School status.

AWest End school has been announced as one of the first ‘Digital Schools’ in Scotland.

Kelvinside Academy Junior School is one of only four schools awarded the prestigious status in a national scheme recognised by Education Scotland.

The Digital Schools Awards Scotland programme was launched in September this year by deputy first minister John Swinney.

E-learning: The school is one of only two 'Digital Schools' in Scotland.

The award promotes, recognises and encourages best practice use of digital technology in primary schools.

Joanna Maclean, Head of e-learning at Kelvinside Academy, felt it was an opportunity to demonstrate the school’s digital credentials.

Ms Maclean said: “It is a tremendous accolade for Kelvinside Academy Junior School and we are delighted that the new technology we have put in place, and the way we introduce it to our pupils from such a young age, has been recognised by Education Scotland.”

The school boasts a number of cutting-edge offerings including its recently launched innovative Thinking Space.

The converted library space was inspired by organisations at the forefront of the tech sector such as Google.

Joanna Maclean, Head of eLearning at Kelvinside Academy:

“It is a tremendous accolade for Kelvinside Academy Junior School and we are delighted that the new technology we have put in place, and the way we introduce it to our pupils from such a young age, has been recognised by Education Scotland.”

Aside from books, the space hosts computers and iPad stations, where pupils are encouraged to make use of digital devices to access the school’s vast online subscription content platforms.

In addition, an experimental teaching room with tables and walls which pupils can write on, features within the space.

It allows students to get creative with their work and take pictures on their iPads or electronic devices rather than recording lessons in jotters.

Watch: Rector Ian Munro explains the thinking behind the school's new learning space.

Kelvinside Academy Rector Ian Munro said: “We are exceptionally pleased and immensely proud that our strong commitment to digital technology and innovative teaching has been recognised.

"We do not view digital technology as a substitute for excellent classroom teaching, but we do see how it can enhance the learning environment for all our pupils.

"All schools should ensure their pupils have a strong grasp of the educational power of digital platforms so that they are well prepared for life after school.”

Ian Munro, Kelvinside Academy Rector:

"We do not view digital technology as a substitute for excellent classroom teaching, but we do see how it can enhance the learning environment for all our pupils.

"All schools should ensure their pupils have a strong grasp of the educational power of digital platforms so that they are well prepared for life after school.”

The award recognises the school for its commitment to a digital learning environment with early introduction a key feature of its strategy.

Ms Maclean added: “Our Nursery School and Junior One class use school iPads, becoming familiar with technology from a young age, whilst Junior Two upwards bring their own devices each day.

"All our teachers have iPads and these connect to their classroom smart boards delivering an interactive learning experience.

“Junior School teachers report wide ranging pupil advancements through use of the digital technology.

"Pupils are showing more initiative in all areas of learning and are reading text on websites and reference sources far more advanced than their reading age.

"The way children are discussing and sharing information with each other has been remarkable.

“From a young age, pupils are encouraged to become tech-savvy."

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