A PEEBLES school has scooped a national accolade, with pupils praised for their knowledge of internet safety.
In line with coronavirus restrictions, Kingsland Primary currently doesn’t have any pupils learning in classrooms, but the teachers have been recognised for their work in using digital technology to enhance learning, which is needed now more than ever.
Everyone from the school recently had cause to celebrate – albeit from their homes – after receiving the news that they had achieved a Digital Learning Award.
Designed to provide education professionals with the resources and support required to help pupils safely navigate the digital world, the Special Recognition Badge for Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety is the only award of its kind being delivered in the UK.
The framework has been developed by Digital Schools Awards, in partnership with Education Scotland and the Child Protection Unit, and has the backing of major tech companies HP, Microsoft and Intel. The initiative is also supported by Police Scotland.
Online platforms are becoming increasingly accessible to young people, with as many as one in four children aged 8-11 operating their own social media profiles.
As the internet becomes further integrated into everyday life, it is vital that schools provide pupils with the knowledge and confidence needed to operate online.
Through the assessment process, Kingsland Primary had to demonstrate how online safety is taught and reinforced across the school and how, in supporting pupils to become tech-savvy, children are building skills for learning, life and work.
During a visit to the school by the awarding body, digital schools validator Catherine Cunningham praised teachers at Kingsland Primary for taking their responsibilities towards the online safekeeping of their children very seriously.
She said: “The school is offering their pupils a sound digital technologies curriculum, and this includes the delivery of a robust Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety programme across all ages and stages.
“I was very impressed with the knowledge and skills demonstrated by all pupils in the area of internet safety. Pupils were aware of why you need to keep yourself safe online and how to do so.
“They were mindful of the broader dangers they might encounter in an unsupervised online environment and felt prepared to deal with this.
“Every child I spoke to mentioned the need to tell a trusted adult if they felt uncomfortable, and all children were aware of how to use the report button to flag up concerns.
“Kingsland Primary is a school which is working hard to ensure all pupils are cyber resilient and prepared for the digital world, which includes them having an awareness of digital literacy, e-safety, ‘netiquette’ and exposure to online environments.
“They are very aware of the risks and have taught their pupils how to navigate these and use the internet purposefully and positively.
“The school intend to keeping moving forward with their digital journey and, to date, they have been very successful in this field.”
Head teacher Jacqueline Wilson said: “We are delighted to have successfully achieved this award at Kingsland.
“Supporting children and families to survive and thrive online continues to be one of our core aims as a school and the award is recognition of the hard work of pupils and staff across the school.”
Kingsland, which joins just 18 other primary schools across the UK who have achieved this award, now offers mentorship to other schools looking to develop approaches to digital learning and online safety.
To find out more, schools are encouraged to visit www.digitalschoolsawards.co.uk