Aspull Holy Family Primary School

Aspull Holy Family Primary School

The joys of digital learning in Primary Education

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

Wigan Council is a pioneer for The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), a nationally recognised scheme giving learners an opportunity to broaden their digital knowledge/develop their skills. Since launching in 2017, 1,800+ borough learners have completed 22,000+ badges.

Building on this success we wanted to set higher expectations for our young people, complementing our aspirations for The Deal 2030. We thought innovatively about how we could introduce iDEA into primary schools, something we’d not previously done. Our desire is for our young people to have the right digital skills from an early age so they are ready to flourish within the new digital workplaces in the next decade. We know there will be a greater emphasis on digital skills in the future and we want to equip our Borough’s young generation to be ready to seize these opportunities.

In March 2019 Aspull Holy Family Primary began working collaboratively with Wigan Council courageously taking the decision to introduce iDEA into school and home education. The genius of iDEA lies in its gamification techniques to excite and motivate young learners by taking online challenges (badges) covering contemporary digital, enterprise and employability skills.

What are the key achievements?

Since launch, 3 children have achieved bronze status and 7 continue to work towards this. 2 children have started their silver award, a standard of learning more suited to GCSE level students, something which exceeded the initial scope of the trial.

Some of the key learning outcomes for the children were understanding online safety and respecting others online. Self-motivated learning and gamification challenges helped build resilience.

iDEA has developed problem-solving abilities and increased digital confidence. We saw the children taking ownership of their own learning with little teacher intervention.

iDEA supports the curriculum, applying newfound skills in ICT lessons. As confidence grew, we found a more engaged classroom.

A key achievement was to enable pupils, staff and parents to connect, learn and communicate online in a responsible and safe way. We encouraged intergenerational learning, iDEA was taken back to home settings where parents and children learned together.

The success of iDEA has created a sense of pride within the school. Aspull Holy Family are the 1st primary school in Wigan to adopt and successfully complete iDEA, setting a benchmark across other primary schools within the borough.

What are the key learning points?

iDEA is a cutting-edge, no-cost resource and by its inclusive design, is easily facilitated.

The approach being taken by Aspull Holy Family has enabled pupils to make rapid progress and achieve outstanding standards in digital learning before they take the leap to high school. The school have adopted a supportive facilitating framework rather than tutor-led delivery. Children have been empowered to take ownership of their development through self-directed study, choosing their own learning path which best matches their needs. The teacher was always on hand in sessions to inspire, motivate and support the children.

Danielle the Year 5 teacher supporting the children commented “the ownership in their own learning is something that I am very proud of for the children, the more badges they completed the less I was needed in our groups. Some of the challenges that the children came across was they struggled sometimes with the terminology when it came to the accountancy side of a badge i.e. invoices/sales ledger but once they worked through the definitions all was well and good”. It’s the enthusiasm and interest of the children they have worked with that have made it so successful because it is something they have wanted to do.

Additional Comments:

“I liked the award because it’s educational and I felt like I was learning but playing a game at the same time.”
Ethan (Year 5 iDEA learner- Aspull Holy Family Primary).

“iDEA is an invaluable learning resource empowering our young people to develop their digital capabilities and grow their digital confidence.” Alison McKenzie-Folan – Chrief Executive, Wigan Council.

“Together we will harness the power digital has to improve people’s opportunities and prepare for the future”
The Deal 2030 Strategy.

Tweet: Aspull Holy Family primary children collecting their prizes for completing idea bronze award becoming some of the youngest iDEA Award winners in the world