LAYTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
THE STORY SO FAR
Layton Primary School is a large organisation with 600 pupils and 28 teaching staff. Around four years ago the school invested in Apple devices to improve the independent learning skills of their pupils. Ever since they have been embedding iPad and MacBooks into their day-to-day classroom teaching and learning. By way of extending their knowledge and improving their practice, Layton Primary decided to implement a ‘Digital Leader’ programme. Pupil Digital Leaders support their peers and teachers by deepening their Apple skill sets. They are also at the forefront of the technological progression across the entire school. Offering the children this extra responsibility has proved to be very beneficial.
WHAT WAS THE IMPACT?
The Digital Leaders not only provide essential support in the classroom, they also create resources and guides for their classmates. By producing simple videos on various apps and coding, the children are able to pass their knowledge on. On top of that, the Digital Leader run lunchtime clubs that further promote a passion for the technology. The pupils underpin the overall use of the Apple devices in the school. In turn, they feed ongoing engagement, innovation and excitement for the technology.
If you have passionate pupils in your school who would love to become Digital Leaders, we can help. At JTRS, we have developed Digital Leader training that can enable your selected children to learn the skills needed. Working directly with the pupils, we develop four holistic learning objectives. Your children will become, Collaborators, Innovators, Presenters and Trainers. Acquiring these elements will equip your pupils with the skills to pass on their knowledge and to help harbour a progressive technological environment within your school.
WHY ARE DIGITAL LEADERS IMPORTANT FOR LAYTON PRIMARY?
Having a clear vision for the use of your technology is overwhelmingly important. Layton Primary decided to purchase iPad to improve the independent learning opportunities for their children. Mobile devices meant that the pupils had access to technology at all times and in turn, this provides the children with
What does a Digital Leader do?
The responsibilities of a Digital Leader are as far reaching as a school wishes them to be. Many educational organisations opt to place their Digital Leaders right at the centre of their technological advancements. The children not only help their peers and teachers with day-to-day embedment of the Apple devices, they are also consulted when the school wishes to further their investments in technology. Claire Jones explains the specifics of the role at Layton Primary School. ‘Digital Leaders... run lunchtime clubs such as App of the week, coding etc and make screencasts on how to use them. These are then uploaded to their blog for staff and pupils to access. It is the Digital Leaders who decide on what clubs they wish to run. I would not have the time to do all of this on my own.’
She continues to expand on the responsibilities and explain the overall effect of their role within the school, ‘They are imperative in supporting staff by leading staff meetings, creating screencasts to show how to use various Apps, leading assemblies on online safety and supporting with our new blogs. It is evident that staff feel at ease asking a child for support and great to see pupils using their skills.’ No matter what level of responsibility you place on pupil Digital Leaders, the impact can only be positive.
How did Layton Primary School embed Digital Leaders?
Inspired by the success of Digital Leader projects, we have developed our own training designed specifically for pupils. This training helps the children to develop the skills needed when taking on the role of a Digital Leader. Our plans look to inspire four holistic attributes that will underpin any future responsibilities. The four elements are entitled, Presenter, Trainer, Collaborator and Innovator. All of the responsibilities described by Claire Jones that are actively being practised at Layton Primary School are dependent on the four elements previously listed. You can not expect children to run assembles without a good handle on ‘presenting’ skills. Likewise, supporting staff cannot be achieved without an understanding of ‘training’. The aforementioned lunchtime clubs need ‘innovative’ ideas behind them and of course, all of the children need to ‘collaborate’ and work together. Layton Primary School takes a very professional route to selecting their pupil Digital Leaders. Claire Jones explains, ‘Each year, pupils have to apply to be a Digital Leader; the first part is to complete an application form. It’s not about being ‘the best’ but about demonstrating that you want to learn… Our Senior Digital Leaders then shortlist and the next step is a short presentation on the skills pupils have to be an effective Digital Leader.’ Taking this approach highlights the individuality of each Digital Leader and feeds directly back into the school’s expectations of the technology. Independent learners need to be given the opportunity to be independent. Digital Leaders exemplify this aim and inspire others to follow suit.