Mr Swinney today (22 Jan) visited Stirling High School where the successful two-year pilot of the initiative took place before its introduction for all S1s in the area at the start of the 2018-19 session.
The scheme is part of the Council’s digital learning drive, which aims to equip Stirling’s young people with the skills to thrive and succeed in an increasingly digital workplace and society.
By improving access to the technology to all secondary pupils, the local authority is also striving to tackle digital inequalities and raise attainment.
During his visit to Stirling High, the Deputy First Minister was given a presentation on the school’s digital journey, saw the Chromebooks in action in an S1 English class and met with young people with dyslexia who explained how the technology is supporting their learning.
Enhancing digital learning opportunities
Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Technology increasingly dominates our everyday lives and can play a significant role in supporting learning. Introducing it in a positive manner is vital in helping young people prepare for their lives beyond school.
“Tackling inequality is key if we are to close the poverty related attainment gap. Stirling High School’s approach ensures all pupils have access to technology, enhancing their digital learning opportunities and giving them the skills and confidence to help them thrive in other aspects of their lives.”
The Council is funding two thirds of the scheme via a significant investment of capital expenditure, with the remainder coming from the secondary schools’ delegated budgets. Around 1,000 devices were issued to S1 pupils at the start of the current academic session.
Confidence and tools to flourish
Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Investing in this initiative boosts our vision for digital learning in Stirling, ensuring our young people have the confidence and tools to flourish in the expanding digital world.
“We want all of our young people to reach their potential so it’s fantastic to see that Chromebooks are enhancing the quality of learning and teaching across all subject areas at Stirling High and in our other secondary schools.”
Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “We are committed to giving all our children and young people in Stirling equal opportunities and using the latest digital technology is one of our key drivers to achieving this goal.
“Stirling High has a strong track record in this area, and I am really impressed at how its young people play such a leading role in developing the school’s digital strategy, including in the rollout of Chromebooks.”
Stirling High’s pilot of the project proved a significant success, increasing pupil engagement in digital skills and transforming learning and teaching, with positive feedback from young people, parents and carers and staff.
Paul Cassidy, Headteacher at Stirling High School, said: “With the support of Stirling Council, Stirling High School is at the forefront of developing young people’s digital skills.
“Our use of Chromebooks is now embedded as part of everyday learning and teaching and our young people are engaged and leading their learning through digital tools.
"Staff here at Stirling High School are highly skilled in ensuring that our young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to be successful citizens of the 21st century.”
Background info and photo details:
* Google Chromebooks are small, light laptop-style devices that are increasingly popular in education around the world. Along with being robust and very quick to boot up, they allow pupils to collaborate on projects and provide teachers with real-time insight into pupil progress.
Stirling High’s Community Café is a partnership project supported by the school’s Community Partnership (Parent Council). It has been created to provide a welcoming space for staff, young people, visitors, parents, carers and Stirling Council staff to meet.
Main pic - Pictured in Stirling High’s Community Café are DFM and Education Secretary, John Swinney, some of the school’s Digital Champions, staff and Stirling Council elected members. Back (from left) Stirling High School Headteacher; Paul Cassidy; Cllr Susan McGill; Libby Cullen (S2); Chloe Rodger (S3); Cllr Christine Simpson; and Depute Headteacher, Alan Hamilton. Front (from left) Natasha McDonald (S2); Deputy First Minister, John Swinney; and Ben Davies (S1)