Lochaber High School leads the way in Highland for digital learning and teaching
Lochaber High School in Fort William has become the first secondary school in Highland and the twelfth school in Scotland to receive a ‘Digital Schools Award’. The school joins a group of innovative secondary schools nationwide to receive the prestigious award recognised by Education Scotland. The Digital Schools Award is designed to promote, encourage and reward schools that make the best use of digital technology in the classroom.
Lochaber High School demonstrated, among other things, the presence of a whole school digital strategy, an embedded use of digital technology across the curriculum to enhance learning and an ongoing commitment to professional development for staff.
The school has also been accredited as a Google Reference School for doing “exemplary things with Google learning tools”. This makes Lochaber High the fifth secondary school in Scotland to receive this accreditation. This award lists Lochaber High in the Google for Education global online directory as a Reference School for innovative practice and gives the school the opportunity to test new Google products before they hit the market.
Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of Highland Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: “This success would not have been possible without The Highland Council’s programme commitment to promote the wider use of technology and blended teaching approaches which support the way our children and young people learn. Lochaber High School has capitalised on this opportunity provided to them through the Chromebook roll out which has created a digital culture and enhanced the learning opportunities of their young people.”
Stephen Stewart, Principal Teacher of Digital Technologies at Lochaber High School, said he was delighted with the award: “We have come a long way since starting our journey back in 2015. Our staff have made a significant investment in professional development towards the use of digital tools to transform and enhance what they already do so well - teach. Because of this investment in the GSuite for Education learning platform early on, when it came to our rollout of one device per pupil in August 2018 the transition was seamless and pupils were using devices in lessons instantly. For us this has never been about digitising a curriculum or making worksheets electronic - it’s about enhancing and enriching learning through the use of digital tools.”
The Digital Schools programme and Google Reference School accreditation has highlighted some very innovative and collaborative approaches from schools regarding the integration of digital technology in learning and teaching. Lochaber High School hopes to be an inspiration to other secondary schools within Highland and across Scotland and invites teaching colleagues to come and visit them at Lochaber High School to see first-hand their innovative practice.