Late in the summer term, the Junior School Digi-Leads Committee, a group of around 30 children from Junior 1 to Junior 6, hosted a Fair to share their digital learning with peers and teachers.
Taking the lead on their learning, children shared their expertise in areas including animation, QR codes and coding. They also guided children through their very own TED talk on digital wellbeing, ways to implement healthy tech habits and set limits on screen time.
Each area had its own station, the QR codes station focused on how to use and create a QR code; the coding station used a coding app to program robots; while the animation station brought pictures to life using an animation app.
Hands-on learning has been at the heart of the Digi-Leads Committee and children have visited the Apple Store to better understand cutting edge technology and design, and they have spent time in the Senior School’s Flexible Learning Area in The John Shaw Science Wing, exploring Virtual Reality alongside Senior School Digi-Champions.
Earlier this year, the High School was awarded the Digital Wellbeing Award, part of the Digital Schools Award, which recognises schools helping children to maximise their 21st century digital skills while remaining safe and responsible online. It was noted that pupil advocacy and leadership encouraged by the Digi-Leads Committee was instrumental in this area.
Children from Junior 4 to 6 apply to be on a committee, whereas younger children are selected by their teachers. As part of their application to be on the Digi-Leads Committee, children must display a genuine interest in technology and have shown enthusiasm for this in their day-to-day work in school.
Mrs Maggie Pollock, Junior School Deputy-Head, who has overall responsibility for the curriculum, learning and teaching, said:
Every single child at the Junior School has a place on a committee, there are nine in total, each having representation from all year groups and run by two members of teaching staff. The committees include: Digi-Leads; Eco-Committee, Outdoor Learning, Health & Wellbeing, Road Safety, Learning & Teaching, Ships, Global Citizenship, and Pupil Council.
“Ensuring every child is a member of a committee illustrates to children that the voice of every pupil counts and ensures they are fully immersed in the life and running of the school. Although younger children find aspects of their committee meetings and activities challenging, they learn from older peers who they look up to as role models and this provides a clear pathway for their future in the committee as they learn and grow.
“The decision to have everyone involved in a committee was a very deliberate one as we want to give each individual the chance to have their say and influence change in school, and not just those with the confidence to apply.”
Children taking the lead on their learning is a key feature of the Junior School, helping to unlock the joy of learning and create memorable learning moments and milestones. Annual ‘Sharing our Learning’ events take place in each year group and the Digi-Leads are trailblazing this approach in the Junior School’s committees.
Mrs Pollock added:
We really value this way of working as it allows children to develop their confidence, presentation and communication skills whilst sharing their expertise and knowledge. We also believe that in allowing children the opportunity to teach others, it deepens their own understanding. As Confucius, the Chinese philosopher says: Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.”