As JGHS continues to improve and grow in an ever-changing technological landscape, we are keen to support the four objectives of the Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland:
• to develop the skills and confidence of educators in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology to support learning and teaching
• to improve access to digital technology for all learners
• to ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery
• to empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching
Scottish Government, 2016
Here at JGHS, we are seeking to enhance learning and teaching and keep equity of opportunity as our core business. Through improving the digital literacy of our staff and pupils, we endeavour to provide pupils with a range of experiences of digital technologies at each stage of their learning. Digital technologies should be used seamlessly to support access to the curriculum as well as supporting creativity in learning.
This launch of this newsletter marks our renewed commitment to the above aims and we look forward to further engagement with our wider school community to achieve success in these areas.
JGHS Digital Strategy Team, 2019
Recognising the need for improved whole-school communications, today we are very excited to launch our space on the engagement app “School App for Parents”.
Download from the app store to your own device(s) and connect to James Gillespie’s High School. Through this app you will have easy access to our school calendar, website, bulletin items, ParentPay and more! Through the message filter, you can activate push notifications to receive messages that go out for specific year groups. Sign up for as many year groups as you’d like. (Please be aware that this message feature will be trialled by Year Heads after the holiday and will be used to communicate only major items in the first instance, such as course choice information and exam/prelim information)
Parents and carers, grandparents, aunts & uncles, brothers & sisters, everybody… please download School App for Parents!
With the City of Edinburgh council’s investment in Office 365 for many years now, we are trying to maximise the software package’s effective use and actively promote the benefits with staff and students.
Each staff member and student has their own unique log-in which enables them to freely download and use a host of different applications on Mac/PC, apple and android devices and via browser.
Whilst we want to celebrate the good work that is happening towards improving digital literacy, here at JGHS we are all too aware of some of the negative aspects associated with mobile phone use, social media and too much screen-time. Last year the World Health Organisation shared concerns regarding the negative impact that screen-time can have on physical activity and sleep and we have seen some of this evidenced in school. At the same time, sweeping recommendations and generalisations are not always helpful and we know that there can be positive screen-time engagement as well.
Please be assured that as we enhance our provision in this area of learning and teaching, we will continue to keep abreast of current research and recommendations and factor this into our planning for assemblies and the ongoing development of the PSE programme.
Developing SharePoint has been a large part of our digital strategy over the last year. SharePoint is an online space for storing and sharing files as part of the Office 365 package.
This provides an opportunity for staff to collaborate more freely and share resources whilst providing students with the necessary materials to support and enhance their learning.
Our SharePoint site is only available to staff and students with their unique log-in information.
OneDrive is a personal cloud space for storing digital materials. This safe space reduces the risk of losing work and allows for the easy management and sharing of files across the entire Office 365 suite.
Unlike SharePoint, users have complete control over the who they share their files with and how they manage their resources.
OneDrive can be very effective in everything from sharing homework with a teacher, to collaborating on personal statements and references.
Student Wi-Fi and Bring Your Own Device
Senior pupils (S4-S6) are permitted access to the school WiFi network upon submission of a signed ‘Responsible Use’ policy/contract (see Mr Warden). Over the past year we have built up a great deal of anecdotal evidence which suggests that pupils are making great use of the WiFi on their own devices to access Office 365 applications including school email and OneDrive/Sharepoint. It has certainly proved a useful tool for research purposes.
Over the next 6 months we will be focusing on gathering more quantitative evidence of staff engagement with WiFi in classroom learning and teaching to support our efforts towards the four objectives of the national digital strategy. In addition to this, we are mindful of our commitment to equity of opportunity and are taking steps to ensure that all S4 S6 pupils can make use of the school WiFi for learning. Key Adults, Pupil Support Leaders and Year Heads continually provide means by which pupils without their own smart technology can make use of school-owned devices with sensitivity and discretion.
Additional support is available to students who have difficulty accessing their Office 365 accounts. Guides and tutorials are available on the school website
In the event of lost passwords it is important that students contact the school office where contact will be made with the relevant member of staff.
Digital Schools Awards
Between now and 2021 we will be working towards achieving the Digital Schools Award. This is a national scheme to promote, recognise and encourage a whole-school approach to the use of digital technology in schools.
We have created both Twitter and Facebook pages to celebrate the successes and achievements of our students. We hope that this will not only promote the wealth of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities at JGHS, but also inspire others to challenge themselves and try new things. Click on the icons below to visit our pages.
We plan on forming a team of staff to populate this and will add to it on a weekly basis.
If you would like to contribute any images or information that is in keeping with our vision, please send to: