Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has praised St Julian’s Primary for its part in developing how digital skills will be used in the curriculum throughout Wales.
Changes to the curriculum mean digital skills will now be developed and taught through all parts of a pupil’s schooling and not just isolated to specific ICT or computer science classes.
The Welsh Government’s Digital Competence Framework is now available to all schools and follows two independent reviews that recommended changes.
The new approach means more than just using computers and aims to equip pupils with the digital skills they need and can apply in the real world in the years to come.
St Julian’s is a Digital Pioneer School which worked to develop the Digital Competence Framework.
Visiting the school, Kirsty Williams said:
“Pioneer Schools such as St Julian’s are essential to the success of the Digital Competence Framework and the wider new curriculum and I want to thank everyone for their hard work.”
“This radical new approach is about embedding digital skills and knowledge in everything our pupils do as they progress through school. No longer will such issues be isolated in weekly computer classes; instead these vital skills will be applied across our curriculum. They’re now as crucial to our pupils’ development as learning to read and write. This is a key part of our move to create a curriculum fit for now and the future and not the late 20th century.”
Luke Mansfield, Deputy Head-teacher, St Julians Primary, said:
“The entire purpose of the Digital Competence Framework is to equip our learners in Wales with the necessary skills and understanding they will need not only to thrive but to survive in the increasingly digital world in which they are growing up. Being able to effectively use technology to communicate, collaborate, produce and handle data are important life skills and will significantly increase employment opportunities for our young people but more importantly, it is crucial for pupils to have a good understanding of the potential risks involved with using technology and the effects that it can have on their health. The entire first strand of the DCF aims to help children understand the importance of limiting screen time, knowing how to protect themselves from cyberbullying or identity theft, being able to evaluate the reliability of online information.”
“With our pupils being immersed in this digital world at such a young age and technology developing at such a rapid rate, all of these skills are vital and schools, parents and the media must work together to educate pupils and raise awareness of these issues.”
The Education Secretary also visited Lliswerry High School to see how the school is helping an ethnically diverse range of pupils. Lliswerry has welcomed learners from Eastern Europe and with Welsh Government funding has employed a Roma Heritage Link person, to help develop a strong relationship with the Roma community.