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Digital Schools Awards 2018: meet the winners!

As announced ahead of Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 6 February, Parent Zone awarded the Digital School of the Year Award 2018 to Headfield C E (C) Junior School in Dewsbury and Alfriston School in Beaconsfield.

Celebrating schools who have distinguished themselves in tackling the issue of online safety, the award recognises those which have stood out in striving for better digital outcomes for their pupils and their families.

Our primary school winner Headfield Junior School, in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, was selected for its tireless efforts to engage both students and parents, using new and effective strategies to encourage positive conversations and develop online skills.

Deputy head teacher Rebecca Miller described the award as ‘the cherry on top’ of a very successful year in developing its pupils’ digital resilience.

‘We are so proud to be chosen as Parent Zone's Digital School of the Year 2018 and it is a welcome reward for all of the hard work put in by our children and whole staff team over the recent years,’ said Miller.

‘We needed to change the way we tackle online safety in school and at home.’

The award was recognition of the ‘hard work put in by children and staff’ at Headfield Juniors.

Headfield Junior School has been a Digital Schools Member since March 2017 and staff have noticed an immediate impact on their goal of creating greater digital resilience in their pupils.

‘This was the turning point for us,’ Miller said. ‘We had previously focused on the importance of restricting children’s access to the web, but soon realised, following Parent Zone’s advice that research shows this is ineffective. We needed to change the way we tackle online safety in school and at home.’

Alfriston School in Beaconsfield, Bucks, is the 2018 secondary school winner (photo: Mat Smith)

Alfriston School in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, received the secondary school award, for their approach to supporting students through the computing curriculum and beyond.

‘I feel proud and, I confess, a little surprised to be given the award,’ said Alfriston ICT coordinator Ros Shorrocks. ‘I have a lot of respect for Parent Zone so it is an honour that they have singled us out. We have also just been judged Outstanding by Ofsted so we are definitely very proud of everyone at Alfriston right now.’

Parent Zone deputy CEO Sophie Linington commented, ‘Headfield Junior School worked hard to engage parents in their children’s online world. Deputy head teacher Rebecca Miller organised an afternoon of speakers and stands to help parents understand what their children are doing online and how they can keep them safer.’

She added: ‘Alfriston School students are supported to be confident and competent online giving them a good foundation for building digital resilience.’

Congratulations also to all the other schools who entered. All Digital Schools Members are eligible to enter for the Digital School of the Year award. To find out more about the benefits of being a Digital Schools Member, email membership@parentzone.org.uk or call 0207 686 7225.