Primary school is first in Aberdeen to receive UK award for outstanding digital creativity

Staff at an Aberdeen primary school received national recognition for placing “creativity at the heart of school life.”

Middleton Park Primary beat off competition to become the UK‘s Creative School of 2016 at the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Awards dinner in London on Friday (24 June).

The school’s staff and head teacher were praised for raising pupils confidence, skills and attainment through a wide range of creative and digital projects such as a ‘mission to mars’ which saw the children work with an Artist in Residence to create their own art gallery.

Outdoor learning, multi-media courses and film-making are all part of the curriculum for youngsters at the school in Aberdeen’s Bridge of Don.

Aberdeen City Council Education and Children’s Services convener Councillor Angela Taylor said: “It is absolutely fitting that the staff at Middleton Park Primary have received such widespread recognition.

“They have put in place a game-changing approach to teaching that endorses innovative, creative learning which centres on each individual child’s ability and personality so they get the best outcomes.

“Not only have such teaching methods resulted in our pupils striving academically, it is quite evident the pupils at Middleton Park are extremely confident and self-aware children who understand the benefits and joys of learning.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff and the parents of the pupils who play such an important role in the life of the school.”

The TES Award celebrates the vision, commitment and outstanding contribution to education made by teachers in the classroom and the wider community.

The award comes just three months after the school was hailed as one of the best in the country by Education Scotland thanks to its pioneering head teacher Jenny Watson, who transformed its curriculum for the modern age.

The school received an unprecedented Excellent in 11 out of 12 Quality Indicators, which determines the success in meeting the Curriculum for Excellence.

Innovative initiatives such as ‘Live Learning’ sees pupils create feature films and animations using the latest digital tech.

Their collection of over 200 films has had a total of 50,000 views in over 80 countries.

The school has excelled in subjects including modern languages, history and maths which is taught outdoors.

Director of Education and Children’s Services Gayle Gorman said: “Winning this award has really put the work our teachers in Middleton Park Primary are doing in perspective and particularly the excellent leadership of Head Teacher Jenny Watson.

“Whether it’s using digital technology to create a more inclusive classroom, focusing on the rights of the child and teaching children how to play an important part in society or building strong relationships with the wider communities - many of our schools are breaking the mould when it comes to teaching our children and this is to be applauded.

“We welcome creativity and individualism in our teachers and encourage any practice that places equality of opportunity for every child at the heart of school life and it is fantastic to see this teaching being recognised.”

Ms Watson said: “Partnership is at the heart of our approaches to learning. And the live Learning has been particularly beneficial for the pupils, parents and staff.

“Teachers and pupils at the school have the confidence to try these things out. It’s always about the children and giving them a rich learning experience.

“I’m extremely proud of all pupils and staff at the school and the work that’s taking place at Middleton Park.”