The use of tablet computers is helping pupils at a north secondary school to learn more effectively, inspectors have found.
But Alness Academy needs to do more to improve the quality of learning for all youngsters and further develop their skills. Inspectors visited the Easter Ross school earlier this year to examine its work, including use of digital learning.
Alness Academy took part in a pilot scheme to give iPad Minis to 200 senior pupils. Teachers have already reported some success in that pupils are more engaged with their work when using the devices.
Highland Council is now considering buying tablets for all its pupils, with the hope that the devices might help improve grades.
In their newly published report, education inspectors said: “The introduction of digital learning through the use of tablet computers in S4-S6 is enhancing young people’s experiences.
“Teachers are using them well to enable young people to work together inside and outside the classroom and to encourage independent learning through access to course materials and websites.”
But inspectors also found that children were “too passive in their learning as a result of overly teacher-led approaches”. The Education Scotland team said that pupils needed “increased responsibility” to lead their own learning.
The report also stated that there is scope to improve young people’s chances of entering higher education and that teachers should raise expectations of what pupils can achieve.
There was praise for head teacher Laura Gordon, who has “provided effective leadership” and a “clear direction” for the school.
The school has been told to improve learning and teaching, review and develop the curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of pupils, develop self-evaluation, and develop leadership among staff.
Donald Paterson, the council’s education quality improvement manager, said: “We are very pleased that the report recognises the strong leadership of head teacher Laura Gordon and her management team, while also acknowledging the willingness of teachers to lead developments in various ways, for example through the use of tablet computers to enhance the learning experience of pupils. The report also highlights the positive engagement and good behaviour of the pupils at the school, which is a tribute to our young people.”