Prize for school thanks to pupil’s colourful creation

The winning entry by Belsay First School pupil Isabella Wright.
The winning entry by Belsay First School pupil Isabella Wright.

Pupils from across Northumberland have been getting creative with designs to customise a useful online learning platform.

And in a competition to design accessories to personalise the School360 digital avatars, one of the five winners was Isabella Wright – a Year 4 student at Belsay First School.

More than 1,200 entries were submitted by pupils aged four to 17, with unique designs for avatar outfits and pets.

Users have their own avatar characters on the School360 learning platform, which provides a bank of online learning resources for teachers and pupils to use both at home and in the classroom.

The successful drawings, including Isabella’s winged creation, have now been digitised by specialists at Shoofly Publishing for the system that is used by thousands of pupils and teachers.

A £50 voucher prize was given to the winners’ schools. Belsay has used its voucher to purchase apps for its iPads that enable children to create e-books.

Headteacher Lilian Harris said: “Everyone at the school is delighted to hear of Isabella’s success, especially when you consider that there were a huge amount of entries.”

The other winners attend Bedlington Whitley Memorial School, The Sele First School, Meadowdale Academy and The Grove School respectively. A number of Designer of Merit winners were also selected to receive a special certificate.

Digital avatars are linked to a unique behaviour rewards system that allows teachers to reward pupils with points to be spent on accessories for their characters.

Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “It was great to see so many talented young people of all ages taking part in the avatar competition.

“The digital avatars and behaviour rewards system have proved to be very popular with students and have been a great way to motivate them at school.”

“At the end of last year, users logged onto School360 more than 30,000 times per month, using the platform to access a huge range of learning resources and e-books.

“The platform is an innovative way to engage students and we’re delighted that it is becoming increasingly popular with teachers and pupils alike.”