Staff, pupils and parents at a Bradford school are celebrating after walking away with a top technology award.

Wilsden Primary has been named as the English winner of the Handheld Learning Innovation award at a ceremony in London.

The school was nominated for the prize following a decision to provide individual handheld computers – known as EDAs (Educational Digital Assistants) to 60 Year Four pupils during autumn, 2007.

Head teacher Bob Quartermain said: “We didn’t really expect to hit the heights we have. It is a fantastic bonus for the school and fantastic recognition for the hard work of staff, parents, pupils and governors.”

Handheld Learning Award judges said the school’s decision to introduce the devices, the first in Bradford to do so, amounted to “a brave, pioneering move” adopted to provide “ubiquitous ICT access for the school’s pupils”.

They said: “Children report that having the device has helped their learning in school and at home. In class, children are enthusiastic and engaged in their learning.

“The staff and pupils deserve congratulations and support for their brave efforts to bring the technological future to pupils at Wilsden school.”

Judges also commended the school’s decision to involve parents in the £35,000 scheme. Parents were asked to make a donation of £10 a month on the back of a grant from the E-Learning Foundation. However, all pupils, whether their parents could pay or not, were given their own device.

Russell Taylor was among the parents who provided financial support to allow his eight-year-old son, Alex, to benefit. He said: “The children love them – Alex won’t even let me look at his. It is a big responsibility but I think they are the future. The children talk about them and get an education at the same time.”

The project was such a success that the school repeated the project this September. However, this year youngsters were supplied with mini-laptops to match the march of progress.

Mr Quartermain said: “The project has been a big investment in terms of time. We have evidence that the children, particularly in maths and reading, have seen some quite phenomenal improvements.

Since the start of the project, other schools have followed in Wilsden’s footsteps and today staff at Oakworth Primary in Keighley were set to tour the school to find out more.