A primary school is taking a pioneering step towards the future of "digital citizenship" for children - with six of its youngsters also set to take part in a parliamentary debate this week.

Chantlers Primary School in Bury is teaming up with Manchester-based EdTech platform Wakelet to provide Year 5 students with encrypted online accounts, paving the way for a "new era of digital literacy and civic engagement".

By integrating Wakelet into the Foulds Avenue school's curriculum, students will be equipped with 21st-century skills- digital literacy, critical thinking, collaboration, and civic engagement.

Wakelet, hailed for its versatile content curation capabilities, allows users to collect and organise a wide range of digital content, from tweets and YouTube videos to PDFs and online articles.

The platform made another visit to Chantlers on Monday last week, underscoring its commitment to empowering the "Online Collection Generation," also known as Generation Alpha.

The initiative goes beyond mere digital literacy.

Each student's Wakelet account will be linked to a teacher acting as a "Civil Servant," mirroring real-world governance structures.

Following the General Election on July 4, these accounts will also be connected to the office of the local Member of Parliament, fostering a direct line of communication between young learners and their elected representatives.

This digital empowerment extends to civic participation as well.

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Chantlers will field six Child MPs in the UK Children's Parliament, a groundbreaking scheme launched in 2021 by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, co-founded by the late Sir David Amess.

On Thursday, June 13, from 4pm to 5.30pm, more than 300 child MPs nationwide will debate the thought-provoking question- "Does Democracy Really Matter?"

Chantlers youngsters Karim Mehddeb, Lucy Clayton, Dexter Maudsley, Alice Pearson, Florence Percival and Alex Lees will be involved in the debate.

Footballing great Gary Neville, a staunch supporter of Wakelet and digital innovation in education, plans to return to his roots at Chantlers in September to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary.

Alongside 11-year-old child MP Clark Dearson, Neville will address the school and judge a Dragons' Den-style pitch competition, where students will present their best business ideas.

Neville's passion for Wakelet stems from his involvement with UA92 (University Academy 92), an innovative higher education institution he co-founded with Lancaster University and his fellow "Class of '92" teammates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, and Nicky Butt.

UA92 is the UK's first academy to fully embrace vocational studies, valuing a broad spectrum of talents beyond traditional exam grades. Wakelet's digital portfolios perfectly align with this philosophy, capturing the diverse skills and achievements of UA92 students.

The Wakelet wave has also caught the attention of another Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand. During the Covid lockdowns, Ferdinand adopted Wakelet for his family, using it to strengthen their connection and promote online education.

Other primary schools in Bury are set to follow Chantlers' lead with digital citizenship.