Aberdeenshire’s lockdown learning showcased at national level

A series of case studies from across Aberdeenshire’s Education and Children’s Services team have been recognised at a national level.

Thursday, 28th January 2021, 7:31 am
The success of online learning has been highlighted in the ‘What Scotland Learned’ publication.

Education Scotland’s ‘What Scotland Learned’ series is a collection of inspiring stories about how practitioners across Scotland have responded during the COVID-19 crisis.

It is structured around the five themes of How Good is OUR School?, a national quality improvement tool, and includes contributions from children and young people, adults, families and communities.

Mackie Academy featured as part of the Our Learning and Teaching theme. During lockdown, the Academy worked hard to focus on communication with young people and parents using the G Suite, specifically Google Classroom, and by creating a Pupil and Parent Google Information Site. It already had a staff hub site and the work done on the Pupil and Parent site built on this.

A school app was also created where parents can go into the app and personalise it for their needs. Staff other than school administrators are able to use this to share information, the whole school calendar is available, and our Twitter feed is linked to the app.

This allowed all parents, including those who are separated, to access information.

Laurencekirk Primary is highlighted in the Our School and Community section for their efforts to connect with their local community during lockdown. This included a community treasure trail and a real community effort (including cutting a message into the grass) to mark the Primary 7’s end of term.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Shine a Light on Lockdown also features, under the Successes and Achievements theme, as something which allowed many young people to share new skills and showcased some of the creative things that young people, parents and schools were doing during lockdown.

Aberdeenshire’s Community Learning and Development team are also featured in recognition of their efforts to adapt and deliver an online learning offer to enable adult learners to continue participating in their learning, access information, resources, and support. More than 100 learners participated in their English as an Additional Language courses alone.

Education and Children’s Services Director Laurence Findlay contributed a Thought Piece to the resource, highlighting the importance of regular communication and consistent messaging throughout the pandemic.

He said: “We’re pleased to be able to share the significant efforts of schools and other staff across Aberdeenshire with the rest of Scotland.

“Our team is second-to-none and I am hugely proud of all that we have achieved together, supporting each other and keeping our ears to the ground with evolving national advice and priorities, contributing as experienced professionals to the national dialogue along the way.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen added: “It’s brilliant to see how adaptable, professional, efficient, proactive and innovative colleagues across Aberdeenshire continue to prove to be. Well done to all of those recognised through these Education Scotland case studies and also to many more unsung heroes whose efforts do not go unnoticed. Pandemic or not, we deliver of our best. Keep it up, everyone!”