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The Highland Council Featured In Inspiring Stories Collection By Education Scotland

15th February 2021

Photograph of The Highland Council Featured In Inspiring Stories Collection By Education Scotland

Six submissions from The Highland Council were successful in being featured in Education Scotland's What Scotland Learned 100 stories of lockdown publication.

The submissions include Lundavra Nursery, Speech and Language Therapy, Early Years Education Support, Badcaul and Scoraig Primaries, Wick High School, and on behalf of Comunn na Gàidhlig.

The booklet is a collection of inspiring stories about how practitioners across Scotland responded to the Covid-19 crisis. The six submissions are featured under various themes such as relationships, learning and teaching, school and community and health and wellbeing.

Chair of Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted that so many submissions from Highland were included in this collection and again they highlight the great work, resilience and supportive ethos that continues to be evident in our schools. While the six submissions outlined all deserve praise, I know they are only the tip of the iceberg, in terms of what is happening right across our over 300 schools and early learning centres."

Lundavra Nursery continued to engage with their families and provided support by giving advice around any concerns, signposting to relevant professionals and through supportive conversations. They achieved this by creating a closed Facebook page to be able to reach families during the national lockdown. After 2 weeks, 90% of their school roll were engaging on the page with only 7 children's families engaging through email.

Speech and Language Therapy and Early Years Education Support jointly planned online Continued Professional Development (CPD) sessions called ‘Words Up Wednesday' which ran weekly for the last 6 weeks of term, delivered by the Speech and Language Therapy team. The sessions were targeted at early level practitioners and participants joined from across remote and rural Highland areas.

Early Years Education Support had a second successful submission in the booklet which highlighted their innovative approach to training and improvement using interactive bite-size sessions tailored to the changing needs of early years staff during the pandemic.

Badcaul and Scoraig Primaries during lockdown focused on activities to build community between the schools and to reinforce they were together despite being apart. Events included a remote author visit, a bake-off competition, a talent competition, sports week, and taking part in the World's Largest Art Lesson. The schools also created a quilt by asking each of the 14 pupils to create individual pieces which were then transformed into a Little Loch Broom Schools Quilt by a member of the community.

Wick High School’s youth workers delivered daily, online, after school activities on the school’s Google Classroom. These included: Monday Motivation (weekly fitness challenges and goals), working with a local art centre to produce a lockdown film with young people, researching art history and designing window panes for a community art project, a weekly online quiz, and a vlog/blog for young people to review films they had watched.

As outreach on behalf of Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG), The Highland Council created a number of Gaelic-medium (GM) films for young Gaelic speakers and learners of Scottish Gaelic. These films were largely based on the cultural and natural heritage of Gaelic Scotland. In addition to the videos, Facebook Live GM sessions were delivered.