Schools may be out but children are still learning

An at home maths class with Jack.

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Every day still a school day on Arran

Schools may be out but that doesn’t mean teaching is not going on for children across the island during lockdown. Here the island’s primary and early years head teacher Shirley MacLachlan gives an overview of everything that is happening.

All across the island, boys and girls continue with their home learning. This is different from home schooling, which is a choice some parents make.

Schools have been put in this new learning situation with very little notice. All the schools had prepared a home education pack, with activities, books, jotters, pencils and rubbers, which were issued on Friday March 20, the day schools closed. For those not at school, these were delivered home.

Luckily, we were already using a home communication medium called Seesaw, which we have quickly adapted as our learning platform.

Teachers had to quickly adjust their use of this and many spent hours training and upskilling to become Seesaw pioneers and ambassadors. They are planning, marking, creating, researching and modifying, whilst taking care of their own families, often with their own young children at home.

The teachers put up activities on their class pages on Seesaw which the children can then work their way through at a time and pace that suits their family and the weather.

There are a wide variety of activities – some online, some from their HEP, outdoor activities, storytelling, personal projects, challenges, as well as working in partnership with the fabulous activities created at home.

Daily exercise is important and there have been assault courses, lava challenges, zip wires, tree climbing, dens and marshmallow-toasting going on. Outdoor star gazing, bird watching, leaf discoveries, gardening as well as lots and lots of baking continue. Many new skills are being passed on.

Our Early Years Classes are also embracing the many activities they have on a daily basis. We have seen teddy bears picnics, Easter Egg hunts, painting rocks, cutting and rainbow making, to name a few.

The Hub at Arran High School is open daily for the children of key workers, with staff volunteering, often on their non-working days, to provide childcare and learning, to allow parents to provide their critical skills to our community. Young children and social distancing are not an ideal match!

School staff are missing the children very much and, as well as these learning activities, are trying to maintain some sense of normality and personal support for the children during these times. We all, very much, look forward to being back together again.

Schools continue to support families and parents in other ways. We understand many parents are working from home, supporting their children with activities, as well as the million other jobs required, all in the middle of these scary times. We thank them all for their wonderful support.


A Brodick pupil invents a superpower. NO_B19school01

An at home maths class with Jack. NO_B19school02

A cake baked by a Kilmory pupil. NO_B19school03

Science is practised at home by a Kilmory pupil. NO_B19school04

Work completed by an early years pupil at Kilmory. NO_B19school05

A Kilmory pupil keeping fit at home. NO_B19school06

Work can still be marked with distance teaching. NO_B19school07

A Brodick primary youngster learns how to cook on a barbecue. NO_B19school08

A completed worksheet by a Corrie pupil. NO_B19school09

Whiting Bay pupils thank the council binmen. NO_B19school10

A Brodick pupil completes another assignment. NO_B19school11

A Kilmory pupils finds some good in lockdown. NO_B19school12

A Kilmory pupil is organised at home. NO_B19school13

A Pirnmill pupil learns how to bake. NO_B19sch00l14

A Pirnmill youngster takes on a Lego challenge to build a monument. NO_B19school15

One Pirnmill youngster created this clock. NO_B19school16

Getting outdoors and gardening keeps this youngster busy. NO_B19school17

The green man of Pirnmill ready for action. NO_B19school18

Dipping her feet in a stream in Glen Catatcol is a treat for this Pirnmill cyclist. NO_B19school19

An English programme being used by the children of Brodick primary. NO_B19school20