Scottish Primary School staff show how to look after children’s learning in a time of infection and our media cannot bear to credit them

I didn’t pay much attention to this point in the story of St Albert’s in Pollokshields, at the time (19th August):

The council confirmed that arrangements have been made so that any pupils required to self-isolate can continue working online.

STV and the Record used largely the same words.

The Herald had: Each child at the Polloksheilds school has been issued with an iPad so that lessons can continue to be taught remotely but made little of it.

It was only reading Libby Brooks in the Guardian today that I saw:

When an entire primary class in Glasgow was asked to isolate this week after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19, staff spent the following afternoon delivering iPads so that teaching could continue remotely.

Why did only the Guardian know this?

Brooks mentions this in a piece titled:

School reopening in Scotland: five lessons for the rest of the UK

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/21/school-reopening-in-scotland-covid-19-five-lessons-for-the-rest-of-the-uk

It’s a report that could hardly be more different from the anxiety-inducing Warkisms of the Scottish media suggesting wrongly that the virus is ‘in‘ or ‘at‘ the school or ‘among‘ the pupils, amplifying teacher and parent fears and working against the Scottish Government messaging.

Brooks is analytical, informative and useful, if the English authorities will read her.

Back to those teachers. Wouldn’t that be great story with lots of human interest? You could film the teachers arriving at the homes of the pupils. I can see the pupil’s faces as the iPad starts up. Maybe one of the mums might have a wee tear of gratitude in her eye. You like tears. Only for the deaths of babies of old folk? Ah.

9 thoughts on “Scottish Primary School staff show how to look after children’s learning in a time of infection and our media cannot bear to credit them”

  1. The SNP bad will never stop. They could pave the streets of Scotland with gold and they would still be ‘failing’, and it would still be a ‘fiasco’. Given that this virus is sticking around for a while yet,
    it seems the strategy of minimising risk is the sensible one. Schools could be in the same quandary
    in two or three months. Open and manage risk, or stay closed for the foreseeable.
    What would the BritNats do? When do schools reopen in England? If the EngGov mismanage that as well, it could be a disaster.

    Brooks, hmm, surprised the Graun allowed her to praise Scotland, at all, they usually love to hate the SNP a d after all, it the SNP who are managing the situation in the interests of Scotland. Wonders never cease.

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  2. The missing element in the return to school in Scotland seems to me to be: teachers’ health.  It’s great that the children and young people are back at school. Some degree of normality restored for them. Is anyone giving any thought to teachers with pre-existing medical conditions? I have teacher friends with type 1 diabetes, asthma and Crohn’s disease. I can only hope someone – unions or government – is looking out for them. 

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    1. There was an interview, several months ago, with Mr Larry Flanagan of the EIS, in which he spoke about the committee which was evolving the policy about blended learning and the return to school.

      This was tagged on to the end of a piece which was full of sound and fury from a representative of a mainly English based union (NASUWT) and of a ‘parents’ representative’ from a not-very-well-known organisation. After they had been allowed unchallenged scope to rant, there was the short interview with Mr Flanagan, who outlined, in the limited time afforded him, succinctly what the consultative group was doing. The teachers with pre-existing conditions were being considered.

      Of course, as you know, there are some teachers in staffrooms, who, no matter, how good things are, will find something to gripe about. Every silver lining has a cloud attached! Such people will text or tweet something “BAAAAD” and GMS will read it out immediately. The most recent I heard was from one implying EVERY class in Scotland had 33 pupils who were sitting shoulder to shoulder in cramped classrooms.

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  3. WE CAN ONLY BE THANKFUL THAT VERY FEW PEOPLE BUY
    REORD OR HERALD
    AND AS FOR EBC THEYRE LIKE THE WEE ROSS DAYS ARE NUMBERED
    THEY WILL BE CLOSED AS SOON AFTER INDEPENDENCE
    TO GET RID OF THE VERMIN SPONGIN UNIONISTS
    WHO LIE DAILY TO SCOTS

    THE VERMIN WHO ARE GUILTLY. OF THIS NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE

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  4. In my humble opinion, I think IPads should be issued to all school children in Scotland. Also the priority for broadband should be delivering very high speed internet to the school desk, to enable video / lesson downloads in seconds.

    The internet has near unlimited educational resources. Education needs to seriously tech up.
    For example, Youtube has great maths videos with great teaching. Up to university level.
    There are excellent apps. Dozens of language apps. I like Lingvist and Duolingo. Lingvist is highly sophisticated. Developed by a physicist who worked on the Higgs boson at CERN. A perfect teacher, reacting to your performance. For maths and science there is the excellent Khan Academy.

    We need large centrally connected TV screens in every classroom, so that one teacher can give lessons to up to one thousand pupils at a time. No shortage of maths teachers with this approach. The Chinese have already done this. The are producing excellent maths graduates from remote areas that previously produced no graduates at all.

    Teachers also need to use what is out there and not try to reinvent the wheel.

    I think kids need to be given more responsibility for their own education. They will respond. Autonomous learning should be a parallel aim with blended learning. There is no reason kids shouldn’t have 4 or 5 languages. Hugely valuable in a future European Scotland.
    I’m addicted to Duolingo, btw. The Fitbit like leagues and awards motivate you.

    The Scottish Government should work with our excellent computer games people to produce entertaining (and addictive?) educational apps.

    Investing money in a 1000 new teachers will only deliver incremental improvement. We need a structural change of approach if we are to compete with the South Korea’s of this world.

    Education needs to be the major I/T project in Scotland for the next few years.

    It is great to see the SNP taking steps in this direction. I think Glasgow is doing things too. Not reported on the BBC, but wonderful.

    Btw. This blog has replaced the sadly infested Wings. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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