Argyllshire Advertiser

Outdoor centres to help Argyll school pupils engage with learning


School pupils in Argyll and Bute are to receive support from the area’s outdoor education centres when they return after the Easter break, a report has revealed, writes Colin Cameron.

Three outdoor centres had been assisting with secondary education since pupils returned to the classroom after lockdown earlier this year.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, the council’s policy lead for education, has now confirmed all schools will engage with outdoor learning providers.

The details were contained in a report before the full council at its virtual meeting on Thursday April 15.

Councillor McNeilly said: ‘Since March 15, we have engaged the services of three of our valued local outdoor education centres to provide support to our secondary schools for young people getting back to school.

‘These sessions have been very positively received and we are delighted to now be rolling this out across the authority so that all schools have some engagement with our outdoor learning providers from April 19 up until June 25.

‘It is anticipate­d that each school will receive between two and four days support from the centres which will be planned collaborat­ively. This work will be funded from our Covid recovery budget.’

Councillor McNeilly also gave an update on the provision of Gaelic in Argyll and Bute’s schools, including periods when pupils have been learning remotely.

She added: ‘The revision of School Improvemen­t Planning (SIP) in Argyll and Bute has resulted in Gaelic educationa­l planning now being an integral part of the standard SIP documentat­ion for schools.

‘Planning priorities in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) are now cross-referenced with the local authority Gaelic Language Plan, as well as with the frameworks which apply to all school improvemen­t planning – Our Children Their Future, How Good is Our School 4 and the Scottish Government’s National improvemen­t Framework.

‘This coherent and integrated approach to strategic planning in GME has been recognised by Bord na Gaidhlig as sector-leading practice.

‘It has been a challengin­g year in education but our staff in schools have risen to the challenge and provided great support and continuity of learning for our children and young people and their commitment and dedication should be recognised.’

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