A “game changing” remote learning platform for primary and secondary children in Scotland has been launched this week.
Educational professionals have come together to launch Scottish Online Lessons (SOL) – a platform which delivers digital lessons tailored to the Scottish school curriculums – with step-by-step guidance from teachers.
Fernhill School in Glasgow, Uteach, a 20-year-old education company in Coatbridge, technology company Retronix and a team of experienced teachers from across the country, are behind the new platform.
For students from P1 to the S5, the resource provides “high-quality” lessons narrated by experienced teachers and can be used with or without internet connection.
The option for offline learning means the lessons are accessible to all learners, which is key to SOL’s goal to help narrow Scotland’s attainment gap among young people.
The lessons are also suitable for pupils that might face different challenges, like dyslexia and dyscalculia – a learning disability in maths.
SOL is available for anyone to use for a licence fee of £50 per year or £5 a month, which includes access to the full curriculum on up to two devices.
Already more than 2,000 children across Scotland have access to the lessons after Scottish businessman Lord Willie Haughey purchased the first 2,000 licences.
They will be given to charities across Scotland for free to help disadvantaged and vulnerable children after a very difficult year.
One of the organisations that has been gifted licences is the Volunteer Tutors Organisation. Operations manager Barbara Oliver welcomed the donation, saying it will make a big difference to the young people they work with.
Dr Laura Murphy, director of education and trustee at Fernhill School, said: “I haven’t come across something as comprehensive and coherent as this, as it takes children from lesson to lesson.
Normally resources are teacher-led so it’s great that pupils can work on this independently.
“It’s a brilliant resource and we are really proud of it. It feels great to give something back to education in Scotland at a time where there are lots of challenges for children.”
Creators behind SOL believe that after a year of disrupted learning due to the pandemic, they can help their students catch up over the summer holidays.
SOL will host a virtual summer school during the six-week break, where anyone with a licence can ask teachers burning questions about the lessons.