Stirling Council has thanked pupils, staff, parents and carers for their efforts to ensure a positive first week of remote learning across all settings.

Almost 14,000 children and young people across Stirling have been taking part in this new form of learning since the start of the new term on Monday (11 Jan) due to the current national Covid-19 restrictions.

The Council’s ambitious digital rollout of Chromebooks and laptops has supported schools in the delivery of remote learning, with individual settings producing a tailored learning programme for pupils.

In secondary schools, timetables have been operating as normal and pupils have been able to access the full curriculum via a mixture of learning.

Primary schools have also delivered learning in a variety of ways, both on and offline, including reading, writing, problem solving, creating, research tasks, project work and play. Active and physical learning is also taking place outdoors.

Headteacher at Wallace High School, Scott Pennock said: “It is important to take the opportunity to thank pupils and staff for their shared efforts in creating a very positive online learning environment this week across Stirling’s schools.

“We are conscious there will always be challenges and compromises when trying to deliver a comprehensive school timetable remotely, but our staff have worked extremely hard to ensure pupils are engaged and we have been very impressed by the level of pupil engagement and responsiveness to tasks.

“This is particularly impressive when you consider the various domestic challenges of working online in households where multiple adults and children are required to access devices and share bandwidth.

“The provision of Chromebooks and excellent work we have already done regarding staff and pupil training for Google Classroom is having a very positive impact at this time.”

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “This a tough time for everyone but we recognise it is especially difficult for families with these temporary learning arrangements, so a big thanks goes to you all for your support and understanding this week.

“It’s also been a hugely challenging period for all our dedicated school staff who have quickly implemented this temporary form of learning. I want them to know that we greatly appreciate their hard work.

“The early indications are that the roll out of remote learning has been successful, but we will continue to closely monitor this over the coming weeks and provide support where it’s needed.”

The current Scottish Government guidance which sets out a phased return to the spring term is expected to remain in place until at least 1 February, subject to a review in mid-January.

Vice Convener, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “There will inevitably be challenges along the way with remote learning, but it’s been extremely encouraging to hear the positive feedback so far.

“Our significant investment in digital technology has given us the tools to put these contingency plans into practice, but it’s our magnificent staff, supportive families and hardworking children and young people who have ensured its smooth and successful rollout.

“The hope is everyone will be back in school as soon as possible but during this period our focus remains the same – ensuring our children and young people continue to receive the highest quality of care and learning.”