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Success achieved by school communities across Highland towards young people's education, wellbeing and skills

7th August 2020

Members at yesterday's (6 August) meeting of Education Committee, heard about the success of schools across Highland communities and, specifically, drivers of success from Highland Head Teachers from Portree High, Dingwall Academy, Thurso High, Kingussie High, and St Clement's School in Dingwall.

Chair of the Education Committee, Councillor John Finlayson, said: "The achievements and resilience of our young people across the Highlands has to be congratulated along with the positive results we have heard about today. Alongside this, it is really important to thank all our school staff at every level for what they have done in recent months to support our young people and prepare for a return to school. Everyone, our HT's, teachers, PSA’s, Cleaners, Catering Staff, FM staff and many other staff deserve the gratitude of us all and the presentations by HT’s at Committee, exemplifies the fantastic work that is taking place in our schools."

Committee Members heard presentations from 5 Head Teacher’s from Highland schools which highlighted the work and success being delivered by staff and results achieved by young people across the region.

Highland schools are working with partners such as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and West Highland College in Skye to allow young people to access skills courses. Skills for Work courses focus on desirable employability skills needed within the workplace such as construction crafts, engineering, beauty skills, maritime skills, sport and recreation, travel and tourism, outdoor adventure and digital media.

Portree High School achieved a 99% positive destination rate and vulnerable young people gained successful wider achievement qualifications leading to full time apprenticeships.

Dingwall Academy shared the success achieved by their Syrian pupils who not only achieved their National 3 in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), but also gained National 4 qualifications in Business, Administration and National 5 qualifications in Maths.

Thurso High School placed focus on their work to support their pupil’s wellbeing. The school has developed and implemented a comprehensive programme of support for their more vulnerable pupils to access. Thurso High also offer the SQA National 4 and 5 awards in Mental Health & Wellbeing to help address apparent increases in anxiety and depression and are looking to establish mental health ambassadors next month.

Kingussie High School have focused on delivering success for each pupil by expanding their curriculum to include 30 new courses and work to know and understand each learner’s strengths early in their education career. By communicating with pupils in their Junior year, Kingussie High are able to help each individual plan and understand which courses will help them in their future. The school offer courses various courses in rural skills, travel and tourism, child care, construction, retail skills and, adding this year, barista skills to help enhance employment.

St Clement’s School placed focus on their digital learning tools and forming a ‘true learning partnership’ with their pupils, parents, carers and staff. ‘Gaelic with Granny’ became a creative and successful learning approach for senior pupils studying towards their National 2 in Gaelic. The seniors went on to become finalists for the Education Scotland Award.

Head of Education, Nicky Grant, said: "These results are the culmination of very challenging attainment meetings, interrogation of data by many staff both within our schools and our central staff who work to support schools. A large part of this work has been undertaken to review and update our curriculum and the range of courses on offer to meet the needs of all of our learners.

Key to this collaboration and hard work at every level has been the ambition to enable the talent of our staff and our young people to be at the heart of our daily practice and to make sure that the uniqueness of individual school communities is central to everything that we deliver within our schools".

You can watch our Head Teacher’s presentations, in full, here


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