Virtual reality lessons ignite Highland children's imaginations
14th November 2019
Daviot Primary School is delighted to share that their children are pioneering virtual reality (VR) learning in Highland to help raise engagement and increase attainment for all pupils.
The school recently acquired "ClassVR"; a simple to use virtual reality user interface made for education. Through ClassVR teachers now have the exciting option of preparing structured lessons in a format that will allow pupils to access the subject content using a VR headset. The heart of the ClassVR interface is the ‘holodeck‘. This futuristic ‘room' gives pupils a central place to begin their adventures and learning experiences. Across the holodeck, icons are shown, depicting educational activities, locations or experiences.
Easily accessible through Wi-Fi, ClassVR gives pupils new ways to experience learning and opportunities to interact and even create their own content for lessons. By using just their hands and simple head movements pupils can navigate around the icon, select and launch activities and experience 360 degree images from a safe sitting position.
Judith Pirie, cluster Head Teacher at Daviot Primary School, said: "We are thrilled to be able to offer ground-breaking VR technology to our pupils. VR lessons bring the curriculum to life enabling pupils to visualise and understand a range of subjects and topics that we could not hope to facilitate otherwise. VR facilitates real-world exploration, for example the ability to explore the Egyptian pyramids as if you are really there, or to visit the sea bed with sharks swimming by. The school is most grateful to our Parent Council and local business AB Masonry who have both contributed to the exciting purchase of this fantastic resource."
The Highland Council is committed to delivering equity and excellence in learning and teaching and aims to ensure children in all its communities, whether rural or urban, have access to the same high standard of education and care while supporting rural areas and communities to withstand change and flourish.
Following the freezing of some charges and suspension of enforcement for others during the lockdown period, The Highland Council has been following a phased return to normal operations since the 26th of June. Further details are given below.
Many Highland Council tenants may be missing out on help towards their rent from Universal Credit because they have not notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of their annual rent increase which came into effect on the 30th March 2020. Those tenants who have not yet reported their rent increase could be facing a shortfall in the help they receive towards their rent, putting them at risk of rent arrears.
The Highland Council is updating parents and carers of its position on early learning and childcare (ELC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August.
Following on from the recent publication of Highland Council's Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - the Council is announcing relaxation of some controls that will assist tourist accommodation providers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of this where there are specific planning and licensing controls in relation to occupancy, for example: a restriction on the occupancy of any caravan for a continuous 12 month period; or where conditions restrict occupancy for specific periods of time, ...these will be relaxed by the Council up to and including April 2021.
The Caithness Committee met virtual today for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and it's agenda focused on the actions taken by the Council and the third sector to deal with the effects of Coronavirus in Caithness. The Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Paul Senior, gave members an update on the plans and preparations underway to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Caithness schools in August.
Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council has given her strong support to the efforts of the Scottish Government to obtain greater fiscal flexibility from the UK Government. The Scottish Government have sought flexibility to offset capital underspend against resource expenditure, more flexibility over resource borrowing and greater flexibility over the use of the reserve for capital.
The Highland Council is planning to re-open play areas across the region throughout summer. Advice was provided by the Scottish Government on 28 June as to the safety measures that should be applied.
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.