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More success for threatened primary

A TINY primary school in Shetland’s north isles has made it into the final to win an international award for an educational website it has created.

Uyeasound primary school on Unst has just 11 pupils and has had to start a petition to fight off plans by Shetland Islands Council to close it next year to save money.

Despite this being the fourth attempt in the past decade to shut its doors for good, the school’s head teacher Kate Coutts and the local parent council remain undaunted.

Last May Uyeasound primary received one of the most complimentary school inspection reports ever dished out in Shetland, with especial praise heaped on Ms Coutts and her creative approach to education.

Two years ago the pupils carried out a colourful outdoor project brightening up the school by painting murals on the walls and the playground, including a rainbow labyrinth, with the children doing the budgeting and raising the funds.

Just last month the school received an environmental award from Shetland Amenity Trust for mapping Unst’s ruins and uploading them on to a national database for international research.

Now they join 40 other schools from across the planet looking for votes for their Metasaga project to become the educational wikispace of the year in The Edublog 2010 Awards.

Inspired by a similar venture in Tanzania, Metasaga was the brainchild of Ms Coutts to encourage young people to explore their environment and through that to find out more about themselves. It has been so successful that another 10 schools across Scotland have already joined in.

The website can be viewed at http://metasaga.wikispaces.com/ and people can vote for it at http://edublogawards.com/2010awards/best-educational-wiki-2010/

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