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Education / Sandness school praised for approach to remote learning

SMALL West Side primary school has been praised by inspectors for the way it has supported children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sandness Primary School was the subject of an inspection in May 2018 and staff have recently engaged with Education Scotland officials as part of a follow-up.

Inspections were halted at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and suspended again in December after the Omicron variant emerged.

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In November 2021 staff from Sandness spoke to an HM inspector in a virtual discussion to provide an overview of activities at the school over the past three and a half years.

Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee heard on Monday that the “relatively positive” 2018 inspection had seen Education Scotland ask the school to continue developing its curriculum and approaches to tracking pupils’ progress.

Quality improvement manager Robin Calder said the inspection team were “very positive about how the school had supported children and young people, and families in general”.

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He said that included its approach to remote learning during phases of the pandemic where children have not been able to attend school.

Calder said Education Scotland had detected a “real emphasis” on the wellbeing of children and there was also praise for the school’s ability to use the outdoor environment in Sandness.

He added that the findings were “also an endorsement of children’s services’ overarching approach to supporting families through the pandemic”.

The SIC has been asked to provide further information about the Sandness school’s progress in December.

Meanwhile last month’s decision to pause inspection activity due to the challenges presented by Covid-19 will be reviewed next month.

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