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Dallas Primary School challenges during coronavirus lockdown


By Garry McCartney

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Isla Franklin used her dad’s spare guttering to create a marble run.
Isla Franklin used her dad’s spare guttering to create a marble run.

PUPILS and teachers used technology to maintain a sense of school community throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

And Dallas Primary head teacher Mrs Mairi Grant is proud of what her classes have achieved over the last three months with the aid of communication and collaboration platform software.

She explained: "Just before lockdown, we set up classes on Microsoft Teams which has been a fantastic tool to keep everyone together. The teachers set carefully planned learning assignments each week which the children have engaged with fantastically.

"I’m really proud of the effort and the engagement the children have shown throughout lockdown, with support from their parents."

Every week since March, classes have created and shared videos of the learning across the school with the pupils' families.

Mrs Grant said: "This has brought the school together, motivated each other and reminded us of our friends."

Gregory and Austin Davis gave plants to neighbours.
Gregory and Austin Davis gave plants to neighbours.
Jake and Dylan Fielding cheered their neighbours with home-baked sweet treats.
Jake and Dylan Fielding cheered their neighbours with home-baked sweet treats.

To add to the feeling of community and explore a wider range of curricular areas, Mrs Grant also introduced a regular whole school challenge with options, ideas and online inspiration. So far, these have included: becoming a scientist, artist, musician; being happy and kind; and developing survival skills for a stay on 'Dallas Island'.

"The children and their families have embraced these challenges wholeheartedly," said Mrs Grant. "During 'happy week' pupils went all out and brought joy to their friends, families and neighbours. Another challenge was to create or compose music.

"The children have produced some amazing creations, sending us videos and photos of their hard work and creativity."

Dallas Primary missed out on school sports day due to closures so a recent event was to complete three sports challenges-a-day instead.

"Our P7s delivered an online alternative," said Mrs Grant. "Each day one of our P7s posted a video on our MSTeam. Scores, photos and videos were logged and the successes announced at the end of the week!

"We've also been having online outdoor classrooms with Mr C, making obstacle courses in our gardens."

Aila and Tilly Gibson’s sports challenge.
Aila and Tilly Gibson’s sports challenge.
Eva Landy skipping as a sports challenge.
Eva Landy skipping as a sports challenge.

Mrs Grant confirmed the community has shown the school values throughout the lockdown period, being Loyal, Enthusiastic, Aspiring, Resourceful and Neighbourly (LEARN).

She finished: "Staff, pupils and parents have been amazing. We miss our pupils dearly and can’t wait to have them back in August."

David Wallace created a helmet from grasses and twine.
David Wallace created a helmet from grasses and twine.
Sammy Edwards created a survival raft.
Sammy Edwards created a survival raft.
Isla Franklin demonstrated how to make alava lamp during scientist challenge week.
Isla Franklin demonstrated how to make alava lamp during scientist challenge week.
Liam Sutherland studied the globe for our Global challenge.
Liam Sutherland studied the globe for our Global challenge.
Fergus and Eva Ingram created a stop motion movie of their ‘big art’.
Fergus and Eva Ingram created a stop motion movie of their ‘big art’.
Timmy Edwards dressed up as nature for outdoor classroom day.
Timmy Edwards dressed up as nature for outdoor classroom day.
Budding scientist Sadie blew up a balloon without her breath during science challenge week.
Budding scientist Sadie blew up a balloon without her breath during science challenge week.
Dylan and Evan Fielding made a filter for dirty water.
Dylan and Evan Fielding made a filter for dirty water.
Faye Harrison dressed up in eight different countries attire for a languages challenge.
Faye Harrison dressed up in eight different countries attire for a languages challenge.
Aila Gibson created a chair for her technology challenge.
Aila Gibson created a chair for her technology challenge.
Chloe Stinson recreated the Mona Lisa during art challenge week.
Chloe Stinson recreated the Mona Lisa during art challenge week.


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