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National recognition for a Stirling Council school and nursery

Friday 22 May 2020
A Stirling Council school and nursery have been named as finalists in the prestigious Scottish Education Awards (SEAs).
Hillview Nursery - Scottish Education Awards

Allan’s Primary has been shortlisted for the Skills for Future Pathways Award, while Hillview Nursery is in the final three for the Making a Difference (ELC) Award.

The SEAs are held annually and celebrate the hard work, innovation and success in Scottish education. Although this year’s prize-giving ceremony has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the news is a boost to both establishments and their learning communities during the current crisis.

Allan’s recognition follows its development of 21st century skills for children in this ever-changing digital society.

After consulting with many agencies and researching practice from other countries with Stirling High, the school devised its five Cs – communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and curiosity – and put them in place through the Makerspace philosophy.

The school developed an approach which supported the implementation of the 5Cs so created their design thinking toolkit and adopted the *Makerspace philosophy.

Very proud

Lindsey Howland, Headteacher at Allan’s Primary said: “The Makerspace approach has been hugely successful and the children talk confidently about the skills they are using and why they are using them.

“We are very proud to be nominated as finalist and we are extremely grateful to all our partners for their support, in particular Clare Hoare, Stirling Council Creative Learning Officer. We are continuing our Makerspace Monday approach during the current home learning experience.”

Hillview’s achievement was based on its early literacy intervention work that aims to address the significant gap within literacy attainment which can be linked to poverty related barriers. The nursery’s Equity and Excellence Lead, Gillian Smith, supported staff and parents to deliver three key interventions: 

  • The rollout of the Big Nursery Rhyme Challenge as a home learning initiative to support parents to work with their child to learn and recite popular nursery rhymes
  • Organising Adult Child Interactions (ACI) workshops for parents to increase their confidence and knowledge in supporting their child’s language and literacy skills
  • An audit of its literacy practice, providing staff training on ACI and developing its communication friendly environment to achieve a gold communication award.

Hard work and dedication

Acting Head at Hillview Nursery – which received an excellent inspection report from the Care Inspectorate last year – Alan Easton, said: “Through the hard work and dedication of all our educators, children and families, the engagement within these initiatives have evidenced significant improvements within language and literacy attainment.”

Well-deserved recognition

Convener of Stirling Council Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Congratulations to Allan’s Primary and Hillview Nursery on their well-deserved national recognition, which is a welcome fillip during such an uncertain time for schools, nurseries and families across the area.

“Both establishments’ wide-ranging innovative approaches are ensuring a high quality of care and education for children which is helping to give them the best start in life.”

Providing some positivity

Vice Convener, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “Being named as finalists for these prestigious awards demonstrates the dedication, commitment and talent of staff at Allan’s and Hillview, and shows they are successfully working with parents and carers.

“A huge well done to both establishments for reaching this stage and providing some positivity at such a challenging time.”

Background info and picture details:

* A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.

For more information on the Scottish Education Awards, visit: https://www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk/

Picture shows Leighton Hamill and Josh Kirkwood, who attend Hillview Nursery, with their Big Nursery Rhyme Challenge certificates. This is one of the initiatives that saw the nursery named as a finalist at the Scottish Education Awards.