Sandhead and Drummore Primaries and Early Learning Centres have shown resilience and creativity in changing its approaches to meet the current climate.
During lockdown, staff and families were concerned about the amount of screen time the children experienced for online learning.
In response to this, both schools trained staff in “Virtual Nature Schools” which led to outdoor learning experiences during term time and the summer holidays.
The Parent Council and successful grants helped to fund plans to improve the outdoor spaces including wellies and waterproofs for every child.
This was recognised as effective practice by Education Scotland and published in a national report.
It also highlighted the many effective ways the schools valued the staff and families’ views.
The various methods used to enhance communication between home and school during lockdown was also praised.
Sandhead and Drummore are also two of the first schools in Scotland to be put forward for a Gold Award in the “Respect Me Anti-Bullying” policy and practice.
Feedback from children, parents, staff and partners showed both schools were pro-active in preventing bullying within the schools through their school mascot, pirate starfish “Arrchi” and his sea “crew”.
Children, parents, staff and members of the community were involved in forming the anti-bullying policy and there is a clear approach on how to prevent and respond to any bullying allegations.
The school have seen a significant decline in bullying allegations and playground incidents over the last three years.
The schools have also been recognised by Dumfries and Galloway Council for effective partnership work with others to positively impact learners and was put forward for a National Teaching Award.
Partnership headteacher Nicola Henry said: “Despite a difficult year for our families and school community, everyone has pulled together and really taken on board our school vision, values and aims to achieve some amazing success.”