Bo’ness school passes the Covid-19 test

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a wide range of challenges to educational establishments across the country, but Bo’ness Academy is proving it can succeed.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 7:07 am
Boness Academy pupil Adam Chambers doing his workout in the garden.
Boness Academy pupil Adam Chambers doing his workout in the garden.

When it became apparent that it was likely schools were going to be closed, there was a great effort within Bo’ness Academy to ensure all staff were ready to shift from face to face teaching to online learning.

This ranged from the technicians within the school ensuring all staff and pupils were ready to use Glow, staff sharing ‘how to’ guides for platforms such as Microsoft Teams, and courses being adapted to suit the online world.

Headteacher Catriona Reid said: “The feedback and support from parents and carers has been exceptional.

Boness Academy pupil Adam Chambers doing his workout in the garden.

“Staff are going above and beyond to create lessons that will really engage all pupils, and the fantastic work we are seeing in PE is just one example.

“I feel that as a community we really are all in this together trying to do the very best that we can for our young people.

“The Bo’ness Academy PE department has been rising to that challenge in numerous creative ways to keep pupils physically active, which of course improves their mental and emotional wellbeing.

“Before the Easter holidays, the department created a Sway educational programme which focused on work for pupils across all four factors of PE performance.”

Principal teacher of health and wellbeing Jonny MacWhirter said: “The Sway encouraged pupils to create a structure for their day, gave exercise routine examples and offered dietary advice.

“Each member of the department also provided a workout for pupils to follow over Twitter. These were all high intensity interval training sessions, that could be done in the comforts of the pupil’s own home.

“Since Easter the department has implemented a daily blog, focusing on pupil and staff fitness stories. And have been having live Microsoft Teams lessons with pupils. Additionally, all lessons posted on Microsoft Teams are now audio descriptive.

“The aim of this is to try and help pupils understand the lesson content more easily, especially if they cannot access live lessons.”

The PE department is also setting weekly practical challenges like ‘beat the teacher’, where pupils have to send in a video of themselves performing a fitness exercise, trying to beat their teacher’s total score.

Mr MacWhirter added: “As the school are also in charge in PE across the cluster of Bo’ness our Primary Team have been creating a weekly SWAY with PE tasks for our primary pupils to complete in their own homes.”