How one Fife primary school has been using social media for distance learning

Miss Julie Anderson, headteacher, Burntisland Primary, who has been reading bedtime stories to her pupils using social media during the coronavirus lockdown.Miss Julie Anderson, headteacher, Burntisland Primary, who has been reading bedtime stories to her pupils using social media during the coronavirus lockdown.
Miss Julie Anderson, headteacher, Burntisland Primary, who has been reading bedtime stories to her pupils using social media during the coronavirus lockdown. | User (UGC)
Primary schools have been using social media and online digital platforms to allow staff to stay connected with pupils and engage in distance learning.

Burntisland Primary is just one example of a local school which has been doing this successfully during the coronavirus lockdown.

Headteacher Julie Anderson revealed some of their activities: “We have a Facebook page for Burntisland Primary School and you can see some of the things we have been doing there,” she said.

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“I am doing bedtime stories every night with all the children, online assemblies with the children every Monday morning, and we are doing tasks of the week in line with Our Mind Matters which is to do with health and wellbeing.

Pupils at Burntisland Primary making hot chocolate.Pupils at Burntisland Primary making hot chocolate.
Pupils at Burntisland Primary making hot chocolate. | User (UGC)

“So what we do is take every day with one of the five ways to health and wellbeing. So Monday is learn, Tuesday is take notice, Wednesday is connect, Thursday is giving and Friday is be active.

“The idea is for everybody, so if you follow the five ways to wellbeing it helps your overall wellbeing all of the time. Each day we take one of the five ways to wellbeing and put up an activity for all of our children to do.

“That means if they are really struggling to get onto GLOW, or access some of the school learning, there is always something on Facebook for them to do as a family.”

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She said her teaching staff, who are all working from home, have been incredible: “We were pretty quick off the mark to get our GLOW accounts set up way before the school closed and we sent home lots of communication to parents about how to set it up on tablets, phones or computers.

Burntisland pupils making a rollercoaster.Burntisland pupils making a rollercoaster.
Burntisland pupils making a rollercoaster. | User (UGC)

“We also sent home activity packs for pupils who might struggle to access that so they have jotters and pencils and little activity games they can do. This gave us the time to try things out first.”

Miss Anderson said the activities suggested are for the whole school but they offer a different one for the nursery children.

She said at the assembly she posts online on a Monday morning she also gives the pupils ideas for learning. Parents then send in photos showing the children carrying out the activities suggested.

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For example discussions have included a hot chocolate night and a rollercoaster, and children have been snapped doing activities based on these themes.She said by sharing ideas, posting videos and photos on the school’s Facebook page it has been helping the pupils and their families to stay connected to herself and her staff.

Miss Anderson added that the school is still open for the children of key workers with staff going in, while herself and her deputies have been regularly calling the parents of children who are more difficult to reach.

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