Stewart recently celebrated his one year anniversary of being Headteacher at Athelstaneford. 

His previous role was “Education Support Officer for Digital Learning” across the South East Improvement Collaborative (East Lothian, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Fife). Before that he lived and worked in the Scottish Borders as a Depute Head teacher across two schools.

Stewart said: “Starting this role during the pandemic means that in some ways home learning and education has become the norm for me. Every assembly I’ve delivered so far has been through video calls. Now we are back in school, I’m having new experiences for the first time. The pandemic has created a huge learning curve in developing our approach to online learning and our own digital skills as staff.

I’m fortunate to have come into this role with a passion for digital learning and extensive experience of both teaching and supporting professional learning around this. I’m so proud of the learning we were able to offer here at Athelstaneford Primary and how this evolved from April 2020 to the most recent home learning period. The team here did an incredible job and we were blown away by the commitment and enthusiasm shown by our children and families.”

 “We are aware that our children and families have had different home learning experiences. Some children have been able to flourish in the home environment, potentially with extra support and making good use of the technology they have access to. Others have found it more challenging for a wide range of reasons. The challenge for us has been how do we support learning and ensure that children are having a positive experience, while staying connected. Relationships have been so important this year and we have continued to engage in fun and collaborative learning experiences. This has been very well received on our levels of engagement.”

“There have also been huge opportunities to be creative and do things slightly different. In the last year we have held virtual talent shows, remote sports days and other special events. I helped lead a Virtual Residential/Camp experience for some of our primary 7s in the North Berwick cluster which was an experience like no other but well received by the children. Most recently I was part of a group who supported the first ever “East Lothian Remote Game Jam”.  Children from across local areas were delivered coding lessons remotely and then had the opportunity to create their own game as part of a competition. We were so impressed by the levels of creativity and skills that we observed in these submissions. There are some truly talented children in East Lothian. It would be great to be able to organise an in-person Game Jam if restrictions allow in 2022.”

“More than ever, I have learned how great it is to be in a role where you are making a difference every day. It is a privilege to help support the incredible learning that is happening with our children at Athelstaneford. Over the last year, like many, I have a greater appreciation of working with people especially in person instead of video call. I believe there is something quite special about working in a small school and the strength of the relationships you are able to build with families, staff and community. I am extremely fortunate to work with people who are willing to go above and beyond to give our children the best experiences. We continue to adapt our approaches in line with government guidance and recommendations for covid-19. The nice thing at the moment is that things are opening up more which means we can start to organise exciting new opportunities for our children. This year we have benefitted from working with partners who we would not have been able to work with in the past, fingers crossed these exciting opportunities can continue.”

stewart brown



Published: Wednesday, 5th May 2021