Elphinstone Primary School and Nursery Class’s work to support families and learners during lockdown learning has been highlighted as an example of good practice.

Schools rightly recognised that maintaining strong relationships was key to supporting learners and families throughout this most challenging of experiences

Elphinstone Primary School is one of nine case studies included in the national report compiled by Education Scotland. The Scottish Government instructed Education Scotland to undertake a national thematic review as part of its ‘Education Recovery: Key Actions and Next Steps’ document. HM Inspectors visited schools speaking to practitioners, learners and stakeholders (including families) to gather evidence. The final report focused on four key findings: supporting wellbeing of children and young people, prioritising staff wellbeing, addressing gaps in learning and parental engagement. Its publication is to raise awareness of best practice local approaches and initiatives that can be used to shape recovery and support professional reflection and sharing.

Elphinstone Primary School and Nursery Class was highlighted for its work to increase contact with families during the pandemic. Inspectors recognised the priority that senior school leaders placed on engaging with parents and creating relationships with families that support children’s learning.

Cabinet member for Education & Children’s and Family Services Councillor Fiona Dugdale said: “Schools rightly recognised that maintaining strong relationships was key to supporting learners and families throughout this most challenging of experiences. Since schools returned this close partnership approach continues to be a priority for our schools.

“I am very pleased to see Elphinstone Primary’s work recognised in this report and especially pleased to see families’ feedback that they feel part of the school community. The report has highlighted the ways that the school is continuing this positive engagement in a way that benefits everyone. I’m grateful to the staff team for their commitment to supporting their families and wider community and I’m very proud that their experiences will inspire others.”

'Creating possibilities when things feel impossible'

Elphinstone Primary School Head Teacher Alison Cameron said: “Everyone at Elphinstone PS are delighted that our continued commitment to engaging families in the work and life of the school has been included as a Case Study.  Children and their families always sit at the heart of our practice and it was critical that this continued to be strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This experience has taught us that, by working in partnership with our community and stakeholders, we can always create possibilities in times when many things feel impossible.

“Our work would not have been possible without the backing and support of a number of key agencies.  Our sincere thanks are extended to everyone who made this increased connection possible including East Lothian Roots & Fruits, Hibernian Community Foundation, DadsWork and Charles River.”

Published: Tuesday, 31st May 2022