Club Centenary/ Major Centenary Project Helps Pupils Whose Learning Hit By Covid

£24,000 pilot scheme part of £100,000 bounty of charitable spending for good causes

Baldragon Academy head teacher Hugh McAninch, pupil Imogen Robertson, Dundee City Chief Educational Officer Audrey May and Dundee Rotary Past President Robert Dunn
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Major Rotary Education Initiative Launched in Dundee Schools

The Rotary Club of Dundee is donating the entire £24,000 cost of a pilot project to help pupils in targeted areas develop good study techniques, improve results and ultimately fulfil their potential. The sum comes from the Rotary Club’s £100,000 bounty of charitable spending set up to celebrate its centenary in 2021/22.

This important coaching and mentoring scheme has been launched to help senior pupils in Dundee whose learning has been particularly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This group did not get the opportunity to fully complete their National 5 coursework and did not go through the experience of devising a study timetable, properly revising for and sitting exams. Furthermore, they missed out on face-to-face teaching for the first few weeks of their Higher courses due to the lockdown.

Jamie Green MSP, the Scottish Conservatives education spokesman, said pupils from poorer backgrounds will be suffering the most.

Leading Learners with the Rotary Club of Dundee, which will start immediately, has been agreed after detailed discussions with the city council education department. It will cover 134 pupils across Baldragon Academy, St Paul’s Academy, Craigie High School and Braeview Academy.

Robert Dunn, Dundee Rotary Past President and Centenary Committee chair, said: “Key to our centenary celebrations is our commitment to support the local community.

“Education and young people were central to our plans and we are delighted to be able to support a number of young people across the city with this initiative which we hope will have a profound effect on their lives.”

Audrey May, Dundee City Council’s chief education officer, said: “We are delighted and very grateful to receive this generous donation from the Rotary Club of Dundee as part of their Centenary celebrations. 
“It will go a long way to supporting our young people who have had significant disruption to their learning as the result of the pandemic.  “Our children, young people and our school staff have shown great resilience throughout lockdown, then through recovery, however, this generous offer will provide additional targeted opportunities to support learners to achieve success in their future qualifications.” 

Head teachers say the recent decision by the Scottish Government to remove this year’s Highers and Advanced Highers because of the disruption to learning resulting from the pandemic, creates even greater justification for the scheme.

The aims of the project are to help negate any educational disadvantage resulting from the pandemic for pupils and support them to achieve results commensurate with their potential and ability. 

In the longer term, it will help pupils develop effective study techniques which they can take forward beyond school. 

The project, which was launched at Baldragon Academy, will also provide valuable professional learning opportunities for the staff taking part which they can use as part of their teaching toolkit.