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Presentations between schools about Up Helly Aa

Western Isles schools twinned with Shetland and Highland schools

To strengthen links between Northern Alliance schools, e-Sgoil has been involved in twinning primary schools in three local authorities. The aim is to create and further develop relationships and cooperation between the schools, as well as allowing for the exchange of local history and culture.

In the first instance, four Shetland schools gave presentations about Up Helly Aa, an annual festival dating back to the 19th century that celebrates Shetland’s Viking heritage. Western Isles’ schools were ready with a number of questions for their Shetland counterparts, while the Highland schools were asked to listen in the first instance. The Western Isles’ schools are expected to reciprocate with a presentation in the following weeks.

The Western Isles’ schools involved are Castlebay Primary, Leverhulme, Sgoil an Rubha and Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath ensuring a spread across the island chain. It is hoped that further twinnings and opportunities for cooperation will take place in the future.

Michelle MacLean, whose class in Barra engaged with pupils from Cunningsburgh Primary School, stated: “Today was a fantastic learning experience for all and a wonderful way for our learners to work together and enhance and develop their skills base. How wonderful for both schools and authorities to come together from two very remote areas of Scotland. Nothing is impossible with e-Sgoil!

Tracy Langley, e-Sgoil’s deputy head teacher who is based in Shetland was instrumental in setting up this project. She said:

What an invaluable experience we have been able to give the children across our isles, connecting some of the pupils from our most remote schools with their peers and securing links for future learning.

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