24 June 2021

Finzean School's 'extraordinary involvement' in partnership working pays off

Finzean School’s partnership working is paying off with a flurry of recent accolades and achievements.

The small rural school which serves a number of local areas including Ballogie, Birse, and Strachan as well as the Finzean community has been working alongside Birse Community Trust on various projects for a number of years.

Their ‘Aye it wis A’abody’ project which has enabled pupils to explore the local area’s links with the Caribbean slave trade has been recognised with a Pearson National Teachers Award for Impact Through Partnership 2021 (Highly Commended). As part of this the school has received a letter from Michael Morpurgo, President of the Pearson National Teachers Award, in particular recognition of their efforts.

The school has also received an Anne Frank Award for ‘Active participation and extraordinary involvement in the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights,’ relating to the same project.

This term, the dynamic partnership working has taken a new turn, with Birse Community Trust Manager, Toni Watt running sessions in the school woods collecting biological records for the
North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC), Aberdeen.

Their P5-7 pupils enjoyed quite an exciting moment recently when one of the pupils spotted a very well camouflaged and relatively rare moth, a yellow-barred brindle. Project files were sent for expert checking and the pupils received feedback that it is only the second time one has been spotted in the area since they were first recorded in 2003.

Head teacher Vivien Moorhouse explained: “Partnership working makes our projects more meaningful and worthwhile for the pupils who can see how their contributions fit into a bigger picture. We are very proud of our work looking at the history and heritage of the local area and we’ve enjoyed a very good start to our collection of biological records.”

Finzean pupils have also benefited this term from a pilot project alongside Dyslexia Scotland, providing online tutors who support dyslexic children and young people in one-to-one sessions as well as small groups.

Mrs Moorhouse was pleased to be invited to support the project and hopes this may be extended in future. She added: “The sessions have focused on phonemes, reading and numeracy tasks and I think the pupils have really benefited as we can see an impact on their learning.

“It has been another really fruitful school year for us at Finzean School and Ballogie Nursery and we’re very grateful to all of our partners as well as the fab staff team and the volunteers who help us along the way. We’re looking forward to lots more new adventures!”

Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee is bowled over by Finzean’s achievements. She commented: “It is absolutely fantastic to see a school community making such an impact not just on a local but global scale. Pupils gain such a lot from partnership working opportunities and I’m really pleased to see how well they are getting on at Finzean School. Well done, folks!”