Category: East Renfrewshire

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Problem Solving at Neilston Primary School, East Renfrewshire

Problem Solving Challenges and Tutorials

At Neilston Primary, we are creating instructional videos to set daily problem solving questions for our primary six and primary seven pupils. 

Using existing resources, we prepare a PowerPoint to set the question and a separate PowerPoint explaining the solution. Principal Teacher, Andrew Howie, then uses online recording tool – Loom, to video himself explaining the problems and the solutions. Loom places a recording of Mr Howie in a small circle directly on top of the PowerPoint image, allowing him to be seen and not just heard and as these videos are relatively short, it is easy to record in one take meaning no editing is required. 

We then post the videos on to Google Classroom and Twitter. These post are scheduled (using TweetDeck for Twitter) to appear at the correct time – 9am for the problem, and 3pm for the solution. By posting the videos on Twitter we have also found younger pupils engage with them and share their answers. 

Moving ahead, we hope to record and schedule a whole week’s worth of posts in advance. This will help streamline the process, and we also hope this means the videos can be shared in advance with other schools in the authority who may find them useful. 

The videos can be viewed on Twitter @neilston_madras 

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Pupil and Parental Engagement at St Mark’s Primary School, East Renfrewshire

Increasing Pupil and Parental Engagement at St Mark’s with Twitter


In St. Mark’s, we have been working hard to increase parental engagement and maintain relationships with our families during school closure. Twitter has been a great tool for us to celebrate the achievements of our pupils and stay connected to our families.

Teachers have shared examples of good work that has been submitted on Google Classroom and we have tweeted them from our school account to celebrate their success. Mr Hutcheson used examples of tweets from parents in his virtual assembly to highlight the excellent work that was taking place at home to all pupils.

PE, STEM and art challenges set by teachers on Google Classroom have been some of our most popular tweets, the creativity and enthusiasm of our pupils has been exceptional. We have also set a variety of challenges for our pupils and families and have observed a noticeable increase in engagement with these over time. The most recent Getty Museum Challenge has been fantastic and has again highlighted how creative our pupils and staff are:

Feedback from parents/carers regarding the use of Twitter to stay connected with our learners has been extremely positive and, in some cases, has helped to increase engagement with Google Classroom. Sharing examples of their learning in this way has helped to motivate pupils to attempt more activities and has had a positive impact on their confidence and enthusiasm for learning. 



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Digital Registers at Mearns Primary, East Renfrewshire

Digital Registers at Mearns Primary

Our class teachers set a question on the assignment tab asking if the pupil is present or not. This allows the SMT team to easily see who has engaged with the learning that day and who has not. 

They followed this guide made up by one of our teachers:

Members of SMT take this information and complete this Google Sheet for each classroom. 


This form is set up to provide an overview of the school statistics and percentages of pupils completing the digital registers. We then use this information to contact pupils who have not been engaging and see if there is any reason for this and if we can provide support. 



Google Forms for Hub Provision 

We have been using Google Forms to allow parents & carers to communicate what pupils require provision in the hub and for which days they require this. We use that information to populate a Google Sheet which we use for our daily register. It provides our office staff with the information they require for FileMaker. 

Similar to the digital registers, our hub daily register generates statistics which we use for our records. 

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Photography Competition at Hillview primary School, East Renfrewshire


Photography Competition 

During this period of closure it is more important than ever to have families involved. Our photography competition invites all our stakeholders to enter and be part of something creative.

The final exhibition will be online but we hope to host it in a virtual art gallery using and allow our visitors to take a virtual tour where they will be able to admire and comment on our entries.

It isn’t quite the same as being in the gym hall but being in the same ‘virtual’ room is a step in the right direction! Creativity and connection are both good for mental health, which is a priority at this time. 



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Online Learning at St John’s Primary School, East Renfrewshire

Online Learning at St John’s Primary School 

St John’s, in Barrhead, have created their very own free-to-use website for teachers, parents and pupils to support learning from home during isolation periods of the Covid-19 outbreak.


The purpose of the site is to support pupils and families by offering a wide variety of: 

  • Daily Challenges
  • Activity Ideas
  • Useful Websites
  • Useful Apps
  • ‘How to…’ videos
  • COVID-19 Support Resources for Children
  • YouTube links to support learning
  • Articles
  • Google Drive Resources
  • Discussion Groups 

There are a wide range of resources available across a number of different curricular areas in line with Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. It is live and dynamic and is updated regularly. 

teacher working at home

Case study on student engagement in virtual classrooms.

In just a few short months the entire education system has changed, not only within Scotland but across the world. In response to the current COVID-19 crisis teachers have had to drastically alter their teaching practices to meet an entirely new set of challenges.

Prior to the outbreak of this pandemic I was completing my NQT year at Williamwood High School in East Renfrewshire. Although I am a Microsoft Certified Educator and have a strong background in digital technology switching to entirely remote learning was uncharted waters. I frantically began searching for any guidance or advice when making this transition. Through my great network of support on Twitter I was recommended a course by FutureLearn called ‘How to teach online: Providing continuity for Students’. This course brings together a global network of educators to share ideas and ask questions on how to best support students during this period of remote learning. I decided to focus on the very first question posed:

What do you think is the biggest challenge in online teaching?

As you can see from the results of this poll nearly half of the 10,000 course participants, including myself, selected ‘Keeping Students interested and engaged’ as their chief concern.

Having already identified a lack of engagement from my S1 Google Classroom I decided to make this my primary focus for my upcoming Professional Inquiry. Using the knowledge I gained from the FutureLearn course as well as guidance from my network of support in Williamwood I chose to alter my approach to online learning in order to boost engagement among my students. I presented my findings in the form of a Microsoft Sway and used a mix of quantitative and qualitative data to support my conclusions. I have attached the link to this report and hope that you find this useful.

Although we are living in unprecedented and uncertain times it has provided us as educators a unique opportunity to re-examine our own practice. By continually assessing and altering our own pedagogy we are giving our students the opportunity to become 21st century learners and gain the skills required to succeed in an increasingly virtual world.

Fionnuala Glover is a teacher of History at Williamswood High School in East Renfrewshire

Twitter @MissGlover19

Gauging Engagement at Our Lady of the Missions Primary, East Renfrewshire

Using Google Classroom Data to Gauge Engagement  

Each class uses Google Classroom as the vehicle to support learning and teaching. The teachers set up a ‘task chart’ of activities as an introduction each Monday. Children and families have the flexibility to complete lessons and assessment across the week to suit their individual circumstances. A ‘learning log’ is then completed by each child to reflect the ‘task chart’ contents. This ‘learning log’ is a Microsoft Form which provides a useful report for teachers and SMT to analyse in terms of planning for the following week and Google Classroom engagement. 

Any children who have not engaged are then flagged up to SMT. This will entail a cross-reference with a school Google Classroom usage report which we receive weekly from our Google Classroom Administrator showing who has logged in and the volume of activity for each child in the school.  

Class teachers are consulted by SMT and a decision is then made to contact those families via Groupcall – a generic ‘We’ve noticed your child has had minimal engagement with their Google Classroom content this week. Please contact the school if there is anything we can do to support…’ type communication. For the most part, this is sufficient for the families to re-engage or let the school know in which ways they require support.  

The next level up of contact would be a phone call from a member of the SMT. This personal touch is sometimes necessary and beneficial to reassure families and agree a more personalised support strategy for their child. The use of the ‘learning log data’ ensures a weekly touching base with all departments, stages and classes to allow us to target support and assistance for our school community. 


Our Lady of the Missions have also created these handy guides for adults to help learners access Classroom: