OUR latest Councillor Column comes from Cllr Lorna Douglas (SNP, Helensburgh Central).

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I AM sure many pupils, parents, grandparents, carers and teachers are delighted that the mid-term break has at last arrived.

The pressure on everyone with regards to home learning this time round has been much greater, in part due to systems in place to better facilitate remote learning – but perhaps also due to higher expectations of what is produced from home and school.

In reality, however remote learning is multi-faceted and dependent on so many variables within the home or school context. It’s no easy feat to home school your children while you are also juggling your own work, home and family commitments and pressures too.

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Someone mentioned to me recently that before lockdown if someone had asked them “what do our young people do at school?” they would have said “they just learn about maths and English etc”.

But now they realise that our young people’s education is so much more. In particular, all the social interaction that goes on, in and out of the classroom.

There has been a push for a greater variety of interaction this term. Google Meets, or its equivalents, have provided at least some social interaction for pupils in being able to see their classmates and teachers.

This is such a crucial part of any learning environment; as well as providing a welcome break from working in isolation it also provides a break for the “home teacher” to get on with something else.

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Many parents, grandparents and carers have been great at encouraging outdoor learning (when the weather allows!), which is important on many levels – not least a young person’s health and wellbeing.

Motivating teenagers to go out of doors can be a real challenge but it has been great to see so many of our young people walking up the likes of Beinn Buidhe, and hopefully this will carry on long after the restrictions end.

The expectation that our home environment can also be a school environment and or a work environment is a high expectation. So, too, if we think we can easily be a parent/carer, teacher, work colleague etc all at the same time.

Having high expectations is a great thing, but having realistically sustainable expectations of yourself and others is a far greater thing.

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