The eight pupils who attend Ulva Primary School are enjoying new PE sessions, exploring the world of outdoor learning and creating a beach school.
The head teacher, principal teacher, staff and pupils have been working together to put these new opportunities in place thanks to a successful application for £2,000 from the Scottish Government’s Access to Education Fund.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Aileen Morton, said, “The council’s education service takes every opportunity possible to help the development of our children and young people, and through improving experiences at school we are working to improving their life chances.
“Learning is enhanced through practical means such as additional and new school materials, sharing resources and activities, and enabling children to meet and work with their peers. Physical activity can develop fine motor skills, skills for life, learning and work.
“Ulva Primary School is a very small, rural, isolated school on the Island of Mull and with grant funding the teaching and learning of PE and outdoor activities for these pupils is being enriched.”
Pupils travel by bus to Salen Primary School, a distance of 10 miles, where they have weekly PE sessions, working on large apparatus, working with other pupils from the island and enjoying the freedom of space afforded by the large gym hall.
Outdoor learning is being developed at a beach a short walk away from the school with support from the staff of Tobermory Marine Harbour.
The grant helps towards the cost of transport for weekly PE at Salen PS and resources to accommodate the extra pupils there. Waterproof clothing has been purchased for outdoor education. The grant has also helped with staff training to deliver beach school activities.
A fund to improve the attainment of children growing up in poverty was announced by the Scottish Government in 2014. Access to Education Fund provides £1.5 million to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 700 bids were submitted.
Schools can apply to the Access to Education Fund provides support to pupils and their families for school materials, trips, uniforms, IT, coaching and mentoring and parental engagement programmes.