“When we embarked upon this work with our pioneer schools in autumn 2019, we knew there would be change ahead. What we could not have envisioned was the type of change we would, as a global society, be part of.
“And while that has presented challenge, it has also presented opportunity. Reflecting on 2021, I am proud of how this network has grown – both in terms of numbers and impact. Teachers’ ambition for their students has been central to this success and finding space among the noise to keep one eye on the future has been vital.
“We welcomed seven new schools from Aberdeen City and Shire to the investment this year. We had only intended on increasing the network by five schools but the quality of school partners with ambition for change meant we felt we had to increase that number.
“We’ve recently undertaken 90 focus groups across our new schools to gain an understanding of school culture, structure, partnerships and collaboration, as well as the potential and wider appetite for change. These were highly informative, filled with education practitioners dedicated to ensuring their practice, partnerships, and delivery opportunities were supportive of their students’ futures.
“Other highlights from the year have been the launch of our oracy initiative, with more than 20 leaders of learning from our partner schools, and the training of hundreds of City and Shire teachers in the foundational principles of project-based learning.