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Dunoon Grammar wows worldwide

From Brazil to the Ukraine; Japan to India, educators from all corners of the globe tuned into Dunoon Grammar’s live World Education Week showcase, where young people from the school delivered an innovative, informative and inspiring showcase exploring the school’s pioneering approaches to community learning during the Covid pandemic.

Thousands of educationalist tuned into the live online event to enjoy an eclectic mix of traditional Scottish and Gaelic entertainment, an energetic and engaging drama performance and an interview with Greg Wise, current star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. There was even a brief appearance from a teenage version of the school’s head teacher David Mitchell, thanks to a time travelling school bus.

The hour long showcase opened with a pipe and drum performance by pupils and was followed by the centre-piece of the session, a ‘Back to the Future’ themed drama performance pupils creatively displayed how drawing on their past helped them deal with current challenges, leading to better outcomes for everyone in the future. The school community’s response to the Covid pandemic and plans for recovery were illustrated throughout.

The global audience was then treated to a world-class fiddle performance which led on to Mr Mitchell reinforcing the key messages of the event – the many benefits to be derived by active, experiential learning within community settings.

Actor Greg Wise, then discussed the Dunoon Project with the school’s head girl before Mr Mitchell and participating pupils then expertly fielded a range of questions posed by international viewers.

The showcase was brought to an emotional and rousing close, when the school’s Gaelic learners explained the importance of the language to their national identity and delivered an emotive recital of a Gaelic poem.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “Once again the pupils and staff of Dunoon Grammar have done the school, Argyll and Bute, and indeed the country, proud. They conducted their showcase with confidence and ease, and had the audience hooked with their captivating content and professionalism right from the start.

“Dunoon Grammar is quickly becoming renowned in educational circles across the world and to say I am proud of what they are continuing to achieve is an understatement.”

Head Teacher, David Mitchell, said: “We set a high bar for ourselves last year when we become the first Scottish school to deliver at World Education Week. The response from the organisers and global audience was resoundingly positive.

I am delighted to say we have again impressed at the highest international level. The skills, talents, confidence and positivity of our young people has shone far and wide today. I am so proud of all in our school community who not only participated in the live session but contributed to the many innovative learning experiences that has become the bedrock of our pedagogy”.

Paul Gallanagh, Acting Depute Head, added: “I would again like to thank all at T4 Education, the organisers of World Education Week, for giving us this international platform to share our learning approaches. In particular, I would like to thank Vikas, Kirsten, Omer and Daniel for all their support on the lead up to our live session. I would also like to thank the staff in our Performing Arts and Gaelic departments for helping our young people prepare, Charlotte and Frank for the magnificent costumes and props, and Kevin for the technical support. Our World Education Week showcase has truly been a whole-school team effort”.

The event, described as the world’s largest education conference, was founded by Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education, an educational leader and entrepreneur, as a way of supporting teachers and schools by providing them with opportunities to learn from and share experiences with one another.

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