Conference: Learning and Teaching through COVID-recovery 22nd-25th June

22 Jun 2020



22nd-25th JUNE

Learning and Teaching through COVID-recovery is an online conference featuring a daily live session exploring the challenges and opportunities for teachers and learners in Scotland as we plan for a return to school in August.

You can sign up to individual events via Eventbrite and attend as many events as you like. Links for all events will be emailed to those registered 1 hour in advance of sessions beginning.




International Policy Perspectives on Reopening Schools

This session is for senior educational leaders though presentation recordings will be available online afterwards.  


Teaching in a Physically Distant Classroom, 1-2pm

Speakers: Blair Minchin (Edinburgh based primary teacher of key-worker children) and Pippa Joyce (Mayfield Primary school teacher), Dr Holly Linklater, University of Edinburgh

Join Holly Linklater (Moray House School of Education and Sport) and teachers Blair Minchin (Victoria Primary School, Edinburgh) and Pippa Joyce (Mayfield Primary School, Cambridge) to discuss their experiences of physically distant teaching since the start of lockdown, and how this is changing as some children return to school. We’ll talk about the logisitcal challenges that schools have been faced with and the different ways they responded, what happened to the school curriculum, and how pedagogy has had to change, and is still evolving. There will be Q&A and discussion from the audience and panel members.

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Learning Outside the Classroom: A world of opportunities not to be missed, 3-4pm

Speakers: Prof. Robbie Nicol, Dr Beth Christie, and Prof. Peter Higgins, University of Edinburgh

The challenge of continuing to teach through the Covid-19 recovery period brings two immediate concerns. First, there are logistical considerations involving distancing, blended indoor and outdoor learning and the flexibility of pupils attending on a part-time basis. Second, there is the challenge of working to a ‘Recovery Curriculum’ focused predominantly on numeracy, literacy and health and well-being. Scottish Government advice suggests that viral transmission is less likely outdoors and social distancing is easier to implement and maintain in outdoor spaces. Additionally, the Deputy First Minster has issued guidance that health and well-being is to be a priority and that learning outdoors can help with that. Given this context, it is clear that outdoor learning offers ways to address some of these concerns whilst adhering to current governmental advice. To support these developments this presentation aims to offer practical knowledge, examples and ideas to support a smooth and healthy transition back into school-based (as opposed to home-based) education. We will explore some practical steps to show how places and spaces around the school grounds can be used to address some of the Covid challenges whilst paying attention to student and staff well-being and the need to provide high quality teaching and learning. We will also suggest ways to overcome some of the barriers that teachers often experience when teaching outdoors.

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Blended learning in primary school, 1-2pm

Speakers: Derek Robertson (University of Dundee), Professor Judy Robertson, Dr Holly Linklater, Dr Serdar Abaci (Moray House School of Education and Sport)

Join Judy Robertson, Holly Linklater and Serdar Abaci (Moray House School of Education and Sport) and Derek Robertson (University of Dundee) to discuss what learning and teaching will be like in primary school classrooms from August. We’ll think through the possibilities for what blended learning could be, with some practical ideas of how to make digital and blended learning fun and meaningful for the learners. There will be Q&A and discussion from the audience and panel members.

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Blended learning in secondary school, 3-4pm

Speakers: Jo BlishenCurriculum Leader of Mathematics & Numeracy (Boroughmuir High School), Mark Davidson, Deputy Head Teacher (Newbattle Digital Centre of Excellence), Brian Clark, Education Officer (Education Scotland), Angus McLennan, Depute Rector (The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway) 

What do we mean by blended learning? And what does this mean pedagogically and practically for secondary teachers in Scotland this coming year.

This session, organised by the Data Education in Schools programme, in Moray House School of Education and Sport will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the pivot to blended learning for Secondary teaching. This session will be an opportunity to discuss these big questions with colleagues across Scotland and to share advice and examples of good practice.

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Blair Minchin

Blair Minchin is a Scottish Primary Teacher and graduate of Moray House. Active on many social media platforms, Blair enjoys sharing his teaching practice with short video clips. He has a particular interest in pupil voice, having written a short text on the matter and is looking to develop his understanding of this area further as he begins Education Scotland's Teacher Leadership Programme later this year.

Pippa Joyce

Pippa is head of foundation stage and year one at Mayfield Primary School, Cambridge.

Dr Holly Linklater

Holly has taught in schools across the UK since obtaining her teaching qualification in 2000.  Holly’s teaching has been predominantly with young children and (latterly) "juniors". Through lecturing at universities Holly has taught teachers for primary and secondary sectors, developing expertise in professional studies, reflective practice, and researching practice.

Prof. Robbie Nicol

Professor Robbie Nicol is a Professor of Place-Based Education at Moray House School of Education and Sport, the University of Edinburgh. Robbie's teaching and research interests are directed towards the theoretical development and practical implementation of environmental education, sustainability education and epistemological diversity (different ways of knowing) particularly in the outdoors.

Dr Beth Christie

Beth Christie is a Lecturer in Education in the Outdoor and Environmental Education Section of the Moray House School of Education and Sport. She is Programme Director for the MSc Learning for Sustainability.  Beth has gained professional experience working with organisations such as Learning for Sustainability Scotland, Education Scotland, British Council, Field Studies Council, National Trust for Scotland, Forestry Commission, Groundworks, Natural England and the Scottish Countryside Ranger Service. 

Prof. Peter Higgins

Professor Peter Higgins holds a Personal Chair in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. The unit has an international reputation and is one of few in the world with both a practical and teaching orientation as well as substantial research interests in the field of 'learning outdoors'. The focus of their work is to prepare critically aware professionals to teach within and improve practice in outdoor, environmental and sustainabilty education, and also to make a significant contribution to research and knowledge in these fields.

Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson’s career in education has seen him work as a primary school teacher, an ICT staff tutor in a council education department, a lecturer at the University of Dundee, as the National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning with Scottish Government’s educational agencies and now back at the University of Dundee as a member of the lecturing/research team at the School of Education and Social Work

Professor Judy Robertson

Professor Judy Robertson is Chair in Digital Learning at The University of Edinburgh. She has been developing educational technology with children and teachers since 1997 and is interested in computer science education, serious games for children and gender equality. Her work focuses on how technology can help to solve thorny real world problems. 

Dr Serdar Abaci

Serdar is based in the Institute of Education, Teaching and Leadership. He is currently involved in the Data Education in Schools project, developing a course on Digital Literacy.  His research interests include data and digital literacies, formative assessment and feedback, online learning, and evaluation of teaching and learning technologies.

Jo Blishen

Jo is the head of Mathematics in a large secondary school in Edinburgh.  Her career in education started out at Moray House with a PGCE in Mathematics and Computing.  Previous careers included management roles in the software industry and computer system development at the University of Edinburgh.  She has recently been discovering how to blend her skills in digital technology and her teaching expertise to deliver effective online learning experiences. 

Mark Davidson

Mark has worked at Newbattle High School for 18 years.  During this time he has worked as a Maths Teacher then Principal Teacher of Maths and Numeracy and now a Depute. In Mark's current role he is the coordinator and lead of the Newbattle Digital Centre of Excellence which is Midlothian’s first Centre of Excellence school.

Angus McLennan 

Angus is currently the Depute Rector at The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway and previously worked at Sgoil a'Bhac and Museum nan Eilean.  He attended the University of Glasgow, Jordanhill College of Education and the University of Edinburgh.  

Brian Clark

Brian is an Education Officer at Education Scotland with a focus on digital. Brian is an experienced educator in secondary schools and has held a number of posts including Teacher of Computing, Principal Teacher, Curriculum Leader and Depute Head Teacher. He has regularly contributed to local and national conferences and events in relation to digital education and Computing Science.



Please be aware that our conference recordings (voice and text chat) may be used for the purposes of research to understand how COVID continues to influence education planning.  By participating in the chat (voice and text) you are giving your consent for your comments to be included as part of our research.  All contributions will be anonymised and the ethical process of the Moray House School of Education and Sport followed:  If you have any questions or would like your contribution to be removed, please contact Dr Claire Sowton – detailing the event(s) you attended and your Zoom username used in the chat window.  Centre for Research in Digital Education Privacy Policy: 

Moray House Schools Online is being supported by the Data Education in Schools project, a UK and Scottish Government funded project running from 2019-2027.  The project will be developing an interdisciplinary data education curriculum for Scotland and a set of engaging real world data science teaching materials for primary and secondary school teachers.