Educational professionals in Scotland have come together to launch a remote learning platform and it promises to be a game-changer for pupils.

The platform is called Scottish Online Lessons (SOL) and it delivers lessons remotely with step-by-step guidance that comes directly from teachers.

The lessons make learning outside the classroom simple as there is everything a pupil needs in one place. From primary to the S1 and S2 secondary curriculum, the platform provides high-quality lessons which are narrated by Scottish teachers and can be used with or without home internet access. This use of offline learning means the lessons are accessible to all learners, as SOL is keen to narrow Scotland's attainment gap among young people. Lessons are also suitable for pupils that might face different challenges, like dyslexia and dyscalculia.

SOL is available for anyone to use for a small licence fee of £50 per year and this includes access to the full curriculum on two devices.

Uteach, a 20-year-old teacher recruitment agency in Coatbridge, Fernhill School in Glasgow, a team of experienced teachers and technology company Retronix are behind the exciting new platform.

Dr Laura Murphy, director of education and trustee at Fernhill School, explained: “ Uteach approached us about the idea for an online learning platform as we’ve had an association for many years.

“We were delighted to be involved and supported Uteach with recruiting teachers for the platform and gave a steer on the input and layout. We made sure we had teachers from a range of independent and state schools, and the one thing they have in common is that they are all excellent teachers.

“Our staff were also involved in the quality assurance of all the lessons featured and we made sure everything follows the curriculum in Scotland.”

The remote learning platform is great for revision
The remote learning platform is great for revision

This was key for Scottish Online Lessons as it was important the resource was made bespoke for the curriculum in Scotland and specifically aimed at pupils. Dr Murphy admits that during her 14-year career in education she hasn’t seen a platform like Scottish Online Lessons. She said: “I haven’t come across something as comprehensive and coherent as this, as it takes children from lesson to lesson. Normally resources are teacher-led so it’s great that pupils can work on this independently. It’s a brilliant resource and we are really proud of it. It feels great to give something back to education in Scotland at a time where there are lots of challenges for children.”

Indeed, many children have missed learning due to the pandemic and now parents might be looking for a way to catch up over the summer holidays. SOL is perfect for this, but it has not been created purely for the pandemic as it is a tool that can be used in a variety of situations.

“I think the pandemic opened everyone’s eyes to the fact that children miss learning for all sorts of reasons,” said Dr Murphy. “Children can become unwell and miss school or maybe there are personal circumstances at home that means they have missed learning.

“Maybe when the child is ready to learn, the world isn’t ready to teach them, but SOL means young people can learn at their own pace.”

SOL is not only suitable for those who want to catch up on learning, but also for pupils at the top of the class who want to revise or extend their learning.

“It’s important to stress that SOL is not replacing teachers," added Dr Murphy. "Nothing will replace a teacher as nothing is better than being in school for children, but its aim is to enhance learning."

Available online now

A virtual summer school is also available during the six weeks of summer
A virtual summer school is also available during the six weeks of summer

Ahead of its official launch, pupils at Fernhill School trialled SOL and the feedback has been positive with many saying they found the lessons fun and enjoyed using them.

SOL is now looking forward to welcoming pupils across Scotland, as everyone can now access the lessons.

The lessons cover literacy and numeracy lessons for primary and secondary covers English, maths, chemistry, physics, biology, history, geography, business management and modern studies lessons for National 5, Higher and the S1 and S2 secondary curriculum. Primary and National 5 are ready now, with S1/S2 and Higher course lessons available in August.

There is also going to be a virtual summer school during the six weeks of summer, where anyone with a licence can ask questions about the lessons and teachers will respond by collating the questions and putting the answers on YouTube for ease of access.

To find out more about Scottish Online Lessons, visit the website.