Moray House School of Education and Sport

High Quality Learning and Teaching Meets Covid! - Webinar

We are delighted to offer a final webinar for 2020. This webinar will focus on high quality learning and teaching and is taking place on Monday 7 December, 3.30 – 5.30pm.

High Quality Learning and Teaching Meets Covid!

2020, as we all know only too well, has been a year like no other!  As we also all know from personal experience, both education and society in general have been rocked to their foundations by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

And yet, despite shock waves hurtling across the globe, governments in many countries have taken the view that it is crucial to society for early years centres and schools to remain open. There is much to commend in this approach, particularly our collective commitment to our young people and their future in the most difficult of times.

However, conditions in schools/centres are far from ideal.  Due to necessary restrictions, many of us are operating in ways that are quite different from what we would have recognised previously.  The list of issues faced is long: physical distancing; face masks; ventilation issues; handling jotters and equipment; disinfecting resources; guidance on practical experiential learning, remote learning – and many, many other practical issues.  None of this makes ensuring high quality learning and teaching any easier.

Despite these and many other pressures, teachers and early years educators, children and young people press on, supported ably by a range of other staff and parents/carers.  All available evidence suggests that teachers/educators are doing a sterling job in a very challenging landscape: their professionalism shines through.

So, in these extraordinary times, what are we offering?

Our offer is very straightforward and unashamedly positive in nature.

In a nutshell, we will explore and explain how it is possible to remain focused on the central part of our jobs: to facilitate and promote high quality learning experiences for children.  

The session will be practical in nature and offer clear examples of how to make the most of what are difficult circumstances to deliver learning and teaching that makes a difference to children’s lives.

It will start with a focus on the current situation and what this means for learning and teaching and for the hard-pressed practitioner.

We will then look at three different settings in three different local authority areas, hearing from professionals who are seeking to do what we all want: to do their very best for the children in front of them.

By the end of the session, whether you are based in an early years centre, nursery class or a primary school, our aim is that you will feel positive, more confident and better equipped to provide high quality learning experiences for the children you teach, irrespective of the challenges we all face currently.

Who is this session designed for, principally?

The focus is on early years and Primary education and the session is thus aimed at everyone who works in these settings.

The webinar should be both interesting and helpful for:

  • Early years practitioners
  • Primary teachers
  • Leaders in early years and Primary

We feel that the nature of the session lends itself to groups of staff, or indeed whole-staff groups, attending the session and then using the learning for future career-long professional learning sessions, for example, at the start of next term.  

If you book a place on the webinar, a recording will also be made available after the session if schools wish to watch and  reflect on the session again to use it with different groups of staff at a later date. 

So, who might sign up?

Our approach encourages flexibility of use:

  1. Individual practitioners/teachers
  2. Newly qualified teachers
  3. Stage partners
  4. Groups of colleagues
  5. Cluster groups
  6. In a small setting, perhaps all staff 

Information about the presenters

Peter McNaughton

Peter McNaughton is currently a part-time Senior Teaching Fellow at Moray House School of Education and Sport. Until last year, he was Head of Education and Children’s Services in Fife Council where he had responsibility for quality improvement, leadership and curriculum development in the BGE. Peter co-chaired the University of Edinburgh Teacher Education Partnership for a number of years and he led the Quality Improvement workstream in the South East Improvement Collaborative. Previously, Peter has held roles as a primary school teacher, as a Head Teacher, as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors within both HMIE and then Education Scotland, and as Head of Education in Midlothian Council.

Juliet Hancock

Juliet Hancock is the Director of Professional Learning at Moray House School of Education and Sport. She has a strong international background in early years and primary education, with teaching experience in Scotland, England and Zimbabwe. Juliet previously had roles in local government as well as national roles promoting and developing early years education in Scotland, with the Scottish Preschool Play Association and with Learning and Teaching Scotland. At Learning and Teaching Scotland, Juliet was responsible for taking forward Scotland’s first national guidance on birth to 3, as well as leading developments on pedagogy in early childhood education, curriculum and listening to children.

Joanna Findlay

Joanna is currently Head Teacher of Woodburn Primary School, Midlothian. Her teaching career has been rooted in the Lothians area. However, she has also had experience of teaching south of the border. A Head Teacher for the past 11 years, as an educator and leader Joanna is committed and passionate about making a difference for children, families and communities. She has a particular interest in learning and teaching pedagogy and supporting communities in areas of high deprivation. Joanna enjoys participating in research-based practice, working collaboratively with colleagues to drive school improvement.

Fiona Smyth

Fiona is currently Head Teacher of Abbey Primary School in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire. She was the Head Teacher of St Columba’s Primary School, West Lothian for four years and held leadership roles across two local authorities. She is particularly interested in the STEM agenda and international education. She has made professional learning visits to Sweden, Holland and Australia and these have had a significant impact on her professional practice. Fiona is keen to make a difference to the children and families she works with and to ensure that children are at the heart of any decision made in school.

Lorna Willows

Lorna Willows is currently Head of Establishment of Menstrie and ABC ELC's in Clackmannanshire Council. Previously Head of Croftamie and Arnprior Nurseries in Stirling Council. Lorna has worked in Early Years for 27 years and has experience working with Education Scotland (HMIe) as an Associate Assessor.  Lorna has a BA degree in Early Childhood Studies and is currently undertaking studies in the M.Ed. programme, Leading Learning and Teaching, through distance learning at Dundee University. Lorna is deeply passionate about embedding the image of the child and children's rights within her pedagogy and practice. 

Booking Information

The session will start at 3.30pm and finish at 5.30pm
The cost is £25 per booking

We would like as many people as possible to benefit from this webinar and would be happy to take one booking per school. Where possible the session could be displayed on a single screen and shared with several or all staff. Of course we would accept several bookings per schools too if it is more convenient.

Important information about the online platform:

Please note that the webinars will take place using the online platform Blackboard Collaborate. You can find information regarding the platform by visiting the information pages. We strongly recommend using Google Chrome, but you can also use Firefox or Safari. If you use other browsers (eg Internet Explorer), you will experience technical issues. Please ensure that you have good internet connection before taking part in the webinar as unfortunately, we cannot take responsibility for connectivity issues.

Please note we can only accept card payment.

If you don't already have an account on ePay, you will need to register (this can be done by a support/admin staff) and then fill in the details of the person attending the webinar. Please ensure you enter the correct email address of the person attending as we will use it to contact them about this event and send them the joining instructions.

Book a place on ePay

Booking terms

The Professional Learning Office does not offer refund. If you are unable to attend the webinar after booking a place, please contact to discuss transferring your booking to another person of your choice. 

We will use your personal data to allow us to process your registration, communicate with you and obtain your feedback about this course. We are processing the information about you for these purposes because by registering for the course you give your consent for us to do so. In order to facilitate online bookings for our events, we use Epay - a third party service which is not operated by the University of Edinburgh. Details of Epay’s privacy policy can be found at: We will not share information about you with any other third party. We will hold the personal data you provided us for 12 months after course completion. If you have agreed to be contacted about future events, we will hold your personal data for as long as you subscribe to these updates. Financial data such as a payment record will be held for 7 years. We do not use profiling or automated decision-making processes. If you have any questions, please contact This Privacy Statement is continued at: