Visionary Leadership Driving Massive Success in Aberdeen Schools

We all know that our young people are the lifeblood of the city and seeing so many of our schools being recognised for their visionary leadership and dedication to advancement gives me great hope for the future of our city.

I visited Riverbank Primary School in Tillydrone last week to celebrate Unicef’s decision to award them a Rights of the Child award for the third time – the first in Britain to receive such an accolade.


It was recognition of the fact that they have raised thousands of pounds for the under- privileged, not only in their own community, but also for orphans in Uganda and youngsters fleeing the conflict in Syria.

The fact that we are producing such selfless, well-rounded children is awe-inspiring and head teacher Susan Ironside and her staff should be applauded for their unique achievement. She is just one of dozens of visionary head teachers transforming city schools.

Another is Jenny Watson of Middleton Park School, in the Bridge of Don.

The school was recently recognised as one of the best schools in the country by Education Scotland after its inspectors were bowled over by their creative learning programme which has seen pupils produce more than 200 movies and animations which have been shared and watched all over the world.

Following a visit to the school last week, Chief Executive of Education Scotland Bill Maxwell hailed the pupils for their digital expertise and Education Scotland has now showcased their work as ambassadors for Scotland’s Digital Learning Week in the coming days.

One production, Macbeth in Mandarin, shDSC_2749FBowcased the school’s prowess in both creative production and modern languages, but they have also excelled in Maths and History.

I saw first-hand the youngsters working on their movies, shot on green screen and using drones. The passion and confidence they displayed for their work was phenomenal and with Jenny and her team at the helm, I am confident the school will continue to go from strength to strength.

Recruiting head teachers with a vision, supporting families and tailoring education to the precise needs of children, as well as creating a curriculum which drives academic excellence, is all part of our wider strategy.

The wonderful children I met at Riverbank and Middleton Park provided me with a snapshot of the next generation. They represent the future of our city – and from what I’ve seen in recent weeks, we should all be happy to pass the torch to them when the time comes.