North-east teaching staff have raised more than £2,000 for an Aberdeenshire secondary school by participating in the virtual Kiltwalk.
The senior leadership team at Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk took part in a 24-hour relay to raise funds for the school after the annual sponsored walk was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The challenge saw each member of the team cycle or jog for the duration of their hour-long timeslot on static bikes and treadmills.
The idea was the brainchild of depute headteacher Robin Christie.
He said: “Every year in September we have our sponsored walk which most of the pupils take part in and all the staff are involved in.
“That’s our main fundraising event for the school fund but this year we’ve had to postpone it due to Covid-19.
“We were left with a bit of a funding gap without it because it usually raises around £5,000 to £6,000 which we use for a number of different things.
“With that being cancelled we thought the virtual Kiltwalk was something we could do as a group on campus.”
So far, the senior leadership team have raised £2,492 for the school fund.
Robin added: “Because we are a small rural school, large parts of the fund goes towards subsiding transport costs for curricular and extracurricular activities.
“We also use the money for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) and part of the school fund goes towards running that event.
“When we started up our beekeeping project, we used the school fund for a kickstart to that which gave us some of the equipment and resources needed to get that off the ground.
“It’s proved so successful that we now have it as part of our curriculum, and without that money, we wouldn’t have been able to do it.
He added: “As a small school sometimes our curriculum can’t offer what larger schools can, particularly when it comes to advanced highers.
“Part of the school fund goes towards transport costs for that too.”
Sixth-year pupils at the school also got in on the act, by coming to school in fancy dress on Friday.
Robin said the senior pupils were ‘hardest hit’ by the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “It’s been great being back but I think because there are so many hygiene protocols in place there isn’t the usual buzz you would usually get.
“Our sixth-year pupils are probably the ones who have been hit the hardest with all these new changes that we have in school at the moment, so they aren’t really getting their full sixth-year experience.
“But they all came in on Friday in fancy dress like they would on the sponsored walk which was something they were able to look forward too.”
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