The number of school pupils in Aberdeen who said they enjoyed learning at home fell by nearly a quarter in the second lockdown.
Aberdeen City Council’s education service issued a “learning at a distance” survey during the first period of lockdown in spring last year for children, parents and staff to complete.
When Scotland was placed back in lockdown immediately after Christmas, the local authority re-distributed the survey.
It found the number of children who said they were enjoying learning at home had fallen, with only around 38% saying they enjoyed it – a fall of 23% compared to last spring.
Similar reductions were reported among parents, carers and teachers.
The survey also revealed a drop of nearly 15% in the number of youngsters who said they felt confident learning remotely, while nearly 18% fewer pupils felt they had the opportunity to make choices.
The total of children and young people taking part in the survey was 3,154 compared to 5,615 in the last one.
While an increased number of parents and carers took part 6,938 compared to 3,932 last year.
Parts of the survey also focused on areas such as online safety.
In a newsletter to parents and carers explaining the survey, Aberdeen City Council said: “The service decided to re-issue the Learning at a Distance survey in February to get a sense of how the digital experience had changed and been received in order to determine next steps for children who continue to engage with a digital curriculum.
“For the most part questions remained unchanged allowing a level of comparison.
“There has been a marginal increase in the number of children who report they feel safe on-line but also a similar increase in those disagreeing with the statement.
“The reduction in the number stating that they don’t know is possibly an indication of there being greater awareness of online risks.
“This should continue to be an area of focus although the responses generally confirm that the proactive approach to highlighting how to be safe on-line has been appropriate and effective.
“There is a need to focus strongly on wellbeing as children return to in-person learning and to continue to develop an awareness of on-line safety through the use of the Safer School App and through a more collaborative approach with Community Planning Partners.
“This local data and national research suggest a need to focus strongly on physical and mental health and to consider how to switch the narrative around the life chances of young people currently in the senior phase.”
The results of the survey were published as the next cohort of pupils returned to the classroom full-time following lockdown.
Pupils in P4-7 are now back at school full-time as part of the next phase, following children in P1-3 who returned last month.
Secondary school pupils have also returned to the classroom but only on a part-time basis – with some spending as little as two hours a week in school until after the Easter holidays.
Aberdeen City Council’s deputy education operational delivery convener M. Tauqeer Malik said: “The staggered/phased return has gone as planned and children are delighted to be back and staff are pleased to see children back in our school buildings.”
Laurence Findlay, Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education, added: “The return to school has been a huge team effort. We keep in regular contact with all of our headteachers and it has been a real success.
“Many of our schools have reported that there has been a real positive buzz in schools and that children and young people seem glad to be back.”