WATCH: The schools giving Covid-19 'the boot'

Schools join 'overwhelming' campaign promoting a love of the outdoors, while reminding us to stay at home in coronavirus crisis

Henry Hepburn

Coronavirus: Schools are joining a campaign celebrating a love of the outdoors - while reminding us to stay at home

Two educators in Scotland are helping outdoor enthusiasts to share their passion for walking and climbing, while reminding people why it is essential to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ollie Bray, a former secondary head and now global programmes director at the LEGO Foundation, and Lorna Kerr, marketing and events lead for digital learning and teaching at Education Scotland, have been "overwhelmed" by the response  including from schools  since they launched "Give COVID the Boot" at the end of last week.

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Ms Kerr said: "The idea is a simple one, but a powerful one. Basically, we are asking people to get into virtual adventure teams – for example, their hillwalking group, an old university climbing club, a mountain rescue team, it doesn’t matter. Then we ask everyone to record a short clip of one adventurer throwing a hiking boot, ski boot, shoe, trainer, whatever, to the next. Someone then edits the footage together into one sequence and then adds the hashtag #GiveCOVIDtheBoot."


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She said she and Mr Bray had been "overwhelmed" by the response in the past few days, including contributions from Scottish Mountain Rescue, Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, and Dorset Search and Rescue. Schools such as Nairn Academy, Culloden Academy and Kingussie High have also taken part.

In an update today, the fifth day of the project, it emerged that there have been more than 100,000 views of Give COVID the Boot videos.

There has also been a supportive message from Scotland's education secretary and deputy first minister, John Swinney, who tweeted: "This is an absolutely fantastic, warm, funny and encouraging initiative containing good advice. Well done to all."

Mr Bray, who was a headteacher at Kingussie High in the Highlands before joining the LEGO Foundation, said: "Social distancing is more about geographical distancing. In the time of Covid-19, being social is more important than ever before – after all, being social is what makes us human. Lorna and I hope that the #GiveCOVIDtheBoot campaign will bring people together, trigger some adventure memories that will lead to a few smiles and remind us that we can still be together, while staying at home."

He wrote: The Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team video was incredibly creative. It had great messages about staying at home and we also loved seeing all the rescue team families involved! It also has a drone, a toy helicopter, a dog with the face mask, the surprise dip in a paddling pool and final woof from one of the search and rescue dogs!"

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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