Unexpected online benefits for Glenalmond College

SWITCHING to distance learning has brought a range of unexpected benefits at Glenalmond College, according to the head of the Perthshire school.

The independent institution, which has around 360 pupils aged between 12 and 18 on its roll, reported “a very positive response” from parents, including an “exceptionally strong” attendance at its first online parents’ meeting, when parents met teachers over the internet to discuss their children’s progress.

The school also enjoyed a “very positive response” to its first virtual open days, which took place on 9 and 16 May and involved around 100 families from the local area and as far afield as Japan, Mexico, Russia, and the United States take a virtual visit to the school.

Michael Alderson, head of Glenalmond College, said: “Our staff have put in a huge amount of work to ensure a smooth transition from classroom to remote learning and the results of their hard work are shining through.

“With support from pupils and their families, we were able to stress-test the systems we had put in place in advance to ensure a very smooth transition.”

Alderson said pupils have taken to the new method of teaching “exceptionally well” and that parents are taking a “particularly keen interest in the lessons and giving staff very positive feedback”.

He added: “As the head, you have the privilege of being able to observe lots of different lessons, and it is impressive to see how easily pupils and the teachers have adapted to all lessons being taught online.

“Clearly, these are challenging times and we are very keen to welcome our pupils back to school but the experience of moving to online learning has generated a wave of support between teachers, pupils and parents, of a scale which could not have been imagined.”

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