Five weeks after it started delivering lessons online, Glenalmond College is reporting the switch to distance teaching is delivering a range of unexpected benefits.
Staff, pupils and parents at Glenalmond College have risen to the challenge of online learning and are finding the temporary move away from classroom-based lessons is inspiring innovation and insight which could generate long-term benefits.
There has been a very positive response from parents, including an exceptionally strong attendance at the school’s first online parents’ meeting, when parents met teachers online to discuss their children's progress.
The school has also had a very positive response to its first ever Virtual Open Days, which took place on May 9th and May 16th and saw around 100 families from the local area and as far afield as Mexico, Russia, USA and Japan enjoy a virtual visit to the school.
Dr Michael Alderson, Head of Glenalmond College, said staff and pupils at the school, which has around 360 pupils aged 12 to 18, have been very encouraged by their experiences during the first five weeks of remote learning.
“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."
Dr Alderson said pupils have taken to the new method of teaching exceptionally well and parents are taking a particularly keen interest in the lessons and giving staff very positive feedback.
“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,” said Dr Alderson.
“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,” Dr Alderson added.