Glenalmond is very proud of the high standard of pastoral care we provide and moving to a remote learning environment has not changed the strong network of support in place We want everyone to feel connected as a community even when spread across the globe and we feel it is important to continue to celebrate our achievements as well as be able to promote wellbeing for all.
Staying in touch
In this new environment, the first point of contact is still the Housemaster or Housemistress and they will maintain regular communication with parents and pupils alike. Tutors are in touch daily to reassure pupils, to see how things are progressing and deal with any worries and they can be contacted by parents with any questions. The tutor programme will continue, using Google Meet and covering a variety of topics such as different study skills, reviewing outcomes in line with GIRFEC and identifying pupil targets. These formal methods of pastoral communication in place but pupils can still contact the wide network of staff that they could when on-site and they are encouraged to do so using the contact details in the Continuity of Education Guidance document.
Wellbeing & Child Protection
Our top priority remains the wellbeing of our pupils and this does not change in the remote learning environment. Our Child Protection and Wellbeing policy remains applicable but due to the increase in online time, we acknowledge the clear benefits but also the increased level of risk that remote learning can bring. Staff will follow the same guidance for one to one contact as they would in school and parents should ensure that lesson interactions are between teacher and pupils only. Parents should encourage their children in their work, ensure that a suitable work space is identified and that the school timetable is followed. If there are any concerns, then the usual lines of communication should be followed so teachers for subject specific queries, tutors for academic discussions and Housestaff for other areas of concern.
Your mental health - advice for pupils
Not being at school and working in a remote learning environment might make young people feel nervous, anxious, uncertain, or they might be excited but all of these emotions are normal. This current situation has taken away some aspects of certainty and there may be adults or other family members around you who are worried but remember this situation is only temporary.
There is no right way to feel about all of this but it is good to talk about any worries that you may have - your tutors, Housestaff and friends are all still contactable to help. It may feel like you have more time or that life is going more slowly but you need to stay in control - stick to the routine, get up, get organised and follow the timetable! The biggest threat to your wellbeing is your smartphone as it has the capacity to use up all of your time, so you need to be disciplined about when and how you use it. Be selective and sensible about watching or reading the extensive news coverage as you can easily lose sight of the context and facts among everything that is online.
This is a unique opportunity to learn beyond the curriculum, take time to read more and to support others less fortunate than you. Contributing to the wider community, charity work and being considerate are all key parts of the Glenalmond experience and so it is vital to continue with this. We are sending out ways to encourage you to stay in touch, to help others and to continue to be sociable throughout this time.
Mrs Sarah Sinclair, Sub-warden (Pastoral), highlights some of the ways we are focusing on pupil wellbeing in this article.