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Kilgraston shortlisted in Independent School Parent magazine 2021 awards

Kilgraston shortlisted for nimble Covid response

Q. What do you do when the Prime Minister tells you that your school is about to be forced to close, for an indefinite period?
A. Enable staff and pupils to follow a full timetable from 08:30 on the first morning. And carry on!

Prestigious magazine, Independent School Parent, runs annual awards to recognise excellence across the sector, covering all aspects of education delivery.

Kilgraston is thrilled that its nimble delivery of online learning, including full timetables and extensive PE delivery required with the sudden on-set of lockdown learning, has been noticed and praised in the Covd-response category.

“Obviously, it is wonderful to be recognised at a national level,” said Head teacher Mrs MacGinty, “however, the delivery of online learning, continuing the values we hold dear here at Kilgraston, making sure that, in a very difficult situation, the very best alternative to in-class learning was received, was our greatest priority.”

During preceeding weeks, the School’s Senior Leadership Team planned for the possible lockdown outcome with pupils’ security and protection at the provision’s forefront. Lead by Mrs MacGinty, the school didn’t miss a beat, ensuring calm and continuous schooling for all pupils.

“I was surprised how smoothly we all managed it. I have two daughters and they were both one day working at school and the next Monday working from home and had a timetable,” commented Kilgraston parent, Amanda. She continued:  “Lower Four was straight onto full TEAMS learning . The Junior School got going on the TEAMS from first day of term after the Easter holidays and it has been amazing how school has continued.  I have especially appreciated the contact with the teachers – as a parent not only has the pupil been able to access teachers for help/discussion outwith the class, but so have I via emails and even on screen at times.  That has really mattered to clarify anything on the spot and I think that everyone has been incredibly patient with each other over a challenging situation.”

Senior and Sixth Form pupils – facing crucial life-defining exams – were able to attend classes virtually with a timetable of around 80% of normal classes taking place in the first lockdown, progressing to 100% of classes during subsequent lockdowns.

Kilgraston’s Pastoral team and academic staff worked to support  pupils over all periods of at-home learning, continuaously holding virtual activities for each year group.

The pandemic focused attention on the impact on children’s mental health, with regualr exercise recognised as a crucial element to help alleviate stress. To this end, our PE department hosted daily virtual work-outs . There were also weekly virtual challenges, including taking tours of Scotland by covering the equivalent distance in pupils’ local areas and mountain climbing which saw pupils track their exercise to virtually climb mountains around the world.

Independent Schools of the Year are judged by an independent panel of experts, who will be meeting in the autumn to reach a decision on the winners and select highly commended schools from each category; the results of which will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Fingers crossed!

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