An independent school in Scotland has been preparing for a potential shut down due to coronavirus by giving up evenings and weekends, and taking on additional training, to ensure pupils can continue learning at home.
Principal Johanna Urquhart said: “Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our pupils alongside their continued education in this crucial time just before their SQA examinations.
“We have been preparing for the eventuality that schools may need to close for several weeks now and have a whole school strategy in place to ensure that pupils from nursery to senior school have the ability to continue learning at home.”
We have been preparing for the eventuality that schools may need to close for several weeks now and have a whole school strategy in place
The school has received guidance from international schools that have already closed.
“I am extremely grateful to the international schools who have shared their experiences and advice of working remotely – this has helped enormously to inform our plans,” said Urquhart.
For non-exam classes, there will be a balance of offline and online digital programmes that do not require parental support, with a focus on maths and language for the youngest pupils.
Preparations for school shut down
- A meeting was held with all pupils scheduled to take exams to inform them of the steps taken to ensure continuity of learning
- Junior school staff have been preparing packs for pupils to take home, utilising digital-based learning apps such as Readtheory and Mathletics
- Staff are receiving advanced digital training and conference call lessons
- The school is preparing safeguarding guidance and remote learning protocols to be distributed to parents, pupils and teachers
- Pupils will use online platform Take Your Marks to motivate home study
- The PE department have filmed a series of daily exercise challenge videos
Urquhart said: “As a digitally-enabled school, we’re well placed to efficiently prepare our staff and pupils to work remotely. As we get closer to the exam period, we’re working to put ourselves in the best place possible to complete coursework, prepare for digital revision and have support in place for pupils to access everything they need to continue studies.
Lomond School’s boarding house will stay open over the Easter break for international pupils unable to return home.
“For our international pupils, this is clearly a difficult time to be away from loved ones, so we’re putting every measure possible in place to provide the best care and support,” said Urquhart.
“We are very much a family school and despite the very uncertain and difficult times that we find ourselves in it has been incredible to see our entire community come together to support each other and our young people.”