Headteacher at St Andrew's High in Kirkcaldy pays tribute to staff

Patrick Callaghan headteacher at St Andrews RC High working from home during the coronavirus lockdown.Patrick Callaghan headteacher at St Andrews RC High working from home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Patrick Callaghan headteacher at St Andrews RC High working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. | User (UGC)
Patrick Callaghan, headteacher of St Andrews RC High School, paid tribute to staff for the way they have adjusted readily to a new way of working with young people and their families.

He said: “I am truly indebted to the work of our school staff over the last couple of weeks. Similarly to pupils who are engaging in the various pieces of work that are being set and keeping in touch with the school through various channels – well done and many thanks.

“Good communication is essential at times like these. I have been able to keep in daily contact with the senior leadership team through Whatsapp and they, in turn, have been in contact with principal teachers across all subject areas. Principal teachers have linked with their staff to coordinate work and set subject priorities.

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“I have also been busy linking with fellow head teachers across Fife and education managers and heads of service.

“Relevant communications have been shared with school staff and families by GROUPCALL email and our school website/Twitter account.“During the working day – and well into most evenings – I have remained in contact with various staff to support and answer any questions they may have had.”

Mr Callaghan said teachers across all subject areas have been posting work for pupils.

“They have continued to be supported over the last couple of weeks with individual needs with classes and posting relevant work,” he said.“We have reminded families that both PS4s and Xboxes can be used to access GLOW if PCs are not available in homes.

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“In addition, a number of pupils have received packs of homework and resources home with them prior to school closures.

“With the announcement that there will be no exams in April/May we are presently finalising course choices for our pupils so they may begin the next stage in their learning and progression as soon as possible after the Easter holidays.

“I would also like to acknowledge the great work that our school technicians, clerical and admin staff together with our librarians are also doing at present to support teachers and pupils in the work that needs done.”

He said feedback from parents has been positive, given the circumstances: “Members of staff are always available to link with parents/carers and we have reminded all families how to contact the school if they have any queries or concerns at the present time so we can support them at this time.”

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He said when parents are doing home schooling, getting the right balance is essential.

“Our young people taking time to spend quality moments on their own doing things they enjoy, enjoying the company of family too, and staying in touch through social media forums with friends and family are all just as important as school work.

“Short periods of work interspersed with other activities around the house and garden will help everyone to stay motivated and engaged.”He added: “I would ask families to continue to look out for updates from the school on our website and Twitter and to praise their children for the work they are doing at present time.”

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