Staff at Balwearie High have been well prepared for teaching during lockdown

Balwearie High School headteacher Neil McNeil. Pic: George McLuskie.Balwearie High School headteacher Neil McNeil. Pic: George McLuskie.
Balwearie High School headteacher Neil McNeil. Pic: George McLuskie. | Freelance
Neil McNeil, headteacher at Balwearie High School, said staff were well prepared for working from home by setting up access to GLOW.

He said: “We developed a protocol to ensure continued engagement with our most vulnerable young people and liaise regularly with our social work and psychological services colleagues to that end.

“This was shared with all secondary schools as an example of good practice.

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“Not all pupils have access to IT at home and some need to share the IT with their siblings, reducing contact time, and some choose not to engage as much as we would like.

“We have asked our parents/carers to have an overview of this and encourage interaction as much as possible. Community teamwork and collective responsibility are essential here.”

He said staff have been sending tasks to pupils via teams and been innovative in their thinking by creating virtual learning tents for expressive arts and home economics.

He said: “Check out our Glastonwearie link. Our PT of Home Economics does a weekly video on food preparation that has been viewed by many outwith the Balwearie, and indeed the Fife, community.”

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He said feedback from parents has been positive and his tips for home schooling for parents include using the pupil’s timetable to determine what subjects they should be engaging with on any given day and remember to factor in breaks.

If possible, he said parents should create the correct working environment at home, free from distractions.

He added that they shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations and shouldn’t place undue pressure on young people,as they need time away from their studies too.

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