Albyn School is a co-educational day and boarding school, partnered with the Total French School, for pupils aged 2 to 18 in the west end of Aberdeen.
We are lucky to say that the pandemic has not become a distraction for us from the most important aspect of all schools – the education of our pupils. Throughout lockdown, pupils were able to continue their schooling full-time, without interruption, meaning they did not miss out on any learning.
Starting back at school in this “new normal” was always going to be a challenge, and with Covid-19 still being an active presence in society today, the school has made sure that the appropriate adjustments have been put in place to ensure the safety of our pupils, staff and parents.
There is a sense of normality solely by having almost all pupils and staff back in the building. Having small class sizes has also allowed the school to welcome pupils back full-time after lockdown in a safe and secure way. Social distancing, thermal scanners, hand-sanitising and face-coverings have become part of everyday life and everyone has become accustomed to this very quickly. The option to study Albyn@Home is still available for those pupils who cannot make it into school or who are studying remotely, and in some cases, from different countries.
There are hand sanitising stations at the entrance of the school, in every classroom and office and in school corridors, along with temporary sinks to provide easy access to hand washing and sanitising facilities. Social distancing is practised throughout the school by both the pupils and the staff and is helped by a one-way system and staggered class, break and lunch times help to control the flow of traffic in the corridors.
Aside from these adjustments, the school day in itself has remained relatively unaffected. The school has been able to safely continue with all subjects, including PE and games, along with co-curricular activities which have helped the pupils regain a sense of normality.
The health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is extremely important to us. With the global pandemic affecting so many aspects of everyday life, we want pupils to see the school as a safe space with staff who will motivate, encourage, and support them while ensuring that their education isn’t interrupted. The “new normal” may have led to physical social distancing in the school, but the staff are still very much present for the pupils. They are not only there to teach, but to listen, advise and guide – they may be at a slight distance, but they are by no means out of reach.
Feel Good Fridays, an initiative to boost the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff, has recently been introduced and we look forward to different activities taking place each week, helping everyone to relax, unwind and reflect.
Lockdown proved that the school could still continue in a new and exciting digital way and many of these forms of communication are still being used. During lockdown, Microsoft Teams allowed the teachers to teach, motivate and encourage the pupils, and for those learning remotely this is still the case. Social media was also utilised to keep parents and guardians up to date with the daily goings-on of the school, and school events were also celebrated virtually.
David Starbuck, acting head, said: “Without a doubt, seeing pupils and staff back in the building is a fantastic feeling. We are really proud of the pupils, parents and staff for complying so well with the new regulations.
“It is our duty to make sure that the pupils feel safe and secure in this “new normal” environment.”
Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome you into the school physically, but we can bring the school to you in the comfort of your own homes. In place of our regular September Open Morning, we have fantastic Lower and Upper School pupil-led virtual tours, talks from our senior staff members and a chance to organise virtual conversations with our admissions team, staff and pupils who will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Register now for the new Albyn School Virtual Tour on their website.