2021 Private Education Awards

www.lux-review.com Page 19 LUX 2021 Private Education Awards Glenalmond College is an independent school which offers full, weekly and flexi-boarding as well as day attendance for boys and girls aged 12-18. Glenalmond is an extraordinary place to learn, where teachers care passionately about achieving the best education possible for each pupil. Children thrive in small classes, stretched by inspirational teaching and opportunities on a campus of 300 stunning acres at the Gateway to the Scottish Highlands. Jun21697 Glenalmond College is truly an exceptional place to learn. It prides itself on its natural, unpolluted grounds and outstanding facilities including Olympic standard water-based astro for hockey and a James Braid-designed golf course. Highlights include: close-knit community; small class sizes; under 400 pupils so every child is known and nurtured individually; teachers living onsite, underpinning the sense of community; and pupils being happy and fiercely proud of their school, while having confidence without arrogance. Its new Warden (head), Dr Michael Alderson, and his wife, Emma moved to Perthshire to make Glenalmond their home in March 2020 and Dr Alderson officially took over the reins the week that the first lockdown was announced. However, he rose to the immense challenge presented by COVID-19 and the staff delivered an outstanding online education for pupils. This was coupled with initiatives from helping to make PPE for local care homes and pharmacies in the onsite design and technology workshop, to a brand new charity run, #Coll24, which last year raised £4,000 for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland and this year has grown to become #Challenge175 on course to raise £175k for transformational bursaries for those who would otherwise not be able to attend a school like Glenalmond. The switch to online learning opened the door to a range of innovation and opportunity which the staff at Glenalmond, along with pupils and their families have embraced and provided strong positive feedback on. Online lessons (via its Coll@Home programme) were delivered live and attendances were in the high 90s percentage-wise from the start. Almost every activity was able to continue, or to be adapted to a slightly different form, which has meant that even the weekly Congers (House singing competition in Chapel) continued via the online route. Glenalmond also very innovatively delivered competitions like house debating during Lockdown, accommodating debaters as far afield as Hong Kong. Also during the pandemic, Glenalmond’s drama department was determined to find a way for pupils to experience taking part in a stage production in 2020/21. Its Director of Theatre, Mrs Moss undertook auditions with pupils around the world via Google Meet in June 2020. She then painstakingly adapted the script of the very aptly-chosen Epicene (first performed after the Bubonic Plague in London 400 years ago) so that it could be performed in a COVID-safe way. She then enlisted the help of a former pupil to film the production which could not be shown to a live audience. Other Glenalmond staff and pupils worked their socks off to support the drama department – from creating costumes and set, to make-up and technical – with the delivery of an outstanding production which also very successfully aired the subject of gender performance. Glenalmond support staff worked hard to secure coverage of the hard work of colleagues and pupils, including local press, and further afield, including The Sunday Times. The play was premiered via YouTube with a Virtual Red Carpet event after a Virtual Open Day (so prospective families could join), and national critics were also invited to view the play. Glenalmond is now preparing for a very exciting year in 2022 which will be the 175th anniversary of the College’s founding. It has an exciting programme of activities planned for the year, including a range of events for the whole Glenalmondcommunity, and its key focus will be on transformational bursaries and its #Challenge175 campaign. Ultimately, pupils leave Glenalmond as kind, respectful individuals, very aware of how fortunate they have been to have benefitted from a Glenalmond education. They are young people who are fuelled with ambition and knowledge and poised to make a valuable contribution to the world. Company: Glenalmond College Contact: Mrs Kitty Lindsay, Director of Admissions Email: [email protected] Glenalmond College Best Academic Boarding School – Scotland