“At a time of enforced separation, Kilgraston is very much together.”

“At a time of enforced separation, Kilgraston is very much together.”

27 March 2020

“Just fourteen days ago, Kilgraston’s theatre was being decorated for the annual Sixth Form Ball, 72 hours later, we were told that our precious School had to close, indeterminately, at the end of the week

Hyperbole is frequently misused.

On this occasion, I feel justified in saying that the speed of unfolding events has been almost incomprehensible for each and every member of our community.

However, I am extremely proud to report that, at the end of our first week of the new working arrangement, every part of Kilgraston has more than risen to the challenge.

Plato said: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. Never before has there been a need to reinvent working practice so rapidly.Every member of our close Kilgraston community has changed their routine, embracing new and unfamiliar arrangements.

This is an extremely difficult time; for our community and the entire world. Like never before, working as a collegiate is vital and I feel immensely honoured – and humble – at the way in which pupils, staff, parents, guardians, everybody, have embraced the ‘TEAMS’ technology, enabling us to carry on.

I understand that there are many challenges to having children at home: trying to help teach, trying to work, trying to maintain a routine. I understand the worries of pupils thrown into disarray with exam changes, the possible influences on future education and the ensuing anxiety that this will cause parents and carers.

But please remember that you are not alone. At a time of enforced separation and distance, we are very much together. From Mexico to Spain, France to Kurdistan, Dingwall to Dorset, we’re still a family and very much there for one another.

There is no ‘I’ in either team nor TEAMS. There is only a collective effort. These changes have been hard for everyone but, together, we will get through this and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Every individual has played their vital part, ensuring our Kilgraston School will continue to be the unique and precious community with which we are all so familiar.

Despite these extenuating circumstances, many, many parents and guardians have taken time out of their busy day to write and thank staff for the dedication and ingenuity demonstrated this week, thus ensuring a fulfilling curriculum for their children. If you will permit, I would like to sign-off with their words, not mine. At the end of this extraordinary week, thank you so much for your assistance and consideration.”

Dorothy MacGinty, Headmistress

From parents & guardians:

“Can we just say how impressed we have been by the level of support the girls have received this week – much more direct involvement by teaching staff compared with schools in the west. Well done Kilgraston.”

“From our perspective, the virtual teaching has been going very well indeed. Not unexpectedly, (my daughter’s) have risen to the occasion and fully embraced the new ways of learning. A big thank you to all staff for their creativity and commitment to continuing to provide learning and routine for the girls. A brilliant demonstration of how young people can be supported to cope, even thrive, in the face of adversity. True resilience-building.”

“Thank you for all your communication and organisation at this difficult time. The ‘Teams’ seems to have worked well and all the teachers continue to provide fantastic support. It is much appreciated at what is a difficult time for the girls with their exams being cancelled. Stay safe and many thanks.”

“As I sit at my dining table working through this morning’s emails, I am listening to an U3 English class being delivered by Mrs Ramsay on Zoom. The girls are excited by the whole experience and interacting well. I have always had respect for teachers but Mrs Ramsay has gone up a further notch. Great stuff – making me smile and feeling proud to be part of it in some small way!”

“I just wanted to send a quick email to thank you and your team for implementing an efficient and effective changeover for the girls to continue their learning. Daughter (Upper Fourth) has been really diligent in making sure that she is doing her work and keeping up to date. Thank you, as it cannot have been easy to put everything together in a short period of time and under a situation that was changing every day. Best wishes”

“A well balanced and pragmatic risk-based approach from Mrs MacGinty. I am sure I speak for many of the parents – if you need any support (as many of us are now working from home) do reach out. More than happy to help out maintain some sort of normality for the girls, brawn or brain offered. Pass on my support.”

“I just wanted to say thank you for all the excellent communication you have given parents. I feel that in a crazy situation you have led from the front and maintained a real contact with us parents and kept us up-to-date as you have been able. I am so sorry that we have not been able to stay open and I think you and your staff have really kept calm in this crazy time. I am thinking of you all in these difficult days and send my very best to you and your staff.”

“Thank you so very much for all your communication and I look forward to getting the girls back to school as soon as possible. In the mean time we shall buckle down and keep healthy!! Best wishes, please all take care of yourselves and thank you for what I consider an amazing job that you are all doing.”

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