Saturday, 17 April 2010

16th April 2010

Nairn Academy School Notes, Friday 16th April 2010

Pupils and Staff this week returned from their Easter break, and are now thoroughly in gear for the Summer term. As the Nairnshire sap rises and wildlife wakes from its slumber, Nairn Academy embarks on an exciting and transitional term.

SQA Exams
As our S3 - S6 pupils prepare for their SQA exams we would like to take this opportunity to confirm arrangements.

S4 study leave begins on Monday 26 April; S5/S6 will begin study leave on Monday 10 May. Clearly this is a crucial time for pupils to display the knowledge and skills they have worked very hard to develop over the past years. School staff will continue to support pupil attainment over the course of the exam diet. Detailed information will be issued to pupils prior to study leave, including personalised timetables as well as SQA support materials regarding study, revision and conduct during exams. Pupils are reminded that they are required to have the usual standard of school dress code during exams, or if in school for study leave. This is important to ensure that pupils are easily identifiable to the SQA invigilators. For health and safety requirements, pupils are also asked to sign in at reception if they are in school during study leave. Study support areas will be available for pupils during study leave.

Diary Dates:
Tuesday 20 April S5/6 PE activities afternoon
Thursday 29 April Parents’ drop-in surgery to discuss whole school issues with Mrs. Macdonald, Rector (4.30-6.30pm)
Monday 3 May May Day holiday - school closed
Wednesday 5 May Internet safety evening 7pm (further details to follow)
Thursday 6 May S5/6 social event 7pm
Friday 7 May May newsletter issued
Monday 10 May S3 work experience week
Monday 17 May S3 work experience week
Friday 21 May S1 reports issued
Monday 14 June Additional In-service day – school closed to pupils

The keen-eyed will have noticed that The Highland Council, eager as ever to put A Curriculum for Excellence into action, is using an additional day in June to allow Primary and Secondary schools to work together to plan in greater detail, the introduction of the new curriculum. Staff will be engaged in setting up new programmes of study and increased numbers of cross-curricular projects, to make learning more relevant for the youngsters of Nairnshire.

Pupil Achievements
S1 pupil Adam Scott achieved a bronze and two Silver medals at the British Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield last month. Adam achieved personal best times and through his impressive performance helped the Scottish team to achieve 2nd place at the National event.

S5 pupil Stephanie Ford has added to her already impressive list of coaching qualifications by passing the following National Cheerleading examinations: Level 1 Cheerleading and Dance and Level 2 Programme Management and Cheer Fundamentals.
Stephanie will be using these new qualifications at the Girls’ Club and during the Dreams and Teams Leadership exchange to Malawi in June this year.
S4 pupil Jamie MacDonald has been awarded Sport Leader of the Year award. The award is designed to recognise and honour the achievements of sports leaders in the Highlands. Nia Jones, Sports Leader Co-ordinator for Coaching Highland attended the S4 assembly this week to present the award to Jamie.

S4 pupil Lauren Urquhart has completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. To achieve this, Lauren undertook voluntary work at an animal sanctuary, regularly rode her horse for the physical section and learnt about how to care for horses for the skills section. The expedition undertaken was a 2-day walk in Ross-shire with an overnight camp at Wyvis Lodge.

Very well done to all these pupils for their personal achievements.

Dress Code
Thank you to parents for their continued support with our dress code. The vast majority of pupils arrive in school in the team colours and present a very positive impression in and around the school. It contributes to our overall ethos of commitment and effort in school. As the weather gets warmer, pupils are reminded that our high standards of dress code still apply. It is important that pupils arrive appropriately dressed for school. A large number of clothing items were left in the school prior to the Easter holidays. Pupils are asked to see reception regarding any items of lost property.

P7 Transition
Jo Chamberlain, Children’s Services Support Worker, based at Nairn Academy co-ordinated an Easter transition programme for a group of P7 pupils. The following S3-S5 pupils assisted over the holidays and provided a valuable support to the P7 pupils. Thank you and well done to Shannon Ponty, Isabel Connell, Lewis Sutherland and Sarah Walker.

Car Boot Sale Time
Thursday next week, 29th April, from 6.00-7.30 p.m., sees a Car Boot Sale at Millbank Primary School, in aid of Riding for the Disabled. Donations and bookings welcome – contact 01667 452968.

Before that, however, at Nairn Academy on the morning of Saturday April 24th, we have a Car Boot Sale in aid of Pupil Activities. This latest in the series of events organised by staff is aiming to raise funds to enable pupils to take part in an expanded programme of activities and excursions than they would otherwise have. All bookings and offers of good quality items should be directed to Mr. Tom Heggie, Mathematician and Scholar, at the school.

Prefect Dinner
S6 pupils who have worked hard as Prefects in the current school year were joined by several members of staff for the annual Prefect Dinner, held at the Claymore Hotel. Service and standard of hospitality and catering were first-class and both pupils and staff behaved with style and elegance throughout this friendly and convivial occasion. Head Teacher Mrs. Macdonald spoke appreciatively of pupils commitment, and Head Boy Andrew McLaren and Head Girl Naomi Fraser gave eloquent, even emotional testimony of their enjoyable and varied times at Nairn Academy. It was easy to see why these and many others among those present are shortly going on to new challenges extremely well-equipped to make their mark and achieve success in the wider world.

Piano and Pianissimo
Pianists from the Standard Grade and Higher Music classes have been studying new styles of composing for piano ensemble in class over the last few months. The musicians have had three workshops with the London based ensemble 'Pianocircus' and will be travelling to Aberdeen to join them in a concert on Sunday 25th April at the Beach Ballroom where these new works will be premiered. It is hoped to perform these in Nairn in the near future.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

12th March 2010

Nairn Academy School Notes, Friday 12th March 2010

Dress Down Day – Friday 19th March 2010

This term’s Dress Down Day will fundraise for Cystic Fibrosis. A group of S3 Girls (Ashley Patterson, Stephanie Ross, Jade Willox and Aileen Rochford0 will co-ordinate the day along with S6 helpers.

Pupil Achievement
S1 Swimmer Adam Scott carried home a Bronze and 2 Silver medals at the British Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield last weekend. In doing so Adam also achieved personal best times in his events. Adam’s impressive success assisted the Scottish team in achieving 2nd place at this National event.

Youth Voice/ Scottish Youth Parliament

Rowena Carlton 5S will be shadowing Councillor Sandy Park, Highland Council Convener, throughout Wednesday 17th March as part of the Youth Development Service’s ‘Apprentice Day’ programme.

In the Scottish Youth Parliament meeting in Airdrie last weekend, Rowena’s motion on the subject of compulsory political education in Scotland for all young people was passed with flying colours. Congratulations to her and to all who have helped with the work on this motion. The initiative will now become a key policy of the Youth parliament.
Another confident young citizen, Amy Riley of S5, has also become very engaged locally, by being added to the membership of the Community Council. We hope the insight she will gain into the workings of local democracy will serve her well, and we in the school will be pleased to develop closer ties with the Community Council.

Musical Creations

Nairn Academy Pianists, currently working on a 6-month composing project with the ensemble Pianocircus, spent Thursday morning in school working with composer Duncan MacLeod. Pupils in S3 and S5 have been studying contemporary arrangements for Piano Ensemble with Pianocircus, the London-based six piano ensemble. Duncan MacLeod complimented the pupils on the pieces that have been composed so far. New works, written by pupils of Nairn Academy, will be premiered at a concert with Pianocircus in the Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen on Sunday 25th April.

Coffee Morning

The annual Support for Learning Coffee Morning will be held on Wednesday 24 March at 11 am in L11. Monies raised will be given to the Riding for the Disabled Association.

Car Boot Sale

On Saturday 24th April there will be a car boot sale from 11.00 am – 3.00pm.
Cars will be able to enter at £10.00; all Traders £15.00. There will also be Stalls, Raffle, and other attractions.
For a booking form contact:- Tom Heggie (Telephone via the school 01667 453700)
(All funds to support pupil activities and development)


Pupil activities will also be the better supported because of the success of Emma Slade’s Quiz, held at the school last Friday. Teams of intelligentsia and others battled away in rounds on 80s cartoons, Musical album covers and History among other topics, and the eventual winners, Kathleen’s Boyz, were dark horses, fooling many with their apparent ineptitude. A fun evening was had by all.

P7 Transition Project

Last Friday saw the culmination in a series of excellent presentations and project models of the P7 Science/ Technology/ Geography/ Literacy Project, in which teams from Cawdor, Rosebank, Millbank & Auldearn primarty Schools have worked to produce workable scenarios for human communities settling on Mars. Well-known Academy experts on the red planet, Andy West, Steve Cullen and Andrew Allardyce, have enjoyed working with primary colleagues to develop this project, and they were joined last week by Academy Literacy Co-ordinator Michael Gregson in evaluating the success of the primary pupils’ efforts: “Suffice to say, the primary pupils were fantastic, showing co-operation and ingenuity and a high level of literacy among other skills,” was his comment that morning. Well done to all.

No Smoking Day, Wednesday 10th March

The school saw a strong focus on Smoking Prevention this week, in tune with the National No Smoking Day on Wednesday. The school’s Health Promoting School efforts have been aided by the incisive and thought-provoking work of Denise May, NHS Highland Smoking Prevention Officer, whose Assembly work has been much appreciated this week.

Staff Success

Congratulations to Elizabeth McDonald, who has been elevated from her successful role as Active School Co-ordinator to Acting Area Adult & Youth Services Officer. The indefatigable Elizabeth has done the work of many and we hope her legacy is appreciated.


Our very active Fairtraders are organising a Coffee Morning in St Ninian’s church this Saturday 20 March, from 10am to 12 noon in aid of our link with Mount Fletcher in South Africa. Please come along and enjoy a fairly traded cuppa!

5th March 2010

Nairn Academy School Notes, Friday 5th March 2010

School Newsletter

The March issue of the School Newsletter has been given to all pupils; all information and news will be available on the school website, and additional copies of the Newsletter can be collected at Reception.


Pupils have enjoyed a varied programme of assemblies, involving a range of presenters – staff, pupils and visiting speakers. Topics covered in the current programme include: Internet safety. World Maths Day, No Smoking Day and Road Safety. Fair Trade and a Pupil Council-led Assembly are next up.

Diary Dates:

Drop in surgery Thursday 11 March 4.30 – 6.00pm

Dress down day Friday 19 March – further details to follow

End of term Fri 26 March 3.40pm

School re-opens Monday 12 April

Parents should also note that the additional in-service allocated to Curriculum for Excellence development is scheduled for Monday 14 June 2010. Pupils will not attend school on this day. This date has been agreed with our Primary Head Teacher colleagues.

Pupil Council

Representatives joined the Senior Management Team meeting last week. This new initiative helps maintain effective links between pupils and staff, and the Senior management team seek to address issues of concern to pupils. This last meeting involved 3 S1 pupils who conducted themselves in a very professional and organised manner. A variety of topics was raised, ranging from canteen facilities, fundraising, maintenance issues, library access and concourses/ social areas. Many thanks to the S1 pupils who took time to attend the meeting – Peter Brown, Cameron Fraser and Faye McInnes.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award
Congratulations to Lauren Urquhart, S4, who has been achieved the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's award. To complete the award, Lauren assisted at an animal centre for the Volunteering section, looked after and rode horses for the Skills and Physical sections, and undertook two expeditions in the
Highlands in June and September last year. The grueling challenges of the expedition are the current focus in pupils’ preparatory sessions, including map-reading and orientation.

Mountain Biking

The Highland Schools’ races are coming up. Anyone interested in taking part - please contact Mrs. Elizabeth McDonald (Active Schools) for more information.


Mark Bain, S6 has organised a Stovies/Ceilidh night scheduled for Saturday 20 March at 7.30pm in the Victoria Hotel, Forres. The Morven Ceilidh band will provide the entertainment. Tickets are available from Mark at the school. Mark has organised the event to raise funds for a trip to the Amazon this summer as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. We wish Mark well with this venture.

Pupil Achievements

Congratulations from Mr Sanderson (Support for Learning Teacher) to S2 pupils Jordan Snitch and Kalum Turnbul for their excellent Geography work. The boys won prizes from South Africa, a mask and necklace, for the poster they designed on settlement sites. The project was helping to maintain the school’s link with Mount Fletcher Village Junior Secondary School, one of the two African schools linked with Nairn Academy. Mr West’s S2 class and Ms Diko’s Grade 8 class learnt about settlements using co-operative learning techniques. Ms Diko’s class thought that Jordan and Kalum produced the best poster.

British Ice Figure and Synchronised Skating Championships

Congratulations to Lesley Forbes in S4 for her success in the National Championships in Sheffield recently. Lesley won a gold medal and was also part of the best team and most enjoyable performance awards. Well done.

Summer Playscheme

Volunteers are required to help with the Summer Playscheme which runs from 5th July to 13th August 2010. The playscheme is for children with learning and physical disabilities and operates on Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 9.00am to 3.00pm during the summer holidays. If you are 16 years of age or over and are interested in working with children please contact Isobel Tolmie – 01667 452269 or Mabel Cameron – 01667 452303.

Tesco Vouchers

The Tesco for Schools and Clubs voucher scheme is starting up again. Please hand in your vouchers to the library: the school could benefit greatly through this scheme.

Athletics and Cross-Country

Cross Country training continues on Tuesday & Thursday lunchtimes, where a motivational PE department will guide and support your strenuous efforst towards speed and fitness through the beautiful Nairnshire country. The North of Scotland Schools’ Cross-Country Championships is scheduled for 23rd March.

Congratulations are due to Graham Nicoll (Discus), Heather Winfield (Triple Jump)and Innes Sutherland (High Hurdles) on their selection for the Scottish Schools Athletics training day at Pitreavie, Fife on Sunday 14 March. Well done to all 3 athletes.

Fusion Remix Youth Festival

Various activities are taking place at Nairn Swimming Pool, Community Centre and Youth Café on Saturday 13th March 2010. Doors will open at 5.00. This Youth Festival is pen to all S1 to S6 pupils. Don’t miss the NEW FUN night out for young people!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Friday 27th November 2009


After intensive effort growing and grooming moustaches and beards in support of Movember! the several members of Nairn Academy staff with attractive facial hair have now reached the peak of their achievement. Mr. Lisle, Mr. Baird, Mr. Caddell, Mr. Hay, Mr. Mackenzie, Mr. Durkin and Dr. Gregson have made considerable sacrifices. The appeal for funds to help the work of Movember! in raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, goes on, and there will be a collection at the end of the month (this week).

Dress Down Day

The next Dress Down Day is scheduled for Friday this week (Friday 4th December). The event is being organised by the ‘Dreams and Teams’ group, who will be raising money for Help the Aged and the forthcoming trip to Malawi. Pupils will receive further details this week.


The next Parent surgery is scheduled for Thursday this week (3rd December). This is a drop-in surgery when no appointment is necessary. Rector Julie Macdonald will be available to meet parents between 4.30 and 6.00 p.m. to discuss general school matters.

The December Newsletter will be issued on Friday 4th December. The Newsletter will also be available on the school website at All parents should ensure that they get hold of a copy of this issue, as this one will contain important information regarding adverse weather arrangements.

A Curriculum for Excellence

Current P7 pupils will be breaking new ground next school session, when the first year of whole-hearted activity through A Curriculum for Excellence really gets under way. The growing range of inter-disciplinary and innovative work will be assessed using new criteria, and teachers are beginning to make sense of the vast array of Learning Experiences and Outcomes published earlier this year. Exciting times.

Highland Literacy Project

The school’s involvement with the HLP takes on a new face for the remainder of this term, as a major focus on Paragraphing skills gets under way across the curriculum. HLP Co-ordinators Michael Gregson and John Chalmers are keen to see the whole school work together in raising standards of literacy. Watch this space for news of the Paragraphing prizes later this term.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Royal visit to Inverness

On Monday 23rd November, S6 pupil Mark Bain represented Nairn Academy at a reception with HRH Earl of Wessex. The event was held in Inverness Royal Academy and was attended by Duke of Edinburgh’s participants from the Inverness area. The Earl spent 45mins with the participants, discussing the different areas of the award and what they had learnt by undertaking it. He spent several minutes talking to Mark about some of the activities he has undertaken and also about his involvement in Dreams and Teams, his trip to Malawi and other community projects. Mark was accompanied on the trip by Miss Gray. A great day was had by all.

Highland Youth Voice

Nairn pupils Aimee-Lee Stewart, Bethany Goodwin, Stuart Davidson and Zoe Finlayson all attended the Highland Youth Voice Conference at Badaguish last weekend. The feedback from the event was enthusiastic and the mini-Parliament agreed on a host of new initiatives, including lowering the voting age to 16. Our thanks go to Christie Fullerton and the team at the Nairn Youth Café, as well as to Audrey Anthoney, Rebecca Raynes and all at Youth Development who did so much to make this and the other young Citizenship events happen.


We bid farewell to Mrs. Robertson of Business Education, who leaves us to take up a post at Culloden Academy. We also welcome back Mrs. Millsopp to the Modern Languages Department. Mrs. Millsopp returns on Monday 7th December following her maternity leave.

Murrayfield Trip

A large party of rugby-loving pupils played their part in Scotland’s famous victory over Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday. The 9-8 triumph was cheered enthusiastically by the crowd and Nairn’s support was whole-hearted.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Nairn Academy School Notes, Friday 20th November

We wish our team all the best for the finals of the North of Scotland schools debating competition which takes place this Friday (27th) in Forres .

We have experienced difficulties in completing our S5/6 reports due to the recent level of staff absence. We aim to have them issued early this week. S4 reports will follow on from this and due out early next week.

Parents’ Meetings
We were pleased that so many S1 parents were able to come along to parents meeting last week. This was an ideal opportunity for parents to meet S1 teachers and get initial feedback of S1 progress to date. Our thanks also to those who managed to complete a questionnaire. We are currently collating the responses and along with the S3 returns, we will provide feedback on the points raised.

We have noticed an increase in the number of pupil absences this week due to illness. We have also experienced an increase in the number of staff absent due to ill health. We will continue to monitor the situation and will aim to minimise disruption to classes.

Pupil achievement
Well done to Freddie Brown (S5) who won the handicap category at the Highland Junior Golf championships at Spey valley golf course last month.

21st Gala celebrations
A group of Nairn Academy pupils participated in this musical event at Eden Court theatre on 13 / 14 Nov. They joined pupils from across the Highland area to provide an excellent evening of musical entertainment. Our pupils did us proud. Well done to Bethany King, Jack Ledsham, Amy Riley, Jennifer Callaghan, Sophie Strain, Ailsa Baird, Sean Wilson and Holly Garrow. Our thanks also to the music tuition team for their continued support and direction.

More Pupil Musical Success
Following the Moray Piano Competition for 2009, many congratulations congratulations are due to Victoria Laidlaw, who was this year’s Winner of the Betty Wyness Rosebowl and Winner of the Cathedral Class Competition for this year . Victoria played ‘On an overgrown path’ by Janacek and ‘La Sarabande’ by Groblez

Basketball Qualification

Congratulations to Sports Leader Jodie Patterson who completed the Level 1 Basketball Floor Officials course.

Parent Council Coffee Morning
This event, on Saturday 19th December, from 10-12 at the British Legion, will be a great opportunity for families to relax in good surroundings and help support the school community. We are always looking for offers of help/ baking/ bric-a-brac and raffle prizes, so please get in touch with the school directly or via Parent Council members if you can help.

Dreams and Teams’ Malawi-Scotland Link

Have you bought your bag yet?

A Malawian baby elephant meets a Scottish Highland cow on the bag Nairn Academy’s Dreams and Teams group is selling to raise money for their visit to their ink school in Lilongwe in June 2010. Made in natural calico with the animal logo printed in black the long handled bag costs £4. This will make and excellent stocking filler for all who support Scotland’s friendship with Malawi. The bags also help with our environmental project as they help reduce waste.
The design has been drawn by Nairn artist Celia Laidlaw from Embroidery Design, the company that supplies Nairn Academy’s school uniforms.
Anyone wishing to purchase a bag should contact Ailsa Baird and Jamie McDonald at Nairn Academy, Duncan Drive, Nairn IV12 4RD (01667 453700). Cheques should be made payable to Nairn Academy.

Winter Draws on
Many of Nairn Academy’s busy community will be involved in this week’s Winter Lights Switch-on (27th November), and the elves are active even now in the creation of Santa’s Grotto.

Sports Leaders’ Activity
Among a host of events, there are opportunties for parents to leave children to ‘Stay and Play’ at Rosebank Primary School on 29th November; and also the seasonal fun at the Cawdor Xmas Fayre on 12th December. Also on 12th, a Bingo Night will take place at Househill; and on 13th, all hands are on deck for bag-packing at Somerfield. Thanks to all who are already supporting these hard-working youngsters.