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Fortrose Academy Fortrose Ross-shire IV10 8TW Tel 01381 620310 / 620171 Fax 621699 e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Rector Depute Rector Depute Rector Depute Rector J.D. Simpson B.Sc. J.G. Tracey B.Ed.,B.A. D. MacKenzie B.Sc. S. J. High Dip SEN PARENTS NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2006 Dear Parent Welcome to my first newsletter of 2006! New PT Matheamatics Congratulations to Mrs Jill Gruer who is now our new Principal Teacher of Mathematics. Mrs Gruer has taught in the Maths Department here for the past 6 years. Anonymous Surveys From time to time we carry out anonymous surveys amongst our pupils on such serious issues as drug use or bullying. These are unannounced and involve members of SMT going round classes inviting pupils to independently write down the name(s) of any individuals who bring drugs into the school or bully others. All pupils write something, even if it is simply “I do not know” so that no pupil can be singled out as having passed on information. If a pupil is named once or twice the information is of very little value but when someone is named many times the information gained can lead us to further investigations. By their very nature these surveys cannot be used too often but in deal ing with issues such as bullying and drug use where there is often a cloak of secrecy we have found them to be useful. I would be interested in hearing parental views on this subject. School Achiever Award Many congratulations to Robert Morrison (4F) who reached the Scottish finals of The The Prince’s Trust “In School Achiever Award 200” and finished runner-up. This award recognises “a young person who has overcome barriers to engage and achieve more success at school”. Considering the Prince’s Trust works with many thousands of young people Robert’s achievement in gaining this award is considerable and he is to be warmly congratulated. Golf Our young golfers continue to set new standards of excellence with Peter Cameron (6D), Christopher Gaittens (5C) and John Fair (4D) having been selected to be part of a Scottish Golf Academy consisting of the best young golfing talent in the country. Chris and John have also been selected to play for the Under-16 Scottish National 8-man team at International Level. Well done to these lads who play golf of a very high level and, just so importantly, whose conduct on the golf course is a great credit to themselves and their families. No. 196 -2Young Enterprise Well done to our Young Enterprise Company “Zest” who won best stall at the Christmas Market in Inverness in December. School Board We have no School Board at present as we await the results of the recent elections. PTA Meetings Future PTA meetings are as follows : Tuesday 24th January; Thursday 2nd March; Tuesday 25th April ; Thursday 8th June. Meetings are at 7.30 pm in the staffroom and never go past 9.00 pm. Do come along and join us. Exam Results Encouraging to note that in terms of our performance in the “5 Highers” category, Fortrose Academy was in the top ten state schools in 2005 (not bad out of over 400 schools!). Malawi Trip The dates for this trip given in the December Newsletter were inaccurate. 17th June to 3rd July. The actual dates are Music News Runrig and Ruth A group of our pupils were fortunate enough to be taken to see our Music teacher Ruth Sutherland and her band who were supporting Runrig in their recent national tour. Here are a couple of their reports : On Tuesday 6th December I went to Perth to see Runrig live at the brand new Perth studio that just opened this year! I really enjoyed myself, it was really good and well worth the cost (£22). The concert itself finished at about 11.00 pm and I got dropped off at my house at half past two in the morning! I felt sorry for Miss Fraser having to drive all the way back home whilst all the students were sleeping! Overall, it was a really fun day - plus, we saw Miss Sutherland’s band playing and they were really good!! And when she mentioned “Fortrose Academy” we all started jumping around and screaming! Caitlin Matheson 3H The concert was very good. Runrig sang quite a lot of Scottish songs, so did Miss Sutherland’s band. I thought it was good of her to go up in front of all these people and sing her lungs out. I was proud to be Scottish at it because there were Scottish flags flying everywhere and with Scottish music playing it was great. The Concert hall was very nice and big and new and holds 1200 and a lot more standing. Michael Zebrowski 3D The Runrig concert was absolutely amazing!! The music was inspirational and I gave a standing ovation at the end of every song (partly because I didn’t get a seat!). I am so glad I was able to go because it was my last day as a fourteen year old (it was my birthday the next day). I just wish all my friends could have gone too. The backing music was good, so were the lighting effects. They made the music float like colours before my eyes. The whole concert was absolutely awesome. We got back to school at 2.30 am all laden with pizza or in my case curry. It was something I will remember all my life. Jonathan Robinson 3K -3Celtic Connections Three Fortrose Academy pupils, Sheena Amos, Colin Bramwell and Erin Cameron-Coutts, have the exciting opportunity of performing in two concerts (during the Celtic Connections Festival) in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 22nd and 28th January as part of Feis Rois. Battle of The Bands, 20th December 2005 The organisers, Peter McKenna and Andrew McDonald, would like to thank all those involved and congratulate the bands : 1 st place - Scotty and the Ferries; 2 nd place - Oddball’s Heroes; 3rd place – BoxSet. The sum of £726 was raised, £500 of which is being donated to charitable causes. Associated Board of the Royal Colleges of Music Examination Results Congratulations to the 29 pupils from Fortrose Academy and feeder primaries who were examined last term, and to Instructors Mrs Isobel Grant (Strings) and Mrs Anna Aalders (Woodwind). Everyone passed (100 out of 150 marks), 14 passed with Merit (120+_ and two passed with Distinction (130+). Academy pupil results are : Grade 6 Robert Keast, Stephen Laidlaw Grade 5 Sarah Brown, Ruth Cowie (M), Caitlin Girvan, David Royan Grade 4 Dawn Coulshed (D), Leila Evans (M), Elaine Grant (M), Becky Grigor, Catrin Hughes, Beth Skipsey (M), Mairi Stewart (M), Liam Tracey (M) Grade 3 Catherine Catto, Olivia Dalseme-Stubbs (M), Rebecca Wilson (M) Grade 2 Beth Macdonald, Marianne Stevenson, Amy Vaughan. National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland Robin Nelson 2F has been invited to join the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland and will join them in three courses this year in Douglas Academy, Merchiston College and Strathallan School. Robin is only the second pupil from Fortrose Academy to be invited to this prestigious gathering, the first being Anna Massie. Well done Robin. Pianoman Project – Man Group Award After taking part in the Pianoman Masterclass given by Richard Meyrick at Fortrose Academy on 1 st November last year, Robin Nelson 2F and Stephen Laidlaw 44F have been awarded one of the “Man Awards” – a private lesson with Richard, who feels that they have shown a great deal of promise. The individual one hour masterclasses will take place in London – with the travelling expenses being full paid by the Man Group. Aileen Fraser, PT Music Library News New Teenage Reading Group We plan to start a new Teenage Reading Group in the library. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 25th January between 3.45 and 4.45pm. Teenage Reading Groups are an opportunity for people to discuss books that they have read and also to recommend books to others. Some Teenage Reading Groups have shadowed the selection process for the Carnegie Book Awards. This involves suggesting books for the award, reading through the books on the shortlist and voting for the book you want to win. A new Highland Book Award is also being launched soon and hopefully the Fortrose group could also be involved with this. In the last teenage reading group I was involved in the members also had visits from authors, helped choose stock for the library and generally had lively and enjoyable discussions about books and reading. Please encourage anyone who enjoys reading or who wants to find out what to read to come along. School transport will be available for the journey home but pupils need to speak to library staff about this several days in advance of the meeting. -4Fortrose Reading Group The library also has a reading group for adults and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along. Meetings take place in the library on the first Wednesday of each month from 7.30 to 9.00pm. Each month the group read a book and then meet to discuss it. In the past there has been quite a variety of books read by the group. Normally the book is chosen by the group and provided by the library. The focus is very much about having the opportunity to discuss books you have read with other people. Whether or not you agree with them it is always a pleasure to talk about books with other readers. Anyone who would like to come along is very welcome. If you require more details about any of the above please contact the library staff 01381 622235. Sheena Paterson, Fortrose Community Librarian School Roll Because of the increase in our school roll to its highest ever figure of 685 we will now be closed to placing requests from outwith the catchment area. Blood Transfusion Service The mobile unit will be at Fortrose Academy on Thursday 19 th January 2006 from 5.00pm to 8.00pm. Christmas Hampers Thanks to the many of you who donated items for our Christmas hampers. We were able to give out 10 hampers and 4 bags, all full of Christmas fayre. Your ongoing generous support of the school is much appreciated. Work Experience All S4 pupils have the opportunity to go on Work Experience at the end of S4. They will be taken through the process in Lifeskills lessons. Placements are made by the school. However, self placements are possible, and if you wish your son or daughter to organize their own placement through personal contacts, please let me know so that the necessary insurance checks can be made. We would also welcome offers of Work Experience from parents. Careers Remember, to organize a Careers Interview, pupils should fill in the help cards available in the Guidance Office. Apprenticeships Pupils considering applying for apprenticeships in construction or as electricians must sit the CITB or the SCETT test. Dates of the tests are well advertised in the school notices. Police Cadet Scheme Northern Constabulary are offering Cadetships for young people interested in a career in the Police Force. Candidates should be aged between 16 and 17 years 6 months on 1 st September 2006. application packs available from the Guidance office. Lucy on Taggart Watch out for former pupil Lucy Armitage on “Taggart” later this month – sadly, her fate is the same as many of the stars of this series! We wish her well in her acting career. Adverse Weather – ECS Winter Weather Website As you will be aware the schools’ PIN service for adverse weather information has been running successfully for a number of years. However, with ever-increasing access to ICT solutions, it is now appropriate for The Highland Council to expand its service to parents to include web based adverse weather information. -5The Education, Culture & Sport Service, therefore, has now developed a new winter weather website which parents will be able to log onto from home in order to access school closure information. There will be links to the website on both the Highland Council and the Highland Virtual learning Community websites. You can access the winter weather website at the following web address: www.winter.highlandschools.org.uk Please click on the relevant geographical area for local school closure information. The winter weather website allows parents to access school closure information on the internet, thus reducing pressure on the very heavily used PIN system. However, please note that schools will continue to update the PIN facility as well as the new website. Our aim is to provide clear, unambiguous information to parents with regard to school closures during periods of adverse weather. I would therefore encourage you to use either the PIN system or the new winter weather website in the expanded winter weather information system. Please also remember that the local radio stations shown below will continue to provide regular winter weather updates with regard to school closures. BBC Radio Highland – 6.55am – 7.00am; 7.50am – 8.00am; 12.55pm – 1.00pm; 4.55pm – 5.00pm. Moray Firth Radio Normally hourly new bulletins and half-hourly summaries will carry local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins. Please do not telephone local Radio for advice but listen to appropriate broadcasts. Finally, please remember that it is ultimately the responsibility of parents or carers to decide if a pupil should attempt to travel to school, by transport or on foot, in adverse weather conditions. The Education Authority encourages full attendance at school, but in severe weather the safety of pupils is much more important. Parents should, therefore, continue to use good judgement in deciding whether it is safe to send a child to school. Key Dates January 2006 Monday 9th January Monday 16th January Tuesday 31st January February 2006 Saturday 4th February Monday 6th February Thursday 9th February Friday 10th February Monday 13th February Tuesday 14th February Wednesday 15th February Wednesday 22nd February Tuesday 28th February – Monday 6th March March 2006 Saturday 4h March Monday 27th March Friday 31st March School opens S2 Problem Solving Day S4 Parents Evening Ski Trip Higher Prelims start In Service Day Holiday Holiday School opens for pupils Higher Prelims start S4/5 Options Evening (for pupils going into S5/6) S2 Parents Evening (+ Music Instructors’ Evening) Visit by Italian & Polish staff and Pupils (Eurolink Project) Eurofair Work Experience – 4th year leavers School Closes at 3.45pm April 2006 Tuesday 18th April Wednesday 19th April May 2006 Monday 1st May Tuesday 2nd May Sat 6th May – Sat 20th May Tuesday 16th May Wednesday 17th May Friday 19th May June 2006 Thursday 1st June Friday 2nd June Saturday 3rd June Monday 5th June Monday 12th June Wednesday 14th June Saturday 17th June Monday 19th June Wednesday 21st June Friday 23rd June Sat 17th June – Mon 3th July Monday 26th –Friday 30th June Friday 30th June -6In-service Day School Re-opens to pupils May Day Holiday Study Leave starts SQA Exams start Pupils on French Exchange S3 Parents Evening Aigas Field Trip S3 Biology Students Sports Day LTA Sports SQA Examinations end French pupils arrive ? New timetable starts Work Experience Week 1 Awards Evening French pupils depart ? Work Experience Week 2 Primary Week P7 Parents Evening School Fete Visit to Mulanje High School in Malawi (prov) Watersports Trip, History Trip School closes Clothing Left in School A considerable amount of clothing, (jackets, sweaters, trainers, etc) has been left in school unclaimed recently and if not collected will be sent to charity at the end of January. Please feel free to call in to school to find any item of clothing which you think may belong to your child. Tesco Sports Tokens Thank you to everyone who helped us collect over 21000 of these tokens – this has enabled us to claim 2 table tennis tables along with various bats, balls, nets, footballs, etc. Gardens for Schools Yet more tokens to be collected! This time from Klondyke Garden Centres – Howdens in Inverness being one of the participating centres. Customers will receive 1 token for every £10 spent and once we have collected 500 tokens we can exchange them for a £100 garden centre voucher. We would appreciate it therefore if you would forward your tokens to us. Finally, if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch. Yours sincerely J D Simpson Rector
"Fortrose Academy - DOC"