Feb 2008 no 221_no photo_

					Fortrose Academy
Fortrose Ross-shire IV10 8TW Tel 01381 620310 / 620171 Fax 621699
e-mail : fortrose.academy@highland.gov.uk

Rector                J D Simpson B.Sc.
Depute Rector         D MacKenzie B.Sc.
Depute Rector         S J High Dip SEN
Depute Rector         A Ferns BSc                                  No 221

PARENTS NEWSLETTER                                              Adverse Weather ?
FEBRUARY 2008                                                   Phone school information service
                                                                0870 054 6999 then 041040
Dear Parent                                                     or website contact –
Contact Details
Change of address, telephone number, etc? Please let us know, preferably in writing, of any change
of contact details as soon as possible.

Famous Former Pupil
Lauren MacColl, fiddler and former pupil, who studied at RSAMD, and is a former winner of the BBC
Radio 2 Young Folk Award, got a 5 star review for her joint concert with singer and fellow student
Maeve MacKinnon (Best Up & Coming at last year‟s Trad Awards) at the Celtic Connections Festival
in January.

Malawi Film Night
On Thursday 28th February a film about our Malawi Exchange made by former pupil Emma Dove will
be launched in the school theatre at 7.30pm. Emma has created a fascinating and poignant insight
into the contrasts between life in the Black Isle and life in Mulanje which I am sure will be of
interest to people of all ages. Please send back the tear-off slip at the end of the newsletter if
you would like to come along.

Blood Transfusion Service
Chance to give blood at the school on Wednesday 6th February from 5.00 – 8.00 pm.

Strathpeffer Mountain Bike Race
Three Fortrose Academy pupils cycled over 165k completing 15 laps of the gruelling 24 hour
Strathpeffer Mountain Bike Race at Contin on 19/20th January. Ryan Gault 4H, Alan Sinclair 3C and
Collwyn Young 2M pedalled over iced tracks and through ankle deep mud mostly in complete
darkness. Ryan and his other team mates finished an impressive 13 th overall, against teams from all
over Britain and from as far afield as USA and Germany. Alan and Collwyn were the youngest pair
in the competition. This is the world‟s only 24 hour Winter Mountain Biking marathon. Well done.

Vocational Pathways at Inverness College
For pupils going into S4, S5 and S6 in the 2008-2009 session.
There is a Taster Event in the College on Thursday 21 st February for pupils and parents from 6.30-
8.30pm.     Courses available are – Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Professional Cookery, Acting,
Robotics, Early Education & Childcare, Construction, Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Rural
Skills, Psychology/Sociology.     There will be demonstrations and an opportunity to speak to
Lecturers and current Vocational Pathways pupils. More information is available from the Guidance
Office with a form to indicate your interest.                                   E Mann PT Guidance

Culloden Legacy
Was your family there? An international search was launched Wednesday 16 January for young
people whose ancestors fought on either side at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The National Trust
for Scotland is on the hunt for two such youngsters, who will help officially open the new Culloden
visitor centre on 16 April. The Trust's Culloden project co-ordinator Alexander Bennett said:
"We're encouraging young people of school age to start discovering who their ancestors were all
those centuries ago and who knows, maybe they are related to people who actually fought at the
battle of Culloden in 1746. We want to hear from them at the National Trust for Scotland if they
find out there is a family link with the battle. The myth that Culloden was a conflict between
England and Scotland is still around today. In fact, many Scots fought with the Government troops
and some families had members who fought on opposing sides, often against their will. So if you
think this might be you, with an ancestor who fought in the battle and maybe even with two
ancestors who fought on either side of Culloden, do let us know. You don‟t have to be Scottish of
course if you want to search your possible Culloden past but the battle certainly had far-reaching
consequences for modern Scotland and we think it‟s very appropriate that the descendants of those
who fought on either side should help us officially open the new centre.”

The exciting new centre, which uses modern technology to tell the story of Culloden through
accounts of people who lived at the time, opened its doors to the public and members of the Trust in
December and it seems fitting that the official opening should be held on the anniversary of the
battle, on 16th April this year. The search for these youngsters to open the new centre is being
supported by none other than Dr Nick Barratt, of the successful BBC One television series “Who Do
You Think You Are?” Dr Barratt has supplied invaluable tips on the Trust's Culloden web pages
www.nts.org.uk/Culloden for anyone who wants to research their family tree. He has also agreed to
be on the panel to help judge the entries.

So were you there in 1746? Anyone of school age who would like to take part in the competition
should send their family tree by email to the NTS at cullodenlegacy@nts.org.uk or by post to
"Search for Culloden's Legacy " competition, c/o Platform Public Relations Ltd, The Old Station,
Station Road, Beauly, Inverness-shire, IV4 7EG before Wednesday 19 March when their entry will
be considered by the panel. More information is available now at www.nts.org.uk/Culloden.

Highland Bridge Association
Congratulations to our Depute Rector, Donnie MacKenzie, who along with Dave Cotton (ex-school
board) recently won the Jim MacPherson Bridge Trophy for Highland. Heats for this prestigious
trophy are played in the clubs and the qualifiers then go on to a final of about 30 pairs. Donnie and
Dave play for Dingwall Bridge Club which is very keen to have all standards of players attending.
This year it meets on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm in the British Legion Hall, Dingwall.

Roll of Honour
Thank to everyone who responded to the request for information about some of the people named
on the Roll of Honour. This has proved most useful.                    K Lorraine PT Guidance

Structure of Scottish Exams
Please see attachment at the end of the newsletter.

Parent Council
Next meeting Monday 25th February at 7.30 pm in the staffroom. Give it a try!

Well done to up and coming golfers Michael Manson 3M and Philip Schnier 3F who have been
selected to join the North of Scotland Stage 3 Golf Coaching programme. The boys were chosen
not only for their golf potential but for their attitude and conduct.

Key Dates
Thursday 7 February                    In-Service Day
Friday 8 February                      Holiday
Monday 11 February                     Holiday
Wednesday 20 February                  S2 parents Night
Monday 3 March                         S1 parents Night
Thursday 20 March                      School closes at 3.40 pm for Easter break
Tuesday 8 April                        School opens at 9.00 am
Tuesday 29 April                       Study leave for S4
Thursday 1 May                         SQA exams start
Monday 5 May                           May Day holiday
Friday 9 May                           Sports Day
Monday 12 May                          Study leave for S5/6
Monday 2 June                          New timetable starts
Friday 6 June                          End of SQA exams
Wednesday 11 June                      Awards Evening
Monday 16 June                         Start of primary week
Friday 27 June                         School closes at 12 noon
Monday 18 August                       In-service day for staff
Tuesday 19 August                      School opens for pupils
Friday 10 October                      School closes at 3.40 for October break
Monday & Tuesday 27 & 28 October       In-service days for staff
Wednesday 29 October                   School re-opens for pupils

Approximately fifty of our pupils receiving instrumental instruction in school opened the schools‟
concert „Highland Futures‟ in Eden Court Theatre on 30 th January with two rousing pieces: „Engines
of Resistance‟ and „Pirates of the Caribbean‟ giving a magnificent performance. Congratulations to
everyone involved.

Inverness Music Festival
Our instrumentalists will be involved in the Inverness Music Festival from 18 th February – 4th March.
Best wishes to all competitors.

Battle of the Bands
Senior pupils, Colin Bramwell and Max Waring, are busy arranging this event for school bands on
Wednesday 27th February in the school Theatre. Winners will be invited to represent the school at
„Rock Solid‟, an event for all Highland Region schools, in Eden Court on Monday, March 17 th.

National Children‟s Orchestra of Scotland
Shortly before Christmas Dominic Dalseme 2K successfully auditioned for the National Children‟s
Orchestra of Scotland. This is a great achievement for the young viola player, as competition to
join this orchestra from young people from all over Scotland is intense. The orchestra will be
performing music by Vaughan Williams in Glasgow and Perth in April.  Well done to this talented
and hard-working young man.                                                  A Fraser, PT Music

“Rag Bag” Collection
Following the success of the last “Rag Bag” collection, we will again be collecting any unwanted
clothing, shoes, bags, hats, towels, curtains, bed linen, etc. If you wish to donate any such items,
we would be happy to have them by Monday 25th February at the latest for collection the following
morning. Money raised from this is donated to school fund.                             A Ferns DHT
    S2 Parents Evening
    With pupils making choices about what subjects they wish to study beyond S2, the forthcoming
    parents‟ evening (20th February) will very much have a focus on careers and options. Information
    about pupils‟ progress in each of their current subjects can be gained by making an appointment with
    the relevant teacher, as usual. In addition, Careers Advisers and Dr Mann from our Guidance staff
    will be based in the library to advise on any career choice matter.       Parents will also have the
    opportunity to browse the Careers Library and other vocational resources. Teas/coffees will be
    served in the library at this parents‟ evening. I hope to see you there.         Alistair Ferns, DHT

    Leisure Activities (LTA)
    All pupils should by now have received a choice form for our LTA days which take place on
    Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th June. Please help your son/daughter make appropriate choices
    for what is always a most enjoyable way to end the term. Please also note that senior pupils after a
    few years without LTA will take part again this year. Some activities can be difficult to run as they
    require a very large adult to pupil ratio. If any parents are willing to help out supervising on either
    of the two days, I would be delighted to year from you! Please contact me here at school if you
    have any concerns or suggestions regarding LTA.                                    Alistair Ferns, DHT

    Lost Property
    A considerable number of items are lying in school unclaimed so there will be lost property tables in
    the reception area on Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 February – anything unclaimed thereafter
    will be forwarded to charity. Please feel free to come along on either day if you think your child
    may have left anything in school.

    Supported School Study
    A reminder that the following teachers are giving up their time to take After School Study.

Name                             Subject(s)                Day Offered          Comments
Mr Mabon                         Art                       Wednesday            by prior appointment
Mrs Walker                       Art                       Wednesday
Mrs Calder                       Biology                   Wednesday
Mrs Ross                         Bus. Studies              Wednesday
Mrs MacArthur                    Chemistry                 Wednesday
Mrs Somerville                   Chemistry                 Wednesday
Ms Schneider                     English                   Wednesday
Mr Devaney                       English                   Wednesday
Mrs Phillips                     Fairtrade / LS            Wednesday
Mr Balfour                       LS/Gardening              Wednesday
Mrs Geddes                       LS                        Wednesday
Miss Dillon                      LS                        Wednesday
Mrs Boyer                        Russian                   Wednesday
Miss Evans                       French                    Wednesday
Miss Adamson                     German & French           Wednesday            by prior appointment
Miss Stewart / Mr Carcary        Geography                 Wednesday
Mr Cronin                        History                   Wednesday
Mrs Gruer                        Maths                     Wednesday
Mrs Fenn                         Maths                     Wednesday            by prior appointment
Mr Wight                         Maths                     Tuesday              Lunchtime from 1:15pm
Miss Fraser                      Music                     Wednesday
                                                                                Lunchtime by prior
Mr Forwood                       Science / Physics         Wednesday
Mr Meehan / Mr Campbell /
                                 Technical                 Wednesday            No practical work
Mr Fraser
Yours sincerely

J D Simpson
Head Teacher


I will be attending the Malawi Film Night on 28th February

Name ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Signature ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
                                       Please return to JD Simpson, Rector

The Structure of Scottish Examinations - Information for Parents
This information is intended to help parents understand the operation of Standard Grades and National Qualifications at
Fortrose Academy.

Standard Grade

Standard Grade courses are normally undertaken in S3/4 with final exams taken in S4.
Awards at Standard Grade are offered at 3 levels with each level subdivided into 2 bands, although some subjects, eg
Physics, are only offered at Credit and General levels.

              Level                                Band
              Credit                               { 1
                                                   { 2

              General                              { 3
                                                   { 4

              Foundation                           { 5
                                                   { 6

               (Course completed                     7)

Pupils usually sit exam at 2 levels (eg, Foundation and General or General and Credit).   The best award a pupil can get at
General level is band 3 and the best at Foundation level is band 5.

National Qualifications (often referred to as NQs)
These courses are normally undertaken in S5/6 (but some are now being used in S3/4 to replace Standard Grades).       They
are offered at 5 levels :

              Advanced Higher                       Most academically demanding
              Intermediate 2
              Intermediate 1
              Access                                Least academically demanding

Progression from Standard Grade to National Qualifications

The normal routes from S4 to S5 are shown below, eg a pupil with a Standard Grade pass at General level 3 would normally go
on to study Intermediate 2 in S5.
             SSss           S4            Normal Progression                                S5

             S4                      Normal Progression                       S5

S Grade Credit               1                                             Higher

                  Credit     2                                             Higher or Intermediate 2

                  General    3                                             Intermediate 2

                  General    4                                              Intermediate 2 or 1

                  Foundation 5                                              Intermediate 1

                  Foundation 6                                              Intermediate 1 or Access

                  Foundation 7                                              Intermediate 1 or Access

Notes    These are general guidelines only and are not prescriptive. In some subjects, eg English, some pupils who gain a
Credit pass Level 2 (or sometimes even level 1) do not achieve a Higher pass in one year.

Progression through National Qualifications
Where National Qualifications are undertaken in S3/4, a common route from S3 to S5 is shown below.

                                                      Possible Progression Route

S3                                                  S4                                                S5

Intermediate 1                                      Intermediate 2                                    Higher

Where pupils are more academically able they may complete the Intermediate 2 course early and make a start to the Higher
course during S4.

Others may not complete Intermediate 2 in S4 and will require another year before they are ready to tackle the subject at
Higher level.

For pupils who are struggling at Intermediate 1 level courses may be available at the level below, ie Access Level.

Structure of NQ Courses

1.           Courses at Higher, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 1, are composed of 3 units.

2.           Each unit is assessed by an internal assessment (provided from the Scottish Qualification Authority's National
             Assessment Bank, hence the name NAB). (Schools cannot set their own NABs and the scripts are confidential to
             the school.)

3.           The NAB tests are set at a slightly lower level than the final exam and cover much less content.        Passing a NAB
             does not mean the pupil will pass the final exam.

4.           Pupils will normally sit a prelim in February. This is set at the same level as the final exam but covers less content.
             They may sit another shorter prelim later in the year which covers the rest of the course.

5.           To gain a course award a pupil must pass the 3 NABs in addition to the final exam.       (It's a bit like having to jump
             three hurdles on the way to the high jump!)

     NAB 1                       NAB 2               PRELIM                        NAB 3                   FINAL EXAM

6.           Pupils who fail a NAB will get one chance to resit it. (Parents will be informed about failed NAB resits).         Very
             rarely a pupil may get the chance of a second resit if there are extenuating circumstances.
7.      Experience has shown that pupils who struggle to pass a NAB have very little chance of passing the final exam and
        are better to sit future NABs and the final exam at the level below, eg Int 2 instead of Higher or Int 1 instead of
        Int 2.

8.      A pupil who passes the 3 NABs but fails the prelim with a low mark is unlikely to pass the final exam.   They could
        then sit the final exam at the level below.

9.      Unit passes are shown on the pupil's certificate even if he/she fails the final exam. Some pupils select relevant
        units to achieve a Scottish Group Award (a group of subjects passed at exam level and unit level showing an
        aptitude in an area like for example "Business" or "Technology".)

Departmental Recommendations

1.      Every department will look at all the available information and will encourage pupils to sit the exam in which they
        are most likely to enjoy success. If they feel that success at Higher Level is very unlikely they will recommend that
        the pupil sit the exam at Intermediate 2 level.

2.      From time to time a department will recommend that a pupil with a Standard Grade pass at Credit Level Band 2 sit
        the Intermediate 2 exam in S5.        While this might seem unusual, it should be remembered that (1) the
        Intermediate 2 qualification carries more points for university entrance than the Standard Grade (42 to 38); (2)
        the Intermediate 2 course is a broader course; (3) the Intermediate 2 course is designed to link with the Higher

3.      In the past, if a pupil failed narrowly at Higher level he/she received a compensatory pass at the level below. This
        is no longer the case and so it is doubly important that pupils sit exams at the appropriate level.

4.      Departments will keep parents informed when a pupil is having serious problems (eg, if he/she has failed a NAB