ARRAN HIGH SCHOOL
School Website: www.arran.n-ayrshire.sch.uk February 2010
Attendance at school – What do you need to know?
Attendance means going to school but can also include visits, work experience or other activities
organised by the school in school hours.
Being absent from school: Your child can be absent from school if there is good reason. This may
include illness or if you have arranged permission from the school for them to be involved in an
activity. There may also be family circumstances which mean your child is off school. If you know
that your child will be absent from school, for example if they have a hospital appointment or
important meeting to attend, please inform the school in advance.
Holidays during term time: Schools do not normally give parents permission to take pupils out of
school for holidays during term-time and will record it as ‘Unauthorised Absence’. There are some
circumstances where this would be allowed, for example if a family needs time together to recover
from distress or if a family holiday is restricted to term time because of the parent’s job. Parents in
this situation should always write directly to me in advance to seek my approval.
I would also like to emphasise that it is the policy of NAC and the High School that teachers do not
prepare additional work for pupils going on holiday during term time.
Congratulations to Iona Flewitt, Christopher Jenks, Catherine McEachern and Katharine O’Donnelly
for their winning performance in the recent regional Youth Speaks debating competition.
This success was followed by the S2 team of Ryan Armstrong, Euan Bone, Sophie Corbett, Sarah
Jenkins, Moir McCallum and Céile Swinton-Boyle out-performing the other North Ayrshire entrants
in an Institute of Engineering and Technology competition held at Auchenharvie Academy.
On Wednesday, John Tilbury was the runner-up in NAC’s Young Musician of the Year competition in
Irvine. Despite an electrical blackout during his performance on the marimba, John, being the
trouper that he is, continued to play throughout!
In the January newsletter I shared my disappointment with all parents that, for the second time, the
preferred candidate for the vacant Teacher of Music post withdrew his interest after being offered
(and accepting) the job. Following a meeting I had with NAC personnel in mid January, it was agreed
that the post would be upgraded to that of Principal Teacher and, in addition, a school house
tenancy made available for a maximum period of two years. To that end, the post has been
advertised and I have received a healthy number of applications. I plan to interview candidates in
early March and hopefully have someone in place for the summer term.
Mrs Jane Macbeth, who was appointed Principal Teacher of Guidance following Miss Wright’s
retirement, joins us on 19 April.
Monsieur Anatole Baudelot is our new Foreign Language Assistant and has settled well into island
and school life. He will be working in the High School and our associated primaries until June.
Mrs Heather McConnachie, who worked in the Support for Learning Department as part of NAC’s
Pupil Support Service, retired from teaching earlier this month. We wish Heather a long and happy
retirement. Mrs Aileen Auld and Mrs Louise Simmons will continue with Mrs McConnachie’s
previous teaching commitments until the end of June.
Throughout North Ayrshire far too many pupils are purchasing school meals on credit. A new
system will be put in place on Monday of next week to reduce the losses that Catering Direct is
suffering. All pupils should be in possession of a Young Scot Card and have sufficient funds on their
account before arriving at the serving hatch
I would, therefore, like to remind parents that one of the easiest ways to ensure your child has
sufficient funds is by paying money into their account online. If you have misplaced your child’s
unique account number please telephone the school office. A cheque sent to the kitchen also
ensures all money is spent in our dining hall.
Replacement Young Scot Cards can be ordered by telephoning 0845 603 0596. In the meantime, a
temporary PIN can be obtained from kitchen staff either first thing in the morning or at interval.
From April, the cost of a school meal will be increased by 10p to £1.80.
March promises to be a very busy month indeed. We are looking forward to welcoming 12 Comenius
representatives to the school on 4 March for the Annual Conference. As the theme of the 2008/10
project is music based, we are holding a ceilidh on Thursday evening to celebrate. All Comenius host
families, those who would like to be involved in the Comenius Project or those of you who simply
enjoy a bit of a hoolie, are most welcome (sorry, no unaccompanied children on this occasion). It’s
not too late to book a place, but do contact the office with numbers as soon as possible.
We are also finalising plans for our trip to France on 16 March. 15 students from S1-3 are heading
to Muret, Toulouse, along with Mrs Gregg and Mr Garraway. Pupils will be visiting a French school
and staying with families. Strong links have been established with Collège Joseph Niel over many
years, with numerous firm friendships formed; so we are hoping that this year our pupils benefit
greatly from the trip: linguistically; educationally and personally. We will tell you all about our trip
in the next edition of the school newsletter.
Thanks to Mr Parker, his S3 Science class and the prefects for organising lots of fun activities for
today’s Wear Red for Heart Day in aid of the British Heart Foundation. At the time of printing, £180
had been raised.
How many times has your child said to you, ‘…but everyone else is wearing denims/tracksuit
trousers/hotpants.’ Please believe me, not everyone else is! Unquestionably, more and more pupils
are, however, operating outside the recognised and agreed school dress code. The vast majority of
pupils do wear the school polo shirt and/or sweatshirt on a day to day basis but below the waist too
many are in blue denims, tracksuit trousers and the like.
Please support the school and the majority of parents by insisting on black trousers/skirts/shorts.
A second additional Inset day has been allocated to Scottish schools to allow staff to prepare for the
implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence. The eight Arran Head Teachers have proposed that
Monday, 24 May is the most suitable date for our schools. I will, of course, confirm this with you
following the NAC ratification meeting of 9 March.
Christmas Quiz winner: Mrs Audrey Allen, Blackwaterfoot
50/50 winners: January, Jamie Picken
February, Maureen Robertson
Forthcoming meetings: Monday, 29 March & Monday, 26 April.
Handling Teenage Behaviour
Places remain on the eight-week course being organised by Irene Fleming (Home-School Inclusion
Worker), Nikki Harris (Youth Worker) and Isobel MacDonald (School Nurse), starting on Wednesday,
3 March in the Youth Cabin behind the High School from 09:45 to 11:45. Please contact Isobel on
601055 to book a place.
School Fashion Show
Will be held on Wednesday, 31 March from 19:30 – 21:00. Tickets will soon be on sale from the
school office price £4, which includes a cup of tea/coffee and a cake. Everyone welcome!
Health Promoting Schools
Energy drinks are soft drinks advertised as boosting energy.
These drinks usually do not emphasise energy derived from the
calories they contain, but rather through a choice of caffeine,
vitamins, and herbal supplements the manufacturer has
Caution is warranted even for healthy adults who choose to
consume energy beverages. Consumption of a single energy
beverage will not lead to excessive caffeine intake; however,
consumption of two or more beverages in a single day can.
Energy drinks are typically attractive to young people.
Approximately 65% percent of its drinkers are between the ages
of 13 and 35 years old, with males being approximately 65% of
The label opposite was taken from a can of Punched Guava
333 kcal – about 1/6 of an adult’s maximum intake of kcal
79.4g sugar – just under 16 teaspoons!
Not recommended for children
Worryingly, more and more of our pupils are consuming these
kinds of drinks, some even before school starts at 09:15. As
research shows, consuming high-energy drinks can have a
detrimental impact on the ability of young people to concentrate