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Hillhead Primary School - Newsletter

August 2005
Dear Parent,
Welcome back to a New Year as a Hillhead Parent. There are a few pieces of information, which I felt I should pass on to you.

Miss Caroline Oag was appointed as the nursery teacher between Hillhead and Pulteneytown Academy. Miss Oag, who hails from the Wick area previously taught in Aberdeenshire.
Another new appointment in the nursery is Miss Judith Mackenzie. She will replace Mrs Audrey Mackay who has now left the nursery to pursue a teaching qualification in Aberdeen. Miss Mackenzie is an ex pupil of Hillhead who has recently completed her enhanced HNC in Child Care and Education. 

The Miss Donaldson of old is no more. At the end of the summer holidays she was married and is now Mrs Begg. She has moved up to team teach with Mrs Sinclair in Primary 6. Miss Gray has moved down and is now the class teacher in Primary 1.

Ms Belford our Technology and RME teacher  will be absent for a number of weeks. Mrs Oag will cover classes during this period

Elections have taken place for the Captains and Vice Captains of each of the house teams. The new list of office bearers reads.
Girnigoe   Captain Naomi Sutherland
V. Captain            Lynsey Sutherland
Shelligoe   Captain Paul Cameron
V. Captain            Emma Evans
Sandigoe    Captain John Budge
V. Captain            Chloe Graham
Whaligoe   Captain Anna Falconer
V. Captain            Kayleigh Huggins

Following the tragic events in West Lothian, parents are now asked to notify the school if their child is to be absent that day. A number of parents already follow this practice and it removes the obligation of later writing a note to explain an absence.

I have spotted a number of pupils wearing hoop earrings in school. These are not allowed as there is the possibility that something can get caught in such an earring and cause serious damage to the ear. Parents are reminded that earrings of any type do pose an additional danger in gym classes.

At last the school windows are to be replaced. This will make a huge difference to the external appearance of the school. Work will commence in the week beginning September 12th. This will require us to decant classes in to the library area whilst work is going on in their classroom. Almost every window and door in the school is to be replaced so at some point every class will be moved. Work will begin on the primary 4 classroom and proceed on the basis of one class per week.
Many of you will have seen the new HOME –SCHOOL books which the school has produced. These include important information about the school holiday dates, emergency telephone system operated by Highland Council as well as an abbreviated copy of the Homework policy. The Primary 4 – 7 also sets out a strategy to assist children with learning spelling. We hope this new link with home offers more to parents. This is in line with our school aim of “fostering positive home/school links”.

Pupils in the upper school have been busy identifying personal aims for this term. The school thinks it is important that parents are also aware of these aims and a sheet has been devised which asks for a parent’s signature under the child’s aim. Please remind and encourage your child of the aims they have made. They will be reviewed at the end of term.
In addition the school is keen to produce a single statement, which sums up its aims. I will circulate a note on this issue shortly, asking parents for their views.

The Primary 7 class is set to work with artist Liz O’ Donnell over the next five Thursday mornings. This will involve them coming up with designs for metal gates for the cellars in the harbour wall, They will commence their work by visiting the harbour area and possibly seeing a demonstration of hot metal working carried out by local blacksmith Mr Sinclair.

The Primary 7 class will also be visiting the Safe Highlander Exhibition at Dounreay on Wednesday 7th September. This allows the pupils to learn about personal and road safety in a variety of “real life” settings.

Pupils in Primary 1 to 6 will have a visit by the Zoo Lab on Friday 9th September. Classes will view a variety of living creatures and be able to observe them at close hand.


The school now has a number of second hand sweatshirts in a variety of sizes. These can be purchased for a bargain price of £1.50 each. Please see Mrs Elder in the office.
Printer ink is expensive and the school has recently purchased supplies through Ink and Stuff based in Dornoch. A flyer is attached for this company. We have found their prices very competitive.

Selected pupils from Primary 5 and primary 7 will participate in a children’s Triathlon on Sunday 11th September.


Mr and Mrs Robert Begg (nee Miss Donaldson of Primary 1) pictured at their wedding in Skye during the summer.

Another member of the Hillhead community who was involved in a wedding over the summer was Primary 4 pupil Chloe Sinclair. On the 5th of August Chloe was a bridesmaid at her auntie Lorraine’s wedding at Dunbeath Castle. Chloe said “it was like a fairytale wedding”. Chloe had double reason to be happy. At midnight Aunty Lorraine surprised her with a birthday cake and all the guests sang “Happy Birthday.”

Monday September 5th is designated as Friendship Day at Hillhead. We are fortunate in that we are the first school in the United Kingdom, which will be visited by the “Friendship Bus” which commences a 10-month tour of the United Kingdom. This bus actually takes on the appearance of a ship and will be parked in the school car park all day on Monday September 5th. The school buses will drop children off at the school close to the front steps. They will not use the normal bus parking area. As always parents are requested not to park cars or manoeuvre cars in this turning area.

During Friendship Day, two visiting artists (theatre) will work with the entire Primary 6 class to produce a short version of the play Mac Beth. This will be performed to the school late on Monday.

Only 90 pupils can visit the bus and this will be restricted to Primary 4, 5 and 7. Each visit lasts around 20-25 minutes. The organisers have given no further information about what happens on the friend ship bus as they wish it to remain a surprise.

Each of the ten cities, which hoped to win the 2008 City of Culture Award, has produced a treasure chest of activities, which is designed to look at the themes of friendship. Each class in the school will explore the contents of two of these boxes during the day. School chef Andy Green will also be producing some biscuits with a special friendship theme.

In addition the Hillhead corridor competition, in which the winning pictures from each class are hung up in the entrance area is based around the theme of friendship. Each individual in the school has also coloured in a paper chain figure to produce a wall of friendship in the dining room area.

The winning corridor competition pictures from each class were -
Primary 1 Shaun Robertson, Keavy Taylor, Danielle Ross, Declan Gunn
Primary 2 Greg Morgan
Primary 3 Lianna Fraser
Primary 4 Erin MacDonald
Primary 5 Imran Amin
Primary 6 Kimberly Lewis
Primary 7 Each pupil contributed to an overall friendship quilt.

Please do tell us about any births or marriages within the school community. We would also like any newspaper cuttings in which your child features or any other achievement they have made outwith school. These are important elements of our Pupil noticeboard.

An open afternoon will be held for parents and other family members on Monday 3rd October.  Further details will follow.
Finally I hope your child has settled well in to their new class. Should there be any difficulties or concerns which you may have, please get in touch with the school.

Yours faithfully

A Budge