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Hillhead Primary School - Newsletter

At Hillhead we aim to make our children successful learners. Our pupils will value themselves
 as individuals and strive to achieve their full potential. We will provide them with a variety of
 stimulating learning experiences in a caring environment.


Dear Parent,

Work has begun on an interesting project in the school to create a number of vegetable allotments where the pupils can experience growing their own produce. Last weekend a digger turned over four separate beds behind the shelter at the infant side of the school. This year it is hoped to plant potatoes in the area. Each growing patch will be shared between two classes – nursery/Primary 1, Primary 2/3, Primary 4/5 and Primary 6/7. At the last pupil council meeting the group felt this was a good division of the four areas. All pupils will be directly involved in the planting which will take place late April. We hope to be in a position to use our own home grown potatoes for a lunch in school. Although turned over with the digger and broken down fairly well, the ground could still do with a little more cultivation. Does anyone have a motivator with which could help to achieve this? The school would be very grateful for the loan of such a machine or even better someone to quickly do this for us in the next few weeks.

We are now more than half way through the Triple B gang scheme and I know that many children have been involved with the scheme and have been well supported by their parents. This term we are also encouraging parents to come in and read their child’s class a story – it may be one their child particularly enjoys or even one the parent enjoyed when they were a child. In the upper School it may be an excerpt from a longer book. You will have received a sheet by now asking for volunteers so please do volunteer if you feel you would like to do this.

Miss Angus has started her reading club with pupils in Primary 6 and 7 at lunchtimes on Fridays. They are keeping their reading to the cowboy theme and are now reading the very exciting western novel “Shane”.

Our nursery teacher Miss Oag is about to embark on a very exciting trip to visit our partner school in the Chinese city of Tianjin. She will also spend a few days in the capital city of Beijing. The British Council have provided finance to send a member of staff to a school where a link already exists. Miss Oag will be a member of a party of five teachers travelling from Scotland. during the first week of March. This will be a wonderful opportunity for Miss Oag to see early education in a very different setting. We look forward to hearing of her experiences when she returns.

The school is always keen to engage professional artists to work with the school and a number of such visits are being arranged in the near future. This is very much in keeping with the overall school aim of providing pupils with “with a variety of stimulating learning experiences”

The paper artist Joanne Kaar will be working with both the morning and afternoon nursery groups on February 23rd and February 27th. They will be involved in a very new art technique called silk fusion which fuses pieces of coloured material together in to a picture using wall paper paste. Nursery pupils may take a small number of leaves from their own garden to also place in the picture. The theme of the picture will be spring flowers. We hope to be able to frame the pictures so that each nursery pupils will have a lasting memento of this activity which they will have carried out in the Highland Year of Culture.

The school is currently in negotiation with the artist David Body – who also runs the pottery at John O’ Groats to come in and work with three classes on Caithness landscape pictures at the end of March. Further details will be announced in the March newsletter.

The school is also hoping to organise a very special visit over a number of days in June by a leading British picture storybook writer. Negotiations for this visit are at a critical stage. This is a very exciting opportunity and one which we hope we will also be able to give more details about in March.

The leaflet which accompanies this newsletter offers parents the opportunity to purchase sew on labels or iron labels which can be used on their child’s clothing. The many nameless sweatshirts and polo shirts which still turn up suggests there is a need for such a product. If you are interested, then full instructions on how to purchase is on the accompanying leaflet.

LETTERS to and from IRAQ
Primary 5 pupils have been delighted to receive replies back from the local soldiers serving in Iraq. The pupils wrote to the local men the first week of this term and replies have been steadily coming in to school since then. There is now a display of the letters in the library area. Some photographs and details of the letters appeared in the “Caithness Courier” last week.

The most recent interactive wall in the library asked pupils to identify what book Lisa from the Simpsons may be reading. A large number of entries felt that she would be reading a book about how to play the saxophone. The winning entry was from Primary 7 pupil Mark McDougall who set a good example by saying that he thought she “would be revising for her 4th grade test.”

Two new interactive walls looking at different features of reading went up in the library this week. One asks pupils to identify what types of books three different characters from early Victorian photographs may be reading. The other is a first use of pre-recorded messages for the pupils. They must press a button on a small electronic device to hear a recorded message which has a maths theme.

Once again the annual Bring and Buy sale organised by the Primary 7s was a great success with the pupils. The attached sheet shows some of the happy customers and some of the items which they have quite literally bagged. The sale along with some beautiful home baking which classroom auxiliary Karen Mackay made (Declan’s Mum) raised a total of £281 for the trip to York. Many thanks to all who donated or purchased items.

Long week-end Thursday 8th February 2007 (school closed to pupils for in service day) School closed Friday 9th and Monday 12th February

Easter holidays: School closes Friday, 30th March 2007
Monday 16th April (school closed to pupils for in service day)
School resumes Tuesday, 17th April 2007.

School closed May Day Monday 5th May 2007

Summer holidays: School closes Thursday, 28th June 2007 Monday 13th August (school closed to pupils for in service day)
School resumes: Tuesday, 14th August 2007

Yours faithfully,

A Budge