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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,

Welcome back to the start of another calendar year at Hillhead Primary School. I hope the year will prove to be a happy and healthy one for you and your child. It promises to be another busy term at Hillhead with lots of things happening.

The mosaic tile artist Jan Kilpatrick will be working with pupil in Primary 6 and 7 this week. The pupils will be working on large wall panels which will be used to decorate the “square” area of the school. Members of the pupil council had written to schools across the world and asked them to design a wall panel which represented their country. We had responses from schools in Brazil, China and Romania. In addition Primary 6 pupils designed a wall plaque for Caithness and Scotland. A further panel is to be made up of flags from countries which some of the Hillhead pupils and staff has fore bearers from. These include England, Spain, Germany, Poland, France and the United States. The artist’s web site at www.wildtiles.co.uk  shows an interesting selection of the work she does.

The Dornoch based artist Sally Orr will be working with pupils in Primaries 4 to 7 on Rag rug making in the second week of March. The plan is that each class will produce small squares which can be made in to large wall hangings. A request for suitable cloth and material to produce these items will be made later in the term.

Four swimmers from Hillhead have qualified for the Scottish Schools Swimming Championship in Glasgow on January 28th. They are Primary 7 pupils Rona Plowman (backstroke), Lauren Sinclair (breast stroke) and Rachel Munro (freestyle). In addition Erin Mackay (P.6) joins these three girls to make up the relay team who will also be competing. This is a considerable achievement by these four swimmers .

The work on the new school windows and doors is now almost complete. Only a very few pieces of tidying up work remains to be done. The school now looks significantly smarter and pupils and staff are both very pleased with the outcome. As the new window panes are double glazed, we have recommended to pupils that they do not take heavy plastic or leather balls to school. The school is responsible for all accidental breakages and each pane is several hundred pounds to replace.

Mrs Begg will commence her maternity leave on Friday 20th January 2006. Her replacement Miss Jarvis will commence duties on Monday 23rd January.

Student teachers Miss Risbridger and Miss Mackay are currently placed with Primary 7 and 5 respectively. Primary 2 also has an HNC student placement this term where Laura Buchan will be assisting in five week blocks.

Pupils in |Primaries 5 and 6 will be learning about traditional Scottish music over the next four weeks. Traditional musicians Addie Harper and Gordon Gunn will be visiting the school to work with the pupils in these classes.

The Bring and Buy Sale has changed dates. It will now take place on Tuesday 24th January. The Primary 7 pupils organise and run this event and we felt it was going to be too a busy a week if we kept it on the original date. We would be most grateful of any donations of items. The pupils absolutely love this event and items are sold very reasonably. Do ensure that your child is able to participate in this fun by having some pennies with them. All profits go towards the cost of the York trip. I will try to show some pictures of the delight which the pupils have at picking up a bargain in our next newsletter.

A small number of pupils took part in the Christmas general knowledge quiz. The winning entries were:
Disney quiz Primaries 1, 2 and 3: Ryan Campbell
Animal quiz Primaries 4 and 5 : Murray Grant
Caithness quiz Primaries 6 and 7 : Matthew Thain

The name of the man who had the last horse and cart in Wick was given as Alex Matheson or (Matt) by almost all entrants. However the name of his horse caused greater difficulty. Two different answers were most popular – Jock and Polly. I tracked down his niece who now lives in Ross-shire and she told me that his last horse was in fact Jock but the one before that was called Polly. Polly was a friendlier horse and therefore many people can remember her well. So in the event both answers were marked as correct. Now you know!

There is an increasing understanding of the importance which parents can play in the education of their child. The general knowledge quiz is only one way in which we try to encourage parent/child interaction at Hillhead. Parent/child activities were strongly encouraged by the education authority which I visited in Canada last session. They published a monthly list of activities. As it is the first month of the year, I thought I would try to produce such a list for the first three months of this year. If parents find these ideas useful we will then continue with them. January’s activities accompany this letter.

Primary 5 pupil Craig Muir recently took his collection of rubbers in to show his classmates. Craig has been collecting rubbers for two years and now has over 300. Rubbers in a huge variety of shapes and designs. His favourite rubber is one in the shape of the darts board which you can see him holding in the picture.

If your child has a collection of any items, let us know. It is always interesting for classmates to see and we can feature the collection in future newsletters.

The MSP Jamie Stone to visit the school on the afternoon of Friday 27th January :He has asked to visit each of the classes and will stay all afternoon. This is part of a program of visits which Mr Stone is making to schools across his constituency.

The following after school clubs will take place starting this week (January 16th).
Monday Chess 3.15 – 4.00pm with Mr Henderson, Mrs W.Mackay and Miss Gray.
Tuesday Netball for pupils in Primary 6 and 7 with Miss MacDonald.
Wednesday French club for pupils in Primary 4 and 5 with Mrs Sinclair and Mrs Falconer. also
WRI Craft Club: For pupils in Primary 6 and 7 with Mrs Bruce (retired secretary), Mrs J. Cormack. Mrs F. Mackay and Mrs K.Mackay.
Thursday Football with Hymie. Primary 6/7 one week, Primary 4/5 the next. Classes will start with Primary 6/7 on January 19th Also
Singing Club for pupils from Primary 6 and 7 with Mrs Elder. Pupils will sing a range of contemporary songs.
Friday Badminton for pupils in Primary 7 with Miss Mowat and Mrs Frame.
The rugby club will start after the Easter holidays

Primary 2 twins Ailish and Alicia McNeill had a very special present on Christmas morning. Little brother Lewis was born at 8.41am on Christmas Day and weighed in at 9lbs 2oz. Ailish says her little brother is beautiful and she loves him very much. Alicia says that he is cute and doesn’t even waken her up in the middle of the night when he cries for his bottle!

School will be closed to pupils on Thursday 9th (in service day), Friday 10th and Monday 13th February.
The school will close for the Easter holidays at the normal time on Friday 31st March. It will re-open for pupils on Wednesday 19th April.

Yours faithfully,

A Budge