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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.

End Of Term MARCH 2006

Dear Parent,

Just a few items which I thought I would pass on to you before the end of term. Once again time this term has flown in and next term is the final one of the session.

As an activity for the Easter holidays a tangram square accompanies this sheet. There are many thousands of different shapes which can be made from the seven pieces which make up a tangram. A few are shown on the sheet. Hopefully this activity is one which your child will enjoy and one which you may be able to help and support your child with – particularly in the younger age group. There will be prizes for the best entry from each of the classes. We will put all the entries in a tangram book in the library.

School closes at normal time on Friday 31st March 2006.
School re-opens to staff on Tuesday 18th April
School reopens to pupils on Wednesday 19th April

May Day holiday: School close Monday 1st May
School closes for summer holidays on Friday 30th June.
School re-opens to staff on Monday 14th August

School re-opens to pupils on Tuesday August 15th.

Primary 6 pupils enjoyed a taste of the good old days in education when they had a Victorian morning in school on Thursday 30th March. Pupils had the opportunity to experience the Victorian curriculum. An example of the leather tawse was shown to the class but not used in anger on any of the pupils.

Pupils in Primary 7 had worked on designs for one of gates at the old salt cellars at the harbour in Wick. The theme of the Hillhead gate is Mythical Sea Creatures. As part of this project they visited the metal workshop of Ian Sinclair on Wednesday 28th March to see the progress made with the metal work.

The pupils in Primary 4 to 7 enjoyed working with Sally Orr and she is currently busy sewing up their rag rugs work in to large wall hangings.

A number of presentations were made at the end of term assembly on Monday 27th March. The Hillhead Swimming team were congratulated on their performance in winning the inter-school swimming championship. The final score saw Hillhead win by a very narrow margin so the effort of every swimmer in the team was vital.

The interactive competition on the library walls was also brought to a close. In this, pupils must identify a pupil or staff member from a number of clues. Winners were chosen from all of the entries and they were: Liam Macleod who identified Ashley Newlands. Caitlin Lamb who identified Stephanie Leith and Zulekha Ahmed who identified Craig Muir. Mrs Elder, the staff member, was identified by Scott Macadie. Each of the winners received a pineapple for their efforts.

Certificates for the Tree Design competition were also presented. This was a competition organised by Ms Belford who is the Technology teacher at school. The competition was also supported by engineering apprentices from Dounreay and Rolls Royce. Pupils were asked to create trees from sheets of card using no glue, staples or sellotape. A large variety of structures were created and Stephen Fraser, the Forestry Commission’s Forester for Caithness and Sutherland (Jack and Ben’s Dad) judged the entries. P4 Tallest tree: Euan McCombie, Chloe Sinclair, Robert Mackintosh, Katherine Macleod. P.5 Most lifelike tree: Tommy Burns, Stephan Colquhoun, Nicolle Barron. Primary 6 Widest tree: Mark McDougall, Michael Budge, Richard Budge Primary 7 Sturdiest tree Rachel Munro, Matthew Thain, Rona Plowman.

You may recall that the tile mosaics in the square represent different countries and that the tile designs were based on drawings by pupils from schools in these countries. The Romanian picture was by a young girl called Andreea Ludu from the city of Bacau. As a prize, Hillhead sent her a small Scottish necklace, a tartan scarf and a certificate. I have recently received a Rumanina newspaper cutting which shows Andreea with her prize. The translated headline states “ I cried when I heard I won the prize”.

In line with other nurseries in Wick the Hillhead Nursery wil be closed on Thursday 11th May to allow for staff training.

Many thanks to all parents who responded to our questionnaire on newsletter and parent tip sheets. The results were very positive and a breakdown is shown below.

Table 1 shows what parents thought of the new monthly Tip Sheets

 Table 1 How useful are the parent tip sheets

Very useful



Not great

No use






Parents made good use of the sheets with their child. Table 2 shows the reported frequency of their child’s involvement in any of the activities.

Table 2 How often does your child do any of the activities on the tip sheet.

Yes, often



Once or twice







From a total of 151 parents, 141 (93%) felt the Tip Sheets should be continued after their trial period. The next sheet will be published early next term. In the meantime, why not have a go at the Tangram challenge with your child over the Easter holidays.

Parents were also very positive about class newsletters and school newsletters. Class newsletter have been a new introduction this session and Table 3 shows that these and school newsletters are seen positively by parents.

Table 3 How do parents rate class and school newsletters


Very Good



Class newsletter




School newsletter




Parents mentioned that they particularly enjoyed reading about the activities of classes, the success of pupils and the births section of the newsletter.

The March parent tip sheet created lots of interest. The upper school one had many people working out the numerical value of their name. Primary 6 pupil Richard Budge was the only pupil whose name equalled 100 exactly although Lynsey Sutherland in Primary 7 also reported that her first name made 100 exactly. Well done also to Primary 6 pupil Declan Mackay who completed every question on the March Tip Sheet.

The infant Tip Sheet asked pupils to think on rhymes for animals such as “cat in a hat”. We had some very impressive entries indeed. Primary 3 pupil Shannon Swanson came up with a long list of 36 such rhymes including “moth in the broth”, “owl in a towel”, “dove in love” and “mink in the sink”. Connor Stewart and Scott Gunn of Primary 3 and Gemma Sutherland of Primary 2 also produced good lists of such rhymes. Each will receive a Hillhead book mark.

Some very impressive entries were made in the Primary 7 personal projects this term. The winners are shown in the table below.



Project Title


Rachel Munro

The Human Body



Anna Falconer


Gary Paterson


Rachael Steven

The Human Body

Lauren Sinclair

Sea Creatures

These personal projects are an excellent way of allowing students to develop more independent research skills and to take greater responsibility for their learning.

The school is hoping to organise a Maths Day early next term when all pupils are involved in fun maths activities for a whole day. It had been hoped to hold this event on March 28th but the public service workers industrial action prevented this.

Hillhead had a number of winners in the recent Somerfield Easter Egg competition. They are shown above: Primary 3 pupil ~ Scott Gunn and Primary 5 pupil Faye Cormack both standing. Nursery pupil Laura McClymont and Primary 1 pupil Matt Mackay, The winners can be seen along with the eggs they picked up from the local Somerfield store as their prize.

The school has been successful in its application to bring a children’s book writer up to Wick to speak to the pupils. We are currently negotiating this but the amount of time it takes to get here is a difficulty for writers. However we will hopefully strike a deal with someone for next term.

Each of the nursery pupils will receive a crème egg inside a little knitted chick. These eggs have been donated by Lily Budge (my mother) who also knitted all the little chicks. She usually starts knitting Easter chicks between Christmas and New Year. Some pictures below of our nursery pupils with their chicks.

I hope you and your family have a very pleasant break over Easter and look forward to seeing you all again next term.

Yours faithfully

A Budge