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13 September 2005

We are all aware of recent events in West Lothian surrounding the tragic death of Rory Blackhall and I suspect that there are very few teachers and parents who have not shared in the family’s grief. In light of these events I have been asked to remind parents of the importance of good two way communication with regard to absence from school. If by the end of three days of absence the school has not received communication from parents/carers office staff will make contact with the home. If unable to make contact or to establish an acceptable reason for a child’s absence we are then obliged to pass this information to the Area Education Manager, Graham Nichols and to the Social Work Department.

By ensuring our emergency contact details are as up to date as possible and contacting the school within a three day absence period parents can assist in our administration of absences. It is helpful if on the child’s return to school they bring a note of explanation which the class teacher can attach to the register. Thank you for you co operation in this matter.

This term we have chosen to support CLIC and the Roald Dahl Foundation through participating in Children’s Book Week Readathon. The fundraising activity will be for children to guess how many books the whole school (staff and pupils) will read in that week. Further information will be issued nearer the time.

All children took part in voting for their new House Captains for this session. Well done to the P7 pupils who took part in standing for election by making their speeches to their House Team members. Congratulations to the following children who were chosen to be House Captains:-

HARALD Tammy Rendall Danny Gunn

SINCLAIR Jenni Hinds Liam Begg

THOR Chloe Elder Kerr Mackay


The children from P4-7 recently participated in elections to appoint two Pupil Council Reps for each class. The reps are as follows;-

P4 Hannah Smith Craig Wares
P5 Tori Mackenzie Josh Watt
P6 Vicki Davidson Callum Ferguson
P7 Stacey Waters Ross Mackay

Congratulations to the new reps. We will keep you up to date with Pupil Council projects via the school newsletter throughout the year.

Approximate costs for buses last year for individual class trips, football/netball, etc came to £1800. This does not include the bus for the P7 Edinburgh trip. The School Board Excursion Fund contributed £300 towards these costs. I hope you will join me in thanking Mrs MacKrell, School Board Treasurer for organising the draw each month. The school would also like to thank parents for their monthly contributions.

Open meeting with Mrs Farmer
Following recent discussion with one or two parents I have decided it might be a useful activity for me to hold regular open meetings with parents to discuss general issues, answer questions etc. The School Board have agreed to have a representative attend each meeting. To allow me to be prepared for any questions you might have it would be most helpful if parents could call the office prior to the meeting and give a brief indication of their query. The first meeting will be held in the Parents’ Room on Wednesday, 28 September at 3.15 pm.

We had our first meeting last night which was very poorly attended. Of 144 families in the school, only 5 children were represented. I would like to thank those parents for their support and urge other parents with concerns to join us at the next meeting. As I have indicated before, I am unable to carry this project forward without parental support as it is only through the support of the parents I will be able to access funding. The main areas for concern are:

· Crossing in Mount Pleasant Road.

· Crossing in Castle Terrace.

· Cycle storage within the school grounds.

The date for the next meeting has to be arranged as I am hoping representatives from Roads Dept and the Safer Routes to School initiative will be able to attend. Details to follow.

Just a brief reminder there will be an open evening this evening at 6.30 pm to provide parents with background information about this project.

The SNAG has had their first meeting. The children were represented by Michaela Cameron and Rachael Canavan, P7. Mrs Cassidy and Mrs O’Kane and Agnes also sit on the group. The ideas they would like to pursue this year are:

· Establish an outdoor eating area for packed lunches.

· Provide other healthy alternatives to chocolate in the tuck shop.

The girls carried out a survey in school last week and from Monday, 19 September we will be selling digestive biscuits and choc chip rice cakes in the tuck shop. Mrs Farmer has approached the Pupil Council to help with establishing the outdoor eating area.

If any parents in the SNAG please contact the school office to indicate your interest.

I have recently received a complaint from a grandparent who witnessed children from Mount Pleasant school playing ‘chicken’ on Castle Terrace. I have spoken to all pupils at Assembly, in general terms, of the dangers of this ‘game’ but would very much appreciate if parents could reinforce this message.

Open Meeting Wednesday, 28 September

Nursery 3 and N4 workshop Wednesday, 28 September

Edinburgh Meeting Wednesday, 5 October

PTA Meeting Thursday, 6 October

Hallowe’en Fayre Thursday 27 October

PTA AGM Date to be confirmed

In-Service Days Monday 7 and Tuesday, 8 November

School Board Meeting Monday, 14 November

Christmas Show date Tuesday 13 December

All schools in Highland are trying to achieve Health Promoting Status by December 2005. We are due to have our accreditation visit on Tuesday 20 September. Health Promotion looks at Health in its widest sense not just healthy food and exercise but also the school environment, a variety of challenges for children and staff etc. I have invited members of the School Board and PTA to meet with the Accreditation Officer at 1.30 on the afternoon of his visit. If any other parents would like to meet with him please contact the school office to make the necessary arrangements. I will keep parents informed as to how we fair.

We are delighted to welcome the new Salvation Army Chaplain, Martin, who has now joined us for two Assemblies. I hope parents will join me in thanking the Wick Chaplain, Norman Waddington, who has kept assemblies going for the last year or so

Note for Note is a programme Lloyds TSB have started up. The aim of the project is to bring more music to our school. If you have an account with Lloyds TSB and are interested to find out more, please contact the school office and we will put home the information by school bag mail.

Please note further holiday dates for 2006-07 and 2007-08 have been added to the list at the end of the news letter. Unfortunately these do not include in-service dates yet. These will be added as soon as we receive them.

Six pupils from P7 were chosen to perform in the Scottish Opera’s version of Macbeth at Thurso High School last week. The children were Laura McPhee, Ellie Mackrell, Tammy Rendall, David Ross, Steven Firth and Jenni Hinds. This was a fantastic experience for the children and by all accounts, apart from the horrible pizza for tea, they had a brilliant time. Thank you to the parents and staff who volunteered to help supervise the children at the High School and to those who joined us in the audience. Well done to our six stars!

Please find attached further lunchtime information provided by Highland Council Catering Services.

Attached is a sheet of permission slips for various school activities. We have decided to cut down on photocopying by issuing these permission slips to be completed for the duration of primary 1-7 rather than re-issue every year. Please note that for any excursions outwith Thurso we will provide additional information on a separate note. I would remind parents that that this is for emergency first aid only and urge them to keep us informed of any allergies, medication, etc. Videos and photographs are only used within the school environment or to promote the school in the local press. Some photographs may be published by Caithness.org

The next PTA event will be the Hallowe’en Fayre. Information regarding this will be issued by the PTA shortly.

Copies of PTA minutes are available on the school website and also on the notice board outside the office. The next PTA meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 6, October.

The winner of August’s prize draw was Mrs Leonard (Ben and Abbie). Copies of School Board minutes are available on the school website and also on the notice board outside the office. The next meeting will be held at 7.00 pm on Monday, 14 November.


We continue to collect:

· Items for Blue Peter Appeal – clean clothes in good condition, no shoes

· Empty ink cartridges.

· Stamps

· Persil Stars

· Nestle Box Tops

· Aluminium Cans (cleaned, crushed and in a carrier bag)

School Closes (at the end of the school day on) School Opens (9.00 am on)

Friday, 7 October 2005 Monday, 24 October 2005

Friday, 4 November 2005 Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Thursday, 22 December 2005 Monday, 9 January 2006

Wednesday, 8 February 2006 Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Friday, 31 March 2006 Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Friday, 30 June 2006 Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Friday, 6 October 2006 Monday, 23 October 2006

Thursday, 21 December 2006 Monday, 8 January 2007

Friday, 30 March 2007 Monday, 16 April 2007

Thursday, 28 June 2007 Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Friday, 5 October 2007 Monday, 22 October 2007

Thursday, 20 December 2007 Monday, 7 January 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008 Monday, 7 April 2008

Friday, 27 June 2008