Parent Newsletter Archive
Scottish Culture Day.
On Monday 3rd March, all S1 pupils took part in a “Scotland and its Culture Day”, a school event held under the national “Curriculum for Excellence” initiative. Throughout the day S1 pupils learned about Scotland and its Culture in each subject studied. Several cross-curricular activities also took place. An extended lunch break was given to all S1 pupils who were brought together in the school dining area for a “Burns Supper”, eating selections from a specially created Scottish menu while being entertained with Scottish music and poetry. Every department entered into the spirit of the day with posters and displays of pupil work reflecting the Scottish theme.
Also on the evening of Monday 3rd March, a Showcase Evening, originating from plans from the new Parent Council, took place throughout the school. Almost every department involved pupils working on some theme which parents and friends were invited to observe or even take part in. Food was provided and the jazz band entertained those present at the half time break. PE, with pupils teaching parents and friends dance steps in the games hall, proved very popular, as did Music with choirs and bands in the Assembly Hall. However, all departments represented gave a good account of themselves and it was really rewarding to see so many pupils, parents, friends and staff taking part in this most worthwhile event. We estimate that there were approximately two hundred and fifty people either taking part, or present, on the evening which was a great success.
Hat trick for Garnock.
Garnock Academy Music Department is celebrating a clean sweep of all three of the major North Ayrshire Schools music competitions. These events are competed for by all North Ayrshire schools, and never previously has one school won all three events. Amazingly, this year Garnock pupils have been successful in winning the NAC Young Chorister of the Year award, the NAC Young Singer of the Year award and the NAC Young Musician of the Year award.
Morna McGeoch (S4) started our successful run by winning the Young Chorister competition on 19 September 2007. The competition is open to all pupils from North Ayrshire Schools Junior & Intermediate Choirs.
Kirsty Williamson (S5) continued our success by winning the NAC Young Singer competition on 13 February 2008. Each North Ayrshire secondary school holds its own Young Singer competition, and each school winner competes for the overall title of North Ayrshire Young Singer of the Year. The specially commissioned trophy won by Kirsty will be displayed in school.
Finally, percussionist James Crook (S5) won the Young Musician competition on 20 February 2008, again against strong competition. Each North Ayrshire secondary schools holds its own heats, and each school winner competes in the final. James received the Provost’s Award Trophy, which will be displayed in the school alongside the other two trophies won by Morna and Kirsty.
January start for Middle School.
At the start of the new term in January, all S2 pupils moved onto their chosen middle school subjects. These pupils have now been working on their new courses for over two months and are making good progress towards their middle school certificates. This move is unique to Garnock Academy – most Scottish schools wait until the start of S3 to make this move – but we believe the early start offers significant benefits to pupils by allowing additional time to be spent on middle school work.
Changes in Staffing.
Mr M Sanderson (Social Subjects Department) left Garnock Academy in February to take up the post of Principal Teacher of Social Subjects in Arran High School. Ms S Brown joined the Social Subjects department on 17th March, and we wish her well in her new post. Mr J Merrick (Computing Department) has been seconded to the post of Principal Teacher of Computing in Auchenharvie Academy, taking up this post on 10th March. Mr A Duff (Computing Department) joined the staff on 10th March, and we also wish him well in this post.
Merit letter for Good Behaviour.
We will be posting home merit letters to reward pupils who have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner over the Spring term. This is to say “Well Done” to them, and to ask them to keep up this high standard.
HMI visit on 28th & 29th April.
Garnock Academy was inspected by HMI in April 2006. Inspectors will visit the school on 28th and 29th April as an arranged follow-up to the 2006 report. They will observe classes and evaluate progress made on the action points highlighted in their report.
Examinations and Supported Study.
Supported study for the forthcoming SQA examinations in S4, S5 and S6 has been running for some weeks now, with a bus home provided at 5pm. Pupils should check with the relevant department for details of classes over the next few weeks. There will also be the opportunity to undertake some serious supported study during the Spring Break holiday in Higher Mathematics, Music and Technical. The school will be open some of the time during the Spring Break where staff from the above subjects will be taking revision classes. Pupils will be notified of details over the next few days.
Various Pupil Activities
S1, S2 and S3 pupils took part to walk or run a mile for Sports Relief on Thursday 13th March. This event was very well supported and thanks to all who took part and donated £1. Staff were also involved by taking part in a sweepstake to find a mystery sports celebrity, and the whole school community was caught up in buying striped red & white Sport Relief socks. Details of the total amount of money raised will follow in due course.
Young Scot representatives from S4 attended a Youth Achievements Award Day at the Claremont Hotel in Kilwinning on Wednesday the 5th March to complete their youth achievement folios. A good day was had by all.
All S1 – S3 pupils participated in the “Drop Everything and Read” event which took place on Thursday 6th March between 10.30am and 11.00am.
The PE department wishes to thank all the pupils who attended the Aviemore Skiing excursion on 23rd and 24th February for their exceptional behaviour throughout the weekend. Even though the weather conditions meant that there could be no skiing on the slopes, the Saturday afternoon spent on the dry slope was very enjoyable and the entertainment provided by the hotel and ski instructors was very much appreciated. The Saturday night disco allowed some of the pupils to showcase their dance moves, although none could match the formation dancing team of Mr Neill, Mr Boyle and Mr Morris.
Artist of the month for the month of March is Dawn Thomson from class 1G. Dawn’s self-portrait is on display in the visitor’s room.
Garnock Academy is in the early stages of setting up its own radio station which will soon be broadcasting around the school. Although a healthy number of volunteers are already involved in the team, new members from any year group are welcome to join in. Stay Tuned for further information.
End of Term
School closes at 2.30pm on Friday 4th April and re-opens for pupils at 9.00am on Tuesday 22nd April. Have a good Spring Break.
Brian McNaught Rector April 2008