At the end of another difficult year, teachers across north and north east reflect on the moments that made it all worthwhile.
Farr Primary goes medieval
My best teacher moment in 2021 was seeing the excitement on pupils’ faces when I organised a Medieval Day in class. It was the end of our castles topic and pupils came dressed up and participated in medieval castle games and activities. I enjoyed hearing about their special moments throughout the topic and their enthusiasm for new learning.
– Teacher at Farr Primary, Inverness
Who’s the boss?
When one of the nursery three-year-olds asked me, “So, are you one of my teachers?” I replied, “Well sort of, I am the headteacher so that means I am a bit like the boss of the teachers.” I nearly cried with laugher when he nudged me in the ribs with his elbow and said (through his laughter), “No you’re not, I’m the boss!”
– Tracey Fraser-Lee, Headteacher at Beauly Primary, Highland
We took part in creating a recording of a climate change themed rewrite of the Band Aid Christmas song called ‘Action time’ linked to the COP26 conference. Other schools across Scotland took part as well as Ewan McGregor! – Aviemore Primary
With support from our families, who shared their news via Google Forms, we celebrated all the achievements that had taken place in and outwith school. From a pupil learning to tie his shoelaces through to the whole cluster being awarded a badge for taking part in the kids Virgin Marathon. It was a real delight to see all the pupils being recognised for their skills and interests. This will now become a monthly celebration. – Strathdearn and Daviot Primaries – Highland
Magic moment in Gaelic
I’ve been working with a child for about six months now and he’s been having real trouble with his phonics – in Gaelic – and he wasn’t getting it, and he wasn’t getting it, then he read a whole sentence. It wasn’t a big sentence, it was four words, but to him, to me and to the classroom assistant who has been with him all this time it was like gold dust. It was just beautiful. – Annchris Maclean, Gaelic Medium teacher at e-Sgoil, Scotland’s e-learning school.
One of my highlights was undoubtedly our school trip to Aviemore, which was postponed for nearly two years. The children were utterly over the moon to have time outdoors – building rafts, bushcraft and rope work. It was a total pleasure to be with them and see their enjoyment, camaraderie and freedom. It was much needed. – Brora and Helmsdale Primaries, Highland
A creative retreat
I’d like to pay tribute to my colleague, English teacher Lois Wappler. Her leadership of our school’s creative writing club VOX has been a highlight of our year. Miss Wappler uses her own creative writing prowess to inspire our students, creating a club identity and safe space for all to express themselves. She is open, caring and seeks to help every young writer do their best, no matter their age or stage of learning. With her help, S4 pupils Leah Findlay was shortlisted for a Penguin Publishing national competition ‘Lit in Colour Creative Student Prize’ and received a prize of her choice of ten books from Penguin. – Emma Jane McCluskey, faculty head of English at Mintlaw Academy
Learned by heart
I was doing a class with my third year. We’d been learning about the structure of the heart, so all the veins, the arteries, the names of the chambers – and every year kids struggle with this. My degree is in anatomical sciences so I looked at the nitty gritty of the heart and I still struggle with it sometimes. I gave them some questions and every single one of them got it right. It had been a few days since we’d done it, they didn’t have their notes and that was a high point for me – seeing that they had picked it up so easily and they were really enjoying learning. Pupils’ successes are high points for me. – Lynne Greig, Peterhead Academy, Aberdeenshire
A very special delivery
Our Primary 7 pupils delivered Christmas cards and pots of tulips and polyanthus to elderly people in the village. As they are currently unable to run their monthly community café for senior citizens, the children felt it was important to keep this important link with their community going and spread a little Christmas cheer along the way. They were delighted to see so many smiling faces waving from windows as the special deliveries were made! P7 would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped them out with donations of pots, compost and bulbs and also to Greens Nursery for kindly donating the plants. – Auldearn Primary, Highland