For the last 13 years, headteacher Sandra Japp has worked hard to put Gourdon School at the “heart” of the community.
From running the local pensioners club to offering a breakfast club for youngsters, the school aims to offer something for all ages.
And under the watchful eye of Mrs Japp and her 10 staff, the pupils have recently completed two projects on two of the area’s most prominent attractions.
In the first, all 88 pupils – as well as the pensioners club – visited Arbuthnott House, researched various items in the house and interviewed the Arbuthnott family, before compiling their findings in an E-book for all to read.
During the second project, which ran for three years, youngsters teamed up with the Maggie Law Maritime Museum. Together with local songwriter Dave Ramsay, they wrote songs about the 1890-built Maggie Law inshore lifeboat, before designing and making games for other children visiting the museum to enjoy. Their efforts were filmed by Aberdeen University to further promote the area.
Mrs Japp, who was last night awarded the Outstanding Leader of the Year accolade, said she believed it was important for the school to take part in such projects as the “very rich source of learning”.
She added: “It’s made parents, pupils and senior citizens work together with the school, which has made it very much the heart of the community.”
The teacher admitted that when she first heard she had been nominated for an award she thought it was a wind-up.
She said: “I was speechless. I certainly don’t think of myself as an outstanding leader. It’s really thanks to my staff, parents, pupils and the wider community because we all work together in partnership.
“If, through that partnership, outstanding things happen, then I’m happy to accept the award on behalf of everyone.”