Teenage Brain Workshop Tonight

Good morning! Hope you’ve all done your early morning jog with it being the focus on health and well being this week?!

A wee reminder that all are welcome to our final parent/carer workshop of the school year tonight at 6pm. We’re delighted to have Emma Campbell, the lead for Primary Mental Health Workers in Highland with us presenting. Come to the front entrance of the school as we will probably be in the community room. This is a fascinating subject and with the knowledge that Emma brings it could save you a number of unwanted/unnecessary arguments with your child as he/she grows up! Anyone is welcome whether you have teens at home, your child is about to be a teen or you want to prepare for it. A good opportunity to meet together and realise it’s not just your family having these discussions, debates or worries!

We can offer online if you want – just email me for the code aileen.mackay@highland.gov.uk

Have a good day. The children and young people are learning to relax, tune into nature and listen as well as race, develop team skills and use their bodies this week. Be kind to your own mind and body this week, too.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Summer Activities – Book Now!

Schools’ Out Summer 2023 Bookings are now open!

You can search all the activities running in Culloden Leisure Centre by selecting ‘Culloden Academy Leisure Centre’ in the Facility section and pressing search.

We also have sessions running in Ardersier & Smithton on weeks 2 & 3 of the holidays, you can search for these by selecting ‘Ardersier Play Park’ or ‘Smithton Playing Field’ in the facility section.

Bookings available from:


Sports, Health and Wellbeing Week Ahead

A reminder that it is alright if your child wants to wear sports gear all week as we will be out and about for most of it however equally, if your child prefers to wear school uniform as that’s routine then continue to wear school uniform.

Delighted to share with you news about Philip who is competitive yet part of a team and understands that he will get better and more skilled when he has fun! He gets things in perspective and realises it’s ‘ok’ to feel down or annoyed when he doesn’t win…but it’s part of life! A quote: he joined the Inverness Shinty Academy almost four years ago and Mr Jamieson has coached him for his first two years in that club and the last year via Smithton after schools club. A great coach encouraging the rule of always have fun has been great for Philip and kept him involved at times when other sports have ramped up.

Water, sunblock and hat are, hopefully, essential for the rest of the week!

Aileen Mackay, HT

Scorching times…and not just the weather!

This has been a terrific week of learning, achieving and exhaustion…and that’s just the staff! To enable children to enter festivals, competitions, visits, trips and off site learning staff need to be organised to ensure the right people are at the right place at the right time with the budget and risk assessments…oh and make sure there is transport as well. Most of the time we can’t do these events without volunteer parents during the day and volunteer staff at weekends. A MASSIVE thank you to staff and parents who enabled the Inter-School sports and Baillie Cup to have a Smithton entry again this year. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know I’m competitive so it gives me a great thrill when Smithton wins or places well. This year Josie and Eve were record breakers as well! What I also love is sheer determination (90% of my job!!) so for those who didn’t get medals, just the fact that you kept on going despite your disappointment meant that your points still mattered…3rd in Inter- Schools and a couple of points away from a place in Baillie Cup. I’m also a team player and, again, huge respect for the teams who cheered each other and other schools on but were polite and pleasant to all they encountered. This is obviously not the norm for judges and coaches as they remarked on it and always do, whichever event we enter.

Meanwhile, back at school, staff and young people were working on their final assessments and learning for the year. There are a few photos of children showing their understanding of division and building Lego models using teamwork and sharing skills. One of the best pictures that wasn’t taken this week (why do I never have the camera on me at the right time?) was when the new P1 parents and their children came to the open early evening to have informal information and any individual questions answered. Because of the hard work and organisation for transition for early years, our nursery and P1 staff, the children were leading their parents! At one point there was a group of children sitting on the playground altogether chatting and so relaxed which also helped some nervous parents realise their child fetl safe and secure already.

We’re looking forward to sports, health and wellbeing week next week. The competitive element is based on team building rather than individuals but hopefully all will take pride in taking part for their houses and keep creating more points! Do come on Friday to the Flood Prevention grounds and join in with cheering on the relay races. A timetable will be out on Dojo so you can see when your children are taking part…we’re also hoping for a parent tug of war game at the end of Friday….get into training for Friday, please and earn your children’s houses some points!

Have a lovely weekend – remember to get into the shade at some point but here’s hoping there’s plenty sun too.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Apologies, The Haven!

I should have said the vast majority of the money will be going to The Haven Charity – sorry!! Details of how much raised will be on here early next week. Apologies again.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Ethical and Enterprising!

Tradition in Highland is for P7s to have ‘leaver hoodies’ and as part of their social and geography studies earlier in the year this P7 year group decided that they didn’t want to use the usual supplier but they would find an ethical one – knowing well sourced and people were well paid to make the garments. This meant that it cost a wee bit more…so they decide that they would have a Friday afternoon event where they provided fun for the rest of the school either quizzes, competitions, food, games, car washing for staff, etc. etc to raise a bit extra so their parents didn’t need to pay more than previous years.

A very proud moment for all staff to see this year group organise and carry out such an event. They will be showing off their leadership skills to their families 19th June (sorry there isn’t enough room for all to come!) and I think they will rerun this afternoon for the school fete 23rd June it was so good!

The months are coming thick and fast and as we head into June this coming week we are reminded how much the children have been learning throughout the year. The annual report will be with you 9th June and it has been a pleasure to read over everyone’s progress so far.

All the best for our athletes tomorrow in the inter school sports! Photos to be shared here next week along with Baillie Cup during the week. Health and well being week 6th – 9th June and remember you are most welcome to join us for the relay events on the 9th.

Today was Mrs Stevenson’s last day before she moves to NHS to be a massive influence there. It was with regret that we all said goodbye today but she’s promised us she will visit. Thank you, Mrs Stevenson for all your enthusiasm, care and commitment to every child and their families that came your way and all the very best for the future. She her happy face in the Star Awards photo!

Have a great weekend,

Aileen Mackay, HT

Parent Council and Parental Engagement

Message from Claire Horsburgh, PC Chair:

Peer Support Coffee and Chat Mornings

Hope you managed to enjoy some of the sunshine last night!

The poll conducted found that Friday’s were the preferred days for our peer support coffee and chat sessions.

I have booked the community room for Friday 26th May at 9am. I will be there about 9.10am once I pop the wee one into nursery.

Do you want to join me?

On the back of a very informative sessions with Rose from the family team on Thursday and Friday on Anxiety in Children I thought we could make this the first discussion topic.

The purpose of the group is to provide support to each other as a parent forum, so the sessions will be parent to parents rather than teachers.

😍 Let’s share our experiences, maybe something worked for you and your family that another family hasn’t thought of.

😍 Maybe you just need to know that you are not alone!

😍 Come along and join me, it’s a confidential space. 

😍 Even if you just want a warm cuppa and a chance to take a breather for an hour.

😍 Topic is not set in stone, if there is another topic you want to have a chat about please do let me know.

I’ll be there until about 10am but I have the room booked until 11am so if anyone is running late or the discussion takes longer we have time.

If your planning popping along please let me know (comments or dm) so I know how many cakes to buy and seats to set out ☺️

Sports, Health and Wellbeing Week 6th – 9th June: if you can, join us on Friday 9th June for the house relays – more information to come but keep the day free if you want to join us late morning until early afternoon. We’ll also have a relaxation session for parents to see what the rest of the school will have been doing and it is something you can do as a family as well. We’re just finalising the activities for the week and will share the timetable with you. For some children and young people wearing the school uniform is really helpful in maintaining routine but feel free to wear easy sportswear all week that week as there will be daily activities around health and wellbeing all week. I know one or two people have approached Parent Council members about a traditional sports day with individual competition but as this is part of our curriculum we keep it inclusive and about being the best YOU can be rather than against each other. There are competitive sports clubs for those who enjoy that element and as a school we encourage youngsters to compete in local athletics and running events: Inter schools and Baillie cup both coming up soon.

Parental engagement with the school has been terrific this school year since we’ve been allowed to meet again. I can’t thank parents and carers enough for stepping up and helping to make Smithton even better from getting necessary paperwork and checks to be able to help at the school to attending meetings, sharing experiences and helping us get things right for the community. It was also wonderful to see so many of you at the Big Spring Sing on Friday night where our Sing and Sign group performed twice to help funds for The Haven which will be opened in July with a grand opening in August…watch this space as we’re invited to be part of the official proceedings…Can I also give a shout out to all our parents and staff who give up their free time after school and in evenings taking groups of children for a wide range of extra curricular activities. You have also inspired some of the P7 young people as there are now two clubs that they are leading – athletics and running at lunch times and a Friday after school chess club. The grounds are being enhanced by our gardening group and, again, we couldn’t do all of these things without the generous support of staff and parents. Thanks to Donna and Elaine who have been busy over the weekend in the Four Seasons garden – photos below. What I love most with all the plants and flowers is that they have been donated by the community from their own gardens..a huge thank you to all of our community.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow and those who have been off sick – we’ve missed you.

Aileen Mackay, HT