A HUGE thankyou for the toys!

More people donated that took away so please feel free to come tomorrow to see the amazing gifts that you could be taking away for free. Janny has said he will also leave the foyer open on Saturday 2pm – 4pm so people can come and help themselves and I have a colleague who will come and collect the rest to take to the charity Shelter next week.

Smithton parents, carers and community never cease to impress and humble me.

Aileen Mackay, HT

NHS Letter and Supporting your Child Document

You will be aware of medical concerns from the media. here is the official letter from NHS for all parents and carers:

Thriving Families is a terrific organisation for Highland families and professionals and I use their expertise lots. If you’re worried about your child’s diet, behaviour, development or anything else this document might be able to help you. It has just been updated and I thoroughly recommend ‘bookmarking’ this and keeping a copy to hand.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Catch Up Photography date

…has been changed from tomorrow to Thursday morning this week for anyone who was absent.

Thanks to those who have brought in toys and games to swap or give away. Feel free to continue to donate until Thursday. Come and choose anything until 6.30pm on Thursday from my office.

A reminder, too, if you want to sing with us as a community choir there’s a rehearsal tomorrow at 5pm at the school. If you want to join us 21st December but can’t make tomorrow just let us know so we can keep a space for you. Remember – no auditions – it’s about enjoyment and joining in!

Aileen Mackay, HT

Christmas Jumpers and Toys

Fiona from the Parent Council will be at school today around 9am selling Winter Windfall tickets in the foyer/reception. £1 per ticket.

With Christmas Jumper day (in aid of MFR Cash for Kids) coming up on Friday we thought if you have any Christmas jumpers that your children have outgrown they could be handed into school and passed along to another child.

Please hand any jumpers into school early this week (Monday & Tuesday) and note that we are not asking anyone to go out and buy a jumper – just add a bit of tinsel or just come in your school uniform.

Bring any unwanted very good condition toys and games that your child has grown out of to my room and not the community room. Come any time this week but on Thursday do come and help yourself to what others have donated. The grotto will be closed at 6.30pm on Thursday and anything left will be going to charity shops so do come along. (The fire exit door means you can come straight into my office without going through the school.) If in doubt, though, call at the school office.

Massive thanks to Jenna Gray and all involved on Saturday – a whopping £402 to MFR Cash for Kids! Good to see grannies, ex pupils, all ages of pupils and toddlers in pushchairs. Proud medal winners and hot chocolate drinkers finished off a terrific morning. Hopefully this is the start of an annual event….

Aileen Mackay, HT

Tis the Season….

…to stay calm and not get too excited! We want this to be a fun time and bring some cheer but we are also trying to keep this as a place of learning. So much is going on. We appreciate how hard it is so never feel alone particularly if you are new to the area or your circumstances have changed. Smithton is part of your family so let’s reach out to each other.

Message from Highland Council:

Dear Parent/Carer,

Industrial Action by NASUWT on Wednesday 7th December

The NASUWT has given Highland Council notice that their members will be taking strike action on Wednesday 7th December.

A decision has been made that all primary schools should remain open to all pupils including ELC on that day.

If there is any change to this position, you will be notified directly by your school.

Looking forward to the Jingle Jog tomorrow at the park – 10.30am start. Thanks to all parents and P7 ambassadors for helping out tomorrow. Remember you can also drop off any toys and games that are in excellent condition so that on Thursday parents and carers can come and swap or take things ready for the big day. I absolutely love the idea that a parent had about no paper and no boxes so that they could be played with straight away! Drop off any time from Monday and final swap, pick up Thursday by 6.30pm

We’re delighted that so many of our children are able to learn beyond school in their after school activities. Who needs the Qatar World Cup when we have three amazing girls who play for Caley! Watch a bit of the action here.

Delighted to share the Star Award winners with you and P4’s advent calendars – after finding out about the history they went on to ensure that behind each door was a positive message or emoji – fantastic. P2 showing us that learning is happening in lots of ways…and a budding teacher in the making, too.

Enjoy family time this weekend and for those of you working I hope it is productive!

Aileen Mackay, HT

End of the Week Again..

Do remember to join us next Saturday no matter what your fitness levels are. Just come and have fun raising money for MFR Cash for Kids at the same time.

Who is coming to join us singing a song at the local Christmas service? As mentioned before, Smithton has produced a Community ‘Choir’ i.e. parents, grandparents, carers, Brownies, staff, young people and everyone else in between in hte past and it’s always a great time to stand together. Come and sing with us 21st December. Here’s the song we’re singing and there will be a couple of sessions nearer the time so we can get our act together…

Parent Council Windfall!

The Winter Windfall is back for 2022!

Get your tickets to be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes:

1st Prize: £200 vouchers

2nd Prize: £100 vouchers

3rd Prize: £50 vouchers 

Bonus Prize: Family Weekend Away

*Vouchers will be winners choice from a selection of options.

Books will be available for collection at the following places:

·       School reception from Monday, 28th November

·       Jingle Jog on the 3rd December

·       Toy Drop and Swap on the 8th December

·       Christmas Shows on the 12th, 13th and 14th December

·       Parent Council members will also be available in the community before/after school throughout December (will update on Facebook when these will take place)

If you need books out with these times, please contact the Parent Council facebook page and we can arrange delivery.

Tickets are £1 each.

The Winter Windfall will be drawn on Wednesday, 21st December 2022.

All entries, monies, and unsold tickets should be returned to school by Tuesday, 20th December 2022.

Gymnastics Activity Instructor

This instructor accreditation provides an alternative to the traditional coaching pathway, allowing anyone to upskill and lead delivery of low-level gymnastics skills to recreational participants; supervise others, and support the growing demand for recreational gymnastics activity in clubs, leisure centres or schools. 

This is a 4 day course open to Individuals aged 18+, no previous gymnastics experience is required and costs £399 (This can be fully funded through Highlife, if the participant will be involved in the delivery of Active Schools sessions) therefore a bit of commitment is required by the participant.  More information on this course can be found here: https://www.scottishgymnastics.org/education/coaching-instructing-gymnastics-activity-instructor

Learn to Coach Gymnastics

The Learn to Coach gymnastics course is a 1 day course for Leaders 14yrs + who are interested in supporting gymnastics sessions.  This qualification does not allow participants to lead any gymnastics sessions.  This is aimed at Leaders who are looking for an introduction course to Gymnastics and who may be interested in going down a Gymnastics coaching role in the future.

Please do let me know if you have any staff, volunteers or leaders who would like to attend either of these courses and hopefully we will manage to get this training provided in the new year.



David Shaw – Active Schools Coordinator, Culloden ASG

High Life Highland | Culloden Academy | Keppoch Road | Inverness | IV2 7JZ

M:07795825603 T: 01463 796130


Facebook: Culloden Active Schools

Instagram: @HLHActiveSchools

Twitter: @HLHSport

Almost £400 raised by you all for Children in Need! Well done P3 and P5 for all the organisation. Fantastic Star Award winners this week with a whole range of ways they have evidenced the school values and improved their learning.

Who needs royals or MPs attending COP meetings when you can have P4 CN at Smithton speaking directly to the conference in Egypt. Great wee video here from them.

As the days are turning colder please do ensure your child is well wrapped up and all gloves, hats, scarves and jackets have their names in them…we have a number of jackets in lost property at the moment!

Have a good last in November weekend,

Aileen Mackay, HT


The weather has finally caught up – Christmas is coming. Watch paths and puddles this morning as there is ice everywhere. parents and carers – there’s a great idea coming to you from Parent Council via Dojo later today.

Thanks to Jenna she’s created a family event in two weeks’ time – do come along!

Have a good Monday,

Aileen Mackay, HT

Bits and Pieces

Dear Parents,

Have you ordered your school photos yet? A polite reminder that the closing date for free delivery back to school is Sunday 27th November 2022.  Order through the Tempest website using your unique link or visit www.tempest-orders.co.uk

If you need any assistance in ordering your photos, feel free to contact Tempest on 01736 751555 (option 3).

Many thanks, Tempest Team

The winter bugs are really upon us…here’s hoping we all build up immunity that our bodies have missed out on over the last few years. Please remember to keep your child off for 48 hours even if it looks like a full recovery as often the bug is still in our systems so not only do we pass it on, if we’re not fully clear there’s more chance of it catching us again!

Thank you to P3 and P5 for organising Children in Need today. They will tell you the amount raised next week. Good spotty fun all day today to cheer us up in the rain.

See below for child payments you may be entitled to.

Ms Cunningham is our new Senior Early Years Practitioner. She started on Monday and will be working in all the rooms to get to know everyone for a couple of weeks before settling down to helping us continue to make Smithton ELC the best place it can be to lay the foundations of learning at the school.

Photos tonight are star awards, Paige’s success with collecting, wrapping and handing over shoeboxes to Blythswood, P4 and COP27 speaking to Egypt (more on this next week – we have budding politicians!) mark making in nursery ready for writing, Children in Need and some photos of P7s comparing them to when they were wee and cute…

Have a good weekend.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Children in Need

🐻Children In Need 2022🐻

Children in Need is coming up this Friday (18th). P3HB and P5KS have been put in charge of organising children in need this year, and have done an amazing job!

Children should come in wearing their most SPOT-tacular outfit (so wear lots of spots) and bring in any donations they want to make. Activities on the day will include a Pudsey bear hunt, a guess the spots game, and a drawing competition.

Can’t wait to see all the spots!

Love from P3 HB and P5 KS