Latest Update, Mid Week News

Thanks to the Family Team for finding this helpful illustration.

Please remember flu vaccination is tomorrow. The team coming is well prepared and ready to go round all the classes rather than the children coming to a central point and they will be well protected. Your child will not receive the vaccination unless you have returned the form and we are aware that some parents don’t want their children vaccinated.

Star award winner, Emma from P3 NS last week

Meet the P1 teachers next Wednesday late afternoon – look out for the blog post at the beginning of the week for the code so you can get the chance to see what your children have been learning in P1 and P1/2. More information about parent chats with teachers from the rest of the school after the October holidays.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Star Awards, House Captains and P1, P1/2 Info

We are still waiting for clearance to get our extra curricular clubs back up and running, even outdoor ones. While we’re waiting the Outdoor Explorers have updated their website to help families explore the outdoors together. Click here to see the latest information.


See the Star Award winners from last week, tidiest classroom winner – and see Morgan catching up on maths work over the weekend! P5 RJ had a great time watching the spitfire fly overhead to say, ‘Thank you’ to the NHS.


Our House Captains from P7 were leted and then interviewed last week. Here are messages from them:


Innes McConachie

I would like to introduce myself to the P1s so they know who I am and that they can come to me if they need help.  At parents evenings I like helping people and talking to the parents. And the other reason I want to be house captain is because any kid could give up at any but I want them to know if you believe you will achieve.

Sophie Stokes

As a house captain I would first like to help with looking after the primary 1-2 with their learning.

I would like sports day brought back to the school if covid-19 is over.

The little ones  clean up after themselves. P7 and house captain take it in turns to give stickers to those who clean up and design colour stickers to stick on them.

Owen Whitehead

As house captain I would like my roles  to include  helping  with parent meetings (setting it up). I would also like to help the littler ones in and around the playground helping them if they need help or hurt themselves. 

I would like to help with the infant end of the school if the pupils are giving the teachers a hard time.

 I would like to be able to help the teachers within the classrooms as a pupil support by helping the children with their  reading, maths and writing.  


  • Speak loud at assembly 
  • Be a good role model
  • Be a good House captain 
  • Be good at speaking out 
  • Be good at communicating with teachers and pupils 
  • Be good at leading by example 
  • Be good at solving peoples problems In the school 
  • Neatly dressed

Dexter Mackintosh

I see my role as house captain being mainly as a helper, as this can be in different ways.

I want  to help the younger pupils, in and out the playground, and help to set good examples by being a good role model. I also see my role to help to fundraise for the school so we can fix the gazebos and have spare money for equipment and games.

I also see my role as a confident and positive representative of Smithton primary always looking at the brighter side of the situation and respecting the 5 values.

Freddie Hoare

As a house captain I will help the younger children’s ideas and opinions be heard, because it is normally the P6 and P7s who are listened to. I will help with fundraisers to make money in our school. I will also help keep the school safe. 

Charlie MacIver

What I hope to achieve? 

I want to do well in school and to be  known as a responsible house captain when I leave.  I would like to be a good example and visible as a person that will help people.

What I want the role to be? 

 As house captain I think that house captains should always do the 5 values and then if little kids see house captains being positive, honest, caring, respectful and friendly. They hopefully will learn to use the 5 values. 

Layla Campbell

For the house captains role this year I think we should make a special effort to help out with as much as we can at school, especially trying to help bring everyone together during Covid 19 so that no one feels left out in the playground. Also I think we could help fundraise for the school council, it may be challenging but I have a couple of ideas like:

  • Video calling but paying not too much like 50p to watch the ice dunk challenge.
  • Video calling but maybe the boys that play football and girl’s too could have a match and they put money in for how many goals they score, so if Dexter scored a goal then they would all need to pay 1 pound then if he or someone else scored a goal then 2 pound because that is 2 goals scored.
  • Again video calling but paying to watch the children be silent for 10 minutes and i’m sure a lot of people will want to see that.

Aims as house captain:

I would really like the Brodie Panthers to successfully win the house points this year as house captain. 

I want to show the rest of the Brodie Panthers that Innes and myself are proud to be their house captains this year and make them proud of us as their captains.

Play Based Learning in P1 and P1/2

If you are a P1 parent or carer, please join us this evening for a video meeting to catch up on what ‘play based learning’ means and what we are able to do during the restrictions. We want to keep to the Government guidelines but still following our play based approach. It’s frustrating for us when we can’t actually meet you like would have normally at this time of year to show you what the children are learning but please bear with us! If you can, join me at 6.30pm tonight using the code below.



Art Gallery in the Sun

Well done, Mrs Tough’s P3 class for bringing some culture to our school! The art work is amazing and the artist notes made me proud.

Do you recognise these scooters? They have been left lying for more than two weeks now. Please come and collect before we take them to a charity shop

HT Learning Summary is available and the focus on helping learning to continue at home.

We had two good days for in service training as a staff and although we couldn’t spend time together in the school we are all getting better at meeting using technology and it’s now almost ‘normal’ to have virtual meetings!

One area that has been affected by the restrictions of COVID-19 is our approach to P1 and P1/2 that we were so excited about. We have had time to think how we can have a ‘half way house’ that gives variety of activities, depth of knowledge for the children yet still follows the Government guidelines to keep us all safe. We will have a video meeting on Monday at 6.30pm and I will explain this a bit further to parents of children in those classes. The video link will come out on Monday but I wanted to give you advanced warning.

Enjoy the lovely Smithton sunshine this evening.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Friday Round Up

Quick reminder that we have in service days on Monday and Tuesday so no school or nursery. Most staff will be working from home but we will all be working virtually with each other.

Please see the HT learning summary in the website (I still can’t get to grips with all the changes to uploading this blog including how to link webpages – sorry!!)

You will have noticed that we have solar panels on the new roof. I’m also delighted with how many people are taking their bikes or scooters to school! we’re doing our bit for the planet. I have made sure that our school is down on the waiting list for another bike shed. Keep pedalling…

Parent Council AGM Tuesday 29th September – a virtual meeting will take place so as many of the Parent Forum can attend. More to follow in the next couple of weeks.

Here is a glimpse in classrooms and learning this week. It is so good to see so many young people engaging with their learning! well done the Star Award people, too.

Have a good weekend and we will see you on Wednesday morning, bright and breezy.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Star Award Winners

Congratulations to our Star Award winners this week and to P5 Mrs Mitchell’s class for winning the tidy class area award from the cleaners. You’ll see that not all of the winners’ photos are up – apologies – the rest will come on Monday…a few technical hitches.

On the note of awards, it’s not like me to be lost for words but I was totally taken aback by the staff who put me forward for the national award. It’s very easy to be a dedicated head teacher when you have dedicated staff, young people and an inspiring community around you. This recognition is shared with you all as we continue to strive to keep people and families safe while getting back into the swing of things. I’m truly humbled that many of you took the time to vote but can we leave the mark in history that this award was a combined effort and that we couldn’t have done it without each other? You continue to inspire me as colleagues, young people, parents, carers and the whole community of people here.

Have a good weekend and keep each other safe,

Aileen Mackay, HT

Learning Council 2020-21


Congratulations to all of our new ‘Learning Council’ members who attended their first meeting today.  We look forward to them representing the views of the pupils throughout the school and helping us make Smithton School the best it can be.

Officially a ‘Lockdown Legend’ – Congratulations Mrs Mackay!

Aileen Mackay                    Aileen Mackay Tree of Knowledge

We are delighted to announce that following a public vote, our very own Mrs Mackay has won a national competition run by training company Tree of Knowledge that recognised the commitment and care she showed to the Smithton community during lockdown.  She is an inspiration to us all and. for once, she might have to take a weekend off, as the prize is a weekend in a tree-house!







Nursery (ELC) Information and School Lunches

Sent from Highland Council central team to all ELCs:

Good morning

Early Learning DD payments were suspended  during the period that there was no ELC childcare due to Covid 19 the last DD payment was collected at the end of March.

The payments will now restart at the end of September and you will be advised by your setting what the new amounts should be.  If you cancelled the payments and your child is still using the service a new DD mandate will be issued detailing the monthly costs.

If you no longer use the service a statement will be issued in due course to advise if they are any outstanding fees which can be paid via the one of payment link

If you have queries of the balance of your account please contact the main school office.

Please note that Mrs Matheson is the person in the office to deal with this but works part time. If in doubt, contact Mrs Stuart, Childcare Manager.

All flexible hours are approved so starting next week, the hours that you requested will go ahead. 

Nursery lunch menu from next week until further notice

School lunch menu from next week until further notice

It’s Friday Already!

Time flies when you’re having fun, as the saying goes…and it’s been a full on week at Smithton ELC and school. Around the school this week we have been learning how to write in paragraphs, writing with imagination, symmetry in maths, Mary Queen of Scots, leadership skills, one point perspective in art, focus on handwriting and reading to name but a few areas….and that is how staff are able to assess how well your child is doing. They observe, listen and plan next steps based on what is happening. The young people are getting back in to the swing of assessing their own work and the learning of their peers. It is a joy to come to Smithton with such dedicated learners! Again, staff are so skilled in how they are making the children feel relaxed in the school environment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In nursery (ELC) it has been a hive of activity. We can’t believe how well they are following routines and staff have been fully engaged with me this week planning new learning and ensuring your children are learning through play in a stimulating way. I loved this photo of a tree being planted by four of them. I like to think when I’m an old lady (ok – older) still following the Smithton Blog that there will be photos of young people with this tree all grown up around the young learners! It would be good for Skyla, Jack, Riley and Finn to look back to this photo with their children at the nursery remembering the day it was planted by them!


‘This is an oak tree that we helped to plant in the extended garden. Hopefully we will remember Irvin years to come.’

Parent. carer survey letter

This has come from Highland Council and we are being asked to bring it to your attention so that you can feed back on your ‘lockdown experiences’ as a family. Please complete by 11th September. Thank you in advance. (Our weekly surveys gave us so much information to guide us on what we did next for you so thank you once again!)

Physical distancing in the playground and the wearing of masks

A regular plea for all adults to be 2m distance away from other adults and if this is not possible please wear a face mask. There are a few parents who are expressing concern and I’m just giving a gentle reminder. I appreciate how difficult it is to remain 2m away so if it’s easier to keep a face mask in your pocket and put it on for a short while all adults would be much obliged.

A parent has reminded me that 57 years ago today Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech. Here is a link to that speech taken from you tube. Might be worth a family discussion about current equality and racial tensions your children might see on TV or the news. ‘Love is stronger than hate’ and ‘don’t pre judge’ are messages that we have been giving out regularly.

Have a good weekend staying safe, following the guidelines and enjoying family and friends where possible.

Aileen Mackay, HT