Monday’s News

Being creative and having an enterprising attitude helps us learn better. One of the main reasons we have enterprise, problem solving and learning outdoors is so we can bring out the best in all our young people. The Outdoor Explorers and Making A Difference Enterprise groups joined together to learn the messages about sticking with a plan and seeing it through on Friday afternoon with the help of Anne Martin from the national Enterprise Academy.

You should have received the slips for the school photos. Please note that you need to do this online this year for obvious reasons. If you are unable to do this online please contact the office and we will see what we can do – we don’t want you to miss out on buying the photos because your wifi is not working, etc.

Head Teacher summaries will be uploaded tomorrow.

More wellies and hoods up this week ahead. Stay safe and keep following the regulations and we’ll get through this. Lots of you have been in touch – you are not alone finding family life difficult particularly around behaviour at home. We will have a session for parents on line where the Family Team have put together some information and there will be opportunities to listen altogether but then have times on your own to discuss your family’s needs.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Believe and you will achieve….

I worked out where I was going wrong trying to upload these photos! Now let the weekend begin…

We’re delighted that Paige’s dad, Mr Sutherland has created a virtual tour of the school for us. Click on this link to see it It will also go onto the tab ‘About’ for any families moving into the area. We are delighted that he gave us this free of charge. He was motivated to do this because he was aware that so many new parents either to ELC, primary one or new to the area haven’t had the opportunity to see around the school because of the current restrictions. A huge thank you to him and his assistant, Paige, who kept him right!

We had a lone of ‘Jimmy the Janny’ again this week and on Thursday he brought his medals in from when he had been in the army. Various young people got to see them and also his survival kit. P5 RJ were particularly interested in his rebuilding of a school in Bosnia. Look out for those photos in the slideshow below. Also some children from the Butterfly room were problem solving the other day and showed great skill in team work, communication and counting to 18. Star Award moments are always proud moments and are there to give examples to us all for how we can promote our school values. Well done, everyone.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Weekend Round Up

We have invested in the House Captains to wear Smithton blazers when on official duty. Don’t they look smart? Clothes don’t give you aspiration or dedication to learn; it is always the person inside the clothes that counts. However it gives us great pleasure to see our young people taking pride in their school and community.

For some bizarre reason I am unable to upload the photos from yesterday’s Star Awards and events from around the week. I am about to lose patience…bring back the slate! Hopefully I’ll be able to get help on Monday to see where I’m going wrong and you will be able to see the great reasons why people were given certificates and how other people were learning during the week, including nursery children who were counting to 18 using planks of wood!

The kids from Westfield Way have been busy raising money for MFR Cash for Kids Mission Christmas Appeal.  The appeal has received a record number of applications this year, the kids are hoping to raise lots of money and help in any way they can.

So far they have a prize raffle, made their own candle (which has almost sold out!) and they have also made hot chocolate cones and reindeer food which they have been selling locally. 

Aileen Mackay, HT

Making soup

The children in the Butterfly room helped Mrs Cranstoun make some vegetable soup, this links in with some our Health and Wellbeing learning this term, “Together we enjoy handling, tasting, talking and learning about different foods, discovering ways in which eating and drinking may help us to grow and keep healthy.”

“It’s delicious” Kasey, “It’s got carrots in it” Eliza, “It’s yummy” Eva

Believe You Will Achieve!

In the days before Covid and prior to our new school building being completed, our Learning Council organised a competition for our pupils to design a new banner that reflected our school motto and values.  We have finally taken delivery of the winning designs and the results are proudly displayed in the school foyer.  Well done to all our winning designers and we hope you enjoy seeing the results of your efforts on show.

More Children in Need

Morgan did the girl guiding act your age challenge for children in need, she did 6 lengths of the distance from our house to Harry Gow’s (3 times up and down the hill!) With a small stop to have a Harry Gow chocolate muffin on the last lap. She’s raised over £70 for children in need….. well done Morgan!! ‘

These photos were missing from Friday – sorry!

It’s been brought to my attention that cars do not always stop at road crossings despite red lights and ‘green man’ signals. Please remind your young ones to use the crossings but also still to check that cars are actually stopping.

A reminder that photos will be taken for individuals on Wednesday. The weather is forecast for rain this week…hoods up and wellies on!

Have a good week.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Friday Round Up

A message from the Highland Council about parental engagement. I will explain more about how we will be keeping you informed in our way next week:

Parental engagement/evening update:

As an Authority we are working with our schools to ensure they feel supported in a time of great uncertainty. The Health and Wellbeing of our staff is paramount right now. Parental engagement is key. However, many factors need to be taken into account this year where face to face consultation is not possible.

Following consultation with union representatives, it has been agreed that Highland Council will proceed with a small number of schools to take part of a virtual parent engagement/evening trial. This is to make sure that a preferred system/platform works well and that there are no issues from either school or parent perspective. A mixture of primary and secondary schools in Mid, South and West areas have agreed to take part in this trial throughout November.

Once this trial has been completed further engagement with Head Teachers, parents and Unions will take place, with a decision made in how to move forward with virtual parental engagement. The timing of this pilot may mean that  this type of school engagement may not take place until  term 3.

Schools will have different approaches to parental engagement and these will vary between schools. This decision lies with the individual school and is supported by Local Authority.

Lunch Money

Can lunch money be paid at the beginning of the week and put in an envelope with the days on the front marked, please? The less kitchen staff handle money, the more time they have to prepare food and help children cutting up their food, etc. Thank you for this.

Children in Need

Yet again Smithton community rises to the occasion. £500 raised! Thank you all so much indeed. All week the classes have been looking at rights, responsibilities and the school revised values and vision. In amongst this P3 NS created puppet shows all by themselves with the theme of pirates and thinking of others. Have a watch by clicking on the links below:

Here are a few photos from this week. Pirates, substance awareness training in classes and star wards. Thank you once again for all your donations and everyone’s hard work this week.

Aileen Mackay, HT

Friday Activities

Let me start with an apology – I forgot to thank you all so much for the money you raised for the Poppy Haig Fund – £200! We really appreciate times are hard for lots of us so thank you for digging deep.

With it being Children in Need this week we agreed to a ‘dress up’ day tomorrow where we can come as pirates. It would be lovely if you can dig again and find a few coins for children in need. I know MFR Cash for Kids gets help from them so we know that the money raised comes home as well as across the country. As with the poppy money, if you can put it in an envelope it will be easier at the moment.

Next Friday we have a walk for parents, carers and the community to meet each other if you are new or just needing some adult conversation. It has been risk assessed and is safe for us to walk together. Don’t be shy – come along and get to know each other.

In Remembrance

School and Nursery showed respect this morning for those who lost their lives in the great wars, those who have been in combat since and to those who are injured. We remembered and discussed at age appropriate levels. Here are some photos and poems. Please talk with your children at home tonight about any family connections or your own thoughts.

There the bodies lay so lifeless and grey

Ready set fire and there they lay

Ending it all as we fall

Never to mention the great big fall

Chapels in the air flying over there

Happy as thin transparent air

By Dexter Mackintosh 

The Reason Poppies Are So Red.            Charlie MacIver  

Soldiers big and small. 

ending it all 

they go to bed and dont wake up

 but are always 



Loved ones dead

All hope lost

But we do have peace 

Thanking the soldier who fought in war

Thanking them! 

To live 

For tomorrow.

Friday Round Up and Monday Bits and Pieces

Star Awards and celebrating learning from last week – and incredibly all our nursery children have got into the routine of eating together in the school canteen each day! Canteen and early years staff are doing an amazing job of keeping the hall calm. I’ve included a few photos of the children playing outside in the new nursery room called ‘The Cabin’

Kayleigh wore her late grandfather’s medals to the Cavell Centre yesterday to mark Remembrance Sunday. There’s still time to donate for a poppy at school. We will be holding a short remembering time on 11th in each classroom.

This is our updated vision and values diagram. You will see the vision in the middle. Next layer out is our shared values, which haven’t changed. Next layer out is a summary of all class commitment: Ready, Respectful, Safe. Our young people were asked what they thought this meant so the next layer out is their summary. The three outer layers are national expectations: Getting it Right for Every Child, Curriculum for Excellence and United Nations expectations for children across the world.

As we head for Children In Need day on Friday (remember, if you want to dress up as a pirate you will be welcome but it’s not compulsory for those who would prefer to keep to school uniform) all classes this week will be focusing on our renewed vision and values and will be looking at what this means for their rights – and their responsibilities in class, in school, in the community and for life.

I can confirm that photographs will go ahead as planned! Also we have book an online pantomime. We are waiting for final Highland Council planning around parents’ nights, etc. I’m conscious that we would normally have had a ‘stay and play’ nursery session, ‘visit the class’ in school and also one to one parents nights by now. We’re keen to engage with you but we need to make sure we can do it safely for staff, parents and young people.

Have a good week ahead,

Aileen Mackay, HT