Page last updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 at 11:28:12 GMT

Rector's Newsletter -June 2014


June 2014


The busiest week of the Dollar calendar was blessed with sunshine this year and that simple fact made a huge difference to most of the events that took place. Whichever way you looked, there was drama and excitement on offer and that certainly included the Prep School Sports on Thursday.  The dressing-up race proved to be as competitive as ever as young damsels, clutching their hats to their heads, raced determinedly for the finish line. Showing similar fortitude, an excellent group of young athletes broke an impressive number of school records at the Junior School Sports the following afternoon.


Prep Sports

Prep School Sports Day in Action


Later that Friday evening the drama and excitement continued, combined with music and humour, at the last night of the school musical, Guys and Dolls. Several characters threatened to steal the show, particularly Nicely Nicely Johnson and General Cartwright, but in the end nothing could detract from the excellence of the four leads and the combined teamwork of the cast and band. All deserve great credit, as do the unseen stagehands and make-up crew. It is not easy to attain such high standards, but I have no doubt that it is worth the effort.  The same could be said of the Junior musical, Pirates of Penzance, which was also an outstanding production.



Pirates of Penzance



Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls


The annual Art Exhibition might not initially seem to be a ‘dramatic’ occasion, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the work displayed was truly inspiring and, for those who looked round, it will be no surprise to learn that the department has been very successful this year in helping a record number of pupils gain places on courses at prestigious art schools. Our Art Studio is a wonderful location for showcasing the talents of those at the top of the school and I was delighted that so many of our younger pupils took the chance to attend the exhibition.


On Saturday afternoon the Senior Athletics Championship events were well contested and, as always, the final event of the afternoon drew a large and expectant crowd. The Tug of War is something of an institution at Dollar and this year’s dramatic win for the boarders was wildly celebrated by those involved, not least the Houseparents. The victory certainly added to the frisson at the Boarders barbeque later that evening at McNabb and Tait. 


Following church on Sunday morning, the CCF recruit passing-out parade preceded a wonderful Pipe Band display, perhaps the best I have seen in my time at Dollar. The Pipe Band have been performing consistently well in competitions this year, recently finishing second in the European Championship in Belfast and regaining their Scottish Schools CCF title in Edinburgh, so this event was a fitting way to round off a very successful term.


The last event to finish on Sports Weekend was the annual cricket match between the Rector’s XI and the 1st XI and all involved enjoyed a very good match. Fittingly, as the game entered the final over, all three results were still possible. An honourable draw left both sides reasonably content.


Although I have focused here on the happenings of the last full week of term, I cannot finish without congratulating the team of pupils involved in producing The Galley, winner of the 2014 Scottish School Magazine of the Year. This is a fine achievement.


The end of term is rapidly approaching and I wish all pupils, staff, parents and friends of the school a very enjoyable summer.


Kindest regards








Acrobatic Gymnastics
In the 2014 Acrobatic Gymnastics British National finals, Rosa Loedel (IV) won a Gold medal, becoming the first Scottish gymnast to win Gold in that discipline.


Congratulations to Minnie Roe (III) who emerged as the overall winner in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival poster competition, beating over 3,400 entries from 140 schools across Scotland.  Minnie’s winning work, which features on the cover of the latest edition of Fortunas, will now be seen all over Edinburgh;  on bags, mugs, posters and buses over the summer months and particularly during the Festival in August.


Dollar pupils entered work for the Tesco Bank National Galleries Competition in June for which there were over 7,000 submissions.  Three pupils received a special merit award for their work on the theme SpeedCharlotte Johns, Catriona Leslie (both I) and Jaiden Irvine (II).  Hannah Fearn (II) received third place in the same category.  The work will be in the National Gallery in Edinburgh until October and will then tour the country.


Several school records were broken at the Junior Sports Day.  Emma Mailer (J2) set a new record of 10.89 seconds in the 80 metre Sprint and a new record of 12.52 seconds in the Hurdles.  Earlier in the term, she had already set a new 200 metre record of 27.80 seconds.  Lucy Smith (J2) set a new record of 1.50 metres in the High Jump and Deborah Deekae (J2) set a new record of 8.42 metres in the Shot Put. 


Jenny Walls (II) set a new Intermediate Girls record of 21.44 seconds in the 800 metres at the Scottish Schools Championships.  At the same event, Catriona Laing (II) set a new Intermediate Girls 300 metres record of 42.61 seconds.


In the Scottish Schools Athletics Relay Championships, the Dollar Academy team finished second, winning a Silver medal.  The team consisted of:   Minnie Roe, Niamh Wallace, Bunty Kerray (all III) and Catriona Laing (II).

In the Scottish National Relay Championships, Emma Mailer (J2) ran the fourth leg of the 4 x 100 metre Relay for Central Athletics Club, bringing the team home in a new Scottish record time.  Emma also holds the fastest time this season for her age group at 200 metres and the second fastest time for the 70 metre Hurdles. 


There were some excellent performances at the Scottish Schools 2014 Championships held at Hampden:  Georgia Smith won a Silver medal in the U-15 Pentathlon;  Jenny Walls won a Silver medal in the U-14 800 metres;  Catriona Laing won Bronze in the U-15 200 metres (all II);  Sean McLaren (III) won Silver medals in the U-15 Shotput and U-15 Discus;  and Bevhan Trevis (IV) won Silver in the U-17 Discus and Bronze in the U-17 Shotput.


Four Dollar teams competed in the Scottish First Aid Competition in Perth in May.  Remarkably, Dollar teams finished both first and second.  The winning team consisted of Tommy Henson, Lucy Hulbert (both IV), Niall Baird and Catriona Ferguson (both III).  This outstanding team went on to win the Inter Services Competition, making them overall national champions.  The Dollar team finishing second consisted of Duncan Smith, Christian Lau, Angus Clark (all V) and Emma Rattray (III).  The Young Adult team won the CCF Young Adult Competition and also finished runners-up in the Inter Services Young Adult Competition.  This team consisted of Gavin Roderick and Ben Collins (both V).  Dollar Academy has now won the Scottish First Aid Competition for nine years in a row and has been the Inter Services Scottish Champions for five years in a row. 


Charity Work
Congratulations to Oliver Guild (VI) who completed five marathons in five days raising money for Cancer Research UK.


This year’s 1st XI Captain, Tim Torrance (VI), took a hat trick against a Tayside Select XI.  This followed Lachlan Peterson’s (III) hat trick on his debut for the 1st XI against Fettes College earlier in the season.

Congratulations to Dayna Lipski (IV) who has been selected to perform at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July. 


Equestrian Vaulting

Congratulations to Joanna Wilson (IV) who has been selected for the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting team for the FEI Junior European Vaulting Championships in Hungary.


Dragons’ Den
Hopeful entrepreneurs in Form II entered our annual Dollar Dragons’ Den competition, impressing the Dragons with the high quality of their presentations.  The overall winners were Lucy Cameron and Georgia Robertson with their ZipDress, a unique kit comprising various styles of tops and skirts that zip together to make unusual outfits.  They also produced an App which demonstrated the various combinations.  The runners-up were a team comprising Sophie Chandler, Daisy Geissler, Imogen Hubbard and Annie Tilsley who launched a cleverly designed mobile phone case with a built-in make-up palette called Case Cosmetics.



Congratulations to Robert Watson (IV) who is one of only two boys to be selected to play for the Scotland U-16 team at the European Young Masters in Hamburg in July. 


Pipe Band
The pipe band picked up several awards at the Scottish Schools CCF Pipe Band Championships, including the national title, with the A band being placed first by all four judges.  The trophy was received by Pipe Major Lucy Ferguson (V).  The A band was also awarded the Best Bass and Tenor Section prize as well as the Best Drum Corps prize led by Lead Drummer Joe Armstrong and Oliver Guild (both VI).  The B band was placed in an impressive fourth position, ahead of many A bands. 


In the Solo events, Drum Major Robert Henson (VI) won the Ackroyd Quaich for the Best Drum Major;  Gregor Stewart (IV) won the Bugle competition;  Finlay Cameron (I) won the Junior Solo Piping;  Tommy Henson (IV) won both Intermediate Solo Piping and Intermediate Drill and Turnout;  Cameron McCall (II) finished second in the Bugle competition;  Rory Power (II) finished second in Junior Solo Drumming;  Joe Armstrong (VI) finished second in Senior Solo Drumming and Lucy Ferguson (V) finished second in Senior Solo Piping.  In addition, Dollar won the Loch Nan Eun Quaich for the Highest Aggregate Score across all Solo Piping events.  This included scores by Andrew Ferguson (J2), Finlay Cameron (I), Gregor Stewart (IV), Tommy Henson (IV), Cameron Bennett (V), Sarah McCann (VI) and Lucy Ferguson (V).


Queen’s Baton Relay
Congratulations to Isaac Lowry (II) on his selection to run the opening leg in Dollar of the Queen’s Baton Relay, in recognition of his contribution to sport.  The school’s own Baton Bearers are Ellie Scott-Gray (VI) who will run in, and Mrs Adamson, Deputy Head of the Prep and Junior School, who will take the baton out.


Congratulations to Seonaid McIntosh (VI) who has been selected to shoot for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games this summer.


The Form I Girls Relay team performed outstandingly well at the Scottish Schools Relay Teams Championships, winning Gold and Silver in the Freestyle and Medley relays.  The team consisted of:  Kirstin Lawrie, Joanna Rae, Lucy Ross and Sian Thompson (all FI).


Tae Kwan Do
Congratulations to John Ferguson (J2) who has achieved the rank of First Dan with the UKTC.  This is a considerable achievement for a boy of John’s age and is the result of a great deal of hard work and dedication. 


Water Polo
Congratulations to Lewis Aitchison (V), Aisla Gordon and Jack McKenzie (both IV) following their success in winning the Scottish Western District U-18 Cup as part of the Stirling Water Polo team.

The Galley
All at Dollar are delighted that The Galley was awarded the title of Scottish School Magazine of the Year 2014 at the Scottish School Media Awards.  Dollar pupils also won in three individual categories:  Best Cover was won by Aelfred Hillman (II);  Best Layout and Design was won by Anya Kaufman (VI);  and Best Editorial Content was won by Bethan Scott and Ambreen Rasool (both VI).  Additionally, Jonty Haywood (III) was shortlisted for his feature article;  Charlie Worsley (III) was shortlisted for Best Sports Columnist and Bethan Scott (VI), this year’s Editor in Chief, was shortlisted for both Original Photography and Most Outstanding Pupil.



French Exchange
Twelve pupils in Forms III and IV took part in the French exchange to Aubenas in the Ardèche in early June.  The trip was a great success and the French host families were full of praise for the Dollar pupils. 


Visit by Judy Murray
Judy Murray visited Dollar Academy in June to spend a couple of hours with over fifty of our tennis players.  She worked impressively hard while here, brilliantly organising various practices and giving a lot of excellent coaching tips.  She also conducted a question and answer session for around twenty minutes at the end of the morning at which she delivered a number of very positive messages to the pupils about the value of hard work, focused practice and refusing to give up.  At the end of the morning, she posed very patiently for individual photographs with a large number of the pupils who had taken part.


Prep and Junior Commonwealth Games
The Prep and Junior School brought the Commonwealth Games to Scotland a few weeks early and 400 children participated in an entertaining celebratory event.  The pupils were organised into teams representing sixteen of the Commonwealth nations and every child participated in a round robin series of fun events.  The day culminated with the communal singing of Fruits of our Gifts the Big Sing Commonwealth song.


A successful season drew to a close with excellent wins against Stewart’s Melville and High School of Glasgow.  The latter were bowled out for just nine runs.  On Sports Weekend, the 1st XI drew with the Rector’s XI. 


FORMER  PUPILS          

Kenneth Pearson (1990) was chosen as a Baton Bearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay, having been selected for his services to athletics over several years.  He has been coaching young athletes, including some Dollar pupils, at the Central Athletics Club.  He is also Team Manager, organising the leagues and setting the scoring systems for club championships.   


Rachel Maclean (2005), one of Scotland’s foremost young artists, visited Dollar with her travelling gallery exhibition I HEART SCOTLAND.  The Art Bus drew a constant stream of curious pupils and staff throughout the day and Rachel’s wonderfully imaginative work certainly enthused and inspired the Dollar pupils.


Sandy Cunningham (2013) was voted Stirling Albion’s Young Player of the Year and he played a significant part in the team’s successful season and eventual promotion to SPL Division One. 


Heather Aitken (2013) recently represented Scottish Hockey, playing for Grove Menzieshill in the European Champions Challenge in Italy.  She played alongside our Director of Hockey, Miss Lynsey Allan.



A very successful Charities Week included a Wacky Races event and Custard Pie Auction, as well as a Tug of War competition, raising over £500 for The Stroke Association.  The events were promoted and co-ordinated by the school Charities Committee.  The Eco Club raised £50.20, through the selling of blue crispie cakes, for the Marine Conservation Society Blue Mile event to help protect our maritime environment.



Mr David Christie (Music) took part in a charity concert organised by the Opening More Doors charity at Alloa Town Hall, raising over £5,000 for both the organising charity and the Strathcarron Bereavement Service for young people.   The concert was attended by almost 500 people.


Mrs Julia Adamson (Deputy Head, Prep and Junior School) successfully completed the Edinburgh Marathon in a very respectable time to raise funds for the Malindi Project.   The Malindi on the Run appeal has raised almost £19,000 to date, a sum that will make a real difference to the lives of the children in the Malindi Project.


Mr Don Caskie (Director of Rugby and Scotland U-18 Assistant Coach) was recently awarded a prestigious John Macphail Coaching Scholarship by the Scottish Rugby Union allowing him to travel to New Zealand for three weeks of high-performance coaching development work.  As well as working alongside the Super Rugby side Canterbury Crusaders, at their International Performance Unit, Mr Caskie will shadow the All Blacks in their preparation for their test against England.  He will also be attending the U-20 Junior World Cup while in New Zealand.




Wednesday 25 June     End of term Prep (3 15pm), Junior School and Forms I, II and III (3 25pm)
Thursday 26 June            Prize Giving and end of session
Sunday 6 July  Bisley team departs
Saturday 26 July RSPBA Scottish Championships, Dumbarton
Friday 15 and Saturday 16 August    RSPBA World Championships
Monday 18 August    Pre-session timetabling for Form VI day pupils – pupils with surnames A-K arrive at 2pm and pupils with surnames L-Z arrive at 3pm
Tuesday 19 August Pre-session timetabling for Form V day pupils – pupils with surnames A-K arrive at 2pm and pupils with surnames L-Z arrive at 3pm
Wednesday 20 August                 Pre-session timetabling for Forms V and VI boarders – 2pm
Thursday 21 August School resumes - 8.40am
Saturday 30 August RSPBA Cowal Championships



Thrift Shop Opening – 2 30pm – 4 00pm  (2nd and 4th Thursday of the month)

Tuesday 19 August (2 days before term starts)                    

Wednesday 20 August (day before term starts)
Thursday 28 August                                                                      

Thursday 11 September                                      
Thursday 25 September                                                              

Thursday 9 October


Following a stock inventory at the recent stocktake we will no longer be taking the following items:

  • Boys’ trousers (long and short)
  • Ski wear and related equipment
  • SQA revision guides/past papers for Standard Grade exams
  • White rugby tops (replaced by new rugby and hockey team shirts Autumn 2011)
  • Old style 3-in-1 winter coats (Prep and Junior School) (replaced Autumn 2011)
  • Hockey skirts (replaced by skorts Autumn 2011)
  • Old style tracksuits (new tracksuit introduced in 2010)
  • Riding boots and associated items
  • Golf and cricket shoes


We also have stocks of the new school umbrella – a vented version, ideal for windy weather (£17).


The Thrift Shop is always happy to welcome new members to its friendly, committed team.  If you feel that you are able to donate two afternoons a month to this important, parent-run service, please pop in next time the Thrift Shop is open and have a chat to the volunteers.


Further information about the Dollar Academy Thrift Shop can be found in the Parents section of the school website..












Dollar Academy, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, FK14 7DU | Tel: 01259 742511
The Governors of Dollar Academy Trust is a charity registered in Scotland, No:SC0009888
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