Page last updated on Monday, 22 September 2014 at 11:16:24 GMT

Rector's Newsletter -September 2014


As I write, Scotland’s destiny is unknown, but by the time you read this newsletter Referendum votes will have been counted and the result declared. This is certainly not the time or place to speculate on the future, but there can be no doubt that the issue of independence has energised young people to take an interest in politics in a way I have never seen before. Internal debates, organised by our excellent debating society, are often well attended, but our lunchtime Referendum debate, held earlier this week, packed out the Assembly Hall, with well over 600 pupils attending. As is so often the case at Dollar, the quality of the debate was outstanding.


Dollar Sept 14


Looking back, rather than forward, the summer has been a good one for Dollar. A start has been made on the new languages building and I check progress regularly, like many of our pupils, by gazing through the fence. I may be in a minority, but I always love the day of the concrete pour and feel inexplicably encouraged by the knowledge that the steel frame will soon be following. I suspect anthropologists would tell me that the desire to build and create lies deep within the human psyche.


Our examination results were very pleasing at all levels. The new National 5 qualifications posed no particular problems and our pupils achieved record results at Advanced Higher. Just as importantly, the vast majority of pupils successfully passed into a university of their choice. We wish them all well and it has been a pleasure to see them around at the start of the Dollar session, often supporting rugby and hockey matches on Saturday mornings before their new university terms start.


Our first Open Day proved very successful with around 500 people attending and it was blessed with perfect weather. A good mix of prospective and current families attended, along with a few FPs who had not been back to Dollar for many years. This created a real sense of community, one of Dollar’s enduring strengths, as grandparents, parents and young children wandered about the campus in the sunshine, usually led by a diligent, uniformed pupil. There was much of interest to see and even to eat, although the International Languages Café ran out of croissants at a fairly early stage – as I discovered to my cost when I reached it.


Sept 14


Of course, I cannot finish without mentioning the wonderful success of our Pipe Band in winning the World Championships on a rainy August Saturday in Glasgow. The whole day was one of great excitement, with an almost unendurable wait between performance and result, and it was perfectly rounded off by the band’s march through Dollar on its return. The speed of modern communications ensured that many former band members, along with a large numbers of parents and supporters, turned out to greet them and the atmosphere in front of the Playfair Building, as they replayed their World Championship winning set in semi-darkness, was genuinely moving. For our leavers, it was their final performance and the end of an era; to me it seemed to herald the true end of session and time to start gearing up mentally for the new one. Planning, building and creating. I am sure those anthropologists are right.


Sept 14


Kindest regards







Several Dollar athletes competed successfully in the Scottish Athletics National Championships in Aberdeen this year.  Catriona Laing (III) won Gold, becoming the National U-15 300m champion with a new personal best time.  Emma Mailer (I) won Gold in the U-13 70m Hurdles and also won a Bronze medal in the 200m.  Bevhan Trevis (V) finished fourth in the U-17 Discus and fifth in the Shot Putt and Lucy Smith (I) won Bronze in the U-13 High Jump and finished fourth in the Shot Putt. 


In July, sisters Georgia (III) and Lucy Smith (I) competed in the Scottish National Combined Events championships with Georgia winning Bronze in the U-15 event and Lucy winning Silver at U-13 level. 


Bevhan Trevis (V) represented Scotland in the SIAB International Track and Field match against England, Ireland and Wales.



Four pupils attended and passed the Air Cadet Leadership course over the summer:  Ian Tait, Lewis Aitchison, Sam Pope and Ewan Scougall (all VI).  Lewis passed with Merit, and Ian with Distinction.  Ian obtained a perfect score in all aspects of leadership.


In September, three teams were sent to the Cadet National First Aid Competition at Strensall.  This was the first time that Army, Royal Navy and RAF sections had all entered teams.  In the CCF competition, the Royal Navy team, led by Lexy Graham (VI), finished third overall and the Army team, led by Duncan Smith (VI), finished second.  Both teams have progressed to the Interservice final.  In the Young Adult Competition, the Dollar pairing of Ben Collins and Lewis Aitchison (both VI) became National CCF Champions.



At the Salter’s Chemistry Camp at York University over the summer, Darwin Douglas (IV) was highly commended for his contribution.



Equestrian Events
Congratulations to Carenza Dickens (III) who was a member of the Scotland U-25 Novice Dressage team finishing third in the Inter-regional U-25 championships.  This is the first podium place that Scotland has achieved in this competition for many years.


Gavin Hay (III) became champion of the Working Hunter Pony class at the British Show Pony Society summer championships in Lincolnshire.  This enabled him to qualify for the Horse of the Year Show at the NEC, Birmingham in October.


Congratulations to Lyndsay Adamson (IV) on finishing runner-up in the Clydesdale Young Stocksman competition this year.  The winner was Alana Johnston (FP 2013).



Following a very successful summer of gold in which she won the East of Scotland championship and the Steven Gallacher Scratch Order of Merit, Jennifer Allan (VI) was selected to be a scoreboard carrier at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.



In the UK Junior Mathematical Challenge, Angus Macleod (III) won a certificate of distinction and a Silver medal, putting him above the best mathematicians at his age in the country.



Congratulations to Kerry Randfield (V) who recently received a Gold Musicianship Award from the National Youth Choir of Scotland.


An Internationalist Award has been received by Christina Callion (IV) following her selection for the National Youth Choir of Scotland.



Pipe Band
The Dollar Academy Pipe Band won the 2014 RSPBA Juvenile Grade World Championships held at Glasgow Green in August.  This is the second time that the Pipe Band has won the World Championship, the previous success being in 2010.  This capped an excellent season and the band received the accolade of Champion of Champions for their fine performances in the various grand slam events.  The Novice Band also performed extremely well at the World Championships, finishing fourth in that category.


Such has been the success of Sandy Cameron (V) in Junior events, he is no longer permitted to compete with his peers and participates exclusively in Adult category events.  Sandy finished in the top four in so many events over the summer that they cannot be listed here.  Of particular note were his first places in the B Grade Piobaireachd at Roseneath Highland Games and in the Open Strathspey and Reel at the Newtonmore Highland Games.  His participation in the Silver Medal competition at the Argyllshire Gathering, in which he finished fifth of thirty competitors, was a very significant achievement.  Sandy was honoured to be chosen as the Lone Piper to perform at the Highland Military Tattoo at Fort George in Inverness.  His younger brother Finlay Cameron (II) is also an exceptional piper, picking up three first places over the summer, winning:  the U-18 Jigs at the Blair Atholl Highland Games;  the U-18 March, Strathspey and Reel at the Newtonmore Highland Games;  and the U-18 Piobaireachd at the same event.



Congratulations to Rebecca Clingan (VI) who represented Scotland at U-18 Touch Rugby in the European Championships in Swansea, where the team won the Bronze medal.



At the European Shotgun Championships in Hungary, Max Jeffrey (VI) won a Silver medal in the U-21 competition.



Congratulations to Callum Lawrie (V) who represented Scotland at the UK School Games in Manchester earlier this month. 


Congratulations to Keir Edgar (II) who broke two East District records at the Scottish Age Group Championships in his age group at 800m and 1500m Freestyle.  He also won the Sharp Trophy for the 200m Individual Medley.  A month later, he competed at the ASA British Championships in Sheffield, finishing first in the 200m Freestyle and third in the 100m Backstroke.  As a consequence of his performances, he has been selected to train with the Scottish Youth Development Squad.



After competing in the County Finals, Michael Morrison (IV) won a place in the Road to Wimbledon National U-14 Challenge finals, giving him the chance to play on the famous grass at SW19.  He successfully won two group matches.



Water Polo
Congratulations to Craig Stewart (III) who was selected for the Scotland Youth Squad to participate in an international competition in Andorra. 



Water Skiing
In the British Youth U-17 national competition, Isla Banerji (V) captained the Scottish team and she won third place in the Individual Slalom.





Open Day
The Academy held its first Open Day on the morning of Saturday 13 September and this was attended by around 500 people.



Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic
Parents are reminded that there is an opportunity for pupils to be treated at Dollar Academy on Mondays and Wednesdays between 12 30pm and 5pm by a chartered physiotherapist. Mrs Lesley McIlwraith treats all types of musculo-skeletal injuries and conditions and particularly specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries.  Further details can be found on the school website or by e-mailing or by phoning 07990 814659.



The U-16 team beat Stewart’s Melville College 36-15 in the first round of the Scottish Schools Cup.



Language Exchanges
It was a pleasure to welcome 56 exchange visitors, and eight accompanying members of staff, from three different European schools this week.  Many thanks to the many Dollar parents involved in hosting exchange pupils from France, Germany and Spain.


FORMER  PUPILS                                  

University of Aberdeen

Murray Alexander

BSc  IIii Geology – Petroleum Geology


Tammas Burt

MA  IIi  Entrepreneurship – French


Jamie Gee      

MA  IIi  Economics – International Relations


Jemma Headspeath

MA  IIi  English


Connie MacGarvie

MA  IIii  Management Studies – Property


Katrina McPherson

BSc  III  Zoology


Caitlin Richmond

MA  IIi  Sociology


Natalie Rosie  

MA  IIi  English


Jennifer Waters

MA  I    International Relations – Legal Studies


Taylor Watson-Fargie

BSc  I    Neuroscience with Psychology

Heriot-Watt University  

David Allan    

BEng    Mechanical Engineering

Robert Gordon’s University     

James Tree


University of Oxford

Kirsty Smith

BSc  IIi  Preclinical Medicine

University of St Andrews

Talia Sarafilovic

Talia Sarafilovic

 Lottie Mayes and Eleanor Taylor (both 2013) represented Great Britain Women at the World Junior Ultimate Frisbee Championships in Lecco, near Lake Como in Italy, during July.  Both began playing the sport at Dollar Academy and then continued their interest alongside their studies at Aberdeen University.


Corinna Whitaker (2008) was selected for the Commonwealth Games Table Tennis squad.



Congratulations to Mr Andy Johns (Physics) who competed in the Lakeland 100 Ultra Marathon set in a very hilly area of the Lake District.  Mr Johns completed the course in 35 hours 9 minutes and 8 seconds to finish in 90th position out of 306 runners.




Thursday 25 September           

Form I Information Evening for Parents

Monday 6 October

Form V Parents’ Evening

Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 October

Prep & Junior Parents’ Evenings

Wednesday 15 October

Form VI Dinner – Guest Speaker Martin Geissler

Thursday 16 October

3.25 Mid-term break begins (17-28 October inclusive for pupils

Tuesday 28 October

Staff in-service day
Boarders return afternoon or evening

Wednesday 29 October

School resumes – 8 40am

Thursday 30 October

Parents’ Association AGM
Junior Hallowe’en Party

Tuesday 4 November

Form IV Parents’ Evening

Tuesday 11 November

Form VI Parents’ Evening

Thursday 20 November

Form III Parents’ Evening

Monday 24-Wednesday 26 November inc

Senior School Play

Monday 1 & Tuesday 2 December

Form III Play



Thrift Shop Opening – 2 30pm – 4 00pm (2nd and 4th Thursday of the month)
Thursday 25 September                                            

Thursday 9 October
Thursday 13 November                                            

Thursday 27 November
Thursday 11 December


Following a 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
Copyright 2010 Dollar Academy. All rights reserved.