Page last updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 at 12:38:15 GMT

Rector's Newsletter - March 2014


All at Dollar were delighted to welcome Brigadier Paul Harkness, Commander of the British Army in Scotland, to a recent senior school assembly. Brigadier Harkness has previously commanded British operations in Afghanistan and has served in Iraq; he has also been involved in the army’s three largest change management programmes of the past 20 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he proved an outstanding speaker. He has met many Dollar cadets over the years while judging various competitions but his visit was to enable him to present limited-edition Commander’s Coins to our First Aid team following their triple success in the Scottish CCF championships, the British Championships, and the Grand Prior. In an inspiring address, he described Dollar cadets as consistently some of the best-trained and toughest school cadets he had met. He explained what he meant by “tough”; this was not a superficial veneer, he explained, but a deep emotional resilience best exemplified by calmness under pressure, never giving up, and a commitment to excellence.


March 2014


That view of Dollar excellence echoed the comments of an eminent musician who attended our Easter Choral Concert the preceding week. He professed himself astonished by the calibre of the Chamber Choir in particular, and by the level of musicianship in general. This week I have also received some kind comments in a similar vein regarding the work of our Art Department and from those who attended the Senior School Play – an entertaining Stoppard double bill. I have to admit to being just as pleased, however, by the positive feedback I have had recently from some pupils in rugby and hockey B teams and by the fact that over 500 runners took part in our school cross-country event. The opportunity to push oneself to the limit is vital and is something that should be available to everyone. As the writer Goethe often argued, it is an integral part of human nature to strive for improvement and that is something that is very much encouraged at Dollar.


March 2014


Nowhere is this more important than in the classroom and Dollar pupils and teachers work very hard in partnership with one another. The co-curricular highlights, carefully recorded on our website, in Fortunas, and indeed in newsletters like this, often grab the headlines and are a key part of a Dollar education, but much of the best work at Dollar goes on almost unseen, lesson by lesson and day by day, as good teachers make children think, solve, understand, appreciate and learn. From time to time I pause to consider whether we achieve the right balance between work and play. When I look at our Form VI pupils, however, I generally stop worrying. There is no Dollar mould, but they seem to turn out very well. I know the Brigadier would agree with me.


March 2014



With best wishes to pupils, parents, staff and friends for the Easter break.


Kindest regards







The new Scottish National U-16 Indoor Shot Putt Champion is Bevhan Trevis (IV).  She threw a personal best of 10.88 metres at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.


Congratulations to Jenny Walls (II) who led her U-13 Central AC team to the Silver medal in the East District Cross-Country Championships in December.  This was Jenny’s third medal this winter, following her success in winning the Stirling Road Race and in the Scottish XC Relay Championships.  Her success led to her selection for the East team in the Inter-District competition.  Following this, Jenny went on to win the 2014 Scottish U-13 Girls Cross-Country Championships. 


Three Dollar girls were members of the Central Athletics U-15 Girls team this winter and the team qualified for the final of the Scottish Athletics Indoor League.  The Dollar girls involved were Minnie Roe (III), Catriona Laing and Jenny Walls (both II).


Several Dollar pupils achieved great success in the Scottish Athletics Indoor League finals.  Kathryn Gillespie (VI) won Gold in the U-20 800 metres as well as a further Gold medal in the U-20 Relay.  Minnie Roe and Catriona Laing were members of the winning U-15 Girls Relay team.  Lucy Smith (J2) won the U-13 60 metres Hurdles as well as winning Gold as a member of the successful Central U-13 Relay team.  Ben Salmon (J1) won Gold in the U-11 Boys Relay and Emma Mailer (J2) ran the last leg in the U-13 Girls Relay taking the team to victory and breaking the Scottish record in the process. 


In the RJM Open Tournament in Alloa, Cameron Clark (V) finished runner-up in the Senior Boys group and Matthew McGarva (I) won the Junior group.  Robbie McNicol (III) finished third.  In the Senior Girls event Dollar pupils took the top three places, with Emma Buchanan (VI) in first place, Marion Boswell (V) in second and Franziska Heuppe (V) in third.  In the Junior Girls event Eilidh Smith (III) finished third.


The Dollar Academy RAF section won the Air Squadron Trophy in January and Jack Ritchie (V) won the award for Best Leader.  The team therefore qualified for the National finals where they finished as the highest placed team from Scotland.  The First Aid skills of Ailish McKinlay (IV) were described as being the best in the competition.  The team was captained by Ian Tait (V).


A Dollar Academy team of cadets finished first in the Cadet National Signals competition in Blandford.  This annual competition draws teams from across the UK and tests every part of the Cadets’ signals knowledge and skills.  The winning Dollar team consisted of:  Christian Lau, Finlay Young, Peter Rattray (all V), Hannah Parker (IV) and Emma Rattray (III).  In addition Christian Lau won the prize for the best Cadet Signaller.


Creative Writing
The Villains and Heroes Creative Writing competition, initiated by Stirling Council, was won by Naomi Langford-Thimm (I). 


Crest Awards
Two teams of Form III Dollar pupils achieved Silver Crest Awards for their entries in the 2013 GO4SET Challenge.  The pupils were:  James Barlow, Angus Bryce, Darwin Douglas, Anna Glasgow, Rebecca Johns, Alex Parker, Silas Pease, Amy Pope and Alastair Ward.


Congratulations to Lachlan Peterson (III) who has been selected for the Scotland U-15 squad.

The Cricket Officers for the coming season have been appointed.  Tim Torrance (VI) will be Captain, Ross MacGarvie and Harry Waterston (both VI) will be Joint Vice-Captains and Calum Weir (V) will be Assistant Secretary.


Cross-Country Championships
Over 500 pupils took part this year and the winners were as follows:  Junior 1 Girls – Rachel Leslie;  Junior 1 Boys – Calum Rae;  Junior 2 Girls – Lucy Smith;  Junior 2 Boys – Euan Smith;  Form I Girls – Lucy Ross;  Form I Boys – Euan Bremner;  Intermediate Girls – Jenny Walls (new record) (II);  Intermediate Boys – Peter Bery (II);  Senior Girls – Kathryn Gillespie (new record) (VI);  Senior Boys – Philip Wright (VI).


Dollar’s two Junior teams, comprising Anna Glasgow and Jonty Heywood (both III) and Guy Stewart (III) and Imogen Hubbard (II), progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Junior ESU Mace while the Senior team of Simon Cook (VI) and Kelsey Clarke (V) reached the Semi-Finals of the Senior Mace.


Following regional success in the Worldwise Geography Quiz, the Dollar team of Lucy Hulbert (IV), Darwin Douglas (III) and Samer Awad (I) will compete in the Scottish Final which will be hosted here at Dollar Academy.  A team consisting of Duncan Lennon (IV), Lachlan Peterson (III) and Toby Douglas (I) reached the Regional Final.


Congratulations to Robert Watson (IV) who has been selected for the Scotland U-16 team to play Holland, Wales, Ireland and England.


Congratulations to Rosa Loedel (IV) who won a Gold medal in her category at the Scottish Gymnastics Championships in March.


Eight Dollar girls have been selected for the Midlands U-14 training squad,  They are:  Eva Caie, Susie Green, Sophie Ferguson, Georgia Smith, Olivia Mears, Jenny Walls, Lucy Smith and Erin Stevens (all II).


Congratulations to John Moore (VI) who won the 2014 HSBC British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition in London.  His prize was an all-expenses paid trip to China.


Pipe Band
At the Glasgow Highland Club indoor competition, Pipe Major Lucy Ferguson (V) and Drum Major Joe Armstrong (VI) won their respective Solo competitions.  It is believed that this is the first time that the winning Senior Piper and winning Senior Drummer have both come from the same school.    Additionally, Gregor Stewart (IV) was placed fourth in the Intermediate Piping Competition and Fingal Hall (II) finished fifth in the Junior Drumming event.


At the Royal National Mod, Sandy Cameron (V) and Finlay Cameron (I) were both placed first in their respective age categories.


Congratulations to Gregor Haldane (V) on his selection for the Scotland U-16 rugby squad.


A project by Joanna Wilson (IV) that began life as a Junior 2 Science project reached the final auditions for the Dragons Den television show. 


Several members of our shooting squad are to be congratulated on their selection for the Scottish Schools Small Bore teams that competed in an International match against England, Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands.  Selected for Scotland A were Megan Montgomery (V) and Seonaid McIntosh (VI).  Selected for Scotland B were Danny Dineen (VI), Isla Cubitt, Ross McGregor, Ewan Scougall (all V) and Imogen Macleod (IV).   Vicky Walls (IV) won the Class C event in the Scottish Air Rifle Championships in March.


Ski Racing
The Dollar ski team of Jemma Hulbert (VI), Lucy Hulbert (IV), Alex Fleming and Abbie Douglas (both III) finished fifth at the 2014 Scottish Schools National Ski Championships.  Abbie also finished with an individual Bronze medal.


Young Writer Award
The Best Young Writer Award at the Community Newspaper Awards ceremony went to Ambreen Rasool (VI) for her work for the Buchlyvie Bulletin.


Congratulations to Callum Lawrie (IV) who was selected to represent Scotland at the 2014 Celtic National Duel in Northern Ireland.  He also became the U-15 400 Individual Medley Scottish Short Course Champion in December.


In the National Schools Swimming Championships at East Kilbride, Callum Lawrie (IV) won a Gold medal in the Boys U-16 200 metre Individual Medley and a Bronze in the 400 metres Individual Medley.  Keir Edgar (I) won a Silver in the U-14 100 metres Backstroke and a Bronze in the 200 metres Individual Medley.  Kirstin Lawrie (I) won Silver in the U-14 100 metres Butterfly and finished fourth in the 200 metres Individual Medley.  Zoe Mitchell (VI) won Bronze in the U-19 200 metres Breast Stroke and finished fifth in the 400 metres Freestyle.


Congratulations to Sophie Williamson (VI) and Hannah Worsley (V) who were members of the U-18 North of Scotland Girls team at the very prestigious County Cup Weekend in February.  The North of Scotland successfully won their group against four English counties.  In the Boys event, the North of Scotland team included Michael Welsh (V) and Ruariridh Fraser (IV).


The U-18 North of Scotland team included Hannah Worsley and Michael Welsh (both V) who took part in the T Cup Competition at Scotstoun in January.  They enjoyed a clean sweep of victories against the West, South and East.


The Tennis Officers for the coming season have been appointed. Lucy Taylor (VI) will be Captain, Ciara O’Connell (VI) will be Vice-Captains and Alice Hudson (VI) will be Secretary.


Water Polo
Congratulations to brothers Ross and Craig Stewart (IV and II) on their selection for Scotland at the Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships in Cardiff.  Both boys have also been invited to attend GB trials. 

Congratulations to Aisla Gordon (IV) on her selection for the Scotland U-17 Girls Water Polo team.



Senior Musical
The Senior Musical for 2014 will be Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls set in 1950s New York in the twilight world of gangsters and their molls.  It is a humorous story based around the bright lights and shady corners of Times Square.  There will be four performances in the Dollar Academy Assembly Hall from Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 June.  Online booking will be available via a link on the Dollar Academy website at the beginning of next term.


Pipe Band
The Dollar Academy Pipe Band won the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships at Broughton High School in Edinburgh in March. 


Careers Convention
Over fifty careers were represented at this biennial event in March.  Parents and former pupils were very generous with their time in spending their evening explaining their careers to a wide range of pupils.


Congratulations to the Form III rugby team who won consecutive Sevens tournaments at Merchiston Castle School and Stewart’s Melville College.



This is a reminder that no vehicles are permitted to enter or leave the school grounds on school days between 8 35 and 9am and 3 25 and 3 35pm.  The speed limit within school grounds is 10 mph at all times.



Back in December the annual Dollar Academy Xmas Factor event raised £1,185 for Uphill School, Uganda and Over the Wall.

The Prep 3 Christmas Post enterprise project raised £100 for the Lullaby Trust and Alloa Cat Protection.

Over £250 was raised for Barnardo’s using their famous yellow boxes. 

A total of £160 was raised for the Alder Hey Children’s Charity at the Form I party.


FORMER  PUPILS                                  

Ewan Tait (2008) graduated in June 2013 with a BVMS  MRCVS from Glasgow University.

Keira MacDougall (1993) has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for charity and voluntary services.  Keira has worked with a number of charities over the past twenty years and was formerly a member of Dollar Academy’s Charities Committee.


Ewan MacGarvie (2013) was recently selected to play for Hastings in the New Zealand Marist International Sevens in Wellington, scoring against China Barbarians.


Ewan Gault (1999) had his first novel published and it was recently nominated for the 2013 Guardian First Book Award.  The Most Distant Way is set in Kenya’s Rift Valley and follows the experiences of two young British distance runners struggling to come to terms with their quest for athletic excellence as political and social tensions explode.  At school, not surprisingly, Ewan was both a fine runner and a star pupil in English.




Monday 24 & Tuesday 25 March
Junior Concerts
Wednesday 26 March
History and Modern Studies Trip to China departs (to 6 April)
Thursday 27 March
End of Term: Prep & Junior School 12.15pm. Senior School 12.30pm
Monday 31 March
Ulmen Trip to Germany departs (to 7 April)
Monday 14 April
Staff in-service day and Boarders return
Tuesday 15th April
School resumes 8.40am
Saturday 26th April
DAPA Family Ceilidh


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

Thursday 24 April                                        Thursday 8 May
Thursday 22 May                                        Thursday 12 June


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 our windy Dollar 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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