Rector's Newsletter - September 2013
Term is well under way and the wonderfully sunny summer seems well behind us. The excellent results achieved by our examination classes are not quite forgotten, but new targets have already been set and there is a very productive buzz around the school. Everyone seems very positively focused on what comes next. The production of this newsletter, however, ensures that there is a least one person looking backwards as well! There is certainly much to reflect on with pride.
The success achieved by our shooting team during their week at Bisley, the highlight of the shooting year, was genuinely astonishing. Quite how our pupils managed to defeat some of the most powerful English schools, with their greater opportunities to shoot on large outdoor ranges, no-one can be sure. I suspect it has something to do with hard work, the ability to concentrate, excellent tuition, a sense of teamwork, and a quiet determination born of humility. If it sounds as though I have been inspired by their feats, it is because I genuinely have. I was privileged to be present, along with our Chairman of Governors John Cameron, on the day that Dollar won the Ashburton Trophy for the second time; the only Scottish school to win the trophy in the last fifty years. In the process, Dollar finished as the leading Scottish school for the fifteenth year in succession and the number of trophies won by the team, both at Bisley and during the season as a whole, is far too long to list here. There is a fuller round-up on the school website.
As if inspired themselves, the Pipe Band followed up their third place in the World Championships in August with a first-ever win at the Cowal Gathering in the last of the season’s five ‘majors’. It was very well-deserved and all the more welcome given the gap since their last major win in summer 2011. Our new Novice Band also acquitted themselves well, finishing fifth in their category – just as they had at the World Championships. Following the win at Cowal, in accordance with tradition, the Bands marched along Academy Place and played at the front of the school, long after dark, on their return to Dollar. A large crowd of well over a hundred turned out to greet them, including most of our boarders and several recent FP band members who had picked up news of the win through social media. It was an impressive and moving occasion.
Team success is built upon positive relationships and the Form I Activities Day and disco, along with the Boarders’ Teambuilding Day and accompanying dinner, will certainly have helped in this regard. These events were great fun and both groups of pupils have made an excellent start to the new session.
Finally, I will look forward.
Every two years, Dollar runs a Sponsored Walk during which the whole school, staff and pupils, takes to the hills for the day to raise money for charity. In 2011, over £50,000 was raised and we are hoping to equal or surpass that amount this time. The walk will take place, weather permitting, on Friday 27 September and I am really looking forward to it.
I wish everyone a busy, productive and enjoyable term.
Four Dollar pupils were winners in this year’s National Gallery competition: Scott Huntly (P4), Tom Keely, Olivia McKenzie (both III) and Oliver Murray (II).
Congratulations to Bevhan Trevis (IV) who represented Scotland in the U-16 Girls Discus at the Celtic Games in August, finishing in second place. Soon afterwards, she became the Scotland U-16 Girls Discus Champion at the National Championships in Aberdeen.
Dollar Cadet Vicky Walls (IV) represented the Academy superbly at the Whitehorse CCF camp in Canada over the summer. She received tremendous praise from the supervising officers who described her as “a great ambassador for all cadets in the United Kingdom”.
The Air Cadet Leadership course at RAF Cranwell in July was very successfully completed by Jack Ritchie (V).
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Congratulations to Max Jeffrey (V) who was selected for the GB Junior team for the European Championships in Germany; he returned with a Bronze medal. He also represented Scotland in Olympic Trap at the home international event.
Two Dollar pupils, Aisla Gordon and Rachel Hubbard (both IV) were successful in winning Best Silver Award project in the Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair Scotland at the SECC Glasgow. The girls have secured a place in the national competition to be in held in March at the NEC in Birmingham.
Congratulations to Sarah McCann (VI) who was selected for the Scotland Girls U-17 team over the summer, competing in four fixtures against English counties.
Following some excellent performances, Jack Wilson (I) became the U-14 Scottish Boys Champion at Equestrian Vaulting in the Individual Vaulting competition.
After winning the U-13 British Polocrosse Championship last year, Olivia Mears (II), and her two teammates, were crowned U-16 Champions in August, an outstanding achievement.
Congratulations to Eilidh Watson (VI) who was selected to play for Scotland against England in the recent Schools’ International match. Scotland lost a close match 4-5, although Eilidh won her Singles convincingly.
Ten Dollar Academy girls have been selected to play for the Midlands District at the national inter-district hockey tournament in late September at the new Hockey Centre at Glasgow Green. The U-18 squad will include: Ciara O’Connell, Lucy Taylor (both VI), Beth Alexander, Anna King, Hannah Worsley and Isla Cubitt (all V). The U-16 squad will include Isla Keith, Amy Hogarth, Bevhan Trevis (all IV) and Georgia Smith (II).
Fergus McCreadie (V) reached the final of the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year competition; this is the first time that an U-17 winner has been given a place in the final and Fergus certainly enjoyed playing live on national radio.
Two Dollar boys, Gregor Haldane (V) and Andrew Graham (IV) have been selected for the Scottish Schools U-16 player development camp.
The astonishing success of the Shooting team at Bisley included the following: The Ashburton Shield, effectively the UK Championship, last won by Dollar in 2005, was won by our eight consisting of: Billy Dineen, Captain, Lindsey McKerrell, Calum Macdonald, Louis Stewart (all FPs), Seonaid McIntosh, Danny Dineen (both VI) , Alex Black and Megan Montgomery (both V). Dollar also won the Cadet Fours with a team of: Isla Cubitt, Ross McGregor (both V), Imogen MacLeod and Imogen Stevens (both IV). Aileen Gray (FP), Calum MacIntyre (VI), Ewan Scougall (V) and Scott Norval (IV) performed well in the Schools Fours. Gregor Stewart (IV) and Laura Broomfield (V) were also part of the Bisley squad and Laura finished third in The Reserve. The Ashburton score was added to the score achieved by five Dollar former pupils in the Veterans’ Match and, thereby, Dollar Academy won this event too. Individual performances of particular note included Seonaid McIntosh winning the Monday Aggregate (highest individual score from 700+ competitors). The Tuesday Aggregate was won by Lindsey McKerrell with Megan Montgomery finishing second and Seonaid McIntosh third. The best five scores in the Cadet Rifle Aggregates were combined to decide the winners of The Devon. This was won by Dollar Academy by shooters Megan, Lindsey, Seonaid, Calum Macdonald and Danny Dineen. Megan, Lindsey and Seonaid also finished first, second and third respectively in the Cadet Rifle Aggregate for the week as a whole. Dollar won several other trophies besides, including finishing as the top school in Scotland for the fifteenth consecutive year. At the end of the week, the Scottish team comprised eight Dollar pupils and two Dollar coaches and were placed second against all nations.
Congratulations to Keir Edgar (I) who broke four East District age group records in the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Individual Medley, 50m Backstroke, and 200m Backstroke. The following weekend he broke the Scottish age group record for the 100m Breaststroke.
The Division One Night Slalom ladies’ champion is Isla Banerji (IV) who impressively managed to win all three rounds of this event.
Congratulations to Miss Ruth Foster (Prep and Junior School) who recently completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Developing Education Leadership and Learning.
In late August, the Juvenile and Novice Juvenile pipe bands travelled to Dunoon to compete in the Cowal Gathering, the last of the five “major” events of the year. The A band were placed first winning the Glasgow News Challenge Trophy for the best juvenile band. This is the first time that Dollar has won this event. The Novice Juvenile band also enjoyed success and were placed fifth in their category. These results followed a very successful day at the World Championships on Glasgow Green in which the A band finished third in the Juvenile category and the B band finished a highly creditable fifth in the Novice Juvenile category.
The first half of exchanges with schools in France and Germany took place in early September and we welcomed over 50 visiting pupils to Dollar. The highlight was a multi-lingual ceilidh which proved a huge success.
A mix of Form I and Junior 2 girls took part in a Kwik Cricket tournament run by Cricket Scotland at the end of the summer. The team played very well, winning four out of their five matches.
Boarders’ Teambuilding Day
Despite the weather, our boarders enjoyed a variety of fun activities at the start of term, followed by a semi-formal dinner in the early evening attended by the Rector along with a good mix of staff.
The Form I Activities Day evening disco raised £300 for the Mackenzie Furniss Appeal.
The 2013 Dollar Academy Sponsored Walk will take place on Friday 27 September, weather permitting. The charities chosen by the Charities Committee are: St Francis Malindi Project; Leprosy Mission, Scotland; Brain Tumour Action; Help for Heroes; Strathcarron Hospice; CHAS – Rachel House.
|University of Durham
|| LLB IIi
|University of Edinburgh
|| Alison More
|| BA I Business and Mandarin
BSc Psychology (Applied)
||BEng Chameical Engineering
||BEng Robotics & Cybertronics
||MEng Mechanical Engineering
|University of St Andrews
||MA IIi International Relations & Spanish
||MA IIi Modern History
Congratulations to Maria Tatulea-Codrean (FP 2013) who achieved the highest marks in the country in this year’s SQA Advanced Higher Physics examinations. She has also been selected by the SQA as one of three finalists in the academic excellence category of the SQA Star Awards programme.
All parents delivering and collecting children by car are reminded to show consideration for local residents. Particular care should be taken not to block roads or drives or to leave engines running while parked.
Prep and Junior School Open Morning
An open morning for prospective parents and pupils of the Prep and Junior School will be held on Friday 4 October. The event will begin at 9 45am and finish at approximately 12 Noon. To register and receive further details, please contact Elaine Gallagher, Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a free E-safety seminar at Alloa Town Hall on Wednesday 25 September targeted at adults who have an interest in keeping themselves and young people safe online. Parents are welcome to attend. As well as hearing from various speakers, attendees can glean practical and technical advice from assorted experts.
Trips and Tours
A comprehensive list of all trips and tours this academic year will shortly be added to the school website.
MAIN DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
|Friday 4 October
||Open Morning for Prospective Prep & Junior School Applicants
|Monday 7 October
||Form V Parents’ Evening
|Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 October
||Prep & Junior Parents Evenings
|Wednesday 16 October
||Form VI Dinner – Guest speaker Catherine Stihler MEP
|Thursday 17 October
3 25pm Mid-term break begins 18 October (to 29 October inclusive for pupils)
Tuesday 29 October
| Staff In-Service Day
|Wednesday 30 October
||School resumes - 8.40am
|Tuesday 5 November
||Form IV Parents’ Evening
|Tuesday 12 November
||Form VI Parents’ Evening
|Monday 25-Wednesday 27 November inc
||Form VI Play
|Thursday 28 November
||Form III Parents’ Evening
|Monday 2 & Wednesday 3 December
||Form III Play
Thrift Shop Opening – 2 30pm – 4 00pm (2nd and 4th Thursday of the month)
|Thursday 26 September
||Thursday 10 October
|Thursday 14 November
|| Thursday 28 November
|Thursday 12 December
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.