Selkirk High School Christmas Newsletter


Newsletter 2015


So far this year students have competed in 3 different House competitions. The year started with the Football on the new

2G with Yarrow winning the Girls competition and Tweed winning the Boys competition. During the first week of

October saw the Interhouse Rugby and Hockey with over 150 students taking part. Ettrick took the honours in both the

Rugby and Hockey competitions. The standings in the House Table are as follows – Tweed 8.5 points, Ettrick 8 points,

Yarrow 7.5 points



Welcome to our 2015 Christmas newsletter which this

year compliments the Press and PR Committee’s newly

launched digital magazine – The Selkirk Scrapbook –

see below for details.

We hope you enjoy reading about some of the activities

and events that have made the term a busy and very

successful one. Please let us know what you think, or if

you would be keen to get involved in any of our projects

by contacting me at selkirkhs@scotborders.gov.uk .

On behalf of staff and students at Selkirk High School I

wish you a relaxing and peaceful Christmas and a

happy, health new year.

Mrs Burgon, Headteacher



Tuesday, 1st December, saw the start of Selkirk

Rotary Clubs Mock Interviews with students from the

High School. This is a yearly initiative, it allows the

students to derive the benefit of the knowledge of

business skills attained and built up by members of

the Club. This year a total 71, 5th year students, have

had to prepare in advance their covering letters/

applications, CV's and personal statements. These are

then read over in advance of the 'mock interview' by

Club members in order to gain an understanding of

each students, qualifications, skills and aspirations.

Mistakes are highlighted and discussed with the

student at the interview.

The 'mock interviews' run from 1st to 11th December

with some nine interviews taking place daily. The

Rotary Club of Selkirk are indebted to Ron Hastings

and his staff at Hastings and Co. Market Place,

Selkirk, for allowing us the use of the premises. The

use of town centre premises takes the students out of

their comfort zone in the school and brings them into a

business environment.

The High School, students and club members alike

find this a very worthwhile exercise.

At the beginning of the season the school hockey team were very lucky to receive sponsorship from Allan Linton’s business AV

Safety Services. This allowed all girls to get brand new kit which is looking great.

Teams have been benefiting from training and playing on the new 2g pitch, and are now proud to host other teams. Thanks to the

fund raising efforts of players and parents, refreshments are available for players and spectators during home games – hot drinks

and home baking are a very welcome addition on cold mornings!

A visit to the High School from ex-student and international player Sarah Robertson inspired younger players who benefitted

from an excellent coaching session delivered by Sarah.

On a similar note, as part of the School of Hockey programme, S1 and S2 students recently enjoyed a trip to Glasgow to support

and watch ex-student Emily Newlands gain her first full international cap for Scotland against Ireland.

Our teams have had some great performances and results in the first half of the season, and are looking forward to the up and

coming tournaments after the Christmas holidays.

In November, the Higher Geography students took a trip

to Edinburgh to complete fieldwork for their Added Value

Unit. The pupils carried out questionnaires and surveys on

well-known streets within the centre of Edinburgh. These

streets included The Royal Mile, George Street and Princes

Street where they surveyed and recorded shop type and

quality and observed environmental quality. The Sphere

of Influence questionnaire they carried out on each street

was meet with some interesting responses! One group of

students interviewed a couple from Hungary who told

them that they visited Edinburgh every year for its history,

beauty, excellent selection of shops but sadly not the

weather. The day we chose to go into Edinburgh was one

of the wettest days in November (true to Edinburgh’s

character!) but the students endured through the weather

(with many coffee breaks) to complete their fieldwork.

They are now using the information they collected in Edinburgh

to write up their individual Added Value project.

Thanks to Catriona Bird, Andrew Haining for choosing to

come out on such a wet day for fieldwork and a special

thanks to Ron Sutherland for coming out of retirement for

the day, the students very much enjoyed seeing him again.


‘Achieving Excellence Together’ – Respect, Rights,

Responsibilities & Relationships - the Selkirk High School

Charter continues to reflect our vision & values - what

underpins behaviour so that all our students will realise

their full potential. The Student Councils continue to raise

the profile of the SHS Charter by organising their annual

poster competition. Each S1 student has demonstrated

newly developed ICT skills by producing a poster

promoting the power of positive relationships.

Winning entries will be picked by Council members and

prizes presented at the Christmas Assembly. The usual

impressive display of all entries will be created in the

canteen early in the new year.

Another hot topic on the Student Council agenda is

improving digital learning opportunities. Any parents or

local businesses who would like to support us in our

efforts, please get in touch.

The SHS Student Councils


The S1 pupils took part in a Champions in Schools

Workshop on Tuesday 24 th November. Champions in Schools

is a role-model programme delivered by Winning Scotland

Foundation, which places an athlete in the classroom to

deliver an inspirational workshop. The workshop practically

demonstrated to pupils the merits of working hard,

overcoming setbacks and achieving personal goals. Alison

Howie, Scotland Hockey player, was the athlete who

championed at Selkirk High School. Senior pupils involved in

the Young Coach Programme (Scott Clark and Abbie Linton)

and the two Young Ambassadors (Iona Lunn and Ryan

Nixon) also shared their success through effort and success

after failure stories to the S1s and delivered physical activity

The S3 Skills for Life class have been working towards

the John Muir Discovery Award at The Haining this term..

The class- consisting of 12 pupils together with Miss

Robinson and Miss McPhee -spent Thursday afternoons

exploring the grounds of The Haining, developing team

building skills and learning about conservation in the local

environment. They each achieved their John Muir

Discovery Award, which shows commitment to making

use of our outdoor spaces and preserving them for others.

Everybody involved had a great time with activities such

as building dens and making tools.

In September we were visited by 3 members of

the Scottish Chamber orchestra who gave a

composition workshop to a group of instrumental

pupils from S2 – S6. They provided an approach

to composition that the students could apply to

their own composition and the ideas and

suggestions were useful for course work. A few

days later, the full SCO visited Earlston High

School to perform Brahms Variations on a Theme

by Haydn to an audience of pupils from secondary

schools across the region. The concert was very

well received and Selkirk students enjoyed the

experience greatly.


The role of the Young Ambassadors is to encourage

young people to get involved with sport and to enjoy their

experiences. So far we have attended a Regional

Conference about our roles and this was based around the

theme of how to act as positive leaders and the best ways

to promote sport in schools. We were also involved in the

Champions in Schools Programme delivering

presentations and practical sessions on Success. Ryan

Nixon and Iona Lunn


Earlier this year, pupils from Mrs McKeown's English

class (1F2) entered a competition to rewrite a fairy tale

with a twist. They could choose any tale they liked but the

challenge was to only use 100 words! The class produced

some fantastic tales and several of these were chosen as

winners by Young Writers who ran the

competition. Extremely creative stories by Jed Bury, Luke

Davidson, Rosalin Scott, Fraser Cullen, Murray McNeill,

Rebecca Fernie, Joe Bell, Georgia Main, Tia Douglas,

Daisy Lockie, Aryeris Koutoupas, Thomas Martin and

Katie Knight were published in the 'Grim Tales' book. The

pupils were presented with their copies in front of the rest

of S2.


Big Issues day took place on the 26 th of November during

which S5 and S6 students were made to think about and

research issues that are prominent at this moment in time and

how they are affecting us here in the Scottish Borders.

Throughout the day, they researched and debated one of four


Should GM Crops be grown or used in the UK?

Should we allow the genetic manipulation of embryos?

Should the UK be accepting all refugees?

Should the UK intervene in the war in Syria?

The day was organised by the Big Issues committee, led by S5

and S6 pupils. Students were asked to present on their issue

after finding information from a variety of sources. We also

welcomed a wide range of speakers including: John Lamont,

local MSP; Reverend Campbell, Church of Scotland minister;

Rory Bannerman, Immigration judge; Alastair Cameron,

STEMNET Ambassador; David Scott, campaign director- Nil

by Mouth; Mr P. Lee, biology teacher and current pupil Euan


This year’s winning presentation was chosen by a collective

vote from the committee and the social subjects teachers. The

winning presentation was from the GM Crops topic. However,

the competition was fierce and in a close second place came a

strong Genetic Manipulation of Embryos presentation All

presentations were fantastic and a lot of hard work was put in

over the day.



Our Christmas concert this year was a great success. Over

two nights our audiences were entertained by the High

Schools Singers, School Band, Traditional Singers, Guitar

Group, Staff Choir, Ceilidh Band, Clarsach group, Pipers and

Accordions. Thanks must go to all the talented pupils who

gave up their time to rehearse and perform and also the tutors/instructors

who share their enthusiasm and skills.

SHSPP wishes all parents, pupils and staff an enjoyable

and relaxing Christmas. We have continued to work

with the Management team at the school throughout the

year and have been active in supporting the school. We

thought you might like to know that we managed once

again to fund the school diaries for every pupil, and we

were also able to help each department in the school

with some extra equipment and resources following

them all lodging bids which we had asked for.

We have also been able to make a donation to one of

the committees in the school, The Journey for Change,

which is involved in a fantastic initiative to promote

gender equality in education and beyond and will be

funding a trip for two South African students to spend a

week in Selkirk early next year.

The funds for this come from our local authority grant,

which is decreasing every year, and anything we can

raise through fund raising initiatives. Things like the

clothes bank, the 50-50 club and Easyfundraising for

online shopping all help tremendously and we would

encourage you all to support them as much as you are

able. The money raised all goes back into the school to

the benefit of your children who attend so the more we

can raise the better!

Our next meeting is the 22nd February in the

Boardroom at 7pm and new faces are always welcome,

and indeed actively encouraged! Please come along if

you can. We are also looking for some new members

for our fundraising committee, which is meeting on

Tuesday 26th January at 7pm in the County Hotel in

the lounge, so if you feel able to help, please get in


Best wishes for the festive season,


Journey to Change is a pupil-run committee based both

here in Selkirk High School and Lasswade High School,

in Edinburgh. The committee aims to make beneficial

links between South Africa and Scotland, and raise

awareness to global issues such as gender inequality.

This year, the committee has big plans. We are preparing

for another conference about gender inequality at

Lasswade, and we are taking on the issue of domestic

violence. We also are trying to raise funds to host 2

South African students here for a week, and for a charity

which provides shelter for victims of domestic abuse in

South Africa. Last year, we learned so much, but one day

simply was not enough.

To fundraise for this, we have been active within the

school and the wider community of Selkirk. We have held

bake sales, and dress down days. Pupils have been hugely

supportive of the cause, and are really looking forward to

the visit. We have also held raffles, sold crafts, and

donated old DVDs in exchange for money, which has all

helped us reach our minimum target of £700. In

December, the committee hosted a Quiz Night, and

managed to raise £320 from this event. It was a fantastic

night, and the committee are incredibly grateful to all

those who braved the winter weather to come and support

us. The evening was great fun for all involved, and has

allowed us to meet our fundraising target, however, we

will continue to raise funds into the New Year. The

committee is looking forward to meeting our South

African friends in the New Year.


The Selkirk High School Charities Committee is supporting

two great causes this year; the Special Care Baby Unit

(SCBU), and Macmillan Cancer Support. SCBU is based at

the Borders General hospital and works relentlessly to care

for newly born babies needing special care. Macmillan

Cancer Support is a national organisation that offers care

and support for those affected by cancer. The committee

has been working extremely hard this term organising four

events: a sponsored leg wax, a raffle and a bake sale at the

recent Christmas concert, as well as a whole school ‘wear

what you want’ day. We’d like to take this opportunity to

thank everyone who has contributed including local

businesses for their kind donations.

Thirty pupils from S2 attended the Scottish

Closing Event for the United Nations International

Year of Light and Light-based Technologies at

Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre on 2nd

December. The International Year of Light is a

global initiative which will highlight to the citizens

of the world the importance of light and optical

technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for

the development of society. It is a unique

opportunity to inspire, educate, and connect on a

global scale. The Heriot-Watt event included a

light Inspired Festival of Knowledge – with

microscopes, lasers, robots and other incredible

technologies - and a lecture by Professor Jim Al-

Khalili, the BBC science communicator and

broadcaster. The day ended with a prize ceremony

where the video made by Fraser Cullen, Bethan

Harold, Daisy Lockie, Callum Macdonald, Sarah

McGhee and Eilidh McMenamin was awarded


On Tuesday the 27 th October 2015 the Creative Fashion

Students from Selkirk High School had a wonderful

experience taking part in a photoshoot at Abbotsford House.

As usual the photoshoot was carried out by award winning

Hawick photographer John Parris. John has supported the

course from the start and his stunning photographs are

always used as a backdrop for the annual Fashion Show.

Katherine Milby, from the Abbotsford Trust, has also been

very supportive in allowing us to use this stunning setting.


The outfits chosen for this event were tartan and tweed to

reflect our local heritage and most of the fabrics used were

kindly donated by local textile mills. Make up was done and

the hair styled by Emma Jolly. Emma is a former pupil of

the course who went on to study at Duncan of Jordanstone

College of Art and Design and is now working as a

freelance artist.

Get social with Selkirk High School

The annual fashion show, “Sew Sew”, will be held in

Selkirk High School on Wednesday 23 rd March 2016 at

7.30pm. More details will follow in early February.

During the month of September, we had some amazing night

skies over the Borders. Senior pupils were proudly showing

their photos on their phones in Art & Design as the colours

were so vibrant and almost unrealistic. So, when Mrs Burgon

asked if we had any Christmas images, we certainly did.

Like us on Facebook

We selected 5 images from the Selkirk area from pupils from

S4&5. The photographers were, Lara Mills, Shannon Smith,

Ellie Hislop and Todd Patterson.


Follow us on Twitter @SelkirkHS

I think you'll agree, that we not only have beautiful scenes

around us, but that our pupils have a real flair for

photography. Hopefully this is the first of many projects like



Congratulations to all the girls who worked in an organised manner to

produce a healthy two course meal while demonstrating a wide range

of practical skills. Milly Coltherd was the winner, with Catherine

Nicoll the runner up. We wish both girls well at the next round.


Prelim Season is upon us once again. This session, the prelim

exam diet will fall between Monday 11 th January – Friday 22 nd

January 2016.

Prelims are very important as it helps you gauge where you are in

your learning and what you need to do to improve for the final

exam in May.

On the day of the exam, please ensure you

arrive 10 minutes before the exam starts,

have all the equipment you need eg pens, pencils, calculators


Please do enjoy the break, but do make time for revision.

The full prelim timetable can be found on the school website

along with arrangements for exam leave.

S4/5/6 Students

Exam Leave:

All S5/6 pupils will be on exam leave between Monday11

th January and Monday 18 th January inclusive.

All S5/6 pupils should return to normal classes from Tuesday

18 th January

There will be pupils who have exams to sit between

18 th and 22 nd January. In this case, pupils are allowed the

day before an exam off in order to prepare.

Pupils should return to classes in the afternoon of an exam

if they do not have an exam the next day.

All S4 pupils will be given the day before an exam off in

order to prepare

Pupils should return to classes in the afternoon of an exam

if they do not have an exam the next day.

All pupils should return to school full time on Monday

25 th January

Selkirk High School has had a PR and Press Committee for a number of years now. This year, the

committee have gone digital and have created http://selkirkscrapbook.com This is a student owned

online magazine allowing the students to write and publish articles on a variety of topics on a regular


Since the mid November launch of the site, over 850 individuals from all over the world have

viewed content on the site 2300 times! You can expect to read articles about various school committees,

sporting teams, school events as well as commentary and opinion on local and national


The committee is made up of a dedicated team of seven students from a variety of different stages

within the school, ranging from S3 to S6. The PR and Press Committee is made up of

Euan N(S6) – chairperson of the committee

Jack O(S6)

Baird M(S6)

Joseph M(S5)

Catherine N(S3)

Paige G(S3)

Catriona T(S3)

You can receive updates from the Scrapbook by

following the blog via email- just subscribe on

page. Alternatively you can follow the school

Twitter - @SelkirkHS - and/or like us on Facebook


SelkirkHighSchool as all posts made on the

Scrapbook appear on these feeds.




From all of the PR and Press Committee, we

wish you happy reading. Please do visit, leave a

comment and share http://selkirkscrapbook.com

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