Dec 162019

December’s right of the month at Auchinleck Academy is Article 27: the right to an adequate standard of living. We know, however, that child poverty is on the rise in Scotland, and therefore many children and young people are unfortunately not accessing this right.  Some of our pupils and staff have therefore been taking action to try and combat child poverty in our local community. With support from Mary Patterson, Home/Community Worker, pupils have set up a food bank in the school to help local families that are experiencing hardship. They have also started a uniform recycling project, and there are plans to introduce a ‘winter warmer’ coat exchange initiative in the near future. Some of our S3 pupils who won the Children’s Rights/ Global Goals ‘Idea for Change’ project last session came up with the idea to package and distribute left over food from the canteen- this is now happening at the end of each day and is available to anyone who needs it. We are also planning a Christmas jumper/dress down day on the 20th December. Pupils and staff can bring in £1 or an item for our food bank to wear their own clothes or a festive jumper. All proceeds will go to Hillside, a charity which supports children and families in our local communities.


There were also lots of activities going on in Auchinleck Academy last month to promote children’s rights. November’s right of the month was Article 12: Respect for the views of the child . To celebrate this right and mark World Children’s Day on the 20th November, Mary Patterson arranged a special event to showcase some of the work that is going on in the school to support children’s rights and ensure that young peoples’ voices are listened to and taken seriously. Pupils also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from local organisations that support young people’s rights, and talk to them about matters that are important to them.

Dec 022019

Auchinleck & Cumnock Academy recently celebrated success at the Scottish Concert Band Festival at the Royal Concert Hall.  All three bands played exceptionally well and were fully deserving of the following Awards:

ACCB Junior Band – Gold Award

ACCB Intermediate Band – Gold Award

ACCB Senior Band – Gold Award

ACCB Senior Band – SCBF Entertainment Award

As a result all bands now qualify to represent Auchinleck & Cumnock Academies and East Ayrshire at the SCBF National Finals in Perth Concert Hall on 14 & 15 March 2020.

As ever, the pupils were tremendous ambassadors for both schools and it’s wonderful to see their efforts and industry being recognised and rewarded in such a high profile setting; and of course, I’m delighted for Band Directors Craig Anderson, Gary Williams and all Auchinleck/Cumnock IMS Instructors/music staff who have worked so hard to give our young musicians this incredible opportunity.

Dec 022019

Well done to Mrs Hammersley’s S3 Business Class for all their hard work running the Book Fair.  They have earned £205 in rewards for the school to spend on books.  Mrs Hammersley’s class will also be helping choose some of these books and we hope to have them on the Library shelves soon. Thank you to all the staff who helped during the Fair.

If you missed the Fair you can still place an order for any books you wanted to buy. Check the Library News web page for a link to browse the Scholastic website and place an order online. Orders and cash payments can also be handed to Miss McGill at the School Library. The deadline is Friday 6th December and all orders must be paid in advance.​

Nov 272019

Parents of pupils in S2 to S5 in Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies are invited to an information evening at Cumnock Academy on Tuesday 3rd December at 7pm.

If your child is in S2, S3, S4 or S5 they will soon be asked to consider which subjects they would like to study next session in The Robert Burns Academy.

To assist with this decision parents are invited to this information evening where they will hear from school staff about the subject choices available to pupils in each year group and you will have the chance to ask questions and discuss the opportunities available with myself and DHTs from both Auchinleck and Cumnock.

A letter with a tear off reply slip has been sent home with pupils this week.

Peter Gilchrist

Head Teacher

Barony Campus

Nov 182019

Auchinleck Academy received the excellent news last week that we have been accredited as a Gold Rights Respecting School! This is an absolutely outstanding achievement for all of our pupils and staff, who have worked really hard together over the past four years to ensure that children’s rights are fully embedded throughout the school in our policies, practice and ethos.

Achieving Gold Rights Respecting status means there is strong evidence in a school that:

  • A child rights approach based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is embedded in all school policy, practice and culture
  • Children, young people and adults in the school have a thorough understanding of child rights, and rights respecting attitudes and language are embedded across the school
  • RRSA has had a positive impact on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing
  • tudents see themselves as rights respecting global citizens and are advocates for social justice, fairness and children’s rights at home and abroad

On 30th September we were visited by Steven Kidd from UNICEF UK who spent the day at Auchinleck Academy meeting with pupils, parents and staff, and finding out about our school. He was extremely impressed by his visit and commented on how clear it was that rights are very much part of the school environment, and in fact underpin every facet of school life.

He compiled a report in which the following have been highlighted as particular strengths of our school:

  • Confident, articulate students who have an excellent knowledge of rights and a strong belief in their ability to make a difference
  • Commitment to and passion for embedding children’s rights from the school’s senior leadership team and from staff.
  • Strong focus on wellbeing and inclusion with a huge variety of support available to pupils.
  • An extensive record of fundraising achievement, for causes such as Mary’s Meals and Unicef
  • Some excellent individual examples of practice e.g. PLP learning, Rights awareness video, LGBT rainbow wall.

Mr Kidd also commented in his report on how relationships between pupils and between pupils and staff were noticeably positive and indicative of a culture based on mutual respect. He stated that students on the learning walk were confident and enthusiastic, listening carefully to any questions and replying informatively. In focus groups, students were polite and respectful, happy to offer their views and keen to hear those of others, whilst the Steering Group spoke passionately of their work to drive forward rights practice in the school. It was also clear to the assessor that the young people of Auchinleck Academy see themselves as agents for change, confident in taking action on the issues that matter to them and often inspired by children’s rights.

Well done Auchinleck Academy!


Nov 112019

To help celebrate Book Week Scotland Mrs Hammersley’s S3 Business Studies class are helping Miss McGill run a Scholastic Book Fair in the Library during the school day from Friday November 22nd to Wednesday November 27th 2019. The fair will offer over 200 books from 60 publishers with prices ranging from £2.99 upwards.  A selection of stationery will also be on sale. A taster leaflet can be downloaded from the Library News webpage.  

Nov 052019

Right of the month for October at Auchinleck Academy has been Article 6 (life, survival and development). To encourage our young people to take action in support of this right, Auchinleck Academy has been participating in UNICEF’s annual OutRight Campaign. This year part of the campaign has involved encouraging young people to put pressure on the UK government to commit more spending to vaccination campaigns. In PLP classes last month, pupils in all year groups learned about the importance of vaccines and the fact that 5.4 million children die before their 5th birthday, usually because they don’t get the health care and life-saving vaccines that they need. Pupils also learned that the UK government is hosting an important event in the summer of 2020, called GAVI: the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. At this event, the UK Government will pledge how much they will donate to vaccinating children around the world.

In PLP time our pupils wrote postcards which will be sent to the Secretary of State for International Development, stating how important it is for the government to commit a substantial spend to vaccines. This is an excellent example of the young people in Auchinleck Academy making their voice heard and influencing decision makers to do more in support of each child’s right to life, survival and development.

Nov 012019

Auchinleck Academy, Cumnock Academy and Supported Learning Centre, Barshare Primary, Greenmill Primary and Hillside ASN will all be closed to pupils on Thursday 25 June and Friday 26 June 2020

The new Barony Campus including Robert Burns Academy and SLC, New Loch Norris PS and New Hillside ASN will also be closed to pupils on Tuesday 18th August and Wednesday 19th August 2020.

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