Dress down day

 Posted by at 4:13 pm
Oct 302014

Tomorrow, Friday 31 October, we will have a dress down day, with proceeds going towards the Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal. Pupils can choose what to wear (within reason!); those choosing to dress down will be asked to pay £1 at registration. The money rasied will be used to buy items to supplement those already donated to fill the boxes.

This dress down day was originally programmed for the end of last term, but had to be postponed when it became evident that we could not open the school on the Friday.

Oct 292014

Inverness Royal Academy will be in celebratory mood in the coming weeks, as the Duke of Edinburgh Award team plans for an ‘Archive Evening’ on November 4th  to mark the school’s long history of Outdoor Activity and Hillwalking. With the help of School Archivist Robert Preece, the school’s Outdoor Club log books will be brought from their dusty confines for a new generation to appreciate.

“The group,” says D of E Organiser Mrs. Pat Crippin, “was extremely active from the 1940s onwards, and many young men and women gained a lifelong love of the outdoors from time spent at the IRA. There was nothing they didn’t do. All the Skye Munros. The Forcan Ridge. The Swiss Alps. Winter climbs. Summer camps. And a careful record of every outing was kept. Beautifully illustrated with photos, drawings and even paintings. They are works of art.”

As Pat pored over the treasured archive, accompanied by former Outdoor Club member Mr. J. Ross Martin, Archivist Mr. Robert Preece, and current D of E pupils, the potential for a really splendid reunion evening in November became clear to all.

“This really shows us what a great tradition we are entering into, by taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award,” said S5 pupil Holly Martin, coincidentally grand-daughter of Ross. “It’s great to know that generations of Invernessians have paved the way for us.”

The event is to take place in the Library at Inverness Royal Academy on the evening of Tuesday, 4th November, from 7 – 9pm. Tea and coffee available. Interested former pupils are warmly invited to get in touch with the school or to come along.

World War One

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Oct 282014

World War One

An Cogadh Mor:

Ness Stories

Exhibition, 6th November – 6th December 2014,

Grand Opening, 11am, Thursday 6th November

Telling the stories of local people whose lives were touched by the events of the Great War, this exhibition has been researched, curated and prepared by pupils from Inverness Royal Academy.  Together with specialists from the museum, archives and libraries teams they have worked to uncover the personal stories that lie behind a variety of objects and archives; many of which have never been displayed before.  Come and meet the young curators at the exhibition opening on the 6th of November.  All welcome.

Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Wynd, IV2 3EB

Tel. 01463 237 114, Email. inverness.museum@highlifehighland.com

Oct 272014

Inverness Royal Academy will reopen as normal on Tuesday 28th October.  The issues relating to the safety of the chimney which caused the early closure on Thursday 9th October have now been resolved following prompt action from our colleagues in Housing and Property.  A temporary boiler unit which was placed on site as a backup measure will remain in place until the weekend.  This unit will be fenced off until it is removed. 

Thanks to all involved in dealing with this issue promptly and to staff, pupils and parents for their understanding at the end of term.

School closed

 Posted by at 11:29 am
Oct 092014

We have taken the decision to close the school from 11am today; we had workmen inspecting a chimney at the rear of the school (near the canteen) and they declared it unsafe. Given its proximity to the canteen and a number of teaching areas, we felt that we had to send all pupils home – we simply do not have the space to accommodate classes without the use of a significant number of teaching areas. We will not reopen to pupils before the October holiday – so the next day in school for pupils is Tuesday 28 October.

We have asked all pupils to contact parents to make them aware that they are going home, and any who were unable to do this reported to the school office, where our office staff managed to speak to a parent on behalf of the child. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but hope you will understand the need for us to take this action.

Oct 082014

Staff and visitors should be aware that there will be no access to the car park off Culduthel Avenue between 08:00 hours and 14:00 hours on Monday 13th October. This is to allow Morrison Construction to put on the top deck of their site welfare unit. Anybody who needs to visit the school that day should park in the bus lane off Culduthel Road between those times.

Response to Parent Survey 2014

 Posted by at 10:46 am
Oct 082014

Reason for the Survey:

In June 2014 the school sent out 400 surveys to parents of pupils across all years. The survey was sent out to ask for parents views on a number of issues to do with how the school is performing. The survey was also made available on line with the link placed on the school’s web site. All parents were given the opportunity to complete the on line survey which was identical to the paper copy sent out to the 400 randomly chosen parents.

By the time the survey closed the school had received 109 returns of the paper copy and there were 14 responses on line. These responses were collated over the summer and during the first week of this term.

Overall Findings:

Overall the responses to the survey were positive although it has highlighted to us a number of areas where we need to work harder to improve. The results can be summarised as follows;

Parents were also given the opportunity to make additional comments as they deemed appropriate. These comments ranged from being very positive to highlighting specific issues that required addressing. It should be noted that the majority of comments were made around communicating pupil progress.

What are we going to do about it?

While it is clear from the survey and the comments made that overall the school is doing well in a lot of areas it is also clear that a number of parents feel that as a school we could be doing better when it comes to sharing information with parents on their child’s progress in school. It is also evident that communication between the school and parents is an issue for some as is the school not taking parental views into account.

To address the issues highlighted by the survey the school’s self-evaluation group will run 3 focus groups over the next few months to try and help to move these issues forward and take parents views firmly into account. Each focus group will be made up of up to 12 parents (including a parent council member) and 2 members of staff from the school’s self-evaluation working group.

 The focus groups will look specifically at the areas of communication between the school & home on pupil’s progress and on seeking parents’ views & communicating responses and actions to them. These groups will have a clear remit to come up with suggestions that the school can use to move forward on the areas of;

  • Communicating pupils progress to parents more regularly throughout the year
  • Seeking the views of parents on whole school issues more often
  • How the school communicates more effectively with parents

In addition to these focus groups the school will continue to work to improve in all other areas with a view to giving all of our youngsters’ equal opportunities to develop to their maximum potential.

If successful this approach may be rolled out to look at other aspects of school life as we strive to form better links between the school and the parents and to ensure that parents feel part of the school and have a sense of pride and ownership in it.

Oct 062014

As parents of pupils in S5 will be aware, this is the last year of the “old” higher courses, which are running in parallel with the new courses for one year only. Some departments felt that they would prefer to stick with the old courses for this session; others have opted to present pupils for the new courses. We left the decision up to each Principal Teacher; they are the experts on their own subjects and are in the best position to decide which course gives our pupils the best possible chance of success at this stage. The table below shoes the breakdown between the old and the new, and the course code associated with the course. The SQA website contains detailed course descriptors of all these courses, and the National Parent Forum of Scotland has produced guides called “Highers in a Nutshell” to the new qualifications.

Subjects presenting for old higher qualification Subjects presenting for new higher qualification
Art & Design C223 Accounting C700
Biology C007 Administration & IT C701
Business Management C234 Chemistry C713
English for Speakers of Other Languages C222 Economics C722
French C059 Engineering Science C723
Geography C208 English C724
German C060 Gaelic C731
History C259 Gaidhlig C732
Mathematics C100 Graphic Communication C735
Modern Studies C236 Music C750
Physical Education C205  
Physics C069  
Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies C265  

Ryder Cup Practice Day

 Posted by at 10:17 am
Oct 062014

On Tuesday 23 September, a group of 14 pupils and 2 staff set off early in the minibus, heading to Gleneagles in Perthshire to watch the first practice day of the Ryder Cup. Arriving at the venue just after 9am, we were in time to see players from both teams out on the range, hitting balls and signing autographs. The players then headed out onto the course – in groups of three or four – to get their first taste of the challenge ahead of them. This gave our group the chance to get up close to the players; the crowds were small and it was easy to get a very good view of the various players hitting their shots. For those who didn’t want to walk too far round the golf course, there was plenty to do in the spectator village, with opportunities to try golf and to learn about the history of the game. Everyone on the trip had a great day and our only regret was that we were not going to be there when the real competition started later in the week!

Oct 062014

September saw an enlightening Higher English trip to Skye. A party studying the poetry of Sorley MacLean for the New English Higher with Dr. Gregson enjoyed a special session of the Skye Book Festival devoted to the great poet. On the 60th anniversary of the first publication of ‘Hallaig’, Maclean’s celebrated poem about Raasay and the Clearances, the Inverness Royal Academy party were entertained with readings and reminiscences. They then visited the excellent Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir, in the north of the island, and on a bright day were able to see many of the Skye locations referenced in MacLean’s poetry.

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