Kilsyth Academy News – 12/09/19


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Former Kilsyth Academy pupil, Amy Buck has embarked on an exciting journey of discovery taking the brave step to accept a one year scholarship to study Chinese at the University of Tianjin in China.  Amy, who left Kilsyth Academy in June of this year after 6 years, said of her first few days in China “it’s fantastic here, I’m loving literally every moment of it.”

Amy was lucky enough to have a two week experience in China last year through The Confucius Hub and was very excited about the opportunity to go back for a further year.  Talking about that initial opportunity Amy said, when my German teacher told me about an opportunity to learn Chinese at a two-week summer course in 2018, I assumed she meant a quick jaunt into Glasgow every day, and having a few hours of classes in one of the university buildings. Needless to say, when I found out that what she actually meant was a two week long immersion course in China, I was floored.

After a few months of suitcase-packing and anticipation, the 8th of July finally rolled around and I set off, with a group of ten others from Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld. The trip consisted of 10 days in the city of Tianjin with a few days in Beijing either side, and were full of sightseeing and cultural activities. While the trip was a fantastic window into the culture and daily life of China, I was sad when it was over, as I’d only had a glimpse of this country, and there was still so much of the real China to experience.”

Earlier this year the opportunity arose to apply for a one year scholarship in China with Amy saying, “So you can imagine how excited I was when, a few months later, our Head Teacher at Kilsyth Academy, Mr Orrock, announced a scholarship programme for a year’s study in a Tianjin university.”  

However, she had to successfully navigate a rigorous selection process with applicants from across the country, to secure a place on the scholarship programme together with 21 other young people from Scotland.

The Confucius Institute, based in Strathclyde University, facilitates the scholarship programme for Scotland’s Schools, taking 22 sixth year pupils from all over Scotland to China each year.   Amy said, “After discussing it with my family, I began the application process, which consisted of a written application, then a formal interview, and then, a few days later, an email telling me I had been accepted. At the time of writing this, there are just three days left before I leave Scotland for almost a year, and yet I’m not scared or worried at all – I’m just excited to start this new chapter of life, in a country half way around the world.”

“The purpose of this year abroad is, above all, to learn Chinese. Whilst my former school Kilsyth Academy doesn’t currently offer Chinese as a subject, my experience of languages at Kilsyth has no doubt fostered an interest and a passion that has eventually led me on this path abroad. Studying German from being an absolute beginner in first year up to achieving an ‘A’ in Advanced Higher this year, and crashing Higher French in which I managed to also achieve an ‘A’, has been one of the highlights of my time at school. There’s a certain magic about not just forming sentences in a foreign language, but being able to understand and think in the medium of a foreign language that I believe is unmatched by other subjects. You learn other subjects, but you live a language. Promoting bonds with other countries and peoples is vital; language study not only opens one up to other cultures, but it has also been proven time and time again to improve understanding of one’s own language as well as developing one’s brain and cognitive ability. There are so many benefits to language learning, and a scholarship like this is a fantastic opportunity for developing language skills as well as travelling and experiencing new things. So whatever this opportunity leads to in the future, I’m so glad to be part of it, and will do all I can to make the most of my time abroad.”

Claire McAdams, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages at Kilsyth Academy said “it was clear from early in her first year at Kilsyth Academy that Amy had and interest and aptitude for learning languages that quickly became a love of languages.”  Head Teacher, Gregg Orrock said “the school is very proud of Amy’s achievements and we are sure she will excel during her time in China.”

Kilsyth Academy News – 23/08/19

We were delighted to welcome our new S1 pupils to the Academy and wish them all every success in the years to come. They are all looking extremely smart and have made a very enthusiastic start to High School life. Well done to pupils from last session’s S4, S5 and S6 on their achievements in SQA examinations.

Last year’s leavers are now embarking on either new courses in Further or Higher Education, or on new careers and we wish them every success. We look forward to hearing about their continued achievements, in the years ahead. A number of former pupils also graduated over the summer and our warmest congratulations go to them.


New Staff
We are pleased to welcome a number of new staff to the Academy: Mrs Fox – Depute Head Teacher, Mr McGinley – PT Pupil Support Dumbreck House and Miss O’Hare – Teacher of Chemistry.  We hope that they will all greatly enjoy their time in Kilsyth Academy.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)
After another very successful year running the YPI programme our S4 pupils again participated in the launch of this year’s programme last Friday.  They heard more about the YPI programme, considered philanthropy and specifically the important role of 3rd sector charity organisations in our community.  Embarking upon this programme our S4 pupils will now investigate and identify a charity they want to champion for a grant of £3000.  We look forward to our class and school finals later in the session.


Piping Success

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Following their success in New York earlier in the year, Kilsyth Academy pupils Luke Shearer and Callum McGoldrick tasted success at the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green over the 16th and 17th August.  Luke was a member of the Novice A band who crowned world champions in their section adding to their British and European titles. Callum, playing in his first world championships, performed with the Novice B band coming 3rd in their section.  Former pupil

was also a member of the world championship winning band.  Our congratulations go to all three on a really amazing achievement.


Dates for your diary
The first meeting of our Parent Council, our annual AGM, will take place on Monday 16th September, at 6.30 p.m., in the school hall.  This is also a meeting of the parent forum where all parents are welcome to attend.


Kilbowie Leadership 2019


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The Kilsyth Academy Leadership Academy had another successfully year at Kilbowie between 10th-13th of May. Twelve S3 leaders and Thirty S2 participants took part in a range of activities form climbing and orienteering to gorge walking and canoeing. As always the focus of the weekend was leadership, the S3 leaders were superb and really stepped up to ensure that the S2 pupils had a really enjoyable weekend.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for our leaders and finding out who will be returning next year as the leaders in 2020.



Kilsyth Students success in European Street Dance Championships

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Last weekend our dance crew, DejaVu competed in the UDO European Street Dance Championships in Amsterdam representing Scotland. Two teams from DejaVu attended ‘Vision’ and ‘Rhythmix’ both earned the title of European Champions.

Backstage, waiting for awards was nerve racking as the categories were extremely testing and the other teams were amazing.  Hearing our names getting called out as being in 1st place was unbelievable; the best feeling ever.  We are from Kilsyth Academy. Laura Wilson, who competed in ‘VisionEilidh Brown and Robyn Stark from ‘Rhythmix’. We have been dancing with DejaVu for a very long time and this has to be one of our best achievements.

Kilsyth Academy News – 17/05/19

The Snug – Official Opening
Last week saw the official opening of our school nurture base “The Snug” by Provost Jean Jones.  The school would like to extend thanks to everyone who attended.

End of term trips
Pupils in S1 to S3 again have the opportunity to go to either M&D’s or Blackpool Pleasure Beach at the end of term.  This is a reminder that payment of the full balance is now due and should be handed in as soon as possible.

Rights Respecting Workshop
Earlier this week all S1 pupils participated in a Rights Respecting workshop focused on the UNCRC Rights of the child.  This important strand of our work, to embed children’s rights into the fabric of our ethos and values, will support us to reach our next goal of achieving Silver status as a rights aware school.

Tinto Hill Climb
On Monday, 43 of our S1 pupils, supported by staff, got their walking boots on to raise money for St Andrew’s Hospice taking part in their annual climb of Tinto Hill.  Pupils tackled this challenge with real enthusiasm, supporting the important work of St Andrew’s in the process.  Well done to everyone taking part.

Leadership Academy – Kilbowie Outdoor Centre
Last weekend saw our S2 aspiring leaders participate in our annual Leadership Training Academy at Kilbowie in Oban.  Led by our S3 Leaders, pupils participated in a range of challenging outdoor activities designed to challenge and stretch them to solve problems, communicate, work with others and ultimately take the lead.

European Parliamentary Elections
Further to the letter recently emailed to parents, a reminder that as Kilsyth Academy is used as an official polling station the school will be closed to all pupils, other than those sitting SQA exams on Thursday 23 May for the upcoming European election.  Should these elections be cancelled school will open as normal.

Mid-term holiday
The school will be closed to pupils on Friday 24th and Monday 27th May for the mid-term holiday.  Pupils sitting SQA exams on either of those days should attend for their exam as normal at the time specified on their individual school exam timetable.  Information has been provided to pupils with exams on these days.

Dates for you diary
Tuesday 28th May – School uniform sales will take place in the school café from 5.00 to 8.00pm.

Wednesday 29th May – Parent Council meeting – 7.00pm

Monday 3rd June – Pupils return from study leave.  New timetable begins


The K’Nex Challenge


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On the 26th of March the Library held the 2019 K’Nex Challenge for multiple North Lanarkshire Primary schools. Four pupils from each primary participated in a competition to create a go-cart that could be manually steered. Each school had two teams of two and had an hour to complete the challenge. We helped to organise, run and judge the event, we also spent time helping and encouraging the teams as they worked and took pictures throughout the event. After a lot of judging and difficult decisions our winners were Fulton Henderson and Aaron Thomson from Banton Primary School, the runners up from Balmalloch Primary school were Callum Gordon and Reilly Mitchell. It was a day full of fun and enjoyment. We appreciated being able to talk with the pupils and develop our leadership and organisational skills. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone.

By Sarah Bateman, Abbie Mewes, Callum McGoldrick & Josh Chambers. 


Kilsyth Academy News – 08/03/19

Tree of Knowledge
A number of our S3 pupils will embark upon a three week course delivered by Tree of Knowledge starting this week designed to support, motivate and inspire them to get the most out of school.  Parents are also invited to join their child for the final session and pupils are reminded that reply slips must be returned as soon as possible as we need to know if parents are attending the session on the 27th March. If you have lost your letter a note will be fine. Any queries see Ms McKillop.

5/6 Social
A reminder to senior pupils/parents that the final balance of this year’s Senior Social is to be paid by March 18th.  The final total for the social is £40 per person.  This means that anyone who has paid a deposit has an outstanding balance of £25 to pay.  Pupils in S5 should give outstanding payments to Luke Shearer and S6 to Jodie Owens.

Paris Trip
A reminder to parents of pupils going on the trip to Paris in June that the final balance is now due for the Paris Trip.  Pupils should see Miss McFarlane if they have any questions or concerns.

Kilbowie Leadership Academy
A reminder that the final balance is due for pupils attending this year’s Kilbowie Leadership Academy is due by the 29th March.  Please give payments to Miss McFarlane.

Tinto Hill Challenge
A number of our S1 pupils will be participating in this year’s Tinto hill Challenge to raise funds for St Andrew’s Hospice.  Kilsyth Academy participates in this event every year together with schools from across Lanarkshire.  Pupils have been challenged to reach a fundraising target of £20 each so please keep looking for sponsors.

S1 and S2 Science Masterclass – University of Glasgow
Pupils in S1 and S2 have an exciting opportunity to attend free Science Masterclass workshops at the University of Glasgow.  Workshops run from 10am-12.30pm for 4 Saturdays in a row, starting from 4th May 2019 with masterclasses include – ‘How to be an Aeroplane Designer’; How to be a Bridge Builder’; How to be a Rocket Scientist’ and ‘How to be an Astrophysicist’.  Interested pupils should please see Mrs Findlay in Room 226 to collect an application and consent form.

UWS Summer STEM Academy – S4/5 Pupils
The University of the West of Scotland Summer STEM Academy will be held on the 18th and 19th June at their Paisley Campus or the 2nd and 3rd July at their Lanarkshire Campus.  The website for booking is now live and can be found at:

Pupils have the opportunity to take part in excellent workshops including Astrobiology, Solar Spark, Molecule Hunts, DNA Introduction from the University of Hawaii, Flying Machines and Robotics.  There will be an industrial workplace visit to Biocity Scotland too.  You will get lunch, visit labs and workshops and learn about innovations in energy, engineering and life sciences.

There is a cost involved of £25 per person/family which covers meals and accommodation.  There is help available to pay for this from the Pupil Equity Fund on a case by case basis.   If you are interested in going please see Miss Dallas.  If you are interested and would like help with the cost see Miss McKillop.

Library news
Our first ever Inter-house Reading Challenge started earlier this week with the house that reads the most books winning.  Participating pupils are reminded that they should inform Mrs. Smith in the library when they have completed a book to allow this to be added to the total.  This challenge will run until 31st May so pupils have plenty of time to read as many books as possible.

Chill Out Zone
Our new ‘Chill out zone’ lunchtime club is now open for pupils every Wednesday in room 226 at 12.30pm.  This club is designed to support and encourage pupils worried about exams, friendships, anxiety or low self-confidence providing a space to de-stress whilst learning mindfulness, relaxation, self-confidence and positive thinking skills.

International Women’s Day
Kilsyth Academy marked International Women’s Day last week lead by our Humanities faculty.  This day highlights issues linked to gender inequality and the theme this year is #BalanceforBetter.  Pupils were invited to the Humanities department to have their picture taken at our IWD selfie wall and make their IWD2019 statement and you can see our ‘selfies’ on Twitter.

Library news –World Book Day
Last week we marked World Book Day with pupils invited to go on a book title quest.  20 book titles were hidden around the school, guarded by 20 different teachers with pupils challenged to find all 20 teachers and books to win a prize.  S1 pupils also took part in a World Book Day quiz and pupils were also encouraged to vote in our World Cup of Books to see what Kilsyth Academy’s favourite book is.  We’ll let you know once the votes are counted!

Library news – Inter house Reading Challenge.
Pupils are reminded that there is still plenty time to read for your house. Dumbreck are still in front but Colzium are hot on their tails.  Balmalloch and Antonine are fighting it out for 3rd but if you want that to change then it’s up to all of you (and your teachers!) to pick up a book and get reading.

Rotary Club – Technology Challenge
Kilsyth Academy hosted the annual Lanarkshire area rotary Club Technology Challenge last week.  This event is organised and run by the Rotary Club of Kilsyth and saw team from schools across North Lanarkshire compete in Basic, Intermediate and Advanced categories to solve an engineering challenge.  The brief was very challenging with all participants doing really well but as with all competitions there are winners and this year Kilsyth Academy retained the crown of champions in the advanced category.

International Women’s Day 2019 – 8th of March

International Women’s Day 2019 is on 8th March. This is a day to highlight issues linked to gender inequality and the theme this year is #BalanceforBetter. The Humanities department will be highlighting the day in the school with a selfie wall. All pupils and staff are being invited along to take their selfie and make their IWD2019 statement. Departments across the school have been printing off statements and quotes from their most admired females. These have been put up across the school. Humanities have been tweeting empowering female quotes in the lead up to the day on Friday. All classes have been learning about gender related issues all this week in RMPS with Mrs Gordon. Kilsyth Academy is striving towards Silver Award for RRSA and IWD2019 is a key event in ensuring pupils are made aware of their rights and others around the world. More information and the aims of the day can be found at

Inter House Reading Challenge


Some recommendations to get you started…

The first ever Inter House Reading Challenge has launched – the house that reads the most books wins!  When you have finished reading a book, come and tell Mrs Smith in the library and she will add it to your house total.
The challenge will run until the 31st May so you have plenty time to read lots and lots of books.  Get your teachers involved as everything they read counts towards final totals as well.  Progress in the challenge will be on display outside the library so everyone can keep up to date with how their house is doing.

If you need inspiration on what to read over the half term, have a look at Book Trust’s 100 Best books for children over the last 100 years or check out Scottish Book Trust’s huge range of themed book lists.  You can also get in touch with Mrs Smith on the library Twitter account @KA_library and she will point you in the direction of something good!


Kilsyth Academy News – 25/1/19

Burns Supper
Our annual Burns Supper will take place on Tuesday 5th February.  This event is entirely organised by senior pupils as part of their Leadership award.  This year both Findlay Sword and Ewan Chalmers are leading what will be a very enjoyable event. Tickets are now on sale priced at £12 and can be purchased from Findlay Sword.

Three junior school pupils recently attended a Dance workshop run by the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios at Greenfaulds High SchoolSamantha Graham, Gracie Currie and Aimee MacDonald experienced some creative choreography and a fantastic opportunity to improve their technique.  In addition to this, four of our junior Dance Leaders in the school are linking with Balmalloch Primary school to take their Primary 2 and 3 pupils for dance sessions.

Inter-house competition
House Captains will be visiting classes across this week to encourage pupils to sign up to compete in the next Inter-house event, our annual Cross Country Championships. We ask for your support as parents to encourage as many pupils to sign up as possible remembering pupils that points will also be awarded to houses for the highest level of participation as well as for race places. You don’t have to be the best runner, participation counts and this is a great opportunity for all of our pupils to be involved in a healthy pursuit and the wider life of the school.

Sports clubs
This term a number of new clubs will start up the week beginning the 4th February.  Activities on offer include Badminton, Tennis, Volleyball, Junior Netball, Handball and Indoor Football.  There are posters promoting these around the school and further information is available by looking on the Active Schools Noticeboard outside the back gym.

Girls football
Girls are invited to come and join our girls’ football club which takes place in the back gym every Thursday from 4.00 to 5.00pm.  This is a great opportunity for our girls to become involved in the national sport, learn new skills and make new friends, all under the guidance of SFA coach and former professional Robert McGraw.

Library news
The library is open at lunch time Mon-Thurs for personal reading, writing, drawing, board games, homework, study, research and more.  As of Monday 21st January, entry to the library at lunch time for S1-S4 is by pass only.  You can pick up a pass in the morning before school and at break time.  Seniors do not need to collect a pass.

Our first ever Inter-house Reading Challenge starts Monday 4th Feb 2019.  Everyone can get involved and participate in winning points for your house and the house that reads the most books wins.  Teachers can also get involved as everything they read can count towards final totals as well.  This is an event that everyone, pupils and staff can take part in with the challenge running until the 31st May, so you have plenty time to read lots and lots of books.  Progress in the challenge will be on display outside the library so everyone can keep up to date.  See Mrs Smith in the Library for challenge rules and information on how to participate.

Paris Trip
The next instalment of £75 for the Paris Trip is due by the end of January. If you are unsure of what you have left to pay, please come and see Miss McFarlane.


Dates for your diary
S2 Parent evening – Thursday 7th February 2019 – 4.15 – 6.45pm

S3/4 tracking reports issued – Friday 9th February 2019

February mid-term break Please note that the school will close for the mid-term break from Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th February.  Pupils return to school on Thursday 14th February.