In October 2010, Friends of Perth & Kinross Council Archive sponsored a heraldry competition for schoolchildren throughout Perthshire & Kinross-shire, as part of the Perth 800 celebrations. Pupilswere to design a heraldic device to represent their community and pupils concentrated on designing a crest that would represent Abernyte Primary. Since the competition, this crest has been adopted as the offical coat of arms for Abernyte Primary.
The coat of arms submitted to the competition on behalf of Abernyte Primary School was created as part of a whole-school collaborative effort following lessons on heraldry and the local area. All pupils in the school worked in mixed ability groups (which included pupils from each primary stage) to design their own coat of arms. Pupils then presented their designs to the rest of the school, explaining why each design element was chosen. The design elements were recorded and those that appeared in most groups’ coat of arms (or were voted by the whole school as being most representative) were selected for the final design. These design elements were then discussed as a school and their positions on the final design were reached by democratic decision. The finalised design was then drawn by class teacher Mr Billen and approved by the pupils.
Here is an explanation of the chosen design elements:
- A blue field was chosen as this is the colour of the school uniform and in heraldry blue represents truthfulness – a quality that the pupils felt was apt for the school.
- A saltire division was chosen to represent the flag of Scotland.
- One diagonal line of the saltire is invected as in heraldry this represenst earth/land – Abernyte is famous for farming, ploughing and the hills.
- The other diagonal line of the saltire is a wavy line which in heraldry represents water, – a burn runs through Abernyte.
- Both diagonals also relate to Abernyte lying south of the Sidlaw Hills and north of the River Tay.
- The (lucky) horseshoe represents the former smiddy in Abernyte.
- In heraldry the snail represents “one who works hard at something even though it is difficult” – something that the pupils thought was very appropriate for everyone in the school. Abernyte also has a lot of large snails that the pupils have found. Abernyte is twinned with Fleac in France – Fleac has the snail as their emblem.
- The acorn represents age and strength in heraldry – Abernyte School is a strong, old building (built in 1906). There are many oak trees in the area and the acorn also stands for the pupils in the school (from small acorns grow great oak trees….)
- The apple tree symbolises that Abernyte is a very peaceful place (it is in the open countryside) as well as the orchard that the children planted at school and the Carse of Gowrie being famous for its orchards in the past.
- The fox beneath the tree symbolises that those within the school are clever. Abernyte also has quite a few foxes in the local environment.
- The school and happy pupils represents Abernyte Primary, which has been a focal point of the local community for over a century. This picture, embroidered on school jumpers, is based on an image that was designed by a former pupil.