Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) 2019

In S5 and interested in developing leadership qualities and team-working skills?

Crieff Rotary Club are sponsoring two places for young people from Crieff to participate in the RYLA camps in Nethybridge, near Aviemore, in July 2019.  Thanks to everyone who has noted their interest already.  Any other S5s who would like to apply see the attached leaflet for more information, complete the form and forward to Mrs Birrell by close of day on Monday 17 December.

RYLA 2019 P1 RYLA 2019 P2 RYLA 2019 P3

Parent Staff Partnership Meeting 29 Oct

Crieff High School Parent Staff Partnership

Monday 29 October 2018, 6.30pm
Strathearn Community Campus

  1. Welcome
  2. Minutes from previous meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Treasurers report
  5. PSP constitution- discussion of possible changes and implementation (15 mins)
  6. Improving communication with parents- website and social media (15 mins)
  7. Fundraising and setting up of a fundraising committee (10 mins)
  8. PSP involvement/ support- future diary dates (5 mins)
  9. AOCB
  10. Date for next meeting

About the Parent Staff Partnership
Crieff High PSP is a volunteer committee run by parents from the school. We give parents a voice within the school and support the activities and aims of Crieff High School.
Meetings are held in the Community Campus- please ask at reception for directions to the room we are in as this may vary. All parents are very welcome and encouraged to come along. Members of the CHS Senior Management Team and some members of the localcommunity are also invited to attend.

If you would like to contact the PSP please email

You can also keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Headteacher Announcement

Dear Parent/Carer,

Yesterday, following interviews by a panel consisting of parents, elected members and senior officers, Mr John Donnelly was appointed to the position of Headteacher/Campus Leader of Crieff High School/Strathearn Community Campus.  Mr Donnelly is currently Depute Headteacher at Glenwood High School, Fife and brings a wealth of experience to Crieff. It is planned that Mr Donnelly will start at Crieff High School on 22 October 2018, immediately after the October break.

C E Deeley

Headteacher/Campus Leader

Awards Ceremony 2018

Headteacher’s Welcome

Mrs C Deeley “Good evening and a very warm welcome to our Awards Ceremony. Each year, this is a significant occasion in our school calendar, an opportunity for us to come together, pupils, parents, staff, partners and friends to celebrate the achievements of our young people. This is an evening of recognition and celebration which will hopefully become part of happy school memories for all those taking part. This is also an event which involves a tremendous amount of planning and hard work and I would like therefore, at the outset, to thank Laura Black and Scott Jewell for all they have done (since March!) to ensure this evening is a success.

This is my thirteenth awards ceremony speech and my last. As you are aware, I am retiring from my post in October and as it gets ever closer, I find myself empathising with our S6 in that bittersweet experience of looking forward to the next stage with excitement and the sadness of all I am leaving behind. It is traditional in a speech like this to review the school year just past and this I have done every year. This year, however, I would like to take just a little time to look back at all these other years. I have re-read each awards ceremony speech and, gosh, how time flies. I tried to explain to our Year of Young people group the other day that 13 years as a passage of time is nothing at all, but as most of them were toddlers thirteen years ago, they didn’t believe me!

My first awards ceremony speech was in 2006. I was acting Headteacher and we had only recently moved from the last morning of term to an evening event. It had also recently been renamed awards ceremony rather than prizegiving. I have a vivid memory of that event on the stage of the old school. As a school, we had been through a period of some despondency and flux and lack of confidence and certainty. On that evening, I spoke of my feelings in taking on the acting post as being akin to being handed the controls of a jumbo jet mid flight. I went on to say that I could reassure our school community that we had survived the turbulence and were now set fair with a clear and shared destination.

By June of 2007, I was able to begin my speech with the statement ‘we are moving forward, we are growing, we are getting better’. 2006/ 2007 was the year of an inspection for the school with the boxes arriving on the day we came back to school in August. I explained that we ‘had been praying for inspection as gardeners pray for rain – we wouldn’t exactly enjoy it as it was happening, but we knew it would do us good’. And it did. After a period of difficulty and change, it was an external endorsement that we were absolutely on a road forward and I will never forget the Strathearn Herald billboards proclaiming ‘Crieff High back on track, inspectors’ report’. We were back on track because of the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff, our young people and our parents and that hard work, commitment and dedication continues to this day. It was in that year, that our Principal Teachers or department heads became part of a school improvement team (now known as the SIT) with a clear focus on driving forward school improvement together. It was the year we introduced the  weekly parent surgery.It was the first year of our twinning with the Lichtenbergshule in Darmstadt, a partnership which continues to flourish to this day with a group of our pupils there at this very moment enjoying a whole range of activities in glorious sunshine. This was the year of Crieff in a Nutshell, a joint project by English, music and drama culminating with a very atmospheric performance at Innerpeffray Library where Scotland’s newest book, written by our pupils and staff, was placed in Scotland’s oldest lending library. Our friendship with Innerpeffray has continued over the years with Lara and her team giving significant support to our Scotland week in May. In November of 2006, I visited the extermination camp of Auschwitz Birkenau with my first Head Boy and Head Girl, Ben Kirley and Laura Cameron. The visit was organised by the Holocaust Memorial Trust and I spoke then of the immensely moving experience and of how privileged I felt to have undertaken it with 2 young people as sensitive, sincere and open to learning as Laura and Ben. I can tonight repeat these words exactly to describe the same visit I undertook 2 weeks ago with 16 young people accompanied by Mrs Petrie and Dr Robertson. In that 2007 speech, I spoke of Mrs Petrie’s plans to visit Yad Vashem that summer and train as a teacher of the Holocaust. This, of course, she did and Holocaust studies are now firmly embedded in our curriculum with over 100 young people having made the visit over the years.

In 2008, our awards ceremony had extended to include recognition of many more achievements of our young people to the extent that we had to move the event to the parish church as we had no space. I spoke for the first time of citizenship with a new course being introduced for all young people in S2, endorsed by what was then Learning and Teaching Scotland. In that year, three of our pupils on the school ski trip, Jamie Henry, Bruce Coull and Alex Wilson went to the aid of a badly injured ski instructor. On returning, they said very little about it until someone else in the resort contacted the press and suddenly we were all over the papers. The boys were formally commended for their bravery with Mr Blacklaws and myself accompanying them to London to receive their awards. Citizenship has gone on to become the overarching theme of our whole curriculum with outstanding examples year on year of our young people going the extra mile. An excellent example this year has been the dedication and commitment of Cara MacGregor and the Crieff High Interact Group who work closely with the Rotary Club of Crieff.2008 was the year the British Council gave me the opportunity to visit China where I was able to establish a partnership with Weifang Number One Middle School. Our friendship again continues to this day, with a group of Chinese students and staff coming to visit us in August. I referred in the speech to the challenges and opportunities that Curriculum for Excellence would bring us. And this was also the year the turf was cut on this building on a driving rainy day, 25th January and ,appropriate to the bard’s birthday, I remember talking on that day of the importance of pride o’ worth and what this new school would mean to us and our community.

2009 saw the inauguration of the Crieff High School Pipe Band under the outstanding leadership of Pipe Major Craig Sutherland. The creation and successful development of the Band was absolutely down to the vision, commitment and hard work of former depute rector, Ron Clark.  Ron ahs retired from band duties this year. I am delighted that he and his wife, Maureen, join us this evening. Ron, I would like to present you with a small token of our thanks and appreciation.

In 2009, the pipe band’s tartan was created for us by Brian Wilton and, again, we have been grateful to Brian in recent times for his support to our Scotland week. This was also the year we introduced the school uniform we have today, re-introducing a school tie and I can still remember my conversations with a very helpful Lord Lyon King of Arms as we looked to introduce blazers and a school badge.

Session 2009/2010 was memorable for two things – the Move and the Walk. Firstly, the Move – in that speech I spoke of the completion of our new building and I will quote about one event in particular – Our past rose up to meet us at the earliest stages of the excavation of this building when Laing O’Rourke were forced to down diggers as what was clearly a find of some significance was unearthed. What was discovered were the remains of a cursus or walkway dating from Neolithic times. No-one knows exactly what a cursus was used for but may have been involved in ceremony or ritual and it may have been a walkway used by only certain members of society. At the demolition stage of the old school building the archaeological team explored further remains of the cursus. We also of course sit right at the site of the old parliament or Stayt of Crieff. For more information on this fascinating subject which is so much part of our heritage, I would recommend to you Colin Mayall’s excellent book “The Campus, the Cursus and the Stayt”.

It is timely, that only 3 weeks ago we unveiled the information board at the front of the Campus which explains the story of the Broich Cursus. And friend of the school, Colin Mayall, contributed to our Scotland Week this year with a wonderful guided walk of Crieff for our pupils, led by our librarian Kirsty Brown. In 2009, we moved into our new school, processing together from the old building to the skirl of our own pipes almost 40 years to the day from when a previous generation had made the move from Commissioner Street to Monteath Street. And The Walk – mindful of our rich droving heritage, we decided to name this new meeting place The Tryst and we also decided it would be just the thing for some of our young people and teachers to walk the drove routes from Skye to Crieff. Mike O’Kane described this at the time as the best daft idea I had ever had. Both Mr O’Kane and Mrs Jarvie, who are leaving us this year, were very much part of that memorable 200 mile walk. As was John McGarry who continues to support us on a supply basis whenever he can. A group of mountain bikers led by Mr Mayne rode the route and again, of course, the Mountain Bike Club continues to thrive to this day.

In 2011, I was able to talk of our young people visiting China and staying with host families for the first time. This was also the first mention at an awards ceremony of the terms Broad General Education and Senior Phase as we embarked on a new curriculum.

In 2012, I began by talking about one of my favourite things – The Sound of Music had been a tremendous success the previous September and had really allowed us to explore the possibilities of our new auditorium and staging. This has also been the first year of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative or YPI, now so well embedded in the life and work of the school. It was also the year of our first Night of Champions and this too has grown year on year as a key event in the school’s calendar.

In 2013, I spoke about our preparation for new national qualifications at National 3, 4 and 5 levels.

2014 was the year we looked back on another positive HMI inspection. This was the year when as part of the excavation of the Beauly Denny power line, the archaeological remains of a timber circle were found at Pittentian. We were privileged to be able to work closely with the Northlight Heritage, the University of Glasgow, the Strathearn Archaeological Society and Scottish and Southern Energy not only to learn more about the timber circle but to create our own scaled version of it for our campus grounds. Mr O’Kane played a key role in working with young people to really bring the evidence of the remains to life. I am delighted that these partnerships and friendships have been maintained and Kenny Brophy, Ally Becket and Ian Hamilton continue to work closely with us on the creation of a visitor trail for the significant archaeological and historical site on which we sit. The timber circle was, of course, inaugurated by the Earl and Countess of Strathearn during their visit to the area and we were delighted beyond measure to be able to welcome them to the school. In 2014, I also spoke about outdoor learning and the importance of school excursions. This involves a huge amount of commitment from our staff, much of it on a voluntary basis. In 2014 I reported that 1322 pupils had taken part in 83 trips, obviously some young people on more than one trip. This year, that figure is 4807 pupils on 239 trips.

In 2015, I spoke about the headteacher’s blog which, of course, now has been superseded by our increasing use of social media. This was the year our first group of young people took part in a Columba 1400 programme and this is something we are now looking to repeat. It was the year of our first coffee mornings/evenings for parents. It was the year of our first career Academy now known as Career Ready which Mrs Jarvie has so ably led year on year. It was the beginning of our focus on better developing our young workforce and in that speech, I made a plea for parents to support us in preparing our young people for the world of work, for example, through work experience opportunities or by coming into the school and talking about the job you do. I make that plea again tonight as we desperately need the support of our community in properly preparing our young people for the world of work and widening their opportunities through networks. The hard work and commitment of Bonita Marchbank and Sylvia Bisset has meant that we have innovative and imaginative strategies in place to support our young people in their transition into the world of work. This includes the new Resolutions programme, led by Sylvia, which has meant a huge amount to our first group of young people participating and for which the school is very grateful. Sylvia has also supported us in the creation of the Erl Bisset Digital Learning Academy which will open in the school in August and you will receive full information about this exciting and innovative facility early in the new term.

In 2016, I spoke of the very successful event we had enjoyed to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, supported by Stephen Leckie and his team at Crieff Hydro and by Brigadier and now Sir Mel Jamieson, Lord Lieutenant. Both Stephen and Mel continue to work closely with the school and have offered valuable advice and support for this year’s Year of Young People.

Last year, I spoke of excellence and equity and our plans to ensure we deliver on both of these key priorities. This continues to be the focus of our improvement plan. I looked back on the school performance of Gregory’s Girl and looked ahead to School of Rock

Of course, I have given what is essentially a very quick gallop through a period of time which saw many more events, experiences and successes which I cannot begin to cover in the time we have. It does not make them any less important. These years also saw our times of tragedy and I will not forget these young people and staff who were lost to us and never got the chance to grow up or grow old. They are not forgotten in Crieff High School

2018 is Scotland’s Year of Young People and our team who have taken this forward in the school are doing a tremendous job. They are enthusiastic, well organised and full of wonderful ideas. I have emphasised to them the importance of taking the legacy forward and continuing the excellent work they are doing into the coming years. This has also been the year of our first Scotland Week – a rich, interdisciplinary project involving all our first year pupils. Feedback has been extremely positive and we look forward to 14th September when we will be able to share the work done by our young people with you. This week was only possible because of the hard work and commitment of all our staff, our campus partners, our parents and a wide range of friends in our community. I wish to make particular mention of Fiona Watson, John Keay and Phil Mestecky from Cultybraggan who worked with us throughout the year to plan the programme. Also to Michael Aldridge and Edith Barnes from Drummond Castle – we also have Edith to thank for the beautiful flowers this evening – Jess Smith, David Ferguson, Lara Haggerty at Innerpeffray , Robert MacDonald and Caroline Murphy at Logos, Aileen Ogilvie, the Scottish Crannog Centre – we could not have done it without you and your support for and friendship with the school are very precious to us. Another first for us and one of our key partners was the Rotary Club Young Chef Award. This was the first time the Rotary Club of Crieff had entered the competition and were delighted that Laura Todd got right through all of the heats to the national final.

This year, two of our longest serving members of staff are retiring – Michael O’Kane, Principal Teacher of Design and Marion Jarvie , Principal Teacher of Support. In the 23 years Michael has been with us he has built a department with a focus on getting the very best for young people. Michael has also played a key role at whole school level, mentoring individual pupils, supporting whole school events and a range of excursions including many hugely successful and fondly remembered ski trips. Both he and Marion are also part of the whole school self-evaluation group, bringing important expertise and insight to this important aspect of our work. Both Marion and Mike also gave unstinting support over many years to the school’s Duke of Edinburgh programme.  Marion’s role as Principal Teacher of Support has brought her into regular contact with parents and our partners over the years all of whom hold her in very high regard. I have hugely valued the ideas and the very sound advice of both these colleagues over the years. I will miss them and they will be a huge loss to the school. I wish them both every happiness in their retirement and I am delighted that Marion is here tonight, with her husband Bob to present, prizes.

I would also like to wish our other leavers, whether they be in S4, S5 or S6 every happiness and success in the future. You have been wonderful from the moment you joined us in S1, a truly exceptional group of young people who have brought so much to the school.

Each year as I conclude this speech, I thank you our parents. For me this year this is particularly poignant. There will, I am sure, be other opportunities between now and October, but I want to take this moment to thank you for your support, for your encouragement and for your belief and trust in me and in the school. You do not know how much this has meant to me. When I received the phone call offering me the post as Headteacher of Crieff High School in March 2007, my immediate response was to say I would be honoured to accept.  Each day of the last 11 years has been an honour and a privilege. I tell people I have the best job in the world. Next year, someone else will tell the story of 2018/19 and it will be about a Crieff High School that continues to flourish. I wish everyone that is Crieff High and our community all the very very best in the years to come.”


Download the Awards Ceremony programme – Click here