Many of our families enjoyed the wonderful Kilgraston’s Christmas Movie last week, a fantastic in-school production featuring pupils and staff, entirely made in-house.
The Christmas Movie continues to make the news around the world and a beautiful picture taken on the night has now featured in the Guardian’s best photos of the day as well as German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and NBC News.
Kilgraston’s Headmistress Mrs MacGinty discusses the Scottish exams 2021 update on national radio station, BBC Radio 4.
Education Secretary John Swinney’s announcement about the cancellation of Scottish Highers in 2021 provoked strong reaction from stakeholders throughout the country.
Following the decision, Kilgraston’s Head Teacher, Dorothy MacGinty, spoke about the situation on the BBCs flagship political show, Radio 4’s Today.
You can listen to Mrs MacGinty at 08:36am here.
Being interviewed by host Justin Webb, Mrs MacGinty appeared with Professor Lindsay Paterson FBA, Professor of Education Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
“I feel this decision should have been made months ago,” commented Mrs MacGinty, “Teachers must now administer and evaluate exams and produce estimates.”
Prof. Patterson agreed with Mrs MacGinty, adding: “There is no coherent reason for this series of decisions,” he continued, “schools are struggling to understand how this could happen, their (pupils’) learning has been turned upside down.”
Local radio station, Tay FM, also carried an interview with Mrs MacGinty and you can listen to Mrs MacGinty’s section at 07:50am here.
Kilgraston’s Christmas movie, a school only, drive-in movie event, featured in The Sunday Telegraph.
The article looks at how some schools are inventing ways of still allowing pupils and parents alike to soak up the excitement of the annual Christmas show.
In the article, Kilgraston’s Director of Music, Mr Jason McAuley, says: “It would be easy to say, ‘We can’t do this and we can’t do that’, but we have to accentuate the positive. It’s vital for the girls’ enthusiasm. Besides, their grannies want to see something.”
Our families will be able to enjoy this wonderful performance very soon, with the show available on YouTube in the coming weeks.
You can read more about the Kilgraston Christmas Movie by subscribing to the Telegraph at this link.
Image via Telegraph: Chris Watt
Leading independent school sector magazine, Attain, has reported on Kilgraston’s recent British Horse Society (BHS) Stage 1 Complete Horsemanship success. It is the first pupil cohort to take part in this alternative pathway and the pupils will now move onto Stage 2.
Pupil Issy said: “It has been such a great privilege to study the BHS Stage I, learning how to properly manage horse care and be rewarded with a professionally recognised certificate which will help me on the first stage of my career with animals.”
Kilgraston is the only school in Scotland to offer the BHS qualifications and shows the tremendous variation on offer to our pupils to pursue their dreams.
You can read more about this success here.
Recent exam changes is the subject Kilgraston’s Headmistress Mrs MacGinty writes about in the latest edition of The Independent Schools Magazine.
In her article, Mrs MacGinty writes, “Of course I, like every Head across the country, wish that we were not having to make adjustments that potentially threaten the stability of the teenagers’ lives for which we have responsibility, now and in the their future.
“But I don’t think it is an entirely negative situation.”
You can read Mrs MacGinty’s entire article in the magazine on page 4, here.
The magazine also features Upper Sixth’s Anna’s recent global poetry competition win for her work ‘Total’ (page 38) and the Junior School’s ‘decade of growth’ observations with the hedge planted in 2009 (on page 22).
Recently, Kilgraston made the finals of the prestigious i25 Awards, the only Scottish school to do so, a move honouring our environmental campaigns including our ‘Wear it again’ event.
The news was covered in the Catholic Universe, and you can read the story here.
Kilgraston Sixth Former, Anna, has written an article for a national magazine about embracing the return to school in September.
In the autumn edition of magazine, Independent School Parent, Anna discusses how she is relishing the human interaction of being back in school, and has got used to the ‘new normal’ of face masks and temperature checks.
The autumn term senior school special digital edition of Independent School Parent features some of the winners and finalists from the Independent Schools of the Year 2020 awards, including an interview with Captain Sir Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie, who won the Rising Star category for his fundraising efforts.
You can read Anna’s article on page 23 in the link below.
Kilgraston’s teachers and support staff are a diverse and talented bunch.
Take Modern Languages teacher, Mr John Maxton. In the latest edition of Boarding Schools’ Association magazine, Mr Maxton, discusses how having started his professional career as a pilot, he is now happily teaching languages to our pupils.
You can read more about Mr Maxton’s story in the latest edition of Boarding Schools’ Assoication magazine.
You can also find out more about the people behind Kilgraston in our ‘A Chat With…‘ section.
Former Kilgraston pupil Emily Dark is to train with the senior Great Britain hockey squad. Emily, who graduated from Kilgraston in 2018, said: “It has been an ambition of mine to play for GB for so many years, so to be offered this opportunity to train with them for the next three weeks is unbelievable.
“I am incredibly excited to get started, not only for high-quality hockey, but to meet everyone too. This is a big opportunity for me to show what I can bring to the game and I want to embrace it and have fun.”
Emily, who is now studying Physics at St Andrews University, was selected for the GB Elite Development Programme (EDP) in 2018, and the opportunity to train with the GB women’s team presents an excellent opportunity to develop, and impress, at the top level.
It has been an outstanding few years for Emily, with her representing Scotland at international level winning her 23 senior caps. Her international career has also seen her be part of the team which won gold at the EuroHockey Championship II in 2019 with Emily winning Young Player of the Tournament.
Speaking on the Scottish Hockey website, Emily said: “Winning gold with Scotland at the home Europeans last year has definitely been a highlight for me, and I loved working with the team before and during the tournament to make sure we were in the best position possible to perform at our best.”
Commenting on Emily’s achievements, Kilgraston’s Headmistress, Mrs Dorothy MacGinty said: “We have watched Emily’s progress through the ranks with great interest and enthusias, and watching her move on to this next, very demanding, level of the game is hugely exciting for all the staff and pupils here at Kilgraston. We wish her every success with the future and will be following her progress very closely!”
Image by Mark Pugh
Kilgraston’s Junior School has been busy charting the growth of a hedge planted in 2009, part of Kilgraston’s on-going commitment to the environment and educating our pupils on nature.
Speaking in the Catholic Universe, Ms Dana Cooper, Junior Years’ teacher and head of the school’s Eco Committee said, “We thought it would be demonstrated particularly well if we showed our eleven-year-olds what nature can do in the same period. Our pupils are particularly interested in natural habitats for indigenous wildlife, which we have an abundance of here at school, but they are also keen to create artificial habitats and, additionally, are currently building a ‘bug hotel’ out of palettes and recycled materials.”
The hedge, which is made up of hawthorn, common lime, hazel and the guelder rose, stretches along the Kilgraston beautiful countryside campus next to the school’s swimming pool. Now, eleven years since it was planted, the hedge reaches four and a half metres high in places and is almost 80 metres long.
Upper Third’s Edith, who is Head of the Junior Years Eco Committee, said: “We have been learning how the hedge provides wildlife with a natural larder.
“Birds such as thrushes, blackbirds and fieldfares love the rose hips, while bees enjoy nectar from the hawthorn and robins, red squirrels and rabbits enjoy the berries.”
This story also featured in the November issue of magazine, Scottish Field.