Autumn has arrived in Hillside. All over the school grounds the leaves are turning, the trees by the Cottage have produced scores of apples and most of the brambles on the drive have now been harvested.
It was an eventful year. Hillside School has a new head of education – Janine McCullough – who you can spot quite easily by her untamed curls, her Irish accent and her preference for rather unusual coffee mugs.
We said goodbye to Jordan, Elmwood (now SRU) College ‘student of the year’, now training to become a mechanic. Kian and Jack also successfully completed their studies and have since moved home. We have also welcomed new boys to the school and are pleased to see them settling in well.
Just before the summer holidays, Hillside boys swept the board at the Young Artist competition organised by the Museum of the University of St Andrews. Kenzie, Mark and Gary were awarded the First, Second and Third prize in category F and their work has been displayed at the Byre Theatre over summer.
The winners were proud to show off their engraved medals, certificates and envelopes containing prize vouchers. Our Hillside boys did not stop here. During the summer term each pupil worked on a ‘Treasure Island’ sculpture showing palm trees, ship wrecks and the odd quarrelling pirate. This work was selected for public display at the Aberdour Art Festival in July and received much praise from the local community.
Individual collages from John and Jake were displayed alongside a large group work mainly created by Ryan and Aaron. None of the above success would have been possible without our annual class trip to the Museum of St Andrews.
Every Wednesday afternoon our pupils set off to take part in extracurricular activities. These cover a wide range from baking, crafts, football, fitness, instrument making, cycling to fishing with the occasional block of sailing and climbing. These activities are very popular, not only because they mark the middle of the week, but also because each pupil is given a choice. There is something for everybody. New this autumn: Dungeons and Dragons.
Hillside School's Wednesday afternoon football team has made a good start to the new season, winning half of their recent games. The team play Residential, Secure and Day Schools from across Central Scotland on most Wednesday afternoons. The quality of the team's play is improving all the time and the players' attitude is good. The team is scoring lots of goals and creating many chances. At the moment, we are working on improving our defending.
The Wednesday afternoon fishermen Calvin, Connor and Liam usually go fishing in Glendevon River. Not a week goes by without them catching a fish or two. You wouldn’t want to be a brown trout in that river!
Money Matters to Hillside Pupils
Term one saw the interdisciplinary learning activities focussing on Money Matters! Across the school boys participated in enterprise activities, learned how to budget in the home, raise funds for charity, and many other money related activities and learning tasks. In social subjects, during September, each class visited the Bank of Scotland's Head Office in Edinburgh. On arrival they met Susannah and Hannah from the Money Museum. The boys took part in workshops where they discovered what money looked like before notes and coins, different coins throughout history, and the security features on today's notes and coins. They all enjoyed striking their own Scottish coins, examining the new £20 notes, breaking the safe, and seeing £1 million close-up!
A massive thank you to all the boys and members of staff participating in this terms’ fundraising events. Led by Richard the boys raised an amazing £170 which will be donated to local charities chosen by the pupils.
Careers beyond school
Two of our pupils have now turned into fine young men studying at college. Thomas studies Drama at Dunfermline College and has been working in the music industry for a while. His promoter, O’Neill Studios, have just released his second cover music video featuring Thomas supported by Jake who performs his trademark shuffle in some of the dance scenes.
Robbie has followed into Jordan’s green footsteps and studies Horticulture at the Scottish College for Rural Skills. He is the third Hillside boy to progress from Rural Skills which is taught at National 4 level at Hillside straight on to college. We are very proud of Thomas and Robbie who show our younger pupils how to successfully juggle their college/ Hillside life balance.
News from the Classrooms
Class 5 have been making musical instruments in Craft. These include Caxixi's (woven shakers), Chocalho's (bottle top jingle sticks), Baliphones (wind flute made from film canisters and balloons), Xylophones made from Sycamore keys and a pine base) and lastly rattles. They will be making Brazilian style one stringed instruments called Berimbau's played alongside a martial art called Capoeira.
The nights have drawn in, the autumn winds have been rattling the windows and all the leaves have blown off the trees. There is a winter chill in the air and everyone is getting ready to write their letters to Santa. Everyone here at Hillside would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.