Headteacher Update 7/10/19 - 25/10/19

Welcome back from the October break. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday.

On Friday 25/10/19 we held our annual Youth Philanthropy Initiative event.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an active citizenship programme which empowers #generationchange to make a difference in their local communities while developing a host of skills. Each participating school, each year is responsible for directing a £3000 YPI grant to a local charity through a unique programme of teamwork, research and competition.

It was a tough call for the judges who enjoyed presentations from our senior pupils on a range of charities that support our local community.

Judges this year included Jackie Ebsworth (Former Alloa Academy Headteacher), Ellen Forson (Councillor, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council) Graham Lindsay (Councillor, Education Convenor), Jennie Syme (Parent Council) and Maureen McMaster (Parent Council).

A massive well done to everyone involved and congratulations to the winning team who represented @CentralCarers. They secured the £3000 grant for the Young Carers project. Well done to all the #generationchange S6 students who advocated so passionately for their charities.

A special thanks to My Ryan Lynch who done an amazing job leading the event.

Tweets of the Month

It was nice to see Councillor Ellen Forson support the school and share the success of the winning YPI presentation.

Modern Languages have so many creative lessons which promote active learning and 'Assessment is for Learning' (AIFL) strategies. Well done

Miss Byrne has set some amazing homework and our pupils are rising to the challenge. Very creative pupils and staff! Well done.

Fab Spooky Snacks!

These a enlarged pics of our students work.

Inclusion at Alloa Academy (Languages and EASN)

Our Langues faculty and our Extended Additional Support faculty have been working in partnership to ensure that every member of our school community understand the learning that goes on across the school. Mr Hay (PT EASN) can be seen in the picture below explaining to our pupils some of the resources that support our learners in EASN.

Art Therapy

The standard of work being produced in Art Therapy is first rate. What a great way to learn, relax and have fun. We need to get these on display!

Peter Pants and the Muted Mermaid

'Peter Pants and The Muted Mermaid' school pantomime tickets go on sale from Monday 28/10/19. Tickets cost £2.00 per child: S1-S3 and £4.00 per adult: S4-S6 Performances take place Wednesday 4/12/19 & Thursday 5/12/19.

This year is going to be the best ever!

Tickets can be purchased from the school office.

MCR Pathways

School leaders from Alloa Academy, Lornshill Academy, Secondary School Support and Alva Academy met with a new partner MCR Pathways on Thursday 24/10/19 at Alloa Academy.

MCR Pathways is a school-based mentoring programme. The charity was founded in 2007 to address the outcome gap between care-experienced young people and their peers. MCR support young people in or on the edges of the care system to realise their full potential through education. MCR recruits, trains and matches each volunteer mentor with a young person.

MCR Pathways journey began in St Andrew’s Secondary, in the East End of Glasgow school, where we developed the programme over 5 years. The evidence was soon overwhelming that MCR mentoring made a huge difference on young people’s confidence and engagement with school. MCR have since expanded across all Glasgow secondaries and into new Local Authorities across Scotland.

The MCR Pathways vision is that every care-experienced and disadvantaged young person in the country gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as every other young person.

You can find out more on using the link https://mcrpathways.org/


Teacher of the Month

A massive well done to Miss Lauren Bircher (English Teacher) who was voted by young people as 'Teacher of the Month'. Pupils clearly are enjoying English lessons and your excellent support. I hear you have been gifted vouchers for our coffee shop. Well done.

Developing our Young Workforce

I had the pleasure of visiting our young people who were on work experience with the Scottish Fire Service. These young men from Alloa Academy done themselves, their families and the school proud.

The Fire Officers who supported our learners said that this was the best group that has ever taken part in the programme. I was very impressed at the team work on show at Alloa Fire Service.


What makes Alloa Academy special?

Here is just a small example of what makes our school a fantastic place to learn and work. In the photos of William (S6) enjoying working at The Makers Cafe as part of work experience, you also see William and Rylee (Learning Assistant) celebrating their birthdays together. Happy birthday William and Rylee.

GTCS Awards

It was nice to see that both the Alloa Advertiser and Local MSP Keith Brown acknowledge the hard work our staff have put into their professional learning. This was awarded the national General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) Excellence in Professional Learning Award 2019.

Alloa Advertisers report can be found by clicking here.

Pupil Equity Fund 2019/20

I attended the Heads of Establishments meeting on 8/10/19 where a key topic was the national 'Challenge Poverty Week'. Headteachers were tasked with sharing strategies that we have in place to support children and families in our community.

To share with the community some of the strategies we have in place at Alloa Academy, we have developed the following report (See link below).

I hope you find the report (below) interesting and if you have any questions in relation to PEF please get in contact.

Pupil Equity Fund

Book Buzz -S1 Literacy

A feature of our S1 Literacy approaches to promote reading is to gift pupils a book of their choice. This is called the Book Buzz project. Parents, please support our drive and encourage your child to read every day. It can make a massive difference. We have a great library in the school and we can offer books that meet all learners and families needs.

Alloa Eco Schools Committee and Volunteers.

It is nice to see new faces joining our School Eco Committee. Mr Moore and Miss Alexander will be great at helping you save that planet and have fun.

Regional Improvement Collaborative

On 10/10/19 Alloa Academy hosted Secondary Headteachers from across the Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC).

Alloa Academy has also been hosting the Numeracy RIC events as we aim to share approaches and learn from colleagues outwith our school.


It is good to see the creative approaches that teachers have to ensure learners are engaged at all levels. Not only do these 'The Great Gatsby' displays support the learning, the Gatsby Playlist is a really fun way to learn about the text.

Important Dates ahead

Open Evening 29/10/19 5.30pm -7.30pm

A great way for Primary and Secondary Parents and Pupils to come into Alloa and visit departments.

Bingo Tea 21/11/19

We are hoping staff, pupils and parents can donate items for the raffle and possibly some home baking. Any donations can be handed to the school office.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Parents/Carers Information Evening future dates

S2 - Monday 2nd March 2020 4.15pm – 6.45pm

S3- Monday 13th Jan 2020 4.15pm – 6.45pm

S4- Monday 25th Nov 2019 4.15pm – 6.45pm

S5/6 – Monday 11th Nov 2019 4.15pm – 6.45pm

Shoe Box Appeal

Mrs Young is not only a fantastic music teacher, she always goes out her way to support the wider school community and charities. Lets get behind Mrs Young and support the Shoe Box Appeal. Well done Mrs Young.

Enjoy the week ahead,


Colin Bruce