Month: April 2015

An interview with Mrs Marshall, Depute Head (primary)

Mrs Marshall

Mrs Marshall

In November 2014 Mrs Vicky Marshall became the acting depute headteacher, in charge of Breadalbane Academy primary. We caught up with her to find out how she’s getting on and to learn a bit more about her, her priorities and her approach to leadership.

Parent Council: Mrs Marshall, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. Please could you introduce yourself and tell parents a bit about your professional history?

Mrs Marshall: I was interested in teaching from an early age and went on to complete a PGCE (Primary) after finishing my degree in agriculture. I came to Breadalbane as a probationer in 2004 and shortly afterwards I got a permanent contract. The start of my teaching career was spent teaching infants and more recently I was teaching expressive arts and providing cover for Probationer teachers. In August I became the nursery teacher then Acting DHT (Primary) in November.

When the Acting DHT post was offered as a secondment, I decided to apply because I was keen to build on things I had started earlier. I had started to work on the tracking and monitoring of pupil learning and attainment since becoming the Acting Depute in November and wanted to further this. As a class teacher I had been in working groups looking at progressing learning and teaching and was interested in taking this further as the Acting Depute.

Parent Council: Can you give us a snapshot of the primary department as it is now?

Mrs Marshall: As the primary is part of the whole school the Primary DHT works closely with the school Senior Management Team. In the primary itself there are eight classes and one Gaelic Medium Education class. In addition there is a nurture class, the Pit Stop. This year in the nursery, there are 32 part time morning places, 16 part time afternoon places and 8 full time Support for Family and Children places. There are currently 212 pupils in the primary and 58 pupils in the nursery.

Parent Council: What are your priorities for the primary?

Mrs Marshall: This year in the primary we are building on the work started last year in tracking pupil attainment. Last year was the first time we carried out baseline assessments in reading, spelling and maths for all children from P2 upwards. When we repeated it this year we were able to track the progress pupils had made. We also track and monitor the writing attainment through an assessed piece of writing every term.

Pupil attainment is already tracked in terms of the Curriculum for Excellence levels, but using these additional methods of tracking and monitoring gives us a more rounded picture as well as additional information such as gaps in learning. Through monitoring the results I can work with staff to ensure that pupils are being appropriately challenged and supported.

As a department we started to look at our planning and assessment formats a couple of years ago, aiming to streamline and make them more manageable. Due to staffing changes we haven’t been able to complete this work. We need to progress further with this and hope to have made significant progress in time for the next academic year.

Parent Council: As part of an all-through school, the primary works closely with the headteacher and colleagues in secondary. Can you give us a run-down of how that works?

Mrs Marshall: The Senior Management Team generally meets twice a week to discuss whole school as well as departmental issues. Staff across the sectors frequently work together with part of most inservice days dedicated to whole school working. There are also whole school meetings held a couple of times each term. Teachers form working parties working on moving the school forward. Again, these are generally whole school working parties.

Pupils from the nursery and primary benefit from being part of all through school and learning in a community campus, for example, through shared resources such as access to the PE facilities. We also have primary pupils from P4/5 upwards being taught regularly in the secondary department. This means when pupils are moving into the secondary from primary 7 they are already know some secondary staff and the learning environment.

Parent Council: Thinking of the future, when you move on from this post, what do you want to able to say about your time as depute head at Breadalbane Academy?

Mrs Marshall: “In my time at Breadalbane I have helped pupils fulfil their potential“

Parent Council: If a parent needs to get in touch with you, how do they do it?

Mrs Marshall: Please phone the school office on 01887 822300 or email

Parent Council: Thank you very much, Mrs Marshall.

This interview is a summary of a longer presentation, which Mrs Marshall gave at the parent council meeting on March 31, 2015.

The staff speaker at the next parent council meeting, on Wednesday 20 April, 6:30pm, will be Mr Macluskey, depute head (school improvement). Mr Macluskey will explain how the school monitors and tracks pupil attainment, and how to understand your child’s school report.

New ASN parents’ support group

Jane Carmichael

Contact Jane Carmichael on

Dear parents,

My name is Jane Carmichael and I am currently setting up a sub-committee of the parent council, dedicated to providing support and information to parents of children who have additional support needs (ASN).

Children and families with ASN can find themselves without the knowledge and information they need, in situations that are already confusing. The sub-committee would hope to help alleviate this and also to be a link to the school and to Perth and Kinross Council, helping to achieve the best possible outcomes for children through the relevant inclusion policies.

If you would like to be involved in the group or have any queries, please get in touch at the following email address

Best Regards

Jane Carmichael
ASN Support Group
Breadalbane Academy Parent Council

University admissions open evening agenda



What: University admissions open evening
When: 6:30pm, Tuesday 5 May, 2015
Where: Breadalbane Community Campus
Who: Open to parents and pupils

The programme for the university admissions open evening, on Tuesday 5 May, is as follows:

  • A chaired panel discussion, with speakers discussing questions submitted by parents and pupils in advance.
  • An open Q&A, giving parents and pupils the chance to ask questions directly
  • Informal one-to-one questions and discussion over tea and coffee.

Confirmed speakers at the event are:

  • John Devine, Quality Improvement Officer, Perth and Kinross Council.
  • Isabel Millar, CfE Support Manager, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
  • John Lewis, Higher Education Liaison Officer, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
  • Ali Clark, UK/EU Student Recruitment Manager for the University of Dundee
  • Louise Irving, Student Recruitment department of Abertay University
  • Ryan Duncan, Senior Student Recruitment Officer, University of Edinburgh.
  • Gemma Harlow, Senior Education Liaison Officer, University of St Andrews.
  • Jason O’Flynn, Perth and Kinross representative on the National Parent Forum.
  • Stephanie Cameron, Training Manager, Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Yvonne Benning, guidance teacher, Breadalbane Academy.

The event is aimed at pupils who are in the senior phase, or about to go into it, and their parents. It’s open to pupils and parents from both Breadalbane Academy and Pitlochry High School.

For more information, email

Thanks to Alice for making her photo available under a Creative Commons licence. 

Thrift shop volunteers still wanted

Can you do one of the shifts on this rota? Go on!

Can you do one of the shifts on this rota? Go on!

What: Aberfeldy Thrift Shop
When: Sunday 19th April to Saturday 25th April
Where: Auld Kirk, Chapel Street, Aberfeldy
How to help: volunteer for a shift

We still don’t have enough volunteers to staff the thrift shop. 450 people saw our post asking for helpers, but only three volunteered. We have 18 shifts to fill. It’s getting very close to the knuckle now. We could really do with your help.

Can you help? Go on, I bet you can spare a couple of hours. For your kids? For the school?

Take a look at the rota above and if you see a shift you can cover, email us at

Six pro tennis lessons for just £15

Six pro tennis lessons for £15 is great bargain. Grab it now.

Anyone for tennis (lessons)? Six pro tennis lessons for just £15 is great bargain. Grab it now.

For six weeks from Tuesday 5 May, Aberfeldy Tennis Club is offering junior tennis lessons with a professional coach, for just £15. That’s not £15 per lesson; it’s £15 for the entire six-week course.

Children must be in at least primary three, but apart from that the lessons are open to all. Lessons will take place every Tuesday, between 4 and 5 o’clock. Whether your child already loves sport, or is still looking for the right sport for them, this is a great opportunity to try out tennis.

The club’s also running adult lessons on the same dates, between five and six o’clock. Adults pay £30 for the six-week course. So why not learn together with your child?

To book a place, please contact club out-reach officer Eddie Vincent on 01887 820135.

Urgent! Volunteers needed for thrift-shop

Parents and 6th years — we need thrift-shop volunteers.

Parents and 6th years — we need thrift-shop volunteers.

What: Aberfeldy Thrift Shop
When: Sunday 19th April to Saturday 25th April
Where: Auld Kirk, Chapel Street, Aberfeldy
How to help: volunteer for a shift

The parent council urgently needs volunteers to help staff the thrift shop from Sunday 19th to Saturday 25th April. Money raised will be divided between the parent council’s fund, used to help pay for activities, equipment, and events for the pupils, and the sixth-year prom fund.

So far only one parent has volunteered.We need more helpers, otherwise the kids don’t get a prom and the parent council is less able to fund worthwhile projects and activities. Can you help out for a morning or an afternoon?

If you can help, let us know by emailing

University admissions open evening

Let us know your questions about getting into uni.

Let us know your questions about getting into uni.

What: University-admissions open evening
When: 6:30pm, Tuesday 5 May, 2015
Who: Open to parents and pupils

We need your help. Working with the school, we’re organising an open evening about university admissions, with a panel of experts to answer your questions about how to get into, and prepare for, university.

What we need from you, is to know what questions you want answered. Knowing this will help us get the right experts on the panel — the ones with the answers you need.

So tell us, what are your questions? Here are a few examples to get your started:

  1. Are there any grants my child qualifies for and how do we apply?
  2. Do universities admissions departments understand the new CfE qualifications?
  3. How can my child write the best possible personal statement?

Let us know your questions, either by commenting on this post or by emailing

Thanks to Alice for making her photo available under a Creative Commons licence. 

£2,500 to study accountancy

Study accountancy the boss can't tell the accountant there's no money for a raise.

Study accountancy: because the boss can’t tell the company accountant there’s no money for a raise.

If your child wants to study accountancy or finance at university, but is worried about the cost of studying, the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) wants to help. Every year, ICAS gives accountancy students bursaries of up to £2,500. To qualify, the student must have been awarded a Young Student Bursary by the Scottish Government and his or her parents’ combined income must be less than £34,000 a year.

To see if you or your child qualifies for a bursary, and find out how to apply, click on this link:

Thanks to Ken Teegardin for posting this image to Flickr on a Creative Commons licence.

Fare increase on Bankfoot 823 bus

From Tuesday 21 April 2015, fares on the 823 from Bankfoot go up

From Tuesday 21 April 2015, fares on the 823 from Bankfoot go up

From the Tuesday 21 April 2015, the first day back after Easter, child fares on the 823 bus from Bankfoot to Aberfeldy will rise to £3.15 for a single ticket and £5.80 for a day return. The 10-journey ticket will cost £25.20.

For a full list of fares, along with clarifying notes from the council’s transport department, download the PKC handout using the button below.

Get the full list of fares