On Wednesday 18th June it was the turn of the Stath’s largest school to celebrate academic success and wider achievement during an action packed evening of entertainment, speeches, smiles and lots, and lots of clapping.
In his opening remarks Headteacher Ollie Bray welcomed an audience of over 350 people who had turned out and squeezed themselves into the school hall. But unlike other, more traditional prize giving’s, there was no formal head teachers address or guest speaker. “No one wants to listen to me drone on for 45 mins”, said Mr Bray, “I also refuse to use this sort of event as an education political soapbox – any prize giving should be about the kids and that is the way it will remain on my watch.” Indeed, it became very clear to those assembled that the evening was all about the young people of Kingussie High School and they were placed at the very centre of the proceedings right from the start.
Katie Falconer and Eilidh Robinson (who have just moved into S2 at the school) took on the task and did an excellent job of comparing the evening. While four members of staff (Mr Brian Dziennik, Mr Bert Mark, Miss Jane Wallace and Mrs Sue Thomas) who are all retiring in the summer, after collectively clocking up over 100 years of service at Kingussie High School had been asked to present the awards.
Between the difference categories of the awards Katie and Eilidh rattled off lists of the some of the many achievements that the school has accumulated in the past 12 months. Including the opening of the new building, partnership working, fundraising efforts, sporting achievements and some of the particular successes achieved by individual pupils both in school and out of school.
There were over 90 young people receiving either merit prizes, progress prizes, subject prizes or a special award. A particular mention should go to the school Dux’s Caitlin Holmes (Dux of S3), Ellie Tait (Dux of S4) and William Denman (Dux of the School). The full titles for each of these awards and a detailed list of all of the award winners are shown in the inset box.
The second half of the evening was dedicated to the young people who were graduating from the school. As part of the proceedings each graduate collected a scroll from Mr Bray while their Guidance teacher (Mr Kenny Deans or Mrs Sheena Duthie) outlined where they were transitioning too.
As well as the presentation of awards the School Pipe Band greeted guests at the start of the evening and got the proceeding s off to a flying start with a Pipe Medley. Tabita Brown and Robyn Gunning performed the duet “Lost in your Eyes”, while Caitlin Holmes beautifully performed “Primavera” on the piano. Later in the evening during the leavers graduation ceremony Kirsty Mackintosh performed “Tambourin” in a flute solo and in what seemed like a grand finale to a spectacular evening the cast of the school show “Back to the 80s” performed “Man in the Mirror”, to which they received a deafening applause.
Parents and guests were invited for refreshments and more light entertainment (from the schools music students) after the main ceremony in the new social area.