Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are well and coping with this new normality we find ourselves in. In a bid to improve communications I have committed to producing a regular update on the machinations of school life and the developments and focuses with which we are engaging. I hope that this will bring clarity for you all and lead to a greater understanding of what we are doing on a daily basis.

It has been a very positive beginning to the academic year. We are now three terms in and appear to have made up the academic ground we lost during the lockdown earlier in the year. In response to this we will be reintroducing the electives programme into our timetable on Thursday afternoons. We have already had some excellent suggestions from pupils and staff and our provision will be bolstered by the addition to the team of the new Outdoor Learning Workers.

We continue to re-assess the regimen and routines we have put in place to mitigate against COVID-19 transference. Our risk assessments are informed by the most current Government Guidelines. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to maintain a rigorous approach to keeping the school community safe and healthy.

On the staffing front we are currently advertising for the post of I.T. teacher. This is something which has been requested by pupils and will hopefully capture their interests and progress their learning in the digital field.

Through the good work of our Outdoor Learning Worker, Kevin Robb, we have created a partnership with ‘Our Bright Futures’. As there are parameters for age, we are trialling this with four of the senior pupils and hopefully, if it proves successful, we will continue to engage with the initiative in future years. I am sure there will be plenty of updates to come.

In line with developing skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, we have developed some work experience opportunities within the school setting. Initially this will happen in the School’s Kitchen. Applications were made and interviews commenced, with three successful candidates now accessing the kitchens on a weekly rota. I am sure they will gain invaluable skills and knowledge, and have an insight into the reality and expectations of working with a dynamic and hardworking team. We are aiming to provide more, similar, opportunities by reinvigorating the School’s contract services company and creating opportunities for horticultural skills development by utilising some of the land next to the Log Cabin to grow consumable produce. This will also link in to our health and wellbeing targets and Healthy Schools Award.

It will be another challenging year for teachers and senior pupils as we navigate a path through the required changes for SQA courses and qualifications. I know that the pupils are in capable hands and, having personally completed the course submissions for the year, it looks like this should hopefully be another very successful round of qualifications from National 3 to Advanced Higher.

Staff training continues as always with staff having had the opportunity to complete training in CALM, outdoor first aid and online Autism training courses. I hope to be able to deliver ever more appropriate, valuable and effective training as we regain our liberties after COVID 19.

As always I would like to thank you all for your continued support of the school through what has been an incredibly testing year for everyone. Let us look forward to a brighter new year and revel in the brilliance of our medical and pharmaceutical scientists who are offering the potential light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Morrison
Head of Education

Walking 500 miles for Ben

Ben was a pupil at FHS for nine years and a prominent and popular member of our school community. When Ben passed away suddenly in April, his fellow pupil and friend Luca decided he wanted to create a fundraising campaign in Ben’s memory.

It was important to Luca that all the money raised would go to a charity or organisation that had touched Ben’s life in a significant way. For this reason Luca decided to divide donations equally between Epilepsy Scotland and Beeslack All Stars Sports Club, where Ben showcased his athletic prowess for many years,

One of Ben’s favourite songs was ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers. So what could be more fitting than setting a goal to walk 500 miles over the coming months. Staff and pupils at FHS are supporting Luca in this challenge he has set himself.

Luca has created a ‘Just Giving’ page where you can make a donation or simply follow his progress in this admirable endeavour.
www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/falklandhouseschool-ben

In honour of Ben’s passion for football and the amazing progress he made during his time at FHS, we’ve also created a new annual award for proficiency in the game. Callum is the the first recipient of the trophy that carries Ben’s name.

Our Bright Future Partnership

‘Our Bright Future’ is a UK-wide programme that supports young people to make long-term environmental improvements to their local area.

As part of this programme, four of our pupils are taking part in a project run by the Centre for Stewardship that sees them carry out a variety of conservation activities on the Falkland Estate.

Not only is the project a great way for the boys to connect with their local area and community, it also gives them the opportunity to gain skills and experience that they’ll be able to take with them into the world of employment or further training.

A special mention goes to Shaun and Ross (in the photo above) for their commitment, initiative and commendable work rate, and for following instructions to a tee. Keep up the good work, boys!

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Many of the skills the pupils are developing during our Outdoor Learning sessions are helping them prepare for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme that will start in early 2021.

The DofE programme is about personal challenge and development, and can be adapted to each participant’s interests and abilities.

There are currently 12 boys signed up for the challenge. Eight will work towards the Bronze Award and four are aiming to achieve the Silver Award, which includes a two-night expedition.

The boys have explored their activities, skills and volunteering options, and have come up with a long and varied list. In the coming months they’ll be developing their chess, driving, piano, coding, animal care and electronic music/composition skills, to name just a few.

For the Physical section they’ll be seeking to improve their fitness and achieve a healthy lifestyle by hiking, bowling, cycling, skiing, kayaking, weight training and playing basketball. Their volunteering efforts will include dog walking, conservation/tree planting, and helping out in local shops and cafes.

Confidence, independence, resilience, focus and motivation are just a few of the many benefits the boys will gain by participating in the programme.

With the support of staff at FHS, we’re sure they’ll accomplish everything they set out to do.

Outdoor Learning Programme

There are only benefits to being outdoors, so we’re taking more learning time outside with our new Outdoor Learning programme.

Led by Mr Shaw and Mr Robb, the boys have been looking at navigation and basic survival skills. They’ve been using maps on walks through Fife, and have been kayaking on the tidal pools in Cellardyke and at Lochore Meadows

In the Bushcraft project, the boys excelled at Den Building, creating a large Den Fort and Lean-to with very little guidance from staff.

What’s more, they’ve been finding out about tree identification and conservation, and taking cuttings from indoor plants and planting them.

And among a variety of other options to choose from, they have fishing on the river Eden to look forward to when the season starts in February.