Celebration time at Buckhaven High

Buckhaven High School prizegiving 2013 (Walter Neilson, 2613280)

Buckhaven High School prizegiving 2013 (Walter Neilson, 2613280)

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THE chance to celebrate success and reflect on opportunities were the principal reasons for the end of term ceremony at Buckhaven High School, said its acting head.

Grant Whytock chose ‘opportunities’ as a key focus of his address last week. Which opportunities existed in 2012-13? Which ones did the school take and to what extent did it make the most of them?

At regional and national levels, the school excelled in many fields of sport and the arts, underlining the high number of talented pupils at Methilhaven Road. On many occasions, the school helped others in the community in an assortment of ways, including prolific fund-raising charity. Nearly £4700 was raised during the academic year for various causes.

Buckhaven, said Mr Whytock, also took the opportunity to make changes. It was continuing with expansion of Curriculum for Excellenceand making some “imaginative and radical changes to our curricular framework” to support the plans.

The school remained confident of producing “quality results”, which would continue the above-average number of school leavers going on to a “positive destination” – employment, training, higher or further education.

“We also took the opportunity to improve our ethos and attainment,” said Mr Whytock. There had been a five-year upward trend of pupils passing exams at all levels, while attendance had risen from 89 per cent to 90.5. Exclusions from the school had gone down by more than half, and only two of Fife’s 19 secondary schools had lower levels than Buckhaven of exclusions and related lost days.

Of the new high school for Levenmouth, expected in 2016, Mr Whytock said the opportunity existed to build a school which could provide everything local young people needed to prepare them for an ever-changing future.

“I believe the curriculum that will be delivered is critical to the success of the whole project,” he added. “A curriculum that meets the needs of every young person that comes through the doors.

“Whether that young person’s aspirations include higher or further education, vocational training, employment, voluntary work, or travel abroad, we must have a curriculum with the flexibility to deliver at an individual level. It must also support their pastoral and social needs too and encourage the local community to play its part.

“The teaching staff here are some of the most committed I have ever worked with. They have started to contribute to the project and will use their vast experience and energy to continue to do so.

“The opportunity to play our part will not be missed.”

Guest speaker was Mike Johnston, director of access and Scottish/EU admissions at St Andrews University, which, he said, was proud of its continuing partnership with Buckhaven High School.

He advised the pupils to try hard in their studies and said success after endeavour should be celebrated.

Mr Johnston added it was a fact that, if you did not try, you would not fail.

“But if you don’t try, you never succeed, and the journey after that is a very monotonous one.”