Celebrating a year of firsts at St Andrew's High

PUPILS and teachers at St Andrew's High celebrated last week after the school's first ever evening awards ceremony marked a year of "firsts" for the Kirkcaldy school.

The ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, June 27, was the first of its kind held by the school to recognise more than 160 pupils from every year group.

The school marked the effort and attainment of the pupils, with special awards given for personal achievement like sport and community work.

For the first time the school awarded a Dux, given to S6 pupil Dominic Haldane, and the Catenian Quaich for work towards the community, given to William Dickson.

Depute Head Teacher Dee Maloney said: "It was an absolutely wonderful ceremony. Kevin Dunion, a former pupil and the Scottish Information Commissioner, came as a guest speaker and gave out some of the awards.

Our 5th and 6th year hospitality pupils made a wonderful buffet to end the evening and we had performances from the school orchestra and soloists throughout the night. It was a fabulous night."

Mr Dunion spoke at the ceremony after accidentally bumping into headteacher Audrey May and Religious Education teacher Sean Hagney in Malawi earlier this year.

Mrs May said: "you could have knocked me down with a feather when we were introduced to Kevin in a hotel in Malawi, the day we were flying home, and then found out he was a former pupil of this school."

The school is working closely with the Malawian Domasi Mission school to promote global citizenship and is expecting a visit from the headmaster of the school in October.

St Andrew's also became the only school in Fife to receive Fair Trade status this year - an announcement which the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised the school he will make.

The ceremony also marked almost a full school year since Mrs May was appointed as the new headteacher, and with it some significant changes.

St Andrew's will be introducing new house systems, prefects and a school uniform with new jumpers and blazers, all for the first time this year.

As well as this, the start of a new three story building at the rear of the school is due to begin in September, in a bid to replace "temporary" huts which have graced the playing fields for more than 30 years.

In her speech to the pupils and their families, Mrs May said: "I still pinch myself every now and then, as I really do still feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead and manage such a good school."