Success heralds a bright future

A musical performance by Newbattle pupils. Photo: Mike Wilkinson
A musical performance by Newbattle pupils. Photo: Mike Wilkinson

It never ceases to amaze me how much our young people achieve and the massive contribution they make to the various communities across Midlothian, writes Colin Taylor, head teacher at Newbattle Community High School.

During the last few weeks of term Newbattle C.H.S. hosted a variety of high-quality events. Our music and drama department mounted a joint venture involving 120 youngsters from our associated primaries and the high school. Music staff and instrumental instructors produced a concert of the highest quality, entertaining family and friends.

Our S2,5 and 6 pupils work together as part of our Peak Performance initiative which previously won a national COSLA Solace Best Team Award. This year featured a showcase event, the highlight being an evening of music and dance with a flash mob routine which held the audience in awe. The community was out in force to support the many stalls and exhibitions which displayed the pupils’ skills.

For our senior phase students in fourth, fifth and sixth year, national assessments and examinations are to the forefront. Large numbers of youngsters are taking advantage of the Easter revision courses available in school. On return from holidays, special immersion courses will ensure that everyone is well prepared. Some of our fourth-year youngsters will be following our highly-successful Building Your Future courses in construction, health and social care, hospitality, sport and leisure and retail.

Add to this our British Youth Sport Award in the category of Best PE Department in the UK, Lewis Donaldson winning the Scottish Youth Photographer of the Year, Ellie Russell becoming Junior Scottish Gymnastics Champion, Dominic McNealis a UK bronze medallist (judo), and Owen McVicar, Heather and Connor Ramsay winning European and national awards in Taekwon Do, 2016 has got off to a great start.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention our new £35 million school building project is in full swing. The future looks bright for Newbattle!