Nicolson Notes

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News from the Nicolson Institute, Stornoway this week includes:


School is closed tomorrow (28th November) and Monday (1st December), and will reopen to pupils and staff on Tuesday, 2nd December.


Please note that some dates have changed. Full reports will be issued to S4 pupils at the beginning of December. There will be an S4 Parents’ Evening on Thursday, 11 December from 4.00-6.00pm. Parents’ Evening for S1 will take place on Thursday, 4 December, and for S5/S6 on Tuesday, 13 January 2015.


Mr Beattie (PE) and Mr Euan Macleod from Lewis Sports Centre are the Institute of Sport’s lead strength and conditioning coaches for the Western Isles.

They are working to provide Performance Development Programmes (PDPs) for elite young athletes, such as Kara Hanlon (S6) in swimming and Mark Morrison (S3) in golf.

Four rugby players, David R Campbell (S5), Ronan Sinclair (S3), Alexander Mackay (S3) and Callum Macleod (S3) will undergo their Athletic Ability Assessment (AAA) next week, and it is hoped to design a weightlifting programme to complement their sport.

Kara Hanlon recently competed at the Scottish North District Swimming Grand Prix. In total she swam in eight events, achieved five personal best times, and won one gold and two silver medals.

In the 100 metres breaststroke she also defeated Hannah Miley who is a double Commonwealth Games champion. The school would like to congratulate Kara on her incredible achievements.


Mr Tony Dicks, an ex-Royal Marine, came to speak to the National 4/5 and the Higher Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies pupils, who are studying the ethics of war in both religious and secular contexts.

Mr Dicks spoke of his time in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan and about the ethical dilemmas involved. The RMPS department is very grateful to him for giving such an interesting talk. The photo shows Mr Dicks with senior pupils.


The Support for Learning (SfL) Department is made up of a team of teachers and classroom assistants who provide additional support for all pupils in a variety of ways. This can be long or short-term support and takes place in mainstream classes or in the Learning Base in small groups or one-to-one.

In addition, we have enhanced provision for a small group of pupils with severe and complex needs.

Pupils may require additional support for different reasons. For example, if they have been absent from school for an extended period owing to illness or require additional support to address a specific need.

A SfL teacher is assigned to each named house in the school. Together with Guidance Teachers they provide support to pupils.


Last week, pupils who are going on the Italy Ski Trip in February 2015 participated in a fund-raising cycle ride in the Castle Grounds (see photo). Forty pupils will be travelling with four staff to Aosta in Italy, and will be skiing for six days with professional instructors.


A magnificent total of £2,600 was raised in the school for Children in Need. S6 students organised two shows, one for junior pupils and one for seniors.

They also produced a DVD with the collaboration of some very good-humoured teachers. A big thank you to all staff and pupils who donated.

Pictured above are the pupils out doing their fundraising cycle ride.