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Falkland House School Summer 2021 E-Newsletter
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Falkland House School is a residential school for boys of all ages who have Additional Support Needs and who find it difficult to cope in a mainstream educational environment. We offer day, 39- and 52-week provision.
DofE award activities underway

The Duke of Edinburgh programme is now well underway. The twelve students involved have embraced the programme and impressed us all with their determination and perseverance during recent training and practice expeditions. 

As part of their training the boys have covered map reading and route planning, rucksack packing, cooking safely outdoors, choosing a site, setting up a tent and clearing the camp ground afterwards.
 
For some of the boys, the practice expedition was the first time they had experienced camping, let alone hiking and outdoor cooking.

Duke of Edinburgh coordinator, Mr Shaw, has commended the boys for their excellent performance on the hiking segment of the expeditions despite the adversity of carrying a 65-litre backpack containing all the necessary equipment for an overnight camp. Some of the boys surprised themselves by what they were able to achieve

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Young Leader programme
Our Young Leader programme is designed to equip participants with skills and behaviours such as problem solving, resilience, communication and team work, which will help prepare them for life after FHS.

Shaun, Callum and more recent recruit Luca have been taking part in an introductory Mountain Biking / Trail Riding project focusing upon skills such as leadership, route navigation, group management and basic riding skills.
Group Coordinator Mr Robb has reported that the boys' engagement in the project has been excellent and a real element of trust is being built between staff and young people.

Shaun and Callum have both progressed from reconnaissance of bike routes to leading small sections, to leading an entire bike ride. Both boys have shown a real passion towards not only taking part in the outdoor sessions but the practice of leading these sessions also.

Activity options have been limited due to current restrictions. However, the hope is that after the summer holidays the group will focus on water sports  such as kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding, where the boys will also learn essential rescue skills.

Once they have developed the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to carry out the role of Young Leader, they will work with the Outdoor Education Coordinators, helping and supporting their peers during Outdoor Learning sessions.  
End-of-year excursion to Blair Drummond

FHS English Teacher, Mr Stewart, reports on the whole school, end-of-year trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park

Following a year of restricted opportunities, we finally managed a whole school outing to Blair Drummond Safari Park on June 9th.

By 9:15am all boys and staff were ready to depart, armed with snacks, drinks and Mr Melville in charge of the money.  The weather was overcast but a few staff and pupils were optimistic having decided upon shorts, t-shirts and sunglasses. 

The journey through was so uneventful that one of the boys remarked “I’m disappointed by the lack of cows in the fields.”  Despite the earlier optimism regarding the weather, it started drizzling as we neared the Park. 

Tickets sorted, we drove into the “wild”, stopping to see a rhino at close quarters.  Some of the boys noticed a sign that read if the rhino starts walking towards you that you should drive away slowly.

This caused a bit of a panic in the Juniors' car as the rhino started to walk towards them and their car couldn’t go forward due to the car in front of them not moving. They were very relieved when the rhino changed direction!

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We've walked 500 miles for Ben

Towards the end of last year, FHS pupil Luca began a fundraising effort in memory of Ben who passed away in April 2020. 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' by The Proclaimers was one of Ben's favourite sings so Luca decided that walking 500 miles would be a fitting way to honour his friend's memory.

Ben's Mum, Seonaid, will be joining us on June 30th to close the fundraiser with a final lap around the grounds of FHS, where Ben was a pupil and popular member of our school community for 9 years.

The initiative has raised more than £1100 for Epilepsy Scotland and Beeslack All Stars Sports Club, both of which supported Ben and played an important role in his life. 

Well done to all the staff and pupils who have helped Luca to reach his objective, and our thanks to everyone who has donated on our Just Giving page.


 Best wishes to our school leavers
Our end-of-year Newsletter wouldn't be complete without Mr Morrison's reflections and parting words to our school leavers:

Luca came to FHS in November 2017. He has blossomed in his time here from a shy and retiring wallflower to a front of stage lead man. Luca’s ambition to study Drama has grown in line with his confidence as he as progressed at FHS. This has allowed him to create some memorable moments for us all, including his heart rendering performance of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, and his slick dancing recreation of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’. Luca also performed with Cupar Youth Musical Society in ‘Calamity Jane’ and had the opportunity to visit ‘Forth Radio’ where he was able to create a 30-second advert and witness the recording process. Luca’s burgeoning musical ability has been visible over time and he can often be heard tinkling the ivories with his repertoire of classic Dad rock tunes. Luca leaves us to continue his study of Drama and Acting at Fife College.
Harris joined FHS in January 2019. He quickly impressed everybody with his athleticism and physical prowess, often leaving staff open jawed at his explosive physical energy and strength in the sports arena. He has also been a positive force showing his naturally caring and mentoring side, especially with our younger pupils. Harris has been attending college part-time at SRUC Elmwood Campus where he has been studying for his City and Guilds Level 1 Diploma Introduction to Professional Cookery award. Harris will be moving on to independent living in cosmopolitan Leith and will continue his studies at Edinburgh College to study a National Certificate in Bakery. I’m sure Harris will continue to flourish in his studies and will continue to carry a passion for the intricate and sophisticated worlds of role playing games and ‘Dungeons'. This has been a successful transition which has led to a very positive result for Harris.
Ryan started at the school in August 2015. Over that time Ryan has applied himself to all things FHS and has taken advantage of many of the opportunities offered to him. The highlights have been residential ski and outdoor pursuits trips and a visit to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play. Ryan has shown prowess on the sports field and in the musical arena and over the last few years has applied himself diligently to his academic studies, achieving a number of qualifications from National 4 to Advanced Higher. Ryan will be able to leave the school with his head held high knowing that he has surpassed the expectations that were placed upon him prior to enrolling at FHS and having fulfilled the expectations which he was encouraged and supported to achieve here. A very positive end to a positive secondary school career.
Sol enrolled at FHS in March 2017. Over his time here he has never failed to impress us with his many hidden talents, including his finesse on the football field and his skill on the drum kit. Less conspicuous but no less impressive are Sol’s immaculate presentation, high personal standards and dry witty banter. What has impressed us most recently has been Sol’s level of self-investment and personal endeavour to secure a positive pathway after his time at FHS. This has included completing his National 5 courses and engaging positively with various courses out with the school to enhance his employability and resilience, such as the Starfish Course delivered through Perth Autism Support, Megan Castle’s Employability Initiative Project and the YMCA’s Youth Guarantee Course. Sol has also completed a work experience placement in the school kitchen, gaining valuable knowledge of a working environment. Supported by Skills Development Scotland, he has submitted an application for an administration apprenticeship with Perth local authority.
A word or two from Mr Morrison, Head of Education
As we draw to the close of another academic year, it is worth noting what has been lost, what has been gained and what we can look forward to a return to next year.

Firstly, we will be losing four of our senior pupils, who will be moving on to life after Falkland House School. We wish Ryan, Sol, Harris and Luca all the best for their future as they consider the world of work, college and independent adult life.

We have also had a change of staffing within our education team as the delivery of Art has been seamlessly handed over from the capable hands of Ms Davie to the equally capable hands of Mrs Stewart.


Even in this testing year we have been able to continue learning in a consistent manner, which has allowed us to submit a substantial amount of pupils for SQA course awards from National 2 to Adv Higher.

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A message from
Mr Gannon, Care Manager
In the same spirit as last year, I’d like to salute first and foremost the children and young people on the tremendous courage they have shown in navigating the past 12 months. I would like to then extend this to all families for their support and understanding over what has been a tumultuous period. It is with sincere hope that you have all valued the stability that the team here at Falkland have offered over the course.
This past year more than any has highlighted the importance of mental health, personal and social growth. A change in culture has reflected this, with more structured outdoor pursuits and activities coming to the fore.
The boys have greatly benefitted from this vision through a number of new initiatives, including the roll out of the Duke of Edinburgh Award with Gordon Shaw, the Young Leader programme with Kevin Robb, Outdoor Learning and the Bike Club to name a few. We have been conscious to include day boys in these offerings where they exist out with the school hours and it is our expectation that this will continue.

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A letter from Mr Graham, Principal
As we approach the end of another challenging academic year, I have been reflecting with some pride on the continued successes of both Pupils and Staff at FHS.

We have all experienced difficulties in the past year associated with the Coronavirus and the impact it has had on daily living. It has meant that we have had to be creative in our approaches to the support and learning that we offer. Some of the development initiatives that we had been working towards have had to accelerate as our usual partners and venues for activity have not been available. 

I am particularly proud therefore of the progress we have made in introducing more Outdoor Learning and activity to our children and Young People.


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Mr Morrison, Mrs Meiklem, Mr P Gannon and Miss Kinghorn have been working with Dr Freya Spicer-White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, on building up a clinical services hub for the school.

During regular consultation with Dr Spicer-White and sessions with Occupational, Speech and Language Therapists, the needs of the boys in the school are discussed and how better to support them


Our very best wishes to Mr Cullinane, who will be leaving us in September after 36 years of service to the school. Good luck also to Mrs Davie, who has been Art Teacher at FHS for over 8 years, Miss Anderson, who has been a member of the Care Staff for 3 and a half years, and Miss Ireland, who was on the Care Team for 16 years. We wish them all the best in their new jobs!


Welcome to Mr Avery (Care Staff), Miss Burt (Administrator), Miss Kane (Night Staff) and Mrs Stewart (Art Teacher) - the new additions to the FHS Team.



Thank you to everyone who has worked with us and supported the school over the past year.

Happy summer holidays!
SCOTTISH CHILDREN'S SERVICES COALITION
We are members of the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, which is an alliance of organisations committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children and young people through campaigning to improve services. Should you want to receive their e-newsletter this can be subscribed to through filling in your email details on their website – www.thescsc.org.uk
 
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