As with this school year, a feature of last Tuesday’s celebration of achievement at Drummond Community High School was dealing with the unexpected.
A key member of the catering team, one of the musicians and the Headteacher (Jodie Hannan) were all indisposed. Happily, these setbacks didn’t dampen the celebratory atmosphere.
The Headteacher’s speech, read by Depute Head Elspeth McLean (below right), praised the hard work done by staff, Parent Council and pupils to promote Drummond in the community and dispel myths about the school. ‘I have no idea why people thought that we didn’t have science labs, for example.’ At open mornings and open evenings, the pupil guides were the ‘stars of the show’.
TWISTS AND TURNS
The speech covered the school’s ‘unexpectedly high profile in the city at the turn of the year’, caused by the now-abandoned proposal to move Gaelic Medium Education here. The Headteacher reflected that ‘it has been heartening to have such staunch support for Drummond from our community’.
The ‘twists and turns’ of the year do not seem to have affected progress on becoming the ‘school of choice for local families’. In fact, the planned work to raise the school’s profile and harnessing unforeseen opportunities has paid dividends, with the number of pupils coming into S1 being the highest in seven years. ‘Drummond really is on the up.’
Alongside the school’s ‘relentless focus’ on learning and teaching, the school has used the Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Funding for a variety of interventions, from establishing a daily breakfast club, free for all pupils, to having a Citadel youth worker in school 2 days a week.
In their valedictory speeches, head pupil Peter Wright reflected on how Drummond’s reputation has improved during his time at the school and the supportiveness of the year group. Head pupil Alisha Arshad praised the teachers’ dedication and their ‘pushing you to do what you love to do’.
There were prizes galore, including the new Heriot-Watt University Award for Leadership, given to Flavia Cicotte who, despite knowing almost no English on arriving in the UK from Italy 2 years ago, has seized many opportunities.
The school’s Design Engineer Construct partners gave two awards.
A special sporting award went to Diste Sylla, who plays in the St Johnstone FC Youth Academy.
This year’s Dux (Mohshin Syed) and Proxime Accessit (Pratyush Gautam) are both going to study Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
Pratyush has learned 11 languages besides English and his native Nepalese, and taught languages to younger pupils.
Others leavers are going on to study at university or college, or take up modern apprenticeships. We wish all of them well.
—David Sterratt, Chair of Drummond Parent Council
What a great evening at @Drummond_CHS for tonight’s Celebration of Achievement & Prize Giving - v inspiring young people, remarkable achievements & a really strong sense of community! Big congrats to all students & staff. Thanks v much for inviting me along.👏🏆🙌 #ilovedrummond pic.twitter.com/VvClm772t1— Ben Macpherson MSP (@BenMacpherson) June 12, 2018
[Photo of Mohshin Syed courtesy of Ben Macpherson MSP.]