Westhill Academy News

Robbie Farquhar, S6E2:– well done, see below (zoomable)

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S1 and S2 UK Maths Challenge Team Competition


For those interested in being part of the Team, have a go at the practise material and see what you think.

We will be selecting a Team on Wednesday 7th February 2018 – Mrs Campbell, Principal Teacher Mathematics.


Under 15 Girls football

Congratulations to Isla McDougal,l 2E1,  who was  selected to represent  the U15 North Scotland School’s team against the West in the final of the Regional Schools competition held at Toryglen, Glasgow, on Tuesday, 9th January.

And – congratulations to the whole team, as they won. Well done all.


Reading Lunch, Scottish Book Week

The Library hosted a Reading Lunch as part of our celebrations for Scottish Book Week. Pupils and staff alike shared reading recommendations and enjoyed treats of fresh fruit. Readers were introduced to new genres and publications, with Christmas recipes proving particularly popular!’

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Scholastic Book Fair

The 2017 Book Fair arrives at the Academy Library on Tuesday 5th December 2017  it will be with us for one week.

Over 200 books are in the collection, including the latest ‘Young Bond’ novel ‘Never Say Die’ by Anthony Horowitz, the final geek girl book ‘Forever Geek’ by Holly Smale  and ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. Non- fiction titles will also be on sale. Book prices start at £2.99. All pupils will have the opportunity to browse the book collection, plus the very popular stationery and poster collections!

The Scottish Royal Regiments bands, November 16th 2017

Westhill Academy joined all the Music Departments in the Aberdeenshire secondary schools that were invited to take part in a day of workshops at Meldrum Academy on the 16 November 2017.  The workshops were being run by the The Scottish Royal Regiments bands, and pupils spent the day in rehearsal with unseen music with students from the other secondary schools, and the regular bandsmen.

The collective band with both pupils and bandsmen totalled to over 100. This led to a concert both  in the afternoon, and another concert at night in front of an audience of 250.

A fantastic day was had by all, and the atmosphere and experience was truly amazing.  The concert at night had excellent feedback from both pupils and audience.


SIAB Pentathlon 2017

Robbie Farquhar was part of the Scotland under 16 boys that came first in the indoor pentathlon event at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on November 10th. Robbie also got a medal for 3rd overall. It’s the first time anyone can remember Scotland beating England, Ireland and Wales. Well done – additionally well done because that was with carrying an injury to his hip and getting a running spike down his shin!

The Schools International Athletic Board (SIAB) consists of representatives from the Schools’ Athletic Associations of England, Scotland, Wales and All Ireland.

Westhill Academy Careers Evening

Monday 13th November 2017


All are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to discuss future careers with a number of different organisations.


September 28th  2017-

Future Asset Conference


Did you know that only 14% of Senior Finance jobs are held by women, the worst in any sector? Four of our S6 pupils, Rachael Logan, Rebecca Kessack, Ellen Milne and Morgan McIntosh, went along to a Future Asset Conference in Edinburgh, to find out about more about roles that are available in the Finance sector. They also heard from inspirational speakers about tackling diversity, these included the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and the CEO of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

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September 20th 2017-

AAB Mentoring Scheme

Congratulations to Chloe Cheyne 5E, Rebecca Kessack 6C2 and Rachael Logan 6C1 who were successful, following an interview process, in gaining a place on the AAB Mentoring Scheme for senior Accounting pupils.  This is a new initiative that represents a link between the company and the Business Education Department. The girls have been allocated a mentor from the company and will attend mentoring sessions over the next few months where they will discuss issues including interview skills, careers in accountancy and the skills/qualifications necessary for a career in Accounting.  In addition, all senior Accounting pupils will next month have an opportunity to visit AAB to participate in a workshop with employees of the company.

AAb Sept 2017

September 12th 2017- 

S2 pupils participating in “Maths Wi Nae Borders” Competition as part of Scottish Maths Week 2017

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September 6th  2017 – six S5 pupils attended a Student Engagement programme at Offshore Europe. The pupils involved were a credit to the school. The picture shows our pupils working with another school group at the Aker solutions display.


23 August 2017 – Scottish National Open Swimming Meet . Jack Robertson in S6 had an excellent meet with significant improvements in his entry times in 3 out of his 4 races (PBs in the 200, 400 & 800 freestyle races) and at the Scottish Summer Meet in Edinburgh  managed a great time with a 15 second improvement on his entry time. We hope the improvements continue.

30 June 2017 – Two Firsts for Westhill Academy!  Today the school had all the pupils together in the Games Hall and closed early to mark the four retirements with over a 100 years at Westhill Academy between them – Mr Thompson, Head Teacher; Mrs Thompson, Principal Teacher Mathematics;, Garth McKain, Principal Teacher of Additional Support Needs and Donald Whyte, past Principal Teacher of Guidance and Teacher of Design and Technology.

Derek Thompson is pictured below saying “goodbye.”

Last Day

30 June 2017 – Mr T’s (and Mrs T’S) Last Day!  Today I leave after over 18 years as Head Teacher of Westhill having taken up post in April 1999.  I take with me many happy and positive memories as I move into the next chapter of my life.  Margaret and I would like to thank all of the staff, pupils and parents for their support and friendship over out time here and for the many generous gifts and cards we have received over the last two weeks.

We both the wish the entire school community all the best over the coming years and we are certain that the school will continue to be a both a learning and nurturing environment were young people can learn, grow and develop.

Thank you.   Derek A Thompson, Head Teacher. (Retired!)

29 June 2017 – “Kids Out” Feedback.  We received this letter today:

“I am contacting you in order to praise a number of your students. I have a ten year old daughter with Autism and each year she looks forward to Kids Out Day. The anticipation and excitement of the day can leave her overwhelmed. At one point my child was literally covering her ears and had her face to the ground. After about 45 minutes of the two of us sitting beneath a tree, she began to engage again slowly.

Nearby, a group of student volunteers were wearing brightly coloured clown costumes. When my daughter began watching them, one of the young ladies began to speak to her. My daughter was very shy at first but within 10 minutes, one of your students had walked my daughter to the DJ booth to help her request a song she likes. The group of students danced with my daughter and talked with her. She was so incredibly happy and had such a wonderful time. Had it not been for the kindness of your students, I sincerely doubt my daughter would have engaged with any further activities that day.”

A little kindness goes a long, long way!

29 June 2017 – Arnhall Moss.  If you go down to the woods today…………….

On Thursday 15th and Wednesday 22nd June 2017, 14 intrepid S6 biology pupils plus Biology teacher, Miss Docherty and DHT Mr Struthers surveyed part of the birch woodland at Arnhall Moss. Our main objectives were to:

  1. Plan an environmental survey to model how to do a pilot study (to research plan, assess & improve procedures) and aspects of a project, in line with the SQA Advanced Higher biology requirements.
  2. Sample and report on the effects of human trampling on plant species in Arnhall Moss birch woodland.

We only sampled one short-cut path through the Arnhall Moss birch woodland to the A944. In summary, it is evident that trampling has compacted the soil up to 1m from the track centre and decreased overall plant cover and number of species in the most trampled area.

The full report can be seen at Arnhall moss final survey 2017 pdf

29 June 2017 – YPI Winners.  The winning Westhill Academy Team attended the celebration event in Perth this week.  They are pictured below.

YPI 2017


28 June 2017 – S4 Apardion Awards.  Congratulations to Jena and Neeraj on receiving their awards for contributions to the school.  They are both pictured below.  Well done!


27 June 2017 – S6 Albert Thomson Award.  This week Emine Taylor -Unlu collected her achievement award.  Well done Emine and we wish you all the best for your future.

26 June 2017 – Highland Show Success.  Congratulations to Faye from 2E.  Faye got a 5th in one of her classes with a ewe lamb at the Highland Show in Edinburgh.  There were 25 lambs in the class, so she did really well.  Well done Faye.


23 June 2017 – Staff Farewell Dinner.  105 staff, and former staff, gathered in the Hilton Treetops Hotel on Friday evening to say good bye to 4 long serving members of staff.  Garth McKain after 34 years. Margaret Thompson after 29 years, Donald Whyte after 27 years and Derek Thompson after 18 years.  A grand total of 108 years in Westhill Academy.  We wish them all a long and happy retirement.  Derek and Margaret Thompson are pictured below with their daughters, Shona and Lisa, who are also both teachers.


23 June 2017 – Michaela McRobb Award.  At the S6 Assembly Graeme McRobb and Karen Tremain presented the award to Emily Chan and Georgia Grieve.  Both have demonstrated enormous resilience following the passing on of parents.

14 June 2017 – Health and Wellbeing Young Leaders.  Congratulations to  Nathan, Chrissie, Louise and Sorcha who represented Westhill Academy at the HWBYL Celebration Event.  They did us proud and have done a great job in raising the profile of mental health within the academy and beyond.

HWB JUne 2017

14 June 2017 – “Kids Out!”  Around 30 of our senior pupils helped at the annual event at Craibstone.  The letter from the organisers is below:

Just a quick e mail to thank you and your senior management team once more for your help and support for Kid’s Out, and for  organising the participation of you senior pupils.

Again—I cannot speak highly enough of the enthusiasm,initiative and participation of your young folk. They were wonderful! Please pass on a huge “Thank you” to all who came along on the day.

They all seem to have had a good time (thankfully the weather was kind) and as I reminded them—–all good for their CV’s, and I do think it is good for them to meet and interact with the children who attend the event.

13 June 2017 – UK Mathematics Trust.  Congratulations to James  for reaching the UK Mathematics Trust “Kangaroo.”  James scored above than the national average in the test and did well to qualify for this competition from over 6 million students worldwide.  Well done James!


12 June 2017 – Taekwondo Update.  Marcus won a Silver Medal for sparring in the European Cup.  Congratulations!

Marcus Poland June 2017


8 June 2017 – Primary 7 Parents Guidance Evening.  7.00 pm to meet the Guidance Staff  followed by refreshments with the Parents Council in the School Library.

8 June – Industry Partners.  This afternoon Westhill Academy agreed, and signed partnerships, with SpecSavers and Hilton Hotels to help our efforts in Developing the Young Workforce.” (DYW)

7 June 2017 –  Staffing Update.  As always in summer we will be welcoming some new staff and saying goodbye to others.  More details soon of the “comings and goings!”

5 June 2017 – Taekwondo.  Marcus, from 5E, is competing in the Taekwondo European Cup this week in Poland.  Well done and congratulations!

5 June 2017New Timetable for S5/6 Pupils.  S6 pupils at RGU all day.

2 June 2017 – Parent Council Night Out.  A big thank you from Derek Thompson for his night out and very generous gift from the Parent Council.

2 June 2017Alison Reid is appointed new Head Teacher starting 21 August 2017.  Congratulations!

31 May 2017 – Youth Philanthropy Initiative  – Winners 2017.

Marie Curie Cancer Trust (Guidance group ‘E2’ – Meg Berryman, Emma Coull, Hannah Lorimer, Emma Smith) won the YPI presentation award of £3,000. There is a second award for NDCS (Guidance ‘D’ – Catrina, Caitlin, Ellie, Niamh.) of £50 from donations on the night. Well done to all the teams who presented and to all the teams whose posters are going to be up around school and in Guidance Classrooms and the library.

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YPI Winners 2017

The Poster Competition winners  were Grampian Child Bereavement Network (Guidance Group ‘E1’ – Kirsty, Abigail, Gabrielle, Grace.) – £100, with a second prize of £50 to Alzheimer Scotland (Guidance Group ‘C2’ – Kiera, Brooke.)