Schools are always special places in the run-up to Christmas and NBHS was no exception. In December, we held: a stunning art show; two joyful concerts; a fun lunchtime fair; four fabulous dances; and four hilarious pantomime performances. And the learning carried on throughout all of this! I would like to thank all staff, pupils and parents for ensuring that these events were such a success, and for making the month of December so uplifting.

Following the very welcome – and, I hope, happy and relaxing – Christmas break, pupils and staff arrived back in school on Monday 9 January ready for the challenges and opportunities that the new year will bring. Within a few days, the prelim exams began and I am pleased to say that these have gone very smoothly. It has been a pleasure to hear the invigilators praise our senior pupils for how well they are conducting themselves throughout the exam diet. Parents, I am sure you will also be delighted to hear that our pupils have been unfailingly polite and courteous – they really are a credit to you.

This week, the focus for S2 pupils is on building relationships, challenging themselves outwith their comfort zone, learning and developing new skills, and having fun. For some, this is on the Italian ski slopes; for others,  it’s here in school and in the local area. You can keep up to date with what’s happening by following the school’s Twitter account.

This Friday evening we hold an event which is always a highlight of the year, especially for our S6 pupils: the Burns Supper. The speeches, recitations and music are all provided by the pupils, and the delicious 3-course meal (with haggis, of course) is followed by dancing to the excellent Clappy Doo Ceilidh Band. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, do contact the School Office. I have had a sneak preview of the speeches and I know the audience is in for an entertaining evening, with plenty of laughs. I am pleased to note there will also be lots of tablet.

Next week, there is another important event, this time aimed at our S3 – S6 pupils and their parents. On Tuesday 31 January we are welcoming some of our partners to the school to provide an information session on pathways beyond school, with a particular focus on careers in business and alternatives to university. This is part of the Developing the Young Workforce initiative, and there will be something for everyone, no matter what their goals and ambitions. Please do make every effort to come along to this event if you have a child in S3 – S6. And do bring your young person with you – it may just be the evening where they hear something that sparks a real interest and takes them on an exciting pathway to their future, one which they hadn’t previously imagined. Information is on the website and is being sent home to parents via email.

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