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Autumn 2017

Strathallan News


Scottish Rugby Schools’ Cup Championships Strathallan have made history by winning the U18 Scottish Rugby Schools’ Cup. The School defeated Glenalmond 52-8 at Murrayfield to raise the cup for the very first time, just reward for the years of hard work being put in by our coaching staff and pupils. The Road to Murrayfield has been a hard one; beating St Columbus, Glasgow Academy, and Stewarts Melville, before their bruising semi-final encounter win against Watsons at Myreside. Director of Rugby Andy Henderson and 1st XV coaches Ed Kalman and Yamika Banda agree that the home grown talent has been a major factor in their success with eleven of the team having played together since Riley. That combined with great leadership from Captain Murphy Walker, Cameron Henderson, Hamish White, Ollie Smith and James McCaig proved a winning combination. Angus Vipond was named Man of the Match and was presented his trophy by former pupil and Glasgow Warrior Zander Fagerson. Our pipe band, now well accustomed to playing in National stadiums, set the scene and in true Strath fashion the support from the rest of the school community past and present was outstanding. It was a truly momentous occasion and one that will inspire the next generation of Strath players for years to come.

Academic The academic life of the school is full of exciting ideas and initiatives after strong public examinations results this summer. A key area for development this year is to bring the expertise and inspiration of our academic departments out of the classroom and into the local community, or to bring in local pupils and children to experience learning in the school itself. The PE and Art Departments have had pupils from other schools in for the day and gone out to inspire children outside the school. Our Lower Sixth Form Design Technology pupils have embarked on an exciting project this year with the Edinburgh charity ‘Playlist for Life’ which will culminate with the design and marketing of an MP3 player for elderly dementia sufferers. Local prep schools will also be coming in to Strathallan to experience a full scale Design and Technology working environment using industry standard software (Solidworks) and 3D printers. There are plans for more of these outreach initiatives – they are a wonderful way to share the innovative and inspiring learning that goes on at Strathallan. Towards the end of the Autumn Term we have Oxbridge applicants heading down south for interviews after hours of focused extension work in their subject areas and challenging practice interviews. At the same time members of the Fifth Form are preparing material for the Trial examinations that will face them on their return. A new initiative this academic year will be Sanhedrin Interviews for each Fifth Form pupil with the Headmaster and Deputy Head Academic to discuss Trial examination performance and thoughts about Sixth Form study. As ever, there are significant challenges ahead, but rich rewards for those who are prepared to make the most of the opportunities on offer. Mr Sean Hamill, Deputy Head Academic

Rome At half term the Classics department, joined by pupils studying art, made its biennial pilgrimage to Rome. In a hectic four days we scoured the city for Augustan art and architecture, and tasted some of the best ice cream on the planet. We visited the major classical sites and museums, but also experienced the grandeur of the Vatican Museums (seven kilometres of artistic opulence) and discovered some of the masterpieces hidden in the churches. A new addition to the itinerary was the National Museum, unimposing on the outside but containing a number of hugely impressive works of art, including the paintings from the houses of Livia and Agrippa. It was encouraging to see how much more welcoming to school groups Rome has become in the last six years and we had an efficient and patient reception everywhere we went. In the evenings the various groups made increasingly ambitious gastronomic expeditions (the highlight of which was the Prosciutteria, by the Trevi fountain) and showed increasing confidence in looking after themselves in a foreign city. The weather and the company made Rome 2017 a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Rome 2019 is now less than two years away… 2

Model United Nations Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which pupils can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. It is often referred to as a ‘super-curricular’ activity owing to the range of ‘hard and soft’ skills that are developed by Our delegates from Strathallan School worked in different committee delegates. rooms at the conference and represented the interests of Denmark. Preparation for the conference started well before the summer holidays and our team were supported by an enthusiastic group of their peers at Strathallan who acted as invaluable researchers. This was essential as the issues were complex and the researchers were able to brief the delegates on the finer detail involved. Each delegate had selected one of the issues as their ‘strong’ point and prepared a resolution on this area for the conference. For a delegate the main aim is to get one of their resolutions passed by the committee. Tiffany Chow looked at the global aspect of the ‘Pink Tax’, Kate Fawcett chose the ‘gender pay gap’, Douglas Berry wrote a resolution to ‘Countering radicalisation’, Alex Bergin concentrated on the ‘Sovereignty of Gibraltar’. Jonny Boyd and Fergus MacKay were working together in an unusual committee called The Historical Security Council which gave delegates the chance to resolve conflicts from history – the focus was set in 1967 with the Six Day War and Vietnam being the conflicts to debate. Johnny and Fergus chose to prepare thoroughly in each area with resolutions prepared in both. The delegates had to be fully briefed and prepared to participate when these other issues, were being debated in their committee. It is often the case that these other issues become central to the delegates’ success at the conference.

Alex Bergin lobbying delegates whilst working to form a resolution in his committee on the issue of the status of Gibraltar following Brexit. He was the only British student in the room but he was representing Denmark at the conference – so (despite any personal feelings he may have had) Alex had to take a broadly pro-Spanish position on the issue to reflect Denmark’s true position!

Johnny Boyd as a member of the Historical Security Council which looked at a response to two 1967 events: the Six Day War and the continuing conflict in Vietnam. Jonny together with Fergus had to work with the rest of the Security Council in order to construct workable resolutions to the conflicts. The historical nature of the committee created an extra dimension for pupils to prepare for.

Biology Four high flying Strathallan biologists (Fergus, Dax, Ruaridh and Norris) attended a lecture at the AK Bell library in Perth on the subject of Forensic science. We were expecting bodies and blood, but instead got an excellent potted history of Forensics and its relationship with the law. Thanks to the Perth Society of Natural Sciences for hosting an informative and entertaining evening.


Design and Technology and Playlist for Life The Design and Technology pupils studying in the first year of the A Level and Higher courses have been involved in a project with the charity, Playlist for Life. The aim of this project is to create a user friendly MP3 Player for use with people suffering with Dementia. In September a representative from the Charity visited the pupils to explain to them the aims of the Charity and the affect that Dementia has on a person. Shortly after this the pupils began their research prior to starting their design ideas. Sarah Metcalfe, Chief Executive and Nick Balneaves, Head of Digital & Development from Playlist for Life visited the pupils on a number of occasions this term to offer feedback on the designs. The pupils have visited a care home to see the power that music has on memory recall and the impact it has on their emotional welfare. In October Andy Simpson who runs a manufacturing and prototyping facility gave insightful feedback on the manufacturing processes and design development. Most recently the pupils presented their ideas to a panel of judges which included Sally Magnusson, Founder Playlist for Life, Nick, Andy and Martin Skelly, Lecturer in Product Design - University of Dundee following which two designs were selected to take forward to development. In January the pupils will be split into two teams in order to fully develop the two selected designs into functional prototypes, at which stage they will be tested, evaluated and hopefully put into production pending financial backing.  As a subject, Design and Technology is one of the most changed in the curriculum. The government have realised the importance of the subject as a means to educate the future generations in technical education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The purpose of Design and Technology is to produce the problem solvers of tomorrow, allowing each pupil to apply their knowledge and understanding of all STEM related subjects in a practical, problem solving setting. We are proud to be able to support Playlist for Life this year and look forward to seeing the progress of the pupils over the coming months.

Arkwright Scholarship Lower Sixth pupil Robbie MacIsaac was awarded the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship at the beginning of this term. It is one of the most prestigious scholarships of its type in the UK and was created to inspire and nurture school-age pupils to become future leaders of the Engineering profession. Robbie secured the award through a rigorous selection process, and will now become an Arkwright Associate which places him amongst some of the highest calibre engineering prospects for the future. 4

Art Perthshire Art Association Prizewinners From an entry of close to 200 artworks Vladislav Nemshilov and Mina Brennan won two of the four school prizes available in the Perthshire Art Association 65th Annual Exhibition at the Perth Museum and Gallery. On the opening night of the exhibition Vladislav ( Junior 1st prize) and Mina (Runner-up Senior) were presented with their awards by the renowned sculptor, Dr. Alastair Ross. Both pupils met with members of the Arts Association and had the opportunity to talk through their work.

A level results Strathallan pupils celebrated another impressive set of A Level results this year with 41% achieving an A* or A against the national average of 26%. In what is the first year of the new A Level system the results were particularly pleasing to report. A special mention goes to all those pupils who achieved straight A or A*/A grades; together they represent one in five of all those who studied a full A Level programme this year. The announcement of the Scottish Highers were cause for much celebration as they were the best results for ten years. Whether pupils chose the Higher or A Levels, the vast majority of them go on to their first choice of universities with a diverse spread of destination choices from some of the UK’s most selective institutions. The most popular destinations in Scotland are the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow and choices elsewhere in the UK include the London School of Economics, the Universities of Bath and Bristol, Kings College London and BIMM. (British and Irish Modern Music). The range of degree programmes selected is also wide, a reflection of the breadth of education and diversity of interests at Strathallan. Courses chosen include Chemical Engineering, Product Design, Law, Urban Planning, Adult Nursing, Geography, Social Anthropology and Molecular Biology.

The start of the new A Level The Lower Sixth artists have worked hard this term on a sequence of research projects that consider the notion of “thinking and acting like an artist�. The group has spent time considering topics such as risk, how do we learn through mistakes, the language of formal elements and how artists communicate through visual language. It has taken each out of their comfort zone but has allowed all the chance to consider how they research and produce their own art. The pupils tackled small projects such as drawing with only masking tape, random generated locations, painting with homemade brushes and alternative viewpoints. This group of young artists can now build upon the solid foundations made and start upon the journey towards exciting and successful visual responses.


Research trip to Edinburgh 25 GCSE students travelled to Edinburgh to spend time recording primary source material at the Royal Botanic Gardens before then enjoying the opportunity to analyse a range of artists at the Modern Art Gallery. At the RGB pupils focused on developing their drawing and recording skills. The opportunity to work with material first hand has been a great help towards the research for this project. The wonderful glasshouses provided a wide range of surface textures and architectural plant shapes to react to and the pupils returned to Strathallan with a rich variety of material in their sketch books. The print and works on paper archives located at the Museum of Modern Art in Edinburgh holds over 60,000 works and the curatorial team selected 20 pieces for the pupils to view and discuss. It was a wonderful opportunity to analyse drawings, etchings and collages by artists such as Rembrandt, Picassso, Munch, Freud and the pupils impressed the gallery staff with their interest and thoughtful approach to the imagery presented. Such was their involvement with this excellent selection of artists’ work the group spent double the time planned in the archives. To see this work first hand was appreciated by all and we look forward to returning next year.

Visiting Artist Julie Dodd Looking at the work of other artists, as part of the research process, is an integral element of the GCSE course. Julie Dodd, a mixed media artist, visited Strathallan to lead a practical workshop that looked at various visual recording and sculptural techniques. It was an inspiring day for all involved and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss Julie’s work and develop their technical skills. This term in GCSE Art we have been working on a natural forms project. One of the artists we have researched is Julie Dodd and we wrote to her to see if she would answer some of our questions. We were delighted that she then accepted our invitation to come up from the north of England to Strathallan. Julie’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK and recently in the USA and Holland. Julie mainly looks at repetitive forms in nature at both a micro and macro scale. For our day long workshop Julie brought up various sculptures, prints, artist books and watercolour drawings and we were able to handle this work and get a better understanding of her influences and processes. During the practical work we started by looking at how she draws her cells then takes these ideas into printmaking and sculptural responses. We finished the day by looking at how Julie makes three-dimensional models and then tried some of her techniques within our own work. The class can now take these experiences into their own research, helping in the development of our ideas and we all look forward to seeing our own final responses. By Ellie Nielson, Fifth Form 6

History Auschwitz On the 9th of November 2017, Anna Clark and I went with the Holocaust Educational Trust to visit Oświęcim, Auschwitz I, and Auschwitz- Birkenau. When we arrived at Oświęcim, we went to the town centre to discuss the life of the Jewish population before the Nazis invaded in 1939. Previously constituting 58% of the town’s population, now there are no Jews living in town. We then visited Auschwitz I. It was originally built for Polish political prisoners in 1940, however, as more and more people were sent to the camp, it was expanded into Auschwitz-Birkenau in March 1941. In Auschwitz I, we saw the first gas chamber built at the camp, the few pictures that were taken of the “process,” and the belongings of all the prisoners. Suitcases, house keys, kitchenware, hairbrushes, these were some of the items taken by people. Their ordinariness stood out to me. These people really had no idea, no way of knowing what was going to happen to them. Of the 1.4 million people taken into Auschwitz- Birkenau, an estimated 1.1 million were murdered upon arrival. The deceit that went into these people’s murder went so far as to have the gas chambers surrounded by flower gardens, and having numbers on the clothes pegs in the undressing room. The rest were systematically stripped of their belongings, clothes and hair until they were mere commodities to be used and disposed of without a second thought. We took part in a memorial service on the train tracks where so many were sent to their deaths through the process of selection, systematically chosen to be tortured or killed due to faith, political ideology and indeed their age. If we were to have a memorial service for every victim of the Holocaust, then we would have to be silent for two and a half years. If I can take anything away from this visit, it is that we cannot afford to let something like the Holocaust happen again. As ambassadors for the HET, Anna and I feel honoured that we have the opportunity to pass on our learning to others. By Jenny Duncan, Lower Sixth Thornbank.

Higher Modern Studies trip to Parliament Pupils taking Lower Sixth Higher Modern Studies visited Holyrood this term. They participated in a legislation workshop on the topic of how to combat youth antisocial behaviour. After a tour of parliament they had the opportunity to meet Labour MSP Claire Baker who is a regional MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife. Pupils asked questions on a range of topics including Brexit, the role of ‘top up’ MSPs and the merits of the AMS (Additional Member System, also known as mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) outside of the United Kingdom) electoral system over FPTP (First past the post).


Upper Sixth History visit to the Black Watch Museum On the 4th October the Upper Sixth A Level History class visited the Black Watch Museum to supplement their study of the British Experience of Warfare, c.1790-1918. Pupils were guided through the excellent exhibitions on the history of the Black Watch between the late 18th and early 20th centuries, with particular focus on the Napoleonic, Crimean and Boer Wars. The second part of the session gave pupils the opportunity to handle key items from the museum’s firearms collections and learn about the important technological advances between 1725 and 1900, and their impact on the battlefield.

Teacher’s corner By Mrs Rebekah Hodson, Head of Biology and responsible for Teaching and Learning

Medical Interviews It’s that time of year again when all pupils who have put in UCAS applications are waiting for offers and/or interviews. The medical pupils find this especially hard as places for even interview are extremely competitive so we are particularly delighted that our three candidates have all received confirmation of their forthcoming interviews. In preparation for this we give each pupil a series of practice interviews with a doctor experienced in interviewing as well as non-medical staff. Following these practice interviews the pupils will be given targeted feedback with the expectation that they use this feedback to improve their interview techniques. We also replicate the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview), a method used by many medical schools, to ensure that the pupils are familiar with the process well in advance. We wish all our candidates the very best of luck with their impending interviews.

Football in lesson time! Verbal football is a game that our classes in any subject may have played this term. The captains of two teams toss a coin to see which team gets the first question, the whistle blows and they’re off. It is a way of ensuring focused learning of key facts then working as a team to answer questions. All the time the game is happening everyone is learning – as work is reviewed, as answers are determined and as errors are corrected. This will all sound familiar to you as a good way to learn. But Verbal Football adds being fast and furious to the mix –a lot of determination and concentration are needed and lots of fun ensues. Pupils may have played this game or tried other activities that teachers are using to make learning even more fun. We know at Strathallan that if pupils are enjoying their learning, they learn more. 8

Music As the new Director of Music it has been a real pleasure to spend this term getting to know the pupils and understand the variety of talents and passions that are so prevalent amongst the school body. Music is at the very core of Strathallan and I am excited to assist in realising the huge potential shown in every pupil from 1JJ to Upper Sixth. As you will see from these articles it has been a very busy first term for our musicians. This does however only scratch the surface of the huge amounts of hard work that goes on every day in the Music department from pupils and staff alike. Hundreds of individual music lessons and twenty-six ensembles are attended weekly and without this continued support none of these achievements would be possible. I look forward to welcoming you all to our future events so you can appreciate a small portion of the hard work that goes on every day from a large number of pupils. By Matt Gooch, Director of Music

Brodsky Quartet Visit This October the String Group and the Riley Strings were lucky enough to be joined by the famous “Brodsky Quartet” in a two-hour workshop experience. The Brodsky’s were founded in 1972 and have performed over 3,000 concerts on the major stages of the world and released more than 60 recordings. The ensemble area the very forefront of the international chamber music scene and have a natural curiosity to explore the music they perform so it was an exciting opportunity for our own instrumentalists to work alongside and learn from such impressive names in the classical music industry. The workshop began with both the Strathallan string groups joining in playing simple but yet enjoyable Christmas carols such as ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’. Then the Brodsky’s were able to help our Senior String Group with an advanced Elgar piece. They made some key suggestions about how we could enhance the sound quality using bowing techniques and phrasing throughout the piece. They encouraged us to utilise more energy and passion in our playing and how to perform rather than play. The workshop was concluded with the Brodsky Quartet performing a series of pieces in quartets composed by names such as Schubert and Tchaikovsky. The performance was inspiring and moving and it goes to show the hard work and effort it takes to become so proficient as an instrumentalist is worth it for the enjoyment it creates. By Marcus Wylie, Upper Sixth


Piping Congratulations to our piping instructor, Mr Craig Muirhead, who was invited to judge the semi-final of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award. The event, which took place on Saturday 7th October, is an important one on the music calendar in Scotland. It aims to encourage young musicians to keep their tradition alive, while maximising their potential in the pursuit of a career in traditional music. Craig is himself a semi-finalist at the Awards, and is highly regarded within the traditional music community. Earlier in the term Mr Muirhead was invited to play for His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during his stay Dumfries House for the second time this year.

Pipe Band at Hampden Park Stadium Our School Pipe Band had the honour of performing at Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Malta at the beginning of September and also in the match against Slovakia in October in front of thousands of fans in Scotland’s National Stadium, quite an experience for all the pupils involved.


Musical Showcase The Strathallan Musical Showcase this year was a success that portrayed a versatile and talented group of pupils across all years of the school. Months of hard work and practicefrom Riley to the Upper 6th was encapsulated in a performance of 12 ensembles, featuring 160 pupils performing on Perth Concert Hall’s stage throughout the night. The concert opened with a Massed Pipeband and Folk Group collaboration of ‘Bonnie Lass of Fyvie’ with vocals from Tanya Stephens. This set a high standard for the rest of the evening that was matched by other special acts that included the Riley Orchestra, the String Orchestra and Rock Band’s joint performance of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’. The final number of Big Band alongside the School Choir with a crowd pleasing rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ concluded the concert with the audience singing along! As a sixth form pupil who has performed in the last four Musical Showcases, I speak for all the pupils in giving our sincere thanks to the music and instrumental teachers that worked so hard alongside us to make such a successful and enjoyable concert that truly showcased Strathallan’s musical talent. By Blair Davie, Upper Sixth


Fun with Pipes & Drums Fun with Pipes & Drums is always a popular day for pupils from Ardvreck, Craigclowan, Cargilfield and Riley and this year particularly so with a total of 78 pipers and drummers taking part. The day is run by Mr Craig Muirhead along with the assistance of Strath’s other piping instructor Mr Chris Armstrong, drum corp instructor Mr Joe Fleming and visiting tenor drum instructor Jenny Clarke, who was a welcome addition to the team. The pupils spent the morning in various sectionals and workshops before coming together to rehearse for the informal concert in the afternoon. Parents from all the school enjoyed hearing the extremely polished performance and their support was very welcome. Great to see so many talented young musicians who will hopefully enjoy playing for many years to come.

Piper idol Congratulations to pupil Robbie MacIsaac, who won Pipe Idol 2017! This is a superb achievement, in a field full of extremely talented pipers. Robbie was awarded the accolade after competing in the competition’s Grand Final at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. There were four heats of fierce competition, with the four finalists vying for victory in front of a panel of secret judges. This young man is definitely one to watch in the future.


House Music Yet another success! This year’s house music underscored the breadth of talent, diversity, musical ability and showmanship at Strathallan. Healthy competition between the houses was alive and well and there were excellent performances in all aspects of the show, from house choir to ensembles and soloists. Many thanks go to Stuart Cassells, the founder of the famed Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who, not knowing the spirit and musical strengths of the event, had the most difficult job that night in adjudicating each exceptional performance. Stuart’s positive insight in the field of music came across in his professional judgement and his long standing experience within this industry. Congratulations go to Freeland and Thornbank who came away on top! Thornbank won four out of the six prizes which was a massive achievement considering they haven’t won house music trophies in a very long time. All the house music reps should pat their own backs for the superb results of all their effort. This is one of the highlights of Strathallian culture. It is most definitely an event for you to put in your diary next year! By Tanya Stephen, Upper Sixth


Riley – Strathallan’s Junior House It has been another extremely hectic term in Riley with pupils having the opportunity to excel in a wide range of activities, including the many fixtures over a wide range of sports. Term began with our new pupils’ and parents’ afternoon tea party where, with the help of existing pupils, we welcomed the new members of our community over the notoriously messy Strathallan strawberry tarts and with a variety of team building activities led by Mr Burnett. This provided all new parents with the opportunity to meet our new Headmaster and the Riley team. This was closely followed by our annual visit to Landmark in Carrbridge, where we all had the chance to get to know each other better in a relaxed and informal setting. Other events included the 1JJ visit to Scotland Street to experience life as a Victorian child, our Curriculum Day which this term was based around ‘Colour’, the Form I ‘Super Historians Lunch’, which was a huge hit, and our spooky Halloween party. We also held a ‘Riley Ramble’ for the first time, in aid of Children in Need. Over one hundred people turned out for what was not only a fun walk around our impressive grounds, but also raised a fantastic total of £1200. A huge thank you to everyone that came to support such a worthy cause. Music continues to flourish with all pupils having the opportunity to participate and showcase their talent in our Informal Concerts, the exceptional Musical Showcase, Piping and Drumming competitions, ABRSM and Trinity Music examinations, as well as our annual Fun with Pipes and Drums workshop. Sports have gone from strength to strength and many pupils have had team and individual success in a variety of sport ranging from rugby to swimming and badminton to equestrian. They have participated in the many events such as Tayside Schools Swimming Championships, Perth and Kinross Badminton Tournament and the Scottish Schools Biathlon. Inter-Divisional competitions have been as competitive as ever and the hockey and rugby competitions displayed the pupils’ developing skills; however, the highlight of the term for me must be the Divisional Plays, written by the children themselves, which continue to astonish and astound with their exceptionally high standard. The boarders had fun during their weekend outings, which included Craigtoun Country Park, Edinburgh Zoo, Swimming, the cinema and the Scottish Deer Centre. Christmas came very quickly upon as and our Christmas party and Christmas lunch celebrations were tinged with sadness as we had to say goodbye to Josh Silk-Jones and Sophy McCrae, our two gap students who went back to Australia for their studies. However, I know that we will all keep in touch and follow their successes. To end, I wish you all a good holiday and look forward to seeing you in January refreshed and ready for another busy term ahead. Mrs Emma Lalani, Riley Housemistress

Super Historians Challenge All of Form 1 were invited to a lunch organised by the History Department. When we arrived we were put into pairs and had to answer four quizzes which consisted of twelve questions each. We both came out on top. The reason we won was because we worked as a team and that is what Strathallan is all about – teamwork! By Archie McMichael and Stan Brodie


Landmark On the first Saturday of term, two buses drove all of Riley to Landmark Forest Adventure Park. There were many rides to choose from, but most people ran to the huge waterslides. At the end of the day we had to leave to go home. Everyone had a great day, but were sad it was over. By Emma Fordyce, Form 2

Riley Ramble In mid-October, Riley House took part in a fundraising event for Children in Need – the ‘BBC Countryfile Ramble’. It was great afternoon in the fresh air with lots of chatter and laughter.


Riley - Sport In tennis, our Scottish Junior U12 Singles Champion, Marcus McLaren, was selected for the U12 Scotland Team in the Home Nations event where he won a silver medal. Annie Webster won the Fair Play Award in the North of Scotland competition where she was also runner up in both the U12 singles & doubles events. Annie was also invited to the Tennis Scotland Camp at the Scottish National Tennis Centre. Alexander English stared off the term well with a first place in the U14 Boys category at the Perth & District Championships. He also won the U12 Grade 4 competition in Stirling. Alexander and Annie Webster were both runners up in the Winter Regional County Competition at the end of November in the U12 singles. The future of Strathallan tennis is looking strong. Maisie Morgan, age 12, competed at an indoor GB ski-cross event this term where she won the female U16 category and was second female in the open category of the English Ski Cross championships which is a great achievement for the Second Former. Maisie also travelled to Saas Fee in Switzerland for a Ski Cross camp, training alongside the Swiss Ski Cross team. Rosalind Queen won her first gold medal in the 100m breaststroke and a bronze in the 200m backstroke at the Midlands Swimming Competition. At the Tayside Schools Championships Alexander English, Hamish Queen, Archie McMichael and Michael Akinje won gold in the U12 relay. Grace Akinje won silver in the 13/14 200m free and was selected to represent Strathallan in the Midlands Schools’ Swimming Championships in September where she achieved a personal best. In Biathlon Ruairidh Piper won best runner in the U11 category at the Scottish Schools Biathlon and was part of the winning U11 team along with Derek Mickel and Zac Mickel. Alasdair Turnbull was part of the winning U14 Junior team at the Scottish Schools Clay Pigeon Championships & Open Championships.


Hallowe’en The Riley pupils always enjoy the annual Hallowe’en party and this year the costumes were very impressive. After tea the children returned to the common room lit with Hallowe’en lights – a spooky sight! With the music blaring the costume parade began. Tutors, Gappies and visiting senior pupils judged the spectacle and prizes were given. Next, into divisions for the ‘mummy game’, more prizes and clearing up the toilet paper before refreshments and snacks and the Hallowe’en relay, ducking for apples and doughnuts on a string!

Riley Informals The Riley Informal Concert Season got off to a joyful start in September with a funky rendition of Sunshine in my Pocket sung and danced by the entire House, a number reprised with glee at the Senior House Music Competition. Riley Orchestra, with an intake of new members in all sections, were able to perform a piece after only three rehearsals, auguring well for the coming year. A range of solos further delighted and moved the audience; Struan Davie was captivating accompanied on piano by his elder brother. The November concert traditionally nods to St Andrew’s Day with a Scottish theme, and the debut performance of the Riley Pipe Band raised the chapel roof. This time the House sung a haunting harmony version of The Skye Boat Song. The newly formed folk band called Wee Folk joined the Jacobite rallying cry with renditions of Sound the Piobroch and The White Cockade. It wasn’t all old school as William Cuthill had the audience clapping along to 500 Miles on electric guitar. Featured woodwind soloists, Emily Pearson and Angus Gibson showed the high standard achievable within a term. At the other end of the learning scale Eric Moody, a beginner violinist of only one month, charmed the audience with his stage presence and ability. Another rare treat emerged when Lucy Ward on tenor horn was accompanied on piano by her classmate Mia Lalani, not something one often hears of at this level. The children of Riley House supported each other with endearing enthusiasm. By Mrs Sim Sayce, Assistance Director of Music


Riley Curriculum Day On Friday 6th October, it was Riley Curriculum Day. This only happens twice a year and the theme for this one was colour. We went round in our divisions and explored four different aspects of colour. We went to art where Mr Tod planned a colour wheel, built out of painted patterns. Once put together, the colour wheel was chosen to be the artwork for this year’s school Christmas card. Next there was computing where Miss Laurie and Mr Gardiner taught us how to write our names in Baudot Code. After that we went to Science and Mrs Summersgill started off with demonstrating fire experiments. Then we used links to paint leaves and decorated heat-sensitive paper. Finally we went to English where we lay down onto the floor and Mrs Salisbury took us through a breathing exercise. Then we got split into four groups and made our won colour poems of posters. It was a great day! By Grace Akinje and Sophie Wallwork

Riley - Art During the first part of this term, 1JJ explored and discovered the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, learning about pharaohs, gods, tombs and mummification. All of it while learning new techniques, reviewing new materials and developing their skills in the Art Department. At the end of the project, they all dressed up as powerful pharaohs and warriors and got together to take a selfie with Mr. Lopez to celebrate the success in their learning journey through Egypt. Art were thrilled to get involved in the excitement of Hallowe’en and Day of the Dead and organised a pumpkin carving competition for our Rileyites. Emma Fordyce took home the Pumpkin Cup for a very frightening (but beautiful) design. Well done Emma! In Art Club, Riley pupils from 1JJ and 1J impressed Mr. Lopez with their imaginative candy skull designs and their monoprint works which showcased one of the most significant traditions in Mexican culture in a very meaningful, colourful and expressive way. Great seasonal works from pupils across all years. We’re looking forward to their next inspiring creations. 18

School Play “The Importance of Being Earnest” “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” “Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary we all carry about with us.” “A handbag!” These famous quotations are just a few from Oscar Wilde’s most popular work, “The Importance of Being Earnest”. And the witty farce has formed this term’s Senior School play. It was last performed at Strathallan fifteen years ago. It has been a delightful experience to revisit it for a new generation of young people. After the large cast of last year’s “A Christmas Carol”, this production had nine actors who rose to the challenge of tackling Wilde’s sparkling analysis of polite society in 1895. Jack and Algernon, two society friends who, it turns out, are brothers, were played by actual brothers, Morgan and Dylan Patterson, and their girlfriends, Gwendolen and Cecily, by Beth Thornton and Alexis Fletcher-Pyle. The outrageous Lady Bracknell of handbag fame was performed by Ella England and Miss Prism and Dr Chasuble by Anna Moody and Tanya Stephen. Josh Mitchell and Aidan Fuge were butlers, Lane and Merriman. The School is once again indebted to Strathallian, Oliver Beetschen for his help in designing and constructing the set. Amy Keir (stage manager), Ellen McDonald and the stage crew did an excellent job in running the show backstage. “Earnest” was directed by Mrs Catherine Howett and Mrs Irene McFarlane, whose daughter, Ishbel, directed it while in Lower Sixth, fifteen years ago. Those for whom their memories (the diaries they carry about with them!) are particularly sharp, might have recognised the furniture on the stage, as it was used in that previous production as well, “has been, once again borrowed” from the McFarlane household.


Sport National Selection in Rugby League Upper Sixth pupil Cairn Ramsay was selected for Scotland U19 Rugby league team to compete against Cumbria U19 at the end of September where the Scotland team won the match 34-32.

Scottish Junior S3 Boys Hockey competition

Scottish Saltires Baithlon Champions

The junior boy’s hockey team performed extremely well to make it to the semi-finals of the Scottish S3 Cup where they played against George Watson’s. It was a very competitive match and the team can be proud of the 2-1 result in favour of George Watson’s. This is certainly a team to watch next term.

There were some exceptional results in the Scottish Saltires Biathlon Chmapionships this term with Derek Mickel, Ruaridh Piper and Zac Mickel won gold in the U11 boys category and Jonathan Wong, Alex Cosano Bofill and Sandy Aitken won gold in the U19 boys team category. Individually Derek won a bronze, Jonathan won gold, Alex silver and Sandy bronze in the U19 category and Campbell Hay on gold in the U17 category.

Girls Hockey Lisa Biermann, Steph Craig, Georgia Glen, Flora May Hamill, Emilia Leue and Steph Wright were selected for Midland U16 girls hockey and Izzy Folan, Darcy McDermott and Anna Penas for Midland U18 where they went on to win gold medals at an Inter-district tournament in early October. The girls then went on to win the Midlands U18 District Indoor tournament at the beginning of December and qualify for the National Finals on the 28th January at the Bells Sports Centre, Perth. Strathallan girls have a strong record in indoor hockey having qualified for the National championships for the last ten years. On four occasions in the past five years they have reached the Grand Final, winning in 2016 and runners-up in 2017. Izzy has also been selected for the Scottish Hockey National U18 Academy. In the Midland Junior Tournament this term the Strath Junior girls team finished 2nd. 20

Regional Badminton Champions

Tayside Schools Championships

Fifteen players represented Strathallan at the Perth & Kinross Badminton Championships this term resulting in three championship titles. Echo Wang won Senior Girls singles, Echo and Tanya Stephen won the Senior Girls doubles event and Jemima Forrest-Smith won the Intermediate Girls singles event.

At the Tayside Schools Championships, 32 Strath swimmers competed achieving a total of 37 medals including 15 golds, 10 silvers and 12 bronze medals.

Scottish Vaulting Champion Atholl Pettinger became the Scottish Junior Male Individual Vaulting Champion this term and went on to become the Junior Pas de Deux champion at the same event.

Boys Hockey This term George Culley, Finn Donnelly, Struan Griffiths, Charlie Webster and Peter Wallwork represented Midland U16 boys hockey at an Inter-district tournament and Angus Marden represented U18. Struan captained the U16 team and has been selected into the Scottish Hockey U16 Academy as a result of his performance.

Regional Selection in Rugby In regional selection for rugby, George Ratcliffe and Cameron Paterson were selected for the BT Sports Scottish Rugby Academy Regional West U16 team and Cameron Henderson, Alex Marsh, Ollie Smith, Yanick Sutcliffe and Angus Vipond were selected for the West U18.


Clay Pigeon Champions Guided by coaches Eddy Buchan and Paul Vallot, the School team swept the board at the recent Scottish Schools Clay Championships. Lewis Turnbull captained the Clay Pigeon Boys A team to victory in the Scottish Schools Open & Flush competitions along with team mates Douglas Stirrat, Iain Galloway, Finlay Laird and Rhys Havard. Rhys also won the High Gun in a shoot off against Lewis. In the Open competition the girls team beat Millfield for the first time. Jack O’Brien, Hamish Allan, Hamish White, Ayrton de Cecco and Archie Fitchner-Irvine won the Boys B team event and Harriot Clark and Jamie Fraser won the High Gun Trophies.

Tennis At the end of September twelve players entered the Perth & District Championships with impressive results. Alexander English won the U14 boys event, Adrianna Gibson won the U16 girls with Nicola McArthur was runner-up and in the U16 boys event Ossie Smith was also a runner-up.


Equestrian Over two hundred riders from eighteen different schools gathered for the Strathallan School’s Individual and Team show jumping competition at Highfield Equestrian Centre, Howe of Fife in October. Rowan Laird, Stephanie Craig, Amelia England and Brook Walker won the 1m class with Millie Wilson, Flora Wilson, Louise Brewis and Brook Walker (on her second horse) coming second in the same event. Congratulations also goes to Millie who won the individual show jumping in the 1m class. Hugh Nichol also represented Scotland in the Nations Cup at the National Schools Equestrian Association annual championships in Buckinghamshire. The Scotland team won the event.

Sports Camps Looking for activities to occupy your children during the holidays? Then why not check out our range of sports and activities camps. There is something for everyone, whether you are beginner looking to try something new or a highperformance athlete looking to further develop skills, our expert coaches are on hand to help. For those wishing to try their hand at a variety of sports and activities our multi-sports camp is perfect and we also offer hockey, tennis and rugby camps and this year will have introduced a rugby camp for girls due to an increase in the popularity of the sport. Please check out our website for more details



Continuing her impressive performance in fencing again this year Ariana Serafinceanu was runner up at the Scottish Schools Championships at the end of November. Ariana fought extremely well and only lost narrowly in the final.

Imogen McMichael was selected to join the Netball Scotland East Development Academy this season. Three teams have won the District stage of the Scottish Cup and have qualified for the Regional stage.

Girls Football


Strathallan enter the Independent Schools U13 Girls Tournament for the first time and despite losing their three games it has inspired a whole host of young girls to join the football team.

The boys 1st V are having an excellent term winning all three of their group stages to win the Regional stage of the Scottish Cup. They will go on to play Alford Academy at the beginning of next term.

National Representation in Skiing Lower Sixth pupil Tom Crockart has been selected to represent Scotland at 2018 World Schools Alpine Championships in France. This event is held every two years and Tom is following in the footsteps of other Strathallian skiers who have competed in these Championships.


Summer successes Just because the school is on holiday over the summer does not mean that our pupils stop competing, performing and achieving, and this summer was no exception with a lot of exciting news to report. Budding young talent on the Scottish music scene, Daisy Richards had a busy summer. Daisy attended the International Summer Courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland playing both violin and viola. She was part of the Haydn String Quartet at “Play On” - playing Brahms Violin Concerto in D, Op77, alongside world famous Nicola Benedetti. Daisy also worked with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland. In sport there were a number of sporting successes. Dylan Sommerville became Scottish Junior Champion 4 x 100 relay. In rugby, Alex Marsh attending the Scotland U16 training camp in Spain, Angus Vipond, Yanick Sutcliffe, Oli Smith, Finlay Laird, Tom Clark played for Caledonia U18 and Peter Wallwork for Caledonia U16. In touch rugby Lisa Walker, Kate Fawcett and Gabi Adams represented Scotland in the Mixed U18 team at the Junior World Touch Championships in Dublin. Struan Griffiths represented Scotland U16 boys hockey team in the Great Britain Futures Cup. Rowan Laird competed for Scottish U18 eventing team, Brook Walker competed for Scotland in the British Show jumping Inter-Academy Pony Championships in which she won both the 80cm and 90cm classes. Sophia Henderson also competed for Scotland in the 95cm British Show jumping Inter-Academy horse class. Hugh Nichols competed at the Pony Club National Championships in Novice Eventing where he finished on the podium in 3rd place. Hugh was also selected to ride for Scotland in the ‘Nations Cup’ National Schools Show jumping Championships in Buckinghamshire this term where Hugh and the team won. Hugh was also part of the winning Scottish team at the recent Nations Cup in Buckinghamshire and was the first pupil from Strathallan to attend the National Schools Equestrian Association Championship at Addington Manor which was quite an achievement especially when he came away with a victory! In canoe slalom, Laura Pottinger is following in her sister and former pupil Natasha’s footsteps when she became Scottish J14 Champion in C1 category and 2nd in K1. Lewis Turnbull joined former pupil Alisdair Lightbody in the Scotland team at the U20 World Championships over the summer holidays.

Musical Theatre Congratulations to Isabella England, Rachel Hamilton, Anna Clark and Tanya Stephen who have all been awarded their Diploma in Musical Theatre from the London College of Music.

LAMDA There was once again an excellent set of results in the LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams taken by our Fifth and Sixth Form pupils in October, with almost all achieving Distinction. The top marks went to Rachel Foulsham in Gold Medal Speaking in Public and to Beth Thornton in Bronze Medal Acting. Silver Medals in Acting went to Ella England, Darcy McDermott and Josh Mitchell. Bronze Medals in Acting were achieved by Ellie Nielsen, Bryony Barclay, Sheena McArthur and Jade Paterson. There were also Distinctions awarded in Speaking in Public (Bronze) with four Ruthven boys achieving medals: Alexander Bergin, Kyle Fleming, Marcus Wylie and Kieran Fowlie. Anna Nunan was awarded Distinction for Grade 6 Reading for Performance. 24

Strathallan Charities Committee The committee comprises a representative from each house including Riley and aims to organise events throughout the school year. The charities are selected at the beginning of the school year from the committee members who each have a vote – this year we are featuring CHAS, Alzheimer’s Society, CATH, Health in Mind and Cancer Research but it is not an exclusive list with the possibility of other charities having one off events such as Children in Need for a Riley Ramble or SSAFA on Remembrance Day. The idea is to target certain school events such as House Music or the School Play and make an appeal for a particular charity but other events have included a Christmas Jumper Day, Donut Days, and various individual house fundraisers. This year our ambitious target is £7500 from all fundraising. We have been fortunate that so many organisations have contacted the school to ask for help with their particular charity and often they have the opportunity to come to school and share information with the pupils at a Chapel Service or Assembly. It is a hardworking committee with many ideas and a great deal of time invested in holding buckets – commitment from the pupils is expected and shown abundantly! By Rev. Wylie

CCF Sailing Award Charlotte Donnelly and Eve Gilmour won bronze medals at the CCF Scottish Sailing Regatta which was a great achievement since they had never sailed together before.

CCF Navy A group of Fourth Form Navy cadets took part in a CCF Navy Field Day aboard HMS Archer on the Firth of Forth. This was a great opportunity for our cadets to spend an afternoon at sea with the Navy and they took full advantage of the experience. After a tour of the boat they had the opportunity to speak with the serving sailors, command the boat, man the helm and learn about the Radar system.

Charity We were thrilled to welcome Alison Rennie from CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland) to the School this week. CHAS is a charity that has been offering a full family support service for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions, for over twenty years. This includes palliative care, family respite and support – through their hospices, homecare services and hospital presence. Mrs Rennie delivered an inspiring talk about the charity, some of the work involved within it, and how we as a School can help spread the message about its benefits. Strathallan has been a supporter of CHAS for many years, and we were delighted to be able to hand over a cheque for over six hundred pounds to Mrs Rennie, raised by pupils at the School.


Alumni David Pighillls Room We were delighted to hold a lunch to celebrate the naming of the downstairs Music Room in honour of David Pighills. Unfortunately David was unable to join us on the day due to illness, but many happy reminiscences where shared. David was educated at Rydal School and Christ’s College, Cambridge. He became a Housemaster at Fettes College, where he taught for 15 years, before joining Strathallan as Headmaster in 1975. Under his leadership, Strathallan underwent a period of significant growth and development, which included enhancements to the classrooms; the modernisation of old buildings; the provision of new ones; and the reestablishment of specialist departmental teaching facilities. Staff housing was also improved and seven new boarding houses with study bedrooms were built over a six year period, providing Houseparents’ accommodation within the boarding houses for the first time. However, David Pighills’ time as a Headmaster was about much more than the development of infrastructure and he was recognised for his progressive approach in many other areas. In 1979 Strathallan saw another significant milestone when it became one of the first Scottish boarding schools to become co-educational, marked by the arrival of 14 girls, for Sixth Form. This helped to grow the school roll from 348 pupils (all boarding boys) in 1975 to 541 (175 of whom were girls) in 1993. Woodlands House, the first house for girls, was built in 1982. Having retired in 1993, David’s involvement with the School was renewed in 1999, when the Board of Governors invited him to return as Chairman. His appointment coincided with the arrival of a new Headmaster and marked the beginning of a period of sustained investment and modernisation that positioned Strathallan to the fore of independent education in Scotland, taking the School into its Centenary. At the time of stepping down as Chairman in 2004, David’s association with Strathallan spanned more than 30 years, overseeing many generations of pupils at Strathallan and making a contribution of unique and special significance both as Headmaster and as Chairman of the Governors. The naming of this room reflects the gratitude of the wider Strathallan community for his legacy and its enduring impact at the School.

Edinburgh Drinks Reception We were delighted to hold our Edinburgh Drinks reception in No 8 Lister Square, owned by Robert Reid (S ’82). Good food, wine and first class company, it was fabulous to catch up with many old friends and be reacquainted with others.


Under 30’s Drinks Reception We started the term with our youngest alumni gathered together in Glasgow. Wonderful to see so many familiar faces and catch up with all their plans and achievements since leaving School.

Over 60’s Lunch We held our first lunch for over 60’s in the New Club, Edinburgh in September this year. It was wonderful to have so many together and hear the tales of Strath in years gone by and the varied and wonderful paths people took following their time at Strath. A brilliant video taken by Brian Wingate of his time at Strathallan in the fifties had its first showing at the lunch, with some of the attendees spotting themselves. Such a fabulous record of the time, with many part of the School having barely changed since.


Strath Mum’s Cocktails and Conversation Mums travelled from far and wide for our cocktail evening in November. A great start to the Festive Season and a well-earned night out for all our fabulous mums.

Strathallan Mum’s Clay Pigeon Shooting Our first Clay Pigeon event for mums at Strathallan was such a success we held a second one! Many complete novices took part and under the expert tuition of our championship winning coaches all had successful shots.

Making Connections Gareth Watt is half way through the final year of his Economics Degree at the University of St Andrews and was looking to further his work experience portfolio to add to his CV. He is considering wealth management or financial consultancy as an option for a career and wanted to gain experience in a consultancy environment. He posted on StrathConnect and within a few days was contacted by Dr. Doug Forbes of Whole Life Consultants, a spin out company of the University of Dundee. Doug left Strathallan in XX and went on to study XXX at Y before undertaking a PhD in the Construction Management Research Unit at the University of Dundee. His expertise lies in sustainability assessment of the built environment in terms of social, economic and environmental aspects. Doug joined Whole Life Consultants in XXXXX . The company was founded in 2004, originally to commercialise the results of a major EPSRC funded programme “A Generic Approach to Whole Life Costing”, since which time its activities have subsequently expanded to encompass the commercialisation of all the intellectual property and expertise developed by the Construction Management Research Unit (CMRU). Drawing on this cutting edge research, the company has specialist expertise in the fields of construction productivity improvement, project cost and time modelling, whole life cost, value management, asset management and sustainability. Following an initial meeting Doug’s company has offered Gareth a three week work placement which he begins in January. StrathConnect is open to sixth former, alumni and parents please visit to join

Forgandenny, Perth PH2 9EG / T: 01738 812 546 /

Strathallan Newsletter Autumn 2017  
Strathallan Newsletter Autumn 2017