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Challenge Café

Wallace Hall Primary 6 pupils demonstrated their caring side recently when they decided to organise a Challenge Café in order to raise money for charity. The challenge started with each child being allocated the sum of £5 as an interest free loan to grow into a profit that they could donate to whichever charity they chose. The children then had to decide whether they wanted to be a sole trader or whether they wanted to join others to work together as a group. They also had to choose to either make items for sale or to offer a service. The pupils put in a huge amount of effort into the event and a wide variety of stalls showcasing a terrific selection of attractive hand-made gifts such as

National Accordion Organisation - UK Accordion Championships

A small group of young accordionists from Wallace Hall travelled recently to represent Scotland at the NAO UK Accordion Championships held in Liverpool. The event, held in the Adelphi Hotel during the weekend of the 27th - 28th April, featured a host of talented accordionists from all over the United Kingdom competing in a variety of sections. The six young Wallace Hall musicians, all under sixteen years of age, comprised of Darroch Wood (S3), Kyle Anderson (S2), Daisy Arnold (S1), Kirsten Fergusson (P7), Euan Wilson (P7) and Aine O’Hara (P6). This was Darroch and Kyle’s fourth visit to a UK Accordion Championships and they were delighted this year to be awarded first place in the Higher I

Calcutta Cup

Wallace Hall pupils were delighted that the Calcutta Cup, the trophy presented to the winner of the annual Scotland/England rugby match, paid a visit to the school recently. Thanks to members of Dumfries Saints Rugby Club for bringing the Calcutta Cup into school and giving our keen rugby players the chance to see and admire this magnificent trophy.

Budding young engineers win at global FIRST® LEGO® League World Festival

108 teams from around the world took part in the global World Festival with team Glic from Wallace Hall Academy winning an award for their robot and their coach, Neil Corrigan, scooping the Best Coach Award. A team of young engineers from Wallace Hall Academy in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, have for a second year in succession won a prestigious award at the World Robotics Festival in Detroit. The World Festival saw the top 108 from 40,000 teams go head to head in competition. This year’s Glic (Gaelic for ‘wise’) team is made up of Olivia Andreasen, Alex Bramley, Emily Cochran, Sorcha Corrigan, Abi Fletcher, John McKay and Luke McKay. They were awarded third prize at the World Festival for the i

Moving on from Wallace Hall

To start the ‘moving on’ process for this year’s fantastic S6 pupils as they embark on the next stage in their lives, staff at Wallace Hall invited the entire year group to the Library at morning interval for coffee and home baking. This was an excellent chance for staff and pupils to spend some time sharing their memories and reflecting on the past six years at Wallace Hall Academy. That afternoon, parents and carers joined them for a leavers’ ceremony which was held in the Bailey Hall. Mr Arrowsmith, Acting DHT with responsibility for S6, guided the assembled audience through the packed programme for the afternoon which included a speech by Mr Graham, the ever popular Powerpoint present

Celebrating Success at Wallace Hall

On Wednesday 28th March, relatives, friends and pupils gathered for Wallace Hall Academy’s annual Senior Celebration of Success evening. The event is a highlight in the school calendar and this year’s ceremony was no exception. It was fantastic to welcome such a large number of guests who joined us in celebrating the achievements of our pupils. A buoyant atmosphere was set by S6 pupil and pianist, Declan McGarva. Declan played an original piece to accompany our award winners into the Bailey Hall. The audience was greeted by Mrs Robertson, PT Pupil Support, before Mr Blair officially started the evening with a welcome speech. Mr Blair’s speech highlighted an array of successes achieved b

Scottish Schools Burns Competition

Emily Kennedy, Lois Geddes and Priya Rome travelled to Irvine Royal Academy recently to represent Dumfries and Galloway schools at the national finals of the Scottish Schools Burns Competition. As you would expect at a national event, the standard was extremely high in all disciplines. Emily and Lois were both on sparkling form with Emily taking first place in the S5/S6 recitation category after her brilliant performance of ‘The Rights of Women’, and Lois winning first place in the S3/S4 category with her hilarious and well-pitched recitation of ‘The Braw Wooer’. Priya was competing in the instrumental section and delivered a very musical and rhythmically secure performance of ‘Gloomy Dec

Girls in Sport

In the past few years girls at Wallace Hall Academy have been getting much more involved with a variety of sporting activities with team sports such as netball, rugby, and football becoming particularly popular. Those taking part have really enjoyed the experience and reaped the rewards. Our girls’ netball teams have won many of their games this season and our girls’ rugby team won the regional tournament this year. Now that participation is on the increase it is important that this momentum continues. We would like to encourage all girls at Wallace Hall to take part in sport at whatever level they can. The benefits are huge in health and wellbeing as well as socially. Come on girls -

P7 pupils visit Edinburgh

Wallace Hall Primary 7 pupils enjoyed a fantastic visit to Edinburgh recently where they spent time visiting a variety of tourist attractions and cultural experiences. First on the agenda was a tour around the Scottish Parliament building where they learned about the history of the Scottish Parliament from 1235 to present day. They also learned about the roles of key figures such as the Presiding Officer and local MSPs as well as about devolved matters and how decisions are made. The pupils then moved on to Dynamic Earth where there are a plethora of activities and exhibits dedicated to telling the life story of planet. A visit to the theatre to see Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda, the Musical’ ro

Our new S6 Office Bearers

Congratulations to Josie Blount and Finlay Bainbridge who have been appointed as our new Head Girl and Head Boy for academic session 2019/2020 and also to Olivia Macklin and Fergus McVicar who have been appointed as their Deputes. The process began in March with all prospective candidates applying in writing to Mr Blair, stating why they thought they would be a suitable candidate for this important role. Five girls, Josie Blount, Poppy Hannah, Olivia Macklin, Anna Wilson and Ines Wood, and two boys, Finlay Bainbridge and Fergus McVicar, were selected to go through to the campaign stage where they delivered a presentation at three House Assemblies highlighting what contribution they have mad

S1 Science Trip

Last term the S1 pupils went on a school visit to the Glasgow Science Centre and I was invited to accompany them as a senior pupil helper. When we arrived, first on the agenda was a scientific show entitled “Fantastic Forces”. The show focused on the forces that are found around us in our daily life; gravity, thrust and air resistance. To demonstrate the effects of air resistance the presenter handed out balloons to show how the release of the air resulted in the balloon taking flight and whizzing around the room. This resulted in some laughs and giggles as the noise of 20 balloons letting out air filled the room! After the show the pupils were let loose to explore the first floor where the

Mr Blair pays a visit to Primary 1

Throughout the year, Mr Blair spends some time every week visiting all of our primary classes. Each class gets four consecutive weekly visits on a rolling programme. A few weeks ago it was the turn of the Primary 1 class where Mr Blair spent some time during his visit teaching the alphabet and working on an exercise on ‘Time to Rhyme’. Mr Blair said: “I really look forward to visiting our primary pupils. I am always made feel very welcome in all of the classes and it is a really good opportunity to see what learning is taking place across the school and get to know the pupils better.”

Learning about Space

Pupils at Wallace Hall Primary have been learning about space recently where their learning intention was to investigate how the height that you drop a ball from affects the size of the crater it makes. In order to visualise this, the class split up into groups to carry out an experiment using a tray of flour with a dusting of cocoa powder, dropping a marble from different heights to see if the size of the crater varied. The groups recorded their results, compared them and then had a discussion on ‘fair testing’ and variables that might affect results. Everyone in the class agreed that their practical experiment really helped them understand their learning intention.

Our eco-friendly entrepreneurs

Incrementum, this year’s Young Enterprise team from Wallace Hall Academy, decided to create a product that was eco-friendly and embraced recycling. After discussion as a team, they came up with the idea of making an adaptation on terrariums using small succulents planted in attractive re-cycled glass jars. Their end product fitted the brief of being eco-friendly as the plants have health benefits due to their ability to clear the air of harmful toxins. Incrementum’s manufacturing process began with Gregor Black, Head of Production, growing miniature succulents and spider plants. He then planted these into small glass jars that he collected from family, friends, staff and members of the loc


Wallace Hall Academy S6 pupils Eleanor, Emily, Freya and Eryn have been working on a year-long project "Reading Dr Grierson's Library" in partnership with CAMPLE LINE. They have worked closely with Tina Fiske from CAMPLE LINE to develop a creative installation inspired by the narratives of some of the books. Over spring, summer and autumn, small groups of senior pupils from Wallace Hall will read three books that were once in the library of Dr Grierson’s Museum in Thornhill (1872-1965). They will then develop creative projects based on those books, which will become part of the programme at CAMPLE LINE. Eleanor, Emily, Freya and Eryn have read extracts of Giovanni Belzoni’s A Narrative of th

Wallace Hall pupils achieve the Keep Scotland Beautiful Green Flag for environmental action

Wallace Hall Academy and Primary has been awarded the prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag Award, by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. Eco-Schools Scotland aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of all schools, for both pupils and for staff. It also provides a framework to engage the wider school community in action along with support aligned with the purposes of Curriculum for Excellence and Learning for Sustainability. Eco-Schools Scotland offers schools a choice of ten topics to engage with, from food and the environment, to litter, to energy. Wallace Hall Academy and Primary chose to focus on “Waste minimisation” by making sure

Ski Trip 2019

After a year’s wait, Wallace Hall’s much anticipated ski trip set off at 03:00 on Saturday 2nd March. We flew from Glasgow to Grenoble before boarding our coach for Hotel Olympic, Serre Chevalier. Upon our arrival, having settled into our rooms, we began the long process of trying on boots and having our skis fitted. The next morning our teachers dragged us out of bed and we changed into our boots and clothes. Now fully awake, we were excited about our first day on the slopes. We made our way to the cable car where we were introduced to our wonderful instructors: Clementine, Baptiste (Big Bap), Luca, Olivier and Phillipe. We were split into groups of ten and set off skiing. By lunchtime we

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