Former Portlethen Academy pupil’s tasty accolade...

Ailsa Duncan

Ailsa Duncan

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A Portlethen Academy pupil has had her work recognised by winning the British Nutritional Foundation Drummond Award.

Ailsa Duncan, who left the school in June after completing her home economics advanced higher in S6, has won the award for her awareness of good practice in food and nutrition.

Her research looked into women’s knowledge of nutrition during pregnancy, and their understanding of the effects certain diet and lifestyle choices could have on both their health and the developing baby.

An extensive review of literature was carried out which enabled Ailsa to construct a realistic set of objectives from which she was able to develop her primary research. Questionnaires to 50 expectant women were distributed and completed, from which she was able to draw a range of conclusions and successfully meet her objectives.

Ailsa has now embarked on a BA degree in business at Strathclyde University. The course is diverse and she is hoping to link the skills and knowledge she will acquire with her passion for health when she graduates.

Ailsa will travel to London in November to receive her prize of £100 at the BNF Annual Day. She will be accompanied by her teacher, Carol Baxter, who will accept a prize of £200 in recognition of the home economics department’s support of Ailsa.

Headteacher Neil Morrison said: “Ailsa found the dissertation experience challenging but extremely rewarding.

‘‘She took real pride in her work and it enabled her to develop an excellent understanding of the subject matter as well as increasing her personal skills. The experience will be valuable at university and when she goes into employment.

‘‘It is fantastic to see both her hard work and Carol’s excellent teaching and support recognised by the British Nutritional Foundation. “

Ailsa said, “The Advanced Higher Health and Food Technology course was a great opportunity to develop my knowledge. The depth of thinking and analysis allowed me to work at a higher level to produce my dissertation.

“We worked in a small class of five students and we were all enthusiastic and keen to increase our understanding, supported by our wonderful teacher Carol Baxter who used creative and engaging techniques throughout our six years of study.’’

to encourage and prepare us fully.