Happy New Year to all the Mearns Leader readers from the staff and pupils of Mill O’ Forest primary school!
The sparkle of the Christmas lights may be long gone and even though it has been dreich and wet since the turn of the year, there has been lots of colourful things going on at the school.
During January, the pupils throughout the school have been learning once again of the huge cultural influence of our National Poet, Robert Burns. Pupils from P2 to P7 have been learning poetry, not only from our Bard but also from more contemporary Scottish poets including James Robertson and JK Annand.
Mr Samways from the Stonehaven Fatherland Burns Club came to judge the finalists and pupils and staff enjoyed an Assembly of Culture on 25th January. The winners of the competition treated their fellow pupils to recitations of their poems. (A photo of the winners and their names is printed on page ?? of this edition.) Other pupils gave a display of Highland dancing along with music on the fiddle and once again the school kept a contemporary edge by singing The Proclaimers’ song “500 miles.” Culture, both old and new, was celebrated and enjoyed!
As we move into February, the days are getting slightly longer and staff and pupils can look forward to resuming their “Mill O’ Mile” scheme once again. Given the number of classes in school, it can be challenging to ensure that all pupils manage to secure their recommended weekly exercise of 2 hrs per week within the school’s gym hall. This timetabling challenge has been alleviated by the “Mill O’ Mile” scheme adopted by the school. This was based on an initiative from St. Ninians School In Stirling whereby pupils were encouraged to exercise regularly in the school grounds and “clock up” a mile.
When the weather allows, during class time the pupils at Mill O’ are accompanied by their class teacher and either walk or run around the school grounds. The pupils have adopted this scheme with great enthusiasm. It’s fun, free and based on a simple idea which encourages health and wellbeing which in turn, according to medical research, improves the pupils’ focus and concentration during learning hours. More mature readers will recall fond memories of days gone by when children were more physically active and ran about and around the streets. Alas times have changed! The concept of the “Mill O’ Mile” captures that well established idea of simple, regular outdoor physical exercise. The “Mill O’ Mile” also adopts the all-important sound bite of today’s world which appeals to the pupils.
Again, we see an example of how Mill O’ Forest Primary School continues to combine old and new activities for their pupils’ enjoyment and wellbeing. The school is truly following Robert Burns’ guidance within his lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” in that they are looking back fondly to established culture and values but always moving forward and adapting for the future.