Kilmarnock Academy - News Archive Aug 2007 to June 2008                  

June 2008


The happy faces below were pictured on the morning of Friday 27th June 2008, with only a few hours to go till the start of the summer break. Were they looking forward to the holidays? What do you think?

Photos by Euan McIlvanney (new S4)


 From the end of this month some of  our more experienced staff will be  retiring. (Clockwise from right) Mr  Partridge, Mrs Cairney, Mr Hill, Mr  McCormick and Dr Neilson will all  begin a well-earned rest. Everyone  at K.A. wishes them a long and  happy retirement.


 Scottish Youth Theatre will be running summer courses during the  month of July in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The courses are  aimed at young people aged 12-15 who are interested in the performing  arts or are interested in learning and developing new theatre skills. The  courses last two weeks and cost £250 - funding advice is available.

 For more information and an application form, telephone Scottish Youth  Theatre on 0141 552 3988. Applications can also be downloaded from


 Dance Summer Courses – Kilmarnock (Mrs Miller)
 Application forms are available at PE for pupils interested in this summer  activity. Places are limited and are on a “first come” basis. The weeks  activities will include a wide range of dance styles. This course is free!  Get you application form as soon as possible.

 Competition (Mrs Ford)
 The BBC has launched a competition to find the best young speaker in  Britain . If you are interested in this please see  or email

 Uniform (Mrs Ford)
 There will be a check of uniform shortly. If you wear inappropriate  clothes to school you may be sent home or to the behaviour unit.  Shorts are not acceptable as school uniform. Skirt and trousers only  are school uniform.

 For more details and events click here.


The Kilmarnock Academy Prizegiving Ceremony took place on Monday 16th June 2008. For details of the event and the list of pupils who received prizes and certificates click here.


This year's school show was performed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, starting at 7.30pm each night. All of the preparation and hard work put in by the cast, the production team, the technical support team and the band paid of as the show was a colourful and spectacular success.


Information for S4, S5 and S6 pupils

Results of examinations

Your have all received information from the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding how to receive your exam results online or by text message.

Follow the instructions in the leaflet but note the following points:

  • The results will be available on MySqa, part of the SQA website
  • You must register for this service
  • If you registered last year you must still register again this year
  • You need an email address. This is necessary even if you wish to receive your results by text message
  • You must register by 21 st July
  • You must activate your account by 28 th July

The results will be available from Tuesday 5 th August, between 8am and 9am .

On Monday the 9th of June, the final of the East Ayrshire Readers' Cup was held at Cumnock Academy. This competition was established by East Ayrshire school librarians to promote reading. It is now in its fourth year. The quiz consists of five rounds of ten questions each and this year's themes were Lucky Dip, Fantasy, Philip Pullman, Books as Films and Book Covers. At the end of the Fourth Round, we were in second place but, alas, Book covers were too difficult and Cumnock Academy just pipped us by half a mark. The end result was that we were fourth as we have been for each year of this competition. This year, the winners were Auchinleck Academy with a resounding 45 out of 50 marks and they will host the competition next year. 

Report by Dr Neilson


The Kilmarnock Academy Prizegiving Ceremony will take place on 16th June 2008. For details of the event and the list of pupils who will be receiving prizes and certificates click here.


Three suggestions for possible addition to your famous former pupils page -

Andrew McLellan - HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Scotland, and a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Andrew attended the Academy from 1955 to 1960/61.

John Miller, another former Moderator of the General Assembly, and a distinguished parish minister in Castlemilk until his retirement.  John is now in Zimbabwe.

Coincidentally, both John's father and Andrew's were ministers in the West High Church.

And thirdly, Davy Brown artist - see his website for details.  Davy left the Academy in the late 1960's.


Stewart Roy (Kilmarnock Academy, 1955 to 1961).

May 2008


 Kilmarnock v Falkirk, Sat 17th May, Rugby Park - 3pm KO
 In a bid to bring the kids back to Rugby Park to cheer on the team in  the last game of the season, Kilmarnock FC cut their prices to £1  admission for all children under 16
. Those who took advantage of the  offer saw Killie beat Falkirk 2-1.

 Supporters also enjoyed pre-match entertainment behind  the Moffat  Stand - including fastest shot, face painting, balloon  modelling and  much more.


 With S5 & S6 now on exam leave and S4 exams already underway, we  would like to remind all our senior pupils that there are various  resources on the website that can help you revise and increase your
 chances of success. (And don't let the sunshine - or the football -  keep you from your mission!)

 We would also like to say Good Luck! to all those pupils who will be  leaving us this summer and wish them All the best for the future!


Apologies to all concerned for the delay in updating the Former Pupils' Notice Board. Our recent additions to this page include Jim Gilmour (Ayr) who sent us some great photographs of life at K.A. in the 1940's, Brother Andrew (South Africa), Graham Stuart Brown (Germany) and, from recent times, Christopher Duthie (Australia). Thanks to all of the above for getting in touch with us.

You will also find some interesting new content on the recently updated Feedback page.


The registration system for emailed or texted results is now open      

•  Go to  

•  You need your candidate number and an email address

•  You must register again even if you registered last year


 On Thursday, 1st May 2008, we received the following e-mail:

 A friend gave me a book called: 'Cyclopedia of Female Biography'  Edited by H. G. Adams Glasgow Robert Forrester, Stock[page  damaged] 1866 What may interest you about it is that it was given to  a Kilmarnock Academy 'first class' student, Maggie King, in June 1869,  for winning 1st place in an arithmetic competition. There is an award  form adhered to the inside cover with this information filled in and  then signed by "Thomas Lee F.H[or]K. A.S., Master" of the Commercial  and Mathematics Department.

 Someone loving carried the book with them across the ocean to the  United States, perhaps Ms King herself.

 The book is now in a fragile state so I plan to donate it to the New  England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts, for  safe-keeping. However, I have scanned the inside cover for your  benefit. The scan is attached as is a transcription of the award.

 I hope the Academy appreciates this small piece of history and what it  must have gone through.

 Sincerely, Julia

 Our thanks to Julia for sending us this special piece of K.A. history.


 Congratulations to our former Head Teacher, Frank Donnelly, who is one  of two new Deputy Lieutenants for Ayrshire & Arran. We wish him well  in his new post.

 Since retiring in 1997, Frank has kept himself busy and is an active and  well-known member of the community. He is currently chair of the  Darvel Improvement Group Heritage Committee, vice-chair of Darvel  Community Council, editor of the Irvine Valley Times and a member of  Loudoun Valley Trust. In between times, he manages to fit in a few  rounds of golf, some hill-walking, a spot of gardening and journeys to  foreign lands. (But what do you do in your spare time, Frank?)

 As well as attending K.A. as a pupil, Frank taught at K.A. from 1964 to  1977 and was Head Teacher until 1997.


 We recently received an e-mail from Dr James Gilmour, offering us some  pictures taken during his time at Kilmarnock, from 1936 - 1944.  Needless to say, we accepted Dr Gilmour's kind offer as we were keen  to get a glimpse of life at K.A. during that period. The pictures he sent  us are so good that we have put them on display, for the world to  see. You can view them by clicking here.
 If you have any old photos of life at K.A. then please get in touch.

 We would like to thank Dr Gilmour (pictured left),who now lives in Ayr,  for his very special  contribution to KA Web.                                  

 N. McIlvanney

The Awards Ceremony

 Casey McDaid of 3S2 has scooped a national poetry prize for her  poem highlighting the evils of racism.

 The competition, organised by Show Racism the Red Card and the  Educational Institute of Scotland, is an annual event open to all  schools in Scotland and Casey's poem has won the Secondary  section.

 She has netted £750 worth of prizes for the school and a football-  related prize for herself, to be awarded at a grand prize-giving  ceremony at Hampden on Wednesday, 19 th March. As well as having  the chance to meet football stars, she and her invited guests will be  given a tour of Hampden prior to the ceremony.


 There are a number of things to thank pupils for this week.

 Many thanks to the performers and organisers of last week's  alternative Easter concert, especially to Amy Bromley and Rachel  Tesfaye. It was a great night.

 Thank you to everyone who helped with the P7 Open Evening.  Parents  were very impressed with the helpers in departments and the  tour  guides.

 Thanks also to the performers in this week's Easter concert. It was  excellent.

 Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the Malawi appeal,  either  by bringing in materials, donating money or both. Your  generosity is  much appreciated and will make a difference to people's  lives.

 Mrs Ford


Since leaving Kilmarnock Academy, Jan Patience has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years, writing for a wide and diverse range of publications.

She started her writing career on Business Scotland magazine in 1986 and quickly became Scotland's youngest-ever female editor. Spells on staff at the Sunday Mail , TV Quick and Business am followed. She was editor of the Daily Record 's award-winning Saturday magazine and was also launch editor of the wedding magazine I do! She has also been a part-time editor of a national monthly magazine about the paranormal, Beyond .

Currently freelance, she is a regular contributor to The Herald and Homes & Interiors Scotland , specialising in writing about Scottish contemporary art.

The following article appeared in The Herald Arts supplement on 15 March 2008. It is reproduced here with permission gratefully acknowledged.

Neil Dickson

A MASTER'S CLASS - a former teacher gets his due.      by Jan Patience

There are thousands of adults who owe a debt of gratitude to the guidance of art teachers in Scotland's secondary schools. These teachers were also painting away in their free time, honing and developing their skills while also encouraging several generations of children. Many of their pupils went on to find work in the visual arts business, while others were simply brought out of themselves by the creative atmosphere and people they found in the art rooms. (To read on click here.)


Portpatrick Sunset
Jim Wylie
Flow Country


East Ayrshire recently celebrated the opening of a new Local Heroes exhibition in Kilmarnock's Dick Institute. The exhibition was created by East Ayrshire school pupils who contributed pieces of work featuring some of their own personal Local Heroes, including author and K.A. former pupil, William McIlvanney.

Among those who attended the exhibition were Willie Coffey MSP, Cathy Jamieson MSP, actress Gwyneth Guthrie, cartoonist Malky McCormick, footballer Rose Reilly, ex-footballer, MBE and Cumnock school janitor Billy Smith and also prize-winning artist Eoghann MacColl.


Local art pupils were recently given the chance to display their work to a wider audience.

Councillor Iain Linton, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, formally opened East Ayrshire Schools ' Art and Design Exhibition in the Dick on February 1.

He praised the quality of the artwork and the creativity of the young artists from schools across the authority: Kilmarnock , Grange, James Hamilton, St Joseph 's, Loudoun, Stewarton, Cumnock, Auchinleck and Doon Academies and Park School .

He also highlighted the work done by pupils who attended art and design summer school in Kilmarnock Academy and who created the theatrical masks and head-dresses on display.

The young artists and parents attended the opening. Invited guests also included MSP Willie Coffey, Depute Provost John Campbell, Leader of the Council Douglas Reid, Cllr Jim Roberts, Clllr Kathy Morrice and Cllr Jim Todd. Also present were Executive Director of Education Graham Short, Head of Schools (Acting) Kenneth McKinlay and Creative Links Officer John Wilson.

The exhibition was co-ordinated by Cultural Co-ordinator Elaine Scott (Creative Minds).

Excellent paintings, ceramics and head-dresses created by the young people will remain on display in the Young People's Gallery in the Dick until May 2008.

Thanks to Elaine Scott for report & pictures

March/April 2008


In order to provide support during the run up to the May exams, an Easter Study programme will be running again this year. Click here for details. Also, check out the following resources:

English Higher/Int. 2 Study Guide
Helping your child to Revise at Home  
S4 Revision Schedule
S4 Standard Grade English - A Study Guide


 The school was closed on Friday 21 March and Monday 24 March for  the Easter weekend. Hope you had a good weekend and didn't overdo  the chocolate eggs.
 Mrs Ford


 Congratulations and many happy returns to Mr Reid who celebrated his  fiftieth birthday on Thursday, 20th March. It's hard to believe that it is  fifty years since that bright light was seen in the sky over Coatbridge -  Jim believes it was a star but the rest of us think it was a spaceship.  Anyway, Jim has packed a lot into his 50 years - climbing Everest,  swimming the Channel, wrestling polar bears.... and he always wakens  up in time to come to his work. To be fair, he has been to Iceland - he  reckons they do the best frozen chips.

 One of Jim's pupils told him the other day, "Sir, you're having us on -  you don't look as though you're fifty!"
 Jim, who was starting to feel good at this point said, "So what age do  you think I look?"
 "About 48.... Aye, round about 48...."
 (To view the celebrations click here.)

Jim as a baby (he really hasn't changed much)

Jim (extreme left) hanging out with his mates in the seventies

Jim relaxing at home

 Stevie Smith, Crew Commander with the Deliberate Fire Reduction Task  Force, has asked us to let you know about a Martial Arts Exhibition,  taking place in aid of Children  with Cancer (Malcolm Sargent House,  Prestwick). Details:
 Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock  
 Wednesday 26th March, 7.30pm - 10.00pm
 Tickets - £5.00 From the box office - 01563 554901
 There will be 9 Martial Arts and 2 World Champions on show.


The S3 Industrial Awareness Day was held on Thursday 6 th March. Advisers from the business world came to help and there were 14 groups coming to grips with “What is Industry?”. The first activity was making a poster and naming their company. The second activity was the Mini Burger Extravaganza. Both these activities were done in classrooms and each group had to present their work to another group.

In the afternoon all the groups met in the Hall for the JotPad exercise. Each group had a contract to fulfil and try and make the most money. Fortunately this year, nobody ran at a loss and the winning group was group I. The winning pupils were Shaun Gouck, Jordan Miskiw, Jack Mair, Aimee Parnaby, Bernard Dorrans, Bradley Craig, Daniele McIntyre and Scott Dobson. Each pupil won a certificate, allowing free access to the end of term activities. Well done!

The advisers were very positive in their feedback and one wrote “the pupils were a credit to themselves, their teachers, the school and the community”  Great stuff!

I would like to thank all who helped on the day. The Ayrshire Chamber helped get advisers and Claire and Sam came as Buyers for the JotPad exercise. Former teachers Paul Crankshaw, John Harris and Jim Lawson joined us as Buyers too. Many thanks to them.

A big thank you to Carol Armstrong for her work leading up to and on the Industrial Awareness Day itself.

Report by L Hamilton

(Photos of the event will be uploaded later this week.)


The second author to visit local schools as part of this year's Spring Read Festival was Cathy Cassidy from Dumfries and Galloway. Seventeen S1 pupils, who had all read Cathy Cassidy, went to hear her on Thursday March the 6th, World Book Day, at Stewarton Academy with Dr. Neilson and Mrs. Thomson. Pupils from Cumnock, Loudon, St. Joseph's and Stewarton Academies were also present.

Dr J Neilson


What a fantastic website! Well done! I feel I know such a lot more now about the school my Grandmother attended as a pupil and then as a teacher. Her name was Mary Mitchell Muir Badger (born 1885) and her strength was in English. In fact she once bought a book (written by a prominent politician) specifically to correct his grammar in red pen and then sent it back to him! She was obviously well taught!

I have quite a number of old photographs from about the turn of the century and wondered whether they would be of interest to you? In return, it would be wonderful to see any memorabilia you may have associated with Mary Badger. I did once come to look at school registers to research her as a child, and also the Craig children who all attended there too. You may like to know that the man she married, Hugh Morton Craig of Deanhill, was awarded the OBE in 1919 - another success story for the Academy!!

Best wishes,


Thanks for the info on the dynamic character of Mary Badger, the offer of old photographs and the compliments on the website. I have forwarded your e-mail to Dr Neil Dickson (our unofficial school historian) and our librarian, Dr June Neilson to see if we have any material in our archives that would be of interest to you. Thanks again.

Neil McIlvanney


This year is the Second Spring Read festival set up by the secondary school librarians of East Ayrshire in order to promote reading and to celebrate the World Book Day. The librarians secured funding to allow four Scottish authors to visit our schools. From our school, some S3 pupils went to the Grange Academy on the 4 th of March to hear Janet Paisley deliver her dramatic monologues, present her poems and talk about her writing.

Report by Dr J Neilson


The school librarians of East Ayrshire established the East Ayrshire Readers' Cup in 2005 in order to promote reading by means of a children's' literary quiz. Each participating school sends a team of 4 pupils drawn from S1 and S2 with a mixture of boys and girls. The school teams are chosen after a series of rounds held in each school. The First Round was held around Christmas time when each S1 and S2 pupil took part in a literary quiz of twenty questions. The best four of each class formed the team for the Second Round.

On Tuesday March the 4th the Second Round was held in the Assembly Hall amongst S1 pupils. Each class had a team of four pupils who had to answer ten questions on four themes. This year, the themes were Comics/Superheroes, Roald Dahl, Sports and Lucky Dip. 1P3 won after leading from the beginning. The quiz mistress was the school librarian who asked the questions. Whilst S6 pupils marked each round, children's' literary questions were put to the audience for spot prizes. On Friday March the 6 th , the Second Round was held amongst the S2 pupils. Their themes were Crime/Detective Stories, Scottish Connections, Darren Shan and Lucky Dip.

Report by Dr J Neilson


 Some of you will recall the presentation we featured on KA Web in  December 2007 on Czech Christmas Traditions. That presentation was  created by our Czech student, Jana Sklenickova, who has now left us  to return to her studies in the Czech Republic.  Before leaving  us, Jana  put a lot of time and effort into preparing The Czech  Education  System and La Navidad en Espagna - Spanish Christmas  (the latter  will be appearing on KA Web shortly). We would like to thank  Jana for  her contributions and hope that her return to Prague isn't too  big a  letdown after experiencing the nightlife in Stewarton.


 The Global Group are looking at developing a link with a  school/community in Malawi. In conjunction with this, Lainshaw Primary  School in Stewarton are looking for items to ship to Malawi . If you  have anything from the list below that you feel would be  appropriate  to donate please bring it in and leave it at the school  reception no  later than Wednesday 5th March.

 Textbooks – primary/secondary; children's library books – fiction or  non-fiction (not ones that should be returned to Dr Neilson); pens,  pencils, jotters, wax crayons; sports equipment inc. football strips  (clean); blackboard chalk; blackboard paint; solar powered calculators;  counting Materials.                  Mr Ramsay (29.02.08)

February 2008


 Now that the Friday (8th February) and Monday (11th February)  school holidays have passed and the Tuesday and Wednesday (12th  & 13th  February) in-service days are also over it's time to get back  to business.

 Pupils returned to school at 8.55am on, Thursday 14th February -  St  Valentine's Day.




 An intrepid group of Kilmarnock Academy staff, partners, siblings and  friends, travelled to Warsaw on Friday 25 January to broaden their  horizons and cement Scottish/Polish relations in the only way they  know how – enjoying themselves.

 The party of sixteen travelled from Prestwick courtesy of Whizz Air  airlines, arriving in Warsaw late on Friday night. Driving in taxis through  the streets of Warsaw at 110km/h in a 50km/h zone was an exciting  introduction to the city.

 On Saturday morning we headed for the Old Town , an amazing replica  of the original town which was entirely destroyed by the Nazis during  World War II. Its streets are lined with old houses, bars and  restaurants, and interesting shops. On the main square, the rynek ,  the Warsaw Museum traces the history of the town from Neolithic  times through to the present day. The exhibition on the Warsaw  Uprising was particularly moving. To the north of the Old Town , the  Marie Curie Museum was also of interest, at least to those of the  group with an intellectual bent.

 Between us we ... (to read on, click here)


Kilmarnock Academy is sad to announce the death of our oldest known former pupil, Rev James Brown Mirrilees, who died peacefully on Thursday 17 January.

The Rev Mirrilees has been a faithful correspondent of the school since 1997 and has sent us good wishes and Christmas greetings on an annual basis. We are very sorry to hear of his death and send our condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.

James Brown Mirrilees attended Loanhead Primary School and transferred to Kilmarnock Academy in August 1921. He left at the end of S3 in June 1924. He returned to school in 1928 and completed his school education in 1930.

As a former dux, he involved himself fully in the life of the school, acting as sports editor of The Goldberry magazine in session 1929-1930.

He remained sharp witted and lively until the very end, quoting Shakespeare to his nurses.

Kilmarnock Academy is very proud to have been associated with the Rev Mirrilees and to have been instrumental in enabling him to pursue his career in the ministry.

Carole Ford


 On the morning of Tuesday 28th January, Carole Ford was interviewed  about discipline in Scottish schools on BBC Scotland's Good Morning  Scotland programme. In expressing her views on the programme she  demonstrated that she has a sharp mind and a captivating voice.

 You can download/listen to the whole interview by clicking here.

January 2008


 Last week we received a photograph of Class 3B in 1943-44 - sent in  by Rita Haddow. Thanks to Rita for sharing this fascinating glimpse of  life at K.A. in days gone by (click here to see the big picture).

 One current project at KA Web is the scanning and uploading of the  school photographic archive. Although this archive dates back to the  19th century, there are many periods where we have few photos so if  you have any old school photos that you could scan and send to us  we would be grateful. (High res/big file if possible.)


With prelims upon us, it's worth remembering the Raising Attainment Working Group's advice to parents on how they can help their children as they revise for examinations and the benefits of a detailed revision schedule. The following sections of KA Web also provide guidance and support:

English Higher/Int. 2 Study Guide    

Helping your child to Revise at Home


 The “Scottish School of Sport ”, based at James Watt College in Largs  has received funding from the Scottish Funding Council to drive a major  health initiative across Scotland .

 In so doing the college is able to offer a Certificated programme called  “Health for Life” to staff in schools. The programme is free andhome-study therefore doesn't infringe upon work-time and covers key topics  relating to health , wellbeing, diet , nutrition and exercise ? The  programme is also open and free to family and friends.

 For more details click here.


 Health and safety is a high priority issue in schools, for the benefit and  well being of pupils and staff alike. Rules and procedures in school are  carefully thought out, to minimise any risks to everyone involved.

 In particular, there are specific rules which govern behaviour and  procedures in classrooms to which pupils must adhere. These are  explicitly explained to pupils, and repeated at times throughout the  year. Carefully following these rules will result in as safe an environment  as it is possible to provide in a mainstream school setting.

 I enclose a copy of the rules and procedures in relation to health and  safety in school. I would be grateful if you could emphasise to your  child the need to adhere to these.

 If you have any specific concerns in relation to these please feel free  to contact me to discuss them.

 Yours faithfully

 Carole Ford, Head Teacher


 Scottish Youth Theatre is seeking aspiring stars of the future:

 "Be part of something special this summer! This is a unique opportunity  open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 25. A variety of courses  are on offer during the school summer holidays throughout Scotland.

 Suitable for all abililities, we have the course that can help students  develop drama skills in a professional environment, whilst gaining  confidence and making some new and long-lasting friendships.

 Application forms can be downloaded from the Scottish Youth Theatre  website or call us on 0141 552 3988.
 The deadline for applications is 4th February - don't miss out!"

 You can find out more about the courses on offer by clicking here.  Thanks to Katrina Innes at Scottish Youth Theatre for the information.


While most people were enjoying the comforts of home on Boxing Day, a brave and enthusiastic group of volunteers charged into the Firth of Clyde to raise funds for Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick. The school raised £2,714 and the total sum raised was over £34,000.

December 2007


Former pupil Elaine McCulloch e-mailed us:

It's been almost a year since I wrote my last blog from the states and so much has happened I felt an update was necessary. I now work with the University of Chicago at the Center for Urban School Improvement. I teach PE and Wellness (Health) to over 320 students. I also moved to a wonderful new home close to downtown Chicago and more importantly close to school! The best part about my new home is the British Bar around the corner owned by a Celtic fan that shows all Scottish games so I can keep up with good old Killie, which is great no matter how bad they play!

Despite two major sports injuries this year (fractured elbow March thru May and fractured ankle August thru November) I have found two great teams to play Volleyball and Football with. So that keeps me out of trouble for the most part. I have also been lucky to be involved with the Olympic Development program for Soccer (Footie) and the University of Illinois for Volleyball development.

So all in all it was an eventful 2007 and I am hopeful 2008 will be the same minus the injuries! :)
All the best for 2008!

Elaine McCulloch

Good to hear from you Elaine and I must say that I am impressed by your devotion to Killie. I think you should start a Chicago Kilmarnock Supporters Club and hold your meetings at Carnegie Hall.

It's also good to know that you are doing so well at work and that you have taken another step up the property ladder. Stay in touch and be sure to have a happy and injury-free New Year.

Neil McIlvanney

For more Former Pupils news, click here.


 As of 16 November Head Teacher Carole Ford was elected Vice  President of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland. HAS represents  the majority of headteachers and depute headteachers in Scotland .  Mrs Ford has been a council member of the association for four years  and joined the executive last year as convenor of the education  committee. In this role she conducted a survey on Higher English  results which has resulted in an undertaking from SQA to review this  very important examination. She was nominated as Vice President in  September of this year and appointed in November. HAS represents the  interests of senior managers in education and, more importantly, plays  a significant role in influencing educational developments. Mrs Ford will  work to uphold the best interests of pupils and staff in the Scottish  education system.


For the second year in succession Kilmarnock Academy held a Celebrating Success! event on 29 November. Pupils and staff were acknowledged and rewarded for their many and varied achievements in school. From charity work to chess, from artwork to army work experience, achievement and success received recognition. The event included the parade of Perfect Pupils – those pupils with both perfect attendance and a perfect track record in school, no latecoming, no punishment exercises, all homework in on time, always in full uniform. No mean feat to achieve, yet a large number of pupils made the grade. At the end of the afternoon a cheque for £1225 was presented to the Ayrshire Cancer Trust, money raised on Pink Day by Mrs Noreen Lyon and her band of volunteers.

The ceremony was attended by parents, former staff, health, enterprise and social work colleagues, friends and associates of the school. Afternoon tea was served by Mrs Morag Young of the Home Economics Department and the senior Hospitality students. Musical entertainment was provided by the senior choir and vocal group.

It was a very successful afternoon, thoroughly enjoyed by participants and audience.

Report by Carole Ford

November 2007


On Monday 26 th November all S1 pupils took part in an interactive enterprise challenge on Litter and Recycling. Pupils worked in teams to form ‘marketing companies' for the day and were asked to come up with a campaign to tackle the growing problem of litter and waste. The companies created a poster, a slogan, a badge and a presentation which outlined the problem and the reasons why their company should be employed to implement their campaign. Rather than teachers coming up with the best campaign, pupils were the judges and scored the companies under various criteria. Apart from learning about litter, recycling and waste; pupils enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Report by Lorna MacInnes, Enterprise Development Officer, EAC.

If you are in S4 and you really want to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, then we strongly recommend that you consult your prelim timetable now (not the night before the exams start) so that you can get yourself organized and properly prepared for the exams that will help to determine your future - no pressure, you understand. Click here to start planning your journey to the land of Brainy.

If you are not in S4.... just chill, click here and enjoy the activities on offer. Thanks to Mr Bryden for collating the information.


 You can now discover the secrets of the 2007 Trenches Trip on the  Kilmarnock Academy website. You can read first hand accounts of the  journey, activities and the fun experienced by all concerned. Photos  submitted by the participants are also included. To check it all out just  click here.

 Thanks to Amy Bromley (S6) for organising this article.

 Mr Reid


Fifth Gear involved the whole of S5 in an enterprise event. The aim was to design car templates in such a way that the buyers would purchase your company's product rather than the other 11 companies. The company who made the most money was the winner. The S6 Events Working Group also took part and in fact raised the most money but since it was a S5 competition.......... they got the glory, See picture of S6. The competition for S5 was tied and the winning group was decided by Brian Chapman beating Mark Rodger to the winning post by collecting the most group letters. ( To read on and for more photos click here)

Report by Lesley Hamilton


 S4 pupils - Erin McKenzie, Lyndsey Templeton, Lauren Conway, Fraser Kerr, David Don and Lewis Campbell  took part in the national enterprise competition "Make Your Mark", They did very well and were the only  Ayrshire representatives at the regional final at Hampden Park, Glasgow, where they made their  presentation . Thanks to Miss Templeton in the English dept for preparing the pupils and travelling to  Glasgow with them.

 S5 girls - Ola Smith, Lauren Eyre. Claire Wilson, Ashleigh Lindsay and Laura Mack took part in the East  Ayrshire enterprise challenge. They were runners up despite making the most money. Well done girls! Mr  McGougan and Miss Christie travelled to Prestwick with the team.

 Report by Lesley Hamilton


Recently local author Zoe Strachan ran a couple of creative writing workshops at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock. Zoe has written two novels, Negative Space and Spin Cycle (both are available at ), and she teaches on the Glasgow University creative writing MLitt course. She is a former pupil of Grange Academy – well, nobody's perfect! The Kilmarnock Academy Advanced Higher English class attended and found the afternoon stimulating and enjoyable. Zoe got the class to choose a work in the Dick exhibition by the graphic artist Robert Brownjohn and to use that as inspiration of a piece of creative writing of their own. Here you can see the how total the absorption of the pupils was in their work. They even forgot the other talents that were on show!

Report by Dr Neil Dickson


On Friday the 9th of November, Ms Fullerton's S3 English class, Ms Fullerton and Dr Neilson were invited over to the Dick Institute for an Imprint session - part of the first East Ayrshire Book Festival. Our students were very lucky as the author in session was Keith Gray -who is very difficult to book - and because K.A. was the only school present at that session.

Keith Gray kept the class completely enthralled for three quarters of an hour with tales of his writing, his inspiration and the qualities needed to be able to write - mainly inspiration and experience. His talk was followed by a successful question and answer session. On the way back, the pupils were talking about him keenly.

Report by Dr J Neilson


Thanks to all who took part in our Scottish Inventors quiz at East Ayrshire's Family Open Day at the Grand Hall on Saturday 3rd November. The quiz was won by Roisin Brown from Ochiltree. Well done Roisin!

Report by Mr G. Kerr (currently developing the one-page novel)

To test your knowledge of Scottish Inventors click here.


On Tuesday morning, the Old Academy Hall was the scene of a professional photoshoot when Times Ed photographer, David Gordon, visited the school and took photographs to accompany a story about the Rolls of Honour being featured on the school website - the story should be in the Times Ed this Friday.

The main subjects of the photo session, taken next to the War Memorial, were Liam Baillie (Prefect), Beth Wilson (Prefect), Dr Neil Dickson, Neil McIlvanney and Mrs Ford. Look out for the results - in full colour - on Friday.

David Gordon - Times Ed

Dr Neil Dickson

Head Teacher - Carole Ford


As the addition of the Rolls of Honour to our website was covered by the Times Ed last Friday, we are expecting to get a few new visitors to our site. If this is is your first visit then you can access some of the highlights of KA Web by clicking here.

We hope you enjoy your virtual visit to Kilmarnock Academy and come back again soon.

Neil McIlvanney


 In order to mark Remembrance Day, the Rolls of Honour of former pupils  and staff of Kilmarnock Academy killed in both world wars have now  been made available online - and they make poignant reading. There  were 142 former pupils who died in World War I and 68 who died in  World War II.

 The booklets were scanned by Dr Neil Dickson and the Memorial section  of our site was created and uploaded by Neil McIlvanney. (click here )


Kilmarnock Academy held its own motivational Question Time for 6 th year pupils recently. The panel was made up of former pupils who have been successful in their professional lives in a number of ways. The pupils were invited to ask questions in an attempt to find out the way to success .

The panel was Helen Sayles formerly of Fenwick who is now vice president of Liberty Mutual Assurance, a large American company, and she is based in Boston. (Read on click here)

October 2007


Ten members of staff, family and friends visited Arran on Saturday 29 September to climb Goatfell in
memory of Stuart McDonald.

A 7 am departure from Ardrossan saw MV Caledonian Isles off Brodick some 45 minutes later. Unfortunately it remained there for a further 30 minutes, as the wrong kind of tide meant we had to wait for higher water before the ferry could dock.

The group ascended from Corrie and despite one unfortunate

encounter between a boulder and a tooth, it reached the summit in around two and a half hours. As last year, a toast to Stuart was drunk at the top. And just like last year, we were deprived of any kind of view, with cloud well down on the mountain. An attempt to paint a verbal picture of the  view for Mrs Armstrong, who has still to see anything from the top, was only partially successful.

The return to Brodick was broken only by a visit to Arran Aromatics from which all the female members of the party emerged with rather expensive-looking packages! The one disappointment for your correspondent was that Arran Blondes proved to be quite elusive in Brodick this year, but all was put right aboard MV Caledonian Isles.

Report by Carol Armstrong, Senior Clerical Assistant, Kilmarnock Academy


 Thursday lunchtime from 1.00 to 1.30 in H2.

 The Geography club will be starting up on Thursday lunch times for all  S1 and S2 pupils! The club will involve Geography challenges, world  Geography news, Craft time and a chance to find out what geography  is all about! This will also be a chance to do Geography homework with  the help of a Geography teacher.

 Any questions come and ask Mr Lang.


On Tuesday 25 September and Wednesday 26 September, Kilmarnock Academy celebrated “European Day of Languages” in style! The Assembly hall was decked out in the flags of all the European Nations and First and Second year pupils has loads of fun dancing to French and Spanish music, singing one or two songs and playing some musical games such as Corners and Simon Says – in French, of course! Necole, Alice and Ryan from 1B all did very well singing two different versions of the alphabet song! The third and fourth year pupils enjoyed a Euroquiz with great prizes provided by East Ayrshire Council.

(To read on and view more pictures, click here.)


K.A. Chess Club has started up again for the new session. The club is one of the longest-running extra- curricular activities at Kilmarnock Academy and is run by one of our longest-serving and most popular members of staff, Mr McCormick of the Physics Department.

The club meets in C3 at 1.10 pm on Wednesdays (for S3 to S6) and at 1.10pm on Thursdays (for S1 and S2). Go along and check it out. The trials for this year's house teams have just started.

September 2007


The school jazz band played at Cameron House Hotel on Saturday night for a business event.  They were talent spotted when they played at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.


K.A. Chess Club has started up again for the new session. The club is one of the longest-running extra- curricular activities at Kilmarnock Academy and is run by one of our longest-serving and most popular members of staff, Mr McCormick of the Physics Department.

The club meets in C3 at 1.10 pm on Wednesdays (for S3 to S6) and at 1.10pm on Thursdays (for S1 and S2). Go along and check it out. The trials for this year's house teams have just started.


 Mr Reid's S3 English class - who  have been reading the Jack  London  classic, "Call of the Wild" -  had a special visitor on the  afternoon of Tuesday, 11th  September: Reno, a six-year-old  Siberian Husky.
 While being given a talk on the  Klondyke Gold Rush, Siberians and  sled dog racing, the class took  notes and asked questions. They  were also directed to read  Footprints in the Snow, a history  of the Siberian Husky, prior to  writing a report on sled dogs.

 Read The Call of the Wild online.


Thirteen senior art & design students were selected from schools across East Ayrshire to participate in this creative summer school led by artist Jeanette Sendler (see ) and assisted by teacher Kirsty McKee. Themes were Ancient Goddesses and Mythical Creatures. Each student researched the god/goddess of her choice, made clay heads, made latex masks and then created headdresses to go with them.

Their creations will go on display in the Schools Art & Design Exhibition in the Dick at the end of Jan 2008, along with other artwork from schools.

Report & Pictures - Elaine Scott, Cultural Co-ordinator, East Ayrshire Council.

God of Wine
by Louise Mitchell

Goddess of Love
by Steph d'Andrea

Goddess of the Sea
by Collette Donnelly
Goddess of Love
by Ashleigh Lindsay

August 2007


Dr. Neilson, Ms. Fullerton, Mr. McGougan and Mrs. Rodger took a party of nearly 50 pupils to the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Tuesday the 21 st of August. In spite of the rain and the bus arriving late and getting lost, we arrived in time for our first author event, P.R. [ Pearl ] Morrison. The author comes from the Orkney Islands and her books reflect the Orkney weather and mystery. She showed her audience a series of photographs of fantastic creatures and ran a quiz about fantastic facts. Then, she produced a giant paper clip and asked the pupils to use their imagination as to what this artefact could be transformed into to give a person strength. Some unusual ideas emerged including one from our own pupil, Vanessa Wilson of 2S who thought that the clip could be bent into a map to enable a person to go where they wished. The session ended with a reading of the first chapter of her book The Wind Tamer. Some of our pupils were inspired to buy her book and get it signed.

We ate our picnic lunch in the Square whilst sheltering from the showers of rain and had time to browse in the wonderful Children's Book Tent. After lunch, we went to hear Graham Joyce. He was quite a provocative speaker asking the pupils many questions such as what is the greatest fear for a teenage girl? The answer is to be in a car which is driven by their boyfriend. Again, there was just time for book signing before returning to the bus for the journey home.

Report by J. Neilson, Librarian.


A number of staff left us at the end of last session. Mr Paul Crankshaw retired as Principal Teacher of Business Studies. We send him all good wishes for a happy retirement and thank him very much indeed for his long years of sterling service. Mr Alan Stewart retired as Depute Head Teacher, formerly Principal Teacher of Guidance. He contributed enthusiastically to many areas of school life and will be missed. Good wishes to him too for a happy retirement – and keep your mobile switched on, Alan, in case we cannot find anything!

A number of probationer teachers, with us for one year only, also left us to continue their careers elsewhere. Thank you very much and good luck to – Mr James Carrigan in Mathematics, Mr Alistair McDougall in Modern Studies, Mr Chris Kilpatrick in Modern Languages, Mrs Rhona James and Mrs Amanda Walton in Biology.


 The holidays are over. Pupils returned to school on Wednesday 15th  August and the pictures below show some of our new faces (and a  couple of old ones).

 We would like to offer a special welcome to all our new pupils at K.A.  and wish all of our pupils - new and old -good luck in the coming  session. (Although you should remember that success is more to do  with having a positive attitude and a healthy workrate than it is to do  with luck).


 Be sure to check out (and contribute to) the new LRC blog launched  this month by Dr Neilson. Click the picture on the left.

July 2007


There has been a recent flurry of activity in this area over the past week. We have recently heard from Kirsteen Wright (in Tokyo), Clifford McMillan (in Korea), Elinor Kerr (in Kilmarnock) and Scott Bell (in Norway).
Click here to check them out.


The holidays are here - time to explore. Don't worry if you don't manage to travel to foreign shores - you can always travel to Ayr shore. And if you don't manage to climb the Jungfrau, you can always mount an expedition to conquer the East Face of Loudoun Hill. Whatever you do and wherever you go - have a great holiday! And even though BHS will have 'Back to School' banners up within a week or so, just relax - we don't return until August 15th.