Congratulations to Meethill School, Peterhead who have been nominated in Scots School o the Year sponsored by Itchy Coo and Black and White Publishing in the Scots Language Awards 2019. Vote now!
We asked John Black of Meethill School, Peterhead the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Serving the Meethill district of Peterhead, Meethill School opened in 1974.
It has a very proud tradition in the town and is held in high regard by the very supportive and generous local residents.
There has always been a tradition of performing within Meethill and this continues to this day with our junior choir numbering over 30 children from P4 to P7 and our adult community choir proving a weekly highlight for over 30 adults. Both these groups are led by our Music Specialist, Mrs Diane Pert who has been developing choral and musical skills in local pupils and musicians for many years. With a staff team drawn largely from the town itself, there is an inherent empathy and identity with the community that makes for an extremely solid base upon which to build community relations.
Why are you involved in Scots language?
With the staff team drawn largely from within a 20 mile radius of the school, the promotion of the local language is not something we need to particularly work on! Although we conform to the appropriate linguistic codes in our professional delivery with both pupils and parents there is never any doubt as to where our linguistic roots lie and consequently there is a level of relaxation around communication across the full range of the community. The importance of this linguistic familiarity cannot be over-estimated and I am sure, for some, makes the potentially daunting experience of communicating with school much less of a barrier. As well as this, the promotion of Doric figures prominently within our curricular experiences and when the opportunities arise to work beyond the normal confines of the school they are grasped with enthusiasm. Over recent years, we have worked with various organisations in both a participatory and developmental capacity – Kist o’ Riches, the Local Voices project, Blue Toon Voices and Yugenpuppet company. And most recently, we were successfully involved in the inaugural Doric Film Festival which saw the entry from our P6 class, led by class teacher Miss Olivia Stephen winning first prize in the Primary School category.
Any particular career highlights?
I have only been Head at Meethill for around 3 years so am in no position to comment or lay any claim to past successes of the school, but during those 3 years, there have been a number of hugely satisfying moments with the cherry on the cake clearly being our success in the Doric film awards.
What are your plans for the future?
Future plans are to continue to build the reputation of the school and further embed it within the heart of the immediate community and within the town of Peterhead. Central to this will be a continued recognition and celebration of the local culture and linguistic heritage.
If you wish to attend the Scots Language Awards, tickets are available to buy via: https://www.ticketsglasgow.com/Pages/EventDetail.aspx?EventId=8fd8b867-811e-4bfc-a2c0-aab900efc42b For box office call 0141 353 8000. Performing on Friday 27th September include Iona Fyfe Trio, Susi Briggs, Steve Byrne and more to be announced.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad
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