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Milne's Primary prepare for milestone anniversary celebrations

By Alan Beresford

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THE final touches are being put to celebrations to mark Milne's Primary School's 175th anniversary.

Milne's Primary School are set to celebrate their 175th anniversary in style next week. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Milne's Primary School are set to celebrate their 175th anniversary in style next week. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Everyone at the school is excited about the big day next week, with a lot of events and plans in the pipeline.

The Radio Club has been busy creating a radio show for Keith Community Radio – it will be on the airwaves on Monday, November 15 at 6.15pm and repeated the next day at 10.15am on 107.7 FM. It will be available afterwards online at www.kcr.fm. A script and music is being recorded which will tell the story of Milne’s Primary School.

Headteacher, Kim Karam, has been running a lunchtime club for over 50 pupils who volunteered in P5, 6 and 7. As well as researching and recording, some pupils are presenting and others are working on advertising and supporting in other ways. Children have learned how to use their voice to present and how to conquer their performance nerves.

Milne's Primary headteacher Kim Karam: Lots of excitement about anniversary plans.
Milne's Primary headteacher Kim Karam: Lots of excitement about anniversary plans.

Looking forward to the landmark anniversary, Ms Karam said: "There is a lot of positivity in the school and excitement about all our plans.

"There will hopefully be something for everyone to enjoy and get involved with. The staff remain a close and committee team and there is such a happy feeling in the school.

"We are still very thankful that the 175 anniversary gives us an opportunity to focus on something positive and something other than Covid. It is a privilege to come to work in such a magnificent building every day.

"I hope Alexander Milne would be proud of all the education we are still providing to local children in 2021.”

Running until November 19, there will be an exhibition in the ground floor windows of the Institute in Fochabers which can be viewed any time from outside. Both pupils and family members and invited along to view it. The hope is that the exhibition will provoke conversations and memories of the school and comparisons between education in the past and schooling in the present day.

The school has kindly been loaned the painted Victorian picture booth from their community partners at the Fochabers Heritage Centre. Staff are considering how this could be used in a fun but Covid-safe way so pupils can see themselves and siblings and friends as they would look in Victorian dress.

The school has arranged for a drone photograph to be taken with the pupils and staff waving outside in a 175 formation. It is hoped the photograph will be available before Christmas as a wee fundraiser for the school. Practice footage has been taken and showcases the school’s Scots Baronial architecture, which makes it one of the most beautiful school buildings in Scotland.

The children are going to be creating some art works/photography based on the school and grounds. This might go towards a silent online art auction or a gallery display, depending on what Covid regulations allow in future months. It will also link to the Moray Badge initiative, an award scheme linking to the Queen’s jubilee next year.

From January 2022 the whole school is working on a commemorative book for their 175th year. They are keen to link this to our learning. The book will be officially published and available to purchase with profits going to school funds. The book will be a mixture of articles, writing, art and information/memories. The hope is that it will be in full colour but still remain affordable.

Local businesses will be invited to take part in various sponsorship opportunities to support this lasting legacy and commemorative volume and to ensure each pupil can be gifted a copy.

Among the other ideas being considered for next year are a garden mural and time capsule.

The school staff would like to thank their local partners at the Fochabers Institute and the Heritage Centre as well as local illustrator and former pupil, Aaron Gale, who has donated books and loaned art work. The Parent Council continues to support the school in many different ways and Elgin B&Q has donated paint for the garden mural. Former teacher Peter Dawson has provided a lot of helpful school research.

Further details will appear on the school’s website – www.milnesprimary.wordpress.com – over time.

Photograph by J. Fullard

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