Breadalbane Academy is an all-through school (ages 2-18) in rural Perthshire; our catchment covers a large area from Dunkeld to Rannoch Moor. We strongly support academic progress as well as focusing on the development of skills for learning, life and work. Through offering a broad and inclusive curriculum which is enhanced through employer engagement we believe that our young people are well prepared for success as they progress to tertiary education and the workplace.
We facilitate a number of programmes/courses for our young people centred round working in a rural environment. Our regular work with RHET, the community garden and Westpark Farm continues to expand and thrive and recent developments include:
- Delivering NPA Rural Skills in addition to Nat 4. This gives pupils a clear pathway of progression and we are only one of a small number of schools in Scotland offering this course.
- The school’s strong relationship with Highland Perthshire Community Land Trust has been cemented through a newly formed a 3-year Partnership Agreement. This has enabled 3 pupils to be out of school 1 day per week undertaking certified training in quad-biking, fencing, first-aid, chainsawing, etc. This year 5 pupils will leave school with appropriate land-based qualifications.
- We embrace outdoor education right through the whole school and link this to employment sectors wherever possible. Our Sport and Recreation course requires pupils to take part in work experience, which is provided by local adventure tourism businesses.
- We recognise that in our catchment area there are almost twice as many self-employed people than in the City of Perth. To reflect this, enterprise work begins in Primary 6 with pupils setting up their own company, Birks Bag Company. All our S2 pupils receive one period of Enterprise a week and elements of this work are supported by Business Gateway and Growbiz who provide support to self-employed people in rural areas.
- We received a partnership grant from the Royal Society to enable us to work with Marine Scotland Science on a flagship research project. This involves placing data loggers in the local river network to monitor river temperatures and analyse the effects of salmon stocks. This partnership allows us to use our natural rural environment to enrich various subject areas.
We have an innovative approach to ensuring our pupils have the skills they require to work in the rural area in which they live and contribute effectively to the local economy. We use the knowledge and experience of a wide range of local business partners to add value to our curriculum and use our rural environment to provide outdoor learning opportunities throughout the school.
Our attainment levels have increased over the last 2 years and we believe the focus the school has placed on outdoor education, employability and wider achievement have played a part in this success.
Plans for the future include building a relationship with the Breadalbane Deer Management Group to identify ways for our pupils to become involved in the management of estates while they are still at school.