The five As approach to academy success

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ATTAINMENT, achievement, attendance, appearance and attitude. That’s the message that Peterhead Academy’s new rector aims to instil into the school’s 1,300 pupils.

And in the three weeks since taking up the post, Tim McKay has already made an impact. With more than 25 years’ experience under his belt, this Rector knows his stuff. The enthusiastic and motivated rector has immediately taken to greeting each pupil in the morning as they enter the school building, ensuring that they are smartly dressed and on time.

GLOWING REVIEW: First year pupils Aidan Pert, Stacey Fisher, Heather Thompson and Tyler Morrison said Mr McKay always greets them with a smile. 'Picture: Arran Morton

GLOWING REVIEW: First year pupils Aidan Pert, Stacey Fisher, Heather Thompson and Tyler Morrison said Mr McKay always greets them with a smile. 'Picture: Arran Morton

“I expect each pupil to say ‘Good Morning, be welcoming and to hold the door open for one another,” says former PE teacher Tim.

“These basic values are important. Basic manners contribute to the school community and ensure that each and every pupil becomes a successful citizen and the best person he or she can be.”

And that’s just the basics. Tim aims to implement new academic policies and maintain the reputation of one of Aberdeenshire’s biggest academies.

“I have a lot of experience to bring to the table,” he says, “but I am in listening mode. I can look at the school with a fresh perspective and want to freshen things up, implement fresh ideas.”

Father-of-two Tim has come a long way since he completed his studies at Strathclyde and Aberdeen Universities. Over the years he has headed up schools around Aberdeen City and Shire including Ellon, Banchory, Northfield and Torry Academies.

The no-nonsense rector was “absolutely delighted” to be offered the Peterhead post shortly before Christmas and “grabbed the opportunity with both hands”.

“I’m learning as much as I teach,” says Tim, who has temporarily left his family behind in Kemnay to ensure that he is at the centre of the Peterhead community.

“Here at the academy, we have nothing short of a wonderful team of staff. And it’s been a really positive experience meeting with the pupils.”

Tim hopes to refresh extra curricular activities for academy pupils and encourage them to be the best that they can be.

“I want each pupil to have a clear idea of what is expected of them. The reputation of the school is on the shoulders of every individual child and I want to make sure that reputation is upheld.”

And it seems that Tim’s enthusiasm has already rubbed off on the school’s young people as he farewells a group of first years who are heading off for the day.

“He seems really good,” says S1 pupil Heather Thompson.

“He stops and speaks to you and smiles and is very welcoming and polite. He even stops to pick up rubbish!”

Fellow first year Tyler Morrison adds: “He’s all about discipline. I think he will make the school better. He wants us all in uniform and looking smart.”

“He even comes and sits with some of us at lunchtime!” says Stacey Fisher.