This term looks set to be an exciting one for all of the staff and pupils at Anderson High School, as boxes are packed and plans made for the big move to the brand-new building at Staney Hill. It’s been interesting watching the school take shape so quickly over the last while and it will be great to see everyone settled in and enjoying their new space.
In order to commemorate this momentous move, we’ve decided to devote our September issue to education.
The Anderson Institute building has long held personal significance for me. When I was 17 years old (long before I had ever visited Shetland) my grandma gave a medal emblazoned with the school building and the motto: “Do weel and persevere”. It was a prize my grandfather had won for maths in 1935 (although I feel sorry never to have met my grandad, at least the poor man never had to witness his granddaughter’s numerical ineptitude). Arriving in Shetland for the first time 20 years later, I sailed past the Institute building and seeing it felt good – it was like meeting a friendly and familiar face in a strange land.
I’m sure I’ll not be the only one to feel a little bit sad about this being the end of an era for the Institute building. And will I be the only one to mourn the passing of the stuffed birds from the English department?
Anyway, I trust that this magazine will be an education in itself. We get the ball rolling by meeting two Shetland teachers: one with a wealth of experience (the award-winning Irene Smith) and one new to teaching (the energetic Rhiannon Inkster). It was a privilege to speak to both of these women. Their dedication and enthusiasm to their work just shone through: with teachers like these, I’m beginning to see why my children have always seemed so excited about going to school every morning.
One of my favourite bits of this month was reading your recollections of school days: some amusing, some touching. Don’t forget to turn to page 10 to see what Christine de Luca, Jennifer Wadley and Charlie Simpson (among others) have to say about their school days. The nostalgia fest continues in Dennis Coutts’ images of 1960s school days.
We all know that learning doesn’t stop at school though. Peter Tomlinson hears from two young people who are getting ready to fly the nest and study on the mainland, and we also hear inspirational success stories from local apprentices.
Jonathan Wills shares an amusing story of his part in a 1967 student demonstration and ex-teacher and writer Donald S Murray, currently touring schools on the mainland, shares the fruits of a recent creative collaboration.
All this and also the chance to find out about what the Taste of Shetland Food Festival has to offer, marvel at Richard Shucksmith’s tales and photographs of whale watching and delight in the winning entries to the Shetland Boat week competition.
Hope you enjoy the magazine and all the wonderful things on offer in Shetland this September. In October things will be getting seriously spooky as we present a supernatural special to coincide with the impending winter darkness. See you then – if you think you’re hard enough.