LGBT History Month

What is LGBT+ History Month?

LGBT+ History Month takes place in February every year and offers the chance to connect and to reflect on the past and present of the LGBT+ community.

This is an opportunity to celebrate LGBT+ culture and progress towards equality over time, and to explore what the lessons of history can teach us for the future.

Anyone can take part, and everyone who decides to celebrate LGBT+ History Month, however big or small, whether online or in-person, helps to make LGBT+ History Month what it is and create visibility across the school community.

This year’s LGBT+ History Month theme ‘Blurring Borders’ (a world in motion) is intended to inspire, engage and provoke conversation.

Blurring Borders – A World in Motion

To consider that, while Scotland has made great strides towards equality, the journey has come at a slower pace in some parts of the world, and faster in others.

The question we must ask ourselves is: What is Scotland’s place within this global movement? Right now, our friends in countries like Poland and Hungary are faced with a rising tide of anti-LGBT rhetoric and a rollback of their human rights.

In 69 UN member states, including a majority of African nations, LGBT people are still criminalised under homosexuality and “cross-dressing” laws, as well as being targeted under numerous other offences. And the Council of Europe has recently pointed to the UK as one among several countries where the advances of recent years are “under threat” amid “extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people”, particularly in the form of “anti-trans narratives”.

We know that no country, including Scotland, has yet reached the destination of protecting and championing the rights of all LGBT people, and no country is immune to the backlash against progress.

LGBT Youth Scotland

Useful Links

Time to Talk 2022

Thursday 3rd February is Time to Talk Day

Culloden Academy are fortunate to have partnered with Marina Finlayson, who the development officer for Mikeysline. Marina has been delivering virtual sessions to all S1-S6 pupils during PSE to educate our young people on the importance of talking about mental health and support.

Time to Talk is about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others. 

Why time to talk day is important:

  • 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
  • We want everyone to feel comfortable talking about mental health – whenever they like.
  • Talking about mental health reduces stigma and helps to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it. Mikeysline is here for you every evening of the week and at the weekends. 

By having conversations about mental health, we can support ourselves and others.

Achieve – Study Support

Culloden Academy students can now access an online programme called ACHIEVE which offers study support in a range of subjects at National 5 and Higher levels. Use the Culloden Academy school code: qFWr7Rkj

Equalities Magazine

The Equality Forum has been created to help every person in Culloden Academy feel included and safe. The Forum was set up in 2021 by senior pupils Duncan MacDonald and Craig MacLennan and is now being run by them, with the support of Lisa Daley and Fiona Mackintosh. The Forum which meets weekly is attended often by between 30 – 40 pupils across all year groups.

The Equality’s Forum aims to promote equality of all kinds including equality in race, sexuality, gender, age, religion or beliefs, disabilities, mental health, etc. We aim to provide a platform in which pupils and teachers can feel safe to discuss any inequalities they have faced regarding the previously mentioned issues.

This magazine will include articles written by pupils in the school and information about where to find support for anyone struggling with personal issues. Along with including definitions, information and facts about issues such as gender and sexuality etc.

We hope you enjoy reading our first edition.

The Equalities Forum

S3 Online Parents’ Evening

The S3 Online Parents’ Evening will take place on Wednesday 26th January. A letter with information on how to book appointments was emailed out to parents earlier today, and a paper copy issued to pupils at registration. The system opens for bookings tomorrow – Friday 14th January –  at 6pm, and closes for bookings on Tuesday 25th January at 6pm. Please contact us if you have any queries about this.

Prelim Study Leave

Yesterday afternoon Highland Council advised secondary schools that this year schools can “consider offering study leave to senior phase pupils around the time of the prelim/mock exams”. This helps address the anxiety young people have about how transmittable Omicron is and the associated risk of testing positive during our Prelim diet. It also helps address concerns Head Teachers have about likely staff absence and possible school closures. Based on this, between the 10th and 28th January I am happy to support this opportunity for pupils with Prelim exams who believe it would support their learning and achievement. In reaching your own decision with your child please consider all the following factors:

  • Practical subjects like Music, Art, Drama, Admin and IT, HFT, all Technical subjects, Electronics and Photography really need time with you and the materials of the course and so would very much like you to attend class as often as possible during this three week period.
  • N4 courses do not have a Prelim and will therefore run as usual.
  • ‘Non-practical’ subjects will have online or revision materials available to support your revision and learning.
  • If studying at home you can still email your teacher for support or advice. This is not the same as the remote learning but staff are keen to support your Prelim preparations.
  • If you are in school you are either in an exam or following your timetable.
  • If very few pupils attend a non-practical class on any given day, the teacher may be taken to cover for another absent teacher.
  • This is not an “all or nothing” offer- you can attend school some days, attend for exams some days and work from home other days.

In order to support this opportunity, online registration will be available to S4-6 pupils. If you wish to study from home then please complete the online registration through your Year Group Google Classroom by 9.00 each day. Pupils will receive or have recently received an invitation to this classroom through their school email account.

New Term – January 2022

Please see the letter below for parents, carers and pupils, outlining arrangements for the start of the new term on 6th January 2022.

Email from Dr Vance, Head Teacher

Dr Vance has emailed all parents / carers this morning with an important update, as below:

I wish you and yours all the best for the festive season- stay warm, stay safe please. I was planning an end of term update but that seems foolhardy at the minute with a rapidly changing picture. Instead what I can say is that from this afternoon I am going to take a break until after Hogmanay but will be back at work ahead of the new term and will confirm arrangements for the coming term via email and the website by 5th January. The only thing that I do want to confirm at this stage is that if schools reopen in January we will be going ahead with our Prelim diet for S4-6 pupils which is due to start on 10th January. All pupils have their timetable and we are currently revising the rooming arrangements in light of the recent guidance so will publish the final version on the first day pupils return to school- Thursday 6th January. We also have a contingency plan in case the return to school is delayed.

Today came very close to being a partial or total school closure and when we were taking a decision about whether to open or in what form I did realise that we have not been very public about how difficult it has been some days with high staff absence. So far there has only been one day when we had to close to S4-6 but if the current predicted levels come to pass in January and the Scottish Government’s commitment to schools being open remains, there will be more days like this in January and February. If we can open for some pupils I will alternate between S1-3 pupils and S4-6 pupils attending and advise parents via email and website the afternoon before. Should this happen during the prelims, pupils scheduled to have an exam will still be allowed to attend.

Please accept my thanks for all your support this session- the return of Parents’ Evenings has been a boost for staff and I believe parents and we look forward to meeting with S3-6 parents over the course of January and February- details will be emailed out in good time.

Dr J Vance

S1 and S2 Online Parents’ Evenings

S1 and S2 parents / carers should by now have received an email with a link to a Google form asking for feedback on the recent S1 and S2 Online Parents’ Evenings. The form can also be accessed below.