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Author: Graham Scott

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

The RYLA 2024 camp is being held at Abernethy Outdoor Centre this year. This is a week-long residential trip focusing on leadership in the outdoors, with like-minded people from across Scotland. Throughout the week, you will take part in a variety of activities such as raft-building, gorge walking, climbing, hiking, mountain biking and archery, working as part of a small team to support and encourage each other to achieve your goals. There will be a focus on leadership skills during the activities, including group management, health and safety considerations, team problem solving, and your individual performance as a leader. During the week, your group mentor will accompany you on your activities and provide feedback about your individual and team progress.

RYLA is a wonderful opportunity to try new activities, push yourself out of your comfort zone, meet people who may become friends for life, and make lasting memories. The experience isn’t just limited to during the day – evenings are an important time to get to know others on the course by organising group game sessions, exploring the centre, going for an evening swim, or forming an impromptu band in the music room.


Girls’ camp: 6th – 13th July

Boys’ camp: 13th – 20th July


The camp is open to young people of age 16-17, and participants are fully sponsored by their local Rotary club. Candidates must submit an application form and complete an interview with a member of Alford Rotary Club.

If you think you would be a good candidate for the course, find out more information and submit an application, by visiting or talk to Fionn Sewell (S6) or Mrs Rees-Jenkins in science.

Spotlight on PSE

Spotlight on PSE

Here at Alford Academy we have a varied curriculum for PSE (Personal and Social Education). PSE covers aspects of planning for choices and changes, substance misuse, relationships, sexual health and parenthood across S1 to S4.

We work with a number of partners including Skills Development Scotland, Robert Gordon’s University, ALEC, Rape Crisis Grampian, Grampian Fire & Rescue/Coastguard, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Wood Foundation.

Out curriculum is flexible and agile, adaptable when required to meet the needs of our pupils and is taught in a thoughtful & supportive manner by our Guidance Team. Below is an outline of the topics that may be covered across the years:


  • River of Life
  • Road Safety
  • Keeping myself Safe
  • Internet Safety
  • Relationships
  • Diversity
  • Diet, Rest & Sleep
  • Planning for Choice & Changes
  • Substance Misuse


  • Puberty
  • Cyberbullying
  • Keeping Myself Safe
  • Bullying
  • Knife crime
  • Diversity
  • Substance Misuse
  • Planning for Choice & Change


  • Relationships & Sexual Health
  • Parenthood
  • Planning for Choice & Change
  • Substance Misuse


  • Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)
  • Study Skills
SAMH Time for Me – Workshops for Parents and Carers

SAMH Time for Me – Workshops for Parents and Carers

As part of the Time for Me offer, SAMH have been commissioned to deliver one capacity building workshops per month for parents and carers. Each workshop is approximately 90 minutes long with a break around the midway point. There are 4 Free workshops available (see link for registration):

ParentsCarer Workshops Alford, Kemnay, Mintlaw and Turriff


Listening To & Supporting My Child

This workshop has been specifically developed to provide parents and carers with the knowledge and skills to have mental health conversations with their child.

It explores the different stresses that children and young people experience in their lives, and which can impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

The workshop helps parents and carers learn how to start conversations, including finding the right time, place and way to communicate, and how to support their child even when do they do not want to talk about how they are feeling.

Managing My Wellbeing

This course aims to provide adults with an understanding of self-care both for themselves and for the young people in their care.

It introduces mental health and wellbeing and the importance of us looking after it.

Learners are introduced to the many strands of self-care and the SAMH 5 Ways to Better Wellbeing. They are supported to consider what forms of self-care they can introduce into their lives. Learners are invited to take part in guided mindfulness activities.

Mental Health Awareness

This workshop is an introductory session to mental health and wellbeing awareness.

This course aims to provide the adults around CYP with a grounding in mental health awareness. It defines mental health and the mental health continuum, discusses current prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people, explores the two most common mental health problems, addresses mental health stigma and discrimination, and offers self-care tips and techniques that can be used to help manage their own mental health, as well as supporting others.


Understanding & Managing Stress & Anxiety

This course aims to provide the participants with an awareness of stress and anxiety, and introduces tools that they can use to manage these.

It encourages them to consider the worries and stress that young people experience, and how they can develop into anxiety. They are introduced to coping strategies, breathing and grounding activities.

Christmas Dance Information

Christmas Dance Information

Junior dance – 18th December (7 – 9.30pm)

Senior dance – 19th December (7 – 10pm)


Tickets cost £5 and will be on sale during the 4th — 13th of December in the PSE rooms from 1.30pm at lunchtimes.

They will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

You will only be able to buy a ticket if you have completed the online consent form, which will be sent out to parents via email before the 4th of December. NO CONSENT FORM = NO TICKET


Dress Code

Please wear smart clothing to the dance with appropriate footwear. For example – dresses, smart trousers, kilts, shirts etc.  You can also see Mrs Taylor in C1-30 to borrow pre-loved formal wear and promote sustainable living.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Pupils who are awaiting delayed EMA payments should receive these on November 3rd

An Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an allowance of £30 per week, which can be paid to eligible students who stay on in education after the age of 16 years. Your EMA is paid every 2 weeks during school term time (subject to conditions being met) and it is not paid during the holidays.

More information can be found here:

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) – Aberdeenshire Council



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