Forfar Academy's biology department has been praised by HMIE for its outdoor learning. S3-4 pupils visit the local nature reserve and the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh to boost their understanding of coursework. They visit the local garden centre to buy resources for their plant- growing companies and sell the produce in the summer term. In S6, Advanced Higher students spend four days at the Marine Research Station on the Isle of Cumbrae, studying the role of marine biology and environmental research; and in S4-6 around 40 pupils go to Borneo to study coral reefs and the tropical rainforest.
Alloa Academy has turned the lives of many of its pupils around, says the school, through its Alternative College Education programme with Forth Valley College. Staff identify pupils in S3 who would benefit most. From April to June they undertake induction at the Alloa Click Centre, studying core skills and personal and social development. In August, the group starts full-time at FVC. With the help of a support worker employed by the school, they have attained Intermediate 1s in communication, numeracy, vocational awareness and development and business enterprise; Intermediate 2s in information technology; ASDAN awards and first aid certificates. School attendance improved dramatically and, for the past two years, every participant has been accepted on an FE course, from business administration to landscape gardening.
Ullapool High has been praised by inspectors for its Homecoming celebration of performing and visual arts. Various cultural events were planned by pupils with staff and local people, both in school and community venues, where they took part alongside more experienced performers. A forum to discuss career opportunities in the arts provided up-to-date advice and former pupils who work in the arts have provided positive role models.