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Dornoch Firth 3-18 campus named as 'kind school of the year'

By Niall Harkiss

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Pupils and teachers at Dornoch Firth 3-18 Campus are in the mood for celebration after being named as "Kind School of the Year".

Nikki Grant Head of Education in Highland came to the campus to present us with the UK Kindness Kindest School in the UK award.
Nikki Grant Head of Education in Highland came to the campus to present us with the UK Kindness Kindest School in the UK award.

The award, issued by Kindness UK, came as a welcome surprise for the campus after they had initially aimed for basic accreditation as a "kind school", before learning that they were also in the frame for the UK-wide accolade.


Dornoch Firth campus, which is comprised of five schools – Dornoch Academy, Bonar Bridge Primary and Nursery, and Dornoch Primary and Nursery – is the first 3-18 campus in the whole of the UK to gain the award.

An independent, not-for-profit organisation with the goal of making kindness a greater part of everyday life, Kindness UK has sent out 4500 free secondary "kindness" packs to secondary schools nationwide.

The aim of the group is to promote the positive benefits of kindness to health, overall wellbeing, community, nature and the environment.

The "Kind School of the Year" award is the organisation's highest accreditation.

Dornoch Firth campus held a presentation for members of the schools' pupil council to collect the certificates for the accreditation this past week. Head of education for Highland, Nikki Grant presented the certificates.

They first submitted evidence for their accreditation as a "kind school" during the summer holidays, and found out at the end of August that they met all of the criteria to be recognised by the UK-wide scheme.

Depute head teacher Jane Baines said: "We had to present evidence in 22 areas to prove to them that we are a kind school. We noticed that in Highland there were only two schools before us who had achieved the accreditation – in Gairloch and Bishop Eden – and we also realised we would be the first 3–18 campus to do it.

"So, we entered for our two nurseries, two primaries and our secondary school, with five lots of evidence put forward. We then asked if we could be judged as a 3–18 campus for the Kindest School of the Year award and they said yes, and that we would be the first – we were very chuffed with that.

"We then received an email two weeks later, which informed us that they wished to present us with the Kindest School in the UK award. We just wanted to be recognised as the first 3–18 campus in the Highlands, but we ended up with so much more."

Evidence submitted by the school included its work in helping the local community, recognising remembrance, reaching out to residential homes, raising money for charity – some £5000 over the past year – and how pupils and teachers promote kindness in the school.

As a reward for their accomplishment, the campus will receive a bursary of £3000 towards projects that will further promote kindness in school.

A statement from Kindness UK said: "We are thrilled to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dornoch Firth 3-18 Campus for achieving Kindness UK accreditation.

"This incredible accomplishment reflects the commitment of the entire school to foster a culture of kindness."

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