Duncan Forbes Primary School

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     School Handbook

About the School


The current roll at Duncan Forbes is 278 pupils. At present there are 11 classes from Primary one to Primary seven. Classes are of mixed ability where whole class, group and individual teaching is carefully considered to meet the needs of all our pupils. The maximum class size is 33 in a single year class and 25 in a mixed year class (composite class).

In additions we have a nursery class for children in their pre-school year where we have space for up to 48 children. At present there are two nursery sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The teaching areas are semi open plan with a number of classrooms sharing a communal working area. These shared open areas provide additional space which allows flexibility in our approach to learning and teaching. There are two main buildings plus an administration wing, our computer suite/music room and dining/gym hall.


Special Points of Interest:


§   Duncan Forbes Primary was established in 1977 

§   It is named after Duncan Forbes. He was a prominent figure of Jacobite history. 

§   Duncan Forbes Primary school is built on what was once the grounds of Culloden House, home of the Forbes family. 

§   Our school badge features the dovecote near to Culloden House. 

§   The mural in our reception area represents Duncan Forbes of Culloden and Mary Rose of Kilvravock. 

§   Culloden House is now a luxury hotel and Duncan Forbes Primary is situated at the centre of the residential area of Culloden




Text Box: The Head Teacher is Mrs Elaine Stewart. She is very happy to meet you to show you round and answer any further questions you may have about the school.
The Staff at Duncan Forbes 

Your first contact with the school is likely to be with Mrs Fiona Gibb who runs the school office.

Our janitor is usually in the playground. His name is Mr Williams.

As a staff we do the best we can for each child in our care. Teaching staff plan and co-ordinate their work to ensure that effective teaching and learning remains a priority within the school.

Teachers are supported by a team of support staff consisting of 4 Support for Learning Auxiliaries, 4 Classroom Assistants, 2 Clerical Assistants and Children’s Service Worker.

The support staff  also provide supervision in the two playground areas.

Members of staff also give of their time and talents to enrich the life of the school by contributing to extra curricular activities, social events and fundraising.


Professional Support

The school draws on a wide range of other professionals to help support the children. It may be that you will meet some of them during your time with us. The professionals mentioned below visit the school regularly and welcome enquiries from parents. Please contact the Head Teacher, Mrs Stewart, if you feel your child would benefit from any of the services below.

Ms Shiona Alexander (Educational Psychologist)

Mrs C. Vernal (School Nurse)                                          

Dr S. Watt ( School doctor)

Mrs A. Birrell (Speech and Language Therapist)







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Text Box: Main Areas of the Curriculum
English Language
Environmental  Studies
Expressive Arts
Religious/Moral Education
Modern Languages
Personal and Social Development 
The Curriculum

The curriculum at Duncan Forbes reflects the guidance given to schools in The Scottish Executive’ 5-14 Guidelines.

Our main aim is that the children will achieve a personal best for themselves in each area of study. We expect as many children as possible to achieve or exceed national expectations of achievement in Language and Mathematics. We consider the acquisition of the skills associated with these foundation subjects to be crucial to later academic success.

Learning Support staff work alongside class teachers to plan for the best provision for individual pupils.

The school has a wide range of resources to draw on to support teaching and learning. Each teaching area has its own mini-library for pupils to use for research or for reading for pleasure. The ‘Friends of Duncan Forbes’ have been particularly supportive over the years in supplying funds to maintain the library areas.



Pupils are assessed by formal tests, informal observation and activity tasks on an on-going basis to enable effective evaluation and planning for learning and teaching. Assessment takes place within the normal classroom situation, thus allowing pupils to perform to the best of their ability.

National Assessments are used in Language and Mathematics to support the teacher’s professional judgement of the level at which a child is working. Results of National Assessments appear in your child’s report which is issued in June each year.

From time to time the Learning Support staff may also carry out assessments with individual children in order to identify the most suitable learning and teaching approached for that particular child. Parents are kept fully involved of any involvement with Learning Support staff.


Reporting to Parents

It is vital to your child’s progress that he/she is supported by you throughout his/her education. We therefore set a very high priority on keeping you informed of the work your child is doing in school.

Parent – teacher meetings are held in October, an Open Afternoon is held in March and after you have received your child’s report in June a further opportunity is provided to meet the class teacher.

There are also many opportunities to meet with school staff on an informal basis over the year which will enable you to keep up to date with the work going on in the school.

We also have an ‘Open Door’ policy and any parents who may have queries or concerns are asked to contact the school at any point in the school year and either myself or your child’s class teacher will be happy to meet with you.


Parents at Duncan Forbes

We strongly believe that the best way to ensure success for the children is to work in close partnership with their parents.

To help us provide as best possible for all pupils we ask parents for essential information about their child/children at enrolment and again in August at the start of the school year. Should any information change during the school year then please let the school know so that we can keep our records up to date.

The School Board and Friends of Duncan Forbes work in partnership with the staff for the benefit of all our pupils. If you have an interest in either group then please get in touch with the school.

We are happy to organise meetings or workshops for parents on any aspect of school life. Just let us know what you would like to know more about and we will do our best to accommodate your request. Our monthly newsletter has a parent response sheet which you can use to let us know your views and suggest improvements.

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Religious and Moral Education

It is important to make children aware of the importance of the customs and values which underpin our society. It enables them to make sense of the world around them, while a code of conduct, which they consider just, provides them with security. As they grow up children may then make informed personal choices whilst respecting values and customs which differ from their own.

Younger children discuss and make simple moral judgements from stories. Older pupils are encouraged to identify moral dilemmas, offer an opinion on them and draw parallels between story situations and real life. In keeping with all world religions pupils are encouraged to foster a positive attitude towards the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Common values such as fairness, honesty and respect for others are reinforced through school rules, stories, drama, daily events and weekly assemblies.

The school adds to its resources for the study of major world religions annually and values visiting speakers and trips to provide real life experiences and a wider perspective of life.


Arrangements will be made for children whose parents wish to withdraw them from Religious Education.



Text Box: Weekly Assemblies are held in the school. Guest chaplains representing the churches within the Culloden area speak at our assemblies throughout the year.



Research shows that when children practice the work they have learned in school by doing homework their standards of achievement improve markedly.

Every child at Duncan Forbes gets homework to do throughout the week at a level appropriate to their age and stage of development. It is important that parents encourage a positive attitude towards homework by encouraging children to take a pride in their work and do their best.


Homework is considered beneficial for the following reasons:

  • to consolidate work already covered in class
  • to engender a positive attitude towards learning
  • to develop pupils’ self discipline, independence and organisational skills
  • to inform and enable you to support your child in his/her school work







Promoting Positive Behaviour

We expect our pupils to behave in a responsible and courteous manner at all times. The Golden Rules underpin the school’s code of conduct. These rules are discussed regularly with our pupils and rewards given to reinforce the value of thoughtful and considerate behaviour.

All members of staff work together to ensure the children are supported to do the right thing and take personal responsibility for their actions.

We encourage positive behaviour by ‘catching’ children being good. Positive behaviour is rewarded by staff praise, praise postcards, house points, certificates and Good citizen Awards, We balance praise with sanctions when appropriate.

Normal sanctions for unacceptable behaviour might include Verbal warning: Loss of House Points: Loss of Golden Time: Punishment exercise to be completed at home and signed by parents:  Loss of privileges:  Kept in during break or lunchtime completing a written exercise (parents would be informed of this): ‘Time Out’ in own class / area  away from other children: ‘Time Out’ in another class: Time out with Headteacher and parents notified.

The following examples of indiscipline would result in parents being immediately contacted: physical aggression, deliberate acts of vandalism, bad language, defiance, stealing, lewd behaviour, racial incidents, bullying, possessing weapons.

If a child has a problem with his/her behaviour we will keep parents fully informed of our concerns and will work hard to provide a suitable behaviour support programme to encourage and support the child in modifying his/her behaviour in a positive way. We also ask you to keep us informed should you have any concerns about your child.

The school is also exploring and developing the use of Restorative Practices in dealing with inappropriate behaviour. The emphasis is placed on repairing damage to relationships within the school community and encouraging the children to be involved in finding solutions to move forward in a positive manner.

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CALM (Crisis and Aggression Limitation Management)

Some staff within the school are CALM trained in physical restraint techniques. In a situation where there is an immediate danger to other persons or the possibility of physical assault upon themselves staff may intervene physically. CALM training provides staff with the skills to make appropriate risk assessments of any such situation.  If measures to diffuse the situation have not been successful and physical intervention is required the techniques used ensure there is no danger of the child being hurt. 


Child Protection

From time to time incidents can occur within the school setting which cause concern and could indicate that a pupil is suffering from some form of abuse. In terms of Highland Child Protection Committee Inter Agency Guidelines, Education Service Staff must report such incidents to Social Work Services which can lead to a joint Social Work/police Investigation. All agencies involved in child Protection are obliged to make the welfare of children their paramount consideration and this will be the priority of Education staff.

More information about Child Protection Procedures within Highland can be obtained from the Child Protection Development Officer. Tel:01463 703483



We understand bullying to be any persistent, aggressive, threatening or other kind of behaviour which is deliberately intended to frighten or hurt another child. This type of behaviour is not tolerated at Duncan Forbes.

Unacceptable behaviour, including bullying, will be discussed with parents and addressed in a supportive way.

If your child tells you that he/she has been bullied in school it is very important that you let the Head Teacher know as soon as possible so that the incident can be investigated quickly. Children are encouraged in school not to suffer in silence and to tell an adult of their worries or concerns. We are keen that the victims of bullying are supported to ensure their self esteem and confidence grows strong enough for them to feel happy and secure again.

Children who are identified as having bullying type behaviour will also be supported. It is important they understand the adverse effect of their behaviour and how unacceptable it is. We recognise that bullies often have underlying problems of their own which they need to help to address. Parents will always be informed where we have concerns. Anti Bullying Policy.


Adverse Weather

The decision as to whether a pupil should attempt to travel to school in adverse weather conditions, whether by transport or on foot, lies with the parents.  While recognising that education should be interrupted as little as possible, the Education Authority accepts that in severe weather conditions the safety of the children is paramount.

Some parents and pupils are often particularly concerned that important examinations may be missed, but this factor should not over-ride good judgement.  Arrangements can be made regarding missing examinations or tests.

Detailed notes are issued to parents before onset of winter including details of our School Information Phone Line.  This number should be kept close by the phone for ease of reference during the winter.

It is paramount that parents should advise schools of an alternative address which can be used by their children in emergencies.

Local radio stations will issue news and weather bulletins conveying information regarding traffic conditions, school closures etc.  While it is recognised that such transmissions may not cover all households and may be subject to re-scheduling in some circumstances, they will be helpful to many families.  Parents are therefore advised to keep “tuned in” to be aware of ongoing road or school information updates.

Radio stations request that, since telephone lines are busy at such times, parents should not ‘phone for advice but listen to appropriate broadcasts or ‘phone the dedicated information line (number below).



BBC Radio Highland          6.55 – 7.00 am       and     7.50 – 8.00 am

                                      12.55 – 1.00 pm      and     4.55 – 5.00 pm

In extreme conditions Radio Highland will interrupt Radio Scotland transmissions, usually on the hour, to carry emergency bulletins.


Moray Firth Radio

Normal hourly bulletins will carry local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools.  In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted to carry emergency bulletins.


Duncan Forbes School Telephone Messaging Service:

For the latest information in respect of Duncan Forbes please ‘phone:

0870 054 6999 04 1940


Information about school closures can also be accessed on Highland Council’s website:                                                                              http://www.winter.highlandschools.org.uk

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School Meals

Children attending Duncan Forbes School have various choices at lunchtime.

Some children prefer to go home and a crossing patroller is on duty in Keppoch Road to assist children during lunch breaks.

Seating is made available in the dining hall to children who prefer to bring a packed lunch from home.

School meals are prepared and served on the premises.  The quality of the meals is high, with a vegetarian alternative available most days.  The emphasis is on providing the children with a quality, healthy and balanced meal.  There are two sittings a lunch time, one for younger children and one for the older children.  A school meal costs £1.60 per day or may be free in certain circumstances.

Application forms for a smart card are available from the office.  Money can be ‘loaded’ on to the card or credit in the case of free school meal entitlement.

If you would like to apply for free school meals please contact the school office, in confidence, for further information.



School Uniform

All children attending the school are expected to wear school uniform.  The school uniform consists of a sweatshirt, white polo shirt and dark trousers or skirt.

There are three different sweatshirts worn in school.  Nursery has a green sweatshirt and P1-6 wear a purple sweatshirt.  Purple is the main colour in the Culloden tartan.  The school badge depicts the 18th century dovecote, found on Barn Church Road and highlights the school’s connection with The Forbes Estate.

Primary 7 pupils wear a red sweatshirt.  This colour makes them stand out from the crowd and helps younger children identify them as ‘buddies’ who will give them a helping hand.  The badge on their sweatshirt indicates that they are Primary 7.  The dove underlines the connection with the dovecote and is also a symbol of peace and hope.  The linking hands indicates that Primary 7 children can be expected to be a “helping hand” to younger children in the school and also extend help to the wider community.

Application forms for a Clothing Allowance can be obtained from the school office or Education Office, in confidence.


The School Day

School times are as follows:

              Primaries 1 – 3                               Primaries 4 – 7

Morning       9.15 am – 12.15 pm                                              9.00 am – 12.35 pm

Afternoon       1 pm – 2.45 pm                                                    1.15 pm – 3 pm

Lunch Break 12.20 pm – 1.15 pm                                               12.35 pm – 1.15 pm



The Nursery offers places for four year olds in either a morning session from 9.15am – 11.45am or an afternoon session from 12.30pm – 3.00pm

Regular liaison takes place between the Nursery and Primary 1 in the summer term.



As parents it is your responsibility to ensure your child attends school.  While poor attendance can affect a child’s performance at school, your child should not attend if unwell.  On a daily basis the school office contacts the parents of children who are absent without an explanation.  We therefore ask parents to advise the school of any absences immediately to avoid the school having to contact you.  All absences should be preceded or followed by a note of explanation to your child’s teacher. Any absence for which we receive no written explanation is recorded as unauthorised and eventually appears in the Scottish Executive figures as a truancy.

School attendance figures are published annually.  A class register is required to be kept and any unauthorised absences will be followed up by the school.

We also need to know about medical or dental appointments. Please collect your child from school for any appointments they need to attend during the school day.


Examples of authorised absence include:

  • family bereavement
  • education in another school
  • judicial purposes
  • sickness/ill health (including visits to doctor, dentist, optician, therapist etc)
  • sporting/artistic events supported by the school
  • school visits
  • any other reasonable excuse authorised by the Head Teacher

Unauthorised absence is any absence not falling into the above categories.

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Holidays should be taken within the designated holiday periods if at all possible.

Where parents have no control over dates of their annual leave the Head Teacher can authorise absence from school for a holiday.  This is a facility which should apply in exceptional circumstances only and the child should have a good attendance record otherwise.

All parents must request permission from the Head Teacher for a term time holiday.  Holidays taken during term time are registered as unauthorised unless there are mitigating family circumstances.



School Opens                                  School Closes 

Tuesday 8 April 2008                                          Friday 27 June 2008                                            

 Other holidays and staff training

Monday 5 May 2008     -    May holiday




                  School Opens                  School Closes

Term 1        Tuesday 19 August 2008                 Friday 10 October 2008

Term 2        Wednesday 29 October 2008         Friday 19 December 2008

Term 3        Monday 5 January 2009                Friday 27 March 2009

Term 4        Tuesday 14 April 2009                  Thursday 2 July 2009


Other holidays and closures for staff training:


Monday 18 August    -       Staff Training

Monday 27 October   -       Staff Training

Tuesday 28 October  -       Staff Training



Thursday 12 February -      Staff Training

Friday 13 February   -       Holiday

Monday 16 February  -       Holiday

Tuesday 17 February  -      Staff Training

Monday 13 April      -       Holiday

Monday 4 May         -      Holiday


Home/School Communications

We consider that good communications between home and the school are most important.

At Duncan Forbes we make strenuous efforts to give home/school communication a top priority.  The Head Teacher and class teachers welcome enquiries from parents and are happy to arrange to meet with parents at any time in the course of the school session.

We try to respond to the needs of all parents as far as possible.  Parents are asked for their opinions and views by means of a detailed questionnaire every second year.  In the interim year parents are asked to take the opportunity to outline their views and or concerns on a simple response sheet.  These views are then taken into consideration when we draw up our development plan for the following session.

We are fortunate in having an active Friends Association and School Board at Duncan Forbes.  Both groups provide an important link between parents and the school.  Both have a vital role to play in promoting home/school links.

Each year we approach parents to ask for volunteers as classroom helpers.  Parents regularly help us out by accompanying school trips, helping out in classes, working on developing school policies etc.  We hope that during your time with us we can encourage you to become involved in the life of the school.  We are sure you will enjoy the time you spend with us.


Development of Social and Cultural Values

From the earliest stages of the school the children are encouraged to develop an awareness of place and their responsibilities within society.  Through the work of the class we develop a range of teaching and learning opportunities which will provide a focus for introducing local and Scottish issues and an examination of Scotland’s place in the wider world.

Whilst we want the children to have a knowledge of the uniqueness of their Scottish and Highland heritage we fully recognise that Scotland’s history has been played out against the stage of world events and that Scotland has a tradition of looking outwards and recognising the strengths and worth of other nations and heritages. 

It is a priority for us to provide guidance on accepting everybody’s individual worth regardless of race or creed and to promote equal opportunity for all at Duncan Forbes.

Any incident which could be regarded as racist in any way will be fully investigated by the school as soon as it is reported to us.

Racist incidents will be reported to the Education Authority.


Data Protection

Any information you have supplied/any information gathered from or about pupils will be used only for the purpose for which it was provided and any relevant procedures following from this.  This data will be maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act and will not be passed on to any other organisation without your prior approval unless it is a legal requirement.


How to Get in Touch With Us:

Duncan Forbes Primary School            

Keppoch Road                                    




Tel: (01463) 791897

Fax: (01463) 794227

 E-mail: duncanforbes.primary@highland.gov.uk


Both the Head Teacher and the Staff welcome you to the school and hope that your time with us will be both happy and successful.

We hope that you have found the information contained within this brochure to be of interest to you.  It is only a starting point in your association with the school.  Please do not hesitate to contact the school at any time if you require further advice and clarification.


Some Useful Names and Addresses

The Parent Council at Duncan Forbes

Parent Members:

Chair:                    Mr Ramsay Aitken

Secretary:             Mr Ian MacFarlane

Staff Member:      Mrs Sandra Bell


The Parent Council can be contacted through the school office.


Secondary Education:

Mr S Dowds


Culloden Academy



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Information for parents 2006 primary schools:





School: Duncan Forbes

Id No.: 270 - 5143624



Budgeted Running Costs For Financial Year 2006-2007

School Roll at September 2005


Total School Running Costs at April 2006 (£)


Cost per Pupil (£)




Attendance And Absence For School Year 2005/2006











Total Number of Possible
Attendances(Pupil Half Days)









Percentage Authorised









Percentage Unauthorised










Minimising Overall Absence


Absence recorded
Average number of
half days absence
per pupil

Absence recorded
Average number of
half days absence
per pupil





Where schools have 9 openings per week, please note that all local authority and national figures are based on 10 openings per week, and so are not directly comparable.

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Duncan Forbes Primary School, Keppoch Road, Culloden, Inverness

 Tel: (01463) 791897

E-mail: duncanforbes.primary@highland.gov.uk