Ellon Academy pupils embrace the idea of random acts of kindness

There is a ‘mystery mugger’ on the loose at Ellon Academy...

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:30 am
A letter of appreciation from S2 pupil Piper Burrows and inset: The ‘mystery mugger’s’ note and gift.

Don’t be alarmed – the ‘mystery mugger’ left a sachet of coffee in a cup with a note.

It said: “Think you’re doing a great job and thoroughly deserve this mug full of treats. The past year hasn’t been easy, but we’ve gotten through it together. Give yourself a pat on the back and know that your efforts don’t go unnoticed.”

The recipient was encouraged to reciprocate the mysterious mugging.

This is just one of the many random acts of kindness that have been occurring at Ellon Academy last term. The idea came about when the school’s Rector, Pauline Buchan, mentioned the concept whilst visiting all of the S1 PSE classes when she was telling them about the school’s ethos. Kindness was one of the themes she mentioned.

Pauline said: “Our young people have really embraced the idea of random acts of kindness. This idea has created a ripple of little acts of kindness, so I started recognising them and publishing them on the school Facebook page and it’s just grown.”

Some of the many acts of kindness included a pupil writing a lovely letter to the canteen staff to let them know how much she had enjoyed the food and how nice the staff are when she queues up for her meals.

The letter said: “Thank you for putting in the effort to make sure everyone has a school meal. You are always so nice and polite when giving out the food. Everything is always so delicious and tasty and for that I am very grateful and thankful to have you all as the school canteen staff.”

Others include a concerned a member of staff buying a colleague a present for their pet dog; goodies including chocolates have been sent to teachers and staff as a thank you from parents and carers, and pupils brought in a cake for a teacher celebrating their birthday.

“One teacher received a handmade card and a bunch of flowers from a pupil to show her appreciation of her classes.

"The teacher was so overwhelmed with gratitude that it reduced her to tears. In the pupil’s card it said she spoke for the rest of the class too,” Mrs Buchan said.

S1 pupils wrote Mrs Buchan a letter outlining what they liked about the school. She shared this letter with the teachers that were mentioned.

The teachers were incredibly touched by the pupils’ kind words and that they were the pupils’ favourite teachers.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “In many towns and villages in Aberdeenshire our schools play a central role in the community. It is therefore wonderful to hear that pupils and staff at Ellon Academy have been making their community a better place by performing random acts of kindness. I hope pupils at the school will continue to be kind without prompting well into their adult lives.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Boosting mental health and wellbeing amongst young people is very important currently so it is great to see Ellon Academy doing this whilst encouraging kindness.”