Will there be a smooth transition to academy?

Only weeks away from the opening of Ellon Academy and you would expect there to be a buzz of anticipation in the town, but no, all I seem to hear are apprehensive questions about a number of issues concerning the new facility.

High on the list is concern for pupil safety which I agree is of paramount importance for every parent who will be sending a young person to the state-of-the-art school.

Personally I am not too concerned as I have sufficient faith in Aberdeenshire officials to deliver the goods, and I am pretty sure students who walk to and from the building will have been well briefed on safety and where exactly they should be walking.The only comment I would make on the issue would be to observe that pupils walking from Auchterellon area are going to have a fair hike each and every day. There will also be a busy junction to negotiate at Craighall, but hopefully it has all been sorted out before next term when the school opens.

The facility is of course a community one, and will be home to a number of organisations who currently operate from the town centre, including the long-serving Ythan Centre, the base for a number of educational activities over the years.

I just hope the transition will be a painless one, if indeed all the organisations in existence are set to move over the summer and autumn.

There is one thing for sure, the users of the new academy will have better parking facilities than we have been used to over the years, but again for those who do not drive it is going to be a fair slog out to the campus.

I can only assume that community leaders are being kept in the loop and know exactly what is going on, which I suspect is more than would-be consumers do. Surely it would be appropriate to have an open day before the move.

The opening day will be a red letter in the history of Ellon, let us just hope any teething problems are addressed before then.

On the subject of community education I had the privilege of being at Peterhead Lido last week where the 3rd Annual Blue Toon Trophy was held, involving schools from around Aberdeenshire, including Ellon and Meldrum Academies.

It was a bleak, windy day, but apparently holding no fears for the participating youngsters, including my own personal favourite from nearby Port Erroll Primary School who with his Optimist class dingy “Spiffy” was out there in the choppy harbour giving of his best.

Well done Finn Dixon I am proud of you. The 10-year-old for your information is one of my writing group at the school where I have been delighted to note the literary progress of my budding journalists.