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South Lodge Primary School in Invergordon is a winner at Highland Heroes awards

By Imogen James

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David Hayes-MacLeod praised the school's community spirit. Picture: Callum Mackay
David Hayes-MacLeod praised the school's community spirit. Picture: Callum Mackay

South Lodge Primary School has been named as school of the year for its inclusivity and passionate team.

The Invergordon school lifted the Highland Heroes award due to its dedicated staff including head teacher David Hayes-MacLeod.

Mr Hayes-MacLeod has equipped it with benches and equipment for kids with mobility issues, and provided a safe space for children struggling with day to day activities.

An Education Scotland inspection in 2019 also praised the school’s efforts in going the extra mile for families.

Mr Hayes-MacLeod, who has been head teacher there since 2016, described the school as having a warmth about it, and it is clear that he is devoted to its success.

"I'm a wee bit on cloud nine," he said after receiving the award. "It's not usual that I'm quite lost for words but I really was last night.

"I wasn't expecting it at all, we were up against some great other nominees as well. Everybody in the Highlands are heroes after the last couple of years that we have all had to come through.

"I am just overjoyed. It's an accolade that will mean just so much not just to me but the whole of the school community – the children, the staff, the parents."

South Lodge is at the heart of the community and David said that the parents were shouting congratulations as they dropped their children off on Friday morning.

He held a special assembly to show the children pictures and videos of the awards ceremony and to let them see the trophy.

"It's a whole school celebration," he continued.

"I'm over the moon. It really rubber stamps how much I feel about he school, how much I love it and how much it has come on in the last few years.

"I would say South Lodge is like a collective heart. Every single person in the school – it doesn't matter if they are the cleaner, cook, teachers – everyone has a genuine love for their job here.

"We rely heavily on nurture for our children so we provide a lot of support. I know it's well appreciated by all of the community just what we do here at South Lodge.

"I think that collective heart and love and passion that we all have, no matter what their status is in the school, makes us so special. Everybody is here for the love of the job and to make a difference in children's lives."

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