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Ellon pupils embrace the idea of random acts of kindness


By David Porter

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

Please 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 Buchan 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.”

Other instances of random acts of kindness 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.

“Both those who have received the random acts of kindness and those who have been kind have told us how good they feel.

"Pupils have been almost falling over themselves to tell me about what they have done.

"Hopefully that’s what will embed into the positive ethos of the school to support our approach to wellbeing, but I don’t want it to be contrived or twee,” Mrs Buchan said.

Councillor 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.”


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