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March 9th 1989

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Value of rural schools

Close to the Alyth-Glenisla road lies the little community of Kilry; a few houses, a church and a small primary school serving the surrounding agricultural area. But to prove that small can indeed be beautiful, Kilry School in 1989 was named as the overall winner of the Scotsman School Magazine and Newspaper competition, triumphing over rival primary and secondary schools from every part of Scotland.

With a mere 18 pupils they produced the Kilry Bumpa Mag, an exuberant compendium of jokes, poems, pictures and well researched projects. For their ‘Post Run with Mr Kydd’, five of the children, Calum, Gavin, Hamish, Julie and Clare were up at 5am to be ready for Mr Kydd at 6am. They accompanied him on his visit to Blairgowrie sorting office and throughout his round of Kilry and Glenisla. As good reporters the children worked out that Mr Kydd travelled approximately 25,380 miles a year on his rounds. It was not just the older children who contributed to the Bumpa Mag, all 18 pupils had a number of entries. What about this succinct cri de coeur from Sophie of Primary 1.

I feel hot
I have spots
What have I got?
Chicken pox.

Jokes abound. “What do you call a chicken who crosses the road, rolls in the mud and crosses back again?”  A dirty double crosser. Or “What do you call a tiger in the south of France?”  Lost.

What went into the Bumpa Mag was the job of a committee of six. As Gavin Nicoll (aged 10) explained “We stayed behind on Monday nights and did some work when the little ones were away back home. We looked through the jotters and put slips of paper in the pages we thought were the best.”  Another of the editorial staff, Lynn Ferguson, came in on Sundays to do the photocopying and all the pupils helped with the colouring in of the graphs and tables required for the project on the town of Alyth.

No school produces such a lively, creative, imaginative and entertaining publication without help and encouragement from their teacher. Mrs Anne Gibb provided such help and demonstrated in the most practical fashion the arguments for keeping our small rural schools open.

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