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Contact Information

Mr Garry Spence

Depute Headteacher:
Mrs Lynsey Irvine /
Miss Pauline Irvine

Contact Us

Whalsay School
United Kingdom

Telephone Number:
(01595) 743800



For sports news and details of interhouse events click here

Duke of Edinburgh Award

A group of our pupils recently achieved their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award; Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections. The Scheme has been organised by SIC Youth Services and run by our Youth Worker, Alexis Gaines.
Very well done to everyone involved.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Shetland Foodbank gives helping hand over school holidays

If you are a family who gets support through free school meals during term time and then find it difficult to feed your family during school holidays when there are extra hungry mouths at home all day, Shetland Foodbank can offer some help. Please contact us on 01595 741263 (between 2.00pm and 4.30p any weekday afternoon) or call along at the Foodbank at 20A St. Magnus SDT in Lerwick during these times.Shetland foodbank are here to offer a helping hand.

Easyfundraising for Whalsay School

(6th Oct 16) We would like to draw you attention to a way of helping to raise funds for Whalsay School, if you are doing any shopping online.

From your weekly shop to your annual holiday, you could be raising a free donation for Whalsay School. There are nearly 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury's, who will donate a percentage of the amount you spend to Whalsay School to say thank you for shopping with them.

It's really simple, and doesn't cost you anything. All you have to do is:

1. Go to

2. Sign up for free

3. Get shopping.

Your donations will be collected by easyfundraising and automatically sent to Whalsay School. It couldn't be easier! There are no catches or hidden charges and Whalsay School will be really grateful for your donations.

Art World at Bonhoga

Pupils from primary classes P 4/5 , P 6/7  & secondary groups  2, 3 & 4 currently have work they’ve made during workshops at  the school with Shetland artist Amy Gear  on show at the Bonhoga gallery , Weisdale.

The show is called Art World & runs until the 24th July.  Whalsay pupils collaborated with one another & with pupils from other schools ( Fetlar, Sandwick, Aith & Baltasound ) to create, along with Amy Gear, an art environment of sculpture, drawing, collage, video, & sound  in the upstairs gallery at Bonhoga, with clay work, table cloths & the original starting point for the project – a large painted canvas – in the cafe downstairs.  There is also work from Aith in a sculpture garden outside the gallery building.

Here is a link to Paul Bloomers review in the Shetland Times:

Here is a link to the Bonhoga gallery site:

Photograph shows collected work of Whalsay bairns outside the secondary building before their journey to the Bonhoga gallery.

Primary Pupil's Sculptures


Youth Philanthropy Initative (YPI) event at Whalsay School

(19th May 2016) S3 Pupils have been working together on the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) since October 2015, during RME classes.

In teams, the pupils researched social issues which affect our community and then created an engaging and persuasive presentation on a local charity they believed to be best placed to tackle an issue they are passionate about. Pupils also made contact with their chosen charity and arranged to meet up to discuss their work and most importantly, what the charity would do with £3000.00, if the teams presentation was chosen as winner. This money is provided by the Wood Foundation.

 On Monday 25th April Secondary Pupils, Parents & Staff at Whalsay School watched the four teams give presentations on behalf of local charities.

The four local charities chosen by the Whalsay pupils were: Shetland Women’s Aid; Moving On Employment Project; Lerwick RNLI; Mind Your Head. Each charity provides a vital role within the Shetland Community.

The panel of judges were extremely impressed by every team, who raised awareness of their chosen charity as well as developing skills in teamwork, communication and self confidence. There was a short interval whilst the judges agreed their decision on a winner, and Ross Thomson, S2, entertained the audience with some piano pieces.

Calum MacSween, Highlands & Islands lead for YPI Scotland, said that all the pupils were a real credit to the school and the teaching they've had there, to themselves for their obvious hard work and commitment, and to the charities whose causes they represented so well.

Mrs Hughson, chair of the judging panel, presented the winning team – Lerwick RNLI- with their cheque for £3000.00.   The money will be used to train & equip a new crew member.

The boys have since visited RNLI in Lerwick, to hand over their cheque. They will be kept informed of the trainee crewman’s progression over the next year by the crewman himself. They also had a tour of the lifeboat and station and have been invited to join the crew on exercise in the near future.

The winning group: l-r Brendan Mair, Robbie Eunson & Ian Poleson, along with Calum MacSween

RNLI winners

Scholastic Book Club

(5th May 2016) This term, once again, we are running a Scholastic Book Club!

Book Club leaflets have been sent home with Primary pupils today.

Please place your order online at by end of day on THURSDAY 19th MAY.

Alternatively, you can fill out the paper form and return to the school office with cash (correct payment only) or a cheque made out to ‘Shetland Islands Council’ and we will add this to our online order. PLEASE NOTE: We will NOT be accepting credit card payments with paper orders as we’ve had a few issues with these in the past.



(04 May 2016) 12-year-old Mairi Williamson from Whalsay School has been named the Orkney & Shetland regional winner of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition. Mairi’s winning poster will be displayed as part of a special free exhibition, open to the public, at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh from 24 May to the 29 August 2016, alongside 13 other regional winners, the top three prize-winners and 154 shortlisted designs, making it the largest exhibition in the competition’s history.

The competition attracted entries from more schools this year – with a total of 175 schools, producing 4,979 eye-catching, creative and utterly original submissions. Supported by Virgin Money, the competition launched in 1980 and is one of Scotland’s longest-running arts outreach projects. Open to all five to sixteen year olds across Scotland, entrants are asked to create a poster design reflecting their interpretation of the Fringe.

Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Shona McCarthy said:

“I was thrilled to join my colleagues on the judging panel for my first Schools Poster Competition and was blown away by the sheer variety and talent on display, as well as inspired by how diverse and personal each child’s interpretation of the Fringe was. It is fantastic to see so many schools and pupils creatively engaging with the Fringe, and I look forward to developing these relationships with the Fringe in the coming years.”

“Mairi’s design was chosen as the winner from all of the entries received from Orkney & Shetland – it beautifully captures the essence of what the Fringe is all about and will be on display for everyone to see at Dynamic Earth over the summer. I have no doubt Whalsay School, Mairi’s family and classmates are very proud of her.”

Andrew Nicholson, Head of Sponsorship Marketing for Virgin Money said:

“Virgin Money is delighted to continue to support the Fringe’s Schools Poster Competition – every year, it’s fantastic to see just how many schools and pupils engage with the competition, and with it the Fringe. Mairi’s design shows obvious talent and her poster stood out as eye-catching and original. It’s a privilege to announce Mairi Williamson as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition regional winner for Orkney & Shetland”

In the past 36 years the competition has received over 100,000 entries. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society provides schools and teachers with comprehensive resources and lesson plans in line with the Curriculum for Excellence to get the most out of the competition.

The top three winners of the competition will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch on 24 May at Dynamic Earth. The winning design becomes the official poster for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is used on mugs, T-shirts and other merchandise available at the edfringe shop and online.

The full programme for the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe is launched on Wednesday 08 June. Tickets for a number of shows are already on sale at

Mairi's winning entry can be viewed via the following link:RW11Orkney_MairiWilliamson12.jpg

Peerie Makkers

(28 April 2016) Our knitting group have been very busy recently and have written a summary of their year.

Knitting Group report

knitting 1 knitting 3 Knitting 2


Art World Project

(20 Apr 2016) Amy Gear, Leard artist on the Art World Project, has recently been in school working with some of our pupils. Papier mache sculptures, based on drawings by pupils from other junior high schools, have been begun by P 4/5 , P 6/7 and Secondary 3 pupils at Whalsay. Secondary 1 and Secondary 2 pupils have also helped with building and painting these sculptures. There will be an exhibition – Art World - of the completed work from all the junior high schools taking part, at Bonhoga gallery during July. You can see the artwork done so far by following this link

Musical Evening

Primary 6/ 7 Report that they have written on the Musical Evening held in March 2016.

New Option Choice Resource for Schools Launched

(3 March 2016) The new National Qualifications section includes a new design and structure which makes it even easier for pupils, teachers and parents to explore information on NQ subjects and courses.

Option choiceEach course description includes links to potential progression routes in school, further study, training and employment.

Two new features mean that:

- pupils can link directly to the Subject/Careers list for each subject

- parents can link to the relevant Nationals/Highers in a Nutshell leaflet produced by the National Parent Forum (NPFS).



Pelagic sculpture project  /  Fish van collection workshop

(19 November 2015) The artist, Jo Chapman has recently arrived in Shetland for a ten week residency to work in the community to develop ideas for a sculpture she’ll build. The sculpture will be sited on Lerwick’s harbour front and will celebrate the role of the pelagic fishing industry in Shetland life and culture. 

Jo will be visiting schools around Shetland over the next few weeks and will be at Whalsay Secondary school on Monday 23rd November to hold a workshop with Secondary 1 pupils.

As part of the Fish Van Collection, she would be delighted to hear from members of the community and asks them to bring items, photos or memories about pelagic fishing to the Heritage Centre, where she will be during the afternoon of Monday 23rd.

The 'fish van collection' will then be exhibited as part of the project.

For further information or to make contact with Jo please go to:

Facebook page about the Fish Van Collection

Jo Chapman’s blog about the pelagic sculpture project

Jo Chapman’s artist website

Shoebox Appeal

We have recently contributed towards the annual Blythswood Shoebox Appeal, where shoeboxes filled with gifts are sent to underprivileged people in Eastern Europe. We gathered an excellent total of 46 boxes! Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Shoebox appeal 1 Shoebox appeal 2
Shoebox appeal 3


Wool Week 2015

Our knitting group recently attended the annual Shetland Wool Week .

They had an excellent day attending a felting class, hosting by Wool Week patron Donna Smith, followed by an afternoon of knitting.

Primary pupils have written up reports about their day,please click here to view them and more photos!

For more information about Shetland Wool Week, please visit:

wool week group


Maths Booklet

(11 September 2015) Please click on the link below to view the Numeracy Booklet that has been produced to give guidance to parents on how certain common numeracy topics are taught in mathematics and throughout the school. Staff from all departments have had input into the creation of the booklet, and it is hoped that with a consistent approach across all subjects pupils will progress successfully. There is also a glossary for common maths words.

Numeracy Booklet





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