The wee Broch laddie who was to become rector of the academy

In the mists of time, a wee laddie peers over the garden wall of his home in Union Grove into the grounds of Fraserburgh Academy and wonders if he will go to school there one day.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th January 2010, 7:33 am

Fast forward a couple of decades and that same boy has indeed made it to the big school - not as a pupil, but as its rector.

Fraserburgh-born John Noble was appointed as the new rector on December 4 after holding the post of acting rector at the school for almost two years.

In fact his first links with education in the Broch were first as a pupil at Fraserburgh Infant School, just along the road from where he currently oversees some 1,250 pupils and well over 100 teaching and non-teaching staff.

As a boy of seven or eight, his father left the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Company or 'Toolies' to take up a new job in Lockerbie in the Scottish Borders for a number of years, before the family moved back to Buchan to settle in Peterhead where Mr Noble attended the local secondary school.

From there he went to Aberdeen University where he graduated with an MA in Maths and Philosophy. He went on to do his teacher training and at that time undertook further study in religious education which enabled him when he graduated to be able to teach both maths and religious and moral education, as it was then called.

In 1979, he took up his first post at Peterhead Academy where he remained for four years before becoming assistant principal teacher of religious and moral education at Banchory Academy until 1985.

From there he moved onto Cults Academy in Aberdeen to become its principal teacher and progressed to the role of acting assistant rector before leaving in 1992.

It was then that John moved to the Broch Academy initially becoming assistant rector, then depute rector, acting rector and now rector.

In 2002, he was persuaded to do a period of secondment as an education officer, working with around 20 schools in the local area. The role involved looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each school and helping each build on its strengths.

Upon being offered this role he said that he would only take the job on three conditions: firstly that he was based at Fraserburgh Academy, secondly that he could still continue to teach part-time and finally that he would only do it for six months.

And true to his word, seven months later he was back in the classroom and he hasn't regretted it for a moment.

Some people are born teachers and John's first steps along this route were not in the classroom from behind a desk, but as a pupil helping his friends with their maths homework and then later on his friends in university.

"You could say I began teaching at the age of 14 or 15," he explains.

"I felt I had the ability to communicate well with other people. I was very good at maths and my friends used to ask me for help with their homework. They would come round to the house at night to get help and this continued when I went to university. I was able to explain it to them perhaps in a way that they found easier to understand."

And his enthusiasm and love of teaching is still as keen as ever. Even today as rector he continues to teach religious, moral and philosophical studies to Higher pupils at the school.

For our fascinating full feature see this week's Fraserburgh Herald