Busy time before break

On Tuesday evening of this week, the Academy Assembly Hall was packed to capacity for the Christmas concert. There was an Art exhibition in the foyer of course work done by S2 pupils.

The concert itself had a variety of music from a range of groups – the concert band, the ceilidh band, the string group, the guitar group, the samba band and the percussion group all performed, as well as the junior and senior choir.

On Wednesday of this week the junior choir travelled to the Academy’s business partner Nexen at their headquarters at Altens to entertain staff. Also there was a clarinet group, and members of the Young Enterprise company were there to try to sell more of their winter car care kits – they are hoping the snow and ice come back to make their product even more of a “must have” purchase!

Also on Wednesday, S2 pupils who study German as an elective travelled to Edinburgh to visit the German Christmas market. They were accompanied by some senior pupils who study Higher German and 2 members of the Modern Languages department, Mrs Cavanagh and Ms Munro. The intention was to practise speaking the German they have been learning and Edinburgh is much closer than Germany!

The canteen got into festive mood this week with 2 days of Christmas lunches for pupils and staff. S1 and S2 pupils were released early from class to enable queuing to be kept to a minimum as there is always a goo take up of the Christmas lunch.

The PTA organised a Christmas Hamper raffle and sold tickets to the audience as they arrived for the Christmas concert. The winner was Ms Jo Smith who teaches History in the Academy. The raffle raised £254 for PTA funds.

At morning Assembly this week, two sixth year pupils presented to all year groups about their recent trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau as part of the lessons from Auschwitz project. Hannah McMann and Kathleen Hamilton spoke about their experience and illustrated their presentation with photographs.

On Friday of last week, Mr Steven Dornan left the Academy to take up a new permanent post as teacher of English at Cults Academy. He had been a student and a probationer at the Academy in the English department and has been working as a SFL teacher this session. We wish him well for his new post.

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings of last week there were parties for S1/S2 and S3/S4 pupils. Music was provided by the band who have been playing for Academy parties for many years. Senior pupils helped with supervision (and joined in the dancing enthusiastically!) Acting Depute Rector Mr Ewen Ritchie was “MC” at the S1/S2 party and he and Faculty Head of PE Mrs Donna Agnew shared the “MC” role at the S3/S4 party.

After school on Wednesday of last week a group of staff was involved in a training session using moviemaker software to animate electronic teaching materials. The presenter was from “Teach It” and he will return in January for a second session with a different group of staff. The course covered use of Google Earth, Go Animate, Wordle, Glogster and Voki.

The organising committee for Rock Challenge organised two fundraising Just Dance sessions on Thursday and Friday of last week. Entry was 50p and the events raised just over £120 which will go towards the cost of costumes for this year’s entry. Pupils involved in Rock Challenge have been ordering tee-shirts with their name on the back on wear at the event.

The under 15 rugby team had a game on Monday against Westhill Academy of this week. Coordinator of rugby activities is Mr Gerry Lock who teaches PE in the Academy.

The annual Interhouse cheerleading competition took place at lunchtime on Tuesday of last week. The winning team was Cowie. Judges for the event were Mr Craig Thomson who teaches PE, Miss Lorraine Johnston who teaches Drama and Principal Teacher of Music Mr Andrew Cheyne. The Assembly Hall was packed with an appreciative audience of pupils from all year groups.

After the Cheerleading, the house points totals were updated. Swanley is still top with 117, 2nd Dunnottar 112, 3rd Rickarton 91, 4th Cowie 87, 5th Fetteresso 73, 6th Ury 67.

The Interhouse noticeboard will be judged on Thursday of this week, the theme is Christmas.

On Thursday afternoon of this week, the annual S1 Christmas Maths competition is scheduled to take place in the Assembly Hall. Teams of S1 pupils tried to solve mathematical problems with S6 pupils who study Advanced Higher Mathematics helping with marking each round of the competition and totalling the scores. Mr Wesley Leith who teaches Mathematics in the Academy is the organiser of this annual event.

The Scholastic Book Fair which was held in the Library raised just over £700 which means that the Academy Library benefits to the tune of £350 in free books from Scholastic. All pupils benefit from these additional resources.

On Wednesday of last week pupils following the Social and Vocational Skills Course ran a fundraising Christmas stall. They had intended to run their stall on Thursday as well but they were sold out by the end of lunchtime on the Wednesday!

One of the S1 Rick Task groups decided to do some fundraising for Clashfarquhar House in Stonehaven. They made and sold cards and other Christmas items and raised £155.

THe high winds which blew on Thursday of last week resulted in a late decision by Bluebird, the main school bus company from Academy pupils, to withdraw all double decker buses. As the Academy was not notified of this until 3.15pm, parents of bus travellers were texted to let them know what had happened and pupils had to wait in the Assembly Hall and foyer until single deckers were sourced to take them all home.

On Friday afternoon of this week Christmas assemblies are scheduled for pupils. One of the Chaplaincy Team Rev Maggie Jackson will lead both services.

School closes for the two week Christmas holiday break at 3.15pm today, Friday. Classes resume for staff and pupils on Monday 9 January.