Mackie Matters - Sponsored walk a highlight

The highlight of the week was our Annual Sponsored Walk. This was my first one as I did not make it last year and what a day we had.

Despite a week of mists and gloom Friday stayed dry for us and very warm – to the extent that even the midges made a day of it with us.

Our chosen charity this year is CLAN which provides cancer support for all in the North-east. Their representatives were there to hand out the medals at the end of the walk and Leigh Ryrie, senior children and family support worker, sent me a lovely email of thanks.

We look forward to seeing them before Christmas to present them with the funds raised by the pupils. Fancy dress was abundant as was the colour purple as CLAN are having a purple month. On page 29 there are just a few of the sights that Mr Craig managed to capture as they headed around the walk.

It was also great to see so many of our new S1 students getting into the spirit of the day, some even making it round as part of our cross country team who finished the full distance of around 9miles in around 1hr30mins which is fantastic.

We will be doing a full display of photos in school as there were so many great sights and the challenge now will be to raise even more funds than we did last year. A massive thank you to all the staff involved in making such a success of the day – the level of organisation involved in the event is phenomenal and it is very much appreciated.

Also, a big thanks to our business partner, Nexen, who participated in the day and also paid for the buses and medals for the pupils.

Another activity that has been underway over the past two weeks has been “bodging” involving S4 students and Mr Craig down in Dunnottar Woods. This is an ongoing project to which Mr Craig puts in a great deal of time outside of school but which is benefiting our pupils as well.

In addition to this our Young Engineers Club, specifically the flood warning project led by Mr Craig, is being held up as a beacon of excellent practice for other schools to follow.

The Scottish Schools Tennis competition is under way again with the boys’ first match confirmed for Thursday, October 9.

Sport continues to go from strength to strength and on Thursday our teams headed out to the South Aberdeenshire Secondary Schools Sports event where we swept the board. It was a fantastic set of achievements for our students and once our new trophy cabinets are in place we will be displaying our wares.

Techfest gets under way soon. It is a charitable organisation that looks to inspire young people to get involved in STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

We have speakers coming to Mackie Academy including Professor Marcel Jaspers who is going to present on Extreme Drug Discovery to some of our senior students.

We also have a “Faraday workshop” taking place in school which is engaging with some of our S1 students. In addition to this our English department were off to see “The Glass Menagerie” at Dundee Rep this week and a good night was had by all.

Finally, our new head of service, Vincent Doherty, was out at school this week around and in our classrooms to see the excellent work going on here at Mackie Academy.

He was very impressed not only by our pupils and staff but also by our learning environment which we continue to work on at all times.

We have also appointed two new members to our Senior Leadership Team – Stuart Gray as our Support Services Co-ordinator and Alan Tullock – Acting Depute Head. We look forward to welcoming them into the Mackie Academy team in October.