A short Mackie Matters this week

It is a short column from Mackie Academy this week as the weather has put paid to a number of activities in different ways.

Our rugby matches have been called off due to waterlogged pitches and on Friday students who get to Mackie Academy by bus were taken off site early in order to get them home safely due to the high winds. The weather is not only having a significant impact on activities around the school but, as I spoke about last week, a lasting impact on our building.

After a visit from Property at Aberdeenshire Council this week we are going to have some further work done on our quad area to try and relieve the issues around flooding during times of high rainfall. This is essential for the development work that we want to consider for this area as we would not want to see this damaged by water pooling in this area.

On a lighter note students have named the area “Lake Mackie” but it is not a feature we will be sad to see the back of!!

Weather however did not put pay to our S2 evening explaining to parents the personalisation that students can make of their curriculum in S3 on Tuesday evening. Well attended we held the event in our library, due to exam desks occupying the hall, and actually it made a great venue.

I think we may return there for some more events in the future. Mrs Paul, Miss Robertson and two excellent S3 students took parents through the process as well as the rationale behind this.

Two students, Thomas Nixon and Ailsa Beck gave excellent presentations about their S3 profiles which reflects a culmination of their work throughout the Broad General Education before they move into the Senior Phase; a very useful experience of reflection and self evaluation for students.

This work continues with our S3-S5 students and parents on Tuesday, 11th February 2014 for our first Senior Phase Evening. It is an opportunity for students and parents to come along and find out about all the subjects on offer as well as to liaise with Further and Higher Education providers about how their choice of subjects can aid their future career pathways.

A careers fayre later in February will allow students to access local and national employers. It is a really important decision making time for students and it is important that they make the right choices.

I have now completed my visits to all of Mackie Academy’s feeder primary schools and have thoroughly enjoyed this. It has been great to visit all the schools, meet the Primary 7 students coming to Mackie Academy in August 2014 and the staff who are currently guiding them through this transition.

We have a great programme of transition planned for the students which means by the time they get to Mackie in August it will already feel like home. Excitingly, for those coming to Mackie in 2015, we have a new partnership with “Seafood in Schools” which means that Primary 7 students entering Mackie in August 2015 will have the experience of early in their transition year. I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff, students and parents at our feeder primaries that made me feel so welcome.

Finally, we are currently working on our “Wall of Fame” at Mackie Academy. Before Christmas we asked students to name things that they were proud that they had achieved; these statements – some named, some anonymous – are now highlighted on notice boards in our main student corridor area for all to see.

In time we would hope to translate this into our revamped Front Reception area.

Our senior students are well into their prelim exam period and we wish them all the best during this time and with the results that they will achieve. Whilst a stressful time for many the practice that they will gain now will clearly set them in good stead for the real thing in May and June 2014.