Long weekend comes home to roost

Well we had the delights of a long weekend to start this week with. The only problem with that is everything is then squeezed into four days instead of five and we did exactly that last week!

Wednesday and Thursday were our S5 and S4 Induction Days respectively. We welcomed Andy McKechnie from Jammin’ Fitness who spoke and delivered workshops on the importance of being a healthy learner as well as developing the skills of leadership.

Our students were also involved in their own version of “Dragons Den” with their challenge linked into the work we have been doing around Mackie Academy’s Improvement Plan for the next three years.

Students were put into groups and part of the challenge was to work as a team. The real challenge is to be seen next week when they are presenting to the “dragons” who are comprised of some well-known staff members, Parent Council members, Nexen (our business partner) and members of our Chaplaincy team. I have no doubt they will give them a good grilling.

I was very proud of our senior students, especially our new S4. They worked together amazingly well and came up with some fantastic ideas. It was great to see them supporting one another and I am sure that they will continue to develop these skills in the remaining time they have with us at Mackie Academy.

We then proceeded to have Sports Day on Friday for our S1-3 students. Races were run with the competitive spirit flowing. It was great to see so many students taking part in the full complement of athletics and field activities. In addition to this we had our “retro-games” which allowed students to participate in activities from their earlier educational years – three legged race, wheelbarrow race to name but a few.

If anything the competition was just as fierce here as it is was on the track although I was a little concerned at the lack of technique shown by Kieran Dyer and Finn Macdonald in the three-legged race after they told me they were champions at Arduthie! Not to be outdone the staff participated in a tug-of-war against the students with the first victory going to the staff but after that it was all downhill. Despite our best efforts the students proved the stronger side.

In addition to this there was a staff race to finish things off. Having assembled the crack team of Mrs Paul, Mr Kenny and Mr Sim to ensure a winning time for the senior management team it all came undone and we were resoundingly beat by the humanities team. We will obviously have to put some training in for next year. Thanks must go to Roger Barnett for supplying us with our cabers to toss. This was a great success with the students and some great throws were achieved. He did try to help out the ladies with their tug-of-war as well which was much appreciated!

Finally, to our entrepreneurs of Sports Day – the ice cream stall. Clearly the weather helped but a roaring trade was done and the money earned will go towards school projects within the support for learning team. A massive thank you to Donna Agnew, Craig Thomson and the Sports team for organising a great day.

Sports Day was the end to a week of health activities which engaged students on a number of pertinent themes including self help, body image and healthy lifestyles. A big hit was the arrival of the climbing wall from Aberdeenshire Council with many students just not able to get a go due to demand and time pressures. In addition we had Scottish Youth Dance in for workshops with some students.

A very high standard of performance was achieved in a short period of time and some of our girls are going on to complete a dance leadership course in the summer break which means they will then be able to help staff with younger year groups on their return to school in August. A big thank you to Mr Kenny for co-ordinating this.

Finally, my good news story of the week. Ellie Andrew, in S1, won a gold medal last Sunday at the Scottish Rowing Competition at Strathclyde Park. So she is now the Scottish Champion for her age group (U13). She has also recently won two more gold medals at other regattas. Reserved about her achievements we are going to shout this one from the rooftops as we are all very proud of her here at Mackie Academy.