Mackie Matters - First week back

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Well the October break is well and truly over and the weather is delightful for our return to school.

Our final week of term was exceptionally busy not least because we had a very interesting Tuesday. It was one of those days that they don’t necessarily prepare you for in “headship school” but we survived intact. Many of you will have heard or seen pictures of our burning bus which, thankfully, did not involve any of our pupils. The fire brigade were quick on the scene and dealt with it very smoothly although our bus bay did look like a foam party had taken place.

As if that was not enough we had a second visit of the day from the fire brigade when the fire alarm went off.

Given that it happened at lunchtime our pupils and staff all responded admirably and there was no cause for concern.

To top it all of Mackie Academy then had to open as a rest centre for the flooding that was happening in Stonehaven but thankfully did not have to be used. The Senior Leadership Team’s day was topped off as traffic wardens for the end of the school day alongside other senior members of staff as we could not use the bus bay for our transport. Thanks to all parents who accommodated this in their school journey that day and helped ensure the safety of our pupils.

It is hard to believe that a full term has passed already and so much has happened. Many of the house competitions have been underway and participation rates have been high.

Our Higher Drama students had the opportunity to put their theory into practice when they attended a performance which they had been studying and our staff participated in the “Wear it Pink” for Breast Cancer at the end of the week. Unfortunately, due to staff absence, we have had to postpone our production of “O, What a Lovely War” but we are still looking forward to putting this on later in the year.

As always the sporting activities of pupils both in and out of Mackie Academy continue to flourish. However, I must start with an apology. Last time I told you about a number of students from Mackie Academy who had performed exceptionally well as part of the Boydell Blackbelt Academies. I managed to miss Danielle Simmers from my list who gained her black belt, and so a belated well done to Danielle.

Our last week of term saw our new Sports Hall floor open for use and what a great resource it is. It was very welcome as it coincided with a breakdown in the weather which would have caused us significant issues. In addition to this the boys tennis team won comprehensively against Keith Grammar in all their matches which the girls tennis team won all games against Albyn and move into the next round of the competition to play Nairn. The boys basketball team pulled off a double victory against Banchory with both the U15 and Senior boys winning with Izaak Blanksma scoring the winning basket in the last minute.

The S3 girls netball team won against Cults and St.Margarets and a Scottish Cup game takes them to Thurso this term. As the variety and standard of sport grows here at Mackie the school is looking to develop a sponsorship proposal for kit for all our squads. This will be an ideal opportunity for local businesses to get their names affiliated with teams that travel far and wide whilst achieving great things.

We look forward to discussing this with our community partners in the near future. Our sporting success is not just restricted to our pupils. In the final week of term Jenni Nicolson, Principal Teacher of Art, competed in the Masters World Track Cycling down south and won a bronze and silver medal in her chosen events. This is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud of her.

Two of our pupils – Gemma Pitchers and Gemma Bannister – got places in the Big Dance Show which was held at HMT, Aberdeen on October 11. Now, unfortunately, in the last week of term one Gemma managed to hurt her back so I am hoping that she made enough of a recovery to take part. If not, I am sure that she was there to cheer the other Gemma on. Fifty pupils and staff made their way to the other side of the world to take on the “Wild West” of the USA and by all accounts a fantastic time was had by all.

The feedback I have received about our pupils has been outstanding and, as a head teacher, it makes me very proud that our pupils fly the flag in such a manner for their school but, most importantly, themselves when they are given such opportunities.

A massive thank you must also go to Mr Macdonald and his team for giving up a significant proportion of their holidays to manage this great educational experience.

As we return to school we welcome some new members of staff. Mr Allen joins us in the Drama team whilst Mrs Sanker joins the Science team. In addition we are back up to a full complement in our Senior Leadership Team with Mr Tullock joining us as Depute Head whilst Mr Gray joins us as Support Services Co-ordinator for the Stonehaven cluster. We wish them all the best in their new posts here at Mackie Academy.