Mackie Matters - Primary visits finished

I start this week with two bits of news that make me very proud to be headteacher here at Mackie Academy.

We finished our primary visits this week with Johnshaven Primary and I was delighted with the conversations that we had with pupils and parents. As I went to leave, each of the three pupils took it in turns to shake my hand and thank me for my time in visiting them. We often hear people talking about how our young people are a “lost generation” in terms of communication skills and manners. It is fair to say I have great hopes for our future generation when I meet the young people who will be joining Mackie Academy next year.

One of our S1 Rich Task groups visited Aunty Betty’s this week, as part of a learning experience to plan and manage a field trip. The positive feedback from this, regarding the pupil’s interest in their learning, their manners and behaviours, shows what a credit the majority of our pupils are to the school and their local community. We too often dwell on the negative behaviours of our young people, when the majority are working hard to behave as responsible individuals.

The school continues to build community partnerships. To forward plan for this, we met this week with our colleagues from the Community Learning Development team, to look at the opportunities we will offer in 2015-16 to our young people.

The aim is to ensure that we make the most of the resources available to us, within the Stonehaven cluster, to support our young people.

This year Mackie Academy is participating in the BP Tutor Scheme. This allows university students, in their third or fourth year of study, to come to schools for an eight week placement and work with pupils within subject areas, or on more generic conversations such as career progression.

We have gained four students in Science, Art, Sport and RMPS for one morning or afternoon a week. I have no doubt it will be a win-win situation for all involved and look forward to getting some feedback on the different projects in the near future.

Our sporting achievements keep rolling on in and later this term we will hold our first Sports Achievement evening. The event will celebrate all things sporting here at Mackie Academy, as well as the development of Mackie Academy as the physical location for the local sports hub.

It will be an opportunity for local supporters and businesses to see exactly what is going on here at Mackie Academy with our young folk and how they can get involved in supporting these developments. Further information will follow, but if anyone is interested in this, please contact Donna Agnew, Faculty Head of Health.

An example of the variety of sporting activity can be seen in the Giant Heptathlon taking place next month at Aberdeen Sports Village, which is supported by Scottish Athletics. Each school can enter a boys and girls team, each with seven members.

The schools then rotate around the seven events, keeping scores as they go. The top teams go through to the regional finals, where schools from the city and the shire will compete in March. This is a fantastic opportunity for S1 and S2 pupils to experience different sports.

Also, preparations are well under way for our school participation in the Balmoral 10k this year. Somehow Mr Hewitt has persuaded me to sign up for the race, although he failed to give me much information on the actual course which, I have found out since, is quite hilly. It will be quite a challenge but a great opportunity to participate alongside pupils and staff. A bus will be taking the Mackie contingent to the day, so I am sure the team spirit will be in full swing by the time we start running.

Once again, Mackie Academy has been chosen as the school to represent NE Schools in the Scottish Schools Badminton Union U14 and U19 Quaich, in March, at Motherwell. A fantastic achievement and we look forward to focusing on the results later this term.

Our House Captains met this week to discuss what the pupils should spend their funds on from the sponsored walk this year. We need to ensure that it benefits the whole of the school community. Top of the agenda is how we develop the quad area to provide more seating and we are now going to have a working party look at this and action the spend. The House Captains have taken a very proactive approach and it will be great to see the legacy of their work going into 2015-16.

We have a very busy week leading up to the mid-term break. Next week we have a parental information evening on Social Media for S1-4 parents on Monday, February 9, followed by our Senior Phase evening on Tuesday, February 10, which all pupils and parents in S3, S4 and S5 are invited to.

Finally our first Transition Youth Group evening takes place on Thursday, February 12. We will all be ready for our long weekend by the time it arrives!