Mackie Matters - The effort was worthwhile

Photograph by Les Black
Photograph by Les Black

This week saw Rickarton House convene for the last time and, to mark this momentous occasion, Les Black came and took a picture that all members of the house will be presented with over the next week or so.

While it took a little time to get everyone into formation I am sure that you will agree that the effort was worthwhile (see right).

Full marks go to Mr Black who was perched on top of the main block with one of janitors and I am not quite sure what use will be found for the orange pom poms in the future!! It really was a lovely thing to see and I am sure that all students and staff involved will remember it fondly. To top it off an extravaganza of an evening took place on Saturday to mark Mr Ritchie’s retiral and orange was the name of the game from the plants that had been cultivated to the attire for the evening.

The Main Hall was brought to life by a talented group of musicians and students, present and past, from far and wide attended the evening to celebrate the end of an era.

Back in school the plaudits continue to roll in even though the end of term approaches. Eirinn Kemp, along with Dr. Mustard and other students from the Eco-Group, attended the Keep Scotland Beautiful / SEPA awards event to collect her prize for winning the 15-18 individual category for her entry “Plastic Bag Solutions”. A great day was had by all and we are very proud of the Eirinn and the group overall.

A group of students attended the Opito structured Work Placement programme this week where 106 pupils from 22 schools completed a programme that looked at operations, subsea work, drilling, geology, supply chains, CV writing and interview skills. Their interest and active participation was valued by the hosts so congratulations must go to Fraser Emslie, Mason Jenkins, Kyle Maitland and Claire McBain.

An excellent opportunity which is already leading to other chances such as the National Oil and Gas Skills week in November 2014 and a follow up meeting in February 2015 to ensure that the students stay on track with their aspiration to have a career in this field. In addition the students have agreed to volunteer as ambassadors within Mackie Academy to encourage other pupils to get involved in the programme.

Another group of students are off this week to compete in the Scottish National Age Group Championships for swimming being held at the Aberdeen Aquatic centre. The swimmers are Kieran Preston, Ailsa Beck, Megan Grant, Taylor Davidson and Lee Rosie. Best of luck to them all and I hope to be able to report back to you about their successes next week. In addition to this I received a copy this week of all our badminton successes this year – it runs to three sides of A4! Too much to mention here but it says volumes about all the work that goes into making badminton such a successful sport in the Stonehaven area. Well done to all involved in these achievements.

Last week saw our final PTA meeting of the year. I thought it was an appropriate time to say a massive thank you to the PTA for all their help and support to Mackie Academy over the past year. They have enabled us to purchase some new seating for our library area, rugby strips for our U16 and U18 teams as well as contributing to the school homework diaries and the development of Mackie Radio.

This work is crucial in what it enables students to have access to here at school and wider afield and we can’t thank them enough for all their efforts. Plans are well under way for next year and you can see these on the school website.

Finally, last week we welcomed our new S1 students to the school for three days of induction. While it was hectic it was also great to see everyone and for students to have the time to familiarise themselves with Mackie Academy. Our senior students were fabulous role models and I have a good feeling about our new S1 students. I am sure that they will do us proud.