Mackie Matters - The end of my first year

Time has flown although I have to be honest and say I am looking forward to the summer break.

It has been an exceptionally busy year at the school with the new Senior Phase qualifications taking place for our S4 students first time round as well as all the usual extra-curricular activities that Mackie Academy staff and students get themselves involved in. Everyone has earned their summer holiday!!

However, end of the year never means a let up in terms of what is going on here in school. On Monday, we had the final event of our S1 Transition which saw parents attend the school to meet with Guidance staff and hear a little bit more about what had happened on induction days and key information for the start of the new term.

Given that I had already been out to the primary schools and met with many parents prior to this it was great to see such a good turnout. Our partnership work with parents is a really important part of what we do here at Mackie Academy and it is super that we have such a high level of engagement from parents.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our new S1 students on Tuesday, August 19, for the start of their secondary education. Tied into this we had our final cluster meeting of the year on Friday. That is when I meet up with the primary headteachers in the Stonehaven cluster to discuss key issues that impact on us collectively.

It is a really good mechanism for ensuring that we make the most of transition for students as they move from primary to secondary, especially in a big network like Stonehaven. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jacqui Fernandez and Kerry Robertson, headteachers at Johnshaven and Dunnottar, all the best in their new jobs. It will be a real shame to lose them from our network but we also look forward to welcoming the colleagues joining us in August.

Our swimmers competed at the Scottish National Age Group Championships for swimming being held at the Aberdeen Aquatic centre last week and did a superb job. Kieran Preston got a gold medal for the 200m breaststroke while also reaching the finals in the 100m backstroke, 200m and 400m individual medley.

Ailsa Beck reached the finals in the 200m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly while Megan Grant reached the finals in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly. Well done to Taylor Davidson and Lee Rosie who performed to a very high level as well.

In addition to this our tennis success continued at the weekend in the North Angus DC Lighting tournament in Montrose. Aoife Aitken (new S4) won the 16 and under girls event while Patrick Young (new S2) won the 16 and under boys event. Another great result for our talented youngsters and I have no doubt that there will be further reports on our return from the summer break of their successes.

I have had some really lovely feedback this last week about the “Mackie Matters” column and it is always great to receive information from outside the school about our youngsters this week. I received a phone call from a gentleman who was originally from the area but had not been back in some time.

He phoned to say how smart our students were looking not only in school but in and around the Stonehaven area as well. In addition to this I received a lovely email regarding one of our students – Meaghan Peters in S3 – who has just won the Bervie Young Citizen of the Year Award which was award to her at the Bervie Gala. The reason the person emailed to tell me was that Meaghan was too modest to tell me herself. It is these sorts of achievements that are just as important as the academic results that a student achieves.

A group of S5 students took part in the Petrochemical Challenge at the AECC this week and out of 36 teams they ranked fourth and sixth in two of the key competitions. Following on from the Opito work experience week that I previously told you about this is another example of how our students are engaging with the business community.

As we head into the summer holidays the school remains a busy place with lots going on. In the final week of term we had our Summer Concert on Tuesday, which featured work from all of the school’s key musical groups and was a real celebration of everything that has been achieved by the Expressive Arts Faculty this academic year as the art department were displaying their work as well as having designed the tickets and programmes

This evening (Thursday) is our annual prizegiving event where a packed hall is expected.

Guest speaker is Richard Pattinson, an explorer, who will be speaking to our students and guests about his achievements and how they can aspire for the future.

inally the end of term always sees the departure of staff – some to new posts and some to retirement.

This year we say goodbye to six members of staff and I would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best in their new endeavours. Mackie Matters will be taking a break now until our return in August.