The final phase has begun

Our mid-term break has served us all well and our two training days for staff have been busy as staff prepare for the final phase of this academic year and into the next one.

Our Senior Phase Pathways evening took place on February 11 2014 and was a resounding success. Thanks must go first of all to the team at Mackie Academy who made such an important evening run so effectively as well as our Further and Higher Education providers who joined us for the evening alongside Skills Development Scotland.

The aim of this was to allow students and parents to be able to think about subject choices and career pathways under the remit of one event.

It was really busy at times and the feedback we have received has been really useful in terms of improving things for next year. Thanks to all students and parents who attended; I should also say that our Further and Higher Education colleagues were glowing in their praise of how well informed our students were about their future options and pathways so well done.

Just before the long weekend our sixth form team of Ailsa Mackintosh, Karis Knowles and Catriona Macdonald ran a non-uniform day with a difference.

In order to raise funds for their chosen charity, Instant Neighbour, which carried on from their YPI work last year, students could either bring £1 to school or a tin of food. Overall, the girls collected over 250 food items as well as raising £776 for the charity. It is a fantastic achievement and a great way for the girls to round up their ongoing commitment to the charity during their time here at Mackie Academy.

Our PTA continues to work hard to fundraise on behalf of the school and it is great to see the support that they receive from the community. On Friday, March 21 they are holding a Murder Mystery Evening entitled “Who killed the Ship’s Captain?”

This will take place in the cafeteria at Mackie Academy from 7.30pm with tickets priced at £3.50 each or a family ticket is available for £10. You can bring your own refreshments and if you know a member of the PTA they can sell you a ticket or they can be purchased from the Front Reception at Mackie Academy. The PTA provide valuable funds to several key projects here at Mackie Academy which would not happen otherwise.

Auditions for the school play “Oh What a Lovely War” are under way in preparation for a three night run in November 2014. This production has been chosen to tie in with the commemorations associated with World War One which begin this year and we look forward to welcoming as many members of our community as possible to this later in the year. Before then a lot of hard work will be put in by students and staff alike but I am sure it will be a fantastic production.

Our Mock Trial team continue their preparations for the UK Finals in March 2014; on Friday, February 21 they held a fundraising ceilidh which raised the sum of £745 towards the costs of the trip to Cardiff for the finals. A lovely evening was enjoyed by all and in conjunction with this another student, Emma Smith, managed to fundraise £100 towards her gap year trip to Malawi.

The UK Maths Challenge has been ongoing with two students – Stuart Holley and Connor Jordan – achieving the Gold Award. This is no mean feat given that it is a national competition. Another four students achieved their silver award with a further nine achieving their Bronze Award so well done to everyone for reaching such a high standard.

I am quite sure a number of you will have thoroughly enjoyed the Winter Olympics over the past two weeks and it has certainly raised interest in these winter sports here at Mackie Academy. Plans are under way for a ski trip to August in 2015 and students have the opportunity to pick up beginners ski and snowboarding lessons if they wish.

I know a number of our students were away skiing and snowboarding over the mid-term break so it is clear that winter sports are alive and well here at Mackie Academy.

As the prelim examinations are now over we are reviewing how they have worked in line with the new Nationals qualifications for future exam periods. Feedback has been received through the S4 student council as well as from staff and we will use this to make decisions about the format of any study leave in the future. In conjunction with this our Health and Well Being Young Leaders are working on producing a “stress busting” pack for students and parents which will be available through the website. So watch this space!! Following on the prelims S4 have their subject evening on March 3 whilst S5 and 6 have their evening on March 13.