The weather is proving a challenge...

The heavy rain has resulted in a number of leaks around the school and the property team are struggling to get the repairs done as dry weather is required to do this.

However, as soon as it improves (we hope) this work will be carried out and classroom tiles replaced where they have been damaged. Some of the more observant of you out there may have also noticed that we lost one of our big trees, next to the staff car park, over the Christmas period. Our site staff have been working hard to cope with the demands the weather has placed on our facilities and our thanks goes to them on this.

I know that this bad weather means that more students are being dropped off and picked up from school by car. Can I please make a plea that parents and carers use the bus bay area if they are coming into school and drive carefully when the students are around? If it is necessary to wait please use the visitors’ spaces in the staff car park but don’t block access points as this is dangerous. Senior staff are out and about as much as possible and will challenge situations where students’ health and safety are being put at risk.

In light of the start of study leave for our senior students S3 students have been rising to the challenge of being “monitors” while the senior students are out of school. Mr Sim has been involved in training the students so that they can cope with helping out in the canteen and around the school. It is great to know that our younger students feel confident to take on these roles and bodes well for the future. Study leave is somewhat different for our S4 students this year depending on what qualifications they are doing. For some lessons will continue as normal to ensure that they get the best results possible in August 2014. So you probably will see more of Mackie Academy students “out and about” over the next couple of weeks but they are working hard – honest!

Our sports teams had their group photos taken this week and we will getting those displayed around the school soon. Our photography group are working on displays for our Front Reception area so that we display clearly to people all the great achievements here at Mackie Academy. The S2 netball team had a hard fought match at Arbroath High School in the second round of the Scottish Schools competition. Unfortunately they lost 25-24 which istestament to the battle they put up. Advance warning has been given to students about Sports Relief on Friday, 21st March 2014.

Our theme for the day is “Sporting Heroes” and we will be encouraging as many students as possible to dress up as their sporting hero. I have already heard of a few staff ideas which may raise a few eyebrows!!! The aim of the day is to raise as much money as possible and the charities committee are well under way with this.

Before that our S6 students will be continuing their philanthropic work from S5 associated with Instant Neighbour. On Thursday, February 13. If students have donated a can of food to the above appeal they will be able to wear non-uniform. If everyone participates at Mackie Academy that could be over 1200 cans of food that can be distributed to less fortunate people. Once our S6 students return from study leave they will be full steam ahead with this.The theme of Aiming High was clear when I spoke with all house groups this week about the year ahead. I used one of my heroes, Nelson Mandela, to exemplify key messages to students around how achievement is earned and failure is part of the learning process. There was some fantastic participation and feedback from the students and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

As part of the assemblies I had the delight of presenting three S4 students with their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The Duke of Edinburgh is a fantastic opportunity for any young person to get involved in and always ranks highly in terms of employers’ views on what it says about a young person. It was great to hear that some of students who are now aiming for their Silver Award are volunteering in our library, helping out at break and lunchtimes while others are helping out in the public library. Mrs Dredge, our network librarian, arranged for our students to be shown the online reference resources available to students so they could help primary school students do their homework in the library after school. This is a fantastic opportunity for all to make a real difference.

Our S2 Drama Elective group headed off to see the production of War Horse this week and our Rock Challenge team are heading into final rehearsals before the regional finals on March 8 at the AECC. I am heading along to that.