Wondering where to start

I thought that with half the school disappearing on exams that things might quieten down a little in terms of what I had to report on but it is clearly not the case.

Things keep flying into my email box about our students and their achievements at a great pace so I certainly don’t need to worry about not having enough to chat about with you.

As we head into the summer fitness is clearly at the top of many people’s agendas. Miss Robertson has managed to get four other members of staff – Mr Drennan, Mrs Smith, Mr Ritchie and Mrs Stark – to take part in Aberdeenshire Council’s “Walk at Work” Pedometer Challenge 2014 which takes place from 28th April to 22nd June 2014. The team, called “We’re Fit and You’re Not!” managed to put in the equivalent of 154 miles round the school last week which I find phenomenal. Leading the way was Mr Drennan and the challenge has been set for a week on week improvement. I shall keep you up to date with their progress – who knows where they will be by the time we get to June!!

In line with this our cluster are currently planning for our mini-Commonwealth Games on Friday, June 13, at Mackie Academy. There will be another event in Bervie for the rural schools but our senior students will be helping out at both. As it is just after the exam period our S3 students, who by then will have moved into the Senior Phase, will be taking on leadership roles to ensure the smooth running of what looks like being a fantastic day for all. All we need now is some decent weather and we are set.

Individual sporting achievement continues to come in thick and fast. You may remember me telling you about Patrick Young’s recent success in making it to the U14 County Cup in Wrexham. Patrick and the team were there last weekend and beat Lancashire in the final which means that they now go forwards to the British National County Cup Finals in Nottingham on May 15 and 16. This is an amazing achievement and we will be keeping our fingers and toes crossed for further success.

Last week our Youth Theatre group performed at Dundee Rep. The group, comprised of S1-S3 students, and led by Mrs Crabb were part of “Onstage”, an exciting opportunity for groups of secondary school students to come together to share, create and perform a devised piece of theatre on the Rep main stage. Using the concept of reality which has been taken from the Rep’s upcoming summer show, Woman in Mind, the groups have spent the last 12 weeks creating their own responses to this through text, music and movement. During the rehersal period, members of the Rep Creative Learning team have been visiting the groups to support the development of the pieces.

These mini productions have also been fully supported by the Rep’s lighting, sound and stage management departments allowing the participants and teachers to realise their final creative vision in a professional setting. Mackie Academy’s piece was called “Falling” and dealt with the story of Blanche and her friend Rose. Having had a terrible argument Rose storms off only to be the victim of a road traffic accident. Traumatised by guilt, and no longer able to tell reality from her childhood stories, Blanche sets out on a quest to exact terrible revenge, believing she can save her friend.

From speaking to Mrs Crabb it is clear that their performance made quite an impact with a few tears shed towards the end. Congratulations to all.

As we move closer to our Activities Days at the end of this month students are getting more and more excited. With trips going to diverse locations such as Spain, Alton Towers and Edinburgh as well as local activities for those who do not want to go as far afield it is a great opportunity for both students and staff to experience something a little bit different. I will look forward to reporting back on all of these at the start of June.

Last Monday, members of the 3Deco Young Enterprise Company were accompanied by Mrs Joan Macdonald (Link Teacher) and Mr Jim MacRae (Business Adviser) to the prestigious Grampian Finals Event at the Marcliffe at Pitfodels.

From a group of 28 schools, Mackie Academy gained a place in the final six and although they were unsuccessful in gaining any of the awards they benefited from the experience. All participants enjoyed spending time and being photographed with Sir Chris Hoy who was the keynote speaker at the event.

Finally, the International Schools Sports Federation World Games badminton commences this weeek in Chinese Taipei. Eight pupils - four girls from Auchinleck Academy and four boys from Mackie Academy, Jacob Reynolds, Mark Leith, Matthew Duguid and Sam Muir, represent Scottish schools. This is a great opportunity for these young people to play competitive badminton in Taiwan and will be a once in a lifetime experience. As part of the event they will also experience some of the culture of Taiwan and also the other countries who are participating.