Our week at Mackie Academy had a political theme to it, with the advent of elections for the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Two of the candidates for the area are currently at Mackie Academy – Alexander Evison and Gregor Ironside – with another candidate at Mearns Academy, Robbie Nicoll. Our two candidates were given the opportunity to put their cases forward to the pupils through a series of assemblies and it certainly brought about discussion, with staff very interested in what our young people had to say on key issues. Voting is currently open with online voting available and the ballot box on March 11, 2015. We wish all candidates the best of luck and may the best man win when results come through after voting closes on March 13.
Our S3 and S4 pupils have an opportunity at the moment through BP, who are offering a four-day Geoscience work experience in April during the Easter break. As an ex-geologist, part of me is quite interested in going because it looks superb. A number of our pupils have expressed an interest and hopefully will be successful in gaining a place.
The first Mackie “Bake Off” took place last week with Dunnottar House lifting the trophy for the first time. The inter-house competition is exceptionally close this year, with only nine points between first and second placed Swanley and Fetteresso.
The sporting achievements keep rushing in at the moment. Clare Stewart in S3 made her way to the UK Cross Country Event in Birmingham last weekend where she came 25th out of 289 competitors - fantastic achievement on a national platform. Over the same weekend our badminton players were at the Secondary Schools Nationals and came home with a plethora of trophies that Mrs Leith and Mrs Agnew were almost tripping over when I saw them this morning! Congratulations to the following pupils for their achievements: Senior Boys Singles – winner was Matthew Duguid; Senior Boys Doubles – winners were Matthew Duguid and Sam Muir (Sam played up a year group to partner Matthew which makes it an even better achievement); Junior Boys Singles – winner was Josh McKay; Junior Girls Doubles – winners were Jodie Harris and Maria Leith; Junior Mixed Doubles – winners were Maria Leith and Josh McKay.
Finally, tennis information. Annabel Burns, in 4F2, was selected to represent the North of Scotland at the same County Cup event as Patrick Young. Along with fellow team members they travelled to Birmingham and put up a spirited performance. Annabel is clearly committed to her sport, training five nights a week as well as fitting in tournaments at the weekend. Soon the girls have a quarter-final match in the Scottish Schools tennis tournament, the second year they have reached this stage.
In the world of Expressive Arts, the Ury Players Drama Club told me the youth team won the Aberdeen District Community Dramatic Association Youth competition at the end of February (see page 15). Two of our pupils – Heather Smith (S4) and Heather Stewart (S6) – are competing as part of the group and we wish them all the best. It is a fantastic achievement so far and we will keep our fingers crossed for the next stage of the competition.
Lastly, Heather Nisbet (S2) won the Area Final of the Rotary Young Chef competition at the weekend and now goes on to the UK Final in Wrexham on April 25, 2015. A big thank you must go to our business partners, Compass, who have supported Heather and her family in this venture and provided sage advice when it was required. It is a great example of how schools and businesses can work together effectively, to support the wider achievements of our young people.