Mackie’s Perspective

The latest news from the classroom of Mackie Academy

Friday, 30th January 2015, 7:00 am
Cheque presentation at Mackie Academy
Cheque presentation at Mackie Academy

God and the big band

by Matthew Mitchell

Higher RMPS (religious, moral and philosophical studies) pupils from across the local area were treated to talks on ‘God and the Big Bang’ from a variety of speakers on Wednesday,December 10.

Big Bang conference at Mackie Academy.

Mackie Academy pupils were joined in their assembly hall for the whole day by pupils from Portlethen and Mearns Academies.

The day comprised of a series of talks and interactive sessions on the topic of God and the Big Bang before being ended with a Q&A panel in which pupils were encouraged to ask questions about what they had learnt over the course of the day.

Olivia O’Reilly, a RMPS teacher at Mackie Academy, commented after the event: “It was particularly useful as it gave the higher classes an opportunity to discuss the relationship between religion and science; an important component of the Higher RMPS course.”

The day began at 10m with an introduction to the topic from the keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Torrance who is based at the University of St Andrews and is currently the project leader for Scientists in Congregations Scotland which seeks to ‘encourage constructive engagement between the church and the scientific world.’

Mackie Academy page coordinators

The pupils also heard from Dr. Matt Pritchard, a self-styled ‘magician’ who demonstrated various magic tricks and illusions which baffled the students and their teachers.

The show was enjoyed tremendously by all, pupils and teachers alike, who found Dr. Pritchard’s take on the relationship between magic and faith exciting as well as engaging.

The session, following a break for lunch, was more interactive that the previous two, though Dr. Pritchard did involve some brave volunteers in his performance.

It was led by an astrophysicist Dr. Rachel Gilmour. The session involved tackling, as Miss O’Reilly described, ‘the science and physics behind the ever expanding universe, which in turn allowed [the pupils] to pinpoint the age of it, some groups did this more successfully than others.’

After the exciting day of learning about and discussing science and religion, pupils and teachers came away satisfied with how the day had went but eager to learn more.

Miss O’Reilly said of the whole day: ‘All in all it’s been] a very enjoyable day which provided a wealth of learning opportunities and perhaps allowed people to scrape the surface of and challenge their own beliefs.’

YPI students win £3000 for charity

By Sammy Palmer

Mackie Academy’s fifth year students have once again taken part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative task.

One group from the year has won the prize money for their chosen charity.

At the start of the fifth year students first term, they were all given the task of finding a charity and trying to present them as a candidate for the £3000 that the Wood group foundation generously offers each school that takes part in YPI. After each group had presented their charities they were then judged as to which was best and one group got through to the final. The group that won consisted of Marie Airth, Erin Blackwood, Eleanor Jack and Joy Reid and they picked the local charity Home start Kincardineshire to present to the judges.

Home Start is a charity intended for helping new parents deal with the stress and demands of bringing up a new born child. They are there to help the parents and support them with anything they need so they can still get on with their daily routines.

Now that there is a winner, the winning groups from 143 different schools will be presenting their charities not for a competition anymore but just to raise awareness for them. The winning presentations will be shown in Perth in June and all of them will be preparing themselves to fully explain and showcase their charity.

However, not only do the charities gain something out of this. The pupils do too. They gain a few skills that maybe not all their maths equations and English poems can provide. They can develop a good sense citizenship education which is a great thing to have experienced for after leaving school, they will gain better research skills and be able to see how well they can work as a team also.

Lastly, the groups will be able to gain a greater understanding as to how charities work as each group must visit their chosen charity before presenting them, and by doing this they will get to see almost all aspects of a charity and how they work.

The task has also made more students eager to help out their charity as after meeting them many of the groups have made a connection with them, and one group are still trying to raise money in their own way to help out their charity since they did not get through to the final.

Scottish Schools Swimming Championships

By Isobel Groom

The Scottish Schools Swimming Championships will take place tomorrow (Saturday) in the Aberdeen Sports Village, where members of Mackie Academy will be participating.

The event is put together mainly by volunteers and is done so in a professional manner. Each competitor will have the experience of what it would be like to compete professionally as a living, like our favourite Commonwealth stars in Glasgow of last year. The competitors from Mackie Academy this year will include Kieran Preston, Milo and Eoin Vaughn, Ailsa Beck, Megan Grant and Lee Rosie.

Sporting events are increasingly becoming a site for entertainment and the organisers have picked up on this, creating a timetable full of crowd motivation and extra activities on site in order to entertain throughout the whole day and not just while they’re watching the swimming. Even the smaller organisation of Stonehaven Swimming Club have a Club Championship every year and the atmosphere there is just as exhilarating - it’s all about the competition.

School runs into good fortune

By Isobel Groom

On December 19, 2014, our school ran into some fortune when the sponsored walk cheque finally came through for £14,600. In our last edition of ‘Mackie’s Perspective’ I wrote a piece on the sponsored walk and it’s concern over raising this money for CLAN, which is a charity to help a cancer patient and their family to have a better life. This was presented to a few of our house captains and was done so during the end of term Christmas assembly - what a way to end a good year.

Musical energy turns to gold

The Mackie Academy concert band won their well deserved place in the Scottish Concert Band festival on Sunday March 22, 2014, in Perth. Music teacher, Mrs Gove, conducted their energy into winning a gold award on November 30, 2014 which lead them to this achievement.