The world of work experience

The world of work experience is one that we try to encourage our students to get an opportunity at during their time here at Mackie Academy.

It is hugely valuable for a whole variety of reasons not least that it sometimes can genuinely lead to a job opportunity in the future. About 50 of our S3 students are just about to take on board the chance to do work experience in the week beginning May 26 while some of our senior students have managed to fit in experiences around their exam commitments.

Students are also going out of their way to take on board these opportunities during holiday time and this week it was brought to my attention that four of our students had taken part in pilot engineering work placement programme with BP during the Easter break. One of those students, Fraser Ritchie, has been kind enough to share some of his experiences with us and I thought I would just share a short excerpt of this with you,

“Throughout the week I was lucky enough to get experience in different departments at B.P. On the first day I learnt about geology and how oil is located. I also learnt about reservoir engineering and different aspects of health and safety.

“The third day was of most interest as I visited Bond Helicopters. I explored the engineering, maintenance and operation of the helicopters and the transport of people to and from offshore installations, learning not only about flight planning and air traffic control but also about the safety of crew and the workers.

On the final day I was asked to do a presentation to B.P. staff in which I had to report on my week and share with the audience everything I had learnt.

“I am now even more determined to work hard at school so that I can become an engineer in the future.”

These opportunities are invaluable to our youngsters and we try to ensure that we advertise them as effectively as possible.

The Taipei badminton team have returned safely from the other side of the world where they came sixth out of 18 teams – what a fantastic achievement. To top it all off they received the Fair Play award from the other teams which I think says everything about Matthew, Jacob, Sam and Mark.

Our Sports Day planning is well under way for S1-S3 on Friday, June 6.

As well as the competitive events students are being encouraged to take part in our “retro sports” events which may remind some of us about our own school sports day. Parents are welcome to attend the event which will take place from 9am to 12.30pm. It should be a great morning.

In addition to this Kelsey Stewart, our Commonwealth Games baton holder, has had her call up to the U-20 GB Athletics Team in Loughborough to compete in the 4x400m relay. She was very excited when we chatted about it earlier this week and, given her age, it is a fantastic achievement. We can’t wait to hear how she got on.

This year is clearly a very important year in terms of commemoration events associated with the World Wars.

At Mackie Academy we are looking at ways that we can remember the people and events during these periods and a great chance has come our way to be part of a “live” project. The Hard Vrocht Gun project has been led by the Heritage Education Partnership who have been working on a school resource for the past two years that documents the effects of World War One on the North-east of Scotland.

As a large amount of material for this resource came from the Stonehaven area we have been given the chance to take part in this project. It is very exciting and we look forwards to this taking place at the start of the next academic year. The artist will work with students on a selected art form and guide them to produce the finished piece of work.

Heather Nisbet in S1 is our winner of the EcoGroup’s litter competition and her poster design is now displayed in our school and the local community.

I have been discussing with students this week how we are going to kit out Front Reception to reflect all of these good news stories that I tell you about on a weekly basis and by August things will look very different.