Mackie Matters - Building on our good practice

We have been taking some pictures to form part of the display for Front Reception as our windows will soon be adorned with a much more welcoming impression for parents and visitors to Mackie Academy. I have continued to receive positive comments this week about our students and I really do appreciate these.

As part of our improvement planning this year we are looking at how we and our Community Learning Development team can continue to build on the good practice that exists and develop further areas. Last week we had a review meeting of our transition programme for students from primary to secondary and we are really excited about the components we are building in this year. We genuinely believe that here in the Stonehaven network we have a model of best practice. In addition to this activities such as the Mackie Youth Forum and the Duke of Edinburgh Open Award group enable joint working to take place between the school and the community in its broadest sense which is great to see. As part of the Youth Forum the group take part in various citizenship training and have recently completed the Active Citizenship Training and Involvement Training. From this, three have achieved their Dynamic Youth Awards and all belong to Mackie Academy. Congratulations must go to Kayla McLeod, Iona Barney and Allan Petrie for their success. Such awards are just as important as exam results in showing the development of a young person.

While I thoroughly enjoying writing this column each week, I have a number of students who want to get their own news slot up and running. Last week we met with Mike Rankin, editor of the Mearns Leader and other publications, to talk about a monthly Mackie Academy page run by the students. There are some really exciting ideas about how this will work, including our photography club for the visuals, and we hope to have this up and running after the October break. We also hope to showcase their work within our Front Reception area as well.

Mr Gallie passed on the good news to me this week that Kayleigh Romsom in S3 won second prize in the 2014 Association for Scottish Literary studies / Burns Federation story-writing competition. Kayleigh and her parents have been invited to attend the prize giving ceremony at the ASLS Conference at Strathclyde University on 4th October 2014. Congratulations to Kayleigh and I am sure it will be a fantastic occasion for her and her family.

Our S6 students are really taking on their leadership skills with great vigour and it is great to see this in the house assemblies that took place last week. Swanley House got in on the Ice Bucket Challenge and I had the great privilege of being nominated by them!! This will be taking place in the near future and I have already received some significant sponsorship from our uniform suppliers, Logoxpres, to put towards this excellent cause. I have no doubt there may be some pictures of this for next week’s column! In addition to this preparations are well under way for the S6 Prom in 2015 and I have no doubt it will be a spectacular event.

Our start to term has been a hectic one and we have welcomed on board a number of new staff who have made a significant impact already. One of those, Cameron Halsall, joined our Support for Learning team and is working between Mackie Academy and Mill O Forest Primary. On Friday, Cameron was involved in a very serious car accident on the A92 which, no doubt, many of you will have heard about. He is in a serious but stable condition in Glasgow and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this difficult time. As I mentioned last week we have a number of staffing changes to move forwards on this term but interest has been high in these posts and we look forward to recruiting top calibre individuals to these posts to enable Mackie Academy to continue on its road to becoming an excellent school.