Mackie Matters - Full steam ahead towards exams

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Well the mid-term break has passed and we are back to full steam ahead on the ship called Mackie Academy.

The pressure is building for our senior pupils as we move into the final phase of preparation for examinations and everyone – pupils, staff and parents – are working hard to ensure success for all.

Our Senior Phase evening went exceptionally well on February 10 with all our subject teams selling their wares. In addition, we welcomed our partners, Dundee and Angus College, who are providing three courses for our pupils in 2015-16: Construction, Healthcare and Rural Studies.

This a really exciting time for developments in our curriculum to ensure we meet the needs of all our pupils. In addition to this we had Further and Higher Education partners present on the evening to advise pupils about career pathways and ensure they make the right subject choices. Also, our Skills for Work team provided tea, coffee and cakes to keep people going throughout the evening. All in all a great success.

Business partnerships are really important to us here at Mackie and our participants in the Rotary Young Chef competition had a fantastic afternoon at Total on February 11 to celebrate their efforts so far with one of partner companies, Compass Group. Miss Wilson, HE teacher, accompanied the group along with Mr Tullock, depute head, and a great time was had by all.

Our pupils continue to astound us with their achievements. Catriona Aitken (S6) and Calum Smith (S5) are joint winners this year of the Hannah Dyson Award given by the Community Council. Both are involved in activities – family and community based – which show exactly what our young people are capable of.

Both will receive their awards at a reception in the near future and we will be there to cheer them on. Despite her success Catriona is continuing her fundraising efforts for Anaphylaxis UK and has a number of key events coming up to raise awareness of this really important issue.

One of our pupils, Emily Park in S3, has achieved a great standard in the sport of netball. She is going to take part in the Scottish Development Squad in Hull over the first weekend in March.

Over the course of four days they will pay a series of matches against local club and school champions as well as two matches against Yorkshire regional teams. The track record for young people who have participated in this opportunity before is fantastic – seven now represent Scotland in the Netball Europe competition.

This is clearly a great achievement for Emily, building on the success of our S3 netball team here at school, and we wish her all the best.

Sporting events have been fast and furious over the past couple of weeks. Inter-house cross country has taken place with our Giant Heptathlon event being very popular with S1 and S2 last week. In addition tennis continues to play a strong role here at Mackie Academy. With the launch of the Community Sports Hub on Monday we have a real opportunity to put Mackie Academy at the heart of this development.

Finally, we held our first Primary 7 transition evening for parents in tandem with the Youth Transition Group run by the Community Learning Development team.

We had a great turn out with parents attending sessions on social media, drug proof your kids and the transition to being a parent of a secondary school pupil. We got some fantastic feedback and look forward to our next two sessions in the middle of March and late April.

As we move towards the end of February it is hard to believe that the academic year is moving on so swiftly. Time flies when you are having fun!