Mackie Matters - Quieter due to exams

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Well this week you get a double dose of Mackie Matters as we managed to get ourselves a little bit out of sync at the beginning of term.

If I am honest as we are now into the exam period things are a little quieter on the pupil front as half of the school is currently missing in action. However, there are still plenty of things going on for me to report.

Without saying too much, last Thursday proved to be a momentous occasion regardless of which way you voted. At Mackie Academy a mock election was run for our pupils in the Broad General Education and with great success.

We had representation of all the major parties on a UK wide scale and the standard of the hustings was exceptionally high. Despite this, and just like the real thing, our SNP candidate – Megan Grant – was the runaway winner with the Liberal Democrats in second place and the Conservatives narrowly taking third place from Labour.

A massive congratulations must go to all candidates – Darroch Anderson, Sam Coghill, Megan Grant, Rachael Grubb, Magnus Hauge, Max Kelly, Meg Parkhill and Conor Singer – for putting forward their views so eloquently and persuasively to get the pupils of Mackie Academy on their feet to vote. A big thank you to the Modern Studies staff as well for making such a success of the event.

As you will already know Heather Nisbet’s success in the Rotary’s Young Chef competition is now nationwide. A couple of weeks ago Heather helped out our local Rotary Club with their fundraising dinner for the charity “500 miles” which raised over £2000 for this very good cause. Heather’s winning dish was served up as the main course which she and a young chef from Total prepared for 70 people. Not bad for someone who is only 13.

Elsewhere the plaudits keep coming and this year Mackie Academy is achieving success in the UK Chess Challenge 2015. The tournament has so far produced two age group winners for us – Ben Reeve in S4 for the U16s and Fin McRobbie in S1 for the U13s. Both represented the school at the Mega Final held at Albyn School on 3rd May 2015.

The day consisted of a series of six matches with the end result being those who secured a win within their age group or achieving a score of 4 points or above moving onto the Giga Final in Manchester. Having fought hard all day Fin secured two victories and came third in his section; this was a great result given it was his first competition. Ben won his section and will be representing Mackie Academy in Manchester. A great day and thanks to Mr Hewitt for accompanying the boys. We wish Ben all the best for Manchester.

It is always lovely to receive letters of thanks and support. Familial links to certain charities means that often our pupils and staff fundraise for particular causes that are close to them. I had a letter from the JDRF charity which fundraises to look for a cure for Type One Diabetes this week to say thank you for a donation from the school to support their cause.

Whilst a relatively small amount it is always good to know that it is appreciated. In addition to this I had another letter from the Friends of Carronhill to thank our pupils for their fundraising efforts from a Christmas Jumpers day as well as individuals who have helped out with events that have supported the school such as their Christmas Fayre. It is testament to our pupils and staff that they find time within their busy schedules to support so many good causes.

Finally a request for help. We have a group of pupils in S1 who, as part of their inter-disciplinary learning, are looking to create a sensory garden alongside our outdoor classroom in the quad to support our outdoor learning environment. Work has been put on hold at the moment as our resident oystercatcher has this year decided to nest right on the corner of one of the classrooms and, feeling threatened, has taken to dive bombing people. So we have had to cordon the area off.

However, the group are ploughing on and are asking that if anyone out there has spare seedlings or plug plants that they would like to donate to this project or if any keen gardeners would like to come in and help the pupils out with their plans then they would be very grateful. Mrs Craig is the contact teacher and we would love members of our local community to be involved.