Mackie Matters - Show preparations underway

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Another week has flown past and it is hard to believe that we are into the fourth week of term already. School is really hectic so here goes for fitting everything into my column.

We had a fantastic two days in school last week with the “Seafood in Schools” team. We had representatives from the Scottish fishing industry, the food industry and chefs to show staff and students alike how best to cook fish.

I saw some of the sessions in action, smelt even more of them and we even had a special staff session after school. Our cluster primaries visited throughout the two days as well as our S1 students attending some sessions so it has got our transition programme well under way for this academic year. The most exciting thing from Mackie Academy’s point of view is that students got to experience fantastic interdisciplinary learning and we hope to be able to take some of these experiences back into the classroom. Thank you to Maria Anderson and her team from Seafood in Schools as well as Mr Hobson, from our Health Faculty, for organising this event.

This year I have an S4 group for two periods per week to work on study skills. This is to get our senior students prepared for the freedoms that come their way in S5 and S6 but it is also a good way for me to get to know my students. So it has become clear through our discussions that I have many talented individuals in my group but this week Ailsa Beck informed me that she has been selected for the National Senior Swimming Bronze Squad for 15-16yrs.

She has also been selected to be part of the North District team to compete in the inter-counties competition in Sheffield. Given that Ailsa is currently preparing for her National examinations she is showing great commitment to fit in her swimming to such a high level. It is fantastic to hear these stories and to let you know about these great achievements.

We are starting a partnership with one of our local NHS practices to build up the number of young people taking part in their Patient Participation group. This is a great project for the local community and we look forward to developing this further in the future.

Our Peer Support Captains are getting into the swing of things with their lunchtime club which is there to support younger students and get them involved in activities which means that they feel comfortable and involved in life here at Mackie Academy. Mr Hewitt’s cross country club is back after school and he even tried to persuade me to join. I think I will wait and see how my 10k goes at the end of the month.

Although it may seem some time away the school production of “Oh What a Lovely War” continues to rehearse furiously for their three night run in November. This will form part of Mackie Academy’s remembrance events associated with the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War One. The show will run November 11, 12, 13 and we look to welcoming our local community to this event. Further information on this will be coming out soon.

In addition to this the Rock Challenge auditions are being prepared for as we speak and I have no doubt the team will be looking to put on another outstanding show this year.

Two educational experiences are up and coming for our students. In the October break Mr Macdonald leads another expedition to the Wild West. Students and staff are heading off on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to take in sights such as the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles.

At Easter, a school ski trip is heading to Austria and hopefully I will be accompanying the group. These trips are a great way for students to experience places and people outside of the confines of the school and whilst not everyone can participate it is important that we provide these opportunities within the wider remit of a student’s experience here at Mackie Academy.

Finally, thank you to those members of the public who have phoned in with their concerns regarding litter. This is not a new one for us but we will always work hard to find a solution. In school we take the approach that each and every person is responsible for their litter and their school. This should not change when they walk out the front door – it just means that the word “school” should be replaced by “community”. In the meantime feel free to get in contact if any of our students let themselves down in relation to this.