Academy’s new term in full swing...

The term is now in full swing at Mackie Academy and S1 students are finding their way around the school independently.

The senior prefects and house captains have done a sterling effort over the past couple of weeks making sure that our newest recruits know where they are going.

As well as showing new pupils around senior students are actively involved in a number of activities that allow them to develop their leadership, teamwork and communication skills which will all be crucial as they move on from Mackie Academy into their chosen career pathways. Some choose to be Peer Support Captains which means that they work with younger students and engage them in a support network that enables their learning and progress at school while developing their skills set..

Two senior pupils attended ‘A Discussion With Vint Cerf’ (one of the founders of the Internet) in Edinburgh on Thursday with Miss Robertson – all left inspired and enticed by the question and answer session that held the title ‘Technology as a future for you’. Pupils were requested by event organisers not to switch off their mobiles and to engage in the debate via Twitter.

Our new lockers have arrived and are currently being fitted into the social areas. We aim to have these up and running by next week so that students can start to make full use of them. The next stage is to look at appropriate seating for these areas and involve students in the decision making process. We will then look to get this fitted over the October break so that everything is operational as we head into winter.

A great start has been made to the rugby season with both the S1/2 and U16 teams winning their first fixtures against Westhill Academy on August 27. The U16 team won 36-0 while the S1/2 team scored five tries to Westhill’s three. Students who enjoy their rugby have also been given the opportunity to attend the upcoming rugby internationals which is always a great experience.

A large number of sporting clubs have started up both during the school day and in the evenings. This includes the Cowie Juniors Netball club for 12 to 16 year old girls on Monday evenings and our Basketball Club on Tuesday’s after school. In addition our cross country team continue their preparations, part of which will include running the route of our sponsored walk on September 13. Let’s hope they don’t finish too quickly!!

Music continues to play a big role at Mackie and the number of opportunities for students to get involved grows. Senior and Junior choir, with Mr Drennan, started this week on Thursday and Tuesday lunchtimes respectively while orchestra rehearsals, led by Mr Cheyne, started on Wednesday after school.

Other clubs available for students to join include the photography club led by Miss Scriven which meets on Friday lunchtimes; the Dr Who club led by Mrs Cruickshank who are currently discussing how good a doctor Peter Capaldi will be and the chess club who meet on Friday lunchtimes under the watchful eye of Mrs Scott.

The Eco-Committee continues to go from strength to strength under the leadership of Mrs Mustard and have a number of exciting projects under way. They are currently looking to raise funds through the sale of spring bulbs in school. All students have been provided with an order form and the school receives a percentage of the profits which will go towards their eco-activities. Alongside this the Fair Trade tuckshop operates every Friday through Mrs McNeill and her team. This is another very worthwhile cause that has a global impact – an important theme for our students to take on board while eating their lunch!!

Finally, I met last week with our senior students who will be running our “Rock Challenge” efforts this year. As you are no doubt aware Mackie Academy was the Scottish Champions in 2013 so the pressure is on for 2014. First they need to get their fundraising under way to be able to take part Bag packing and talent shows are being planned and further details will follow.

It is exciting times at Mackie Academy and we continue to enjoy the beautiful weather.