Annual sponsored walk for CRANES

As you read this, Mackie Academy students will be participating in the annual sponsored walk which, this year, is raising funds for CRANES (Cancer Research) and school funds.

I believe some of our students may be more visible than others as they intend to complete the course in fancy dress while others stil are going to run the distance. It does not matter how much individuals raise – it is the sum of small parts that counts.

Our lockers are fitted and looking great. The next stage is to get keys distributed and then decide on the seating to accommodate students during breaks and lunchtimes. At the same time we are revitalising some of the older lockers which means we should have in excess of 500 by the end. The next stage is to decide whether we want to invest in providing a locker for everyone in the school. This is something that the pupil councils will be discussing in the near future.

Speaking of pupil councils we are currently recruiting students from all year groups to this cause. It is really important for Mackie Academy that students feel that their voice counts and the pupil council is one way to do that. They are going to have a number of important initiatives to discuss this academic year including uniform and the Rights Respecting Schools Award. This is an award, sponsored by UNICEF, which is based on the principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. This is a major piece of work for us all at Mackie Academy which we are placing at the heart of our school’s ethos and culture. It will take people out of their comfort zones but this is important if we are to get it right. Mrs Paul will be leading on this work through the pupil, staff and parent councils.

Last Friday, a group of S5 and S6 students accompanied Mr Kenny to the Offshore Europe Event at the AECC. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience a corporate event such as this as well as see the different life chances that exist out there in such a diverse industry.

The English department held their first theatre trip of the term to see “Dunsinane” in Aberdeen. By all accounts it was a fantastic interpretation of what happens after the death of Macbeth and is a vision of one man’s attempt to restore peace in a country ravaged by war. It was enjoyed by all while Mr Gallie and Mrs Dey were quick to tell me that several members of the public had commented positively about the behaviour and appearance of our students.

The organisation behind our netball tour to Orlando, Florida is in full swing and the students have been attending important meetings on this. Volleyball continues to go from strength to strength with Miss Keenlyside and all students from S1-S6 are welcome every Wednesday lunchtime.

Musical sounds with a Latin rhythm will soon be heard in the corridors of Mackie as Mr Drennan starts up the school Samba Band. This is open to S4-6 students and is a great addition to the many other musical activities that go on in the school. Instrumental lessons are another great strength at Mackie Academy and our S1 students are getting on board with this as we speak.

As I said last week S1 have made a great start but for those students who may need a bit of extra support we have our S1 Drop in at lunchtimes on Thursdays. This is run by older students alongside Mr Chisholm. The S1 Youth Theatre group has also started on Tuesdays after school and is another great chance for students to grow in confidence at secondary school.

This week I met with both the Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for the first time. It is great to see such a level of support for the school and I look forward to working with both groups. The Parent Council AGM is to be held at 7pm on Tuesday, 1 October in the staffroom at Mackie Academy and any parent of a student at Mackie Academy is welcome to attend.

Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who has contacted the school to show their support and appreciation for how much smarter the students are looking. These messages have been passed onto the students and this allows them to see the positive impact of the changes.