It’s examination time at Mackie...

I start my column this week with an apology on behalf of a small minority of S6 students who chose to spend their final day at Mackie Academy involved in activities that were not representative either of the rest of their year group or the school itself.

Thankfully, the impact of this group was limited but if you were affected in any way by these individuals then, on behalf of the school, I would like to apologise. I also don’t want it to be the thing that our S6 students are remembered for as, for the majority, we had a lovely final day.

It started with a morning assembly where students were presented with their leavers’ hoodies. Students have also left some of their “best bits” about Mackie Academy with us which we are going to develop into a presentation in the Front Reception area so people can see what they are going on to do as well as what their best memories are about Mackie Academy.

At lunchtime we had a buffet for staff and students in the library which was really lovely and in the afternoon a number of students took advantage of our swimming pool where fun was had by all. It was a lovely way for the day to be spent and remembered by all.

As the weather improves our sporting calendar gets busier and busier. First of all a sporting success outside of school. Katrina Carr in S4 travelled to the European Tae Kwon Do Championships during the Easter break where she became European Champion in the 45kg Junior Girls Sparring competition. However, no rest for Katrina who is back home now and into revision for her Nationals qualifications!

At the weekend Runbalmoral took place and a contingent of students and staff were part of the event. Clare Stewart in S2 came third in the girls secondary school race which is a fantastic achievement given how many young people took part. Our own Mr Hewitt took part in the 10k race and finished a very creditable 59th although he informs me that he will returning to the gym quick smart as both younger and older participants passed him on the way to the finish line!!

On Friday evening the final event associated with the South Africa trip took place in the Main Hall. Many students and their parents attended and a fantastic sum of £715 was raised in support of cancer charities.

As part of our Senior Phase curriculum at Mackie Academy we have a small number of students who complete their Baccalaureate qualification in Modern Languages. This year, three students have been successful in gaining sponsorship from the Franco-Scottish Society so they can go to France in the October break to further their studies for this qualification. On Thursday, April 24, we had our first Open Day for parents and carers of prospective S1 students. Our current S1 students were tour guides for the day and staff were available in Front Reception to answer any questions that people had. We also had our new school uniform on display so that people could see what to expect. We had a great turnout and our tour guides received lots of praise for the excellent job they did in taking parents and carers around the sights of Mackie Academy. It definitely seems to have been a real success.

Our PTA members were also present on the day with teas and coffees as well as selling their wares. Thanks to everyone who helped or attended on the day. We thoroughly enjoyed having the school open to you for the day.

Our uniform information for 2014-15 is just about ready to go and we are all set up with our fitting days for students to make sure they get the right sizes. We will be visiting our feeder primary schools as well as having fitting days at Mackie Academy so by the middle of June all students will have had the opportunity to be fitted. All other information will be on our website in the near future for people to see.

Finally we would you like to say a farewell and a hello. On Friday, April 25, Mrs Danielle Paul, English teacher, left Mackie Academy for a promoted post at Bridge of Don Academy. We wish her all the best. Coming onto the team to cover maternity leave is Mrs Julie Knight who is our new nursing assistant and we look forward to working with her over the coming months.

We now enter our examination period and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Mackie Academy students the best in their exams. I am sure that they will do both themselves and the school proud. Best of luck.