It seems strange to write this, two days into the new term, and be talking about last term! However, we had such a good last week of term that it seems a shame to not talk about it all.
As always, we were very busy in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. Our house assemblies were held throughout the final week and for Dunnottar it was a “final” event for Mr Watt who retired at Christmas after many years’ service at Mackie Academy. He will be missed, but we wish him all the best in his future adventures and the school presented him with a picture, of Dunnottar Castle at sunset, by Andy Hall. It turns out that both gents went to university together so it was a fitting gift on a number of fronts.
On the Monday evening, we held our information evening for our Children’s University pilot which is a cluster project involving S1 pupils at Mackie Academy and P5 pupils out in our cluster schools. The aim of this programme is to reward pupils for their activities outside of curriculum time, whether that be in school or elsewhere. Pupils have a “Passport for Learning” which allows them to record their efforts both physically and electronically and they will accumulate their hours over the next six months. At the end of this time, pupils will “graduate” in a ceremony at Aberdeen University, in June 2015.
We have also been successful in gaining a significant sum of funding for this from the Scottish Government and we will be using this to support excursions to Aberdeen and further afield. We are very excited about this and are looking forward to working with schools in Aberdeen City as well.
Our Christmas concert took place on Tuesday, December 16, and it was a great event. The hall was completely full and it involved over 120 pupils from Mackie Academy. It also had a number of staff involved, including a very rusty cello-playing headteacher, which was great for all. A massive thank you to all the pupils and staff for putting together such a great show.
The “Twelve Days of Christmas My Teacher gave to me” by the orchestra at the end was a perfect send-off for the festive season. In addition to this, the S1 Christmas card display in Front Reception was of a very high standard and I found it very difficult to judge the winners this year. However, it has been done and points will be added to the inter-house competition.
Also, Tom Robertson in S1 was a winner in the Thorpe Molloy “My Future Aspirations” competition, and was presented with his award just before Christmas. His piece will be on display in the gallery and on the website, so well done to Tom.
Mackie Academy held its annual Christmas Mathematics competition, with teams of S1 pupils each representing a famous mathematician. The competition was fierce, with plenty activities taking place, before finishing off with the extremely-active relay competition. Well done to all involved and congratulations to Team Descartes - Joanna Murray 1D1, Bekah Duncan 1D1, Emma Blake 1D1, Jasmin Lock 1D1 – who came first. Many thanks to Mr Leith for organising and also to our Advanced Higher Mathematics class for assisting throughout the day.
Our week finished with our Christmas assemblies, led by our chaplaincy team. A Christmas tradition has now been started at Mackie Academy, with the S6 Common Room choir yet again leading the singing, alongside, this year, the story of Joseph. In addition to this, the Science team were in and about showing how “seeing is believing”, while our Concert Band entertained us all throughout.
Not only that, we made our annual Sponsored Walk presentation to our chosen charity, CLAN, which amounted to £14,600. This also means that we have around £7000 to spend on school projects, which will be decided by the pupil councils early in 2015. The fund-raising efforts of our pupils were spectacular this year, but I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our parents for their support in raising this fantastic total.
The good news never stops, and over the Christmas break, five of our pupils have made it to the Scottish Swimming finals in Aberdeen. Congratulations to Ailsa Beck, Megan Grant, Kieran Preston, Lee Rosie and Eoin Vaughan for their fantastic performances so far. I am sure we will hear great things from Aberdeen in the near future.
So, 2015 beckons and I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic year for Mackie Academy, which we will look forward to sharing with you.