Mackie Academy are riding high

What a week of achievements it has been here at Mackie Academy.

On Tuesday, November 25 we had our first multi-faith day at Mackie. The day was a huge success and representatives from different faith groups were united in singing the praises of the Mackie students who they found to be polite, respectful and above all enthusiastic.  The day could not have taken place without the dedication and hard work of the RMPS 3I class who produced all the materials and manned the stands throughout the day; a massive thank you to the students and staff – Mr Hewitt, Ms O’Reilly and Ms Swanson – for making this possible.

The Youth Philanthropy Initiative final for Mackie Academy took place on Tuesday, November 25. Unfortunately I missed this due to other work commitments but Mr Sim informs me it was a fantastic evening and a close battle for the £3000 donation to the winning charity team. The winning team were Homestart so well done to the girls who received their cheque from the Wood Family Trust. In addition to this our business partner, Nexen, have very kindly donated £500 to those not successful on the evening due to the high calibre of the presentations. This is great news not only for the groups, as it reflects the hard work put in by all, but for their chosen charities as well.

The school would like to take this opportunity to thank both the Wood Family Trust and Nexen for their support of this event as well as saying how proud we are of all our S5 pupils who participated in this worthy event.

Not content with this the following evening our young musicians went into battle as part of the Stonehaven Rotary Club’s annual competition.

Twenty one pupils took part in two sections – junior and senior – supported by family, friends and staff. Judging was tough and a big thank you must go to Andy Bruce, Jean Webster and Craig McDermott for their deliberations. The Junior section winner was pianist Laura Ritchie while Dylan Coolahan won the Senior section on his trumpet. He also won the overall trophy and goes off to the Rotary District final in Perth in February 2015.

A massive thank you to the Rotary Club of Stonehaven for organising this fabulous event as well as Andrew Cheyne and Blair Cargill for their accompaniment.

Continuing the musical theme, our Concert Band won a Gold Award on Sunday at the regional round of the Scottish Concert Band Festival and progress to the national final in Perth next March. Congratulations to all involved in this fantastic effort.

Finally, the week was topped off by our Mock Trial team winning another Scottish final. A fantastic achievement topped off by the very sporting comments received from the other teams we had participated against. We now look forward to the national finals in Edinburgh in March 2015. A massive thanks, yet again, to Ms Swanson and our advocate mentor, Craig, for their great success with the team.

Last, and by no means least, I want to mention Miss Jesse Mclean. Jesse is part of Kincardineshire Pony Club and she attended her first Pony Club competition in some time after an injury. Against over 80 other riders Jesse’s personal time was in the top five which is fantastic and allowed her to gain her first major win riding Westside Ros. This is a fantastic achievement for Jesse. At the same time she was part of a team which won on the day and comprised of Kirsty Rae in S1 as well as an ex-pupil, Thia Dodds. Massive congratulations to all the girls involved and thanks to Jesse’s mum for letting us know!

I genuinely could not be any more proud as headteacher at Mackie Academy than I am this week. And it is not all about winning – our U16 Rugby team put on a spirited performance against Gordonstoun in the Grampian Shield Final to have it cruelly plucked from them in the final minutes. However, I have no doubt that they will turn it into victory the next time.