Mackie Matter - Plenty to fill you in with

I would like to start off by saying a big thank you to our Parent Council, residents of William Mackie Way, Councillor Christie and Norman Wright from Aberdeenshire Council for resolving the issue around lack of bins in the area which was leading to significant litter issues at lunchtimes for the residents.

I am glad to say that we have had very positive reports about our pupils making appropriate use of the bins which is having a positive impact all round. It is good to see that when we all work together a real difference can be made.

In sport Patrick Young continued his winning streak with a 6-3 6-3 win in the Rubislaw Men’s Grand Prix which is a great achievement as we head into the winter and tennis perhaps seems a little less appealing!! However I am sure Patrick will keep up the hard work on the indoor courts.

At the end of last term our Eco-Group visited the Stonehaven South Church to speak about their work to the network eco-meeting. Lachlan Shanks, Lizzie Randall and Emma Hyder gave an excellent presentation which was well written and executed and they did themselves proud according to Mrs Craig and Mrs Gray who help the group. The audience represented several churches both in Stonehaven and Aberdeen and they had lots of questions for the pupils.

There was also representation from the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh and so impressed were they that they want to put the pupil’s presentation on their website to show the benefits to others. A big discussion was had and offers of help were received by the group for the future. Thank you to everyone who gave lots of positive praise to the pupils directly and to the staff about how polite our pupils were. I believe the phrase “a credit to the school” was used several times.

Some of our pupils are members of the Mackie Youth Forum which operates out of the local community centre. They have been working on a DVD about stereotyping which is to be shown to our S2 pupils as part of the Personal and Social Education programme. The pupils involved – Iona Barney, Isla Davies, Kayla Macleod and Jordan Kirk in S3 – have led all of the sessions themselves and it is a fantastic way to see our pupil voice developing.

In the same vein I received a lovely letter from Bervie Youth Project about the work that they are doing in Inverbervie. Caroll Evans, Chair, wrote to me to tell me about the important role some of ourS6 pupils have played in assisting the group with its setup over the last 18 months. One young man in particular, Cameron Sclater, has been a “lifeline” for the group in terms of building a good relationship with adult volunteers and local youths as well as assisting in running the programmes for future sports mentors. Mackie Academy is hoping to work with the Bervie Youth Project further and get more of our young people to get involved in this worthwhile venture,

My final bit of news on the sporting front is that we have been delighted to find out that we have been chosen to become a Champion School on the Get Set for Community Action programme. There are only 100 schools across the UK who have been given this opportunity and later this month Mrs Agnew and some pupils will be heading down to Birmingham for a conference.

The aims of the programme are to strengthen relationships between young people and their local communities through the Olympic and Paralympic values of friendship, excellence and respect alongside courage, determination, equality and inspiration. I am sure you can see why Mackie Academy would want to be involved in such a worthwhile venture.

And my final item for this week is the news that Mackie Academy is going to have its own Junior Savers Club through the North East Scotland Credit Union. Led by Alexander Evison in S6 it encourages pupils to learn about the importance of saving money and that no matter how little that amount may be, even the smallest amounts grow in time. Every child who becomes a Junior Saver receives a deposit card which is kept in school and information goes home on a weekly basis.

I am really excited about this project and it is great that it is pupil led. We all know that pupils these days need to be financially savvy as they step out into the big wide world and this is a great way to get them started.