Onwards and upwards

Following on from last week’s column I can say that the performance by the Scottish Ballet of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ was fantastic and it was great to see a student from Mackie Academy involved in the performance. Well done to Gemma Banister for her involvement in this.

In addition, I received news this week from the Dutch Open Taekwon-Do competition which took place at the weekend. Three Mackie Academy students attended the event in Best, near Eindhoven. As members of the Boydell Blackbelts Academy Katrina Carr (S4), Christina Waite and Jodie Boydell (S1) travelled with others as part of the Northern Taekwon-Do Academies and took part in this international competition with over 700 competitors of varying ages and experience.

Katrina, 1st Degree Blackbelt, won gold in the U-45kg junior girls sparring which is a fantastic result. Christina and Jodie, both red belts, were unlucky not to medal on this occasion but gained valuable experience and should be proud of what they achieved.

We encourage students in all year groups to get involved in activities outside of their academic studies. One way students can get credit for such involvement is through award schemes such as the Saltire Awards, which can be used as part of their suite of qualifications.

One young lady, Lucy Gourlay, came to see me this week as she achieved her 200 hours volunteering award recently through her involvement with Fetteresso Church and Stonehaven Community Centre.

What is more amazing is that Lucy is only a small number of hours away from gaining her 500 hours award which is no small feat.

I am going to see Lucy in action with our Community Learning colleagues in the next couple of weeks at one of the transition programmes that are taking place for primary seven students coming to Mackie Academy in August 2014.

Continuing the theme of transition, I am currently visiting all of Mackie Academy’s feeder primaries to meet our prospective primary seven students, their parents and carers and members of staff.

It is a good learning experience for me given that I have never been to many of them before. I have yet to get lost!

It is proving to be a really valuable experience as it is allowing myself and other staff from Mackie to answer questions in person and reassure parents and carers about the transition process.

It is a big change for P7 students and some have had plenty of questions to ask me which is great.

I am really enjoying the experiences and look forward to visiting the remaining primaries in the next couple of weeks.

Our Youth Commissioners continue to go from strength to strength and are currently preparing the report that they are taking to the Education, Learning and Leisure Committee in March 2014.

It is great that they are continuing their involvement in such a worthwhile project on bullying while balancing the demands of their academic studies.

The Scottish Education Awards are upon us again and reflect a huge variety of categories that nominations can be made in across all sectors of education and partnerships with parents, community learning development and many others.

If you are interested in looking at this and / or making a nomination anyone can do so at:

HYPERLINK “http://www.scottisheducationawards.org.uk/nominate/index.asp” http://www.scottisheducationawards.org.uk/nominate/index.asp

It is a busy time here at Mackie just now as we prepare our senior students for prelim examinations and course choices for 2014-15.

Our students and staff are working hard and we look forward to seeing the results in the near future.

Very much a case of onwards and upwards.