Author Archive

Euro Scholar off to Strasbourg

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal

TORRIDON Lewis Robertson-8dd08c45b7Lead Prefect and Torridon House Captain Lewis Robertson has been awarded a place on the Euroscola trip to Strasbourg. Lewis will be in Strasbourg for five days from Friday 22nd February until Tuesday 26th February.

Euroscola is a European wide event for schools allowing students to learn more about European integration. Students from all 27 member states of the European Union head to Strasbourg and become Members of the European Parliament. They are able to take to the floor of the parliament and debate and vote on current affairs, while at the same time practising their language skills and making friends with fellow students from across Europe.

Lewis intends studying Languages at University after sixth year and this will be a fantastic opportunity for him.

There will be live updates from the Parliament everyday with the opportunity to find out what Lewis and the Euroscola students are doing.

Good Luck to Lewis for his trip.

Mrs Sylvie Robinson (Languages Teacher)

Track and Field Champions

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal, Wider Curriculum

On Thursday 7th February four pupils from Charleston Academy made their way down to Glasgow to compete in the Scottish Schools Indoor Track & Field Championships.  The event was held in the newly constructed Emirates Arena.  The venue has been built to stage some events of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games.

The following pupils met the required entry standards and represented the school:

Andrew Johnstone (S3) – U16 Boys 800m

Michael Wilde (S3)- U16 Boys 60m hurdles and Long Jump

Katie Stark (S2) – U16 Girls Shot Put

Alison Horne (S3) – U16 Girls Shot Put

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Alison Horne (3T2): Shot Put Gold Medal Winner

All the pupils put in outstanding performances at the event. However Alison Horne did particularly well. Alison won Gold in her shot put event by throwing a new personal best of 10.80m, beating her previous personal best by 36cm.  Her closest rival finished 89cm behind!

Katie Stark competed in the same event as Alison and finished just outside the medals in 4th place with a distance of 9.44m. These were fantastic performances.

The school is extremely grateful for the parents of the pupils involved who took them to the event and supported them throughout.

Mr Alex Mezals (Maths & Technology Teacher)

Debating Success – Again

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Personal, Wider Curriculum

On the evening of Friday 30 November 2012, Charleston Academy  took part in the Final of the North of Scotland Senior Debating competition. The team consisting of Rory Finlayson and Freya Boa were accompanied by their coaches Mrs Fraser and Ms Storey as well as small band of dedicated supporters.

Picture1

Teams from St Margaret’s, Robert Gordon’s College, Meldrum Academy, Cults Academy, Nairn Academy and Charleston Academy debated the motion “This House believes that teenagers have never had it so good.” The debate was of a very high standard and teams from both sides of the argument were very convincing.

After deliberating for some time the judges decided that Nairn Academy were the Winners and Charleston Academy were Runners-Up.  Needless to say we were delighted – although winning would have been better. Charleston have now been Runners-Up two years in a row! Third time lucky next year we hope. After the prizes and trophies were given out, Buckie High School provided a lovely buffet for us. We eventually got back to Inverness around midnight.

Inverness Festival

The Debating Club is now concentrating on participating in the Inverness Music Festival. Around 20 pupils will compete  in Prose Reading and Public Speaking competitions. All years from S1-S6 are taking part and we hope that they will enjoy the experience and be successful.

Big Green Challenge

In March, this year’s Big Green Challenge Competition for S1-S3  pupils will begin and we look forward to having another successful competition.

Mrs Catriona Fraser (Geography teacher and Debating coach)

Senior Boys Football v Nicolson Institute

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Wider Curriculum

Nicolson Institute 3 – 2 Charleston Academy

Our Senior Boys football team recently headed over to Stornoway for their match against the Nicolson Institute. Strong winds made for an anxious ferry crossing, but all the boys were fine once they reached dry land. After being 2-0 down initially, the Charleston Senior Boys managed to get back up to 2-2 at half time. Disappointingly, a successful penalty by the Nicolson Institute meant they won the match 3-2. It was a great effort from the Charleston Senior Boys who all played really well – an unlucky result.

Mr Ryan Macintosh, PE Teacher and Senior Coach

Fantastic Orienteering Success

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal, Wider Curriculum

British Schools Orienteering Championships

On Friday 16 November, 12 CHAOS members boarded the 7.30 am Inverness train to travel to Manchester for the British Schools Orienteering Championships. We arrived at the Youth Hostel on Potato Wharf by dinnertime and had cooked ourselves the largest baked potatoes we had ever seen before we settled for an uncomfortably hot night (we had to sleep with the windows shut due to a chemical incident in Trafford park).

CHAOS 2

On Saturday we attended a training session across the road from Sunday’s competition area to help us get familiar with the terrain. It was time well spend as can be seen from the results the next day. Unfortunately, Siobhan twisted her ankle which left her barely able to walk, but with the aid of ice packs and a hospital visit she managed to hobble around again by late evening. We celebrated Sam’s birthday with cake and a game of pool.

On Sunday, CHAOS competed at the British Schools Orienteering Championships. It was a cold but beautifully sunny day which saw approx 950 pupils from all over Britain take part. A fantastic atmosphere was created by a funnel of cheering spectators at the finish. Every CHAOS member completed their course, even Siobhan who walked around with her swollen foot in unlaced shoes, to ensure the junior girl’s team remained competitive.

Team CHAOS came home with fantastic team places of 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th !

  • 2nd for the senior boys team (Callum/Sam/Stuart)
  • 3rd for the junior boys team (Rowan/Kieran/Daniel)
  • 4th for the senior girls team (Pollyanna/Hannah/Alex)
  • 5th for the junior girls team (Katie/Kate/Siobhan)

Rowan gained an individual 2nd place in his year group, making for a total of 7 medals for CHAOS this weekend. We celebrated with a nice meal and had a good laugh playing card games with ‘foodie dares’.

We travelled home on Monday. Despite the games of cards and the revision for prelims on the way, the journey home was long (train delays). Our great team got noticed by other passengers –  for the right reasons as I received several compliments from other passengers on the excellent behaviour, manners, and politeness of the team.

Individual results can be seen on the British Schools Orienteering website : http://www.bsoa.org/default.aspx

Mrs Meike White (Volunteer Parent and CHAOS coach)

World Schools Orienteering Championships

Scotland Senior Boys Select Team

Scotland Senior Boys Select Team

On Saturday 3 November 2012 CHAOS (CHarleston Academy Orienteering Squad) left with a minibus full of hopeful orienteers for the biggest selection race a secondary school pupil can part take in within Scotland. The races were held at Dalnamein Forest (just North of House of Bruar). There was snow on the ground and the freezing cold wind soon chilled us to the bones, but at least it was dry. The courses were extremely tough with controls hard to find, but most CHAOS members battled their way successfully through from Start to Finish. Though none of our CHAOS teams  qualified as a school team, we have some fantastic news to report. Once a school team has been selected, the best 5 individuals from the same category are offered a place in the Select Team. And so, Rowan White (2S2) who came 3rd in the junior boys races gained a place in the Scotland Junior Boys Select Team. Callum White (4S2) came 1st in the senior boy’s races and was offered a place in the Scotland Senior Boys Select Team. Stuart Dingwall (5S1) managed to bag himself a place in the same team. A Brilliant result! The World Schools Orienteering Championships will take place 15-21 April 2013 in Portugal. The boys are now fundraising for their trip to represent their school and country. Please look out for their stalls and other activities over the next few months and support them where you can.

Mrs Meike White (Volunteer Parent and CHAOS coach)

Bushcraft News

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal, Wider Curriculum

A group of S2 pupils continued on their path towards the John Muir Explorer Award when they took part in a 4 day winter Bushcraft trip recently. Based in a council-owned lodge at Badaguish, near Aviemore, the group took part in a number of activities over the 4 days. As well as practising their shelter building and fire making skills, pupils learned a variety of crafts in the evenings and studied animal tracks and signs.

The biggest challenge for all concerned was the day long climb of Meall a Bhuachaille and two other summits. A steep climb at the best of times, the hill was particularly tricky due to the ice and snow which covered it, but the pupils, led by Andy the mountain leader, all managed to overcome fatigue and complete the walk.

Bushcraft

With barely enough time to recover, the pupils then did some conservation work for the RSPB near Carrbridge on the last morning, clearing away dead broom to encourage butterflies and insects into the reserve.

Well done to Rhys Smith, Craig Robertson, Rahhan Islam, Andrew Howieson,  Jade McCabe, Lindzi McNeil and Marie McClelland for taking part so enthusiastically in all activities.

A huge thanks, again, to the instructors from the Wild Things charity who organised the week, and to S5 pupils Stuart Dingwall, Timothy Dicks and Ryan Rattray for acting as assistant instructors over the week. Neil Moodie was also due to help out but unfortunately twisted his ankle and had to go home after only a couple of hours – poor Neil!

The S2 Bushcraft project and the S5 peer mentoring programme have both been funded by Awards for All, and the school is indebted to the organisation for their financial support.

Mr Dave Kemp (Support for Learning)

Lab in a Lorry visits Charleston

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

 

lorry

The lorry, which is a mobile resource centre operated by the Institute of Physics, came to Charleston for three days. This gave all of first year and second year pupils the opportunity to attend a session. It was a chance to experience hands-on science experiments using energy, light and sound, which have been developed to encourage exploration. It is fantastic outreach resource which relies on volunteers who really help the children connect science to everyday life and a chance to interact with real scientists working in different fields. Perhaps one of our pupils will become an inventor in the future as a result.

Mrs Pam Hamilton (Science Technician)

S1 Art Exhibition

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Wider Curriculum

Once again there was an excellent turnout for our annual S1 Art Exhibition. This exhibition is held to allow S1 pupils to formally display their work and for their parents to see the type of skills and techniques the pupils have been using since starting S1 at Charleston Academy.

S1 Art Exhibition

S1 Art Exhibition

All the work on display is judged by local artists. This year, the S1 Art work was judged by two local artists: Frances Baxter and Avril Marr. Frances and Avril nominated the work for five different categories. The prize winners were:

Best use of Colour

S1 winner

Overall Winner: Jake Fraser-Lee

Calum Mead

Most Creative

Stephen Tarr

Most Eye-catching

Jamie Penwright

Best use of Pattern and Texture

Laurie MacPhee

Overall Winner

Jake Fraser-Lee

Each category winner was awarded Music Vouchers.

This year the work included views of Inverness and the Canal, views from the windows of pupils houses in both the town and countryside and animals native to the Highlands in watercolour and collage, along with a display of models produced by the Technology Department.

 In addition to the Art exhibits pupils and parents and local businesses had a number of stalls. These included Charleston’s Home Economics Dept., Botswana 2014, Chaos Orienteering, Forest Kitchen, Leachkin Bakery, Sue Fraser, Darach, Adrian Eaton and Hobby Craft

Tea and Coffee was served by the Fair Trade Committee, and again a musical recital from the Music Department’s String Group was really admired..

 We are really grateful to everyone who helped ensure the evening was a great success. Staf in the Art department, HE and Technical bring the whole thing together, and our Parent Council puts in a huge amount of time and effort in sourcing prizes for the winners and the raffle. We’d like to thank the judges, school staff, Art prefects and most importantly the S1 pupils for putting so much effort into their work to ensure such a high standard.

Ms Marj MacLeod (PT Art)

Rural Skills

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Wider Curriculum

Rural Skills is a SQA “Skills for Work” course delivered over 2 years in S3 and S4. It is a practical outdoor course delivered in partnership with the Abriachan Forest Trust.

The main focus of the course is to develop a pupil’s employability skills. Every Thursday the pupils take part in an outdoor lesson – either based at Abriachan or within the school grounds. Pupils also have a “theory” lesson in the classroom every week.

This subject can be chosen as part of a pupil’s choice of course at the end of S2. At present there are 19 pupils taking part in Rural Skills in S3 and S4.

S3 Rural Skills

On a Thursday morning the S3 class have been completing the practical tasks required to achieve their “Estate Maintenance” unit with our Abriachan Forest Trust partner Mrs Suzann Barr and her husband Jim.  Their main project last term was to construct a fence beside a new pond at Abriachan.

This term the S3 Rural Skills class have started a series of practical First Aid sessions working with Mr Andrew Maclean from the Red Cross, helped by a Sixth Year Red Cross volunteer, Erin Wardlaw 6S

S4 Rural Skills class

The S4 class have successfully completed their “Soft Landscaping” unit of work by working at the Loch Ness Country House Hotel supervised by their gardener, Mr Roy Goddard. The class worked in small groups with Roy in the grounds of the Hotel every Thursday between April and October, giving the pupils valuable experience of a working environment.

This session the S4 class has been working on a Unit of work called “Land Based Industries”. This involves carrying out research into three local industries and jobs.

In September 2012 the class received an invitation from Scottish and Southern Electricity to visit the wind farm at Fairburn. During their visit the class found out about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of renewable energy development and visited the site control room and a turbine base.

The class travelled through to the Norbord timber processing plant at Dalcross in November 2012 and took part in a discussion about Health and Safety in the workplace with Mrs Ann Babbington Occupational Health Nurse, before taking part in a guided tour of the mill.

Mrs Susan Ritson (PT Guidance / Rural Skills teacher)

Tomorrow’s Doctor

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal

Doctors to Work Programme

There is a national problem in attracting doctors to work in remote rural areas such as the Highlands. To address this issue NHS Highland launched its “Doctors to Work” programme, giving young people interested in a career in medicine a taste of life in a busy hospital. S6 pupils from across the Highlands successfully applied to take part in the programme, allowing them to spend a week at Raigmore Hospital here in Inverness.

The pupils shadowed consultants, junior doctors, and other staff at work. S6 Charleston Academy pupil George Ashton took part in the programme and was then invited by NHS Highland Board to make a presentation about his experience of the programme and how he felt his participation in it would benefit his career.

george ashton depute head boy

I spent
 time in the
 hospital 
laboratories 
where I learnt 
about the
 scientific processes underpinning
 the diagnosis and management of
 disease.

It was fascinating to see the variety 
of skills needed: from the hands-
on practicalities of pathology to
 the automated complex machinery 
in blood sciences. I observed the 
importance of teamwork and time 
management in order to produce 
rapid but accurate results emphasising 
the crucial role laboratories play in
 medicine.

Observing a surgeon take a history in 
order to obtain a diagnosis was also
 fascinating, highlighting the need for
 good communication skills.

Later, I watched an orthopaedic 
surgeon carrying out a hip replacement operation emphasising the importance of leadership and teamwork. The calm confidence and technical skill
 displayed by a cardiologist during 
a catheterisation procedure was
 inspirational.

During a ward round. I was impressed
 when the consultant knelt down by the 
patient’s chair as they talked to them. Being able to sit in on a MDT meeting 
highlighted the value of teamwork and
 good communication in order to make 
the correct management decision for 
the patient.
 Speaking to students and doctors
 during the programme provided a 
significant insight into their training 
and experiences, including the physical
 and emotional pressures of the job.
 I now have a greater understanding 
of the wide range of specialties in
 medicine and the wider health care
 team involved in patient care.

The successful Doctors at Work programme is run in partnership with our Guidance teachers. The NHS hope to double the number of students participating in 2013, with the programme running in June and September. This year students will also be able to spend time working with local GPs.

To find out more, speak to your Guidance teacher in school. Alternatively email Karen Murray at NHS Highland.

A version of this article originally appeared in the January 2013 edition of NHS Highland NEWS