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

Charleston Fashion Designers

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

 

Click on the images above for an expanded view

Our S6 Art students have been completing their final portfolio pieces. Each S6 pupil has chosen a theme and worked around this as part of their portfolio preparation.

The pupils have used the skills they acquired in Art and Fashion & Textiles (Home Economics) last year to work on their portfolio pieces. We are extremley fortunate that these two departments work collaboratively to ensure very successful outcomes for pupils. This cross-curricular working is essential to ensure that the pupils have the breadth of knowledge and skills required to produce both the preparatory work and the final outcomes within Fashion Design. The pupils worked confidently and independently of one another to produce their final projects.

Hazel Blackhall has used the “Orient” as her inspiration, and produced a variety of fashion items and accessories based on traditional Chinese dress.

Neillidh Sutherland initially looked at “Camouflage” in the natural environment. She has gone onto produce the mask, top hat and dress using the Peacock as her inspiration.

Zamira Rooks has based her work on Alice in Wonderland, creating a more modern slant on Alice’s traditional outfit.

Ms Macleod (PT Art)

Mrs Bremner (PT Home Economics)

S3 Biology Lifescan

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

Lifescan, the largest employer in Inverness, and part of the Johnson & Johnson Group, visited Charleston Academy this week.

The visit from LifeScan was related to the coursework in National 4/5 on genetic engineering focussing on how micro-organisms can be used to produce useful products. One of these products is the human hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. If your body has a problem producing or using insulin, this leads to a condition known as Diabetes Mellitus. LifeScan are an international company who produce, amongst other things, testing equipment for diabetes. This includes blood testing strips, which are manafactured at their facility in Inverness.

The staff from LifeScan took time to explain and discuss issues relating to diabetes to S3 pupils and the work that LifeScan did to assist people in monitoring and controlling their diabetes. The pupils were then given an opportunity to try two experiments. The first involved testing the enzyme which is used on the testing strips. Pupils were able to see that the enzyme reacts very rapidly with glucose, but not with other sugars. The second experiment invloved preparing a few testing strips, and attaching the different layers of the strips together. To check if they worked, a “blood” sample was put onto the strips and inserted into a testing machine. Needless to say, some worked and some didn’t……

This was an important opportunity for our pupils to understand and reflect on the important correlation with what they are learning in class with an issue affecting many people in Scotland and how a large company like LifeScan provides employment and career opportunities for people living in Inverness. It was very nice to hear LifeScan staff praise the behaviour, attitude and interest of all the S3 pupils who took part. They were particularly complimentary about the number of pupils who demonstrated their real interest in this area and who asked the most challenging questions! Pupils really enjoyed the lesson with one comment at the end summing up the experience: “Why can’t we do cool stuff like this every day in Biology?”

Thanks to Biology teacher Mrs Val MacRae who arranged and organised the visit for S3.

Mr MacLeod, Biology

Botswana 2012…Where to Start?

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

From Inverness to Glasgow (by bus 4 hours); Glasgow to Dubai (9 hours); Dubai Airport (5 hours); Dubai to Johannesburg (9 hours); and finally by road to Camp Itumela in Palapye (9 hours) – it was a pretty intense but exciting 36 hours of travelling!

Arriving at the school on our first day, the welcome we received was overwhelming, no one could believe quite how enthralled the students were to finally meet us. One of the African girls that had been to stay with us in Scotland commented that we were like celebrities to them – and that‘s exactly how it felt. It was really humbling to see that our little contribution (to improve their toilets, paint a mural and visit their classrooms) could have such a lasting impact.

From there we travelled up through Botswana and on our way we were presented with some pretty outstanding sights. It‘s not every day you have to stop on the road to allow a herd of elephants to cross! We visited some impressive locations like the Rhino Sanctuary which held some of the endangered and hunted rhinos remaining in Africa. We also went on two other safaris where we got the opportunity to view some of “Africa’s Big Five” in their native habitat.

video by Michaela Kent (S6)

Some of the animals we saw were elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras and thousands of monkeys! Visiting the salt pans was quite incredible; you could see nothing for hundreds of miles in every direction and got to witness a beautiful African sunset. Towards the end of the trip we crossed into Zimbabwe for a day to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world – Victoria Falls! We walked along the side of the falls and spent some time watching people bungee jump off the bridge. Those of us who didn‘t rent raincoats were soaked to the skin by the end of the day (it was almost like being back in Scotland!) After the Falls we went to a typical Zimbabwean market to barter and buy some African crafts… Some of us even traded clothes and shoes for gifts!

It was amazing to see so much of Africa in so little time. The journey flew by but at the same time it felt like we‘d been there for months! It‘s safe to say that everyone who experienced Botswana would jump at the chance to see more of Africa and would whole-heartedly encourage you to embrace this opportunity!

George Ashton, Mhairi Maclennan and Michaela Kent 6S