Music pupils from S3 to S6 recently attended the Inverness Music Festival. Charleston Academy pupils took part in the Popular Song contest. All of our pupils gave outstanding performances. Well done to Morven MacDonald (6K) who was the overall winner in this class.
Over half of our S4 pupils received formal Awards at the S4 Awards Ceremony on Wednesday morning. Pupils receiving five or more nominations from their teachers / subjects for sustained effort, improvement, or attainment were eligible for an award. It was great to see so many of our S4 receive awards this year, and for so many of their parents to be able to attend and share in our celebration of their success so far. Mr Gordon Stewart, S4 Year Head presented awards accompanied by Mr O’Neill and Mrs Hunter. As well as a range of subject awards, special awards were given out for success in the Maths Challenge and for Debating. Parents also had the opportunity to see examples of some outstanding examples of practical work by S4 pupils in Craft & Design and Graphic Communication. Thank you to all the parents who attended and also saw S4 pupils reach an important milestone as they are now on Study Leave ahead of their imminent and all-important SQA exams.
Completing a hat-trick of Political Party Conferences, Higher Modern Studies and other senior pupils were invited to the Scottish Labour Party Conference which was held at Eden Court today. The group were met by Dave Stewart MSP and Rhoda Grant MSP who explained the purpose of the conference and the organisation of some of the debates and speeches.
Charleston pupils were then introduced to Johann Lamont, MSP and Scottish Labour party leader who talked to pupils about her life in politics and then took questions from pupils on a range of issues that included the referendum, voting age, politics in schools and other youth issues.
Our pupils were then invited into the main hall at Eden Court to hear Alistair Darling’s speech on the forthcoming referendum. After lunch, the pupils headed back into the main hall to hear the Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband’s speech, the highlight of the whole conference weekend.
At the end of the day the pupils were invited to meet Anas Sarwar MP, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, followed by a meeting and photo opportunity with Alistair Darling MP. The former Chancellor, remaining politically neutral, asked the pupils about their views of the day and questioned them on referendum issues. Our pupils were impressed that they were asked for their views rather than having to listen to the views of a politician.
The day culminated in seeing Ed Miliband leave Eden Court. Alas, due to his desire to escape from intervening journalists, he didn’t stop for a photograph and chat with Charleston pupils as promised.
It was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils, arranged by Hannah Lister, one of the conference organisers, and gave the pupils a useful insight into the workings of the party during their Scottish Conference.
After leaving the school car park at 7am in the morning, being fully awakened by Mr Seymour’s Kylie CD blaring throughout the minibus (which most of us tried to counteract with our own earphones…), we finally set forth on our Higher Product Design trip down to IKEA in Edinburgh.
The 3 ½ hour drive went by fairly quickly, between short kips on the seats or admiring the foggy views, and taking a short stop at the Ballinluig Motorcafé for breakfast, Mr Seymour battled through police diversions to reach the bacon rolls.
Finally, we reached IKEA and joined Sales Manager Liz for a tour of the premises and to catch a glimpse of the vast operation behind and front of store, to the journey that is the design process which every product must gruellingly go through just to reach the shelves. She explained the policies and principles of IKEA and how they reach each consumer with clever target marketing strategies.
We met some of the back stage stars of the company- the designers, joiners and electricians working away in their respective workshops. We were then allowed to wander the store as a consumer and singled out some of the products that we thought were designed to get the most out of their intriguing simplicity. It was interesting to see how many products incorporated the iconic IKEA flat- pack design used to minimise space and storage: pots dismantled and placed inside one another; boxes folded down to the size of a mere magazine; and vases and watering cans stacked so that 5 or so would easily take up the space where only one would before. Simplicity – which we found often rivalled complexity where aesthetics were concerned – and the capability and benefits of the flat packing, were probably what made IKEA into the renowned company it is today, along with the dedication of the staff (both here and in factories abroad) and the layout of the store that maximised the use of the floor space (which also left us lost half the time…)
The IKEA trip was a truly unique educational insight into the working of how such a successful global product design and manufacturing company manages to get that all important balance of purpose and aesthetic flare just spot on.
Rachel McCoach, 5T2
Sixth Years and science prefects Michaela Kent, George Ashton and Erin Moss represented Charleston Academy at the Highlands Young Engineers and Science Clubs Celebrations held at Eden Court last week.
The event was an opportunity to take part in industry challenges, showcase science club activities and compete in an Eco-Ferry challenge. The three sixth years had a great day and gained a wonderful insight into the work of industry in some innovative areas.
Science Club relies heavily on the support of the science prefects and it was fitting on the day that they received a special mention at the prize giving ceremony.
Mrs Pam Hamilton, Science Technician and Science Club Coordinator
Two weeks ago, I took part in a programme for young language students all over Scotland called ‘Euroscola’. Funded by my local rotary club, the programme allows for a group of students studying Advanced Higher languages to represent their country at the European parliament in Strasbourg.
The trip required us to try and speak in French as much as possible, whilst also introducing us to the city of Strasbourg and Alsatian culture. For example, one day we were asked to do surveys on the streets of Strasbourg, which was especially difficult due to the unique Alsatian dialect spoken in the city. Among visiting the stunning Cathedral and canal in the heart of the city, we were also given ample opportunities to shop and feast on local delicacies, such as the tarte flambée, ‘ce n’était pas mon expérience préférée du voyage !’
However the highlight of the trip was the day we spent at the European Parliament. With 25 of the 27 EU member states represented, sitting in the hemisphere was absolutely breath-taking. The morning allowed each nation to introduce themselves before opening the floor up to a question and answer session.
After lunch, we broke off into smaller committee like groups with each nation being represented. Each group had to discuss a different European issue such as ‘Immigration and Integration’, ‘Environmental Policy’ or ‘The Media’. My topic was ‘2013, the year of the European Citizen’. Although I initially found it to be a rather vast topic, the group discussed current issues such as Gay Marriage, Drug Legalisation and the role of Religion and Languages. These ideas were then brought to the floor of the hemisphere and discussed by all 600 representatives, much like they would be with real MEPs and genuine bills. The experience was quite surreal, but I was able to bring myself to debate the various ideas being exchanged in the Hemisphere. An accomplishment I am very much proud of.
Overall, my trip to Strasbourg and the European Parliament was the best opportunity I’ve ever had to experience another culture and discuss politics on a continental level. It has greatly aided my spoken French, whilst also reinforced my original love of languages, which I will be studying at Edinburgh University as of September this year. ‘J’aurais voulu rester plus longtemps et c’était une expérience que je n’oublierai jamais !’
Lewis Robertson, Advanced Higher French pupil & Torridon House Captain
On Wednesday 13th March, the Higher French class went to Eden Court to watch the French Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar.
At a Montréal primary school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who has committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
This absorbing film, set in Montreal, ties together two tragedies and by such a linkage shows our capacity for human understanding and emotional empathy. While that may sound excessively depressing to some, there is hope in this film as the characters, both young and old, try to move on with their lives and cope as best they can.
Avis des élèves :
« J’ai vraiment apprécié le film. Je le recommande fortement à d’autres. » Amber
« C’était une histoire intéressante. Il y avait quelques surprises. » Laura
« Le film était très émouvant. » Alex & Charlotte
« Le film fait réfléchir et ça m’a beaucoup plu. » Cecilia
« J’ai trouvé ce film assez émouvant. » Lucas
Mrs Sylvie Robinson, French Teacher
Bain Linguistique !
Le mercredi 6 mars, la veille de leur examen oral, nos élèves de français au niveau Higher et Advanced Higher se sont joints aux étudiants du lycée de Millburn. Toute la matinée, ils n’avaient d’autre choix que de parler français par le biais d’activités diverses. Malgré cela, ils étaient tout sourire sur le chemin du retour ou bien était-ce le soulagement de pouvoir à nouveau parler anglais?
On Wednesday 6th March, the day before their oral exam, our Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils joined others from Millburn Academy. They had no choice but to speak only in French whilst doing various activities all morning. Despite this, it was all smiles on the bus home or was it the relief to speak English again?
Mrs Sylvie Robinson, Languages Teacher
Last year staff from New Craigs Hospital contacted the Art and Design Department at Charleston requesting senior Art work that could be used for exhibition purposes. This was primarily to enhance the look of the main entrance and corridor to New Craigs, but also to raise pupils awareness of the work of the Hospital and to try and breakdown the stigma that Mental Health carries with it.
It was agreed that the request should be extended to all the Inverness Secondary Schools, and each Art and Design Department submitted Art work from current and former pupils.
Threeof our current S6 Art and Design pupils, Lucy Cormack, Zamira Rooks and Neillidh Sutherland completed paintings as part of their summer project. The Artwork was framed and hung, and over the past number of months staff, patients and visitors at New Craigs have been invited to vote for their favourite.
At last night’s prize giving Lucy Cormack’s portrait of “a Girl in Summer” was announced as the most popular. Lucy was awarded prize money of £100. Erin Kelly from Inverness Royal Academy was awarded a second prize by the Framer. Every pupil was presented with an A1 portfolio case for their Art work.
The display of Art work has been so popular that it is now hoped to run the Exhibition as an annual event. Not only has the work brightened up the entrance to the hospital but it also a great opportunity for local Art and Design students to be able to showcase their talent.
Well done to all three pupils from Charleston for participating.
Ms Marj MacLeod, Principal Teacher of Art & Design