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

National Gallery of Scotland Visit

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

On the 18th of September, one of the Higher Art classes set off to Edinburgh to gain an insight on their history of art, at the spectacular national gallery of Scotland. The trip was led by Mrs Corrance (Art) and Mr Seymour (PT Technical). We departed the school around 8.30am and after an hour or so we stopped for a bite to eat at the Ballinluig motor grill. Before we knew we back on the road, on route to Edinburgh.

DSC01962

DSC01964

We eventually reached the Gallery at 1:00pm, just in time for our tour. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and taken care of right away. The class were introduced to Alicia Bruce, our tour guide. She told us a bit about herself, that she was a photographer and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. Alicia explained the rules in the museum – unfortunately like most museums we weren‘t allowed to take photographs in the gallery itself, due to issues of copyright – and began to ask us a bit about what we were studying and if any of us had been to any galleries previously.

A Date with the Dalai Lama

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

Dalai-Lama

Dalai-Lama

On Saturday 23rd June, a group of Charleston Academy S5/6 Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) students, accompanied by their RE teachers Mrs McConnachie and Mrs Mackenzie, set off to Eden Court for a once in a lifetime experience. They met up with over one hundred other students from Highland schools to spend a day with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who addressed a packed Eden Court Theatre. His theme was “Be What You Want ……the World to Be.”

The young people were assembled on-stage, sitting at either side of the spiritual leader of millions of Mahayanan Buddhists worldwide. His Holiness spoke of the need for inner calm and compassion towards all living things. He also stressed the need to see each other as “blood of my blood, bone of my bone working in harmony to make the 21st Century less materialistic, less self-centred.”

The event started with a film collection of “Wind Horses” with sayings and drawings connected to the theme. These were prayer flags made by primary school pupils with sayings such as “A smile costs nothing”, “Stand up and be the change” and “One person can‘t do everything but everyone can do something.” There was also a film of younger pupils each saying “We are the future.” While the youth of to-day was clearly the focus, the Dalai Lama’s message was open to all.

After His Holiness had delivered his talk, the students were invited to ask him a range of questions. “Is it ever possible to find true happiness?”, which he answered with sincerity and humour.

Then the finale, and what a finale! Everyone, including the overspill theatres and with the Dalai Lama taking centre stage, gave great gusto to a splendid rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” lead by a tenor and accompanied by a pipe band. Finally there was an exchange of scarves with His Holiness giving out “Khatas” which are blessed scarves, and receiving one in the pale blue of world peace tartan. A fitting end to a special day!

Mrs Agnes McConnachie (PT Religious, Moral, and Philisophical Studies)

Albert Roux Dinner 2012

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

Our annual Albert Roux Gala Dinner was held on 30th October 2012. Mr Albert Roux and his expert staff from Le Gavroche in London and Rocpool in Inverness spent the day with Charleston Academy pupils. Our Hospitality pupils were put through their paces by the world’s top chef, who advised, assisted, and praised the work of our Hospitality pupils as they prepared and then served a three-course dinner for over 100 paying guests. This year our guests included Provost of Inverness Alex Graham and important representatives from the hospitality industry from across the Highlands. And of course our food critics, the parents of the pupils themselves.

The Video of the 2012 Gala Dinner is now available. CLICK HERE.

Mr Chris O’Neill, Rector

Bushcraft – Fire Starters

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

The school made a successful bid for funding from Awards for All (part of the Big Lottery) over the summer holidays and is therefore again able to offer pupils a chance to experience life in the great outdoors.

Five 5th year boys who gained the NCFE Bushcraft Award before the summer will now be given the opportunity to work as Assistant Instructors, helping the charity Wild Things to deliver Bushcraft courses to pupils from Charleston Academy.

At the beginning of September, Ryan Rattray, Neil Moodie, Stuart Dingwall, Timothy Dicks and Ryan McClelland took part in a two day training camp near Findhorn and will now be employed as Assistants over the coming year. It is a great opportunity for the boys, one which will allow them to pass on the skills and knowledge they have gained over the years to younger pupils starting out on the Bushcraft path.

fire making taster day

Meanwhile, 10 second year pupils gained their first experience of Bushcraft on 10th September when they took part in a taster session in the woods at Craig Dunain. They found out about trees and plants, had a go at starting a fire without matches, and learned about conservation work. This taster morning will be followed quickly by a 2 day / one night residential camp under canvas, a 4 day winter Bushcraft course at the lodges in Badaguish, and a 4 day descent of the River Spey by canoe in the spring/early summer of 2013.

This is what some of them had to say about the taster morning:

 “I found it interesting to make a fire out of stuff found in the woods
and it was a great experience” Andrew Howieson (2S1)
 
 “The taster morning was fantastic” Caitlin Thomas (2L1)
 
 “I thought it was really interesting.
I found it amusing when I stepped in a pile of mud and lost my shoe!” Jade McCabe (2L1)
 
 “It was great fun and I really enjoyed it” Rahhan Islam (2K2)

The school is indebted to Awards for All for funding these two projects, and to Wild things for their continued involvement in delivering Bushcraft courses to the pupils.

Mr Dave Kemp, Support for Learning