David Stewart MSP – Nutritional Educational

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

Yesterday David Stewart MSP visited Charleston Academy. Mr Stewart is Convenor of the cross-party committee on Diabetes at the Scottish Parliament and visited a S1 Home Economics lesson on sugar.

Mr Stewart, who is also a Diabetes Champion, was joined by David Rex, Highland Council’s Specialist Dietitian.

Mr Stewart was intrigued to learn what young people knew about sugar. He said the World Health Organisation recommended that individuals should receive no more than 5% of their daily calories from added sugar, that’s six teaspoons per day.

Statistics reveal that all age groups in the UK were exceeding this by taking in over 11% with teenagers being the worst, taking in 15.6%.

“Diabetes has become a UK and worldwide epidemic, is the main cause of blindness of people of working age and responsible for half of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations. Getting the message across at an early age is vital,” said Mr Stewart.

Chris O’Neill, Head Teacher, said: “We were one of the first schools to ban Energy drinks in school. In doing that we worked closely with the local Spar to ensure these were not sold to pupils en route to school in the morning or at lunchtime.

David Rex added: “Learning about the impact of high sugar diets on health and wellbeing is important.”

The S1 class studied labels on common everyday foodstuff to work out the amount of sugar in cubes, as opposed to grams or percentages. By visualising the amount of sugar in products pupils were much more aware of the impact that the significant amounts of sugar in some products might have on them. The amount of sugar in some products shocked the pupils.



Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

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

At the end of last term we held the finals of our Youth Philanthropy Initiative in School. This programme is run as part of our S3 RMPS Programme and at Charleston Academy we’ve been taking part for three years now.

Pupils work in small teams to research and discuss the social needs of their local community and identify a local charity that they believe is making a positive contribution. In groups they visit and find out more about the work of their charity and build relationships. They work together to create a presentation about their charity, explaining why it would benefit from a YPI donation of £3000. The group judged to have presented the most knowledgeable , impassioned and discerning case is granted £3000 toward to their charity.

Skills of teamwork, communication and presentation skills as well as an awareness of the needs of the local community are developed in the process.

This year pupils making presentations about the Gateway Trust, Morning Call, Befriender Highland and Maggies Highland all made it through to the final. Their final presentations were delivered in front of the S3 year group and invited guests from all of the many charities we worked with. Our Judges this year were Kate Morris (Chair of our Parent Council), Owen Cochrane (Lifescan), Halde Pottinger (Humanist Society) along with retired teachers Rob Seymour and Fiona Stuart. Headteacher Chris O’Neill chaired the judging panel with Ann Sim from YPI also advising.

In a very closely fought competition this year, pupils presenting on behalf of the Gateway Trust supporting Homeless people in Inverness won. Well done to everyone who took part.


During the preparations for our YPI Finals some of the pupil groups went well above and beyond what they were expected to do. Ellie Dyce, Rebecca Macintosh, Ashleigh Allison, Shana Nicholson and  Carly MacDonald who were researching for Advocacy Highland raised £1,215.35 through a variety of fundraising initiatives they ran.

Mia Pimm, Morgan MacKintosh, Rhianna Fraser-Lee along with Francesca Fraser, Holly Lyall and Kyle Nairn raised £225 for Maggie’s Highland.

A third group of Eilidh Thom, Gemma MacIver, Megan Borland, Grace Cranidge, Caitlin Graham and Kira Buchan raised a whopping £2,550 for Children 1st.

All of the groups who raised additional funds for their chose charity received special medals from RMPS teacher Mrs Carol Mackenzie and YPI Coordinator Mrs Ann Sim.

Christmas Cake Competition

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

Pupils our National 5 Practical Cake Craft course had to design and create a Christmas Cake as part of their Cake Baking and Cake Finishing assessment.

We decided to  enter into the Christmas spirit and to have a Christmas Cake competition which was judged by  Mr Jonathon Richards, Principal Teacher of Technical, who bakes a cake every year.

He chose the following pupils cakes

  • 1 – Katie Stark 6K
  • 2 – Rachel Stein 5L2
  • 3 – Rebekah Dunnill  5K2

Mr Richards said “it was very difficult as the standard of all cakes designed and  made by the pupils was very high and far better than mine!”

Well done everyone.

Mrs Alison Fraser, Acting Principal Teacher of Home Economics

Arches Photography Trip

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

On Tuesday 15th November, a small group of pupils – Stanley Fraser (2S), Kelly-Marie MacUilliam (4K) and Caithan Brooks (4L) – spent the morning in Inverness city centre as part of their Photography course. During their walk around the centre, the pupils took a variety of photos to practice their skills including taking photos of Inverness Castle, St Andrews Cathedral and Eden Court. They also had to look for art in the city and something that a tourist would find interesting. The trip was also a chance for the pupils to practice their life skills by using public transport and going to a café.  The trip was accompanied by Mr R Stewart and Miss L Gray.

Miss Lindsey Grey, Support for Learning Department

Into Film Festival – “La Famille Bélier”

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On the 24th of November, 26 S4/5/6 pupils went to Eden Court to watch the French film (with English subtitles) ‘La Famille Bélier’. It was about a young girl struggling to cope with life with her deaf family. She had an amazing talent for singing which became apparent when she joined the school choir to pursue her love of singing. Her music teacher recognised her gift and encouraged her to audition for a singing school in Paris. Although she didn’t initially want to go as she was worried about her family, she eventually decided to tell her family about the audition. Her parents were angry to begin with but agreed it was best for their daughter to grab the opportunity after seeing her perform in the school choir. Though it was moving at times the film was very funny throughout which made it more entertaining.

by Chloe Bisset, Ciara Latham and Calum Wilson

Chloe Bisset (4K2)

Chloe Bisset (4K2)

Ciara Latham (4K2)

Ciara Latham (4K2)

Calum Wilson (4T2)

Calum Wilson (4T2)


C’était très émouvant et captivant. Paula, l’actrice principale avait une voix angélique. Le film nous montre les difficultés liées à un handicap. Ça nous a vraiment plu et nous recommandons ce film à tout le monde.  Amy Riddle et Grace Bird

À mon avis, le film était très divertissant et drôle mais aussi touchant. Sami Cochrane

Personnellement, nous trouvons que le film était amusant mais aussi émouvant. Eilidh MacCormick et Laurie MacPhee

Le film était très marrant et nous a fait rire. Niamh MacKenzie et Mairi Prentice

Little Shop of Horrors – Expressive Arts Trip

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

On Wednesday we arrived in Glasgow, after checking into our hostel we were allowed to have a few hours of shopping, looking around the Christmas Markets and sightseeing in the city; we then headed back to the hostel to get ready to go out for dinner and see the musical.

The musical production of The Little Shop of Horrors which was breath-taking; the cast were great and brought so much life to the stage. We all had an amazing day and it was a great experience because some of us had never seen a musical before.

On Thursday morning we went for breakfast which was lovely and set us up for the day ahead. After breakfast, we went on our coach to the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery which was fascinating since there were so many sections about different Art and so many areas to look at. We really enjoyed the Expressive Arts trip because it was fun and very interesting, and we would love to go on one again.

Abbie Millard (3S1) and Kern Robertson (3S1)

Abbie Millard (3S1)

Abbie Millard (3S1)

Kern Robertson (3S1)

Kern Robertson (3S1)







This term both the Art & Music departments took a group of twenty-three students from S3-S6 on an Expressive Arts Trip to Glasgow.

The purpose of this cross-curricular project was to engage our young people in the creative arts by seeing the theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors, discovering the city of Glasgow, visiting the Christmas Markets and engaging in an Educational Tour around Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery. This trip was an exciting, engaging and truly inspiring experience for all students involved and staff.

I would like to take this time to thank the staff that assisted and accompanied me in the organisation of our Expressive Arts Trip Mr Ross Fairfield and Miss Shona McGibbon. More importantly I would like to thank our students who conducted themselves with a great deal of maturity and professionalism during this overnight stay representing Charleston Academy fantastically.

Mr Derek Sim, Acting Principal Teacher of Art & Design

Barry Hutchison Visit

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Monday 21st November, the world famous Scottish writer, Barry Hutchison, came into Charleston Academy to talk to S1 about his new book ‘Beaky Malone – The world’s greatest liar’. He explained how he comes up with storylines for his novels and how he tries to put the essence of his own experiences directly onto the pages – including his childhood fears of squirrels and old ladies! He also spoke about his most famous series Invisible Fiend; one of these was banned in Germany so they are not for the faint hearted!  He has written 5 bestselling series and is currently working with Dreamworks to create an animated series.

Barry Hutchison was incredibly fun and interactive as well as informative about his journey to become a writer. He looked like he was having as much fun presenting his talk as we had listening (which was needless to say a lot!)  We spent an hour with him but it would have been great to go on longer.  The talk inspired us to read his books and maybe even to write stories!  Everyone clearly enjoyed it and our thanks to the English department for organising this event.

Finlay Mackenzie (1S2)

Finlay Mackenzie (1S2)

Angus Franklin (1S2)

Angus Franklin (1S2)








Finlay Mackenzie (1S2) and Angus Franklin (1S2)

Home Economics Demonstrations

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Tuesday 15 November Chef Steve Craik from Quality Meat Scotland visited the Home Economics department to carry out  practical cookery demonstrations.  Pupils were  given an insight into the importance of eating a balanced diet including protein and iron-rich foods such as red meat. They also learnt  about the benefits of cooking and eating fresh natural produce. This was  illustrated by including fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs in each of the two dishes cooked:

Cajun scented pork loin steaks with seasonal stir fried vegetables and chorizo

Pot roast scotch lamb meatballs and carmelised onions, parsnips and curly kale

Control over the use of salt and sugar was  emphasised, and the fun and social aspects of cooking were highlighted. The demonstrations reinforced  the  importance of a healthy balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Chef Steve created an ideal opportunity for our pupils to learn about the versatility, convenience and cost-effectiveness of red meat and its place as part of a healthy balanced diet in a practical, “fun” and interactive way.

Mrs Alison Fraser, Acting Principal Teacher Home Economics

Practical Cake Craft Workshop

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Wednesday 2 November former pupil Tanita Tyronney and her mum Lynda from local cake business “Ladybug Cakes” came into Charleston to deliver a practical cake decoration workshop.
The Christmas modelling workshop offered pupils demonstrations of techniques and skills which the pupils would be able to employ as part of their SQA Cake Finishing assessments.
The ladies worked with the pupils and passed on their expertise of modelling to a high standard.

Tanita will be offering another practical workshop in January to help pupils as they prepare for their final practical assignment. Mrs Fraser and all of the pupils would like to thank both Tanita and Lynda for taking time out of their busy day to help inspire our pupils.

Mrs Alison Fraser, Acting Principal Teacher Home Economics 

Bridge to Employment Residential

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

12 Students from Charleston Academy joined others from Dornoch Academy and other schools to take part in a residential weekend as part of their Bridge to Employment Year 2 Programme.

Students attended Loch Inch Waterports Centre over Friday 4th to Sunday 6th November.

This is part of the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Initiative. Students were joined by mentors and coaches from partner companies that included Scottish and Southern Energy, Lifescan and others.

As well as taking part in outdoor activities, including archery, canoeing and open-boating the young people also focussed on Team Work and Problem Solving Activities, set individual objectives for the coming year and began work on an innovation project. They had to do this under the careful watch of two of the biggest employers in Inverness and the Highlands.

Well done to everyone taking part in a very successful residential weekend.

Miss Rona Macpherson, Depute Rector