Blythswood Enterprise Challenge 2016

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

S1 pupils have been working very hard over the last 5 weeks participating in the Blythswood Enterprise Challenge 2016. The school received £150 in start-up capital with the vision that they would “make it grow” over a 4 week period. Led by their Business Education teacher Mrs MacRae, and with support from both the RME and Business Studies departments, the pupils have organised and run a number of activities and events to include a Coffee Morning, Quiz Night, making and selling bird feeders, bookmarks, and bake stalls, to name but a few.

Charleston Academy is one of the first secondary schools in Highland to run this event on such a scale and is very proud of the hard work and commitment shown by all participants. All pupils are receiving recognition certificates and house points at assemblies this week to celebrate and reward their success. We are overwhelmed with the amounts raised by each group and it was an absolute pleasure to be in a position to hand over a cheque for £2,271.90 at the Shiel house assembly to Adrienne Dempster, the Blythswood Care Fundraising Manager.

The money raised will go towards the 999 Fire Engine Appeal on behalf of Blythswood Care, which provides emergency service vehicles and training to remote areas in Europe, Africa and Asia.

The overall experience for pupils and teachers alike has been very rewarding and we hope to run the indicative again next year.

Mrs Heather Macrae, Business Education Department

Real Safari at Highland Wildlife Park

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

While everyone in school enjoyed an “On Safari” dress down day to raise funds for Botswana today, pupils based in the Arches and studying for their ASDAN qualification visited Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie today.

The pupils had to take photos of the animals and find out about their diet and habitats. They were accompanied on the trip by Jasper Hughes, Education Officer at the park.

The pupils are all studying for the ASDAN Animal Care short course.

Ms Lindsey Grey, Learning Support Department

Senior Prelims 2016

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum, Important Announcements

Prelim Exams for students in S5/6 begin on Friday 12 February with Higher and Advanced Higher English. They continue after the mid-term break, finishing on Friday 26 February. The full timetable can be downloaded HERE or below.

Find out more about SQA Qualifications HERE.

Please note that as in previous years there is no study leave for prelim exams. All students sitting prelim exams attend school as normal during the prelims. This includes attending Tutor Time for Registration at 8:50am every morning prior to any exams which are scheduled first thing. Study Leave will be provided for the May SQA exams as usual.

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Rural Skills Norbord Visit

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

As part of their National 4 Rural Skills course, S3 pupils at Charleston Academy were given the chance to visit Norbord. Norbord, aka the Cloud Factory, is one of Europe’s main producers of OSBoard used in housing and furniture worldwide.

After a briefing in the boardroom, we were given a tour of the production line and given the chance to meet staff working throughout the plant. In addition, pupils also questioned employees in order to gain an insight into the skills and qualifications required to work there.

As expected the pupils were a credit to the school, and many have discovered an exciting new career possibility.

Mr Stuart Buchanan, Geography Department

Peru 2017 Launch

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

After returning from the Christmas break, 12 pupils from Charleston Academy took part in the Peru 2017 launch night. The evening started with introductions from the Outlook Expeditions trip organiser. Time was spent letting the members of the expedition group get to know each other better through team building activities.

The group also discussed their own personal aims and reasons for signing up to the trip.

  • To have a good experience and have fun
  • To explore the country and culture
  • To visit Machu Picchu
  • To have an adventure
  • To try Peruvian food and buy Peruvian hats
  • To help people

The main focus of the evening was choosing the activities and projects the expedition team would like to take part in while traveling in Peru. Some of the activities like visiting Machu Picchu were easy and quick to agree on, whereas deciding which trek to travel proved extremely difficult based on the variety of options available. In the end the team decided to vote and a week camping and exploring the Rainforest won!

The 21 day trip poses physical, mental and psychological challenges from working at height (3400m), traveling in very changeable weather (desert/humid/monsoon) to sleeping in the Rainforest with wild animals (8 legged-monsters). While in Peru, the group will experience the culture of Lima, help improve the facilities of an orphanage in Cusco and share experiences with the children living there, climb to the top of Machu Picchu, soak in a natural hot spring before spending a week camping in the Amazon Rainforest and as part of their R&R do some Sandboarding after a morning of dune-buggying in the Huacachina desert and visiting the oasis.

  • The trip is heavily subsided by sponsorship and fundraising, if you would like to get involved or have any fundraising suggestions please feel free to contact the school and ask for Mr Scott Nairn or Mr Stuart Buchanan.

Trips and Visits

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

At the relevant assemblies this week, we’ll be highlighting to pupils the forthcoming opportunities for trips and visits that are running at Charleston Academy.

One major addition to the trips we have planned is a visit to Peru in 2017 led by Mr Scott Nairn (Music Department) and Mr Stuart Buchanan (Geography Department). Read more HERE.

Forthcoming trips for Charleston Academy pupils include


  • France – February (Ski Trip): Mrs Kay Storey and Mr Ryan Mackintosh.
  • Italy – March (Curricular): Ms Sali Massey and Mr Shaun Foster.
  • Botswana – June (Wider Curricular): Mr Steven Tillman, Mrs Alison Fraser, Mr Donald MacLeod and Mr Chris O’Neill.
  • Belgium – October (Curricular): Miss Catherine Bain and others.


As well as our usual trips and visits the following will also feature in 2017.

  • USA East Coast (Wider Curricular): Mrs Lyndie Cameron.
  • Spain (Watersports Trip): Mr Russell McFee.
  • Peru (Wider Curricular – Outlook Expeditions): Mr Scott Nairn and Mr Stuart Buchanan.

Business Brunch for S3 Language Pupils

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages) organised a Business Brunch, on Tuesday 26th January, at the Kingsmill’s hotel to encourage S3 pupils to continue with languages in the senior phase.

The event provided schools from the Highlands with an opportunity to hear from various dynamic speakers who view language skills as a key part for the success of their business in a globalised market. Most importantly, it gave young people the chance to ask questions and find out more about the variety of careers and employment opportunities that are open to people who can demonstrate language skills on their CV.

The session concluded with inspirational speaker, Shauna Jennens from Dalmore Distillery. It was a successful day for the ten pupils from Charleston Academy who were invited to take part.

Mrs Sylvie Robinson, Languages Department

Curriculum and Course Choice Information Evenings

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum, Important Announcements

Letters will soon be issued to all pupils in S1/2 and in S3/4/5 about forthcoming curriculum and course choice information evenings.

Pupils will be issued with the letters to take home on Thursday 21 January. Copies of both letters can also be downloaded below.

While the main purpose of the information evenings is to explain the course choice process to parents, we will also use both evenings to highlight future curriculum and timetable changes at Charleston Academy. For this reason parents of S1 pupils are also invited to the meeting on 27 January.

We look forward to seeing you at these meetings soon.

S1 & S2 Letter

S1 & S2 Letter

S3/4/5 Letter

S3/4/5 Letter

Scottish Parliament Visit

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

Earlier this term, Modern Studies students were fortunate to be able to visit the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. On arrival at the Scottish Parliament pupils were met with a protest group for CALMAC who were lobbying MSPs in relation to the debate which was taking place in the debating Chamber later in the afternoon.

Pupils then met with Jean Urquhart MSP and put some impressive questions to her on a variety of issues such as media intrusion, nuclear disarmament, gender equality in the armed forces and the work of the Parliament to be more open to those with disabilities. The pupils also took part in a workshop to help with their understanding of how a Bill is passed in the Scottish Parliament. To further their understanding of the work of the Scottish Parliament pupils had the opportunity to observe a lively debate in the debating chamber.

Outside of the Scottish Parliament our group happened to pass Kezia Dugdale MSP (leader of the Scottish Labour Party) who took the opportunity to speak with staff and pupils about their visit before we had to depart.

Mrs Lyndie Cameron, Principal Teacher of Geography and Modern Studies