Creative Cake Decorating

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

Students studying our Cake Decorating course have been putting the finishing touches to their Christmas Cakes this week. Well done to everyone who took part.

Mr Rob Seymour, Principal Teacher of Technical Education, who retires at the end of this term, judged the final cake on Tuesday and announced the winners:

Overall Winner: Katy Fraser (4L1)

Runners Up: Nicola Rattray (3T1); Teagan Cameron (3L1); Ayesha Grant (5K2); Lara MacDonald (4K2) and Iona Stoddart (3L1).

Mr Derek Newlands, Home Economics Department

Youth Philanthropy Initiative

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

On Friday 4th December, we held our 2015 YPI Final. It was the culmination of much hard work by all our S3 pupils and their respective charities. This year we had 5 Finalists representing local charities. The semi- finals were very close this year, and it came down to just 1 or 2 points between some teams, but in the end, 5 went through to represent the following charities:

Foodbank Highland;
Children’s Hospice Association Scotland;
Highland Deaf Children’s Services;
Women’s Aid;
New- Start Highland.

Mrs Thomson from our PE Department hosted the event. Our judges this year were:

Mr Chris O’Neill – Chair (Head Teacher, Charleston Academy)
Mr James Cameron (Scottish and Southern Energy)
Ms Amanda Thomson (SSE)
Mrs Ann Ashton (Charleston Academy Parent Council)
Mr Richard Syred (retired Head Teacher, Inches Primary School, former ASN Teacher at Charleston Academy)
Mr Michael Perera (Community Mental Health Services, NHS Highland)

It was a pleasure to welcome our special guests and judges to Charleston for this event and we hope they enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did. This year we were joined by Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael, Councillor Alex Graham, Mrs Ann Sim (Regional YPI Coordinator), Rev Andrew Barrie (Kinmylies Church)

YPI has become embedded into our S3 curriculum and forms part of our Wider Achievement Award in Religion, Beliefs and Values. We have now secured £6,000 for two local charities in the last two years; YPI has given our pupils a first- hand experience of Philanthropy with many of our pupils maintaining vital  ties with their charities.

Our very worthy winners this year are the group who represented New-Start Highland – securing them the fantastic grant of £3,000. The boys,  worked very hard to produce a thought provoking and powerful presentation.

Congratulations to the winning team promoting New-Start Highland below:

Mrs Carol Mackenzie, Teacher of RMPS

S4 Bridge to Employment: Ashfield Music Festival

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

At our second STEMinar on Thursday 19 November we learnt how Physics is applied during the planning of a music festival. At the start of the day we were assigned different roles within our group of six eg Project Manager, Sound Engineer and Health and Safety Advisor.

Throughout the day we learnt what was involved in each job. In the afternoon we had to work together to put forward a plan and detailed costs for a music festival with the aid of a poster. Our presentations had to convince a panel of judges to provide us with the funding needed for a festival.

Overall we really enjoyed this STEMinar and it helped to improve our team working and communication skills as well as boosting our confidence.

by Sami Cochrane (4T) and Gabi Gill (4L)


Samantha Cochrane (4T1)

Samantha Cochrane (4T1)

Gabrielle Gill (4L1)

Gabrielle Gill (4L1)








Read more about Bridge to Employment HERE. It is delivered in partnership with several companies, including Scottish and Southern Energy and Lifescan.

S4 Bridge to Employment pupils:

Danielle Ross 4K1; Gabrielle Gill 4L1; Bruce Campbell 4L2; Ashwin Crombie 4L2; Jacob Hodgson 4L2; Eilidh McCormick  4L2; Adam; MacDougall 4L2; Tyler Whitty 4L2; Szymon Kryszczyszyn 4S1; Miar Kyle 4S1; Sasha Brandon 4T; Samantha Cochrane 4T; Robbie Henderson 4T; Megan Meldrum 4T; Ross Watson 4T.

Pets at Home Visit

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Friday 6th November, three pupils visited Pets at Home as part of their ASDAN short course in Animal Care. Beth, Kelly and Kieran were shown how to safely handle a variety of animals including snakes, bearded dragons, rabbits and guinea pigs. Hannah from Pets at Home answered many questions from the pupils about the animals such as how to care for them and information about their life cycles.

Miss Lindsey Gray, Support for Learning Department

Higher Geography Success

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

Congratulations to former Charleston Academy pupil Arianne Ross. At the weekend Arianne attended the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers where she was awarded the SQA Prize for the highest overall mark in the SQA Higher Geography examination for 2015. Arianne was delighted with such an accolade and was equally impressed to receive her award from adventurer, broadcaster and author Mark Beaumont.

Art & Design Turner Prize Exhibition

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Thursday 29 October our S6 Art Portfolio class travelled down to Glasgow to view the 2015 Turner Prize Awards in the Tramway building. During our trip we also attended the Glasgow School of Art open day which conveniently landed during the same time that the Turner Prize was being displayed in the city. We spent the morning exploring many of the GSA departments and their buildings, including the newly built Reid Building; learning about what the courses entailed and meeting several of the highly regarded lecturers.

In the late afternoon we took a train to the Tramway building to view the prestigious Turner Prize Awards. As a class we were given a brief to follow out an artistic response to our favourite nominee. The art being displayed in the Tramway wasn’t conventional art such as a painting or a sculpture; instead the work presented was strongly conceptional, ranging from fur coats stitched to the back of chairs to inter-dimensional alien abduction reports. There are only 4 nominees running for the £25,000 cash prize and entry into the diverse and controversial world of art and the prize is to be presented in December.

As a class we had mixed feelings towards the artists and their ideas. I feel like we struggled getting into the open mind set of the artist’s reasoning for the way they had visualised their representation of art. A guide walked us around the displays and explained to us the concepts behind each as well as the methods used. The amount of vast creativity and inventive ideas were immensely inspirational to us all; even if the visual representation of the art didn’t ignite excitement, inspiration was still drawn from the artists disregard for conventional art.

Overall the day was both enjoyable and inspiring for me and my fellow classmates.

Liam Black (6S1)

Liam Black (6S1)


Thursday’s trip to The Glasgow School of Art Open Day and The Tramway Gallery proved to be both exciting and inspiring for staff and students involved.

The portfolio students took full advantage of this opportunity, allowing them to take part in activities, tour the campus grounds, listen to presentations from university tutors and ask questions. Although it was a long day of traveling I feel it was extremely worthwhile in confirming for students that Art School is a future path for them.

Students also visited The Tramway Gallery and took part in an educational tour looking at the Turner Prize 2015 Nominee’s. Again this event allowed students to reflect and created open dialogue of ‘what is Art’? Students are being asked to select one of the nominees and respond to their work.

I would like to thank Gillian Clark (the schools’ careers advisor) for accompanying me on this trip and for her vital input, also the GSA staff and students for making themselves so ready available and finally Anna Lehr at Tramway.

Mr Derek Sim – Acting Principal Teacher Art & Design

Cake & Bake Show

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

Students and Staff from Charleston Academy Home Economics Department were invited to the Cake & Bake Show in Edinburgh on Friday. Students attended in order to develop their cake production and cake decorating skills as part of their course. Students also developed ideas for the final project element of their course. Great fun was had by all too.


WW 1 Battlefield Trip 2015

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

Our annual History Department trip to the World War 1 Battlefields in Belgium is underway. Pupils and staff left on Thursday 8 October and will return on Tuesday 13 October. On Sunday the group visited the Menin Gate and laid a wreath of poppies there at the evening ceremony. It was an emotional evening. Earlier in the day the group had fun at the Bellewaerde Theme Park. Tomorrow, Monday, the group begin the journey home visiting Brandhoek Cemetery in the morning then stopping off in Bruges for some shopping before the evening ferry overnight back to Hull.

Follow their trip on Twitter.

Business Dynamics Conference

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum


Last week the Higher Business Management and Higher Accounts classes attended a two day Business Dynamic conference at the Scottish National Heritage Centre in Inverness where they took part in a series of seminars and workshops. They also got the chance to meet professionals working in a variety of business related areas such as finance, marketing and operations.

The event was a valuable and enjoyable experience which will help all aspects of their studies.

Mr Brendan McMahon, Principal Teacher Business Education