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

Exotic Animals in the Arches

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

On Friday, pupils in the Arches were given a treat when staff from the Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue Centre visited. Not for the squeamish or phobic, but pupils enjoyed seeing a massive albino python, a tarantula, a scorpion and other animals rescued by this charity.


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

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