Christmas Party & Lunch

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Important Announcements

Pupils and staff at Charleston Academy enjoyed a fantastic Christmas Party and Lunch on Wednesday. Our canteen staff, working hard all week preparing, served up 500 Christmas Dinners to pupils and staff, who all enjoyed lunch together in the canteen and Hall. After the lunch, our new staff band entertained everyone with a selection of Christmas jingles with pupils and other staff joining in and dancing along.

A special appearance by Santa Claus (with lots of sweets) at the end of the lunch meant he was able to hand over the iPad mini to the raffle winner, Chloe Harrison (1L1). The Christmas Party and Lunch was testament to the fantastic community atmosphere at Charleston Academy as pupils were joined by our cleaners, our Chief Invigilator, Janitors and canteen staff too.

Hamper Appeal

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

Over the past fortnight, each Tutor Class has been bringing items into Registration for our annual Hamper Appeal. Pupils brought in tins of soup, packets of food, biscuits and other goodies to fill a total of 44 hampers. As well as filling their hampers, each Tutor Group had to wrap and decorate their Hamper, with a prize awarded for the best decorated one.


Staff and pupils loaded the hampers into the school minibus on Monday morning and toured around our catchment area delivering hampers to members of our community who appreciate the little extra that the hampers provide at this time of year. A massive thank-you and well done to everyone involved. And thank you to those members of our community who have already been in touch to say how much they have appreciated receiving the hampers.

Bus Monitors

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

Last Friday, all of our Bus Monitors met in the Hall where they were thanked for their important role assisting staff supervise behaviour and safety on our school buses. As nearly half of our pupils travel to school on bus, the role of our Bus Monitors assisting staff by monitoring and then reporting safety and behaviour concerns on the bus to senior staff is a vital one.

GS 064

The monitors were treated to a hot chocolate, roll of their choice and seasonal mince-pie courtesy of our Parent Council.  A real treat and surprise for the pupils!  At the meeting the expectations for bus monitors was discussed.  The school works hard to keep the school buses as safe and pleasant as possible.  The monitors were pleased to have their efforts recognised by the Parent Council.

Mr Gordon Stewart, Depute Rector

Christmas Events

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Important Announcements

As we approach the end of term on Friday 20th December, school is getting into full swing for Christmas. Staff and pupils in both Art and Technical worked hard to make the decorations for our hall (above). Well done to Mr Corrance (Art) and Mr Seymour (Technical) for coordinating and arranging the hall decorations. And a huge thank you to Mrs Val Barron (our Head Cleaner) for her superb help decorating the Christmas tree in the foyer and wrapping up all the (empty!) boxes.

Christmas decorations in the Hall

Christmas decorations in the Hall

All Christmas events take place week beginning 16th December:

Mon 16th to Thurs 19th: House Assemblies

Our House Captains will be delivering assemblies during the last week with a focus on Christmas.

Mon 16th & Tues 17th: Hampers

Following a successful collection of goodies for our Hamper Appeal, staff and pupils will be delivering all of our Christmas Hampers to members of our community during Monday and Tuesday.

Wed 18th: Christmas Lunch

Our 15ft Tree in the Foyer

Our Christmas Tree in the Foyer

Over an extended lunch break, all pupils and staff will be able to enjoy Christmas Lunch in the Hall. The canteen staff are working hard preparing for this and pupils will be joined by most staff as well as a staff band and choir to add to the festivities. A new iPad Mini WiFi with Retina Display will be raffled in aid of our Global Exchange partnership with Lotsane Senior School in Botswana. Tickets for the lunch (which must be reserved in advance) and iPad raffle are available now.

Wed 18th: Junior Dance

Our annual Junior Dance takes place in the Hall from 7pm. Tickets are already on sale.

Thurs 19th: Senior Dance

The Senior Dance is from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. Seniors are already practicing their ceilidh dances and there is a further rehearsal for all S5/6 pupils on Tuesday 17th during Units 3 & 4.

Fri 20th: House Quiz

A whole school inter-house quiz is planned for the last day. A huge effort is being undertaken by staff and pupils for each of the different themed rounds.

Fri 20th: Christmas Holidays

The Christmas Holidays begin at 3:30pm when the school closes for a fortnight. We re-open on Monday 6th January.

Computing Challenge

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

Mr Dyker presented Amy with her certificate

Mr Dyker presented Amy with her certificate

Congratulations to Amy Riddle who performed exceptionally well in the recent UK Beaver Computing Challenge. There were over 20,000 entries from across the UK and Amy managed to get her name in the Hall of Fame and had the 4th highest score in Scotland for her age group. This is an outstanding achievement, and Amy received a Best in School Certificate for her success.

Many other pupils received a Distinction Certificate which Mr Dyker presented in class.

You can view the Hall of Fame on the UK BeaverComp website.

Charleston Success at Highland Swimming Gala

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

Erica Fowler, 1T

Erica Fowler, 1T

Samantha Cochrane, 2T

Samantha Cochrane, 2T

Struan Hay, 2K2

Struan Hay, 2K2

Robbie More, 6K

Robbie More, 6K





Four Charleston Academy pupils attended the annual Highland Schools Swimming Gala at Inverness Leisure on Wednesday. The event acts as a qualifying round for the Scottish Schools Finals which will be held in January at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow. Later in the year it will also host the swimming action of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Every year Charleston Academy is represented by a small but successful team. This year was no exception and all pupils achieved podium finishes or personal bests. Erica Fowler and I will now go on to represent Charleston Academy at the Scottish Schools Finals next year.


Struan Hay (2K2) – 4th Boys 13-14 200m IM and 200m Freestyle

Erica Fowler (S1) – 3rd Girls 13-14 200m IM and 2nd Girls 13-14 100m Backstroke

Samantha Cochrane (S2)- 3rd Girls 13-14 200m Backstroke

Robbie More (S6) – 1st Mens 400m Freestyle and 200m Freestyle

Children in Need 2013

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Important Announcements

Update 17 November: Well done to all Charleston Academy Pupils and Staff who collectively raised a grand total of £1,197 on Friday. A fantastic achievement and due in no small part to the hard work and organisation by many prefects to ensure the day was a success and raised money for this excellent cause.


Friday 15th November is Children in Need 2013. Our Lead Prefect Team have planned and organised a variety of different events for the day. It’s a dress down day with a yellow theme, or pyjamas, otherwise as bright and bold as you can be. At lunchtime there will be a “Gunge the Teacher” stall in the Hall. Votes have been taking place all week, and we’ve now narrowed down the list of teachers to be gunged to eight. Groups of pupils can now vote for the teacher to be gunged for a £5 fee. Plus, if high enough totals are raised a “mystery teacher” will also be gunged on Friday.

In addition to this, home bakes will be sold at interval and lunchtime. There is also a Pudsey “Guess the Weight Cake”. Finally, for a small entry fee the Lead Prefect Team have organised a House Themed Pudsey Bear Treasure Hunt.

The school is delighted to be able to support Children in Need and this year the prefects have planned and organised the whole day themselves.

Armistice Reflection

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


Pupils and staff reflected silently at 11am today during our two minute silence. Prior to this Liam Eaton and Andrew MacLean piped a lament and Amazing Grace in the school grounds which could be heard by everyone.

At the same time, Head Girl Emma Macrae and Deputes Gavin Hannigan and Laura Brown attended the civic Armistice at the Town House.

Belgium Battlefield Visit 2013

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

Click any photo to enlarge

During the October holidays, Miss Bain, and a team of four other staff took forty seven pupils to Belgium and France on a trip to follow the Cameron Highlanders during the First World War. We also visited some of the memorials and graves for the men and women who lost their lives during WW1. Over our six day trip we saw the names of at least 216,000 men whose bodies were never found!

The first place we visited was Poelkapelle British Military Cemetery. We visited a cemetery here as there were 7000 British and Commonwealth graves, 6000 of these are unidentified. One of the identified graves was Private Joe Condon, who was fourteen when he died. Private Condon was thought to be the youngest person to die in WW1.

After Poelkapelle we visited Vancouver Corner memorial. This commemorates the 13th Canadian Battalion. It was on the site of the memorial where many of the men died during the first use of chlorine gas during April 1915.

We also went to Sanctuary Wood, (Also known as Hill 62) to experience an element of what life would have been like in the trenches.

Another place visited was Langemark German Cemetery. Here we saw the differences between the British and German cemeteries in Belgium. The German cemetery was hugely different to the Commonwealth graves. All of the graves stones were flat on the ground; there was also a mass pit with 44,000 bodies in it! Even the “single” plots could have anything up to twenty one people in them.

On the third day we travelled to France. One of the memorials we visited was Thiepval Memorial which is 140ft tall and inscribed on its pillars are the names of 72,000 British and South African men who have no known grave.

We didn’t just spend the day visiting memorials we also went to the Arras and Wellington Quarry. The quarry was used throughout the First (and Second) world war. During WW1 the soldiers used it as a shelter. The exit from the tunnels was only ten metres away from the German front line; this was a huge advantage to the British as the Germans were not expecting this to happen!

While in Arras we also went to the memorial, we visited this as one of the pupils had a relative named on the memorial. Private John Bain was in the Cameron Highlanders, whom we were following the journey of. Private Bain was killed in action in May 1917; he would have been one of the soldiers to use the quarries, which we had visited.

Another memorial we visited was Vimy Ridge. This is a memorial for the Canadian Soldiers. It is situated overlooking the battlefields where many of the soldiers died. On the memorial there are 11,285 names of men who were missing in action or presumed dead after the battle.

On the Sunday of the trip, we went to a Bellewaerde theme park and zoo. This was a nice break from the history side of the trip, we spent most of the day at the theme park, which everybody thoroughly enjoyed (Especially the teachers!).

However in the evening we attended the Menin Gate Ceremony. This is held every night at 8PM for the local people and the family of the men recorded on the memorial. Four of our pupils played a part in the ceremony. Andrew McLean played “Flowers of the forest” on the bagpipes while, Cerys Davies, Hollie Buchan, and David Alexander laid a wreath on behalf of our school. The Menin Gate Memorial holds the names of 54,000 men whose lives were lost during combat, these men have no known grave. The ceremony was very moving and emotional for many of the pupils on the trip.

The next day we visited Tyne Cot; this is the largest British and Commonwealth Cemetery in the world. It has 12,000 graves and 35,000 names on the memorial panels placed around the cemetery. Also in the cemetery are the remains of three German Pill Boxes, these are where the Germans fired from. They are just like large concrete bunkers. They were meant to be taken down after the cemetery was completed however King George V decided that they should stay as a lasting memorial to the men killed.

On our last day in Belgium we went to Bruges, which is famous for its canals, Lace and Chocolate! While there we were divided up into groups and allowed to go for a walk to either do some shopping or take in some of the historical parts of the city. A lovely time was had by all in Bruges, no matter what we decided to do. After our day we headed back Zeebrugge to catch the boat home!

Our four days on the trip were remarkable and our thanks go to Miss Bain, who organised the trip and also to the four other teachers, Mr Tillman, Mr Richards, Miss Glynn, and Miss MacPherson who provided support throughout. Everyone enjoyed the trip and it will leave a forever lasting impression on all of our minds.

Scott Mackenzie (4T2) and Cerys Davies (4S2)

Scott Mackenzie, 4T2 Cerys Davies, 4S2