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



Remembrance / Armistice Assemblies

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

Provost Alex Graham, Callum Mackintosh (Area Education Manager) and Cllr Graham Ross joined Torridon House for their Remembrance Assembly on Friday

Provost Alex Graham, Callum Mackintosh (Area Education Manager) and Cllr Graham Ross joined Torridon House for their Remembrance Assembly on Friday

Assemblies this week are on the theme of Armistice / Remembrance and are being delivered by our Lead Prefect Team and pupils involved in the recent History trip to the WW1 Battlefields.

On Thursday we welcomed Mr Roddy Wood from the Royal British Legion in Inverness. Mr Wood oversees many of the arrangements for the annual Poppy Appeal in Inverness and he was delighted to hear pupil accounts of their recent trip to Belgium.

On Friday, our final house assembly was attended by Provost Alex Graham, and Cllr Graham Ross. Mr Callum Macintosh, Area Education Manager also joined us for this important period of reflection.

Well done to all the pupils who participated in assemblies this week, who were all a credit to the school and our community. Our guests were very impressed.

Our Head Boy and Head Girl (Shaun Thomas and Emma Macrae) will lay a poppy wreath at the cenotaph on Sunday and other members of the lead prefect team will attend the special event at the Town House on Monday 11th as guests of Provost Alex Graham.


Mr Roddy Wood joins Miss Catherine Bain (PT History), members of our Lead Prefect Team, and pupils who were on the recent trip to Belgium for our Shiel House Assembly on Thursday.

Plans are already underway for our Centenary Visit to the World War One Battlefields in the Autumn of 2014.

Teaching in Botswana

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Important Announcements

Although it’s the October Holidays for most of the school, two Charleston Academy teachers have extended their teaching term this week. They are at our Connecting Classrooms partner school in Botswana. Ms Sutherland (Principal Teacher of Chemistry) and Mrs Sutherland (Art Teacher) are spending ten days working at our partner school, Lotsane Senior Secondary School in Palapye, Botswana.

Funding for the exchange has come from the British Council and meant that two teachers from Botswana visited Charleston Academy before the October break. Thirty Charleston Academy pupils visit Lotsane Senior Secondary School in June and July 2014.

Lotsane Senior Secondary School is located on the western edge of Palapye, a sprawling town of nearly 30,000 inhabitants. The satellite image shows the school teaching blocks, student dorms and the teachers houses.  


History Pupils Show Respects at the Menin Gate

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

History pupils at the Menin Gate in Ypres, today Sunday 6 October, 2013

History pupils at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Sunday 6 October, 2013

Charleston Academy History pupils, who are in Belgium visiting the WW1 battlefields and memorials, visited the Menin Gate on Sunday 6 October. The Menin Gate is a memorial to missing British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient of World War 1.

As a mark of respect, the pupils were proud to wear the full Charleston Academy uniform, and some of the boys wore kilts to accompany the pipes.

The group also laid a wreath during their visit.

A full article on the visit will be published on their return.


Knitting for Botswana

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Last year the Botswana 2012 Team delivered handmade knitted Baby Outfits to the Maternity Hospital in Palapye.

Pictured here are Mr Seloke (Art) and Ms Didimalang (Biology) with a selection of the knitted outfits. These will be taken to Palapye on their return journey with Miss Sutherland and Ms Sutherland.

A special thank you to Grace MacKenzie (Support for Learning) for her huge contribution of jumpers, hats and blankets.

A “Knitting for Botswana Babies Group 2014” has started knitting already.

Staff and Pupils keen to participate have been asked to bring along double knitting yarn – ( not white or pastel colours ) and 5mm or 4.5mm knitting needles.

For any parents who would like to contribute the knitting patterns are available to download HERE.

Any donations of wool or needles would also be gratefully received.

Ms Marj Macleod (Principal Teacher, Art)

Running for Diabetes

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

Well done to Team Sugar Rush  for raising well over £13,000 in this year’s Loch Ness Marathon Festival of Running. Ten former or current Charleston Academy staff were part of the team, raising funds for diabetes research. The fundraising drive is organised by former PE teacher Amanda Croall who left Charleston Academy last session following illness complicated by her diabetes. Amanda took part in the marathon this year, along with staff members, Mr Ryan Macintosh, Mrs Kirsty Dillon, Mr Russell McFee, Mr Alex Mezals, Miss Jacqueline Bissett, and Miss Tara Jaffrey and others. Well done everyone.


Pupil Voice 2013-14

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Important Announcements

Elections for our Year Group Committees took place towards the end of September. Each Tutor Group can elect up to two members for each year group committee. The document below shows the formation of the Year Group Committees for Session 2013-14.

The first task of each Year Group Committee when they meet after the October break will be to nominate and / or elect their member(s) for the whole school Pupil Council, and to co-opt a teacher representative who will support and advise the work of each committee. Our Depute Head Boy and Girl are automatically members of the S6 Committee and are joint chairs of the Pupil Council.

One member of the Pupil Council is co-opted onto the Parent Council and vice-versa.

The work of the Year Group Committees and Pupil Council will be to ensure the education and well-being of all pupils at Charleston Academy is enhanced. The various groups may look at issues such as canteen queues, homework policy, class based learning intentions, awards etc. Each group will decide on their specific focus at their first meeting. Depute Rector Miss Rona Macpherson coordinates the meetings and work of our Year Group Committees and Pupil Council. She assisted by our Youth Development Officer. Read more about our representation of the Pupil Voice HERE.

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Year Group Committees 2013-14 – Click to download


Global Exchange

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

The first phase of our Connecting Classrooms Global Exchange finished this afternoon. Visiting teachers from Lotsane Senior Secondary School in Palapye, Botswana have spent the past week here at Charleston Academy. Mr Seloke has been teaching in the Art Department and Ms Didimalang has been teaching in Biology and helping in Science classes. Both teachers were also able to visit Kirkhill Primary School on Monday where they met Primary classes and were able to describe some of the main differences between our two cultures.

Phase Two of the programme is now underway. On Wednesday Ms Sutherland (PT Chemistry) and Mrs Sutherland (Art Department) left with our guests, making the return trip to Botswana. Our staff will now spend 10 days teaching their subjects at Lotsane Senior Secondary.