After Andrew’s silver medal in the senior men’s pole vault at the emirates arena Glasgow he followed this up a week later with another silver medal in the Scottish Athletcis U20 combined events championship. Over 2 days he completed 7 events and achieved person best performances in the 60m sprint, shot put, long jump and 60m hurdles. He jumped a season’s best – a championship best performance – in pole vault, 4.47m. His 1000m finale was very close to his personal best time. These results put him 12th on the Scottish All Time List for indoor heptathlon. A few days later he won gold in the 60m hurdles at the Scottish Schools Athletics Indoor Championships – running his fastest time ever. His next competitions are the English and Scottish U20 pole vault championships. He is grateful for the use of the warm school hall for some of his training.
Jamie travelled to Edinburgh recently to take part in a selection day for “Team Top Ten UK” Kickboxers. Just being asked to take part in the “Top Ten” day was a massive achievement for Jamie and he got the opportunity to train with some of the worlds top kickboxers. As a result of how well he performed at the event, Jamie has now been selected to be part of “Team Top Ten UK” kickboxers. This is beyond Jamie’s wildest dreams! He’s the only youth from the Highlands to achieve this and it is a fantastic achievement for Jamie. In the year to come, Jamie will be working even harder at his kickboxing training and will now be travelling across the world to participate in kickboxing tournaments and competitions all over the world. Well done Jamie!”
Over the past few months pupils and staff had been very busy taking part in a wide range of activities in and out with school.
The P.E. department put on another fantastic week of athletics competition for S1 – S3 pupils culminating in the track final on Friday 26th May. The weather was kind to us again and we had a great afternoon in the sun watching the athletes.
The Charleston Academy woodwind group went across to Kinmylies Primary before the summer with Mr Fairfield and Anna Aalders our woodwind instructor, to play for the pupils and to talk about the different types of instruments. We were also able to get some of the beginner flautists at the primary to join us for a few of the pieces that we played (some of them are now part of our new S1 cohort).
The YPI Scotland National Event takes place in June each year, and represents an opportunity to celebrate all that has been achieved through YPI that year, whilst showcasing best practice from across Scotland. The event recognises the philanthropic success and engagement of tens of thousands of secondary students who have been responsible for directing hundreds of thousands of pounds to local grassroots charities. The winning team from Charleston attended this event.
Congratulations to Kira Buchan of S3 who was selected for the Scotland U-15 Basketball Team. After a gruelling two week selection process Kira was selected, along with fourteen other girls to represent her country in a season of International friendlies. Scotland opened up the campaign with a tough loss to Ireland however Kira ensured it wasn’t easy for the Irish by contributing a valuable 8 points to the final score. Kira then flew out to Barcelona with the Squad to compete in a series of international games. We look forward to hearing how the rest of the season goes. Well done Kira!
Just before the change of timetable, S1 – S3 pupils took part in a wide range of activities as part of our 2 activity days. These included Football, Canoeing, Landmark, Paintball, Go Katring, Craft, Equestrian, Climbing, Archery and much more.
On the 28th of June, 46 pupils from Charleston Academy departed from the school for New York City and Washington DC. We left from Glasgow airport in the early hours of the morning and arrived in New York City late afternoon. We were in NYC for five days and whilst we were in the ‘Big Apple’ we visited a variety of popular tourist attractions including the Empire State building and Central Park which was an incredible experience for everyone who was a part of the trip. We got the opportunity to see Times Square, the 9/11 memorial and even have a meal at Planet Hollywood to name a few. On one of the days we took the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty and all the history that was encompassed within. Of course we couldn’t visit New York without going shopping, of which there was a lot!
After our time in New York we travelled to Washington DC with a quick stopover in Philadelphia to see the Rocky steps. We were in Washington DC for four days and during that time we visited the Smithsonian museums, the White House, the Capitol building and also got the chance to have dinner at the Hard Rock cafe. Whilst in DC we had the unforgettable experience of an American baseball game in which the New York Mets went up against the Washington Nationals, it was a night many will never forget. On the 4th of July, we got to be part of American culture and attended a parade in the capital city. That evening we went to a concert at the Capitol building where a variety of artists performed including the Beach Boys.
Overall, it was a trip of a lifetime and one that will stay with us forever. On behalf of all the pupils that went on the trip, we would like to thank the teachers for organising and taking us to the USA.
Grace and Jacob
This summer, myself and some of my other classmates went on a once in a lifetime trip to Peru for 21 days. Whilst there we did some amazing things and learnt a lot of life lessons.
In our first week, we went to the Amazon Rainforest. Even though we lost our weight in sweat due to the heat we enjoyed it so much! We got to see a whole variety of wildlife from Howler Monkeys to Macaws to Caiman; it was a very interesting experience. We also went out on a night cruise and night walk through the jungle.
On the second week, we travelled to an orphanage just outside Cusco after adjusting the high altitude. There we spent several days building a border wall for the orphanage and playing football with the resident children. All the kids were so welcoming and it was so overwhelming to see how much they appreciated everything we did for them!
The rest of our trip was spent relaxing and getting to experience the culture of Peru; we walked up to Machu Picchu, went sandboarding in Ica and got to explore Cusco and Lima. One night, we also got to dance with the Peruvian locals and experience their local traditions, it was great fun!
Overall it was an eye opening experience and everyone would love to go back in a heartbeat! We all learnt so much about the cultural differences between Peru and Scotland and the trip made us really realise how lucky we are.
Climbing Club trip:
During the last week of the Summer holidays 11 pupils with 3 staff and 1 volunteer headed to Skye for the Climbing Club Summer trip. We had 2 great days climbing and wild camping at Neist point. A day climbing at A small crag called Torr a chruidh followed by a wet and wild evening camping. The plan for the 4th day was to head to Raasay but the weather was fairly unpleasant so we wetn on a magical mystery tour of Skye. We visited Portree, Kilt rock, Staffin and a small croft to see how the sheeps wool was used. Our final day was in the Cullin. We climbed Bruach na Frithe and were rewarded with outstanding views acroos all of ther Skye Cullin, returning via the fairy pools. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to next years adventure.
Last week two teams of girls took part in a bronze Duke of Edinburgh practise expedition. After a quick kit check and a thorough search for hidden contraband of hairspray, make up and bottles of Irn-Bru, the group were ready to head down to the Cairngorms National Park. Parts of their training included navigating by map and compass from Drumguish to a spot just south of Loch an Eilean. The weather over the two days was fantastic and thankfully in the afternoon there was a breeze to keep the midges at bay.
It was the first time in Charleston DofE history where the pupils cooked their own lunch, as sandwiches are usually the preferred choice. After lunch one of the groups took a wrong turn but quickly reassessed where they were and as a team managed to navigate to the next check point.
After arriving at the campsite, the pupils had to find an area where it was safe to take water from a nearby stream, learn to cook on a trangia (camp stove), pitch their tents and prepare for the next day. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and playing games.
On Day 2, with all the hills now behind them, the pupils were packed up and ready to head for Glenmore Lodge by 9am. Most pupils had a good night’s sleep but the pace was slightly slower due to blistered feet. The groups did really well to meet their check in times and regularly kept tabs on each other to ensure no one was struggling.
By 4:30pm the pupils were almost finished their expedition. As they came round the last corner some of the pupils where so glad to see the bus and teachers that they actually ran the last 200m. However, the staff soon realised it wasn’t them the pupils were pleased to see, after hearing the words “Miss, can I charge my phone?”
A further two teams have to complete their practise expedition followed by their assessment.
Well done to Rheighen Cassels-MacGregor (5L1). Rheighen recently took part in the Scottish Schools Gymnastics Finals. Despite not having much experience of competing at national level up to now, Rheighen did exceptionally well. A significant achievement and in no doubt due to his dedication and hard work for his sport.
Several Charleston Academy pupils have done exceptionally well in the recent UKMT Intermediate Mathematical Challenge.
Gold Award & Best in School
Robert Thorne (4S)
Catherine De Venny (4K1)
Patrick Morris (4L1)
Jake Exelby (4K1)
Cameron Cochrane (4T2)
Roisin Martin (4S)
Special Congratulations to Robert Thorne. Following his success in the competition Robert has been invited and will take part in the UKMT Summer School which takes place at St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. The Summer School is a week long residential placement for young people with an interest in Maths. They aim to promote mathematical thinking and provide an opportunity for participants to meet other students and adults who enjoy mathematics. There are only 48 places on the UKMT Summer School and no one from Charleston Academy has ever been invited onto the programme before. Well done Robert.
Gateway Trust Winners: Martin Dey, Findlay Hilditch, Ruaridh Buchan, Craig Shand, Connor Ewan, John MacMillan and Connor Knox with Mr O’Neill, Craig Riddle and Mrs Ann Sim.
At the end of last term we held the finals of our Youth Philanthropy Initiative in School. This programme is run as part of our S3 RMPS Programme and at Charleston Academy we’ve been taking part for three years now.
Pupils work in small teams to research and discuss the social needs of their local community and identify a local charity that they believe is making a positive contribution. In groups they visit and find out more about the work of their charity and build relationships. They work together to create a presentation about their charity, explaining why it would benefit from a YPI donation of £3000. The group judged to have presented the most knowledgeable , impassioned and discerning case is granted £3000 toward to their charity.
Skills of teamwork, communication and presentation skills as well as an awareness of the needs of the local community are developed in the process.
This year pupils making presentations about the Gateway Trust, Morning Call, Befriender Highland and Maggies Highland all made it through to the final. Their final presentations were delivered in front of the S3 year group and invited guests from all of the many charities we worked with. Our Judges this year were Kate Morris (Chair of our Parent Council), Owen Cochrane (Lifescan), Halde Pottinger (Humanist Society) along with retired teachers Rob Seymour and Fiona Stuart. Headteacher Chris O’Neill chaired the judging panel with Ann Sim from YPI also advising.
Mr O’Neill announces the winners
Craig Riddle from Gateway commends the winning team
In a very closely fought competition this year, pupils presenting on behalf of the Gateway Trust supporting Homeless people in Inverness won. Well done to everyone who took part.
During the preparations for our YPI Finals some of the pupil groups went well above and beyond what they were expected to do. Ellie Dyce, Rebecca Macintosh, Ashleigh Allison, Shana Nicholson and Carly MacDonald who were researching for Advocacy Highland raised £1,215.35 through a variety of fundraising initiatives they ran.
Mia Pimm, Morgan MacKintosh, Rhianna Fraser-Lee along with Francesca Fraser, Holly Lyall and Kyle Nairn raised £225 for Maggie’s Highland.
A third group of Eilidh Thom, Gemma MacIver, Megan Borland, Grace Cranidge, Caitlin Graham and Kira Buchan raised a whopping £2,550 for Children 1st.
All of the groups who raised additional funds for their chose charity received special medals from RMPS teacher Mrs Carol Mackenzie and YPI Coordinator Mrs Ann Sim.
Charleston Academy had the honour of hosting the 24th Final of the North of Scotland Schools Debating Competition on Friday evening. This prestigious debating competition has been running since 1993 and is sponsored by Norwell who fund transport costs for students and staff during the heats and the costs of the final. All the schools taking part are indebted to Norwell for their support of this competition.
On Friday, six teams debated to win the prestigious John Alan Cameron Quaich. The Motion was “This House Believes the USA is still Awesome”.
While the judges thought the teams might have used more humour, the standard of debating was very high. Winners this year were John Bonsall and Matthew Angell from Forres Academy. However Charleston were runners up in a very close competition with Jemimah Morris (6L) and Katie Stark (6K) receiving the runners up Salver.
The other schools who reached the final this year were Glenurquhart High School, St Margaret’s School for Girls in Aberdeen, Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen and Nairn Academy.
The Chair of the Debate was Calum MacSween, former HT at Charleston Academy and latterly Head of Education at Highland Council.
The Presiding Judge was Laurence Findlay, Corporate Director of Education and Social Care at Moray Council. Other judges were Dr Nanette Milne (former Conservative MSP for North-East Scotland); Mr Lewis Keller, Miss Jayne Stuart and Mrs Kate Imlah.
Afterwards Charleston Academy hosted a fabulous cheese and wine (for adults!) and buffet reception. Well done to Ms Pam Carmichael, Mr Neil MacGregor and Dr Greg Cambell who organised the debate and reception at Charleston Academy. It was fantastic to see a large turnout of supporters and guests who witnessed a very high standard of topical debating.
Prizes were presented by local Highland Councillor Graham Ross who said afterwards:
“The standard of the debate was absolutely first class and hotly contested by all the speakers. The topic was “This House thinks that the USA is awesome.” What was awesome were the young students who were cool, calm and composed as they delivered their arguments for and against the motion.
Congratulations to Forres Academy who were overall winners with Charleston Academy coming in runners up.
One thing is for sure after witnessing this event……the future is very bright!”
Thursday evening saw eight debaters clash at Charleston Academy in the first round of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament.
Two teams from Charleston Academy proposed the motion This House Would Ban All Referendums and they were opposed by two teams from Thurso High School.
Following two intense exchanges, and two fascinating accompanying floor debates, Morvern Carmichael (5S2) and Samantha Cochrane (5T) progressed through to the second round. Cameron Cochrane (4T2) and Rosie Gittings (3T2) were unfortunately defeated by a narrow margin but gained valuable experience. All spoke well, communicating quickly and clearly on a complex topic, and were a credit to the English department and the school.
Morvern Carmichael & Samantha Cochrane
Abigaile Roebuck (1L1) participated in the floor debate and was selected by organisers the Law Society of Scotland as providing the best audience question. She will receive a book token and offers a bright hope for future debating success.
Well done all and good luck to our girls for the second round!
The Final of the North of Scotland Schools annual debating competition takes place at Charleston Academy on Friday 25 Novemberin the School Hall. All Welcome.
Motion: This House Believes the USA is still Awesome.