Fantastic Orienteering Success

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

British Schools Orienteering Championships

On Friday 16 November, 12 CHAOS members boarded the 7.30 am Inverness train to travel to Manchester for the British Schools Orienteering Championships. We arrived at the Youth Hostel on Potato Wharf by dinnertime and had cooked ourselves the largest baked potatoes we had ever seen before we settled for an uncomfortably hot night (we had to sleep with the windows shut due to a chemical incident in Trafford park).

CHAOS 2

On Saturday we attended a training session across the road from Sunday’s competition area to help us get familiar with the terrain. It was time well spend as can be seen from the results the next day. Unfortunately, Siobhan twisted her ankle which left her barely able to walk, but with the aid of ice packs and a hospital visit she managed to hobble around again by late evening. We celebrated Sam’s birthday with cake and a game of pool.

On Sunday, CHAOS competed at the British Schools Orienteering Championships. It was a cold but beautifully sunny day which saw approx 950 pupils from all over Britain take part. A fantastic atmosphere was created by a funnel of cheering spectators at the finish. Every CHAOS member completed their course, even Siobhan who walked around with her swollen foot in unlaced shoes, to ensure the junior girl’s team remained competitive.

Team CHAOS came home with fantastic team places of 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th !

  • 2nd for the senior boys team (Callum/Sam/Stuart)
  • 3rd for the junior boys team (Rowan/Kieran/Daniel)
  • 4th for the senior girls team (Pollyanna/Hannah/Alex)
  • 5th for the junior girls team (Katie/Kate/Siobhan)

Rowan gained an individual 2nd place in his year group, making for a total of 7 medals for CHAOS this weekend. We celebrated with a nice meal and had a good laugh playing card games with ‘foodie dares’.

We travelled home on Monday. Despite the games of cards and the revision for prelims on the way, the journey home was long (train delays). Our great team got noticed by other passengers –  for the right reasons as I received several compliments from other passengers on the excellent behaviour, manners, and politeness of the team.

Individual results can be seen on the British Schools Orienteering website : http://www.bsoa.org/default.aspx

Mrs Meike White (Volunteer Parent and CHAOS coach)

World Schools Orienteering Championships

Scotland Senior Boys Select Team

Scotland Senior Boys Select Team

On Saturday 3 November 2012 CHAOS (CHarleston Academy Orienteering Squad) left with a minibus full of hopeful orienteers for the biggest selection race a secondary school pupil can part take in within Scotland. The races were held at Dalnamein Forest (just North of House of Bruar). There was snow on the ground and the freezing cold wind soon chilled us to the bones, but at least it was dry. The courses were extremely tough with controls hard to find, but most CHAOS members battled their way successfully through from Start to Finish. Though none of our CHAOS teams  qualified as a school team, we have some fantastic news to report. Once a school team has been selected, the best 5 individuals from the same category are offered a place in the Select Team. And so, Rowan White (2S2) who came 3rd in the junior boys races gained a place in the Scotland Junior Boys Select Team. Callum White (4S2) came 1st in the senior boy’s races and was offered a place in the Scotland Senior Boys Select Team. Stuart Dingwall (5S1) managed to bag himself a place in the same team. A Brilliant result! The World Schools Orienteering Championships will take place 15-21 April 2013 in Portugal. The boys are now fundraising for their trip to represent their school and country. Please look out for their stalls and other activities over the next few months and support them where you can.

Mrs Meike White (Volunteer Parent and CHAOS coach)

Bushcraft News

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

A group of S2 pupils continued on their path towards the John Muir Explorer Award when they took part in a 4 day winter Bushcraft trip recently. Based in a council-owned lodge at Badaguish, near Aviemore, the group took part in a number of activities over the 4 days. As well as practising their shelter building and fire making skills, pupils learned a variety of crafts in the evenings and studied animal tracks and signs.

The biggest challenge for all concerned was the day long climb of Meall a Bhuachaille and two other summits. A steep climb at the best of times, the hill was particularly tricky due to the ice and snow which covered it, but the pupils, led by Andy the mountain leader, all managed to overcome fatigue and complete the walk.

Bushcraft

With barely enough time to recover, the pupils then did some conservation work for the RSPB near Carrbridge on the last morning, clearing away dead broom to encourage butterflies and insects into the reserve.

Well done to Rhys Smith, Craig Robertson, Rahhan Islam, Andrew Howieson,  Jade McCabe, Lindzi McNeil and Marie McClelland for taking part so enthusiastically in all activities.

A huge thanks, again, to the instructors from the Wild Things charity who organised the week, and to S5 pupils Stuart Dingwall, Timothy Dicks and Ryan Rattray for acting as assistant instructors over the week. Neil Moodie was also due to help out but unfortunately twisted his ankle and had to go home after only a couple of hours – poor Neil!

The S2 Bushcraft project and the S5 peer mentoring programme have both been funded by Awards for All, and the school is indebted to the organisation for their financial support.

Mr Dave Kemp (Support for Learning)

Tomorrow’s Doctor

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

Doctors to Work Programme

There is a national problem in attracting doctors to work in remote rural areas such as the Highlands. To address this issue NHS Highland launched its “Doctors to Work” programme, giving young people interested in a career in medicine a taste of life in a busy hospital. S6 pupils from across the Highlands successfully applied to take part in the programme, allowing them to spend a week at Raigmore Hospital here in Inverness.

The pupils shadowed consultants, junior doctors, and other staff at work. S6 Charleston Academy pupil George Ashton took part in the programme and was then invited by NHS Highland Board to make a presentation about his experience of the programme and how he felt his participation in it would benefit his career.

george ashton depute head boy

I spent
 time in the
 hospital 
laboratories 
where I learnt 
about the
 scientific processes underpinning
 the diagnosis and management of
 disease.

It was fascinating to see the variety 
of skills needed: from the hands-
on practicalities of pathology to
 the automated complex machinery 
in blood sciences. I observed the 
importance of teamwork and time 
management in order to produce 
rapid but accurate results emphasising 
the crucial role laboratories play in
 medicine.

Observing a surgeon take a history in 
order to obtain a diagnosis was also
 fascinating, highlighting the need for
 good communication skills.

Later, I watched an orthopaedic 
surgeon carrying out a hip replacement operation emphasising the importance of leadership and teamwork. The calm confidence and technical skill
 displayed by a cardiologist during 
a catheterisation procedure was
 inspirational.

During a ward round. I was impressed
 when the consultant knelt down by the 
patient’s chair as they talked to them. Being able to sit in on a MDT meeting 
highlighted the value of teamwork and
 good communication in order to make 
the correct management decision for 
the patient.
 Speaking to students and doctors
 during the programme provided a 
significant insight into their training 
and experiences, including the physical
 and emotional pressures of the job.
 I now have a greater understanding 
of the wide range of specialties in
 medicine and the wider health care
 team involved in patient care.

The successful Doctors at Work programme is run in partnership with our Guidance teachers. The NHS hope to double the number of students participating in 2013, with the programme running in June and September. This year students will also be able to spend time working with local GPs.

To find out more, speak to your Guidance teacher in school. Alternatively email Karen Murray at NHS Highland.

A version of this article originally appeared in the January 2013 edition of NHS Highland NEWS

Botswana 2012…Where to Start?

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

From Inverness to Glasgow (by bus 4 hours); Glasgow to Dubai (9 hours); Dubai Airport (5 hours); Dubai to Johannesburg (9 hours); and finally by road to Camp Itumela in Palapye (9 hours) – it was a pretty intense but exciting 36 hours of travelling!

Arriving at the school on our first day, the welcome we received was overwhelming, no one could believe quite how enthralled the students were to finally meet us. One of the African girls that had been to stay with us in Scotland commented that we were like celebrities to them – and that‘s exactly how it felt. It was really humbling to see that our little contribution (to improve their toilets, paint a mural and visit their classrooms) could have such a lasting impact.

From there we travelled up through Botswana and on our way we were presented with some pretty outstanding sights. It‘s not every day you have to stop on the road to allow a herd of elephants to cross! We visited some impressive locations like the Rhino Sanctuary which held some of the endangered and hunted rhinos remaining in Africa. We also went on two other safaris where we got the opportunity to view some of “Africa’s Big Five” in their native habitat.

video by Michaela Kent (S6)

Some of the animals we saw were elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras and thousands of monkeys! Visiting the salt pans was quite incredible; you could see nothing for hundreds of miles in every direction and got to witness a beautiful African sunset. Towards the end of the trip we crossed into Zimbabwe for a day to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world – Victoria Falls! We walked along the side of the falls and spent some time watching people bungee jump off the bridge. Those of us who didn‘t rent raincoats were soaked to the skin by the end of the day (it was almost like being back in Scotland!) After the Falls we went to a typical Zimbabwean market to barter and buy some African crafts… Some of us even traded clothes and shoes for gifts!

It was amazing to see so much of Africa in so little time. The journey flew by but at the same time it felt like we‘d been there for months! It‘s safe to say that everyone who experienced Botswana would jump at the chance to see more of Africa and would whole-heartedly encourage you to embrace this opportunity!

George Ashton, Mhairi Maclennan and Michaela Kent 6S

Albert Roux Dinner 2012

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

Our annual Albert Roux Gala Dinner was held on 30th October 2012. Mr Albert Roux and his expert staff from Le Gavroche in London and Rocpool in Inverness spent the day with Charleston Academy pupils. Our Hospitality pupils were put through their paces by the world’s top chef, who advised, assisted, and praised the work of our Hospitality pupils as they prepared and then served a three-course dinner for over 100 paying guests. This year our guests included Provost of Inverness Alex Graham and important representatives from the hospitality industry from across the Highlands. And of course our food critics, the parents of the pupils themselves.

The Video of the 2012 Gala Dinner is now available. CLICK HERE.

Mr Chris O’Neill, Rector

Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2012

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

Before the summer we were nominated and selected to participate in the Rotary Young Leadership Award (RYLA) course for a week in the summer holidays. We had to go through an interview process to get on but were both successful. The course was set up to develop the leadership and teamwork skills of the young people of today.

Participants are sponsored by their local Rotary Club who also select candidates following interviews. The course is designed for 14-18 years olds and emphasises leadership, citizenship and personal growth. The course aims to demonstrate Rotary‘s respect and concern for young people, provide an effective training experience for the selected young people and encourage leadership in young people. The programme also aims to recognise publicly recognise the young leaders  who are providing good service to their communities.

During the week there was a range of outdoor activities with talks in the morning dealing with different aspects of leadership. The talks included ‘A Happy Leadership‘ talk by Grant Wright and another talk on Leadership by Graham Clark. The activities included gorge walking, mountain biking, climbing and hill walking.

RYLA is a great opportunity to develop your leadership and teamwork skills, along with meeting other young people from all around Scotland. It is also a great time to try new things and have fun.

We both really enjoyed the week at RYLA and would recommend it to anyone offered the opportunity to participate.

Anna Duff (6S) and Rory Finlayson (6S)

13-09-2012-10-57 098804

Anna Duff

19-09-2011-11-39 098805

Rory Finlayson

Golf Success

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

Golf Torvean

Well done to the Charleston Golfers who were placed 2nd in the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey competition at Torvean last week. Lovely weather and excellent sportsmanship made this a great day. Individually, the boys were placed:

Jamie Penwright & Liam MacLeod – Joint 4th, scoring 35

Jamie Fraser – 5th, scoring 36

Mrs Jeni Herbert, Active Schools Coordinator

Lead Prefect Team Leadership Weekend

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

Our Lead Prefect Team spent the weekend at Badaguish near Aviemore, under the watchful gaze of Ms Sutherland, Miss Macpherson, and Mr Tillman. The prefects were there to build their teamwork skills and learn about the different types and applications of leadership. These will be essential skills for the Lead Prefect Team as Ambassadors for the school in their last year at Charleston Academy.

The weekend sessions were designed to offer the Lead Prefect Team a chance to explore their joint role as prefects, equip them with some skills in leading groups, and offer them the support methods and coaching techniques they might use in their important roles this session.

Mr O’Neill, Mr Stewart, and Mrs Brown spent Saturday afternoon with the group exploring values and leadership scenarios. The group catered for themselves, loved the cupcakes… A fantastic, but tiring weekend was had by all.

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 22.01.05

Feedback and Reflection from the Lead Prefect Team

Ms Mairi Sutherland, PT Chemistry