Climbing Club Easter Trip

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

In the first week of the Easter Holidays 5 pupils, 3 Staff and 1 Highlife Highland volunteer embarked on a 3 day climbing trip to Torridon.  This is the second ‘Transition to Rock’ trip run by Charleston Academy Climbing Club.  The aim of the trip is to introduce climbers to outdoor climbing and teach them self-reliance and management of rope work. This year we visited 3 different crags and pupils were given the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills.

We had an early start on the first day, leaving Charleston at 8 am to ensure there was enough time spent climbing.  After the drive to Torridon we headed to Inveralligan sea cliffs.  These are short sandstone sea cliffs which have a wide range of routes.  We arrived at high tide which limited the choice of routes but we managed to find some routes to warm up on.  Once the tide had gone out we moved to a different section of the cliffs and attempted a few harder routes.

For the 2 nights of our stay we based ourselves at Torridon campsite where pupils set up camp and cooked meals independently.  For some pupils this was the first time they had uses camp stoves and learnt quickly how to cook a meal.  That evening we learned a few new knots and techniques that would be useful for the second day.

On the second day we travelled a short distance towards Applecross to climb on a roadside crag at Ardheslaig.  The guide book suggested the rock had good friction and could be climbed in the wet. We were about to prove this as it was very wet when we arrived.  After sheltering for half an hour while the rain past, we walked to the top of the crag and set up ropes for the days climbing.   Pupils were taught how to build and arrange anchor system to secure them at the top of the crag then got on with climbing lots of different routes.  The weather cleared and we had an excellent day.  At about 6pm we headed back to camp for dinner and a relaxing evening.

The last day of the trip started by packing up camp before heading to a crag up in the Torridon hills called Seana Mheallan west.  This is one of many long terraces of rock that are synonymous with the Torridon mountains.  Here we set up ropes, developing the skills from the second day and attempted a few easy and a few hard routes.  We also introduced the pupils to abseiling and the skills required to be self-reliant and safe when doing it.  We were lucky with the weather and managed to avoid the rain for all but the last hour of the day when we were packing up and walking out.

The trip was a huge success and pupils enjoyed the whole experience.

All the pupils were superb and coped really well with difficult conditions and the complexities of climbing outdoors.  They really impressed us in everything they did.

A special thanks to Mr Nairn, Miss Massey and Harry Barker (Highlife Highland leadership programme volunteer) for coming on the trip and helping the pupils have such a wonderful time.

Charleston Academy Climbing Club aim to give pupils a wide and varied experience of climbing by organising events that will challenge, develop climbing skills and promote enjoyment. For more information about the climbing club, see Mr Richards.

Mr Jonathan Richards, Principal Teacher Technical

Badaguish Outdoor Challenge

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

Well done to all the young people from Charleston Academy who took part in the Badaguish Youth Outdoor Challenge this weekend.

This is a charity event raising money for the Speyside Trust, a respite centre with specialised facilities that allows disabled people to experience the Cairngorms in its full glory. Pupils raise their own sponsorship and cover costs to compete in the event.

Well done to the following 16 pupils taking part this year. They represented the school marvellously and between them have raised nearly £1000 so far – a significant contribution overall.

Kishorn – Chloe Fraser (5K1), Paddy McEwen (6K1), Aaron Murphy (4K1), Marc Williamson (4K2)

Laggan – Euan MacDonald (4L1), Paige Maclellan (4L2), Sirena Rattray (5L1) Andrew Johnstone (6L1)

Shiel – Jenna Bisset (6S1), Anna Kinghorn (6S1), Danielle Liebnitz (6S1), Rowan White (5S2), Wiktoria Pniewska (4S1), Michael Wilde (6S1)

Torridon – Heather Sutherland (4T1), Sasha Brandon (4T1)

Mr Steven Tillman, Chemistry Department

 

Primary 7 Ambassadors

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

Our S1 Ambassadors are visiting their former Primary School as part of our Transition Arrangements this week.

As part of our transition arrangements for Primary 7 pupils in our Associated Schools we use S1 Ambassadors. Our S1 Ambassadors are volunteers who go back to their old primary school in spring time to talk to current P7s about their experience of moving up to Charleston Academy. They allay any fears, answer questions and queries and explain our support system in a pupil friendly, pupil centred way. It is a very successful part of our transition arrangements at each of our Associated Primary Schools.

Our Ambassadors this year are:

Dochgarroch: Liana Macaskill (1S) & Isabella Edwards (1T)

Kirkhill: Niamh Purvis (1S) & Jamie Forsyth (1S)

Muirtown: Tyler Brownsword (1K1) & Katie Gillies (1L1)

Kinmylies: Sara Mohammed (1T1) & Ryan Gallie (1T1)

Beauly: Lauren Cameron (1K1) & Cameron Tillman (1K2)

Teanassie: Struan Cairns (1L1) & Cara Doig (1T2)

Tomnacross: Kieran Gebicke-Kerr (1L2) & Lauren Taylor (1L1)

 

Siuthad! Gaelic careers event

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


Chaidh sgoilearan Gàidhlig bhon dàrna bliadhna gu Siuthad!, latha dreuchdan Gàidhlig a chaidh a chur air dòigh le Leasachadh Sgilean Alba, Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd, Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean agus Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Dh’ ionnsaich sgoilearan mar a dh’fhaodadh sgilean Gàidhlig an cuideachadh nan cuid obrach agus mun raon farsaing de chothroman cosnaidh a tha ann do dhaoine le Gàidhlig.
Am-bliadhna, bhruidhinn Julie Fowlis, an t-seinneadair ainmeil Gàidhlig. Dh’innis i dhuinn mu mar a dh’ionnsaich ise a’ Ghàidhlig agus mu na cothroman a thug Gàidhlig dhi. Tha i air cothroman a thoirt do Julie a bhith a’ siubhal agus a’ seinn air feadh an t-saoghail, a’ seinn aig Cuirm Fosglaidh Geamannan a’ Cho-fhlaitheis ann an Glaschu agus a’ coiseachd air a’ bhrat-ùrlair dhearg ann an Hollywood ann an 2013 nuair a bha i air a’ gheàrr-liosta airson duais Oscar airson an òran a sheinn i air an fhiolm Disney, ‘Brave’.
Chaidh na sgoilearan gu bùthan-obrach air foillseachadh, na meadhanan agus foghlam nan tràth bhliadhnaichean. Cuideachd, bha iad aig bùthan-obrach le Fèisean nan Gàidheal agus Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Bha spòrs aig na sgoilearan anns na bùthan-obrach eadar-obrachail, gu h-àraid anns a’ bhothan dhealbhan!

S2 Gaelic pupils attended the Siuthad! Gaelic careers event, organised by Skills Development Scotland, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The event provided pupils with information on the variety of ways they could use Gaelic in their future careers. It showcased the diverse range of career options for which having Gaelic is an advantage, or is essential.
The keynote speaker this year was Julie Fowlis, the multi-award winning Gaelic singer. She gave an inspiring speech about how she learned Gaelic and about the many opportunities she has had because she is a Gaelic speaker. Julie spoke about her numerous tours to countries around the world, singing at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and walking on the red carpet in Hollywood in 2013 when she was nominated for an Oscar for singing the theme song to the Disney film ‘Brave’.
Charleston pupils attended workshops on publishing, media and early years education, and workshops led by Fèisean nan Gàidheal and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. All the workshops provided pupils with interactive, fun activities with the photo booth being a particular highlight!

Ms Yvonne Gunn, Principal Teacher of Languages

Wonderful Results at Inverness Music Festival

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

Charleston Academy had wonderful results, yet again, in this year’s Inverness Music Festival.

Twenty seven pupils were entered in categories for Solo Prose Reading, Solo Verse Speaking, Group Verse and Public Speaking.

Our group of S3 verse speakers were delighted to win the Florians Trophy for Speech for an impressive third year in a row, after giving a rousing version of Vachel Lindsay’s The Sea Serpent Chantey. They beat off stiff competition for our S1/S6 group who gained second place with their recital of Scotland by Alexander Gray.

In public Speaking our team of S2 girls, Amnma Crombie, Emily Blackmore & Rachel Gilles, in their first competition, came first and won the under fifteens trophy, with an impassioned plea to End all Homework. Other subjects raised in this category were Facebook, Why we shouldn’t keep cats as pets and Ehebiphobia (the fear of youth).

In the over fifteen category our team of S4 girls, Morvern Carmichael, Samantha Cochrane & Eilidh Morrison, came first and won the trophy with, what proved to be, a controversial account of how Romance is Dead. Our other team in this category, who came second, convinced us all that Social Media is the Curse of Modern Society.

In the solo categories Charleston pupils gained excellent marks. Particular congratulations go to Jemimah Morris (S5) who was awarded outstanding for her reading of an extract from Orlando by Virginia Woolf and gained first place.

In the S1-2 Category Bethany Morris came first reading an extract from Life of Pie by Yann Martel and in the S3-4 category Stuart Hamilton came first reading from Out of the Silent Planet by C.S Lewis.

In the solo poetry S1-2 category Rosie Gittings (S2) gained first place for her recital of The Listeners by Walter de la Mare and Tea with the Poet by A Henry. In S3-4 we had joint winners of Allan Goodwill and Cameron Cochrane with One Art by E. Bishop and The Oxen by Thomas Hardy.

Well done to all our confident individuals!

Ms Kay Storey, English Department

Ski Trip to France

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

Skiers Return from Successful Week in l’Alpe d’Huez

Our Skiers have returned from a successful and fun filled week in France as part of the Highland Schools Ski Trip. The group were based at L’Alpe-d’Huez in France and were accompanied this year by Ms Kay Storey (English Department) and Mr Ryan Mackintosh (PE Department). Well done everyone for making the trip another enjoyable and successful one.

Climbing Club at SpireRoxx Elgin

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

17 pupils from S1 to S6 travelled to Elgin’s climbing wall, Spireroxx, on 18th December to take part in the qualifying round of the annual Scottish Schools Climbing Competition. Participants are tasked with climbing 4 routes of increasing difficulty over the course of the day, with a maximum score of 100 for each route. Scores are then collected from climbing walls across Scotland and the top qualifying participants will be invited to compete in the finals in Glasgow in March 2016.

Some of the competitors from Charleston have taken part in the competition previously, but for many of the younger pupils this was their first time competing. The routes set were fairly challenging, with almost all year group categories having to attempt the most difficult graded climb of the day; F7b. There were some particularly impressive scores recorded, including 380 out of the maximum 400 points from both Jasper Kinghorn (1S) and Rory Barker (3T2), 381 from Tom Kinghorn (4S1) and 378 from Ronan Hennessy (5S1).

Jenna Bisset (6S)

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Personal

Congratulations to Annie Mackenzie (6L1). Annie recently attended a lunch with Rector Chris O’Neill, hosted by Inverness Rotary, where she made a presentation to Rotary Members about her experience of the RYLA Summer Camp back in July this year. Charleston Academy pupils have excelled in recent years with many Charleston Academy pupils being successful at interview and gaining places on the Summer Camp. Pupils are individually sponsored by each of the different Inverness Rotary Clubs.

Andrew Johnstone (6L1), Michael Wilde (6S1), Morgan MacDonald (6L1), Alison Horne (6T2) also received RYLA awards this year.

More Debating Success for Charleston Academy Students

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

Our debaters have had a number of successes over the last few weeks.

Our team reached the 2015 NOSS final which was held at St. Margret’s School in Aberdeen.

Two of our teams have also reached the second round of the prestigious Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Competition which is organised by The Law Society of Scotland.

As this is our first time of entering this competition, the teams did a great job in the first rounds against tough competition from Gordonstoun, The Nicolson Institute, Invergordon Academy and Nairn Academy. Well done to Morvern, Samantha, Andrew and Katie.

Ms Kay Storey, English 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