As we approach the end of another very successful term, the overall House Points reflect the Commendation Merits awarded to all pupils in S1 to S6 by each of their teachers. There are already over 18,000 House Points entered in recognition of meeting the school values of Respect, Responsibility and Achievement. Merits for extra-curricular activities have still to be added and we will also be awarding merits for our sponsored walk and other activities soon.
Project Trust is an organisation specialising in providing voluntary placements for school-leavers overseas. Students must undergo a week long selection process allowing Project Trust to make well-informed decisions on whether there is a suitable project for each candidate.
Only 300 school leavers are selected each year from across the entire United Kingdom for long-term placements lasting up to 12 months. The projects must deliver a benefit to the host communities and they must also be sustainable and ethical.
This year (2015-16), three former Charleston Academy students are supporting communities abroad through Project Trust. Catriona Forsyth, Polly Grey, and Robbie MacLennan departed in August for 12 month project placements.
Previously Natalie Kent taught in Nepal (2014-15) and her older sister Michaela Kent taught in Honduras (2013-14).
Next year, five of our current S6 students wish to volunteer to work in projects abroad. Aidan Kent, Eilidh Sandilands, Emma Riddle, Freja Lundberg and Kayleigh Smith all hope to raise over £6000 each to fund their project. Charleston Academy will be able to support our students a little with some fund-raising initiatives in school. The bulk of the fundraising is down to the individual concerned. Each of our five current students has written about their planned project below:
My project in South Africa will focus mainly on working with boys aged 8-18 from troubled backgrounds such as being part of gangs, living on the streets and not having someone to look after them each day. My work in Boys town involves ensuring the boys attend school and receive an education daily. I will be there to support the boys with homework, be there to help with problems and be there purely as a role model. In the evenings I will be providing an alternate for the boys being on the streets and forming gangs. I will be setting up sports teams, clubs and activities to keep the boys from growing bad habits. This project really appeals to me as I am very active and have a passion for sports. Already having coaching skills will be a real asset to my project and one which I look forward to developing. It will also be largely beneficial since I intend of studying Sports Science at university on my return from my year out.
I have been selected to go to South Africa for a year starting in August 2016. I will be working in a residential school and care home for physically disabled children. My role will be to assist with their daily routines, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. I have had a fair bit of experience of the both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, as I have a rare neurological condition which causes me to lose feeling and function in my limbs in a random manner. I hope to use my own experiences in a positive way in South Africa. This is an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in a completely new culture, tackle a new role and do something positive. The next step is to raise £6,000 for Project Trust which will go towards all the costs involved.
After attending a selection course in August on the Isle of Coll I was selected to go to India with Project Trust in 2016/2017 to teach English to primary or secondary age children. I’m hoping to gain a wider outlook on the world and really open my mind to a different culture as well as hopefully give a community a useful skill of a second language. In my free time I do drama on the weekends, play on the school hockey team and I like to paint. With these skills I’m hoping to organise extra-curricular activities at the school I’ll be teaching at to give the children an opportunity to try these activities which they would usually never have the opportunity to try in the UK. However to be able to go on my year to India I do have to face the massive challenge of fundraising £6,200. To do this I hope to have various fundraisers, car boot sales and sponsored events throughout the year.
I have been accepted to work as a volunteer teacher in Honduras for 1 year with Project Trust. I will be working in a primary school teaching English and a variety of other subjects. I made the decision to apply for Project Trust as I am very enthusiastic about working with children and giving them the opportunity to learn and develop a variety of skills. During my year in Honduras, I would like to do a bit of travelling as well as starting up extra-curricular activities for the children. As part of the challenge I have to raise £6200. This money will cover accommodation, food and insurance overseas. My aim is to raise this money before I depart in August 2016.
After a challenging selection course of the Isle of Coll, I have been selected to go overseas with Project Trust for a year’s placement. My country is yet to be confirmed, but I will be Primary School teaching in either Honduras or Ghana. I will be a sole class teacher and will be a support to a variety of students in my community. When I am overseas, I also plan to set up a variety of extra-curricular activities in arts or games, due to my creative background from school and hobbies. The next challenge is to raise £5950, which is a massive challenge due to my later selection. I will be going to various craft fairs, car boot sales and having a sponsored event, alongside a ceilidh to try raise this.
Our Albert Roux Charity Dinner took place on Tuesday 15 September. After many years of using these dinners to raise funds to build a hospitality training kitchen, our Albert Roux Kitchen was officially opened earlier this year.
Therefore, our 2015 Dinner was on a smaller scale as we were able to use the new facilities in the kitchen, allowing many more of our students to work with the Adopt a School Chefs. This meant turning an adjacent classroom into a restaurant for the evening, something our students and Technical Department pulled off amazingly. To ensure as many students as possible were able to work in the new kitchen and to have the chance of preparing Michelin quality food with the world’s greatest chef we covered only 40 guests rather than our usual 100.
Cllr Helen Carmichael, Provost of the City of Inverness
Cllr Alex Graham, Inverness West Ward
Mr Andrew Benjamin, Fundraising Manager, Maggies Centre Inverness
Mr Ian Whitaker, Managing Director at Cawdor Castle
Mr Stewart Stirling, University of the Highlands and Islands
Mr Albert Roux, OBE and Legion d’Honneur
Mr Mike Mathieson, Executive Chef, Roux Consultancy
Mr Javier Dominguez Santos, Chef at Chez Roux Rocpool Reserve, Inverness
The video below shows some highlights from the evening. The photos and still images were taken by Liam Black (6S1) and Zarah Gollan (6S1) of our Higher Photography class.
Last weekend our Lead Prefect Team visited Craigower Lodge in Newtonmore. Although an outdoor centre run by Active Outdoor Pursuits, the Prefect Team were there to focus on Team-Building, Values and Leadership. They were accompanied by Ms Mairi Sutherland, Mr Brendan McMahon and Miss Rona Macpherson. The rest of the Senior Management Team visited on Saturday to lead some activities and later Miss Catherine Bain joined the group to deliver a workshop on public speaking.
This is a valuable weekend put together by Ms Sutherland, based on the type of leadership academies delivered by Columba1400 which the school also works with. The challenge for the Lead Prefect Team is to reflect, learn and develop their team and leadership capacities through the many different roles and responsibilities that they have during the session ahead.
On Tuesday during the last weel of term Charleston Academy hosted a charity fundraising concert in aid of the British Red Cross. The event was a collaboration between Music departments from across Inverness who used the event to allow Music students the opportunity to showcase some of their work. Charleston Academy was represented at the event by Jemimah Morris (5L2).
Well done to Rahhan Islam (5K2). Rahhan’s family own the Cinnamon Restaurant in Inverness, where Rahhan also works part-time. On hearing about the plight of the Nepal earthquake victims in school Rahhan took it upon himself to organise a fundraising buffet at his family’s award winning restaurant.
The Relief Night for Nepal raised £500. Rahhan put a huge amount of effort in organising and taking responsibility for the whole event. Well done.
Mrs Helen Hunter, Depute Rector.
On Wednesday the 10th of June, 14 S4 Charleston pupils travelled to the Black Isle Show ground with 172 other pupils from Highland schools. We arrived in the morning and were put into separate groups made up of pupils from different schools to practice our team building skills. Throughout the day we did various challenges and tasks set up by different companies to do with STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The tasks ranged from being blind folded and guided around an obstacle course by a partner to working in a team building a tower out of newspapers. One of our teams constructed the highest tower of the day – which reached a height of 4.5 metres!
Our favourite challenges were building the tower and also going through an obstacle course with a 70kg dummy. We liked these tasks as they helped us build our teamwork skills and develop our leadership skills while also making new friends with pupils from Lochaber and Glen Urquhart Schools.
Throughout the whole experience we learnt more about the Bridge to Employment scheme and what it is all about. We have the choice to continue with the Programme until Sixth year.
Bridge to Employment is an education-business partnership programme set up to help young people in Scotland improve their employability skills. Within Highland Region each school has a different partner company for instance ours is SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) along with Lochaber and Glen Urquhart High Schools. Other organisations involved in the delivery of BTE include HIAL (Highlands and Islands Airports) Cap Gemini, LifeScan, the CITB (Construction Industry Training board) and the University of the Highlands and Islands .
Throughout the year we will go out on various trips to discover what it is like to work in the energy industry and how important STEM is to many of the jobs and careers that we may wish to have in the future.
Overall we enjoyed our first day of the Bridge to Employment programme and we have decided already that we want to continue with it until we decide to leave school.
by Sami Cochrane (4T), Megan Meldrum (4T) and Sasha Brandon (4T)
Following the appointment of our 18 strong Lead Prefect Team for 2015-16, we have now finalised the appointment of our whole prefect team for the session ahead. Congratulations everyone. Prefects are role models and ambassadors for young people and Charleston Academy.
After winning the SCDI Secondary Science Club of the Highlands and Highlands, our Science Club triumphed at the National Finals in Glasgow yesterday. They won both the Watts Watt Secondary Award and were crowned SCDI Secondary Science Club of the Year. The event, organised by Scottish Council for Development and Industry took place in Glasgow.
Our Science Club is part of our STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Maths) project. Meeting weekly at lunchtimes, S6 Science Prefects inspire and motivate younger pupils to be enthusiastic about science. The club is managed and coordinated by our Science Technician Mrs Pam Hamilton who dedicates a huge amount of extra time to the club.
The club was represented at the final by Fergus McIntyre (5S2), Callum White (former 6S), Andrew Bowie (former 6L) and Rowan White (5S2). Other members of the club were having a well-deserved lie-in as they had been at their prom the evening before and have effectively now left school. But earlier many of the girls had ensured the club was successful at the local and national heats.
At the final in Glasgow the Club was presented with their awards and trophies by MSP Fergus Ewing and Heather “The Weather” Reid.
Well done everyone and congratulations to Mrs Hamilton for continued success with this brilliant club.
Congratulations to Morvern Carmichael (4S2) and Cameron Cochrane (3T2) for their outstanding success in the new national speaking competition – the Procurator Fiscal and Crown Office National Speaking Competition.
In this inaugural year of the competition the Charleston duo first won the Highlands final, then the North of Scotland final, and yesterday emerged as national winners at the Scottish final in Glasgow.
This prestigious speaking competition saw pupils from Shawlands Academy and Auchmuty High School compete with Charleston at the High Courts of the Justiciary in Glasgow. The judges were Lesley Thomson QC – Solicitor General for Scotland, Alex Prentice QC – Principal Crown Counsel for Scotland and John Dunn – Procurator Fiscal for East Scotland.
Members of our speakers club headed off early on Tuesday preparing to speak on the theme of ‘Gender Equality – No Chance.’
Morvern and Cameron practiced in the school minibus en route to Glasgow. They then rehearsed under Nelson’s Monument on Glasgow Green. Driver for the day, Mr Rob Seymour (PT Technical) commended their natural enthusiasm and lack of nerves throughout.
The group had fun despite the prestigious nature of the competition, but their natural fervour won the day and they came away champions. Thank you to Mr Seymour for driving there and back and for taking the photos. Special thanks to Mrs Kay Storey for mentoring and supporting the whole group throughout this competition. Well done everyone. The whole group are outstanding ambassadors for Charleston Academy and young people.