Senior Boys Football v Nicolson Institute

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

Nicolson Institute 3 – 2 Charleston Academy

Our Senior Boys football team recently headed over to Stornoway for their match against the Nicolson Institute. Strong winds made for an anxious ferry crossing, but all the boys were fine once they reached dry land. After being 2-0 down initially, the Charleston Senior Boys managed to get back up to 2-2 at half time. Disappointingly, a successful penalty by the Nicolson Institute meant they won the match 3-2. It was a great effort from the Charleston Senior Boys who all played really well – an unlucky result.

Mr Ryan Macintosh, PE Teacher and Senior Coach

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)

S1 Art Exhibition

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Once again there was an excellent turnout for our annual S1 Art Exhibition. This exhibition is held to allow S1 pupils to formally display their work and for their parents to see the type of skills and techniques the pupils have been using since starting S1 at Charleston Academy.

S1 Art Exhibition

S1 Art Exhibition

All the work on display is judged by local artists. This year, the S1 Art work was judged by two local artists: Frances Baxter and Avril Marr. Frances and Avril nominated the work for five different categories. The prize winners were:

Best use of Colour

S1 winner

Overall Winner: Jake Fraser-Lee

Calum Mead

Most Creative

Stephen Tarr

Most Eye-catching

Jamie Penwright

Best use of Pattern and Texture

Laurie MacPhee

Overall Winner

Jake Fraser-Lee

Each category winner was awarded Music Vouchers.

This year the work included views of Inverness and the Canal, views from the windows of pupils houses in both the town and countryside and animals native to the Highlands in watercolour and collage, along with a display of models produced by the Technology Department.

 In addition to the Art exhibits pupils and parents and local businesses had a number of stalls. These included Charleston’s Home Economics Dept., Botswana 2014, Chaos Orienteering, Forest Kitchen, Leachkin Bakery, Sue Fraser, Darach, Adrian Eaton and Hobby Craft

Tea and Coffee was served by the Fair Trade Committee, and again a musical recital from the Music Department’s String Group was really admired..

 We are really grateful to everyone who helped ensure the evening was a great success. Staf in the Art department, HE and Technical bring the whole thing together, and our Parent Council puts in a huge amount of time and effort in sourcing prizes for the winners and the raffle. We’d like to thank the judges, school staff, Art prefects and most importantly the S1 pupils for putting so much effort into their work to ensure such a high standard.

Ms Marj MacLeod (PT Art)

Rural Skills

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

Rural Skills is a SQA “Skills for Work” course delivered over 2 years in S3 and S4. It is a practical outdoor course delivered in partnership with the Abriachan Forest Trust.

The main focus of the course is to develop a pupil’s employability skills. Every Thursday the pupils take part in an outdoor lesson – either based at Abriachan or within the school grounds. Pupils also have a “theory” lesson in the classroom every week.

This subject can be chosen as part of a pupil’s choice of course at the end of S2. At present there are 19 pupils taking part in Rural Skills in S3 and S4.

S3 Rural Skills

On a Thursday morning the S3 class have been completing the practical tasks required to achieve their “Estate Maintenance” unit with our Abriachan Forest Trust partner Mrs Suzann Barr and her husband Jim.  Their main project last term was to construct a fence beside a new pond at Abriachan.

This term the S3 Rural Skills class have started a series of practical First Aid sessions working with Mr Andrew Maclean from the Red Cross, helped by a Sixth Year Red Cross volunteer, Erin Wardlaw 6S

S4 Rural Skills class

The S4 class have successfully completed their “Soft Landscaping” unit of work by working at the Loch Ness Country House Hotel supervised by their gardener, Mr Roy Goddard. The class worked in small groups with Roy in the grounds of the Hotel every Thursday between April and October, giving the pupils valuable experience of a working environment.

This session the S4 class has been working on a Unit of work called “Land Based Industries”. This involves carrying out research into three local industries and jobs.

In September 2012 the class received an invitation from Scottish and Southern Electricity to visit the wind farm at Fairburn. During their visit the class found out about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of renewable energy development and visited the site control room and a turbine base.

The class travelled through to the Norbord timber processing plant at Dalcross in November 2012 and took part in a discussion about Health and Safety in the workplace with Mrs Ann Babbington Occupational Health Nurse, before taking part in a guided tour of the mill.

Mrs Susan Ritson (PT Guidance / Rural Skills teacher)

Charleston Fashion Designers

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

 

Click on the images above for an expanded view

Our S6 Art students have been completing their final portfolio pieces. Each S6 pupil has chosen a theme and worked around this as part of their portfolio preparation.

The pupils have used the skills they acquired in Art and Fashion & Textiles (Home Economics) last year to work on their portfolio pieces. We are extremley fortunate that these two departments work collaboratively to ensure very successful outcomes for pupils. This cross-curricular working is essential to ensure that the pupils have the breadth of knowledge and skills required to produce both the preparatory work and the final outcomes within Fashion Design. The pupils worked confidently and independently of one another to produce their final projects.

Hazel Blackhall has used the “Orient” as her inspiration, and produced a variety of fashion items and accessories based on traditional Chinese dress.

Neillidh Sutherland initially looked at “Camouflage” in the natural environment. She has gone onto produce the mask, top hat and dress using the Peacock as her inspiration.

Zamira Rooks has based her work on Alice in Wonderland, creating a more modern slant on Alice’s traditional outfit.

Ms Macleod (PT Art)

Mrs Bremner (PT Home Economics)

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

Big Green Challenge

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

BGC 2012The Big Green Challenge is a series of debates about the environment and global warming. Secondary pupils, from S1 to S3, from all over Scotland take part. The finals are held in Edinburgh at the Scottish Parliament for teams winning their local heat.

On Thursday 21st June, along with Mrs Fraser and Mr Kemp, we travelled to Edinburgh by train and then caught a taxi out to Herriot Watt University where we were to stay for the night. After dinner in the student canteen, we spent the evening practising our speeches for the next day.

Early on Friday morning we got up, had breakfast and then were taken by coach to the Scottish Parliament with the other seven competing schools. When we arrived, we had a brief talk and then it was time for the Quarter Finals to start. Just before the debate began Lewis was sick but he bravely decided to continue.

After all the schools had completed
the Quarter Finals, we were quite
confident that we would get through to the Semi Finals. We did! We only had about ten minutes to prepare our speeches but that didn‘t phase us as we had speeches already prepared and were ready to go. Our opponents were Kirkwall Grammar School and it was a very lively and animated debate. After the other Semi it was a nervous and tense wait to see if we had made it to the Final. We didn‘t expect to get through but the judges told us that Kirkwall and Charleston were through. We were really pleased for ourselves (and for Kirkwall as we had got to know them quite well).

After about ten minutes of preparation it was time for the Final. We sat facing Kirkwall and the debate began. It was a strong debate and both sides performed very well – but the last speaker from Kirkwall was superb and blew us off our feet. The Judges put Kirkwall first and we got second place. We got an android tablet each and Kirkwall won a trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The debates were all live on Scottish Parliament TV so pupils and teachers at Charleston were watching us and sending text messages of support. It was nice to know that they were cheering us on – even if they were far away!

After a lovely meal in Bella Italia it was time to catch the train home. We were delighted with our achievements and hope other pupils will get the same opportunity next year.

We would like to thank our Debating coaches, Mrs Fraser and Mrs Storey, who gave up so much of their time to help us and also the senior pupils in the Debating Club who provided us with so much encouragement.

Thanks to Mr Kemp for coming to Edinburgh with us and putting up with us on the train journeys!

Jemimah Morris (2L2), Lewis Hilditch (2K2), and Kieran Watts (2K2)