Kirkhill primary visit – Technology week

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On Wednesday 22nd November.  The Technical department prefects and Mr Richards went to Kirkhill Primary to support their Technology week.  They worked with P5, 6 & 7 throughout the day but also spent some time visiting the younger classes during skills development time.  Pupils gave a short presentation to each class then gave a demonstration on the technology tasks provided by the Highland Council framework.  Primary staff and pupils listened intently as the prefects demonstrated some complex electronics and practical tasks.  The prefects then spent an hour in each class helping pupils build electric powered cars, moving toys and carousels.

I was really impressed with the prefects and how well they took to the challenge of teaching younger pupils.  The staff at Kirkhill were very pleased we had come along to help and were full of praise for the Charleston pupils.

Hopefully we will be invited back next year.

Technical prefects:

Mr J Richards

Principal Teacher of Technical

Marine engineering Pathway – S3

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Sea Cadets in partnership with Seafarers UK delivered a Marine Engineering Pathway (MEP) workshop to two S3 Physics classes.

The MEP workshop session focussed upon Buoyancy, exploring some of the scientific principles behind buoyancy and displacement. Trying to predict what objects and materials would float or sink led to some surprises (can of diet coke floats while normal coke sinks – it is all the sugar!).

In teams, pupils then designed and built their own boat. This practical task culminated in the teams testing their ships and discovering which had succeeded in carrying the most whilst staying afloat.

Once the teams realised an element of competition was involved everyone got very busy!

All the students agreed getting more hands on experience like this made physics more relevant and understandable and wanted more experiences like this. The science and technology teams will be taking this onboard.

Mr D Vincent

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Expedition Training Weekend

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

The annual Expedition training weekend for our pupils undertaking their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award took place Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November at Abriachan. Over the weekend, the pupils were trained in preparation for their expeditions which will take place in May 2018. When the pupils arrived on Friday afternoon, they had to pitch their tents and cook their own dinner in their tent groups.

After this, the pupils gathered in their expedition groups to discuss the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the aims of the Expedition section of the Award. The pupils then went on a short night walk accompanied by staff members. After cooking breakfast on Saturday morning, the participants had to take down their tents and pack their rucksacks before undertaking a walk complete with their pack. After a break for lunch, the participants re-pitched their tents in preparation for Saturday night. They then split into two groups and practiced how to read a map and use a compass. Following this, the groups learnt about emergency first aid including putting someone into the recovery position and how to treat burns and breaks. Saturday dinner was again followed by a night walk using only the light of the moon and stars to navigate safely through the woods. After breakfast and packing up on Sunday morning, the groups undertook an orienteering course set up by Suzanne Barr from Abriachan Forest Trust. A final tidy up of the campsite to ensure that the pupils left no trace was undertaken with the pupils leaving at 12noon. Thank you to Abriachan Forest Trust and especially Suzanne for allowing us to once again use their facilities.

Miss L Gray

Learning support Teacher

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Inverness Culloden Rotary Club held their annual Roger Hoskins Public Speechmaking competition at Lochardil House Hotel on Tuesday evening.

Erika Hedderwick - public speaking


Participants were required to write a speech responding to the topic ‘Are electric vehicles the real future of transportation?’ and deliver this from memory.

Erika Hedderwick — in her maiden competitive event — was ultimately declared overall winner, taking home an individual trophy and a trophy for the school. Her innovative approach to the motion, suggesting that the humble bicycle is in fact the real future of transportation, combined with passionate delivery and rich persuasive language showed her talent and true oratory skills.


Well done Erika!


Dr G Campbell

English Teacher

Remembrance assemblies

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

On the 9th and 10th of November, two special assemblies were held in the school to commemorate Armistice Day. The assemblies were led by S4 students who had recently visited the WW1 battlefields in Belgium and France. We were joined by guests from the Royal British legion (Scotland) Inverness Branch, Poppy Scotland, members of the armed services and local councillors. All commented how impressed they were with the students taking the assemblies. Thank you to all. A report on the trip will be put on the website shortly.

Miss C Bain

Principal Teacher of History

Children in Need

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Children in Need events take place this week.

Monday – We have a Bake Sale with cakes ranging from 50p-£1.00 as well as ‘Guess the Number of Sweets in the Jar’.

Tuesday -We have S6 Boys v’s Teachers Football Match – with a required donation for entry which
is the same for the S6 Girls v’s Teachers Lacrosse on Wednesday at lunchtime.

Thursday – it is £1.00 to participate in dress down/wear PJ’s day, along with the teachers lip-sync battle at lunchtime.

There will also be an opportunity to buy raffle tickets throughout the week with the winners being announced at Thursday lunchtime.

Please bring some money for the week ahead and donate generously to Children in Need.

the North of Scotland Schools Debating Competition

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Whilst ghosts and ghouls haunted the hall at the S1 and S2 Halloween disco, Thursday night also saw twelve pupils from six Highland schools come together for the third and final round of the North of Scotland Schools Debating Competition.

Morvern Carmichael and Samantha Cochrane opened for Charleston Academy, and the opposition, arguing against the motion ‘This house believes our right to a private life is under serious threat’. They were supported in this stance by Forres Academy and Glen Urquhart High School. Portree High School, Fortrose High School, and Nairn Academy combined to form the proposition.

Thorough preparation, and strong performances at the podium, ultimately led to another well deserved victory for Morvern and Samantha. They both received outstanding feedback from the presiding judge, and Samantha was declared speaker of the night.

The North of Scotland Schools Debating Competition operates on a league based system — across three rounds — with points awarded to the top teams in each debate. Morvern and Samantha excelled throughout events, performing consistently well; they were second in the opening debate, and won the following two. They have therefore qualified for the final which will be held at Albyn School in Aberdeen on November 24th. They will oppose the motion ‘This house deplores the tourism of today.’

A fantastic achievement, well done!

Dr G Campbell

English teacher

Highland Heroes

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Our head girl and head boy,  Grace Bird and Jacob Hodgson, attended the awards for Highland Heroes at the Kingsmills last night and although they didn’t win the award they did well being finalists and represented the school well on the evening.

Mrs L Cameron

Principal Teacher of geography

Highland Council review of Music Tuition

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

The highland council instrumental service is a valued resource and extension of the Music department. Without the instructors support and input extra curriculum activities like the Concert, lunch time activities would fail to run. The instructors work closely with music staff to enrich the learning of individual pupils enrolled in these specialised instruments. Currently highland is looking at restructuring the instrumental service. Please show your support by completing the following survey if you have a child in S1 by Friday 17th November.

Pupil testaments

Tuesday night was an incredible experience as it was my first time performing with a group and playing the violin in public. I performed in the string group and I think the performance went really well. Throughout the whole night I think everyone had great fun watching all the acts.

Jessica Gordon 1 C

I started going to Charleston just after the summer break. Two weeks into my violin lessons with my new music teacher and he had already asked if I wanted to join the string group. That day I joined and since then I have played in the group.

Playing in the string group has opened so may doors for me. Our string group performed in a concert a few days ago. This helped to build my confidence on a stage and I think that is really valuable. If it wasn’t for music tuition I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this.

I have lots of brothers and sisters and it would be too expensive for my parents to pay for all of us to have private music lessons, as private lessons can be incredibly expensive. Music tuition in school makes it affordable to learn music and it allows anyone in school with a talent or love for music to be able to learn. It’s great! My sister, who played saxophone, completed her Grade 8 by the time she left school and that is my aim as well.

I also think that it is important to be able to play well in a group. You need to be able to work together to stay in the right timing. It also helps team building and in life it is important for you to be able to work in a group.

Learning an instrument also helps to build patience. Not everything is easy and you need patience to help you to not be too hard on yourself. You’re not always going to be able to do everything straightaway but if you have patience then you will eventually get there.

Finally, last week my teacher taught me 3rd position, something that I have wanted to learn for a while. It is not easy but with more practice and music lessons, I will learn new techniques and get better converting between 1st and 3rd position.

Overall I think the music lessons are really important and that playing in these groups can help build key values in life. I think music tuition is so important not just to help build my music skills but also to help build other skills that are crucial in life.

Abigail Morris 1D

Playing in the string group really helps me because it means I can’t go back and fix mistakes, I have to carry one to the end. I really enjoy playing with other people because I can see their style of playing. That’s one of the joys of the violin; you can play with other people as part of a group. The concert was a great experience and I can’t wait to do more.

Isobel Garvie

Expressive Arts Performance Showcase Tuesday 7th November

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements

Earlier this week approximately 40 music students from S1-6 entertained parents, family members, teachers and classmates with a variety of musical performances. The audience received a glass of sparkling fruit juice on arrival and discovered the assembly hall was staged to resemble a music lounge creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Included in the ticket price were nibbles which the audience could help themselves to during the evening as well as tea, coffee and tray bakes which were served by prefects and the Geography department during the interval.

After a quick introduction from the Acting PT of Music, Mr Nairn, the first performance was provided by our Piping group led by piping instructor Mrs McBain. This was a fantastic demonstration of the hard work that is put in by both staff and pupils and was an early indication of the array of talent the audience were about to hear.

The next two musical items were public firsts from our Higher students Rehana Karim and Jamie Buchan, who delivered a calm and technical performance on their piano and guitar instruments.

The evening continued with our string group led by string instructor Mr Hay. The group performed three pieces one of which (Harry Potter Theme) was a crowd pleaser with our younger audience. This was followed on with a strong clarinet solo by S4 student Anna. The first half of the evening was then rounded off with a set of Scottish pieces performed by Lewis MacRae on solo bagpipes.

The second half of the evening was introduced by the Woodwind group led by woodwind instructor Mrs Aalders. The group performed Dixieland blues and an arrangement of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, both to a very high standard and were greatly received by all.

As the group left, two flautists (Beth Crookes and Grace Cranidge) remained on stage to perform a duet called Somewhere Out There. Our next musical acts were a piano duet Kern Robertson and Charlotte Stewart. Kern had already been on stage that night performing with the String group and had rushed back from an ABRSM theory exam to attend the concert. True dedication.

Our next two soloists were from the Higher and Advanced Higher class. Cal Roche performed Headlands on his fiddle and S6 pupil Nathan Bell performed Eat My Ferrari on the bass guitar. Nathan went on to stun the audience further with an improvisation.

Our final act was the much anticipated Percussion Group led by percussion instructor Mr Galbraith. This year they performed the theme tune from Super Mario brothers.

A big thank you to our S5 Advanced Higher pupil Patrick Morris who provided rhythm support on the drum kit for three of the instrumental groups. Our lighting and sound support were provided by our S3 BGE Music Technology pupils who did an amazing job creating the atmosphere. Special thanks should also be given to Mr Fairfield who accompanied and rehearsed the instrumental groups and soloists.

The Music Department