S1 Art Exhibition

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

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)

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

Ski Trip Les Menuires 2013

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

Fifteen Charleston Academy pupils accompanied by Mrs Storey and Mr McKie have been in France at Les Menuires for a week long skiing trip. Great fun has been had by the entire Highland School Group, which represents five schools. More news to follow on their return. Meanwhile the group have made these videos of their first few days in France.

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)

S3 Biology Lifescan

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum

Lifescan, the largest employer in Inverness, and part of the Johnson & Johnson Group, visited Charleston Academy this week.

The visit from LifeScan was related to the coursework in National 4/5 on genetic engineering focussing on how micro-organisms can be used to produce useful products. One of these products is the human hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. If your body has a problem producing or using insulin, this leads to a condition known as Diabetes Mellitus. LifeScan are an international company who produce, amongst other things, testing equipment for diabetes. This includes blood testing strips, which are manafactured at their facility in Inverness.

The staff from LifeScan took time to explain and discuss issues relating to diabetes to S3 pupils and the work that LifeScan did to assist people in monitoring and controlling their diabetes. The pupils were then given an opportunity to try two experiments. The first involved testing the enzyme which is used on the testing strips. Pupils were able to see that the enzyme reacts very rapidly with glucose, but not with other sugars. The second experiment invloved preparing a few testing strips, and attaching the different layers of the strips together. To check if they worked, a “blood” sample was put onto the strips and inserted into a testing machine. Needless to say, some worked and some didn’t……

This was an important opportunity for our pupils to understand and reflect on the important correlation with what they are learning in class with an issue affecting many people in Scotland and how a large company like LifeScan provides employment and career opportunities for people living in Inverness. It was very nice to hear LifeScan staff praise the behaviour, attitude and interest of all the S3 pupils who took part. They were particularly complimentary about the number of pupils who demonstrated their real interest in this area and who asked the most challenging questions! Pupils really enjoyed the lesson with one comment at the end summing up the experience: “Why can’t we do cool stuff like this every day in Biology?”

Thanks to Biology teacher Mrs Val MacRae who arranged and organised the visit for S3.

Mr MacLeod, Biology

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)

City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band

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

The City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band was officially launched at a concert on the 22nd of March 2012.

Many of you will know the band by its former name Charleston and Nairn Pipes & Drums. The name was changed to reflect the fact that the members are now coming from a wider number of schools.

The concert was held in the Inverness Royal British Legion, in Huntly Street. The event was well attended by parents and other guests who included the provost, Jimmy Gray. The Band, including Charleston Academy pupils: George Ashton, Liam Eaton, Bruce Gibson and Euan Morrison entertained everyone with an hour long concert.

The concert included two solo performances, a mini band and of course the full band of 11 pipers, 7 drummers and the two tutors.

As a token of appreciation for thier support over many years, a set of bagpipes was presented to each of the Rectors of Charleston Academy and Nairn Academy, Mr Chris O‘Neill and Mrs Julie MacDonald. These pipes, which will be held by the band, will be used to help new pipers and potential band members from Charleston Academy and Nairn Academy to make the transition from the chanter to the pipes before having to buy a set of their own.

In the few weeks before the concert the band had been working very hard to make it happen. This would have been possible without the hard work of the tutors, Lewis Barclay (pipes) and David Murray (drums).
We would like to thank McCallum Bagpipes, who made the pipes and all who attended the concert. We hope the band continues to keep up this standard and you get to hear us sometime.

Euan Morrison (3L1)


City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band – Charleston Academy’s Legacy

Since November Charleston Academy piping group has re-started it‘s weekly lunchtime rehearsals in the Music department. These rehearsals have been for pupils in S1 to S3 allowing the newer pipers to start playing in a group without feeling too overwhelmed.

This also helps them acquire the basic reportoire every piper should have and the chance to develop their group work skills. Once the SQA exams are over our pipers in S4-S6 will be joining the younger pipers, bringing a large mix of abilities together to play in and around the school, at school concerts and related events. We’ve already got a busy diary!

Charleston & Nairn Pipes & Drums was officially formed in 2002. Over the years highlights have included two very successful CDs (Debut and Off the Rails), a 2007 Tour of Belgium to learn about the WW1 tunes and a trip to the Piping Centre to do a course developed as part of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.

The Band have made numerous radio appearances, performed on TV twice, once with Fred MacAuley. They have performed for Caley Thistle’s Annual Ball as well as a wealth of other corporate and charity events. And at the same time the band have undertaken a series of regular community performances and the pipers still performed in their own school piping group at their school events.

In 2011 as part of cost cutting measures in Highland Council there was a re-structuring of the piping instructors and it was felt that the band should be opened up to cover schools in Inverness and the surrounding area.

With a wedding imminent and the many changes on my school timetable I felt it was time for me to pass the reigns on to a colleague, Mr Lewis Barclay, and the band’s name has been changed to the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band which was launched in March this year.


Charleston & Nairn Pipes & Drums
and everyone who was involved with the band have left a wonderful and very valuable legacy; the way the band was set up; gaining charitable status, the insistance on a band uniform, band drums, marching tom drums, the drum major‘s mace and healthy band funds. All of this will go on to benefit piping and drumming youngsters from all over Inverness and the surrounding areas. We wish them all the best.

Any young pipers in the school who would be interested in being involved in Charleston’s piping group should contact Mrs Louise McBain or a member of the music department staff.

Mrs Louise MacBain, Charleston Academy Piping Instructor