Completing a hat-trick of Political Party Conferences, Higher Modern Studies and other senior pupils were invited to the Scottish Labour Party Conference which was held at Eden Court today. The group were met by Dave Stewart MSP and Rhoda Grant MSP who explained the purpose of the conference and the organisation of some of the debates and speeches.
Charleston pupils were then introduced to Johann Lamont, MSP and Scottish Labour party leader who talked to pupils about her life in politics and then took questions from pupils on a range of issues that included the referendum, voting age, politics in schools and other youth issues.
Our pupils were then invited into the main hall at Eden Court to hear Alistair Darling’s speech on the forthcoming referendum. After lunch, the pupils headed back into the main hall to hear the Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband’s speech, the highlight of the whole conference weekend.
At the end of the day the pupils were invited to meet Anas Sarwar MP, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, followed by a meeting and photo opportunity with Alistair Darling MP. The former Chancellor, remaining politically neutral, asked the pupils about their views of the day and questioned them on referendum issues. Our pupils were impressed that they were asked for their views rather than having to listen to the views of a politician.
The day culminated in seeing Ed Miliband leave Eden Court. Alas, due to his desire to escape from intervening journalists, he didn’t stop for a photograph and chat with Charleston pupils as promised.
It was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils, arranged by Hannah Lister, one of the conference organisers, and gave the pupils a useful insight into the workings of the party during their Scottish Conference.
Congratulations to Sam Gebicke-Kerr (5L2) who has been successful in his application and interview with the Fulbright Commission / Sutton Trust USA Programme. Sam will now participate in a week long course at Yale University in Connecticut during August this year. This programme is designed to assist foreign students apply to Ivy League Universities in the United States. Sam wants to study law. In the USA, Law (like Medicine) is a postgraduate degree programme so Sam will be applying to study Political Science as an undergraduate first. We all wish Sam the best of luck with the programme and subsequent application process. Well done.
After leaving the school car park at 7am in the morning, being fully awakened by Mr Seymour’s Kylie CD blaring throughout the minibus (which most of us tried to counteract with our own earphones…), we finally set forth on our Higher Product Design trip down to IKEA in Edinburgh.
The 3 ½ hour drive went by fairly quickly, between short kips on the seats or admiring the foggy views, and taking a short stop at the Ballinluig Motorcafé for breakfast, Mr Seymour battled through police diversions to reach the bacon rolls.
Finally, we reached IKEA and joined Sales Manager Liz for a tour of the premises and to catch a glimpse of the vast operation behind and front of store, to the journey that is the design process which every product must gruellingly go through just to reach the shelves. She explained the policies and principles of IKEA and how they reach each consumer with clever target marketing strategies.
We met some of the back stage stars of the company- the designers, joiners and electricians working away in their respective workshops. We were then allowed to wander the store as a consumer and singled out some of the products that we thought were designed to get the most out of their intriguing simplicity. It was interesting to see how many products incorporated the iconic IKEA flat- pack design used to minimise space and storage: pots dismantled and placed inside one another; boxes folded down to the size of a mere magazine; and vases and watering cans stacked so that 5 or so would easily take up the space where only one would before. Simplicity – which we found often rivalled complexity where aesthetics were concerned – and the capability and benefits of the flat packing, were probably what made IKEA into the renowned company it is today, along with the dedication of the staff (both here and in factories abroad) and the layout of the store that maximised the use of the floor space (which also left us lost half the time…)
The IKEA trip was a truly unique educational insight into the working of how such a successful global product design and manufacturing company manages to get that all important balance of purpose and aesthetic flare just spot on.
Rachel McCoach, 5T2
Our friends from Lotsane Senior Secondary School in Palapye, Botswana visited us for ten days at the end of last term. They were with us for the last week of school and over the Easter weekend. As well as spending time in school visiting classes, we staged a Fashion Show which they participated in, took them to a Civic Reception hosted by the Provost of Inverness, and went on trips to Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Highland Wildlife Park, and the Cairngorms. It was a fantastic trip, as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classooms programme.
Friday 22 March: Leaving Botswana
Saturday 23 March 2013: Arriving in Snowy Scotland
Monday 25March 2013: School Assembly and Civic Reception
Watch this short clip of our Pipers and percussionists on the African Drums
(Video and Photos by Sarah Freck, 6L and Lucy Dobson, 6T)
Tuesday 26 March: A Day in School but also a chance to visit the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall
Wednesday 27 March: In classes prior to our Connecting Classrooms Fundraising Fashion Show
SATURDAY 30 March: Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and Abriachan
After spending their last day in school on Thursday, Friday was a free day to go shopping and explore Inverness. Today, pupils and staff took a cruise down Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. After lunch the group headed to Abriachan Nurseries for a treasure hunt, BBQ marshmallows and some Easter Eggs.
SUNDAY 31st March: Easter Sunday and a visit to Highland Wildlife Park and Cairngorms National Park
For the last planned activity during their ten day visit, we took our guests to Cairngorms National Park, visiting the Highland Wildlife Park and taking a trip up Cairngorm on the Funicular. As it was Easter Sunday the mountain was busy with skiers and snow-borders, and the temperature at the top was -10C with a windchill of -13C. Some 48 degrees colder than temperatures in Botswana just now! But perfect conditions.
Monday 1st April: The Final Day was a free day to spend with host families, rounded off with a farewell evening Ceilidh
Charleston Academy Senior Football Team played away to Invergordon Academy on Wednesday 27th March. The senior boys recorded their second league win in three days.
Invergordon Academy 0 – 2 Charleston Academy
The senior boys scored a very comfortable 2-0 away victory against Invergordon Academy. Goals from Mark Donaldson and Steven MacLeod (one in either half) were enough to give Charleston the three points. Charleston dominated the match from start to finish, creating numerous clear cut chances throughout the match and throughly deserved the victory.
Mark Donaldson (1)
Steven MacLeod (1)
Man of the Match: Ryan Keil
Mr Ryan MacKintosh, PE Teacher and Senior Football Coach
On Thursday 28th of February Charleston Academy entered the Highland schools Hockey Tournament in Dingwall against Kingussie, Tain, Gordonstoun, Milnes, Dingwall and Millburn Academy.
Well done to Annie Mackenzie, Rebecca Purvis, Eilidh Sandilands, Maia Macdiarmid, Coral Allan, Lucy Duff, Nicola Walker, Melissa Fife, Rebecca Morris and Claire Macdonald who demonstrated some excellent hockey against some very strong teams. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough this time to secure a win.
Great effort girls!
S1 Highland Hockey Tournament
Charleston Academy travelled to Milburn Academy on the 17th of March to compete in the S2 Highland Hockey Tournament. Playing against, three very strong teams; Fortrose, Mlilburn and Dingwall Academy. Charleston girls demonstrated some excellent hockey throughout the tournament, playing extremely well together and getting stronger every match. There were lots of great goals scored from our girls, and plenty of cheering from our supporters on the sidelines.
Well done to Eilidh MacCarmick, Laurie Macphee, Gabbie Gill, Claire Macleod, Anna Louise Mackenzie, Sophie Fraser and Olivia Cairns, for finishing second overall in the tournament, taking home an early Easter egg each. Great effort girls, excellent tournament.
Senior Highland Hockey Tournament
Charleston Academy travelled to Millburn Academy on the 21st of March to Compete in the Highland Hockey Tournament. Playing against, Millburn, Dingwall and Fortrose Academy. In the bitter cold and windy conditions Charleston girls, played some excellent hockey against some very strong teams. Some fantastic goals were being scored and some excellent goals were being saved by Kirsty Coutts. Well done girls for playing extremely well under such harsh weather conditions.
Well done to Rhona Stark, Ashley Streets, Jay Hannah, Emma Mackenzie, Shona Mead, Tamara Macdougall, Laura Urquhart, Laura Gallagher, Kirsty Coutts and Lucy Dobson, for finishing third equal with Fortrose Academy.
Miss Joanne Flemming, PE Teacher and Hockey Coach
Congratulations to S5 pupils Anthony Keyes (5S1), Laura Brown (5T2), and Georgia Platt (5T1) who, following a successful interview on Wednesday, have each been selected to participate in the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Summer Camp. Anthony is being sponsored by Inverness Rotary Club, Laura by Loch Ness Rotary Club and Georgia is being sponsored by Culloden Rotary Club.
The three Charleston Academy pupils will join successful candidates from other schools at a camp in summer focusing on leadership and other skills. The RYLA camp interviewers spoke highly of the quality of the interviews given by Charleston Academy pupils. Commiserations to Emma Macrae and Alex Farquharson who were unsuccessful but awarded a place on the reserve list. On their return from camp Anthony, Laura and Georgia will be invited to a Rotary Lunch to give a short presentation about their experience.
Charleston Academy staff performed Gangnam Style once again in front of the whole school, packed into the Hall, at lunchtime on Thursday 27th March. The group agreed to the performance on condition that further funds were raised for our Connecting Classrooms exchange with Lotsane Senior Secondary School in Botswana. Along with the fashion show on Wednesday evening over £2000 was raised. Well done everybody.
“Our best ever fashion show” was held on Wednesday 27th March to raise funds for our Connecting Classrooms Global Exchange with Lotsane Senior Secondary School. Well done to Mrs Val Macrae who led a dedicated team of staff to pull the whole thing together. We raised over £2000 for our Connecting Classrooms partnership.
Click ‘Continue Reading’ to see Gangnam Style performance by staff at the fashion show.