Some senior Gaelic pupils were visited recently by Ceitidh MacPhee, recruitment officer at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye, Christie MacLean, a former pupil of Charleston Academy who now works at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Emma, who is a student of primary education at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. They spoke to pupils about further education opportunities and the daily lives of students at the college. They reminded pupils about the range of different employment opportunities available to Gaelic speakers. Christie spoke about how she started learning Gaelic in S1 at Charleston Academy, going on to study to Advanced Higher level, then a degree in Gaelic and Development. Pupils were interested to hear how she took part in a student exchange, studying Gaelic at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
On the morning of Tuesday 12th June, the pupils who have been part of our Speeder Reader/ Read Write Inc. group throughout S1 went on an excursion to Inverness Town centre as a reward for all their hard work and achievements in developing their literacy skills this year.
First stop was Inverness Library where the pupils were shown around by Mrs Appleby, Network Librarian at the library. Mrs Appleby took us to see the Reference room then it was on to see the oldest book in the library which dates to the 15th century. The next stop on our tour was the reading room where we heard about plans for a new business hub with the remainder of our visit being spent in the lending area. Here, Mrs Appleby talked to us about the variety of books and other items available to borrow from the library including graphic novels and silent books.
Following our library visit, it was on to Waterstones bookshop where the pupils all chose their own book to keep. The books selected by the pupils were a broad range, from well-known authors such as JK Rowling, David Walliams and Andy McNab to books on football, sheep-rearing and mindfulness. Thank you to Waterstones, our Parent Council and Charleston Academy for funding this part of our excursion.
Many thanks also to all the people who made our excursion possible – Mrs Sleet for accompanying us, Mrs Appleby for our library tour and Pete and Tom in Waterstones for advising us on books.
Inverness College UHI are having an Open Evening on Thursday the 10th of May, which will be one of the most important opportunities available, in the lead up to summer, for those looking to apply for courses for 2018/19. For pupils who are still considering options, there are still some spaces on our Further Education programmes as well as our Higher Education courses.
Open evenings are a great informal way to meet lecturers and managers from our subject departments and also take a tour of the main campus building. For young people and parents, they are a very good opportunity to familiarise themselves with the college environment and get a sense of what it would be like to be a student here.
The Schools team and our colleagues will also be on hand to advise pupils about Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships however it’s also not unusual for Schools programme applicants to visit with parents to see the college and ask questions prior to starting their courses and we will, of course, be happy to assist.
A group of ten S3 pupils attended a ‘Business Brunch’ at the Kingsmills Hotel recently. The theme of the event was the importance of learning languages. We had the opportunity to chat with representatives from a variety of companies and organisations. The speakers were very enthusiastic and focused on their personal ‘journeys’, highlighting how they have used foreign languages in their careers. They emphasised how languages can be both the key to success as well as empowering in life generally. One speaker described how in business you are less likely to ‘have the wool pulled over your eyes’ if you at least understand the language of the people with whom you are negotiating. Another mentioned how you gain respect by trying to speak the language of the locals when abroad. Perhaps the most amusing anecdote was an hotel manager and keen football fan who had given up studying Russian at school and has just missed out on the perfect job at a hotel in Moscow which is opening just before the World Cup starts!
The S3 YPI Final took place on Thursday 21st December. The winning group are David Cameron, Alfie Thomas and Ewan Munro who are pictured along with Tom Flockhart (who is one of our YPI sponsors & Director of Highland Office Supplies) and Hannah Lind from Crocus Bereavement Group receiving the cheque for £3,000.
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.
Pupils from S4 are currently on a tour of Belgian battlefields, cemeteries and memorials as part of the History course. Tonight pupils visited the Menin gate and took part in the daily ceremony of remembrance.
International Maths Week takes place in September each year. To do its little bit in 2017, the Maths Department recently organised a Maths Challenge for all S2 pupils. Two separate challenges (A and B) were set up on 2 successive Wednesdays, based on a similar format. In a morning session, mixed teams of four were given problem solving and practical 3D shape building challenges. In the afternoon sessions, pupils took part in a relay event, where teams had to answer correctly as many ‘quick-fire’ numeracy questions as possible within a set time. In addition to applying and developing key mathematical skills, the challenges also provided good team working and problem solving practice. Informal post-event feedback from pupils was really positive and the Department hope to organise similar type events in the future.
winning team challenge B
problem solving – teams hard at work
2nd team challenge A
Well done to all pupils taking part, but particular congratulations to members of the winning teams: Trixie Bernababe, Courtney Birch, Euan Hamilton and Meg Leaver (challenge A): and Goncalo Corriea, Glen McNeil, Neive Rodden and Drai Senior (challenge B). Winners all received a magic puzzle cube prize.
Over the past few months pupils and staff had been very busy taking part in a wide range of activities in and out with school.
The P.E. department put on another fantastic week of athletics competition for S1 – S3 pupils culminating in the track final on Friday 26th May. The weather was kind to us again and we had a great afternoon in the sun watching the athletes.
The Charleston Academy woodwind group went across to Kinmylies Primary before the summer with Mr Fairfield and Anna Aalders our woodwind instructor, to play for the pupils and to talk about the different types of instruments. We were also able to get some of the beginner flautists at the primary to join us for a few of the pieces that we played (some of them are now part of our new S1 cohort).
The YPI Scotland National Event takes place in June each year, and represents an opportunity to celebrate all that has been achieved through YPI that year, whilst showcasing best practice from across Scotland. The event recognises the philanthropic success and engagement of tens of thousands of secondary students who have been responsible for directing hundreds of thousands of pounds to local grassroots charities. The winning team from Charleston attended this event.
Congratulations to Kira Buchan of S3 who was selected for the Scotland U-15 Basketball Team. After a gruelling two week selection process Kira was selected, along with fourteen other girls to represent her country in a season of International friendlies. Scotland opened up the campaign with a tough loss to Ireland however Kira ensured it wasn’t easy for the Irish by contributing a valuable 8 points to the final score. Kira then flew out to Barcelona with the Squad to compete in a series of international games. We look forward to hearing how the rest of the season goes. Well done Kira!
Just before the change of timetable, S1 – S3 pupils took part in a wide range of activities as part of our 2 activity days. These included Football, Canoeing, Landmark, Paintball, Go Katring, Craft, Equestrian, Climbing, Archery and much more.
On the 28th of June, 46 pupils from Charleston Academy departed from the school for New York City and Washington DC. We left from Glasgow airport in the early hours of the morning and arrived in New York City late afternoon. We were in NYC for five days and whilst we were in the ‘Big Apple’ we visited a variety of popular tourist attractions including the Empire State building and Central Park which was an incredible experience for everyone who was a part of the trip. We got the opportunity to see Times Square, the 9/11 memorial and even have a meal at Planet Hollywood to name a few. On one of the days we took the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty and all the history that was encompassed within. Of course we couldn’t visit New York without going shopping, of which there was a lot!
After our time in New York we travelled to Washington DC with a quick stopover in Philadelphia to see the Rocky steps. We were in Washington DC for four days and during that time we visited the Smithsonian museums, the White House, the Capitol building and also got the chance to have dinner at the Hard Rock cafe. Whilst in DC we had the unforgettable experience of an American baseball game in which the New York Mets went up against the Washington Nationals, it was a night many will never forget. On the 4th of July, we got to be part of American culture and attended a parade in the capital city. That evening we went to a concert at the Capitol building where a variety of artists performed including the Beach Boys.
Overall, it was a trip of a lifetime and one that will stay with us forever. On behalf of all the pupils that went on the trip, we would like to thank the teachers for organising and taking us to the USA.
Grace and Jacob
This summer, myself and some of my other classmates went on a once in a lifetime trip to Peru for 21 days. Whilst there we did some amazing things and learnt a lot of life lessons.
In our first week, we went to the Amazon Rainforest. Even though we lost our weight in sweat due to the heat we enjoyed it so much! We got to see a whole variety of wildlife from Howler Monkeys to Macaws to Caiman; it was a very interesting experience. We also went out on a night cruise and night walk through the jungle.
On the second week, we travelled to an orphanage just outside Cusco after adjusting the high altitude. There we spent several days building a border wall for the orphanage and playing football with the resident children. All the kids were so welcoming and it was so overwhelming to see how much they appreciated everything we did for them!
The rest of our trip was spent relaxing and getting to experience the culture of Peru; we walked up to Machu Picchu, went sandboarding in Ica and got to explore Cusco and Lima. One night, we also got to dance with the Peruvian locals and experience their local traditions, it was great fun!
Overall it was an eye opening experience and everyone would love to go back in a heartbeat! We all learnt so much about the cultural differences between Peru and Scotland and the trip made us really realise how lucky we are.
Climbing Club trip:
During the last week of the Summer holidays 11 pupils with 3 staff and 1 volunteer headed to Skye for the Climbing Club Summer trip. We had 2 great days climbing and wild camping at Neist point. A day climbing at A small crag called Torr a chruidh followed by a wet and wild evening camping. The plan for the 4th day was to head to Raasay but the weather was fairly unpleasant so we wetn on a magical mystery tour of Skye. We visited Portree, Kilt rock, Staffin and a small croft to see how the sheeps wool was used. Our final day was in the Cullin. We climbed Bruach na Frithe and were rewarded with outstanding views acroos all of ther Skye Cullin, returning via the fairy pools. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to next years adventure.