Katie Gillies did an amazing speech at the Lochardil House Hotel on the topic of ‘Why the manufacture of non-renewable plastics should be banned’. The competition was organised by the Rotary Club and was a brilliant way or tackling this issue.

The Donald Dewar Debate is a memorial debate in memory of a highly prestigious lawyer. All the teams competed brilliantly and Robert Thorne and Rosie Gittings will have the chance to compete in the next round.

Rosie Gittings 5T2

Charleston Remembers WW1


On Wednesday 14th November, staff and pupils from Charleston Academy put on a performance to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1. The performance, an adaptation of The McCalmans “Far Far from Ypres” told the story of WW1, some of the men who fought and the school trips that have followed these men over the last 10 years. The commemoration used the words, songs and poetry from the time as well as reflections of people looking back at events. It was brought to life by four narrators, three soldiers, a piper, a drummer and a choir. The production skills of the lighting and sound crew turned a school hall into a trench on the front line. The final display of poppies blowing across the hall provided an emotional impact for many.

Our thanks go to SCOTKILT who generously provided the kilts for our Belgium trip at a reduced rate and who sponsored the production. To the Highlanders Museum at Fort George who provided authentic costumes and weapons. To all staff who gave up their time and used their talents to help the production, with particular mention to retired staff member, Mr Gordon Corrance, for his superb talent in film production and editing.

The pupils were outstanding, and our thanks go to them.

The performance was very well received by all who attended, as this comment from Graham Ross Depute-Provost shows. “It was a really moving, humbling, thought provoking, educational and visually stunning performance. The whole evenings event was truly memorable and really showcased the incredible talent, both students and staff, at Charleston Academy.”


C Bain

PT History and RMPS

String group

The Charleston Academy String Group were invited along to the Inverness Town House on the evening of Thursday the 8th of November to play for the Highland Council Quality Awards dinner.  Rachel Gillies, Emily Blackmore, Kern Robertson, Ethan Hodgson, Ramsay Banks, Abigail Morris and Isobel Garvie were accompanied by myself and our strings instructor Mr Hay.  Our repertoire for the evening covered items from Scottish to Ragtime with much more in between. It was fantastic to see our professional young musicians performing to such an appreciative audience.

Mr Fairfield

Music Teacher

Charleston Remembers WW1

Staff and pupils are putting on a play including narration, action, song and poetry on the 14th of November in the school hall from 7-9 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1.  If you would like to attend please add your name to the list in the school office, the performance is free but we need to know numbers attending.

Miss C Bain

Principal Teacher – History

Football success – S1 boys

A group of S1 pupils took part in a mini Football Tournament at Millburn Academy on Thursday 11th October.

Taking part in the Tournament were 2 teams from Millburn Academy and a team from Culloden Academy.

The format was 8 a side round robin where all teams played each other.

With some superb individual and team performances the 11 boys in the Charleston squad emerged as the winners, not losing a single game and only conceding 1 goal.

This was a great start to hopefully more impressive performances from all Charleston teams.

Thanks go to the Millburn Academy PE Department for organising the Tournament and to all the players from all the teams for playing in both a competitive and sportsmanlike manner.


Mr R MacKintosh

Mr R Stewart

DofE Award Bronze Expedition Training

Our annual Bronze Expedition training weekend took place on Friday 28th Sept – Sunday 30th Sept at Abriachan Forest Trust. Thirty S3 pupils arrived on Friday afternoon and were quickly started on their training by setting up camp. Following on from this, the pupils were shown how to use stoves safely then they cooked their own evening meals. After tidying up, the pupils were divided into teams and worked their way around some problem-solving activities as part of the team-building element of the weekend. This was followed by a talk and discussion on expedition aims and the countryside code then it was out into the dark for our traditional torchless walk through the woods.

On Saturday morning, following a very windy night, the groups worked well to cook their own breakfasts then practiced taking down and folding the tents. This was followed by a demonstration on rucksack packing which gave the opportunity to discuss suitable (and not so suitable!) (and some not so suitable!) items to take on expeditions. The pupils then packed their rucksack and carried them on a short walk to experience carrying a full expedition sac. Then it was back to camp to set up the tents again and to have lunch, providing another opportunity to practice safe use of stoves. We celebrated Ella’s birthday with lots of chocolate cake, a very welcome injection of sugar after the walk! Thank you to Ella’s mum for the cake.

After lunch, the teams undertook training in map reading, navigation and emergency first aid, all essential training elements to equip participants for their unaccompanied expeditions next May/ June. We had a lovely visit on Saturday afternoon from Heather MacKenzie, our new Home Link Worker, who took a very welcome box of biscuits with her. Thank you, Heather!

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t kind to us on Saturday evening so the planned campfire (with compulsory toasted marshmallows) was abandoned. However, it did give some groups the opportunity to experience using the emergency bothy bags and a chance to build up new friendships.

On Sunday morning, the pupils worked their way around an orienteering course to practice their map-reading skills. Following the highlight of the weekend, Mr Foster’s poo talk, the group packed up and ensured they were following the ‘leave no trace’ rule of using our outdoors by tidying the camping area. The pupils were then collected at noon, all ready for a hot shower and their own bed.


Many thanks to Suzanne at Abriachan Forest Trust for facilitating our visit and setting out Sunday’s orienteering trail. Thanks also to Mr Foster, Miss Gray, Miss Massey and Mr Nairn for organising and delivering the training.

The practice and assessed expeditions will take place in May/ June 2019. Before the expeditions, participants are expected to complete the other three sections of their award (Volunteering, Physical and Skills). This involves undertaking the chosen activity for one hour/ week for either three or six months and asking an appropriate assessor to provide a written report so that the section can be signed off in their eDofE profile. Participants requiring help to complete these sections this will be given during our regular Monday lunchtime meetings if required.

Miss L Gray

Finbar‘s Edit to Launch Season Opener

Sixth year pupil Finbar Doig has been chosen to produce a video for the British Freeride opening
event in Edinburgh on 3rd November.

British Freeride are a national snow sports organisation supporting and developing extreme skiers
to compete and safely explore mountains beyond the pistes. The opening event is an annual get
together of like minded people encouraging them to get ready for the new ski season.
This summer Finbar took part in a junior Freeride camp in Folgefonna glacier in Norway. Some of
the world’s best Freeride competitors were on hand to coach young skiers from across Europe.
Finbar was presented with a set of top of the range Atomic skis in recognition of his enthusiasm
and determination.

“It was awesome getting to ski and learning from some of my heroes, they encouraged me to try a
double backflip in the water. I practised the landing until I was confident enough to try it on the
snow which I did and I landed it.”

Last season Finbar won two of the Scottish Freedom series events and was placed second
overall in the series. He also gained valuable experience in Verbier Switzerland in the Freeride
Junior World Tour .

Photo by: Robert Grew Photography
Photo show Finbar jumping into the Back Corries in Nevis Range, Scotland

‘Magical Maths’ Presentation to S1/2 Pupils

On Thursday 13th September, Charleston Academy Maths Department were delighted to welcome Andrew Jeffrey to the school and give a 1 hour presentation to all 1st and 2nd year pupils.   Throughout the week, Andrew had been visiting various secondary schools across Scotland as part of National Maths Week.   All those attending were very fortunate indeed that Charleston was the only school in the Highlands selected and able to host Andrew during his Scottish tour.

Andrew is highly renowned across the UK as a stimulating and highly entertaining maths presenter, who utilises his professional magician skills to very good effect.  As well as ‘wowing’ Charleston pupils with some impressive number tricks, Andrew also put across some very important messages about Maths and learning, as well as highlighting the fundamental importance of the numbers in everyday life. 

As expected, there was plenty of pupil participation during the talk and it was good to see so many youngsters wanting to contribute.  By way of ‘celebrating’ Maths Week, this was a highly appropriate and successful event to have been staged at Charleston and many thanks are due to those who made it possible.

D Cummins

(Maths Department)