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April 2012

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STRANRAER ACADEMY NEWSLETTER

APRIL 2012 *** Extra Content Version Available on the School Website ***

New Head Girl and Head Boy Appointed The Head Girl and Head Boy for 2012-13 have been appointed after ten candidates were interviewed on the last day of term before the Easter holidays. Sarah Sloan was the successful candidate for Head Girl, with Jack Croxford chosen as Head Boy. Two Deputy Head Girls were also appointed - Nicole Hannah and Alana Hardie. The four will take up their duties from the change of timetable at the end of May.

Stranraer Academy Parent Council News! by Jo Cochrane, Parent Council Chairperson This has been a busy time for the Parent Council. This year we agreed to focus on a few topics rather than having lots of discussion about lots of things but not actually getting anything done….. We agreed initially to focus on • Curriculum for Excellence • Careers Planning • Communication between Home and School Curriculum for Excellence In October we had an open meeting about the Curriculum for Excellence and how it would work in Stranraer Academy. It was agreed that pupils would rd chose 11 subjects in 3 Year and 8 subjects in th 4 Year. The pupils in S2 are the first ones to experience this so we will need to see how well it works for pupils and the school but it is a good model.

from left to right: Nicole, Jack, Sarah and Alana - please note the last day of term was a non-uniform day to raise money for charities!

SQA Exams

Please scan this graphic with a mobile QR code app to go to the school website.

begin this year with Standard Grade Computing on Wednesday 25 April. The final exam day is Friday 1 June, when Intermediate 2 and Higher Art and Design take place. The full exam timetable can be found on the school website.

Careers Planning Careers planning and getting good information for parents has been a hot topic of discussion at the Parent Council for a while. Next session a calendar with important dates for planning for the future will be produced for parents. This will include information about when subjects are chosen, when the Careers evenings take place, visits to Universities, when it is a good time to do work experience, dates when applications have to be in etc. Handy Hints for Parents The process of getting young people successfully off to college or university can be a real minefield – often it is speaking to other parents which can help most. The Parent Council think it might help if we could produce a Handy Hints Guide for parents so we are looking for your help. If you have been through this process and have any handy hints for other


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parents please send them in or phone a member of the Parent Council. Communication Communication between home and school and between the Parent Council and parents is very important and we know that it could probably be better. In February we had a meeting which discussed communication and we tried to come up with some ideas which might help:Some suggestions were • Taking photos of members of the Parent Council and putting them on the website so that they can be easily targeted (or should that be identified) at events - so look out for the mug shots.. • Having Parent Council members attend all school events and possibly having a stand at events so parents can discuss things with them • Using the school newsletter to let parents know what the Parents Council is doing • Producing a ‘parent only’ school calendar with key dates for parents and kids • More use of email – some parents like this but others do not

Showcase This year’s Showcase took place on Tuesday 27 March. As ever an impressive array of talent was on show, including music, dance, drama and comedy. Performers included pupils from S1 through to S6.

What do you think of the suggestions or do you have any other suggestions about how we could improve communication. If you do just phone a member of the Parent Council (see page 8 for contact numbers) or hand ideas into the school. Please get involved…. The Parent Council is always looking for more parents to come along to meetings or to offer support. We have regular monthly meetings and everyone is welcome to come along and join in. The dates are on the website. If you are more interested in fundraising then we have a smaller fund raising group which is always looking for new ideas and people to join in.

Some 2nd and 3rd year registration classes have been raising money for good causes. 2KB (Mrs Manderson's class) raised £40 for Cancer Research UK. 2PL (Miss McManus) raised enough to pay for a water filter through Save the Children, for a community in Afghanistan. Mrs Siwo's 3PL raised money for 2 goats for families in Malawi, through Oxfam. The class also donated £80 to the Cyrenians, an Edinburgh-based charity that helps people on the margins of society.

The non-uniform day on 30 March, organised by the senior students’ Charities Group, raised £741. The money will go to the Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation.

Following suggestions by the Parent Council, two new features have recently been launched on the school website. The first new menu option takes you to a live calendar which will be used to show key dates and events of interest to parents/carers. The second new option gives access to letters sent home to year groups – see screen shot below. We hope that these new features will b e helpful in keeping parents/carers well informed.


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April 2012

Pupils from Aird have been visiting Aldouran Wetlands at Leswalt, where they have been doing a study on native birds and wildlife. They will also be looking at the changing season and the effects on plant life. The photos show Jamie Hill and Lauren Wood with volunteer helper Jude Iyiku (S6).

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Scottish Schools Curling A team of Stranraer Academy Curlers competed in the th Scottish Schools Curling Championships from 16 th 18 March at Murrayfield Ice Rink in Edinburgh. The team of Scott Wilson (S5) Neil Topping, Bobby Lammie (S4) and Euan Kyle (S3) made it to the semi final stages of the competition but were unfortunately were beaten by George Heriot’s (5:2) who went on to win the competition.

Jamie

Euan Kyle, Neil Topping , Bobbie Lammie and Scott Wilson

Curling Bonspeil Stranraer Academy were invited to attend a Regional Schools Bonspeil at Lockerbie Ice Rink on Monday th 12 March. The team consisted of Katie Wright, Kara Compton, Euan Kyle and Bobbie Lammie (all S4) and finished fourth overall. Well Done. Dance The Regional Dance Competition is being held on th Friday 20 April 2012 in Dumfries. There will be a junior (S1-3) and senior (S4-6) competition. Pupils are required to choreograph their own dance (of any style) and will be awarded points for their interpretation of the music used, their timing, use of levels and creativity.

Lauren

Regional Cross Country Championship Congratulations to the group of pupils who competed in the Regional Cross Country Championships in February. As always, the school was represented by a very good group of athletes. Despite a lot of tough competition from other secondary schools in Dumfries th st and Galloway, Josh Mitchell was 6 in 1 year boys race, Caroline th Drennan was 6 in nd 2 year girls, Lewis st McColm was 1 in th the 4 year boys th race (4 year in a row) Lewis McIntyre nd th was 2 in 4 Year boys. Well Done to all! Successful runners Caroline Drennan and Josh Mitchell.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award The school is most grateful to Stranraer Round Table, who have donated £1200. This will be used to buy rucksacks, tents and emergency gear. 38 students have been recruited for the Bronze Award. Those working towards Bronze and Silver have a day walk on 28 April, with expeditions to follow in May and June. Gold students are involved in fundraising to support their expedition to Morocco, 18-27 June


April 2012

“An opportunity to take part in Buddhist rituals.”

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Congratulations also to Sarah Haigh, who was runnerup in the competition, making it an all-Stranraer final. Also deserving congratulations are Wayne Doyle and (again), Sarah Sloan who were runners up in the mixed doubles competition and to Sian McClymont and Sarah Haigh, runners up in the Girls Doubles Competition. Well done to all who took part - it made the competition an exiting and fun event. Badminton club continues on Wednesdays at 3:30. New members are always welcome. Anyone interested should see Mr Spratt or Miss Bremner.

Samye Ling Visit In February, 21 RMPS students visited Kagyu Samye Ling, the Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Eskdalemuir. The visit involved a tour of the temple and stupa, the chance to attend a Buddhist prayer sessions and guided meditation. Buddhism is a very practical religion and the overnight programme enabled the students to gain a deeper understanding of complex Buddhist concepts.

Our Girls Are Winners!

Student Innes Currie described the visit as “an excellent opportunity”. “It was a great way to strengthen what we had already learned in class about Buddhism. We had the opportunity to participate in Buddhist ceremonies and rituals first hand. During this experience we met many friendly nuns and monks, took part in fun activities and enjoyed some good old Buddhist home cooking. I couldn’t recommend this trip enough to anybody planning on taking “We met many friendly nuns higher RMPS in the and monks.” following year, as I myself have realised how far going on the trip has helped me with my understanding of the course.” ______________________________________ Under 18's Wigtownshire Badminton Championship Congratulations to Sarah Sloan (right), the new Girls Under-18's Wigtownshire Badminton Champion!

Stranraer Academy’s Under-15 girls recently won the Regional Cashback 7’s Competition. The team, coached by PE Teacher Miss E.Austin, is pictured above.

And the Boys Too! On 23 March our under-13 and under-14 boys teams took on Cookstown High School (Belfast) in friendly matches, winning both. The photos below show action from the matches.


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Curriculum for Excellence

the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.”

Mr Dawson outlines the school's plans to put CfE into action:

________________________________________________

Curriculum for Excellence has been introduced to raise standards of learning and teaching for all 3 to 18 year olds. It aims to help prepare children and young people with the knowledge and skills they need in a fast changing world. Within Stranraer Academy, development work on Curriculum for Excellence continues. All staff are working hard to ensure the new courses cover all the Outcomes & Experiences. Where appropriate, departments are working together to show pupils how subjects inter-link. All subject areas are contributing to building pupils skills in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy and Health & Well Being.

Vive La Francophonie 2012 A team of third year pupils took part in a national online competition "Vive La Francophonie" on 21 March. Organised by L'Institut Français, the team were challened to show their knowledge of French and France against the clock. Although not amongst the winners, the team achieved a very creditable score and received certificates of achievement. Pictured (L to R): Meghan Higgins, Rebecca McDowall, Becky McGill, Bronwyn Machin-Simmons, Ellie Torrance, Kerr Hannah, Katie Barr, Rachel Agnew. (Absent - Chantelle Cowan).

In S1/2, pupils will continue to cover a complete range of subjects in a similar pattern to previous years. Pupils about to enter S3 will be the first to sit the new National 3, 4 & 5 qualifications in 2014. In S3 pupils will take 9 subjects (plus English, Maths, Core PE, RE & PSE). There is an element of choice but pupils will select subjects from each of the curricular areas to ensure a broad general education as well as being able to specialise in certain areas. In S4, pupils will continue with 6 of their chosen subjects (plus English & Mathematics). In S5/6, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will continue.

Stranraer Academy to Welcome Holocaust Survivor On the 26th of June 300 senior students from Stranraer Academy will hear testimony from Holocaust survivor, Harry Bibring, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). The testimony will be followed by a question and answer session to enable students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth. The visit is part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s extensive all year round Outreach Programme, which is available to schools across the UK. Organiser Miss Cairns said: “It is a privilege for us to welcome Harry Bibring to our school and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced. We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Harry’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of

“Encore bravo à tous pour votre participation à cette première édition du concours organisé par l’Institut Français d’Écosse!”

Over £1300 Raised for Sport Aid th

5th and 6 year students recently took part in a sponsored run. As well as being a fun event, the event raised the huge total of £1358.79. The run was organised by PE teacher Miss Austen.


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CHROMIUM FINISH ON A HIGH This year’s school Enterprise Company, Chromium, wound up a very successful year with the presentation of cheques to their five chosen charities. A profit of £1000 allowed a donation of £200 each to Cash for Kids, The British Heart Foundation, Ayrshire & Arran Oesophagogastric Cancer Support, Alcohol and Drugs Support SW Scotland and the St.John's Palliative Care Unit.

Sixty senior students have this year completed a Red Cross first aid certificate. The students were presented with their certificates at an awards ceremony in the school library on Friday 20 April. Awarding the certificates on behalf of the Red Cross, Mags MacKenzie congratulated the students and reminded them that the life-saving skills they have learned are the same as those used by the paramedics who saved the life of footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Kriss Lives the Dream Former pupil Kriss Kyle has been making the news in the world of BMX, and now has sponsorship from Red Bull. To find out more, follow the link on the Latest News page of the school website.

Chromium’s management team was made up of S5 students Jack Croxford (Managing Director), Matthew Manderson (Finance Director and Design Director), Fionan Caldwell and Jake McMillan (Production Managers), Andrew Giusti (Human Resources Director) and David Hastings (Marketing Director). Chromium produced a range of products: gravitydefying wine stands, candle holders, pot pourri and – their most successful item – a landscape calendar. The presentation was attended by MP Russell Brown congratulates representatives of the the Chromium management charities and local team. businesses that had supported Chromium, as well as local MP Russell Brown, who spoke highly of the company’s achievements.

Kriss was also pictured recently in `The Herald’ performing a stunt over the head of Scottish cycling legend Graeme Obree at the opening of the Scottish Bike Show at Glasgow’s SECC. The picture below shows Kriss at a recent competition in Madrid.

Five charities received cheques for £200.

An information forum for parents and carers, provided by Dumfries and Galloway police, is due to be added to the school website next month.


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April 2012

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THE GALLOWAY ASSOCIATION OF GLASGOW ________________________________________ STUDENT GRANTS 2012/2013 The Galloway Association of Glasgow is prepared to offer financial assistance to a limited number of candidates who normally are resident in Galloway and who plan to undertake a course of studies at a recognised Further/Higher Education Institution, commencing in the Autumn of 2012. To learn more about the Association, visit the website at www.gallowayassoc.org.uk. For full details of how to apply follow the link on the Latest News page of the school website

INCH HOUSE – Students of the Month for Easter Term

CLASS 1FB 1KB 2FB 2KB 3FB 3KB 4FB 4KB 5FB 5KB 6FB/KB

JANUARY Marta Pawlicka Caitlin McCutcheon Caitlin Patterson Lydia Smith Lee Burns Matthew Drysdale Amy Hall Zack Hardie Sarah Sloan Aidan McDowall Allan McMaster

FEBRUARY Kelsey McColm Lauren Croucher Eleanor Grover Chloe Connor Chloe Cairnie Ross Donnan Kirsty Houston Dean McCutcheon Lizzie Crawfurd Natalie Murray Ansley McClure

MARCH Connor Rennie Scott McCormick Stein McGaw Lee Proctor Rachel Farroll Liam McGarrie Kimberley Hutchison Mhairi Alexander Sophie Forster Jevon Rice Daniel McCreadie

On behalf of “Chromium”, Matthew Manderson presents a cheque for £200 to representatives of the St.John’s Palliative Care Unit.

Dates for Your Diary Wed 25 April Tuesday 1 May Wed 2 May Monday 7 May Monday 14 May Sunday 27 May Monday 28 May Friday 1 June Tuesday 5 June Thursday 7 June Thursday 8 June Tuesday 12 June Thursday 14 June Monday 18 June Monday 18 June Tuesday 26 June Wednesday 27 June Wednesday 27 June Thursday 28 June Friday 29 June Tuesday 3 July Wednesday 4 July Wednesday 4 July

SQA exams start S1 Science Festival Start of Study Leave for S4 Holiday Start of S5/6 Study Leave S1 reports out this week S3 Battlefields Trip – returning 2 June Start of new timetable SQA exams end Holiday – Queen’s Diamond Jubilee New S6 Induction Day 1 New S6 Induction Day 2 S1 `Olympics’ S5/6 Awards Ceremony S3/4 Awards Ceremony Duke of Edinburgh Gold Trip leaves for Morocco S3 (old) reports out this week S1/2 Awards Ceremony P7 Parents’ Evening Duke of Edinburgh Gold Trip returns from Morocco P7 Induction Day 1 P7 Induction Day 2 Activities Day 1 Activities Day 2 End of Term

We are pleased to announce that the guest speaker at this year’s Senior Awards Ceremony and Graduation on 12 June will be the well-known local historian and former Principal Teacher of English, Jack Hunter.

S1 Pupils have been taking part in this challenge. Read more in the online version of this Newsletter by going to the school website.


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Parent Council Members Mrs Jo Cochrane (Chair) Mrs Anne Boyd (Vice-Chair) Mr Rod Baxter (Treasurer) Mrs Kay Armitage Mr John Crawfurd Mr Robert Downie Mrs Rosina Dunn Ms Christine Fowles Mr Neil Fyfe Mrs Lesley McColm Mrs Gail McCracken Mr James McQuistin Mr Neale McQuistin Mrs Lesley McSkimming Mrs Lynn Mawson Ms Emma Sutherland Mrs Lorraine Heron (Clerk)

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Sport Aid Sponsored Run – some staff joined the fun too.

Contacting the school Address:

Phone: e-mail:

Stranraer Academy McMaster’s Road Stranraer DG9 8BY 01776 706484 soffice217@ea.dumgal.sch.uk Mr Shannon (PE) has been using his photography skills to create displays of sporting achievement and events such as the Showcase.


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A number of S1 pupils have been taking part in Sky Rainforest Rescue Schools Challenge within Social Subjects, an interactive online programme that guides, educates and empowers students to take action to save our precious rainforests. Taking part has involved them working in teams to complete five key stages undertaking one of three Challenge topics reflecting key issues facing the rainforests. The Challenge topics have been food we eat, stuff we buy and energy we use. Along the way, the teams have, developed and carried out actions that educate and engage the whole school in taking actions to protect the world’s rainforests. Some of the pupils reflect on their experiences: Our group is called the Paper People and we have been looking at recycling, re-using and reducing paper waste. We have investigated the amount of paper we use and waste in school and at home. Did you know that cutting down trees in the rainforest is not only destroying the rainforest but is killing us too, as trees produce oxygen and take in carbon dioxide! We have really enjoyed the challenge, creating posters and making wall displays you can see in the Social Subjects department. Please recycle and buy recycled products. Neve Kinahan Cheesy Frogs have been finding out about Fair-trade products in the world. We have found out that a lot of the Cadburys Chocolate is fair-trade. We have also found out about the Rainforest Alliance, and how not many products we use are Rainforest Alliance friendly. We have gathered our information from computers, books, asking family and friends. We have presented power points to people to get our message across. I have enjoyed researching facts about the rainforest and Fair-trade products. Lauren Todd


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I am a member of the Static Monkeys, over the last few weeks we have been taking part in the Sky Rainforest Challenge to save the rainforest. So far we have taken part in WWF World Earth hour were we sat in an hour of darkness, found out great facts on how we can save energy at home. I have really enjoyed it and think it is a good thing to take part in. Beth Jamieson


Stranraer Academy Newsletter April 2012