The Chronicle 2020

Page 1

The Chronicle 2020

School News

The Chronicle 2020


Welcome to The Chronicle 2020 CONTENTS

From the Head ....................................................................................................2

Activities & Extra-curricular .....................................................................40

From the Staffroom ..........................................................................................4

Junior Art Gallery ............................................................................................54

Retirements ...........................................................................................................6

Senior Art Gallery ...........................................................................................60

Nursery Report ...................................................................................................8

Drama .................................................................................................................... 72

Junior Report ......................................................................................................10

Senior Scientists ............................................................................................. 78

After School Care & Holiday Club ........................................................12

‘Experience the World’ Day ......................................................................80

Senior Report .....................................................................................................14

Learning & Teaching from Home ........................................................83

Charity Events ...................................................................................................16

Silver Awards ...................................................................................................104

Careers & Work Experience ....................................................................20

Awards & Certificates ................................................................................106

In The News .......................................................................................................22

Parent Teacher Association ...................................................................107

The Music Department ...............................................................................32

Former Pupils’ Club .....................................................................................108

Sports Review ...................................................................................................34

Development Office .....................................................................................110

World Book Day ..............................................................................................38

FP Reply Slip ....................................................................................................112


The Chronicle 2020

From the Head

From The Head

Our end of session virtual celebration in June 2020 concluded with a wonderful rendition of Heather Small’s song ‘Proud’. The choice of song could not have been more appropriate as we looked back at the challenges which were overcome by our school community throughout this particularly memorable school year! Session 2019-20 was very much a year of two halves: before and after the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to grip the world.

In August 2019, we began the year by celebrating another

very impressive set of SQA examination results. Our sixth year leavers took up places at a wide range of universities to study subjects as diverse as medicine, veterinary medicine, economics, engineering and computer science, to name just a few. Two of our leavers headed off to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to pursue their musical passions while several talented artists began their studies in Manchester and at Central St Martin’s School of Art in London. Indeed the school’s academic and wider performance in recent years was recognised by The Sunday Times when in November 2019 we were named Scottish Independent School of the Year 2020. As you will read in this edition of the Chronicle, at all stages of the school pupils benefited from a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities and there were notable successes in all disciplines. Whether on stage, in the laboratory, the concert hall, on the sports field, the debating chamber, in the classroom, or the art studio, St Margaret’s girls excelled. The customary landmarks in the St Margaret’s year were enjoyed in the autumn

term: Harvest at Rubislaw Church, the St Margaret’s Day Service in St Machar’s Cathedral, the Senior School Production at the Arts Centre and a particularly special Carol Service in the Beach Ballroom. Of course, school life took a different course in the spring term as the impact of COVID-19 was felt: initially in the form of restricted school activities and the cancellation of school events and then in the national closure of schools on Friday March 20th. From the moment the idea of school closures was mooted we began to mobilise so that from Monday March 23rd we moved our lessons and our school community online, using G Suite for Education as the platform for live delivery of lessons, including instrumental lessons. The unfailing commitment of my colleagues and their willingness to develop their skillset so quickly, the resilience of our pupils and the support of our families was extraordinary. I will not pretend that this was an easy experience for anyone, but as a school community we are exceptionally proud of what we learned and what was achieved during this time. In addition to the continuation of learning and

The Chronicle 2020

From the Head


Additional annexe building at 3-5 Albyn Place

teaching and pastoral care for all age groups, it was important for us to maintain the sense of community and family which we hold dear at St Margaret’s. Virtual assemblies, surprise staff performances and a range of special virtual events, many of which are captured in this Chronicle, kept us together. The school motto, tenez ferme, took on a new meaning as children and adults alike coped with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Notwithstanding the difficulties, the experience of running a virtual school presented us with many opportunities, not least in terms of our digital skills. How pleased we were that the staff in-service in January had taken the form of Google training and little did we realise how beneficial that would be in the year ahead! Creativity abounded during this time: our sixth year girls benefited from a bespoke programme of virtual courses, some of which we devised and ran ourselves and others which we sourced from universities and other external providers; we were grateful to former pupils for their contributions to virtual careers days and we found alternative ways to mark the milestones in the school year. We were particularly sorry not to be able to host in-person events for our VIS leavers and remain committed to inviting them back to school for a special celebration when circumstances allow. As the summer term progressed and we grappled with the cancellation of exams and the implementation of an alternative certification model for SQA, we also worked with various editions of Scottish Government guidance on the re-opening of schools, and in the final weeks of term were delighted to secure a short-term lease on 3-5 Albyn Place, which quickly became known as the Annexe. Meeting remotely and regularly

throughout the pandemic, we are indebted to the School Council, chaired by Professor Ross, for their stewardship of our school in these extraordinary times and for their support of staff. We are all aware that the vibrant school which emerges in the pages of this Chronicle owes a great debt to the dedication and loyalty of our wider community: our PTA, Parent Forum, Former Pupils’ Association and School Council all cherish the traditions of St Margaret’s but support us in the innovations which keep the school moving forward. We thank you all. Now do read on….


The Chronicle 2020

From the Staffroom


As we embarked on the new academic year, 2019-20, we were delighted to be able to extend a warm St Margaret’s welcome to a number of new colleagues who joined our staff. In the senior school, Miss Ashley Fulton took up a position as a teacher of modern studies; Miss Kirstie Maddison joined us as the teacher of 4 Junior; Mrs Janet Vavangas joined the nursery team; and Mrs Lynn Fogiel took up a part-time position in the PE department, her role spanning both junior and senior schools. It was encouraging to see how quickly all new colleagues settled into their roles and to life in the wider St Margaret’s community.


s is customary at the beginning of September we were pleased to bid a hearty “bienvenue” and “willkommen” to our two foreign language assistants, Julie Surre and Louis Flaig whose engaging work in the French and German classrooms respectively was hugely appreciated by girls learning those languages at all levels. In particular those of us in the modern languages department thank Julie and Louis for helping to provide an insight into the culture of their countries, whilst simultaneously improving the language skills and confidence of girls in the classes they taught. We were sorry that the sudden closure of the school building in mid-March meant that our two assistants had to return to their homelands ahead of time, but we wish them every success in their future studies and careers. Towards the end of September we were sorry to say goodbye to one of our nursery practitioners, Ms Ana Milne, and wish her every success in the future. In her place, we were pleased to appoint Miss Lisa Williams on a permanent basis to our busy nursery, an environment already familiar to Lisa who had already completed a placement at St Margaret’s during her training and was then later employed to cover a maternity leave position in the fairly recent past. In late October, Mrs Corrie Methven was a welcome addition to the After-School Care team and quickly settled into the routines of that facility. In December, we were delighted to appoint Mrs Anne Bonandrini, herself a St Margaret’s parent, as our Marketing Officer; her previous experience in a school setting meant that she adapted very readily to her role in the Marketing, Admissions and Development office.

In the spring term, Mrs Sarah Hendry, teacher of biology and physics, commenced her maternity leave in mid-February and we were thrilled to hear of the safe arrival of baby Tom in early March. We considered ourselves extremely fortunate to secure, once again, the services of Mrs Ruth Lawson to the biology department. Mrs Lawson, a highly experienced teacher, fulfilled a similar role in session 2017-18, and it was good to be able to welcome her back into the science department teaching staff for the duration of Mrs Hendry’s leave. We were also grateful for the flexibility of other colleagues across all three science subjects, who were prepared to adapt their teaching timetables and take on some additional lessons to ensure familiarity and continuity of experience for the girls being presented for SQA examinations in the summer term. When we resumed school life after the Christmas holiday, we could never have imagined how drastically our usual practices would have to change only weeks later. Shortly before the Easter break, school building closure was an inevitable consequence of the national lockdown and the camaraderie of the staffroom was – by necessity – conducted in an online forum. It was fortunate that Mrs Rachel Appleton, who had joined the modern languages department only two weeks previously to cover the maternity leave of Miss Sarah Forgie, was able to be in the actual school building for that short while, as opposed to having to experience her first term of teaching at St Margaret’s in a virtual classroom rather than a physical one! In Miss Forgie’s absence, we were delighted to appoint Miss Karen Williamson to the role of acting Head of Modern Languages. We were

The Chronicle 2020

From the Staffroom

equally delighted to hear of the safe arrival of baby Oliver, first child to Sarah and her husband Stuart, in April. In April too, we were sorry to see Mrs Louise Dredge resign from her position as nursery teacher but understand her desire to be able to spend more time with her two young children and wish her and her family every happiness in the future. In her place, Mrs Laura Simpson, who had been appointed in the previous summer term to cover Mrs Dredge’s maternity leave, became our permanent nursery teacher. As we ended session 2019-20 we wished Mrs Stephanie Stirton all the very best as she prepared for the arrival of her first baby later in the summer holiday. We were also extremely sorry to have to say goodbye to Mrs Theresa Scott, who retired from her position as head of art and design. Mrs Scott, a very experienced practitioner in her field, had been a member of our teaching staff for only three years, having taken up the reins of that department in August 2017. However, her engaging, creative and inspiring lessons were greatly enjoyed by the girls she taught, and we thank her for all of her work, both in and out of the classroom, during the relatively short time she was with us. In those unusual circumstances we were sad not to be able to host a “proper� farewell celebration for Theresa as is customary


when colleagues retire, but enjoyed raising a glass to her via our Google Staffroom Meet one fine summer evening and wishing her good health and every happiness together with her husband in their well-deserved retirement.

It goes without saying that the one thing all of us missed during the summer term was the company of one another within the school building; however, despite operating under those very different circumstances, the team spirit demonstrated by all teaching and support staff throughout that period exemplified the #stmargaretstogether initiative and we looked forward to being able to make those more personal connections again at the start of the new session. Above all, we wish continued health, happiness and success to all colleagues and their families as we look ahead to the challenges of the next academic year. Susan Lynch


The Chronicle 2020



Theresa Scott, Head of Art and Design, made the decision to take early retirement at the end of session 2019-20. Theresa joined the teaching staff at St Margaret’s as a very experienced practitioner in her field; she is a fine arts graduate from Gray’s School of Art whose career has taken her to a number of schools in the local area. She served as Head of Faculty at Mearns Academy, then Hazlehead Academy and finally at Cults Academy before accepting the position of Head of Art and Design at St Margaret’s in August of 2017. Outwith the classroom, Theresa was also the co-ordinator for the Aberdeen Art & Design network and is very well known and highly regarded in this community.


uring her relatively short career at St Margaret’s Theresa proved herself to be a highly experienced and effective teacher, and a friendly and collaborative colleague. Having worked with the SQA as a marker and as a moderator for many years, she took the benefit of the knowledge gained from these roles into the art and design classrooms, and the results gained in the National qualifications by her pupils are testament to her expertise. Theresa was a staunch supporter of the ‘all girls’ ethos and developed a good working relationship with the pupils she taught, bringing out their talents and encouraging them to produce their best work possible. The stunning wall displays in the corridors outside the studio, and the pictures of the month that grace several of the public areas of school, were much admired by all; Theresa was rightly proud of all of their

achievements, in particular those who gained sought-after places at prestigious Art colleges throughout the country. During her time at the school, Theresa was also keen to play her part in the extra-curricular life of St Margaret’s, and to this end, she introduced the Democracy poster competition which was promoted within the wider community. In addition, the department won several national and local competitions under her leadership. As Theresa embarks on a new routine at a more leisurely pace, with more time to spend with her family and friends, we wish her a long, happy and healthy retirement with her husband Jim, himself a retired art and design teacher – may they have many exciting travelling adventures in their motorhome in the years to come. Susan Lynch

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The Chronicle 2020

Nursery Report

nursery REPORT

A Nursery year like no other - filled with learning, challenge and new experiences.

The nursery children have reached the end of another busy

year and although it has been a rather unusual summer term, the nursery children and their families have demonstrated the amazing ethos of St Margaret’s through the extraordinary times of COVID-19. New Term The autumn term started full of positivity for the year ahead welcoming our returning and new children into the nursery environment. Mrs Vavangas and Miss Williams joined the nursery team and Miss Milne departed to pursue childminding and family commitments. We were very lucky to take part in some early tennis skill sessions when the development officer from Tennis Scotland came to visit; the children were extremely enthusiastic and tried really hard to follow all the instructions they were given. We had a lot of fun with balloons developing our coordination and motor skills. Preparation soon followed for the Harvest celebration at Rubislaw church where the children enjoyed being part of the junior school experience. It is so wonderful seeing our children, especially when some have only been in for a matter of weeks, growing in confidence and taking part in such a special occasion and raising awareness of charity work by donating food items to the Cyrenians.

Specialist Visitors Visitors in nursery are always very welcome and this year has been no exception. We welcomed Ann from Childsmile on numerous occasions, not only to support us to clean our teeth properly but also to help us learn about different types of healthy and unhealthy foods, using puppets. We like to use the large toothbrushes to clean their teeth. The nurses from Albyn brought their special Glitterbug box to help us learn about germs and to support us with good hand washing routines (who knew how important this would be?) Sometimes this can be a little tricky and the lightbox shows up the areas of our hands that are harder to get clean. When the Teddy Bear hospital came to visit, we joined 1 Junior with our teddy bears to practise being doctors and learn about our bodies. We liked seeing the x-ray machine and listening to our heart beat. It wasn’t long before we started our paired reading sessions with 2 Junior which were a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by both groups of children. Wee Green Spaces It was the first time for many of our children to take part in our Wee Green Spaces outings. These outings support the children to develop their independence skills, problem-solving and curiosity and awareness of nature. However, this is by no

The Chronicle 2020

Nursery Report

means limited to just these skills. We find that the children grow in confidence, resilience and creativity. We climb on walls, find secret paths, roll rocks and ourselves down hills, search for objects and build pretend campfires and real dens. We also love to jump and wade and splash in the huge muddy puddle that builds at the bottom of the hill if we are lucky enough to find it. During all of these activities the discussion and language used supports numeracy and literacy skills by working out who is higher on the wall or who has the longest stick or who has the smallest or biggest rock whilst developing teamwork and turn taking. Nativity and Christmas Celebrations During December, we asked for donations of toys and gifts from our families to support the Northsound 1 Appeal, which was well received. For our Christmas trip this year, we arranged a visit to see the Ice House at the Lemon Tree. We sat on cushions on the floor and watched Clip and Clop’s magical winter adventure with all the arctic animals. Our Christmas nativity soon followed, which of course is such a highlight. Despite some of the animals trying to keep baby Jesus awake, the angels shared their news, the camels led the kings, the shepherds watched their sheep, Joseph


looked after Mary and the star shone brightly to show the way. All was well and baby Jesus was born whilst the children sang and performed beautifully. This was followed by a delicious Christmas lunch with crackers to pull and the term was brought to an end with snacks, fun and dancing at our Christmas party. St Margaret’s Spirit Shines Through Then 2020 arrived. It all started in quite the normal fashion with celebrations of Chinese New Year which included dragon dancing, lantern making and food tasting, Robert Burns Day with haggis, neeps and tatties followed by shortbread and reciting Scottish poems and learning Scottish words. These were followed by World Book Day and the children choosing their favourite character to dress up as and reading lots of wonderful stories and talking about the characters. Mrs Dredge decided not to return after her maternity leave and, therefore, Mrs Simpson took on the role of permanent nursery teacher. However, in mid-March things began to look very different and our nursery, as well as whole school learning, transformed into online learning and learning from home due to the pandemic. It would be very easy to focus on the difficulties and the exasperations of the situation. However, I could not be prouder of our St Margaret’s families and how they dealt with such bizarre and out of the ordinary circumstances. Every day the learning activities the children took part in brought a smile to our faces and the enthusiasm and engagement from parents and children was really outstanding. I could never have imagined the learning that would take place for children, parents and staff and how far we all came. The live Google meet stories and Mr Fox’s box kept us all interacting face to face and helping us all to keep some sort of routine and familiarity. So as the term came to a close and we were creeping towards the end of interacting through a computer, I was really overwhelmed by the support from parents and how resilient our children and families are. And, although this did not really surprise me, as I know how wonderful they are, it did make me think that really we can do anything we set our minds to and I could only hope that this resilience, perseverance and enthusiasm continues to blossom and grow as our children move on to new adventures and challenges and know that they really can achieve anything. Jennifer Minett Nursery Manager


The Chronicle 2020

Junior Report

SCHOOL REPORT There is a saying in the world of football that football is a game of two halves and I do feel that this is a phrase we can certainly borrow to describe the past school year. Who could have imagined when we started in August how the year would end?


ll went as planned for the first term and we were delighted to welcome everyone back to school. We extended a particularly warm welcome to Miss Maddison who joined us as our 4 Junior teacher and the year began in the usual way, with the first half term culminating in a wonderful harvest celebration at Rubislaw Church. During that term we all enjoyed taking part in a new whole junior school initiative called ‘Building Resilience’. This was led by Mrs Smith and through a number of assemblies and class lessons we started to learn more about our own health and wellbeing and how to cope with the times when things didn’t always go as expected. This proved to be a timely approach as the year developed and we were faced with so much change. Girls also enjoyed the opportunities to take part in a number of outdoor learning experiences and visits to so many places of interest including the Gordon Highlanders museum, Blairs chapel and Victorian trails around the city centre streets. We also took part in Maths week and came together to share our learning and once again the girls enjoyed working with their buddies to create a range of wonderful arcade games as part of the cardboard box challenge. In the runup to Christmas the 4-7 Junior girls enjoyed an amazing trip to Dundee to visit a number of different venues and enjoy the theatrical experience of ‘Oor Wullie’ at Dundee Repertory theatre. The girls particularly enjoyed the audience participation which involved one of our teachers too. This term also saw a group of our 5-7 Junior girls under the guidance of

Mrs Gibb, Mrs Wyatt and Mrs Twigg take part for the first time in the Lego Mindstorm competition. The girls worked hard at their weekly club meetings to prepare for the competition and one Saturday in December saw them off to take part in the regional competition where they were rewarded with two trophies. It was a wonderful experience for them all which allowed the development of so many skills in team working and problemsolving. After Christmas the girls returned to an exciting term where the Engineering Week organised by Mrs Gibb and participation in the engineering competition was one of the highlights. It was wonderful to see and hear the excited buzz around school as the girls met with the engineers and learned more about the world of engineering. All of the girls went on to design an entry for the engineering competition and also to take part in World Book Day where the focus was on non fiction books. This proved an interesting challenge as girls were encouraged to look at the widest range of non fiction texts available and heated debates took place - including the question of whether sheet music is a form of non fiction. I’ll leave you to decide! If this were a football match, then I think now is the time to blow the whistle for half time. On 20th March along with all other schools around the country we closed our school building and

The Chronicle 2020

Junior Report


are all such positive memories to take from this most unusual and unexpected year. So many things had to change but through it all the girls at St Margaret’s continued to learn and to grow, our parents continued to support the learning and all of the teachers continued to plan and deliver excellent learning opportunities in this new and unusual world.

As I finish this report I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who moved our school online. It was both an exciting and daunting task for us all but we were well prepared and the junior girls were sent home on that last Friday with packages of work. Google classrooms had been set up so we could communicate through them. I think initially we thought this might just be a two week break, taking us up to the Easter holidays but as we all know it went on for much longer and the second half of the year was conducted online. Initially there were a number of hiccups as we all became familiar with the setup and as some of us improved our Wifi connections at home to ensure better connectivity. We became used to having extra pupils in our classroom as dogs and cats made cameo visits and helped out during lessons. All of the teachers quickly became experts at video recording and holding Google meets to support learning and the St Margaret’s community came together as parents supported learning at home. It was very different but I am very proud of all we achieved together and look back with pride on the amazing support parents gave, the enthusiasm with which girls took part in the exciting lessons teachers delivered and on the marvellous whole school off timetable days in which the girls took part. One of these special events was a virtual theatre trip which Mrs Goodwin was able to organise for us and the 5 -7 Junior girls spent the afternoon watching a National Theatre production of Peter Pan. It was an amazing performance after which we discovered that one of our parents had been at school with Madeleine Worrall who played the part of Wendy and she was able to put us in touch with Madeleine who then ran a series of Q&A sessions for our girls, where they were able to ask questions about the production and also about theatrical life in general. Who would have known we would have been able to do that when we first started watching the show? I think this was a great example of the St Margaret’s community coming together to create such special learning opportunities for the girls. I always enjoy the Beach Clean in June and whilst I would still say the real thing is definitely the best, taking part in a virtual beach clean and sharing our activities online was so great. It felt good to be able to be St Margaret’s together even when we were not together physically. The whole school assemblies, concerts, celebrations and sunflower growing across the school

contributed to the life of the junior school throughout this unusual year.

There is another saying from the world of football, one related to the World Cup success of England in 1966. It goes along the lines of ‘They think it is all over... it is now!’. Come June we knew the term was over but I think we found ourselves in a situation where we were not yet quite able to utter the words ‘it is now!’ As Coronavirus continues to influence the way we live our lives we can look back on the experiences of this second half of the year and know that at St Margaret’s we will continue to rise to the challenges this virus sends us and that together we will be able to continue to deliver exciting learning across the junior school. As I finish this report I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the life of the junior school throughout this unusual year. To all of the staff, pupils and parents of the school, thank you for your support and dedication to learning. Together we make quite a team! Norma Murray Head of Junior School


The Chronicle 2020

After School Care & Holiday Club

After School Care

Holiday Club

In June 2019, we said goodbye to Miss H. Limanton who had been working with us during her gap year. She returned to France to continue her studies. We welcomed Miss V. Ellis and Mrs C. Methven to the team. Miss Ellis also works in Support for Learning, whilst Mrs Methven also supports the nursery children at lunch time.


n September we held our ASC Pupil Conference. Everyone from nursery to 7J participated. Some older girls took on roles such as Chair Person and Secretary. The children decided on most of the discussion points and gave their opinion by voting using thumbs up and thumbs down cards, and placing name tokens in the box of their choice. Topics discussed included ideas for charity events and ideas for foods to include on our snack menu. In December, we held a craft and home baking sale which was a huge success. We made £109. The baking didn’t last long! The chosen charity this year was Cancer Research UK. The most popular items for sale were the baking, 3D Christmas trees and salt-dough decorations. In ASC, a variety of activities are offered to the children using their ideas, such as playing outside, going to the ICT suite, taking part in craft projects, role play and board games. The

“the most popular activities were Nerf games and a foam party” Sandra Thomson

favourite activities indoors are crafts, role-play kitchen and dressing up. Outdoors, ‘loose parts’ are very popular and the children come up with wonderful ideas on how to use items that would otherwise be considered as junk. Leftover plastic piping has been used to make a horse jumping arena, and various dens have been built using tarpaulin and the tyres. In the darker months, the children enjoy playing outside with torches and light up batons. Sometimes we tidy up early inside so we can turn the dining room into a light show. The children who attend ASC receive a healthy snack which includes either fruit or vegetables every day. The favourite snacks at the moment are home-made popcorn and fruit kebabs. The school Holiday Clubs run in the October, Easter and summer holidays and the children have lots of fun. In the

The Chronicle 2020

After School Care & Holiday Club

summer of 2019, the most popular activities were Nerf games and a foam party. A large paddling pool was filled with foam like a giant bubble bath. Everyone enjoyed playing in it. Thankfully it was a hot day! The same company came to make slime with us and the children learned what chemical reactions happen to make it work. We went on coach trips to Stonehaven, Drum Castle and Den and the Glen. In October 2019, we had a visit from a hair stylist who treated us to a pamper day. We also had a construction day where we


took part in Lego challenges. We even made Lego brick jelly! The weather was kind to us and we enjoyed trips to Hazlehead Park and Wynford Farm. Wynford had a wonderful event on and each child got to take a pumpkin home. We all look forward to planning the next club. Sandra Thomson


The Chronicle 2020

Senior Report


With the long summer holiday having seemingly flown by, it was business as usual when members of the school community - pupils, teaching staff and support staff - once again came together for the start of yet another academic year. It is perhaps true to say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, as everyone was glad to be amongst friends, colleagues and teachers again as we set out on our journey through the coming session and the inevitable routines, new challenges and fresh experiences that this would entail.


he VI Senior year group of session 2019-20 began their final year of school life on a high note, with the annual Sixth Year Conference at the Marcliffe hotel setting the tone of aiming high, looking outwards, and being the best that you can be in every aspect of life, both at school and beyond. It is inevitable that these young women should approach the end of their school career with mixed emotions; their education at St Margaret’s has prepared and equipped them for their futures beyond the granite walls of 17 Albyn Place and they are ready to make that next step, but at the same time this year - one that is punctuated with “last” opportunities to experience the annual St Margaret’s routines - brings with it a certain sadness too. However, with much of the autumn term being focused on their applications to UCAS and their research of higher and further education courses, our VIS girls had plenty to distract them alongside the challenges presented by the rigour of Advanced Higher level study or new Higher courses.

IS Team Building St Margaret’s Day service in November and carol service on the final day of the autumn term.

Just as a year group prepares to aim for the last milestone in their school journey, for another year group the route map that will lead them to that same end point six years later is being opened. Making the transition from primary to secondary education is a significant one, but it is one that appeared to be made very seamlessly by the girls who entered senior school for the first time this year, and they quickly became integrated in all aspects of school life. The route map ahead for them promises varied and interesting encounters along the way: new routines, new teachers, new friends, new learning opportunities, new experiences, all of which will be built on as the journey continues over the years.

The new academic challenges that are part and parcel of the process of moving up a school year are tempered with so many other ways of becoming involved in school life, and of developing or enhancing skills and attributes outwith the teaching classrooms. Our staff are exceptionally generous in giving of their time to provide all manner of activities to cater for a wide range of talents and interests across all senior age groups. Participation in such extra-curricular activities only serves to increase the feeling of close community within our school setting and as ever we remained committed to promoting clubs and societies, as well as educational visits, fieldwork and conferences that allow our pupils to benefit from as wide a range of experiences as possible at every stage of their school career. Teaching staff, too, took up opportunities for furthering their own professional development via subjectspecific or more general pedagogical events, both externally and within staff discussion groups in school.

Of course, it is not just in I Senior that we are able to welcome new pupils to St Margaret’s and session 2019-20 was no exception, with girls in other year groups from II - VIS extending the hand of friendship to newcomers in their midst, the latter quickly settling into our close community network. As always, we aim to work in close partnership and cooperation with parents of girls at all ages and stages and really value the opportunities for our parent body to be able to share in the life of the school at some of our annual events, from parents’ evenings and curriculum information evenings, to the more formal, but joyful celebrations of school life, namely our annual

As we entered the spring term of 2020, little could have prepared us for what lay ahead in the later half of that term. January, February and early March passed as normal, namely in a blur of prelims for girls in IV to VI Senior, and a formal diet of year group exams for those in IIS and IIIS. This is inevitably a very busy time in the school calendar. Several weeks were devoted to the afore-mentioned exams and all the inherent revision for girls and marking for teachers associated with those girls in II, IV and V Senior were making important decisions around their preferred subject choices for the following year and all girls in the SQA exam-focused years were fully occupied with

The Chronicle 2020

Senior Report


Head Girl Team

the completion of various coursework projects, dissertations or folios. As the weeks of the term progressed, we were becoming increasingly aware of the global spread of Covid-19 and of the likelihood that closure of the school building could become a probability rather than a possibility; and so it transpired: from 23rd March St Margaret’s School for Girls ran from the homes of the staff and pupils within our school community, rather than from our premises at 17 Albyn Place. Those last two weeks of the spring term and the whole of the summer term were unusual and challenging for all concerned, but it was both inspiring and humbling to witness how staff and pupils rose to that challenge and allowed school life to continue with our usual structure and daily routines of assemblies and timetabled lessons. Never was the #stmargaretstogether spirit more in evidence than during those times: it cannot be denied that learning and teaching at two different sides of a computer screen was often punctuated by technical hitches or that it was physically more tiring than being in the classrooms and moving around the school building as normal. However, in adversity we found ways of continuing to bring our community together as one: through Wellbeing Days, house challenges, a virtual sports day, virtual concerts and our end-of-summer-term celebration delivered in a video format, which was, in its own way, just as moving as our traditional Speech Day ceremony in the Music Hall. It was extremely fitting that this should end with

a rousing rendition of the song, “Proud”, sung and recorded by staff and pupils individually at home but presented on screen as a magnificent performance in unison. No adjective could have better summed up how we all felt when we reflected on just how much had been achieved during those weeks, and, despite the fact that we were all living and working under such restricted circumstances, the term actually passed by very quickly - it was almost hard to believe that we had, once again, reached the summer holiday and that another academic year was at an end. To reiterate my words in the opening paragraph of this report, namely that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, this was a sentiment shared by everyone in the St Margaret’s family when those unforeseen circumstances of the last term made us so very aware of the importance of community and friendship, of being together in person, and of shared experiences. The various reports and articles that you will read in this Chronicle reflect the richness and sheer variety of experience that goes on in our wonderful school, not just this year but every year. I do hope that you will enjoy reading them. Susan Lynch


The Chronicle 2020

Charity Events

Poppy and Molly in 6J were also able to carry out their charity idea before school moved online in March and they raised money for Befriend a child with a fabulous teddy bear raffle. Yashila was the lucky winner

The Chronicle 2020

Charity Events


Charity Events 2019-20

Whole School Events A number of whole school charity events were held this year. The first was the staff Macmillan coffee morning in September. A number of tasty treats were devoured in the staffroom and £293.20 was donated in total. We also invited entries for a bake off challenge and Miss Fulton was crowned star baker this year! Staff also raised £100.61 for Charlie House, from a craft sale in the staffroom. The first of our two dress down days took place in October. The junior school was asked to select the charity and they voted for The Friends of the Neonatal Unit. We raised a fantastic sum of £351.19 for the charity. The second was chosen by the senior school and took place on the final day of school before lockdown. The girls voted to support Liv Village, a charity which supports orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa. Our annual St Margaret’s Day collection raised £257.48 for CLAN. In December our VI charity prefects selected to support The Teenage Cancer Trust at the Christmas carol concert. £483.17 was raised to support the excellent work that this charity does. Sadly, not all of our charitable events were able to take place this year as planned. However, from those which did, once again the St Margaret’s community has raised a fantastic amount of money for many worthwhile causes. Thank you to everyone who supported any of our events this year. Junior School In Junior school we were able to have some of our planned charity events. Our harvest appeals went ahead in October and we were able to support the local charity the Cyrenians and also the Spot Valley School in Jamaica. A number of classes carried out charity events at Christmas and again the Cyrenians and

also Instant Neighbour were pleased to receive food gifts and toiletries. Poppy and Molly in 6J were also able to carry out their charity idea before school moved online in March and they raised money for Befriend a child with a fabulous teddy bear raffle. Yashila was the lucky winner. Senior School The senior school has had another successful year helping to fundraise for various charities, both close to home and further afield. Many form classes held charity events prior to school being closed in March and I am pleased to report on a number of events that took place. IA wanted to encourage girls to read more widely and raise money for two good causes. They achieved this by holding a second hand book sale in the assembly hall. There were a variety of books for sale for all age groups across the school. They also had a book lucky dip to encourage their peers to read something that they might not have necessarily chosen themselves. They raised £151.48 for the Scottish Book Trust and £151.47 for Social Bite. IM decided on an animal themed carnival fundraiser. They had various animal themed stalls and food for sale. They raised £150.30 for the WWF. IIIS took part in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. There were eight teams representing a range of charities. The girls were highlighting the work of: Friends of the NeoNatal Unit, Grampian Child Bereavement Network, Alzheimer Scotland, Befriend a Child, Mental Health Aberdeen, Archway, Music4U and CHAS. The girls researched and presented information on the work of these charities to a panel of judges. The panel placed Befriend a Child 1st, Archway 2nd and CHAS 3rd. The girls raised additional money to go to these charities by producing and selling their very own St Margaret’s School


The Chronicle 2020

Charity Events

calendar. Well done to IIIS and all of the staff involved for the hard work that was put into making this event such a success. VS decided to be proactive this year by organising collections for two local charities. In December VA asked the school community to donate items to Abernecessities Christmas Eve box appeal. This was very well supported and these donations went to local children who would not receive many gifts on Christmas day. VM collected food donations for the food bank at Northfield Community Centre. The donations were extremely well timed as the food bank was able to hand out what we had donated just as lockdown was taking place. The foodbank was incredibly grateful for the contribution and I am so pleased to hear that some of the girls are planning to continue to support the centre once lockdown has eased. VIS held their annual Winter Wonderland event in aid of Alzheimer Scotland. They had a variety of festive stalls, karaoke, photos with Santa Claus and pie the Grinch! They raised ÂŁ215.51. Stephanie Stirton Charities Coordinator

The foodbank was incredibly grateful for the contribution and I am so pleased to hear that some of the girls are planning to continue to support the centre once lockdown has eased.

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Charity Events



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Careers & Work Experience

CAREERS Susan Brown, Head of Careers

IV and V Senior Options Evening

Careers Talks

We were delighted to welcome our IVS and VS parents and girls along to our options evening on Wednesday 12th February. The event was very well attended and we were delighted to see so many parents and girls engaged and enthusiastic about subject choices for the years ahead. We would like to thank our staff as well as our visiting speakers Mr David Chapman, Independent Careers Advisor, Mr Gerry Haugh, Mrs Helena Ziegler from the University of Aberdeen, and Miss Kirsty McDonald from the University of St Andrews for taking the time to inform us of the course choices and opportunities offered at their institutions.

Throughout the spring term, a series of lunch time careers talks were arranged for pupils in the senior school. The informative talks provided an excellent opportunity for the girls to hear about a variety of careers to help them make an informed choice as to what career paths they would like to take themselves. We welcomed a wonderful array of speakers from a diverse range of professions including: Solicitor and MSP, Scientist, Doctor, Paramedic, Writer and Performer and Chartered Accountant. The talks were very well attended and the senior girls asked lots of pertinent questions; they all enjoyed it. VIS Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) Experience In November 2019, some of us 6th years were preparing to sit interviews as part of the application process for our chosen university courses. We had all heard horror stories about the “MMIs” at various open mornings and talks with university students. “Multiple Mini Interview” or “MMI” is an interview format which is used by the majority of universities as part of their selection process for certain courses including medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry. It is exactly what the name suggests: 7-10 short interview stations where all of the candidates rotate around, spending a maximum of 10 minutes at each station. The activities include interactive role plays, talking through ethically challenging scenarios and some traditional interview questions. Most of us had never experienced any sort of interview before, so sitting through 10 of them back-to-back seemed quite daunting. Luckily, Ms Brown managed to arrange a mock

MMI for us in school. This took place in the hall which was transformed into a very scary looking place. Many different professionals including doctors, carers, social workers, as well as some medical students kindly volunteered to help out. A number of drama students from our school were recruited as actors for the role plays (this ended up being quite amusing). The atmosphere was tense as we walked in, trying to look confident in our “interview clothes”. At that moment I was a little terrified and wanted to sink in to my not-so-polished shoes, but looking back, I realise how beneficial the experience was. It was very similar to the real MMIs. In fact, some of the stations were almost identical. Not only was the process helpful, it was also surprisingly enjoyable. After spending 1.5 hours at different stations, I found myself wanting to do it again. After an evening of intense interviews, we had the opportunity to get individual feedback from the students and professionals. The interviewers gave us very useful tips and guidance. The medical students shared their own personal experience with the application process and expressed some feelings which we could all relate too. Every single one of us left the night feeling a lot more confident and reassured. Some of the advice given to us on that day sticks with me now as I attempt to make my way through my first term studying medicine. I am very grateful for all the help I received from school and I’m sure that the rest of you in the years below will benefit from it just as much as I did. Katyayeni Singh VIS

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Careers & Work Experience


Unlikely Friendships in Unlikely Times - Volunteering at Rosewell House During lockdown, many of us have made connections with people we possibly wouldn’t have expected to and through that, we have found new friends. For some of us in fifth and sixth year, this link has been made with the residents of Rosewell House, a nursing home that is situated nearby our school playing fields in Summerhill. Connecting with people of an older generation was an enriching opportunity for all those involved. We were able to share our experiences and gain some insight into their lives. We all found that it was a really heartwarming and uplifting thing to do as the people we video-called were all so friendly and chatty. It was amazing to think that we could brighten up their days by simply taking the time to talk to them for a short while. We all truly enjoyed getting to know their lively, upbeat personalities - it was such a pleasure to learn about them and their lives and be able to help one another in the challenging and unique circumstances we all found ourselves in. At first, some of us were feeling slightly apprehensive about the thought of speaking to someone new after so many weeks of distance learning and being unable to see friends. However, we need not have worried. Although we might not have had many obvious things in common, we discovered our friendships grew through our shared love of the many simple things in life. Our mutual passion in areas such as music, art and nature are just a few examples of the ways in which we were able to relate to each other. Nothing brings people together more than an impromptu singsong! Overall, volunteering at Rosewell House was definitely an experience we all enjoyed and was well worth any initial nervousness. It was so interesting to be able to connect so well with people from another generation who had such contrasting experiences to our own - from which we gained some very helpful advice, including but not limited to: always be kind, keep smiling, work hard to achieve your goals and never stop playing piano! This was such a positive experience for all involved and one which we never imagined we would be privileged enough to share, clearly demonstrating that happiness is found in the most unexpected places and a little kindness goes a long way. We are so grateful to Ms Brown and Rosewell’s Ms Pam Tarbet for arranging our weekly calls and we would encourage everyone to make the most of opportunities like these. We are sure you won’t regret it and we certainly won’t forget our cheerful chats with Rosewell House! Emily Barker, Katie Crabb, Rose Jones and Emma Simpson IVS

Work Experience Dentistry Work experience was a major factor that helped me confirm my desire to apply for dentistry. My first insight was during the summer of 2019 when I managed to organise a week’s work experience in two different private dental practices. Work experience highlighted that as a dentist you have to prioritise the patient and put their interests first. An example of this is when I observed a dentist who was able to calm an anxious patient with a bad gag reflex. The dentist had to reassure the patient that he would take his time and thus could put the patient at ease. I was able to reflect and see how I also had to be empathetic and have good communication skills while being a Paired Reader and similarly while video calling the residents of Rosewell house during lockdown. In both dental clinics it was clear how the dentist and nurse had a good relationship. This pointed out the fact that although the dentist is the leader of the dental team, teamwork is vital to working efficiently. I could see how I developed my teamwork from partaking in badminton and basketball at school and leadership skills from being Basketball Captain in VS. Unfortunately, COVID-19 resulted in me not getting any more face to face work experience. However, I was able to get a wide range of virtual experience from phone calls where I was able to see the impact COVID-19 had on practices and from reading relevant articles which helped me stay up to date with current issues in the profession. Additionally during summer 2020, I was able to attend a dentistry summer school where I received help with the application process and took part in a dentistry related debate. Moreover, I also completed a 6 week dentistry Future Learn course which stressed to me the changes in dentistry, from barber surgeons and tooth worms in the past, to the technology of additive manufacturing and the sheer range of dental specialities now. Overall, work experience was crucial in my decision to study dentistry. Work experience is invaluable in the fact that it gives you a realistic perspective of your chosen field and an insight into the benefits and challenges you have to face. Although it may be difficult to get face to face work experience during COVID-19, I would recommend everyone to get involved in the opportunities the school offers and the myriad of virtual experiences from phoning professionals and reading books to attending webinars and doing online courses. Jewel Jacob VS


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In The News




Interactive immersive experience brings operating theatre experience alive.


ore than 40 pupils from schools throughout Aberdeen City and Shire, as well as Dumfries and Galloway, took part in Operating Theatre Live in September – the UK’s only touring surgical experience – at St Margaret’s School for Girls. The fully immersive experience included expert tuition on both anatomy and preparation for application and interview in the healthcare fields, as well as hands-on dissection of pig specimens for the next generation of budding medics and other healthcare professionals. They were also taught a variety of important clinical skills, including interpreting X-rays and linking symptoms to clinical diagnosis. The dissections ranged from the brain and eye, lungs and heart, to a demonstration of the digestive system. Those that stayed on to the evening session considered trauma medicine and performed an amputation, including suture practice. The UKCAT test was also discussed, with strategies and tips on how to handle and prepare for it. Operating Theatre Live (OTL), which was featured on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den last summer, first came to St Margaret’s in August 2018. Led by human anatomist Samuel Piri and his team of clinicians, the experience provides those taking part with an ‘academically rigorous educational experience’, during which they take on the role of a trauma doctor bringing the systems of the human body alive. St Margaret’s Head Teacher, Anna Tomlinson, said that the boys and girls who took part were challenged from the outset to think like medical professionals.

“Operating Theatre Live provided a perfect opportunity for pupils to derive inspiration and experience in preparation for applications for healthcare careers” she said. “Those taking part loved the in-depth anatomy, the role play and establishing a co-operative team from a group of strangers and feedback from the event has been excellent. The presenter, Jo, was a natural communicator with a gentle and approachable manner which had the audience captivated at all times. She maintained an enthusiastic disposition throughout a very long day, and patiently answered all questions from the pupils – she was a fantastic role model.” St Margaret’s hopes to run the event again in the future, to ensure that the next generation of healthcare professionals are provided with the opportunity to attend this excellent experience.

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St Margaret’s Equestrian team of five, made up of girls from both the junior and senior school; Natasha (Team Captain) (IVS), Marcy (IIS), Romy (7J), Hilary (IIIS) and Emma (VIS) had an outstanding performance at the Kilgraston Scottish Schools’ Equestrian Championships which took place in Fife in March.

Game On

he girls were riding in both show jumping and dressage events and put in impressive team and individual performances. The Dressage Team performed with determination and skill and came First overall in both the Team Prelim Dressage and the Novice Dressage sections which is a fantastic achievement as there were over 17 schools from across Scotland competing.

Computer whizz kids Rachel (IS) and Emma Murray (IIS) have been recognised for their programming skills in a local competition.

They also triumphed as individuals, with St Margaret’s achieving the top 3 spots in the Prelim Dressage with Hilary placed first, Natasha second and Marcy placed third. Hilary then carried on the successful run with a superb podium finish coming first individually in the Novice Dressage and Emma placed sixth.


The sisters were runners-up in the advanced section of the 2019 Coding Competition, which was organised by Cromar Future Group in Tarland.

Those taking part in the competition were required to code a game, which is to write the computational instructions to achieve a solution using various constructs. Scratch – which allows pupils to create conceptual and visual programmes with animations - was used to develop the games. Run in conjunction with Tarland Food and Music Festival, the competition had three levels - novice, intermediate and advanced, and was judged by Ian Norris of the Robert Gordon University, Dave Harper of Cromar Future Group, and David Hirst of Tarland Food and Music Festival. Finalists presented their approach, played each other’s games, and received one-on-one coaching. Cromar Future Group – which encourages everyone to ‘get coding’ as it is such a useful modern skill - has laptops preloaded with Scratch and Python, and can provide help with HTML, the language of the internet and web-sites.


St Margaret’s show jumping team performed strongly in the fiercely contested 85 and 95 classes to finish fourth and fifth overall. Individually, Marcy was placed sixth in the 85 class and Natasha was placed fifth in the 95 class. In the final 1.10m show jumping class, Natasha was successfully placed fifth. St Margaret’s had a fantastic day with some outstanding competitive riding from all the riders and a strong team effort.


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Young Environmentalists St Margaret’s School for Girls’ Conservation Club welcomed to the school Mairi Gougeon the Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment in October.


airi Gougeon addressed the school’s weekly morning assembly before meeting members of the junior school’s Conservation Club where they had the opportunity to ask questions regarding Government proposals for tree planting in Scotland, Government targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and how the club can get involved at a local level. The Junior School Conservation Club was started in 2018 by two 6J girls - Grace Scott and Shannon MacAngus – who had delivered a passionate presentation about their concern for the environment - particularly Goal 14, Life Below Water, a sustainable development goal of the United Nations Development Programme - at the annual Sustainable Development Goals Conference, which was held in Aberdeen.

The club meets once a week to share ideas and strategies for making improvements to St Margaret’s and the local environment. To date, it has raised money to adopt a dolphin, started a letter writing campaign to businesses and the local council on various subjects, collected crisp bags for recycling, planted over 80 trays of wildflowers and attended the annual Sustainable Development Goals Conference in May 2019. There are now more than 20 girls in the club, mostly from the junior school, and plans are underway for the senior school to develop its own club to work in collaboration with them. Before her visit Ms Gougeon said: “I’m looking forward to visiting St Margaret’s to talk about what we’re doing in Scotland to respond to the global climate emergency and

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In The News


“Young people across the world have shown us just how powerful their voices are. The Scottish Government is listening, and we are acting: we now have the toughest framework of emissions targets of any country in the world. We are acting now to safeguard our planet for future generations.”

what can be done locally. It is fitting that I will be visiting during Scotland’s Climate Week – an opportunity for us all to think about what we can do to help tackle climate change. “Young people across the world have shown us just how powerful their voices are. The Scottish Government is listening, and we are acting: we now have the toughest framework of emissions targets of any country in the world. We are acting now to safeguard our planet for future generations.” Teacher Gail Wyatt invited Ms Gougeon to the school to meet with the club after she delivered a speech at an event about climate change during the summer holidays.

She said: ‘’Ms Gougeon’s remit is very much in keeping with the club’s plans for the coming year, reducing our use of paper and initiating a tree planting scheme which the whole school can become involved with. ‘’She agreed to visit St Margaret’s when she heard that our club was keen to get involved and included many very enthusiastic and passionate young environmentalists. We are very much looking forward to welcoming her to our school tomorrow.’’


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In The News

d Wo Secon& Archmi en in Constru ction tectu re E


Over 30 girls from schools across the North East took part in the second Women in Construction and Architecture Event, organised by St Margaret’s in collaboration with the Robert Gordon University’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment.


he conference aims at attracting the next generation of surveying, construction and architecture specialists from throughout the North and North-east of Scotland took place at St Margaret’s School for Girls in December. Following the success of the first conference held earlier in 2019, around 30 girls from schools across the North-east took part in the event. The second and third year pupils from Harlaw, Cults, Westhill, Peterhead and Meldrum academies enjoyed a day-long programme of interactive workshops, team challenges and hands-on activities, which was delivered by a team of academics from RGU joined by industry professionals, from Women in Property (WiP), Balfour Beatty and Robertsons with the support of the professional body of CIOB. St Margaret’s head teacher, Anna Tomlinson, said that the aim of the conference was to break down some of the barriers which prevented girls considering a career in architecture or construction, both traditionally male-dominated areas. It is an opportunity to showcase the breadth of opportunities available within this sector. “We are very excited to be able to offer this Women in Architecture and Construction event for a second time alongside Dr Marianthi Leon, and her wider team of fellow academics,” she said. “As the only girls’ school in Aberdeen, we have long been committed to eradicating gender stereotype around subject and career choice. We consider ourselves exceptionally fortunate to have two world-class universities on our doorstep, both of which provide a diverse range of degree courses for those attracted to a STEM career. We are thrilled with the interest and success of these events and hope that it will become a regular feature in our school calendar.” Dr Marianthi Leon, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, mentioned that the construction industry has faced a skills shortage for a number of years, with recent reports highlighting that women make up just 12% of the workforce. The demand for talent, meanwhile, is currently at an all-time high, and business leaders in the architecture, construction, surveying, engineering and rail industries are enhancing their workforce to keep ahead of some of the largest projects seen in recent times. She highlighted: “Construction is an industry that requires many different skills and abilities. To achieve high levels of

performance it is important to employ people from different backgrounds, with different experiences and a variety of capabilities. There is a pressing need to do more to encourage a commitment to gender diversity in the workplace and thus attract more women into the industry and enable a smoother path to senior leadership. “Failing to promote women to leadership positions wastes the valuable contribution that women make to the built environment world and the economy as there is evidence that female representation improves both company performance, collaboration and ethical behaviour. With women comprising such a small percentage of the directly employed construction workforce it is essential to support women to aim for the top jobs in architecture and construction. “Against this backdrop there has never been a better time for talented young women to enter the architecture and construction arena and this event will give your pupils an opportunity to explore what a career in this field may entail.” St Margaret’s has built a reputation for organising such events in recent years with its Women in Business and Women in Engineering conferences, the latter of which attracted delegates from schools throughout the UK.

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In The News

“Against this backdrop there has never been a better time for talented young women to enter the architecture and construction arena and this event will give your pupils an opportunity to explore what a career in this field may entail.�



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In The News

SUCCESS Pupils from the St Margaret’s Lego League Club, with girls from 5J to 7J travelled north in December to the Aberdeenshire First Lego League Tournament held at NESCol in Fraserburgh. The competition is aimed at encouraging school children to apply science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to solve a real-world problem through the use of LEGO. judges were especially impressed with Meg’s One’s song and Meg’s Plus team’s sustainable use of dog poop. The Robot Design Interview was more challenging, but the girls coped admirably. The missions were held in the competition ring and each team was given two and half minutes, with only two team members allowed to enter to perform their task. This was a tense but exciting experience for both teams. All teams were very supportive of one another and there was a great atmosphere in the hall.

Meg’s One was delighted to be presented with the Core Values Award and Meg’s Plus was presented with the Judge’s Award for their amazing eco-friendly and sustainable project idea.


ith the valuable support and guidance from ROVOP, an Aberdeen based global robotics company, the teams have been working very hard this term in preparation for the competition. The competition programme included a Core Values Interview and Challenge, a Robot Design Interview and an Innovation Project Presentation culminating in the Mission Competitions using their Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots. Both teams, Meg’s One and Meg’s Plus, felt they had performed well in the Core Values Challenge and the Innovation Project Presentations, with both completing the presentations in the allotted time and eloquently discussing their projects. The

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In The News


On Saturday the 7th February, team Minerva with team members Joy Olanrewaju, Shaneka Hapuarachchi, Emma Murray and Marcy Bryce from II Senior, travelled down to Glasgow to compete in the semifinals of the cyber first girls’ competition against the top 9 schools in Scotland after qualifying in the first round. The semi-final was held in the newly built offices of Morgan Stanley which created a professional environment for us to work in.


or the competition we had two 1.75hr slots to complete as many tasks as we could to get as many points as possible. This was to move up the leaderboard, as we competed against the other schools. The tasks were challenging but we worked well as a team, using all our knowledge from the qualifying round to help and we didn’t stop working until the very last second. As well as participating and coming 3rd in the competition we learnt many new skills and were also surprised to hear that there are 4.5 million jobs in cyber security across Britain that are vacant. This competition has definitely inspired us to consider taking up this career in the future.



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Art Competition Four senior St Margaret’s pupils past and present, have been recognised for their artwork in the 2019 Schools Art competition organised by the David and June Gordon Memorial Trust.

Anna Dewhirst

Lily Gray


chools from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were invited to enter their work and six schools across the region took part in the annual competition. Anna Dewhirst from VI Senior last year at St Margaret’s, was awarded the overall joint winner in the S4-6 category for her artwork from her ‘Lady of Japan series’. The judges commented that they were “most impressed with this striking and original work which showed a great understanding of colour, drama and design”. Anna is now in her first year studying fashion at the world-renowned Central St Martin’s College in London, recently securing a place on the degree course.

Caitriona Hastings

Lily Gray from VI Senior, was Highly Commended for her artwork ‘Old Cutlery’ along with Caitriona Hastings from VIS for her entry ‘A Walk in the Woods’. Justine Arndt from VS was commended for her ‘Tropical Series’ work. The David Gordon Memorial Trust was set up in 1975 in memory of David Gordon, 4th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, to continue David’s lifelong interest, shared by his wife June, in supporting music, the arts, youth groups and community centres and in continuing ecumenical services in the chapel of Haddo House.

Justine Arndt

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Future Aspirations Portrait Competition

Congratulations to Marion in IIS for her success in the Thorpe Molloy Future Aspirations portrait competition. Her painting was placed in the top 15 out of 109 entries which is a fantastic achievement. St Margaret’s submitted 7 other entries and were delighted to receive a mix of commendation and achievement certificates.

REGIONAL FINALISTS VODAFONE DIGITAL CREATORS’ CHALLENGE COMPETITION In November 2019 , Mrs Arthur introduced our IIIS Computing class to the Vodafone Digital Creators Challenge.


he task was to design an app that can positively impact the wider community. Our team decided, after extensive ideas brought forward, that a social studying app would be the way to go. We named it StudyBuds - a virtual revision tool that can allow real students to meet with people their age and in their location, the app will create an association based on each pupil’s subject strengths and weakness allowing them to study class material together. The app consists of many features, such as: messaging, video-calls, notes and teacher materials. No one was more surprised or pleased than us when we found out that we had qualified in the top 20 groups across Britain, and won the regional competition for the North of Scotland! We were invited to the finals, which were held in the Vodafone Headquarters, and were set for an all expenses paid trip down London for the end of March. However, unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the finals were cancelled and the country went into lockdown.

On the plus side, they sent us our certificates, along with a free bluetooth speaker, portable charger and water bottle each. Although disappointed that we couldn’t go to London, we are all still very proud that we made it so far in the competition, and it was a great experience where we all learned a lot. Hebe, Ayo and Bethan IIIS


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The Music Department



DEPARTMENT 2019 – 2020 was an interesting year for the Music Department with many of our much-anticipated annual events not able to take place. Until the point at which the school was forced to close in March, the following instruments and disciplines were being taught at St Margaret’s: piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, tenor horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, tenor saxophone, singing, drum kit, tuned percussion and musical theatre. A total of 42 separate music exams were taken with the Associated Board and Trinity College in December and March, ranging from grades 1 - 7. Eleven girls were entered for SQA certificate music in the summer, all being awarded A grades.


The nursery and junior school celebrated Harvest in October

with a series of readings and songs performed at Rubislaw Church. Each year group from Nursery to 7J presented either a reading or sang a song which collectively demonstrated the wide range of ability and talent, and at the end the whole Junior School sang together. The music for this event was written by Mrs Wiedermann and Ms Brown. The focus of the songs was the exploration of all things to do with harvest, autumn time and the general process of food production, and giving thanks for all that we have to eat and drink. Some of the songs were accompanied by instrumentalists from the junior school. The retiring collection raised £282.06 for Spot Valley School in Jamaica which is partly sponsored by Rubislaw Church. The annual service of commemoration for St Margaret was held on 15th November in St Machar’s Cathedral. The service was led by our chaplain, The Rev. Dr Robert Smith, Minister of Rubislaw Church. It was a beautiful late autumn morning and the service followed its usual format with readings and sacred music. The processional hymn was Lord of Our History’s Days. The Introit, sung by the Senior Choir, was Lift Thine Eyes from Elijah by Mendelssohn. The first reading was taken from Chapter 22 of the book of Matthew and was read by Sophie Orvietani, Head Girl. The Chamber Choir sang an extract from Psalm 119, to plainsong,

with Jennifer Rolfe as the cantor. The first anthem, Children Will Run by Waggoner, was sung by the Senior Choir, and the second anthem, I waited for the Lord, also by Mendelssohn, was sung by the Chamber Choir. During the Offering the Bach Ensemble played the Winter from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. During the third hymn the junior school led a colourful procession around the building displaying various pieces of art and craft which they had made to celebrate and commemorate the life of St Margaret. The Rev. Dr Smith gave an entertaining address and the service ended with the school song, and a sung blessing, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by Rutter, sung by the Chamber Choir and Senior Choir combined. The retiring collection raised £257.45 for the Clan Cancer Support. The organ was played by Mr. Drew Tulloch, who retired as Director of Music at St Margaret’s in 2007. The much-anticipated annual Christmas Carol Service took place on December 19th in the Beach Ballroom. The audience was welcomed in from the sea front to the warmth of the foyer by the Brass Ensemble and the String Ensemble alternately playing carols at the top and bottom of the steps. Attended by many of our parents, friends, former pupils and former staff, as well as the whole school from 1 Junior upwards, this event really does mark the end of term and the beginning of Christmas for so many of the St Margaret’s community.

The Chronicle 2020

The Music Department

Quotation from independent reviewer Mr Alan Cooper from Lunchtime Recital at The Cowdray Hall in March 2020: “Pupils of St Margaret’s School for Girls have, over the years, established themselves as popular regulars at the Lunchbreak Concert Series, so of course today’s performance drew a near capacity audience to the Cowdray Hall. I was expecting great things and I was not to be disappointed. I have given all the performers star billing at the head of today’s review because that is exactly what they were, ‘The St. Margaret’s All Stars’.”

Before the welcome, given by Miss Tomlinson, there was entertainment in the auditorium from the Corelli Players conducted by Mrs Wiedermann, (Sans Day Carol, Wind Through the Olive Tree and Sheep May Safely Graze), the Intermediate Concert Band, (French Carol Festival), the Concert Band, (Fantasy on an English Carol) both conducted by Mrs Gurney, and the Vivaldi Ensemble (Vortex by Longfield) and the Bach Ensemble (arrival of the Queen of Sheba) both conducted by Mrs Wiedermann. The event then followed a slightly new format from previous years with poetry and readings from scripture. These readings were given by Milly Moyes, Blessed McDonald, Megan Sekulin, Emily Barker, Sara Yorston, Tofunmi Adenuga, Emma Murray and Sophie Orvietani. They were punctuated by the traditional Christmas hymns Once in Royal David’s City (opened as always by the girls in VIS singing a cappella in three parts), The First Nowell, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night, Silent Night, and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, all accompanied by the orchestra. The Senior Choir sang arrangements of O Holy Night and Carol of the Bells by Ms Brown. The Chamber Choir sang The Little Road to Bethlehem by Michael Head, See Amid the Winter’s Snow by P.P., and The Virgin’s Slumber Song by Reger, arr P.P. Both Senior Choir and Chamber Choir combined to sing The Stable Carol by Meakins, arr. P.P.. The 1J – 7J pupils sang Santa Claus is Coming Tonight, and Sleep Baby Jesus, words and music written especially for the occasion by Ms Brown, and the event concluded with a whole school item, Peace for All, words and music also by Ms Brown. A retiring collection of £483.17 was donated to the charity Age UK. On Thursday February 27th, musicians from St Margaret’s gave their annual lunchbreak concert in the Cowdray Hall series. This was the first time back in the Cowdray Hall for four years, following its refurbishment. As usual, the concert was performed to a capacity audience and given by a team of soloists. The programme was opened by Janani Mohan playing Arabesque 1 by Debussy on the piano. Other performances were given by Alesha Cowling – voice (The Water is Wide – trad. American), Olivia Douglas and Gracie Spencer – Vocal Duet (Let Me Be Your Star by Shaiman), Jenna Stewart – Violin (Sonatine by Schubert), and


Eilidh Bisset – Voice (Ach ich fühl’s by Mozart). Niamh Dreelan played a set of traditional Scottish Reels and the concert was concluded by Emily Smith playing Rhapsody no 2 in G Minor by Brahms. Sadly, plans for the Spring Concert, the Piano Rosebowl competition, the Summer Concert, the Murray and Lamont competitions, summer term practical exams and Speech Day all had to be shelved as St Margaret’s was compelled to close its doors for a while. However, the spirit of music lived on with all music classes being taught online, and over 100 girls receiving regular weekly instrumental tuition in woodwind, brass, singing, strings, piano and percussion from our dedicated instrumental teachers. We also presented two online concerts in the virtual setting of the Music Hall, in which girls uploaded videos of themselves performing at home, which were compiled into concerts. In the second of these we managed to feature a selection of girls from the Chamber Choir singing Lift Thine Eyes by Mendelssohn, a string quartet playing some Mozart, and a wind ensemble playing the Radetzky March, the usual fitting end to the school year, all of which were recorded by girls individually and edited together. Thanks to Mrs Goodwin, Mrs MacDonald and Mr Mazur for their skill, time and patience with this. As always, the year ended with a whole school item – this time the song Proud by Heather Small, arranged and produced by Ms Brown for instrumentalists and singers, and recorded by over 150 members of the school community, from the junior school right up to senior staff members. Peter Parfitt Director of Music

awards sic u m

FULL COLOURS FOR MUSIC HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO: Jenna Stewart and Alesha Cowling Other awards, which would ordinarily have been presented at Speech Day, were nominated as follows: Alice Lumsden Award for Strings Janani Mohan Alice Lumsden Award for Piano Emily Smith Alice Lumsden Award for Singing Eilidh Bisset Alice Lumsden Award for Composition Jenna Stewart


The Chronicle 2020

Sports Review


Physical Education Through physical education at St Margaret’s children and young people can experience many benefits both physically and mentally as a direct result of their participation in some form of sporting activity. Our high-quality PE curriculum enables all students to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When they are performing, they think about what they are doing, they analyse the situation and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others’ performances and find ways to improve upon them. As a result, they develop the confidence to take part in different physical activities and learn about the value of healthy, active lifestyles.

Physical education at St Margaret’s also helps students develop personally and socially.

clubs. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences on offer, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations. I am delighted to share with you many examples of how are these aims are achieved: Athletics

Girls in the senior school are given the opportunity to compete in both the singles and doubles school championships. Our badminton captain finished off her sixth year having won all the school badminton championships since first year. She also qualified for the National Badminton Championships held in Perth. Although she knew it was going to be tough playing the best in the country, she was delighted to get through to the second round. Basketball

Una & Sophie Just before lockdown stopped us in our tracks our athletics captain broke the first record of the athletics season by smashing the shot put record that had been held since 1994 and one of our fourth year pupils competed in the Scottish Indoor Athletics Championships held at the Emirates arena in Glasgow. Although not placed, a new PB was achieved in the 60m hurdles events. We were also delighted that two of our first years gained awards from the local athletics club for their performances during the previous athletics season.

Aya & Jewel Although the popular basketball club on a Friday night after school is not part of a league the girls get a regular match against a local school. The regular group of twenty five pupils from first year to sixth year are always excited to play with some excellent results. Cross-Country

Badminton Discovering what they like to do, what their aptitudes are at school, and how and where to get involved in clubs helps them make informed choices about lifelong physical activity. Physical education at St Margaret’s also helps students develop personally and socially. They work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility through curricular and extra-curricular

Janani & Isla

Lily & Harriet

In November the 5-7 junior girls finish off their cross-country training by participating in the annual school race before they start a swimming block. Then in January the senior school

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Sports Review


Congratulations go to the junior (IIS-IIIS combined) cup team who reached the semifinal of the Scottish Hockey competition

girls all run in their cross-country championships. From this, girls are then selected to compete in the regional competition. In addition two senior pupils competed in the Scottish Cross-country Championships in Edinburgh. This was a major competition with over 100 runners in each race – one pupil came 59th and the other pupil came 5th in their respective age groups. Dance

Jumping for Joy

Sara & Monica We have over fifty pupils attending the street dance club at lunchtime learning lots of cool moves. Our annual dance cup competition went online this year where girls had to send their entry through the Google classroom portal. This gave the judges time to watch 26 amazing dance routines several times. We were impressed at the creativity both through the dance and the clever use of technology. Gymnastics At the start of the school year, pupils from 4 Junior upwards participate in gymnastics and many prepare for the annual Gym Cup Competition. This year the PE staff were treated to 24 routines

Alejandra ranging from individuals, pairs and groups. The girls were given the task of creating a 40 second floor routine to a set piece of music. Hockey Congratulations go to the junior (IISIIIS combined) cup team who reached the semi-final of the Scottish Hockey competition, the first year hockey team (with some 7Js helping out) and the second year team who came runners-up in their respective school tournaments. Both teams just narrowly missed out

Jennifer & Kassidy on the gold medal because of one goal which stopped them from being the winners. Next year girls‌..! We also had several senior players being chosen to represent the North District in the regional tournaments as well as one player continuing to play for the Scottish U18 team.


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Sports Review


House Points As well as competing to win medals in the various school sporting competitions, the girls also gain points for their house – Crathes, Dunnottar or Kildrummy. This gives girls a sense of being part of a team and working together for the coveted House Shield.

Natasha & Orla

Martial Arts

Girls from third year upwards enjoy learning a new sport through instruction given by the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association. In September six of our senior girls rowed in the Head of the River Race on the River Dee with a win in the Junior 14 Quadruple Sculls event. A few of the girls have also attended training camps in Germany and competed in races further afield with much success. Skiing

A huge well done to the St Margaret’s Equestrian Team for their outstanding performance at the Kilgraston Scottish Schools’ Equestrian Championships

A huge well done to the St Margaret’s Equestrian Team for their outstanding performance at the Kilgraston Scottish Schools’ Equestrian Championships in Fife in March. The girls were riding in both show jumping and dressage events and put in impressive team and individual performances. The team of five was made up of girls from both the junior and senior school. The dressage team performed with determination and skill and came first overall in both the Team Prelim Dressage and the Novice Dressage sections which is a fantastic achievement as there were over 17 schools from across Scotland competing. They also triumphed as individuals, with St Margaret’s achieving the top 3 spots in the Prelim. Another rider then carried on the successful run with a superb podium finish coming first individually in the Novice Dressage. The show jumping team performed strongly in the fiercely contested 85 and 95 classes to finish fourth and fifth overall. One of our third year riders also competed at the British Dressage regional championship near Glasgow and she came 4th in her first ever regional championship class, with all other competitors being adults.

Caitriona & Jyothi Karate club continued after school on a Monday where the girls sat a mixture of yellow, orange and red belts in February after mastering all the necessary moves. Our martial arts captain was delighted to gain her black belt in Tae Kwon Do after eleven years of dedicated training. Netball

Skiing has always been popular among the 1-4 Junior classes as they have the opportunity to receive instruction on the nearby dry ski slope at Garthdee during a Friday games afternoon block. This then led to offering a ski club after school on a Thursday where over 30 girls worked to improve their skiing or snowboarding techniques. Sports Captains Girls in fourth year to sixth year are invited to apply for the position of sports captain. They then attend an interview with the PE staff. This year girls were asked to lead junior clubs in their specific sports to develop responsibility, communication, reliability and leadership which are important life skills. Sports Day

Hannah & Ella The 5-7 junior girls made good progress in their netball club held after school on a Tuesday where the senior team enjoyed a reasonable run in the Aberdeen league and came fourth in the tournament. Rowing

Niamh & Katie

Although sports day was cancelled this year I never thought that the reason would be because of a pandemic - poor weather is usually our enemy! Despite this the whole school were invited to participate in a variety of sporting challenges, a sports bake off as well as a ‘design a house crest’ competition. As with tradition it also still rained but that did not dampen our enthusiasm to get involved. Even though we were competing in our own homes, and socially distanced, it really did feel as though we were together as the St Margaret’s spirit shone through with girls sending in all their entries and photos via Google classroom. It just reminded me again of what a wonderful school community we have at St Margaret’s.

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Sports Review

Table Tennis


Emily & Emma


Victoria & Una

In November three of our experienced swimmers swam in the Scottish Schools swim trials and gained a PB in their selected event which is excellent. Then in December it was the senior school gala held at the Aberdeen Aquatics Centre. Forty pupils entered with the first years setting new records in all their races, which was most impressive. Then in February it was the turn of the 5-7 Junior gala where every pupil is involved where they swim in at least two races, a house relay and some also participate in the diving competition. One 6J pupil set a new record in the 25m breast-stroke race.


Rameen & Fiona


Yoga As we become more aware of the benefits of yoga towards our overall health and wellbeing, pupils in the junior and senior school both have opportunities to attend clubs after school. The pupils in fourth to sixth year also have the option to choose this as their activity during games.

Katyayeni & Romina

Karen Norval Head of PE



CRATHES: Isla (C), Alice & Chloe (VC)

CRATHES: Romina (VC) & Tofunmi (C)

DUNNOTTAR: Rishiga (C) & Shannon (VC)

DUNNOTTAR: Kassidy (C) & Monica (VC)

KILDRUMMY: Jessica (C) & Grace (VC)

KILDRUMMY: Jennifer (C) & Hannah (VC)


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World Book Day

World Book Day

The nursery and junior school had lots of fun this year celebrating World Book Day. The focus for junior school was on non-fiction books and they all enjoyed showing each other their favourite title.

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World Book Day



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Activities & Extra-curricular


Activities & Extra-curricular

Knight Visit (1J)

Senses and People Topic (1J)

Optician Visit

1J started the first term with a topic about their senses and people who help us. They went to visit an optician and a dentist to learn more about their jobs. They were lucky to have a visit from the Teddy bear’s hospital and a paramedic took an ambulance to school and let them explore the equipment inside. Chef Mark very kindly taught them how to make buns.

1 Junior went to Duncan and Todd opticians on Union Street to learn more about their sense of sight. They learned that the back of the eye was called the retina and the girls were able to sit in the chair and try on the different glasses. They looked at the colour charts and saw the equipment that was used to check their eyes.

In the second term, 1J learned about fairy tales and castles. The girls enjoyed creating their own castles and making escape routes for Rapunzel. They were excited to meet a knight from Fairytale Land and were fascinated by all the stories he told. They loved being able to try out his armour and hold his weapons. The girls got to hold the chainmail to see how heavy it was and try on the metal helmets. Judith Garden Buddy Sessions (1 & 2J)

Judith Garden

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Activities & Extra-curricular


Outdoor Learning (1 & 2J) 1J also enjoyed working with their 2 Junior buddies for outdoor learning and joined together for various activities such as puzzle and construction afternoons and reading activities. They often shared their learning with each other throughout the year. They finished the 2nd term by visiting Pizza Express to learn how to create their own pizzas. Both classes went to the Science Centre to learn how to code caterpillars and then visited the newly renovated Art Gallery.

Viking Visit (3J) The girls from 3J were delighted to have a visit from a viking. He told them the story of how Odin gave one of his eyes to the tree of knowledge. The girls enjoyed dressing up and they all got a chance to blow the horn and handle the artefacts. Alison Dressel

Visit to Slater Menswear (3J)

Rubislaw Buddy Visit (3J)

3J visited Slater Menswear as part of their Scotland topic when learning about tartan. They learnt that depending upon how “different tartan” is defined, it has been estimated that there are about 3,500 to 7,000 different tartans, with around 150 new designs being created every year. They enjoyed looking through the tartan books and searching for their family name to discover if they had a tartan.

In October, 3J started their monthly visit to the Rubislaw Church Community Centre. On the first Thursday of every month the girls will spend time with some of the elderly members of their congregation. On their first visit they shared some of the books they have been looking at through their topic ‘Scotland is Great’. They had fun reading them together and chatting to their new buddies.


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Activities & Extra-curricular

Union Street Project Visitors (4J) In March, 4J enjoyed a visit from Allan Paterson for their Union Street project. He delivered a workshop on the principles of shop front design to get us into the mind-set of what we want our shops to look like for our project. We started by comparing dilapidated shop fronts with more visually attractive and welcoming ones, identifying the features that contributed to this.

Trip to Blairs Museum (4J) 4J visited Blairs Museum to find out more about Mary Queen of Scots, which was our social studies topic in the Autumn term. They started by looking at two portraits of Mary. The first was a younger depiction of her, painted whilst she was in France. The second was painted after her death, and was commissioned by her friend Elizabeth Curl. Then they were tasked with finding artefacts around the museum, such as a piece of blood splattered cloth that Mary allegedly wore on her execution day and a coin with Mary’s side profile on it. We also got to dress up like Mary and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

We also had a visit from Doctor Quazi Zaman, an architect and lecturer at Robert Gordon’s University. In this workshop, we were introduced to the bigger picture surrounding consumerism, society, health and shop design. We explored how window shopping improved our mental health and looked at Jan Gehl’s work on pedestrianised high streets. 4J were very excited to use the information from these sessions and incorporate them into their own designs for Union Street. Kirstie Maddison

After that, Jamie lined them up in age order, just like the boys who boarded at the school would have done, and made them walk to the chapel in silence. He showed them the organ and let some of the girls play it! They then learnt about the special clothes that priests wore and got to dress up Father Mannie the mannequin. To finish off, Jamie lit the incense and showed them how to swing the thurible; they all loved the smell of the Frankincense. Kirstie Maddison

RGU Medicines and You Workshop (4J) 4J were very fortunate to have a visit from RGU pharmacy students who delivered a fantastic workshop on medicine safety. They learnt about where to store medicine and who should administer doses. They also got a chance to measure out placebo liquid medicine using measuring cups, spoons and syringes. They then measured out placebo tablets using a tablet counting triangle and made a label for them. Kirstie Maddison

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Activities & Extra-curricular

Natural Disaster Volcanic Eruptions (5J) After several long weeks of papier-mâché, painting, gluing and waiting, finally the 5J girls had the opportunity to ignite their volcanoes. Their investigations showed them that volcanoes erupt due to pressure from tectonic activity. However, they used a mixture of warm water, washing-up liquid, vinegar, baking powder and, of course, some food colouring for dramatic effect!

A Morning of Discovery: RRS Discovery (Dundee) (5J) Anticipation was high for 5J’s visit to Discovery Point, as it gave the girls the opportunity to investigate what life would be like in the tundra region, giving them a better understanding of the challenges faced by the characters in their class reading book, Sky Song. The visit did not disappoint. Firstly, they were given the opportunity to compare clothing used by Captain Scott and his team with those worn today. Stella modelled the clothing used by the early explorers. The outfit was made from all natural fibres and included a very heavy woollen sweater. Stella also had to choose between lightweight reindeer boots or very heavy leather ones. She chose the leather boots as they would have been waterproof. Misha modelled the modern outfit. We all laughed as the first layer of clothing was very similar to the olden days; long thermal underwear! Both outfits

They were surprised at how spacious the ship felt until they were reminded it would have been full of cargo, fuel and ballast, with very little space to move around.

included eye protection, mittens and hoods. Misha had to put on lots and lots of layers. This layering helps the body to regulate its core temperature. Ally explained that the outfits never have buttons or zips on the outer layer of clothing as these can freeze up or break in the extremely cold temperatures. They all got to try on some of the clothing. Next, they were taken on a tour of RSS Discovery. They were surprised at how spacious the ship felt until they were reminded it would have been full of cargo, fuel and ballast, with very little space to move around. The cabins for the regular sailors were very cramped. They would also have had to share the bath water, with the last sailors having to wash in dirty cold water: how disgusting!! They were more pleasantly surprised at the variety of food taken on the voyage: sprouts, cheese, drinking chocolate, oranges, meat, bread and ship’s biscuits. Elaine Gibb



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Activities & Extra-curricular

Trip to Science Centre (5J) 5J visited the Aberdeen Science Centre to participate in their Water Cycle Workshop, giving them the opportunity to test their existing knowledge and learn new things. It was great having a look at the exhibits; it was very “hands on”. Soon, it was time for the workshop; some of the girls were put to work! After a good shake, a smoking match in a water bottle is a great way to show how clouds are formed. They had remembered the terms evaporation, condensation and precipitation, but the idea of filtration was new to them. Some would have drank the muddy water, the rest were amazed at how the dirty water could be cleaned with sticks, rocks and cotton wool. Elaine Gibb

Visit to the Science Centre (6J) On Thursday the 13th of February 6J walked to the Aberdeen Science Centre. First we were welcomed to the centre by a lady called Naha who told us a few rules and where to put our coats and bags. After we had our lunch we played with some of the exhibitions and toys there were lego bots to build and using the software we could program the bots, there was also an ocean explorer video game. Later Bob, the person who was taking our workshop asked us to sit down on a row of chairs. He did a balloon experiment where he rubbed a balloon on his head and had a coke can on a table and had the balloon near the can. He moved the balloon and the can moved with the balloon and Bob said that it was because of static energy. Bob also rubbed a balloon on Mary-Kate’s head and her hair stuck up. There was a rotating stool that with a special wheel you could use to turn it, Libby tried it and it went round really quickly. We got to play with some of the other exhibitions. I played with some of the optical illusion mirrors and a board that you got to balance on without holding on. After this Bob started another presentation. He gave us a meteor which was almost as old as the earth. He showed us some pictures of a massive telescope in Chile and told us that the southern hemisphere was the best place to look in a telescope because it has clearer skies. Next Bob took out a wilmshurst machine from a box. When he turned it on it had a buzzing sound and then there were flashes of electricity. Bob took out a doll with just head and shoulders that was filled with shaving foam the doll was called Susie. He covered it with a glass cover. After this Bob connected a tube to the glass cover that was connected to a vacuum. He turned the vacuum on and the shaving foam inside of Susie came out, shaving foam came out of Susie’s ears and eyes. Bob showed us this because he wanted to show us the effects of air pressure. I thought the trip to the Science Centre was amazing but I don’t think he talked enough about space exploration. I would rate the trip four stars and I would recommend the workshop to other classes. Ruth Makoni 6J

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Activities & Extra-curricular


Victorian Workshop (6J)

“I really liked the budgeting and using the bank, I also liked learning about scams despite losing £500 to Rich Ricky!” Libby Butler

Money Workshop (6J) 6J enjoyed a lively and interactive money workshop provided by St. James’s Place Wealth Management. All of the activities the girls participated in focused on managing their money, emphasising budgeting, risk taking, borrowing, lending and banking. Starting with a credit of £500 each girl was tasked with growing their money by playing a variety of games, devising a strategy and calculating risks. All expenditure and income was recorded on their bank balance sheet. The girl with the most money at the end of all the activities was the winner. Gail Wyatt

“The money workshop was amazing by paying, losing, winning and counting. I had £410 by playing two games, ‘Eye on the Prize’ and ‘Play it with the Big Kids’.” Chelsea Lin

Allan Patterson from the Aberdeen Urban Trust Studies has created a workshop which allows the girls to sample many aspects of Victorian life as it was in Aberdeen. Using photographs, journals, old school attendance records and many more artefacts, the girls worked in small groups solving problems and responding to the challenges Mr Patterson had set for them. Of particular interest was the crime and punishment activity which used old newspaper reports to record how a 12 year old boy received 6 lashes of the birch rather than reformatory school for stealing a gold match case, a worse case, involving a local murder, resulted in a more severe punishment for the perpetrator. The workshop was an opportunity for the girls to learn about their locality and how life looked over one hundred years ago. Gail Wyatt


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Activities & Extra-curricular

Gordon Highlanders Visit (7J)

The girls were met by Lewis Gibbon, the centre’s education officer who gave them 7J’s first visit outside school was to the Gordon Highlanders museum on Viewfield some background information about the Road. It was a fantastic way to kick off their social studies topic for the Autumn term, World War 2 and find out what it was really like to be a Gordon Highlander.

museum and introduced them to his two volunteer guides. After watching a short film about the Gordon Highlanders in action they were split up into three groups and enjoyed experiencing the different areas of the museum.

It was a fantastic way to kick off their social studies topic for the Autumn term, World War 2 and find out what it was really like to be a Gordon Highlander.

WWII – Streetscape Workshop In October, both 7J classes went on a fascinating trip round the area of Rosemount in Aberdeen. Our tour guide, Mr Paterson, showed us amazing facts about Aberdeen in the 1940s which helped us with our social studies project this term which is World War II. We were given booklets with a map and activities inside, and this gave us an opportunity to practise our mapping skills when we had to navigate our way around the area. We got to do so many activities including going inside an original air raid shelter, seeing a modern shop that had

once been a corner shop in the 1940s, spotting the old tram hooks (rosettes) that were still in place and operating a stirrup pump! This was certainly a brand new experience for me and my classmates. I feel like I have experienced the way people lived in this area of Aberdeen during the 1940s and this will definitely help to extend my learning in our social studies topic. Imogen Adedapo 7J

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Activities & Extra-curricular

Team building workshop with the Royal Navy Youth Engagement Team (7J) In March, 7J had fun learning from the Royal Navy that teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common goal. The team based in Rosyth travelled to Aberdeen for a morning at St Margaret’s. They brought with them three problem based challenges that are adapted from real life scenarios which the armed forces can experience when out on expeditions. The girls quickly realised the demands that can be faced when working in a team that has limited resources, time and pressure of survival!



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Activities & Extra-curricular


Classics Department Salvete omnes! (Greetings to all of you!)


his year saw the introduction of the Ancient Greek and Myths club at St Margaret’s. Every Tuesday lunchtime, a number of enthusiastic 7 Junior and I Senior pupils met to learn some Ancient Greek language and read famous Greek myths. Learning the Greek alphabet and discovering the roots of common English words such as names of subjects studied at school (geography –γη earth + γραφω writing) and reading some famous myths allowed pupils to learn about the ancient Greeks and be transported into their world through their stories. In November, III Senior Latin students visited the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in the context of the study of the Romans in Scotland. The morning workshop was about handling Roman artefacts, asking questions about these objects and trying to find out what they were used for. The pupils’ favourites were replicas of sandals worn by soldiers and a board game called ludus latrunculorum (game of little soldiers). The session allowed the pupils to think about aspects of daily life for civilians and soldiers in Caledonia. In the afternoon, the pupils had the chance to explore the section of the museum dedicated to Scotland’s Early People. The focus was on the Romans and the museum’s rich collection covers themes such as religion, army, food, trade et cetera. One of the key objects is the Bridgeness Slab which was once part of the Antonine Wall built across Scotland. With their knowledge of Latin and of Roman numerals, the class managed to make sense of most of the inscription on the slab. The II Senior Latin set took part in the yearly Latin Play competition organised at Albyn school in early March. The students performed a short play in Latin based on the myth of

Pandora. Marion was the narrator, Anna was Pandora, Momina, Romanie and Blessed were the three Graces and the Seasons. Joy, Tiana, Adanna, Pelumi and Blessed played the roles of the generous gods and goddesses presenting Pandora with their gifts. All the effort put into learning the text and using the correct pronunciation paid off: St Margaret’s team won the competition! OPTIME! Our summer trip to Pompeii and the Bay of Naples was cancelled because of the pandemic. We will patiently wait for another opportunity to discover in situ the city of Caecilius … valete! Veronique Oldham

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Activities & Extra-curricular


Debating Club

It has been a successful year in the St Margaret’s debating club with girls competing in the Law Society competition and Kasia Bain and Sophie Jennings coming runners-up in the North of Scotland Schools debating competition. Aside from competitive debating, both the senior and junior debating clubs have been jam packed with lively debate.


t our ever popular club we encourage the development of self confidence and self expression through both competitive debate and group discussions closer to home. Much like a sport, debating is a team game so girls learn to work together to develop their arguments - something they have always been very good at, and this shows through the numerous wins the girls have brought home for the school. In the senior club we explored a great variety of motions through group work and games, including; “there is no place for chivalry in today’s society” and “celebrities have no right to a private life”, and many more. These sparked some interesting discussions between the different year groups. Using the motions as prompts, we developed our public speaking and speech writing skills with a view to eventually each taking part in a competitive debate in the future. Constructing arguments and also deconstructing those of the opposite side is a skill we worked particularly closely on this year. A favourite game of the girls was “Just a minute”. This involved arguing a viewpoint on a particular topic in “just a minute”, with no repeats or hesitations. This game was particularly good for thinking on our feet and was always a good laugh. Of course these skills are not only

useful for competitions but also will be very useful for the classroom and beyond. In the junior club we had a great time playing a range of debating games. A firm favourite was “the balloon debate”, which involved choosing a character to represent on our imaginary balloon and preparing a mini speech about them. Girls also particularly enjoyed our “fairytale debates” when we discussed whether or not Goldilocks was right to enter the three bears’ house and whether or not Jack was right to climb the beanstalk. It’s fair to say we definitely put the magical world of fairytales to rights. It has been another great year in the debating club, with old hands further developing their skills and many promising new starts. We are certain that the St Margaret’s debating club continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the competitive circuit and will maybe even produce some top class politicians or lawyers in the future. Niamh O’Donnell VS Debating President


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Activities & Extra-curricular




Cinema Trips This year two groups of pupils had the opportunity to attend the foreign language film screenings at the Belmont Cinema during the autumn term. On Wednesday 9th October the IIS Spanish class went to see “Super Lopez” - somewhere between Superman and Johnny English. The girls enjoyed laughing at his crazy adventures and seeing the critique of the traditional American superheroes which the film offered. On Wednesday 6th November the IIIS French pupils attended the Belmont to see “une colonie” as part of the annual French Film Festival. This film was set in Quebec and focused on the transition of twelve year old Mylia to high school life. The girls enjoyed this film as it looked at the challenges of the teenage years in realistic lighthighlighting the joys but not hiding from the pressures which adolescence often brings. These opportunities are always a highlight for pupils in the Modern Languages department and continue to provide an insight into the cultures of the languages which the girls are studying in school. Discussions around the contexts and language encountered in the film often provide a great opportunity to discuss cultural differences and challenge stereotypes.

IIIS French at the Belmont ‘On Wednesday 6th November the IIIS French pupils attended the Belmont to see “une colonie” as part of the annual French Film Festival.’

Language Ambassadors This session we launched the role of Language Ambassador within the department. This was an opportunity for IVS girls to develop their leadership skills and promote the celebration of language learning within the school community. Throughout the session the girls were involved in planning and leading a variety of activities. For European Day of Languages on 26th September they organised a languages quiz to complement the assembly led by our VIS linguists. In December they organised a quiz for 5J-7J which focused on customs and traditions for celebrations around the world as well as some expressions used in different languages. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the 5J-7J girls who participated. We were hoping to organise some similar events in the summer term but will keep these ideas for next session. Next session some of our current ambassadors will continue as Senior Language Ambassadors and they will be joined by a new group of IVS Ambassadors who will continue the great work started this year. We look forward to seeing what they organise for different year groups throughout the school year. Thank you to all the Language Ambassadors this year for all the hard work they put in to organising their events. They showed great organisational and leadership skills and we were really impressed with their attitude throughout. Karen Williamson

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Activities & Extra-curricular


Model United Nations In September we kicked off the new school year of Model United Nations with a training mini-conference after school in the GP room. With the Amazon rainforest fires on all of our minds, we debated the topic “Global Superpowers and the Climate Crisis”, with the solutions discussed ranging from the ingenious to the anarchic; North Korea proposed nuclear warfare, as always. This was many girls’ first experience of Model UN, and confidence built as the evening went on. Prizes were awarded to Katie Crabb for Best Delegate and jointly to Georgia Leslie and Blessed McDonald for Best Junior Delegates. In December, St Margaret’s hosted our very own mini conference, inviting students from Robert Gordon’s and Meldrum Academy to debate the War on Drugs. Katie, Sissel, and Niamh chaired a very enjoyable (and controversial) debate and concluded the afternoon with a fun debate involving North Korea and Santa’s reindeer. In February, we once again found ourselves up at an ungodly hour, this time huddling outside the school waiting to catch a coach shared with Aberdeen International School to Glasgow. For the second year running, Hutchesons’ Grammar School hosted HGSMUN. This time representing Russia, USA, Turkey and Brazil, the sixth years were thrilled to represent their first ever (and last) G5 nation. Power broking, inauthentic patriotism and arguments over the Shrek franchise ensued. In the evening, we were nonplussed to discover that the usual ceilidh had been replaced by a quiz night; this was a moment for some to shine, and for many others to fail spectacularly. In an unfortunate example of historical irony, the subject of the General Assembly discussion was containment of the Coronavirus pandemic,


ctober found us bleary eyed but dressed to the nines, waiting to catch a train down to Edinburgh at an ungodly hour of the morning for the St George’s Model UN Conference. Representing Italy, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, countries that differ geographically but differ even more drastically in terms of views, we spent Saturday in committee arguing diverse issues, from the Syrian War to representation of women in government. In the evening, St George’s hosted a lively ceilidh and disco, always a much anticipated chance to socialise and sniff out gossip. The next morning, we trooped back to St George’s for the General Assembly. Debating an emergency scenario in which eco-terrorists had set rigs in the Persian Gulf on fire, Italy formed a dubious alliance with Russia, bribes were exchanged, and chaotic arguments over oil pricing ensued. After an exhausting weekend, we all felt a combination of sadness and relief when the conference closed.

although by the end of the afternoon the debate had devolved into a discussion of the logistics of carving the face of Danny Devito onto the moon. Appropriately enough, on the day St Margaret’s closed its doors we would have been attending the final mini of the year - on the topic of Coronavirus. Eleanor Burnett-Stuart and Katie Yeoman VIS


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Activities & Extra-curricular

l i a h nthropy P h t u o Y INITIATIVE

YPI is a youth initiative run by the Wood Foundation which helps address social issues in our community here in Aberdeen. In the end, a grant of £3000 was donated to a local charity, and this past year, that charity was Befriend a Child. Our year worked hard to present something to the judges which we hoped would show how much our charity deserved the grant, of which £500 was raised by us - the rest generously donated by the Wood Foundation.


ur contribution to the grant lay in the hands of the lovely parents and school community who decided to buy our calendars. These acts of generosity left us with enough for a second and third prize as well, which we were all very happy about. The first step was to choose a charity, and we all agreed that we specifically wanted to help children. Every child deserves a happy childhood so when we saw Befriend a Child, and their motto ‘turn a frown upside down’ we knew they were just what we were looking for. The supportive approach they take in changing disadvantaged childrens’ lives and the difference they make to our community made us realise how much of an impact this grant could have on childrens’ lives across Aberdeen. Children with difficult life circumstances are referred to Befriend a Child, and there they can find a supportive and friendly adult figure who they go on fun outings with. Having a caring and stable relationship with an adult can make all the difference to

these children, and in many cases it really does. Volunteers see a visible difference: seeing previously withdrawn, anxious or unhappy children grow in confidence and make new friends is truly heartwarming. Befrienders meet their children twice a month for a few hours to talk and have fun. The aim is to foster a trusting relationship with

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Activities & Extra-curricular

their child and introduce them to new experiences. Through Befriend a Child disadvantaged children get to have the same opportunities as their peers, and start to enjoy just being children again. Over the course of our planning period, we had the opportunity to meet our charity, see their facilities and talk to volunteers. This really opened our eyes to the wonderful work they are doing and reminded us just how important this cause really is. We were given a tour of the building, where we saw a cinema room, complete with games and a playstation and a play room full of toys and books: a child’s dream. Eleven weeks flew by and the time for brainstorming, meeting and planning was over. It was presentation night, and I think I can speak for many when I say we were nervous; all of the charities are so worthy and we didn’t want to let them down. As well as Befriend a Child, the following charities were


represented: Friends of the Neonatal Unit, Mental Health Aberdeen, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Archway, Music4U, CHAS and Grampian Child Bereavement Network. Overall, YPI gave us the confidence to present something we care about and speak in front of an audience. The planning process taught us a lot about time management. Being pushed out of our comfort zone was very rewarding in the end and I think we are all glad to have participated in something that gives back to our community. Olivia Bonandrini IIIS Team - Befriend a Child


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Junior Art Gallery


A selection of work from 3J

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Junior Art Gallery

A selection of work from 4J

Emily Gunn

Fatima Mahfooz

Emily Littlejohn

Penelope Campbell

April Campbell

Thejal Senthil



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Junior Art Gallery

A selection of work from 5J

Ana Barens Rico

Faye Brown

Misha Anthwal

Alienor Jones

Elena Weber

Katy McKee

Safiya Rahman

Alison McLeod

Hannah Murray

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Junior Art Gallery

A selection of work from 6J

Libby Butler

Isla Miller

Lena Van Niekerk

Daisy Leighton

Freya Campbell



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Junior Art Gallery

A selection of work from 6J & 7J

Mya Kelly

Mary Kate Kennedy

Marianne Butcher

Charlotte Holroyd

Whole class

Olivia Arthur

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Junior Art Gallery

Evelyn Siju

Chloe Sekulin

Grace Barker

Chinenya Adibe

Romy Bryce

Estelle McKenzie



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Senior Art Gallery


IS: A selection of work

Ellie Ong

Maria Nalda Ventura

Noemi Moleda

Yoma Omaruaye

Laura Thorn

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Senior Art Gallery

IIS: A selection of work

Rose Main

Jane Curry

Orla Madden

Tiana Mudkavi

Milly Finnie

Ndagha Mpandeni

Anna Byrne

Katie Jamieson

Charlie Bricknell



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Senior Art Gallery

IIIS: A selection of work

Alexa Odell

Lucy Smith

Tessa MacArthur

Bronwyn Scott

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Senior Art Gallery

IVS National 5 Art and Design

Liberty Mountain

Emily Barker

Sophie Jennings

Mariya Guz

Emma Simpson

Zahra Zeynalzade

Joanna Malikebu

Camille Narducci

Mary Loudon



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Senior Art Gallery

IVS National 5 Expressive Outcome

Emily Barker

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Senior Art Gallery

Leah McKean

Mariya Guz

Joanna Malikebu

Sophie Jennings



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Senior Art Gallery

VS Higher Design Outcome

Eabha O’Sullivan

Adrianna Irvine-Fortescue

Ruth Leith

Bethany Riach

Justine Arndt

Kezia Fraser

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Senior Art Gallery

VS Higher Expressive Outcome

Justine Arndt



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Senior Art Gallery

Kezia Fraser

Eabha O’Sullivan

Ruth Leith

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Senior Art Gallery

Bethany Riach



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Senior Art Gallery

VIS Advanced Higher Design Animation. Caitriona Hastings

CLICK TO VIEW Walking Away Animation

CLICK TO VIEW Horse and Cart Animation

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Senior Art Gallery

VIS Advanced Higher Expressive Still life of selected antique images and family memories. Lily Gray



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Our Shakespearean production has taught us all that if you put in enough of your time and dedication you can achieve anything! When we found out that our performance was going to be of Hamlet we could not wait to begin rehearsals.


lthough we were nervous, we enjoyed the auditions and once the cast list was announced, we got stuck into rehearsals. We were so eager to get performing that everyone learned their lines over the Christmas break, and we were ready to bring the play to life in January. With our lines memorised, rehearsals ran smoothly and soon the characters started to come to life and the story was growing in dramatic tension. The most exciting parts of the play were the parts we performed as an ensemble. This was when we used our voice and movement on stage, not to become characters, but to create moods and atmosphere. Being creative and experimenting in the drama studio in our workshop-style rehearsals made us feel like a professional theatre company.

Soon we were ready to perform at the Lemon Tree theatre and standing on that stage as a group felt really magical. We have learned so much not only about theatre, but about being a team and we were so excited to share our version of Hamlet with an audience. Having a live audience who were seeing the production for the first time was amazing and they were so encouraging, so a huge thank you if you were there! Shannon MacAngus and Mia Bonandrini (on behalf of 7 Junior)

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Having a live audience who were seeing the production for the first time was amazing and they were so encouraging, so a huge thank you if you were there!



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AS YOU LIKE IT I Senior girls were very fortunate to have the opportunity to perform in one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies, As You Like It, as part of the one-act festival on Thursday 13th February. This play features some of his best-loved characters, as they fall victim to a series of mistaken identities and mishaps in the Forest of Arden. Ultimately new friendships are formed, and families and lovers reunited.


his production was directed by Eilidh Bisset and Jenna Rolfe from VI Senior. We have seen Eilidh and Jenna perform in many shows, so we knew how talented our directors were and we were very excited to be working with them. Eilidh and Jenna introduced all sorts of rehearsal techniques to help us to understand the language and to communicate the story to the audience. Once we understood the humour in the play, we then experimented with different ways of delivering the lines to have maximum impact on the audience. I think the most important thing we learned was that everything you do on stage is a decision and you need to commit 100% to the interpretation both vocally and physically in order to reach your audience and bring them on the creative journey with you. As rehearsals progressed, performances became more detailed and the pace of performance picked up, which really

accentuated the humour. We knew performing Shakespeare would be difficult, but a comedy added another layer of challenge. We were all very relieved when we heard the audience laughing at the first comedic moment. We did it - we told the story of As You Like It, AND it was funny! We will also never forget the famous quote that we had heard many times before, but now we know where it originated from: ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players’ Juliet Gaskell IS

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Afternoon at the Seaside

The Rats

The first play within Agatha Christie’s ‘Rule of Three’ was ‘Afternoon at the Seaside’ which is a lighthearted comedy about an emerald necklace that goes missing and a detective who meets an interesting group of people while investigating. On the beach resort there is a clear divide between the upper and lower class people. Within the upper class people are Mrs Gunner and her son Percy and Mrs Crum with her husband George Crum. In the lower class there is Noreen Somers with her husband Arthur, who’s extremely quiet and Bob Wheeler, who at times seems to be very close with Noreen. Something that gets everyone’s attention is Beauty, the young French girl. A mixup in clothes after coming out of the sea leaves a very confused Percy as he finds the emerald necklace is in Bob’s trouser pockets. As in any Agatha Christie play there were a few plot twists near the end as the story progresses. As the police come to arrest Bob it’s revealed that the Beauty is actually an undercover inspector who has been working with inspector Foley the whole time. The biggest plot twist turns out to be that Arthur had the real emerald necklace and he and Noreen planted a fake one in Bob’s pocket as a bit of fun.

Sandra and David, lovers caught up in an affair with each other, are invited to the Torrances for drinks. To their surprise no one is home. What at first glance appears to be a simple mix up of dates quickly turns into something far more sinister when the two lovers are locked in, and all at once, framed for murder.

We decided to do something different with our staging by taking out the front section of seats and extending it. This was useful as it allowed us to have our three beach huts in the back still allowing for lots of space for movement. We used the extended section to have Arthur stationed as he slept, but also allowing the actors to be closer to the audience engaging them with the action more. To add to the beach theme we had music playing at the start and people pretending to be playing at the beach. This was the first time St Margaret’s has done a play as a musical is usually chosen, but Agatha Christie went down really well and both the actors and audience had a positive experience. Niamh Dreelan VS

When making this, we had so much freedom to really make it our own and as we were doing it in the round there were a lot of things we needed to take into consideration such as movement on stage, making sure each side of the audience got the same experience as the other. We were able to use certain props in ways that we wouldn’t normally be able to, using the usual proscenium arch staging, like placing the trunk in the centre and planning our movements around and on top of the trunk. The serious nature of the play was a nice switch up on the previous musicals. It showed a whole different side of theatre which was just as challenging in many other ways. Something that we had to overcome was creating the intensity needed in some scenes, especially scenes between Sandra and David; when one character was speaking, the other character would have to react with facial expressions and keep their own internal monologue alive. Learning how to become comfortable with silence was another challenge. Using it to keep the intensity and also keeping the audience engaged was a challenge. The whole experience of the show was amazing, being able to experience a whole different side of theatre and experiment with different techniques that we had never had the chance to use such as in the round was really fun. We all learnt a lot from this experience and really enjoyed the school show. Sarah Anderson VS

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The Patient In this intense theatrical performance, we follow the experiences of four suspects as they are questioned in one small room about the attempted murder of a Mrs Jenny Wingfield. As the plot progresses, it becomes clear that Agatha Christie has arranged the play very intelligently, since it can be seen that each character has equal opportunity and reason to commit this crime. However, in true Agatha Christie fashion, the most unexpected killer, not one of the suspects but the nurse to Mrs Wingfield, is revealed with a flourish at the finale. An interesting dynamic of this play is the addition of the paralysed patient in a bed in the room throughout. Though this at first seems simply odd, the interrogators divulge exclusively to the audience later in the performance that there is an experiment to be made that will involve the participation of the apparently “paralysed” patient. The plot progressively gets more complicated, and eventually, when the suspects and the interrogators seem to have entangled themselves in an untieable knot, all is unravelled, and the nurse is caught. An unusual aspect of this play is the staging. The presence of the patient and the machine that was supposed to be used to test the patient meant staging and positioning were important


aspects. We chose to position the bed centre stage at the back, with a screen covering it to add an element of mystery to the play at the beginning. We had the machine positioned to the right of the bed. In front of these props we had an avenue - a smaller section of the stage protruding from the main one. This allowed the actors to engage and communicate with the audience more freely. Overall, St. Margaret’s production of “The Patient” by Agatha Christie went very successfully, and was enjoyed thoroughly by both audience and actors alike. Francesca Mountain VS


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Senior Scientists

Senior Scientists BIOLOGY Senior Scientists The year started off in customary busy style in the biology department with a Higher workshop on the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). For those less-in-the-know, this is the revolutionary method devised to generate millions of copies from a single sample of DNA, made famous by forensics and paternity testing. Lucienne McCallum from Timstar came to deliver the workshop and entertained both classes with her stories of crimes and passion, solved by the actions of micropipettes and a thermocycler. Operating Theatre Live Soon after this, the school gym transformed once more into a scene from Casualty as we played host to Operating Theatre Live for the second time. Pupils from around Aberdeen city and Shire came to enjoy some hands-on dissection of brains, hearts and note the memorable smell of the digestive system. Attendees calculated dilutions of anaesthetic based on body mass and administered it to their patient, and balked at the cost of sterile drapes. This most notably is my memory from the day, brought into stark relief in the PPE crisis to come in 2020. The afternoon session was most hands-on with an amputation and suturing to carry out. The wonderful Jo was engaging, encouraging and informative throughout. Forvie Nature Reserve Fieldwork The Advanced Higher class spent a very soggy day on Forvie Nature Reserve with ranger Dave Pickett, who also quietly

enthused and inspired us with his knowledge and passion of life on the reserve. We spent the morning classroom-based, with a quick trip outside to empty some pitfall traps and an overlyoptimistic moth trap; the contents of one trap included a very cute frog! Dave taught us how birds are ringed, tracked and monitored on the reserve, and how elusive species can also be traced. After lunch he took us to Waulkmill bird hide to spend some time with the binoculars recording ethograms of bird behaviour. Dave's infectious enthusiasm made ornithologists out of all of us. Meanwhile in the classroom the IS classes were entertaining us with their creative interpretations of the importance of plants, which included an original musical composition and poetry and the IIS classes were presenting equally creative lessons on the different body systems (think: Operation Ouch!). December brought with it the assignment season for IVS, glowin-the-dark genetically modified bacteria, Festive agar and the annual Microbiology Lecture at the University of Aberdeen for VS. And then it was 2020. Mrs Hendry left us to have baby Tom, and we welcomed Mrs Lawson back into the St Margaret’s biology fold. There were prelims, assignments, projects, exams and then lockdown. The girls coped amazingly with everything that was thrown at them and then swiftly taken away from them. Competitions During lockdown two year groups successfully completed entries for the MiSAC microbiology poster competition, we learned a lot about viruses and immunity and PCR testing (see, it's all relevant!), and the VIS girls explored nutrition and wellbeing in depth. We have never been so appreciative of faceto-face teaching, good wifi and the joy of spontaneity. We wish all of our leavers every success in this topsy-turvy world, and cannot wait to see everyone else's faces in 3D in the new term.

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Senior Scientists



Annual Microbiology Lecture In early December, the VS and VIS biology pupils attended the annual microbiology lecture run by Aberdeen University at Foresterhill. It was delivered by Dr Carol Phillips, CEO of the National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria. She gave the pupils present a summary of her background and career path to show how diverse a degree based in biology can be. She then proceeded to discuss different bacteria and asked the audience to participate with cards which could be held up to indicate if we thought the bacteria were bad or if they were 'superheroes' that could help save the world. Quite often, our opinions changed after listening about each bacteria and what benefits they could bring to us! It was an extremely interesting and informative lecture. Abby Miller

Quite often, our opinions changed after listening about each bacteria and what benefits they could bring to us! It was an extremely interesting and informative lecture.

Experimentation is the lifeblood of science and at the start of the year there were many opportunities to carry out experiments both in the laboratory and outdoors. 7J girls demonstrated an excellent grasp of how to change an experiment when the original conditions do not provide experimental results. In IIS there was a chance to send two capsules into the high atmosphere, over 40 km above the surface of the Earth. One capsule was insulated using aluminium foil and both contained chocolate. When the capsules were in freefall back to the surface of the Earth the experiment showed that the aluminium foil provided enough insulation to stop the chocolate from melting. Finding the speed of sound allows us to use Rubislaw Gardens across from the school. Pupils have a space that is long enough to see an action that makes sound before they hear the sound. Timing the difference between seeing and hearing allows us to work out the speed of sound. This year the results were very good, with a result of just under 330 m s-1. This value is very close to the accepted one of 340 m s-1. This experiment is great for discussing sources of uncertainty and looking at ways of improving the results. This year there were 4 students who studied the Advanced Higher course, with a lot of success. They had the opportunity to carry out experiments in a wide range of topics, and also in their own individual projects. The projects provide the high point in experimental physics and allow students to develop their skills in a focussed manner on a particular topic. This year they carried out work on moments of inertia, lenses, lasers and pendula. The quality of their work was very high. The section of the course on Astrophysics provided a springboard for two students to continue their studies in this area. It is great to see young women taking on further studies in Astrophysics courses at university know that science at St Margaret’s is providing them a solid foundation from which to make further progress. Experimental work on waves was enhanced this year with a very kind donation of a ripple tank, by the FP Club, in memory of Ian Gall a former Head of Physics and lifelong friend of the school. Girls are able to see physical waves and experience the various properties of such waves like reflection, diffraction and interference in the lab. This helps them to consolidate the theory behind these properties and is a fitting memorial to a scientist who was always looking for ways to help students experience science and gave so much to the school. Iain Garioch


The Chronicle 2020

‘Experience the World’ Day

Hyvää hu o

m en t a

rld’ Day ‘Experience the Wo


In June, the Senior School enjoyed a day away from their online studies, to come together virtually for 'Experience the World' Day. Girls were encouraged to get involved with a variety of activities to transport them to another country and give them the opportunity to explore an aspect of another country's culture. There was a wide array of activities the girls could try including listening to music, playing games, designing artwork, reading literature, cooking or coming together to dance. Girls posted their efforts on Google classroom for everyone to enjoy.

Buong io r


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‘Experience the World’ Day

Bueno s dí


Guten Mo

Good m o

r nin g

rge n


DANCE CLASSES IN THE HEART OF THE CITY Thanks to TV sensations like Strictly and The Greatest Dancer, learning to dance has never been more popular. The Academy Street Dance Studio offers classes six days a week from the purpose built city-centre studio. The studio was created by the renowned and much-loved teacher Jemma McRae. Business partners and teachers Gillian and Jo offer a great programme of friendly, fun classes, including pre-school dance from age two and a half. Older children will love the wide range of classes

offered, from ballet, tap and modern dance to street, acro and contemporary. There’s even an all-boys class, as well as regular masterclasses and themed workshops. Special coach Rhonda Scott offers confidence-building Musical Theatre classes, while

12 Academy Street AB11 6DZ 01224 211017 Follow us on: academystreetdancestudio academystreet_dance

Carolanne Sinclair offers traditional Highland Dancing. The Academy Street Dance Studio can be hired out as a venue for the simplest or most elaborate birthday parties, or kids can bust a move with a brilliant dance party hosted by the staff. It’s not all about tiny tots in tutus, though. Academy Street Dance Studio also run jazz & stretch sessions as well as a programme of daytime classes for Adults.

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Learning & Teaching from Home

ing & Teaching n r a e L in Lockdown

From Monday March 23rd we moved our lessons and our school community online, using G Suite for Education as the platform for live delivery of lessons. The commitment of my colleagues, the resilience of our pupils and the support of our families was extraordinary.

As a school community we are exceptionally proud of what we learned and what was achieved during this time. In this next section, we hope you enjoy a flavour of the wonderful activities and projects that took place during this time.

Anna Tomlinson



The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home

In June, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, St Margaret’s planned a virtual event in which every pupil, from nursery to sixth year, enthusiastically took part.

Sports Day

Introduction As with every school across the country, the annual sports day had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but St Margaret’s planned a virtual event in which every pupil, from nursery to sixth year, took part in activities. There was an activity for everyone! The traditional march past was shared virtually and re-created by pupils from home, and house chants were shared to kick off the day. The enthusiasm and involvement from the whole school was fantastic. We were thrilled by the number of entries for all the challenges and activities with over 160 Bake Off entries alone! Head of PE Karen Norval said: “Last year’s sports day was cancelled altogether because of the terrible weather, and this year we have the pandemic; however, we are not letting this stop us. We wanted to make this sports day as fun and inclusive as possible, so we designed a programme of activities that everyone can take part in at home, whatever the weather. “The messages of support we received from all seven sportswomen have been fantastic, with their advice and tips on keeping active in lockdown, motivational hints and tips and good luck wishes. We very much appreciate them taking the time and effort to send them to us and we believe they will provide a real boost for the girls.”

Sportswomen Messages of Support A squad of international sportswomen have shown their support for pupils at St Margaret’s School in Aberdeen with a series of inspirational messages designed to motivate them as they take part in their first ever virtual sports day. Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley, ex-Scotland Hockey Team captain Sam Judge, 400m athlete Kelsey Stewart, Scotland’s international football team captain Rachel Corsie, Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist Steph Inglis, Scottish Netball Captain Claire Maxwell and Scottish swimmer Rachel Masson all responded to a request from the school’s PE department for video messages designed to boost the pupils at today’s event.

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Learning & Teaching from Home

HOUSE CREST Art Competition Winners Crathes House Winners

Dunnottar House Winners

Kildrummy House Winners

Jorja Clarke - IIS

Olivia Bonandrini - IIIS

Jessica Gunn - 6J

Libby Butler - 6J

Justine Arndt - VS

Isla Bricknell - 7J

Misha Anthwal - 5J

Magdalena Van Niekerk - 6J

Ella Galbraith - 1J

1 2 3

1 1










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Learning & Teaching from Home

Isla Leith

Virtual Sports Day

Bake Off Winning Entries

Over 160 entries!

Amelia Blythe

Tiana Mudkavi

Nursery to 4J Category

IS to VIS Category

Joint Winners: Isla Leith 1J & Anderson Naughton 1J

Winner: Lucy Smith IIIS

Runner Up: Ioanna Abolarin 3J

Joint Runners Up: Tiana Mudkavi IIS & Hilary Cowie IIIS

5J to 7J Category

Staff Category

Winner: Charlotte Holroyd 6J

Winner: Karen Williamson

Joint Runners Up: Amelia Blythe 5J & Katy McKee 5J

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Learning & Teaching from Home

Charlotte Holroyd

Ioanna Abolarin

Hilary Cowie

Anderson Naughton

Lucy Smith

Katy McKee

Miss Williamson



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Learning & Teaching from Home

General Activities

The timetable of sports day activities – including The Great St Margaret’s Bake Off, the House Crest Challenge and Sporting and Staff Challenges – took place throughout the day. There were 10 challenges altogether culminating in the announcement of the winning House and award ceremony. Congratulations to Kildrummy house who were crowned champions of Virtual Sports Day 2020 with a total of 1080 points. Crathes in 2nd Place with 1042 and Dunnottar in 3rd with 1028.

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home



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Learning & Teaching from Home

Wellbeing Wednesdays

The Nursery and Junior School had a magnificent day in May for Wellbeing Wednesday where they spent a day away from their screens and enjoyed creative activities including den building, baking, playing music, bug hunting and enjoying the outdoors.

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Learning & Teaching from Home

rtant w impo es o h d e ecognis e unusual tim We all r es es and uring th it was d ime for ourselv ere is t H to take llbeing. e ll w r u o er phs of a a r g o t look aft o h . ion of p a select ir fun activities the



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Learning & Teaching from Home

SENIOR SCHOOL WELLBEING DAYS The senior school also enjoyed a number of Wellbeing Days during lockdown. Based on the NHS 5 steps to wellbeing, the girls were offered a variety of different activities. Although this was a special off timetable day it was also about encouraging our pupils to think about adopting wellbeing habits as part of their daily routine. Here is a selection of pieces of work from the girls.

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Learning & Teaching from Home


The whole of the junior school enjoyed a day away from their usual timetable to focus on the environment. Here is a selection of photographs showing the different types of fun activities they enjoyed throughout the day.



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Learning & Teaching from Home


CLICK TO VIEW House photography winners


Pupils and staff were invited to take part in a virtual house photography competition entitled “Spring”. All entries to the competition were awarded house points and the winning entry and runner up for each house was awarded 20 or 10 points accordingly. We were delighted that the nominated judge for the competition was St Margaret’s former head teacher, Mrs Anne Everest. 2J|W















1J Winner Isabelle Ogosi Kildrummy

2J Winner Kate Oliver Crathes

3J Winner Erin MacFadyen Crathes

4J Winner Arabella Winn Kildrummy

5J Winner Rose Veitch Crathes

6J Winner Emilie Parkinson Dunnottar

7J Winner Keira Bespalov Crathes

1J Runner-up Julia Bamford Kildrummy

2J Runner-up Clara McKee Dunnottar

3J Runner-up Blair Milne Dunnottar

4J Runner-up Lucinda Kerr Crathes

5J Runner-up Misha Anthwal Crathes

6J Runner-up Ruth Makoni Crathes

7J Runner-up Grace Scott Kildrummy

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home


Sunflower Challenge In the summer term we launched an initiative called #StMargaretstogether to help keep our St Margaret’s community connected and together during the challenging lockdown period.

We had a fantastic response to the competition and had over 125 entries. The wonderful spring photographs most certainly lifted all our spirits during this challenging period.










Our initiative was launched with a Sunflower Challenge. Pupils were sent sunflower seeds to grow in a competition to see who could grow the biggest sunflower. We were very fortunate to have wonderful weather during the first few months which proved to be ideal conditions for germinating those seeds! It is evident from all the wonderful photos that the sunflowers received much care and attention; some have reached quite impressive heights. Here are some of the wonderful examples:

IS Winner Camryn Mackie Kildrummy

IIS Winner Georgia Leslie Dunnottar

IIIS Winner Eve Reynolds Dunnottar

IVS-VIS Winner Eilidh Robertson Crathes

Staff Winner Mrs Nehring Crathes

IS Runner-up Mia Baxter Crathes

IIS Runner-up Romanie MacAngus Dunnottar

IIIS Runner-up Weronika Rukat Kildrummy

IVS-VIS Runner-up Emily Barker Crathes

Staff Runner-up Mrs A Miller Kildrummy


The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home


During lockdown, the nursery children continued to engage in a huge variety of learning activities from home as you can see from the photographs. We were so impressed with the engagement and enthusiasm for online learning. Well done Nursery children and families. Jennifer Minett and Laura Simpson

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home

Pirates Topic 1J

1J enjoyed learning about pirates during lockdown. They created their own wanted posters, pirate rules and messages in a bottle. They made hardtack biscuits which the pirates ate on their ships and scurvy busting juice. They learned about why pirates get scurvy and made posters to tell us which foods contain a lot of Vitamin C which stops you getting scurvy.

Spring 2J

IN A BOX Girls in 2J were asked to use their imagination and creativity skills to create a spring scene in a shoe box. They were encouraged to work as independently as possible and to use resources from their home or garden.



The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home


Water Cycle

3J enjoyed learning about the water cycle in science during lockdown. They learnt about evaporation, condensation and precipitation and watched a short video explaining how the water cycle works and labelled a diagram. They carried out an experiment to see the water cycle in action. This involved drawing the water cycle diagram onto a clear sandwich bag and filled a quarter of the bag with water. Then they put 2 drops of blue food colouring into the water, sealed the bag and taped it to a window in direct sunlight. The bag was left for about an hour and results observed. Alison Dressel

Balance Scales 4J

To help us learn more about measuring weight, we made our own balance scales out of household items. The girls then compared the weights of items around the house and used our scales to identify which item was heavier and lighter. They were incredibly inventive with the materials they used for their balance scales! Kirstie Maddison

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home



Drama Set

During May, girls in 5 and 6 junior were tasked with creating their own set design, either a hand drawn plan or 3D model. They were asked to base this on a theatre production of their choice. Here is a selection of some of their work.


Singing Success

During lockdown, Iona from 7 Junior was crowned the winner of Charlie House’s BIG Sunday Showcase. There were ten finalists – including singers, dancers, gymnasts and even roller skaters. The decision on whom to crown winner was open to a public vote. Iona achieved 27% of the votes with her rendition of Adele’s song ‘Don’t You Remember’. Well done Iona. A wonderful achievement.


Afternoon Tea

At the end of term, both classes in 7J came together virtually to celebrate the end of term and the end of junior school with an afternoon tea. My afternoon tea was lovely. I thought it was a brilliant idea. My tea was themed in the colours black, white and pink. I had a selection of foods from sweet to savoury and I also baked a malteser tart which was the centrepiece of the tea. I invited all of my family (my brothers, my sister and my parents) and everybody managed to come for at least a little bit. Overall I really enjoyed it and will always remember the virtual afternoon tea! Shannon MacAngus 7J


The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home


Virtual Music Concerts

End of Term Song At the end of a term, a term unlike any other in the history of St Margaret’s, the whole school community came together to create this special version of the song ‘Proud’ by musician Heather Small.



As part of the school’s #StMargaretstogether summer initiative, Mrs Goodwin and our other fantastic teachers and pupils put together three wonderful cooking programmes - Meg’s Menus - for all the school community to enjoy.

As part of the #StMargaretstogether summer initiative, pupils of all ages enthusiastically took part in a number of St Margaret’s Virtual Music Concerts at the ‘Music Hall’ during May and June. Pupils contributed a recording of them playing or singing a piece at home and the whole school community thoroughly enjoyed watching the wonderful recitals together, virtually from home.

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home



Closer Together COMPETITION

There was an enthusiastic response to our Closer Together Competition in collaboration with Tulloch Recruitment during lockdown, with girls submitting diverse, interesting and thoughtful entries.


ell done to Harriet Dawson VIS who was one of the winning entries with her artwork featuring Aberdeen’s Westburn House. Her inspiring artwork was featured in the local press who took an interest in her hopes for the derelict landmark to be restored. Harriet commented: “I decided to paint the picture because every day on my daily walk I pass the ruined house in the park, and I had heard that a group was being set up to restore the house to its former glory.

“I decided to paint the house restored as a cafe, which I think would encourage more people to go to the park regularly, as it would create a wonderful little spot for people to meet up.” Well done to the other winning entries from Lara Corradi 4J, Evelyn Siju 7J, Weronika Rukat IIIS, Amal Freigoun III, Kasia Bain IVS, Safiya Rahman 5J, Misha Anthwal 5J, Ellen Smith IIS, Katyayeni Singh IVS and Jyothi Francis IVS.

Harriet Dawson VI Senior: Every day on my daily walk I pass the ruined Westburn House in the park, and I had heard that a group was being set up to restore the house to its former glory. I decided to paint the house restored as a cafe, which I think would encourage more people to go to the park regularly, as it would create a wonderful little spot in the park for people to meet up.


The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home

Lara 4J

Misha 5J: I have drawn this because animals from the jungle have been found on streets in cities, so I drew a girl looking out of the window, gazing at this new world around us during the covid-19 lockdown.

Safiya 5J: This is a painting of my dog, Luna. Luna is close to me because she is beautiful and funny. She makes me feel happy and gives me company when I can’t see my friends. I remember when she first saw bubbles.

Evelyn 7J: I chose to do this painting because painting is a very relaxing thing to do. A rose is a symbol of love; the single leaf represents hope and the background is blue, which means peace. These three words are very meaningful to me at this tragic time as these words are a big part in our lives.

Ellen IIS: The cause I have chosen is Children 1st as this charity is working very hard now during the coronavirus pandemic, to protect vulnerable children from harm. My collage has a heart motif as Children 1st puts children at the heart of everything they do.

Weronika IIIS: Lockdown showed me how to appreciate things more which we didn’t appreciate as much before. Through lockdown my dog was really sick and had to go to an emergency vet. There they had to fight for his life, but because of the virus we couldn’t be there with him and the worst thing was that if he died I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye. At this moment, this showed me another side of the lockdown and how terrible it is for people who can’t be with their close ones who are in hospital. And now every little thing he does makes me happy - like him sitting in flowers - which is the thing I drew to show something that is closest to my heart.

The Chronicle 2020

Learning & Teaching from Home

Amal IIIS: The cause which has become close to my heart during lockdown is global warming and pollution. I have drawn a clock on the earth as the pandemic is giving the planet time to recover and replenish itself. Just months ago it would have been thought impossible to close polluting factories virtually overnight and cut emissions from travel by keeping billions at home. Now we know that clear skies and silent streets can come about with shocking speed. It took weeks, not years, for skies in polluted cities to clear as emissions dropped. People in smog-filled towns in India shared photos of the suddenly visible Himalayas, which had been concealed by pollution. Citizens of Wuhan can finally hear birds chirping after years, Venice’s water canals are clear and full of fish and you can see the Tatra mountains from Krakow because the smog has lifted. The coronavirus isn’t an apocalypse, it’s an awakening.

Katyayeni VIS: My chosen cause is writing letters. Over the quarantine period, we have all been well connected through social media and video calls which are now part of our daily routine. This is an efficient and instantaneous way of communication. However, being isolated away from everyone has reminded me of the excitement behind the process of writing and receiving a letter. Handwriting a letter takes time and effort. Unlike a text, you think about what you’re writing and make it special. It can be kept forever and maybe looked at once the quarantine period is over. Letters take a few days to be delivered and that anticipation is what makes the whole thing so exciting. Of course we text each other when we receive or post these letters (one might argue that this defeats the purpose of writing physical letters) but getting detailed life updates, stories or drawings from friends in the post is great!


Kasia IVS: The cause that I chose was mental health awareness. This is important during the covid 19 lockdown and at all times. Many people suffer from mental health conditions and don’t always talk about it or show visible signs. Sharing your feelings with family and friends and taking the time to talk to them, may reduce some of the burden that you are feeling. During this crisis people are feeling stressed and anxious about health, loved ones and their jobs or school to name only a few of the worries that people face in these uncertain times.

Jyothi VIS: During lockdown I have been practising more art. Drawing art is enjoyable and is important to me so these drawings I’ve shared show what I have managed to develop during lockdown. Also during this time, some friends and I have decided to try and create animation (it may take months) but this opportunity has allowed me to develop skills in an area of interest and I would like to continue my passion for art. As for the drawings, they don’t really have much meaning in themselves; it is the act of drawing which has been meaningful for me.


The Chronicle 2020

Silver Awards


We are the chosen few that have made it out alive. It may feel like a lifetime ago when we can all vividly remember the first day of school like it was yesterday. Who knew that a tiny group of 1 Junior girls in August 2007 would have made unforgettable memories made of hilarity, tears and friendship. The silver medal should really be gold as we feel as if we’ve crossed the line, first place, together. In 3 Junior a new girl group hit the scene and had the whole playground going wild with excitement. Kassidy, Caitlin and Niamh came together to form ‘The Wrinkles’ in a bid to become the next pop sensation. They really did believe that they had the x-factor but with a very small repertoire consisting of ‘The Prune Song’, which they learnt at Brownies, and occasionally ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift. The dream sadly fell through but keep an eye out in the future because a reunion tour could always be on the horizon. One of the best novelties of junior school was the beloved ice pack, especially during the summer months. Many of us discovered a complete random love of these magical cold creations and enjoyed using them to cool down in the playground. In fact it was almost worth having a graze or a bump to get one.

Victoria, Niamh, Kassidy, Caitlin and Janani just before lockdown in March. Rameen (3rd from right) is also pictured as she joined in 1J but spent some years away from St Margaret’s during her school journey.


aking that bold walk across the corridor from the beloved Daffodil Nursery was the first step into adulthood. As sad as Kassidy and Caitlin were to say goodbye to the sandpit and painting area, they were quite content to leave behind their rather fetching yellow and dark green tracksuits. Sitting in a circle in 1 Junior is where our story begins. In 1 Junior, Caitlin and Niamh embarked on an epic musical journey, learning to play the violin. Before lessons the two would meet with the same question, ‘have you practised?’ - the answer more often than not was no! At their joint lessons they passed the time keeping the conversations going for as long as possible to avoid actually playing the instrument their parents had paid for. Caitlin was so relieved when Ella “accidentally” broke her bow. The pair also spent their time as desk partners at Corelli, taking turns on rotation to look behind at the clock to see how close they were to being able to pack up their instruments for them to be left in their lockers for another week.

In 7 Junior it was common to have to complete homework out of a literacy booklet. One day Kassidy was at Homework Club and decided it would be a good idea to sneak into Miss Bradbury’s cupboard to try and find the answers so she could get full marks. Whilst she was rummaging around in the cupboard, she heard a noise and sure enough Miss Bradbury returned to class to mark homework. Kassidy had to hide in between the fridge and cabinet inside the cupboard whilst Miss Bradbury marked the papers. It’s safe to say Miss Bradbury never found out and Kassidy did very well in her homework that week! Senior school went by in a flash, but it was just about as fun-filled as junior school. It all went by so quickly without anyone even noticing how grown up we were becoming. None of us could have predicted that our 13+ years at St Margaret’s would have come to such an abrupt end and we’ve had to get used to not seeing each other every day sooner than we thought. However nothing can take away from the memories we have together, from the Daffodil Nursery to the sixth year flat. Perhaps in years to come we will reunite to reminisce about times of friendship, truth, fortitude and love. Victoria Cassop, Niamh O’Donnell, Kassidy Mathers, Janani Mohan and Caitlin O’Bryne

The Chronicle 2020

Silver Awards

Perhaps in years to come we will reunite to reminisce about times of friendship, truth, fortitude and love.



The Chronicle 2020

Awards & Certificates


19 - 202






Art and Design ......................................................... Bethany Riach

Latin ................................................................................ Jewel Jacob

Biology ........................................................................... Jewel Jacob

Maths .............................................................................. Oishani Dutta

Business Management ....................................... Sara Yorston

Modern Studies ....................................................... Tajalia Infal

Chemistry .................................................................... Iona Adams & Oishani Dutta

Music .............................................................................. Jenna Stewart

Computing Science .............................................. Oishani Dutta

Physics .......................................................................... Oishani Dutta

Drama ............................................................................ Francesca Mountain

PE ...................................................................................... Zoe Duringer

Economics .................................................................. Martha Sheal

RMPS ............................................................................. Hannah Yeats

English ........................................................................... Kezia Fraser & Martha Sheal

Higher Commendation Certificate .............. Portia Clarke

Philosophy ................................................................... Nandini Dutta

French ............................................................................ Elizabeth Glasspool Geography .................................................................. Iona Adams German ......................................................................... Neha Subash

Award for Exceptional Performance in a Higher in IV Senior (Music) ........................................................................... Emily Smith (French) ......................................................................... Katie Crabb

History ............................................................................ Bethany Riach



Allardyce (essay) ..................................................... Bethany Riach Alice Lumsden (Piano) ........................................ Emily Smith Drama: most outstanding ................................. Eilidh Bisset & Sarah Anderson performance Drama: most outstanding ................................. Jenna Rolfe & supporting performance Francesca Mountain



The Owen Salver for Advanced Higher Modern Languages .............................. Niamh O’Donnell The Thomas-Wright Crystal for Excellence in Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry ........................................ Emma Murray FP Award ...................................................................... Emma Murray

Faye Benzie (for Sport) ....................................... Jennifer Tait Fotheringham Cup for Advanced Higher Physics ......................................................... Caitriona Hastings Hay Award (for involvement in extra-curricular activities in VIS) .................. Janani Mohan John Witte Memorial Prize for ........................ Eilidh Bisset & Advanced Higher English Eleanor Burnett-Stuart

tions a l atu r ng o c

The Chronicle 2020

Parent Teacher Association


Parent Teacher ASSOCIATION

Looking back on the last school year it was wonderful to see parents and families engaging with PTA events. Our uniform sale in the Autumn term was a popular event, giving parents the opportunity to sell or donate uniform while raising funds for the PTA. It is a challenging event to organise, as anyone who has seen the uniform cupboard will testify, and the PTA are ever grateful to our willing volunteers who run this event so smoothly. Our second uniform sale of the year was postponed and replaced by an online sale over the summer months.


n December we hosted our festive family quiz in the school. Included in the event was the raffle for a selection of luxury hampers put together by each class with the winners enjoying an extra treat in the lead up to Christmas. There was another bumper turn out for the second St Margaret’s PTA Afternoon Spring Tea held at Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park. Despite a cold and wet start to the day, the sun broke through just in time to welcome mums, dads, grans, grandads, staff, pupils and pals to the park. While this was primarily a social event, some optional money-spinning attractions were on offer - with spectacular results. A beauty tombola saw brisk business, thanks to all who donated to a seemingly endless supply of wonderful products. Dozens of players of all ages went away with smiles and prizes galore, while the little ones who didn’t

win were treated to a consolation prize. Among particular prize highlights was the surprise bottle of gin in the Guess the Gin competition, Heads and Tails which had people on their feet with the winner receiving a Bottle of Bollinger and the fantastic beauty packages which included Liz Earle & Jo Malone also attracted a lot of attention. Sadly, in March the school buildings closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and planned events were postponed. The PTA was, however, able to make a donation to the school to meet the cost of the refurbishment of one the girls’ toilets with some of the funds raised over the course of the year. Tracey Almeida PTA Chair, 2019/20


The Chronicle 2020

Former Pupils’ Club

Former Pupils’ CLUB

Edinburgh brunch

London lunch

Aberdeen brunch

Aberdeen brunch

The School launched a Hardship Fund to help parents adversely affected financially by Covid 19. The FP Club was delighted to contribute to the fund, helping to ensure that all girls can continue to benefit from a St Margaret’s education.


long with everyone else, the Former Pupils’ Club has seen an unusually quiet time, with no events able to take place in 2020. However, we did get off to a good start in September 2019, when a talk and display of School archive material took place. Part of the archive has been properly sorted and organised by a student from RGU, Emma Maines, and many items on display led to interesting discussions and much reminiscing! November saw a brunch in the Royal Northern & University Club in Aberdeen and a lunch in The House of St Barnabas in London. These events, along with the Edinburgh brunch in Browns were extremely enjoyable and well attended. These events are the perfect way to meet up with other FPs in your areas whom you may not otherwise see on a regular basis. In November we held our annual Quiz Night, with FP Committee members from Gordon’s, Albyn, Grammar, High School and the Convent as guests. As usual, much friendly rivalry was in evidence, and everyone enjoyed a great evening. In February Margaret Parkinson and I attended the High School Quiz Night, which is always a highlight of the FP Calendar. Their catering was, as always, generous and delicious! The Gordonian Dinner was held in early March in The Marcliffe at Pitfodels. This was an excellent evening with interesting guest speakers including former Aberdeen goalkeeper Bobby

Clark. On March 13th I was a guest with Georgie Parker at the entertaining Albyn Quiz night. Guests are always guaranteed a warm welcome at this event, but sadly I have to say that this was the last time I shook hands with anyone! We all know what happened to 2020, but I am glad to say that one or two events brightened a rather gloomy year. “A Scots Girl in Nazi Occupied France” by former Nursery teacher Anne Murray was published by the Reverend Douglas Lamb, the locum minister from her home parish. Her book made fascinating reading. I had no idea my former teacher had been through such a harrowing experience. As the planned Big Reunion in June had to be cancelled, we enjoyed instead a virtual event during which Miss Tomlinson outlined the extensive work done in school to safeguard pupils and staff when they returned after lockdown. This was followed by a fabulous video showing life at St Margaret’s and clearly illustrating the girls’ love for their school. At the moment, we do not know what the next few months will bring, but it is important that we all try to keep in contact with each other and with School, so do get in touch at any time either with myself or with School through St Margaret’s Connect. Lesley Robertson President, FP Club Committee

et’s r a g ar M t S

Online unity Comm

Online community for St Margaret’s – bringing together former pupils, former staff and other friends of St Margaret’s

What is St Margaret’s Connect? Events Sign up for reunions, school and Former Pupil Club events

Networking Advertise your business, sign up as a mentor or contact fellow alumnae for career advice

Keeping in Touch Keep in touch with the school and former classmates

Support our Pupils Make a donation to our bursary fund or volunteer for a careers talk

Archives Scroll through our online archive and submit your photos

News Keep up to date with interesting news and events from St Margaret’s

If you would like to be part of this online community please sign up at or email


The Chronicle 2020

Development Office

Development Office UPDATE

The work of the Development Office focuses on fundraising and alumnae engagement. It is a very positive environment to work in, particularly when I am writing a thank you for a gift to the bursary fund or for the donation of items to the school archive. In the past 5 years over 100 pupils have benefited from bursary support and we are most grateful to you, our donors and supporters, for all that you do for our young people today.


019/20 saw the launch of the second annual fund appeal with the priority of fundraising for our means-tested bursary programme. By March the appeal had already raised more funds than the previous annual appeal when the school buildings closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At that point, fundraising focus switched to support for our hardship fund for families in urgent financial need as a result of the pandemic. It was heartening when an appeal to alumnae and former staff raised over £25,351 in a few short weeks and a number of our alumnae became regular donors to the school. The school hosted several alumnae events over the course of the year. Following a donation to support the school’s archive an event was held to showcase items from the school’s collection. The donation funded a short-term archivist position, and the school archive was thoroughly inventoried and organised. Three alumnae brunch events were hosted - Aberdeen, London and Edinburgh - with a planned event in Glasgow postponed together with the annual school reunion in the summer term. The Former Pupil Club hosted a popular quiz night in November, and at the AGM in January new officer bearers were elected.

me how they managed during that challenging time. It seems that adding a new dog to the household was quite popular, as were gardening and making the most of the weather, while for some juggling home schooling and working from home were presenting new challenges. Many former pupils recalled the time when the Aberdeen city was locked down following a typhoid outbreak in May 1964 and shared their experiences and memories. While they acknowledged that the typhoid outbreak was not on the same scale as the coronavirus pandemic it seems that the work ethic and steady support from the school during that time had not been forgotten. Looking back on 2019/20 the highlights for me have been meeting more members of our school community and getting the opportunity to say thank you to so many of you for your ongoing support of St Margaret’s.

During lockdown, visitors to St Margaret’s Connect were at an all-time high, and I was fortunate to be able to work from home. I was in touch with a number of alumnae who shared with

We received over 100 donations last year raising over £195,000

Thank you for your generosity

With thanks to

Former pupils Former staff Families and friends of the school Parent Teacher Association Former Pupils’ Club

Bursaries & Hardship 88%

Other donations 4%

Means tested-bursaries and hardship support Music Archives Prizes School resources

Gift Aid 8%

Areas d our community supporte





Registered with OSCR, we provide means-tested bursaries as part of our charitable responsibilities.

Over 1 0 0 p u p il s

h av

e re


d bursaries e iv e

in the past 5 years alone

WHAT IS THE ANNUAL APPEAL 2020/21 This is an appeal to you to help fund an additional six means-tested bursaries for senior school pupils through donations to the St Margaret’s Fund, our dedicated bursary fund.

But we would like to do more.

Our bursary programme is funded by careful management of school finances together with gifts from donors. Demand for bursary support, however, grows every year. The school unfortunately does not have the resources to support every application. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure financial disadvantage does not prevent girls from joining our school - can you help?

“St Margaret’s staff really go the extra mile to make sure every girl fulfils their potential. They did for me and I am sure I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without them” ANNIE, CLASS OF 2016

“I was fortunate to have been a recipient of a St Margaret’s bursary during my final 2 years of secondary school. The quality education that the bursary granted me is the reason that I am now studying Economics at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), sponsored by Sir Stelios. The opportunities that the bursary granted me have been stepping stones to my career progression and achievements. For this, I will always be grateful to the donors of these bursaries.” BURSARY RECIPIENT, CLASS OF 2019



Making your donation couldn’t be easier. Donate online, by bank transfer or post a cheque. 100% of your donation will be used for the bursary programme.

Using your name as payment reference transfer your donation to us using your bank’s phone or online service:

DONATE ONLINE Visit St Margaret’s Connect at stmargaretsconnect. com/#donateonline

DONATE BY POST Send a cheque made payable to ‘St Margaret’s School for Girls’ to: Development Office, St Margaret’s School for Girls, 17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen AB10 1RU

Royal Bank of Scotland, 40 Albyn Place, Aberdeen AB10 1YN Sort code: 83-15-31 Account no: 00269973

“St Margaret’s gave me so much, both in terms of education and community, and I am happy to donate in the hope that I can provide that experience for someone else” SARAH, CLASS OF 1992

Join our community of Regular Donors with a monthly donation of £5, £10 or £20, plus Gift Aid. Just 50 people donating £20 per month would support a bursary pupil for one year. Please help – you can give the gift of opportunity to girls who would not otherwise be able to attend our school.

nity portu f op o t f e gi give th


The Chronicle 2020

Reply Slip

Former Pupils’ Reply Slip Request for 2021 Chronicle and/or change of address Rachel Paterson-Davies, St Margaret’s School for Girls, 17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1RU. Tel: 01224 584466 I wish to receive a copy of the St Margaret’s School for Girls Chronicle 2021 and enclose a cheque/PO for £7.50. (Cheques should be made payable to St Margaret’s School for Girls) Name: Maiden Name: Years at School:


New Address: Former Address: NB 2020 leavers must pay for the 2021 issue.

News for publication in the magazine or Rachel Paterson-Davies, St Margaret’s School for Girls, 17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1RU. Tel: 01224 584466 Name: Maiden Name: Years at School:




With a proven track record and 24 hour service our experienced recruitment team source quality candidates across a variety of disciplines covering six key areas: // INDUSTRIAL






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The Chronicle 2020

School News

The Chronicle 2020 17 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1RU T. +44 (0)1224 584466 E: St Margaret’s School is a registered charity (OSCR Reg. No. SC016265)