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Number 57 July 2009



Scottish champions – no debate!


any congratulations to Cosmo Grant (S6) and Allen Farrington (S5) on winning the Law Society of Scotland Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, the final of which was held in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

In the tenth year of the competition,The Academy team came first of over 130 schools which took part. Debating the motion ‘This House believes that the babies of 1999 are reaping the benefits of devolution’,The Academy team were placed ahead of George Heriot’s School, Madras College and Mearns Castle High School. Jan Fulton, who runs the Debating Society, commented: ‘I am delighted that Cosmo and Allen have achieved the pinnacle of their debating success to date in what is their final year at The Academy. It was particularly pleasing that the Presiding Officer

compared Cosmo’s dry wit to that of Donald Dewar himself and commented that his three-minute summation was one of the best that he had heard in the ten-year history of the Parliament.’ As well as the Donald Dewar Memorial trophy, Cosmo and Allen were presented with a cheque for £1000 for the school Debating Society and £100 worth of book tokens each. Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: ‘Having witnessed the capabilities of these young people, it’s very reassuring to know that the future of debate in Scotland is in very, very capable hands.’ We are sure that Donald Dewar, a prominent member of Glasgow Academy’s Literary and Debating Society in the 1950s, would have been delighted to know that the standard of debating at The Academy is as high now as it has ever been.

S6 charity fundraising Congratulations to S6 who raised over £1000 for Revive MS Support as a result of their annual 24-hour sports marathon last October. Despite extreme exhaustion, several pupils lasted the pace for the whole 24 hours. Ravneet and Gillian made toasties through the wee small hours and Mrs Macdonald continually claimed that people really did not want to sleep, they really wanted to play yet another game of uni-hock! One of the stars of the event was Amit Singh, who – between 3 and 5 in the morning – took on and beat all-comers in a marathon badminton match.

In the headlines… (left to right) Louise Hyde, Nina Petric Gray and Catriona Murray show off their fabulously fashionable creations at the opening of this year’s Art Exhibition. The show was opened by Mr Iain MacLeod, the Deputy Rector, who has just retired after 25 years at The Academy.

Prep School Dux Congratulations to Anna Dunlop, Dux of the Prep School (pictured here with her little sister). The speaker at this year's Prep Prize-giving was Professor Elizabeth Treasure, a former pupil of Westbourne School for Girls.

History comes to life… Second Year History students have been studying World War Two recently. As part of their studies, this June we set up an oral history project for the first time. Academicals who had been at school during the war – and had even served in the forces – visited us to share their experiences. Small groups of pupils had to think of questions and then undertook interviews with the Academicals. Fascinating experiences emerged such as the fact that there were trenches under what are currently the tennis courts. Reminiscences about school life, rations and the Clydebank blitz all added to the knowledge of the pupils. More importantly, they learned that History is not just about books. Real people experienced real events and it is important to remember their lives – especially in 2009, the year of the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The pupils gained a real insight into events and undertook genuine historical research. We were privileged that the Academicals took the time to visit and share with us something of their past. Simon Wood



Microbes and Medicines day

Chemistry Club display wins Award At the Young Engineers and Science Clubs Technology Challenge in June, the Chemistry Club received first prize of £500 for their exhibition displaying the work they have done this year in projects as diverse as solar-powered boats and fire-breathing dragons. In total 24 pupils have achieved their BA CREST Awards this year (compared with three last year) and the Challenge gave them the chance to show off their work to a wider audience.

Teachers make a difference Sir Matthew McIver was the guest speaker at Senior Prize-giving this year. He impressed many of his listeners with his account of how one of his primary school teachers – a Miss Mackenzie – had changed his life for the better.

With the recent scares over Swine Flu, the S1 Microbes and Medicines day could not have come at a better time. Dr Christine Peters, Specialist Registrar in Microbiology at the Southern General Hospital, engaged the pupils throughout the day and conveyed a wealth of information to them about bacterial and viral infections and their prevention. The scenario was that Dr Peters was very busy with the various Swine Flu cases at the hospital, so had brought ten patient samples with her for the pupils to diagnose and prescribe a treatment on her behalf. This the pupils did very effectively, diagnosing 8 of the 10 suspected cases correctly. The afternoon was spent designing a poster and a local radio bulletin to let people know about how Swine Flu spreads throughout the population and to allay public fears. Although it was the first of its kind, the experience was so successful that Dr Peters is keen to introduce similar Microbiology days into other Glasgow schools.

Congratulations to Haixi Yan, the Senior Dux medallist for 2009. Haixi, who achieved 7 Higher ‘A’ Grade passes last year, hopes to study medicine at Cambridge in October.



Thank you! We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this year’s Regular Giving fund. As a result of your generosity, we have been able to buy another five new ‘Ergo’ rowing machines this year.

Game, set and match Our tennis-playing girls who have won The High School of Glasgow Tennis Tournament for the fourth consecutive year! Many congratulations to (left to right) Zara Reid and Lucy Aitchison (S5); Nina Petric-Gray and Georgina Sellyn (S3); and Molly Cunningham and Bethany Gallagher (S1).

Scottish Rowing Championships At the Scottish Rowing Championships in May, we had our most successful Championships to date winning 6 gold medals and a number of second places. Emily Colley qualified for the Scottish junior team and – in winning 4 gold medals – was the most successful junior woman of the weekend. Gold medallists: Emily Colley

Junior Junior Junior Junior

2x 4x 16 2x 16 1x

Alison Beattie

Junior 13 2x Junior 13 1x

Chloe Wilson

Junior 13 2x

In addition, Alison Beattie, Chloe Wilson, Kimberley Somerside, Lydia Harrison and India Somerside were second in Junior 13 4x and Taylor Sime, Chris Haughey, David Elder, Ross Swanson and Kimberley Somerside were placed second in S1 4x. 4


Golf All smiles:The golf team – featuring a number of this year’s leavers – in sunny mood after successfully retaining the Keith Deighton Quaich on an equally sunny afternoon at Killermont in Bearsden. Missing from the golf team line-up is S1 pupil James Wilson, the Junior Match Play Champion, who – although only 13 – has been among the most consistently successful members of the team.

Cricket The Primary 7 ‘A’ Team finished the season with a fine victory – by seven wickets! – over Hutchesons’ Grammar School. This means that the boys have gone undefeated throughout their time in the Prep School, a tremendous achievement. Well done, boys!

Kelvinbridge Nursery One year on and the new flexible Nursery service at Kelvinbridge has now completed its first session. It has been a successful year during which the Nursery children have enjoyed trips to the Science Centre, the Transport Museum and have had visitors including ‘Gladigator’ and Santa. They have all been very happy in Nursery and the staff wish all 20 children well as they now move into Kindergarten in August 2009. Even though the school term has finished, our flexible Nursery service will – of course – be open all summer.

How good is After School Care? The After School Care service received an ‘Excellent’ result when it was inspected recently by the Care Commission. The inspectors were very impressed, especially by the wellmannered, articulate enthusiasm of the children for the service. We are extremely proud of the staff team who have been working very hard in our new dedicated space to ensure that

we achieved an excellent report. We must also thank the parents who kindly completed and returned the Care Commission questionnaires. Here are the results: Quality of Care and Support Quality of Environment Quality of Staffing Quality of Management and Leadership

6 (Excellent) 6 (Excellent) 5 (Very Good) 5 (Very Good)

Sun shines on Dairsie While all our other sports days fell foul of the weather, children at Dairsie had a lovely afternoon for their Sports Day.



Survivors Volcano Survival Challenge Day at the beginning of June had groups of P7 pupils stranded on a mountain hut on Mount Etna when they were caught in a major eruption. Still, this group appear to be enjoying the experience during which they had to design and wear their own mask as well as giving advice to local residents by means of a communication tower they constructed using spaghetti and jelly babies!

South American sweatshop in Prep School! Money Week in the Prep School is all about learning how money is used in the real world. This year, for example, the Head of Risk Business Banking at Bank of Scotland came to talk to P6 classes about ‘Planning a Holiday’, the Strategic Planning Director of Wiseman Dairies discussed ‘Milk costs’ with P3 and P4 – and P5 pupils found out a little of what it is like to be poor in South America. In a complex role-play game, P5 pupils were set to work in ‘families’ making trainers for the export market against a background of fluctuating exchange rates, loan sharks and other factors beyond their control. The main thing the pupils discovered was that, no matter how hard you work, you’re still as poor at the end of the ‘game’ as you were at the start – a sobering thought. One of the visitors to Money Week was Gaetano Chionsini, an Italian banker, who was brought along by Jim Lally, Director of the Scottish Centre for Financial Education. After his visit, Mr Lally commented, ‘We were very impressed by the young people who were highly motivated and the staff who were totally professional in everything that they did.’ 6


Healthier options on the menu Congratulations to Glasgow Academy’s Catering Department on achieving a Healthyliving Award for 2009. The Award is given in recognition of The Academy’s commitment to reducing the amount of fat, salt and sugar in the food we serve to our pupils. Another of the benefits is that it will be easier in future for children to identify healthy options on the menu as they will be clearly identified with a green apple logo. Stephen Gaughan, our Catering Manager, is now a qualified Healthyliving assessor.

Recording artists Prep school pupils took part in a professional recording session in June. P3.2 acted as backing singers for a CD called ‘Rattle and Shake’ which is being produced by the Sticky Kids recording label and will be available in the autumn.

Who killed the Deputy Rector? On Monday 22 June, Mr MacLeod, the Deputy Rector, allowed himself to be murdered – all in the cause of S2 science. After Mr Macleod’s ‘body’ was discovered outside his office early in the morning, a number of pupil teams were drafted in to assess the forensic evidence – and there was lots of it as various crime scenes had been cordoned off around the school – and present their findings. Several members of the teaching staff were ‘in the frame’ as the evidence seemed to point in their direction, and the S2 teams – each helped by a pupil mentor from S5 – had to try to prove their innocence, or guilt, with reference to fingerprints, soil samples, ink, footprints or other available evidence. After assembling their case, each group had to present their findings in a courtroom setting. We are grateful to a number of visitors from outside agencies who gave up their time to be involved, including Keith Morgan, from Shinton Consulting, who acted as judge, Sarah Brown and Linda Thomson (Science and Engineering Ambassadors) and Jane Gallagher (Researcher in Residence) from the University of Strathclyde who played the part of forensic scientists for the day.

Learning for life Iona Gordon (left) and Catriona McKimmie were finalists in the Learning for Life Values Poster competition. They are pictured in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament after receiving their award.

All in all, it made for great fun and great science!



PTA Ladies’ Lunch enjoyed by all

The PTA committee who organised the event

For the first time, the PTA organised a Charity Ladies’ Lunch which was held in the West End Hilton on a lovely sunny afternoon in June. Over 130 parents, staff and friends had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, eating, drinking and chatting and – as the result of three silent auctions and prize draw – raised over £3000. Niall Scott, chairman of the Mark Scott Foundation, spoke about the Foundation’s work with young people in central Scotland and the PTA agreed to divide the money raised between the Foundation and PTA funds. A date for your diary: Next term sees the second PTA charity fashion show which is to be held in the Cargill Hall, on Thursday 12 November.

Well-known ‘faces’ at Talent Show It’s not every day that you see Mr Evans breakdancing in the staff Common Room with Dr Sowden and Mr Richmond, but they must have been practising because the three of them put on an excellent act at the Senior Talent Show in June. Sadly, they didn’t win…

Q.Why are dads always left in charge of the barbecue?

How much is a desk worth? After 33 years at The Academy, Mr Vic Hadcroft is retiring – and his desks are calling it a day too. Since he has long been a supporter of Yorkhill hospital, we decided to auction his desks for the charity. Desks which have been here for generations fetched up to £150 each – and almost £1000 was raised for Yorkhill.

A. Because they’re such excellent cooks – as these dads at the Atholl PTA barbecue proved!

Chinese connection Mr Watson and Ms Arenas are moving on to pastures new. Although they are both heading for China, Mr Watson and his wife are cycling there while Mrs Arenas is going by a more conventional mode of transport!



The Glasgow Academy is an educational charity registered in Scotland – charity number SCO15638

Newslines 57  

57th edition of Newlines

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