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Brought to you by Pressgang Editor: Leona Anderson Many thanks once again to Mr Bain and Pressgang for producing this excellent Christmas edition of “Pressgang”.

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Presentation on theme: "Brought to you by Pressgang Editor: Leona Anderson Many thanks once again to Mr Bain and Pressgang for producing this excellent Christmas edition of “Pressgang”."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brought to you by Pressgang Editor: Leona Anderson Many thanks once again to Mr Bain and Pressgang for producing this excellent Christmas edition of “Pressgang”. As always it is fantastic to see the huge variety of events and successes that have taken place since the October break. It has been an exceptionally busy term. S2 and S3 pupils have been engaged in planning their subject choice options for next session and currently S4/5 pupils are embarking on the process of doing the same for their curricula into S5/6. Pupils have a wide range of options available into 2015-2016 and we continue to work with NESCOL and Aberdeen University to ensure our range of options is as wide as possible. Currently S4-S6 pupils, with guidance from their teachers, are beginning the process of preparing for their Prelim examinations which take place after Christmas. Last week we appointed Mrs Claire Kazmarek, to the post of Principal Teacher of Achievement. Mrs Kazmarek will carry out this part time role in conjunction with her classroom duties. We hope that this appointment, currently until June 2015, will allow us to track the progress of our youngsters’ wider achievement experiences from S1 – S6 and ensure a breadth and depth of coverage, as their school careers evolve. At the end of term we say goodbye to Mrs Jean McMillan, Depute Rector. Mrs McMillan has been in post at Ellon Academy for 25 years. She finishes officially at the end of December and her replacement, Mrs Elaine Henderson, currently Depute Head Teacher at Peterhead Academy, takes up the post as of the 2 nd of February. We are delighted that Mrs McMillan is able to continue, on a temporary basis, throughout January to ensure a smooth transition for Mrs Henderson. We wish both Mrs McMillan and Mrs Henderson all the very best. As ever, this week looks to be a very busy one at Ellon Academy. This afternoon sees an Afternoon Tea in celebration of Mrs McMillan’s retirement, tomorrow is our annual Dress As You Please day, with proceeds being shared between local charities and school funds; who knows what outfits pupils, and indeed staff, will turn up in! Tomorrow also sees our annual Karaoke and Ceilidh events, with proceeds again going to charity as in previous years. On Friday afternoon, all pupils, in their House groups, will attend church or venues within Ellon Academy for a final House assembly before we all break for a very well earned rest! Can I finally, take this opportunity to wish all of you, staff, pupils, parents and all members of the Ellon Academy community, a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2015! Linda Duthie Acting Rector

2 Retirement The end of term sees the end of an era as Mrs Jean McMillan retires after 24 years service in Ellon Academy as a Deputy Head Teacher and almost 40 years service to Grampian and Aberdeenshire Councils. Mrs McMillan has done a huge amount of work for the pupils of Ellon Academy over the years and she will be missed by all. All pupils and staff at the school wish Mrs McMillan all the very best for a long, happy and fulfilling retirement. From the desk of Mr Bain. Welcome to the Christmas edition of the Ellon Academy Newsletter. Our hardy band of Ellon Academy journalists have been busy again detailing the many events that have been taking place over the last eight weeks of school. As we have been building up to Christmas, the school has been as busy as ever, with a staggering number of events and enterprises. It is my pleasure to present this newsletter to keep the local and wider community informed of what is taking place in the school, and to celebrate the many varied achievements of pupils in the school, and also say goodbye to some old Ellon Academy friends. Additionally, we have focused on some of the classroom events that have taken place for S1 pupils as they settle in, and fully acclimatise to life at Ellon Academy. The team for this edition has been led once again by Leona Anderson of S5, who has written a piece telling of her experiences of the World Challenge Expedition to Tanzania this summer. The other members of the team are: Caitlin Walburn (3K2), Molly Donald (3S1), Peter Groat (2M2), Calena Anderson (2M2), Stephanie Buhler (2M2), Charlotte Daniels (2S2) and Alex McDermott (1M1). Mr Bain

3 On the 11 th day of the 11 th month, 2014, Ellon Academy held their Armistice Assemblies to pay their respects to all the soldiers who fought and lost their lives during both the World Wars. Each year group’s assemblies were held in the assembly hall in the Old Building. At each of them, two pupils from that year group recited poems that were written by soldiers serving in battle. These poems expressed the feelings of their authors who had to fight during the wars. A group of senior pupils performed an adaptation of the final episode of the television show ‘Blackadder’, which showed front line soldiers receiving the call to go ‘over the top’. Charlie Wilson, Gregor Davidson, Matthew Lennox, Laura Fordyce, Flora Gosling and Stuart Welford played the various roles, providing a light hearted performance. However, there was a very serious message underneath, and this was shown in the final few minutes as all the actors stood on stage and saluted the crowd together. Two active servicemen then took to the stage to tell us about their experiences as soldiers and gave details about the different roles they had. As is tradition, all pupils took part in the One Minute Silence at 11:00 to remember all the lives lost and the sacrifices that were made during the First and Second World Wars. During each assembly, pupils, staff and visitors all marked a second minute silence in respect for all servicemen and women who have lost their life in the line of duty; a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by people every day. Two active servicemen visited Ellon Academy to share their experiences of modern military service Molly Donald, 3S1 The salute at the end of the Blackadder scene provided a poignant reminder of the young soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War.

4 World Challenge, Tanzania, 2014. It is so difficult to put into words just how much this trip meant to me. In July this year, I spent a month in Tanzania along with my World Challenge team experiencing a different culture, trying new things but, most of all, as the event suggests, we challenged ourselves. This trip was separated into four phases: the Acclimatisation phase; the Main phase, in which we climbed Mt Kilimanjaro; Project phase and R&R (Rest and Relaxation). Our Acclimatisation phase took my team and I into the Southern Pares mountains to trek for three days. This was our first real taste of Tanzanian life, other than what we had already experienced during our first few days in the city. It involved us learning of a village’s history and its culture while getting ourselves ready for our main phase to climb Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro was a week long trek, which took us up the mountain and above the clouds. Sadly, I was not to reach the top of Kilimanjaro, however those who did told me of the amazing glaciers, and the freezing temperatures! Once down from Kilimanjaro, we were all in need of a rest, and a good shower! However, our trip was not over yet as only two weeks had passed! After we came down from Kilimanjaro, we had two days of safari which helped us to recuperate. In addition, we had the chance to meet a Maasi tribe. This was another extremely mind-blowing experience as we had the chance to delve even further into Tanzanian culture and compare how differently these tribes lived. After our few days of safari, where we spotted four of the famous Big Five animals of the region, we were off again on to our Project phase, which was helping to build a school extension. My Experience Mt. Kilimanjaro towering over the surrounding landscape In total, the hike up Kilimanjaro and back took a full week.

5 Leona Anderson During this time, we had a chance to become a part of the village as we experienced more of the Tanzanian culture and meeting the school pupils. We also had chances to meet the wider community as we shopped for our food. This gave us an opportunity to try learning the language of the country, Swahili. We spent a week on the Project phase before returning to our starting point of Dar es Salam for some well needed rest and relaxation. My team spent their days at the museum, which allowed us to learn a little more of the Tanzanian history and background, having a look around the fish market and most importantly a day at the beach! This allowed us to really relax and look at the pure beauty of the country that we had been living in. It also allowed us to catch up with the other teams from our school that were out there and talk about their experiences. The next day was a day of rest, packing and most importantly saying good bye to a country which had taught us all so much in such a short space of time. While my team and I sat on our last plane from London to Aberdeen, I could not help but feel sad for leaving a country that had allowed me to experience the world and to see life in a different light, and to truly appreciate what I had. I was also thankful for all the friends I had made. When you go out on a trip like World Challenge, your team is like your family, and if it were not for this trip, I would have never known the amazing people that I know today. I am so lucky to have been chosen for this trip and I would encourage all who are up for an adventure to challenge themselves as you never know what you could discover about the world and yourself! My team and I with the school pupils

6 Children in Need “Children in Need” is a hugely successful charity event that is famous for the contribution that school children up and down the country make. Ellon Academy played its part by hosting a Dress-As-You-Please day on 21 st November to raise funds. Pupils were required to make a small charitable donation of £1 to £2. As well as this, there was a face painting stall and coins placed on a large teddy bear silhouette. All in all, pupils and staff raised a fantastic £1520.71, which is a huge amount of money and will make a big difference to the lives of many disadvantaged children. Congratulations to all who looked the part on this day, and well done for such a wonderful amount of money raised! Alex McDermott, 1M1 Lady Jane Diamond Visits Ellon Academy S5 and S6 Business Management students and S3 Modern Studies students were privileged to receive a visit from Lady Jane Diamond. Lady Jane spoke about the amazing work she has done setting up health centres in the Middle East in countries like the Yemen and Egypt. She has also lived and worked in Palestine. Her stories were fascinating and showed our pupils how different life is in other countries and how they should consider careers in the Third Sector voluntary work. She explained how charities are run like corporate businesses and there are many fantastic career opportunities for young people.

7 As is tradition here at Ellon Academy, the end of the term was marked by a dress as you please and fancy dress day for all pupils and staff. As always, the response was fantastic, and goes to prove that Ellon Academy is always ready to do our bit for charity and let our hair down a little bit! Well done everyone who took part, and thank you for your donations. The count is not complete but so far £1200 has been collected from register classes to be split equally between charities and school fund. There was also a ceilidh raising money for the British Heart Foundation and a Kareoke raising money for Stella’s Voice. Christmas Dress-As-You-Please S6 Pupils in fancy dress.

8 Number Spies Number Spies is a new programme to help show Ellon Academy pupils that Numeracy skills are used throughout the curriculum, not just in Maths. Each classroom in the school now displays a Number Spies poster on which pupils will write any examples of Numeracy that they experience in that classroom. At the end of lesson, these Numeracy skills are transferred onto the Number Spies Espionage Report, before being placed in a Number Spies box in the school library. Each month, a team of S1 pupils will decide on the most interesting example of Numeracy being used in the school and award a prize to the pupil that spotted it. It is hoped that by using Number Spies regularly, pupils will see the importance of Numeracy all across the school and help them make connections between subjects. So keep your eyes peeled!! Scholastic Book Fair Caitlin Walburn, 3K2 English class 1B1 enjoyed their visit to the book fair. Ellon Academy Young Engineers Club were visited by graduate Engineers from Total E&P UK in Aberdeen recently. They brought in an interactive STEM model of their 'pigging systems' used on oil rigs to clean the pipes from the rig to shore. We were shown how it worked by the graduate Engineers and were then split into teams to try and complete the pigging challenge successfully. The group had lots of fun working as a team. The visit was also to give the Total graduates some insight into our pedal car project which they will be lending a hand with next year, as the school will be entering into next year's Ellon pedal car championship. Ellon Academy Young Engineers From the 3 rd to the 8 th of December, Ellon Academy hosted the Scholastic Book Fair. All classes in S1 and S2 were given an opportunity to visit the fair and buy any new books that interested them. For every book that was purchased, a contribution was made towards new books for the new school. A ‘Guess-the-teacher’ competition was also running throughout, which was won by pupils from S1. They were awarded a £5 book token to spend at the fair. Mr. Foster Mr Bain

9 S1 Library Visit S1 Accelerated Reading Accelerated Reader is an important part of the S1 English experience. It is a reading scheme that is designed to help pupils of all abilities progress their reading. Pupils are given the task of reading a book, then completing a test on the book that checks their understanding. Each pupil starts S1 by taking a test to gauge their reading ‘level’, and then can choose books in relation to this figure. Pupils are to complete at least one test by the 25 th of each month. Pupils who consistently score 100% in their tests have their achievement recognised by winning points for their house. Also, in September, those a trip to the cinema was arranged for those who scored 100%. Congratulations on all your hard work, S1, and keep up the good work. As part of their S1 English programme, pupils have been going to visit the public library in Ellon. During this visit, all S1 pupils were given an introduction to the different types of books in the library and how to take them out. They were also shown how to make use of the computers and iPads and what they could do on them. All the pupils who were not members of the library were given forms to fill in so that they could become members and make use of the facilities there. This is useful to them because if they needed a book for homework or classwork and the school library didn’t have the book they could get one from the public library. At the end of their visit, the pupils were asked to write a love letter to the library, to show what they think is the most important thing that a library offers, and why libraries are needed. All pupils had a great visit so thanks to the staff at Ellon Library for that. Peter Groat, 2M2 Mr Bain helps pupils identify important features of a local library Mrs Murdoch, Network Librarian, helps pupils access the self-service machines

10 The environment is an extremely important part of life at Ellon Academy. In the past, Ellon has been recognised for its environmental awareness, having been awarded three Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards, and, in the new year, Ellon will be attempting to get its forth and final Green Flag. In the weeks running up to the Christmas holidays, pupils in S1, S2 and S6 have been participating in Litter Picks to help clean up the local community. All year groups have had a hard hitting assembly on why it is important to put litter in a bin. It is vital that all Ellon Academy pupils learn to value their local community, and understand the part that we all play in keeping it safe and respectable for all those who share it. A huge thank you to all classes involved in Litter Picks, and remember that, wherever you are, you can do your part to help. Ellon Academy has a thriving sports community; a strong PE department that provides many clubs for pupils to improve their skills, or try something new. In order to ensure the school keeps a fair, strong and well equipped department, we are proud to announce the opening of Ellon Academy’s Sports Association. On the 21 st November 2014, the first memberships were paid. A fee of thirty pounds is required and this provides you access to any and all clubs that the school offers. Since the opening of the Sports Association, Ellon has already been successful in Badminton, and has had an extremely successful S1-6 Swimming Gala. Continued success with the school football teams and many other success stories prove the success of this new venture. If you are interesting in joining the Ellon Academy Sports Association, which allows you access a wide array of sports clubs, then talk to your PE teacher for more information. Stephanie Buhler, 2M2 Mr Bain S1-6 House Swimming Gala On 1 st December, the S1-6 House Swimming Gala took place. Here are the final team results: 1 st McDonald132 2 nd Forbes120 3 rd Keith119 4 th Cheyne104 5 th Sinclair93 Congratulations to McDonald house, and well done to all those who took part in the event.

11 Ellon won the S5/6 group outright and were runners up in both the S1/2 and S3/4 categories. This led to a nerve- wracking conclusion to the day, as it seemed that Ellon would have been beaten to the trophy. The organiser allowed tension to build by delaying the announcement of the second placed team to explain the high quality of badminton displayed and that, in the end, only one point separated first and second place. When it was announced that Meldrum had come second, the tension was lifted as this meant Ellon had won. The day was crowned by the presence of Susan Egelstaff who is a Commonwealth Games medallist and Team GB member from London 2012. She presented the trophy and medals, gave a inspirational talk about her career as a professional, and played matches with everyone. Altogether, 26 club members attended the tournament. If you are interested in joining and taking part in badminton, our regular meeting times are Monday lunchtime and Tuesday and Wednesday after school. Badminton is fun. Come along and find out for yourself. Above: Carla Clark (1F1) youngest team member modelling the t-shirt Below: Carla Clark (1F1) and Sophie Gray (2M1) Ellon Academy NASSA Badminton Team 2014 Ellon Academy has retained the Alan Middleton Trophy at the NASSA Badminton tournament held at Meldrum Academy. As the photos show, the team was delighted with the result. The contest was between Ellon, Meldrum, Mintlaw Turriff, Gordon Schools, Banff and Fraserburgh, all of whom play a very high standard of badminton. NASSA Badminton Ms. Kearney


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