Useful Information for Parents

MONTHLY EMAILS FROM THE SCHOOL

Each month the school sends out an email to parents with useful information relating to events in school and those of wider interest to parents.

School Improvement: Parent Council Feedback and Actions

At the last Parent Council meeting in January I discussed the school’s improvement plan with Parent Council.  If you wish to know any more about current developments all relevant information can be found on our website here.

We discussed at length how best the school can communicate with parents how our work on the improvement plan is going and Parent Council members have suggested that what most parents want to see are short snippets of what is working well and the improvements it is leading to within the school.  So that is what we are going to do from here on in as part of our monthly emails.

So here is our starter for 10……….

We have three key objectives associated with our School Improvement Plan:

  1. To be a community of lifelong learners
  2. Sustained, positive destinations for all
  3. Through equity and inclusion of all, achievement and attainment are excellent for all.

The way we like to think about the third objective is through the picture below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is also really important that we remember our core values here at Mackie Academy and the role they play in our school’s improvement:

INTEGRITY               EXCELLENCE                     TEAMWORK             COMMITMENT

We see examples of these from our young people every day of the week in terms of what they do in and outside of the classroom.  Our school improvement journey is shared by many in our community and that is what has made it so successful in recent years.  We look forward to continuing our work.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) at Mackie Academy

We are really pleased to have Mrs Lucy Angel join us as Principal Teacher of DYW as of January 2019.  The DYW agenda is an important one for our learning community but is also difficult for pupils and parents to negotiate and know what is important for them to understand.  Follow all the latest developments through the school DYW Twitter feed @MackieDYW.

Skills Development Scotland are working hard with schools, local authorities, employers and other education bodies to make this easier for pupils and parents.  A good starting point is their new resource for parents called “My Kid’s Career” which is a great online resource for you to find out more about what is out there for your child, whatever stage of their schooling they are at.  The school would recommend this as a must for any parent whose child is making a decision about their options going forwards in 2019-20.

Foundation Apprenticeships are a new route way for pupils in the Senior Phase of the school to consider as part of their education.  We are providing pupils at Mackie Academy with these opportunities in S5 and S6; for parents to learn more a good starting point can be found here which explains the basics around this course of study.  Further information will soon be available on the school website and through the DYW Twitter feed.

Lest We Forget Digital Collection Day: Saturday, 24th February 2019 10.00-12.00

This Digital Collection Day is hosted by Mackie Academy. Senior pupils studying for Advanced Highers in History will be taking part and Members of the Mearns Camera Club will be assisting with photography.

Organiser of the event on behalf of Lest We Forget is Peter Bellarby. Please submit any enquiries to him by email at peterbellarby@pwbellarby.plus.com.  The web address of Lest We Forget is: https://lwf.web.ox.ac.uk

Please do not bring any weapons or potentially dangerous objects to the Digital Collection Day.

Aberdeenshire Drugs and Alcohol Partnership (ADP)

The organisation have launched a new website.  The website aims to provide information and signposts to a range of support services and organisations across Aberdeenshire and nationally.

It was developed to provide easily accessible information about drug and alcohol support that is available and how to access help when it is needed.

The ADP have worked with service users, family members and people in recovery to make sure that the information on the website is useful and easy to understand.
The website aims to help people using any drug, including alcohol, whether worried about their own use, a friend’s use or family member’s use.  www.aberdeenshirealcoholdrugs.support provides a one-stop shop for information on support, treatment and recovery.  In each section, people can find out more about a particular area of support and advice and then clearly see which organisations provide this support and their contact details.

The Aberdeenshire Alcohol Drugs Support website will always have the most up to date information on the Substance Use Service Gateway in Aberdeenshire. The Gateway is part of the NHS and Council Substance Use Service team and provides confidential, non-judgmental assistance towards the right treatment, support or information.  The GET HELP button displays phone and email details as well as arrangements for drop in facilities around Aberdeenshire.

Mackie Academy’s 50th Anniversary

This year is 50 years since Mackie Academy moved to its current site.  In recognition of this Mackie Academy will be working on a number of projects to commemorate the past 50 years.  We know a significant number of our parents are ex-pupils of the school so if anyone has items from their time here at Mackie Academy that show what life was like then we will be providing you with the opportunity to share them with us in the summer term.  So if anyone still has a pair of yellow Ury sports socks now is the time to dig them out!

Further information will follow and we will look forward to celebrating this anniversary as the year progresses.

Homework Club

Please remember that the school offers a supervised homework club on Mondays to Thursdays from 15.30 – 17.30 in the library.  Our Pupil Support Worker and Pupil Support Assistants are there and enable young people to get on with their work in a relaxed yet focused environment.  Pupils have access to IT and library resources so it is an ideal opportunity to get work out of the way before heading home.

The school uses some of its Pupil Equity Funds monies to support this development.  It has been operating since September 2018 and attendance at it is growing.  The school would recommend it as a support to parents and pupils to ensure that pupils can develop the appropriate skills to support their academic studies outside of lesson time.  Pupils can attend for some or all of the time, refreshments are provided but the school must stress that if pupils arrive and do not have work to be completing then they will be asked to leave.  Senior pupils are more than welcome to use the library at this time without formally being part of the Homework Club and, again, this can provide a focused environment for work to be completed in leading up to final examinations in May 2019.

Adult Learning Opportunity

Please find here an adult learning opportunity that may be of interest to parents.  The Steps programme is a person centred course which focuses on improving the “Believe in Yourself” concept and increased levels of self-worth, motivation and goal setting skills.

The next course in the Kincardine and Mearns area will be starting in Portlethen on Tuesday, 19th February 2019.  It is one morning per week for six weeks.

If you have any questions please contact either Natalie Cooper or Elaine Strachan, Community Learning Development Workers.

Adverse Weather Circumstances

The school would ask all parents to make themselves familiar with this document, can be found on the school website here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Louise Moir

Head Teacher