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.  The archive of content for the past academic year can be found below:

PARENTAL UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2019

PARENTAL UPDATE OCTOBER 2019 

PARENTAL UPDATE NOVEMBER 2019

Please find below our December update for parents:

Our pupils

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the majority of our pupils here at Mackie Academy who represent the school day in and day out and represent fully our values of excellence, commitment, teamwork and integrity.  They are what makes our school what it is (the latest Parent Power rankings places us within the top twenty schools in Scotland) and I would like to say a thank you to you, as their parents, for your support in bringing up these great young people.  We often, as a school, don’t say this enough but your support is truly appreciated every single day.

This does not mean that we do not have our challenges but that is no different to any other school in this country.  What we aim to do is to look at these challenges in a consistent manner, approach them with those involved in an  way that takes into account individual circumstances yet ensures the safety of all.  That is why we work closely with our partners to ensure that our school and local community feel safe as well as working closely with parents because without that working partnership we will not succeed for our young people.

Staffing Changes

At the end of this term we say goodbye but not farewell to Mrs Larkworthy, Depute Head Teacher, as she goes on maternity leave.  In her absence Mrs Davidson, PT Pupil Support Dunnottar House and Mrs Hamilton, Faculty Head of English, will be acting up in the role of Depute Head Teacher, taking on the role 50% of the time each.  Behind this Mrs Birrell will be Acting PT Pupil Support for Dunnottar House (50%) to support Mrs Davidson and Mr Meikle will be Acting Faculty Head of English (50%) to support Mrs Hamilton.

For those parents with young folk in Dunnottar House Mrs Birrell will be your PT Pupil Support and Attainment if your child is in S1-S3.  Mrs Davidson will retain this role if your child is in S4-S6.

We look forward to welcoming everyone into their new roles as of January 2020.

Parent Council Feedback: School Transport Issues

Following a number of concerns raised by parents about school transport, Richard Mackenzie and Sean Jamieson from Aberdeenshire Council Transport Unit were invited to attend the recent Parent Council Meeting to discuss some specific questions raised and identify if any further improvements were required. A copy of the Q&A can be found here

Paula Durward, Chair of the Parent Council says,

“I think it is fair to say that there are clearly defined processes and procedures in place around the management of bus/coach operators and it was good to get some feedback on this.  It was also clear that whilst the majority of pupils behave responsibly when travelling on school transport, some choose not to and it was agreed that repeat offenders should not be allowed to travel if they are potentially placing others at risk.”

If any parent has any feedback on this matter please direct it to the Parent Council via their email address which is mackiepc@hotmail.co.uk

S3 Pathways Evening: Monday, 20th January 2020

It is hard to believe we are approaching the time for subject options again and for those of you who have children in S3 it is their first opportunity to design their curriculum choice.  The purpose of this evening is to give you, as parents, the opportunity to attend short workshops about the different pathways that are available for young people to follow beyond the Senior Phase and to learn more about what they need to think about in making their subject choices for S4.

The evening will start at 18.00 and finish at 19.30.  Further information will follow in the New Year and we look forward to seeing you there.

Advance Warning:  Estimate Exams and Senior Phase Information Evening

The Estimate Exams will take place from Monday, 20th January 2019 for two weeks.  Senior Phase pupils will return to school and lessons on Monday, 3rd February 2020.  Exam timetables will be with pupils shortly as will any additional assessment arrangements that pupils have in place.  If parents have any concerns about their child’s exam timetables they should contact Mrs Elaine Davidson, who will be taking over the role of SQA Co-ordinator whilst Mrs Larkworthy is on maternity leave.

The Senior Phase Pathways Evening will take place on Monday, 10th February 2020 from 17.00 – 19.00 and is an opportunity for all S3-S5 parents to find out more about the options and pathways open to pupils as they move into S4, S5 and S6.  It is a great “one stop shop” to see subjects, Further and Higher Education providers, employers, Skills Development Scotland and many more so please make sure you put it in your diaries.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW): November blog

You can find the latest updates around what our pupils have been involved in here.  Mrs Angel is our PT DYW so if you have any questions regarding this part of our curriculum provision for pupils please feel free to contact her.

Young Enterprise at Mackie Academy

This year we have two active Young Enterprise groups at Mackie Academy which is great to see.  They each have their own company and the aim is to be as successful as possible selling their chosen products in a wide variety of settings.  This Saturday will see them at the Belmont Street market in Aberdeen selling their wares alongside all other teams involved in this competition and the following week one team is holding a fundraising car wash here at Mackie Academy from 11.00-14.00 so if you want your car nice and clean for Christmas it would be great to see you.

Attendance and Pupil Illness

For any pupil who has been sick and a parent has phoned in to say so they will be marked appropriately in their absence record for a 24 hour period.  If the period of sickness lasts longer parents do need to phone into school on a daily basis to confirm this.  This is to ensure accuracy of attendance records and limit inaccurate information being recorded.  Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Thanks for reading our monthly bulletin and we hope you find it useful.  Please remember that there are staff training days on Monday, 18th and Tuesday, 19th November 2019 so pupils are not in school on those days.

Parentzone

The latest guides for Parents on key issues associated with young people and online activities can be found below:

Online Gaming and Gambling

A free national online safety guide for parents to use with their children can be found here.

This is our last monthly update for 2019 to parents so I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the staff at Mackie Academy, to wish you all a peaceful festive holiday and we look forward to seeing pupils back in school on Monday, 6th January 2019.

Louise Moir

Head Teacher