Update to our learning community: September 2023

As the first two weeks of the new school term have ended we look forward to what the term ahead brings.  Our first big whole school event of the year is our Sponsored Walk on Friday, 15th September 2023.  We are delighted that over 850 students have returned their consent forms so far and we hope that more will wing their way in before the deadline at the end of Monday, 4th September 2023.  Thanks to all our parents who have responded positively so far.  The next stage will be for sponsorship forms to be issued and we look forward to raising as much money as possible for our local charity, The Men’s Shed, and student participation events here at Mackie Academy.

Tuesday evening sees our Parent Council AGM.  As a school, we cannot stress the importance of productive parental engagement and our Parent Council is a key part of our improvement journey.  If you think you want to come along and find out more come to the school library for 19.00 on Tuesday, 5th September 2023 and you can find out all about the last year as well as what lies ahead.  There is no pressure to join at that time but should you wish to do so you will be provided with the relevant information at that time.  If you cannot make the event but are interested then please email MackiePC@hotmail.co.uk

A key reminder for our parent body going forwards is how we communicate with you effectively:

Mackie Academy website – this contains all the necessary information about the school for the academic year ahead and can be a good starting point for you to find out key information about our school.

Mackie Academy Pupil and Parent Information Site – this contains a wealth of information to keep you, as parents and carers, as informed as possible about how we operate as a school, key information as and when it is relevant as well as support materials for you as parents and carers.  There are five key sections:

School News – relevant and up to date information for you as parents and carers.

National and Local Authority News – information for you as parents and carers from Aberdeenshire Council and wider afield around education in Scotland and issues that impact on you and your child.

Curriculum Pathways and SQA Information – all information related to SQA issues as well as our curriculum sites to help you understand more about what your child is studying and the options available to them.

Learning and Teaching at Mackie Academy  – key information about how learning and teaching works here at Mackie Academy.

Health, Wellbeing and Support at Mackie Academy – information to support you as parents and carers around key issues associated with young people and families wellbeing such as social media use and keeping yourself safe online.

We are very keen to ensure that our communication remains effective with our learning community and, as a large school, we will always aim to respond to queries as swiftly as possible.  Our office team are our “first responders” to many queries and we would ask that when phoning into school that communications remain civil.  Our team will do their best to get an answer for you; however, if it is a general query it may take up to 72 hours for someone to respond.  Please be respectful of this.  Unfortunately, prior to the summer break, we had a number of instances where office staff were subjected to inappropriate communications from parents and we will not tolerate such approaches.

With the weather remaining fine, we would ask our parents to make sure that they speak to their young people about the importance of ensuring that their litter goes in a bin, wherever that may be.  We have significant issues up at Redcloak just now on this matter and whilst we are working with waste management at Aberdeenshire Council on this matter it simply requires everyone to take responsibility for their own rubbish.  Our young people need to take this on board otherwise we may have to review use of this area by Mackie Academy students at lunchtime.

Finally, we are really looking forward to the term and year ahead.  I have now met with all year groups and we are some great opportunities coming up for our young folk to get involved in their school and local community to make things better for all.  I have shared with our young people this week the importance of integrity, one of our school values, which ultimately comes down to how each and everyone of us treat each other and the place we inhabit.  Sometimes we don’t always get it right but surely that is part of the learning experience.

Take care everyone,

Louise Moir

Head Teacher