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Ellon Academy Newsletter

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Title: Ellon Academy Newsletter


1
Ellon Academy Newsletter
Christmas 2014
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 2nd 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 McMillans 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
News in Brief
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
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.

3
Armistice Day
On the 11th day of the 11th 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 groups 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 1100 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
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.
Molly Donald, 3S1
4
Tanzania 2014
My Experience
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 RR (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 villages
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!
Mt. Kilimanjaro towering over the surrounding
landscape
In total, the hike up Kilimanjaro and back took a
full week.
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.
5
Tanzania 2014
My team and I with the school pupils
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!
Leona Anderson
6
Charity and Community

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 21st
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
Christmas Dress-As-You-Please
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
Stellas Voice.
S6 Pupils in fancy dress.
8
Classroom Life
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!!
Caitlin Walburn, 3K2
Scholastic Book Fair
Ellon Academy Young Engineers
Ellon Academy Young Engineers Club were visited
by graduate Engineers from Total EP 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.
English class 1B1 enjoyed their visit to the book
fair.
From the 3rd to the 8th 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
Classroom Life
S1 Library Visit
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.
Mr Bain helps pupils identify important features
of a local library
This is useful to them because if they needed a
book for homework or classwork and the school
library didnt 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.
Mrs Murdoch, Network Librarian, helps pupils
access the self-service machines
Peter Groat, 2M2
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 25th 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. Congratulation
s on all your hard work, S1, and keep up the good
work.
Peter Groat, 2M2
10
Environmental Ellon
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.
Mr Bain
Sports Association

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 Academys Sports
Association. On the 21st 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
S1-6 House Swimming Gala On 1st December, the
S1-6 House Swimming Gala took place. Here are
the final team results 1st McDonald 132 2nd F
orbes 120 3rd Keith 119 4th Cheyne 104 5th S
inclair 93 Congratulations to McDonald house,
and well done to all those who took part in the
event.
11
Sports Association
NASSA Badminton

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.
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)
Ms. Kearney
Ellon Academy NASSA Badminton Team 2014
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