Naidheachdan Acadamaidh Rìoghail Inbhir Nis Àireamh 108
Welcome to the June 2015 Inverness Royal Academy Newsletter, issue no. 108. At a time of major change, and as we bid farewell to some valued staff and pupils, it is good to celebrate excellence. In these pages are just some recent highlights. Departing students’ skills are demonstrated by Advanced Higher Art work on pages 15 & 16: ‘The Many Faces of MJ’ by Rebecca MacLeod, and ‘Hannah’ by Claire Lumsden. The architecturally-minded can enjoy the Royal Reporters’ IRA New Build Video diary, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cokBnD-CVEI. Molly Ferguson (S3) was ‘Highly Commended’ in the major National Schools competition for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival poster. Her poster, ‘Unicorn’ - our front cover, is on display in the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh. Megan Sell (S4) was a runner-up in the Alex Rider Secret Mission competition, run by Walker Books and the National Literacy Trust. Her story is reproduced on page 12. Academy life is vibrant: a new school growing by the week, exciting Literacy and Numeracy developments, successes in the Mod, Junior Maths Challenge, North of Scotland Athletics, and more besides. Beyond the Home front, we have pupil groups off to Belgium, Orkney, Romania (with Blythswood), Iceland (blog at https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/hi/InvernessRoyalAcademy), and a forthcoming Vine Trust collaboration for Tanzania at Easter 2016. Watch out for future events. Dates for diaries: Weds. 1st July - Annual Prize-Giving, 2.00 p.m. Thurs. 2nd July - 12.00 - School closes for summer holidays. Tuesday 4th August - SQA Exam results (SQA report on page 7) Monday 17th August - Guidance teachers available p.m. for discussions with senior pupils. Tuesday 18th August - Pupils resume school 8.40 a.m. Weds. 23rd September - School Sponsored Walk Thursday 24th & Friday 25th September - Inservice Days Friday 9th October - School closes for holidays until Monday 26th October.
Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award - Achieved! Well done to Sarah Cleland, Iain Craig, Maddie Goudie, Razzie Lee, Mithran Macaden, Daniel McArthur, Rhiannon MacLeod, Gregor MacPherson, Angus Palmer on completing all elements of this prestigious Award.
Youth Philanthropy Initiative This year's winning YPI team outside Perth Concert Hall yesterday. Lewis Hay, Euan Wheeler and Jack Kerr not only represented the school at this national event but featured in a film produced to promote their chosen charity SPEAK. This was shown to an audience of nearly 1000 pupils, teachers, and charity representatives including millionaire philanthropist, Sir Iain Wood.
The Shieling Project Chaidh sinn dhan àirigh is bha e a’ toirt beagan ùine oir bha e cho fada air falbh ach bha e fhathast spòrsail. Bha sinn a’ stad bho àm gu àm agus bhiodh sinn ag ionnsachadh mu dheidhinn na craobhan neo na beinn. Nuair a rànaig sinn an àirigh bha sinn ag ithe lòn agus bha sinn a’ feuchainn ri cuir suas tepee ach cha robh e ag obair, leugh sinn bàrdachd an uair sin choisich sinn air ais. ’S e latha spòrsail a bh’ ann. We went to the Shieling Project and we had a lot of fun. We walked to the Shieling and it took a lot of time to get there. When we arrived we tried to put up a teepee but it didn’t work. We listened to a story and then walked back. It was a very fun day. Le Alix Aburn S1/2
Cèilidh dà-chànanach ann an IRA Bha an cèilidh dà-chànanach aig Acadamaidh Rìoghal Inbhir Nis air Diardaoin 4mh den Òg Mhios - bha e uabhasach math! Bha na sgoilearan ann an IRA agus Bun Sgoil Gaidhlig Inbhir Nis a’ seinn, a’ dannsadh agus a’ cluich ionnsramaidean dhuibh aig a’ chèilidh. Bha e uabhasach sporsail agus bha na sgoilearan a bha an sàs bho BSGI agus IRA glè mhath! The Gaelic Department organised a bilingual ceilidh in the IRA on Thursday 4th June, it was very good! The pupils from the IRA and the BSGI were singing songs, dancing and playing instruments at the ceilidh. It was very fun and the pupils involved from the BSGI and the IRA were great!
School Exchange: Inverness Royal Academy/ Collège Éric Tabarly, La Baule. We were delighted to welcome 22 students and 3 teachers from La Baule to our school. They were here from the 5th to the 12th May and followed a busy programme of lessons and activities, stayed with the families, and spoke a mixture of French and English throughout. Our pupils are in S2, and will return at the start of their third year. Although their French language skills are at an early stage, it is hoped that the experience can be really motivating for them and they will learn a great deal in a real context. This is the second time we have run this programme, we return in September (15th to 22nd). We have taken care to try to match students, and they have got on really well, so that the return visit will be really exciting to meet up again. Aims of the programme are to improve language skills in a real context, and also to encourage good social skills. The process of hosting a young person is in itself a demanding and rewarding experience. We have been delighted with the results so far. The week involved classes in school in Music, Geography, P.E. and Modern Studies, and we visited Culloden Battlefield, Cairngorm Mountain Railway (fresh snow in May!), Highland Folk Museum, the Town House for a civic reception hosted by the Town Twinning Committee, Jacobite Cruises took us down to Urqhuart Castle. Some of these were joint trips, for others our pupils stayed in school. We had a ceilidh and disco in the Craigmonie hotel where students were able to practice their newly acquired dancing skills. The great success of the visit is always the warmth of the welcome given our visitors, and I have to thank the parents and families for their tremendous effort to make our young people feel welcome. We would like to acknowledge the financial help given by the Highland Council Twinning Committee.
Fraction Focus Week During Fraction Focus Week S1 pupils had the opportunity to engage with cross-curricular activities aimed at improving pupil’s understanding of fractions. Throughout the week there were activities and prizes aimed at engaging pupils with this essential numeracy skill. Maths: During fraction focus week the pupils revised all aspects of working with fractions through puzzles, on-line activities, tarsia, problem solving etc. The topics included: ∙ Equivalent Fractions ∙ Comparing Fractions ∙ Adding and Subtracting Fractions ∙ Moving between Fractions, Decimals and Percentages ∙ Finding a fraction of an amount Before we started the week the pupils were given 6 questions to do based on the above topics. As a follow up we gave the pupils the same 6 questions again, a week after the focus week. The vast majority of pupils improved! At the end of the Fraction Focus Week a Padlock Challenge was set for each Maths class! This was a small booklet of questions to be done and the final answer giving the padlock number! The pupil arriving at that number first managed to open the box and win the prize! The winners were: Rachel Cumming 1W1, Rachel Morrison 1S1, Brooke Steele 1G2, Callum Watt 1S2, Leanne MacIver 1W2 and Lewis Williams 1L1. Well done everyone! Comments from winners of Padlock challenge: Lewis Williams - “what I liked about the Padlock Challenge was how you had to add up ALL the answers together to unlock the padlock and I was really surprised when the golden chain fell off! I gave the cinema ticket to my dad to go and see Jurassic World." Brooke Steele –“I think the Fraction Focus Week was a way to remember all of the easier fractions that we have been taught so far.” Rachel Cumming – “I thought fractions week was ok. Some of it was fun and it was cool winning the padlock thing!” Leanne MacIver – “I think the fraction week went well because I used to not be confident with fractions but I now feel better. I found parts of the padlock book quite easy and some parts hard. I didn’t think I would win but I thought wrong!” Callum Watt – “It was challenging and at the same time fun. I worked to the best of my ability to see what I could get in the box. The challenge showed me everything that can be done with fractions. It took me a few attempts to crack the code but in the end I got it!”
Caitlain Steele, Rachel Cumming, Sarah MacDonald and Christina Gleeson (S1) June 2015
Junior Maths Challenge Success 2015 30th
On the April 2015, 57 S1 and S2 pupils took part in the Junior Maths Challenge which is a competition run by the UK Mathematics Trust. The challenge took place in the theatre for 1 hour and was a multiple choice maths quiz. Five marks were awarded for each correct answer to Questions 1-15, six marks were awarded for each correct answer to Questions 16-25. However as the difficulty level increased then any incorrect answer for questions 16 – 20 lost one mark and for 21-25 lost 2 marks! Pupils at Inverness Royal Academy did very well and achieved – 2 Gold awards, 9 Silver awards and 11 Bronze awards! The best pupil in S1 was Liza Fernandes and in S2 was Morven Rothwell. Our two Gold Awards went to Morven Rothwell and Iseabail MacDonald ( both S2). Well done girls! 6000 of the top students were also invited to sit a follow-on competition. Morven made it into this group and was invited to sit the Kangaroo Challenge. Well done Morven!
SQA Update This has been another busy year for teachers and pupils preparing for SQA awards. While the National 3, 4 and 5 are now in their second year, this was the first year of the new higher exam, introduced by around half of our departments. The other half will introduce this qualification in session 2015-16, at the same time as the new Advanced Higher. All of the new courses involve a considerable amount of internal assessment; our assessment decisions are randomly verified by the SQA, and once again, in subjects selected for verification, it was pleasing to note that in almost all cases our...