WESTHILL ACADEMY - "A little bit different!"

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Skating Success



Congratulations to Mahairia Grant who competed in a synchronised skating competition that Mhairi in Nottingham. The team name is Azura and they finished 3rd out of 13 in their category, which is a great achievement for them. They had a bit of a false start after their music failed to play but after a quick CD change they took it all in their stride.


Aberdeen Synchronised Skating Club had a very successful weekend with the senior team Zariba maintaining their British Champions title. The elementary team Topaz finished 5th out of 11 which was a big improvement from last year.  The Club has another competition next month in Dumfries and hope to maintain their winning streak.  w




Debating Competition November 2016


 The picture is of Nathan and Raiyan debating at the Donald Dewar Debate on Tuesday 29 November at Albyn School. The boys won their debate against Bucksburn Academy but do not proceed to the next round because of how their argument was scored. They got a lot of helpful tips for the future and are going to go along to Albyn School’s next debate so that they can gain more experience. Good luck next time!


 


Aberdeenshire Volunteering Awards 9 November 2016


Congratulations to Emine Taylor-Unlu who co-hosted this event at Thainstone House Hotel.  Looking great and very professional.  Well done Emine!



Gemma McAusland - Former Pupil 

Gemma left many years ago but has been back in touch sharing her memories and successes...

"I’ve recently been very fortunate to take part in a wonderful BBC Series called All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge with Stirling Orchestra.  I still continue to play cello as a hobby and have done since leaving school and now living in Larbert, I have been part of the local amateur orchestra for 10 years.  Our orchestra was selected as one of the 5 orchestras to take part in the series which was all about finding the most inspirational amateur orchestra in the UK.  (You can read more about it here if you like:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-37371795) We’ve had a fun summer of filming, and had the opportunity to play in venues which as amateur musicians would never have dreamed of playing in – including the Royal Albert Hall in London after getting through to the final two, but unfortunately didn’t come away as winners.

However, now that this experience has ended (the final was aired on BBC2 last Saturday, you can catch up on all 4 episodes on iPlayer if you feel inclined!) it’s got me reflecting on music generally and how important it is in my life, and how the opportunities that I was given at school very much shaped why I continue to play today.

The support Westhill Academy, you, the senior team, its music staff (Mrs Crawford at the time) and its visiting music specialists (Mrs Wood being the most notable) gave me during my time there to promote and support music in the school and organise and host concerts is something I cherish.  Today, in times of austerity, music and individual instrument tuition is always the subject that is debated for reduced funding.  As a mother now of two young boys, I know that my children will not have access to the same musical education as I was fortunate to have and this saddens me.  I wanted to write to you to show you my appreciation and to highlight the value, that even 16 years on since I left school, that effort and resource that I had access to very much stays with me.

 So, thank you……..and please also thank anyone else who is still at the school after all this time and remembers my face.  I happen to be friends with Mr Stephen (ex Maths) on Facebook who I keep in touch with and has been following my progress during this competition (and also a very keen supporter of music in the school I remember!) and to quote his words he recently sent me “Once again, Westhill Academy ( the best school in Scotland ) has produced one of the finest.”………..I’m not sure about producing the finest, but he’s very much right about Westhill Academy being the best school in Scotland and of the educational quality it provided to me.  You probably know this already, but I just wanted to highlight to you another example of where your leadership at the school has been inspirational…………I would never have reached the Royal Albert Hall otherwise and I can’t thank the school enough!

As an aside, I don’t know if Mrs Arno or Mrs Glennie still teach geography, but you may want to pass on that I made my dream of working for Ordnance Survey and have been doing so for the last 12 years!  I also was fortunate to get tickets to see Travis playing with the BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra at the Barrowlands back in June……..brought back some great memories of Jubilee 2000 and making paper chains!"

AS BEFORE PLEASE GET IN TOUCH AND SHARE YOU MEMORIES AND SUCCESSES!

 

Beth McPherson - Football Star!  September 2016

Congratulations to Beth McPherson, 5C2, who played for the U17 Scottish Ladies football team in a tournament in Czech Republic earlier in September.  Well done Beth!

 

Former Pupil News - Calum McIlroy. September 2016

An ex pupil, Calum McIlroy, has successfully auditioned for the conservatoire in Glasgow, one of two guitarists accepted for the Traditional Music degree course, 2016. We’d like to wish him all our best and wanted to pass on his story of remarkable achievement:

"Since I left school in 2013 I've performed across the UK and internationally with several different folk ensembles. I started with The North East Folk Collective who are an Aberdeen based youth group and with them I performed at places like the Royal Albert Hall in London and at the MG ALBA Na Trads awards ceremony. I was then involved for three consecutive years with The Aberdeen International Youth Festival and their Ceòl Mòr Big Band, who I actually performed with at the Celtic Connections Festival this January. Aside from these two main groups, I was part of a multinational band from 2014 to mid 2015 called The Northern Exchange, which was associated with the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin and the UKM Arctic Festival in Northern Norway. For this project I was part of a band that was made up of young folk musicians from Scotland, Norway and Finland. Most recently, I just finished touring with the Fèis Rois Gaelic National Ceilidh Trail in August. Our quintet toured for 5 weeks straight around the Scottish Borders, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway and even at the Cambridge Folk Festival, where we got to play on the main stages, host and attend workshops and even jam with popular bands like Le Vent Du Nord!  As well as the fun, performance-based things I also obtained a Higher National Diploma from North East Scotland College and I'm going on to study a BMus in Traditional Music with a first study in guitar at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow."

 

PLEASE SEND YOUR FORMER PUPIL NEWS!  IF WE START TO GET MORE WE WILL CREATE A FORMER PUPILS PAGE ON THE WEBSITE.

School Games  -  Loughborough Sept 2016

Congratulations to Ethan Chapman and  Hannah Dryburgh - they have both been selected to represent Scotland and take part in the School Games 2016.  Ethan in table tennis and Hannah in the 200m backstroke.  We wish them both well and look forward to hearing how they get on.  Good luck to both!

New Club Starting  –   “Make and Show” August 2016

Monday Lunchtime in M19

Pupils can bring their lunch and work on any Arts and Crafts project they bring with them from home.  (sewing; knitting; cross-stitching; paper-craft; colouring in; card-making…)  They can show and tell others about what they’re doing; learn new skills and teach others what they know.

 As well as celebrating the success of what they create we could also like to create for Charity which will be decided by the group.

Aberdeen University Graduates 2016

Click HERE to see the list of former pupils who graduated from Aberdeen University in June 2016.  Well done to them all!

Maths Challenge 2016

Each year over 300,00 pupils across the UK take part in the Maths Challenge.  The top 5,000 are then entered for the "Kangaroo Challenge" a further Mathematical test.  This year 3 pupils from Westhill Academy made the "Kangaroo Challenge" - Caelan Teisman, Ieuan Harries and James Marriner.  All performed well with Caelan Teisman achieving 101 out of 135 when the average across the 5,000 entries was 84.  This meant he achieved a Certificate of Merit which is awarded to the top 1, 250.  Well done to all of them.  They are all pictured below with their certificates. Congratulations!!!

John Muir Award August 2016

For Aimee Ingram 6A1 to complete her John Muir award, she needed the document below to go on the school website.  It is a piece about her time on the Mar Lodge Leadership Programme that a few of the pupils last years S6 did last year. Clcik HERE to read the article.

 

 
Staffing Update June 2016

As is often the case at the end of term we have a number of staffing changes.  David Mathewson retires from Technical and Catherine Symons from Biology.  Between them they have worked in the school for 55 years with David working here since 1982!  Donald Whyte is moving into Technical to replace David and we welcome a probationer teacher to Biology - Stephanie Barnes.  Wendy Jessamine leaves us to take up post as Principal Teacher of Business Studies post at Albyn School and we welcome Mairi Bain in her place.  Phyllis Livingston in Drama who has worked in Dyce Academy for the last year leaves us to take up a permanent position in Dyce in August.  We also welcome two further probationers, Isabel Tennstaedt-Sarran in English and Claire Kennedy in Modern Languages.  A big thank you to those leaving and a warm welcome to our new members of staff.

YPI Final - Perth 21 June 2016

The team below represented Westhill Academy in the YPI Finals in Perth having won the Westhill academy final.  The chosen charity was Mental Health Aberdeen.  Congratulations to Chloe Gammie, Arianne Paiaya, Ellie Fergusson and Lucy Dalgarno.  Well done girls you did us proud!

 

YPI - JDRF June 2016

The photo below shows JDRF (Diabetes charity) representatives picking up their YPI runners up cheque today. The team had themselves raised significant funds too. The presentation was educational in raising awareness of young people who have this condition and how it can impact their lives.  Well done to all involved!

 

Maths Success!  Friday 17 June

Westhill won the Enterprising Maths Aberdeenshire Trophy on Friday 17 June.

The  pupils (all S3) left to right are....

 

Caelan Teismann, Ieuen Harries, Jacob Dohan and James Marriner

Teams from others school had 2 from S3 and 2 from S4 we had all S3 pupils which makes the victory even more impressive. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS LADS!!!!

 

Swimming Success! 20 June 2016

Jack Robinson has been accepted to swim in the Scottish National Open Swimming Championships at Tollcross, Glasgow at the end of June.  Good luck Jack!

Kids Out 2016!  Wednesday 8 June 2016

Around 40 new sixth year pupils acted as helpers at this annual event at Craibstone.  They help with face painting, dress as clowns and generally help the young people who attend have  a great  time.  Kids Out is an event for disabled young people from all over the north east of Scotland.  We are privileged to be the only school who provide helpers.  Photos of the event can be seen by clicking HERE

Music Festival Success! June 2016

Congratulations to Erin Macdonald (4D1) who attended the Aberdeen & North East of Scotland Music Festival on Wednesday & Thursday.

On Wednesday’s Vocal classes Erin won the Folk Song category and was awarded an ‘outstanding’ in the Light Music Solo category. On Thursday’s Piano classes she won the Solo 16 & Under category.  Brilliant Erin, WELL DONE!

YPI Final Thursday 12 May 2016

Thanks to everyone who attended/helped at our YPI Whole School Final, Thursday 12 May. The teams were on great form, the posters looked ace, parents/charity reps/teachers/pupils made up a great audience – and were so moved there were more donations on the night! The presentations and posters ticked all the boxes – information, impact, education, raising awareness – well done everyone who was part of the experience, you have made a real difference! The impact is not just for the night – posters go up in school and the community, and Wood Group help to highlight the teams’ work beyond school.

Due to extra funds raised we have created runner up awards – cheques to the relevant charities will be given:

WINNERS (presentation) – £3,000. Mental Health Aberdeen ( Ellie Fergusson, Chloe Gammie, Lucy Dalgarno, Arianne Paiaya.) WELL DONE!

Winners (poster) – £150 . BOSIE’S Breast Cancer charity (S3C)

Runners Up (presentation) - £50 each:  Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (S3C) ; Appaws for Autism (S3E)

Runners Up (poster) - £20. Scottish Association for Mental Health (S3A)

 See the PHOTOS section.

Activities Week 23 - 27 May 2016

Last week was a great success with trips to Sicily California and the USA. In school we had a STEM day, a Sports Day and various other trips and activities over Wednesday,Thursday and Friday.  A big thank to those staff who helped put the menu of trips and activities together and particularly to Ros Campbell who coordinates the week.  A thank you to the pupils who participated and the parents for their support.  You can see various activities and trips in the PHOTOS section.

Albert Thomson S6 Achievement Award - 28 April 2016

Congratulations to Charlotte Little the winner of this years Albert Thomson S6 Achievement Award.  Charlotte has made a massive contribution to the school despite her medical condition.  She is an inspiration to us all.  We are very proud of her as a person and of her achievements.  Well done Charlotte.  The award was presented at the S6 Graduation event in Westhill Community Church.  Thanks to all who made th e vening such a great success!

 

YPI Final 12 May 2016

Congratulations to all who took part in an excellent final - the standard gets higher year on year.  Presentations were well delivered, contained a great deal of information and emotional as many related to the pupils involved and their families.  Big thank you to Mrs Percival, known as Mrs YPI and the judges who willingly gave up their time and had a very difficult  decision.  See PHOTOS section.  

Rock Challenge 2016 - 23 April 2016

Well done to all performers and crew who took part in Rock Challenge 2016 at the weekend at the AECC. The group did very well and won awards in the following categories: Choreography, Lighting, Costuming Character, Drama, Soundtrack, Entertainment and Performance Skill – a total of seven awards in all. Big thanks to Mr Brownie and Miss Garcia for coming with the team and helping on the day.  This year the pupils organised this with very little staff input.  Congratulations!

 

S4 Apardion Award Winners 2016 - 22 April 2016

Congratulations to Lucy Taylor and Greg MacKay winners of this years S4 Apardion Awards.  These are given for achievements and contributions to school life.  They are both pictured below with their Guidance Teachers.

 See PHOTOS Section

Rugby Success!  April 2016

Congratulations to the rugby boys!  Westhill Academy won the Grampian sevens cup, beating Mackie Academy in a very close final.  Well done!  See the PHOTOS section.

Praise Indeed!  28 March 2016

We received the comments below recently regarding Thomas Ballantyne, Stuart Dalgarno and Nicolas Jackson, all of 3E.  Boys be proud, very, very proud!  (We are!)

 The  piece below is from "Apaws for Autism’s" website after their visit last week, plus a parent’s response:

"Today myself, Jo and Niel were invited to Westhill Academy in Aberdeen to be interviewed by three amazing young 3rd year boys. They have been raising money for Appaws and have also made a video about is too. They have taken on our charity as part of a project called YPI (Youth Philanthropy Initiative).  The boys attend an Autism group where they met with one of our members son.  He told them about Appaws and so the boys contacted us for the interview. We also took Harley our own Therapet along as the the staff and boys wanted to meet him. He was a star!  What they have done for us is quite frankly astounding. We were overwhelmed by their kindness and maturity. Their passion and drive for this project is totally awesome. I was overcome with emotion as was Jo. Never have I met such wonderful staff and young kids showing this kind of dedication. Truly remarkable.  We will continue to work with the lads and the Academy for the foreseeable future.

So many many thanks and gratitude to Westhill Academy and the boys."

Good luck to .......  (28 March 2016)

Jack Robertson, 4E1, who has qualified for and been accepted to swim next week at the Scottish National Age Group Championships in Tollcross Swimming Pool, Glasgow from Wednesday 30th to Friday 1st April inclusive.  Go for it Jack!

Congratulations to.......  (March 2016)

Jessica Thomson, 6C, - her next major event is the British Championships/Olympic Trials - in Glasgow this year during the Easter  holidays.   Jess managed to get three qualifying times allowing her to take part in  the trials - great achievement and great experience for her just to be at the event.  Fantastic Jess - well done!

Discovering the Digital World and..... Freebies! 29 February 2016

Fifteen S2 and S3 Westhill Academy pupils attended a Discovering the Digital World session at Robert Gordon University on Monday 29th February.  The pupils attended lectures, were able to speak with students and staff and had hands-on sessions with the latest hardware and software.  On leaving, each pupil was presented with a Raspberry Pi, keyboard and scanner.  Every pupil had a great time and learnt much during the visit.  Sounds like a great trip!

More Skiing Success!  1 March 2016

Beth Whatford, 3B2, travelled to Italy last week with a team of Scottish Athletes to take part in the World Schools Ski Championships L’Aquilla 2016. This event takes place every two years in different countries throughout the world.Twenty children were selected from throughout Scotland to compete in four teams of five ( U18 boys / girls and U16 boys / girls). Beth was the youngest athlete to be selected.

They met up with teams from all over the world and took part in two days of giant slalom and slalom racing as well as many cultural activities. The opening and closing ceremonies as well as all of the racing events were streamed live and watched by thousands of people from many countries.

All four teams performed amazingly well and Beth’s team finished in 4th place out of 11 countries.The other Scottish teams finished 5th and 6th in their categories. They were beaten by the Alpine nations of Austria , France and Germany but managed to hold off the Italian,Swiss and English teams to name a few. In addition team Scotland were awarded the prestigious Fair Play trophy, chosen by all of the other teams as the friendliest team in the competition.

The Championships were exceptionally well run and this was an experience that Beth will never forget. She was even interviewed live on the events website and Facebook page to give her opinion as to the value of these games. As per the below link

http://livestream.com/accounts/3955918/events/4855878

 Congratulations Beth.  See the PHOTOS section.

Musical Success - 29 February 2016

Congratulations to Jingjing Wang, 3D, who came first in the instrumental section of The Rotary Young Musician competition in Perth and now goes forward to the Regional Final in April. Rotarian Moira Gordon who was there said her performance was completely faultless. This follows Jingjing wining the local heat in Westhill.  Good luck in the next round!

World Cheer and Dance Competition - February 2016

Congratulations to Katelyn Davidson, 5A1, who has been selected for Team Scotland in the above competition in Orlando, Florida.  The finals run from 21 - 24 April 2016.  We wish her, and Team Scotland, every success.  A really great opportunity!  Well done Katelyn!

IRISH INTERNATIONAL TAEKWON-DO CHAMPIONSHIP - Feb 2016

Congratulations to Marcus Muniz, S3E for his success.  Marcus did extremely well at the Irish Championships and has came home with two medals. A bronze for patterns and a silver for sparring. He was also coaching younger children from Scotland. Below is a photo of Marcus with his medals.  Well done to Marcus!!!

Former Pupils Sporting Success! 30 January 2016

Jack Grimmer – ex Westhill Academy pupil, a Scottish professional footballer, plays as a defender for Shrewsbury Town, on loan from Fulham. On Saturday he scored a last-minute winner for Shrewsbury against Championship team Sheffield Wednesday, a fantastic header that earned him the nick name ‘The Grimmer Reaper’ on ‘Match of the Day’ and in national newspapers!!  Well done Jack!  You can read more HERE.  

(I would have been happier but I am a Sheffield Wednesday supporter!)

ASN Sporting Opportunities 25 January 2016

There is a programme of sporting opportunities locally and nationally for pupils who have additional support needs (ASN) – this can be learning, physical or sensory.  We receive information into school via email.  If you would like to receive this information please send an email to our PT Faculty of Health Jen Eddington at [email protected] and she will add your details to the email group.  The information is also printed and put on a noticeboard in the PE Department for pupils to access.  

Kian Welsh - Community Volunteer!  January 2016

Kian Welsh from 2D wanted to help following the horrendous floods in Inverurie.  This story was picked by the Evening Express and the Daily Record.  A link to the Daily Record can be accessed HERE.  Well done Kian!

Famous Former Pupil Pays a Visit - 22 December 2015

Actress Amy Manson visited the school this afternoon to speak with our Higher Drama pupils about her career.  Amy has appeared in a number of TV and stage productions since leaving school in 2003.  The HT could not resist a cuddle!  You can find more about Amy at.......

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2240061/

Charity Christmas Jumper Day - 22 December 2015

Having had our Christmas Assemblies last Friday we decided to hold off our Jumper Day until the last day of term.  Pupils were asked to contribute to our collection which stands at over £600!  See PHOTOS section.

Food Bank Collection - 22 December 2015

On the past day of term our pupils were asked to bring in donations to the "Loving Our City" Food Bank.  This is based in Aberdeen.  The collection was organised by Rebecca Collins of our RMPS  Department.  the pupils did magnificently as you can see from the photo below and the one in the PHOTOS section.  Great effort for those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

ECITB Event  - 16 December 2016

As previously reported 3 teams from Westhill represented the school at the AECC final.  See the PHOTOS section to see how they got on!  They competed with great skill and determination but being up against third years from other schools made prizes hard to come by!  

Christmas Cakes National 5 Class - December 2015

Visit the PHOTOS section to see a selection of cakes  made by pupils this year as part of their course

Young Enterprise Success - 12 December 2015

Congratulations to Westhill S6 pupils competing in Young Enterprise! Westhill companies "Barista," "Handy Bags" and "Sweet Scentsation" all did well selling lots of their products at the Young Enterprise Christmas Fayre. Congratulations to Barista who the judges awarded the Best Stall award managing to beat around 30 other teams!  See PHOTOS section.

 

STEM in the Pipeline - 11 December 2015

This annual competition for schools in the NE brings together elements of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.  The Westhill Team below finished a very creditable second keeping up our good run in recent years rarely finishing out of the top 3!  Well done folks!

 

Movember Update!  December 2015

Grand total of £700 raised!  Well done to those taking part and thank you to our sponsors!  (Decembeard next year?)

More Swimming Success! December 2015

At the Scottish Championships last weekend Jessica Thomson won Scottish Junior Champion in the 800 Freestyle.  So for  2015 Jess has won.....  3 Scottish  National Junior Champion Titles and 2 Scottish National Age Group Champion Titles!  Great achievements.  Congratulations, keep it up!

Writing Success - Ribh O'Neill December 2015

Ribh O'Neill from S3 was selected as one of only ten winners nationally in the Scottish Book trust's "What's Your Story?" competition.  Ribh is pictured below with the other winners who attended a weekend event in Inverness.   Interviewed for the Book Trust Ribh said, "As well as learning about writing I would look forward to helping decide what happens at the Young Writers Conference 2016 as I love organising and researching and coming up with new ideas and if I had this opportunity then I could do all that for my favourite hobby and passion in the world – writing."  Congratulations Ribh keep it up!

Online Schools Meals Payments

Aberdeenshire Council is introducing a new and easy way of accessing the online payment system, which many parents and carers have already been using to pay for children’s school meals.

 "myaccount" was set up by the Scottish Government as a simple approach to accessing public services.  It allows parents and carers to top up their accounts whilst ensuring their details are protected.  Some benefits include:

 

  •  Allows access to online public services from eligible Scottish public bodies, easily and securely
  • Avoids having to re-present proofs of identity, of residency, or of entitlement to services
  • Single username and password.
  • Involves simple, intuitive registration steps to create an account

 

From 8 December 2015 all parents/carers using the online school payments facility will be required to create a "myaccount" username and password by following the steps.

Apart from this new login procedure the school payment system remains the same and users can make payments, check balances and track purchase history for all linked children.

You should also receive this message in a letter mailed out to all parents of secondary school pupils.  If you have any concerns or issues with this new process please contact the helpline on 03456 08 12 02.

ECITB Challenge Wednesday 16 December

Back at the start of November all S1 pupils took part in an ECITB challenge.  These challenges took place across many schools in the north of Scotland and Westhill Academy pupils have performed so well they have been selected as only one of 4 schools to progress to the final.  Of our pupils, 16 pupils have been selected to go to Aberdeen Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 16 December for the Final challenge.  Parents have the opportunity to attend to support the school teams. 

Congratulations to the pupils below: (Grouping show the make up of the winning teams)

 Isabelle Malins 1B, Elyssa Forbes 1B, Elly Robertson 1C, Reece Singer 1B and Craig Buckett 1B.

 Abby Turnbull 1C, Kyle Davidson 1C, Bill Collins 1E, Ryan Bain 1D, Chloe Davidson 1D and Iona King 1E.

 Aisha Joji 1D, Orla Cain 1D, Aiden McPherson 1E, Aydan Ghaffarzadeh 1E and Lauren McIntosh 1C.

Well done and GOOD LUCK in the final! 

Movember Update 7 December 2015

Our intrepid "tash growers" have raised £352 for charity!  New PHOTOS on the website.  (This is the only evidence the mustaches have all gone!)

Skiing Update - Beth Whatford December 2015

We know that Beth has worked really hard on her fitness and skiing over the summer and due to this, and her results last year, she has just been  told today of her selection to the Scottish Alpine Academy! ( the new name for the Scottish Children's team).

This is in addition to her earlier selection to represent Scotland at the World Schools Ski Championships in L'Aquilla in February. This is a huge international event run by the International Schools Federation involving all ski nations.

Beth is one of only 5 girls selected from S3 and S4 (Beth is the only S3) throughout Scotland.

As well as the races there are many cultural events over the week. We are very proud of her hard work and progress and wish her well over the coming ski season.  Go Beth, Go!

World Challenge Training  28/29 November 2015

Our World Challenge group had a training weekend near Aviemore at the weekend.  As the photos show they had snow and low temperatures to contend with as well as camping and exercise!  2 days and 21 miles later they all survived!  See the PHOTOS section.

Young Musician of the Year - 25 November 2015

Congratulations to all the competitors in the Westhill Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year.  as always the standard was high with Jingjing Wang being the Overall and Junior section Winner on flute with Rebecca Marriner winning the Senior section on cello.   A big thank you Westhill Rotary for organising and supporting the event and our Music staff Rhona Pirie and Morven Sharp plus instructors for organising from the school end and accompanying pupils on the night.  See the PHOTOS section.

New Website Support - 24 November 2015
Alexandra Buchan will be helping out with the school website this year, if you have any news you would like to be put up on the website please contact me by my email- [email protected] 
Football Internationalist!  - 19 November 2015

Congratulations to Beth McPherson, 4B,  who was recently selected for the Scotland Under 16 Football squad to play Finland.  Beth has now been invited to attend the Scotland Under 17 Educational Camp.  A soccer star in the making!

Clinton Wins Top Chemistry Student in Scotland! November 2015

Clinton Igwegbu in 6D1 was presented with the prize for the top mark in Chemistry Higher in Scotland at the Scottish Parliament last week. Details of the event can be seen by clicking HERE and viewing the Event Handbook.   Clinton this a fantastic achievement - WELL DONE!  See the PHOTOS  section for Clinton with the Cabinet Secretary!

Diving Success - 14/15 November 2015

Farquhar MacDougall, 3C, represented Scotland in the Celtic Cup Diving Competition in Belfast at the weekend and won Four Gold Medals! Brilliant performance - well done Farquhar!

Movember 2015!

10 members of staff are growing, or in my case trying to grow, moustaches during the month of November support the "Movember" campaign.  Details and a chance to donate can be can be seen by clicking  HERE (Team name Westhill Academy) and hopefully "2 weeks in" photos soon by visiting the PHOTO gallery section of our website. (Prepare yourself - they rae not pretty!)

Careers Fair Monday 9 November 2015

On Monday evening over 50 organisations attended our Careers Event.  They varied from training and volunteering organisations, universities and employers.   Pupil and parental turn out was superb with hundreds attending  looking to perhaps develop and/or refine their future plans post-school.  The event ran incredibly smoothly and a particular thank you to the pupils who acted as "car park attendants" meeting delegates and helping them with their equipment to the right location in the school.  

 The event is every second year so will be repeated in November 2017!  

"Shakeshire!" November 2015

On Sunday 8 November a team from the Drama Department took part in the "Shakeshire" Festival in Fraserburgh Academy.    Groups from Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh performed covering Macbeth, Mid Summer  Nights Dream and the Tempest.   Westhill performed Romeo and Juliet as play, within a play, which was well received by the audience who appreciated the originality, performance level and humour.  Well done to all involved and thank you to the parents who traveled north to support us.

We hope to perform the play in school on Thursday 3 December - details later.

European Day of Languages September 2015  

We successfully celebrated this event over a week at the end of September.   All pupils were given the opportunity to enter various competitions in the library.  Some of these were created by S2 pupils and they deserve praise for this. The library staff kindly organised a super display for this event, they also distributed the competitions to pupils during break and lunch times throughout the week. Prizes were awarded to winners.

In class S1 pupils loved completing their mini blue passports which we received from Belgium. They learned a lot about European countries and languages. 

 

Boxing Success!  October 2015

Callum Stevenson (3A) has been selected, and will be representing, Scotland and fighting for the European Title over in Russia at the end of October/start of November.  He has trained incredibly hard over recent months in Glasgow and with this amazing news it makes it all worth while. We wish him every success and look forward to hopefully hearing of his winning fight!  Go for it Callum!  (See PHOTOS section.)

 

Charity Run - Sunday 4 October

Kirsteen and Greg Mckay won't be in school on Monday next week as Kirsteen is taking part in the Great Scottish 10K Run in Glasgow on Sunday.  She is raising money for the MS society this year. Kirsteen entered herself into the run and set up her own "Just Giving Page" to raise money for the MS society. We are very proud of her, this charity is very close to their hearts as a family member suffers from MS. 

Donations from pupils or parents are very welcome through the website below!

 https://www.justgiving.com/Kirsteen-Mackay1/

(Update..... over £400 raised - fantastic!) 

Student Finance Advice

As pupils get nearer leaving school and university beckons the management of money looms large!  The website below offers valuable advice to both pupils and parents.  

Student Finance Advice 

Table Tennis Success!

Recently Ethan Chapman’s of 4C competed in last weekend’s European Table Tennis competition in Dusseldorf.  Ethan represented Scotland in the U15 Team Event in singles.  There were over 550 competitors and Ethan got to the quarter finals – a fantastic achievement. (See PHOTOS section.)

More Swimming Success September 2015

Jessica Thomson in 6C competed in the UK School Games (4th - 6th September)  Jess was elected to captain the girls team ( Scotland North & West) and she won a bronze medal in the 800 Freestyle.  Congratulations once again!

Congratulations to our S5 and S6 Award Winners 2015

 Congratulations to Jonathan Macdonald, new S6, and Holly Alexander who has now left.  Jonathan was awarded the Michaela McRobb Award and Holly the Albert Thomson Award both are for their contributions to the school over their 5th and 6th years respectively.  Jonathan is pictured with his Guidance Teacher  Julie Reid.   Well done to both of them.  There are more pictures of Jonathan in the Photos Section with Michaela's parents who presented the award in the final S6 Assembly of the year.

Swimming Successes -  Monday 1 June 2015

Jessica Thomson has once again been selected to represent one of the Scottish teams at the 2015 UK School Games being held in Manchester from 3 to 6 September.  Jessica will also swim in The Scottish National Open Championships in June from 25th to 28th and has also been selected by Scottish Swimming to attend a special Swim Camp from 28th June to 1st July.  There is no doubt that the amount of time that Jessica spends training and competing definitely brings results.  In April Jessica won two Scottish (Open Age Group) Championships in the 200 & 400 Freestyle events and in May she won six District Junior Championships and one Open (senior) Championship and broke two longstanding District records.

Well done Jess - KEEP IT UP! 

Staffing Update Monday 1 June 2015

Congratulations to Sarah Johnston - Sarah was appointed Acting Principal Teacher of Guidance for the C group to replace Sarah Colville.  That means everything is now in place in the SMT and Guidance.  

Staffing Update 21 May 2015

I am delighted to inform parents that we have managed to appoint staff in Technical, Art and Design and Computing.  In Technical, David Pirie joins us from Monday 1 June, in Art and Design Sarah Garcia joins us in August and in Computing Douglas Brown starts on Monday 22 June.  This places us in a far better position going into next session than we had dared to hope. Today we are interviewing internally for an Acting Guidance Teacher to replace Sarah Colville, now in the SMT, to support the "C" group.  I will update the website once we know who has been appointed.

Staffing Update 17 May 2015

Congratulations to Sarah Colville who was appointed Acting Deputy Head Teacher last week and to Jason Fitzgerald who will be Acting Head Teacher when I am out of school.  We will appoint an Acting Guidance Teacher in the near future to replace Sarah.  These staff will remain in place until December 2015.

The closing dates have now past for the teaching posts in Art, Computing and Technical and we hope to have at least some positive news soon.

Flying HIgh!! 1 May 2015

David Manning starts a job with Cityjet as a First Officer on 25 May  Well done David!  Our first pilot as far as we know!

 

Boxing Success 1 May 2015

Callum Stevenson had  been invited by the Scotland Team to attend their training sessions 2 weeks ago,  and has now been asked to attend further training camps (every weekend for the next 5 weeks) with the National Team as he made such an impression beating all the Scottish Champions they put in the ring with him (Pupils of the same age and older!) If things continue as well as they are he will hopefully be representing Scotland and fighting for a British Title on the 6th of June.

 Congratulations Callum! 

Staffing Update 28 April 2015

At present we have advertisements "live" for teachers of Art and Design, Computing and Technical.  The closing dates are in early May.  We are particularly concerned about finding Computing staff and have written to parents of pupils who have chosen Computing alerting them to the possible problems.  If we cannot find staff we will have to ask a number of pupils to rechoose.

S4 Awards Winners 24 April 2015

Congratulations to Eleanor Drummond and David Lovie who were named as the S4 Winners of the Apardion Trophies for their contributions to the school.  (SEE PHOTOS SECTION)

 

Staffing Update 24 April 2015

Congratulations to Judith Wight who was appointed Acting Head Teacher of Banchory Academy earlier this week.  Due to circumstances in Banchory Judith will start on Monday 20 April!  We wish her all the best in a well deserved promotion.  We are at present moving forward to deal with the "knock on" effect so fthis.

Staffing Update 1 April 2015

Congratulations to Greig Ewing who has been appointed as a Guidance Teacher at Bucksburn Academy.  Hilary Young is also leaving us to join Banff Academy as Faculty Head of Art, Music and Technical.  We wish them both well.  As promised we will try to keep parents up to date with staffing changes as explained at our recent information evenings.  So far we have secured staff in PE, to replace Greig Ewing and in Modern Studies to cover Claire Lawson's maternity leave.  In Geography we interviewed a supply teacher today and hopefully  he will cover Nicola Butler's  maternity leave after the Easter break.  On the less positive side we still have permanent full time vacancies in Art, Computing and Technical.  We will continue to work with Aberdeenshire to try and find qualified staff in these subjects.  If this proves to be impossible we may need to reduce the options in the Senior School and ask a number of pupils to re-choose.  We hope this is not necessary. However we are trying to avoid pupils starting one course and then having to re-choose in August.

Beth Goes from Strength to Strength!  March 2015

Following Beth's success in February - March has brought even more! Beth was in France last week coming second in the Equity Schools Ski race slalom.  Returning to Scotland at the Nevis Range she then won the Giant Slalom and Slalom for the under 14 age group.  In 3 of the 4 races she was faster than the under 16 winner!  The British Championships in Tignes are next week and I hope to be reporting more great news soon.  Well done!

Biathlon Winner! March 2015

Congratulations to Sam Huntington on his win in the Scottish Pentathlon Inaugural Biathlon at Aberdeen Sports Village.  Sam was first in the swim and third in the run giving him first place overall.  Congratulations Sam- I feel tired just thinking about it!

More Skiing Success February 2015

Beth Whatford has again been making her mark in the skiing world.  Recent successes include...

A Silver Medal in the Welsh Championships in Switzerland.

Consistent top ten places in the English Championships in Italy.  (6th in Slalom and 7th in Giant and Super Giant Slalom.)  Beth was top Scottish contestant in every race despite having badly injured her hand hitting a control gate in training.   Over 370 skiers took part.

Well done Beth - keep it up! 

Humanities Twitter Account

The Humanities Faculty has launched a Twitter feed to keep pupils up to date with work and resources to help them with their studies. As we develop our use of the account we hope to be adding more content from across the four different subject areas. The account will also be used to highlight some of the excellent work produced by our students across the faculty. Go to https://twitter.com/WH_Humanities or search on twitter for @WH_Humanities to follow the account.

 

Staffing Update 20 February 2015

The S3 parents who attended the Choice Information Evening on Thursday 19 March received information relating to staffing.  As many people will be aware schools in NE Scotland are suffering from a lack of teaching staff in general and in some specialist subjects in particular.  Although we have been relatively fortunate, we too, as many of you will know, are also suffering difficulties in attracting staff.  This has been particularly an issue in Maths, Technical, Art and Modern Studies were we have had long tem absences.  As the timetabling and choice process continues we will try to keep parents aware of possible problems which could include not being able to offer particular courses as we will not have qualified staff. The school and Aberdeenshire will continue to try and recruit staff but it is important that parents are aware of the situation.  I will update the website as the situation develops.

More Skiing Success!

Congratulations to Beth Watford on her successes in France over the Christmas break.  Beth was 3rd in the Slalom and 6th in the Giant Slalom in Les Houches.  Beth joins the British Ski Academy in France later this month and then again in March.  We wish her every success.  We have had an Olympian and a Para-Olympian.  Winters Olympics next?  

STEM in the Pipeline 2014

Congratulations to the S6 team below who were third in the STEM in the prestigious STEM the Pipeline Competition in December 2014.  The challenge involves Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - hence STEM!  Well done!

 

Here they are with the trophy!

 

Christmas Concerts 2014!

At lunchtime today the school celebrated its last Christmas concert of the year - and for the sixth years their last ever. The school enjoyed performances from the schools concert band, ceilidh band, chamber group, the advanced higher and higher music class, guitar group, junior and senior choir and a new edition to the list - the men's choir! (known as boyz 2 men) Impressive performances were delivered by all, including a few solos which were very well received. All of these acts were accompanied by some readings from the bible and a talk from members of the church as well as the head teacher of the school. As is tradition the sixth years then stayed after the concert to enjoy their free lunch and receive their leavers hoodies! A special thanks to all the staff members who spent such a long time before the concert teaching and rehearsing with pupils and of course well done to all those that performed.

Links to some of yesterdays performances are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smVRCeRqvic&list=UUlG4pZAlk7LSvxARbzNJIeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knIw65Vue-Y&list=UUlG4pZAlk7LSvxARbzNJIeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrlVMKaafg8&index=9&list=UUlG4pZAlk7LSvxARbzNJIeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjJ6GyYiA5o&list=UUlG4pZAlk7LSvxARbzNJIeA&index=1

Armistice Day

Today within the school (11th of November) at 11a.m. this morning students and teachers partook in two minutes of complete silence as some short time to reflect on the heroism of past generations during the Great World War. As a school we value such traditions as an important thing to encourage younger generations to do in an effort to ensure the sacrifice of the brave men and women years ago is not forgotten and remains something we are forever grateful for.

Young Enterprise group - SellPhone cases

Just in time for Christmas a young enterprise group have set up a small business within the school where they create and design handmade iPhone cases. They now even have Christmas designs - perfect for a secret Santa or an inexpensive gift for family and friends! Priced at only £4.50 for block colours and £5 for the patterned designs, support a local business organised by seniors and grab yourself a bargain. For any further enquires you can send them a message by liking their facebook page 'SellPhone cases' or by emailing them at '[email protected]' or look out for their stall in the foyer at school! For further updates, they also have an instagram and twitter. Here are some photos of their designs and their stall at the s4 Parents Evening last night!

 

Website update

This is just a quick update to tell the readers there is a new editor for the website. I am sixth year pupil Emily Darrer and I will be assisting Mr Thompson in writing articles for the News section of the website and helping to keep those interested up to date with the goings-on of the school. Thank you for taking the time to read this brief notice.

Skiing Success - September 2014

Beth Whatford, Rachael Morrison and Jack Morrison entered a schools skiing race at Garthdee on Saturday 27 September.  Their late entry proved very succesful as they have now qualified in first place for the Scottish Schools Duel Slalom event with the finals at Braehead in late October.  The rules allow teams of 3 to have one experinced skier (Beth) along with 2 with less experience.  Well done to all and we await news from the final in Braehead.

Joint Triathlon 2014 - September 2014

Our 7th Annual Joint Schools Triathlon took place at Cults Academy on Saturday 27 September.  The weather was beautiful with ideal conditions for racing.  Both schools were well represented by pupils, staff and parents giving a large number of participants.  Well done to all who took part and thank you to all the volunteers who helped run the event.  Results can been seen by clicking HERE for individuals and HERE for the different catagories.

Next years event will be in Westhill in September 2015.  A trialthion club runs in the PE Department every Wednesday 12.15 - 12.45 pm.

Staffing Update - August 2014

At the start of term we welcome Liam Tait as Faculty Head of Art, Design and Technology, Caroline Dykes in Computing and Gillian Davies in Art.  Joyce Wyness will also be joining us in Art in Mid-September.

As some of you may have seen in the press Derek Thompson has been elected as Convener of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) for the next 2 years.  Judith Wight will be Acting Head when he is out of school working at the GTCS.

Commonwealth Games Baton Bearers - June 2014.

Two Westhill Academy pupils were fortunate enough  to carry the Commonwealth Games Baton - Jo Steel who has just left from S6 and Greig Mackay in the new S3.   We are very proud of both of them.  See the photo section.

Staffing Changes!!  - July 2014

At the annual staff dinner on Wednesday night we said good bye to Bill Dunlop, Faculty Head of Art Design and Technology, Chris Smith from our Art Department and Moira Paterson, Faculty Head of Modern Languages who left us at Easter.  We wish them all well.

Mary Singer, our Canteen Supervisor, also leaves us after almost 30 years, she received gifts from the staff and pupils on Friday lunchtime. 

We will update the website with the new staff after the holidays.

Community Baton

The picture below shows the Community Baton made through Westhill Guides.  Jena Stenhouse, Laurena Rae and Molly Hunter are pictured below.  Well done girls!

YPI Update - June 2014

 2 of the wining group, Sam Steel and Erin Tosh, visited CLAN recently to present the winning cheque - £2000!  The money will be used to purchase new children's book and a dedication to Westhill Academy will be on the flyleaves.  Well done to all involved.

YPI Finals - May 2014

After excellent presentations by all six teams the winners were "Befriend a Child."  The winning team, Charlotte Harbottle, David Lovie, Rebecca Mason and Stefan Sandison  will now attend the Scottish Annual Showcase in Perth in June.  All teams did really well showing great communication skills and enormous creativity is developing their presentations - well done to all involved for the presentations and the poster work from all of the groups.(For more pictures visit the photo gallery.)

S4 Apardion Awards - April 2014

This years Apardion Awards for contributions to the school were awarded to Anna Yeats and Christopher Blanchflower.  Well done to both!  (For more pictures visit the Photo Gallery!)

S5 Michaela McRobb Award - April 2014

This year's winner was Euan Reid, who leaves us in summer to attend the Scottish School of Traditional Music in Plockton.  The award was presented by Karen Tremain and Graeme McRobb, Michaela's mum and dad.  Michaela was killed in a car accident in April 2005.  The award has been presented by them in Michaela's memory annually since her tragic death.

We wish Euan every success in Plockton we will miss him!  (For more pictures visit the Photo Gallery!)

 

 

 

S6 Outstanding Student Award - April 2014

This years Outstanding S6 Student Award went to Joe Steel.  Joe has made an enormous contribution to the school over the last six years - through Music, Swimming, the Northsound Radio  Quiz and many others activities.  Well done Joe!  We will miss you and all the best for your future.  (For more pictures visit the Photo Gallery!)

Talented Artist Exhibits in Cults - April 2014

Emily Mackenzie from S6 has had her Art work displayed in Cults Community Centre.  Through her Advanced Higher Art project Emily was asked to create a piece of work to fill a "blank space" in the new building.  The painting of Bennachie is greatly apprecaited by staff, volunteers and all who visit the centre.  Well done Emily!

 

 

Congratulations - Jonathan Macdonald - March 2014

Last Saturday 22 March, Jonathan along with 6 others, including Miss Young from our Art Department set off to complete a 100 mile cycle ride to raise money for Sports Relief.  Throughout the12 hours cyclists dropped out with only Jonathan completing 101 miles!  A great achievement which raised around £400 for Sports Relief.  A really great  effort!

 

Beth Whatford Ski Success!

Beth Whatford, one of our first year pupils is developing  a reputation as a top skier!  Beth completed in the Anglo-Scottish Championships in Les Houches finishing 9th in the Slalom and 11th in the Giant Slalom competing against mostly older pupils from around Britain.  Beth was the second placed Scottish skier in all competitions.  Well done and good luck in the forthcoming English, Scottish and British  Events.

More Success for Sam! Dec 2013

Sam Huntington as well as being number 1 for his age group in Scotland is now ranked 15th in the UK.  Well done Sam!  Good luck with your trip to London in April.

Biathlon Update
 

Following his success in the Scottish Saltires Biathlon, Sam Huntington has since been confirmed as First Place in Scotland too.

Sam will also take part in the Schools British Championships in London next April, representing Westhill Academy, where he will swim in the Olympic Pool and run on the Olympic track. Congratulations Sam!

YPI Update

Last year's YPI Runners-Up 'Mental Health Aberdeen Team' presented to the Round Table on 25th November and they made an on-the-spot donation of £2000 to this great charity. Well done girls!

Dance Success!  October 2013

Congratulations to Orlagh Fraser and Katie McDougall both of 1D for their involvement in the Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 3 Novemeber.  This is a huge international event and both girls have been working hard on both technique and choreography.  We wish you luck and very well done!

 You can find out more by clicking HERE

Biathlon Success!  October 2013

Following Sam's success in the Triathlon (see below) he was also the winner of the Under 14 Scottish Saltires Biathlon. (Running and swimming) A real athlete in the making.  Well done again Sam!

Triathlon Success! September 2013

Well done to Sam Huntington for being the Junior Champion in the joint Westhill/Cults Triatlon. 

Inter-School Athletics 16 May 2013

The photo below is the group of S1-3 pupils who participated in the Invitational Inter-School Athletics Championships at the Sports Village.

YPI 2013 Update

Youth Philanthropy Initiative 2013 - Up date

The winners of the whole school final - Lauren, Rowann and Rebecca - took a trip to Perth to the YPI Final Event where they were entertained by a montage from other schools' presentations as well as Mickey Black and Sandy Thom - with popcorn and candy floss!! Their charity 'Horseback UK' was featured and they got a mention!

The group for 'Children 1st' - Kelvin, Callum, Nathan, Stephen and Ola - went on to present in front of 300 ladies at a fundraising lunch at the New Marcliffe Hotel where £11,000 was collected for their charity. They also visited Aboyne Primary and presented to parents, raising awareness as well as more funds!

Emma Fergusson, S6E, has donated £4,200 to the worthwhile cause that came to her attention when her brother was in the YPI School final. His team delivered a presentation for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary's project 'Roof Garden'. Emma raised funds for her trip to Madagascar with World Challenge with such amazing success she raised more than required - and has donated the excess - £4,200 - to 'Roof Garden'. We are thrilled - and very impressed at her own philanthropical initiative!! Fantastic! SEE PHOTOS SECTION.

YPI Final Thursday 2 May 2013

Last night was the YPI (Young Philanthropist Initiative) Final.  Teams of S3 pupils represented 7 charities, Kayliegh’s Wee Stars, The Cyrenians, HorseBack UK, Children 1st, Home Start, MHA (Mental health Aberdeen) and the Roof Garden.  Every team did a fantastic presentation with PowerPoint’s, video clips, role play and even live music.  I was really glad I did not have to decide on the winner!  However the judges had to decide and HorseBack UK will receive £3000 from the Wood Faliy Trust.  MHA also got an honourable mention in second place.  We were also treated to a very creative presentation by Hugh Brown about Altzimers Scotland.  Well done to all involved, the judges and the staff particularly Mr Percival, for their role in preparing the pupils.  The winning team of Rebecca Grainger, Rowann Innes and Lauren McPherson are pictured below.  SEE PHOTO SECTION

 

 

S6 Graduation Wednesday 1 May 2013.

Last night we had our annual S6 Graduation Event in the Holiday Inn.  The Ball Room was full with pupils, parents and staff.  We were treated to music by Matthew Cole, Robert Ingram, Ruben Docea, Caitlin Buchanan and Ruth Gilligan accompanied by Rhonda Pirie.  Our speakers David Innes and Neil Morrison were both excellent.  However the real stars of the show were the Class of 2013.  All sixth years received their Progress Files.  Thirty three pupils were nominated by staff for the main award.  The five runners up were Hayley Dalmon, Claire Milne, Ross Moir, Corstaidh Nicol and Euan Shepherd with Gemma Craig winning the main award as pictured  below.  Well done to all!  SEE PHOTOS SECTION

 

Young Enterprise - Tuesday 30 April 2013.

Last night a team of S6 pupils took part in the regional finals of Young Enterprise 2013.  The boys did really well and although they did not win they got an award for the best presented team.  We are very proud of them for getting to the regional finals and know they enjoyed the experience.  Well done!  The team are below…..

 

Fourth Year Awards - April 2013

Congratulations to Michael Dent and Rachel Venturini for winning the “Apardion” Fourth Year Community Awards.  These were presented in the Fourth Year Leavers Assembly on Thursday 25 April.  Well done to both who also receive £25 each from the school.

Comic Relief - RND!

A big thank you to John Duncan and his team for all the activities during Comic Relief Week.  They included  amongst others staff/pupils sports, computer games, the talent show and fair on Friday period 4.  The total so far is over £8000!  Well done to all!

Rock Challenge - Westhill Finish Third.             23 February 2013

The quote below is from our Rock Challenge Guru, Maths Teacher Ros Campbell..........

"Putting together this years piece was even bigger than normal. The group of seniors really need to be congratulated on their efforts as it was all driven by them. In 12 years of this – I have never had such an amazing team, who really did work together as a team – and we all had great fun together. Also personally – I had Katy with me on the day – and every single one of them looked after her, asking her to join in, sitting with her for lunch, the boys playing rugby with her, taking her down the front when they were all dancing at the stage etc etc (even the 2 S3 boys chatted to her for a while). I don’t think sometimes we say out loud enough – what an amazing bunch of young people they all are.  I am disappointed for them in not getting a higher placing.  But the 3rd place they got………they earned that all by themselves, and I have never been so proud."

Praise indeed!

French Breakfasts in Westhill Academy Feb. 2013

S2 classes have been enjoying “un peu de France” in their French lessons. Pupils have been learning about food and drink. Pupils have been offered a selection of French style breakfast foods – un croissant, un pain au chocolat, des crêpes with un jus d’orange or un jus de pomme or un milkshake. Pupils must ask for their food in French in a polite manner, they must not forget “s’il vous plaît”, “merci” and “bon appétit!  (SEE PHOTO SECTION)

 

 

 

 

STEM 2012

We are delighted to announce that just before the Christmas break Westhill Academy: Team WASP won the STEM in the Pipeline Challenge.  The winning team is shown below.......

 For futher infromation about STEM visit......

http://www.stemscotland.com/page-20090804-094109.html

Last Day of Term 21 December 2012

As usual we had an array of Christmas "head gear" on show along with a number of santa’s, elves etc.  A great way to end the winter term and raise some money for Charity.  Merry Christmas!  SEE PHOTO SECTION

 

Christmas Services 19/20 December 2012

This year, as always, we held 5 services in Trinity Church over Wednesday/Thursday 19/20 December.  As always the music was superb with both the “players and singers” excelling them selves.  The variety was fantastic with the Pipes and Drums, the Concert Band, our String and Brass Groups, the Acapella singing group and School Choir.  Our “readers” were also outstanding with seven different pupils over the 2 days.  Well done to all and a big thank you to our Music staff and instructors and the School Chaplaincy Team.  SEE PHOTO SECTION   P.S.  If Ernie the Fastest Milkman in the West gets a mention at some point - blame me!

Christmas Cakes 2012

As part of the Intermediate 2 Cake Decoration course S5 and 6 pupisl produce a Christmas cake.  The results would impress any baker and are really professional.  Well done to all.  SEE PHOTO SECTION!  (Cakes 2012)

Rugby Success!  November 2012

The School U18 rugby team, helped by 5 pupils for Alford won the Grampian Regional Bowl final last Wednesday 21st November.  They beat Moray Schools by 66 – 5, a convincing victory!The team now go on to play Morrison’s Academy in the National Quarter final.  Good luck lads! 

Scholastic Book Fair 22 November - 3 December 2012.

The Library will host a Book Fair (21st November – 3rd December). We hope that all S1 - S3 pupils will have the opportunity to browse and purchase books for themselves or perhaps do some advance Christmas shopping for their brothers and sisters.  There will be over 200 titles to choose from, including fantasy, thrillers, comedy and non-fiction. The book prices will range from £2.99 to £12.99.

 

 Pupils will be asked to pay for items either by cash or cheque. Please make all cheques payable to SCHOLASTIC Ltd. With popular books – if a book is ‘sold out’ pupils can place orders and the books are usually delivered within one week of the Fair taking place.  The Library will receive a commission on all the Book Fair items sold which will enable us to purchase books from Scholastic for the School Library – we will invite pupils to choose the books with the Library staff.

Online Catering Payments are Here!  November 2012

It is now possible to load money onto a pupils cashless catering card by visting the Aberdeenshire website.  Go to www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/payschoolmeals and follow the instructions.  Payments should arrive on the card in less than one hour!

Food Bank Collection.  5th October 2012

A group run by Miss Lawson have organised various activitites today to raise funds for "Somebody Cares."  They included a sponsored cycle, a food collection and a raffle with some excellent prizes.  The pupils really got behind the day, particularly the food collection.  Just look below at a part of the whole collection.  Well done to all!  The "Somebody Cares" website be can be accessed by clicking HERE!

Enhanced Provision Consultation

Aberdeenshire have launched a consultation on enhanced provision in schools.  Further details and how to take part in the consultation can be found by clicking HERE!

Staffing - All Change.  28th September 2012

Many pupils and parents will have picked up information about staffing changes.  Neil Morrison and David Innes have both left us at the moment to take up positions as Acting Head Teachers at Portlethen and Fraserburgh Academies respectively.   Judith Wight has rejoined the SMT as a Deputy Head Teacher and Sarah Colville replaces Judith as Acting Principal Teacher of Guidance looking after the "C" group.  We wish them all well in their new roles.

Rock Challenge Ceilidh - 2 November 2012.

The Senior Rock Challenge Committee have organised a fundraising Family Ceilidh on Friday 2nd November from 7.30pm - 11.30pm at the Ashdale Hall.  There will be stovies provided, soft drinks and snacks available for purchase, face painting for kids and a raffle.  Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 for children under twelve with under 5's going free. Tickets are available from the school.  With the Rock Challenge morals in mind it is an anti-drug and no alcohol event and no cars may be left overnight.  Please come along and support us.

European Day of Languages 26th September 2012

There are over 6000 languages spoken in the world. And behind each and every one of them lies a rich and diverse culture. That’s what the European Day of Languages (EDL) aims to celebrate - by showing people across Europe how important languages are, and what fun can be had learning them.  At Westhill we are promoting the European Day of Languages by holding various activities throughout school from Monday 24th to Friday 28th September.  All pupils can enter quizzes which they can collect from the library and return by Friday – there will be prizes! Posters will be displayed across the school promoting EDL. Pupils can enter a “Spot the jobs” competition by locating these in classrooms and complete a entry form. Tutorials will also be participating by completing quizzes over the week. Staff hope to meet and greet pupils in European languages!  SEE PHOTOS!

Tim Baillie Arrives in Westhill Academy

Tim Ballie spent the morning meeting the pupils of Westhill Academy. Tim gave three presentations each to around 300 pupils in the school Games Hall.  He explained his background in canoeing , showed re-runs of his semi-final and final medal wining performance and then answered a wide variety of question from pupils. Topics included why he had started canoeing, his training regime, technical aspects of the canoe and paddles and memories of his time at Westhill Academy.  He then met with the Higher Physical Education pupils and spoke in more details about strengthening exercises, fitness training and his path to Olympic glory.  His message was inspirational for pupils stressing the importance of hard work, dedication, resilience and perseverance.  We were delighted to have Tim in Westhill Academy, the pupils really enjoyed the presentations and the chance to hear from an Olympic Gold Medalist. Tim was fantastic giving so much time to groups of pupils who wanted autographs and photos.  SEE PHOTOS!

Visit of Tim Baillie

Tim Baillie, Olympic Gold Medalist and Westhill Academy former pupil, will be visiting the school on Monday 17 September.  We hope as many pupils as possible will have a chance to hear him speak and see his Gold Medal.  More details later.

Activities Week S1 Pupils

Three of the "major trips" are available to S1 pupils.  Pupils not on major trips will be able to choose from a menu of more local activities soon.  Details of the major trips can be found by clicking HERE!

We're Back!

We're back and it's busy with new pupils, assemblies, a "fringe trip," Pupil Council etc.  After a few days it's just like we were never away!  The Dining Hall certainly looks busy in the first week!

GOLD for Tim Baillie!

As you will all know Tim Baillie won a Gold Medal in the K2 slalom class in the Olympics.  Congratulations to Tim and his family.  We hope he will be visting the school with his Gold Medal in the next few weeks.

Rugby Success

The following story was taken from the Evening Express over summer....Westhill Academy’s rugby team has shown its mettle in both codes of the game this season.  The school’s S4-5 team won the Scottish schools rugby league competition, the Saltire Cup, with a 24-12 win against Duncanrig High School in the final.  Try scorers for the team were Matthew Smith, Niall Hall and Derren Reid, who crossed the line twice, while Mitchell Scott added two conversions.  The victory caps a fine season for the school as they also won the rugby union Grampian Regional bowl competition and the shield at the Grampian Sevens’ tournament in April.  Coach Ewan Smeaton said: “This finishes off a very successful year for the school. “It is the first year we have won silverware and to win three trophies is a fantastic effort.  “The boys have done really well with Angus Clark and Derren Reid being selected for the Caledonia district under-16 rugby union team while Niall Hall and Mitchell Scott are in the Scottish under-16rugby league squad.”  The winning squad was: Chris Craig, Mitchell Scott, Angus Clark, Liam Cronin, Damien Genocchio, Niall Hall, David Hume, Jackson Irvine, Sam Lobban, Charles Lowe, Jordan Maybury, Ciaran Mulligan, Duncan Mullins, Derren Reid, Roddy Shenstone, Matthew Smith and Gareth Wynn.

WELL DONE LADS!

Michaela McRobb Award 2012

Karen Tremain, Michaela's mother attended the S6 assembly on Thursday 28 June.  The winner this year is Ruth Gilligan from 6C - a very  well deserved  recipient.  Ruth has been involved in music at school, local and national level and is an accomplished violinist.  She helps are Brownies, in taking her silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and has a leading role in our Rock Challenge group.  She is also academically very able with 7 Grade 1 passes at Standard Grade.

For those unaware Michaela was killed in a tragic car accident in April 2005 whilst in S5.  The award is presented annually in her memory.

Sporting Success June 2012

Congratulations to the S3 Athletics champions as shown below:

Class winners: 3D1 and 3C.  Individual winners: Jonathan MacDonald 3D1, Robyn Aitkenhead 3D1, Hendrik Hurst 3C, Alex Lowe 3B.  Runners up: Scott Thompson 3D2, Kirsty McNeil 3D1, Kieran Middleton 3A, Jessica Thomson 3?

2E won the lunchtime football competition.

S4/5 Rugby Success June 2012

The S4/5 school rugby team put on a brilliant and determined display at the U17 George Fairbairn Cup Final last week, and beat Duncanrig High School (East Kilbride) 24-12. This completes a very successful year for the team who have now won three trophies. This Saltire Cup will sit next to the Grampian District U16 Bowl and the U16 Grampian Seven’s Shield. Well done lads!

USA trip 2012

Ross Sibbald has written a fantastic account of the recent S3 trip to the west coast of America - click here to view. Visit the Gallery to see some superb photos.

Activities Week 2012

A great week with so many activities and different trips happening. The only major hitch was the late return of the USA trip - but they are back now! A big thank you to Allen Williamson assisited by Ros Campbell who undertook the major logistical exercise to make it all happen. Well done to all involved!  Hopefully some photos will follow.

S6 Leavers Ceremony - 3 May 2012

Thanks to all parents, pupils and staff for the attending the event in the Holiday Inn last night.  Great event for a group of superb young people.  The praise given was well deserved.  Photos to follow.

World's First Volcano Cake? - 3 May 2012

Michael Carr, S5 has studied Geology this year and really enjoyed the course.  As a thank you to Mrs Arno he baked a volcano cake complete with magma, lava and a vent.  Well done Michael!

Seagull Spies on Head Teacher - 27 April 2012

Update on Friends of Anchor - April 2012

We reported in March about raising money for Friends of Anchor.  Laura Hughson is below with the certificate she recieived for raising £125 - WELL DONE!

Westhill Olympian!  - April 2012

Tim Baillie, a former Westhill Academy pupil, has been selected for the London Olympics in the Canoe Slalom Team. Well done Tim we will watch with interest - our first medallist? Tim is the second person we are aware of,  Euan Cheyne swam in the "Deaf Olympics" in 2010.

Your Future in Energy Event - 24 April 2012

Around 20 Westhill Academy pupils took part in this event held at the Seven Incorporated Trades Hall in Aberdeen. Roughly half were presenters explaining what they had learnt about the energy industry in NE Scotland during the S2 Energy short course and the other half provided excellent music during the formal dinner.  They were superb!  The quote below is from the organiser........

 "Your young presenters were greatly admired by the attendees and were the topic of many a positive conversation I have had since the event.  The musicians were a credit to the musical staff, and I would appreciate if you would formally pass on my thanks to both the pupils and the staff for providing musical entertainment of the highest quality and carried off with great aplomb."

Photos will be available soon by clicking on the following web link   Your Future In Energy Event

S5 Leavers Assembly - 25 April 2012

The S5 leavers are pictured below with their Progress Files - we wish them all the best.

Gold ASDAN Awards - April 2012

As well as offering SQA qualifications some pupils also study ASDAN awards.  These are available at three levels - Bronze, silver and Gold.  This year we have Four Gold Awards!  Well done lads!  Daniel Bell, Andrew Wilson and Andrew Davidson are shown below with the certificates and celebration cake!  (Macauley Middleton was the other successful pupil.)

S4 Leavers Assembly - 23 April 2012

On Monday the S4 Leavers Assembly took place.  This is a chnace to say goodbye to those who do not return after the examinations and recognise the achievements of others.  The maon awards this year for contributions to the school went to Emily Griffiths and Joe Steel.  They are pictured below with their trophies.  SEE PHOTO SECTION FOR LEAVERS AND OTHER AWARDS.

Senior Boys Football - March 2012

On Saturday, 24th March the Westhill Academy senior boys’ football team won the J M Low Regional Football Trophy. This was the third year running that the senior team managed to reach a football final but our first victory which was really nice for a few of the boys who had played in all three finals. Having won the semi-final against Cults Academy, we met St Machar Academy in the final. One of our long term members of the team, Tom Hutchinson had to come off injured early on in the game which led to us losing an early goal. We soon equalised, only to lose a second goal. Once we again drew level and had the upper hand in the first half, going in 3 – 2 at half time.  The second half was closely contested with two further injuries. Although St Machar made every effort to get back into the game, Westhill remained calm and the final score was 5 – 3 in our favour. Goals were scored by Gavin Sinclair (2), Lloyd Shand (2) and Tyler Reid (1)

The following boys have all played a part in this team throughout the year;Calum Roy, Dean Marnoch, Jake Cowie, Andrew Mustard, Jake Forsyth, Callum Mackay, Tom Hutchinson, Lewis Milne, Kieran Reid, Ewan Mackie, Alan Grant, Lewis Murray, Gavin Sinclair, Callum McCaw, Sean Duthie, Scott Caldwell,  Lloyd Shand, Tyler Reid, Simon Tierney, Daniel Sim, Jonathan Shaw, Jonathan Marples

Many thanks to G Ewing and S Bridgwater, for their assistance with the team and to the parents who have supported from the side lines.

Vive la Francophonie! - March 2012

A team of 10 S3 pupils known as “les incroyables” participated in a competition organised by the Institut Français on Wednesday 21 March 2012. We were given 1 hour to complete questions about French speaking countries, culture, sport, general knowledge, cuisine and even our navigational skills of the Paris métro system! The team completed it in 34 minutes and e-mailed it straight away to be marked! We were awarded 55.5 points and received bonus points for answering in French.  We came 3rd. overall. 52 schools from Scotland had entered the competition. We will be ready for the challenge next year!  Well done to the team! They really were “incroyable”.  A picture of the team members is below.

Spring Concert - March 2012

An audience of around 150 attended our Spring Concert.  They were treated to a musical evening of fantastic quality and variety. This included singing from soloists and choirs and an enormous variety of intruments, in solos, duets, trios and larger groups. Well done to all pupils involved and a big thank you to our musical instructors and music teaching staff, Rhonda Pirie and Sarah Colville.  SEE THE PHOTO SECTION.

Canandian Adventure for Fiona!

Fiona Shepherd returned to school this week having spent eleven days in the Canadian Rockies.  This involved a variety of visits and activities relating to "wildscape" tourism.  Thanks to Westhill Rotary for making this possible.  More details of the trip later.

Sports Relief 50 Mile Cycle! 24 March 2012

Jonathan Macdonald and Mark Scott Kiddie, both second year pupils, completed a fifty mile cycle in aid of Sports Relief on Saturday. They were extremely efficient in terms of gaining sponsorship and will break the £200 mark. They started the cycle at 7.00 am and having a very foggy and damp start to their day, were shadowed by Jonathan’s dad in his car to give them protection from other vehicles on the road at that time.  Their route was the circuit used for the cycle part of the triathlon event and they lapped this ten times.  Their enthusiasm shone through and motivation carried them to finish where just after 12.30 pm at Westhill Academy gates having notched just over fifty miles.  Well done to both, a great “Sports Relief” effort!

Westhill Academy "Sports Relief."                     19 - 23 March 2012

A range of activities linked to Sport Relief have been taking place this week including a lunchtime Dodgeball event (Mon-Thu), a lunchtime performance by our Rock Challenge group, a Sport Relief conga/walk a mile, and a red carpet dress up event.  We are already well on the way to raising over £1500 and hopefully after our final event next week we may over £2500.  Everyone got into the spirit of things and went home with a smile on their faces. See more photos in the photo gallery. 

 

 

Football Success! March 2012

Tom Hutchinson and Gavin Sinclair, S6, have been playing for the Aberdeen Schools’ Football Select again this year. They have now reached the semi-final of the Inter-district Championships which will be played on Monday, 26th March at Broughty Ferry Juniors FC.  Tom also reached the final 22 players for the Scottish Select and narrowly missed out on the final Scottish Schoolboys’ Select.  Having beaten Cults Academy 4-2 on Friday night the Westhill Academy Senior boys’ team are playing St Machar Academy in the final of the JM Low Trophy at Spain Park at 10.00am on Saturday, 24th March and the under 16s are playing Harlaw Academy in their final on Wednesday, 21st March at Dyce Junior FC at 4.15pm.

TISO Offer to Westhill Pupils/Parents

Throughout April parents, pupils, staff and anyone else associated with Westhill Academy will be eligible to purchase an Outdoor Experience Card for £10 (Usual price £20) from Tiso Aberdeen. £5 of this will then be returned by Tiso to the PTA.  The card gives 10% off in-store at any Tiso, Alpine Bikes or Blues stores (Please note that a 5% discount applies to all bikes.) and online for 12 months. In addition to this, card holders receive exclusive monthly offers, event invitations, range previews and more. This applies to all products (including sale items), services, lectures and courses. Only Gift Vouchers and stamps are exempt.  The discount will apply to any products or services bought at the same point as the card.  More information about the card can be found by visiting the TISO website.

S4/5 Parents Choice Evening 12 March 2012

Around 80 parents attended the choice evening last night held in the academy.  The presentation used can be accessed by clicking HERE.  As always the first point of contact for parents and pupils with questions should the Principal Teacher of Guidance.

Giant Heptathlon!  February 2012

S1 and S2 pupils attended the Aberdeen Sports Village on Tuesday 28th February to take part in the Annual Schools Giant Heptathlon. Schools from across Aberdeenshire were invited to submit both a girls and boys team to take part in events including the shott putt, hurdles and triple jump. The Westhill teams teams put in a great effort on the day, but unfortunately did not make it through to the regional finals. Thanks to Mr Darling for leading the teams on the day.  Those pupils who took part were: Hendrick Hurst, Liam Mitchell, Johnathan MacDonald, Steven Paterson, Joseph Urquhart, Jason Thornton, Bradley Veasey, Orla Henderson, Chloe Stephen, Chloe Dow, Morbheinn Nicol, Kirsten Bell, Rebecca Grainger, Lauren Mcpherson & Kirsty Williams.

 

Euroscola Trip to Strasbourg - February 2012

Many thanks to Rory McGregor (S6) who gave a thoroughly entertaining and informative presentation at a recent Parent Council meeting. Rory spoke about his participation in the Euroscola event – a 5 day trip to Strasbourg organised by the European Parliament and sponsored by Rotary Clubs across Scotland. Rory and 25 other young Scots (pictured below), travelled to Strasbourg where they spent 4 days immersing themselves in the language and culture, followed by at day in Parliament. There were around 500 young people participating from all over Europe and the day involved discussions, debates and quizzes – much of the time in French! Rory clearly had a fantastic time and has benefited greatly from this experience.

Friends of Anchor March 2012

A small group of S3 pupils approached us to ask if they could do something to raise funds for Friends of Anchor - a charity linked to people with cancer and related illnesses.  Working with Sarah Milne from Friends of Anchor the pupils did a coin collection on Friday 9 March (their thinking was now the canteen was cashless they would give people with cash a place where it would be put to good use).  The group and the charity were delighted to raise around £125 on the day and we hope to pass this over to the charity next week.

 

Cashless Catering  - IT'S HERE!

On Thursday 8th March our school canteen went cashless.   To obtrain items from the canteen (including pre-ordering food) pupils put money on their Young Scot cards.  If the card has been forgotten pupils can use a PIN number.  As the "pin" brings up a  photo of the pupil at the till so it is not possible to use someone else's else's pin.  Thursday 8 March.  Our staff will take a few days to become familiar with the new system but early indications is that it is popular with pupils.

Senior Ball 3 March 2012

Thanks to all the staff and S6 pupils who contributed to making the Senior Ball such a great success on Saturday at Thainstone House Hotel.   Photos can be viewed and purchased from this link.  Senior Ball 2012

NE$MA

Each year we invite North East Student Money Advisors (N£$MA) into school to speak to senior pupils about managing their money after they leave school. N£$MA is a charity which also works directly with students who fall into financial hardship at College and University so they have a lot of experience of the significant difficulties some youngsters get into. Their sessions are very active and help pupils work out in very practical terms how to manage on a limited budget. N£$MA also runs a session for parents which is always well attended and very much appreciated. Below is a picture of Jim and Val who run the sessions. Over many years they have helped countless young people out of their difficulties and prevented thousands more from getting into difficulties in the first place.

   

Fair Trade Fortnight Feb./March 2012 - a massive success

S1 pupils in their RME classes have been looking into aspects of Fair Trade in the lead up to Fair Trade Fortnight. As well as the work in class the pupils asked if they could do presentations at assemblies and run Fair Trade stalls at intervals and lunchtimes. Every day during Fair Trade Fortnight the pupils have been selling a range of products and helping raise awareness of ethical trade.  The stall was extremely popular and sales over the fortnight exceed and amazing £1000!  Thanks to Miss Cain and Mr Montgomerie for all their time and effort in supporting the pupils to exceed anything we imagined possible.

Rock Challenge February 2012

On Saturday 18 February Westhil Academy took part in the NE Scotland Event of the Rock Challenge 2012 at the AECC.  They finished a very creditable second behind Fraserburgh Academy with Kemnay Academy in third place.  This year there is a Scottish Final in Dundee on Wednesday 13 June and we will be taking part along with Fraserburgh and Kemnay.  Well done to all the pupils and staff involved.  Photos are not allowed but a DVD of the event will be available for purchase in the near future.

Westhill Gymnastics Star! - February 2012

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th February 14 year old Beth McCaw (S3) competed, alongside 2012 Olympic medal contender Daniel Keatings, in the prestigious Scottish Gymnastics’ Championships.  The first day is the All-Around and Team Competition.  Beth competed in the Junior Section (14 and 15 year olds) and won Bronze in the All-Around and Team Silver for her club.  She also qualified for all four apparatus finals on the Sunday.  After the Saturday competition Beth had to be whisked back to Aberdeen to participate in Rock Challenge.  A very sleepy Beth was shaken from her bed and taken back down to Perth early Sunday morning.  She performed superbly and won Silver on Vault, Silver on Floor and Bronze on Beam.  Beth is pictured below with her medals.  CONGRATULATIONS

 

Curriculum for Excellence Information Evenings February 2012

Thanks to the 100 or so parents who came along to the evenings for S1 and S2 parents. As you can see the presentations used can be accessed through the home page but also by clicking below.  As always we had lively debate and the parental input is very much appreciated.  We will be holding more events in the coming year.

S1 Presentation

S2 Presentation

School Prospectus 2012/13

This is now available through this website and can be accessed by clicking HERE.  Paper copies can be collected from the school on request.

Westhill Sunset  - 13 January 2012

Rugby Success!  - 12  January 2012

Congratulations to the U16 rugby team who won the Brewin Dolphin Grampian Bowl on Thursday 12 January 2012!

Having already beaten Ellon 19-12 and Elgin Academy 54- 0 (in 30 minutes), they beat Meldrum Academy 70-29 in the final to lift the trophy.  Well done lads!

Cashless Catering Comes to Westhill Academy - January 2012

In common with all Aberdeenshire Academies our canteen will be going "cashless" over the next few months.  We will do our best to keep parents and pupils informed of progress and how the new system will work.

In the meantime more details can be found on the Aberdeenshire Council website by clicking HERE

Charity Dress Up Day - 23 December 2011

On the last day of term pupils dressed with a Christmas theme rasing money for Cash for Kids.  See the photo section for a variety of hats and costumes.  Thanks to all who took part.

 

Christmas Services - 20/21 December 2011

As in previous years the school celebrated Christmas by running 5 services over 2 days in the Trinity Church.  They were a combination of music, readings and the Christmas message given as always by our School Chaplains.  Thanks to all pupils and staff who took part.  The sixth years, all players and singers were treated to a lunch by the Church “ladies” who served up an excellent buffet on the Wednesday lunchtime at the end of the fifth service.  This tradition is very much appreciated by staff and pupils.  Thank you.  (See photo section.)

 

Christmas Concert 2011 - 19 December 2011

On Monday 20 December around 200 parents and friends of the school were treated to a festival of music with pipers, drummers, choirs, soloists, the concert band, string and guitar groups and ceilidh band playing an enormous variety of musical styles.  The evening was throughly enjoyed by the audience pround to see their sons and daughters taking part.  A very big thank you to Rhonda Pirie who organised and led the event.  (See photo section.)

 

Second is Still Good! - December 2011

This year we seem destined to be second!  We lost the final of North Sound Energy Quiz by 1 point  and then last week came second in the "Stem in the Pipeline" Maths/Engineering Competition.  Are we disappointed – YES.  However 2nd out of 16 in the North Sound Quiz and 2nd out of 14 in "Stem in the Pipeline" are both creditable performances.  Well done to all involved!

The "Stem Team" are below.

Westhill Pupil Stars!  - 18 December on.

The BBC series Young James Herriot which ran from Sunday 18 December through to Monday 20 December starred Amy Manson as Whirly.  Amy was a Westhill Academy pupil until around 2000.  Lisa Wood who left us in 2004 is starring in the West End in the new production of Les Miserables.  Do you know any other famous former pupils?

Thorpe Molloy Art Work - December 2011

Along with other schools many S2 pupils submitted portrait art work to Thorpe Molloy for judging and display in their offices.  A web gallery of the images is available at http://www.thorpemolloy.com/artgallery/?tmr  Around 7 pupils received commendation certificates which were awarded in tutorial.  Well done to all.  (SEE PHOTO GALLERY FOR WINNERS!)

Murder Mystery Evening - November 2011

Around 40 pupils and parents tried to solve the mystery of the murder of Sir Marcus, only one team succeeded.  Great fun was had by all who came along - a murder to solve, raffle and quiz made the evening a success.  Thanks to all parents, pupils and staff who helped.  The cast are below with Sir Marcus already murdered and the family looking very happy about it!  (SEE PHOTO SECTION.)

Shoe Box Appeal - November 2011

Westhill Rotaty link with Westhill Academy to support a number of projects many of which have been running for many years. One of these is called operation Shoebox in which pupils and staff are offered the chance to fill a shoebox which Rotary arrange to transport to support orphans in Rumania. This year around 30 shoeboxes were collected from the school by Rotarians.

S2 Energy Short Course

On Thursday Westhill Academy received an honourable mention in the Scottish Parliament for the work it was doing to promote the Energy Sector through a short course in S2. The idea is to ensure every pupil in S2 has a basic understanding of the development of the energy industry, an appreciation that we have the global centre of sub-sea engineering on our doorstep and some knowledge of how the industry may move forward in the next few years.   On Friday we welcomed Colin Black, President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dennis Robertson MSP and Christian Allard from the Community Council to see the S2 course in action. As a result of a set of very impressive pupil presentations on the industry we will be having further meetings to see what more we can do to develop our approach and further develop links with local industry.   All of this follows on from a very successful and well attended careers event where many local companies were represented. We are aware that many local employers are not aware of the significance of the changes in the education system and we hope to invite them to an event early in the new year to offer information and answer any questions they may have.

Visit of Tam Baillie - Commissioner for Children

On Thursday Westhill Academy welcomed Tam Baillie Scotland's commissioner for Children and Young People. Tam was in Aberdeenshire for the day and as part of his visit met our Pupil Council.  A significant part of his work is to ensure Children and Young People know about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have their views represented and listened to.  He spent a considerable time listening to a range of issues the pupil council raised and left very impressed with the level of engagement and quality of discussion.  Issues of identity, safety, access to facilities, employment, equality were raised along with questions of what his job entailed, how he was appointed and what he did the past.  As a result of the work we have been doing with the pupil council and the visit by Tam the school will seek to do more to promote the UN convention on the rights of the Child (UNCRC).

NorthSound Energy Quiz 2011

Following our success in 2010 we have reached the final in 2011, having beaten Mearns Academy, Dyce Academy and Robert Gordons College on the way!  Will we make it two in a row?  Listen to NorthSound and see! 

Standards and Quality Report

Every year the school must produce a Standards and Quality Report and a summary leaflet for parents and Aberdeenshire.  These outline the school achievements over the previous year and plans for the future.  Links to the 2010/11 documents are below:

Full S and Q Report

Summary S and Q Report

(Paper copies are available from the school on request.)

Sci-tastic at Westhill

The afternoon was organised by Techfest to help launch their "Sci-tastic" series of events.  Sci-tastic looked specifically at how the "STEM" disciplines (Science, Technology & Mathematics) have a key role to play in modern society and have applications as wide as Dr Who, Mountain Climbing and Dance! Technip were helping to sponsor the events and so – as our key Industrial link – Techfest were keen to launch the event at Westhill Academy. Techfest commissioned a company called "Construction Skills" to come up with a STEM-based problem for 40 of our S2 pupils and as you saw they had to build a 4m tetrahedron by working on their own/in pairs and in ever increasing-sized groups. The pupils were fully engaged in the task and it was amazing to see how quickly they took ownership of the problem. Key Curriculum for Excellence skills were tested throughout the afternoon and the pupils definitely got a lot from it. 

Joint Triathlon 2011

On Sunday 18th September (a very wet morning indeed) 24 teams and individuals took part in a triathlon event in Westhill. The event was a 400m swim, a 10km cycle and a 2.5km run – and could be completed individually or as a team. Winners received engraved trophies and are as follows (all Westhill Academy unless otherwise stated):

INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY: Junior Boys - Angus Grindlay Junior Girls - Robyn Aitkenhead Senior Boys - Matthew McPherson Senior Girls - Eilidh Prise (Cults Academy) Adult Male - Lewis Murchie Adult Female - Heather Cook

TEAM CATEGORY: Junior Boys - John Cowe & Tyler Strachan Junior Girls - Emily Berry, Isla Campbell & Amy Farquharson Junior Mixed - Rebecca Grainger, Jonathon McDonald & Liam Mitchell Senior Boys - Adam Blance, Daniel Barrett & George Wilson Senior Girls - Jessica Christie, Brogan Murray & Shannon Cruickshank Adult Mixed - Eva Prato Luna & Eduardo Luna (Cults Academy) Adult Male - Chris Cook & David Dunn

Well done to everyone who took part. Many thanks to Jo Munro and Jen McWilliam for organising the event, and all the marshalls, time-keepers and length counters who gave their time so freely.

(SEE PHOTO SECTION)

Adverse Weather Advice

Aberdeenshire have produced a new leaflet for parents relating to adverse weather conditions.  It can be accesed by clicking on the link below:

Aberdeenshire Adverse Weather Advice

Michaela McRobb Award 2011

This year the award was given to Andrew Reilly for his contribution to the school through setting a fantastic example to others through his courtesy and good manners. A real gentleman.  Andrew is below pictured with Michaela's mother and father along with other pupils who were nominated.

 

 

BUSY LAST FEW WEEKS!

This really has been an amazing last few weeks of term with around 150 pupils in Italy, France and London, a superb Summer Concert on Monday 27 June.  Yesterday, Thursday 30 June, we awarded the Michaela Mc Robb Memorial Trophy to Andrew Reilly in the morning and then had the largest leaving dinner I have ever attended thanking eight staff, who are leaving with a combined service of around 105 years.

They were….

 Anna Oddie             Principal Teacher of RMPS

John Morrison           Principal Teacher of Computing

Joan Jowett              Principal Teacher of History

Kathleen Davidson    Principal Teacher Curriculum

Anne Marquiss         Teacher of Art

Dot Moir                   Teacher of Biology

Joan Gilchrist            Teacher of Business Studies

Ricky Marioni            Teacher of Mathematics

 We wish them all a long and happy retirement.

 BIRD GARDEN?

An oyster catcher has set up home in our school garden - they  are a protected species so gardening has stopped for the moment - bang go my strawberries!

KIDS OUT 2011

Around 35 Westhil Academy Seniors spent a day at Craibstone helping with the Kids Out Event, a "party" for disabled children from all over the North East of Scotland.  Our pupils dress as clowns, paint faces and generally help the youngsters enjoy themselves. Thank you and well done to all who helped.

PRIMARY 7 VISIT

We welcomed around 160 Primary 7 pupils for the "3 day visit."  This gives them a chance to find there way around and meet staff and new class mates before arriving in August as the new first year.  As always for the pupils it is a lot of excitement mixed with a little nervousness!  We wish them all well and look forward to them returning in August.  (SEE PHOTO SECTION.)

YOUTH PHILANTHROPHY INITITAIVE

Thursday 5 May was the night when 5 teams of S5 pupils competed for the YPI Award.  This involves researching a charity, putting together a presentation with the aim of convincing the judges that the £3000 given by the Wood Group Family Trust should be given to your charity.  All five teams did really well with the winners - Sam McNeil, Lisa Thompson and Harriet McBoyle shown below.  Thank you to our judges Bill Burnett from the Holiday Inn, Graeme Duncan from Extreme Solutions and our own Judith Wight.  Also thanks to the parents who came along to support the teams.   (SEE PHOTO SECTION.)

 

S6 GRADUATION

Thanks to all the parents, staff and pupils for a great evening in the Trinity Church on Wednesday 5 May.  This event is unique to Westhill Academy with parents, pupils and staff all enjoying the chance to celebrate the achievements of pupils before they leave us. We wish them all well!  Joint winners of the Albert Thomson Award, Ailsa Collie and Rebecca Marnoch are shown below.

PUPIL AWARDS

In the last two weeks we have awarded the prizes for contributions to the school comminuty for both S4 and S6.  In S4 the winners of the Apardion Trophies were Sarah Williamson and  Robert Ingram.  In S6 the Albert Thomson Award was shared this year between Ailsa Collie and Rebecca Marnoch.  Congratulations to all and thank you for the contributions you have made to the life of the school.  (SEE PHOTO SECTION.)

KEMNAY CHARITY GOLF

On Monday 18 April  Westhill Academy once qagain supported the Kemnay Charity Golf Texas Scramble.  Two teams, made up of five pupils, two business partners and a member of staff took part.  Although they won no overall prizes Lloyd Shand was nearest the pin on the par three,18th hole and received a Tesco voucher handed over by David Innes.

BUDDING ARTIST!

Ellen Main from 3A was highly commended in a Royal Scottish Academy of Art student competition. As a result her work is on now on display in the Royal Scottish Academy in Princess Street  Edinburgh.   Well done Ellen!  

 

David Innes, Deputy Head Teacher presented Ellen's certificates in the Art Department.

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTTS GOT HER HEAD CHOPPED OFF

The Drama Department have once again succeeded to present a high quality production in terms of acting, costumes, music and lighting.  (SEE PHOTO SECTION)

SPRING CONCERT

The Spring Concert on Monday 21 March was a great success.  The audience saw both quality and variety with both singers and players, individually and in groups.  Bag pipes, drums, violins, guitars, brass instruments and our concert band all featured along with  a variety of singing styles from choirs, trios to solo.  Well done to all involved.  (SEE PHOTO SECTION)

RND 2011

This was a great week with a variety of events, raising over £11000!  Brilliant! Well done John Duncan and his pupil team!  (SEE PHOTO SECTION)

The events that took place can be viewed on the following link     RND2011

Giant Heptathlon

A Team from Westhill took part in the Giant Heptathlon at the University Sports Centre.    We were not winners but it was good fun competition.  Part of the team is shown below:

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SCARF Awards

Following recognition of a project completed in Elrick Primary School three of our pupils were invited to the Scottish Parliament to recieve their awards.  The day included a tour of the Parliament and then a presentation of prizes.  Well done lads! (SCARF stands for Save Cash and Reduce Fuel!)                         

 

Liam Duthie, Jason Killman and Ewan Smith receiving their awards in Edinburgh.

Daily Keep Fit

The PE Department have organised short daily morning keep fit sessions from 8.30 - 8.50 am each day.  Each day is different with boxercise, zumba, step, body pump etc.  We are now at about 40 each day but are looking for more, please encourage you son or daughter to take part!

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Rock Challenge

A large group of very proud parents and a very proud Head Teacher witnessed a fantastic show at the AECC on Moday 25 February.   Westhill won the North East Rock Challenge heat for the second year in a row and are now hopefully planning a  trip to the national finals in Grimsby in June.  Well done to all staff and pupils involved.  SEE PHOTO SECTION

 

Links Page

A new link page has been added designed to help parents and pupils access useful websites.  This will be built up over time.

Burns Supper

The Burns Supper held on Monday 24 January was a geat success.  A big thank you to all staff and pupils involved but particulary to Keith Dunlop who led the organisation and came up with the idea in the first place.  SEE PHOTO SECTION.

 

Skating Seniors

As part of PE a number of seniors have been skating over the past few weeks, not quite Torvil and Dean but a start in the right direction!   SEE PHOTO SECTION!

Senior Christmas Cake Decoration

As part of their course the pupils in the "cake dec." class, as they call it, design and make a Christmas cake, the standard is amazing. SEE PHOTO SECTION!

S6 Social Dancing

Every year Guidance staf work with Senior Pupils teaching basic Scottish dancing.  Not quite "strictly" but we do our bit!  See the photos section.

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MYACHI craze sweeps Westhill!

Yes, I know, I did not know either!  Myachi is a craze sweeping the USA, basically it is small elongated bean bag, filled with snad, that you throw and do tricks with.  Our HE epartment is helping pupils make their own and then selling them for charity - £1 each.  Well done to the Home Economics Department!  See more in the photos section.

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MODERN STUDIES PRIZE

Congratulations to Anna Yeats, S1, who was selected as one of only eight National winners in the S1/2 Modern Studies Newspaper Front Page Competition 2010.  Anne recived a certificate and a cheque for £20.  Well done!

NORTH SOUND SCHOOLS QUIZ

The Westhill Academy team of Joe Steel, S3, Hayley Dalmon, S4, Johnny Shaw, S5 and Calum Ritchie S6 were victorious in their quarter final moving to the semi's and final at Maersk in Altens, on Wednesday  3 November.  Results a secret until the radio broadcast!  YES WE WON!

COMMUNITY AWARD

The Westhill and Elrick Community Council presented 'AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY' to Elliott Pettitt in the Holiday Inn.  Well done and well deserved!

MULTI SPORTS EVENT

On Thursday 8 September a team of over 60 pupils attended the first South Aberdeenshire Multi Sports Event at Aberdeen University Sports Village.  Six team events made up the day with Atheltics, Table Tennis, Hockey, Badminton, Football and Basketball.  Westhill were the victors in 4 of the 6 events and joint overall winners with Banchory Academy.  Great day - well done to all who took part!

(See the photos section for more pictures.)

CHANGED TRAFFIC PRIORITIES....

To make the school grounds safer the following will apply from the start of term.

  • The central parking area at the bottom of the school drive will operate like a roundabout.
  • Traffic must keep left when entering this area to access the community centre parking area, the library and visitor parking.
  • Cars that enter the school playground (after 4.30 pm) should exit around the roundabout leaving the yard by turning left.
  • Cars should not park in the area parallel to the path on the south side of the school.

The new signing will be complete in the next week or two including the addition of double yellow lines.  Please help us to make the school grounds safer by following the new  priorities.

 MICHAELA McROBB TROPHY 2010

This award was given to the school by Michaela’s parents following her death in a car accident in April 2005.  Since then the award has been presented annually to recognise achievement in S5.  This year the joint winners were Becky Menzies and Elliott Pettitt, both of whom have demonstrated amazing resilience and determination in tragic circumstances during the year, a lesson to us all.

LIONS AWARDS 2010

A number of senior pupils have received “Lions Awards” through the Westhill Lions Club to recognise their contributions to the school and wider community.  The winners were Robbie Elrick, Scott Moir, Greg Shand, Charlotte Smith, Jade Robertson, Danielle Allan, Clara Jane Irvine, Shona Thompson and Ashley Clark many of whom are pictured below, congratulations to all.

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KIDS OUT!

On Wednesday 9 June almost 50 S6 students helped at the Kids Out event at Craibstone.  This is a party for disabled children organised by various North East Rotary Clubs.  Our pupils work as "face painters," clowns and general helpers.  The children have a great day and our seniors have the chance to support them  and "give something back" to those less fortunate than themselves.  Just look at the smiles!

 

 

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