Category Archives: Achievement

Jonathan’s epic cycle challenge

Jonathan Hanna, who is in our S6,  is to cycle coast to coast across America in just 30 days.  He hopes to cover an average of 100 miles a day.

He will be joined on his gruelling 2900-mile challenge by dad Gavin.

They will be cycling every day, with just two emergency days in reserve in case of breakdown.

Cycle USA - July 2013

And there is no support crew following behind – Jonathan and Gavin will be carrying all their gear themselves on the bikes.

This includes camping equipment, as they are planning to camp out as much as possible.

They will be raising money for Scottish charity the Vine Trust, which is currently equipping a medical ship to send to Africa.

The epic USA trek starts in Los Angeles before heading through southern California and into Arizona where Jonathan and Gavin will make a 35-mile detour to cycle alongside the Grand Canyon.

Next they’ll cross the desert to Colorado where they will cycle over the Rockies, scaling the highest point in their journey at 10,857ft.

Then it’s down into Kansas and through Tornado Alley before crossing another seven states, including Washington DC. End of the very long road will be Annapolis in Maryland.

Jonathan and his dad have a fundraising target of £5000 and have already raised £2000.

The Vine Trust is equipping its latest medical ship in Greenock, from where it will be sent to Lake Victoria in Tanzania to deliver medical and dental aid to isolated communities.

Click here to follow Jonathan and his dad’s adventure on their blog.


Congratulations go to Elizabeth and Victoria Groom who won the Hutchesons’ Grammar School debating competition last Friday. The girls knocked out Bearsden Academy in the first round, The High School of Glasgow in the Semi-Final and Hutchesons’ Grammar in the Final.

This is a fantastic achievement in their first ever proper competition.

A big thanks also to Matthew Chalmers and Jack McPhail of S1, and Anjali Kashyap, Grainne Parkinson, Rhona McCalman and Kirsty Sutherland of S2 who came along to support the team and who participated in a debating workshop during the day.

Bleep Test Challenge Club

After a better attendance last week with 14 runners, we were back down to only 5 this week.  I am hoping that most of you just forgot and that I will see you again next time!  I am still looking to achieve the heights of our first week with 36 runners!  Come on back this Wednesday lunchtime.

Last week we welcomed a new staff member to the club, Mr Hamilton (Maths).  Congratulations to him on his impressive first run of 11.5.

Well done to everyone for taking part again these last two weeks.  Particular congratulations to the following pupils for improving their best ever scores last week:

Oliver Grieve (S1) went from 10.3 to 10.5

James Howard (S2) went from 7.7 to 8.1

Laurence Ng (S2) went from 6.7 to 7.5

Chris Griffiths (S3) went from 8.11 to 9.4

Emma Park (S3) went from 6.2 to 6.4

Further congratulations to Oliver Grieve (S1), Lewis Bond (S2) and Greig MacKay (S2) who have made all 4 weeks of the club and are leading the ‘Most Consistent Attendance’ leaderboard.  I look forward to seeing more pupils and staff at club on Wednesday 22nd May at

Culinary Art Success

As part of the East Renfrewshire vocational programme, S6 pupil  Amy-Jo Fairbairn along with other East Renfrewshire pupils, planned and prepared a three course feast at a special banquet for VIPs

Amy-Jo serving up the dinner

Amy-Jo has been studying for the Culinary Art course and was awarded the Reed Kerr Curriculum for Excellence Award.

S2 – Winners of the Home Economics Scottish Dietary Targets Poster Competition.

The S2 poster competition has been judged and the following pupils are the winners:

  • Elyse Cowan 2.7
  • Fiona Wilson 2.11
  • Megan Nelson 2.3
  • Helen Stout 2.9
  • James Howard 2.3
  • Heather Martin 2.9
  • Rebekah Clark 2.7
  • Tami Rose 2.9

Well done to all!

The winners will be awarded a golden dinner ticket for his/herself plus one friend allowing instant entry to the dining hall. Tickets will be valid from Monday 21st January to Friday 25th January 2013.

Winners will also be awarded 10 points for his/her house and all of the winning posters will be displayed in the Dining Hall.

Scottish Concert Band Festival

Mearns Castle took part in the Scottish Concert Band Festival today at Inveralmond Community High School.

The Junior Concert Band took part in the Achieving School Band Class along with five other schools and the Senior Concert Band took part in the Advance School Band Class along with James Young High School Senior Wind Band.

Mearns Castle Junior Concert Band

The Junior Concert Band achieved a Silver award and the Senior Concert Band achieved a Bronze award.  Click here for more information about the competition.

Well done to both bands.

Giffnock North Schools’ Cross Country

Congratulations to all the athletes who took part in the cross country races on 21st October at a very muddy Rouken Glen Park.  All runners ran very well but special mention must go to the following:

S1/S2 Girls’ Race – 3rd Nicky Miller

S3/S4 Boys’ Race – 1st Ross Gray, 3rd Amit Kumar

S3/S4 Girls’ Race – 1st Holly Still, 2nd Rebecca Saxby

The girls team, with Morna Weir, also won 1st Team

S5/S6 Girls’ Race – 1st Kirsty Miller

Mearns Castle runners at the Giffnock Schools Cross Country Championships

Once again, well done to all athletes, some of whom were running for the school for the first time.

Raising Money For Cancer Research

Two of our pupils Fraser  and Victoria  McKinlay  helped their mum Alison to officially hand over a cheque for the wonderful sum of £7770 to Dr Reed at the Beatson, West of Scotland Cancer Centre on Tuesday 2nd October. 

The money was raised from a charity night  which was held at the Renfrew Ferry on Friday 8th June. Fraser and Victoria helped with the planning and organisation of the event and on one of their holidays from school, sold £1430 worth of tickets for the gig and raffle tickets.  

Fraser and Victoria McKinlay and their mum Alison handing the cheque to Dr Reed at the Beatson, West of Scotland Cancer Centre

The money will be used to help purchase a new piece of scanning equiptment which will be used in the planning of radiotherapy treatment.

Well done Fraser and Victoria

Senior Award Ceremony

Mearns Castle’s Senior Award ceremony took place last night.   We shared in the many successes of our pupils in academic, sporting, enterprise, community and creative fields.

David McCrae - former Paralympic Board Member addressing the students
Mearns Castle's Head Girl and Head Boy Carly Ducket and Aidan O'Rourke giving the vote of thanks at the close of the awards ceremony

Click here to see more pictures from the night.