Launch of the Core

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Sep 302013

On Wednesday last week, the Support for Learning Team held an event to mark the launch of the Core. This facility, previously referred to as “The Unit”, now has a new identity, reflecting the inclusive nature of what the team working there aims to do. They are in the business of providing support for all learners, and decided that the time was right for a new name and image.

What better way to do this, than ask the wonderfully creative pupils of the IRA to come up with a name that represented the new image?  The brief was the SFL space is for everyone, everyone is different and different is good, it is a space that cares for, is available to all for learning and enjoyment – staff and pupils working together to support growth, confidence, learning and joy.

We received exciting and innovative ideas from many pupils from 1st to 3rd Year, but the name “the CORE”, created by Sarah Campbell and Beth Vickers, was chosen because of the idea of the CORE being a central department that supports all other departments throughout the school. Also, in the new building our department will be situated on the ground floor along with Guidance, at the core of pupil support.  The “CORE” stands for Co-operative, Open, Respectful Environment, which we all liked!  And so………..the CORE was conceived!

The design for our new name was carefully co-ordinated by our Art Department, who got onto the task of bringing to life with 2nd Year the logo design that represents our new image and ticks all the boxes – it is attractive, vibrant and symbolic of our beliefs and our ethos; the genius responsible for the winning design is Samantha Jeffries.

Staff and pupils got together in the Core at lunchtime on Wednesday.  There were sandwiches and cakes for all, prizes for the winners and a speech from the top man, Mr Mackinlay!  And, last, but absolutely not least we were thoroughly entertained and blown away by the music and talent of The School Band, headed up by Miss Delmonte. 

Great job! Well done everyone who helped, contributed and participated!  We love our name and our design and the future is bright for the CORE!

S1 Trips to Fairburn

 Posted by at 2:01 pm
Sep 262013

On Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September, most of the S1 pupils went to Fairburn for a day. We went on the Tuesday, but we decided to ask some of the other pupils how their day had been.

Eve Morrison, who went on Thursday described the day as “Awesome – outdoor fun for all”.

Maia Kelman who was there on Wednesday said the day was “completely amazing” and “a great bonding experience”.

Tuesday was also a very exciting day, as, not long after we left school, the suspension on the bus broke! The bus sat lop-sided for 10 minutes as we waited for a replacement. After transferring vehicles and making our way across the Kessock Bridge, we finally realised that we were nearly there. On approaching the driveway, a huge cheer was raised on the bus. Fairburn House was like a fairy-tale castle and the tress around gave the impression that we were on the edge of an enchanted forest. A large number of happy children cascaded off the bus.

Despite the castle like appearance, we soon learnt that the activities were far from royal and we also discovered that midges like children and teachers!

The activities included canoeing, ropes course, tree climb, archery, foosball and paintball.

Overall, we had a fantastic day. The sun was shining and we got to know people in our class a lot better. If all school trips were as good as this one we will never want to leave the IRA. We would like to thank Mr McKinlay, Mr Fyfe and the rest of the team who made the day possible.

By Emma McBride and Rachel Gardner

S3 Geography Field Trip

 Posted by at 4:35 pm
Sep 252013

On the 18th September, Miss MacAskill, Miss Neil and Mrs Smith took S3 pupils on a fieldtrip to the River Nairn.  We got the chance to use the equipment that we had learnt about in class.  We used the instruments to measure things like the depth, width, gradient, and even how fast the river was flowing.  We did this by going in to groups and actually going in the river.  We all agreed that we understood a lot more about rivers and also had a great time in the out-doors!

Jack Davidson S3

Higher Geography Field Trip

 Posted by at 4:32 pm
Sep 252013

Last week a group of Higher Geography students went out to complete some fieldwork in Culbin Forest near Nairn with Miss Neil.  We saw many features that we had recently been studying in class.  Some of the features that we viewed included a Spit and other coastal depositional features.  We were then able to walk over the amazing sand dunes at Culbin so we could look at the different stages of their formation.  The fieldtrip helped us to get a better idea of what we have been learning about in class.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and even saw some frogs and other wildlife along the way!

Leigh-Anne Johnstone and Lauren Currie S5

Future Chef 2014

 Posted by at 8:54 am
Sep 242013

Last night we had our school heat competition for Future Chef 2014. Seven pupils from S1-S4 took part and made outstanding dishes in an hour with ingredients which cost no more than £5.

The competition was extremely tight, with only 2 marks between 1st and 2nd place. The overall winner was Bethan Raynes in 4S1. She scored highly in all of the categories of workmanship, creativity and presentation, composition, taste and flavour and menu balance. She will be going forward to the local finals later this year, hosted at Inverness College and judged by industry chefs.

Her winning dish was ‘Spiced Lamb Koftas in flour tortillas, accompanied by a tower of vegetable couscous drizzled in a chilli sauce with mint yoghurt on the side’.

In 2nd place was Rhoda Duncan, 3rdplace was Anna Davie and the runners up in no particular order were Blythe Hepburn, Jaimes Burton, Morgan Smith, Katie Gregson-Macleod.

We would like to thank all of our competitors and our judge, Mr Ross, for stepping in at the last minute and doing a tremendous job!

French Exchange to La Baule

 Posted by at 8:22 am
Sep 232013

On Saturday afternoon, a party of 24 pupils and 3 teachers set off on their journey to La Baule. This is the second part of the French exchange; in May, the French pupils and teachers spent a week in Inverness, and this week, our pupils and teachers will spend the week in France. The pupils were all looking forward to being reunited with the friends they made in May. You can follow their progress during the week by visiting the Trips and Activities pages of this website.

Sponsored Walk

 Posted by at 3:39 pm
Sep 202013

The last few pupils have just returned to the school, and some of the staff are preparing to give their feet a good long soak – the sponsored walk is over for another year!

On a dry but chilly morning, more than 600 pupils and staff set off on the ten mile route. Some sixth year pupils acted as marshals on the route, pointing the walkers in the right direction, while others helped at the school, making sure that everyone was checked out and checked back in. Pupils started leaving in House Groups from 9am, with the last group setting off just before 10; the first few pupils were back before 11, having run most of the way. Others took it at a more leisurely pace, and some needed a bit of encouragement from the end squad who went round after the last group, picking up litter. The day went well, and staff who were on the route commented that the pupils behaved responsibly and seemed to be having a good time.

Back at school, the pupils were entertained by pipers and a disco, and there were games to keep them amused – challenging members of the PE department to a game of beach volleyball proved very popular, as did “Sponge the Teacher”.

All those who took part now have two weeks to collect and return their sponsor money; last year we raised over £14000 for the school fund and we hope to get close to that total again this year. While the main aim of the day is to raise money, we also feel that a day like this brings the whole school together, and provides an opportunity for our staff and pupils to interact in a different environment. We would like to thank all who took part and contributed to the success of the day, and all parents and friends who sponsored the pupils.

Sep 192013

On the 5th September, ten 4th year pupils travelled to Perth for the global Student forum (GSF) conference.  The conference was to highlight the issue of education in developing countries.  72 million primary school children are denied the basic human right to an education.  The Conference reminded us how lucky we are to have an education and showed us what others are missing out on. 

All around the world, people are trying to make global leaders unite to provide education for all by the end of 2015.  However with only two years to go in their plan, 35 billion pounds is still required to fund education for all children in the world and the lack of 1.7 million teachers is one of the issues to be resolved.  35 billion pounds does seem like a lot of money but when you compare it to the 200 billion pounds Qatar are estimate to spend on the 2022 World Cup the priorities of spending in this world seems somewhat unbalanced.

 At GSF, we were not just spending the whole day listening to facts; we were interacting in open talks and going to seminars specialising in different areas to understand how “education beats poverty”.  Some of these areas were the importance of tax, gender equality and child labour.  We were also learning various ways in which we can teach our peers about the issue and how getting in touch with our MP and MSP’s can make a difference.

 In the afternoon we split up into various different workshops where we could interact even more through art, drama, debating and further teaching skills. 

At the end of the day we all had a picture taken of us holding our hands high in the air as a sign of protest against lack of education in developing countries.  That picture was sent on to politicians and will hopefully show the government how seriously we take this situation. 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the word” – Nelson Mandella

By Peter A.J. MacPherson

Sep 162013

Last week, representatives from the Scottish government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Highland Council visited Inverness Royal Academy to see first-hand some of the exceptional work being done by FilmG in high schools around the country.

FilmG, the National Gaelic Short Film Competition, runs a training scheme in parallel with its competition to gives adults and young people interested in film-making the skills needed to make their own short film in Gaelic. The 2014 training programme got under way with a story development class delivered by FilmG workshop co-ordinator and tutor Muireall Urquhart, she said: “we are very excited to be starting this year’s workshop programme and particularly happy to be here at Inverness Royal Academy, a school which has been very supportive of FilmG since it started.” Muireall who previously worked as a television and radio presenter also commented: “I am thrilled to be working on such a creative project which could lead many young people to a career in the media, having had similar encouragement myself as a teenager I feel privileged to now be in a position where I can encourage others into this sphere of work”

Principal Teacher of Gaelic at Inverness Royal Academy, Catriona Johnson said: “Pupils find FilmG a very enjoyable experience and we are very fortunate to have tutors who are experienced in working in the industry coming into the classroom to help them produce their films.”

This year we plan to submit two entries; the S3 Gaelic Medium History class are planning a film as are the S2 Fluent Gaelic class.

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