Bishopbriggs Academy in the News

Our Young Journalists club meets each week to write up the events which have been happening in Bishopbriggs Academy. Watch out for their news items in the Bishopbriggs Herald and read some of their news articles below:

Ronald Reng Author Visit

  Ronald Reng meets senior pupils

Pupils from Higher English, German and Physical Education have been working on a cross curricular initiative on the book 'Robert Enke: A Life Too Short' by sports journalist and author Ronald Reng.  The book which was the winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2011, tells the story of Robert Enke, the former goalkeeper of the German national team who took his own life at the age of 32 years, shocking all those who knew him.  First published in Germany as 'Robert Enke: Ein allzu kurzes Leben', the book describes Robert's struggle against depression and the increasing demands on players competing at the top level of sport.

As part of our 'Schools: Partners for the Future' partnership (Schulen: Partner der Zukunft - Partnerschule in Schottland) with the Goethe Institut, Goethe staff arranged for Ronald Reng to visit Bishopbriggs Academy on 13th March 2012 to discuss his book with pupils and to tell Robert's story.  Although the initiative had been primarily aimed at S5 pupils, some of our younger footballers and journalists from our news team were also invited to attend.  The questions, both in English and German, ranged from sport to writing and to mental health issues.  Ronald was an inspirational speaker and pupils were engrossed throughout his talk.  

Battlefields Experience

 

Recently, Bishopbriggs Academy embarked on their annual trip to France and Belgium, as part of their Battlefields Experience trip. From the 12th to the 17th October, 28 pupils and 4 members of the school’s staff had the opportunity to venture to various historical areas in relation to WWII.

On the first day, the group were able to explore south Ypres. This included wandering through WW1 trenches, which were regarded as extremely muddy and smelly. The trenches, used by the soldiers in times of war were always extremely dirty, and provided the soldiers with very bad living conditions. Many of them were diagnosed with terrible illnesses due the lack of cleanliness, especially when it rained and the trenches became pools of polluted water. The group were also able to visit a German pill box, which is a miniature fort developed by the German army to give their trench lines extra strength, and a massive crater called the Pool of Peace.

On the second day, the company were able to go to Somme, a place in France were the Battle of Somme took place, and a Canadian monument for their soldiers. This monument, called the Vimy Ridge, is the National Canadian monument, and is a very impressive building; tall, towering, white marble.

On the third day, the company explored North Ypres. This consisted of the group visiting Essex farms, in which the poem ‘In Flanders Field’ is based upon. Zach Lennox, a fourth year who attended the trip, read the famous poem, aloud. Tine Cot Cemetery was also visited; the biggest British war cemetery in the world. Various pupils located several relatives who fought and died in the War, and were buried there. Kinnon Murray, who found a relative’s gravestone, was able to lay a wreath beside it on behalf of his family.

On this evening, the group travelled to the Menin Gate ceremony, which is where the fire brigade holds a daily remembrance ceremony for the lives lost. The group heard the fire brigade play the Last Post at 8pm, and there were many tears.

Every night, the pupils were to write in a personal diary that they kept. This would include private thoughts and feelings about the tour, and how they were reacting to it. A tour guide would also give the company a talk each night, preparing them for the following day.

As well as the emotional and educational aspect of the trip, the pupils (and staff!) enjoyed themselves with a more relaxed and positive atmosphere; from marching and singing songs to hearing personal stories from a range of soldiers that were in the war. This was important to the group as it allowed them to think of the soldiers as being individuals, and not one big cluster, which bought their sentiment to life.

In addition, the group could unwind by experiencing the culture of modern day France, this included afternoon shopping, canal boat rides and relishing some of France’s most indulgent chocolates! In fact, the group was remembered by the chocolate shop to such an extent that the shop actually sent them a Christmas card, in ‘honor’ of their numerous chocolate purchases!

This is a very special journey for all pupils and staff who have been involved over the years and it has shaped the lives of many Bishopbriggs pupils. The success and importance of this trip has been recognised by a production company who accompanied this year’s trip with the aim of making an educational movie, which would support pupils teaching throughout Scotland.

Film Premiere

On Thursday 26th January Bishopbriggs Academy hosted the film premiere of their battlefields experience. The premiere was attended by number of special guests including our local MP Jo Swinson, MSP Fiona Macleod, head of education Gordon Currie and a number of war veterans, along with many staff, parents and pupils. The film was a simply excellent portrayal of the trip and will be a very effective teaching tool, it was very emotive piece and captured both the atrocities of war and also the immense value of ensuring that our future generations understand what these brave men and women fought and died for. The trips guide, Des Brogan, noted that the trip had been very rewarding for the children, and him, because everyone was so enthusiastic. He went on to say, “Bishopbriggs Academy pupils always gave 100% no matter what you ask them to do.” One pupil said that the most emotional moment for them was at the grave of an unknown soldier. “We had to sit in front of the grave and imagined the soldier. Now whenever I think of the war I see my soldier and feel very emotional”

By Nirvair Ghatorae, Frank Junnor and Mellissa Kerr

Christmas Concert

Although the festive season may have passed at Bishopbriggs Academy, the school is still celebrating their success of their Christmas Concert, which was held just before the school closed for the holidays.

The school displayed a variety of vocal and musical talents for parents, including the school string ensemble, orchestra, choir, band and the new ukulele orchestra. Over two hundred guests were invited, and there expectations were certainly surpassed, as there were several new aspects to the night which had never been witnessed previously, one of these being the solo staff item. This included the music department teachers uniting as a group to play In the Bleak Midwinter. Mr. Walsh, who also runs the school ukulele orchestra, sang the lyrics while Mrs. Kennedy, string ensemble manager, Mr. Hewitt, Orchestra conductor and Mr. Robertson, Head of department, each played violin, clarinet and piano.

Another new feature to the annual concert was the ukulele orchestra. On their way home after the concert, guests would be describing it as “stunning,” and “amazing.” This is not an understatement. With a combination of colourful ukuleles and Boomwhackers, the Ukulele orchestra blew the roof off of Bishopbriggs Academy with the sounds of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, ‘Viva le Vida’, and more, with the vocal talents of Rachel Pride and Ewan Russell.

Along with these new features to the yearly evenings, the usual musical groups also had their chance to play as well. The orchestra played Christmas classics such as ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ and ‘White Christmas’, as well as less festive but effective songs such as the Muppets Theme. The String Ensemble played the theme tune from the movie Edward Scissor hands and a medley from Pachelbel with a Christmas twist. The school band and the choir also sang and played their songs, much to the joy of the audience. The entire event was widely enjoyed by all those in attendance.

By Nirvair Ghatorae

Amnesty International – Write for Rights day 2011

 

Every year Amnesty international holds a “write for rights campaign”

The website explains: “Sending a card with a simple, personal greeting is a powerful way to show support for someone facing human rights abuse. Every card matters. For prisoners of conscience, for families whose relatives have disappeared, for people in danger for defending human rights, the cards bring comfort and hope; they offer encouragement and support, and raise spirits. But they also show the authorities - prison officers and politicians - that the world is watching”.

Throughout last week pupils at Bishopbriggs Academy took part in this Amnesty International campaign, incredibly the pupils made over 300 cards of support and were featured twice on the amnesty international website!

The cards of supports were made for five different campaigns and have been posted off to Columbia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Zimbabwe.

One card written by Lori Anderson (S6) to The Peace Community of San Jose De Apartado in Colombia read: “I would like to offer you my solidarity and accompany you on the difficult journey that your community is making as a Peace Community, keep holding on!”

The staff of the Social Subjects and RMPS Departments would like to extend a huge thank you to all the pupils of Bishopbriggs Academy who made a card of support. Each and every card was beautifully made and filled with very kind, heartfelt messages.

Photographs and examples of this excellent work are now featured on the school website (www.bishopbriggs.e-dunbarton.sch.uk) as part of a PowerPoint, which can be found within the curriculum section - class work - secondary 1&2 - pupils “write for rights” with Amnesty international.

Also if you would like to find out anymore about this campaign and the other excellent work of Amnesty International please visit www.amnestyinternational.org.uk

Road Safety Performance

On Friday S1 had a performance from the Baldy Bane Theatre Company all about road safety. The play was really funny and included lots of important messages about the dangers for pedestrians (particularly young people) on the roads. We found out that it is secondary school children that get run over by cars the most. The cast did a brilliant job and everyone gave them a big round of applause at the end. It was one of the cast member’s birthdays everyone sang Happy Birthday to her. Afterwards Mr Pate (Depute Head) said the behaviour was impeccable and everyone really enjoyed themselves taking away an important message. Be careful near roads!

By Melissa Kerr (S1)

Christmas Fayre!

On the 26th November Bishopbriggs Academy held its first Christmas Fayre. There were lots of different stalls including: Santa’s Grotto, three jewellers, hand-made soap, a Tombola, cake and candy also there was three young enterprise stalls. The level of donations was exceptional. Catering included a vast array of delicious offerings, all kindly donated by Lomond Foods.

Lomond Foods also donated a brand new Iphone 4S as a raffle prize and ticket sales raised over £740. The fayre raised close to £3000 and all the profits from the event will go directly into the school fund benefiting every pupil of Bishopbriggs Academy. Many people helped to organize the event: PC Pete, Val, Kirsty, Mrs Smith, Mrs James, Mrs Black and most importantly Mrs Kennedy. The Fayre was very successful and the school would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and all the staff who volunteered their time.

By Harneet Kaur (S1)

Children in Need Fundraiser

 

On the 18th of November Bishopbriggs Academy held a fundraiser for Children in Need. The prefects and house captains organised some events to help raise money, these were: wear something spotty, bring in a teddy, leg waxing and cream pieing. Many pupils and teachers participated in these events. At the lunch break a number of male prefects had their first time at getting their legs waxed, it was great fun to watch, however many said it was very painful and would not wish to do it again!

Also during the lunch break we enjoyed watch a number of teacher getting hit with cream pies. The more money we raised the more teachers we got to see hit with a cream pie. The unlucky teachers were Miss McSherry, Mr Ross, PC Pete, Mr Williamson, Mr Smedley, Mr Pearce and finally our head teacher Mr Moulsdale.

The day went really well, all the pupils had a terrific time and most importantly the events raised over £600 for Children in Need.

By Harneet Kaur (S1)

The Gideon’s International Bible Society

On Monday Bishopbriggs Academy first year pupils received an assembly from The Gideon’s international bible society who gave all first year pupils a copy of the New Testament. They are aware that many people in Britain do not know what a bible really is or why they are used. The Gideon’s go to places such as hospitals, schools and care homes. This organizations aim is for someone to perhaps read it for the first time and hopefully for them to discover faith in a personal way.

By Jack-Lewis Petersen (S1)