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News March 2015



The Disneyland Paris Maths trip 2015 ran this year from 26th to 29th January. Mr Harvey, Miss Stark, Mr Kingsmill, Miss Collier and 32 S2 & S3 pupils flew out to Paris to enjoy the Disneyland Paris experience and enjoy it they did! Pupils engaged in Study Experience seminars which allowed them to learn about the many different ways that maths is used in the running of a theme park from finance to rollercoaster design and landscaping projects. Pupils were given the opportunity to put the concepts they had learned about into practise by designing their own roller coaster for the park.

The pupils and teachers made full use for the 2 day passes to Disneyland and had a great time on all the rides and roller coasters. An overall favourite was the 'Rockin' Roller coaster' which zoomed from 0-57mph in 2 seconds and some of the pupils rode this 7 times! All the teachers were in agreement that the trip was made even more wonderful by the exemplary behaviour and maturity of all 32 of the pupils who came. They were wonderful representatives of Harris Academy.


Our gardening group has doubled in siz since we first started. Over the past few months we have been growing cress, pepper plants, hyacinths and daffodils. The class chose members of staff to give their daffodils to which raised our profile in the school and added a bit of colour to classrooms during the long winter months.

We had great fun with our mushroom growing kit. A huge thank you to Mrs Reid, PT Home Economcs, who allowed us to fry up our mushrooms and eat them.

Pupils also planted up primroses for Mothers’ Day gifts. Well done to Megan Barr, Miles Mitchell, Tom Fyall, Lennan Egan, Alan Martin, Rhian Heron, Diva Keith, Emily Forbes, Lloyd Spowart and Kieran Flynn.


A group of hardworking pupils from S5 and S6 have recently taken part in the Young Consumer of the Year competition. The pupils have spent weeks preparing for this by learning about a wide variety of Consumer related issues. All four pupils worked very hard and won the local heat at the City Chambers on 3rd March 2015. They then travelled to the Scottish Parliament on 24th March with the Home Economics Department who had helped to prepare them for the competition. The Scottish Final was a great experience for all pupils involved. Unfortunately the group did not win the competition but did exceptionally well on the evening and they did Harris Academy proud. Well done girls!


The SYP has been around since 1999 representing our young people across Scotland from Edinburgh. This year 3 of our senior pupils put themselves forward as candidates and were selected to be on the ballot paper with 7 others from across the city. Muzdalfa Ahmed, David MacDonald and Maryam Deeni all worked hard at preparing their election campaigns and delivered a series of assemblies to each of the year groups in the week leading up to the election; informing the voters (aged 12-25), of their Manifesto pledges. The age limit meant that not only pupils but young members of staff could join together in participating. Election Day at Harris Academy was Friday 13 March and our Polling Station was held in Gym2 (a big ‘Thank You’ to the PE Department and the Facilities Staff for that!) I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Polling Staff who worked from 8.45 ‘till the end of the school day and it has to be said that without them, we would not have been able to man the voting process, as each year group came along to the Gym Hall at their designated period to cast their vote. Could the following pupils therefore make sure that they fill in an Achievement Form to gain points for their respective Houses:

Catriona McQueen, Kirsty Wilson, Eilidh McIntosh, Kirsten Friedman, Zoe Hunter, Philip Miller, Charlotte Robb, Caitlin Stoves, Zarah Azhar, Megan McNeill, Navraj Ahmed, Eoin Malone, Katy Dallas, Aamina Nasir, Afsha Shikari, Ryan Dix, Rebecca Smith, Holly Ramsay, Rhian Heron, Megan McNally, Brandon Petrie, Bilal Zaveri, Julian Scott, Kelsey Duffy, Jaber Abubaker , Michael Richardson, Gavin Riley, Dylan Ackerley, Owen Malcolm, Remona Karim, Beth Cameron, Callum Knowles Macrae, Alice Parsons, Fiona Morton, Daisy Johnston, Ava Gourley, Callum Anderson, Rebecca Levison, Caitlin Davidson.

Thanks also to teaching staff for accompanying their pupils and allowing them time out from their studies so that pupils, many of whom will be voting at the age of 16 in next year’s Scottish Parliamentary Elections could have their democratic right to vote

Two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MYSPs) will go forward to represent each of Dundee’s constituencies; 2 for Dundee East and 2 for Dundee West. So, our 3 candidates all have a chance of being voted in from the list of 10!? WATCH THIS SPACE!?


Over the past 6 months several departments in school have been involved with a pilot for Etextbooks. This month a team from RM Books were in school filming classes and groups of pupils using the subject Etextbooks; pupils and teachers were also able to give their thoughts on their experience of having access to the electronic version. With today’s technology you can read ebooks anywhere, on a bus, train, airplane and even when standing in a queue. Pupils have therefore benefited from being able to study at a time that fits into their lifestyle. Pupils and teachers have also been able to personalise and augment the content of their copy by adding their own notes and upload and insert audio and video clips. Plans are to expand and develop the use of Etextbooks across the school.

Etextbooks, at Higher and National 5, for subjects not currently involved in the pilot, ‘Prepare to Pass’ guides and SQA Specimen Papers are available for pupils to borrow from the School Library by logging onto Glow and then accessing the RM Books Tile.


Elspeth Murray, Callum McDonald, Josh Muir and Rosa Holm-Huxley have acted as readers and voters of the shortlisted manuscripts for this WW1 Book Competition. They also visited Rosebank Primary to involve the P6 pupils in designing a book jacket cover for each of the manuscripts. Pupils from all schools in Dundee attended the award ceremony for the winning manuscript, The Wreck of the Argyll, which will now be published by Cargo publishers. Well done to all four pupils for all their hard work.


Matt, film-maker and writer who is best known for his award winning novels and his documentary work for National Geographic Television, gave a very interesting talk to Mrs Leppard’s S1 Geography class and also members of Miss Paton’s Higher Media class. He spoke about his fiction books which are based on his experiences as an explorer who has successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest. He passed on stories of the graphic conditions and experiences he encountered along his travels and expeditions. He also related information from a film-maker’s perspective which was useful for the Higher Media group. This author visit was funded by the Dundee Red House Book Group, many thanks to them.


John Byrne National Drawing Competition

John Byrne joined children and young people from schools across Scotland at the opening of a special exhibition of the young artists’ work in Paisley Museum and Art Gallery to hear the winners of the competition being announced.

First year pupil Anushka Waugh Glover from Harris Academy, Dundee was named in first place for her black and white line drawing.

Elspeth Murray S1, Molly Ryder S2 and Semma-Mai Hayes S2 also received runner up prizes for their work entitled ‘A Day in the life’


Social Justice and Equality Animation project in collaboration with Harris Art & Design pupils and 3rd year Animation/Illustration/Graphic Design Students.

A successful 2 day event where pupils worked alongside students to produce an Advertising Campaign idea and a small Animation under the theme of Police Brutality.

Pupil involved: Group 1 - Jon Hannan S5, Roberto Popa S5 and Lewis Whyte S5 and Group 2- Mairi-Kate Giannico S4, Jane Taraskeviciute S5 & Eden Thomas S6


This section of the newsletter aims to update you with the decant and plans to construct the new Harris Academy. Details of the rebuild of Harris are available on the Website where you can look at plans and developments in more detail.


The school building continues to rapidly take shape. Although externally not much appears to have changed, the external brickwork is almost completed. The atrium windows are now being put in and give a dramatic outlook on to the River Tay. Internally the layout now has a breath-taking impact as much of the initial work has been done. The focus now is upon plumbing and electrical work to establish the practical functions of the building.


Our wireless learning environment is now up and running, giving pupils the opportunity to experience a new aspect of learning within the building in advance of our move to the new school. Works have also been done on the building over this last term to address general wear and tear within the building. This has include the replacement of paving slabs on the pathways within the main entrance and car park of the school building. Could we kindly ask parents to avoid coming into this area and avoid parking on the pathways. In doing so this has caused the breaking of slabs and poses a trip hazard for people within the school environment. Unfortunately we have had a spate of recent vandalism which meant unplanned work on school toilets however this has now been addressed and has had little or no impact. Initial discussions will begin early next term to begin planning the move back to Perth road.


As we progress through towards term 4 and the final term of this session, a further review will be undertaken to evaluate the current decant bus provision. The intention will be to continue on with current provision and information will be put out to parents and pupils if there is any minor change or amendments.


Full details of the examinations including dates for exam leave can be found on the school website. All pupils who are sitting external examinations will be issued with their personal examination timetable during the first week back after the Easter Break.

Dates For Your Diary


School reopens Monday 20th April 2015

School closes for Summer Term 2015

3rd July 2015

In-Service Days

22nd May 2015

Single Day Holidays

3rd April 2015 (Good Friday)

4th May 2015 (May Day)

25th May 2015 (Victoria Day)

I thank you for all your continued support of the school and wish you all a restful and peaceful Easter holiday.

J Thewliss

J Thewliss, Head Teacher



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