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Agenda item

Good News Stories


The Convener advised the Committee of a number of good news stories as follows –


·         Middleton Park School won prestigious UK learning award


Middleton Park School had triumphed in the prestigious learning technologies awards.  Middleton Park was the latest in a series of Aberdeen schools which had recently won, or been nominated for national awards including Woodside School, which became the first ever Scottish school to be shortlisted for the UK literary association literary school of the year award.


The glittering awards ceremony which took place on 30 November 2016 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in London saw the Middleton Park School  scoop first prize in the category of best learning technologies project – public and non-profit sector.  It was also well-deserved as the innovative video approach to shared learning was clearly one that had caught the imagination of the children and their parents alike.


Winning this UK wide award was a massive success for Jenny Watson and everyone at the school.  Congratulations to everyone involved.


·         Harlaw pupils scoop first prize for their energy sector knowledge


Harlaw Academy was awarded for winning the prestigious Northsound 1 energy schools challenge in a special ceremony on 19 December 2016.  The ceremony recognised the efforts of the pupils who took part in the quiz tournament and came out on top in the final on 2 November 2016.


The competition was particularly keen in 2016, so many congratulations to the Harlaw pupils for their efforts in what was a great initiative.


·         Northfield academy 60th anniversary year ends with a bang


The grand finale of Northfield Academy’s 60th anniversary celebrations were marked with a spectacular community fireworks display at the school on 20 December 2016.  The noisy and colourful spectacle marked the end of a year of celebratory events at the school including an open morning for former pupils and a drone photograph of over 600 pupils and 80 staff arranged in the shape of the number 60.


Neil Hendry, his pupils and staff had once again come up with a fantastic event to mark 60 years of Northfield academy and what a spectacular way to end a year of celebrations.  Northfield academy had had a special place in secondary education for sixty years and it was great that pupils and staff, old and new, had been able to take part in the year of events and share their fond memories.


·         Muirfield School


It was announced on Tuesday 17 January 2017 that Muirfield School and nursery class had made good progress since an Education Scotland inspection report had identified three key areas for improvement.  Raising attainment was crucial to ensuring all children reached their full potential.  Congratulations to the Head Teacher and her team at Muirfield School who had shown real commitment and dedication to create a positive educational environment which provided all children at the school the opportunity to thrive educationally and socially.


·         Work started to bring ultrafast broadband to schools and libraries


Public buildings in Aberdeen were set to receive a 21st century boost from connection to the transformational gigabit cityfibre network.  Delivered in partnership with capita as part of the Scotland-wide swan programme, cityfibre were now expanding their existing network to provide pure fibre connectivity to over 100 schools, libraries and offices.


The project would deliver cost savings and improvements to digital systems as well as the speed and strength of wi-fi connectivity.  The new digital infrastructure would also provide game-changing technology for many city schools who had adopted digital learning as part of their curriculum.


·         Aberdeen schools win gold in national sports awards


Hazlehead Primary School and Bridge of Don Academy had been recognised with prestigious national awards for innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport.


Both schools had won the Sport Scotland gold school sport award a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and sport.  The award also encouraged sporting links between schools and the communities around them.


·         Team Zariba


Congratulations to Team Zariba who had won the British synchronized skating championship again.  Team Zariba had been British senior synchronized ice skating champions in 2013, 2016 and 2017 and Scottish champions 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  They had also represented team GB at the world championships in 2016.


·         Nteractive cloud to illuminate Spectra


A giant interactive cloud created from 6,000 incandescent light bulbs would take centre stage at this year’s Spectra festival in Aberdeen.  Cloud, created by Canadian artists Caitlind R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett used pull chain switches and everyday domestic light bulbs to create a mesmerising environment of light.


Viewers would interact with the cloud by working as a collective to animate the lighting on the surface of the sculpture.  Simple, bright and playful, the cloud was an interactive installation.  Viewers engaged with pull chains and became part of the performance by creating different dynamics, collaborations and through experiential participation.  The sculpture also encouraged the audience to reconsider household items in an alternative context, waste and environmental sustainability in urban spaces.  As incandescent bulbs were phased out various countries around the world, the cloud would gain new meaning, encouraging alternative technologies and changing futures.


Cloud would be one of the most eagerly anticipated installations at this year’s Spectra festival.  Its unique composition would allow visitors to interact with the installation to create a constantly changing piece of art.  It was visually stunning and had been displayed across the globe, from Singapore to Jerusalem and from Calgary and Prague.


The Spectra festival would run from 9-12 February 2017.


·         Tales from the gallery buried for future generations to discover


Fibre optic lights, photos and an Aberdeen forever tartan neck tie were just some of the things buried in a time capsule at the Aberdeen Art Gallery on 15 December 2016.


Councillor Laing and Lord Provost George Adam buried the collection of items for future generations of Aberdonians to find.  The objects were selected by Aberdeen Art Gallery staff, each to represent one month of 2015, the year the £30m inspiring art and music redevelopment of the Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and the Remembrance Hall began on site.