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Author: Mrs Rees-Jenkins

Alford Academy Remembrance Day 2022

Alford Academy Remembrance Day 2022

Alford Academy Remembrance Day 2022

“Remembrance honours those who serve to defend our freedom and way of life. It recognises the sacrifice of the Armed Forces community across the Commonwealth, as well emergency services and innocent civilians killed through conflict and terrorism.  Remembrance honours people who have served and sacrificed, including armed forces and emergency services. It means stopping to remember people affected by war and hoping for a peaceful future.” (Taken from https://www.poppyscotland.org.uk/)

This year we continued our traditions in remembering all those who have or who still ensure our freedom.

The Interact club recruited friends in the school to create a week of remembrance.  We are always very grateful to all the support staff give us at this busy time of the year and special thanks goes to the English and Humanities faculties as well as the Senior Leadership Team and Mrs Watt who always help the group with absolutely everything.

CLAN classes used a presentation made by interact pupils in the club with the inspiration from Mr Ryland to share some history; then CLAN pupils made poppies to be displayed in the school.  The poppies were decorated with memories and thanks.  These have been displayed for all to read.

Each morning during the lead up to the 11th there was a tannoy message sharing a reading or poem about remembrance which pupils are supported in selecting by Miss Steel.  During the weeks assembly our pupil senior executive shared their own thoughts with a few minutes of personal reflection.

On the 11th the school took part in a 2-minute silence led by Mr Cookson at 11am and listened to another reading followed by a piper.  At the same time Mrs Wotherspoon represented our school community with a number of pupils, staff and a piper to place a wreath on the Alford war memorial along with the primary and chaplain team.

All week pupils were selling poppies for Poppy Scotland and were delighted to hand over a generous donation.

Thank you to all the pupils and staff who helped the group.

Alford Academy Interact Group

Rotary Shoe Box Scheme 2022

Rotary Shoe Box Scheme 2022

Rotary Shoe Box Scheme 2022

The Interact club wanted to fill more boxes this year than last; and we are delighted to announce that we succeeded!!!

Over 50 boxes were collected after the holidays and will be sent to disadvantaged adults and children in Eastern Europe to help support those with a need greater than our own.  CLAN classes were involved again this year and rose to the challenge of filling at least 3 boxes each.

The boxes will be sent to countries such as the Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.  Our thanks extend to the Rotary Club of Alford for involving us in the scheme and collecting them for us.

If you wish to find out more information about the scheme then this website has more information:  http://www.rotaryshoebox.org/

Alford Academy Interact Club

MacMillan Coffee Morning 2022

MacMillan Coffee Morning 2022

MacMillan Coffee Morning 2022

By the Alford Academy Interact Group

We did it! We had an actual event! And made £232.52 in cash donations and we received with £47 in online donations making a total of £279.52. This is enough to make a huge difference for those using the help MacMillan provide and we are absolutely delighted! This is the most we have raised in a coffee morning for years so we cannot thank everyone enough.

The coffee morning is the first organised event by the Interact Club, this year we were able to use the facilities in HE to bake our own fine pieces to sell to staff. Diane Forbes helped pupils to create a delicious array of tray bakes and ensure we had enough to go around all staff. The staff met in the school staff room which the pupils decorated and set up with their fine pieces and the urns with hot water to make plenty tea and coffee.

The pupils had to plan the event from scratch, order ingredients which Mrs Watt ordered for us and with the help of Mrs Harper set up ready for baking. Once baked the pupils labelled all the ingredients and set up the event.

This year we were grateful of online banking which helped everyone to contribute.

As ever the group is very grateful to everyone who donated this year and we are already looking forward to a bigger coffee morning next year.

The Alford Academy Interact Club

Comic and Sports relief 2022 by Interact

Comic and Sports relief 2022 by Interact

The senior Interact club also took part in the fundraising to support the National incentive for Comic Relief (or red nose day) and Sports Relief.  During the week 14th – 18th March the group led several activities to have fun and raise funds.  Sport Relief is now a year-round celebration linked with major sport events and partnerships throughout the year.  Comic is an annual event, returning every March across the UK.  We decided to combine both as we have already completed so much fundraising already this year.

On the last day we held a ‘dress up’ as your favourite sport, we asked pupils and staff to pay £1 to donate to Sports Relief.  We enjoyed seeing staff and pupils dressing in a variety of sports from football strips, team merchandise and sporty clothes.  Also Mr Wake helped to add some laughter to the building by telling jokes on Friday morning, this was brilliant and we are very grateful to him for making the time to help us.

Throughout the week Interact were helped by the PE department to run a variety of sports for both juniors and seniors during lunch break. The following were completed:

Monday – Hockey

Tuesday – Football

Wednesday – Capture the Flag

Thursday – Staff vs Pupils Dodgeball (seniors only)

Friday – Basketball

All sports will be to raise money for Sports Relief and we were delighted to raise £418.77.

What happens to our fundraising: (from https://www.comicrelief.com/what-your-money-does)

All year-round, the money donated to Comic Relief works hard to support some incredible projects making a change to people’s lives across the UK and around the world.  In fact, over the past two years, Comic Relief funding has helped to support 11.7 million people, including:

  • more than 750,000 people in the UK experiencing financial and material poverty to access advice and support.
  • more than 29,000 people who have experienced or are at risk of domestic abuse to access safe accommodation and specialist services.
  • more than 46,000 children and young people in the UK, and more than 8.1 million internationally.

We would like to thank everyone who helped the group with this project.  The Interact staff (Miss Lovelock, Dr Chirondojan and Mrs Rees-Jenkins) helped the group run the events.  The PE faculty were amazing and supported the organisation and the actual lunchtime events which couldn’t have happened without their help.  Mr Wake was brilliant in helping make the day fun.  Also Mrs Watt was critical in the advertising of the events.  And of course, thank you to all staff and pupils who got involved!

JDRF Fundraising update by Stuart in S3

JDRF Fundraising update by Stuart in S3

JDRF Fundraising update by Stuart in S3

The Alford Academy Interact group did some fundraising for the charity JDRF last term and we wanted to let Stuart tell you in his own words how important the support from the school community has been in terms of the funds raised.  Stuart was keen to share some facts about diabetes and the work of this brilliant charity.  Stuart is an active member of the school Interact club and we are delighted to share his words below:

Thank you so much to Alford Academy for all your kind donations. A total of £342 was raised and this will help JDRF create a world without Type 1 Diabetes.

Recently The New York Times and the Sunday Times reported that the first person with Type 1 Diabetes to take part in a clinical trial for Stem Cell Therapy, saw their need for insulin disappear almost entirely. Both papers reported that the participant was ‘cured’ of his Type 1 Diabetes. Although this is not quite true, it is a huge step forward for the Type 1 community. And that’s why JDRF has invested in Stem Cell research since 2000 and are currently supporting hundreds of researchers around the world who are developing insulin producing cells in this way. We still have a long way to go before we can consider Type 1 Diabetes cured. Participants in the trial still must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their life. That’s why JDRF continues to invest in research so we can find ways to restore insulin production without requiring a lifetime of further treatment. Your money will help to make this happen.

I am diabetic, and I live with the challenges it brings every day. I wear a machine attached to my stomach 24 hours a day, 7 hours a week. I cannot take it off. It pumps insulin into my body and keeps me alive. Insulin is made in your pancreas and it helps to control your body’s blood sugar levels and turns the food you eat into energy. Without it, your blood would eventually fill with sugar and turn to acid. Unfortunately, my pancreas has stopped producing insulin. This happened when i was seven years old, I have been injecting lifesaving insulin into my body ever since. Every day, I work to keep my blood sugar at a safe level. To do this I need to do about 8-10 finger pricks a day to measure the amount of sugar in my blood. Everything affects this. The weather, my mood, excitement, what I eat and how much exercise I get. If my blood sugar levels get too low, I become hypoglycaemic and this makes me feel tired, weak and I might faint. If my blood sugar levels get too high, I become hyperglycaemic and this makes me feel angry, upset and very tired. It is hard work to keep my blood sugar at a good level. Every time I eat, I use my pump to inject insulin into my body. Before I do this, I have to weigh my food and calculate the amount of carbohydrates it contains so I know how much insulin to take. Living with Diabetes often leaves me exhausted. I cannot leave the house to meet my friends without taking a bag of medical supplies with me. I can’t wait for the day there is a cure. JDRF don’t receive any direct funding from the Government towards their research, so they rely on supporters like you to fund their work. I am personally grateful to everyone who donated.

It was only 100 years ago, in 1921, when Frederick Grant Banting discovered insulin. Before that, Type 1 Diabetes was a deadly condition, there was no way to treat it. Banting went into the children’s ward of a Toronto Hospital; 50 young patients lay dying in a diabetic coma. One by one, the children were injected by a substance, later known as insulin. As the last of the children were injected, the first started to wake from their coma’s. This was a medical miracle, and in 1923, Banting received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of insulin.

Even since I was diagnosed at 7 years old the treatment for diabetes has improved. I used to inject insulin using a needle up to seven times a day. My legs would get swollen red and sore. But thanks to advances in research and technology, I was one of the first four patients in the Royal Aberdeen’s Children’s Hospital to be offered a brand-new insulin pump that works without requiring the patients to be attached to it from a tube. It is life changing. So, thank you once again. Your money will directly make a difference to my life. I can’t wait to see a world without Type 1 Diabetes!

Thank you to Stuart for sharing this with us.

Alford Academy Interact.

Ukraine and Afghanistan Humanitarian Appeal

Ukraine and Afghanistan Humanitarian Appeal

Ukraine and Afghanistan Humanitarian Appeal: £1438.55 raised!

In response to our school community wishing to support the global refugee crisis we held a dress down day on Friday the 11th March.   Donations given on the day were used to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) who bring together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas.   The DEC are currently supporting the Ukraine humanitarian appeal and the Afghanistan crisis appeal which are currently highest in the priority for any funding.

The idea was brought to Interact by an S4 pupil who felt that something should be done to help those affected by the crisis.  The school backed her request and the Interact club helped to support the event and make as much as possible.  We were overwhelmed to raise £1438.55 which is the most we have ever raised in a dress down day.

If you have any questions about the DEC please have a look at their website below:

https://www.dec.org.uk/

The Interact club meet twice a week and if you want to get involved please see Mrs Rees-Jenkins or Miss Lovelock.

Duke of Edinburgh Award is BACK

Duke of Edinburgh Award is BACK

We are delighted to say that Duke of Edinburgh has restarted for the year.  Woohoo!

If you were unable to attend the information session 2 weeks ago please see Miss Shepherd in C1-34 at lunchtime (if in S3) or at break time (if in S4-6) and we’ll tell you what’s going on and give you the paperwork. If a parent/adult in your life is interested in helping us to run DofE please tell them to get in touch with the school as additional volunteers are always welcome.

Miss Shepherd (and the Duke of Edinburgh team.)

DofE Coordinator

Alford Remembers on Armistice Day

Alford Remembers on Armistice Day

All through the campus we have been taking part in activities for Remembrance.

The school helped to sell poppies for the Poppy Scotland appeal and made just over £80.  We laid 100 painted poppy stones in the courtyard area to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Poppy Scotland.  We also took pride in displaying our ceramic poppy which had at one time been in a display at the Tower of London.

   

Throughout the week the senior prefects read readings over the tannoy, thanks go to Miss Steel for her help with selecting these.  CLAN classes created a display of kindness poppies which were added to a beautiful display of vinyl poppies created by Miss Bradley and Mrs Watt.

On the 11th the school led various tributes to those who gave their lives, In Flanders fields by John McCrae was read over the tannoy followed by the 2 minute silence.  This was followed by a lone piper.

Our headteacher Angela Wotherspoon accompanied pupils and a piper to the Alford memorial where a wreath was laid on behalf of Alford Community Campus.

None of these tributes happen without the help of the whole school community, our thanks go to all the staff and pupils who continue to help and support us.

Interact Club.

Rotary Shoebox Appeal 2021

Rotary Shoebox Appeal 2021

Rotary shoebox appeal 2021! We did it!!!!!

Thank you to all the pupils and staff who have filled 50 shoeboxes which are to be sent to a variety of countries to spread a little Christmas joy round Europe. The 50 boxes were collected this morning and are now on their way.  Thank you to the Rotary Club of Alford for organising the boxes and their collection.  Mrs Wotherspoon (Head teacher), Hamish (Head Prefect), Mrs Rees-Jenkins (Interact link teacher) and Mr Cookson (Depute Head teacher) helped with the delivery with John (Rotary club of Alford).

We were absolutely blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm of the school community for rising to the challenge.  Special thanks must go to the S2 CLAN classes who each filled a number of these boxes! The rest were filled by staff and interact members along with pupils who wanted to be involved in this worthy cause.  In addition to filling the 50 boxes we also donated £100 to cover the shipping costs as Rotary International are a charity organisation and do not have funds to cover this.    We have sent boxes to help all ages and families.  The group will let you know more about their journey as we hear it.

For more information check out this link:

https://www.rotaryshoebox.org/

MacMillan coffee morning success

MacMillan coffee morning success

MacMillan Coffee Morning 2021

We did it! We had an actual event! And made £273.71 so far and a good few IOUs to collect on Monday! This is enough to make a huge difference for those using the help MacMillan provide and we are absolutely delighted! This is the most we have raised in a coffee morning for years so we cannot thank everyone enough.

The Interact Club organised their first event of the new school year and with great delight we were able to take part in an actual event.  With covid still very present we did need to work even harder than normal to make the event happen and still be a success.  So what was different? We had to adhere to covid regulations as well as the normal food and hygiene standards; so there was less home baking but the fine pieces were just as good when it’s for a good cause.  We changed our event to reduce numbers and deliveries were opted for by many which helped manage numbers.  We still had the opportunity to meet face to face but in an open space and with distancing in mind.  What was the same; hard work, planning and preparation paid off.  The group have been working on this for 6 weeks and it has been the product of much careful thought from risk assessments to budgets to purchasing to advertising.  The team have been excellent especially as we have had a 2 year break and the club is running over 2 separate lunch times with many new interactors!

Initially we were apprehensive but we are absolutely delighted with how the morning went.  We were able to safely set up and prepare with ease, we had a great time delivering and meeting colleagues and senior pupils over a cup of tea and a tasty treat.

We have a few thank you messages to make as this didn’t happen without a big team! Firstly to Mrs Wotherspoon, our Headteacher, for supporting the event and being so enthusiastic.  To Miss McIver for helping us with the risk assessment and advising us how to stay safe throughout.  Thanks to Diane Forbes for helping with all aspects of the event and always making the impossible seem possible.  To Miss Lovelock and Mrs Wright for their baking expertise, advice and help throughout.  Thank you to Mrs Watt for your continued support of our club and for helping us to make our packaging look professional.  To Ali and the janitorial team for setting up the event for us!  But also thank you to all those that helped on the day and donated, ate and enjoyed; we applaud you! Every penny really does matter.

Hopefully this sees a start to a new normal and a little bit of hope.

Alford Academy Interact Club.

 

 

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