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Neptune Energy ignites project with Alford Academy pupils

Neptune Energy ignites project with Alford Academy pupils

Calvin of Neptune Energy is standing to the left hand side of a large screen. A group of pupils are sitting listening to, and watching, his presentation.

S3 Chemistry pupils from Alford Academy are set to tackle an exciting project with Neptune Energy following a series of presentations from staff members during Scottish Careers Week (7-11 November 2022).

Pupils were visited by Neptune Energy’s geologist Calvin Roberts, metallurgist Bob Conder and communications advisor Jodie Kilminster. Each staff member outlined their career path and current job role, providing pupils with an insight into their backgrounds and day-to-day working life.

Calvin went on to talk about the geology of batteries, the use of lithium and associated environmental impacts. Bob’s presentation covered metals, alloys, corrosion and prevention, outlining why metals are useful for transport and how corrosion can be slowed or prevented. Jodie explained to the pupils how she helps Neptune Energy communicate with its internal and external audiences by managing the company’s website, social media channels and interactions with the media.

Having received some additional design and messaging tips from Jodie, pupils have been tasked with producing a poster to showcase the lessons learned from the presentations they heard during class. The finished results will be sent to Neptune Energy for feedback and review, with the best examples going on display at the company’s offices in Aberdeen.

“Having the opportunity to visit schools and share our knowledge is something we really value and we hope the students benefit from our support for their future careers.”JODIE KILMINSTER, COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR · NEPTUNE ENERGY

A group of pupils listening to a presentation from Jodie from Neptune Energy, who is standing at the front of the class.

Neptune Energy’s Communications Advisor, Jodie Kilminster, said: “We’re extremely passionate about supporting young people in our local community with mentorship, guidance, and advice. Having the opportunity to visit schools and share our knowledge is something we really value and we hope the students benefit from our support for their future careers.”

Stuart Cookson, Depute Head Teacher, Alford Academy was delighted to welcome the Neptune Energy team members to the school.

“We are so grateful to Neptune Energy for allowing Bob, Calvin and Jodie to come into Alford Academy to provide such fantastic lesson inputs to S3 chemistry pupils,” he said. “The sessions enabled pupils to understand how their learning at Alford Academy is transferable to future careers and the world of work.

“Feedback from the pupils has been really positive. They are looking forward to designing their posters to showcase what they learnt from Neptune Energy. Alford Academy is excited about furthering our relationship with Neptune Energy to continue to inspire and engage our pupils, who are the future workforce.”

Developing the Young Workforce director, Margo Milne, said: “This is an excellent example of contextualising classroom learning with the world of work – and exactly the sort of activity that we wish to celebrate during Scottish Careers Week.

“We are incredibly grateful to Neptune Energy for providing the pupils with such a meaningful experience. The follow-on activity is particularly important in terms of cementing the pupils’ understanding and I’m sure the poster challenge will produce some fantastic results.”

A group of pupils sitting in front of a large screen with a presentation. Bob from Neptune Energy is standing to the left hand side of the screen and pointing at it.

Scottish Careers Week runs from 7-11 November 2022. The initiative is led by Skills Development Scotland with the support of partners and employers, and focuses on all things skills, jobs and careers. Further information about Scottish Careers Week is available here.

Mackie’s Chocolate Bar Challenge

Mackie’s Chocolate Bar Challenge

S3 pupils have just finished the Mackie’s Chocolate Bar Challenge where, in groups, they had to carry out research on Mackie’s of Scotland and their competitors. They came up with an idea for a chocolate bar and pupils had to identify their target market, design the packaging, set a selling price, and prepare marketing material for the product.  They then presented their product idea to the class; each class chose a winner and the winning presentations were sent to Mackie’s to select an overall winner.  This year’s winners were Sophia, Penny, Adele and Madeline whose idea was a Bucks Fizz and Gold Leaf chocolate bar and gift set (non-alcoholic).  Mackie’s sent us presentation boxes of chocolate bars for each of the winning group but said that all entries were all excellent and of a very high standard.

Mrs L Taylor
PT Business Education and Computing Science

S4 Chocolate Project – Donation to DAWGS

S4 Chocolate Project – Donation to DAWGS

Harrison and Lucy (S4) have been working on an Enterprise project since August with an aim to make and sell their own chocolate to members of the school community.  They had a great online meeting with Stuart Common, Sales Director at Mackie’s, who gave an outline on where to start and the process Mackie’s goes through when creating a new product.  Harrison & Lucy did some market research, which involved tasting lots of different chocolate bars! They then created a Google Form to ask some pupils and staff what their preferences were.

Aimee Maitland (DYW) helped Harrison and Lucy get in touch with Chloe Lawson, owner of Chloe’s Kitchen Creations who kindly offered her assistance in making the chocolate with the pupils.  Harrison and Lucy went down to Chloe’s shop on Main St and saw the operation in full swing as they were making and packaging all the orders for the week – a little insight to their task ahead!

At this point, it was decided that rather than making chocolate bars, they would make Reindeer chocolate bark to sell in the run up to the Festive holiday.  Chloe came into school twice to help make the chocolate bark with Harrison and Lucy.  It was great to see the pupils get so involved and it really brought the project to life for them.

Harrison and Lucy decided early in the project that any money raised would be donated to DAWGS. They went to DAWGS yesterday to hand over a cheque for £120 to Heather Wakeling, manager at DAWGS on Main St, Alford.  Heather was thrilled that Harrison and Lucy had managed to raise so much money and that they chose to donate it to DAWGS.

Harrison and Lucy would like to thank all the people who helped this project become reality for them – Stuart, Aimee, the PSAs who helped make the chocolate, and everyone who bought their delicious chocolate.  Special thanks to Chloe for all her support and expertise.

Coding Prize Winner

Coding Prize Winner

The Business Education and Computing Science Faculty were very excited to find out that Finlay in S3 had won a prize in the DressCode Halloween coding competition.  Finlay is pictured below with his prize.  The only criteria for the Scratch coding competition was that there had to be a haunted house.  Finlay said “My entry was a haunted  house and it included a monster which was bitten by a bat and turned into a vampire – I’m really delighted with my prize and really enjoyed coding my competition entry”.  Well done Finlay, we all hope you enjoy your prize which is a Divoom Pixoo Pixel Art digital photo frame.


Kindness Pandemic

Kindness Pandemic

The S1 study and organisation class, with Mrs Anderson, have completed a kindness project based learning task to try and create a pandemic of kindness at Alford Academy as part of kindness week.   We worked in groups to think of ideas to do with kindness.  We also wanted to develop our organising skills and confidence by completing this project.

Our class had a discussion about kindness and what we could do to spread kindness around the school.  We had lots of ideas but we picked the best ones and also the ones we could do within the covid regulations.  We decided we were going to send staff a positive sticky note and leave it in their pigeon holes. We also left positive sticky notes on random lockers for the pupils. We designed signs to remind people to hold the doors open for each other and also researched and shared kindness tips and quotes in the school bulletin for 2 weeks.

The skills we learned during our kindness pandemic project were as follows:

We used teamwork when we wrote kindness tips for the bulletin. We used our numeracy skills when we counted all of the lockers and pigeon holes. We had to be confident when we asked the headteacher if we could put up our hand signs on the doors. We used our computer skills when using google docs when writing the blog, researching ideas and for making the questionnaire. We all worked creatively when we designed and drew our hand signs. Finally, we communicated with each other throughout the project to complete the work quickly and effectively.

Our questionnaire feedback included some really positive and heart-warming responses.  Some examples were that the positive notes made people feel  happy, energised, pleased, worthy, chuffed, excited, seen, and part of the team.   Some people thought the tips in the bulletin were very helpful as a daily reminder to stay positive, have courage and be kind.  One response said this was a nice idea by nice people and another thanked us for organising the project.  Reading all the feedback has made us overjoyed and proud of our project.

Remember and always be kind!

S1 Study and Organisation.



S2s create a maths-bonfire night display

S2s create a maths-bonfire night display

S2 pupils in maths have been working on 2D shapes, and this week have been constructing Triangles and polygons using rulers, protractors and compasses.  Some of the classes put their new-found skills to good use today, creating a bonfire and fireworks display with their constructed triangles.  Well done S2 – They look Fantastic!!

N5 / Higher Geography Fieldwork

N5 / Higher Geography Fieldwork

During the week beginning the 11th October 2021, Higher, Advanced Higher and N5 Geography pupils went out to conduct fieldwork along the River Don.  They started at the source of a tributary of the River Don at the Lecht and then measured various river characteristics to see how they changed as they moved downstream.  The pupils also completed annotated field sketches; allowing them to apply their knowledge from class to a river and glacial landscape.  Higher and AH pupils also had a go at some soil sampling techniques, including depth, colour, texture and infiltration rate.

S1 Mathematicians are ‘blasting off’

S1 Mathematicians are ‘blasting off’

S1 pupils in Maths have had an excellent start to their academy journey and for the past three weeks have been taking part in a project centred around Black History Month and Space Week.  The pupils watched the film ‘Hidden Figures’ which is the story of 3 amazing black, female mathematicians who worked for NASA  in the 1950s, and their involvement in early space travel.  The pupils then carried out some research on one of the main characters in the film, or on Maths in the Past, Present and Future of Space Travel.

We have been really impressed with the conversations and understanding shown by the pupils, they have really engaged with the project, and we have had some really interesting responses to our questions about the film.

Pupils had a choice of how they wanted to present their research, and we have received a wide variety of, reports, powerpoints, posters and hand drawn artwork that pupils have used to share their research.  A small selection are shown below, we hope to find a way to share the learning wider after the October break.

Well done S1!!

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