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Category: Wider Achievement

Minecraft Build Challenge

Minecraft Build Challenge

A Minecraft competition begins on Monday to build a “Sustainable by Design” Minecraft world.  Any pupil wishing to get involved should contact Mr Cahill or Mrs Czarnecki for details.  Entry is open to all year groups.  Pupils can build their entry in the faculty during class time, lunchtime or at home.  The competition begins on Monday 9 May and entries must be submitted via your teacher by Friday 20 May.  You could win some Minecraft swag!  Check out the guide below and good luck!

Build Challenge Guide

S5 Horizons – RGU Study skills, Exam preparation and Project Trust

S5 Horizons – RGU Study skills, Exam preparation and Project Trust

On Tuesday 22 March, Robert Gordon University delivered a workshop to the S5s on note taking and revision skills. This included identifying what type of learning style, what learning methods to use to be an effective learner as well as exam preparation tips. They also covered how to manage your mental wellbeing; what affects our mental health, what can we change and how we can find support. The pupils comments were:


Really helpful and in depth, I learned what learning style works best for me

It was interesting and useful

Very interactive session, good because of personal examples used

Helpful and informative


Project Trust also delivered a presentation on taking a gap year and volunteering with project trust overseas. Pupil comments were:


Great to hear about someone’s actual experience rather than an overview

I think what project trust is doing is amazing and I can’t wait to participate this year.

Definitely considering taking a gap year with project trust inspiring and informative

The presentation made me seriously consider going on a gap year with project trust. It seems like good life experience

The presentation I found really inspiring as it made me realise that there is maybe a good option of what to do after school as I still don’t know what I want to do after I leave school.     



The ‘Hunt the Letter’ Fairtrade competition that took place during Fairtrade Fortnight, was won by Harrison  in S4.  Here he is with his Fairtrade Easter prize, kindly donated by the Co-Op in Alford

Big win for u14s

Big win for u14s

The U14 boys team played their first home match of the season against Turriff on Wednesday afternoon.  The team had been narrowly beaten up in Turriff back in November so were keen to make amends for that loss.

Alford started the game perfectly, scoring after just 90 seconds.  Darroch picked up the ball at the edge of the Turriff box and arrowed a shot across goal that nestled into the top corner.  However, Turriff got a goal back just a minute later and got a quick second to lead the match 2-1 after just 5 minutes.

Alford played their way back into the game, creating numerous chances but it took until around the 20th minute to get the equaliser.  Darroch picked up his second of the game, with a fantastic free-kick from the right-hand side of the box, into the top corner.  Thom, Samuel and Findlay had been working hard up top and putting a lot of pressure on the Turriff backline.  Finn, Joseph and Mungo were picking up loose balls in midfield and driving the team forward at every opportunity.  Thom & Samuel both created a number of chances for themselves and were duly rewarded with a goal each before half-time.  Half time: Alford 4 – 2 Turriff

The message at half-time was simple: keep up the hard work, get the next goal and enjoy the second half.  Findlay duly delivered with a swerving shot past the Turriff ‘keeper to make it 5-2.  Aidan made it 6-2 just a few minutes later after a driving run down the right wing, he cut inside and blasted it high into the Turriff net.  The Alford onslaught continued with Joseph scoring a peach of a lob from 25 yards.  

Turriff had a couple of attacks in between, with a goalbound shot flashed across but Ewan made a great save to push it out to safety.  The Alford defence of Gregor M, Gregor C, Logan and Harris grew in confidence as the match went on and were calm and composed on the ball, especially in the second half.

Darroch completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes to play with a close-range finish after some excellent work from Aidan down the left-wing.  Ryder got himself on the scoresheet next, with a composed finish from 6 yards into the bottom corner after a nice turn.  James, Finn and Mungo were controlling the midfield and setting up attack after attack in the second half.

After some lovely footwork in the box, Mungo scored Alford’s 10th goal of the game with a composed right-foot finish from 12 yards out.  Aidan got a well deserved second and Alford’s final goal of the game with 2 minutes remaining after some fine work from Findlay down the right-hand side.

Full time: Alford 11 – 2 Turriff

It was very impressive to see the boys displaying such great teamwork throughout the match.  They supported and worked hard for each other and got the performance and result that they deserved.  We have a big league and cup double header next week at home to Inverurie and the boys will be full of confidence ahead of that match.  Well done boys!

British Physics Olympiad

British Physics Olympiad

In November 2021, four of our senior pupils from Alford Academy took part in the British Physics Olympiad. The Olympiad is a a competition open to all schools, in which pupils across the UK produce written answers to several challenging questions in theoretical physics. Their answers are sent to Oxford University for marking and results are released later, once all papers in the country have been reviewed by markers.

Our pupils worked hard to prepare for this extracurricular activity and developed their problem solving skills and their confidence to deal with new tasks. This year, 2,300 pupils from 393 schools across the UK took part in the competition.

Our pupils were awarded two bronze II awards and two commendations for their performance in the written exam.

We would like to thank the Rotary Club in Alford for sponsoring us to take part in this competition and to everyone in the academy for their time and effort in helping us.

Senior Horizons- CV and Cover letter Session

Senior Horizons- CV and Cover letter Session

On Tuesday 1st March our senior pupils in S5 and S6 who will be leaving Alford Academy in summer 2022, were invited to take part in a practical session lead by our career advisor, to help write a CV in preparation for their future pathway.

The turn out was very good and pupils followed a step by step process to create their personal CV’s and covering letters.

The session was lead by Jemma Kinnaird, our Skills Development Scotland Career advisor and Aimee Maitland, our Developing the Young Workforce school coordinator.

After the session, pupils were equipped with an up to date CV ready for distributing to potential employers.

Pupils said:

“This was extremely helpful and informative and now I have a CV that I can use straight away and update regularly when I need to”.

“Very helpful and now I can write a CV. This helped me develop my personal CV and made me think of aspects to add to my CV that I wouldn’t have considered”.


Scottish Apprenticeship Week S5/6

Scottish Apprenticeship Week S5/6

Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Please see below if you are interested in apprenticeships within STEM subjects. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).


Apprentice Panel

Suitable for: Secondary school learners

Tuesday 8 March, 11.00 – 12.00, Teams Live

Hosted by school learners who are part of the Young STEM Leader Programme, where you will have the opportunity to hear from four STEM Ambassadors currently undertaking apprenticeships.  The Apprentices come from Dounreay, GE Caledonian, Graham Construction and Rolls Royce.  This is a great chance to learn more about apprenticeships, what they involve and the opportunities that are available.

Register here:

Scottish Space School

Scottish Space School

Scottish Space School

Virtual Programme

University of Strathclyde

13 – 17 June 2022




Applications Open Friday 4 February 2022


Following the success of our virtual Scottish Space School programme in June 2021, the University of Strathclyde, in collaboration with Wood Plc, are delighted to be offering the programme again in 2022 for school pupils in S5.


Given that restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic still remain in place for the University, the 2022 programme will also be going ahead online and will be running from Monday 13 – Friday 17 June 2022.


We have developed an online offering which will provide an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading figures in space travel, including NASA Astronauts and engineers. There are 100 places available on the programme and we ask that you bring this to the attention of S5 pupils who have a talent for mathematics and physical sciences.


The programme will run throughout the week beginning 13 June 2022 with virtual sessions taking place as follows:


  • Monday 13 June 2022:

Morning Session: 09:15 – 12:30

Afternoon Session: 14:00 – 15:30


  • Tuesday 14 June 2022:

Morning Session: 09:15 – 12:30

Afternoon Session: 14:00 – 15:30


  • Wednesday 15 June 2022:

Morning session: 09:15 – 12:30

Evening session: 18:00 – 19:00*


  • Thursday 16 June 2022:

Morning session: 09:15 – 12:30

Afternoon session: 14:00 – 15:30


  • Friday 17 June 2022:

Afternoon session only: 14:00 – 16:00


*The evening session on Wednesday 15 June 2022 is our annual ‘Evening with NASA’ presentation which will be open to the public to also attend online. Further details will be published and advertised on our website in due course and we can also circulate the details to yourselves.


Throughout the week, participants will hear from staff at the university and Wood Plc who will provide an insight into studying and working in the field of engineering, as well as hearing from colleagues at the NASA Johnston Space Centre. Participants will also take part in a group project throughout the week which they will present to a panel of judges made up of staff from the University, Wood Plc and NASA on the final afternoon with a prize awarded to the winning team. Participants must be able to commit to attending all sessions as listed above.


Further information and the online application form are available on the Space School website:


The deadline for applications is Monday 28 February 2022. The selection panel will meet early in March and all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by Friday 25 March 2022. In the application form, pupils are asked to supply the name and contact details for a teacher who can provide a statement in support of their application. Teachers will receive an automated email which will include a designated link to the online application in order to submit their statement. We ask that teacher statements are submitted online by Monday 7 March 2022, in order for the application to be considered.


Unfortunately, given the current situation and uncertainty in terms of travel out with the UK, we will not be running the week-long ‘Learning Journey to NASA’ trip in 2022.


Whilst we recognise that the online offering will not replicate the on-campus event we have offered in previous years, we very much hope that you and your pupils will show the same enthusiasm for the online programme as you would have, had we been able to host on-campus.


I would really appreciate your support in highlighting this opportunity to your S5 students.


If you would like any further information on the programme, please contact us by email at:

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.

Alford Success at Nationwide Piping and Drumming Event

Alford Success at Nationwide Piping and Drumming Event

Congratulations to all our pupils who took part in the 2021 Lathallan Piping and Drumming Solos Contest.  This was an online event with pupils submitting videos which were then ranked by a panel of expert judges.  There were 104 entries in total and the results were announced on St Andrews Day.  Congratulations in particular to Sarah and Jack (below) who won in their categories.



Snare Drum

Sec 3 – 16 & Under 4 part March

  1. Katy
  2. Sophie

Sec 4 – 18 & Under MSR

  1. Fearghas
  2. Sadhbh
  3. Sophie


Sec 10 – 13  & Under Novice Bagpipes

  1. Jack

Sec 12 – 16 & Under Slow Air / March 

  1. Sarah

Sec 13 – 18 & Under MSR 

  1. Sarah
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