What's New

S1 'Scottish Doors' Competition - March 2013

The first years had a competition to create the best decorated classroom door on a Scottish theme. There were some fantastic creations, showing humour, imagination and artistic flair. There were three prizes; one for Best Door overall, one for Best Literacy Door and one for Best Pupil Input.

Have a look at photographs of the winners and some of the more eye catching efforts:

Best Door Overall
Best Literacy Door
Best Pupil Input

Nessie Door close-up
Oor Wullie
A-Z of Scots Bletherin'
Book Covers Door
Famous Scottish Places

StAnza 2013 Children’s Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Iona Byers - who took 2nd place in the Stanza Competition with her poem Under the Sea.

Under the Sea


Waves crashing, children laughing.
Water meeting shells that the sand have housed.
Taking them away to a whole new place under the sea.
Where there are fish of every colour,
Dolphins swimming side by side.
As the shells land there’s a pop popping of the seaweed.
And the rocks scrape each other as they meet.
Sharks scavenging for a feast
Whilst small slimy fish gather in their midst.
Suddenly the seabed silences and the colour fish turn pale with fright
Whilst that poor innocent creature thrashes with all its might.
Worse than the sharks there are one dozen hooks taking their mark.
Innocent fish trapped by fear.
Waves crashing, children laughing…



Congratulations also to Finlay Smyth - who took 3rd place in the Stanza Competition with his poem Arctic Journey.


Arctic Journey


Walk long,
Whistling wind,
White blizzard.


Smell sea,
See snow,
So tired.


Polar wind.
Polar cap.
Polar bear.


Penguin waddle,
Peculiar sight.




Now tired,
Nearly fainting,
New record.


Exhilarated crew,
Enticing bed.
Everlasting comfort.

Matt Dickinson ventures into Madras - February 2013

On the 1st of February 2013, third year classes at Madras College were paid a visit from author Matt Dickinson. As well as writing books, Matt makes documentaries for BBC, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic about climbing mountains. Matt has climbed Mount Everest, trekked the Sahara and recently published a trilogy of fiction. He came in to speak partly about his books, Mortal Chaos, Deep Oblivion and Speed Freak, but also about making a short film about his climb to the summit of Mount Everest via the North face.

Read the article about his visit (by Jasmine Cortazzi - PTC English)

Two S2 Pupils - Caitlin and Nina also wrote an article and interview for the BBC News School Report.

'The Big Music' Event - June 2012

Imagine capturing the Scottish mountains, the icy seas and the vast grey blue skies in a book.
Imagine mirroring the powerful tunes of bagpipes on white pages in black ink.
Imagine recreating in words the shape of a human life and his memories by sweeping them into a novel.
Well, Kirsty Gunn's new novel 'The Big Music' sets out to achieve the impossible by creating a new kind of world in her book.

Fifth and sixth year students at Madras College welcomed Kirsty Gunn to their library on Monday, 18th June. Kirsty gave the group the treat of a book reading, which was followed by Gary Gowans' original and beautiful film inspired by the novel. Next, the artist Merran Gunn displayed photographs taken from her painting commissioned by Dundee University in honour of the novel. Gail Low, who lectures in English, and is an archivist with a passionate interest in how books become books took photographs of the event for Dundee University's archives. Our students were given the chance to see how a group of creative professionals can work together to inspire and produce art.

Following the presentation, our students were able to choose one of three workshops on offer: either creative writing, art or media. The creative writing workshop entailed an exploration of the theme of loneliness , followed by the opportunity to capture this emotion in words. Meanwhile, students involved in the art workshop produced a mini collage booklet of text and images. Media students enjoyed a series of stimulating mini films and animations illustrating different media techniques , as well as a presentation on how skills in graphic design might help find work in the future or help serve the community.

We would like to extend our thanks to Gail Low, Kirsty Gunn, Merran Gunn and Gary Gowans for their generosity and time in extending this magical opportunity to our students. See the pictures of the event.

by Ms Cortazzi

StAnza 2011 Children’s Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Sophie Duncan - Winner of the Stanza Competition with her poem If Only

If Only

If only I could rewind time,
And change everything I regret.
If only I could freeze time,
And take in the world so I don’t forget.
If only I could go to the future,
To see what’s happened to me.
If only I could go to ancient times,
To see how living would be.
If only I could set the clocks,
To whatever time I’d like.
IF only I could make bedtime,
Much later on at night.
If only I could make bedtime,
Much later on at night.
If only I could pause things,
And put them on hold.
If only I could rewind good times,
Even when I’m old.


StAnza 2010 Children’s Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Halley McArn of 2P3 for taking Second Prize this year with her poem The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling

In the dead of night I will glide on the surface of the lake,
And the water will surrender to my airy wings,
As if each little drop is bowing down to me.
The grass will sing and praise my feet as I walk on each blade,
And the moon will smile at me from its liquid perch.
At the first break of dawn the birds will fly towards me,
Bringing clear tunes to sing to me.
And when the last sweet note escapes from their mouths,
I shall lift my wings and return to my home in the sky.
I will soar and hear the crisp wind pass through my silky wings.
And when I arrive my family will silently tell me stories,
That paint vivid masterpieces in my mind.
But for now I wait,
Far away from my lake,
the gloomy depths of the forest,
Where I can almost hear my birds singing,
And my grass swaying,
And my wings soaring.



Carnegie Medal Shadowing Project


Pupils from groups all over Britain are shadowing the Carnegie Medal, reading through the books on the shortlist, and posting their reviews, and reading others' opinions on the merits of each book, on the Carnegie Medal Shadowing Project Website.

The website allows you to look at all the reviews posted: you can choose to look at the reviews for a particular book, or to see all the reviews sent in by a group. For more information see the The Madras Carnegie Challenge.