Press Cuttings and Success Stories - Archive - Session 2010 - 2011

Namibia - Teaching Program 2011

In July 2011 29 pupils and staff from Madras College travelled to Namibia to enjoy a life changing experience.

“The best 3 weeks of my life! Africa is the most beautiful place you could ever travel to, the people are so amazingly friendly.”
Lauren Rae

“Going to Namibia was the best thing I have ever done in my life!! The experience was so rewarding.”
Judith Delargy

Read the full story and look at the pictures here


54TH Madras – Kiel Exchange

38 German and Scottish pupils took part in the 54th Kiel Exchange from 20th June – 29th June. The S5 pupils hosted the partner whom they met last year in Kiel. The new S4 recruits, however, met their partners for the first time.

The Kiel group, led by Frau Sendler-Steer, herself a former exchange pupil, visited the “Discovery” in Dundee and the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn Heritage Centre near Stirling during their stay. A visit to Dunnottar Castle was one of the highlights of this year’s programme.

We are already looking forward to the return visit to Kiel next year.

by Miss Orem (August)


Some photos of Kiel pupils visit


Madras Pupils Win 1st Prize in Animation Competition


Congratulations go to Lewis Crawford and Will Hulme for winning 1st prize for the 16+ Group Award at Animation 11 – The 4th Annual UK Schools Computer Animation Competition organised by Manchester University.

Their winning entry was one of 886 from 1,180 students across the UK. Lewis and Will each received £250 worth of Amazon Vouchers and a trophy for the school.

Read the full story and watch the animation


Royal Wedding celebrations in St. Andrews

There was a wealth of activities and performances which took place in St. Andrews to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Madras College was officially closed but many of it's pupils got involved in the events which took place throughout the day.

Performances included singers - Amy Rayner and Katherine Skene, a folk band - Ramskeerie, our pipe band and Madras Community Dancers. There was also of help from pupils in collecting litter and collecting money for charities.

Check out the picture gallery here.


Burns Competition

On Saturday 30th April, a select number of pupils from Madras College travelled to Lockerbie to compete in the National Burns Competition. Secondary school pupils came from all over the country in order to take part in the competition, making it a very big event and an exciting opportunity for those involved to show off their talents. Madras had a very successful day in Lockerbie. Yet again, Ewan Cameron won his S1/S2 Bagpipe final, with Lauren Galloway coming 4th in the S3/S4 Bagpipe final. Unfortunately, Connor Burgess could not attend to compete in the S5/S6 Bagpipe final due to sickness. However, the real star of the show was S2 pupil Joanna Stark. She won S1/S2 instrumentalist on the violin, and then proceeded to be judged best overall Instrumentalist! These results show the real talent that the school has for music, and also the enjoyment had by all involved in the competition.

by Rachel Wilson (May)

Madras Eco-Schools Club awarded Second Green Flag

Madras College has been successful in achieving a second Eco-Schools award which was given to them this week. Under the new Eco-Schools Scotland assessment criteria, Madras now enjoys an enhanced Eco-Schools status.

Three inspectors from Keep Scotland Beautiful visited the school during their Eco-Action Day just before the holiday and were immediately impressed by the school's amazing work. The inspection was thorough and took place over the two sites. Both Madras' Eco-Clubs were involved, along with members of the Working in the Community group, Namibia group, volunteer staff and the pupil council. Read more .....

by Brendan Fox (May)

Antonine Wall Walk

The sponsored Antonine Wall Walk organised to raise funds, will contribute towards the purchase of supplies for Namibian schools which will be visited by pupils and staff of Madras College this summer. My challenge was to walk the route taken by the roman Antonine Wall from Old Kilpatrick, Glasgow to Bo’ness near Falkirk in one day dressed in full Roman military gear. This would cover a total distance of 40 miles from the Clyde to the Forth. Those who also undertook the challenge were fellow teacher Graham Reid and pupils Max Chase, Zak Maas and Tom Smout. We were all very grateful for the support given and refreshments supplied by Mr Dave Paton and Mrs Lynsey Seeley, also of Madras College.


After a 7am start, we skirted the north of Glasgow passing through Duntocher and Bearsden. It was then out into the countryside along paths, roads and canals which took us through Kirkintilloch, Castlecary and Bonnybridge. Where possible, we tried to walk along the remains of the wall itself and the best places for this were Seabegs wood near Bonnybridge and Rough Castle Roman Fort and Wall just south the Falkirk Wheel. We left Falkirk just as the sun was setting and finally arrived in Bo’ness under the cover of darkness at 10PM. Despite our aches and pains, we finished the last few hundred yards at a run, the end point being marked by a copy of the Bridgeness slab which today is to be found in the NMS. All in all, this was a truly exceptional experience for us all and many thanks should be given to those which supported us, helping to raise over £1000.

by Dave Crone (March)


Great Assembly

The end of term assembly for 3rd to 6th years held in Holy Trinity Church on Thursday 31st March, is a long-standing tradition at the school. The Great Assembly is aptly named as it is a chance for pupils from all year groups to perform, either in groups, such as the junior fiddle group and singing programme, or as solo acts such as Millie Morrice with her heart-warming rendition of Adele's ‘Someone Like You’. The "Reflections" speech, traditionally given by two 6th year pupils who reflect upon their time at Madras, was this year given by Miriam Malek and Lindsay Wright.

Two prize winning poems, "Time" and "If Only", were read out at the assembly. The assembly is also a strong factor linking the church with the school, and the pupils were given a wonderful Easter Message by a member of the school's chapel group. Although this was a sad time for the 6th years and teachers who are leaving this year, this was also the first assembly for the 3rd years and new members of staff, and hopefully showcased the talent and strong tradition in the school, inspiring them to keep up the high standards set by the current pupils at Madras.

by Lindsay Wright

Street Busking for Cancer Research

A group of Madras pupils led by 5th year Paul Thompson held a charity busking event in aid of Cancer Research UK. The event was held at Church Square in St Andrews and attracted many spectators. ‘Busking Cancer’ is a branch off from Cancer Research UK in which you can register to organise a busk to raise money for the charity. The event in particular appeals to young people, as not only do they have the opportunity to have some fun, they are also able to raise money for a very worthy cause. The St Andrews Busk had roughly 15 acts that performed various songs. Everyone involved with the Busk had an incredibly enjoyable experience and raised £315 for Cancer Research UK - a great result.

by Rachel Wilson (March)


Maths Success

The Maths Department has been very busy over the Easter Term with at least 3 events taking place. In the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge one hundred and twenty S3 and S4 pupils participated with a total of 39 certificates being gained; 6 Gold, 12 Silver and 21 Bronze. S4 pupils Johnny Watson, Paul Sinclair, Jacob Lamb and Andrei Ruskuc even gained entry to the ‘Pink Kangaroo’ competition (a European follow-up paper). Johnny achieved an outstanding 98 out of a possible 135 to win the ‘Best in School Award’. A team of two S1 and two S2 pupils went to the Regional Final of the UK Mathematics Trust Team Maths Challenge at Edinburgh University and finished in the top 10. A further two groups of twenty S4 and twenty S5 pupils took part in Mathematiques sans Frontieres. They were given a number of problems to solve, one of which had to be answered in a foreign language. As we await the results, we hope the teams can continue the success of the last 12 years, where at least one team has finished in the Scottish top 10 and no less than 3 times a Madras team has won the competition.

by Emma Sunter (March)

Prince William & Kate Return to St Andrews

Conversations at Madras have of course recently been about Prince William and Kate Middleton visiting St. Andrews. Fifty lucky Sixth Year pupils were privileged enough to line up in North Street in anticipation for meeting the Royal couple. After about an hour’s anxious wait, the pupils were talking and shaking the hand of the future King! Star struck, the pupils excitedly told Prince William that they were missing school to see him and looked forward to his wedding. It was a memorable experience that none of us are going to forget in a hurry.

by Natalie Crawford (March)


The Sound of Music

Madras College certainly has lots of musical talent, and the school decided to put this to good use by organising a concert for local elderly people in the St. Andrews area. The residents were bussed through to Kilrymont and helped in by junior pupils who had volunteered their services.

They were then treated to half an hour of music making in the form of solo singers and duets from Katherine Skene, Rachel Hogg, Emily Brodie and some of the junior Burns prize winners, guitar and vocals from Hal Morrissey Gillman as well as piano music by Lindsay Wright. The audience then enjoyed refreshments (kindly provided by the catering staff at Kilrymont) and a chat with the pupils and staff before it was time for them to head home. The feedback from the event was very positive and special thanks have to go to the Charities Committee at Madras and Mr. Mackay for making the event a success!

by Lindsay Wright (February)


The Madras debating team was back on form in the first two rounds of the English Speaking Union (ESU) debating competition. Hopes were high for Miriam Malek and Lindsay Wright, having made it to the final of the competition last year, but so far they seem to be continuing last year's winning streak. The first round saw the debaters tackling the tricky motion of This House Believes Western Companies Producing in China Should Be Held Responsible For Financing Alternative Greener Energy Resources. In the second round Miriam and Lindsay debated This House Would Introduce a Quota For Women in the Cabinet.

The team are now through to the semi-finals and the final.

by Lindsay Wright (February)

Fife Festival of Music

The Fife Festival of Music took place from the 1st to 11th of February and Madras pupils were heavily involved as usual.

The first class was piano, with Liv Darge and Megan Pettegree taking part in the Grade 4/5 duet class, Megan Pettegree and Emily Wright in the grade 4/5 piano solo and Lindsay Wright competing in the Grade 8 and above solo class. Pupils from Madras took part in a non-competitive guitar ensemble, and Edward Dillon competed in the grade 4/5 guitar class.

There were so many applicants for the concerto class this year that the festival held a preliminary round. Rhiannon Bates made it through to the final on her oboe, however was unable to make it to compete in the final. The strings class was next: Sophie Pettegree and Joanna Stark took part in the grade 6/7 class, Megan Pettegree competed in the grade 8 and above duet and solo classes on her violin. Claire O'Donnell competed in the grade 1/2 violin and viola class. Owain Simpson entered the grade 4/5 woodwind class on his bassoon.

The vocal classes started with the Light Opera/Musicals: 18 and under, in which Katherine Skene and Emily Wright took part. Katherine also sung in the Female and Male Vocal: 18 and under, Scots Songs 18 and under, Young Singer Recital Class 21 and under, Emily Wright also competed in the female and male 15 and under class.

There were also many music groups that competed. The Senior Wind Band competed against seven other wind bands and unfortunately did not manage to win the class. The string orchestra also competed, playing Elgar's Serenade for Strings. There was even a clarsach group from madras that took place in a non-competitive class. Madras College is well known at the Fife Festival for producing good musicians, and with so many junior pupils competing to a high standard it looks like this is set to continue.

by Lindsay Wright (February)


Two pupils form Madras College were selected by the Rotary club and were given the opportunity to travel to Strasbourg to see the European Parliament with Euroscola.

Katie O'Donnell and Alice Stewart (both gifted linguists) were selected after a tricky interview process and set off for Strasbourg at the end of January. They were a part of a group of twenty-five Scottish students, and while there the group met pupils from countries all over Europe including Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

The pupils conducted a street survey in French on the subject of Scotland and the EU, visited the cathedral, tried the regional speciality tarte flambee and even saw the set of Sherlock Holmes II being built! The Euroscola Day was the main event, and began when the pupils arrived in the European Parliament and enjoyed a continental breakfast together with all the other EU students.

Katie O'Donnell was selected as a "Porte Parole" to speak about the Scottish students' time in Strasbourg in the European Parliament. The groups then split into teams and answered a quiz of which each section was in different language, testing their language skills! In the afternoon the pupils were split into groups of a hundred and discussed important issues such as the future of Europe and the environment.

Katie O'Donnell chaired her group's discussion. The "rapporteur" wrote down all of the points of the discussion and then the groups congregated in the main parliament where the points were presented and then rebutted by the chair.


It wasn't all work though, the Scottish students hosted a ceilidh at their hostel, which everyone (especially the Portuguese and Slovenian students!). The trip was an amazing opportunity to improve language skills, confidence and make new friends, and one that will no doubt stay with the group for a long time.

by Lindsay Wright (February)

Scottish International Squash Player at Madras

Squash player Craig Wallace, a 3rd Year pupil, at only the age of 14 has been chosen to represent Scotland in a Squash Tournament in Wales. Craig spends most of his weekends playing in competitions, which involves him travelling all over Scotland. In his three years of playing he has won lots of trophies and at the moment is ranked fourth in Scotland’s under 15’s. He aims to turn professional when he is nineteen, hoping to get the chance of playing worldwide and in the common wealth games.

by Mark Nicoll

St. Andrews Young Citizen Award

Congratulations to Finlay Williamson for receiving the Young Citizen of the Year award from the St Andrews Community Council. Finlay was presented this award at a special ceremony in the City Chambers this week by the chairman, Mr Ken Crichton.

Finlay said, " I suppose I was really accepting it on behalf of all the members of the Madras College Eco-Club and the excellent work we have done over the last 3 years. This is the 3rd award we have won this year". The special engraved Quaich will be on display at Kilrymont from next week. As well as the Quaich, a cheque for £50 was also awarded, which will help resource the Eco-Club's plans for Spring. "We intend to start germinating seeds for our gardens very soon" said Finlay, "and this will be a great help!"

by Mr Fox


Food for the Elderly

Madras prides itself in working closely with the local community. On the last week of the winter term, pupils and staff in the Kilrymont Road building were collecting food for the elderly at the Scooniehil Sheltered Housing complex. They collected things such as soups, pasta and other tinned goods. With the help of Miss McKimmie (Modern Studies) the pupils played a vital role in collecting the food and wrapping it up ready to be delivered. Thank you to those who helped.

by Lauren Russell (January)

Green Map Application

Members of the Eco-Club are developing a Green Map for St Andrews which will help highlight the greener sides of our lovely town. The Green Map, as well as being available in printed from, will also be incorporated into an iPhone application which can be downloaded at Apple’s iTunes. The software will also be available for Android users too and will therefore be available to tourists, visitors, students, pupils, residents and any other interested parties from anywhere in the world.

When the Eco-Club registered with Green Map, which is based in New York, Wendy Brewar gave them the contact details for Mike Avery, who is an enthusiastic environmentalist and campaigner in Scotland, and who has already designed a Green Map for some of the villages in the west of Fife. Mike kindly agreed to come to the school and gave interested members throughout the school a chat about the possibilities and purposes of making their own Green Map.

The Green Map will highlight cycle routes, cultural spots, fair trade shops, organic shops and any business that promotes sustainability and any place of wild life significance as well as recycling areas and parks. To have a look at our new project have a look at:

by Mark Nicoll (January)

Madras College EcoSchools Club invited to Scottish Parliament

Members of the Madras College Eco-Club were selected and then invited to attend the Scottish Eco-Schools Conference which took place in the Scottish Parliament buildings on Friday 28th January 2011.

James Primmer (chairperson), Maud Wolf, Fiona Powrie and Corinna Rengger were chosen to represent the school at this prestigious event which lasted the whole day. Involving experts from across the country, pupils participated in presentations, practical activities and various workshops to help give them ideas about what they could do in their own schools. The main theme of the day was Health and Well Being, a new topic about to be introduced into the Eco-Schools programme. Read more....

by Mr Fox


Fundraising for Namibia

Fundraising for the Volunteering Programme in Namibia has begun. The pupils and teachers involved suggested some brilliant ideas. School Christmas Dances were lit up with the sale of multi coloured glow sticks. We thank Morrisons supermarket for allowing pupils to pack bags and to entertain customers with festive Christmas carolling. Pupils had the opportunity to buy Christmas candy canes for a friend and personalise them with a special message before being delivered by some very jolly Santas. Congratulations to Olivia Walker for winning the £100 note after successfully guessing the winning number of 411. Watch out for more events in the following term.

by Emma Sunter (December)


Christmas Carolling

Some enthusiastic singers visited the St. Andrews Community Hospital in the last week of term to entertain the patients and passers-by with Christmas songs and festive music. Undaunted by the snow and ice our ‘can-do’ janitors transported the piano for Mrs Nisbet to accompany the pupils’ singing which could be heard throughout the hospital.

by Natalie Crawford (December)


Amici Cantate

Pupils from Madras College and local Primary schools joined Amici Cantate, an adult choir from Hertfordshire, for a concert celebrating St. Andrews Day. The beautiful setting of Holy Trinity Church with its excellent acoustics added to the experience. After only two days of rehearsing, the pupils and Amici Cantate together sang a selection of African, spiritual and Christmas songs. The audience joined in with the singing and, of course, the actions. The founder and conductor of Amici Cantate, Michael Kibblewhite, was so charismatic and enthusiastic making it a delight to sing with him. Sam Hutchings, the pianist, was also outstanding. Everyone who participated and attended had a fabulous time. by Emma Sunter (December)


Children in Need

Here at Madras we held a non-uniform day on Wednesday the 17th of November in order to raise money for Children in Need. As always everyone got into the spirit of the day and most dressed with the spotty theme. Many even wore Pudsey ears, pyjamas and painted their nails in the traditional Children in Need spotty colours. Madras has always raised amazing amounts of money for charity and this was no exception with an impressive £1,232 being raised.

by Lauren Russell (November)

Young Enterprise

Fifth and sixth year pupils from Madras College involved in ‘Young Enterprise’ recently attended a trade fair at the Kingdom Shopping Centre in Glenrothes. The pupils made up two teams, each with their own range of products, and sold them to the other attending schools and members of the public. The products included beauty and bath items created by the team Fruitful Opportunities and a jewellery range from Button It Up. Fruitful Opportunities made £32 and Button It Up made an enormous £110. The teams were judged on various aspects of their products and its presentation. The winners will then go through to the next round of the competition in Glasgow, with results to be announced in March. Everyone greatly enjoyed the day and found the whole experience to be truly rewarding, independent of the result. by Théadora Blackadder


Namibia Trip - High Commissioner Visit

Madras senior pupils have been given the life changing opportunity to visit Namibia in the summer of 2011. Madras College and the Namibian Consul of Scotland are working together on a project to enable S5 and S6 pupils to teach in one of Namibia's rural schools for 3 weeks.

The High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia in the United Kingdom and the First Secretary for the Commonwealth and Education visited Madras to meet some of the pupils going on the trip. The pupils had the opportunity to ask them questions about Namibia and discuss their visit.

Click on the Namibian flag for pictures of the visit.


Eco-Schools Club Award - Best Regeneration Project 2010

Madras College in St Andrews has been awarded runner up for Best Regeneration Project 2010 by CSV Action Earth. A thousand projects across the UK took part in the Action Earth 2010 campaign, which ran from 1st March to 31st July.


Floral Award Winners 2010


Congratulations to Hamish Matheson, our local community gardener and the Department of Additional Support for being one of the St Andrews Community Council Floral Award Winners 2010. Louise Roger from the St Andrews Botanic Garden presented the Yvonne Stewart-Meiklejohn Shield at a special ceremony in the Council Chambers on Thursday 23rd September. This is an award designed primarily for St Andrews' churches and demonstrates just how excellent the hanging baskets, tubs and planters were this year at Hope Park Church.


Peer tutoring

Peer tutoring is yet another thing that Madras has introduced into its vastly expanding spectrum. The sixth years have an opportunity to interact with the younger pupils of the school and the chance to work alongside the teachers. The system has a positive effect on the younger pupils as participating students can get extra help academically and a listening ear if necessary. A connection is sometimes more easily made with somebody of a similar age therefore talking to one of the sixth years about problems or a query is easier than say a teacher. For the younger pupils and teachers it can provide a great add on to the class and gives the participating sixth years a new sense of responsibility and achievement when they make a breakthrough with their pupil. Peer tutoring is proving to be a useful addition to the school for everyone involved.
by Rachel Wilson

S6 Hospital Volunteering

On the 2nd of November five sixth year pupils began the new fortnightly programme of volunteering at the St. Andrews Community Hospital. The pupils keep company of and entertain patients. On Tuesday they had an intense game of bingo, played board games and rummaged through a reminiscence box containing memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s. The main role the group played was to sit back and listen to the fantastic stories that the patients had to tell.
by Andrew Johnston

Ohio Exchange

In the October holidays, fifteen lucky Madras pupils travelled to Upper Arlington, in the state of Ohio, as part of the American exchange. Even after the long seven hour flight the pupils were excited to meet and get to know their host partners and families. During the day the pupils got to experience American school life, visit a theme park, watch an American State University football game and of course do some shopping in the malls. They enjoyed the warmer weather and some even experienced a tornado alarm drill.


The American’s had many interesting comments about the Scottish accent and the pupils were even complemented on their outstanding English speaking skills. The hosts impressed them with their driving skills as they can learn to drive from the age of fifteen. The pupils will reunite with their exchange partners in March 2011 when the Americans visit Scotland.
by Emma Sunter

Open Mic

Madras continually holds many enjoyable and successful events throughout the year in order to help raise money for both local and national charities. This term, a number of sixth year pupils helped to organise an Open Mic night which took place on Thursday the 7th of October. With seven acts, the night was a huge success raising £173 for Families First. This is a local charity which provides support to families in around the St. Andrews area. The charity aims to help children between the ages of 5 and 16 by providing them with friendship and confidential support. We look forward to many more entertaining and successful charity events in the near future.
by Lauren Russell

Malawi Aid


On Wednesday the 18th September Andrei Ruskuc (S4), Tamara Levey (S4) and Kirsty Smyth (S5) sold £180 worth of cakes at a very successful bake sale. The cakes ranged from chocolate brownies to fruity squares and were very tasty! The money raised will contribute to their 2011 Explorer Scout Expedition to Malawi where they will be taking part in various community projects. A huge thank you to everyone who supported the sale.

by Andrei Ruskuc


ECO Club - for second Green Flag

Madras College's Eco-Club have set themselves yet another high target this year, for Madras to be only the second high school in Fife to qualify for the Second Green Flag Award. The school achieved their status as an Eco-School, with their first green flag last year. This was thanks to the effort of the Eco-Club, headed by Mr. Fox of the biology department at Madras.

Read more of this article by Lindsay Wright....


Teddy Bear’s Picnic


Pupils from 6th year at Madras College volunteered to help at the CLIC Sargent Teddy Bear’s Picnic held at Craigton Park on Sunday 5th September. Much fun was had by all and the pupils raised nearly £100 for the charity which helps children who suffer from cancer. The money was raised by selling teddy bears and charging children to throw wet sponges at parents and firemen. The pupils wish to thank the members of the St Andrews Fire Brigade who were wonderfully supportive and brave (some of the children were really quite vicious!) by Théadora Blackadder


The Japanese Exchange


The exchange between Otawara city, in Japan, and St. Andrews has been running for more than 20 years. Last summer Melanie, Ross, Sandy and I were hosts to four Japanese students. Last summer, Mr Tarvet and Mr Latona kindly escorted the group on a three day tour of Highland Scotland including visits to Loch Ness, Glencoe and an overnight stop in a Scottish castle. This summer we spent two weeks experiencing Japanese culture with the host families. We tasted interesting Japanese food including sushi, ramen and bright green tea. We met the mayor and he invited us to join him in Otawara’s annual Yoichi festival where we dressed up in traditional Japanese costumes. And of course, we couldn’t miss out on visiting Tokyo Disneyland! by Emma Sunter