News and Success Stories : Session 2015 - 2016

Madras crowned Scottish Cycle Speedway Champions - Friday 24th June

Congratulations to Madras College Cycle Speedway team who regained the Scottish Cup after a three year challenge with an emphatic win at the new outdoor track at Queen Anne Dunfermline.

A dominant performance from this exceptionally skilful and talented group of riders who have represented the school so well in the Fife, Scottish and hopefully National Championships. Next season can't come quickly enough!

Read the full article on the Sports News page under June.


scottish champions

Spanish Exchange - June 2016

We welcomed our Spanish partner school group on 21 June for their second visit to Madras College. The 18 pupils and 2 teachers from IES Camilo Jose Cela school in Madrid were delighted to finally meet their partners after much anticipation and chatter on social media.

Their first impression of the school was to see everyone take part in the Sports day at Station Park. This was a very different experience for the Spanish pupils as their school is smaller and, although modern, does not have such great facilities in such an amazing setting.

Read the full article......


Spanish Visitors

Madras Pupils run with '401 Marathon Man' - Thursday 2nd June

On Thursday 2nd June Ben Smith started his 276th Marathon from Guardbridge on his target of 401 Marathons in 401 days. Mr Munn and 12 S2 pupils from Madras College met him on the cycle path and ran over the golf course and up the West Sands to support his anti-bullying charity causes - Kidscape and Stonewall.

The run attracted much media interest and an article on that evenings STV News showed the pupils and Ben doing the iconic 'Chariots of Fire' beach run. To donate - visit the 401 Marathons Website.


401 Marathon Man

Madras Speedway Invincibles: 3 in-a-row Champs - Wednesday 1st June

Congratulations to Madras Cycle Speedway team who have secured the Fife Schools Speedway Championship for the 3rd year in a row.

More recently, the 'A' Team of Vasilli Hill, Jamie Penny, Lewis Alsop and Victor Hill led a Fife Select team in a match against the Edinburgh Falcons Speedway team to officially open the new track. In an excellent evenings' racing, it was the closest of matches which went down to the final race out of 16 but Fife won the tie by 2 points.

The team now look forward confidently to the Scottish Schools Championship on 25th June to be held at Queen Anne High. Read the full article on the Sports News page under June.

Fife Speedway Championship Winners

Madras College Archive: Dr Eve Soulsby - Tuesday 26th April

Representatives of Madras College Archive Group were delighted to welcome Dr Eve Soulsby when she visited the school to donate a copy of her book, 'The Golfing Kyles of St Andrews'. This celebrates the lives and careers of members of a St Andrews family with strong ties to Madras College, and, as the title suggests, a notable prowess on the golf course. In the early years of the 20th century, five of six Kyle siblings attended the school, and even whilst still at Madras, were winning prestigious golfing competitions. The eldest, Elsie Kyle, won the Scottish Ladies' Championship in 1909 when she was still a pupil!

Dr Soulsby, a former Principal Teacher of Geography at Madras College, also presented the Archive with a globe dating from the early 1920s, and an abacus, which were used at Madras. They had been left, outmoded and forgotten, in a cupboard, and were rescued from the rubbish bin by Dr Soulsby about 1980, when the former Kindergarten rooms, by then the Geography Department at Madras, were being cleared.

References to the Kyle children's time at Madras College can be found in school magazines from the period, and viewed on the Archive's website, Copies of Dr Soulsby's book are available from the author.


eve soulsby presentation of abacus and globe

The Great Easter Assembly - Wednesday 23rd March

The annual Great Assembly was, as history dictates, a special occasion for both town and school. In some regards the occasion this year was somewhat unorthodox, yet successful as always. One of the main aspects of the event, held in the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, is the fact that it is attended by all of the senior school as well as those in their last year in Kilrymont , giving the third years an opportunity to mix with the seniors and experience a little of what they could expect from school life in the centre of town. Furthermore, with regards to the third year's transitioning to South Street, the great assembly is an opportunity for the senior speakers to share words on their time at Madras College and hopefully inspire those in the younger years.


girls choir

After being piped in, an event in itself, drawing public interest, a warm welcome from the Minister opened proceedings. Following this was The Rector's strong message to pupils about taking things at face value, without judgement. Several musical performances came after, including a majestic saxophone solo by Arran Tarvet. The penultimate speakers were seniors Ellenor Waddell and David Radu, who looked back on their years at Madras with affection and urged those in years below to take full advantage of their time remaining at the school. To finish off the service, the minister enthusiastically spoke of the Easter story, including a little crowd participation, something unheralded in recent memory. Another successful great assembly was capped off with the pipe band bringing proceedings to a grand close.

by Ben Levy


assembkled pupils

SKY Sports - Living for Sport Project - 23rd March 2016

Theo Spalding-McIntosh, from the Sky Sports Living for Sport project visited Madras College this week, working with pupils who went through a rigorous selection process to be awarded the title of Mini Ambassadors.

The sessions, in Home Economics, PE and Business Education were designed to develop employability and learning skills such as leadership, communication, organisation and problem solving skills through team work tasks.

Pupils thoroughly enjoyed the day and the different ways of working together.


sky sports ambassadors

Bell Baxter Centenary Competition - March 2016

The 27th annual inter-school competition was hosted by Madras College on Tuesday 22nd of March. Nine pupils from Bell Baxter HS, Madras College and Waid Academy performed to an appreciative audience and the evening was a great celebration of the talented musicians.

Arran Tarvet, Madras College won the 2016 trophy with an outstanding performance on the Saxophone.

  arran tarvet

Madras Sport Relief - 22nd March 2016

A number of events took place in Kilrymont Road to raise money for Sport Relief.  In the Assembly Hall were 5 stations: Cycle around the UK, Climb Mount Everest, Road to Rio, Row the Nile and Just Dance-athon.

The Sport Relief Mini Ambassadors helped run each station all day and showed great communication, leadership and organisation skills. The pupils also had to use lots of numeracy, geographical and research skills throughout the day. There was also a bake sale and pupils were allowed to wear one piece of red clothing and donate.

Overall, an outstanding £923.29 was raised by Junior pupils


sport relief

Fife Burns competition - Impressive Madras pupils

All 1st and 2nd places go to the Nationals on 23rd April 2016 in Edinburgh.

S1/2 speaking: Luke Connah - 1st, Aimee Brown - joint 3rd
S3/4 speaking: Shannon Stewart - 1st
S1/2 singing: Natalie Rengger - 2nd
S3/4 singing: Eugene Ritchie - 2nd
S5/6 singing: Innes Little - 2nd
S1/2 instrumental: Zoe Mitcham - 2nd
S3/4 instrumental: Katie Grieve - 1st, Isobel Grieve - 3rd
S5/6 instrumental: Ellenor Waddell - 2nd (bagpipes) AND 2nd (harp)

Fife Burns

Sparks Flying at National XC Championships - Sunday 28th February

S3 pupil Robert Sparks continued his great run of success when he placed 2nd Overall in the Scottish National Cross-Country Championships held in Falkirk on Sunday 28th February. Robert was one of 142 Starters in the Under-15 Age Group who paced himself well throughout the 4km hilly course then came to the front in the closing lap, finishing a handful of metres behind the winner. Robert is going to represent the East of Scotland region at the British Championships later in March and he has a full schedule of national events to compete in over the next few months. We wish him even more success and are proud that he represents the school and area so well. Good luck Robert. Check out the video highlights on Youtube.

by J Tarvet


cross country winners

Sew Arty Exhibition

Creative arts students from all year groups within Madras College presented their work to parents and the public in their "Sew Arty" exhibition this week.

The exhibition contained a diverse selection of two and three dimensional work from the Art and Home Economics Departments, and demonstrated the wide range of art, craft and design pieces, and Fashion and Textile items produced by students throughout the year.


sew arty exhibition

Madras Chemists Regional Champs - 29th January 2016

This month, Madras pupils won the regional final of Top of the Bench. Held at the Chemistry department of the University of St Andrews, this is a national competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The team of Finlay Dornan (S2), Soha Nabi (S3), Dylan Ragone (S3) and Finlay Smyth (S4), led throughout, and finished the eight rounds answering some very challenging Chemistry questions.

The final consisted of three other schools, Kinross High, Grove Academy and Forfar Academy, who had also progressed through three previous knockout rounds. The final was a closely fought affair right up to the final question, with Madras College, narrowly beating Grove Academy by just a single point. Madras pupils are now looking forward to the British final of Top of the Bench at the University of Loughborough in April.


Fife Music Festival Success - January 2016

Over 100 Madras pupils have recently taken part in competitive and non-competitive solo and group classes at the Fife Music Festival. The pupils all performed extremely well and had a very enjoyable experience.

Competitive Group Classes
The Junior, Senior and Mixed Choir all performed in the competitive choral classes and received a Platinum Award. The Wind Band performed in the Wind Band class and received a Silver Award. Michael Sharp and Arran Tarvet played a piano duet in the Ensemble class and received a Platinum Award.

Non–Competitive Group Classes
The Junior String Group, Clarsach Group, S3 Ensemble Group and Trombone Quartet all performed in the non-competitive Secondary School Class. The Staff Choir performanced in the non- competitive Community Choral class.

Solo Class Winners
Isobel Grieve S3 won the Advanced Wood Wind Class and received an Outstanding award. Arran Tarvet S6 won the Open Wood Wind Class and received an Outstanding award. Ellenor Waddell won the Open Clarsach Class and received an Very Good award.

Many other Madras pupils performed in solo classes and should be congratulated for their performances.

On the final evening of the competition the Prestigious Young Musician Class took place. Out of the six finalists three pupils were from Madras. Ellenor Waddell S6, Arran Tarvet S6 and Michael Sharp S6 all gave excellent performances. The Young Musician trophy was eventually awarded to Michael Sharp.

Congratulations and well done to all the pupils who performed.


woodwind winner

Madras meet Scotland Rugby Squad - Wednesday 27th January

A group of 16 Madras pupils took the short trip to the University Playing Fields to watch the Scotland Rugby Squad train. The morning session was taken in atrocious conditions but luckily our junior pupils sheltered in the stands whilst their heroes were battling the elements. Not only did the boys get to see the intensity of the sessions and the repeated practice of basic skills, their patient wait in the miserable conditions was rewarded when the majority of the squad came across to sign jerseys and rugby balls, and even took the time to pose for photos and selfies.

A big thank you to these professional players who, despite being frozen and soaked, took those extra minutes to provide the Madras boys with an amazing experience.

by J Tarvet


fin russell

Madras Burns Supper - Thursday 21st January

The great Madras Annual Burns Supper took place in Kilrymont Hall on Thursday 21st January. In celebration of the nation's most famous poet, both Junior and Senior pupils performed a range of "well kent" poems, speeches and songs. Assisted by the school Pipe Band, the staff and pupil Highland Dancers entertained the audience. Then the traditional supper of haggis neeps and tatties was served, along with a wee glass of Irn Bru! Finally, the winners of the recitation and singing competitions were awarded a range of prizes and trophies. These were presented by the St Andrews Burns Society who commented favourably on the range of talent at Madras and the willingness and enthusiasm of pupils to keep important traditions alive. The pupils in turn thanked the Burns Society for the generous prizes and for their continued support.


top table

Literature Quiz - Thursday 21st January

A team of avid readers travelled to Kirkland High School to participate in the Fife Schools Literature Quiz. The team, comprised of both S1 and S2 pupils acquitted themselves well coming fourth, narrowly missing out on third place by half a point. The questions covered all kinds of literature from The Maze Runner to Great Expectations. Both teams won an individual round and received books as prizes. In addition the pupils were invited to bring along a well-loved book of their own to swap for something different. So, laden with books for the weekend the team returned to Madras.


literature quiz

S4 Modern Languages Pupils visit Dundee University - 20th January

Mrs McCartney and 10 S4 pupils attended a Business Brunch in the University of Dundee. This interesting event showcased the careers options and opportunities for pupils who have some modern language skills. The 150 pupils who attended from 15 schools heard two keynote speakers talking about how languages had helped them in their careers and lives. The first speaker was Tricia Fox founder of Volpa Marketing Agency and the second, David Valentine, spoke about his business connections with China and links between Angus Council and Yantai in China. The pupils and staff then attended various workshops. Our group heard a presentation about how languages are used in Dundee Contemporary Arts.



Over a buffet lunch there was a Marketplace where various stalls represented business and cultural organisations. The event was brought to a close with an address by Professor Karl Leydecker, vice –principal of the university and himself a languages graduate. This was followed by a plenary. On the bus on the way home one pupil was heard to say" I wasn't thinking of doing a Higher in Languages but I will now"

by Mrs McCartney

Christmas Panto - Thursday 17th December

On Thursday 17th December at 7pm, our dedicated Senior pupils took to the stage in a newly devised pantomime – Knotted!  

Rapunzel, a beautiful girl can only dream of escape from her tower until a mysterious stranger swears to grant her dearest wish.  Madras staff, pupils and parents joined the cast last night on an extraordinary journey of love, friendship and betrayal through Panto land.  The audience participated fully:  cheering the chameleon, booing the baddie and dancing with the Dame in an exciting and colourful performance!


Pensioners Christmas Lunch - Tuesday 16th December

A number of pupils from Madras this week assisted the members of the Community Council, helping out at the Pensioners Christmas lunch.

Dorothea Morrison, councillor, complimented the pupils on their efforts, describing them as a "lovely group of young people" as well as a "real credit to Madras."  For their part, the pupils very much enjoyed talking to and helping the Pensioners.


ShoeBox Appeal - Tuesday 15th December

This week marked the end of the shoebox appeal. Pupils in S1-3 were asked to donate items of food and toiletries which would be given to those in need locally. As ever, Madras junior pupils and their families generously collected a huge number of items.

A representative from Storehouse, who run the appeal, commented favourably upon the generosity of Madras junior pupils.


Madras Christmas Concert - Thursday 10th December

The school Christmas Concert this year took place on Thursday 10th December.  The evening was very well attended by parents, friends, staff and pupils. 

The acts were a diverse mixture.  Pupils from the school windband and strings group performed a variety of traditional and modern music.  Choirs – staff and pupil - sang Carols and favourite Christmas songs.  Pupils from some of the local cluster Primaries also took part.


Toy Drive - Thurday 3rd December

For the last few weeks, pupils in Kilrymont Road have been collecting toys to give to underprivileged children in Fife. The pupils of S1 – S3 were told of the idea in Assemblies, where Depute Rectors Mr Darge and Mrs Robertson asked them to imagine a Christmas without a single present. The response to the appeal was incredible with parents, carers and pupils themselves collecting a staggering amount of toys and Christmas gifts.

Thanks to all who supported this very worthwhile cause and helped to make someone's Christmas a little better.


toy drive collection

S2 Trade Fair - Wednesday 2nd December

This week, all S2 pupils took part in the annual Trade Fair. Designed to teach the various aspects of business in an entrepreneurial context, each class was challenged to create a business, design and market a product, then Sell! Sell! Sell! Judged by Madras' own Sir Alan Sugar, Mr Darge and Apprentice fan, Mrs Robertson, prizes were awarded in two categories:

Biggest profit went to 2R5 for their company "Snowstorm" selling Christmassy snow globes. Best Brand is yet to be decided.

All the money raised by all of the classes is going to Motor Neuron Disease Scotland; a cause very close to the heart of the school.


trade fair winners

Author Guy Bass visits Madras - Friday 27th November

Guy Bass, celebrated author of the book series "Stitch Head" visited Madras on the 27th November. Described by one first Year pupil as "absolutely hilarious" Guy read excerpts and selections from his new book, while recounting comical escapades from his own childhood. Joining the entire S1, were three classes from Greyfriars Primary School who also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. At the end of the talk, Guy Bass talked to pupils individually and signed copies of his latest novel.

Emma Stewart and Catherine Simpson (November)


Guy Bass Author

Children in Need - Thursday 12th November

Madras College held a fundraising day was in aid of Children in Need. In Kilrymont, Junior pupils were allowed to pay £1 to come to school dressed in their pyjamas or onesies. There was a wide variety of funny PJs and animal onesies!

In South Street pupils paid £1 to come dressed as their favourite superhero!

The school raised an impressive £908.92


Girls with Pudsey ears

Madras Talent Show - 29th October

Last week, in front of a packed audience in Kilrymont Hall, the Annual Madras talent Show took place. In aid of a number of charities, the standard was, as always, extremely high. Hosted by two talented S6 pupils Sean Samson and Nina Harvey, a variety of acts took part. The judges: Mr Wishart, Mrs Payne and drama student Ms Fox were extremely impressed by the talent of all the Madras pupils who took part.

The Kilrymont winners were Eugene Ritchie, Lawrence Brown and Peter Visocchi who performed 'Read my Mind' by the Killers. The South Street winners were Arin Beaver, Jack Parmar, Carmen Teppett and Eve McGladdery who performed 'Hallelujah'.


French Trip to Loches

This week forty pupils and four staff spent a week in Loches, the soon to be twin town of St Andrews.  Organised by the modern languages department, pupils had the opportunity to stay with a French family and experience life at a French school: Le College George Besse.  The system is very different in France, where the pupils attend school from 8am to 5pm and have a half day on a Wednesday. 

During the week, with their hosts, Madras pupils visited two of the most famous (and most beautiful) chateaux in the Loire Valley.  They also visited the historic city of Tours, taking in the Cathedral and Botanic Gardens.  Finally they went to a Virtual Theme Park known as Futuroscope. During the week pupils enjoyed sampling French cuisine, taking part in an English class in French, watching French TV and practising their French.

“It was tricky at first,” said one pupil, “but I really found that my French improved over the week.” 

“I have gained confidence in speaking to strangers both in English and in French” said an S4 girl.  “My partner and I will definitely keep in touch!”

“One of my best experiences so far”

by Mrs Payne (October)


Pupils Earn Sporting Chance

Pupils in Madras College's PE department learned about sports leadership from Celtic Soccer Academy boss John McStay. The club's youth coach gave a presentation and awarded week-long work experience placements to three of the top performers in an SQA sports leadership programme the St Andrews school is running with SRUC Elmwood in Cupar.

The Dundee Courier - 23rd September


Madras Pilgimage - S1 St. Andrews Cathedral Trip

This term the entire new S1 went on a pilgrimage to St Andrews Cathedral. To follow in the footsteps of the many pilgrims who visited there from the 10th Century until the 13th Century.

Part of the re-enactment included interaction with a young woman named Kate: a baker’s wife who joined the pupils on their journey so that she could ask for forgiveness. The pupils learned that her tooth had fallen into her husband’s bread mixture and had killed a man, who had choked on it.


The pupils were then shown where the relics of St Andrews lay and invited to place such items as a finger, an eyeball and a chicken there.  They then walked up to the top of St Rule’s Tower.  “It was amazing to think of the many thousands of people from so long ago had walked up the very same steps, “said one pupil.  “I loved seeing the whole of St Andrews from the top,” said another.  Overall the pupils found the experience very interesting and agreed that it helped bring to life the topic which they had been studying in S1 Social Subjects.

As a follow up to this trip, all S1 pupils were given the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities provided by MUSA (Museum of St Andrews University) in the school library.  This virtual experience, using a hi-tech piece of equipment called an oculust rift, allowed them to experience exactly what the cathedral would have looked like years ago, as if they were actually walking in the Cathedral.  They were also shown animations of the area at the time and finally created their own pilgrim’s badge.  Many pupils commented on the authenticity of the experience and thoroughly enjoyed the very different ways of learning.

by Aiofe Dow and Emma Risk (September)

Mr G's MND 5km Fun Run

This Fun Run is being organised by me, Brynja Duthie (Age 14) a pupil at Madras College, St Andrews and my teacher Mr Donald Grewar (AKA Mr G). I’ve always known Mr Grewar as someone who is very fit and loves running until he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND/ALS) in February last year. Motor Neurone Disease is a horrible disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord but this hasn’t stopped Mr Grewar remaining positive, being an amazing teacher who cares and is still very dedicated, giving me and my school mates 100% support whenever we need it sometimes just by allowing us to pop in for a chat at break or lunch and having a laugh with him. Mr Grewar has always been there for me and now I really want to be there for him.

This race is my chance to give him something back. Together we hope this Fun Run will raise a lot of money towards research into Motor Neurones Disease and one day a cure be found to help others and also to raise money to support Mr Grewar.

The charity we nominate for this race is Anne Rowling Clinic. If you wish to find out more or sponsor us, visitour Facebook page.

There is a good article about our fundraising on Kindom FMs website.


S6 Farewells at Leavers Ball - 14th June 2015

Our S6 pupils made many fond farewells at their leavers ball at the Old Course Hotel. It was another very successful night enjoyed by the staff and pupils who attended. I'm sure it was all the sweeter for our departing pupils, having just finished the stressful SQA exam diet. We wish them all the best in the future and hope to hear of their many successes.

Thank you to photographer Peter Adamson for kindly passing on these photos.