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Eco-Club Update - February 2014

What's On the Agenda

  • We will soon be starting to plant our seeds for our hanging baskets and pots. Our neighbour Hamish will be keeping us right on the best plants to grow this year!
  • We have contacted Ranald Strachan, Fife Coast & Countryside ranger for the area and have offered our services to help with a beach cleanup of East and west sands.
  • Our Eco group will be attending the forthcoming Schools Forum at the scores Hotel on March 4th addressing the following topics:
    • Wind power.
    • Nuclear Energy:--is it safe?
    • Nuclear Energy:-- The only way to keep Scotland's lights on
    • Fracking--a comparison of the issues in North Carolina and Scotland from political and environmental perspectives.

What have we been up to this session?

We have lots of new members to our fabulous Eco Club, both Junior and Senior pupils. Here are some of the activities the club have been involved in this session.

  • Over the winter with the help of Elmwood College and our team of Kilrymont pupils we managed to tidy up the flower beds and free them from weeds.
  • We sold apples from our trees.
  • Collected a phenomenal amount of Lets Grow Vouchers which has therefore enabled us to order a fabulous array of fruit, herb and vegetable plants for our raised flower beds.
  • Our pond area is being given a revamp by Elmwood College so we will post photos upon completion.
 

Eco-Club Tree Planting - April 2013

Community councillor Marysia Denyer helped us replace a dead tree in the Stanks Park Orchard yesterday. The South Street orchard is now 5 years old and the trees were bound back then as the plan was to replant them once we got a new school which was envisaged at that time to be 5 years away. Fortunately having planted the Stanks Park orchard with the Community Council and various primary schools throughout St Andrews, the trees have found a new home.

We were also fortunate with the weather... well done also to Brynja, Eleanor, Kathleen, Isla & Rebecca for helping out - and a big thank you to Henry Paul who helped coordinate the project. See pictures of the event.

 

Lets Grow Vouchers - Eco Club - March 2013

We have collected 5237 Lets Grow Morrison's vouchers. These have helped pay for about £200 worth of equipment this year. The Eco-Club have unpacked the resources and are now ready to get planting. Unfortunately the late cold snap has slowed us down a bit but we're now organised on both sites are are now ready to Grow.... Our theme this year will mainly be summer flowers which we hope will bloom during the summer and remain till well into October. We also plan to grow the usual herbs and vegetables which we plan to sell at the St Andrews Market this year.

by Mr Fox

 

Food and Environment Green Careers Event - Feb 2013

On Wednesday 6th February, pupils from Madras College Eco-Committee along with Mr Fox, Eco-Committee Co-ordinator, attended the Food and Environment Green Careers Event at The Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. This event was organised by Eco-Schools Scotland and aimed to give pupils the opportunity to appreciate the variety of different companies and organisations that hold environmentally-friendly, sustainable and ethical values, from MITIE Waste and Environmental to Iglu Restaurants!

The event consisted of “Speedy Meetings Bingo” where we had the chance to visit lots of stallholders in a short amount of time, Career Conversations which gave us the opportunity to have a more in-depth discussion with three different stall holders of particular interest. Finally we had time to visit any stalls we hadn’t been to and revisit any we were particularly interested in, and to taste the cakes baked by Scottish Bakers! The day was very rewarding and it gave us the chance to speak to experts we couldn’t have accessed at school. We learnt that there was a wide career choice for environmentally conscious individuals. It also gave us valuable insight into the universities we can go to and jobs we can choose. Grateful thanks to Mr Fox from all of the Eco-Committee for organising this trip on our behalf.

by Rebecca Gorgon S2 (February 2013)

 

Shock Exit for Madras Debaters!

There was a sad exit for Madras’ debaters in the second round of the Donald Dewar Memorial competition. Alex Fyfe and Jamie McLeod had progressed from the first round, successfully debating “This house would impose a 100% inheritance tax”, but were knocked out by Dundee High on Thursday 31st January. Beating George Watson’s in the first debate, the pair took on Dundee in the second. The team made a substantial case when arguing to ban companies from lending at exorbitant rates of interest- such as wonga.com - but were pipped at the post by the Dundee duo. The debate was extremely lively; with verbal blows exchanged about loan sharks, debt collection and interest rates, whilst Geir Darge of Madras won the prize for best floor speaker. Overall, a mournful loss for the team just one round from the final, but they can leave with their heads held high.

by Alex Fyfe (February 2013)

 

Eco Afternoon - October 2012

Always keen to find new ways of maintaining the schools gardens, fourteen members of the Madras College Eco-committee visited ‘Pillars of Hercules’ near Falkland for an afternoon of green-fingered fun. After having a delicious organic lunch of soup and sandwiches, the group were shown many different methods for growing all different kinds of organic crops by Bruce Bennett. These techniques, such as covering flower beds to kill off weeds, then cutting holes in the covering to plant crops, or planting the crops in pots called 'plugs' have been designed to make best use of the time the Eco-committee have. The group would like to thank Mr Fox for running the committee, Mr Waterston for driving the minibus and Bruce Bennett for his time.

By Theo Upton, with the help of Rebecca Gorgon and Kathleen Pritchard (October 2012)

 

Youngest Greenest Person in Scotland! - March 2012

Rebecca Gorgan (S1) has been placed 4th on the esteemed Young Scottish Green List 2012 by the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum & KSB. The Scottish Green List identifies the achievements of the top fifteen eco-friendly 11 to 25 year olds in Scotland.

The top five on the list were awarded £250 for the cause of their choice, and these lucky few were revealed at an awards ceremony on the 13th March at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh. A very proud Rebecca was presented with her certificate at a ceremony in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh last week by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson.

"Since she came 4th and the age range for this prestigious prize was between 11-25, we've decided to state categorically and without a word of a lie that she's the youngest greenest school pupil in Scotland! ", said Mr Fox, the school's Eco-Schools Coordinator. "She's a pleasure to have on board and is a very important member of our very successful Eco-Committee, here at Madras."

Rebecca has done a lot of outstanding work, in and out of school, that has proved her very worthy of this achievement. She was a member of Greyfriars Eco-Committee throughout her primary school life, regularly taking part in litter picks, bulb planting and activities to raise environmental awareness. She is now a keen and active member of the Eco Club here at Madras. Rebecca also saved her pocket money to sponsor a young girl in Vietnam, and has done a lot of other work through Brownies and Guides. She says: “I am looking forward to Spring, and getting into the gardens that my lovely friends have worked so hard at building. Ever since I’ve been in the Eco Club, I have been hugely inspired by good ideas, especially thanks to all my friends in the Travel Action Group.” Congratulations Rebecca on this fantastic achievement!

by Eleanor Linton

 

Eco Club Assembling the Troops - February 2012

Pupils in the Eco Club have been extremely busy working on their litter campaign throughout the school. Fife Council has recently provided the school with new recycling bins to encourage pupils to sort and recycle more of their rubbish. The bins are also being used to aid in the fundraising of pupils travelling to Namibia this summer volunteering at schools there, along with money for various projects carried out by the Eco Club. Last year, the recycling of cans alone raised £200, and they hope to achieve just as well this year. Not only does the school recycle paper, plastic bottles, cans and garden waste, but have also now started a Rag Bag collection of old clothes for recycling. This too will help in fundraising. The Eco Club have made presentations at the weekly assemblies to enforce their campaign and hopefully pupils will take on board how important it is to recycle and start to sort out their rubbish more to help with the fundraising and to keep our school tidy.

by Jennifer Rae

 

Debate on New Madras College Site - November 2011

A Question Time style debate has been produced for the BBC’s ‘Schools Questions and Answers’ challenge. Miss McKimmie, Mr. Darge and fifth year pupils Dana Druka and Rory White were on the panel to debate where the new Madras should be built. It was filmed before the decision to expand the Kilrymont building into a single site was taken. Catherine Vallis chairs the debate.

Click one of the links to see the video: Windows Media Player | Quicktime

 

Eco-Club Trip - Glen Tilt - September 2011

The South Street and Kilrymont Road Eco Clubs recently ventured on a trip to Glen Tilt, for a chance to bond and allow younger members to find out from their older peers what the Eco Club is about.

Twelve pupils, along with Mr. Fox and Ms Paterson, took part in a variety of activities there, including a visit to the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre and a number of walks around the area. Two days were also spent in The Madras Bothy cooking produce harvested from the school’s own gardens. St. Andrews’ Citizen of the Year, Finlay Williamson, has made it a tradition to make a delicious crumble from Madras College rhubarb- greatly enjoyed by all. It was not all fun and games however; the group spent time planning and discussing new projects for the upcoming year. One interesting development is the work begun last week with Barbara Aitken of the Estates Department of the University. After having participated in many projects with the Botanic Gardens already, discussions took place over new ideas that could be put into action in collaboration with the Gardens. Help has been offered to look after the three very successful eco gardens over the winter. Other projects include lessons on composting and winter vegetables. The Botanic Gardens are also generously donating lots of pond plants as well as everything the club may need to start off their own wormery. All in all, it was without question a very fun and productive trip.

by Jennifer Rae

 

Madras Eco-Schools Club awarded Second Green Flag - May 2011

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

 

Sign Language Club - March 2011

The newly created Sign Language Club met for the first time on Tuesday the 1st of March. Pupils of all ages and teachers can join this club to learn sign language from Mrs Montgomery and Mrs Gillingham. Those at Madras with hearing difficulties are members of the club and hope to teach others how to speak sign language so they can communicate more easily with one another. During the first club meeting, they started by learning the alphabet and a few easy to remember everyday signs such as Hello, how are you? The pupils were encouraged to get into the habit of saying the words at the same time as signing them, as lots of people with hearing difficulties lip read. Not only is sign language a useful and valuable skill it is also fun to learn! For those interested the club meets every Tuesday at 1pm in room 111, Kilrymont Road.

by Mark Nicoll

 

Warhammer - February 2011

The school’s Warhammer Club has been excelling of late and has even qualified for the final competition in Nottingham. For those who are unfamiliar with Warhammer, it is a tabletop miniature game of war set in a fantasy universe. Players can assemble and paint figurines and can move them across the board with the role of a dice. This interesting and unusual game has captured the imagination of many. Good luck to the Warhammer Club in the upcoming tournament.

by Andrew Johnston

 

Manga Club - February 2011

Manga is a style of drawing which is mostly seen in Japanese cartoon programmes. A Manga club has recently began which involves drawing Japanese characters in a comic strip style. Mr Kerrigan takes the club in room 005 in Kilrymont Road at 1:50 every Friday. They has been designing a comic book about the school, which will be available after Easter.

by Mark Nicoll

 

Green Map Application - February 2011

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: http://www.greenmap.org/greenhouse/en/home

by Mark Nicoll

 

Madras College EcoSchools Club invited to Scottish Parliament - January 2011

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

 

Debating Matters - November 2010

With the start of the debating season finally here, Madras College debaters were getting back into the swing of things with the Debating Matters Competition. The qualifying round for Fife and Stirling was held in Stirling at Wallace High School. There were three issues being debated: We should not expect our online activities to remain private; Extremist religious and political groups should be banned from university campuses and Financial incentives provide the best solution to the crisis of organ and tissue donation. Among the debaters were Katie O'Donnell, Lindsay Wright, Miriam Malek and Zak Maas. Unfortunately, Katie and Lindsay failed to make it through the first debate, which meant Miriam and Zak never got the chance to debate. The team were beaten by Balwearie High School who will go forward to the Regional Rounds of the Scotland and Northern Ireland section. It was an unexpected blow to the debaters who had earned the title of Scottish Champions every year since first entering the competition, but with a lot more debates to look forward to, including a debate against a Canadian team and a short preparation debate at St. Andrews University this week, it certainly hasn't affected the debaters spirits!

by Lindsay Wright

 

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.

 

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....

 

Carnegie Book Challenge

This years Carnegie Shadowing Project was the most successful yet. Around 50 pupils from S1 took part, aiming to read as many of the 8 shortlisted titles as possible, post reviews online and vote on an overall winner.

Read more.....

 

Senior Debating - 2010 Review

Senior Debating Debating has always been a strength of Madras College, but this year the senior debaters, coached by Ms. Comber, have truly excelled.

Read more.....