A group of S2-S4 pupils enjoyed a trip to Alton Towers theme park on the last day of term before the summer holidays. Having arrived early and ready to tackle the rides, all pupils thoroughly enjoyed the trip and to top it all off the weather stayed dried for us all day. Returning to Lenzie Academy around 11.30pm it was a long, exhausting but fun and thrilling day.
At the end of June eighty-seven pupils from S2-S4 and eight staff went to Marbella, for five days, for an action packed Sports Tour. This was the largest oversees trip at Lenzie Academy for several years. 5 different sports went on tour which included two rugby teams, 2 football teams, and a netball, basketball and hockey team. Each team took part in 2 fixtures against local Spanish opposition. There were some very competitive fixtures taking place at excellent facilities and in extremely hot conditions. All our teams did exceptionally well and there were some hard-earned victories. We stayed at a 4 star hotel where pupils could relax at the pool or beach and take part in more sporting activities such as volleyball, tennis and crazy golf. As a reward and for a day off pupils had the opportunity to visit one of Spain's famous water parks! It was a fantastic trip and all pupils were a credit to the school. The next tour is planned for Summer 2019 and will be open to current pupils in S1-S4.
During the Easter break 23 pupils arrived in the amazing ski resort of Alpe D’Huez, France for a week of skiing. The group of S1 and S2 pupils were given the opportunity to learn and improve on their skiing skills through the instruction of the renowned French ski school, ESF. Not only did the group manage to get a week’s worth of skiing but the sun was also shining which meant the tans could also be topped up. The days were packed; skiing in the morning and afternoon with a variety of evening activities. Activities that were enjoyed included ice-skating, movie/onesie night, games night and a disco to finish off the week which was joined by another school from the same hotel. This was a fantastic experience for the pupils which allowed them to gain new skills, become more independent and forge new friendships. The way in which the group conducted themselves throughout the trip was amazing, to the point where compliments were made from other travellers. One stewardess on the return flight approached the teachers and said “these are the most polite school pupils I have ever had on a flight”. They are a credit to themselves, their families and Lenzie Academy.
As part of our S1 residential trip we went to Lochgoilhead and Ardroy in our house groups - Fleming and Mackintosh went to Lochgoilhead and Inglis and McKay went to Ardroy. This took place during the week of 23rd October with 2 houses going at the start of the week, and 2 at the end of the week. The aim of this trip was to develop our skills as well as helping to build a house identify within our year group. During our time at the residential we completed many activities. To be successful in these activities we needed to use a vast variety of skills. One activity we did was abseiling; this involved being focused on the task to try to get over the edge. It also involved flexibility because some groups had to change from rock climbing to abseiling because of the weather. We also did raft building which involved two teams building a raft to hold 6 people. This required creativity to design the raft and team skills the build the raft as well as perseverance to keep going. Another activity we took part in was canoeing this involved team skills to, communicate between each other in the canoe and to keep it going straight. We also did Jacobs’s ladder in which we had to climb up a massive 10 meter ladder, we had to rely on the person at the bottom to do our Belaying. After Jacobs Ladder we did Archery where we had to focus on the target and have perseverance in case we missed the board. Some other activities included: Squeeze, Quest, Climbing Wall and low ropes. Our evening activities involved Nightline, Scavenger hunt and Initiative Games. When doing Nightline one person was blindfolded and the other had to talk to their partner to guide them, this involved team work and communication skills. The initiative games meant we had to work as a team to complete the task. Overall, we really enjoyed our experience and would highly recommend for next year’s S1 pupils. By Douglas Lande & Ramsay Meek (1MC)
Thirty seven S1 and S2 pupils began the annual Paris-Alps trip with an overnight coach journey from Lenzie Academy to Dover on Friday 23rd June. Early the next morning we boarded a ferry named the Spirit of Kent and sailed across the English Channel to Calais. We continued our journey from there to Disneyland Paris where we spent the remainder of the day at Disneyland village. During our time at the there we had the opportunity to go on a variety of rides, such as the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. After a tiring day we arrived at the B&B Hotel near Disneyland that was to be our bed for the night. The next morning we took a shuttle bus from the hotel to Disneyland and spent the whole day, from opening time to closing time, in the Magic Kingdom. This was one of my favourite days as we were given the opportunity to go on so many of the rides, such as Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor and of course who could forget, It’s a Small World?! At about 11pm we watched the magnificent fireworks display before getting back on our coach to head overnight down to the French Alps. The next morning we awoke in the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie in Haute-Savoie. We had breakfast in our hotel and spent the next few hours exploring the village and having some free time. Later in the day, we went to an adventure park where we spent time on pedalos and trampolines which were great fun. The next day we had our first day out. In the morning we took the coach to the very picturesque old city of Annecy. We spent the morning looking round the old town and its shops. After that we went swimming in Lake Annecy which was definitely a lot warmer than any of the lochs in Scotland! The next day we had another day out, this time to Chamonix where we were rewarded with spectacular views of glaciers and Mont Blanc. We were going to go to another adventure park but due to the weather, it rained constantly, we went to an indoor swimming pool instead. That night we took part in a quiz which was great fun as we tried to beat each other and win the prizes which were sweets bought in Disneyland. All too soon it was our final day in France and we all took part in a treasure hunt based on clues around the village of Les ContaminesMontjoie. At about 8 o’clock that evening we said farewell to the Alps and set off on our twenty four hour journey back to Lenzie. After the long coach journey and the ferry we finally arrived back in Lenzie after an amazing week ready to begin our summer holidays. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we thank the teachers, Ms Shaw, Mr Hughes, Ms Fordyce and Mr Ortiz, who made it possible. By Ross Donaldson
On the evening of Tuesday 28th March, eighteen S4 and fourteen S5 pupils departed from Lenzie Academy on the school’s annual Great War Battlefields trip to France and Belgium. The trip provided us with a greater insight and deeper understanding of the events of the Great War, as well as its consequences and impact. Nothing compares to actually being where history was made to get a better understanding and appreciation of what actually happened. On Wednesday, after an overnight coach and ferry journey from Lenzie to Calais, we visited Faubourg d’Amiens British Cemetery near Arras to pay our respects to Harry A Hayworth who is buried there. He was Junior Dux of Lenzie Academy in 1911 and then Senior Dux in 1913. His brother, Frederick, is also remembered in this cemetery on the memorial wall as he is one of the many thousands who have no known grave. Louise McCracken and David Thornton placed a plaque, made for us by Mr Devine of DET, at his grave to mark our visit. We also visited the French National Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette and Vimy Ridge, the Canadian National Memorial. Here we explored the trench system that still exists to this day. This allowed us to see the layout of the trench system and also appreciate just how close the Canadian and German trenches were to each other and therefore how close the soldiers were to their enemy when they were fighting. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was one part of the, perhaps, more well known Battle of Arras, the centenary of which was recently commemorated in Scotland, France and Canada. During Thursday we visited a number of sites including Contalmaison, where the McCrae’s Battalion memorial is located. This linked with what we had previously learned about Pals’ Battalions and their role in recruitment during the early years of the War; La Boisselle, a massive crater that was the result a of several huge mines being detonated on the morning of 1 st July 1916, the first day of the infamous Battle of the Somme; and Newfoundland Memorial Park where the trench lines remain preserved and look very different to those we’d seen the day before at Vimy. At the very imposing Thiepval Memorial to the Missing we paused to remember the five former pupils of Lenzie Academy, Sgt Hugh Adam, Sgt James Baird, Private J Cochrane, AB James Kincaid and Captain Thomas Russell, whose names are recorded on this memorial because they have no known grave and Owen Hill and Abby Reid placed a poppy cross near the Stone of Remembrance. We also visited the Historial de la Grande Guerre museum in Péronne which was very informative and the exhibits take visitors through the War in chronological order. Friday saw us in the Passchendaele area which was particularly relevant as July 31st this year is the centenary of the beginning of the battle known as the Third Ypres, or Passchendaele. Our first stop was the Passchendaele 1917 museum on the outskirts of Ypres. Here we saw a variety of different exhibits and some of us tried our hand at lifting a replica of a soldier’s kit bag - no mean feat as it weighed about 30kgs! We then visited Frezenberg Ridge, where the Frezenberg Scottish Monument is located. This memorial is in remembrance of all those of Scots decent who died in the Great War. It also has a Lenzie connection because one of the men responsible for it being built is a former pupil of our school, Mr John Sutherland, who now lives in Ypres. Lucy Fleming and Niall Turner placed a poppy cross at the base of the monument to commemorate our visit. The Island of Ireland Peace Park, Essex Farm Cemetery, where John McCrae wrote the poem, In Flanders Fields; and the Brooding Soldier Canadian Memorial which commemorates those who died during the first gas attack in 1915, were also on our itinerary for that day. We then we had time in the town of Ypres where we were warmly welcomed, and entertained, by Hans and Stephanie the proprietors of the Leonidas chocolate shop. We bought lots of chocolate from them – some of which may have made it back home!! Our final visit before dinner was to the In Flanders Fields Museum which was very interesting and informative and allowed us to see more artefacts and film clips from the War. After dinner we attended the solemn and moving Last Post Ceremony at The Menin Gate. This ceremony takes place every evening of the year at precisely 8pm. Three pupils, Ross Dewar, Arran Greig and Beth Seggie, laid a wreath in remembrance of the sixty seven former pupils and staff of Lenzie Academy who died in the War. Beth also had the honour of reciting the exhortation “They shall grow not old….” On the last day, before we headed to the very picturesque mediaeval city of Brugge, we visited the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot. It was an awesome and humbling sight. The cemetery contains the graves of nearly 12,000 servicemen and the memorial wall includes the names of approximately 35,000 British and New Zealand servicemen who died in the Ypres Salient area but who have no known grave. The cemetery has been described as a ‘silent city’ and we could appreciate why, seeing row upon row of gravestones, every one representing a life lost and a future denied to that individual. Adam Barbour and Morgan Lamont placed a poppy cross at the base of the Cross of Sacrifice to commemorate our visit and remember the soldiers’ sacrifice. Thereafter we visited Harry Patch’s memorial plaque. He was the last surviving British ‘Tommy’ from the War when he died, aged 111, in 2009. Yasmin McCotter and Kyle McPhee placed a poppy cross beside the plaque to commemorate our visit. Our final stop was Langemark, one of the largest German cemeteries in Belgium. Here Heather Cunningham, Katherine Davidson, Georgia McKinney and Genie Metzger laid a wreath in remembrance of not just the British soldiers who lost their lives, but also, in the spirit of reconciliation, the German ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country too. In Brugge we were given free time to explore and buy even more Belgian chocolate to bring home to friends and family, if we didn’t eat it first! On the drive from Brugge to Calais we were entertained by the annual ‘Bunny Awards’ ceremony. This was a great laugh and we thoroughly enjoyed the banter and the prizes, chocolate bunnies, obviously!! We learned lots of interesting historical facts during the trip and it helped us to better appreciate the impact the War had on the soldiers and their families. The trip was informative, educational, humbling and thoroughly enjoyed by all of us who participated on it and we are grateful to Ms Fordyce, Mr Park, Ms Shaw and Mr Ion for taking us.
A group of S3 pupils have just returned from our 29th annual exchange visit to the Staufer Gymnasium in Pfullendorf, Germany. Having already got to know their partner via social media, they met them face to face for the first time when they landed at Basel airport on 18th May and from then on it was just an amazing experience for everyone involved. The hospitality and warmth shown to them is definitely something which will stay with them for a very long time to come. While there, they spent a short time in the school (“a modern, light and friendly place”), as well as participating in day trips to Stuttgart, Freiburg and countless places of local interest. Everyone loved being together with their new friends and it was a super opportunity to get to know young people from another country and discover how well everyone got on together. Asked what the highlight was, one pupil said without any hesitation, “Definitely the people. Everyone was so friendly.” Alongside the S3 Exchange visit were some senior pupils who were using their Higher German knowledge and skills in various work places. They were gaining experience, not only of family life and school life, but also of how working life looks in a bank, school and international company. To have achieved this while still at school is surely a huge advantage to their development as they soon embark on their own careers. All pupils described their time in Germany as way beyond their expectations and they would gladly have stayed longer. They can’t wait to welcome their partners here in the autumn. Only 122 days to go!