News from the schools

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Douglas Academy

Fairtrade - the school recently hosted an event organised by Angela Oakley from the Scottish Fairtrade Forum, at which a speaker, Mrunal Lahankar, representing Indian Fairtrade cotton farmers producers, Chetna Organic, spoke to an audience of first and second year pupils and groups of pupils from four local primary schools - Milngavie, Craigdhu, Mosshead and Baldernock.

Pupils at Douglas Academy are learning about Fairtrade in modern studies and French classes and they found the talk most informative.

They learned that Fairtrade helps small-scale cotton farmers in India to invest in their communities by guaranteeing them a fair and stable price and a premium to fund community development projects.

The pupils were also shown samples of cotton in its natural state, the cotton lint which farmers sell and some examples of the community projects and found out that some stores have made a commitment to sell clothes made with organic Fairtrade cotton.

Angela Oakley also told pupils about the wide range of Fairtrade products, crafts and gift items sold by the Balmore Coach House. During Fairtrade fortnight members of Douglas Academy Fairtrade group gave a presentation on Fairtrade cotton to all year group assemblies and sold a range of Fairtrade chocolate to pupils at intervals.

TOP of the Stocks - the maths and business education department ran the annual stock market challenge recently. Eighty third year pupils took part working as stock brokers to experience the excitement of buying and selling shares and dollars on a real trading floor.

Pupils worked in teams and were given an initial £15,000 starting capital which they had to invest and reinvest during the five days.

Their aim was to make as much money as possible investing in a range of businesses.

Pupils displayed excellent team work, communication and strategic decision-making skills as they had to deal with many twists and turns as the prices of shares plummeted and soared depending on the news stories for each day.

Five third year pupils were also given the opportunity to represent Douglas Academy at the regional stock market challenge event held in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

They performed very well on the day as they came fourth out of 27 secondary schools.

Both events proved to be thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile - allowing pupils to relate what they learn in business management and maths to the real world of work.

CITIZENSHIP days - during the first year ‘citizenship days’ the maths and home economics departments worked in partnership on the theme of the Haiti Earthquake (January 2010) when 220,000 people died and 1.3 million people were left homeless.

The pupils worked in pairs, one pupil made ‘spicy rice’, a high energy, economical meal of rice and beans for field workers and labourers who make up the majority of the population.

The other pupil in the pair compared Haitian diets with Scottish diets and designed a label with nutritional information for the Haitian ‘spicy rice’ dish.

The label included a nutritional pie chart clearly indicating the nutrients in the dish and other labelling information using their newly gained Haiti knowledge.

Pupils then came together to evaluate the label, ‘sensory evaluate’ the spicy rice, speak to each other about the nutritional content and enjoy its flavour.

SUNDERLAND v Arsenal - a group of 40 pupils from first to sixth year travelled to Sunderland at the beginning of the term for their very own premiership experience.

The group even got to drive alongside Martin O’Neill and his Sunderland squad on the approach to the stadium. After taking time to purchase programmes, scarves and vuvuzelas pupils took their seats for an uneventful first half.

However after a half time pie, the second half was edge of the seat stuff, with Arsenal coming from behind to steal a 2-1 win by virtue of a last minute Thierry Henry goal.