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Matthew Fitt and Sheena Wellington visit

Matthew Fitt brought Sheena Wellington, the new Scots Language Ambassador, along to MHS when he came to do a writing workshop with S2
Matthew Fitt and Sheena Wellington visit

Sheena Wellington and Matthew Fitt

For our second visit supported by Live Literature Scotland  Matthew Fitt came in to do a Scots Language workshop with a second year English class on 26th November. To our astonishment and delight Matthew also invited along Sheena Wellington who had only the previous day been announced as Dundee’s first Scots Language Ambassador. Sheena was not content to be merely audience but worked alongside the pupils as they explored what they knew about Scots vocabulary, had a go at translating Humpty Dumpty into Scots and discussed how they would represent Scots words in a visual dictionary. finishing by having a go at singing Scots versions of well known songs. Matthew’s session was as always interactive and engaging and we were delighted when our pupils were complimented on their Scots by both Matthew and Sheena.

Pam Cairns visits MHS

The author of The dead don't hurt us talks to Geography classes about South America
Pam Cairns visits MHS

Pam Cairns with Miss Menzies

On Monday 17th November, in a visit organised by the librarian, Pam Cairns came to speak to pupils in the Geography department about life in South America. Her first talk was to an S3 class who will be looking at the issues of poverty and shanty towns and the second was to the Higher geography class who will be looking at shanty towns, economic development and deforestation around the Amazon. Pam Cairns is a doctor who was for some years a director of the Vine Trust, working particularly with the Amazon Hope Programme and she now writes novels for teenagers; exciting adventure stories which draw on her experiences for their authentic backgrounds. Her first novel, The dead don’t hurt us, is set in the Peruvian jungle and among the street children of Peru; her second, Trampled Shoots, is for a slightly older age group and deals with the problems of human trafficking and organised crime in South America. Pam’s knowledge and passion for her subject shone through in both talks and their success can be gauged by the fact that there were pupils in the library at the end of the school day to borrow the books.



Cathy MacPhail visits S3

Author Catherine MacPhail visits Menzieshill High

An audience of S3 pupils were held enthralled by author Catherine MacPhail as she talked to them about her novels and how she came to write them. They had been reading her award winning novel “Fighting Back” in class and were so enthusiastic about it, borrowing many of her other titles from the library, that Miss Scott the librarian arranged for her to come and talk to them.

Her infectious enthusiasm and story-telling had them thoroughly engaged and when she read them the first chapter of her new novel “Mosi’s War” you could almost feel the frustration that they would have to wait months before they could find out what happened next. Cathy involved members of the audience as well, making them characters in the stories she told as she showed how a novel developed and after answering questions from the audience she left us with our very own challenge: the first line of a story for us to write!

More photos of her visit are here.

S1 Literacy across Learning Celebration

Literacy across Learning
S1 Literacy across Learning Celebration

Ron McIntosh and S1 pupils


On Wednesday 20th June S1 pupils from Menzieshill High School hosted an evening of celebration: families, friends and special guests were welcomed to the library and guided through a year of Literacy Across Learning.  They watched a funky film and enjoyed a presentation by class reps.  The Olympic project for term 4 culminated with an inspirational talk by Olympic torchbearer Ronald McIntosh who told his inspiring life story and then became part of the judging panel for an S1 debate.  The motion was “This house believes that the 2012 London Olympics will be the best ever.”  On this occasion the opposition won and both teams were praised for the high standard of lively debate.  Literacy Across Learning is a new S1 course at Menzieshill High School which has been praised by Education Scotland and featured in a 4 page spread in the Times Educational Supplement.

Find out more about Literacy Across Learning and see our film on our blog


Alex Scarrow visits MHS!

Visit of TimeRiders author Alex Scarrow
Alex Scarrow visits MHS!

Alex Scarrow

Second year pupils at Menzieshill High School had a treat on Thursday 26th January when the award-winning author of the Timeriders series, Alex Scarrow, visited the school to talk to them. Alex, who had careers as a rock guitarist, graphic artist and computer games designer before as he says “growing up and becoming an author” gave a lively and varied talk including video trailers and audience participation, discussing how our world would be different if, for example, Hitler had won the Second World War or the Roman Empire had not fallen. He finished with a gripping reading of the first two chapters of his first Timeriders novel leaving everyone on a cliff edge of anticipation to find out how the story continues.