Design Ventura 2015 Finalists

Four girls from S3 have received an award for most original concept at the final of this year’s Design Ventura competition at the Design Museum in London.

Design Ventura winners

The 2015 Design Ventura challenge started with 10,000 participants from 287 schools in the UK and overseas. In December, Trinity’s team pitched their puzzle ‘On the other hand’, designed to teach sign language, to a panel of judges that included Sebastian Conran and Naomi Cleaver.

At the final event, the judges said that the teams present represented “the best design talent in UK secondary schools.”

A number of schools were singled out for special awards, including Trinity Academy’s team.

Design Ventura certificate

The finalists’ entries are on display in a purpose-built ‘Design Tank’ beside the Thames where they will be seen by 1000s of people every day until the end of March.

Well done done to everyone (pupils and staff) who took part.

Design Ventura fish tank

‘On the other hand’

Scottish Schools Swimming Championships

Scottish Schools Swimming Championships

Trinity pupils India Dodd, Sophie Hamilton, Jocelyn Low and Jonah Walsh competed extremely well at the Scottish Schools Swimming Championships, Tollcross, Glasgow this weekend.

We had one medallist – Jonah Walsh (on the right of the photo above) won a bronze medal in the 15/16 yr old Boys 200m Butterfly. Well done to all four.

Swimming wins

Congratulations to all our pupils who swam in the Edinburgh and Midlothian Schools Swimming Championships last Sunday winning 3 Gold and 4 Silver medals and recording several Personal Best times.

British Council Award


Congratulations to S4 Morven Stead who has won an award from the British Council in a writing competition on the subject ‘How international is your school and how International could it be?’ The photograph above shows Morven receiving her prize from Natasha Kozlowska from the British Council.

This essay was one of only three selected from schools throughout Scotland to win a prize.


Nova Scotia

It was on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition recently, a seemingly compulsory activity for many a British teenager, and while huddled at the side of an East Lothian footpath, that I looked around and wondered where I would be as a person, if I didn’t have the companionship of my Polish friend, my Korean friend, or my French friend, all of whom were next to me. This invisible diversity, on such a quintessential British activity struck me as something quite precious.

Many schools like to boast about their ‘global ties’, however, not every student can take advantage of these. Overseas trips are expensive. As are exchanges, with the added complication that many people are simply not able to host a stranger in their home for 5 nights.

Despite the barriers – both physical and mental – of potential globetrotting with the school, coming into class everyday, and spending time with those of our peers, who weren’t born in Scotland, but whose families have chosen to live here, or are the children of first, second or even third generation immigrants, is what we have as the norm. Yet this diversity is what we fail to appreciate.

Through casual conversations with our classmates and friends, through knowing themselves and their families, we subconsciously immerse ourselves in a different language; a different culture; a different outlook.

Our traditional Scottish ways are enhanced and enriched – without us travelling anywhere. The world is in our classroom.

By being in a school with people who unknowingly, have taught me about their culture, has increased my desire to travel, and has made me a more open, and accepting person. This is my school. And it should be every school.

This ingrained diversity, transparent multiculturalism, adds a little je ne sais quoi to schools in Scotland.

Design Ventura top ten shortlisted schools for 2015 are…..

A team from Trinity Academy have made it though to the top ten shortlist for the 2015 Design Ventura competition.

Design Ventura

Design Ventura is the Design Museum’s award winning, national, design and enterprise competition. A live brief challenges young people to design a new product for the Design Museum Shop.

This year they had had a record number of entries submitted for judging, The panel of shortlisting judges have selected the top entries from the 251 schools who registered to take part, the shortlisted schools will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of judges at the Design Museum in early December.

Congratulations to Dominika, Eleanor, Kirstin and Milly from S3 whose puzzle game (On The Other Hand), encouraging users to learn sign language, has made it to the shortlist.

Mini Trials

Court trial

The MiniTrial event is an initiative from the Faculty of Advocates which allows pupils to play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, jurors and clerks of the court in front of a sheriff in a Scottish criminal jury trial. The role of sheriff is played by a member of the Faculty of Advocates.

A school team from Trinity Academy took part in the event, which is held in October each year at the Sheriff Court and is supported by a defence lawyer and a procurator fiscal, who worked with the team. These expericiences are a great opportunity to learn more about how our courts actually function in real life.

MiniTrials provide pupils with simulated court cases based on what actually happens in the Scottish Courts.

During the trials, the students took part in a reconstruction of a criminal jury trial, where they convened the court, heard the evidence and then returned their own verdict.

Sporting achievement

One of our school’s S6 pupils has been selected to represent the U18 East District Hockey team for the second year in a row. This is an excellent achievement as only two goalkeepers are selected from across the whole of Edinburgh and the Lothians. She has also been selected as Vice-Captain for the side.

Build a business in a day

Here’s a follow-up to the previous post about Trinity’s success in the ‘Build a business in a day’ competition…

The term ‘Budding Entrepreneurs’ was certainly appropriate when our team of eight pupils from the Business Education Department at Trinity Academy won a competition hosted by Edinburgh Napier University on Tuesday, 1st September 2015.

Our team consisted of five girls and three boys.  I was privileged to witness a team who were there to demonstrate their entrepreneurial talents.

The day started off with an inspiring talk from the young entrepreneur, James Brown giving his experiences of a startup business.  This young man started a craft beer company just after he returned during a holiday with his Dad whilst touring on a Harley Davidson!  James was fascinated by the spirits of the people he met on their journey, brewing quality bottled beers by the side of the road.  He had the young audience enthralled with his passion – not only for the product, but through working with like-minded people and having fun.

After a quick break and with James’s story still in mind, our Trinity team set about on their own entrepreneurial journey and what a journey that turned out to be. Their product was a portable ice pack/heat pack that could be used to surround drinks/food. However, even more innovative was the flexible nature of the product.  This flexibility enabled the product also to be used for sports injuries. The team expected the materials to consist of ‘gel’ for temperature control as well as an ‘insulator’ type material in order to prevent heat mixing.  The product would be of an elastic substance in order for it to – flip inside-out – be worn on the upper arm/leg as well as covering all types of portable food/drink.

Stages/sessions were located in both the Board Room and Headquarters duly provided by the University in order to make the experience as authentic as possible.  Strict timelines were issued to the young Entrepreneurs.   It was inevitable that several pressure points came with the tasks/timelines, during the day, but our young Trinity team  handled, each situation, admirably and the prototype came to fruition just in time, in order to be demonstrated to the judges at the Trade Fair.

After a  busy and exhausting day – I thought I would share the Judges comments with you:-

“Fantastic team work, everyone answered questions and were really excited about the product.  Great working prototype and excellent knowledge of how to take the product to market.  Made use of everyone’s skills and their business knowledge was impressive.  With a pitch like that – I would buy one!”