School news 29th June 2007

Prizegiving – This took place on Wednesday 27th June in the School and a special report will appear in the next issue of the Gairloch Times. Details of prize winners will be posted here shortly.

Trip to Scottish Parliament 2007 – On the 13th of June the two Standard Grade Modern Studies pupils, Amy and Natalie, travelled with Miss Velt to Edinburgh, for an educational visit to the Scottish Parliament. Click here for more.

DofE expeditions – Seven silver walkers enjoyed largely good weather and spectacular mountain scenery on their three-day traverse of the Great Wilderness last week. They travelled along the side of Loch Maree to Letterewe, crossed to Carn Mor for their first camp and then went “up and over” to Larachantivore, before heading out along the South shore of Loch na Sealga, to Gruinard. They were well organised and cheerful throughout. Click here for Meghann’s report. The Cairngorms are calling for their qualifying venture in September.

2 groups of Bronze walkers completed their qualifying venture, walking from Loch a Bhraoin to Achneigie, and then over to Corriehallie. Click here for some photos.

Six novice kayakers have taken their first shaky paddle around Loch Gairloch. They are getting ready for their Gold practice kayak expedition, planned for Loch Shiel and Loch Moidart in August. Dates here. It will be interesting to see how that goes..

Don’t throw out the uniform yet! – Some pupils are embarking on an enterprising project to recycle and sell school uniform and use the funds for extra activities like swimming and horse riding. For this project we would welcome donations of items of school uniform that are surplus to requirements. The pupils will wash and iron the second hand uniform and then market at very reasonable prices. More details will follow next session. In the meantime please remember to set aside uniform in the summer tidy up. This can be handed in to the school office or sent in with any pupil to be dropped off at the Support for Learning Department.

House Credits for 2006 – 2007
Prior to Sports Day the House Credit totals looked like this:
Tollaidh 794
Maree 810
Kerry 813

With only 19 points separating the Houses, tension was running high on Sports Day. All engaged pupils competed well for their House and it stands as an important and climactic event in the House calendar.

Final allocation of House Credits after Sports Day
Maree 860
Kerry 843
Tollaidh 809

Click here for details of the Sports Champions

Staffing – We have several new members of staff coming to the school after the summer. The new arrivals are Miss E Begg (Home Economics), Mr P Ellis (English) and Miss K MacAllister (French & German). We look forward to their arrival and expect that they will make the same valuable contribution that their predecessors have to the life of the school.

We thank Miss C Doyle who came from Canada to join the Modern Languages Department and Dr Shearer who has managed in the year to teach pupils finance, plumbing, welding and other life skills including some cooking. While Miss Doyle helped prepare children for the Oliver production Dr Shearer has been working with others to improve the decoration of our Slattadale building. Both will be missed.

Mrs Orr has been in the English department for nine years and is moving on to another school. She has worked with the pupils in drama and film making during enterprise events, helped produce a school magazine and organised the Eco-group. This group of pupils have been involved in recycling of paper, printer cartridges, CD’s, spectacles and mobile phones. The group have also won a wind turbine for the school that, we hope, will be fitted soon. Mrs Orr will be a loss to the school but we wish her well for the future.

Canteen prices – Just a reminder that when we return in the new term (School dates here), the traditional 2 course school lunch will be priced as follows:
Primary – £1.55, Secondary – £1.75, Adult – £2.75

Silver training expedition

Calum M, Amy Mac, Sam Mac, Dan F, Ross B, Alistair M and me, Meghann R. All seven members part of the team, “Fantabulous” who set out on an adventure that will never be forgotten, our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards practise expedition.

Our objective was to walk from Incheril, just outside of Kinlochewe, to Gruinard, finishing immediately bedside Gruinard River. This journey took place over 3 days and 2 nights. We walked through the vast coniferous forest at Letterewe, uphill then downhill, and on to the tops of the Gairloch Estate with basically every mountain’s summit in sight such as Beinn Airigh Charr, Beinn Eighe and The Torridons. The whole expedition contained approximately 20 hours walking.

Our first night we camped at Carnmore which is situated next to the Fionn and Dubh Lochs. The second night we set up camp just 1 km away from Loch na Sealga. Both nights we slept in what can be described as the centre of a huge bowl as there were beautiful mountains all around. We witnessed sunsets on the Fionn Lochs and had awakened at the base An Teallach covered in a rolling mist. One can say you will never experience the total beauty of the Highlands until you have walked across it, lived off it, and breathed in it. We were informed before we set off that we would be hiking through some of the most remote land in Britain. Our group worked extremely hard and well together. We kept each other smiling all weekend. As we walked we would have a laugh, in depth conversations and sing songs together.

Miss Dean and Mr Johnston, who chaperoned us, improved our knowledge on orienteering and first-aid. Miss Dean acted as a casualty that was in need of immediate assistance as the scenario had been she was unconscious after slipping in a rocky stream , but no worries, we had her back on her feet in no time!

The weather held out for us on all three days. Sun Cream came in handy and at the same time so did our thermal hats. In addition there was a constant breeze to keep the midges away. We survived on all different kinds of food. For instance, ration packs, chilli, cereal, curry, sausages, grapes, chocolate penguins… the list goes on. No one went hungry, that’s for sure.

At the end of our expedition we were tired, but that doesn’t apply for all since the boys were still able to run around with their humongous rucksacks on! The weekend was enjoyed by all of us. It’s a spectacular experience to go through with your friends. The journey has brought us all closer together and I look forward to once again experiencing Amy’s dislike in the words, “Up hill”, Calum’s continuous enthusiasm and joy, Dan and Sam’s persistence, Ross’s determination and Alistair’s hilarity as we hike through the Cairngorms on our Final Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards expedition.

School news 15th June 2007

Most people assume this is a period of running things down towards the holidays however school continues to be a very busy place. At this time all pupils are starting their new classes. For S3, S4 and S5 pupils that means new courses, new responsibilities and challenges. We also say farewell daily to those who pupils have come to the end of their secondary career. It is a proud moment for staff tinged with a little sadness as pupils embark on their journey into work or higher education. We wish them all well for the future.

Positions of responsibility 2007/8 (Click the title for more details)

Interviews for Prefects took place this week. When pupils enter S6 they are required to put themselves forward for the position of prefect. Once again this year all S6 wished to be considered. The aspiring pupils are then interviewed by the Headteacher and the head of House. To the credit of all S6, each of them impressed suitably at interview and have been offered a prefect responsibility. Each pupil is given a challenge to take on responsibility and set an example to the younger pupils in the school. The responsibility given to prefects often allows them the opportunity to show skill and character previously held in reserve!

Send my friend to school Campaign (Click the title for more details)

Army Exhibition Day – S2 pupils had an excellent day at Cameron Barracks in Inverness recently, with plenty of opportunities to ‘have a go’ at lots of activities.

School Board / Parent Forum – Parents should have received a copy of the draft constitution this week via their son or daughter. A copy is available on the website here. There is a meeting 7.30pm on Monday 25th June in the school to discuss the document.

S1 Activity Event – S1 pupils worked to put together a personalised pack for each of the new pupils due to come to High School. Miss Morrison and Miss Dean guided them in this daylong project.

Charity fashion show – A charity fashion show is currently being organised by the S3 and S4 pupils. Click here for more information.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Congratulations to Liam, Calum, Jake and Neil Macleod for completing their mountain biking qualifying expedition, cycling through the mountains and glens from Contin to Ullapool. Thanks to Fiona Johnston, Andy Vickerstaff and the Ross and Cromarty Wild Country Panel for making this hugely enjoyable venture possible. This was the first DofE mountain biking expedition in Ross-shire.

Recent awards

  • Ross Barnie received his bronze award at assembly.
  • All S3 pupils received their First Aid completion certificate at assembly along with several staff.
  • S1, Ruairdhri Wright received 1st prize from the Community Council for a piece of writing submitted as part of the Celebrating Gairloch competition. Alex Warren, S1, received a favourable mention for the work she submitted.

Primary Highland Games – With the help of Active School Coordinator, Fiona Johnston, Mrs Hildrey and many of the senior pupils were involved in a great day of fun and activity at the High School Friday 8th June. On a near perfect weather day all our primary pupils gathered to take part in a range of activities including Tossing the Caber and Throwing a Wellie. It was a pleasure to see parents, teachers and pupils working together to make this an enjoyable gathering for all.

Prize Giving – The annual Prize Giving will take place on Wednesday, 27th June commencing at 7:30pm in the Multi Purpose Hall. We hope to see you there.

School will close for the summer after lunch on Thursday 28th of June and re-open for pupils on Tuesday 14th August 2007. The last School News for this session will appear on-line June 29th.

‘Send my friend to school’ Campaign

Gairloch High School pupils contributed to this campaign, which raises awareness of the fact that more than 80 million children, in developing countries, go without a primary education.

Our pupils made paper chains of people with messages to encourage world leaders to respond to this problem. A giant paper chain, measuring approx 40 metres, was sent to Dr. Angela Merkel, (current president of the G8) where it will be on display during the G8 meeting in Rostock, Germany.

As part of an enterprise activity, Miss Doyle and Ms Velt helped S2 pupils to gain a deeper insight into the lives of child labourers, child soldiers and street children. The pupils produced some excellent newspaper front pages with interesting stories about the lives of children in developing countries.

School news 1st June 2007

Nethybridge Trip – The annual residential trip for all S1 pupils was once again a success. Details by clicking here with photos!

S1 pupil bags a couple of Munros – Eadan Duncan, S1, along with his parents, succeeded in climbing 2 Munros. Details by clicking here with photos!

S3 Enterprise Week – Recently S3 have been working on projects giving them a chance to apply skills they learn in class and develop some new ones. Each day for a week pupils had a chance to try something that’s a bit different from normal class and in more depth than usual. For fuller details click here and photos click here.

S4 pupils returning from exam leave have been involved in similar activities all this week. A report will follow on progress but you can view photos of one activity here..

Former pupil Success – Eilidh Shearer was High School Dux in 1991. She went to Glasgow University Vet School and qualified as a Vet (BVMS). After a number of years working as a vet, including a year at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons small animal practice in London, she returned to Glasgow University to study human medicine. She has now received her medical qualification (BMChB) and will begin hospital work in August. Well done Eilidh!

The Backpack Appeal – In Malawi, there are thousands of children unable to go to school because they don’t have the right accessories such as pencils, pens and paper. Our S2 pupils have done some background research and decided to become involved. S2 worked with Ms Velt in Modern Studies looking at how we take schooling for granted and pupils examined the plight of children around the world. Mr Sutherland followed this up looking in particular at Malawi.

Malawi is a small narrow land locked country wedged between Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. The average life expectancy is 39 years compared to 76 years for Scotland.

The Backpack Appeal, run by Scottish International Relief (SIR), aims to enable children to go to school and have an education by sending backpacks containing essential items needed for school. You can help them by filling a backpack with some of the following items: Jotters, Note Pads, Pencils, Pens, Crayons, Rubbers, Rulers, Sharpeners, Sandals, T-Shirts, A Small Ball, Shorts, Soap, Toothbrush and Toothpaste or a Spoon.

The Backpack Appeal in Gairloch is being launched on the 7th June at Assembly. The packs will be collected in a box that will be in the entrance hall of the school building. We are aiming to collect 40 backpacks compared to last years total of 20 backpacks. All the backpacks need to be in by 25th June and will be uplifted on 26th June.

More about S1 – On Friday 25th May Miss Morrison and Miss Dean led S1 in a day of activities to raise awareness and help pupils develop strategies against bullying behaviour. A display of posters has been mounted in school. There are many websites devoted to antibullying. Click here for a Canadian site.

S1 reports will be issued on the 8th June and the Parent Evening is on Thursday 14th. We look forward to a full turnout. Click here for other school dates.

Exam Invigilators – We would like to thank each of our invigilators for their support in supervising the SQA exams for us in the Community Hall this year. This important work has been coordinated for a number of years now by Mary Carson with the help of her husband, Donald. Mary is ‘retiring’ from this post and a small presentation was made today as a gesture of appreciation for the valuable work that she has done over the last 9 years. Irene MacIntyre has offered to take over the role from Mary.