School news 24th August 2007

Classes resumed for pupils on the 14th August. There have been a number of changes to the school building over the summer holidays. We have had some minor construction and decoration in the school to freshen things up and make better use of some of the space. Thanks to Les and Scott Buchan along with Pete Dacker for their work.

Staffing – Allan, ‘ the Janny’ has taken a new job and moved on. He is missed a great deal already, but hopefully, we will be able to find a replacement soon. Latterly Allan was a great support to the Eco Group and was very involved in the film that resulted in S1/2 winning the Friends of the Earth competition. Meanwhile a lot of people have undertaken tasks formerly done by Allan, albeit temporarily, and thanks must go particularly to Mrs Rollo and Mrs Tippett. On a daily basis the pupils are also helping, to keep the building running. So far so good… We hope to get Allan back so that the pupils and staff can say farewell more formally. Allan has been working at the school since 1996.

We welcome Miss K MacAllister to the Modern Languages department, Mr P Ellis replaces Mrs. Orr in the English department and Miss E Begg takes over the Home Economics department. Mrs L MacLennan and Ms E Hunter have joined the Support for Learning Department. This means we have a full complement and staff and pupils alike will benefit from the energy, enthusiasm and skills of our new colleagues.

School Assembly for all on the first day back allowed Mr Port to welcome the new pupils (2 returning from other schools) to GHS and congratulate the senior pupils on their exam success. All pupils have quickly settled into their new courses. Assembly was an opportunity to clarify the benefits of being organised and focused, for the work ahead, for all pupils.

Mr. Port reminded senior pupils of the fact that cannot be stressed enough – Highers are much more difficult than Standard Grades and application and hard work are necessary from the very beginning.

School planners have been given out to all our pupils and we would encourage parents to check them and so support staff in our efforts to instil good study habits. Use of the planner is an important link in helping parents to see what pupils are being asked to do. All homework should be recorded in the planners.

SQA Exam results – Staff are currently analysing the results attained by S4, S5 and S6 pupils in the recent SQA exams. While it is clear some individuals did not do as well as hoped, overall pupils have done very well. Initial analysis indicates that the Standard Grade Results are on a par with last years group. The majority of the awards were achieved at Credit level.

Pupils in S5 have gained a quarter of their Higher results at Grade A. 19 pupils passed Higher English and 9 of those achieved grade A. Two pupils, Callum Croal and Flora Donald, achieved the top possible with 5 awards at grade A.

S6 pupils also did well this year – 3 pupils picked up 5 Highers and 6 pupils passed 10 Advanced Higher exams. Anna George and Laura Fothergill both studied and passed the maximum of 3 of these specialised exams. Anna achieved grade A in each of her three subjects.

The summary above is a snapshot that covers a lot of individual hard work and success in ALL subjects. Well done to everyone concerned.

Passing Places – The library will be the location of the Passing Places exhibition from 5th September. This exciting piece of community art inspired by the natural environment was created in Ullapool by locals and has toured the country throughout the year.

Oliver – The new first year pupils have been invited to join the cast of Oliver and get a feel of taking part in a major production. To give them a chance to get ready and to avoid conflict for the seniors surrounding exam deadlines, the current plan is to perform the show for 3 nights in March 2008.

Bulbs for sale – The school is selling bulbs again this year. All pupils have received a copy of the brochure to pass on. Anyone who would like a copy may pick one up from the school office or ask a pupil to deliver one. We are hoping to raise money to boost our school fund. The deadline for orders is Monday, 3rd September.

Parent Council – The Council will meet formally for the first time on Monday 27th August at 7.30pm in the School. Anyone interested in attending is welcome. Details are given here.

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