School news 21st September 2007

TSB North of Scotland Schools Debating Competition – After a year’s absence, the school re-entered the North of Scotland Competition, getting off to a flying start in the first round on 11th September at Charleston Academy. A new S4 team – Lyndsey Croal and Amy French gained a well-deserved second place. The winners on the night were a very experienced team of S6 pupils from Charleston. Other teams competing were Inverness Royal Academy, Plockton High, Nairn Academy and Thurso High.

There are two further rounds and the teams placed highest on points will go through to the final in November. Lyndsey and Amy will be on their work placements at the time of the next round but will support Anna Hulme and Theo Threadgould in their preparation as substitutes before returning for the third round after the October break.

Football – The Gairloch High School Tartan Army was on its travels once more. 15 pupils, accompanied by Susan MacLean and Miss Morrison, travelled to Glasgow to see Scotland take on Lithuania at Hampden. The sun shone, Scotland won and the pupils danced and cheered until they were hoarse. Almost 12 hours on the bus and worth it. Special thanks to Susan for being Miss Morrison’s co-pilot. A great day out!

TechFest – On Tuesday 4th September the school had a visit from Professor Henry Ellington, formerly of Robert Gordon University. Techfest is an organisation set up to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Professor Ellington ran a seminar for S5 and S6 pupils, entitled ‘How can we protect and preserve our environment without giving up our comfortable life styles?’ and was impressed by the breadth of understanding of the issues shown by the pupils. He gave a ‘Guided Tour of the Universe’ to all pupils from P6-S4. The Science department was delighted to welcome P6 & P7 pupils from all our associated primaries for this worthwhile event.

DofE Silver Expedition to the Cairngorms
Mr. Milner had the privilege of accompanying a group of S5/6 pupils, under the watchful eye of Mr. Johnston and the official Assessor. This assessment followed on from the groups crossing of Fisherfield and Letterewe last June. Mr. Milner commented: What a wonderful experience to circumnavigate the Cairngorms. If this is not a Curriculum for Excellence, I don’t know what is! I learned such a lot over the 3 days and only wish I had had the same opportunity as our pupils are now getting. It is no wonder this Award experience is part of our process to establish confident, conscientious individuals. It surely inspires young people to take ownership of their learning. Read more about the trip here and view some photos of the trip.

Six pupils were presented overall awards at assembly last week. Emily Ross, Jennifer Port, Morag MacIver & Lynne Barrie received Bronze; Liam Ross & Neil McLeod Silver.

Piping Success – Conal McDonagh S2 and Ross McDonald S3 both took part in the World Bagpipe Championships held in Aviemore recently. Conal also took part in a competition at Dunrobin Castle, winning the Charlie O’Brien Memorial Cup for being the most promising youngster. Both boys played at assembly recently demonstrating their skills.

S3 Monitoring – The majority of S3 pupils appear to have settled well into their Standard Grade courses. Pupil Support teachers, formerly known as Guidance, have interviewed individuals and reports have been sent home to parents.

Glenmore Lodge – Liam Ross and Neil MacLeod spent a week at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore, as the residential section of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Liam and Neil thoroughly enjoyed their stay and would highly recommend courses at Glenmore Lodge to anyone of any age interested in outdoor pursuits.  We are very pleased that that the folk at Glenmore Lodge appreciated the calibre of our seniors. It is no surprise to us that the boys turned out to be great ambassadors for Gairloch but it is good to have it recognised.  Well done boys!  Read more here about their successful week and the testimonial we received from the leader of the course.

Community Sports Leader Award – This programme was run by Mrs Hildrey and completed before the summer by 10 senior pupils. Six successful candidates were presented at assembly. Tony Stewart, Becky Massey, Neil Macleod, Neil Maclean, John MacKay, Iain MacIver Clifford Halgryn, Ross Jackson, Alex Richardson & Chris Ryan are now qualified sports leaders who can assist sports coaches in the school and community.

Rugby – James Staddon and former pupil Stuart Allison took part in the SRU Rugby Pathways over the summer. Gavin Gourley, Matthew Fothergill & Alisdair Paul have also been training with Ross-Sutherland on a regular basis. All five boys are in the squad for a fixture against the Highland Rugby Club.

Eco Wardens – 6 new ecowardens have been appointed to join those still in place from last year. R D Pollington, K Morrison, G Urquhart and F Hinchcliff is S1 received eco-badges at assembly. K Forder and C Stevens have also joined the team. Miss Dean has taken overall responsibility for coordinating the work of the pupils. Click here for the full list.

Former Pupil – Clare Jackman has received a BEd Primary Teaching at Univ of Aberdeen. Congratulations to Clare.

Trophies – The school would like to extend the range of prizes we are able to present to pupils at Prize Giving next year. We would like to encourage local businesses to get involved and support us. Your name on the trophy could be the incentive you need – so contact Mr. Milner at the school if you are interested! We were recently gifted a trophy from the Inverness Trophy Centre and we used this to upgrade the Dr Hunter Trophy for Piping.

Charity Fashion Show – Gairloch High School charity fashion show will be in aid of CLIC Sargent, OXFAM and Traidcraft and takes place at 7.00pm, tonight – 21st Sept. Adult tickets cost £3 and £1.50 for concessions with refreshments provided. Please come along and support the pupils.

Eco Wardens 2007/2008

Six new eco-wardens join the team this year.

1A: Rebecca D Pollington, Kieran Morrison
1B: Gemma Urquhart, Fraser Hinchcliff
2A: Kassie Forder, Charlie Stevens

2B: Matthew Conniff, Alex Warren
3A: Kate MacLeod, Gavin Gourley
3B: Joanne Mitchell, Rhoda Tippett
4A: JP Cummisky, Lucy Dee
4B: Lewis Martin, Stephanie McGlennon
5A: Lynn Barrie, Ross Lister
5B: Becky Redshaw, Sandy Smith
S6: Flora Donald, Rosie Norman

Miss Dean has taken on the role of staff coordinator as a result of Mrs Orr’s departure.

School news 7th September 2007

The Parent Council met on Monday 27th August in the School. More details of meetings and members are available by clicking here.

Pupil Council elected – On Thursday 30th August members of the Pupil Council were selected by their classmates to represent them during the coming session.
1A – Mairi Wyatt & Ian Paul.
1B – Charmayne Fraser & Murdo MacLennan.
2A – Carriane Johnston & Theo Threadgold.
2B – Alex Warren & David Gorman.
3A – Jade Watson & Gavin Gourley.
3B – Dawn Cheyne & Calum Morrison.
4A – Storm Lawson & Hamish Laing.
4B – Lyndsey Croal & Liam Smith.
5A – Amy MacLeod & Alex Cameron.
5B – Jenny Port & Calum Milner.
6A – Ishbel Beeson & Tony Stewart.
6B – Jenny Martin & Jake Threadgold.

Emily Ross and Neil MacLeod [School Captains.]
Zy Wernham and Calum Gibson [Highland Youth Voice Members.]

Gold Duke Of Edinburgh Kayaking Expedition
7 intrepid kayakers took to the seas from the 17th to the 20th of August, as part of their Gold Duke Of Edinburgh award. Jenny Martin put together the following report.

Liam, Sam, Neil MacLeod, Callum Croal, Jenny, Emily and Ishbel faced every element imaginable: sun, wind, rain and fire. The group left Gairloch and their first overnight stay was on Longa. On Saturday, the weather took a turn for the worse, which made the waves fairly choppy, and cut short our journey. We camped overnight at Port Henderson. The third day was a much longer stretch and we paddled as far as Rubha nah-Airde Glaise, eventually heading for Torridon on day four. The weather meant we got all got a bit wet, but despite that, we did have a nice and tasty barbeque. Everyone had a great time and learned new skills bar Neil who capsized, HAHA!

Thanks to Mr and Mrs Johnston for accompanying the pupils and Ms Gulliver for picking us up in Torridon. Also to Mr Cameron at Sand for permission to camp on Longa at short notice when the weather forecast required a change of route. Click here for photos of the trip

Silver Duke Of Edinburgh Walking Expedition
Thursday 23rd August – a group of S5 and S6 pupils set off cross-country from Shieldaig to Achnashellach. This three-day trip had less than perfect weather conditions but the intrepid pupils (under the watchful eye of Dr Caley and Miss Dean) pushed on through rain, cloud and millions and millions of midges to the pick-up point at Achnashellach Station. Click here for photos of the trip.

Silver Duke Of Edinburgh Walking Assessment
On Thursday 30th August a group of S5 pupils set off with Mr Milner and Mr Johnston to the Cairngorms on their qualifying expedition around the Cairngorms from Glenmore to Derry Lodge and Corrour Bothy returning through the Lairig Ghru. This was the final trip organised prior to next spring. There are some good photos of all these trips on the school website. Click here for photos of the trip.

S1 Pupils have had informal group interviews with their Pupil Support (Guidance) teachers, and these will be followed up with individual interviews prior to a Pupil Support report being sent home to parents before the October holidays. We are very happy with the way most of our new S1 have settled. So far they seem to be enjoying the new way of working!

S3 Monitoring – Parents will shortly receive information on progress of S3 pupils as they settle into their new Standard Grade courses.

Careers Scotland – Interviews are being arranged for senior pupils with Careers Officer Gillian Unger. Parents are welcome to attend interviews along with their son or daughter. The school is trying to give as much advance notice to pupils as possible to assist this initiative.

Work Experience for all S4 pupils begins the week commencing Monday 1st of October. A lot of work has been done in P.S.H.E. to prepare pupils for this experience. Parental support is vital, but if you have any concerns, please contact Mr. Milner or Flora Mackenzie. Please return any paper work relating to Work Experience as soon as you can.

Former Pupil Success – We have been notified by University of Glasgow that former pupil Holly Shaw has graduated LL.B. with Honours.

HMIe Inspection of the school. On the weeks commencing 17th September and 24th September, Inspectors will visit Gairloch High School. We are quite used to such visits; however this is a more comprehensive one. They will investigate learning and teaching in Maths and English and they have also requested to look at Music, Modern Languages and Gaelic Medium in particular. Inspectors will also look at areas such as pupil support, leadership and achievement across the school. After the visit a report will be published that will be made available to all.

Local Author gifts School – The school would like to thank Margaret Ramsay for her generous donation of ten copies to the Gaelic Department of her recently published book “Granny’s House” / “Taigh mo Sheanmhair”. The poem contained within the book is written in Gaelic, Scots and English.

Passing Places – Aite Seachnaidh
This exhibition shows work by members of the community around Ullapool and was put together as part of Highland 2007. It uses the theme of those very familiar passing place signs to show original pieces of art. It has been traveling around the country since it opened last January in the Macphail Centre. We are fortunate that it will be in Gairloch High School Library from 5th September for a month before returning to Ullapool.