School news 30th November 2007

FutureChef – Well done to Alasdair Maclennan, S2, who was the school’s representative in this competition this year. Unfortunately, Alasdair did not make it through to the next round but gained runner-up and was commended by the judge for his ability. Thanks to Rosie Smith for supporting him on the day. Photos here.

Hockey – The second year girls Hockey team played in the Ross-Shire tournament in Tain on Wednesday 14th November. They worked well as a team and enjoyed themselves despite not making it to the finals. Well done to all involved and thanks to Irene Croal for coming along to help. The first year game and the third year games were cancelled at short notice due to illness and we apologise to parents for the possible confusion surrounding cancellations at such short notice. We hope that the seniors will still get the chance to play.

Children in Need – Batman and Superman, alias Mark Sala and Neil MacLean dropped into school recently to collect money for Children in Need. Read about it and see the photos here.

Scotland /Italy – 20 pupils where lucky enough to get to travel down to see Scotland take on Italy at Hampden on the 17th November. This was the fourth match a group from the school had attended and we were hoping for four wins out of four. Alas, it was not to be! While the result was not what we had hoped for, it was an enjoyable day for all. Thanks to Susan McLean and Miss Morrison for driving the minibus and making the trips possible.

Small Schools 7-a-side Football Tournament
Report by By Calum Morrison (full report here)

On Saturday 10th November, a group of S3 boys travelled to Glen Urquhart for the finals of this tournament. The boys were Ross MacDonald, Neil MacIver, William Smith, Andrew Ross, Joe Powell, Scott Mackay, Gavin Gourley, Calum Morrison and Roddy McLennan.

Calendar – The 2008 Gairloch High School Calendar is currently in production. It has again received generous support from local businesses and all money we receive from purchases will be put towards school funds. The calendar will be on sale at a few local outlets, namely The Wild Cat, The Library and The Aultbea Post Office, but can also be pre-ordered from the school office at a cost of £5.00. View previous Calendars here along with our recent Eco Art project.

7:84 Drama presentation – On Monday 19th November 7:84 presented Leaving, an interactive theatre piece exploring the cause and effects of gender violence, primarily from the perspective of the protagonist male.
The presentation had three parts:
1) A 30-minute performance with two actors playing a variety of characters and using masks for each character.
2) A 30-minute replay where the audience could stop the action at any point and ask any character to lift their mask and speak their inner thoughts out loud.
3) A 30-minute exploration where the audience could ask any character to re-enact a scene and take a different course of action based on what they are really thinking and feeling.

All S4, S5 and S6 pupils took part. The drama involved a couple, alcohol abuse and aggressive behaviour. Enough drama for half an hour although the follow up workshop went on to explore with the pupils the emotions involved and alternative scenarios for the story. These alternatives were suggested by the pupils and in some cases acted out by them as well. A challenging and thought provoking afternoon.

S6 Interview Skills Day – All S6 pupils were recently put through mock interviews with employers. Applications had to be submitted by a deadline. Interviewers worked in pairs and each S6 pupil had a 20-minute interview. This was followed in the afternoon by a follow up session to give pupils constructive feedback on how they performed.
The aims of the day were:
– to raise the confidence of the pupils taking part
– to give pupils a realistic experience
– enable them to better understand what makes a successful interview.

We are very grateful to the following locals for giving their time and experience for the benefit of our senior pupils: Pauline Butler, Marylynn Burbridge and Sue Morrisey. We also would like to thank the three members of Dingwall Rotary Club, and the three members of H.I.E who gave up their day to take part. Finally, a thank you to Jennifer Teague from Careers Scotland who also contributed.

Climbing Wall Event – A very successful event took place in the Leisure Centre on Saturday 24th November. Many adults and children turned up to take part in a number of climbing related activities. Local businesses and members of the community provided prizes for a successful raffle. We were also helped on the day by several Wester Ross Outdoor Activity Companies and members of both Torridon and Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Teams. Thanks to all concerned. The event was organised to promote raising funds for an upgrade to the existing climbing wall. On the day collected over £400 however the aim is to attract external funding into the area. A modern wall will have many advantages including community use and supporting the activities of all pupils. It will also provide visitors a high quality facility while in the area. Thanks to Mr Sutherland and Paul Tattersall for coordinating the day!

Deasbad Naiseanta BT

The BT National Gaelic Debate

The following extract appeared in the November edition of An Gaidheal Ur (a monthly Gaelic newspaper). It was written by the award winning writer Aonghas Padraig Caimbeul (Angus Peter Campbell) about the BT National Gaelic Debate. Gairloch High was represented at the debate in Inverness at the start of November by Anna Hulme and Kirsty Alexander.

Deasbad Ghàidhlig a’ toirt àite àbhaisteachd dhan chànan

… bha iad a’ cleachdadh na Gàidhlig. Agus chan ann dìreach anns an deasbad fhoirmeil air an àrd-ùrlar fa chomhair an t-sluaigh fhad ‘s a bha na microfonaichean air, ach cuideachd – fhad ‘s a chunnaic agus a chuala mise — eatorra fhèin taobh a-muigh na talla.

Bha dà sgoilear òg à Geàrrloch, mar eisimpleir, a bha nan adhbhar misneachd cho mòr dhòmhsa. Dà nighean a bha gu saor thoileach a’ bruidhinn Gàidhlig ri chèile nuair nach robh cluas no sùil tidseir no inbhich sam bith orra. Sin nuair a thig piseach as fhiach air a’ chànan: nuair a thaghas an òigridh fhèin, gu saor thoileach, an cànan a chleachdadh.

Gaelic Debate giving a natural setting to the language

. . . they were using Gaelic. And this was not just in the formal debate on the stage in the presence of the people while the microphones were on, but also – as I saw and heard – between themselves outside the hall.

There were two young pupils from Gairloch, for example, who were particularly encouraging to me. Two girls who were entirely happy to talk Gaelic together even when there was no teacher or adult looking over them. That is what brings increased value to the language, when the young choose for themselves, happily, to use the language.

Sound recording training

with Deidre Leitch of BBC Radio Scotland, Inverness on Thursday 1st Nov.

This was the second time that Deidre had visited Gairloch High School. She came to train six pupils in February and deliver over £1500 of broadcast quality sound recording equipment as part of the Highland 2007 initiative. Because the school has used this kit and narrowly missed having some recordings broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland the school has received a second set of equipment and another training day.

Deidre worked with a variety of pupils for a morning where they were briefed in some of the skills needed to make a useful recording. Deidre covered asking open and closed questions; timing of a radio show; planning your interview or ‘pack’, ensuring that the recording levels are correct as well as actually using the equipment for real.

Pupils then went away to practice these skills by interviewing fellow pupils, teachers and canteen staff. They also had the opportunity to record a ‘What’s on’ for the radio which might be used.

Deidre worked with Joseph Powell, Sophie Donald, Anna Hulme, Kirsty Alexander, Charmayne Fraser, Ishbel Beeson, Jenny Martin & Kim Watson.

That night and the next day Joseph and Charmayne went on to use their new skills and the skills they already have learnt at 2LR to interview Paul Tattersall about the Open Climbing Day at Gairloch Climbing Wall on Saturday the 24th November. This recording was offered to Alex Gray at 2LR for use. Jenny and Ishbel were also recording interviews throughout the day of the climbing event last Saturday.

Gairloch High School are very grateful or this opportunity and would like to thank BBC Radio Scotland and the Highlands and Islands Community Broadcasting Federation for making this project possible.

Gairloch Indoor Climbing Wall Open Day

At the Leisure Centre on Saturday the 24th of November.  Come along between 12 noon and 3pm with your friends and family to try out this great indoor sport. There will be prizes for climbing and activities on the day. Refreshments provided. £1 for adults/ 50p for U16/ free for U4. Contact Jim Sutherland at the High School or Paul Tattersall for further details. This afternoon of fun will help us raise funds to support grant requests towards an additional modern wall in the Centre.

School news 16th November 2007

Rugby – On Sunday 4th November James Staddon, Gavin Gourley and Matthew Fothergill played for Ross Sutherland in a fixture against Banff. Although the team lost the match, the boys acquitted themselves well and Mr Caddell enjoyed the game. On Friday 9th November James and Matthew headed off to Stornoway to fulfill another fixture against the local rugby club. Update – Stornoway won 52-0 but the boys still had a great trip!

Another Successful Grant Application
– Neil Macleod has been successful in a recent grant application for Gairloch High School Community Sports Leaders. He applied for and received a Grant of £500 with which we have bought two sets of Indoor Curling kits. They will be used for joint projects with Youth Work, school and community. Well done Neil!

An Deasbad Nàiseanta – The National Debate
Ghabh an Deasbad Nàiseanta Gàidhlig BT àite ann an Inbhir Nis air an t-siathamh ’s an t-seachdamh latha den t-Samhain ‘s bha Anna Hulme ‘s Ciorstaidh Alexander a’ riochdachadh Àrd-sgoil Gheàrrloch. Anns a’ chiad chuairt, choinnich Anna ‘s Ciorstaidh ri Ard Sgoil Drochaid an Easbaig ’s iad an aghaidh a’ mholaidh: “Tha barrachd cunnart anns an eadar-lìon na tha ann de fheum.” Bha an deasbad cho faisg ’s gun tug na britheamhan na h-aon àireamhan do gach sgioba. Gu mì-fhortannach, chaill na nigheanan againne nuair a bha aig na britheamhan ri sùil as ùir a thoirt air a’ chùis. ’S e Anna agus Ciorstaidh na sgoilearan a b’ òige a bha aig an Deasbad ’s bha iad airidh air an fhìor mholadh a fhuair iad bho gach duine a bha an làthair. Cluinnear criomagan de na deasbadan air

Tha BT National Gaelic Debate took place on the 6th and 7th of November in Inverness. Anna Hulme and Kirsty Alexander represented Gairloch High and were the youngest competitors at the event. Both girls received much praise for their performances. Clips from the debates can be heard on

Pupil Reports – Can we remind parents to return the tear off slip at the bottom of your son /daughter’s report, with or without a comment. These returns at least indicate that the report has been seen, but comments are always appreciated and followed up. Update – S2 reports were issued Friday 16th February.

S6 Interview Skills Day – This takes place this Thursday coming. All S6 pupils had two weeks to submit completed application forms. The application process is part of the experience and the next stage involves an interview and feedback. Interviews are carried out by a group of experienced people from the local community and from organisations such as Careers Scotland. More details on how this goes next issue!

Active Schools Coordinator – The ‘Active Schools’ Programme is a Scottish Government initiative, backed by Highland Council, aimed at reversing the decline in levels of activity among many school children. John Shearer is taking over from Fiona Johnston as the Active Schools Co-ordinator (ASC) for the Primary schools associated with Gairloch High School. John will be based in the High School. Fiona has been ASC for 2 years and put great effort and enthusiasm into her attempts to boost activity in our primary-age children. Fiona has moved on to develop her teaching career and our good wishes and thanks go with her. She has promised to keep in contact with the ‘Active Schools’ Programme and may help in future events.

John will be looking for volunteers to help provide opportunities for our children to be more active. There will be training opportunities and support for anyone willing to help. If you feel you have a skill to offer or if you are willing to offer time and energy to assist others to pass on their skills, please contact John on 01445 712275

We have also had word of a bid that has been made to provide a range of water activities in Gairloch in October 2008. The ‘Kids Get Wet’ funding bid will feature on STV’s ‘North Tonight’ programme on Thursday, 29th November. Viewers will then have 24 hours to cast their vote. Read more here. Update – agroup of S1-3 girls are attending Ullapool High on Monday to take part in an event which will be filmed by STV for use in the bid.

School Calendar 2008
– Ms Gulliver is once again arranging pupil work for the 2008 calendar. Thanks to all the sponsors who have become involved and those who continue to support this fund raising venture. All parents have been sent home slips in the hope that we can get a rough idea of a print run. Calendars should be available from the end of November in time for the Christmas post! Price is still £5 towards school funds. See the previous calendars and other art projects here.

Art Club – Several pupils from all year groups have been coming along at lunchtime and after school to prepare Christmas decorations for the Hall as well as work on homework and other projects.

Study Club
– These are currently running after school for S4 primarily and we encourage as many pupils to take advantage of this opportunity.

FutureChef 2008 – Congratulations to Alasdair MacLennan (2B, Maree) who was the winner of the school heat. Well done also to Rosie Smith (S2A, Tollaidh) who was a close runner-up. Alasdair will now go on to compete at the Regional heat on 14th November at Inverness College. Thanks to Morag Walmsley from the Creel who supported this venture and to Miss Begg in Home Economics along with the other staff who made sure the event was a success. Update – Alasdair was runner up in Inverness. Well done to him and thanks to Rosie who went along as support. Click here for some photos of participants in the school event.

Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal
– Thank you to all parents and pupils who donated towards this very worthwhile charity. A healthy bundle of beautifully wrapped Christmas boxes were collected on Monday 2nd November.

Retirement – The staff at Gairloch High School and Community Library will be gathering to say farewell to Katherine Vine, our Senior Library Assistant, who is retiring in December. Katherine has worked for the library service for the last 14 years and was appointed to the post of senior library assistant when the new school/community library opened in 1994. We would like to invite friends, colleagues and library users to join us for afternoon tea in the library on Wednesday 12th December at 3.30pm to wish Katherine all the best in her retirement. You are all most welcome to join us.


Please give support and vote for an event that will help the community.

STV – North Tonight on Thursday 29th November and you can vote anytime during the 24hour period following the broadcast.

KIDS GET WET! is a HealthWays Highland Council community project which has applied for £80K funding through the People’s Millions (division of the Big Lottery). The project has reached the final shortlist and the funding decision will be made by the public on Thursday 29th November on the STV News Programme between 6 – 6:30pm.

Kids Get Wet! plans to run eight 3-day holiday camps for 10-14 year old kids in four different venues in 2008 – Alness/Invergordon, Dingwall/Black Isle, Gairloch and Ullapool. Two holiday camps in each venue during 2008 featuring indoor and outdoor water sports from the following menus:

Canoeing Lifesaving & Water skills
Kayaking Snorkelling & Sub Aqua
Sailing Water Polo & Underwater Hockey
Coastal Rowing Indoor Rowing

Free instructor training will be offered to community volunteers and local club members who want to be involved and help the activities to keep going after 2008. Healthways want these activities to be sustainable and they hope the young people will make these sports a part of their lives.

All equipment purchased for the project will be donated to communities at the end of the year.

A group of pupils plan to go to Ullapool on Monday 19th November to take part in a publicity event as part of the bid. It is hoped that the school can take advantage of this opportunity to compliment the indoor rowing events, our developing Outdoor Education courses and our Community Sports Leadership programme.

Severe weather guidelines

With the autumn weather arriving it is timely to remind parents of our established arrangements for severe or adverse conditions that might result in school closing or travel difficult.

Pupils will be bringing home all the details from school tomorrow, Friday 9th November. Please check those school bags and keep the phone number and PIN in a safe, easy to find place.

We have also now placed the information on the website so unless the power and/or the telephone lines go as well you can access the details here.

The page can be found on the right hand side of this page and there is a link on the front page of the website.

School news 2nd November 2007

Staffing – This term, we are very pleased to welcome Colin Davidson as Janitor. He is already busy with a long list of jobs. Pupils and staff assembled at the end of last term to say a fond farewell to Allan Wade and to present him with a token of their appreciation.

Wester Ross Provincial Mod Click for details

Work Experience/Prelims – Congratulations to S4 pupils for reported success in the world of work. Placements were widespread and varied and our gratitude goes to parents who provide the financial support during this week. On behalf of all our pupils, we are very grateful to the many local employers who continue to support the school with placements, some at the last minute. Without your support, this important experience for our young people would not take place.

With this experience behind them, S4 pupils will now being looking forward to the ‘pleasure’ of prelims. Mr. Milner met with S4 pupils to go through their exam timetable and to talk through the information and study advice for parents and pupils. Ask your son/ daughter to see this advice, if they have not already shown you. It is an important time for them, and with your support we hope they will do themselves justice. With just over 3 weeks to go before the start of exams, Study Club for all seniors is underway. Please encourage your son/daughter to make use of this facility. It has proved very beneficial in the past for a lot of our pupils and contributed to raised motivation and grades.

Study Club – for pupils in S4, S5 and S6 started at the end of October. Most sessions this term are aimed at S4 pupils preparing for their forthcoming Prelims. The purpose of study club is too give pupils the opportunity to complete their work in a calm, supervised study environment whilst giving them access to teachers, computers, textbooks and other school resources. Study club usually operates on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school from 3.30 to 5 pm

Charities supportedJeans for Genes Day – On the final Friday before the holidays, all pupils and staff were allowed to wear jeans to school for a donation. One in twenty children are born with some form of genetic fault. Although the school population was reduced, due to S4 being out on Work Experience, the creditable sum of £192 was raised.

We received a certificate thanking us for £1572 raised as a final amount for Red Nose Day. The final amount for the Fashion Show was £382.04 while FAIR TRADE brought in £77.45. Well done to everyone who supported these events.

More Pupil Success – An excellent result for Deputy Head Girl Becky Massey who applied for a grant recently. She has been awarded £300 to help buy resources for our S1/2 group that meets at lunchtime to play Board Games.

S3 pupil Gavin Gourley entered a competition in rugby union magazine The Scrum. Well done to Gavin – he won a inflatable ice bath for his club.

Congratulations to Alastair Matheson, Neil Macleod, Peter Macdonald, Mr & Mrs Johnston and Mrs Macrae for completing the Inverness 10K race on the 7th October. Special mention must be made of Alastair’s who completed in under 40 minutes and Mrs Macrae who has raised a substantial amount for the Stroke Association.  Photo

TSB North of Scotland Schools Debating CompetitionClick here for details. Breaking news : the third round of the quiz to be held at Charleston Academy 1st November was cancelled.

Moray Firth Radio/University of Highlands and Islands Quiz – Zoey MacIver, Amy MacLeod, Cameron Jones and team captain Callum Croal travelled to Ullapool to play the opening heat of this years MFR UHI Quiz. Ullapool’s hospitality and friendliness were not diminished by the fact that after 6 rounds the Gairloch team won by 300 points to 175. There were two rounds of general knowledge and one each on music, science, sport and TV/cinema.

The team now goes on to the next round at MFR in Inverness later this month. This will be recorded and broadcast on MFR. Last year Gairloch got to the semi final only being beaten by the team who went on to win. Our heats were later broadcast on 2LR.

Staff Pupil rowing event – On Thursday 27th September pupil and staff teams rowed against each other during lunch break. The competition provided a chance to produce best times for the online Concept 2 league that we take part in as well as providing some healthy and strenuous competition. Male staff beat senior boys by just 3 seconds over a distance of 1000m while senior girls beat female staff on this occasion.

Calendar – Important school dates are available here

Gairloch Indoor Climbing Wall Open Day at the School Leisure Centre on Saturday the 24th of November. Come along between 12 noon and 3pm with your friends and family to try out this great indoor sport. There will be prizes for climbing and activities on the day. Refreshments provided. £1 for adults/ 50p for U16/ free for U4. Contact Jim Sutherland at the High School or Paul Tattersall for further details. This afternoon of fun will help us raise funds to support grant requests towards an additional modern wall in the Centre.