School news 30th May 2008

Nethybridge – The annual residential trip for S1 was once again a great success. Thanks to the many staff who gave their time so generously. Also to Andy Vickerstaff and Paul Tattersall for their expertise. It was with relief that we did not have to visit Casualty this year!

The S1 Group was excellent and seemed to enjoy all the activities ranging from walking, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing and gorge walking. Evening entertainment was varied and staff and pupils thoroughly enjoyed the fun of the dorm inspection and the ‘S1 has talent’ show. Mrs. Fraser, Mrs Smith and Susan Maclean, once again, fed the troops for the week, and their bedtime lullabies to the girls were much appreciated. Mr. Milner would also like to thank Liam, Neil, Becky and Roisin from S6, for giving up their valuable study time to accompany the S1 pupils.

It was very encouraging to receive compliments from members of the Community in Nethybridge about the good manners of our pupils. Long may this continue!

This whole event is seen as a very important contribution towards team building within the group and to the education of each pupil. View photos here.

Malawi Backpack Appeal – S2 pupils are conducting the backpack appeal again this year. “We collect and send bags away to poor children with little school equipment and clothing. Each backpack goes on a long journey to Africa and helps the children with education and at home. The backpacks go by truck then travel to a big ship where they are then moved to Malawi in the south east of Africa. The children each get one bag. The bags have roughly the same amount of things inside to make it fair. Malawi is a very hot country with a lot of orphans. The people have a low life expectancy and they are low on daily resources.

Mary’s Meals is an organisation that feeds over 37 000 children every day. It encourages poor children to go to school. We are hoping to get over 50 bags filled and we would be grateful if the local community could donate bags and small items like pens, pencils, paper, sandals, toothpaste, towels, rulers, sharpeners, and clothing.” Items can be handed in to the school or given to pupils over the next 2 weeks.  READ more about what to do here.

Welcome Packs – On Wednesday 21st May, S1 pupils spent the day preparing Welcome Packs for incoming P7 pupils, in what has now become an annual event. Working in groups to plan and allocate tasks, pupils made bookmarks, designed fun stickers, and wrote welcome booklets to provide new pupils with an “insider’s guide” to the school. This activity develops their skills in co-operation, teamwork and in working to a deadline whilst still preparing a high quality product. The final version of the Welcome Booklet, the stickers and the bookmarks, together with a school diary and a highlighter pen will be distributed to the new pupils on their first day at High School in August.

Icebreaker Day – The Primary 7 pupils from all the associated Primary Schools came for their first official visit to the High School on the 22nd May. They spent the morning doing various activities, helping them to get to know each other and the school. The afternoon was spent in the Science department where they worked together to carry out a variety of different experiments. Many thanks to S5 pupils Meghann, Morag, Gareth, Elizabeth and Calum for coming in to help the P7’s.

On Thursday 29th the Art Department joined with staff from the Music and PE Departments to put on an Expressive Arts Day for the incoming S1’s. The pupils worked in the three different departments and put on a short performance at the end of the afternoon to S1 and S2 pupils and staff. This is the first time such an event has taken place but we hope to continue this next year.

Prizegiving – will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 25th of June, starting at 1:30pm. We consulted parents about this change and many support this move. It will allow the whole school to be present at such an important annual school event. Parents and Friends of the School are welcome to attend.
This year we are pleased to announce that Mr. Richardson will present the awards and be our Guest speaker to the pupils. As most of you know, Mr.Richardson is retiring at the end of this term, and this will be a fitting way for his service to be recognised.

Staffing – On Friday 6th June Miss S McMillan will end a long association with the school. We wish her well and thank her gratefully on behalf of the many pupils that she has taught and supported over the years. On Monday 9th June, Mr A McSwan takes over teaching in the Computing Department and we are sure he will enjoy working with Gairloch staff, pupils and parents. As always accommodation is an issue – so if anyone has rooms or a let available from August please contact the Headteacher in the first instance.

Dietician Tuesday 10th June at 5-6pm – We constantly hear about the effect of diet on children’s mood and behaviour and the advice can sometimes be confusing. A specialist dietician from NHS Highland will be in school to speak to parents and offer practical tips on feeding your family. (See separate advert) This is open to parents of all children in the community not just those at Gairloch High.

Art Department. For three days Eleanor White and John McNaught, both of whom have led art courses in the school many times before, worked with a group of S3 pupils, and a couple of seniors, on a project called ‘Salt of the Earth‘. Gairloch is one of four Highland centres that have been chosen to participate in this project. In each place visual work has been produced, based on stories about a chosen local character. Our pupils worked in collaboration with the Museum and based their contribution on ‘Red River Fraser’ who apparently lived for some years in Canada, working as a lumberjack, before returning to his home in Lonemore early in the 20th Century. Our pupils’ work will be on show in Inverness, along with work from the other three areas, after the completion of the project later in the year.

We also had a visit from the Edinburgh Travelling Gallery. The artwork was on display in a splendid new vehicle. The touring exhibition included work by eight different contemporary artists from all over the world and was all based loosely on portraiture and the figure. Pupils from S1 – S3 all had the opportunity to view the exhibition. In groups, they viewed the work and listened to informative talks from the gallery staff who explained much about the many fascinating and challenging pieces.

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