School news 13th June 2008

Exam Invigilation – We would like to thank each of our invigilators for their continued support in supervising the SQA exams over the last month. Particular mention must go to Carol Bulmer, our new Chief Invigilator. On behalf of all our senior pupils, we would also like to thank the Hall Committee, and all Clubs and Societies that have been disrupted by this very important event in the life of our senior pupils.

Smart Cards – The canteen continues to have a problem with damaged cards. Canteen staff are now required to refuse damaged cards to avoid damage to the machines. A replacement card will have to be bought by pupils. We ask that parents and carers ask their children to look after these cards; they cost the Council more to replace than they charge so we all end up paying for this carelessness.

Paying into Smart Cards – The limit that any pupil may have on their account is £40. Cheques should be written to a maximum of £35 so that money can be added without exceeding the limit.

S1 Enterprise Day – On Wednesday 21st May, all S1 pupils spent the day preparing ‘Welcome Packs’ for incoming P7 pupils. Working with Mrs Gulliver, Mrs Smith and Dr Caley, they designed booklets giving a “pupil’s-eye” view of the school and made bookmarks for each new pupil. These will be bagged up, together with a highlighter pen and the School Planner, and given to new pupils at the beginning of the term in August. This activity has been running in the school for several years now and pupils do remember what they were given when they arrived in the school. During the day, pupils learn about teamwork and co-operation. They practise skills they have learned in school to produce a quality product, and they also have fun. A perceptive comment on a feedback form this year said that they also learned that Enterprise doesn’t have to be about money.

S3 trip to Edinburgh – Fourteen pupils in third year Modern Studies and Geography enjoyed a combined school trip to Edinburgh on the 21st and 22nd of May with Miss Dean and Ms Velt.

The Geography pupils conducted a field study and also produced a video of an urban area, while the Modern Studies pupils visited the Scottish Parliament to meet up with our local MSP, Jamie McGrigor and attended the debating chamber when Parliament was in session. The trip also included a visit to ‘Our Dynamic Earth’ museum and the ‘Museum on the Mount’. Click here for photos.

The pupils energy and behaviour made the trip enjoyable for all and very successful as a result. A big thank you to Colin the janitor who drove us to Inverness early on the Wednesday and back late on the Thursday.

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. Click here for photos.

S4 Challenge Week – After completing Standard Grade exams all S4 pupils had the opportunity to try some new and challenging activities. Drama skills including Shakespeare, climbing on the indoor wall, preparation for the school charity fashion show to be held in September, cookery, teamwork and construction skills aka building sandcastles, preparation and support for a primary school cross country event, boxercise, photography skills and map reading skills in Flowerdale. All activities were arranged and supervised by staff.

P7 Expressive Arts Day – For the first time this year it was decided that all the P7 pupils from the surrounding Primary Schools would come into Gairloch High School for an Expressive Arts Day. They duly arrived Thursday 29th May, wearing PE kit, as instructed, and bringing with them black clothes – even socks! None of them knew quite what to expect, but they soon found out! They were divided into two different clans, ‘Glòir’ (Glory) and ‘Gràs’ (Grace). During the morning, half the P7s went to the Art room and worked with Ms Gulliver, making authentic looking shields, decorated with Celtic designs and coloured with metallic paint. The others went to the PE Hall and worked with Ms. Hunter and Ms. Johnston, learning two different Gaelic songs to accompany dance and movement routines. Later, the two groups swapped over. After lunch everyone worked hard in rehearsals before putting on a performance for staff and High School pupils. The slow, dance of friendship was followed by a mock battle, with much stamping of feet and wielding of shields. All the pupils did tremendously well and, by all accounts, went home exhausted – as did the staff!

Bulbs – The school will be offering bulbs again for sale in August with delivery at the end of September. Over the years, these sales have made a good contribution to our school funds and we hope that they will be repeated this year to help us continue to run activities that require that little extra money. Look out for the brochure that will be distributed early in the next session and, if you don’t receive one, they can be obtained from the school office.

“Our” School in Malawi – Mlozi Primary School in Dedza district, Malawi is the school that Dr Caley will be going to during the summer holidays. There are 830 pupils in the school with 8 teachers, a fairly typical ratio for rural schools in Malawi. There are 8 classes, Standards 1-8, but pupil numbers are not evenly distributed between them, with 241 pupils in Standard 1, but only 36 pupils in Standard 8. The age range of pupils is around 6 to 17.

The Headteacher of the school is Mr Winex Chimtau and the Depute is Mrs Ajawa. Of the remaining staff, four are trained teachers and two are described as “volunteer” teachers. Volunteer teachers in Malawi have completed secondary education but have not had any formal teacher training, and are supported by the local community to counter the shortage of trained teachers.
The village of Mlozi is described as quite small and with little infrastructure. It is quite remote from Dedza town, even by Malawian standards, but it does have a borehole, health dispensary and a few shops as well as the school.

Dr Caley has set up a website which will contain reports and photos describing her involvement with Malawi.

Uniform and Attendance –Can we remind all parents to support us in upholding uniform standards and informing the school promptly if pupils are expected to be absent on a particular day.

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