School News 11th July 2008

Welcome to this special holiday edition with some extra news from last term with the prizegiving and sports results to follow shortly.

Malawi Update – By the time you read this, Dr Caley will have been in Malawi for at least two weeks. She would like to thank everyone who has helped her prepare for the trip – the many individuals and organisations in the community who contributed financially, the friends, collegaues and pupils who have helped to collect and prepare materials to take, and all those who have sent good wishes and messages of support. Although lack of electricity and internet access while in Malawi will be a hindrance, she hopes to update her blog while she is away, and will certainly do so on her return. You can find this by clicking here. There is also some information about the school she is visiting, and Link Community Development’s work in Africa, on a noticeboard near the entrance to the Library.

Malawi Backpack Appeal – Thanks to everyone who responded to the Backpack appeal. We collected 26 packs this year. Although this fell short of our ambitious target we are very pleased with the support of pupils and parents. Thank you again from S2 and Mr Sutherland. Read more about the Appeal in Gairloch High here.

Kathakali Event – On Monday 16th June, while a large group from the school attended the Ross-shire Sports, those left behind also had a treat in the form of a visit by representatives of the Kathakali classical dance-drama group from Kerala in South India. In the morning, nearly forty S1 and S2 pupils took part in a workshop, learning to interpret and perform some of the body movements, hand gestures and facial expressions of this art form, which originated in the temples over 500 years ago. In the afternoon, the whole school gathered in the multi purpose hall for a show of slides, a demonstration of the techniques involved and a performance by Kalamandalum Vijayakumar, an experienced and celebrated actor. ‘Vijay’ and his British wife Barbara, who was the first woman ever to be trained in the traditional techniques of Kathakali make-up, were shown great appreciation by their audience and there has since been much discussion about the possibility of arranging a school trip to see the whole Kathakali group when they are next performing in the area this autumn. Click here for some photographs of the event, courtesy of Miss Hunter.

Locheil Outward Bound – Kirsty Alexander and Anna Hulme spent a week on a course. Here, in their own words, they describe the experience.

Kirsty – Anna and I traveled down to Loch Eil near Fort William for a Gaelic Outward Bound Course along with other pupils from Dingwall and Fortrose. We took part in several events including gorge walking, rock climbing, abseiling, camping and hill walking. My favourite was gorge walking because we all worked as a team.

Anna – My favourite activity was probably the camping. Although it rained during the walk, it was dry in the evening and we all stayed up and had a laugh! We were exhausted and hungry in the morning, as the pack’n’go meals weren’t particularly tasty, but after a geography lesson from Mr MacArthur, we walked all the way back to the bus.

Inverness Sports Day – Mrs Johnston and Mr Caddell took pupils to Inverness on Monday 16th June. Best result for the day was Margaret Mathieson who came second in the javelin event.

Triathlon – Congratulations to Fiona Johnston who trained and completed this event Saturday 21st. Her longest day took 6hours and 7 minutes. Mrs Johnston reported that the race “consisted of a 47 mile cycle from Glencoe to Taynuilt, a 10 mile kayak along the length of Loch Etive and a 13 mile run up Glen Etive.

I took part for two reasons: The first was to raise money for Clic Sargent, Caring for Children with Cancer. I have raised about £750 so far. If anyone would like to add to this, they can do so online at www.justgiving.com/fionajohnston4. The second reason was just to see if I could do it! Well, I did, along with 57 other solo competitors. It took me 6 hours 7 mins, finishing as 3rd female and in 8th place overall. It was a fantastic experience, with some highs and lows throughout the day – I loved the cycle section, even the hills. The kayaking was hard but the loch was calm and the scenery quite beautiful. The run was a killer – all uphill and I shuffled the last three miles. I don’t think I could have gone another step. Might do it again next year though… I’d like to thank sincerely all those who have sponsored me.”

Skydive for the Red Cross – Three senior pupils decided to Sky Dive for charity! Anna McLean, Liz Proudfoot and Dan Fox raised over £1200 by jumping out a plane above Strahallan in Perthshire on 21st June. This was an ambitious effort and not for the meek. Well done to the three who have set an excellent example to others as they enter their senior year in school.

Highland Gathering – Parent Council members ran a stall at the Highland Gathering on the 28th June to raise funds for the school. The Tombola was enjoyed by many on the day thanks to gifts generously donated by parents. This was the first of a range of events planned by the parents to support the pupils. One of the targets this next session is to lower the cost overall to pupils taking part in the French Trip next June.

Mountain Bikes – As the result of generous support from the Great Wilderness Challenge, we took delivery of eight mountain bikes, tools, helmets and spares on the second last day of term. We have also purchased five single wheel trailers for expedition use; they attach to the bike and are supposed to follow every where the bike goes. These bikes will be used to support the development of the Outdoor Education classes in S3 and S5/6 along with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions. We hope to include cycle maintenance training for pupils as well. Click here for a photograph of the bikes on arrival!

Important dates – SQA results issued 5th August by post.
Staff return on the 18th August and pupils return on the 19th August. Check the website for details of all these dates along with photos and other news.

School News will return in August – in the meantime have an enjoyable summer break.

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