School news 5th September 2008

Classes resumed on the 19th August. We welcome Ms Colquhoun, who replaces Mr Richardson teaching History, and Mrs Bulmer who is currently taking on the work of Mrs MacDonald in the Support for Learning Department. Congratulations also to Mrs Whall, neé Morrison, who got married to Brian during the holidays.

As you will be aware from the last edition of the G&D Times, Dr Caley had a successful trip to Malawi. We have been asked by Dr Caley to pass on greetings and best wishes from Mr Chimtali, headteacher, the staff and pupils of Mlozi School, Dedza district, to all members of our school and community.  Dr Caley has also brought back a gift for the school.  This beautiful wooden carving will be mounted in the school library shortly along with other items for pupils, parents and other members of the commuity to view. Dr Caley has set up a website which contains reports and photos describing her involvement with Malawi.

School Assembly for all on the first day back allowed Mr Port to welcome the new S1 pupils  to Gairloch High School and congratulate the senior pupils on their exam success. It was an opportunity to stress the importance of being organised and focused, for the work ahead, for all pupils. Mr Port and Mr Hulme reminded senior pupils of the fact that cannot be stressed enough – Highers are much more difficult than Standard Grades and application and hard work are necessary from the very beginning.

School planners have been given out to all our pupils and we would encourage parents to check them and so support the children in developing good study habits.  Use of the planner is an important link in helping parents see what pupils are being asked to do. All homework should be recorded in the planners.

SQA Exam results
Staff are currently analysing the results attained by S4, S5 and S6 pupils in the recent SQA exams.

Several individual performances are worthy of mention. Flora Donald got 5 A passes at Higher last year and has achieved 3 A’s this year in Advanced Higher Biology, German and Geography. Callum Croal got 5 A passes at Higher last year and  this year he added 2 A passes in Chemistry and Physics at Advanced Higher to the Advanced Higher Maths A that he achieved in S4.

Spencer Hill and Jenny Martin achieved A’s in Advanced Higher Art.  Zoey MacIver got an A in Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners).  Andrew Ramsey got an A for Advanced Higher Physics.  Emily Ross got and A for Advanced Higher French.

A third of the pupils in S6 achieved at least one Advanced Higher in a subject – most of these passed more than one.  This is well above average across Scotland and the best performance in Highland.  Although S6 is often thought of as a bit less stressful than S5 the pupils clearly put the time to good use!

Our Higher and Standard Grade results are much as we expected and on a par with previous years with particular overall success in Art, French, German, Music, Graph Comm, Chemistry and Physics.  Some pupils will be happy or may be disatisfied with particular results but overall they have done well.  Appeals are currently being processed for pupils in some subjects.

Pupil Success
Eilidh Alexander and Roxanne Ramsay were presented with their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award during the first assembly of the new term.

Having already acquired the new ‘June Miller Award for Art’ at the end of the last session, Abbie Spence has gone on to achieve further success in the same field.  The work that she produced for her Higher Art has been chosen for show in various venues throughout Scotland, including The Scottish Parliament Building.  She is one of 250 pupils who have been selected from 35,000 candidates.  Well done Abbie – we are all very proud of you!

We have also heard that Conal McDonagh has been invited to join the National Youth Development Pipe Band.  This means weekend ‘band camps’ in Glasgow and a performance in Glasgow on St Andrews Day.  Well done Conal!

Former Pupil Success
Congratulations Amy Marshall, Laide, former Gairloch High School pupil, whose graduation photograph appeared in last week’s Journal. Amy graduated from Aberdeen University with a Bachelor of Education (First Class Honours).  She will take up her teaching career in Burgh Primary School, Galashiels.  We wish her success in her chosen career.

Well done, Elaine — A Gairloch girl, who is the captain of the Inverleith ladies hockey team in Edinburgh, had the honour, on behalf of her team, to be presented with a trophy at a presentation dinner and dance in the Hilton Hotel, Dundee, recently.  Her team won the Scottish Ladies Hockey Team of the year award.  Elaine, who was a star hockey player when a pupil of Gairloch High School, is the daughter of Donnie and Sylvia MacKay, Lonemore, Gairloch. She graduated with a BSc in Nursing Studies in Edinburgh two-and-a-half years ago, and is now a staff nurse in Coronary Care in St John’s Hospital, Livingston.

French Trip
Currently there are about 140 pupils who have paid their deposits for the trip to France next June It is still not too late for any pupil who would like to join this trip.  A letter of consent is available from Mr Milner.
The second deposit of £55 was due by the end of August.  Please make any cheque payable to Gairloch High School, place it in an envelope with your son/ daughters name on the front and hand into the office.

Charity Event
S6 pupils Becky and Rebecca are planning to organize a charity event that will put us in the record book and raise funds for a good cause.  They are organizing an event that may get us a mention in the Guinness Book of Records.  Watch this space for more information.  Parents will receive a letter home soon with further information.

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