School news 17th October 2008

Library Exhibition – Malawi
An exhibition of pictures and artefacts from Dr Caley’s visit to Malawi has been prepared by pupils and is now on display in the library. The librarian, Miss Hollenstein, has organised a selection of books about Africa to link in with this. We hope that members of the community, as well as pupils from the school, will take the opportunity to view the display.  Click here to see the display and photos of some of the pupils involved in setting it up.

Poolewe Mod
Ghabh am Mod Ionadail aite ann am Poll Iu air Dihaoine 26mh den t-Sultain. Chord e gu mor ris an fheadhainn a ghabh pairt. Bha na sgoilearan a leanas uile annd a’ chiad, an darna no an treas aite nan co-fharpaisean:
(The Local Mod took place in Poolewe on Friday, 26th September. Everyone who took part enjoyed it thoroughly. The following pupils all came in the first three places in their competitions:)

Morven MacRae, Charmayne Fraser, Anna Hulme, Kirsty Alexander, Alex Warren, Sophie Donald, Ross MacDonald and Conal McDonagh. Conal also picked up best overall performer at the event.  Well done all!  Photo here.

Iain Dall memorial
Piper Conal MacDonagh was invited to join  The Clan Mackenzie Society of Scotland & The UK  for Sunday lunch at The Old Inn after leading them up to the Iain Dall memorial in Flowerdale where he commemorated ‘The Blind Piper’ (who lost his sight in 1663 at the age of seven)  with Flowers of the Forest under a perfect autumn sky. Later, he piped-in Chief of the Clan, the Earl of Cromartie and his eldest son Colin, Viscount Tarbat, with Caberfeidh. Then  Members stood in memory of the late President, Peadair Mackenzie, who died in July as Conal sensitively matched the sadness of the occasion and greatly moved those present with his fine playing of a pibroch. Finally, to celebrate the presentation by the Society of a sgean ‘ban’ to Viscount Tarbat on his coming-of-age, Conal changed the mood with an infectious foot-tapping reel.

Inter House Rowing competition
More than three quarters of the school took part last week in the Interhouse Rowing competition, either as part of a house team or by completing an individual challenge, which also gained points for the house. After a thrilling regatta on Friday afternoon, the houses all had 605 points each. There can only be one winner of the trophy, so there will be a deciding race after the holiday. You can get some idea of the physical effort the pupils put into this and the amazing atmosphere that is generated by looking at the photos and video clip on the school website. Click here.

Jeans for Genes Day
Pupils and staff raised £220 for the privilege of wearing jeans and trainers to school on Friday 3rd October.

Baxter’s Inverness Races
Congratulations to the following who trained for and completed the Baxter’s Inverness 10K run last Sunday (times in brackets): Lyndsey Croal (1:07:27), Dan Fox ( 50:14), Calum Milner (51:50), Tom Hardman (49:11), Peter Macdonald (47:51), Mr Johnston (42:12) and Mrs Johnston (45:45). Well done to Meghann Richardson for running the 5K race. Everyone enjoyed the day and most have even said they want to do it again next year! Click here for photo.

Small Schools Football Competition
Gairloch sent two teams to the small schools North Qualifying Tournament in Ullapool.  One of the teams won their group but were beaten in the semi-finals.The other team performed well and both teams will have gained experience for future games. All involved were a credit to the school – well done!

Green Challenge Debate – Stornoway
On Monday 6th October, three S3 pupils, Kirsty Alexander, Bella Claydon and Anna Hulme, travelled to Stornoway for the first round of this debate hosted by the Nicolson Institute, the main secondary school on Lewis. The motion was ‘This house believes that renewable energy is bad for the environment’ and the Gairloch High team was speaking against the motion. Our team, two of whom have had a number of experiences at this type of event, put forward points of information and addressed the judges, speakers and audience with confidence. It was to their delight, then, that they were declared the winners of the round. They go on to the second round where their ability to think on their feet will be further tested. The pupils, accompanied by Mr Hulme, spent the night in Stornoway and had opportunity to see the town before returning on the ferry the following day. Their long journey was well worthwhile! Click here for photos.

Blythswood Appeal
This is probably a good time to remind pupils and parents about the Shoebox Appeal.  Please fill a shoebox and bring it in to school.  Blythswood will pick up these boxes on Monday 3rd November, so there is still time to make this a really successful appeal.

Study Club
Study Club will be starting up at the beginning of November for pupils from S4-S6. Parents will receive a letter about this after the October holiday. The purpose of Study Club is to 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. The aim of Study Club is to raise the individual attainment and ambition of pupils by encouraging them to take advantage of school facilities and to encourage the habit, discipline and technique of study.

Study club usually operates on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school from 3.30 to 5.00pm. In November, most sessions are aimed at pupils in S4 preparing for their Prelims. Similarly in January, most sessions are aimed at pupils in S5 & S6 prior to their Prelims. However, in some subjects, sessions are open to pupils at all levels. In addition to subject-specific sessions, pupils may also undertake General Study in school when other sessions are running. This gives the opportunity to work individually in a quiet, supervised environment with access to school facilities.  Please support your son/daughter by encouraging them to take advantage of this opportunity as they prepare for their exams.

School Website
The latest addition to the website is an area for former pupils.  Anytime we note some information regarding former pupils we plan to add it into this part of the site.  We are also happy to accept information from parents, members of the community and former pupils themselves.  It is hoped that this part of the website will be of interest. Click here to have a look.

We have also added many photos of recent events such as the Gold Kayaking assessment, more outdoor education photos, Futurechef and pictures taken during the rowing event.  We are also starting to put video clips on the site.

Pupils return to school on Wednesday 29th October.

School news 3rd October 2008

Work Experience
All S4 pupils begin their work placements next week and we would like to thank parents and employers for the support you give each year to make this a success. A reminder to pupils – take your Diary Log Book with you, and don’t forget to give your employer the middle section entitled Work Placement Report.  We hope the pupils enjoy this taste of real work and return to school with a better of understanding of why they need to work harder in school!

Royal Navy
Royal Marines chef Mike Beaton, Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer Mike Slater, and P.T.I James Simpson were in school on Wednesday 17th September to take classes in Hospitality and Physical Education.  Mike, triathlete and ‘iron man’ cooked with the Futurechef participants for the first half of the morning and the S4 Hospitality class in the afternoon.  Click here for some photos.

Over 40 pupils made chicken curries throughout the day. The aroma quickly spread along the school corridors!  Mike also talked about life in the Royal Marines and Nutrition, whilst the pupils ate their curry.  His humour was well received and all the pupils worked extremely hard.  Meanwhile, in the P.E Department, James ‘O.J’ Simpson was putting pupils through their paces.  Circuits were demanding and once again pupils from all years worked extremely hard and are probably much fitter as a result!

Inter House Rowing competition
Today was the first major House event of the year. Lots of pupils have been training for this event and more details will be given in the next edition.

Jeans for Genes Day
Today is the day when thousands of schools across the UK are asked to ditch the usual dress code and jump into their jeans!  A genetic disorder could range from something such as a squint or a cleft lip, to one of the more challenging conditions such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease. There are over 4,000 genetic disorders that affect one in 33 children born in the UK.  That’s nearly one in every average school class.  Pupils and staff paid £1 for the privilege of wearing jeans and trainers to school today.Click on the photo to read more about Malawi

Survival Cookery
We are very grateful to parent helper Mrs. Yvonne Spence, mother of Abbie and Becca, as she has agreed to run a survival cookery class for S6 pupils after the October holidays. This will be on Tuesday and run from 3:30pm –5pm.

Blythswood Appeal
All pupils has been given a leaflet explaining exactly what needs to be done to fill a shoebox and the items allowed.  Blythswood will pick up these boxes on Monday 3rd November, so there is still  time to make this another really successful appeal.

S4 Prelims
Pupils in S4 have been working with their teachers preparing and planning for their exams, which start at the end of November.  Parents should be aware that these pupils should now be focused on studying for these exams.  They have been given appropriate materials for their subjects and advised about the steps they need to take to achieve their best grades.  We would ask that parents support pupils in preparation for these important exams.

Working hours for children
At this time of the year when pupils are starting to get seriously involved in preparation for assessments and exams it is worth reminding everyone that school is a full-time occupation.  We understand that part of growing up is gaining experience and responsibility for work however Government legislation makes the balance regarding these commitments clear.  It may be worth reminding everyone of the following.

Children under school leaving age must not work:

  • for more than two hours on any school day or for more than 12 hours in any week in which you are required to go to school
  • for more than two hours on a Sunday
  • for more than eight hours (five hours if you are under 15) on any day which is not a school day or a Sunday
  • before 7am or after 7pm

Click here for more information and advice.

French Trip
Letters were issued last week concerning the trip to France next June. Please can you return the sheets concerning the Collective passport, and the Protection of Young People in the Context of an International Visit? The Photograper is in school today taking passport photographs for those that requested this option. Please remember to obtain a European Health Insurance Card.

Parent Council AGM
This meeting, to which all parents were invited, took place on Monday 15th September in the school.  Draft minutes are on the school website along with details of the newly elected officials. Parent Council are planning a series of fund raising events across the year to help reduce the price of the French Trip to all pupils.  They hope that more pupils will still find it possible to attend.

Anyone interested in helping out?
We have a number of pupils and staff who have expressed an interest in Judo.  If anyone in the community has the necessary skills and is interested please contact Mr Port on 712275.

Miss Y. Hollenstein started in her new job as Librarian on Monday 22nd September.  Part of her role is school librarian and we offer her our best wishes as she embarks on her new career in Gairloch.

We said farewell to Mr Colin Davidson our Janitor last week.  He was only with us a short time but made a big impact on the school.  His wife, Linda, had also joined the staff as an auxiliary.  Both will be missed by staff and pupils alike.

Mamma Mia Disco
Next Friday, you are all invited to dance the night away at the Myrtle Bank in aid of Calum Milner’s fund raising. Baggy will provide the music and Fancy Dress is optional. The evening starts at 8pm. This is a Community event, so see you all there!  Concessions for family tickets, otherwise £4.

School Prospectus
The full colour prospectus is printed annually and presented to new parents but changes quickly as the year progresses.  We are grateful to Alex Gray for help in producing a high quality publication in the past.  Ideally though, we would like all parents to have access to up to date information so we have decided to present the information via the website.  Most of the text in the prospectus is now on the school website and we plan to supplement the pages with photographs and additional information in the future.