School news 28th November 2008

Remembrance Day– Staff and pupils assembled for a two-minute silence at 11am on 11th November.  S6 pupils sold poppies in the school throughout the preceding week collecting £115.20 for the Earl Haig Fund.

Children in Need – Thank you to all parents and pupils who baked in support of this charity. £105 was collected on the day selling cakes throughout the school.  Exercise is now required by all to offset this massive consumption of cakes!

Bottle Bingo – The Parent Council held there first major fund raiser in the school hall on Saturday 15th November. The event raised £780 on the night, it was fun and some folk learned to play bingo as well!

Fashion Show – Another  great event, planned and executed by the pupils and supported by staff and parents, took place on Friday 21st  November in the school hall.  Models paraded the wares of three clothing outlets to cheers and applause.  S1 pupils, under the supervision of Mr McSwan, filmed and photographed the event.  After a very sociable break organised by parents Dr Caley gave a slide show of her summer trip to Malawi.  This was well received by all present.  Thanks also to Mr Sutherland, Ms Colquhoun and Mr Gorman for their support of the pupils during the event.  Details of monies raised by the event will follow.

Highland Futures Folk Group – Ella McDonagh took part in a concert at Eden Court recently.  Here is her report:

‘On Monday the 17th  November, Conal McDonagh, Alasdair Paul, Mags Matheson, Alex Warren, Sophie Donald and myself, went to Eden Court to perform in the Highland Futures music concert.

The band (now known as ‘C for Craic’) was formed less than a year ago when my brother Conal and I joined the after-school fiddle group, with our accordion and reel pipes. Our final member, Alasdair, joined a mere five weeks ago.

We were taken over to Inverness in parents’ cars and were soon settled into our dressing room, which actually had lights around the mirrors! Five o’clock came and still no sound check which had been scheduled for 4pm so we decided that we would go and find some dinner.  At 7pm we had our sound check and went to put on some last minute make-up (the girls that is) and generally smartened up.

We were the second performance and enjoyed it so much that I for one wanted to go back on stage and do it again! It gave us all such a thrill to be playing on a big stage and in front of so many people.

The whole band would like to thank Rhona Sutherland for giving us such a fantastic experience and all the parents who ferried us and our many instruments back and forth.’

More Pupil Success –David and Keith Robertson are members of the Dunfermline Car Club Rally Club Track Marshals junior section and this year they have won the Junior Scottish Marshal’s award.  It was reported that ‘David and Keith are not only keen on motor sport; they are probably the best known and well respected youngsters throughout asphalt rallying in Scotland. They turn out in all weather, probably travel further than most, they never complain, they always have a welcoming smile and warm words for the drivers and co-drivers and show a visible, true interest in what they do and are a real advert for the championship.’  Well done boys!  You are a credit to the school and the community.

S6 Interview Skills’ Day – Pupils submitted applications and these were forwarded to the interviewers in advance of the day.  Ten interviewers, from across the region, kindly gave up a day of their time to come into school and put S6 pupils through mock interviews, each lasting 20 minutes. Later in the day, pupils were given a de-briefing session on such things as;

•    Application Form – Presentation/Legibility & Clarity
•    Personal appearance, Confidence, Politeness & Manner
•    Interview – Eye Contact, Communication Skills & Quality of Answers.

This was an excellent experience for all our pupils to go through, even though the majority of pupils were naturally nervous beforehand.  Thanks to all involved including Mr Milner for making sure it was such a success.

Survival Cookery – A large number of S6 pupils are now turning up on a Tuesday, after school, to take part in a Survival Cookery course, kindly organised by Yvonne Spence.  The aim is to provide pupils, who will shortly be leaving school, with the skills and experience they will need to survive. It is also good fun !

Trip to Murrayfield – Mr and Mrs Johnston took a group of pupils all the way to Edinburgh and back in a day (Saturday 15th November). A long day for those involved but worth it as Scotland almost beat South Africa at rugby!

Debating Competition – Anna Hulme and Kirsty Alexander returned to Stornoway for another debating competition.  On this occasion it was a Gaelic speaking debate and they were accompanied by their Gaelic teacher, Mr Cumming.  The girls have prepared a report that will appear in the next issue.

Visiting AuthorJamie Jauncey is a journalist and writer who has written novels for teenagers, notably “The Albatross Conspiracy”, a story set in and around Laide and Mellon Udrigle about a girl and boy who discover an extreme nationalist plot to blow up the fuel dump in Aultbea.

On the 12th November he visited Gairloch High School and took part in discussions with S3 and S4 pupils. It was an interesting insight into the use of words and how the author used plot changes to widen his appeal to readers.  Conal McDonagh and Theo Threadgould recorded an interview with Mr Jauncey for broadcast on their Two Lochs Saturday show.

Study Club – Over the first 3 weeks, 9 sessions have run for S4.  There have been 76 individual attendances by a total of 24 pupils. Feedback from the pupils indicate that they find study club very useful.  We believe this work is reflected in exam success.

Important dates

S4 prelims – 26th November – 9th December
Christmas Music & Drama Evening – 15th December
Christmas Dance – 16th December
Whole School Quiz – 18th December

Bad weather details – All parents should have received details via their children of what to do when bad weather conditions arrive or school transport is disrupted.  The information is also available on the school website.

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