School news 20th February 2009

Staffing – Micha Fuss joined us from Switzerland on the 12th January.  He was taking part in the Zurich University of Education, Teacher Training for English at Secondary School Level Project.  This involved a 4-week “Assistant Teachership” in a school in the English-speaking world.   Swiss school teachers are expected to assist local teachers in the host school classroom as well as make a significant contribution to their personal language competence.  Micha was a worthwhile addition to the school during his time here including active participation in the paintball trip with S3/4!  He is not the first visitor we have hosted through this scheme and we generally find it a worthwhile experience for our staff and pupils who enjoy meeting and working with professionals from other countries.

Highland Art Residential Week-End – Advanced Higher Art pupils Eilidh Alexander, Abbie Spence and Briony Ogle took part in a residential course from Thursday 12th to Monday 16th February 2009 at Badaguish near Aviemore. They had the opportunity to try printmaking, sculpture, sketchbook development, drawing, clay and felt work.  Practising artists led all workshops.

Rock School, Portree – Max McKerron, James Staddon, Calum Mackison and Alasdair Paul took part in a Rock School organised by Careers Scotland, in Portree, Skye over the weekend 12th -14th February.  They had the opportunity to work with professional musicians and technicians – learning & performing rock classics, learning stagecraft, sound engineering and business advice.  The culmination of the 3 days work was a showcase performance on the Saturday night.

Non uniform day – £170 was raised by staff and pupils for UNICEF’s Day of Change on Wednesday 11th February.

S2 Parent Meeting – S2 parents had an early chance on the 10th February to discuss, with senior staff, course options as their children prepare to enter third year Standard Grade.  Matching the restrictions of staffing and the desires of individual pupils is a challenge that we work hard to balance every year at this time!

Pupil Council – After meeting to discuss issues raised by pupils across the school the Pupil Council members are currently looking into ways that they can improve the school.  Small working groups are focusing some attention on the following before reporting back in March: Social areas, use of mobile phones, school lunch provision, House colours, and non-uniform days.  S6 pupil Dan Fox was voted as Chair.

Boys’ Inter-house hockey – In the junior competition, Tollaidh dominated, winning both their games convincingly. Kerry and Maree shared the points in 2nd place. In the senior competition, Kerry had the strongest team and took maximum points, with Maree in second place and Tollaidh 3rd. Overall, Kerry were the winners, Tollaidh were 2nd and Maree 3rd. Well done to all players!

Scotland v Wales Rugby match – It wasn’t looking promising at 7am on Sunday 8th February for our trip to Murrayfield. After a hard frost and a couple of heavy snow showers, the roads were white and slippery. However, all 16 of us made it to school near enough on time, so we decided to give it a go! The road improved significantly by Kinlochewe and we made good progress South. We were all hoping to see a Scotland side like the one we’d watched against South Africa in November. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be and instead we had good views of Scottish handling errors and Welsh strength, speed and scoring in the first half. The second half was more promising, but the Welsh players continued to look stronger than the Scots. Despite the disappointing result, we had a successful trip and the boys and Sara are all keen to travel down for the Italy game in the hope that Scotland would actually win that one!

Upcoming dates – The website has been updated with school dates through to the summer.

  • 12th March – S5/6 Parent Evening in school to discuss prelim results and progress.

STUDY CLUB for S4-S6 pupils will run Monday March 30th to Wednesday 1st April inclusive.  For those of you unfamiliar with the format, we run two sessions a day, from 10.00-12.00am and from 1.00-3.00pm.  Easter Study Club provides a nice, informal atmosphere where pupils work hard and find the time immensely beneficial.

School news 6th February 2009


Pupil SuccessKirsty Alexander, Anna Hulme and Isabella Claydon represented the school in the Scottish Parliament on Friday 30th January in the finals of The Big Green Challenge. The debate, which was transmitted live over the Internet and watched by several staff and pupils showed a very high standard of effort from all those involved. The girls debated the motion that renewable energy would see us through the credit crunch. Unfortunately on this occasion the team did not win but the chairperson, broadcaster Cathy MacDonald and the chief judge Willy Roe, Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, emphasised that all four teams were winners in reaching the final, and particularly complimented our team for their contribution. The girls have represented the school admirably in their commitment, skills and behaviour throughout the competition. Thanks to Ms. Mackison who traveled and supported the girls throughout.

Katrina Port (S4) has achieved further success with her photographic skills. Katrina’s photographs were exhibited along with artwork from around 80 children across 17 Highland schools. The works were projected onto the outside of the Eden Court theatre in Inverness on Sunday 25th January to celebrate the start of Homecoming Scotland 2009. Images featured in the projection were selected from hundreds of entries into the Virtual Galleries Project titled ‘What is home to you?’ The collection of artwork from children will be exhibited across Highland in the coming year and we hope to host the exhibition in Gairloch. Highland press release.

Staffing – We welcomed Mrs. Mairi Beeson onto the staff on Tuesday 3rd February. Her role as Children’s Service Worker will be to help Support Teachers assist pupils who have particular difficulties or concerns. Issues can range from homework to bereavement or relationship concerns. Mrs. Beeson brings useful experience to the post and we look forward to the contribution that she will bring to help the young people in the High School and its associated primaries. Mrs. Beeson plans to have a drop-in session in school on Thursday lunchtimes. This will be similar to the one we currently run for pupils on a Tuesday with the school nurse, Mrs. Kate Thornton.

We also welcome Mr. Andrew Bowker, our new janitor. He already has a long list of jobs to keep him busy for the foreseeable future! All the staff in the school are very grateful for the assistance of Mrs. Marie Tippett over the last three months. She took on some extra duties to help us out in a time of difficulties. None of us thought that it would be for such a long time; so special thanks for her efforts should be noted.

Mrs Donna Hildrey has started a phased return from Maternity leave. She is back teaching 2 days a week during February. We are also fortunate to have the services of PE teacher, Mrs. Claire Dingwall. She has been taking PE classes on Wednesday and Friday for the last few weeks. It is hoped that this will continue until Mrs. Hildrey returns to full time work after the Easter break.

Paintball Event – On Saturday 24th January, 28 S3/4 pupils and eight staff visited Wildwoodz paintball venue near Tore for a trigger happy few hours. This trip was part funded by the “Cashback for Communities” programme. Everybody enjoyed it – it was fantastic fun. Staff worries about things turning out like the Alamo were groundless. Thanks to Fiona Downie, Youth Development Officer, for organising the funding and paperwork. Photos can be viewed on the school website.

S5/6 Prelims – are now over for the pupils. Thanks to Chief Invigilator, Dr. Griggs, for her smooth running of the event in the Community Hall. Staff are now marking exam scripts and reports will be issued soon.

Upcoming dates – French Trip installment of £100 was due by the end of January.
10th Feb – SMT and Pupil Support meet with S2 parents
12th & 17th Feb INCLUSIVE – Pupil Holiday
12th & 17th Feb- INSET – staff only
13th & 16th Feb – School closed
18th Feb – S2 Assessment Week begins.

STUDY CLUB for S4-S6 pupils will run Monday March 30th to Wednesday 1st April inclusive. For those of you unfamiliar with the format, we run two sessions a day, from 10.00 – 12.00 am and from 1.00 – 3.00pm. Easter Study Club provides a nice, informal atmosphere where pupils work hard and find the time immensely beneficial.

Saturday 14th March 2009 – Gairloch Community Hall
We welcome any or all of the following donations: baking, books, DVDs & CDs, bric-a-brac, plants, electrical items in good working order, toys, clothes in good condition, jewellery, bottles and raffle prizes.

Items for the sale can be:

  • handed to any member of the school
  • delivered direct to the Community Hall on Friday 13th March between 3.30 and 6pm
  • collected by us – call the school office on 712275 and leave your details.

School dates have been updated here. Dates available through to next summer!