School news 20th March 2009

Last summer, Gairloch High School pupils in S6, achieving Advanced Higher certificates, recorded the highest percentage success rate for any school in Highland. These certificates are equivalent in many respects to first year university courses. Two of our pupils were offered direct entry into second year of university level due to their hard work and success in S5 and S6.

This year many of our S6 pupils have already been offered unconditional offers into universities across Scotland as a result of their Higher success in S5. This provides a different challenge for these individuals as they try to maintain academic momentum for courses that appear not to be needed any more. Others pupils have conditional offers that mean they have specific targets to achieve if they are to gain entrance to the university of their choice.

S5 pupils are in the midst of their most challenging academic year. They are told this from the beginning but it may only be now that they are beginning to realise it! The effort and focus that they can muster over the next two months will determine their results at the summer.

Staff provide instruction, direction and negotiate targets with pupils but ultimately the individual effort of the pupils is the crucial factor. Staff also look to parents to support and encourage their children to focus on the targets and work agreed with their teachers. Pupils in S5, but also those in S4 and S6, should now be entering an intense period of preparation at home, as well as in school, to make the best of the exams in May and June. Parents concerned that their children are not focused on their targets are free to contact the school to discuss strategies with Pupil Support.

Study club will run in school on Mon 30th March to Wednesday 1st April inclusive.

S3 Study Skills Day – On the morning of Friday 13th March all third year pupils were involved with activities that allowed them to find out how they could best revise for their upcoming exams.

They took the time to complete various quizzes and tests to find out their ‘multiple intelligences’ and whether they were more ‘left’ or ‘right’ brained. The final activity tackled organisational skills. Pupils learned about the uses of mind maps while learning, either in class or at home. Some excellent mind maps were produced. The mind maps were based on each individual’s school subjects and the topics that were to be revised.

It is hoped that this morning has given our S3 pupils more insight into their individual learning styles and has provided the motivation to try new revision strategies.

Pupil Success:

Dingwall Rock School – After taking part in a Rock School in Portree during February, several pupils were excited at the prospect of attending another in Dingwall. Hamish, James, Max, Amy, Gareth and Callum participated with the help of parents travelling back and forward daily. All involved were very positive about the experience and film of their performance is available on the school website.

Conal McDonagh (S3) is performing in the National Youth Pipe Band at Eden Court on 4th April 2009. The concert of traditional music features other bands and guests and looks like being a most enjoyable event.

Medical and Health Science Event
– Four S5 pupils with an interest in this attended a series of lectures in the new Centre for Health Science at Raigmore, Inverness. The short lectures covered infection, diabetes, orthopaedics, surgery and women’s health. They concentrated on two or three of the most important advances in recent times. Attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and to respond to what they had heard using a digital recording system to collate the opinions. The day ended with consideration of the next fifty years. In all, this was a very worthwhile day which allowed pupils to see the wide range of careers available in this field.

Basketball – Mr Gorman took the S2/S3 Boys and Girls Basketball team to Culloden Academy to play Basketball. They did not win their game on Tuesday 10th March, but have shown an improved team performance overall. Well done for taking part against much bigger schools. Thanks to Darren and Gavin for helping coach the teams.

S1 Bring and Buy Sale – The Sale last Saturday was well supported again this year by members of the community. Doors opened at 10am. The pupils had spent the whole of the previous day, with the help of Mr McSwan and several other staff notably, Mrs MacLeod, Mrs Smith and the janitor Mr Bowker, preparing the Community Hall. With further help from many of our parents we raised around £2200 on the day.

The staff and pupils once again would like to thank local businesses and individuals for the wide range of excellent donations that made up the raffle prizes. The raffle certainly adds sparkle and excitement to the morning sale and included freshly caught fish, original artwork, meals in local hotels and wildlife cruises for the lucky winners. Everything that did not sell during the sale will be donated to various other local charities.  See photos here.

Upcoming Dates

French Trip – The final deposit of £100 is due to be paid today – 20th March. Please make sure you have applied for your son’s or daughter’s European Health Insurance card as Mr Milner will want them soon. If you have not already applied for this, please do so ASAP, and on line is the quickest method.

  • 24th March – S2 Parents’ Evening
  • 25th March – S3 Option Forms returned
  • 26th March – S1-3 Year of Homecoming Burns Showcase in the School Hall 7.30pm Thursday – A reminder that English classes are preparing an evening of entertainment for all. Put the 26th March in your diary and come along to see performances of poems by Burns, the dramatisation of “Tam O’ Shanter”, poems by other poets, Burns’ songs, a documentary about the Scottish author Jamie Jauncey and the announcement and reading of the winning entry in our short story competition. We look forward to seeing you there! (The Homecoming Event Publicity Team – Amanda, Iona, Olivia and Kerry.)
  • Friday 27th March – End of term whole school cross-country event planned in Flowerdale.
  • STUDY CLUB for S4-S6 pupils will run from Monday March 30th to Wednesday 1st April inclusive.
  • Tuesday 14th April – School opens to staff and pupils.
  • 16th April – S3 exams begin.

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