School news 1st May 2009

StaffingMrs Flora Morrison arrived in the school as a Home Economics teacher briefly in 1984.  In 1991 she joined the Support for Learning Department.  In June 2006 she took over that department as Principal Teacher.  Her two children Anne Marie and Colin have both been through the school and last year she moved through to the East with the intention of leaving her current position this month.  Her final day in school will be May 7th and prior to that staff and pupils will bid her farewell in the traditional manner.  Mrs. Morrison has been a key member of the staff in recent years and this was reflected in the HMIe report where the work of her department was reported as exemplary.  Mrs. Morrison will be sorely missed for her contribution to the life of the school over many years but we all wish her well as she moves into a new phase of her life.

Click here to read the response of the Parent Council, on behalf of parents and the pupils, to the staff cuts notified last month.  The Council are looking for support from parents and former pupils to make a strong case against cuts.

Within the school two changes to staffing responsibilities have been resolved recently.  Mrs. Somers takes on the role of Head of Kerry and Principal Teacher (PT) Pupil Support formally and Dr Caley takes on additional responsibility as Principal Teacher Management.  We wish them both success.

Slattadale Day – Gairloch High School’s S2 event at Slattadale by Loch Maree on Wednesday April the 23rd was a wonderful, Wester Ross, Spring Day.  The pupils formed into teams and then visited four different sessions during the course of the day.  Click here for photographs of the day.

Mr Sutherland has created a new part of the website specially for enterprising activities.  You can read more about the day by clicking here.

Mr Gorman gave each group an hour of problem solving, team building and communication activities.  The Forestry Commission Scotland activity, from Shona Amos and colleagues, had pupils racing in wooden sedan chairs and toasting marshmallows on a fire.  Mrs. Johnston ran an exciting introduction to orienteering in the woodland.  In preparation for future developments, Mr Bowker got pupils to plan a ‘Slattadale Makeover’.  Ideas ranged from sleeping accommodation, picnic benches to new curtains!

Our thanks go to the staff who delivered sessions on a day that pupils reported to have enjoyed enormously.

Shinty – Our Active Schools Coordinator, John Shearer, organised a Shinty coaching day recently.  The Shinty Development Manager, Ronald Ross, came through to Gairloch and ran training sessions for P6 & 7 pupils of Gairloch Primary and S1 & S2 High School pupils.

Ronald, Kingussie’s star player, hopes to score his 1000th shinty goal this season.  He is arguably Shinty’s greatest player of all time and it was a tremendous privilege to have the benefit of his coaching skills.  The pupils showed great enthusiasm during the day and Ronald was impressed by the potential he saw in some individuals.

Following on from this visit, a team of S2 boys hope to travel to Bught Park, Inverness in May to compete in a shinty festival being organised by Ronald. The boys will compete in a group that contains teams from a number of schools new to the sport.

Military Band Visit – On Thursday 23rd April the school was visited by 4 Scots (The Highlanders) Military Pipe band.  Pupils from 5 local primaries joined High School pupils and staff at the front of the school for half an hour of rousing music from the band.  The Band is currently visiting Highland schools after completing tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Click here for photographs.

Pupil SuccessBriony Young was presented with her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Assembly recently.

Adam Gunn (S5) arranged and organised successfully a 5-a-side tournament in school.  The winners were presented with medals at assembly while runners up received a small shield.

Four pupils represented the Den at the Fairburn Challenge recently and came third out of twelve teams.  Well done Katie Allan, Callum Vickerstaff, Keith and David RobertsonClick here for photographs.

Roxanne Ramsay has been successful in her application for Space Camp this June.  This prestigious event is organised by University of Strathclyde and has links with NASA.  We look forward to hearing how Roxanne gets on.

Eden Project – Three of our pupils recently took part in a debating competition and after winning their way to the final in the Scottish Parliament were disappointed not to win.  Too polite to mention it on the day they felt that the judges had misunderstood the rules.  HIE have now apologised to the girls and arranged for them to visit the Eden Project as a consolation prize.  Anna Hulme, Kirsty Alexander and Isabella Claydon will head south this month for a three-day visit and we hope they will report back on the trip in the near future.

French Trip – A letter was sent home to all pupils involved last week inviting parents and pupils to a Briefing Evening on Thursday 4th June.

The itinerary is not finalised yet but travel times have been altered slightly.  We will now be leaving school earlier on Thursday 11th June at 13:00 hours.  Pupils need to be in school by 12 noon on the Thursday and not in uniform. We have also arranged to cross the Channel by Ferry, as opposed to the tunnel.  Estimated time to be back in Gairloch is around 15:00 hours on Wednesday 17th June.

Pupils remaining in school that week will be on an alternative timetable of arranged activities.  These are currently being planned.

Exams – S3 exams are over now and we extend our thanks to Naomi Milner for carrying out the role of invigilator throughout.  S3 sat their exams with due diligence and we hope the results reflect their effort.

Friday 1st is the last day of classes before S4 exams begin and S5 and S6 end classes on 13th May. We wish all our pupils the best of luck as they sit these important exams over the next few weeks.

S1’s Malawi Project Presentation – Wednesday 20th May.  S1 are currently working on a project in several subjects learning about different aspects of the country, the lives of the people there and their culture, and comparing it with Scotland and our lives here.  On Wednesday 20th May, they will be presenting their work to P4-7 and S2-3 pupils during the day.  They would be delighted for parents and any member of the public who is interested to join them for one of the presentations.  Details and times will be in the next issue of the Gairloch and District Times.  Meanwhile, please put the date in your diary.

Upcoming Datesclick here for all dates.
•    4th May – Holiday
•    5th May – Standard Grades exams begin
•    8th/9th May – Bronze DofE training Slattadale
•    11th May – S1 Nethybridge, S3 Enterprise week begins
•    13th May – Last day for S5/6 before exams
•    15th May – Higher exams begin

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