School news 29th May 2009

Nethybridge – S1 pupils returned from a successful week in the Cairngorm National Park.  Thanks to Mrs Fraser, Mrs MacLean, Mrs Johnston and Mr McSwan who supervised the whole week, and to the other staff who turned up to provide specific activities.  Everyone enjoyed the cycling, walking, climbing and kayaking activities as well as the visit to Landmark and the pizza in Inverness after the bowling.  A busy week with excellent weather, allowing everyone to participate fully in a wide range of activities.  Well done to all!  The school website contains many photos of the week’s activities.

S1 Malawi PresentationThe event took place on Wednesday 20th May, attended by S2 and S3, P4-7 pupils from all our associated Primary Schools and some parents and friends who were able to make it.  S1 spoke about and displayed work they had been doing in Music, Art, Technology, Modern Studies and Science, and performed Scottish songs with a Malawian rhythm and instruments. Representatives from S2 also spoke about the annual Malawi backpack appeal that they are launching.  S1 would like to thank everyone who came to the presentation and all the pupils and teachers for putting in so much effort. (This text prepared by Ryan MacLean, S1 – click here for photos.)

Global Education – Dr Caley has received professional recognition from the General Teaching Council of Scotland for her involvement with Mlozi School in Malawi.  At a presentation in Edinburgh she and her colleagues were the recipients of certificates and the following accolade.

“They demonstrated a commitment to enhancing their existing skills and sharing their knowledge and experience to the benefits of children, schools and fellow teachers in Africa. But not only this, they have brought these experiences back to Scotland and applied them in their own classrooms, benefiting children and schools here too.”  Read more here.

We certainly have benefited from Dr Caley’s work in this area.

S2 Backpack Appeal – Every year the pupils in S2, organised by Mr Sutherland, do their bit for less economically fortunate pupils in Africa. By sending low-cost backpacks full of basic materials, we can make a real difference to their school life.  Here is what they want from you:

We would like to be able to send away as many bags as possible and so are asking you to donate some of the following items: jotters/notepads, pencils, pens/crayons, erasers/rulers, sharpeners, pencil case, towel, shorts, t-shirt, summer dress/skirt, flip flops/sandals, spoon, small ball, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste. If you would like to donate any of these items or a backpack, please hand them in to specially marked collection points, in the school or around the community after the 1st June. Thank you for your continued support. (Text prepared by Rachel Mackenzie and Margaret Matheson, S2)

S3 Enterprise week – During the week 11th to the 18th of May all S3 took part in our annual enterprise week.  They participated in drama, digital photography and arts/crafts activities.  External agencies were also involved and this year we were lucky enough to have the Royal Navy & Royal Marines, the Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage and Wester Ross Countryside Ranger Service.  The school librarian also got involved this year by offering a Manga art session.

Pupils got the chance to solve problems in a team, learn some urban awareness, learn more about the habitat around Loch Maree, work on paths at the Kinlochewe Reserve, remove non-native tree species and get out and about in our local area.  All of this was organised by Mr. Sutherland.  The pupils also received a day of emergency first aid training.

Photos on the website show the breadth of the activities!

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions – Learning to function as a team and meet the requirements of this national certificate is different from going out with parents and friends.  Pupils ultimately develop skills of independence and resolve that allow them to support each other in sometimes difficult conditions.  After classroom sessions on map reading, route planning, cooking and first aid the pupils spent the night at Slattadale.  The second outdoor training event is a two-day trip that took place on the 25th and 26th May in the Shieldaig and Baosbhienn area.  We will report on those trips in the next edition and are grateful to those who give up their time to help.  

Co-fharpais Comunn Gaidhlig Lunnainn / Gaelic Society of London Competition – Congratulations to Sinead MacRae and Natalie Stein who have both recently won Merit Prizes in the Gaelic Society of London’s annual speaking competitions.  Both will receive their certificates and prizes shortly. In the competition report it stated: “There were a lot of entrants in this section, so they have done very well to win prizes”.

Ten Under the Ben Training – The mountain biking squad were training again recently, at the Witch’s trails, near Fort William. This is the trail that the Ten under the Ben race is held over. Teams have to complete as many 10-mile laps as they can, in ten hours. Our squad feels much more confident with the event now they have tried out the course. Technically, they know they can do it but feel they need to work on their endurance and hill climbing. Thanks to Mr Gorman, Mr Milner, Andrew Vickerstaff and Mr Johnston for accompanying the boys.

Torridon Mountain Rescue Team have asked to thank Luigi Bernardi, Calum Milner, Tom Hardman, Lewis Martin and James Staddon for their help with a first aid exercise recently. The boys were mock casualties, having supposedly suffered a variety of nasty mountain /motor bike accidents.

Active Schools – Pupils from George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, who were on an adventure expedition in our area, visited the school recently. Seven-a-side hockey and football matches were arranged after school. The 7-4 victory for the George Watson’s girls hockey team was the result of a last minute effort to overcome the stubborn Gairloch defence.  In the football match, the 5-1 win for Gairloch was the well-deserved result for consistently good play by the Gairloch boys. Congratulations to all who took part and thanks to Mr Gorman for refereeing the football and Dr Shearer for organising.

Street Dance – Martin Arbidans, a dance instructor specialising in ‘street dance’ visited the school on two consecutive Fridays. As well as putting the pupils through some simple moves, Martin took time to demonstrate some of his more energetic routines. His skill and balance were impressive illustrating the high level of fitness required for this form of dance. Thanks to Dr Shearer for organising this.

Primary 7 pupils visit – Last week we welcomed the Primary 7 pupils in for a taste of High School life.  The pupils met staff and got involved in Science and Arts projects.  At the end of their visit, after having learned the dance and song and making their own costumes, they put on a lovely performance, in front of S1 and S2 pupils.  P7 return in June for a day following the timetable.  Particular thanks to Mrs Macrae, Mrs Whall, Miss Hunter, Mrs Hildrey and Ms Gulliver for their contribution.

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