School news 26th June 2009

Staffing – Mrs Christine Rae was given a robust send off by pupils and staff recently on her last day in school. After 8 years in the canteen providing soup and support for pupils she has moved on to another job in the community. Her cheery presence around the school is already missed.

Mrs Carol Bulmer was appointed Head of Support for Learning after interviews took place recently. We wish her well in her new post as she takes over officially from Mrs Flora Morrison.

Next week we will say farewell to Miss Colquhoun. She will leave us to take up a teaching post in the Scottish Borders. All staff and pupils in Gairloch wish her well for her future career in teaching.

Senior Prefects – The new senior team of prefects have been appointed.
Head Girl – Amy French Head Boy – Derek Martin
Deputes – Becca Spence, Judith Matheson and Liam Smith.

Details of other appointments will be available in the next issue along with the names of prizewinners for this session.

Bronze DofE Award Expeditions – S3 pupils took part in their Assessment Expedition on 23rd/24th June. A report will appear online with photos. The trip took place in the wilderness behind An Teallach near Dundonnel.

French Trip – 141 pupils and 17 adults and staff headed off for Normandy on the 11th June. After a gruelling bus trip via the Dover/Calais ferry, three coaches arrived at our base, the Chateau du Molay, after 27 hours.

The next day we visited the D-Day beaches at Arromanches where pupils saw a film on the spectacular 360-degree cinema. Afterwards the pupils visited the British War Cemetery at Bayeaux. This was a particularly moving experience for many including those staff and pupils who had relatives involved in the original invasion 65 years ago this month. Most of the buildings and streets were still filled with British, Canadian and American flags after the anniversary celebrations on the 6th June 2009.

Many pupils took the chance to visit one of the D-Day museums as well as spending time looking at the Bayeaux Tapestry. This very impressive ‘cartoon’ from the time of William the Conqueror is embroidered on cloth and extends for 70 meters.

The Chateaux where the group stayed had a swimming pool and a selection of other activities. The pupils made full use of the facilities during their social time.

Further excursions took place to Mont St. Michel and St. Malo. In Mont St Michel many of the group took a guided tour of the monastery. This labyrinthine building has withheld the onslaught of many armies and it was very interesting to wander the tunnels hearing the history and mythology of this area under the protection of the archangel Michael.

The second half of the excursions took us towards Paris. One coach visited the gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny. Monet spent 40 years building the gardens around his home and they became a feature of many of his most famous works. Pupils studying art were inspired to see the actual lily pond that resulted in some of the most important paintings in modern times.

Meanwhile around 90 pupils headed for Paris with the objective of ascending the Eiffel Tower. All successfully met this challenge. Imagine ascending through open metal work for nearly 1000feet.

Both groups rejoined for an evening boat trip on the Seine through central Paris. This provided stunning views of Notre Dame and the Louvre however the most interesting aspect of the trip was the efforts of the pupils to attract the attention of every Parisian and tourist and provoke a smile and a wave. Their openness was successful on all but one occasion! Finally before our return home we spent the day in Disneyland Paris.

The pupils were a credit to themselves and great ambassadors for the school. Any doubts that taking such a large group abroad were cast aside quickly. In Bayeaux a lady approached staff to comment that she could not remember ever having seen such a polite group of children.

Click here for photos of the trip and here for a slideshow.

‘Not the French Trip’ – The staff and pupils remaining in school arranged their own brand of activities for the week. On Thursday 11th June they all went down to Slattadale and took part in mountain bike skills, art, orienteering and the ‘straw challenge’. Day two on Monday 15th June involved a marine boat trip, photography, cookery and football. This menu was repeated on the Tuesday with pitch and putt instead of football. Horse riding was also available on the Wednesday, while some pupils completed a film version of Macbeth at Slattadale.

Click here for photos of the activities at Slattadale and here for the Mountain Biking events.

Photos of all the events are on the website and thanks must be given to all the staff for making it all possible and to the Parent Council who donated £1700 towards payment of various activities from boat trips in Gairloch to the ascent of the Eiffel Tower and the visit to the 360 Cinema in Arromanches to witness historical footage of the D-Day landings.

Parent Evenings – Senior staff and Pupil Support teachers met with the parents of the new intake on Monday 22nd June in the school. The Primary 7 pupils spent a final day acclimatising before starting as High School pupils in August.
Parents of the S1 pupils met staff on Thursday 25th June to discuss progress over the last session.

Sports Day – This article is written in advance so here is hoping the weather has been favourable. If so Sports Day will have taken place on Thursday 25th June (or 26th June)!

The weather was wonderful and events took place on Thursday as planned. Due to the high levels of participation the relays had to be carried forward to the Friday. The final result – Tollaidh won the Sports! Well done to all.

Photos are available here.  View a slideshow by clicking here.

Upcoming Dates
29th June – Parent Council meeting 7.30pm
30th June – Prizegiving – 1.30pm
2nd July – Last day of school before summer break.
5th August – SQA exam results arrive with pupils.
17th August – Staff return to prepare for the new session
18th August – Pupils return & classes resume.

Details of the Prizegiving and Sports Day will appear in the next issue of the Gairloch & District Times.

UNIFORM – A reminder to all parents that after the holidays we hope that all pupils will continue to uphold the high standards expected of the dress code. We are regularly complimented on the smart appearance of our pupils by visitors from other schools and outside organizations, along with manners and behaviour. This year every prefect got himself or herself a blazer and many of them wore it daily to school. It may be interesting to note that the Pupil Council actively supports the uniform as do the majority of parents. We discourage excessive make-up, overt jewellery and fashion add-ons. Throughout the year we look for more substantial ways for the pupils to express their individuality!

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