School news 18th September 2009

Invigilators – The school is starting the process of nominating invigilators for the next diet of exams in May and June 2010. If anyone in the community would like to consider this task, which will involve a number of sessions overseeing the running of SQA exams, and requires more information, this can be obtained from Nevis Hulme, 01445 712275.  This is an important and necessary role that is of great assitance to the school and pupils.  We appreciate offers of help which are renumerated at a set SQA hourly rate of pay.

Vacancy – Temporary Clerical Assistant 1 – Ref: D/202/09
Temporary for 12 months when it will be reviewed – 7 hours per week.  Find out more from John Port, 01445 712275 Applications forms from the Staffing Unit, Dingwall, Tel: 01349 868640 (24 hour answer machine)
Closing date is 5pm 25th September 2009.

Parent Council – Details of the meeting held by the Parent Council on Monday 7th September has been widely reported on the radio and in the wider press. The support to maintain the high standards of the school resulted in around a hundred people attending. Charles Kennedy chaired a wide ranging discussion focussed on the threat to the school community posed by increasing cuts within the Council.  Minutes of the meeting and all associated information is posted on the school website.  Many parents have also taken the time to write to Councillors, MPs and MSPs to express their concerns.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – S3 pupils had an introduction to the DofE on Thursday 10th September. We were pleased to welcome back former pupil Liam Ross who spoke about his DofE experiences at bronze, silver and gold level and answered questions from pupils. Those who are interested in enrolling for the bronze award should have taken home a letter for parents/carers, an introductory leaflet and an enrolment form. The enrolment form and fee (£11.50) should be returned to Dr Caley by Wednesday 7th October. Any further questions about the award should be directed to Dr Caley.  Click here to see lots of photos from our recent trips.

A group of senior pupils (Katrina Port, Ella McDonagh, Amy French, Lyndsey Croal, Roxanne Ramsey, James Staddon & Alasdair Paul) attempting  their 3-day Silver Assessement expedition in the Cairngorms were forced to turn back due to dreadful weather conditions.  They will be given an opportunity to complete another assessment in the spring.

A national report produced recently by HMIe commended work being done in schools across Scotland by staff working to support DofE for young people.  Gairloch High and Dornoch Academy have been mentioned in various reports due to our participation in a national project involving 6 Scottish schools looking at the ways we support the Award Scheme.

Blythswood Shoebox Appeal Once again, we will be participating in the annual Blythswood shoebox appeal. As the collection date this year is only just after the end of the October holiday, we have been asked if we can collect up the shoeboxes before the holiday, that is by Friday 9th October. The appeal has been launched at assembly this week and pupils have received leaflets. We encourage everyone to contribute either individually, or by getting together with some friends to make a box together, to give someone less fortunate a better Christmas this year.

Hame – Sofie Banister (S1) was invited down to Glasgow recently by Learning and Teaching Scotland to receive a copy of ‘an anthology of poems by Scotland’s young people’.  Selected from almost 6000 entries Sofie was one of a few Highland children whose poem was selected for publication.  Sofie wrote her poem while she was in Primary 7 at Kinlochewe Primary however a copy of the Anthology has been graciously donated to the High school.  Well done Sofie!

Details of the poetry competition are available here along with a list of all the winners.  You can also download a copy of the book!

The Road To The World Cup – On Saturday, 5th September pupils from Gairloch High School went to the Scotland versus Macedonia match at Hampden Park in Glasgow. ‘We left school at 8am and arrived at Hampden at 2:45pm just before kick off at 3:00pm. It wasn’t the best of starts for Scotland as, although we were constantly on the attack, we kept leaving our goal wide open for the opposing team to score. The first half passed though with no goals scored.  In the second half Scotland managed to score two goals before the whistle. The goals were scored by Scott Brown and James McFadden. Overall the game was a success for Scotland and everyone was pleased with the result.  Our journey back was long because of all of the cars and buses leaving Glasgow but no one bothered because everyone was so tired after the long day and our 2-0 victory over Macedonia.

The pupils taken to the game would like to thank Mrs Whall, Mr McSwan, Dr Shearer and Mrs Maclean for arranging and taking us down to the game’ – Ryan Moir.

Skills for Work – Sport and Recreation – This course known by the pupils as ‘Outdoor Ed’ involves some work in understanding how emergency services operate.  Last Friday afternoon they were fortunate enough to have members of the Torridon Mountain Rescue show them how search and rescue operated.  After finding a ‘missing’ pupil the group were shown how to secure the casualty in a stretcher.  Much to their surprise a coastguard helicopter turned up at that point to ‘assist in the rescue’.  The class were then treated to a demonstration of a helicopter evacuation before the helicopter landed on the playing field.  The crew then gave the pupils a guided tour of the machine.  Staff at the school are very grateful for the support of our local rescue volunteers and the coastguard team for giving up time and energy assisting the children.  Click here for some photos.

Important Dates click here for details

28th September – S3 monitoring reports issued.
2nd October – S4 monitoring reports issued.
9th October – School closes for October break.
26th October – S4 Work Experience begins.

Work Experience is a valuable activity that gains the S4 pupils another qualification on their SQA certificate next summer.  Parents assist in helping place their children in job locations all over the UK for a week in October.  For many pupils it is a key event that provides additional focus for exam preparation and future ambitions.

School news 4th September 2009

Exam results – Pupils in Gairloch High maintained a high standard of results this year in SQA exams.  In Sixth year a third of the pupils achieved at least one Advanced Higher in a large range of subjects including Maths, Physics, Art, French, Biology, English, Computing and Gaelic.  Many of these awards were at Grade A and show that pupils are already achieving academically at University level.  This success rate continues to be one of the highest in Highland.

In S5 Lyndsey Croal achieved A passes in 5 Highers.  Roxanne Ramsey also gained 5 Highers.  This is a difficult and commendable achievement.

S4 pupils achieved very good results.  All pupils achieved Maths and a third of them achieved Credit level in ALL of their exams.  In the majority of cases by far, these were gained at grade 1.  These results are a springboard for future success and as such the children have got off to an excellent start.

These results are of a high standard when compared to other schools and we are pleased again with the efforts of pupils and staff – not forgetting parents.  It is worth remembering that the important factor in this process is the individual progress of every pupil.  Each year we strive to get the best out of each child in order that they are ready to move on at a level appropriate to their ability and ambition.  We are discussing with each pupil what their next step should be in achieving that progress no matter what grades they achieved.

Staffing – Mrs Johnston has taken up her PE post on a permanent basis this month.   Ms Velt and Mrs Somers are now teaching History in addition to their own subjects.  The Parent Council is still working hard to gather support for the continuation of a wide range of academic provision thus maintaining opportunities for children living in Gairloch.

Dr Caley has returned from Malawi after a second visit to Mlozi.  Click on the photo to see more.  We hope to provide a report shortly.

First Aid – S3 pupils were presented with their emergency first aid certificates.  Their course took place in May prior to Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions.  We use this event to train and update staff first aid qualifications as well.  This year Mrs Bulmer and Miss Colquhoun also received certificates.

Project Trust – Calum Milner left for China on Thursday 27th August.  We hope to be able to give updates over the year on the school website.

Amy French (Head Girl) has now applied and has been offered a place next August.  Amy will be fund raising over the next year with the hope of going to Thailand with Project Trust.

Gaelic Writing Competition – S1/2 pupils who took part in a national competition received certificates at assembly.  Mairi Wyatt came first across Scotland and was presented with her certificate and a significant cash prize at Prize-giving.

Bible Project – Several pupils entered work that they completed in their Religious and Moral Education classes.  They had to imagine themselves present at a major event in the life of Christ.  This UK wide competition resulted in certificates of merit for Katie Allan and Mairi Wyatt while Ian Paul won a copy of the New Testament for his work which was of a ‘particularly high standard’.

Scottish Space Camp – Roxanne Ramsay attended Strathclyde University between the 15th and 19th of June, along with 118 other pupils from all over Scotland.  ‘The school aims to encourage more people to study engineering and space exploration.  It was a busy week with breakfast starting at 7.30am and finishing at 11.00pm. The activities included lectures from astronauts like Dominic Antonelli, building a pulse monitor and even a talent show.  A great week!’

Living Lochs – S2 pupils went on an outdoor lesson to Loch Linne a’Mhuilinn, Mihol.  They went out to collect animals and insects from the burn, bog and the loch.  They studied and identified them using microscopes. The pupils were under the guidance of Lorna Brown (Wester Ross Fisheries Trust) and accompanied by Lindsey Duncan (Highland Council Countryside Ranger), David Mullaney, Robin Reid and Norman Thomas, who we would like to thank for sharing their expertise and enthusiasm.  Thanks also to the Royal Society, Scottish Natural Heritage and RAFTS, who provided the funding to allow this project to take place.  Click here to see some photographs of the work done.

Ten more in Moray – Congratulations to Alasdair MacLennan, James Staddon, David Gorman, Mr Johnston and Mr Gorman for completing the “Ten More in Moray” endurance mountain bike race at Fochabers on Saturday 22nd August.  Training over the summer paid off; the three boys were able to compete with a very fit and strong field and finished well up the rankings. They finished ten 10-mile laps in the 11 hours allowed for the event. The last lap was a nail biting affair, with Alasdair starting with no guarantee he would finish before the end of the event at 8:30PM. Fortunately, he flew round and the extra lap pushed the boys up into 13th place out of 34 male senior trios.  Mr Johnston and Mr Gorman raced as a pair and did nine laps between them. To get a flavour of the event, see the video on the “No Fuss” events website.  Thanks also to Mrs Gorman for catering – at 900 calories a lap, this was no mean feat!

Great Wilderness Challenge – Pupils involved with the ATC helped out and took part in the event (photo).  Mrs Bulmer was fastest lady over 13 miles, 11th overall and only 17mins behind the leader (photo) while Miss MacAllister walked the route.

Graduation of former pupils – Congratulations! Click here for information on the former pupils area of the school website