School news 27th November 2009

Children in Need This year pupils had the chance to come to school in their pajamas.  Prefects also made and sold cakes on the day raising £250 for the charity.  Well done all!

Highland Music Festival Three pupils had the great opportunity to perform at Eden Court as part of the 21st Gala Celebration of the Highland Regional Youth Music groups.

It was wonderful to play in front of so many people and also hear the other group’s perform– Sophie Donald.

Click here to see and hear Conal and Alasdair performing!

It was great fun to play at my first ‘Snas concert, especially as it was in Eden Court – Alasdair Paul.

Performing with the full orchestra was a fantastic experience and there was a terrific atmosphere – Sophie Donald

I think we might have enjoyed it more than the audience… it was a brilliant atmosphere in the theatre – Conal McDonagh

Lots of photos here…

Interview Skills Day This annual event took place on Tuesday 17th November. All S6 pupils were asked to complete an application which was submitted to interviewers prior to the day. Each pupil received a half hour interview with 2 interviewers and they were marked on their application form and personal qualities, such as appearance, confidence and manner.  At the interview they were assessed on their eye contact, communication skills and the quality of their answers.

Our thanks go to the 5 gentlemen from Dingwall Rotary Club and to Pauline Butler, Marylynn Burbridge, Jennifer Teague, Sue Morrissey and Kirsty Adam for volunteering to be interviewers. S6 are to be congratulated and seem to have learned a lot from this experience.

Inter-House Orienteering – Well done to all S2 pupils who took part in the Orienteering competition on Friday 13th November.  The S4 Skills for Work class organized the event in Flowerdale.  The S2’s were given a safety briefing before setting off in pairs or in trios at minute intervals.  Click here for photos.

The pupils had to find 12 controls within the Flowerdale area, each one attached to a marker that was identified on their maps. 6 S4 pupils acted as marshalls standing at the out of bound points so that the teams didn’t go off the map.  Overall, it went very well and there weren’t any problems or accidents. Congratulations to Luke Gorman and Caitlin Johnston of Tiollaidh who won the event with Chris Young and Kalvin Fraser (Maree) in 2nd place. Laura Ridehalgh, Eilidh MacLennan and Gemma McLean (Kerry) came third.

The S2 thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we’d be happy to organise another event in the future. Special thanks to Gairloch Estate for letting us run it on their land.” Maddy and Patrick

Torridon Challenge On Wednesday 18th November five pupils went to The Torridon with Mr. Milner to take part in a challenge put on by the hotel.  The pupils involved were Rosie Smith, Ross Macdonald, Lucy Dee, Lewis Martin and Briony Young. Throughout the day the pupils participated in archery, lunch and a blogging competition.  The group competed against teams from Ullapool, Plockton and Dingwall. Although the Dingwall team carried the day it was an enjoyable day for the pupils.  Our thanks to The Torridon for organizing this event to stimulate interest in the Hospitality Industry and to Mr. Milner for taking the pupils along.  There are some photos of this event on the website.

Textile Day On Thursday 12th November, 30 pupils from S5 &S6 took part in a Textile Enterprise Day in the school.  See below or click here for more details and lots of photos.

RAF Self Defense Classes On Wednesday 18th November, 3 members of the RAF Motivational Outreach Team visited the school. They taught S5/6 pupils how to defend themselves and also how to avoid getting into difficulties in the first place. The S3 Skills for Work class also had a session on team building activities. Through a number of interesting tasks they explored working together to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Bùth-Obrach SgrìobhaidhAir an 16mh là den t-Sultain thàinig Aonghas Pàdraig Chaimbeul (sgrìobhadair ainmeil bàrdachd is nobhailean ann an Gaidhlig agus Beurla) a-steach dhan sgoil airson bùth-obrach sgrìobhaidh a dhèanamh le sgoilearan a tha fileanta ann an Gàidhlig. Thòisich  e le bhith a ag iarraidh oirnn stòraidh bheag a sgrìobhadh is, an uair sin, dà phìos bàrdachd mu dheidhinn diofar fhaireachdainnean. Thug e dhuinn tòrr fiosrachaidh feumail is chuidich e le bhith a’ dèanamh na stòraidhean is a’ bhàrdachd na b’ fheàrr. Bha an là uabhasach math is chòrd e ruinn gu mòr.  Tha Aonghas an dòchas gum bi e air ais airson tuilleadh obair a dhèanamh còmhla ruinn anns a’ Ghearain.  Le Ainslie NicCoinnich, an Dàrna Bliadhna

Writing Workshop – On the 16th of November Angus Peter Campbell (a well known Gaelic and English novel and poetry writer) came into the school to do a writing workshop with the fluent Gaelic pupils. He started by getting us to write a short story and then two pieces of poetry about different emotions. He gave us lots of useful information and he helped us to make our stories and poems better. The day was really good and we all really enjoyed it. Angus hopes to come back to do some more work with us in February.  (Text by Ainslie MacKenzie, S2)

Fututechef The area final of Futurechef 2010 took place at Inveness College on Thursday 19th November.  Rosie Smith represented the school again this year after being coached by Ross, the Head Chef at the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel, near Inverness.  Rosie came second and, while disappointed, she should take credit for yet another success in this event.  Last year Rosie went on to achieve success at the Regional final.

Christmas Decorations – Ms Gulliver has a great team of helpers again this year, staying after school on a regular basis to produce the Christmas posters for the Multi Purpose Hall.  The theme this year is ‘Robins’ and we seem to be well on track to have the decorations up for the last couple of weeks of term.  The annual Christmas Wreath competition will be introduced next week.  This is usually hotly contested for the desirable prize of a free ticket to the School Christmas Dance.

Important DatesClick here.

Textiles Day


On Thursday 12th November, 30 pupils from S5 & S6 took part in a Textile Enterprise Day in the school. The proceedings began with a talk by Cindie Reiter who has helped to establish a successful enterprise in Balmacara. Rag, Tag ‘n’ Textile is a ‘social firm’, which works with disabled and disadvantaged people. They use recycled textiles and fabrics to make a range of clothes, bags, jewellery and gifts for sale in their shop.

After the talk, pupils spent the rest of the day attending two workshops each. They chose from a range of Spinning, Felt Making. Experimental Dyes, Knitting, Cross Stitch, Patchwork, Button Jewellery and Emergency Hand Sewing. Everyone seemed to enjoy experiencing these new activities and, in some cases, some important life skills were gained! Ms. Gulliver would like to thank all the ladies who came to run workshops and who gave so generously of their time to make the day such a success.

Click here for some photos.

Click here for the programme and details of the participants.

School news 13th November 2009

Project Trust – Two more of our S6 pupils, Roxanne Ramsay and Briony Young have been successful in gaining places abroad with Project Trust next year.

Calum Milner is currently in China working with the Trust.  Amy French was selected some time ago and is currently raising funds for next year.  Briony and Roxanne were away over the holidays taking part in separate selection courses on the Isle of Coll.  Briony now looks destined for China and Roxanne for Guyana.  Well done to both girls!

Focus Environment Photographic Competition – S5 pupil Katrina Port has been awarded 2nd Prize this year in this national schools competition.  Last year she received a commendation for her entry in the My Environment section.  This year her success is in the category Nature’s Moods.  Katrina will receive her award at a ceremony held at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, on the 16th December.

National Gaelic DebateGhabh Anna Hulme agus Ciorstaidh NicAlasdair pàirt ann an Deasbad Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig ann an Steòrnabhagh Dimàirt 3mh agus Diciadaoin 4mh den t-Samhainn. Bha sia sgiobaidhean deug anns a’ cho-fharpais agus fhuair Anna agus Ciorstaidh a-steach dhan darna cuairt (na deich sgiobaidhean mu dheireadh). ‘S e cothrom fìor mhath a bha seo a bhith a’ cleachdadh an cuid Gàidhlig ann an suidheachadh foirmeil agus a bhith a’ coinneachadh ri Gàidheil òga às gach ceàrnaidh de dh’Alba. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh mun Deasbad, faic

Anna Hulme and Kirsty Alexander took part in the National Gaelic Debate on the 3rd and 4th of November in Stornoway.  There were sixteen teams in the competition and Anna and Kirsty reached the second round (the last ten teams).  This was an excellent opportunity for them to use their Gaelic in a formal situation and to meet young Gaelic speakers from all over Scotland.  For further information about the Debate, click here:

North of Scotland Debating Competition – Although they did not make it through to the final of this competition this year, Storm Lawson and Amy French did well at Inverness Royal Academy on 5th November in proposing a difficult motion – This House would introduce compulsory retirement at 60.  A lot was learned by all in this well supported competition!

A’Chraobh – S1 have been busy investigating local stories for the A’ Chraobh Project.  You can follow their project as it unfolds on  Helen Scott-Danter, drama worker, ran a workshop with S1 on the 4th November, showing pupils how to bring alive an imaginative story created by the entire group, so they’re more than ready to recreate the stories they’ve gathered.

Charities UpdateJeans for Genes Day took place on the 9th October. Jeans for Genes is a charity that aims to improve the lives of children with genetic disorders, care for their families and invest in research.  Pupils (and staff) had the opportunity to wear their jeans to school in return for a contribution towards this worthwhile cause. A total of £200.15 was raised. The school once again supported The Blythswood Shoebox Appeal.  We prepared 37 boxes and these were collected last week.  Thanks to everyone who supported both these worthwhile causes.

Former Pupil Success Steven MacIver won the prestigious Gold Medal at the Royal National Mod in Oban (October 2009).  Any individual can only win the medal once in a lifetime.

Steven, a production co-ordinator in the Gaelic department of STV, was quoted in the press as saying: “This is my fifth time in the Gold Medal competition. I have been in second place a couple of times.  I was determined to win it eventually – I am really happy to have won.”

Well done Steven – This kind of determination is admirable.  Steven has been added to the former pupil website.  If you have any infornmation about former pupils please contact the school.

Forensic PSHE – S5 and S6 had an eye-opening talk from Prof Barclay on 29th October.  Prof. Barclay worked for many years as a forensic scientist and has dealt with many high profile cases.  Although the cases are by nature often very disturbing, he gave pupils a realistic glimpse into the area of forensics that is currently glamorised on TV.  Describing how different types of evidence are put together to draw conclusions, he showed how the police, with help from science, identify those responsible for a crime.  One pupil commented afterwards “It was a privilege for us to have someone with so much expertise to take the time to give us an insight into forensics.”  This aspect of PSHE supports our efforts to raise awareness of personal safety for young adults.

ThinkUKnow Training – On Thursday 5th of November S2 pupils received the ThinkUKnow training on Internet safety. ThinkUKnow is an initiative that looks to promote responsible and safe use of the Internet for children between ages 3 and 16.

The pupils were asked to show their parents / carers the website and explain what they had learned from the training at home.  For more information on the initiative anyone can visit, which has lots of useful information.

Scottish Opera – P7 and S1 pupils worked intensively, for a week, with professional staff from Scottish Opera culminating in a public performance the 6th November.  “The Tale o’ Tam”, based on Robert Burns’ epic poem Tam o’ Shanter was performed with energy and style by all involved.  We are grateful to all involved from the opera and schools, particularly Beth Hunter and Trish McDonald, who helped prepare the pupils to put on a very professional performance.  Over £300 was collected on the door for the Earl Haig Poppy Fund.  See photos by clicking here…

Adverse Weather Guidelines All pupils have been issued with guidelines for parents outlining school procedures during bad weather or problems with transport.  The details are also available by clicking here.  Disruption is normally a result of poor road conditions and we make use of local radio, Internet and a special 0870 telephone messaging service to provide up to date information.

Important DatesClick here…


Old computers – Does anyone have any old computers they could donate?  We want to show Technology pupils how to take them apart and rebuild them!

Armistice Day

All staff and pupils took part in our annual assembly to mark the national 2 minute silence today at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. After listening to a recitation of the well-known poem ‘In Flanders Fields” Mr Port reminded those present of the need for remembrance. Head Boy, Derek Martin, read from Psalm 124 and Kirsty Alexander, S4, read “We shall keep the Faith” by Moina Michael. The Reverend Derek Morrison led the school in prayer.

Katrina Port, S5, ended the assembly with a verse from “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

BBC News