School news 22nd January 2010

Malawi Link – The school has heard that we have been successful in our joint application with Mlozi LEA School for a Reciprocal Visits grant of £2000 from Global School Partnerships.  This will cover a significant portion of the costs to enable two members of staff from our Link School in Malawi to visit us here later in the year, and for two members of staff from Gairloch High School to visit the school in Malawi.  It is awarded to allow both schools to further develop a global dimension to the education they provide to the young people of their communities.  Dr Caley continues to take this project forward for the benefit of both schools.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Anna Hulme, Kirsty Alexander, Sorcha Beeson and JP Cummisky have all achieved Bronze Award level and were each presented with badge and certificate during assembly before Christmas.  Well done to these four pupils!

NLPQ – A National Pool Lifeguard Qualification course took place at Poolewe Swimming Pool between the 18th and the 24th December.  Ella McDonagh, S5, took the course and gained the qualification.  Well done Ella!

School Newspaper – Sophie Donald, S5, with the help of some younger pupils, put together an A5 newsletter and distributed it around the school before Christmas.  The newsletter is available here for anyone wishing to read it.

FututechefRosie Smith, S4, will be taking part in the Regional Final of Futurechef on the 26th January in Inverness.  We wish her all the best and will report on her progress in the next edition.

Staffing – Mr. Andrew Shilliday has been appointed to the post of Bagpipe Instructor and will commence teaching from the 20th January in Gairloch High.  He brings a broad experience of piping and other musical genres to the post and we hope he will enjoy his work in the area!

The school would like to thank Mr. Grant Milne for his contribution.  He successfully worked with our pupils in the period between former instructor, Carol Anne MacKay leaving on maternity and the appointment of Mr. Shilliday.

Facility Upgrade – In 2007 a Community Group of interested parties, including staff from Leisure and the school, formed with the intention of raising funds to upgrade the existing climbing wall in the Leisure Centre. After initial success in gaining a promise of funds amounting to over £30,000, including £6000 from The Great Wilderness Challenge, things slowed down.  Now with the help of awards from SportScotland (£47,000) and the Highland Leader Fund (£20,500) we have the necessary £99,000 to initiate the plan.  The project was helped by the written support of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

The plan is based on providing the community with a modern climbing wall that will enhance the available local facilities.  The objective was to bring new funds into the community.  The funding includes money for equipment and training of staff.  The wall can be used to train people of all ages building skill and confidence in climbing at all levels.  It also provides an incentive for visitors to stay over a bit longer when the weather outdoors looks a bit wet!  Over the next month or so opportunity to discuss with the group the plan for the upgrade will be available.

In terms of our position as a Community School this project is part of a longer-term plan to guarantee the quality of provision for pupils and members of the community. Previously the Headteacher had the artificial playing surface repaired and the Council has now included it within an ongoing maintenance contract.  Longer term it is still the hope that something can be done to improve the grass sports field next to the school.

British Land UK Chess ChallengeThe school has been awarded a Gold Certificate of Excellence.  This award has been given to the ‘most dedicated schools that have entered the competition 4 or 5 times in the last 5 years’.  The certificate came as a surprise however we hope to continue our participation in the competition – Playing chess is a stimulating and challenging activity that rewards those with the persistence to develop more than basic skills.

Donation to School FundNow that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over the school would like to thank the Highland Gathering for its recent donation of £300.

Important DatesClick here…

School news 8th January 2010

Happy New Year! – Best wishes from the staff and pupils of Gairloch High School!  In spite of the severe weather school remained open until the 23rd December and the great majority of pupils made it in each day.  Attendance and participation in a range of worthwhile activities, both social and academic, up until the final whole-school assembly of the year is something we put a lot of planning and enthusiasm into.  It is great to see the staff and pupils throw themselves into the events and enjoy the camaraderie it generates across the whole school.

School dance A great turn out for the school dance this year with the majority of pupils and staff attending.  Everyone danced the night away to music from the Gairloch Ceilidh Band and also enjoyed the variety of excellent musical talent on show from the school pupils and staff during the interval.

“Great atmosphere during the dance but the best bit had to be Mr Brough on the drums!”  Alannah, Maddy & Iona (S4).

Special thanks to the staff who prepared the food and helped supervise, the PE Dept for teaching the dances to all throughout December, Gairloch Estates for the tree, Ms Gulliver and pupils for the Hall decorations and the Office staff for behind the scenes administration.  Also Mr Milner for taking over as MC and Grant Milne and the pipers for starting the event with a stirring set.  Many thanks go to Mr Bowker for transporting the Overside pupils in the minibus.  Finally thanks to Murdo, at the garage, for laying on Westerbus transport for all the other pupils.  Without each of these contributions the Dance could not be the great success it proves to be each year.  Click here for lots of photos!

Carols from Scratch – Friday 18th of December saw some of our S1 and S2 join together with members of the Community to sing Christmas Carols and songs.  The children also played accompanying instruments such as keyboards, tuned percussion, guitars and clarsachs.  Many thanks should go to the parents and friends who came along on a “cold and frosty evening” to support the youngsters.  In addition, thanks to the members of the Parent Council for providing the welcome refreshments after the concert.  £31.95 was raised for Clic Sargent.

Quiz – On the Tuesday 22nd December, the whole school was involved in the annual quiz.  As for the previous three years, pupils spent most of the day pondering a diverse range of questions including sport, characters from computer games, French, Art, countries, logos and famous people.  The result was an overall victory for Maree followed by Kerry.

Krypton Factor – On the last day of term, pupils took part in our Krypton Factor competition.  In teams, they test their fitness, mental agility, endurance, mental arithmetic, balance and observation skills. The objective is to have a worthwhile but fun final day of term.  Talking to the pupils seems to show we are achieving this. Congratulations to Maree who gained the most points!

School Calendar 2010 Still available for sale from the school and local outlets.  £5 only for a copy of the Art calendar that will brighten up your year!  All proceeds go to school funds.  We are grateful to the support of many local businesses whose details appear in the calendar alongside the work of the pupils. Click here to see some of the calendar!

S5/6 target setting, Prelims & Study Club – Pupils in S5/6 have been working with their teachers preparing and planning for their exams, which start at the end of January.  Pupils have been issued with a study club timetable, which starts on Tuesday 12th January.

From Tuesday 12th January, S5/6 pupils should also be asking their teachers to provide a Prelim Target.  This target should be challenging but achievable.

S4 action plans – S4 pupils will be issued with Action Plan folders in PSHE on Thursday 14th January 2010.

Pupil Success – Ryan Moir has been offered a place on the Performing Engineering Operations course at UHI in January.  The Targeted Pathways to Apprenticeships course is funded by Skills Development Scotland.  This course is intended to introduce trainees to a broad range of engineering skills and prepare them for either further study or as preparation for entry to a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering.  Well done to Ryan for successfully gaining an offer to take up this course.

Focus Environment Photography Competition – Katrina Port, S5, received her prize of £150 at Dynamic Earth on Wednesday 16th December.  More details and photos by clicking here.

Former Pupil Success We received news just before Christmas that Mhairi MacLean has graduated from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen with a BA in International Tourism Management.  Well-done Mhairi!

Bike repair – After application, the school received a grant from Sustrans to help us run after-school cycle repair workshops.  David Gorman, Lewis Martin, Alasdair Maclennan, Charlie Stevens, Mr. Gorman and Mr. Johnston have been working on school, staff and pupil bikes.  Our janitor, Andy Bowker is now a qualified cycle mechanic and has been overseeing their work.   Click here to read more and see photographs of the pupils working.

Malawi Link – We’ve been sent an annual report on our partner school in Malawi by Link Community Development.  ou can read more by clicking here.

Important DatesClick here or select the link on the right hand side of this page.

Malawi Link

We’ve been sent an annual report on our partner school in Malawi by Link Community Development (LCD).  It gives a background to the education system in Malawi and LCD’s School Improvement Project as well as specific information about our link school – Mlozi.  A copy is available by clicking here for those who would like to read it.

We have also heard that this year, 12 pupils from Mlozi School did well enough in their Primary School Leaving Certificate to go on to secondary school.  Two have places at a prestigious National School and the rest at the local Community Day Secondary School.