Successful Silver Expedition!

Five pupils set out in rather dubious weather conditions on Friday to spend 3 days on assessment in Wester Ross. Amy, Roxanne, Ella, Katrina and James travelled from Craig near Achnashellach through the mountains to Strathconon with the intention of crossing back over the hills to Achanalt.   The group encountered wind, rain, snow and more rain but they completed successfully. They found out they had passed when they met up with their assessor in the Kinlochewe Hotel on the way home for a debrief.

Amy and Roxanne have now completed their Silver Award while the others have some work to finish in other sections.

This was a strenuous route with challenging weather conditions.  The pupils should be very proud of themselves for seeing it through.  They ended the trip cheery, tired and fairly dry!  Thanks to Mr & Mrs Johnston for keeping an eye on the group, Dr Caley for helping with the planning and preparation and to Mrs Staddon at the hotel for providing everyone with a very tasty hot chocolate drink at the end!  Click here to see some photographs.

School news 19th March 2010

S1 Bring and Buy – The sale held in the Community Hall on Saturday 13th March raised £2300.  Thanks to Dr. Caley and Mrs. Johnston for working with the pupils in the lead up to the event along with all the staff and parents who supported on the day.  Everyone worked very hard and the event was a great success.  The Hall was busy from 10am onwards with many people taking advantage of the lovely tea and cakes catered by the Parent Council.  The raffle produced another wide range of interesting prizes including a selection of donations from local businesses.  The school is very grateful for the support of the community and local businesses towards the success of the sale.  Leftover clothes, books and bric-a-brac are being redistributed to other interested groups and charities.  Some of the money raised will go to a charity chosen by the pupils and the rest will help subsidise the S1 Nethybridge activity and team-building week in May.

We received too many gifts of prizes to mention every individual but here are some of the items offered by local businesses.  We apologise if anyone is missed out but please accept the thanks and gratitude of all the S1 pupils and staff.

  • Voucher – £20 meal at the Myrtle Bank Hotel
  • Voucher – Sealife glass-bottom boat cruise for 2
  • Voucher –rock climbing with Paul Tattersall for up to 4 people
  • Voucher – trailer load of firewood
  • Voucher – 2 course Bistro meal at the Poolewe Hotel
  • Voucher – Gairloch Marine Wildlife cruise for 2
  • Voucher – Champagne breakfast for 2 at the Whistle Stop Café in Kinlochewe
  • Complimentary Ticket for 2 adults and 2 children at Landmark
  • Voucher – £50 to spend at The Torridon Hotel, Inn or Activities
  • Cake made by the chef at the Old Inn
  • Eoghain MacLean – mounted photograph of a stag
  • Sleepy Hollow smoked mackerel and smoked haddock
  • Lynn Bennett-MacKenzie original picture on mount
  • Viveca Port framed ink originals previously reproduced on the front page of the Gairloch Times.
  • House of Commons Whisky from Charles Kennedy, MP
  • Firewood, venison & champagne – Coulin Estate
  • Jewellery – Alison Rushbrook
  • Chocolates from shop and garage in Kinlochewe
  • Whisky and glasses – Drumchork Hotel
  • Toys from Cornerstone
  • Food pack from Aultbea Butchers

Winter Mountain Leader – Congratulations to Mr. Johnston who achieved his Winter Mountain Leader certificate recently.  The strenuous 5-day assessment took place in the very snowy conditions of the Cairngorms.

Cyberbullying Drama – S1 and S2 pupils were audience to a special production by Eden Court in the school hall recently.  Four actors put on a play that investigated in a dramatic way the effects of cyber-bullying on a family.  Afterwards the pupils got a chance to talk to the actors.  This was a very successful and captivating production that gave everyone involved something to think about.

Internet Safety – We marked national Internet Safety Day on 9th February by giving all S4 pupils training from ThinkUKnow.  This means that pupils in S2 to S4 have now received this training instigated by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) in cooperation with Highland Council.  For more information on this UK government initiative to protect children you can visit

World Book Day –S1/2/3 pupils took part in a live webcast event on 4th March.  Author Michael Rosen gave a very interesting talk.  Organised by BBC Scotland the event was broadcast via the Internet.  Although our Internet connection caused us some difficulty most of the event was enjoyed by the staff and pupils involved.  It can still be seen along with interviews with other authors by clicking here.

Blood DonorsThe sixth year were given an informative talk about donating blood.  This made us all realise how important giving blood is, and how it benefits people in need.  Hospitals need 1,000 donations a day for routine procedures and operations but only 5% of the population donate blood – Becca and Rachel. It is hoped that some of the S6 pupils will now seriously consider becoming a blood donor in future.

Highland Youth Voice – Pupils in S3, S4 and S5 were given a presentation by Audrey Anthony of Highland Council and Magnus Monahan the current Youth Convener.  Highland Youth Voice is made up of elected representatives from every area of Highland.  The current youth voice officials in Gairloch High are Roxanne Ramsay and Storm Lawson.

Music Participants – Alasdair Paul and Conal McDonagh took part in a concert on 6th March at the Nevis Centre in Fort William.  As members of ‘snas they reported that, once again, they had a great time!

Fitness Training – The Higher PE class took part in fitness testing led by the Highland Institute of Sport.  A very interesting session where pupils responded well to the visitors and worked very hard achieving good results.  An informative presentation was then given to them relating the testing they had carried out to their course work.  Thanks to the staff from the Institute for giving the pupils this opportunity, it was thoroughly enjoyed by school pupils and staff.

Important Dates

  • 23rd March – S2 Parent Evening
  • 25th March – Swimming Gala
  • 26th to 28th March – Silver DofE Assessment
  • 26th March – Close for Easter Holiday (Friday 3.40pm)
  • 29th to 31st March – Study Club for S4-S6 pupils.

School news 5th March 2010

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Sophie Donald and William Smith have both achieved Bronze Award level and were presented with their badge and certificate during assembly last week.  Well done!

Young Leader for Orienteering Activities – S4 pupils involved in the Skills for Work course organised an Orienteering event last term.  They have now been awarded with a Young Leader Qualification.  The pupils are currently organizing a triathlon event for pupils in June.

CREST Science Award – Congratulations to Kieran Morrison (S3) on gaining his Bronze Creativity and Research in Engineering, Science and Technology award.  Kieran’s project looked at the mating of brine shrimps; he found that bigger males pair up with bigger (more fertile) females.

Rock School – Kieran Morrison and Ian Paul attended Rock School at Dingwall Academy over the February holiday weekend.  They took part in three days of song writing, music technology, sound recording and guitar tuition.  The boys really enjoyed playing with other youngsters from all over the Highlands and the whole weekend ended in a 2-hour performance where they played in front of a packed crowd.  As well as playing some cover versions they also performed original songs composed by them over the weekend.  One of the organisers John Sinclair (ex Ozzy Osbourne keyboard player!!!) said that it was one of the best groups of kids that he had ever worked with.  Well done boys!

Futurechef success continues – Rosie Smith was invited to meet Michel Roux Jr. at Rocpool Reserve in Inverness recently.  After meeting with Rosie in the afternoon he informed press and guests at an evening dinner held at Chez Roux, that he wanted Rosie to come and train with him in London after she leaves school.  This is a fabulous opportunity!  First though we wish Rosie well in her bid to become the first Scot to win the London final of Futurechef, which takes place later this month.

Former Pupil Success – We received a letter from Taigh Sgire Sholais who had organised a Gaelic short story competition last year.  Mr. Cumming entered a story that Eilidh Alexander had written at the time she was in S6.  It received high commendation and a cheque for £10 has been forwarded to Eilidh.

Eilidh’s artwork was recently on show in Ullapool along with that of Becky Redshaw.  Both girls have been doing a folio course with Eleanor White at An Talla Solais over the winter.

Business Dynamics – Over two days twenty of our sixth year pupils participated in sessions on management, social enterprise and business & the environment.  At the end of the presentations on Day 2 each team of four presented a business plan that drew together all of the business concepts encountered.  Well done to the sixth year pupils who participated in this year’s event.  Many thanks to each of the session leaders who contributed and a very big thanks to Sheena Matheson for putting together another superb two day programme for us at Gairloch High School.  Read more about the event in Mr Sutherland’s part of the school website.

London Trip – Eleven senior pupils travelled by plane from Inverness Airport, successfully negotiating extreme weather conditions, to visit Westminster and the Houses of Parliament.  Read more here or look at a selection of photographs.

Important Dates – Click here for more details.

  • 11th March – S5/6 Parent Evening
  • 13th March – S1 Bring & Buy Sale


Gairloch Community Hall – Doors open 10am sharp

Stalls and Competitions & The BIG Raffle!

We would welcome any or all of the following donations: baking, books, DVDs & CDs, bric-a-brac, plants, electrical items in good working order, toys, clothes in good condition, jewellery, bottles and raffle prizes.  We can auction anything within reason (antiques a speciality!)

Items for the sale can be:

  • handed to any member of the school
  • delivered direct to the Community Hall on Friday 12th March between 3.30 and 6pm
  • collected by us – call the school office on 712275 and leave your details.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN – S1 are on the loose!  Grand Annual Fundraiser for Nethybridge and selected charities.

Fèis Weekend – This is an advance notice of a super event, which is to take place in the High School during the weekend of 5th & 6th of June.  Three top class musicians – Ingrid Henderson (clarsach), Iain MacFarlane (fiddle) and Ewan Robertson (guitar) – will be holding masterclasses for intermediate to advanced players on the three instruments.  This is open to young people from S3 to age 25.  On Saturday 5th at 7.30pm participants will be invited to take part in a concert called “Uisge-Beatha”, a celebration in music, song and visuals of our national drink!  This is open to the public, and tickets (£8/£5) are available from Fèis Rois (01349 862600) or at the door.  This event heralds a welcome return of Fèis Rois to Gairloch.

Pupils visit Houses of Parliament

Eleven senior pupils travelled by plane from Inverness Airport, successfully negotiating extreme weather conditions, to visit Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. Ms Velt organised a joint History & Modern Studies trip with the help of Mrs. Somers. The group received an educational tour of Parliament and met with Charles Kennedy. Whilst there the pupils observed a debate and had a chance to observe Gordon Brown and David Cameron in full swing. Thanks to the staff involved in making this trip happen – including Mr. Bowker who picked up the group from the airport and returned them safely on a day when nearly every other High School in Highland was closed due to the weather!  Click on the photo for more pictures.