School news 30th April 2010

Staffing – Mrs Whall returns to teaching Mathematics on Tuesday 4th May after being on maternity leave since last summer. In that time we have been very lucky to have the services and talents of Mr James Brough. Staff and pupils alike have benefited from his presence in the school this session. He will be missed but all staff and pupils will gather in a special assembly to wish him a fond farewell.

Pupil Success – Congratulations to Roxanne Ramsay for having raised the necessary funds for her Project Trust trip. You may have read Calum Milner’s article in the last issue.   The report is also available on the school website along with some photos. The project Trust Gap year is certainly a worthwhile venture for any youngster!

Kim Watson and Alasdair MacLennan were both interviewed by the Dingwall Rotary Club for possible selection on a Youth Leadership Award scheme. Kim was successful and has been invited to a weeklong training camp in July. Alasdair was a runner up and has been offered first reserve. Well done to both of them!

Leah Kenny S5, & Adam Gunn S6, attended Operation Youth Advantage based at Cameron barracks for a week. Working with Army and Police combined a group of around 40 young people were tested for leadership and other skills required by these organisations. Leah was awarded a trophy at the end of her stay as Most Improved Candidate 2010. Well done to both pupils. Previously Adam spent a very productive and successful week on Skye taking part in Columba 1400 Leadership training. Both these events were supported by our Careers initiative to support positive destinations for all of our pupils. Read about Leah’s experience here…

Swimming Gala – 70 Pupils took part in the annual Swimming Gala at Poolewe on Thursday 25th March. It was an exciting morning with Maree House winning overall, helped significantly by the senior girls – well done Amy, Judith and Briony! There were lots of brilliant performances and individual achievements throughout the morning but credit must go to Peter Banks, Conal MacDonagh and Isla Mackenzie who swam very well and were a pleasure to watch. Thanks to the staff from school and at the pool who helped. You can view some photos on the school website.

Comic Life – On the very last day of the Spring Term, the whole of S2 had a great treat in the shape of a ‘Comic Art Masterclass’ by Kev F. Sutherland. Kev is a comedian, artist, writer and producer. For The Beano he writes and draws Bash St. Kids, and has also worked for Marvel Comics, Viz, 2000 AD and Dr Who. He worked all day with the S2 pupils, not only impressing them with his amazing skills, but also encouraging them to make up and illustrate their own stories. Kev was in the north as part of the third ‘Highlands International Comic Expo!’ held annually in Inverness. We will definitely be watching out for this event next year to see if we can benefit again from his presence. See some of Kev’s comic characters by clicking here…

Golspie Mountain Bike RaceSamuel Parsons S1, Ryan MacLean S2, Luke Gorman S2 and Alasdair MacLennan S4, represented the school at the second of the Highland Schools Mountain Bike Race series, held at Golspie. The Scottish X- country junior race squad had chosen Golspie as the venue for their training session that day and their coach had decided that they should take part in the race as well. Our results weren’t quite as impressive as they were at the first race at Learnie, although Sara Johnston from Gairloch Primary School won her race in the Under Tens girls category. All had a good day out and it was great to see first class competitors, male and female, in action. Click here for some photos of our participants. Full results are available at the Scottish Cycling website.

Paper Tweets in Library – As part of the recent World Book Day celebrations all Gairloch High School pupils and staff were asked to report on what they were reading at the moment. Library staff put together a massive display with many of the pupils’ recommendations. Pupils and the public could vote on their favourite review from the short-listed best.

  • Rhys Leonard for Loathsome London by Terry Deary
  • Paige Fox for Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden
  • Neil Mackenzie for Sleeping Sword by Michael Morpurgo
  • Kenneth Mackenzie for The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  • Cameron Moys for The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  • Justin Claydon for The Knife of Never Letting go by Patrick Ness
  • Leanne Mackay for Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • Katrina Port for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The winner for best review was Leanne Mackay for her piece on Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Out of 46 votes cast Leanne’s review received almost 50% of votes. Second place goes to Paige Fox for Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden. Well done to both girls who received prizes of book tokens at assembly.

Gaelic Writing Workshop – The fluent Gaelic speakers in the school recently had another wonderful opportunity to learn from a famous Gaelic and English writer.

Air Dihaoine an 16mh den Ghiblean, thill Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul dhan sgoil airson bùth-obrach sgrìobhaidh eile a dhèanamh. Bha e air na sgeulachdan a thòisich sinn an turas mu dheireadh a bha e an seo a leughadh, is thug e comhairle dhuinn. An dèidh seo, thòisich sinn air dàin a sgrìobhadh air a’ chuspair “Briosgaid Teoclaid”! Chòrd an latha ris a h-uile duine. Anna Hulme, 4B

“On Friday the 16th of April, Angus Peter Campbell returned to do another writing workshop with us. He had read the short stories we had started on his last visit, and gave us advice on how they could be improved. After this we wrote poems on the subject of “Chocolate Biscuits”! We all enjoyed the workshop.” Anna Hulme, 4B

Gaelic Careers Visit – We had another visitor recently who spent time with fluent and learners’ classes.

“Diluain, an naoidheamh latha deug den Ghiblean, thàinig Morna NicLeòid, bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig, a bhruidhinn ri sgoilearan Gàidhlig mu dheidhinn obraichean ‘s cursaichean ann an Gàidhlig agus dh’inns i dhuinn mu dheidhinn a h-obair ‘s na tha i a’deanamh. Fhreagair i ceistean a chuir sinn oirre mu dheidhinn suidheachadh na Gàidhlig ann an sgoiltean air feadh Alba agus, cuideachd, dh’inns i dhuinn mu dheidhinn Gàidhlig air an eadar-lion, mar eisimpleir, BBC Alba, ‘s àitean Gàidhlig air Facebook. Bha an taisbeanadh glè inntineach ‘s feumail agus dh’ionnsaich sinn gum faodadh sinn tòrr rudan a dhèanamh le ar beatha ma tha sinn ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig.” Seumas Staddon, 5B

“On Monday, the 19th of April, Morna MacLeod from Bòrd na Gàidhlig came to talk to Gaelic pupils about careers and courses in Gaelic and she told us about her job and what she does. She answered questions we asked about the situation of Gaelic in schools across Scotland and she also told us about Gaelic on the Internet, for example, BBC Alba, and Gaelic pages on Facebook. The presentation was very interesting and worthwhile and we learned that we could do a lot with our life if we learned Gaelic.” James Staddon, 5B

Cookery – The cookery club has been meeting during the winter under the direction of Mrs Yvonne Spence. They have prepared a wide range of dishes and a number of pupils have taken the opportunity to attend the club to complete the skills section of their DofE awards. At the last session on 22nd April, a small presentation was made to Mrs Spence to thank her for running this club for us again. Click here to see some photos.

Malawi Link – In the first week of term, we received replies to the letters we sent to our Link School in Malawi last term. These were about daily routines on a typical school day and the replies showed some interesting differences between the lives of young people here and in Malawi. We have just completed writing new letters to send out to Malawi – this time the topic is “my favourite school subject”.

Following our receipt of a Global Schools Partnership grant through the British Council to allow teachers to visit between the Link Schools, plans for two Malawian teachers to visit us here in Gairloch are making progress, albeit slowly. We plan that the Malawian teachers will be coming here towards the end of August, although this is obviously dependent on them obtaining passports and visas – a rather drawn out process in Malawi. There will then be a return visit by two teachers from Gairloch to Malawi in October. The purpose of these visits is to allow teachers to learn more about their partner school and to develop collaborative projects for pupils in both schools to work on to increase their understanding of the world. It is hoped that they will pave the way for further joint projects and visits between the schools in the future.

Although the Global Schools Partnership grant and other funds will cover the majority of the costs associated with these visits, it is still necessary for us to raise about £800 to fully cover the costs of our Malawian visitors. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of the conditions of the grant received is that the UK partner school covers the additional costs of the visit. The Parent Council are organising a Soup Lunch in Gairloch Community Hall on Saturday 22nd May to raise money for this (see separate advertisement) and we hope that many of you will support this.

Please support the Soup Lunch for our Malawi Link – Gairloch Community Hall Saturday 22nd May 12 -2pm.

SQA national exams – Good luck to all our pupils S4 to S6!

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