School news 25th June 2010

Staffing – After 15 years at Gairloch High School Mr Hugh Conway has departed for a new job at Nairn Academy. We wish him well and thank him for his contribution to the school community during his time at Gairloch.

P7 Induction Days – On the 10th & 11th June P7 pupils attended for the final part of their induction to High School. At the end of the two days the children received their school ties, which we hope they will wear with pride after the holidays.

Pupil Success – The following pupils have been selected at Regional level on the basis of skill and effort. Very well done!
Highland Region Youth Orchestra – Sophie Donald (Violin)
Highland Region String Orchestra – Becky Griggs (violin) & Oscar Howard (violin)
Highland Region Traditional Band (‘Snas) – Ella McDonagh (accordion & piano), Conal McDonagh (pipes & whistle) and Alasdair Paul (guitar)
Highland Region Youth Choir – Ainslie MacKenzie
In addition, Alasdair Paul has had a successful audition for the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail, and will be playing as part of that group all over the Region during the summer holidays.

“C for Craic” – Our folk group consists of Alasdair Paul (guitar), Sophie Donald (violin, guitar), Ella McDonagh (accordion), Conal McDonagh (pipes, whistle), Ross MacDonald (accordion), Mags Matheson (violin) and is led by our tireless strings instructor Rhona Sutherland. The group will be making an hour-long appearance on the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens during the Edinburgh Festival – on Monday 9th August between 10am and 12.15pm (to be confirmed). We wish them all the very best!

Sofie Banister (S1) has qualified for Blair International Horse Trials and took the In-Hand Championship at Mundole and at the Caledonian Spring Show recently. She has also come in the top 6 in the Show Hunter Pony Class, which covers Scotland and the North of England. Well-done Sofie!

Rhoda Tippett and Conor Easby took part in the recent charity 10K from Strath to Sand Camp Site and back. Well done both!

Big Bang Festival of Science – Earlier in the year, Kieran Morrison (S3) received his CREST (Creativity and Research in Science Engineering and Technology) Award for working on “Brine Date” – the mating preferences of brine shrimps, inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection. As a result of his work, he was invited to the Big Bang Festival of Science at the University of Abertay earlier this month to present his findings. Kieran had a fascinating day and represented the school magnificently well.

Enterprise Event – S4 pupils were involved in a variation of ‘Junior Apprentice’, recently broadcast on BBC1, for two days of their Enterprise Week. Four teams were set the task of coming up with a new piece of camping equipment, just as contestants on the television programme were required to do. Time was spent researching ideas and developing them into a product. It was only on the second day that the pupils were informed that the rest of the school, albeit only S1-3, were to be their audience and judges. Each team put on a presentation outlining the merits of their products and the younger pupils voted for the product they would mostly likely buy. The winning team, consisting of Gabriel (team leader), Olivia, Alexander, Rosie, Anju and Andrew, created an all-in-one mattress, sleeping bag and tent; this proved far more popular than a device for helping to bury human waste, an integrated GPS, clock, thermometer and torch, and a clothes pony (as opposed to a clothes horse). All participants are to be congratulated on the way they approached and accomplished this task.

Triathlon – The school held its first triathlon on Friday 18th June. Centred on the harbour and Flowerdale, ten mixed teams of three kayaked, ran and mountain biked over a hard course. Much to their relief the teachers came home first in 41’30”. The first pupil team home in a total time of 42’02” was Jake Bulmer (kayak), Kim Watson (run) and Alasdair MacLennan (bike). As an inter-house event, Maree came first, followed by Kerry and then Tollaidh. It was good to see so many young people competing hard and putting in 100% effort. Click here to see photos of the event or here for a slideshow.

Thanks to Gairloch Boat Club and Torridon MRT for helping with safety cover, Hands On Events and Square Wheels bikes (Strathpeffer) for sponsoring prizes and Gairloch estate for allowing the use of their land. The entire event was conceived, organised and marshalled by S4 Skills for Work pupils.

Visitors from Malawi – In August, shortly after the start of the new term, we anticipate that two teachers from our Link School in Malawi will be visiting Gairloch for about 2 weeks; the Head Teacher, Mr Winnex Chimtali, and the Depute, Miss Sarah Ajawa. This opportunity follows our successful application for a Global School Partnerships grant for reciprocal visits and other fund raising. The purpose of the visit is to develop the link between our schools by enabling us to discuss, plan and initiate joint work with a global theme. It is also an opportunity for our pupils to learn more about life in a developing country and for us to engage in professional dialogue with our colleagues. Our visitors will be spending a large proportion of their time in the High School, but will also visit some or all of the Primary Schools.

During the visit, we are planning a community ceilidh to give them a real Scottish welcome to Wester Ross. This will be in Gairloch Community Hall on the evening of Saturday 28th August (after the Gairloch Show) and is intended to provide an opportunity for pupils, staff, parents and other members of the community to meet socially with our visitors.

They will also be meeting with some community groups. Already, the ATC, the Youth Football Club and others have expressed interest. If any other community groups would like to meet with our visitors, please get in touch with Dr Caley at the school.

Prefects – Interviews have taken place and prefect ties issued. Pupils have to agree to take on a series of responsibilities and we wish them all luck in living up to the challenge asked of them in setting an example. A number of pupils are asked to form a team of senior prefects with additional responsibilities.
Head Boy & Girl – James Staddon, Katrina Port.
Deputes – Jade Watson, Rhoda Tippett & Alasdair Paul.
Details of Senior House Prefects will be in the next issue.

Prize Giving is on Wednesday 30th June at 1.30pm in the School. This year we have a special guest, Mrs Janet Bowen, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty. Parents and guests are welcome to attend this ceremony.

School closes for the holidays at 1.30pm, Friday the 2nd July. The next issue of the G&DTimes will include names of the awards and prize-winners from Sports Day and Prize Giving.

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