School news 1st October 2010

Former Pupil – Staff and pupils were shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the death of former pupil Harry Valentine last weekend.  Harry had just moved to Edinburgh to start his Higher Education course studying Horticulture.  Harry was a prefect in S6 last year and left school at the summer.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Harry’s family at this time of terrible loss.

Staffing Update – Staff said farewell to Mr. Trevor Nash last week when he took up his promoted post as an Area Coordinator for Fujitsu based on the east coast.  Mr. Nash provided an admirable service as the school ICT technician for several years prior to the Highland Council handing over the maintenance of ICT in all schools to a managed service.  As part of the transfer to Fujitsu Mr. Nash gained promotion.  Everyone at the school wishes him well in his new job.  At the same time we also welcomed his replacement Mr. Robert Snapes to the High School.  Mr. Snapes has been given a list of jobs already!

Duke of Edinburgh’s AwardEarlier this month a group of four pupils spent the night at Slattadale as a practice Duke of Edinburgh Expedition.  Despite the rain and the wind, we managed a couple of walks and also made a ‘mini Loch Maree’ by putting leaves, sticks and stones around a puddle.  We all enjoyed the expedition especially when there were no midges!” Text by Rachel MacKenzie.   Fingers crossed the weather will be a bit better this week when the pupils are assessed.  Visit the school website by clicking here to see photographs of this activity.

Basketball – Congratulations to the S1 boys’ basketball team, who played in a warm up tournament for the national schools’ competition, last Wednesday at Millburn Academy.  Despite losing their first game 9-23 against Culloden, they bounced back strongly to win 15 – 5 against Fortrose 1, 14 – 9 against Fortrose 2 and finally 31 – 1 against Alness.  The boys were complimented on their performance by other teams’ coaches.

The U15 basketball team will be playing in a warm up game for the Scottish schools’ cup on 7th October, away against Fortrose.

S3 Art trip to Glasgow – Four S3 pupils, Ainsley MacKenzie, Eilidh MacLennan, Gemma McLean and Emma Morrison, accompanied Ms Gulliver on a short trip to Glasgow at the beginning of September to see around a few places of interest, exhibitions and galleries.  We started with a guided tour around the Glasgow School of Art designed by Charles Rennie MacKintosh, followed by a look around (and a hot chocolate at) the famous ‘Willow Tea Rooms’, also designed by MacKintosh.   We were lucky enough to catch the biggest ever exhibition of work by ‘The Glasgow Boys’ at Kelvingrove, which closes very shortly.  We had a short visit to the Gallery of Modern Art and another much needed refreshment break in the ‘Café Gandolfi’, well known for its furniture which was designed and made by the sculptor Tim Stead.  We went via Edinburgh on our way home to take advantage of some tickets kindly donated by Ainsley’s Mum, to see an exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, called ‘Impressionist Gardens’.  We squeezed a lot into our three days away and hopefully some of the experiences will feed into an iMovie about the work of Charles Rennie MacKintosh and some future essays about Scottish landscape painting, both of which will be submitted to the Comenius Project presently underway in the school.

S4 Skills for Work – Kayaking The pupils in the S4 Skills for Work class have been participating in kayaking sessions at the harbour this term.  On the water, they have been learning good forward paddling technique and how to maneuver the sea kayaks efficiently.  They have also been practising rescue techniques, taking turns at rescuing others and being rescued.  Off the water, they have been learning about and taking responsibility for the kit required for the sessions, how to adjust the kayaks to fit them and how to tie them safely onto the trailer.  Click here for a selection of photographs on the school website of this activity.

Art Exhibition Bus Tour – The Travelling Gallery from Edinburgh visited us again last week.  All the classes in the school had a turn to visit the ‘bus’ parked behind the school, to listen to the introductory talk and to view the exhibition.  On this occasion the exhibition on display was called ‘Impossible Nation’.  It was a collaborative venture involving eight  Scottissh artists who used many ‘graffiti’ and ‘street art’ techniques as well as more traditional approaches to art.  The result was a thought-provoking collage of contemporary images, folk tales and fragmented snatches of history which, together, attempted to discover if there is such a thing as a Scottish national identity.

S6 Outdoor Education – Kayaking – The S6 group have been practising kayaking for the last few weeks. Their training culminated in a trip from Badachro back to Gairloch, via Shieldaig and Kerrysdale bay.  The journey started off in flat calm weather but by the time they got past the harbour the group had to deal with a robust wind from the South and a following sea.  As well as getting a lot better at handling their boats, the pupils have discovered that “seals and crabs really aren’t very scary”.

Photographs of this activity are available by clicking here.

Important Dates – S3 and S4 Monitoring reports were issued this week.  S4 Work Experience week begins on the 4th October.  School closes for the October break at 3.30pm on 8th October.  Monday 25th October is an In-Service Day for staff only with pupils returning on Tuesday the 26th October.  Click here for more dates.

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