National Gaelic Debate Winners 2011

National Gaelic Debate Winners 2011!Click on the photo above to see some more pictures

Congratulations to Ceitidh Alice and Anna who returned to Gairloch with the trophy they received on November 30th as the winners of the 2011 National Gaelic Debate. On Tuesday evening they defeated The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway in the semi-final. On St Andrew’s Day they took on and beat Millburn Academy in the final in the Scottish Parliament.  Anna was also presented with the trophy for the best debater in the competition. What a wonderful achievement!

Read about the final at CnaG

We also heard that the following motion was delivered in the Scottish Parliament:

“Rob Gibson: Gairloch Wins Gaelic Debate—That the Parliament congratulates Gairloch High School debating team on winning the BT Scotland Gaelic Schools Debate for 2011 and wishes it well in future debates and in its skilful use of Scotland’s oldest native tongue.”

Here is Ceitidh Alice & Anna Hulme’s account of the trip to Edinburgh:

Air an 28mh den t-Samhain shiubhail Ceitidh Alice Hulme, Anna Hulme agus Mgr Cuimeanach sìos  a Dhùn Èideann, airson pàirt a ghabhail san Iar-Chuairt Dheireannach dhe Deasbad BT Alba 2011.  ’S ann an aghaidh Sgoil MhicNeacail à Steòrnabhagh a bha sinn, agus is e ‘‘Se amaideas a th’ ann ùine neo airgead a chosg air a bhith fasanta’, an moladh a bh’ againne, is sinne a’ cur na aghaidh. ‘S ann an Ionad nan Sgeulachdan air a’ Mhìle Rìoghail a thachair seo. Bha Ceitidh Alice caran nearbhach, oir ‘s e sgoil làidir a thaobh na Gàidhlig a tha ann an Sgoil MhicNeacail.  An deidh dhuinn ar n-òraidean, ceistean is co-dhùnaidhean a dhèanamh, bhruidhinn na britheamhan a measg a cheile, is co-dhùin iad gur e sinne an sgoil a dheigheadh troimhe dhan ath chuairt.  Bha sinn uabhasach fhèin toilichte, ach bha tòrr obair againn ri dheànamh an ath latha, is a’ chuairt dheireannach gu bhith a’ gabhail àite ann am Parlamaid na h-Alba am feasgar ud.   ‘S ann airson a’ mholaidh ‘Tha thìde aig Alba ìomhaigh ùr a’ shireadh an àite seann eachdraidh, pìobaireachd is tartain’ a bha sinn a’ deasbad, agus nar n-aghaidh, bha Acadamaidh Allt a’ Mhuillinn.  Bha sinn air bhoil airson a’ chuairt dheireannach agus chòrd e ruinn a bhith a deasbad san togalach iongantach seo gu mòr, ach dh’ fhàs cuisean fiu ’s na b’ fhèarr nuair a chaidh innse dhuinn gun robh sinn air a bhith soirbheachail, is air Deasbad BT Alba  a bhuannachadh!  Tha sinn cuideachd uabhasabh pròiseil a Anna, a bhuannaich ‘an Oraidiche as fhèarr’ a-mach à uile an luchd-deasbaid a ghabh pàirt am-bliadhna.

On the 28th of November Ceitidh Alice Hulme, Anna Hulme and Mr Cumming travelled down to Edinburgh to participate in the semi-finals of Deasbad Bt Alba 2011.  We were against the Nicholson Institute from Stornoway, and the motion was ‘It is foolish to spend time or money on being fashionable’, and we were against it.  Ceitidh Alice was quite nervous because the Nicholson Institute is a strong school for Gàidhlig.  After all the speeches, questions and conclusion were finished, the judges talked amongst themselves and decided that we were the school that would go through to the finals.  We were very happy, but we had a lot of work to do the next day, with the final taking place in the Scottish Parliament that evening.   We were for the motion ‘It’s time Scotland looked for a new image instead of old history, piping and tartan’ and opposing this was Millburn Academy.  We were very excited about reaching the finals, and we enjoyed the experience of debating in the Parliament.  After we had finished, we were delighted to hear that we had been successful, and won Deasbad Bt Alba!   We are also very proud of Anna, who won best speaker out of all the contestants who participated this year.

On their return from the heats in Stornoway Ceitidh Alice Hulme  provided the following report:

Air an 8mh là den t-Samhain, chaidh Anna Hulme agus Ceitidh Alice Hulme dha Steòrnabhagh le Mgr Cuimeanach airson pàirt a ghabhail ann an Deasbad BT na h-Alba 2011.  Bha sinn a’ deasbad an aghaidh a’ mholaidh  “Tha peataichean nan companaich nas fheàrr na daoine”, is bha sinn an aghaidh Sgoil Lionacleit, à Uibhist.  Bha sinn soirbheachail san deasbad seo, is an ath là bha sinn a’ deasbad le Acadamaidh Hazlehead, à Obar Dheathainn.  Bha sinn a’ deasbad an aghaidh a’ mholaidh  “Tha cus saorsainn aig daoine am beachdan a chur an cèill air làraichean conaltraidh sòisealta”.  Bha sinn soirbheachail san deasbad seo cuideachd.  Aig deireadh na mìos, bidh mi fhìn is Anna a’ deasbad an aghaidh Sgoil Mhicneacail, à Steòrnabhagh, an aghaidh a’ mholaidh  “’S e amaideas a th’ann a bhith a’ cosg ùine neo airgead air a bhith fasanta”.  Tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart dhan iar-chuairt dheireannach ann an Dùn Eideann, is tha sinn a’ toirt taing dha Mgr Cuimeanach airson a bhith a coimhead as ar dèidh!

On the 8th of November, Anna Hulme and Ceitidh Alice Hulme went to Stornoway with our tidsear Mr Cumming to participate in a Gaelic debate.   We were against the motion:  “Pets are better companions than people”, and we were debating with  Sgoil Lìonacleit, Uist.  We were successful in the first round, and had to debate against Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen, in the next round, the following day.  We were against the motion  “People have too much freedom to express their views on social networking sites”.  We were successful in this round too, and went through to the semi-finals in Edinburgh.  We will be debating against the Nicholson Institute, Stornoway, at the end of the month.  We will be against the motion  “Its foolish to spend time and money to be fashionable”.  Thank you to Mr Cumming who looked after us!

The girls have already received congratulations and accolades from MSP Rob Gibson, Director of ECS, Highland Council Hugh Fraser, Calum MacSween, Acting Head of Education, Ward 6 Councillors Richard Greene and Isabelle Campbell as well many locals in the Gairloch Community.  Everyone is very proud of their achievement.

Highland Council Press Release

BBC ALBA

Deasbad BT Alba

Read about the semi-finals @ CnaG

Read about the heats @ CnaG

Climbing Wall – 1st Anniversary Celebration

Click on the photo to s ee more photos of the event

On Saturday (November 26th 2011) the Gairloch Community Climbing Wall Group held an open event in collaboration with the Gairloch Leisure Centre and the High School Parent Council to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the opening of the upgraded climbing wall. Between 12 noon and 4.30pm the climbing wall was buzzing with dozens of climbers, young and old, novices and hot shots. Around 150 folk turned out for this community event. As well as climbing the event had trade stalls, tea and cake (courtesy of the Parent Council) and a chance to take part in other activities. The martial arts demonstrations encouraged participants to train alongside the masters and the indoor rowing machines (sponsored previously by donations from the Great Wilderness Challenge) were available for good-natured competition. There was also a chance to try some Zumba with local trainer Katrina. The younger children also had fun on the play equipment and enjoyed creating a climbing wall birthday banner. No charge was made for admission however over £200 was raised through donations. This money will help fund the refreshments as well as allow further spending on equipment to support climbing groups using the wall.

Headteacher Mr. John Port thanked everyone who helped make this a great day out including the catering team, activity leaders, belayers and all the keen young volunteers from Gairloch High School. He particularly thanked members of the Parent Council for providing a great spread of cakes. “As well as lots of locals we had visitors from Ullapool and other far flung places. The wall has proved a great benefit to the school and leisure centre. I am very grateful to all the sponsors who helped fund this substantial improvement to the facility and the success of this event just shows that it was worth the effort. The Leisure Centre is now running climbing classes several times a week and school pupils and the public use the wall extensively at other times. Saturday’s celebration of the wall’s first anniversary was a great success and much of the credit for the planning of the day should go to young Amy Tattersall and her dad Paul. I imagine that they may be planning for a second anniversary event already!”

Local fund raising supplemented by contributions from the Great Wilderness Challenge, INEOS, sportscotland and Highland Leader funded the building of the wall by Dundee based company Avertical World.

School news 18th November 2011

Visit from Malawi  – We have heard within the last week that two teachers, Mr Maseko and Mr Chabwera, have finalised their passports, visas and flights and will be visiting the school between the 5th and 19th of December. This may seem a strange time of year for a visit but it is the only time that can be fitted in this year. In many respects, it will certainly be an experience for our visitors! They will be involved in a programme of activities, currently being drawn up, involving the school and its associated primary schools. It is also hoped that, as last year, community groups will be involved with the visit so please contact the school with any suggestions. We look forward to welcoming our visitors, working with them and giving them a time to remember.

National Gaelic Debate – Anna Hulme (S6) and Ceitidh Alice Hulme (S3) travelled to Stornoway to represent the school in this competition.  On Tuesday 8th November Anna and Ceitidh won their first round debate against Sgoil Lionacleit (Uist).  They performed exceptionally the following day against Hazelhead Academy (Aberdeen) and have qualified for the semi-finals of the National Debate in Edinburgh at the end of the month. They were judged among the four best teams out of the twelve who had reached the second round. Well-done girls!

Gairloch teamClick on the photo for more pictures

School Proms – Becky Griggs travelled down to London to take part in the The School Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 8th November.  During the October Fèis she was invited to take part in the Advanced Groupwork class of 30 traditional musicians joined by 10 of the best brass players from Scotland’s schools.  They developed an 8-minute arrangement of Scottish Music with tutors Corinna Hewat and Dave Milligan (both founding members of The Unusual Suspects.  Well-done Becky for achieving such recognition!

Culture Club Opera Trip – Our third Culture Club outing in the current session took us back to Eden Court to see The Barber of Seville by Scottish Opera.   Our group was entirely made up of S1 and S2 pupils.  It was a long performance – about three hours, including the interval, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  The sets and costumes were tremendous and the singing was, as expected, really impressive.  But on top of this, the performers were also very talented actors who were able to portray the amusing story with great effect.   We were late home but everyone agreed that it was very much worth being a little tired the next day!

Blythswood Shoebox Appeal – Thank you to all the staff and pupils who made or helped to make a shoebox this year. Altogether we have sent 27 Christmas shoeboxes to make life happier for people less fortunate than ourselves.

Blythswood Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2011

Each shoebox is packed with toothbrushes and toothpaste, hats and gloves, pens, pencils and notepads.  Blythswood deliver them each Christmas to a number of countries and Gairloch High School is proud to contribute to this work.

Basketball Result – The girls’ U14 basketball team played the first of their matches in the National Schools’ Cup, against Fortrose Academy, before the October holiday.  Although they lost 28-6, the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests, especially in the first half. Going into the last quarter, Gairloch were only trailing by 4 baskets. Well done to all involved. Thank you Strath Stores for supplying refreshments!

Girls' U14 Basketball Team

Thanks to Mr. Johnston and Mr. Gorman we have a thriving group of pupils playing basketball.  All three teams having been playing games against other schools recently and each has acquitted themselves well.

The U14 boys won against Inverness Royal Academy 36 – 30 on Tuesday 1st November at home and our senior boys known as the “All Stars” team, who won 58 – 29.

U14 Basketball Team

The boys U14 team then won 40 – 10 against Alness on Wednesday 2nd November at home. The Gairloch All Stars also played a game against a very strong and experienced Alness senior team. They lost a physical encounter 25 – 8 but acquitted themselves admirably.

The U14 girls’ and boys’ teams both played away to Culloden Academy in the National Schools’ Cup on Tuesday 7th November. Culloden are the current Scottish champions and both teams contain members of the Scotland squad. Our teams lost their games but gained the respect of their opponents. The boys lost 45 -28. This is an absolutely remarkable result and the closest Culloden have been run in a long time. Well done to all.

Remembrance Assembly – On Armistice Day, 11/11/11, the school community gathered to hold a special assembly of remembrance leading up to a two-minute silence at 11am.  Members of the ATC joined others at local ceremonies at Poolewe, Cove and Gairloch throughout the weekend.  Head Girl, Anna Hulme piped at the Gairloch War Memorial on Sunday morning.

SCHOLAR is one of the world’s largest school e-learning education programmes and it is available to pupils studying a wide range of Highers, Advanced Highers and some Intermediate courses.  Departments in Gairloch High School have enrolled pupils and will have user names and passwords to access their courses. Any pupil who does not know his or her access details should speak to their teachers about this.

We have loaded SCHOLAR’s Parent Information Leaflet onto the school website.  It is available here by clicking on this link.

Senior Football – On Saturday 29th October eight pupils and two teachers travelled to Dornoch to the Highland Small Schools’ Seven-a-side football tournament. We played four gruelling games against very strong teams and unfortunately we failed to qualify. Going into our final game, we had won two games and lost one. We had to at least draw to go through to the semi-finals. Despite Dale Cunningham opening the score line with a superb long-range volley we lost 2-1. Our boys didn’t have an easy time however they managed to score seven goals. Five of these came from Dale Cunningham. Kenneth MacLennan scored a sublime goal and David Gorman neatly tucked the ball into the bottom corner. Our defence was strong.  Murdo and Kenneth MacLennan managed to withstand the opposition on many occasions.  Our goalie, Reece MacDonald, made some great saves. We had Sandy Garrioch playing on the right of midfield creating some very good attacking opportunities and myself on the left doing the same. On the whole we were happy with our team’s performance and we look forward to next year’s tournament. We would like to thank Mr. Cumming for organising training this year and we would also like to thank Mrs. Gorman for taking five of our players to the tournament. Without the adults we would not have been able to go – so once again thank you very much – Ryan MacLean, S4

Gairloch High

Car Wash Fundraising Event – A message from Nick Stein: We are a group of S5 pupils who are doing a new course in English, which involves   organising an event of our own choice.  We have been learning how to research using the Internet and to compose letters and emails to make the event happen.  Any money raised goes toward our visit to the Edinburgh Castle Museum, including overnight accommodation, food and transport.

The car wash will be held at the High School car park between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 10th December to coincide with the Christmas Market in the Community Hall.  The cost per car will be £3.  Please support this enterprising event by the pupils.

Future Chef Competition


Eight boys and girls, ranging from S2 to S5, entered the School Heat of the Future Chef competition.

Pupils had one hour to prepare and cook a hot main course for 2 people within a budget of £4.The meals had to be plated up, ready for judging.
Susan Kirkness – Rosie Smith’s Mother – kindly came in this morning to judge the dishes. As a result of Rosie’s participation in this event, she is now in London training with Michel Roux Jr.

  1. Holly Morrison -Sausage and Haricot Bean Ragu with Mustard Mash.
  2. Josie Ogle -Mushroom Crepes with Asparagus and Bechamel Sauce
  3. Ann Sabu – Chicken Kiev

Holly will now get the chance to enter the competition at the next level.  Thanks to Susan who judged this without any prior knowledge of who cooked what.  Click on the photo above to see more pictures of the event.

School news 4th November 2011

Malawi Visit – Mr Hulme visited our link school with his elder daughter Anna during the holiday staying with Mr. and Mrs. Chimtali, the headteacher and his wife. They had opportunity to work in the school, meet community members and explore the area as well as carrying out a number of projects. A full report will appear in a future edition.

Toothbrushes for All

S4 Prelim Exams – These important exams begin on the 23rd November and all S4 pupils should be working several additional hours a week at home to prepare for them.  These exams cover all the work they have covered, in each of their subjects, since they began the courses at the beginning of S3.  If your S4 son or daughter is struggling to put in the commitment required to be successful please give them practical support.  If you are not sure what you can do to help then contact Pupil Support at the school.  Study Club will start shortly.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Ian Paul, Isla MacKenzie and Luke Gorman have been presented with their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at assembly.   Well done to all three!

Pupil Success outside School – Oscar Howard (S3) participated in the Scottish Junior Masters Golf Tournament finals at Gleneagles during the October holidays. In spite of fairly awful weather he managed a creditable 25th place in the event.  Well done Oscar!

Fund Raising for Charity – The school pupils have received a certificate of thanks for raising £250 on the Jeans for Genes Day last term.  S6 organised a single day event where pupils were allowed to wear their jeans for a small donation.  We received another certificate from Oxfam for raising £573 during Water Aid Week.  S2 pupils were sponsored for carrying buckets of water around the sports field simulating the efforts of many people around the world to collect water.

So You Want to be a Doctor? – Jasmine Easby, Callum Vickerstaff and Fraser Hinchliff attended an event held in Inverness before the holiday that gave detailed information for anyone interested in entering the medical profession.  The pupils reported the worth of the trip and would like to thank Dr Mitchell for assisting with transport.

Basketball Result – The girls’ U14 basketball team played the first of their matches in the National Schools’ Cup, against Fortrose Academy, before the October holiday.  Although they lost 28-6, the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests, especially in the first half. Going into the last quarter, Gairloch were only trailing by 4 baskets. Well done to all involved. Thanks also go to Strath Stores once again for refreshments.  Training takes place on Tuesdays after school.

Crofting Connections – Mrs. Fraser, Rosie Mackenzie and Deborah Connop travelled to Skye before the October holidays to join in with schools from crofting areas as far away as Argyll and Shetland.  This has become an annual event set up by Pam Rodway of Crofting Connections.  Young people meet and share music and legendary tales from their local areas.  The children then perform at the annual Scottish Crofters Federation Convention and later on in the evening at Portree High school.  A busy and enjoyable three days.

2012 GHS Calendar – The new GHS Calendar for 2012 is in the hands of the printer right now and the presses are going to roll very shortly.  So, if you would like to pre-order any copies for Christmas presents, please ring the school office, 712275, to leave your details.  This is the last edition of the calendar so make sure you get a copy of it.  All proceeds to school funds!

A Christmas Carol – The whole of S2 is currently involved in preparing a musical version of  ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.  Not only are the pupils doing everything on stage, but they are making the props, designing the posters and organising the costumes.  It could be called an ‘all-singing, all-dancing production’!  So keep your eye on this space for up-dates and keep one of the following dates free – Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th December at 7.30pm.

National Outdoor Learning Conference – In recent years the Scottish Government has put great store on the use of the natural environment as a supporting resource for teachers.  Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell, spoke at the national conference held in the Cairngorm National Park on Friday 28th October.  Gairloch High School was invited to display the work that we do with pupils alongside national organisations such as John Muir Trust and Outward Bound.  Mr. Port and Mr. Johnston were kept busy throughout the day answering questions from professionals interested in how we manage to provide such a wide range of outdoor learning.  These opportunities extend well beyond activities such as kayaking, bike skills and climbing and other sporting activities.  From the S1 SMART course working with Rangers in Inverewe Garden to the production of the vegetables in the raised beds through to Geography field trips to the Cairngorms, archaeology trips and environmental art projects, we have developed a wide range of outdoor learning that builds on the more established Nethy Trip and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  Crofting links are being established alongside work with Celtic Fringe giving pupils a better understanding of business and tourism in the Highlands.  During the visit to the conference Mr. Port took the opportunity to drop in on S3 pupils staying at Badaguish as part of their Hospitality course.  This included a trip for the pupils to the top of Cairngorm in the funicular and a visit to the Highland Folk Museum.