School news 20th September 2012

Highland Small Schools’ Football League – This year we entered two S2/3 boys’ teams and a senior boys’ team into this competition. The seniors completed their first set of fixtures in Ullapool on Saturday the 8th of September while the S2/3 teams competed in Dornoch on Thursday the 13th of September. The final fixtures will be completed in the next few weeks and the top two teams in each section will qualify for the semi-final stages later in the year. As it stands, the senior team will have to win all of their final games to qualify for the latter stages. In the first round of games, they lost several close games that could have gone their way with a bit more luck. The Gairloch B team in the S2/3 team is at the top of their league after six games of which they won five and drew one. In these games they scored fifteen goals and only conceded one – an excellent achievement. The Gairloch A team in the S2/3 competition won two, drew one and lost three of their fixtures. All teams played with a healthy competitive spirit while also demonstrating excellent sportsmanship.

S4 Biology field trip – The High School takes part in the annual “Shore Thing” rocky shore survey, which aims to chart the impact of rising sea temperatures on the living things around our shores. On Thursday 30th August, the S4 standard grade class went to our survey site at Rhu Reidh for a happy day’s guddling about in rock pools. There is a quite a lot of technical identification involved and Chris Barrat was on hand to help with us sort out our Laminaria from our Fucus and our thick topshells from our painted topshells – many thanks for a good day.  Photos of this trip are available on the website. Click on the photo below to view them.

S4 Biology Field Trip

Comenius Greek Evening – Our Comenius Project Greek Evening will be held in the school hall on Tuesday 25th September, starting at 7pm.  As well as presentations about our trip to Athens, there will be some Greek food provided, courtesy of the hospitality pupils, and why not try some Greek dancing?  All welcome.

Internet and Cyberbullying Training – S1 pupils will shortly receive CEOP training. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) works across the UK tackling child sex abuse and providing advice for parents, young people and carers.  The training material can only be delivered by specially trained staff and is intended to raise the awareness of youngsters to the potential problems they might encounter online, often due to their naivety.   Gairloch High helped pilot the use of these training resources in Highland several years ago.

We have also been asked by Northern Constabulary to remind parents and carers of guidance provided on inappropriate use of mobile phones.  This information is available on the school website and also available on the Council website, and on the Northern Constabulary website

Dance – Four secondary pupils from the Caroline Browne School of Dance; Rebecca Pollington (S6), Megan Copland (S2), Leonie Baptist (S1) and Hannah Wood (S1), performed highland dances for the visiting artists at the Ceangal Ceilidh on Saturday 8th September. Three Gairloch Primary pupils; Ellie McCloy (P2), Helen Urquhart (P3) and Arlene Morrison (P7) and Isobel MacDonald (P3) from Poolewe Primary, also performed.  This was the first time that the pupils had danced in public and 3 of the girls learned the ‘Sean Triubhas’ in the space of 3 weeks.  Jamie MacLean piped for the dancers having had to learn new tunes at very short notice.  Well done to all of the girls and, of course, to Jamie for some excellent piping!

Wild about Gairloch – Throughout the day on Friday 28th the Hospitality pupils under professional tuition and guidance,  will be spending the day learning how to prep and serve game and other foodstuffs. This will be a valuable training ground for the pupils in food preparation, customer service, and understanding exactly what visitors to the area are looking for in local restaurants and hotels.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Three pupils have received their Bronze Award at assembly.  Well done to Sofie Banister, Eilidh Owens and Jamie MacLean.

Former pupil Success – We have been notified by Heriot Watt University That Jonathan Stevens has graduated this summer MEng Mechanical Engineering.  Well-done Jonathan!

Important Dates – The website is updated regularly.  You can visit by searching the web for Gairloch High or go to

School news 7th September 2012

DofE Gold Expedition Assessment

Gold DofE Expedtion Assessment – Seven pupils headed for the Cairngorms last week to complete their gold qualifying venture. The group of Anna Hulme, Kirsty Alexander, Gemma Urquhart, Calum Milner, Jake Bulmer, Callum Vickerstaff and David Robertson had planned a demanding 4-day route. This took them into the heart of the Cairngorms where they encountered some challenging weather conditions, ferocious midges and some tough terrain. They were rewarded with spectacular views and a real sense of achievement gained by scaling some of Scotland’s highest peaks. The group did themselves proud – teamwork was excellent and they remained cheerful and enthusiastic for the whole expedition. Their success was due to hard work, detailed planning and by putting into practice all they had learnt in previous expeditions. The Assessor’s report says it all: This was an extremely arduous and adventurous expedition in which every member of the team contributed to the success. As a group they were exceptional and epitomized the very best of the award. Many congratulations.

For the staff who have supervised, trained and assessed the members of this group through the expedition sections of all their awards, it is particularly satisfying to know that these young people intend to continue their hill-walking and mountaineering adventures.  Click on the photo above to see more images.

Comenius – Our Comenius Project has now drawn to a close after 2 successful, enjoyable years of working with our partner schools in Greece, Latvia, Italy and Germany.  Results of the project an links to pupil work, photos and short films can be seen here.

To mark the end to the project, we will be holding a Greek Evening in the school hall on the 25th September, to which all members of the community are invited.  Please see the advert in this issue for details. Finally, a big thank-you to all the community members, pupils, school staff and host families who made this project such a success.

Beinn Eighe School Trip – On Tuesday the 21st of August, third year Biology and Geography classes went on the Beinn Eighe nature walk. The first section of the Mountain Trail was through the pine forests that surround the shores of Loch Maree. Everything was fine apart from the midges that attacked us at every stop. It was heavy going along the almost vertical trail, but the views across the loch to Slioch were spectacular. The woods gradually thinned as we climbed higher, eventually disappearing altogether. After about an hour, the trail flattened out, and we were walking through a world of scree and crags. Up here we saw the only wildlife of the trip, a buzzard and a frog. At last we reached the summit, where the rain clouds finally broke. After the rain eased, we were able to see the moonscape of jagged rocks that lay before us. We followed the trail back down. The descent was steep, alongside deep gorges, but after four hours, we reached the bottom. All had a good time and we look forward to the next trip. Click on the photo below to see more images.

S3 Biology
Malawi Visit –Mr. Hulme and Mrs. Johnston had a very successful trip to our partner school, Mlozi, at the end of June. The fortnight was devoted to working with teachers and learners, teaching Scottish country-dances and participating in the life of the school and community. They came home with many ideas to develop the link along with photographs and videos to use in Gairloch High School over the coming months.

Their journey to the school was very difficult this year. The rains had carved deep trenches in much of the fifteen miles of untarred road. The driver did very well to manage this though he clearly didn’t fancy having to repeat the journey, as he wasn’t working for the hire company when it came to return.

Malawi visit 2012

The highlight was the Saturday when Mlozi played a neighbouring school at netball and football. Mlozi won the games but it was the supporters who made the day really special. Throughout the afternoon the girls danced and sang. Whenever a net or goal was scored, the pitch was invaded by the team’s supporters though the game just carried on. After the final whistle, the supporters of Mlozi ran round the village singing. It only ended as darkness began to fall.  Click on the photo above to see more images on the school website.

Basketball During the summer holidays I was given the chance to go to Inverness for 5 days and coach the Highland U12 and U13 at basketball.  This was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it although I found it hard to control them while trying to teach them something. I might now want to become a basketball coach someday. I would like to thank John Kerry for giving me the opportunity. The day the basketball camp finished my mum picked me up and we travelled overnight by bus to London and had an amazing day watching 3 basketball games at the Olympics. Jordan Gorman

Former Pupil SuccessKieran Morrison has been accepted for Harrogate Army College.  He starts on 9th September after receiving a glowing report based on entry exams.  We wish Kieran all the best in his chosen career.

Leanne Mackay starts with the Police Cadets on 10th September.  After a very stiff selection process Leanne is one of the few cadets being appointed.  She will be based initially in Dingwall.

Emily Ross received MA Honours in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Emily is now going to the University of Aberdeen to study a PGDE (Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education).

Hannah Mitchell has been awarded BA Hons in Textile Design by Glasgow School of Art.

Ishbel Beeson received a Joint Honours in Film Studies and Art History from University of St Andrews.  Well done to all five!

Former Pupil Donation – We received a donation of £210 from Alison Knox-Johnston on behalf of the former pupils who met for a re-union in Gairloch at the end of July.  The money is gratefully accepted and has been put in School Fund from where it will benefit current pupils.

Wester Ross Young Footballers – Well done to all the S1, S2 and S3 boys who played as part of Wester Ross Youth Football Club’s Under-15 squad in the Ross-shire Youth League this year.  The team held their own against opposition like Alness, Dingwall and Fortrose and also made it through to the semi-final of the MSIS shield tournament.  They showed high levels of commitment, respect and sportsmanship and were a credit to Wester Ross and the school.

The Highland Small Schools’ League will begin in September with two qualifying rounds in Dornoch and Ullapool for S2/S3 and senior boys.  Boys who would like to take part should make every effort to attend training after school on a Thursday.

Sport Relief 2012 – We have received a letter thanking us for our contribution of £517.65 towards Sport Relief.  A certificate has been displayed alongside others in the entrance hall of the school.  Click on the photo below to see more images of the day.

Sport Relief 2012