School news 16th November 2012

Our Janitor is no ordinary Janitor – On Thursday 8th November, at The Highland Quality Award ceremony held in the Town House, Inverness, Andy Bowker was one of three final nominations for Highland Council Employee of the Year. While he didn’t win, he was certainly in with a good chance. His help with so many aspects of school life made him an excellent candidate and we thank him, especially, for all the extras that he does about the school.  Read about the event in the Ross-shire Journal by clicking here.

81112 Quality Awards 0026p

Click on the photo of Andy to see other photos of the event and read the official press release.


Pupil Badminton Success – Congratulations to Mark McLean and Louie O’Brien who played in the Highland Schools Badminton Tournament recently. Despite strong opposition from around the Highlands and Islands, both played well with Louie reaching the semi-final of one competition and, playing as a doubles’ team, both reaching the quarter-finals. This was a highly creditable performance and deserving of our congratulations.

Basketball Coaching – On Thursday 8th November, we had a visit from John Kerray, Highland Regional Development Officer and National team coach. Throughout a very busy day John worked with all our basketball teams and some PE classes. All players had a good workout and learnt some new skills and drills to improve their games. Staff involved with basketball in the school also picked up some new coaching ideas from John. The Intermediate 1 Sport and Recreation class spent a lesson observing one of the basketball sessions. This was to help them pick up some top tips on how to be a good coach, in preparation for a unit of their course. Three GHS teams are playing in the National Schools ‘Cup competition this session. Fixtures this term include the Open Boys team against Fortrose on 15th November and against Glenurquhart on 6th December; S1 Boys versus the Nicolson Institute on 28th November and both S1 Girls and S1 Boys will play Charleston Academy on 18th December. Good luck to all the players and their coaches.

S5/6 Sleepover – On the night of Wednesday 7th November, 30 pupils from S5 and S6 spent the night in school to raise money for Blythswood.  Pupils were required to contribute a minimum of £5 in order to take part.  Throughout the evening, pupils took part in different activities, including games in the hall and a late-night quiz.  Many thanks to Heather Widdows, Susan Maclean, Mrs Somers, Mrs Fraser, Mrs Whall, Ms Velt, Dr Caley and Mr Milner who made this possible. Rachel Mackenzie organized this event, and full credit goes to Rachel for her determination to make this work. Despite little sleep, the staff were very impressed with the behaviour of all those who slept in the corridors, prefect room, multi-purpose hall and the PE social area. Reveille at 6:30am was not appreciated by most, but beautifully played by Nessie Gearing.

Road Safety – We ask those driving into the school grounds to adopt the following safe practice, particularly on wet days when visibility is reduced.

  1. Consider the safety of pedestrians and youngsters, at all times. Do not exceed 20 mph and consider a lower speed at the start and end of the day.
  2. At busy times, give way to pedestrians attempting to cross, again particularly when youngsters are present.
  3. Never park on any pavement. This restricts movement of pedestrians and poses a danger if they need to walk on the road or if the vehicle moves off.

S4 Prelims– These begin on Wednesday, 21st November. As intimated in the last issue, the Community Hall is being renovated so these exams will be held in the school. This may mean some disruption for other classes though this will be kept to a minimum. Many pupils have been taking advantage of the Study Club sessions being run after school by teachers. All pupils have been given revision materials and they should be using there spare time to revise for these important exams. Pupils have been made aware of on-line support, such as Bitesize or past papers on the SQA website; these should be used to further their preparation for the exams. Should pupils have a query or problem related to the work for these exams, they should make a special point of asking their teachers for help.

Culture Club Trip to Eden Court – On Thursday 8th November, a group of 11 pupils from S1-S6, travelled to Eden Court to see Scottish Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  The set design and stage effects were really impressive and reflected images from all kinds of sources, from freemasonry to movies. We especially admired the powerful performance by Mori Moriya of the well-known Queen of the Night Aria.  Everyone’s favourite, however, was Papageno, played by Richard Burkhard, because we could all relate to his situation, of having no one to love, yet making it funny.  As well as the music, we enjoyed the dialogue in the production, which had been adapted to suit a modern audience, with witty lines, occasionally improvised by Papageno, who, along with the burly Scottish Prince, found his love and had a happy ending!  A big thank you to Ms Gulliver and Ms Hunter for making this trip possible for us! [Nessie Gearing (S5) and Bethan Townsend (S4)]

Advanced Higher and Higher Art Exhibition – The opening night of the High School Art Department’s Exhibition was held for the first time in the GALE Centre on Friday 9th November. The Exhibition runs from Saturday 10th to Tuesday 20th November and features work from Ruairdhri Wright’s Advanced Higher folio and the Higher Design and Expressive work by Josie Ogle and Shannon Stewart. The standard of work is very high and all received excellent SQA results this year. It was also nice to see Ruairdhri there, taking time out from his studies at Gray’s School of Art to attend the exhibition with his family. The Art Department was thrilled to have Ms Gulliver open the exhibition, as she was responsible for teaching the senior pupils throughout their SQA coursework.


Click on Josie’s portrait to see more images from the evening.

S3 Hospitality pupils, taught by Kirsty Thistlethwaite, prepared and served excellent food for the evening. The pupils were covering the ‘Event Planning’ unit of work, as part of their Intermediate 1 SQA coursework and were marked on their performance on the evening. The pupils were very professional and fulfilled their individual tasks with great enthusiasm. They also worked very well as a team to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Miss Hunter and Isla MacKenzie played the harp throughout the evening, showing their talent and expertise to provide some beautiful music. This helped create the perfect atmosphere. This cross-curricular event was a great success, very well attended by guests including Richard Greene, Local Councillor, parents, pupils, teachers and members of the local community.

A huge thank you to Mrs Browne our new art teacher for organising the event and those who others who took part to make the opening evening a success: Kirsty Thistlethwaite and her hospitality pupils, Beth Hunter, Isla MacKenzie and Pat Gulliver. Thanks also to Janet Miles and the GALE Centre for making this perfect venue available.

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