School news 14th December 2012

Advanced Higher English Creative Writing Course, Moniack Mhor, 12th – 17th November ’12Rhyming couplets, dramatic monologues and fairy tales with a contemporary twist provide just a taste of the writing activities which we tackled during the Advanced Higher English Creative Writing Course at Moniack Mhor Writing Centre.  Fourteen pupils from various Highland schools attended the residential course led by poets Francesca Beard and John Hegley.  While we worked intensively and learned plenty in the week, the overall atmosphere was relaxed and holiday like.  A welcoming log fire, comfortable sofas and a bountiful supply of delicious food added to our enjoyment- and there were books everywhere, making me feel quite at home.  Despite the rain, we spent plenty of time out of doors – I was glad that I had packed my wellies!  The best aspect of the course was undoubtedly the company.  We laughed a lot, played games, exchanged ideas for writing and waxed enthusiastically about our favourite books.   At the end of the week, we left, each with an extended circle of friends, individual copies of the writing anthology we had complied and our minds buzzing with ideas for future writing projects.  I am really glad to have had the opportunity to go to Moniack and would thoroughly recommend the experience!  Mairi Wyatt S6

Recent Basketball Results – The S1 boys’ team played two full games  against Millburn Academy and The Nicolson Institute (Stornoway). Both of these schools have about a thousand pupils and had team squads of between 10 and 12 players – we had 7! Our team played hard but lost both 53-32 against Millburn and 46-28 against The Nicolson. Each game lasted about an hour. The boys can be very pleased with their performance and things look good for the future.

Technology Department – Brian MacDonald, Curriculum Area Development Officer (Technologies), said “I had a great day in Gairloch High School.  The pupils I engaged with whilst I was there are a credit to your school; they were polite, well behaved, enjoying their work and were all engaged and motivated to do well.  I left with the impression that it must be a great school to work in.”

Visit by Former Pupil – Interested pupils from S3-6 had the opportunity to attend a talk by Robert Marshall who left GHS in 2006 and who is now working as a Subsea Engineer with Shell.  Robert gave the pupils a quick outline of some of the things he has done so far, what his current job involves and where he would like his career to go in the future.  He also explained how much of a difference involvement with programmes such as The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme can make when it comes to making their CV stand out from all the others, and recommended that they gain experience of working in industry during summer holidays as this can enable them to make useful contacts and start to get themselves known, increasing their chances of finding full-time employment.  Thank you very much to Robert for making the time to do this.

School Calendars – Despite retiring earlier this year, Pat Gulliver has compiled our calendar for 2013. Letters went home with pupils last week; if you did not receive a copy or would like to order a calendar, please telephone the School office (01445 712275).

Computing Department – We extend our thanks to Doug Lapsley, web developer of, for working with our S3 pupils over a number of days. Zondle is used by over 100,000 teachers and pupils worldwide and is completely free!

The pupils used pre-written questions about computer viruses and entered them into the Zondle learning environment, creating a game-setting for their questions. They had a lot of fun creating the animations with many pupils continuing this at home! On the final day they were treated to a multiplayer Christmas quiz on Zondle. Many of the pupils have posted blogs on GLOW.  Photographs are available here on the school website.

Weather Guidelines – Last month, pupils were issued with Highland Council’s ‘Travelling to School during Adverse Weather’ letter for parents. The telephone information number and School’s PIN number were attached. If for any reason you did not receive a copy, please telephone the School office.  The information is available from the links on the right hand column of this website or here.

Malawi Partnership – Dr Caley visited our partner school in the October holiday, taking almost 200 letters from pupils and staff in the High School and Primaries to our friends there and bringing back replies. Another batch of letters has just been mailed out to Malawi, this time on the subject of how our schools work to protect the environment. This is linked to a joint project on exploring and conserving our environment which was started while Dr Caley was in Malawi. The brainchild of Mrs Johnston, following her visit in June, pupils in Malawi will be carrying out explorations of their local environment and carrying out some practical work similar to that done by our S1 pupils as part of their SMART course. We hope that this will lead to a John Muir Discovery Award for our Malawian partners, as it does for our S1 pupils. Whilst there, she also discussed the possibility of a group of staff and senior pupils visiting Malawi next October. This idea was greeted enthusiastically by our Malawian partners who are very keen for the partnership to continue even though our previous sources of grant funding have dried up. The idea has also been received well in Gairloch High School and we are in the early stages of planning this exciting trip. Our friends in Malawi, especially those who have visited Gairloch, send their greetings to everyone in our community.  Read more about our Malawi link by clicking here.

S5/6 Prelims– Pupils in S5/6 have been working with their teachers preparing and planning for their exams which start on 21st January. They have been given appropriate materials for their subjects and advised about the steps they need to take to achieve their best grades. The booklet ‘Information and Study Advice for Pupils and Parents’ was issued prior to Prelims in S4 and remains relevant to these exams. It is also available on the school website. Study Club sessions will be available in January. We would ask that parents support pupils in preparation for these important exams.

Piano & Violin Results – These will follow in the next edition of the High School news.

School Closure– School will close at 13:30 on Thursday, 20th December and open on Monday, 7th January 2013View important school dates by clicking here.

We wish all associated with the High School a pleasant break over the Festive Season.

School news 30th November 2012

Football Champions – On 16/11/12 the S2/S3 football team travelled to Glenurquhart for the semi-final of the Highland small schools tournament against Kilchuimen Academy from Fort Augustus. The match was tense but we won 2-1 with goals from myself and Jordan Gorman. The final was against Ullapool, again a tight game but Jordan scored before half time. Ullapool equalised but Calum Nelson finished the game by putting the ball in the back of the net.  Mark Warren 

All the pupils in the football team are a credit to the school. All their hard work, determination, effort and teamwork paid off and it was a pleasure to be with them watching some excellent football and sportsmanship.  Mr Gorman

S2/S3 football

Basketball – While playing for the Highland U16 team I was selected to trial for the U15 Scotland team. I was one of 40 U15 players and 14 were to be selected. I was pleased with my performance at the coaching sessions and hoped I would be selected. I had to wait for a few days for the result and was delighted to find out I had been picked as part of the Scotland team. I will now get the opportunity to go to Spain as well as training weekends and playing in other International friendlies. I feel very privileged to be selected for the National team. Jordan Gorman

Film G Project  –  Beginning: This year our Gaelic class took part in FilmG, a short film competition. At the start we thought of lots of ideas for our film before choosing the best one.  Then we began to work on the plot.  Rowan MacKenzie

Acting and Filming: On the 15th of November Angus Macleod and Debbie MacKay came to the school to help with the filming of our film “Run Callum Run”. We had the chance to use the camera. The filming took up the whole day and we filmed in lots of places in Gairloch. Everyone really enjoyed the day.  Calum Nelson

Editing: The next day we did the editing with Angus. To edit a film, you take the best bits out of all that you have filmed and put it together in the right order. It was hard going but I think we did quite well. When we had finished it, we watched it and, in my opinion, it was a good film, but we will wait for the judge’s decision!  Alfie Gudgeon


Pròiseact Film GAn Toiseach: Am-bliadhna ghabh an clas Gàidhlig againn pàirt ann am FilmG, co-fharpais filmichean goirid. An toiseach, smaoinich sinn mu dheidhinn a h-uile beachd a bh’ againn airson film agus thagh sinn am fear as fheàrr.  An uair sin dh’obraich sinn air a’ phlot.  Rowan MacKenzie

Cleasachd agus Filmeadh: Air an 15mh den t-Samhain thainig Aonghas MacLeòid is Debbie NicAoidh bho FilmG airson am film againn “Ruith a Chaluim Ruith” fhilmeadh. Fhuair sinn uile cothrom an camara a chleachdadh. Thug am filmeadh fad an latha is chaidh sinn gu diofar aiteachan mun cuairt Gearrloch. Chord an latha ris a h-uile duine.  Calum Nelson

Geàrradh: Rinn sinn geàrradh an ath-latha le Aonghas. Bha sinn a’ toirt na pìosan as fheàrr is gan cur còmhla anns an òrdugh cheart. Bha e doirbh a h-uile pios fhaighinn ceart, ach tha mi a’ smaointinn gun do rinn sinn ceart gu leòr. Nuair a choimhead sinn air an fhilm aig deireadh an latha, bha e math nam bheachd, ach bidh sinn ga fhagail aig na britheamhan airson am beachd mu dheireadh  Alfie Gudgeon

Interview Skills Day – Mr Milner would like to thank the following locals for their support in interviewing S5 and S6 pupils – Jane Rowe, Pauline Butler, Peter Wimpenny, Marylynn Burbridge and Chris Hildrey. All kindly volunteered their services for the day.  Seven members of Dingwall Rotary Club made up the rest of the interviewers. This year it was decided to offer S5 pupils the same opportunity as S6 and 13 pupils took up the offer. All 37 had their applications in by the deadline of November 5th. Applications were then posted out to the interviewers. On 15th November, all pupils were present in school and went through the interview process with 2 interviewers. Each interview lasted up to half an hour. In the afternoon, each pupil went back for feedback from their interviewers. Peter Wimpenny said, “It was good to come along and do this.  I would like to say how impressed I was with the young people who came along for the interviews.  Whilst they were all individuals, collectively, they came across as very mature and insightful.  It is heartening to think that there are such young people in our community.” Chris Hildrey said, “I had a really enjoyable day and I’m glad I was able to be part of it.  I was hugely impressed with the quality and maturity of our 6 candidates.

Children in NeedOn Friday 16th November, pupils were given the opportunity to wear their pyjamas to school in order to raise money for Children in Need. In addition to this, cakes were sold at interval and lunchtime by a group of senior pupils. A total sum of £320 was raised for Children in Need.  Thanks to all those who made this possible by wearing pyjamas and donating cakes.

Louise Jones – Curriculum Liaison Manager (ICT) visited  the school on Monday 19th November to give a presentation  at a  staff meeting  about the current plans for taking ICT forward in Highland. Louise also gave a presentation to over 60 pupils, parents and carers in the evening on social networking and cyberbullying.The advice Louise gave was interesting and useful in clarifying issues on cyberbullying and the protection of personal information. The following advice and links were handed out.

Be Safe & Keep Others Safe!

*Treat your passwords like your toothbrush! Never share and change them often. 

*Think about what the internet says about you! This identity will stay with you as you get older, this is your ‘digital footprint’. 

*Make sure you know who people are before adding them as ‘friends’ on networks that you share personal information. Social Media sites will connect you with people you don’t know. 

*Know how to ‘block’ people, but be aware this many not deter people or guarantee them not being able to access your information. 

*Don’t post your personal information – full date of birth, email addresses, phone numbers and location on your profile, an update or tweet. Think identity theft! 

*Know who to tell things to that concern you, talk to your parent, carer, teacher or youth worker OR use the CEOP Report Abuse Button.

*NEVER meet up with anyone offline without your parent/carer or trusted adult. 

*Don’t rely on ‘privacy’ settings to safeguard your personal information on your profile or posts – be a good digital citizen, promote good behaviour. 

*Think before you post whether it’s a picture, video clip or comment about yourself or others….it IS going to be out of your control! 

*Make sure you ‘log off’ when you are finished.   

For more safety advice go to:-

Cyber Mentors:

Internet Watch Foundation:

Think You Know:


You can also download this information by clicking here:  Internet safety and security