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.

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