School news 22nd March 2013

Malawi Events

Malawi Partnership – Gairloch High School’s partnership with Malawi has now been in existence for almost 5 years. In that time, we have been fortunate to gain two significant grants from the British Council which have enabled some staff to visit Malawi, and, memorably, for Malawian teachers to visit Gairloch. The second grant we received was supposed to last for 3 years but unfortunately the programme was terminated after our first year. Such funding is no longer available.

Towards the end of last year, our two schools agreed that we wanted our partnership to continue as planned despite the more difficult circumstances. This will entail more fund-raising than has been necessary in the past and we are actively seeking to raise some of this outside the local area. We hope the local community will support our efforts and also enjoy the events we are planning!  Click here for details.

S1 Bring &BuyGregor Vickerstaff  & Max Conway wrote the following: On 9th March, S1 held their annual raffle and sale. Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who attended, helped out, and especially those who donated raffle prizes and other things. For those who don’t know, the S1 B&B Sale is held to raise money for the S1 trip to Nethybridge in May and a charity of our choice. We hope to have a great time at Nethy and thanks to you; we can, because of all the money raised. In the end we raised £2200, which will help us have fun at Nethybridge.  We received support (in no particular order) from the following people and local businesses for our raffle:

The Millcroft Hotel
Pot Luck
Gairloch Pharmacy
Treasure Chest
Aird Hill B&B
The Myrtle Bank Hotel
The Ocean View Hotel
Laide Post Office
Mark Appleton photography
Rex Long (Computers)
The Sheiling
Loch Ewe distillery
Sealife Glass-bottomed boat
Ewe Canoe
The Perfume Studio
Eoghain MacLean photography
Whistlestop Cafe
Kenneth Morrison Butchers
Go Further
Loch Ewe Smokehouse
The Poolewe Hotel
916 Guiding
Button Bothy
Poolewe Swimming Pool
The Fundraising Shop
The Mountain Coffee Co & Hillbillies Bookshop
Inverness Harbour Pilot Boat
Duncan MacKenzie, Sean MacDonald & Graham MacLennan.  (Our apologies if we have missed anyone out)

S1 Bring & Buy

S1 pupils on the baking stall – click on photo for more

Inter-house Orienteering – In recent weeks, the S4 Sport and Recreation class have been getting to grips with event organisation as part of their course. Their task was to organise and run an orienteering competition for the S2s. In the planning stages, they spent an afternoon at Flowerdale assessing the area for suitable control points. They had to draw the controls onto a map, write descriptions and gather together all the equipment. They also had to learn how to complete a risk assessment form and write a safety briefing based on this. With everything in place, the S2 pupils were let loose in Flowerdale on Tuesday afternoon. Beth and Carla delivered the safety briefing at the start, making sure that the competitors knew that they must stay with their partner at all times and that they must return to the base at the correct time. Forty-five minutes later… they were all back – and Mrs Johnston breathed a sigh of relief! There were, however, reports from the marshals around the course that some pairs had split up, despite clear instructions not to. The S4 pupils decided that those pairs should be disqualified – a difficult, but mature decision, sending the message that ‘cheating’ doesn’t pay. The rest of the year group showed great competitive spirit and enjoyed the event. The winners with 135pts were Andrea Wood and Annie Maclennan for Tollaidh, closely followed by Mark Mclean and Laura Russell of Kerry with 130pts. There was a tie for 3rd place between the Maree pair of Eilidh Johnston and Lucas Jackson and Louie O’Brien and Alexander Maclean of Tollaidh, each scoring 120pts. Congratulations to them all.  Well done to S4 pupils Jake, Jerome, Carla, Beth, Craig and Paul for running this event.

S2 Orienteering 2013

S2 orienteering in Flowerdale – Click photo for more

Art Department – Pupils in S1 have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Karen Rann, the Heritage Museum’s Artist in Residence.  Karen is working with a variety of local groups of different ages and backgrounds and intends to exhibit this work towards the end of April. Karen has been working on a theme relating to the sea and in particular the traditional fishing industry.  She has been using objects associated with the sea and getting the pupils to draw in a range of scale.  In the first session, the pupils drew on a larger scale using sand, making individual and group drawings, using large pieces of sail canvas as paper. The children responded particularly well, enjoying the freedom and creativity of working with a less controlled medium. The drawings were soon disarranged scooping the sand into the middle of the sail fabric, demonstrating the ephemeral nature of the work. The pupils shared individual stories and poems relating to the sea with the group, meanwhile Karen recorded these individual, sometimes very personal and interesting stories.  The pupils then transferred their drawings on to acetate, which Karen projected up on to an overhead projector to make light drawings.  Pupils added other objects, such as nets, feathers, seaweed and liquids to get some interesting effects and compositions. Overall, this was a very worthwhile experience, giving the pupils an opportunity to work with an experienced artist in the community.   The pupils’ work can be seen on the school website and further work showing Karen’s Residency can be found at There will be an exhibition of the work created with Karen and various community groups at Wester Ross Woodwork, formerly MacRae Gairloch Fish Processing Building, on Friday 26th April.  Our pupils will certainly be going along to see the exhibition.

S1 Art Project

S1 pupils working with Museum Artist in Residence – Click on photo for more

Overcoming Theatre VisitOn Wednesday 6th March, S1 pupils were intrigued to be sent to the hall, without explanation.  They were then treated to a performance of  – at first – a bizarre 2-person drama performance entitled “Being”.  This young educational theatre company is putting on 100 performances in 50 days, in venues all across the UK.  Each performance lasts ½-hour, and explores the way that man has used communication from the beginning of time.  This includes a depiction of homo sapiens learning to use touch, an excerpt from “Julius Caesar”, a scene in a gents’ clothes shop and text messaging in the present day!  There was much room for thought after the performance, as well as a few laughs.  The 2 young men who performed for us talked about their brand of “Physical Theatre” and its connection to dance.  They also made a plea for everyone – boys and girls – to get involved in as much drama as they can.  Many of our S1s are, in fact, part of Flumgummerie, and were pleased to let them know that, although not on the school curriculum, drama is alive and well in Gairloch.  The young men left to head off to Fort William for the next performance, complete with their broken tent, which blew away in the strong winds of Wednesday morning!

Overcoming Theatre

World Book Day Celebrations The library was quiet yet animated for the recent World Book Day (7th March) celebrations.  To mark the occasion everyone was invited for a game of Book Charades. Game host Mike Webber explained the rules and gave little tips to the performers when needed.  Books were hidden in big blue boxes on tables behind a performer who opened one and then proceeded to explain the book’s title without speaking, using mime and gestures only. The first person to guess correctly became the next performer. The following titles were included, have a go at book charades yourself!  Guardian Angel, The Gladiator, Dizzy, Burned.

Charades 1

Click on the photo to see more images of the event

Comic Relief – Red Nose Day – Pupils and staff dressed in red and collected money for this successful national charity event.  Events were organised by S6 Prefects and pupils donated £220 to take part including tug o’war at lunchtime on the all weather pitch.  Well done to all involved.

Tug Of War

Important Dates – Available here on the school website.

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