School news 14th November 2014

The National Mod – S4 pupil Alasdair MacDonald (S4) won the under-19 Open Accordion competition at the National Mod in Inverness recently. We are very proud of his achievement and everyone at the school congratulates Alasdair. Several other pupils took part and C for Craic gained a third in one of their events. Well done to all!

Rolls-Royce Science Day – On The 21st November Lucienne McCallum of Timstar and Jennifer Port of the Beatson Institute will visit science classes in Gairloch. Pupils will learn about DNA procedures and take part in experiments.

There will be an evening session at 8pm on the 21st November in the High School for members of the community. Come along and learn about DNA and perhaps get a chance to extract some for yourself! A few years ago these experiments could have won you the Nobel Prize. This event is part of our on-going participation in the Rolls-Royce Science Prize. Gairloch are one of 9 UK finalists.

Read more about our Rolls-Royce Science Prize project here.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Megan Copland (S4) achieved her Bronze Award. Well-done Megan!

Deasbad Nàiseanta Gàidhlig BT / BT National Gaelic Debate – Innis Taylor and Ciaran Alexander travelled to Stornoway with Mr Cumming and took part in this competition on Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th of November.

National Gaelic Debate 2014

Here they report on the event:

“We left Gairloch at 8:30, and drove to Ullapool for the ferry to Stornoway at 10:30. Because of the stormy weather the ferry took a lot longer to get there, four hours to be precise. We had most of the afternoon to watch other schools debating before it was our turn. The motion for our debate was “Pupils should take a gap year before going to university”. We were up against Lochaber’s B team. We managed to argue our points, and made it through to the next stage.

The motion for round 2 was “Schools have too much freedom to create their own curriculum”. Although we knew for a week what the motion was, we didn’t find out which side we’d be on until 21:00 on Tuesday. This gave us less time to prepare and practice our speeches.

17:00 came on Wednesday, time for our second debate. This time we were up against Lochaber’s A team. This debate was much harder, for both teams.

Not only was the motion more difficult, but there was a power-cut as we debated! We managed to pull through again, and won. We, however, didn’t qualify for the finals in Edinburgh. Although we had won, only the top four out of the six winning teams went through.

Thursday morning meant we were homeward bound… or so we thought! All the ferries back to Ullapool on Thursday were cancelled. So instead of heading back to school, we visited some of the different Gàidhlig employers in Stornoway – MG Alba (where a lot of the work for BBC Alba and Radio nan Gaidheal is done), Acair (publishers), Comunn na Gàidhlig and Stòrlann. In the afternoon we spent a considerable amount of time at an interesting exhibition that detailed the devastating impact World War One had on Lewis.

We had been looking forward to the event but enjoyed it even more than we had expected. We have no doubt that our communication and debating skills have developed greatly as a result. It was also good to meet young Gaelic speakers from all over Scotland.”

Blythswood Shoebox Appeal – Once again the school participated in the annual Blythswood Christmas shoebox campaign and 25 boxes were collected. The next charity event will be Children in Need on 14th November.

Blythswood Christmas Boxes

Halloween Dress & Disco – On Friday 31st October the pupils donated money to wear fancy dress. Over £100 was collected to share between the Malawi & Slattadale Projects.

Gairloch HalloweenClick on the image above to see more fieldwork photos

Higher Geography – The Higher Geographers planned their own fieldwork on the beach at Gairloch, investigating how the sediment changed up the slope and also looking for evidence of longshore drift. After completing their risk assessment, planning the techniques they would use and creating their own data sheets they set out and worked in two groups to measure a profile up the beach. Although it was very blustery the pupils worked well in groups and were able to return to the classroom and use their data to successfully draw a beach profile.

Using a clinometerClick on the image above to see more fieldwork photos

S2/3 Boys’ Football – Highland Small Schools – The team travelled to the Northern qualifying competition in Ullapool on Thursday 31st October. We were drawn in a group that included Ullapool A, Kinlochbervie B and Dornoch. We won all three games, scoring eight goals and conceding none. To qualify for the finals of this tournament which includes schools from the southern Highlands we had to finish in the top two positions. In the semi-final we drew 0-0 with Ullapool B (after extra-time) but, unfortunately, lost on penalties. We therefore did not qualify but did come very close. All the boys were very happy with how we played. To play four games and not lose a goal was an excellent achievement. Thanks to Mr Cumming and Mr Bowker for accompanying us on this trip.

S2/3 Football Team

Important Dates – Here are a few upcoming events. Please contact the school if you are in any doubt.

18/11/14 – Parent Council AGM Cheese & Wine – 7.30pm  Click here for more information.  You can contact members of the Parent Council via email:

21/11/14 – Rolls Royce DNA Science Event 8pm

22/11/14 until Thursday 27/11/2014 – Art Exhibition GALE Centre – display of work produced by senior pupils up to Advanced Higher Level. The 2015 School Calendar will also be available for sale.

28/11/14 – Evening performance of Frozen!

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