DNA in Science: Forensics, Ebola, Human Evolution and the Future of Personalised Medicine – On the evening of Friday 21st November, former pupil Jennifer Port gave a presentation in Gairloch High Science Department to discuss DNA in the world of science. Around 20 members of the community joined her ‘science class’ and extracted DNA from fruit. Jennifer also discussed current scientific techniques used to understand Ebola, human evolution, forensics and how the study of DNA is influencing the future of personalised medicine. Jennifer is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador and currently a partner in the school’s Rolls-Royce Science Project undertaken by Mr Johnston.
Earlier in the day pupils also took part in experiments and talks delivered by TIMSTAR’s Lucienne McCallum and PhD student Jennifer. S5-6 pupils were given an introduction to the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and DNA profiling in various scientific fields including forensics, infectious diseases control, genomic screening and oncology. This included a practical, which allowed the students to analyse DNA from simulated criminal suspects.
S2-3 pupils were given an overview of the work that Jennifer does, including her university career so far, along with an introduction to the study of cancer. The pupils then extracted DNA from various fruits, a surprisingly simple procedure which is crucial to research all over the world.
Click on the photos above for more images from the day
Rolls-Royce Science Prize – Headteacher John Port and project lead Andrew Johnston travelled by invitation to the Rolls-Royce factory in Derby. From there they travelled to London to attend this year’s Award Ceremony at the National Science Museum. This high profile occasion had guest politicians, members of the House of Lords, CEOs from various companies and presidents of national science bodies. Everyone was very enthusiastic about where we came from and excited about what we were planning for our project. They wished us luck in the competition, which will see us return to the Science Museum next November to be judged. The trip provided some very important networking and informed us of more clearly what is required to be successful in this competition. The general view of the finalists (winners and losers) was that they had each benefited greatly by receiving sponsorship from Roll-Royce. The projects had helped develop science teaching in all of the schools involved.
Senior Art Exhibition – On Friday 21st November Councillor Richard Greene officially opened the Senior Art Exhibition at the GALE Centre. The work displayed showed the range of artwork submitted for SQA exams in June 2014. You can see examples of the work exhibited on the school website. Joseph Stewart (accordion), Sara Johnston (fiddle and low whistle) and Caitlin Mitchell (guitar) entertained guests with their music.
S4 Hospitality – Miss Thistlethwaite’s S4 Hospitality class provided food and drink during the Art Exhibition opening evening at the GALE Centre. The pupils prepared and served the food. During the event they were each assessed on the standard of their work. Expectations were high and feedback from guests was very positive.
Click on the photos above for more images from the exhibition
2015 School Calendar – The new calendar is now available from local outlets including the school office and the library. £6. All funds go to support pupil activities.
Malawi fund-raising – Amy Tattersall and Scarlet Pickering did a great job on Saturday 15th November. They raised £80 with their fundraising table at the Gairloch Leisure Centre Open Day celebrating the third anniversary of the climbing wall opening. Thank you and well done to the girls and other pupils who assisted!! We would also like to say thanks to Viveca Port who raised £100 with her stall the previous weekend at the Two Lochs Radio Autumn Market. The current fund raising objective is to support a visit to Scotland (next August) for four youngsters and two teachers from Mlozi School.
Maths Challenge – Some S5/6 pupils recently took part in the UK Mathematics Trust Senior ‘Maths Challenge’. Bruce Genari-Wiseman, S6 came first and will receive a bronze certificate as well as a Best in School certificate. Deborah Connop was second and will receive a best in year certificate as the highest placed S5 pupil. Well done to all the pupils who took part.
Children in Need fundraising – Pupils and staff had a pyjama day on Friday 14th November raising £218 for Children in Need. Well done to S6 pupils for organising this.
Click on the photo for more photos
Highland Youth Orchestra Performance – Alasdair MacDonald, Freya & Leonie Baptist, Hannah Wood, Oscar Howard, Megan Copland & Eilidh Owen took part in the annual music conference at the McDonald Centre in Aviemore on Saturday 22nd November. Each pupil gained their place in the orchestra and choirs through audition. These concerts highlight the high musical standards of our pupils. The next one will be in Eden Court in the Spring.
Tramway Visit Glasgow – From the 6th to the 8th of November, a group of four pupils from Gairloch high school (Holly, Catherine, Beth and Sofie) travelled to Glasgow with Mrs. Browne. The main objective of the trip was to visit the exhibition of Advanced Higher Art and Design work that had been on show at Tramway. The folios seen were of an amazing quality and served as a great inspiration to those of us embarking on the Advanced Higher journey this year.
Click on the photo for more photos of the trip
We were also able to see some of Glasgow’s famous architecture, visiting a number of buildings designed by Sir Charles Rennie Mackintosh. These included The Lighthouse (which had its own Mackintosh exhibition), The Glasgow School of Art and The Willow Tea Rooms. A lovely cup of morning tea was enjoyed in the Tea Rooms, allowing us to gain the full Mackintosh experience.
The Gallery of Modern Art was also on the agenda, giving us a taste of art in a less traditional form, along with a little bit of Christmas shopping.
Everyone who went had a fantastic time and definitely took a lot from the trip. Thanks to Mrs Browne for organising and supervising the trip. (Sofie Banister)
Slattadale restoration Project – To date, we have raised just over £5000 of the target figure of £8000. Forestry Commission should clear the site before Christmas allowing us to make progress on building work.
Important Dates – Here are a few upcoming events.