School news 21st August 2015

New Staff – Miss Smith (Geography), Dr Brindle (English) and Dr Close (Biology) took up post this week as full time members of staff. Miss Smith is well known from her work last year. Dr Brindle has been teaching English at Dornoch Academy for the last few years. She has a PhD in Literature and has additional experience in Drama, SfL and Pupil Support. Dr Close is an experienced teacher with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. He has moved from St John’s RC High School in Dundee. Dr Close is also a qualified supervisor and assessor for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and a keen outdoor enthusiast. We are fortunate to welcome these three capable teachers and look forward to benefitting from their professional contribution to the school.

Exam Results – Pupils in S4, S5 and S6 received their exam results in the post on Tuesday 5th August 2015.  Gairloch pupils have again achieved success above Highland and national averages.  The report published in the Gairloch Times was previously added to the website and can be seen here.

Gold DofE at HolyroodAt the beginning of July three of our S6 leavers travelled to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh with families to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. The names of our three Gold Award recipients, Sofie Banister, Innis Taylor and Siobhan Vickerstaff, have been added to the Honours board in the Multi-Purpose Hall in school along with former pupils Róisín Somers and Luke Gorman, both of who have also been successful in achieving the Gold award this summer.

Gold AwardsClick on the photo to see another from the day

Silver Kayaking expedition – During the summer holiday Eilidh Johnston, Fraser Wotherspoon, James Aaron and Jack McCruden planned to travel the length of Loch Shiel, supervised by Mr Johnston, then onto the sea at Loch Moidart. The weather has no respect for route cards, however, and the group had to deal with a full gale on the middle day. They took the sensible decision to sit out the storm and spent the day practising their bushcraft skills. The expedition assessor, Dr Close and also our new Biology teacher, was more than happy with the group’s decision-making and teamwork. All have passed.

Silver Kayak training on Loch MareeClick on the photo to see more from the training expedition on Loch Maree

Maths Challenge certificates – The following certificates were issued to pupils at the end of last term:

At Junior level: Best in School and a silver certificate was awarded to Harry Dalzell (S1). Amy Tattersall and Morven MacLean (both S2) were joint second and received silver certificates and Best in Year. Kai Pickering and Scarlet Pickering (both S2) received bronze certificates.

At Intermediate level: Best in School and a bronze certificate was awarded to Mark McLean (S4).

At Senior level: Best in School and a bronze certificate was awarded to Bruce Wiseman.

Gaelic Writing Competition – Certificates were issued to Craig Collins, Amy Gudgeon & Cameron MacLennan at the end of last term for success in a national competition.

First Aid Certificates – S3 pupils were awarded their certificates for Emergency First Aid at final assembly last term.   They took part in of a one-day training course delivered in May by local trainer Corey Jones (Outdoor First Aid Ltd). Mr Bowker Dr Caley, Mr Hulme, Miss Smith and Mrs Downie were also presented with their certificates.

Important Dates – More details on the school website here.

  • 21st Aug – 1st Sept – Malawi visitors
  • 24th – 28th August – Gold DofE Expedition
  • 29th August – Community Ceilidh for our Malawi guests
  • 7th / 8th Sept –Bronze DofE Expedition Assessment

Visitors from Malawi – The school is hosting 6 visitors from our partner school in Malawi. The group is led by Mr Winnex Chimtali, the Headteacher of Mlozi School, who people may remember from his visit to Gairloch in August 2010. This time, he is accompanied by his colleague, Mr Paul Banda, and by four of their pupils: Samson, Abdurashid, Ida and Ayisha. The boys are both 16; the girls are 13 and 12 respectively. They arrived in Gairloch on Thursday 20th August and their last day here will be Tuesday 1st September. This very exciting visit is a follow-up to the first visit by pupils from Gairloch to Mlozi School in October 2013. It is being funded partly by money raised at that time in the hope of a return visit, partly by money raised since then and partly by a British Council Connecting Classrooms grant secured by Mr Hulme. We are very grateful for all in the community who have supported our fund-raising events over the years to make these visits possible. Over the summer holiday, visits to Malawi by Mr and Mrs Johnston, Mr Hulme and Bethan Townsend have helped to prepare the youngsters for their arrival in Scotland. Whilst they are here, our visitors will be working alongside pupils in the High School and Primaries to learn more about life in Scotland and for our pupils and staff to learn more about Malawi. They will also be out and about seeing more of our beautiful area and getting involved in community events and activities where possible. On Saturday 29th August, we will be having a ceilidh in Gairloch Community Hall so that everyone has a chance to meet our visitors, so please come along.

Headteachers with PEA

Mr Port and Mr Chimtali, Oct 2013, meeting with the District Education Advisor at Mlozi School. Initial discussions for the current visit began at this time

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