School news 29th April 2016

SQA exams – All S4, S5 and S6 pupils are now following an exam timetable for their SQA national exams. We wish all our hard working pupils well in the exams and hope they gain the success they require to continue in school or beyond as best suits their abilities.

Drama donation to Brake Charity – Last month you may have read about the Drama classes in the school putting on an evening set of performances for the community. The pupils excelled in their drama but also raised £266, which has been donated to the charity Brake. Brake is a road safety charity that campaigns for safer roads and supports crash victims resulting from traffic accidents.  You can read more here by visiting their website.

S2 options for S3 – S2 have had a talk on their options for courses starting in May and will have begun to hear about courses offered in S3 from subject teachers. Pupils will have a copy of the option form and have been briefed on how to complete this though final decisions should not be made until after the Parents’ Evening in May. If any parent has any query regarding this, please contact the school and ask to speak to Mr Hulme.

Byelaws on the Employment of Children – The Highland Council has recently updated its Byelaws on the Employment of Children.  The new Byelaws can be found on the Highland Council website together with Guidance Notes and the relevant Application Form. A link is available on the school website.

The Byelaws relate to the employment of all children who are under school leaving age. They provide details of the hours children are permitted to work and the types of employment allowed.  An application form should be completed if a pupil is working out of school hours. The maximum number of hours worked by children is stated in the byelaws.

S2B Girls Coffee Morning – Thanks to everyone who came along and supported our S2 girls on Saturday 16th April at the coffee morning. Cakes, tea and coffee, a quiz and face painting were available and parents helped too. The girls raised £238.26 for their Kiva project to support small businesses in developing countries.  Read more here on the Kiva website.

2B Coffee Morning

Staff Training – Highland Council Walking and Camping Accreditation – Two members of staff were involved in a weekend training session recently organised by Highland Council under the instruction of Mr Sutherland. Mrs Flora MacKenzie and Mr Cumming joined staff from other schools. Success in this course allows staff to help supervise pupils on hillwalking expeditions.

Mrs MacKenzie had the following to say in her debrief: Great course, great instructors.  I was a bit apprehensive as I’m not an experienced hillwalker and didn’t have all the gear but needn’t have worried. The instructors made you feel relaxed and it was so easy to ask questions without feeling stupid.  Lots of really useful information about everything outdoors and now I know what equipment I really need. So glad I didn’t rush out buying things… Saved me from some expensive mistakes. Oh and did I mention some great walking as well!

Hillwalking Assessment for pupils – Several senior pupils are following an Outdoor Education course and have previously received certificates for indoor climbing. Now they are being assessed in hillwalking skills.

Mrs Bulmer has already taken them on some local low level walks to work on route finding and map work.

SQA Hillwalking assessment 2016Click on the image above to see some more photos

Last week the pupils planned for themselves the route that they were going to take their assessor, Mr Sutherland, on with one of them each leading a leg at a time.

On the day they were lucky enough to have fair weather, which made navigation straightforward but they still passed through some interesting and challenging terrain.  The pupils were also asked by Mr Sutherland to solve simple problems such as how to deal with a nervous walker in the group whilst on a short rocky section.

Pupils should receive their SQA Hill Walking Level 4 unit assessment as a result.

Velotech and Cycling – Following on from our success with GO Mountain Bike and the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme, Gairloch High School is one of the first Highland schools to be providing the opportunity for our pupils to participate in the Velotech cycle-industry recognised training and assessment qualification.

Previously we have run bike maintenance course for pupils with the help of Mr Johnston, Mr Gorman and Mr Bowker. This has supported DofE expeditions and encouraged cycling as part of various activities and courses from S1 upwards. Mr Johnston and Mr Bowker also gained Silver Velotech certificates that formalised their role of inspecting and maintaining our fleet of aging mountain bikes.

Mr Sutherland has now gained his Gold Velotech and with support from Highland Council Skills for Work funding we purchased four workstations and tools for the outdoor education class. Mr Sutherland, with the help of Ian Sikora, Outfit Moray and Al Gilmour, Glenmore Lodge, has gained certification for the school to deliver and assess the industry standard Red, White & Blue Velotech syllabus.

Now our outdoor education pupils can start the scheme in school before perhaps choosing this as a vocational career, or a college course in outdoor education.  Cycling in all its’ forms has never had a higher profile in the UK.  Eleanor Richardson, one of our former pupils now races for her country.  Who knows perhaps we’ll have a bike mechanic supporting athletes such as her in the future!

Martial Art success – Congratulations to Evan McPhail, Hector MacLennan and Roddie Wyatt for gaining 1st Dan black belts in Kempo Ju Jitsu recently after a challenging assessment lasting four hours.

Important DatesCheck out the website or phone the school if you require information about events.

  • 29thApril – last day of classes for S4,5,6
  • 2ndMay – May Day Holiday
  • 4thMay – SQA exams begin








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s