Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

On Thursday 19th January, some senior pupils studying Advanced Higher and Higher Chemistry had the opportunity to attend a “Spectroscopy in a Suitcase” workshop at Ullapool High School. This is an outreach activity from Edinburgh University and provided a rare opportunity to see and use some analytical techniques only usually available in University laboratories. The theories behind UV-Vis, IR and NMR spectroscopy are studied at Advanced Higher. In this workshop, pupils learnt about the theory and used some of the equipment for a problem-solving activity.

The pictures above and linked on Flickr show our pupils in action during the practical work, the high quality of their results (the graph is a straight line!) and the whole group including the workshop leaders from Edinburgh and Ullapool pupils.

Inter-house Rowing

The annual inter-house rowing competition brings the whole school together competing and cheering on their houses – Tollaidh, Maree, and Kerry.

Teams from S1/2, S3/4 and S5/6 girls and boys took part in the relay events, competing over long distances and needing to perfect changeovers. Maree triumphed and have gained more house points towards the house cup, presented annually at prizegiving.

For more photos, click any of the photos to visit Flickr.

Highland Badminton Competition

On Friday the 20th of January, Josh Tallach, Liam Forbes, and Eoin Cumming went to Inverness to represent the school at an S1/2 Badminton competition. This was a new team event organised by Badminton Scotland. They did very well against some of the bigger schools and went on to win their league which put them into the final.

This is what Josh had to say:

It was an early rise, with us having to be in Inverness for 9:30am. This was a great experience for us and we learnt a lot from watching other players. We managed to get to the final, but we got beaten by Millburn Academy. We are really thankful that Mrs Cumming took us over and supported us throughout the day. We are also thankful to Mrs Hildrey for organising everything. This was a great day out that we enjoyed.

Josh Tallach, S2

FilmG Nomination Success

FilmG have today announced the shortlists for both adult and youth sections. There were 56 entries in the youth section this year and we are delighted that Gairloch High pupils have received eight nominations in seven of the nine categories:

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Briste explores the tough effect of illness, as one family struggles with the right thing to do.

Gairloch HS (Briste):
Best Film

Amy Gudgeon & Cameron MacLennan:
Best Script (Briste)

Sandi MacLean:
Best Performance (Briste)


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Ruaraidh’s animation took many hours to put together and follows a dangerous game of hide and seek.

Ruaraidh Alexander (Falach-fead):
Best Animation
Best Young Filmmaker



Eoin’s documentary, filmed on an iPhone, explored the Mabie Forest on mountain bikes.

Eòin Cumming (Strì ris a’ Chiad Chloich):
Best Gaelic (Fluent Speakers)
Best Young Filmmaker
Best Mobile Short

Mr Cumming, Gaelic teacher, also received a nomination in the Open Awards for his script Às-dèidh a’ Bhathaid.

Making these films required a lot of skill and dedication and performing in front of the camera took a lot of courage. We are very proud of the pupils’ efforts.

FilmG’s press release included the following: ‘Gairloch High School’s emotional drama, ‘Briste’, about the devastating effects of illness on a family captivated the judges not only in the Best Film category but also in the Best Script. The Best Young Filmmaker shortlist is testament to the breadth of young filmmaking talent entering the competition, with not only documentary filmmakers such as Eòin Cumming making the cut, for his mountain biking documentary ‘Strì Ris a’ Chiad Chloich’ but also the emergence of creative young animators, as Ruairidh Alexander is shortlisted for his quirky animated game of Hide & Seek, in Falach-Fead. The winners of each category will be announced at the prestigious FilmG awards ceremony taking place at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Friday 17th February.’

Click here to view the short-listed films.

Remember also to vote for our films on the FilmG website – the People’s Choice category is still to be announced.

Highland Badminton

A number of pupils from S1-4 have been training for the Scottish Schools Badminton Qualifiers and they recently traveled to Inverness with Mrs Hildrey to take part in the first round of the contest.

Highland Badminton 2016

Anna, Emma, Nadia, Sam, Joel, Matthew, Eoin and Josh at the qualifiers in Inverness. Click on the photo to see more from the competition.

For most of them it was their first badminton competition and they were up against some very good players including Scotlands no2 seeded player for U15. They were all very committed and played their best.

Nadia and Emma moved up a category this year so were in the U16’s even though they’re only 14 and are already making good steps which puts them in a good position for next year. Eoin got to the semi’s and nearly everyone else got to a quarter final in either the main competition and/or a mixture of quarter’s , semi’s and winners in the consolation prize rounds.


Playing in the Inverness competition.

Eoin and Nadia also played in the U15 Highland Badminton competition. This included players from Moray, Wick, and Orkney as well as Inverness and Wester Ross (our two!). Participation in this competition counts towards Badminton Scotland seedings. Eoin played very well, first time in a competition at this level. He had several games, one against the Scotland no 2 seed (again) and some very close matches. He really enjoyed the day and will have another year in this age group. This was Nadia’s last year in her category. She came third in the singles, won the doubles with her partner Emma Donald from Forres Academy, and came fourth in the mixed doubles with partner Euan Forsyth from Culloden HIgh School. There’s more information and photographs of this event here.

Volunteer coach Lisa O’Brien along with teachers Mr Cumming, Mrs Hildrey and Dr Caley will continue working with these pupils over the next term. Thank you to each of them for their continued support.