S2 work on Science Skills Academy branding

S2 pupils were drafted in to UHI’s STEM Hub to work with Graphic Design Company, Dynam, on the logo and branding for the Science Skills Academy.

Groups of pupils from different schools/age groups were chosen to work with Dynam to gather ideas for the brand. Hopefully, some of their input and ideas will come through in the final design.
S2 UHI STEM Branding

This was a great opportunity for the pupils to learn about Graphic Design in a working environment.

Opening of the Salmon Fishing Season

I am grateful to Dr Close, Raymond Dingwall and the Wester Ross Area Salmon Board  for giving me the opportunity to open the Fly Fishing Season. I was glad to take advantage of the opportunity I got because learning to fly fish isn’t something you would normally learn and I was glad to represent the school. Alexander MacLean (S6)

February 11th marks the opening of the Salmon fishing season in Wester Ross and for the last three years the day has been celebrated with a “First Cast” opening ceremony.

The river keepers, ghillies and their friends get together and offer the river a dram, make a speech and wish everyone good fishing; then an invited guest, a head teacher, politician, or a celebrity steps up and makes the first cast.

This year it was different, the Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board and Wester Ross Fisheries Trust asked Dr Close to help organise the event and he suggested that a Gairloch High School pupil be given the honour of making the first cast.

The motive: to promote an interest in Fly Fishing at Gairloch High School and beyond, as many of our young people have not had an opportunity to try this type of fishing.

Fly Fishing tourism is an important part of many peoples lives and livelihood in this part of Scotland.

Pupils had been asked to express interest in learning how to Fly FIsh and 23 have done so, Alexander Maclean was chosen as he had some fishing experience and a lot of enthusiasm, the problem was he’d never cast a fly before.

He had a couple of introductory lessons from Dr Close but help was needed and time was short.

Mr Raymond Dingwall, Riverkeeper of the Ewe and expert Spey casting instructor, stepped into the breech, Alexander had several lessons and showed his ability to learn a complex cast in a few short days.

On the day he was a wee bit nervous but he showed the crowd of Ghillies, Gamekeepers, Fishers, his Head Teacher, Teachers and members of the public, all assembled on the bank of the Ewe on Saturday morning, how it is done and with style as can be seen in more photographs on Flickr.

Thanks to everyone who came and some who travelled from Skye, Torridon and Ullapool to recognise the start of a busy fishing season.

Thanks to all who helped organise a memorable morning, Susan Kirkness for the warming soup and delicious cakes afterwards, and thanks too to Mr Bill Whyte for the gift of a complete Trout Flyfishing outfit from Grahams of Inverness , on behalf of the WRASFB and WRFT which was presented to Alexander in recognition of his commitment to learning the Spey casts and opening the 2017 fishing season.

Ross-Sutherland Schools Cross Country

On the 8th of February three pupils travelled to Alness Academy to take part in the Ross-Sutherland Schools Cross Country Championships 2017.  All nine schools attended in total 245 runners, with around 50 running in each of our races.

Future Chef 2017


S4 pupil Kai Johnston recently took part in the Future Chef competition local final, this year held at Gairloch High school.


He made a chorizo and langoustine risotto using fresh, local langoustines from his uncle’s boat caught the morning of the competition and a rhubarb and custard mille feuille dessert.

He did incredibly well and the Judges (both local members of the community) were so impressed by the techniques he managed to do in the 90 mins and said most trained chefs would not be able to do the dishes.

The winner this time came from Ullapool High School but the judges said it was VERY close. The judges took a long time to decide.

Kai is only 14 and is already excited about trying the competition again next year.

SMART working at the Community Garden

After an appeal from local shop owner David Carruthers, the S1B SMART class headed out to the local community garden (the “Sitooterie”) to help prepare ground for planting a wildflower garden.

SMART sees pupils working towards their John Muir Award to Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share local wild places. Working on the garden contributes to their conservation and will take place over the next few weeks.


Before and After in the girls’ wildflower garden