Please find below a copy of the newsletter sent to parents/carers today. It includes a one-year on update, information about school activities and dates for your diary.
We are also inviting parents/carers to fill in a short survey which will help us to continue to work with parents, staff and students to ensure that the students are receiving the best possible provision in Gairloch High.
S5/S6 Higher Human Biology pupils were using yeast embedded in Alginate beads to test whether metal’s could inhibit an enzyme called Catalase which is found in all living cells.
The Catalase containing beads were soaked in the metals for 10 minutes and then placed in Hydrogen peroxide solution and the time taken for the beads to rise up the top of the tube measured.
Slower times mean more inhibition of Catalase.
Hydrogen peroxide is broken down to water and oxygen by Catalase and the oxygen makes bubbles in the beads which makes them float.
Ghabh Cameron MacIll-Fhinnein agus Eòin Cuimeanach pàirt ann an Deasbad Nàiseanta nan Sgoiltean anns an t-Samhainn. Bha iad am measg nan ceithir sgiobannan a b’ fheàrr a ghabh pàirt ann an Steòrnabhagh aig toiseach na mìos (a’ dèanamh a’ ghnothaich air Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil (Barraigh) agus Àrd-sgoil Phort Rìgh). Leis a sin, fhuair iad troimhe dha na h-iar-chuairtean ann an Dùn Èideann aig deireadh na mìos. Ged a rinn Sgoil MhicNeacail a’ chùis orra aig an ìre sin, bha e na thlachd faicinn mar a bha na sgilean-conaltraidh agus am misneachd air fàs tron cho-fharpais.
Cameron MacLennan and Eòin Cumming took part in the National Schools’ Debate in November. They were amongst the four best teams who took part in Stornoway (beating Castlebay (Barra) and Portree High) at the start of the month As a result, they made it through to the semi-finals in Edinburgh at the end of the month. Although The Nicolson Institute defeated them, it was a pleasure to see how their communication skills and their confidence had developed during the competition.
You can see a livestream of some of the debates on the Deasbad Facebook page.
Please find below a copy of the newsletter sent to parents/carers at the start of November. It includes an update from our Headteacher, advice on adverse weather, employment of children and news from the school.
A host of awards and certificates have been presented in the last week, celebrating achievements across first aid, photography and indoor rowing. A special well done to those who received all three!
Every pupil in S3 received their First Aid certificate, having undertaken a first aid course earlier in the year. We hope they never have to use their skills – but they are prepared in case they do! This is also an excellent award to have for work and volunteering opportunities in the local community.
The Rotary Club in Dingwall hold an annual photography competition. This year the entry from Gairloch High School was so good they had to have an extra room for judging! Well done to all those who took part and particularly those who received highly commended or winning entries.
Finally, we had another very successful year in the Scottish Indoor Rowing league with pupils from S1-S6 taking part. Lots of bronze, silver and gold certificates were awarded by Scottish Rowing for the pupils who reached these high standards. Well done!
We’ve LOVED welcoming more pupils (and families) to our school community this week as our P7s from across the ASG have been in the High School for their induction days.
They’ve been able to follow their new timetable, have met staff, learned how the place works and had fun getting to know each other!
Sports Day saw all our pupils coming together to compete with themselves, each other and the rain across a range of athletic disciplines.
Each pupil belongs to a house – Maree, Tollaidh or Kerry. Our house events throughout the year, including Sports Day, allow pupils to earn points for their house and they have a great sense of house pride! The facepaints were out in force and prospective house leaders ran warm ups at the start of the day.
Competitions included high jump, long jump, shot put, discus, javelin and a variety of short- and long-distance events including a relay. There are lots of pictures of the competitions on Flickr.
Overall winners were Kerry, with Maree in second position and Tollaidh in third.
Junior Girls Champion – Ashley Quinn, Runner up – Amber Crawford
Junior Boys Champion – Calum Mackenzie, Runner up – Ruaridh Beaton
Intermediate Girls Champion – Lucy Hildrey, Runners up – Joint Asha Wright and Mia Elder
Intermediate Boys Champion – Matthew Higgins-Macleod, Runner up – Ezekiel Balanquit
Senior Girls Champion – Emma MacDonald, Runners up – Amy Tattersal and Erin Thomson
While the rest of the school was away, S2 had the opportunity to explore Gairloch’s beaches with Dr Close and Mr Peter Cunningham on a Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. You can see all the photos on Flickr.
We conducted a sampling survey of the sand on both beaches and are hoping to find out if there are micro-plastics in the sand.
Thursday saw Mr Cunningham electro fishing the Achtercairn Burn with several trout and eels being caught as well as some small plaice closer to the beach.
On Friday we investigated the Marine Food chain on Gairloch’s main beach, first by using a Plankton net to catch Phytoplankton and the Zoo plankton which eat them. We then looked for filter feeding worms which eat the plankton, by digging in the sand. Next we used two different sized, sweep nets to try to catch the fish and marine invertebrates which feed on the worms and also the plankton.
Lastly Mr Ian McWhinney brought his fishing boat over to the beach and came ashore with a variety of the predators of the small fish we caught in the sweep nets.
Mr Cunningham shares some of what we found:
“Here’s a list of some of the things we found:
Zooplankton . . . with the plankton net: Included crab or lobster larvae and other stuff too small to see without microscope. I’ll be happy to bring our microscope into the school one day with samples of plankton. There was not such a lot of zooplankton off the beach; much more in some concentrated patches where currents converge further out and around towards Melvaig.
I explained how other animals including mackerel and basking sharks can often be seen in the silvery mixing lines where the zooplankton becomes concentrated. So do jellyfish and floating things like sea weed and plastic bags!
One jellyfish (moon jellyfish ) was recovered from the beach stranded. There was a barrel jellyfish washed up last week – I didn’t see it. The leatherback turtles eat jellyfish – particularly barrel jellyfish.
Sand animals: We found lugworms and tube worms (sand mason worms I think) and a ragworm of some sort; and at least one other kind of worm (or bit of one). You could spend a whole session looking at worms! We also found Tellin bivalves and sea potatoes (Heart urchin).
Sweep net of lagoon. Lots of animals here
- Fish: dozens of juvenile plaice [rather than flounder I think] ; sandeels (maybe lesser sandeel and greater sandeel); juvenile cod (this year’s fry); gurnard sp; goby sp. (sand goby i think; it is very similar to common goby – which is found more in estuaries according to the book).
- Crustaceans: hermit crab, shore crab
- Molluscs: sea hare (kind of sea slug).
- Echinoderms – think someone produced a starfish and a heart urchin, though possibly not in the net?
- Think there was also possibly one very small purple stinger jellyfish; however I didn’t hear anyone squealing about that!
Big sweep net: Much effort for not a lot; however two rather special story things:
- Bob-tail squid, or little cuttlefish (Sepiola atlantica). These are great little creatures – if we had had more time I would have put it in an aquarium for all to see close up.
- Lesser weaverfish. Venomous spines! Not good to stand on one of these in bare feet. . . you’ll find lots of stories on line of surfers who have experienced the spine. Good to wear shoes if wading about in the sea!
- The crabs were interesting here – we got masked crab and swimming crab (?Liocarcinus depurator I think. Velvet swimming crabs can be found at low tide in the kelp around the An Dun headland).
Ian’s animals: what a fantastic selection!
These I assume all came out of creels? Great selection . . .
- Fish: cod (one-year old I think – a size bigger than the wee ones we found in the lagoon); flatfish (possibly a dab rather than a flounder?); sea scorpion (not sure whether long-spined or short-spined . . . both can be found in the kelp at low tide)
- Crustaceans: Lobster; Edible (brown) crab; Shore crab (I didn’t realise there was a local fishery for these too!); Velvet crab (I think there was one – these are often the fiercest); Spider crab (sea toad); Norway lobster (langoustine or Nephrops); Long-clawed squat lobster.
- Molluscs: Octopus. I decided that the Octopus is at the top of the food chain for us. Or perhaps if it had been in the bucket, the crabs they would have eaten it? Food webs can get very complicated . . .”
This coupled with the perfect weather constituted a really memorable and fun learning experience. Thanks to Mr Cunningham and Mr McWhinney for their time, skills and knowledge.
In partnership with The Highland Council, Gairloch High School will provide every pupil in S1-S6 with a Chromebook and a range of digital learning tools and resources to assist and enhance their learning at school and at home. The much awaited delivery of Chromebooks is due this week and we hope to get them out to pupils ASAP.
We have prepared this short presentation for parents and pupils which outlines why we’re excited to use them, answers some common practicality FAQs andhighlights how both pupils & parents can join with the school in ensuring that pupils use the internet for good. There are also links to a few other websites & documents which you may want to refer to.
Chromebook Agreements have gone home with pupils today. These should be read together with your child and the signed slip returned to school. It may be useful to keep the agreement at home and refer to it if the need arises.If parents/carers have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll try to get them answered.