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.
As a school we are keen to celebrate the successes of former pupils and promote biligualism. The Gaelic department has been in touch with a number of former pupils who have either benefited from Gaelic Medium Education or became fluent through Gaelic Learners classes in the High School. It is a pleasure to read about the paths their lives have taken since leaving school.
Read each former pupil’s story on the dedicated section of the website. We’re hoping to add more and would love to hear from other former pupils. It’s amazing where the path from Gairloch High School can lead!
S2 pupils had an inter house bridge building competition. This event provides an opportunity for pupils to gain an insight into practical engineering and construction. There are lots of pictures on Flickr.
The challenge is to design and build a wooden bridge to span 1000mm which will carry the maximum load for minimum cost.
There were 3 prizes, the best bridge design, best team work and the most cost effective solution. Maree were the winners in all 3 categories, well done!
Thanks to Angela Rae our STEM ambassador for helping out on the day.
S5 pupil Kai Pickering recently undertook a work placement at 360 Architecture.
On week beginning 9th April, I completed a work placement at an architectural firm called 360 Architecture, at one of their offices in Inverness. This opportunity gave me an insight into how a busy and vibrant architectural practice operated and also if this is something I would like to pursue as a future career.
I was given a fictional brief to work on throughout my week to work through and complete in the way they would normally do it. I found it to be quite fun and exciting. They showed me what was required when dealing with a client wanting a residential building designed specifically for their needs. I was asked to research different styles of specifications, creating a few ideas, developing a design and eventually modelling it and putting in materials then rendering the model. Throughout this placement I was being assisted by Ayoola, who had recently just graduated from university.
If anyone is interested in Architecture I would highly recommend looking for a work placement as it gives a very good idea of what it is like to be working. I would also recommend 360 Architecture as an option for this as all the staff are very kind and helpful.
Our pupils know what makes our school a good place to be – and they also know what they look for in a school leader. We need TWO school leaders and are currently advertising for both a Headteacher and Depute Headteacher.
Our school is small, built on excellent relationships, takes many opportunities, has hard working staff & pupils and is in an incredible part of the Scottish Highlands.
Please share our video so we can reach the best candidates and bring them to our school. We have pupils, staff and a local community waiting to welcome you!
For more information about Gairloch High School: www.gairlochhigh.org.uk
For more information about the posts:
- Headteacher – https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/…/head-teacher-secondary-g…
- Depute post advert will be published online on 15th May with a closing date of 28th May.