Prize Giving 2017

We joined as a school community to celebrate our pupils’ successes and achievements from the last year. There are lots of photos from the event on Flickr – thanks to Charlotte Brady (S2) for these.

2017-2018 Senior Prefects: 

Head Boy – Iain Nelson & Head Girl – Eilidh MacDonald

Deputy Head Boy – Evan McPhail & Deputy Head Girl – Leonie Baptist

2017-2018 House Captains:

Kerry – the Girls House Captain for this year is Eilidh MacDonald and the Boys House Captain is Evan McPhail. They will be assisted by Leonie Baptist and Connor Forbes.

Maree – the Girls House Captain for this year is Hannah Wood and the Boys House Captain is Gregor Vickerstaff. They will be assisted by Jasmine Connop and Max Conway.

Tollaidh – the Girls House Captain for this year is Carys Townsend and the Boys House Captain is Chris Adam. They will be assisted by Jade Moore and Jack Wright.

Each year we present Certificates of Personal Achievement to pupils in S1 to S4. We award certificates to those pupils who have consistently shown great care and effort in their work. The Certificate rewards effort over the whole year irrespective of ability.

The following were awarded:

Ruaraidh Alexander Ezekiel Balanquit Sam Frost
Kirsty MacDonald Elizabeth MacLachlan Hannah MacLachlan
Anna MacLennan Corey MacLennan Katie Rae
Summer Robertson-Turner Ellie Watson Alana Young
Oliver Adam Maisie Baptist Charlotte Brady
Katie Copland Abigail Crawford Eoin Cumming
Liam Forbes Lucy Hildrey Adam Lloyd
Katy Beth MacLeod Emily O’Brien Edana Sutherland
Josh Tallach Kyrene Tallach Asha Wright
Jasmine Brown Harry Dalzell Melody Deve
Nadia Fenton Isabelle Gallacher Amy Gudgeon
Callum MacDonald Emma MacDonald Cameron MacLennan
Amy Nieto George Pickering Cameron Walton
Becky Wilson Isabella Wiseman
Amber Drummond Maisie Hutchinson Morven MacLean
Catherine MacRae Scarlet Pickering Lexanne Stewart
Amy Tattersall Erin Thompson Hannah Warren

Achievement in Maths Trophy – Jack Wright

UK Maths Challenge – Quinlan Cummisky (Best in Year), Morven MacLean (Best in School)

John MacGillvray Trophy & Prize for Gaelic – Alasdair MacDonald

Albert Roux Languages Cup for excellence in more than one Modern Language – Hannah Wood

The MacKenzie Targe for Creative Writing – Emilly Dalzell (read her story here)

Sheona MacDonald Memorial Award for Language – Abe Locke

The MacLean Trophy for Library Endeavour – Maria Anees

June Davis Miller Award for Art – Scott Genari-Wiseman

Gladwyn Memorial Prize for a pupil going on to study at Art College – Anna Cameron

Lauder Prize for Music – Alasdair MacDonald

Doctor Hunter Cup for Piping – Eoin Cumming

Drama Award – Jade Moore

History Prize – Caitlin Mitchell

Achievement in Social Subjects Trophy – Christie Wilson

Achievement in Science – Eilidh MacDonald

Achievement in Technology – Eilidh MacDonald

Sir John Horlick Bursary for a pupil continuing to higher education courses in history, social sciences or modern languages – Christie Wilson

Connor Forbes, Abe Locke, Grant MacLennan, Sorley Street and Cameron Tallach, who took part in the Outdoor Education course this year, have all achieved their Red, White and Blue Awards of the Velotech Bicycle Maintenance Course & have completed the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme at either Level 1 or 2.

West Highland College Student of the Year – Kai Johnston (Hospitality), Erin Thompson (Drama)

SCQF Level 4 Sports Leadership – Isabelle Gallacher, Joel Goldby, Callum MacDonald, Emma MacDonald, Lee McGillvary, Cameron Walton

Football Player of the Year – Cameron Walton

Basketball Player of the Year – Gregor Vickerstaff

Rowing Awards – medals & trophies were presented from the Highland School’s Indoor Rowing Competition.

Cross Country – Junior Winners Emma MacDonald & Eoin Cumming; Senior Winners Laura Russell & Alasdair MacDonald

Badminton Player of the Year – Nadia Fenton

Widdows Trophy for Swimming – Alasdair MacDonald

Swimming Medal – Morven MacLean

Sports Day

Junior Runners-Up: Ellie Watson, Meghan Dillon & James Garrioch

Junior Winners: Kirsty MacDonald & Ezekiel Balanquit

Intermediate Runners-Up: Nadia Fenton & Lee McGillvray

Intermediate Winners: Emma MacDonald & Cameron Walton

Senior Runners-Up: Erin Thompson, Amy Tattersall & David MacGregor.

Senior Winners: Caitlin Mitchell & Hector MacLennan

Martin Blackley Memorial Cup for Senior Boys Sports Champion – Hector Maclennan

Credit Quaich – Eoin Cumming

Inter-house Football Cup – Tollaidh

Inter-house Basketball – Maree

Inter-house Mixed Netball – Tollaidh

Inter-house Dodgeball – Tollaidh

Inter-house Indoor RowingMaree

Inter-house SwimmingMaree

Colin Roy Badminton Trophy for inter-house badminton – Kerry

Inter-house QuizKerry

House ShieldMaree

Junior School Trophy for Service & Achievement – Eoin Cumming for his wide ranging achievements & contributions to the life of the school, particularly in sport, music and gaelic.

Neil Wilkie Memorial Trophy for Service to the School – Max Conway for service in the support for learning department.

Harry Valentine Memorial Quaich for Citizenship – Eilidh MacDonald for consistently demonstrating a strong work ethic, sports leadership & ambassadorship.

Lauder Memorial Prize – Lucas Jackson for his services to the school in the role of Head Boy.

Elizabeth Matthew Memorial Prize – Christie Wilson for his services to the school in the role of Head Girl.

Dux of the School – Jack Wright





FilmG a’ cur Farpais 2018 air bhog ann an Àrd-sgoil Gheàrrloch / FilmG Launch their 2018 Competition from Gairloch High

Leis gun deach cho math dhan sgoil ann am farpais 2017, bha FilmG airson co-fharpais 2018 a chur air bhog ann an Àrd-sgoil Gheàrrloch.

Due to the success the school enjoyed in the 2017 competition, FilmG asked us if they could launch their 2018 competition in Gairloch High. 


Ghabh seo àite Diardaoin 22mh an t-Ogmhìos. Bha sinn toilichte gun robh sgoilearan clas a seachd còmhla rinn a bharrachd air sgoilearan aig a bheil Gàidhlig à Bun-sgoil Gheàrrloch, daoine às a’ choimhearsnachd, comhairlichean ionadail agus luchd-obrach Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd.

This took place on Thursday the 22nd of June. We were pleased that the P7 pupils (on their induction) could join us along with Gaelic speaking pupils from Gairloch Primary, members of the community, local councillors and Highland Council staff.

FilmG Launch

Dh’fhoillsich FilmG cuspair na bliadhna (Fìrinn) agus bha e tlachdmhor eìsteachd ris a’ chòmhlan-pìoba, C For Craic agus coimhead air ceithir de na filmichean a rinn cuid de ar sgoilearan tron bhliadhna mu dheireadh.

FilmG revealed the theme for the 2018 competition (Fìrinn (Truth)) and we were entertained by the pipe-band, C For Craic and four of the films that our pupils created in the last school session.

FilmG Launch

Bha cothrom cuideachd aig sgoilearan an sgilean ann a bhith a’ cruthachadh film a leasachadh aig bùithtean-obrach a ghabh àite sa mhadainn. Chòrd an tachartas ris a h-uile duine agus tha sinn an dòchas gun lean na sgoilearan orra le bhith a’ dèanamh fhilmichean às dèidh an t-samhraidh.

Pupils also had the opportunity to develop their film making skills in workshops that took place prior to the launch. The event was enjoyed by everyone who attended and we hope that pupils will continue with their Gaelic film-making next session.

FilmG Launch
FilmG Launch

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) 2017

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an active citizenship programme that raises awareness amongst young people about philanthropy and their local community. Each participating school, each year is responsible for directing a £3000 YPI Grant to a local charity through a unique programme of team work, research and competition.  Our S3 pupils have been working on this over the last term.

The charities were: Befrienders Highland, Poolewe Swimmming Pool, Dundonnell Mountain Rescue, Wester Ross Youth Football Club and Family First.  Each charity sent a representative on the day to be part of the competition.

The judges were impressed by the level of research and work that had been put into the presentations and found it very difficult to decide on a winner.   The charity that won on the day was Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team.  Congratulations to Amy Nieto, George Pickering and Isabelle Gallacher for their hard work and interesting presentation, the team representative Andrew Vickerstaff, was delighted to be receiving £3000.

YPI Scotland Final 2017

Amy, George and Isabelle hand over a cheque for £3000 to the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Yeam

Thank you to the panel of judges Stuart Smith (parent council) Julia Alexander (local fundraiser) Evan Macphail and Lucas Jackson (senior pupils) and Linda Schubert representative of the Wood Foundation.

S1B SMART visit Shieldaig Lodge

What we did

What we did for SMART was we went to the falconry to see and find out other stuff about the different kinds of birds and the baby owl. (Alana)

What we learned

We learned about different types of Eagles and saw a baby owl. We learned some of the Lodges history and that the lodge was pretty much a hospital for the injured of the plane crash near there years ago and that they have one of the biggest wine/whisky/gin collections and that it would cost you £1,000 to have a sip of their best gin/whisky. Overall we learned a lot about Shieldaig lodge and the eagles and it was really fun and i hope other people for SMART can go there and we can go there again. We learned that Hannah (S4) worked there helping cleaning up the rooms and being a server for food and dining. (James)

S1B visit Shieldaig Lodge

Hannah (S4) explains her roles at Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

How it links to the John Muir Award

While we were at the falconry we DISCOVERED all sorts of things about different birds and at the falconry they were CONSERVING certain types of birds and by putting on social media we are SHARING what happened. (Hannah)

S1 SMART Orienteering

Some of our S1 pupils wrote about their experiences doing orienteering around Flowerdale.

How to understand an orienteering map (by Hannah)

First you need to find out where you are on the map and which direction you are going in. Then, when you have a set place to go to, you need to read the key and find the landmarks you can look for near your destination. Then keep a lookout for the landmarks. You have to remember to look at the date that the map was published though because some posts or trees are no longer there. A good way to tell where you are is the telegraph poles and the electrical lines because they are usually in the same place.

S1 Orienteering @ Flowerdale

Easy and Hard bits of orienteering (by Alana)

The easiest parts of orienteering is when you look on the map you use the symbols at the side of the map and before you always start find where you are on the map.

The hardest parts of orienteering is using your sense of direction and people in your group not listening to each other.

S1 Orienteering @ Flowerdale

Teamwork (by Sam)

Today in orienteering we used a lot of team work. Corey looked at the map and Zeke and me looked for the flags.

S1 Orienteering @ Flowerdale

Easter Assembly

We joined with members of the wider school community to celebrate the end of term and mark Easter.

We had an inclusive display from the Lord-Lieutenant’s Youth Award winning basketball team to highlight the importance of working as individuals and a team.

Easter Assembly 2017

The Skills & Learning group from West Highland College UHI – Gairloch, who meet in the school each Wednesday, were also presented with their RSPB Love Nature Wild Challenge awards.

Easter Assembly 2017

We were also able to celebrate the success of a number of different pupils.

Eight pupils from S5 have been presented with their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Completed over 6 months they were involved in many different activities to contribute to their volunteering, skills and physical sections. They included – amongst others – learning the chanter, coaching badminton, beach cleans, playing the saxophone, indoor rowing, archery, operating the PA system at Church, helping with Scouts, playing the piano and shooting. Well done Gregor, Roddy, Iain, Jack, Carys, Eilidh, Hannah and Leonie!

Awards Easter 2017

Catherine & Scarlet (both S4) were presented with their bronze Duke of Edinburgh certificates. The girls took part in improving their skills on the violin & electric guitar, volunteering at a local children’s group and with the GALE centre and together took part in Indoor Rowing.

Awards Easter 2017

Lucy, Arlene, Charlotte & Natasha (Primary) were awarded certificates for their entries into the Rotary International Young Photographer Competition. Their photos, on the theme of reflections, are on display in the library over the next few weeks.

Awards Easter 2017

Activity Tourism go Kayaking

Our Activity Tourism course often works with local providers and draws on the wealth of experience they have in operating successful businesses sharing outdoor activities with locals and tourists. Ewe Canoe, one such provider, has been working in partnership with the pupils this year. Jasmine Connop (S5) tells us about their experience.

We went out for the day Kayaking, in the harbour, with Connor Brown.

Activity Tourism with Ewe Canoe

Lots more photos on Flickr

We did it Because we had to experience an activity in the local area, plus we had to find out information about the activity like: Hazards involved when doing the activity and how to do the activity. Although we had to do it to pass our units, we also did it for fun and for experience in kayaking.

Activity Tourism with Ewe Canoe

We learned what equipment is needed to keep us safe when kayaking, we learned how to work as a team and how to stick as a group, also we learned how to turn the kayak in a more efficient way.

Activity Tourism with Ewe Canoe

It was a very worth while experience, I personally would 100% do that again. Connor made it very enjoyable by playing games, teaching new skills and he kept on top of how we were feeling to make sure we were all okay and were happy.

Activity Tourism with Ewe Canoe

S1 Beach Clean

As part of their John Muir Award, which has them discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing local wild places, S1 were out in force this week!

We did an S1 beach clean to make it look cleaner for the public and tourists that come and visit Gairloch. (Alana)

S1 Beach Clean 2017

More photos on Flickr

We found loads of small bits of rope that had been washed onto the beach. Although they were tiny, they can still be dangerous for birds, so we got as much as we could. (Ruaraidh)

S1 Beach Clean 2017

This will help to save the wildlife that lives on the beach and to keep their habitats clean and healthy (Hannah)

S1 Beach Clean 2017

SMART collecting Kelp

The S1 SMART group have been working on the conservation part of their John Muir Award. When they returned to the classroom they shared some of what they had done and the reasons kelp is good for many things! Read some of their work below and view the rest of the photos on Flickr.

Corey Maclennan:

Grant Walton:

Katie Rae:


Sam Frost:

Meghan Dillon:

Ellie Watson:

Kirsty MacDonald:

Ezekiel Balanquit:

Elizabeth Mclachlan:

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.