School news 1st April 2016

The Lord Lieutenant Youth Awards – LLYA recognise and celebrate achievement of young people from across Ross, Skye and Lochalsh.  The young people of the Gairloch & District Pipe Band took home several awards, after successful nominations by the school, at a reception in Strathpeffer on 14th March.

LLYA 2016

Pipe Major Fraser Wotherspoon (S6) was given the Lord Lieutenant’s Special Youth Award for his work in the Pipe Band in addition to his Highly Commended certificate in the Helping Others category. As a dedicated and respected leader Fraser has inspired other young people to not only pursue excellence in their piping but also serve their community through music. The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Janet Bowen, chose Fraser as overall winner from all nominated young people in Ross, Skye and Lochalsh to receive the Special Award.

The Gairloch & District Pipe Band also took home a Highly Commended certificate in the Group category.  The nomination committee highlighted their commitment to turning out at events across the community, their pride in their status as Pipe Band member and their development over the last couple of years. The phrase, which was repeated most often, was “valued asset to their community”.

Calum, Callum (S2), Matthew, Liam (S1) and Calum (P6, Bualnaluib) attended the ceremony along with piping tutor Gary Nimmo, drumming tutor David Richardson and Emma Smith (Geography teacher & piper).  Well done all!

Duke of Edinburgh GOLD Awards – We can announce that former pupils Gemma Urquhart and Isla Mackenzie have both completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Congratulations to both for keeping up the considerable effort and commitment needed to achieve this. Their names will be added to the Honours board in the school hall.

Scottish Rowing Winter League – Congratulations to all the pupils who participated in the Scottish Rowing Winter League. Gairloch rowers have won the league this term with a total of 295 points. Our closest rivals were Culloden Academy with 136 points. 25 pupils achieved top 5 finishes in round 3 dominating several categories including S1 Boys, S1 Girls, S2 Girls, S3 Girls, S3 Boys, S4 Boys, S4 Girls and S6 Boys. Well done – this is an impressive tally by our pupils. Results are available here on the website.

Local school football derby – Plockton visited on Tuesday 22nd March for a junior game. The visitors won 4-3 so the Gairloch team has all to play for in the second leg.

Gairloch v Plockton

S1 Bring and Buy Sale – On the12th March Gairloch High School held their annual S1 Bring and Buy sale to raise money for the Cairngorm trip in May.  The sale was a great success and you can read the full report by S1 pupils here.

Sport Relief Fundraising – S6 organised a non-uniform and dodge ball event (staff v. pupils!) on Friday 18th March raising £220.02 for Sport Relief. Well done to all who helped to organise this event, particularly Deputy Head Boy, Referdinand Balanquit.

Global Citizenship – S2B girls are hosting a coffee morning on Saturday 16th April, from 11am – 2pm. We are raising money for an organisation called Kiva, which changes lives through offering micro-loans. It allows us to invest in entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world to help them start businesses, improve health or fund education. The coffee morning will be held in the school hall. There will be coffee, tea, juice and home baking. Adults entry £2, Kids £1 and quiz sheets 50p – report by Isabelle Gallacher

Previously on the 18th March, S2B boys had a bake sale in aid of same project. Kiva is a non-profit organisation where you give a small loan to an entrepreneur and you get given the exact same amount of money back once they start earning. We raised £140, which is about $200 (Dollars being the donation currency) – report by Quinlan Cummisky

S2 Bake Sale

Journey of a Lifetime for S6 pupil – Rowan MacKenzie was nominated for a ‘Journey of a Lifetime’. He was invited to Harrow in London for interview and has just heard that he has been successful in selection. Rowan will take part in an expedition to Indonesia and Northern Australia during July and August. Prior to this Rowan has to raise £650 and attend a preparatory weekend in May. This is extremely exciting opportunity and we wish Rowan well in this endeavour.

Important Dates – Check out the website or phone the school if you require information about events.

  • 11th   April – School reopens after Easter holiday
  • 15th   April – S3 Reports issued to parents
  • 20th   April – S3 Parent Evening

There will be no school news in the next edition of Gairloch and District Times due to the Easter school holiday.

School Meal Prices – Costs will be increased by 10% from Monday 11th April 2016. A set meal will cost £2.55. Prices of individual items are available on the Council website.



School news 18th March

Numeracy – All S1-S3 now have now been issued with our newly developed Numeracy booklet. The booklet is intended to be kept alongside their School Planner and used in all classes to assist with basic number work. The booklet is an aid reminding pupils how to do certain basic numeracy tasks. The Numeracy booklet is available on the school website here.

S1 Bring and Buy Sale – We are very grateful for the support of parents, staff, Parent Council, local businesses and everyone who helped on Saturday 12th March, and those who provided items for the sale and prizes for the raffle. You can read all about the event and all our sponsors here.

Drama Festival – Those who attended this event last night enjoyed a series of wonderful performances. The S1’s combat scenes were demanding to pull off well but they managed to create an entertaining though somewhat violent recreation of wedding dress shop madness. S2’s humorous though ridiculous sketch was well-enacted giving an amusing insight into the comedy of Monty Python. Mrs Murton’s Drama Club then performed a number from Mama Mia; this was touchingly performed by the players. S3 surpassed themselves with the quality of writing and performance of their monologues. Though rather dark in tone, they all put over a strong story. After an interval, giving time for the stage to be set, S4 and S5 drama pupils performed ‘Too fast’ in preparation for their SQA exam next week. This was incredibly well performed; had it been on a professional stage, the audience would not have been disappointed. All in all, this was truly enjoyable evening with all aspects of drama production on display and contributing to the overall success. Well done to all involved. (Report by Mr Hulme)

Geography Field Trip – On the 29th February, the Higher Geography class went off to Inverness to spend three days with Liam and Josie from the Aigas Field Centre in Beauly. You can read more and see photos here on the website.

Gairloch Climbing Competition – On Saturday March 5th Gairloch Leisure Centre hosted an inter-school climbing and bouldering competition for young people aged from 8-18 years old.  Participants came from Gairloch High School; Ullapool High School, Moray Schools and Charleston Academy, Inverness plus staff from Plockton High School.

You can read more and see lots of photos by clicking here.

Important Dates – Check out the website or phone the school if you require information about events.

  • 24th  March– School closes (3.30pm) for Easter
  • 29th–31st  March – Easter Study Club for S4-S6 pupils
  • 11th   April – School reopens after Easter holiday
  • 15th   April – S3 Reports issued to parents
  • 20th   April – S3 Parent Evening

School Meal Prices – Please note that costs will be increased by 10% from Monday 11th April 2016. A set meal will cost £2.55. Prices of individual items are available on the Council website.



School news 4th March 2016

UK Intermediate Maths Challenge – In February many of the S3 and S4 pupils took part in a national maths test, which involved answering 25 multiple-choice questions.

Jack Wright, S4, got the highest score for Gairloch High School and he will receive a silver certificate.  Other winners of silver certificates were Iain Nelson, Gregor Vickerstaff and Hannah Wood (all S4).

Morven MacLean was the highest placed S3 pupil and she will receive a bronze certificate.  Connor Forbes, S4, will also receive a bronze certificate.

Well done to all who took part in the challenge and thanks to Mrs Whall for organising their participation in this national competition.


Saturday 12th March – 10am in the Community Hall
Stalls, Competitions and the BIG Raffle!

It’s that time again – the GRAND annual fundraiser for S1 Cairngorm Week is approaching.

Items for the sale can be:

  • Handed to any member of the school
  • Delivered direct to the Community Hall on Friday 11th March between 3.30pm and 5pm
  • Collected by us – call the school office on 712275 and leave your details.


Football – S1 pupils travelled on Friday 19th February to the Small Schools’ Football League play-offs at Glenurquhart High School. Matthew Higgins-Macleod reports, “We had two matches. Our first match was against Ardnamurchan High School and we were winning 3-2 but they scored with a few minutes left. We had extra time but lost on penalties. Our second match was against Ullapool and we won 5-1. We came third overall and we all enjoyed playing.”

Small Schools League

Thanks to Mr Gorman for supervising, Mr Bowker for driving the bus and to Sydney Tippett for refereeing some of the games.

Indoor Rowing News – “At the beginning of the year Scottish Rowing challenged clubs and schools to row 9491km on indoor rowing machines. This is the distance from Glasgow to Rio where the summer Olympic Games are being held this year. The challenge is to complete the distance by 6th August when the Games start. Many pupils in the High School have contributed kilometres so far and we have rowed 460km between us. We will struggle to reach the 9491km target, but the people who have taken part so far have done really well, usually managing to row 5km at a time, which is a long way on a rowing machine! We’ve also had some help from 6 Gairloch Primary pupils who I am coaching for my Silver DofE volunteering section. Every kilometre counts and gets us closer to our target so please keep rowing.” Sara Johnston

We entered the Scottish Schools Indoor Rowing League again this term. In Round 1, 28 GHS pupils participated. Despite this being well down on last term’s numbers, other schools also had reduced participation and we were top of the league, 14 points ahead of Culloden Academy in 2nd place. In Round 2, 39 GHS pupils entered the competition. Again we had the highest number of participants of the 6 schools in the league and with 19 Gairloch pupils in the top 5 for their year group, this gave us a round 2 total of 106 points, increasing our lead over Culloden. Everyone who takes part earns a point for the school and the following pupils have scored extra points for their top 5 placings this term: S1- Eòin, Matthew, Lucy, Abigail, Jahia, Charlotte, Mia. S2 – Melissa. S3 – Amber, Scarlet, Morven, Arlene, Emily, Matthew and Sean D. S4 – Sara, Carys, Iain, Sean Q. S5 – Eilidh. S6 – Sydney. Congratulations to them all. The final round takes place during the first week in March.

Indoor Rowing Club

Turas FilmG a Ghlaschu / FilmG Trip to Glasgow – On the 19th of February, Iain Nelson, Sorley Street and Max Conway travelled to Glasgow to be present at the FilmG Awards Ceremony 2016.  Our short film ‘The Chance’ was shortlisted for two categories out of the 54 schools who took part in the competition.  You can read about the trip, in Gaelic or English, by clicking here.

Cross Country Event – The Gairloch High School Cross Country Event on Tuesday 23rd of February was organised and run by the S5/6 Activity Tourism class. As part of the course we have organise and assist with an event. The jobs that we were involved with course planning, risk assessment, setting up the course, marshalling, photography, collecting the times when people came over the finish line, collecting in the arrows and the red and white tape after the event and evaluation.

Cross Country 2016Click on the photo to see lots of other photos from the event

The cross country was a success as no one was injured or got lost during the race. There were 53 pupils taking part. The races were split into four categories – Junior Girls, Senior Girls, Junior Boys and Senior Boys, although all the girls started at the same time and all the boys started at the same time. In the Junior Girls’ race, the top three were Amy Tattersall in a time of 22:37, Emma MacDonald 2nd and Isabella Wiseman 3rd. In the senior girls’ race, the top three were Laura Russell in 24:50, Sara Johnston 2nd and Carys Townsend 3rd. Eòin Cumming was first in the junior boys’ race in 18:30; Joel Goldby and Callum MacDonald were 2nd and 3rd. Sydney Tippett won the senior boys’ race with a time of 17:52; Alasdair MacDonald and Mark McLean were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Everyone did very well despite the slippery conditions. The runners had to run through a heavy hail shower and the ground was quite wet and muddy in places making it a lot more challenging. (Eilidh Johnston S5)

Global Citizenship – In World Class we have found a website called Kiva. It allows anyone to invest in people in developing countries around the world to grow their business. When they earn their money back they are able to repay it through the website. We have decided to organise a coffee morning quiz in April to help the group of people we have chosen. There will be more information about the event in the next issue of the Gairloch Times! (2B girls)

Important DatesCheck out the website or phone the school if you require information about events.

  • 5th March Inter-school climbing competition
  • 12th March – S1 Bring and Buy Sale
  • 15th March – S1 Strath Beach Clean

Beach Clean 2016 – The S1 SMART class will hold their annual beach clean on Tuesday 15th March from 9-11am. If you are free, and would like to help, please join us, as there is a lot of rubbish between the Myrtle Bank and Strath. Gloves and bags will be provided. Please come along and show an example to our young citizens!

School news 19th February 2016

Futurechef Regional Final 2016 – S3 pupil Emily Morrison returned to Inverness on Monday 8th February to take part in the regional final of Futurechef 2016.  As one of three from Highland Emily found herself competing with nine others from as far afield as Aberdeen.  Emily held her cool and having done lots of preparation beforehand she finished third.  Emily was presented with a set of personalised whites for use in the kitchen.  Mr Port thanked Kirsty Thistlethwaite (West Highland College) and Rosie Kirkness (former pupil of Gairloch, professional chef and previously successful in Futurechef) for helping Emily prepare for this competition.  And of course – Well done Emily!

Regional Final

UNICEF Non-uniform Day – Friday 12th February was our annual non-uniform day in aid of Unicef, a leading international charity supporting children. Pupils and staff had the opportunity to wear non-uniform in return for a minimum £1 contribution towards this worthwhile cause. Those wearing a hat helped to raise even more money by contributing an extra 50p!  The amount donated was £135.

Local Climbers help in school – The S1 SMART class have successfully completed a four-week block of climbing with Paul Tattersall. Paul volunteered his time and experience to take pupils through their NICAS Level 1 certificate which involves operating safely on the climbing wall and completing at least 10 belays and climbs each. Pupils started with varied climbing experience and all overcame challenges and fears during the sessions. S6 Outdoor Education pupils assisted Paul train the pupils. The other half of S1 were trained and prepared by Mr Sutherland and all S1 received their NICAS books at assembly. The complete award will be presented to each S1 at Prizegiving in June.

SMART climbing NICASClick on the image above to see lots more photos and a couple of videos!

Smart CDT Microscopes – S1 pupils have also been busy building microscopes in Craft Design and Technology. The project helps the pupils investigate standard components in the design of products before manufacture. Pupils can now view and photograph various things under their microscope using their smartphone camera or an iPad. In C.D.T pupils looked at the soldered joint between electronic components, helping them to see if the circuit would fail. You can see Liam Forbes using his device in the photograph.

S1 will also use the microscopes in SMART and Science. We plan to repeat the project each year so eventually all pupils will have a microscope in school. We are also hoping to use the microscopes with any new ICT that comes into school in future.


S1 Digital Microscopes

Former Pupil update – We have heard that Roxanne Ramsay has passed her exams and will graduate a doctor from Manchester Medical School in the summer. At the moment she is preparing to head for Grenada to complete her Elective.

Roxanne’s brother Andrew graduated in November from the University of London School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering with an MSc in Renewable Energy and the Built Environment. Andrew completed his studies at the renowned Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales.

Congratulations to both of our former pupils! As always if you have information about any of our former pupils please let us know. We like to pass on information on our former pupil website and encourage the current pupils with ambitions of what they might achieve.

Important Dates – Check out the website here or phone the school if you require information about events.

  • 19th Feb – S5/6 reports issued
  • 24th Feb – S5/6 Parent Evening
  • 29th Feb – S3 exams begin
  • 1st March – S4 reports issued
  • 3rd March – S4 Parent Evening
  • 5th March Inter-school climbing competition
  • 12th March – S1 Bring and Buy Sale


Climbing Event March 2016

Poster designed and created by Mark Warren S6


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