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Newsletter 7 - December 2007 - Lochaber High School

Newsletter 7 - December 2007 - Lochaber High School

Alpe d’Huez After a

Alpe d’Huez After a gap of five years, a group of Lochaber pupils and teachers is returning to the French Alps for a week of skiing in the week before the Christmas holidays. Forty-one pupils (30 girls and 11 boys) in years S3 and S4 are going to Alpe d’Huez accompanied by six members of staff (Mrs McCrae, Mrs MacKenzie, Ms Reid. Mr Little, Mr Reynolds and Mr Grindley). The group will be based in the Hotel Beausoleil which is situated in the middle of the slopes just a minute from the nearest lifts. The resort is one of the largest in the world offering nearly 500km of runs of all grades. As in previous visits they will be using the local Ecole de Ski Francaise for four hours of lessons each day. Groups are divided into classes ranging from complete beginners to experts so that all of the team can expect to improve during the course of the week. For beginners there are loads of runs around the hotel, whilst the experts can expect to do runs like Le Tunnel (which really does go through a narrow 100 metre-long tunnel to emerge on the opposite side of the mountain) and La Sarenne which is the longest black run in the world. In the evenings the village which is close by is an ideal venue for skating, swimming, shopping and other activities. As we go to press, news is coming in of heavy snowfalls arriving in the Alps much earlier than usual. Christmas Parcels It’s that time of the year again when the pupils and staff wrap and deliver over 400 Christmas parcels to senior citizens in the local community. This year the parcels will contain mincepies, chocolates, biscuits and teabags. Each parcel will also contain a hand-made Christmas Card. A special ‘Thank You’ to Mrs Masson and her S6 helpers for masterminding this activity. As ever, the support of the Rotary Club of Lochaber, who generously donate 50% of the cost of the parcels, is much appreciated. Turas gu Èirinn Anns an Dàmhair chaidh sinn gu deasbad Ri Chèile ann an Èirinn. Chaidh sinn a-null le deich sgoilearan eile à Alba. Bha sinn an sin airson trì latha uile gu lèir agus choinnich sinn ri sgoilearan à Èirinn. Bha dà dheasbad ann, bha na sgoilearan Albannaich an aghaidh a chèile agus bha na sgoilearan Èireannach mar an ceudna. Ged nach do bhuannaich sinne bha sinn gu math sona bhith ann a chionn ’s gun do rinn sinn caraidean ùr bho Èirinn agus Alba agus bha cothrom againn coinneachadh a-rithist ris na caraidean a rinn sinn an-uiridh. Chaidh sinn gu na bùthan ann am Baile Ath Cliath air an latha mu dheireadh mus deach sinn dhan phort-adhair, agus chaidh sinn air ais a dh’Alba gun airgead! Bha sinn gu math taingeil gun d’ fhuair sinn an cothrom a dhol a dh’Èirinn a’ riochdachadh na sgoile, agus bha sinn a’ smaoineachadh gun robh na h- òraidean againn glè mhath agus gun do chuir sinn a-mach ainm glè mhath airson Àrd Sgoil Loch Abair. In October of this year we went to a Gaelic debate in Ireland with ten other pupils from schools in Scotland. The Irish students were competing against each other just as the Scottish students competed against their fellow Scots. Although we did not win, we enjoyed our stay in Ireland and went home with no money after having a shopping spree in Dublin! We feel very privileged that we were given the opportunity to go over to Ireland to represent Lochaber High School and hopefully we will be able to do the same again next year! Carolyn McKee agus Erin McHale Junior Hockey Club For the last 7 years a junior hockey club for boys and girls from all years has been running, come rain or snow, on Tuesday evenings from 7.00 – 8.00 pm. Players like Stevie Sedgwick, David Childs, Callum Tregaskis, Nathan Berrie and Caitlin Kelly have been coming for many years and are now accomplished players with experience at club and regional level. Marc Harper has been training hard as goal keeper and has had an excellent first season in goal for Lochaber men’s team. This year we have a large group of first year boys and girls whose skill level is improving all the time. In December we welcome back for training some of our ex-pupils now at university. This includes Yan Adams, who in October, played Champions League hockey in Europe for one of Scotland’s top clubs, and in November Yan achieved his first senior international cap for Scotland in a 2-2 draw with Ireland. Lochaber High School now has 4 ex-pupils playing in Scottish Regional leagues and 3 ex-pupils playing in the top national league, less than 2 years after leaving school. Young players should see that with effort and enthusiasm there is a great opportunity to progress in hockey from the start provided at school. Above all, however, sports like hockey are about fitness and fun – and you don’t have to be good to feel good! New members are welcome – just turn up in sports kit on a Tuesday evening at 7.00pm. Sticks are provided and there is a 50p charge to cover the cost of equipment. S1 Christmas Card Competition With the help of Mrs Masson, School Librarian, S1 Enterprise classes have been busy over the past few weeks producing high quality cards to accompany the Christmas Parcels. A panel of staff will choose a winner from each class and the overall winner’s design will be used for the school’s Christmas card. Thanks to Iain Ferguson of ‘The Write Image’ for some of the photographs used in this newsletter

Dear Parents Lochaber High School December 2007 Dear Parents/Carers I am sure that you are as pleased as I am that Her Majesty’s Inspectors have recognised the progress made in Lochaber High. There is clear evidence that we have made significant improvements in many aspects of the school’s culture and performance. This is the result of a lot of hard work by staff and pupils supported by you, the parents. Thank you for the part you have played so far and for what I hope you will do in the future if this very good school is to become an excellent one. A major concern is still, of course, the state of our buildings and I am pleased to report that our building modernisation project has made considerable progress over the last few weeks. New proposals for alterations to the layout of the school have been drawn up by architects SMC Parr, working in close consultation with the school. SMC Parr will now draw up phasing plans for the works and the costs will be checked against the project budget. The proposals will then be exhibited to the whole school community. The Highland Council has appointed Heery International Ltd as Project Managers. Their job is to manage the whole modernisation project, including setting timescales and managing communications between the consultants, the school and The Highland Council officers. You can see from this newsletter that we have had another busy term with lots of opportunities for pupils to enhance their learning with activities outside the classroom. Please encourage your children to take full advantage of these opportunities. A highlight for me was the school’s production of ‘Burke & Hare’ – Mr Young and all those involved in the production really put on a fantastic show; nights to be remembered! Information has been sent home to all parents giving details of Winter Weather Arrangements. If you haven’t received this, please contact the school for a pack which gives details of the helpline and winter weather website. Please note that, if you are unsure about sending your child to school in the event of bad weather, you should always make their safety the top priority. Please do not contact the school office but call the helpline (0870 054 6999; PIN 04 1150), check the website: www.schoolclosures.highlandschools.org.uk or listen to local radio stations. Our Parent Council AGM was held on 15 th November and 14 Parent Council Members were elected with Dr Moira Tregaskis continuing as Chairman. The next meeting will be held on Thursday 24 th January (fundraising meeting at 7.00 pm and main meeting at 7.30 pm). Both meetings are open to all parents and I do hope that you will be able to come along. So far this year, fundraising has been very successful with our annual ‘High School Hike’ raising over £9000 allowing us to order a new minibus for delivery around Easter. However, our extensive range of extra-curricular activities is not cheap so ongoing fundraising is necessary. The Parent Council has sent raffle tickets to all families and already, many parents have sold these. If you are able to sell tickets, please return counterfoils and money to the school by Monday 17 th December. The draw will be held in the school on Wednesday 19 th December. Thank you again for all the support you have given the school this year and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Jim Sutherland Acting Head Teacher businessdynamics On Thursday 25 th and Friday 26 th October a group of Sixth Years from the Business Management class went on a businessdynamics course in the Council Chambers in Fort William. When we arrived we were all shown into the Chambers where we met the activity leader, Mrs MacDonald, and several other senior pupils from Ardnamurchan High School. After getting settled, we heard presentations by different speakers from businesses around Lochaber including the Crannog, Alcan and HIE. The speakers explained their individual role in the business and what it is like from their perspective. As the course progressed we had opportunities to take part in several team activities and on the Friday afternoon we had the chance to run our own production business. With the new knowledge we had learned over the two days, we split into different departments such as operations, marketing, finance and human resources, and were observed by the management team. The businessdynamics course was a very worthwhile experience which gave us a deep insight into the business world, not just in theory, but also the practical side. We would strongly recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in studying business management or in running their own business. Katie Jones 6S

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