Newsletter 7 - December 2007 - Lochaber High School
Remembrance Weekend The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month once again gave everyone an opportunity to contemplate and acknowledge sacrifices of the past made for the freedom of generations of the future including our own. This year the eleventh fell on Remembrance Sunday. Many years ago a unique association was forged and has remained steadfast between the Commando Association, (since 2005, the Commando Veterans Association) and Lochaber High School. As has become customary during the preceding week, sixth years sold the elegantly simple and symbolic poppies throughout the school. By Friday the eighty or so Commando veterans had started to arrive in Lochaber, a place of special significance for them, to participate in the events surrounding the annual act of remembrance. Friday afternoon therefore has traditionally become the kick-off for the weekend with as many as possible being invited to a special “Commando Concert” in the school. On arrival at Lochaber High, they were greeted by members of the school community and joined us in the Main Hall. The Lochaber Schools Wind Band, Lochaber Schools Pipe Band as well as the school’s Burke and Hare Orchestra and Chorus entertained this year, providing a very successful and varied programme culminating with the ‘Sands of Kuwait’. During the concert the chairman of the Association, currently Stan Scott, gave a short, entertaining and encouraging address presenting Commando Award certificates to Sammi Jenkins and Carolyn McKee. Mr. Sutherland was presented with the Commando Trophy and Mr Whyte a framed photograph in recognition and with thanks for the special links maintained between the Commandos and the School. Following the concert the Wind Band’s parent committee provided afternoon tea in the small canteen for visitors and participants alike, enabling the veterans an important opportunity to talk about their experiences of war and reminisce with the pupils involved in the concert. Remembrance Sunday proved to be a chilly but bright day. In Fort William the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band was privileged to lead the parade as the march of past and present members of the armed forces including Commandos, two companies of Royal Marines and local cadet forces passed through the town to The Parade. After observing the two-minute silence, wreaths were laid at the war memorial. This year S6 pupils, Emma McKillop and James Barbour laid one on behalf of the School. Following the special service in the Duncansburgh MacIntosh Church the Pipe and Wind Bands enjoyed a welcome lunch provided by the Council before heading to Spean Bridge. Again the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band was very proud to lead the march up to the Commando Monument for the afternoon act of remembrance. The Lochaber Schools Wind Band provided the music for this moving service. Both the Wind Band and the Pipe Band played in this exposed spot making the endurance of war and the losses sustained in conflict just a little more poignant. Having taken an active part in this weekend of remembrance for six years in the Wind Band and more recently also in the Pipe Band it will impact on my memory as a very privileged and unique connection between our education here in Lochaber and the breadth of conflict across the world, challenging us, as the new generation, with the responsibility to strive for peace, understanding and positive relationships between nations and people everywhere. Rebecca Leeson-Payne 6N Young Engineers Our Young Engineers Club was recently reinstated after a one year gap. At the start of the first term the club moved their collection of apparatus to the balcony area in the wood workshop, where they now meet every Wednesday afternoon. The club is currently working on a national competition—The Royal Navy Challenge. This year’s brief is to design a remote controlled floating vessel which has to retrieve packages from the bottom of a simulation tank and take them back to shore. Three teams will soon be submitting their design folios for stage one of the competition. There are plans for exciting new projects and experiments in the New Year. If you’d like to find out more, please contact Mr Cameron or Mr MacNeil in the Technical Department or come along on a Wednesday afternoon.
“The Crucible” On Tuesday 23 rd October a busload of S5 and S6 English pupils travelled to Glasgow to see a production of Arthur’s Miller’s, “The Crucible”. Although it was an amateur production, the cast all performed to a professional standard. The actor who stood out most in the performance was the girl who played Mary Warren; she gave a big performance and was entertaining to watch. Her best moment was in the court scene when she is trying to tell the truth despite the threat from Abigail and the girls. Here we can relate to modern day scenarios and peer pressure, one of the key factors which make this play relevant even today. Although most of the pupils had already studied the play, there was still an atmosphere of tension when Elizabeth Proctor lies to save John’s name. This is high praise as the scene is very difficult to perform. The role of Elizabeth Proctor is more influential in the story live, compared to the script, as we, the audience, seem to generate a better understanding of the character when performed. The trip was really valuable and enjoyable to those who had studied the play, and also to those who were experiencing the works of Arthur Miller for the first time. David Childs Young Enterprise Young Enterprise is a business set up and run by pupils within the school. It provides us with vital experiences to do with the business world as well as working together as a team. This year the Young Enterprise team has decided to personalise T-shirts for a reasonable price. Our T-shirts would make a great gift for anyone as we personalise to your taste. Also, if you are a member of a club, you can bulk-buy for lower prices giving your organisation a stylish edge! For more information please contact James Tangney or Naz Haque (S6). Discount Software for Students RM – the company which provides computer equipment and IT support for the school - are now offering Microsoft Educational products at discounted prices for full time students at www.rm.com/thebasement. When parents or students register on the website they can purchase fully functional, fully licensed products at very low prices. RM is a Microsoft Gold certified partner who have been specialising in supplying ICT to schools and colleges since 1973 and are the leading provider of ICT software, hardware and services to UK education. Software Retail Price Basement Saving Microsoft Office 2007 Student £349.99 £39.99 89% Student with Encarta Prem 2008 £45.95 £8.50 82% Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade £369.99 £66.51 82% AIDS Awareness For the third successive year a fundraising committee set up by S6 pupils worked hard to raise awareness amongst staff and pupils of the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS, and to raise money for the National AIDS Trust. Fundraising ventures included selling cups of “Cherryaid” and AIDS day ribbons as well as staff and pupils paying £1 to wear something red. A grand total of £375.94 was raised, easily beating last year’s total of £133.07. Choir Mrs Colman’s choir is back up and running! We meet on Monday lunchtimes in room 2.2 and everyone is welcome – including the teachers. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a short space of time. This year we are practising for the Christmas Concert and will be singing some well known Christmas songs as well as some of Handel’s Messiah. It is challenging but good fun and we are always on the look-out for more people to join, especially boys! ’Snas by Robert Robertson 3RS Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be accepted for ’Snas, a ceilidh band set up by the Highland Council for students in the Highlands. I have since travelled for two weekends of rehearsals in Inverness High School. The rehearsals with the Ceilidh Band are always great fun because everyone gets on really well together. Recently we have been practising hard for our slots in the Aviemore Winter Music Festival in early December. This is an exciting prospect and I’m sure, with the friendship within the groups, all the bands will have really great fun! Young Carers Awareness Raising On Thursday 8 th November, over thirty members of staff took part in an after-school awareness-raising session on Young Carers, delivered by Frances Nixseaman (Highland Council Young Carers Strategy Development Officer). The definition of a Young Carer is: anyone under the age of 18 whose life is in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person who is ill, has a disability, is experiencing mental distress or is affected by substance misuse. Statistics show that in a school the size of Lochaber High, there could be as many as 80 Young Carers, with the vast majority maintaining their school life successfully and their caring role not being recognised or supported. Further information on Young Carers can be obtained from Frances Nixseaman on 01463 723562 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.