The run-up to the end of term will be a busy time for pupils and staff with a number of activities taking place. Please note the following dates/times:
School re-opens on Monday 8 January 2018.
Feedback on our new online booking system, used for the first time at the recent S5/6 Parents’ Evening, has been very positive and parental attendance was increased on last year. We will be going ahead with implementing this system for future Parents’ Evenings and further information will be sent out to parents in due course. The next Parents’ Evening is for S3 and will be held on Tuesday 23 January.
Head Teacher Appointment
Professional interviews for the post of Head Teacher were held earlier this month and the three candidates who have been selected for final interview visited the school on Friday 8 December. The final interview with Councillors and members of the school’s Parent Council will be held on Tuesday 19 December.
The Ben Bronze Model T
The Bronze Ford, a full size replica in Bronze of a Model T Ford Car – is now being cast at Powderhall Foundry in Edinburgh. Twenty-eight pupils from the Design and Technology department visited Edinburgh for the day to see for themselves the “production line” which is building the sculpture. It will soon become a permanent and iconic feature in Cameron Square, Fort William, commemorating Henry Alexander’s ascent of Ben Nevis in a Model T Ford in 1911. He will be at the wheel and the car will sit close to the West Highland Museum near to the spot from where he left for the Ben in 1911 – an epic ascent of the Ben which was described at the time as “Motor Mountaineering!”
The pupils were shown the details of the lost wax process by which the car is being built and saw the rear axle, seats, doors and some of the wheels which are complete. They showed great interest in the project. The foundry closed their workshops to demonstrate the production process in detail.
The group were impressed by the quality of the replication in Bronze at Powderhall. The Model T Ford which was carried up Ben Nevis in 2011 by 77 stalwarts is being used as the template for casting the various parts of the car.
The trip was made possible through the generosity of Shiel buses and Mark Stoddart, International designer from Turnberry who has shown much enthusiasm for the project.
The local Ben Nevis Model T Ford Project group has raised £89,000 over the last four years to enable the contract to be placed by the Highland Council with the Powderhall foundry. The council fronted a successful LEADER application to top up the £55,000 raised privately.
The “Bronze Ford” will be ready in good time for the official unveiling at 11am on 19 May 2018. Some 50 Model T cars will be coming to town and will then follow the very first “Bronze Trail” around Fort William.
Lochaber Dance Platform, a key part of the Active Schools calendar, was held in the school hall in November. Over the three performance nights, 103 girls from Lochaber High School took part, alongside over 200 pupils from throughout Lochaber, showcasing a huge variety of styles of dance and costume.
Thirteen pupils from Lochaber High School ran after-school dance sessions leading up to the event allowing the local primary schools to perform a dance. They did a great job, choreographing and teaching routines – thanks to Sophie Shearer and Charis Snedden (Banavie Primary), Jordan Holmes and Angel Thomson (Caol Primary), Bethany Semple and Lauren Cameron (Inverlochy Primary), Scarlett MacNeil and Ami Robertson (Lundavra Primary), Ciara Muir and Erin Mooney (St Columba’s RC Primary), Bethany Henderson and Laura Davie (S1/2 dance) and Jordan Holmes and Jack Wallace (S2 dance).
In addition, pupils from Lochaber, Mallaig and Kinlochleven High Schools choreographed and danced their own routines. Local dance groups from throughout Lochaber gave guest performances, including Lochaber Gymnastics Club, Ballet West, ConnXion (majorettes), Lochaline Primary School, Sunart Stomers, Ben Nevis All-Stars (cheerleading), Feis Lochaber Scottish Step Dancers and Highland Dancers from Nevis School of Highland Dancing and the Jane Douglas School of Dance.
Bringing each evening performance to a close was a finale dance. This was taught by High Life Highland’s ‘Movers and Shakers’ teacher, Amy Gallagher. This intensive dance input from a professional tutor is an important part of the Dance Platform programme, teaching dancers new moves and giving them fresh ideas to incorporate into their own choreography in subsequent years.
Active Schools Co-ordinator, Bridget Thomas, commented ‘I continue to be amazed by the time and effort put into this event by so many people. It could not happen without the whole community behind it. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the Dance Leaders and volunteers who choreographed routines and in particular to former pupils Sarah Gillanders and Leah Burns, who contributed a huge amount of time, energy and enthusiasm to organising this year’s event. I’d also like to thank Mr Cameron who took on the lighting for this year’s show. The standard and variety of performance was truly stunning – it gets better every year – well done everyone!’
On 14/15 November our Biology and Chemistry National pupils visited Ben Nevis Distillery. This opportunity allowed Biology pupils to see how microbes were used in the fermentation process to produce our most famous Scottish product – Whisky. Chemistry pupils were looking at both, fermentation and distillation, contributing towards their added value unit. Pupils were shown around the Distillery by Iain Fyfe and Brian Hume who gave an excellent explanation of how each process is controlled and the machinery that was used to carry this out.
The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by pupils and staff who all learned something new – thank you very much Ben Nevis Distillery!
The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is a programme that all S3 pupils participate in during RME lessons. Since June, our pupils have been researching local social charities in the area and then, in small teams, campaigning on their behalf for a £3000 grant that is provided by the Wood Foundation and SSE.
On Thursday 30 November, we hosted our sixth YPI final at an S2 assembly. We had six teams representing six charities: Action Duchenne, Meningitis Research Foundation, Lochaber Women’s Aid, Support in Mind, Star for Harris and Rape and Sexual Assault Services Highland.
Each team gave a fantastic presentation and they were all spurred on by our hosts Alice Campbell and Gregory Woodward who kept us entertained throughout the whole afternoon.
Our judges had a very tricky job deciding which charity should be the recipient of the £3000 and they decided that the most passionate case was put forward by Rhiann Dempster and Ana MacGillivray’s team representing Star for Harris.
All of the teams worked incredibly hard and many thanks to our judges: Johnny Soe-Paing (S4), our Modern Studies teacher Miss MacMaster, Iain Innes from SSE, and Geoff Heathcote from the Rotary Club for having to make such a difficult decision.
YPI will begin again in June 2018 when the current S2 move on to their S3 timetable.
Thirty-four intrepid explorers set out from Lochaber High School on an expedition to BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 25 November. We ventured through snowy conditions (with some questionable singing skills being demonstrated by some members of the party) and ended up in a sunny, but incredibly cold, Edinburgh.
We were there to watch an International Rugby match between Scotland and Australia. Having seen Scotland lose so narrowly to the mighty All Blacks a week before, we were hopeful of a Scottish victory.
None of us, even in our wildest dreams expected to see what we did. Scotland performed magnificently and beat the Wallabies 53 points to 24. This included 8 tries to Australia’s 4 and saw Scotland get their record score against any Southern Hemisphere team. The atmosphere throughout the match was electric and all of us had a great time. Some of us have been to many matches and have rarely seen such a performance. Others were attending their first match and are now hooked!
We left the capital in high spirits and hopeful of a good performance in the upcoming Six Nations.
National Gaelic Schools’ Debate
World AIDS Day
To raise awareness of World AIDS Day on 1 December, senior pupils sold ribbons across the school. The S3 cohort took part in a photo campaign (right) - captured by the school's drone - and a bake sale was held to raise money for the National AIDS Trust.
Parents and carers should be aware of our winter weather arrangements in case there is disruption to school transport or the school has to close.
It is the responsibility of parents or carers to decide if a pupil should attempt to travel to school, by transport or on foot, in adverse weather conditions. We encourage full attendance at school but, in severe weather conditions, the safety of pupils is much more important. Parents and pupils are often concerned that important examinations may be missed, but this should not over-ride good judgement. We always make alternative arrangements for examinations missed due to poor weather conditions.
Parents/carers are asked to advise us of an alternative address, as close as possible to the school, which may be used by their children in emergencies.
The school will advise parents/carers of any revised transport arrangements or school closure. A telephone service is offered to provide parents/carers with up-to-date information: call 0800 564 2272 and enter the school’s PIN 04 1150. Information is also available on the school website, The Highland Council’s school closures website http://www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures and on local radio stations.
If you need information about adverse weather arrangements, please use the telephone service or check online. Please do not call the school office as it is not possible to answer all calls and you will block essential communications with transport companies and other essential services.
Click the link below for further guidelines from The Highland Council.
The Winter Concert of the Wind Bands of Lochaber High School will take place this year on Wednesday 6 December at 7.30 pm in the school hall. It will feature the Senior and Junior bands as well as the Big Band.
Music will include original wind band works as well as tunes from Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire and the Blues Brothers, so please come along and support the fine young musicians of Lochaber High School. Tickets are available from the school office, free of charge.
The S5/6 Parents’ Evening will be held on Thursday 7 December from 7.00 to 9.00pm. The purpose of the evening is to inform you of progress to date and to give you the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns about your child’s education. Subject teachers, Guidance staff and the Careers Adviser will all be available. We hope that all S5/6 parents/carers will be able to attend.
The school has introduced a new, easy to use online appointment booking system. This allows you to choose your own appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your bookings. We are confident this will be an improvement on the previous system and welcome any feedback. As ever, a large number of parents are expected and appointment times will be limited to five minutes. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening.
The booking system is available to parents/carers to make appointments from Thursday 23 November at 9.00am until Thursday 7 December at 1.00pm.
Please visit https://lochaberhigh.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/ to book your appointments. A short guide to assist you with making appointments is available by clicking here.
If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the school office who will be able to add appointments on your behalf. In the event that you are unable to attend the Parents’ Evening, you can still contact the school if you wish to see a particular subject teacher, a Guidance teacher or a member of the school’s Senior Management Team.
Progress Reports will be issued to S5/6 pupils in March following the prelim examinations.
Acts of Remembrance were once again important events for the school with assemblies for all years where Rosie Clark played ‘The Last Post’ on cornet and Megan Campbell played ‘The Battle of the Somme’, composed by Ballachulish piper, Willie Lawrie, who died in 1916 while serving with the British Forces.
Our annual Concert of Remembrance was held on Friday 10 November for members of the Commando Veterans Association, their families and other guests. Music was provided by the Wind Band, the Big Band and the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band. The ‘Vic Ralph Memorial Shield’ for ‘Meritorious Service’ was presented to Amanda Fairman from the Wind Band and Jordan Currie from the Pipe Band.
Sunday saw the Pipe Band in action once again, leading the parade to the War Memorial in Fort William in the morning where Sixth Years, Chloe Laing and Siobhan McAllister, laid a wreath on behalf of the school community. Later in the day they led the parade to the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge where Amber MacDonald played the Lament. The Wind Band played for both the hymn singing and wreath laying.
As always our young people represented us well, cementing the bond that exists between the Commando Veterans Association and the school. Pupils were moved by what they saw and heard and have again played their part in ensuring that we will remember them.
A message for S1 parents/carers from the Art & Design department:
We are delighted to announce our Christmas Card Project which we are undertaking in partnership with Art Projects for Schools Ltd (APFS).
The money raised through your support will be used towards the school fund, from which your child will benefit. Importantly, the items recognise and celebrate your child’s creative effort and are great to send to family and friends.
The artwork your child has created will be accurately reproduced in full colour on Christmas cards that are available in packs of twelve. Additional items are also available such as packs of six larger gloss coated luxury Christmas cards, packs of three sheets of wrapping paper and packs of twelve folded gift tags. The quality of reproduction is excellent as is the quality of the cards; samples are available to view in the art department.
To order, simply visit www.apfsorders.co.uk and input the unique code found on the label on the reverse of your child’s artwork. Orders must be placed by midnight on Tuesday 14 November. Any orders placed after this date will be classed as a late order and will be subject to a handling and postage fee. Re-orders can be placed through the same site using your unique code.
PLEASE NOTE: The shop cannot be accessed unless your child’s artwork has been scanned by APFS prior to ordering. If you are unsure please contact Miss S Roebuck or Miss V Barclay to check.
If you are ordering for more than one child, APFS has introduced a family discount. Other benefits to ordering online include being able to personalise your items with your child’s name and/or school, create your own custom greetings, and pay securely by debit or credit card.
Any enquiries relating to the project should be addressed to Miss S Roebuck or Miss V Barclay in the Art and Design department.
Mealaibh ur naidheachd a Chlaire Frances NicNèill is Iain MacGilleÌosa a thèid air adhart gu cuairtean deireanach co-fharpais Deasbad Nàiseanta nan Àrd-Sgoiltean an-dèidh an gnothach a dhèanamh anns a’ chiad dà chuairt ann an Steòrnabhagh an t-seachdainsa. ‘S math rinn an dithis agaibh! Gabhaidh an iar-chuairt deireanach àite ann an togalach a’ BhBC ann an Glaschu air an 28mh den t-Samhain ‘s a’ chuairt deireanach an ath-oidhche ann am Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, Dùn Eideann.
Congratulations to Claire Frances MacNeill and Iain Gillies who are through to the finals of the National Gaelic Debating Competition after a successful trip to Stornoway this week for the first two rounds. The semi-finals will take place at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay building in Glasgow on 28 November with the finals being held in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh the following evening.
Well done and good luck!
The Annual General Meeting of our Parent Council will be held in the school tonight (Tuesday 7 November) at 7.00 pm. All parents are welcome to attend.
Dyslexia Awareness Week, 6th-11th November
This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and theme this year is ‘Positive About Dyslexia’. During Tutor Support periods this week, LHS will be helping to raise awareness and understanding of the 1 in 10 children, young people and adults with dyslexia in Scotland.
See the link below for more information
The La Fosca 2019 trip will be advertised soon. The cost will be £950 which will include flights, cabin/lodge accommodation, all activities and equipment, full board (all meals and drinks) and two excursions (Camp Nou and Waterworld).
Click the photos below to see more photos from the 2017 trip.