November has been a busy month in Lochaber High … so busy we haven’t had time to update our website … until now! Some subjects have run early prelim exams this month and the parents of S5/6 pupils will be able to get progress updates at a Parents’ Evening to be held on Thursday 8 December (letters are going home by ‘schoolbag mail’ this week). Here’s a flavour of some of the other activities our young people have been involved in during November.
Remembrance is always an important time at Lochaber High and this year was no exception. We had Remembrance assemblies for all year groups on Thursday 10 November and on 11 November we held our annual Concert of Remembrance for members of the Commando Veterans’ Association (CVA) in the school hall. Veterans, their families and other visitors were treated to an afternoon of musical entertainment by the school’s wind band, big band and the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band. The concert ended with a moving rendition of ‘Highland Cathedral’ by the combined bands. This year the Commando Shield for Meritorious Service was presented to Annabel Brayshaw, S6 (Wind Band) and Sean MacDonald, S4 (Pipe Band).
On Sunday 13, the Fort William Remembrance Parade was led by the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band and the school’s wreath was laid by Sixth Years Karen Lawrie and Olivia Johnston. The Pipe Band led the parade to the Commando Memorial in the afternoon where the wind band played for the hymn singing and wreath laying.
Our Parent Council held its AGM on 7 November, re-electing Mrs Liz Lennon as Chairperson. The Parent Council now has its own Facebook page where you can keep up to date with what’s happening: https://www.facebook.com/LochaberHighSchoolParentCouncil
Maddie Lennon gives details of the Mocado exhibition which she and Caitrin Edmond recently brought to Lochaber High. Both girls are in S5.
The Mocado exhibition showcases the unique and original work of young artists from around the UK. With this exhibition, we aimed to make contemporary art more accessible to people in the Highlands and further afield, as well as give young artists the voice they deserve. The exhibition visited Ironworks Inverness, Forres Culture Day, a print studio in Edinburgh, Lochaber High School, Eden Court Inverness, and will go on to its final destination at a small gallery in Dundee. To do this, we applied and received funding of £1000 from the Highland Youth Arts Hub (HYAH), Room 13 and various other people provided us with support and knowledge from the initial ideas to this final show. We recently had an opening in Lochaber High School, which presented a new set of challenges as we had never planned an event before. However, there was a great turnout, good vibes and the exhibition was well received.
After months of hard work, eight pupils travelled up to the Highland District Netball Trials in Dingwall and three have been successful in their bid to be part of the inaugural Highland District Netball Team. Klaudia Solinska (S2), Anna MacDonald (S2) and Freya MacDonald (S5) will be representing Lochaber in the forthcoming district days where they will compete against other Scottish regions and have a chance to join the Scottish pathway structure. The girls have done extremely well and coach, Miss Ewing “can’t wait to see how they get on over the district season!”
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)
All of our Third Year pupils have been working in groups with local charities as part of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. Each group prepared a presentation on their charity and six groups won through to the final event where presentations were made to all of S2 (who will be involved with this project next session). The six charities represented at the final were: Lochaber Women’s Aid, Lochaber Action for Disability, Action for Children, The Leanne Fund, Lochaber Foodbank and Lochaber Mountain Rescue. The presentations were adjudicated by a panel of four judges who decided that the winner was the team representing Lochaber Mountain Rescue…. who will now receive a cheque for £3000. To find out more about YPI, go to http://ypiscotland.org.uk/
Lessons from Auschwitz
Two Sixth Year pupils – Michael Harris and Jordan Lawrie – accompanied by Miss Gow, Depute Head Teacher, took part in this year’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme run by the Holocaust Education Trust. The boys took part in a one-day visit to the former Nazi concentration and death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau which was preceded and followed by half-day seminars in Edinburgh. They will now go on to lead Holocaust education with younger pupils and will engage with a wider community audience to explore the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance for today. To find out more about the Holocaust Education Trust, go to: http://www.het.org.uk/
Music from across the Highlands
On Saturday 19 November in Aviemore, thirteen young musicians from Lochaber High School performed in the Highland Youth Wind Band, conducted by Mr Reynolds. A whole day of excellent music was enjoyed by parents and Friends of Highland Young Musicians who were also entertained by young swing musicians performing in the Highland Youth Big Band. Highland Youth String Orchestra, Highland Pulse, Còisir G, 'sans, Highland Youth Choir and Highland Regional String Orchestra provided a wide selection of traditional and classic music during the afternoon and evening with a total of 24 Lochaber High pupils representing the school in many of them. A total of 280 young musicians from schools all over the Highlands were involved not only on the day but during hours and hours of committed rehearsals leading up to an exceptional day of music.
You can support young musicians in the Highlands by becoming a Friend of Highland Young Musicians - click the link for more details - http://www.highland-young-musicians.com You can see (and purchase) Ewen Weatherspoon’s photographs by clicking on this link: www.ewclients.co.uk/hymnov16
Highland Coaching Award
Sarah MacLennan, Megan Stewart and Jade Douglass, Dance volunteers at Invergarry Primary School, were announced as the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ at the 2016 Highland Coaching Awards, held at Inverness Leisure on Saturday 22 October. The awards are run by High Life Highland in partnership with sportscotland to recognise the outstanding contribution and significant impact of local coaches. These coaches enable quality sport and physical activity opportunities to happen in communities across the Highlands.
All three girls have completed their Level 1 and 2 Dance Leadership course this year. They have taken part in the Dance Platform; have built up confidence leading the dance sessions in Invergarry and they have 10-15 boys and girls participating in each session. The girls are outstanding role models and ambassadors for the High Life Highland Sports Leadership programme.
The annual Dance extravaganza, Dance Platform, was held in the school over three nights (22-24 November) and involved young people of primary and secondary age. Click on the photos below to see a further selection of images from the spectacular show (photos by Jasmine Webb, S5).
Flavour and Aroma Chemistry
Scientists have looked at a number of different flavour combinations and carried out a lot of research as to why these flavours ‘go together’, such as fish & chips and strawberries & cream. One suggestion is that the molecules that make up flavours, known as aldehydes & ketones, are common to both components.
In collaboration with the Home Economics department, pupils from the Higher Chemistry classes made Heston Blumenthal’s chocolate and blue cheese cakes. The pupils will go on to study why unusual food pairings work due to their specific molecular profile. The pupils enjoyed the cakes, not surprisingly, as chemistry predicted they would!
First Minister Unveils Mosaic
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP was in Lochaber High to deliver the Charles Kennedy Lecture on 17 November and stopped off to unveil three impressive mosaics created by a group of our pupils under the supervision of Mr Perkins. The pupils involved were Gabrielle Campbell, Rianne Gilchrist, Julia Kaczor, Josie Rigby and Ryan Watchman. The First Minister took time to speak to the young artists and even posed for selfies!
Following on from great success at the Highland Schools Swimming Championships, we have just received confirmation that there are a few of our pupils who have consideration times for the Scottish Schools Swimming event at Dollan Aqua Centre, East Kilbride on Friday 27 January 2017. This is a major achievement as this is the top event in the swimming calendar! The swimmers who have qualified are: William Cann, 4L; Jack Hamilton, 4N; Aimee MacKay, 4R; Jenna MacLean, 2N and Poppy Valentine, 1LN.
Some of our pupils took part in the North of Scotland District championships this weekend in Inverness. Jenna MacLean, 2N won Silver in the 400m Front Crawl and Bronze in the 200m Front Crawl; Poppy Valentine, 1LN won Bronze in the 100m Backstroke.
XpoNorth in association with Highland Youth Arts Hub brought their Digital Roadshow to the school on 24 November. The digi-day consisted of three 90-minute workshops: Content Creation, Filming Skills (using latest cameras) and Editing (Final Cut Pro X). The workshops were delivered by industry professionals Amanda Millen (Director of ScreenHI and XpoNorth) in collaboration with BBC The Social, Tristan Aitchison (Filmmaker) and Eileen Byrne, Manager of Visual Impact Scotland.
The roadshow was developed to meet the following outcomes for young people: