Well done to Kinlochleven High School for achieving the Eco-School Green Flag status! Eco-Schools is an international initiative designed to encourage whole-school action on sustainable development education issues.The school applied for its first Green Flag in May and received notification of the outcome this week. Keep Scotland Beautiful - Eco-Schools Scotland have assessed the schools work very positively and said ‘The whole-school involvement in your Eco work is impressive, with each House taking responsibility for a particular topic, helping incorporate the Programme into the life of the school and sharing progress through the local press, media and school website. Well done, too, for your success in the Coca Cola Business’ Challenge and your project on the West Highland Way. You are to be commended for the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders, your “Kinlochlovin” Social Enterprise, and your community litter picking activities, working to support the local “Keep Our Village Tidy” Campaign and make Kinlochleven a “Walkers are Welcome” village. Great work, everyone!’ ‘I am delighted.’ said Mrs Machin. ‘This has been a great team effort, with so many involved. It is so wonderful to see our youngsters taking such responsibility. As always, I am very proud of them and looking forward to raising the flag at Kinlochleven High.’
For most young people, prom is often seen as a right of passage, celebrated in schools to mark the start of a new stage of life and the end of pupils' time at High school. Last Thursday, students at Kinlochleven High School celebrated their very first prom, dancing the night away and waving goodbye to all of the students leaving them this year.
The time was 6:55 pm on Thursday 16th June at Kinlochleven High School. Music blared and the finishing touches were being added before the school would be flooded with students and teachers alike.
Finally, as the clock struck 7, the moment had arrived and students began to pour into the school, dressed to the nines and heading straight for the dance floor. Enjoying traditional Scottish ceilidh dances as well as more modern songs, students and teachers danced the night away. The Fairy Tale themed prom was a complete success, and in spite of the occurrence of a fire alarm half way through the night, forcing everyone outside into the mild evening air, a good time was had by all.
In line with true prom tradition, students also elected a prom King (Thomas Rowe), Queen (Esme Leitch) and Princess (Brittany Fordham). As previous S6 pupils who, this year, have left Kinlochleven High School for good, the prom was organised to say a final goodbye to all leavers and to wish them the best of luck for the future.
However, what many failed to see under the prom's pretty and sparkling exterior, was the countless hours of hard work and dedication of the student led prom committee, that made the celebration possible. For months, senior pupils, led by Heather Borland, Emma McFatridge, Ashleigh Carson and Danielle Taylor, worked tirelessly organising the prom and raising money. Their efforts certainly paid off and the prom of 2016 was easily the best dance seen at KHS to date.
21 excited if somewhat nervous youngsters from S3 set sail from Greenock yesterday afternoon. You can track the progress of the two boats on http://yb.tl/oytscotland
We hope to be able to update you with a list of who is on which boat soon.
Reminder: If you can help by collecting your child from Oban on Sunday please contact the school to let us know.
All S3 Pupils at Kinlochleven High School have been taking part in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative this year, sponsored by the Wood Trust. The project encourages us to understand the important work of local charities in our community.
In small groups we had to choose a local social issue charity that was OSCR registered. The whole of our year group worked together in groups. There were seven groups in total and each group had to research, visit and speak with the people from their charity. Visiting our charities gave us a much greater understanding of the work they do in our community. We were given lesson time but also used our own time to research and prepare for the presentation.
On the day of the final we presented to first, second, third year, teachers, charity representative’s and most importantly a panel of judges. It was very nerve racking as we all wanted to do well and show the charities we had chosen that we care passionately about them. The charities represented were Newstart Highland, Kinlochlovin’, room 13, Lochaber Council on Alcohol, the Leven Community Centre, The Salvation Army and Lochaber Hope. Everyone did a great job giving their presentations and answering the judge’s questions.
We were second to present and it went very well though all of us were extremely nervous. Our group, Morgan Nicolson, Holly Mackenzie and Freyja Ward spoke about Kinlochlovin’ . Kinlochlovin‘ is a charity and social enterprise which supports all young people in our school to have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. After a long wait we were told that we had won the £3,000 for our charity.
Afterwards we were very happy and surprised. It became very surreal that we had won, going up to hold the cheque and having Mrs Machin, our head teacher and Mrs McBride the history teacher and Kinlochlovin’ representative started crying with joy. All three of us had worked so hard to achieve something we would be really proud of, and to win was such a rush.
Morgan Nicolson Holly Mackenzie and Freyja Ward
Our team of S3 Business Studies students beat off strong competition from 9 other finalists to win the Scottish final of the Coca Cola Real Business Challenge. They now progress to represent Scotland in the UK final in London in March. Wish them luck.
Well done to all concerned!!!
Read the full story here
Head Teacher, Ms Machin said ‘I could not be more proud of the pupils or more grateful to the staff that have supported them. It is easy to assume that you have less opportunities or less chance of demonstrating your talent in a small school; what these youngsters have shown everyone is that this simply isn’t the case. What they have shown is that if you have ambition, if you work hard, if you are determined, if you believe in yourself, you will succeed. The Kinlochleven High School team deserved to win; the pupils work together as a team, they share their ideas and they have the courage to choose the strongest concepts, regardless of whose idea it was, and then they complement each other’s strengths They are fabulous young people and we are very lucky to have them as ambassadors for our school.’
On the 30th and 31st of January, Kinlochleven was given a wonderful surprise. After being the first Scottish school Muggle Quidditch team, they caught the eye of the St. Andrews University Quidditch Team members and were invited to watch their Quiditch Scottish University Cup final, which was between themselves, Stirling University and Edinburgh University. This was a great honour for Kinlochleven High School as this was their first step into the Quidditch sporting world, the team members that were invited being able to pick up some “tricks of the trade” whilst watching the matches. One pupil, Stewart Cameron (S4), was ecstatic about going. “I have always wanted to go to St. Andrews and see the place but to go with the school to see one of their Quidditch matches is absolutely amazing!”
Thanks to the school's fundraising social enterprise “Kinlochlovin’” they could go for the weekend to St. Andrews and watch the matches. One of our correspondents, Connor Maclean (S1), went with them on the trip to report on how it all went. “The match between Stirling and Edinburgh was dominated by Edinburgh as their chasers zoomed about the pitch scoring like crazy. In the second match, St. Andrews vs. Stirling, the game was very tense. We almost got run over by the snitch!”
After the matches, all the teams, the Kinlochleven Midges included, stood by the goals and had a picture taken, which can be seen above. More photos are on the Kinlochleven Midges Facebook page.
We are looking forward to seeing the Midges in the World Final very soon in the future!
Kinlochleven High School has once again qualified, as one of only 10 schools, for the Coca-Cola Enterprises Real Business Challenge Finals taking place at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh on Wednesday 3 February 2016. Gina Solimeno, Education Programme Manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd said ‘We have had an amazing response this year, with over 850 schools participating in the challenge. The students have had some strong competition and deserve a huge amount of credit for qualifying.’
‘The Coca Cola Real Business Challenge is a national competition.’ said Connor Mackenzie (S3) ‘ The idea is that you get into a group and create an ethical drink idea that would be popular in the business market. In Kinlochleven there were 3 drink ideas and they were all very good. And I have no doubt that they could all be very successful. However, our group, Ola Inu, won the Dragon’s Den competition that took place between us within school. My group and I have enjoyed every minute of it. We have worked so hard as a group and we are all excited about being in the final. We don’t know what to expect from the other nine schools but hopefully we can present to the best of our abilities and make our school proud.’
Mrs Clark added "I am already proud, very proud indeed, of our youngsters. They have done fabulously well and already are a huge credit to their school."
Could this be the year we make it to the UK final in London?
Musicians ready, spotlights on, it’s that time of year again for Lochaber! Once again Kinlochleven high School are hoping to best last year’s school play “Peter Pandemonium” with their newest production “Glen of Thrones, A Winter Star”.
Glen of Thrones, A Winter Star is a Comedy, Adventure and Romance based around the tale of three princesses as they make their journey through the local area of Lochaber, meeting strange creatures like the kelpies and selkies and trying to outrun their evil Uncle Hisstamine and his dwarf servant Carryon. They have hard times ahead of them to complete their quest, but with the air of their servant Gorse, their dog Bracken and a little help from their magical Aunt Thistle, they hope to beat their Uncle to the Phonobook of legend, which will reveal which of them shall rule.
The production of the play is done only with the help of the school’s teamwork and aid. Actors are handpicked from the school and village community in auditions by the Drama Teacher/Director/Author of the play Ilona Munro, who then undertake rehearsals throughout the week in school friendly hours. The Technical department focus on set building, and their skill was truly shown by that amazing Pirates Mast that was constructed for the Peter Pandemonium School Play last year. Pupils that have an urge to be at the controls of lighting and sound are in luck, as the lighting team are eager for pupils to be a part of the behind the scenes action. They help show them how to operate lights on stage, learn stage directions and queue lines, all giving then experience in case they wish to take this knowledge on in later life. Young pupils who have musical talent are welcome to the Dramafish Rockschool, who are playing this year in the school play. The band is made up of pupils from the school but they are always looking out for more musical talent that want to be in the production. Costumes are made and designed by our team of skilled costume designers and other volunteers that believe themselves to be capable of creating robes and crowns and all other clothing for the performance.
Glen of Thrones A Winter Star will take place on the 9th to the 12th of December 2015 in the Kinlochleven High School Theatre and everyone is welcome to view the production. The Play will consist of 2 Acts, each containing an exciting section of the princesses quest for the Aluminium Throne and we hope that you will come along and enjoy the adventure!
On the 11th of November, Remembrance Day, pupils from Kinlochleven High School’s senior history classes prepared an interesting and unique assembly. 21 pupils across three senior years took it upon themselves to make an interactive assembly for the whole school. They did this to raise awareness for poppy day and for the fact that it is about all world conflicts across from all ages, not just the world wars as many think.
History teacher, Mrs McBride supervised the whole experience and the pupils who’s work and ideas came together to form the assembly. “I felt extremely proud and privileged to support and work with these amazing youngsters to deliver such a fantastic assembly. They are all a real credit to their community”
The assembly consisted of three stages: a video to show the conflicts of war across from world war one to modern day wars such as Afghanistan and Iraq, an interactive mini museum and a poppy making station. After everyone was seated in the theatre, they were split into three groups and sent to do one of the three activities. ‘The Mini Museum’ was made up of several artifacts from a pupil named Connor Aitken who is a relative of a multiple generation military family and has all the amazing heirlooms he brought in. He says “It was a great experience for me as I got to show people and discuss the artifacts and where they came from!”
The other station was where tiny poppies were made and glued onto giant pre-made poppies to make a collection of individual work to show as a result of the day and to support the Remembrance Day. These poppies are now on display in the school, as well as the canvas on which an S6 pupil, Tyna Reimerova, painted a beautiful poppy into the centre and everyone in attendance signed around it, creating another memorabilia of the day to save and remember.
On Friday S1 and S2 Kinlochleven pupils went to Eden Court to see the Ministry of Science. The live show encouraged audience participation with selected members of the audience coming on stage to help participate with demonstrations.
The series of experiments and audience participation demonstrations were linked by a fast moving, fun narrative which introduced each subject. All the content of the show delivered good, correct science, with clear aims to educate the audience, not only with how the experiments worked but also about how they were discovered or invented as well. From liquid nitrogen frozen flowers to hydrogen bottle rockets fired right at you, the show took us on a journey using demonstrations and a few loud bangs to lead the way.
‘My favorite bit was the experiment with the liquid Nitrogen.’ Said Jodie Daynes (S2) ‘Especially when the guy presenting got hit on the head with the frozen flowers.’ added Emma Vind (S2) ‘and the petals fell all over his head.’
Neil Minniss (S1) liked all of the explosions ‘especially blowing up the Hydrogen Balloons at the end.’ ‘It was like a huge BOOM!’ added Fraser Roy. ‘I really enjoyed it and could watch it all over again.’
Wednesday the 25th of November was an interesting way to spend a school day as representatives and Action Leads of Kinlochleven High School, Rebekah Gunn and Jo Shepton travelled down to Birmingham with head teacher, Ms Machin to attend the “Get Set for Community Action” training day. Kinlochleven High School has been selected as one out of 100 Champion Schools in Britain, which is part of the “Get Set” program! A champion school is a school selected to make their community healthier and better places. The program was set up after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic games by some of the volunteers that made the games possible.
At the event, held at Aston Villa Stadium, Kinlochleven High were invited to listen to an explanation of the program and a talk from an Olympian, Christian Malcolm, who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 200m running and is the 1998 Junior European Champion in the same sport.
Paralympian David Smith MBE, who was also at the event, has competed in the Olympics, Paralympics and winter Olympics in rowing and cycling. However David started out with shinty, even competing against Ballachulish at some point, and skiing, as he was born in Aviemore. David Smith was born with a club foot and spent years in physio, before discovering, years later, a tumour which was crushing his spine.
Both athletes gave inspirational talks including many of the Olympic values and about volunteering, as it was volunteers who got them to where they are now, from lifts down to the nearest running track to visiting athletes in hospitals to help them do anything.
Much of the day was interactive, where people of different schools from all over the country were mixed together to work in teams to learn skills that they would need in the “Get Set” program, including how to spread information, using resources and potential problems with pre-planned events.
Kinlochleven High School aims to not only boost the community through physical health, but through mental, environmental and social health by having a “Skills Swap” session, various litter picks in different areas, Christmas Hampers and much more. This is a great achievement for the school and is a chance for the whole school to get involved in project with a good cause.
In all the event was an amazing experience for everyone involved and was extremely inspiring, with tips from the athletes such as finding a passion for something will mean that volunteering for it is a joy for you as well as a good skill and having gratitude for everything, no matter how small. The program aims to help people find what they love, try their hardest and do well for others with passion.
See more about our latest venture here.
A new social enterprise has been established to benefit all the young people of the Kinlochleven catchment area.
Called Kinlochlovin’, the social enterprise is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to ensure that, faced with a range of challenges including rural isolation, the young people of Kinlochleven have access to the same opportunities as young people elsewhere.
Kinlochlovin’ will act as an umbrella for a range of different companies allowing both the pupils and the community to generate income themselves to pay for projects such as Rock Challenge, a performing arts competition which promotes healthy lifestyles, or making Duke of Edinburgh free at the point of entry so that every youngster can take part, regardless of their background. Increasing participation in these types of events and awards has been identified as a major aim because of their recognised value to future employment prospects. Anna McBride, Chairperson of Kinlochlovin’, said ‘The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is a good example of a project that was designed with equity in mind but too few young people have had the opportunity to participate. Our aim is to robustly address the barriers which have traditionally stood in their way.’
The social enterprise has already brought several businesses under it’s umbrella. Buzz Buzz, a reference to the Kinlochleven Midge, makes textile crafts such as cushions, hats and felt accessories, while Scents has started by making soaps and candles and Turtle, an eco-craft upcycling company, is focusing on Eco crafts and jewellery. These projects already have a number of youngsters taking part, gaining greater engagement in the community as well as valuable life and entrepreneurial skills. The young people plan to showcase their contributions and are already planning a Christmas Fayre. We applied to the Rotary Club of Lochaber for a start-up fund and they very kindly gave us £500.
We have just discovered that our application to the Access to Education Fund 2015 for £5000 has been successful.
‘We are absolutely delighted!’ said Mrs Machin, ‘This will make such a difference to our youngsters. Although we have extra-curricular sporting activities, these are generally in traditional sports and pupils, because of our small roll and our rural isolation, have few opportunities to compete with other school teams. We compensate for this through a range of outdoor activities and adventurous activities, taking advantage of our beautiful landscape, knowing that adventurous outdoor activity has a positive impact in helping to raise attainment. For this reason all S1 pupils are invited to take part in Outward Bound, all S3 pupils are invited to take part in Ocean Youth Trust and all S4 – 6 are invited to take part in Duke of Edinburgh. All of these trips are heavily subsidised through the wonderful fund raising work of our Parent Council. However, although fabulous opportunities in themselves, these are one off activities. Our plan is therefore to increase the range and frequency of extra-curricular activities by working with our senior pupils.’
‘I am really delighted that we can invest some of this Access to Education Fund in training our S4-6 pupils to become our next Sports Leadership team through the Sports Leadership award.’ said Mrs Wilson, PE Teacher. ‘These Sports leaders would then be able to work together to lead, coach, officiate and influence sport in their school and their local community.”