News & Updates

Open Afternoon

After four years when the new school was under construction, we were delighted to be able to hold another Open Afternoon for the alumni. We had old photos, school mgazines, index cards, report cards and other documentation, samples of needlework and much else on display for everyone to see.

Janis Croll, former Depute Head Teacher, led some tours of the new school buildings, aided by some very knowledgeable and charming S6 pupils. And a number of alumni took the opportunity to buy a copy, or indeed another copy, of John MacLeod’s excellent book, “Faithful and Brave: A Celebration of James Gillespie’s High School”. 

Some members of the Parent Council provided tea, coffee and home baking in Brodie’s cafe, giving everyone the chance to have a good catch-up with old school friends. And of course the afternoon wasn’t complete until the school uniform had been tried on! They arrived early and left at the end of the afternoon very reluctantly – the sign of a good afternoon!

“It was a real privilege to look at old school photos, report cards andmagazines, to be shown round the new school and its wonderful facilities by a most helpful present pupil and to have an opportunity to chat with friends over a cup of tea.  My friends and I felt we had not had such an enjoyable time for many a long day.”

Farewell Roddy, and Thank You!

Roddy John MacLeod has led James Gillespie’s Trust for four years but, after bringing the long-awaited book project to fruition, Roddy felt it would be a good time to move on to new ventures. We all wish him well and, to mark the occasion, we presented Roddy with a numbered print of the west coast of Harris, a favourite place of his.

Fidelis et Fortis

The clock that never worked, the sinister Green Lady, the day we nearly drowned the Queen Mother – it’s all in a sparkling new book, Faithful and Brave: A Celebration of James Gillespie’s High School. Commissioned by the James Gillespie’s Trust to mark the opening of our new campus, and penned by award-winning journalist John MacLeod, himself a former Gillespie’s pupil – Faithful and Brave is 304 fact-packed and heavily illustrated pages, covering our entire history from the last days of Mr Gillespie to Callum Skinner’s Olympic glories in August 2016. A gripping read, a physically beautiful book and the perfect present, with a warm foreword by Grant Stott – it’s unputdownable. Buy your copy right now. And another for a friend!

Email the school at: to reserve a copy and arrange for collection. Price is £17.99 if collected from school or £22.35 if the book is to be posted.

Electronic payment: 

  • Account name: James Gillespie’s Trust
  • Sort Code: 80 22 60
  • Account no: 17854260

Open Morning

November 5th, and a beautiful day for people to see round the new school buildings of James Gillespie’s High School. Former pupil and Olympic medallist Callum Skinner formally opened the fitness suite in the Eric Liddell Building. It was wonderful to meet so many interested former pupils who were keen to see how different JGHS is now from what it was like in their time.

James Gillespie’s High School Opening

Today, 26 October 2016, the new James Gillespie’s High School buildings were officially opened byJohn Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills, and Councillor Paul Godzik, Convenor of Education, Children & Families.

We were taken on tours of the new school and entertained by some highly talented pupils. The new school is truly ready for the 21st century and I’m sure it will serve its pupils admirably! 

Head Teacher Mr Macdonald welcomed three former head teachers, Dr Pat Thomas, Alex Wallace & Colin Finlayson, to join in the celebrations for the school opening.

Olympic Success!

We are delighted that Callum Skinner, British track cyclist and former pupil at James Gillespie’s High School, has won both a gold and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio. Callum has worked incredibly hard to achieve this, and James Gillespie’s Trust is proud to have made a small contribution to his funding along the way.

While he was at James Gillespie’s, Callum applied for (and was awarded) a small grant of £250 towards travel to his training weekends and competitions and for various pieces of equipment for his bike. The comment on the web site was: “He hopes his success will lead him to the Olympics!” Well, Callum, you’ve done it – we’re so proud of your achievements!

Many thanks to Judith, Callum’s mum, for providing this photo for the website!  It was taken on his 24th birthday (20/8/16) while they were still in Rio – hence the tropical background! 

The New School Campus

Here are some very recent photos of the new school buildings of James Gillespie’s High School. 

All staff and pupils are looking forward to a brand new campus when they resume on 15 August 2016.

The black circles on the ground are where trees will be planted in October. The new planting may look little sparse right now but just give it a year or two …

A Wee Celebration of the Old School!

What a great time we had on Saturday 8 June – we had so many visitors who were enjoying themselves so much, catching up with old friends and browsing through old photos & magazines, that they didn’t want to go home! Thanks to the school for giving the old school building such a magnificent send-off!

See what some of our visitors had to say …

Many thanks for a a wonderful afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed .. .everything! The hall was particularly welcoming with the yellow table cloths and flowers – great tea and lovely JG cakes. We were in the library for ages – and found ourselves in old photographs, and enjoyed all the old magazines. We look forward to the 2016 open day, to see what transformations have come about.

What a fabulous open day. Thanks for sending me the details. Of course the glorious sunshine was a bonus! Had a super tour of the school and some delicious cakes! Here’s to the next one!

Fidelis et Forte CD

At last our long-awaited CD is ready and on sale. There are 13 piano solos by pupils at James Gillespie’s High School on the CD and the stunning cover was designed by artists from S6. As there are so many talented and creative pupils at James Gillespie’s, we hope it will be the first of many CDs we produce over the coming year. At £5 + £1 p&p, I’m sure you will agree that this CD is exceptionally good value!

*** Please note, there are no longer any of these CDs for sale. ***

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