BBC News School Report

bbc news logo

Aithisg Sgoile a' BhBC 2017

BBC School Report 2017


 photo 1 sr2017

photo 2 sr2017


Naidheachdan ann am Beurla agus Gàidhlig bho sgoilearan Nuadh-èolas aig Àrd-sgoil MhicNeacail air Diardaoin 16mh Mhàirt 2017.


English and Gaelic news from S3 Modern Studies pupils at The Nicolson Institute on Thursday 16th March 2017.

An ceangal a th'aig Dòmhnall Trump ri Leòdhas (Donald Trump's links to the Isle of Lewis)

The Calum, Samuel, Sydney, Adam, Lewis agus Matthew a' toirt sùil na ceanglaichean a th'aig Ceann-suidhe Na Stàitean Aonaichte ri Eilean Leòdhais.

News Report - Audio Mp3


The Orb

The orb is well recognised as the symbol of Harris Tweed, the cloth that is woven in the Western Isles by weavers at their own homes.

Kate investigates whether fraudulent use of the orb trade mark is a problem.

The video has been uploaded to our facebook page:  Here

Is The Minch Under Threat?

After the Transocean Winner came aground on the village of Dalmore, Isle of Lewis, concerns where raised about whether the waters around Lewis are in danger. This video by John and Daniel piece investigates who and what are in possible danger.  

The video has been uploaded to our facebook page: Here

A' Bhuaidh a bhios aig Brexit air na h-Eileanan Siar (The impact of Brexit on the Western Isles)

Le Eilidh agus Lauren


 photo 3 sr2017

 photo 4 sr2017


Air am 23mh latha den t-Ògmhios 2016 bhòt An Rìoghachd Aonaichte airson an t-Aonadh Eòrpach fhagail.  Tha sinne a' dol a' bhruidhinn mu dheidhinn a' bhuaidh a tha seo a' toirt air na h-Eileanan Siar.  Cuideachd, tha an naidheachd dìreach air a thighinn an t-seachdain seo gu bheil am Prìomh Mhinistear, Nicola Sturgeon, ag iarraidh referendum ùr air neo eisimeileachd do dh'Alba a chumail.

A rèir choltais tha mòran iasgairean toilichte a bhith a-mach às an EU oir cha toil leotha na riaghaltan a th'aig an EU a thaobh iasgach.  Tha riaghailtean an EU ag ràdh nach fhaod iasgairean ach àireamh àraidh de dh'èisg a ghlachdadh agus chan eil na iasgairean ann am Breatainn air a bhith toilichte mu seo airson iomadh bliadhna.   Ged a tha mòran iasgairean toilichte a bhith a' cur cùl ris na riaghailtean seo tha eagal air cuid mu dheidhinn dè cho furasta sa bhios e dhuinn rudan mar iasg a reic ris an Roinn-Eòrpa.


Tha e coltach nach eil mòran chroitearan toilichte a bhith a-mach às an EU oir gun robh an EU a' cur taic ri croitearachd.  Nuair a dh'fhàgas Breatainn an EU dh'fhaodadh tòrr chroitearan a bhith ann an suidheachaidhean doirbh oir nach eil taic an EU aca.  Ach tha cuid de chroitearan toilichte a bhith a' fàgail an EU.  'S e aon adhbhar gu bheil cuid toilichte an EU fhagail 's e gu bheil iad dhen bheachd gu bheil Breatainn a' pàigheadh barrachd airgead a-steach na bhios iad a' faighinn air ais agus nach eil Poileasaidh Aiteachais an Roinn Eòrpa air obrachadh.  'S dòcha gum bi barrachd airgead anns an Rìoghachd Aonaichte as deidh Brexit airson aiteachas ach 's e a' cheist ciamar a thèid an airgead sin a chosg agus chan eil freagairt ann fhathast.


Tha e gu math follaiseach gun d'fhuair a' Ghàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan tòrr taic airgid bhon EU airson pròiseactan mòra mar rathaidean agus drochaidean.  Càit am faigh na h-eileanan airgead mar sin as deidh Brexit?  An-dràsta, chan eil fios le cinnt agus 's e sin a tha a' cur dragh air mòran dhaoine.


Aig an ìre seo tha e follaiseach gu bheil buaidh mhòir gu bhith aig Brexit air na h-Eileanan an Iar agus a' Ghaidhealtachd ach chan eil sinn builleach soillear fhathast de bhitheas e a' ciallachadh.  Tha mòran mi-chinnt ann, le mòran iomaganach mun t-slighe air adhart agus cuid dòchasach mu na cothroman.  Le referendum ùr ann an Alba agus ceist mu dè an seòrsa 'deal' a gheibh Theresa May tha e follaiseach gum bi sinn a' bruidhinn mu na cùisean seo airson iomadh mios agus bliadhna eile. 





History of Mackenzie Castle, Seaforth Head


On the moors of the Loch of Seaforth Head lies a ruin of a past long forgotten of a time when the island was ruled by the house of Makenzie.  This ruin is non other than the Mackenzie's  stronghold and their story is about to be told.

The Mackenzie Castle was commissioned by the 1st Earl of Seaforth Colin Mackenzie in 1623.

It was originally built to protect the Earl from the numerous MacLeod's in Stornoway

Colin Mackenzie had attempted to make Stornoway a royal burgh  but was unsuccessful because of his attempts to set up Dutch fisheries on the island of Lewis  but the Crown did not want a foreign power to have a base on the U.K.   The Makenzie's set up the Seaforth Highlander however not many Makenzie family wanted to do anything to the island rather using it as a source of wealth and man power, relying on the trackmen to get money from the inhabitants.


wall 01wall 002loch


Located at the eastern side of a small bay and natural harbor on the north shore of Loch Seaforth Head, the remains of this building measure 10 meters from west to east and 4 meters from north to south. The walls are stone faced with an earth core and stand to a maximum height of 1 meter and for the most part are less than 0.5 meters high. The house has a single entrance at the eastern end of its northern wall, and both of its end walls (east and west) are apsidal. Features such as these suggest an early date, perhaps the end of the 18th or early 19th century and the pre-crofting period. An alternate interpretation for this structure is that it may relate to the marine industry, situated as it is on the immediate shore of a natural bay and harbor of Loch Seaforth Head. It is possible that this house was a smoke house, though only excavation will confirm definitely the function of the structure.  



The Mackenzie's were avid supporters of the Stuarts and many fought in the Jacobite wars for the Stuarts this also led to many losing their titles as this was treasonous.. Many people on the island know who the Brahan Seer was, this famous fortune teller predicted the end of the Mackenzie's.  He was correct with his prediction which would ultimately cost him his life. Isabella, wife of the Earl of Seaforth was said to be one of the ugliest women in Scotland, asked for Brahan Seer's advice. She wanted news of her husband who was on a visit to Paris. The Seer reassured her that the Earl was in good health but refused to elaborate further.

This enraged Isabella, who demanded that he tell her everything or she would have him killed. The Brahan Seer told her that her husband was with another woman, fairer than herself, and he foretold the end of the Seaforth line, with the last heir being deaf and dumb. (Francis Humberston Mackenzie, deaf and dumb from scarlet fever as a child, inherited the title in 1783. He had four children who died prematurely and the line came to an end.) Isabella was so incensed by this that she had the Brahan Seer seized and thrown head-first into a barrel of boiling tar.

BY Billy 3F1



Knife Crime - Should teachers be given 'Stop & Search' powers?

cults academy

Bailey Gwynne was a school pupil in Aberdeen who was stabbed by another school pupil on   October 28th 2015. The incident happened in the school following an argument. Bailey's  injuries were fatal. The pupil who stabbed Bailey Gwynne cannot be named due for legal  reasons and is currently serving nine years for culpable homicide. Following their son's death  the parents of Bailey Gwynne called for tighter laws on knife sales to try and cut down on the  number of stabbing incidents, particularly involving young people.

A report into the death of the Aberdeen school boy made several recommendations including  that senior school staff should be given the power to search pupils.  Currently a search of  pupil's bags can only be done with the consent of the pupil. Where consent is not given it is  only the police that are legally allowed to search bags.

 The proposal to allow teachers to search bags was recently debated in the Scottish parliament where the idea was rejected.  Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said that he wants efforts directed instead to tackle the online sale of knives in an effort to reduce knife crime.  In the period following Bailey Gwynne's death 14 knives were discovered in schools across Aberdeen.

The EIS(The EducationalInstitute of Scotland) is the union that represents many of the teachers in Scotland and they are in agreement that giving teachers search powers is not the way to tackle the problem of knives in schools.

bag search

 Head of the EIS in Scotland Larry Flanagan said: "The EIS would not welcome the introduction of statutory powers to enable searching of pupils without parental support.

The experience from England, where teachers have such power, does not suggest it is a crucial area of intervention.


Instead the focus should continue to be on building positive relationships in schools, ensuring that students are aware of the dangers associated with carrying weapons and addressing the impact of austerity cuts to support staff."

We asked our Head Girl, Hannah Skinner what she thought about the report's recommendation and the Government's decision. Hannah said,"The death of Bailey Gwynne was a real tragedy and should not be forgotten, and, in light of his death, efforts to combat knife crime in Scotland should be a priority. The report recommendation to empower teachers with the right to search pupil's bags has good cause, and would certainly work to make schools a safer environment; however, how easy this would actually be to implement in schools is questionable. Rather, as the Government highlighted, efforts should perhaps be more directed to monitoring knife sales and educating young people about the dangers and consequences of knife crime, encouraging a healthy and safe attitude to them. This sad incident has really brought the discussion of knife crime to the fore, and keeping schools a safe environment in which to learn is of paramount importance."

Caitlin, Sian & Amy


Life as an SSPCA Officer – Calum Watt

By Caitlin

 calum watt

The SSPCA stands for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They are a Scottish animal welfare charity which are made up of SSPCA inspectors and rescue officers, who save many domestic, wild and farm animals that are in danger. They also operate rescue and rehoming centres, where vets and other staff rehabilitate, release and find new homes for many other animals. The SSPCA receive no government or lottery funding, they rely entirely on the donations of the public. The SSPCA also run a programme called Prevention through Education, where they visit schools around Scotland. Teachers have a choice between the following four workshops:

The SSCPA was founded in 1839, and they are the only animal charity in the UK that is a recognised Crown Office agency.

But what is being an SSPCA officer like? This is an interview with the SSCPA animal welfare officer for the Western Isles, Calum Watt.

How long have you been an SSPCA officer?

“In the Western Isles, I have been here since 12th March 1990, so that’s 27 years here. But I had been an inspector for 6 years before that in Aberdeen.”

How rewarding is your job?

“The rescuing, saving and rehoming aspect of the job is very rewarding. But when it comes to the legal side that can sometimes be a bit depressing and challenging as you have to sometimes take people to court. There are two aspects to the job, one is rescuing and rehoming, that’s done through the ARC’s , the Animal Rescue Centres and the nearest one to here is in Inverness. The other aspect to the job is the legal side, which is investigations, complaints and court procedure. That is rewarding but in a different way. ”

Have you seen an increase in wild animals needing help over recent years?

“I’ve seen an increase in awareness, definitely in issues that affect wildlife like poisoning in birds and snares, and land management. But I wouldn’t say there’s been an increase in the number on incidents involving wild animals.”

Is your job demanding?

“The job in this location is demanding, as I cover such a vast area. I cover the Hebrides, from Ness to Barra, which is a huge distance for one officer. For example if I got a report in Barra, I could be down there for 2-3 days, and could be stuck there in storms especially in winter. But if you compare my daily activities with an inspector from Glasgow, they have far more inspections daily than I would in a week. “

From throughout your career, what is the incident you remember most?

“It was Easter Sunday, 1992 or 1993, seven pilot whales were live stranded on Dalbeg Beach. It was a major Public Relations event and there was a lot of TV and press, and the event was also on the front page of the Herold. So it was a very stressful time.”

Do you have to deal with a lot of false alarms?

“We deal with a lot of unfounded complaints, we have a high percentage of calls which are recorded as unfounded. This means that someone’s neighbour for example will put in a complaint and I have to go investigate it, and sometimes they are unaware that their complaint is unfounded, but a lot of them are.”

What’s involved in your job on a daily basis?

“Day to day I have routine calls that come in, today I had two injured Seagulls, and last week we had to deal with an Otter. We’re dealing with wildlife and pets, so a variety. The good thing about the job is that nobody knows what will happen. So you could be busy in the morning but quiet in the afternoon, we now also do school visits.”

My thanks to Calum Watt for his time. 



A Place to call home

homeless 02


Young people and Homelessness in the Western Isles

We have all seen young people sleeping rough on the mainland, covered only with wet sleeping bags and cardboard boxes.  This is not something we see in Lewis but does that mean that homelessness is not a problem for young people here?

We spoke to Lorraine Graham, Homeless Services Manager at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar who told us that levels of homelessness in the Western Isles are on the same level as other areas of the mainland.  Although we do not have what is called 'Visible Homelessness' Lorraine and her colleagues dealt with 156 cases of homelessness in the Western Isles last year, 42 of these (25%) were young people between 16 and 24 years of age.  The most common reason behind people becoming homeless is relationship breakdown or when circumstances such as unemployment mean that mortgages or rent cannot be paid.  People also can become homeless in an emergency such fire or flood, or when their current home becomes unsuitable for them.

All public sector housing is managed by the local housing association, Hebridean Housing Partnership who rent houses to people in the islands under a 'secure tenancy agreement' this means that if they pay their rent and look after the property they cannot be evicted.  This is different from renting from a private landlord where the tenant has less rights.

There are two waiting lists for houses in the Western Isles.  The general list is for names of people who would like to have an HHP house but are not homeless.  At the moment to get a one-bedroom house in Stornoway the waiting time is between 5-6 years.  However the other list is the Priority Waiting List for homeless people and the council can immediately offer emergency temporary furnished accommodation for anyone on that list.

For young people who find themselves homeless Lorraine Graham told us that her team work closely with health professionals, the social work department and also the Foyer project to support young people into independent living.  Help is given to learn how to budget, shop and manage a home.  A particular problem for young people living on their own for the first time is how to 'door-keep' this means stopping people who are just looking for a place to party or hang-out using their flat or home as there are no adults to stop that happening.  Young people can find it hard to say to other young people that they cannot come in to their flat.  However when that happens it is the young tenant that will be held responsible for any damage to the property and also if complaints are made to the police about noise and unsocial behaviour.

homeless 01

We interviewed Mr Neally a guidance teacher in the school who has dealt with young people in the school who have found themselves facing homelessness.


Have you had to help many pupils with homelessness?


"I have assisted a number of pupils who need to leave home in a hurry without school supplies, e.g uniform, books, canteen money etc.  It may not be a common problem but you have to be aware of it. The school are not always made aware of changes in domestic living circumstances"


What could you do if someone reached out to you?


"Regarding homelessness I could help them get support with practical issues. Pointing them towards HHP and the social work department. Sometimes I can assist them with family disputes."


How would this effect their time at school?


"They may not able focus on work because of worrying about things that may be happening at home, they could be tired and snap easily. Most pupils would want to hide it and get on with their day, especially teenagers."


What are the practical and emotional issues faced by young people finding themselves in this situation?


"Practically things like getting washing done, security of not having a base and explaining to a friend why they are not at home.  They may not be able to bring the essentials to school, things such as books and pencils. They might not have a place to study and they may not be able to focus in class."


Joanna, Sylvia and Johanna

 homeless 03



Joomla Templates by Joomlashack