Our Lady’s High 2014 Christmas Fair


Report by Rachael Clinton

Mrs Zambonini has been hard at work organising the school’s 2014 annual Christmas Fair. This year’s event will take place on the 29th of November in the Zone area from 10am to 12pm. It is hoped the Fair will be as prosperous as last year’s and will raise a good amount of money for school funds.

Lots of different departments are getting involved and each are contributing to the fair.

From Mrs Zambonini’s Personal Development Class and XL classes, we have:

  • Santa’s Grotto, where children (and sometimes adults) can come and meet the bearded man himself.
  • A bouncy castle (also not just for the children)
  • ­Face painting AND nail painting.
  •  Homemade Christmas cards, wind chimes, and seasonal decorations
  •  The EXCLUSIVE new school scarf
  •  From her XL class we also have sweets for sale
  • And of course tea/coffee and a variety of home baked goods will be sold

And if that selection isn’t mouth-watering enough the Home Economics/Hospitality/Cake Craft classes have also made festive gingerbread houses and cakes! (woah, sugar rush) The Modern Studies/Social Subjects department will also have a tombola stall and RE and Learning Support will have a toy stall.

We also have people outside the school visiting for the occasion. We have a mother of one of our first year pupils selling homemade hair scrunchies emblazoned with the school badge, if you want to be really patriotic.  There will also be a company selling brand makeup such as MAC and Christian Dior for discounted prices. We know, we’re so fancy.

And to top off our festive extravaganza we have entertainment provided by the school choir with our very own musical maestro Aaron Hawthorne playing the piano.

So come along and have a look at what’s on offer, have a bite to eat and maybe even a wee sing-song depending on how much coffee you’ve drank. It’s sure to be a good day out for the whole family (as long as you leave the dog at home that is),

Study and support opportunities in OLHS S4-S6

Additional support for curricular study is available as follows:


Supported study is available Tuesdays 3.15 – 4.15 and Wednesdays 3.40- 4.30. Support is also offered any lunchtime. The pupil should approach their teacher and request support.


Supported study is available in the mornings and after school on request.


Formal supported study classes will begin after Christmas. Day and time to be confirmed.


Support offered on request at lunchtimes and after school.

Formal supported study is available before the Prelim examinations and in the run up to final examinations. Exact day is to be confirmed in consultation with staff and pupils. Parents will receive a text message.

Modern Studies support is currently available on Monday 3.15-4.15.


On-going support is available from PT for personal statements and CVs, Wellbeing, Personal Development, Enterprise and Employability and Volunteering Awards


Support is available on request every lunchtime and also after school on a Monday.


Advanced Higher, Higher and N5 pupils have Ms.Steinert’s e-mail address and she also has a blog that features the latest pupil artwork where both pupils and parents can leave comments or questions.

The department is open for all pupils from S1-6 at lunchtimes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday. For NAT4/5, Higher and AH pupils supported study is available on Tuesday and Thursday 3.15-4.15


Support is available on request during lunchtimes.


Supported study is available to pupils every lunchtime except on a Thursday. Pupils are welcome in the department on all other days.


Support tutorials are available for H/Int2 French on Mondays at lunchtime and H/Int2 Spanish on Wednesdays at lunchtime.


Support is available on request in all three sciences.
Higher Physics supported study will begin after Christmas.
Chemistry supported study is available on a Thursday and Friday from 3.15 -4.15.


The Library is available lunchtimes and after school Monday-Thursdays for study, access to ICT and support with UCAS, application forms and general information enquiries. Study advice is available on the school website.


Careers Adviser, Ruth Robertson, is available in OLHS on Mondays, Thursday afternoons and Fridays. Appointments can be booked through Ms Robertson or through Mrs Macfadyen in the Library. Pupils can discuss ideas and ask questions and advice about further and higher education, careers, apprenticeships, CVs and job applications.

Margaret Mitchell MSP

Report from Miss Halket

Margaret Mitchell MSP visited our Higher Politics class on Friday. Pupils had the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding further, through questioning Mrs Mitchell, on her Conservative values. Our pupils felt confident enough to share their views with Mrs Mitchell. This was a fanastic opportunity. Our pupils were articulate, mature and enthusiastic. The whole class and staff would like to thank Mrs Mitchell for her visit.

WoSPEG Quiz 2014

Report by Mr Law

Our Lady’s High School Physics quiz team thoroughly enjoyed their experience at the final of the WoSPEG competition.  S5 students Emily and Sophie Tougher-Mitchell along with Owen Leach, stayed in touch throughout before falling away during the last round.  St. Thomas Aquinas practically demolished their buzzers and the bench below as they deservedly rocketed away to finish as winners of the stunning WoSPEG trophy.

The august Kelvin Lecture Theatre of Glasgow University was the setting for the thrilling climax to the competition.  Individual and team rounds assessed the students’ physics knowledge and problem solving skills.  How to rescue personnel from a crashed spacecraft on the Moon and a projectile motion question tested their analytical and co-operation skills.  Shorter answer questions indicated their ability to recall fundamental physics information.  Mix these all up with anagram, science, current affairs and picture rounds within a cauldron of parents, fellow students and supportive staff and your recipe for success is complete.  Top the evening off with free pizza and cans of soft drinks and few, if any, of the participants left without a feeling that all was well with the world … before the crushing disappointment of defeat regained a foothold … and determination to succeed … the next time … re-asserted itself.  An excellent evening to round off an excellent competition.

Thanks to Lewis, Christopher and Konner for their participation as well as to the family and fellow staff that lent support.  Congratulations to the team and all that represented our school.  A credit to themselves as well as Our Lady’s High.  Thanks are also due to the WoSPEG team, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University and The Paisley campus of the University of the West of Scotland.

Mentors in Violence Prevention

Report from Mrs Connor


A group of 22 sixth year pupils accompanied by Mrs Connor, Mr Martin, Mrs Mulholland and our partnership officers, Mrs King and Mrs MacDonald, took part in MVP training. They stayed overnight at the Conforti Institute in Coatbridge on Sunday 16th – Monday 17th November.

They undertook two days of training on Mentors In Violence Prevention  (MVP) which is a programme which challenges attitudes related to gender violence.The pupils are challenged as bystanders to recognise when something is wrong and to empower them to be active rather than passive bystanders. Scenarios were presented to them to reflect upon and to decide what could or should be done about it. Detective Sergeant  Brian Connor also spoke to them about his work in the police and in some scenarios that he has dealt with.

The S6 pupils then prepared lessons and delivered them to their peers and will continue this programme across the school over the coming months.

St Andrew’s Hospice Business Partnership

Report by Aaron Hawthorne

A new agreement was signed by Mrs Sinclair and pupils from Our Lady’s High School on Monday 10th November between Lucy Mitchell (Schools Liaison Officer for St Andrew’s Hospice) and the school for a new business partnership. Caramel shortcake and tea was enjoyed by all.

This is a great step forward in the school’s active relationship with St Andrew’s Hospice and will further develop fundraising and commitment to the hospice, kicking things off with a special musical concert for the residents of St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie by the school’s Caritas Choir.


Steve Cole visits Our Lady’s!

Report By: Kasia K

Last Friday, on the 14th of November, Steve Cole came to our school to talk about his new book, “Shoot to Kill“, which is a book based on the adventures of James Bond.

The wait was long because his taxi was a bit late and I sat there thinking to myself who this person was and what he was going to do. Finally he arrived, he was a fairly tall man, he wore jeans and a black top, he had a backpack too. When he jumped on the stage, he introduced himself as Steve Cole. He said that his book was based on the adventures of James Bond, as he wanted to continue the books, as the actual author who made up James Bond passed away.

I must admit, I was a bit bored at the beginning, but once he took out the Nerf guns, my eyes got wide and I had this weird, yet interesting smile on my face. He asked who wanted to play a game, my hand shot right up. I made these ”me, me!” noises that a Primary 1 would do when they want someone to choose them for something. Sadly, he did not choose me. But watching people fail, and hit different objects was funny. The end was coming and I was still wanting more.

I was super excited that the actual author of a book was here, in my school..standing on the stage that I was soon to stand on. Our librarian also said “Whoever asks the best question, gets a poster signed!” I thought of many questions but me being me, I asked the question “What inspires you?” and I didn’t get the signed poster.

During Tutor I looked him up and his blog. He has a blog where he posts everything he does, for example for Halloween he wished his blog-readers a Happy Halloween. I commented on some posts asking some questions that I really was looking for an answer to. Finally I shut of the computer, and went for break.

Science Club request

A request from Miss McGinty on behalf of the Science Club:

If anyone has any empty drinks bottles with lids could you donate them to us please? Any size would be brilliant.
We also need “sports cap” bottle lids by themselves for another experiment, the ones you pull up to drink from, so if you use any and could donate them, please let me know.

Thank you

Science Club takes place on Wednesday lunchtimes for S1 with assistance from Advanced Higher Chemistry pupils.

Maths Enterprise Competition Finals 2014

Report by Miss Renicks

As one of four schools in North Lanarkshire to qualify, Our Lady’s High School attended the Scottish finals of the Maths Enterprise Challenge in Glasgow Science Centre.

The four pupils, Patrick Quinn, Niamh Simmonette, Magen McNulty and Michael McKenna, competed fiercely, tackling difficult maths problems in four challenging rounds against 61 other schools from across Scotland. Although the pupils did not win, they worked extremely hard, had a brilliant time and thouroughly enjoyed their day.

Design a Door

The Personal Development Class is running a competition to design and decorate the outside of classroom doors in a festive theme. Doors can be decorated by staff or delegated to groups of pupils. A panel of judges will select the best door.

Decorated doors are already starting to appear around the school (including the Nurture Room, and a certain Maths classroom) with whispers and rumours of doors to come …

Steve Cole visit

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Steve Cole came to OLHS as part of his tour to promote the new Young Bond book, Shoot to Kill. Despite being held up by traffic, Steve arrived in Our Lady’s, got set up and practically bounded onto the stage, entertaining 1st and 2nd year pupils from OLHS, Firpark and Clyde Valley High School for the following hour.

Steve started by showing the book’s trailer and explaining the origins of James Bond, before moving onto spy gadgets, past and present, including cameras, some rather weird weaponry and seriously silly cars. At this point he invited pupils to come up on stage and try some target practice (with Nerf blasters) before reading a short extract from the novel.

Finally Steve answered a huge number of questions, with signed posters for the best three questions, before signing autographs and books.

Many thanks to Random House and Steve Cole for their visit, to CultureNL for inviting us to host, to Scotia Books for helping with the books for sale, to Mrs Macfadyen for organising the event and to the 6th years who volunteered to help out with directing our visitors and selling books.

You can also read one pupil’s review of Steve’s visit by clicking here.

Kids Lit Quiz 2014


Our Kids Lit Quiz delegation with KLQ creator and quiz master Wayne Mills.

A dozen pupils from Our Lady’s took part in the West of Scotland heat of the Kids Lit Quiz at Kilsyth Academy. The teams were chosen after taking part in the OLHS heats run by Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen, with the English Department.

Two teams of four pupils worked through ten rounds of questions, guessing answers from all sorts of books and stories, from fairy tales to the lastest young adult fiction. Meanwhile, our supporters in the audience cheered the team on and waved the banner, made by Sara Lango-Parzych.

Many thanks to the pupils who took part: Colette O’Neil, Julia Brola, Emily Grant, Hannah Townsley, Neve Connelly, Rachel Donnelly, Katie Cadenhead, Sara Lango-Parzych, Raymond Ron, Jay Fulton, Sam Kidd and Paul Firth.

Day of the Dead 2014

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Report by Mrs Macfadyen and Mr Pegard

2nd year pupils celebrated the Mexican festival, Day of the Dead, last week with an afternoon of activities and competitions. It has been a highly motivational and very succesful topic for both pupils and teachers and many pupils comment on the fact that it was their “best day in school ever!”

During the couple of weeks prior to the day, all the departments involved ran a series of lessons linking the topic. The Art department focused on the practical skills required to make skulls out of clay, lino printing and papel picado flags which were used to decorate the hall. Pupils also learned about some famous Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo.

In R.E. pupils learned about the religious aspect of the celebration, reflecting on the way Mexicans honour their Dead with a happy celebration whereas the European Catholic feasts of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ day is a more mournful approach.

In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a party and celebration to remember loved ones who have already died. Pupils created a beautiful ofreda or altar with their RE classes, making it the centrepiece of the Kamwokya Room. The altar traditionally holds items close to the memory of a loved one, and pupils brought along some beautiful items to celebrate the memories of late family and friends. It was very touching to see some of the beautiful artefacts pupils brought in and the topic allows them to share some of the special feelings they have for someone whom they have lost in a supportive and sensitive celebration. The altar also showed off the skulls created in the Art Department.

In the Modern Languages classes, the preparatory lessons aimed at making pupils aware of the differences in traditions between Mexico and here in Europe.  After an introductory video on the celebration, pupils conducted online research comparing El Dia de los Muertos with Halloween. We then learned and practiced the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer in Spanish.

The celebrations began with prayers in Spanish before pupils took part in a competition to create the best decorated cakes, and designed hats for Catrina, the skeleton which is the Mexican symbol of Day of the Dead.

With mariachi music playing in the background throughout, the final activity of the day was a quiz covering Day of the Dead and Hallowe’en celebrations in Scotland, Mexico and around the world created by Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen. Thanks to all of the staff involved from Art, Modern Languages, RE and the Library; to all of the other staff who came along to help out on the day, including our classroom assistants; to the staff who judged the winning teams; to the 6th year Caritas pupils who helped throughout the event, and to all of 2nd year for making it such a great afternoon.

Hospice Ambassadors

Report by EMcC

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

Partership Officer Mrs King was recently contacted by St Andrews Hospice regarding an opportunity for 6th year pupils to become ambassadors for the hospice.

St Andrew’s Hospice is the only specialised hospice in Lanarkshire, it requires £65,000 a week to allow it to provide patients with life limiting illnesses a place to receive palliative care. It is also home to a day hospice which cares for around 80 patients per week. St Andrew’s Hospice also works with schools encouraging young people to support the hospice and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

As an Ambassador for St Andrews Hospice we are required to fulfil a list of ten things,  including:

  1. Wear an ambassador badge
  2. Visit the Hospice
  3. Volunteer at a Hospice event
  4. Hold at least one fundraising event in school in support of the Hospice
  5. Do something to actively promote “Hospice Care Week” in school
  6. Help with fundraising at St Andrews
  7. Like St Andrew’s on Facebook and encourage those in school to do the same
  8. Tweet about St Andrew’s and recruit as many new followers as possible
  9. Help to recruit next year’s ambassadors, whether Junior or Senior, by sharing your experiences from the year.
  10. Write a short article illustrating the things you have done throughout the year as an ambassador.

Throughout the year we will work towards completing these things and encouraging other pupils in the school to get involved too. We have already received our Ambassador badges from DHT, Mrs Mulholland, and are planning our first fundraising activities.

The Ambassadors: Emily McCafferty, Gemma Greir, Shavaun Goodman, Chantelle Laughlin, Casey Reid, Ashley Macintyre, Jacob Mitas, Rachael Ballentyne, Cerys Law and Jill McMurray.

XL3 Latest

Report from Mrs McNeish

The 3rd year XL group have been working with School Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen, to plan and create a map of the school as a part of their course. Pupils have thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about the school, and noticing the details that they walk past every day.

The same group visited Coatbridge College for the “Kickstart” event organised by the Princes Trust. They had a great morning taking part in workshops trying out puppet making and t-shirt printing. The group have decided to take on the t-shirt printing as their project in the New Year.

Scullion Law Results

Report by Mrs Millar

Congratulations to Hayley Stevenson and Jordyn McNally on their progress to the semi-finals of the Scullion Law Debating Tournament.The girls were proposing the motion: “This House would ban violent video games.” In a well-researched and well-executed performance against Bellshill Academy, the Our Lady’s team thoroughly deserved their win.

They now face Holy Cross High School on 12th November to debate the motion for the proposition side:

“This House would ban designer babies.”

We wish them luck!

Hearing God’s Voice

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Report from Mr Kerr

All S2 pupils recently attended a retreat based on theme of “Hearing God’s Voice” at The Diocesan Centre, Newmains.

The retreats were led wonderfully by Nicky Lynas from the Pastoral Centre and Father Stephen Reilly from St Bernadette’s Parish, ably assisted by a team of enthusiastic young volunteers (many of whom were OLHS former pupils) who gave up their free time to help out. Each retreat was also accompanied by four 6th year Caritas candidates.

The pupils, who attended the retreat in R.E. class groups, enjoyed a series of activities based on the theme of the day. These ranged from a perfume/after shave smelling test (designed to show us that what we think of as valuable isn’t always right) to creating a Facebook page for Jesus!

The pupils also enjoyed the guided meditation led by Nicky in the beautiful chapel which was a very peaceful and calm exploration of a different way to pray and reflect.

Everyone enjoyed a sing-a-long Grace before meals – “We will thank you’ (based on the Queen song – much banging of tables and clapping took place), a hearty lunch and a chance to run around the grounds of the Centre.

S2 also had the opportunity to create their own prayer cards based on the day’s theme of hearing God’s voice and responded very well to this.

After a vote of thanks by our excellent Caritas helpers we made our way back to school and it was very encouraging to hear everyone ask “When can we go again?”

Thanks to all the staff who assisted with the retreats and the S6 Caritas students who helped too.