RBS Apprenticeships

RBS are currently recruiting a number of Financial Services Apprenticeships in locations including Motherwell.

The requirements are five Standard Grades at 3 and above (including Maths and English) or equivalent qualifications. Pupils should register at  www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk, and apply for the vacancies they are interested in.

The RBS apprenticeships team are happy to take any queries on 0203 131 5165.

Customer service – Branch Network Apprenticeship

Relationship Management Support – Corporate & Commerical Apprenticeship

Fond farewells

OLHS says goodbye at the end of this term to seven long-serving teachers looking forward to their retirements and another nine colleageus heading off for pastures new.

Our retirees are Mr Mike O’Connor (Biology), Mr Tom Lynch (Chemistry), Mr Tom Krawczyk (Geography), Mrs Rosemary Howieson (PT Pupil Support/English), Mr Jim Hair (PT Maths), Mrs Mary Tulley (PT Support for Learning) and Mrs Mary Mulholland (Depute Head/Maths). We wish them all a fond farewell, and wish them all a long happy retirement.

We are also saying goodbyes to Mrs Maureen Mitchell (PT Performing Arts) and Mrs Judith Clements (Music), Mr Eligiusz Sanza (ICT Technician) as well as Ms Lee Moore and Mr Craig McGrath (both English), Mr Jamie McLaughlin (Social Subjects), Ms Carnegy (Home Economics), Ms Shona Renicks (Maths) and Mr Kieran Gillespie (Drama) who are all moving off to new posts in North Lanarkshire or further afield.

And we cannot forget Fr Frank King who steps down as our School Chaplain as he moves into new responsibilities.

The remaining staff and pupils of OLHS would like to say thank you to everyone for all of their hard work and enthusiasm. We’ll miss seeing you around the school, your smiles and your quirks. We know you’ve enjoyed your time at Our Lady’s; remember us with affection, and go revel in your retirements and new roles.

And you know where we are when you win the lottery!

Strasbourg Trip 2015

Report from Mr Pégard

To give pupils a taste of the continental lifestyle, and to discover a French city that wasn’t Paris, we decided to run a trip to Strasbourg. It would also pupils to visit the European Parliament.

On route we stopped for lunch stop in York city centre, where pupils availed themselves of the facilities (McDonald’s!) and enjoyed a nice stroll in the medieval streets around York Minster before getting back on the bus and heading for Hull-Rotterdam ferry. The group took full advantage of the huge buffet, but managed to leave some chips for the other passengers.

All the pupils took a while to recover from the shock of getting up an hour early (6am continental time, but 5 am British time!) and caught up with sleep on board the coach. After a generous breakfast, we drove through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, spotting the change of languages on the road signs, including the change from Flemish to French while we were still in Belgium! Unfortunately we arrived at the hotel a bit later than expected because of roadworks, so most pupils were happy to avoid the in house disco and enjoyed a well-deserved rest to prepare for the next day’s excitement: a whole day in Europa Theme Park just across the border in Germany.

Europa is the largest theme park in Europe with many different areas based on European countries and pupils really enjoyed exploring and having fun on the rides. Then back to the hotel for evening meal and crepe night – which vanished quickly. Food is becoming a bit of theme on this trip!

Next day was spent exploring the historic quarter of Strasbourg with a team treasure hunt in glorious sunshine. Mrs McDonald’s group won the race, but the other groups weren’t far behind. We were all treated with the local version of ginger bread (lovely!) before some free time to enjoy the sunshine in the streets around Notre Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg.

After lunch, we all met back on the bus and headed for the European Parliament on the outskirts of the city. The guide took us to the main debating chamber and we were all well impressed! The guide spoke to us about various aspects of the Parliament, including the flag, the various political parties represented and how they shared the seats, the topics being debated at the moment and how they organised work between the Strasbourg and the Brussel sites. Pupils had the opportunity to ask questions too.

Back in the city centre for a couple of hour of free time in the city centre of Strasbourg with an ice-cream and some relaxing time “à la française”.

Leaving early next morning from the hotel, we got unlucky on the road and were stuck in traffic for a long time, so we had to miss out our intended stop in Bruges! However, we were the first ones on the ferry and in the restaurant, so we enjoyed the buffet (again!) Two other Scottish schools on the ferry hit the dance floor after dinner, but OLHS were a bit shy and left the dancing to the others. Most were very tired and were looking forward to a good night sleep. Thankfully, we had the added bonus of reverting to British time in the morning, which meant an extra hour in bed!

After a huge breakfast (naturally), we got back on the coach for the last leg of our journey. After some more roadworks, and a long stop at Gretna to stretch our legs, it was straight back home to Motherwell.

Many thanks to the Ciarus Centre Hotel and to Ally, our driver, who was such good company and did a great job getting us to places on time despite all the road works, and to the pupils for making it such an enjoyable trip.

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Dalziel Park “Schools Out” Golf Offer

SchoolsOut_2015.pngDalziel Park Gold Club are running a School Holiday Offer for the Golf Course at Dalziel Park Hotel for while the kids are off.  It is applicable from the 25th June until the 12th of August and it is only £50 for unlimited golf play during this period.

To book you can make payment over the phone by calling us on 01698 862 862 and quoting “schools out” or you can drop up to the hotel and make payment.  The club require two passport pictures for the membership cards.

If you have any other questions please contact the club.

Modern Studies International Conference

Report from Mr McLaughlin


Pupils from Higher Modern Studies participated in the North Lanarkshire Council Modern Studies International Conference. This has been the first International Conference since 2009. All secondary schools throughout North Lanarkshire were represented and participated in two debates at the GLO Centre in Motherwell.

Magen McNulty had the pleasure of opening the second debate opposing the need for Nuclear Weapons. Maria Casey, Chloe Cunningham, Lewis McCourt, Rhea McDade, Niamh McDevitt, Magen McNulty, Joseph McQuillan, Alexander Robertson, James Simmons and Lauren Whitehead spent a great deal of time an effort conducting research for the debates and creating banners and badges. Our Lady’s High was representing the country of South Africa.

After a number of excellent contributions, fierce debate and a vote, the motion “This house believes that nuclear weapons are a necessary evil” was agreed by the house.

Our Lady’s High pupils performed excellent on the day and although the motion did not go in our favour, the pupils very much enjoyed themselves and left their mark on the Modern Studies International Conference of 2015. Roll on 2016!

More track and field results

After the success of the County Sports, OLHS pupils participated in the Scottish Schools Athletics Track and Field Championships, held at Grangemouth sports complex.


S4 Adam Fallon came 2nd in discus, with a new personal best of 38.05 metres.

S4 Adam Boyle achieved gold in the javelin with a new personal best of 53.83 metres.

S6 Stephen Murphy finished 5th in the final of the 200m with personal best of 23. 28 seconds.

S6 Heather Baird also of 6th year, finished 1st in high jump in the Scottish schools – her personal best of 1.65 metres.

Heather also finished 2nd in the Scottish Schools Pentathlon last week.

Adam Boyle finished 1st and also broke the North Lanarkshire Schools record in the javelin on Wednesday 10th June at Wishaw track.

Both Adam Fallon and Adam Boyle have been selected for the Schools International on the 18th July.

Father Frank King

From Mrs Sinclair

Father King has been advised by the bishop that he will be taking up a new ministry and therefore he needs to give up his post as school chaplain to our school and Taylor High School. This is a very sad time for Father King as he dearly loved his time in our school.

His final day at school should be next Wednesday but as he is going on our Rome Pilgrimage, tomorrow will be his last mass in Our Lady’s High School as our chaplain.

Please come along to mass tomorrow morning to say goodbye.

Freerice Fortnight

It takes 400 grams or about 19,200 grains of rice to feed one adult for a day.


There are approximately 48 grains of rice in a single gram.

Freerice is a multiple choice online quiz which was originally designed by a programmer to help his children revise. He subsequently donated it to the UN World Food Programme to help feed people around the world.

For every correct answer, ten grains of rice are donated to the UN Food Programme who pass it to countries around the world. The rice is paid for by sponsors who post adverts at the bottom of Freerice pages when you get an answer correct.

Today we raised a minimum of 12, 280 grains of rice, but actually much more than that because some classes are using PC suites and we’re only taking an average per class.

The leading class at the moment are 4C1, followed by 6A and 2M1.

Good luck for tomorrow!

Primary visitors

Report from Mrs Donnachie

Pupils from our associated primary schools as well as a number from Muirhouse, Knowetop, Craigton, St Brides and St Theresa’s visited Our Lady High school on the 9th/10th June to experience what life is going to be like in August as a new S1 pupil.

Pupils followed their timetable for some of the time giving them an opportunity to meet their teachers as well as their peers. They also met with their S6 buddy and for many of the Primary 7 pupils this was the highlight of their two day visit.

During lunchtime NLC provided all pupils with a free school meal allowing them to sample using the facilities of the school zone. S6 pupils who are studying CSLA organised lunchtime activities on the Tuesday and Mrs Deborah King and Mrs Angela McDonald, our Home School Partnership Officers, organised a competition during lunchtime on Wednesday in conjunction with senior pupils.

The P7 pupils all left exhausted after the two days but reassured and very excited about starting high school on the 18th August.

Scottish Schools’ Young Writer of the Year 2015

Newly-former pupil, Gemma Grier, has just been named the Scottish Schools’ Young Writer of the Year 2015.


The competition was open to 15-18 year old pupils writing a non-fiction piece of 1,000 words which commented on experiences, events or people. The judges were Kenneth Roy, Chair of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland and editor of the Scottish Review; Rose Galt, former president of the Educational Institute of Scotland; Katie Grant, novelist, journalist and Royal Literary Fund consultant fellow; and Professor Walter Humes, visiting professor of education at the University of Stirling.

Gemma’s work, Hannah, described her thoughts following a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust, beginning with a single name noticed on a suitcase. Working with Principal Teacher of English, Mrs Elaine Millar, as editor, a heart-breaking and lovely original was transformed into a beautiful piece of writing, worthy of the award. The audience were moved to tears when it was read aloud at the ceremony in Glasgow on June 12th. A report and photos from the event are available on the Scottish Review website.

Congratulations to Gemma on her well-deserved success. And of course, thanks to Hannah.

Hannah by Gemma Grier

Her name has been choking me since I returned home from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Oświęcim. It was written on a suitcase, one of over 3000, piled high behind glass. When I asked about her, I didn’t expect the answer I received: Hannah was barely a year old when she arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, and that is all that is known about her. There is no paperwork, no other evidence that she ever existed, aside from that one single suitcase. It is not hard to guess her fate upon arrival in the camp – all children her age would have suffered the same one.

If I were to be perfectly honest, perhaps I had been too prepared for my visit to Auschwitz by textbooks and memoirs I had read. In schoolgirl world, victims of the Holocaust were recognised and given proper respect, their lives before the camp documented with detailed histories and old photographs. Now, here was Hannah, nothing more than a name on a suitcase – nothing more than another name in the black ledger of this dread place. And I didn’t want to reduce her to that. Reading about the Holocaust makes it seem a million miles away: 11 million deaths – 1.1 million of those in Auschwitz – is simply a number. The brain can’t cope with the picture of never-ending lines of the real human beings these numbers represent.

That visualisation is hard to come to until you have stood there and you are faced with the reality that is Auschwitz.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is definitely not as I imagined it to be. Before the visit and even as I stood before “Arbeit Macht Frei”, I had expectations of a harsh, unforgiving landscape, eerily silent besides the striking whipping of the wind, but it was far from that; it was a sunny Autumn day, the sky a soft bubblegum, the grass vibrant green on the flat land. It was very pretty, which rankled with me the entire day. How could the sun shine where so many people had lost their families and their lives? It was beyond reason. However, if you stood very still and silent for a few moments, the air seemed to grow heavy very quickly, despite the bright sunshine all around. And then you would be able to smell the deaths that still haunted the grounds.

The sheer scale of the Birkenau camp is also something which hits you hard: the railway line which runs through the middle, running off into the horizon. On the day, we were allowed to ascend the stairs to the watch tower, where the Commandant would stand in order to assess the camp and the prisoners. When you look out the windows, it is easy to understand the power the SS guards had over the prisoners. In that position, everyone below looks insignificant, like tiny specks of dust.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is actually split up into three sections: Auschwitz 1, Auschwitz 2 Birkenau, and Auschwitz 3. While Auschwitz 3 is closed off to the public, we were allowed to visit Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau. Auschwitz, today, is largely a museum with exhibits and displays detailing the camp’s part in the Holocaust: it is here that I saw Hannah’s suitcase. Birkenau is the more widely recognised image of Auschwitz-
Birkenau, the landscape of the movies based in the concentration camps – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, for example.

It was when I walked through the stone building used as a gas chamber in the Auschwitz part of the camp that my thoughts returned to Hannah. I stood in the room where the prisoners were gassed, the stone walls pushing in on me, and tried to imagine what the scene must have been like: men screaming, people clambering over one another, children crying, mothers attempting to comfort their babies, once they realised that the shower story was an evil lie. Even though I’ve stood in the path of all the death that occurred in Auschwitz-Birkenau, it’s still very hard for me to comprehend. Did Hannah know what was going on? Can a baby understand that she’s going to die? I can’t even attempt to answer those questions.

The gas chambers were the hardest aspect of the visit for me, as they have been for many others. The two largest were here in the Birkenau camp, used much more often for mass murder; Auschwitz 1 was primarily for political prisoners and such. All that remains of them are ruins. One was destroyed in an uprising by prisoners, the anniversary of which coincided with our visit. On October 7, 1944, having learned that the SS was going to liquidate much of the camp, the members of the Sonderkommando – Jewish prisoners forced to work in the crematoriums to burn the bodies of those killed in the gas chambers- at Crematorium IV rose in revolt. Although quashed by the Nazis, the uprising was incredibly important in increasing morale for the remaining prisoners in the camp, making them believe that something could be done. These stories of hope and perseverance have stuck in my mind the most; It’s a lot easier to think of the strength of those in the camp than the degradation and humiliation they faced.

The other gas chamber was destroyed by Nazis, attempting to liquidate the camp before the Allies reached it. The rubble takes on a significance when it is in front of you, and you can see the bricks, the rough edges broken and chipped, looking like gravestones. There are no graves, no markers for the victims in the camp, so as our guide read a journal entry beside the ruins –demanding that we do everything we can to remember what went on in the camp, to never forget – I took a silent moment to mourn them.

Towards the end of the day, we arrived in front of a wall of photographs, in the “Sauna”- a room used for processing new arrivals; again I found myself in front of the photos of the babies, and when my eyes fell upon each unidentified infant, I wondered to myself “Is that Hannah?” In the middle of the wall there was a plaque, and as I read the words, I could feel my soul crushed:

The first to perish were the children, abandoned orphans,

The world’s best, the bleak earth’s brightest,

These children from the orphanages might have been our comfort.

From these sad, mute, bleak faces our new dawn might have risen.

In these words, I found Hannah.

U14 Scottish Plate Final

Our Under 14s did not win the Scottish Plate yesterday despite a valiant effort. The game ended a 4 all draw after some fantastic play by Our Lady’s, particularly in the second half. They came back from a 2:1 at half time and just would not give up. The whole team gave their all and we should all be very proud of their efforts.

To lose such a prestigious competition on penalties was very disappointing for the team but the spirit in which it was played was very passionate and sporting. Well done boys.

Thanks to Mrs McNeish and Miss Simpson for their coaching and support throughout the year (in all weathers!).

County Sports 2015

Huge congratulations to the OLHS county sports team who were competing on Wednesday 10th June at Wishaw sports centre. Their behaviour, enthusiasm and team spirit was excellent and we managed to win plenty of medals too!!

Medal winners:

Heather Baird – gold medal winner for 200m
Stephen Murphy – gold medal winner for 200m
Adam Fallon – gold medal winner for discus
Adam Boyle – gold medal winner for javelin
Christopher Kelly – gold medal winner for 100m
Shannon Waldron – gold medal winner for shot putt
Rachel Donnelly – gold medal winner for 1500m
Owen Carroll – silver medal winner for long jump
Eirinn Molloy – silver medal winner for 200m
Megan Grew – silver medal winner for 1500m
Ciara Scullion – silver medal winner for long jump
Adam Lynch – bronze medal winner for 100m
Patryk Szymanski – bronze medal winner for 400m
Caitlin Thomson – bronze medal winner for triple jump
Luke Dickson – bronze medal winner for 1500m
Mateusz Cymerman – bronze medal winner for high jump

S2 boys relay team (Eammon Higgins, Adam Lynch, Ronan Winton & Mateusz Cymerman) – bronze medal winner

County Sports Squad
Adam Boyle, Morgan Brown, Aidan Burke, Owen Carroll, Lewis Cavanagh, Lia Chambers, Rhys Clarke, Daniel Collins, Mateusz Cymerman, Luke Dickson, Rachel Donnelly, Erin Doyle, Terri Elkin, Adam Falon, Dylan Garmory, Paul Giwa, Hayley Graham, Megan Grew, Eammon Higgins, Christopher Kelly, Benjamin Lafferty, Robyn Leach, Adam Lynch, Kian Marshall, Luisa McDonald, Greg McLuskey, Lucy McQuaid, Eve Millar, Tymon Mitas, Eirinn Molloy, Adrian Monka, Max Ofori, Stephanie Parker, Robbie Payne, Ciara Scullion, Patryk Szymanski, Caitlin Thomson, Shannon Waldron, Scott Wilson, Ronan Winton.

Summer Cafe Concert 2015

By Three Musical Geniuses

What a night the sun chose to shine for Our Lady’s High’s ‘2015 Summer Cafe Concert’. From young performers playing in bands, to three fantastic choirs including our very own ‘Caritas Choir’ who represented the school at the Caritas award ceremony held in Glasgow’s SECC, to many more.

The night opened up with the Junior Band smashing Pharrell’s hit of Happy and The Proclaimers’ famous 500 miles, conducted by Mrs Maureen Mitchell. This was followed up by four of our pupils’ own band, ‘Kardais’. They played covers of the songs Little Black Submarine by The Black Keys and then Everlong by Foo Fighters when another pupil, Jill McMurray then accompanied on vocals. The School Band then performed wind band classics such as Freya’s Call and With Each Sunset, conducted by Mr James Woods.

To finish off the first half of our concert, we then saw our well known Caritas Choir which is made up of sixth year pupils who chose to participate in Pope Benedict’s holy award of Caritas, not forgetting Mrs Mary Mulholland who is also a loyal member of the group. They proceeded by singing the moving You Raise Me Up by Westlife followed by Irish Blessing to finish off their performance.

After a short break for refreshments, the School Band made a return playing Adele’s famous Skyfall, which then moved on to our annual classic of Big Fun in The Sun. The staff choir made an appearance yet again, singing Forever Doowop. Our school choir covered Pitch Perfect’s Bellas Final before they paired up with the staff choir, singing Happy by Pharrell Williams to finish off our show on a high.

Overall, it was a fantastic night, with many talented young performers and a perfect way for the former sixth year pupils to say goodbye to their school career here at Our Lady’s High School.

Junior Band                                     500 Miles, Happy
Kardais                                             Little Black Submarine
School Band                                    Freyas Call, With Each Sunset
Caritas Choir                                   You Raise Me Up, Irish Blessing
School Band                                    Skyfall, Big Fun in The Sun
Brass Ensemble                             Game of Thrones, Superstition
Staff Choir                                       Forever Doowop
School Choir                                   Bella’s Final
Vote of Thanks
Staff Choir & School Choir            Happy


Thank you to the following people who have helped to put this together:

Admin Team, Janitorial Staff, Deborah King, Mary Mulholland, Kat Smith, Keiran Gillespie, James Woods, Robert Fairley, Martin Couper, Michael Bryans, Lorna Patton, Stephen Nelson, Alison Murray, Roddy Moir, Eliguisz Sanza, Ian King, Cameron King, Stephen Dowling, Anna Glover, Maureen Mitchell, Judith Clements and Lyn Zambonini.


Flute/Oboe: Monica Allan, Olivia McMahon, Beth Knight Townsley, Klaudia Wegrzyn
Clarinet/Bassoon: Maria Cocozza, Beth Cunningham, Alexandra Healey, Piroska Horvath, Emily McCafferty, Marta P, Keren Shearer
Saxophone: Rebecca Cairney, Lisa Mackie, Carla Tyrell, Colette Whitson
Horn:  Monica Kane, Heather Nugent, Orla McDevitt, Brendan O’Dowd
Trumpet: Hannah Duddy, Emma Graham, Olivia McGarry, Jill McMurray, Tymon Mitas, Claire Ross, Emma Torrance
Lower Brass:  Nicholas Allen, Ethan Hendry, Jordan Mooney, Craig Thomas
Percussion:  Lewis Donnelly, Aaron Hawthorne, Morgan Jessimer, Chris McCarron, Rebecca McGill

S1-3 Choir
Shane Divers, Caitlin Donnelly, Saoirse Higham, Aga Poslednik, Samantha Reid, Emma Torrance, Dearbhla McVey, Wiktoria Debowska, Hannah Duddy, Marisa Madden, Merrin McDonald, Julia Stachurska, Marta Pradzynska, Suzanne Nwambe, Damian Bonnar, Jonathan Rolwich, Michael Costello, Shannon Waldron, Michaela Bennett, Mia Campbell, Robyn Leach, Alicia Jackson, Maria Cocozza, Madeleine Robertson, Alexandra Healy, Keara Hodge, Abigail McNally, Stephen Brady

S4 Ur Space Retreat

Report by Mr McHugh

Some S4 pupils attended the Ur Space Retreat on Monday 8th June in St Thomas’ Parish Hall.

The retreats were led wonderfully by Sister Bernie, Sister Jill (Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco) and Elizabeth Miller (Motherwell Diocese Youth Officer) and centred around the theme of Prayer and Our Relationship with God.

The pupils, who attended the retreat, enjoyed a series of activities based on the theme of the day. These ranged from a creating a Prayer Web to designing and making a Prayer Candle.

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

Caritas 2015

Report by Mr McHugh

Our Lady’s High School was well represented at the recent Caritas Award Ceremony, on Wednesday 3rd June, at the Clyde Auditorium. It was a fantastic experience to see 41 pupils from Our Lady’s High School rewarded for their commitment to their faith when they were presented with their Caritas Award.

The Caritas Choir’s hard work and endeavour was duly recognised when they were invited to contribute to the Opening Prayer and Closing Reflection of the Award Ceremony. The performance of the Caritas Choir was both inspirational and spiritually uplifting. Well done to all involved.