Food for Thought on Fridays

Over the last four weeks, pupils from Mrs Millar’s and Mrs Howieson’s class, along with a number of staff, have been taking part in Food for Thought on Fridays.

2015_0306_7134Participants exchanged their usual lunch money for the choice of a jammy piece or a cheese piece (or sandwich, if you didn’t grow up in the West of Scotland :-) ) and a cup of water.  Food for Thought very clearly made the point that this basic meal was all that some could fford, and would be a feast for many others.

Over four weeks, we’re proud to announce the Food for Thought group made £227.40 (and 10 Polish Groszy!) for SCIAF.

Lenten Charities

Two RE classes enjoyed special events in return for donations to SCIAF today.

Mr Kerr’s class took on the impossible task of eating do-nuts and watching the Simpsons (D’oh!) while Miss McGinness’s class struggled with a Disney Sing-a-long.2015_0325_7244Meanwhile, 1A1 have been painting and decorating nails on Fridays at Tutor Time and over the next few days we’re also suffering a Rich Man/ Poor Man Lunch, Soak the Teacher, a staff bake-off, staff pool tournament, talent show and staff-student football, all in aid of our Lenten charities.

Go4SET 2015

Report from Mr Law

After ten weeks of effort, the S2 Our Lady’s High School Go4SET team successfully delivered their presentation to the judges. Although the feedback was extremely positive, they missed out on the winners’ podium by the proverbial whisker.

From the initial project choice of an eco-hotel, they extensively researched the concept, including a visit to their sponsor from industry, (TATA Steel). Visits to two Edinburgh eco friendly hotels, the “Radisson Blu”, and the “Apex International”, provided more specific information about the challenges associated with balancing environmentally friendly policies with making a profit.

They produced a 35 pages long report, built a model of their hotel and, presented their project to the judges. Along the way they have learned to work as a team, each with specific responsibility for an area of the task, learned about the importance of deadlines and learned about the satisfaction of a job well done. If we consider that most of the time spent on this project was their own, they merit a well deserved pat on the back.

Consistently a credit to the school their behaviour has been exemplary and their learning journey well worthwhile. Congratulations to Alexandra, Michael, Holly, Amy, Gemma, Robbie, Elle and TATA Steel mentor, Craig. Thanks are also due to, “The Howard”, for its information and the various staff of OLHS for advice.

North Lanarkshire Spring Concert

Report from Mrs Sinclair

Well done to all of our pupils who took part in a wonderful concert last night in the beautiful Royal Concert Hall. These pupils practise every Friday evening with the North Lanarkshire Schools to ensure that great performances are enjoyed by all. I was very proud of all of our pupils who performed last night.

It was the final performance of a few stalwarts who have been attending NL Schools Music Group for Years.

Thanks to Jill McMurray, Aaron Hawthorne, Caitlin Connor and Jordan Mooney, Michael Clark.

Thanks also to

Ethan Hendry, Anna Quinn, Michael Clark, David Nugent, Stephen Brady, Aidan Simpson, Victor Witowski, Heather Nugent, Orla McDevitt, Piroska Horvath, Colette Whitson

Click here for photos from the concert.

Solar eclipse 20th March 2015

On 20th March 2015, there will be an eclipse of the Sun. In Motherwell, 95% of the Sun will be eclipsed, although the weather is forecast to be cloudy.


Partial solar eclipse by ninjiangstar


It is extremely dangerous to look at the Sun at any time.


 Even the small amount of Sun peeking out from behind the Moon during an eclipse is enough to make you blind if you are not careful.

Never look at the Sun through binoculars or a telescope,
or through sunglasses, a camera or through a mobile.
They will not protect your eyes!


Further information:

How can you watch a solar eclipse safely? (BBC iWonder)

Solar eclipse: what you need to know (Guardian, 19th March 2015)

How to stay safe during the solar eclipse (BT, 19th March 2015)

How to safely observe the total solar eclipse this week (, 18th March 2015)


St Patrick’s Day

OLHS 6th year pupils, Katie Ann Hunter and Heather Baird, are planning journeys to Tanzania and India respectively to spend the summer working with Lasallian Developing World Projects. 2015_0317_7204 2015_0317_7205Katie Ann organised a coffee morning to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and help with her fund-raising.

Along with lovely Irish scones and buns, there was entertainment from the Caritas Choir and both of our Performing Arts Principal Teachers with a beautiful rendition of May the road rise up to meet you, and more opportunities to help with funds through buying raffle tickets and rather scrummy tablet.

Easter School 2015

A reminder that Easter School will on run on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th April with three sessions each day offering support to pupils in S4-6 studying National 5, Highers or Advanced Highers.

Over 150 pupils have already signed up and individual timetables will be handed out shortly. The master timetable (below) will also be available around the school.

(Click on timetable to expand)

Easter School 2015 Timetable. Click to enlarge.

Easter School 2015 Timetable. Click to enlarge.

Welcome to your future

Report from Mrs McDonald

Fourth year pupils from the Princes Trust XL group visited an event at Hampden Park, Glasgow on Thursday 11th March called Welcome to your Future. Organised by the Princes Trust and supported by the SPFL, the day aimed to give young people the opportunity to hear from and meet leaders in business and industry.

In the morning a panel of experts answered questions and gave advice about getting into business and the skills and attitude needed to succeed.  The afternoon saw pupils walking around workshop areas meeting individual employers, getting advice and information and potentially applying for vacancies and training opportunities.

The pupils from XL agreed that the day was interesting and particularly enjoyed meeting businesses and speaking to employers in banking, police and the the automobile industry.

Particle Physics at OLHS

Report and photos by Mr Law. Additional photos by Miss McGinty

Dr Aidan Robson from the University of Glasgow delivered a stimulating and highly enlightening presentation to our Higher Physics class on Friday 6th March. As Co-convener of the ATLAS-UK Standard Model working group at the Large Hadron Collider of CERN in Switzerland, he is clearly a world expert in this area of physics.

With clear explanations and analogy he explained about the Standard Model of the fundamental particles that our universe is made from and why we accept it with regard to the work at CERN.

Providing all we needed in order to build our own cloud chambers (particle detectors) our students set out to provide the high temperature gradient required for the saturated “mist” that enabled us to view the jet plane like contrail paths resulting from the cosmic particle collisions all around us.   Clear plastic tumblers, masking tape and felt brought back memories of Blue Peter, although the dry ice was never required to my recollection.

As particle physics is a part of the new Curriculum for Excellence Higher, this activity was certainly a welcome and extremely useful supplement to the course.

Well done to the students and staff thoroughly engrossed in participating and, thanks again to Dr. Robson for his time and resources.

Easter Baskets

The S5/6 Personal Development class are selling Easter baskets complete with eggs of various sizes, little bunnies and chicks. Baskets cost £6 each and can be ordered through the school via Mrs Zambonini.


The money raised from the baskets is being split between charity and to provide starter funds for the Personal Development class’s next project.

Senior PSHE Day 4

On Friday, senior pupils participated in in their fourth PSHE Day. Pupils rotated around six areas:

  • Good Egg Drivers: pupils looked over the Good Egg Driver website and learned about safety for new and learner drivers. 
  • Police Scotland: Pearl ran a quiz to review what had been learned on previous PSHE days, followed by a game focusing on drugs, crime and personal safety.
  • Samaritans: the Samaritans discussed the issue of self harm, with personal account footage on video. The group discussed ‘emotional first aid kits’, and everyone was given a stress toy in the shape of a mobile phone. There was a valuable discussion around the idea that self harm was attention seeking, which the Samaritans were quick to dismiss.
  • Study Skills: Mrs Macfadyen discussed how important it was for pupils to recognise their own study preferences – music, silence, mind-maps, relaxation – and asked pupils to pass on their own advice to 4th year pupils sitting exams for the first time. The groups also practised making up stories to help memorise a list in order
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention: the work focused on a video demonstrating how violence could be prevented. The video itself sparked a lot of discussion about what constitutes consent, what constitutes assault, and the role of alcohol in violent situations. Pupils worked with each other to identify ways that violent situations could be diffused or avoided altogether.
  • Learning profiles: pupils reviewed their previous work on strengths and accomplishments and updated their files.

“My sincere thanks to everyone who participated in today’s events.  To everyone who took groups, covered classes, answered phones, escorted visitors, laid out chairs, sorted ICT, gave up rooms, catered, photocopied, registered, Thanks!” Mrs Zambonini, Principal Teacher, PSHE


Food for Thought

From Mrs Howieson and Mrs Millar

Exchange your Friday lunch money for our Food for Thought Friday fundraiser: one slice of bread, with cheese or jam, and a glass of water. Come to Mrs Howieson’s room at the start of lunchtime for your feast!


All money goes to SCIAF to help mothers feed their families.

We had a great response last week – see if we can do even better this week!

Everyone welcome, but please let Mrs Millar know in advance so there are adequate supplies.

Study advice from senior pupils

On our recent PSHE Day, we asked senior pupils for the benefit of their study experience:

what advice would you give 4th year pupils who have never sat an SQA exam?

Here are some of their responses.

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Let the Children Live

Miss McGinness, Acting Principal Teacher of RE, organised a vist from George McAleenan of the charity, Let the Children Live.

George spoke to pupils S1, S2 and S4 about the work he does with the street children of Colombia. Pupils were shown the horrendous conditions that children and families live in: the lack of shelter, lack of hygiene, lack of food, problems with gangs and drugs, and even the lack of simple human contact.

During Lent, we hope to raise money for this fantastic charity which aims to provide care and education for the forgotten children of Colombia.

Annual Education Mass

Report from Mrs Sinclair

The Annual Education Mass took place last night in Motherwell Cathedral. The Caritas choir ably assisted by other choir members from fifth year led the musical liturgy, which was marvellous.


Thanks to all of these young people and their teachers who gave of their time so freely to represent our school so well. Numerous people from the congregation asked me to pass on their thanks and congratulations to our choir and their teachers. Well done.

Choir: Aaron Hawthorne, Scott Price, Aidan Coates, Dominic Cherrie, Callum Wilson. Michale Clark, Jordan Mooney, Michael O’Rourke, Darcy Hendry, Emily McCafferty, Monica Kane, Jill McMurray, Siobhan Goodman, Louise Bradshaw, Katie Ann Hunter, Hayley Stevenson, Lisa O’Rourke, Aimmee Houston, Claire Ross, Keren Shearer, Morgan Jessimer, Beth Cunningham, Sinead Higham, Nicole Cassidy, Emma Graham, Konner Miller-Brookbanks.

2015 Annual Italian Exchange Trip

Report by Rachel C

Our adventure started in an unfamiliar, foreign land. And no, I’m not talking about Pistoia- I’m talking about the grounds of Dalziel High School. On the 4th of February S6 pupils and one S5 pupil left behind the concrete jungle of Motherwell in search for more sprawling landscapes accompanied by Mrs Fitzpatrick. The trip was part of the annual exhange student trip which has been going on for 13 years. In the September of 2014 Scottish students at Our Lady’s High School welcomed visitors from Pistoia, and finally got to meet their Italian “twins”. Now it was our turn to see how the other half live.

After a 3 hour plane journey and a 4 hour bus journey, we arrived at our destination- not that we could see anything, it was pitch black outside. However the Hotel Ville Delle Rose where we would be staying for the next 7 days made up for the lack of visible scenery.

The next day we were (kind of) recharged and ready to reunite with our Italian twins. We visited their school like they visited ours and we finally had a chance to ogle at the landscape on the way there. Our Italian twins greeted us and brought us inside. We spent the morning dancing and singing and of course, eating. Later the Italians took us to a shopping centre for a few hours and then to one of the Italian’s houses to hang out.

After having the day to mingle with our Italians and settle in, it was time to do some sightseeing. Our first stop? Pisa! When we arrived we had the obviously had the chance to go up the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa (if you have a phobia of long, windy stairs I don’t recommend) and visit the Cathedral Piazza dei Miracoli and roam around the surrounding area and see what it had to offer. (Yes, I’m talking about food again.) That night we all went to a party hosted by one of our very hospitable Italian’s.

On the fourth day of our trip we went to the beautiful city of Florence. Florence is now easily one of my favourite cities. Fair enough most of the shops were out of my budget but the architecture was simply stunning! We visited the famous Ponte Vecchio which is built across the River Arno, and is the first bridge built in Florence. We also visited Piazza della Signoria, which contained many sculptures and statues including a copy of Michaelangelo’s “David”. But for me perhaps the most captivating sight was “Il Duomo”, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore- it was easily one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen in my life. At night we went to a karaoke bar called “Mago Bago” with the Italians.(You can bet that was a laugh considering half of us had sore throats and could barely talk.)

On day numero five we made a journey to Viareggio to attend the Carnavale di Viareggio. This was easily one of my favourite days, I have never witnessed anything like it. The point of the Carnavale is to poke fun at politicians and people in power, it is a satirical event. They do this by parading floats throughout the town. There are not only floats, but performers, music, food and a LOT of confetti. (I’m still finding it in my pockets) Whilst in Viareggio most of us also took up the opportunity to buy one of the famous Carnavale masks, as it is tradition. That night we ate dinner in the hotel.

We had an early rise the following morning, as that day we were heading to Venice. After the long bus journey and a short boat trip we were free to stretch our legs and roam the peculiar city. We spent the day exploring all the little nooks and crannies and browsing in the rather eccentric shops. Perhaps the highlight of my day in Venice was dinner. Not only was my first carbonara amazing, but it was accompanied by the live music of an accordion player- now that is a true Italian experience!

The end was looming near on day 7, and we used our last full day in Pescia to hang out with our Italian friends. We spent our last day like our first – in the school. In the morning we  experienced what Italian drama classes are like with a drama workshop. The workshop included a lot of fun – if not rather strange activities, I definitely deserved an Oscar after that class. We spent the next few hours being serenaded by our own Konner, Callum, Jack and two other very talented Italian students. After that we visited the quaint little town of Montecatini before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the farewell disco, where we ate pizza (of course) and the Italians showed us up with their dancing skills. (turns out the macerena doesn’t count…)

Day eight marked the final leg of our journey. We all knew this day was going to come, but we were just having too much fun to think about it. We met our Italian twins in the lobby after breakfast and not soon after the tears were flowing – and I MEAN flowing (knew I should have brought my water wings). We exchanged gifts and had the chance to take a few photos before heading outside with our luggage. We said our final goodbyes to our Italian friends, but for most of us, we knew it only meant, “Goodbye, for now.”  Now it was time to start on our long journey back to reality, but we left Italy on good terms, knowing that we would return.

The Italian exchange truly was a life changing experience, a once and a lifetime opportunity that I am so glad I took part in. We got to visit so many beautiful and exciting places, and we made true friends with some amazing people. It was a truly eye opening experience, and I would recommend that any upcoming fifth and six year students sign up, as it is a journey you will never forget.