Battlefields Trip

Adapted by Mrs Millar from pupil diaries.

For more information and photos from the 5th Our Lady’s Pals Battalion, please see Mr Smith’s website and Twitter @OLHSSocSubjects.

The 5th Our Lady’s High School Pals Battalion, led by Mr Smith and Kat Brogan of Mercat Tours, and accompanied by Mr Donnachie, Miss McGhee and Mrs Millar, set off for Belgium and France on Monday 20th June. We travelled by ferry from Hull and had a comfortable crossing to Zeebrugge – great food and accommodation onboard! Our first stop in Belgium was at the Pool of Peace, followed by Messines Church, then Hooge Crater museum where we had lunch, then onwards to Sanctuary wood where we donned wellies in order to experience life in the trenches. We reached Munchenhof around 5 and checked in to our very welcoming hotel where we were again well fed!

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On Tuesday we set off to France.  Our first visit was to Newfoundland Park, a beautiful, tranquil place dedicated to the Canadian soldiers who fought in the war.  We were privileged to walk across the battlefield and witness where the soldiers fought the Battle of the Somme: tragically, 91% of them did not make it back home. They are also remembered at Vimy Ridge, with an awe inspiring monument showing Mother Canada weeping for her lost children. We also visited Poiziers cemetery, where 14000 soldiers “Known Unto God” are remembered. This is the inscription carved on the memorial stones when soldiers who died could not be identified – or in some cases, even found. We were also proud to share a special moment with Robyn Leach, as she laid a wreath at the grave of her great great grandfather.2016_0622_093954

Thursday began at Essex Farm to visit the advanced dressing station where Lieutenant John McCrae wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. Next stop was Polkapelle Cemetery, where over 6000 of the 7400 men who lie there are only “Known Unto God”. We then visited Passchaendale, where half a million men died in 1917. We visited Tyne Cot Cemetery, the biggest Commonwealth cemetery in the world with 12,000 graves. Here, too, the lost men are remembered:  35,000 men – whose bodies were never found – are commemorated on the walls. Our next stop was at one of only four German cemeteries at Langemarck, resting place of over 40,000 German soldiers. After lunch we set foot in the Sacred City of Ypres for the first time, to visit the graves of two British soldiers shot at dawn by their own side. Lastly, we attended the Menin Gate ceremony in Ypres, where once again we were able to share the experience of finding a relative’s resting place with Lauren McCann. Our last official duty of the trip was when we then went on to Poelkapelle Cemetery to conduct our own memorial service.

Each evening, before dinner, Kat Brogan, our Tour Guide with Mercat International Tours, worked with the young people as they reflected on their experiences, writing in their daily diaries. Later, everyone enjoyed some down time, playing pool, bowling, watching TV or just chatting.

Our last day in Brugge saw a raiding of the chocolate shops and a scoffing of ice cream and delicious Belgian waffles before heading back to Scotland from Rotterdam on our second ferry – which was even more luxurious than the first one! After a fantastic meal,  everyone took to the floor – even the oldies – and danced the night away, finishing the night with a rendition of “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary” which brought the house down and made us many new friends!

The trip was both a lot of fun and very thought provoking – a real life changing experience for staff and pupils. Thanks to Mr Smith for organising a truly memorable time for us!

Broad General Education Awards 2016

The OLHS Awards for Broad General Education (or BGE) for pupils from S1-3 were held last night.

Our thanks to School Chaplain, Fr Martin Delaney, to Lewis Longmuir for introducing our speaker, to Shannon Waldron for the vote of thanks, our fabulous band for their wonderful music and to Mr Philip McGhee for presenting the awards.

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Edinburgh Book Festival

All pupils who signed up for the Edinburgh Book Festival trip on 29th August should pay their money now to Mrs Macfadyen.

The cost is now reduced to £6, thanks to the bus being paid for OLHS and a grant from the Festival. In addition, every young person visiting the Festival receives a £3 token to spend in the Festival bookshop.

If you want to find out more about the authors we are going to see, click here for the Festival website  or look up the individual authors.

Lisa Heathfield on Twitter: @LisaHeathfield

Katherine Howe’s website and Twitter: @katherinebhowe

Anne Cassidy’s website and Twitter: @annecassidy6

Books and materials

If you have any textbooks or Library books please return them to school before the end of term. Don’t be worried about handing back materials from few years ago – you will not get into trouble.

As you know budgets have been cut and the school simply cannot afford to replace books year in year out. This will impact future pupils.

Can we also ask families to please check shelves, cupboards, under beds etc for any old school books and hand them into OLHS.

Thank you to everyone for your assistance.

We Will Rock You

Everyone who came along to this wonderful show was full of praise for all pupils and a staff involved.  Thanks very much to Mrs Smith, Mrs Glover and all other members of the Performing Arts Department who worked tirelessly for months to ensure such a polished performance.  Well done and thanks to the performers who gave their all to ensure that each show was marvelous.  There was also an army of staff and pupil helpers behind the scenes – thank you all for giving up your time to help in any way.  We are lucky to be part of a community where everyone cares and lends a hand. Well done to all concerned!!

We Will Rock You – OLHS 2016 Programme (requires Acrobat reader).

 

International Conference 2016

Report from Miss Halket

Twelve of our Higher Modern Studies/Higher Politics pupils represented our school at the North Lanarkshire Council International Conference on Thursday 16th June. Our pupils took on the role of diplomats and debated with over 250 other pupils. This opportunity allowed our young people to recognise the power of deploying rational and reasoned arguments which are rooted in reliable and compelling evidence. They passionately represented Syria and are a credit to our school. Furthermore, Magen McNulty won the award for “Best Contribution” on the day and has made us all extremely proud.

European Union Debate

Report from Miss Halket

Pupils took part in a whole school mock European Union Referendum on Friday 17th June.

In response to the question “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” you voted as follows:

  • Remain a member of the European Union – 76%
  • Leave the European Union – 24%

It will be very interesting to see how our result compares to the outcome of the official referendum that takes place this Thursday 23rd July.

Freerice Challenge

Online game to end hunger

All PSHE classes have been working on the Freerice Challenge over the last couple of weeks. 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.

Freerice is a multiple choice educational quiz. Classes can choose to answer questions on English vocabulary and grammar, maths, science, geography, literature, art history and languages.

2015_0601_7981Ten grains of rice are donated for every correct answer, paid for by sponsors with an interest in education. It takes 400 grams or about 19,200 grains of rice to feed one adult for a day, which seems like a lot but is actually about half a bowlful.

The Freerice Challenge has run through Tutor Time in the past few years, but this is our first year of running the Freerice Challenge through PSHE. We are hoping to establish a strong baseline total that classes can aim to beat in years to come.

Maths Enterprise Challenge Day 2016

Report from Miss Lees

On Friday 3rd June, our S1 pupils were out of their usual classes to take part in an Enterprise day run by the Maths Department. Groups of pupils completed activities in the morning including Match 10 (a fun online maths game), Orienteering in the school grounds, Tower Building and a variety of other tasks requiring a mix of teamwork and problem solving skills. The afternoon was spent in the games hall completing a very energetic maths relay. Teams were awarded points in all activities and the relay.

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Congratulations to the winning team: Nial Burke, Keela-Chae McCreadie, Paul Murphy, Lucy Thompson and Paul Welsh.

Aid to the Church in Need Rally

Report from Miss McMahon

On Thursday 16th June, the new S6 Caritas pupils will be attending an Aid to the Church in Need Rally at Carfin Grotto. ACN Scotland invites Catholic high schools from all over Scotland to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians worldwide. ACN call on the Scottish Government to promote faith and freedom around the world.  It is hoped that Caritas pupils will gain knowledge about the persecution of Christians throughout the world so that they go on to make a positive impact on social injustices.

Young Christian Workers Training Event

Report from Miss McMahon

On Wednesday 15th June, S5 pupils Rahel Agiwaah, Piroska Horvath and Heather Nugent will attend a Young Christian Workers Training Event at the Conforti Centre.  YCW groups are new to Scotland but are part of a strong global community of young people campaigning on social justice issues from the perspective of Catholic social teaching.

The day will focus on ‘Impact’ which is a programme developed by the YCW for younger members.  It places strong emphasis on action led by young people themselves and helps them to explore the link between faith and life in a way which is fun, innovative and empowers them to action.  It is hoped that the pupils attending will becoming young leaders and make a positive impact on the school through the training they receive.

Art and Design News

Report from Ms Steinert

Three S6 girls from Advanced Higher and Higher Art are attending a fashion taster course at Glasgow Clyde College this week. The girls are seeing the fashion department and learning how to develop their fashion ideas in a free three hour workshop. One of our S6 girls has also attended a fashion taster day at Glasgow Caledonian University and has applied to the Fashion Brand and Retailing college link course starting in August.

The Art and Design Department has produced a summer newsletter which is being posted this week to help parental involvement, give some advice about homework and what activities senior phase pupils can work on over the holidays who are studying art and photography.

Visit to New Lanark

Report from Mr Law

On the 1st and 2nd of June this year, over 100 of Our Lady’s High School students visited the New Lanark World Heritage Site.  Just under 100 S1 Science pupils along with some S3 Geography students experienced learning about the history of the Mills and their use of renewable energy.

There was a very clever use of gravitational potential energy, as water flowed from the lade (a canal that was cut parallel to and higher than the Clyde) down through the water wheels of the Mills and back into the Clyde.  The cogs, ratchets and gears that then transferred this free energy into working the spinning machines helped make New Lanark such a success story.  The social history tour helped put the science into context.  The village that supported the mills had their own shop, church and doctor under the direction of mill owner, Robert Owen.  Although the working week was long and more arduous than the vast majority of jobs in the UK currently, it was a vast improvement upon that experienced by many of their contemporaries.  They even had a school where children could receive “free” education until their teenage years!  With Sunday off each week, a couple of extra days off during the year, a shop that sold quality produce at cheap prices and pleasant countryside to walk through, it must have appeared a dream employment for many ordinary working people.

Our pupils were very well behaved and a credit to our school and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while learning science, geography and history.  A beneficial synthesis for learning! Thanks go to all our tour guides from the New Lanark Trust and especially to, “Historic Environment Scotland”, for their travel subsidy.