Rights Respecting Schools Questionnaires

Our Lady’s is working towards achieving the Rights Respecting Schools Award. Part of the process is collating information from staff and pupils via questionnaires.

Please select the correct questionnaire from the list below.

Thank you for participating.

Click here if you would like more information about the Rights Respecting Schools Award.

S1-3 Awards Ceremony

From Ms Steinert

Photographs will be on sale before the awards ceremony on Thursday night at a cost of  £2 for two photos. Please stop by the stall to purchase your photo on the night!

If you would like to buy your image before Thursday you can come up to Ms Steinert’s classroom at lunchtimes this week where all the photos are ready.

Excellence and Equity Awards 2017

School awards highlight positive initiatives

Excellence and Equity Awards 2017
Productive Partnerships – Purposeful Learning
Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell
Titanic Project

 As a result of changes to SQA exams, staff at Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell, spotted an opportunity to provide an exciting programme of interdisciplinary experiences for some of our National 4 students. Our aim was to help pupils gain additional qualifications while expanding their life experiences and raising awareness of the options available to them on leaving school, all through focusing on the Titanic disaster.

We are now approaching the third year of this vibrant project which runs over three weeks of the SQA diet. The programme coordinators are PT Pupil Support, Lyn Zambonini, and Library Resource Centre Manager, Jennifer Macfadyen and involves staff from across Our Lady’s High School, local businesses, voluntary groups and national organisations.

Following an initial introduction, the programme is split into four broad areas: ship building and design; life aboard the Titanic; the disaster itself; and the rediscovery of the wreck.

We were stunned to discover that the steel plates that built Titanic had actually come from the Colville Steelworks in Motherwell, making a wonderful connection with our local heritage. Pupils were lucky to experience Tata, now Liberty Steel, in the process of rolling the steel plates with a guided tour by staff at the plant, who also provided pupils with many stories of life at the steelworks and a thorough grounding in Health and Safety routines.

Although the Titanic was built in Belfast, we were able to take advantage of the Clyde’s vast experiences in ship-building, visiting the Titan Crane at Clydebank, and the Denny Tank Museum at Dumbarton. Titan staff explained how riveting gangs worked, how the shipyards were a part of the community and how dangerous life was while the Denny Flotation Tank demonstrated the engineering expertise involved in designing and testing ships’ hulls. The group also discovered that Denny’s was even involved in testing some of Titanic’s lifeboats. This information became invaluable when learning about buoyancy with Science teachers back at OLHS, and designing their own hulls.

Pupils also learned more about some of the passengers and crew aboard and the different lives they led on a luxury liner depending on their class. English showed the films, A Night to Remember and Titanic, and compared the special effects and reliability of each. Our group were able to put their new-found knowledge into practice by working with Lifestyle Development staff to create a shipboard lunch for staff – although staff did not know until the last minute whether they would receive the 1st, 2nd or 3rd class treatment and dining experience.

To bring everything up to date we contacted Greenock Ocean Terminal who kindly arranged for us to have a tour of the Caribbean Princess. We used this experience as a focus on careers, bringing along our Careers Advisor, Miss Ruth Robertson from SDS to provide detailed advice. Seeing aboard a real cruise ship gave pupils a whole new way of looking at the world, and the numerous careers open to them. They were also keen to compare the Caribbean Princess to what they had already learned about ship design. They were definitely impressed by the safety regulations and the numbers of lifeboats.

Turning our attention to the disaster itself, Mr Walter Lee from the RNLI kindly came along to demonstrate what happened with the iceberg and graphically explain what would have happened to the Titanic’s passengers in the water, including the effects of hypothermia – he even brought along his own mini iceberg!

Other activities have included creating a map of the world demonstrating the Titanic’s route (Social Subjects); printing and poster making (Art and Design); trying out Morse code (Science); an afternoon swimming courtesy of NL Leisure (Lifestyle Development); building their own model Titanic (Social Subjects / Art); discussion of moral issues relating to women and children first and the treatment of 3rd class passengers (RE); further moral issues relating to the wreck arose following a screening of Ghosts of the Abyss: should the Titanic be raised? Should material be removed? Should the ship be left to rust to nothing? (English); and multi-lingual newspaper front pages (Modern Languages).

With so many stories being generated from the project, we wanted pupils to be able to record the aspects that were most important to them, from the ‘women and children first’ policy, to the lifeboats, to the role of the wireless operator, so we introduced the group to storyteller, Allison Galbraith, thanks to part-funding from the Scottish Book Trust. Allison demonstrated the art of storytelling, and guided the group through creating and recording their own stories, helping them to record their own voices for posterity. Allison started by introducing herself and just talking with the group, building pupils’ confidence in speaking before a stranger. As a result, although pupils were nervous about recording, they were keen to participate. Allison also demonstrated breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups before recording began, with further advice on presentation as we worked through the stories. Despite occasionally breaking into the giggles, every pupil managed to record their own work beautifully.

Discussion with pupils led to an additional trip which saw us taking the ferry to Rothesay and the stunning Mount Stuart House. This mansion was completed in 1912, the same year as the Titanic disaster and thus pupils were not only able to experience actually travelling across water – a new experience for all of them – but to see luxurious interiors similar to those of the ship they’d been learning all about.

The Titanic Project continues to develop with partnerships emerging as various individuals and groups express an interest in participating. In 2016, our pupils were even able to join with St Brendan’s Primary as part of their anniversary visit to Belfast to see the Titanic Museum for themselves.

The Titanic Project has been a huge success over the last two years. We have seen the pupils blossom, gaining in confidence, pulling together as a team, and their ideas of what’s available to them in the future have expanded rapidly. Each year pupils have created an exhibition of their experiences which have been visited by classes from across OLHS and visitors to the school, leading to further discussions and expressions of interest. Last year all of the pupils involved achieved the SQA qualifications. “Local investigations” at SCQF level 4.

Feedback from pupils themselves has been outstanding:

”I thought it would be boring, but it was brilliant!”;

“I liked how we went on adventures and explored all the museums”;

“I seemed to get a better relationship with people that I hadn’t spoken to since primary”;

”I actually wanted to come to school!”

The Project continues to explore new ground and build new partnerships. Staff coordinators continue to collect materials, ideas and contacts and we look forward to its continuing success long into the future.



Science: Fiction: Make: Believe

Recently the school entered a Scotland-wide creative writing competition for S2 pupils, organised by St Andrew’s University, called Science: Fiction: Make: Believe. Pupils were to write a 750 word creative piece about any Scottish scientist, alive or dead, or the impact of their discoveries or inventions. Through the collaboration of the English Department, Science Department and Library Resource Centre, all of our S2 pupils participatedwith staff selecting the work of Morgan Mackie (Alexander Fleming) and Andrew Ross (Dr Knox) as the two entries from Our Lady’s High School.

The judges have awarded Certificates of Commendation to both Morgan and Andrew, and they are invited to attend the award ceremony on the 4th March, at St. Andrews University School of Physics & Astronomy. A representative from the Royal Society of Edinburgh will present the prizes before an audience of pupils and their families who are warmly invited to the all-day event.

Well done, Andrew and Morgan! You can read their essays on our school website shortly.

SQA Appointee of the Year

Huge congratulations to Mrs Lyn Zambonini who won SQA Star Award for Appointee of the Year.  Mrs Zambonini has a wealth of experience in relation to wider achievements in SQA awards.  She has supported hundreds of schools and centres over many years on their journey to provide the best possible courses for young people.  The pupils in Our Lady’s, from first year all the way to sixth year, are fortunate to be in a school where wider achievement is so much a part of their experience, from learning sign language, taking part in Duke of Edinburgh Awards, to volunteering in the community, organizing Burns Suppers, learning HeartStart and raising money for all kinds of charities.

Our pupils know that Teaching and Learning are about much more than exam results; Mrs Zambonini has led the way for many years in making every pupil believe that he or she is special, talented and gifted in his or her own way- we are very proud her!

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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Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Report from Mrs Sinclair

Congratulations to Sophie Tougher Mitchell, Emily Tougher Mitchell and James Mullen who were awarded the Rotary Youth Leadership Award last night in the Bentley Hotel. We were all made very welcome and had a lovely meal followed by the presentations. At the presentations we were delighted to hear that Sophie had won the The John Mair Award.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is an amazing opportunity and experience for young people. It was clear from the action-packed week that RYLA really does develop leadership skills and instils a sense of pride in achievement. It stimulates the mind and body and it incorporates great team spirit and sportsmanship.

The John Mair Awards are presented to the two individuals who, in the judgment of their peers, have shown the most overall improvement during their respective weeks at RYLA. Young people from all over Scotland attend for one week in July.

Mrs Mair was on hand to present the award in memory of her late husband.

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.

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!).

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.


Say hello to the Under 13 Scottish Schools FA Plate Champions 2015!!!!!

Congratulations to the whole squad, boys and coaches!2015_0601_championsCongratulations to our Under-13 football team who battled through horrendous weather against Torry Academy to win this year’s Scottish Plate 6-2

Coaches: Mrs McNeish, Miss Simpson

Fashion Brand Retailing Award Ceremony

2015_0527_5292Four of our senior Art and Design pupils have been studying Fashion Brand Retailing at Glasgow Caledonian University over this past year. The awards ceremony for the course was held on  Wednesday 27th May at the University.

The four pupils, Charlaye Hobson, Stephanie Alexander, Heather Baird and Cerys Law, all achieved distinctions intheir studies.

In addition, Cerys was awarded a special award for Outstanding Creativity, achieving the highest grades in Theme 1 and 2 assignments.

Excellence Awards 2014

Twelve pupils from OLHS attended the Excellence Awards Ceremony today at St Ambrose HS for their performance in SQA examinations:-

Congratulations to:

David Martin, Connor Thomson, Jakub Mitas, Hayley Stevenston, Gemma Grier, Cerys Law, Beth Cunningham, Sophie Tougher Mitchell, Lisa Mitchell, Claire Ross, Lewis Donnelly, Owen Leach

Awards Ceremony 2014

Report by Ms Steinert

The annual Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday 2nd October in a packed games hall where over 300 pupils received their awards. The event was kicked off with a bagpipe solo of Highland Cathedral by Michael Clark followed by an opening prayer from our school chaplain, Fr Frank King.

Our special guest, Mr James McVittie, OBE, was introduced by School Captain, Aaron Hawthorne. Mr McVittie, former head teacher of St Ninian’s High School in East Renfrewshire, spoke to the gathered audience about the buzz of working with young people and the importance of Catholic Education. He was a highly motivational speaker and both pupils and parents enjoyed his talk.

The performing arts department were their usual magnificent selves, with a bagpipe solo of Highland Cathedral by Michael Clark, a rendition of Let the River Run by the choir and Highlights from Brave by the school concert band.

Following the presentation of the awards, School Captain, Aimee Houston, gave the vote of thanks.

Photographs of the award winners were on sale for £1 from the Art Department. If any parent or guardian still wishes to purchase a copy, their son or daughter should see Mrs Steinert.

Photography Club

Report from Ms Steinert

The Photography Club has had two pupils complete the coursework for the National Progression Award in Photography SCQF level 4.

3rd year, Maia Winton, and 5th year, Hayley Stevenson, have both worked very hard throughout the school year to complete this award. The pupils went on four photography shoots looking at photographing people and photographing places and explored and reflected on photographic techniques and styles. The pupils learned to store their images safely and use Adobe Bridge and Photoshop to create contact sheets and adjust images as part of their learning experience.

The Photography Club will resume after the holidays.

Young Quality Scots

Report from Mrs King

The Volunteering / Duke of Edinburgh group have been involved in a national award called Young Quality Scot. Last Thursday, 6th March, the group, accompanied by Partnership Officers, Mrs King and Mrs McDonald, and Depute Head, Mrs Mulholland, headed for North Queensferry for the Young Quality Scot Awards. The pupils have been working towards the award over the past six months with Kirstin Thompson from the Youthwork Team at HQ.

2014_0307_0827The Our Lady’s group joined young people from six other authorities across Scotland, all staying overnight in North Queensferry Hotel. During the event, pupils from OLHS gave a presentation on bullying. Speaker, John Houghton, former chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, impressed the OLHS group with his motivational speech, and singer, Micha B, came along in the evening to provide entertainment.

Convener’s Awards

Report from Mrs Sinclair

I am delighted to advise you that ten of our pupils are achieving the Convener’s Award this year.

The pupils concerned are:

5th years: Shannon Gill, David Martin, Ashleigh McIntyre, Jill McMurray, Jordan Mooney and Hayley Stevenson.
6th years: Daniel Dolan, Katy Devlin, Megan O’Raw and Stephen Ross.

The ceremony will take place on Monday 4th November in Caldervale High School.

World Record Writers!

Back in February, Our Lady’s took part in an attempt to break the world record for the largest number of people writing a story. Author, Matt Haig, provided an opening paragraph, and participants took turns to write one or two sentences to keep the story going.

Guinness have now confirmed that the record attempt was successful, with over 100 schools involved across the UK, meaning that Our Lady’s is proud to be home to 55 record breaking staff and pupils!