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.

Dyslexia Week Competition Winners

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Dyslexia Week competitions in the Library last week. It was incredibly difficult to choose the winners with so many fantastic entries. All of the money raised will help purchase additional resources for pupils with dyslexia in OLHS.

Colouring Winners
The judges liked these three because of the many additional images and information within the designs.

1st : Lucy Tougher-Mitchell

1st = Lucy Tougher-Mitchell

2nd= Alicja Balanda

2nd= Alicja Balanda

2= Steissy Laaneorg

2= Steissy Laaneorg

The winner is Lucy Tougher-Mitchell, with runners-up Alicja Balanda and Steissy Laaneorg. Lots of other great designs can be seen here.

What’s in the Box Competition

Pupils were asked to think about what could be inside an imaginary box.  The winner is Anna Cocozza, 1A, who won over the judges with her rainbow coloured labradors.

Kids Lit Quiz 2016

Ten pupils from Our Lady’s took part in the West of Scotland heat of the Kids Lit Quiz at Our Lady’s High School, Cumbernauld. The teams were selected from volunteers who participated in the OLHS heats run by Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen.


The Kids Lit Quiz is the work of former academic, Wayne Mills, who comes from New Zealand. Wayne wanted to acknowledge and motivate pupils’ reading in a competitive way, and now travels the world organising the Kids Lit Quiz in Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, USA and of course, the UK. He writes all of the questions himself which remain a closely guarded secret.


OLHS entered two teams of pupils with two reserves, who practiced hard in the lead up to the quiz, checking their knowledge of children’s stories from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to the latest teen fiction and graphic novels. On the day, the teams answered ten rounds of questions and were even joint round winners on three occasions. Our eventual placings of 11th and 17th are a credit to all of their efforts in what was an extremely difficult quiz.

Our two teams, their reserves and Kids Lit Quiz creator, Wayne Mills.

Our two teams, their reserves and Kids Lit Quiz creator, Wayne Mills.

Many thanks to the pupils who took part:
S1: Chloe O’Neill, Sarah McDonald, Imogen McFadden, Cailin Smith, Laura Findlay
S2: Eva Winton, Olek Kyc, Finn Ross, Sophie Galloway, Erin Keating

With thanks naturally to our mascots, Brian the Brain and Angus the Ape.

Rowing Machine Challenge

2016_1031_rowingchallengeadamsReport from Mr Law

Congratulations are due to the Our Lady’s High School rowing machine team for reaching the one million metres mark between the 15th September and the 15th October.

Concept 2, the manufacturers of the most commonly used rowing machine among rowers, organise a competition each year called “The Fall Challenge”.  This international competition is for competitors to record how far they row during the four weeks.  Certificates are awarded for reaching targets of 100,000m and 200,000m with a 50,000m target for those that are 16 years old and under.  A further incentive is that all teams with a physical location would be entered into a draw for a top of the range rowing machine as long as 10 of the team members attained the 100,000m mark.

From an initial staff team of eighteen, it soon became apparent that the physical or time effort required could not be maintained.  There is a tedium associated with the repetitive nature of rowing even 5000m, thus requiring mental stamina.  This would need to be kept up for five days a week for each of the weeks in order to reach the 100,000m mark.  A much harder task than many might initially believe.  A new influx of three, including two students, replaced our eight valiant drop outs and with 13 team members, our eyes were on the prize and the challenge progressed.

With three of our team members adding to our total without attempting the target, it was always going to be difficult to achieve.  Four members of staff simply struggled to find the time to complete enough rowing sessions but were still in the hunt to the very end.  So extra special congratulations to the six that became members of the 100,000m in a month club.

Our team consisted of Mr Law, Miss Lees, Mr Shields, Mr McHugh, Mr Martin, Adam Boyle, Mr Hart, Adam Fallon, Fr Delaney, Mr McGurk, Mrs Jeffrey, Mr Donnachie and Miss Mark.  We finished 96th out of 395 teams, (nearly 5,000 competitors in total).  We were 3rd out of 22 teams from the education sector.  Although we didn’t manage to make it into the draw for the rowing machine it has certainly been a tremendous effort all round.

WoSPEG Quiz 2016

Report from Mr Law

Without a doubt, the highest standard first round of the competition I’ve witnessed over the last ten years.  Teams of three students, each answering three questions, no confering, for a total of 6 marks apiece over three rounds.  With another 6 marks possible for the written answer team round, that brings the total available for National 5 Physics related questions to 24.  We lost a mark for forgetting to include the unit in the team round.  Hopefully a lesson learned for their SQA exams.  Notre Dame performed flawlessly on these directed questions.  Bearsden and Dunblane only lost 2 marks apiece.  In total therefore, the 4 teams scored 95%, an impressive knowledge of their work up to now.

With a four mark anagram round and the competition opening and ending with a buzzer round worth 20 marks, the outcome was determined by reflex as well as general knowledge and familiarity with current news items.  As far as memory serves I can recall only 3 questions in these rounds that the teams couldn’t answer correctly.

After the 1st round Bearsden and Dunblane were ahead by 5 marks.  By the last round Bearsden had a slightly reduced lead with Dunblane a couple of points adrift.  A good last round from Our Lady’s High and they were level with Dunblane with only one more question to answer.  As the words of the immortal Scottish Bard wrang out, I was screaming for our team to just buzz in … screaming inside my head that is … and I watched as one of them pressed their buzzer.  Their buzzer light did not stay on and I waited to hear which school had buzzed first.  It was Dunblane.  Sure enough they had the correct answer and along with Bearsden, the clear winners, two very worthy teams progress to the semi-finals.  With Notre Dame only a couple of points behind us the heat was not only of a very high standard but also very evenly balanced.  Well done to WoSPEG for delivering such a vibrant celebration of Physics.


Our team of Patrick Quinn, Emma Dolan and Heather Nugent were an absolute credit to our school.  They couldn’t have performed better other than perhaps having cybernetic implants to improve their speed of reflex.  Along with the excellent cheerleading reserve Ryan Kane they seemed to thouroughly enjoy the competition, the experiments laid on prior to the quiz (mainly involving liquid Nitrogen) and the complimentary drinks, chocolate and WoSPEG mugs for participants.  There’s always next year.

Great Writing Challenge – Yay YA+


Yay! YA+ is a teen fiction book festival, organised and managed by Kirkland Ciccone. It was held for the first time last year at Cumbernauld Theatre (see our report here), and now it’s back for a second helping!

Yay 2016 will take place on 21st April 2016, and Mrs Macfadyen managed to bag 15 places for OLHS.

Trying to decide who gets to go was impossible, so we have decided to use our Yay! YA+ tickets as prizes for our S2 Great Writing Challenge. All of 2nd year are participating in this creative writing / research challenge as part of their English work with the Library.

Winners will be selected for their attention to detail, imagination, vocabulary, and the effort they put into their writing and research. Nominees will be suggested by English Department staff and final seelction of the lucky 15 will be by Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen, PT English, Mrs Millar and a guest judge.

The Best Worst Christmas Jokes Ever


The Best Worst Christmas Jokes Ever competition was held in the days leading up to Christmas, with prizes awarded by Mrs Macfadyen for the best/worst entries.

The stunning banner was designed by Emilia, Maja, and Sara over a week of lunchtimes in the Library.

Congratulations to the two winners, Louise and Keryn for their groan-out-loud jokes:

What’s green, covered in tinsel and goes “ribbit, ribbit”?
A Mistle Toad


How does a penguin build its house?
Igloos it together!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Top of the Bench 2015

Report by Ms McGinty 

Last week, four pupils from Our Lady’s competed in a Chemistry competition at Glasgow University. The team consisted of Dominik Pradzynski, Sean O’Neill, Morgan Deakin and Damian Bonnar. They all performed brilliantly and came 5th out of twelve teams with St. Aloysius’ High School in Glasgow taking top prize. Well done to everyone involved!

Christmas cards 2015

Report from Mr Weir

Congratulations to the winners of our 1st year Christmas Card Competition, organised by our Art and Design Department. The card features two artists this year, with Joe Chambers’ work on the front and Wiktoria Gorska’s on the back. This will be the official Our Lady’s High School Christmas card.

Best Worst Christmas Joke Competition

Pupils and staff are invited to enter the Library Best Worst Christmas Joke Competition. All jokes should be submitted to School Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen, or through the Library Twitter account for display on the Best Worst Christmas Joke display. Special credit will be given to decorated entries.

A committee of hard-headed joke experts will decide which joke should win the prize of a selection box.

Donald Dewar Debating Tournament 2015/16

Report by Mrs Millar

On the evening of Wednesday 25th November, Grant Mackin and Christopher Wilson represented Our Lady’s High School in the first round of the 2015/16 Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament. The boys were in Opposition to Holy Cross High School, Hamilton, debating the motion:  “This House believes that the internet does more harm than good.”

After a heated and entertaining debate, the judges decided to put both Our Lady’s and Holy Cross through to the second round of the competition. The boys were commended on both their style of delivery and the content of their speeches. Commiserations to Caldervale HS and Larkhall Academy, who also spoke very well.

The second round draw will take place near the end of January.


The S3/4 Badminton team played in their first competition last Thursday at Dalziel High School.  They did themselves and the school proud and came a close second to St Andrew’s HS.  Congratulations and well done to all our players.

Team: Rebecca McQuaid, Paul Bradshaw, Anthony Weir, Marc Hobson, Ross Galloway, Joshua Stuart, Michael Docherty and Jonathan Rolwich.

WoSPEG Quiz 2015-16

Report from Mr Law

After a valiant and very close contest, the OLHS Physics quiz team narrowly missed progressing further in the competition.  Two of the four teams were to advance into the next round and OLHS tied for second place with Rosshall Academy once the normal set of questions had been answered.  Heather Nugent, Damian Bonnar and Ryan Kane were just a fraction of a second too slow on the buzzer for the tie-break question.

In second place for most of the time, they answered individual and team questions on Physics as well as buzzer round questions on general knowledge, current affairs and Science.  The last round of 20, “on the buzzer” questions was an exciting conclusion to the contest.  With only three questions remaining, Oban were four points ahead of OLHS.  A further three points adrift were Rosshall Academy with Gleniffer HS close behind them.  As the tension mounted, not only were Rosshall quickest to buzz, but they answered all three questions correctly.  A similar result in the tie-break saw them deservedly through.

Congratulations are also due to the OLHS team however as they were S4 students competing against S5/6 competitors.  Being asked questions about parts of the course that they hadn’t yet studied was testament to their dedication and reading ahead skills.  Despite the disappointment of not getting through, they thoroughly enjoyed the pre-quiz interactive experiments made available for them.  Rarely can a secondary school afford the equipment and liquid Nitrogen required for some of the more exciting displays, so thanks are also due to the University of the West of Scotland.  Supercooled magnetic interactions, infrared video and pulse detection were all avidly experienced.


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

More Champions League

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Champions League Team Members

Bayern Munich: Patrick Pender (GK), Michael Verrecchia, Euan Whitehead, Raymond Ron, Luke Dickson (C), Dean Quinn, Mateusz Cymerman, Michael Caroll, Liam Campbell.

Paris Saint Germain: Chris Wilson (GK), Kieran Etherson, Matthew O’Neil, Conor Boyle (C), Marc Hobson, Michael Docherty, Reece Cathcart, Michael Costello.

Atlético Madrid: James Low (GK), Jon Joe O’Hanlon, Nathan Harbinson, Kenny Barr (C), Marc Crossan, Eryk Gnylewicz, Chris Reid, Connor Lynch, James Murphy, Evan Murphy.

Borussia Dortmund: Daniel Collins (GK), Marcus Groome, Kieran Leary, Ugonna Eriugo, Kian Marshall, Ronan Winton, Stephen Black, Paul Giwa, Chris Comerford (C), Wiktor Witkowski.

Real Madrid: Anthony Campbell (GK), Robbie Payne, Liam Milne, Conor Mullen, Mark McSorley, Eric Katat, Mark O’Rourke (C), Marc Marley, Matthew Robertson, Reagan McAuley.

Inter Milan: Ryan Kane (GK), Daniel MacLeod, Dylan Garmery, Geordan O’Brien, Euan Millar, Tony Weir (C), Adam Lynch, Ben Logue, Joe Lester, David Nugent.

Liverpool: Jamie Lester (GK), Paul Devlin, Nicholas McNally, Ryan Murphy, Shane Divers, Tommy Brierton, Aidan Burke (C), Connor Nisbet, Rhys Clarke.

Arsenal: Johnathan Rolwich (GK), Andrew McMahon, Bryan Boyle, Johnathan Sneddon, Joe McNally (C), Nathan Todd, Sean Cassidy, Paul Bradshaw, Connor Scullion, Michael Forsyth.

AC Milan: Ryan Nisbet (GK), Mark Ross, Aidan Beggs, Declan Sloan (C), Eamon Higgins, Adrian Monka, Liam Tonner, Connor Schuel, Greg McCluskey, Mark Kelman.

Barcelona: Mr McGrath, Mr Weir, Mr McHugh, Mr McLaughlin, Mrs King, Mr Sanza, Mr Macmaster, Miss Simpson (CC), Luisa McDonald, Kara Reid, Mystery Guest.

Footballers make the FINALS!!!

Congratulations to the OLHS U13s and U14s football teams who have both made it to the finals of their respective Scottish Plate.

Under 13 results

2015_0518_7342OLHS vs St Margaret’s RC HS  8-2 (Round 1)
St Augustine’s HS vs OLHS 4-1 (Round 2)
OLHS vs Woodmill HS 7-1 (Round 4)
Quarter final victory against Duncanrig HS vs OLHS 2-5
Semi-final victory against St Ambrose High School 2:1

TSB U13 Plate Final
Our Lady’s HS Motherwell v. Torry Academy, Aberdeen
Monday 1st June, Jeanfield Swifts, Perth, 7.00.

The U13s also won their Lanarkshire Secondary Schools League section, and have still to play in the semi-final

Under 14 results

2015_0518_7345Coatbridge HS vs OLHS 0-1 (Round 1)
OLHS vs Bo’ness 2-0 (Round 2)
OLHS vs Balfron HS 3-0 (Round 3)
Quarter final victory against Preston Lodge, 5-1
Semi-final victory against St Peter the Apostle, HS 2-0

TSB U14 Plate Final
Our Lady’s HS Motherwell v. Holyrood Sec, Glasgow
Tuesday 2nd June, Cambuslang Rangers, 7.00

The U14s also defeated Bellshill Academy in their final League game of the season 8-0, and won their Lanarkshire Secondary Schools League section as well!

Well done to both teams who have taken on much bigger schools, and coped extremely well, in some absolutely atrocious weather at times! Their attitude and work rate have been superb throughout.


Pupils and staff of both teams can hold their heads high and be proud of themselves.

Maths Enterprise 2015

Report from Mrs Anderson

On Friday the 8th May the Maths Enterprise Day took place for all first year pupils. It was a very successful day and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the morning the pupils were put into teams and made their own team banner. They then took part in a variety of activities within the maths department. Favourites included the activities from ‘ITV’s The Cube’, building a tower, and the paper ring (where the record was 24 pupils inside one paper ring using nothing other than ONE sheet of A4 and a pair of scissors).

In the afternoon the pupils went to the Games Hall to take part in the Maths Challenge Relay. Pupils were set challenge questions and had to race to see which team could answer the most question and achieve the most points. In the end, after much frenzied and frantic running around, Team 10 were named the Champions with 270 points.

The winning team, Wiktor Witkowski, Daniel MacLeod, Dylan Kelvin, Weronika Kahl, Anam Rehman and Ewan Jeffrey, all received a gift voucher and the all the associated glory of being complete mathemagicians!!!!

Thanks also to all of the third year pupils who helped out:

P1/2/3/4: Damian Bonnar, Erin Burt, Molly Cuthbert, Luke Dickson, Saoirse Higham, Marc Hobson, Declan Kane, Rebecca McQuaid, Heather Nugent, Mark O’Rourke.

P5/6: Kenny Barr, Rhodri Bevan, Damian Bonnar, Jack Burnett, Erin Burt, Molly Cuthbert, Luke Dickson, Emma Dolan, Hannah Duddy, Saoirse Higham, Marc Hobson, Declan Kane, Ryan Kane, Kelsey Kearney, Jamie Lester, Dearbhla McCabe, Kate McDonald, Louise McLaughlin, Joseph McNally, Rebecca McQuaid, Eirinn Molloy, Heather Nugent, Mark O’Rourke, Patrick Quinn, Matthew Robertson, Kayleigh Rowatt, Niamh Simmonette, Euan Stevenson, Clare Thompson, Anthony Weir.

Giant Heptathlon 2015

Report by Miss Simpson

A group of S1/2 pupils from OLHS competed in the annual North Lanarkshire Schools Giant Heptathlon at Ravenscraig Sports Centre on Friday 20th of February.

This was a team event and pupils competed against eight other schools in North Lanarkshire in the following events:

  • 60m sprint
  • 60m hurdles
  • beanbag endurance run
  • standing long jump
  • standing triple jump
  • over head throw
  • one minute step-up endurance.

After these seven events the competition was finished with S1/2 boys and girls relay races in which OLHS achieved three first places and a second place in.

All the scores were added together and both the S1 and S2 teams were placed third and received medals and a trophy.

All pupils who participated were absolutely fantastic!  Not only did they demonstrate a high skill level but they showed a tremendous team spirit and did OLHS proud!  Well done!!

The first year team were placed first overall with 126 points.  They won the 60m hurdles and the triple jump and came second in the 60m sprint, shot putt and step up challenge.

The second year team was not placed but competed very well and achieved 62 points.


The following pupils particiapted in this event:

S1 Team:  Daniel Collins, Paul Devlin, Rachel Donnelly, Erin Doyle, Amy Dunne, Ugonna Eruigo, Maja Fereniec, James Low, Daniel MacLeod, Evan Murphy, Jon Joseph O’Hanlon, Robbie Payne, Ciara Scullion, Caitlin Thomson, Katie Torrance , Hannah Townsley, Niah Welsh

S2 Team: Tommy Brierton, Mateusz Cymerman, Morgan Deakin, Megan Grew, Eammon Higgins, Alicia Jackson, Eric Katati, Robyn Leach, Adam Lynch, Lauren McCann, Lucy McQuaid, Adrian Monka, Shannon Waldron, Ronan Winton