BBC School Report 2017

BBC School Report provides an opportunity for pupils between 11-16 to experience a day in a newsroom, creating and reporting on the news. Groups can choose to report on the events of the day as they occur, build their own reports on a theme, or a mixture of both. Our Lady’s BBC School Report 2017 focused on the Transplant Games which are taking place in North Lanarkshire from 27th-30th July this year.

In advance of School Report Day on 16th March, pupils spent every Friday lunchtime in the Library selecting issues to investigate, improving their knowledge of organ transplants and making contact with relevant organisations and individuals who might be able to help them. As the day drew closer, pupils also volunteered time after school to learn about and practice sending requests for information, interview techniques, creating surveys and writing reports. Senior pupils involved worked on a storyboard for a video report.

One group of pupils set up an interview with heart transplant recipient, Mr Brian Gorman, who described his life before and after his operation. Mr Gorman explained that he did not know whose heart he had received but that he sent an update every five years to the donor’s family through the hospital to say thank you.

Another group interviewed the Chair of the North Lanarkshire games, Councillor Jim McCabe, who explained the reasons why North Lanarkshire was so keen to host the event and personal friends who had died because the wait for the transplant had been just too long for their bodies to cope.

Pupils were also keen to investigate attitudes to and knowledge of organ transplantation in school and created a survey for staff and pupils.

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On the day, pupils completed more surveys and also visited asked staff if they would like to share their reasons for carrying a donor card. The group created bullet points from all of their sources of information which became part of our School Report Ideas Wall. They collated the responses of the survey and designed posters to illustrate their data, which were combined with the storyboard and bullet points to create our video report. They wrote reports on all of their investigations. Throughout the day, pupils took photos of their colleagues and tweeted what they were up to. We even sent a photo of the dreich day outside to BBC Weather Watchers!

Naturally, with such a lot going on we had one or two issues, but the pupils were fantastic, and remained positive throughout, even when Mr Kerr and Mrs Macfadyen were tearing their hair out.

Our thanks to everyone in OLHS for their support, to Mr Gorman and Councillor McCabe for taking the time to come along to the school, and to everyone who responded to our e-mails and requests for help. We couldn’t have done it without you.

All of our BBC School Report work is available by clicking here.

Pi Day 2017

Report from Miss Lees

On Tuesday 14th March pupils and staff in the school celebrated Pi day. Pi jokes were added to the daily bulletin, the maths teachers wore a variety of Pi related clothing, Pi quizzes and colouring sheets were available from the library and Pi facts were added to the school twitter feed. S1 pupils all worked together in the Kamwokya room to create a colour coded paper chain that displayed the first 1000 digits of Pi. S2 had double fun, writing Pilish poems in English, where they had to use the digits of Pi as the word lengths in the poem. They then arrived at maths and made Pi Skylines, representing the digits visually as buildings. At lunchtime pupils could take part in a Pi recital. A closely fought battle ended with an amazing S1 Imogen McFadden reciting 109 digits from memory. Mr Drummond presented the winning pupil with a trophy and a Pi cookie. The S2 winner of the Pilish poetry also received a cookie as a prize. The staff were surprised and happy to find apple Pi(e)s delivered to their departments at lunchtime, courtesy of PT Maths Mr Drummond. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a success!

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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.

Edinburgh Book Festival 2016

A bus full of enthusiastic readers headed for the Edinburgh Internal Book Festival on Monday 29th August. Pupils came from S1-6, including the Advanced Higher English class who came along to pick up some tips for their creative writing.

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Our first session featured relatively new writers, Lisa Heathfield and Katherine Howe, who focused on how they had written their books and the research involved in getting the details correct. They had plenty of advice for aspiring writers and encouraged questions by giving away badges. Hands flew up from purple blazers!

Our second talk featured crime author, Anne Cassidy, who has published over forty books. She very quickly had the audience laughing as she explained all the ways that she had killed off her characters. Again OLHS pupils were keen to ask questions, including Conor who asked how Anne would kill him off if he appeared in one of her books. Anne made arrangements with him later on.

The Festival sponsors kindly provided book tokens for each pupil which were quickly snapped up to buy books and get them signed by the authors, providing further opportunities to ask yet more questions. We also  wandered around the gardens and book shop, ate ice-cream and generally chilled out in the beautiful sunshine.

Extra-curricular Clubs

A number of clubs and activities are available for pupils throughout the week at OLHS. A complete list is available by clicking here.

SPORTS CLUBS

Sports clubs: Sign up sheets are up in the PE department.  If you would like to join a club put your name on the appropriate sheet.  The clubs that will be running are:

  • S1/2 netball
  • S3-6 netball
  • S1-6 fitness
  • S1-6 rugby
  • Girls Football
  • S1-6 Badminton
  • S1-6 Dance
  • S1-6 Irish Dancing

BOOK GROUP
Book Group will take place every Tuesday lunchtime in the Nurture Room. This is a fantastic opportunity to read our large selection of books, develop your literacy skills and meet new friends. All welcome!

CHESS CLUB
Chess Club will continue every Friday at lunchtime. Beginners will learn how to play chess and our more experienced players will continue to compete against each other as we work towards creating an OLHS team.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB
S1/2 Photography Club will take place in the Library every Thursday lunchtime. All equipment provided.

DANCE
S1/2 Dance club returns Thurs 4-5pm in the fitness suite from 1st Sept. Led by S6 Maia Winton. Sign up in PE or see Miss Walmsley.

TABLE TENNIS
Table tennis club in the large gym Mondays at lunchtime. Come along 12.40pm-1.10pm. For any more information see the PE department.

Caritas Awards 2016

Report from Mr McHugh

Our Lady’s High School was well represented at the recent Caritas Award Ceremony, on Monday 6th June, at the Clyde Auditorium. It was a fantastic experience to see 29 pupils from Our Lady’s High School rewarded for their commitment to their faith when they were presented with their Caritas Award.

caritas

The SCES assessment team were particularly impressed with some of the creative final submissions of our students. Two of our senior students, Nicholas Allan and Konner Millar-Brookbanks, performed the songs they had written as part of their final Caritas submissions. Their performances were both inspirational and spiritually uplifting.  Well done to all involved.

Bothwellpark HS Art Project with OLHS

Report from Ms Steinert

The Art Department of OLHS and Bothwellpark High School have been working on a joint project to decorate the games hall for their end of term assembly in June. The assembly is centred on the theme of friendship, so we decided to use the movie Toy Story and to create large scale murals of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie.

The pupils from Bothwellpark come to the Art Department and have so far helped to paint the images very successfully alongside a group of four S2 pupils from OLHS. The final session will involve adding some 3D collage elements onto the murals which will make them very colourful and a fun resource to hang at the assembly.

Titanic Project 2016 : Storyteller

Professional storyteller, Allison Galbraith, returned to OLHS to help the Titanic Group record their stories. Each pupil chose a different aspect of the Titanic to focus on, from the ‘women and children first’ policy, to the lifeboats, to the role of the wireless operator. Allison had previously visited to introduce herself and build pupils’ confidence in speaking before a stranger at the beginning of the project. Each person was invited to share a little about their name and family background until everyone was at their ease. As a result, although pupils were nervous about recording, they were keen to know when Allison would be returning.

Allison started the group off with some breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups, including tongue twisters and jaw massage, before we settled on the comfy seats to record the pupils’ work. Allison provided additional advice on reading speed, pausing and presentation as we worked through the stories. Despite the dangers of breaking into the giggles, every pupil recorded their own work beautifully.

Titanic Project Week 1

Our Titanic Project pupils spent a week investigating facts about the ship and ship-building. They worked with storyteller, Allison Galbraith, to learn what makes a decent story, and visited the Titan Crane at Clydebank and the Denny Tank at Dumbarton, part of the Scottish Maritime Museum. The Science Department demonstrated buoyancy and helped pupils investigate floating (see below) and then pupils built a copy of the Titanic with Social Subjects.

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From Mr Law

The Science Department asked pupils to design a ship so that it wouldn’t sink.

The Groups did very well.  There were some excellent designs and some nervous and excited participants during the second phase of the challenge when designers add mass to the boats to see when they sink.

Results :

  • Johann & Harry: 1,200g
  • Nicole & Natalie: 2,000g
  • Gary & Dean: 2,000g
  • Zac, Shannon & Sammi:  2,800g

Forfeit for the others is that they have to refer to the winners as Captain for the rest of the day.

Cake craft 2016

Report from Mrs Stemplis

The Practical Cake Craft class covers all about cake baking and the more creative side of cake finishing.  Pupils learn the skills of crimping, embossing, modelling, piping, stenciling, texturing and using commercial cutters.  For their final exam they put together all their new skills to produce a cake fit for a special occasion of their choice.

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Photography Club

Members of the Photography Club are selecting their five favourite pictures taken over the last year. Over the last few months, pupils have tried out macro photography on fossils, flowers and fruit and veg, learned about working with models and making shadow images, and practised a variety of Photoshop techniques to transform their images. The Club’s  favourite photographs will be printed and displayed in the school.2016_0330_9515_15

Go4SET 2016

Report by Mr Law

After ten weeks of effort, the Our Lady’s High School S2 Go4SET team presented their findings to a panel of judges at the Banqueting Hall, Almada Street in Hamilton. Researching, report writing and model building completed, the 5 members of the team displayed and explained their findings in an enthusiastic and professional manner.

Thanks to John McIntyre of the competition organisers (EDT) we were able to have a “Launch Day” at the school. He presented them with a choice of options. They decided to progress an investigation into an environmentally friendly railway station. Roles assigned, they each took on responsibility to enable a full report to be completed, detailing any visits and research conducted in order to arrive at recommendations. A trip to Glasgow Central Station proved extremely difficult to organise. Although staff appeared enthusiastic, no arrangements could be provided to enable information or a tour and in the end we decided to visit on our own. One afternoon the students collected footfall data in order to determine potential energy gains from power mats at entrances, exits and escalators/stairs. A visit to the New Lanark World Heritage site was arranged by our industrial sponsor, Mr. Stephen McCann of Morrison Construction. This proved to be an excellent introduction to the generation of electricity via water power. His advice also proved very beneficial with regard to life skills such as meeting deadlines, organisation and delegation of tasks.

These students gave up a great deal of their own time in order to fully engage in the tasks. Breaktimes and after school, especially with the final deadline looming, resulted in a very rewarding mix of effort, enthusiasm and co-operation in order to complete the challenge. They finished 4th out of 11 teams, losing by only 3 points. Well done to all the students participating, including the 3 members of the team that couldn’t make the finals day. Thanks go to Morrison Construction and the competition organisers, EDT (Engineering Development Trust) for their much appreciated contributions.

Art for Autism

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Ms Steinert organised an Art for Autism event as part of our Schools Autism Awareness Week. Pupils were asked to remain calm  under unusual artistic situations. Extremely loud music was playing as music sat down and began to sketch. While most enjoyed the music it was clear that some were distracted by it.

After a while, staff removed the pencils being used by the participants and made them continue with another material. Sometimes the lights were on, and sometimes the lights were off, sometimes the music was extremely loud, and sometimes it was so low that it was just audible and no more. All of this was to give participants an idea of how difficult environmental factors can be for some people with autism.

Finally, all pupils had to leave their masterpieces, go choose another person’s artwork, then sit down and continue to work on it. This second piece was submitted as their competition entry, causing howls of outrage and more than one petted lip. However, staff explained how difficult change can be for those on the autistic spectrum and that their sense of upset was a smaller version of the difficulties faced by some people every day.

A big thank you to Shane (S5) for being DJ and creating the playlist, to the Photography Club for documenting the event, and to the pupils of Bothwellpark High School for judging the best artwork.

The chosen picture was by Amy (S2) who collected a giant Easter egg courtesy of Support for Learning. Bothwellpark also provided a prize which goes to Aleksandra (also S2) who began the picture which Amy completed.

Edinburgh International Science Festival Sci-Kus

From Miss McGinty’s S2 Science class.

Spaceships are flying
Lots of humans are dying
People are crying

Reagan

Is it really true?
Alone in the Universe?
Is there really life?

Abigail

The Planets spin round
A yellow ball of fire
Burning bright and high

Emma

Planets and Comets
In the Dark Solar System
Surrounded by stars

Weronika

From Earth, Space seems far
Beautiful planets like Mars
Don’t forget the Stars!

Kerryn

Stars are nice and bright
Stars are really cool at night
Shooting stars are alright

Max

Shooting stars are bright
They move very very fast
then they burn away

Dominik

Stars are shining bright
Planets are moving around
The moon is quite bright

Alanah

Stars shine the brightest
Lifting high with gravity
shine in the darkness

Caitlin

White, Quiet is the moon
Red, yellow, orange is the bright sun
I’ll go see them one day!

Sara

I like space stations
I think aliens are real
Stars are up in space

Shaun

The spaceships are cool
I will be an astronaut
I will go to space

Ciaran

Great Writing Challenge – Yay YA+

yay-logo

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

2015_1221_bestworstjokes

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!

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Child Protection Committee Logo Competition

Report from Mr Weir

A few months ago, Our Lady’s entered a competition to design a new logo for NLC’s Child Protection Committee. The competition was open to North Lanarkshire secondary schools who had participated in the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme.

OLHS pupils received excellent feedback on the quality of their submissions and when the Committee met at the end of September, S4 pupil Heather Nugent was chosen as the overall winner.

All entrants were invited to the official launch of the new logo in the Millennium Suite at Firpark Football ground for a prize-giving reception, where each entrant was given a certificate and i-Tunes voucher. Heather received her prize from two of the current Motherwell football team along with members of the Child Protection Committee.

The Art and Design Department was also delighted to be presented with a cheque for £500.

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.