Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

Click on the image to link to the Royal Society website.

Our Lady’s have been selected as one of the judging panels for the Young People’s  Book Prize.

Our Lady’s has been awarded a free set of the shortlisted books which have now been pored over by pupils from different departments, checking them from the perspectives of design, marketing and information books. Groups reviewed every book and calculated an average score for each title. This involved a great deal of discussion and analysis as pupils discovered the value of not judging a book by its cover.

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As our analysis continued, we also discovered the value of this process for explaining careers connected tot he publishing and creative industries, demonstrating the large numbers involved in getting a book from idea to bookshelf.

Our volunteer judging panel will now check over the books in much more detail, preparing questions for authors and illustrators and creating our final submissions. If you would like further information or to volunteer for the judging panel please see Mrs Macfadyen in the Library.

 

Tapestry Project

Professor Nigel Osborne and colleagues visited OLHS today to launch This place is our place, a project about Motherwell, past, present and future. The team are working with S1 pupils in Art and Design, Music and English to create poems, artwork and songs relating to their hometown.

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The next stage is for pupils to collect stories, images, sounds and mementos of life in Motherwell from their families that can be shared on the This place is our place website. Contributions are also welcomed from members of the public: please see the website for details.

This place is our place is part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Titanic Project 2017: posters, buoyancy and mapping

Start of Titanic Project week 2 and the Crew were working with Mr Weir from Art and Design creating Titanic posters in Photoshop (photos to follow). Next they learned about buoyancy and how enormous steel vessels stay afloat, making their own vessels with Mr Law in Science. Congratulations to the team of Omar and Conor whose boat was most successful.

In the afternoon, Miss Moir from Social Subjects worked with the class on a giant map showing the Titanic’s route from Belfast to disaster, adding information about each port of call and passenger nationalities.

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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.

 

 

World Book Day doodles

S1 worked with their Art and Design teachers and Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen, to create doodles suitable for World Book Day book tokens.

As part of the project, we introduced pupils to the illustrator and Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, through an Authors Live video, in which he demonstrates his talent and discusses the value of doodling. Mrs Macfadyen also read to each class (including all the voices) while they worked on their own doodles, and the teaching staff shared their own sketchbooks to prove that doodling is going on all the time, and share its value as a way of relaxation.

Junk Kouture 2017

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Angela Sewell, Maia Winton and Natalie Marshall have been successful in entering the Junk Kouture competition with their garment “The Flying Scots Girl”. All the garments are made from recycled materials and the entry from OLHS was made from handbags, charity shop clothing, bubble wrap and can ring pulls. There were over 350 entries this year with the top 80 garments making into the Grand Final which will take place on February 9th in the SECC Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow. Many congratulations to Angela Sewell whose costume has been chosen to be part of the Grand Final.

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Supporters can buy tickets to the fashion show and vote for their favourite garment on the Junk Kouture Facebook page. You can now vote once a day for every design. This vote will close at midnight on Friday and it is worth 10% of the overall marks, so please vote for Angela!

Maia will model Angela’s design and perform her own choreography on the catwalk on February 9th. Thanks to Ms Steinert for her usual enthusiasm for all things artistic!

Labvent

A number of our S3 pupils were very excited to be involved in a BBC filming production for the BBC Scotland Learning Twitter account which formed part of a daily video advent calendar called Labvent. Pupils created four videos featured across Advent. Art classes  learned some of the techniques used in film and television production, such as sound recording, presenting and animation. Only four schools in Scotland took part so it’s great that our pupils had the chance to be involved with this exciting project.

Thanks to Ms Steinert for organising such a fantastic opportunity and for Mrs Sinclair for letting us take part!

Fashion trip to London

The Home Economics and Art Department have a shared topic of fashion design and so they organised a joint trip to the Victoria and Albert museum in London to see two special exhibitions: Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear and You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970.

As part of their time in London pupils also had the opportunity to visit the London Eye and the restaurant Planet Hollywood.

Summer School 2016

Report from Mrs King

The annual summer school at Our Lady’s High School took place on August 8th with twenty new first year pupils and four senior pupils enjoying four days of activities. The summer school allows the young people to become more familiar with the secondary school setting and to meet some of the school staff before the new term begins. Being more confident and self-assured at the start of secondary school gives the S1 pupils a positive step towards a successful transition from primary school.

The S1 pupils took part in team building with the Partnership Staff on the first morning followed by a workshop of pottery with Ms Steinert where the pupils made clay hedgehogs in the afternoon.

On Tuesday, the pupils learned to play the ukulele with Mr McVeigh followed by a session on how to create scars and bruises using special effects make up with Kirsty McCabe.

On Wednesday, the pupils were treated to some Science experiments with Mr Law from Physics and after lunch, Mrs Smith from Performing Arts gave the pupils an opportunity to practice their voice and acting skills.

Each day, the pupils gathered to have lunch together and to make new friends and meet various teaching staff

On the final day, the entire group, Ms McDonald, Ms King and Mr Smith had a successful day trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park where they enjoyed seeing all the animals, especially the sea-lion show, and had some free time to explore the park.

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.

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.

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

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.

Fashion at Kelvingrove

Report from Ms Steinert

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The S3 Fashion and Textile class in Home Economics and the S5/6 Higher Art and Design pupils went to see the Century of Style Exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery on Thursday December 3rd.

The girls got the chance to have a museum guided tour around the exhibition which features 19th century garments made in Glasgow. The exhibit is organised into themes based on coloured fabric and type of garment like military or mourning outfits and is well worth a visit.

After the tour the class went to Mandor’s fabrics and bought some materials for their Higher fashion garments. Each pupil received a canvas tote bag from Mandor’s and loved seeing all the types of fabric and patterns available.

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.

Day of the Dead – Quiz, Prizewinners and Thanks

The penultimate task of our Day of the Dead event was a multiple choice quiz covering Dia de los Muertos and Hallowe’en. The teams had learned about Day of the Dead over the previous weeks through the departments involved.

The prizewinners were announced by DHT, Mr McQuillan, before Fr Martin closed the afternoon by reminding everyone that this afternoon had been a way of remembering family and friends who had died.

Congratulations to all of S2 whose behaviour was excellent, and thanks to all of the departments involved for another successful Day of the Dead.

Here’s to 2016!

Our grateful thanks to:

all the staff of the Departments involvedArt and Design, Library Resource Centre, Modern Languages, Religious Education;

our Caritas helpersMonica Allan, Louise Black, Rebecca Cairney, Nicole Cassidy, Beth Cunningham, Emma Graham, Megan Green, Gary Harbinson, James Kelly, Sherri Lonie, Sophie Lloyd, Lisa Mackie, Olivia McMahon, Emily Tougher Mitchell, Sophie Tougher Mitchell, Rachael Moore, Roseanne Plunkett, Claire Ross, Keryn Shearer, Beth Knight Townsley;

our Mariachi Band: Mrs Glover, Mr Kerr, Konner Miller-Brookbanks, Paul Hawthorne;

our judges: Father Martin, Mr McQuillan and volunteer, Scott Price;

everyone who helped out the event go aheadSMT, janitors, admin, all the staff who covered classes, and all the staff who popped in to help.

Day of the Dead 2015 – Hats

While the cakes were being judged, Mr Pegard introduced our second activity of the afternoon: designing hats for La Calavera Catrina. Pupils had brought in a variety of decorating materials as part of their homework over the past couple of weeks.

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