Sports Day, 24th May 2017

Next Wednesday 24th May is Sports Day.

It will be a non-uniform day.  However, pupils who are taking part in events MUST ensure they are wearing suitable clothing as you will not be able to change.  It will be £1 for non- uniform day and proceeds from the day will be supporting our charity in Malawi.

There will also be stalls with face painting and nail painting.  There will also be a BBQ at lunchtime.  There will be burgers, hot dogs and vegetarian burgers. Juice and water will also be for sale.

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Titanic Project 2017: staff lunch

A highlight of our Titanic Project is the lunch for staff. Pupils help staff to prepare a variety of food and sell tickets. Everyone pays the same but they don’t know until they arrive whether they will receive a 1st, 2nd or 3rd class meal, which is selected at random.

Our 1st class passengers are courteously escorted to their seats where they enjoy a feast of salad, baked potatoes, ham, cheese and fruit, followed by strawberry tarts, all washed down with sparkling fruit juice.

2nd class enjoyed fruit, bread and cold meat with cartons of fruit juice and fairy cakes, while 3rd class feasted on bread, cheese and water. Attempts by certain 3rd class passengers to bribe pupils into handing over strawberry tarts came to nothing, although 2nd class took pity on them and handed over their remaining cakes. It was noted that 1st class were not so generous!

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.

 

 

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.

Fashion at Kelvingrove

Report from Ms Steinert

2015_1203_kelvingrove

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.

Titanic Project – Shipboard Lunch

The Titanic class organised a lunch for staff, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd class menus. Staff were asked to select a ticket at random, at which point our Titanic stewards appeared and asked to see their ticket, then escorted them to their seats (1st class), showed them the way (2nd) or pointed in the general direction of the right table (3rd).

The entire group also provided a welcome to staff, and explained that profits from the lunch would be donated to the RNLI.

Many thanks to Mrs Stemplis and Miss Carnegy from the Home Economics.

El Dia de los Muertos

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Our Lady’s celebrated 1st November in two very different ways this year. In the morning, the school celebrated mass for All Saints Day. In the afternoon, all S2 pupils marked the Mexican festival of the Day of the Dead, arranged jointly by staff from Art, the Library, Modern Languages and Religious Education.

Day of the Dead is a happy occasion when people remember those they have lost, almost like a big family party, so pupils brought in pictures and mementos of people that they had lost and would like to honour, whether family members, friends, or someone special to them. These were placed on the special ofrenda, or altar, which was decorated with bright, cheerfully decorated crosses and colourful clay skulls created by the pupils themselves.

The afternoon started with prayers in Spanish, then pupils got started decorating cakes with sweets and more skulls, using fondant icing this time. As the symbol of death in Mexico is a skeleton wearing fancy clothes (named Catrina), the next task was to decorate a hat for her, using scraps of material and found objects. The last activity of the afternoon was a quiz focusing on Day of the Dead ceremonies and our own Hallowe’en customs. The festivities ended with prizes being awarded to teams who created the best hats and the best collection of cakes.

Many thanks to all of the departments involved, to the pupils for their enthusiasm, to the 6th year Caritas pupils for supporting the 2nd years, to Mrs Sinclair, Mr Krawczyk and Mrs Zambonini for judging, to the Home Economics staff for the emergency icing and to all the staff who came along to help out.

Special thanks to the lunatics who planned it all out: Mr Pegard, Ms Steinert, Mr Shields, Miss McGinness and Mrs Macfadyen.

News round-up 20th March

Report by Mrs Sinclair

Lenten Charities
All RE classes are involved in fund raising for a numbers of very important charities.  The projects vary from raffles, ‘soak the teacher’, non uniform day,  coffee mornings, football tournaments.  Pupils are encouraged to donate to the SCIAF wee boxes as often as possible.  Pupils in the school are hoping to top the £2500 raised during Lent last year.

Patron’s Day Mass
All staff and pupils as well as a large number of invited guests celebrated the annual Patron’s Day Mass on Friday 22nd March.  Bishop Devine, Father Frank King and a number of priests from local Parishes concelebrated the Mass.  The school band and choir were at their best as they led the hymns and performed beautiful reflections.

Easter Egg Appeal
During this season of Lent Miss McGinness and CARITAS pupils have been collecting Easter eggs and small creme eggs. These eggs will be passed the residents of Park Springs  Nursing home when a group from the school visit for an Easter service.   The collection has been going very well and lots of Easter eggs have been handed in from pupils, staff and parents. Miss McGinness,  Mrs Mulholland and the CARITAS group would like to thank everyone for their kind donations and hope to continue their appeal until the Easter holidays.

Motherwell v Hibs on Friday Night
The school was given 30 juvenile and 4 adult tickets for Friday Night’s Game.  These were donated by Motherwell FC and were in great demand.  The football was enjoyed by all who attended.

Ben Nevis Challenge for St Andrew’s Hospice
A number of pupils and staff have registered for the Nevis Challenge in April.  Watch this space for further information and photographs.

SCIAF 24 Hour Fast
Our annual SCIAF 24 Hour Fast took place on Thursday 21st March.  Thanks to all staff and pupils who fasted and also to all who sponsored them.

Station of the Cross
Stations of Cross for each House were held last week. Father King prepared and led the services.

  • Andrew House – Monday 18th March
  • Sinclair House – Tuesday 19th March
  • Margaret House – Wednesday 20th March
  • Columba House – Monday 25th March

France/ Belgium Trip
There was an information evening in the school last Tuesday night for pupils going to France and Belgium in June. The meeting in the school theatre was very well attended. Parents, pupils and staff were very impressed by the presentation by Mr Des Brogan, the of director of Mercat Tours. He explained that WW1 Cemeteries and Battlefields Tour is a moving experience and it has a profound effect on pupils, as it does with most visitors. Such a visit is highly recommended. The scale of slaughter becomes very real when you are confronted with huge war cemeteries around every corner, plus large monuments containing thousands upon thousands of names of young men whose bodies were never recovered. The words ‘lest we forget’ and ‘we will remember them’ will take on a new meaning to our young people.  He told them that they would return changed people.  Staff and pupils are very much looking forward to the trip in June.

Hollywood comes to Our Lady’s High
A film crew and some very good ‘actors’ and guides were involved in the filming of a transition DVD to be used with all of the primary seven classes.  Filming went very smoothly and it is hoped that the primary seven classes from our associated primary schools will enjoy what they see and it will reassure them about coming to Our Lady’s in August. Thanks to Marc Hobson, Aaron Fisher and Julia Stachuska

PSHE
Adele Graham from Motherwell Women’s Aid is working this month and next with S2 pupils to support their Domestic Abuse topic. The Samaritans have been in to deliver a presentation to fifth and sixth year students about positive mental health issues and  Self Harming.

Work Experience
We are appealing for any one who can offer the school work experience places for the new session in August.  If you can, could you please contact Mrs Lyn Zambonini on 274925

Knitting
Any old Knitting Needles?  We are appealing  for knitting needles – any size and any unused chunky or double knitting wool to be handed into school for a knitting group who are making a blanket for St. Andrew’s Hospice.

Coffee Morning
S3 Skills for Work, Health class held a fund raising coffee morning last Wednesday to raise funds for their trip and a charity of their choice.  They prepared a selection of cakes and served the tea and coffee like true professionals.  A large number of staff enjoyed the spread and attention.

Holidays
The School will close on Thursday 28th March for the Easter Holidays.  Parents/carers will receive a letter and text giving further details.

Burns Week 2013

Report from Miss McGhee

Burns week was celebrated with enthusiasm in Our Lady’s High. Many departments participated in activities celebrating the life and works of the Greatest Ever Scot. Pupils in Maths calculated the cost of hosting a Burns Supper, looking at food suppliers and ticket costs, etc. In the library, some of our pupils chose their favourite Scots words and phrases to create displays. The Modern Languages department looked at how Auld Lang Syne has become an unofficial anthem for us and then examined La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. The XL group were involved with Home Economics in preparing their own Burns Supper, where rousing renditions of ‘Address to a Haggis‘ were given before the meal was enjoyed. The English Department focused on Burns’ famous poem ‘To a Mouse‘ and pupils were able to write their own addresses to various creatures – and objects – of their choice.

The week culminated in a Burns Supper for S4, S5, S6 and staff.  Mr Mulrooney delivered the Selkirk Grace before pipers piped in the haggis, followed by an entertaining address from Mr Cairns. Attendees enjoyed a four course traditional Scottish meal before being entertained by various speakers and performers. Some of Burns’ famous love and political songs were sung by Mrs Clements and Joseph Smith and one of his most famous poems, Tam O’Shanter, was recited by Mrs King, Mr Law, Jake Dickson and Lorna Mitchell. An extremely entertaining (and brave!) Address to the Lassies was delivered by Jonathan MacLeod before revenge was taken by Romana Broughton with the caustic reply. Mrs Millar extoled Burns’ virtues in The Immortal Memory and the evening was superbly hosted by our resident double act, Matthew Dunn and Joe Smith.

The Eatwell Plate

Report by Mrs Stemplis

As part of the 1st year Home Economics course, pupils have been investigating the Government’s policy tool which details the recommendations on healthy diets.

The Eatwell Plate is a dinner plate divided up into types and proportions of food needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.

After studying the recommendations and understanding the significance of the proportions, pupils coloured and completed their own plates, which were then displayed on the walls of the department.

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Catalyst Award 2011

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3rd and 4th year pupils from secondary schools across North Lanarkshire attended the Catalyst Book Awards at Our Lady’s High School this week, to see authors, Gillian Cross, Keren David, Cathy MacPhail and Alex Scarrow discuss their shortlisted books.

The Awards were introduced by OLHS Headteacher, Mrs Kathleen Sinclair, and hosted by pupils from Mrs Millar’s 4th year English class. Pupils from other North Lanarkshire schools introduced each author and read short sections from each of the books.

At the interval, pupils could fill in questions, visit the tuck shop and buy copies of the books.

After Alex Scarrow lifted the trophy for his book, Time Riders, pupils wandered over to meet the authors, have their books signed and have photos taken, before being bussed back to their own schools.

Meanwhile in the background, OLHS staff and pupils were ensuring the event ran as smoothly as possible. The Duke of Edinburgh Group organised refreshments for the invited guests, a tuck shop for pupils, assisted with directions, interviewed the audience, took photos, filmed the event and were generally as helpful as it is possible to be.

Mrs Stemplis’ Intermediate Hospitality class was busy preparing a feast of pizza, pasta, soup, sandwiches, cakes and fruit salad for lunch.

Members of the Photography Club took as many photos as the cameras could hold, and the Creative Writers left messages for the authors.

Staff from across Our Lady’s popped in to see if they could help, ran messages, entertained guests and were their usual delightful selves.

An extended list of thanks is available on the OLHS LRC blog.

A full report of the ceremony is available on the Catalyst blog.

Farewell, Mrs Haywood :-)

Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High?
Staffing reasons. There are not enough classes for me to teach sadly 😦

How long have you worked here?
Not long. I came to this wonderful school in the cold month of January. Its feels just like yesterday I was walking in the gates of Our Lady’s for the 1st time.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?
Its been an absolute joy thank you. 😀

Whats been your best memory of Our Lady’s High?
Working with the pupils and staff they have made me feel so welcome, like one big family! 🙂

Did you always want to be a teacher?
No. Being a teacher never even crossed my mind, until a friend said I would be good at it. I’m glad I took her advice. 😀

What are your plans after leaving?
Looking for a job as good as the one I have just left now.

What will you miss the most?
I will miss staff and pupils. Our Lady’s is a beautiful school with a lovely view I will miss that too.

Who was your favourite person to work with?
Everyone I will miss you guys!!! ❤ x

Would you come back if you had the chance?
O yes, of course.

Any last words?
Thank you so much for your support and kindness. Enjoy the holidays !!! 😀 🙂

Grease is the word!

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Report by Mr Dunn and Mr Harding

This year Our Lady’s High School decided to put on a performance of Grease the Musical! Mrs Smith the drama teacher / director was backed up by an enthusiastic strong cast of willing pupils of all ages, and lets not be forgetting the key staff i.e. Mrs Glover – Musical Director, Mrs Mitchell – Musical Director, Mr Cooper – Lead Guitarist, and fellow members of staff who were brought in from all over North Lanarkshire to kindly help within the band.

When we first started rehearsals everything was going smoothly although the cast had a packed schedule full of singing, dancing and acting rehearsals to attend. The cast thankfully took these rehearsals in their stride and everything was looking hopeful. Until a mere 4 weeks before opening night ……  things started to look not so promising, with people not learning lines, cues and dance moves at the speed expected of them.

Thankfully things started to come together 2 weeks before opening night. Dances started to look more fluent, and acting started to look more natural and realistic to the era (1959).  This was helped by the lighting and sound technicians  (who shall NOT be named!!! :@) [but thank you Science people] who added another overall texture to the show making it just that little bit more exciting! Another key feature was of course THE CAR (Greased Lightning itself) which was kindly made by Mr Cavanagh and Mr Nimmo, and decorated by Ms Steinert and her classes, and not forgetting all the help from staff from right across the school for props, costumes, make-up, promotion, publicity, designing tickets, collecting tickets, raffle, tuck shop and all those little extra bits that get the job done [NB the programme will appear here soon with all the details].

Overall the cast and chorus put on a great show which was enjoyed by many [in particular the appearances of certain guest artistes from PE, Maths and English seemed to go down well]. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making this year’s show such a triumphant success!

Cushy!

Report by Mrs Macfadyen

1st year Home Economics have just completed their fabric units, in which they designed and created their own cushions. Each pupil took full responsibility for their own work, following through the design process, from coming up with ideas, following instructions, measuring, and finally evaluating their creations.

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Open Evening 2010

Over 200 parents and pupils attended the Open Evening last night, guided around the school by 6th year pupils.

Departments across the school laid out displays of pupil work and the types of resources used in 1st year, with opportunities to play on Smartboards running typical software:

  • Pupils in  Performing Arts and PE provided demonstrations of their skills in music, drama, gymnastics, basketball and badminton.
  • In Home Economics, future pupils had the opportunity to make their own special bookmarks and see round the kitchens.
  • Science staff set up experiments for visitors to take part in
  • Modern Languages provided a short sample lesson
  • The English department provided additional information about the school website and blogs.

Parents also had the chance to pop into the Citizens Cafe for a breather and a cup of tea or coffee.

International Education Award

Our Lady’s is proud to be one of only three secondary schools in North Lanarkshire to receive the North Lanarkshire International Education Award for promoting pupils’ knowledge of global issues and Scottish culture.

The Award recognises both classwork and extra-curricular initiatives such as the school’s continuing links with the Kamwokya Community in Uganda, our Citizens’ Cafe, the Sensory Garden and St Andrew’s Day celebrations, along with a variety of research tasks including Scottish mysteries, musical instruments worldwide and food culture in Italy.

Headteacher, Mrs Kathleen Sinclair and Depute Head, Mr John Crossan received the award on behalf of the school from Mrs Christine Pollock, Executive Director of Learning and Leisure Services for North Lanarkshire Council.

Open evening – part 2

Many thanks to all the families who came along to Our Lady’s last night, despite the atrocious weather.

Over 200 people toured the school to view our facilities, meet the staff and find out more about the school.

Activities included having a go with the computerised embroidery sewing machines in Home Economics which were already set up and running so that P7s could see some designs. Visitors also had the chance to operate the ordinary sewing machines, trying to follow a line on a sheet. Mums reminisced about their own Home Economics classes while the Dads complained that they never had the chance to do Home Economics at school at all.

Various resources were on show in the Library Resource Centre, including our famous Roman helmet, used for the Ninth Legion investigation, examples of mindmapping and rebus puzzles, Comic Life software and our course, our blog, Our Lady’s Latest.

The PE department set up gymnastics displays, while Art and Design showed off screen printing techniques.

We welcome comments about the school, or last night’s event, which can be added by clicking on the “Comments” button above.