π Day is coming!

Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14th (ie 3.14). This year, events in OLHS will include:

  • a π colouring competition (Library, lunchtimes, 50p to enter, Mon-Thur)
  • a π word quiz  (Library, lunchtimes, 50p to enter, Mon-Thur)
  • a π reciting competition (S1/2, Library lunchtime, Tuesday 14th March)
  • a whole day of activities in Maths, English, Modern Languages etc

Google Expeditions

Pupils went exploring today through Google Expeditions, an app that allows classes to visit coral reefs, the Moon, the Grand Canyon, Rio de Janeiro, World War I trenches or the rainforest through Virtual Reality.

Over 200  pupils participated from departments including Social Subjects, English, Modern Languages, Science and Nurture. Staff were equally keen to try out the technology for themselves, so there was a steady stream of adults wandering around with the viewers too.

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Google Expeditions

On Friday the 25th of November the Social Subjects Faculty will have the privilege of hosting a team from Google Expeditions who facilitated Virtual Reality (VR) learning experiences for a number of our pupils. This unbelievable system allows those taking part to actually experience what it was like to be a soldier in the trenches during the First World War.

A number of different subject departments are involved: Social Subjects, English, Modern Languages, Science and Nurture. Over 200 of our young people will get the chance to be involved in a worthwhile and memorable experience. We hope it helps to bring their study of the First World War to life! #pollitolhs

Alliance Française

Report from Mr Pégard

Our Higher French pupils were invited along with other North Lanarkshire schools to the Alliance Française. They enjoyed an immersion morning participating in interactive workshops delivered by native speakers, describing themselves, travelling across the varied regions of France and French culture and music.

Pupils found the event fun and very beneficial in boosting their confidence for speaking French. It was interesting for pupils to exchange experiences of preparing for their Higher French in their respective schools..

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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Day of the Dead 2015 – Cakes!

Our Mariachi Band played Mexican classics as pupils arrived and were welcomed to their tables by S6 Caritas pupils. Mr Pégard welcomed pupils to the Día de los Muertos celebrations and Fr Martin Delaney opened with prayers before our first activity which was cake decorating.

Each table was provided with bowls full of fairy cakes, decorations, icing, food colourings and squares of fondant icing. Their task was to shape and decorate fondant skulls to sit on top of their cakes with the help of our 6th year helpers.

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Day of the Dead 2015 – Altar

An important part of Day of the Dead celebrations is the altar containing memories dedicated to loved ones.

Our altar was filled with skulls created by Art and Design classes and memories of family and friends and well loved famous people created by Religious Education classes as well as a statue of Our Lady.

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Day of the Dead 2015 – Decorating

Our Day of the Dead celebrations took place on the afternoon of Friday 6th November, a fabulous interdisciplinary project involving Art and Design, Modern Languages, RE and the Library Resource Centre.

Art and Design worked with S2 to create posters and decorations to liven up our Kamwokya Room. The posters showed traditional Day of the Dead skulls on illustrated black paper backgrounds, with more skulls appeared on top of tissue paper, strung together and hung across the room.

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Finally, we also had some living skeletons as the Caritas class painted their faces as Calavera Catrina, or Elegant Skull.

S2/3 Strasbourg Trip

From Mr. Pégard

We are now completing our final preparations for the trip and we will need your assistance for a few things. A letter has been handed out to pupils with more details but I hope you will find the following summary of deadlines useful:

  • Friday 15 May: Address details on letter tear-off slip
  • Thursday 21 May: £10 for packed lunches from the Ferry Company
  • Thursday 27 May: order slip + payment for the school hoodie
  • Monday 1 June: Parental information night (6.30 pm)
  • Friday 5 June: EHIC cards
  • Wednesday 9 June: Passports (if required only)

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

2015 Annual Italian Exchange Trip

Report by Rachel C

Our adventure started in an unfamiliar, foreign land. And no, I’m not talking about Pistoia- I’m talking about the grounds of Dalziel High School. On the 4th of February S6 pupils and one S5 pupil left behind the concrete jungle of Motherwell in search for more sprawling landscapes accompanied by Mrs Fitzpatrick. The trip was part of the annual exhange student trip which has been going on for 13 years. In the September of 2014 Scottish students at Our Lady’s High School welcomed visitors from Pistoia, and finally got to meet their Italian “twins”. Now it was our turn to see how the other half live.

After a 3 hour plane journey and a 4 hour bus journey, we arrived at our destination- not that we could see anything, it was pitch black outside. However the Hotel Ville Delle Rose where we would be staying for the next 7 days made up for the lack of visible scenery.

The next day we were (kind of) recharged and ready to reunite with our Italian twins. We visited their school like they visited ours and we finally had a chance to ogle at the landscape on the way there. Our Italian twins greeted us and brought us inside. We spent the morning dancing and singing and of course, eating. Later the Italians took us to a shopping centre for a few hours and then to one of the Italian’s houses to hang out.

After having the day to mingle with our Italians and settle in, it was time to do some sightseeing. Our first stop? Pisa! When we arrived we had the obviously had the chance to go up the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa (if you have a phobia of long, windy stairs I don’t recommend) and visit the Cathedral Piazza dei Miracoli and roam around the surrounding area and see what it had to offer. (Yes, I’m talking about food again.) That night we all went to a party hosted by one of our very hospitable Italian’s.

On the fourth day of our trip we went to the beautiful city of Florence. Florence is now easily one of my favourite cities. Fair enough most of the shops were out of my budget but the architecture was simply stunning! We visited the famous Ponte Vecchio which is built across the River Arno, and is the first bridge built in Florence. We also visited Piazza della Signoria, which contained many sculptures and statues including a copy of Michaelangelo’s “David”. But for me perhaps the most captivating sight was “Il Duomo”, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore- it was easily one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen in my life. At night we went to a karaoke bar called “Mago Bago” with the Italians.(You can bet that was a laugh considering half of us had sore throats and could barely talk.)

On day numero five we made a journey to Viareggio to attend the Carnavale di Viareggio. This was easily one of my favourite days, I have never witnessed anything like it. The point of the Carnavale is to poke fun at politicians and people in power, it is a satirical event. They do this by parading floats throughout the town. There are not only floats, but performers, music, food and a LOT of confetti. (I’m still finding it in my pockets) Whilst in Viareggio most of us also took up the opportunity to buy one of the famous Carnavale masks, as it is tradition. That night we ate dinner in the hotel.

We had an early rise the following morning, as that day we were heading to Venice. After the long bus journey and a short boat trip we were free to stretch our legs and roam the peculiar city. We spent the day exploring all the little nooks and crannies and browsing in the rather eccentric shops. Perhaps the highlight of my day in Venice was dinner. Not only was my first carbonara amazing, but it was accompanied by the live music of an accordion player- now that is a true Italian experience!

The end was looming near on day 7, and we used our last full day in Pescia to hang out with our Italian friends. We spent our last day like our first – in the school. In the morning we  experienced what Italian drama classes are like with a drama workshop. The workshop included a lot of fun – if not rather strange activities, I definitely deserved an Oscar after that class. We spent the next few hours being serenaded by our own Konner, Callum, Jack and two other very talented Italian students. After that we visited the quaint little town of Montecatini before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the farewell disco, where we ate pizza (of course) and the Italians showed us up with their dancing skills. (turns out the macerena doesn’t count…)

Day eight marked the final leg of our journey. We all knew this day was going to come, but we were just having too much fun to think about it. We met our Italian twins in the lobby after breakfast and not soon after the tears were flowing – and I MEAN flowing (knew I should have brought my water wings). We exchanged gifts and had the chance to take a few photos before heading outside with our luggage. We said our final goodbyes to our Italian friends, but for most of us, we knew it only meant, “Goodbye, for now.”  Now it was time to start on our long journey back to reality, but we left Italy on good terms, knowing that we would return.

The Italian exchange truly was a life changing experience, a once and a lifetime opportunity that I am so glad I took part in. We got to visit so many beautiful and exciting places, and we made true friends with some amazing people. It was a truly eye opening experience, and I would recommend that any upcoming fifth and six year students sign up, as it is a journey you will never forget.

Pistoia trip 2015

Report by Mrs Fitzpatrick

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In September we welcomed a group of 20 Italian students, accompanied by their teacher, to OLHS. The Italians love coming to Scotland and are always eager to return the great hospitality that they receive from us.

A group of senior pupils accompanied by Mrs Fitzpatrick have just returned from a fabulous week in Provincia of Pistoia in the beautiful region of Tuscany. We took part in a lot of activities which gave us a great insight into the Italian way of life!

Our diary was jampacked! We visited our twin school – Instituto Forti – and took part in a variety of lessons including, language, music and theatre. We became seasoned tourists, visiting the beautiful cities of Pisa and Florence. We climbed up the leaning tower and improved our haggling skills in the typical markets.

We were really lucky to be in Italy during Carnavale and got to experience two very different carnivals. On Sunday we spent the day in the coastal town of Viarregio and were awestruck by the fabulous floats. These include gigantic papier mache, moving puppets which depict a very satirical view of Italian and international politics. Everything here is good humoured with music and dancing and lots of people in fancy dress. On Monday we visited Venice and were able to get a glance of one of the oldest carnivals in the world. This is an altogether more elegant affair than Viareggio. Lots of people, including actors, local people and tourists stroll around the city dressed in costumes and masks that would be worn to a masked ball. We discovered that some of these costumes are generations old! We also had the chance to be serenaded by gondoliers.

On the last night we were treated to a feast of pizza and dancing. Of course, the real highlight of this kind of trip is the fabulous friendships that are forged and deepened with our Italian ‘twins’.

Thanks to Jack Divers for the photographs.

Click here for the pupil’s-eye view of the trip!

OLHS Easter School, 8th-9th April 2015

Easter School will run on Wednesday 8th April and Thursday 9th April. During this time there will be tutorials in each subject which will last for one and a half hours. Each day will start at 9.30 a.m. prompt and finish at 3.00 p.m.

Pupils who attended last year’s Easter School found it extremely useful,  enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere with staff, but noticed that they covered far more than they might have managed studying alone.

Please note there will be no transport or catering facilities available during Easter School, However it is hoped that each day there will be an ‘Upper Crust’ run organised for those who do not wish to bring a packed lunch.

You will be asked to sign up for 3 tutorials per day. Each tutorial will only have space for 20 and not every subject will be represented. You will NOT be allowed to opt for the one subject 3 times in one day.

Easter School 2015 Timetable. Click to enlarge.

Easter School 2015 Timetable. Click to enlarge.

There will also be opportunities for supervised study and/or relaxation sessions.

Pupils who intend to attend Easter School should fill in the form they were given at the S4 assembly last week or at Senior PSHE Day on Thursday 15th January and return it to Mrs Mulholland by Monday 19th January. 

Parents/Carers also need to countersign this form.

A copy of the form is available below.

OLHS Easter School pupil 2015 (PDF version)

 

Modern Languages Christmas Card Competition

From Mrs Anderson

The 2014 Modern Languages Christmas Card competition is now on for 1st and 2nd year pupils. If you would like to take part, please come to the Modern Languages Department at lunch time on Thursday. You can also submit a card that you have made at home. Prizes for the best cards. Good Luck!

Day of the Dead 2014

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Report by Mrs Macfadyen and Mr Pegard

2nd year pupils celebrated the Mexican festival, Day of the Dead, last week with an afternoon of activities and competitions. It has been a highly motivational and very succesful topic for both pupils and teachers and many pupils comment on the fact that it was their “best day in school ever!”

During the couple of weeks prior to the day, all the departments involved ran a series of lessons linking the topic. The Art department focused on the practical skills required to make skulls out of clay, lino printing and papel picado flags which were used to decorate the hall. Pupils also learned about some famous Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo.

In R.E. pupils learned about the religious aspect of the celebration, reflecting on the way Mexicans honour their Dead with a happy celebration whereas the European Catholic feasts of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ day is a more mournful approach.

In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a party and celebration to remember loved ones who have already died. Pupils created a beautiful ofreda or altar with their RE classes, making it the centrepiece of the Kamwokya Room. The altar traditionally holds items close to the memory of a loved one, and pupils brought along some beautiful items to celebrate the memories of late family and friends. It was very touching to see some of the beautiful artefacts pupils brought in and the topic allows them to share some of the special feelings they have for someone whom they have lost in a supportive and sensitive celebration. The altar also showed off the skulls created in the Art Department.

In the Modern Languages classes, the preparatory lessons aimed at making pupils aware of the differences in traditions between Mexico and here in Europe.  After an introductory video on the celebration, pupils conducted online research comparing El Dia de los Muertos with Halloween. We then learned and practiced the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer in Spanish.

The celebrations began with prayers in Spanish before pupils took part in a competition to create the best decorated cakes, and designed hats for Catrina, the skeleton which is the Mexican symbol of Day of the Dead.

With mariachi music playing in the background throughout, the final activity of the day was a quiz covering Day of the Dead and Hallowe’en celebrations in Scotland, Mexico and around the world created by Librarian, Mrs Macfadyen. Thanks to all of the staff involved from Art, Modern Languages, RE and the Library; to all of the other staff who came along to help out on the day, including our classroom assistants; to the staff who judged the winning teams; to the 6th year Caritas pupils who helped throughout the event, and to all of 2nd year for making it such a great afternoon.

French Day for Primary 6

On Thursday 25th September, the Modern Languages Department organised a French day for the Primary 6 classes of our associated primaries: St Brendan’s, St Bernadette’s and Cathedral Primary Schools.

Over the course of the day, pupils completed a variety of fun activities. They learned about typical French food for breakfast and they had the opportunity to order their own French snack for morning interval. They then got to learn about France and Paris before ‘buying’ a cinema ticket in French for the afternoon performance of the film “Madeline” in the school theatre.

Everybody had a lot of fun and it was great to meet all the P6 pupils. Pupils from upper school were absolutely fantastic helping us to deliver the activities and they were a real credit to our school.

Languages Day

Report from Mr Pegard

Last Thursday, the Modern Languages Department organised a French day for the Primary 6 classes of our associated primaries: St Brendan’s, St Bernadette’s and Cathedral Primary Schools.

Over the course of the day, pupils completed a variety of fun activities. They learned about typical French food for breakfast and they had the opportunity to order their own French snack for morning interval. They then got to learn about France and Paris before ‘buying’ a cinema ticket in French for the afternoon performance of the film “Madeline” in the school theatre.

Everybody had a lot of fun and it was great to meet all the P6 pupils. Pupils from upper school were absolutely fantastic helping us to deliver the activities and they were a real credit to our school.

Italian exchange 2014-15

Pistoiavisitors5745Report from Mrs Fitzpatrick

Once again Our Lady’s welcomed visitors from their Italian twin school in Pistoia, Tuscany. Senior pupils and their families were hosts for sixteen students from the Istituto Forti situated in the spa town of Monsumano.

Our pupils did a fantastic job in demonstrating Scottish hospitality and introducing their guests to Scottish culture. They were served typical Scottish meals and even had a go at baking shortbread in school.

The weather was fantastic and the Italians had the opportunity to visit Glasgow, Edinburgh,Stirling and Loch Lomond; they were entranced by the beautiful scenery and the friendliness of the people. The entertainment, too, was second to none, including a disco and farewell ceilidh.

We are now looking forward to planning our return visit to Italy in February.