Provincia di Pistoia Exchange 2017-18

Wanted

Pupils from the senior stage to act as hosts for visitors from our twin school, Instituto Forti when they visit Motherwell in September.

If you would like to:

  • make friends with some Italian young pole
  • find out about Italisn culture
  • showcase our Scottish hospitality and culture
  • spend a week in the beautiful Italian countryside (optional)

then this is the job for you!!!!

For further information, contact the Modern Languages staff.

Proposed Modern Languages trip

The Modern Languages Department are considering organising a trip to either France or Spain in June 2018 for pupils in S3/S4/S5.

Pupils in those year groups have received the following letter, with a tear off slip. Please return asap if you are interested.

You can click on the images to make them larger or click on the PDF version at the bottom.

PDF version: Modern Languages Proposed School Trip

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.

 

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.