Titanic Project 2017: messing about in the water

The Titanic Crew spent this morning completing their writing challenges, preparing materials for the display and ageing their crew and passenger biographies with teabags and coffee grains. We were surprised to discover that one of the biographies, which were part of the first day’s tasks, featured a baby boy who also appears in one of the pupil’s written reports. The crew also enjoyed a viewing of Ghosts in the Abyss with Mrs Jeffrey, and spent the afternoon at Wishaw Sports Centre, practising their swimming under the benevolent eyes of Mrs McNeish and Mrs Dynes.

Thursday was spent preparing all of the remaining materials produced during this year’s project for display, almost destroying the Library’s laminator (no names, but you know who you are!). The very last day of our three week Titanic Project saw the group head for Greenock and the Caribbean Princess with Miss Walmsley and Mr McGleish, where they toured a modern day cruise liner and learned about life and work on the ocean wave. Our thanks to Princess Cruises and Greenock Ocean Terminal for their kindness in allowing our pupils and staff aboard.

Reece McFadden visit

As part of S1 Literacy Group’s work on the drama text “Fight Club“, the pupils received a visit from Commonwealth medal winner and former pupil, Reece McFadden.  He spoke to the pupils at length about how he became involved in the sport, his experiences of training and the dedication needed to take you to the top.  He then taught the pupils how to train with the use of boxing gloves and pads – they learned a lot from him and were all pretty exhausted by the time the visit came to an end!!

Dyslexia Awareness Week, 7th-12th November 2016

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Pupils in S1-S6 were involved in a variety of activities, all aimed at raising awareness of dyslexia.  The Support for Learning department hosted a coffee morning to mark the start of the week, assisted by S3 ASDAN class.  This was very well attended and £104 was raised, which will be used to purchase equipment that will assist dyslexic pupils across the curriculum.

The ICT group blogged about dyslexia on Wednesday and this information was added to our school website.

Staff and pupils were encouraged to wear Ellie’s Blue Ribbons all week, as these have become a well -recognised symbol of dyslexia awareness.  Staff also took part in a “Wear it Blue Day” on Tuesday.  Our school Twitter account also has a “twibbon” attached to it all week, in order to raise awareness amongst our Twitter followers.

Mrs Macfadyen, the school librarian, organised a colouring competition and “What’s in the Box?” contest for pupils in S1-S6.  The winners of both will have their work displayed on our school website.  Both these activities highlighted the hidden disability that dyslexia can often be, but also showed off the creative side of a dyslexic brain!

Pupils were given access to the Dyslexia Scotland website during PSHE lessons all week where they were shown powerpoints distributed by this organisation. The site’s “Theme for the Day” was also highlighted to pupils in the school bulletin.

This variety of activities all helped to raise awareness amongst staff and pupils of a learning issue that affects 1 in 10 of us.

Dyslexia Awareness Week bloggers

For Dyslexia Awareness Week, the ICT Group came together to learn a wee bit about blogging and to add their own blogs on to the school’s website.


The group are familiar with Dragon Speech to Text software and were quick to try it out with the WordPress blogging software. The pupils figured out how to make the two work together and demonstrated the procedure to staff.

The group’s blogs are all available here.

Dyslexia Awareness Week by Ellie

In dyslexia awareness week all staff and pupils have been asked to wear blue ribbons. We wear the ribbons to show people that visit the school that we care and to raise awareness.

The school had a staff coffee morning on Monday.

The school twitter account has a twibbon on it.

The teachers done a wear it blue day.

The library at the school are doing a colouring in and whats in the box competition the most imaginative idea wins.

I think this is a good idea because it lets people know that they need help.


Dyslexia Awareness Week by Rachel.

The week began for dyslexia awareness week with all the staff and pupils having to were blue ribbons witch as a symbol of dyslexia.Throughout the week every class in school would have a presentation on what dyslexia was and how that worked.On Tuesday the staff had a wear blue to school day. It also had a coffee morning with lots of cakes and sweets. After the coffee morning the leftover cakes were sold around the classes for a donation. In the library there are also competitions to win prizes all week.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that makes it hard for the person to read, write and spelling.It’s estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has even a small case of dyslexia.


Dyslexia Awareness Week by Lewis

Staff and pupils are asked to wear blue ribbons all week for Dyslexia Awareness Week. if you dont know what Dyslexia is, its something that can really hold your lerning back for e.g spelling reading. so this is very hard to learn in a large class of people. The PHSE teachers are doing power pointes to let people know what it is and so people can help each other.

I am Dyslexic so I am really happy that Dyslexia Awarness Week happens.

Thank you.

Dyslexia Awareness Week by Hannah

Staff and pupils are wearing blue ribbons for Dyslexia Awareness Week.

On Monday the staff had a coffee morning to enjoiy coffee and cakes for Dyslexia week

We had a competition in the library. The competition was to colour in the dyslexia logo . also there is a competition to guess wat is in a box.

Dyslexia is for people how have learning disability like spelling , reading and short term memory.


Dragon Software seminar

Report from Mrs Maguire

On Thursday 2nd June, Mrs Sharon Maguire, PT Support for Learning, attended a Dragon Software seminar in Edinburgh University.  She was accompanied by Mr Roddy Moir, the school’s senior technician, as well as two of our pupils currently benefiting from the software across the curriculum. The seminar was organised as part of the pilot scheme that our school has been involved in since the start of the current session.  Mrs Maguire spoke at the seminar, outlining the ways in which the speech-to-text software has been used throughout the school.  The pupils also demonstrated how they use this software on a daily basis to assist them with their dyslexic-type difficulties.  The fellow participants were very impressed with the pupils’ abilities and both were commended for their ICT skills.

NLC Learning Festival

Report by Mrs Maguire

Two of our pupils recently represented the Support for Learning department at the NLC Learning Festival in Motherwell Civic Centre. They showcased their skills using the new Dragon speech-to-text software which was installed in computers across the school at the start of the session.  They were invited along by members of the SAM (Support by Assistive Media) Group, who have been working closely with the pupils over the past few months.  Staff who visited the seminar were very impressed with both pupils’ ICT skills and were keen to find out information about the software and its usage in school.

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.

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2nd-8th November 2015

Report by Mrs Maguire

2nd-8th November was Dyslexia Awareness Week and several activities took place within OLHS, to promote awareness of dyslexia.

On Monday, blue ribbons were distributed to all staff, as part of “Ellie’s Blue Ribbon” dyslexia campaign. Tuesday was “Wear it Blue” Day and staff from around the school were asked to wear an item of blue clothing in support of dyslexia awareness.

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A coffee morning was held on Friday, hosted by the Support for Learning department and the ICT group, with displays of Barrington Stoke books from the Library Resource Centre, which are especially published for young people with dyslexia, and pupils demonstrating newly bought speech recognition software.

Each tutor class was shown a dyslexia powerpoint, distributed by Dyslexia Scotland. Pupils were encouraged to discuss what they had seen and ask questions to help improve their understanding of dyslexia.

National Poetry Day 2015

Staff displayed their favourite poems for National Poetry Day 2015. Ms Steinert also offered staff the chance to create a poster for their poems using Illustrator software.

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All images copyright free or used with permission at Mrs Macfadyen’s insistence.