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.

 

Titanic Project 2017: ferry to Mount Stuart House

The Titanic Crew headed for Mount Stuart House on Bute. They were a bit nervous as it was their first time on a ferry, but got their sea-legs quickly on a beautiful calm Firth of Clyde.

Our visit to the stunning Mount Stuart House allowed pupils to get an idea of the elegant and sophisticated surroundings that 1st class passengers would have enjoyed aboard the Titanic. Our thanks to Morven and all the staff at Mount Stuart.

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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.

 

 

Travel apprenticeships

Notice from Miss Robertson

Two apprenticeships are available with Love to Travel, one in Motherwell, one in Coatbridge.

  • Successful candidates will work to complete NVQ in Travel and Tourism
  • training salary is £3.40 per hour and its a 37 hour week
  • hours: starting daily at 9.30 -l 17.30 Monday to Friday,  then 9.30 to 17.00 on a Saturday.

The shops are located at:

  • 76/78 Brandon Parade, Motherwell
  • 114 Main Street, Coatbridge

The company are looking for someone between 16 and 17 but under 18. Please contact the School Careers Adviser, Miss Robertson, for more information.

Senior Phase Information Evening, 21st February 2017

To view the presentations from the Senior Phase Information Evening, please click on the links below.

You will need Powerpoint to view these presentations.

Senior phase information evening 2017

SDS presentation 2017

Developing the Young Workforce

Fire Reach Girls 2017

S3 Girls Emma Kirkwood, Megan Kelly, Maja Fereniec, Regan McNee, Ebony Bollard and Neve Connelly recently enjoyed a great week at Fire Reach. The girls worked with the Fire and Rescue crew all week. They were given a real insight into the many things a Firefighter’s job involves, learning about First Aid and team work as well as the varied rescues crews are expected to perform.

Each of the girls was presented with a photo and portfolio at the end of the week. Well done girls- Firefighters of the future!

Careers Advice – Medical Professions

Pupils are invited to attend a careers advice evening on Thursday 16th February from 4.30pm – 6.30pm at our Medical Education Training Centre, Kirklands Hospital, Fallside Road, Bothwell, G71 8BB.

The careers on show are all linked to our Allied Health Professionals. Therefore we would encourage any pupil interested in any of these events to pop along and get some advice.

S3-S5 pupils may also be interested in a Healthcare conference being held at the University of Stirling on the 25th and 26th February which may interest young people interested in the following healthcare professions:

  •  Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
  • Nursing & Midwifery
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology

Registration is £25 for the Saturday conference and there is an optional UCAS lecture available on Sunday for each specialty.  Students can register on the Medic Mentor website and find out more about the events

http://medicmentor.co.uk/about/events-2/__

Our Lady’s visit to Liberty Steel

Special Report by Ciaran Hendry S2

On the 25th of January 2017, two Our Lady’s High school Go4SET teams visited, “Liberty Steel”, a steel processing plant in Motherwell.  We walked from school to the site where we were greeted by our mentor, Chris Gourley. We listened to an interesting talk about the health and safety aspects of the workplace and then had a fun quiz. One of the best parts was when we played games that taught us the importance of organisation, efficiency and specification in the workplace. After all our briefings we enjoyed an excellent lunch provided by our hosts.  We then got ready to go on the highly anticipated tour of the plant.

2017_0224_teamelite

Team Elite

Wearing high visibility vests, hard hats and earplugs, we witnessed steel being heated to 1000°C.  Our guide showed us the famous water tower and of course inside the steelworks. He showed us the interesting process from when the steel is delivered by train to when it’s heated in gas pits, then flattened out between huge rollers before finally having water thrown over the steel plates, giving off a magnificent amount of water vapour. We saw red and even yellow hot slabs of steel carried by large cranes to different parts of the plant.  Even after cooling, the flattened metal plate was incredibly hot.   We also spent time in the control room where the operators made sure the plate was the right size with the help of computers.

Team Enigma

After a question and answer session it was time to return to school. We were all given memory cards encased in steel as a keepsake of our visit.  Overall the experience was informative and very enjoyable and, will aid our learning in so many ways.

Thanks go to Chris and all the staff at Liberty Steel for their help and advice.

Mock interviews

On Friday 7th October all S6 pupils took part in a Mock Interview, which followed on from the UCAS/Developing the Young Workforce day on 4th October. Pupils prepared application forms during PSHE and these were sent to interviewers prior to Friday, allowing them time to read the applications and formulate suitable questions.

The nine interviewers came from a variety of career backgrounds including IT, Publishing, Police, Accountancy, Electronics, Education and Science. The feedback from the interviewers was outstanding- in particular, they praised the preparation and confidence of our young people and all left our school with an extremely positive opinion of our S6 pupils: in the words of one interviewer the experience was “Life affirming.”

The pupils themselves found the experience very worthwhile and rewarding- a very practical example of how DYW is being successfully implemented in Our Lady’s High School.

Our thanks to all of our interviewers for their time and hard work.

Social Subjects Latest

Travel and Tourism

The Travel and Tourism class visited Thomas Cook in Motherwell to find out about their demands of working as a travel agent and their customer service policy.

We spent a really interesting hour in the store chatting to the staff and asking questions about a wide range of issues related to meeting the needs of customers and how to pursue a career in tourism after leaving school.

Auschwitz

S6 pupils successful in their application to go to Auschwitz are Ross Walker and Zoe Law.  They will go on a one day visit to Poland on 28th September with the Holocaust Education Trust. They will, we are sure, have a thought provoking and memorable visit.

Apprenticeships and employment opportunities

North Lanarkshire Council is recruiting for 47 Modern Apprentices in Clerical, Care and Customer Service. This opportunity is only available to pupils who are school leaving age.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are also currently recruiting.

If anyone is interested in any of these positions please see Mrs Zambonini immediately.