Rainforest essays

As part of their Social Subjects work on Brazil, 2nd year pupils investigated the human side of the rainforest.

Their essays express the opinions of different groups of people, from farmers and Amerindians to miners and medical researchers.


Tutor class 2N4 are collecting plastic bottles to make an ecowall for our sensory garden. Posters have appeared around the school asking all pupils to donate their empty bottles and hand them into the PE Department, while 2N4 will be keeping an eye out for the ones that get away.

Sensory Garden

Report from Mrs McNeish

2A1 Tutor class have decided to help tidy the school sensory garden and remove weeds as part of their ‘Eco-School’ topic.

Each day during tutor time, the class have put on wellies and overalls and gone out into the garden to work. They’re doing a smashing job.

Next week in keeping with the same theme, the class are planting sunflower seeds in pots in the Science labs. Hopefully, in the better weather, they will transfer them from the pots into the garden.

2P5 Model Making

Report from 2P5

Ms Steinert’s 2P5 art class have begun making sculptures with the scrap that they had found after their venture to Dalziel Estate.

Many of the class found twigs, leaves and lots more. They also are making sculptures with the homework they were given to bring things in from home. Some of these things include: Shoe laces, Feathers etc…

The sculptures are based on the models by Andy Scott and Marionne D.C who is an old high school friend of Ms Steinert’s. Andy Scott uses metal in ALL of his art work and Marionne D.C uses twigs, leaves and other items found outside and thats why the models are made from leaves, metals etc…

For more information, see Ms Steinert’s blog.

Learning out of this world: part 2

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Report by Mr Hawthorne

Last week, second years took part in a space themed week.

On Friday, the pupils had two periods to build the perfect water rocket in their groups. Every group were given $1,000,000 to make their rocket ( it was pretend money by the way!) And different items cost different prices, which simulated the costs that NASA would have to use in order to make one of their rockets. The prices were very steep though, and they sure were strict! Just to ask a question cost $200,000! From that you could take a rough guess at how much a bottle was worth!

In Period 4, we were shown a DVD containing all the information that we would need. The DVD was very professional and contained our very own Tom Cruise, Mr Law! Other stars included Mr Moir and Mr Johnstone, two of the Science Technicians. (The DVD would have been nothing without the guinea pigs known as Mr Law’s S3’s Physics class!)

Anyway, we were given tips on how to build a water rocket, and also found out that our rockets had to be ready to launch by the end of 5th Period, less than two periods away!

All the groups did extremely well and the moment of truth came when the sixth period bell rang. Was our hard work worth it? Were our rockets good enough to go whizzing through the air? Was Mr Law going to stay dry? We were about to find out.

We all took our rockets, as well as our teachers, and headed down to the Large Football Field behind Bothwellpark High School. Now would also be a good time to tell you that Bothwellpark had also created a fantastic rocket. Just a shame Mr McKendrick’s pump was broken!

Anyway, Mr Law’s pump was working fine and rockets were flying all over the place! Just a shame for Mr Law who got drenched with water! Some rockets lifted about a centimetre off of the ground, whereas some flew right in to the neigbouring gardens!

Sadly, not everyone got to launch their rockets but they have been promised that another date will be made so that everyone has a chance to launch.

Please note, no Physics teachers were hurt during the duration of Space Week, except for Mr Law who suffered bravely from being hit with scrunched up paper. He may never trust pupils with paper again. Other than this, no-one was hurt and Space Week was a huge success.

Mr Law is a highly trained water rocket launcher. Please do not attempt to soak yourself in water via the method of water rocket.

Learning out of this world part 1

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Report by Mr Hawthorne

Last week, second years took part in a space themed week. The beginning of the week consisted of learning about space from three scientific views: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

In Biology, we learned how astronauts need to be in perfect condition and so we did a series of tests to see if we were fit enough to be astronauts.

In the Chemistry end we learned about fuels that power rockets and the danger of them! The lesson also involved blowing up a balloon, and setting fire to gun powder, liquid fuel, and solid fuel. Thank goodness we made it out in one piece!

Finally, the Physics end of learning, involved learning about gravity and a lot of numbers via a DVD followed by questions. Afterwards we learned about projectiles, and how the space rocket accurately gets to its safe point. In our groups we had to throw projectiles ( scrunched up paper to you and me!) into a moving safe point (a science teacher holding a bin and moving left to right or backwards and forwards) also giving the pupils a good chance to hit a teacher!

But the pupils weren’t just learning, they had to put it all into action …

Sensory Garden – can you help?

 From Mrs Bertolini, Mrs King and Mrs McDonald

The 2nd year XL class have taken on the task of looking after the Sensory Garden.

If you have any spare pots, hanging baskets or other garden materials we would be grateful for any donations.

Please contact Mrs Bertolini, Mrs King or Mrs McDonald on 01698 274925 if you can help.

Sensory garden planting

Mrs Gallagher’s Standard Grade Biology class took advantage of the lovely weather to visit the Sensory Garden for some planting this week.

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Assisted by Mrs Henderson, the class arranged a small bed for some oats which will hopefully be milled and made into oatcakes later in the year.

Mary’s Meals update

From Ms McGhee

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Mary’s Meals Backpack Project. Further donations of stationery and clothing are very welcome.

Clothing can be shorts, skirts, dresses or t-shirts that are suitable for any children aged 4-12. Items slightly bigger than this will still be gratefully accepted. Good quality second hand materials are ideal.

Please do not make any donations of toys or treats as the inclusion of these items can cause problems at customs. Small children’s books can also be included in the backpacks so these will also be gratefully received.

The complete list of useful items: Back Packs, School Bags, Exercise Books, Notepads, Pencils, Pens, Crayons, Erasers, Rulers, Sharpeners, Pencil Case, Towels, Shorts, Skirts, Dresses, T Shirts, Flip Flops, Sandals, Small Ball eg Tennis Ball, Soap, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Spoons


Tattie howkers

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4th year History pupils had the opportunity of finding out for themselves what farming was like in the 19th century when they were dispatched to the Sensory Garden to dig up the tatties.

They harvested the potatoes, apples and our first ever plum! Other pupils prepared the soil for planting, removed weeds and planted shrubs.

Home Economics staff washed and prepared the fruit for the pupils to enjoy after all their hard work.

Overheard comment, “Don’t know if I like this farming – this is really hard work”.

Mission accomplished 🙂

Photography competition

Scottish Natural Heritage are running a nature photography competition to celebrate Scottish Biodiversity Week 2010.

There are great prizes on offer:

  • 1st prize: A day with professional nature photographer, Lorne Gill
  • 2nd prize: A fantastic SLR camera
  • 3rd prize: Photographing Nature, a photography workshop manual.

This year’s competition theme is Emotion so entries should not just be about a great photo, but also how you felt about it.

From the SNH website:

Send us your best photo of animals, plants or landscapes by 31st July 2010 as an attachment in an email to bit@snh.gov.uk with “Photo Contest” in the subject line. Entries must be original, have a title, information on how the image moved you and where in Scotland the photo was taken. Up to 2 entries per person may be submitted. Please also include your name and how you can be contacted. Winners will be notified in August and the winning entries will be posted on the website and highlighted in the Scottish Biodiversity Forum’s quarterly newsletter. Please carefully read the rules of the competition.

Why not use some of your summer holiday exploring Scotland’s wildlife?

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.

Sensory Garden

Report by S4 Personal Development

The S4 personal development class have been working in the Sensory Garden. When we first went out to the garden we had a look at what needed done so this is a summary of what we did.

When we were in the garden we were involved  in digging up weeds and harvesting  rhubarb and potatoes. We then took them to Home Economics to use for cakes and other recipes (the rhubarb and potatoes, not the weeds!) We cleared the garden of most of the weeds and it is looking much nicer and tidier.

We have also started turning the garden waste into compost using the two new composters. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can use this compost to help the garden grow.

We will continue our work in the garden for the rest of the year. If anyone has any suggestions about what they would like us to do, plant or put in the garden then contact any of the S4 personal development class or Miss McGhee.

Grow a Greener World with Seeds for Schools

Report from Mrs Gallagher

In school last week Mrs Gallagher’s first year science classes with the help of Mrs Henderson were playing their part in helping to make a greener Scotland by planting hundreds of tiny tree seeds. The seeds came from the Forestry Commission and the idea is that throughout the U.K. a million trees get produced in schools and that these will then be distributed in the communities around the schools. The seeds planted were Birch, Scot’s Pine and Alder, seeds from trees that are native to Scotland.

 The pupils filled pots with compost and planted the three seeds that they were given in a triangle with some sand on top. They then watered them and put them in a safe place to be looked after until they are established.

Sensory Garden

2nd year English classes are helping to create a variety of Spots for Thought for our Sensory Garden. Most S2 classes have now visited the garden (in all weathers) and have been inspired to create their own work and find verse and quotations from other writers. 

Pupils have also created Wordles, word clouds created from another piece of writing or a collection of appropriate words. A wordle for this blog entry is below. 

A wordle from this blog entry

A wordle from this blog entry

Each piece of writing is added to a background photograph (selected from creative commons photos on FlickrStorm) or decorated with Clipart with the words carefully formatted to best advantage.

The Thoughtful Spots will be laminated before being hung from the fence of the Sensory Garden.

Sensory Garden developments

The Personal Development group have been hard at work, developing the ground in the Sensory Garden, in preparation for their next scheme.

There are many secret plans involving plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes, as well as a ribbon weave structure with assistance from Ms Steinert.

Mrs Sandra McRoberts is working with the group to help bring their ideas to fruition.

Sensory Garden Lanterns

Personal Development Group with their lanterns

The enlightened Personal Development Group

The Personal Development Group’s next task is continuing  the development of the Sensory Garden. They looked over the garden today, along with guest, Mrs Sandra McRoberts.

Shiny Happy People

Shiny Happy People

The Group has been asked to come up with and implement ideas for the garden. One of their first tasks was to paint some lanterns to hang in the trees. When lit the lanterns should provide a colourful glow in the garden.

Eyewitnesses report that the blue stain will eventually come out of Ms Zambonini’s floor.

Chocolate and Poetry

Ms Maher’s S1 English class are entering the Divine Chocolate Poetry Competition, which asks for verse describing “the contrast between the world of chocolate lovers and of cocoa growers”.

The 1st year class have investigated the cocoa growers’ lives and expressed their surprise at the poverty faced by them. 

The website will include some examples of their work shortly.