Autism Awareness Week for Schools takes place this year 27th March – 2nd April. We had a really successful week last session and Mrs Maguire, P.T. Support for Learning and Liaison Leader with Bothwellpark High School, has been hard at work organising this year’s events. So far, these include a staff coffee morning, joint karaoke with Bothwellpark pupils, and a non-uniform day – Wear it Pink/Purple!
Pupils from Bothwellpark High School will also be heavily involved, participating in lessons in Sport and Recreation, Science and H.E. Bothwellpark pupils will also be going round classes collecting donations for the National Autistic Society and several of them will be delivering a short talk to RE classes, focusing on the role of their school.
Also as part of Autism Awareness Week, Jeanie McFarlane from Scottish Autism has very kindly offered to organise a twilight raising-awareness session. Jeanie has been working regularly with some of our pupils and she is very aware of the issues that these pupils currently face in and around the school, and is happy to offer help and advice during the twilight session.
This course has been organised for Wednesday 29th March and will start at 3pm in the ASN base.
During sixth year, we have been given the opportunity to take part in various clubs and projects. The “Dementia Friends” project allowed us to get involved with the Motherwell FC Community Trust and was set up to help break the barrier between the older and younger generations in our local community. My peers and I completed a workshop with a dementia expert to help build our knowledge on the condition and train us for the sessions ahead.
We split into groups and decided on appropriate times for us to meet with our ‘Dementia Friend’ and had our first session with them in Ravens Court. The idea behind this project is mainly to brighten their day by chatting and interacting with them alongside creating a memory book for them to cherish. We completed various activities to help jog their memories about their lives when they were our age and we had a lot of fun hearing their stories.
I believe I speak on behalf of the other pupils who take part when I say that it is really beneficial experience. Not only are we making our older friends feel part of something special, we ourselves also feel good about giving back to our local community. I would thoroughly recommend taking part in this worthwhile and life affirming opportunity to anyone.
As part of Autism Awareness Week for schools, we are holding a joint karaoke with pupils from Bothwellpark HS. If you would be interested in taking part in this, please speak to Mrs Maguire in the ASN base before the end of the week.
You will be paired with a pupil from Bothwellpark and given the opportunity to work together on your song.
The karaoke will take place during Autism Awareness Week which runs from 27th March – 2nd April.
The theme for Lent is No Greater Love.
Let’s show that Love by attending mass as often as possible.
There is a Mass today at Lunchtime at 12.55pm
The other Masses are on Wednesday and Friday at 8.35am. Let’s try and fill the Chapel and sacrifice 20 minutes of your day to pray for others.
Motherwell Diocese celebrated Catholic Education Week this weekend with many pupils from Our Lady’s High School, from S1- S6, participating in masses by giving the readings and bidding prayers, completing the offertory, handing out leaflets, singing in the choir and even sharing their personal experiences of school life.
The main message for these masses was: Developing as Communities of Faith and Learning. In Our Lady’s High School, we aspire to put Jesus at the centre of all we do; ensure that all leadership is shaped by the Gospel values; and make prayer, worship and celebration central to school life.
We have had state funded Catholic education for almost 100 years now. There is no doubt that the world around us is changing and that we live in challenging and uncertain times. It is in the face of these challenges that Catholic Schools stand as communities of Faith and Learning, and are as important today as they have ever been.
The Annual Education Mass was held on Tuesday 31st January in Motherwell Cathedral, officiated by Bishop Toal. Twelve sixth year pupils and a number of staff went along to the beautiful and thought provoking service. Afterwards, they took the opportunity to relax at the reception which followed in St. Bride’s Hall.
Before Christmas, staff and pupils of OLHS were invited to donate toys to the Forgewood Toy Giveaway. The Scottish Parliament has officially recognised and congratulated the organisers with Motion S5M-03152 and Motion S5M-02894; the former includes our involvement in OLHS.
Motion S5M-03152: Richard Leonard, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/12/2016
That the Parliament congratulates Martine Nolan on organising a free toy giveaway at the Forgewood Community Centre to support families in the area; understands that the 350 children and 160 adults who attended the event left with a gift; thanks the local councillors and volunteers involved, including councillors Paul Kelly, Kaye Harmon, Michael Ross and volunteers, Louise Roarty and Kenneth Duffy; notes the generosity of the local community who donated to the toy giveaway and volunteered to ensure that the event was a success; recognises the efforts of the school communities of Fir Park Secondary and Our Lady’s High, which both held toy drives for the event; thanks Unison and the Forgewood Housing Cooperative for facilitating the event, and commends local businesses and organisations, including Scotmid and the Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation, on their generosity.
Supported by: James Dornan, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Kenneth Gibson, Sandra White, Colin Beattie, Gillian Martin, Ivan McKee
On Tuesday 6th December, Mrs King and two sixth year MVP representatives attended the annual MVP Summit in the Tramway Theatre, Glasgow. It was an all-day conference during which many speakers from all different walks of like spoke about personal experiences to the audience of MVP mentors from across Scotland. For example, John Loughton spoke about his journey from the most deprived area of Edinburgh to stardom and politics; Jess Thom from ‘Tourette’s Hero’ spoke about her daily life and how she copes with people who don’t laugh at her comments – when really that’s what makes her most uncomfortable about her condition.
The main aim of the summit was to introduce targets which individual schools could act upon and to suggest ways in which MVP can be promoted in schools across Scotland. Representatives from the MVP Scotland group also attended alongside members of the police and an MP who both spoke openly about how MVP can be taken from schools out into the community, all through the work of mentors. All in all it was an excellent, informative and very enjoyable day celebrating the work of mentors and also the contribution of MVP to Scottish society.
A number of S6 pupils and two members of staff have been learning BSL now for three weeks, under the eagle eyes of Ian, Rachel and Helen from the Lanarkshire Deaf Club. We are becoming much more confident with our finger spelling, colours, animals, greetings, family groups and common signs. We can’t wait to start working in pairs on our conversational skills, beginning next week.
The ten week course, organised by Mrs Donnachie and Mrs Zambonini, is a chance for everyone to become more deaf aware, and to add to our communication skills.
A big thank you to everyone to took part in events to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. Over £800 was raised for to St Andrew’s Hospice. Well done to Taylor Gilfillan on her fabulous dancing and to Isabel Evans on her fabulous baking! A highlight was seeing one of our S1 pupil’s face light up when “talking bagpipes” with our wonderful piper, Mrs Connor’s dad. The young apprentice left the master promising to practise his pipes really hard and play them for us at the coffee morning next year.
Our S6 volunteers with the Motherwell FC Community Trust had their introductory meeting with a representative of Alzheimer’s Scotland. The young people were given an insight into the progress of the condition, how patients and families feel about it, as well as strategies to improve quality of life. They were very moved by some of the stories they heard, but this has made them even more determined to make a difference to the lives of their Buddies and families.
The Support for Learning base was filled on Thursday with enthusiastic BSL learners, both staff and pupils. We were introduced to our tutors Ian Galloway and Rachael Griffiths from Lanarkshire Deaf Club, and interpreter Helen Pennan, who will work with us over the next ten weeks. Our first task was to learn the finger spelling alphabet, then introduce ourselves and finger spell our names. Individuals were put on the spot when we had to perform our tasks in front of the whole class- quite nerve-wracking!
We were then given a homework pack- the first of many, we were informed- to learn for next session. Everyone contributed enthusiastically and we can’t wait for our next BSL session.
Many thanks to our new teachers!
All PSHE classes have been working on the Freerice Challenge over the last couple of weeks. Freerice is a multiple choice online quiz which was originally designed by a programmer to help his children revise. He subsequently donated it to the UN World Food Programme to help feed people around the world.
Freerice is a multiple choice educational quiz. Classes can choose to answer questions on English vocabulary and grammar, maths, science, geography, literature, art history and languages.
Ten grains of rice are donated for every correct answer, paid for by sponsors with an interest in education. It takes 400 grams or about 19,200 grains of rice to feed one adult for a day, which seems like a lot but is actually about half a bowlful.
The Freerice Challenge has run through Tutor Time in the past few years, but this is our first year of running the Freerice Challenge through PSHE. We are hoping to establish a strong baseline total that classes can aim to beat in years to come.
Report from Miss McMahon
On Thursday 16th June, the new S6 Caritas pupils will be attending an Aid to the Church in Need Rally at Carfin Grotto. ACN Scotland invites Catholic high schools from all over Scotland to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians worldwide. ACN call on the Scottish Government to promote faith and freedom around the world. It is hoped that Caritas pupils will gain knowledge about the persecution of Christians throughout the world so that they go on to make a positive impact on social injustices.
Report from Miss McMahon
On Wednesday 15th June, S5 pupils Rahel Agiwaah, Piroska Horvath and Heather Nugent will attend a Young Christian Workers Training Event at the Conforti Centre. YCW groups are new to Scotland but are part of a strong global community of young people campaigning on social justice issues from the perspective of Catholic social teaching.
The day will focus on ‘Impact’ which is a programme developed by the YCW for younger members. It places strong emphasis on action led by young people themselves and helps them to explore the link between faith and life in a way which is fun, innovative and empowers them to action. It is hoped that the pupils attending will becoming young leaders and make a positive impact on the school through the training they receive.
Report from Mr McHugh
Our Lady’s High School was well represented at the recent Caritas Award Ceremony, on Monday 6th June, at the Clyde Auditorium. It was a fantastic experience to see 29 pupils from Our Lady’s High School rewarded for their commitment to their faith when they were presented with their Caritas Award.
The SCES assessment team were particularly impressed with some of the creative final submissions of our students. Two of our senior students, Nicholas Allan and Konner Millar-Brookbanks, performed the songs they had written as part of their final Caritas submissions. Their performances were both inspirational and spiritually uplifting. Well done to all involved.
Report from Ms Steinert
The Art Department of OLHS and Bothwellpark High School have been working on a joint project to decorate the games hall for their end of term assembly in June. The assembly is centred on the theme of friendship, so we decided to use the movie Toy Story and to create large scale murals of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie.
The pupils from Bothwellpark come to the Art Department and have so far helped to paint the images very successfully alongside a group of four S2 pupils from OLHS. The final session will involve adding some 3D collage elements onto the murals which will make them very colourful and a fun resource to hang at the assembly.
Report from Miss Halket
There will soon be a by-election for the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency for the Scottish Youth Parliament. The successful candidate will undertake their role until the SYP election in 2017.
Voting for the by-election will take place from Friday 10th June – Thursday 16th June 2016. If you are aged 14 or over and are interested in standing for election you must see Miss Halket by Friday 3rd June at the latest.
Our very own Father Martin Delaney has been pounding the streets of Motherwell in training for the sponsored run in aid of the Lourdes Pilgrimage. Anyone wishing to sponsor him can do so through the school or online at: