Edinburgh Book Festival 2016

A bus full of enthusiastic readers headed for the Edinburgh Internal Book Festival on Monday 29th August. Pupils came from S1-6, including the Advanced Higher English class who came along to pick up some tips for their creative writing.

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Our first session featured relatively new writers, Lisa Heathfield and Katherine Howe, who focused on how they had written their books and the research involved in getting the details correct. They had plenty of advice for aspiring writers and encouraged questions by giving away badges. Hands flew up from purple blazers!

Our second talk featured crime author, Anne Cassidy, who has published over forty books. She very quickly had the audience laughing as she explained all the ways that she had killed off her characters. Again OLHS pupils were keen to ask questions, including Conor who asked how Anne would kill him off if he appeared in one of her books. Anne made arrangements with him later on.

The Festival sponsors kindly provided book tokens for each pupil which were quickly snapped up to buy books and get them signed by the authors, providing further opportunities to ask yet more questions. We also  wandered around the gardens and book shop, ate ice-cream and generally chilled out in the beautiful sunshine.

North Lanarkshire Youth Council AGM

From Miss Halket

Do you have a keen interest in making a difference in your local community? Do you have a desire to stand for election as part of the March 2017 Scottish Youth Parliament elections?

If so, the North Lanarkshire Youth Council is the representative body of young people in North Lanarkshire and they have invited you along to their forthcoming AGM. Their Annual General Meeting takes place on Wednesday 27 April 2016 (6:45pm – 9pm) in the @Home Centre in Airdrie. Please see Miss Halket for more information.

North Lanarkshire School Dance Competition 2016

Report by Miss Walmsley

Members of the Our Lady’s S1 Dance Club achieved great success at the annual North Lanarkshire School Dance Competition.2016_0323_9487

Despite only forming this year, led by S5 pupil Maia Winton, the team performed brilliantly against teams from across North Lanarkshire and collected several medals between them. They came second for their group dance, gaining silver medals for the team consisting of Sophie Galloway, Alisha Kearney, Erin Keating, Olivia Latimer, Joey Leach, Lucy Thompson and Eva Winton. Olivia Latimer and Eva Winton also put on a great performance as a duet, while Sophie Galloway and Lucy Thompson both competed as solo dancers and won silver and gold medals respectively.2016_0323_9502

The girls thoroughly enjoyed the day and are already looking forward to next years competition!

North Lanarkshire Spring Concert

Report from Mrs Sinclair

Well done to all of our pupils who took part in a wonderful concert last night in the beautiful Royal Concert Hall. These pupils practise every Friday evening with the North Lanarkshire Schools to ensure that great performances are enjoyed by all. I was very proud of all of our pupils who performed last night.

It was the final performance of a few stalwarts who have been attending NL Schools Music Group for Years.

Thanks to Jill McMurray, Aaron Hawthorne, Caitlin Connor and Jordan Mooney, Michael Clark.

Thanks also to

Ethan Hendry, Anna Quinn, Michael Clark, David Nugent, Stephen Brady, Aidan Simpson, Victor Witowski, Heather Nugent, Orla McDevitt, Piroska Horvath, Colette Whitson

Click here for photos from the concert.

Off to CERN!

Report from Mr Law

Congratulations and good wishes to Aidan Coates from Our Lady’s High as he begins final preparations for his trip to CERN. As a winner of the Ogden Trust/Glasgow University,“Elementary”, competition earlier this year he will be fortunate enough to gain experience of areas less accessible to the general public. Trip leader and particle Physics expert, Dr Aidan Robson from Glasgow University will lead the successful students and 2 accompanying teachers (including this extremely happy and grinning educator) on a journey of discovery in the scientific wonder lab that smashes subatomic particles together at speeds approaching the speed of light. Discovering why the universe works the way it does is of course not the only benefit of such scientific endeavours. CERN was also the birthplace of the world wide web … and so our use of the Internet.

A very early start from Glasgow University leads to Edinburgh Airport and a flight to Geneva in Switzerland. A possible bus and tram journey later will help students experience public transport in another country before arrival at the world renowned home of the Large Hadron Collider and its 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets. Accommodation at CERN and eating at the same cafeteria as the cream of the scientific particle physics community should certainly offer opportunities for plenty of questions. An itinerary that also includes visiting some experiments, particle accelerators and exhibitions as well as meeting up with postgraduate students from Glasgow and other British Universities should provide plenty of scope for career related inquiries as well as helping develop an understanding of quantum physics. A possible trip into Geneva will perhaps be the icing on the cake.

So thanks again for the sponsorship and an experience that may very well influence the career choices of our current crop of science students. There appears to be an increasing number of opportunities nowadays for those interested in STEM subjects to gain an understanding of how these subjects are used in the world outside school.

Commonwealth Baton Bearer

Congratulations to Olivia McMahon, who has been confirmed as one of the Commonwealth Games’ Queen’s Baton Bearers.

Olivia has been heavily involved with sport since she started at Our Lady’s and is also one of our sports ambassadors. She was nominated by OLHS after staff reviewed a long list of worthy potential candidates.

The Queen’s Baton will travel through North Lanarkshire  on Monday 23rd June, including   Wishaw and Motherwell.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

Report from Mrs McDonald

Twenty young people from S5/S6 took part in the final expedition for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award on 9th/10th October.  This involved a two day hike of 10km per day and an overnight camp in Auchengillan near Strathblane, north of Glasgow.

The group were required to use their map reading and orienteering skills to follow their route cards and negotiate their way from start point to camp and the next day from camp to end point.  They had to camp in tents and use their skills to make dinner and breakfast on outdoor stoves. Although a long tiring few days and very, very cold at night, all agreed they had learned a lot about the environment and themselves.

All twenty were passed by the assessor who monitored them remotely during the day. The group were delighted and will now be working on a presentation to staff at the school about their experiences.

Work Experience 2013

Our 4th year pupils will be out and about for Work Experience for the week beginning 4th November. Pupils have received diaries to be filled in across the week, recording and reflecting on their time out of school. This will become part of the evidence which allows them to receive the  Intermediate I Work Experience qualification.

Many thanks to PT Pupil Support, Mrs Lyn Zambonini, for the hours of work involved in finding a place for every pupil, to our wonderful office and classroom assistants, and our grateful thanks also to the many local businesses and organisations who so willingly help out every year.

ENABLE Scotland – Parents Together – North Lanarkshire 2013

ENABLE Scotland is holding an event for parents and carers of children and young people with additional support needs on 30th May 2013 at Cumbernauld College and Business Centre, from 9.30am – 1.30pm.  The event is called Parents Together in North Lanarkshire, and has been jointly funded by ENABLE Scotland’s Cumbernauld branch and North Lanarkshire Council’s Community Grants Scheme.

North Lanarkshire Schools Christmas Concert

Several pupils from Our lady’s High School took part in the North Lanarkshire Schools Music Groups Christmas Concert on 4th December at Motherwell Concert Hall.

If you fancy playing Spot the Pupil, or just seeing some talented young musicians, all the photographs of the event have been added to NLC’s Flickr site.

That Time We Pretended To Be Serious Debaters

Report by Gemma Grier

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

Imagine a room full of people who are so much taller, so much older, so much wiser than you, talking quickly, wittingly, spouting off things right from the top of their head at a rapid speed that has your head spinning, heart caught in your throat. The room is a whirlwind of excitement and nerves. You almost can’t breathe.

That’s how we felt.

There were four debates, of which we were last to participate. So we sat there patiently, engrossed in the energy radiating from everyone as they spoke. Everyone had their own convictions, their own case to argue and you could see the passion: the hardwork they had put in burning behind their eyes like a flickering flame. Time was fleeting and lagging as we waited our turn and Hayley and I – the Our Lady’s High debaters – whispered worriedly to one another as we surmised the strength of our competition.

The schools passed in a blur, blazer colours blending together in a beautiful stretch, entwining silver tongues and bright, wild eyes. I was too mesmerised to catch the names.

The youngest there, our first debate, we were absolutely terrified. And as each person took to the lectern, our quavering glances grew more frequent, until finally it was our turn.

We took our seats and then the whole world seemed to turn on its axis and we knew nothing, everything we had prepared for was thrown to the side and not even Hayley’s perfect starting monologue that had even me, someone who is used to Hayley’s swiftness, on the edge of my seat, could save us from the polished, pressed predators from Abronhill High. (Lovely girls, but absolutely fierce.) They knew their stuff like the back of their hand and they had me sorely impressed- fair winners! For anyone who is actually interested, their final debate against Uddingston Grammar will be on December 4th, in the Chambers of Commerce. You will be absolutely enthralled!

We didn’t expect to win, in fact, I think we were just glad to have gotten as far as we did. And with eight debating teams competing that night, with only a place for two to advance, I think we did okay- a lot of stronger teams that us didn’t get through either, a small consolation to our grieving hearts. The finalists, Abronhill High and Uddingston Grammar, certainly deserved their places and Hayley and I can do nothing more than take this as a learning curve: all our mistakes can be smoothed out, we can take all the small tips and tricks from the other teams and apply them to ourselves. We didn’t fail, we simply studied.

And who knows? There’s always next year.

Scottish Youth Parliament Elections

Young people who want to make a difference, both to their local area and to national issues are being encouraged to stand for next year’s Scottish Youth Parliament.

The next elections will be happening across Scotland in March 2013 and North Lanarkshire Council is looking to hear from young people who think they’ve got what it takes to become a candidate.

As long as you are aged between 14 and 25 (at 15th March 2013), live in Scotland and can demonstrate a passion and commitment, then there’s nothing to stop you from taking up your chance to make your voice heard.

Make sure your get in quick though; registration closes on 7th December 2012.

MSYP’s are volunteers, so if you’re looking for a nice salary you’ll be disappointed – instead you can look forward to lots of hard work representing the views of young people in your area.

In return, you’ll get support, training and some amazing opportunities, for instance for past two years, North Lanarkshire MSYP’s have been at Westminster Parliament in London and also been part of the Olympic Games Legacy.

For more information come along to your local information evening:

Our Lady’s High School (Motherwell) – 6pm Tuesday 13 November

or contact Community Learning & Development on 01698 403830

Anti-sectarianism initiative

Report from Miss Kane

As part of a Scottish Government funded initiative Fr Stephen Reilly from St Bernadette’s R.C. Church, working with Braidhurst High’s Chaplain and RE departments from both schools, arranged for some S6 pupils to view an anti-sectararian play at Motherwell Theatre on Monday evening.

On Tuesday we were welcomed to North Motherwell Church of Scotland Hall for a follow-up discussion about the film.

Athletics Championships

OLHS pupils Adam Boyle (S2), Christopher Kelly (S2), Stephen Murphy (S4), Heather Baird (S4), Christopher Boyle (S5) and Stephen Ross (S5) were in action at the Scottish U18 Age Group Championships at Grangemouth on 25th-26th August 2012.

Adam Boyle: U14 Javelin: new personal best in the javelin with a throw of 30.78m. 5th overall.
Christopher Kelly: 100m finalist: 7th place.
Stephen Murphy: 200m finalist. 6th place.
Heather Baird: 200m heats. 4th place
Christopher Boyle: 400m finalist. 2nd place
Stephen Ross: 200m finalist. 6th place.

All pupils are members of the Law and District Athletic Club and have to be at a very good standard to compete in these Scottish championships. Congratulations to all five for achieving such high standards in their chosen sports.