PDF version of letter: 2017_0531_BenNevisletter
Lovely day for a walk – until they got to the top where is was just a wee bit colder than the 700m below.
S1 headed up Tinto Hill to raise funds for St Andrew’s Hospice today. Well done everyone who took part.
Thanks to Partnership Officer, Deborah King for all her hard work and organisation.
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.
Report from Mrs King
The annual summer school at Our Lady’s High School took place on August 8th with twenty new first year pupils and four senior pupils enjoying four days of activities. The summer school allows the young people to become more familiar with the secondary school setting and to meet some of the school staff before the new term begins. Being more confident and self-assured at the start of secondary school gives the S1 pupils a positive step towards a successful transition from primary school.
The S1 pupils took part in team building with the Partnership Staff on the first morning followed by a workshop of pottery with Ms Steinert where the pupils made clay hedgehogs in the afternoon.
On Tuesday, the pupils learned to play the ukulele with Mr McVeigh followed by a session on how to create scars and bruises using special effects make up with Kirsty McCabe.
On Wednesday, the pupils were treated to some Science experiments with Mr Law from Physics and after lunch, Mrs Smith from Performing Arts gave the pupils an opportunity to practice their voice and acting skills.
Each day, the pupils gathered to have lunch together and to make new friends and meet various teaching staff
On the final day, the entire group, Ms McDonald, Ms King and Mr Smith had a successful day trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park where they enjoyed seeing all the animals, especially the sea-lion show, and had some free time to explore the park.
Some information from Lucy Kiilean from St Andrew’s Hospice
- Connor from Atlas Mountaineering has informed me that we are hoping to reach the summit this year! There is however snow at the top of the Ben and consequently there is a hidden gully covered in snow. There will be a guide stationed at this point but thought it was worth mentioning.
- The weather is also due to be HOT. .. Bring plenty of water and salty snacks to avoid being dehydrated and undernourished.
- Be dressed and ready to go (boots included!) as soon as the bus comes into the car park. With twelve schools attending this year it can get a little crazy with all of the buses in such a small area so be prepared as humanly possible.
Report from Mrs McDonald
MVP mentors from OLHS attended a NL wide pupil summit with HSPO Angela McDonald at Calderhead High School on Thursday 10th March. The conference is the second annual event held to celebrate the work of MVP mentors form around the local authority and give them time together to explore issues in more depth.
MVP stands for Mentors in Violence Prevention and the programme uses a bystander approach to encourage the safe challenging of the culture and beliefs that can lead to violence and in particular gender based violence. Senior pupils are trained by staff to become mentors and deliver themed workshops to their peers.
On the day pupils participated in a series of issue based workshops and heard from two speakers, the first shared her personal story about gender based violence experienced in her work place and the second from Police Scotland spoke about preventing radicalisation.
Feedback from all was that it was an informative, emotive and informative day.
Report from Mrs McDonald
Sixteen pupils attended the OLHS summer school this year. The aim of the week is to support pupils with the transition to high school giving them more opportunities to meet staff, experience subjects, familiarise themselves with the buidling and make new friends.
The pupils were supported by a number of S6 pupils and Community Learning & Development Home School Partnership staff. Thanks to teaching staff giving up their time, pupils attending took part in a number of workshops including science, cookery, art and PE. They also worked with Animation Jam to produce a short animated film and on the final day cooked lunch for their families who came in to see their work and celebrate their achievements. A trip to Millport to cycle round the island of Cumbrae was the icing on the cake of a great week.
Feedback from pupils and parents was fantastic.
I made new friends and can’t wait to come to high school;
Fantastic opportunity for the children;
.. it has brought him out of his shell;
was a great experience for my daughter it has made going to high school a lot easier for her.
As part of their course work, 3XL have to organise and run an event. They have chosen to treat S1 to an afternoon at the movies on Thursday 5th June.
Tuck shop available so bring change on the day!
Report from Mrs King and Mrs McDonald
A group of nineteen S2 pupils took part in team building activities on Wednesday afternoon with the hope of being picked for the new session of XL in August. The pupils played human bingo, a name game and finally had to build a tower using only spaghetti and marshmallows. An S3 pupil who is currently on the programme showed a powerpoint of his experiences to date.
Tthe group of boys and girls worked well together and enjoyed the afternoon’s activities. Mrs McNeish, Ms McGinness, Mrs King and Mrs McDonald were all impressed with the pupils’ efforts. All pupils will attend a meeting next month with their parents to find out further information about the Princes Trust XL programme.
Report from Mr Kay
On Wednesday 19th February the XL4 group attended the Edinburgh Dungeons and the Playhouse Theatre as part of their programme of events. The Dungeons were described by the pupils as “scary” “horrific” “exciting” and “peaceful”.
The group watched the Matinee Performance of the musical Tonight’s The Night and described the performance and theatre as “shamazing” “I loved it” “great storyline”. School staff attending the trip were: Mr Kay, Ms King and Ms McDonald.
Report by Mrs McDonald and Mrs Mulholland
A group of S5/S6 pupils are undertaking the Young Quality Scot Award, supported by Kirstin Thomson – Development Worker with NLC Community Learning and Development, Angela McDonald – Home School Partnership Officer, and OLHS Depute Head, Mary Mulholland.
As part of their course they attended a weekend at Lowport Residential Centre in Linlithgow where they participated in outdoor team building, rock climbing and challenges like the spiders’ web. They spent their evening working toward their award and developing their presentation on their chosen topic of bullying. This will be shown at a national award ceremony next month.
The Politics and Duke of Edinburgh classes went to Motherwell Civic Centre for the 2013 Youth Be Heard event. This intiative provides youngsters from across the area to have their say and put questions to some of the most influential figures in North Lanarkshire including Gavin Whitefield, the council’s Chief Executive, Christine Pollock, Executive Director of Learning and Leisure, Councillor Peter Nolan, Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure and Brian Connell from Strathclyde Police.
Representing Our Lady’s were Neil Hattie, Paul Tempany, Joe Smith, Christopher Dunn, Peter Robertson, Nicholas Stewart, Katie Tyrrell, Clare-Louise Verrecchia, Chloe Collins, Franesca McCoy, Louise McMullen, Louise Elliot, Nicole Kane, Amy Latta, Andrew Harding and Michael Duddy. Several pupils had the opportunity to speak to the panel, with questions ranging from leisure facilities to the distribution of school budgets.
From Mrs Bertolini
XL3 and the Nurture Group attended the fantastic pantomime, Aladdin, in Motherwell last week, followed by dinner at Toni Macaronis. The pupils’ behaviour was a credit to the school. XL4 are going to the movies and lunch on Wednesday this week.
Mrs Bertolini, Mrs MacDonald and Mrs King wish all the groups a very merry Christmas.
Report by Kirpal, Ciaran and Mark
Last night was an amazing night. First we went to Pizza Hut then we headed for Greenfaulds High School for the exhibition.
We done some stage makeup on ourselves. Ciaran had a slash wound on his hand, Mark had a long gash all the way up his arm to the elbow and Kirpal had a half completed burn to show the process.
We went round to the theatre and got a quick talk about what was going to be happening. We would watch all of the slide shows and then go back into the viewing gallery where we could try out the light art.
Our slide show was first and everybody was watching attentively. We had a powerpoint and we showed off the comic. Nobody else used Comic Life so we thought we were the best.
One of the schools used the No Knives Better Lives campaign to show that knives have no place in the streets and they used the stage makeup to show where knives had penetrated the skin.
Another couple of schools used Michael Jackson’s Thriller for the backing track for their zombie slideshow (we used the theme from 28 Days Later).
Most schools had done Light Art, which was quite cool. They had used a torch and a camera to catch the movement of the light. Some had written their names, one school had subjects, and lots had used the XL letters.
After the presentations we went into the gallery to see the different stalls. There were photos of light art, light boxes using fabric to make pictures and other examples of makeup. We’ve been invited to show off our skills at Calderhead High School in Shotts and to our houses at Our Lady’s.
We’ve had good fun doing the project and had a really good time. We’ve learned new skills and we’re proud of representing OLHS.
Thanks to Kirsty McCabe for sharing her talent.
Let’s hope the zombies don’t come calling again, but if they do, we’ll be ready.
Report from Mrs McDonald
Partnership Officers, Deborah King and Angela McDonald took six S1/S2 pupils to the launch of the Young Scot Cards Reward Scheme at Gartlea Community Centre in Airdrie.
The event was organised by NL Young Scot and Community Learning & Development aimed to inform young people about the Young Scot Smart Card Reward Scheme where pupils can collect points and reedem them for rewards and prizes.
The event was workshop style and the pupils took part in Drug & Alcohol Awareness, football, politics and dance workshops. They also visited the library bus where one pupil won a copy of the novel, The Hunger Games.
The pupils had a great time and will now be speaking to their year groups at assemblies to inform them about the scheme.
Pupils in XL4 took part in a three day residential visit. The pupils had researched a number of outward bound centres before agreeing on Lowport near Linlithgow.
The pupils took part in cycling, wall climbing, basketball, archery, pioneering and a night walk through a pitch black and cold Beecraigs Country Park trying to avoid mud and spider webs.
Thanks to Mrs Bertolini, Mrs McDonald, Mrs King, Mr McGleish and Mr Law for giving up their time to help out.
Gareth Davies, Director of Portal Training in Cardiff, travelled to Motherwell to share information on the dangers of cyber bullying with parents and staff of Our Lady’s and its associated primaries. Over two seminars, Gareth discussed how bullying can be spread through websites, chatrooms, texts and gaming sites.
Motherwell Parent Evening Cyber Bullying – Handout. (PDF document – opens with Acrobat Reader free from this website. )
XL3 are writing, photographing and starring in their own comic strip about a Zombie takeover of the school. Argh!