BBC School Report 2017

BBC School Report provides an opportunity for pupils between 11-16 to experience a day in a newsroom, creating and reporting on the news. Groups can choose to report on the events of the day as they occur, build their own reports on a theme, or a mixture of both. Our Lady’s BBC School Report 2017 focused on the Transplant Games which are taking place in North Lanarkshire from 27th-30th July this year.

In advance of School Report Day on 16th March, pupils spent every Friday lunchtime in the Library selecting issues to investigate, improving their knowledge of organ transplants and making contact with relevant organisations and individuals who might be able to help them. As the day drew closer, pupils also volunteered time after school to learn about and practice sending requests for information, interview techniques, creating surveys and writing reports. Senior pupils involved worked on a storyboard for a video report.

One group of pupils set up an interview with heart transplant recipient, Mr Brian Gorman, who described his life before and after his operation. Mr Gorman explained that he did not know whose heart he had received but that he sent an update every five years to the donor’s family through the hospital to say thank you.

Another group interviewed the Chair of the North Lanarkshire games, Councillor Jim McCabe, who explained the reasons why North Lanarkshire was so keen to host the event and personal friends who had died because the wait for the transplant had been just too long for their bodies to cope.

Pupils were also keen to investigate attitudes to and knowledge of organ transplantation in school and created a survey for staff and pupils.

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On the day, pupils completed more surveys and also visited asked staff if they would like to share their reasons for carrying a donor card. The group created bullet points from all of their sources of information which became part of our School Report Ideas Wall. They collated the responses of the survey and designed posters to illustrate their data, which were combined with the storyboard and bullet points to create our video report. They wrote reports on all of their investigations. Throughout the day, pupils took photos of their colleagues and tweeted what they were up to. We even sent a photo of the dreich day outside to BBC Weather Watchers!

Naturally, with such a lot going on we had one or two issues, but the pupils were fantastic, and remained positive throughout, even when Mr Kerr and Mrs Macfadyen were tearing their hair out.

Our thanks to everyone in OLHS for their support, to Mr Gorman and Councillor McCabe for taking the time to come along to the school, and to everyone who responded to our e-mails and requests for help. We couldn’t have done it without you.

All of our BBC School Report work is available by clicking here.

Pi Day 2017

Report from Miss Lees

On Tuesday 14th March pupils and staff in the school celebrated Pi day. Pi jokes were added to the daily bulletin, the maths teachers wore a variety of Pi related clothing, Pi quizzes and colouring sheets were available from the library and Pi facts were added to the school twitter feed. S1 pupils all worked together in the Kamwokya room to create a colour coded paper chain that displayed the first 1000 digits of Pi. S2 had double fun, writing Pilish poems in English, where they had to use the digits of Pi as the word lengths in the poem. They then arrived at maths and made Pi Skylines, representing the digits visually as buildings. At lunchtime pupils could take part in a Pi recital. A closely fought battle ended with an amazing S1 Imogen McFadden reciting 109 digits from memory. Mr Drummond presented the winning pupil with a trophy and a Pi cookie. The S2 winner of the Pilish poetry also received a cookie as a prize. The staff were surprised and happy to find apple Pi(e)s delivered to their departments at lunchtime, courtesy of PT Maths Mr Drummond. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a success!

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π Day is coming!

Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14th (ie 3.14). This year, events in OLHS will include:

  • a π colouring competition (Library, lunchtimes, 50p to enter, Mon-Thur)
  • a π word quiz  (Library, lunchtimes, 50p to enter, Mon-Thur)
  • a π reciting competition (S1/2, Library lunchtime, Tuesday 14th March)
  • a whole day of activities in Maths, English, Modern Languages etc

Scottish Attainment Challenge

Our Lady’s High School is about to begin the Scottish Attainment Challenge. The programme for the first year of the Secondary Challenge aims to improve life and learning for all our young people in many ways, from improving attainment in numeracy and literacy, physical and mental health, to supporting parents and carers and building stronger communities. Through universal interventions – aimed at everyone – to interventions targeting specific groups, we hope to help our young people be as successful and happy as they can be.

The first intervention is the appointment of an Attainment Mentor to each secondary school. Our Attainment mentor is Geraldine McPhee who is looking forward to working with a small group of children to help us engage them more and support them.

We will also be creating an intensive reading recovery group for learners whose reading age is more than 2 years behind their chronological age -READ WRITE INC. as well as a reading fluency and confidence boost group for all learners with a reading age below their chronological age – RAPID PLUS and CHOOSE A PATH. Support for this will come from Mrs Patricia O’Neil and Mr Terry Cowan

Mrs Deborah King is going to assist with enhanced transitions. This work will focus on closing the poverty related attainment gap for targeted pupils. Finally, we are also involved in a project with Tapestry.  Professor Nigel Osbourne and his team are planning to support our school and Braidhurst High School, as well as all of the associated primary schools, in a community project.  The theme is likely to be Motherwell, Past, Present & Future.  All pupils in first year will be involved. We look forward to becoming involved in all of these exciting initiatives.

Staff in-service day 21st November

The whole staff spent an enjoyable and informative day on Monday sharing good practice across the school with a series of workshops. From Socratic Questioning to Literacy Profiling, from software demonstrations in SFL and Modern Languages to Political Literacy, from team building to Twitter, everyone came away with a really positive picture of all the innovative ways in which we are working to close the attainment gap and get the best out of all of our pupils in Our Lady’s High School.

Thanks to all staff who threw open their doors to others!

Titanic Project 2016: Greenock Ocean Terminal and Caribbean Princess

Our interdisciplinary Titanic Project has so far covered science, art, history, geography, engineering, catering and storytelling. However, it’s not easy to give pupils an idea of the sort of luxury enjoyed by 1st class passengers aboard the Titanic.

We headed for Inverclyde to the Greenock Ocean Terminal, docking site for cruise ships in the west of Scotland. We could see the Caribbean Princess rising high above the terminal as we drove along from Port Glasgow, and couldn’t believe how tall it was! On arrival we were greeted by Terminal Manager, Craig Collins, who introduced us to the lovely Bruce and Fraser, our guides for the morning.

As you’ll see from the photos, we had a wonderful tour and couldn’t believe the size of this floating town. One or two of us even suffered a little bit of vertigo from the height! We had brought along our SDS Careers Adviser, Ruth Robertson, who answered pupils’ numerous questions about how they could live and work aboard one of these beauties.

This proved to be a wonderful opportunity for our pupils, who certainly left with their eyes opened to different possibilities available to them in the future. Our thanks to Princess Cruises for allowing us aboard, to Greenock Ocean Terminal manager, Craig Collins, for arranging everything on our behalf, and especially to Bruce and Fraser for being such excellent hosts, providing so much information and answering so many questions from so many enthusiastic teenagers.

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Titanic Project Week 1

Our Titanic Project pupils spent a week investigating facts about the ship and ship-building. They worked with storyteller, Allison Galbraith, to learn what makes a decent story, and visited the Titan Crane at Clydebank and the Denny Tank at Dumbarton, part of the Scottish Maritime Museum. The Science Department demonstrated buoyancy and helped pupils investigate floating (see below) and then pupils built a copy of the Titanic with Social Subjects.

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From Mr Law

The Science Department asked pupils to design a ship so that it wouldn’t sink.

The Groups did very well.  There were some excellent designs and some nervous and excited participants during the second phase of the challenge when designers add mass to the boats to see when they sink.

Results :

  • Johann & Harry: 1,200g
  • Nicole & Natalie: 2,000g
  • Gary & Dean: 2,000g
  • Zac, Shannon & Sammi:  2,800g

Forfeit for the others is that they have to refer to the winners as Captain for the rest of the day.

Rocket Science

Pupils in S1, S2 and S3 have been planting seeds from space. Packets of rocket seeds were sent to the International Space Station under the care of astronaut Tim Peake. Those seeds were then sent back to Earth and delivered to schools with another packet of rocket seeds from the Royal Horticultural Society. Schools only know that there is a blue packet and a red packet; we don’t know which seeds have been in space.

Pupils and staff will now measure the blue and red trays of seeds and identify any differences between them. Pupils suggested that the lack of gravity in space may have impacted on the growth of the seeds.

Rocket Science report from the BBC.

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Tartan Day 2014

Report from Mrs Connor

Pupils and staff celebrated St Andrew’s Day with a whole school “Tartan Day”. Pupils were allowed to come to school out of uniform and were asked to wear something tartan or Scottish. The school was very colourful with tartan kilts, trousers, tops, tammies etc on parade. They were asked to donate £1 to St Andrew’s Hospice for this privilege. The event was organised by Andrew House pupils and Mrs Connor.

As well as Tartan Day there were other events around the school including the sale of tartan bows and ribbons. A staff coffee morning took place at interval with Michael Clark (Andrew House Prefect) playing the bagpipes and Emma Kirkwood and Declan Murray from 1A singing Loch Lomond. During lunchtime a “Scots Corner” was set up, selling saltire cupcakes, tattoos and face painting. Again, all proceeds going to St Andrew’s Hospice. The Maths Department even got in on the act by delivering lessons on designing your own tartan. A great day was had by all.

The final total of money isn’t in yet but will be well over £500.

Maths Challenge

Report from Mrs Connor

The date of the national final of the Maths Challenge competition is approaching. A group of four pupils from S3/4 will be competing against approximately 50 other schools in Scotland who made it through to the grand final. This is the first time a team from Our Lady’s have made the final, which will be held in the Glasgow Science Centre on 19th November.

Representing Our Lady’s is Lewis Donnelly and Sophie Tougher-Mitchell from S4 and Magen McNulty and Michael McKenna from S3. Best of luck to them!

Burns Week 2013

Report from Miss McGhee

Burns week was celebrated with enthusiasm in Our Lady’s High. Many departments participated in activities celebrating the life and works of the Greatest Ever Scot. Pupils in Maths calculated the cost of hosting a Burns Supper, looking at food suppliers and ticket costs, etc. In the library, some of our pupils chose their favourite Scots words and phrases to create displays. The Modern Languages department looked at how Auld Lang Syne has become an unofficial anthem for us and then examined La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. The XL group were involved with Home Economics in preparing their own Burns Supper, where rousing renditions of ‘Address to a Haggis‘ were given before the meal was enjoyed. The English Department focused on Burns’ famous poem ‘To a Mouse‘ and pupils were able to write their own addresses to various creatures – and objects – of their choice.

The week culminated in a Burns Supper for S4, S5, S6 and staff.  Mr Mulrooney delivered the Selkirk Grace before pipers piped in the haggis, followed by an entertaining address from Mr Cairns. Attendees enjoyed a four course traditional Scottish meal before being entertained by various speakers and performers. Some of Burns’ famous love and political songs were sung by Mrs Clements and Joseph Smith and one of his most famous poems, Tam O’Shanter, was recited by Mrs King, Mr Law, Jake Dickson and Lorna Mitchell. An extremely entertaining (and brave!) Address to the Lassies was delivered by Jonathan MacLeod before revenge was taken by Romana Broughton with the caustic reply. Mrs Millar extoled Burns’ virtues in The Immortal Memory and the evening was superbly hosted by our resident double act, Matthew Dunn and Joe Smith.

FreeRice Challenge – final total!

Friday 22nd June

all of the rice has been counted and we are extremely proud to announce
that the staff and pupils of OLHS have raised

200, 850 grains of rice!!!!!

Online game to end hunger

Top scoring classes

1. 3S2
2. 4C2
3. 3A2
4. 3S1
5. 2M2
6. 5.3
7. 4A2
8. 4S2
9. 2C1
10. 3M1

Houses in order of rice raised (s1-4 only)

1. Sinclair
4. Columba
2. Andrew
3. Margaret

Year groups in order of rice raised

1. 3rd year
2. 4th year
3. 2nd year
4. 5th year
5. 6th year

Congratulations and thanks to all of the Tutor Groups that took part.

FreeRice Challenge

Online game to end hunger

All Tutor classes are taking part in a FreeRice Challenge.

FreeRice is a charity site that supports the United Nations World Food Programme. Each page contains a multiple choice question. Clicking on a correct answer adds 10 grains of rice to your total. The rice is paid for by sponsors’ adverts.

There are questions about languages, geography, sciences, art, literature and maths, so there’s something for everyone.

Click here to find out more about the work of FreeRice and statistics on world hunger.

Running totals will be updated here each day.

Monday 11th June  OLHS pupils raised over 20,000 grains of rice in less than 30 minutes.

The top scoring classes so far are

  1. 3A2 (Mr Law)
  2. 6.1  (Mr Murphy)
  3. 5.3 (Mrs McKay)
  4. 2C1 (Mrs McAlinden)
  5. 4A1 (Miss McGinness)
  6. 2M2 (Mrs Mitchell)
  7. 2M1 (Miss McGhee)
  8. 3C2 (Mr Hair)
  9. 3M1 (Mrs Anderson)
  10. 5.4 (Miss Campbell)

 Houses in order of rice raised (S1-4 only)

  1. Andrew
  2. Margaret
  3. Columba
  4. Sinclair

 Year groups in order of rice raised

  1. 3rd year
  2. 2nd year
  3. 6th year
  4. 5th year
  5. 4th year

S1 Maths Challenge 2012

Report from Mr Hair

On Thursday 24th May all S1 pupils were split into 24 groups and participated in the 2012 Mathematical Challenge. In the morning they were involved in activities which included, building a tower with straws and tape, estimations, quizzes, catchphrases and trying to get as many pupils through a sheet of A4 paper! The record for the final activity was 30!

In the afternoon the teams ran a relay of maths questions in the Games Hall and to give them a rest they had some other quiet activities. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the day and can be commended for their enthusiasm, teamwork and behaviour. Two teams tied for first place and after a tiebreak question the challenge was won by Group 9 and the successful pupils were Ross Walker, Livia Robb, Megan Smith and Jack Brady.

The Eatwell Plate

Report by Mrs Stemplis

As part of the 1st year Home Economics course, pupils have been investigating the Government’s policy tool which details the recommendations on healthy diets.

The Eatwell Plate is a dinner plate divided up into types and proportions of food needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.

After studying the recommendations and understanding the significance of the proportions, pupils coloured and completed their own plates, which were then displayed on the walls of the department.

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North Lanarkshire Maths Challenge 2011

Report from Ms Campbell

On Thursday 9th June, four s2 pupils from Our Lady’s High Motherwell attended the North Lanarkshire Maths Challenge in Cumbernauld New Town Hall.

The day consisted of 5 rounds, from building as tall a tower as possible using only spaghetti and sticky tape (which our team won!) to a relay round where speed and maths were important.

The pupils, Hayley Stevenson, Collette McCarron, David Martin and Jakub Mitas, thoroughly enjoyed themselves and did very well coming 8th, with big hopes for improvement next year!

S1 Maths Challenge 2011

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Report from Mr Hair

On Thursday 26th May all S1 pupils were split into 16 groups and participated in the 2011 Mathematical Challenge. In the morning they were involved in activities which included building a tower with straws and tape, estimations, quizzes, catchphrases and trying to get as many pupils as possible through a sheet of A4 paper! The record for the final activity was 16!

In the afternoon the teams ran a relay of maths questions in the Games Hall and to give them a rest they had some other quiet activities. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the day and can be commended for their enthusiasm, teamwork and behaviour. The challenge was won by Group 16 and the successful pupils were Konner Millar-Brookbanks, Aaron Turnbull, James Mullen, Emily Tougher-Mitchell, Carla Tyrrell, Caitlin Todd and Megan-Elizabeth Green. Congratulations to all.

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 …