New staff

Welcome back to all our pupils, and especially to those just starting with Our Lady’s this year.

There are also a number of new staff to introduce:

  • Mr Cardle is our new Headteacher
  • Miss Corcoran and Mr Hale have joined the Maths Department
  • Mr Gallagher is a new addition to PE
  • Mr Maxwell joins the RE staff on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Mrs Cameron is our new ASNA in Support for Learning.
  • Miss Ruth Fulton is taking over as our Careers Advisor, and will be in school most Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Welcome to Our lady’s High School, everybody!

Advertisements

Welcome, Mr Cardle

Back in April, Mrs Sinclair announced her decision to retire at the end of this term, meaning that Our Lady’s was on the hunt for a new headteacher.

After a lengthy interview process, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Dan Cardle, currently Headteacher at St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock.

Mr Cardle will take up his post in August, but visited Our Lady’s this morning where he took the opportunity to speak to a whole school assembly.

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!

SQA Appointee of the Year

Huge congratulations to Mrs Lyn Zambonini who won SQA Star Award for Appointee of the Year.  Mrs Zambonini has a wealth of experience in relation to wider achievements in SQA awards.  She has supported hundreds of schools and centres over many years on their journey to provide the best possible courses for young people.  The pupils in Our Lady’s, from first year all the way to sixth year, are fortunate to be in a school where wider achievement is so much a part of their experience, from learning sign language, taking part in Duke of Edinburgh Awards, to volunteering in the community, organizing Burns Suppers, learning HeartStart and raising money for all kinds of charities.

Our pupils know that Teaching and Learning are about much more than exam results; Mrs Zambonini has led the way for many years in making every pupil believe that he or she is special, talented and gifted in his or her own way- we are very proud her!

Rowing Machine Challenge

2016_1031_rowingchallengeadamsReport from Mr Law

Congratulations are due to the Our Lady’s High School rowing machine team for reaching the one million metres mark between the 15th September and the 15th October.

Concept 2, the manufacturers of the most commonly used rowing machine among rowers, organise a competition each year called “The Fall Challenge”.  This international competition is for competitors to record how far they row during the four weeks.  Certificates are awarded for reaching targets of 100,000m and 200,000m with a 50,000m target for those that are 16 years old and under.  A further incentive is that all teams with a physical location would be entered into a draw for a top of the range rowing machine as long as 10 of the team members attained the 100,000m mark.

From an initial staff team of eighteen, it soon became apparent that the physical or time effort required could not be maintained.  There is a tedium associated with the repetitive nature of rowing even 5000m, thus requiring mental stamina.  This would need to be kept up for five days a week for each of the weeks in order to reach the 100,000m mark.  A much harder task than many might initially believe.  A new influx of three, including two students, replaced our eight valiant drop outs and with 13 team members, our eyes were on the prize and the challenge progressed.

With three of our team members adding to our total without attempting the target, it was always going to be difficult to achieve.  Four members of staff simply struggled to find the time to complete enough rowing sessions but were still in the hunt to the very end.  So extra special congratulations to the six that became members of the 100,000m in a month club.

Our team consisted of Mr Law, Miss Lees, Mr Shields, Mr McHugh, Mr Martin, Adam Boyle, Mr Hart, Adam Fallon, Fr Delaney, Mr McGurk, Mrs Jeffrey, Mr Donnachie and Miss Mark.  We finished 96th out of 395 teams, (nearly 5,000 competitors in total).  We were 3rd out of 22 teams from the education sector.  Although we didn’t manage to make it into the draw for the rowing machine it has certainly been a tremendous effort all round.

SCIAF Hallowe’en

Report by Liam Musgrave

2014_1031_5979The Caritas SCIAF group organised a Halloween fundraising event on 31st October. Pupils in the group persuaded members of staff to dress up and obtain sponsorship from their pupils for doing so.

Many teachers enthusiastically participated and costumes sported on the day included a tube of toothpaste, zombies, a hippy chick, a leprechaun, a whole coven of witches and Wally.

2014_1031_6032The group managed to raise £275 through this event, taking their running total to £605. The group would like to say a special thank you to all staff members who took part for supporting their charity fundraising endeavours.

Our Lady’s Strictly Dancing 2013

Forget Bruce Forsyth! Forget Tess Daly! There’s real sparkle in the air as the second annual Our Lady’s Strictly Dancing will be held Friday 4th October  at 7.30pm. (Tickets available soon from the school office).

We are looking forward to a dazzling display from this year’s couples who include:

  • Mrs Woodside and Ryan Fernon;
  • Mrs McNeish and Marc Costello;
  • Mrs Fitzpatrick and Jonny McLeod;
  • Mrs Sinclair and David Connelly;
  • Mrs Anderson and Ronan Higgins;
  • Mrs Mulholland and Sean Downes.

The judges this year have a wealth of dancing talent between them, including tango maestro, Fr King, Miss ‘Gangnam’ McGinness, Mr Allan and Mrs Zambonini.

See highlights from last year’s event here.

OLHS Champions League

Report from Mrs McNeish

OLHS Champions League took place at Firpark this week with 6 teams competing. Each team had 2 boys from S4, 5 and 6 along with a member of staff. The games were very competitive and all players did really well. The winning team were PSG and were presented with the trophy by Mrs Sinclair at the end of the tournament.

The winning team consisted of Matthew McGowan, Daniel Leonard, Luke Easton, Sean Hopkinson, Robbie Mackie, Jonny MacLeod, Owen Hastie and Mr Brogan.

Extreme sponsored swim

So, you know Mrs King, one of our beloved Partnership Officers?

She claims to be sane.

We have evidence to the contrary.

Mrs King has volunteered to swim from Oban to Kerrera (actually in the freezing cold, greyish blue stuff) to raise funds for the RNLI.

oban_kerreraPlease encourage her while she dodges CalMac ferries for charity by donating at her Just Giving page.

Next year, Mrs Zambonini goes hiking on the sun.

Charlie Thomson

Our Lady’s staff and pupils were shocked to hear about the sudden death of Mr Charlie Thomson this week.

Charlie was a member of our Support for Learning Department for many years.  Although retired from the school he continued to work as a driver for the Council and brought a number of our pupils to school on a daily basis.

Charlie was in school on Monday and working as usual on Monday evening so his death has come as a shock to staff and pupils across the school.

Leaving Staff Interview – Miss Watt

Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High School?

There’s no job available.

How long have you worked here?

One year.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?

I’ve loved it. It’s been fantastic.

What’s your best memory of Our Lady’s High?

I don’t know, there’s been so many! It would be too hard to list them all.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

No. I originally wanted to be an accountant, then a lawyer, but then I had children and I realised how much I loved working with kids. I loved maths and computing and children so I decided to combine them with teaching.

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to be a teacher?

Be very dedicated. It’s a difficult job, and it’s certainly not just 9:00 – 3:30!

What (or who) will you miss the most?

I’ve made lots of friends here. I’ll miss the kids and the maths department, everyone’s been so nice and friendly.

Who was your favourite person to work with?

The maths department.

What are your plans after leaving?

Enjoy the summer, go on a holiday and have a job for August.

Would you come back if you had the chance?

Definitely.

Any last words?

I will miss everything about this school.

Leaving Staff Interview – Miss Campbell

Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High School?

I have a new job at a new school – St. Modan’s High School in Stirling.

How long have you worked here?

Unfortunately, only a year.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?

Yes! I loved every minute of it. The only problem I have had is that the work gave me wrinkles. I’m too young for that!

What’s your best memory of Our Lady’s High?

That’s a very tricky question actually. If I had to say something, I’d have to say it was the Outward Bound trip I went on with the fifth year pupils. I had a lot of fun.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

Yes, I did. However, I didn’t know what kind of teacher I wanted to be – history or drama. It’s clear what I ended up doing.

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to be a teacher?

Three main points:

  • Buy wrinkle cream.
  • Work really hard.
  • Bring hand sanitizer – you seem to catch all sorts of things working with kids.

What (or who) will you miss the most?

I’ll obviously miss the pupils. This school has some very funny characters. And of course, I’ll miss my Horrible Histories Club. They were fantastic!

Who was your favourite person to work with?

All of the pupils because I learned so much from them.

What are your plans after leaving?

To chill out completely, have a break and plan for my new school.

Would you come back if you had the chance?

Yes, I would be glad too.

Any last words?

Hasta la vista, baby!

Leaving Staff Interview – Mrs McAlinden

Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High School?

Circumstances.

How long have you worked here?

I’ve been here permanently for two and a half years, and one and half outside of that.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?

I’ve loved it.

What’s your  best memory of Our Lady’s High?

The camaraderie with staff and the relationships with pupils.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

Yes. I did explore other options, but I’ve always came back to teaching.

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to be a teacher?

You have to want to do it. It can’t just be a second choice.

What (or who) will you miss the most?

Working with Mrs Fitzpatrick.

Who was your favourite person to work with?

It’s self-explanatory!

What are your plans after leaving?

I’m going to keep in touch and try to do some supply teaching whenever I can. I have a lot more time now, so I’m going to join some groups – I’ve already joined a book group, I’m going to join a walking group and I may even try zumba! I’m also planning to go on a lot of weeks away.

Would you come back if you had the chance?

Yes.

Any last words?

This was a great school to end my teaching career in and I’m very emotional to be leaving. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I hope to hear good things about everyone.

Marion Russell

Our Lady’s is saying goodbye to our Activate Officer, Marion Russell. Marion has worked tirelessly with OLHS pupils for the last ten years, organising visits, filling in forms, and always encouraging young people to accomplish whatever they could. We will miss her smiles, understanding and determination to achieve the best for those in her charge, but wish her all the best in her new job.

Farewell, Mrs McGuigan

“Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High?” seemed the obvious question (or in our case interrogation) to start with.
I am leaving for two reasons; one, I am having a baby and two, I have been offered a fulltime job in a high school in Cumbernauld.

Fair enough, those reasons are good enough for us. Roll on to the next question! How long have you worked here at Our Lady’s High?
Four years in May.

Have you enjoyed working here at Our Lady’s High?
I have loved working at Our Lady’s High.

Yeah yeah Miss, that’s what they all say… 😉 What’s your best memory of Our Lady’s High?
One of my first lessons here, a girl came up to me after the lesson and said, “Thank you very much for the great lesson, Miss”.

One of the more appreciative pupils here at Our Lady’s. 😉 Did you always want to be a teacher? (We were expecting something exciting, perhaps an astronaut or a ninja like Mr Knighton)
Yes, but I wanted to be a PE teacher. I am glad I am a Maths teacher though.

Great, my two favourite subjects, pe and maths. -_- What are your plans after leaving?
Having my baby and going to a new job.

What will you miss the most (if anything)?
Pupils, staff and the purple blazers, I think they’re fab! Nicest uniform in my opinion.

Who was your favourite person to work with?
Mrs Mulholland. She has Our Lady’s flowing through her veins!

So apparently Mrs Mulholland has purple blood. Who would have ever known? Would you come back if you had the chance?
Yes.

Any last words?
After a joke about being held at gun point, Mrs McGuigan replied, ”
I’m going to miss this place, and I wish everyone good luck.”

We wish Mrs McGuigan all the best of luck for the future.

Farewell, Mr Ardery

We sent some ace reporters to interview Mr Ardery, who leaves us at the end of term for pastures new.

Why are you leaving Our Lady’s High?
Another teacher is coming here, so I have to move on.

How long have you been here?
1 year.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?
Yes, it’s been absolutely fantastic!

What’s your best memory of Our Lady’s High?
The pupils!

Did you always want to be a teacher?
No! I always wanted to do something in the countryside like Gamekeeping!

What are your plans after leaving?
To continue teaching! At Our Lady’s High in Cumbernauld.

What will you miss the most?
The pupils of course!

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to be a teacher?
Ensure that you like children, and remember that you don’t just teach the children – they teach you.

Who was your favourite person to work with?
Too many! Everyone had an attribute!

Would you come back if you had the chance?
Yes!

Any last words?
I’d like to thank all the staff for their help and comradeship and most of all the pupils!

Farewell, Mrs Buchanan

Why are leaving Our Lady’s High?
Different post – at St.Marys I will be full time.

How long have you worked here?
Only 2 or 3 months.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS?
Very, very much.

What’s your best memory of Our Lady’s High?
Lots of nice memories of the kids I have worked with.

Did you always want to work in a school?
No. But I’ve enjoyed it.

What are your plans after school?
The holidays and working at St.Marys.

What will you  miss the most?
Having long conversations with the kids I work with and fashion tips (not that I need them lol).

Who was your favourite person to work with?
Chloe. Seeing her develop has been great.

Would you come back if you had the chance?
Yes.

Any last words?
Miss you guys.