Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Special assemblies were held on Friday 27th January to mark this event.

This is a day for everyone to remember the millions of people who were killed, or whose lives have been changed, by an event in history called the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked on 27th January because on this day in 1945 soldiers fighting against the Germans entered the largest Nazi concentration camp called Auschwitz-Birkenau and freed the mainly Jewish prisoners there who were still alive.

Zoe Law and Ross Walker of S6, who recently visited Auschwitz, produced and delivered a very informative and moving presentation on Friday. The S1-3 pupils who attended these assemblies showed great respect as they listened and watched-everyone present was certainly reminded how important it is not to spread messages of hate, or to exclude people for any reason. We also remembered in our prayers the millions of people who were killed or had been affected by Nazi persecution, as well as those affected by the terrible crimes committed during later conflicts in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Rewiring update

The whole of the bottom corridor as well as the Support for Learning base, the Pupil Support base, four sets of pupil toilets, and the RE department have now been re-wired.  New ceilings, LCD lights and beautifully painted walls have transformed these areas into a bright modern environment.  Staff pupils and visitors have all commented very favourably on the work to date and look forward to the whole school being refreshed.  The team has moved to the fourth floor and work has started on the Kamwokya Room as well as four Social Subjects areas. Work on this area of the school, where exams are held, will be completed in advance of the prelims in December.

Christmas Fair 26th November 2016

The Personal Development class will coordinate the fair which will be on Saturday 26th November in The Zone.  10 am – 12 pm.

We are looking for as many helpers and stall holders as possible, hopefully one from every department. Last year’s stalls included home baking, books, toys, Reindeer Food and Fairy Dust! Anyone out-with the school who would like a stall, please contact Mrs Zambonini.  Cost of a stall is £20.

Scullion Law Debating Competition

Grant Mackin and Christopher Wilson will be again representing the school in their first competitive debate of the year in the Scullion Law Schools Cup.

The dates for the rounds are:

  • First Round:   Wednesday, 12th of October 4.30 – 6pm
  • Semi Final: Tuesday, 1st of November 4.30pm – 6pm
  • Final: Tuesday, 22nd of November 6 – 8pm.

Good luck boys!

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh group set off on their two day practice expedition to Auchengillan, near Strathblane on September 20th and 21st.

Participants have been learning map reading and compass skills to help them with the expedition, which is one of four elements of the award.

The task itself is to navigate to the campsite carrying all food and equipment, set up camp, cook dinner and stay overnight.

So far, the group is showing all the signs of succeeding in the assessed expedition which will take place later in the year- probably just in time for the snow to start falling!


Christmas Fair 2016

The Personal Development class are coordinating this year’s Christmas Fair which will be on Saturday 26th November in The Zone from 10 am – 12 pm.

Last year’s stalls included home baking, books, toys, Reindeer Food, Fairy Dust and bric-a-brac along with Santa’s Grotto and a treasure hunt! Anyone outwith the school who would like a stall, please contact Mrs Zambonini.  Cost of a stall is £20.


Special Report by Saoirse Higham and Emma Torrance S5

On Thursday 8th September, a group of S5/6 pupils was given the opportunity to visit the University of Glasgow in order to take part in a project that introduces female students to STEM subjects- Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. During the course of the day, we took part in many enjoyable activities, such as speed mentoring, CV writing, help with presentational skills as well as listening to inspirational speeches from women who have had great success in the exciting world of STEM.


We were astonished to discover that only 14% of those working in STEM industries are female- a figure which, up to recent years, was even lower. Clearly, STEM industries are very much male dominated- but we feel that this must change. We learned that although women applying to these industries are just as well qualified as men, they tended to be much less confident, and therefore were often overlooked for positions. Women also tend to lose out to men when it comes to equal pay- and equality in the work place in general.

Throughout our day we learned many important and useful skills to take with us on our journey through life: how to present ourselves in the workplace, prepare an effective CV and how to have a successful interview. We also learned that by following your heart and doing what you love you will find success in your own way.

Thursday was made possible through the amazing work of the STEMettes and their sponsor, “Monster Confidence” who work with STEM industries to encourage more women to join their workforces. Thanks for their most important lesson for us: Never let anyone stand in your way- Girl Power!

OLHS Musical Society

The school has been contacted by the OLHS Musical Society as some of their dancers are now unable to participate in the show. They Society are looking for some pupils, preferably 16 or over, to dance in their latest production, Calamity Jane, in November. It would involve two nights of rehearsal between now and the November Show.  The show runs from 1st-5th December.

Please see Mrs Sinclair if you are interested.

Books and materials

If you have any textbooks or Library books please return them to school before the end of term. Don’t be worried about handing back materials from few years ago – you will not get into trouble.

As you know budgets have been cut and the school simply cannot afford to replace books year in year out. This will impact future pupils.

Can we also ask families to please check shelves, cupboards, under beds etc for any old school books and hand them into OLHS.

Thank you to everyone for your assistance.

Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce

Our Lady’s is an early adopter of the careers input for the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce initiative and has already been involved in several events.

OLHS staff and senior pupils were invited to attend an event held by the Wild Hearts Foundation in Glasgow along with other Micro Tyco schools to participate in a question and answer session with business professionals. In addition, staff and pupils attended a four day event at Coatbridge College looking at roots and pathways for opportunities after school.

Many thanks to PT PSHE, Mrs Lyn Zambonini for all of her work on this initiative.

Duke of Edinburgh presentations

The Duke of Edinburgh group completed their bronze assessed walks in Auchingillan near Strathblane in beautiful October sunshine. The young people had to navigate their way to the campsite, set up camp, cook dinner and stay overnight.

As part of their assessment, each group has to present the story of their walk, discussing what they learned about themselves, how they would change if attempting the same challenge in future, and what the highlights of the walk were for them. The groups chose different aspects of their experiences to focus on from historic buildings to geocaching. The audience of Partnership Officer, Deborah King, Librarian, Jennifer Macfadyen, and Gillian McCairn and Franny Aitken from Community Learning and Development thoroughly enjoyed the groups’ work.

Ghosts of War – Armistice Day Poetry 2

After lunch, Ken and Lorna introduced two collections for the second part of our poems: things sent back from soldiers at the front or sent to soldiers at front.

The items returned from the front included items made by soldiers in the spare time, sometimes sent as presents, as well as items returned to the family after a soldier’s death. Pupils could choose to investigate:

  1. ID tags. 
  2. a spoon with a secret
  3. biplane model
  4. brooch
  5. lucky charm of baby
  6. photo of soldier, in a frame
  7. silk postcard
  8. souvenir salt cellar
  9. cuddly toy from Arthur to Millie
  10. death plaque

Meanwhile at the other end of the room, pupils could explore

  1. a brass Mary tin
  2. a carved bullet
  3. a brass button stick
  4. a gaming piece
  5. ID disc
  6. French phrase book
  7. a harmonica
  8. postcards
  9. hard tack
  10. Lord’s prayer token

Pupils were asked to consider their chosen objects, answer questions about them and use their thoughts for their second verses.

Finally, we all moved round to the Scottish National War Museum where Ken and Lorna showed us some items dating from the First World War, and explained some more details about them. Pupils were asked to identify the person connected with the artifacts, how they had been used and what happened to the person afterwards.

Lorna showed us a nurse’s uniform and pointed out that the red cross had turned pink. This was probably because the uniform had been washed and rewashed until the colour had faded, but there was another possibility. Some new nurses, with bright red crosses on their tunics would deliberately bleach the colour from the red crosses so that they looked older. This may have been to fit in, but perhaps also to calm the injured: an experienced nurse may have been more comforting to a wounded soldier as she would have known what she was doing.

Returning to the dungeon, sorry, Education Room, pupils wrote their third and final verses based on the objects in the museum. Ken read our original first verse, and pupils read their own second and third verses.

Finally we had to head home, clutching the beginnings of our poems and promising to share the final versions with the lovely Ken and Lorna.

Our thanks to the National Museums of Scotland, to the staff of Edinburgh Castle and especially to Ken and Lorna for a fascinating, creative, moving and extremely enjoyable day.

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Day of the Dead – Quiz, Prizewinners and Thanks

The penultimate task of our Day of the Dead event was a multiple choice quiz covering Dia de los Muertos and Hallowe’en. The teams had learned about Day of the Dead over the previous weeks through the departments involved.

The prizewinners were announced by DHT, Mr McQuillan, before Fr Martin closed the afternoon by reminding everyone that this afternoon had been a way of remembering family and friends who had died.

Congratulations to all of S2 whose behaviour was excellent, and thanks to all of the departments involved for another successful Day of the Dead.

Here’s to 2016!

Our grateful thanks to:

all the staff of the Departments involvedArt and Design, Library Resource Centre, Modern Languages, Religious Education;

our Caritas helpersMonica Allan, Louise Black, Rebecca Cairney, Nicole Cassidy, Beth Cunningham, Emma Graham, Megan Green, Gary Harbinson, James Kelly, Sherri Lonie, Sophie Lloyd, Lisa Mackie, Olivia McMahon, Emily Tougher Mitchell, Sophie Tougher Mitchell, Rachael Moore, Roseanne Plunkett, Claire Ross, Keryn Shearer, Beth Knight Townsley;

our Mariachi Band: Mrs Glover, Mr Kerr, Konner Miller-Brookbanks, Paul Hawthorne;

our judges: Father Martin, Mr McQuillan and volunteer, Scott Price;

everyone who helped out the event go aheadSMT, janitors, admin, all the staff who covered classes, and all the staff who popped in to help.

P7 visit

Report from Mr McQuillan

Primary 7 pupils from our associated primary schools visited Our Lady’s HS on Tuesday 3rd November. This is the first stage of their Primary 7 transition which will be ongoing throughout this year. They took part in a variety of subjects and had a real experience of a day at OLHS. Feedback from the pupils was very positive and they look forward to coming back for 2 days in June.

Thanks also to our S2 pupils who helped guide our future pupils from class to class:

Julia Brola, Morgan Brown, Owen Carroll, Erin Dawson, Paul Devlin, Rachel Donnelly, Kerryn Foy, Regan McNee, Michaela Miller, Conor Mullen, Caitlin O’Neil, Aidan Simpson, Jonathan Sneddon, Wiktor Witkowski