Proposed Modern Languages trip

The Modern Languages Department are considering organising a trip to either France or Spain in June 2018 for pupils in S3/S4/S5.

Pupils in those year groups have received the following letter, with a tear off slip. Please return asap if you are interested.

You can click on the images to make them larger or click on the PDF version at the bottom.

PDF version: Modern Languages Proposed School Trip

Cycling Tour Series

The Cycling Tour Series is returning to Motherwell on the 23rd May and are looking for teams of four from local High Schools to come along to get a chance to ride around the official track and participate in a race. Interested S1-3 pupils who are confident cyclists and have their own roadworthy bike should give their name to the PE department as soon as possible.

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.

Fire Reach Girls 2017

S3 Girls Emma Kirkwood, Megan Kelly, Maja Fereniec, Regan McNee, Ebony Bollard and Neve Connelly recently enjoyed a great week at Fire Reach. The girls worked with the Fire and Rescue crew all week. They were given a real insight into the many things a Firefighter’s job involves, learning about First Aid and team work as well as the varied rescues crews are expected to perform.

Each of the girls was presented with a photo and portfolio at the end of the week. Well done girls- Firefighters of the future!

Visiting authors: Martin Stewart and Alan Bissett

We were delighted to host two author visits on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December in the Library with authors Alan Bissett and Martin Stewart.


Almost 100 S3 pupils were treated to readings, question and answer sessions and Alan’s take on everything from favourite books to films to River City, which he writes for, and how he used memories of his childhood friends to create characters for his first novel. Martin, speaking to S2, explained his writing process, the difficulties of getting published, how to write with a bored dog and his inspiration from photographs. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the visits and learned a lot about writing for a living – perhaps we will see some more published authors from Our Lady’s in the future!


Thanks to both authors for giving up their valuable time, to Scottish Book Trust for co-funding the event and to Mrs Macfadyen for organising the visits.

Politics Week at Summerlee

S3 Modern Studies pupils visited Summerlee on 18th December as part of UK Parliament Week. They were addressed by Phil Boswell MP, Elaine Smith MSP, Councillor Michael McPake and Professor Kirstie Blair from Strathclyde University, as well as exploring the exhibits throughout the museum, and taking part in a mock election for the Scottish Parliament and in the EU Referendum.

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Pupils pointed out to Mrs Macfadyen that cameras were not allowed in polling stations, but graciously agreed to allow shots without faces in view.


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.

Broad General Education Awards 2016

The OLHS Awards for Broad General Education (or BGE) for pupils from S1-3 were held last night.

Our thanks to School Chaplain, Fr Martin Delaney, to Lewis Longmuir for introducing our speaker, to Shannon Waldron for the vote of thanks, our fabulous band for their wonderful music and to Mr Philip McGhee for presenting the awards.

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School Sports 2016: 3rd year results

All photographs from S1 Photography Club

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100m girls
Gold – Shannon Waldron
Silver – Amy Dunne
Bronze – Lia Chambers

100m boys
Gold – Adam Lynch
Silver – Eammon Higgins
Bronze – Scott Wilson

400m girls
Gold – Lucy McQuaid
Silver – Hayley Graham
Bronze – Alexandra Healey

400m boys
Gold – Adam Lynch
Silver – Michael Costello
Bronze – Eric Katat

800m girls
Gold – Megan Grew
Silver – Alicia Jackson
Bronze – Jacklyn Gray

800m boys
Gold – Ronan Winton
Silver – Greg McCluskey
Bronze – Mateusz Czymerman

Javelin girls
Gold – Shannon Waldron
Silver – Robyn Leach
Bronze – Michaela Bennett

Javelin boys
Gold – Nathan Todd
Silver – Adrian Monka
Bronze – Greg McCluskey

Shot Putt girls
Gold – Shannon Waldron
Silver – Jacklyn Gray
Bronze –  Erin Queen

Shot Putt boys
Gold – Gunther Ofori
Silver – Connor Lynch
Bronze – Rabbi Safro

Long Jump girls
Gold – Lucy McQuaid
Silver – Amy Dunne
Bronze – Louise Dynes

Long Jump Boys
Gold – Ronan Winton
Silver – Elisee Kizube
Bronze – Sean O’ Neil

High Jump girls
Gold – Shannon Waldron
Silver – Viviana Karpova
Bronze – Lauren McCann

High Jump boys
Gold – Gunther Ofori
Silver – Mark McSorley
Bronze –  Kieran Jenkins

S3 mixed relay
Gold – Sinclair
Silver – Columba
Bronze –  Andrew

Tug of war winner : Columba

School Sports 2016 Results

The Lifestyle Development Faculty held the School Sports Day on 26th May. Congratulations to winners, Columba!

The results were as follows.


S1 : 96 points
S2 : 137 points
S3 : 86 points
TOTAL:  319 points


S1 : 51 points
S2 :  87 points
S3 : 135 points
TOTAL : 273 points


S1 : 68 points
S2 : 69 points
S3 : 57 points
TOTAL: 194 points


S1 : 53 points
S2 : 99 points
S3 : 9 points
TOTAL: 161 points

Detailed individual results for 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year follow.

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Sports Day 2016

The Lifestyle Development Faculty is organising a Sports Day on Thursday 26th May.  Pupils will compete in their House groups resulting in an overall winning house. The events will take place on the bottom ash field for the duration of the school day.

Lists of participants and events have been posted in the PE department and in the Zone.  Pupils should check these lists to ensure they know what event they will be participating in. All pupils will be taking part in some way so remember your PE kit!

As this will be a non-uniform day, pupils will pay £1, which will go towards the Malawi First Aid Appeal.  There will also be various stalls to help with fund raising, offering refreshments, home baking and other surprises!  We are looking forward to an action packed, fun filled and exciting 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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Cathy MacPhail

Award winning author, Cathy MacPhail, visited 3rd year pupils to share her experiences of becoming published, the sources of her plots and the trailer for the recent film made from her first novel, Another Me.

Along the way, Cathy managed to get the pupils to imagine the spookiest things that could happen in the room they were in, and volunteered one of the pupils to be at the receiving end of all this trauma (sorry, Gemma!) From unseen voices, flickering lights and echoing footsteps, it wasn’t clear if her victim would get out alive!

Fortunately all had survived by interval, and we took Cathy off for some discussions with coffee and senior pupils. Advanced High English now includes a Creative Writing element, and the class appreciated Cathy’s insights into character, plot and how to get writing.

Many thanks to Cathy for all of her advice and stories. We look forward to welcoming her again in 2016 to discuss writing with S2 pupils.

Ghosts of War – Armistice Day Poetry 1

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On Monday 9th, S3 pupils and staff headed for Edinburgh Castle for a workshop entitled “Ghosts of War: Armistice Day Poetry

Our workshop leaders, Lorna and Ken, met us on the Esplanade to introduce themselves and explain the plan for today, before leading us round to the Scottish National War Memorial. Photography is not allowed in the memorial so no pictures.

The frieze in the Memorial is by Gertrude Alice Meredith Williams and was based on drawings by her husband in the trenches. Pupils noticed bagpipes, kilts, bunnets, snowshoes, animals, rope, shovel, boots, weapons and different uniforms. Lorna read a poem leading into in a minute’s silence, with pupils standing shoulder to shoulder. 

During our silence, a clock chimed 11 o’clock; according to Lorna and Ken, that hadn’t happened before. Very moving, and a little eerie.

We move through to the Education Room, formerly known as the Devil’s Elbow, previously used as a dungeon and barracks (not at the same time though). Most appropriate. This takes us out onto a wee walkway very high above Edinburgh

Ken and Lorna explain that we’re going to be writing poems in three parts, and the first stanza is based on the Memorial, so pupils are asked to write down who and what they saw in the frieze. After a little shyness, suggestions include cavalry; cold weather soldier with fur collar; someone with a camel; a pilot with a biplane; animals including dogs, camels, horses, pigeons; weapons including rifles, pistols, machine guns and shells; and the words on the memorial itself: their name liveth; God holds their souls in their hands. 

The first verse is based around pupils’ own experience of being in the memorial, sharing ideas and moving lines about to make the best impact.  

Now Lorna asks for some helpers, but everyone is feeling a bit shy so staff try to volunteer one or two bodies, and then some brave souls step up. Lorna asks why they volunteered and their answers are fascinating:

  • because I was being made to
  • because I thought it might be fun
  • because no-one else was.

Lorna points out that these three responses can sum up most soldiers’ reasons for enlisting. She also explains that there was a tradition for Scots to volunteer, and far larger ratios of Scots volunteered than other countries of the UK. Soldiers had to be at least 5’3″, with 34″ chest, and 18 years old, or 19 for moving out to France. However, the records show many, many recruits who did not match these criteria.  

Mark volunteers to get dressed in typical soldier gear including a jacket, greatcoat, goatskin, webbing pack with pockets, balaclava, helmet, gas mask. It was believed the helmet could stop bullets, but it didn’t. The goatskin smelled as it was smoked for preservation.

XL3 news

Report by Mrs McNeish

XL3 classes have attended the NLC Arts and Employabilities event at Coatbridge college.

They had the chance to sample two different arts projects which they can choose to work on in school between January to March. The groups chose to try Bonkers Art and Shadow Play which everyone enjoyed.

The group will be making up their minds which project they will continue with.

Fire Reach 2015

Report from Mrs McNeish

Some of our S3 pupils have been involved in NLC Firereach programme over the last two weeks.

Five girls (Rebecca Gibbons, Kerri McLeod, Ebony Goodfellow, Erin Queen and Leah Super) attended week beginning 26th October and the boys the following week. Jack Carroll, Mateusz Cymerman, Elise Kitzube, Christopher McNally, Tommy Brierton and Robbie Henderson were the representatives from the boys.

The feedback has been very positive from all, and the pupils have left the week with a first aid certificate, some fire fighting experience, and lots of memories. The groups were a credit to themselves and the school.

Netball results

Report from Miss Simpson

Huge congratulations to the S3/4 netball team who played Braidhurst High School today after school and beat them 19-14. It was a closely fought match however our slick passing, accurate shooting, determination and teamwork gave us the edge. Well done girls – you did Our Lady’s High School proud!!

Team: Rebecca McQuaid, Lucy McQuaid, Emma Dolan, Shannon Waldron, Lara McEneany, Holly McGuire, Emma Torrance, Robyn Leach and Morgan Deakin.

XL Archery

XL3 tried out archery today, with a little help from Chris of World of Wings, Cumbernauld.

Chris was extremely careful with Health and Safety issues, which is why there are no photographs taken from in front of the archers!

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