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

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Titanic Project: Liberty Steel

The Titanic crew visited Liberty Steel for a guided tour of the plant and to learn how slabs of steel are rolled and shaped into plates for ships, bridges and rigs.

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Titanic Project 2017: films and measurements

The Titanic Crew spent the morning watching the 1958 film, A Night to Remember, and compared it with the 1997 film, Titanic, that they were more familiar with. The pupils preferred the older film because it focused on the disaster. Throughout the film, our resident Titanic fanatic, PT English Mrs Millar, pointed out important events, areas of controversy and the background of various passengers.

The afternoon was spent with Miss Lees and Miss Wheeler from Maths who helped pupils to visualise the size of Titanic by comparing it with our school building. The crew took the trundle wheels around the yard for their measurements before working on their calculations. It turns out that the school could fit twice into the footprint of the Titanic!

 

Titanic Project 2017: posters, buoyancy and mapping

Start of Titanic Project week 2 and the Crew were working with Mr Weir from Art and Design creating Titanic posters in Photoshop (photos to follow). Next they learned about buoyancy and how enormous steel vessels stay afloat, making their own vessels with Mr Law in Science. Congratulations to the team of Omar and Conor whose boat was most successful.

In the afternoon, Miss Moir from Social Subjects worked with the class on a giant map showing the Titanic’s route from Belfast to disaster, adding information about each port of call and passenger nationalities.

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Titanic Project 2017: ferry to Mount Stuart House

The Titanic Crew headed for Mount Stuart House on Bute. They were a bit nervous as it was their first time on a ferry, but got their sea-legs quickly on a beautiful calm Firth of Clyde.

Our visit to the stunning Mount Stuart House allowed pupils to get an idea of the elegant and sophisticated surroundings that 1st class passengers would have enjoyed aboard the Titanic. Our thanks to Morven and all the staff at Mount Stuart.

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Excellence and Equity Awards 2017

School awards highlight positive initiatives

Excellence and Equity Awards 2017
Productive Partnerships – Purposeful Learning
Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell
Titanic Project

 As a result of changes to SQA exams, staff at Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell, spotted an opportunity to provide an exciting programme of interdisciplinary experiences for some of our National 4 students. Our aim was to help pupils gain additional qualifications while expanding their life experiences and raising awareness of the options available to them on leaving school, all through focusing on the Titanic disaster.

We are now approaching the third year of this vibrant project which runs over three weeks of the SQA diet. The programme coordinators are PT Pupil Support, Lyn Zambonini, and Library Resource Centre Manager, Jennifer Macfadyen and involves staff from across Our Lady’s High School, local businesses, voluntary groups and national organisations.

Following an initial introduction, the programme is split into four broad areas: ship building and design; life aboard the Titanic; the disaster itself; and the rediscovery of the wreck.

We were stunned to discover that the steel plates that built Titanic had actually come from the Colville Steelworks in Motherwell, making a wonderful connection with our local heritage. Pupils were lucky to experience Tata, now Liberty Steel, in the process of rolling the steel plates with a guided tour by staff at the plant, who also provided pupils with many stories of life at the steelworks and a thorough grounding in Health and Safety routines.

Although the Titanic was built in Belfast, we were able to take advantage of the Clyde’s vast experiences in ship-building, visiting the Titan Crane at Clydebank, and the Denny Tank Museum at Dumbarton. Titan staff explained how riveting gangs worked, how the shipyards were a part of the community and how dangerous life was while the Denny Flotation Tank demonstrated the engineering expertise involved in designing and testing ships’ hulls. The group also discovered that Denny’s was even involved in testing some of Titanic’s lifeboats. This information became invaluable when learning about buoyancy with Science teachers back at OLHS, and designing their own hulls.

Pupils also learned more about some of the passengers and crew aboard and the different lives they led on a luxury liner depending on their class. English showed the films, A Night to Remember and Titanic, and compared the special effects and reliability of each. Our group were able to put their new-found knowledge into practice by working with Lifestyle Development staff to create a shipboard lunch for staff – although staff did not know until the last minute whether they would receive the 1st, 2nd or 3rd class treatment and dining experience.

To bring everything up to date we contacted Greenock Ocean Terminal who kindly arranged for us to have a tour of the Caribbean Princess. We used this experience as a focus on careers, bringing along our Careers Advisor, Miss Ruth Robertson from SDS to provide detailed advice. Seeing aboard a real cruise ship gave pupils a whole new way of looking at the world, and the numerous careers open to them. They were also keen to compare the Caribbean Princess to what they had already learned about ship design. They were definitely impressed by the safety regulations and the numbers of lifeboats.

Turning our attention to the disaster itself, Mr Walter Lee from the RNLI kindly came along to demonstrate what happened with the iceberg and graphically explain what would have happened to the Titanic’s passengers in the water, including the effects of hypothermia – he even brought along his own mini iceberg!

Other activities have included creating a map of the world demonstrating the Titanic’s route (Social Subjects); printing and poster making (Art and Design); trying out Morse code (Science); an afternoon swimming courtesy of NL Leisure (Lifestyle Development); building their own model Titanic (Social Subjects / Art); discussion of moral issues relating to women and children first and the treatment of 3rd class passengers (RE); further moral issues relating to the wreck arose following a screening of Ghosts of the Abyss: should the Titanic be raised? Should material be removed? Should the ship be left to rust to nothing? (English); and multi-lingual newspaper front pages (Modern Languages).

With so many stories being generated from the project, we wanted pupils to be able to record the aspects that were most important to them, from the ‘women and children first’ policy, to the lifeboats, to the role of the wireless operator, so we introduced the group to storyteller, Allison Galbraith, thanks to part-funding from the Scottish Book Trust. Allison demonstrated the art of storytelling, and guided the group through creating and recording their own stories, helping them to record their own voices for posterity. Allison started by introducing herself and just talking with the group, building pupils’ confidence in speaking before a stranger. As a result, although pupils were nervous about recording, they were keen to participate. Allison also demonstrated breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups before recording began, with further advice on presentation as we worked through the stories. Despite occasionally breaking into the giggles, every pupil managed to record their own work beautifully.

Discussion with pupils led to an additional trip which saw us taking the ferry to Rothesay and the stunning Mount Stuart House. This mansion was completed in 1912, the same year as the Titanic disaster and thus pupils were not only able to experience actually travelling across water – a new experience for all of them – but to see luxurious interiors similar to those of the ship they’d been learning all about.

The Titanic Project continues to develop with partnerships emerging as various individuals and groups express an interest in participating. In 2016, our pupils were even able to join with St Brendan’s Primary as part of their anniversary visit to Belfast to see the Titanic Museum for themselves.

The Titanic Project has been a huge success over the last two years. We have seen the pupils blossom, gaining in confidence, pulling together as a team, and their ideas of what’s available to them in the future have expanded rapidly. Each year pupils have created an exhibition of their experiences which have been visited by classes from across OLHS and visitors to the school, leading to further discussions and expressions of interest. Last year all of the pupils involved achieved the SQA qualifications. “Local investigations” at SCQF level 4.

Feedback from pupils themselves has been outstanding:

”I thought it would be boring, but it was brilliant!”;

“I liked how we went on adventures and explored all the museums”;

“I seemed to get a better relationship with people that I hadn’t spoken to since primary”;

”I actually wanted to come to school!”

The Project continues to explore new ground and build new partnerships. Staff coordinators continue to collect materials, ideas and contacts and we look forward to its continuing success long into the future.

 

 

Easter School

Pupils from S4-S6 came along to our Easter School for some extra study and assistance in a relaxed atmosphere before the SQA exams begin in May.

Pupils were also treated to lunch on both days – can’t study on an empty stomach.

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Thanks to Ethan for braving the wrath of S5/6 to take photos.

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.

Senior Phase Information Evening, 21st February 2017

To view the presentations from the Senior Phase Information Evening, please click on the links below.

You will need Powerpoint to view these presentations.

Senior phase information evening 2017

SDS presentation 2017

Developing the Young Workforce

S4/5 Parents’ Information Evening, 21st February 2017

From Mrs Donnachie, DHT S5/6

S4/5 Parents’ Information evening,
Tuesday 21st February 2017,
7pm, School Theatre

This evening will give you information about how to help your child/children over the weeks ahead as they prepare to move from S4 to S5 and S5 to S6 and provide you with important dates in relation to the SQA. As well as this the event will give you the opportunity to hear about the subject choices that will be available to your son/daughter from next session as well as the opportunity to ask questions.

In addition, Mrs Zambonini will give a presentation on Developing The Young Workforce which is a government strategy to help ensure that all young people leave school with a career path in place.

Ruth Robertson, our Careers Adviser, will also give information about Skills Development Scotland’s role in this strategy. Ruth is also available in school every Monday, Tuesday and Friday for one to one appointments; her role along with the pupil support team is key to ensuring that your son/daughter makes the correct subject choices as they progress in their school career.

I hope you can make this event and I look forward to welcoming you on the evening.

Easter School 2017

Dear Parent/Carer,

This year Our Lady’s High School is again running a comprehensive Easter School programme for S4-6 pupils. Easter school will take place on Monday 3rd April and Tuesday 4th April 2017.

Pupils will be asked to opt for up to a maximum of 6 sessions over the 2 days i.e. a maximum of 3 per day. They can choose different subjects for each of the allocated sessions or choose to do more than one session for particular subjects.   The format of each day will be as follows:-

Session 1         9.00-10.30

Break               10.30-10.45

Session 2         10.45-12.15

Lunch              12.15-12.45

Session 3         12.45-2.15

Please note there will be no transport available during Easter School, however lunch will be provided on both days.

This is a fantastic opportunity for your child to revise with their teachers in preparation for the SQA exams which begin on the 2nd May 2016.

If you wish your child to be involved, please print, complete and sign the accompanying form (copies sent with letter or see links below) and return it to me by Friday 24th February.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs M Donnachie,
DHT

S4 Pupil Choice Easter School 2017 (Word)
S4 Pupil Choice Easter School 2017 PDF
S5/6 Pupil Choice Easter School 2017 (Word)
S5/6 Pupil Choice Easter School 2017 PDF

Senior Prelims

Fifth and Sixth Year prelims finished on Monday 30th January.  Thanks to Mr Jimmy Keenan and his team of invigilators for their hard work and support of our young people during this stressful time – the pupils really appreciated the calm atmosphere the invigilators created.

Now the hard work really starts for all of our SQA candidates. Many of the subjects being studied contain a coursework element: performance, portfolio, investigation, extended essay or dissertation. Many marks can be gained by producing good course work and performing well in practical work, so it is really important that pupils, encouraged and supported by their teachers and parents, put in as much effort as possible between now and the end of March, when most of this coursework has to be submitted.

We look forward to welcoming Mr Keenan and his team in early May for the start of the SQA diet.

WoSPEG Quiz 2016

Report from Mr Law

Without a doubt, the highest standard first round of the competition I’ve witnessed over the last ten years.  Teams of three students, each answering three questions, no confering, for a total of 6 marks apiece over three rounds.  With another 6 marks possible for the written answer team round, that brings the total available for National 5 Physics related questions to 24.  We lost a mark for forgetting to include the unit in the team round.  Hopefully a lesson learned for their SQA exams.  Notre Dame performed flawlessly on these directed questions.  Bearsden and Dunblane only lost 2 marks apiece.  In total therefore, the 4 teams scored 95%, an impressive knowledge of their work up to now.

With a four mark anagram round and the competition opening and ending with a buzzer round worth 20 marks, the outcome was determined by reflex as well as general knowledge and familiarity with current news items.  As far as memory serves I can recall only 3 questions in these rounds that the teams couldn’t answer correctly.

After the 1st round Bearsden and Dunblane were ahead by 5 marks.  By the last round Bearsden had a slightly reduced lead with Dunblane a couple of points adrift.  A good last round from Our Lady’s High and they were level with Dunblane with only one more question to answer.  As the words of the immortal Scottish Bard wrang out, I was screaming for our team to just buzz in … screaming inside my head that is … and I watched as one of them pressed their buzzer.  Their buzzer light did not stay on and I waited to hear which school had buzzed first.  It was Dunblane.  Sure enough they had the correct answer and along with Bearsden, the clear winners, two very worthy teams progress to the semi-finals.  With Notre Dame only a couple of points behind us the heat was not only of a very high standard but also very evenly balanced.  Well done to WoSPEG for delivering such a vibrant celebration of Physics.

2016_0906_140829_ps

Our team of Patrick Quinn, Emma Dolan and Heather Nugent were an absolute credit to our school.  They couldn’t have performed better other than perhaps having cybernetic implants to improve their speed of reflex.  Along with the excellent cheerleading reserve Ryan Kane they seemed to thouroughly enjoy the competition, the experiments laid on prior to the quiz (mainly involving liquid Nitrogen) and the complimentary drinks, chocolate and WoSPEG mugs for participants.  There’s always next year.

News from Social Subjects

Report from Mr Smith

S4 Geography pupils visited New Lanark on Thursday 2nd June to find out about how the facilities there are powered exclusively by water power. We hiked up to the Falls of Clyde and admired the view, and we had guided tours of the living and working conditions when New Lanark was a functioning cotton mill.

 

Pupils are enhancing their political literacy knowledge and skills by learning about the European Union. They are developing their understanding of the arguments for and against EU membership and will take part in a whole school mock referendum next week.

S5/6 are preparing for taking part in the International Conference. Our Lady’s team will represent Syria this year and are very much looking forward to this event.

Final preparations are underway for the battlefields trip on June 20th when Our Lady’s High School’s 5th Pals Battalion will fall in for duty and head off to Belgium and France.

Titanic Project 2016: Rothesay!

The Titanic Project crew headed for Rothesay and the beautiful Mount Stuart on a glorious day bursting with sunshine. For most pupils it was their first time on a ferry and they headed outside right away to watch the ship leaving Wemyss Bay.

After the essential photocalls and exploring the ship, they settled down to watch the scenery go past and ask how this would compare with their upcoming trip to Belfast.

Mount Stuart is a stunning mansion which gives an excellent impression of how opulent the interiors would have been on the Titanic. The group were enthusiastic about the grounds, but the luxury of the house really grabbed their attention, with carvings and beautiful details everywhere. Education Officer, Morven, kindly acted as our guide through the chapel, dining room, drawing room, bedrooms and bathrooms. Despite pupil concerns, Mrs Macfadyen was able to tear herself away from the Library (with its first folio Shakespeare, and its ladder!) and Mrs Zambonini stopped sighing over the chandeliers, so that they were able to see the balcony and the swimming pool! Back in Rothesay we had time for ice-cream and a quick peak at the marina before the ferry returned us to the mainland with a rather sleepy crew.

Our thanks to all at Mount Stuart and to Halls Coaches for a wonderful visit at such short notice.

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Titanic Project 2016 : Storyteller

Professional storyteller, Allison Galbraith, returned to OLHS to help the Titanic Group record their stories. Each pupil chose a different aspect of the Titanic to focus on, from the ‘women and children first’ policy, to the lifeboats, to the role of the wireless operator. Allison had previously visited to introduce herself and build pupils’ confidence in speaking before a stranger at the beginning of the project. Each person was invited to share a little about their name and family background until everyone was at their ease. As a result, although pupils were nervous about recording, they were keen to know when Allison would be returning.

Allison started the group off with some breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups, including tongue twisters and jaw massage, before we settled on the comfy seats to record the pupils’ work. Allison provided additional advice on reading speed, pausing and presentation as we worked through the stories. Despite the dangers of breaking into the giggles, every pupil recorded their own work beautifully.

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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