Scholar

5th and 6th year pupils sitting Highers and Advanced Highers in a range of subjects received instruction regarding the Scholar programme today.

Scholar specialist, Harry Hughes, took groups through the Scholar website, showing them how get the best out of the facilities. Scholar was created by Heriot Watt University originally to assist with advanced work in  Science, Maths and Languages, but the range of subjects is gradually increasing, and now includes

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Management
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • French
  • Human Biology
  • Information Systems
  • Maths
  • Physics

with further courses in Economics, German, Psychology and Spanish forthcoming. The website takes the form of lessons, interactive tasks, animations and tests, all of which can be monitored by teaching staff.

All OLHS pupils sitting one of the relevant courses has access to these materials via a log-in and password. These can be retrieved from Mrs Macfadyen in the Library Resource Centre.

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Reading Trail

Each year, classes taking part in the Reading Trail vote for the pupils who worked the hardest. While the LRC Manager and English teachers discuss with pupils possible reasons for voting for a particular person – making an effort, reading more difficult books – the actual voting is entirely over to the pupils themselves.

The reward is a trip to a bookshop, where the chosen few have the responsibility of helping to spend the LRC budget. They also have snacks and lunch and can choose a book for themselves.

While the trip is a lot of fun, there’s a great deal of work involved as well. Pupils have a set budget and have to choose materials to suit everyone. When you’re choosing from a collection of thousands, it’s not so easy.

For the first time since we started this competition, the vote winners were all girls, and they went on their trip to the Fort recently, accompanied by Ms Sneddon and Mrs Macfadyen. As usual, we started with tea/coffee/hot chocolate while discussing the types of material the girls were looking for. By lunchtime we had ended up with a massive collection of books and were happy to take a break for lunch. 

We were ready to be more selective in the afternoon, but were interrupted by a fire alarm so we all left the shop and went for a walk to keep warm. At this stage, Ms Sneddon revealed that her father and brothers were responsible for the metal structure on top of the Fort – now renamed Sneddon Towers. 

When we returned to the shop, we got down to work, adding up our final totals, discussing the benefits of buying paperbacks or hardback books and trying to identify books for themselves. Then we returned to OLHS, not forgetting to wave to The Heavy Horse on the way.

 The books have now been delivered to the school and are being impatiently waited for while being processed.

Future financiers

The ifs Student Investor Challenge is an annual competition which encourages participants to try their hand at the Stock Exchange, complete with virtual £100,000 to invest.

This year, OLHS has six teams taking part: five pupil teams and one staff team. So far, the staff have been most diligent in checking their stocks and bonds, with the result that they’ve lost most money (aww).

Meanwhile, the pupil teams have realised that they’re falling behind others in the competition, and this is a competition worth winning. There are a number of monthly prizes, as well as extra quizzes and writing challenges. The top prize is an educational trip to New York (the staff don’t get to win, they just get the joy of beating the pupils’ teams – maybe). 

Most of the team names came from items lying on the LRC desk (decide which ones for yourself):

  • FTSE Four
  • Brains PLC
  • Share Stampers
  • Wooden Spoon Inc.
  • The Volleyballs
  • Numerous Meerkats Can Limbo

You can follow their progress on the website and check out the teams’ thoughts in the comments section.