Headteachers – all change

At the end of last term we said goodbye and thank you to Mr Bernard Love, and welcomed Mrs Kathleen Sinclair, who started as the new Headteacher on Thursday 13th August.

Mrs Sinclair joins us from Taylor High School where she taught from August 1982 until June 2009. Prior to this, Mrs Sinclair actually began her teaching career in the Chemistry department of OLHS!

Our new Headteacher expressed her delight about her appointment and is anxious to get to know pupils, staff, parents/carers and those in the wider community, many of whom have supported the school for years. Her priority is to work together to achieve the very best for all of our young people.

Mrs Sinclair hopes to keep everyone informed about the wonderful work being done here in Our Lady’s and the achievements of our young people, by a variety of means: regular newsletters, the local press and, of ocurse, the use of our excellent website.

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Mr Love

Interviewed by Sarah Lennon and Collette Reid.

Have you enjoyed working here at OLHS ? 
Oh yes, very much. It has been a privilege to work with exceptional pupils and staff. I’ve worked in many schools over the course of my career however OLHS has to be the best.

What’s your best memory of OLHS ?
There are lots and lots of good memories along with very few sad ones too. My best memories would have to be the big pupil achievements like Mrs Mulholland’s Under 18’s football team that won the shield, the school band success, etc.

Have you always wanted to be a Headteacher ?
No. I’ve been really lucky. I started as a teacher, teaching Geography at Holyrood High, then as an Assistant Principal Teacher within OLHS and worked in other schools. I worked my way up and then became Headteacher of OLHS. I have always enjoyed every job that I’ve went into. I never set out just to be a Headteacher.

How long have you been at OLHS ?
I came here in 1995, so I have been here for 14 years.

What are your plans after leaving OLHS ?
I am going to spend more time with family and spend more time on other things that I’ve not had a chance to do.

What will you miss most ?
I will miss the variety of the job. No two days are the same, every day is different. I will also miss the pupils, teaching in class and working in a school community. Also the staff that I have worked alongside with.

What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to be a teacher ?
Seek medical advice! Be prepared to except the fact that you can’t please everyone. The job is always changing and it is never finished.

Who was your favourite person to work with ?
I’ve had tremendous help and support from everyone I’ve worked with in the school.

Would you come back to the school if you had the chance ?
Mrs Zambonini has already offered me a day a week to help in the Sensory Garden. Other than that, I hope to be invited back.

Any last words ?
Best wishes for the future to everyone at and associated with OLHS.

Visitors from Kamwokya

Teddi Katusime and Robert Mulerwa spent a week at Our Lady’s, during which they taught us all some singing, some dancing, and a lot about Uganda and the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community. They also had fun joining in with some of our classes.

These are just some of the things that took place.

From Mrs Stemplis in Home Economics
Teddi came along with a 3rd year class and enjoyed making shortbread.

From Mrs Tulley in Support for Learning
Robert and Teddi joined the ESOL (English for Speakers of another language ) class for a session to meet class members and work with small groups, as they work towards their Learning Outcomes in their SQA exams.

The visitors were introduced to the variety of resources available in the Support Base for ESOL pupils and worked with IT packages to improve pupils’ conversational skills in English.

For their part, pupils much enjoyed the opportunity to learn from Teddi and Robert how English is taught in Uganda and appreciated the opportunity to practise their English skills in conversation, learning more about the connections between Our Lady`s High School and Kamwokya.

From Ms Newman in Geography
Robert and Teddi came to the Higher/Int II Geography class talking about Uganda and the health problems in the country. In particular they told the class what it is like to get Malaria and how the epidemic effects the country.

From Mrs Anderson in Maths
Robert and Teddy were in my S1 Maths class. The pupils spent time before they arrived making up posters with some of the statistics we had about Kamwokya, so at the beginning the children presented their findings and asked a question they had thought of. Robert then showed them a video / presentation about life in Kamwokya and through this answered all their questions.

The pupils really enjoyed it – especially the dance at the end.

From Mrs Connor, Andrew House
Robert had the Andrew House Pupil Council Meeting in stitches.He made us all stand up and do a song and dance which included swaying around and sticking our tongues out.It was a scream!

Overview from Mr Mulrooney
Our Lady’s High School established its partnership with the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community, Uganda in the year 2000. This relationship took another step forward when we welcomed Robert Mulerwa and Teddi Katusime to spend a week working with the pupils and staff. This offered a great opportunity for all the pupils to really get to know and appreciate what life is like in a developing world country. Of course, partnership is a 2 way street, and Robert and Teddi both left Scotland with a lot of insight into both Scottish education and Scottish culture.

Robert and Teddi work with the youth of Kamwokya, many of whom are either orphans or have lost a parent due to HIV / AIDS. Robert is the coordinator of this project and Teddi is a young girl who works as a ‘peer educator’. Several classes at Our Lady’s experienced a taste of the educational sessions peer educators use in Kamwokya.

Both visitors spent their week working in many departments enhancing their curriculum and strengthening the citizenship aspects of each subject. This ranged from discussing Primary Health Care in Africa with Higher Modern Studies pupils to transferring Ugandan poverty statistics to bar charts in the first year Mathematics class.

Robert said ‘we have learned so much to take back home with us from working in the school and living with our host families. Close partnership with schools such as Our Lady’s makes a great difference to the young people at home in Kamwokya.’

Our visitors were thrilled that the school Fairtrade group managed to sell over £500 worth of jewellery made in Kamwokya. This money will buy a computer for the young people they work with so that they can communicate with their partner schools on line. In addition the school gifted Robert and Teddi with medals and trophies that will be used to promote ‘education through sport’ among the youth of Kamwokya.

Bernard Love, Head Teacher, commented ‘hosting young people from Uganda for a whole week has had a major impact on our partnership project. It was edifying to see how naturally Robert and Teddi moved among our pupils sharing not only their knowledge and understanding of Developing World issues but also their optimism and great sense of fun.’

Summer School Evening

Parents and pupils who took part in the Summer School enjoyed an evening at Our Lady’s, hosted by Partnership Officers, Angela McDonald and Deborah King.

1st and 6th year pupils created and delivered a presentation outlining the activities which took place during the summer school and the benefits gained by those taking part. Parents also viewed an exhibition of photographs and work created during the summer.

Each participant was presented with their award certificates by Headteacher, Mr Bernard Love.