3rd Our Lady’s Pals Battalion visit to the Battlefields 9th -14th June

2013_0614_1623Report by Major Letham

On the 9th of June the 3rd Our Lady’s Pals Battalion led by Colonel Smith, Major Letham,  Lieutenant Pegard and Captain Halket left Motherwell to visit the Western Front.  We followed in the footsteps of those men who fought at Loos and the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium.

 Experiences which stood out

  • The atmosphere on the bus when singing the First World War songs.  The 3rd Our Lady’s Pals were outstanding.
  • British and German graveyards where we heard amazing stories about individual men
  • The monuments at Thiepval and the Menin Gate which are dedicated to the missing in battle.
  • Our remembrance ceremony at Poelkapelle Cemetery  Calum Wilson read out the poem “In Flanders Field”;  Hannah Coakely lit a candle and placed it on the altar;  Ryan Harbinson and Kieran Cubis placed a wreath of poppies on the altar with a message from the 3rd Pals
  • We visited the grave of one of our own from the Motherwell/Wishaw district.  In a very moving ceremony we placed a cross and a poppy on the grave of Private Peter Lynch from Cleland.  Peter was the great-great-uncle of Daniel Leonard and this was the first time someone had paid a visit to his grave.

Down Time

We had a great time on the Ferry.  We all loved the food and the disco.  Members of the public on the ship were so impressed with our dancing and singing that we received standing ovations.  Corey Slavin’s dancing in particular was amazing.  In the beautiful medieval city of Bruges we went sightseeing on the canal boats and on the horse and carriages.  There were so many souvenirs to choose from and most of us brought back masses of Belgian chocolate.

We were promised before we left on the trip that we would return to Motherwell as changed people.  This has undoubtedly been the case.

For more information and pictures, check out this site.

Horrible Histories Trip

Report from Miss Campbell

Miss Campbell, Mr Smith and Ms Evans all accompanied 15 members of the ‘Horrible Histories Club’ to Edinburgh for a day filled with fun and adventure!

After a nice relaxing train journey, we all arrived safely at Edinburgh Waverly around 10am and we got organized for our spooky trip into the dungeons.  The pupils were all very excited about the Dungeons and the teachers were…also excited.

When we entered the Dungeons we didn’t really know what to expect, it was very dark and eerie.  We were all told to take a seat in the ‘court room’ and a scary looking woman called some people up to the dock to stand trial for their ‘crimes’.  The most memorable crime committed was by Mr Smith!  Apparently he had been sighted dancing around the street wearing women’s pink underwear, singing a strange song and giving the rest of us a bad name.  The pupils were shocked by this alarming news and Mr Smith was given a hefty fine to pay.

As we all walked through the dungeons we heard gruesome stories about cannibals that lived in caves, victims of the Black Death, Witchcraft, torture methods in Scotland and we even managed to see the talking head of William Wallace!

The scariest part was when Burke and Hare tried to capture us in the grave chamber and the Grim Reaper told us ghost stories.  The boat ride was very creepy but thankfully Kieran and Sean were steering the boat and said they would protect us all against the dark forces of evil.

The Dungeons were extremely spooky but we also managed to have a few laughs along the way.  History really can be horrible!

In the afternoon we had lunch in the Botanic Gardens and enjoyed the sunshine.  We then took a tour of Edinburgh on the open roof bus which was great fun.  With the wind blowing in our hair and a Horrible Histories commentary playing in our ear, it really was the most enjoyable end to our school trip.  The pupils and teachers all arrived back in Motherwell safely at 4pm and we will always have fond memories of our Horrible Histories Trip.


2nd year pupils at OLHS have started a new Interdisciplinary Learning class, finding out about the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France.

Two classes meet on Wednesday mornings and three on Thursday mornings. Staff involved include Mrs Fitzpatrick, Mrs McAlinden and Mr Pegard from Modern Languages, Mrs Letham and Mr Smith from Social Subjects, Ms Steinert from Art, Miss Kane from Religious Education, Mrs Macfadyen from the LRC and Classroom Assistants, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs McFall.

To begin with, pupils got organised into groups, and looked at some heraldic designs, before creating their own gorgeous coats of arms along with French mottos like, Comme un reynard.


S1 to York

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Excited staff  (and some 1st years) all left OLHS on Monday morning for a trip to York. Mr Martin had a full and fabulous itinerary planned (down to the last second), and the first day was spent travelling and settling into the hotel, ready for a spooky evening. The Ghost Walk took the group wandering around the medieval city, listening to stories of Roman soldiers and more modern terrors.

On Tuesday morning, everyone piled onto the top deck of a York Sightseeing Bus (and enjoying beautiful sunshine) followed by a treasure hunt in York Minster (although Mr Smith and Mrs Fitzpatrick had to ask pupils for the answers!)

After some time for exploring and shopping, the whole cohort set off for the York Dungeons, where they were entertained by tales about Dick Turpin and edieval torture methods from a variety of costumed characters. Unfortunately for Mrs Mulholland and Mr Smith, news of their heinous crimes had preceeded them and they ended up in the dock! A busy day was ended with a leisurely evening swim at Waterworld.

Wednesday was spent at the Jorvik Centre, (which is a cool recreation of the Viking village of York, but it does stink) and at Eden Camp. The camp is a huge World War II museum. Twenty-nine huts cover British social and military history, with additional prefab houses and mess tents. Unfortunately, there was so much to see that the group from OLHS could only sample some of the highlights before heading back to the hotel for a party!

Morning of the last day was spent at Flamingoland theme park (except there didn’t appear to be any flamingos – probably scared off by the teachers). The weather was great again, which was just as well, since all four members of staff got soaked!

And then finally, everyone piled back onto the bus and headed northwards, agreeing that it had been a brilliant but exhausting four days. Thanks to the staff who organised the trip, especially Mr Martin, for his precision timing and ensuring that everyone ate properly!

The Citizens Cafe

Report by Aaron Hawthorne, 1M2

As you all know, the Citizens Cafe has recently opened for business every interval and lunchtime.

We caught up with Mr Smith who was in charge of making this success, for an interview and here is what happened :-

Q) Why did you open the Citizens Cafe Now and not earlier or later?
A) We tried opening the Citizens Cafe last year but wasn’t really that successful, but this year 6th years helped to organise this and it has turned out to be a success so far.

Q) What Year group is the Citizens Cafe Mainly opened for, or is it open for all?
A) We have the Cafe open for all year groups and we encourage all ages to come along.

Q) Is there a rota for the supervisors?
A) Yes there is a rota for the 6th years that kindly offer to help out and supervise but sometimes they are not enough, for the 6th years are very busy.

Q) Do you intend to keep the Citizens Cafe open for a long time?
A) We would like to think that we will keep the Citizens Cafe open for a good while yet, but this will only continue if more people come along at intervals and lunchtime.

Q) Are you happy with the amount of people that are coming, and are you happy with the business?
A) We aren’t open to make profits and money so the business doesn’t really bother us, but we are not so happy about the amount of people who are coming. Since we have opened, not a lot of people have been coming at intervals and lunchtime, so we hope for more people to come.

Mr Smith would like you to note that:-

  • We are looking for people of all Year Groups  to help with supervising the Citizens Cafe. If you are interested, please see Mr Smith.
  • Please remember that The Citizens Cafe is a great environment for socializing and for ‘Chilling Out’.
  • The Citizens Cafe is open at interval with music drinks and more.
  • The Citizens Cafe is open at Lunchtime for those who wish to sit down while eating their packed Lunch and it will still play music.

So please come along to the Citizens Cafe at intervals and even lunchtime for a great time, and remember if you wish to help supervise  the Citizens Cafe.  No matter if you are 1st year or 6th year, please see Mr Smith.

Coatbridge High School 1, Our Lady’s High School 5

Report by Mr Smith

29th September 2009

Our Lady’s under-18s took all three points in their first league outing of the season thanks to a much-improved performance from their Scottish Cup 1st round defeat two weeks ago.

After a scrappy start to the match littered with misplaced passes, Our Lady’s took the lead on 28 minutes when a clever dummy by Christopher Wilson allowed overlapping fullback Christopher Mulholland to bullet home from a tight angle.

Our Lady’s doubled their advantage soon after when a clever reverse pass from John Tempany was emphatically despatched into the top corner by Daniel Burns from 16 yards. However, a series of defensive lapses a minute before the interval allowed the home team’s number 7 to reduce the deficit to 2-1 after a series of defensive lapses.

Encouraged by their goal, Coatbridge laid siege to the Our Lady’s goal for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, forcing a series of corners which required some brave defending from the visitors. However, some excellent passing and movement in midfield and up front saw Our Lady’s regain control of the match, and a composed finish from Christopher Murray after some good work by Wilson effectively ended the match as a contest on 65 minutes.

Our Lady’s had time for two further goals – a 25 yard free kick from Burns for his second goal of the match, and an own goal scored by the Coatbridge number 4.

Our Lady’s: McGuire; Swinfen, Mulholland, O’Mara, Smith; Simpson, Tempany, Murray; McCluskey, Wilson; Burns. 
Subs: Donnelly, Ferguson, McGowan.

Our Lady’s lift Clydesdale Trophy

The 2008-09 Clydesdale Trophy Champions

The 2008-09 Clydesdale Trophy Champions

Report from Mr Smith

Our Lady’s U-16s    3   St Andrew’s U-16s     0

Our Lady’s finished the season in style with a well-deserved victory over St. Andrew’s High School in the final of the Clydesdale Trophy. Following disappointments in the Scottish Cup quarter-final and the league play-off, a determined-looking Our Lady’s started very positively and were rewarded for their blistering start with a breathtaking strike from Kieran Kennedy. The tricky winger displayed great composure after just 2 minutes, thumping a 25 yard volley over the goalkeeper with both power and accuracy. Wild celebrations almost as impressive as the goal followed.

 St. Andrew’s rallied soon after and began to take control of the midfield with a display of accurate and composed passing football. However the Coatbridge side were restricted to long-range efforts as Our Lady’s defence stood firm, again excellently marshalled by Scott Rankin. Our Lady’s regained control of the match, with Kennedy in particular causing major problems for the St. Andrew’s defence with speed, trickery and high energy levels. Our Lady’s oozed confidence and played some excellent attacking football,  and were duly rewarded after half an hour when Daniel Burns blasted home a wonderful curling shot into the top left-hand corner.

Following a well-earned break from a match played in blistering sunshine, Our Lady’s continued to look dangerous despite increased pressure from a much more attacking St Andrew’s side. Murray and Tempany took firm control of the midfield, and with Eley and Swinfen pushing forward from full-back at every opportunity Our Lady’s created chance after chance in an effort to settle the match as a contest. McCluskey and Queen went close before Burns completed the scoring with a well-taken goal inside the penalty box for his 18th goal of the season with 15 minutes remaining. Rankin almost scored goal of the season soon after when he ran 80 yards with the ball after a St. Andrew’s corner was cleared but the goalkeeper saved after a one-two with Queen on the edge of the penalty box as Our Lady’s continued to push forward in pursuit of more goals.

Captain and birthday-boy Barry Eley lifted the trophy after the match amidst cheers from teammates and supporters to round off what has been a successful and most enjoyable season.

Team: Cherrie; Swinfen, Rankin, O’Mara, Eley; McCluskey, Tempany, Murray, Kennedy; Burns, Queen

Subs: Ferrie, McKinnon, Simpson, Wilson.

Scorers: Kieran Kennedy, Daniel Burns (2)

Man of the Match: Kieran Kennedy

Millport or bust!

Staff from Our Lady’s took part in a Sponsored Bike ride round Millport on Sunday 5th October in aid of Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Attendance Officer Mr Meechan, along with Mrs King, Mrs Zambonini, Mrs Mulholland, Mrs Fitzpatrick and Mr Smith, their family and friends, all got their cycle shorts on for a glorious ride around the island.

Mr Meechan would like to express his thanks to everyone who took part and a big thank you to all the people who sponsored everyone taking part for such a worthwhile cause.

Planes, trains and automobiles

The Social Subjects trip to London, 16th-18th June 2008.

London 2008On Monday 16th June, 33 bleary-eyed S4 pupils met outside the school gates for an action-packed 3-day trip to London accompanied by four members of OLHS staff – Mrs Letham, Miss Newman, Mr Smith and Mr Law. We headed by coach to Glasgow Airport and flew to Stansted Airport, where we took the Stansted Express then the London underground to the Hotel National in London’s Russell Square area. From there we headed by the underground OLHS, London 2008 (which would become very familiar over the next few days) to Knightsbridge to view Mr Al Fayed’s expensive merchandise in the world-famous Harrods store. The group then took in some of London’s famous sights, including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and 10 Downing Street.

London 2008Following an invigorating power-walk to the South Bank, led by our esteemed geographer Miss Newman, we enjoyed ice creams and a well-earned rest on the London Eye. Here we had the opportunity to view the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Nelson’s Column amongst many of London’s other sights from the air. London 2008After dining in China Town, we made our way to Piccadilly Circus and spent an hour in the Trocadero Centre. However we did have a run-in with the fashion police here after almost the whole group decked themselves out in new hats!

OLHS in London 2008On Tuesday morning we visited Covent Garden and were all impressed with the various stalls and activities to be found there. Another trip on the underground took us to the O2 Centre to visit the Tutankhamun Exhibition, where we were amazed at the artefacts on display – some of which were 3500 years old! In the evening we travelled to the West End for dinner and an evening in the Shaftesbury Theatre where we enjoyed a spectacular performance of Hairspray, starring Michael Ball.

Nice hat. OLHS London 2008An early rise on Wednesday morning allowed us time for breakfast in the hotel before we headed to Westminster to enjoy a tour around the Houses of Parliament. After visiting the Natural History Museum it was time to make the journey back to Stansted Airport for our flight back to Scotland. Exhausted, but having experienced a fantastic few days, all returned safe and well to OLHS around 9pm… still wearing the new hats!

From zeroes to heroes

From our intrepid reporter and his thesaurus.

OLHS staff team for It\'s a Knockout 2008On Saturday 31st of May, the Our Lady’s High, “It’s a Knockout” team raised money for St Andrew’s Hospice. The added bonus of improving from last year’s last place to this year’s afternoon champions was simply icing on the cake.

A series of team games awaited … involving inflatable obstacles, water and soap … painlessness and dignity went out the window.

It\'s a Knockout OLHS staff teamTalk about determination … women, small children, mountain men and bouncy castles didn’t prevent Miss Newman from providing a lead into the second leg. Even the Terminator would have second thoughts about taking on this lithe athletic exocet missile.

Mr. Smith powerhoused through the course, managing to maintain the lead and experience his annual bath at the same time … now that’s efficiency for you.

Further athletic prowess from Mr. Whiteford, Mr. Lawie, Mr. Miller, Miss Miller, Mr. OLHS staff team in actionMcDonald, and the velcro princess, Mrs. Anderson, enabled a winning start for the team. The highlight of this first game however was the mixture of gazelle-like nimbleness with raw aggression from Mr. McNaught, resulting in his hulk-like dunking of an official into the watery bubbliness of the splash pool. Coupled with Mr. Law’s unfettered enthusiasm the stage was set for Armageddon.

The, “panto horse” like dragon involved some delicate maneuvering … especially with the passing of the egg … but with excellent teamwork, Mrs Anderson’s directional skills and Miss Newman’s puzzle solving, another task was completed with joyous expediency.

Dressing up seems to be Mr. Smith’s forte … this time as a caveman dentist. Club in hand, he seemed a formidable opponent until he tried to run up the slippery slope. After considerable exertion and a near heart attack he managed to … well … considerably exert himself. Thanks to Mrs. Anderson’s liberal interpretation of the rules and some WWE forearm smashes, OLHS ended the dental game with some success, despite Mr. Smith’s toothless efforts.

Enthusiastic Mr Whiteford in actiongymnastic ability through the next obstacle course, from bar to container, served only to ensure little liquid remained in the tumblers to be collected. Changing tactics to a more sedate delivery proved a far more successful solution. Mr. Law removing his t-shirt to squeeze every last drop of water into the container may just have tipped the balance in our favour, tho’ young children and anyone with a fragile disposition would have been well advised to avert their eyes.

All in all a fun filled and good natured competition with the unexpected bonus of victory. Many thanks to all the staff that took part and collected money for St. Andrew’s Hospice.