Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

Click on the image to link to the Royal Society website.

Our Lady’s have been selected as one of the judging panels for the Young People’s  Book Prize.

Our Lady’s has been awarded a free set of the shortlisted books which have now been pored over by pupils from different departments, checking them from the perspectives of design, marketing and information books. Groups reviewed every book and calculated an average score for each title. This involved a great deal of discussion and analysis as pupils discovered the value of not judging a book by its cover.

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As our analysis continued, we also discovered the value of this process for explaining careers connected tot he publishing and creative industries, demonstrating the large numbers involved in getting a book from idea to bookshelf.

Our volunteer judging panel will now check over the books in much more detail, preparing questions for authors and illustrators and creating our final submissions. If you would like further information or to volunteer for the judging panel please see Mrs Macfadyen in the Library.


Titanic Project 2017: messing about in the water

The Titanic Crew spent this morning completing their writing challenges, preparing materials for the display and ageing their crew and passenger biographies with teabags and coffee grains. We were surprised to discover that one of the biographies, which were part of the first day’s tasks, featured a baby boy who also appears in one of the pupil’s written reports. The crew also enjoyed a viewing of Ghosts in the Abyss with Mrs Jeffrey, and spent the afternoon at Wishaw Sports Centre, practising their swimming under the benevolent eyes of Mrs McNeish and Mrs Dynes.

Thursday was spent preparing all of the remaining materials produced during this year’s project for display, almost destroying the Library’s laminator (no names, but you know who you are!). The very last day of our three week Titanic Project saw the group head for Greenock and the Caribbean Princess with Miss Walmsley and Mr McGleish, where they toured a modern day cruise liner and learned about life and work on the ocean wave. Our thanks to Princess Cruises and Greenock Ocean Terminal for their kindness in allowing our pupils and staff aboard.

Titanic Project 2017: Loch Lomond

The Titanic crew had a brilliant visit to the island of Inchcailloch on Loch Lomond. The day started quite cold and grey but warmed up by lunchtime and we even had a peek of blue sky before the end of the day.

As we cruised across the loch, the tour guide introduced the history and wildlife of the area including nesting ospreys, crannogs, ruined castles and stately homes. Inchcailloch itself is a beautiful wee island, with masses of bluebells in every direction. After a picnic lunch, the group set off to explore, discovering an ancient chapel and burial ground and enjoying the beautiful woodlands, with strange looking tree stumps.

Back on the boat back to Luss, the group are comfortable boarding; our crew are becoming seasoned travellers on land or water!  On the return journey, they are already reviewing their 5th year subjects and planning how they can persuade staff that another trip to Inchcailloch is an essential part of the curriculum.

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Read more about Inchcailloch here.

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: 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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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.

World Record Writers!

Back in February, Our Lady’s took part in an attempt to break the world record for the largest number of people writing a story. Author, Matt Haig, provided an opening paragraph, and participants took turns to write one or two sentences to keep the story going.

Guinness have now confirmed that the record attempt was successful, with over 100 schools involved across the UK, meaning that Our Lady’s is proud to be home to 55 record breaking staff and pupils!


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.


S5 Induction Week 2010

5th year induction took place over three days providing all of the pupils with a chance to get to know each other better, and learn more about what’s required of them as Upper School pupils.

On Wednesday, everyone was required to get their bodies and brains in gear as they took part in team-building activities designed by the Army and (horror of horrors) Mrs Zambonini and Mrs Macfadyen in the Library Resource Centre!

Thursday was Challenge Day with the  PE staff organising a softball game and Careers staff challenged teams to create and run a restaurant.

Friday was more relaxed, with a service from Fr King, and a talk from staff at Motherwell College. Pupils also received a quick introduction to  Glow, and got their passwords and discussed new timetables and expectations with Mrs Mulholland in the afternoon to complete a busy few days.

Heading for college and university?

6th year pupils aiming to go to university next year have been meeting with Mrs Mulholland, Mrs Macfadyen and Principal Teachers of Pupil Support to organise their UCAS applications, discuss their plans and learn about the resources held in school to assist them. Our Careers Adviser, Ruth Robertson, has also been on hand to provide expert advice.

Upper school pupils have also signed up for the university open day of their choice, with pupils heading for Glasgow, Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian, Edinburgh and Stirling.

Reading Trail Winners

Five pupils accompanied Mrs Macfadyen and Mrs Mitchell to Borders on Friday as winners of the S1 Reading Trail.

The group (Rhys Bevan, Jay McMahon, Ross McQuade, Nadia Warnock, Colette Wilson) vanished amongst the shelves from the minute they entered the store and spent a happy morning discovering and exploring books on lots of different topics.

At lunchtime, everyone toured the Fort to decide where to have lunch before agreeing on Pizza Hut (which was back where they had started, naturally) where the staff made a fuss of them, which the pupils quite enjoyed.

During their walk, the group also spent ten minutes petting a puppy, which turned out to be a trainee guide dog called Venice, and building an appetite on the monkey bars in the park.

After lunch, the whole group returned to the bookshop to spend the remainder of their money, and choose a book for themselves. This involved some serious decision making, mind-changing, walking back and forth between authors and trying to remember what already existed in the LRC back at the school. Eventually everybody was happy (and relieved that they remained within budget), collected their bags and headed back to the school.

The staff were delighted that the pupils had so much fun, which was summed up by the demands that the Reading Trail be run again next year.

Health and Well-being

On 11th February, OLHS hosted three important visitors:  Dr Clare Monaghan, Advisor to Fiona Hyslop, Mrs Christine Pollock, Director of Education and Mr Gerry MacCormick, Headteacher of Taylor High School.  They came along to observe Health and Wellbeing, Co-operative Learning and Assessment is for Learning in practice.

3A were selected to participate and came along to the LRC for their PSHE lesson with Mrs Zambonini and Mrs Macfadyen, where they were learning a variety of study skills. The visitors also looked at an audit of Health and Well-being completed by all staff in OLHS.

Careers Convention

Our first Careers Convention takes place today, Thursday 9th October, with exhibitors from over 30 local employers, universities, colleges and training organisations taking part.

Future Firefighter?

Future Firefighter?

Pupils from S2, S4 and S5 have been allocated time during the school day to attend the exhibition, while other pupils are able to visit at lunchtimes and after school. Parents/Carers and staff are welcome at any time. 

Many thanks to both Mrs Stemplis’ Hospitality class for assisting in the preparation of the food, and to Mrs Zambonini’s 5th year Personal Development (PD) class.

Also, thanks to the staff who organised the event (Mrs Mulholland, Mrs Darroch, Mrs King, Mrs McDonald, Mrs Macfadyen, Mr Murray, Mrs Zambonini) and to all the OLHS staff who supported it.

If you have visited the Careers Convention, please fill in our survey by clicking here.


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.

Citizenship winners!

Report by Lauren McKinnon

A group of 2nd year pupils went to Education HQ in Kildonan Street, Coatbridge, to participate in the North Lanarkshire Police Citizenship Awards and came home with the award for the Most Innovative Approach!!!!!!

The pupils and staff had a fantastic time and enjoyed the chance to be able to take part in such an prestigious event.

Dalziel HS, Firpark School, Coltness HS and Greenfaulds HS also took part in the presentations on their chosen subjects and also received appropriate trophies.

Many thanks to all the staff who helped us: Mr Duff, Mr Jakusz, Mrs Macfadyen, Mrs MacKay, Mr Miller, Mr Murphy and especially Mrs Zambonini.