Category: Notre Dame Now Podcast

New Podcast Episode!

Connor and Jamie (S1) chat with Miss Gillespie about attending NDHS as a pupil and her return to NDHS as a Modern Studies teacher.

The boys also discuss Notre Dame’s 50th Anniversary, Black History Month and whether Miss Gillespie was #TeamVance or #TeamDouglas as a pupil.

Talk about presentation skills… Connor and Jamie have got the chat! Future Ant and Dec?

Ronnie Cowan MP Interview

By Sophie and Eve

Last week we had the privilege of speaking to Ronnie Cowan, the Member of Parliament for Inverclyde. We spoke on a range of topics, including life as an MP, his work in parliamentary committees and Scottish independence.

We began by discussing his beginnings in politics. He spoke about the events leading up to his winning of the constituency seat and his journey to becoming a Member of Parliament.

We moved on to what he would consider an average day working in Inverclyde – the answer being that there isn’t one. We discovered that as an MP there is no set working day, he listed various events and meetings he may partake in during a day – from visiting a food bank, to a meeting with men’s mental health charity Man On Inverclyde, to visiting Notre Dame High School for an interview. No two days are the same in his profession, which is something that he enjoys about his job.

We also discussed the importance of meeting local constituents. Cowan said he tries to spend “as much time in the community as [he] possibly can”, as well as holding an aim to attend at least one event in the local area throughout the weekend. He said that as the voice of Inverclyde, it is incredibly important for him to listen to the concerns of the people within the constituency.

Cowan went on to reveal what it is like to work within parliament. The topics of discussion vary from day to day and can range from a number of concerns, including business, transport and education. He explained that at the beginning of a parliamentary day, schedules displaying the order of business are provided to keep the day structured. Working days within the House of Commons are long and busy, with debates that can last until late hours of the night. Cowan also mentioned his participation in multiple parliamentary committees.

He highlighted the significance of this cross-party communication as a way of reforming laws and benefitting the wider public. While they may disagree on a number of issues, Cowan believes in leaving bias behind in the name of their committee and shared goals. Through the (gambling reform committee), he has worked with Iain Duncan Smith of the Conservative Party and Caroline Harris of the Labour Party to change laws surrounding fixed odd bettings terms, highlighting their success in in successfully reducing fixed odd betting terms to £2 after 7 years. Cowan also spoke of his aim to see reformation of drug laws.

As well as communicating cross-party within parliament, we also discussed his connection to the Scottish Parliament, namely Inverclyde representative Stuart Macmillan MSP. Although they do work together at times and hold joint surgeries if need be, he said that it is important that they do not get in each other’s way. As they are from the same political party, he suggested that this may make communication between them easier, yet they still keep their responsibilities separate when they should be.

We asked the question “will there be a Scottish Independence referendum” which led to our discussion about the changes Scotland could see after independence such as opportunities for green renewable energy and ownership responsibility of Scottish land.

We also discussed the recent state of the economy and the effects of the pound crashing, focusing on what this could mean for scotland.

Finally Cowan gave us an insight into what he likes to do in his free time, from seeing his grandchildren to playing rugby to going to art galleries. He emphasised that his favourite book is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Word as he has read it many times and finds it to be very impactful. He also mentioned that the question “What is your favourite music album” is a difficult one as he’s seen a huge evolution of music throughout his time.

We would like to extend our thanks to Ronnie Cowan MP for taking the time out of his very busy day to visit our school, answer our questions and give us an insight into his life and career.

Podcast Episode 2 – Ross Greer MSP

Notre Dame Now welcomed Ross Greer, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the West of Scotland region and Green Party into the studio on Friday 24th  to talk about the climate emergency, Fortnite, Piers Morgan, life as the youngest MSP, Snapchat and what Ross is interested in outside of politics.

Zara Crawford (S1) and Mhairi Moore (S5) interviewed Ross with Darren Adams (S6) as our producer.

Notre Dame Now Episode 2 – Ross Greer MSP

We asked Ross the following Questions:

00:15                   Is the Scottish Government correct to announce a climate emergency?
1:07                     Should there be a ban on North Sea oil extraction? Why?
2:07                    What was it like being the youngest MSP ever in the Scottish Parliament?
4:56                     How did it feel over taking the Lib Dem’s as the fourth biggest party in the Scottish Parliament?
6:49                    As a Green MSP, will you support the Scottish Government’s calls for an 2nd independence referendum?
  Why do you support Scottish independence?
8:45                    Could you tell us a little bit about your hobbies and interests outside of politics? What do you do to relax and take your mind off things?
11:08                  Do you think it’s worthwhile for school pupils to take part in the school climate strikes? What are your thoughts on this issue?
14:07                  You had a famous argument with piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain… have you had a restorative conversation since then?
16:58                  What are the benefits of disarming our nuclear weapons when critics argue that we need them as a deterrent in order to protect the UK?
20:27             Do you advocate people 'going vegan' to help the Earth?
23:40             The 26th United Nations Conference on Climate change is to take place in Glasgow this year and will be attended by influential world leaders  - what is your message to them and what can the people of Inverclyde do to influence them?
28:16            What should i be doing in my home, to reduce global warming?
30:59           You have been campaigning on the issue of School Meal debt, can you tell us more about this and why it matters?

Notre Dame Voices… Stuart McMillan MSP Interview October 2019

Notre Dame Now had the pleasure of welcoming Stuart McMillan MSP (SNP) for the Greenock and Inverclyde constituency, into the studio for an exclusive and in depth interview.

Higher Modern Studies students Mhairi and Jamie took Mr McMillan to task on his favourite moments as a piper, his thoughts on Brexit and the work he does as an MSP for the people in our constituency.



This interview is part of a series of interviews aimed at enabling our pupils to engage with our wider community and promote active and responsible citizens. We are looking forward to bringing you more interviews from our regional MSPS’s Jamie Greene MSP (Conservative) and Neil Bibby MSP (Labour). We have reached out to representatives of all parties of our regional MSP’s and hope to add more interviewees in the coming weeks.

Once again thank you to Mr McMillan for taking time out to participate.

Thank you to our production team Darren Adams and Amy Medinelli and Notre Dame’s Music Department for their collaboratrion.

You can listen to the full interview by clicking the play button, or skip to question that interest you by using our guide below.


From 0:47 seconds you can hear Mhairi ask
Stuart what he does as an MSP that 
affects the people of Inverclyde.
From 1:45 Jamie asks what it’s like 
being the Scottish parliament'spiper and 
if Stuart has any highlights.
From 3:00 minutes Mhairi asks what can be 
done to reduce tension in politics in light 
of recent accusations of inappropriate language 
in parliament.
From 5:30 Jamie asks Stuart if he 
thinks Boris Johnson is fit to be the 
Prime Minister and follows this up with 
some tough questioning. Careful listeners 
can also hear our talented musicians playing 
“Ghostbusters” in the background!
From 8:19 Mhairi asks why the SNP campaign 
to remain in the EU but leave the UK and 
what the advantages of EU membership are 
for Scotland.
From 16:20 Mhairi asks Stuart McMillan MSP 
about No Deal Brexit - if the only way 
to stop it is to back a deal, why doesn’t
the SNP back one?
Finally from 19:20 seconds, Mhairi asks 
about the work Stuart McMillan does 
in the constituency.