Author Archives: Mr Cardle

HT Blog – 3 March 2020

As part of our transition programme with the Primary schools we were delighted to welcome the P6 pupils from our associated primary schools to Our Lady’s for the day. They followed a timetable for the day and appeared to have a fantastic time. The next time they will be visiting is when they are in P7 and we look forward to that. The parents of the current Primary 7 who are joining us in August had the opportunity to come to the school for one of the three information sessions organised in February. Parents had a short presentation followed by a tour of the school with a group of OLHS pupils (many of them reminiscing about their own time at the school!) followed by refreshments and a chance to ask questions. Thanks to all of those who came along.

Following a short holiday and two inservice days pupils S1 pupils returned to the school on the Friday for a very interesting and thought provoking day. Part of the morning was spent raising awareness of climate change and what they could do to make a difference. And in the afternoon was our Holocaust memorial Event. Pupils were provided with details of the Holocaust and staff explained other historical events that are classed as genocides, asking pupils to discuss what steps they could take to stop anything similar happening again. This was a challenging topic for our pupils who approached the event with great respect, hard work and an excellent attitude.

That same day a group of our S6 Caritas pupils made the journey to Oban with Mr McHugh and Fr Ness four a short retreat. The pupils came back very positive about their experience away and seemed to get a great deal out of it.

We have once again reached that time of the year when we are trying to prepare for the next session 2020/21. As part of that pupils are in the process of choosing their options. An Information Evening took place to inform parents of this process and offer advise on how to support the young people.

Our S6 Advanced Higher English class had a visit recently from journalist and author Maggie Ritchie who gave a great talk and set some creative challenges for the pupils. And our S2 pupils had the pleasure of a talk from author Gill Arbuthnott focusing on where stories come from. Thanks to Ms Macfadyen our school librarian for coordinating these excellent visits.

Congratulations to our S1/2 heptathlon team who recently won the Gold medal at the Giant Heptathlon event at Ravenscraig recently. They went on to represent North Lanarkshire in the West Regional Finals and, although did not come out winners, did the school proud. Well done! There are so many sports activities that our pupils are involved in presently and thanks have to go to the PE department who are organising these events. Please follow them on twitter for more information (@OLHS_PE).

Many thanks to Fr Ness who lead the school in three services on Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent. Fr Ness has kindly offered to come in daily to celebrate Mass at 12.55pm in our Chapel. Pleases feel free to pop in and join us if you are passing.

Forthcoming Events


March – S4/5/6 folio and assignment write-ups and practical exams
9th March – international Women’s Day
10th March – S2 Parents’ Evening
19th March – NL Schools Concert at Concert Hall in Glasgow
25th March – School Spring Concert
3rd April – school closes at 2.30pm for the Easter break

HT Blog – 4th February 2020

Time has been flying since we came back after Christmas and the pupils continue to work hard. The S5/6 Prelims have taken place and pupils have been receiving their results and are identifying their next steps. Parents should be receiving the S5/6 reports around 19th February and Parents’ Evenings have taken place for S3 and S4 pupils. However, there is no need to wait for a report or a reporting evening if you have any concerns about progress – please feel free to pick up the phone and speak to the Pupil Support teacher. Parents’ Evening appointments are only 5 minutes and don’t always give the time to go into depth if there are more serious concerns re progress.

There has been excellent progress with the 3G pitch which now has the carpet laid. The finishing date of 6th March is still looking good so keep the fingers crossed for some decent weather over the next few weeks!

S2 pupils were in for a treat recently when Cool Creatures visited the school. All the pupils had the chance to meet various creatures close up, a Tenrec, meerkat, boa constrictor, crested gheko, skunk. Many thanks to Miss McGavan for organising this for the pupils.

A group of S3 pupils had the opportunity recently to visit the Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station for an interesting and informative visit. Our U-13 football team had quite a journey recently for their Scottish Cup tie – Fraserburgh! This was an early start for the boys and a late night. Unfortunately they did not manage to progress to the next round but these boys and all the other teams representing the school, continue to do so in a positive and enthusiastic way.

We continue to try and communicate with you in as many ways as possible. We have the school app which is free to download and I would encourage you to do so. The school twitter account is @OLHSMotherwell which you can follow and if you search ‘OLHS’ you will find a number of departments who keep you up to date with what is going on as well.  Also, please remember to let the school office know if you update your email address as most of our correspondence home goes via email.

Forthcoming Events
• Thursday 6th February – P6 Transition Day
• Thursday 6th February – P7 Information Evening
• Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th February – Holidays
• Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th February – Inservice Days (holidays for pupils)
• Tuesday 18th February – Options Information Evening (S2/3 – 6.30pm & S4/5 – 7.30pm)
• Monday 24th February – P7 Information Afternoon
• Wednesday 26th February – Ash Wednesday
• Monday 2nd March – Parent Council Meeting

HT Blog – 14 January 2020

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2020. I hope you all had an enjoyable time with family and friends over the Christmas season. Things are back to normal in the school now and pupils very quickly got back into the way of things despite a few tired faces last week (especially the staff!)

There were many events taking place before the holidays – Senior Citizens party, school concert, ceilidhs for the pupils, inter house quiz, S1 Panto trip, Christmas parcels, etc…. I am very grateful to the many staff and pupils who were involved in these successful events that make such a difference in a school.

The prelims for S4 pupils took place before the holidays and pupils should be receiving their reports soon with a Parents’ evening following on Thursday 30th January. The S5/6 pupils are presently preparing for their prelims, which begin on Monday 20th January.

We were very grateful once again to Fr Ness for organising Confessions for S1/3/6 pupils. The priests who came in on the day to assist were very impressed with our pupils and their conduct and reverence. Confessions have been organised for the other year groups during Lent.

Progress continues to be made with our new 3G pitch and all going well is scheduled to finish on time, 6th March 2020.


Monday 20th January – S5/6 Prelims begin
Tuesday 21st January – S3 Parents’ Evening
Thursday 30th January – S4 Parents’ Evening
Monday 3rd February – Parent Council Meeting
Thursday 6th February – P6 Transition Day
Thursday 6th February – P7 Information Evening
10th & 11th February – Holidays
12th & 13th February – Inservice Days (holidays for pupils)
Tuesday 18th February – Options Information Evening (S2/3 – 6.30pm & S4/5 – 7.30pm)
Monday 24th February – P7 Information Afternoon
Wednesday 26th February – Ash Wednesday

HT Blog – 5 December 2019

The S1 Parents’ Evening took place recently, giving parents the opportunity to speak to a number of teachers about progress to date. Some teachers teach several S1 classes and therefore, unfortunately, there is not the opportunity to have an appointment with every parent. However, there is always the opportunity to contact the Pupil Support teacher if anyone has any concerns about a subject or progress to date. That aside, it was a very successful evening and feedback from parents and staff was very positive.

As you will be aware we have recently updated our Mission, Values and Aims and we are doing various things to promote these in the school including new displays which are starting to be put up around the building. Last week our assemblies focused on our value ‘Foster Relationships’ and highlighted to pupils what this meant and what everyone’s role was in living out this value. This was also an opportune moment to talk about bullying.


Catholic Education week is now Catholic Education fortnight and takes place annually between 16th November (Feast of St. Margaret) and 30th November (Feast of St. Andrew). On the weekend of 24th November senior pupils and staff visited local parishes where a short speech was given by one of the pupils. It is always good to get into the parishes and give the pupils the opportunity to talk about Catholic Education and what we are doing in Our Lady’s.


Pupils and staff joined others from across the diocese at the Education Mass in the Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Toal on 26th November.

We also had some of our Caritas giving groups of pupils from our local Primary schools (Cathedral PS, St Bernadette’s PS and St. Brendan’s PS) a tour of the Cathedral. This tour was developed last year in the diocese to mark the anniversary of the 1918 Education Act and we were delighted that the Primary schools were keen to take up the offer of doing it again this year. The S6 pupils doing the tour were fabulous and a credit to their families and the school. Well done!

Thanks to all of you who came along to support the Christmas Fare this year and to the staff and pupils who spent a great deal of time preparing for this. It was a great event and raised about £1400 for school funds.

Each year there is a Remembrance Mass in our beautiful War Memorial Chapel to remember those connected to Our Lady’s HS who died during the war. It was a lovely Mass celebrated by Bishop Toal and we were joined by many of the families of those who had lost their lives, some travelling up from down south just for the occasion.

Andrew House recently organised a number of events throughout the week in the lead up to the Feast of St Andrew’s to raise funds for the Hospice. There was staff v pupils netball, Guess the Teacher’s Baby Photo, leg waxing, a quiz, teacher and S6 leg waxing and a bake sale. Thanks to Mrs Conner and Andrew House for organising these events for a good cause.

There have been a number of football and netball matches taking place recently with a number of great successes. Thanks to all the staff who take teams and prepare the pupils for matches. You can keep up to date with PE Department twitter account OLHS PE (@OLHS_PE) for updates on all these activities.

I had the opportunity for a site visit recently to see the work being done for our new 3G pitch. So far, all is going well as the weather has been kind and we are still keeping to plan. It is good to see things progressing so quickly and will definitely notice a big difference by the time we break up at Christmas.


As we are now in Advent, we are organising to offer the Sacrament of Confession to our S1, S3 and S6 pupils (other years groups will be during Lent). Thanks to Fr Ness for not only helping organise this but also for taking the time to speak to pupils to help them prepare.

Our Christmas Concert takes place in the school on Wednesday 11th December.  Tickets are available from the Performing Arts Department – first come, first served.  It is always a sell out!

The S1-3 Ceilidh is on Monday 16th December and the S4-6 Ceilidh is Tuesday 17th December.  Tickets are on sale in the zone for these and both are ticket only events.  Pupils have been practising their social dancing in preparation for the big event!

Forthcoming events
• Thursday 5th December – S5/6 Parents’ Evening
• Friday 6th December – start of the S4 Prelims
• Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th December – NLC Schools’ Music Groups Concert
• Wednesday 11th December – OLHS Christmas Concert
• Thursday 12th December – Senior Citizens’ Party
• Monday 16th December – S1 – 3 Ceilidh
• Tuesday 17th December – S4 – 6 Ceilidh
• Thursday 19th December – School closes at 2.30pm for Christmas break
• Monday 6th January – School reopens.

HT Blog – 20 November 2019

The 1st of November was the Feast of All Saints and Fr Ness was in the school to celebrate two Masses for us. This also marked the start of the month when we remember those who have gone before us and we have been very fortunate that Fr Ness has been undertaking a number of November Services with some of our classes.

Our Social Subjects department organised a trip for about half of our S2 pupils to Bannockburn. There were presentations, visits to the battle room, Bruce Monument and even a bit of dressing up. This was a very successful trip enjoyed by the pupils.

Our performing Arts department went on their annual trip to London recently. They packed loads into their short stay with activities including ice skating, visits to Harrods, the Natural History Museum, Madam Tussaud’s, the London Eye and they also went to see the show ‘School of Rock’. Another very successful trip!

The work on our 3G Pitch is now underway and it is great to see progress being made daily. The target date for completion is Friday 6th March 2020 (weather depending!)

As part of staff health and wellbeing we were visited recently by a ‘Know Your Numbers’ bus where staff had the opportunity to get pulse, blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Lots of staff took this opportunity to get checked and as far as I know we are all a fairly health bunch!

11th November was Armisitice Day and we marked this with a 2 minute silence in the school at 11am, followed by a short prayer.

The S3 pupils recently set up a Micro tyco trade Fayre. They worked in groups preparing and setting up their stalls and had a great time. They managed to raise about £430 for the charity Wild Hearts who try to support social change throughout the world. One of their main projects is to provide start up loans to small businesses. Hopefully the 6 weeks spent by the pupils learning about Wild Hearts and planning their business venture, they have also developed an understanding that business can be a force for positive social change. (Below is a small selection of the many groups that took part)

 

A reminder that our Christmas Fair takes place on Wednesday 27th November 5.30-8.30pm. We have lots of stalls so please come along and support this this year.

Forthcoming Events

  • 16th – 30th November – Catholic Education fortnight
  • Thursday 21st November – S1 Parents’ Evening
  • Tuesday 26th November – Annual Education Mass
  • Wednesday 27th November – OLHS Christmas Fair
  • Thursday 28th November – Annual OLHS War Memorial Mass
  • Thursday 5th December – S5/6 Parents’ Evening
  • Friday 6th December – start of the S4 Prelims
  • Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th December – NLC Schools’ Music Groups Concert
  • Wednesday 11th December – OLHS Christmas Concert
  • Thursday 12th December – Senior Citizens’ Party
  • Monday 16th December – S1 – 3 Ceilidh
  • Tuesday 17th December – S4 – 6 Ceilidh
  • Thursday 19th December – School closes at 2.30pm for Christmas break
  • Monday 6th January – School reopens.

HT Blog – 31st October 2019

OLHS Mission: Growing together, achieving together with Christ at our centre

Before the October beak all S1 pupils were involved in a relay race in the hall. They had a great time and it was so good to see the pupils so enthusiastic doing their Maths tasks.


Once again this year we have a number of S6 pupils taking part in the Caritas Award. They recently joined other Caritas participants from across the diocese at a Commissioning Service in the Cathedral. This is a fantastic award and as part of it pupils will be doing volunteer hours both in the school and in their parishes.


Before and after the October week groups of S4 pupils were out on work experience. The pupils I have spoken to had a great time and the reports back from employers have been overwhelmingly positive. This is a great opportunity for the pupils and I have to offer a huge thanks to Mr Smith for coordinating all the work experience. And thank you all those employers who took our young people in and looked after them so well.

At a recent staff meeting we spent some time talking about the document’ How good is OUR school’. This document will help us involve the pupils in self-evaluation and school improvement in the school and ensure their voice is being heard.


We have a great transition programme in the school for pupils who will be coming to Our Lady’s. The latest part of that programme involved the Primary 7 pupils visiting us for the day and following a timetable. The pupils had a great time and they are looking forward to coming back for their two induction days in May and then starting with us in August 2020.


Each year we are lucky to have someone visit the school from the Gideons to talk to the S1 pupils. They will give an insight into the work of the Gideons and every pupil is presented with their own Gideon Bible.


This week the Maths and the English department organised an information evening for the parents of S1 pupil, ‘Support your child in High School’. The evening consisted of a short introduction followed by 4 workshops on literacy and numeracy, explaining what the school is doing, how tasks are completed and how they can help. It was great evening and parents seemed to get a great deal out of it.


Each year S6 pupils organise Halloween Disco for our S1 pupils. This took place once again this year, thanks to our S6 pupils who not only organised it but rallied round and ensured enough tickets were sold when there was a threat that it may not run due to numbers. It was a great night and pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were all looking fantastic and had obviously made a great effort with their costumes.


We continue to promote our new Mission, Values and Aims in the school. We now have the values added to our front doors for everyone to see when they come in. We also have boards to be put up around the school to promote these – pictures to follow once they are put up!

Just a reminder that the Christmas Fayre will take place from 5.30 – 8.30pm on Wednesday 27th November. Please come along and support this event.

Forthcoming Event

  • Friday 1st November – Feast of All Saints
  • Monday 4th November – Parent Council meeting
  • Tuesday 5th November – S2 Bannockburn Trip
  • 16th – 30th November – Catholic Education fortnight
  • 18th & 19th November – Inservice Days (Pupil Holidays)
  • Thursday 21st November – S1 Parents’ Evening
  • Tuesday 26th November – Annual Education Mass
  • Wednesday 27th November – OLHS Christmas Fayre
  • Thursday 28th November – Annual OLHS War Memorial Mass
  • Thursday 5th December – S5/6 Parents’ Evening
  • Friday 6th December – start of the S4 Prelims

HT Blog – 9th October 2019

As part of the fundraising efforts in the school, we support St Andrew’s Hospice in various events throughout the year. Recently some staff and a number of pupils took part in the annual 6K school race round Strathclyde Park. It is wonderful to be part of such a great event and to be able to raise money for such a worthy cause at the same time.

Other fundraising activities so far this year have included a ‘Soak the Sixth Year’ and ‘Soak the Teacher’. For some strange reason, the ‘Soak the Teacher’ managed to bring in a lot more interest! Many thanks to the the pupils who organised these events and for those who braved the cold and the water to take part in the events.

As you know last year we did a fair amount of work in re-visiting our Mission, Values and Aims. This year our focus is to raise the awareness of these both through the physical environment of the school and through assemblies. We have a new banner for the front of the school with our Mission, Values and aims displayed and we are in the process of getting other displays for around the school. Our assemblies recently focused on one of our values, ‘Promote the Common Good’. We will continue to have a focus on each of the values as we gather at assemblies.

Following the publicity before the summer holidays about an upgrade to our pitch we are delighted to hear that things are starting to move along with this, with a start of the start of been given November for the work to begin. We are really forward to having this facility for both activities in the PE department and after school teams and extra-curricular activities. The PE department continue to offer clubs at lunchtime and after school (see photo) and it is great to see many of our young people taking part. We also have many teams representing the schools at football and netball and we hope that when the new pitch opens this will be utilised fully for the benefit of many pupils.

 

As part of the North Lanarkshire’s Read to Succeed initiative we had an author, Danny Weston, visit several weeks ago and speak to all of S1. An author visit like this happened across all schools in North Lanarkshire and the follow up to this was a visit to St Ambrose HS by 10 pupils in S1 along with many across the authority, for a session which included an inspirational talk by author Dan Freedman.

We recently had our Parent Council AGM and were delighted to see so many come along to support the work of our school. Our S4 pupils are out on work experience either this week or the week after the October break. Thanks to Mr Smith for coordinating this and to those families, friends, businesses and members of the wider community who have supported the young people in their pursuit of a suitable placement. Mr Lang and I have been out recently to visit the parents and pupils of our P7 pupils in order to give them information about the school and the transition process in particular. We look forward to welcoming the pupils to the school on 24th October for the next part of that transition programme.

As October week approaches, I would like to thank you all for your support of the school in those 9 weeks since we came back after the summer.

Forthcoming Events


Monday 14th – 18th October – October Week Holiday
Monday 21st – Friday 25th October – 4M & 4S Work Experience
Thursday 24th October – P7 Transition Day
Wednesday 30th October – S1 & S6 Halloween Disco
Friday 1st November – Feast of All Saints
Monday 4th November – Parent Council meeting
Tuesday 5th November – S2 Bannockburn Trip
16th – 30th November – Catholic Education fortnight
Thursday 21st November – S1 Parents’ Evening
Tuesday 26th November – Annual Education Mass
Wednesday 27th November – OLHS Christmas Fayre
Thursday 28th November – Annual OLHS War Memorial Mass

HT Blog – 13th September 2019

OLHS Mission: Growing together, achieving together with Christ at our centre

Our UCAS Information evening took place for parents of S5/6 pupils looking to apply for University entry in September 2020. Mr McVeagh led the evening, which was to give information on the process in the school and key information about the application process and expectations of, for example, a personal statement.


Our Feast Day is now celebrated around the time of Our Lady’s Birthday (8th September). Therefore, all the pupils were off timetable last Friday to mark this wonderful occasion. It started off with a lesson and this was then followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Toal and concelebrated by some of our local priests. We were also joined by a number of invited guests. In the afternoon S1 enjoyed activities in the PE department and there was a film or a Talent Show for the other pupils. It was a great day and my thanks goes to those staff and pupils who helped organise the various events throughout the day.


As part of the authority’s Read to Succeed initiative we were delighted to welcome author Philip aveney (aka Danny Weston) to the school to speak with the S1 pupils.  Pupils had a great afternoon and were all keen to get an autograph afterwards.


Another great event in the school’s calendar took place with the Senior Awards Ceremony. This is a lovely event to celebrate the successes of last year’s S4/5/6 pupils. We were delighted to welcome former pupil Rosemary Guinnane QC as our guest speaker and thank her for coming along to speak to our young people and present the awards.

We have a group in the school already working hard to organise the Christmas Fayre. This will take place in the school on Wednesday 27th November from 5.30 – 8.30pm. Get the date in the diary!

I would like to draw your attention to the National Parent Gathering on Saturday 21st September 2019. This event is the only national event for parents with children in Catholic schools and aims to support them as the first educators of their children. The day will include activities for children, so that child care is not an obstacle to attending. The event will take place from 9.30-3pm in St Francis Xavier Primary School in Falkirk. Lunch will be provided. Places are free but need to be booked by phoning 0141 556 4727.

Forthcoming Events

 

 

 

 

Friday 27th & Monday 30th September – September weekend holidays.
Tuesday 1st October – P7 Information Evening in St Bernadette’s PS, 6pm.
Monday 7th October – Parent Council AGM, 7pm.
Tuesday 8th October – P7 Information Evening in Cathedral PS, 6pm.
Wednesday 9th October – P7 Information Evening in St Brendan’s, 6pm.
Thursday 10th October – Caritas Commissioning Service in Cathedral, 7pm.
Monday 7th – Friday 11th October – 4A & 4C Work Experience
Monday 14th – 18th October – October Week Holiday
Monday 21st – Friday 25th October – 4M & 4S Work Experience

HT Blog – 27 August 2019

Welcome to the first blog of session 2019/20. It has been a smooth start to term and we are delighted with the way that pupils have settled back into school life so quickly. A particular welcome to our new S1 pupils who have also settled in well and making a good impression on their teachers.

On 6th August pupils from last year’s S4/5/6 received their SQA results. Congratulations go to so many of them who performed really well. Once again, as a school, we were delighted with how well the pupils got on and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and teachers who supported and challenged them throughout the year. Following the results a large number of pupils came to the school to review their options for the session and had a chance to do this with members of the Senior Leadership Team who took the time to come in during the holidays – many thanks to them.

For the first time in a few years we were back at school with the pupils to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Thanks to Fr Ness who came along and celebrated two Masses in the school for us. Again the pupils conducted themselves in an exemplary manner.

We held our first assemblies of the year last week and one of the focuses for these were the new Mission, Values and Aims. These were created last session by a group of staff led by Mr Lang and in consultation with pupils, parents and other partners of the school.

Mission:
* Growing together, achieving together with Christ at our centre

Values:
* Promote the Common Good
* Foster Relationships
* Leaders of Faith
* Love in all things

Aims:
* To embed the Catholic faith across all aspects of the school community, allowing opportunities for faith into action.
* To foster a community where everyone’s values, views and diversity are respected in a supportive and positively challenging environment.
* To provide the highest possible quality of learning and teaching where we foster high aspirations and determination in our students, and encourage them to be high achievers in all aspects of their learning.
* To build a sense of achievement where pupils will learn the lifelong skills to help them both now and for the future, to assist with the transition to an appropriate and positive destination.
* To help our pupils realise the dignity of work, that work is integral to our human nature and should be for the benefit of all, not the few.
* To recognise and promote the talents of all our pupils and provide a curriculum that meets the needs of all our learners.
* To promote and sustain the wellbeing of all members of our community.

We will continue to promote the new Mission, Values and Aims of the school in the community throughout the year.

Only two weeks in and we had our first group of pupils out on a trip. Our librarian Ms MacFadyen and former PT English Mrs Millar took pupils to the Book Festival taking place in Edinburgh. This was a very successful trip and thoroughly enjoyed by those lucky enough to go along.

The annual Vocations Mass for Motherwell Diocese took place on Monday 26th August. This was a lovely Mass and staff and a number of Caritas pupils from Our Lady’s joined many other staff, pupils and others from across the diocese. We have almost 30 pupils embarking on the Caritas Awards this year and we look forward to working with them on what has always been a great experience.

There has been an update to the school app recently. If you already have this downloaded you will be prompted to update this next time you go in. If you do not have the app yet, search for ‘School App for Parents’ in the App Store and once downloaded, do a search for Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell. If you turn the notifications on then you will receive a notification if we send out messages about events that are coming up or other issues, eg. School closures due to snow (hopefully not!)

Finally, our first Parent Council meeting of the year takes place at 7pm on Monday 2nd September in the school. We are always happy for new members so please come along and join us.

Forthcoming Events

  • Thursday 29th August – UCAS Information Evening.
  • Friday 30th August – Mass for the reception of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux.
  • Monday 2nd September – Parent Council Meeting 7pm.
  • Friday 6th September – Patronal Feast Day Celebrations.
  • Monday 9th September – HT meetings with PTs begin.
  • Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th September – School Photographs.
  • Thursday 12th September – Senior awards Ceremony, 7pm.
  • Friday 27th & Monday 30th September – September weekend holidays.

HT Blog – 25 June 2019

Welcome to the final blog of session 2018/19.  There have been a number of activities over the last month which has kept both pupils and staff very busy.

Sports day took place for S1-3 pupils. It was a bit different to our usual day this year with activities such as Football, Netball/Basketball, Dodgeball, Softball and Dance all being included. Fantastic effort by all who competed and helped their teams!  We hope to be able to go back to our usual sports day athletics activities next year.

The annual trip to York took place again recently with up to 40 pupils taking part in what was once again a very successful trip. Amongst other things there was a bus tour, visits to York Minster, Flamingo Land, York Dungeon and a ghost walk. Plenty to keep everyone busy!


This year we had around 30 pupils achieve their Caritas award which involved pupils volunteered to serve their local communities particularly in local parishes. This was recognised in a ceremony in the Hydro in Glasgow with many of the Bishops in Scotland present and this year with Depute First Minister John Swinney as guest speaker. Congratulation to all our pupils!

We have recently got a new chaplain in the school as Fr McPhail has moved on at the monument to take care of a Parish in Airdrie. We welcomed Fr Owen Ness to the school and were delighted that he had the opportunity to say Mass for all our S1/2/3 pupils so early after starting, to celebrate Ascension Thursday.

Both S1 and senior pupils have been involved in fundraising for St Andrew’s Hospice. S1 pupils took part in their annual walk up Tinto Hill while some of our senior pupils had a bit further to walk as they took on Ben Nevis. Well done to all the staff and pupils who took part and thanks to all of you who have supported them with sponsorship to raise money for a very worthy cause.

We are now in the process of getting a new sports pitch which will really enhance the outdoor facilities we have in the school. The decision was made for the pitch to be named after former pupil Billy McNeill who sadly passed away recently. We were delighted to get a bit of publicity with this when we were joined by Billy’s wife and daughter to mark the start of this project. The plan is for the pitch to be completed before the end of the year.  Many thanks to the parent Council who have been campaigning to get these facilities upgraded long before I arrived in the school.

As we get to the end of the year we also get to the end of the transition programme for our P7 pupils who will be starting with is in August. It was lovely to welcome so many of the pupils along with their families to our Welcome Mass that took place before they joined us for two transition days where they followed their timetables that will be in place in August. They were very successful days wand we look forward to the pupils joining us in August.

Over 30 pupils and staff enjoyed a very emotional trip to the battlefields in Belgium and France recently. Part of their trip involved visiting graves and memorials of some of their own relatives. The pupils. They all took part in the ceremony at the men in gate and three of the pupils had the opportunity to lay the wreath for Our Lady’s HS as part of that ceremony.


The S6 prom took place recently at Hamilton Race Course and it was a very successful event. The pupils had put a lot of preparation into this event both beforehand and on the day of the Prom. The high number of staff attending is a great testament to the year group. Well done everyone!


Last week we had 4 excellent performances of the school show ‘Back to the 80s’. The pupils were fantastic and the work and effort put into preparing for this from them as well as the staff has been second to none. It was yet another opportunity to showcase the wonderful talent we have in the school.




We enjoyed our final evening of the year with our Junior Awards Ceremony where we recognised many pupils in S1 – 3 for their outstanding work over the last year.  We were delighted to be joined my Mr Raymond Lunny (former pupil and Assistant Head Teacher in OLHS) and his wife Mary to present the awards to the pupils.  It was a great evening with a fantastic turnout from family and friends as well as staff.  Congratulations to all those pupils receiving awards!

Staffing

We have a number of staff leaving us at the end of the month and some starting with us in August.
Mrs Elaine Miller (PT English) is retiring. Many thanks to Mrs Miller for 22  years in Our Lady’s.

Mr Joe Allan (PT Technical) is also retiring and we also thank him for 19 years service to the school.

Ms Shirras Moir (Geography) is returning to her hometown of St Andrew’s and so will be leaving us at the end of the month.

Mr Danny Hale (Maths) is moving to a post in St. Ninian’s HS in Kirkintilloch.

Mr Alan Shepherd (Chemistry/Science) finishes with after a year covering for Ms Walmsley in the Science department, moving to St Ambrose HS.

New Staff/Appointments
Ms Julie Ann McGhee has been appointed as PT English.

Mrs Nadia Mulrooney has been appointed as PT Technical (presently in Chryston HS).

Ms Jenna Grenhill will joint the Science department (job share with Ms Walmsley).

Ms. Angela McGavin will join the Geography department (job share with Ms Harley)

Ms Nicole McCormack will join the English department as a probationer.

Mr Laurence Cavanagh will join the English to cover a vacancy.

Ms. Katherine O’Donovan will join the Social Subjects department covering for Mrs Woolley.

Mr Hugh McNeill will join the Technical department to cover a vacancy.

Forthcoming Events

  • Friday 28th June – School closes for the summer holidays at 1pm.
  • Tuesday 6th August – Pupils receive SQA results
  • Wednesday 7th August – Opportunity for S5/6 pupils to change options following results
  • Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th August – Staff Inservice Days
  • Tuesday 14th August – Pupils return.

The app has been updated now with most of the important dates for 2019/20. Please download the app where you can access these dates as well as other updates.

I would like to finish by thanking you all for your support of the school over the last year. Once again it has been a very successful and eventful year where, along with day to day teaching and learning, pupils are offered so many different opportunities to engage in other activities. For that I have to thank staff who are so keen to try and give the pupils the best experience they can here in Our Lady’s.

I wish you all a very happy summer with your families.