17th January 2018

We have been at school now for almost 2 weeks already and it feels like we have never been away.  I hope everyone enjoyed a good break over Christmas and New Year.

The focus since we came back has very much been on settling back into a work routine especially for our S5/6 pupils who are preparing for their prelim exams next week.  The timetable for the exams is available on our website by following this link:


We have have had some adverse weather conditions recently and we would plan to update our school twitter as much as much possible to keep you informed of any developments. However, North Lanarkshire has a dedicated page for updates that you can follow (https://www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=20199) as well as a Twitter account (@nlcwinter) that will keep you informed. Thanks to all the staff, pupils and their parents who have made a great effort to get into school in some very difficult circumstances for many.

Our departments continue to use their twitter accounts to keep you abreast of the great work that is going on in the school and I would recommend you follow these to see what is happening.  I have listed these below:

Forthcoming Events   

  • Monday 22nd January – S5/6 Prelims begin
  • Tuesday 23rd January – S3 Parents’ Reporting Evening
  • Sunday 28th January – Catholic Education Week begins
  • Wednesday 31st January – Annual Education Mass at the Cathedral (7pm)
  • Thursday 1st February – S4 Parents’ Reporting Evening
  • Monday 5th February – Parent Council Meeting at 7pm
  • Monday 12th/Tuesday 13th February – School Holidays
  • Wednesday 14th February (Ash Wednesday) – Inservice Day



22nd December 2017

On Monday our second annual Christmas Interhouse Quiz took place hosted by our very own Philip and Holly, Mrs Smith and Mr Donnachie! After being thoroughly entertained, particularly by Mr Martin and Mr McVeagh on the catwalk, Sinclair House lifted the coveted trophy!

On Monday evening our S1 -3 pupils dusted off their dancing shoes and joined in at the Christmas Ceilidh. A great time was had by all.  Wednesday evening was the turn of S4 – 6 pupils and once again there was a great response with large numbers coming along and dancing the night away!

Our S1 pupils enjoyed a trip to the Panto in Glasgow on Tuesday and once again were a credit to the school. Oh yes they were!

And on Tuesday afternoon our pupils ably assisted by a number of staff organised a party for some of our Senior Citizens in the community. This was another well attended and great event with entertainment provided by a drama group, singers and dancers.

I have been to a number of Christmas shows over the last few weeks and this week had the pleasure of attending the Bothwellpark performance of ’How the Grinch stole Bothwellpark’s Chrsitmas’ and then the beautiful nativity put on by pupils at St Brendan’s PS.

Our S6 pupils have been working tirelessly helping out a number of events over the last few weeks and this week saw a group of pupils visiting Parksprings Care Home to performs some Christmas songs and another group helping Mr McHugh and the RE department organising parcels for the homeless unit, collected by pupils in the school.

It’s been a very busy time and staff and pupils are looking forward to well-earned rest.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few months in the school and thank everyone for the warm welcome I have received. I would just to like to wish you all a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes.

Forthcoming Events

  • Monday 8th January – School reopens.
  • Monday 22nd January – S5/6 Prelims begin (see link to timetable below)


  • Tuesday 23rd January – S3 Parents’ Evening


15th December 2017

The school was recently visited by author Martin Stewart who gave great talks to our Advanced Higher English class as well as our S1 pupils.


Our Parents Reporting Evening for S5/6 pupils took place and we were very happy with the numbers that turned out to find out about their child’s progress as well as ways to help further as we move towards prelim exams in January.

The S4 Prelims are almost finished and the pupils have been working well in the lead up these exams and I am sure will be looking forward to a break now they are done! These exams should help pupils identify what they need to work on in the lead up to the SQA exams that begin on Monday 30th April. The link to the SQA timetable for 2018 is below:


There are some changes to the assessment of National 5 courses this year with Unit assessments being removed.  You can find out more information on this by following this link:


As part of their discussion with politicians, the Higher Politics class were visited by SNP MSP Claire Adamson who answered questions on minimum unit pricing, Brexit, budgets, tackling the attainment gap and women in leadership. Thanks to all those who have given up their time to come in and speak to our pupils.

The school’s Christmas Fayre took place last Saturday and it was great to see so many set up stalls and the large numbers come along to support the event. Around £700 was made, which we are delighted with and appreciate very much.  I have to thank the staff and S6 Caritas pupils who put in so much effort in preparing for this event.


The North Lanarkshire Schools’ Music Groups Concert took place in Motherwell Concert Hall last Monday and Tuesday. This was a great event and I was very proud to see a number of Our Lady’s pupils representing the school so well.

There have been a number of Christmas events taking place over the last week. I have had the pleasure if attending shows at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral PS and St Bernadette’s PS and look forward to seeing the pupils perform at St. Brendan’s PS next week.  Great talent from all the Primary pupils!

Our S6 pupils put on a Christmas party for the pupils of Clyde View School. This was a lovely event – the pupils had a great time and our S6 helpers were absolutely fantastic. Even Santa managed to come along!

Our annual Christmas Concert took place on Thursday evening and was a great showcase of some of the fantastic talent that there is in Our Lady’s. Thanks must go to Mrs Smith and the Performing Arts department, instructors and all the other staff and pupils that had a role to play in the organisation and running of another lovely event in the school.

As we approach Christmas, can I just remind you of the school policy on mobile phones (link below). Pupils are not encouraged to bring phones to school but if they do they should not be out in the school at all, unless given permission to so by staff. Often after Christmas pupils come in with very expensive mobile phones – there is no insurance for the loss of damage to such items in school, so it may be best that these are not brought to school at all.


We did a parent survey recently and the results of these have been emailed to parents. If you did not receive this email please contact the school to check that the email address we have for you is accurate.

Forthcoming Events

  • Monday 18th December – Christmas Jumper Day (£1 for charity)
  • Monday 18th September – Interhouse Quiz
  • Monday 18th December – S1-3 Ceilidh
  • Tuesday 19th December – Senior Citizens’ Party
  • Tuesday 19th December – S1 Panto Trip
  • Wednesday 20th December – S4-6 Ceilidh
  • Thursday 21st December – Pupil visit to Park Springs Care Home.
  • Friday 22nd December – school closes at 2.30pm.
  • Monday 8th January – School reopens.
  • Monday 22nd January – S5/6 Prelims begin.
  • Tuesday 23rd January – S3 Parents’ Evening

5th December 2017

The annual Memorial Mass took place on Friday 24th November and was attended by a number of family members of ex Our Lady’s pupils who lost their lives in the war.  Thanks to our school captains Rebecca and Erin who read the Roll of Honour on the evening.

Mrs Millar and Ms Macfadyen took a group of S6 pupils to the Scottish Parliament recently for the St. Andrews Day Debating Tournament 2017.  The pupils had a great experience and once again were great ambassadors and a credit to the school.

Thanks to Mrs Connor and Andrew House for the  St Andrew’s Day celebrations that took place last week including stalls, Quiz, Wear tartan day, etc…

The Micro Tyco Trade Fayre took place recently. Each S3 MicroTyco group was been given a loan of £1 to start up their enterprise project. Money raised will repay their loans and help provide business loans in the developing world through WildHearts.  Projects included Guess the Baby photos, guess the number of sweets in the jar, raffles, excellent home baking etc… As a result of their endeavors over £460 was raised – well done everyone!

Our first Numeracy Evening for parents of S1 pupils took place recently.  If parents are going to be in a position to help with homework they will sometimes need a bit of support in doing so.  The way I was taught Maths/Numeracy (many years ago now!) is not the way that I actually taught Maths over the years, showing pupils how to tackle particular topics.  As long as there is a consistent approach from school and home we can help improve the Numeracy levels of our young people.  There are 2 more evenings planned over the year – keep an eye out for the next one. Thanks to the Maths department for organising and running this event.

Fr Martin delivered our Advent assemblies recently.  Always a busy time of the year, it is always good to stand back, take stock and remember what this time of the year is all about.

The Technical department recently made a visit to the Forth Crossing with a group of senior pupils.  They had a great time and learned about the many different opportunities that are available in engineering.

The S4 prelims are underway in some subjects now.  Good luck to all our S4 pupils.  The link to the timetable is available via:

S4 Prelims 2017

Don’t forget our Christmas Fayre takes place this Saturday in the school.  Come along and support us!

Forthcoming events:

  • Thursday 7th December – S5/6 Parents Reporting Evening
  • Friday 8th December – S4 Prelims commence
  • Saturday 9th December – Christmas Fayre
  • Monday 11th December – NLC Schools Music Group Concert in Motherwell Concert Hall
  • Thursday 14th December – School Concert
  • Monday 18th December – Christmas Jumper Day
  • Monday 18th December – S1-3 Ceilidh
  • Tuesday 19th December – Senior Citizens’ Party
  • Tuesday 19th December – S1 Panto Trip
  • Wednesday 20th December – S4-6 Ceilidh
  • Friday 22nd December – school closes at 2.30pm.

23rd November 2017

We recently had a group of 32 pupils on a trip to London with the Performing Arts department. the pupils had a fantastic time seeing the sights of London and, despite their scheduled show being cancelled, managed to see Wicked! There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that Mr McHugh fell asleep during said show!


On the 17th November the football teams in the school organised a Race night to raise funds – the costs of referees, hiring pitches and transport certainly mounts up! Thanks to all those who contributed and went along on the night over £2000 was raised. We are so grateful to everyone involved and assure you that the money will be well used supporting our teams.

The first of our Parents’ evenings took place with S1. We had a great turnout and the feedback we got from parents was very positive. Thanks to parents and carers who came along and to those who helped organise the Evening, including our S3 pupils who turned up to sell their goods as part of the Micro Tyco initiative. Micro-Tyco is a month long challenge that enables participants to practice and learn fundamental business principles in a safe, ‘micro’ environment. Teams from schools, universities or businesses have one month to turn £1 seed capital into as much money as possible. The pupils will be having a Micro Tyco trade fayre next week to sell their goods.

Thanks also to our S6 helpers at the parents’ evening who went round the school with iPads and tried to make sure nobody left the building without completing an evaluation!

In the Social Subjects department invitations were sent out to MSPs to speak with the Higher Politics class. So far they have been visited by Colin Fox (Scottish Socialist Party Leader), Richard Leonard MSP (Labour, and now leader of the Scottish Labour Party) and Monica Lennon MSP (Labour), Graham Simpson MSP (Scottish Conservative). And in the next few weeks they will be visited by Clare Adamson MSP (SNP).  The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the visits and gained a great deal from the discussions.


Anti-bullying week took place and we were lucky enough to have Base Youth in Motherwell to talk to our S1-3 year groups. The talks were great and, as always,  the pupils participated well.

You will know that there is a consultation taking place about school transport in North Lanarkshire at present. The proposed changes will have an impact on a large number of pupils presently transported to Our Lady’s. This is a consultation process and so I would encourage you all to have your say by following the correct procedures. The link to the documentation and how to respond is:


We have a school Fayre taking place on Saturday 9th December and have a number of stalls in place for this with our S6 Caritas pupils playing a big part in organising the event. It takes place from 10am – 1.30pm in the school. Get the date in the diary and come along and get some of that Christmas shopping done!

Forthcoming Events

  • Thursday 30th November – St Andrew’s Day Celebrations
  • Thursday 7th December – S5/6 Parents Reporting Evening
  • Friday 8th December – S4 Prelims commence
  • Saturday 9th December – Christmas Fayre
  • Monday 11th December – NLC Schools Music Group Concert in Motherwell Concert Hall
  • Thursday 14th December – School Concert
  • Monday 18th December – Christmas Jumper Day
  • Monday 18th December – S1-3 Ceilidh
  • Tuesday 19th December – Senior Citizens’ Party
  • Tuesday 19th December – S1 Panto Trip
  • Wednesday 20th December – S4-6 Ceilidh
  • Friday 22nd December – last day of school before holidays.

10th November 2017

School continues to be very busy with lots happening.  We recently had our Day of the Dead celebrations with our S2 pupils that was really successful and enjoyable.  Thanks have to go to the Modern Languages, RE and Art departments for the hard work they put in preparing for this and running the event.


This week was Dyslexia Awareness week and as part of this there were various events organised for the staff including a coffee morning and ‘wear blue’ day. There was a colouring competition available for S1/2 pupils throughout the week during lunchtime and there will be further awareness raising of dyslexia in PSHE classes.

We continue to try and ensure staffing is settled in the school.  This week we appointed a DHT to replace Mrs Donnachie who left in the summer.  Mr Derek Lang was successful and we look forward to welcoming him to the school.  My thanks go to the members of the Parent Council who helped out at the interviews for this. As many of you will be aware there has been a shortage in staff in some areas so we are glad to be welcoming a full time Biology teacher to the school soon and thank the council for their support in helping us to fill this gap.

Since the start of the month we have been praying for our departed family friends and have a book at the front of the school with the names entered by staff and pupils. This is also the time of the year when we remember those who have lost their lives in war. The annual War Memorial Mass will be taking place on Friday 24th November this year where former pupils of the school killed in war will be remembered.

Our annual Christmas Fayre takes place on Saturday 9th December.  Mrs Hill is working hard with our S6 Caritas pupils in organising this.  It would be great to see a good turnout at this event – bring your friends and family!

S6 continued with their fundraising this week with their ‘Soak an S6 pupil’ event.  They were shivering by the end of it and I have to say there were a number of pupils that took great pleasure in either throwing wet sponges or buckets of water at them – particularly their siblings!

So often we have pupils out at events/trips and always represent the school so well. Recently Julia and Eirinn took part in the Scullion Debate making a great effort.  We had pupils at a Chess competition beating Mearns Castle 4 – 1. A group of pupils represented the school at the Kids Lit Quiz.  And recently a group of Higher Geography pupils went on a field trip in Glasgow.  This is just an example of some of the great things that pupils have the opportunity to get involved in.

Not only do we have teams that represent the school but also a number of clubs that happen throughout the week that pupils are made aware of this through the daily bulletin.  I would encourage all of our pupils to get involved in something outwith the class.

The school also had the pleasure recently of welcoming the scriptwriter Marc Pye to the school to spend an afternoon with our Advanced Higher English class.


Staff have also been very busy in the school and many have been getting involved in working  groups, for example, the Discipline group, Mental Health group, Political Literacy group, etc…  All of these groups are looking at areas that we can work on and develop within the school.

As part of the process in identifying what we can improve, I have emailed all parents with a link to a questionnaire about the school.  Thank you to so many of you who have already responded to this.  The questionnaire will be open until the end of the month and I would encourage you to have your say.

We have now registered to make the steps to getting the Rights Respecting Schools Award. The Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) is an initiative run by UNICEF UK, which encourages schools to place the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of its ethos and curriculum.  Part of this process will involve working with staff, pupils and parents over the coming months and raising awareness of the UN Convention.

Forthcoming Events

  • Thursday 16th  November – London Trip
  • Friday 17th November – Football Race Night
  • Monday 20th November – Inservice Day
  • Tuesday 21st November – S1 Parents’ Reporting Evening
  • Friday 24th November – Annual War Memorial Mass
  • 8th December – S4 Prelim exams begin
  • 29th November – S5/6 Tracking report issued
  • 7th December – S5/6 Parents Meeting

1st November 2017

S4 pupils had a great opportunity to enjoy a week’s work experience either the week before or the week after the October break . This gave them an insight into the world of work and what was involved in particular jobs/careers.  We are always keen to expand the partnerships that we have with businesses, not only for work experience but also for help with CVs, mock interviews, careers fairs, etc.  If you are able to help out in any way please contact me at the school to discuss further.

The S6 pupils organised a No Uniform on the Friday before the October break as part of their charity fundraising for the year. Pupils and staff then enjoyed a well deserved break and came back refreshed and ready for the run up to, dare I say it, Christmas!

Before and after the break all the pupils had their photographs taken. W are just waiting for these to come back with clear instructions on how to go about ordering those lovely photos that will adorn mantelpieces and walls for years to come!

S1 had a great time with their sponsored slideathon recently, raising money for Lepra.

Over the last few weeks Mr McQuillan and I have had the pleasure of visiting the Primary Schools for Information Evening for Primary 7 parents. The evening let them know about the great transition programme that is in place in the school to help alleviate any anxieties pupils may have as they prepare to move to high school. Part of that programme involved a day visit recently for all the P7 pupils with a timetable in place for them for the day – all the feedback was very positive and pupils are already looking forward to starting next August.

We have a number of pupils undertaking the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas award this year and it was great to have most of them join other pupils from across the diocese at the Commissioning Service in the Cathedral with Bishop Toal. Pupils will be involved in volunteering in school and in local Churches throughout the year.

S6 pupils organised our S1/6 Halloween Disco (photo) and what a great event this was! Pupils were looking great in their costumes, got involved in games and the pizza went down a treat as well! Well done to the S6 organisers!

We were delighted to have Fr Martin on hand on the Feast of All Saints this year to celebrate two Masses for us.  The pupils were very reverent throughout and were an absolute credit to their families.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@OLHSMotherwell) as well as the departmental accounts.  As inclement weather approaches this will be one of the first ways that we will try and communicate with you if there are any issues.

Forthcoming Events

  • Monday 6th November – PTA & Parent Council
  • Thursday 16th  November – London Trip
  • Friday 17th November – Football Race Night
  • Monday 20th November – Inservice Day
  • Tuesday 21st November – S1 Parents’ Reporting Evening
  • Friday 24th November – Annual War Memorial Mass

9th October 2017

S1 pupils had a special assembly with the Gideons where they were presented with their own personal copy of the New Testament Bible.  This tradition has been going for many years in schools. In fact, I still have the copy of the Bible I received when I was in S1 – that was a good few years ago now!

S6 UCAS applicants visited the Computer Centre at Caldervale HS last week as part of the programme the school offers to support their applications to university. All S6 pupils who were not involved in the UCAS programme took part in a successful DYW (Developing the Young Workforce) day which took place in the school.

Two of our pupils Mary Kate Ross and Jamie Lester joined Mrs Woolley in a visit to Auschwitz.  As has been the experience of previous visitors here, they all found it very moving and emotional. Mary Kate and Jamie will be sharing their experience with other pupils at a later date.

A group of S3/4 pupils visited the Glasgow Film Theatre to enjoy a Spanish film.  Once again the pupils were an absolute credit to the school and to their parents. Well done!

S1 Retreat are taking place this week at Carfin Grotto. Many thanks to Mrs Hill and Fr Delaney who are organising these and to some of our S6 Caritas pupils who are helping out.

We have a Homework Club that takes place on a Wednesday and Friday at lunchtime. This is proving to be very successful with over 50 pupils turning up. It is great to see such commitment.

This week and then the week after the October break we have a S4 pupils out on Work Experience. This is a great time for pupils to get a feel for what a workplace is really like and also an idea of whether or not a particular type of career is for them. We are so grateful to local businesses and parents and friends for helping out with the provision of these placements.



At the end of this week we bid a fond farewell to Mrs Glover our Principal Teacher of Performing Arts as she moves on to her new life in Perthshire.  She has been in Our Lady’s HS for over 20 years and has has done so much, not just in the department but across the school.  She will be missed in the school and we wish her all the best.

Forthcoming events:

  • W/b 9th October – S4 Work Experience
  • Wednesday 11th October – School Photographs (S1/2)
  • Thursday 12th October – School Photographs (S3 & S4 (pupils not on work experience) & family photos
  • Monday 16th – Friday 20th October – School closed for October break
  • W/b 23rd October – S4 Work Experience
  • Wednesday 25th October – P7 pupils visit to the school
  • Wednesday 25th October – Caritas Commissioning Service at the Cathedral
  • 24th October – School Photographs (S5/6 & S4 (pupils not on work experience))
  • 26th/27th October – Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition
  • Friday 27th October – S1 Lepra Fundraiser



27th September 2017

We recently were involved in hosting a group of pupils from Pistoia in Italy. They spent some time with groups of our pupils, visited classes, had a disco and Ceilidh and had visits to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and New Lanark.

Italian visitors learning the art of making shortbread!










A group of S4 pupils represented the school recently at the Love Life Conference in St. Bride’s Hall. This was also attended by a number of school from across the diocese.

The Schools 6K run for St Andrew’s Hospice took place in Strathclyde Park on Sunday 17th and was attended by staff and pupils. Some ran and some strolled round on a warm Sunday morning.  I was fairly pleased with my time but a bit gutted that Mr McQuillan beat me by about 15 seconds!

Our Senior Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday 19th.  This was a great evening to celebrate the successes of the pupils over the last year.  We were delighted to be joined by Mrs Kathleen Sinclair who came back to give out the awards. It was lovely to hear the pupils talk of their experiences over the last year and the support they received.  At the ceremony, cheques were also presented as a result of fundraising that had taken place over the year.


Rebecca McQuaid, School Captain, welcomes everyone to the Awards Ceremony

Platform party: Stephen Verrechia, Louise Torrance, Robert Smith, Dan Cardle, Councillor Paul Kelly, Kathleen Sinclair









Kayleigh Rowatt updated everyone on the great fundraising work that took place.

Shannon Waldron spoke of her experience in S4.

Dearbhla McCabe talked of her S5 experience.








Liam McCafferty returned to the school and spoke of his experience in S6.

School Captain Erin Burt makes the vote of thanks and closing remarks.

Erin presents Mrs Sinclair with flowers as a thank you for presenting the awards.








Just a reminder that you can keep up to date with what is going on in the school by following Twitter: @OLHSMotherwell.  You will be able to find links to departments from here.

Forthcoming Events

  • Monday 2nd October 6.30pm – Parent Council and PTA AGMs and meetings. All welcome.
  • Friday 6th October – PTA Hairspray singalong in the School. Doors open 7pm Film starts 7.45pm. Tickets £5 at the door. BYOB. Please come along and support this event.
  • Monday 9th October – S1 Retreats (1N1 & 1N2)
  • Tuesday 10th October – S1 Retreats (1N3 & 1N4)
  • Wednesday 11th October – School Photographs (S1/2)
  • Thursday 12th October – School Photographs (S3 & S4 (pupils not on work experience) & family photos
  • 16th – 20th October – October week. School closed
  • 24th October – School Photographs (S5/6 & S4 (pupils not on work experience))

14th September 2017

Following applications and interviews we are delighted that Erin Burt and Rebecca McQuaid have been appointed as School Captains.  Joining me on the interview panel were our chaplain Fr. Martin, Mr McHugh (DHT for 5/6) and Miss McGhee.  I was deeply impressed by the performance of all those interviewed on the day – being interviewed by a panel of 4 is not an easy task but each and every one were great!  Interviews for the House Captains will be taking place over the week.

We had our Information Evenings for Show My Homework for parents/carers of S1 and S2 pupils this week.  This is a great resource that is intended to support the whole process of issuing and recording homework. The bonus  is that parents can see at a glance the homework issued as well! I’m sure pupils love that!

A big part of Show My Homework is to use technology help engage parents.  I am also keen that we use technology to issue letters and communicate with parents via email and will be trying to ensure we have correct email addresses for parents/carers to get this started as soon as possible.

The last blog included the Twitter addresses for the school and a number of departments. This is a great way of seeing what is happening in departments and a chance to showcase some of the fantastic work our pupils are doing. Examples are seen below.


We were delighted that the Parent Council and the PTA attended our Parents’ Information Evenings this week.  Both these groups are a fantastic support to the school and I would encourage parents to get involved in these groups.  Please let the school know if you are interested and we will put you in touch with our Chairperson, Stephen Verrechia (Parent Council) or Louise Torrance (PTA).

Our PTA have been focusing on social events to raise funds for the school. One way of doing this is the 50:50 Club. For a donation of £10 you are entered into 5 draws throughout the year with 50% of the money brought in going out in prizes. Contact the school for more details. The more we people we get involved, the more money raised for the school and the more prize money given out!

Forthcoming Events

  • Thursday 14th September – Italian Visitors Arrive on Pistoia Exchange visit
  • Friday 15th September – Innocents Conference (group of S4 pupils)
  • Sunday 17th September – St Andrew’s Hospice Walk
  • Tuesday 19th September – Senior Awards Ceremony
  • Friday 21st – Monday 24th September – September Weekend
  • Monday 2nd October – Parent Council & PTA AGM
  • Friday 6th October – PTA ‘Hairspray’ Singalong