News from the schools

Braidhurst High S4 history pupils during their visit to Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge
Braidhurst High S4 history pupils during their visit to Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge

Fourth year history pupils from Braidhurst High visited Summerlee Heritage Museum in Coatbridge recently as part of their studies of ‘Changing Life in Scotland during the Industrial Revolution’.

The miners’ cottages offered an excellent insight into living conditions between the late 19th century and the 1980s.

Pupils were able to observe at first hand a coal fire, the wash house and outdoor toilet; enjoy a coal mine tour; ride in a tram car; touring the Vulcan, Scotland’s first iron boat; and exploring the museum’s impressive exhibition hall. They also had the opportunity to handle artefacts, dress up as a Victorian family and play Victorian childhood games.

Theatre visit

Pupils studying Higher drama at Braidhurst High visited the Tron Theatre before the October week to see a production of ‘The Three Sisters’ adapted by John Byrne.

They were very impressed with the standard of the production and were excited to see some famous faces on stage.

As part of the new Higher pupils have to see a live production and write about this in their final written exam.

The Tron Theatre also visited the school and carried out two workshops, one before and after the performance, and all pupils were delighted to meet the assistant director and to be involved with the workshop.

Netball success

Braidhurst’s S3 netball team took on the S4s of Coltness High School at home.

Braidhurst led 4-2 after the first quarter due to excellent shooting from Kirsty Speirs and were able to maintain their lead into half-time with the score at 9-7 with the help of Victoria Kane and her exceptional interceptions.

Both teams continued to play to their best ability but it was Braidhurst who took the win at full-time, 18-15.

Training camp

Elite performance players from Braidhurst S2/S3 took part in an elite football training camp over the October break at the Ravenscraig regional sports centre.

The pupils train every day at school as part of the SFA performance programme and then again at night with their clubs.

They worked with Gordon Craig, SFA elite performance coach; John Kerr, SFA and Hamilton Accies goalkeeping coach; Andy Smith, NL Trust Motherwell FC head coach; and Craig Mcleish, assistant coach; along with NL Trust sports science support staff.

P7 quiz

Pupils from Logans, Ladywell and Muir Street Primary Schools took part in the recent P7 quiz.

The annual quiz challenges the pupils in all curricular areas - literacy, numeracy, social subjects, health and well-being, languages, expressive arts, technology and science.

Each round provided a different specialist team to come out and answer questions and it proved a close contest with Logans only narrowly defeating Muir Street in the final technology round.

This was Logans’ first victory and all pupils celebrated their success.

The quiz is the first event of the transition programme which continues with ‘Open to Question’ on Wednesday, November 19, at 7pm.

This event is for parents and pupils of P6 and P7.

Duke of Edinburgh

Members of Braidhurst 4xl Prince’s Trust Group took part in their walk expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The group travelled to Strathyre for their practice expedition and completed their assessed walk in the Killearn area.


School photographs

Pupils in fourth to sixth years have had their school photographs taken.

Proof photos for first to third year are now in school and anyone wishing to purchase should return payment as soon as possible.

Cut It Out

Jim Muir from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service spoke to sixth year pupils about young driver safety.

Pupils were moved by the accompanying ‘Cut It Out’ film which described horrific injuries caused by reckless driving.

Senior citizens’ party

Every year OLHS holds a Christmas party for the senior members of the community, with afternoon tea and entertainment laid on by the pupils.

This year the party is being organised by the enterprise class and all pupils have now received a letter which allows them to invite relatives, neighbours and friends to the party, which will take place on December 16 from 2-3.15pm and is completely free.

Anyone who knows of someone who might enjoy the party should contact Mrs Zambonini at Our Lady’s before Friday, October 31.

Fire Reach

OLHS pupils are attending the Fire Reach programme this week, which aims to encourage self-sufficiency, confidence-building and teamwork.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue will guide the pupils through activities which require them to trust their teammates, as well as watching videos and learning some First Aid.

This week is the turn of the six girls involved with the boys taking part in a couple of weeks.

Library survey

The Scottish Library and Information Council is holding a survey to discover pupils’ opinions of their school library.

The surveys will be completed online and are completely anonymous. Pupils in OLHS will take part over the next couple of weeks.

Hallowe’en disco

The annual Hallowe’en disco for first year pupils will be held tomorrow (Thursday) from 7-9pm.

Tickets cost £3 and are on sale in The Zone every lunchtime. The disco is organised by sixth year pupils.

Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club takes place in the Citizens’ Cafe every Tuesday and Thursday from 8.20am and provides toast, cereal, juice, fruit and yogurt.

There is no charge and any pupil is welcome, but particularly S1 and S2 pupils and those who find they don’t have time for a breakfast in the morning.

Holocaust education

S6 pupils Cerys Law and Gemma Grier took part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s one day visit to Poland as part of the Lessons from Auschwitz programme.

The girls had already taken part in seminars with the trust before visiting the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Further information from the girls themselves is available on the school website.


Celebrating Success

During special assemblies the following students were presented with certificates for outstanding work throughout the month of September within the humanities department:

S1 Excellence Awards - Sarah Chance, Ciara Hendrie and Jamie Lawrie (1C1); Ross Campbell, Hollie Latham and Louise Samson (1C2); Lucy Dunning, T J Mackie and Brook Struthers (1H1); Ally Hannah, Nathan Gallagher and Logan Reid (1H2).

S2 Upbeat Awards - Kerr Buchanan, Lewis O’Neill and Shauna O’Neill (2C1); Ross Corbett, Iona Orr and Lucy Whitehead (2C2); Billy Moncrieff, Connor Rowlands and Ryan Smith (2H1); Sammy Love and Megan Young (2H2).

S3 On Target Awards - Bobbi Kennedy, Stuart Murphy (3C1); Linzi Penman 3C2; Nathan Wale (3H2); Katelyn Campbell (3H3).

Under-16s football

On a cold, wet and windy afternoon, Clyde Valley’s under-16 side recorded their first victory of the season, winning 4-2 at Lesmahagow.

They travelled to Lesmahagow with a depleted squad due to absence, but performed well given the difficult conditions.

Clyde Valley took the lead thanks to a Mark Naughton goal and were then unlucky to go in 2-1 down at half-time.

But they rallied and put in a spirited performance in the second half to come out winners with Gary Torrance scoring a hatrick.

The whole team worked their socks off, but special mention must go to Gary Mullen, who marshalled the defence, and Lee Hadden who led the line, ably supported by Gary Torrance, Lee McDermott, Matthew Hillan and Ross Taylor.

Team: Scott Crosbie, Murray Graham, Ryan Sedgeworth, Gary Mullen, Matthew Hillan, Mark Naughton, Ross Taylor, Gary Torrance, Lee McDermott, Lee MacKenzie and Lee Hadden.

Parent group meeting

The parent group met last Wednesday when several subject principal teachers attended to give a progress report on the new National Qualifications.

The evening was very informative and parents in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions pertinent to their child’s age and stage.

Stand Up For Cancer

Two third year Clyde Valley pupils took part in a sponsored walk to raise funds for the ‘Stand up for Cancer’ charity.

Amy MacFarlane (3H3) and Billie Davie (3C1) walked from Dimsdale to Strathclyde Park and then walked round the park and back to Dimsdale.

The total journey length was 15 miles and took the girls seven hours. They did, however, have a few stops along the way to collect money in their ‘buckets’.

They managed to raise a total of £150 from their bucket collection but have still to collect their sponsorship money.

Congratulations go to both girls for raising money for this very worthy cause. They are a credit to their families and to the school.

Master class

Fifth year students Alex McCallum and Samantha Lamb attended a drawing and painting master class in the National Galleries, Edinburgh.

The girls were given a guided tour around the exhibition by professional artist Lorna McIntosh.

Following this they were given the opportunity to sketch some sights from the square where the gallery is situated.

They were then taken to the portrait gallery where they painted their own compositions.

The girls had a wonderful educational experience and will put new skills developed to good use as they progress through their Art course here in the school.

Bikeability course

During the October holiday a group of students from four different high schools had the extremely beneficial and educational opportunity to work with Cycling Scotland.

Two sixth year students from Clyde Valley High - David Lannigan and Iain Denholm - are now certified instructors for levels 1 and 2 Bikeability, a skill which they are both incredibly keen to use to teach young people how to stay safe while cycling on roads.

Upon receiving the sum of £1500 from Cycling Scotland, the boys plan to develop and make their project in the local community as successful and possible.

Their main aims are to increase young people’s interest in biking and their consideration of cycling safety.

Coffee morning

The modern languages department, with the help of many others across the school, held a coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.

There was a real buzz around the staffroom as staff took the time to stop for a while, spend some time with colleagues and raise money for charity.

Cake donations were made by many staff and pupils were involved in selling tickets, setting up the staffroom, selling raffle tickets and serving teas and coffees. The event raised £266.


Cooking Around the World

Senior pupils under the supervision of Lisa Crosbie, home school partnership worker, recently completed a six-week course in an intergenerational healthy eating project.

The project, funded by the Reshaping Care for the Elderly Consortium, proved to be enjoyable for all concerned, when skills were shared in the art of cooking.

Supported by Lanarkshire’s Community Food and Health Partnership, pupils worked with residents from McCormack Gardens retirement home, with whom they have enjoyed working in a food co-operative project for a number of years.

Classes took place within the school, utilising facilities in the home economics department, and the course proved to be so successful that a future course is planned before the new year.

House captains

Over 30 pupils took part in a house captain leadership training event when activities and training were made available to explore leadership and teamworking skills.

Led by Ms Jen Downs, the event proved to be a huge success with all pupils contributing enthusiastically to the workshops.

This session the school has moved to a four house model, namely Arran, Bute, Lewis and Mull, and the captaincy team will be the main point of contact for all pupils affiliated to a house group.

They will communicate information and engage pupils in a number of house activities that are scheduled throughout the school session.

Christmas fayre

Monday, December 1, has been confirmed as the date for the Christmas fayre.

The event will be held in the school games hall from 4–8pm. Further information will be made available in due course.


iPad initiative

A group of 18 members of staff have volunteered to be involved in a programme which is designed to improve student engagement through the effective use of iPads in learning and teaching.

Staff have been provided with an iPad which enables them to research their use in the classroom.

The role of each member of the group is to develop and enhance their own skills in using the iPads to support learning and teaching, to find meaningful ways to incorporate the iPads into the learning experience in their classroom and share their knowledge with the wider staff.

This initial group is a pilot prior to the involvement of a much larger group of staff in this initiative.

Over 100 iPads are available for staff to book and use with their classes. The ultimate intention is to embed the use of iPads into many aspects of teaching and learning at all stages across the school.

One of many department utilising this resource currently is the social subjects department.

Currently in modern studies third year students have just finished investigating the London riots of 2011, having been able to research video clips, newspaper articles and first hand account of the riots.

Fourth year have just created their own political parties using the iPads - they were able to reseach the main political parties’ policies and choose which ones they liked best.

Skills Development Scotland

A group of 65 students ranging from fourth to sixth year enjoyed the opportunity to attend a Skills and Careers Convention at the SECC Glasgow.

The students had a fantastic experience at a highly interactive event that offered young people the chance to network and develop key contacts in employment, education and training.

The annual event, organised through Skills Scotland, gives students a real insight into the world of work, a chance to try out new skills and activities and gain impartial advice about global opportunities, opening their minds to the possibilities their futures hold.

Cooking club

This week saw the launch of the home economics department’s cooking club.

The group will meet every Thursday from 3.40–4.40pm with all students from first and second year welcome to attend.

This week the group enjoyed creating their own Hallowe’en cake.

UCAS submissions

Sixth year students intending to attend university are currently working together with stage head Frances Seggie and headteacher Gerry McCormick to put the finishing touches to their personal statements in preparation for submission to UCAS.

Pupils will also meet with a staff mentor to offer additional support and guidance through their application.


Newman’s Got Talent

The final of Newman’s Got Talent last week was a huge success as pupils were given the opportunity to showcase their talents.

All of the finalists were fantastic but, in the end, Leah Gauld (1M) achieved third place, Kyle McCarroll (1A) was second and Ellis Little (2K) was first.

The events committee would like to thank everyone who helped on the night, especially Thomas Docherty for the screens, Ciaran Houston who operated the lights, Ewan Hunter as compere and Lucy Moore and Tornado Jones for entertaining with their star quality.

Day of the Dead

Singers, mainly from fourth year and one from second year, have been practising the Spanish hymns for the Day of the Dead fiesta every day at lunchtime.

They are coming along great and will be singing throughout the fiesta which takes place on November 21.

Costume fittings and arrangements have also been taking place this week.


Rosemary McDonald RIP

It was with great sadness that St Aidan’s learned of the death of Miss Rosemary McDonald who was headteacher of the school for 22 years.

Her funeral took place last Wednesday and headteacher Anthony Rooney organised a coach to allow staff and pupils to attend.

The service started with Miss Ann Archer giving a tribute in memory of Rosemary’s life, friends, family and career.

The concelebrants of the mass included six priests, the emeritus Bishop Joseph Devine and the chaplain of Glasgow University.

The homily was given by Father Richie Higgins who had known Rosemary since the age of 12 and had travelled from Ireland for the service.

It was a very moving mass with the school’s music department leading the music Liturgy with soloists, choir and accompanying musicians.

Representatives of the senior school formed a guard of honour as the hearse left the church.

The family have thanked the school for the role they took in the arrangements for the funeral and the part they played during the mass.

Polar Academy

A group of 19 pupils from St Aidan’s High and Coltness High travelled to Sportscotland Glenmore Lodge in Aviemore during the October week.

The pupils are all part of the Polar Academy, an initiative founded by explorer Craig Mathieson.

The group is split into two teams.

The expedition team who will be trekking to the Arctic Circle next April to explore some of the most remotest places in Greenland.

The leadership team, as well as being reserves for the expedition, will be delivering outdoor activities to schools across North Lanarkshire.

During the week at Glenmore Lodge, the leadership team completed various qualifications and activities, including the Orienteering Leadership Award, 1 Star Award in Canoeing, a workshop in mountain bike maintenance and skills and finally an introduction to climbing.

Meanwhile the expedition team were preparing for their adventure in Greenland with tuition in polar camping skills and a three-day wild camping trip across the Cairngorms.

The St Aidan’s pupils involved in the Polar Academy are Carla Brawley, Sara Dunn, Morgan Healy, Paul Shuttleworth, Mateusz Trojnar. Andrew Bowman, Sarah Healy, Declan Hutton and Danielle Sinclair.

Active Schools coordinators Joanne Cuthbertson & Nicola Joergensen assisted Craig Mathieson in securing a £10,000 Awards for All grant to fund the activities at Glenmore Lodge.

Both schools would also like to thank Moira Healy, Cameron Inglis and Claire Hughes for their invaluable contribution to the training week.

Geography field trip

St Aidan’s S3 geography pupils have been taking part in an extra achievement which is their John Muir Award Level 1 and 2.

This has allowed pupils to develop a sound knowledge of John Muir, his life and achievements.

The pupils focused their level 1 award on a local area where they experienced local wildlife and practised ways to conserve that area.

This involved the pupils looking at different tree and plant species and improving the area to allow further growth. They also took part in encouraging wildlife back to the area by building bird boxes and placing them in local wooded areas.

During their level 2 award the pupils went further afield to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park where they observed the local glaciated area and spoke to the park authorities.

The pupils took part in lots of field work and surveys gathering information on the park.

During their second visit the pupils took part in canoeing and hill walking where they could experience a fun filled activity and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

This allowed the pupils to gain the wilderness experience set out by the John Muir Trust and the knowledge to protect and conserve wild areas.

SSVP visit

Our S4 Citizenship class were given an excellent talk on the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul by Jim Devine of the society.

The class were informed of the tremendos outreach work and the caring nature of the work of SSVP.

The talk was very benificial to the group who are already planning projects for those less fortunate than themselves and in doing so are working for the SQA Personal Development: Self in the Community unit award.

Pupil council

The new pupil council met last week under the direction of new captains Sally Fraser and David Mooney.

Dates for meetings up to Christmas were set and the Council also nominated three students to attend the North Lanarkshire Pupil Council Conference at Cumbernauld New Town Hall.

These students will give feedback on this event at the next pupil council meeting.

S3 year rep

During the S3 year group assembly 10 S3 students who are presently class representatives for their year group gave a short three-minute speech in front of their year group and a panel of guests.

The panel comprised four S3 students, various staff members and school captains Sally Fraser and David Mooney.

After the speeches the panel met to discuss who from the candidates would become the year reps for S3 and who would form a small leadership group for Broad General Education led by the captains.

Khublai Khan’s

A great time was enjoyed by the S5 health and food class together, with Sharon McCully from home economics and classroom assistant Mrs Loraine Duncan when they went to the restaurant Khublai Khan’s in Glasgow.

Miss McCully received an invitation for her class to attend a tasting session at the restaurant to introduce the class to exotic food and the pupils were allowed to try out six different meats, including kangaroo and zebra.