School news round-up

Some of the cast of Clyde Valley High's Disco Inferno show
Some of the cast of Clyde Valley High's Disco Inferno show

Over three night, to packed audiences, Clyde Valley High took its guests back to the 1970s with the production of the musical ‘Disco Inferno’.

The show told the story of an ambitious and talented hopeful, Jack Green (played by Sam Carty) and his burning desire to make it in the music industry at any cost.

Working late in a London nightclub, Jack meets Lady Marmalade (Heather Waugh) – a femme fatale and beautiful manifestation of the devil, and her evil sidekick, Nick Diablo (Megan Daly).

Dreaming of becoming successful, he strikes a ‘faustian’ pact with her, trading his soul to fulfil his wildest fantasies.

Jack soon becomes an international success much to the annoyance of his arch rival Heathcliffe (Callum Lachlan) and Heathcliffe’s flirtatious girlfriend Kathy (Laura Kilpatrick).

Jack makes it onto Top of the Pops with fans swooning at his feet but his success is hollow. He is so caught up in his own success that he loses sight of the love of his life, Jane, (Rachel Moon) and best friends from the night club, frustrated Tom Evans (Robert Crawford), hard to get Maggie (Nicole Quinton) and hilarious Lily (Donald Hannah).

Night club owner Andrew Keating and resident DJ John Ferrie added humour and support to the leads.

The performance of the leads can only be described as outstanding and the audience each night witnessed the talent, energy and passion of the fantastic young people and the dedication of the staff in Clyde Valley High.

A chorus of almost 50 other young people brilliantly supported the lead characters.

Headteacher Catherine O’Keane said: “Each and every member of the chorus contributed so much to the success of the show, their energy and charisma shining through, and the live band accompanying the vocalists complemented them beautifully.

“‘Disco Inferno’ was undoubtedly a triumph for the school and much of the credit for the success of the show lay with the production team Anne Traynor (musical director), Debbie Taylor, Stefanie Chalmers, Mari-Claire Barclay, Joyce Halliburton and Shona Carr. The magnificent choreography for the show was masterminded by Claire Douglas.

“The show was enhanced by the costumes which depicted the era perfectly. Lisa McKinstry, Elaine St John and Elaine Watt worked tirelessly to ensure the characters looked the part and Elaine Barrie provided the props for the set.

“Of course no show can happen without those people who work behind the scenes – set design and construction, lights, sound effects, make-up, stage crew, front of house and backstage supervision.

“Thanks must go to all the staff, pupils and parents, too many to mention individually, who gave of their time to support the show and ensure its success.”

On the Tuesday evening the cast entertained some of the residents from Law View sheltered housing complex.

Home school partnership officers Esther Craig and Andrew Keating and senior students are very much involved in our school’s inter-generational project and the guests really enjoyed their night which started with some lovely home baking produced in the home economics department and served by students.


School assemblies

Assemblies took place last week with school chaplains David Ramage, the Rev Derek Hughes and Rev Derek Pope leading for various year groups.

The school is very fortunate and appreciative of the inputs from the chaplains.

Support service

William Hart from the North Lanarkshire Inclusion Support Service recently visited the school to find out more about how the nurture unit operates within the school.

After hearing an overview from the rector Derrick Hannan he visited the school hub facility and heard from Jane Jeffrey and Liz Neilson who operate the highly successful facility.

Mr Hart really appreciated the visit and on hearing that he was in fact a former pupil of Braidhurst High, having left in 1981, Mr Hannan was able to shock him by presenting him with a copy of his school record.

Football signing

Yet another recent Motherwell FC pro-youth signing has decided to join the school to gain benefit from the SFA Performance School of Football scheme.

Jack Brown recently signed for the club having previously played for Drumsaguard Boys Club. He comes from Ruchazie in Glasgow and is a 12-year-old central defender.

He first took an interest in football whilst in Primary 5 at St Rose of Lima Primary School and his father recognised how much Jack enjoyed the sport and looked for a team to allow him to develop further.

He joined Drumsaguard Boys Club and played for three years before being asked to trial for Motherwell where he quickly impressed.

Jack joined his local high school, St Andrew’s Secondary, but has now transferred to Braidhurst under the SFA scheme.

Jack said: “I enjoyed a few weeks’ training sessions and was lucky enough to be asked to play a match with Motherwell.

“After the match, Head of Children at Motherwell, Paul Burns asked if I would like to sign a contract and I was delighted to accept.

“I have really been enjoying my time at Motherwell and was then given the opportunity to come to Braidhurst High and continued my development through the SFA scheme where we train each day.

“Since moving to Braidhurst High, I have really enjoyed my new school”.

Scott Leitch, director of youth at Motherwell FC, said: “The club is delighted to have signed another talented young player.

“He has a real physical presence, determination to succeed and is very skilful for a young defender.

“The SFA scheme based at the school, along with his Motherwell training in the evenings, give Jack the opportunity to develop into a top player.”

Rector Derrick Hannan added: “Jack has settled in really quickly and we received a glowing report from his former school.

“I think the club has done really well to have signed this player.”

Information evenings

Parents of pupils in upper school recently attended an information evening when they were updated on a wide range of issues by Kathryn Clarke, senior depute headteacher, Tom Paterson principal teacher of mathematics. and rector Derrick Hannan.

Parents of pupils in third year also had the opportunity to meet with teaching staff to receive updates on progress. The meeting was well attended and very positive.

And parents of pupils in fourth year have been invited to meet with teaching staff on Tuesday, November 11, after school.

Calendar competition

Braidhurst art pupils are making their National 5 Expressive work ready for submission to this year’s North Lanarkshire schools calendar competition.

Their folio work has recently been returned from SQA and the pupils were very pleased with their success.

Now they are hoping that their work will be selected for inclusion in the calendar for 2015.

Fashion show

Braidhurst PTFA are hosting a ladies’ fashion show on Monday, November 24, at 7pm.

Clothing from Monsoon, New Look, Top Shop, Next and many more will be available on the evening with sizes ranging from 8-24 and prices starting from £4.

Tickets cost £5 and include a cup cake and a glass of bubbly and are available from Ms Watson on 01698 274999.


Beauty care

S5 hairdressing and beauty care pupils took part in a competition organised by New College Lanarkshire to create an original idea for a Hallowe’en hairstyle and make-up.

Pupils had only four periods to plan their work, design mood boards, gather materials and create their masterpieces from start to finish.

HNC students at the college will decide the winners.

Photography competition

Higher Photography pupils have submitted their entries for the Essence of a Memory Competition which asked for a photograph accompanied by 50 words to evoke the memory of a lost friend or loved one.

Some of the entries were featured in the Sunday Herald, including one by sixth year pupil Jill McMurray.

Sewing Bee

Miss Carnegy in home economics is launching a Christmas sewing club for all S1/S2 pupils starting tomorrow (Thursday).

Spaces are available on a first come first served basis.

Kids Lit Quiz

All S1 pupils took part in the OLHS heats for the Kids Lit Quiz, a worldwide quiz for enthusiastic readers.

Pupils worked in teams to answer questions set by school librarian Jen Macfadyen, with English teachers trying to beat the scores set by their pupils.

Pupils were then invited to submit their names for the OLHS Kids Lit Quiz teams taking part in the West of Scotland heats at Kilsyth Academy on November 10.

Pupils are also working on banners for our supporters to cheer on the OLHS teams.

Science club

Advanced Higher Chemistry pupils are organising a science club for S1/2 pupils on Wednesday lunchtimes.

The aim is to encourage younger pupils to try out fun experiments and learn even more about science.

Firework safety

First year pupils attended a special presentation last week when a representative from the fire service went along to highlight the dangers of fireworks.

Political meeting

Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party spokesperson and founder member, visited the Higher Politics class last week.

Pupils had the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding further through questioning Colin about his socialist values.

The pupils felt confident enough to share their views with Colin and were articulate, mature and enthusiastic. The whole class and staff would like to thank Colin for his visit and very much look forward to him returning next year.

PTA fundraiser

Our Lady’s High School Parent Teacher Association would like to thank everyone who attended its quiz night which raised £670.

Thanks also go to everyone who donated raffle prizes and to Jim Prentice and his quiz team.

The PTA looks forward to seeing all at the Christmas Fayre on Saturday, November 29.

Theatre trip

The performing arts faculty is taking 60 pupils to see Wicked at the Edinburgh Playhouse in November.

The musical is the background story of two witches from the Wizard of Oz and how their friendship suffers through the demands of school and life.

London trip

This year pupils are heading to London with performing arts in November.

They are traveling by train to London Euston, visiting the London Eye, Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern.

Pupils are very excited to see London and even more excited about the theatre trip on the Saturday night when they group are going to see ‘Jersey Boys’, a musical telling the history and showcasing the songs of 1960s group The Four Seasons.

Debating contest

Hayley Stevenson of S6 and Jordyn McNally of S5 are this year’s representatives for OLHS in the annual Scullion Law Debating Competition.

The girls are drawn against Bellshill Academy on the proposition side to debate the motion “This House would ban all violent video games.”

Winners of the first round, held in Scullion Law’s Hamilton office, will progress to the semi-finals.


Foodbank collection

Homeroom has focused this week on raising awareness of foodbank collections, tackling poverty and deprivation. Pupils will be bringing in long life food all week for collection for a very good cause.

Netball success

The S2 and S3/4 netball teams both won their opening league games against Dalziel.

The S2 team fought hard to narrowly win 5-4 and the S3/4 showed that all their hard training is paying off with a convincing 26-6 win.

School panto

Auditions for this year’s panto - Hansel and Gretel - will run this week in the theatre at lunchtime.

Anyone interested in acting, singing, dancing, sound, lighting or working backstage is invited to go along and show off their talents.

Credit union

The Alpha Enterprise and Scotwest Credit Union opened on Monday for all S1 pupils to open accounts with their voucher and application form.

All other pupils are welcome to go along and open an account.


XL news

Aileen McConnell from the Yorkhill children’s charity went along to speak to the S3 XL class on their fundraising project for raising money for a toy appeal at the hospital.

She explained the different ways in which the money for the hospital could be used and also some of the resources and activities available to the young people attending Yorkhill and indeed their families.

Her talk was very informative and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different aspects of the charity.

The class also attended Coatbridge College for an arts and employability event.

The event showcased a number of different art and music mediums which the students will have a chance to pick to develop their arts and employability project.

It was at this event two years ago that the previous XL group picked the special effects make-up and developed a cyber bullying DVD which won them a Community Impact Award at the National Princes Trust Awards in London last year.

Mark Scott Award

Andrea Hyslop, home school partnership officer, and S6 student Euan McGeary have been invited to attend a reception within the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to mark the 16 years of the Mark Scott Leadership for Life Award.

St Aidan’s, and Mrs Hyslop as the school champion, have been involved in this award for the last 12 years.

Euan McGeary has been selected as a current participant in the award and also because of his exceptional application he completed to be selected to take part in the award.

Bibleworld visit

Much attention was drawn to the front of St Aidan`s High due to a visit by the Scottish Bible Society with their mobile Bibleworld classroom.

All first year RE classes had the opportunity last week to visit the mobile classroom to complete the workshops in six interactive activity zones.

Each of the zones focus on different aspects of the Bible, helping the pupils to deepen their learning about the Bible, people and events in the Old and New Testaments and how the Bible guides Christians today, in a very fun way.

The workshops were led by Bill Maxwell of the Scottish Bible Society, assisted by volunteers from local churches in Wishaw and Motherwell.

The activities link in with the first year RE curriculum and all pupils had a very enjoyable and memorable learning experience.

Christmas appeal

The S4 citizenship class, under the direction of Mrs Elisabeth Hynes, have started their annual festive appeal for donations of food items.

These will be made into hampers which will be distributed throughout the parishes at Christmas time.

The group are asking that each tutor class fills two hampers which equates to each pupil bringing one item of food and 20p - a small cost to bring about a big impact which will improve Christmas for many of the pensioners in local parishes.

Holocaust Trust

Kelly Buick and Aidan Flood of sixth year were thrilled to be selected to represent the school in a project run by the Holocaust Trust.

As part of this programme they attended seminars to learn about the history of the holocaust and met a survivor of Auschwitz which was a great privilege and a roller coaster of emotions.

They also had the chance to meet the other students from across Scotland who were also part of the project.

Very early on the morning of the October 7 they all met at Glasgow airport bound for Poland.

The tour started with a visit to a Jewish graveyard which had been mostly destroyed by the Nazis. This destruction of the graves really upset many of the pupils and set the mood for the rest of the day.

They then travelled to Auschwitz Camp 1 which has most of its original features still in place.

Amongst the many sights, Kelly and Aidan said the rooms that held the hair and belongings of victims were one of the most emotional.

They then visited the gas chambers and the famous Birkenau extermination camp, both of which were horrifying experiences for them.

During the day they were also given a guided tour around a typical Jewish town. The guide explained what life was like for the Jews and brought to life the horrors of the Holocaust.

Both pupils were overwhelmed and humbled by the day and felt it was a once in a lifetime experience and one that everyone should undertake.

Now back at school they are compiling a presentation to raise awareness about the Holocaust to other pupils in the school.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

A group of 21 sixth year pupils, together with Gerry O’Brien from the English department and Victoria Britten from home economics, recently completed the practice expedition section of the Bronze Level Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The students completed a hike of over 20 kilometres between Campsie Glen and Killearn, including an overnight camp in Auchengillan.

They made good use of their navigation and campcraft skills to find their way about and spent a comfortable night at the campsite despite some heavy rain.

Finishing in Killearn with big smiles, the students reported that the experience had been challenging but enjoyable and worthwhile.

The students felt that they had learned valuable skills and gained experience in working with others that will be of benefit to them in the future.

The students also made the point that they are looking forward to completing the award in April next year.

Coffee morning

During the morning interval last Wednesday staff enjoyed a Hallowe’en coffee morning run by the social committee.

It again proved a really successful event, raising over £100, and thanks go to the committee for all their hard work and to Loraine Duncan for providing much of the baking.


Christmas fayre

Plans are now being made for the Brannock Pupil and Parent Council Christmas fayre which will be held on Monday, December 1.

It will take place within the school games hall from 4–8pm and contributions are now being sought for tombola prizes which can be handed in to the school office over the next few weeks.

The fayre will again be made up of local traders, parents, pupils and school staff with tables available for booking.

More details will be offered in due course, but in the meantime information on stalls can be obtained from Mr Colquhoun via the school office on 01698 274936.

Parent Council members are working hand in hand with pupil representatives to ensure that the fayre is yet again a huge success in celebration of the festive season.

Film making opportunity

Working in partnership with Scotia Aid UK, the school is delighted to announce a new film making project involving its own drama department and fourth year creative digital media group.

A contemporary version of the play ‘Tarry Dan’ written by the acclaimed Scottish playwright Peter MacDougal, which received critical acclaim in the 70s, is to be produced as a short film.

The film will include Brannock pupils within the cast, with the Scottish actor Jon Morrison playing the lead role.

This is an exciting project for all concerned with Morag Fullerton a distinguished TV director also offering her services to assist the Creative Digital Media students in their task of producing the film.

The project allows pupils to experience a huge range of skills in support of their SQA courses, while offering a tremendous insight into the world of TV, film and media, while learning from professionals working within the business.

HMIE inspection

Brannock is delighted to welcome a visit from inspectors Fiona Pate and Bill Geddes this month to view the progress that has been made across the school.


Health week

Al pupils in Bellshill Academy participated in the school’s annual health week.

Activities offered to pupils related to all aspects of health and wellbeing, covering physical, mental, emotional and social health.

Included among the activities were driver safety, drugs and alcohol awareness, cyber bullying, personal safety, positive mindset, juicing, self defence, relaxation techniques, child exploitation and online protection.

Pupils in S1 received a presentation from senior pupils on Smoking Awareness. This session was delivered as part of the seniors’ Duke of Edinburgh Award programme and pupils in S1 responded exceptionally well.

Pupils also participated in a lunchtime dodgeball tournament which raised approximately £150 for the British Heart Foundation.

Positive feedback was given by pupils on the wide range of activities available.

The school’s community partners were actively involved throughout the week and spoke very highly of pupils’ interest and enthusiasm.

Thanks go to Mrs Anderson who organised the week and to all of the partners who contributed to a great range of experiences for the school’s our young people.

As part of the week, school captains and prefects took part in training at the YMCA for the mentors in violence prevention programme.

The MVP programme is new initiative in North Lanarkshire and has received very positive feedback from those schools who were initially involved.

After the training day, a programme for implementation will be shared with all staff.

Firework safety

Senior students worked with the fire service last week to share the delivery of an excellent firework safety presentation to S1 and S2.

The senior students involved will now have the opportunity to take part in a one-day Fire Reach style programme at Coatbridge Fire Station.

This will enable the students to further develop their skills and knowledge about wilful fire raising.

Barbarians rugby

Rugby has restated on a Tuesday night and all S1/2 pupils are welcome.

The side has been invited to play in a tournament at the start of next month and Mr Moore and Mr Davidson are keen to have a full squad available for team selection.

Relax Kids

Any pupil who would wish to join a relax kids group should meet Ms Gormley in Room 54 on Friday at 1pm.

Hallowe’en coffee morning

S6 students held a coffee morning last Thursday to raise money for charity.


Hispanic week

First year pupils last week took part in an inter-disciplinary Hispanic learning activity for which the theme this year was Dia del los Muertos.

This is a Mexican festival in which the deceased are honoured with lively celebrations with food, drink and parties.

They learned about Spanish cultural celebrations in modern languages, made skeletons in science and then wrote stories about their skeletons in PSHE.

They focused on the traditions of All Saints and Souls in RE and also made traditional decorated skull biscuits in home economics which were delicious.

All of their fantastic work has been displayed in the school library and thanks go to to all departments who took part.

Road safety

To coincide with National Road Safety Week, a theatre company recently visited the school to perform ‘The 9 lives of Roddy Hogg’ for first year and ‘Friends Disunited’ for the fifth and sixth year cohort.

At the end of the performance senior students were also involved in a workshop and evaluation of their experience.

Thanks go to principal teacher of pupil support Gerry McQuaid for co-ordinating this event for students.

UCAS submissions

Sixth year students intending to attend university following Taylor High School are working with stage head Frances Seggie and other staff 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.

Stewart Ivory Foundation

A group of sixth year students recently enjoyed the opportunity to participate in The Stewart Ivory Financial Education Project.

This is an annual inset provided by the group that all sixth year will have the opportunity to experience.

This year’s programme was delivered by financial education officer Elizabeth Jamieson.

The main topics covered during this presentation related to debt and how to avoid it, budgeting and savings, investments and pensions for the future.

The purpose was to give students a reality check and thereby to encourage them to take initial steps to become financially aware and capable, and to enable them to take control of their own finances.

It has been a very valuable inset over recent years, and one of particular importance as sixth years prepare to embark on their lives following Taylor High.

S6 retreat

Al pupils in sixth year had the chance this week to take part in a retreat focused on their faith and values and the place these have in their lives.

The retreat, which was led by Fr King, took place in St Thomas’ Parish, Wishaw.

All involved had a great time and enjoyed this opportunity for reflection.

Thanks go to principal teacher of religious education Martin McMahon and Fr King for co-ordinating this worthwhile and valued event.

Hallowe’en disco

Sixth year personal development pupils last week organised a Hallowe’en disco for first year pupils.

It was a great success, and an enjoyable time was had by all.

The event will contribute to their Higher Personal Development folio and thanks go to Andy Heron, teacher of business management, and home school partnership officer Ian MacFarlane for their continued work with this group of young people.

Diary dates

The S3 parents’ meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 11, from 4-6.30pm.

School will be closed to pupils on Monday, November 17, for an inset day.

The S5/S6 parents’ meeting will be held on Thursday, November 20, from 4-6.30pm, while the school’s Christmas fayre will take place on Thursday, November 27.