With the sun out, the crowds cheering and the excitement of one of the world’s biggest sporting events about to start, one lucky student is getting the chance to play a massive role. Lewis, a 6th year pupil at St. Margaret’s High School in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, has been chosen to be a baton bearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay for The Commonwealth Games 2014. He is one of thousands of people who will be doing this across the world and will represent North Lanarkshire as the baton nears Glasgow for the opening ceremony. Currently the baton is located in St. Kitts and this is 6501 km from where Lewis is going to be carrying the baton.
We spoke to Lewis for an exclusive interview. We asked him “Why did you want to be part of the Commonwealth Games?” he replied “I wanted to take part in the games just out of interest and I’m interested in sport”. We also asked him “Who are you rooting for?” he replied with “I don’t really know, but I think I would cheer on Jamaica and probably Great Britain”. Lewis will be walking 200 meters with the torch on the 23rd of June of this year when the games will be held in Glasgow.
The school’s PE department has introduced a “Common Wealth Games Wall” and this wall has events pasted over it and what countries are competing in the events. The wall has been made to show the different flags of the countries involved and it also shows the different events that brings the games to life
With the referendum just around the corner, the people of Scotland are deciding their vote which will determine the future of their country. An independent Scotland or a United Britain? For the first time ever, the senior pupils of St Margaret’s High School will be able to vote along with the rest of Scotland. The new voting age, 16 years old, allows the youth of Scotland to decide the future of their country. Many adults feel that the new voting age is too low as teenagers are unaware of politics and may possibly be persuaded by their parents or carers to vote in line with their opinion. At St. Margaret’s High School we believe that the youth should be allowed to vote as it is their future we are deciding on. We were curious to know what both teachers and pupils thought about ‘an independent Scotland’. We created a survey questioning peoples’ opinions on the referendum. We got a variety of answers and feelings from everyone who took part. The options were between ‘Yes’ ‘No’ and ‘Indecisive’.
Here are the results:
We asked a variety of questions to explain why they were persuaded to choose their answer. A lot of the pupils that answered were concerned that there will be a higher tax rate. Other reasons that caused the pupils and teachers to vote no were:
• Force tension between the UK and Scotland.
• Insufficient funds to run the country.
• Lack of information given to voters.
• The currency change would be too time consuming and damage the EU currency zone.
Reasons for pupils and teachers to say yes were:
• Right to a more democratic process.
• Control over our own decisions and funds.
• More devolved powers.
• More modern country.
The vote will cause controversy between the people of Scotland. What will be the consequences of the vote? The people of St. Margaret’s are looking forward to have a say in our country’s future.
A group of S1-3 aspiring dancers from St Margaret’s High School competed with other schools from the North Lanarkshire area on Wednesday the 26th of March. We interviewed ten girls who took part in the competition to find out their views and opinions concerning dance.
The first group of girls we interviewed, were S1 pupils who competed in a group competition of street and hip-hop. The girls dance within and outside of school and enjoy it. They all have danced since a young age, and found out about the competition through their teacher who recommended they enter. The girls were supposed to train with a young dance coach but they chose to do it themselves as they felt confident in their own abilities. One of the girls in the S1 group wants to become a dance teacher when she grows up.
The second group of girls we interviewed were the S2 dancers. One girl had heard about the competition through the school bulletin and asked her friends to join her so they could perform in a group. The girls began practicing in February to make sure their dance was perfect. Three of the four girls already dance outside of school, and the last girl is restarting her dancing classes. They enjoy dancing because they find it a fun way to keep fit. One of the girls said “if you have the right music and the right dance moves to go with it, you can feel so much more than movements”. Most of the girls say it gives them an adrenaline rush when they dance because they get lost in their moves. One of the girls wanted to go into musical theatre and one wants to open her own dance school. All of them can agree that street dance is their favorite form of dancing.
Two pupils from the school entered as solo dancers. These pupils were Caitlin and Paul from S3. Caitlin, who ranked third in the All Worlds Irish Dancing competition in Dublin last year, performed an Irish Dancing solo. Paul performed a tap dancing solo with his suit and bowtie.
The girls agreed that it was a good, enjoyable experience and they all feel they have done well. They have not received their results yet but we wish them all the best of luck! Reported By: Claire, Emily, Kirsty and Taylor
Although the festive period of 2012 seems in the distant past, it is still in the minds of St. Margaret’s’ pupils.
On the 21st of March 2013, an email was sent from Sister Anna explaining how we could visit Chichiri prison in June, so we could provide more meals for this Christmas, 2013.
Last year the St Margaret’s Girls Go For Health group and the Baobab group raised money by bagpacking, quiz nights, hillwalking and St. Margaret’s Got Talent Showcase to provide a decent meal on Christmas day for the prisoners of Chichiri prison.
The prisoners only get a small portion of beans each day if lucky, and live in terrible sleeping conditions which are cramped and confined with no sanitation where disease is rife.
We interviewed Mr McKay, the English teacher and Mrs McNee, classroom assistant and asked them about their time out in Malawi.
We asked them:
What was the prison like?
They replied with, `It looks like a dirty old building, no home comforts, the living conditions are terrible and that it is the worst thing to imagine ever, although Sister Anna had built a nice clean room with tables and chairs.’’
How did you first feel when you visited the prison?
Mr McKay said “I was very frightened, there were armed guards everywhere and then we were taken downstairs into a dark place and we were taken into a room and when we walked in the women started singing in harmony.’’ Mrs McNee then added “ It gave me goose bumps and made me think that everything we do is worthwhile.’’
How do you think the prisoners felt on Christmas day?
Mrs McNee replied with “The prisoners would have been overjoyed, that giving them hope that you care, that’s the thing keeping them alive.’’
How do you think we could change the prison for the better?
Mr McKay said “That we would build better facilities, help a small amount at a time. We would buy more mosquito nets and more medicines.’’
What upset you the most?
Mrs McNee replied with “A couple of things really, but most of all the toilet was tiny, disgusting and the walls were black.’’
All the prisoners appreciated the meals and gifts and would love to have that privilege again next year.
Also, the Malawian president, Joyce Banda arrived in Scotland this week, to celebrate the link between Scotland and Malawi. She started her tour in the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre.
We are planning to fundraise more money to help the prisoners of Chichiri prison by bagpacking, quiz nights and the buy a brick project.
Seen as a way to bring all pupils together, the annual Easter cup football tournament has become something of a tradition in St Margaret’s High School in Airdrie.
The Easter cup happens every year during Lent. It is open to first to sixth year boys and girls.
The motto of the tournament is “This tournament is open to everyone who believes football gives us fun, entertainment and the chance to build friendship and respect. Football is the people’s game.”
When the teams are entered, the matches take place during lunch time. The draw took place the week before the start of the tournament and thanks to Hamilton Accies defender Jonathon Page for drawing the teams.
Each team member pays £4 (usually 7-9 players in a team) and all the money raised goes to the Global Citizenship for raising money for Malawi. Last year we raised just over £1000, this year we hope to raise over £1500.
Each year group represents a different league: S1-English Championship, S2-serieA, S3- La Liga, S4- Premiership and S5+S6- World cup.
The games take 20 minutes each with staff and senior pupils being referees. The tournament brings staff and pupils together through the medium of football. As the weeks go on, the tournament reaches a semi-final stage then the grand final stage and an eventual winner.
There is a man of the match award and a fair play award per game for players worthy of the accolades.
There are all sort of trophies at the end, which are donated from local businesses.
We asked Mr Callan (the head of science and co-organiser) some questions about the Easter cup. The 1st question was:
How much money have we raised so far?
“Last year we raised £1,300 and for this year we have raised over £1,000 and we hope to raise at least £1,500.”
We then asked:
How many teams participated in the Easter cup this year?
Mr Callan said “There are 29 teams that participated in the matches.”
Our 3rd question was:
What league do you think is doing the best?
He answered “The most competitive is 4th year but the best team for sportsman ship is 3rd year.”
And our last question was:
When did this tradition start?
He answered “About 8 years ago and I’m delighted it is still taking place today and it is bigger and better than ever.”
We also asked three 2nd year boys some questions about the Easter Cup:
Are you enjoying the Easter cup? and What is the Easter cup about?
“Yes the Easter cup is really enjoyable” and “The Easter cup is about Friendship, Respect and playing Football.”
To conclude, the final of the Easter cup is in a couple of weeks so stay tuned to find out who wins the coveted trophy at St Margaret’s High School Airdrie.
Throughout the course of the school term, the English department at St. Margaret’s High School in Airdrie regard it important that the pupils get the opportunity to experience a variety of stage productions.
On the 21st of March 2013 the English department are taking some pupils to see ‘The Great Gatsby’ at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.
The trip is open to 2nd years to 6th years giving them the opportunity to experience a live drama performance, in the form of ballet.
They have also been on trips to see the ‘Woman in Black’ and ‘The Cone Gatherers’ at The Theatre Royal in Glasgow. The feedback from these trips was excellent and it was clear that staff and pupils alike really enjoyed themselves.
Mr Hughes, head of the English department, who organises the trips said: “I really enjoyed the trips we’ve been on so far and I can’t wait to go tonight to see The Great Gatsby in ballet.” He added that: “It’s great to get to know the pupils that I don’t teach and the trips really bring everyone together.”
All the pupils are very excited about going on this trip. We hope this is as successful as the other trips.
In the forthcoming weeks, the BBC school report team from St. Margaret’s High will be reporting on how the trip went. So stay tuned!!!