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Our Lady's High School

Established for the education of boys in 1888, Our Lady's High School is one of the oldest Roman Catholic secondary schools in Scotland. Today, it occupies a site on Dalzell Drive in Motherwell (North Lanarkshire), 1¼ miles (2 km) southeast of the town centre, and provides a six-year comprehensive education to both male and female pupils. It holds the record as having been the largest secondary school in Scotland, with a roll of 2325 in 1977. More recently, following the construction of new schools in the area (Taylor High School and Cardinal Newman High School) and population changes, the roll has reduced to just 681 (2015), comfortably accommodated within the current premises, which have a capacity for 1200 pupils. This utilitarian international-style building dates from 1974 but has been subject to recent improvements, including refurbished science laboratories and the introduction of computer technology into all classrooms.

The school was originally located on Airbles Street, a half-mile (1 km) to the northwest of the current location, where a War Memorial Chapel was dedicated in 1949. A new chapel was built as part of the current building, with much of the cost raised by the community. This chapel houses artworks commissioned from sculptor Walter Pritchard (1905-77) and his wife stained-glass artist Sadie McLellan (1914 - 2007), including a large Madonna and Child centrepiece in copper and brass which sits beneath an impressive stained-glass window.

Pupils are principally drawn from St. Bernadette's Primary School, St. Brendan's Primary School and Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School, and are divided into four houses; Andrew, Columba, Margaret and Sinclair, named after St. Andrew, St. Columba, St. Margaret and the Venerable Margaret Sinclair. A strong Roman Catholic ethos is a feature of the education provided, although a number of pupils come from other religious denominations.

Former pupils include football manager Sir Matt Busby (1909-94), footballer Billy McNeill (b.1940) and Cardinal Thomas Winning (1925 - 2001).


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