Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School

Extra Curricular

As a school, we aim to cater for the interests of all pupils by offering a broad menu of activities, both during the school day and outside of school hours.

We believe that participation in extra-curricular activities has many benefits for pupils and, therefore, encourage all pupils to avail of the extra-curricular opportunities on offer.

Involvement in extra-curricular activities can help pupils to:

  • enjoy a physical and active lifestyle;

  • develop time-management skills;

  • understand the importance of commitment;

  • develop friendships;

  • develop skills in working as part of a team;

  • develop and share skills, gifts and talents;

  • build confidence and self-esteem;

  • manage stress; and

  • develop a personal portfolio for university and employment applications.


St. Mary’s promotes participation in sport at all levels and is fully committed to promoting both the physical and mental well-being of our pupils through physical activity.  We constantly seek to enhance the sporting and physical activity opportunities for our pupils and we ensure that our provision caters for the needs of all our pupils, from the beginner to the elite athlete.

We enjoy excellence in Physical Education and Sport and our pupils have access to the following facilities and resources:

  • a Sports Hall;

  • a Gymnasium;

  • a fully equipped Fitness Suite;

  • a Strength and Conditioning Suite

  • two full-size grassed Gaelic pitches;

  • four tennis courts; and

  • three indoor handball walls.


All of our teams in Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie are competing at Ulster Colleges’ level. Our footballers won the MacRory Cup in 2022 for only the second time in the school’s history. All of our other teams are very competitive at the highest level of competition in Ulster. Our Hurlers are Kirk Cup champions and were runners-up in the Senior Casement Cup. Our Camogie teams compete at the top grade in Ulster.

Our ladies footballers have made great progress in recent years and were runners up in this year’s Ulster B final while our junior ladies team played at A grade level for the first time.

The success of our teams has been reflected in the awarding of All Stars to a number of our players across the different sports; 

Rachel Keenan (Camogie 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, Gaelic Football 2022-2023)

Amy Rose Mulligan (Camogie 2022-2023)

Kate Higgins (Gaelic Football 2022-2023)

Sarah Devlin (Gaelic Football 2022-2023)

Conhuir Johnston (Gaelic Football 2021-2022)

Niall O’Donnell (Gaelic Football 2021-2022)


In St. Mary’s, pupils can become involved in extra-curricular Drama, Music and Performing Arts activities such as:

  • Junior and Senior Choir

  • Junior and Senior String Orchestra

  • Junior and Senior Traditional Groups

  • String Quartet

  • Peripatetic Music Tuition

  • Spring Concert

  • Carol Service

  • Music Festivals

  • Lunchtime Theatre

  • Theatre Visits

  • Theatre Workshops

  • Drama Showcase Performance Evenings

  • Drama Festivals

  • Drama Club

  • Educational Visits

  • Trinity College Arts Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold)


The Drama and Music Departments of St. Mary’s have an established tradition of producing high quality productions. As far as possible, school productions take place on a biennial basis and pupils can become involved in these in either a performance or backstage role. 

St. Mary’s past productions include: 

  • Guys and Dolls (2018)  

  • Meet Me in St Louis (2014)

  • Hello, Dolly! (2010, Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown)

  • Juno and the Paycock (2009, Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown) 

  • Oliver! (2007, Grand Opera House, Belfast) 


In St. Mary’s, we recognise the importance and value of providing pupils with opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Educational visits and trips are one way by which we provide such learning experiences for our pupils. The first-hand, practical experience of learning that is possible through educational visits and trips can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding of the world around them.

Through the educational visits and trips we offer, we aim to:

  • complement or extend the learning which occurs within the classroom;

  • contribute to the personal, social and emotional development of pupils;

  • enhance the cultural and/or intellectual development of pupils; and

  • broaden pupils’ horizons by giving them the chance to visit new places, meet new people and experience different cultures and lifestyles.

Each year, pupils in St. Mary’s have opportunities to participate in a wide range of day trips, including fieldwork trips, industrial trips, and arts and cultural trips. Additionally, a number of residential trips are organised on an annual basis, including ski trips, theatre trips, religious trips and sporting trips.

In recent years, St. Mary’s pupils have enjoyed school travel to destinations near and far, including places such as:

      Italy                      Dublin                      London                   Barcelona            Catalonia

      Andalusia             Madrid                    Rome                      Sicily                     Paris

      Nice                      Lourdes                   Medjugorje            Norway                Austria

      India                     Russia                      New Hampshire    Boston                 New York


Trips for 2022-23



Year Group




Year 9 

 January 2023



Year - All

June 2022


In St. Mary’s, pupils can become involved in extra-curricular clubs and societies such as:

  • Eco-Committee

  • Geography Club

  • Cookery Club

  • Mini-Enterprise Company

  • Club Mhuire

  • Science Club


Pupils can also participate in a range of competitions and award-bearing courses such as: 

  • British Olympiad (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) 

  • Young Cook of the Year

  • Rotary Young Leaders of the Future 

  • Soroptimist Public Speaking 

  • Gael Linn Quiz 

  • Abair Public Speaking 

  • UK Mathematics Challenge 

  • Bar National Mock Trial 

  • BPW Public Speaking

  • Muiredach Award 

  • Pope John Paul II Award 

  • CREST Award