"The quality of education provided in this school is outstanding."

(The Inspectorate)

Welcome to St. Mary's Grammar School, Magherafelt

Principal's Address

As Principal of St. Mary’s Grammar School, I am pleased to welcome you to our website. Whatever your interest in St. Mary’s may be, I do hope that you will find our website informative and that it will provide you with an insight into the diversity and richness of the St. Mary’s experience. As you browse these pages, I trust that you will appreciate our passion for learning and our commitment to working with young people to inspire excellence and fulfil potential.

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Year 8 Area

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Pastoral House

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Sixth Form Area

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Media Gallery

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Latest News

GOOD LUCK TO RANNAFAST TEAM!

Posted on 21 Nov 2014 | News

Final St Mary’s vs St.Macartan’s Monaghan Arena 7.45pm Friday 21 November 2014

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KS3 FRENCH CLUB

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 | News

Mon 17 November saw the opening week of French Club. The “Club Francais” has been very popular over the years with our KS3 pupils and this year was no different. The club starts at 1 o’clock in G8 every Monday. Bingo was the order of the day in week one, with a French Quiz on the agenda for next week. The pupils will be treated to a range of fun activities over the next few weeks with Mr McShane, our assistant, Luc, and then culminating with a Christmas Special with Miss Venot. The French Club will return for another eagerly anticipated 4 week run in the new year.

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CAFÉ SAINTE MARIE

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 | News

The French Department opened its doors for its KS4 and 5 Coffee Club, “Café Sainte Marie” on Wed 19 November. French pupils had the opportunity to come and grab “une tasse de thé”, “un chocolat”, “des beignets”, “du gâteau” or  “de la tarte aux pommes”. The club was designed to allow pupils to talk all things French or simply just take a break from their academic rigours and proved to be a real “hit” with pupils. As with its sister club, “Le Club Francais”, “Café Sainte Marie” will return for another stint in 2015. On attend ça avec impatience!

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RANNAFAST CUP IN SIGHT!

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 | News

Danske Bank Edmund Rice Rannafast Cup semi-final:

St Mary’s, Magherafelt 2-8 St Pius X Magherafelt 2-7

WHAT a dramatic end to a superb derby game played before a huge crowd on Friday evening in Rossa Park, Magherafelt! A deflected goal in the sixth minute of injury time put St Mary’s, Magherafelt into the Danske Bank Edmund Rice Rannafast Cup final against St Macartan’s, Monaghan. Congratulations to the team, the managers and the supporters!

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SKY SPORTS LIVING FOR SPORT

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 | News

On 19th November 2014, selected PE students will take on the role of Young Leader Mentors in various activity sessions to inspire 220 Derry primary pupils throughout the day. This is a brilliant opportunity for our students, as we are the only Ambassador school from N Ireland. The primary school pupils will take part in the following activities:

4 x Sport based activities provided by local sports organisations
1 x Skills based session delivered by one of our SSLFS Athlete Mentors (focusing on the ‘Six Keys to Success’)
1 x Healthy living session – introducing healthy food choices. 

We wish them much success

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HAPPY ‘FEAT’!

Posted on 14 Nov 2014 | News

After their success at the ‘National Festival’ in Symphony Hall, Birmingham in July this year, the Senior Traditional Group from St Mary’s Grammar School wasinvited to perform in London’s prestigious Albert Hall on Monday 10 November.They took part in one of the Schools Proms’ organised by ‘Music For Youth’.The concert involved musicians from across the UK showcasing a range of styles and genres of music.They were the only musicians invited from Northern Ireland. They performed a six minute programme of music.The group also recently had success in the annual Gael Linn ‘Siansa’ competition, which saw them picking up third place after their performance in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Their performance was broadcast on RTE television and radio. Fintan Darragh, a Year 14 music student, attended as a supporter and said that it was a wonderful feat; he said, “It was a privilege to watch and listen to the talented students who made everyone in the Albert Hall tap their feet.”

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE THIS CHRISTMAS

Posted on 14 Nov 2014 | News

St Mary’s Grammar School welcomed a representative from Road of Hope Charity and humbly presented her with 233 shoeboxes for their annual shoebox appeal. Miss L Fulton who co-ordinated the initiative said, “I am delighted with the generosity of all who made a sterling effort to help those less fortunate than ourselves in Romania and Hungary.” She expressed her gratitude to everyone who took part in the appeal. She said, “Your kind and generous response has been overwhelming. A big thank you goes to a group of sixth form girls who orchestrated the initiative by advertising the appeal to all form classes, checking boxes and helping to send them off. Our help will make a difference in many lives this Christmas.”

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LEARNING TO LEARN

Posted on 05 Nov 2014 | News

Young Enterprise provided all Year 11 and Year 12 students with a two lesson programme on Study Skills. It provided students with practical advice about learning styles and time management, which will be most useful in the year ahead.

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TURNING HEADS

Posted on 05 Nov 2014 | News

Year 13 and 14 pupils at St Mary’s had the pleasure of welcoming local Milliner Marie Claire Ferguson into class to have a look at her stunning work close up and even to try on some of her fabulous creations. The new up and coming designer, fresh from the catwalk of Belfast Fashion Week, ran a workshop with the students on the art of hat making. Ellen Landers said, ‘ It was a great experience meeting a real life example of someone working and making a living in the Art and Design Industry close to home.’ Ciara Hampsey added, ‘The workshop allowed me to broaden my creative skills.’

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KEY STAGE 3 GIRLS ENGAGE IN UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER HEALTH RESEARCH

Posted on 05 Nov 2014 | News

Almost half of the girls in Year 9 and 10 recently engaged in their final fitness and health assessments following their involvement in a ‘12 Week Brisk Walking Programme’ led by Key Stage 4 pupils and facilitated by Miss O.Donnelly (Health Education Co-ordinator) during Lunchtimes in school. The data collection for the research being conducted by the University of Ulster has now been finalised and it highlighted to our pupils the importance of engaging in physical activity during the school day. The girls now eagerly await the results of the study to learn the possible positive effects of ‘Brisk walking’ on Health.

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HEALTHY EATING AWARDS

Posted on 05 Nov 2014 | News

St Mary’s promotes a healthy and balanced lifestyle in all pupils from Year 8 to Year 14. Pictured are the winners of the healthy eating awards for September and October 2014, which recognises those pupils who make healthy choices in the school canteen daily. The pupils were congratulated at Year Group Assemblies and rewarded with credit on their ‘Smart Cards’ for use in school.

Pictured (L-R) Front row: Dara McCracken and Shannon Mooney. Back row: Aoibhin Devlin, Joe Donnelly and Blathnaid Mullan Young. Missing from Photograph: Ciara Hazlett and Caoimhe McAteer

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MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS - THE COUNTDOWN IS ON

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 | News

With only five weeks to go until the curtain opens on St. Mary’s Grammar School’s production of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’, there is great excitement among the Cast and Production Teams as the show continues to take shape.

This family musical will be performed in the School Assembly Hall from Tuesday 25 November – Saturday 29 November 2014 at 7.30pm each evening.  Tickets are selling fast and some evenings have almost sold out! Don’t delay! Get your tickets for ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ today!  Call the School Office on 028 796 32320 or book online here 

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MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (25-29 NOVEMBER 2014) TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 | News

“Just picture the opening night” as the pupils and staff of St. Mary’s Grammar School continue the tradition of producing quality musicals with Meet Me in St.LouisBased on The Kensington Stories by Sally Benson and the 1944 MGM motion picture, Meet Me in St. Louis is “a rare treasure” and “a show that sparkles with optimism and good tunes.”

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MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS - GRAND QUIZ

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 | News

A Grand Quiz will be held in The Elk, Toomebridge on Friday 7 November 2014 at 7.30pm as a fundraiser for St. Mary’s forthcoming production of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’. Tickets: £5.00 (adults) / £3.00 (children) The evening will include a light supper and interval entertainment. Raffle tickets will be on sale. All welcome.

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SUPPORT FOR ST. MARY’S PRODUCTION OF ‘MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS’

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 | News

In Act Two Scene One of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’, the character of Rose Smith cries: “Money! I hate, loathe, despise and abominate money.” Her father, Alonso Smith, replies: “You also spend it.”

The staging of a quality musical such as ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ would not be possible without support for the fundraising efforts of the Cast and Production Team.  Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising activities to date. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to those businesses and companies which have provided support for the show, particularly our five Principal Sponsors: Heron Bros, Genesis Crafty, Quinn’s Coach Hire, B.P. McKeefry and A.D. Chartered Surveyors.

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GAEL LINN QUIZ 2014

Posted on 19 Oct 2014 | News

“Comhghairdeas le Mollaí Ní Néill, Chloe Nic Conmidhe, Áine Nic Aodha agus Cáit Nic Lochlainn. The girls, along with 60 year 10 Irish students attended the annual Gael Linn Quiz event in the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown on Friday 17th October. Due to their efforts and time well spent in Coláiste Mhachaire Rabhartaigh, the girls left with 1st place, earning a place in the Northern Ireland final due to be held in Lurgan in the New Year. The quiz, conducted through the medium of Irish, was attended by over over 300 students from schools in the area making a total of over 70 teams. The event is an excellent indication of the interest and commitment to the Irish language learning in the Mid-Ulster area.

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HELPING OTHERS

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 | News

Catherine O’Hara from the Northern Ireland’s Children’s Hospice recently received a cheque from the Year 13 Young Enterprise mini enterprise group in St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt. They sold products to the school community and generated a profit of £620. Pictured is the Managing Director, Joseph Boyle and the Assistant Managing Director, Nikita Kelly.

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CAREERS IN LANGUAGES

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 | News

On Friday 26 September, as part of our European Day of Languages celebrations, our Year 12 pupils attended a Languages Careers Talk in the Assembly Hall. Our guest speakers were, Dr David Barr, Head of Modern Languages in the University of Ulster, and his colleague, Dr Xiuping Li, a Chinese lecturer in the university. Dr Barr spoke about the importance in studying Languages in today’s world. He explained, “75% of the world do not speak any English at all. With the growth of the internet, the world has become a much smaller place”. Dr Li then gave our pupils a short talk about Chinese culture and the basics of Chinese language. She explained, “over one billion people speak Chinese. When you learn Chinese you double your world”.

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CULTURAL TASTE!

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 | News

So that all could enjoy this special day, a variety of cuisines was served in the canteen and the introduction of some live traditional music also helped give the day a central place within the school community. Culminating on the 26 September with some hearty Irish stew and live traditional Irish music in the canteen, students had been availing of dishes such as Schwarzwalderkirschtorte andAlbondigas during the week. The Languages Department is most grateful for the efforts of the canteen staff.

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BOWLED OVER!

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 | News

Year 9 students had the opportunity to try the French game of bowls called Pétanque with their French teachers Mr McShane and Melle Venot. Extremely popular in the Provence part of France, this game required the players to throw their bowls as close to the jack, called in French “le cochonnet” ( the piggy). It is actually trickier to play than it seems as it requires great accuracy and skills.

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INTRODUCING GERMAN

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 | News

Year 8 students had the opportunity to learn German from teachers in our partner school in Germany. The German teachers gave kindly of their time and taught all five enthusiastic Year 8 groups some basic greetings and conversational skills throughout the week.

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MAGHERAFELT LEARNING PARTNERSHIP – SHARED ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME

Posted on 14 Oct 2014 | News

Year 13 students in St. Mary’s are being encouraged to sign up for the Magherafelt Learning Partnership’s Shared Enrichment Programme.  The Shared Enrichment Programme will run inthe five post-primary schools in the town on Monday 27 October and Tuesday 28 October 2014.

Students should click on the link below to select their preferred course option.  The deadline for course selections is Friday 17 October 2014 at 3.30pm.

Magherafelt Learning Partnership - Shared Enrichment Programme

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MACRORY CUP

Posted on 13 Oct 2014 | News

St Mary’s opened their MacRory campaign with a defeat to St Paul’s, Bessbrook on Saturday 11 October in Garvaghy. St Mary’s played without a handful of first team players due to injury and aim to improve their performance for the next game v St Macartan’s, Monaghan on Tuesday 21 October.

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CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS

Posted on 08 Oct 2014 | News

Are you a successful volunteer? The brand new PRAmerica ‘Spirit of Community Award 2015’ is now being launched. All pupils at St Mary’s who volunteer in school or in their community (or a mixture of both) can apply for this award via the school. Interested?  Visit the web address below  http://spirit.pramerica.ie/ Need more information or help in filling in your application? See Your Head of Year

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ST MARY’S HOST FILMMAKING MASTER CLASS

Posted on 08 Oct 2014 | News

On the 6 October, the Moving Image Arts department in St Mary’s Grammar School hosted a film editing master class for Year 13 and 14 students in its state-of-the-art iMac studio. The department was delighted that Mr Bill Gilmore and Mr Clark Phillips came from the Nerve Centre in Belfast to deliver the extremely successful and popular all day workshop, which have been running for two years. After the workshop, MIA teacher, Mr Kalla stated, “The master class was a great success. It is vital in the development of our students that they have access to professional filmmakers. As well as learning about filmmaking, the students had the opportunity to ask questions on a whole range of topics including university courses and career prospects in the growing Northern Ireland film industry.”

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PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY FLU ADVICE FOR PARENTS, GUARDIANS, CARERS WITH CHILDREN AT SCHOOL

Posted on 07 Oct 2014 | News

What is Flu?

Flu is a respiratory Illness caused by several strains of Influenza virus. These strains include strains of flu A and strains of flu B.

Flu Vaccination

The annual flu vaccine programme is being extended this year to include all children aged 2 years to Primary 7 inclusive.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccination is effective against the two most common strains of flu A and two flu B strains that are predicted to circulate in the community this year. Most children who are eligible for the vaccine aged 2 years to16 years inclusive, will be offered a vaccine that is given as a spray into the nose instead of an injection.

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MACRORY CUP

Posted on 06 Oct 2014 | News

St Mary’s 2:10 St Patrick’s, Armagh 2:9

St Mary’s had a narrow one point victory in a MacRory challenge game on the school pitch on Saturday 4 October. Impressive performances from Michael Donnelly, Donal Carey, Proinsias Burke and Thomas O’Kane capped a fine team performance with all 23 players getting a good solid run out.

St Mary’s face St Paul’s, Bessbrook on Saturday 11 October in their first Macrory league game at the Garvaghy complex, Ballygawley. We wish the boys every success!

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MACRORY CHALLENGE MATCH

Posted on 01 Oct 2014 | News

Action from Tuesday’s MacCrory Cup Friendly against St Patrick’s College, Maghera where St Mary’s came out on top by a narrow margin in a keenly contested game.

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CONSIDER YOURSELF…

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 | News

All in St Mary’s wish Year 10 pupil Conall McKenna a wonderful week in the Grand Opera House (30 September until 4 October); This talented young actor will be playing the ‘Artful Dodger’ in the Dickensian classic, ‘Oliver!’ as part of the cast of the Ulster Operatic Company. And such is his love of the theatre, Conall knows that on the 4 October he will definitely be asking for more!

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PARENTS

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 | News

​Parents get involved with your child’s education.  Your support will mean their success.

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CIVIC RECEPTION- LANGUAGE LEARNING

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 | News

In an unprecedented event, Magherafelt District Council held a civic reception in recognition of those students who showed commitment and dedication to language learning by attending Gaeltacht summer courses in 2014. Over sixty St Mary’s students pursued their love of Irish in Colásite Bhun an Inbhir, Coláiste Mhachaire Rabhartaigh, Coláiste Chú Chulainn and Coláiste Mhuire. Funded by the Líofa 2015 initiative, Magherafelt Council provided funding for students to attend these colleges in recognition of the increasing status of the language within the area. Last year saw the introduction of an Irish language policy and the beginning of Irish lessons for council staff. At the event, Irish language development officer Déaglán Ó Doibhlin commented that, “We are delighted to be able to assist young people in the wonderful experience that is attending the Gaeltacht and that the large numbers present indicated that the council’s work is not yey done”.

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AMAZING BRAINS

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 | News

Year 8 pupils in St Mary’s Grammar School enjoyed a fun and motivating session on Wednesday 24 September led by Tracy Gray from the Amazing Brains company.  Amazing Brains NI is an award winning Social Enterprise that in 2012/13 worked in partnership with schools to inspire almost 23,000 students to develop a Growth Mindset. Their motivational style seeks to inspire students of all ages to take control of their own future, discover their own unique talents and latent potential, but most importantly become the authors of their own life stories.  Diarmuid Walls said “I really enjoyed the nail experiment and loved having to think creatively. I also enjoyed getting to know and work with other people in my year group.”

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PARENT POWER AND PARTNERSHIP

Posted on 25 Sep 2014 | News

The parents and guardians were invited to a Parent Power evening of interactive activities (again expertly facilitated by Tracy Gray, Amazing Brains) to reaffirm their role in their children’s process of transition. The evening began with key personnel, namely Principal Mrs D Gillespie, Mr G Quinn (Senior Teacher- Progress and Learning Manager Key Stage 3), Miss S McAllister (Senior Teacher with responsibility for Learning and Teaching) and Mrs AM Anderson (Head of Year 8), addressing the audience. Parents/guardians were reminded of the value the school places on working in partnership with them for the good of every child before they engaged in the Amazing Brains seminar. Declan Larkin reported that his mum and dad had really enjoyed the evening.

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 | News

The newly established Social Action Committee of St Mary’s provides students with opportunities for spiritual and personal growth, by way of service to their school and wider community. The Committee aims to: affect real and lasting change in the local and global community; alleviate human suffering in the local community and further afield, and raise awareness on international issues of social justice.

The Committee represents an exciting new development in St Mary’s. New members are most welcome to join.  Meetings are held at lunchtime on Wednesday in E1.

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REACCREDITATION OF AN INVESTOR IN PEOPLE GOLD AWARD

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 | News

St Mary’s Grammar School is celebrating the recent reaccreditation of an Investors in People Gold Award. The school was first recognised as an Investor in People in 1999 and since then, has grown and developed as an organisation. In the most recent assessment, Frances Open, the Assessor, concluded that many of the school’s practices exceeded the requirements of the Standard. The report detailed, “St Mary’s is an inclusive and inviting school which welcomes people from all backgrounds, cultures and traditions… It creates warm, caring and positive relationships between all members of the school community while promoting good relations in the wider social context. It is a school where everyone feels a sense of belonging and value.” 

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FRENCH TEACHERS FOR THE FUTURE

Posted on 23 Sep 2014 | News

On Monday 22 September, seventeen Year 12 pupils from St Mary’s Grammar School were accompanied by Mr McShane to Holy Family Primary School, for a morning’s language teaching as part of the European Day of Languages celebrations. Mr McShane explained, “Our pupils taught French to the P6 and 7classes. The teachers in Holy Family were high in their praise and it’s clear that we have a few future teachers in our ranks. Well done to all involved!” Pupils involved: Carine Fullerton, Beth Kilpatrick Lauren McStocker, Laura Delaney, Megan Lagan, Emily Carson, Erin McIvor, Maria Teague, Caitlin Loughran, Eilis O’Boyle, Susan McIlwee, Megan Kennedy, Megan Carson, Niall Conlon, Emily Hinds, Niamh Heron and Siobhan O’Neill.

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‘DID YE HEAR THE STORY….?’

Posted on 22 Sep 2014 | News

One hundred and fifty six Year 12 students went to the Grand Opera House, Belfast, on Thursday 18 September for a thrilling afternoon matinee of Willy Russell’s award winning play, Blood Brothers. Some lucky pupils (and staff) even managed to pose for a photograph with the two leads: Maureen Nolan and Sean Jones. Mrs Reid, Head of English, said “All in all, it was a great day out and we are looking forward to the next one!”

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CHEMISTRY CAMBRIDGE CHALLENGE COMPETITION

Posted on 19 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to those students who were successful in the Cambridge Challenge Competition. Emma McKay, Roshan O’Donnell and Conor O’Kane received the Silver Award; Leonie Devlin received the Copper Award; and Keeva Madden was highly commended. This competition organised by Cambridge University consists of a ninety minute written examination and it aims to stretch and challenge students in all aspects of A-Level Chemistry.

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SEBASTIAN RECEIVES 80TH ANNIVERSARY CUP

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to Sebastian Krzyzak, the recipient of the 80th Anniversary Cup.This 80th Anniversary Cup was presented to Sebastian by the staff of St Mary’s for his contribution to the community spirit of the school.

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CHLOE IS THE FIRST RECIPIENT OF MARGARET MOONEY AWARD

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to Chloe Rocks, the recipient of the Margaret Mooney Cup. This cup was presented by Mr Seamus Mooney, on behalf of the staff of St Mary’s, to Chloe as the Year 13 student who has, in the opinion of teachers, most consistently shown care, compassion and consideration to other pupils

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CIARA RECEIVES 75TH ANNIVERSARY CUP

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to Ciara Sargent, the recipient of the 75th Anniversary Cup.This 75th Anniversary Cup was presented to Ciara by the staff of St Mary’s for her contribution to the community spirit of the school.

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GRACE AND PATSY RECEIVE THE JOANNE MCCONVILLE AWARD

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to Grace McKenna and Patsy Walls, the recipients of the Joanne McConville Year 12 Awards.These two trophies, presented by the McConville Family in memory of Joanne, were awarded to Year 12 pupils Grace and Patsy, who in the opinion of teachers, most consistently displayed kindness, consideration and friendship to other pupils in the year group.

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ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

The Annual Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday 16th September at St Mary’s and had as its theme, ‘Dreams are for coming true’. Dr. Sam McGuiness, Head of the School of Education at University of Ulster, was our guest speaker. Dr. McGuiness inspired us all with his uplifting address.

He is pictured with some members of the Board of Governors, including Monsignor O’Byrne, Mr McKee, Dr. Hutchinson, Mr Dace, Mrs Carr and our Head Girl and Boy, Aoife and Rory.

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GCSE ART SUCCESS 2014

Posted on 17 Sep 2014 | News

​Congratulations to Gabriela Kacprzyk who attained full marks in GCSE Art and Design summer 2014. 

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MUSICAL YOUTH

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 | News

Senior traditional musicians, ‘Coiriu’, performed at the annual ‘Music For Youth’ Festival in Birmingham in July.. ‘Coiriu’ performed in one of the UK’s prestigious concert venues, Symphony Hall. Adjudicators gave feedback to each group. They commented especially on the professionalism of ‘Coiriu’ and their excellent ensemble skills. They received a certificate of achievement for their excellent performance practice. On returning to school in August, Miss Donnelly received an exciting phone call, inviting the group to perform in the Albert Hall in the Schools’ Proms. The group will travel to London on the 10 November for what is sure to be an opportunity of a lifetime!

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ST MARY’S FORMAL

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

St Mary’sYear 14 Formal will be held in the Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena on Friday 19 September. We look forward to marking this important milestone with our sixth formers and we hope they have a wonderful night to remember.  Watch out for the photographs!

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SENIOR PRIZE-GIVING

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

St Mary’s will be holding their Annual Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 16 September 2014 at 7.30pm. We are delighted to welcome Dr Sam McGuiness, Head of Education at University of Ulster, as our guest of honour. We look forward to celebrating the wonderful achievements with our pupils and their families.

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PERFECT PREFECTS

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

On Friday 4 September, Year 14 prefects in St Mary’s Grammar School received training with professional staff from YMCA. The training was to introduce the peer and subject mentors to the idea of ‘coaching’ as a strategy to help someone to get the very best performance out of themselves – the potential for which was already there.

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STEPS TO SUCCESS

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

On 3 September, Year 14 students in St Mary’s Grammar School took part in a workshop entitled ‘5 Steps to Exam Success’, delivered by Amazing Brains staff. They informed Year 14 pupils, that usually stressful exam scenarios can become very rewarding and even enjoyable! By the end of the half-day seminar, students felt they had adopted the skills, competencies and mindset required for exam success.

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IRISH JUNIOR OPEN CHAMPION 2014

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

Year 14 pupil in St Mary’s Grammar school, competed in the Junior Open Championship in Killymoon in August 2014. He is a member of Kilrea Golf Club where he has played for seven years. More than two hundred competitors took part in the prestigious event which was endorsed by professional golfers Darren Clarke Shane Lowry and Justin Rose. Liam was delighted to be named the Irish Junior Open Champion.

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COMMONWEALTH GAMES SUMMER 2014

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

A group of fifty pupils and staff recently travelled to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. Mr McElholm, takes up the story: “We visited Ibrox stadium for rugby 7’s; saw badminton and squash at the new racquet centre; experienced swimming, hockey, gymnastics; and, a lucky few got to see the men’s 100m heats and 10,000m final in the athletics at Hampden Park. We had a fantastic time at this global sporting event and the buzz in Glasgow is something that our pupils will never forget. Plans are already underway to further develop the project as we plan visits to the Rugby World Cup and European Soccer Championship Finals.”

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MUSICAL YOUTH

Posted on 12 Sep 2014 | News

Senior traditional musicians, ‘Coiriu’, performed at the annual ‘Music For Youth’Festival in Birmingham in July.. ‘Coiriu’ performed in one of the UK’s prestigious concert venues, Symphony Hall. Adjudicators gave feedback to each group. They commented especially on the professionalism of ‘Coiriu’ and their excellent ensemble skills. They received a certificate of achievement for their excellent performance practice. On returning to school in August, Miss Donnelly received an exciting phone call, inviting the group to perform in the Albert Hall in the Schools’ Proms. The group will travel to London on the 10 November for what is sure to be an opportunity of a lifetime!

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QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST SCHOLAR AWARD 2014

Posted on 10 Sep 2014 | News

Congratulations to former Head Girl Bronagh McGuckin, who is the recipient of a very prestigious scholarship. The Queen’s Scholars’ competition offers ten full fee Scholarships for students from schools in Northern Ireland and is designed to reward academic achievement and recognise wider social and community contributions including sports, music and the arts, business and enterprise and the community. Queen’s Scholars are expected to have notable achievements outside academic life and are able to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills to match their desires and ambitions for the future. Bronagh, who is going to Queen’s University to study Dentistry, was one of only ten successful students from throughout Northern Ireland to receive the scholarship.

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TRANSFER TEST

Posted on 01 Sep 2014 | News

The GL Familiarisation morning takes place in St Mary’s tomorrow morning. Mrs Gillespie will give a presentation at 9.30am and the same presentation at 11.00am. The presentation will inform
parents/guardians and the children of registration and key dates, practical arrangements for the test, specification and sample questions, special access and consideration. This is the same presentation Mrs Gillespie gave in June. Two rooms will be laid out as they will be for the test so that the children can see the sort of room they will sit the test in. Completed application forms can be handed in. These should contain the child’s photograph and the original birth certificate should also be enclosed. Application packs will be available for those who need one. Parents/Guardians and children may drop in at any stage during the morning just to see the rooms and then leave. The morning ends at 12.00.

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GCSE SUCCESS

Posted on 27 Aug 2014 | News

The Principal of St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has described the 2014 GCSE examination results as “truly outstanding”. Mrs Gillespie reported that a staggering 99% of students achieved 7 grades at A*-C, including English and Mathematics, and 100% of students achieved 5 grades at A*-C. Impressively, 60% of all grades were A*/A.

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A LEVEL SUCCESS - CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2014

Posted on 15 Aug 2014 | News

A Level students from St. Mary’s Grammar School have cause for celebration this week following the publication of this year’s examination results.  An impressive 96% of all examinations taken by students in the school resulted in A* to C grades.  Commenting on the results, Mrs Gillespie paid tribute to students, staff and parents: 

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YEAR 8 HURLING BLITZ

Posted on 30 Jun 2014 | News

The annual Ulster Colleges Hurling blitz took place at Woodlands playing fields, Belfast on Friday 13 June. In the first match, St Mary’s drew with a strong Keady side before being narrowly beaten by Rathmore in the final group game. St Mary’s then played St Malachy’s, Belfast in a challenge match to end a very successful and enjoyable day. Thanks to accompanying teachers Mr Brady and Mr Kalla.

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DUKE OF EDINBURGH - BRONZE AWARD

Posted on 27 Jun 2014 | News

The Grand Old Duke…

On Friday 6 June, twenty four Year 11 pupils began their practice expedition for their Bronze Award in the Antrim Hills. After an overnight camp in Glenariff Forest, pupils completed their practice expedition on a very wet and miserable day. Mr Tracey, one of the leaders, explained: “We were glad when we returned on Friday 13 June to complete the qualifying expedition as a better weather forecast was in sight. All pupils successfully completed their qualifying expedition on Saturday 14 June and will now focus on completing their Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections of the Bronze Award. Fellow leader Mrs Johnston and I would like to say a massive thank-you to Mr Francis and Mr McCann who accompanied us on the expeditions. Well done to all Year 11 pupils involved!”

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TALKING RUBBISH

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 | News

Fifty one Year 11 Muiredach Award pupils organised a series of one period litter picks with Year 9 classes from Tuesday 17 June – Monday 23 June. Each year 9 class was supervised by 3 or 4 Muiredach pupils. Each day some litter was collected but not huge amounts, testimony to the ongoing litter awareness work being done in the school.

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SPORTS DAY

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 | News

The sun shone and students glistened on our annual Sports day. Keen athletes competed in many events and then at lunch time House activities ensured that everyone could get involved.

Click here to view our Media Gallery 

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LEND ME YOUR EAR

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 | News

Congratulations to some members of staff who undertook additional training as part of their Continuing Profession Development, namely Listening Ear training. They achieved certificates from Open Network College for: Cancer Awareness and Understanding Human Behaviour in Relationships.

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STEPPING OUT

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 | News

On Friday 6 June all Year 9 pupils took part in the annual sponsored walk for Action MS.  The pupils, accompanied by their Form Teachers and the Action MS team, walked from the school to the track at Meadowbank Sports Arena where they walked numerous laps of the track. The Year 9 pupils deserve tremendous credit for raising the grand total of £3,612.46. A representative from the charity visited the school on Tuesday 24 June to receive the cheque and give each of the participating pupils a certificate.

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INSPIRE>ASPIRE COMPETITION

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 | News

Head of Year 9, Mr Brady, entered all Year 9 pupils in the annual Inspire>aspire Global citizens in the Making poster competition. He explained, “This was a national competition throughout Northern Ireland where pupils were asked to create a poster to celebrate the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. It provided pupils with an opportunity for self-discovery and personal development, 

enabling them to think about what is important in life and about the values and qualities they will need to make a success of their own future. The successful St Mary’s students were: Anna Ledgewood, Roise Pelan, Samantha McCarron, Catriona McCoy and Aine Atchison

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CONGRATULATIONS TO YEAR 8 GIRLS’ CAMOGS

Posted on 13 Jun 2014 | News

Congratulations to Year 8 Girls’ Camogs who competed in the Ulster Final. They showed great team spirit, skill and the Year 8 pupils who were witness to the final enjoyed the thrilling, talented display. Mrs Anderson, Head of Year 8, offered her congratulations to the team and paid tribute to their coach, Miss Cathy Carey.

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ULSTER TITLE WINNERS

Posted on 11 Jun 2014 | News

Congratulations to Year 8 boys who demonstrated skill, tenacity and determination to lift the coveted Martin O’Farrell Cup (the first time since 2000) in the Ulster Final. They are deserving winners of the Ulster title!

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TOP OF THEIR GAME!

Posted on 06 Jun 2014 | News

Congratulations to Year 9 students, Sean Graham, Kevin Diamond, Cormac Devlin and Dominic O’Connor on recent success in sport:

Sean Graham – Sean has been selected as a member of the Northern Ireland U14 elite soccer squad. He is also a member of the Tyrone U15 Milk Cup squad and will take part in the Milk Cup at the end of July.

Kevin Diamond   - Kevin recently came 1st in the British Nationals Karate Championships (improving on 2nd place last year) at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on 2 May 2014. He is also the 2014 Liverpool Youth Champion.

Cormac Devlin and Dominic O’Connor  – Both pupils were members of the successful Randalstown RFC team who won the Ulster U13 Cup final at Ravenhill in May. They beat Clogher Valley RFC in the final on a score line of 37 v 5.

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YEAR 8 AND 9 PUPILS ATTEND HURLING COACHING DAY

Posted on 06 Jun 2014 | News

Twenty one Year 8 and 9 pupils from St Mary’s Grammar School attended a Year 8 and 9 Hurling coaching day on Thursday 5 June at Owenbeg. The event was organised by Derry GAA and was attended by many of the local schools. On the morning of the coaching day, all the pupils were split up into various groups and got to work with some of the top coaches from the Ulster council.  After lunch, the players were once again split up into six different teams and played a ‘mini All-Ireland’. The day was of great benefit to all who attended, pupils and teachers alike.

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COMPANY MATTERS

Posted on 29 May 2014 | News

The Year 11 GCSE Business Studies group set up a business and decided that a football jersey could be profitable and enjoyable to design and promote. This resulted in a significant number of sales and provided invaluable experience of some of the issues involved in running a business. At the end of the process, the company donated £300 to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. 

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TAKING TO THE STAGE

Posted on 28 May 2014 | News

Pupils in the Drama Department demonstrated their own skills in a range of performance work.  In February, Year 13 students presented An Evening of Monologues and Duologues.  In March, Year 12 Drama pupils performed plays such as Dancing at Lughnasa, Be My Baby, Lay Up Your Ends and Of Mice and Men while A2 Theatre Studies students presented devised dramas entitled Still I Rise and Through the Loopy Glass.  In April, Year 12 Performing Arts students presented their showcase performance entitled For Peace Comes Dropping Slow and, in May, AS Theatre Studies students performed the comedy-drama, Steel Magnolias.  For images of Drama Department visits, workshops and performances, please visit the Media Galleries section of the St Mary’s website.  

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PUTTING ON A PERFORMANCE!

Posted on 28 May 2014 | News

In April, the children’s theatre company, Cahoots NI, visited St Mary’s to present its new production, I Predict, to Year 10 pupils.  Also in April,  Simon Goldrick and a film crew from NI Opera came to St Mary’s to interview Year 11 pupils about their experience of and attitude towards Opera as a performance genre as part of a documentary being made by the company about Opera in Northern Ireland and the UK.

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ALWAYS A DRAMA!

Posted on 28 May 2014 | News

As usual, it has been a very busy few months in the Drama Department. In February, Year 11 and Year 12 pupils travelled to the Lyric Theatre, Belfast to see a production of Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come!  Also in February, Year 11 – Year 14 pupils attended an Opera Workshop facilitated by NI Opera in the Europa Hotel, Belfast before attending the NI Opera production of Verdi’s Macbeth in the Grand Opera House.  Year 11 pupils were back in the Grand Opera House in March to take part in a Creative Choices careers event which gave them the opportunity to participate in workshops exploring aspects of theatre such as costume, lighting, sound, stage management and marketing.  

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AMONG THE STARS

Posted on 26 May 2014 | News

Congratulations to Year 9 students Joe O’Hagan and Katie Walker -and their nominating teacher, Mr J McElholm- on being Highly Commended at this year’s Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards. It is a fantastic achievement for them both! They received their prize in London and are seen pictured with David Beckham and Jessica Ennis.

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SWEET THINGS!

Posted on 19 May 2014 | News

On Friday 16 May 2014 the Kitchen Staff of Café Bordeaux held a Bakery Demonstration. The buns were later donated to St. Vincent de Paul for their fundraiser which was held in Magherafelt Parish Centre on Saturday 17 May.

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SCIENCE MATTERS!

Posted on 16 May 2014 | NewsAwards

Year 14 students took part in the British Chemistry Olympiad Competition 2014. Congratulations to Fintan Devine, Aaron Leung, Bronagh McGuckin, Katie McKee and Patrick Kielt who achieved Silver awards and to Conor McPeake who achieved a Bronze award. Other pupils participated at a very pleasing standard: Eimer McGuckian, Frances Carmichael, James Carey, Kay McAlary, Andrew Sweeney, Claire Totten, Emma Glenn and Kerri Burke. 

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MINDS ON PHYSICS

Posted on 16 May 2014 | News

Twenty Year 12 pupils recently took part in the British Olympiad GCSE Physics Challenge, a prestigious competition organised by the University of Oxford. Pupils answered a one hour paper consisting of stimulating questions which tested their understanding and problem-solving skills in answering real-life Physics problems. Six pupils were particularly successful, receiving Bronze Awards (Emma Quinn, Eoghan McDonald, Paul McCarron, Hugh O’Donnell, Mark Friel and Aoife McErlane) and fourteen pupils received Commendation Awards. Thirteen Year 13 Physics pupils took part in this year’s British Physics Olympiad AS Challenge. All pupils performed very well in the competition with 12 pupils achieving a Commendation Award. Roshan O’Donnell did exceptionally well and achieved a Bronze Award.   

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AMAZING FEAT!

Posted on 15 May 2014 | News

On Bank Holiday Monday, thirty two Year 14 students went to Belfast with Mrs McGee, Head of Year 14, to take part in the Belfast Marathon. Twenty five students took part in the relay event in teams of five and the rest took part in the fun run. The money raised will be divided equally between the two charities nominated by the students: the Donal Walsh Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society. Mrs McGee summed up the day, “I am so proud of these young people who, despite the pressure of impending A level exams, thought of others and put themselves out for these good causes.”

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LAB COATS & BREAKING BAD

Posted on 15 May 2014 | News

Year 13 students Keeva Madden, Paula O’Neill and Alisha Toner were recently awarded “Highly Commended” by the Institute of Chemistry, Ireland for a chemistry newsletter they wrote entitled “Chemistry-Is it just lab coats & Breaking Bad?” The school was one of only two schools in Ireland to receive this accolade.  The theme of the competition this year was “Teenagers’ perceptions of Chemistry”. 

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WELL MATCHED!

Posted on 09 May 2014 | News

Congratulations to our Brock team who played Abbey CBS in the Brock Shield final at Sherry’s field in Armagh on Tuesday 6th May. The poor weather conditions failed to dampen the players’ spirits and the game was played at a frantic pace from the first whistle. We won on a score line of 1-19 (22) v 4-8 (20).

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GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!

Posted on 08 May 2014 | NewsAwards

Congratulations to Year 14 student Fintan Devine who has been selected to represent Ireland at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam in July. Head of Chemistry, Mrs A McGuckin, offered her sincere congratulations to Fintan on his exemplary achievement and paid tribute to his teacher Ms T Mullan, who gave expert guidance in preparing Fintan for such a demanding but prestigious competition.

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WELL SPOKEN!

Posted on 07 May 2014 | News

Congratulations to Year 13 students Shannon Donnelly, Caitlin McCann, Aine McErlean and Catherine Devlin who gained Grade 6 (Bronze Medal) with Distinction from New Era Academy of Speech and Drama. The girls were prepared for the examination by Mrs AM Anderson during their free time.

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ALL THE RIGHT NOTES

Posted on 06 May 2014 | News

Head of Music in St Mary’s Grammar School, Miss Una Donnelly, expressed her delight at the students’ recent successes in ABRSM and Trinity Music Examinations, many of whom gained a Merit or Distinction. Congratulations to: Eireann McCusker, Catherine Skelly and Caoimhe O’Kane who achieved Grade 3;  Orla McGurk, Ellen O’Connor, Mary Lagan, Molly McAllister, Lorcan Darragh, Aidan McCloskey and Emma Dace who achieved Grade 4; and, Nicole Clerkin and Faoiltiarna Burke who achieved Grade 5 .      

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SKY SPORTS STARS!

Posted on 06 May 2014 | NewsAwards

Congratulations to Year 9 students Joe O’Hagan and Katie Walker who have been successful in the Sky Sports Living for Sports Awards. They will be presented with their awards by David Beckham and Jessica Ennis at Sky Studios, London on Tuesday 20th May 2014.

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LEAPING FOR LEPRA

Posted on 06 May 2014 | NewsGeneral

On Friday 2nd May 2014, all Year 10 students participated in an aerobic session to raise funds for LEPRA. Thanks to Mrs Audrey Heslip from LEPRA and to Miss McAllister, Head of Year 10, and all Year 11 form teachers for organizing the event.

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NET SUCCESS

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 | News

On Tuesday 29 April, Year 9 girls took part in a netball tournament hosted by Dunluce College, Bushmills.  St Mary’s played Cross and Passion, Ballycastle, St. Louis’, Ballymena and then the hosts Dunluce College. Overall the girls finished second in the tournament with Jane Young justly being awarded Player of the Tournament.

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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE!

Posted on 29 Apr 2014 | News

​Congratulations to some of our Year 13 and Year 14 pupils who were commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in Magherafelt Chapel on Holy Thursday evening, during the Mass which was celebrated by Monsignor O’Byrne. Through the JPII Award, the girls had expressed a strong interest and desire to become EMHC in their own Parishes and were prepared over many weeks by Damien Quigley, a Seminarian from Maynooth. We are very proud of them!

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BBC NEWS REPORT

Posted on 29 Apr 2014 | News

St. Mary’s pupils were delighted to take part in the BBC School News Report on the 27th March 2014; this project gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience. It is a collaborative project run by BBC News and BBC Learning. Teachers help students develop their journalistic skills to become School Reporters. In March, schools take part in an annual News Day, simultaneously creating video, audio and text-based news reports, and publishing them on a school website, to which the BBC aims to link. Pupils from year eight, year ten and year twelve were involved, the project proved to be a great success. Click on the following link to read the BBC News Report letter.

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HAPPY READING!

Posted on 29 Apr 2014 | News

Some of the money raised from the World Book Day- where staff and pupils in St Mary’s Grammar School were encouraged to dress up as literary characters- was sent to Book Aid. Every £2.00 raised enables Book Aid to send a book (to libraries, universities, refugee camps, hospitals and prisons) that will be read by at least 5 people.

Click on the following link to view Letter from Book Aid.

 

 

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MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE

Posted on 29 Apr 2014 | News

Year 12 students attended an information talk about the courses available to them through NRC – such as BTEC Level 3 Childcare, Health & Social Care, Engineering, ICT, Business and Construction. Students were given the opportunity to learn more about their specific course choices and learnt how a Further Education college works.  

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ST. MARY’S EASTER SCHOOL

Posted on 17 Apr 2014 | News

​St. Mary’s Easter school will be running from Wednesday 23rd-Friday 25th April 2014 for Years 12, 13 and 14. Click on the following link to view the Easter School Schedule.

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HEALTHY OPTIONS

Posted on 17 Apr 2014 | News

The Magherafelt Learning Partnership (MLP), thanks to the Big Lottery ‘Living and Learning Together’ Project, recently held a ‘Health Fair’ in St Mary’s Grammar School which was attended by Year 10 pupils.  

To view our photo gallery please click here: Health Fair 

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SPRING WAS IN THE AIR

Posted on 17 Apr 2014 | News

St Mary’s recently held the Annual Spring Concert which was a feast for the eyes and ears, such was the breadth and diversity of the acts who entertained and enthralled. Principal Mrs D Gillespie paid tribute to all who had made the night a musical success.

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YEAR 11 GEOGRAPHY TRIP TO NEWCASTLE, CO. DOWN

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 | GeneralNews

Year 11 Geography students recently visited Newcastle, Co. Down to investigate the strategies used to manage an area of the coast affected by coastal erosion. The students engaged in and enjoyed a most worthwhile learning experience.

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MAGHERAFELT INTER-SCHOOLS’ ATHLETICS COMPETITION

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 | News

Congratulations to the pupils who were placed in their respective events in the Magherafelt Inter-schools’ Athletics competition at Meadowbank Sports arena Aidan McCluskey – 1st 800m, Dominic O’Connor – 1st Shot Put; Emmett Murray 2nd 800m; Cathoir Purvis 3rd 800m; U13 Boys 4x100m Relay – 2nd; Guiseppi Lupari – 2nd Long Jump; U14 Boys 4x100m Relay – 2nd; Keeva Neely – 2nd 100m; U13 Girls  4x100m Relay -3rd; Aishlinn Craig – 1st 100m; Anna Martin – 2nd 800m; and U14 Girls  4x100m Relay – 1st

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REPORT FROM MISS DONNELLY

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 | News

This was a great year in both camogie and football with 7 players in total receiving Ulster Colleges’ All Stars – 2 awarded in football to Hannah Lydon and Kayleigh O’Neill and a remarkable 5 awards in camogie to Aine McAllister, Jackie Donnelly, Meaghan Diamond, Kirsty McLeod and Nicole Clerkin

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FAITH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Posted on 15 Apr 2014 | GeneralNews

Damien Quigley, a Seminarian from Maynooth, spent time with the pupils from St Mary’s Grammar School participating in their Faith Development Programme. We will miss him for his warmth and wisdom and will remember him in our prayers.

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ACTIVE LEADERSHIP

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 | News

We recently ran our Asda Active Event with our Year 13 Sports Leaders who officiated at and helped organise the event. More than 200 children (representing 11 of our feeder primary schools) successfully participated in our Cross Country Championships. Shaunagh, from ASDA in Cookstown, provided water and fruit for all our participants and the refreshments were really well received. 

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CAMOGIE BLITZ

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 | News

St Mary’s recently hosted a Year 8 camogie blitz and competed against St Louis, Ballymena and Sacred Heart, Newry. The girls did exceptionally well and have qualified for the ‘A’ section of the semi finals which will be held as another blitz day on Thursday 1st May. We wish them continuing success!

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KICKHAM’S CREGGAN

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 | News

Junior Club All Ireland Club champions…with lots of Drama on and off the pitch to FINALLY secure victory. Well done to James Carey, Conleth McGrenaghan, Kevin Rice, Donal Carey and the now infamous Conor Small.

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MEET ME IN…ST MARY’S

Posted on 11 Apr 2014 | News

St Mary’s PTA held a Sponsored Walk on Friday 11 April. The funds raised will go towards the School Musical fund. St Mary’s will present the family favourite Meet Me in St Louis in November 2014.  All those already cast in the Musical joined in the walk. 

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BROCK SHIELD COMPETITION

Posted on 08 Apr 2014 | NewsGeneral

Our boys recently played local rivals St Pius X College at Rossa Park. St. Mary’s were the eventual winners on a score line of 2:13 v 2:11. The St Mary’s scorers were: Declan Cassidy 1.4, Tiarnach Donaghy 1.0, Kevin Small 0.5, Matthew Loughran 0.1, Kealan McCann 0.1, Odhran Devlin 0.1 and James Crawford 0.1. The boys now progress to the semi final where they will play St Mary’s CBGS, Belfast.

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