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

(The Inspectorate, February, 2015)

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

YEAR 8 PARENTAL DIGITAL SUPPORT WORKSHOP

Posted on 08 Feb 2016 | News

As part of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 9 February, we are holding a Year 8 Parental Digital Support Workshop.  On the evening, Year 8 Parents will receive practical support from our Digital Leaders on how to navigate the learning apps that that their children are using in classroom and independent learning.  Parents will also receive E-Safety information on ways that they can support their child in using their iPad positively and responsibly.

 

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TEAM TALKING

Posted on 02 Feb 2016 | News

On Saturday 30 January, Ethlinn Walls, Sarah Gallen and James McTeague attended the regional final of the BPW Speaking Competition in New Forge Country Club, Belfast, after successfully winning the Ballymena heat at the Michelin Athletic Centre in November. All three pupils performed extremely well and worked very hard in preparation for the event, aided by their teacher, Ms Hatchell. Unfortunately, the pupils did not make it to the national final, but Sarah Gallen received the trophy for Best Chairperson of the competition. All at St Mary’s are very proud of their wonderful achievement!

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Safer Internet Day

Posted on 02 Feb 2016 | News

Below are links for 2 short videos focusing on Safer Internet Day which is on Feb 9th. Look out for the #SID on Twitter over the next few weeks and adverts promoting Safer Internet Day.

Clip1: http://childnetsic.s3.amazonaws.com/ufiles/SID2016/SID2016%20Play%20Your%20Part%20for%20a%20Better%20Internet.avi

Clip 2:

http://childnetsic.s3.amazonaws.com/ufiles/SID2016/What%20is%20online%20hate%20NEW.mp4

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‘GO THE DISTANCE’ – MARY PETERS TRUST

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

The senior choir has been asked to perform at a concert on Saturday 13 February in the Island Centre, Lisburn.  This is a fundraising concert in aid of the Mary Peters Trust.  They will join other singers and musicians from across Northern Ireland in a concert of music inspired by sport.  Tickets are available from the Island Centre – more details to follow.

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JUMPING FOR SUCCESS

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

The league is complete. We qualified for the All Ireland interschools’ in Kildare in April and finished overall second in the league in the open class. This was against all the secondary schools in Northern Ireland and over 59 competitors! We led the league for the full 5 weeks and on the last show had the fastest time but hit the last jump missing out on first place. In the premier class, we finished fourth out of 36 competitors.

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PACE SETTING

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

On Thursday 21 January, pupils from Years 8-11 made the trip to Ulster University, Coleraine to participate in the District C Cross Country Races. There was a brilliant effort exerted by all who attended, especially considering the weather conditions on the day. Most notably was our Year 8 pupil Conor Falls who won the Mini Boys’ section within the whole district which is an incredible achievement. The Year 8 boys will also have the opportunity of taking part in the Ulster competition as a result of the whole team’s performance. Cahair Purvis in Year 11 finished in 8th place out of 100 runners in the Intermediate Boys’ section which also was a great achievement. Overall, it was great to see all of our pupils doing so well and putting in such a great effort in each of their races.

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GALLANT GAEL LINN EFFORT

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

On Friday 22 January, the Gael Linn Ulster Final of the annual Tráth na gCeist was held in the Ashburn Hotel, Lurgan. Four Year 10 pupils, Blaithin Rafferty, Katie Cushey, Kate Lavery and Maeve Shields represented St Mary’s in the Quiz which they qualified for in October 2015. They faced fierce competition from 80 other pupils, including Irish Medium schools. This was a great honour and achievement for the girls to reach the final stage of the competition. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be our day but the girls can be very proud of themselves: they never gave up and showed great determination throughout the day.

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ALL TO PLAY FOR

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

Mr Brady explains, “The MacRory Cup team has their play-off game on Friday 29 January. They play the current holders of the competition, St. Patrick’s Cavan, in Killygarry Co. Cavan at 3.00pm. Training and matches have been ongoing since September: our latest outing was a challenge game at the school against Derry minors. Preparations continue this week with training after school on Tuesday and Thursday. Hopefully we do ourselves justice on Friday as they have been a most dedicated squad.”

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BBC RADIO ULSTER SCHOOL CHOIR OF THE YEAR

Posted on 26 Jan 2016 | News

Head of Music, Miss U Donnelly, explained: “We submitted a CD for BBC Radio Ulster School choir of the year.  I am delighted to tell you that the choir has been selected for one of the regional heats and this will take place on Wednesday 10 February.”  We wish all involved much success.

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PAST PUPIL CALLUM O’HARA SCOOPS HOLLYWOOD LA-CINEFEST AWARD

Posted on 20 Jan 2016 | News

Congratulations to SMG past pupil Callum O’Hara whose Moving Image Arts A2 Level film, Rough Relations, has scooped the Audience Award at Hollywood’s prestigious LACinefest Film Festival. Callum commented on it being a fantastic Christmas present for him and his family, “The LACinefest organisers are flying me off to Los Angeles very soon to pick up my award: I’m living the dream!”

“My film is also being shown this month at the Film Devour Film Festival in Belfast, at the Black Box, in the Cathedral Quarter of City. And, to top it all off, my film will be shown at the Wiper Film Festival in New York, also this month. Again, I want to give a big thank you to Mr Kalla in the Moving Image Arts department at St Mary’s for a wonderful two years, he was inspirational and made me believe in myself. I will never forget my time at St Mary’s Grammar School.”

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LADIES ALL STARS AWARDS

Posted on 19 Jan 2016 | News

On Friday 15 January, the annual Ulster Ladies’ GAA School All-Star Awards were held in Kellys Inn. Two of our girls received an All Star, Caiomhe Meeke and Orlaith Prenter. This is a great achievement for the girls. They will represent Ulster in an Inter Provincial tournament in Kinnegad, Westmeath on 23 January. Congratulations to both girls!

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LADIES SCHOOLS ULSTER FINAL

Posted on 19 Jan 2016 | News

Our under 20 girls competed in the Ulster final on Thursday 14 January in a cold and windy Garvaghy. The girls were up against it from the start as there was vast support for the other finalists. It took our girls a while to settle into the game buta great save from Caoimhe Meeke lifted the spirits of the girls. Annie Crozier then pushed forward to score a great goal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be our day and Our lady’s took the title back to Monaghan. The girls can be very proud of themselves: they never gave in and were tenacious showing great determination until the final whistle.

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FOCUSED ON OUR FAITH

Posted on 12 Jan 2016 | News

St Mary’s welcomed the Adoration Sisters of Belfast to our school on Monday 11 January.  Sisters Moira and Martina gave very powerful, inspirational testimonies about their journey of faith, encouraging our students to deepen their own faith by spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Both Sisters focused on the consecrated life and the upcoming year of Mercy and it was a spirit filled encounter.  We hope to follow up the talk by making Eucharistic Adoration a focus of our faith programme in 2016.

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ST MARY’S SUPPORT MARIE CURIE

Posted on 12 Jan 2016 | News

Congratulations to our Year 13 pupils who participated in the ‘Fundraising My Way’ campaign. They raised money through selling produce during the school musical and selling school merchandise to the school community. £350 was raised for their much needed resources.

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Drive for Results

Posted on 12 Jan 2016 | News

To complement the mentoring that took place on Mentoring Day (26 November 2015) students also took part in an Amazing Brains workshop called Drive for Results. The idea was to launch the revision process in preparation for the Year 11 mock examinations in January. Students were given a learning guide which focused on revision strategies and time management. The workshop lasted all morning and students were given the afternoon to use some of the strategies to start their revision. The workshop also placed strong emphasis on motivation by illustrating to students the importance of what they are preparing for.

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THE ‘NEXT LEVEL’ WORKSHOP

Posted on 12 Jan 2016 | News

To further help Year 13 pupils prepare for their Mock exams they attended the ‘NEXT LEVEL’ workshop on the 6 January 2016. The Next Level was a 3 hour, activity based, highly motivational programme that aimed to deal with the step up to Sixth Form and the additional input required by our pupils. It placed a strong emphasis on the students learning to think, act and study independently. 

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YEAR 13 ‘NEXT LEVEL’ PROGRAMME

Posted on 12 Jan 2016 | News

As part of the Pastoral programme and to help pupils focus on their mock exams, the Year 13 pupils attended a seminar on ‘Mood Matters’. The Mood Matters programme is an educational programme, developed and delivered by two staff members from the charitable organisation ‘AWARE’. This was an excellent information session that incorporated basic cognitive behavioural therapy concepts. Pupils were reminded that our thinking and behaviour can affect how we feel physically and emotionally.

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House Assembly Gift of Hope

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

During the week 14-18 December our Pastoral House leaders led assembly for all pupils. The focus was Advent with particular focus on ‘Gifts of Hope’. During this Advent, world leaders met in Paris to discuss how the world will tackle climate change. In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis calls us to a conversion, a change of heart, so as to see Christ present in the world around us. The Holy Father says “this conversion calls for a number of attitudes which together foster a spirit of generous care, full of tenderness. First, it entails gratitude and gratuitousness, recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, and that we are called quietly to imitate his generosity in self-sacrifice and good works.”

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Overall Christmas House Tree Competition Winner

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

Overall House Winner Willow

Sophie Shields 8A  

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Christmas House Tree Competition

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

​Cedar House Winner

Ellie Mc Erlean 8A 

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Christmas House Tree Competition

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

​Elm House Winner

Holly Dougan 8E

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Christmas House Tree Competition

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

​Willow House Winner

Kara Clerkin 8C

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Christmas House Tree Competition

Posted on 18 Dec 2015 | News

Hawthorn House Winner

Eimear Mc Guigan 8A

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RECOGNITION FOR ST MARY’S YOUNG FILM MAKER CALLUM O’HARA

Posted on 10 Dec 2015 | News

It’s a big well done to St Mary’s past pupil Callum O’Hara whose work is being showcased in a number of film festivals both here and in the USA. Callum, whose A2 Level Moving Image Arts Film ‘Rough Relations’ is starting to make a big impact on the movers and shakers in the film world, states: “My short film, Rough Relations, is part of four film festivals in all. It’s a very exciting time for me and young filmmakers in general here in Northern Ireland. My short film has already been shown at the Junior Galway Film Fleadh in November and will shortly be shown at the Los Angeles Cinefest on 11 December; it will be aired in January at the Film Devour Film Festival at Belfast’s Black Box, located in the trendy Cathedral Quarter of City and at the Wiper Film Festival in New York. The journey so far has been incredible.

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SPARKLING SPARRING- TAEKWONDO

Posted on 08 Dec 2015 | News

In late November, three Year 9 pupils from St Mary’s Grammar School competed in the Taekyon Open in Holland which is a Taekwondo competition. The 3 competitors were successful in their respective competition with Anna Quinn placed 3rd in sparring under 50kgs, Conal Heaney placed 2nd in sparring under 55kgs and Caitlin Devlin placed 1st in sparring under 40kgs.

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ST MARY’S YOUNG LEADER OF THE FUTURE!

Posted on 08 Dec 2015 | News

Congratulations to Year 13 pupil, Lauren McStocker, who won the Area Final of the Rotary ‘Young Leaders Of The Future Competition’ held in The Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown in November, 2015. Lauren is one of only 24 pupils from across Ireland, selected at the Area Final, to participate in a week-long Leadership Development Programme in the European Parliament in Strasbourg in January 2016. She is pictured with Head of English, Mrs O Reid, who prepared Lauren for the competition. Mrs Reid said of Lauren: “She is a lovely, unassuming and modest pupil – a true ambassador and a commanding leader!”

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ENTERPRISING PARADE

Posted on 08 Dec 2015 | News

The Young Enterprise group joined others to parade up the town on Saturday 5 December. All proceeds raised will go to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

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RACE AND PACE

Posted on 08 Dec 2015 | News

Pupils from Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 in St Mary’s Grammar School attended the NEEBSA Cross Country district championships on Tuesday 24 November held at the University of Coleraine. The pupils enjoyed the event and came away with a number of successes. The Year 8 Girls’ team won the team event: Maria O’Neill was 4th; Mary Mc Kee was 7th; Anna Kilpatrick was 13th; Niamh Boyle was 17th; and, Rachel Quinn was 32nd.  The Year 8 Boys’ race was won by Jake Donnelly; the Boys’ team was placed second overall. The Year 10 Boys’ team was placed 4th. Cahair Purvis, Year 11, won the Senior Boys’ race comfortably, finishing well ahead of the opposition.

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IN FINE VOICE

Posted on 08 Dec 2015 | News

In true Christmas spirit this December, St Mary’s Junior Choir took part in an evening concert of festive music, raising money for Action Cancer in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. This was a lovely event, featuring choirs, orchestras and instrumentalists from schools across Northern Ireland. In order to take part in the event, the choir had to raise £500 for Action Cancer. In order to do so, they took part in a sponsored ‘Singathon.’ Throughout both Junior and Senior lunch periods on Friday 20 November, the Junior choir sang a variety of popular songs in the assembly hall for other pupils and members of staff to come and watch. The event was extremely successful and raised a total of £1630 for Action Cancer.

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IN GIVING WE RECEIVE…

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Mr G Maynes, who leads the Christmas Hamper appeal for St Vincent de Paul in school, recently sent form classes the message: “It’s that time of year again. SVP always appreciates our contribution in making Christmas a little brighter for those who are disadvantaged in the community. Could each class provide a Christmas Hamper?  One item of seasonal food per pupil should suffice.” His message was then reinforced when Year 10 pupils Philip Baine and Declan Murray spoke at assemblies urging us to support the appeal. Despite the many demands on the school community, we are always grateful for the selflessness of all who respond with generosity of spirit and support.

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BUSINESS-LIKE AND VERY PROFESSIONAL!

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Congratulations to Ethlinn Walls, Sarah Gallen and James McTeague who participated in the Ballymena heat of the Business and Professional Women’s Public Speaking competition. Staged to represent a public meeting in miniature, the students acted as Guest Speaker, Chairperson or Expresser of Thanks. Miss Hatchell prepared the team and explains, “On the night, the team faced some very stiff competition, including last year’s finalists, and were successful in securing a place in the next round of the competition in Belfast in January. The team worked very hard, whilst also competing in Soroptimist and Rotary, so it is even more of a credit to them that they have won through to the N Ireland final.”

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ST MARY’S CELEBRATES SUCCESS!

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | NewsAwards

St Mary’s is the first school in the NEELB to be accredited with the Investors in Pupils Award. The Investors in Pupils programme is an established national quality mark to recognise develop and extend pupil/student voice and participation strategies in schools and educational settings thus building young people’s life skills, character and resilience. Supporting personalised learning, the programme fosters healthy relations, pupil to pupil and pupil to adults, leading to greater pupil responsibility over their own learning and behaviour and providing a powerful tool for developing a positive whole-school team ethos.

Miss McAllister led the whole school initiative for Investors in Pupils during the academic year 2014-15. It was fully supported by Mrs Gillespie, who stated, “It ties in with our drive to maintain and improve standards.”

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STAR STRUCK

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | NewsAwards

Massive congratulations to Year 12 students Caoimhe Meeke and Orlaith Prenter who recently achieved Ulster Colleges’ All-star awards for Ladies’ Football. They will represent Ulster in the All-Ireland Interprovincial competition on Saturday 30 January. And their awards presentation night will be on Friday 15 January.

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COUCH TO 3K

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

This term, almost thirty Year 8 girls have been taking part in Couch to 3K offered by Acorns AC in conjunction with the Magherafelt Learning Partnership. It is a wonderful opportunity to increase fitness levels, encourage pupils who maybe don’t participate in other sports to get involved in exercise, meet up with old friends and make some new ones! The girls train very hard twice a week at Meadowbank and this great activity wouldn’t be possible without their teachers, Mr Tracey and Miss Hatchell giving up their time to escort them to Meadowbank and supervise the girls there - Mr Tracey and Miss Hatchell’s fitness levels are also improving!

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GET SET FOR COMMUNITY ACTION

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Get Set for Community Action is a brand new programme, which aims to strengthen relationships between young people and their local communities through the Olympic Values (friendship, excellence and respect) and the Paralympic Values (courage, determination, equality and inspiration). Thousands of 14-19 year olds – ‘Action Leads’ – will work in teams across the UK, building relationships with local community groups to plan and deliver at least two projects each, in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  We are delighted that St Mary’s has been designated a champion school, one of only four in N Ireland. In preparation for this exciting project, Mr McElholm and two Action Leads (namely Meaghan Lagan and Erin McKenna) attended the National Training Day on Wednesday 25 November 2015 in Birmingham.

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RCUK-QUB-MLP “CROSSING BOUNDARIES IN 21ST CENTURY”

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

On Friday 20 November, St Mary’s hosted sixty Year 9 students from across the Magherafelt Learning Partnership for a series of workshops facilitated by Queen’s University, Belfast. Students considered the Emigration and Immigration Patterns of Ireland and the UK, and participated in thought-provoking workshops on Human Rights and the value they place on them. In the afternoon, students attended a prize giving ceremony for their posters in response to “What does it mean to be a migrant in 2015?” and “What does it mean to be a European? Sian Devlin (9C) was placed first in the Year 9 Migrant category and Jarlath Young (9E) was placed third in the Year 9 European category. Thomas Doherty (10B) achieved first place in the Year 10 European category and Eve Donnelly (10E) was placed second in the Year 10 Migrant category.

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SET ON SAPHARA

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Congratulations to the next Saphara group. Mr Tracey explained,  “This year we are delighted to have eight pupils on our Saphara team: Damien McCoy, Ruairi O’Kane, Alicia McAuley, Meabh McGirr, Shauna Lennon, Aoife Bradley, Faoiltiarna Burke and Eoin McAuley. They will travel to India in July 2016 along with pupils from Sullivan Upper School and Ampleforth College.”

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ST MARY’S YOUNG LEADERS OF THE FUTURE!

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Mrs Reid prepared students for the Rotary competition. She explained, “Following on the outstanding success of Siobhan Comer in last year’s Rotary Competition, Lauren McStocker is one of just 20 winners from across the North and South of Ireland who will participate in a week long leadership trip to Strasbourg in February, where she will have the opportunity to further develop her leadership potential. She is a lovely, unassuming and modest pupil – a true ambassador and a commanding leader!”

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YEAR 9 PUPILS GET TO GRIPS WITH IZAK9

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

The Maths department has been using Izak9, which is an active learning device specifically designed to create a totally immersive and engaged shared learning environment. It provides exceptional opportunities for the teaching and learning of mathematics. All areas of the maths curriculum at Key Stage 3 are addressed in an environment rich in problem solving, oracy, fluency, variation and depth. Izak9 support the needs of pupils of all abilities and preferred learning styles. Children work together in small groups using real cubes to not only solve the number, algebra, data and shape / space problems posed, but also to develop ideas and create tasks and questions of their own.

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RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | NewsAwards

Huge congratulations to our Year 14 students who were very successful in the recent Senior Challenge achieving 12 Silver and 36 Bronze Awards. The UKMT Individual Maths Challenges are lively, intriguing multiple choice question papers, which are designed to stimulate interest in maths. Well done to Anna Coogan, Paul McCarron, Orla Mallon, Marc Friel, Gerard O‘Brien, Megan Monaghan, Emma Quinn, David McGuigan, Siobhan Comer, Una McCoy and Emma Robinson who each received the Silver Award; and to the recipients of the Bronze award-  Bronagh McFarlane, Dermot Donnelly, James Tennyson, Hannah McGurk, David McErlain, Connor Devlin, Cormac Mackle, Bernadette Henry, Sheila Campbell, Conor McCann, Niamh Hughes, Kyle Johnston, Jack McLean, Hugh-Roe O’Donnell, Hannah Doherty, Niamh Kelly, Jamie Duffin, Shannon McGillian, Conor Burns, Eamon Conway, Ciara McAuley, Mark Rushe, Tonicha Donnelly, Ellen Groom, Conor Shaw, Megan Kearns, Cathal Craig, Bronagh Harkin, Michael McElhone, Gabriela Kacprzyk, Alana Quinn, John Joe O’Hagan, Eamonn Devlin, Claire O’Neill, Maria McVey and Cathal Mullan.

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FREE FRUIT FRIDAY!

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

The free fruit that the SNAG committee gave out at break-time on 20 November was an immense success! It was in response to recent findings that 96% of children in Northern Ireland do not eat their five a day and neither do 82% of adults. A report says sugar intake should be drastically reduced. The SNAG group agree with the sentiments of the report and so took this step: “We want to encourage children to reduce their intake of sugar through sweets/ biscuits/ cakes which contain lots of saturated fat etc. And at the same time encourage children to take more natural sugar through their fruits and veg which contain more fibre and are ultimately much better for them.”  The lesson was most fruitful!

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TOP CANDIDATES IN CCEA SUMMER 2015 GCSE AND GCE ADVANCED LEVEL EXAMINATIONS

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

Congratulations to the following students who achieved first, second and third highest marks in the CCEA 2015 GCSE and GCE Summer Examinations:
Claire Cosgrove -First in Spanish and First equal in French

Emma McKay- First equal in Art

Keeva Madden- Second equal in ICT

Cliodhna S Ni Mhianain (Year 8) - First equal in Irish

Lauren McStocker - Third equal in Science DA Modular

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STARS IN OUR SCHOOL

Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | News

‘It takes a whole team to make a school a safe and happy place for children to learn. But many are tucked away behind the scenes – the unsung heroes of our children’s education.’ UNISON

St Mary’s joined schools across the UK to say ‘thank you for all you do’ to our teaching support staff. Led by Assistant Principal, Mrs I Hynds, she explained, “Each pastoral team opted to do something for Teaching Support staff to show their appreciation, such as cleaning the canteen for them on a given day or assisting with litter duties outside. Year 8 pupils (and their families) have already established that they are exceptionally skilled at baking: they baked much appreciated treats for all support staff. And each member of staff was paired up with a Teaching Support member to do at least one nice thing for them that week.” The result was that our ‘tucked away behind the scenes’ stars were allowed to shine for all to see and thank!

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ANTI-BULLYING WEEK

Posted on 20 Nov 2015 | News

During Anti-Bullying Week the St Mary’s pupil support team of Anna Coogan, Caroline Collins, Eva Kelly, Grace McKenna, Maria Doyle, Paul McCarron, Luke Doyle and Dillon Chapman visited all year group assemblies delivering a very important message about bullying and the impact it can have on students.  They offer weekly support every Wednesday at break time in D4.

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TAE KWON DO

Posted on 13 Nov 2015 | News

Year 8 and 9 pupils Caitlin Devlin, Anna Quinn, Rachel Quinn, Declan Mc Ferran, Conal Heaney and Daniel Quinn recently enjoyed success in a Tae Kwan Do competition in Edinburgh, Scotland. They are members of the Leo Maguire club where they were all successful in taking home medals. Conal Heaney explained: “I was in Edinburgh over the weekend of 30 October. While I was there, I was competing for my Northern Ireland Junior Squad for Tae Kwan Do. When I was competing I won gold in my Sparring (fighting) and also my special technique (Flying High Kick). I also received an overall trophy which I wasn’t expecting!” Caitlin Devlin added, “Out of my three categories (patterns, sparring and special technique) I got a bronze and a gold; I was delighted!”

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DIA DAOIBH

Posted on 13 Nov 2015 | NewsAwardsGeneral

The Irish department is delighted to have recently received a BASLA award (British Academy School’s Language Award) to fund a yearlong project. 150 schools entered the competition and we were the lucky winners in the NI region. The project will involve AS/A2 students and our Irish medium students and will see us continue our collaboration with Gaelscoil an tSeanchaí.

You can read all about it here:

http://www.irishnews.com/news/educationnews/2015/11/11/news/school-rewarded-for-encouraging-irish-study-beyond-16-320536/

http://www.britac.ac.uk/news/news.cfm/newsid/1334

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ST MARY’S YOUNG LEADERS OF THE FUTURE!

Posted on 11 Nov 2015 | News

Following on the outstanding success of Siobhan Comer in last year’s Rotary Competition, the following Year 13 pupils seized the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Rotary Youth Leadership Competition in October: Lauren McStocker, Sarah Gallen, Hannah Neely, Emma Boyle, Jake Kuczogi, Daniel Bradley, James McTeague and Kevin Small.

Each student had been nominated because of the leadership they had demonstrated throughout their years in St Mary’s. The interviewers from our local Cookstown Rotary Club were highly impressed with all eight candidates and commended each one for their excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Lauren McStocker was selected as the winner of Round 1 and we wish her every success as she competes in Round 2 of the competition on 11 November.

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THE PATRICK KAVANAGH POETRY AWARDS 2015

Posted on 11 Nov 2015 | News

Congratulations to Year 10 pupils, Declan Murray, Eva Hirst and Olivia Harney who recently attended an Awards Ceremony in The Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Co Monaghan , where they were highly commended, in the Senior Section, for their poems on the theme of Childhood. Declan Murray - Fortress of the Country; Eva Hirst - As fast As You Can; and, Olivia Harney - Winter Wonderland. Their teacher, Mrs O Reid, said their poems were, “Exceptional: their command of language and imagery were all the more impressive given that they had been written when the pupils were only in Year 9.”

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A STRIKING ART

Posted on 11 Nov 2015 | News

Congratulations to Hannah Maguire in Year 11 and her brother Conor Maguire in Year 9 who competed in the Northern Ireland Karate Board Open Championships in Banbridge. Hannah won gold and bronze. Conor won gold for the third consecutive year. They are the Northern Ireland Champions in their respective categories. Hannah and Conor train at the NIKW Antrim Club.

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OISIN MCGRATH CUP

Posted on 10 Nov 2015 | News

The Year 8 boys played St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon in the quarter-final stages of the Oisin McGrath Cup at MUSA and came away victorious on a score line of 3-10 to 2-7. In the first half the boys played into a strong breeze and scores were hard to come by. We trailed at half time by four points on a score line of 1-5 to 0-4. Playing with the breeze in the second half, the boys produced a great performance which eventually saw them win by eight points. We now play Abbey CBS in the semi-final in Belfast this Friday.

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FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Posted on 10 Nov 2015 | News

Congratulations to Year 13 pupils Sarah Gallen (who was awarded Third place), Ethlinn Walls and Leanne Graham who participated in the regional heat of the Soroptimist International Ladies Public Speaking Competition in Ballymoney on 5th November. Mrs O Reid explained, “All three girls were wonderful ambassadors for St Mary’s.”

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RIGHTS RESPECTING SCHOOLS AWARD

Posted on 10 Nov 2015 | News

In September 2015, Miss McAllister (Head of Year 10 and Citizenship Coordinator) raised the idea of St Mary’s applying for the Rights Respecting Schools Award. Mrs Gillespie and the Senior Leadership Team were extremely supportive of this proposal and since then Miss McAllister has attended training on RRSA led by David McGimpsey the UNICEF representative in Northern Ireland. Miss McAllister also sought and received the support of the Board of Governors and has set up an RRSA steering committee to oversee and direct the application for the award. The committee consists of students from all Key Stages, teachers, parents, a Board of Governors representative, support staff and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The steering committee will post updates on their progress on the school website and via our Facebook page.

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BRITISH SCIENCE ASSOCIATION

Posted on 09 Nov 2015 | News

Congratulations to Mr Martin McVeigh, Technology and Design teacher in St Mary’s Grammar School, who has been awarded one of the very limited number of 2015 British Science Association CREST Teacher recognition awards for his outstanding contribution to enriching students’ experiences of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  “I am over the moon with this award and would like to thank all the pupils involved for their continued contribution, hard work and dedication towards STEM related activities”.

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SI PARLA ITALIANO A MAGHERAFELT!

Posted on 09 Nov 2015 | News

Our Senior students have started a crash course on Italian! Every fortnight, a group of twenty four students (Year 12 to 14) dedicate their lunch time to learn about Italian language and culture with Miss Commault! Several topics are being taught from greetings, to numbers, colours and ordering food…all in a relaxed atmosphere!

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DANSKE BANK CASEMENT CUP - ST MARY’S THROUGH TO ANOTHER FINAL

Posted on 06 Nov 2015 | News

The Casement Cup hurlers- under the expert guidance of Mr R Kennedy and Mr M McCullagh- have secured a place in the Danske Bank Casement Cup final against Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s, Knock. Our boys were skilful, determined and tenacious and thus worthy winners against Rathmore Grammar in the semi-final. The school community wishes them continuing success in the final which takes place on Friday 6 November.

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BRIGHT STARTS

Posted on 05 Nov 2015 | News

The Careers department was visited by representatives from Deloitte to raise awareness of their Bright Start Higher Apprentice programme. Three Year 14 St Mary’s students were successful last year in being offered a place with the Bright Start programme, with Nikita Kelly taking up the offer. Nikita was also present and offered students advice regarding the application process; in addition, she spoke most enthusiastically about her training so far with Deloitte.  We look forward to a return visit later in the month when Gary and Nikita will offer further guidance on the application process to interested students.

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ECO WARRIORS

Posted on 03 Nov 2015 | News

Recently, staff at St Mary’s were involved in a Fit 4 School programme in order to raise money for Cancer Focus. The six-week programme involved exercise and a clean diet in order to improve health, fitness and reduce the risk of cancer. As part of the fundraising efforts, members of staff and Year 13 Eco-Committee pupils were involved in organising a Cash for Clobber initiative within the school community which generated 520kg of clobber and some healthy competition amongst the classes to see who was the most Eco-friendly!

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YEAR 9 LOVING PÉTANQUE!

Posted on 03 Nov 2015 | News

The Modern Languages Department organised a series of activities during September to celebrate European Day of Languages. All year groups took part in an activity including a Pétanque game for Year 9 students! During one of their French lessons, they went outside and participated in this typical French game with great enthusiasm and a hint of competitiveness!

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BRING THEM HOME

Posted on 03 Nov 2015 | News

As part of the schools on-going Eco-Schools’ campaign, two groups of Year 8 students recently took part in a lunchtime club to raise awareness of bio diversity beyond St Mary’s school gates. They made bird boxes over lunchtime: they will bring these home and place in their gardens to provide shelter. Mr B Diamond explained, “Great fun was had by all- another group will be taking part after the Halloween break.”

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DANSKE BANK MACRORY CUP- ST MARY’S CLAIM THE SPOILS! ST MARYS 1-10 ST PATRICK’S, ARMAGH 0-12

Posted on 23 Oct 2015 | News

We just about held on for a win in our home fixture in Rossa Park against St Patrick’s Armagh, on Tuesday 20 October.The visitors had the better of the first half exchanges with Conor Cullen (0-3) and Tom O’Kane (0-02) helping them into a four points lead after 24 minutes. However, a goal from Liam Quinn a minute later changed the game and Armagh turned around at the break just a point ahead, 0-8 to 1-4.

With David McErlain playing well in midfield – he picked off three points, as did Ronan Donnelly from free kicks – St Mary’s edged the second half although there was never more than a point between the teams. Indeed, Armagh had a couple of late chances to tie the game, but our boys held on for the league points in this opening league encounter. Next up is St. Patrick’s, Maghera.

 

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MASTERFUL MOJO MICKEYBO

Posted on 23 Oct 2015 | News

On the 13 October, pupils attended a performance of Mojo Mickybo in the Brian Friel Theatre at Queen’s University. The play, written by Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty, tells the tale of the friendship of two young boys from opposite sides of the community. After an absorbing performance, the pupils then engaged in a workshop based on the play with the actors and director.  Accompanying teacher Miss Allen said, “It was an excellent day out and fantastic to work with the Drama community at Queen’s University.”

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PTA HOST TEA PARTY IN ST MARYS

Posted on 23 Oct 2015 | News

Café Bordeaux was transformed on Saturday 17 November into a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Co-ordinated by the school’s PTA, the invitation to attend was extended to the parents/guardians of new Year 8 students. The Year 8 pupils and their sixth form Buddies also attended. The pupils and their families provided baked goods and raffle prizes. Donations and the proceeds from a baked goods sale raised £850.


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WINNING WAYS

Posted on 22 Oct 2015 | News

Year 8 boys from St Mary’s Grammar School attended the Oisin Mc Grath Cup on Friday 16 October and came away as group winners defeating St Colman’s, Newry; St Michael’s, Enniskillen; and, Omagh CBS in the process. This sets up a quarter final tie after Halloween with the fourth placed team from the other group.

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GAEL LINN QUIZ 2015

Posted on 20 Oct 2015 | News

On Friday 16 October 2015, two Year 10 classes participated in the Tráth na gCeist Gael Linn which provided students with the opportunity to hear the language being spoken outside the classroom at an informal and light-hearted event. Many schools participated in the Quiz so we were delighted when four girls from St Mary’s (Kate Lavery, Blaithin Rafferty, Maeve Shields and Katie Cushley) won 2nd place, securing them a place in the Ulster final. Miss McGouran added, “It was a great day out, promoting Irish language learning and the pupils were even up singing and doing céilí dances! We look forward to progressing on to the next stage of the competition.”

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MACRORY CAMPAIGN

Posted on 20 Oct 2015 | News

St Mary’s begins this year’s MacRory campaign on Tuesday 20 October against St Patrick’s, Armagh. This will be a home game for St Mary’s and the game will be played at Rossa Park. Next up will be old rivals St Patrick’s, Maghera on Wednesday 4 November. The other teams in our group this year are St Michael’s, Enniskillen, St Macartan’s, Monaghan and last year’s runners-up St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon. The captain of the team this year is Conor McGrogan who was a member of the successful Derry minor football team that won last year’s Ulster minor title. Also on that team was our new Vice-Captain Ben McKinless. Peter Lagan from Ballinascreen is the other Vice-Captain. Mr Brady and Mr Conway will hope to call on numerous players from our Rannafast team to strengthen the panel before the group games start.

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CHEMISTRY AT WORK 2015

Posted on 19 Oct 2015 | News

On Wednesday 14 October, 25 Year 12 Chemistry students accompanied by Miss Carey and Miss McCloskey attended a Royal Society of Chemistry “Chemistry at Work” event hosted at Ulster University,Coleraine.  Students were treated to a show by Scientist Sue on the chemistry that could be used to train a dragon.This included some explosions, lots of dry ice and a starring role by Aidan McKeever in helping a baby dragon to fly(and lose its head!). Students then attended a number of presentations hosted by leading chemical employers in Northern Ireland including Randox, Almac and Norbrook along with finding out about different university courses on offer to further their interest and studies in Chemistry.  The day finished with Caoimhe Meeke winning 2nd place in the student quiz and students availing of plenty of free refreshments!

 

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Serving Others

Posted on 15 Oct 2015 | News

Dermot Kelly from the Armagh Diocesan Youth Commission visited St Mary’s to give a presentation to Year 13 students on the John Paul II Award. There was a very positive response from all those present, evidenced by the large number of pupils who signed up to participate in the Award. We hope that it will enable our students to become more actively involved in the life of their parish and community and that they  will experience the contentment and fulfilment that comes from serving others, especially those in great need.

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Seeing Geography Come To Life

Posted on 15 Oct 2015 | News

Fieldwork is an enjoyable way of seeing geography and theories come to life, as well as improving knowledge and understanding of the subject. With this in mind, on a lovely autumn morning, Friday 9 October, AS Geography students, accompanied by their teachers, Mrs Bradley and Mrs Stevenson,left school to spend time doing some fieldwork activities.

The purpose of the fieldwork was to investigate the changes downstream in the river at Crawfordsburn by measuring some of the river’s characteristics including the width, depth, and velocity of the river. It was great fun. The students worked in groups, carrying out a range of tasks at each of the sites they stopped at along the river.

Everyone enjoyed the day and the only complaint was that the day wasn’t long enough.

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Grassroots Coaching

Posted on 13 Oct 2015 | News

On Thursday 8 October, Year 12 and AS PE students were given the opportunity to take part in a coaching course offered by the Irish Football Association. The course lasted three hours and at the end of the training, the students were presented with their ‘IFA Grassroots Soccer Coaching Award’. Well done to all involved! 

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Question Time!

Posted on 12 Oct 2015 | News

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is a yearly event which aims to celebrate the linguistic diversity of our continent. On the 26 September, Year 10 students took part in an all-languages based Quiz with questions in German, French, Spanish and Irish. We were very fortunate this year as we were joined by a number of German exchange students. The Quiz covered a range of topics from General Knowledge to European celebrities and famous landmarks. Out of the 191 participants, Thomas Mallon, Lucy O’Neill, Rory Loughran, Eimear Duffin, Joseph Harper, Charlotte Doran and Alice McDonald came out on top winning themselves a multi-lingual goodie pack. It was a great opportunity for Year 10 to put what they had learned in the classroom into a real life language situation.

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The Power of Prayer

Posted on 12 Oct 2015 | News

St Mary’s Grammar School recently welcomed representatives of Gideons International, namely Mr Billy Brown, Mr Ray Stewart and Mr David Henry. Year 8 pupils led the assembly, The Power of Prayer. Then Mr Brown addressed the Year 8 students before giving each pupil a Gideon bible. They are pictured with Mrs Gillespie and some Year 8 pupils.

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World in Union

Posted on 12 Oct 2015 | News

18 Sixth form pupils from St Mary’s joined pupils from St Pius X, Sperrin Integrated College and Magherafelt High School to attend the Ireland V Romania Match as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015. This MLP Sports Link trip to Wembley Arena is an extension of the great partnerships set up between schools in the Magherafelt area where Mr J. McElholm (St Mary’s) and Mr G.Burns (Magherafelt High) have had the leadership and foresight to arrange trips which have afforded pupils the opportunity to experience world class sporting fixtures and events such as the London Olympics in 2012, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and now the Rugby World Cup 2015.

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Shoebox Appeal

Posted on 07 Oct 2015 | News

St Mary’s will again this year take part in the Road of Hope- Shoe Box Appeal which is a voluntary charity organisation that relies on the goodwill and support of local people to help support those underprivileged in countries such as Bosnia, Croatia, Romania and Africa. We aim to support a variety of different age groups ranging from 0-2 years to the elderly, and both male and females by sending 300 shoeboxes to those less fortunate than ourselves! All shoeboxes must be brought to school by 6 November.

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CASH FOR CLOBBER

Posted on 06 Oct 2015 | General

In order to raise money for Cancer Focus, some members of staff are taking part in a six week Fit 4 School Challenge that involves a healthier diet and more exercise. These staff members are organising a number of activities inside and outside of school in order to fundraise and Cash for Clobber is one of these initiatives. We are hoping to raise £5000 and all help and support would be greatly appreciated in order to reach this total.

 

 

 

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ST. MARY’S STAFF TAKE ON CANCER FOCUS FIT 4 SCHOOLS CHALLENGE

Posted on 06 Oct 2015 | News

Members of staff in St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have been taking part in the Cancer Focus Fit 4 Schools Challenge to promote healthy lifestyles and to raise valuable funds for the charity.  The Fit 4 Schools Challenge is a six week programme of healthy eating and exercise designed to encourage participants to become more conscious of health-related matters such as diet, weight and physical fitness.

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LIVING LESSONS

Posted on 05 Oct 2015 | News

Students studying AS Biology were accompanied by five Biology teachers on a field trip to the North Antrim Coast and Portglenone Forest on 22 September 2015. Pupils had the opportunity to carry out line transects to sample the distribution and abundance of seaweeds along a rocky shore at Cushendall and to collect data on limpets to facilitate the completion of AS Biology coursework. Portglenone Forest provided a good location to carry out random sampling techniques to investigate plant species in woodland conditions.

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SUCCESS SKILLS

Posted on 05 Oct 2015 | News

Vivienne Walsh from Young Enterprise delivered the programme ‘Success Skills’ (along with Alan Hunter and Martin Morgan) on Tuesday 29 September to Year 12 students.  The aim of the programme was to assist students to develop their employability skills and capabilities for life in school, and for their future careers and the world of work.  Year 12 thoroughly enjoyed the programme

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PRAYING MATTERS!

Posted on 05 Oct 2015 | News

It is hoped that all pupils and staff of St Mary’s will take part in ‘One million children praying the Rosary.’ The plan includes all Form Classes saying the Rosary, in their am registration, on Monday 19 October with their Form Teacher.  This will be offered up for personal peace, family peace, as well as unity and peace throughout the world.

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HOLDING THEIR HORSES

Posted on 05 Oct 2015 | News

The Meadows Equestrian centre hosted the first Interschools’ competition of the year. In the open individual, Carine Fullerton won, out of 48 competitors, on Lexi. Interschools’ is extremely competitive so getting a good fast time is crucial. Their time was 27.30 with a double clear round and the second placed time was 32.27 so they were well ahead in the lead. This puts St Mary’s at the top of the league table in the open class. There are still three more shows in this league; the next one on the 10 of October

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MAGHERAFELT CUP

Posted on 05 Oct 2015 | News

Tuesday 29 September saw the inaugural Magherafelt Cup take place in St Mary’s Magherafelt between St Mary’s & St Pius X College. The idea of the cup was to further strengthen the bonds between the two schools. So many pupils in each school have family and friends in the other and given our proximity, it seemed only natural to unite over a shared love: sport!

The concept of the day was games. Gaelic, camogie and soccer took place on the pitches but really they were a side show. The day was about friendship and forging of links. Mr Frank Dunlop presented the trophy to the winning captains from St Mary’s this time but the real winners were the Year 8 pupils (almost 100 of them) that took part on the day, renewing acquaintances & sharing tales of how their lives have changed since September. Special thanks must go to the 2 Principals, Mrs Gillespie and Mrs Bartley, and the PE teachers.

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CULTURE, CREATIVITY AND CRAIC!

Posted on 25 Sep 2015 | News

On the 23rd of September, GCSE Drama pupils enjoyed an evening out at the Lyric Theatre to see Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasadh, the play tells the story of the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away. This new production, which marks the 25th anniversary of the play’s premiere in Dublin, is directed by award-winning Annabelle Comyn. A very cultural and entertaining evening was enjoyed by all.

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YEAR 9 IN TOP GEAR

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 | News

On Monday 21 September, Year 9 pupils attended a programme organised by the ‘Amazing Brains’ company. The programme was called ‘Accelerate into high gear learning habits.’ ‘Accelerate’ guarantees to help students improve organisational skills, increase homework effectiveness and understand more about how they can grow their intelligence.

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YOUNG ENTERPRISE (YEAR 13)

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 | News

A group of Year 13 students formed a mini enterprise organisation, with the aim of selling products (ice-cream, cup-cakes, hoodies and jerseys) to the school community. The company set up in September 2014; they decided to donate all profit earned from trading to charity (Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice). Marion McKeever (Teacher in Charge) said, “Under the guidance of their Managing Director, Katie McCauley, they generated profits in excess of £1000!!! All members made an excellent contribution to the success of the business and are all very proud of their achievements.”

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MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 | News

On Thursday 17 September, the Year 14 Applied Business group visited Belfast Central Library to gather information from Keynote and Mintel reports to help them with their Business Plans. The students will now use the information to support their business proposals.

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KEY STAGE 5 HOUSE STAR CHAMPIONS

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Introduced in 2015, these awards are presented annually by St Mary’s to students who received a Key Stage House Champion Award in Year 13 and who are also leading House Champions in Year 14. Congratulations to: Cedar- Roshan O’Donnell; Elm- Eimhear Mulholland and Claire Shields; Hawthorn- Emma McKay; and Oak- Callum Mullan-Young and Helen McKeever.

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KEY STAGE HOUSE CHAMPION AWARDS

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Introduced in 2014, the Key Stage House Champion Awards are presented annually by St Mary’s to the top three students in each of the Pastoral Houses who achieved the highest House Points (based on academic progress/achievement and involvement in extra-curricular activities) at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5. Congratulations to: Cedar- Ailise Mulholland, Marc Friel and Ellen McAteer; Elm- Rory McGurk, Catherine Devlin and Emma Quinn; Hawthorn- Bronagh Harkin, Hannah Connolly and Alisha Toner; Oak- Olivia Young, Ella McCann andAmy McGoldrick; and, Willow- Enya Loughlin, Eunan O’Kane and Gabriela Kacprzyk

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THE NURSE MARGARET MOONEY CUP

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

This cup is presented by the staff of St Mary’s and awarded to a Year 13 student who has, in the opinion of teachers, most consistently shown care, compassion and consideration to other pupils. This year the cup was shared by four pupils: Maria Doyle, Rignach Glasgow, Patsy Walls and Joseph Craig (missing from picture).

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THE 75TH AND 80TH ANNIVERSARY CUPS

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Congratulations to Enya Loughlin and Karl Rocks who were the recipients of the 75th and 80th Anniversary Cups. Presented by the staff of St Mary’s, they are awarded to the Upper Sixth boy and girl who have made the most contribution to the community spirit of the school.

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THE JOANNE MCCONVILLE YEAR 12 AWARDS

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Congratulations to Ellen McErlean-McGhee and Niall Conlon who received the Joanne McConville Year 12 Award. Presented by the McConville Family in memory of Joanne, they are awarded annually to the boy and girl in Year 12 who, in the opinion of teachers, most consistently displayed kindness, consideration and friendship to other pupils in the year group.

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SALT OF THE EARTH CUP

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Congratulations to Diarmuid Logan who was presented with the Salt of the Earth cup. Introduced in 2013, the Salt of Earth Award is presented annually by each school within the Magherafelt Learning Partnership to one student who has made outstanding personal efforts in serving the local, national and/or international community.

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QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST SCHOLAR AWARD 2015

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Congratulations to Callum Mullan-Young who has gained a Queen’s University, Belfast Scholar Award. It is a full fee scholarship and is designed to reward academic achievement and recognise wider social and community contributions including sports, music and the arts, leadership, enterprise and social responsibility.

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THE MAGHERAFELT MARKET TRUSTEES CUP

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 | News

Congratulations to Catherine McCauley who was the recipient of the Magherafelt Market Trustees Cup and associated bursary. It is awarded annually to the pupil in Lower Sixth who best displayed enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout Year 13.

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COACHING LEADERS TO SHINE!

Posted on 09 Sep 2015 | News

On Tuesday 8 September, eighty two Year 13 and 14 pastoral prefects received training with professional staff from YMCA. The training was interactive and informative. It introduced the prefects to the idea of ‘coaching’ as a strategy to help someone to get the very best performance out themselves – the potential for which was already there. Coaching is about helping a person to achieve their goals or improve their performance through structured one-to-one conversations. The training also gave them the opportunity to begin to trial the skills of coaching which will prove very useful when they engage in the successful subject peer mentoring scheme that is on offer here in St Mary’s.

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STEPS TO SUCCESS

Posted on 04 Sep 2015 | News

A number of Year 14 students attended a workshop entitled ‘Five Steps to Exam Success’ which was facilitated by ‘Amazing Brains’. During the very interactive workshop, the students focused on stress and time management, different revision techniques and reflected on the mindset that would allow them to achieve their best on exam days.

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GCSE EXAMINATION SUCCESS

Posted on 02 Sep 2015 | News

Mrs Gillespie, has described the 2015 GCSE examination results as “simply superb”. Mrs Gillespie reported that a remarkable 99% of students achieved 7 grades at A*-C, including English and Mathematics. Impressively, 66% of all grades were A*/A. Expressing her pride in this year’s set of results, Mrs Gillespie commented: “The results achieved by St Mary’s students this year are exemplary; we had high hopes for this year group but they have surpassed our expectations. The diligent efforts of students, the commitment of staff and the unfailing support of parents and guardians have been duly rewarded by this outstanding success. Pupils who struggled with the demands of some of their subjects were offered mentoring and learning support; such nurturing has proved invaluable! I am humbled and delighted at the achievements of our young people. I congratulate each of them.”

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A LEVEL SUCCESS – CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2015

Posted on 26 Aug 2015 | News

A Level students in St Mary’s Grammar School had cause for celebration following the publication of this year’s examination results. Mrs Gillespie, Principal, reported that an outstanding 95.3% of all examinations taken by students resulted in A* to C grades. 41% of all results were an A or A*. Commenting on the results, Mrs Gillespie offered fitting praise to students, staff and parents: “Once again, I am delighted by the marvellous results achieved by our students and I extend my warmest congratulations to each of them. As these young people embark on their chosen university or employment pathway, I wish them continued success.”

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MADRID EXCHANGE

Posted on 30 Jun 2015 | News

Very very early on the 15 June a group of 11 students accompanied by Miss MacOscar and Miss McCloskey headed to Madrid to spend a week in the beautiful Spanish sunshine with our partner school Colegio Aristos, Getafe. St Mary’s students participated in Colegio Aristos’ first ever International Week which saw students from Northern Ireland, USA, France and Spain doing a range of activities together. Students visited many beautiful cities including Toledo, Segovia and Madrid itself. Highlights included climbing the many, many steps of “Cinderella’s” castle, the escalators of Toledo, microphone time on the bus, being a (sub) squad, “vamos” and Al Campo (maybe just the teachers!) Five students from Colegio Aristos returned with St Mary’s students to learn about Irish culture and history through making soda bread and taking part in a ceili along with visiting some attractions: We hope that they enjoyed our hospitality as much as we enjoyed theirs!

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GLOBAL WIND AWARD

Posted on 29 Jun 2015 | News

Congratulations to St Mary’s Eco-Committee on their recent success at the Global Wind Awards- runners up in the Eco-Committee of the Year competition organised by Eco-Schools. Shannon McGillian and Gabriella Kcuprzyk were presented with the award by the Environment Minister Mr Mark Durkan at a prize giving event in the Everglades Hotel, Derry. The judges were very impressed by the leadership shown by the Eco-Committee in their efforts to make St Mary’s a sustainable school.

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INDIAN SUMMER

Posted on 29 Jun 2015 | News

Six Lower Sixth pupils (Siobhan Comer, Connor Devlin, Ellen Groom, Kyle Johnston, Una McCoy and Tara McGrogan) and Mr Tracey will travel to India with Saphara this summer to teach disadvantaged children in three different schools –leaving on Thursday 2 July. Mr Tracey explains, “As a group, the pupils had a target of £6,900 to raise between them (£650 personal fundraising and £500 as a group). Their final total for this year was £9,238.46 – which is super! Siobhan Comer was the top fundraiser from all the teams heading out to India this summer – she raised £2,464.87 – an outstanding effort from Siobhan! If you would like to keep track of how we get on in India you can follow our progress on the Saphara blog at www.saphara.org

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PERFECT SOUNDS

Posted on 29 Jun 2015 | News

The Junior Traditional Group has been invited to perform in Birmingham on 9 July, as part of a UK Music competition run by ‘Music for Youth’. The group will perform an 8 minute set in the ‘Adrian Bolt Hall’. The group is mentored by four Year 14 students and will be accompanied on the trip by Head of Music, Miss U Donnelly.

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