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Your Pastoral House System

"Sing a New Song to Life."

The St. Mary’s Pastoral House System was officially launched in September 2013 by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh. During a visit to St. Mary’s, Archbishop Eamon planted one of five trees in the newly developed House Garden within the grounds of the school.

Senior House Mistress Mrs S. Higgins pictured with House Masters & Mistresses.
Senior House Mistress Mrs S. Higgins pictured with House Masters & Mistresses.

Each tree represents one of five Houses established as part of the House System:

The motto of the Pastoral House System is ‘Sing a New Song to Life.’ This motto was inspired by Archbishop Eamon’s message in his address at the conclusion of his Episcopal Ordination in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh in 2013: “This is a good time, as the psalm says, to ‘sing a new song to the Lord.’”

The Pastoral House System is managed by the following members of staff:

  • Mrs S. Higgins (Senior House Mistress)
  • Dr. L. Connor (House Mistress for Cedar House of Charity)
  • Mr M. Francis (House Master for Elm House of Peace)
  • Mr K. Brady (House Master for Hawthorn House of Joy)
  • Mr R. Kennedy(House Master for Oak House of Goodness)
  • Mrs S. McGee (House Mistress for Willow House of Kindness)

Through the Pastoral House System, we aim to:

  • provide you with a group identity distinct from your Form Class and Year Group identity;
  • promote vertical interaction between pupils in your Year Group and pupils in other Year Groups by offering opportunities to mix with and learn from pupils of different ages;
  • encourage you to become involved in extra-curricular activities and reward your effort in these areas;
  • foster a spirit of healthy competition within the school and celebrate your success;
  • provide opportunities for you to develop and display your talents;
  • reward you for your effort and achievement in class work and homework; and
  • provide you with opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills.