About the School

St. Mary’s is a co-educational, Catholic Voluntary Grammar School located on the north side of Magherafelt.

St. Mary's was founded in 1927 by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux and, since then, it has grown to become a leading grammar school in Northern Ireland today.

It is an over-subscribed school which draws its pupils from a wide area encompassing three counties - Derry, Tyrone and Antrim. The current enrolment figure for the school is 1099.

Throughout its history, the school has committed itself to the pursuit of academic excellence and to enabling each pupil to fulfil his/her potential. St. Mary's pupils annually excel in public examinations with many featuring among the top GCSE and A-Level candidates in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.

St. Mary’s is a school which concerns itself with the holistic development of each young person in its care and strives to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all pupils. The school’s pastoral care system is designed to support the academic, personal, social, emotional, spiritual and moral development of all pupils.

The school boasts a wide and varied extra-curricular portfolio. Extra-curricular successes have seen St. Mary’s pupils placed on provincial, national and global stages. St. Mary's past pupils can be found in many countries in the world, contributing to their communities and economies in significant and positive ways.

St. Mary's is fortunate to have most loyal and supportive parents/guardians who are committed to the values the school represents and work in partnership with the school to ensure that its aims are achieved.

In recent years, St. Mary’s has gone from strength to strength, enjoying much success and achieving many accolades.

  • In May 2007, St. Mary’s was designated a Specialist School in Science and PE.
  • In November 2007, St. Mary’s became the first school in Northern Ireland to stage a musical in the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
  • Following a Standard Inspection in February 2008, the Education and Training Inspectorate reported that the quality of education being provided by St. Mary’s is outstanding.
  • In 2008, St. Mary’s was awarded the BECTA ICT Mark.
  • In 2009, St. Mary’s achieved a National Training Award.
  • In 2010, St. Mary’s was named as the Irish News Top Performing Grammar School in Northern Ireland and the Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year.
  • In 2010, St. Mary’s achieved the European Framework for Quality Management Prize Winner Award.
  • In 2010, St. Mary’s achieved the Investors in People Gold Award.
  • In 2011, St. Mary’s won the Irish News Award for Workplace Excellence.
  • In 2012, St. Mary's was re-awarded the BECTA ICT Mark.
  • In 2012, St. Mary’s was presented with the British Council’s International School Award.
  • In June 2012, St. Mary's was presented with the Ashbourne Shield for Excellence in Spoken Irish (Sciath Mhic Giolla Bhríde).
  • In 2012 and 2013, St. Mary's was awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark and Centre of Excellence Award by the British Geographical Association.
  • In 2013, St. Mary’s was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award for a second time.
  • In June 2013, St. Mary's was named as the Best Kept Post-Primary School in the North Eastern Education and Library Board by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council.
  • In June 2013, St. Mary's achieved the Prodigy Learning Centre of Excellence Award.
  • In June 2014, St. Mary's achieved a reaccreditation of the Investors in People Gold Award.
  • Following a Standard Inspection in February 2015, the Education and Training Inspectorate reported that the quality of education being provided by St Mary's is outstanding.
  • In June 2015, St Mary's was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag for a third time.