Awards

In St. Mary's, we recognise and celebrate the achievements and awards of pupils, staff and the school.

ECO-SCHOOLS GREEN FLAG AWARD

In April 2010, St. Mary’s achieved its first Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. Following a visit by Eco-Schools Assessors in May 2013 and May 2015, St. Mary’s was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award for a second and third time. This reflects the school’s sustained efforts to promote environmental awareness and reduce its environmental impact.​

INVESTORS IN PEOPLE

St. Mary’s has been an Investor in People organisation since 1999 with successful re-accreditations in 2001, 2004 and 2007. In July 2010, St. Mary’s achieved the Investors in People Gold Award.​

​BRITISH COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL AWARD (2012-2015)

In September 2012 and again in September 2015, St. Mary’s was awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of the school’s work to bring the world into the classroom. The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The International School Award is an accreditation scheme for curriculum-based international work in schools. The scheme provides recognition for teachers and their schools working to instil a global dimension into the learning experience of all children and young people.

BECTA ICT MARK

​Following an extensive external assessment in 2008, St. Mary’s was awarded the prestigious ICT Mark by the British Education Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA). Re-accreditation of the ICT Mark was achieved following another extensive assessment in 2012.

GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION’S SECONDARY GEOGRAPHY QUALITY MARK

In 2011, St. Mary’s was first awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) and achieved the coveted Centre of Excellence Status. The school successfully secured re-accreditation of the award in 2013.

BEST KEPT SCHOOL AWARD

In 2012-2013, St. Mary’s was named the Best Kept Post-Primary School in the North Eastern Education and Library Board region. The Best Kept School Awards are organised annually by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and acknowledge the outstanding commitment of local schools to green projects and environmental education. 

PRODIGY LEARNING CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

​In 2012-13, St. Mary’s Grammar School became the first school in Northern Ireland to receive the Prodigy Learning Centre of Excellence Award. The award was presented to the ICT Department of the school in recognition of its work in delivering the Microsoft Office Specialist Programme.

INVESTORS IN PUPILS

The Investors in Pupils programme provides a unique pupil participation framework, for all schools and education settings nationally. Initiated by schools, the programme began in West Yorkshire before establishing itself nationally with schools from over 120 Local Authorities engaging with the programme at some level, and with schools from over 50 Local Authorities having achieved the award to date.

Investors in Pupils is a simple concept that builds on the principles of Investors in People, to empower all pupils, increase motivation and contribute to raising achievement across the Key Stages. The programme offers schools a framework for involving pupils in decision making, and developing responsibility and leadership in relation to their learning, behaviour, attendance, school management, classroom management and induction.

It is powerful in developing a positive ethos where pupils learn about how the school is run, and, in turn, understand how they themselves can contribute to the running of the school. Pupils commit to common goals and teamwork – together with each other and with staff.

INTERNATIONAL CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD

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.

SKY SPORTS LIVING FOR SPORT STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD: ‘HIGHLY COMMENDED ENTRIES’

Student : Katie Walker​

School : St. Mary’s Grammar School

Region : Magherafelt, Northern Ireland

Project : Fun Sports

Katie has shown remarkable courage and passion - and developed an amazing ‘can do’ attitude – after a Sky Sports Living for Sport project inspired her to overcome spina bifida by learning to ski.

The St Mary’s Grammar student has many mobility issues and wears knee length splints, but she simply refuses to let that hold her back and throws herself into all the sporting activities organised by her school. Inspired by Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentors Charlotte Hartley and Maria Bertelli she signed up for an annual ski trip to New Hampshire and stunned everyone by strapping on skis and becoming a very capable skier. Sport gives Katie not just a ‘feel good’ factor but also valuable life skills such as confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude all of which enhance the quality of her life experience.

SKY SPORTS LIVING FOR SPORT STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD: ‘HIGHLY COMMENDED’ ENTRIES

Student : Joe O’Hagan

School : St Mary’s Grammar School

Region : Magherafelt, Northern Ireland

Project : Fun Sports

Joe, who is registered blind, has been transformed from a lonely and introverted student to one who is able to make friends and enjoy sport – thanks to a Sky Sports Living for Sport project and to the inspiration of his sister.

The St Mary’s Grammar School student has an eye disorder called achromatopsia which means he not only has poor vision but is blinded by sunlight; and he had always found it impossible to take part in sport, often sitting alone with a classroom assistant at break time while classmates played football. But, inspired by his older sister Fionnuala, regional winner of the Sky Sports Living For Sport Student of the Year Award in 2012, he signed up for a project of fun sporting activities aimed at improving fitness levels and attitudes to health. The activities were held indoors, which meant Joe could take part, and his confidence levels soon rose as he made new friends and discovered the joys of sport.

MARIA LAGAN : THIRD PLACE IN GCSE CHEMISTRY

ORLAITH MCATEER : THIRD PLACE IN GCSE IRISH

NIAMH MCGARRY : TOP GCSE STUDENT AND FIRST PLACE IN GCSE PE

EMMA MCKAY : FULL MARKS IN GCSE ART AND DESIGN

HANNAH LYDON : SECOND PLACE IN GCSE PE

CONOR MCGURK : SECOND PLACE IN A LEVEL TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN

FIONA MCKEEVER : UCD ENTRANCE SCHOLARS AWARD

HANNAH LYDON : LADIES FOOTBALL ALL - STAR

Hannah plays her club football for Ardboe and has represented Tyrone at underage level.  She was awarded her first Ulster Colleges’ All Star Award at a presentation in Kelly’s Inn in January after playing for Ulster in the Post Primary Schools’ Inter Provincial Tournament.  Hannah is a Year 13 pupil and has been a central figure in school teams throughout her time at school.

KAYLEIGH O’NEILL: LADIES FOOTBALL ALL - STAR

Kayleigh received her first All Star in the position of goal keeper as a Year 14 pupil.  Kayleigh plays her club football with Fr Rocks, Cookstown and has featured for the county team on a number of occasions.  Kayleigh represented Ulster at the Post Primary Schools’ Inter Provincial Tournament in Mullingar and received her award at a presentation in Kelly’s Inn.

JACKIE DONNELLY : CAMOGIE ALL - STAR

As a Year 12 pupil, Jackie was the youngest player to receive an Ulster Colleges All Star this year.  Jackie plays club camogie for Ballinascreen and also represents Derry at underage level.  As well as being a key player for the senior Ulster Championship winning team, Jackie also captained the junior team to the Ulster Championship this year and played on the Ulster winning 7’s team.  An extremely successful year for Jackie!

AINE MCALLISTER : CAMOGIE ALL - STAR

Aine received a remarkable third All Star at the Awards Ceremony in The Elk on Friday night.  Aine plays her club camogie with Ballinascreen and has represented her county in every age group up to senior.  Aine has captained many teams throughout her school life but most notably was captaining the school senior camogie team this year that won the Ulster Senior Championship and reached the All Ireland Final as a midfielder.

KIRSTY MCLEOD : CAMOGIE ALL - STAR

Kirsty plays her club camogie with Geraldines, Portglenone and represents County Antrim at underage level most recently winning the All Ireland B shield with the county minor team. This is Kirsty’s first award as a Year 13 pupil.  Kirsty has won numerous Ulster medals throughout her school life, as well as reaching the All Ireland final this year, and has held central positions in both Junior and Senior teams over the past number of years.  

NICOLE CLERKIN : CAMOGIE ALL - STAR

Nicole receives her first All Star award as a Year 14 pupil at St Mary’s.  Nicole also plays her club camogie with Ballinascreen and has represented her county at underage level with many successes with both teams.  Nicole was a key player in the senior team this year that won the Ulster Championship and reached the All Ireland final.  

MEAGHAN DIAMOND : CAMOGIE ALL - STAR

Year 13 pupil Meaghan Diamond picks up her first All Star award this year and plays for Newbridge camogie club.  Meaghan also plays for County Derry underage teams and has achieved Ulster and All Ireland successes.  Meaghan captained the junior team in back to back Ulster titles in Year 11 and 12 and played full back on the senior team that won the Ulster championship and reached the All Ireland final this year.  

CONAN BRADLEY : SWIMMING SUCCESS

AARON LEUNG : OXFORD OFFER

MISS S. MCALLISTER : NEW ORLEANS SCHOLARSHIP

MRS O REID

In March 2012, I joined CCEA as an Assistant Moderator for AS level English Literature having previously worked as an examiner for both KS3 English and GCSE English.

My experience as both an examiner and a moderator has proved invaluable when preparing my own pupils for eternal examinations and it has also benefited by colleagues within the English Department since all insights are shared at Departmental level.

MS C DONOGHUE

CEIAG scholarship was awarded to me to research and produce resources highlighting how knowledge of a language can enhance a STEM career.

Mr A MCGUCKIN

‘I believe that the experience I will gain from being a CCEA Examiner will assist in my progression as a teacher, and thus help the students I teach to achieve greater success.’  

MISS P AGNEW

The school received an ENTHUSE Award bursary after I attended a three day course in 2013 entitled ‘Creating Suspense and Surprise in the Science Classroom.’ This course was prepared through a partnership between the Belfast Education and Library Board, the National Science Learning Centre and Learn Differently.

The course explored the importance of creating positive emotions in the science classroom and provided an overview of key educational, psychological and neuroscience research in this area. The course was really interesting and I brought back lots of new and exciting classroom ideas which I have shared with the Science Department. If given the chance, I would thoroughly recommend this course to other teachers.