News Category: News

Soroptimist Public Speaking Finalist 2018

Posted on 01st February 2018

Year 13 pupil Cate Bateson will travel to Hillsborough to take part in the Northern Ireland Final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition on Saturday 3 February. Cate has worked very hard to prepare for both the local heats and the Northern Ireland Final. We wish Cate the best of the luck for Saturday.

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St. Mary’s Triumph at TIMONS!

Posted on 01st February 2018

Two gifted Year 13 pupils from St. Mary’s and their friend impressed judges in the TIMON Open Data Hackathon at Queen’s Computer Science Building last weekend. 

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Cross Country Hopes for St. Mary’s Pupils

Posted on 29th January 2018

St. Mary’s pupils enjoyed success in the District C Cross Country event on Thursday 25 January 2018.  The top 15 individuals and top 3 teams in each race qualified for the Ulster competition which takes place on 21 February 2018. 

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Gael Linn Finalists

Posted on 26th January 2018

Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s represented the school in the recent Northern Ireland Final of the Gael Linn competition in the Ashburn Hotel, Lurgan

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Warm welcome at St. Mary’s Open Evenings.

Posted on 25th January 2018

On Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 January 2018, St. Mary’s held its annual Open Evenings. We were excited to open our school to prospective pupils, their parents and the local community. 

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Open Evenings 2018

Posted on 19th January 2018

The St. Mary’s team look forward to welcoming you to one of our Open Evenings next week.

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School closed Wednesday 17 January

Posted on 17th January 2018

​Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of safety for all, St. Mary’s will be closed today - 17 January. 

 

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Empower Training Sessions

Posted on 15th January 2018

Three free sessions of SEN Training, provided by Empower will take place in St Mary’s in the upcoming weeks.

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ON AIR

Posted on 08th January 2018

On Friday 17 December 2017, Year 12 pupil, Mark Comer, visited BBC Headquarters in Belfast to complete his participation in BBC Radio 4’s Pen Pals programme.

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All wrapped up!

Posted on 20th December 2017

In St. Mary’s, the Shoebox Appeal is an annual event and every year, students, parents and staff show their outstanding generosity by contributing to this appeal.  In conjunction with the charity, Road of Hope, the St. Mary’s Shoebox Appeal will help to bring festive cheer to some of the poorest communities across Eastern Europe.

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CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE                             St. Mary’s Students Top of the Class

Posted on 20th December 2017

It was with immense pride and joy that we learned that St. Mary’s students were among the highest performing candidates in Northern Ireland in various subjects in the 2017 GCSE and A Level examinations.

 

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ST. MARY’S GUYS AND DOLLS PERFORM BROADWAY CLASSIC

Posted on 03rd December 2017

Students in St. Mary’s staged the Broadway classic, ‘Guys and Dolls’. The Colourful characters, hilarious comedy and memorable music combined to make Guys and Dolls a real crowd-pleaser.

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ST. MARY’S SUPPORTS NATIONWIDE #Redappeal

Posted on 27th November 2017

In November, St. Mary’s students and staff stood in solidarity with schools and dioceses all over the world to remember Christian martyrs and those who have suffered or died for their faith

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CASEMENT CUP COMPETITION 2017

Posted on 19th November 2017

The group stage of this year’s Casement Cup was a very mixed one for St. Mary’s.

Going in to the final group game, the boys travelled to an impressive set-up in Dungannon to take on St. Patrick’s, Armagh.

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SPEAKING OUT

Posted on 16th November 2017

On 16 November 2017, six pupils represented St. Mary’s in the regional heat of the Soroptimist International Public Speaking Competition in Ballymoney.

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UK BEBRAS COMPETITION

Posted on 13th November 2017

During the week beginning Monday 13 November 2017, 55 pupils across all Key Stages took part in the annual UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge.

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POETRY ALOUD

Posted on 08th November 2017

On 7 November 2017, six pupils took part in the regional heat of the Poetry Aloud competition in the Linenhall Library, Belfast. The competition required pupils to perform from memory a prescribed poem by Patrick Kavanagh and a poem of their own choice.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP WORKSHOP

Posted on 27th October 2017

In October, former pupil of St. Mary’s, Ciara Hampsey, visited the Art Department to deliver a Halloween special effects make-up workshop. More than 60 pupils from Year 10 - Year 14 enthusiastically took part in the exciting event which included a demonstration by Ciara as well as the opportunity to experiment with the shocking special effects techniques themselves.

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THERE’S SOMETHING STRANGE…

Posted on 26th October 2017

On Thursday 26 October 2017, pupils from six local primary schools got into the Halloween spirit as artist and past pupil, Ciara Hampsey, demonstrated special effects techniques and led a special effects workshop

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ON THE ROAD TO UNIVERSITY

Posted on 24th October 2017

Universities from throughout Ireland and England attended a University Roadshow organised by Head of Careers, Miss Donoghue.

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GUYS AND DOLLS

Posted on 20th October 2017

In its 90th anniversary year, St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt is proud to present the musical comedy, Guys and Dolls.

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SCHOOL CLOSURE

Posted on 15th October 2017

​School closed tomorrow (Tuesday 17 October) as precautionary measure in light of weather warnings.

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Miss Saigon Trip Tuesday 10th October

Posted on 13th October 2017

On Tuesday 10th October A Level and GCSE Drama pupils attend the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin to see the thrilling, soaring and spectacular, Miss Saigon

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Posted on 13th October 2017

On 26th September A Level and GCSE Drama pupils took a trip to the MAC theatre Belfast to see a production of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.  

 

 

 

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GUYS AND DOLLS - EVERY LITTLE HELPS

Posted on 11th October 2017

On Saturday 30 September 2017, cast members from St. Mary’s Grammar School’s forthcoming production of Guys and Dolls held a bag pack in Tesco, Magherafelt to raise funds for the show.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this fundraising activity.  Pictured with Anne-Marie Hegarty, Community Champion for Tesco, Magherafelt are members of the cast who were involved in the bag pack. 

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Liverpool University Talk

Posted on 11th October 2017

We are delighted that Liverpool University will be here on Monday 16 October delivering a talk about their University. Liverpool is a very popular university choice with our students particularly those hoping to study Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary and the Health Therapies. Y14 students who have applied to Liverpool and any Y13 & Y12 students who are considering Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary/ health therapies as a possibility next year should come along as this is their opportunity to ask directly about the interview process, how UKCAT is used, what work experience they expect and the GCSE/AS profile they require.

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Social Work Information Evening

Posted on 09th October 2017

Social Work Information Evening Wednesday 15 November 2017, 6.30pm-8.00pm. Whitla Hall, Queen’s University.

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Congratulations Blanche!

Posted on 03rd October 2017

The Children’s Texaco Art Competition has an annual entry of up to 50,000+ entries throughout Ireland each year.

Blanche Cases, Year 9, has been awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ Certificate which means she has been placed in the top 18 in each category for her artistic entry.  The judges of the competition commented on the exceptional standard of this year’s entries in each age category and we are so proud of Blanche for rising to the top as one of the best entries.  For this we would warmly congratulate her on this truly superb achievement. Well done, Blanche.

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MID-ULSTER COUNCIL Civic Reception

Posted on 19th September 2017

On 18 September 2017, Mid-Ulster Council recognised the sporting achievements of St. Mary’s pupils at a Civic Reception in the Seamus Heaney Home Place in Bellaghy

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2017 Awards Ceremony

Posted on 14th September 2017

Celebrating the successes and achievements of the academic year 2016-17, the annual awards took place in the school on Tuesday 12 September. As well as celebrating the outstanding attainment of pupils in recent GCSE and A Level examinations, the evening also provided an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of pupils in a range of extra-curricular activities, ranging from sport to public speaking.

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Year 13 Prefect Training.

Posted on 12th September 2017

Year 13 prefects received professional training with Brian Moore, Geraldine Stinton and Lydia Startin from Belfast YMCA. 

The training was interactive, informative and it introduced the prefects to the idea of ‘coaching’.

 

 

 

 

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GCSE Success at St. Mary’s

Posted on 25th August 2017

Principal Ms Gillespie has described the 2017 GCSE examination results as “simply superb”. Ms Gillespie reported that a remarkable 100% of students achieved 7 grades at A*-C, including English and Mathematics. Impressively, 63% of all grades were A*/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A LEVEL EXAMINATION SUCCESS IN ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL

Posted on 18th August 2017

A Level students in St Mary’s Grammar School had cause for celebration following the publication of this year’s examination results.

Ms Gillespie reported that an outstanding 95.2% of all examinations taken by students resulted in A* to C grades. 43% of all results were an A or A*.

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Oisin McGurk wins the prestigious Sky Sports Living ‘Sport Student of the Year for Northern Ireland’

Posted on 03rd July 2017

On Friday 9th June more than 100 inspirational students, teachers and Athlete Mentors attended the Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards at Twickenham.

The day was held at the home of rugby, where Sky  Sports Pundit and World Champion boxer, Johnny Nelson kicked off the day’s events and led a full day of activities and celebrations alongside twenty amazing Athlete Mentors. 

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Catriona McCoy picks up second place in National Essay Writing Competition

Posted on 03rd July 2017

Year 12 student Catriona McCoy, has been awarded second place in a national essay-writing competition for senior cycle students. 

The Life Advocate Awards were set up to encourage  research and critical-thinking on human rights and right to life issues.

Students were asked to discuss the words of  Martin Luther King who said: ‘Our lives begin to end, the moment we become silent about the things which matter’.

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St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt, flying the flag for the Irish language!

Posted on 03rd July 2017

The Gaelbhratach has finally arrived in St. Mary’s!

St. Mary’s Grammar students received the prestigious Purple Flag award at a ceremony held in Leopardstown recently. The Gaelbhratach is awarded to schools who not only incorporate the Irish Language into the school community in a planned, structured and fun way but also those who carry this through outside of the classroom. 

 

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ECO Schools Green Flag awarded to St. Mary’s Grammar school, Magherafelt.

Posted on 03rd July 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt, has been awarded a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.  

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Sixth Form pupil Hugh McKenna wins the Concern Worldwide Fundraising Newcomer Award.

Posted on 03rd July 2017

A Sixth Form pupil from St. Mary’s Grammar School has won the Concern Worldwide Fundraising Newcomer Award. 

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Success for St. Mary’s students at the Salters’ festival of Chemistry

Posted on 03rd July 2017

St. Mary’s students enjoyed great success at the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry held at Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

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St. Mary’s Grammar School enjoy success at the British Physics Olympiad competitions

Posted on 03rd July 2017

Congratulations to fourteen of our Year 12 pupils and eight of our Year 13 pupils who recently took part in the British Physics Olympiad competitions. Year 12 pupils completed the GCSE Physics Challenge while the Year 13 pupils completed the AS Physics Challenge. 

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10C win Children in Crossfire Maths Challenge

Posted on 03rd July 2017

​Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have won first prize in Quiz 5 of the Children in Crossfire Maths Challenge which was held recently. 

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Our Leading Lady

Posted on 03rd July 2017

​A Year 13 student from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has attended the CCEA Celebrating Excellence ceremony at Titanic Belfast. 

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Miss Earth

Posted on 28th April 2017

Caoimhe McKay has recently reached the final of the prestigious, ‘Richmond Centre Miss Earth NI’ competition. Miss Earth, which is one of the top four beauty pageants in the world, is unique because it uses the beauty pageant platform to promote environmental issues. This meant, in addition to questions about hobbies and interests, Caoimhe had to outline how she would utilize such a platform, as part of her application

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St. Mary’s Achieves the Fair Aware Award!

Posted on 28th April 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has recently become a Fairtrade School and has been awarded ‘FairAware’ status from theFairtrade Foundation. The ‘FairAware’ award represents the first of three tiers; the School aims to work towards the highest of these and win ‘FairAchiever’ status as part of its ongoing commitment to the charity.

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John Paul II Award

Posted on 28th April 2017

Our Year 14 pupils attended a prayerful Faith Awards Ceremony in Armagh Cathedral to collect their John Paul II Award. Archbishop Eamon Martin presided over the ceremony which recognises and celebrates the participation of youth in the faith life of Armagh Diocese.

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IMPORTANT E-SAFETY MESSAGE

Posted on 31st March 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar school wishes to alert parents to an increasingly popular app named SimSimi. We strongly advise against the use of this app and recommend that it is deleted from all mobile and personal devices immediately. This app randomly generates generic messages and responses, the content of which is inappropriate and, therefore, can lead to incidences of cyber bullying.

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MacRory Glory for St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt

Posted on 27th March 2017

St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has become the 2017 Danske Bank MacRory Cup.

Making its third appearance in a MacRory Cup final on St. Patrick’s Day, the school made history when it collected the trophy for the first time following a 0-19 to 0-13 victory over St. Colman’s College, Newry.

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MACRORY CUP HOPE FOR ST. MARY’S

Posted on 15th March 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt is hoping that it will be third time lucky for the school when its senior football team meet St. Colman’s College, Newry in the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ MacRory Cup competition in Armagh on St. Patrick’s Day.
Having previously made it to the final of the competition in 1996 and 2003, St. Mary’s has yet to enjoy a MacRory Cup victory but there is optimism within the school that this could change this year.

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PLAYING FAIR

Posted on 10th March 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has established a new Fair Trade Committee.  Led by Miss Burns, Head of Religion, and Miss McGouran, Head of Citizenship, the committee will organise events to raise awareness of Fair Trade throughout the school and work towards becoming an accredited Fair Trade School.  Throughout ‘Fair Trade Fortnight’, awareness of fair trade matters has been promoted through assemblies, lessons and food tasting events. 

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ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MAGHERAFELT IS SUPPORTING SAFER INTERNET DAY 2017

Posted on 02nd February 2017

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt is joining the global Safer Internet Day campaign to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2016 with the theme ‘Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet’.

Celebrated in over 100 countries, Safer Internet Day will see St. Mary’s Grammar School join hundreds of organisations right across the UK and globally to ‘be the change’ and help create a better internet.

 

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CROSS COUNTRY SUCCESS

Posted on 21st December 2016

Year 8, 9 and 10 pupils participated in the NEBSSA Cross Country event at Ulster University, Coleraine on Tuesday 13th December 2016. The Year 8 boys finished fourth overall with Year 8 girls finishing in seventh place. The Year 9 boys had an excellent result finishing first overall.  The Year 9 girls finished fourth in their competition and both Year 10 boys and girls finished third.  A fantastic effort was displayed by everyone who took part.  These were extremely impressive results considering there were a total of 19 schools participating and, therefore, made St. Mary’s one of the top finishing schools on the day.
A special mention to Niall O’Donnell (Year 8), Frank Duffin (Year 10) and Annie Kilpatrick (Year 10) who all finished in third place in their respective races in which over 60 competitors took part. 

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ICT EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR ST. MARY’S

Posted on 09th December 2016

St. Mary’s has been announced as a 2016 Capita and C2K ICT Excellence Award winner.  Having been shortlisted in the category for ‘Transforming Teaching and Learning through Technology’, the school was named as the overall category winner at an awards ceremony in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on 8 December 2016 which was attended by Miss Hagan, Director of e-Learning,  and Mrs Gillespie, Principal.

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PLAY IT AGAIN

Posted on 08th December 2016

On 1 December 2016, world concert pianist, Ruth McGinley, visited the Music Department and  gave an inspiring piano master class to Year 11 and Year 12 GCSE Music students.   Three Year 12 students - Katherine Shields, Aoife Mulvenna and Catriona O’Neill - performed a variety of pieces for her and were guided through the importance of communicating a story or emotion to an audience.  Ruth worked with each girl in turn, paying particular attention to one aspect of their chosen piece.   She also discussed her life as a concert pianist, including the challenges she faced and how she overcame the difficulties of always having to be ‘perfect’.   Ruth was most recently seen performing in the Last Night of the Proms concert at the Titanic Slipway in Belfast and has just launched her own album.

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REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

Posted on 07th December 2016

The 2016-17 Eco-Schools Committee was formed in September 2016 and, since then, the group has been busy promoting environmental awareness within the school.  As well as the ongoing focus on reducing litter and saving energy, the Eco-Schools Committee has been involved in three main projects this term. Firstly, the school’s greenhouse has been prepared for the planting season.  Secondly, as the cold weather approached in November, the Science Club and Eco-Schools Committee worked together to make ‘bird cake’ which was distributed around the grounds of the school, including the House Garden, in the hope that this effort will entice the birds back to our school following their absence as a result of the work in developing our new school extension. Finally, in December, this year’s ‘Cash for Clobber’ initiative was launched to promote the recycling of old clothes.

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CLUB MHUIRE

Posted on 07th December 2016

The well-established Irish language lunch time club, Club Mhuire, was back in action this year for another term of promoting all things Irish.  So far, Year 8 Irish pupils have been learning songs in Irish, playing a variety of games using Irish vocabulary and generally enjoying the language beyond the classroom environment.  The Irish Department is grateful to former A level and current Ulster University student, Medb Ní Dhúláin, who has joined the department as part of a Tutoring in Schools project.  Medb has been the driving force behind Club Mhuire this year.  For any student who has enjoyed the Club Mhuire experience, we recommend a Gaeltacht course this summer!

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WELCOME TO ST. MARY’S

Posted on 07th December 2016

In September, we welcomed our new Year 8 pupils. It has certainly been a busy term for Year 8 as they made the transition from primary school. As the end of the first term approaches, the pupils are happy, settled and very much part of the St. Mary’s school community. We wish them every success throughout their time in St. Mary’s and look forward to their contribution to the life of the school.

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YEAR 12 STUDY SKILLS WORKSHOP

Posted on 06th December 2016

On Tuesday 6 December 2016,  Year 12 pupils took part in a Study Skills workshop to launch their revision for the Mock Examinations in January 2017.  The workshop was presented by Young Enterprise and focused on individual learning styles to allow students to maximise their performance.  We wish them success in the forthcoming examinations!   

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PERSONAL ECONOMICS

Posted on 06th December 2016

On Wednesday 1 December 2016, Year 11 pupils took part in the Young Enterprise Personal Economics Programme.

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CAMBRIDGE CHEMISTRY CHALLENGE

Posted on 04th December 2016

Congratulations to Year 14 students who were successful in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Emma Boyle, Daniel Bradley, Sarah Downey, Shania O’Boyle and Ellen Skelly each achieved the Copper Award in this prestigious competition.  Organised by Cambridge University, the Chemistry Challenge requires students to complete a ninety minute written examination with the aim of stretching and challenging students in all aspects of A-Level Chemistry.

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RCUK SCIENCE EVENT

Posted on 01st December 2016

On 1 December 2016, 17 Year 10 pupils joined 55 other pupils from across the MLP at Queen’s University, Belfast to celebrate the culmination of the three-year RCUK / SUPI initiative between Queen’s University and MLP schools.  The RCUK / SUPI programme aims to foster links between local schools and motivate young people to aspire to university study.  Over the three years, MLP pupils have worked with members of the Biomedical Science Department, the Pharmacy Department, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, the Law Department and the Drama Department at Queen’s University, to name but a few.  At the celebration event, the results of a poster competition were announced and St. Mary’s pupils swept the board.  Lile Keenan and Beth Dixon were highly commended for their posters in the Technology and Communication category.  Meanwhile, in the Pharmacy: Drug Development from Concept to Clinic category, Helen Doherty achieved Third Place, Erin Forbes secured Second Place and Rory Harman won First Place.  Well done to everyone involved. 

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I’M A FRENCH STUDENT … GET ME OUT OF HERE!

Posted on 01st December 2016

On Friday 25 November 2016, 28 courageous Year 10 pupils faced their own ‘bush tucker trial’ as they undertook to eat snails for charity. Motivated by their interest and curiosity in French cuisine, pupils tasted delicious molluscs in the Home Economics Department in the presence of their French teachers, Miss Venot and Miss MacOscar, and Miss Hagan, who also took part in the challenge.

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KARATE KIDS

Posted on 30th November 2016

Between 23 – 28 November 2016, two St. Mary’s pupils competed in the European Shotokan Karate-Do Championships.  Having been selected to represent Northern Ireland in the event, siblings Kevin Diamond (Year 12) and Laura Diamond (Year 11), travelled to Chalkida in Greece to participate in the competition.  Kevin competed in the Cadet Men Kumite and Cadet Men Kata categories, while Laura competed in the Children’s Female Kata and Children’s Female Kumite categories.  Participation in this competition was a huge sporting accomplishment for Kevin and Laura who have to undertake two squad selections each year to obtain a place on the team and who train at least four times per week to sustain such a high standard of karate.

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MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS

Posted on 30th November 2016

Year 13 students put their entrepreneurial skills to the test whilst raising an impressive £1000 for local charity, Action Mental Health.  Twenty students from Business Studies and Economics participated in a Young Enterprise scheme that saw the students set up their own mini-company.  The group personally customised mugs and designed school hoodies which they sold at St. George’s Market in Belfast and throughout the wider school community.  Students decided through a class vote to donate £1000 of the money raised to Action Mental Health. 

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YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH

Posted on 30th November 2016

St. Mary’s actively promotes health and well-being and encourages pupils to make healthy lifestyle choices.  This year, there is a particular focus on promoting positive mental health and raising pupils’ awareness of mental health issues.  Year 12 pupils attended a ‘Wellness Seekers’ presentation, Year 11 pupils participated in a mental health workshop and Year 10 pupils took part in a ‘Mood Matters’ workshop.

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ON THE RIGHT PATH

Posted on 28th November 2016

Careers Education continues to be an important focus in St. Mary’s, ensuring that pupils make informed choices about future courses and career pathways.  Throughout the first term, many events were organised by the Careers Department to support pupils in making important career decisions. 

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THAT’S A WRAP!

Posted on 28th November 2016

In St. Mary’s, the Shoebox Appeal is an annual event and every year, students, parents and staff show their outstanding generosity by contributing to this appeal.  Linking up with the charity, Road of Hope, the St. Mary’s Shoebox Appeal will help to bring festive cheer to some of the poorest communities across Eastern Europe. Miss Burns, Head of RE, explains: “This year, the campaign was launched to Key Stage 3 pupils and, thanks to their overwhelmingly kind response, we were able to send off 264 shoeboxes. Those who would not have ordinarily received a gift at Christmas will now be able to experience the joy of opening a Christmas present this year. A whole-hearted thank you to all who contributed.”

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FEED THE BIRDS

Posted on 25th November 2016

As the cold weather approaches, the Science Club and Eco-Schools Committee have been working together to make ‘bird cake’.  The bird cake was distributed around the grounds of the school,  including our House Garden.  We are hoping that this effort will entice the birds back to our school following their absence as a result of the work in developing our new school extension.  Thank you to the members of both groups who took part in this project.    

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THE ROAD AHEAD

Posted on 25th November 2016

On Tuesday 22 November 2016, Year 14 students had the opportunity to attend a hard-hitting and thought-provoking demonstration and presentation on Road Safety delivered by members of the local Emergency Services.  The purpose of the event was to promote safe driving habits among young people as they become drivers and to highlight the potential consequences of driver carelessness in an effort to reduce road traffic accidents.

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CHEMISTRY AT WORK EVENT

Posted on 25th November 2016

On Tuesday 22 November 2016, a group of Year 12 students attended the Chemistry at Work Exhibition at Queen’s University in Belfast.

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IN A SPIN AND GOING FAST

Posted on 25th November 2016

On Thursday 24 November 2016, the whole school community united in a joint fundraising effort to support Concern Worldwide.  Each Year Group selected a fasting activity and sought sponsorship for their efforts. Year 8 pupils fasted from bad attitudes while Year 10 fasted from behaviour points.  Girls in Year 12 gave up make-up and cosmetics for the day and Year 11 went on a ‘digital detox’. Year 9 pupils took to the grounds of the school to do a litter sweep as part of their fast from litter. Year 13 and Year 14 students, along with Miss Burns, Mrs Higgins and the Senior House Master and Mistress for each Pastoral House, took the lead in organising the ‘Go Fast Spin for Syria, Lift for Lebanon’ spinathon.  Staff and students all became involved in what was a high energy day.  St. Mary’s also welcomed a film crew to capture footage of the fundraising event which will be used by Concern Worldwide to promote the work of the charity and encourage future fundraising efforts.

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SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

Posted on 24th November 2016

It has been a busy few months for Shared Education in St. Mary’s.  Since the start of the new academic year, three year groups - Year 9, Year 10 and Year 12 - have been involved in Shared Education projects with our post-primary partner schools within the Magherafelt Learning Partnership.  Building on the success of last year’s Drama project for Year 9 students, this programme is being delivered again to the current Year 9 group.  All Year 9 pupils experience a block of six lessons exploring issues of conflict, diversity and reconciliation through drama games and performances.

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SO TO SPEAK

Posted on 22nd November 2016

On 17 November 2016, three students - Orla Mallon, Laura Kane and Lottie Kelly -participated in the Soroptimist International public speaking competition in Ballycastle.  Each girl delivered her speech with great zest and enthusiasm and all pupils were highly praised for their performances.  Orla Mallon was awarded Second Place for her speech entitled, “Living to 100 - Good or Bad?”  She was commended for her natural delivery, originality of topic and her fervent humour throughout.  All three were wonderful ambassadors for St. Mary’s and a great night was had by all.

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THE BIG PICTURE

Posted on 22nd November 2016

Building contractors, Connolly and Fee, launched an art competition for Key Stage 3 pupils.  The competition invited pupils to create a suitable design for a mural representing life in St. Mary’s for display on the temporary hoarding at the front of the school as building work on the new school extension takes place.   The winner of the competition was Year 9 pupil, Emma Meeke, whose design was judged to reflect both the breadth of the St. Mary’s pupil experience and the spirit of the school community.  Emma received a prize of £100 from Connolly and Fee for her excellent design.   Meanwhile, Carla Doherty, also in Year 9, was named runner-up in the competition. On Saturday 1 October 2016, both girls, along with some Year 12 pupils and Art and Design staff, came together to complete the painting of the mural.  Professional mural artists, Jamie Harper and Ed Reynolds, were on hand to provide technical training in mural painting.  The final mural is now on display at the front entrance of the school.

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HEALTHY EATING AWARDS

Posted on 21st November 2016

St. Mary’s promotes a healthy and balanced lifestyle amongst all pupils from Year 8 to Year 14. Pictured are the winners of the healthy eating awards for September and October 2016, 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. (Sarah Devlin (8B), Rachel Quinn (9D), Bronagh McAteer (10E), Ciara Cassidy (11E), Molly McAllister (12B), Jason McFlynn (13PBR), Kerri Quinn (14UDO))

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RAISING CONCERN -  CHARITY FOCUS IN ST. MARY’S

Posted on 09th November 2016

On Wednesday 26th October, four Year 13 students from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt engaged in Youth Ambassador Training with CONCERN.  Accompanied by Miss Burns (Head of RE), Hugh McKenna, Caoimhe McKay, Ciara Cassidy and Conall Devlin travelled to Limavady to participate in the training event which focused on public speaking, event management and presentation skills.

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GAEL LINN SUCCESS

Posted on 08th November 2016

Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have enjoyed success in the recent Gael Linn Quiz which was held in the Glenavon House Hotel, Cookstown.  Out of more than 200 participants, four St. Mary’s pupils achieved second place, making 2016 the fourth consecutive year that St. Mary’s pupils have secured a top placing in the competition.  The pupils Darragh McFlynn, Rachel Downey, Amy Loughran and Emer Bateson will now compete in the Ulster Final in early 2017

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WORK OF ART

Posted on 03rd November 2016

On Friday 28 October 2016, AS Art and Design students visited the 135th Royal Ulster Academy Art Exhibition at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. The students firstly viewed the superb and varied range of contemporary Fine Art on display in the exhibition and then met with the Education Manager, Colleen Waters, to get advice on how to arrange a professional art exhibition and a variety of textile techniques and approaches used in fashion design over the years. Students also visited Gormley’s Fine Art Gallery and the Emer Gallery in Belfast to view the work on display. It was a very interesting and valuable activity that the students will remember and from which they have taken great inspiration.

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ART ATTACK

Posted on 02nd November 2016

On Thursday 27 October 2016, former pupil of St. Mary’s, Ciara Hampsey, visited the Art Department to deliver a Halloween special effects make-up workshop.  More than 60 pupils from Year 10 - Year 14 enthusiastically took part in the exciting event which included a demonstration by Ciara as well as the opportunity to experiment with the gruesome special effects techniques themselves.  Art and Design student, Cassie Ni Chathain, commented: “This workshop showed us a different and often unseen aspect of Art and Design and we thoroughly enjoyed it!”

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VISIT TO GRAND OPERA HOUSE

Posted on 21st October 2016

On 18 October 2016, GCSE Drama pupils enjoyed a visit to the Grand Opera House in Belfast to watch The Pillowman by celebrated Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. The dark comedy has won two Tony Awards and an Olivier Award for Best New Play.  The poignant drama raised compelling questions about art, power, family and religion. A fantastic evening out for both pupils and staff.

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SOCCER SUCCESS

Posted on 21st October 2016

The Under 14 soccer team played their round 2 NISFA Cup game Castlederg High School yesterday in Castlederg.  The result was a resounding 10 – 1 victory for SMG with the following scoring the goals: Conor Falls (4), Dan Higgins (2), team captain Ronan Kalla (1), Conleth Mallon (1) and Padraig Wilson (1).

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TOP OF THE CLASS

Posted on 19th October 2016

Two pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have excelled in this year’s CCEA GCSE examinations by achieving First Place (Joint) in Northern Ireland in different subjects.

Lottie Kelly shares the top position in GCSE Drama while Caoimhe Meeke was placed joint first in GCSE ICT.  Speaking about the girls’ success, Mrs Gillespie, Principal, said: “This is great news for Lottie and Caoimhe, for their subject teachers, for the school and, of course, for their families.  We were overjoyed to receive the notification from CCEA informing us about the pupils’ success in these subjects.  It is so deserved.  I congratulate both the pupils and their teachers, Miss Allen and Mrs Higgins, who guided them towards this outstanding achievement.”

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A DRUM, A DRUM! MACBETH DOTH COME.

Posted on 13th October 2016

Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt enjoyed a performance of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the school on Wednesday 12 October 2016.

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PARTY POLITICS

Posted on 11th October 2016

History and Politics students attended a local democracy event in the Mid-Ulster Council’s Magherafelt offices.  Ferghal McFlynn,  Sarah Gallen and Niamh McElwee took part in a ‘speed dating’ event where they met a number of local councillors from various political parties.  They had an opportunity to raise questions on a range of local government issues that were of interest to them.

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AS MAGILLIGAN TRIP

Posted on 10th October 2016

On Tuesday 4 October 2016, Year 13 Geography students participated in a visit to Magilligan Field Centre.  

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SMOOTH OPERATORS

Posted on 10th October 2016

On Monday 3 October 2016, Miss Donnelly and the staff of Café Bordeaux held a ‘Smoothie Taste Testing Morning’ enabling all pupils to sample the range of delicious smoothies available in the school at break time and lunch time.  The event was held as part of the school’s focus on promoting nutrition and healthy eating within the school.  Each month, pupils are rewarded for making healthy food choices in Café Bordeaux.  Pictured are those pupils who received rewards in September and October:

Sarah Devlin (8B), Rachel Quinn (9D), Bronagh McAteer (10E), Ciara Cassidy (11E),

Molly McAllister (12B), Jason McFlynn (13PBR) and Kerri Quinn (14UDO).

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BUDDING LINGUISTS

Posted on 07th October 2016

On Tuesday 27 September 2016, Year 13 and Year 14 language students visited Holy Family Primary School to teach French, Irish and Spanish to Primary 3 - Primary 7 pupils to mark European Day of Languages.  The Sixth Form students were extremely keen to take part in this project, and for many it was actually an opportunity to return to their former primary school.  The lesson topics ranged from ‘colours’ to ‘animals’ and lots of careful planning was involved. The primary pupils thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to learn a new language and demonstrated great enthusiasm and confidence.  The “new teachers” were rewarded for their efforts with some well-deserved treats, provided by the primary school at the end of their lessons.

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ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL AWARDS CEREMONY 2016

Posted on 04th October 2016

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has held its annual Awards Ceremony.  Celebrating the successes and achievements of the academic year 2015-16, the event took place in the school on Wednesday 28 September 2016.

As well as celebrating the outstanding attainment of pupils in recent GCSE and A Level examinations, the evening also provided an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of pupils in a range of extra-curricular activities, ranging from sport to public speaking.

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SILVER DUKE OF EDINBURGH EXPEDITION

Posted on 30th September 2016

Between 22 – 24 September 2016, a group of Year 14 students completed their qualifying Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Mourne Mountains. 

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UNDER THE SEA

Posted on 27th September 2016

On Thursday 22 September 2016, Year 13 Biology students participated in a field trip to Portaferry Seashore and the Exploris Aquarium. 

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INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY

Posted on 27th September 2016

On Wednesday 21 September 2016, St. Mary’s marked International Peace Day in a significant way.  Thirty three Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s joined other pupils from within the Magherafelt Learning Partnership and across Northern Ireland at the ‘Amazing the Space’ event at the Maze, Long Kesh. Meanwhile, St. Mary’s was the host venue for a live streaming of the main event and welcomed pupils from other schools within the Magherafelt Learning Partnership for a morning of activities, including a ‘Big Breakfast’ and a Zumba session before joining the live stream.  Year 10 pupil, Amy Loughran, played a central role in the event as her ‘Peace Pledge’ was filmed and broadcast during the live stream.  Organiser of the event, Dr. David Latimer, spoke about the important role young people have in peace-building.  He said: “Young people, with open minds, fresh ideas and positive energy are the key to a brighter future in Northern Ireland. The young have the power to forge a path of good hope that shimmers with peace and prosperity. This central idea is the catalytic touchstone of the Amazing the Space initiative.”

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READING REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Posted on 19th September 2016

On Monday 12 September 2016, Year 8 pupils welcomed local author, Christine Hamill, to St. Mary’s library.  Pupils had the opportunity to listen to Christine reading extracts from her recent novel, The Best Medicine, and to ask questions about what it was like to be a published author.  Year 8 pupil, Katie-Mae McCloskey, commented:  “It was an inspirational morning and I really enjoyed reading the book as it was so funny. It was also exciting to meet a real-life author!”  Charley Nicholas (8D) was the lucky winner of the free copy of The Best Medicine.

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TAKING ACTION

Posted on 19th September 2016

On 16 September 2016, Year 10 pupils presented Anne Walker from Action MS with a cheque for almost £3000 for the charity.  The money was raised through a sponsored walk which the pupils undertook at the end of Year 9.  Congratulations to all Year 10 pupils on this outstanding fundraising effort.      

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ZUMBA TIME

Posted on 12th September 2016

On Friday 9 September 2016, Year 8 pupils joined their Year 13 and Year 14 ‘Senior Buddies’ in the Sports Hall for Zumba.  It was an energetic afternoon of fun and dance which gave Year 8 pupils and their ‘buddies’ an opportunity to get to know each other. 

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GCSE EXAMINATION SUCCESS FOR ST. MARY’S

Posted on 26th August 2016

Students at St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have again excelled in GCSE examinations. Following the publication of results, Mrs Gillespie, Principal, described the grades achieved by students as “truly remarkable” and reported that 99% of students achieved A*-C grades in at least 7 subjects, including English and Mathematics. An impressive 65% of all grades were A*- A.

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A LEVEL EXAMINATION RESULTS 2016

Posted on 24th August 2016

A LEVEL EXCELLENCE AT ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL

The Principal  of St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has reported another year of excellence and success for the school following the publication of the 2016 A Level examination results.

An impressive 95.6% of all examinations taken by students resulted in A* - C grades.  37.2% of the grades attained were A* - A

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RIGHT OF THE WEEK (13th June)

Posted on 13th June 2016

Article 20 (Children deprived of family environment): Children who cannot be looked after by their own family have a right to special care and must be looked after properly, by people who respect their ethnic group, religion, culture and language.

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SALTERS’ FESTIVAL OF CHEMISTRY

Posted on 06th June 2016

Four students from Year 8 took part in The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast on Wednesday 25 May. It was an all-day event, which the pupils thoroughly enjoyed. Congratulations to Aine Young, Eimear Harkin, Holly Dougan and Diarmuid Mulholland who were awarded second place.

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RIGHT OF THE WEEK (6th June)

Posted on 06th June 2016

Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence): Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.

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Right of the Week (30th May)

Posted on 31st May 2016

Article 18 (Parental responsibilities; state assistance): Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their children, and should always consider what is best for each child

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Right of the Week (23rd May)

Posted on 24th May 2016

Article 17 (Access to information; mass media): Children have the right to get information that is important to their health and well-being. Governments should encourage mass media – radio, television, newspapers and Internet content sources – to provide information that children can understand and to not promote materials that could harm children. Mass media should particularly be encouraged to supply information in languages that minority and indigenous children can understand. Children should also have access to children’s books.

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