St Mary's St Mary's GCSE EXAMINATION SUCCESS FOR ST. MARY’S The Principal of St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has described this year’s GCSE examination results as “outstanding”. Fri, 24 Aug 2018 14:16:01 GMT St. Mary’s Students have achieved outstanding ‘A’ Level Examination Results A Level students in St. Mary’s Grammar School had cause for celebration following the publication of this year’s examination results. Ms Gillespie, Principal, reported that an outstanding 95% of all examinations taken by students resulted in A*-C grades.  81% of all entries resulted in A*-B grades while 44% of all entries resulted in A*-A grades. Fri, 17 Aug 2018 15:08:50 GMT ST. MARY’S PUPILS HAVE THEIR DAY IN COURT A team of Year 9 and Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt recently participated in the UK Final of the National Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial, organised by the Citizenship Foundation, and hosted in Birmingham’s Victoria Law Courts. Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:06:07 GMT ST. MARY’S STUDENT TO TRAVEL TO USA FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY A Year 13 student from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has been awarded a place on the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Programme (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. Tue, 29 May 2018 13:04:09 GMT Summer Camp 2018 St. Mary’s Grammar invites P6 pupils to register for the 2018 Summer Camp. Limited Number of Places Available Mon, 14 May 2018 15:38:25 GMT Book of Condolence Following the passing of Mrs Hynds, Assistant Principal, a Book of Condolence will be open in the Main Reception area of St. Mary’s from Tuesday 17 April 2018 – Friday 27 April 2018 between 10am and 3pm each week day. Members of the St. Mary’s community, including past pupils, former colleagues, parents and friends of the school, who wish to remember Mrs Hynds are invited to visit St. Mary’s to sign the Book of Condolence. May she rest in peace. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:12:50 GMT Bereavement It is with deep regret and sadness that we learned today of the passing of our esteemed Assistant Principal, Mrs Irene Hynds (RIP). Please remember Mrs Hynds and her family in your prayers. Following the passing of Mrs Hynds, St. Mary’s will close all day on Wednesday 18 April 2018.  Mrs Hynds’s Requiem Mass will be held in the Church of the Assumption, Magherafelt on Wednesday at 11am. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 10:11:38 GMT Parents’ Information Event at Ulster University. Ulster University would like to invite parents and guardians of Year 12 and 13 students to their Parents’ Information Event. Students are welcome to attend. Saturday,14th April 9.30am - 1.00pm Belfast Campus. Mon, 09 Apr 2018 10:02:36 GMT Life Advocate Award Essay Competition The Life Advocate Award Essay Competition is a prestigious award which receives a tremendous response from students all across Ireland. The annual essay-writing competition was set up to encourage research and critical thinking on right-to-life issues. Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:52:51 GMT ‘Guys and Dolls’ donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care. Heather Miller, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie Cancer Care, accepts a cheque from pupils and staff in St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt.  The money was raised through a raffle on the Gala Evening of the school’s production, Guys and Dolls.  Included in the picture are: Mr G. Quinn (Senior Teacher), Miss U. Donnelly (Head of Music), Heather Miller (Marie Curie), Mr F. Dunlop (Vice-Principal), Tiarnach Donaghy, Odhran Lynch, Roise Pelan, Daniel McNamee, Anna McCloskey, Oisin Duffin and Adam Connolly. Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:32:03 GMT Primary Schools’ Gaelic Football Tournament St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt hosted its annual Primary School Gaelic Football Tournament on Wednesday 28th February 2018 in Meadowbank Sports Arena.  It was a bitterly cold and wintry day, but that did not stop 12 primary schools competing. Fri, 02 Mar 2018 15:04:50 GMT ‘Mood Matters’ at St. Mary’s. Year 14 students were invited to attend a workshop, facilitated by Aware NI, on Mental Health Awareness. The workshop, entitled ‘Mood Matters’, aimed to give young people knowledge and skills which they can use to maintain good mental health and build resilience in order to better deal with problems and challenges. Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:40:50 GMT ULSTER SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ XC CHAMPIONSHIPS- FINALS Congratulations and thanks to all the students involved in the recent Ulster Secondary Schools’ XC Championships Finals Held in Mallusk Playing Fields. Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:12:46 GMT e-Safety at St. Mary’s On Friday 23 February 2018, Year 9 and Year 10 pupils from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt attended an e-safety presentation in the school. Delivered by Wayne Denner and facilitated by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), the presentation explored issues around internet safety, online reputation and responsible use of social media. Mon, 26 Feb 2018 14:29:10 GMT School App Launched! We are delighted to be able to introduce you to another new development in our communications - our new St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt, school-app. More than ever, communications with parents is of vital importance and the school-app is another creative step in our efforts to provide the best and most convenient ways of reaching out to you and the wider school community. Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:45:37 GMT Congratulations, Ciara! Year 13 pupil, Ciara Malcolm, has been selected to represent Ulster at the Irish Schools Interprovincial Championships to be held in Dublin on Sunday 15 April 2018. Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:57:54 GMT Success for St. Mary’s! On Saturday 3 February 2018, Year 13 student, Cate Bateson, was placed 2nd in the Northern Ireland Final of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland’s Public Speaking competition. Mon, 12 Feb 2018 08:54:47 GMT Soroptimist Public Speaking Finalist 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. Thu, 01 Feb 2018 17:03:53 GMT St. Mary’s Triumph at TIMONS! 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. Thu, 01 Feb 2018 11:24:28 GMT Cross Country Hopes for St. Mary’s Pupils 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. Mon, 29 Jan 2018 11:09:58 GMT Gael Linn Finalists 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 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:30:51 GMT Warm welcome at St. Mary’s Open Evenings. 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. Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:23:49 GMT Open Evenings 2018 The St. Mary’s team look forward to welcoming you to one of our Open Evenings next week. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:57:59 GMT School closed Wednesday 17 January ​Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of safety for all, St. Mary’s will be closed today - 17 January. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:28:33 GMT Empower Training Sessions Three free sessions of SEN Training, provided by Empower will take place in St Mary’s in the upcoming weeks. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:27:39 GMT ON AIR 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. Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:12:17 GMT All wrapped up! 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. Wed, 20 Dec 2017 12:40:49 GMT CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE                             St. Mary’s Students Top of the Class 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. Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:10:17 GMT ST. MARY’S GUYS AND DOLLS PERFORM BROADWAY CLASSIC 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. Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:59:45 GMT ST. MARY’S SUPPORTS NATIONWIDE #Redappeal 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 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 15:45:28 GMT CASEMENT CUP COMPETITION 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. Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:29:10 GMT SPEAKING OUT On 16 November 2017, six pupils represented St. Mary’s in the regional heat of the Soroptimist International Public Speaking Competition in Ballymoney. Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:18:32 GMT UK BEBRAS COMPETITION During the week beginning Monday 13 November 2017, 55 pupils across all Key Stages took part in the annual UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:07:30 GMT POETRY ALOUD 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. Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:41:36 GMT SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP WORKSHOP 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. Fri, 27 Oct 2017 15:57:01 GMT THERE’S SOMETHING STRANGE… 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 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:49:09 GMT ON THE ROAD TO UNIVERSITY Universities from throughout Ireland and England attended a University Roadshow organised by Head of Careers, Miss Donoghue. Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:22:52 GMT GUYS AND DOLLS In its 90th anniversary year, St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt is proud to present the musical comedy, Guys and Dolls. Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:00:00 GMT SCHOOL CLOSURE ​School closed tomorrow (Tuesday 17 October) as precautionary measure in light of weather warnings. Sun, 15 Oct 2017 22:58:56 GMT Miss Saigon Trip Tuesday 10th October 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 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:40:42 GMT The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 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. Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:07:10 GMT GUYS AND DOLLS - EVERY LITTLE HELPS 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. Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:50:50 GMT Liverpool University Talk 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. Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:19:52 GMT Social Work Information Evening Social Work Information Evening Wednesday 15 November 2017, 6.30pm-8.00pm. Whitla Hall, Queen’s University. Mon, 09 Oct 2017 09:28:18 GMT Congratulations Blanche! 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. Tue, 03 Oct 2017 10:14:45 GMT MID-ULSTER COUNCIL Civic Reception 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 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:00:49 GMT 2017 Awards Ceremony 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. Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:33:38 GMT Year 13 Prefect Training. 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’. Tue, 12 Sep 2017 11:26:48 GMT GCSE Success at St. Mary’s 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          Fri, 25 Aug 2017 13:50:35 GMT A LEVEL EXAMINATION SUCCESS IN ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL 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*. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:12:23 GMT Oisin McGurk wins the prestigious Sky Sports Living ‘Sport Student of the Year for Northern Ireland’ ​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. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 18:29:22 GMT Catriona McCoy picks up second place in National Essay Writing Competition ​ 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’. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 18:08:24 GMT St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt, flying the flag for the Irish language! 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. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:37:33 GMT ECO Schools Green Flag awarded to St. Mary’s Grammar school, Magherafelt. ​ St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt, has been awarded a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:22:29 GMT Sixth Form pupil Hugh McKenna wins the Concern Worldwide Fundraising Newcomer Award. ​ A Sixth Form pupil from St. Mary’s Grammar School has won the Concern Worldwide Fundraising Newcomer Award. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:06:09 GMT Success for St. Mary’s students at the Salters’ festival of Chemistry St. Mary’s students enjoyed great success at the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry held at Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:54:58 GMT St. Mary’s Grammar School enjoy success at the British Physics Olympiad competitions 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. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:33:11 GMT 10C win Children in Crossfire Maths Challenge ​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. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:18:12 GMT Our Leading Lady ​A Year 13 student from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has attended the CCEA Celebrating Excellence ceremony at Titanic Belfast. Mon, 03 Jul 2017 15:56:21 GMT Speech and Drama Success For St. Mary’s Pupil SPEECH AND DRAMA SUCCESS FOR ST. MARY’S PUPILCongratulations to Year 9 pupil, Roma Boyle, who enjoyed huge success at the Ballymena, Coleraine and Portstewart Festivals in recent months. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 11:33:02 GMT Miss Earth 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 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:32:42 GMT St. Mary’s Achieves the Fair Aware Award! 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. Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:21:19 GMT John Paul II Award 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. Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:15:46 GMT Spring Concert 2017 St. Mary’s Grammar School’s annual Spring Concert was held on Wednesday 29 March 2017.  Relatives and friends were treated to a vast array of musical talent from students in Years 8 to 14.  It was the culmination of many months of preparation, including lunchtime and after school rehearsals. Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:54:30 GMT IMPORTANT E-SAFETY MESSAGE 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. Fri, 31 Mar 2017 11:44:31 GMT MacRory Glory for St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt 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. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:05:36 GMT MACRORY CUP HOPE FOR ST. MARY’S 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. Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:37:42 GMT PLAYING FAIR 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. Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:58:55 GMT ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MAGHERAFELT IS SUPPORTING SAFER INTERNET DAY 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. Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:59:44 GMT CROSS COUNTRY SUCCESS 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. Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:11:17 GMT ICT EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR ST. MARY’S 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. Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:10:04 GMT PLAY IT AGAIN 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. Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:38:51 GMT REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE 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. Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:26:05 GMT CLUB MHUIRE 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! Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:59:38 GMT WELCOME TO ST. MARY’S 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.Click here to view Media Gallery Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:41:42 GMT YEAR 12 STUDY SKILLS WORKSHOP 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! Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:42:15 GMT PERSONAL ECONOMICS On Wednesday 1 December 2016, Year 11 pupils took part in the Young Enterprise Personal Economics Programme. Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:47:25 GMT CAMBRIDGE CHEMISTRY CHALLENGE 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. Sun, 04 Dec 2016 12:27:55 GMT RCUK SCIENCE EVENT 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. Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:43:26 GMT I’M A FRENCH STUDENT … GET ME OUT OF HERE! 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. Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:38:48 GMT KARATE KIDS 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. Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:28:41 GMT MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS 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. Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:40:21 GMT YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH 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. Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:31:15 GMT ON THE RIGHT PATH 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. Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:21:10 GMT THAT’S A WRAP! 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.” Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:08:03 GMT FEED THE BIRDS 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. Fri, 25 Nov 2016 16:15:29 GMT THE ROAD AHEAD 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.Click here to view media gallery Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:52:37 GMT CHEMISTRY AT WORK EVENT On Tuesday 22 November 2016, a group of Year 12 students attended the Chemistry at Work Exhibition at Queen’s University in Belfast. Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:30:23 GMT IN A SPIN AND GOING FAST 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. Fri, 25 Nov 2016 12:09:29 GMT SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE 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. Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:07:31 GMT SO TO SPEAK 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. Tue, 22 Nov 2016 16:15:04 GMT THE BIG PICTURE 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. Tue, 22 Nov 2016 12:39:34 GMT HEALTHY EATING AWARDS 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)) Mon, 21 Nov 2016 14:37:52 GMT RAISING CONCERN -  CHARITY FOCUS IN ST. MARY’S 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. Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:14:15 GMT GAEL LINN SUCCESS 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 Tue, 08 Nov 2016 17:10:15 GMT WORK OF ART 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. Thu, 03 Nov 2016 12:43:36 GMT ART ATTACK 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!” Click here to view media gallery Wed, 02 Nov 2016 12:48:01 GMT VISIT TO GRAND OPERA HOUSE 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. Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:47:19 GMT SOCCER SUCCESS 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). Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:42:35 GMT TOP OF THE CLASS 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.” Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:04:04 GMT