Board of Governors Report 200708

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					Board of Governors
 Report 2007/08
                 THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Very Reverend G Canon McCrory, Chairman         Department of Education Representative
Miss Mairead O’Halloran, Vice Chair             Trustees Representative
Sr Maureen Carville, Correspondent              Trustees Representative
Mr John McGarrity                               Trustees Representative
Dr Frank Casey                                  Trustees Representative
Miss Kathleen McEvoy                            Department of Education Representative
Miss Mary Kane                                  Department of Education Representative
Mrs Colette Marquess                            Parent Governor (elected)
Mrs Monica Lewis                                Teacher Governor
Mrs Sheila Crea                                 Principal/Non-Voting member

Members’ term of office (excluding the Principal) expires on 29 December 2009.

It is our pleasure to fulfil the role of the Governors of Assumption Grammar School and to
assist in supporting its continued development in these challenging times for education.
We value the confidence that you, as parents, express by selecting our school and
entrusting your children’s education to us. Our vision is one of partnership, where all parts
of the school community work together to promote the growth and development of our
pupils in every aspect of their lives.

The Governors are ultimately responsible for the overall management of the school. They
are required to meet a minimum of three times a year. Matters dealt with by the Board in
the past year included:
              Admissions Policy and Enrolment
              Appointment and promotion of staff
              Finance and the LMS Budget
              Fostering Links with the Local Community
              Provision of information to parents.

To facilitate them in the fulfilment of their duties the governors have established the
following Sub-Committees:
     Admissions                    Finance                      Audit
     Appointments                  Salary
     Pastoral/Disciplinary         Salary Appeals


We welcomed the following new member of staff:
Temporary Teacher of Chemistry Mr Gary Moan

The second year of Mrs Kim Craig’s (Teacher of Spanish and French) career break was
covered by Mr Jean Louis Devin.

Miss Elaine Conaghan covered a year’s career break for Mr Ronan Murphy (Teacher of ICT
and Business Studies).

These appointments brought the total teaching staff to 55 full time and 8 part time

Mrs Sheila Crea retired from her post of Principal after 33 years in the school. Mrs Nuala
Shaw, Head of Music, also retired from the staff after 31 years. The Board of Governors
wishes them both success and happiness in their retirement.

Internal Appointments
Mr Paul McBride was appointed Principal and will take up his post in September 2008.

Mrs Nuala Colhoun was appointed Vice Principal (Curricular), commencing her post in
September 2008.

Dr Michael Murphy will join the Senior Management Team as Senior Teacher of the Junior
School from September 2008.


The school’s enrolment for the academic year 2007-2008 was 906. This number included a
Year 8 enrolment of 124. The popularity of the school is witnessed by the number of
parents who give it as first preference. Members of the Board of Governors regret that
they had to disappoint some parents.

The vast majority of Year 12 pupils returned to school after GCSE. The Department of
Education permitted us to accept 4 applicants from neighbouring secondary schools.

                       EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

The school remains committed to the tradition of ensuring that all pupils with special
educational needs have full access to the National Curriculum. Where possible, support has
been provided within the ordinary classroom setting. Additional support in Numeracy has
been addressed through a withdrawal programme, with a minimum of disruption to the
pupils’ timetable.

We had 2 statemented pupils and 2 classroom assistants during the academic year 2007/8.

The Department of Education provided funding for a lap top for one of the statemented
students. The school continues to provide word processors for other students with Special
Educational Needs who are at Level Three and whose learning will benefit from their use.

The SEN and Inclusion Policy has been reviewed.

The school offers a range of subjects over and above the statutory requirements of the
Northern Ireland Curriculum and lays particular emphasis on the pastoral dimension in the

Key Stage 3 (Years 8,9 and 10)
Year 9 Schemes of Work were revisited and redesigned in preparation for the
implementation of the new post primary curriculum beginning 2008/2009. Here the school
will endeavour both at whole school and departmental levels to fulfil the 3 main curriculum
objectives. These are to develop each of our pupils as

       Individuals
       Contributors to society
       Contributors to the economy and the environment

Although aspects of Learning for Life and Work (LLW) will be addressed through the
Areas of Study, the school will continue to deliver Personal Development (RSE), Home
Economics, Local and Global Citizenship and Employability as discrete areas. Education for
Employability (EE) is now successfully embedded into Key Stage 3. Also in 2007/2008, the
school piloted a new system of reporting for Year 8.

The Arts                           Art and Design
Language & Literacy                English
Mathematics & Numeracy             Mathematics
Modern Languages                   French
Environment & Society              History
Science & Technology               Technology and Design
Learning for Life & Work           Home Economics
                                   Relationships & Sexuality Education (RSE)
Physical Education                 Physical Education
Religious Education                Religious Education

ICT and Latin are still delivered as part of our KS3 provision.

In Years 9 & 10, pupils study Irish and Spanish. At the end of Year 9, pupils choose 2
languages from Latin, Spanish and Irish which they continue into Year 10 with French. As
can be seen above, curriculum time is given to the pastoral dimension: pupils are
timetabled for classes in RSE. They are trained in Library Skills by a qualified Librarian.
This includes guidance and practice in the use of multi-media resources attached to the
Library. The delivery of the Citizenship Programme now continues within a modular system
in Years 8-12.

In 2008/2009 Home Economics will be delivered to all pupils at Key Stage 3 on a weekly
basis and not on a modular basis, as previously.

ICT will be continued as a discrete subject through the modular system for pupils in Years
9 and 10. Year 8 pupils will have one period a week to develop ICT skills which they will
employ in the Learning Areas.

A Music Theory course continues to be available to those Year 9 pupils who receive
instrumental lessons. These pupils continue music theory into a Year 10 module session.
Year 8 Chorale Singing modules will be introduced in September 2008.

Key Stage 4 (Years 11 and 12)
Through its Key Stage 4 curriculum, the school offers pupils a very wide choice of subjects
for GCSE, thus keeping open to them a varied range of career options.

The subjects offered at Key Stage 4 are:

Core Subjects                       Religious Education
(Compulsory)                        English
                                    English Literature

All students study these Core Subjects. In addition, they are obliged to study:

Science:      Either                Double Science Award (2 GCSEs)
              or all 3 of           Physics
            or a combination of     Biology with Chemistry or
                                    Physics with Chemistry

Environment & Society:      Either History
                            or     Geography

Languages:                 Either Irish
                           or     Spanish
                           or     French

Students may study both History and Geography and more than one language.

Most students study 10 GCSE subjects, composed of the requirements listed above and a
choice of 1 or 2 from the following optional list:

   Additional Maths
   Art and Design
   Business Studies
   Drama
   Home Economics
   Information and Communications Technology
   Journalism
   Music
   PE
   Technology and Design
   Latin

Journalism as an Applied GCSE was introduced with 21 girls choosing to study this. The
pupils taking this subject met with great success with 33% achieving an A* grade and
47.6% achieving an A grade.

We continued to offer the choice of studying two separate sciences as well as Double and
Triple Award at GCSE level.

Assessment at the end of Key Stage 4 is through GCSE examinations. All students take
non-examination courses in Relationships and Sexuality Education, Citizenship, Careers and
Physical Education. In 2007/2008, one Year 11 class completed the first year of the GCSE
course in Learning for Life and Work. Mr Wilson was appointed Co-ordinator of Learning
for Life and Work with particular responsibility for Citizenship.

Cross - Curricular Themes
The following themes form an integral part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum and are
integrated within each subject:

Education for Mutual Understanding                     Economic Awareness
Information and Communication Technology               Careers
Health Education                                       Cultural Heritage

Sixth Form (Years 13 and 14)

A range of 28 subjects is available for AS and A2 level.

Subjects Offered

Art & Design            Biology                Business Studies         Applied Business

Chemistry               Economics              English Literature       French

Geography               Health & Social        History                  History and
                        Care                                            Appreciation of Art

Home Economics          Applied ICT            ICT                      Irish

Latin                   Mathematics            Music                    Physical Education

Physics                 Psychology             Government & Politics    Religious Studies

Spanish                 Sociology              Technology & Design      Theatre Studies

Applied subjects are more vocationally-orientated A levels. The school introduced Health
and Social Care as another Applied option in 2007/2008. 25% of the entries gained an A
grade and 75% a B grade.

12 of the 13 pupils who successfully completed AS Psychology continued the subject to A2
level. The class had a 100% pass rate with 50% achieving an A grade.
Most students continue to study 4 AS levels in Year 13. The majority of Year 14 students
discontinue one AS level and continue with 3 at A2 level.

In keeping with the school’s commitment to providing a broad and relevant academic
experience for Sixth Form students, we continued to offer an Enrichment Programme in
Year 13. In 2007/2008, students could choose from the following increased choice: Home
Cooking, European Studies, Leisure Activities, Engineering Education Scheme and Deaf
Awareness. Links continued with the local Regional Colleges with tutors visiting the school
on a weekly basis to offer courses in Digital Film Editing and First Aid. A new Leadership
programme ASPIRE was introduced in 2007/2008 and was delivered by external tutors.
This proved to be a popular and successful option and will be continued in 2008/2009.
Additional Maths will be offered in the Enrichment Programme in 2008/2009. It is
designed to assist those students who have opted for AS Maths and have not yet passed
Additional Maths.

Leadership training included talks from representatives of many organisations which
catered for the varied interests of the pupils: Moore Stephens - Accountancy,
Worthington - Law, Roslyn Dougherty – Social Work and the Down District Volunteer
Centre. In addition, pupils were trained for leadership roles in the school.

A range of Leisure Activities is offered to Sixth Form pupils by the PE Department
including aerobics, bowling, fitness training, horse riding, ice skating, squash and swimming.

As part of the Ballynahinch Area Learning Community Programme the school will offer to
deliver History, Religious Studies and English at AS level to a number of St. Colman’s High
School girls. Also, Mrs Joyce from St. Colman’s High School, will deliver AS Health and
Social Care to our students in Assumption Grammar School. Two thirds of this AS course
will be delivered in Assumption and the other third in St Colman’s.

                       CAREERS EDUCATION
                         AND GUIDANCE

All pupils from Years 8-14 have timetabled Careers classes in which emphasis is placed on
the development of personal awareness and skills related to occupational opportunities.
Pupils are encouraged to make informed decisions and choices in relation to Personal Career

Education for Employability was delivered throughout Key Stage 3. The programme has
proven to be very popular with both teachers and pupils enjoying the new focus on
interactive learning. One class in Year 11 commenced Learning for Life and Work as a

The work of the Careers Department was enhanced by the following events:

 The Annual Interview Day was held in December. Final year pupils found this valuable
  preparation for the future. They benefited from the guidance given by our skilled
  interviewers from local businesses and professions who volunteered to give of their time
  and talent. The school is indebted to them.

 The Bi-Annual Careers Convention will be held on 24 February 2009.

The Programme for 2007/2008 consisted of 3 elements designed to help students explore
a wide range of Career opportunities.

1)   Careers guidance related to choice of university course and the completion of

2)   Speakers from a wide range of careers talk informally to pupils and take part in a
     question and answer session – This year’s programme included regular and much
     appreciated speakers – Ian McClure from the field of Accountancy, Celia Worthington
     from Law, Roslyn Dougherty, Social Work and a representative from Project Trust.
     Past pupils, including Katrina Godfrey from the Department of Education, also shared
     their experiences with our girls.

3)   Work Experience

This Programme is invaluable in adding an extra dimension to the educational experience of
Year 13 pupils. It provides a welcome break from A level-orientated studies and at the
same time enhances pupils’ qualifications and frequently develops an interest which lasts
long after school. In this year’s programme, we offered Deaf and Blind Awareness, First
Aid, Leisure Studies, Engineering Education Scheme, European Studies, Digital and Film
Editing and ASPIRE.

The Year 13 pupils embarked on their Work Experience placements during the last week of
January 2008 immediately following their AS modular exams. Once again there was keen
interest in a number of career areas: Medicine; Nursing; Physiotherapy; Occupational
Therapy; Speech & Language Therapy; Law; Teaching; Veterinary Science; Pharmacy;
Accountancy; Architecture; Dentistry; PSNI; Quantity Surveying; Clinical Psychology;
Journalism and others.

The pupils returned their Work Experience Journals, the most informative of which were
uploaded into the Work Experience section of Learning Resources. Pupils are now able to
read selected accounts of pupils’ experiences online and can also access the placement
records of all students since 2004.

                   EDUCATION FOR MUTUAL
                     UNDERSTANDING &
                    EDUCATIONAL VISITS

The Board of Governors is grateful to those members of staff who gave of their time to
organise and lead several valuable educational and humanitarian trips during the year.
Their contribution to the educational experience of our pupils and to the development of
their understanding of other societies is indeed commendable and invaluable.

The trip was organised by Miss Goodall and ably led by Mr Graham. It was the school’s
ninth visit to help in Romanian orphanages and was a great success. The girls themselves
raised £12,000.

Mr Graham’s account gives us a glimpse of the conditions in which the group lived and
worked and the lives of those to whom they brought some joy.

     We set off from Ballynahinch at 2:30 am on the 5th July 2008 to work in three
     orphanages in a city called Iasi (pronounced ‘Yash’) in Romania. I was
     accompanied by my wife Hester, Hazel Alexander and eight girls from
     Assumption Grammar School. The girls were Gemma Patton, Maeve McCauley,
     Rachel Murphy, Ciara McErlean, Aisling Hogg, Sarah Knight, Alex McGrath and
     Claire O’Neill. We were joined by some past pupils, Shona Ritchie, Alannah
     Jackson, Colleen Laverty and Meadhbh McQuoid. We all had to raise funds for
     the project with everyone expected to collect about £1,000. When we reached
     the check out at Dublin Airport I had to plead with the Airline Malev to ignore
     the maximum weight limit for each suitcase. Some of the cases weighed 30Kg on
     the outward journey and 10 Kg on the return journey. Not only were much
     needed funds raised, but books, toiletries and toys filled the suitcases.

     It is difficult for us to fully understand what it means to be an orphan. The life
     of an orphan in Iasi is far removed from the romantic life of little orphan Annie
     in the 1982 musical. In contrast, the life in Rosetti, an orphanage which
     accommodated special needs children during July and August, was grim with
     little prospect of a better life or a decent future. We experienced at first
     hand their living conditions, this being our base for the duration of the project.
     This was the second time the above girls had visited Iasi. They were, literally,
     welcomed with open arms.

     One nineteen year old girl in Rosetti showed us her photo album. It contained
     about 40 photographs. She was the only person in each photograph, wearing the
     same outfit, with a grey wall as the background. An orphan in Rosetti is
     generally a person without a family history and with little to look forward to.
     The aim of our project was to provide activities for these seven and twenty
     year old orphans during their summer break from school.

     During our nine days in Iasi we worked in three orphanages: Rosetti, where we
     stayed; Holban an orphanage with older children who had a good level of
     education; and thirdly, Gulliver’s, an orphanage nursing children with Aids.
     Everyone enjoyed working in Gulliver’s in particular. The children were always
     eager to see us and participated fully and enthusiastically in all activities. In
     spite of their physical condition, they appeared to be happy and contented.

     Very few of the orphans could speak English. Throughout our time in Iasi we had
     a group of Romanian volunteers who acted as our interpreters. They were
     actively involved in all aspects of the project. These young university students
     were always in demand. Communication between the girls from Assumption and
     the children in the orphanages was endless and the Romanian interpreters
     performed their duties professionally and with discretion.

     In general, the project was a success. The girls from Assumption stood out in
     terms of participation and leadership. Throughout the project we were always
     very impressed with their patience, kindness and understanding. At times the
     work was extremely challenging - especially in Rosetti. However, there were no
     complaints. Everyone remained positive and enthusiastic throughout. I have no
     doubt that the girls gained a lot from the project and certainly the young people
     in Iasi will have very happy memories as a result of their experience. As leaders
     we were privileged to have the company of such exemplary girls. They displayed
     the wonderful missionary spirit of the Assumption Community. Undoubtedly,
     they will continue to enrich the lives of others, in particular, those less
     fortunate than themselves.

Mr Hackney, his wife, his daughter Jade and sixteen Year 12 and 13 students left Dublin in
mid July to experience much of what South Africa has to offer.

     We arrived in Johannesburg and went straight to the Magiliesberg. The first
     night was very cold and the girls, who had few warm clothes, huddled under as
     many blankets as they could find and wondered what they had let themselves in
     for; they need not have worried!

     The following morning they experienced a proper African market; a very
     intimidating place with every stall holder aggressively but politely trying to sell

them things they did not want! A warm welcome to Africa!! Candle dipping, goblin
cove and a hands on experience with white lions concluded our time in Magilies.
From there we went to Sondela which is a game park where you can walk, in
relative safety, amongst the wildlife.

The next port of call was Mabula to which we were all looking forward as we
were to meet up with eight girls from Maryvale, our sister school in
Johannesburg. Sometimes when you look forward to something it can be a
disappointment, but not this time. The twenty four girls got on like the
proverbial house fire, as did the teachers. It was a joy to see people of
different colours mixing, without a hint of prejudice, in a country where the
past and in fact the present don’t always lend themselves to such camaraderie.
We had four glorious days together and many tears were shed when the fun had
to come to an end.

Sun City next and the first couple of challenges. Could you ride an elephant, put
your hand in its mouth and go down the fastest zip line in the world (140km.p.h)?
Well most of us did, as well as visiting the valley of the waves, seeing a rock
show and going to the cinema for an outrageous 50 pence.

There was then a seven hour drive to Kruger Park Lodge a resort near to the
Kruger National Park. Here we had some more challenges; river rafting, white
water tubing and a nine metre cliff leap into a river. It was during our time
here we experienced the most important part of the trip; a visit to Lulekani, a
crèche run by the Assumption Sisters. As always, we were warmly welcomed and
treated to a display of singing and dancing by the youngsters and afterwards
spent a great time playing with them. Mrs Hackney, Jade and a few of the more
artistic ones in the group produced the most fantastic mural of African wildlife
on three of the walls; it really was a sight to behold. The remainder of the group
were taken on a walkabout to see other commendable work the Sisters were
doing in the area and were heartbroken at what we saw. We had little doubt
that the money we raised was needed but were now certain and motivated to get
the rest of the school even more involved. The 15 girls had raised over £12,000
and weren’t the nuns pleased to receive it!

By now, the holiday was entering its last week, but what a week: abseiling down
Table Mountain and an even scarier walk back up, a trip to The Cape of Good
Hope, a swim in the Atlantic Ocean and a visit to a penguin colony in our two
days in Cape Town. Then there was the long drive to Plettenberg Bay via
Gansbaai where we were to do a Great White Shark dive. The boat took us out
at great speed to where we hoped to see the sharks. When we arrived at the
dive place we set anchor, got the cage in the water and by then we had two
great whites inspecting us! In all we saw six massive sharks, two of which
entertained us by crashing in to the cage; what an experience! Unfortunately

     the three metre swell did not suit all and much sea sickness transpired. Poor
     Hannah was affected so badly she could not get in the cage and many others
     were ill including Mrs Hackney who swears she will never go on a boat again! The
     trip back to land was much quieter.

     Whilst in Plett we did a tree canopy zip trail, an adventure tour of the Cango
     caves where Mr Hackney got his large frame through unbelievably small gaps,
     played with cheetahs and not so tiny tigers and cage dived with massive Nile
     crocodiles. On the final morning we had booked a kayak dolphin watch trip but
     had our luck run out when not a dolphin could be seen from the kayaks? Of
     course not, there were seven southern right whales in our bay to spy from the
     kayaks and amazingly one breached six times for us to get a sighting of a life

     All in all, the trip was fantastic. The girls on it were a credit to their parents
     and our school, as wherever we went people commented on their impeccable
     manners and behaviour. They showed that you can have a brilliant, action packed
     holiday and still behave in a commendable, Christian way. The girls on the next
     trip in 2009 have a lot to live up to but I am sure they will equal and maybe
     surpass the pupils of AAA5!

This trip was one of the many organised by the Geography Department in recent years. It
included visits to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai and seeing at first hand famous sites including
the Forbidden City, Tianeman Square, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army. Mr Owens
(Planner) was assisted by his colleagues – Mrs Wells, Mr Graham, Mrs Madine, Mrs
McCafferty, Mr Goddard and Mr Hackney - in planning a most memorable trip.

The 36 pupils and 6 teachers were particularly impressed by Yang Yang, their tour guide,
who made this trip a truly amazing cultural experience.

A group of 10 pupils from Year 8 travelled with two teachers, Mr Leonard and Miss
Conaghan, to Lamorlaye on the northern outskirts of Paris to celebrate 10 years of the
twinning arrangement between Ballynahinch and Lamorlaye. The girls performed a medley
of Irish songs (sung and on instruments) and Irish dances. They also sang the European
Anthem in French for the large crowd of townsfolk and dignitaries who had gathered in the
local stadium to celebrate this important anniversary. The girls were treated to “une soirée
Guinguette” in the grounds of Chantilly Castle. The weekend ended with a celebratory Mass
and dinner in the local parish church. In September 2008 a delegation from Lamorlaye will
travel to Ballynahinch for similar festivities.

The fifth History trip organised by Dr Murphy, Head of History, took place in March 2008.
34 pupils and four members of staff had a most enjoyable visit, the highlights of which
included a visit to Cologne and a boat trip down the Rhine.

The annual Ski Trip was to Salbach in Austria. 5 members of staff and 35 pupils attended
the very successful and enjoyable trip.

Mr Wilson and a Year 8 class were involved in a school linked project with Regent House
Grammar School, Newtownards. The pupils met on four occasions and explored themes such
as inclusion and diversity.

Year 11 and 13 Drama students visited the Lyric Theatre where they watched Moliere’s
‘The Hypochondriac’ and the deeply moving production of ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’
by Frank McGuinness. Year 14 students attended a production of Owen McCafferty’s
‘Scenes From The Big Picture’ and embarked on an Outreach programme funded by Prime
Cut Theatre Company. Outreach visited the school to assist AS and A2 Drama students in
creating a piece of theatre.

Thomas Crawford, a PGCE student teacher, created a very valuable link with
Ballynahinch High School through an automatic weather station to which both schools
will have access.

In October, Year 10 students took part in a Fair Trade Workshop run by Christian Aid.
This event encouraged the students to become global citizens and to spread the Fair
Trade message in school and beyond.

Established educational visits to Inch and Dundrum and to the Somme Centre as part of
the Department’s “Living History Programme” makes significant use of the expertise
and knowledge of members of the community and enhances the pupils’ understanding of
their local past. This year’s trips were much enjoyed by the pupils.

Year 11 Business Studies students travelled to the Tayto Factory for an industrial visit.

The Onatti Theatre group visited in November to stage “¡Buen Viaje!” Pupils from Years
10-12 were invited to attend the play. During European Languages week students of
Spanish participated in quizzes and badge making.

A number of Year 12 pupils attended an intensive Irish study day at the An Droichead
Centre in Belfast. These same pupils participated in a careers’ afternoon session facilitated
by the University of Galway. Year 14 pupils attended the Irish Language Workshop and
Film Day organised by QUB.

Year 12 Journalism students partook in the regional BBC News Day. Project coordinators
remarked on the students probing interviews and confident delivery of their reports.

In November 2007, the AS Music class participated in a workshop given by the Orion group
in the Elmwood Hall.

                          LINKS WITH THE
                          LOCAL COMMUNITY

 Year 12 students undertook an interesting local assignment for their GCSE
  Geography coursework “Ballynahinch needs a By Pass”.

 Geography Action Week – The Department welcomed past pupil, Dr Alana
  Cunningham, who delivered a stimulating talk to the Year 13 and 14 students on her
  Arctic expedition.

 In March, Year 13 students carried out a biogeographical fieldwork study at
  Murlough Nature Reserve.

 Year 9 students took part in the annual “Environment Speak” event organised by
  Down District Council. Student awareness of waste management issues and the
  importance of “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle” was raised. Fionnuala Donnelly (9E) and
  Louise Dunphy (9A) represented the school at local level.

    In June, a group of Year 10 and 11 students assisted in the Action Cancer “Race for
    Life” at Stormont Estate.

Mr. McCann led a one day workshop for Assumption and Regent House Year 8 pupils as
part of the Learning for Life and Work Project.

 The Department’s annual Primary 7 Netball tournament held in early October
  attracted 8 teams from local primary schools. The competition, which does much to
  cement relations with local primary schools, was won by St. Patrick’s PS, Saul.

 The Vi-Sport and RDS Netball tournaments afforded our pupils the opportunity to
  compete with other pupils from other schools in the SEELB area.

 The Livestock and Meat Commission provided two cookery demonstrations for Year
  11 GCSE students in April and the Year 13 Enrichment class in November. Both
  groups were shown innovative recipes which they enjoyed sampling. Through this,
  they were taught about the nutritional value of meat in the diet.

 20 Year 12 pupils attended the Annual Life Schools’ Conference held in Downpatrick
  in October.

 In December, the Chamber Choir took part in the annual Carol Service in

 The Traditional Group was invited to perform at the presentation of the World
  Methodist Peace Award to Reverend Harold Good.

 Mrs McReynolds maintained her link with QUB School of Education working with
  PGCE students specialising in Modern Languages to facilitate their transition from
  the role of student to that of classroom teacher.

 Mr Kevin Quinn, a local literary critic, addressed the Year 14 English Literature
  students on metaphysical and general poetry criticism.

 Dr Sophia Hillen, published author, literary critic and lecturer, made a return visit to
  present a lecture on the key elements of the Irish Short Story. With her wealth of
  contextual knowledge, this was most valuable for our Year 14 English students.

 In March, the library hosted the BASE C2K ALICE Library Support Group. 15
  Librarians from the Belfast and South Eastern Education and Library Boards met to
  discuss issues of common interest.

                     OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS,
                         AND EVENTS

Annual Concert
The highlight of the Music Department’s year was our Annual Concert which took place in
the Waterfront Hall to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the school. Mr Gerry
Kelly was our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The programme was designed to
reflect the many diverse talents of our students and included a wide variety of styles in
order to demonstrate this. In view of the special occasion, we decided to include the newly
formed Traditional Dancers. Another new venture was the performance of Chappell’s “The
Daniel Jazz” by all year 8 and 9 students. This proved to be a particularly memorable
occasion for both parents and students.

The evening opened with the Training Orchestra and was followed by the Barbershop
Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, Intermediate Chamber Ensemble and the Jazz Ensemble. The
first half concluded with the school choir singing excerpts from “The Messiah” by Handel
with Year 14 student Mary McCabe as soloist. Part II commenced with the Senior Chamber
Ensemble giving our Year 14 student, Tamsin Madine, an opportunity to play the Telemann
Viola Concerto. Other items included the Irish Traditional Group, the Chamber Choir and,
finally, the Senior Orchestra which performed a very challenging programme. This included
the finale from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and finished with Satchmo, a tribute to Louis
Armstrong. Many past pupils and old friends supported the event and we were delighted to
perform to a packed hall.

Junior Concert
The junior concert took place in mid June. This evening opened with the Training
Orchestra and was followed by a wide variety of chamber ensembles and soloists. The
extremely varied programme included arrangements of music by Bach, Brahms, Delibes and
Warlock. Lighter contrasts ranged from “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby” to “Eleanor
Rigby”, “The Pirates of the Carribean”, “Hairspray” and “The Muppet Show” theme. The
very successful evening concluded with the choir singing the folksong “The Turtle Dove”
and “Vois Sur Ton Chemin” from the film “Les Choristes” with a solo sung by Christina
Boyle. A number of special awards were made to pupils who achieved particularly high
standards in Music this year. The Age Concern and Year 8 award was presented to the
flautist Sorcha Donnelly; the Year 9 award was shared by the pianist Niamh McKeating and
trumpeter Emma Taylor; the Year 10 award was presented to the clarinettist Nicole
Garrett and the Walter Kerr Trophy for “Most Promising String Player” was awarded to
Orla McCrickard, Year 11.

Sunday Serenade
On Sunday 9 December we held “A Sunday Serenade” and were pleased with the great
support from a large audience. All groups performed a variety of pieces ranging from the
Junior, Intermediate and Senior Strings, Intermediate String Quartet, Wind Quintet,
Year 12 Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Traditional Irish Group, Barbershop, Chamber
Choir, Senior Orchestra and the School Choir. The programme ranged from the Can Can,
Santa Baby and O Holy Night to the Hallelujah Chorus.

The Department promoted pupil involvement in a number of competitions and achieved
notable successes:

 A Year 10 student, Anna Fitzsimons, won 1st prize in Poetry Ireland’s Short Story

 3 Year 12 students, Jordan Hynds, Claire McVeigh and Clare Fitzpatrick, won first,
  second and third prizes respectively in the “Say Yes To Down Hospital” competition.

There were many successes in the field of Public Speaking which is enthusiastically
promoted by the English Department:

 In the annual NI Road Safety Competition pupils in Years 9 and 11 won their section.
  Both girls, Clare Rose Canavan (Year 9) and Jordan Quinn (Year 11) participated in
  the Northern Ireland final held in Stranmillis College.

 3 Year 10 pupils, Riognach Bradley, Bronwyn Lam and Karina O’Doherty participated
  in the QUB Women’s Graduates Public Speaking competition and performed very

 3 Year 13 pupils, Lauren McCann, Katherine Turley and Laura Bowd, participated in
  the Business and Professional Womens’ Public Speaking competition.

 7 Year 13 students represented the school in the Soroptomist Public Speaking
  Competition’s local heat and achieved great success with Laura Bowd, Orlaith Burns and
  Clare Milligan gaining first, second and third place.
  Laura took part in the NI Final in February 2008 where she presented an excellent
  speech entitled, “Today’s Green Fields are Tomorrow’s Apartments” and was awarded a
  trip to Brussels in September 2008.

 Riognach Bradley (Year 10) and Clara Artherton (Year 11) represented the school in the
  Meningitis Foundation Competition. Riognach was highly commended for her lively speech
  highlighting the dangers of meningitis.

 3 Year 11 pupils participated in the Mind Matters Mental Health Competition. Sophie
  Jenkins- Anderson, Daire Hanna and Kathyrn Boyd spoke on the highly relevant topic of
  teenage girls and body image. They were the winners of the Local Heat and came second
  in the South Eastern Board Area finals.

 13 Year 10 pupils formed the school team in the Magistrate’s Court Mock Trial
  Competition. The students competed against eight schools from across Northern
  Ireland and were announced the Northern Ireland winners. On 21 June 2008, 18 schools
  participated in the UK final in Leeds where our girls gave an excellent performance. In
  the UK final of the Court Reporting Section, Catherine Murray’s entry was highly
  commended and placed in the top ten.

 Junior Drama Festival
  The Annual Junior Drama Festival once again proved to be effective as part of the
  school’s induction procedures for Year 8 pupils in the run up to the Mid Term break in
  Term 1.

  The external adjudicator was Frances Livingstone, a PGCE tutor from the School of
  Education at QUB. The quality of the shows was most impressive. These included a
  theatre workshop involving many witches based on “Macbeth”, “The Garden Party”, “The
  Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Nose”.

The Robert Twigg Memorial Bursary is generously donated by one of the school patrons,
Mr John Orr, QC. The Bursary is awarded in memory of Robert Twigg (nephew of our
former Principal, Sr Maureen Carville) who was tragically killed in a road accident. This
year the beneficiaries were four students who were chosen to represent the school in
the People to People Leadership Summits in July. Rosaleen Donnelly and Sinead Ward,
both Year 12s and Caoimhe McKeating and Chloe Bell, Year 14s, travelled to America to
attend the prestigious summits, the origins of which date back to President Roosevelt.
The former was a 10 day “People to People Future Leaders” Summit on International
Diplomacy. The latter was a Young Ambassadors’ Summit where the girls attended
sessions on Law and Medicine. Rosaleen Donnelly noted: “On the course I made long
lasting friendships with people of different cultures, learned about the UN and
enhanced my leadership skills. It was a truly memorable ten days.”

 From October 2007- April 2008 a team of 5 Year 13 students worked with Thales UK
  missile division on the design of a missile devise limiter. The girls, Claire Maginn,
  Catherine Henry, Leah Mooney, Orla McElroy and Katie Gribben were highly successful
  and were awarded Crest Gold Awards. They were also the recipients of a “Young
  Achievers” Award and were presented with £250 at a special ceremony in Downpatrick.

 “Insight into Engineering” Programme – 4 GCSE students participated in this programme
  to gain an insight into what it would be like to study engineering at university.

 80 Year 11 and 12 pupils were entered for the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge.
  The competition had over 200,000 entries from throughout the UK. Maeve Sweeney
  was successful in getting through to the second round and a number of students won
  gold, silver and bronze awards.

European Languages Week was held in September. All pupils in the school who study
languages were offered some variation from their normal lessons to allow them to see
languages in a wider context through quizzes, competitions and seeing films.

As part of the ongoing staff development, the RE department attended a two day
conference in All Hallows College, Drumcondra in October 2007. It was a catechetical
conference organised for Religious Education teachers throughout Ireland.

Each member of the RE Department attended the Annual Dromore Conference for RE
teachers in Dromantine. This is an excellent opportunity for staff to meet with other RE
teachers in the diocese and share resources.

Miss Goodall and Mr Wilson successfully completed their Pathways Preparation for
Ministry course in Drumalis and will graduate in September 2008.

A team of students from the Politics Society entered the RTE All Ireland Quiz. They were
tested on a wide range of subjects including current affairs. They won an exciting first
round and competed at the ‘Ulster Final’ where they were narrowly beaten.

A team of Year 12 students took part in the TV3 All-Ireland Quiz in Sacred Heart
Grammar School, Newry.

 6 Year 12 students, Claire McElroy, Claire McStay, Shauna Rush, Orlaith Burns, Stacey
  Kelly and Sorcha Magee, received top marks in GCSE Art.

 Miss McGrail successfully completed a six week Photoshop course at “Studio On,”

 Charlotte Burke (Year 12) won the annual Christmas Card Competition.

 Year 11 Business Studies pupils participated in the Young Enterprise “Entrepreneurial
  Master Class” held in Downpatrick in March. This is a hands-on event where students
  from a wide range of schools work together in a series of team building exercises.

 Project Business was run for Year 10 students in June. This helped encourage an
  enterprise culture among pupils.

 4 Year 10 students competed in “The Future is Yours” business competition and reached
  the finals which were held at Almac’s headquarters in Craigavon.

 A team of 6 Year 12 Business Studies students won the South Down Heat of Invest
  Northern Ireland’s “The Big Idea” competition and progressed to the finals in Lisburn.

 As part of Enterprise Week, Year 11 and 12 Business Studies students participated in
  the “Make Your Mark” enterprise challenge.

 21 students from Year 11 and the Year 13 Enrichment Class attended Loughry College
  where they completed Module A of the Environmental Health Food Hygiene Training.

 In November, Year 11 and 12 students attended an event held as part of the Science and
  Skills Programme in the Odyssey entitled “Cooking for Fun: Cooking for Life with Jenny

 Aoife Gormley (Year 9) won the SEELB heat of the Dairy Council’s Young Cook of the
  Year competition. She received £50 worth of Topshop vouchers and £100 for the

 Katherine Poole, (Year 9) was runner-up in the Jenny Bristow BBQ competition. She
  received £25 worth of HMV vouchers and £100 for the school.

 In January, Year 10 and 12 students attended a talk given by Dr Siobhan Tweed, a
  Chemical Engineer with Invista in Derry, on a career in Chemical Engineering.

 Girls attended a work experience day in the Physics Department of QUB.

 In October 2006, a safety poster competition was organised by the Department. The
  winning poster was displayed on the Department website.

 Year 9 pupils visited W5 in February where they took part in a Science workshop as well
  as trying out the various exhibitions.

 Year 9 pupils also attended a talk on dental health given by Mrs Canavan, a dental

 At the end of June 4 Year 13 students, Roisin McNeill, Nora Doyle, Shauna McMahon
  and Conac Sharvin attended a week long course entitled “Introducing Engineering” in
  Strathclyde University.

 A group of Year 13 students, accompanied by Dr O’Neill, took part in the Belfast
  Marathon Fun Run to raise funds in memory of Mr Fitzpatrick.

 18 Year 14 pupils attended the Constantine Day School organised by the Byzantine
  Studies department at QUB.

 During the school year, all pupils had the opportunity to attend a one day retreat. Junior
  Retreats were delivered by the members of the RE Department with members of the
  Focolare team assisting with Years 9 and 10. Year 11 and 12 retreats were conducted by
  Fr Frank Diamond, SMA. Pupils from Years 13-14 had the opportunity to attend a day’s
  retreat in the St Patrick’s Parish Centre, Ballynahinch. The retreat was conducted by
  the Clonard Youth Team, directed by Brendan Dineen.

 Year 10 students saw the Onatti Theatre Company perform “La Chambre de Jean Paul.”
  The topicality of the theme – teenagers’ problems – and the skill of the actors made for
  a very enjoyable afternoon, entirely presented in French.

 In December, the “Cool Classics” competition was held. The winner was Grainne Gleeson,
  (8C) with Caitlin Bloomer (8C) in second place and Helena Morgan (8B) in third place.

 A very popular quiz was hosted in March to celebrate World Book Day. Overall winner
  was Megan Henvey (14C). Chloe Kelly (8C) came second and Catriona Napier and Caroline
  Rooney (9A) were joint third.

 Year 9, 10 and 12 students attended “Féis an Dúin”. Many of our students won Gaeltacht
  Scholarships and medals.
 3 Year 14 students won Gaeltacht scholarships in “Féis an Dúin”. 2 students won 1st and
  2nd place in the “Séan Man an Rí” award for conversation.
 Year 10, 11 and 12 students participated in an Irish Language table quiz in the
  Cultúrlann, Belfast.

 Year 8 student Lauren O’Neill won the Grand Opera House Treasure Island Competition.
 Year 14 student Helen Burns successfully auditioned for “Les Miserables: School’s
  Edition” and performed in this production at The Market Place Youth Theatre in Armagh
  over the summer.
 Many of our Drama students have been awarded places on Bruiser’s Workshop and
  Seminars programme, a series of training sessions led by professionals from Cultural
  Industries at The Old Museum Arts Centre. Auditions were held in May for Level 1 and
  June for Level 2.
 The Drama Department is extremely proud of former A level Drama and Theatre
  Studies student Niamh McGrady who performed alongside Patrick Stewart in a critically
  acclaimed production of “Macbeth” in London’s West End. Niamh featured as one of the
  Three Witches and the play has since been nominated for a number of prestigious Tony
  awards, with the event itself taking place at Radio City Music Hall in New York in June.

 Year 9 students carried out fieldwork activities at the Lough Neagh Discovery

 Year 11 students visited Marble Arch Caves to view the spectacular limestone

 The Politics Society had its annual visit to Stormont. The group were given an insight
  into the work of the MLAs and the Executive. This visit enhanced their understanding
  of the Northern Irish political process.

This year’s sponsored walk, organised by Mr Noel Wilson, was particularly successful, with
pupils making a real effort to raise vital funds for the children in Africa. Inspired by Sr
Mary McAteer’s poignant words, and in memory of Mr Dan Fitzpatrick, who devoted so
much effort to promoting the Sponsored Walk, the pupils raised £12,641. A special
assembly was arranged, at which Mrs Roisin Fitzpatrick and her daughter Cathy presented
the Dan Fitzpatrick Cup to Laura Galloway (9E) who raised the largest single amount of

Mrs Lundy launched the “Copper Challenge” in November with the help of two senior
prefects. The collection raised over £250 for the School Building Fund.

 In January, Mrs Patricia Magee and the Fund Raising Committee organised a very
enjoyable evening in Downpatrick Cricket Club. The Night at the Races raised £2,750 for
the School Building Fund. A special thanks to all our parents and patrons who sponsored the
event and to those who provided prizes for the ballot.

4 Year 14 students, Ciara McCafferty, Lauren Murton, Chiedza Mazarire and Chloe Bell
successfully reached the local area finals and were praised for their excellent interview

3 Year 13 pupils were chosen to take part in the IoD Scheme. Helen Malone, Ciara Boyle,
and Claire Fitzsimons were presented with certificates at the IoD Shadowing Scheme
Presentation Ceremony. Helen was one of the finalists chosen to present her report at the


Ministry and Service
Year 13 and 14 General Religion classes were offered the opportunity to choose a
ministry or faith enrichment programme.

The Dromore Diocese was linked with the Irish Missionary Union. Year 13 and 14
students in General Religion classes undertook a project “reflecting God’s Love in the
World through Mission.” Ronan Barry, IMU, came to the school and addressed the girls
about his work.

Taize/Prayer Group
Mr James Leonard, who joined the RE Department in a part time capacity, set up a
small vibrant Taize group. Ms Daly set up a prayer group which met on a weekly basis.

Love Russia Appeal
Ms Daly presented children’s clothing and £270 to Alex Cooke for the “Love Russia”
charity which helps Russian orphans.

Trocaire Global Gifts
Our Lenten campaign raised money for Trocaire Global Gifts. The students responded
enthusiastically to this initiative and over £2,500 was donated to the buying of global

Catholic Education Week
Catholic Education Week, 28th January-4th February, was marked in a number of ways.
The RE Department embraced the theme “Living Faith Fully” and led the school in a week
of prayer and reflection on the value of Catholic education.


 This year the Department’s focus was to adopt and employ the use of moving image in
  the teaching of Drama. Digital camcorders and data projectors were used very
  successfully during the A level practical performances to enhance design elements and
  create dramatic effect.

 Years 11 and 12 students were trained in the use of digital camcorders. Pupils were
  taught how to record and edit their group performances to create short productions for

  viewing. This helped not only in developing their ICT skills but also enhanced their acting
  skills as pupils were able to evaluate their performances, appraising strengths and
  deciding on areas for development.

 Pupils have also enjoyed using the Photoshop facility created by the C2K network. We
  plan to use Movie Maker next year to produce short productions of pupils’ devised

The Department worked collaboratively to devise two core ICT tasks using Word and

Physical Education
 The Department moved forward in developing the use of ICT as a tool to aid teaching
  and learning. The video camera was used by Year 11 GCSE students to analyse their
  performance and the digital camera was used to collect practical evidence.

 The Technology Department used a variety of computer packages with pupils in Years 8-
 Logicator, Prodesktop, Livewire, PICs, PCB Wizard and PIC Logicator were used with
  Years 8-11.
 The Internet was used as a tool for research and in project work.
 Microsoft Word, Crocodile Technology, PIC Logicator and Focus on Design were all
  incorporated into project work with senior pupils.

 In line with the requirements of the new curriculum, the Year 9 scheme will continue to
   have an emphasis on ICT.

Home Economics
 The use of ICT in the department continues to be developed with ICT incorporated
  into the new scheme of work for Year 8 pupils. ICT has been used in a variety of ways
  including an interactive game, video clips and pupils creating pie charts/ column charts.
 An ICT task was also developed for Year 9 pupils. Four classes were involved in creating
  websites using FrontPage based around the prevention of osteoporosis.

 We continue to use the C2K Alice library system for all our library duties. Mrs Walker
   has attended a course which included an introduction to the Learning NI database. It is
   our intention to further develop online resources with other schools in future years.

 The greatest development of ICT was with Year 8 this year. The big task was
  “Geography in the News” - an ICT exercise which developed the students’ ICT skills
  using word/ publisher. They uploaded their reports to the Learning NI website.

 Teachers and pupils use ICT on a regular basis throughout the year and the schemes of
  work encourage the use of ICT in many topics.

 A suite of 10 computers has been created in the Music Department to facilitate pupils
  from Years 11-14 in using the Sibelius software for the composing element of their

 The ICT Department has two dedicated ICT suites, each with 20 workstations
  connected to the C2K network. This has already proved invaluable for work with Year 11
  GCSE pupils and has allowed continued participation in the CCEA pilot for the electronic
  submission and marking of ICT coursework.
 A significant number of staff members successfully completed the Interactive
  Whiteboard Level One Foundation course, in preparation for the move to the new
  building. This ensures continued professional development by staff, many of whom are
  now located in the new building and can put these skills into practice as they all have
  access to an interactive whiteboard in their classroom.
 Every pupil in the Year 10 ICT module successfully completed the KS3 ICT
  Accreditation and all pupils achieved a level 8 for the information handling strand. We
  are delighted with this achievement which reflects the hard work carried out by staff
  and pupils.
 Mrs McGinn and Miss Conaghan became involved in a CCEA e-learning pilot which
  consisted of testing and reviewing documentation produced by CCEA to assist teachers
  with electronic assessment.
 Electronic Reporting was introduced for the Year 8 June Report.
 From September 2008, the school aims to improve internal communication through the
  use of plasma screens for daily e-briefing and staff cover.
 ICT hardware and software, including 66 C2K laptops, purchased in July and August, will
  be available for staff in the new school year. Mrs McGinn and Mr Barry will host
  twilight session to initiate staff in effective use of laptops.
 The school has 240 desktops and wireless connection will be available in the new
  staffroom from September 2008.

                             Physical Education

The school has 2 full time and 1 part time specialist PE teachers. Teachers from other
departments give invaluable help with extra-curricular activities e.g. Mrs Collins is an
enthusiastic promoter of Camogie in the school while Mrs Murray, Mr Murphy and Mr
Fitzsimmons have initiated Gaelic training for pupils in Years 8 and 12.

The school is indebted to these members of staff and to Mrs McCambridge and the staff
in the PE Department for their constant interest and dedication in encouraging pupils to
participate in a wide variety of sports and games.

Pupils from Years 8-12 receive a broad and balanced PE Curriculum. As well as following a
general PE Programme, pupils in Year 8 have time allocated to games. In Year 9, the
general PE programme is supplemented by swimming. Over the 3 years of Key Stage 3,
pupils participate in a wide range of games including netball, camogie, gymnastics, dance,
athletics, tennis and swimming. Key Stage 4 pupils are offered activities such as volleyball,
dance, badminton, netball and health-related fitness. PE is now a very popular choice for
GCSE. The results in this practical and theoretical course have been exceptional (see
Results Section). The Department is planning the introduction of A level PE next year
(2008/2009). The Department promotes a large number of extra-curricular activities
available after school or at lunchtimes. These include camogie, netball, cross country, yoga
and dance.

Pupils were guided and encouraged by a team of very enthusiastic sports prefects which
this year included Mairead Hardy, Victoria Donnelly, Maire Mageean, Sinead Redmond
and Maeve Maginn. One of the main aims of the Department is the promotion of a healthy
lifestyle. The Department’s Health and Fitness Booklet produced for Year 8 pupils as a
result of its self evaluation process has had a significant effect.

Assumption continued with its traditional success in this consistently popular game.
Teachers are enthusiastic promoters of netball and are involved in the sport at province
level. The Board of Governors is indebted to them for their tireless efforts.

South Eastern Area League – The senior/ junior and minor teams were runners-up in the
SE Area League.

East Down League – Two year 8 teams were entered into the East Down League
Tournament. The A team were runners-up in the competition while the B team came in 4th

Rockport Tournament – The minor team won the annual Rockport tournament in May.


The Under 15 SE Area Squad members included Aimee O’Higgins, Michelle Black, Catriona
Hackett, Clara Artherton. The SE ‘B’ Team won their section of this competition.

The VI-Sport Squad included Gemma Carey, Ruth Power, Fiona Hanna, Enya Hamilton,
Tierna Duffy.

The NI Under 17 Squad included Sinead Redmond, Kate McComiskey, Kerry McCrissican,
Gemma Carey.

Sinead Redmond travelled to England to play in the FENA tournament. The team won the
bronze medal, which was a great achievement. Sinead was vice-captain of the team.

The NI Under 19 Squad included Claire Potter, Mairead Hardy and Laura Mason. Claire
Potter and Laura Mason played in the FENA tournament which was held in Lisburn Racquets
in March.

There were 4 teams entered into the District Cross-Country Championships in February:

 The senior team came in third place.
 Ciara Mageean came in first place in the intermediate section.
 Rebecca O’Hare came 12th in the first year competition
 In the senior team, Ciara and Rebecca qualified for the Ulster Finals which was held in
 Ciara Mageean came first and so qualifying for the All-Irelands
 Ciara was also selected to run for NI in London. This race was held during the London

The Year 11 team entered the Ulster Creative Dance and Aerobics Championship in

Two teams were entered into the NI Creative Dance and Aerobics Championships in March.
Both teams won their respective sections for the second time in succession.

Ciara Mageean was entered into the district girls 1500m. She won this race and then went
on to win the Ulster Final, breaking the record. Ciara also won gold in the All-Ireland
Championships and was chosen to run for Ulster in the inter-provincial championships in
Dublin at the end of June.

The Year 8 team defeated St Malachy’s, St Columba’s, Portaferry and Sacred Heart,
Newry to win in an invitational tournament in Maghera.

The Under 14 team were semi-finalists in the Co Down League. They also took part in an
invitational tournament in Maghera.

The senior team was entered into the Ulster League where they were victorious over St
Patrick’s, Dungannon, Loreto Convent, Coleraine and Our Lady’s, Newry. They were beaten
by St Patrick’s, Dungannon in the Ulster semi-finals.

The GCSE PE group entered a number of orienteering competitions throughout the year.

The School entered show jumping teams into the Balmoral and Silverwood competitions.

The Under 16 Gaelic Team played matches this year against Our Lady and St Patrick’s
College, Knock and St Dominic’s and Aquinas. They won 2 matches, narrowly losing to St
Dominic’s by 1 point.

There was a Year 8 Blitz on Friday 30th May, which was run by the Ulster Council. Twenty
nine teams took part in the competition from Co. Antrim, Co. Down and Co. Armagh.

The PE staff look forward to the prospect of moving into the new facilities in
September 2008 and are confident that the new Sports Hall will enhance pupils’
sporting experiences.

During the year, Year 9 Schemes of Work were redrafted in line with the requirements of
the Revised Curriculum which places greater emphasis on the development of pupil skills.
These new Schemes of Work will be delivered commencing in September 2008.

The Year 11 class chosen to pilot “Learning for Life and Work” as a GCSE have successfully
completed the written element of the examination.

The new Key Stage 3 Personal Development Programme, ‘In Sync’, was used as part of the
RSE programme for Year 8.

The Maths Department completed the Two Tier GCSE pilot. The new course does not
require a coursework element. Pupils can sit exams in January and June giving them the
opportunity to improve their marks/grades.

An interesting link was formed between the Art and Geography departments when Year 8
students were making a study of rocks.

The Tutor2u revision day in May for AS and A2 students proved extremely useful.

The Department successfully introduced CCEA Applied ICT at AS level having previously
been with OCR.

In light of the Library’s participation and level of involvement in the NI Pilot Scheme on
school library evaluation, Mrs Walker has been chosen to sit on the Committee overseeing
this initiative.

Choral Singing classes were introduced into the Year 8 Curriculum to improve performance
confidence and competence. The positive results of this were witnessed in the Waterfront
Hall Concert during the Year 8 & 9 “Daniel Jazz” performance.

The PE Department will now deliver A level beginning September 2008.

                    PUBLIC EXAMINATION RESULTS 2008

                                         YEAR 12 PUPILS

Number of pupils in Year          133          Number with a statement of              1
12 on 31 October 2007                          Special Educational Needs

             % entered     % entered for    % achieving Grades      % achieving   No of pupils
              for 7 or       5 or more            A* - C              Grades      achieving all
               more          subjects                                 A* - B        A* & A
                                           7 or more   5 or more

  2008          100%            100%         95.4%        97.7%        37.6%           12.8%

                                 GCSE RESULTS BY SUBJECT

     SUBJECT          Total        A*         A         B          C          D    E            U
                    number of
     Add Maths         32           9         9          11         3         -     -           -
        Art            30           7         8          7          7         1     1           -
      Biology          64           5         9          19         27        2     2           -
    Bus Studies         18          2         6          5          3         2     -           -
     Chemistry         62           5         12         16         24        3     2           -
       Drama            14          4         5          5           -        -     -           -
    English Lang       133          9        63         50          11        -     -           -
     English Lit       133         17        52         50          11        3     -           -
      French            61         16         14         11         14        4     2           -
     Geography         76          13         19         18         19        5     2           -
      History          64          16        20         23          5         -     -           -
     Home Econ          16          3         5          7          2         -     -           -
     Journalism         21          7         10         4           -        -     -           -
        ICT            40          15         15         9           1        -     -           -
       Irish           36           7         13         10         6         -     -           -
       Latin            12          2          -         3          5         2     -           -
       Maths           133        32         28         38          31        4     -           -
       Music            14          5         4          4           1        -     -           -
      Physics           17          4         4          5          3         1     -           -
         RE            133         61        43         22          6         -     1           -
    DA Science         128          8        36         34          40        4     4           2
      Spanish          35           2         12         10         8         3     -           -
   Sports Studies      20          17         2           1          -    -         -      -
    Technology          11          1         4          3          3       -       -            -
       Totals         1304        267        393        365        230     34      14            2
    Percentages                  20.5%      30.1%      27.9%      17.6%   2.6%    1.1%         0.2%

                    PUBLIC EXAMINATION RESULTS 2008

                                            YEAR 14 PUPILS

Number of pupils in final                         Number with a statement of
 year of A Level on 31                124          Special Educational Needs
    October 2007

          % of pupils            % of pupils             % of pupils           % of pupils
           achieving              achieving              achieving 3           achieving 3     21.0%
 2008     3 or more     74.2%    Grades A-B     54.0%      or more     98.4%     or more        26
          passes at                 in 3                  passes at             Grade As       pupils
          Grades A-               subjects               Grades A-E

                                  A LEVEL RESULTS BY SUBJECT

Subject                      Total          A        B           C             D         E               U
Art                             4          1          1          1           1            0               0
AVCE ICT                        6          0          1          4           1            0               0
AVCE Business                   -          -          -          -           -            -               -
Biology                        44         18          3          9          10            4               0
Business Studies               14          7          5          2           0            0               0
Chemistry                      29         13          6          3           2            3               0
Economics                       5          1          3          1           0            0               0
English                        30         12          9          9           0            0               0
French                         13          7          4          2           0            0               0
Geography                      28          8         11          6           2            0               1
Art History                     7          2          3          2           0            0               0
History                        27         16          9          1           0            1               0
Home Economics                  9          5          3          1           0            0               0
ICT                             7          2          4          1           0            0               0
Irish                           8          5          3          0           0            0               0
Latin                           4          1          1          0           1            1               0
Maths                          30         16          9          4           1            0               0
Music                          12          9          3          0           0            0               0
Physics                        12          4          3          1           3            1               0
Politics                        5          0          2          3           0            0               0
Psychology                     12          6          3          2           1            0               0
RE                             18          9          7          1           1            0               0
Sociology                      41         12         18          8           2            1               0
Spanish                         8          1          3          4           0            0               0
Technology                      4          0          2          1           1            0               0
Theatre Studies                10          9          1          0           0            0               0
Totals                        385        164        117         66          26           11               1
Percentages                             42.6%      30.4%       17.1%       6.8%         2.9%            0.2%

               KEY STAGE 3 RESULTS SUMMARY 2008


Level      Assumption      Northern Ireland   Northern Ireland
           Average %       Girls Average %    Overall Average %
8          8.6             1.1                2.2
7          28.1            6.5                9.3
6          44.6            13.2               16.4
5          15.8            18.2               19.3
4          0               15.2               14.6
3          0               3.2                4.2
Abs        2.2             41.6               41.1


Level      Assumption      Northern Ireland   Northern Ireland
           Average %       Girls Average %    Overall Average %
7+         66.9            14.4               14.2
6          22.3            12.6               12.4
5          7.2             20.6               21.2
4          0               9.2                10.0
3          0               3.5                4.3
Abs        2.2             38.4               36.7


Level      Assumption      Northern Ireland   Northern Ireland
           Average %       Girls Average %    Overall Average %
7+         56.8            11.9               8.5
6          36.0            19.5               16.4
5          5.8             22.4               22.2
4          0               8.4                12.4
3          0               1.5                3.7
Abs        1.4             35.6               35.3

        PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS 2003/4 TO 2006/7 – Grammar Schools


Performance Indicator                2004/2005                  2005/2006                  2006/2007

                              School      N.I. Average   School      N.I. Average   School      N.I. Average

% achieving 5+ GCSEs at        98                96       99                96       97                96

Grades A*-C (or equivalent)

% Achieving 7+ GCSEs at        95                91       96                90       96                91

Grades A*-C (or equivalent)

% Achieving 3+ A Levels at     87                71       80                68       72                74

Grades A*-C (or equivalent)

% Achieving 2+ A Levels at     100               99       100               99       100               99

Grades A-E (or equivalent)

                  OTHER RESULTS 2007/2008

CEA GCSE Journalism
Caoimhe Walsh was awarded joint 1st place in Northern Ireland.
Lisa McGrady was awarded 3rd place in Northern Ireland.

13 pupils obtained Level 1 Certificate in Communication Tactics with Deaf and Blind People
and also Level 1 Certificate in Developing Awareness and Communication with Deaf and
Blind People.

11 pupils completed their projects in Digital Film Editing under the auspices of South
Eastern Regional College.

Over 20 pupils achieved ILM Certificates in Leadership tutored by Mr Peter Martin from
Belfast Metropolitan College.

24 pupils obtained a Certificate in Public First Aid.

In November 2007, 20 pupils entered Associate Board examinations in their instruments/
voice with a 100 % pass rate; 30 % achieved pass, 50 % achieved merit and 20 % achieved

In June 2008, 57 pupils entered Associate Board examinations in their instrument/voice
with a 100% pass rate, 24.6 % achieved pass, 50.8 % achieved merit and 24.6 % achieved

In the Ballymena Festival, 7 pupils achieved 1st place and 6 pupils achieved 2nd place. A
number of pupils won prizes at the annual Holywood Festival.

Module A CIEH Food Hygiene Options Certificate
   Year 11 – 16 pupils
   Year 13 – 6 pupils

             DESTINATIONS OF LEAVERS IN 2007/2008

Year Group    No of Pupils in     % to Higher   % to Further    % to Another    % Employment     % Other
              Year Group          Education     Education       School

Year 14       126                 96.8 %        0.8%            0.8   %         1.6   %          0.0   %
Year 13       134                 0.0 %         0.0 %           2.2   %         0.0   %          0.0   %
Year 12       132                 0.0 %         0.0 %           6.8   %         0.0   %          0.0   %
Others        264                 0.0 %         0.0 %           0.4   %         0.0   %          1.1   %

Record of days attended by all pupils on roll – 2007/2008: 94.7 %

                 Applications and Admissions to Year 8

               2006               2006          2007            2007           2008       2008
             Applications       Admissions   Applications     Admissions   Applications   Admissions
Grade A           65               65            64              64            89            89
Grade B1          15                15            17              17           28            28
Grade B2          26               26             21              21            15            2
Grade C1          21                15            18              13           28             1*
Grade C2          19                 2*          23                4*           10            0
Grade D            7                 0             8               2*            7            0
Others            22                 2             1               1             0            0
Total           155                125           152             122          177            120
*   upgraded under Special Circumstances

                                   SCHOOL CALENDAR
1st Term                                        2nd Term
29 August             School opens               6 January            School re-opens
27 – 31 Oct           Mid term break            11 - 13 Feb           Mid term break
19 December           School closes             17 March              St Patrick’s Day
                                                9 April               School closes

3rd Term
20 April              School re-opens
24 April              Exceptional Closure
4 May                 May Day Holiday
30 June               School closes


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