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Ballyclare High School Christmas Newsletter 2017

Encouraging life long learning, in a caring, creative community

Principal’s Message As the Christmas jingles begin to play on the radio and the festive spirit heralds the season of thanksgiving and celebration it is with great pleasure we can look back over some of the events our pupils have excelled at in the short time since the new school year began. I know that what you read in this edition of our newsletter will warm your heart so I encourage you to take a moment out of the hustle and bustle of preparation for the holiday and enjoy the innocence and accomplishments reflected here as a flavour of the winter term. At Halloween our annual production took a more theatrical approach with “Daisy Pulls it Off”. Audiences in the Courtyard Theatre on each of the three evenings were thrilled at the success of what was a shift away from the more traditional musical production. Teams in most sporting pursuits are making their way nicely through the early rounds of competitions and we are delighted that our girls’ 1st XI hockey squad were crowned champions of the Ulster Super-league. Our 6th form formal at the Crowne Plaza hotel was a relaxed evening that epitomised the typically congenial interactions that staff and pupils enjoy side-by-side; our charges grow up all too quickly! Once again cutting edge ICT is at the forefront of our involvement with the community. Newly acquired Digital SchoolHouse status has allowed pupils from some of our feeder primaries to avail of this unique experience. The other staples of the winter term such as our language exchange trips, Remembrance, Winter Honours and Carol Services bring a sense of reassurance that investment in life-long experiences and a culture of respect for each other is as passionate as ever. A whole host of musical, sporting, cultural, social and charitable occasions and events fill the daily calendar as our pupils enjoy both participation and success outside the classroom so we trust you will enjoy the snapshot presented here as the half-way marker of the academic year. On the academic side of life pupils have to date reviewed their progress across all subjects twice with their tutor. We are encouraged by their enthusiasm for this approach to supporting their learning and developing a sense of control over their study habits and attainment. Their next review will be in February after the school exams. It would be helpful if you would have a conversation about how they feel they have handled things so far then ensure they all have some study-free time over the holidays to enjoy the festivities with family and friends and return refreshed and ready for the new term. May you all have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and Happy New Year. Warmest wishes

Dr M Rainey Principal

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Daisy Pulls It Off Ballyclare High’s first theatrical performance was held at the Courtyard Theatre in October. What a fantastic show! Pupils worked so hard to ensure this showcase of their talent provided a night to remember for all of us. Congratulations to all the cast and a special thanks to Miss McClelland and Mrs Blair who made it all possible. All that goes on behind the scenes to ensure a night like this is a celebration of the ethos of our school – Industria et Probitate.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Wind Band Success After their successful inaugural year, last year, the Junior Band and Wind Band have again proved to be stiff competition. They started preparations early this year, in July, when they enjoyed a Band Camp at Bushmills Education Centre for team bonding. In October, a total of 73 pupils travelled to Armagh to participate in the Northern Ireland Band Association Band Championships. Both bands were awarded first place in their respective sections. For an opportunity to hear their performances please click the links below: Junior Band - Wind Band - They will also be competing in the Irish Association of Brass & Concert Band Championships in April 2018.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Chamber Choir to appear on TV in January A wonderful opportunity has arisen for our Chamber Choir to perform as part of a recorded concert to be broadcast by the BBC on Burns Night 2018.They will be singing a cantaireachd, harmonised by Mrs Doherty and our singers will be the first school choir in NI to sing this type of music. The programme which will be broadcast on 25th January includes a host of top stars: World Champion piper Scott Wallace, Alaisdar Fraser and Natali Hass, an original fiddle and cello duo from America, Siobhan Fraser who has won Scottish Singer of the Year award twice and Ruth Trimble who works with Olivia Newton John amongst others. They will be joined by local fiddlers Diane McCullough, Emma Smith and Sylvia Burnside who have strong connections with the school and singer Andrew Calderwood.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


First Digital Schoolhouse in Northern Ireland Primary schools in the Ballyclare and wider Newtownabbey area are now able to avail of unique technological teaching expertise from Ballyclare High School, which has just become the first Digital SchoolHouse in Northern Ireland. Digital SchoolHouse status has been awarded to the school by UKie, the only trade body for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, which is delivering this innovative project. As a Digital SchoolHouse, the school will work to inspire, upskill and engage the younger generation in the ever-developing world of technology. Miss Walker is leading the teaching of the project which includes a wide remit of digital topics including: algorithms and programming; communication and the internet; data representation, hardware and processing, digital literacy and online safety. Through this play-based learning the next generation of pupils is being prepared to ably handle future technological advancements is being prepared.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


CSSC Support students’ Germany Trip Melissa Morrisson and Courtney Crawford both studying German A Level, travelled to Hamburg for the European Seas & Oceans Youth Seminar. At the seminar, organised in collaboration with the British Council in Germany, they had the opportunity to discuss current issues and challenges facing our environment, seas and oceans. CSSC School Support Officer, Jill Brown, was instrumental in helping these girls to access funding for this exciting opportunity with the UK-German Connection. Jill stated “The enthusiasm of the school for the project was excellent. Both Dr Rainey and Mrs Kennedy were very supportive throughout the application process, which itself is good preparation for the students who will be completing UCAS forms soon. Melissa and Courtney were so excited about the seminar and I am sure they will find it both rewarding and enjoyable.” On their return the students were keen to articulate that the trip was simply jam packed with interesting and exciting learning opportunities. Melissa said “We got a real multi-cultural understanding from mixing with both our German hosts and other UK students also taking part. I learnt a lot of technical German vocabulary which will help me enormously.” Courtney Crawford added, “It was an insightful experience and I have made lifelong friends. I would like to thank my school and the CSSC and, in particular, Jill Brown for affording us the opportunity.”

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


A Vintage Year for French Exchange In November, Ballyclare High’s sixth form French pupils continued the annual exchange with our partner school, the Lycée Camille Sée in Colmar. The trip marked an amazing 23 years of strong partnership between our two schools. We flew to Basel and enjoyed five days exploring the picturesque Alsace region, staying with our exchange partners and their families. This gave us the opportunity to experience the culture and gastronomy of this very particular region first hand. During our stay, we visited the city of Strasbourg and toured the European Parliament. This was especially interesting in view of the UK’s current situation within Europe. We also visited Struthof, a former concentration camp, and this visit brought home to us not only the horrors of the Second World War, but also the necessity to continually reflect upon our past. The town of Colmar is known to be the capital of Alsatian wine and is wonderfully preserved with its historic pedestrian old-town and timber frame architecture. Our French exchange partners organised their own tour for us around all the sites of interest, such as La Petite Venise and La Maison Pfister, where we all enjoyed some fantastic photo opportunities. 2017 was indeed a ‘vintage year’, when we were able to gain a great insight into a very different way of life. We would like to thank both the Lycée Camille Sée and Ballyclare High staff, who made the trip possible, and in particular Mr Wilson, who has inspired us all, and built up the relationship into what it is today over the past 20 years. Our curiosity and the warm reception we received made it easy to relax and enjoy the trip, effortlessly improving our spoken French, our understanding of the region and simultaneously making friends, perhaps for life. Catherine Clements & Harry Mathers

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


German Exchange Trip This year we hosted 20 pupils and 2 teachers from our partner school, Gymnasium Petrinum for 5 days in October. This was our 27th annual exchange and we were delighted to have pupils from Year 10 right up to Year 14 taking part. Our German guests were treated to afternoon tea in the Library on their arrival and then it was time to head off home to their new Northern Irish family! We enjoyed 2 day trips together: one to the North Coast, where we visited the Giants Causeway and had a surf lesson at Troggs Surf School. On the road home we stopped off for some traditional fish and chips, which was a big hit with our guests! Our second outing was to Belfast, where we had a guided tour of all the city sites in German. We stopped at CS Lewis square for some photos, before heading back into the city centre for lunch and some shopping. Our day was rounded off by a visit to Titanic Belfast and a meal together in Pizza Hut. Our German guests were also able to experience a school day in Ballyclare High. They accompanied their hosts to class and got to experience assembly and the school canteen, not to mention our after school activities. There were a lot of tears at Belfast International Airport when it was time to say “Auf Wiedersehen�, but we are already looking forward to our return visit to Dorsten in 2018.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


BARCELONA TRIP We are pleased to announce the roaring success of yet another Year 11 trip to Barcelona. Sixty pupils and seven staff jetted off in October to spend five days soaking up the local culture, language… and sun. Pupils were treated to a packed schedule which allowed them to put their Spanish to good use, as well as have some free time to enjoy the attractions of Barcelona. Activities included a guided tour of the Olympic Stadium, a cable car ride on the Monjuïc Hills, a visit to the Barcelona Aquarium, and pupils explored the Spanish city of Lleida, and its’ ancient castle.

On Saturday a guided tour of Barcelona city centre allowed us to see the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and to complete the Nou Camp Experience Tour. No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a day at Port Aventura Theme Park – and our tour was no exception.

Pupils spent a full day braving some of the highest roller coasters in Europe and then watched the amazing Halloween Parade and firework show. As always our pupils exhibited exemplary behaviour and were a credit to the school at all times.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


NI Cancer Fund - Top Fundraising School During our annual ReadOn pupils from year 8, 9 and 10 are sponsored to read! It has become a tradition that monies raised are donated to NI Cancer Fund for children and this year their efforts to support this worthy cause have once again been rewarded. Pupils raised a magnificent total of £7360 making us the leading fund-raiser in the province 2017. A trophy to recognise the school’s contribution was awarded by the charity to some of the pupils involved.

Pictured above are Year 9 pupils receiving the award from representatives of the NICFC.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Nathan Long's A2 Moving Image Arts film 'The Foreseeable Demise' was successfully shortlisted for this year’s Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Competition. Nathan is pictured here with his sister, Annie, who starred in his film. Nathan's film was part of the highly competitive 18-24 category and premièred at the Queens Film Theatre in Belfast.

Mock EU Council Ballyclare High School represented Croatia at the Mock EU Council on Friday 20th October 2017. The three A-Level Politics students who took part were Jasmine Reid, Adele McCafferty and Emalee O’Connell. The event was organised by the British Council and was held in the Long Gallery in Parliament Buildings at Stormont. Over twenty schools from across Northern Ireland took part. The pupils participated in two debates on the future of the EUUK relationship and how the EU-27 would deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. Adele McCafferty said “Although a daunting experience to stand up and present, it was wonderful to gain confidence in my ability to debate and engage a large audience. It was incredibly rewarding to hear a range of views on the impacts of Brexit and to be able to defend my own view.”

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


McKinney ICT Micro-grant Award Mrs Hill of the Mathematics Department in Ballyclare High School has been announced as the third winner of the McKinney Micro-grant Award. This scheme is designed to encourage and promote innovative use of ICT that will have a positive impact on the pupils' learning. Mrs Hill applied to use the micro-grant to purchase a Belkin iPad Stand, which will enable her to use her iPad to record teaching videos for her pupils, as well as demonstrate use of mathematical equipment on the interactive whiteboard using the Belkin StagePro app. The award is sponsored by former Head of RE and ICT Strategy Leader Edgar McKinney, himself an innovative educator, who led the school through the Specialist School programme for ICT from 2008. Mr G Shaw, the current ICT Strategy Leader in school, commented that, "The McKinney Micro-grant Award is a superb initiative that gives all teachers and departments in school a little bit of a financial boost to go about purchasing new hardware or software that will initiate deeper learning in our pupils and ultimately help them achieve in their external examinations."

Mr G Shaw presents the McKinney Micro-grant Award to Mrs M Hill of the Mathematics Department in Ballyclare High School

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Ballyclare High Pupils Learn Lessons on Responsible Drinking Pupils experienced a powerful lesson, when they witnessed the reality of alcohol misuse played out on-stage. Over 200 pupils watched a performance of ‘Smashed’, an alcohol awareness and education programme led by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo Northern Ireland. The cast of ‘Smashed’ delivered a highly engaging show telling the story of a group of friends whose misuse of alcohol ends in tragedy. The production explores the causes and consequences of alcohol misuse and helps equip students with tools for understanding and resisting peer influence and supports them in making responsible decisions. An innovative programme, ‘Smashed’ was designed in consultation with young people and teachers. It includes a live theatre piece delivered by three actors along with an interactive workshop, post-performance discussion and teaching resources endorsed by The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment in Northern Ireland. Mr Milliken Head of Year 9, said: “The ‘Smashed’ programme portrays a very important message around responsible drinking and the dangers of under-age drinking. We have had a really positive response from students - everyone who watched the show was engaged by the power of the performance. Having the cast of ‘Smashed’ come into our school and help to inform and educate our young people around this important issue is an opportunity that we value.” Jorge Lopes, Country Director for Diageo Northern Ireland, which sponsors the ‘Smashed’ programme said: “We believe in educating young people to help them make informed decisions about alcohol consumption in the future. ‘

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Careers Convention This year’s Careers Convention will take place in Ballyclare High School on 24th January 6-9pm. The event, now in its 5th year, attracts universities from all over the UK, along with businesses, colleges and other organisations from our province. It is the main opportunity for parents and pupils in Years 10-14 to meet with all these organisations to find out about the many exciting and varied post-16 and post-18 options available for all our young people. Over 50 information stands and 30 talks are scheduled for this year, so don’t miss out! This event has a fantastic reputation in the area as is reflected in the number of organisations wishing to attend and give their valuable advice to you.

Interviews Every pupil in Year 10 and 12 benefits from annual interview experiences provided by a variety of organisations inside and outside our community and through former pupils and parents. This takes an enormous amount of work on the part of our careers staff and individuals and organisations helping them and we thank them for the invaluable experience this affords our pupils.

Careers Talks On 21st November Year 12 pupils were offered a wide choice of careers’ talks during their Tuesday morning careers’ class. This specialised time is designed to allow pupils to research future careers listen to advice and visitors who give an insight into the work of work, subject choices and career pathways. This event included expertise from: Languages, Forensics, Marketing, Engineering, Maths, Physics, Nursing, Law, Allied Health Professionals, ICT. We are indebted to the support and willingness to share expertise from past pupils and parents who assist career staff to ensure each pupil has access to broad and varied advice and perspectives about the wold of work.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Remembrance Service All pupils participated in an annual Act of Remembrance on Friday 10th November. Years 10 to 14 gathered to hear the names of past pupils who lost their lives serving in different conflicts from around the world. Rachel Armstrong in year 12 played the Last Post which was followed by a minute’s silence. Three wreaths were laid in the front entrance hall in tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and were, formerly, members of the school’s Scout Troop, the Old Ballyclarians Association and the school community overall. Years 8 and 9 enjoyed a guest speaker, local historian Eddie Beck, who was able to provide a fascinating insight into the background of one former pupil who lost his life in the Second World War. Poppy seeds were then sown by our Senior Prefects in the memorial garden, created to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the 1st World War in 2014.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Sir John Daniel Award Clare Kidston, our Behavioural Support Assistant has won everyone’s heart here with her joie de vivre and now she has stolen the limelight for her academic achievement. A former pupil, Clare received a BSc 1st Class Hons in Psychology at her recent graduation ceremony. Not only that, she achieved the highest average rank score (91.2%) of this year’s graduates across all disciplines and so was also awarded the Sir John Daniel Prize for outstanding academic achievement. She would like to thank Mr Farquhar for teaching her to count and Mr Lenaghan for teaching her to write - both skills came in very handy! Clare’s success exemplifies the commitment, expressed in our mission statement: ‘Developing lifelong learners in a caring, creative community’.

Soroptimist Winners Congratulations to Poppy Thomas of Year 13 on winning the Newtownabbey heat of the Soroptimist International Northern Ireland prize for her speech based on a New England proverb: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Aimee Jenkins also of Year 13 was awarded a Special Certificate of Achievement for a speech on the problems in store for her generation. The judges commented on the high calibre of all the speeches. Poppy will now go forward to the next stage of the competition against the other Northern Irish heat winners in Hillsborough on the 3 February, 2018. The young Soroptimists should be doubly commended as they spent the Saturday prior to this competition competing in the Bar Mock Trial.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Bar Mock Trial Our Bar Mock Trial team were victorious in all three cases on Saturday, 25 November. The Bar Mock Trial competition is held annually in the Laganside Courts, Belfast and is presided over on the day by the current members of our judicial system. The team have been working since September on preparing to defend or prosecute two court cases based on fraud and grievous bodily harm. Following a draw, the team defended against Aquinas Grammar School, prosecuted against Bangor Grammar in the second round and also prosecuted against Strathearn in the final round. This is our sixth year participating in this prestigious competition which gives senior pupils the opportunity to adopt a number of roles relating to a range of legal career pathways. Our pupils received advice and guidance from four practising barristers led by Ms Lee Brown, a former pupil and current parent. The barristers advised our team twice-aweek in preparation for the event. Former and current pupils have found this experience most useful in deciding whether to follow a legal career path. Parents attending the day-long event were impressed by the team’s polished and confident performance and preparations for next year are already underway, such was the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


The Snow Ball This year’s School Formal, The Snow Ball, took place in November in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. As always this proved to be a very popular event with both sixth form pupils and staff. Good food and entertainment made for an extremely enjoyable evening with lots of dancing included.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Duke of Edinburgh Gets Royal Approval Once again the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme at Ballyclare High has been the centre of attention, this time at St James’ Palace. Open only to the public by Royal patronage, this year’s winter presentation was a particularly special occasion. Six of our pupils, who have completed their gold level and who chose to attend the ceremony in London, were presented with their certificates after meeting with HRH Earl of Wessex. His presence at the palace made the occasion even more personal to the school following his visit here last year as part of the Diamond Anniversary tour to celebrate the scheme. Kate Thompson, Director of Duke of Edinburgh in Northern Ireland, praised the school for its continued success as the biggest centre in the province, and made special mention of the staff for the support they give pupils to ensure the vast majority who start the scheme complete their bronze, silver and gold levels. She reflected also on the warm welcome afforded to all her staff and the Earl by our staff and pupils during their visit. It was a particular privilege for some of our gold award holders, alongside Dr Rainey and Mrs McCullough, to meet HRH Prince Edward on behalf of the school, and to witness the esteem in which our commitment to the scheme is held by the charity.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Safer Internet Day / SD Filming Ballyclare High pupils star and impress in the latest UK Safer Internet Day film on the theme, Create, Connect and Share Respect’. that will be shown on Safer Internet Day on 6th February 2018. The UK Safer Internet Team flew into the province to work with us specifically. The key message for younger pupils was ‘No devices at the dinner table!’, encouraging young people to take time away from their devices and enjoy time with their family. Older pupils were engaged by what it means to have ‘digital resilience’ and how they can empathise with others when connecting online. Pupils’ views regarding these themes were then filmed. Peter Bower from the UK Safer Internet Centre was impressed by how eloquently the pupils presented their thoughts and thanked them for their contributions. We are very excited to see the final edit of the film due for release in December. So watch this space….. What is Safer Internet Day? Celebrated globally in February, Safer Internet Day is exactly what it says. The aim is to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology by and for children and young people and inspire a national conversation about such matters. Thousands of organisations globally get involved to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon all of us to join together and create a better internet. Get involved and play your part!

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Golf Ross Campbell and Ewan McArthur were selected to represent Ulster in the Golf Union of Ireland Inter-provincial Championship held in July at Blarney Golf Resort, Cork. Following superb performances by both boys Ulster took the silver medals. Ewan was selected to play for Ireland in The Home Countries Championship in August. Ross earned his place in the Ulster Team with a semi-final place in the Ulster Closed and 3rd place in the Munster U14s Open. Congratulations also go to Ross and Alex Darrah, selected for the GUI Ulster Branch Coaching Programme. Ross was also selected to represent an Ulster development team who faced Leinster. Congratulations to junior golfers Adam Buchanan and Jamie McArthur in Year 9 who have been selected for the GUI Ulster Branch U14 Coaching Panel. The boys will be working hard at the coaching base at Greenmount, hoping to catch the eye of the selectors for the Ulster team. We wish them well!

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Senior Hockey Tour to Hamburg The senior hockey group travelled to Hamburg during the half term holiday for a series of training sessions, team building, very competitive quizzes and physical testing throughout the 5 day trip. Our sessions were undertaken at Club Alster and Club Harvester both of which we have strong connections with. Club Alster is former colleague Tobi Deppermann’s club and Club Harvester is current senior coach Zoe Wilson’s former club; she played professional hockey there last year. Our timing was excellent as we were able to watch both these teams play against one another in the local derby games. A special drag flicking session was led by Mo Ghandi, a current professional at Club Alster; Mo plays for the USA and is their leading drag flicker. A visit to the city centre provided us with an opportunity to take a boat tour around the harbour, the key to Hamburg’s affluence. We saw the working side and the old historical areas of the harbour married with the regeneration programme taking place. Finally we got to taste a traditional German meal prepared by Mrs Deppermann who invited us all to her home; what a lovely way to finish the trip!

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


New Sponsorship links for Ballyclare High Hockey Club Ballyclare High Hockey Club announced new sponsorship links, just in time for the Ulster Super League Final. John McCollum of McDonalds, Sprucefield and Richard Greer Car Sales, Doagh are proud sponsors of this year’s 1stXI. We are delighted to have such support from businesses who have long been impressed by our reputation for success and as advocates not only for high achievement but for the importance of aspiration for younger players and provision of opportunities to develop pupils as individuals. We wish to say a huge thank you to both businesses for this promotion of girls’ sport.

Superleague Final - WINNERS!! Ballyclare High defeated Rainey to become Ulster Super League Champions 2017. This competition brings together all school 1st XIs in the province in a series of matches that begin right at the start of the season and aims to create competitive, high stakes games that are important for player development in advance of the Schools’ Cup and for representative hockey. After a nervous start by players Ballyclare settled into what was to become a tense encounter with play fairly balanced between the two sides. It took to the closing stages of the first half for Lauren McKee to score right at the post following a run from Sophie McDowell. The second half started brightly for Ballyclare but after a Rainey corner and clearance by Ballyclare somehow a shot found its way through a crowd of players to beat Gemma Ferguson in goals. The final moved into extra time during which Ballyclare seemed to relax and play their best hockey. However, the deadlock could not be broken and penalty strokes were taken to decide the result. Ballyclare displayed more confidence during theshoot out and Gemma Ferguson quietly put a stop to the opposition hopes of victory with some very good saves. Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


NEBSSA Cross Country Our 46 runners competed with great determination in what should be described as a ‘tough mudder’. There were approximately 12-15 schools represented in each race, most like us, with teams of 6 runners. Of particular note are the following team successes and individual top 10 finisher results: Year 8 Boys – Jamie Smyth 5th, Ben Davidson 7th. Year 9 Girls TEAM – 3rd place (Braidie Hogg 3rd) Year 9 Boys TEAM – 1st place (Bobby Higgins 2nd, Jamie McArthur 8th) Year 10 Girls – Olivia Boyd 5th, Eve Cole 6th. Year 10 Boys TEAM – 3rd place. Year 11/12 Girls TEAM – 2nd place (Ellie Gray 6th). Year 11/12 Boys TEAM – 2nd place (Ross Blackbourne 4th, Arran Gilliland 9th).

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Swimming At the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Swimming Gala which took place in November. a number of Ballyclare High swimmers took part. Ben Woodside became Ulster Champion in the 50ms breaststroke. Amy McCullough was a double medal winner with a silver in the butterfly and a bronze in the freestyle. Ryan Lewis took silver in the butterfly. We had some great parents on side to help, Mrs Woodside and Mrs Stewart - many thanks!

Girls’ Football It was with total delight that those of us watching and getting involved with the European U19 Women’s Football Championship in August saw one of our pupils star on the poster and TV campaigns. Grace Montgomery Year 9 was declared by her coach as one of the brightest talents coming through and is tipped to represent Northern Ireland in the future.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Year 8 Netball The Year 8 netball team were awarded certificates at assembly for placing 4th in the Antrim Tournament.

Winter Honours

This special occasion took place in early December and is designed specifically to celebrate all that our Year 14 pupils have achieved over the last seven years. A total of 3 special pockets, 29 senior and 7 inter pockets for cultural and sporting achievements were awarded. The highest accolade, the Honours Blazer awarded for participation at representative level was granted to 12 pupils. Ewan McArthur (golf) Adam Clark and Josh Cowan (cricket) Sophie McDowell, Molly Dougan, Gemma Ferguson, Rebecca McCullough, Laura Chestnutt, Katie Stewart, Rebecca Walker (hockey),Josh Young and James Nelson (rugby).

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Senior Rugby Hagan Homes, Smile Dental, Karl and TDK commercial property consultants are all supporting the senior 1st and 2nd XV rugby sides. James Hagan, Managing Director, Hagan Homes, explains: “My Dad, James Hagan, went to Ballyclare High School. We have always appreciated the valuable role that sport can play in a person’s life and recognise the importance of supporting young people to allow them to experience this. Team sports like rugby teach young people how to work together to achieve a shared objective. It helps them to appreciate the individual skills and talents that others have and how these can combine to create a force to be reckoned with, which is what Ballyclare 1st XV team is! Sport also teaches young people the importance of discipline, training and making sacrifices to succeed. Equally important it can teach you how to respond to a situation when you don’t win. It teaches you invaluable coping skills and how to refocus, regroup and move forward.” Mr McKeever, Director of Rugby at Ballyclare High said that rugby is thriving as the number of boys playing in the senior teams is, at present, 65, with 4 senior rugby sides already securing fixtures this season. The generous support of all sponsors will assist us enormously in the further development of this sport, not only for the 1st XV, but for all children (boys and girls) involved in rugby throughout the school. Two of our senior rugby squad, Jack Gamble and Adam Campbell are included in an Ulster Talent ID training squad. The picture below shows James Nelson holding the Irish Rugby U18 Inter Provincial Trophy.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Medallion Rugby

The Medallion Rugby team have also been generously supported this season with 2 parents teaming up to provide the side with a new set of playing jerseys by linking with their respective companies; I would like to thank Mr Black from Subway and Mr Mitchell of Focused Hub for their support. A Snap shot at rugby at Ballyclare since September; •Year 8 had an overnight stay in Dublin before facing Willow Park in a blitz where they are displayed excellent rugby skills; •Year 9 are in planning stage of a mini tour down south in the new year; •Year 10 travelled to play Blackrock College and attended the Ireland v Fiji rugby match with our senior rugby 3rd XV; •Medallion rugby travelled to play Blackrock College with the senior 1st XV squad before then going on to support James Nelson represent, score, win v’s Leinster and become the first interprovincial winning Ulster U18 Schools side for 13 years; •Senior rugby will be travelling to Co Meath for 4 days on a training camp in December and then on return face Ulster U18; •Girls rugby have visited The Kingspan Stadium to watch Ulster v Connacht; •James Nelson represented Ulster U18 schools; •Josh Young represented Ulster U19; •Two of our Medallion side have been selected to train in a talent ID programme with Ulster once a week; David Purcell and Robert Reid.

Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Ballyclare High School Annual Carol Services Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th December 2017 in The Montgomery Hall at 7.30pm There is NO CHARGE for tickets but we ask you to give generously to our chosen charities in the retiring offering.

Ballyclare High School (Grammar)

OPEN NIGHT 4th January 2018

the Principal will speak at 6.30 and 8.30pm entrance through Main Reception or Sports Hall Doors parking available at the rear of school/Ballyclare Presbyterian Church 31 Rashee Road, Ballyclare, BT39 9HJ Ballyclare High School: Christmas 2017 Newsletter


Christmas newsletter 2017d  
Christmas newsletter 2017d