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The Owl 2011

BELFAST ROYAL ACADEMY The Belfast Royal Academy was founded in 1785 and is the oldest school in the city. Originally situated near St Anne’s Cathedral, in what is now Academy Street it was transferred to Cliftonville Road in 1880, when the present building was erected. For more than a century the school was named Belfast Academy. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted permission for the school to style itself Belfast Royal Academy. It is a voluntary grammar school and its management is vested in a Board of Governors on which parents and teachers are represented, along with Governors elected by members of the Academy and nominees of the Minister of Education. Any past pupil who was at B.R.A. for at least three years and who is twenty-one or over may, subject to the Governors, become a member of the Academy upon payment of a registration fee of £1. Applications should be made to the Bursar at the school. Past pupils are encouraged to join the Old Boys’ and Old Girls’Associations. The cost of membership and contact details are as follows:

OLD GIRLS’ ASSOCIATION School Liaison Officer: Catherine Scully Hon. Treasurer:

Ms P. Burns, 1 Glebe Gardens, Newtownabbey, BT36 6ED

Life Membership. .............................................................................................................................................................................. £15.00 Life Membership (School Leaver)..................................................................................................................................... £10.00

OLD BOYS’ ASSOCIATION President: Mr. S. Orr Hon. Secretary:

Dr L. Campbell, Belfast Royal Academy, Cliftonville Road, Belfast BT14 6JL

Hon. Treasurer:

Mr N. Simon, 210 Belfast Road, Dunadry, Co. Antrim, BT41 2EY

Life Membership. .............................................................................................................................................................................. £20.00 Life Membership (School Leaver)..................................................................................................................................... £10.00


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BOARD OF GOVERNORS Mr. P.S. Sefton, LL.B. (Warden) Mr. S.B. Orr, LL.B. (Senior Vice-Warden) Mr. T.M.A. Baldwin, B.Sc., M.I.Biol., C.Biol. Mr. N. W. Beggs (Hon. Treasurer) Dr. K.M. Bill, M.B., Ch.B., F.F.A.R.C.S.I. 2

Mr. E.W. Bleakley, T Cert. B.A., M.Sc., B.P.G.C.U.T. Mrs. K. Burns, B.A. Mrs. A. Clements, B.A. Mr. R. Connolly, B.Sc. Ms. C. Dillon, B.A.

Ms. W.E. Graham, B.A., M.A., P.Q.H. (N.I.) Dr. J.A. Hill, F.R.Eng., F.I.A.Eng., B.Sc., Hon.D.Sc., C.Eng., F.I.C.E., F.I.StructE., F.I.E.I., F.I.H.T. Mr. K.A. Knox, M.Sc. Mr. J.W. Martin, F.R.I.C.S. Mr. P.S. McBride, B.Sc., M.Inst.P. Mr. B.W. McCormack, B.Sc. (Econ), F.C.A. Mr. S.R. Potts, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., F.R.C.S.I. Mr. N. Reid, LL.B., F.C.A. Mrs. C. Scoffield, Cert.Ed., Dip.Ed. Mr. G.R. Simon, F.R.I.C.S. Mr. D. Walsh, B.Sc., M.B.A., C.Eng., M.I.M.E. Mr. I. Warke, B.Sc. Mr. S.J.S. Warke, A.C.I.I., Dip P.F.S., T.E.P. Mrs. J. Weir, B.Sc., C.Math., M.I.M.A. (Hon. Secretary) Mr. A.J. Wilkinson, F.C.A. Mr. M.T. Wilson, B.Sc. Mr. J.M.G. Dickson, M.A. (Headmaster - Non-voting member) Miss E. Hull, B.Sc., Dip(Acc), F.C.A. (Bursar - Acts as Clerk to the Board of Governors)

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J. M. G. Dickson, M.A.

Deputy Principal

Ms. C. N. Scully, B.Sc., Ph.D.,

Vice Principals

A.L.C.M., P.Q.H. (N.I.) A. R. Creighton, B.Ed., P.Q.H. (N.I.) G.J.N. Brown, B.A., Ph.D.

Senior Teachers

T.M.A. Baldwin, B.Sc., C.Biol., M.S.B. R.D.C. Evans, B.A. Ms. W. E. Graham, B.A., M.A., P.Q.H. (N.I.) Mrs. B. P. Lomas, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. M. T. Wilson, B.Sc.

Deputy Senior Teacher

R. J. Jamison, B.Sc. M. C. W. Harte, B.A.


Mrs. P. Kerr, B.A., A.T.D. Mrs. G. McQuiston, B.Ed. A. A. W. Bell, B.Sc, B.Agr.Sc., PhD. Ms. J. R. Adams, B.Ed. B. T. McMurray, B.Sc., Ph.D. J. D. L. Reilly, M.B.E., B.A. P. Cupples, B.Sc. Ms. W. E. Graham, B.A., M.A., P.Q.H. (N.I.) C. A. Stewart, B.Sc. J. A. McCombe, B.A., Ph.D. S. W. Graham, M.A. Miss S. B. Park, B.A. Ms. M. McMullan, M.A., Mus.B., L.T.C.L., A.L.C.M. W. I. McGonigle, B.Ed. R. Budden, M.Sc. Mrs. V. Heaslip, B.Ed. Mrs. B. P. Lomas, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. N. E. Moore, B.Sc.


R. D. C. Evans, B.A. J. M. Patterson, B.Sc.(Econ.), M.S.Sc., D.C.G. D. R. S. Nash, B.Sc., M.Ed. Miss S. L. Tinman, B.A. Miss R. McCay, M.A. Mrs. R. Morrison, B.A. Mrs. C. Leyden, B.A. W. J. W. Spence, B.Ed., M.A.


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Mrs. C. J. Adair, B.A., Ph.D. M. R. Shields, B.A.


Mrs. A. M. Reynolds, B.Sc. P. Dorman, B.Th.


Mrs. J. Robb, B.Sc. T. Hughes, M.Sc.


R. Morrison, B.A. C. R. McCarey, B.Sc.


Miss S. R. Ardis, B.Sc. M. J. Neill, M.Sc.


Mrs. G. C. Morris, B.Ed. K. Lunn, B.Ed.


Mrs. K. McIntyre, B.Sc. J. F. Buchan, B.E.M., M.A.

CAREERS ADVISERS Ms. J. Adams, B.Ed. A. K. Moles, B.Sc.

S. B. Murphy, B.Ed. J. M. Patterson, B.Sc.(Econ.), M.S.Sc., D.C.G.

GRAMMAR SCHOOL Ms. E. Andrews, B.Mus.Ed., B.A. Ms. R. M. Barrance, M.A. Mrs. J. C. Bell, B.Sc. Mrs. K. A. Black, B.A. Ms. C. Burns, B.Sc., Ph.D., M.R.S.C. J. Carolan, M.A. R. Carroll, B.Ed. Miss V. Carson, M.A., A.L.C.M. Mrs. J. M. Cleland, B.Sc. Mrs. J. A. Connolly, B.A. Mrs. L. Cowan, M.Sc. Miss L. Craig, B.A. Mrs. C. E. Currie, B.A. Miss. D. Currie, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. A. Forrest, B.A. Mrs. F. A. Gilmore, B.Sc. Mrs. M. L. Gray, B.A., M.Ed. Mrs. N. Henry, B.Sc. Mrs. C. A. Hughes, B.Sc. N. Irwin, B.Ed. Ms. D. Keenan, M.Sc. C. P. Little. B.A. Mrs. I. Lyttle, M.Sc. P. J. Martin, B.Ed. Ms T. McBeth, M.A. Mrs. G. McCadden, Dip. A.D., A.T.D.

Mrs. B. McCaughran, Dip. P.E. Mrs. J. McGowan, M.A. Ms. S. M. McIlhatton, B.Eng. Miss A. McMillen, M.Sci. Mrs. H. Miller, B.A. D. D. Morrison, M.Sc. Mrs. D. M. Nicholl, B.A. Mrs. L. I. Nicholl, B.Sc. Mrs. N. S. Nicholl, B.A. Mrs. R. L. O’Donnell, B.A., Dip. A.D., A.T.D. Mrs. L. Patterson, B.A. P. C. Porter, B.A., B.D. (Comm.) Mrs. C. E. Prior, B.Mus. Mrs. S. S. Roberts, B.A. Mrs. M. Sheeran, B.A. Mrs. J. Smyth, B.A. S. C. Springer, M.Sc. P. T. Stretton, B.Ed. Mrs. H. Tate, B.A. Mrs. A. P. Terek, B.Sc. Mrs. M. E. M. Thompson, B.A. Miss R. C. Wallace, B.A. Mrs. M. N. Wilson, B.A. Miss J Winning, B.Sc. G. R. Young, B.A., M.A.

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Mrs. V. M. McCaig, B.Ed. W. T. Wilson, B.Ed., L.T.C.L.

P. J. Ingram, B.Ed., M.Sc. Mrs. P. Lennon, B.Ed. Mrs. B. Marshall, Cert. Ed. S. Patterson, B.Ed.

Mrs. S. Sherrard, Cert. Ed. Mrs. E. Wilson, B.Ed. Mrs. R. Wilson, B.A., B.Ed., L.T.C.L.


Mrs. E. Moorhead Mrs. C. Sempey

CLASSROOM ASSISTANTS Preparatory School Main School

Miss H. E. Crossen, B.A. Mrs. E. L. Philpott Mrs. L. Todd, B.A. Miss S. Buchan, B.Sc. Miss B. Burtenshaw, B.A., Dip.Ed. Mrs. S. Harvey, B.Sc. Mrs. A. Rea, B.A. Miss S. Stewart Mrs. K. Tepe Mrs. N. Watson


Preparatory School Main School

Miss J. McGeown Miss A. Thompson, B.Sc. A. Kelly

ADMINISTRATION Bursar Finance Supervisor Headmaster’s Secretary Bursar’s Secretary/P.A. Senior Clerical Officer Librarian I.C.T. Manager Alumni Officer General Office Supervisor Telephonist / Receptionist General Office Administrator Secretary / Telephonist (Ben Madigan)

Miss E. Hull, B.Sc., Dip.(Acc.), F.C.A. Mrs. H. McClean, B.A., F.C.A. Mrs. P. McClintock Miss G. Boyd, B.A. Mrs. J. Boyd Mrs. T. Corcoran, B.A. J. R. Cleland, B.Sc. E.G.A. McCamley, M.A. Ms. P. Ferguson Mrs. A. Foy Mrs. L. Oliver Mrs. K. Bleakley


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Laboratory Assistants

Mrs. D. Beattie Mrs. J. Carroll Miss A. Caroux

Technology & Design Technician

M. McCreight

Art & Crafts Technician

Mrs. L. Atkins

School Matron

Miss P. McKenna, B.Sc.

Study Supervisor

Mrs. C. Clyde

Estates Manager

W. Thompson

Supervisor of Grounds & Games Coach

T. D. Robinson

Swimming Pool Manager/Instructor

Mrs. E. Alexander, B.A.

Maintenance Staff

F. Workman I. Mawhinney

Bus Driver

W. Dunn

Bus Driver/Assistant Janitor

A. Hermon


K. Hogg D. McKee

Janitor (Ben Madigan)

A. Moorhead


W. J. McKay J. G. Forsythe

Supervisory Assistant

Mrs. A. Thompson

Supervisory Assistant (Ben Madigan)

Mrs. M. Jameson

Kitchen Supervisor (Ben Madigan)

Mrs. O. Shields

Kitchen Assistant (Ben Madigan)

Mrs. M. McEwan

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Contents 7

School Notes


Diary of the School Year






Literary Contributions


Distribution of Prizes


School Societies


Music in School


Drama in School




School Games


Ben Madigan Preparatory School


Former Pupils’ News


Degrees and Diplomas


Births, Marriages and Deaths


School Notes

School Notes STAFFING 8

Four members of staff retired at the end of the academic year: Dr Louis Campbell (Deputy Headmaster), Mrs Liz McMorran (Head of the Biology Department), Mrs Marjorie Gray (Geography Department, Head of Year) and Miss Moyna McCullough (SENCO). In addition, Mrs Naomi Allen (English Department) and Mr Stephen Johnston (Physical Education, Ben Madigan) were appointed to other posts and Mrs Jennie Hamilton (Modern Languages) resigned following her maternity leave.


has remained in the Music Department to cover the maternity leave of Mrs Prior. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and is a former pupil of the Academy. Miss Ashley McMillen is covering the maternity leave of Mrs Cowan in the Mathematics Department. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, and is a former pupil of the Academy. Mrs Emma Gillis is temporary Librarian, covering the maternity leave of Mrs Tara Corcoran. A former pupil of the Royal School, Armagh, she is a graduate of the University of Ulster.

Full-time permanent Mrs Mary Sheeran will join the Modern Languages Department following her maternity leave. A former pupil of Dominican College, she is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast.

Part-time temporary Miss Leanne Craig has joined the English Department. A former pupil of Wellington College, Belfast, she is a graduate of the University of Ulster.

Dr Diane Currie has joined the Biology Department. A former pupil of Ballyclare High School, she is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast.

Art and Design Ben O’Donnell Form V gained full marks in the CCEA GCSE level examination 2011.

Mr Simon Patterson has joined the staff of Ben Madigan. A former pupil of Omagh Academy, he is a graduate of Stranmillis University College.

Mr. Roy Donaldson from Donaldson and Weir Graphics Ltd presented the top two Art & Design A2 Level pupils Adam Montgomery A* and Andrew Smyth A with a student Art Pack Award.

Full-time temporary (Maternity Leave) Mr Graham Young is covering the maternity leave of Mrs Sheeran in the Modern Languages Department. He attended Foyle and Londonderry College and is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast. Ms Rhian Barrance is covering the maternity leave of Mrs McBeth in the English Department. A former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, she is a graduate of the University of Oxford. Miss Emily Andrews, who was acting Head of Department last year in the absence of Ms McMullan,


The MVI and LVI Art & Design pupils visited the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Art Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. Diane Drayne, experienced art teacher/batik artist and photographer, provided an internal workshop on batik and photographic processes to Form IV Art & Design. The annual Art Exhibition, in June, included an excellent variety of work from all Forms. The Art exhibition’s coffee morning raised £160 for The Save the Children Fund.

The Owl 2011 In June 2011 all Form I, II, III pupils took part in the Belfast Flags of Hope project. The project has come about because of the tragic and brutal murder, on 10th August 2005, of Thomas Devlin, a pupil of Belfast Royal Academy. The goal of the project is to encourage diverse communities to get involved in an event that is about flying flags that portray positive images and wishes for the future. The project set out to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of bunting. Belfast Royal Academy pupils designed and made 250 flags helping to beat the current record of 1.35 miles. Significantly, the accomplished record-breaking bunting length of 1.6 miles was flown at the Belfast peace line in August 2011. The project has been an excellent opportunity for Belfast Royal Academy pupils to embrace the new curriculum, covering key elements of mutual understanding, moral character and spiritual awareness, cultural understanding and ethical awareness. Biology Hannah Stewart, Alisha Gergett, David Gorman and Katie Robinson were awarded A* grades at A-Level. Deborah Forbes went to Villiers Park to attend a course in Ecology and Evolution. She developed her understanding of applied genetics. Business Studies This year class teaching was supported with: • Speakers • Industry visits • Enterprise days • Mini company • Group projects Chemistry Hannah Stewart achieved an A* at A2 Level. A team of three MVI pupils came third in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Analyst Competition, held in Stranmillis College and received a cheque for £200 for the Chemistry Department: Alisha Gergett David Gorman Hannah Stewart Classics We thank Dr. L. Campbell for all his work in the Classics Department and send him our very best wishes on his retirement. Genevieve Leonard achieved an A* in Classical Civilisation at A-Level. Parisa Shirazi and Antonia Campbell achieved an A* in Latin in GCSE. 29 pupils from Forms II to IV and four members of staff thoroughly enjoyed the four-day Classics trip to Hadrian’s Wall in June.


School Notes Drama The Junior Drama Club continued in popularity in 2010/11. Results were impressive at GCSE and A2 Levels. At AS Level there was a 100% pass rate achieving A - B grades. Economics This was the first year of GCSE Economics results. The results were very encouraging with a third of entries achieving A or A* grades.


English Callum Browne, Antonia Campbell, Suzanne Currie, Stephen Doyle, Bethany Queripel, Matthew Smith, Ryan Spence and Stefan Tucker attained full marks in AQA English Literature at GCSE. Sixth Form pupils had the opportunity to attend seminars hosted by Queen’s University on their set Advanced Level texts. A group also attended a talk by Roddy Doyle as part of the Festival at Queen’s. A collaborative venture between the University of Ulster and BRA used the virtual learning environment, LearningNI, to create an online space for the PGCE student teachers and sixth form pupils to meet ‘virtually’ to discuss aspects of the AS English Literature course. Eight Form I pupils represented the Academy at Asthma UK Northern Ireland’s Listen Up! Youth Conference held at W5. They were declared joint winners, winning a colour printer for the English Department. BRA pupils once again finished in the top positions in the West Belfast Festival Short Story Competition. Natasha Kelly (Form 1) was runner up in the Amnesty International UK Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year (11-14 category). Liam Ferris (III) was second in the Belfast City Council’s “Literally Yours” competition. In collaboration with the ICT and Careers Departments, 11 Form III pupils were given the opportunity to research, record and edit a news programme with an experienced BBC Sports journalist Mr Thomas Niblock. Geography In November three pupils in Form V competed in the Northern Ireland final of the World Wise Quiz at Queen’s University, Belfast. Representatives from Belfast City Council gave an

The Owl 2011 interactive lesson to Form I Geography classes during February on the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle programme to encourage sustainable living in Belfast. In the summer term, Form III geographers learnt about the work of Christian Aid in those areas hit by the Boxing Day tsunami. Dave Thomas spoke to the year group on the help given to local people. History The History Department continues to thrive. Form IV History pupils had, for the first time, the opportunity to sit a modular GCSE examination in History in June 2010. The pupils excelled with over 90% achieving grades A*-C. ICT In September, all pupils in Form I were given a presentation on Internet Safety entitled “ThinkUKnow�. In the Summer term the Computer Programmer Club was launched to Form I pupils with the aim of fostering an interest in programming. A number of pupils in the Sixth Form continued to work towards their ECDL certificates. In March the BBC journalist Thomas Niblock ran an extremely successful media day in conjunction with the ICT and English departments. On the day a group of 11 Form III pupils produced a short television news programme. They wrote the scripts, filmed interviews and recorded the links. Mr Niblock returned to school later in the month to show the final edited programme and give feedback. It is hoped that we can repeat this day in the coming academic year. Mathematics 67% of Form V achieved an A*/ A in AQA GCSE Mathematics. Tom Hanna scored maximum marks. 72 students were entered for Additional Mathematics with 98% achieving A*-C. Tom Hanna scored 99%. At AS Level 58% achieved an A grade. Alexksy Gaj scored maximum marks. 73% of the MVI cohort achieved an A*/A at A2 Level. Hannah Stewart, Andrew West and Alisha Gergett were awarded an A* in Further Mathematics. Ryan Lightowler, Hollie McAlmont, Sorcha Burke and David Speers competed in the UKMT Team Junior

Mathematics Challenge. Sorcha Burke qualified for the next stage of the UKMT Intermediate Challenge (the Grey Kangaroo). Tom Hanna qualified for the first round of the Intermediate and Senior Mathematics Olympiad. Modern Languages The pass rate at Advanced Level in French, German and Spanish was 100%. Sasha English gained grade A* at Advanced Level in French and Spanish. Andrew Forsythe gained grade A* at Advanced level in French and Stephan Agbogbe gained grade A* at Advanced Level in German. Highlights of the year included the Form II Paris Trip, the Spanish Exchange, the European Day of Languages, and the visit to the Spanish Department of Nancy Cuella Reid, a Cuban national living in Belfast, who gave an interesting PowerPoint on the lifestyle and culture of Cuba Past and Present. Lucy Dugan prepared for and, with some help, successfully secured voluntary work in France with Cite Secours for two weeks in August 2011.


School Notes Music Michael Bell achieved full marks in his recital at GCSE and Stephen Doyle and Stefan Tucker achieved full marks in the composition paper. 100% of Form V achieved grades A* – B in CCEA GCSE Music. Genevieve Leonard, Andrew Forsythe, Odhran McIntaggart and Rowan Vincent achieved full marks in their recital at A2 Level. Odhran McIntaggart also achieved full marks in his A2 Composition paper. Jessica Massey, Michael Bell and Stephen Doyle gained a place in the Ulster Youth Choir. Faye Kidd and Meabh Mallaghan achieved a place in the Ulster Youth Training Choir. 12

The Chamber Choir competed in and won the School Choir 14 – 18 year old class at Ballymena Festival. They also won a bursary for the choir with the highest mark in the Festival. The Brass Band and Big Band also won their classes in The Holywood Festival. Michael Bell (V), Stephen Doyle (V) and Mark Boyd (M6) played in the Ulster Youth Orchestra.

Physical Education 91% of A2 candidates gained A-C grades in the June examination. Physics Alisha Gergett, David Gorman, Hannah Stewart and Andrew West were awarded an A*. Politics The annual visit to Stormont remains a highlight of the year as the Lower VI get an opportunity to question leading members of the various political parties about their policies and strategies. The pupils also get to sit in the Visitors’ Gallery to watch a Debate or Question Time, which makes more real the day-to-day process of government. MVI enjoyed the Conference at QUB for Politics students, which included some challenging lectures and gave pupils an insight into University-style teaching. Religious Studies Pupils studying A level Religious Studies travelled to Rome on a Study Tour. Form IV GCSE classes supported the work of the Simon Community by preparing Christmas gifts for the homeless. Form III RE classes welcomed a team from ‘Love for Life’ and enjoyed a presentation by Jackie Burke, a former drug addict. Andrew Forsythe achieved an A*.

Sociology MVI pupils attended a Conference for A Level Sociology at QUB and found the lectures challenging as they were very detailed and dealt with issues that we had only peripherally touched on in class. Pupils intending on to study Criminology at University found them particularly useful.

The Owl 2011 Technology & Design Justin Magee, Senior Lecturer in Product Design & 3D Multimedia, was the special guest for our Product Design Masterclass. Whilst in school, Justin also spent some time outlining the courses available at the Magee Campus of The University of Ulster to LVI and MVI Art and Design students. Dr Peter Hughes, the Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering made his third visit to the school to address all Form III pupils. Five Lower Sixth girls participated in the Sentinus “Get Set Insight into Engineering Programme”. A group of Lower Sixth pupils who study Technology attended the “Engineering our Future” conference held in Methodist College. Our Form III and Form IV Technology pupils had the opportunity to spend a day on board the STEM Module in the school playground. In June, over eighty Form II pupils participated in The Sentinus STEM Robotics Roadshow.

SPORT Athletics (Girls) Over 60 were entered for the District Championships at the Antrim Forum. The girls achieved 10 Gold, 8 Silver and 9 Bronze medals. At the Ulster Schools’ Championships our athletes won 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. The highlight of the day was the Senior Girls’ team winning the Senior Girls’ Cup. 11 girls qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships in Tullamore. Hannah Allen (Form V) and Emma Kelso (Form IV) were selected to represent Ulster Schools in the Schools’ Inter Provincial at Santry. Victoria Beattie (Form II) was selected as a reserve for the team. Athletics (Boys) Robert Moffett was selected to throw the Hammer in the Commonwealth Youth Championships. He was also appointed captain of the Northern Ireland UK School Games team and went on to win the Gold medal to become UK champion. Also selected for that team were Stewart Martin and Alan Curtis.


School Notes Badminton Badminton continued to meet weekly. Bonnie Li, Rebekah Bingham and Peter Hawthorne represented the school at the Champion of Champions event in Lisburn. Cricket Jordan McClurkin represented Ireland at Under 17 and Under 19 levels. He is one of only nine players to be selected for the Northern Cricket Union Sports Academy. Daniel McFadden was selected for the Ulster Schools’ cricket tour. Andrew Forbes played for the Belfast team that participated in the Lord’s Taverners competition. Ross Bryans played for the NCU U15s.

selected for the Belfast Area U18 team which won the area board tournament. Anna also made the final 30 at Ulster U18 level. At U15 level, Faye Kidd and Holly Reid played for the Belfast XI which also won the tournament in which it competed. Holly Reid was selected for a final Ulster U16 trial and played in a development team against a Leinster development team in Dublin. Faye Kidd was selected for the Ulster U16 final squad and will play for Ulster this autumn in the Inter-provincial tournament to be held in Belfast.

The 1st XI toured Ipswich and Norwich, beating St. Joseph’s College. 14

Jordan McClurkin, Daniel McFadden and Mr. Shields toured Durham with Ulster Schools. Cross Country Running The highlights of the season included the performances of Caolan Lyttle (Form III), Matthew Donnelly, Malachy McKenna, and Amy Mellor (all Form V) in the District Championships all qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Championships.

Hockey (Boys) The 1st XI competed well in the Prior Shield, just failing to reach the semi-final stage. They won their first round match in the Burney Cup, but were then defeated by eventual winners Cookstown High School. 15 boys and two members of staff went on a 4 day tour of Holland, where they had a full day’s coaching clinic, taken by a professional Dutch Coach. They then played a match against Leonidas, winning 7-1. Niall Darrah, as Captain, performed consistently well all season.

Football The Football XI competed in the Belfast League, Belfast Cup and Northern Ireland Cup. Golf Pupils in Forms I – IV again took part in the Darren Clarke Golf League last year and managed to raise £847 for the NI Breast Cancer charity. Hockey (Girls) Notable personal achievements included the selection of Emily Reid for the Northern Ireland U18 team which won Gold at the UK School Games, the first N. Ireland team to do so since the competition began. Emily was also selected for the Ulster U18s and was invited to train with the U21 squad. In her first year at U18 level, Anna Hutchinson was

Judo James Reid - Regional Development Squad - Silver: Headmasters’ Competition. Bronze: N.I. Schools’. Gold: Heart of England – 7th out of 40. Northwest – 7th: Northwest Derry – Gold. Ulster Schools’ – Bronze. N.I. Trials - Gold (2010), Silver (2011). British Championships – 7th. James is one of the youngest Brown Belts in the UK. Kiah Reid - 11-13: Heart of England –Bronze. N.I. Schools’ – Gold. R.D.S. – Gold. Northwest Derry – Gold. Irish Open – Bronze. Leinster Open - Gold.

The Owl 2011 Lifesaving The School won the Smyth Cup for the greatest number of lifesaving awards achieved by any school/club in Northern Ireland (112 Bronze medallions, 25 Awards of Merit, 6 Bronze & Silver Crosses, 5 Distinctions and 5 NPLQs). At the Ulster Championships we won 8 medals; at the British Speed Championships we won 4 Silver and 10 Bronze. Two pupils were selected to represent Northern Ireland in the Lifesaving Commonwealth Games in Durban, South Africa, in September - Shannon Alexander and Mark Wylie. Netball The Junior Netball team, coached by Miss Sharon Ardis, won the Belfast Schools’ Junior B League. They finished the season undefeated. Well done to the girls who won places on Netball Northern Ireland’s Regional Academy Squads. Lucy Miller, Abbie Brown, Courtney Duncan, Judithe Allen, Emer Gribbon, Mimi Joffroy, Taylor McCombe were selected for the U13 Belfast Netball Academy. Congratulations to Lucy Dugan (LVI) who was selected for the Northern Ireland U21 Squad: this is an outstanding level of achievement. Lucy was also selected for the NI U19 team that played in the European Championships in March 2011. Faye Kidd was selected for Belfast Area U15 Netball Academy. Rugby 1st XV They continued to train at the high performance centre at University of Ulster, Jordanstown. During the season Stuart Olding was selected to play for both Ulster and Ireland U18 Schools. Ryan Clarke was selected to play for Ulster Under 19 Schools. 3rd XV The 3rd XV won the 3rd XV Plate competition, beating Campbell College in the final at Pirrie Park. Under 14 At the end of the year the side toured Ipswich and Cambridge, playing fixtures against St. Joseph’s College and The Perse School Under 13 The Under 13 ‘B’ team had the honour of being named Belfast Royal Academy ‘School Rugby Team of the Year’. Cameron Black captained the team extremely well with motivation and enthusiasm.


School Notes Show-Jumping The Open team are Ulster Champions for the fifth consecutive year. They also won The M.E.C league for senior competitors in March 2011. Catherine Moss, Beth Moss, Courtney Ferris and Amy Wilson won the Open competition at the Ulster Schools’ Show-Jumping Championships and the Ulster Schools’ Show-Jumping League. The Novice team won the Balmoral Championships in September 2010. They also went on to be crowned as Novice Ulster Schools’ Champions, 2011. The team consisted of Ana Desmond, Jessica Johnston, Victoria Minford and Amy Wilson.


Swimming We had a great season, picking up medals in all the swimming events, starting with the Minor Schools’ (2 medals) and Grammar Schools’ (30 medals). The Intermediate Girls relay team - Eorann O’Neill, Kate Miller, Seana Harley-Moyes and Alice Kavanagh - became Ulster Champions and finished second in Ireland. We won 13 medals in the Secondary Schools’ Championships and 9 medals in the Irish Schools’ Championships. Clara Montgomery was selected for an elite Ulster training camp in Tenerife and Mark Wylie was selected for the UK School Games. Tennis (Girls) Numbers remained high for girls’ tennis clubs throughout the week and on a Saturday morning at Cavehill Tennis Club. Our Form I team won their section of the Schools’ Cup and progressed to the knock-out stages of the competition. Tennis (Boys) One Senior team entered the Senior league. There was a recreational tennis club for all pupils. Water-polo (Girls) The team was runners-up in the Irish U16 championship, resulting in five girls being selected to represent Ireland; Shannon Alexander, Caroline Montgomery and Eorann O’Neill at U16, with Lori Turkington and Jenna Todd at U14. Water-polo (Boys) Three pupils were selected for the Ulster Schools’ U19 team, with Fergus Carlin also being selected for the Irish U16 squad.

The Owl 2011

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES ATC During the year, cadets attended gliding at Newtownards, and flying at RAF Woodvale. FS Glen Weir qualified for gliding silver wings and will progress on to the staff of the gliding school in the next few months ‘A’ team again qualified for the Inter-Service Cadet Rifle Meeting at Bisley. FS Adam Purvis and Cpl James Duffy got into the Cadet Hundred and Adam Purvis was in the Inter-Service Team against the other Cadet Services. Adam also stayed on at Bisley for the Imperial Meeting. He scored well and progressed from Class T, bypassing Class O, to Class A for next year. He has been selected for the Athelings Team to tour Canada in August 2012. Boys’ Choir The Boys’ Choir consisted of almost forty members, including some new members from Form III. The boys performed at one of the Community Service Christmas parties and enjoyed entertaining some senior citizens from the local community. Bridge The Bridge Club had a highly successful year, winning most of the major trophies at Senior level and some at Intermediate and Junior level as well. The Senior team are Ulster and Interprovincial Champions. We are also Irish Pairs Champions and Intermediate Ulster Pairs Champions. Two of our pupils, Adam Purvis and John William Carey came first in the Adult competition, The Robb Cup. Another two of our pupils, Rebekah McNair and Alisha Gergett, represented Northern Ireland in the Home Internationals at Under 20 level The Senior Team were second in the Adult League. Chess The Chess club met on three lunchtimes a week with many new members. BRA hosted two chess competitions for anyone interested in playing against another school. In competition the Form I team was undefeated in their league and Chris Roe was named Ulster Junior Champion with Jason Roe as runner-up. Members of the club also had success in the Saturday Chess competitions at MCB.

Civitas Our involvement with the British Council in the Mock European Council Meetings in Stormont begins our year, and last year three pupils very ably represented Spain at this conference. Classics Society The Society continues to meet monthly and helps to promote among our pupils a wider interest in the ancient world. Creative Writing Club The Creative Writing Club met every Tuesday. A range of genres and writing styles was explored, with students submitting final pieces for local and national competitions and The Owl. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award The Academy has the largest school-based Award Centre in Northern Ireland, and possibly the United Kingdom, with a membership of 377 pupils from Forms III to MVI. During 20 09-2010 47 Bronze Awards, 23 Silver Awards and 8 Gold Awards were gained. The total Awards gained from 1984 to date are Bronze – 1,087, Silver – 596 and Gold – 399. In the Expedition section, 241 pupils were involved throughout the year in theory classes, training weekends and practice and qualifying expeditions. Expeditions took place in the Mountains of Mourne, North Antrim Hills, River Bann, Upper and Lower Lough Erne and in the Glencoe/Fortwilliam/Lochaber area in Scotland.


School Notes The 21st Annual Mournes’ Clean-up and Environment Day was held on Saturday, 11th December, 2010. Taking part were 111 pupils, all Duke of Edinburgh’s Award members from Forms III to Middle VI, as well as 40 adult helpers, including former pupils who are Gold Award holders, parents and teachers. Several tonnes of rubbish were collected from seven different sites in the Mournes’ area. The pleasing sum of £3,271.71 was donated to our funds.

Junior Scripture Union Throughout the course of the year we studied the Ten Commandments, the lives of Nehemiah and Jesus Christ. The pupils also attended the S.U. Christmas Party, Scripture Union Weekend and Pizza Evening.

David Lyons Ewing, Kevin Cheung and Martin Scott, recent past pupils, are currently working for the Mountain Leadership Certificate (Summer).


On Thursday, 14th October, 2010, in the Long Gallery at Stormont, Dr. Louis Campbell and Gary Chivers, a MVI Gold participant, representing the Academy’s D. of E. Award Centre, were presented with the Best Youth Group Award in connection with the Coca-Cola Clean Coast Awards administered by Tidy Northern Ireland. The trophy and certificate were presented by Mr. Edwin Poots MLA, Minister of the Environment, Northern Ireland. The Academy’s Award Centre has received £200 worth of high visibility jackets to be used on future Mournes’ Clean-ups. The Award is in recognition of twenty years of dedicated environmental work in the Mountains of Mourne area, specifically on the beaches and rivers. French Club The French Club met each Friday lunchtime in J11. The junior pupils consolidated learning with the help of ICT. The senior students used the time to prepare for oral examinations and to revise any problems that they had in grammar. Rebecca Anderson was placed in a Parisian University and prepared for her interview in French during these Friday lunchtimes. The Guitar Club The guitar club meetings were on Tuesdays in T1 and T2. To be a member one needed only to come along with a guitar and play. Junior Book Club 12 pupils from the Junior Book Club attended a visit by the Irish author Derek Landy in Methodist College Belfast. Members of the Junior Book Club attended the Northern Ireland Book Awards in R.B.A.I.. Junior Debating Society The Junior Debating Society had a lively year. Motions debated ranged from the serious - The Death Penalty should be reinstated in the UK - to the light-hearted The X Factor does not showcase true talent!

Model United Nations We had a very successful year, participating in Conferences held in Dublin, Manchester and Edinburgh. Pet Club This year there has been an increasing number of pupils visiting the pets in BB2 and indeed there was keen competition to take them home during the summer holidays!

The Owl 2011 Reading Group The Reading Group (Staff and Sixth Form pupils) continued to meet in the Library on Tuesday afternoons for lively discussions about the members’ latest reads. School Play – The Blues Brothers In November of last year the combined Senior and Junior Dramatic societies embarked on an ambitious project to stage an adaptation of the “Blues Brothers” film.

Song Writing Club The Song Writing Club met every Thursday. This club provided junior students with the opportunity to write poetry, lyrics and music. Through collaborations and support from senior students they had the opportunity to perform their songs during lunch times. Speech and Drama Club This year a number of pupils from Belfast Royal Academy competed in Belfast Speech and Drama Festival and Carrickfergus Speech and Drama Festival. Tessa and Nina were Highly Commended for their performance of “Steel Magnolias” in the Dramatic Duologue class at Belfast Festival, while Chiara, Sarah and Nicola were praised for their performance of an extract from “An Inspector Calls”. Jessica McVeigh was awarded first place in each of her competitions at Carrickfergus Festival and received the Mary C. Kerr Trophy, along with a Committee Bursary, on the final night of awards. Senior Debating Society Our lunchtime debates were well attended, with a significant number of LVI pupils offering to speak for the first time. Senior Science Society The Senior Science Society enjoyed a diverse range of talks given by talented speakers throughout the year. Senior Scripture Union Senior pupils met on a weekly basis for fellowship, prayer and Bible study. The theme this year was “What the Bible said about….” as we looked in detail at a variety of difficult issues. The annual weekend to Castlewellan Castle and the Pizza Evening were well supported and very well received by both pupils and staff. In addition, we introduced a Senior Weekend in the Spring to Seaview House, Kilkeel.

Traditional Music Group The Traditional Music Group had a really enjoyable year. They met weekly to practise and had several performances, including at St. Patrick’s Church, Templepatrick and at the Bearnageeha Cross Community Breakfast. Warhammer A small but faithful group of pupils attended the Warhammer Club this year engaging informally in this fantasy-based war game. Young Engineers’ Club The Autumn term 2010 saw the launch of Young Engineers’ Club in school. Young Einstein Club Last year 114 Form I and II pupils became members of the Young Einstein Club. Making slime and Fizzy Fun were voted the best experiments of the year.


School Notes

CHARITIES AND COMMUNITY ACTION Charity Collections The weekly charity collections held in school raised over £10,200 for good causes. Community Service Newington Day Centre – links with this local charity were maintained for a second year.

Newington Day Centre Four IV Year pupils designed and painted a mural of ‘The Waterworks’ (St. Mary’s Gardens) for Newington Day Centre. Primary School Experience Programme The popularity of the Primary School Experience Programme continued this year with more than forty Sixth Form pupils, mainly from LVI, attending a local primary school once per week for classroom experience. Save the Children Fund The Save the Children Fund Committee raised £4,000 in 2010/11 from events such as BRA’s Got Talent, a NonUniform Day and the BBQ at the Sponsored Walk.


Cancerlifeline – Ten pupils volunteered their time on a weekly basis to set up the new Charity Boutique on the Antrim Rd. Eight pupils from Form Three publicised the shop’s opening on an open-top bus tour of Belfast in December. A whole-school collection of donations for the boutique in April yielded over thirty bags of clothing and merchandise for the shop. Pupils in LVI volunteered on a weekly basis with various Special Olympics Teams. Making a Difference Awards – Belfast Royal Academy was the only Grammar School short-listed in the schools’ category in the Belfast Telegraph’s ‘Making a Difference Awards’. Asthma UK Conference – in December eight Form I pupils represented the Academy at Asthma UK Northern Ireland’s Listen Up! Youth Conference held at W5. The group of pupils from 1K performed a five minute roleplay promoting asthma management and awareness. They were declared joint winners along with students from St Louise’s Comprehensive College, winning a colour printer for the English Department. A number of LVI pupils volunteered at Woodlands Day Centre. Habitat for Humanity A LVI group participated in the Schools’ Programme, partnered with La Salle Boys’ School. The group built a Habitat home in East Belfast and fund-raised £1250 for the charity through whole-school collection, a Rock Concert and Film Club at lunchtimes. The group were also aided by contributions from FOTA and BOG.

Sponsored Walk This year our Sponsored Walk (the 38th), which took place on 7 April, raised a total of £11,155.12, which means that we will be able to provide cheques for £2,788.78 to each of our four charities: Camphill Community, Glencraig BRA Mulanje Project Shelterbox Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

TRIPS AND VISITS Bangladesh In February 2011 a team of nine pupils accompanied by Ms Adams and Mr Murphy travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh on work experience. The business group consisted of Niki Jackson, Andrea Shaw, Toyah Warnock and John William Carey. During their stay they visited a village where there was a scheme to grow and sell mushrooms to fund a school. They also visited the South Eastern Bank and the ‘Management at the Top’ programme designed to train Civil Servants. The Medical Team consisted of Deborah Forbes, Anna Johnston, Yvonne Wong, Shannon Alexander and Julia Diamond. They visited the Acid Survivors’ Foundation

The Owl 2011 in Dhaka and received tours of the buildings, met the patients on the wards and in the rehabilitation programme. They also observed several different plastic surgery operations to reconstruct acid burns injuries. The team also travelled to Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh, on an overnight train journey. Whilst there they visited the KAFCO chemical factory where fertilisers were produced and exported all over the world. They received a presentation and undertook a tour of the plant’s facilities. Money was raised for two charitable organizations, The Acid Survivors’ Foundation (ASF) and the Families for Children Orphanage (FfC). Hadrian’s Wall Trip The Classics Department took a party of twenty-nine pupils from second, third and fourth Forms on a very successful trip to Hadrian’s wall. Malawi (February) 29 pupils and 7 staff were involved, experiencing teaching, dentistry and medicine along with a new experience of business in the fortified porridge factory. Ben Madigan again played an integral part of the experience by continuing to support the AIDS orphanage at Apatsa. Malawi (June) 16 LVI pupils travelled to Malawi in June/July. One week was spent on work experience in Mulanje Mission Hospital, Primary School, Nursery School and in APATSA (a school for orphans and vulnerable children). The team also refurbished two primary school classrooms and the Nursery School. New toys and resources were bought with money donated by the pupils of the Academy and given to the Nursery school. A programme for servicing the computers in the Primary, Secondary and Apatsa Schools was set in place. The visit culminated in the memorable experience of camping in the African Bush in Liwonde National Park. France 43 Form II pupils and six staff travelled by plane from Belfast to Paris. The pupils formed an excellent group and were a credit to our school, and our trip went extremely well. Spain The first leg of our exchange programme with a visit from 15 Spanish pupils and 2 teachers took place. They participated in afternoon classes at school and helped ‘A’ level students with conversation in the Spanish department. The return journey to Asturias in October was equally rewarding.


School Notes


Sweden We welcomed pupils and staff from Vilunda Gymnasium to school in February for a week. They visited scenic spots in the Mournes and the Causeway Coast as well as enjoying the Belfast Tour and a visit to Stormont.

Ben Madigan Preparatory School

People to People Project The School has now hosted a third successful year of co-operation with the American “People to People Project”. A foundation conceived by FD Roosevelt and created by President Eisenhower in the aftermath of the Second World War, it aims to widen the horizons of young Americans by introducing them to the culture and life of Western Europe and the British Isles.

The Wise Owl Summer Scheme was again well attended by pupils from a number of primary schools.

Pupils experienced success in various external music and sports proficiency awards. The Girls’ Hockey team won the BRA Primary Hockey Tournament.

OTHER MATTERS Careers 30 pupils attended the ‘Meet the Marines’ event at Palace Barracks, Holywood.

International School Award This year Belfast Royal Academy was successful in gaining the International School Award and will be accredited for three years from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2014. The award is in recognition of the expansive international dimension our curriculum and school life offers two students.

Villiers Park Twelve pupils attended residential courses at Villiers Park, an Educational Trust based in Cambridge which aims to inspire gifted and talented pupils: Gemma Mitchell - English Literature: Exploring Shakespeare Jazmin Campbell - Linguistics: The Language Detective Niki Jackson

- Engineering

Deborah Forbes - Biology: Ecology and Evolution Rebecca McGrath - History: Urban Britain, Medieval and Modern Stephen Bryans

- The World in Crisis?

Norman Sinclair - Physics: How the Universe Lives and Dies David Gorman - Neuroscience: Understanding the Brain Victoria Nevin - English Literature: Poetry, Past and Present Fiona Henderson - Philosophy, Politics and Economics Rebecca Anderson - French: Language and Identity Hannah Stewart - Biology: Cell Biology and Genetics.

Our pupils attended many Open Days including QUB, UUJ, UUC, Stranmillis, St Mary’s, Belfast Metropolitan and Northern Regional College. A number of pupils also attended the Methodist College Careers Convention. Senior Prefects participated in a ‘Leadership and Team Building’ event organised by the Royal Marines. Young Enterprise ran an ‘Entrepreneurship Masterclass’ for all Form V pupils. 50 pupils from Forms I and II attended the ‘Promoting STEM’ event in the Ulster Museum. John William Carey and Deborah Forbes were selected to participate in the Institute of Directors work shadowing programme following an application and interview process.

The Owl 2011 LVI pupils completed a week of work experience in February. Mr Anthony McGrath spoke to all Form III pupils about the benefits of going to University and distributed an information booklet called ‘Find Your Future’. Connected Learning: Shadow Theatre As part of the Form III Connected Learning Unit “The World Around Me”, Drama students were given the opportunity to research and experience the Chinese theatrical tradition of the shadow play.

OCR (RSA) Professional Qualifications Pupils who opted to sit OCR professional examinations throughout the year achieved a total of 175 Passes and Distinctions. These included Text Production, Word Processing, Audio Transcription, Medical Word Processing, Document Presentation and Business Presentations. Oxbridge Alisha Gergett in Natural Sciences and Andrew West in Mathematics were offered places by Cambridge University. Recycling 10,790 kg of cardboard and paper was recycled. Rotary Club Youth Leadership Competition Lucy Dugan (LVI) was selected to represent the school in this competition. Science A team of V and LVI pupils (Tom Hanna, Ellen Mooney, Julia Diamond, Deborah Forbes and Adam Purvis) came second in the inaugural Scientific Olympiad at The Queen’s University of Belfast.

Media and Film Development in School Cinemagic Festival 20th Anniversary - in November ten Form Two pupils attended a special screening of their film “Boy vs Train” at QFT. The film, originally produced as a prize in a Translink competition, was short-listed in the under-15 film maker category at this international film festival.

Mini Company 19 pupils in Lower Sixth applied to take part in this year’s Mini Co. Throughout the year they were involved in numerous enterprising activities both inside and outside school. At the end of the trading period they ended up with a net profit of £1,500.

A team of LVI and MVI pupils (Landon Barnett, Adam Purvis, Matthew Cheung, Stephen Trainor, Alisha Gergett and Niall Ahern) came second in the Ellen MacArthur ReDesign Workshop in the Ulster Hall. Five LVI pupils (Anna Johnston, Andrea Shaw, Chloe Fenton, Katie O’Neill and Tom Marsh) took part in an all day workshop at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at The Queen’s University of Belfast.

Sentinus Five BRA pupils were awarded British Science Association Gold Crest Awards: Ridwan Farouki, Christopher McGlinchey, Craig Rea, Alexandra Thompson and Larragh Mann.


School Notes


The School Council • The School Council met each term to consider and respond to the requests of the Pupil Council. • The issues considered by the School Council this year included: • The School Development Plan • Merit System • School DVD • Sponsored Walk • Toilet facilities in school • Play Areas • Benches in the Seating Areas of school • Lunchtime facilities, including accommodation, food products and pricing • Homework Timetables • Locker areas • Heating • Fundraiser Days • Changing rooms in the Swimming Pool The School Library Pupils visited in large numbers to read, borrow, research, use computers and to socialise as well as attend a large number of events.

BUILDINGS, ESTATES AND EQUIPMENT CLIFTONVILLE ROAD SITE Crombie Building • The lift project was completed during the year, which included a lift in the Crombie Building. All buildings on the site are now accessible to disabled persons. • Repairs to the stonework of the Crombie building tower were completed; cantilever mesh was erected along the rear façade of the building to catch any falling stones. Railings were erected at the side elevations of the building. • Improvements to the main entrance hall and outer lobby of the building were carried out, including new tiles, new carpet, re-decoration, the installation of new timber windows in the outer lobby and new lighting to the trophy cabinets. Other buildings on this site • The playground facility at the Wingfield site has been completed and provides an excellent area for games and PE classes, as well as informal play. • An access ramp to the Louis Lord building and the lift installation in the Pollin Building were completed during the year.

• The changing rooms in the swimming pool complex were upgraded with a specialist antibacterial flake system and with a specialist plastic coating, to seek to prevent the ingress of damp. A damp proof course was also installed. • A new boiler was installed in the Swimming Pool plant room. • New flooring was laid in the Sixth Form Centre and new furniture was acquired for the Sixth Form Centre and for the Staff Room. This completes a refurbishment of the Staff Room and Sixth Form Centre. • A programme of interior decoration works continued, covering the Jackson Building, the Bruce Building, the Sillery Building and the Louis Lord Building. • Exterior decoration work was carried out to buildings in the main courtyard. • A programme of carpet and blind cleaning continued. • An ongoing programme of chlorination of water tanks and replacement of water tanks continued over the summer period, to comply with health and safety requirements. • Portable appliance testing was completed. • Fixed wire testing was carried out in the Swimming Pool, the Pollin Building and the Bruce Building. • New windows were installed in the Jackson toilets. • New picnic tables were acquired. • Security fencing was installed to the rear of the Mary Hyndman and Bruce Buildings. BEN MADIGAN SITE • A new high quality cricket square was laid at the Castle Grounds site by a specialist company based in England. • The window frames along the front façade of the school were painted. • Classrooms within the Preparatory Department and Pre-Preparatory Department were painted. • New flooring was laid in classrooms within the Preparatory and Pre-Preparatory Departments and new blinds were installed in many of the classrooms. • Portable appliance testing was completed. • New computers were acquired for the Preparatory Department. • A range of furniture and equipment was acquired for the Pre-Preparatory Department. ROUGHFORT SITE • Work was carried out to the male shower room areas in the Roughfort Pavilion, including the

The Owl 2011 installation of a specialist plastic roof covering to prevent the ingress of damp. The electrical heating system throughout this area was upgraded. • A new artificial cricket wicket was installed at the Roughfort site during the summer by Academy Cricket Club, following on from the new wicket which was installed last year. In addition, an excellent new cricket bowling facility with nets was erected during the year, with a significant proportion of the funding made available through a grant application to Sport NI by Academy Cricket Club.

Academic performance The G.C.S.E. Examinations (last year’s figures in parenthesis) 209 (204) pupils 95% (93%) of pupils achieved A* to C in 5 or more subjects 93% (92%) of pupils achieved A* to C in 5 or more subjects including English, Mathematics and at least two sciences 88% (90%) of pupils achieved A* to C in 7 or more subjects 88% (88%) of pupils achieved A* to C in 7 or more subjects including English and Mathematics 74 (62) of the pupils, 35% (30%) of the Form, gained 7As or better

2A, Bethany Brown 7A* 3A 1C, Antonia Campbell 7A* 3A, Paul Rodgers 7A* 3A 1B, Rachael Allen 6A* 4A 1C, Seana Harley-Moyes 6A* 4A 1B, Shannon Clements 5A* 5A, Sophie English 5A* 5A, Ben Devlin 5A* 5A 1B, Katy McLarnon 4A* 6A, Jayne Dunlop 3A* 7A 1C, Zoe O’Reilly 3A* 7A, Jamie Dwyer 5A* 5A 1B, Jordan Carlisle 2A* 8A 1B, Suzanne Currie 4A* 6A, Neil McAllister 2A* 8A 1B) Out of 2026 (2037) subject entries 93% (90%) were passes at grades A* to C, 78% (72%) were passes at A* to B and 50% (44%) were passes at A* or A The following pupils achieved full marks in AQA GCSE English Literature: Callum Browne, Antonia Campbell, Suzanne Currie, Stephen Doyle, Bethany Queripel, Matthew Smith, Ryan Spence, Stefan Tucker Luke Taylor achieved full marks in French and in German Matthew Smith achieved full marks in German Tom Hanna achieved full marks in Mathematics Ben McConnell, Hannah McKinstry and Ryan Spence achieved full marks in Spanish Ben O’Donnell achieved full marks in Art and Design Antonia Campbell achieved full marks in Latin Stephen Doyle was 1st in the province in GCSE Music (CCEA) Luke Taylor was Joint 1st in French (CCEA)

2 (1) pupils gained 11A*s (Conor Brogan and Matthew Smith)

Tom Hanna was Joint 2nd in Additional Mathematics (CCEA)

21 (16) pupils gained 11 passes at A* or A (Conor Brogan 11A*, Matthew Smith 11A*, Stephen Doyle 10A* 1A, Niamh Benson 9A*, 2A, Ellen Mooney 9A*,2A, Ryan Hamill 9A* 2A, Stefan Tucker 9A* 2A, Chiara Banas 8A* 3A, Kate Miller 8A* 3A, Adam Brice 8A* 3A, Andrew Curtis 8A* 3A, Tom Hanna 9A* 2A, Michael Bell 7A* 4A, Kristian Irwin 7A* 4A, Jonathan Rainey 8A* 3A, Rachael Elmore 7A* 4A, Matthew Donnelly 6A* 5A, Elaine Ford 3A* 8A, Daniel McFadden 4A* 7A, Melissa Baird 2A* 9A, Mark 2A* 9A)

Paul Rodgers was Joint 3rd in Additional Mathematics (CCEA)

19 (11) pupils gained 10 passes at A* or A (Anna Leyden 10A* 1B, Hannah McKinstry 9A* 1A, Amy Mellor 9A* 1A, Sarah Martin 8A* 2A, Matthew Simpson 8A*


School Notes

The Year Ahead 2011 - 2012 JANUARY 4th (Wed)

Open Evening for prospective Form I pupils and their parents 6.45-9.15pm.

5th (Thurs)

Open Evening for prospective Form I pupils and their parents 6.45-9.15pm.

28th (Sat)

Friends of the Academy: Supper Dance in the Dunadry, 7.30pm.

FEBRUARY 5th (Sun) Bridge: Ulster School Teams. 6th - 10th (Mon-Fri) 26

7th (Tues)

LVI Work Experience Week. Open Afternoon for prospective Form I pupils and their parents 2.00 – 3.30 pm.

13th - 15th (Fri-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form IV Silver Girls’ Foot Practice Expeditions.

14th - 15th (Sat-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Bronze Boys’ Qualifying Expeditions.

20th - 22nd (Fri-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form IV Silver Boys’ Foot Practice Expeditions.

21st - 22nd (Sat-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Bronze Girls’ Qualifying Expeditions.

27th - 29th (Fri-Sun)

(i) The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form Lower VI Second Gold Foot Practice Expeditions. (ii) The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form Lower VI Gold Canoe Practice Expeditions.

13th - 17th (Mon-Fri)

BRA visit to Sweden, Uppsala School.


13th - 17th (Mon-Fri)


4th – 6th (Fri-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form IV Silver Canoe Practice Expeditions.

25th (Sat)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Bronze Boys’ Expedition Training Day.

9th (Wed)

Geography: Form II field trip to Holywood.

10th (Thurs)

Geography: Form II field trip to Holywood.

19th (Sat)

Open Morning for P6 pupils and parents.

27th (Mon)

Geography: LVI Field Trip – Microclimate, North Belfast.

MARCH 3rd (Sat)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Bronze Girls’ Expedition Training Day.

15th (Thurs) SPRING CONCERT IN SPIRES 23rd (Fri)

Ben Madigan: Open afternoon.

24th (Sat)

Ben Madigan: Open morning.

24th - 25th (Sat-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Bronze Boys’ and Girls’ Practice Expeditions.

29th - 3rd (Thurs-Wed)

French Trip to Paris (Form II).

30th - 1st (Fri-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form Lower VI First Gold Foot Practice Expeditions.

31st - 7th (Sat-Sat) APRIL

Ski Trip 2012

10th - 12th (Tues-Thurs)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form Lower VI Gold Canoeist Training.

JUNE 8th (Fri)

Ben Madigan: Sports Day.

12th (Tues)

Ben Madigan: Preps 3-7 Play at 1.45pm.

13th (Wed)

Ben Madigan: Preps 3-7 Play at 7.30pm.

20th (Wed)

Geography: Form IV field trip to the Cathedral Quarter.

22nd (Fri)

Ben Madigan: Summer Concert for PP, P1 and P2 at 1.45pm.

22nd - 24th (Fri-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form IV Silver Foot Qualifying Expeditions.

23rd - 24th (Sat-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form III Late Bronze Qualifying Expeditions.

25th (Mon)

Welcome event for new Form I and Parents 11.00 - 3.30pm.

28th - 1st (Thurs-Sun)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Form Lower VI Gold Foot Qualifying Expeditions.

29th (Fri)


The Owl 2011

Diary of the School Year SEPTEMBER 2010 Rugby results were as follows:

1st XV Medallion

won 19 - 0 against Dalriada won 24 - 0 against Dalriada.

Selected for the Irish Squad, Christopher McGlinchey won the U16’s Downhill Mountain Biking in the Youth European Championships. Christopher also went on to win the Irish National Championships at the U18’s level. ****


Boys’ hockey results against Regent House were as follows:

The following pupils were selected to represent Northern Ireland at the UK School Games:

1st XI Colts Under 14

won 5 - 0 won 1 - 0 lost 4 - 0. ****

Girls’ hockey results were as follows:

Seniors 1st XI lost 2 - 1 against Coleraine High School 2B’s lost 2 - 0 against Regent House

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

lost 3 - 0 against Regent House lost 1 - 0 against Regent House won 2 - 0 against Regent House lost 1 - 0 against Regent House. ****

Nikita McCoubrey, Form IV, took part in the Kayaking Nationals in London. She represented the Sea Cadet Corps N.I .and won a Gold medal for the Junior Girls’ doubles and a Silver medal for the Junior Girls’ relay team (along with Amy Kingston of Form III). ****

Craig Thomson was selected for the Northern Ireland Canoe Slalom Team, and has competed in a number of competitions at home and abroad. ****

Last season Méabh Mallaghan was selected to play Camogie for Antrim, after her club, St. Enda’s, put her forward for county trials. ****

Robert Moffett, Hammer Mark Wylie, Swimming Emily Reid, Hockey (Northern Ireland won the Gold Medal, beating England (4-2), Scotland (4-2) and Wales (3-0). England had won all previous School Games). Hannah Allen, Hammer Nathan Lyons, High Jump.


Diary of the School Year




The Royal Marines Visibility Team came into school on Wednesday 8 September 2010 to carry out a series of team-building and leadership tasks with our Senior Prefects. These activities were intended to highlight the importance of good communication, clear thinking and team work.

Girls’ hockey results against Belfast High School were as follows:


Eórann O’Neill Form IV has been selected for the Irish Under 17 Water Polo team. She took part in the TriNations Tournament in Scotland in August, where the team was placed second overall. They won against Scotland 14-7 but lost against England 5-7. ****

On Monday 13th September, Paul Dodds, the OCR Support Officer for English visited the English Department. Representatives from the English Departments of four schools - Campbell College, Dromore High School, Little Flower Girls’ School and Our Lady of Mercy - attended. The session involved a run through the new GCSE specifications, controlled assessment tasks, issues to do with Controlled Assessment, the examination units and curriculum planning. ****

32 pupils attended the ‘Meet the Marines’ event on Thursday 9th September 2010. They had the opportunity to meet the UK’s Commandos and have fun while gaining an insight into this Corps by participating in a range of exciting activities that helped develop leadership, team spirit and communication skills. The programme included many physical challenges such as leadership tasks, rock wall climbing and weapon familiarisation. Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the event. ****

The P.E. department ran the popular BRA Sports Camp in August for the fifth successive year. Numbers were at their highest yet with 68 Primary school pupils in attendance. Activities added to the usual range of sports included laser combat, crazy golf and swimming. The sun shone on the last day and the b.b.q. at the Castle Grounds finished off a fun-filled week!

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s 3rd XI

Juniors U14A’s lost 5 - 0 U14B’s lost 1 - 0 U13A’s lost 4 - 0 U13B’s lost 4 - 0.

won won won won

2-0 1-0 1-0 1-0


Girls’ hockey results against Belfast High School were as follows:

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s 3rd XI

won won won won

2-0 1-0 1-0 1-0.

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

lost lost lost lost

5-0 1-0 4-0 4-0.


Rugby results from against Ballyclare High School were as follows:

1st XV 2nd XV 3rd XV 4th XV Medallion A Medallion B U14 A U14 B U13 A U13B

lost won won won lost won won won lost won

26-7 20-15 14-12 48-5 11-10 24-0 32-13 33-0 34-0 29-24.

The Owl 2011 Results against Campbell College:

1st XV 2nd XV 3rd XV

won 0 - 17 lost 25 - 12 lost 28 - 15.

Result against Belvedere College, Dublin:

1st XV 2nd XV

lost lost

13 - 10 38 - 12.


Natalie Duff and Jade Anderson-Flaherty were chosen for the Belfast Schools’ Netball Development Squad and Lucy Dugan was selected to play on the U19 Northern Ireland Netball team. ****

Christine McMahon was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the 4 x 400 metres relay team at the Commonwealth Games. ****


Olivia Burke won the Dr W T M Loughridge Bursary. ****

OCTOBER 2010 The school hosted the first leg of our exchange programme with a visit from 15 Spanish pupils and two teachers. ****

Dr Springer gave a talk on ‘Quantum mechanics – what is light?’ to the Senior Science Society. ****

Rugby results against Belvedere were:

1st XV 2nd XV

lost lost

13 -10 38 -12.

U14 A and U13 B XV’s played against Limavady Grammar:

U13B U14B

won 53 - 5 won 35 -10. ****

Boys’ hockey results against Bangor Grammar were:



2 -1.


“Habitat for Humanity” attended Senior Assembly to present certificates to MVI pupils involved in last year’s Habitat Schools’ programme. ****

The Scholastic Book Fair raised £897 which has given the School Library £693.75 in free books. National Poetry day was celebrated. Staff and pupils read their chosen poems. This year’s theme was Home.

Diary of the School Year


10 pupils were runners-up in a short film competition tackling the serious issue of safety on local railways. ****

Girls’ hockey results against Glenlola Collegiate were: 30

competition. This is the second year in succession that Belfast Royal Academy has won this competition. ****

The football team drew 2 – 2 with Grosvenor Grammar School. ****

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s 3rd XI

won lost drew drew

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s

drew 0 - 0 drew 0 - 0.

4-2 3-1 1-1 0-0


Nikita McCoubrey Form IV and Amy Kingston Form III represented the Sea Cadet Corps of Northern Ireland kayaking on the River Thames in London. They won a Silver medal for the Junior Girls’ Relay Team and the Gold medal for Doubles. ****

Faye Kidd Form IV was selected to train with the Under 15 Regional Development Academy for Netball. ****

Boys’ hockey results against Grosvenor:

Colts U14

won 2 - 0 lost 3 - 0. ****

Girls’ hockey results against Bloomfield were:

2BXI 3rd XI

won 3 - 1 won 1 - 0. ****

Boys’ hockey results against Banbridge Academy were:

1st XI Colts

lost lost

2-0 3 - 0.


Rugby results against Sullivan Upper were as follows:

1st XV 2nd XV 3rd XV Medallion A Medallion B

won lost won lost won

41 - 10 20 - 30 8-5 49 - 0 22 - 10.


The Show-Jumping team competed in the first show of the season at the Balmoral Showgrounds. The girls competed against 40 other schools to win the

The Scripture Union weekend to Castlewellan Castle was well supported. The guest speaker was Tim Condy from Faith Mission. Over 80 pupils enjoyed a variety of activities such as quizzes, a scavenger hunt, movie night, lakeside praise and the annual Barn Dance introduced by Mr Young. ****

Girls’ hockey results against Strathearn were as follows:

Seniors 1st XI 2BXI 3rd XI

lost 2 - 1 drew 1 - 1 drew 1 - 1

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

won won drew lost

1-0 1-0 0-0 5 - 0.


Ten members of the Junior Book Club attended the launch of this year’s Northern Ireland Book Award which was held in the library at RBAI. Pupils had the chance to meet guest author Chris Bradford. ****

The Owl 2011 Girls’ Hockey results from Saturday 16th October against Antrim Grammar were:

1st XI 2A’s 2BXI 3rd XI U14A’s U13A’s

won won drew drew lost drew

3-1 1-0 1-1 0-0 1-0 1 - 1.


NOVEMBER 2010 On 7th September a number of our pupils visited the ‘Bring IT On’ campaign stand which promotes careers in the ICT Industry. ****

Rugby results against Larne Grammar were:

1st XV 2nd XV

won 53 - 0 won 40 - 7. 31


14 pupils attended an Engineering Evening at QUB. ****

The Irish Lifesaving Championships took place at QUB. Our Senior boys, Sam McQuillan and Dean Philpott, finished in 5th place. Maeve McLaughlin finished in 6th place. The Junior boys, Ruairi Hurson and Tom Donnelly came 4th. ****

Seven pairs qualified for the Irish Schools’ Bridge Pairs’ in Limerick. We had 6 pairs in the final and finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 9th. ****

The football team played Corpus Christi College in the Northern Ireland Cup. We lost 5 – 1. ****

The first round of the Ulster Schools’ Show Jumping Championships took place at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre, Greenisland. Cathy Moss and Jessica Johnston were selected to go against the clock. They produced excellent times to win the competition by 4 seconds. ****

Eight pupils from LVI and MVI attended an Information Security lecture at W5. It was delivered by staff from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, QUB. ****

The Junior Netball team played their first League match against Ashfield Girls’ School. They won 27 – 23. ****

A number of Form II pupils took part in a “Health Professionals Careers Awareness Morning”. ****

The Senior Netball team beat St. Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon 29 – 5 in the first round of the Senior Cup. ****

10 pupils and 1 past pupil passed their Bronze Medallion in Lifesaving. ****

A reunion was held in school for members of the Jewish community who had been pupils at the Academy. ****

Diary of the School Year The Senior Girls’ Badminton team had a convincing victory over Banbridge Academy in the Ulster Schools’ League. ****

Dr Farnsworth (QUB) gave a talk on ‘What is Biodiversity and why should we care?’ to the Senior Science Society. ****

In the 2010 Scientific Olympiad, organised by The Queen’s University of Belfast, the BRA team of Adam Purvis (LVI), Deborah Forbes (LVI), Julia Diamond (LVI), Tom Hanna (V) and Ellen Mooney (V) achieved second place. ****

Nine MVI pupils studying A2 English Literature attended ‘An audience with Roddy Doyle’ at the Elmwood Hall. ****


Six PGCE students from QUB were in school to conduct poetry classes with Sixth Form English Literature students. ****

Rugby results against Bangor Grammar School were:

1st XV 2nd XV 3rd XV Med A Med B U14 A U14B U13A U13B

lost lost won won won lost lost won won

37 - 20 25 - 5 28 - 5 17 - 5 28 - 15 29 - 17 38 - 19 38 - 10 5 - 0.


Girls’ hockey results against Ballyclare High School were as follows:

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s 3rd XI

lost lost lost lost

5-0 5-0 2-0 3-0

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s U13C’s

drew drew drew lost drew

2-2 2-2 1-1 3-0 2 - 2.


2BXI Girls’ Hockey team beat Belfast High School 2 0 in their Cup Match. ****

For the second year running, our students have succeeded in winning the Féile an Phobail Short Story competition. ****

The Annual Distribution of Prizes was held in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. The Guest of Honour was William Crawley, an Arts and Current Affairs broadcaster and former pupil. ****

Aryan Norton (MVI) and Christopher Roe (Form IV) represented the school at the Ulster Schools’ Chess Championship. ****

Rebekah Bingham (MVI), Peter Hawthorne (MVI) and Bonnie Li (Form IV) represented the school at the Ulster Schools’ Champion of Champions Badminton Tournament in Lisburn. ****

Rugby results against Foyle and Londonderry College were as follows:

1st XV 2nd XV Med. A XV U14 A U13 A

won lost won lost won

52 - 8 21 - 20 19 - 0 26 - 24 3 - 5.


A meeting of the Irish Division of the Headmasters’ Conference was held in the School Library. The Headmaster hosted the Principals of Bangor Grammar, Foyle, Methodist College, RBAI, Coleraine Inst., Campbell College, Clongowes Wood, St. Columba’s College and The King’s Hospital, Dublin. ****

DECEMBER 2010 The following pupils won prizes in the Merit Scheme Prize draw which was held in December:

Form I iPod nano Kirsty Miller Cinema vouchers Jack Burton, Jack Jordan

Form II iPod nano Cianan Guterman Cinema vouchers Cameron Gergett, Emma MacDougall

The Owl 2011 Form III iPod nano Cinema vouchers Form IV iPod nano Cinema vouchers

Angela Cao Andrew Anderson, Aaron Henderson Elizabeth Sinclair Ross Bryans, Sophie Foster

Form V iPod nano Mark Kerr Cinema vouchers Lawren Wallace

Five Form V girls visited the Sclumberger plant at Monkstown. ****

The Headmaster attended the official opening of Grosvenor Grammar School. ****

The Show-Jumping team competed in the first round of The Meadows Equestrian Centre Championships. ****

Rugby results against Rainey Endowed School were as follows:


The Headmaster attended a Royal Gun Salute to celebrate the birthday of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, and a Cadet 150 Reception at Hillsborough Castle. The purpose of the lunch was to promote the benefits and opportunities available to young people through their involvement with the Cadet movement. The success of our ATC shooting team was noted in one of the presentations.

1st XV 2nd XV Med. A XV U14 A XV U13 A XV U13 B XV

won won won won won won

14 - 0 25 - 19 25 - 5 24 - 5 47 - 12 46 - 12.


The Academy Swimming team competed at the Grammar Schools’ Championships. The team managed to win 26 medals. The Intermediate girls were the best in their category and they finished 2nd overall. ****

Pupils participated in the North Belfast Consultation on Stormont’s draft proposal of the “Cohesion, Sharing, Integration” policy. They met with pupils from other North Belfast schools to discuss issues including sectarianism, cultural identity and community. The Junior First Ministers were invited to the event and Gerry Kelly (Sinn Fein) addressed participants at the conference’s opening.


Dr Brennan (QUB) gave a talk on ‘A journey through the cell – an introduction to light and electron microscopy’ to the Senior Science Society. ****

A Remembrance Service was held at the War Memorials in the Crombie Building. ****

Junior Netball team results were as follows:

Won 14 - 6 against Rockport Won 19 - 1 against Our Lady of Mercy. ****

The Dramatic Society presented The Blues Brothers. ****

Prof. M Larkin (QUB) gave a talk on ‘The Mighty Microbe: The Earth, Disease and Our Friends’ to the Senior Science Society. ****


A team from Form I took part in the regional heat of the International Kids’ Lit Quiz, hosted by Wellington College. Team members were Kirsty Miller, Molly Gould, Monique Hipolito and Melissa Hipolito. ****

The following rugby fixtures were played against Regent House.

2nd XV 3rd XV U13 A U13 B

won won lost lost ****

41 - 10 57 - 10 39 - 5 29 - 14.


Diary of the School Year The Form II short film “Boy vs Train”, which received acclaim as a finalist in Translink’s Rail safety competition last year, was shortlisted to the final four in the Under-15 Filmmaker category in the Cinemagic Film Festival this month. ****

The Belfast Royal Academy Old Boys’ Association Dinner was held in the Wellington Park Hotel. ****

At the Belfast Area U13 Netball Academy, seven girls from BRA were successful. They were Judith Allen, Abbie Brown, Courtney Duncan, Emer Gribbon, Mimi Joffroy, Taylor McCombe and Lucy Miller. ****

This year, Form II took part in Poetry in Motion. ****


Eight Form I pupils represented school at Asthma UK Northern Ireland’s Listen Up! Youth Conference held at W5. ****

The Brass Quintet and String Quartet performed for the Music Therapy Trust in Northern Ireland at a reception at the Waterfront Hall, followed by the Ulster Orchestra’s performance of ‘The Snowman’. ****

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award scheme pupils from Belfast Royal Academy set up the new Cancer Lifeline charity boutique on the Antrim Road in recent weeks. ****

JANUARY 2011 Rugby results against Banbridge Academy were as follows:

1st XV U13 A

won 19 - 0 won 24 - 7. ****

The annual Carol Service was held at St. Peter’s Church. ****

Pupils in Form IV studying GCSE Religious Studies made Christmas parcels for the homeless. ****

Olivia Burke won the Hans Sloane Medal for the top A Level Science candidate in the province. ****

Open Evenings were held and well attended. ****

At the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Swimming Championships Mark Wylie won a silver medal for his 100M Breaststroke. The Senior Relay team performed well coming 4th in their Freestyle relay. Seana HarleyMoyes won a gold medal for the 400M Front-crawl race and went on to win a silver medal in 100M Butterfly and a Bronze in the 200M events. She also led the Intermediate Relay Team including Alice Kavanagh, Kate Miller and Eorann O’Neill to victory. They are now Ulster Secondary Schools’ Champions. ****

Rugby results against RBAI were as follows:

1st XV 2nd XV

won 7 - 0 lost 27 - 12. ****

Girls’ hockey results against Down High School were as follows:

1st XI 2A’s 2B’s 3rd XI U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

won lost lost won drew drew lost ****

4-1 2-0 2-1 2-1 0-0 0-0 1 - 0.

The Owl 2011 The Show-Jumping team competed at the second round of The Meadows Equestrian Centre Championships in Lurgan. ****

FEBRUARY 2011 Fergus Carlin (LVI) was selected for the Irish U16 Waterpolo Team. ****

Rugby results against Ballyclare High School were:

U14 A U13 A U13 B U12 A U12 B

won won won won lost


Rugby results against Limavady Grammar were:

Medallion A Medallion B U13 A

won 34 - 17 won 15 - 0 lost 20 - 17. ****

Show-Jumping results from the Ulster Schools’ Championship put the Novice and Open teams top of the league. ****

36 - 5 49 - 0 50 - 0 27 - 0 22 - 12.


Rugby results against Carrick Grammar School:

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s

Juniors U13A’s won 1 - 0 U14A’s lost 1 - 0.

drew 0 - 0 lost 1 - 0 lost 2 - 1


Peter Hughes (Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering) gave a talk to Form III. ****

The Headmaster attended a presentation in Queen’s University on ‘The Future for Higher Education’ given by Professor Sir Graeme Davies, Chairman of the Higher Education Policy Institute. ****

The Academy swim team travelled to Galway to compete in the Irish Schools’ Swimming Championships. ****


The Form I Chess team recorded a second convincing win in the Ulster School’s Chess competition against St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick. ****

The Headmaster attended the CCEA GCSE Celebrating Excellence Award Ceremony at the Island Civic Centre where Deborah Forbes received an award for achieving the top mark in GCSE Business Studies. ****

Pupils gained much from the challenging work experience trips to Malawi and Bangladesh.

MARCH 2011


Prof Mike Baillie (QUB) gave a talk on ‘Tree rings: an opportunity to peer into the past at annual resolution’ to the Senior Science Society.

Prof. Mike Baillie (QUB) gave a talk to the Senior Science society about his research in Dendrochronology – the scientific analysis of ancient tree ring patterns.



The Junior Netball team played in the final of the Belfast League (Junior section), beating Wellington College 16-6.

An Army Careers Exhibition was held.

Girls’ hockey results against Grosvenor Grammar were:

To celebrate World Book Day the library held a Scholastic Book Fair. Seven Junior Book Club pupils attended a World Book Day event at RBAI. Authors Tim Collins and Teresa Breslin attended.


Seniors 1st XI 2A’s

won 2 - 0 won 3 - 2

Juniors U14A’s U13A’s U13B’s

lost 3 - 0 won 6 - 0 won 2 - 1.



Diary of the School Year 11 pupils were involved in Client Care Seminars at the Institute of Legal Studies at QUB. ****

Constable David Howard from the PSNI spoke to Form III about Internet Safety and Cyber-bullying. ****

James Reid (Form II) fought in the Judo Youth Games and won a Silver Medal. ****

Clara Montgomery (Form III) was selected for the Tenerife 2010 Ulster Schools’ Swimming Training Camp. ****

Holly Hamill (Form V) was nominated for the ‘Belfast Telegraph Sports Personality of the Year with a Disability’. **** 36

Kiah Reid (Form I) won a gold medal in the NI judo championships.

The Chamber Choir competed at the Ballymena Festival in a class of seven secondary and grammar schools and came first with a distinction mark. ****

Naomi Cahill (LVI) won a place on the “Sister Cities Student Exchange Programme” and travelled to Gilbert in Phoenix, Arizona for 3 weeks. ****

In Junior Assembly, Mrs Rachel Burgoyne, the representative of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, was presented with a cheque for £ 3614.26. This is the total sum of money raised by the pupils of Forms I and II in Read-On, the sponsored reading event held in the English Department every year. Mrs Burgoyne, in turn, gave the Headmaster a crystal plaque recording the fact that Belfast Royal Academy has raised the sum of £31, 246.00 over the last ten years. ****


Julia Bennett from Cogent SSC Ltd spoke to Form III pupils regarding the use of sciences in industry.

Girls’ hockey results against Friends’ were as follows:


Seniors 1st XI 2A XI 2B XI 3rd XI

lost lost lost drew

1-0 4-0 2-1 0-0

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

lost lost lost drew

7-1 3-0 3-0 0 - 0.


At the Community Netball Tournament organised by Valley Netball Club the Form I netball team finished in second place. ****

Young Enterprise came to school to deliver ‘Learn to Earn’.

Girls’ hockey results against Larne Grammar School were as follows:

Seniors 1st XI 2A’s 2B’s

drew 2-2 won 3-0 won 2-0

Juniors U14A’s U14B’s U13A’s U13B’s

lost lost won won

2-1 1-0 2-0 6-0.


Mr. Jackie Burke gave a talk, including his life story, to all the Form III pupils on Drug and Alcohol Awareness. ****

Liam Ferris, of Form III, was a runner-up in Belfast City Council’s 2010 “Litter-Ally Yours” competition. ****

James Reid (Form II) won bronze for Belfast Royal Academy in the Headmasters’ Tournament in England. ****

Mrs Barbara Hume from Sentinus was in school to run an interview skills programme with some of our LVI pupils. ****


The Owl 2011 Stuart Olding was selected to attend the Ireland Schools’ Rugby U18 squad session which took place in Dublin. ****

The U14 Rugby squad went on a two day tour to Cambridge and Ipswich.

BBC Sports journalist Thomas Niblock came into school to conduct a journalism workshop with thirteen Form III pupils. ****

APRIL 2011 The school Big Band performed at a Youth Big Band Showcase at the Black Box Theatre. ****


30 pupils (IV-MVI) attended the Senior Scripture Union weekend to Seaview House. ****

Representatives from Belfast City Council spoke with Form I geography classes about the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle campaign. ****

Professor Julian Orford from QUB Geography department spoke to LVI and MVI geographers on the topic of Coastal management at Dundrum Bay, County Down. ****

Rugby results against Bangor Grammar were:

U13A U13B U14 A

won 10 - 5 won 30 - 5 drew 5 - 5.

Every year Amnesty International and The Guardian recognise and celebrate brave and inspiring journalists who work assiduously to expose abuses of Human Rights. This year the competition for The Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year Award was strong; Amnesty International received almost 1000 entries from across the UK. Natasha Kelly (Form I) was recognised as one of the strongest contenders. ****

The Senior Scripture Union took 31 pupils from Forms IV-MVI to Seaview House, Kilkeel for fun, food and fellowship. ****

This year a number of pupils from Belfast Royal Academy competed in the Belfast Speech and Drama Festival. ****

The football team lost 4 - 3 in a close game against Glengormley High School. ****

Girls’ hockey results against Friends’ School were:

U12A’s U12B’s

won 2 - 0 lost 4 - 0. ****


Jake Thornton (LVI) represented the Academy at the first Belfast Telegraph “Making a Difference” Award Ceremony at The Grand Opera House. ****

The Ulster Schools’ ShowJumping Championships took place at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre, Greenisland. The BRA team was crowned as Ulster Schools’ Novice Champions and the Pottinger Open team was crowned as Ulster Schools’ Open Champions. ****

The U13 A and B rugby squad travelled to Dublin to play the Catholic University School. The A team won 60 - 24 and the B team lost 24 - 10. ****

A team of Belfast Royal Academy pupils - Adam Purvis (LVI), Landon Barnett (LVI), Matthew Cheung (LVI), Niall Ahern (MVI), Alisha Gergett (MVI) and Stephen Trainor (MVI) - attended and competed in the first ever ‘Project ReDesign’ workshop in the Ulster Hall.



Diary of the School Year Six pupils from the United States visited school with their ‘Dean of Students’ and several Rotarians from Chicago. ****

34 certificates were awarded this year in the UK Mathematics Intermediate Maths Challenge (Forms III, IV and V).

The D. of E. Gold Certificate Presentation to past pupils was held in St. James’s Palace. ****

Our annual sponsored walk took place. More than 1200 pupils and staff completed the Cavehill course on a beautiful sunny day. **** 38

In Golf, Judithe Allen and Amy O’Donnell took second place after competing against 56 girls from Ulster schools in the Ulster District Irish Schools’ Cup qualifier at Kirkistown Castle. ****

All of Form III was involved in a STEM event in the Assembly Hall. ****

A team of three MVI pupils competed in the Northern Ireland Regional Heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. The team consisted of Alisha Gergett, David Gorman and Hannah Stewart. They were up against ten other schools from across the province. After three hours of practical work the BRA team were given Third Place and received a cheque for £200 for the Chemistry Department. ****

45 pupils from Forms I and II participated in the Sentinus STEM Experience event which was held in the Ulster Museum. ****

The Academy’s Lifesaving team had an enjoyable and successful weekend at the Ulster Lifesaving Championships. The team collected two Gold medals, five Silver medals and one Bronze medal. ****

Sorcha Burke (Form III), David Speers (Form III), Hollie McCalmont (Form II) and Ryan Lightowler (Form II) competed in the UK Mathematics Trust Team Maths Challenge. The team finished 8th overall in the Northern Ireland regional final and displayed admirable team work and effort throughout the day. ****


The Parents’ and Friends’ Evening for the Global Opportunities Programme was held in the Assembly Hall. The teams from Bangladesh and Malawi made presentations on their experiences. ****

All of Form III was involved in a STEM event in the Assembly Hall. The presentation was delivered by Theatre & Learning, who used current media and popular cultural references to convey positive messages to young people based around STEM subjects. ****

In the UK Mathematics’ Intermediate Maths Challenge Tom Hanna qualified to compete in the Maclauarin Olympiad after gaining one of the top 500 national scores for his age group. ****

MAY 2011 The Habitat for Humanity LVI group hosted a ‘Rock for Humanity’ lunchtime concert. ****

A group of five LVI pupils – Anna Johnston, Andrea Shaw, Chloe Fenton, Katie O’Neill and Tom Marsh, took part in a one day Practical Course at the Centre

The Owl 2011 A group of LVI pupils who study Technology attended the “Engineering our Future” conference held in Methodist College. ****

The winners in the Spring term Merit Scheme prize draw were: Form I: Form II: Form III: for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB), at Queen’s University of Belfast. ****

The 3rd XV won the 3rd XV plate competition, defeating Campbell College 19 - 0 in the final at Pirrie Park. ****

The following pupils were awarded with their Gold Award Certificate Presentation at St. James’s Palace, London: Aaron Hamilton, Keith Laverty, Carolyn Murphy, Eve Snounou and Shannon Turkington.

Megan Waite (iPod nano), Bobbie-Jean Agnew, Becky Dickson. Jordanna Park (iPod nano), Ethan McCullough, Shannon Venus. Lauren Benson (iPod nano), Lauren Laughlin. Rebecca Thompson. Form IV: Sarah Bingham (iPod nano), Christopher Roe, Rachael Anderson. Form V: Lawren Wallace (iPod nano), Gareth Gilfillan, Tom Hanna. ****

Form IV visited the Castle Grounds for their Biology fieldwork looking at ecology and sampling techniques. ****

LVI and MVI pupils were hosts to Nancy Cuella, a Cuban national living in Northern Ireland. Nancy and Mrs Roberts delivered an interesting talk on life in Cuba, both present and past, with an inspiring Powerpoint presentation. ****

The District Athletics Championships were held at the Antrim Forum. BRA performed well and Robert Moffett deserves a special mention as he set a new district record in the Inter Hammer. ****

The Junior Colts beat Armagh in the first Round of the Derriaghy Cup. ****

Jason Roe and Niall Armstrong (Form I) competed in the Children’s Chess event held at Methodist College, Belfast earlier this month. They finished as first and second in their age group.


JUNE 2011 The Ulster Schools’ Championships were held and 11 girls qualified for the Irish Championships.


Ian White, who was a pupil at the Academy from 1970 to 1977, is Professor of Optical Communications in the Engineering Department in Cambridge, Head of Photonics Research and one of the five Pro-Vice Chancellors, became the 40th Master of Jesus College. ****

Dr Peter Hughes, the Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering made his third visit to school to address all Form III pupils.


Five LVI girls participated in the Sentinus “Get set Insight into Engineering Programme”.

The Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships took place at the Antrim Forum. The Boys’ team finishing third overall.





Diary of the School Year Shannon Alexander (LVI), Mark Wylie (Form V) and Sam McQuillan (MVI) of the School’s Lifesaving team were selected for the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Lifesaving team, and went to Durban, South Africa to compete. ****

The 1st XI Cricket team beat Dalriada by 9 wickets in the Schools’ Cup plate competition. ****

FRIENDS OF THE ACADEMY hosted a quiz night in the school library. ****

2nd XI cricket team lost by 29 runs to Foyle in The Duke of Abercorn Cup. Form I XI lost in the second round of the Centenary Cup to MCB. MCB scored 98 to BRA’s 30 all out. ****


The School entered the Ulster Schools’ Novice Swimming Gala. The team picked up 18 medals, which included exceptional swims from Robert Bowman and Lewis Donaldson. ****

Pupils from the Academy travelled down to Tullamore to compete in the 2011 Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships. ****

The Academy has won the Smyth Cup, which is awarded to the school, club or council group that passes the most Lifesaving Awards in one year. ****

Pupils from the Academy competed with over 100,000 other people from schools, colleges and workplaces across the UK in the country’s biggest environmental competition. ****

The annual end of year Art & Design Exhibition took place. ****

Hannah Allen (Form V) and Emma Kelso (Form IV) were selected to represent Ulster in the Schools’ InterProvincial at Santry. Victoria Beattie (Form II) was also selected as a reserve for the team. ****

The Big Day of Science took place and 126 pupils were in attendance from three schools: Carnmoney Primary, Cavehill Primary and Ben Madigan. ****

Emily Reid (Form VI) won a gold medal for hockey at the UK Games. ****

The Junior XI beat Down High in the Under 13 Plate competition. ****

The Ben Madigan Summer Concert took place. ****

The Welcome Event for the new Form I intake took place. ****

The Owl 2011

Valete L. Campbell Dr Campbell, a former pupil of Kilkeel High School, was appointed to the staff of Belfast Royal Academy in 1978. Within a year, Mr Louis Lord, who was Headmaster of the Academy at that time, noted, “he is an able scholar” – referring to Dr Campbell’s 1st Class Honours Degree, PhD and prize for the Top Honours student in Chemistry in his year at Queen’s University (the Richardson Medal) – and went on to add, “he has a good rapport with pupils.” The professional and personal qualities which Dr Campbell exhibited throughout his career were evident from his earliest days in the profession. He was initially appointed to teach Chemistry and Junior Mathematics. More recently, he added Junior Latin to his list of teaching subjects. He is a man of many parts and talents. In school, he was a sought-after teacher of Chemistry and a notably successful Form Master (Head of Year) - many of the boys who were in his Forms continue to keep in touch - and he gave distinguished service in many other key roles in the Academy. As Deputy Senior Teacher, Head of Chemistry, Senior Teacher, Vice Principal and Deputy Principal he brought meticulous attention to detail, clear understanding and good judgement to bear on the most important issues facing the school. His role was central in shaping the school curriculum: he had a clear grasp of the implications of curricular change and, as the member of staff responsible for the Timetable and staff cover, he

displayed impressive ICT skills, the ability to communicate clearly and, because of his good sense and good spirits, a rare ability to secure the co-operation and goodwill of others. His ICT expertise was evident also in his role as Manager of C2K in school. In this capacity he successfully led an initially hesitant staff into the new world of computerised registration and reporting. He oversaw Performance Review and Staff Development with seemingly effortless efficiency and his organisational skills were to the fore in our arrangements for Prize Day. These qualities alone are admirable and rare, but they fail to do justice to Dr Campbell. What makes him exceptional is that he combined them with warmth, a respect for individuals, an interest in their lives and achievements, and a concern for their difficulties. His kindness and good-humour heartened many. He particularly enjoyed his links with Ben Madigan and with the Old Boys’ Association. His interest in others and easy good humour made him the ideal ambassador. He was a regular visitor to the Preparatory Department, a familiar presence both at events and in the classroom. Through his goodwill and enthusiasm he built up good relationships with parents and with pupils. A former President of the Old Boys’ Association, he has been, for many years, an important bridge between the Association and the School.


Valete In addition to his work in school, Dr Campbell made a significant contribution to the teaching of Chemistry in the Province. He was convenor of the Chemistry panel at the Queen’s Teachers’ Centre, a Cluster Group Leader, Question Paper Assessor for CCEA Chemistry at GCSE, Examiner and later Chief Examiner for CCEA GCSE Chemistry and Scrutineer at Advanced level. He was Northern Ireland President of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.


A schoolmaster in the finest sense, Dr Campbell sought to encourage the development of qualities, confidence and skills in pupils through their involvement in activities beyond the classroom. He supported and encouraged their efforts at countless concerts, Art exhibitions and plays, but also, on Saturday mornings throughout the year, at Hockey and Cricket matches, and by driving groups to play Bridge or Waterpolo or other sports in far-flung parts. He travelled with our orchestra to Austria and to Germany. Music was, perhaps, the interest closest to his own heart, but he understood the importance of other things to other people. To list his contributions to the wider life of the school is to map the landscape of opportunities which make this school distinctive and the experience available to pupils here so rich. In 1998, Mr Sillery, then Headmaster, recommended Louis Campbell for the post of Chief Examiner, noting, “A first-class scholar, a highly effective teacher at all levels and a meticulous and energetic administrator, he has admirably constructive attitudes and flawless professional standards.” We wish him well in his retirement. We know that he will be busy, but we hope to see him often. M.D.

M. Gray Following her graduation from the New University of Ulster, Coleraine in 1975 Marjorie Hicks, as she was then, obtained her Post-graduate Certificate in Education from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. She began her teaching career at Cambridge House Grammar School for Girls, Ballymena, where she spent four years in the Geography and Religious Education

Departments. She joined the Academy in 1980 and so began an association with the school that was to last for 31 years. Appointed by Mr Lord, she participated in many extracurricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Junior Choir and Senior Choir. She also took an active role in many of the school concerts. In 1985 she resigned from her full-time position and for the next five years was a part-time teacher with the Religious Education Department. It was during this period that her daughters Janet and Elaine were born. In 1986 she became an assistant examiner for Geography at GCE Ordinary Level followed in 1989 by a spell as an Assistant Examiner for Religious Studies. In 1990 she rejoined the Geography Department once more in a full-time capacity. She was a teacher of the highest standards whose enthusiasm was both infectious and legendary. She inspired her pupils and encouraged an independent spirit of inquiry long before such things became part of the educational dogma. Often she would move beyond the narrow confines of the specification to deal with the latest earthquake disaster or hurricane. After a period as a House Mistress she became a Form Mistress in 1996, a demanding role which she fulfilled with typical diligence until her retirement. Never cynical, her common sense, calm, approach was much valued by her charges and by the staff. At Advanced Level she prepared a series of notes on Meteorology and on Coasts which will be used for many years to come. Her experience as Assistant Examiner at both GCSE and Advanced Level proved invaluable for the department as she shared with her colleagues some of the finer points of the syllabus. She recorded, faithfully, the minutes of Geography departmental meetings for more years than she cares to remember. As a Geographer first and foremost, travel has been one of her passions – having been around the world to such places as New Zealand, Australia, Peru and Japan to name but a few – she now looks forward to longer holidays away from home. No doubt there will be more frequent visits to her daughter in Japan when her husband Edwin joins her in retirement. She will be much missed within the Academy and the Religious Education Departments but it is in the

The Owl 2011 Geography Department that her absence will be most keenly felt. I value enormously the encouragement she gave to me and to the department as a whole. I wish her well and many years of good health and happiness to enjoy with Edwin. A.S.

E. McMorran Anyone who has had the privilege of knowing Liz McMorran, may stop reading now as you will already know the many attributes that make her so special and the significance of her loss to teaching. For those who do not know her, it is impossible to convey in words the sum total of her contributions to the lives she has touched and so this is merely a gesture in honouring Liz. Referring to Advanced Level statistics as “sums” she always played down her own intellectual powers, her thinking skills and insight, not to mention an impressive ability to locate any reference at any time. A first class brain combined with an amazing work ethic would seem a daunting combination to teach under, but because of her humanity and humility, everyone she worked with was made to feel valued and respected. She joined the Academy in 1977 after teaching in Hopefield School for two years. After a two-year sabbatical in Bloomfield Collegiate, she returned to BRA as the matriarch of the Biology department to replace Tom Flannagan. Over the years the Biology staff has included Neville, Tom, Roly, Lorraine, Trevor, Charlotte, David, John, Leah, Tom, Patrick, Patrick, Janice, Caroline, Trevor, Lottie, Shiela, Madge, Mary and Jo. Very much a family person Liz enjoyed the total support of her parents who encouraged her in her chosen career path and after the birth of her children, Laura, Suzie, Michael and Jonnie, they made it possible for her to return to work by helping with child minding. This sense of family was also at the heart of Liz’s professional life and although the personnel have changed down the years, with Liz at the helm the Biology department has maintained the same closeness and consideration for its members. It is not an exaggeration to say that there has never been a cross word between any of the teachers in the BB rooms. Whether at the

birth of a child or the death of a parent Liz has always shown a concern and graciousness that goes far beyond any sense of duty. Even during those occasions when she has had to be firm with pupils it has always been done with their interests paramount. Pupils should also know of the hours of discussion initiated by Liz, that have taken place trying to find better ways of maximising their success and helping them to become well-rounded, self-respecting individuals with a sense of purpose and direction. By chance she taught two of her daughters and such was the strength of her relationship with them and their classmates that she was able to balance her maternal interests with a genuine and equal concern for everyone in her class. Whether teaching high-flying academically gifted young people or pupils of a more modest level of achievement, Liz was equally committed and diligent. She had an enviable drive to mark work and scripts and many a late night was spent at the kitchen table ensuring homework and tests were returned the day after they were collected. Her colourful progress charts quietly set benchmarks and targets not just for her own pupils but also for the staff in her charge, serving as best practice in the most effective and non-judgemental way. Liz led from the front. Traditional yet innovative, she brought the best out of everyone and no-one could do the TCA Cycle line dance as well as Liz. In her formative years at BRA she was generous with her time with respect to extra-curricular activities coaching hockey, making costumes for the play, acting as a House Mistress, but it was as Head of Department that she made her most significant contribution. When representing the school at marking conferences and agreement trials, she brought her incisive thinking skills to the table, but combined these with a convivial manner and yet steely conviction. She was the perfect diplomat: she let other people have her way! I am in no doubt that she helped shape the better parts of the Biology curriculum. Her “Chums” miss her and although she has passed on the responsibilities to the safe hands of Andy Bell, she has left a legacy of not only efficiency, order and high expectations, but also of respect for all, tolerance, kindness and a human warmth that lasts. R.J.



M. McCullough June 2011 saw the retirement of a long-serving and much valued member of the English Department – Miss Moyna McCullough. Moyna, a former pupil of Ballymena Academy and graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, trained at Stranmillis College. She began her teaching career in Cairnshill Primary School, where she taught for three years, before taking up a post, for a further three years, in a secondary school in Malawi. On her return from Malawi, Moyna worked as Assistant Presbyterian Chaplain at Queen’s University.


Since 1980, she has been a member of the Academy staff and has made a significant contribution to many aspects of school life. An accomplished English teacher, Moyna has occupied a range of posts during her career, including Teacher-Librarian, Literacy Co-ordinator and SENCO and the school has benefited greatly from her well-considered advice and common sense approach. In addition, for many years, Moyna was involved with the Corrymeela Community (a peace-building organisation committed to reconciliation in Ireland and throughout the world) and helped develop links within school. Moyna’s love for, and knowledge of, her subject shone through in her classroom teaching, which ensured that all pupils in her classes were given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Her commitment to academic and literary matters was evident in the opportunities she embraced - she attended Summer Schools in Oxford and Cambridge and spent a term on a Schoolteacher Fellowship at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Moreover, she constantly sought ways to support children with specific learning needs, completing a Diploma in Professional Development for Special Educational Needs as recently as 2006. Her caring approach and willingness to cater to the needs of the individual was appreciated by both pupils and parents alike; that a significant number of her past pupils have kept in touch is a testament to the high regard in which she is held. Having dedicated many years to both English and Special Educational Needs within Belfast Royal Academy, Moyna will undoubtedly look back with contentment and justifiable pride on what she has

achieved. Her colleagues in the English Department will miss her experience, calm presence and ready wit. Moyna leaves with our best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement. W.G.

J. Hamilton A past pupil of Belfast High School and a graduate of the University of Ulster, Jennie joined the staff of Belfast Royal Academy to take up a temporary post in the Modern Languages Department in September 2003, following her student teaching practice with us earlier that year. She left in June 2004, but we were delighted that she was able to return to us in September 2005, to complete a further six years of teaching at the Academy. As a classroom teacher, Jennie was conscientious, hardworking and dedicated. She showed genuine concern for her pupils and always had their best interests at heart. She was also very well involved in the corporate life of the school, coaching hockey, helping with the Scripture Union, participating in French trips and the Ski Trip, as well as mentoring individual pupils and organising the weekly charities collection. Jennie was a much-valued member of the Modern Languages Department and a pleasant and helpful colleague with whom it was a privilege to work. Her thoughtfulness, her gentle way of looking out for others, her kindness and generosity endeared her to us all. Always a team player, she readily shared resources and contributed to departmental meetings and tasks. Her Christian faith and values shone through consistently and she quietly offered support and encouragement when needed. Our department will be the poorer for her absence. Jennie has been a wonderful teacher and she is now also a wonderful mother. As she leaves the Academy to concentrate on her family, we wish her much fulfilment and every happiness and blessing in that role. Invariably considerate and thoughtful, she will be much missed in the Modern Languages Department. Our warmest wishes go with her. S.P.

The Owl 2011

N. Allen A former pupil of Portadown College, Mrs Naomi Allen formally began her teaching career when she joined the staff of Belfast Royal Academy in September 2006. Within her classroom, pupils were enthused by her dedication to helping them achieve individual success. A dedicated teacher, Naomi made much of the opportunities on offer to develop her personal practice, taking on the role of marker for CCEA and OCR and showing a willingness to contribute to a variety of departmental areas, teaching Drama, English Language and English Literature to a range of year groups with equal enthusiasm and interest. Naomi’s interests extend beyond the classroom and she made a positive contribution to a wide number of extra-curricular activities – Scripture Union, Junior Debating, Drama, The Owl, LVI Work Experience trip to Malawi (February 2011). In addition, she served as Lost Property Mistress and assisted, on occasion, with pastoral duties associated with the Head of Year post. We wish Naomi the very best for her future career. She will be greatly missed by members of the department both professionally and personally, but I know the staff and pupils of Royal School Armagh, will be richer for having Naomi as a teacher in their school. W.G.

S. Johnston Stephen Johnston, who has recently been appointed to the P.E staff of Ballymena Academy, was a member of the Ben Madigan staff for four years. He also taught and coached with distinction in the Grammar School and successive rugby teams playing at a high level have cause to be grateful to him. Stephen was educated at Ballyclare High School before studying at the UUJ for five years, gaining an honours degree in Sports and Exercise Science before completing his PGCE. During his third year at university he was awarded a Business Education Initiative Scholarship to study business courses for one year at Belhaven College, Mississippi. He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Education at the UUJ. A very popular and hardworking member of staff, Stephen possessed in addition to his ability in P.E

considerable abilities in the field of ICT which were the envy of several of his colleagues. His audiovisual presentations at assemblies and particularly his pictorial record of the last two Malawi trips will be long remembered. Stephen coached our girls’ hockey teams with considerable success and they won several tournaments under his direction, ably assisted by Mrs Lennon. The teams were active participants in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Hockey League. Stephen will be greatly missed, having not only a deep sense of humour but also endless patience and the determination to “go the extra mile”. We wish him well in his new appointment. V.M.

D. McGuigan Miss Denise McGuigan, a past pupil of Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry, joined the staff of Belfast Royal Academy in September 2009. She leaves the English Department to take up a permanent post in Saintfield High School. During her time at the Academy Denise taught Drama to KS3, English Literature to GCSE and English Language to Advanced Level. She quickly established herself as a very competent classroom teacher, who was conscientious and thorough in her preparation and ready to help those who found difficulty with English or Drama topics and assignments. A caring practitioner, Denise also assisted the School SENCO - Miss McCullough - putting to use both her specialist training and voluntary work. In 2010-11 she shared the post of Teacher Librarian, organising a range of activities in conjunction with Mrs Corcoran, such as the Kids’ Lit Quiz, author visits and National Poetry Day. She also gave unstintingly of her time outside the classroom and was involved in a wide-range of extra-curricular activities including Public Speaking and Drama. Denise will be remembered in the Department for her kind nature, sense of humour and cheerful disposition and, by the wider school community, for her amazing shoe collection – 3A’s last count was 97 pairs! She will be much missed as a colleague and a friend. W.G.





Israel Shachter

Louis Levi

We have learned of the death of a prominent former pupil who has died in Israel.

Since publication of the last edition of The Owl we have been informed of the death in June 2010 of the late Professor Louis Levi. In 1942 Louis became the first Jewish pupil to become Head Boy of the Academy. He left school on a scholarship to read English at Cambridge University and his subsequent career took him far from Belfast.

Mr Israel Shachter, who died in December 2010, was the last surviving child of Rabbi Jacob Shachter, who was Rabbi in Belfast and spiritual leader of the Belfast community for over a quarter of a century from 1926 to 1954. Israel Shachter emigrated to Israel in 1959 and became a prominent patent agent both in Israel and internationally, eventually rising to be senior partner in the largest patent firm in Israel. Inevitably, during a career that spanned forty-seven years, a great many inventions were presented for his scrutiny ranging, as he put it, from “the sublime to the ridiculous.� On his last visit to Belfast in 2002 he donated a portrait of his late father by R. Taylor Carson to the Ulster Museum and the event was attended by three headmasters past and present, and by Jack Kyle. Steven Jaffe, another former pupil, and Mr W. Young, the previous headmaster, accompanied Mr Shachter on a tour of the Academy and then walked from the old family house in Clifton Park Avenue to the former synagogue in Annesley Street near Carlisle Circus, following the route his family took each Sabbath. E.M.C.

After graduation he was appointed by the British Government to establish facilities for the teaching of English in the west African colonies, one of which, then known as the Gold Coast, became the first sub-Saharan African colony to gain independence in 1957 as Ghana. From there he proceeded to develop similar facilities in Singapore and Malaysia. After a period at the Hebrew University, and the University of the Negev, in Israel, Louis Levi spent eleven years at the University of Tokyo and was the author of a number of publications on the theory of language. He also made a number of presentations to the Japanese Association for Language Teaching (on whose journal this note is reliant) and was the author of several works on the theory of language. A man of noted courtesy Louis Levi demonstrated a lifelong concern for what he considered to be important social causes. He championed comprehensive education, supported the rights of Palestinians in Israel, and remained a lifelong socialist. E.M.C.

The Owl 2011

Mrs Marjorie Drennan Mrs Marjorie Drennan (better known to pupils of BRA in the early sixties as Miss Brown) was born in Liverpool in 1928, but when she was just a few months old the family moved to Belfast due to her father’s work and she continued to live in the city until she was seventy-six. She grew up with her elder sister Joyce and also an older brother John. Sadly, John was killed in the war when Marjorie was just fourteen, but she remained very proud of him and often spoke fondly of her happy childhood.

Those who knew Marjorie remember not only her intense interest in and extensive knowledge of English literature but also her love for her family and the respect which she was able to instil in all who knew her. Her son Mike recalls that he always felt very much protected by her as a child and her daughter Liz remembers that Marjorie made her feel loved every single day of her life. She was a loving and caring grandparent to Helen, James and Danny and nothing was too trivial for her interest and attention.

Her sister, Joyce, remembers that, as a child, even before she went to school, she would spend hours sitting on her little stool avidly reading books. It was obvious even then that she was very clever and this was proved throughout her school career during which she was first in Northern Ireland in her year in English at Junior Certificate level.

Among her many interests, Marjorie was a keen gardener, an interest inspired and encouraged by her father. She knew not only the common name, but also the Latin name of most plants and flowers and her garden was really beautiful, with an abundance of roses in the front garden and many different shrubs and flowers in the back.

Marjorie began her teaching career in Belfast and after a few years she spent a year teaching in Liverpool, before joining the English Department of Belfast Royal Academy in 1959. Here she met again her future husband, George Drennan. They had studied English Literature in the same year at Queen’s University but apparently Marjorie was not particularly attracted by George at that time! Four years after she joined the staff, they were married at St James’ Church, and it was an indication of their popularity as teachers that pupils from the Academy formed a guard of honour as they left the church. The wedding was followed by a honeymoon in London, which included a rugby match at Twickenham, and Chinese and Indian food, then quite a novelty.

Marjorie was fortunate to enjoy twenty-six years of retirement, most of them with George. They both played bowls and bridge and enjoyed an active social life with a wide circle of friends. Marjorie once said close observers believed that the marriage thrived on argument and difference of opinion, and thrive it did. She frequently recalled how amusing she found George and how often he made her laugh. Mike and Liz remember their daily debates over the origin and meaning of words or a particular poem that they had both studied and that the dictionary was used every single day. In 2003, a few months before George died, they celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary and the photograph of them cutting the cake shows a very happy couple.

Marjorie was a very inspiring teacher. A former pupil of the Academy in the early 1960’s writes “She was a most formative influence on my life. It was because of her that I, too, became an English teacher and enjoyed a thirty year career. She was a wonderful teacher funny, knowledgeable, humane, a mistress of both the witty aside and a devastating, though always well directed, barb. She nurtured so many in an apparently effortless way - one of the boys in my class went on to be a Professor of English at Trinity College, Dublin. I still have my Form III exercise book with all her annotations even after nearly fifty years. She was a very special lady”.

Marjorie was much affected by the sudden death of George in 2004, and decided to move to Berkshire shortly afterwards to be nearer to her children and grandchildren. She continued to enjoy healthy debate until the very end of her life and, perhaps in part due to a lifetime spent in looking at different interpretations and perspectives, did not become set in her ways, remaining open to the idea of change, and retaining her ability to communicate with and engage people of all ages. Although she taught at the Academy for only six years, she maintained close connections with the school through George, her children, and the numerous friends she made there. It is a fitting tribute that so many former staff and pupils attended her funeral and the subsequent burial of her ashes in Belfast. There is no doubt that Marjorie Drennan set a fine example to all who knew her and her wisdom, wit, humour, perception and compassion will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

She left BRA when she had a family and later returned to teaching and it is not surprising that this talented and respected teacher later became Vice-Principal of Graymount Girls’ Secondary School.



John Stanley Shaw 1913 - 2011 John Shaw passed away peacefully on 7th February 2011 after a full and energetic life. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him, admired for his honesty in business, loved by friends and family and respected on many fields of sport.


John grew up on Cliftonville Road and with his two younger brothers, Brian and Trevor, attended the Academy leaving in his teens to embark on a lifetime career in the insurance business. It was broken only during the war when army service took him to India in 1939 returning to Northern Ireland in 1945. John continued in the Territorial Army serving in the 245 Regiment based as Girdwood Barracks and there military influences continued to play a part in his lifestyle. He was known for his impeccable dress standards, his military bearing and, during the working week, and on Sunday, for wearing a home grown rose bud on the lapel of his jacket. He was proud of being an Academy boy and this showed throughout his life, representing the school in rugby and cricket, having the honour of being President of the Old Boy’s Association and presenting the school with the Shaw Cricket Cup for junior cricket in the school. He was also a keen footballer in his youth and enjoyed golf at Cliftonville Golf Club in his retirement. Although an all round sports enthusiastic, cricket was John (J.S) Shaw’s passion.

He was a fine spin bowler who played for the Junior League and then captained Cliftonville Cricket Club in the Ulster Senior League. He was president of the BRA Old boys Cricket Club 1965 - 67 in the first three years of its formation and was a great inspiration to members and his wealth of experience was invaluable in those early days. Heading up something of a dynasty when it came to the school; John met and married fellow pupil Maureen de Winter and they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on 10th December 2010. Their children, the late Michael Shaw, Johnny de Winter Shaw and his daughter Anne Hailes also attended the Academy and all followed him in representative cricket. Two of his grandchildren and his great grandson were also pupils at BRA. John Shaw was blessed with good health and physical strength and on his 90th birthday road his bicycle with ease. On the eve of his 98th birthday, his funeral was held at Cavehill Methodist Church and the service of thanksgiving was celebrated by friends from far and wide. A.H.

The Owl 2011

Literary Contributions AN AFRICAN ADVENTURE The ground out of the window looked lush and green. Over the drone of the plane’s engines, Eleanor whispered to Florence, ‘I think we’ve arrived.” The group had been sent to Africa. Apparently, Ginger thought travelling to an African country would be a good experience for them, but really, everyone knew it was to keep them out of her hair for a while. The plane touched down on the runway. After it had taxied to the terminal, the group stepped off. The heat was stifling. “Where are we?” asked Imogen to Eleanor. “Malawi,” she replied. They had landed in Blantyre, Malawi’s biggest city. But their destination was Mulanje, a village at the foot of Mount Mulanje. The journey on the roads was a noisy one in a Land Rover. Daniel and Jonah were glued to the windows. They had expected Malawi to be a barren desert, full of miserable people like you see in adverts for Oxfam or Save the Children. Instead, Malawi was lush and green and people waved as they drove past. Maria and Frank purred as they woke up after the plane journey. Maria, a Savannah cat, was part feral, an African wild cat. After arriving outside the house they’d be staying in, the group rushed off to claim their rooms. But, they were in for a shock... “SPIDER!” screeched Sonia, running out of her room and almost knocking over Florence. Moments later, a spider as large as a CD emerged from the room. All hell broke loose. People screamed and swore and ran in all directions, colliding with others, furniture or the door. Maria, a naturally curious breed, boldly walked up to the creature. She saw a potential toy, not a threat. Soon, she and the spider were rolling around on the floor, playing. That wasn’t the only incident. The next day, Frank ate all of the porridge that was reserved for breakfast, Maria befriended a giant snail and, to top it all off, it started to rain.

“When it rains, it rains.” Eleanor mused, looking at the storm outside. She watched her cat frolicking with a leaf, getting soaked. Imogen frowned, “If that cat comes in and lies on MY bed, you’re in for it, Eleanor!” she said, glaring at Eleanor. “That’s not what I’m worried about,” she smirked, “we have to go out in that.” She was right. Ginger had said that they had to look at life in Malawi. That meant going to school... “Are you serious?!” Florence cried as they reached their classroom. There were at least a hundred children crammed into the room. And Eleanor, Florence and Imogen had to teach all of them... Ellie White, Form III

55 -WORD STORIES The Car Chase The police car sped up the motorway, not stopping for anyone. “Must be in a hurry,” I thought. I followed them slowly to see what was happening. They were dodging and weaving so swiftly. I thought they would have the caught the criminal now. Turns out, they only wanted doughnuts. I smiled jokingly, “Typical police officers.” Beth Mullan, Form II

Creep It creeps around at night, a silent predator. It moves slowly, ready to strike. It can climb trees and leap from wall to wall. Its eyes glow bright in the darkness, its jaws loaded with pointed fangs and paws with razorsharp knives. A creature that only makes one noise, much like a purr. Cormac Saunders, Form II


Literary Contributions

Rachel McQueen, M6




She went down the familiar street; she could hear the tyres rolling down the road. She remembered the day like it was yesterday. She remembered her friends daring her to run across. She can’t do anything any more without someone to help her. She still would love to walk again someday but that is impossible. Nathan McCarthy, Form II

That girl I see everyday, the girl that I will love for ever is going away. I don’t know how I’ll cope without. Her beautiful blue eyes remind me of hope. Hope that the day won’t end and tomorrow will come. I’ll cry myself asleep at night when she goes. I’ll die without her. Matthew Borne, Form II


That Girl

We found him near a cliff sitting at a fire, “Why is he sitting at a fire? He can’t feel heat.” I asked. “He wants to feel living again.” she answered. “I have expected you for a long time,” said the ghost. “You have questions and I have the answers you need,” he said suddenly. Max Magill, Form II

I promised myself I would not like her ever again, not after what she did. The temptation was overwhelming. Her beautiful hair and the smell of her perfume. She made me happy. I could feel that feeling I got long ago, before it ended. It felt wrong, as if it was forbidden, I loved her. Philip Waters, Form II

The Mission

The Ostrich Race

Lights flash, sirens wail. Next, the engine awaits its next mission. The sound of running feet, hands gripping long poles. The red engine zoomed down road and skidded around corners towards the yellow flames. Attacking the hot monster, sweat runs down my face. My yellow suit sticking to my skin, BANG. It all went black. Hannah Edgar, Form II

The ostrich ran through the desert at maximum speed. “Grrr,” it said as it ran past the Mexican’s house. He said “Gringo! You left a feather behind.” He ran into his house and put the feather into a book where he kept an ostrich saddle, where he gave chase at sun’s end. Jacob Crawford, Form II

The Owl 2011

Andrew Smith, M6

Andrew Smith, M6

Andrew Smith, M6


One-Eyed Monster

There were two cats. Anything one cat did the other did. Left paw in the air one cat, same with the other cat. They quickly became friends playing in the same spot; they met for hours and hours. No food or toy needed shared, the other cat already had one, but all mirrors break. Jack Jordan, Form II

The one-eyed monster enticed me towards him. I should’ve been elsewhere, perhaps helping mother do housework. Awww well… the faces in his huge eye seemed to change at the touch of a button. Some smartly dressed, some homeless. I was engrossed. Slowly, I reluctantly dragged myself away from the room, leaving the T.V. Bobbie Agnew, Form II

Football Frenzy I was in the changing rooms, my heart beating, and adrenaline pumping. With no one making a sound as the coach was cheering us on. Everyone was tying their laces, getting aggressive as they stepped on the pitch with a doubtful look on their faces. Then the ball was kicked off… Cormac McCracken, Form II

The Room The ticking of the clock was endless. My heart was beating faster and faster, louder and louder as it came to one o’clock. The screams and cries coming from that room made me feel frightened and helpless. The door creaked as it opened, a shadow appearing on the floor, “Ready for your injection?” Kiah Reid, Form II

The Random School Destruction Someone has been trying to destroy the school. The History department tried to find out when it happened, the Geography department tried to find out where it happened and the Chemistry department tried to find out what chemicals had been used. But, all they found was a spotted tortoise drinking fudge flavoured poison. Cameron McCartney, Form II

Fear of the Shadows I already had my tea and my biscuits but I saw my mum’s shadow coming to my room. I sat on my bed wondering why she was so slow. Time crept on and on, but she took hours and hours. But it wasn’t my mum, my wonders were over. Gemma O’Neill, Form II


Literary Contributions

Pete Holland, L6


Alone on the Platform

Under The Water

I stood there on the platform, my fingers blue. I saw the girl standing a few metres away, staring at me. We were the only people there, apart from an old man on the other side. She moved towards me, slowly. I edged slightly away. “You’ll never get away”, she mumbled. Then she ran away. Morgan Patton, Form II

At the pond I heard scary noises: barking and growling. I saw bulging eyes, a big stomach, skinny arms and large, menacing teeth. Dad said that it was just my imagination. It wasn’t my imagination, I could feel it coming behind me. It was a beast. It got me. Courtney Allwell, Form II


On the coach to the African village, she dreaded what she would see. All those advertisements on television said that so many children had died, just by drinking dirty water. As a news reporter she was used to cool, crisp, clean water in the studio. “How selfish of me,” she thought, “the suffering must end.” Bethany Bevis, Form II

The flood lights beamed, the crowd cheered and all I could think about was the man standing in the crowd. My dad who had taken me to everything, to every training session, to every game was standing there and now I was saying thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you. Erin Getty, Form II

Simple Needs

Power Cut My Gordon As Gordon lay still and silent I knew that he was dead. I thought that I could have a funeral for him, but nobody knew him and he couldn’t talk and had a very short memory span. I decided to throw him into the front garden. I took one last look. I felt sorry. He had no legs. Cameron McCartney, Form II

There was a power cut in the city. I was really scared. I shouted, “Mum, Dad!” No-one answered. I started to worry. I heard breathing. My heart was pumping faster. I put my hands out, feeling around me. I felt a gust of wind; I didn’t know what to do. The lights came on. Kirstyn Smith, Form II

The Owl 2011

Ben O’Donnell, F5

Suzzanne Currie, F5

Green Paradise


I was calling and screaming, “Help me, I’m lost!” But there was no response. Trudging through the earth and using my scarred hand to clear the path, I was lost in what some might say a ‘green paradise’. There was no sign of humanity, no-one to answer my calls. I was lost. Molly Berry, Form II

As the airplane began to descend through the dense, white cloud, the beautiful green country I had missed so much, came into clear view. It had been three weeks since I had set foot on the luscious, fertile soil. I had been on a trip to Britain to talk to some school children who have been visiting us for three years and helping us improve our facilities in schools, churches and hospitals, but I had missed home. As I left the plane, I was greeted by some friends, Sam and Jay, who had heard about my adventure and wanted to hear more. They met me with wide smiles something I hadn’t been greeted with for a while. As we walked the long walk back to our village, with Mount Mulanje as our back-drop and the children singing their way home from school, I couldn’t help but feel glad that this was my home, surrounded by happiness and laughter. On the way we passed a river, blue and glimmering. It was a hive of activity as mothers in their extravagant, multicoloured dresses gathered water and wished us a good morning as we carried on walking down the rather bumpy part of the road. At last, we reached the school, the place I loved to be and felt privileged to teach at. On my trip I was surprised to see the unhappy looks on the children’s faces as they entered through the school gates. Education is surely a privilege? The children all greeted me warmly in the schoolyard as they were leaving for their long walk home, all two

The Cage A man is forced into a cage by a bunch of bodyguards. He shouldn’t be there. He is pleading to get out but they just ignored him. He tries to escape but the gate is locked. It is dark with groans and moans everywhere. With angry things on both sides, he is a prisoner. Robert Spence, Form II

The Race “Run!” they shouted, “Keep going they are catching up!” My thighs were throbbing but I had to keep going, I could hear the fear in their voices. I knew they were catching up. I pushed myself to the limit, I could see the line. I was nearly there, and then I crossed the line. I had won. Megan Alexander, Form II


Literary Contributions

Sarah McMahon, F3


Victoria Knoble, F3

Sarah McMahon, F3

hundred of them. The other teacher, Michael, followed and he was being stampeded by a group of boys, all screaming, “Sir!” and laughing. He was a favourite of the boys... As evening approached, the sun began to set behind Mount Mulanje and the children headed into their crammed houses. A sense of depression spread through our village as there had been more deaths. Two twoyear old brothers had passed away due to contracting Malaria, these were the fifth deaths this week and it was only Wednesday. Death is a major part of our society and it is something that dampens the amazing spirit of this little country that I love so much. Sophie Porter, Form III

Bravery and my actions in the war, And say how much of a pain in the neck, Their mother was. I shall mistake my crayons for jelly babies. And pretend I’m always broke. I will blame the mess On the imaginary dog. And pretend to my grandkids, That in school I was Forever flogged. Braeden Burrows, Form II

WARNING When I grow old, I will not succumb, To the grey strands. I will dye my hair, Blue, then yellow and green. People will know me as “The senile old man who Wears rainbows upon his head” I shall grow a fine blue beard And scare my grandkids. I shall make up stories of

ALL YOU NEED IS NOW Your pale eyes gleam vividly, As you gaze into the dark azure skies. You smile, entangled in your memories, From dear friends to bittersweet goodbyes. You sigh at nothing in particular, Oddly contented as you reminisce. Isn’t the allure of days gone by A part you ought to miss? But as the familiar nostalgia sets in, There is no melancholy glint in your eyes. It may be serendipity that you have no regrets, And this leaves you with a sense of surprise.

The Owl 2011

Daniel Dass, F5

After all these years you’re at peace with yourself and now you have no doubt, That you will never cry for yesterday, for all you need is now. Florence Maguire, Form IV

WARNING When I am an old woman I shall wear only pink frocks. I’ll live in a bungalow with a big garden I can tend to. I’ll bake cakes and pies for my friends and family. And leave my bins out every Sunday. ... But I won’t be completely normal... I will jog alongside the neighbourhood dogs. And trail a green trolley behind me. I will get scared when the postman comes with the mail. And worry about the letters I receive... and get my children to explain them to me. I will greet my grandchildren with a cheeky, childish grin. And get my hair done once a week. I’ll spend my money on shoes, shoes and nothing but shoes. In spring I will clean my whole home till it sparkles.

And in autumn I will rake all the leaves out into nice neat piles. I will act as if I was as a child. ... But in the end I will just be the crazy old woman in the bungalow. Kara Johnston, Form II

WARNING When I am an old woman I shall wear Converse With polka-dot jeans which don’t go, and don’t suit me, And I shall spend my pension on nail polish and makeup, And new handbags, and say we’ve no money for food. I shall sit down in the middle of a supermarket when I’m tired, And try on all the clothes in shops and sell my house on eBay, And invent a new word to use in conversations, And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain, And learn all the words to every rap song, And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat, And eat five pounds of ice-cream at a go,


Literary Contributions

Naomi McEwan, L6


Or only chocolate and strawberries for a week, And hoard stuffed animals and buttons and light bulbs and things in boxes. But now we must have suitable shoes to walk in, And pay our rent and be sensible about what we eat, And set a good example for the children. We must have regular visits to the dentist and check the news each day. But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me aren’t too surprised, When suddenly I am old, and start to wear yellow. Naomi Martin, Form II

THE BLACK NIGHT The night was chilling. No clouds blanketed the dark, sooty sky. As I fought my way through thick, heavy branches, my curiosity overpowered me. Twigs snapped beneath me in the soil. Snap…snap…snap... As I reached the end of the knotted old trees, I was once again faced with the cloudless, starry sky. I trod across frost-coated pebbles, wondering what mysterious treasure I could possibly discover. I crept through the blackness. Once again I looked up to observe the night sky. I realised that it did not look particularly

Stacey McCullough, F5

welcoming. It wasn’t quite the right shade of blue, I thought. The stars hung eerily above me, watching as I invaded their territory. I lowered my head again. I was now standing on a type of small, circular path made up of eight pinkish octagon shaped stones, also covered with frozen water vapour. In front of me was a rather large wooden arch with a thick, endless canopy of vines twisting around it. Icicles clung to the vines, projecting their sharp, unfriendly energy onto me. On the other side of this arch, long, overgrown grass stretched afar. My curiosity was not to be fought with and so I cautiously made my way through the arch. I slowly began to inch my way across the rigid, green grass. It crunched beneath my feet. Goosebumps covered my skin. Shivers travelled down my spine. I felt the wind pick up. Tall, ghostly trees swayed around me. The wind became wilder. It whirled vigorously as I stumbled along the cold, prickly surface. The rotting remains of dead autumn leaves encircled my head as the gust became stronger and stronger. My fists clenched. I collapsed onto my knees in a dizzy haze. A strong, cold hand gripped my shoulder with great force... All I could do was wait. Emma Shannon, Form III

The Owl 2011

Mark Boyd, M6

Ryan McKeown, F5

Gillian Warren, F5

SEVEN AGES OF MAN “The lean and slippered pantaloon. The foolish old man. My teeth! What am I going to do if there is no food I can eat? My sight! What happens if I try to walk down the stairs and I fall and there is no-one to help me? My hearing! What am I going to do if someone I know needs help and I don’t hear them? I will become a broken, useless tool. Soon I will forget everything. Everyone I see will be a stranger. My friends, my family, my neighbours. So much could happen to me when I become a foolish old man and meet my second childishness and drift into a complete state of nothingness. What will happen if I wander into the street and some thugs who I think are friends come and rob me, a helpless old man? Perhaps I’ll get put in a nursing home and be confused as to where I am, but slowly, even though I don’t realise it, it becomes my home. But where is my family? Who are these people in uniforms helping me into my wheelchair? The next day I don’t remember them. I will be stuck in a circle, just remembering and forgetting, remembering and forgetting. I’m sick of this. I can’t bear the future-“the last scene of all: second childishness and mere oblivion: sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”. Based on As You Like It, Act 2 Scene vii, lines 139166. Owen Johnston, Form II

Aaron Cairns, F5

HOCKEY I could hear the ball smash against the sticks. It was speeding down the pitch, coming towards me. The ball hit my stick with force. I ran down the wing, sprinting of course. Then suddenly I felt a kick. It was a defender hitting my stick. The whistle blew. it was my free. I could hear everyone calling me. I took it myself. Down the pitch, I sprinted. I could see the goalie in front of me, I shot with force. The ball was whizzing through the air, it went over the goalie’s stick. It hit the back of the net, I scored! Chloe Dawson, Form II

RUGBY Rounded, oval ball that makes me feel at home Up and under, quick hands, quick feet. Go, go, go, for the try line, swan dive or slide. Busy, busy, all the excitement. You know, we could be stars. Brendan Crinion, Form I


Literary Contributions

WHERE I LIVE It may not be warm, It may not be bright, But Belfast, where I live, Sure is a delight. Plenty to do and places to go, It even has the best of stage shows. Cinema, ice skating, swimming, The lot, you tell me what, Belfast hasn’t got. Best of restaurants, And eating houses, Suitable for all shapes and sizes. So good, even celebrities are coming to town, We are the host to MTV awards, NOW! Who wears the crown? Zoe Willdridge, Form III

AFRICA WILL BE From mustard seed to greatest rock From natural supply of crude and oil From the world of mine plantation grows From the beginning, till the end of time.


Africa, Sahara to the Atlantic. Africa, Zulu land to Yomba Land. Africa, River Nile to River Niger. Still the same beauty, yet less appreciated. That question, which keeps ringing in my mind, In richness, in suffering, happiness, mourning. Do you promise, till death, to love thee Africa? If you do, same with me, let’s go together. So don’t be surprised when stones light fire... Don’t be surprised when you hear lions say “Hello” For I know one thing will be. AFRICA will be! Kuda Kunaka, Form III

I hope the ice doesn’t wear thin, When I am always digging my blades in. Stuart tells me how to spin, Shouts at me to help me, how to help me win. Dundonald is the place, Where everyone knows my face. My friend, well, she’s an ace, Gliding along the ice with grace. After waiting in a line, It is finally the time. The next three minutes are mine, It’s my time to shine! The beauty and the artistry, That ice skating brings to me. The ice skater that I want to be, Waiting to become reality. Taylor McCombe, Form III

WOODVALE When I say trees, fields, grass and flowers, You think of the countryside, but I think, Woodvale Park. When I say shops, people and cars, You may think town, but I think Woodvale Road. When I say dogs, footpaths and houses, You think your street, but I think Woodvale Pass. When I think stairs, windows and doors, You may think a building, but I think my house. When you think trees and roads and houses, You may think Belfast, but I think Woodvale. Gareth McAdams, Form III

CAVE HILL MY FAVOURITE PLACE My favourite place is the Ice Bowl! I skate, not score goals, It is all my heart and soul. Down there at the Ice Bowl. When I’m in my bed at night, Not skating gives me fright. There’s not a sign of light, Tucked up in my bed at night.

Calm and peaceful, always nice. Although always something fun to do. Very pretty, scenic views. Extremely nice to have friends around. Holidays spent in the park. I always like to be around. Lydia, just ‘round the corner, my best friend! Lovely place to be, that’s Cave Hill! Orlaith Duffy, Form III

The Owl 2011

Rose Crossan, F5

Charris Hannah, F5


Mark Donnelly, M6

Frazer Macrea, F5

Morgan McKeown, F5

Emily McMahon, F1

Anna Rose McCambridge, F5

Literary Contributions

Ling Chung, F3

Kara Johnston, F1

Maeve Gallagher, F1

Laura Lindsey, M6


Mannix McAlister, F5

Katie Nixon, F5

Meabh King, F5

Mark Donnelly, M6

Rebecca Stockman, F5

The Owl 2011

Joshua Snoddy, M6

Megan Reilly, F5

Laura McCree, M6

Ryan Hamill, F5

Gillian Mcullough, M6


Robyn Gilmore, L6 Hyejin Kwon, M6

Adam Montgomery, M6

Rebecca Collins, L6

Grace Prenter, L6

Naomi Cahill, L6

Stephanie Stronge, F5

Literary Contributions

Gillene Dadulla, F5

Gareth Gilfillan, F5

Casey Stewart, F1


Rachell Lawell, M6

Still Life, F2

Alex Deaney, L6

J Young, F1

Andrew Reid, L6

Kirsty McKerracher, F5

Catherine McErlane, M6

Jack Kane, L6

The Owl 2011

Distribution of Prizes The Annual Distribution of Prizes took place this year on Friday 28th October at the University of Ulster. The Warden, Mr P.S. Sefton, LL.B. welcomed the Guest of Honour, Professor Ian White MA, PhD, FREng, FIEEE, FIET, CEng, Master of Jesus College, Deputy ViceChancellor and van Eck Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Professor White is a very distinguished former pupil of the Academy. Mr Sefton also welcomed Mrs Margaret White who distributed the prizes.

The Senior Orchestra gave a dynamic rendition of the Rondeau from Abdelazer by Purcell while the Chamber Choir gave an excellent performance of Rachmaninov’s Bogoroditsye Dyevo.

In his speech Professor White congratulated the prize winners and acknowledged the outstanding presentation Prize Day gave of the school. Professor White reminisced about his feelings when joining the Academy. He felt that he was part of an institution rather than a school and observed that much of the ethos of the Academy continues: the coming together for the common pursuit of excellence; recalling Dr McBride and Dr Blair, the impact teachers have on individual lives; the pastoral support and care shown to each member of the community. Professor White explained how he should have valued the Academy experience more.


Professor White emphasized how various cultures regard education differently and expressed the belief that there is nowhere better than the Academy to make the most of what education has to offer. He urged the pupils to do what was right for them, to set personal goals and ambitions and not to worry about others who seem to be shooting ahead. Professor White used several quotations to illustrate the importance of having a clear and focused ambition including Thomas Eddison’s “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”, and Edmund Burke’s “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little”. Professor White urged the young people to embrace opportunities, to remember they are important to the Academy, and the school exists for them.

We are grateful to the Rev. Marlene E. Taylor, B.D. for opening the prize-giving ceremony with prayers. Mr Dickson included a DVD produced for the occasion as part of his report to the prize winners and their families. The Headmaster’s Address Warden, Ladies and Gentlemen, Pupils of the Academy I should like to join with the Warden in welcoming to our ceremony today Professor Ian White. Professor White is a former pupil of the Academy. When, as a pupil about to enter Form I, he was interviewed by Mr Lord, the Headmaster, at 4.40 pm on Monday 9th March, 1970, he listed his interests as music and “scientific experiments”, and Mr Lord noted under Possible Career, “Science”. I have to say that this forecast was more accurate than most. From an early age, Professor White’s interests and aptitude were evident. He was, as Mr Sillery noted elsewhere, “a distinctly clever boy.” I spoke about Ian White recently to my former colleague, Mrs Hollinger, and she recalled an occasion when she, then Miss Starrett, was teaching him Mathematics in Form II; plotting points on a graph, she showed how you could join them to make a line: at the end of the lesson the young Ian White suggested that no matter


Distribution of Prizes how many points you plotted, it would never really form a line as there would always be space, however small, between the numbers which defined the points. She knew then that he would go far …. And few Academy pupils have gone further in the world of academia. Van Eck Professor of Engineering at Cambridge University, Chair of the School of Technology, Head of Photonics Research, and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University, this year he achieved a distinction which is, I believe, unique among former pupils of the Academy, when he was elected to be Master of an Oxbridge College - Jesus College, Cambridge his own undergraduate College. And if this was not distinction enough, he is also Mr Reilly’s cousin. I congratulate him on his election and wish him well in his new role. I welcome Professor White, and I thank his wife Margaret for distributing our Prizes this afternoon. It is appropriate that we gather in this Hall for our prizegiving today, because Professor White’s father was a Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster and a leading figure in its early development. **** 64

Mr Sefton has the distinction of being, like Mr Knox last year, one of the select band of those who have presided twice as Warden at this ceremony. He came to the Academy from Forth River Primary School in 1960; he has been a member of the Board of Governors since 1989, and his daughter, Victoria, is in our Middle Sixth Form. His attachment to the school is profound, and he has led the Board with great energy, intellectual rigour and clear sightedness this year. He holds the Wardenship at an exceptionally demanding time for Governors, as he has indicated, a time of unprecedented budget cuts in schools, when strategic thinking, rooted in our vision for the Academy, is of paramount importance. A new prize has been added to the list today – the Knox prize for the top candidate in Advanced Level P.E. It is the second prize which Mr Knox has endowed; an appropriate gift from a talented sporting family, and a token of Mr Knox’s generosity and commitment to this school. ****

It is a pleasure also to welcome the Reverend Taylor to our proceedings, and I thank her for her contribution today. ****

In one year, retirement has removed a group of staff with, among them, more than 120 years of service to our school. Dr Campbell, my Deputy, Mrs McMorran, Head of the Biology Department, Miss McCullough, English teacher and SENCO, and Mrs Gray, Head of Year and teacher of Geography, epitomised much of what is best about our school - high standards and expectations, civility, good humour and care for the individual. This is not the place for individual valetes - they will appear in The Owl at Christmas time - but I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to give special thanks to Dr Campbell; he has been tireless in his commitment to the school. And, as I said to the members of staff at a reception in June, He has supported and encouraged the efforts of pupils and staff at countless concerts, Art exhibitions and plays, but also, on Saturday mornings throughout the year, at Hockey and Cricket matches, and by driving groups to play Bridge or Water-polo or other Sports to far-flung parts. He has travelled with our orchestra to Austria and to Germany. To list his contributions to the wider life of the school is to map the landscape of opportunities which makes the school distinctive and the experiences available to pupils here so rich. At the end of last term we said farewell also to Mrs Allen and Miss McGuigan of the English Department, Mr Johnston, who taught P.E. at Ben Madigan and Miss Lavery of the Mathematics Department, who have been appointed to other posts, and to Mrs Hamilton of the Modern Languages Department who has decided to dedicate her time to her young family. We wish them well, and we are fortunate indeed that when vacancies are advertised we are able to appoint teachers of the highest calibre. ****

More than 300 pupils applied for 200 places in our Form I last year. Interest in the school is gratifyingly high and competition for places has never been greater. 350 P7 pupils attended our Familiarisation Day last Friday and will sit the A.Q.E. Assessment with us on three Saturday mornings in November and December. Once again, the work of A.Q.E., led so well by Mr Young, in setting the test and organising Access and other arrangements has been excellent. I am grateful to them and to our members of staff, who work voluntarily on the test mornings to ensure that our visitors feel welcome, and that the assessments are conducted efficiently. ****

Our pupils achieved outstanding results in the public examinations which they sat in June.

The Owl 2011 At GCSE, two pupils, Conor Brogan and Matthew Smith, achieved 11 A*s, and 74 pupils achieved A* or A in 7 or more subjects - an improvement upon a statistic with which we were pleased last year. At a time when the Department of Education has asked schools to focus on Literacy and Numeracy, it is worth noting that 68% of our pupils achieved an A or A* in Mathematics, and 79% of those who sat English Literature achieved an A or A*. A pleasing number of pupils scored full marks: in English Literature - Callum Browne, Antonia Campbell, Suzanne Currie, Stephen Doyle, Bethany Queripel, Matthew Smith, Ryan Spence, and Stefan Tucker; in Art and Design - Ben O’Donnell; in Mathematics - Tom Hanna; in French - Luke Taylor; in German - Luke Taylor and Matthew Smith; in Spanish - Ben McConnell, Hannah McKinstry and Ryan Spence; in Latin - Antonia Campbell. Stephen Doyle was ranked 1st in Northern Irelandin GCSE Music. Luke Taylor was joint 1st in French, Tom Hanna was joint 2nd in Additional Mathematics, and Paul Rodgers was joint 3rd in Additional Mathematics. At AS Level, 33 pupils gained three or more grade A passes, and Alexsy Gaj scored full marks in Mathematics. At Advanced Level the results were perhaps the best that we have ever had, with 73% of pupils achieving 3 passes at A, B or C grades; indeed, 85% of all the examinations sat were passed at those grades. Hannah Stewart was one of the few pupils in the Province to achieve 5 A* grades; she was joint 3rd in Northern Ireland in Advanced level Biology. Alisha Gergett achieved 4 A*s and 1 A, and she has accepted a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences. Our aim is to enable all pupils to fulfil their potential, whatever their level of ability. However, in every Form we have a number of pupils with an academic aptitude which is exceptional. We will celebrate the achievements of some in our ceremony today. These pupils are on a par with the very best in these islands. Our pupils will need to continue to perform well in the

public examinations, because, I believe that in future, higher grades will be required to secure a place at a local university, as more people are likely to apply to Queen’s and to the University of Ulster because of significantly increased fees for those who study in England, Scotland and Wales. ****

I am pleased to report that Ben Madigan had a very successful year. I congratulate Mrs McCaig and her staff on the excellent Key Stage results which they have achieved, and on the variety of opportunity, and the quality of care, which they provide for young people. The value of spending formative educational years in such an environment cannot be over-estimated. ****

It is unlikely that W. B. Yeats had the school curriculum in mind when he wrote, in Easter 1916,

All is changed, changed utterly

But some may think his observation apt nonetheless. However, the next line,

A terrible beauty is born

cannot be said to apply to Assessment Objectives, the Entitlement Framework, new specifications and Controlled Assessment. “Terrible” perhaps, but not beautiful; in his speech on Prize Day in 1993, Mr Sillery, then Headmaster, said, “In the past four years the pace of education change has been out of control.” The process has continued unabated, and the curriculum has become increasingly pragmatic and circumscribed. That our pupils continue to excel is to their credit and to the credit of their teachers. That they go on to perform well at university, is, I believe, due to the skills which they develop beyond the classroom as much as within it. Being inquisitive, working well with others, having the ability to solve problems, to communicate effectively, to show initiative - these are among the qualities which universities and employers seek, and they are developed as much in the Mournes as in a classroom or a lab. It is our belief, that education is holistic, and that the development of values and constructive attitudes should go alongside the acquisition of specific subject knowledge. Before I show the DVD made by Mr Jamison, which identifies some of the highlights and achievements of the year, I would like to pay tribute to pupils who have been involved in some of the many school activities for which there are no trophies, prizes, or Colours awards - activities which, nonetheless, shape values and attitudes:


Distribution of Prizes a team of Form IV pupils made Christmas parcels for the homeless - almost 70 gift bags and hampers were given to the Simon Community; more than 40 Sixth Formers made weekly visits to assist in local Primary schools; twenty pupils in Forms V - MVI volunteered as stewards at the Alzheimer’s Society sponsored walk in Ormeau Park; a group of LVI pupils volunteered at Woodlands Day Centre; 10 pupils volunteered on a weekly basis to set up the new Cancer Lifeline Charity shop on the Antrim Road; fundraising in school of one sort or another raised more than £26,500 for charities last year; pupils in LVI volunteered to work with various Special Olympics teams; 8 Form I pupils represented the school at the Asthma UK ‘Listen Up’ Youth Conference held at W5, at which they performed a 5-minute roleplay promoting asthma management and awareness; four Form IV pupils designed and painted a mural of ‘The Waterworks’ for Newington Day Centre, and this term more than a dozen senior pupils have volunteered to work with young people in the evenings at the 174 Trust.

of our new Head Boy, Adam Purvis, for the 2012 Athelings team to tour Canada.

I commend those involved in these schemes, and I thank the members of staff, particularly Mrs McBeth, who organised them.




And now, I’d like to show Mr Jamison’s short film, which puts faces to some of the names which I have mentioned and picks out a number of the highlights of the year. * ****

I am grateful to Mr Jamison for once again producing such a dramatic record of the year - as time goes by, his DVDs will form a fascinating archive. The range of opportunities for pupils is tremendous. Mr Jamison, himself, involved two casts in Junior and Senior versions of The Blues Brothers which were notable for their vitality and invention; Miss Andrews, stepping in for Ms McMullan, organised and inspired music of the highest quality, involving large numbers of pupils, across all Forms, at the Carol Service, the Concert and the Summer Serenade; Dr Bell and Mrs Heaslip led groups to Malawi for work experience in February and June;Ms Adams and Mr Murphy took a team to Bangladesh to learn more about international business and to visit The Acid Survivors’ Foundation in Dhaka; Mr Reilly organised the extensive Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme with the precision of a military campaign; our Games teachers ensured that we competed at the highest level across a range of sports, winning trophies in Swimming, Bridge, Netball, Athletics and Show-jumping - not forgetting the victorious 3rd XV; Miss Mackintosh’s dedication to the ATC and to shooting was rewarded by the selection

I salute them all, and those who organise activities too numerous to mention here. I congratulate the pupils also, who have involved themselves in so much. Special mention should be made of Stuart Olding who was a member if the Ireland Under 18 rugby team which became European Champions in France in April, and of Robert Moffett, who captained the Northern Ireland Boys’ team at the UK School Games in the summer - and won a Gold medal in the Hammer event. He went on to win the Gold at the European Club Championships also. The quality and range of our work with other schools, in countries from Sweden and Spain to Malawi, resulted in the Academy receiving the prestigious International School Award in the summer. I am grateful to Mr Dorman, who was responsible for piecing together the many different elements of our application. The challenge which I face, the responsibility which is borne by the Board of Governors,is to maintain, and indeed seek to enhance, the ethos and culture of our school - what some have called “The Academy experience”. We are determined to do so, in the face of unprecedented, and draconian, financial cuts, which the Warden has alluded to. Earlier this week I arranged a meeting at which School Principals from all sectors across the province outlined the practical consequences of the budget cuts to the Chairman of the Education Committee at Stormont, Mr Mervyn Storey, and all schools in the North Belfast Learning Community have agreed to write collectively to the Minister of Education, Mr John O’Dowd, and to MLAs, to express our profound concern and to arrange a meeting at which we can put our case. We will continue to work vigorously to make politicians of all parties aware of the consequences, some of them irrevocable, of punitive school budgets. In our society, and indeed in countries across the world, there is a price to be paid for financial profligacy – but it seems unfair that it should be paid in part by a generation of school children, and unwise to curtail investment in our future. ****

As I reflect upon the year I ask myself what, then, are we seeking to preserve? What are the distinctive characteristics of our school, which give rise to such competition for places?

The Owl 2011 I believe that people share the value which we place upon a vision which includes, but extends beyond, North Belfast; an ethos which nurtures civility and mutual respect, a concern for others and an appreciation of diversity. They value good teaching, of the sort which has enabled talented pupils to achieve the top place, in the province, in Music, French, Business Studies, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, English Literature and Chemistry in the last three years: twice, in the case of French, Chemistry and Business Studies. They understand the value also of a wealth of extracurricular opportunity: our pupils find confidence, make friends, have fun and face up to the challenges which forge maturity on the concert platform, in a kayak canoe on Lough Erne, playing into the rain at Roughfort or in the cramped seat of an ATC glider 2,000 metres from the ground. Such things make us what we are. I attended a lecture recently given by The Times columnist, and former international cricketer, Ed Smith, at which he said, “We should not try to sharpen the mind by narrowing it…” At the Academy we are trying both to sharpen and to broaden the mind. Together, these two things define education. ****

Little could be achieved without the support of an exceptionally talented staff - you see evidence of their commitment and ability in all that we celebrate today. And you will find evidence also of the ability, industry, and enthusiasm of our pupils:what we achieve, we work for together, as a team. In closing, it is no conventional courtesy to express special gratitude to the most senior members of the team. I have spoken already of the contribution of Dr Campbell, and I take this opportunity to wish Dr Brown, his successor, well. Dr Scully, who is now my Deputy, and Mr Creighton, carry out their work with exemplary professionalism, energy and good judgement. The expertise of the Bursar, Miss Hull, has never been more valuable than in these testing times of financial stringency. I consider myself privileged to work with them, and with the other members of staff, Governors and pupils of Belfast Royal Academy. * At this point a DVD was shown to illustrate some of the highlights from the school year, including the following:

Academic GCSE, 10 or more A or A*:

38 pupils

AS Level, 4 A or A*:

21 pupils

Advanced Level, 3 or more A or A*:

33 pupils

GCSE: Advanced Level:

11 A* Matthew Smith Conor Brogan 5 A* Hannah Stewart 4 A* and 1A Alisha Gergett

GCSE English Literature full marks: Callum Browne Suzanne Currie Stephen Doyle Antonia Campbell Stefan Tucker Ryan Smith Bethany Queripel GCSE Art and Design full marks:

Ben O’Donnell

CCEA exhibitors:

Ben O’Donnell Maebh King

1st in Hans Sloane:

Olivia Burke

GCSE Mathematics full marks:

Tom Hanna

AS Mathematics full marks:

Alexky Gaj

GCSE French joint 1st in NI:

Luke Taylor

GCSE German full marks:

Luke Taylor Matthew Smith

GCSE Spanish full marks:

Ryan Spence Ben O’Connell Hannah McKinstry

GCSE Latin full marks:

Antonia Campbell

GCSE Music 1st in NI:

Stephen Doyle

Trinity Hall, Cambridge:

Alisha Gergett

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 47 Bronze 23 Silver 8 Gold 21st Mournes’ Clean-up

Music Ulster Youth Choir:

Jessica Massey Stephen Doyle Michael Bell

Ulster Youth Orchestra:

Mark Boyd Stephen Doyle Michael Bell


Distribution of Prizes City of Belfast Youth Orchestra: Stephen Doyle Katie O’Neill Michael Bell Rowan Vincent Stefan Tucker Ordhran McIntaggart Chamber Choir 1st in Ballymena Festival Big Band 1st in Hollywood Festival

Individual Success Irish Dancing U14 and U15 NI Champion:

Judith Keyes

South of England Hornpipe Champion: Rachel O’Neill Belfast Regional Champion:

Clodagh Corry

Canoeing Gold in Doubles:

Nikita McCoubrey Amy Kingston

Amnesty International Reporter of the Year Runner-up: Speech and Drama 1st in Kerr Trophy Carrick Festival: 68

West Belfast Story Telling 1st place:

Natasha Kelly

Jessica McVeigh Victoria Campbell Mathew Smith

Judo NI Schools’ Gold:

Kiah Reid James Reid

CCRB Visit Meet the Marines Music Therapy Community Service NI Health W5 Lecture Be Rewarded STEM Senior Prefects’ Day Annual Art Display SU weekend


Sponsored walk £11, 155 Weekly collections £10, 200 Habitat for Humanity £1, 250 Save the Children £4, 000 Breast Cancer £847

Grand Total £26, 500


Hadrian’s Wall Austria Ski Trip Paris Rugby in Ipswich Spanish Exchange RE in Rome Boys’ Hockey in Holland Girls’ Hockey in Scotland Work experience in Malawi Business Studies in Bangladesh New International School Status

Sport Netball:

Winners of Belfast league

NI U19:

Lucy Dugan

Belfast U15:

School Play Junior and Senior productions of the Blues Brothers involving over 200 pupils Snapshot of Events

Stem Robotics Music Technology Remembrance Parade Cinemagic Ben Nevis Fund Raiser Cancer Lifeline BRA’s Got Talent Bring It On Book Launch Ellen MacArthur OAM Soccer Simon Community Security Lecture Jewish Former Pupils’ Reunion

Faye Kidd

Shooting: Cadet 100:

Adam Purvis and James Duffy

Chess: Ulster Junior Champion: Bridge:

Chris Roe

Ulster and Interprovincial Champions Irish Pairs’ Champions Ulster Intermediate Pairs’ Champions

1st in Robb Cup: NI U20 Home Internationals:

Adam Purvis and John William Carey Rebekah McNair and Alisha Gergett

The Owl 2011 Show-Jumping:

Ulster Champions 5th consecutive year

MEC League winners: Catherine Moss, Beth Moss, Courtney Ferris, Amy Wilson. Balmoral Novice Champions Novice Ulster Schools’ Champions:

Ana Desmond, Jessica Johnston, Victoria Minford and Amy Wilson.

Water Polo: Ireland U16:

Shannon Alexander, Caroline Montgomery, Eorann McNeill and Fergus Carlin.

Ireland U14:

Lori Turkington and Jenna Todd

Swimming: Ulster Intermediate Girls’ Relay Champions 13 medals in NI Secondary Schools’ Championships UK School Games:

Mark Wylie

Girls’ Hockey: Belfast U18:

Anna Hutchinson

Belfast U15:

Faye Kidd and Hollie Reid

NI U18:

Emily Reid

Cricket: NCU U15:

Ross Bryans

Ireland U17 and U19:

Jordan McGlurkin

Ulster Schools’ Tour:

Daniel McFadden

Lord’s Taverners:

Matthew Robinson, Scott McMurtry, Lucy Dugan, Emma Kelso, Victoria Campbell, Hanna Allen and Christine McMahon.

1st in UK Champions and captain of NI:

Robert Moffett

Interprovincial team:

Emma Kelso and Hanna Allen

Rugby: Ulster U19:


Stuart Olding

Moyna McCullough Marjorie Gray Liz McMorran Louis Campbell

PRIZE LIST Form I Bryan, Lucy A E McMahon, Emily A Cochrane, Aimee C McMahon-Beattie, James A Cousins, Mary O McVeigh, Jessica L Crawford, Amy H Millard, Jack E Dawson, Chloe A Miller, Kirsty Dougan, Courtney N Murray, Jamie E J Edgar, Hannah E M Newton, Naomi J Gallagher, Kurtis J Patton, Morgan L Getty, Erin M P E Reid, Kiah R T Hamill, Emily C Roe, Jason F Kelly, Natasha Stewart, Casey J Loboda, Zuzanna A Stewart, Victoria McCarthy, Nathan Wallace, Abby M McDermott, Cherie C Ware, Richard J L McDowell, Katie J Young, Jamie F

HONOURABLE MENTION Allen, Daniel S King, Aimee Bassett, Jayne E Lockhart, Neave S Beavis, Bethany A E McCartney, Cameron L Broughton, Maria McConnell, Christopher R Campbell, James C McDermott, Lori C Convery, Hannah E Szulgan, Seweryn D Hanna, Jay Rea, Stephen Kennedy, August E Waite, Megan A

Form II Atkinson, Rachel E Hipolito, Micah D Auterson, Luke Hoey, Ben S Brewster, Harry J Joffroy, Mimi C A Calderwood, Michael Martin, Niamh C Carroll, Niamh H R McCalmont, Hollie T Chisim, Cameron E G McCaughey, Conor D Corry, Ryan D McClenaghan, Taylor L Dalzell, Callum T McCombe, Taylor A Desmond, Ana J McGovern, Erica R Fleming, Jason S O’Donnell, Rachael M Gergett, Cameron B Rowan, Phillip N K Gray, Niall O H Rolston, Lauren E Gribbon, Emer Shaw, Chloe Haddock, Mollie Torrens, Hannah L Harbinson, Rebecca J

Andrew Forbes

Athletics: Ulster Gold:

Ulster and Ireland U18 and European Champion:

3rd XV Plate Winners Ryan Clarke


Distribution of Prizes

HONOURABLE MENTION Briggs, Rebecca Majury, Amy R Cambpell, David S T Martin, Kayleigh Geddis, Megan S McKenna, Kieran P Gill, Jack J Millar, Samuel T Gordon, Martha J C O’Donnell, Amy J Harper, Courtney Y Shields, Kristin A Johnston, Clare Thompson, Hannah L Lavery, Kurtis R Venables, Jack Magill, Abigail H Venus, Shannon

DEPARTMENTAL PRIZES Form III Spanish Art and Design, English, Religious Studies Burke, Sorcha M Geography Burns, Rebecca Business Studies Burns, Jessica I Music Cao, Angela Y History, Mathematics, Physics, Technology and Design, Art and Design, Chemistry, Biology Campbell, Victoria R Biology, French, German, Latin, Music, Physics Chung, Ling S W Technology and Design Coates, Jenny E Drama Diamond, Helen R Spanish Madden, Rowan E English Maguire, Florence J Music McConnell, Ruth E Geography, Religious Studies, French, Spanish McKinney, Rachael G Home Economics McKinstry, Rebecca J Chemistry, English, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Technology and Design, Physics McMahon, Sarah A Art and Design, Biology, French, History Millar, Rachel A Spanish Miller, Rachel N General Excellence Mohammad, Shahrukh Latin Mullan, Adam W Chemistry Sloan, Georgia M Art and Design, Drama Speers, David C German Tarr, Curtis Business Studies Thabeth, Sara D Drama Vick, Oliver R Biology, Business Studies, History, Mathematics, Physics, Technology and Design Benson, Lauren Brogan, Ruairi


HONOURABLE MENTION Form III Brogan, Ruairi History, Physics, Biology Burke, Sorcha M Spanish Cao, Angela Y Art, Business Studies, Religious Studies Campbell, Victoria R Geography, Chemistry Clarke, Louise E German Clements, Pierce B Notable Progress Crooks, Holly A Notable Progress Davison, James E L Notable Progress Diamond, Helen R Biology, English, Geography Elmore, Bronagh C Drama Farrington, Laura S Spanish, Art and Design Fullerton, Hannah Notable Progress Johnston, Ben M Religious Studies, Spanish Haddock, Victoria Heaney, Kyla J Hurson, Rachel A Kirker, Rachael S Linden, Ruairi G Magee, Chloe L Maguire, Florence J McConnell, Ruth E

Music Drama Spanish Art and Design Notable Progress Drama French, German English, Latin, Mathematics, Music McDonald, Nathan C History McGuckin, Sarah G English McKinstry, Rebecca J Biology McMahon, Sarah A Geography, Latin, Mathematics, Technology and Design, Geography McMurtry, Scott T Spanish Millar, Rachel A Latin, Physics, Technology and Design Miller, Rachel N Business Studies, Music, Religious Studies Mills, Emma L Home Economics Mohammad, Shahrukh Biology, French Montgomery, Clara E Notable Progress Noble, Victoria C German O’Donnell-Anderson, David A Art and Design Orr, Sophie D Business Studies Porter, Sophie R Chemistry Sloan, Georgia M Art Speers, David C History, Mathematics Vick, Oliver R Geography, Religious Studies, Art and Design, Chemistry

The Owl 2011 Form IV Auterson, Kyle D Music, Mathematics, Physics, Technology and Design, Biology Baillie, Leah R English Language, English Literature, Biology Blythe, Rachel A German Browne, Calvin A Art and Design, Economics Caldwell, Hannah E Religious Studies Crooks, Bethany A German Foster, Sophie A Home Economics Gray, Emma H Geography Jeffrey, Chloe R English Language Kavanagh, Alice M Chemistry, Mathematics, Business Studies, Biology Kidd, Faye G Drama, History Killen, Caitlin C Economics Li, Bonnie Z Mathematics MacDougall, Elizabeth A Drama, Double Award Science Martin, Patricia S Chemistry, German, Physics McCullough, Erin D J Music McGovern, Alexandra C French, Spanish McGuigan, Naomh J Business Studies McKenna, Daniel T H Music Minford, Sarah A French Noble, Charlotte L Religious Studies O’Neill, Eorann Business Studies Ogilby, Alastair P Latin Ramiah, Tristyn L Technology and Design Reid, Holly D English Literature, French, Geography, Spanish Robinson, Hannah J Religious Studies Robinson, Harry B Double Award Science Rowan, Rebecca A Technology and Design Semple, Emily R Art and Design Sinclair, Elizabeth D Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, Physics, Spanish, Biology Stewart, Maeve B Latin Tinsley, Dylan J Double Award Science Todd, Jenna Art and Design Whitcroft, Carrie Latin Wilson, Amy C History Young, Laura M History, Double Award Science

HONOURABLE MENTION Form IV Anderson-Flaherty, Jade A Art and Design Armstrong, Jack C English Literature Baillie, Leah R Chemistry, Geography Browne, Calvin A Physics Clarke, Amy L Business Studies Clements, Holly D History Cole, Natalie H Technology and Design Corry, Clodagh Drama Crooks, Bethany A Biology Daniels, Sophie Art and Design Farren, Kirsti L Art and Design Fisher, Emma Art and Design Foy, Ashleigh P English Literature Hamilton, Ryan J Technology and Design Hughes, Claire M S Physics Jeffrey, Chloe R Geography Johnston, Jack C Technology and Design Kavanagh, Alice M French, Geography, Physics Linden, Katy Spanish MacDougall, Elizabeth A Music, History Marsh, Elisabeth H R German Martin, Patricia S English Language, French McAtamney, Aoife L Biology McBride, Hannah B K Music McConnell, Tori M Home Economics McDaid, Fionnuala C English Literature, Religious Studies McKenna, Daniel T H German, History, Double Award Science Minford, Sarah A Spanish Noble, Charlotte L French, Spanish Ogilby, Alastair P Double Award Science Ramm, Georgia E Drama Reid, Holly D Chemistry Robinson, Hannah J Biology, Mathematics Robinson, Harry B English Language, German Semple, Emily R English Literature Sinclair, Elizabeth D Religious Studies Stewart, Maeve B English Language Todd, Jenna Business Studies Turnbull, Christopher G Mathematics Wallace, Ryan P Chemistry Ware, Rosalind V Mathematics Young, Laura M Business Studies


Distribution of Prizes


Form V Allen, Rachael B Technology and Design Anderson, George J German Bailie, Steven R J Technology and Design Baird, Melissa General Excellence Banas, Chiara F General Excellence Barnes, Adam S Drama Bell, Michael A Double Award Science Benson, Niamh Biology, Geography, Physics Bowman, Sarah I Business Studies Brice, Adam P General Excellence Brogan, Connor J Geography Brown, Bethany General Excellence Browne, Callum English Literature, German, History Browne, Oliver General Excellence Campbell, Antonia A English Literature, Latin, Double Award Science, Religious Studies Carlisle, Jordan S General Excellence Clements, Shannon J Technology and Design Currie, Suzanne English Literature Curtis, Andrew D D General Excellence Dadulla, Gillene General Excellence Dass, Daniel R Mathematics Devlin, Ben P General Excellence Donnelly, James R General Excellence Donnelly, Matthew H Religious Studies Doyle, Stephen English Literature, Music, English Language, Drama Dunlop, Jayne M General Excellence Dwyer, Jamie R A General Excellence Elmore, Rachael L Business Studies English, Sophie C O General Excellence Ford, Elaine General Excellence Green, Emma E Business Studies Hamill, Ryan P Technology and Design, Religious Studies Hamilton, Lynsay L General Excellence Hanna, Charis E Art and Design Hanna, Thomas J Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology Harley-Moyes, Seana M Geography Irwin, Kristian S General Excellence King, Maebh J Art and Design Leyden, Anna J Music Martin, Sarah A General Excellence McAlister, Mannix F General Excellence McAllister, Neil T General Excellence McCambridge, Scott R B General Excellence McCrea, Rebecca C S Economics McConnell, Benjamin S Spanish McFadden, Daniel M Economics

McKinstry, Hannah E McLarnon, Katy Miller, Kate E Mellor, Amy R Mooney, Ellen Moore, Jamie K O’Donnell, Ben J O’Reilly, Zoe C Queripel, Bethany A Rainey, Jonathan A Rainey, Kelly-Anne Rodgers, Paul W Shaw, Jordan W A Shirazi, Parisa C Simpson, Matthew E Smith, Matthew S Spence, Ryan W Taylor, Luke K Tucker, Stefan K Wylie, J Mark

Chemistry, French, Spanish Drama General Excellence General Excellence Chemistry, Biology Economics Art and Design General Excellence English Language, English Literature Geography General Excellence Business Studies, Mathematics General Excellence Latin, History Biology Chemistry, Physics, History, English Language, English Literature, French, German, Religious Studies English Literature, French, Spanish, Double Award Science French, German Music, English Literature General Excellence

HONOURABLE MENTION Form V Banas, Chiara F French Bell, Michael A Music Benson, Niamh Chemistry, History Brogan, Connor J Chemistry, Biology, English Language Brown, Bethany Double Award Science, Music Browne, Callum Latin Campbell, Antonia A English Language Clements, Shannon J History Currie, Suzanne Art and Design Curtis, Andrew D D Mathematics, Religious Studies, Physics Dass, Daniel R Physics Davies, Neena J Home Economics Doyle, Stephen Chemistry, French Dunlop, Jayne M English Language Dwyer, Jamie R A Technology and Design Elmore, Rachel L Drama Gilfillan, Gareth J G Technology and Design Grant, Holly Home Economics Hamill, Ryan P Art and Design

The Owl 2011

Hanna, Thomas J Harley-Moyes, Seana M Hughes, Peter W Leyden, Anna J Martin, Sarah A McCambridge, Anna-Rose McCambridge, Scott R B McConnell, Benjamin S McCrea, Rebecca, C S McFadden, Daniel M McKinstry, Hannah E Mellor, Amy R Moore, Jamie K Queripel, Bethany A Rainey, Jonathan A Rainey, Kelly-Anne Shirazi, Parisa C Simpson, Matthew E Smith, Matthew S Spence, Ryan W Sproule, Sarah V A Taggart, Emily J Tucker, Stefan K Wilkinson, Rebecca C

Geography Business Studies Business Studies German German Art and Design Mathematics Double Award Science, Music, French Economics Spanish, Economics Physics, Biology Chemistry, Geography, Spanish Economics Religious Studies Economics Double Award Science, Spanish Religious Studies History Biology, Mathematics Latin Home Economics Geography French, German Business Studies

Form LVI Abbott, Rachael General Excellence Armstrong, Maeve C History Auterson, Joel R W General Excellence Barnett, Landon A French Bingham, Judith E French Bryce, Katie L Drama Campbell, Jazmin M J Classical Civilisation, Spanish Carey, John-William J Religious Studies, History, Economics Cheung, Matthew M Chemistry Collins, Rebecca Art and Design Dalmeny, Lianna M General Excellence Diamond, Julia C Chemistry, Geography Dugan, Lucy French, Spanish Farouki, A Ridwan Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Technology and Design Fenton, Chloe G English Language Forbes, Deborah L Biology, Business Studies Fulton, Neil R General Excellence Fusco, Kathryn J General Excellence Gaj, Aleksy M Mathematics Guiney, Jennifer English Literature Holland, Pete A Art and Design

Jackson, Nicola M General Excellence Johnston, Anna General Excellence Keenan, Orla C Sociology Kenny, Grace E English Language, English Literature, Sociology Keers, Stephanie Keyboard Skills Laverty, Katie S Business Studies Magill, Matthew E Religious Studies Marica, Ciaran G Economics Marsh, Thomas M J Geography Massey, Jessica A English Language McBride, John R General Excellence McClements, Andrew B General Excellence McClurkin, Jordan R J Government and Politics McCusker, Caoimhe M G Chemistry, Biology McIlroy, Niall D Music McLeod, Kerry B Physical Education McShane, Anna E General Excellence Mitchell, Gemma M English Literature Murray, Christabel V J Drama Norton, Aimee I.C.T. O’Donnell-Anderson, Lauren F General Excellence O’Neill, Katie R Geography Orchin, Georgia M Religious Studies Orr, Jonathan G Business Studies Patterson, David A Technology and Design Phillips, Amy Art and Design Prenter, Grace L Art and Design Purvis, T Adam Physics, Biology Rea, Leah R History Reid, Emily F General Excellence Sefton, Victoria J I General Excellence Shaw, Andrea J F Physics Stark, Daniel J P Chemistry, Physics, French, Mathematics Sullivan, Hannah C Biology Taylor, A Duncan M Government and Politics Thompson, Alexandra L Technology and Design Thorburn, Jordan T Classical Civilisation Tohill, Lauren Sociology Wilson, Olivia L General Excellence Wong, Yee-Wan English Literature

HONOURABLE MENTION Form LVI Abbott, Rachael Chemistry, Physics Alexander, Shannon R Physical Education Armstrong, Maeve C English Literature Barnett, Landon A Physics Boswell, Bernadette C I.C.T. Boyd, Scott A J Technology and Design Cahill, Naomi J Art and Design Campbell, Jazmin M French, History Carey, John-William J English Literature


Distribution of Prizes


Cheung, Matthew M Mathematics, Physics, Technology & Design Dalmeny, Lianna M Biology Diamond, Julia C Biology Faloona, Niamh L Government and Politics Fulton, Neil R German, History Fusco, Kathryn J Spanish, Sociology Gaj, Aleksy M Business Studies, Sociology, Economics Gilmore, Robyn A Art and Design Jackson, Nicola M Mathematics Laverty, Katie S English Language Magill, Matthew E Government and Politics Martin, Sarah R English Language Massey, Jessica A History McBride, John R Business Studies McClements, Andrew B Economics McClurkin, Jordan R J Geography McEwan, Naomi J Art and Design McKay, Lauren A Spanish McMurray, Rachel L Business Studies McShane, Anna E French McVeigh, Christopher D I.C.T. Meneely, Courtney S Drama Mitchell, Gemma M French O’Connor, Hannah R Classical Civilisation O’Donnell-Anderson, Lauren F Spanish O’Neill, Breandan E Geography Orchin, Georgia M Drama Patterson, David A Physics Purvis, T Adam Chemistry, Mathematics Rea, Leah R English Literature Sefton, Victoria J I Drama, English Literature, Religious Studies Shaw, Andrea J F Biology Sullivan, Hannah C Geography Thompson, Alexandra L Physics Thompson, Cara Religious Studies Thompson, Jordan J English Language Wilson, Olivia l Latin, Classical Civilisation Form MVI Agbogbe, Stephan German Anderson, Rebecca E Geography Beck, Helen A General Excellence Bennett, Alexander P Sociology Bingham, Rebekah J General Excellence Boyd, Mark S R General Excellence Bryans, Stephen G English Literature, Government and Politics Carmichael, Melissa S General Excellence Chivers, Gary J M Technology and Design Clarke, Ryan J M General Excellence Coghlan, Tom General Excellence

Coleman, Niall P Daly, Emma Daniels, Sarah Darrah, Niall A Dawson, Holly Donnelly, Mark J English, Sasha Finlay, Jonathan D Forsythe, Andrew S Gergett, Alisha L Gorman, David Henderson, Fiona R Henderson, Nicola E Hughes, Catherine B Hutchinson, Connor M W Kwon, Hyejin Leonard, Genevieve C Lyttle, Rebecca Magee, Ryan Martin, David G Martin, Rhianna L McColgan, Emily A McCombe, Kristopher D McCord, Heather E McCrea, Laura J McCullough, Gillian J McCullough, Peter R McDonald, Jordan A McGrath, Charlotte R McIntaggart, Odhran L McKenna, Marie-Claire McKibbin, Sean D C McLoughlin, Rigby McMahon, Christine B McMahon, Odhran S P Montgomery, Adam Moss, Catherine R Nangle, Eve A E Preston, Gemma L Robinson, Catherine A Rooney, Amy Scullin, Zoe N Shiels, Jenna C Smyth, Andrew E T Stewart, Hannah R Stewart, Margaret S J Syatwinda, Namubo C Trainor, Stephen Vincent, Rowan L West, Andrew H

General Excellence English Literature English Language General Excellence Business Studies General Excellence French, Spanish Drama, History Music, French, Religious Studies Mathematics, Physics, Biology Physics, Chemistry, Biology Economics General Excellence Geography General Excellence Art and Design Classical Civilisation English Language, English Literature History Economics English Language Religious Studies General Excellence Spanish General Excellence Art and Design General Excellence General Excellence Religious Studies Music, Technology and Design General Excellence General Excellence General Excellence Physical Education History Art and Design General Excellence Business Studies Geography Chemistry, Spanish Sociology Business Studies English Literature Art and Design Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology General Excellence Keyboard Skills General Excellence Music Mathematics

The Owl 2011

HONOURABLE MENTION Form MVI Anderson, Rebecca E French Beck, Helen A Music, Religious Studies Boyd, Mark S R Art and Design Bryans, Stephen G History Campbell, Lyndsay Drama Clarke, Ryan J M Business Studies, Physical Education Coghlan, Tom Chemistry, Mathematics Coleman, Niall P English Literature, History Daniels, Sarah French Darrah, Niall A Biology Dawson, Holly English Language, French Donnelly, Mark J Art and Design, Government and Politics Fullerton, Ruth M A French Gergett, Alisha L Chemistry Gibson, Simon A Technology and Design Harvey, Rachel Geography Hannigan, Lauren J Sociology Hawthorne, Peter J Government and Politics Henderson, Nicola E Religious Studies Herron, Laura S Music Hutchinson, Connor M W Business Studies, Geography Laverty, Keith G I.C.T. Leonard, Genevieve C English Literature, Music Long, Portia A Home Economics McCrea, Laura J English Language, Art and Design McDonald, Jordan A I.C.T., English Language, Physical Education McKibbin, Sean D C Drama, English Literature McMahon, Christine B Biology, Chemistry McMahon, Odhran S P Sociology McNab, Natalie C Sociology Montgomery, Nathan Physics Mooney, Jack Geography Philpott, Dean Mathematics Preston, Gemma L Business Studies Robinson, Andrew T Spanish Robinson, Catherine A Biology Rogers, David J Spanish Rooney, Amy Religious Studies Shiels, Jenna C Drama Stewart, Margaret S J English Literature, Spanish, History Trainor, Stephen Physics, Mathematics Welsh, Emma-Jayne Religious Studies West, Andrew H Physics

SPECIAL PRIZES SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON PRIZE (English Literature) Rebecca Lyttle FREDERICK WHITE MEMORIAL PRIZE (G.C.S.E.) Matthew S Smith Connor J Brogan HAROLD RAINEY MEMORIAL PRIZE (English) Stephen Doyle J. J. KANE MEMORIAL PRIZE (For contributions to ‘The Owl’) Courtney Y Harper Ryan W Spence T. R. COLLIER PRIZE (Mathematics)

Hannah R Stewart

THE J. W. & EVELYN DARBYSHIRE AWARD (Geography) Gemma L Preston J. C. PICKEN MEMORIAL PRIZE (Art and Design) Andrew E T Smyth ANTHONY TAYLOR MEMORIAL PRIZE (History) Jonathan D Finlay J. N. SHEARMAN MEMORIAL PRIZE (Classics) Genevieve C Leonard R.H. HARTE MEMORIAL PRIZE (Greek) Genevieve C Leonard G. B. TAYLOR MEMORIAL PRIZE (Mathematics) Andrew H West TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN AWARD (for the top marks in GCSE Steven R J Bailie Technology and Design) R. J. BRYCE MEMORIAL PRIZE (Irish Studies) Niall D McIlroy THE W. L. CLEMENTS MEMORIAL PRIZE (Music) Genevieve C Leonard Laura S Herron R. M. FANNIN MEMORIAL PRIZE (Music) Gerard A Klein Emma L Silo McCORMICK PRIZE (English) ALLISON HERON PRIZE (Biology)

Ruairi Brogan Hannah R Stewart


Distribution of Prizes AMY DICKSON TROPHY & PRIZE (Art) Ben J O’Donnell



SIR DONALD CURRIE SCHOLARSHIPS Form I Natasha Kelly Form II Micah D Hipolito Form III Rebecca J McKinstry Form IV Alice M Kavanagh Form V Matthew S Smith

Kim E Stewart

TROPHY FOR EXCELLENCE Emily A McColgan IN THE PERFORMING ARTS (Presented by the Old Girls’ Association) McCAUGHEY PRIZE (Science)

Hannah R Stewart


Hannah R Stewart

R. S. J. H. MAGOWAN PRIZE (GCSE Geography) WALTER TATE PRIZES Economics Government and Politics Physics Chemistry Religious Studies Sociology

Niamh Benson Fiona R Henderson Stephen G Bryans Hannah R Stewart David Gorman Andrew S Forsythe Alexander P Bennett



Sarah V A Sproule


Mark S R Boyd


Helen A Beck

CLYDE PRIZE (GCSE Religious Studies)

Matthew S Smith

McCLAY PRIZE (Business Studies)

Zoe N Scullin


Niamh Benson

KNOX PRIZE Christine B McMahon (Advanced Level Physical Education) HAROLD HUTCHINSON PRIZE (Religious Studies) John-William J Carey THE ANNE CAMPBELL HOME ECONOMICS CUP (Home Economics) OWL TROPHY (Presented by W. H. & J. Gray)

Portia A Long

Adam Montgomery


The Owl 2011

School Societies AIR TRAINING CORPS Recruiting was quite good in 2010 – 2011 and we ended the year with 26 cadets on strength. FS Glenn Weir will soon be leaving to join the staff of 664 Venture Gliding School at Newtownards. During 2011, he achieved silver Gliding Wings. We had our usual flying slots at RAF Woodvale, near Liverpool, where the cadets get an opportunity to experience powered flight. However, the weather badly affected one of the opportunities. Cadets also attended our gliding slots at 664 VGS at Newtownards. There were three exam sessions during the year, which allow cadets to progress through the syllabus. Adam Purvis has completed all the exams and is now a Master Cadet. He is hoping to use this and further training to gain a BTec in Public Service later in the year. The Act of Remembrance in November was again led by the ATC and very ably organised by Mr Billy Thompson. His friendly buglers sounded ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ and cadets read out the list of those past pupils who fell in both Wars. Since 2011 was the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the first cadet force, we invited any pupils who were members of any other cadet service to attend. In the spring, Mr Thompson introduced the junior cadets to fieldcraft, in Ben Madigan grounds, while the seniors were on Study Leave. We finished the year with an outing to Predator Combat Games, where the cadets played a modern version of ‘cowboys and Indians’ in a strictly controlled environment. Daniel Hay attended camp at RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria. A number of cadets also took part in the Open nights and the information session for P6 pupils. H.R.M.


School Societies

MY FIRST TIME UP IN A GLIDER WITH THE A.T.C. I was really excited about going flying with the ATC for the first time, but also rather nervous. The first thing that happened was a check that I was strong enough to pull the parachute release. Then they showed us the safety video, twice, and tested us to see if we knew all the necessary safety precautions and inflight behaviour. After that they called us out one by one to the plane. I was near the end of the list so it felt like a long time to wait, but luckily they had Father Ted on a small television to pass the time. Finally, after a long wait, my name was called and I got kitted up for the flight. The moment I had been waiting for had arrived. The pilot showed me all the controls and gauges before taking off. The glider we were in went at about 60-70 knots which is about 100 mph.


Once in the air the pilot took me up to between 3,0005,000ft. It was a brilliant feeling. Then the pilot gave me the signal to take control of the plane. Once I had grabbed hold of the joystick it felt like I could fly. It was such an adrenaline rush! I was instructed to take the plane up and then sharply down again. When I pulled up at the bottom of the dive I could feel the G-force pushing me down into the seat. I had about ten minutes being in control of the glider before he took the joystick back and landed us. I was really happy – it had been a fantastic experience and I can’t wait for my next flying opportunity. Despite the nerves at the beginning, it was a great experience and I would strongly recommend anybody who wants a new challenge to consider joining the ATC. Benjamin Irvine (III)

SHOOTING The squadron shared several range days at Aldergrove with 814 (Portadown College) Squadron. Training and shooting took place with the No. 8 .22 rifle and the Cadet GP. We were again assisted by SMI Colin Robinson of Royal School Armagh CCF. 2390 Squadron is still the only one in N. Ireland Wing to do Target Rifle Shooting, in sessions separate from normal squadron training. For .22 target rifle, we had to move to the ACF range at Carryduff, which is more difficult to get to on Friday afternoons and fewer were able to go to each session. However, we managed to complete the normal winter programme. Teams and individuals were entered for competitions at Local, Regional and National level. Adam Purvis and James Duffy were selected for the N. Ireland Junior Small-bore Team in the National League. Adam Purvis also won the Individual in the Scotland & N. Ireland Regional League. They were also part of the ATC team of 40 who fired in the Inter-Service Small-bore match against the ACF and the SCC. Our Full-bore team had fewer range practices than ever before, partly due to lack of range space and partly due to practice sessions clashing with other school activities. We had to do the Qualifier at Ballykinler in a two-hour session on a Tuesday evening in late May when a regular army unit had the ranges booked for an evening session. We were assisted by Royal School Armagh CCF who lent us butt markers and Holly McCullough’s father who did butt officer to make sure we got through the shoots in time. It was worth it as we qualified to go to Bisley. At Bisley Adam Purvis and James Duffy got into the Cadet Hundred and Adam fired in the InterService Team against the other Cadet Services. Adam Purvis stayed on at Bisley to take part in the National Rifle Association Annual Championships which take place after the cadet Meetings. He had a very successful meeting, coming 185th out of nearly 900 competitors and putting him into Class A for next year. This was just a few places below past pupil Ross McQuillan who was one of the NI Team at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October. He was selected to attend the Athelings Pre-selection Course in September and was selected to go to Canada with the Athelings in August 2012. Recent past pupil Holly McCullough was selected for a development place in the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Games in September. She has also been selected as a member of the GB Team to go to Canada in 2012. H.R.M.

The Owl 2011


Then, in what many would consider the highlight of the Bridge year we travelled to Galway for the All Ireland Team Championships. This year was one of the most intense as Champions BRA2, Alan Warnock, Ridwan Farouki, Adam Purvis and John William Carey, battled with arch rivals Bangor for the top prize down to the final game. In the end we tasted bitter defeat as Bangor won by a few points. Overall however, it was a positive competition with BRA taking 3rd, 6th, 7th and 11th. In the Inter Provincials BRA2 took their revenge beating Bangor into second place. BRA also claimed 4th and 5th places.

Once again the Bridge Club had a very prosperous and satisfying year. While we were sad to wave goodbye to some very talented Middle VI colleagues and friends we were also delighted to welcome in many new members, particularly from first year. It will be a pleasure to watch them hone their bridge skills. Also significant was the return of our very own intrepid frontiersman Mr Graham, who spent a year teaching in San Francisco. His patience and coaching have, as always, proved invaluable. After the Glenys Kay Memorial Rose Bowl was held within school the first competition was the Irish Pairs, held in Limerick. After some disappointing results there the year before it was excellent seeing Rebekah McNair and Melissa Antonio take first place. BRA also took 3rd, 4th and 5th places in what was an extremely positive start to the season. The year continued with Alisha Gergett and Rebekah McNair taking 2nd in the Senior Ulster Pairs. In the Intermediate section Melissa Antonio and Rebecca Rowan took 1st and Aoife McAtamney and Hannah McBride took 2nd. In the Novice section Bradley Barnes and Philip Rowan took 2nd and Owen Kinnear and Ryan Lightowler took 3rd. As a result of this Alisha and Rebekah were chosen to represent Northern Ireland at Under 20s level and play in the Peggy Bayer Competition against Wales, Scotland, England and The Republic of Ireland. There was also success in the Ulster teams with 1st going to Alan Warnock, Ridwan Farouki, Niall McIlroy and Luke Taylor. In the Intermediate section 3rd went to Daniel Hickland, Lucy Kinnear, Pooja Sridhar and Victoria Frame and in the novice section 2nd went to Andrew Milligan, Cameron McGaughey, James Walker and Roma Mulholland.

Our BRA2 team was also involved in an Intermediate NIBU league outside school in which they came second. Adam Purvis and John William Carey won the Robb Cup, with Ridwan and Alan in 3rd, in another NIBU competition outside school. Both of these competitions were against adults and were terrific opportunities to build up experience and get advice. And so ended another excellent year, I must sincerely thank Mr Graham and Dr Lomas for their coaching and express our gratitude to Mr Harte who came to Galway at short notice and without whom the trip would not have been possible. The success the Bridge Club enjoys year on year is no doubt down to the work and dedication of these teachers and we are deeply indebted to them. John William Carey (MVI) Bridge Secretary 79

CHESS Chess club added an extra lunchtime meeting three days a week. Throughout the year there were several friendlies against other schools including two tournaments hosted by BRA. The Senior Team performed well in these competitions and will be participating in the League next year. A Form I team played in the Ulster Form I League with great success: they were unbeaten during the year. To further distinguish themselves they often went on to triumph over members of opposing schools’ Senior teams in unofficial matches afterwards. In solo competitions, BRA players continued to make a significant impact. Jason Roe, Niall Armstrong, Chris Roe and Aryan Norton all participated successfully in chess competitions at Methodist College. Later in the year, Chris Roe had the impressive distinction of being named Ulster Junior Chess Champion. There was also success for Jason Roe who was named runner up. S.C.S. / R.J.

School Societies both each year). We did enter a British Council Mock European Parliament Conference at Stormont, where Adam Barnes, Callum Browne and Emma Quinn most ably represented school as Spain. However, this school year (2011/2012) we have a most enthusiastic Committee of Form V, Lower VI and Middle VI pupils and are looking forward to interesting speakers coming to school and projects being offered to our pupils who might have an interest in participating in them. B.L.

THE CLASSICS SOCIETY During the year the Classics Society met on the third Thursday of each month at lunchtime in J13. Most meetings were attended by a relatively small but committed bunch of enthusiastic pupils who showed a high level of enthusiasm in the Greek and Roman civilisations. Among their favourite topics were the adventures of four children, as featured in The Roman Mysteries series. Some pupils have also expressed a keen interest in entering The Golden Sponge Stick Competition, a Roman short story/mystery writing contest, launched by The Burgess Hill School for Girls; we wish these pupils well in this endeavour. Everyone is welcome to come along to the meetings of the society – it is not necessary for you to be studying Classics to attend. Of course, it helps if you have an interest in the ancient world and its civilisations or if you have visited some ancient remains, such as Hadrian’s Wall. If you do come next term you will, like Julius Caesar, leave with these words on your lips: “Veni, vidi, vici!” E.M.T.


CIVITAS Civitas is a pupil-led Senior school group, supervised by Dr. Lomas that acts as a facilitator for many community and socially responsible organisations who come to school to explain what they do and who invite pupils to join them in various activities, ranging from long term commitment (a school year) to one-off events in which pupils could participate. However, as a pupilled body, it is highly dependent on motivated pupils who will form a Committee and get things moving. No Committee was set up in 2010/2011 and so we missed out on some opportunities that might otherwise have been available to interested pupils. We did not have a spokesperson from either Youth in Government or the Spirit of Enniskillen Bursary and so had no-one participating in either scheme (which is unusual as we have always had at least two pupils involved in

SENIOR DEBATING SOCIETY This year Lower VI took the lead in providing pupils for our well-attended lunchtime debates, with speeches prompting a good level of questioning and points from the house. The motions for debate tended towards the controversial and weighty rather than light-hearted and included the Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom, the right to privacy of celebrities, the desirability or otherwise of jobs in the United Kingdom being held by foreigners, and the desirability of sending money rather than school pupils to poor countries. At inter-school level, our team of Leah Rea and Vicky Sefton, who lacked experience but showed great promise, was defeated by a more experienced team from Armagh Royal School. M.P. / H.T.

The Owl 2011



September saw the start of another year of the Young Einstein Club. There was a great turn-out by the Form I and II pupils eager to mess up the Physics and Chemistry Labs with Slime and Bath Bombs.

This past year has been one of the best in BRA’s Model UN history, attending conferences in Scotland and Ireland, winning prizes, but overall – having fun. We are very sad to see Rebecca Anderson and Louise Campbell, our two most senior committee members, leave this current year, and we hope that they bring their debating enthusiasm to both Paris and Dundee.

There was a wide variety of fun experiments taking place on Wednesday lunchtimes throughout the year, from a Science Table Quiz to Tricks with Air to making Grass Heads. Young Einstein was a way for some of the junior pupils to get to know some of the seniors in school and their teachers, in a relaxed and fun environment. We would like to say thank you to Mrs Bell, Mrs Cleland and Mrs Henry who organised and dedicated their lunchtime to the club. Also to the enthusiastic Form I and II pupils who regularly attended. We look forward to the return of our present Form I next year and the new Form I who will join our school. On behalf of the whole committee for this year, I would like to wish next year’s committee all the best and hope they “enjoy” getting covered in slime and grass seed as much as we did. Erin Davison (LVI)

THE GUITAR CLUB Currently, the guitar club meets on Tuesdays in T1 and T2. To be a member you need only to come along with your guitar and play. There is no membership fee, and all abilities and styles are welcomed. As usual, the membership ranges from total beginners to reasonably adept players. Some use the facilities to rehearse pieces for their band. Our school computer network allows pupils to source song chords, tablature and music. Listening to and watching other players is invariably a great motivational force. So if you haven’t yet tried it why not give it a go?

The picture shows Naomi Newton playing her guitar. She normally plays and sings. R.C.

The highlight of the MUN society’s year was most definitely our trip to Edinburgh, where we attended a three-day conference in George Watson’s College. Aside from Louise over packing her hand luggage with 12 pairs of heels, everything ran extremely smoothly – and we actually were early for the plane this year! Delegates attended from all over the world - from Iran to Lisburn – which added to the well known “multi-cultural” feel the UN is renowned for. Our delegation of ten pupils represented “Lebanon”, which led each of us to many interesting debates in our separate specialist committees ranging from the issue of genetically modified food to if Kate Bush could conquer climate change! All-inall, Callum Brown and Adam Barnes both took away a highly commended delegate award and plenty of chocolate from Edinburgh’s best confectioners! The other conference we were available to attend was held in Wesley College Dublin. Despite a 6am departure time from school, we managed to consume enough caffeine to fuel a raging and fantastically organised debate, this time representing “India”. This conference allowed our junior delegates: Jessica Dowey, Erin Campbell, Alizeh Ali and Kathleen Reilly to flourish. Jessica Dowey managed to win Best Junior delegate in the environmental committee, as well as several senior members taking away a commended title. Unfortunately no other conferences operated within range of us. However, our Thursday lunchtime society was run weekly by our senior committee members, where delegates ate lunch, chatted and learnt about the United Nations. This education over the year, led to our own internal junior conference within school in the last week of the summer term. Conducted entirely by our senior members, we had thirteen delegations of first to third year pupils debating in committees – and our Chairs were blown away by the quality of speaking from these junior pupils! The delegates also received an emergency debate (after our Chairs received phone calls from Ban Ki Moon!), as well as debating in a general assembly, before the final prize giving and closing ceremony. With the new opportunity of conferences in London and Sweden in the coming terms, we hope that our newly elected committee for this year will develop a well-


School Societies organised and fun society as last year’s. As always, we would love to thank Dr B Lomas and Dr C Adair for being so passionate about our society and to take the time and effort to supervise and organise our delegates! B.L.

SENIOR SCIENCE SOCIETY The Senior Science Society enjoyed a diverse range of talks given by talented speakers throughout the year. The talks were very well attended by senior pupils and were enjoyed thoroughly by all. The questions posed by pupils at the conclusion of each talk were insightful and probing. In September Dr S. Springer tackled the difficult task of explaining what physicists think light actually is in his talk entitled ‘Quantum Mechanics- What is Light?’ The talk was pitched at exactly the right level and even the staff present saw the light! Prof. M Baillie (QUB) gave an insight into the applications of dendrochronology and linked events in the distant past with tree ring growth patterns. His talk was entitled ‘Tree rings: an opportunity to peer into the past at annual resolution.’ Dr G Brennan (QUB), a renowned electron microscopist spoke to an audience comprised mainly of Lower VI. His talk ‘A journey through the cell – an introduction to light and electron microscopy’, gave valuable consolidation for


the AS Biology Module 1 topic on microscopy. Dr K Farnsworth (QUB) explained the global significance of Biodiversity and how it can be measured and monitored in his talk ‘What is Biodiversity and why should we care?’ This talk was again well attended by Lower VI biologists. Prof. M Larkin (QUB) looked at the other end of the biological spectrum in his talk on ‘The Mighty Microbe: The Earth, Disease and Our Friends.’ Stephen Trainor, Niall Ahern and Alisha Gergett (MVI) delivered the final talk of the year on ‘After Landfill – what next?’ These pupils were members of the successful team that competed in a competition called ‘Project ReDesign’ organised by the Dame Ellen Macarthur foundation in March. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the subject was clear to see and much to their credit. The organising committee would like to thank all the speakers for their time which was given freely and for raising the profile of their areas of expertise in an entertaining and informative way. T.B.

JUNIOR SCRIPTURE UNION Junior Scripture Union meets on Wednesday lunchtimes at 1.15pm in LL11. There is always a great turnout every Wednesday, and this year was no exception. During 2010/2011 we focused on three main areas in the Bible: the book of Nehemiah, the Ten Commandments and the parables in Mark’s Gospel. Both the committee and Junior S.U. members especially enjoyed studying the book of Nehemiah because some had never read it before. The studies were committee-led and often involved both interesting and thought-provoking discussions. This year we had an exceptionally large group who came to our Christmas party and after hearing the Christmas message many decided to come to Junior S.U. more frequently. Easter also gave the committee members the chance to consider the Easter message and present it in a new way.

The Owl 2011 Many junior and senior pupils attended the joint Scripture Union Weekend at Castlewellan Castle in October. This year our guest speaker was Timothy Condy. In May both committees held the joint “Pizza Evening” which as usual was a great success with testimonies and a Bible message from some of our MVI pupils. Sadly, at the end of the year we had to say goodbye to the majority of the Junior S.U. committee members: Keith Laverty, Emma Silo, Helen Beck, Gillian McCullough and Lisa Campbell. We will miss their enthusiasm greatly and pray that they will continue in their walk with God. We hope that many more junior pupils will come to S.U. next year and enjoy learning more about God through the Bible in a fun and relaxed environment. If you would like to know more about the Junior S.U. you are more than welcome to come down any Wednesday. Rachel Ireland (LVI)

SENIOR SCRIPTURE UNION Senior pupils met on a weekly basis for fellowship, prayer and Bible study. The theme this year was “What the Bible said about….” as we looked in detail at a variety of difficult issues. We also invited to Scripture Union a number of guest speakers from a wide range of organisations and we had times of praise, games and quizzes. The weekend to Castlewellan Castle in October was well supported and very well received. As well as thought-provoking sessions, we also enjoyed a variety of activities such as quizzes, games, movie nights and the annual Barn Dance introduced by Mr Young. The Pizza Night during the Spring Term in the Sixth Form was an evening of fun and fellowship. The members of staff associated with Scripture Union were impressed particularly by the presentations and drama conducted by the members of the Scripture Union Committees. In addition we introduced a Senior Weekend in the Spring Term to Seaview House, Kilkeel. This was a great success and will be repeated in the future. Senior SU meets every Friday at lunchtime in BG4 and an important part of Senior SU is the pupil committee which meets to plan the events. We thank them for all their dedication and hard work and particularly wish the MVI leavers God’s richest blessing for whatever the future holds. M.T.W.

TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN Dr Peter Hughes, the Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering made his third visit to school to address all Form III pupils. A well-known public speaker and talented musician, Dr Hughes delighted the audience with his sense of humour and musical performance and rewarded those who succeeded in answering his questions with Scottish five pound notes. His talk was so compelling that a number of members of staff who were present asked if it was too late for them to become engineers. Five Lower VI girls participated in the Sentinus “Get Set Insight into Engineering Programme”. During the four day event, the girls had opportunities to visit the Engineering Faculties at the University of Ulster and Queen’s University and to spend two days in a placement at an engineering practice or research facility. The participants reported that they are now in a much better position to make a career choice from the wide range of opportunities available in engineering. A group of Lower VI pupils who study Technology attended the “Engineering our Future” conference held in Methodist College. The participants gained a clearer understanding of the various aspects of engineering


School Societies A series of fun activities is planned for the boys, now in Form II. Restrictions on the number of pupils who may engage in practical work mean that it is not possible to permit Form I pupils to meet at the same time as the existing group, so it is planned to hold a separate club meeting for them on a different lunch time. It would be good to see some young girl engineers join us this year. N.E.M. / P.T.S.

YOUNG ENGINEERS’ TRIP TO YOUNG INNOVATORS through the information provided on course structures and admissions, talks by recent engineering graduates and lecturers, and a site visit to Shorts Bombardier. Three Lower VI pupils participated in the STEM Academy summer project run jointly by Queen’s University and F G Wilson. N.E.M.



Autumn term 2010 saw the launch of the Young Engineers’ Club in school. After a few weeks the membership settled down to a regular group of enthusiastic Form I boys. The programme of activities ranged from group challenges to individual projects such as the Torch Project which introduced the use of simple electronic components and the skill of soldering. It has been good to have the assistance of Sixth Form pupils in running the Club.

The Belfast Royal Academy Young Engineers’ Club travelled to the Odyssey arena to take part in the annual ‘Young Innovators’ STEM event. The group, comprising fifteen Form I pupils, was given the opportunity to view an array of exciting exhibits and presentations intended to promote STEM subjects. The highlight of the day was a visit to the ‘STEM module’, a custom built activity bus packed with the latest technological equipment where pupils completed a Crime Scene Investigation style activity. The event provided pupils with an insight into potential Technology and Design projects and future career paths. The day proved to be an enjoyable and educational experience for all and we hope to return in the near future! P.T.S.

The Owl 2011

Music in School BIG BAND Big Band hit the big time last year. Our talented new members and our long-term jazz devotees played several gigs; continued to expand our repertoire with new numbers like ‘TANK!’ alongside classic favourites like ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘The Chicken’; and had a great time! We hit the road in our tour bus, rocking several venues including the school’s annual Spring Concert, the Holywood Festival and the Ulster Schools’ Jazz Festival at the Black Box, a venue frequented by jazz icons for years.

a wide variety of bands from schools all over Northern Ireland, including Methodist College, RBAI, Grosvenor Grammar, and the Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra. The music was ‘totally bodacious’, the vibe was great and all-in-all it was a ‘most excellent’ performance from the band! We had great fun jamming afterwards with our friends from the other groups. The Spring Concert was yet another triumph and was enjoyed by all who attended; our music, new and old, was well received and even merited an encore!

For me this was the highlight of the season. There was

We will be sad to say goodbye to those who have been playing with us for several years and have now finished school. We would like to thank and wish them all the best for the future. We would also like to thank our band leader Mr Power for all his help, enthusiasm, encouragement and general banter, all of which make Big Band big fun! Everyone is looking forward to the year ahead and we would welcome new members. We practise in MU1 on Thursdays after school - see you there! Ben McConnell (V)


Music in School



It was another massively enjoyable year for Brass Band – this time, with a few (costume-related) twists thrown in! The year got off to a great start with a few new young members replacing the Middle VI members who left last year. Everyone worked hard to get our repertoire up to scratch for a few important events during the year.

The Junior Chamber Choir was formed at the end of the School Year in 2011 and it consisted of Form III and IV pupils. It was formed by Ms. Andrews and rehearsed every morning during registration. Ms. Andrews helped us to perfect the two pieces which we practised every morning, but made it fun and exciting as well.

First off we took part in the annual Holywood Festival where we won our section! We performed two pieces: ‘Joyful, Joyful’ – a variation of Beethoven’s famous ‘Ode to Joy’- and ‘An Irish Blessing’, a slower, more reflective piece. Ben McConnell confidently introduced the pieces to the judging panel who were very impressed with the Brass Band’s tone and togetherness. Marilyn, the adjudicator, even gave a special mention to our drummer, Lauren O’Donnell-Anderson, whose playing was deemed “very sensitive to the needs of the band.” Hear, hear! The Brass Band also performed at both Open Nights and got a great response from the audience and potential future students.


The highlight of Brass Band’s year, however, was the Spring Concert, which was held in the school Assembly Hall in March. We had a very special tribute set to the Village People classic, ‘YMCA’! Anna Johnston, Michael Bell, Andrew Forsythe and Rowan Vincent, all members of the horn section, did a particularly striking four-part feature of the melody dressed head to toe in the costumes from the original music video! On stage we had Michael the Builder, Andrew the Fireman, Anna the Red Indian and Rowan the Policeman. The trumpet section enthusiastically joined in with appropriate actions during the ‘YMCA’ chorus, bringing much hilarity to the stage. The band loved it, the audience loved it, and Mr Power even smiled at the end. It’s been another great year under the faultless guidance of Mr Nathan Power, one which was enjoyed by all. Unfortunately at the end of this year we say goodbye to two long-standing band members, Rowan and Andrew. We thank them for their many years of lunchtime banter, and hasten to add that the horn section will never be the same again! Sarah Martin (LVI)

The Junior Chamber Choir performed at the Summer Serenade concert with our two pieces ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay and an a capella version of ‘A-Punk’ by Vampire Weekend. Erin McCullough, Faye Kidd and Sarah Minford performed a solo at the beginning and the end of ‘Fix You’. They practised with Ms. Andrews every week leading up to the Concert and they were excellent on the night. It was exciting for the Junior Chamber Choir to perform the two songs as it is different to the style of music that we would normally perform in school. It was also an emotional time because we thought that Ms. Andrews would be leaving us, but we were all happy to hear later that Ms. Andrews had decided to stay in school for a while longer. We enjoyed performing the two pieces, especially the a capella version of ‘A-Punk’ because we had never done anything like that before and it was fun and exciting. Ms. Andrews introduced a new kind of fun every morning and had a talent for controlling all of the Form III and IV pupils! We all had an amazing time and hope that something like this will take place again next year when the senior pupils leave to study for their exams. Rebecca Rowan (IV)

CHAMBER CHOIR 2010/2011 was a very exciting year for Belfast Royal Academy’s Chamber Choir. We rehearsed every morning in the choir room under the instruction of the legendary Ms. Andrews. Our first engagement was Prize Day held in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. We sang ‘Ave Maris Stella’ by Grieg, much to the enjoyment of the audience. Our next big engagement was Belfast Royal Academy’s Christmas Carol Service where we sang the divine ‘Lux Aurumque’ by Eric Whitacre and ‘Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil’, a beautiful Irish Christmas Carol.

The Owl 2011

JUNIOR CHOIR At Thursday lunchtime the music room fills with the voices of pupils from Forms I and II led by Mrs Prior. After quickly gobbling down our lunches, Mrs Prior begins and she conducts us all the way through until the bell rings and we have to return reluctantly to our afternoon classes. Last year the Junior Choir took part in various musical events throughout the school year. The first event was the Junior Carol Service, where we sang a range of traditional carols, including ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ at the service on the last day of the first term. Also in December, the Junior Choir took part in a concert held to bring some Christmas cheer to senior citizens from the local area. At the Spring Concert, held in the Assembly Hall, the choir took to the stage singing very successfully ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and ‘Seasons of Love’ from the stage musical ‘Rent’.

Our most successful event of the year was when we took part in the prestigious Ballymena Festival where we sang ‘Incantations’ by Michael McGlynn. Competing in a class against other accomplished school choirs, we were very lucky to win for the second year in a row! We then went on to win the overall prize for the best choir. The Annual Spring Concert was held in the Assembly Hall, and it was a huge success. The Chamber Choir sang ‘Weep O Mine Eyes’ by John Bennett along with a lively version of ‘Tragedy’ arranged by our very own Ms. Andrews. We loved performing ‘Tragedy’, as Ms. Andrews had given us some spectacular dance moves! We would like to congratulate Jessica Massey, Michael Bell and Stephen Doyle for gaining a place in the Ulster Youth Choir. We would also like to congratulate Faye Kidd and Meabh Mallaghan for achieving a place in the Ulster Youth Training Choir. Finally we would like to thank Ms. Andrews for her devotion to the Choir, and for all her help throughout the past year. We hope 2011/2012 will be as successful! Faye Kidd and Sarah Minford (IV)

In June, the Junior Choir took part, along with many of the other junior musical groups in school, in the final event of the year, the Summer Serenade. We sang the popular ‘We Go Together’ from the movie ‘Grease.’ It has been another brilliant year for the Junior Choir, and I will be very sad to leave. However, I am also looking forward to moving up to Senior Choir. Many thanks to Mrs Prior for all her hard work, patience and perseverance, and also for making the Junior Choir so successful and an enjoyable experience for us all. Rachael O’Donnell (II)

SENIOR CHOIR At the beginning of last year, I suppose most Senior Choir participants were thinking of the difficulty it would be to have such a successful year as the last. To our delight, the year we had in front of us was one of many joys and surprises. We rehearsed at lunchtimes every Monday and Tuesday led by Ms. Andrews. We knew we had a tough year ahead, but were prepared for the challenge. We started off by learning Fauré’s ‘Requiem’, later to be performed at the Spring Concert, but before that we had the Christmas Carol service to prepare for. It was lovely practising the usual standards such as ‘O Come all ye Faithful’ and ‘Away in a Manger’, as well as ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ – the first verse sung wonderfully


Music in School by soloist Rebecca Rowan. We also teamed up with the school’s Traditional Group and performed the ‘Wexford Carol’ whose solo line was beautifully sung by Jessica Massey. The Carol Service proved to be a great success in creating the wonderful atmosphere of Christmas in St Peter’s Church on the Antrim Road. After Christmas, we had a bit of a shock realising that the Spring Concert was just around the corner, and although Fauré’s ‘Requiem’ was going well, Ms. Andrews decided to lighten things up by choosing a well known pop song for Senior Choir to perform, ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. Safe to say, we were all delighted by this, and hearing that the school’s own rock band (consisting of Bronagh Conlon, Anna Leyden, Anna-Rose McCambridge, Connor Brogan and James Donnelly) would be performing alongside us was even more exciting. On the night, nerves were soaring high, but after putting in months of hard work, the ‘Requiem’ turned out to be truly excellent! Following this, we sang ‘Chasing Cars’, and closed the show on a real high note. We loved every minute of it, and would like to thank Ms. Andrews for all of the effort and time she put into it. What a fantastic year for Senior Choir! Erin McCullough (IV)



This year in Senior Orchestra there were many new faces, most notably our new conductor and acting Head of Music Ms. Andrews. She had a lot to live up to after the incredible Spring Concert last year in the Ulster Hall. Ms. Andrews put on another amazing concert in the school Assembly Hall. The orchestra had many new musicians this year and they did a fantastic job replacing those who had left the year before. We played at Prize Day with the brass section giving a magnificent rendition of Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ as the teachers paraded in all their glory. We also played ‘Entra’acte’ to ‘Aida’ by Verdi. At the school’s Christmas Carol Service the orchestra played several well-known Christmas Carols, much to the delight of the audience who sang along heartily. It truly was a Christmas to remember. At the Spring Concert the orchestra played the lively ‘Jazz Waltz no.2’ by Shostakovich and the theme from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, much to the delight of Mr Jamison who decorated the stage to look like a pirate

ship. He also erected a screen at the back of the stage on which clips from the movie were played. It was EPIC! Ms. Andrews donned the traditional pirate hat just to complete the spectacle. We would like to congratulate Michael Bell, Mark Boyd and Stephen Doyle for gaining a place in the Ulster Youth Orchestra. We wait in anticipation wondering what fantastical wonders await in the coming year! Kyle Auterson and Daniel McKenna (IV)

SENIOR STRINGS It has been another tremendously successful and challenging year for the Senior String ensemble in school. We started the year with the daunting prospect of maintaining the previous year’s impeccably high standards. With this in mind, we began rehearsing in earnest after the summer break with practices taking place after school on Tuesdays. Many would despair at the thought of having to take a rehearsal with twenty or so fatigued, irritable and irritating students after school on a Tuesday, but Mr McNeill came to each practice brimming with enthusiasm, and a passion for making music which he has instilled in us all. With renewed vigour we began to rehearse for the Spring Concert. Among the highlights of this event was the wonderful piece, ‘To Tame the Raging Rapids’ by Brian Balmages. The piece, although rhythmically complex, was a joy to play especially in the intimate setting of the Assembly Hall where this piece is most effective. To add a lighter touch to the programme we played ‘Pretty Woman’ by Roy Orbison, a well-known tune which certainly got the audience dancing in the aisles! We would like to thank, on behalf of the whole group, Mr McNeill for the time and hard work which he puts in. It’s thanks to him that we have been able to enjoy so much the music we play and sustain our continuing success. We would also like to congratulate him on the birth of his baby boy. We are very sad to see the departure of two very valuable and dedicated string players. Helen Beck (leader) and Odhràn McIntaggart (viola) will be missed greatly and we wish them well in their future careers. It certainly won’t be the same without them. Olivia Wilson (LVI)

The Owl 2011



The Traditional Music Group had an exciting year with membership continuing to increase. The group performed at several venues during the year including St. Patrick’s Church, Templepatrick and a multi-cultural breakfast at St. Patrick’s College, Bearnageeha. The Traditional Group also joined forces with the choir at the Senior Carol Service in December to give an inspiring performance of the ‘Wexford Carol’.

2010/2011 saw another successful year for the Wind Band, only this year we were under the expert direction of Ms. Andrews. As many new members joined we spent a lot of time introducing them to our repertoire as, for some of them, this was the first time they had played together in an ensemble.

There were some individual achievements within the traditional group, including 3rd place at the Antrim Fleadh Ceoil by Kieran McKenna (Form II), and Niall McIlroy (Form LVI) achieving his Diploma in Irish Traditional Music Performance. In school, the Traditional Group had their annual performance at the Spring Concert in March, and for the first time ever a performance by a Junior Traditional Group in the Summer Serenade in June. The Junior Traditional Group comprised pupils from Forms I-IV and was directed by Niall McIlroy. Despite the young age of the pupils the standard of musicianship was extremely high with outstanding solo performances from Kieran McKenna (II) on flute and Ruairí Brogan (III) and Erin McCullough (IV) on fiddles. With the high standard coming through in the Junior Forms, the Traditional Group is looking forward to going from strength to strength in the coming year. C.N.S. / Niall McIlroy (LVI)

Every Thursday lunch time we would meet, eat, and work our way through a number of challenging but fun pieces to improve our ability to play as a group. After half-term we began to work on the pieces Ms. Andrews had chosen for the Spring Concert: ‘Mission Impossible’ by Schifrin, and ‘Brass Fever’ by Cacavas. ‘Mission Impossible’ was nearly that, as it emerged that some members of the Wind Band had difficulty counting in time to the irregular time signature! The atmosphere created by the Wind Band at the Spring Concert was truly incredible! As ‘Mission Impossible’ is such a well known tune, the audience immediately recognised it and started clapping along. The upbeat tempo and fantastic playing of ‘Brass Fever’ was enough to put a smile on the audience’s faces and raise a cheer at the end. Our performance was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. As happens every year, we welcome new players but we must regrettably lose some. Niall Darrah, Andrew Forsythe, Rowan Vincent, David Long, Laura Herron and Mark Boyd helped make Wind Band successful. We wish them the best in their future careers, both musically and academically. We also thank Ms. Andrews for her excellent contribution to Wind Band. Without her, we simply could not have achieved to what we did this year. Following in Ms. McMullan’s footsteps was no easy task, but Ms. Andrews managed to do it exceptionally well, and her much needed patience was amazing. We look forward to another prosperous year. Hannah McBride (IV)


Music in School



MAJOR RE-AWARDS Maeve Armstrong Joel Auterson Helen Beck Mark Boyd Scott Boyd Lianna Dalmeny Niall Darrah Stephen Doyle Deborah Forbes Andrew Forsythe Laura Herron Anna Johnston Gerard Klein Genevieve Leonard Matthew Magill Sarah Martin

Jessica Massey Emily McColgan Niall McIlroy Odhran McIntaggart Rory Millar Lauren O’Donnell Anderson Katie O’Neill Dean Philpott Leah Rea Andrea Shaw Alex Snoddy Stefan Tucker Rowan Vincent Toyah Warnock Olivia Wilson

MAJOR NEW AWARDS Michael Bell Bethany Brown Jamie Dwyer Ben McConnell Hannah McKinstry

Ben O’Donnell Eva Rooney Tessa Shiels Adam Taylor



Kyle Auterson Hannah Caldwell Rebecca Corey Andrew Curtis Jenny Guiney Aoife McAtamney Hannah McBride

Kris McCombe Dan McKenna Kerry McLeod Emily Reid Hannah Stewart Harry Stitt Christopher Turnbull

MINOR NEW AWARDS Niamh Benson Jessica Burns Rebecca Burns Kathleen Cassidy Shannon Clements Rose Crossan Suzanne Currie Louise Davison James Donnelly James Duffy Elaine Ford Nesta Griffiths Victoria Haddock Ellie Hudson Rachel Ireland

Jack Johnston Faye Kidd Maebh King Anna Leyden Molly Martin Ruth McConnell Erin McCullough Sarah McGrath Rebecca McKinstry Sarah Minford Holly Reid Hannah Robinson Emma Silo Philip Simon

An evening of music presented by pupils from Form I – IV in THE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY HALL DARBYSHIRE BUILDING on TUESDAY 24TH JUNE at 7:30pm PROGRAMME Junior Choir ‘We Go Together’ from Grease J. Jacobs & W. Casey Clarinet Quartet

‘Yesterday’ ‘Send in the Clowns’

The Beatles S. Sondheim

Charlotte Noble, Sophie Daniels, Rebecca Rowan ‘Someone Like You’ Adele Saxophone Quartet ‘Money, Money, Money’ Beth MacDougall (Piano) ‘Giorni Dispari’

Abba L. Einaudi

Junior Strings ‘Close to You’ B. Bacharach & H. David ‘Winter’ from The Four Seasons A. Vivaldi Rachel O’Donnell (Clarinet) ‘Clarinet Sonata in E Flat’ F. Mendelssohn Dan McKenna (Cello) ‘Cello Suite No.1’

J. S. Bach

Ellie White, Rachel MacNeill, Emer Gribbon ‘Memory’ from Cats A. Lloyd Webber ‘Irish Set’

Junior Traditional Group Arr. N. McIlroy

David O’Donnell-Anderson (Voice & Guitar) ‘Tears in Heaven’ E. Clapton ‘Andaluza’

Erin McCullough (Violin)

Faye Kidd (Voice) ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’

E. Granados G. Puccini

Percussion Group ‘A Samba Selection’ Arr. P. Comfort

The Owl 2011

Spring Concert


Music in School


The Owl 2011


Drama in School

Drama in School Every now and then, movie characters capture the imagination and become part of the general pop culture. Indiana Jones, Buzz Lightyear, Nanny McFee and so on. In the 1980s, Jake and Elwood Blues became part of that list and many people know them from the stage review. Fewer however know the story, told in the film, of how Jake Blues, on getting out of prison, teams up with his brother, Elwood, to reassemble the Blues Band in order to raise money to save the orphanage they were brought up in. This story does not exist as a stage version and so the first challenge was to adapt one from the film. The second challenge was to create a vehicle for the obvious talents of so many Academy pupils of all ages. I came up with the idea of having two completely different casts which would rehearse simultaneously, but present their shows on alternate nights.


From experience I know the frustration of trying to arrange rehearsal dates that suit cast members and initially I thought that the double-cast plan might make preparation more difficult. In practice, however, I was able to mix the casts at rehearsal when someone couldn’t make it. In the end we were able to present two Senior and two Junior shows, to well attended houses, and in the process involve well over 200 pupils. It would be invidious to dwell on any one aspect of the show or on any individual and so I will leave the critique to those who saw the performances. I do, however, wish publicly to acknowledge my gratitude to Mrs Kerr and the pupils of the Art Department for converting my imagination to 3D in such a stylish and professional way; to the indefatigable Dr Lomas and her

team who without a word of complaint put together not one but two sets of costumes; to Miss Andrews of the Music Department for the consummate and energetic manner in which she prepared and presented the “real” Blues Band; and to all other members of staff who gave of their talent and time so graciously, especially Miss Tinman. As I have often said, what you see on stage represents only the tip of the iceberg in terms of presenting such a show. What few people see are: the journeys to DIY shops for “Bazooka” parts by David Allsop; the silent dancing by Dave Gorman and team backstage during the number 6345789; the miles walked by Pooja, Victoria and Melissa as amazingly mature and committed P.A.s; the time spent compiling the Programme; organising the transfer and sale of interval refreshments; the generosity of FOTA, the list goes on and on and I am most grateful to all those involved. My final word is to the actors and in particular those in their final year. I hope you enjoyed the whole experience as much as I did and will continue to find ways to develop your acting skills. One of the few disappointing aspects of my involvement is having to give relatively minor roles to pupils who are more than capable of the major parts. However, my disappointment was short-lived when I saw the consistent enthusiasm and commitment of everyone on stage. These contagious qualities, along with boundless energy and talent, never fail to inspire, entertain and humble me. Thanks to all who came to see the show and to all involved. R.J.

The Owl 2011

Blues Brothers


Drama in School


The Owl 2011

Miscellany ACADEMY SPORTS CAMP Numbers at this year’s summer camp were at a maximum of 80 and for the first time since it began some children, unfortunately, had to be turned away such is its growing success. The usual range of sports and activities took place with the addition of ‘SNAG’ golf and use of the IT suite for all age groups. The final day treat this year was a trip to the cinema to see The Smurfs Movie in 3D. Another fun and successful week was had and it is great to see children who have attended our camp for the last five and six years now attending our school! N.N.

ART AND DESIGN Mr. Roy Donaldson from Donaldson and Weir Graphics Ltd presented the top two Art and Design A2 Level pupils Adam Montgomery A* and Andrew Smyth A with a student Art Pack Award. In June 2011 all Forms I, II and III pupils took part in the Belfast Flags of Hope project. The project has come about because of the tragic and brutal murder of Thomas Devlin a pupil of Belfast Royal Academy on 10th August 2005. The goal of the project is to encourage diverse communities to get involved in an event that is about flying flags that portray positive images and wishes for the future. The project set out to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of bunting. Belfast Royal Academy pupils designed and made 250 flags helping to beat the current record of 1.35 miles. Significantly, the accomplished record-breaking bunting length of 1.6 miles was flown at the Belfast peace line in August 2011.


Miscellany The project has been an excellent opportunity for Belfast Royal Academy pupils to embrace the new curriculum, covering key elements of mutual understanding, moral character and spiritual awareness. All Art and Design GCSE, AS and A2 Level pupils attended the 2010 True Colours exhibition at Clarendon Dock to view the best examples of N. Ireland’s CCEA Art and Design coursework and externally set assignments. ‘True Colours’ is an exhibition of work by some of Northern Ireland’s brightest young artists and designers. The work in the exhibition is produced by GCSE and GCE A Level Art & Design students. The MVI and LVI Art and Design pupils visited the 129th Royal Ulster Academy Annual Art Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. This exhibition showcases some of the best practiced in contemporary and traditional arts in Ireland. The work of the RUA members and the visiting artists provided our seniors with a wealth of inspiration and artists’ research for coursework projects. P.K.

ASTHMA UK NI LISTEN UP! YOUTH CONFERENCE On Thursday 2nd December eight Form I pupils represented the Academy at Asthma UK Northern Ireland’s Listen Up! Youth Conference held at W5. The group of pupils from 1K performed a five minute roleplay promoting asthma management and awareness. They were declared joint winners along with students from St Louise’s Comprehensive College, winning a colour printer for the English Department. The judges praised the group’s excellence in effectively showing how to manage asthma, as well as highlighting the range of difficulties that can occur, such as bullying. The pupils found the conference to be both an enjoyable and informative experience.


Representing the school were: Jayne Bassett, Braeden Burrows, Erin Getty, Conor McAuley, Jessica McVeigh, Beth Murphy-Morrison, Ciara Patterson and Yasmine Tandon. S.L.T.

BANGLADESH On the 4 February 2011, nine pupils and two teachers left Belfast for Dhaka, Bangladesh. The team consisted of Andrea Shaw, Shannon Alexander, Yvonne Wong, Toyah Warnock, Nicola Jackson, Julia Diamond, Deborah Forbes, Anna Johnston, John-William Carey, Ms Adams and Mr Murphy. The journey began in Belfast with a short easyjet flight to London Gatwick. This was followed by a flight to Dubai which took six hours before finally catching a connecting flight two hours later from Dubai to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh (4 hours 45 minutes). Upon arrival at the airport in Dhaka we were greeted by Mr Mike Frazer and by one of his connections from the Bangladeshi High Commission. The Business Experience Of the nine pupils, four had chosen to go to see what the business side of Bangladesh was like. John-William Carey describes what he saw: “The day after we arrived in Bangladesh we travelled to a place just outside Dhaka called Savar Village. The village is engaged in a pioneering new scheme in which children from the nearby school grow mushrooms in their homes. The pupils are able to sell the mushrooms to pay for their schooling, or for personal items. This was an extremely informative and inspirational experience as we observed a community taking steps to lift themselves out of poverty. Later that day we also paid a visit to the Southeast Bank where we were given a presentation about the work they do. The bank provided us with lunch, at which we ate alongside the Board of Directors where we were able to ask questions about their business experience. To round off a busy day we were given a thorough and exciting summary, by Mr John Wallace, of the work of MATT2, which endeavours to develop the skills of top civil servants in Bangladesh. Later in the trip we got the night train from Dhaka to a place called Chittagong in the south. One of the highlights of the visit to Chittagong was the tour of Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company KAF-Co fertilizer company. We received a fascinating presentation and a tour of their manufacturing plant which both the business and science students enjoyed. Particularly impressive was their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility schemes even though they saw no evidence of increased profits as a result of them. We were also lucky enough to have dinner with the

The Owl 2011 Managing Director of this company and so were able to gain some idea of his company’s activities. On our final day in Bangladesh we visited a garment factory where we were able to see first-hand the production methods we had learnt about in Business Studies back home in Belfast. On our tour of the factory we witnessed the dyeing, cutting, stitching and packing processes and were also pleased to see that the conditions were pleasant and that the workers were contented. We were very fortunate to experience the wide range of businesses and the innate entrepreneurial attitude that is so integral to Bangladeshi culture. The overall opportunity to see business in action in a rapidly developing economy has been unique and invaluable and what we learned will be useful regardless of what careers we pursue.” John-William Carey The Medical Experience Several students travelled to Bangladesh hoping to experience hospital life in a country with limited resources and trained medical professionals Deborah Forbes writes: “We had the opportunity to visit the Acid Survivor’s Foundation which is a charity that works to treat and protect the unfortunate victims of acid attacks in Bangladesh. They provide free surgery and rehabilitation to victims and five of us were able to sit in on skin graft operations. A number of us were even taught how to suture tissue back together! The medics also got to talk to the doctors about their experiences of medicine and observed ward rounds with the doctors. We were fascinated at the speed with which the doctors had to make decisions about the next stage of care. Seeing the fantastic work of volunteers such as Mr Ron Hiles and the dedicated team of local healthcare staff really inspired us to pursue a career in Medicine.” Deborah Forbes The Culture “As soon as we left the airport the differences in culture were immediately obvious. First of all, there was the traffic. The roads were completely packed with cars, buses and rickshaws all beeping their horns and competing for any available space no matter how small. In Bangladesh, normal driving rules do not apply so road lines and traffic lights have no effect. At junctions you could be waiting for up to half an hour as vehicles come from every direction and try to fight their way through. Another huge difference between our cultures is the clothing. As western styles are frowned upon in

Bangladesh, during the day the girls had to wear the traditional Salwar Kameez; a long top, loose trousers and a scarf. Although at first, the outfits felt strange, we quickly became used to them and appreciated the beautiful colours and patterns of the clothes. In one way it was fantastic not to have to choose what to wear in the mornings. One of the strangest experiences was the overnight train to Chittagong. There were four of us squeezed into each tiny cabin, and the door had three different locks on it. However, instead of making us feel more secure we were wondering who or what we were trying to keep out!” Andrea Shaw The Orphanage “Our visit to the orphanage was definitely a highlight of the trip. We were hugely impressed by the determination and enthusiasm of the children. Many of them knew what their career aspirations were from the ages of 10 and 12 and most had read the majority of Shakespeare’s work. The children had studied many languages and were able to speak French better than all of us put together! We had a short cultural exchange and the children performed a Bengali style dance routine and in return we sang a few traditional Irish songs. All of the children really enjoyed our singing, and by the end of ‘Ireland’s Call’ were already singing along. We also taught them ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, which they picked up after we sang it once, and they sang the ‘Pussy Cat Dolls’ song ‘Jaiho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ with us! The experience made us realise that we should appreciate the brilliant education system in our country more and made us realize that we can follow whatever career path we choose. The fact that we have such a wide range of Universities and Courses to choose from is something that none of us should take for granted. If we throw away the opportunities that are handed to us then so much has just been wasted, while the amazing children that we met in Bangladesh will have to work so much harder. From the bustling streets of Dhaka to the giant industries of Chittagong, we found ourselves in an environment that presented poverty co-existing with a small minority of wealth. Despite this, the people of Bangladesh were consistently welcoming and always eager to be of help in any way. Although we were only in Bangladesh for a short space of time, we learnt a vast amount about the people and culture, while at the same time receiving an outstanding work experience that will surely serve us well in the future.” Anna Johnston





The Owl 2011 On a closing note, we just want to thank all the people that made this trip so worthwhile, in particular our teachers Ms Adams and Mr Murphy, our contacts in Dhaka, John Wallace, Ron Hiles, Samina, Nazma and Sajedul, and of course our sponsor Mike Frazer. A special word of thanks must go to Barua and Alam who were our guides and drivers. Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity that none of us will be forgetting any time soon. Bangladesh Team

BOXING SUCCESS I have been boxing since I was 11 years old. I have achieved many things with boxing, including the Silver Medal at the Ulster Championships and runner-up in the Antrim Championships twice. I haven’t been beaten in Northern Ireland this season. I represented Antrim in an Antrim v Galway bout in Galway and beat the champion from Galway: Antrim won 7-6, just scraping a victory. I won my second Ulster title, defeating the former champion, and won my first Antrim title. I went on to the All-Irelands in the National Stadium in Dublin and in my quarter-final bout I beat the tournament favourite. My semi-final bout was a close fight, but I was beaten by the better boxer on the day, who is now a four-time Irish champion, and National Cadets’ Champion.

I was happy with my first run out at the All-Irelands, but I aim to improve next year and win the title. Later on this year I will be representing Ulster in a multi-nations competition and will represent Antrim and Ulster on other occasions. Caolan Lyttle (III)

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY SCHOOLS’ ANALYST COMPETITION On the 26th March, a team of three Middle VI pupils competed in the Northern Ireland Regional Heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition at Stranmillis University College Belfast. The team consisted of Alisha Gergett, David Gorman and Hannah Stewart and were up against ten other schools from across the province. The aim of the competition is to raise standards of practical analytical chemistry among sixth-form students and is based on problems relevant to industrial and social needs. The students are assessed in their practical skills as well as their understanding and ability to work safely as a team and on their time management. The format of the competition is the same each year. Each team carried out three experiments which all carry twenty marks. This year, the procedures involved an Acid/Base Titration (using both an indicator and a pH meter), an Iodine/Thiosulphate Titration and a Colorimetric determination. After three hours of practical work the BRA team were announced third and received a cheque for £200 for the Chemistry Department. The experience gained was invaluable to the members of the team and all of them were pupils that any school would have been proud. B.M.M. 101


CINEMAGIC FESTIVAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY The Cinemagic charity, founded in Belfast, uses the medium of film to explore social issues, as well as educating children and young people about the film industry through master classes, film review juries, workshops and film-making projects each year. This year, during the Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration, Belfast Royal Academy celebrated success at the Gala Award ceremony at Belfast’s City Hall on Friday 26th November. The event, attended by screenwriter Julian Fellows, local stars of UTV and international film industry moguls, saw the distribution of awards for the achievements of many children and young people in the film industry. In her role on the Cinemagic Festival 15-18 jury Paula Keenan, Form V, presented the award for Best Films for 15-18 year olds. The Form II short film “Boy vs. Train”, which received acclaim as a finalist in Translink’s Rail Safety competition last year, was short-listed to the final four in the under-15 Film maker category in the Cinemagic Film Festival. The category saw competition from all over the UK and Ireland, with the short-listed productions being screened at the Queen’s Film Theatre on Friday 26th November. The budding film makers thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see their work ‘on the big screen’. The only finalist from all of Ireland, “Boy vs. Train” received an enthusiastic response from the audience at the Gala Award Ceremony at City Hall, but was beaten by a highly entertaining and musical entry from a Birmingham primary school.


All pupils involved in the Cinemagic Festival were given a taste of the world of the media and encouraged by UTV’s Paul Clarke to chase their dreams. Let’s hope that the next stop from some could be the OSCARS! T.M.B.

COMMUNITY SERVICE GROUP – ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY “MEMORY WALK” On Sunday 26th September 2010, 22 pupils from Form V, Lower VI and Middle VI volunteered their services to the Alzheimer’s Society at their first “Memory Walk” in Northern Ireland. The enthusiastic volunteers assembled at 8am to assist with setting up and registration of participants in the walk around Ormeau Park. Later, pupils organised sports activities for children attending the event, sold ballot tickets, marshalled the walkers and awarded certificates to hundreds of participants. The weather was beautiful and everyone had a fabulous day, while raising funds for a worthwhile cause. T.M.B.

DANCE PROJECT The ‘Teenage Kicks’ dance project ran again for the third year and a team from our school were invited to perform. The dance programme is co-ordinated by Freddie Kinnersley and supported by Belfast City Council. It is hoped that the dance project will encourage young people of all abilities and backgrounds to participate in physical recreation. 30 girls ranging from Forms I - IV took part, some of them for their first time and hours of practice culminated in them performing, along with six other schools, in a ‘Teenage Kicks’ show in the Ulster Hall attended by the Lord Mayor of Belfast. The performance at the Ulster Hall was of an even higher standard than the previous two years and credit goes to all the girls involved. N.N.

The Owl 2011

WOODLANDS COMMUNITY SERVICE Last year the Community Service Group continued to support a variety of projects and organisations in the surrounding area. Approximately 15 pupils attended Woodlands Day Centre for adults with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. They assisted in a wide range of activities such as baking, computing, sewing, flower arranging and woodwork. There were two Christmas parties at the end of the term, one for the senior citizens and the other for Drumross Special School. Musical entertainment was provided by the Boys’ Choir and the Brass Band led some excellent singing of well known Christmas Carols. All those involved thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Last year proved to be yet another very successful and rewarding experience for all those who took part. G.C.M.

course of the year: 47 Bronze Awards, 23 Silver Awards and 8 Gold Awards. Congratulations must go to the eight pupils and past pupils who gained the Gold Award: Gary Chivers (MVI), David Costley, Heather Currie, Alisha Gergett (MVI), Fiona Henderson (MVI), Genevieve Leonard (MVI), David Long and Kerrie Patton. On 22nd March, 2011 in St. James’s Palace, London, eleven past pupils were presented with their Gold Award certificate by the Duke of Edinburgh and Mr. Mike Nesbitt. Congratulations to: Peter Waugh, Mark Bailie, Leanne Kingston, Hannah Shields, Katy Shields, Jane Ennis, David Lyons Ewing, Adam Jackson, Craig Jackson, Stuart Jackson and Megan Duffy. On 12th April, 2011 in St. James’s Palace, London, five past pupils were presented with their Gold Award certificate by Prince Edward. Congratulations to: Eve Snounou, Keith Laverty, Shannon Turkington, Carolyn Murphy and Aaron Hamilton. A very full and successful programme of expedition work in the Mourne Mountains, North Antrim Hills, Upper and Lower Lough Erne and in the Glencoe/ Fortwilliam/Lochaber area in Scotland was carried out during the year, directly involving 241 pupils in expedition theory classes, training weekends and practice and qualifying expeditions. We are indebted to the many people who were willing to give of their free time to make possible the huge undertaking of the Expedition section. Thanks must go to Mr. Carolan, Mr. Buchan and Mr. Maurice Miller for assisting with training. We sincerely thank the following teachers, past pupils and adult helpers who generously gave their time and assistance:Mr. P. Anderson Mr. D. McArthur Mrs. C. Barr Miss P. McIlhatton Mr. J. Buchan Mr. M. Miller

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD During 2010-11 our large membership remained steady at 377 pupils from Forms III to Middle VI: this means that the Academy has the largest school-based Award Centre in Northern Ireland, and possibly the United Kingdom. Continued effort on the part of our members produced a very creditable number of Awards gained during the

Mr. M. Neil Mr. C. Gates Miss R. Petticrew Mr. C. Hall Mr. M. Scott Mr. R. Irvine


Miscellany so pupils who form the “Tent Team” and who gave much of their time in maintaining our large stock of camping equipment. Many thanks, T-Team, for all your work!! Expedition first-aid training was kindly provided by Dr. Norman Walker and by Mr. Keith Thompson and his team of volunteer first-aiders.

Mr. S. Campbell Mrs. A Monroe Mr. K. Cheung Mr. B. Monroe Mr. J. Cummings Miss C. Murphy Mr. J. Davison Miss R. Murphy Dr. M. Donnelly

Mr. D. Sharp Mr. J. Letson Miss J. Spence Mr. K. Loder Miss S. Turkington Mr. D. Lyons Ewing Mr. A. Workman Mr. D. Maxwell Mr. F. Workman

Very special thanks must also go to the following people: Mr. Maurice Miller for his outstanding contribution in overseeing all aspects of the Expedition section; Mr. Paddy Anderson for his dedicated assistance with the administration of the D. of E. in the Academy; Mr. Billy Dunn for driving the school bus on many weekends and for his valued assistance; Mr. Alan Hermon for assisting with transport; Mr. Frank Workman, Mrs. Catherine Barr, Mr. Alan Workman, Mr. Jonathan Cummings, Miss Judith Spence, Mr. Peter Donnelly and Dr. Louis Campbell for very valuable assistance with administration work; Keith Laverty (MVI) and Matthew Arrell (MVI) for acting as ‘tent-sitters’ on expedition training weekends; and the Gold Award Leaders of 2010-2011 for excellent assistance with the running of the D. of E. in the school.


The Academy’s Award Centre is indebted to the various Bed and Breakfast houses, which are the supervision bases for our many expedition weeks. Grateful thanks indeed to: Mrs. M. Trainor of Silent Valley, Kilkeel; Mr. and Mrs. J. McHenry of Glenariff, Ballymena and Miss M. Scally of Torr Road, Cushendun. Not a single Duke of Edinburgh Expedition could have set out from the Academy during the year if it had not been for the tireless efforts of those ten or

The work of the Volunteering section continued successfully through the year. We are very grateful to Miss S. Ardis for administering the work of those pupils involved in individual Volunteering section activities. Thanks are owed to Ms. T. McBeth for assisting those pupils working in the Community Service option. Gerard Klein, a pupil in the Sixth Form, is to be highly commended for his work with the Save the Children Enterprise Scheme. The detailed administration of the Skills section is very ably undertaken by Dr. Lomas to whom we are very much indebted. Bible reading, car maintenance, photography and chess are just a few of the many interests pursued by our pupils within this section. Many thanks are due to the numerous members of staff who gave up their time to act as Skills section assessors including: Mr. Carroll Mrs. T. Corcoran Mr. Cupples Mrs. Currie Mr. Evans Ms. Graham Mr. Jamison

Mrs. Kerr Dr. Lomas Miss McCullough Ms. McMullan Mrs. Morrison Mrs. O’Donnell Mr. Spence

Within the Skills section, 37 pupils took part in the Bronze Award Fire Service Courses held at Whitla Street Fire Station. We warmly thank the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for the provision of the courses and Mr. Frank Workman for supervising the classes. 29 pupils took part in two Bronze Award First-Aid Courses based in the Sixth Form Centre on Tuesday evenings in the autumn of 2010 and the spring of 2011. We are very grateful to Mr. Keith Thompson and his team of volunteer First Aiders for providing the course. 20 pupils were involved in the Silver Award Police Service Course organised during the year by the P.S.N.I. to whom we are most grateful. Thanks to Ms. S. McIlhatton for supervising the classes.

The Owl 2011 We thank Mr. Carolan for organising the administration of the Physical section. Many sports are pursued by our pupils within this section and we are grateful to the staff of the P.E. Department: Mrs. Nicholl, Miss Winning, Mr. McGonigle, Mr. McCarey and all of the Games staff for all their much appreciated help throughout the past year. We thank Mr. Brian McLaughlin and Keith Laverty (MVI) for all their work in training the kayak canoeists on Friday afternoons. Much helpful advice in connection with the Gold Residential section is given to our Sixth Form pupils by Mr. Buchan to whom we are very grateful. Thanks must go to the following people for their help in looking after our finances: Mr. Brian Monroe, Mr. Jonathan Cummings, Mr. Maurice Miller, and Mr. Alan Workman. The 21st Annual Sponsored “Mournes’ Clean-up and Environment Day” was held on Saturday, 11th December, 2010. Taking part were 111 pupils, all Duke of Edinburgh’s Award members from Forms III to Middle VI as well as 40 adult helpers, including former pupils who are Gold Award holders, parents and teachers. Rubbish was collected from 7 sites in the Mournes area and six tonnes of rubbish were cleared. The pleasing sum of £3,271.71 was raised for our funds. We had much appreciated assistance from Down District Council, Newry and Mourne District Council, The Mourne Heritage Trust, The National Trust and Mark’s Skip Hire (Kilkeel). Councillor Eamon O’Neill, Chairman, Down District Council, Councillor Mick Murphy, Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Mr. Matthew Bushby, Countryside Services Manager, Mourne Heritage Trust, Ms Emma Cunningham, Volunteer Co-ordinator,

Mourne Heritage Trust, Ms Patricia Magee, National Coastal Officer, Tidy Northern Ireland and Ms. Lisa Finn, Education Officer, Down District Council, were present in Donard Park, Newcastle early on the Saturday morning to lend their support to the event and to wish the BRA Team every success. The Academy’s Open Nights in January, 2011 and the Open Morning in May, 2011 were a great success and all aspects of school life were on show to prospective pupils and their parents. Many thanks to all of those who helped to make the impressive D. of E. display in the gymnasium and the Sixth Form study area so effective. The fourteenth highly successful Canadian Canoe Week was held from 30th July to 6th August, 2011 in Lough Erne. This was a highly packed programme of Silver Canoe Qualifying Expeditions and Gold Canoe Training. 16 pupil members and 4 adult leaders took part. Staff training for our former pupils progressed well during the year. David Lyons Ewing, Kevin Cheung and Martin Scott are currently working for the Mountain Leadership Certificate (Summer). On Thursday, 14th October, 2010, in the Long Gallery at Stormont, Dr. Campbell and Gary Chivers, a MVI Gold participant, representing the Academy’s D. of E. Award Centre, were presented with the Best Youth Group Award in connection with the CocaCola Clean Coast Awards administered by Tidy Northern Ireland. The trophy and certificate were presented by Mr. Edwin Poots MLA, Minister of the Environment, Northern Ireland. The Academy’s Award Centre has received £200 worth of high visibility jackets to be used on future Mournes’ Clean-ups. The Award is in recognition of twenty


Miscellany years of dedicated environmental work in the Mountains of Mourne area, specifically on the beaches and rivers. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my deep gratitude to my mother and father for all their support and assistance during the last twenty-nine years: they are the ultimate back-up team!! In conclusion, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the Academy would simply not be a possibility without the army of volunteer helpers, from both within and outside the Academy, who give up so much of their free time to assist with the supervision of all areas of the D. of E. I am deeply indebted to them for their enthusiasm and dedication over so many years, and would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone interested in giving of their time and skills to the D. of E. to come forward. Finally, pride of place and congratulations must go to the following pupils and past pupils who gained awards during the past year:Bronze Award Rachael Allen (V) Melissa Antonio (V) Jack Armstrong (IV) Leah Baillie (IV) Adam Barnes (V) Sarah Bingham (IV) Sorcha Burke (III) Jessica Burns (III) Rebecca Burns (III) David Campbell (III) Angela Cao (III)


Aaron Lyons (III) Katy Mann (III) Hannah McCalmont (III) Anna Rose McCambridge (V) Ruth McConnell (III) Clare McGowan (III) Ruari McGowan (III) Rebecca McGrath (MVI) Sarah McMahon (III) Rachel Miller (III) Emma Mills (III)

Ling Chung (III) Caroline Montgomery (V) Michaela Collins (IV) Beth Moss (IV) Mykila Donaldson (III) Thomas O’Callaghan (III) Kirsti Farren (IV) Zoe O’Reilly (V) Laura Farrington (III) Holly Reid (IV) Emma Gray (IV) Rebecca Rowan (IV) Victoria Haddock (III) Philip Simon (IV) Lynsay Hamilton (V) Emily Taggart (V) Amy Hunter (III) Jenna Todd (IV) Katherine Hutchinson (LVI) Lori Turkington (III) Alice Kavanagh (IV) Oliver Vick (III) Amy Kingston (III) Katie Watt (III) Silver Award Joel Auterson (LVI) Scott Boyd (LVI) Connor Brogan (V) Shannon Clements (V) Reece Colhoun (MVI) Sarah Daniels (MVI) Sian Darrah Julia Diamond (LVI) James Donnelly (V) Jamie Dwyer (V) Gareth Gilfillan (V) Seana Harley-Moyes (V)

Katherine Hutchinson (LVI) Jess Kidd (LVI) Hiejin Kwon ((MVI) Matthew Magill (LVI) Ben McConnell (V) Lorena McGookin Kate Miller (V) Paul Morris (MVI) Katie Robinson (MVI) Robyn Scott (MVI) Emily Taggart (V)

Gold Award Gary Chivers (MVI) David Costley Heather Currie Alisha Gergett (MVI)

Fiona Henderson (MVI) Genevieve Leonard (MVI) David Long Kerrie Patton J.R.

The Owl 2011


BOYS’ FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 9th-10th APRIL, 2011 MOURNE MOUNTAINS Day 1 I woke up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for the expedition that lay ahead, and came in nice and early to school. My team and I collected our equipment from Mr. Reilly, sorted out all the expedition details with each other, and crammed on to the bus, along with all the other teams. We left from Fofanny Dam, and walked up around Spelga Dam, with more than a few falls along the way. We stopped for lunch just off a junction on the B27. We wolfed down our lunch quickly, and raring to go set off for the second half of the day. We crossed some reeds to the west of Spelga Dam, and plodded on around Slievenamiskan. We stopped for a long rest here, and then ploughed on for the final part of our first day, around Hen Mountain, following the Ulster/Mourne Way. Finally, we made it to the campsite. Thomas and I set up our tent, while Bannon tried to get the trangia started. While David and Ruairi set up the other tent, Forbes joined Bannon in attempting to understand how the trangia worked. After figuring out the trangias between us, we had our “boil-in-the bag” dinner, and settled down for the night.

Day 2 I woke up, after having one of the worst night’s sleep of my life, and blearily tried to work the trangia. I ate my breakfast, got dressed for the day, and waited to be sent off to climb another mountain. We encountered quite a bit of bog on our way up Rocky Mountain, but we managed to get past it unscathed. We then rested at the top, and prepared for what we decided would be the fastest second day we could complete. We walked without stopping until around 12.30pm, when we happily munched on our pre-packed lunches, and rested. We then walked for the remaining 6km without stopping. This was one of the most fun times I have ever experienced, not just in Duke of Edinburgh, but in my life as a whole. We walked without stopping because we didn’t want to stop. We were having fun, which for me, was the essence of what Duke of Edinburgh was all about. We had fun, just being together, in each other’s company and walking towards our goal. We arrived at the bus, and finally got changed out of our smelly, sweat-stained clothes. We sat on the bus, and laughed while we waited for the other groups to arrive.  I will always remember my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Qualifying as an experience. It wasn’t always a good one, but it is what Duke of Edinburgh teaches you that is important. There are always rough patches, but you just have to be strong enough to pick yourself up from them and carry on, and most importantly, have fun. Scott McMurtry (IV)


GIRLS’ FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 16th-17th APRIL, 2011 MOURNE MOUNTAINS “First Aid Kit?” “Check!” “Torch?” “Check!”


Miscellany What can I say? The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides so many opportunities. It makes friendships grow stronger, allows you to camp out with your friends, improves your organisational skills and helps you keep going when the going gets tough. As I packed my bag on the Saturday morning of our expedition, thoughts ran through my head of what the weekend ahead was going to be like. Training weekends, lunchtime meetings and after school sessions had finally brought us to the weekend itself. We arrived to see the face of Mr. Reilly, smiling as always, and made our way to the hall to collect our tents and trangias before we left. It was tough, but the laughter of my group kept me going. The group consisted of Kate Taggart, Rachel O’Neil, Emma Stewart, and Orlagh McBriarty and me. We had our lunch on the Moyad road. The pasta was great! We continued to walk all day, taking a number of breaks on the way. When we reached Hen Mountain, it wasn’t long before we could see our campsite. We all got a sudden boost of energy to see the end so close, and almost broke into a run. After a cold night and a hot “boil in the bag” for dinner, we woke up the next morning to the sound of running water from the nearby Rocky River. We walked through a forest for the majority of Sunday afternoon and reached the car park to see the school bus. On the expedition weekend, there is no contact with the outside world, no home cooking, no comfy bed, and no ability to wash your hair. My group got tired, angry, sad, happy, and laughed and cried. However, there isn’t anything else that has made me feel all of those emotions in one weekend. All of my group have signed up for their Silver Award. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in BRA is a credit to the school and to everybody involved! Lauren Crothers (IV) 108


FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 19th-21st AUGUST, 2011 MOURNE MOUNTAINS My group’s Silver Award expedition began on Friday, 19th August, 2011. We started our expedition on Bryansford Road following Tullybranigan Road to a trail which took us to the boundary of Tollymore Forest Park. It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t rain, which was a good start to the weekend. We walked through Tollymore and on the way, when we stopped for a break, we tossed a nerf ball. Our group followed the path to the wall at the forest boundary and made our way through a series of fields, helping each other over barbed wire to reach the distant wall which led to Trassey Track. At the sheepfold at Trassey, we met our two supervisors Alan Workman and Martin Scott. This was our scheduled lunch stop for the day. However, it started to rain so we put on our waterproofs before eating our lunch. We also got fresh water from Martin and Alan. We followed the Trassey Track south until we reached a right turn to the col between Slieve Bearnagh and Slieve Meelmore. As we headed towards the col, the rain stopped but the wind was strong enough to push you around. That was one of the most fun but difficult parts of the expedition. Once we had gone through the col, we went towards our campsite by following a small trail. At some point here we made a mistake, and detoured down a small track. It began to get cloudy and difficult to see 20ft in front of us. We didn’t know which way to go. After about 15 minutes, the mist cleared and we could see our surroundings. We realised which mountain was Doan and knew that our campsite was on the other side. We contoured around Doan and arrived safely at our campsite. At the campsite we put up our tents and cooked dinner. At the campsite there were a lot of ducks that kept coming near us and our tents. However, they were easily scared away. Everyone went to bed at about 7.00pm and quickly fell asleep.

The Owl 2011 The next day, everyone felt a lot better after some sleep. We got up, had something to eat and were soon ready to go. We went through the col between Slieve Loughshannagh and Ott Mountain. Then we climbed over a stile and headed towards the B27. When we reached it, we walked to the car park at the south end of Spelga dam and had a break. We talked to two other hikers there. Once we had our break, we continued on around Pigeon Rock Mountain and descended towards Rowan Tree River. Here we had our lunch. The rain had kept away all day, thankfully, and the midges had only irritated us at the very start of the day. We continued on between the col to our south-west and headed to the “Y” junction of Rocky River. We followed Rocky River to a small track at the south end of Pierces Castle. We then followed the path to the ford at the boundary of Rostrevor Forest. I had been in the same forest during my Bronze Award a year before, but in that time a lot of deforestation had taken place and it looked entirely different. We followed the forest track until we reached the bridge near Yellow Water picnic area. From here, we simply followed the path east, gaining a lot of height. That day there must have been some type of sponsored walk taking place because a lot of people were going in the opposite direction to us, wearing the same type of T-shirt. When we finally reached our campsite everyone was relieved because we were going home the next day. We talked about what we were going to do when we finished. When I opened my rucksack I found that our cooking fuel had leaked. When our tent was erected it smelt like meths inside, but we finally managed to get to sleep despite the smell. On the final day everyone was eager to get home because we were starting to smell and were snapping at each other at times. I think it always happens when you spend a lot of time with people. We started out by following the forest boundary, and taking a lot of pictures. We stopped when we reached a corner in the forest boundary. From here we followed a path through the forest, during which we made up about 20 minutes of lost time. When we reached the point at which the path met the river, we followed the river out of the forest. We walked along the river for the rest of the day until we found a fence which led to a lane. We followed the lane to the road. On the last 200 metres of road we passed a house where a Saint Bernard chased us for about 50 metres. This was very funny because one of our group members thought we were kidding when we started to run. At the end of the expedition we got picked up by the school mini bus and driven to the coach. Alan Jones (V)


FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 19th-21st AUGUST, 2011 MOURNE MOUNTAINS On Friday, 19th August, 2011, 28 Silver Award participants met in the school playground at 7.00am. Camping and navigation equipment collected, Mr. Reilly gave us a pep-talk and we climbed on to the bus. Our expedition started at Bryansford Gate. We set off in high spirits, hoping that the good weather would hold up. The first part of our expedition went through Tollymore Forest. The forest was lovely to walk through and, having been warned about the difficulty of navigation in forests, we paid close attention to our maps and surroundings. It paid off, as we managed to stay on the correct path and emerge on the Ulster Way leading to Trassey Track. We walked along Trassey Track towards Hare’s Gap. We then stopped at Trassey for lunch. After lunch, it started to rain lightly, and by the time we reached the top (Hare’s Gap) there was a torrential downpour. Rebecca’s leg began to hurt but she wanted to go on, so we commenced contouring around Slieve Bernagh. Then the weather took a further turn for the worse. A heavy fog came down and we couldn’t see Ben Crom Reservoir which we had been using to guide our navigation. We did our best to follow a compass bearing. Unfortunately Rebecca’s leg was getting worse, and we made slow progress. The weather got still worse. With the heavy rain and thick fog, a cutting wind rose up. After about an hour it seemed we had hardly covered any distance, and Rebecca decided that she could not continue. It was about 4.00pm. We unwrapped the emergency phone and tried dialling Mr. Reilly and all of our other emergency numbers. However, as we were in the heart of the Mournes we had no signal. I could have cried. We walked around to try and find a signal. It was decided that the only thing we could do was leave half the team behind. The other half would continue on along our original route in the hope of finding a signal or an instructor. I went on with Alice and Emma, leaving the others with our tents and trangias.


Miscellany It seemed exciting at first and we thought it would take us about half an hour to get a signal and find the instructors. We, therefore, calculated that we would be at our campsite by teatime. We underestimated. We checked the phone every so often but still no signal. We continued on, but by 6.00pm we still hadn’t found any help. The novelty was starting to wear off. We were cold, wet and miserable. We knew there was nothing else to do except continue onwards. At approximately 8.00pm, we were hungry so we had a quick dinner of sandwiches, cereal bars and crisps. The rain persisted. We headed towards Ben Crom, trying to avoid the steep cliffs on the other side. It was starting to get dark and we were really scared. I turned on my head-torch. My worry was the thought of spending the night in a bivvi bag, as we had left the camping equipment and tents with the other half of the team which had waited with Rebecca. We were continuing towards Shannagh River when at 10.00pm, I caught sight of a man wearing a blue coat. We were overjoyed! As we got closer we realised that it was instructor Maurice Miller. We explained to him everything that had happened (there were a few tears). He told us that we had to leave the mountains and camp outside the instructors’ cottage. We were reluctant about leaving our friends, but we saw the sense as they had a tent and we didn’t.


Maurice led us towards the road and the minibus. On the way, we met our assessor and the other leaders. The further we got from Shannagh River, the more our moods improved. We hopped on the minibus and stopped off for a pizza on the way back. By the time we reached the cottage it was after midnight. We quickly ate the pizza while the instructors erected our tent. We crawled into our sleeping bags, relieved that the experience was over. I have never been more scared and was very grateful to everyone for helping us. It is difficult to articulate how frightened we were. However, we all survived this experience safely and it was a clear reminder how the mountains are dangerous and the importance of training for expeditions. The next morning we had breakfast at the cottage.

At 8.00am instructor Frank Workman took us in the minibus to Trassey Track, to meet our group. He told us that we had to wait there until Maurice led our remaining group members there. After about 25 minutes we saw them approaching. We all exchanged our stories. I was glad to be back together again as it felt strange to be walking in a “three”. Rebecca decided she didn’t want to pull out anymore. Maurice assured us that we would never be far from the road and that they could collect us if needs be. It was sunny and warm as we started hiking along the Ulster Way around Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg towards Fofanny Dam. It was a very picturesque track and we saw plenty of people. Rebecca’s leg wasn’t feeling too good as we walked, so we took plenty of breaks. At Fofanny Dam, we were scheduled to stop for a lunch break. At this point, Rebecca decided to pull out so we tried the emergency phone and found that it had no signal. I was dreading a repeat of the previous day, but luckily we saw some people camping about 300m away. I went over with Rebecca to ask if we could borrow their phone. It was two men and a boy, who were really friendly and gave us their phone. Soon, Rebecca was talking to Mr. Reilly. He told us to stay where we were and Rebecca would be picked up soon. We thanked the people and headed back to our picnic stop - a prolonged lunch sounded great to all of us. Maurice came about 30 minutes later. We were sad to see Rebecca go. We felt good, refreshed and ready to push on towards Spelga Dam. We circumnavigated Slieve Muck using the telegraph poles as a rough guide. After Spelga, we walked along the B27. We crossed the River Bann then began walking through the grass, following the wall and river to Hen Mountain. We circumnavigated Hen Mountain in only half an hour. As far as we were concerned, the hard part of the day was over as we only had to walk along a clear track to our campsite. We arrived at our site at 5.15pm. Alex turned on the trangias while the rest of us erected the tents. We had dinner and received a visit from our instructors. Day 2 was successful and relatively uneventful compared to Friday. It didn’t take long for us to get to sleep. Day 3 was our final day and we were determined to succeed. We had made it this far! We were due to leave at 8.30am so we woke up at 7.30am. Our first leg was to walk to the col between Slieve Moughan and Wee Slieve Moughan. It was cloudy and a little windy, but thankfully not cold or rainy. After the col we walked towards the fork in Rocky Water. After following the river, we arrived at Batt’s Wall. We had a short break to take some pictures for our logs. The next part of the expedition was very easy to navigate. We had to cross Batt’s Wall and walk towards where the wall crossed

The Owl 2011 Yellow Water River. The river led us to Rostrevor Forest. By the time we reached the forest we were a little bit behind schedule, but we decided to stop for lunch to give us energy for our final push. During lunch, instructors Maurice and Denis turned up to check on us. Walking in the forest was fun. We knew we were nearly done and the sun was shining, so we were having a good time! We made up some of our lost time, and the walk was easy as it was relatively flat. It took us about two hours. I felt fantastic when we walked into the car park. There was a huge sense of accomplishment and pride – we had survived our Silver Qualifying! On the way home we stopped in Warrenpoint for sustenance. The chips and an ice-cream I bought tasted great. We got back to school, unpacked our tent and washed the trangias. Our parents came to pick us up at 6.30pm. In conclusion, I enjoyed my Silver Qualifying. I learnt the importance of having a good escape plan and how to cope with emergencies alone with no adults. Our expedition didn’t go 100 per cent to plan although we didn’t think it would ever happen to us, but we managed to survive it. D.of.E has brought our group a lot closer, as we had to work as a team and pull together. During my Silver Award, I’ve learnt many skills that can’t be taught in a classroom and the memories of this weekend (good and bad) will stay with me forever. Next year we’re “Going for Gold”! Leah Baillie (V)

Form 4 D.of.E. Silver Canoe Qualifying Expeditions, 31st July - 2nd August, 2011, Lough Erne. Mr. Gordon Thompson, the canoe assessor, with (l-r) Kirsti Farren, Sophie Daniels, Hannah Robinson, Naomh McGuigan, Natalie Paul, Beth MacDougall, Laura Young, Jenna Todd, Charlotte Noble, Calvin Lawrence, Oliver McGowan and Philip Simon.


CANADIAN CANOE QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 31st JULY-2nd AUGUST, 2011 LOUGH ERNE The team gathered together in the school playground. We lugged our things out of our cars and round to beside Mr Reilly’s room. We then checked our maps: it was very important that we made sure the route stayed in the water as apparently canoes don’t work so well out of the water! After we’d finished this and collected our tents and other equipment, we were ready to go. Off we set. Our team and the other team squeezed into a minibus and the barrels and rucksacks went down separately. We were spending the night before the expedition commenced at Gortatole Outdoor Education Centre, Florencecourt, so that we didn’t have to travel at an early hour in the morning. We also met our assessor, Gordon Thompson, who was very nice. The next day we got back into the minibus to go on to Trory Jetty at the bottom end of Lower Lough Erne, which was where our expedition commenced. We were


Miscellany all excited and ready to go. We got into the boats, which seemed very unsteady, and put our paddles in the water to speed through the water. The weather was good and the wind was pushing us gently forwards. The team worked very well together, and our paddling improved as the weekend went on even though we were getting increasingly tired each day. We were studying water pollution as our project and over the weekend saw a number of litter and oil spill issues which we all wrote about in our expedition log. After a long day of paddling, we arrived at our campsite. This was a field where we had to wade through mud. Evidence of cows was present (if you know what I mean). The girls stayed with the boats as the guys looked for somewhere to pitch two tents but after half an hour of searching, we still hadn’t found anywhere. The boys returned to the boats to look for somewhere to camp. After two more attempts, we finally found a site and set up the tents, falling asleep in record time. The next morning we took down the camp quickly and stuffed the tents into our barrels. Soon we were back in the boats. On the second day of our expedition, we actually struggled to keep our timings correct, as we were so far ahead of schedule. We arrived at our campsite later that day and were met by the Hare Krishna people who live on Inishrath. They invited us for dinner and to see them worshipping. We went to see an evening prayer service, but gave their morning service a miss, as it was at 4.00am! Charlotte could recite their song by heart, which impressed us all.


We then set off for our final day. The group was quite relieved to have almost completed the expedition, but also quite sad. We had worked well as a team and the skills were developing. At the end we were all full of satisfaction, partly because we’d finished our route, but partly too because we’d finished before the other team! Sophie Daniels, Kirsti Farren, Calvin Lawrence, Oliver McGowan, Charlotte Noble and Philip Simon (V)

Day 1 We began our day after a substantial fry and set off in high spirits, passing the train track where the “Hogwarts Express” from the Harry Potter films was filmed. The first day consisted of getting thrown out of a quarry, having our path blocked by half a forest of fallen trees and seeing several ‘Danger: do not enter’ signs. Towards the end of the day, after some dancing by John, we spotted a figure lurking in the distance. After some debate, we ventured forward to be greeted by a slightly menacing statue of a local minister. We arrived at a beautiful camp site beside a river, relieved to have finished our 22km day. We set up camp beside a stone shelter called a bothy, where we made our dinner and spent the evening. At around 10.00pm we were enjoying our crackers and squeezy cheese, courtesy of Lauren. Suddenly there was a crash at the door. In came an unexpected visitor, bringing gifts of coal and cards. Somewhat unusually, he had a stag’s head strapped to his rucksack. After the initial shock, we soon befriended Tom Jones, a Welsh student working in Scotland. We proceeded to spend an enjoyable night playing a card game which Katie tried to teach us, called “Egyptian Ratscrew.” Day 2 Unaware of the horror that awaited us in the hours to come, we set off from our campsite at 9.00am with the sun shining. We walked for around 10km along muddy tracks, taking in the picturesque scenery of mountains and waterfalls and enjoying the group banter. At about midday, the day took a turn for the worse. We had become a little “relaxed” about our map checking and we continued to walk up a gravel track for around 5km, unaware that we had missed a turn in the route that would be detrimental to our day. By the time we


FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 7th-10th JULY, 2011 BEN NEVIS AREA, SCOTLAND We completed our Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying expedition in July, 2011. We travelled across to the Fortwilliam area in the Scottish Highlands. We camped at Red Squirrel Campsite and ate in the local restaurant on the night either side of the expedition. Here we bonded with our instructors Maurice Miller, John Davison and Jonathan Cummings.

Form Lower 6 D.of.E. Gold Foot Qualifying Expedition, 7th - 10th July, 2011, Glencoe/Fortwilliam/Lochaber Area, Scotland. (l-r) Katie O’Neil, Lauren O’Donnell Anderson, Lucy Dugan, Mr. John Davison, Reece Colhoun, John McBride, Mr. Jonathan Cummings and Mr. Doug Little: a successful end to the expedition.

The Owl 2011 realised our mistake, we had gone outside the boundary of our maps and reached a mountain top train station. We found our current co-ordinates, and the reality dawned on us that we had roughly 15km more to walk to our campsite. We had gone 5km in the wrong direction and wasted valuable hours of the day. We then retraced our steps all the way back to where we made our wrong turn in the rain. Now back on track, we walked the final 10km along unbeaten tracks and finished at 10.30pm. Unable to move, we pitched tents on the path we had been walking on and went straight to bed hungry and exhausted. Day 3 After the traumatic experience of the previous day we surprisingly left camp on time at 9.00am and walked along a pipeline for around 5km. The whole group was overjoyed when instructor Maurice Miller appeared on the horizon, with a bag full of chocolate and lucozade! We advanced onwards, with Maurice tailing behind and had lunch at a scenic spot beside a loch. It was an easy finish to the day from there with a 5km walk on flat gravel track. We had an intellectual conversation about life. Our campsite was situated beside an unoccupied bothy. We sunbathed, ate and had a good laugh for the remainder of the day. Day 4 With the end in sight, we began our day happily. However, we quickly got into a dispute over where our path had gone. Later on, disaster struck as we found ourselves surrounded by a giant bog. John tried to escape by jumping across, but ended up face first in the bog. Lauren found this exceptionally funny and tried to jump across to take a photo. Unfortunately, she sank waist deep into the same bog and a small ecosystem for aquatic life soon formed in her boots. Some while later, her team-mates pulled her out of the bog, but only after making a short documentary about the event. It took the combined strength of four to lift her out. We then unexpectedly met Doug (the assessor) and Maurice walking together to find us. We ate lunch beside a beautiful waterfall and then crossed a river on a rope bridge. We then walked along a road, before entering a forest for the last leg of our journey. Ignoring immense pain and extreme fatigue, we stormed along the pathway which led us to the end of the West Highland Way. We collapsed together in a heap, and Doug revealed the great news that we’d passed! Katie O’Neill, John McBride, Lucy Dugan, Lauren O’Donnell Anderson, Reece Colhoun (MVI)


FOOT QUALIFYING EXPEDITION 11th-14th AUGUST, 2011 NORTH ANTRIM HILLS One Thursday morning in August at 7:00am (yep, that early!) we met up at school to sort the equipment for our expedition. We divided, then packed the gear into our rucksacks and set off towards the Antrim Hills. At least, that’s where we were when we all woke up from our snooze on the bus! We arrived at our starting point and met with Dermott, our assessor, who talked to us for about half an hour. We then got out of the minibus and into the rain, which we were to see plenty of during the expedition. At 10:00am we set off from the mini bus in the pouring rain following a track to the top of Carnanmore Mountain and down the other side for lunch. Up until this point, we had had no problems navigating the hills despite the poor visibility. However, trying to contour the Cushleake Mountain walking on bearings proved difficult. Finally, we got a break in the weather. We continued walking through the forest in pouring rain and finally made it to the campsite. We were tired and wet. We made some hot food and crawled into our tents, hoping for a better day on Friday. On Friday morning we started slightly late. Unfortunately there was still a lot of rain and fog. As the rain fell, we packed our wet tents into wet rucksacks and set off with our feet still wet from the bogs and rain. Visibility was really bad and we struggled for most of the day, navigating in really bad fog and pouring rain. We took the same path as the previous day, turning off for the forest. Aganarrive Hill was the main obstacle of the day as it was very marshy (everywhere). We were very relieved to find our instructor Maurice Miller on hand with a supply of drinks and an ‘encouraging’ word


Miscellany (“Only two days to go, lads!”). We set up camp quite early, changed from our wet clothes and had our meal. Then there was nothing else for it but to have an early night and get ready for day three. When we finally crawled out of our tents, Saturday morning’s weather was great. It wasn’t raining for the first time in the whole weekend, which made the walk through the forest much nicer. We met Dermott at the edge of the forest and he cheered us up further with hot chocolate. With an encouraging team talk under our belts, we set off up Skerry Hill, Slievenamaddy and Slievenenee, bogs and all, and made really good time. Inevitably, however, the rain returned once more. We arrived at that night’s campsite which overlooked a waterfall. It was an awesome view. We pitched our tents, had our food and once again changed from our wet clothes. The midges were out in force, so we once again crawled into our tents for an early night and to escape the biting! For our last day of the expedition, the sun was out. We were meant to leave at 8.30am. We didn’t. We really aren’t too good at the whole “getting up on time” thing. During our last day we walked through Glenariff Forest eventually to meet up with the Dungonnell Way. We were caught in a few light showers during the day, but nothing compared to what we had already been through. We all knew the end was almost in sight and we were in cheerful mood when the rain fell, and we were drenched again! We walked on, water dripping, but nothing could take away from our joy as we walked into the car park side by side to the FINISH! After all the work, the weather and the conditions, it was a relief.


The expedition was great fun and full of “firsts” even at Gold. Four years of hard work in training, planning, route cards and expedition skills have finally led to the finish and, hopefully, the award ceremony at Buckingham Palace. My team was awesome. We really pulled together with hardly any complaining, and we worked hard for each other. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. All six of us would like to thank Mr. Reilly and Maurice Miller for all of their hard work during our expedition and our four years with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Nathan Lyons, Bill Hunter, Duncan Taylor, Jonathan Orr and Kyle Hendry (MVI)


CANADIAN CANOE EXPEDITION TRAINING 2nd-6th AUGUST, 2011 SHARE CENTRE, LISNASKEA On Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011, our group Bethany Brown, Maebh King, Caroline Montgomery and Ellie Hudson travelled together to the Share Centre near Lisnaskea. The aim of this trip was for us to undergo an intensive Canadian canoeing course to assist us ‘novices’ to undertake our Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition. On arrival at the Share Centre, we set up camp and had an early night. Thank goodness, because the next three days consisted of 15 hours intensive canoe practice, where we learnt basic skills and safety. Our instructor David Maxwell spent a lot of time and effort with us, and thanks to his extensive experience and constant encouragement, we were transformed from complete novices to competent canoeists. Although the main objective of this course was to learn how to canoe, we also experienced Duke of Edinburgh life – living in tents and cooking all our meals on trangias. In our free time, we enjoyed the company of other campers on the site and made new friends. We arrived back to school on Saturday and carried out the usual jobs of hanging out tents and storing barrels. Only then did we realise just how tired we were. The whole experience was great and really worthwhile. We were all glad we had this opportunity. We are looking forward to the next training weekend. None of this would have been possible without our instructors David Maxwell, Ruth Pettigrew and Chris Hall, who made sure we were safe at all times and of course, Mr. Reilly. A massive thank you to them all. Caroline Montgomery (LVI)

The Owl 2011

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme



The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

Silver Badges awarded to - (back, l-r) Kate Miller, Emily Taggart, Matthew Magil, Connor Brogan, Joel Auterson, Reece Colhoun, Scott Boyd and Seana Harley-Moyes. (middle, l-r) Julia Diamond, Robyn Scott, Shannon Clements and Katie Robinson. (front, l-r) Katherine Hutchinson and Jess Kidd.

Bronze Badges and Certificates awarded to - (back, l-r) Jenna Todd, Jack Armstrong, Emily Taggart, Sarah Bingham, Michaela Collins and Zoe O’Reilly. (front, l-r) Rebecca Rowan, Leah Baillie, Emma Gray and Alice Kavanagh.

Silver Award Badge. (l-r) James Donnelly, Jamie Dwyer and Gareth Gilfillan.

Dr. Campbell presents Aaron Hamilton with his D. of. E. Gold Award Badge.

Mr. Dickson presents Anna-Rose McCambridge with her D.of.E. Bronze Award Badge.

Duke of Edinburghs’ Gold Award Badge. (l-r) Alisha Gergett and Gary Chivers.

Mr. Dickson presents Sarah Daniels with her D. of. E. Bronze and Silver Award Badges.

Mr. Dickson presents Sorcha Burke with her D. of. E. Bronze Award Badge.

Mr. Dickson presents Fiona Henderson with her D.of.E. Gold Award Badge.

Mr. Dickson presents David Costley with his D.of.E. Gold Award Badge.


Pupils who received their Duke of Edinburghs Bronze Badge and Certificate.

Mr. Dickson presents Genevieve Leonard with her D.of.E. Gold Award Badge.

Mr. Dickson presents Kerrie Patton (left) and Heather Curry with their D. of. E. Gold Award Badges.

The Owl 2011

What The Papers Say...




The Owl 2011





For my Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award Volunteering section, I helped out as a volunteer leader for my local Rainbow Guides in Carrickfergus. I went every Friday after school from 4.00pm until 5.30pm.

When I was completing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, I found it difficult to choose a sport for the Physical section, since I wasn’t the biggest sports fan. When I was informed that the school offered a three month kayaking course, I was delighted and immediately signed up. Kayaking was a sport in which I had never participated but always had an interest.

While there, I would help to co-ordinate activities and games for the young girls. As the weeks went on, I was given more responsibility over the girls. I found that my leadership skills and ability to cope with responsibility started to improve and I grew more confident. I found that I got on really well with the young girls and this made getting them to listen to me a lot easier. Over the months we took the girls on a few outings, the most popular of which was the five minute walk to Maud’s ice cream shop. I really enjoyed my time as a leader there and found it to be very rewarding. The skills involved with taking care of young children are valuable and this experience truly developed mine. I had a great time and I would strongly recommend it to anyone participating in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Kate Miller (LVI)

SKILLS SECTION BASS GUITAR For my Skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, my chosen skill was playing the bass guitar. I chose to learn my skill for six months and I had lessons every Thursday for an hour after school. When I started my Skills section I had never taken lessons before and had only been playing bass for two months. By doing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, I improved on bass and I started my grade exams. I really enjoy playing bass guitar and want to continue doing so and working on my grades. Playing bass has helped me in music classes at school, as I now understand a lot more about music. I am now working towards my Grade 5 exam, and, although I am beginning another skill for my Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award, I will continue to play the bass guitar and enjoy it. Katy Mann (IV)

The kayaking course took place every Friday in the swimming pool for an hour after school. Our instructor Brian was very helpful and patient and always in great form. He taught us many useful skills and techniques in a kayak, such as forward and backward paddle stroke, stopping technique, sweep strokes and my favourite capsizing! I thoroughly enjoyed the course and was disappointed when it ended. It helped me to develop and understand my strengths and fitness. I have also learnt many techniques and would now be quite confident to get into a kayak. I discovered a sport I really liked. I hope to have more opportunities in the future to take on different challenges, all thanks to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Angela Cao (IV)


RESIDENTIAL SECTION 4th - 17th FEBRUARY, 2011 MALAWI In February, 2011, I travelled to Mulanje in Malawi with a team of 29 other pupils from school. The Malawi experience is hard to explain and something that is a different experience for everyone who takes part. The aim of the project is to provide teaching and medical work experience for LVI pupils. However, it has a much deeper impact, as it happens at a time when everything you do begins to shape the rest of your life. Therefore, the Malawi experience can have an incredibly profound effect on those who participate. On our first full day in Malawi we were thrown straight into the epicentre of Malawian culture. We attended a two hour long church service, which was completely different to anything I had ever seen before. The congregation were on their feet dancing and singing, and for the first time, I enjoyed church. The following day was the first day of actual work experience. I went to the local secondary school to sit in on a few classes and get a sense of what I would be


Miscellany doing during the rest of the week. That night, we went back to Likhubula House where we were staying and I prepared a maths lesson for Forms I and III (equivalent to GCSE) for the next day.

She won two first place gold medals and her team was placed first in both team competitions. Both of these competitions have rarely been won before by one team. She was also placed sixth in her solos.

When I got up to teach for the first time, it was a terrifying moment. I looked around the classroom and saw over 80 students, many of whom were older than me, packed into the tiny room, all waiting for me to start the lesson.

Rachel O’Neill Form III competed in the All-Ireland Championships over Easter achieving third place in various events. She also competed in the SE England Championships in London becoming the Championship winner.

However, one of the great things that Malawi forces you to do is to dive straight into things, and forget how terrifying they are. So as the week went on I grew in confidence and dived straight into every lesson, whether it was maths at the secondary school, biology at the primary school or the massive P.E. lesson with over 2,000 children. At the end of the week came my favourite part of the trip. A few of us went down to the secondary school to give some of the pupils a ‘motivational talk’. We split the Form III class up into small groups and talked to them about what they wanted to do with their lives, and we shared a bit about ours. I found that most of the pupils wanted to become a doctor or an engineer, which was difficult to hear, because only a small fraction of them will be able to make it. However, it gave us a great chance to get to know everyone better and I still keep in contact with a few of the people I talked to that day. The following week brought one of the hardest days: the home visits. Each of us got the chance to visit the homes of the secondary school pupils, and meet their families. I visited the home of a boy called Pasco who lived in a small house with two rooms that housed a family of five. At first, this was incredibly hard to see. But after talking to the family for a while we began to see a strong sense of contentedness in the face of sheer adversity and poverty, which was quite a sobering thought. 120

The Malawi Project is, in my view, very worthwhile. Every member of every team participating over the years will always remember the impact they made in Mulanje, and the impact that it made on them. Duncan Taylor (MVI)

IRISH DANCING Clodagh Corry Form V has been competing in Irish dancing competitions for over ten years. During Easter she competed in the All-Ireland and International Irish Dancing Championship held in Ennis. In previous years Clodagh has won several All-Ireland medals, but this year she won three All-Ireland medals

Judith Keyes competed in the Festival Northern Ireland Championships where she received first place in her solos. In addition, Judith won the Ballyclare Open Festival being awarded The Overall Most Outstanding Dancer Award. Judith then went on to become Ulster Champion. W.S.

GEOGRAPHY FIELDWORK FORM I GEOGRAPHY AND WEATHER Form I has recently been studying temperature and wind speed. We came into our geography room as usual chattering to our friends before sitting down at our desks. Something was different today as we saw Mr Stewart fiddling with some odd red things in cardboard boxes. Immediately the same question popped into all our minds. What are they for? Our questions were about to be answered: “Today in class we will be finding out what the temperature and what the wind speed is in various locations around the school,” boomed Mr Stewart. The class was divided into nine groups for data collection. The information on temperature and wind was collected by visiting each of the sites and using a digital weather meter. If you have an open area such as in front of the Crombie building, it would be more likely to have a higher wind speed. However, if you’re in an area with more buildings it reduces the wind speed. This task was fun and we were learning at the same time! When we were finished everyone got together and returned to class and our teacher checked all our answers and put them on the board. We wrote it into tables in our notebook. Our task was completed and this means that we had learned a new skill of measuring the temperature and the wind speed. We finished by producing a report in our books which is worth 10% of the examination. Rachel Chapman and Lucy Clements (I)

The Owl 2011

FORM II FIELDTRIP TO HOLYWOOD In April we went on a field trip to Holywood Beach. We were put into groups and we walked along the beach testing the infiltration rates of the sand from the lower, middle and upper parts of the beach. To do this we had to bring a can with no top or bottom, one with a top and a milk carton. We got the water from a small stream. After doing this we stopped for a short break and then we carried on walking further down the beach. We stopped at five different coastal defence locations and drew a sketch of each one with a description explaining what it did and why it was there. We got to see how important coastal defence was by examining the former location of a pub that used to get flooded regularly. The new defence measures have

Measuring infiltration rates on the beach

finally brought protection to this part of the coast. The trip was very enjoyable and we learnt a lot about why we should save our coast. Chloe McAllister and Mollie Haddock (II)

FORM III TRIP TO BELFAST During the Autumn term of third year, the whole of Form III went on a field trip to compare, investigate and record the deprivation levels in certain areas in Belfast. The group split up and went to either the North and East of Belfast, or the South and West of Belfast. We were looking to evaluate the conditions of buildings, levels of noise, graffiti, vandalism, litter and amount of vegetation. Our group left on the bus along with one other class and drove around to different points in Belfast. We brought a clipboard, pen and pre-drawn up table to record our results. We found that the areas near the centre of Belfast had higher levels of deprivation than the outer areas. Areas such as the Malone Road had a very good amount of vegetation, practically no litter, and very little street noise. Areas such as the City Centre were the opposite and had high levels of vandalism, litter and loud background noise. It also had very little vegetation and some derelict buildings.

Sketching coastal defence measures on the North Down Coastal Path

Overall it was an interesting experience because we learnt about how different parts of the city are, even though they were so close. Eilis O’Loan and Katie Watt (IV)





As part of our GCSE Geography Controlled Assessment on Population Change in Belfast, all of the Form IV Geography classes went into Belfast City Centre on 22nd and 23rd June 2011 to get information from members of the public on their opinions regarding population change.

On the 13th of September, 2011 a group of ‘A’ level geographers set out to Murlough Bay to examine coastal defences. We did this in anticipation of the Fluvial and Coastal Systems module we will do for our A2 examinations. We walked down the beach, stopping regularly to photograph and analyse various defence techniques ranging from soft engineering such as planting of marram grass, to hard engineering solutions such as sea walls in front of the Slieve Donard Hotel.

My class went on the first trip and I was working outside Victoria Square asking people questions about population change. I found the trip very enjoyable, as most people were happy to answer questions, and it was easy enough to complete in the time that was given. It was very interesting discovering the variation of opinions about population change from people I had never spoken to before, and I would be happy to do it again! Jack Armstrong (V)

We then walked through Newcastle to question tourists on their opinions of Newcastle as a tourist destination. We asked them questions relating to our A21 Geography module; A Study of Tourism. With this data we used statistical methods to analyse it and came to a variety of conclusions. This data will be used during the examination in May/June 2012. Joshua Rooney / Tom Marsh / Jamie Laughlin (MVI)

Examining the quality of the environment in the city centre

Examining coastal defence measures at Dundrum bay


Comparing the environmental quality with areas in the suburbs of Belfast

Questioning members of the public to gather data for testing hypotheses

Questioning members of the public on their attitudes to the tourist facilities in Newcastle

The Owl 2011

JOURNALISM WORKSHOP WITH THE BBC’S THOMAS NIBLOCK On the 4th of March, Thomas Niblock (BBC Sports journalist) came to BRA to lead a workshop with thirteen Form III pupils (Ling Chung, Rose Beavis, Angela Cao, Sara Thabeth, Lauren Crothers, Molly Martin, Pearl Dwan, Constance Gough, Katie Magee, Clare McGowan, Andrew Anderson, Christian O’Connor and Jordan Mullan).

“It was an amazing workshop showing me that it isn’t that easy to be a sports presenter. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.” Andrew Anderson. “It was a really great day, and Thomas was very friendly. He helped me to realise that journalism is something I would consider doing as a career.” Rose Beavis. T.M.B.

Currently working at the BBC, Mr Niblock has also worked with Sky Sports for 2 years and UTV for 18 months. He started his career writing in The Times, The Irish News and various other sports magazines/ newspapers. Pupils were shown exactly what it is like to work for the BBC and were given the task of producing their own news broadcast. They were shown how to interview and given the tips and tricks of the news industry. Each pupil was assigned their own role for the day and set off to research, film the interview and record links. The pupils came up with some very interesting topics. The final stories were: GCSE choices, the renovation of the Crombie building, Christine McMahon competing in the Commonwealth Games, and a feature on Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at BRA. Each pupil coped well with the pressures of organising the interviews and being in front of the camera. Overall, the day was a very worthwhile experience, everyone enjoyed it and took something away with them. Some comments from the pupils: “I thought it was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am now considering it as a career in future.” Christian O’Connor. “I thought the day was fun-filled, helped us with organisation and preparation as well as being a brilliant workshop. Thomas Niblock is very good at what he does. He is awesome!” Lauren Crothers. “It was a very enjoyable and educational day. Thomas gave us a great insight into journalism and it’s definitely a great career choice to consider.” Angela Cao. “I learnt a lot about journalism and had a great day filming. Thomas worked well with us and is a very nice person.” Ling Chung.



National Poetry Day


The Owl 2011

MALAWI The vision of our school Malawi project continued to go from strength to strength in 2011. We had two teams, one travelling in February and the other in June exploring the summer term as to potential time to undertake the work experience and service projects. The Malawi experience is a 15 month commitment for both pupils and staff and the project is deeply indebted to the staff who gave of their time and skills to make this another amazing experience. The February staff included Mr Buchan, Mrs Allen, Miss McCay, Mr Johnston, Mrs Morrison and Dr Bell along with our resident team medic and Governor, Dr Moyna Bill. The June staff comprised Mrs Heaslip, Mr Dorman, Mrs Gilmore, Mr McCarey, the team medic Mrs Jessie Cupples along with the supportive help of Mr David Creighton and Mr Geoff Gilmore. Excellent support was also given in June by Miss Cara Heaslip whilst undertaking several gap months in Malawi. Staff aside, however, this experience helps develop our pupil team members and they continued to surprise and astound us becoming exemplary ambassadors for our school and country. Their perspective tells most about the 2011 experience and a few have tried to capture just how the journey unfolded for them.

GETTING READY TO GO In summer 2010 our group’s first outing was to the Kilbrony Centre in Rostrevor for team-building exercises and some fun in the sun! Our trip to Malawi seemed far in the future, but little did we know how time would fly. Once back at school in September our first fundraising event was pioneered by Lucy Dugan who managed to get musician Brian Houston to perform a concert in aid of our projects in the Mulanje Mission. The night was a complete success! Next up we took ourselves (covered in Santa hats and jingle bells) to the Abbey Centre where generous Christmas shoppers donated to sweating students on exercise bikes. Other fundraising included collections courtesy of Fortwilliam Musical Society and selling custom-made BRA wristbands. During the Christmas holidays Team Feb. went on their residential in the snow. We gallivanted around the city centre on an ultra-competitive treasure hunt, had a dodge-ball tournament, some team-bonding and experienced Mr Buchan playing “Teeth!!!” The next day we formed our team contract and finished on a high with a ferocious snowball fight. After receiving our hideous vaccinations and finally handing in our passports to Mrs Morrison, all that was left to do was pack - a task easier said than done!

Having as a team raised over £10,000 for project and community work and after months of preparation, to say we were excited was an understatement! Sarah Gargan (LVI)

FEBRUARY When we first landed in Blantyre the change in atmosphere was instantaneous. The sights, the smells and the sounds were all completely new to us. Hundreds of smiling faces greeted us upon our arrival, some who had never seen a white person before. The thing that struck me most was the thousands of children who were so excited to see us and were very enthusiastic to play and learn with us. We were provided with accommodation at Likhubula house and were overwhelmed by Nancy and the rest of the staff. They were all so friendly and did everything they could to make our stay even more special. Work experience was the main focus of our travels but we encountered so much more than originally expected. The emotional bond we share with some school children in the Mulanje Mission is forever made and there is still one boy who I talk to now. One of my favourite times in Malawi was teaching in the primary and secondary schools. The children are so eager to learn and want nothing more than to continue their education, although the reality is that very few, if any, of them will. The trip showed me what I take for granted in life. I now make it a goal to live life to its fullest. It has also encouraged me to work for goals and not just expect dreams to be handed to me. Declan Coghlan (LVI) While we were in Malawi, I spent three days in the mission hospital, assisting nurses with ward rounds, observing in Radiology and the under 5’s clinic. I saw infant vaccinations and helped weigh babies. We had the opportunity to meet the hospital’s only qualified doctor, Dr. Kilungwe, who gave us a brief guide to how the hospital is run. Currently the areas they focus on are the youth clinic, palliative care, cervical cancer screenings, a modern dental unit, kangaroo care (a facility designed to care for mothers and their premature babies) and the HIV clinic. The hospital is dealing with huge setbacks (such as lack of funding, maintenance, lack of staff) but the staff remains strong and keep trusting that help will come. The link we have as a school has been developing over the last few years as more and more pupils visit. The link has become an integral part of the hospital’s growth. Their vision is: ‘To have a community where people are able to recognise health problems and seek holistic health care services based on Christian values to improve the quality of life’.



Malawi : February


The Owl 2011 Above all, my best moment in Malawi was when I got to scrub in on a caesarean section in theatre. We got to follow the whole procedure, right through to the baby’s first cry after twenty minutes of the nurse trying to revive her. When she opened her eyes for the first time, I was the first thing she saw! I got to hold her and she helped me realise that medicine is definitely the career I want to follow. Judith Bingham (LVI)

and teach classes of African children, ranging from four to twenty years old, but it was a challenge that every member overcame and performed to their best. At times, the language barrier and large number of children could be an issue but our team worked even harder to ensure every child was involved. By the end of the week, even the most timid team member became completely confident in a classroom environment. What we learnt through intense situations like these was more than just work experience – we gained invaluable skills for life.


Working in the hospital proved really worthwhile, with some of the team even travelling to a patient’s home with the amazing Outreach Clinic, a medical group who go out to treat patients who cannot get to the hospital themselves. Seeing a cancer patient being given chemotherapy on a wooden mat in his garden both shocked and amazed the students, and it really hit home the severe conditions that people live with in Malawi. Something like that just wouldn’t be accepted in Belfast, and experiencing the two extremes firsthand was quite overwhelming.

It would be impossible to sum up two incredible weeks of living in Africa in one short article – but here goes. On Friday 24th June 2011, sixteen pupils and six staff set off on the vast journey to Malawi in South East Africa. After three long flights and one lost suitcase we were only too happy finally to arrive in Blantyre Airport, where the heat instantly hit us – an impressive 26 degrees! We met up with Mr Creighton who had already been in Mulanje for a few days. Two minibuses picked us up and we set off on the spectacular drive to Likhubula House where we were staying. As we drove further out of Blantyre towards the more rural Mulanje, we were exposed to a setting very different to Belfast – the roads were mostly dirt tracks with no footpaths, the few cars were old models and the buildings, even shops, were very basic. Barefooted children ran after our buses shouting and waving, and we could see women busily working at stalls by the roadside and carrying baskets on their heads. We also noted that all of the men seemed to be sitting with their friends having a drink. Our Malawian driver explained that it was custom here for the women to work and the men to sit back and relax. Eventually we arrived at Likhubula House, set in the shadow of the magnificent Mulanje Mountain, and we were greeted warmly by the cooks there who had specially prepared donuts for us! After settling in to our rooms, we played with some local children who had seen us arriving and had hidden in the bushes until we came out to play – they were so eager and full of energy! Then it was an early night for everyone as we were tired after the twenty hours of travelling, and we had to be up early for a two-hour long church service in the morning! The days flew by as we settled quickly into our routines of early rises and long days of work experience. We rotated each placement so every member of the team got to experience a variety of different situations, from hand painting in the nursery school to weighing babies in the hospital. It was truly daunting having to get up

The organized home-visits to the houses of Malawian pupils proved a really insightful experience for all. Many of the homes visited by the team members were only one small room, with up to four people living there. Conditions were very basic and it was a far off cry compared to the luxury we live in at home. Yet despite the obvious economic differences, our Malawian peers have very much the same interests and dreams as we do, even though some of their aspirations – things as simple as wanting to go to university – are actually unrealistic. They are so passionate about doing something worthwhile with their lives but in reality, the opportunity to realise those dreams may never come. The project day was one of the most enjoyable of the trip, with the team splitting up into three groups and then each group redecorating a particular classroom at the Mulanje Mission School. The nursery was repainted completely, including numbers, letters and a mural on the walls, and it was also refurbished with loads of new toys that the team bought with money they fundraised together. The other two groups repainted primary one classrooms, with help from some Malawian pupils from the local secondary school. Many interesting conversations were had and friendships formed over tins of paint! One of the most memorable moments of the day, however, was when Mr Dorman finally finished painting the alphabet on to a classroom wall, only to realize he had inconveniently left out the letter W… he had to spend another hour repainting over what he’d done and add in the missing letter. We will never let him live that down!



Malawi : June


The Owl 2011 The Cultural Exchange between the BRA team and APATSA Orphanage was brilliant and enjoyed by all. We offered our talents as a choir and an Irish dancingtroupe, and the children of APATSA put on a number of songs, plays and acrobatic routines for us. Each side shared music from their home country, before collaborating at the end in a huge song and dance. Singing and dancing with new found friends –both on the team and from Malawi- in the dusty playground of APATSA was one of the most uplifting moments of the trip. There was never a dull evening in Likhubula House, with Phillip inventing ‘football-tennis’ and DJ and Mr McCarey creating various concentration games like ‘Tally, Tally, Ho, Ho’ and even organizing a ‘Talent Show’. It is safe to say none of us will ever, ever forget our nurse Jessie’s performance at such evenings, particularly the legendary ‘Plank’ dance, which will go down in history! It was important to experience what else Africa had to offer outside of work, so in our free time we visited the local markets and bought traditional Chichenzi fabric, and one day trekked up Mount Mulanje to experience the stunning views from the huge waterfalls. Best of all though, was the safari park we visited towards the end of our trip. We were all really excited to travel up to Lilongwe National Park to partake on a river cruise and dawn safari ride, which were both fantastic. We came really close to wild elephants, hippos, crocodiles and warthogs, and also spotted gazelles, king fishers, baboons and eagles. The park was really incredible, and a hugely worthwhile place to visit while we were in Africa. To see wild animals roam around their natural habitat unimpeded by cages or a barrier was astonishing. Even the landscape was breathtaking – the cacti and baobab trees were amazing in themselves. Despite their basic conditions, the people we met in Malawi were hugely thankful for however little they had, and strived to live in an upbeat way. Living and working there has taught us all a lot - about ourselves, about other people, and about the world we’re living in. As a team, we persevered even when things went wrong; running out of lessons to teach thirty African kids when there’s still half an hour of class left isn’t an ideal situation to find yourself in, but when you’ve got someone working beside you, it doesn’t seem quite so impossible. The one quote we could use to sum up the experience is ‘‘A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles’’ - something that absolutely rings true for the Malawi experience of June 2011. Sarah Martin (LVI)

So the project comes to an end for 2011, but it will have already begun for 2012. Unfortunately it will be without Mrs Allen, now teaching in the Royal School Armagh, and Mr Johnston, now teaching in Ballymena Academy. Their input to this project will be greatly missed and we take this opportunity to say thank you for the passion and commitment given to the Malawi experience. It is with fond memories that we wish them every blessing in their new posts. Thank you to all involved in Malawi 2011. Global Opportunities (Malawi) A.B.

MATHS COMPETITIONS The school continues to participate in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior UK Maths Challenges with considerable success. In addition to multiple Gold certificates for our entrants, Tom Hanna qualified for the first round of competition to qualify for the Olympiad team. In addition, Tom Hanna and Ridwan Farouki took part in the first round of qualifying for the Senior British Mathematical Olympiad and Sorcha Burke qualified for the next stage of the Intermediate challenge. For the first time the school submitted a team for the Northern Ireland round of the team challenge. The team, consisting of Sorcha Burke, David Speers, Ryan Lightowler and Hollie McCalmont, participated in a series of challenges (including a very active Maths Relay race) against eight other schools. Although they did not progress to the next round, it was an impressive performance and a fantastic display of team spirit. In the coming year, in addition to the existing competitions, a Senior team will be taking part in the team challenge and regular maths competitions will begin to run. These competitions will hopefully develop further the team work and problem solving skills demonstrated over the past year. S.C.S.




Nine MVI pupils studying A2 English Literature attended ‘An audience with Roddy Doyle’ at the Elmwood Hall. The event was part of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and Doyle read extracts from his new book and answered questions from the audience. The MVI pupils were studying Doyle’s Booker Prize winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and were given an insight into the author’s methods of creating characters and crafting a story. Doyle seemed unaware (and quite amused) that one of his novels was being studied by A-level pupils, but was very happy to meet the class and pose for a photograph! K.B.


Form II PARIS TRIP On Thursday 14th April 43 Form II pupils along with six teachers were standing excitedly in the departure lounge of Belfast International Airport, bags in hand and ready to set off for Paris. I couldn’t believe the buzz that already existed, with much talking, hugging, laughing and goodbyes, and all before the trip had even begun! Check-in was really quick, and as soon as it was completed we were upstairs, engaged in the important business of eating and shopping. Some of us were even brave enough to stick our feet in a tank of fish. I, thankfully, was not one of those brave ‘soles’! Soon, our flight was called, and almost before we knew it we were on board the plane and ready for take-off. Two hours, and one very funny plane ride later, we landed in Paris, which was surprisingly hot. We practically leapt off the plane and ran to collect our bags. Again, everything went well apart from two luggage mishaps and a long wait for the coach to arrive. Eventually, however, we were on the coach and heading towards central Paris and dinner. Dinner, let’s just say, wasn’t great, but we have lots of funny memories of “Flunch”. After dinner we were back on the coach with a long drive ahead of us to get to the hotel.

The Owl 2011

Form II Paris Trip


Miscellany By the time we arrived and unpacked our luggage, everyone was shattered and just wanted to sleep. The next few days were very eventful, and every night all we wanted to do was just flop into our beds. On Friday we went to the Trocadero, where we were able to get the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, and in the afternoon we stopped at Montmartre and the Artists’ Square. The Artists’ Square was a lot of fun as we got portraits and caricatures drawn of ourselves by the artists. We also saw many street performers. Saturday and Sunday were both just as jam-packed. We were to visit the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Champs Elysees for food and shopping! We also took a boat ride along the River Seine, and, the most obvious thing of all, we journeyed to the top of the Eiffel Tower which was breathtaking since it is 325m in height and I’m not too good with heights, but I still loved it. On Monday we were supposed to visit the palace of Versailles, but we chose to arrive on a day when it was shut. However, it was a beautiful day, and we were happy to walk through the equally beautiful gardens where we were to enjoy a really nice ice cream. That afternoon, we spent almost four hours in the Versailles shopping centre, which is absolutely massive. Finally, Tuesday had to be one of our favourite days, as we spent all day in Disneyland. This is my idea of a good day, even if we did have to queue for a while. As this was our last night in Paris we were able to ditch the ‘Flunch’ and replace it with the luxury of Planet Hollywood, where the food was delicious and where we were to have a lot of fun.


Our last day saw us having an early 6.30am start, which we didn’t enjoy very much, but the day improved and we went to see Napoleon’s tomb, which was a bit creepy, but interesting. We then went on a very brief visit to the Army Museum. Our last day in Paris was coming to an end, but we just had time for lunch and one last bit of shopping. Eventually however, we had to board the coach for the last time and head to the airport, where we checked in our bags and reluctantly boarded our plane. I don’t think any of us wanted to leave, although we all wanted to see our families and friends again. Paris was a great experience, and it brought me closer to a lot of people. It’s a trip I’ll always remember, and I’d love to do it all over again. Rachel Atkinson (II)

POETRY IN MOTION On 29th March 2011, Class 2G excitedly made their way to the Waterfront Hall for the launch of this year’s Poetry in Motion anthology. The Poetry In Motion project, organised by New Belfast Arts, affords pupils from schools across Belfast the opportunity to hone their poetry writing skills in creative workshops run by published poets from around the world. 2G worked with Paul Maddern, a native of Bermuda who is currently based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University. The class took part in six hour-long workshops with Paul, in which they investigated a variety of poetic forms, devices and themes, before writing a series of Haikus entitled ‘Our Brilliant Days’, which would eventually feature in the Poetry In Motion anthology. Pupils were able finally to see the fruits of their labour at the launch of ‘You Are Here’, the Poetry In Motion Schools’ Anthology 2011. Five pupils from the class also delighted the Waterfront audience with a performance of extracts from ‘Our Brilliant Days’. Each pupil was presented with their own copy of the anthology. They were also delighted to hear that copies of ‘You Are Here’ will be taking pride of place in libraries across the world, including The British Library in London. But you don’t need to travel that far to read 2G’s efforts! A copy of ‘You Are Here’, featuring ‘Our Brilliant Days’ is also available for viewing in the Belfast Royal Academy’s library. D.M.G.

The Owl 2011

PARTNERSHIP, POETRY AND PROGRESS In an innovative partnership between the Academy and the third level education sector, the University of Ulster PGCE English with Drama and Media Studies students have been working to support the School’s Sixth form pupils with their understanding of AS Level poetry.

‘Thank you very much for taking the time to mark my essay and giving such detailed responses and advice. I really appreciate it. You have shown me, for example, that in the conclusion a personal response to the poems would be appropriate, something I had not thought of. The feedback is excellent showing me where I’ve done well and where I can improve. Thanks again.’

The collaborative venture between the university and BRA used the virtual learning environment, Learning Northern Ireland or LNI, to create an online space for the PGCE student teachers and sixth form pupils to meet ‘virtually’.

The online space created relationships which were mutually supportive as the Sixth form pupils felt that they were helping the trainee English teachers progress with their knowledge of teaching and learning. In this vein the ‘partnership’ between sixth form pupil and student teacher was articulated when another Lower VI student remarked:

In BRA, after a number of ‘AS’ level poetry classes on Frost and Thomas, Lower VI pupils were tasked with answering a mock examination question, which was posted up on to LNI, to await feedback from the PGCE English student teachers.

‘Ms… thanks a lot for taking the time to mark my essay - it’s much appreciated. Good luck in your teaching practice.’

In the University of Ulster, English PGCE student teachers studied the prescribed Frost and Thomas poems and assessment techniques. The pupils’ poetry responses were then allocated to pairs of PGCE student teachers. All student teachers collaboratively discussed the work and they marked the work co-operatively with their paired peer. They agreed on bands and worked together to allocate the sixth form pupils with a mark, as well as detailed formative and constructive comments to enhance pupils’ composition skills and understanding of poetry. All responses were marked via the online method of tracking changes (Microsoft Word) and individual feedback was posted back to all sixth form pupils via LNI. Responses to this initiative have been very positive from the perspectives of the Academy pupils and the trainee English teachers. Generally an evaluation of the project elicited the following points: the sixth form pupils thought that they benefited from the range of models posted up and displayed on the VLE by their peers; they thought it was interesting and informative to see the variety and depth of responses to the one common question; a new assessor and ‘teacher’ provided a fresh pair of eyes and a new audience for the pupils to show (off!) their work and this was a motivating factor; the assessment process and resultant feedback was transparent and again provided models for all pupils to view and self evaluate in comparison with their own assessed responses. On receiving feedback on their responses, all pupils responded with very positive and supportive remarks. One of the Lower VI commented:

And another stated: ‘Thank you so much for taking the time to mark my essay. I have found your comments extremely helpful, and I hope to follow your advice to make improvements in the future. I wish you all the luck in the future.’ From the university perspective, the English student teachers also enjoyed the experience and they saw many advantages to the project. Importantly they were given access (albeit vicariously) to a real ‘A’ level English Literature class, as they had sight of and were able to comment on ‘live’ ‘A’ level scripts, to support ‘real’ pupils with their knowledge of poetry. This gave an authenticity to workshop debates surrounding approaches to teaching ‘A’ level poetry. Significantly, the student teachers were able to engage in pedagogical discourse surrounding how ‘best’ to prepare ‘AS’ level pupils for a one hour open text examination. They became very familiar and comfortable with the CEA examination syllabus and were able to further their knowledge of assessment strategies to tailor feedback to support pupil success in the examination. The interaction and exercise had a purpose and the reactions from the


Miscellany sixth form pupils to their comments and feedback were important in affirming their expertise in this new area. One PGCE student enthused, “It was really great to see what stage sixth form pupils were at and also to see the different range of responses within one was good to see exactly what they [pupils] are capable of... To see an actual work in progress rather than trying to conceptualise where pupils are at prior to the examination stage.” The partnership arrangement between the Academy and the University of Ulster will continue again in 201112. Both institutions hope to strengthen this project by introducing more ways for trainee English teachers and ‘A’ level students to engage with each other, in learning about English Literature, via the VLE. W.G.

THE READING GROUP Every Tuesday fortnight LL9 became the home of the Reading Group, a small group of readers ranging from the truly bookish, “I devour books daily” to the not so bookish, “I prefer to nibble books” type of people. No matter what your genre or reading passion there’s always something for you in the Reading Group comprised of pupils and staff and organised by Ms Graham.


LL9 became the site where literature was unfolded: mad-cap steam-punk, dystopian adventures, manga (not comics), Gothic literature, Vampire fiction (not Twilight…Thank goodness) and everything in between were discussed. Books are unpacked and presented in their glory, with the ever welcome accompaniment of some tea and coffee and a few ‘bickies’ to fill the ever present crevasse in our stomachs. Reading Group is the reason we’ve discovered Percy Pig cookies. Your taste buds haven’t lived until you’ve tried one. Really, they’re that magical. Reading Group takes the edge off school literature. You don’t pick apart or pedantically search for the hidden meaning, if there was even one to look for in the beginning. You don’t dissect or analyse the life out of each text you read but talk about the books you’ve read and pass the book on if it’s good. Simple or “simples” as the ever popular Alexander Meerkovo would say. Reading Group isn’t intimidating or mind-numbingly high brow; far from it, just a bunch of pupils and teachers who have a chat about books with a “cuppa”. This year some of the books passed about included ‘A Discovery of Witches’ by Deborah Harkness and ‘Walking in Pimlico’ by Ann Featherstone.

It’s a great way to start reading things you might not have been interested in and to seek out fellow literature buddies. Throughout the year we’ve battled through the ‘Hunger Games’, witnessed Frankenstein’s creation, punched the air when the Hero saves the day and gets the girl and became an apprentice of ‘Alchemy’ in Oxford. Okay, not literally. So join Reading Group for a bit of fortnightly banter and some cookies. Literally. For now I will end with a quote from Ernest Hemingway: “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” Yvonne Wong (MVI)

ROMA It is impossible to experience Rome completely in just a few days, but due to a great deal of careful planning our trip included much of what makes the city so special. While there we visited places that held the secrets of an ancient civilization; taking a tour of the Catacombs di San Sebastiano; standing beside the place Peter and Paul’s remains were hidden; visiting the Basilica di San Giovanni, Rome’s first Christian Church. Taking a walk around the Colosseum and the Roman Forum we soaked up the atmosphere of such ancient sites. We were able to see the history of Christianity up close instead of from a book in the classroom. We observed the Arch of Constantine and split into two groups in front of it during a debate over his conversion to Christianity. We were able to appreciate the unique Roman art and architecture, seeing the 30 metre high Colonna di Marco Aurelio, the famous Trevi Fountain, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiuni (fountain of the four rivers) and the early Christian images on the walls of the catacombs. The trip did not consist solely of visiting historical sites. We also went shopping in amazing places, such as beside the Spanish steps where nearby streets were lined with designer shops. We had dinner in front of the Pantheon and mixed in with the crowds in the Piazza Navona watching caricaturists and musicians, some of us even becoming part of a clown act! On the last night we all had a meal together in the Hard Rock Café and reflected on our magical four days in Rome, all wishing we could stay longer. The entire trip was educational, fascinating and incredibly enjoyable and we would all go again if we had the opportunity. Rebecca McGrath (MVI)

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SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND 2010/11 has been an excellent year for Save the Children Fund at Belfast Royal Academy. Throughout the year we raised £4000 from many activities including BRA’ s Got Talent in October 2010, the non-uniform day during spring term and finally, the barbeque at the annual sponsored walk in April 2011, where light was shone on the marvellous culinary skills of some of the members of the Maths department! All in all, thanks to all the committee, Dr Bell, Miss Laverty and Mrs McIntyre for all their help, organisation and support. We are glad to donate this money to the Save the Children charity and welcome next year’s team to rise above and beyond this year’s achieved target. Kathryn Fusco (LVI)

SCHOOL COUNCIL The Pupil and School Councils met throughout the academic year 2010-11 to discuss various issues and ideas about school life. The Pupil Council is a group of elected representatives where the pupils are voted in from their respective Tutor Groups. A girl and boy from each Form are then appointed to also sit on the School Council, which discusses and answers the various requests brought forward by the Pupil Council. Head Boy and Head Girl occupy the positions of secretary and

vice-chair for the School Council and the chairperson is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Some of the numerous matters considered by the School Council this year included: the organisation of the sponsored walk; toilet cleanliness and maintenance; food prices and products; the design of the Homework Diary; lunchtime arrangements and facilities and heating in the school. The possibility of having more fundraiser days in school for selected charities was also addressed. In addition, the Council had a say as to whether internal school exams should continue to be sat in January or whether examination week should be before the Christmas holidays. A major item considered by both the Pupil and School Councils this year was the School Development Plan. The Headmaster attended a Pupil Council meeting and encouraged the students to think of ways to change or improve some of the targets and goals that the staff and Board of Governors wish to achieve. The Development Plan was discussed in significant detail within the School Council and pupil feedback and ideas were presented to the senior staff. An anti-bullying and litter campaign was also carried out. This involved a media presentation which was delivered to all forms through morning assemblies. Overall, it was another very successful year for the councils as they work together with members of staff to improve the general running of the school and on behalf of the pupils involved, I would like to thank Dr Lomas and Ms Graham respectively for the role they played in assisting the Pupil and School Councils. The Pupil and School Councils are a proficient and great way of making pupils’ voices more easily heard. I urge pupils to get involved in this aspect of school life as it is clear that pupils can make a difference to how our school is run. David Martin (MVI)

SCHOOL LIBRARY Pupils visited in large numbers to read, borrow, research, use computers and to socialise. Most days there were around 90 pupils using the Library at break and lunch. A regular clientele came before and after to school to study or do homework. Each week a minimum of 15 periods were timetabled for Form I and II English classes and they completed a Library and Information skills programme. Form II pupils were introduced to and researched STEM through library classes after the June examinations.


Miscellany During the school year there has been a marked increase in the number of departments using the library for research purposes, controlled assessment and projects. This was very encouraging for the school literacy target set out at the beginning this school year: Develop pupils’ ability to use information texts and to locate, extract and use relevant information. Courses Attended The Librarian attended the following courses and events to promote reading and Information Literacy in the School Library: • Wendy Drewett Ireland Book Day at Bangor Grammar; • A Reader course at Lisburn Library; • Self- Evaluation course with LearningNI; • JCS Online Resources: helping schools gain affordable access to high quality and trusted online resources; • SLANI Workshop, Antrim Board Centre. Library Events • 12 pupils from the Junior Book Club attended a visit by the Irish author Derek Landy in Methodist College Belfast. • The Scholastic Book Fair raised £693. • National Poetry Day was celebrated: staff and pupils read poems around the theme of Home. • The NI Book Award took place at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Guest of Honour launching the event was Chris Bradford, a hugely popular award-winning author of the “Young Samurai” series. 136

• Read-On week. • A team from Form I took part in the regional heat of the International Kids’ Lit Quiz hosted by Wellington College. Team members were Kirsty Miller, Molly Gould, Monique Hipolito and Melissa Hipolito. • Form I was given a free book each through the Booked-Up initiative organised in conjunction with the English Department. • World Book Day: Tokens given to every pupil in BRA.

• Northern Ireland Book Award celebrated World Book Day 2011 with a joint author visit from two of the short-listed authors - Carnegie medal winner, Theresa Breslin and former advertising copywriter and author of the brilliant Diary of a Wimpy Vampire, Tim Collins. Representatives from BRA attended the morning event, hosted at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. T.C.

SENTINUS TEAM R +D In April, five BRA pupils were awarded British Science Association Gold Crest Awards. They are: Ridwan Farouki, Christopher McGlinchey, Alexandra Thompson, Craid Rea and Larragh Mann. These awards were in recognition of their work on “Eliminating Cavitation in Cooling Water Pumps at AES Ballylumford.” The Sentinus Team R+D (STR+D) programme is designed to promote interest in studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics courses in further or higher education. The programme sets out to encourage a commitment to careers in STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by students of the highest ability. The project lasted for about six months and included a number of events, including trips to science or engineering workshops at the Queen’s University Belfast and a number of trips to Ballylumford power station. The programme offered in-depth, handson experience of science, technology or engineering, as well as an opportunity to see at first-hand how industrial companies are managed and operated. BRA’s team worked with Peter Mitchell, an engineer from AES Ballylumford. He put forward an actual industry problem for our team to solve. Our problem this year was to provide a solution to pitting or cavitation on their two massive water cooling pump propellers. The BRA team considered this problem, formally presented their written report in March, and then gave a presentation to an assessment panel of scientists and engineers in April. R.C.

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4th SPANISH SCHOOL EXCHANGE EL INTERCAMBIO ESPANOL The Autumn of 2011 saw our 4th successful exchange with Pola de Siero, Asturias. The first leg in September involved the arrival of Spanish students along with two very lively, lovely teachers, Dioni and Caridad, in Belfast to spend a week experiencing our culture firsthand. With memorable visits to Stormont which included a reception by Sammy Wilson, the blustery Giant’s Causeway, and to City Hall where they were warmly welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, the inclement weather of the province fortunately did not seem to deter their enjoyment. Moreover, in October we flew to Asturias in North West Spain, where after a very long, tiring day of travel, we were greeted by a shining sun and the friendly familiar faces of our Spanish partners. Although nervous at first, we, along with the fun and supportive Mrs Roberts and Mrs McCamley, soon found that this beautiful welcoming area of Spain has everything a Modern Language student could want: great weather, culture, history, shopping, nightlife and food (with traditional Asturian dishes such as the exotic sounding “fabada”), all whilst being immersed in the Spanish language!


With an action packed itinerary we were never left bored! For instance, visits to the Asturian Town Hall and a tour of the Asturian Parliament (which is very distinct in its laws from those in other parts of Spain) by a friendly man who looked shockingly similar to George Clooney! The exchange included not only tours and visits, but also glimpses into the daily life of young people in Asturias, with clubs and restaurants being full of funloving, friendly people, and the opportunity to attend lessons at school with our hosts. This was particularly challenging as the teachers expected us to take notes and gain a higher level of understanding of the Spanish language, which we certainly did!

The Spanish Exchange to Asturias was an invaluable experience which heightened our understanding of the language as well as our awareness of another culture, built-up our confidence, enabled us to make new friends and be involved in unforgettable, rewarding experiences. Hasta pronto, Asturias. Jazmin Campbell (MVI)

SPEECH AND DRAMA CLUB This year a number of pupils from Belfast Royal Academy competed in Belfast Speech and Drama Festival and Carrickfergus Speech and Drama Festival. Chiara Banas, Sarah Bowman, Nina Davies, Ellie Hudson, Nicola McAdam and Tessa Shiels (Form IV) and Jessica McVeigh (Form I) represented the school in a range of classes, including poetry recital, prose recital and duologue performances. This was the first taste of Speech and Drama for most of the girls and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience of competitive performance. Tessa and Nina were Highly Commended for their performance of ‘Steel Magnolias’ in the Dramatic Duologue class at Belfast Festival, while Chiara, Sarah and Nicola were praised for their performance of an extract from ‘An Inspector Calls’. Jessica McVeigh was awarded first place in each of her competitions at Carrickfergus Festival and received the Mary C. Kerr Trophy, along with a Committee Bursary, on the final night of awards. The girls were a credit to Belfast Royal Academy and are already looking forward to representing the school in next year’s festivals. D.M.G.

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SPONSORED WALK The 38th sponsored walk took place on the 15th April 2011; the good weather meant that the long course was in use again this year. Over 1200 participants walked, ran or sprinted around the course. ’Save the Children’ provided a BBQ, the Boys’ Rugby Club a tuck shop and the Hockey Club had a cup cake stand. This year the walk had a ‘make over’. New and safer sign-in procedures were implemented and a huge marquee was placed on the pitch at Ben Madigan. Mr Jamison acted as an MC/DJ and the Rugby Club organised an ice cream van to sell ice cream. For the first time the Sixth form blazed the trail, closely followed by second and first form. The good weather and new venue created a wonderful environment for the ‘whole school’ to congregate, play and enjoy the atmosphere of the day. The event passed smoothly without any injuries or mishaps, and all staff members dutifully operated their stations on the course and around the Castle grounds. It is hoped that the potential of this event can go from strength to strength in the coming years. Thanks should be extended to all staff who gave of their time, and to Ben Madigan for permission to use their grounds. P.D.

SKI TRIP 2012 PASSO DEL TONALE A group of 64 pupils and staff left Belfast City Airport on Sunday 13th February, flew to Allgäu Airport Memmingen, Munich, and then travelled by coach to the Austrian resort of Ehrwald. The Hotel Sonnenburg sits on the beginners’ ski slope in the village of Ehrwald with Germany’s highest mountain the Zugspitze towering above. During the week the group had the good fortune of skiing in four different areas: Ehrwald, on the Hotel doorstep, where the group spent the first day getting acclimatised to the new environment, followed by three days on Ehwald Alm offering the best slopes for the beginners and some challenging runs for the more experienced skiers. Day 5 brought a change of scene again to the village of Lermoos to test the beginners and allow some of the more experienced skiers real off-piste experience among the trees and shrubs! On the final day the dramatic views over four countries from the top of the Zugspitze brought a different skiing experience on a glacier.

Each night offered a different activity, the spectacular Lermoos Ski Show (the best one the staff had seen), Airrifle shooting at the local Ehrwald range, Ice Skating, Quiz Night and a Ski presentation. A busy week for the group, but returning home on the Sunday afternoon meant a little rest before school the next day! D.N.

SWEDEN The school continues its exchange programme with Sweden and the two schools with whom we have had an arrangement this last 11 years. In 2009 we had welcomed the pupils from Frisskolan, in Uppsala and in 2010 we were expecting the pupils from the second Swedish school, Vilunda Gymnasium. However, they were not able to get to us until February 2011. We hosted six girls and two female staff (who stayed with Dr Lomas) and they stayed with us for six nights. We had a great time with them, enjoying a school day, a visit to the courts at Laganside, visiting the usual sightseeing stops of the Belfast Bus Tour, the City Hall and Stormont and the Giant’s Causeway. As the Swedish students were with us over a weekend, Dr Lomas and three of our Middle VI took them in a mini-bus to Dundrum and on to Newcastle for lunch. The group then went into the Mournes to see the Spelga dam and Tollymore. The weather was incredibly good for February and the sun shone all day; it was also about 2 degrees Celsius but the Swedes didn’t seem to mind! The visit was a great success and our guests went home very happy. In late September we hosted 12 pupils and 3 staff from the other school in Uppsala although they were with us for a shorter stay. Nevertheless, we had a school day and big Conference, a day sightseeing, an Irish Night with about 50 of us descending on Dr. Lomas for Stew and Ulster Fry and as much Apple Tart as anyone could eat and a day around Belfast. We are all looking forward to going back to Sweden in the half-term of February 2012. Chloe Craig / Shannan Lyons (LVI)

INTERNATIONAL VISITS TO SCHOOL Our first visitors to school were from Belgium; we had four student teachers and three mentors who came to school in October. We involved some 12 pupils (Forms IV-LVI) in a short presentation and discussion groups with a tour of the school afterwards.


Miscellany The next visitors were from Denmark; we had 15 students and four teachers with us in November (just before the snow!). Again, we involved about 12 students (Forms IV-LVI) in the presentation and tour round school. We had two sets of visitors from Switzerland in the spring term. A pair of students stayed with us for three days, using the school as a base to find out more about Belfast and student life in general. This was part of a project that they had to do for their matriculation from school to university. The second group comprised 16 students and four teachers who visited us for a day. They followed some senior pupils round school in the morning, attending all their classes and in the afternoon we had a Conference in the Library with presentations and discussions. This involved some 20 of our pupils in the afternoon. We had eight girls from one of our two Swedish Exchange schools and two members of staff (Vilunda Gymnasium in Upplands Vasby, just outside Stockholm). They were hosted by six pupils from Form LVI and MVI) but the week-long visit involved more than 30 pupils (Forms V-MVI) in Conferences, tours, days out, pupil pursuit and the final project work of the Swedish students. Some of our pupils had been to Sweden the previous February. This is an ongoing project that began in 1999, with the first visits in 2000. We host every year but our pupils only visit Sweden every other year in the February half-term, staying with both schools during our week-long visit.


In the summer term we hosted a visit from American High School students and their teachers as part of The People To People project. This is a project set up by President Eisenhower in the aftermath of the Second World War to encourage young Americans to find out more about the cultural, social and political life of the UK and Europe; it is a very prestigious programme on which to win a place. Participants have gone through a series of County and then State selections to earn a place. The visit to NI is only two days long; the student evaluations of the last two years have shown that the visit to BRA is one of the most memorable highlights of their time in the UK. Numbers can vary from 20 – 45 in a group. Our pupils (almost all from Form IV – MVI) volunteer to stay after school from 3.30 –6.00pm in June and 9.00 – 11.30 in July, wearing correct school uniform....this is part of the attraction for the American students. There could be as many as 35 of our pupils involved in each visit; in total over 50 BRA pupils volunteered, many for all 10 visits. The programme consists of a presentation, refreshments and a tour of the school, the event lasting for approximately 2-3 hours each visit. This is the third year we have hosted the project.

Some 20 of our pupils also volunteered for the Evening Talks entitled “The Road to Peace”. These are more formal and separately organised presentations that are a part of the programme for the High School students, covering the background to and the course of The Troubles, looking beyond them to the present situation in Northern Ireland. Our pupils are asked to then speak publicly to the groups about life growing up/living in Northern Ireland and are expected to be able to answer questions from the American students and staff. The Northern Ireland Co-ordinator of the People to People Programme is a former pupil, Katrina Lomas. For the second year, Dr. Lomas has been asked to speak to graduate teachers in Uppsala University in the summer term about Education in NI; this year she also gave a lecture at the University to staff and visitors about the Challenges of Education, Citizenship and National Identity in Northern Ireland. B.L.

RECYCLING A total of 10,790 kg of cardboard and paper was recycled during the academic year 2010 – 2011. Until last year, the school janitors supervised recycling. Now this responsibility has been taken on by Mark Johnston, Ali Sha’ath and Samuel Baxter of Form V. It is good to have a team of dependable pupils who are willing to take charge of recycling on behalf of the school. N.E.M.

YOUNG HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTER OF THE YEAR COMPETITION When I entered the Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year competition organised by Amnesty International and the Guardian Newspaper I never expected to travel as far as I did. I wrote my article about the protests in Egypt which were happening at the time as I felt I had a personal experience because I have previously travelled to Cairo the capital of Egypt, in 2009 on holiday with my parents. I was thrilled when I was told by my English teacher Mr Little that I had been short-listed into the top 10 entries. Therefore, when my mum received a phone call from Amnesty informing her that I had made the final three short-list and would be travelling to London for the award ceremony I was ecstatic. On the morning of Thursday 19th May I took the London underground tube from Old Street, where the hotel I had slept in the night before was, to King’s Cross station. My mother and I then walked for about 5 minutes to reach the Guardian offices. I was very nervous and the fact

The Owl 2011 that I didn’t bring any friends, as I knew the other finalists would, added to my growing tension. The sight of the offices was amazing. It was a huge glass building and the higher levels sat slightly out from the lowest and were supported by black columns. The whole building was enough to take your breath away and it only made the suspense hanging in the air seem more frightening. We finally reached the correct door and made our way into a room filled with the Guardian’s history and some artwork. There the group was met by Emily Drabble, senior editor of the Guardian’s Learn News Desk. We were led first into a conference room with a large table where we left our coats and bags and had a drink of water and ate some pastries. Then we left our parents behind us and travelled through into the Guardian’s Education Centre. Once there we sat in twos in front of MacBook computers. It happened that my old friend was here with her short-listed friend so I was content to work with her. While in the education centre a lady showed us slides on how to make our own front pages of newspapers using the special software downloaded onto the computers. My friend Niamh and I set to work copying and adjusting mine and other finalists’ articles to fill the page. Then we were asked to write a quick article together to fill up the last space on a given topic. We chose to write about Amnesty’s 50th birthday and managed to obtain a quote from an Amnesty worker named Helen. Finally we had to choose pictures, write captions and find a price to put on the front page. Overall the activity was very enjoyable and everyone had a great time. Upon leaving the building there was a fleet of hybrid silver cars to take us to Amnesty UK’s headquarters. It seemed like a long journey as there was a lot of traffic in the centre of London so our driver kept going through back roads and turning in circles. However, when we arrived we were led inside and were given admission passes to wear. The ceremony hall was very large and had a raised stage at the front of the room. The rest of the room was filled with large tables and my parents and I were sent to sit at the same one as Niamh. My dad had joined us after finishing his work as his offices are quite close. Firstly we had a lunch of pizza, dough balls and salad and then the ceremony began. Several guests talked to us and made inspiring speeches such as Ellie Crisell, a BBC reporter and Jack Shenker,

a reporter based in Egypt. There were four categories: primary school, 11-14 year olds, 14-16 year olds and Sixth form. When Emily, who was presenting my category’s award began to open the envelope which contained the winners name I held my breath and waited. The boy who won from my category was a 14 year old from King Edward VI School who wrote an article about child soldiers that was very moving and well written. Overall the experience has been a great one and I am proud of myself. I would recommend entering the competition next year to anyone who enjoys writing and would someday like to become a journalist. Natasha Kelly (I)

DANCING My participation in dance takes places in a range of ways through the private dance sector, dance schools and community dance. Currently, I devote 10 hours per week to this activity which naturally also keeps me very fit. I have obtained all possible dance and teaching qualifications (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing and Kindred Arts) in the genres of Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Lyrical Hip Hop. I have been a member of the N. Ireland Dance and Aerobic Youth Team (Fitness N. Ireland) for the past three years and have been asked to participate in the 2012 UK Dance Championships. I have competed in the Senior section of Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic Championships achieving a Silver medal for the past two years in the selected genre of Urban Dance, whilst also performing as part of a wider display team. Furthermore, I have had roles within “Le Corps de Ballet” of the European Ballet Company and I have participated in many high profile professional dance workshops. These workshops included Ballet Ireland, run by the Lyrical Hip Hop choreographer to high profile pop artists, Doug Yolland and the leading choreographer of the International Hip Hop show “Blaze”. The workshops have given me the opportunity to create contacts and receive ongoing work experience with The Grand Opera House, The Waterfront Hall, Crescent Arts Centre, Theatre at the Mill and The Dance Resource Base N. Ireland. Kathryn Fusco (MVI)




Captain: Stuart Olding Vice Captain: Ryan Clarke

In terms of performance the highlight of 2009/2010 rugby season would be the 3rd XV who won the 3rd XV Plate. In some memorable performances the team swept all aside including an experienced Campbell College side in the final. The side, coached by the fertile mind of Mr Moffett, played an exciting brand of running rugby. The team and coach deserve huge credit. Congratulations also go to Stuart Olding and Ryan Clarke on their representative achievements. Stuart was selected to play for Ulster and Ireland U18 Schools’ teams and Ryan was selected to play for Ulster U19 Schools’ team. Both boys thoroughly deserved their selection and have the potential to play at the very highest level. There were many other excellent performances by individuals and teams throughout the year, which are highlighted in the articles that follow.


It is easy to forget that results alone are not the most important thing in schoolboy rugby. Rugby like any school sport, plays a massive role in developing young men. Boys learn life skills such as commitment, team work, discipline, loyalty, communication and many other skills that will be the foundations of their success in later life. Importantly, boys also develop their rugby skills and mature as players and in the process develop a love of rugby that will foster lifelong participation. An encouraging reflection of the ethos of rugby at the Academy is seen in the number of past pupils who volunteer to give up their time to coach. All this is done to ensure that today’s pupils have the opportunity to enjoy the many positive experiences that school rugby brings.

The running of the School Rugby Club would not be possible without the numerous staff who give of their time. The school is indebted to Mr McGonigle (Form I), Mr Shields (U13 A), Mr Robinson (U13 B), Mr Hughes (U14 A), Mr Artt (U14 B), Mr Irwin (Medallion A), Mr Stretton (Medallion B), Mr Moffett (3rd XV), Mr Martin (2nd XV), Mr Johnston and Mr Creighton (1st XV). These staff were ably assisted by past pupils Andrew Magee, Jordan Buchanon, David Cartmill, Iain Henderson, Connor Spence, Callum Leckey, Simon Campbell and Richard Bell. Their efforts and commitment are greatly appreciated. It is always encouraging over the years to see the development of excited and often apprehensive first year players into self-confident, committed and accomplished players at the end of their school career. The Rugby Club and its members are thriving at the Academy as is evidenced by the following articles. C.M.C.

1st XV In terms of the Schools’ Cup the 2010/11 season was a story of what might have been after a premature exit against Coleraine Inst. in the quarter finals. There were however, some excellent performances, both individual and collective, during the season. September was a mixed month with the team struggling to find consistency. Wins against Dalriada and eventual Cup winners Campbell College were mixed with defeats to MCB, Belvedere and Ballyclare High School. The team showed its potential for the first time in the fixture with Sullivan Upper School. Complete dominance was established in every facet of the

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game and the team won handsomely. This gave the team momentum and this result was followed up by victories over Portadown College, Larne and Wallace. In the Wallace game Stuart Olding was outstanding as he totally dominated the game in one of the best performances I have witnessed from a school boy. Momentum was lost in the fixture with Ballymena Academy when the team was out-played in every facet of the game in the first-half. A spirited second-half performance was not enough to fix the damage done in the first-half and thus the team suffered a narrow defeat. Victory was recorded in the final two games of November against Larne Grammar School and Dungannon Royal. Following the half-term break the team once again struggled to find form. In the first match back they suffered a heavy defeat against Bangor Grammar School, a team who did not match the Academy side in terms of skill or talent, but totally out-played them in terms of heart and commitment. A few tough questions were asked following the final whistle. The side responded positively with victories over Foyle and Londonderry College and a spirited Rainey Endowed Side. Unfortunately, the cold snap in the weather resulted in fixtures against Regent House, Coleraine Inst. and Armagh Royal being cancelled. The one fixture that did go ahead in December, against Banbridge Academy, saw the side perform in an understandably rusty way

and thus they limped to a narrow victory. Post-Christmas the side suffered two defeats to high flying Ballyclare High School and Ballymena Academy. In both games the team was weakened by injuries. However, it gave the boys a good idea of the standard required to be successful in the Cup. The two final friendlies before the Cup saw the team start to gain momentum at the right time. There was a draw with fancied Dublin side Castleknock College and an excellent victory over RBAI. The Cup draw sent us to Bangor to face a team who had out-played and out-muscled us in November. The preparation for the match was first class. This filtered through to the day. The team was dominant in all areas of play and in a controlled way strolled to an easy victory. The quarter final draw again had us away from home this time we were sent to Coleraine. In contrast our preparation could not have gone worse. Three of our star players were ruled out through illness or injury. Stuart Olding damaged ankle ligaments, Robbie Jamison had a broken leg and Ryan Clarke’s appendix burst! This proved fatal for the team on the day which seemed unable to come to terms with the loss of these players. In a game where Academy totally dominated territory and possession they could not breach the Coleraine defence. A runaway try late in the first-half was enough to send Coleraine through. The season fizzled out with a defeat to Belfast High School.


Games The captain of the side was Stuart Olding. He led the side by example regularly being the best player on the pitch. He thoroughly deserved his selection for Ulster and Irish Schools. These should be the first of many representative honours that he will receive over the coming years. He is an outstanding player and his unfortunate injury in February undoubtedly had a major influence on our premature Schools’ Cup exit. A personal highlight of the season was his single-handed destruction of Wallace High School at Roughfort. Jack Kane and Philip Warke battled for the No. 9 shirt during the season, with Jack just edging it when it came to Schools’ Cup time. Both players have their strengths bringing a lot to the team. This will prove to be an interesting battle again next year. In the centre there was normally a combination of the following, Eoin Devlin, Matthew Robinson and Mark Wylie. Mark, a Form V pupil, had a very good season both in attack and defence; I look forward to him developing into an excellent player over the next two years. Eoin and Matthew are both converted wingers, both have excellent pace and adapted well to playing in the midfield. Both have had a massive contribution to the School Rugby Club and I wish them well in their futures. This season Robbie Jamison played at full-back, scrum-half, out-half and centre. This gives an idea of his natural ability and game-sense. He had some outstanding performances during the season. His broken leg at Christmas which was to keep him out for the rest of the season was a huge blow to the team as it did not function as well without him.


On the wings were Ross Vance and Andrew McClements, both of whom are Lower VI boys who should develop into key players next season. Ross also featured at full-back. He is a physical player who put in some big tackles, none less than one against Ballymena Academy where he knocked himself out in the process. Andrew is a solid player, quick and strong. He too had some very good performances during the year. Adam Martin and Jordan Thompson were the cornerstones of the scrum at prop. Jordan was the more mobile of the two and was very effective at scrumming, lifting and ball carrying. Adam was very solid in the set piece and gave a glimpse of what he is capable of in open play in the final match of the season against Belfast High School. I wish him well in his future career. Norman Sinclair was again the hooker this season. His line-out throwing continued to be solid and he featured more in open play. He thoroughly deserves his selection

to the Ulster U19 squad for the forth coming autumn inter-provincials. Adam Brice, another Form V boy, was a regular in the second row. He had a very good first season in senior rugby. He is mobile and very effective in the line-out. He will feature more in open play in the coming years as he develops physically. Andrew Robinson was Adam’s partner in the engine room. He too was a key man in the side. He was very reliable in the line-out and was an effective ball carrier. Ryan Clarke, the vice captain, played at No. 8 during the season. He was a key man. He was aggressive in attack and fearless in defence. He is a very skilful player with great hands and feet so much so that he could almost look at home playing in the centre. He is a great thinker and led the side very well on many occasions. He thoroughly deserved his selection for Ulster U19 Schools. His illness post-Christmas was a massive blow to the team. The flankers were David Patterson, Daniel Dass and Garth Redmond. The best part of David’s game is his tackling. This was demonstrated in the victory over RBAI when quite literally the Inst. boys appeared scared to move forward with the ball because if they did they were likely to be cut in two by David. Daniel played well during the season and it is easy to forget, given his size, that he is only a Form V boy. He has the potential to play at the very highest schoolboy level. Garth broke his leg in the MCB match at the end of September. He was never to fully recover from this and thus his playing time was limited. He is a quality player who would have been a regular starter if fully fit. I would like to thank William Moore and his staff at the University of Ulster for all their efforts in the physical conditioning of the players. His expertise is second to none and the boys are exceptionally lucky to benefit from it. I would also like to thank Denise Martin for her input during the season. She was involved in the psychological conditioning of players. Again we are lucky to avail of her expertise and the boys benefit greatly from it. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to David Creighton and Stephen Johnston who have coached alongside me for the past three years. Both have shown great knowledge and commitment. I shall miss their support, expertise and camaraderie. I wish them well as their careers develop. I have no doubt they will be successful. BRA’s loss is definitely Ballymena Academy and Bangor Grammar’s gain. C.M.C.

The Owl 2011




2nd XV

many pleasing signs; it was a disciplined and clinical performance that gave much confidence for some who had taken previous defeats to heart. The following three matches saw us slide to two defeats in three against teams, who if we are to be considered potential cup winners, we should beat. We lost at home to Wallace High School 22-3 and then away to Ballymena Academy 15-12. We regained some of our damaged pride with a convincing 22-0 victory at home to Dungannon Royal.

The season began with much promise and belief that we could achieve something special. Our target was to win the 2nd XV Cup. This was an aim which I still believe was realistic despite the disappointment of being knocked out at an early stage by Coleraine Inst. We began the season with an indifferent performance, against a well-drilled Ballyclare High School 2nd XV. It was a closely fought match that I felt we should have won convincingly. Excellent tackling in the dying moments of the game meant that we held out for a 2015 victory. It was obvious from early in this game that we needed to develop a killer instinct as we missed numerous opportunities throughout the match to score. However, there were enough positives to be confident for a successful season. The month of September saw a depleted team lose heavily to Belvedere College 48-12, followed by a performance that despite losing 29-12 to Campbell College showed further promise, with some encouraging phases of play. However, injuries to the 1st XV (meaning a transfer of players) meant that we couldn’t sustain our initial high level of performance and we conceded a number of late tries.


Our toughest test was yet to come against MCB. Buoyed by a solid performance against Campbell, we approached this game with caution and confidence. However, with changes again enforced on us by injuries to 1st XV players, our patched up side left too many gaps in defence and after a bright start succumbed to a heavy defeat 0-43. The attitude of the boys, despite this heavy defeat, must be praised. They never gave up and were determined to put long hours in on the training ground to address their defensive frailties. October and November offered a packed fixture list. Nine games in all were played where our record was a mixture of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The boys stuttered to a 31-20 defeat away to Sullivan in an exciting match played in poor weather conditions. This was followed by a comprehensive victory over a poor Portadown team 46-0. Despite the ease of the victory, there were

Mention should be made of the away fixture against Ballymena where unfortunately we lost our out-half and captain, Tom Marsh, after five minutes of the game. This was a huge blow and a disappointment as Tom had been performing consistently well in previous games. It meant a ‘reshuffle’ to the backline, with PhilipWarke moving into fly-half and Max Oates getting an opportunity at scrum-half. Philip Warke had a very good game in a position that he doesn’t see as his best and guided us, with the immensely improved pack, to within four points of victory. It was probably our best team performance of the season where despite the early morale blow of losing Tom the team reacted brilliantly. They showed courage and desire that hadn’t always been evident, playing for each other and their Academy shirts. The boys were applauded off the pitch by the spectators for their efforts, something a losing team does not often receive, but something they were worthy of despite the loss. I believed this was to be a defining moment of our season as I had seen some players finally rise to the demands of a difficult situation. Unfortunately, this level of performance was not always maintained. The Ballymena game was followed by two consecutive defeats due to two below par performances against Bangor Grammar 5-25 and Foyle College 20-21; again further evidence that a high level of consistency would be needed if we were realistically to stand a chance of winning the cup. A response was needed; there had been too much talking and too little ‘doing’. A sense of unity, desire, belief and an increase in passion, aggression and physicality were required. We had three fixtures left before the Cup and we needed to begin to show signs that we could compete with the best. Thankfully the boys stepped up to the challenge. They went on a winning streak, defeating Rainey 24-19 and Regent House 39-10 away from home - this being one of our most impressive performances of the year, and Banbridge Academy 39-0 at home. One of the most pleasing facets of these victories was that our defence was looking much stronger.

The Owl 2011



Games Another pleasing aspect of these victories was our improving ability to break teams down after numerous phases of play. We had learnt to be patient and control the game. Our ball retention, our improved body angles when rucking and our direct lines of running had developed, thus making us a formidable side in attack. The boys left for their Christmas holidays knowing their first game back in the New Year would be their opening cup fixture against Omagh Academy. Christmas came and went and the Cup was upon us. We comfortably beat Omagh Academy 43-3 after a slow and nervous start. It was a very pleasing performance where we showed many encouraging signs that we might be about to peak at the right time of year. The second round draw was tough but I thought favourable enough to us; an away fixture against Coleraine Inst. Our earlier fixture against them in October had been cancelled due to poor weather conditions. This match was played in fair weather conditions. We started fairly well but it was clear that we were going to have to play near our best if we were to progress to the next round. They had a very aggressive, robust pack which out-muscled us in the opening encounters. After about fifteen minutes our pack began to find their feet, but was already a try down by that stage. Then, when we were getting ourselves back into the game, disaster struck, our captain and first choice fly-half Tom Marsh, suffered a nasty blow to the head. He had concussion and we had no choice but to replace him. This disrupted a back-line a lot more than it should have and unfortunately left us surprisingly exposed. We conceded several soft tries through the centre of our back-line and despite a brief resurgence midway through the second half we were unable to maintain the level of rugby needed to beat Coleraine. It was a very disappointing end to the season and we limped out of the Cup, losing 34-17.


The boys to their credit never gave up, fighting to the end through injury. However, victory was not to be. The final whistle saw a season of so much promise end at this very early stage. I was extremely disappointed for the boys who had given their all and had deserved so much more. Trials, hardships, disappointments and defeats can make you a ‘better person’ and it is my belief that this ‘successful’ season will turn out to be a brilliant strengthening and learning experience for bigger days to come. Many of these boys will form next year’s 1st XV and it is my belief that with further expert coaching, they will

again compete for the Schools’ Cup. I thank them for their efforts throughout the season and wish them every success in their future rugby careers. Special mention and my thanks should go to my captain throughout the year Tom Marsh whose enthusiasm and desire to succeed should have been rewarded with more success than we had and to Mr. Cowden who refereed all our home matches to a very high standard. I look forward to working with both Tom and Mr Cowden next year. 2nd XV Squad: S. Lindsay, B. O’Neill, M. Wylie, M. Oates, J. Laughlin, S. Craig, K. Durnien, P. Hawthorne, E. Linden, D. McFadden, R. Hogg, A. Deaney, J. Diamond, T. Gillespie, C. Davis, P. Morris, J. English, A. McClements, B. Martin, T. Marsh (C), J. McClurkin, A. Marica, P. Holland, S. Bigger, P. Warke, J. Walsh, T. Coughlan, A. Curtis, R. Montgomery, A. Robinson. P.M.

3rd XV Ulster Schools’ 3rd XV Plate winners

Captain: Declan Coughlan

Few would doubt the lack of wisdom or foresight of someone who set out to do a major task without first having full control over his resources. Accepting the responsibility of trying to coach and develop a 3rd XV is in many ways evidence of such a lack of wisdom. However, this is simply because there is never anything approaching full control of the resources. The vagaries of availability of players because of conflicting interests and because of losing players as a result of unavailability or injuries to the 1st and 2nd XV teams, as well as the sometimes strange selections at 1st and 2nd team level, all contribute to being forced not only to have to select but also coach with variable resources. Throughout the past season over 40 players had the experience of training and playing with the 3rd XV and at least 30 of those were committed members of the team. The work ethic and commitment of the

The Owl 2011 squad contributed much to its success. At the start of September it was agreed that the squad would practise on both Monday and Wednesday up until Halloween, and from then onward not practising on the Monday because of the short time available because it got too dark. At the last practice before the half term the whole squad asked to have the Monday practices retained. This was a measure of their commitment and desire as well as the enjoyment they were having. In the first term a draw with MCB and two very good wins against Wallace H.S. and the Boys’ Model 1st XV gave the team a realistic belief that they would be competitive against any opposition. A very narrow defeat by Lurgan College 1st XV at Lurgan, despite having a greatly depleted team, served to galvanise the boys into a group who had a unity and confidence with each other which was a much valued characteristic of the squad and was the foundation of the team’s eventual successes. The team, when we were able to call upon its full strength, was well served by players from all three Senior Forms, V, LVI and MVI. Special praise must go to the players from the MVI Form for their valuable contribution to the team’s development and success. They were players who had served the school well on the schools’ Junior teams, but some at least had lost interest or had temporarily pursued other interests. However, they got more than adequate rewarded on their return by both what they put into and in what they got out of the team. The success of the team and its development gave the players ambition towards success in the Ulster Schools 3rd XV Cup competitions. Indeed these competitions not only raised the expectations but also raised the enthusiasm and commitment as well as competition for places on the team. A narrow defeat 14 – 12 by MCB at Pirrie Park in the first round of the Cup meant that the team would compete in the 3rd XV Plate competition. This narrow defeat made the players determined to win the Plate. In the first round we had an excellent 42 - 0 win over Ballyclare 4th XV at Ballyclare. The second round was away to a Down H.S. and in the first half our team did not perform to its potential. The score was 10 – 7 in our favour at half-time. After some home truths were said at half-time the true ability of the players was revealed and they scored a further 21 points whilst conceding only 3. In the semi-final it was our lot once again to be drawn away from home, this time at Ballymena Academy. Vintage running rugby by our team saw them winners

by 38 points to nil and the exciting reality of playing in a cup final. We had to wait to find out who our opponents would be because of some delays in the completion of the other half of the draw. Campbell College won through and the final was arranged to be played at Pirrie Park, kindly granted for use in the final by MCB. The match was played on a warm sunny afternoon on the ‘Quad’ pitch which was in excellent condition. The match was contested keenly with no scores for much of the first half. With about 10 minutes of the half left we won a line out on the Campbell 22 metre line and our forwards, from an excellently executed rolling maul, drove the opposition back over their goal for a much deserved score. The try was converted. There was no further scoring in the first half and after the restart Campbell had a number of promising attacks which were repelled by our sound and sometimes desperate defence. Some anxiety was beginning to affect the quality of our play but the team raised their efforts and a great break by David Martin led to his scoring an excellent try. This score signalled the start of our team gaining complete control and a further try was a fair reflection of our team’s superiority and worth of being crowned champions. The team thanks all of those, school staff, parents, supporters and other players, who have contributed to the team’s success. It was a memorable year and not only because of the Cup success. There were some frustrations but they were overshadowed by many happy and enjoyable hours spent at Roughfort, at other schools’ pitches, and in travelling to and from the various matches, particularly the home journeys during the Cup run. I thank all of those who supported me throughout the year but especially the boys. I reluctantly refrain from mentioning them by name, not because they are not worthy, but because in a summary report it would not be possible to do justice to all, because all of the large squad who contributed to the success of the whole season and not just to winning the ‘Plate.’ However, I congratulate and thank Declan Coughlan for the part he played as team captain and all of the MVI boys for their contribution to a great year. I wish them and all of the others success in their future careers and I trust they have all gained as players and as young men by learning to share and to give for the success of the team. R.G.M.




and we feel he can also go on to play at a high level within the school. Out-half was Stuart McCombe, a smart and intelligent player, with a deceptive turn of pace, neat side-step and wonderful show and go. Over the course of the season Stuart improved immensely, learning to kick tactically all over the park and controlling important games. We also firmly believe he can go on to play for the school at the highest possible standard.

This was a long and difficult season, one interrupted by the bad weather and injuries to various players at key times. Training began in August and there was a relatively decent turn out considering it was still the summer holidays. It became clear early on that the squad would not only be small in stature, but size also. The regular team was made up of the following: the front-row club consisted of Dylan Tinsley, Angelo Onang and Phillip McQuillan. They proved to be a strong and formidable unit, with Dylan and Angelo proving their worth all season. Both players should go on to represent the school at a higher level. In the engine room were Chris Torrens and Dylan Yeates. Chris is an excellent line-out jumper and proved most useful in both the tight and the loose. He is quick and mobile and he too should go on to play at a higher level in years to come. Dylan is a grafter, involved in the vast majority of rucks and mauls. Solid in defence and quick in attack, he was never found wanting.


The back-row was the genuine strength of the team. Four players were involved all season. Rhys Donaldson and Ruairi Brogan, Form III, played the majority of matches. Both are fantastic players and excellent prospects for next year’s team. Both are fearless in defence and could be counted on to reach the break-down before the opposition on many occasions. Calvin Lawrence also played in the back-row and second-row when necessary. Calvin is undoubtedly the most athletic member of the squad. Unfortunately his season was blighted by injury after injury and he was a huge loss to the team. Number 8 was Captain Stewart Martin. ‘Marty’ proved to be an inspiration on the pitch week after week. His natural strength and aggression were immense. His ball carrying and appetite for the tackle were second to none and he always led the team by example. Scrum-half was Ross Bryans, undoubtedly one of the most improved players in the squad over the course of the season. He possesses a lovely pass off either hand and commands a good knowledge of the game. His level of aggression increased from one week to the next

Gavin Gilfillan and Scott McMurtry were to be found in the centre. Both are good players and again improved immensely over the course of the season. Gavin was probably the most intelligent member of the squad and quickest to pick up on newly coached skills. He too was fearless in attack and had an uncanny knack for breaking the gain line. Scott was another player who ‘stepped up’ from the U14’s. He proved to be a strong and powerful runner over the course of the season, whose defence improved immeasurably. Both players have a bright future in the game. The wing positions were taken by Ben Nixon and Robbie Shaw. Both players are hard and aggressive runners, which more than made up for their lack of searing pace. Again both players were absolutely fearless in attack and punched well above their weight in defensive situations. Calvin Browne was the last line of defence at full-back. Calvin is a very talented player, strong in defence and never unwilling to run the ball back at the opposition. He again improved over the course of the season and proved to be a most valuable asset to the team. Other players who played regularly, but were not able to command a starting place were: Reece Johnson, Josh McCullough, Justin Quierpol, Ben Wasson, Chris Simms, Brad Dubois and Nathan Rooney. All of the young men showed tremendous commitment over the course of the season, always attending practice and never letting anyone down when called upon. Thank you very much for your efforts everyone. It may not have been your year this year, but stick at it, your time may well come! Success was definitely measured in terms of improvement this season, not results. There were some heavy defeats against strong opponents, some very hard to accept. There were also some outstanding performances over the season, both from individuals and as a team. That’s where the focus should be. There was a very good performance and win in Dungannon, against a very big and rugged team. We feel as coaches that this was one of the turning points

The Owl 2011


of the season. After a run of poor results we arrived in Dungannon short of confidence. For the first time all season the hard training paid off. We seemed to click as a team and grow in confidence, putting a healthy number of points on what was not a bad standard of opposition. One fantastic game which will remain long in all of our minds was the fixture against Rainey at Roughfort. Again our confidence was high and as a team we played as a unit. We played an off load game that day with a lot of emphasis on a running game. Rainey could not cope with our style of play and we quite simply blew them away with our first-half performance. Another game which will also long live in our minds was the fixture against Limavady, who went on to contest the final of the Shield competition. Again we played wide, open and expansive rugby. The forwards kept it tight when necessary and backs ran at the opposition for fun. It was a high scoring affair, the final result being 35 – 27. However, this was not a true reflection of the game, Academy having let Limavady in for two late scores through sloppy and tired play. It proved to us as coaches that we were a good enough team to compete with the best out there. Limavady lost the final of the Shield competition to a very strong Sullivan team, who had beaten us very well at Roughfort earlier in the season. This only proves what we as coaches quite often thought, that there was a Jekyll and Hyde mentality within too many of the players. They often treated their opposition with too much respect, or the match was lost before it even began. The Medallion Shield match saw Academy travel to Down High School. Unfortunately the fixture had to be postponed due to the weather and then for a further week due to the Ski trip. At no stage did we underestimate the potential strength of our opponents, but the team did travel under difficult circumstances. Down High took an early lead, built on it and BRA was always playing catch up. Academy did control the game in the latter stages, to the point of domination, coming back within a few points of Down. Alas the game finished and our efforts had not been quite enough. That basically brought to an end a long, difficult, but ultimately enjoyable season. Many thanks and a special mention must go to the parents, who gave their support over the course of the season. Rain, hail or shine they were in attendance wherever the venue and their support was much appreciated at all times. A final word for the boys; thank you very much for your efforts over the course of the season and we wish you all the best of luck in Senior rugby. N.I. / P.T.S.

Played 12

Won 8

Drawn 0

Lost 4

The 2010/2011 season was one of mixed fortunes for the Medallion B XV. Resilient and strong displays contrasted with disappointing results; such is the fragmented nature of ‘B’ standard rugby. Fixture issues with other schools, especially in the latter parts of the season, made it difficult for the team, but ultimately they sustained fine form for the major part of the season. The season opener against a Lurgan College ‘A’ side once again proved to be a difficult fixture. The physicality of their pack proved too potent for a side lacking in fitness at this early stage. A quick change of tactics ensured some respite for the forwards, but it was not enough to change the pattern of play. The match ended in a 25-7 defeat. Following the disappointment of our season opener, the team began to show signs of improvement in training. Their efforts came to fruition during the next fixture against Ballyclare. Strong performances from Connor McConnell and Cameron McClurkin underlined our strength in the pack, while a swift back-line including Jordan Devlin, Christopher Simms and Michael Kane ensured a comfortable win to give our season a kickstart. A similar performance ensued against a useful Sullivan side when collectively the team began to show real spirit and togetherness. A win against Ballymena followed, where notable performances from Marcus Porte and Joshua McCullough earned the side an impressive result against the odds. The momentum gained by the team during this stage of the season was fantastic, and players such as McCullough and Wasson were pushing for a place in the ‘A’ side. The quality of the team was strengthened by the depth of players available, especially in the pack. Matthew Alexander and Alastair Ogilby provided front-row support, while utility players Ben Campbell and Ryan Wallace gave the side numerous options. Following a tight victory against Wallace, where tricky wingers Porte and Tumelty along with the skilful


Games Nathan Rooney starred, the success of the side was to be rewarded with a unique opportunity to wear the Medallion ‘A’ Shield shirts. This was an unprecedented event considering the ‘A’s’ would not be awarded this honour until the Shield began. The boys proved themselves worthy of the accolade with a handsome win over The Boys’ Model. A difficult match against MCB demonstrated the side’s hunger for physicality, with forwards Jai-Dev Bhardwaj and McClurkin in particular helping us give this usually rampant team what must have been their biggest test of the season. This stage of the year would prove to be our peak, as we were gradually losing some players to the ‘A’ side, and fixtures began to wane. A couple of losses in repeat fixtures against Ballymena were disappointing, but not enough to taint an otherwise exciting and eventful season. Special mention must go to the parents, whose support during each fixture was much appreciated. I would also like to thank the boys for their commitment to the side throughout the season; we wish you every success in the near future. P.T.S

U14 A XV

At the end of the season, the full squad toured the East of England to play against nationally ranked St. Joseph’s College and the Perse School. The side lost two tight games but played exceptionally well against two strong sides. The team consisted usually of a front row of Willis, Geraghty and Gary Nelson, all three strong physical presences and capable of significant carries. The second row of Haughey, a specialist in the loose, and Samuel Nelson possessed no shortage of pace. The pack was completed by the raw Montgomery, athletic O’Donnell-Anderson and physical Steenson. O’Neill and Cave shared the scrum-half jersey and were accompanied at half-back by Forbes who was a virtual ever-present. In the absence of McMurtry, the centres were David Campbell, the captain, and Eric Macaulay who was the most improved player in the squad. The back three consisted of Arrell and McCullough and either Alan Campbell or O’Callaghan. In some games, these boys were supplemented by Donaldson, McMurtry and Brogan who were loaned to the Medallion XV. Their return to the side next year will strengthen the side considerably in preparation for the Medallion Shield. I enjoyed working with the boys and wish them well with their rugby futures. M.R.S.

U13 A XV

layed Won Lost Drew Points Points P For Against 21 9 11 1 302 358 152

The U14A rugby side had a mixed season which started with an impressive 32-13 victory over Ballyclare. After this game, three boys: Scott McMurtry, Rhys Donaldson and Ruairi Brogan were rewarded for outstanding preseason performances and promoted to the Medallion side. The promotion of these three players gave opportunities for other boys to step up the standard of their rugby to compensate, which they did, albeit on an inconsistent basis. The highlight of the domestic season was the 1510 home victory over Ballymena where the forwards, led by Steenson in particular, controlled the game to give us a deserved win.

This was a successful and enjoyable season for the Under 13 ‘A’ team with a commendable record of: Played 22; Won 14; Drew 1; Lost 7. Throughout the season the team produced flashes of brilliance in their wins against Foyle and Londonderry College and Ballyclare. However, this brilliance was interspersed with lapses in concentration and poor tackling to result in a rollercoaster season of ups-anddowns.

The Owl 2011 The team started their season nervously, lacking in organisation and confidence. This resulted in five losses in the first six games against Ballyclare, MCB, Sullivan, Wallace and Ballymena. The boys worked tirelessly in these games, but unfortunately the strength and power of the opposition overcame our spirited performances. However, there were many positives that resulted from these defeats, in terms of commitment, determination and improved organisation. Note-worthy moments were Jack Gill’s try against Sullivan and Michael Wilson and Scott Macaulay scoring tries against Ballymena. Their only success in a disappointing start to the season came in an 8-5 win against Lurgan Junior High School with Johnny Mooney scoring the all-important winning try.

and best teams that the Under 13 team played, Limavady. Our try total throughout these matches was impressive with Sean Rice, Lewis Donaldson, Scott Macauley, Roy Chia, Jack Gill, Gareth McAdams, Connor Boyd, Michael Wilson, Chris McLoughlin, James Reid, Johnny Mooney and Mark Caughey all contributing tries.

After this difficult first month and a half the boys found a forgotten determination to succeed. They picked themselves up, trained with intensity and heart, and went on to produce some excellent performances in the middle third of the season.

In the last games of the season the boys defeated Dalriada 21-0; Bangor 7-5; lost 36-0 to Wallace; and beat Catholic University School 57-19 on the team’s trip to Dublin to watch Ireland’s historic win over England in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium. This was a perfect end to an enjoyable season.

This turn-a-round in the team’s fortunes began with a resounding win against Dungannon at Roughfort in October. The boys powered to a 57-5 win, with three tries from Jack Gill, two from Johnny Mooney, one from the ever impressive and very talented Gareth McAdams, and one each from Scott Macaulay, Francis Collins and Roy Chia. This was followed up with a hard earned win against Bangor, 38-10, with three tries from Jack Gill and the other tries being scored by Lewis Donaldson, Sean Rice and Scott Macaulay. This good form continued against Foyle and Londonderry College when the team played some of its best rugby of the season to record a 43-5 win. Connor Boyd scored a hat-trick of tries on the left wing, with Chris McLoughlin, Johnny Mooney, Ben Sayers and Jack Gill scoring one each. The team powered to a 47-12 win against Rainey in their next match with the impressive Jack Gill scoring three tries. Other tries in this match came from Michael Wilson, Sean Rice, Roy Chia and James Reid.

One of the most pleasing matches throughout the season was the reverse fixture against Ballyclare. In the first game of the season the team lost 34-0. However, in the second game the boys played some marvellous, team rugby to defeat their close neighbours 49-0! This revealed to the boys how much they had improved throughout the season.

There were a number of outstanding performances throughout the season. Gareth McAdams captained the side extremely well. He was the team’s talisman and led by example with strong running and ferocious tackling. If he continues to learn and improve he will be an exceptional player for the 1st XV in a couple of years! The vice-captain Michael Wilson organised the backs particularly well throughout the season. He was always a threat to the opposition with his elusive running and he scored a number of important tries. Jack Gill was the team’s top try scorer. He is a powerful, strong running Number 8. He has good technique with ball-in-hand making ground with 3 or 4 opposition players trying to bring him down. He is full of enthusiasm and with continued hard work could go far.

This mini-revival in fortunes for the Under 13 ‘A’ team came to a shuddering halt against a very powerful and well organised Regent team on a snowy pitch at The Castle, 39-5. Lewis Donaldson scored a solitary try. However, in the last game before the Christmas break the boys defeated a strong Banbridge team 24-7. In a very close game Gareth McAdams, Connor Boyd, Lewis Donaldson and Harry O’Hagan scored tries to edge out in front of spirited opposition.

Other outstanding performers included Sean Rice who improved so much over the course of the season. He is probably one of the best scrumagers that I have witnessed in my time with Junior rugby. Ben Sayers and Johnny Mooney also had man-of-the-match performances numerous times throughout the season. All are very strong runners with the ball and are very competitive, with ‘never-say-die’ attitudes. Other forwards who impressed were James Reid, Luke Auterson, Lewis Donaldson, Conor Benson and Mark Caughey. All have good ability and over the course of the season proved to be invaluable to the team.

In January and February the boys defeated Killicomaine Junior High School 51-0; Lurgan Junior High School 1917 with a last minute try from Scott Macauley; drew 5 all against an English touring school, St. Josephs; and lost narrowly 20-17 to arguably one the strongest, biggest

The back-line had its own degree of talent. Scott Macauley, Roy Chia, Chris McLoughlin, Connor Boyd, Francis Collins and Niall Gray all had their moments during a successful season. All were called on to make ‘last-ditch’ tackles and score vital tries.


Games Harry O’Hagan, David McClements, Callum Dalzell, Cameron Black, Sam Millar and Jay McCrum started the season on the ‘B’ team. Through hard work and determination they found themselves established ‘A’ players by March. All need to be commended for their tenacity and ambition. In closing, apart from the boys, I am also indebted to the hard work and professionalism of my fellow coaches during the year; Mr Robinson, Mr McCarey, Mr Leckey and Mr Cartmill. Their support, dedication and friendship made it a joy to be involved with coaching such a pleasant and enthusiastic group of boys. T.H.

U13 B XV

Among the forwards Lewis Donaldson, Cameron Gergett, Harry O’Hagan and Emmet Boyle were particularly impressive and scored a number of tries. Cameron Black (Captain) stood out among the backs and led by example with a number of impressive displays and important tries. Jay McCrum, Sam Millar, Michael Bradley, Conor O’Neill and Tim Robinson also had a number of ‘Man of the Match’ performances. Many of the players established themselves in the ‘A’ team at the end of the season due to their determination and commitment to the ‘B’ team throughout the season. I would encourage all of the Under 13 B XV to continue playing and enjoying the game, and to compete for places in the ‘A’ team next season. In closing I would like to thank the boys for their enthusiasm and dedication throughout the season and wish them luck in their future rugby careers. D.R. / T.H.


The 2009/2010 season was an exceptional year for the Under 13 B XV in terms of results, with a commendable record of: Played 14; Won 11; Lost 3. This impressive record resulted in Cameron Black, captain of the ‘B’ team, being presented with ‘Rugby Team of the Year’ during the Easter ‘Colours Assembly’. It was pleasing to see how a number of members of the squad developed their skills and enjoyed their rugby throughout the season. Despite playing only fourteen games, attendance at after-school coaching sessions and overall commitment levels were high.


The season started with a close win against Ballyclare High School, 28-24. This was followed up with wins against The Boys’ Model, Wallace High School, Ballymena Academy, Rainey and Bangor Grammar School before the Christmas break. A very pleasing aspect of these games was the boys’ ability to close out tight games as was seen against Wallace and Ballymena - only one score making the difference at the final whistle. After the Christmas break the winning streak continued, and the boys’ play went from strength to strength, with wins against Ballyclare High School, Lurgan Junior High School, Bangor Grammar, Regent and Wallace High School.

This year’s Form I group was a very enthusiastic group. It was quite possibly the biggest front-row in the country with Rakeem Marica and Luke Magee holding up the scrum. There were good performances throughout the year from the whole squad. Samuel Osbourne led the way at No. 9 and McCoubrey, Davison, McMahon, Beattie and McCauley finished off in style in the backline. There were wins against Regent, The Boys’ Model and Ballyclare High School. Although we lost against Bangor Grammar and Wallace High School the boys acquitted themselves well. McCaughey and Cairns both made their mark in the 2nd row and Saunders, Russell and Borne combined to make a very agile back row. There were also good performances from McKay, Murray, Burton, Thabeth, Purcell and Godfrie. There were strong performances from the ‘B’ team as well with wins against Regent and Lurgan Junior High. It promises to be a good season next year if the boys’ train hard and apply themselves in a methodical manner. I.M.G.

The Owl 2011

GIRLS’ HOCKEY With our new astro-turf pitch now in its second season the aim was to increase the number of matches that our Junior teams would get to play on it and therefore develop the skills that are required for the modern game. We fielded four Senior and four Junior teams every week for our Saturday morning fixtures. However, the harsh weather of last winter meant a number of fixtures had to be cancelled. Even an astro-turf pitch can’t be played on when it’s covered in snow! Form I In addition to our eight regular teams the Form I club practised every Saturday with numbers rarely falling below 30. They concluded their season with some friendly fixtures and played in the long established annual Grosvenor tournament. Mini Section The Mini section for primary aged girls practised every Saturday morning after the Form I girls. Owls’ Hockey Club, which was formed by Old Girls’ of the school, got involved with the coaching and organising of the Mini section for the first time and numbers attending remained high. The Owls’ Cup is awarded every year to the team in school that wins the most matches and this year the 1st XI was the winner. N.N.

1st XI Captain: Jess Kidd Vice Captain: Emily Reid

Played 19

Lost 7

Drew 2

Won 10

Despite this achievement, unfortunately, the 1st XI failed to make any progress in the Schools’ Cup, losing 2-1 away to Foyle & Londonderry College. The season had started well with a worthwhile and enjoyable trip to the North Coast for some pre-season training and team building which included a match against Coleraine Girls’ High. It was encouraging that by half-term the team had won four and lost just two of their matches. Going out of the Cup meant we had to play in the Plate competition and drew an away match to Cambridge House. Cambridge House proved an excellent team and beat us convincingly 3-0. After this match we only had three fixtures left to play before our end of season tour to Edinburgh. We took the opportunity to use the trip as development for next season’s 1st XI squad taking 2nd XI players we felt had potential to step up.


Games Unfortunately, one of our matches had to be cancelled, but our match against St. George’s made up for it. The game had everything and was extremely competitive! We saved some of our best hockey for last and enjoyed what was a hard fought 3-0 win. A notable achievement for 1st XI players was the selection of Emily Reid for the N. Ireland U18 UK Games team that won gold medal for the first time at the Games. Emily also went on to play for Ulster U18s and finished last season with an invite to train with the Ulster U21s. Also, Anna Hutchinson was selected for the Belfast Area U17 team that won gold medal at this year’s Area tournament and then progressed to make the final trial of the Ulster U17s. As Anna has another two years at this level she has reached a very high standard in her first full season as a 1st XI player.

Like the 1st XI we drew a difficult away fixture in the 2nd XI Cup having to travel to Limavady Grammar. It proved an exciting end-to-end match that we led 2-1 until the last seconds when Limavady was awarded a penalty corner which they scored from and forced the match into extra-time. Our girls were disheartened while the Limavady girls had their tails up. Limavady went on to get the all-important goal in extra-time while we just looked completely despondent! This defeat meant we had to play Strabane Grammar in the 2nd XI Plate competition which was thankfully a home draw. Goals from Sarah Martin and Lauren Montgomery put us through 2-0 to meet Lurgan College in the next round, but unfortunately we lost narrowly to them 1-0.

Furthermore, Faye Kidd and Holly Reid both represented the Belfast Area U15 team which also won gold medal at its tournament. Both girls were selected for Ulster trials with Faye being selected for the final ‘A’ squad and Holly a development squad. Again high standards were achieved by both girls in their full season as 1st XI players.

The girls finished the season strongly with a 3-2 win over Grosvenor and a 4-0 win over Larne in their last match.

The 1st XI had perhaps a first in the history of Girls’ Hockey at the school, with three different sets of sisters in its starting line-up with the younger three all in Form IV and the older three in LVI. The Hutchinson, Kidd and Reid sisters return to the team for another season in 2011. N.N.


Thanks must go to Mr P Dorman for all his hard work in working alongside me with the 1st and 2nd XI. N.N.



Played 16

Won 5

Drew 5

Lost 6

Player of the Year: Beth Marsh Top Goal Scorer: Alex Devine Most Improved Player: Beth Moss The 2nd XI team captained by Natalie Bengttson had a mixed season winning only five of their 16 matches and drawing two. The team took a while to settle due to the constant changing of players. This was due to injuries, girls being unavailable and new players coming in to the team.

Captain: Zoe Scullin Vice-Captain: Kate Reilly

Squad: (GK) Beth Marsh, (SW) Beth Moss, (RB) Hannah Allen, (CB) Kate Reilly/Lauren McKay, (LB) Sophie Allen, (RL) Julia Diamond, (CL) Zoe Scullin, (LL) Samantha Branagh/Paula O’Hare, (RW) Katie Nixon, (CF) Hilary Ferris, (LW) Alex Devine.

The Owl 2011

3rd XI

This season the 2B XI was third in the South Antrim Schools’ League. The League consisted of Antrim Grammar, Ballyclare High School, Belfast High School, Carrick Grammar and Larne Grammar. The girls won against Larne and Belfast High, drew against Antrim and very narrowly lost against Carrick and Ballyclare High School. Every year the girls compete in the 3rd XI Cup which always begins in October. The matches were played in an initial group stage. The girls produced three good results, but were unfortunate not to progress into the next round. The results from our section include:

2B XI Cup Results MCB Lost 2-0 BHS Won 2-0 Bloomfield Won 2-0 Sullivan Drew 0-0

(Goal scorers: Hilary Ferris and Katie Nixon) (Goal scorers: Alex Devine and Zoe Scullin)

December through to February saw several matches cancelled due to the poor NI weather conditions. On many occasions training was diverted at the last minute to inside sessions of fitness and stick work at the Valley Leisure Centre. The girls continued to stay motivated and worked hard despite the weather! The team finished the season on a high with a fine win against Larne Grammar. We travelled away to Larne and comfortably won 2-0 with goals from Katie and Zoe. In May we followed our usual tradition of celebrating our season by having a team dinner at Villa Italia in Belfast. Awards were given to several players for their performance and dedication throughout the year. It was a pleasure to see a team gel together so well. I would especially like to express my appreciation to the girls who acted as replacements for the 2B XI, sometimes at short notice. Thanks to Charis Hanna, Natalie Duff and Emma Gray who frequently substituted for the team often out of preferred position. Special thanks must go to Zoe Scullin who is leaving us this year. She has been an outstanding captain over the past two seasons. She did her best to motivate and encourage her team at all times. I wish Zoe and Kate all the best for the future and hope that they will continue to play hockey at University or at Club level. I would also like to wish all the girls doing GCSE and A-Levels all the very best. I look forward to the new season and hope the girls maintain their enthusiasm for school hockey. J.R.W.

Played 10

Won 3

Drew 5

Lost 2

Player of the Year: Charis Hanna Top Goal Scorer: Elizabeth Sinclair Most Improved Player: Rebecca Rowan

Captain: Charis Hanna Vice Captain: Kelly-Anne Rainey

Squad: (GK) Beth Marsh, (SW) Lauren McKay/Beth Moss, (RB)Emma Gray/Jayne Dunlop, (CB) Rebecca Curtis, (LB) Kelly-Anne Rainey, (RL) Niambh Benson/ Alex Kyle, (CL) Natalie Duff, (LL) Charis Hanna, (RW) Leah Bailie, (CF) Elizabeth Sinclair, (LW) Megan Bingham. The 3rd XI had a mixed season with more draws than wins. The team proved to have a strong defensive back line resulting in the girls only losing two matches. The girls had good wins against Belfast High, Bloomfield and Down High with top goal scorer Elizabeth Sinclair scoring in two out of the three wins. This season the 3rd XI consisted of a mixture of year groups, ranging from last year’s U14 team to MVI players. The girls quickly formed a strong bond and started working well as a team. It was difficult for the girls to do this as Form IV didn’t have the opportunity to train and practice with the Senior players as their games were on a different day. Nevertheless, the girls made sure they were organised and well prepared on a Saturday morning. The girls were only able to play ten fixtures this season. Several matches were cancelled between December and February due to the poor NI weather conditions. Many thanks go to the girls for their commitment and effort this season. The team members worked very hard to produce their best in all games. I would like to make special mention of our captain, Charis Hanna, who led by example and for the very



Girls’ Hockey


The Owl 2011 helpful, organised and pleasant manner in which she performed her duties throughout the season. Charis also stepped up to play several games for the 2BXI. With continued effort and determination many of the 3rd XI will be representing higher teams next year. I therefore wish them every success at these levels. J.R.W.

U14 A XI

Even with emphasis on improving skills, the team found it difficult to score goals; as a result we had a lot of drawn matches we could have won. Poor weather also hindered progress with no hockey matches during December and most of January. Therefore the girls had little match practice entering the final games of the season.

The U14 team, captained by Orla McBriarity, had only won two matches in the whole of its previous season so their first objective was to better this statistic. I found the girls a pleasure to work with. They all demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. This attitude resulted by half-term in the girls beating their previous year’s record with fantastic wins over Strathearn, Bloomfield College and MCB. The girls finished the season a much improved team. The fact that a number of the girls from both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams started playing Club Hockey was obviously a factor in this achievement.

In spite of a lack of scoring the girls maintained a high level of enthusiasm and were a pleasure to work with. I know these girls will continue to work on their skills and will enjoy success in the future. The team comprised: Abbey Brown, Rebecca Harbinson, Rachel O’Donnell, Victoria Beattie, Emma MacDougall, Lucy Miller, Taylor McCombe, Morgan Dempsey, Anna Hogg, Rebecca Atkinson, Megan Geddis, Mimi Jeffrey and Amy O’Donnell. B.M.

U13 B IX

Our end of season treat was a night at the Odyssey bowling and going for pizza afterwards. N.N.

U13 A XI

Lost 5

Drew 5


Won 3

Captain: Taylor McCombe Vice Captain: Victoria Beattie Top Goal Scorer: Judith Allen

The U13 team had a mixed season. This is a dedicated and hard working group of girls who during games showed commitment in trying to improve individual skills and teamwork. Attendance at practices was excellent.

Lost 6

Drew 2

Won 2

Captain: Rebecca Beattie Vice Captain: Victoria Minford Top Goal Scorer: Sarah Cowden

Games The U13 B team had a disappointing season with quite a number of lost games. However, attendance at practice was excellent and much hard work was devoted to improving basic skills. There was a great deal of enthusiasm within the squad and most players were able to gain match experience. The biggest problem during the season was scoring goals; hopefully this will improve as the girls continue to work on their skills. The weather was another factor, with a number of matches being cancelled. However, the girls enjoyed their hockey and commitment remained high throughout the season.

Our first Prior Shield match was against RBAI. We played poorly in the first half, but the score was still 0-0 and we were determined to go for the win in the second half. However, we could just not score and, with 5 minutes left, they broke down the pitch, crossed and deflected in to score. The game finished 1-0. We were devastated as we deserved at least a draw.

Squad members: Chloe McAllister, Emily Cairns, Victoria Minford, Rebecca Beattie, Kelly McDonald, Eimer Grubbon, Rachel McNair, Natalie Watson, Holly Sharpe, Megan Kane, Kayleigh Martin, Hannah Law, Sarah Cowden, Lydia Rooney, Martha Gordon, Olivia Hull and Nieve Carroll. B.M.

Our next game in the Prior Shield was against Portadown. They played a very good, fast, direct, attacking game and we lost 5-1. We just could not cope with the two Irish Schoolboy Internationals, who made such a difference. We knew now that qualification from the group was going to be very difficult, but we would try our best.

BOYS’ HOCKEY 1st XI After only losing one MVI player, hopes were high for the season and our aim in the first term was to progress through to the semi-finals of the Prior Shield. The team was well balanced, with a strong combination of Niall Darrah and Chris McVeigh in central defence. We


started well, with convincing 5-0 and 3-0 friendly wins over Regent and Wallace, then a tough 4-3 win away to Bangor and a 1-1 draw away to Grosvenor. Niall Darrah, as captain, was in brilliant scoring form with three hat-tricks in three matches!

We performed well against Newry and Friends’, winning 1-0 and 2-1 respectively. That was the best that we could do and it was satisfying to have won both games. Both Portadown and RBAI went through to the semi-finals and RBAI went on to win the Shield, so it was some consolation that we had competed well against them. The months of December and January were both nearly completely wiped out due to poor weather, but the boys trained well indoors at the Valley Leisure Centre.

The Owl 2011 In the Burney Cup, late January, we were drawn against Antrim Grammar, who we knew were of a similar standard and played direct, fast hockey. In a very competitive match at Roughfort, we won 2-0, which was very satisfying for all involved. It set up a match against Cookstown, who we have drawn in the Burney Cup frequently. Cookstown are an exceptional team, with several Schoolboy Internationals and one senior Irish International. The game was played in a very good spirit, we started well, attacking well down our right wing, but their short, fast passing game eventually wore us down and they won 7-0, which was very respectable. The focus then turned to the tour to Holland; four days in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. 15 boys, from Form V-MVI along with Mr Lunn and Mr Forrest, spent a day in Amsterdam sightseeing and visiting the Anne Frank Museum. With our hotel situated in the University region of Rotterdam, 100m from the Club hockey pitch, it was ideal. We attended a professional hockey match in The Hague, watching players from Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Argentina; a real insight into top class hockey. Many of the players we watched will be competing for their countries in the London 2012 Olympics. It was a good opportunity for the squad to socialise together, go out for dinner and experience another culture. A coaching clinic had been arranged and was taken by a professional coach at the hockey club. He certainly put the players through their paces; the session lasted from 10am to 4pm, but it was enjoyable and they learnt a great deal. We just had enough energy to play a match against Leonidas. There was evidence of the players putting their coaching clinic skills into practice and we won 8-0. That evening we were able to relax at the cinema and enjoy our pizza at dinner, before we spent our last day go-karting and ice-skating. It was a very enjoyable tour and all of the boys represented the Academy admirably. Thanks must go to all parents who support the Boys’ Hockey Club, despite our limited success. The boys are always committed and give of their best. K.L.

COLTS The 2010-11 season saw a re-branded Colts side emerge as a sort of midway point between a Second XI and an Under 15s. In terms of trophies our success was limited, but the boys were a committed group and progress was evident throughout the year. In fact had

we shown a bit more metal some tangible success in the Taylor Cup could have been achieved. In our first game in that competition we travelled to Ballyclare High School who were eventually to emerge as group winners. A flaccid first-half display saw us 3-0 down at half-time. When we actually decided to turn up in the second half we dominated it, but unfortunately we gave ourselves too large a hill to climb and despite some late goals we ran out of time and slipped to a 3-2 defeat. Another defeat followed at Roughfort in a close encounter with Ballycastle up, so in spite a draw with Wellington and a walk-over victory against Laurelhill Community College we didn’t emerge from the group. As many of our side will be eligible for this competition again next season I hope we can learn from the experience and play with more steel and determination from the start. Progress in the Taylor Cup is a distinct possibility and should be a target for this group of players. In the Dowdell Cup we came up against a strong Methodist College side who ran out winners by a handsome margin. Had it not been for the efforts of Matthew Constantine in goal the margin of victory would undoubtedly have been greater. While in the Under 15 Richardson Cup we fell at the hands of a strong Bangor side that in the end ground down our resistance for a 5-1 victory. In goal Daryn McMeekin, shared the duties with Matthew Constantine. Both have their merits; Daryn is agile and capable of producing excellent saves, but was occasionally prone to the odd basic error. He needs to simplify his approach and endeavour to stay on his feet for longer. Matthew showed a real measure of improvement during the year. He became more committed as the season went on and with this greater commitment his abilities improved. On many occasions Matthew kept us in contests and no where was this more apparent than the cup game against MCB. In the middle at the back our centre back pairing of Neil McAllister and Callum Shields was virtually ever present. Callum continued to give us a long ball option from the back. His hitting became more consistent during the course of the season. He reads the game well but just needs to overcome a tendency to over-commit himself to tackles. He continued to be our main threat at short corners. If Callum can improve his mobility his services should be less available to this squad next season as he presses for a 1st XI place.


Games Neil provided an excellent foil for Callum. He led the team by example and always gave 100% to the cause. He was a solid marker but occasionally he got into bad habits by lining up for tackle on the reverse rather than his strong side. He needs to develop a bit more composure on the ball as he would occasionally panic when in possession and shovel the ball on without enough thought of the intended target. Jordan Shaw showed his versatility by operating at right and left back as well as right and left midfield. He has very solid basic skills and a rare tendency not to panic when in possession of the ball. His basic stick skills are good, he just needs to improve his ball pace and his strength on the ball. If he can do this Jordan is another who should be plying his trade for the 1st XI next season. Ryan McAlister also operated at left back as well as left midfield. He reads the game well and has a tendency to take the correct option more often than not. He still plays the game too upright; he must get his right hand further down the stick to give himself more strength on the ball as on too many occasions he surrenders possession. If Ryan can do this he will be of great worth to us in midfield next season. The Jones twins Alan and Chris sometimes filled the right back position (or could be found at left wing depending on the whim of the coach). Chris was committed to the battle and tended to endeavour to get the ball into a strong position to find a simple pass. Alan showed intelligent movement up front and a willingness to run himself into the ground. Both showed a great level of improvement during the course of the season and as they were effectively starting out I expect their stock to rise further next year.


The three Form III ‘James’s’, Bingham, Carey and Johnston, played pivotal roles in the Taylor Cup matches. James Carey was a no-nonsense tackler at the back. He was strong on the ball, quick and has a very strong slap hit. He needs just to develop a bit more composure on the ball and he will turn into a very decent hockey player. Between James Bingham and James Johnston you could generate a very impressive hockey player. Bingham has very good stick work, a strong hit and very sound basic skills. He needs to mirror that with a competitive instinct and the abrasive qualities James Johnston possesses! He simply never knew when he was beaten and always gave 100%. He spends too much time fiddling with the ball on his reverse side, but his technique can and will be refined. Ryan Lawell operated in the midfield or up front. He didn’t always fully realise his potential. He had good

stick skills and struck a very good ball, but too often he drifted through games when, had he applied himself more fully, his talents would have been much more useful to us. Ryan did have a happy knack of scoring goals. Mark Kerr often filled the role of combative left midfielder. He was a destructive influence on the opposition and put his heart and soul into every game. His stick skills improved considerably through the course of the season but as a latecomer to the sport they were starting from quite a low base. As Mark’s stick skills improve his combative qualities should prove an asset to any team. Alan Curtis was often the centre pin in midfield around which the team was built. His fitness, speed and impressive stick work were at the heart of much of the team’s best work. He sometimes has the habit of failing to use his pace to get past a player that he has beaten, putting himself in a position where he has to beat the man again. He should provide a very good option for the 1st XI next season. In the Taylor Cup we also had the talents of Niall Bradley at our disposal. Niall has good ability and a sharp turn of pace. However, he is sometimes guilty of taking a little bit too much out of the ball when the simple option was often the better one. Chris Roe often plied his trade up front or in midfield. He has a great competitive instinct and not a little amount of skill. He runs tirelessly, and while this is meant as a compliment it is also one of his failings. He needs to learn more positional discipline and not get drawn into just chasing around after the ball all the time. The other thing that Chris must work on is gripping the stick in a more conventional manner. Until Chris does this he will not get close to realising his full potential as a hockey player. Oliver McGowan was another player who operated in several positions, mostly at left back or left midfield. He has sound stick skills and a solid tackling technique. However, he like many others mentioned needs to be stronger when in possession of the ball and improve the pace at which he transfers the ball. James Donaghy was utilised at right midfield or on the right wing. He has good pace and has the ability to break through tackles with seeming ease. However, as he approaches the circle he needs to learn to slow his feet down to allow his brain to catch up. James’ decision-making in the attacking quarter needs a bit of refinement if he is to prove his full worth for the team next year.

The Owl 2011 Ryan McKeown started the season up front but made a few cameos at left back as the season went on. He improved his hitting significantly during the course of the season and his reading of the game improved, but his mobility around the park still needs a little work. Danny Worsell and Mark Johnston swelled our ranks during the course of the season. Danny proved to be an able and committed defender and shows good potential for a right or left back birth next season. Mark showed a significant level of improvement with his stick skills. He needs to get a stronger body position as too often he lost possession too easily. Mark must improve his ability to hit the ball if he is to get more pitch time next year. I hope that the boys enjoyed the season. I found them a very good group to work with and I hope they will all continue gracing the astroturf pitches of Ulster next season. I expect for several their appearances for the ‘Colts’ next year may be more limited. M.G.H.

U14 XI

The 2010-2011 season was one of continued development and improvement for the Boys’ U14 side, with many Form I and II boys making their first appearance in competitive school hockey, while last year’s U13 regulars were required to step into more prominent roles within the team. Despite a disrupted schedule, and the arctic conditions, the boys enjoyed a fairly successful season of hockey. On the surface of things, the campaign began in unimpressive fashion with defeats to Regent House and Wallace High School. Despite results not going their way, these performances suggested there was enough potential within the squad to compete with

more established hockey-playing schools through sheer determination and commitment on the pitch. There were good defensive performances from James Carey and James Bingham at the back and, with James Johnston battling in the midfield and Owen Kinnear showing an eye for goals up front, the signs were encouraging for all involved. These encouraging performances were eventually reflected in the results with a hard- fought 1-1 draw against Friends’ School and a narrow win against Grosvenor. Despite losing to RBAI, the team showed resolve and determination in their next fixture to defeat Friends’ 1-0 with John Miller scoring a fantastic individual effort. The score-line was an improvement on the draw from several weeks prior and signalled a move in the right direction. James Bingham continued his impressive form as captain demonstrating his good stick skills on several occasions, and the emerging Jason Roe showed signs of his potential with a string of good displays. The winter programme was greatly affected by snow and frost, and fixtures against Wallace High, MCB and Bangor all fell foul of the weather. After the Christmas break a good performance against Regent House meant that spirits were high going into the Ferris Cup tie against Banbridge Academy ‘B’. The boys were aware of the difficulty of the task in front of them and made a good start to the game, defending resolutely and creating the occasional chance. As the match progressed, however, Banbridge began to exert their authority on the tie and, despite a battling performance, the boys were defeated 3-0. Overall, the team performed well throughout the year and several emerging talents surfaced over the course of the season to complement the more established members in James Bingham, James Carey, Louis Gibson and James Johnston. First formers Jason Roe, Thomas Carey and Richard Ware were all impressive throughout the campaign, while second formers Owen Kinnear, John Miller and Ben Irvine looked increasingly assured on the pitch. Despite the low numbers of hockey-playing regulars in Junior school, there is certainly enough potential within this squad to be hopeful for the future of BRA hockey. It only remains to thank the boys for their commitment and enthusiasm over the course of the year. We look forward to next season and the further improvement it will undoubtedly bring. A.G.F. / A.B.



Cricket 1st XI

Played 12

Won 3

Drew 2

Lost 7

Captain: J.R.J. McClurkin Vice-captain: J.A. Kane

As I read last year’s 1st XI cricket report I felt a very strong sense of déjà vu. The 2011 season had many parallels to the 2010 season. The unflattering playing record, a dismal Cup defeat away to Sullivan in the first round, a flaccid display in the Schools’ Plate, a real sense of frustration with a group of boys, who if they play to their potential, should be a match for any school side in the country.


Yet as with last season on the tour to the South-East of England there were green shoots of recovery to encourage the author just enough to get through the cold winter. Unlike last year, only Norman Sinclair from the Middle VI played consistently and Philip Warke’s return from long term injury alongside the talent coming through should ensure we are a better balanced side next year. The season started in the worst possible fashion with a 10 wicket defeat away to Ballyclare High School. Batting first, we got into a decent position as 27 from Jordan Carlisle guided us to 52-2. Quite how we were all out for 66 is indeed a mystery. With both the skipper and vice-captain missing our batting was well below par and our bowling was no better as Ballyclare took

only 14 overs to polish off a straightforward victory. This was followed by a trip to Down High for a twenty over game. McClurkin won the toss and elected to bat first, but from the moment he inexplicably ran himself out, looking for a single to midwicket that just wasn’t there, it was apparent that things were not going to plan. Norman Sinclair applied himself well and top scored with 28, but there was very little support as Rea bowled a tidy line and length for figures of 4-14. Our 89-8 in 20 overs never looked like enough and that proved to be the case as Down High’s skipper played a captain’s innings with 44 not out to see his side home by 6 wickets with a couple of overs to spare. Montgomery with 4 overs 1-12 was the pick of our bowlers. Our McCullough Cup campaign started with a trip to Friends’ School Lisburn. McClurkin got us started with a quick fire 21 following the early loss of Sinclair. Carlisle built on this platform with a very well compiled half-century. Support was provided by Ross Bryans (24*) and Jack Kane (16) hit a few lusty blows as we set our hosts a target of 164 in their 20 overs. Two wickets apiece for McFadden and Bryans broke the back of Friends’ run chase and Cairns (4-8) mopped up the tail as FSL were dismissed for an even 100 to give us a convincing 63 run victory. This victory provided a small degree of confidence as we made the familiar journey to the Sea Park Oval to take on Sullivan in the 1st Round of the Schools’ Cup.

The Owl 2011 Sullivan were quickly reduced to 19-3 thanks to the new ball efforts of Kane and Montgomery. Ross Adair decided that the counter attack was the best option and he took the score quickly to 49, scoring 29 off 16 balls before he became Kane’s third victim. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and Kane (7-35-15) bowled with skill and control. Only McCord offered any real resistance and when he was out caught by McFadden off the bowling of Bryans and Scott followed cleaned bowled off the next ball Sullivan were in serious trouble at 88-9. But the 13 year old Matchett, who survived a very close run out appeal very early in his innings put on 54 for the last wicket with Hamilton to steer Sullivan to a respectable 142 all out. Quite how we allowed them off the hook in this way was beyond me, but with 35 overs in which to chase the total down we were very much still in the game. However, we lost wickets at far too regular intervals and Sullivan in the guise of the Adair brothers and the irrepressible Matchett bowled with discipline and skill. Daniel McFadden as he had done in the corresponding fixture last year played some lovely strokes, but when he lost his patience and tried to hit the young leg-spinner inside out over extra cover into Belfast Lough any slim hope we had of progressing vanished. We were all out for 70 with Jack Kane’s 10 the only other contribution to make double figures. Our Cup run again was unseated at the first hurdle. Our first outing at the Castle Grounds saw RBAI visit for the McCullough Cup game. A 35 over match was twice reduced due to rain to 25 overs with ‘Inst’ winning the toss and electing to bat. Mairs was the stand out performer as his 52 helped the guests post 127-9 in their 25 overs. McFadden and Carlisle each grabbed a brace of wickets, while Cairns went one better returning figures of 5-0-24-3. Our reply started too slowly and the pressure was soon built up. It was apparent quite early on that our hope again rested on McFadden who top scored with 21. Kane (20) also provided some impetus but we were too far behind the run rate as we limped to 93-9 in our 25 overs and a 34 run defeat. Dalriada in the Schools’ Plate was next up, the match lasting barely as long as the journey to Ballymoney. Adam Montgomery took 4-11, including a hat-trick in his third over. He was ably supported by young Andrew Forbes 3-6 and McFadden 2-6 as the hosts were dismissed for 36. McClurkin wasted little time scoring 35 in 11 balls as we chased down the target in three overs for the loss of just one wicket. Next up was the altogether more stern task of Foyle in the McCullough Cup. We won the toss and elected to bat. McClurkin (23) and Carlisle (13) both got starts,

while Bryans (25*) played a composed innings, but he ran out of partners as the rest of the batting was eminently forgettable. The sum total of our efforts was 86 all out using only 28 of our 35 available overs. Despite some good pressure generated by Montgomery 6-0-29-3 this total was never going to be enough as Wray hit the first ball of the 16th over for 6 to see Foyle home by 5 wickets with half an eternity to spare. Bangor Grammar was our next opponent in the McCullough Cup. An opening wicket stand of 93 between McClurkin (62) and Sinclair (43) was a glimpse of what could have been throughout the season. However, we failed to capitalise on this great start as we got bogged down in the middle of the innings. Quite how overs 29 to 34 yielded only 8 runs absolutely amazes. That we managed 22 runs off the last over created an air of respectability to our total of 157-4 in the 35 overs. More than halfway through the Bangor innings Carlisle (7-1-19-3) along with Kane (7 overs 1 for 15) had restricted Bangor to 52-4 off 18 overs. Needing over 100 runs off the remaining 17 overs the outcome of the game seemed in little doubt. Up stepped Burgess who bludgeoned 10 fours and 4 sixes in his innings of 84 to see his side home with over four overs to spare and five wickets in hand. Quite how we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory defied belief. Overs 19-30 yielded 101 runs as we persisted to bowl too short a length. The decision to bowl Carlisle and Kane, our main strike bowlers, out seemed, with hindsight, a very strange one. The Plate Quarter Final was played away to the Royal School Armagh. Unfortunately the pressure to get the game played, examination commitments and the weather meant that we had to travel to Armagh without our skipper. R.S.A. batted first and posted a very respectable 130 in their 20 overs. Andrew Forbes with 3-12 in his 4 overs was the pick of the bowlers. Others including Kane and Cairns, who picked up two wickets each, proved altogether more expensive. Several people got starts in our reply including Rainey (15) Sinclair (12) and McFadden (18) but we quickly fell behind the run rate and no-one played the aggressive innings required to threaten their total. We ended up 91-9 in the twenty overs and the result was a 39 run defeat and the end of our competitive season. The Old Boys’ fixture followed nine days later. As ever having won the ‘toss’ the Old Boys elected to bat and amassed 184-8 declared. M.R. Shields atoned to some extent for his first ball duck in the corresponding fixture last year. When he was eventually adjudged L.B.W. by ‘umpire’ Reid he had scored 41 off 31 balls.


Games Bunting who had been going along at a fairly sedate pace then burst into life as he reached 50. Chris’s Harte (29) and Magee (14) both showed their class as the move towards the declaration was swift. Jack Kane picked up 3 wickets to apply the breaks a little. The declaration did eventually follow during a rain break that was to bring a premature end to the game without the school starting their reply. The tour to the South-East of England that followed provided some encouraging signs for next season. This is a talented group of players virtually all of whom are back for next season. The ‘big players’ on the team really need to take on more personal responsibility and set a higher premium on their wicket next year. It is my personal belief that, in the very least, this group is capable of a good run in the Schools’ Cup. However, greater discipline and application will need to be shown by all if that is to be achieved. One man for whom next season will definitely not hold Schools’ Cup success is Norman Sinclair. Norman’s 1st XI career has spanned the last four years and he has shown himself on many occasions to be a fearless competitor. He always relished the challenge and applied himself more fully than some of his more ‘talented’ team-mates. Had they all his ability to apply themselves we would have been a much more successful team. He was an able deputy to McClurkin behind the stumps and showed a quiet steel in his leadership on the few occasions he captained the side. I trust that he will be able to balance his other sporting commitments and his academic studies with some cricket as he moves on to new pastures. The other three individuals who require special mention are Daniel McFadden, Jordan McClurkin and Ross Bryans. Daniel was selected as a relatively late replacement to go on the Ulster Schools’ tour. I trust that he will have learnt a great deal from the experience and will use it as a platform to improve upon his game. I still think we are yet to see the full potential of Daniel’s game, as is the case with so many in this team. 166

Ross Bryans was selected for the N.C.U. under 15 team. Ross has a very smooth bowling action and is technically a very sound batsman. On too few occasions this year did we get a glimpse at his talents. I hope next year he will more regularly be given the new ball and that with this responsibility his influence within the team will grow. Jordan was selected for the Ulster Schools’ and Irish Schools’ Under 19 sides whilst also earning selection for the Irish Under 17 and Irish Under 19 sides. His wicket-keeping remains a real asset to our team. However, after an excellent 50 at the Ulster Schools’

trial it was primarily as a batsman that Jordan was selected for these teams. His talents are very apparent in this regard, but too often when he plays for the school he throws his wicket away too easily. If the side is to have tangible success next season then Jordan will be required to score heavily. He is more than capable of so doing. Finally I wish to thank a number of people on behalf of the boys for their help throughout the year. To Mr Johnston for his expert coaching, both in the winter nets and the summer term, to Mr McGonigle for all of his organisation and umpiring throughout the season and to Mr Shields for his organisation of the tour, expertly supported by Mr Irwin. M.G.H.

2nd XI 2011 proved to be a reasonably successful season. We had a small squad of players, usually with around eight constant members, with the final three or four being made up of unused 1st XI players, younger cricketers and sometimes just friends of the team. However, with the exception of one match, we always had 11 men on the day. The 2nd XI played their first game of the season on the 16th April vs. Ballyclare at Roughfort. We kept Ballyclare down to 126 after 25 overs, with Jonny Torrens getting a wicket in the first ball of the season. We were solid with the bat, with Daniel Laird top scoring with 36 and Connor Hutchinson making 20. BRA passed Ballyclare’ s total in the 23rd over via an explosive 6 from Torrens helping preserve the annual 2nds’ win over Ballyclare that has stood for over five years in a row. The next game was against Down High, who batted first and set an impressive 143 off just 20 overs. BRA started well in the first few overs but the innings stalled with a flurry of quick wickets. Andrew Hamilton was the stand out batsman getting an impressive, yet unfortunate 49, before getting clean bowled. BRA confirmed their first defeat of the season when the last wicket fell; all out for 93. The best bowler was Jonny Torrens, who got 4 wickets in his 4 overs. The first league match of the year was against Friends’ on the 7th May, who batted first. They got off to a good start, reaching over 100 with only 1 wicket gone. A quick collapse of Friends’ mid-order batsmen came as a result of good bowling from Myles Gibson, Daniel Laird and Jonny Torrens. Friends’ had a solid lastman partnership which helped them get through the

The Owl 2011 whole 25 overs, putting 160 runs on the board. BRA unfortunately failed to get their batting going. Niall Darrah top scored with 20, meaning BRA were all out for 96 runs. In our next league game we faced RBAI at Osbourne Park. This match was limited to 15 overs due to rain and was underway when RBAI won the toss and chose to bat. BRA bowled well limiting RBAI to 72/8 in their 15 overs, with the following bowlers taking wickets: Jonny Torrens (2), Myles Gibson (3), Jonny McCreesh (1) and third former David O’Donnell (2). BRA batted once the rain had died down slightly and got off to a solid start. There were a few nervous overs where a number of middle order wickets fell but in the end BRA won with 4 balls to go. The top batting scores came from Connor Hutchinson with 28 and Michael Hall with 13. The Duke of Abercorn Cup is a very prestigious event in 2nds’ cricket, and unfortunately we were drawn away to a good Foyle side that won the toss and chose to bat first, scoring 109 from their 25 overs on a tough, uneven wicket. Good bowling came from Johnny McCreesh who took two wickets. BRA started their innings well, with Norman Sinclair scoring 25 to steady the batting after two early wickets. However wickets collapsed and despite a solid batting performance by Niall Darrah, BRA was all out for 89. The main reason for the defeat however was unfortunately the 36 runs we conceded via extras. The Seconds played their last game of the season at the Castle against Bangor. We won the toss and chose to bat first. We started well, with a solid opening partnership between Andrew Hamilton and captain, Connor Hutchinson, and this continued throughout the order, finishing 106-8 from 20 overs. Good batting performances came from Myles Gibson and Connor Hutchinson who made 32 and 29 respectively. We bowled well, getting a wicket in the 2nd over, however Foyle’s 2nd and 3rd batsmen put on a good partnership until wickets from Andrew Hamilton, Jonny Torrens and Johnny McCreesh put a stop to their rhythm and put them under pressure. It was a tight finish but Foyle could only manage 105 from their 20 overs, meaning BRA clinched a tight one run victory. Significant batting contributions came from Andrew Hamilton, Connor Hutchinson, Myles Gibson, Niall Darrah, Daniel Laird and Michael Hall. Significant bowling contributions came from Jonny Torrens, Myles Gibson, Andrew Hamilton and Daniel Laird.

Counting a forfeit from Limavady, the 2nd XI had a win record of 57% in the league, which was impressive considering the small number of boys available to play. S.G.


This was a season that began with high hopes and expectations for the Colts. However, for a number of reasons the team fell short of its potential. On the whole, the team showed good ability. We were very lucky to have some incredibly talented cricketers. A combination of bad weather, losing Ross Bryans to the first XI, and just plain bad luck made this a very frustrating season for the coaches of the Colts. Unfortunately talent cannot change the weather! Therefore, it turned out to be a season of ‘what might have been’. The Colts began their season impressively in the Saturday League with a 23 run win against Ballyclare High School. BRA scored a competitive 109 off their 20 overs with Kyle Tumelty and Callum Shields batting superbly. BRA comfortably bowled out Ballyclare in 17 overs to record a win. In the 1st round of the Northern Ireland Cup the team was bolstered by the return of Ross Bryans and three Form III pupils Suraj Tirupati, Andrew Forbes and Ben Kane. These additions significantly strengthened the team against a powerful Friends’ XI. Good bowling by Ross Bryans, Andrew Forbes and Craig Larmour restricted Friends to 123-8 off their 25 overs. In reply, after 10 overs BRA were 54-2 and well on track for victory with Chris Torrens and Suraj Tirupati playing well. However, a mid-innings batting collapse resulted in a 34 run defeat. After a two week break due to inclement weather conditions the team lost its next three matches against


Games Foyle and Londonderry College, RBAI and Sullivan in the Cricket League. After the Northern Ireland Cup exit the boys dropped down into the Northern Ireland Plate against Banbridge. This was quite a dramatic match which will remain in our memories for a number of years. BRA posted a total of 85-9 in their 20 overs, with Ben Nixon batting superbly at the end of the innings. This was always going to be a difficult score to defend. However, all the bowlers bowled with distinction to restrict Banbridge to 83-8 after 19 overs. Ben Kane bowled the last over and took two wickets for two runs to tie the match. This resulted in a ‘Bowl-off’ in which BRA was outmatched and we lost the game. During the course of the season the Colts showed good potential and we saw glimpses of future success. Apart from the boys mentioned previously, the team could not have succeeded without the support and dedication of other players, who turned up to practice every week and were enthusiastic in their approach. The team could not have functioned without players such as Cameron McClurkin, Nathan Rooney, Gavin Gilfillan, Ross Chapa, Jai-Dev Bhardwaj, Craig Thompson, Stewart Martin and Dylan Yeates. The season had many highs and lows but the commitment, enthusiasm and dedication of the players is commendable. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be part of this squad and if they continue to work hard they have the potential to win many more matches. T.H. / P.M.


The highlight of the year was Suraj Tirupati’s bludgeoned 90 against Armagh Royal School. His batting, coupled with the consistent bowling of Andrew Palmer, Michael Colhoun, Andrew Forbes and Ben Kane were the backbone of most of the side’s performance. Forbes, Kane and Tirupati thoroughly deserved their selection for the 1st XI tour to Ipswich and Norwich. Special mention must be made of the considerable progress made by other members of the squad: James Bingham, Christian O’Connor, David O’DonnellAnderson, Michael Browne, Ben Cave and Colin Kinghan. This is a talented year-group whose bowling is among the best in the country, with continued links with local clubs, I hope that they can improve on this year in the future. M.R.S.

JUNIOR XI The season started in promising fashion for the Junior XI with a convincing 7 wicket win over Friends’ School Lisburn. The man of the match on the day was David McLarnon, who took 2 wickets with the ball and top scored with 36 runs before being run out. Other notable scores were 22 from Francis Collins and 25 from captain, Conor Boyd. This early win was followed by a series of tough matches against RBAI, Sullivan Upper and Foyle. Although the results did not go their way, there were some impressive performances with the bat from Collins (42 vs. RBAI) and Boyd (24 vs. Foyle). Consistency proved to be the Achilles heel over the early part of the season. Michael Wilson formed a formidable opening bowling attack with Boyd but restricting the runs against strong batting sides proved a difficult task. Nonetheless, the boys showed tremendous enthusiasm and worked hard to improve with the ball and in the


It was a pleasing season for the Junior Colts even though it was one with unusually few games due to the late Easter and sodden May. The side reached the quarterfinal of both the National League and Cup, losing a double header to dual winner Strabane HS despite a majestic 73 from wicketkeeper David Reid.

The Owl 2011 field, and results started to go their way in the later part of the season.

on Monday afternoons, Friday Games and Saturday mornings.

There was a well-fought 6 wicket win over Bangor Grammar, with strong performances from McLarnon (24), Boyd (16) and Wilson (19 NO), as well as an impressive performance at wicketkeeper from Niall Gray despite wet and greasy conditions.

The first two games were close but the spirit was good – the boys were rewarded for their perseverance with the first win against Regent House. Jack Burton who was captain for most of the season, won the toss and decided to bat. Academy posted 90 with Burton unbeaten on 44. Regent replied with 50-7 after 20 overs. Samuel Osborne, James McMahon-Beattie, Rory Godfrey and Jack Burton shared the wickets.

This win was followed by a great performance in the Cup against Down High School. A brilliant bowling display from Jason Fleming, and one of the catches of the season from Ben Irvine, restricted Down High to just 54 runs. Boyd and Collins got off to a flying start in reply and the 55 target was reached confidently at the expense of just 1 wicket, with Collins top scoring on 20. This win set up a quarter-final tie against Ballyclare GS. In what was a below par display, the boys were defeated by 30 runs, despite a gritty 24 from McLarnon and a season high 17 for Mooney. It was a disappointing end to an enjoyable season. This is a talented group of boys who love their cricket and no doubt will continue to represent the school in the coming years. My thanks and congratulations go to the boys for their dedication over the season, and to Conor Boyd, in particular, who was an excellent captain. A.F.

FORM I CRICKET An enthusiastic group of about 20 boys attended practice throughout the season. The team varied from match to match in order to give the boys an opportunity

The boys showed much promise in the game against MCB. Chasing a formidable total of 121 they managed 82 on what was a bowler-friendly wicket. The Cup match against Foyle and Londonderry College resulted in defeat. Against Bangor Grammar School we won the toss and elected to bat. BRA scored 99, Burton unbeaten on 82. Bangor found it difficult to come to terms with the pitch and Osborne and Burton took the majority of the wickets. Facing Limavady Grammar School, Academy won the toss and Burton put them into bat – Limavady were all out for 50. The boys were confident of a win, but it was not without some concern. The captain made 25 before being run out - wickets then began to tumble. The score was 50-7 before Rakeem Marica hit the winning run. There is much talent here and every expectation that the side will improve as they move through the school. It was an enjoyable season and the boys can look forward with much anticipation to next year. J.F.B. / A.S.




Captain: Christine McMahon

The athletics season began at the start of April with the traditional Inter-Schools’ Meeting between Hunterhouse, MCB and Strathearn. This was the first opportunity for athletes to prepare themselves for the short season ahead. Many of the Minor and Junior athletes learnt quickly on the day from our Senior athletes about warm up procedures, relay change-overs and run-ups for the long jump. The second meeting before the Districts was held at the Antrim Forum where the girls competed against Ballyclare High and Regent House.


Most of our athletes are involved in other sports in school. The basic conditioning work done in hockey, netball and cross country during the winter serves the foundations required for the short athletics season. Nevertheless a small number of dedicated athletes manage to fit winter indoor athletics training into their busy lifestyles. Thank you to Miss Stewart and Mr Moffet for their expertise and support throughout the season. They continue to play a vital role in the coaching of athletics in our school. I am indebted to their efforts and dedication to athletics. In the weeks leading up to the Districts, numbers turning out to extra-curricular practice and on Saturday mornings were very high. Over 60 girls were entered for the District Championships this year on Tuesday 10th and Saturday 14th May at the Antrim Forum. The girls successfully achieved 10 Gold, 8 Silver and 9 Bronze medals.

At the Ulster Schools’ Championships on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st May, our athletes won 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. The highlight of the day was the Senior girls winning the Senior Girls’ Cup. 11 girls qualified for the Irish Championships in Tullamore on Saturday 4th June. We travelled down together on the Friday morning and enjoyed the afternoon relaxing in the hotel and some of us even went for a swim! Friday evening was spent with a group meal in the hotel restaurant. It was an early start on the Saturday morning with the hammer throwers and pole-vaulters having to make their way to Tullamore in good time for a warm-up. In the Pole-Vault Lucy Dugan struck Silver reaching 2.90m, and Emma Kelso achieved a Bronze with 2.50m. Unfortunately our Club Captain Christine McMahon was injured and could not race. Charlene McAdams and Lauren McKay achieved a personal best in the Discus and the Hammer. There were other distinguished performances from Melissa Moffet, Hannah Allen and Victoria Beattie, who all came fifth in their events. As a result of their performances Hannah Allen (Form V) and Emma Kelso (Form IV) were selected to represent Ulster Schools in the Schools’ Inter-Provincial at Santry, on Saturday 25th June. Victoria Beattie (Form II) was also selected as a reserve for the team. On Saturday 17th September, Lucy Dugan took part in the European U20 Club Championships final, held in Portugal. Lucy was representing Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club. Lucy finished second in the Pole-Vault with a jump of 2.80 metres. This was achieved despite having to vault with a borrowed pole, as the airlines on which they travelled would not transport the poles.

The Owl 2011

Girls’ Athletics


Games I would like to wish Christine McMahon and Rachel Harvey all the best for university and hope that they will both continue to participate in athletics. Their contribution and commitment to athletics over the past seven years has been outstanding. They will be thoroughly missed next season! Thank you to Mr Dorman, Mrs McCaughran, Miss Stewart, Mr Moffet and Miss McGivern for their help and support throughout the season. J.R.W.

DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS Antrim Forum Saturday 14th May 2011 MINOR RESULTS - Team Position - 5th Jamie Murray August Kennedy

5th Place in High Jump 1.25m 6th Place in Shot 6.61m Relay Team 4th Place

JUNIOR RESULTS - Team Position - 4th Victoria Beattie Melissa Moffet Mykila Donaldson Yasmin Anderson Yasmin Anderson Mykila Donaldson Rachel Millar Rachel Andrews Abbie Brown

1st Place in Pole Vault 2.05m - Qualified 1st Place in Hammer 30.96m - Q 2nd Place in Hammer 21.77m - Q 3rd Place in 75mH 13.4s - Q 3rd Place in Triple Jump 9.24m - Q 4th Place in Shot 7.41m 5th Place in 75mH 14.10s 5th Place in Long Jump 4.23m 6th Place in Long Jump 4.13m Relay 5th Place

INTERMEDIATE RESULTS - Team Position - 2nd


Emma Kelso Emma Kelso Hannah Allen Megan Reilly Natalie Duff Sarah Martin Holly Reid Hilary Ferris Rebecca Rowan Kathryn Bryce Sarah Martin

1st Place in Pole Vault 2.55m - Qualified 1st Place in High Jump 1.39m - Q 1st Place in Hammer 31.41m - Q 1st Place in 300m Hlds 55s - Q 2nd Place in Javelin 17.88m - Q 2nd Place in 100m 13.97s - Q 2nd Place 800m 2.52.7 - Q 2nd Place in 80m Hlds 14.2s - Q 3rd Place in Long Jump 4.26m - Q 3rd Place in 80m Hlds 16.6s - Q 3rd Place in 200m 28.9s - Q

Lauren Montgomery 5th Place in 800m 3.02.2 Sarah Martin 3rd Place in 200m 28.9s - Q Lauren Montgomery 5th Place in 800m 3.02.2 Katie Nixon 5th Place in 1500m 6.19.8 Beth Marsh 5th Place in Shot 6.26m Sarah McGrath 6th Place in 1500m 6.21.0 Holly Reid 6th Place in 300m 49.1s Anna Hutchinson 6th Place in Triple Jump 8.54m Relay 3rd Place 55.1s

SENIOR RESULTS - Team Position - 2nd Christine McMahon 1st Place in 400m Hlds 67.2s - Qualified Lucy Dugan 1st Place in Pole Vault 2.45m - Q Lauren McKay 1st Place in Hammer 28.72m - Q Victoria Sefton 2nd Place in Hammer 28.37m - Q Christine McMahon 2nd Place in 200m 26.2s - Q Emily Reid 2nd Place in Triple Jump 9.87m - Q Charlene McAdams 3rd Place in Shot 8.82m - Q Charlene McAdams 3rd Place in Discus 24.59m - Q Sarah Bell 3rd Place in 800m 3.07.9 - Q Emily Reid 4th Place in Long Jump 4.56m Lucy Dugan 4th Place in Discus 22.83m Rachel Harvey 5th Place in 100m 14.2s Lauren McKay 5th Place in Shot 5.20m Relay 1st Place 52.9 - Q

ULSTER SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS Antrim Forum Friday 20th and Saturday 21st May 2011 JUNIOR RESULTS - Team Position - 2nd Victoria Beattie Melissa Moffett Mykila Donaldson Sarah McGuckian

1st Place in Pole Vault 1.95m - Qualified for Irish 2nd Place Hammer 33.85m - Q 3rd Place in Hammer 24.06m - Q 3rd Place in Pole Vault 1.65m - Q

INTERMEDIATE RESULTS - Team Position - 4th Emma Kelso Hannah Allen Hilary Ferris Natalie Duff Sarah Martin

1st Place in Pole Vault 2.40m - Q 1st Place in Hammer 34.01m - Q 5th Place in 80m Hlds 14.03s - Q 8th Place Javelin 19.93m 8th Place in 100m 14.64s Relay 7th Place 54.36s

The Owl 2011 SENIOR RESULTS - Team Position - 1st Christine McMahon 1st Place in 400m Hlds 67.2s Lucy Dugan 1st Place in Pole Vault 2.45m - Q Christine McMahon 3rd Place in 200m 26.2s - Q Emily Reid 2nd Place in Triple Jump 9.87 - Q Charlene McAdams 3rd Place in Discus 26.74m - Q Lauren McKay 3rd Place in Hammer 29.90m - Q Victoria Sefton 4th Place in Hammer 29.03m Charlene McAdams 5th Place in Shot 8.28m Relay 3 Place 52.9

IRISH SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS Tullamore Saturday 4th June 2011 JUNIOR RESULTS Victoria Beattie Melissa Moffett Sarah McGuckin Mykila Donaldson

5th Place in Pole Vault 1.90m 5th Place in Hammer 29.89m 8th Place in Pole Vault 1.70m 9th Place in Hammer

N.I. AND ULSTER JUVENILE CHAMPIONSHIPS Antrim Forum Saturday/Sunday 18th June Melissa Moffett (U15) Daire Drysdale (U15) Megan Geddis (U14) Hannah Allen

IRISH SCHOOLS’ INTER-PROVINCIAL Morton Stadium, Santry Saturday 25th June 2011 Hannah Allen Emma Kelso

3rd Place in Pole Vault 2.50m 5th Place in Hammer 33.94m

SENIO R RESULTS Christine McMahon - Injured Lucy Dugan 2nd Place in Pole Vault 2.90m Charlene McAdams 5th Place in Discus 29m New PB Lauren McKay 7th Place in Hammer 29.42 New PB Emily Reid 7th Place in Triple Jump 9.69m


3rd Place in Pole Vault 2.80m

5th Place in Hammer 34.46m 3rd Place in Pole Vault 2.60m

UK SCHOOL GAMES Sheffield 3rd/4th September 2011


2nd Place in Hammer 36.90m New PB 3rd Place in Discus 23.08m New PB 3rd Place in 80m11.07s, 6th Place in 75m Hlds 14.35s 1st Place in Hammer 34.43m New PB

Hannah Allen Emma Kelso

8th Place in Hammer 31.05m 6th Place in Pole Vault 2.70m New PB

EUROPEAN U20 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL Portugal Saturday 17th September 2011 Lucy Dugan

2nd Place in Pole Vault

J.R.W. 173




The season started early in the summer term with a friendly meeting at the Antrim Forum against Ballyclare High School and Coleraine Academical Institution. The following week the team participated in a friendly meeting with Methodist College and RBAI on the tartan at The Mary Peters Track. Both events were very competitive and were excellent preparation for the forthcoming District Championships.

In good conditions Academy athletes once again performed well at the Irish Schools’ Championships at Tullamore. Ruairi Brogan ran an excellent race in the 80m Hurdles and came within a hair’s breadth of becoming Irish Champion. Matthew Robinson and Scott McMurtry both performed well to finish in third place.

At the District Championships there were many very good performances with BRA athletes qualifying for some 28 events at the Ulster Championships. Robert Moffett broke the District record in the Inter Hammer throwing a massive 57.55m. Other District champions include Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Diamond, Dylan Tinsley, Alex Steenson and Scott McMurtry. A full list of qualifiers can be found below.

Congratulations to Robert Moffett, Alan Curtis and Stewart Martin who were selected to represent Northern Ireland at the UK School Games. Robert deserves special mention. He was named captain of the boys’ team and led by example to throw 59.83m. In doing so he became UK champion, he was also selected to compete at the European Commonwealth Youth Games, but he did not compete for personal reasons. It was great to see him realise his potential particularly after his disappointment at the Ulster Schools’ Championship.

At the Ulster Schools’ Championships there were again some excellent performances, seeing many athletes achieve personal bests. Matthew Robinson won the Senior Boys’ 400m Hurdles and Scott McMurtry won the Junior Boys’ Hammer. The Ulster Schools’ Championships were to prove difficult for some, no more so than Robert Moffett who was clearly the best athlete in the field. Unfortunately Robert had three no throws and therefore did not qualify for the second round of his event or the Irish Schools’ Championship, an event he was more than capable of winning.

A huge thank you must go out to all staff involved, Mr Carolan, Mr Johnston, Mr Moffett and Miss Stewart. Mr Moffett and Miss Stewart deserve extra credit for their enthusiasm, commitment and expertise. Much of the success of this club would not have been achieved without them.

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DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS SENIOR RESULTS Matthew Robinson Daniel Laird Nathan Lyons Nathan Lyons Jonathan Diamond Daniel Laird Adam Martin

1st 400m Hurdles 63.2 secs 2nd 400m 55.8s 2nd High Jump 1.80m 3rd Triple Jump 11.30m 1st Discus 22.05m 3rd Javelin 35.66m 3rd Hammer 38.04 m 3rd Relay 48.0 secs

INTERMEDIATE RESULTS Dylan Tinsley Robert Moffett Alan Curtis Andrew Curtis Alan Curtis Daniel Dass Daniel Dass Stewart Martin Robert Moffett

1st Inter Shot 10.88m 1st Inter Hammer 57.55 (New District Record) 2nd Triple Jump 11.90m 3rd 400m Hurdles 70.20secs 3rd 800m 2.14 3rd Triple Jump 11.78m 2nd Shot 10.67m 2nd Discus 32.57m 3rd Discus 30.15m 3rd Relay 50.5secs

JUNIOR RESULTS Alex Steenson Scott McMurtry Ruari Brogan Ruari Brogan James Carey Alex Sreenson Scott McMurtry Gareth McAdams

1st Shot 10.68m 1st Hammer 43.85m 2nd 80 m Hurdles 12.1 secs 2nd Long Jump 5.27m 3rd Long Jump 5.03m 3rd Pole Vault 1.90m 3rd 100m 12.7secs 3rd Discus 32.21m

Nathan Lyons Daniel Laird Jonathan Diamond Adam Martin

5th High Jump 1.65m 6th 400m 55.92 sec 6th Discus 25.27m 6th Hammer 34.20m

INTERMEDIATE RESULTS Alan Curtis Daniel Dass Robert Moffett

2nd Triple Jump 12.44m 4th Triple Jump 11.99m 4th Discus 30.16m

JUNIOR RESULTS Scott McMurtry Ruari Brogan Gareth McAdams Alex Steenson Alex Steenson Ruari Brogan Scott McMurtry

1st Hammer 43.91m 2nd 80m Hurdles 11.99 secs 4th Discus 31.78m 3rd Pole Vault 2.25m 4th Shot 10.55m 5th Long jump 5.10m 6th 100m 13.01 secs

MINOR RESULTS Stephen McCrorry 3rd Shot 9.14m Thomas Carey 6th 4.03m

IRISH SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS Ruari Brogan Matthew Robinson Scott McMurtry Alan Curtis Adam Martin

2nd Junior Boys’ 80 m Hdls 11.83 secs 3rd Senior Boys’ 400m Hdls 59.85 secs 3rd Junior Boys’ Hammer 41.09 m 5th Junior Boys’ Triple Jump 12.05 m 7th Senior Boys’ Hammer

MINOR RESULTS Thomas Carey 2nd Long Jump 4.31 m Stephen McCrorry 2nd Shot 8.34m

ULSTER SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP SENIOR RESULTS Matthew Robinson 1st 400m Hurdles 60.80 secs Senior 4 x 100m Relay 5th 46.99 secs

UK SCHOOL GAMES Robert Moffett Alan Curtis Stewart Martin

1st Hammer 59.83m 8th Long Jump 5.94m (pb) 8th Discus 36.55m (pb) C. M.C.



Boys’ Athletics


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Badminton continued to meet weekly in the Sports Hall with a large and enthusiastic attendance of pupils from Form I through to Middle VI. The Senior Boys’ Team competed in the Senior Cup but had an unfortunate early defeat which was so close it was tied on games and sets and so was decided on points. Peter Hawthorne and Matthew Cheung went on to represent BRA at the Champion of Champions event in Lisburn along with Bonnie Li and Rebekah Bingham.

As has been the case for the past few seasons, the Cross Country Club is undergoing a period of rebuilding. A major problem has to do with the fact that few schools want to compete in friendly fixtures, but are instead happy to encourage their runners to train and compete with local clubs. This in turn means that competitive opportunities are often denied to those who are not interested in joining clubs out of school, so that experience is often lacking when it comes to racing in the major championships.

The Senior Girls’ Team had a very successful year and missed out very narrowly on a place in the final of the Ulster Senior League (with a similar margin to the boys’ exit). To build on last year’s success there will be additional junior boys’ and girls’ teams in the coming season. Hopefully the coming year will be one full of as much determination, sportsmanship and fun as has been shown by all members of the club over this past year (and of course some frantic and dizzying games of ‘Round the World’). S.C.S. / S.G.

BASKETBALL Seana Harley-Moyles, who is also a highly talented swimmer, had the honour of captaining the Northern Ireland U16 Basketball team in a two match fixture against Scotland as part of Scotland’s European Championship preparations. N.N.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, there are grounds for guarded optimism. The performances of Caolan Lyttle, Matthew Donnelly, Malachy McKenna and Amy Mellor in the Schools’ District Championships were immensely encouraging. All were to qualify for the Ulster Championships in which Donnelly and McKenna, running as Intermediates, finished 7th and 11th respectively. Lyttle too, new to the sport, was to compete with great credit at Junior level and was also to qualify for the Irish Championships, although injury was to prevent him from travelling. Were he to persevere and train consistently, he could have an exciting future in cross country running. The Irish Schools’ Championships were held this year at Blanchardstown in Dublin on an excellent course with superb changing facilities and on a beautiful day. Matt and Malachy acquitted themselves with considerable credit suggesting that they will make the transition to the Senior ranks with some ease. Both were to be awarded Major Honours for their achievements during the course of the season.


Boys’ & Girls’ Cross Country Participants

Games The past few years has seen the departure, due to retirement, of a number of staff for whom the well-being of the Club was very much to the fore. This renders more important the contribution made by Mr. Patterson in regularly attending and supervising Wednesday training sessions. His input is much appreciated. J.H.C.

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY Girls’ Cross Country did not enjoy the success which it had from previous years, with girls of the older age groups becoming more reluctant to participate, and those of our more talented athletes choosing not to take part due to the demands of their training schedules. This year saw Amy Mellor at Intermediate level as our only girl to progress through our district to make the Ulster finals. This is a statistic that we must strive to improve for next year. N.N.

GOLF I was very fortunate to be asked to take charge of the Darren Clarke Schools’ Golf League two years ago. This is a competition where schools from all over Northern Ireland, controlled and maintained, secondary and grammar enter teams and regularly play matches against one another. There are eleven sections in the League, where schools play one another with the winners of each section progressing to the semi-finals. Pupils playing in the League can also receive regular coaching throughout the League season.


Last year we were put into a group that included Aquinas Grammar, St. Mary’s (CBS) and our ‘very local’ neighbours, St. Malachy’s. These fixtures were played at Dunmurry Golf Club, Ormeau Golf Club and Malone Golf respectively. Unfortunately we were defeated narrowly in each of our matches, which meant that qualification to the Finals Day was not possible. Our expectations had been quite high despite using a number of inexperienced players this year. It was my decision to try and give all interested golfers the opportunity to play, rather than to restrict it to our best players for every fixture. I believe this will be beneficial for future years as it has raised the interest among younger forms and given more individuals valuable competitive experience. Despite our disappointment at not qualifying for the Finals Day through our ‘golfing ability’, it was made known to us that qualification was also possible by being a leading fundraiser for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the incredibly worthwhile charity Darren Clarke represents.

We saw this as a great opportunity to contribute to this wonderful charity and to participate in the Finals Day. We decided, as we had done in previous years, to use the school’s weekly charity collection to raise money. The amount raised £287, combined with the ‘huge’ individual contributions (they took it upon themselves to raise money outside school) from Stuart McCombe (£285) and Rebecca Weir (£275), made our total £847! As a result, Stuart and Rebecca were been awarded prizes (a ‘ping’ golf club and golf hat) and gained the school golf team an invitation to the Golf League’s Finals Day. We were allowed to take four members of our team to the Finals Day. Unknown to us until we arrived, the format of Finals Day was played in an unfamiliar way, Texas Scramble. Our pupils were joined with pupils from other schools and played as a team. Unfortunately, due to exam commitments, Rebecca Weir could not attend the Finals Day. We travelled with three players, Stuart McCombe, our highest fundraiser, Judithe Allen, and Amy O’Donnell, two Form II girls who have played in almost every available fixture available to them since joining the school and have improved notably within that short space of time. In what was a very enjoyable occasion, credit must go to Judithe Allen who was our only success story of the Finals Day, winning a hat and golf balls for playing in the team that finished third. The three representatives from our school thoroughly enjoyed the day and didn’t let Darren Clarke’s failure to be present at the event dampen their spirits too much. I believe he was getting in some practice for ‘The British Open’. Ultimately however, our participation in the Finals Day would not have been possible and our thanks and congratulations must go to Rebecca and Stuart for their effort and contribution to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Ultimately, the success was being the highest fundraisers and gaining the opportunity to participate alongside the other ‘winners’. Many thanks must go to all golfers who played for the school this year. I trust they have enjoyed the opportunity and gained further experience of competitive golf. They, despite their failure to win overall, produced some excellent individual performances and give me much confidence for the coming years. I wish them well for their future golfing careers. Competitors for the year 2010/2011: Samuel Nelson, Stuart McCombe, David McClarnon, Connor Boyd, Ryan Corry, Amy O’Donnell, Judithe Allen, Suzanne Logan, Conor Magee, Nathan Rooney, Rebecca Weir, Michael Wilson, Pierce Clements, Gary Nelson, Conor McCauley, Samuel Osbourne, Ross Chapa. P.M.

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FOOTBALL The football team had a difficult 2010/11 season, largely due to the very young nature of the squad. The League started impressively in September with a 4-0 win over Belfast Boys’ Model B. However, this would be the highlight of last season’s campaign, with a lack of experience resulting in the team losing their remaining fixtures. In the Northern Ireland Cup the School drew Corpus Christi College, one of Belfast’s most successful footballing schools. After a closely fought first half, Academy went into the break trailing 1 – 0. A good start to the second half saw Darren Bell equalise after only 10 minutes. This goal was followed by a period of intense Academy pressure which almost led to the team taking the lead on several occasions. However, with only 17 minutes left on the clock, Corpus took the lead once more. A lack of concentration and poor decisionmaking in key areas saw Corpus score three further goals in the latter stages, the game ending 5 - 1. The team’s Belfast Cup tie against a strong Northern Regional College side finished 5 - 0, although again the score-line did not reflect the competitive nature of the game. With a young squad - which includes several Irish League youth players - and several promising Form V pupils, the coaching staff are confident of a more successful 2011/12 season. R.B. / R.D.E.

FORM I NETBALL The Form I Netball Club trained on Wednesday afternoon throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. The girls were very enthusiastic and extremely competitive, while still having a good sense of fun and

acquiring new skills. Their commitment enabled us to field a team in both the Belfast ‘A’ and ‘B’ Leagues. The ‘A’ team showed great promise even up against stiff opposition in their matches with Dominican College, Bloomfield Collegiate and St. Joseph’s but were unable to reach the semi-finals. The ‘B’ team however powered their way to the Belfast finals beating Hazelwood College and The Girls’ Model, but unfortunately were defeated by Ashfield Girls’. Erin Getty was named ‘Player of the Match’ in the final. At the Community Netball Tournament organised by Valley Netball Club on Friday 25th February, the Form I Netball Team from BRA finished in second place, just one point behind the winners, Downshire School, Carrickfergus. Lucy Dugan, a sixth form pupil at BRA and a member of the U19 Northern Ireland netball team presented the winners and runners-up with their medals. During the summer term a team competed in the annual netball tournament at Rockport. They had an enjoyable day in spite of the rather unseasonal weather. H.M.

JUNIOR NETBALL This year started off brilliantly for the Junior Netball squad. With regular practice on a Monday after school we soon developed new skills and built on our old ones to perform well in our matches.


Games During practice we build on team morale and cooperation. We practised passing, footwork, calling and signals. All of the practice paid off during our first match against Ashfield, where we used our new skills and team co-operation to win the match by a great score of 27-23. Our second match was against Rockport which was a talented team, and in the second quarter proved hard to beat. Thankfully, after a pep talk from our Netball coach Miss Ardis, we turned the scores and won the game 14-6. Other schools we played this season were Our Lady of Mercy who we beat 19-1, and St. Louise’s against whom we also won. Thankfully, with Monday practices and great coaching from Miss Ardis we won all of these matches and went on to the finals of the League. The final was held at the Valley Leisure Centre and was a really exciting day for the whole team. We did our ‘professional’ warm up and practised ball skills. Our match was against Wellington College. They were a fantastic team, but fortunately didn’t score as many goals as we did! The final score was 16-6. We were cheering and laughing as the match ended and were over the moon with the results!

the Plate semi-final we lost to Wallace High School by just one goal. Seven girls from the Minor Squad were selected to train with the Belfast Area Netball Academy: Judithe Allen, Abbie Brown, Courtney Duncan, Emer Gribbon, Mimi Joffroy, Taylor McCombe and Lucy Miller. This season demonstrated that BRA is now competing at the highest level of schools’ netball with some success. We look forward to next season when we hope our determination will bring home a trophy! V.H.


We have had an amazing year and didn’t lose a match. This was a great achievement for the whole team and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our outstanding coach Miss Ardis who we hope will take us next year too! The whole team is looking forward to Netball next year and we hope to carry on our achievements and bring the cup back again to BRA. Melissa Moffett (V)


The Minor Club trained every Tuesday after school with Mrs Heaslip. With rigorous training and team effort, the team won all matches in its section of the Belfast League and so progressed to the semi-final against Rathmore A team. Unfortunately, after taking the lead in the first quarter, we lost by 7 goals to 5, in what was a closely contested match. Rathmore went on to win the Belfast League title and the Northern Ireland Cup! In the Northern Ireland Cup we lost in the first round and moved into the Plate competition. In the replay of

The Intermediate Netball team met every Thursday after school. The girls who came were enthusiastic and showed a great desire to improve their passing skills and game plan. They were in a strong group in League ‘A’, and although they played well and showed great determination throughout each match, they did not progress through to the semi- finals. Our thanks go to Miss Lavery for all her hard work throughout the year and we wish her all the best in her new job. F.G.

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found it hard to match their level and hence did not qualify through to the next round. We won our first round Cup match easily against St. Patrick’s Dungannon, but were beaten in the next round when we played Assumption Grammar. Erin McGeough as captain was outstanding. She led by example, motivating her team even in the face of defeat. She was organised and thorough in all her duties. It was a very enjoyable year and I would like to thank the players for their commitment and determination through this year.

This year we were promoted to the Belfast Schools’ Senior ‘A’ League and found the netball at this level very challenging. The girls began full of enthusiasm and trained diligently every Thursday after school. Unfortunately, we were in a very strong section of the league and having lost some key players from last year,

Senior Squad: Erin McGeough (Captain), Amy Rooney, Lucy Dugan, Rosie Phillips, Marie-Claire McKenna, Jonnie McMorran, Jess Kidd, Vicky Sefton, Charis Hanna, Emily Taggart, Katie Nixon, Stephanie Stronge F.G.

SHOW-JUMPING Junior Show-Jumping Team Win at Balmoral

final show in December, where ‘Ulster Champions of 2010’ are crowned. Schools from all over the province made the journey to Greenisland, some as far away as Donegal. The arena was looking brilliant thanks to course builder Alistair Megahey and the team at Knockagh View.

On Saturday 2nd October 2010 the Show-Jumping team competed at the first show of the season at the Balmoral Showgrounds. The team consisted of Ana Desmond FII, Jessica Johnston FII and Victoria Minford FII. The girls competed against 40 other schools to win the competition in fine style. This is the second year in a row that Belfast Royal Academy has won this competition.

Belfast Royal Academy ‘Do the Double’ Saturday 16th October was the first round of The Ulster Schools’ Show-Jumping Championships hosted by Knockagh View Equestrian Centre. This competition runs as a league with two shows in November and the

The Novice Team event with 22 teams got underway at 8am sharp and it wasn’t long before the first team’s successful clear rounds were recorded. The teams who made it into the jump-off were Antrim Grammar, Limavady Grammar, Cambridge House, Ballymena Academy, Belfast Royal Academy and Glenlola Collegiate. The jump-off course had some brilliant turns which proved to create a very hot competition. Belfast Royal Academy’s Jessica Johnston and Cathy Moss jumped-off for the team and produced the two fastest times of the day to win the competition beating some very stiff competition from Limavady in second, and Cambridge House in third place. The Open Team event got underway with four teams making it through to the jump-off, Loreto College, Ballymena Academy, Ballyclare High School and Belfast Royal Academy (Pottinger). The successful winning team was Belfast Royal Academy’s Pottinger team: Courtney Ferris, Beth Moss, Ana Desmond and Jessica Johnston. They were followed closely by Loreto College and Ballymena Academy in third.





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NOVICE TEAM RESULTS 1st Belfast Royal Academy Jessica Johnston Ana Desmond Cathy Moss 2nd Limavady Grammar School Hannah Patterson Eloise Robertson Holly Hassan 3rd Cambridge House Grammar School (White) Kathryn Cameron Emma McKay Sarah-Jane Alexander Katherine Knox

OPEN TEAM COMPETITION RESULTS 1st Belfast Royal Academy (Pottinger) Jessica Johnston Ana Desmond Beth Moss Courtney Ferris 2nd Loreto College B Nicole O’Hagan Eimear McMahon Victoria Lagan 3rd Ballymena Academy Rebecca Surgeoner Charlotte Dixon Ben Peppert 4th Ballyclare High School Laura McKillen Hollie Riddell Meave Gault Holly Wray 5th Slemish College/ Belfast H.S./ Ballyclare Secondary/ Tildarg P.S. Amy Griffith Nicole McConnell Patricia Allen Rebecca McConnell 6th Belfast Royal Academy (Shaw) Anne Sheridan Sarah Sproule Amy Wilson Cathy Moss

Saturday 13th November saw the second round of the Ulster Schools’ Show-Jumping Championships which took place at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre, Greenisland. In the Novice Team event Ana Desmond FII, Debbie Forbes LVI and Cathy Moss MVI produced three faultless rounds to get into the jump-off. Cathy Moss and Ana Desmond were selected to go against the clock. They produced good rounds to finish in fourth place. In the Open Team event we had two teams competing: Pottinger

Ana Desmond FII Amy Wilson FIV Beth Moss FIV Courtney Ferris LVI


Amy Wilson FIV Sarah Sproule FV Anne Sheridan LVI Cathy Moss MVI

BRA’s Shaw team finished on four faults after the first round and finished in fourth place. The Pottinger team finished on a zero score and had to jump-off against two other teams. Amy Wilson and Courtney Ferris were selected to jump-off for the team. They had a fence down and finished in second place behind Antrim Grammar. This result placed them top of the leader board. On Saturday 20th November the Show-Jumping team competed at the first round of The Meadows Equestrian Centre Championships 2010/11 (Lurgan). This competition runs as a league with the final being held in March. The Novice Team consisted of Ana Desmond FII, Jessica Johnston FII, Amy Wilson FIV and Cathy Moss MVI. The Novice Team won their class beating off some stiff competition from 17 other schools. We entered two Open Teams. Shaw

Anne Sheridan LVI Cathy Moss MVI Jessica Johnston FII Amy Wilson FIV


Ana Desmond FII Sarah Sproule FV Beth Moss FIV Cathy Moss MVI

BRA’s Shaw team finished in third position with Pottinger in fifth.


Games On Saturday 15th January the Show-Jumping team competed at the second round of The Meadows Equestrian Centre Championships 2010/11 (Lurgan). The Novice Team consisted of: Ana Desmond FII, Jessica Johnston FII, Amy Wilson FIV and Cathy Moss MVI. The Novice Team finished second in their class beating off some stiff competition from 17 other schools, putting them top of the leader board. In the Open Competition we entered two teams: Shaw

Anne Sheridan LVI Cathy Moss MVI Jessica Johnston FII Amy Wilson FIV


Ana Desmond FII Sarah Sproule FV Beth Moss FIV

BRA’s Pottinger team finished in second position and Shaw team finished in third place.

ROYAL DAY AS ACADEMY IS CROWNED AS ULSTER CHAMPIONS 2011 Saturday 26th February was the final round of the Ulster Schools’ Show-Jumping Championships which took place at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre, Greenisland. In the Novice Team event Ana Desmond FII, Jessica Johnston FII, Amy Wilson FIV and Cathy Moss MVI produced four faultless rounds to get into the jump-off. Cathy Moss and Jessica Johnston were selected to go against the clock. They produced the two fastest rounds of the day to win the competition and be crowned as Ulster Schools’ Novice Champions 2011. In the Open Team event we had two teams competing for BRA: 184


Ana Desmond FII Jessica Johnston FII Beth Moss FIV Courtney Ferris LVI


Amy Wilson FIV Sarah Sproule FV Anne Sheridan LVI Cathy Moss MVI

BRA’s Shaw team finished on four faults after the first round and finished in third place. Pottinger team finished on eight faults which meant the best they could finish was fourth. Team Pottinger had a four point lead in the league, but needed to finish in fourth place. Courtney Ferris in LVI held her nerve and produced a faultless round to help the team finish fourth and win the league. Belfast Royal Academy’s Pottinger Open team have been crowned as Ulster Schools’ Open Champions 2011 and BRA’s Shaw team finished fourth in the league.

ULSTER SCHOOLS’ SHOW-JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011 FINAL LEAGUE TABLE RESULTS NOVICE TEAM RESULTS POSITION SCHOOL POINTS 1 Belfast Royal Academy 37 2 Limavady Grammar 25 3 Shimna College 23 4 Ballymena Academy 23 5 CHGS ‘White’ 23 6 Antrim Grammar 18 7 Coleraine High School 17 8 CHGS ‘Red’ 12 9 Campbell College 12 10 Glenlola Collegiate 10 11 Ballyclare High School 12 Loreto College

7 3

OPEN TEAM RESULTS POSITION SCHOOL POINTS 1 Belfast Royal Academy ‘Pottinger’ 35 2 Antrim Grammar 34 3 Ballyclare High School 29 4 Belfast Royal Academy ‘Shaw’ 26 5 Loreto College ‘B’ 17 6 Coleraine High School 16 7 Dalriada 12 8 Slemish College/Belfast H.S/ 12 Ballyclare Secondary/ Tildarg P.S 9 Ballymena Academy 8 10 Campbell College 4 11 St Catherine’s College 1 S.B.M.

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Captain: Andrea Shaw

We saw Lifesaving grow in strength this year. We won the Smyth Cup for most lifesaving awards won by any school/club in Northern Ireland. To date we have passed 120 Bronze Medallions, 27 Awards of Merit, 14 Bronze Crosses, 14 Silver Crosses, 5 Distinctions and 8 NPLQs. At the Ulster Championships this year we picked up 8 medals: 2 Gold, 5 Silver and 1 Bronze. Tom Donnelly and Robert Bowman finished 2nd in the Junior Ulster Championships. Ruairi Hurson and Alan Curtis were 2nd in the Senior boys, with Mark Wylie and Sam Lindsay picking up 4th. Chris Clarke was 3rd in the Individual Men with Sam McQuillan finishing 2nd. Shannon Alexander and Eorann O’Neill won the Senior girls and are Ulster Champions. All the medallists go to the Irish Championships later this year in October. A team of 9 pupils, Dr Campbell and I went to Sheffield for the British National Speed Championships in March, where we picked up 4 second places and 10 Bronze medals. The Boys’ Relay team of Ruairi Hurson, Sam Lindsay, Sam McQuillan and Chris Clarke won nearly all the medals with Chris picking up an individual Bronze as well as Eorann O’Neill who also finished 5th, 9th & 12th. The Girls’ Relay team of Eorann, Shannon Alexander, Caroline Montgomery, Andrea Shaw and Lori Turkington placed 5th, 7th and 12th. Tom Donnelly was 4th and 9th. Mark Wylie and Shannon Alexander have been selected to represent Northern Ireland in the Lifesaving Commonwealth Games held in Durban, South Africa, where they will compete at the end of September. We are looking forward to next year for ‘bigger and better’ results. E.A.


Captain (Girls): Colleen McCausland Captain (Boys): Sam McQuillan

The season got off to a great start with Kirsty Miller picking up a Bronze medal in the Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships in October. Kirsty went to the Irish Competition in December and was able to repeat her fantastic performance. The beginning was followed by a 30 medal haul in the Ulster Grammar School Championships at the end of November. The Intermediate Girls’ Relay team (Eorann O’Neill, Alice Kavanagh, Kate Miller and Seana Harley-Moyes) became Ulster Champions in the Medley and Freestyle events. The Junior Boys’ team (Ruairi Hurson, Tom Donnelly, Thomas O’Callaghan and Robert Bowman) won Bronze in the Freestyle relay. Clara Montgomery won 1 Silver and 1 Bronze, Mykila Donaldson won 1 Silver, Lori Turkington won 1 Silver, Kirsty Miller won 1 Silver, Kate Miller won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze, Seana Harley-Moyes 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze, Eorann O’Neill won 3 Gold and 2 Bronze, Mark Wylie picked up a win in the Breaststroke and IM events. Colleen McCausland won two Bronze medals in the Senior Back crawl and Butterfly. In the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Championships in January BRA picked up 13 medals. Again the Intermediate Girls’ team shone, as they again won both relays and picked up 8 Gold medals between them, (Alice, Kate, Eorann and Seana who also picked up another Gold, Silver and Bronze medal). Ruairi Hurson won 1 Gold for an outstanding 400m race and Mark Wylie dashed from a rugby match to win a Silver medal. The Senior and Intermediate Girls’ Relay teams headed to the Irish Championships in Galway in February where the fabulous Intermediate team picked up 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals, Seana also won an individual Bronze. 185

Games Clara Montgomery has been selected for the Junior Ulster Squad and will go to Tenerife in October for special training. Mark Wylie is a member of the Senior Ulster Squad and was also selected to represent Ireland in the UK School Games.

Four of the girls accompanied the boys on Senior Tour to Scotland: Shannon Alexander, Andrea Shaw, Caroline Montgomery and Eorann O’Neill. BOYS

The Junior Swim team has still an Ulster Schools’ Novice Gala later in the year and we are looking forward to next season with anticipation. E.A.


Captain (Girls): Shannon Alexander Captain (Boys): Chris Clarke

GIRLS The Girls’ Water Polo team led by Captain Shannon Alexander had a brilliant year finishing runners-up in the Irish U16 Championships. Three members of the team Shannon Alexander, Caroline Montgomery and Eorann O’Neill are Irish U17 Internationals and played in England, Scotland, Holland and Sweden at National and International level. The girls headed off on the 28th May for another tournament in Sweden, playing against Sweden, Finland and Denmark in a run-up to the European Championships. They are also scheduled to go to Holland in September to play the Dutch, French, and Germans. Lori Turkington and Jenna Todd have been selected for the Irish U14 Team and went to England in June to play in a tournament against Scotland, England and Wales. In August all the girls went to the Irish Training Academy in Limerick for four days of intensive training.


Three boys played on the Ulster Schools’ U19 team, Chris Clarke, Sam McQuillan and Fergus Carlin. Fergus was also selected for Irish duties on the Irish U16 team; he has been in Scotland, Poland and Denmark this year. The Senior school team under Chris Clarke’s captaincy finished 3rd in the Canada Trophy this year. They also had a great tour to Scotland, with many thanks to Dr Campbell. Narrowly being defeated by Warrender, the top club in Edinburgh, the team went to Dundee to play in a tournament where they won 3 matches and lost 1. This tied the team for 1st place (just losing out on goal differences). The school U14 team played their final tournament in June and came 3rd overall, putting in some great performances and only narrowly losing two of their matches. E.A.

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BOYS’ TENNIS Boys’ Tennis met during the summer term on Friday afternoons at the Cavehill Tennis courts. Despite no competitive matches this year, the regular attendees worked hard to develop their basic skills where not even torrential rain could interrupt some of the more heated games! Hopefully this coming year will see an increase in numbers and the opportunity to play some matches against other schools. S.C.S.

GIRLS’ TENNIS In Girls’ Tennis, teams were entered at Minor, Junior, Intermediate and Senior level. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get Intermediate and Senior

Form I Team

girls to play as exams seem to be starting earlier every year. The Minors were the only team to win their section and progressed on to meet Victoria College in the knockout stages. N.N.

NEWINGTON CREDIT UNION YOUNG SPORTS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD This was won by Lucy Dugan of Form LVI. Lucy received a glass trophy and £100!

Intermediate Team


Junior Team

Senior Team


SPORTS COLOURS AWARDS AND TROPHIES TEAM AWARDS Girls’ Hockey: Owls Cup (Most successful Hockey team) 1st XI Captain: Jess Kidd Rugby: FP Cup (Most successful rugby team) U13 B XV Captain: Cameron Black


Janson de Sailly Pottinger Capt: Zaid Thabeth Sarcelle Shaw Capt: Jack Gill Junior Football Pottinger Capt: Ruari Brogan Jack Kyle Pottinger


Outstanding contribution to Netball Erin McGeough Captain Melissa Moffett

Girls’ Hockey Carroll Cup Beth Marsh/ Holly Reid (Most promising middle school player) Davis Shield Christine McMahon (Greatest contribution to hockey) Boys’ Hockey Best Player Most improved player

Bicentenary Cup (Best performance by a boy swimmer)

Mark Wylie

Bicentenary Cup Seana Harley -Moyes (Best performance by a girl swimmer)

Niall Darrah Niall Bradley

Best Junior Rugby

Jason Roe

Daniel Dass

Dalzell Salver (Most promising junior) Stewart Martin Honours Caps Irish and Ulster Schools


Ulster U19

Stuart Olding Ryan Clarke

School Plaques For playing 50 matches for 1st XV

Ryan Clarke Eoin Devlin


Eorann O’Neill

Patterson Shield (Most promising young senior player)

Netball Most promising Junior

Commonwealth Cup (Most improved girl swimmer)

Association Football

Major New Colours:-

Dean Abbott, Samuel Allister, Darren Bell, Ross Edens, Chris Mullaney, Dale McComiskey, Philip Rodgers

Major Re-Date:-

Ryan Magee

Minor New Colours:-

Ryan Brown


Badminton Major New Colours:- Minor Colours:-

Rebekah Bingham Melissa Carmichael, Matthew Cheung, Bonnie Li, Adam Montgomery, Yvonne Wong

Cross Country Boys Major Colours:-

Matthew Donnelly, Malachy McKenna

The Owl 2011

Hockey Boys Major Re-Dates:-

Dean Best, John-William Carey, Niall Darrah, John McBride, Peter McCullough, Chris McVeigh, Angus Moore, Craig Rea, Michael Stewart, Duncan Taylor, Adam Walsh

Major New Colours:-

Niall Bradley, Samuel Cromie, Connor Hutchinson

Minor Colours:-

Stephen Bryans

Hockey Girls

Major Re-Dates:-

Lucy Dugan, Jess Kidd, Christine McMahon, Amy Mellor, Eve Nangle, Shannon Nash, Emily Reid

Major New Colours:-

Anna Hutchinson, Katherine Hutchinson, Faye Kidd, Kerry McLeod, Sarah Martin, Holly Reid

Natalie Bengtsson, Jan Calwell, Rachel Harvey

Minor Re-Date:-

Minor Colours:-

Taylor Dougan, Fiona Henderson, Sarah McGrath, Lauren Montgomery, Megan Reilly, Grace Prenter


Major Re-Date:-

Shannon Alexander, Sam McQuillan, Andrea Shaw

Major New Colours:-

Chris Clarke, Sam Lindsay, Caroline Montgomery, Eorann O’Neill

Minor New Colours:-

Lori Turkington, Tom Donnelly, Ruairi Hurson, Alan Curtis


Major Re-Date:-

Mark Wylie,

Major New Colours:-

Alice Kavanagh, Seana Harley-Moyes, Kate Miller, Eorann O’Neill

Minor Re-Date:-

Shannon Alexander, Fergus Carlin, Chris Clarke, Sam Lindsay, Larragh Mann, Colleen McCausland, Sam McQuillan, Andrea Shaw, Robbie Shaw

Minor New Colours:-

Alan Curtis, Mykila Donaldson, Tom Donnelly, Ruairi Hurson, Michael Kane, Clara Montgomery, Ben Nixon, Thomas O’Callaghan, Lori Turkington

Waterpolo Boys

Major Re-Date:-

Minor New Colours:-

Fergus Carlin, Christopher Clarke, Sam McQuillan, Oliver Browne, Alan Curtis, Tom Donnelly, James Duffy, Matthew Francey, Aleksy Gaj, Ruairi Hurson, Jack Kane, Sam Lindsay, Mark Winstone, Mark Wylie 189

Waterpolo Girls

Major New Colours:-

Shannon Alexander, Caroline Montgomery, Eorann O’Neill,

Minor New Colours:-

Lori Turkington, Jenna Todd, Hannah Robinson, Rebecca Rowan, Rachael Abbott


Major Re-Date:-

Lucy Dugan, Jess Kidd, Erin McGeough, Amy Rooney

Major New Colours:-

Rosie Phillips

Minor New Colours:-

Charis Hanna, Marie Claire McKenna, Jonnie McMorran, Katie Nixon, Victoria Sefton, Stephanie Stronge, Emily Taggart


Rugby Major Re-Dates:-

Stuart Olding, Ryan Clarke, Eoin Devlin, Adam Martin, Matthew Robinson, Norman Sinclair

Major New Colours:-

Adam Brice, Daniel Dass, Robbie Jamison, Jack Kane, Andrew McClements, Daniel McFadden, David Patterson, Andrew Robinson, Jordan Thompson, Ross Vance, Mark Wylie

Rugby 2nd XV Minor Colours:-

Steven Bigger, Tom Coghlan, Stephen Craig, Jonathan Diamond, Ryan Hogg, Daniel Laird, Eoin Linden, Sam Lindsay, Taylor Gillespie, Angelo Marica, Tom Marsh, Jordan McClurkin, Daniel McFadden, Ryan Montgomery, Max Oates, Johnny Walsh, Philip Warke

Medallion XV Minor Colours:-

Ruairi Brogan, Calvin Browne, Ross Bryans, Rhys Donaldson, Gavin Gilfillan, Calvin Lawrence, Stewart Martin, Stuart McCombe, Scott McMurtry, Phillip McQuillan, Ben Nixon, Angelo Onang, Robbie Shaw, Christopher Simms, Dylan Tinsley, Christopher Torrens, Dylan Yeates



Awards and Trophies

R.U.C. Cricket Shield - for the most promising Junior cricketer - Ross Bryans

John Shaw Cricket Cup - for the most successful team - Junior Colts XI Captain Andrew Palmer

Athletics Boys

AR. Foster - best performance by a Minor boy - Stephen Corry

R.A.F. Cup - best performance by a Junior boy - Rory Brogan

Junior Athletics Cup - most consistent performer throughout the season - Gareth McAdams

G.B. Taylor Athletics Cup - best performance by an Intermediate boy - Robert Moffett

Girdwood Cup - best performance by a Senior boy - Matthew Robinson

Sir Ronald Baskett Cup - best Intermediate 1500 performance - NA

Ft Lt Stanley Gray Cup - best Senior 800 performance - NA

Athletics Girls

A.R. Foster Cup - best performance by a Minor girl - Jamie Murray

Air Formations Signal Cups - best performance by a Junior girl - Melissa Moffett

Glanville Cup - best performance by an Intermediate girl - Hannah Allen

Girdwood Cup - best performance by a Senior girl - Lucy Dugan

Tweedie Cup - for the girl who has contributed most to girls’ games - Christine McMahon

Tennis Girls

Minor - Anna Wilson Form II - Hannah Torrens Intermediate - Anna Hutchinson

Senior - Katie O’Neill Plaque - British Rhythmic Gymnastic Champion - Holly Hamill Evans Trophy - Shaw House

The Owl 2011

Boys’ Athletics Major Re-Dates:-

Nathan Lyons, Adam Martin, Robert Moffett, Matthew Robinson

Major New Colours:-

Alan Curtis, Daniel Laird, Andrew McClements, Stephen Trainor

Minor Colours:-

Daniel Dass, Jonathan Diamond, David Patterson


Major Re-Dates:-

Major New Colours:- Minor Colours:-

Jordan Carlisle, Jack Kane, Daniel McFadden, Jordan McClurkin, Adam Montgomery, Norman Sinclair Ross Bryans, Aaron Cairns, Jonathan Rainey, Matthew Simpson Rhys Colhoun, Niall Darrah, Myles Gibson, Michael Hall, Connor Hutchinson, Bill Hunter, Daniel Laird, Jonathan McCreesh, Niall Shiels, Jonathan Torrens

Girls’ Athletics Major Re-Dates:-

Hannah Allen, Lucy Dugan, Rachel Harvey, Emma Kelso, Christine McMahon

Major New Colours:-

Charlene McAdams, Lauren McKay, Emily Reid, Victoria Sefton

Minor Colours:-

Hilary Ferris

Rifle Shooting Major Re-Dates:-

Adam Purvis

Minor Colours:-

Samuel Cromie, James Duffy, Luke Frame, Alistair Ogilby

Golf Minor Colours:-

Jamie Dwyer, Matthew Weir, Rebecca Weir

Bridge Major Re-Dates:-

Richard Bryans, John William Carey, Ridwan Farouki, Alisha Gergett, Rebekah McNair, Adam Purvis, Alan Warnock

Major New Colours:-

Niall McIlroy, Andrew Smyth, Luke Taylor

Minor Re-Dates:-

Melissa Antonio, Becky Rowan, Aoife McAtamney, Hannah McBride

Minor Colours:-

Mark Boyd, Scott Boyd, Victoria Frame, Daniel Hickland, Lucy Kinnear, Pooja Sridhar

Show-Jumping Major Re-Dates:-

Catherine Moss, Anne Sheridan

Major New Colours:-

Beth Moss, Sarah Sproule, Amy Wilson

Minor Colours:-

Courtney Ferris

Tennis (Boys)

Minor Colours:-

Tennis (Girls)

Major New Colours:- Minor Colours:-

Stephen Craig, Neil Fulton, Connor Mason, Jack Steenson

Jess Kidd, Katie O’Neill Anna Hutchinson, Katherine Hutchinson, Faye Kidd, Emma McAllister, Elizabeth Sinclair.


Ben Madigan

Ben Madigan CHARITY NEWS We have had another successful year supporting various charities. We had a non-uniform day which raised £221.50 for Children in Need. In November we were able to send 114 shoe boxes filled with small gifts and £200 plus online donations to Samaritan’s Purse to help children in developing countries. This needy charity is very grateful for the continuing help given to children in very difficult situations. Last year our boxes went to Eastern Europe. In February we were able to give three Play stations and appropriate games for children and young adults to the Renal Unit in Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. These are for patients to use while undergoing dialysis. This gift is in recognition for the help and support that was given to one of our pupils who had been given a kidney transplant the previous year. The money raised for the gift came from donations made at our Christmas Carol Service and during our Prep1-3 Nativity Play. The sum of £595 was raised. 192

During the year we had a donation time for the Pakistan Emergency Appeal when £354.69 was collected. The Prep 6 class raised a staggering £468.42 for Save the Children during their class Famine Topic. They had a Bring and Buy sale and

Bun sale (many of which were made under the watchful eye of Mr Wilson).This was a fundraising event greatly enjoyed by all the school. We had a Wear Something Red Day for Comic Relief when we raised £434.80. The highlight of our school year was the Fun and Food Night on an African theme. This was held to raise funds to give to Mr Johnston to take to Malawi when he went with the Grammar School. The children stayed in school until 7.30 and were fed and entertained by the staff and some sixth form pupils. A grand total of £1600 was then taken to Malawi. Again many thanks to the pupils, parents and friends of Ben Madigan who have over the years been so supportive of our special events. We have had fun raising the money and it is great to know it has been put to good use. Mrs. B. Marshall

The Owl 2011


August 25th/26th 20 pupils began school in Prep 1. 24 pupils began Pre-Prep.

14th 15th

September 23rd Parents’ evening took place. 24th Non-uniform day was held to support the Disaster Emergency. Committee Appeal for Pakistan. 27th School photographs. October 1st Jump, Jiggle and Jive visited Pre-prep. 11th M&M Productions gave a performance of Dick Whittington to the whole school. November 26th Non-uniform day for Children in Need and Prep 6 have a Bring and Buy Bun Sale in aid of Save the Children.

January 13th Malawi fun evening for the whole school. February 4th Mr Johnston went to Malawi with BRA. 8th Prep 7 to Bee Safe Event. th 10 PSNI visit to Prep 1. 11th Telephone call to Malawi during special assembly. 22nd PSNI visit to Prep 1. th 25 Book Fair week begins. March 4th Special Save the Children assembly. th 8 Prep 4 trip to All Fired Up Ceramics. 16th Prep 7 City Council recycling visit.

18th Bring and Buy Sale

Preps 1 and 2 held their Christmas party with Magic George the Magician in attendance. Pre-Prep Nativity. Pre-Prep Christmas party.

21st 25th 26th 29th 30th

Bun & Cake Sale

April 1st

December We held our annual Carol Service. 8th 10th Preps 1-3 held their nativity play “Bethlehem News”. 13th P3-7 visited the cinema in the morning and then held a talent show as part of their Christmas celebrations.

11th 12th 18th

Non-uniform day to raise funds for Red Nose Day. Visit from Walking Forward Theatre Company, they performed a road safety play “Cat 9 Lives” to Preps 1-7. Climate event for Prep 7. Open day (afternoon). Open day (morning). World of Owls visited Prep-Prep and Preps 1 and 2. Prep 7 experienced a talk on composting. Mini rugby and hockey at Fairview. 193

Mini-rugby tournament at Campbell. Some of our mini-rugby players were selected to play for their club at the half-time interval at Ravenhill. Pre-Prep had a visit from Chocolate Moose to show them how Easter eggs are made. Fire Brigade visit to Prep 5. Mrs Sempey gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Gareth.

Ben Madigan May 10th

11th 12th 16th 17th 18th 19th 24th 26th 31st June 3rd 6th 8th 9th 14th 15th

Preps 1 and 2 were visited by the Pick up a Penguin Litter Campaign from Belfast City Council. Pre-Prep received a talk on litter from the Council. Prep 3 visited the Balmoral Show. Pre-Prep had a visit from the PSNI on the role of the police. Prep 3 were visited by the Pick up a Penguin Litter Campaign from Belfast City Council. Mr Johnston and Prep 7 went to Mary Peters’ Track. Mini-rugby with Mr Ingram at Ravenhill. First Eco meeting with class representatives. Prep 6-7 trip to York. Pre-Prep had a talk from the police on stranger danger. Sponsored walk

Sports Day. Prep 3 to music morning at Fortwilliam School of Music. Prep 1 went on their amphibious bus trip aboard “The Duckling”. Prep 6 to BRA for Science Day. Matinee concert of the Boat Factory. Evening concert of the Boat Factory.

22nd 24th


Prep 2 visit the Folk Museum. Pre-Prep and Prep 6 have their teddy bears’ picnic at the Castle. Talent Show. Pre prep, Preps 1 & 2 Summer Concert.

All set for the teddy bears’ picnic

SPORT AT BEN MADIGAN Mini-Rugby: This was the first time in a few years that we attended the Prep Schools’ Tournament with a strong team of P6 and P7 boys.

Some of our star performers for the Boat Factory play


The workers at the Boat Factory

Once again under Ulster Branch rules no team was allowed to come out overall winners. Though we were fairly confident in all our games we got off to a strong start against a useful Campbell College Junior School. We had some lovely phases of playing allowing William Davis to round his opposite number and score. Once Tom Stewart settled into the game he distributed the ball well when required. Myles Ingram, Jack Preston

The Owl 2011 and Aaron Lyons rotated well in the scrum-half position with the latter doing an efficient job of getting the ball away despite being keen to run with it. In our other games against Inchmarlo, Downey House and Fullerton we saw some good rucking skills by Luca Johnston, Mitchell McKay and Ethan Hughes. Both Oliver Allen and Rhys Cobain did well on the wings, but too often cut back inside instead of trying to beat their opposition man on the outside. Jonathan Evans, Jack McAlister, Tom McAlister and Andrew Meeke all had turns in the forwards. Jonathan is doing a solid job of being our pivot for penalty moves – “curly B” is still alive and well when we were looking to move forward. Jack McAlister put in some noteworthy performances and was a good listener when it came to half-time team talks. When we had our strongest team on we were a match for any team. After competing well at the Prep School finals we were asked to attend the Ravenhill tournament and played a few unfamiliar teams including Omagh Primary, Wallace Prep and Whiteabbey Primary. Many of our Prep 6 pupils rose to the occasion with some fine tackles going in by Tom Stewart, and good straight running by Mitchell McKay, Myles Ingram and William Davis. William scored some great tries when he got the space to run. Wallace thought they had a quick winger until he was thumped into touch by William and Tom which rather alarmed him! We won all three matches comfortably and later that night some boys represented their club again at Ravenhill. Well done to all the boys and I wish them continued success in their sporting endeavours. P.J. Ingram

Swimming: The Minor Ulster Schools’ Swimming Championships was again the first competition for pupils of Ben Madigan to get involved in. The competition was held in Bangor Leisure Centre on Saturday 18th September and as always our pupils did not disappoint. Below is a list of pupils: Emmanuela Mathioudaki • 50m Breaststroke Anastasia Mathioudaki • 50m Breaststroke • 50m Freestyle Alex Fawcett • 50m Breaststroke

Anna Whiteside • 50m Backstroke Tom Stewart • 50m Breaststroke • 50m Freestyle Matthew Branagh • 50m Freestyle Joshua Solomon • 50m Breaststroke • 50m Freestyle Amie Bradley • 50m Backstroke • 50m Freestyle Ellie Bradley • 50m Breaststroke Orla O’Kane • 50m Backstroke • 50m Freestyle Mitchell McKay • 50m Backstroke • 50m Freestyle Myles Ingram • 50m Freestyle Trinity Geddis • 50m Breaststroke • 50m Freestyle Tom Stewart, Mitchell McKay, Matthew Branagh and Myles Ingram • 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay. Congratulations to all the pupils who took part and a special thank you to the parents who gave up their Saturday to go along and support the children. Monday 16th May 2011 saw the fourth annual BRA Invitational Primary School Swimming Gala take place. This year had a slightly different feel to it as only one school was able to attend the event. However, this was Whiteabbey Primary School the winners from last year. Over 90 pupils took part on the day representing their schools in all the major strokes before finishing off the day with team relays with certificates being given out to everyone and a trophy presented to the best overall school. The results for the overall scores are as follows: • Whiteabbey came 2nd with 160 points • Ben Madigan Prep came 1st with 199 points This is the first time Ben Madigan has won the competition. Well done to the following pupils who took part:Prep 4 Girls

Monica Del Castillo Ella Harvey


Ben Madigan Prep 4 Boys

Eliot Donaldson Tom McKibbin Ben Jackson

Prep 5 Girls

Julia Uprichard Emmanuela Mathioudaki Anastasia Mathioudaki Sophia Del Castillo Alex Fawcett Annabel McGrath

Prep 5 Boys

Aryan Towfighi David Service Louis Adams

Prep 6 Girls Anna Whiteside Orla O’Kane Nadia Lennon Jasmine Bingham Cara Carson Ellie Bradley Clara Walker Fabienne Gogarty


Prep 6 Boys

Mitchell McKay Matthew Branagh Myles Ingram Tom Stewart Adem Tepe Stuart Wightman Ethan Hughes Rhys Cobain

Prep 7 Girls

Trinity Geddis Nakisa Towfighi Caitlin Hoey Ayse Tepe Maria Del Castillo Ella Johnston Rebecca Fusco Rhiannon Gogarty

Prep 7 Boys

William Davis Jordan Walker Douglas Adams Owen Minford Jonathan Cowden Jack Preston Jack McAlister.

On Wednesday 1st June Ben Madigan swimmers took part in the Ulster Schools’ Novice Swimming Championships at Queen’s University. This was the first time the school had taken part and they didn’t disappoint. We were up against stiff competition from the other Belfast Prep. schools. However, Ben Madigan swam well and continued their winning streak, from the BRA swimming gala, to come 1st overall. The swim team achieved a combined medal haul of 20 medals which was made up of 6 Gold, 9 Silver and 5 Bronze. Congratulations to all of the medal winners and to all the pupils who represented the school so well. A special mention needs to go to the P4 swimmers who were racing against P5s and to Maria Del Castillo, Trinity Geddis, Sophia Del Castillo and Anna Whiteside who won three medals each. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Del Castillo who helped supervise and time-keep on the day. Thank you and well done to everyone again. Prep 4 swimmers

Eliot Donaldson Ben Jackson Tom McKibbin

Prep 5 swimmers

Sophia Del Castillo Julia Uprichard Alex Fawcett Emmanuela Mathioudaki David Service

Prep 6 swimmers

Anna Whiteside Jasmine Bingham Ellie Bradley

The Owl 2011

Nadia Lennon Myles Ingram Tom Stewart Mitchell McKay Matthew Branagh

Prep 7 swimmers

Maria Del Castillo Trinity Geddis Ayse Tepe Caitlin Hoey Douglas Adams William Davis Owen Minford Tom McAlister.


Number of Medals

Nadia Lennon Anna Whiteside Jasmine Bingham Ellie Bradley Owen Minford William Davis Tom McKibbin Caitlin Hoey Ayse Tepe Trinity Geddis Maria Del Castillo Sophia Del Castillo

1 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 Relay 1 Relay 1 Relay and 3 more 1 Relay and 3 more 3

against girls in P6 and P7. Third to cross the line for Ben Madigan was Ella Johnston coming in 71st. Caitlin Hoey was not far behind coming in 72nd. Ellie Bradley also did very well coming in 78th. The Boys’ race had 139 runners, again with a fast start over the first 200m it was hard to pick a clear leader. Coming over the last hill with 200m to go there was a clear leader, our very own William Davis. William crossed the finish line in 1st place with a time of 3.41mins. Behind him for Ben Madigan came Mitchell McKay, Stuart Wightman 71st, Aaron Lyons, Odhran Catney, Jack McAlister, Lewis Gould, Andrew Meeke and David Service. Well done to the Boys’ and Girls’ teams who competed in what was a very competitive field. On 23rd October pupils competed in the Northern Ireland and Ulster Juvenile Cross Country Championships at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. The following is a list of pupils who took part: Under 10 Boys 600m Stuart Wightman - with a time of 2.11mins Myles Ingram - with a time of 2.13mins Lewis Gould - with a time of 2.21mins Ethan Hughes - with a time of 2.22mins Steven Walker - with a time of 2.37mins.

Cross Country:

Under 10 girls 600m

Thursday 21st October was County Antrim’s first round of the Country League which was held at the Grove Park, Belfast.

Amie Bradley - 12th out of 69 with a time of 2.05mins Emmanuela Mathioudaki - with a time of 2.24mins Clara Walker - with a time of 2.28mins Ellie Bradley - with a time of 2.28mins Rebekah Lennon - with a time of 2.29mins Anastasia Mathioudaki - with a time of 2.37mins.

With 110 competitors taking part in the Girls’ race it was a fast start from the keen runners. First for Ben Madigan, coming in a very respectable 10th was Trinity Geddis with a time of 4.22 mins over the 1000 metre course. Trinity was followed by Emmanuela Mathioudaki who came 70th, which is very respectable considering she is only in Prep 5 and was competing

Well done to all who gave up their Saturday morning to take part and represent Ben Madigan in what was a very competitive race. Thursday 2nd December 2010 saw Ben Madigan pupils compete in the second round of the Primary Schools’ Cross Country League at Lisnagarvey High School, Lisburn.

Amie Bradley competing well in the Cross Country Championships

Conditions were not ideal for running as the ground was icy and slippery underfoot in areas. As a result a number of Ben Madigan runners unfortunately slipped and fell early in their races and had to retire. However, there were pupils who were more fortunate and their places and times are listed below.


Ben Madigan Boys (1000 metres) - 97 boys in the race



1 3.44 51 52 64 81 94 Non-finisher Non-finisher

Name William Davis Mitchell McKay Myles Ingram Stuart Wightman Tom Stewart Oliver Allen Odhran Catney Lewis Gould

Girls (1000 metres) 72 girls in the race

Thursday 20th January 2011 saw the third and final round of the Cross Country League held at Musgrave Park, Belfast. This was the last opportunity that pupils had to run for the school this year and put all their hard work into competitive action. Ben Madigan runners did not disappoint and a breakdown of their efforts is shown below:

At the finals the course had to be extended from 1000 metres to 1400 metres to try and separate out the runners. In the Girls’ race 162 competitors from all over Ulster took part. Amie Bradley did exceptionally well coming third overall with a time of 6.06mins. Well done Amie, a fantastic run! In the Boys’ race there were 157 competitors and William Davis came second overall with a time of 5.26mins. Well done to both Amie and William as they represented Ben Madigan well in what has been a very competitive and tough cross country season. As a result of William’s and Amie’s efforts they have now been selected to train with the Athletics NI Junior Cross Country Squad. Well done once again to both pupils and to all who took part throughout the year.

Boys (1000 metres) 103 boys in the race



Time Name

10 4.31 19 4.41 43 5.03 60 5.34 Non-finisher


1 3.41 66 67 71 84 91 95 97

Amie Bradley Ellie Bradley Emmanuela Mathioudaki Clara Walker Trinity Geddis


Name William Davis Mitchell McKay Stuart Wightman Oliver Allen Myles Ingram Lewis Gould Tom Stewart Odhran Catney

Girls (1000 metres) 80 girls in the race


Position Time 3 4.00 11 4.24 31 4.39 52 4.55 Non-finisher

Name Amie Bradley Trinity Geddis Ellie Bradley Emmanuela Mathioudaki Clara Walker

A special mention should go to William Davis and Amie Bradley who, after this race found out they had both qualified for the Northern Ireland finals which would be held on Wednesday 23rd February 2011 at Mallusk Playing Fields, Belfast.

This year Belfast Mini-Hockey took on a different structure. To encourage mass participation and players getting more game time the Ulster Hockey Union decided to have League matches throughout the year which would culminate in finals at the end of the year. This was very exciting and a challenge the Ben Madigan hockey teams were looking forward to.

The Owl 2011 The first league match was held at Stormont on Friday 5th November 2010. Ben Madigan had two hockey teams comprising girls from Prep 5 to Prep 7. Ben Madigan A Team

Trinity Geddis Nadia Lennon Clara Walker Ellie Bradley Amie Bradley Nakisa Towfighi.

Ben Madigan B Team and Subs

Orla O’Kane Anna Whiteside Cara Carson Caitlin Hoey Ayse Tepe Alexandra Fawcett Julia Forbes Julia Uprichard Annabel McGrath.

Ben Madigan “A” and “B” team started off playing at the same time. Ben Madigan “A” won their first match against Strandtown “A” 2-0. Ben Madigan “B” lost their first match to a very strong MCB Prep team 6-0. In the second round of matches Ben Madigan “A” team lost 2-1 in what was a very tightly contested match against close rivals MCB Prep. Ben Madigan “B” team took on Orangefield in their second match and lost 3-0. In the final match of the day Ben Madigan “A” drew 1-1 with Orangefield in a match they should have won. The second round of league matches were also held at Stormont on Friday 21st January 2011. Ben Madigan A Team

Trinity Geddis Nadia Lennon Clara Walker Ellie Bradley Amie Bradley Anna Whiteside Fabienne Gogarty.

Ben Madigan B Team and Subs

Orla O’Kane Cara Carson Alex Fawcett Julia Forbes Julia Uprichard Annabel McGrath Emmanuela Mathioudaki.

Ben Madigan “A” won their first match against Holywood 1-0. Ben Madigan “B” lost their first match to Sullivan Prep team 2-0. In the second round of matches Ben Madigan “A” team drew 0-0 against Sullivan Prep. Ben Madigan “B” team took on Strandtown “B” team in their second match and lost 3-0. The third round of the league was on Thursday 10th February at Stormont. Ben Madigan A Team

Trinity Geddis Nadia Lennon Clara Walker Ellie Bradley Amie Bradley Nakisa Towfighi Rebecca Fusco.

In their first match of the third round Ben Madigan “A” team played Sullivan Upper Prep School. The girls lost narrowly 1-0 with a break away goal towards the end of the match. This was against the run of play as Ben Madigan had been pressurising Sullivan throughout the match. In their next match, against Orangefield Primary, the girls continued their pressurised play and were rewarded with a 3-1 win. Even though the girls were disappointed with the last minute loss to Sullivan, they played exceptionally well and are definitely a force to be reckoned with on the primary school hockey circuit. The last hockey tournament of the season was the Pearson Cup Regional Qualifier on Wednesday 9th March. Ben Madigan A Team

Trinity Geddis Nadia Lennon Clara Walker Ellie Bradley Amie Bradley Nakisa Towfighi Rebecca Fusco.

Ben Madigan B Team

Cara Carson Alex Fawcett Julia Forbes Julia Uprichard Annabel McGrath Anna Whiteside Fabienne Gogarty.


Ben Madigan In this regional qualifier there were three groups with the winner from each group going through to the overall finals in May. Ben Madigan “A” team was in Group 1 where they played Mossley Primary School in a closely contested match. Ben Madigan did not play their best hockey of the season and were disappointed with a final score of 1-0 to Mossley. In their second match Ben Madigan started to play more to their potential beating Eden Primary 4-0. Their third match was against Victoria Primary of Carrick. Ben Madigan unfortunately made too many mistakes and a team that they should have beaten ended up drawing with them 1-1. The girls had one more match to try and go out on a high and they did. They beat Toreagh 5-0 however this was not enough to put the girls through to the finals. The “B” team was mainly made up of Prep 5 girls with a few Prep 6 players involved too. The girls played their first match against a big Greenisland Primary School side and performed brilliantly well to draw 0-0. In their second match the girls continued this skilful play by beating Ashgrove 1-0. It is important to mention at this stage that we were the youngest team there playing against P7 girls. In their third match they lost narrowly to Carrick Model by 1 goal to 0. The fourth and final match was against the overall group winners Spires Primary School who had beaten teams easily during the tournament but our girls played well and only allowed 1 goal in to make it a final score 1-0. Mrs Lennon and Mr Johnston would like to commend the Ben Madigan girls for their dedication and effort both in practices and matches. It was a long season and one that all the girls should be very proud of. A special mention needs to go to the younger team who played above their age level and competed with some of the best teams. This is very encouraging for the future of Ben Madigan hockey. Also, thanks need to go to all the parents who gave up their time to help with transportation and for coming along to support the teams.

Name 60m Chest Speed SLJ sprint push bounce (20 sec)

Jonathan Cowden Jonathan Evans Douglas Adams Aaron Lyons Jack Preston William Davis Caitlin Hoey Trinity Geddis Nakisa Towfighi Jordan Walker

17.06 17.75 17.22 16.25 16.72 15.88 16.97 16.81 17.22 17.4

6.5 7.25 6.5 6.75 6.75 8 5.25 7.25 6.5 5.5

47 32 44 48 46 46 46 49 48 47

151 146 170 184 162 180 156 182 155 162

The following pupils from Ben Madigan qualified for the finals of the indoor Athletics on Sunday 20th February in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast. The pupils performed really well and enjoyed themselves at the same time. Below is a breakdown of their results. Name

60m Chest Standing Speed sprint push long jump bounce

15.59 15.34 15.68 16.43

Trinity Geddis Aaron Lyons William Davis Jack Preston

7.25 6.5 7.5 6.5

180 178 168 159

46 51 41 43

Congratulations to the four pupils who represented Ben Madigan in the finals and congratulations to all who took part. Twelve pupils from Prep 7 competed in the Primary Schools’ Athletics Shield and Cup on the 17th May 2011 at the Mary Peters’ Athletics Track. Ben Madigan pupils competed against other schools, from across Belfast in the shot, long jump and 60 metre sprint. A list of the pupils who took part is as follows:


10 pupils from prep 7 competed in the “Search for a Star” Indoor Athletics competition on the 27th January 2011 in Ballysillan Leisure Centre. Ben Madigan pupils competed against other schools from across Belfast. A breakdown of the results follows:-

Well done to the twelve pupils who represented Ben Madigan. A special mention should go to William Davis and Trinity Geddis who scored the highest overall scores of any boy or girl across all the Belfast Primary Schools.


Jonathan Cowden Jonathan Evans Douglas Adams Aaron Lyons Owen Minford William Davis

Caitlin Hoey Trinity Geddis Maria Del Castillo Jack McAlister Tom McAlister Rebecca Fusco.

The Owl 2011



The past year witnessed a larger number of choirmembers than we have seen for several years. As was the case the previous year, I did not audition prospective members but reserved the right to audition a “picked” choir should we ever be asked to compete in music festivals or other events.

On the morning of Tuesday 24th May an eager group from our Prep 6 and Prep 7 classes gathered at Belfast International Airport. This was the first occasion in which Prep 6 pupils took part in the York Trip which had previously been confined to our Prep 7 pupils.

Our first large event was the Annual Carol Service held at Whitehouse Presbyterian Church in December and the choir sang two pieces. We performed again on the afternoon of the Open Day on Friday 25th March and several talented instrumentalists also took part in the short concert. The idea of performing a play titled “The Boat Factory” by Dan Gordon meant that the traditional summer concert format gave way to a single play. This proved to be very successful and involved everyone from Prep 3 to Prep 7. Mrs McCaig had the hard job of allocating parts and directing while every other teacher was also involved. Mrs Lennon and Mr Johnston provided a very effective backdrop employing the Harland & Wolff logo; Mr Ingram was in charge of sound; Mr Wilson was in charge of the musical interludes; and Mrs Sherrard helped to coach the younger children in their acting parts. The standard of acting was very high and I look forward to seeing some of the leading participants on the stage again in the near future. We all enjoyed doing this so much that we would like to attempt another play by the same author before too long. Miss Jane McCartney came in during the year to teach piano, viola and violin and Mrs Ruth Wilson taught piano and musical theatre. Several pupils achieved Distinction grades during the year in the examinations held by the London College of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. We offer our congratulations. W.T. Wilson

The first day consisted of visits to the Leeds Armouries and York Minster before we explored the central shopping area of York. We adjourned to our hotel which was situated between Leeds and Solby, had our meal and played football or explored the grounds before having a swim before bedtime. Wednesday is the traditional day for sampling the museums and other attractions which York has to offer and we started with a guided walk, followed by a visit to the Jorvick Centre which was much better. After lunch several intrepid souls ventured to the York Dungeon but not everyone saw everything which the aforementioned establishment had to offer as they had to come out half way through! Mr Wilson had several pleasant walks ferrying pupils to the Castle Museum where Mrs Sherrard and Mrs Crothers were accompanying some very sensible pupils on a visit. The Ghost Walk of York which we undertook in the evening is always a very popular event. The guide tells the stories associated with several buildings around the city centre in an unemotional and very effective way. After breakfast on Thursday we travelled to Eden Camp, a former World War II prisoner of war camp situated near Malton. We decided upon which huts to visit and dodged the showers between huts. This camp should be an obligatory visit for anyone studying the history of the Second World War as there are so many interesting exhibits to see. Later on we visited the Sea Life Centre just outside Scarborough and in particular greatly enjoyed seeing the penguins and sharks.


Trip to the Cavehill - a well deserved rest!

Trip to The Castle

Ben Madigan Around 4.30pm we visited the amusements on the seafront before boarding the coach for our journey back to the hotel.


The shopping which several people, including the writer, had been looking forward to was curtailed considerably on Friday morning as the bus wouldn’t start! We were denied our visit to the central shopping district in York and instead travelled straight to Liverpool Airport where the duty free shops did great business! Our short flight arrived back at Belfast International Airport in the early evening and thus ended a very successful trip. I would like to thank Mrs Crothers, Mrs Sherrard and her son, James Sherrard who stood in for his father at very short notice. Their help was invaluable. Lastly, my congratulations to all of the pupils who took part. Their behaviour was impeccable and I also appreciated their good humour. W.T. Wilson

COOKERY CLUB It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm from all the children who come to our Cookery Club. Whether they are rolling out pastry, rubbing margarine into flour or decorating buns they all enjoy the hands-on experiences – particularly the finished results! We try to provide a mixture of sweet and savoury recipes which encourage the children to try something different that will tempt their taste buds. Thanks to Mrs Harvey, Mrs Scott, Mrs Sloan, Mrs O’Kane, Mrs Uprichard, Mrs Handley, Mrs BannonMutlu, Mrs Rodgers and Mrs Ingram for helping out with Prep 3 and to Mrs Hoey who helped with the Prep 6-7 children. Mrs S. Sherrard / Mrs B. Marshall


Thanks to your efforts and support this year Ben Madigan was able to raise £1600 from Sponsored Walk Money and the Malawi Food and Fun Night. This money was put to good use when a team of 29 pupils and 7 staff went out from the 4th to the 17th February to Mulanje Mission Station in Malawi. The group spent a week of work experience teaching in Apatsa, the primary school and the secondary school. There were also pupils who got to observe and experience operations in the mission station hospital. Towards the end of the trip projects were completed to regenerate buildings and enhance resources in the primary school and Apatsa. This year, as last year, Ben Madigan had the sole responsibility of supporting the work at Apatsa, a private primary school for orphaned children. Thanks to all your hard work and support the money that was raised was able to go towards the following:• £300 worth of sports equipment was bought and taken out. • A new slide was built for the adventure playground that we constructed last year. • Football posts were constructed and erected. • Repair work to the tin roofs of the classrooms after they were blown off in a storm in January. • Painting and decorating of two classrooms and the school office.

The Owl 2011 • New text books bought for each classroom covering all of the main subjects taught in Malawi. • Stationery for pupils including note books, jotters, pens and pencils. • 50 bags of maize for the feeding programme which will feed the whole school for a year. • The remainder of money was given as a donation to the school to go towards further repairs on the ceilings of the classrooms damaged in the January storm. Thanks again to your efforts this year Ben Madigan has further cemented its relationship with Apatsa Primary School. I pass on the sincere thanks of Stella (principal), Ella and Margaret (vice-principals) who appreciate everything Ben Madigan has done and continues to do for their school. Hopefully over the next few weeks and months you will hear and see some of the pictures from the trip. Zikomo (Thank you)

Mr S. Johnston


Ben Madigan

LITERARY CONTRIBUTIONS BEING AN ECO SCHOOL 1. I can put logs out and put a roof on top and it would look like a bug hotel. 2. I could put a birdhouse with bread on it and a bird could come and eat it. 3. In the playground I am going to pick up litter and put it in the bin. 4. In my garden I could plant a tree. 5. I can grow vegetables in my garden. Lorena Del Castillo, Prep. 2

VERY, VERY, HUNGRY! So we went to every shop but they were all closed except for one. We went in and bought some sandwiches, they were only five pounds for twenty of them. Then we went back to class to eat our sandwiches. When it was home time we walked down to the Antrim Road. Suddenly all the other classes appeared on the pitch and the teachers were there too! It was very strange. We walked on and my mum was waiting for me. I got into the car and we went home. Miss Phillips came over to see if I was okay and she stayed for a cup of tea. She said that it was scary today. My mum said, “What was scary?” So Miss Phillips told my mum all about it. Sophie Scott, Prep. 3

SPORTS DAY I liked the flat race. We were all fast in the flat race. I came fourth in it. At the ground force game I came second and I just beat Elliott and my mum and dad cheered me on. In the running me and Stephen were joint in first place. At the end we all got a medal and certificate. Benjamin Watson, Prep. 2

MY PET DINOSAUR My dinosaur is called Pip. Pip is going to come to school with me. My dinosaur eats leaves. He is a herbivore. I walk my dinosaur. He is a boy. My favourite dinosaur is long neck. I am going to play with my dinosaur and his friends. I love my dinosaur. Lara Lennon, Prep. 2

THE ROYAL WEDDING We were watching the Royal Wedding and I thought that the choir went on too long and I thought that they would have been tired. Prince William and Kate got married in Westminster Abbey. It was good the way they didn’t have black windows in the cars and everyone could see them. I saw William and Kate kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The view was good and it was good the way they started off in the old car when they left the palace. It was special. Buckingham Palace was very big and clean. My dad said there were about two billion people watching the wedding. Some of them lived in London and lots had travelled there to see the wedding. There were loads of people cheering and everyone was happy. The look-alikes were very good too. It was a lovely, bright shiny day. Oliver O’Kane, Prep. 3



One morning I went to school. When I got in all the school was there. Then we went to assembly. After that we did some comprehension, it took a long time. The bell rang for break time and we went outside, but no other classes came out, just us P3. Then we played for a little while. Then the bell rang for us to go back inside so we went back to class. We drank our milk and water and we finished our comprehension. We were all wondering what had happened to all the other classes. We were very hungry but we couldn’t get any food because there was no one there to cook food. Mrs Sherrard could have made bread but she had no ingredients. We were

In 1814 there was a family called the Johnsons. They had a son, a daughter and a cat. One day, they went on a hike up the Cave Hill. They had not heard of it before or seen it so they were quite excited. Their mum Lize suggested that they brought a picnic. So they got everything into the carriage and off they went. When they got there they started to climb to the top. It was very tiring so they stopped half way up for their picnic. After their picnic the children, Michael and Amy, went off to play.

The Owl 2011 Suddenly, Amy fell down a hole. She screamed, “Help! Help!” but no-one heard. She yelled and yelled until she could not speak. She started to cry. She was inconsolable. Tears ran down her face. Then, out of nowhere, she heard a bang. Because she couldn’t speak she whispered, “Who is there? Please help me.” Then a man walked out from the shadows, looking at the ground. He was pale-faced and had blank eyes. His teeth were like fangs and he had slits for a nose. Blood dripped from his fangs but, although this man sounds like a vampire, he was like a beast. Hair grew everywhere. He had claws instead of finger nails. Gathering her voice, Amy said, “Please leave me alone. Please!” The man replied in a voice that would send a shiver down your spine, “Join us, join us!” He walked over towards her. Amy was trying to get up, but she must have injured her leg. She tried to crawl away but the man walked over to her and bit her neck. She screamed in pain. Her voice suddenly stopped. It was worse than dying. She felt her two front teeth grow into long fangs, the same size as a sabre tooth tiger. Her nose shrank until there were just two little slits left. “You are one of us,” he said. Amy replied, “No. I don’t want to be like you. I will never be like you. You are cold-hearted. You hurt people for no good reason.” She was cut short because he hit her around the face. With that he vanished. Amy stood up and vanished too. She saw him running away. She ran after him, they were running very quickly. He ran past her family to another one. This family had a baby. The baby toddled away from her family. The man ran up behind the baby, covered its mouth and bit into its neck. She saw the baby start to shrivel up. Finally, the man stopped. He started to run away. She ran after him. He was heading towards where they had vanished to. He ran up to it and vanished. Amy ran up behind him and then they were back to where they had just come from. Blood was dripping from his fangs. Amy was about to hit him but a loud bang came from behind her. Then, out of nowhere, a large wolf with hunger in its eyes pounced on Amy. She struggled under its weight. Then the man hit the wolf on the neck. The wolf scampered away. Amy cried in pain. It had bitten her arm and its poison had started to turn her arm green and yellow. The man helped her to her feet and they both vanished. “What is your name?” asked Amy.

“My name is Rage,” said the man. When they reappeared they were in a forest. Amy heard Michael shouting her name in the distance. They started to run. “Where are we going?” “We are running away from him. He is a human and you are not.” said Rage. They ran up to Napoleon’s Nose. “What are we doing up here?” “This is where the antidote is,” replied Rage. It seemed like hours before they stopped, but they eventually reached the top. They were standing on the top of Napoleon’s Nose. There were some trees scattered about, but in one of the trees there was a bottle containing some kind of liquid. It was purple. But, just as they were walking towards the bottle, they heard a growl coming from behind them. It was the wolf, but he was walking in human form. You could tell that it was him because he had a bite mark on his neck and he was covered in hair. He had a sword in his hand. He ran at Rage with the sword thrown back behind his head. Rage ran straight back at him and put out his claws. They clashed. Rage’s claws smashed and the sword connected with his arm. His arm fell onto the mud. He yelled in pain. Amy ran at the man. He stabbed Rage. Amy ran her claws into his chest. He gasped for air. Amy ran at him again, but he stabbed her in the chest. As she fell she saw the marks in her chest heal. She gasped for air. She could feel the blood drip onto her hand. As she took her last breath she saw him walk away into the trees. Oliver Allen, Prep. 6

THE WEREWOLF OF CAVEHILL It all started when my friend Myles began to show an interest in night-spotting. I went with him a lot. He would climb mountains and walk through forests. All the time his beady eyes would dart around searching for something exciting. Once, when we went night-spotting, we encountered another night-spotter called Adem. We decided to let him come with us when we went night-spotting. Not long after that we came to a massive hill. Just when we were about to go over the top of the hill, three wild dogs, eyes locked on us, ran at speed towards us. Luckily, like most night-spotters, Myles carried a gun with him. He shot the first two with precise aim, but the third dog leapt into the air. The dog landed on Adem. It tore him to bits before he could even make a sound. Finally, Myles shot the dog. The motionless, dead body


Ben Madigan


The Owl 2011 of Adem was lying on the ground, the carcass of the dog on top of him, their bodies held like statues in their last movement. After that we decided to move to a different country, the death of Adem still heavy on our thoughts. In the end we decided to move to Northern Ireland. There was just one thing that troubled me. This was Northern Ireland so Myles couldn’t bring his gun. First, we went to Dublin, but there weren’t many nightspotting places. In the end we went to Belfast. The first time we came to the Cavehill we saw loads of animals and plants, so we went again. On the way up to Cavehill I heard a howl, but I didn’t want to freak Myles out. We got to Napoleon’s Nose. Myles suddenly said, “Stop, this is perfect.” Suddenly, there was a rustle in the trees. I dived into the safety of the bushes, but Myles just continued to look. Suddenly, a massive wolf leapt out of the bushes. It killed Myles instantly. I had seen this creature in books, but it never occurred to me that it was real. It was a werewolf. I was relieved to still be alive, but that soon changed. The werewolf put its nose to the air and sniffed. That was when it saw me. For a second I thought that it was going to leave me alone, satisfied with the life it had already taken, but this creature seemed to be hell-bent on spilling blood. It leapt at me, but I managed to dodge its first attack. The werewolf was quick. It scrambled onto its paws. I looked into its eyes for a second, but all I saw was pure evil. Again it leapt, but I picked up a fallen tree branch and hit the creature with it. It yelped in pain.

would happen would I get taken to the circus, be killed or get separated from the orang-utans forever? I was woken up by the sound of the barking dogs, I looked down and there they were, I kept the orangutans quiet, luckily they didn’t spot me. I saw a rifle in one man’s hand so I knew what was going to happen. I stayed silent until the men were deep enough into the forest then I climbed down from the tree. I saw the direction they weren’t heading and ran for it but I didn’t run too loudly in case they heard. The path led to the stream to let me and the orang-utans have a drink. I looked up to have a break from drinking and beside me was Oona the elephant. I was so glad to see her, I said that I’d missed her and I was wondering where she had been when I was trapped in the case. Quickly I jumped onto her back, the little orang-utans still clinging to my arm. Oona started to run and I heard the men laughing so I know they were getting close. The orang-utans were no screeching, I heard rifles shooting and then Oona collapsed and I started to cry, Oona gave one last trumpet and didn’t move again. The men were now running, so that’s what I did too. I ran faster than I’ve ever ran before. The men finally caught up with me, they grabbed me by the arms, the dogs at my heel, they brought me to the truck and took me back to the goldmine and Mr Anthony was waiting, gun in his hand. I thought of dad and I coming home from the Chelsea match and mum shouting at us, the last noise I heard was BANG! Alex Fawcett, Prep. 5

PLANET OF THE A.O.R.Gs The sun was beginning to rise. Then all of a sudden, the werewolf lost all of its hair, it shrank and fell to the ground. In its place was the figure of a dying man. At first I didn’t know what had happened, but then I remembered the branch that I had hit him with. He had fallen, at speed, on top of it. When he was in manform the sharp stick had pierced its heart. I phoned the Police, but, in hind-sight, I wished I hadn’t. The Police brought me to court for a trial on a count of murder and afterwards, with the evidence stacked against me, I was put in prison for life. Still, I’m glad I’m not dead.

RUNNING WILD I curled up, clutching the little orang-utans close to me and slept like the wild boy I was. I was dreaming about getting captured by Mr Anthony and his dogs and what

I was in a very large meadow. I couldn’t see anything but lots of overgrown grass shining in the morning sunlight for miles. When I touched the grass it felt extremely dry and smelt like, well, a garden with that nice grassy smell. The grass was so green, I’d say who ever is the gardener should get a promotion, it would take forever! I don’t blame him for not bothering to cut it. There were no flowers, no bushes, it was just grass. I didn’t know how I got there, I was just there. There was a huge beam of bright light just below a hill that was straight ahead of me, it was whizzing round in an oval shaped spiral, it had two colours spinning around the dark blue core, sky blue and white. I saw a huge green foot stick out from the lower centre of what I thought was a portal. It was like the green footed thing was coming from another world or the future! I was quite scared, “Is it an alien?” I thought. I was scared. I just kept walking backwards, then I fell onto the grass.


Ben Madigan I could still make out the portal like thing. It was like a doorway, except there was nothing on the other side but thin air, it was like it was just forming. Its whole body was now through. It was the kind of thing you would have nightmares about. It was very short, it had hands that were rather disturbing, the tips of its fingers were like little flared tubes, it was wearing a two piece suit that was black with a white shirt and black tie, its arms came down to its stumpy thigh, its chest was a normal size but its stomach was something else! It bulged out like the creature had swallowed a fully inflated air balloon. I presumed it was a man or a boy because of his build. His face was the most unusual and freaky part, he was like a cartoon character, he had very large, bulging eyes that were perfectly rounded, his head was extreme, from his chin to the middle of his eyes was a square shape and then there was a big slightly squashed circle on top! It looked like a huge cup cake in a bun case. He had a very large set of antennae coming up from his muffin head. They were like two large, thin green sticks with little spheres on top. He had the odd few different sized yellow spots on his bright green face. His nose was very unattractive, he just had nostrils, just two caves drilled onto his face. He was walking, no he was waddling. The alien was too big for his feet! Finally after a long struggle towards me the alien began to speak “Tom McAlister,” he continued “you have been chosen”. “What, where, for what?” I was speechless. “You have been chosen to lead our race to victory in this battle against the Great One!” he spoke slowly in a robotic voice. “Well I guess I could give it a go,” I didn’t know if I was thinking straight, helping an alien to bump off his “GREAT ONE” into martian heaven or martian hell.


Suddenly before I knew it I had been transported somehow into a dark, creepy forest. The trees were all dead, some of them had branches that were just hanging off, ready to fall. There were rabid owls hooting in the moonlight. The sky was beautiful, it was blue at the top and blended with a shade of purple at the bottom. There was a half moon which shone down on us, there were hundreds of small stars glistening in the night sky. “Where are we and how did we get here?” I asked clueless. “We are in my home planet” he stuttered in a squeaky voice. “I took you here in a time vortex, Planet of the A.O.R.G.s Aliens of Restricted Growth”. “So are you telling me that N.A.S.A take months and spend millions to get to space and you do it in the touch of a button?” I exclaimed “Yes it is the latest A.O.R.G technology, it’s called the Pineapple ePod Nano,” said the A.O.R.G. It was quite long and very thin, it was a glossy metallic green with a small wheel just below

the tight screen above with a button in the centre of the wheel. It looked like an “Apple Ipod Nano” only for Aliens! “Anyway I know this has been a bit of a shock for you and happened very quickly but don’t be expecting anybody to be giving you a full explanation for it, basically you have a long history with A.O.R.Gs. Your great, great, grandfather was an astronomer and was the founder of this planet and named it. He lived on our planet for many years but had to return home because his beloved wife fell ill and he never came back to the planet of the A.O.R.Gs. During his time here he was treated as the king but was very modest and treated everyone with respect. He believed that everyone deserved a second chance so he let the only A.O.R.G in prison out. This A.O.R.G was a master criminal, he tried to assassinate the former king and got a life sentence in jail. My race did not respect your great, great, grandfather’s decision but knew that they had to stand by it. When the king returned to earth they were left with Amaweeman – the bad guy and no king. Your relative thought good things of Amaweeman once released but Amaweeman did not quite think the same for our Great One. Whilst he was in power your great, great, grandfather had a very large garden at the back, in fact an enormous garden! It was called the land of Heart’s Desire, my king would give a gift to a hero or someone who he thought was worthy, it would provide anything that you wished for” continued the A.O.R.G whose name I didn’t know yet. “As soon as the king left, Amaweeman broke into your great, great, grandfather’s palace just in front of the Land of Heart’s Desire and named himself “King”. He forced every A.O.R.G on our tiny planet to call him the “Great One” or the “Almighty King” otherwise they would be prosecuted. Now Amaweeman is still king and has put a force field over the Land of Heart’s Desire and has brought misery upon all of the A.O.R.Gs lives. You must fight the “Almighty King” and save Planet of the A.O.R.Gs! You are the only person who can save us!” “What is your name?” I asked shocked after the information I had just gathered. “Narclabnarferzing, but you can call me Narc,” Narc said. “Thank you,” I bellowed sarcastically. “I am your protector,” Narc let out slowly. “I will back you up during the fight.” “But what will I fight him with?” I asked worriedly. “Ah I was just about to come to that!” he exclaimed joyfully. He was just about to press his Ipod but I stalled him in a loud voice “Wow, wow, wow, where are we going now?”. “To get your armour.” Narc said as if I was stupid. “Armour?” I belted out starstruck. “Yes and sword!” he yelled.

The Owl 2011 My jaw dropped slowly “I’m only eleven!” “Where I come from kids are allowed to possess a lazer gun at aged seven!” Before I knew it we were surrounded by solid grey rock and spider webs connecting from the edge of rocks to the uneven thick stone wall. We were in a hollow rock or a cave that was extremely dark and very scary! There was a soft chill in the air, I put the hood of my hoodie over my head. “This way”, whispered Narc softly. “What way?” I muttered back, “I can’t see a thing”. Suddenly there was a huge outburst of blue light, Narc was holding some sort of torch. “This is the latest environmentally friendly A.O.R.G technology, it is the only thing in the universe that can convert air into light, it is called the “Envirotorch 2000””. “Awesome!” I went on, “now let’s go and get my stuff”. Narc shone the torch downwards and right before my eyes was a massive treasure chest. It was a cuboid with a wide cylinder that was separated in half, the chest was encrusted with different coloured diamonds and had bits of rectangular gold here and there holding the planks of wood together. There was a miniature shield shaped thing that was gold overlapping the lid and the chest. Narc put one of his six fingers forward, the flared bit of his finger was pressed onto the blank shield (he barely had to bend over to press the golden shield because of his height). There was a loud sound that sounded like the wind on a stormy night and the lid of this box opened up slowly with smoke flowing down the sides of the chest in slow motion, the lid was now standing on its hinges at eye level with Narc. There was a nice electrifying crimson velvet interior in the chest. The chest was no treasure chest for it contained a neatly folded metallic gown with a maroon silk cloak coming over the front with a gold emblem of a crown stitched on in a perfectly fitted rectangular ditch in the velvet interior. The smoke was fading now and I could make out some silver armour shining in Narc’s Envirotorch 2000 that I thought might come in handy when, sorry if I fought Planet of the A.O.R.Gs only mastermind criminal. There was also a helmet that was metal with a huge maroon Mohican that could be used as a toilet brush coming round from the top down to where your neck would be if you were wearing it. Narc handed the items up to me one by one standing on his tip toes (which made him about half a metre taller due to the size of his feet) while he did so, he also guided me telling me where things went and how to put them on. Once all of the items were on and I thought I was ready to go I remembered my sword and thought, “Where is my sword?”

It was not in the chest, just as I was going to question Narc he got there first “You probably thought that I had forgotten about the sword, the most vital part. The reason why you are the only person who can defeat Amaweeman is because the sword that I am about to put into your possession is the only sword in existence that can defeat him. It belonged to your great, great, grandfather when he was in power, it will only work if a young McAlister like yourself is using it, if one of us tried to use it the sword would just turn to dust”. It seemed like there was more than one level in the chest, he lifted the top level that was now empty and placed it on the rock floor. There was a large samurai sword in another ditch perfectly suited for the sword’s size. Narc handed me the sword and I held it like a baby. “Are you ready?” asked Narc. “Yes, no, maybe, no, yes…..I don’t know!” I said clueless “Let’s do it”. Narc put his index finger forward towards his nano and scrolled through the locations “We will teleport to the woods and walk to the gate where Amaweeman will probably be waiting for us, the solid gold gates have the same lock device as the chest except the gates only respond to Amaweeman so you will kill him and use his finger to open the gates. There will be an invisible force field over the garden and we will have half an hour to open the force field before the gates close. Once opened the gates will stay open for us to close manually. Once we are inside the garden you will be able to do what you want or take what you want and become king!” He said at the speed of light and ran out of breath at the end of his speech. “Wow, no way I don’t want to be king but I could choose, I have a good idea who to pick!” I hinted “Okay but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, we have to defeat Amaweeman first!” Narc told me. He pressed the centre button and immediately I was in the dead woods. I was walking for about thirty seconds and I began to feel sore and tired. After about ten minutes I saw the palace, I had got used to the armour and was creeping round as quietly as I could to avoid any guards. I was nearly at the gate when I noticed that there were two guards with their backs turned to Narc to my left and me who was standing right beside the palace. “I’ll take the left you take the right GO!” he whispered. He gave me a hand signal while he was instructing me on what to do, he swiped his hand swiftly across his throat as a sort of death sign. We both sneaked up on the guards staying synchronised the whole way. I took my sword out of its holder and gently lowered it down to the height of guard’s neck. I pulled his head back by putting my left hand on his forehead, pulling back and using my sword in my right hand to slit his green throat right through from left to right, purple gunk poured out,


Ben Madigan I assume it was the colour of A.O.R.G blood. At the same time Narc stuck the bottom of his envirotorch down the other guard’s throat several times before he stopped choking. We crept onwards and finally spotted Amaweeman waiting for us as expected at the gold gates with a sword and some armour. “I will hide to back you up in case you need help, I will use my crossbow to injure Amaweeman, as you know you are the only on who can save us from Amaweeman, so good luck!” Narc said nervously, “Are you ready?” “Yes” I whispered loudly. “That’s more like it now go!” he said happily. I walked out looking as grown up and as tough as I could in my heavy armour and carrying my now partly purple covered sword in my right hand gloved in metal armour. “Hello, Tom isn’t it? I’ve heard about you,” said Amaweeman in a creepy husky voice. “I see you’ve got your great, great, grandfather’s sword with you, get ready to die!” He shot his sword towards me violently but I blocked it luckily with my sword. There was a loud “clang” noise. I began to fight back. He was chatting to me loudly through the fight but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying but I know it couldn’t have been positive. Finally something dramatic happened, I gave him a striking blow to the centre of his chest. Amaweeman fell to the ground with a bang!


“Help me?” he said in a struggle to survive. Narc ran out to the corpse to make sure that Amaweeman was really dead. “He is dead, you hit him in the heart!” said Narc in a surprised voice “You see an A.O.R.G’s heart is placed in the centre of its chest”. “Bulls eye!” I shouted. “Help me drag Amaweeman to the gate,” said Narc struggling to drag him across the ground. I walked towards the body and helped to trail it towards the gate. Narc raised Amaweeman’s left arm and pressed the corpse’s finger against the lock, the gates opened slowly, you could hear the gold gates squeaking against the hinges. I took my helmet off and tucked it under my left arm. “Come on!” Narc shouted as I was trailing behind him. We were on the grass now and I could see lots of interesting items, there was a Ferrari, an Audi R8 Spyder, a football pitch and iMac, an Apple TV and loads more! If you wanted one item, even the most unimaginable of things it was there. Narc and I had been thinking for around five minutes now and still couldn’t think of anything. We thought in silence and the only thing that we could hear was the light breeze in the air. I stood up and put my hands

on the force field, it felt like cold metal. I touched the force field there was a ripple on it. “Wait a minute, I’ve got a plan.” I burst out “I think we’ve got enough time, we’ll have to be quick and you have to do what I say when I say, okay?” “Okay”, he echoed. I ran over to Amaweeman’s body and kneeled down “Pass me my sword Narc,” I commanded. He ran over or waddled over to me, picked up the sword and handed it to me. I removed his armour and his cloak from the upper half of his body and then I sliced down from the middle of his chest right down to where a human’s belly button would be. I removed his heart from his stomach and held it up in my hands. “Amaweeman never planned on opening the force field, right?” I asked. Narc nodded. “So I was thinking that he would have to be dead for the force field to open, so I put all the things that I have learned from today together and thought that if I removed Amaweeman’s heart because this is the Land of Heart’s Desire,” and I thought if I threw the heart right into the centre of the garden the force field would open “Because an A.O.R.G’s heart is in the centre of his or her chest!” I explained sharply. “Genius!” Narc yelled. I sprinted towards the garden with the heart in my hands, but Narc stopped me, “Wait, a human can’t throw very far whereas an A.O.R.G can throw over five miles with perfect accuracy, maybe I should do this!” he said. I handed the heart to Narc and said “Okay, do it!” He levered his arm back and pelted the heart forward, we waited for a good thirty seconds before we heard the sort of sci-fi noise that you would hear in an arcade game and then there was a voice that said “Force-field deactivated”, I put my hand out for a high five and realised that Narc was jumping up and down trying to reach my hand so I lowered it and he smacked it and cheered loudly. We both ran out past all the cool stuff and I was stunned. “We are both allowed to take one thing so pick wisely!” Narc said. “I know what I want a Testle Roadster” I bellowed, “but I might change my mind”, “I want a Pineapple Epad! It’s the newest release by Pineapple,” Narc exclaimed. “In fact I want a mansion in Barbados right beside the beach!” I said loudly. “Okay let’s take our new stuff and leave, it’s been a long day”. I sprung up in a hurry, I had been lying down and I was now sitting upright on some long grass, I was in the meadow where I had begun my story! Was it all a dream? I checked my pockets, there was a note it read:Dear Tom

The Owl 2011 You have saved an entire planet today from suffering terror and despair. I will never forget what you have done for us and your name will live on forever throughout A.O.R.G history. I am now king in Planet of the A.O.R.Gs and all is well here, I hope it is the same for you.

started planning for a wedding. They got married later that year. Greta and Bill had three daughters – Carol, Hilary and Norma. Hilary died of breast cancer in 1992, Norma is currently settled in Brisbane, Australia and Carol remains in Northern Ireland and is very close to her mum and still grieves for her.

P.S. check out your other pocket

Greta had one of the first colour televisions and her house became a free cinema. She had one of the first telephones so her house became a free telephone booth. She also had one of the first petrol cars and therefore became a free taxi service.

Yours sincerely, Narclabnarferzing I pulled a cheque for £500,000 out of my right pocket and a sheet for planning permission on the coast of Barbados! I got up off the grass, threw my jacket over my right shoulder and walked off in the evening sunset. It had been a long day. Tom McAlister, Prep. 7

Margaret Ellen Adams (Greta) 25th May 1921 - 30th March 2011 By Douglas Adams, Prep. 7 Margaret Ellen Adams or Greta was my Great Aunt. She was born on the 25th May 1921. When Greta was eighteen she got engaged to my Great Uncle Bill Adams on the very day that World War 2 was declared. Bill immediately signed up for the Royal Air Force and Bill and Greta did not see each other for nearly six years but Greta did not worry about Bill. She missed him but she did not worry about him because Bill always used to send coded requests for songs to be played on the radio so that Greta knew that he was alive. The songs always had a relation to where he was fighting so Greta wasn’t worried. Greta helped with the war effort by making parts for weapons and other military assets. When Bill and Greta were reunited in 1945 they immediately

One day when Greta was walking home she came across a man struggling with a double bass and she asked him where was he going and he told her that he needed a stay for the night for he was playing in an orchestra the next day. Greta then invited him to stay for the night but he ended up staying for two weeks! During the troubles Greta’s neighbours’ house was petrol bombed. When Greta found out she let them stay in her house and Bill also helped them redecorate. Bill passed away in 2003 and was buried in Carnmoney Cemetery. Greta continued to live her life as normal despite being heartbroken at the death of her husband. At the end of her life Greta had to use a zimmer frame to walk. She also had to give up her car. Greta had to go into a care home following a fall in her garden in October 2010. Carol then took over her home in which Greta had lived all her married life. Greta passed away of old age on 30th March 2011. Her funeral service was held in Greencastle Methodist Church on Saturday 2nd April 2011. She was buried in Carnmoney Cemetery as well. The funeral reception was held at Corrs Corner Hotel. This marked the end of her quite extraordinary life.


Ben Madigan


The Owl 2011

Former Pupils’ News OLD GIRLS’ ASSOCIATION The Old Girls’ Association has been in existence for more than 50 years. Mary Hyndman was one of the founders of the Old Girls’ Association and our first President. She was a member of the Academy teaching staff and served the school devotedly for over forty years, during which time she had been Domestic Science Mistress and Senior Mistress. From September 1900, girls who had hitherto attended the Preparatory Department continued their education through the higher classes of the Academy. In 1923 it was the decision of the Headmaster, Mr Foster, to make the Academy a co-educational school. This important development would not have been accomplished as smoothly as it was had not Miss Hyndman supervised the practical details of the change. Mary Hyndman remained a Patron of the Old Girls’ Association until her death in 1958. The Constitution states that the aim of our Association was to unite former pupils of the Academy and to engage in social, philanthropic and educational enterprises. Membership came under the headings of ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Magazine’. Ordinary membership included former pupils and members of staff who had been connected with the school for at least one year. Magazine membership was for former pupils residing in Great Britain or abroad, who would not receive any notices or invitations connected with the Association, but would receive ‘The Owl’. Today we have Life Members from as far away as South Africa, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Throughout the year our Old Girls’ Committee meets to arrange our Annual Dinner, the Fundraiser and AGM. For many years the fundraiser has given us the opportunity to have social occasions for members and their friends while raising money for very worthwhile charities.

Recently any money we have raised through social events has been given directly to the Headmaster to use within school. We also have a Golf Society. We would encourage any Old Girls who play golf to come along and bring their friends for the annual ‘fun’ day out. If you are not a member, and would like to be, please complete the application form available on the Belfast Royal Academy website. P. Burns

OLD GIRLS’ NEWS After achieving a Degree in Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast, Amy Annesley has just completed a PGCE at Middlesex University. She is now working full time as a Primary school teacher in Luton. ****

Two former pupils, who are now Belfast Telegraph journalists, won awards at the Coca Cola CIPR NI Media Awards in June. Amanda Poole won the ‘Martin O’Hagan Memorial Bursary’ and ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Award, and Anne Madden won the ‘Scoop of the Year’ Award. ****

Holly McCullough is to represent GB at rifle shooting in a tour of the USA next year. ****

Ruth McCabe left School in 1991 to study medicine at Queen’s. After graduation she worked, “in cahoots,” as she puts it, with Siobhann Cavanagh, another former pupil, in the City and Musgrave Park hospitals. After, surgical training at Hammersmith Hospital in London, Ruth worked in Intensive Care at Portsmouth


Former Pupils’ News and then proceeded along the south coast to Poole. However, a spell as a ship’s doctor helped develop a fascination with the remote areas of the sea. So, after five months training in Plymouth, she embarked on a nine months voyage on board the RSS James Clark, a vessel involved with the British Antarctic Survey - sailing from the UK to Antarctica and calling at Ascension Island on the return trip. Thereafter she completed some remote area work for the NHS: from Belfast to Baghdad, and from the Arctic to the Antarctic. As this note was being prepared Ruth McCabe was serving on a ship off the coast of Greenland. By the time it appears in The Owl she will be back in Glasgow from where she hopes to get work with Helicopter Emergency Services either in the UK or in Australia. Ruth reckons that since the Government is determined to make her (along with many others) work until she crumbles, she has plenty of time to settle down to a ‘respectable’ job. ****

Kathryn Cochran left the Academy in 1996 and graduated from the University of Ulster. Thereafter she progressed to post-graduate study at Edinburgh University and now works in the Human Resources Department of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Married to Stephen Henderson, also a former pupil of the Academy, Kathryn will, in April 2012, take part in the London Marathon on behalf of Tommy’s Charity, a support group for women affected by miscarriage, or premature or stillborn babies. Girls Front Row Left to Right: Dorothy Withers, Catherine McMullan, Frances Dove, Ethel Gray, Ismay Morrison, Ruth Baxter, Gwladys Bell, Nancy Bill, Audrey Millington, Winifred Beck.


Second Row Left to Right: Muriel McCormick, Noreen McIlroy, Hetty McDonald, Nancy Matthews, Sadie Stevenson, Frankie Stewart, Hilda Thompson, Sophie Herbert, Pat Norris. Boys Harold A. McMoordie, Joseph Gillan, E. George Sherrard, Robert T. Kane, W. Austin McMullan, Morris D. Malone, J. Stewart, J.C. Heslit, H.A.H. Summers Stanley N. Gray, Moore B. Wasson, A. Tarleton, Brookes McFadden, Tom Freeman, W. Hudson J.S. (Jim) Skelly, C.G. (Charlie) Jefferson, Stanley Browne, David L. Brattie, H.E. McCombe BRA Form VI 1936-37

OLD BOYS’ ASSOCIATION The main event in the Association’s calendar is the Annual Dinner which was held in the Wellington Park Hotel on Saturday 27th November 2010. The President, Mr Tim Reid, welcomed a total of around 160 members and their guests. The success of the dinner was due, in no small measure, to the Dinner Secretary, Iain Knox, who worked extremely hard to encourage a large number of members to attend. His innovation of organising table captains means that all monies for the event were paid on time; no small feat considering the challenging economic times in which we live. It is again encouraging to note that a good number of ‘recent’ Old Boys now attend the Annual Dinner. The Old Boys’ website and the Facebook page continue to attract interest from younger and older members alike. The Association is in the debt of Iain Knox and Michael Bennett for keeping these internet links up to date. The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on 18th April 2011 and the following officials were elected for 2011/2012: President Stephen Orr Vice President Geoff Simon Hon. Secretary Louis Campbell Hon. Treasurer Nik Simon Hon. Membership Michael Bennett Secretary Dinner Secretary Iain Knox Hon. Auditor Drew Wilkinson

The Owl 2011 The Committee for 2011/2012 was also elected. It is again worth noting that key positions on the Committee are now held by Old Boys who left School relatively recently. The future of the Association depends upon Old Boys becoming involved and I would again appeal to anyone who has an interest in joining the Committee to speak to the Hon. Secretary or any member of the Committee. The annual cricket match of the Old Boys’ XI against the School XI was played at the Castle Grounds on 24th June 2011. This match is always keenly contested but sadly the ‘summer’ weather intervened and the match was abandoned after tea because of rain. At tea, the President, Stephen Orr, presented a cheque for £100, to assist with tour expenses to Ipswich, to the Captain of the School 1st XI, Jordan McClurkin. The Golf Society, under the leadership of Ken Knox, continues to attract good numbers of golfers for the two main competitions held in June and September. The results this year were: Picken Cup at Malone G.C. Thursday 16th June 2011 Winner: Michael Black Graham Lynn’s Captains Day at Royal Belfast GC - Friday 16th September 2011 Winner: Stewart Beattie Ferguson Cup for best aggregate score over two outings Winner: Stewart Beattie. (The Visitor’s prize was won by Andrew Park a Member of RBGC and Old Campbellian.) Throughout the year, Robin Reid again masterminded, with the assistance of others, a series of monthly lunches which are normally held in golf clubs around the greater Belfast area. These continue to be very popular with around 40 or more, mainly retired, members attending. At the time of writing these notes, the President’s letter is in the process of being sent to all members. Inevitably, many of these letters are returned to School as members have moved away from the address kept by the Membership Secretary. I would appeal to all members who have moved in recent months or years to contact Michael Bennett at Again, I appeal to those Old Boys of School who are reading these notes, but who are not members of the Association, to think about joining and thereby restoring links to the School. L. Campbell Hon. Secretary

OLD BOYS’ NEWS Mark Lyttle has recently been appointed to the position of Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine in Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. ****

Matthew McCullough was recently awarded his PhD and a Fellowship at MIT. ****

Cinema enthusiasts will be interested to learn that Phil Harrison, who left the Academy in 1993 has established a company called Manifesto Films. The purpose of this enterprise is to make socially engaged films exploring the relationship between politics and art. Phil is presently working on a feature film called The Good Man which is being shot in Northern Ireland and South Africa. This film, in common with other projects Phil has been involved with, is a unique community funded investment project and those prepared to invest in the film have the pleasure of seeing their names prominently displayed in the credits. ****

Martin Sieff, who left the Academy for Oxford in 1969, has made a successful career as a journalist, broadcaster and author. Martin was the Chief News Analyst for United Press International and has appeared as an international affairs expert on BBC, CNN and Fox News – for which organization he now works. He has also been nominated three times for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Martin Sieff has reported from more than 65 countries and covered more than ten wars and conflicts. His latest assignment was to report on developments in Kazakhstan, and having just completed a book on US industrial policy he will shortly start work on one dealing with Central Asian energy. This former Academy pupil is married with three children and he and his family live in the United States. ****

Michael George left the Academy to read Engineering at St Catharine’s College Cambridge. There, as a former First XV player, he played two seasons for the Cambridge Blues XV, and after graduation he took a Masters in Computer Science. In 1986 he joined Lehman Brothers as a graduate trainee – as result, he claims, of the senior partner of the bank watching him play in Cambridge rugby match and liking the way he tackled!


Former Pupils’ News At Lehman’s Michael discovered that that he had a real aptitude for finance and he believes that the logical thinking and the ability to solve problems that he had developed in solving maths and engineering problems gave him an advantage over competitors. Soon he was in the USA and his career took off. After thirteen years at Lehman’s (by now perhaps, and for all the wrong reasons, the best known bank in the world) he left for a position with Deutsche Bank. And in 2009 he joined Fortress Investment Group in New York. This firm is one of the world’s largest managers of Alternative Assets in the world: these are more familiar to non-initiated as Hedge Funds or Private Equity Funds. Michael insists that for anyone with interests in history, economics or politics, and with a capacity for mathematics and problem-solving a career in the world of investment banking offers not only high remuneration, but the excitement of being involved in shaping global business. ****

Stewart Waring has been fascinated with aircraft and with flying since his schooldays and this remained a life-long preoccupation as well as providing him with the impetus to develop a career as a pilot. Stewart has the distinction of gaining his Private Pilots Licence when he was still a pupil at the Academy. No surprise therefore that on leaving school he was accepted for training by the Royal Air Force and on being awarded the coveted pilots’ ‘wings’ he flew on missions in many parts of the world. On leaving the RAF in 1983 Waring continued his flying career in the civil aviation business ultimately becoming a training captain and examiner on various types of aircraft. He formed his own company in 2005 and this provides contract training for pilots. Captain Waring flew his own aircraft for nine years, and took part in air races and display flying. One of the aircraft he piloted was the iconic Spitfire, perhaps the

best known and most easily recognizable fighter plane that has ever taken to the skies, and which played such an important part in the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. ****

Matthew McCullough left the Academy in 2003 to study Physics at New College Oxford. After graduation he undertook research for his PhD and was awarded a doctorate in theoretical particle physics in 2011. Matthew has recently been awarded a prestigious Simon Fellowship in the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. Matthew is married to Kate Andrews who also left the Academy to study Biochemistry at Oxford. While at the Academy Matthew shot Target Rifle with the ATC. Now his sister Holly, who left School to study English at Southampton University, has been selected for the Great Britain rifle team to tour the United States in the summer of 2012. ****

David Scoffield has recently been made a QC. He becomes the youngest Queen’s Counsel in Northern Ireland. ****

Christopher R. Nash graduated from University of Ulster Coleraine with a PGCE in June 2011. ****

Four Old Boys played for Ulster Juniors in the InterProvincial Hockey Tournament at Four Rock Rovers in Dublin. They were Johnny Orr, Dr Peter Riddell, Andrew Bell and Robin Smyth. Johnny scored two goals against Munster. ****

Since the last edition of the Owl we have had news of the following additions to the Academy ‘family’. Heather Wilson (nee Bell) and her husband Alistair have had a daughter named Isla Grace. ****

Sharon Humphries (nee Bell) and her husband David have had a son called Samuel. ****

Victoria Johnston (nee Carson) and her husband Patrick Scott have had a son who is called Patrick. ****


Naomi Hatton (nee Cross) and her husband Brian have had a son called Joshua. ****

The photograph shows a Spitfire VcAR501 being flown by Stewart.

Norleen Coiley (nee Sharpe) and her husband Peter have had a son called Oliver. ****

The Owl 2011 Emma Louise Crawford (nee Johnston) and her husband Jonathan have had a daughter called Emily. ****

Lucy Dallas (nee McCamley) and her husband Mark now have a second child, a girl called Mollie. Lucy’s sister Ruth was married in Italy during the summer. Her husband is Christian Nachtigall. ****

Anna McGeagh (nee Tweedale) and her husband Nicholas have had a son called Ruari. E. McCamley: Alumni Office

REUNIONS “FORTYSIXERS” REUNION 2011 When the undersigned “reunion facilitator” suggested that the reign of the “Fortysixers” might sensibly end in 2011, mixed feelings had been expressed, and the outcome had seemed uncertain. However, the expected members and friends all arrived on the 26th August and the usual lively exchanges and reminiscences started right away, carrying on up to, during, and after the pleasant lunch. Many expressed a feeling of rather surprised satisfaction that such easy fellowships still remained from their schooldays of 65 years ago, a testament it was thought, to the friendly and liberal ethos of the school life, enhanced perhaps by the wartime sense of togetherness, while the wartime diet was, with tongue (and Spam) in cheek!, given credit for the known survival of over 50% of the 1946 Form VI, half of whom were present on this occasion. Apologies were received from Mollie (Neilly) Sterling, who, to her great regret as a regular attender, realised that her serious health problems ruled her attendance out. Marjorie (Gordon) Cummings, another “regular”, also apologised for health reasons, as did Bob McLean,

while Jack Agnew and Walton Balmer, who were so looking forward to joining in, had to withdraw for family reasons. Greetings came from Anne (Macauley) Hammerton, Olive (Trotter) Brown, Eric Rogers and David Nemtzov, from England, Canada, Australia and Israel respectively. A number of guests were welcomed, it being particularly pleasing to see Jack Kyle back again. The decision on possible future reunions still seemed to the “facilitator” to be in doubt, until he was presented with a wonderful etching of himself in front of the Old School, over which a barrage balloon hovered! A beautiful bouquet of flowers for the “facilitator’s wife”, Muriel, was also handed over. These gifts were received with much pleasure, couched with “facilitator’s” feeling that the apparent enjoyment and success of the past 15 reunions had been more than sufficient appreciation of his efforts. The obligatory group photo, and countless informal ones, having been taken, and final broadsides and farewells being completed the cheerful, if a little saddened company, “dissolved” in good order. NIL DESPERANDUM!

Michael Clarke

“CLASS OF ’72” REUNION 28th JUNE 2012 The “Class of ’72” have planned a reunion in 2012 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of leaving Belfast Royal Academy. It will be held on 28th June 2012 in Knock Golf Club, Upper Newtownards Road, Dundonald. The organising committee is keen to contact as many former pupils from this year as possible and already we have a positive response from an encouraging number of pupils and teachers. If you are interested in attending please get in touch with either:

Gary Ewing or Anne Harte (Wallace)

Please mention it to any friends with whom you are still in contact. A. Harte


Former Pupils’ News

FOTA Friends of the Academy (FOTA) was established approximately 10 years ago with the aim of nurturing relationships between staff, parents and others associated with Belfast Royal Academy and Ben Madigan Preparatory School. We number approximately 20 members on the committee and meet 8-9 times over the course of the school year. FOTA provide or help out with refreshments at a number of school events during the year including the School Play, the Christmas Carol Service and Open Evenings/ Mornings. We have also organised a Cavehill CleanUp afternoon and a coffee stall at Roughfort. We hold a number of fundraising events during the year, particularly the very successful and enjoyable Dinner/Supper Dance which is held annually early in the New Year. Funds have also been raised through a Quiz Night. Monies raised help fund vital equipment and events that may not fall within the annual school budget. In recent years, funds have been provided for: Merit Scheme Prizes Drama Performance Studio Video Camera Apple Mac Laptop Stage Lighting Ben Madigan Equipment Model United Nations Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Habitat for Humanity Young Engineers

Lifesaving Club Swimming Club Hockey Club Netball Club Cricket Club Rugby Club Rowing Club PE Department Technology Department

Advance notification is always given for events, and we ask you to come along, enjoy entertaining evenings with us, support your child in school activities, and feel part of “The Academy


On Saturday 24th September, a group of parents, staff and pupils carried out a ‘Cave Hill Clean-Up’ organised by Friends Of The Academy (FOTA). It was a good cause, and with sunshine and a picnic afterwards, the afternoon was enjoyed by all who took part.

Experience”. Information appears on the Latest News & Events and School Calendar sections of the School website. FOTA welcomes new members or volunteers who simply wish to help out. If you are interested in joining FOTA or volunteering, please contact the School Reception for further details. For more information about FOTA please visit our section of the School website: http://www. Jimmy Donnelly (Secretary)

ARCHBOLD - GREIG WEDDING George Pooler Rodgers Archbold married Sheena Greig on Saturday 5 November in Cannongate Kirk Edinburgh. A number of his former classmates from their final year in 1968 at Belfast Royal Academy were guests at the reception. They were (from left to right) John McClure (consultant anaesthetist in Edinburgh –retired), Roy Lyness (consultant histopathologist in Belfast), Richard Appleby (civil engineer in Fort Augustus), Alan Bell (government entomologist in Northern Ireland – retired), Pooler Archbold (consultant clinical biochemist in Belfast), Rodney McDonald (pharmacist in Belfast –retired), Harry Abbott (dentist – retired and living in Spain) and Alan Cook (architect in Crawfordsburn). Some of the party had not met since leaving school, but after the initial shock of the ageing process, conversations continued from where they had left off four decades earlier!

The Owl 2011

UNIVERSITY DESTINATIONS Belfast Metropolitan College

Kingston University

Vanessa Clegg - Business and Marketing Ciara Hindman - Nursery Teaching Rachel Holmes - Travel and Tourism Rachel Lawell - Architectural Technician Laura Lindsay - Foundation Art and Design Sam McQuillan - Renewable Energy Erin Walsh - Accounting Technician Glen Weir - Software/Electronic Systems

Emily McColgan - Drama with English Language

Brunel University Christopher Marshall - English / Creative Writing

University of Cambridge Alisha Gergett - Natural Sciences

University of Canterbury Conleith Ramm - English

De Montfort University Peter Hawthorne - Law

University of Dundee

University of Kent Emma McArdle - Law and Accounting and Finance Christopher Rebecca McGrath - History and Religious Studies

University of Leicester Hyejin Kwon - English

University of Liverpool Holly Dawson - Business Studies and French Robbie Jamison - International Business Ryan Magee - Law Odhran McMahon - History Namubo Syatwinda - Medicine

Liverpool John Moore’s University Emma Henry - Business and Public Relations Helen Kelly - Events Management

University of London Institute in Paris

Louise Campbell - History Jane Clawson - Nursing David Gorman - Medicine Andrew Hamilton - Business Management Peter McCullough - Dentistry Rowan Vincent - Medicine

Zoe Scullion - Accounting and Financial Management

University of Durham

Manchester Metropolitan University

Andrew Forsythe - Music

Stephan Agbogbe - International Business Thomas Campbell - English and American Literature Victoria Nevin - English and Politics

Edge Hill University Richard Bryan - Computing

Rebecca Anderson - French Studies

Loughborough University

University of Manchester

University of Edinburgh

Kristopher McCombe - Medicine

Sarah Daniels - English Language Norman Sinclair - Mathematics

University of Newcastle

Uws Glasgow

Odhran McIntaggart - Music and Mathematics

Cory McWatters - Applied Bioscience

Northern Regional College

Herriot Watt University

Sam Ferguson - HND Business Megan Holmes - HND Childcare Rebecca McWhinney - HND Health and Social Care

Alexander Snoddy - Mathematical and Statistical Science

King’s College London Rebekah Bingham - Medicine Catherine Robinson - Medicine

Northumbria University Jamie English - Accounting Colleen McCausland - Psychology with Criminology


Former Pupils’ News

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Gerard Klein - Public Relations and Marketing Megan MacDougall - Public Relations and Marketing Catherine McErlane - Public Relations and Marketing Natalie McNab - Psychology Amy Rooney - Speech and Language

Queen’s University Belfast


Matthew Arrell - Civil Engineering Stuart Barnes - Business Economics Shanna Blain - Nursing Victoria Blythe - Midwifery Stephen Bryans - Law Jack Carson - Biochemistry Lyndsay Campbell - Drama Christopher Clarke - Pharmacy Ryan Clarke - Business Management Tom Coghlan - Medicine Rebecca Corey - Biological Sciences Emma Daly - Law Mark Donnelly - Architecture Sasha English - French and Spanish Jonathan Finlay - History Ashleigh Francey - Pharmacy Myles Gibson - Mechanical Engineering Simon Gibson - Marine Biology Lauren Hannigan - Law Connor Hutchinson - Land Use and Environment Rebecca Lyttle - English Deanna Martin - Biochemistry Rhianna Martin - English and Linguistics Stephen McConnell - Software /Electronic Systems Heather McCord - Biomedical Science Gillian McCullough - English Jordan McDonald - Computer Science Amy McDonnell - Biological Sciences Sean McKibben - Biological Sciences Rigby McLoughlin - Mechanical Engineering Christine McMahon - Dentistry Johanna McMorran - Nursing Rebekah McNair - Mathematics Nathan Montgomery - Physics Paul Morris - Civil Engineering Eve Nangle - Geography Rosie Phillips - Accounting Dean Philpott - Finance Gareth Pierce - Pharmacy Kate Reilly - Nursing Andrew Robinson - Spanish Matthew Robinson - Pharmacy David Rogers - Spanish Robyn Scott - Mathematics

Jenna Shiels - Human Biology Emma Silo - Mathematics Hannah Stewart - Medicine Margaret Stewart - English and History Harry Stitt - Mechanical Engineering Stephen Trainor - Physics Emma-Jayne Welsh - Theology

University of Southampton Gary Chivers - Mechanical Engineering

Stranmillis University College Nicola Henderson - Primary Education

University of Strathclyde Lauren Hannigan - Primary Education Laura Herron - Primary Education Genevieve Leonard - English and Human Resources Gemma Preston - Accounting and Business

University of Sunderland Maeve McLaughlin - Pharmacy

University of Sussex Fiona Henderson - Economics and International Development

University of Ulster Niall Coleman - Law Eoin Devlin - Business and Economics Keelan Durnein - Marketing Dylan Gray - Marine Science Oisin Gribbon - Computer Games Design Kerry Harrison Ankin - Creative Advertising Catherine Hughes - French and Spanish Sian Jamison - Social Psychology Karla Kelly - Economics and Marketing Adam Martin - Civil Engineering Laura McCrea - Law Karl McMinn - Psychology Adam Montgomery - Art and Design Jack Mooney - Culinary Arts Management Stuart Olding - Sports and Exercise Garth Redmond - Food Quality Thomas Robinson - International Travel Andrew Smyth - Textile and Fashion Conor Young - History

Warwick University Andrew West - Mathematics

University of Westminster Ruth Fullerton - Fashion Buying Management

The Owl 2011

Degrees and Diplomas OXFORD UNIVERSITY PhD Matthew McCullough

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BA Eve Cobain Adam Fusco Stephanie Magee Nicholas Henry Emer McGuckian David Blair Rachel McCullough Alan Russell Kriss Leslie BSc Leah McQueen Erin Johnston Matthew Rogers Jennifer Wilson Deborah Martin Lynsay Greer Rachel Snowden Benjamin Hanna Joshua Chism Adam Ewing Michael Moody Stacey Ward Janine Crawford Danielle Magee BSW Claire Mc Creight



BA Ashley Millar Rosalie Murphy BSc Arthur Banks Anne-Marie Banks Emma Burns Natasha Clarke Katie Hunter Lucy Johnston Ben Martin Kerry McGlone Daniel Moon Victoria Mullock Matthew Selfridge Adam Stewart Gemma Walsh Michael Warke

BA William Martin Courtney McIlwaine Rebekah Primose Isla-Jane Scott Michael Williamson

BEng Gareth McGrath Robin McGrath LLB Scott Thompson


BSc Michelle Cunningham MB,BS Katherine Anne Gordon BDS Lynsey Crothers Lucy Scoffield BEng David Thompson MMath Ryan Lavery

HERRIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY BSc Robert Irvine Simon Loughins BEng Megan Barzaq


Births, Marriages and Deaths

Births, Marriages and Deaths BIRTHS


CORCORAN, 27th August 2011 to Tara and Michael, a daughter, Orla

FOY-NORTON, 28th September 2011 to Linsey Norton and Brian Foy, a boy, Dillon James

HASLETT, 19th September 2011, to Michael and Claire, a daughter, Samantha Catharine

CUNNINGHAM/MCBETH, 20th September 2011 to Tracy and Ronan, a daughter, Grace CUPPLES, 2nd August 2011 to Jonathan and Victoria (nee Taylor), a daughter, Sarah Victoria DORMAN, 7th December 2010 to Phil and Clare, a son, Ben EVANS, 19th January 2011 to Rhys and Geeta Evans, a son, Oliver Jenson FOREMAN, 28th September 2011 to Paul and Naomi (nee Cupples), a son, David Stanley

HARTE, 7th June 2011 to Michael and Alyson, a son Tobias

LUNN, 14th June 2011 to Kevin and Leigh, a son, Carter Henderson MCKINNEY-STEWART, 27th September 2011 to Ciara McKinney and Graham Stewart, a daughter, Paige MARTIN, 6th September 2011 to Paul and Marie, a son, Travis MURPHY, 13th August 2011 to Stuart and Kerry, a daughter, Lily Ann MOORE, 9th July 2011 to Matthew and Danielle, a son, Noah Bear PRIOR, 11th October 2011 to Neil and Catherine, a son, Conor Thomas SEMPEY, 18th April 2011 to Claire and Nigel, a son, Gareth

The Owl 2011


FORREST-STANFIELD: 5th July 2011, Andrew Forrest and Nicole Stanfield

HAPPER-NASH: 29th July 2011, Kerri Anne Nash and Duncan Alastair Happer MOORE-SMITH: 29th December 2010, Caroline Moore and David Smith


CLARKE: 17th November 2011, George Clarke

DRENNAN: 16th July 2011, Marjorie (nee Brown)

DUNLOP: 27th September 2011, Vint Patrick Dunlop

FORBES: 27th August 2011, Joan/Jean Forbes

SHAW: 7th February 2011, John Stanley Shaw

SUTTON: 7th November 2011, Doreen Sutton (nee Tate)

LAVERTY: 11th June 2011, Eric Laverty OLIVER: 22nd May 2011, Audrey Adeline Oliver (nee Love) POLLOCK: April 2011, Ruth Pollock (sister of Ian and David Pollock)





The Owl 2011  

Belfast Royal Academy - The Owl Magazine - Christmas 2011

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