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Strath earn Sch ool 2011 1


from the principal


t is once again my pleasure to welcome you to the Strathearn School Magazine for 2011. This has been a truly remarkable year in the history of Strathearn and many highlights, recorded in these pages, have made it uniquely memorable. In the autumn we experienced two highlights! We welcomed a team from the Inspectorate, and we were delighted when they concluded that: ‘The school is meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the learners and has demonstrated its capacity for sustained self-improvement.’ Naturally, this affirmation of our school community, and confidence in its future was a source of great delight to us all.  We were also honoured to have Professor Boyd, an eminent environmental entrepreneur, as the Guest Speaker at our prize giving. Her inspirational speech reminded us of our global responsibilities, and strengthened our resolve to take advantage of local opportunities to make a difference to our planet. Unquestionably, however, the most significant event of the year took place on 23 March. After many years of deferred hopes, the first sod was cut for our new build by the Minister of Education, and a new era began for Strathearn! Our goal of providing our learners with enhanced facilities, revitalising our environment and reducing our carbon footprint for the benefit of present and future pupils, is finally in the process of being realised! In this year of transition, we have maintained our vision. Though we are preparing to move to a new building, we are resolved to retain our ethos, which embodies the belief that true self-improvement can only be sustained if there is a spirit of service to the wider community, and to the globe! Your unfailing generosity has meant that there will be a new nursery wing for the Strathearn Primary School in Uganda. We will, of course, keep you up to date on developments there, as a team once again makes its way to Uganda in July to help realise that dream. In the reports collected in these pages, we also celebrate the expanding horizons of our pupils, who have participated in exchange visits to Minnesota, undertaken a World Challenge in Croatia and visited Italy, Spain and Berlin to interact with other cultures and practise their language skills.

In this edition of the magazine, we also celebrate our strong roots in the local community. As you will see from this record of the work experiences, educational visits, field trips, art exhibitions, competition and sporting successes, musical highlights, drama productions, collaboration with neighbouring schools, artwork, creative writing and academic successes, the enthusiasm of Strathearn pupils to make the most of opportunities is undiminished! So, once again, I would like to warmly thank everyone who contributed to the magazine; the involvement of pupils from P1 to the Upper Sixth, of Governors and Staff, and of Parents and our Former Pupils strengthens our sense of shared purpose! I would also like to acknowledge the editorial, design and technical expertise which brought this wonderful magazine together.

Amy Dutton, 2S 3

contents From the Principal 1 Contents 2 Board of Governors 3 School Staff 4 Form One Photographs 5-9 The School Year 10 Sixth Form Office Bearers 11 Sixth Form Photograph 12 The Prize Distribution 13 The Principal’s Speech 13-17 The Guest of Honour’s Speech 17 New Builds 18 Clubs, Events & Societies 19-34 Drama 35 House Play Competition 36 House Reports 37-40 Sport 41-60 Literary Section 61-64 Penrhyn 65-82 Parents’ / Old Girls’ Association 83 Degrees & Awards 84

Rebekah McFeeters, AS Level

The School Magazine was edited by J Pauley and designed by K Carson. Special thanks to everyone who contributed in any way. 4

board of governors Chair of the Board Mr PA White MA (Cantab)

Vice Chairs Mr TWW Forde FCA Mr N McKeown BSc (Econ) FCA Mrs C Auchmuty BA Mr WCP Caldwell MSc RIBA Dr SSE Dermott BSc Dr M Ievers MEng PQHNI PGCE Mrs L Mallon LLB Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mr GR McGowan FRICS Mrs L Myers BEd PQHNI Mr IC Noad MA (Cantab) Dr K Ross BSc PGCE Mrs P Stewart Mrs E Wilson BA (Oxon) Mr M Whiteside MD FRCS

Claire Mercer,  AS Level 5

school staff CAREERS ADVISER Mrs A Hearst BA MSc

ADMINISTRATION STAFF Mrs K Carson Mrs L Foster BEng Mrs G Hanna Asc IM Mrs A Lynn Mrs R Moore Mrs C Norris BSc MSc Ms S Pinkerton Mrs C Quee Mrs A White Mrs L Wright


Sophie Catherwood, A Level PRINCIPAL


Mrs N Connery MA (Ed) BA PGCE Mrs H Graham BA PGCE


Mrs E Murphy BA PGCE Mrs C Rea BA PGCE Miss S Coates BA PGCE


Ms W Erskine MA PGCE Miss J Ferris BA PGCE Mr C Heaney BA PGCE Mrs D Ingram MA BA PGCE Dr J McBride MA BA PGCE Dr J Pauley MA PGCE Mrs IC Ferguson BA PGCE Miss J Gray MA PGCE


Mr M Stevenson BSc PGCE Mrs N Connery MA (Ed) BA PGCE Mrs H Graham BA PGCE Mrs L Staples BSc PGCE Mrs D Millar BA PGCE


Ms G Murphy BA PGCE Mr P Bradley BA MSc HNC PGCE MEd Miss JS Gibson MA BEd Ms M Meldrum BA PGCE



Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mrs V Hoare BA DipEd DASE Miss EJ Nelson MA PGCE PG DipEd Ms CE Simpson BA PGCE Mrs S Wyeth MA PGCE Miss S Wimpress BA PGCE Mrs J Thompson BA PGCE Mrs D Cooke Miss AJ Kellner Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez







Miss G Taylor BA PGCE DIS Mrs S Lamont BA PGCE DIS MEd Mrs M Harvey BEd



Mr SJ Hanna MA (Ed) BSc DASE PGCE Miss E Foster BSc PGCE Mrs J D Gray BSc PGCE Miss MA Grier BSc PGCE Miss AM Griffith BSc PGCE Mrs A McCracken MEd BSc PGCE Dr KA Ross BSc PGCE Ms L Wallace MPhys PGCE Mrs J Dalzell BSc PGCE



Mrs MA Miller BA PGCE Mrs R Aiken BSc PGCE Mrs J Anderson BSc PGCE Mrs FE Cochrane BSc PGCE Miss L McFarland MSci PGCE Mrs A O’Rourke MA PGCE Mrs P Foye BSc PGCE Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE Miss L Wallace MPhys PGCE

Mrs L Collins BA MA





Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD


Mrs L Myers BEd PQHNI Miss A Watterson BSc PGCE Mrs M Brown Dip HE Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE

Mrs E Annette Mrs A Cowie Mr A Faulkner BSc Miss J Harte BTh Miss K Harvey BSc Mr J Hoeritzauer MA BA Mr S Millar HND BSc Ms A Morrison BA PGCE Mrs P Patterson BA Miss L Prue BA Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS Ms D Tener

Mr A Atkinson BEd Ms A Morrison BA PGCE

Mrs B Mawhinney BEd Miss GM Boyd BA PGCE Miss J McCleery BEd (Cantab) Mrs A McKeown BEd Mrs V McKinney BEd Mrs E Mladek BA BSc PGCE Mrs SG Stevenson BA CertEd Mrs M Harvey BEd Mrs R Manning BSc PGCE Mrs C Nixon BA PGCE



Mrs J Atkinson BEd Mr C Campbell Mr J Algie Mr S Campbell Mr T McConnell


Mrs A Blaney BSc HCIMA Mrs S Campbell Mrs A Kennedy Mrs E Madden Mrs L McGookin Mrs C Sherlock Mrs E Walker

SUPERVISORY STAFF Mrs R Silcock Mrs H Elliott Mrs L Howe Mrs C Moore Mrs I Robertson Mrs L Roose Mrs R Shaw Mrs L Toye Mrs V White

ANCILLARY STAFF Ms E Henderson Mrs E Archer Ms T Archer Mrs A Beattie Mrs L Gillespie Mrs C Greer Miss S Hall Mrs A McLaughlin Mrs M McLaughlin Mrs C Mudd Miss C Pollock Miss L Pollock Mrs A Thompson Mrs A Wallace

form 1s

Back Row: Middle Row: Front Row: Absent:

Chloe Young,Tiffany McWhinney, Lauren McAdams, Lauren McDowell, Sarah Osborne, Grace Deeny,  Amy Lynch Miss McFarland, Corinna Clegg, Rachel Henry, Rachael Kelly, Hannah Craig, Clara Davidson, Rhia Prentice Rebecca Gallagher, Sarah Brown, Helen Navalli, Mai Wilson,  Ailie McKinty, Erryn Campbell Caitie Williams, Kate Farrelly

CAT Lounging in the sun, Bushy tail swaying, side to side, The breeze blows through her ginger fur. She purrs as I rub her warm head. Georgia Coulter, 1T

Claudia Paulin, 2A


form 1t

SWEET SHOP Lollipops, juicy drops, Sherbet lemon, fizzy heaven, Strawberry lace, gummy face, The sweet shop is my favourite place! Tamsin Wills, 4T

Ursula Moffitt, 3H

Back Row: Sara Cabecinha,Topaz Marshall, Emily Martin, Eden McAllister,  Amy Martin, Fionn Clarke,  Alex Gillan Middle Row: Ms Wallace, Katie Thompson, Sophie Allen, Hannah Carvill, Catherine Pooler, Namrata Gurung, Georgie Young, Carley Magee Front Row: Olivia Sythes, Georgia Coulter,  Amy McCrossan, Rebecca Morrow, Gemma Burnside,  Amanda Scott,  Anna Wilson Absent:

Shauna Kaleta


form 1r

Back Row: Molly Fairclough, Sarah Nicholson, Rachel Cowan, Molly Guy, Oriel Dawson, Chelsey McGarry, Olivia Patterson Middle Row: Miss Watterson, Kerry Hepworth, Maddy Miskimmin, Eve Johnston, Morgan Harper, Lola Bingham, Ellen Meredith Front Row: Cecilia Pierce, Chloe Armstrong, Orla Cumming, Gemma Wilson,  Jane Hunter, Emma Reihill Absent: Anna Dobbs, Bonnie Ramsay

CATS Sleek and slender the cats sneak around, Their paws making no sound on starlit ground. Eerily their shadows creep about in the moonlight. A mouse is then spotted with their brilliant eyesight. Silence... then a leap! As poor little mousey doesn’t even squeak! Fionn Clarke, 1T

Naoise Webster, 3H


form 1a

Back Row: Meabh Lowry, Claire Moore, Georgia Stewart,  Abigail Rivera, Priscilla Yuen, Faye Wallace, Rebecca Murphy, Eve Dougan Middle Row: Mrs Wyeth, Neve O’Neill, Lisa Allsopp, Imogen Spence, Megan McOuat, Emma Rowan, Keziah Beattie, Isabelle Speer Front Row: Holly Crymble,  Amy Truesdale, Lauren Kane, Lauren Bailie, Sophie Lewis,  Anna Meldrum,  Alice Hutchison

Susannah McGowan,  AS Level PHOTOGRAPHY Walking through a forest On a sunny, spring day Holding my very own time machine In my hand, I have the ability to freeze time and preserve it forever. A little girl is running through the trees I focus the lens and capture the image, Only a pretty picture to anyone else, but to that little girl, a memory. To me, time standing still. Lucy Dolan, 2H


form 1h SUMMER Lying on the spiky grass, eating finger sandwiches. The fluffy, white bread With the salty ham Goes down well with the refreshing bubbles of cola And the humble taste of Grandma’s apple pie Just tastes of summer Frankie Darling & Rosanna Good, 3A

Nina Graham, 2A Back Row: Mollie McBride, Chloe Scott, Megan Sittlington, Olivia McCartney, Clara Fetherston, Rachel Hinds Middle Row: Nadia Mowlood, Lucy Davidson, Kate Reid,  Antonia Gray,  Amy Darragh, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, Victoria White Front Row: Crystal Yuen, Suzanne McKinstry, Matilda Storey, Francesca Lynn, Rachael McNeill, Rachael Irvine Absent: Mrs Cochrane, Georgina Gomes, Emma Lowry, Sophie Pruzina


school year


y experience of school has been a whirlwind of emotions. Strathearn has given me memories that I will cherish long after I have left; I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to represent the school as Head Girl. Being the ambassador of a school of over 700 girls is pretty daunting, but I respect the staff and pupils for making every day a million times easier than I ever thought it would be. Everyone pulls together like one huge community and it has been a pleasure to help lead the way. This year has been a busy one. The end of the summer term not only brought with it exams and revision, but hours of rehearsals to perfect this year’s junior drama production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hats off to Miss Ferris and the Lower Sixth Drama Committee, for their humorous and talented take on one of Roald Dahl’s classic tales! As the end of the school year drew near, everybody’s fingers were crossed in anticipation of the weather holding up for Sports Day. Unfortunately, to the disappointment of the new House Captains, the heavens opened perfectly on time for the Day of Sport! The final event of the academic year was a celebration of the creativity of the Art Department. Family and friends of Strathearn’s artists came together and appreciated the gifted works of art on display, and everyone who contributed should be very proud of their amazing efforts. Special thanks must go to Mrs Murphy and the Art Department for their tireless work. This year’s summer holidays offered a unique opportunity for eighteen pupils to travel to Croatia as part of the World Challenge Scheme. Everyone who participated came back to school in September with amazing stories; they had a great time and learned a lot from the experience! September this year was even more manic than usual. Not only did teachers have the stress of settling down a school of more than 700 girls, they also had the task of preparing the school for an inspection. The prospect of people coming into school to judge our every move didn’t seem to faze many of the pupils. We thought that our school was pretty much flawless! Katie, Rebecca and I (along with a number of other pupils) were interviewed to get a pupil’s opinion of life at Strathearn. The three of us found ourselves struggling to find anything to complain about. It reminded me just how privileged we are to have had seven years of teaching in a school with teachers only interested in getting us the best education, and no less. Prize Day followed the inspection week. It proved that the Report given by the Inspectors was a true representation of our success. Hundreds of girls took to the stage to be rewarded for all their hard work. Having someone as successful as Deborah Boyd congratulating you on your GCSE and A level achievements was pretty mind-boggling, and her inspirational talk was a reminder to us all to set ourselves high goals and to recycle to make the world a better place. The Upper Sixth Prize Day reminded me that success doesn’t stop being rewarded after you leave school.  The Class of 2010 was invited back, and every former pupil walked up on stage to receive her A level certificate, yearbook and a final handshake from Mr Manning. In October it was time for the House plays. Once again, Strathearn pupils transformed into the playwrights, directors, actresses, producers and backstage co-ordinators of four incredibly witty plays. I can’t put into words how proud I was of my year for organizing such masterpieces. Special congratulations must go to Katie Spratt and Watts House for taking the main award for their performance of How to succeed in High School without really trying. Most sixth formers were also preoccupied with the formal in November. The common room was alive with anticipation as we prepared hairstyles, colours and styles of dresses and transport.


I had been dreading this part of the year, as the prospect of coordinating the event was daunting. However, after the first meeting with the girls on the Formal Committee, I knew that I had absolutely nothing to be anxious about and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their contribution to a night that will be remembered by everyone in our year for years to come. This year was my last opportunity in school to attend the Autumn Musical Evening. We were all entertained by performances from the Junior Orchestra and a number of soloists from the entire school. The evening was an intimate event, where everyone enjoyed a beautiful collection of musical performances. This year also brought about another chance for Strathearn and Campbell to collaborate through drama and music. Miss Ferris took the reins on the musical Beauty and the Beast. Children came in their hundreds from local primary schools and were transported to a world with singing teapots and dancing spoons. The musical was a complete success, and everyone who attended was incredibly impressed with the talent on stage. Everyone involved (on and off stage) should be proud of putting together such an amazing masterpiece. Christmas brought the opportunity for pupils and teachers to give a little back to the community. Many girls performed for guests from our neighbouring care homes, as they came to our school for a festive Christmas dinner and a visit from Santa Claus. One of my favourite events of the year is the Christmas Carol Service. There wasn’t an empty seat in Stormont Presbyterian Church as the choirs led us in worship. Thank you so much to Ms Kimber, Mr Gray and Mr Anderson who never fail to make this evening perfectly festive. Pupils, teachers and members of the Board of Governors led us through the Christmas story with traditional Bible readings and, as the congregation sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing, the choir noticed snow falling outside the church! The weather was perfect for the occasion, but it caused the first snow week in all the years of Strathearn’s history! Our thirteen day holiday lengthened to eighteen days, and it will go down as a Christmas miracle for future generations to be jealous of! When we returned to school in January, and had got through the dreaded mocks, it seemed like no time until Open Day. As always, hundreds of prospective P7s filled the corridors getting excited about starting ‘big school’. It doesn’t feel like seven years ago that I was in the same position, and now I’m standing at the other end of it all trying to decide where to go next! There is still so much to look forward to in these last few months. Our Spring Concert is at the end of March. I’m really looking forward to a final performance in the choir; it will be a perfect way to end the year. This summer will also be memorable as nineteen girls take a trip to Uganda to build a nursery school. I feel proud that our school is so focused on helping others, and I hope that everyone involved has an amazing summer doing something good for people less well-off than we are. My time at Strathearn has flown in, but when I look back I realise this school has helped me learn more about myself and what I want out of the rest of my life; I can’t imagine myself having spent these past years anywhere else. In this final year I’ve loved sharing the laughter and tears with Katie and Rebecca.  It has been a joint effort and things that we thought would be difficult were simple because we did it together. Thanks for all your support and, most importantly, your friendship. To all my teachers, thank you for everything you have taught me; I’ll carry it all with me for the rest of my life. Mrs Graham especially, thank you so much for all your support.  To all of my year, thank you for making my school experience what it was! I hope that the new Upper Sixth and Head Girls have as amazing a time as I did. Learn, laugh and enjoy every second of it! Katie Entwistle, Head Girl

sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Kate Hicks, Rachael Irwin, Susannah McGowan,  Amy Scott Middle Row: Tessa Chamberlain, Claire McGarrell, Rachel Scott, Katie Dickson, Kerrie Craig, Brenna McEwen,  Jordan Hawthorne Front Row: Katie Cummings, Helen Beattie, Katie Stringer, Katie Entwistle, Rebecca Lattimer, Katie Spratt, Naomi Wilkinson

Sarah Carson,  AS Level 13

sixth form

Back Row: Laura Smith, Emma Jordan, Carly Ferguson, Cathy McCutcheon,  Ailsa Martin, Rebecca Wilson, Eva McMillan, Eloise Irvine, Rachel McCluskie, Chloe Stacey, Faye Davies, Beth Isaac, Sarah Millar, Laura Wilson

Row 4: Clare Andrews,  Aislinn Spence,Tori Marson, Shauni Robinson, Rebecca Beattie,  Aimée Spence,  Abbie Kewley, Laura Hutchison, Hannah Houston, T-J Bradley, Holly Magill, Claire Mercer, Emma Wilson, Kristina Johnston, Kathryn Boyd,  Alex Heath

Row 3: Maeve Haslett, Emma Pach, Helen Smyth, Jennifer Doak, Hannah McCarter, Megan Sharpe, Megan Brown, Celia Good, Chloe Blain, Gemma Nolan, Melissa Saunders, Becky McFeeters, Alison Macneill, Sarah Murphy, Laura Grant, Sarah Martin, Hannah McNeill

Row 2: Sarah Greene, Barbara Jemphrey, Shelby DeBoer, Sarah Stewardson, Stephanie Jemphrey, Rachael Stitt, Sarah Carson, Shannon Kidd, Heather Hayes, Kerry McCord, Rachael Wilson, Emily Mills, Charlotte Cranston,  Tara White, Cathie Schofield, Kate Richardson,  Jennifer Guard, Kerry Naismith, Megan Gilbert

Front Row: Kate Hicks,Tessa Chamberlain, Susannah McGowan, Claire McGarrell, Brenna McEwen, Rachel Scott, Helen Beattie, Katie Spratt, Rebecca Lattimer, Katie Entwistle, Katie Stringer, Katie Cummings, Naomi Wilkinson, Katie Dickson, Kerrie Craig, Rachael Irwin,  Jordan Hawthorne,  Amy Scott

Absent: Hannah Dunn, Stephanie Erskine, Rebekah Hampton, Rebecca Koch, Selina Leyland, Shannon Muirhead, Carolyn O’Neill,  Megan Robinson,  Aimée Thompson


prize distribution/principal’s speech


he Head Girl, Katie Entwistle, warmly welcomed everyone to the prize giving and invited the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr White, to address the audience. After initial words of welcome to all and, in particular, to our Guest of Honour, Dr Deborah Boyd, Mr White explained that Mr Manning’s report would highlight the results achieved in public examinations and provide details of the girls’ successes and experiences across the broad spectrum of activities undertaken in Strathearn.  However, on behalf of the Board of Governors, he did wish to take the opportunity to congratulate the girls on all that they had achieved in the past year. Mr White then thanked all the proud mums and dads for their support of the School and, in particular, he thanked the Parents’ Association for the continued support of the School and their significant contribution to School funds. He then referred to the standard inspection which had been carried out approximately one week ago by the Schools’ Inspectorate. Having very recently received a preliminary report from the Chief Inspector, Mr White was pleased to note the very high level of satisfaction expressed by those parents who had been surveyed by the Inspectorate. Although the full report would appear on the Department’s website in due course, Mr White was delighted to quote from the conclusion to the Inspectors’ provisional summary of the main findings as follows: “In the areas inspected, the quality of education provided by the school is very good. The school is meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the learners.” Mr White praised the professional and dedicated staff at Strathearn and wished to place on record the Board’s deep appreciation for the sterling work carried out by the teaching staff. He observed that in the light of the excellent feedback from the Inspectors, all the stresses of the previous week’s inspection must have been worthwhile – at least in hindsight! He wanted them to know that all their additional hard work did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. He also thanked the Finance Manager and all the many non-teaching members of staff who contribute so much to the smooth running of Strathearn; he stated that their contribution was equally valued and appreciated. Turning to post primary admissions, Mr White observed that we remained in an unregulated system. Last year, Strathearn had based its admissions on girls’ performance in the AQE Common Entrance

Assessment. Contrary to the fears of many, the whole admissions procedure had operated smoothly. He stated that Strathearn remained an academic School and admission to Strathearn was based on academic performance; consequently, the same admissions procedure would operate again for the current year. Turning to the proposed new School build, the Chairman likened the past year to a game of snakes and ladders. Around the commencement of 2010 the School had landed on a pretty big snake! Due to the worsening economic situation and as a result of the cuts in capital funding, all major School building projects were going to be shelved. Mr White paid tribute to the positive attitude of all staff who, after an initial short period of disappointment and – very noticeably – a strong feeling of sympathy and support for Mr Manning, in particular, who had put so much time and effort in to the plans and the project generally, the team spirit took over and everyone rolled up their sleeves and just got on with their work. However, moving forward to August – we landed on an even bigger ladder! The minister announced that she had been able to secure additional funding for some capital schemes and the Strathearn new build was one of two Grammar School projects that would now take place. The School was sufficiently caught unawares over this announcement that we could not even notify Mr Manning since he had returned from his foreign holiday the night before and – unheard of for him – he had turned off his phone. Mr White said that this was great news and that we were proceeding confidently towards an on-site start date of 31 January 2011 – just three months away. He wished to place on record the School’s appreciation of the Minister’s efforts to secure funding, not only for this project, but for all the other ones for which she has given the green light. He also expressed the Board’s thanks and appreciation to Mr Manning and the professional team for their recent extremely concentrated efforts to have the project ready to start at the end of January. In closing, Mr White also took the opportunity to thank his fellow Board Members for their time, their devotion to the School and for their sage advice. There had been ten full Board Meetings during the last academic year and many more Committee Meetings on top. In the coming year he could not see the workload diminishing. Finally, Mr White stated that it was his belief that Strathearn was healthy and in good spirits and there was a lot to look forward to. He then called upon Mr Manning to present his report.


Judith Leonard, A Level

hairman, Professor Boyd, ladies and gentlemen, girls. It gives me great pleasure to present my fourteenth report as Principal of Strathearn School. August 2010 will be a month marked in my mind for many years to come.  On the morning of Thursday 5 August, I received a phone call from the Education Minister with the wonderful news that the Strathearn New Build was to commence in this financial year.  All our discussions with and support from the Department of Education, and all the great work of our architects – Samuel Stevenson & Sons - was finally to bear fruit.  In some ways the project having been put on hold since February only made the news more delightful and especially in the current economic climate. It was news that was greeted with great acclaim by staff, parents and friends, and I was delighted to receive the best wishes of so many people. Then at lunchtime on Friday 27 August I received that letter which inevitably comes to all schools – the news of an impending inspection. What a term this was going to be! But then on Monday 30 August our pupils returned in their new uniforms and I have to say how pleased we were with how well the girls looked. And now at the start of October we are ready to go to Tender stage with a planned start date for our New Build of 31 January 2011. The new uniform is now just ‘the uniform’, although I believe School Uniform has jumped to the top of the agenda in a number of other local schools. And the inspection is over with the written report due for circulation at the end of November. How quickly we move on, but I am delighted that the Inspectorate has been able to endorse the experiences, care, learning and teaching which the pupils and staff enjoy in Strathearn. After listing the significant


principal’s speech strengths of the school they sum up their findings in just one paragraph: ‘In the areas inspected, the quality of education provided by the school is very good. The school is meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the learners and has demonstrated its capacity for sustained self-improvement.’ This evening I will take this opportunity to bring to a wider audience something of that quality education, the high levels of attainment gained by our pupils and the commitment and expertise of the Governors and staff. The success and achievements of all our fifth formers in their GCSE examinations are some of the very best we have had in recent years. I am delighted that on this evening we are joined by the parents of our Lower Sixth pupils so that we can together celebrate their wonderful success. For the first time ever, all 111 pupils achieved passes in seven subjects (including English & Maths) and since that is one of the benchmarks used by the Inspectorate, I have to congratulate you girls on your success, and your timing – it could not have been better. Over half of the year group achieved grades A or A* in at least 5 of their subjects. 84% of the grades awarded were at grade B or better, and I am delighted to report that 59% of the grades awarded were either A or A*. Using this last figure, and from those results which were published in the Press, we again seem to be placed among the top two or three schools in Northern Ireland. Ten students achieved eight GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Sasha Wilson, Katy Webb, Kezia Montgomery, Judith McLean, Sophie McCleery, Helen Marshall, Jenna Kelly, Kathryn Hickey, Emma Entwistle and Alexandra Clarke. Twenty-five girls achieved straight As in at least 9 subjects, that is nearly one quarter of the year group. First, those twelve girls who achieved 9 As with up to 5 at the top A* grade. Hannah Wishart, Megan McArthur, Sophie Dalm, Beth Moreland, Megan Bannister, Isabel Brown, Susanna Galbraith, Shelley Cooper, Zoe Ketley, Amy McNally, Victoria Mitchell and Hana Nelson. Rebecca Blundell, Tessa Eames and Holly Ross are all to be commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Jennifer Livie and Rebecca Wylie for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s and to Katie Allen, Rebecca Evans, Victoria Livie, Anna McClatchey and Caroline Winder who all achieved a splendid 1 A and 8 A*s. In addition to all this wonderful achievement, this year the award for our top results is given to three girls who achieved A*s in all their subjects and they are: Sana Ashraf, Helen Harvey and Rebecca Jordan. I am also delighted to announce that three girls were placed in the top three places in Northern Ireland in the CCEA examinations. Elinka Moore was first in French and Rebecca Evans and Rebecca Rebecca Jordan, Sana Ashraf and Helen Harvey


Blundell gained second and third place respectively in Geography. Particular praise goes to all these six girls and to their teachers for such exceptional achievement! As I have said – the results of all our GCSE pupils have been excellent and they all deserve praise for having completed their GCSE examinations in such style. Later, the girls will come forward and receive their GCSE certificates and as teachers, parents and friends we will gladly take that opportunity to honour them. At AS level 94 out of 99 pupils achieved at least one grade A or B, and 80% achieved at least three grades A to C. Prizes are awarded to pupils in last year’s Lower Sixth who have achieved 3 or 4 grade As in their AS examinations. Tonight we reward 30 out of 99 of the year group who have achieved this top level of performance with 12 pupils gaining grade As in four subjects. This is a super level of performance, and bodes well for A levels next year. At A level we saw the introduction of the new A* grade, awarded where pupils achieve over 90% in their final year modules of their A levels. In Strathearn 14.5% of the grades awarded were A* and that is significantly higher than the NI average of 10.7%. 46% of the grades were grade A or A* and 74% of the grades were either A*, A or B, that is nearly 3 out of 4 grades achieved were either an A or a B which is a great level of success. This year 25 out of the 93, that is over one quarter of the year group, achieved 3 straight As or better.  Seven girls: Sarah Curry, Caroline Dyer, Erin Gourley, Sarah McCarthy, Katherine McCracken, Matilda McGrath and Cassandra Speers achieved four straight grade As - an outstanding level of achievement. Sarah Curry achieved a place at Corpus Christi College, Oxford to read Law and Judith Skillen achieved a place at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge to read Law. Sarah McCarthy is our first pupil to achieve an A* in each of her four subjects and she completed this in style achieving third in NI in Further Mathematics, second in Geography and joint third in Physics. (Incidentally her fourth subject was A Level Mathematics which she completed in one year with a score of 593 out of 600).  I am sure Queen’s University, Belfast is absolutely delighted to have Sarah join them to read Mathematics. Our congratulations go to each of these girls, and again to their teachers on this superb level of performance. In your Prize Night booklet you will see a full list of all the prizes awarded to the Class of 2010 at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which our students are embarking. During August, the National Press highlighted how difficult it was to obtain places this year at top Universities and on high demand courses. I am pleased to report that our pupils with their great grades, strong interview skills and a full CV are able to secure those places. I am also indebted to the staff in our Careers Department for the time and effort they put in to providing information and advice tailored to the individual, assisting the girls to make informed choices. I take this opportunity to remind all the sixth form pupils and their parents, that good academic results are necessary to obtaining places on courses of choice, but they are not sufficient. A CV demonstrating a real depth of interest or skill in areas beyond the classroom can often be the deciding factor and that needs to be in place before the UCAS applications in September. So we really have had another great year, and it is with a sense of pride and delight that we celebrate the dedication and achievements of all our students. In Strathearn there is a climate for success be it in the classroom, on the sports field, the stage or the concert platform. The support and encouragement of parents and, in particular, the attitude of our pupils are major contributors to the success of Strathearn. This was well expressed by the inspectors who commented on ‘the highly motivated,

principal’s speech

Becki Morgan, 3A articulate and enthusiastic pupils who achieve very good standards in public examinations’. But the number one factor for this success has to be the work and commitment of the staff team and especially our teachers. It can be the only reason why our students achieve so much more compared to those in similar schools.  Great credit is due to our teachers whose expertise and skills have allowed your daughters to succeed in such a spectacular manner. I pay tribute to them and thank them for their part in the successful outcomes which we celebrate this evening. My thanks too, to the great team of support staff who carry an increasing burden and work hard behind the scenes to provide materials and assistance to the teachers, and keep the fabric and administration of the school running smoothly. During the last year we have said farewell to a number of members of staff. Stella Northover had a very long and happy association with Penrhyn for at least 30 years. She taught Speech and Drama and assisted with the production of the Junior Christmas production and was producer and director of the Senior Prep production over many years. Audiences became accustomed to the incredibly high standard of singing, acting and choreography, but that standard had been cultivated and made the ‘norm’ in Penrhyn by the expertise and diligence of Mrs Northover. Countless pupils, both in the Prep and Secondary Departments, have benefited from her Speech lessons and have often achieved among the top scores in examinations in the whole of the UK. We wish Stella well on her retirement. John Smith was our longest serving groundsman, having worked in Strathearn for 31 years. He was most personable and always greeted folk in a warm and winning way. Having begun his apprenticeship with Mr McCaw, he learned well the skills necessary for the upkeep of our grounds and all the associated machinery. We wish John well for the next stage of his life. David Hamilton was with us in the Art Department for just three years but in that time quickly became associated with a wide range of media and in particular the use of ICT. A very talented artist in his own right, we wish him well in his career. Dean Douglas was also with us in the Modern Languages Department for three years. His enthusiasm for everything French endeared him to pupils and colleagues alike. He also contributed

much to the whole life of the school and we wish him well on his move to Canada. Deborah Drury taught English for eight years in Strathearn. A very gifted teacher, her creative abilities were used to very good effect first and foremost in the classroom. During her time with us this extended into the teaching of Media Studies, two Junior Drama Productions and her work with the pupils on creative writing for the Pushkin Trust Awards. Deborah’s talents have been recognised in her appointment to Head of English at Down High, and we wish her well in her new responsibilities. George McCambley came to us 13 years ago, having retired as Senior Teacher and Head of Science from Orangefield Girls’ School. He brought his many years of experience as a teacher and youth club leader to the role of Study Supervisor, which he carried out with great understanding. He had a good rapport with the sixth form girls and helped them through their studies and Higher Education application process. He was a great supporter of whole school events and his calm and considerate manner endeared him to all. We wish him well on this his second retirement. Norma McNeill started in Penrhyn as a part-time teacher of P4 – twenty-six years ago. Within a year she became full-time and then became Deputy Head of Department in 1990 and Head of Department four years later, remaining in post for 16 years. It is no exaggeration to say that Norma has made Penrhyn her life over the past years. The DNA and atmosphere of Penrhyn has been Norma, and her influence is seen just everywhere.  Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the pupils is characteristic of that personal care she aimed at, and succeeded in providing for each of the girls. The standard of care, the emphasis on academic achievement, the importance music, drama and sport, the value of a well rounded education for young girls who will take an active and confident part in any public occasion – all these were modelled by Norma and reinforced by Norma. Norma inducted me into all things Penrhyn and I have really valued her advice and partnership as we worked for the continued success of the Department. I leave the last tribute to one of the pupils - “Mrs McNeill is pretty, kind and she blows my mind.” We do wish Norma well in her busy retirement. In September, we welcomed a number of new colleagues: Mr Hoeritzauer as Technology Technician, Miss Stevenson as Study Supervisor, Mrs Thompson as part-time teacher of French and German, and Mrs O’Rourke and Mr Heaney to the Mathematics and English Departments respectively. We also welcomed our new Head of Penrhyn, Mrs Mawhinney, who comes to us with significant experience from a variety of schools. Already we appreciate the contribution of each of these staff to the work of the school. I also pay tribute to the considerable amount of work carried out by our Governors who freely give very significant amounts of their time and professional services to the running of the School. Their level of interest and labour for all that is best is always most encouraging and invaluable to the success of the school. I also commend the management and staff of Bloomfield Collegiate and Campbell College who, through our Collaborative arrangements in the sixth form, have provided courses for some of our pupils. And this year we have welcomed into some of our classes, five boys from Campbell and one girl from Bloomfield. In addition I wish to record my gratitude to Dr David Neill and Mr John Stevenson, the outgoing Principals of Bloomfield and Sullivan Upper, for all their advice and assistance over the past twelve years. This was particularly valuable over the agreed approach with Campbell College, that we were able to take over the new Transfer arrangements which we put in place last year. I wish them both a long and happy retirement and send our best wishes to their successors. We continue to be indebted to our Parents’ Association, who organise a range of activities for pupils and parents though the discos remain the number one attraction. Last year they raised a total of £10,500 for the Secondary and Preparatory Departments, which in the current economic climate is really tremendous. We used our proportion of the money to complete our investment in technology in the Music and Technology Departments. Please, on behalf of the School, do continue to support the work of the Parents’ Association and join us in a fortnight’s time at the AGM and


principal’s speech performance of the winning House play. In the summary of the main findings from the standard inspection, the team commented that a strength of the school is ‘the extensive range of sporting, social, cultural and extra-curricular activities which add significantly to the pupils’ overall education experience’. Members of the team were very pleased to note the enthusiasm with which pupils spoke of the commitment of teachers to this important side of school life. I thank all the staff who are involved in the diverse range of experiences made available outside the classroom. Tonight I plan to give you a flavour of just some of the activities available to our pupils. This last year the Music Department has had access to Miskelly Hall for lunchtime and after-school rehearsals. Those of us who work in that area of the school now gain pleasure from those practices as the music resonates around the building along with the frequent bursts of laughter. The Autumn Musical Evening continues to be very popular. The growing numbers of members in the Junior Orchestra and parents and friends who attend, forced us to rearrange the set up in the Gym – a good sign. The informality of the evening sets a lovely backdrop to the performances of the Junior Orchestra and the solo performances – thoroughly enjoyed by all. Our School Carol Service is always an inspiring evening, as we are led in worship by the Penrhyn, Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs, and each year I am delighted with the support we receive from parents, friends, past pupils and staff at this special event. The piece, Breath of Heaven sung by the Senior Choir, was for me one of the many highlights of the evening. The Spring Concert is the biggest event in the music calendar, and it continues to attract a capacity audience. It was a wonderful evening demonstrating talent and skill across a wide range of musical styles and proved to be most enjoyable and filled us with much admiration. Last year we also had our first drum solo at the concert and that really was something special. During the year the Chamber Choir had a visit from the Ulster Youth Choir’s Artistic Director for some extra coaching. It was at the end of a week of sessions in schools for the Director and, after a range of variable experiences, he was just in raptures about the talent in Strathearn – so much so that after the session he stayed on - to audition and sign up a number of girls for the Ulster Youth Training Choir – a worthwhile experience for all. Then the Choir were off on tour to London where they had been invited to lead the worship in Southwark Cathedral. My thanks to all who so successfully played a part in music this last year in Strathearn. Drama, in its myriad forms, continues to be very popular and at this time of year House plays absorb a significant amount of time and effort from many of our pupils from all year groups. Last year, our very experienced adjudicator was most profuse in his praise of the very high standard of acting and directing he witnessed – well beyond what might be expected from pupils still at school. We look forward to this year’s plays in just a few weeks’ time. Last year the musical theatre talents of twelve Strathearn girls combined with those of the boys of Campbell College to stage Oliver – a first certainly in my time at Strathearn. For five evenings audiences were entertained to wonderful performances of the highest standard. It all finished with great acclaim on an emotional high – and a few broken hearts among the Campbell boys. Our own Senior Production of Pygmalion followed in December with just a short turn around from the House plays and Oliver. A very strong cast handled the accents and acting with equal aplomb and there were some truly stunning performances, which gained recognition from outside the school. Audiences were entranced with the depth of character and subtle humour portrayed in the production and we look forward to this year’s production in December – Beauty and the Beast. During the year the fourth and fifth form drama classes also showcased some of their work, including two evenings at RBAI – another worthwhile collaborative event. In June, the Lower Sixth Drama Committee staged our Junior Drama Production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Primary six pupils from Strandtown and Penrhyn made up the 300 strong audience, and they were delighted with the humorous adaptation of


Roald Dahl’s novel. The superb evening performance was a credit to everyone who took part, and absolutely delighted the proud parents and friends of the cast and crew. It was a great year for drama, and my thanks go to all who so successfully worked hard to stage these fine productions and brought the talents of Strathearn pupils to the wider community. The PE Inspector was genuinely amazed at the very wide range of extra-curricular sport available in Strathearn and the tremendous take-up which there was from the girls. This was a great tribute to our staff and, to give you a little insight into that area, I have asked Katie Dickson, our Games Captain, to join me on the platform and share with us some of the highlights of last year. Katie told the audience that she is now in the Upper Sixth studying Biology, Physics and Geography. As Games Captain, she is keenly interested in sport and she plays hockey, tennis and netball; her favourite sport is hockey. Katie said that she had been a member of the 1st XI for three years, and really enjoyed being part of the team. Katie also told the audience about her success in athletics. Katie spoke of her pride in being selected for the Ireland U17 Team and explained that she really enjoyed the challenge of the triple jump, as it was quite a technical event. Katie also told the audience about her role as Games Captain; she spoke of the assistance she and the Deputy Games Captains offer the PE Department. She spoke of the wide range of sport available in Strathearn and she commented on a few highlights of the last year. Katie spoke with enthusiasm of the Marbella Hockey Tour in October of the previous year, and of the excitement of the Schools’ Cup run, which saw the 1st XI reach the semi-final for the second year in a row. Though the team lost in the final to the Royal School,  Armagh, it was definitely a season to remember! Katie also spoke of the success of the Intermediate A Tennis Team, which won the Ulster Schools’ title without a single player losing a match. Dance, which was introduced in the last school year, had proved hugely popular, and Katie spoke of her delight when the team finished fourth in the Northern Ireland Championships. Katie then told the audience of our pride in the success of Sycerika McMahon, who was in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games representing Northern Ireland. Sycerika had already competed in a number of races and had finished ninth in the 50m breaststroke, setting a new Irish record in the process. Finally, Katie spoke of the enjoyment she personally gained through sport and of the many friends she had made. Mr Manning warmly thanked Katie for her contribution, and continued:

Katie Dickson, AS Level

guest of honour’s speech A new extra-curricular activity which appeared on our programme last year was the Politics Society. I have invited Caitlin Butler and Erin Jeanes to share with us about this group and the work of the School Council on which they have both served. Caitlin told the audience that she was in the Lower Sixth studying English Literature, History, Biology and Religious Studies. Erin, who is also in the Lower Sixth, told the audience she was studying Geography, History, Politics and Religious Studies. Erin then explained that the Politics Society was a student-run club, which was open to anyone interested in politics in the senior school. She spoke of the growth of the club which now had from twenty-five to thirty girls at its meetings. Caitlin then told the audience of the visits of Peter Robinson, Naomi Long and Martin McGuinness and of the interest these high profile visitors had generated. Caitlin and Erin then spoke of their roles as Chair and Vice Chair of the School’s Council, which has now been running for three years. Caitlin explained the structure and role of the Council; she said that representatives to it are elected from each form and spoke of the Council’s role in giving the pupils a say in the running of the school. Erin then spoke of the practical improvements the Council had brought about, and of its role in developing the school’s anti-bullying policy. Erin said she had learnt a lot from her experiences on the Council; she had learnt how to work in a team and how to compromise. She had also developed skills in arguing in a mature way, which meant people took her seriously on issues she believed in. Finally, both girls spoke of their political ambitions, and Caitlin said she was interested in going in to politics so that she would have the opportunity to change things for the better. Mr Manning warmly thanked both girls for their contribution, and continued: Just two weeks to the day before I received the good news of our new build, I was walking up a steep hill to a Leprosy Hospital outside Kathmandu in Nepal. As the road briefly flattened out before the final climb, I stopped at a sign within sight of the hospital. I shared this sign with the teaching staff during our August days as it expresses an attitude of service which is worthy of emulation. ‘People affected by leprosy are the most important visitors on our premises. They are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them. Service to them is the purpose of our work.They are not outsiders to our work, they are part of it. We are not doing them a favour by serving them. They are giving us an opportunity to do so.’ Those words took my breath away in a way the hill had not. Our pupils are neither visitors, nor affected by leprosy but the symbiotic relationships between staff and pupils in this school are at the heart of our success.  Our stated aims, whether in a wonderful new build, in our current classrooms or in the middle of a building site – must remain the same:


rofessor Deborah Boyd said it was an absolute honour to be present at the Prize Distribution and she very warmly congratulated the prize winners on their success. In an inspiring speech, Professor Boyd began by reminding her audience of the big problems which faced the world; she spoke of the recession, the credit crunch, the expanding global population and the challenge of climate change. She stated that whilst there is a lot that isn’t good, nevertheless, the girls should remember that big problems need big solutions! She assured them that each individual present could make a big difference to the world. She reminded the girls of the sobering truth that all we have will come to nothing, unless we do one thing – fix the world! However, she assured them that she believed their generation would be the ‘planet fixers’ – the generation that cared enough to put the planet right! She stated her confidence in them to create and implement the transforming solutions that this planet so desperately needs. Professor Boyd, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Re3 and is herself a leading environmental entrepreneur, spoke compellingly of her own experiences in the field of environmental technology and waste management. She urged the girls to think outside the

Susannah McGowan, AS Level Strathearn aims to be a secure, stimulating and purposeful learning community where each member is valued and encouraged to develop confidence, self-esteem and a commitment to learning. Tonight we celebrate all the many and varied successes of this last academic year but with all the change that is upon us, I hope we can hold true to those values. Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I commend to you all that has been achieved by the staff and pupils of Strathearn School. Following the distribution of prizes and awards, Mr White gave a résumé of Professor Deborah Boyd’s distinguished career. He spoke very warmly of her immense contribution to environmental innovation and invited her to address the audience.

box, and spoke of the exciting developments which are enabling us to see ‘waste’ as a resource which has a transforming potential. Professor Boyd gave examples of these from her own cutting-edge experience, and spoke of the impact of pioneering individuals, who persevered despite initial criticism and produced new solutions which revolutionise lives. Recognising that it is hard to be a prophet in your own backyard, she nevertheless assured the girls that all change begins with the individual, and stated her belief that an aspiring environmental entrepreneur would find Northern Ireland as good a place as any to initiate transforming solutions! Concluding her inspirational address, Professor Boyd told the girls that she had confidence in each and every one of them. She urged them never to forget where they came from and the community which had forged them, to always value others and to live a purpose driven life in which they should never be afraid to question everything.  She told them to feel free to be exceptional and to feel free to change the world, for our generation is relying on them! After a presentation to Professor Boyd by the Deputy Head Girls, the Chamber Choir brought the evening to a conclusion with a great performance of El Condor Pasa and Lullaby of Birdland.


new builds


Uganda Report

ver the last four years Strathearn has been working alongside the Bangor based charity, Abaana, to build a school in Uganda. In July 2009, two teams, each of twenty girls plus five staff, went to Uganda to help build the new school at the Katalemwa site just outside the capital, Kampala. During their time there, the girls in both teams were involved in the construction of the school, now called Strathearn Primary, and worked with the children there. This July, nineteen girls and staff will be returning to Strathearn Primary to add a nursery section to the school. The school currently caters for more than 300 children, and is filling up fast! By adding a nursery section to the school we hope to provide education from the earliest age to encourage parents to see the value of education as soon as possible.  We hope that by adding the nursery section, children will engage with education before the lure of working for a few pence a day takes hold. Over the last year, we have raised over £15,000 to add the nursery section to Strathearn Primary. This money has been raised through a number of different ventures, including a collection at our annual School Carol Service and individual form efforts. In March, the Uganda Dinner Dance was held in the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel and, with over 200 guests in attendance, the dinner raised over £6,000.  Our thanks go to all who attended this evening and made it such a success, and to the Clandeboye Lodge staff, who made our night so enjoyable. In May, eight teams of girls, staff and governors took part in the Belfast Marathon to raise money for the project.  We may not have broken any records, but the run and subsequent barbecue on the front lawn of school, proved to be an enjoyable day! We are still collecting money for the project and any donations are gratefully received! Over the next few months, the nineteen girls and staff who are going to Uganda are beginning to get prepared. Injections are almost up-todate, malaria tablets have been bought and so we are all well on our way! The first week will be spent building the nursery. We will work alongside a team of local builders to mix mortar, carry bricks, build walls and nail roofing beams together. The second week will allow us to run a kids’ club for the children at Strathearn Primary and to visit the one of the Abaana street children’s homes that we built at a cost of £8,000 in 2007. I am sure that our time in Uganda will prove to be another challenging and rewarding venture.


Our Own New Build!

fter many years of expectation, and many delays and disappointments, we were delighted to be one of the two major school developments released in this financial year. The £13.5 million project envisaged is great news for the current and future pupils of Strathearn, and it is also, of course, a significant investment for the NI economy. It was thirteen years ago that the Department of Education first recognised the shortfall of accommodation in our school, so on 23 March 2011, when the Minister of Education, Caitríona Ruane, cut the first sod for our new build, it was a truly historic moment! Work is now moving ahead with great efficiency. To keep us up-todate with all the developments, special newsletters from McLaughlin & Harvey are being issued at regular intervals. The first update has already been distributed. We anticipate that the first phase of thirtytwo classrooms will be ready for occupation in September 2012.  The completion date of the entire project is set for September 2014, when the whole scheme finally comes into being with the enhanced facilities we have looked forward to for so long.


clubs, events & societies


Library Report he school year began typically enough in the library with the usual activities on a day-to-day basis. Sixth form study, class visits, study sessions and reading have formed the standard fare, making the library a very busy and industrious place.

The Junior and Senior Reading Clubs continue to meet on alternate weeks, and this year our reading has included the classics, detective novels, favourite reads and new books.  Many interesting discussions have arisen and the girls have enthusiastically debated such questions as:  ‘What makes a book a classic?’ and:  ‘Should JK Rowling continue with Harry Potter themed books or stop when they are still popular?’ In some cases the girls just had to agree to disagree! The Scholastic Book Fair took place in November and was, as usual, a huge success with sales exceeding those of last year. The commission gained enabled many new books to be added to the library stock. The first form girls enjoyed taking part in a literature competition during Book Fair week, and five girls were awarded books as prizes. Also in November the first form girls thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Alec Williams, a freelance storyteller from Bradford, who held poetry and reading workshops, as well as performance sessions throughout the day.  He performed a selection of short stories, urban myths, excerpts from books and performance poetry in his own inimitable style, giving the girls an opportunity to re-tell or act out some of the short stories, which produced some very interesting and inventive results.  He also posed a number of riddles and puzzles which encouraged the girls’ listening skills. Alec’s visit was greatly enjoyed by all, and was a refreshing change from our normal routine. At the end of January the junior library assistants organised a ‘library effort’ for charity to support a work called The Garden of Hope, a centre in Kenya which aims to meet the needs of vulnerable children in the village of Gichagi, a short distance from the capital city, Nairobi. The girls held a sweet sale over the course of two days, and a staff coffee morning was held in the library. The money raised provided much needed food for the children in Gichagi. This year, however, has been a unique one for the library as it the last one in its present location, and the latter part of the Spring term has been taken up with many preparations for the library’s temporary move during the new school build. So we say farewell to the old library and all the memories it holds, and look forward with anticipation to our fabulous new facilities in the new school.


Mathematics Challenges

his year the Leeds University UKMT Maths Challenges took place on 4 November and 10 February for Senior and Intermediate pupils respectively. Once again Strathearn pupils won an array of certificates in these mentally demanding tests.  Both papers consist of twenty-five questions of increasing difficulty.  Both papers are also multiple choice, but this does not necessarily make the tests any easier as you will see.  Below there is a question from the Senior Challenge which is taken by A level students: An examination paper is made by taking 5 large sheets of paper, folding the pile in half and stapling it.  The pages are then numbered in order from 1 to 20. What is the sum of the 3 pages that are on the same sheet of paper as page number 5? A 13 B 21 C 33 D 37 E 41 The Intermediate Bronze Certificate winners are: Rachel Stanfield, Katie Tener, Eva Wallace, Hannah King,  Anna Wilson,  Jenna Kerr, Nicola McCann, Grace Johnson, Heather Martin, Iseult Dawson, Emma Irwin, Bethanie Chambers and Morgan Shaw. The Intermediate Silver Certificate winners are: Robyn Larmour, Miranda Crawford, Catherine Buchanan, Jasmine McCrory and Lauren Keenan. The Best in School Certificate was awarded to Robyn Larmour. The Senior Bronze Certificate winners are: Tessa Eames, Rebecca Wilson, Hannah McNeill and Claire McGarrell. The Senior Silver Certificate winners are: Jenna Kelly, Emma Entwistle, Sana Ashraf, Caroline Winder, Rebecca Evans, Rebecca Wylie, Rebecca Jordan, Helen Harvey and Hanah Millar and the Best in School Certificate winner is Rebecca Wylie. Thanks from all the teachers in the Maths Department to all the participants, and special congratulations to our award winners.


Synagogue Trip

n 10 February, all second formers went to the Belfast Synagogue. The building is off the Antrim Road and if you took an aerial photo of it, you could see that it is shaped like the Star of David, a symbol of the Jewish faith. Dr Litvack, who is the Cantor at the synagogue, showed us around and explained about the Jewish faith and culture.  We met the Rabbi and got to have a look at the Bibles and, since you read from right to left in Hebrew, you had to turn the book round and upside down to read it! Dr Litvack then sang the Prayer in Hebrew that starts a service in the Synagogue, which was very interesting. The trip was a great experience and we all learnt a lot about the Jewish faith. Aimée Irwin, 2R


RAIN Outside the window rain streams down, A steady stream of pale blue, The puddles are full of children splashing Like frogs in a pond, Soon the lightning strikes, Everyone’s inside, Looking out on a grey world Ailie McKinty, 1S

clubs, events & societies Senior Debating Society Report


his year, the Senior Debating Society has had some thought-provoking and entertaining debates, ranging from the topical: “This House believes that the government is right to raise the cap in student fees” to the even more controversial:  “This House believes sexism does not exist”.  Each debate was argued with conviction and a sense of humour by the very articulate speakers with the help of - or sometimes in spite of - additions from the floor. Motions for debate tended to be difficult to defend. However, unwilling to pass up a challenge, each week speakers showcased their talent when they stepped up to the plate, delivering fine speeches - even sometimes on an ad hoc basis - and utilising the contributions from the floor to their full advantage. It is to each speaker’s credit that every debate lasted to the long, long end! Thank you to the Chair, for endeavouring to keep the peace - you can only try! The Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed to, and supported, the society this year. You have been wonderful! Finally, we would like to thank Dr McBride for his unwavering support for the Debating Society, and for all his much needed help with debating etiquette! “Any questions?” Zarah Eadie, L6H, Darcy Rollins, 5S, and Sana Ashraf, L6A


Politics Society Report

trathearn’s Politics Society has had a really successful year. Even having our meeting on the same day as ‘chip day’ in the canteen has not deterred people from attending, with up to thirty girls meeting on Fridays at lunchtime. The club is open to everyone in the senior school, and students have really enjoyed meeting girls from other year groups. This year we looked at a variety of Northern Irish and British political parties and there have been some lively, heated and extremely enjoyable debates. We were lucky enough to have a visit from Dawn Purvis at the beginning of March. Dawn spoke about her experiences as a woman in politics and her hopes for the future. It was interesting to hear about the workings of the Stormont Assembly and life as an independent candidate. Alex Houston, a member of the Youth Parliament, came in to speak about how to get involved in politics whilst being at school and the opportunities that can lead from it. Overall, it has been a really fun year for the Politics Society with lots learnt about politics in the UK. Hopefully next year we will continue with our success and will look at politics a little further afield.

Microsoft London Safer Internet Day


n February, Bethany Fairley, Olivia Storey, Sophie Rodgers and I travelled with Mrs Atkinson and Mrs Graham to take part in a Safer Internet Day Conference at Microsoft Headquarters in London. Strathearn was the only school from Northern Ireland chosen to take part, and we had the opportunity to meet up with thirty-six other 14-17 year olds from all over the UK. The purpose of the event was to come up with a resource and a marketing campaign to help teenagers cope with the threats that are present online.  To determine the winner, all our entrepreneurial ideas were to be presented to a panel of judges in a Dragons’ Den format. Our alarm clocks went off at 4.30 in the morning, so we were able to meet at Belfast City Airport by 5.30. Luckily, we were allowed into the BMI Business Lounge, where we had croissants and coffee to wake us up! We arrived safely in the centre of London at 10 o’clock, and had time to do some shopping before making our way to Microsoft HQ in Cardinal Place.  The building itself was state of the art; it was made of glass and was only a short walk away from Westminster, the London Eye and the Thames. We were split into teams of five – an unexpected twist! However, we quickly got to know our new teammates, and immediately set to work. We had the honour of hearing presentations from Microsoft Marketing Executives from both the USA and the UK, which we all found very interesting and inspirational. That evening all the participants stayed in the same hotel where we had our dinner together and, after some sightseeing around central London, we had an early night after the long day. The next day we met at Microsoft, where we had two hours and ten minutes to create, design and prepare our marketing campaign!  Although it was stressful to make PowerPoints, storyboards, agree roles, write pitches and rehearse, it was a lot of fun, and we had a great time doing it. Each team was given a facilitator to help them with their campaigns, critique their ideas and to give them presentation tips.  They all came from large companies like BT, Vodafone, Microsoft and Facebook. While this was all going on, some of us had the privilege of taking part in a Sky News interview with three other participants. It was a great experience and most definitely gave us all an insight into how the media works. The main event of the day was the pitch to the Dragons, who included Professor Tanya Byron, a government adviser, as well as the Head of Microsoft Safety US. After all the ideas had been presented to over seventy people, the Dragons chose the winning team. Team seven was from Bassaleg, Fettes, Worksop and… Strathearn! It consisted of Eleanor Pomeroy, Clayton Jones, Lewis Phillips, Rachel Stanfield and Rob Winfield. Each winner received a Flip Ultra video camera! The whole event was an extremely worthwhile experience, which we all gained a lot from. We now understand a lot more about internet threats and we met executive business members and created and delivered marketing presentations. Rachel Stanfield, 5H

Caitlin Butler, L6H

WATER Required for all life Magic, glistening, clear and free Can take any shape. Rebecca Maxwell, L6A


clubs, events & societies


Art Report

ur 2010 invitation to the annual Art Exhibition Chrissie Dugan,  A Level had the strapline Fresh daily, reflecting the theme generated by the lovely painted milk carton portrayed by A level artist, Chrissie Dugan. That has been our goal in the Art Department throughout the year - to seek every opportunity for fresh inspiration for Strathearn’s budding artists. The lunchtime Art Club proved to be a varied source of enrichment for many girls. This year, we broadened our remit to include more artist visits and demonstrations, with talks by Rachel Dickson of the University of Ulster, and graphic designer, Richard Finlay. Former Strathearn student, Laura Morrow, delighted us by bringing in examples of her Textile Art. The Art staff contributed too, with Mrs Rea sharing her experiences of studying History of Art and Mrs Murphy discussing her degree embroidery work.  One of the best developments was having our own artists lead sessions, with Lower Sixth girls sharing their creative-industry work experiences and Upper Sixth taking us through their portfolios for Art college applications.  An afternoon Art Club visit to a great exhibition of local Art in Belmont Tower was also stimulating. Textile Art was a growth area in the Department this year. A new textile unit was introduced at GCSE and it has been wonderful to see exciting new techniques embraced by our pupils. After school and lunchtime workshops supported our students in learning about machine embroidery and image transfer onto fabric. The annual trip to Dublin remains a highlight for sixth form artists. This year, the art we experienced covered a huge range of contrasting genres, really bringing home to us the full breadth of creative pathways for the determined artist.  Our tour guide for the fascinating Metsu Exhibition in the National Gallery was a former Strathearn pupil, and the Douglas Hyde Gallery proved a complete contrast with some hot-off-the-press contemporary artworks. Tracy Hanna’s video projection of a tiny hill walker climbing up an actual miniature mountain of white chalk was truly engaging and memorable. Thanks also to the Premises Staff who facilitated our closer-to-home visits in the minibus.  All the exam classes saw the wonderful CCEA True Colours Exhibition, and A level students loved the range of work in the Ulster Museum’s RUA show.  Form Five had their own tailored workshop in school with the colourful artist, Pen Jones, stimulating the girls’ approach to painting in new directions. Her passion for drawing and sketching was simply infectious. The Department saw change in other ways too, as we said ‘good-bye’ to Mr Hamilton and Mrs Boal; we wish them well in their new posts. We are delighted that Mrs Rea and Miss Coates are now bringing their expertise and talent to the school and bringing their own fresh touches to the Department!

Santander 2010


n 17 October, fourth and fifth year Spanish GCSE pupils caught an early plane to Santander, on the north coast of Spain. We were all looking forward to testing our Spanish skills and exploring the culture of Spain. We were full of excitement and on the first day we had lunch at a fabulous restaurant in the picturesque village of Santillana del Mar, where we enjoyed some delicious tapas! Once we checked in at our luxurious hotel we began some late night shopping in the centre of Santander. We had an early start again the next morning as we made our way on foot to the language school. It was a pleasant walk and gave the whole group a chance to wake up before the work began. Our Spanish teacher was called Javier and he made learning Spanish very enjoyable.  Once lessons were finished we walked back to the hotel to enjoy our lunch, which in Spain is one of the main meals of the day. We took a trip to the market which gave us a taste of Spanish culture. The weather was beautiful, which was a bonus when we went to the beach and played games. Not only did we enjoy some excellent shopping, but we also got involved in a number of other activities, such as Salsa and Hip-Hop lessons; we also had a trip to the aquarium and to some interesting prehistoric caves. Overall, the trip was a fabulous and very educational experience. We found the lessons very useful, and each one of us thought it improved our Spanish skills.  By the end of the trip no one wanted the leave the beautiful city of Santander! Phillipa Harty, 4S


clubs, events & societies


Italia 2011

fter months of waiting, hours of meetings and careful packing, 13 April finally arrived! We met in the lay-by at 01.45 (yes, am!) to get on the bus taking us to Dublin airport to catch the plane to Venice Treviso Airport. That’s when the excitement really kicked in! We went to Gardaland where we went on the rides, had pizza for lunch and the first of many ice creams. Forty girls and six teachers took over one water ride so that there were ‘no seats left’ for anyone else! We stayed at the Hotel Madison for the two nights we were in Venice. The next day we toured Venice, seeing St Mark’s Square, the Basilica and the famous Rialto Bridge.  It was fascinating to walk along the canals and move through the crowded streets. Our next stop was Assisi, via Bologna. Even though Bologna is the food capital of Italy, our group still went to McDonald’s and had another ice cream... ignoring the local pizzerias! The next day in Assisi, a Franciscan friar took us round the Basilica of St Francis, which was very interesting, especially as we have been learning all about St Francis of Assisi in our RS classes. It was great to walk through the streets of the town, which had not really changed in the 800 years since St Francis grew up there. The lovely little hill-top Tuscan towns of San Gimignano and Siena were our destinations on Palm Sunday. We visited the world famous gelataria in San Gimignano and then on to Siena for... more ice cream! The main square in Siena is shaped like a shell and the opening scene from the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was shot there.  Some of the group climbed the bell tower for a great view over Siena and the surrounding countryside. We got up extra early the next day to visit Florence where we saw Michelangelo’s David, and had a walking tour of the city. We then went to Pisa airport, feeling sad to leave Italy, but excited to be going home! Overall, I thought the trip was excellent and I would love to go back to Italy again. Rachael Harbinson, 3R


World Challenge 2010... Croatia or decades now, sociologists have pondered and puzzled over one particular question: What would happen if you took eighteen Strathearn pupils, gave them a few tents and dropped them into the mountains of Croatia with a couple of teachers? Well, last summer, the experiment began – welcome to World Challenge 2010!

Our party from Strathearn headed off to Croatia after the exams finished in late June. Half of the team were then in Lower Sixth and the other half in Form Five. The first shock came on the flight when the expedition leader handed 6000 Euros to two team members who were appointed as the team accountants. These girls were responsible for budgeting all team meals and activities over the subsequent eight days. Needless to say, the first meal was a bit of a disaster. Three bags of pasta and two jars of sauce didn’t quite stretch far enough and many team members and teachers went to bed hungry that night. Our budgeting and cooking got much better as the week progressed.  Before long, we were filling our bellies with many culinary delights that could be cooked on a trangia, and, without doubt, the highlight was Batchelor’s Bean Feast – a curious meat alternative! The first main activity of our trip was sea kayaking, a 6km round trip across a sheltered bay on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It was an experience that tested our endurance and upper body strength, but one that we all conquered! We spent three days in the mountains of Western Croatia, trekking in temperatures of 30 degrees to a mountain hut where we spent two nights. We continued our trek to a 1400 metre summit, dodging snakes along the way! We were proud of our achievement – reaching a height which is the equivalent of Ben Nevis in Scotland. The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the river canoeing, a 14km paddle downstream, riding the river rapids, stopping to swim beneath an amazing waterfall and cliff jumping from 10 metres. So, overall, what would sociologists have concluded from our trip? Well, with eighteen girls abandoned in Croatia, you get, above all, an experience that everyone will treasure forever. For most of us, this was not our ideal girly trip. There were no comfy hotel rooms, a lack of hot showers, no shopping trips, and no one to cook for us. But we bonded together and we loved it! We would encourage all of you, if you get the chance at some point in your life, to step out of your comfort zone and take on a challenge that you wouldn’t normally do! Team Croatia


clubs, events & societies


History Trips

ur annual visits to the Somme Heritage Centre were very informative for the latest cohorts of third formers travelling the short trip to Newtownards. The talks given by our guides, Matthew and Noel, started with the weapons display and moved through the recruitment station to the simulated trenches. The girls were reminded, very poignantly, of the sacrifice made by a bygone age and hopefully the trip continues to enrich their studies of the 1914-18 War. Form One pupils followed up their research work on the Normans and John de Courcy with the annual trip to Carrickfergus Castle. This timely trip reminds them of the perils of castle life and gives pupils a real sense of the strategic position of this medieval stronghold. It is also a fun way to finish our ‘chronological journey’ of the Normans from Scandinavia via France and England through to County Antrim. June brings the Form Four girls’ walk up to Parliament Buildings with the buzz of recent elections still in the air. The daily functions of the Stormont Assembly have significance for this age group as the next generation of young voters. Forty-three of our GCSE students are currently looking forward to a real end of year treat with the combined History and German trip to Berlin in late June, which will feature in next year’s magazine. The first trip in 2010 was a tremendous success and an account of it follows in the report below.


Berlin 2010 he History Department and the Modern Languages Department joined forces for an inspirational trip to Berlin in June 2010.

Led by Mrs Hoare, Mrs Wyeth, Ms Murphy and Mr Bradley, thirty students spent five days sampling the rich social, cultural, and historical tapestry of Berlin. Each day was packed with activities and we travelled the length and breadth of the city and its surroundings. The weather was a real treat with glorious sunshine every day and temperatures in the twenties well into the evening. The history of Berlin is pivotal to the History curriculum at both GCSE and A level. The students were treated to a first hand tantalising journey through the history pages of a city that was at the very epicentre of the turbulent years of twentieth century Europe. The Modern Languages students took every opportunity to show off their linguistic skills and put into practice the classroom based work of the past year. Our first day was spent at the world famous Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s most popular shopping street and promenade. We spent some time in The Story of Berlin, a multimedia interactive exhibition that traced the 800 year history of Berlin in an atmospheric and imaginative way.  A highlight of the trip was a guided tour through an original nuclear bomb shelter situated directly under the streets in the heart of Berlin. The most moving and emotional visit was to Sachsenhausen, a Nazi and later Soviet concentration camp for political prisoners. This was an experience that was unforgettable and touched each one of us deeply. Other highlights of the trip included lunch in Television Tower, a revolving restaurant 203 metres above the Alexanderplatz shopping area (made famous by ‘Jason Bourne’ in The Bourne Supremacy);  visits to the Reichstag (Germany’s parliament); the Brandenburg Gate; the Holocaust Memorial and Museum; the Olympic Stadium; Potsdam (the ancestral home of Prussian Kings) and Schloss Cecilienhof (where Churchill, Truman and Stalin met after the war to discuss the future of Europe and Germany). The students experienced the shopping and cultural atmosphere of Berlin, enjoying a wide range of restaurants and cafes. There were also lots of good shopping opportunities and you can be sure that the girls took full advantage of them, especially at KaDeWe, Kurfürstendamm, Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz. For the sporting among us, being in the middle of the Football World Cup and with the German team going strong, the atmosphere in Berlin was electric with huge crowds and giant TV screens in every square. Our hotel was modern, recently built and was slapbang in the middle of Berlin. The accommodation and location could not have been better. The sights, the sounds, the people and the history made this a memorable trip full of variety, excitement and fun. Good luck to the current Form Four who have a similar trip in June 2011. If they have half the fun we had in 2010, they will have an unforgettable experience!


clubs, events & societies


Careers Report

he careers programme for 2010/2011 got underway in September with the usual range of University Open Days. Many Upper Sixth girls attended events at the Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee Campuses of the University of Ulster, while the entire year group went to the Open Day at Queen’s and the Options XVII Careers Convention at Methodist College. These events are very useful in helping the girls finalise their university choices.  Almost all UCAS forms were completed before Christmas, and many girls secured offers by the New Year depending on the courses and universities to which they applied.

Lower Sixth students continued attending Open Days at various organisations throughout the first term. These ranged from Almac, a Pharmaceutical Company based in Craigavon; a Pharmacy Open Day at The Royal Victoria Hospital and Speech and Language days. We had hoped to have a number of former pupils coming into school to share their experiences of college life with the girls, but unfortunately school closure due to bad weather prevented this from happening.  Applications for universities in the Republic of Ireland got underway in December, and a number of students applied to Trinity and UCD.

We welcomed several speakers throughout the first term. Project Trust, an organisation for gap year students, came into school; two former students have been on placements in China and Malaysia with this company.  A lecturer from Stranmillis College spoke to girls in fifth and sixth forms about careers in teaching, and we had a very useful talk from Queen’s on nursing and midwifery. Dr Caroline Gannon, a Paediatric Pathologist from the Royal, gave a fascinating insight into the world of pathology.  Other speakers included an art lecturer from the University of Ulster, Mrs Barbara Jemphrey, a local solicitor, and Dr Julie Stevenson, a GP working in a practice in Ballymena. Several girls in Form Four and Five attended an event at the University of Ulster promoting careers in STEM subjects.

As always, the main focus for the Careers Department in the second term was our work experience programme. All Lower Sixth girls had a week of work experience from 24-28 January.  Students went out to 140 placements this year, with a number of girls having the opportunity to go out to two or more employers. Placements were as varied as ever, including law, medicine, schools, publishers and accountancy to name but a few. Two of our students went on a photo shoot to the Titanic Quarter, where a documentary was being made, so who knows where we might see them!  Another student got an insight into air traffic control at George Best City Airport while one of our girls had the opportunity to travel to Bahrain to experience life in a hospital. We are very grateful to all the people who gave of their time and welcomed our girls into their place of work; it really does help the students make a more informed decision about choices for next year.

Form Five girls, having completed their Getting Connected questionnaire, moved on to personalised interviews with careers advisers - Margaret McGuigan and Jill Smyth - from the Department of Employment and Learning. Four careers advisers subsequently came into school for follow-up sessions with classes during tutorial times. Form Three had a Careers Planning Day in October to enable them to start thinking about subject choices for the next year. Later in the first term, applicants to Oxford and Cambridge had practice interviews with outside professionals, while many other girls who applied to any courses requiring an interview as part of the selection process, have had mock interviews with our Careers Adviser in school.  All Upper Sixth girls had the opportunity for interview practice on our Mock Interview Evening on 22 November.  As always, a wide variety of professionals were involved and we are indebted to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to help with this successful evening. The girls all benefited from their guidance and expertise, and feedback from the evening was excellent.

Katie Dickson, AS Level

The second term was also a busy period for Form Five. Outside speakers came from the world of journalism, engineering, Stranmillis College, business, finance, art and design, events management, and psychology. We appreciate the time given by these professionals to give our girls a flavour of these careers. Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst also gave a presentation to all of Form Five on subject choices for AS level. Meanwhile, Form Three continued with their careers programme, with a very useful presentation by Queen’s on the importance of choosing GCSE subjects carefully, given their implications for higher education. Classes were introduced to the Careers Suite during tutorial time, and Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst gave a presentation to all of Form Three on subject choices for GCSE. Open Days for the spring period included Clinical Psychology, GETSET for Engineering, Business and Finance at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, a Dentistry Open Day and a Speech and Language Day at Belfast City Hospital. In addition, Methodist College have been running their annual conferences for Law, Engineering and Medicine, events which are highly informative. The University of Ulster at Jordanstown has introduced workshops for those interested in becoming Health Professionals and we secured places on a number of these. Queen’s ran an Open Day for Biomedical Sciences over the Easter break. All girls in Lower Sixth attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention in the King’s Hall and number of universities have visited Strathearn in the second term. These have included the Scottish University Tour which includes Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, HeriotWatt, Strathclyde and Stirling Universities, Edge Hill, Liverpool gave a very informative talk, as did Queen’s, the University of Ulster and the University of East Anglia. Finally, all members of the Careers Department would like to take this opportunity to send our very best wishes to all of our girls taking important exams this summer.


clubs, events & societies


My Work Experience


My Work Experience

decided that to get the most out of my week of work experience, I should or my work experience, I spent two days at an do two placements. I had always wanted to work with a politician, so I architect’s office and three at an advertising agency. chose Stephen Farry of the Alliance Party, and for my last two days I chose The first two days were spent at Samuel Stevenson & to go to Hydebank Wood Young Offenders’ Centre and Women’s Prison. Sons - the architects who are in charge of our new school My first two days were spent in Stormont Parliament Buildings.  I was build. They mostly work on large-scale projects, but also nervous on my first day, as I found it to be a daunting place with so many on smaller projects, so I got to see a wide variety of things.

important people rushing by all the time. On my first morning I was I was shown the computer programmes used for creating introduced to David Ford, leader of the Alliance Party and our current drawings and was given a project to work on for the next Policing and Justice Minister.  He was very welcoming and then I, along with two days, using the programme Sketchup to create a 3D six other students on work experience, attended the Party meeting.  It drawing of a house from 2D plans. I worked on this whenever lasted over two hours and everyone from the Party was at it, including I was in the office. I was also taken out on three site visits, Naomi Long. We experienced a Party meeting firsthand, and we saw that complete with high visibility jacket, hard hat and boots! even when you belong to the same Party,  not everyone will agree on On the first day, I visited Queen’s Medical Centre where they the same policies. were remodelling the fifth floor, and Belfast Royal Academy On my second day, I was privileged to attend the Justice meeting where they were installing a lift for disabled access. On these site where David Ford, Stephen Farry and their advisers were planning the visits, the architects explained different aspects of the buildings Justice manifesto for the next year; I was even allowed to contribute and things they had to take into consideration when designing my opinions towards it. The following day was spent in the Bangor the building. On my second day I worked on at my project, looked constituency office of Stephen Farry, where I worked on a press through the many plans for Strathearn’s new build, and went to release on the EMA allowance and did their media watch. Overall, Downpatrick to see St Patrick’s new school build. Going on the Stormont helped cement the idea of a possible politics or business site visits was invaluable as I learnt a lot, especially about the skills degree, as it was definitely an environment I want to work in. needed to become an architect. The most thrilling part of my week, however, was spent in Hydebank For the next three days, I was at Navigator Blue, an advertising Wood. When I turned up on my first day, there was a lot of security, agency in Belfast. During my time there I worked in the studio but the staff made me very welcome. My first job was to go to working on a brief to redesign a campaign for the Outlet in Willow House, which is where the very young inmates live. Before Banbridge, using an idea that would work over several marketing lunch I visited Elm, which is for the older boys, and after lunch I platforms - such as billboards, posters and newspaper press ads. It was taken to Ash, the women’s prison. The women I spoke to required me to use Photoshop, which I had very little knowledge of, were very pleasant; I did meet some prisoners who had had high but although it was challenging, everyone was willing to help, and it profile cases, but I didn’t find this out until I went home. was rewarding once I felt myself beginning to grasp it better. Hydebank was definitely an ‘eye-opener’ for me because when Both of my work experience placements were extremely beneficial I heard the stories of some of the boys’ situations, it was easier and I really enjoyed myself at each of them. Although I found the to see why they had ended up in there. I came away feeling very advertising and graphic design quite challenging, I enjoyed it much more, grateful for what I have, and for my freedom. I would definitely as it allowed you to be creative and use art to your advantage. recommend work experience at Hydebank, as you step out of My work experience allowed me to realise what I really want to do, and your comfort zone, but one thing that Hydebank did convince enabled me to come to a decision about my future. I want to go to Art me of was that I no longer want to do a criminology degree. College and hopefully follow a career in design and advertising. Erin Jeanes, L6T Tessa Eames, L6S

Geography Report


lobalisation increasingly makes our world feel smaller! Fifty years ago, news of an earthquake may have made it on to the TV news a few days after the event. In 2011, we witnessed two devastating earthquakes, both of which were beamed across the 24 hour news networks and internet within minutes. The graphic image of a tsunami rolling through villages and towns in northern Japan may haunt us forever. Within weeks, Toyota and Honda plants in Europe had scaled down production due to a lack of components from Japan, demonstrating the complex interconnections that now exist in our global village. In Geography, these global issues and interconnections are a major part of our focus as we strive to understand our place in this changing, unpredictable and sometimes hostile world. In junior school we introduce young students to the topical themes that may influence their lives for years to come. Flood events, ecosystem destruction, climate change, fair trade and development issues dominate our thinking and our time. Understanding how to respond to a changing world will equip us all better for our future lives. Our sixth form students have investigated a number of issues in the local area as well this year, from our annual trip to Magilligan for a river study, to a day trip into Belfast city centre to survey the public on air pollution issues. In June, our fourth form investigate urban issues in Newtownards and first form students make their way down to the Strandtown shopping area for a local survey of shopping habits. In last year’s report, I posed the question: Who knows what big geographical issues will surface in the year ahead? We may not have expected some of the global events which came to dominate the news in the last twelve months. As we look ahead to next year, it is increasingly important to equip ourselves with the understanding, skills and courage to deal with whatever challenges we may come to face in our global village.


clubs, events & societies


Biology Field Trips

he sixth form biologists once again took part in field trips to Delamont Outdoor Centre, near Killyleagh. Some of the girls had visited this Centre before whilst at primary school, but this trip is a very different experience.  As usual, on arrival we were warmly welcomed by the staff and soon everyone was able to visit the equipment store and get kitted out with waterproofs and warm fleeces - essential gear for ecologists doing field work in February.

The purpose of the trip was to visit as many natural habitats as possible during the three days and to try and answer some key questions. What lives here? How much? Why? Detailed studies are carried out, for example, the study of sand dune formation and ecological succession at Murlough, near Newcastle. This is a good opportunity to see how the National Trust maintains this habitat and keeps it as a special area to be enjoyed by all. The focus is on the importance of maintaining local biodiversity. Following guidance on how to carry out random point sampling in each area, our study required the girls to crawl about the grass with magnifying glasses - the only way to see the tiny plants in the dune slacks. The girls soon worked out that the mat of tiny plants in this area is the result of rabbit grazing - they were sitting on their droppings! In another area, spiky marram grass and prickly gorse take over as the dominant species. Back at the Centre in the evening, the girls worked very hard to produce reports on their findings. This is when data is analysed, graphs are drawn and research completed to pull all the evidence into a cohesive report. Escape from the classroom only happens when it is all done and, although apparently exhausted, it is amazing how tea and biscuits revive everyone for a few more hours of fun and nonsense.  I would like to commend the girls for their effort and the very high standards they set for themselves.  For the staff, it is lovely to be outdoor biologists for the week; there is always something new to see and learn, and a lot of fun to be enjoyed.

Biology Workshop


n November 2010, three sixth form girls, Amy McNally, Louise Malcolm and Kathryn Mullan were selected to take part in a one-day workshop at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at QUB. The purpose was to experience something of the world of work as a science researcher, and so the girls were involved in lectures and discussion groups with staff who are currently involved in clinical or laboratory research related to cancer. They also worked in small groups to try out some of the techniques which are used, including use of the polymerase chain reaction – cloning sections of DNA. This provided a useful context to sections of the AS Biology course.  QUB is keen to attract students to the world of biosciences, where they can be part of this world-renowned research facility and the girls certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to take part.


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award o far in Duke of Edinburgh we have had a lot of fun and have learnt many new skills, such as map reading, cooking with a trangia and putting up tents.

In the first week we were put into groups and assigned a group leader. This is the group we will be doing both our expeditions with. We met every Monday after school for four weeks to learn what to bring, how to pack our backpacks and the safety precautions needed on our expeditions. We then moved our meetings to Thursday lunchtimes, where we began to plan our first expedition. We had to plan our route for both days and organise a menu, first aid kit and equipment list. We have to walk 13 kilometres on the first day and 11 kilometres on the second. We have to organise all of the equipment ourselves and buy the food we need for meals for both days. The trangia and tents are loaned to us by the school, so we don’t have to buy them as well as the other equipment needed. We set off on our first expedition in Castlewellan on 6 May and our second expedition is in Tollymore on 10 June.


clubs, events & societies


School Council nce again the Strathearn School Council has enjoyed an extremely successful year. This year we have made an exciting change and introduced two student positions of Chairman and Vice Chair. The positions were open to sixth formers and allocated by an application process. Both positions were filled by lower sixth pupils: Caitlin Butler and Erin Jeanes.

One of our big achievements this year has been successfully putting forward proposals to the Senior Management Team regarding the appointing of the Head Girl and her Deputies. This process was mainly the focus of the sixth form representatives.  Over a series of months, with input from sixth form pupils, Mrs Graham and Mrs Myers and the Sixth Form Council came up with a number of ideas. These ideas were then presented to the Senior Management Team for consideration. The proposal for introducing an application form for the number of students with the highest votes, following the vote by teachers and Lower Sixth pupils, was accepted. The Senior Management Team also agreed to email the Job Description of the Head Girl to every pupil in Lower Sixth prior to voting.  Overall, it was an extremely successful experience for us and the rest of the Sixth Form Council.  One of the most challenging and exciting parts of the whole process was being invited to present our ideas to the SMT. One issue that involved the whole Council over several meetings was the Pupil Behaviour Policy. Pupil surveys were handed out to class representatives who then discussed it with their class.  Extra meetings were held because of this, with one meeting every two weeks on a number of occasions. The representatives then came back two weeks later and presented their classes’ views on the questions. Overall, the pupils’ views were taken on board when deciding new ways to promote and reward positive behaviour within the school. Throughout the year smaller issues have been raised within the School Council, many of which have been resolved.  In November we had the pleasure of inviting Miss Taylor along to our Junior and Middle School Council meeting to discuss issues regarding sports clothing. We were most grateful for her input. Issues on healthy eating in the canteen were also raised, and it is hoped to pursue these further next year when the School Council aims to look into this in more detail with the help of the Health Promotion Team. Overall, the experience of being the Chair and Vice Chair of the Council has been very enjoyable and we are delighted with the progress made this year. We would like to thank all the class representatives for their dedication and hard work. Caitlin Butler, L6H and Erin Jeanes, L6T


Junior Scripture Union

he Junior Scripture Union has continued to meet at lunchtimes in R17 and many girls from the junior school have come along each week. The meetings have varied in style and have been most enjoyable.  Activities have included interesting and informative Bible Studies on Women in the Bible, games, craft, quizzes and of course the all-important Christmas and Easter parties. Popular events were teachers’ and Office Bearers’ Question Panels and talks by visiting speakers. The activities were all organised and led by a capable and dedicated team of girls from Upper Sixth. To them we offer our sincere thanks and good wishes for the future.


Senior Scripture Union

010/11 has been a busy year for the Senior Scripture Union team. We have faithfully met on Tuesday afternoons with refreshments and a focus on fellowship and Bible study. The students have taken a leading role this year, coordinating our programme and leading many of the afternoon activities.


Community Service

n 8 December, we again welcomed forty Senior Citizens to Strathearn for a delicious Christmas dinner followed by entertainment. Singers and musicians from the school contributed to the festive atmosphere, with Irish dancing also an important part of the programme.  Our visitors loved all the entertainment and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the community singing; one of our guests entertained us all with a solo. The party is always a highlight of the school calendar for both guests and girls. It is funded completely by the girls’ generous donations which again enabled us to provide gifts for each of the residents at Strathearn Court. Throughout the year, many girls in school participate in form and year efforts to raise money for the charities of their choice.  Our focus this year has been on two major areas. Firstly, we have been fundraising for Heartbeat with a particular local interest in helping to raise funds for a children’s heart scanner in Belfast. Secondly, we have been continuing to raise money for the Nursery Department in Strathearn Primary School in Uganda. Staff, pupils and Governors have formed teams to participate in this year’s Belfast Marathon and their sponsorship will boost the Nursery Department Fund.

The Scripture Union weekend took place just before the Easter break to our favourite destination – Whitepark Bay Youth Hostel. Over thirty students made the trip along with several staff. Our focus was ‘Sunday School Stories – Retold’,  studying some of the Old and New Testament stories that we have read over the years, but have not necessarily fully grasped. Noah, Daniel, David and Goliath, to name but a few, were studied over the course of the weekend. With favourable weather conditions, we also got to enjoy the north coast in all its glory, bathed in sunlight.  A trip into Portstewart and an ice cream on the promenade was a necessity for all. So, as some students move on to university and other adventures, we wave goodbye, and to those moving up from junior school we welcome you with genuine excitement about what your role can be in the Scripture Union.  After all, we are just a group of pupils and staff on a quest – to understand God a little bit more.

Rebekah McFeeters,  AS Level


clubs, events & societies


Minnesota 2010

or almost twenty pupils in sixth form, 22 October was the beginning of an unforgettable trip to the USA. Airport security and day-long flights, followed by cases of jet-lag might not have been the most enjoyable experiences, but once we arrived in Minnesota and met our exchange partners, the previous travelling was the last thing on our minds. Everyone went home for the weekend to spend time with their new ‘family’.  A few of us saw other friends from Strathearn over the course of the weekend, whilst others stayed and met the friends and family of their exchange partner. A lot of us were introduced to the corn mazes and apple orchards of Saint Paul during those few days. I met my exchange partner’s friends and went to see the Minneapolis Orchestra, which was phenomenal! On Monday we went to Cretin-Derham Hall, the American High School that all of our exchange partners went to.  My exchange partner was part of the school choir, and so rather than the usual ‘late’ start at 7.50 am, I arrived at the school by 6.30 am. Everything about their school life is different. There are lockers in the corridors, sophomores, seniors, homeroom,  American football grounds, cafeterias, a 22-and-a-half minute lunch, bleachers to sit on for assembly, and numerous car parks for the fifteen and sixteen year olds who can drive to school every day. On that first day, the tour guide took us around some of the richer areas of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, with houses you wouldn’t even dream of in Northern Ireland. We stopped off at an amazing little coffee shop, some sculpture parks and a waterfall called Minnehaha Falls, where everyone had an opportunity to put their photography skills to good use. Day two was a long-awaited 10 hours in America’s biggest shopping mall, which had hundreds of shops – as well as a theme park in the middle! We hadn’t nearly enough time to get everything we wanted. Afterwards, no one could resist the temptation to test all of the rides the theme park had to offer. After a tiring day, we all expected to go home and sleep for the next 12 hours, but the majority of us ended up at the school’s ‘pink out’, which was an American Football Game where the whole school wore pink - and they won! On the Wednesday we stayed in the school, which, unfortunately, had a half-day, but it was still interesting to get a glimpse of how they work. That night I watched some swimming practice for the team that my exchange partner was in, and an early night’s rest was needed for the next day and … more shopping! Albertville outlet on Thursday proved a good place to get some bargains on Calvin Klein, Levi, Ralph Lauren and others – with a Subway to top it all off. That night I paid another visit to the mall to go to the theme park again. Friday was our last full day, and we all met at Cretin-Derham Hall to go on to the science exhibition, as well as the IMAX cinema. The science exhibition was a bit like W5 – a day when we could act like children and make the most of the climbing frames and tunnels. We all spent the last night with our exchange partners. I had to pack that night; so after some goodbyes to people I had met during my time there, I went back to my temporary house for the week and surprisingly managed to fit everything into my case. The next day I spent with my exchange partner’s mum, who took me to get my own letterman jacket as well as a personal tour of the conservatory and other places. Departures were very sad but we all made our promises to come back and visit. The time in the airport, on 31 October, was spent reflecting on the trip, and spending the last few dollars we had – if any. This was a visit that I intend to make again, and I’m thankfully still in contact with my exchange partner, as well as some of the other people I met there. The return visit took place in March 2011. Before she came to Belfast, I contacted my exchange partner, and on her arrival I took her to meet some of my friends. On Saturday we went shopping in Belfast City Centre with some of the other American girls. She thoroughly enjoyed everything new in Northern Ireland, including the difference in church services, public transport and school life, which she experienced on Monday 14 March. On her last night, a group of us went to the cinema in the Odyssey to let the American exchange partners see the Odyssey Arena and the Titanic Quarter, to add to their visits to Stormont Buildings, Queen’s University and other venues.  It was nice to have someone back to return the hospitality I received during my stay last October and all the girls intend to keep in contact with both the partners they stayed with and the partners they hosted in Belfast. Jenna Kelly, L6H


clubs, events & societies Public Speaking Competition


team of three girls took part in the Queen’s Women Graduates Public Speaking Competition on 7 February. Erin Prentice (3A), Naoise Webster and Hannah McDowell (3H), prepared impromptu speeches on the evening of the competition. Dominique Forson was a loyal substitute and great supporter at the event. Although the team was not placed, the girls were congratulated on their poise and the content of their speeches. Hannah McDowell received a special mention for her amusing take on the nature of Family Holidays. Photo: Dominique Forson, Hannah McDowell, Erin Prentice and Naoise Webster.

Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition


n November, five girls from Fifth Form and Lower Sixth took part in the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition, at the Stricklands Conference Centre in Bangor. Megan McArthur, Caitlin Butler, Darcy Rollins and Sophie Rogers had the choice of a range of topics to speak on from Facebook to natural disasters. It was an extremely enjoyable evening with a high standard of speaking. Each participant had to prepare a speech lasting between four and six minutes which was presented to a panel of judges. Strathearn was up against other schools, including Sullivan and Glenlola. Whilst we did not take away any prizes this time, the judges’ feedback confirmed that the Strathearn girls performed well gaining a lot of experience for competitions in the future.


English Department Report

CSE English Literature pupils attended a very enjoyable production of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. Over seventy pupils travelled to the Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl, to see one of their GCSE set texts in performance.  AS Media Studies students attended a special screening of Skins at the Odeon Cinema, Victoria Square, as part of the Cinemagic Festival. The screening was followed by a highly interesting and entertaining question and answer session with an actor and a writer from the series.  Students were surprised to learn that Skins scripts are often re-drafted up to fifteen times! Also as part of the Cinemagic Festival, A2 Media Studies students went to the Odeon Cinema to see The Social Network; they participated in a post-film discussion of issues relating to social networking. Pupils in third year took part in BBC School Report.  This nationwide initiative requires participants to produce a range of news stories to a strict deadline.  Despite having only two hours in which to complete the task, Strathearn pupils reported in a most impressive way on a range of news stories. Their work is displayed on the school website. Congratulations should go to Rebecca Murphy and Isabelle Speer of 1A, as the stories that they submitted in January to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, 500 WORDS Competition were selected to go through to the next round of judging. This is a fantastic achievement as there were nearly 30,000 entrants in the competition. The girls made it through to the top 900!

Creative Writing Club


very Thursday after school the Creative Writing Club meets. We play writing-based games, share our short stories and poems, and discuss ways to improve them. We recently entered the Inkhead Publishing Company’s creative writing competition and are currently waiting for the results. All the stories entered get constructive feedback from published authors and the top prize is £150! At the moment we are creating stories for Bloomsbury Publishing Company which published Harry Potter!

Katie Stringer,  A Level 29

clubs, events & societies

Senior Choir Back Row: Sana Ashraf, Sarah Carson, Charlotte Cranston,Tessa Eames,  Ashleigh Watson, Claire McGarrell, Katie Spratt, Rebecca Lattimer, Tara White,  Alex Clarke Fourth Row: Arden Armstrong, Nicole Faulkner, Emma Entwistle, Holly Ross, Rebecca Jordan, Rebecca Blundell, Shamara Thompson, Katie Allen, Jenna Kelly, Zarah Eadie,  Jessica Logan, Olivia Storey, Lauren Keenan Third Row:  Julia McKee, Megan Brown, Sophie Craig, Helen Marshall, Kezia Montgomery, Rachael Thomson, Sarah Eccles, Cherith Montgomery, Emma Shaw, Eileen Allen, Katy Webb, Megan Sharpe,  Judith Murphy, Susanna Galbraith Second Row:  Amy O’Donnell, Emma Andrews, Kirsten Robson,  Alex Heath, Megan McLaughlin, Demi Wright, Erin Miley,  Jennifer Doak, Laura Grant,  Jordan Hawthorne,  Amy Scott, Maeve Haslett, Kate Hicks, Sophie Martin, Emma Murphy Front Row:  Katie Stringer, Beth Isaac, Rebecca Wilson, Miranda Crawford, Cathie Lowry,  Naomi Wilkinson, Katie Entwistle, Megan McArthur, Katie Smith, Rebecca Cowan, Hope Smith,  Jessica Gunning, Catherine Barr


Senior Choir Report

rriving at our first rehearsal in September in Miskelly Hall there was much excitement as to which songs the Senior Choir would be singing this year, and Ms Kimber certainly did not let us down! Three beautiful songs were chosen for the choir to perform at the Christmas Carol Service, and so we got to work, learning the sometimes rather difficult harmonies. Cantate Domino proved a small challenge as the first section is in Latin; however, as the liveliest of our Christmas songs, we tried to sing it with gusto, letting the music speak for itself. There is Faint Music and Christmas Lullaby created a genial atmosphere within Stormont Presbyterian Church, and the phrase ‘of countless stars that shine on snow,’ of the song There is Faint Music became very appropriate as snow began to fall outside the church, creating a perfect ending to the Service.

The dark sky above Making the world seem black, The colours muted. Beth Lynas, 3H

Accommodating the continued enthusiasm for Glee, the song Keep Holding On was chosen for the Spring Concert, giving Kezia Montgomery and Amy O’Donnell the chance to exhibit their vocal talents as they took on the two solo parts for the song. The Senior and Junior Choirs then combined their efforts for a joint performance of a medley of songs from the modern musical, Wicked.  This performance was particularly unique in that, for the first time, we were accompanied by a backing track which gave us the confidence to really sing out. The Spring Concert was an emotional event for many Upper Sixth, as it was our last chance to perform with the Senior Choir, and the lyrics: ‘it may well be that we may never meet again’, had a certain poignancy for many of us! Ms Kimber has made the last four years in the Senior Choir a delight with her enthusiasm, encouragement, and wonderfully entertaining stories, and we would, of course, get nowhere without Mr Gray to assist us in our rehearsals and performances – I cannot thank them enough. I hope that many pupils in the future will choose to share in the experience that is Strathearn’s Senior Choir.

Tara White,  AS Level

Katie Stringer, U6S


clubs, events & societies


Chamber Orchestra Report

trathearn’s Chamber Orchestra enjoyed a successful year 2010/2011. The senior school’s musicians, under the leadership of Ms Kimber, met every Thursday after school for an hour to play together. The main pieces practised this year included Schindler’s List, theme tunes from Aladdin and a classic Puff, the Magic Dragon. These were performed at the annual Spring Concert in front of a large and receptive audience on Tuesday 29 March. Helen Smyth, U6R

Chamber Orchestra Back Row: Megan Brown, Kezia Montgomery,  Jenna Kelly, Kirsten McFarland, Cherith Montgomery Middle Row: Honor Rowley,  Jordan Hawthorne, Georgina Pooler, Olivia Brown, Lauren Keenan, Lizzie Howard, Maeve Haslett

The red flame flickers Bringing the house its warmth... Suddenly... all is dark. Chloe Reihill, 3H

Front Row:  Tessa Eames, Susanna Galbraith, Megan Millar,  Amy Scott,  Ashleigh Watson, Hollie McKeown, Caroline Winder

Junior Orchestra Back Row:  Amy Darragh, Fiona Gibson,  Judith Allen,Victoria Richmond, Ciara Garrett,  Anna Campbell, Catherine Trimble, Rachael Davidson, Kira McNeill Third Row: Catherine Pooler, Stephanie Devlin, Tori Megarry, Katherine Flack, Katherine Carson,  Aimée Buckley, Kathryn Hamilton, Rachael Harbinson, Katie Jackson, Francesca Lynn,  Alexandra Cush, Molly Guy Second Row: Matilda Storey, Rebecca Jenkins, Tori McKechnie,  Amy Dutton, Catherine Whiteside, Célèste Halliday, Susie Griffin, Chloe Armstrong, Kerry Hepworth, Keziah Mercer, Olivia Dunlop Front Row: Katie Gallagher, Rachael Kelly, Emma Stitt, Naoise Webster, Grace Turkington, Chloe Young, Ailie McKinty, Nadia Mowlood, Sara Cabecinha,  Abby Sheridan, Rebekah Kenny, Poppy Gribben


Junior Orchestra Report very Tuesday from 3.30 to 4.30 the Junior Orchestra, led by Mr Gray, rehearse in Miskelly Hall.  About fifty students ranging from first year to third year come together and practise. There is the full range of orchestral instruments, and together all of these instruments sound great.

There are two concerts that the Junior Orchestra take part in during the school year: the Autumn Concert and the Spring Concert. In the Autumn Concert we performed the famous Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Money, Money, Money by ABBA and Mr Blue Sky by ELO.  A lot of effort is put into the preparation of a concert by the pupils and by Mr Gray, so as a reward we have an outing. This year we went to Choc-o-Bloc at the Ice Bowl in Dundonald. This was a great experience, especially when we got to eat the scrumptious chocolate when we had drawn our characters!

In the Spring Concert we played the very dramatic Goldfinger, as sung by Shirley Bassey, Super Trouper by ABBA and the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky.  In the orchestra we perform a variety of songs which suit everyone. The orchestra is a very entertaining after school activity, thanks to Mr Gray, and it is a chance to socialise with your friends whilst doing something that everyone has a passion for. Aimée Buckley, 3S


clubs, events & societies Junior Choir Report


his year, the Junior Choir has been very busy practising during Tuesday lunchtimes for school musical events, hosted by the Music Department throughout the year. Our first event of the school year was the Christmas Carol Service, for which we learnt two Christmas orientated songs. Despite missing certain members of the choir due to the severe weather conditions, we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and left our candlelit concert in the falling snow, feeling suitably ‘Christmassy’. We immediately started working towards the Spring Concert, where we sang one song by ourselves, The Climb, and performed a Wicked medley with the Senior Choir. I think it is safe to say that the Wicked medley was by far my favourite Junior Choir experience during my three years at Strathearn. Not only because Wicked is my favourite musical, but also because I loved having the opportunity to sing with the Senior Choir.

Tessa Eames, GCSE Level

WATER Water passing by Yet my reflection remains Dancing in the waves. Hayley McConaghy, L6R

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Junior Choir, and not only appreciate the great musical experience it provided me with, being taught how to sing effectively by Ms Kimber, but also enjoying and benefiting from it, as a place where friendships can be made with other girls who have similar interests. Naoise Webster, 3H

Junior Choir Back Row: Katherine Flack, Chloe Armstrong, Natasha Herron, Naoise Webster, Célèste Halliday, Phoebe Gibson, Laura Middleton, Ciara Garrett, Erin Prentice, Rebecca Morrow, Charlotte Strain, Sacha O’Prey, Charlotte Aston Fourth Row: Jill Fergie, Kathryn Hamilton, Saskia Craig, Eryn McQuillan, Aimée Buckley, Rebecca Jenkins, Catherine Whiteside, Tori McKechnie, Keziah Mercer, Emily McGowan, Naomi Beckett, Chloe Chapman Third Row: Judith Allen, Louise Owens, Rachael Thomas, Gemma Wilson, Lucy Dolan, Lydia Millar,  Anna Ross, Rosalind Skillen,  Anna Kane, Erryn Campbell, Francesca Lynn, Emily Whiteside, Sarah Wilson Second Row: Georgia Stewart, Keziah Beattie, Stephanie Devlin, Emma Wilson,  Anna Wilson, Rose Hinds,Victoria Megarry, Fiona Gibson, Grace Turkington, Leah Deehan, Rachel Henry,  Alana McVea, Faye Wallace Front Row: Rebecca Murphy, Molly Fairclough, Sara Cabecinha, Lauren McAdams, Lauren McDowell, Katie Thompson, Namrata Gurung, Amy Darragh, Catherine Pooler, Kira McNeill, Meghan Wakefield


clubs, events & societies

Chamber Choir Back Row: Helen Marshall, Rebecca Jordan, Katie Allen, Katie Spratt, Emma Entwistle,  Alex Clarke, Shamara Thompson, Laura Grant Middle Row: Erin Miley, Susanna Galbraith, Kezia Montgomery, Holly Ross, Katy Webb, Megan Brown, Demi Wright,  Jordan Hawthorne Front Row: Miranda Crawford, Cathie Lowry, Naomi Wilkinson, Katie Entwistle,  Amy Scott, Megan McArthur, Megan McLaughlin,  Amy O’Donnell


Chamber Choir Report

he twenty-five members of the Chamber Choir boast two qualities: a passion for singing, and dedication! The commitment needed for all the rehearsals, including giving up lunchtimes may seem very demanding and tedious, but we give up our time because we want to! The commitment shown by both conductor and members make it a truly enjoyable ensemble to be a part of in Strathearn. I think I speak on behalf of all the girls, in saying that each and every one of us enjoys taking part in something we all enjoy – singing! After a fairly new choir was selected and arranged, the group immediately gelled together well, and the sound produced was both powerful and breathtaking.  Each year, as a group, the choir has been given the opportunity to perform in various cathedrals across the country. However, it was decided this year that we wanted to concentrate on school functions and, with limited time, it has proved to have been a wise decision for this busy year! Our first ‘gig’ of the year was at the Prize Distribution, where we were able to establish the radiant sound we could produce. Following this, we moved into the Christmas festive mode, rehearsing for our first major performance at the School Carol Service at Stormont Presbyterian Church.  At this we sang both old and new pieces, including a favourite of the choir, This Little Babe. Each year we spread the Christmas spirit at Strathearn Court, and this year was to be no different. However, due to the drastic weather that came in mid-December, this annual visit had to be cancelled. So, as the Spring Concert approached, we were stretched with many new and challenging pieces. On the night, it was clear that all of our efforts and enthusiasm were worthwhile. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Chamber Choir in the past two years; I have had the opportunity to perform songs I otherwise never would have.  As it is such a small and exceptional group of very talented girls, you almost become like ‘one big happy WATER family’, and this makes the Transparent beauty environment within the choir very enjoyable. Reflecting through the branches Thanks must go to Mr River in the wild Gray for his continued dedication and hard work, Harriet Finnigan, L6R as without him there would be no Chamber Choir. Tessa Eames, GCSE Level Kezia Montgomery, L6R


clubs, events & societies The Spring Concert


large number of Strathearn students take part every week in rehearsals with musical ensembles. These groups, as you will read in the other music reports, take part in a range of public performances during the course of the year, with the Spring Concert as the final musical showcase. This year’s concert was attended by a typically large and appreciative audience, eager to support the students by listening to some of the great work they had done over the months since September.

The Chamber Orchestra opened the evening with the sixties favourite, Puff, the Magic Dragon. Later numbers from the orchestra, chosen from a wide range played during the year, included the main theme from Schindler’s List and a medley from the film musical Aladdin. This experienced group of players produced a lovely sound and played with confidence and sensitivity The Chamber Choir has a very wide-ranging repertoire, shown in their varied programme – Eric Whitacre’s lyrical Seal Lullaby, the evocative Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, Rutter’s Gaelic Blessing, and Bardos’s energetic Cantemus. This committed ensemble impressed, as always, with their attention to detail, sense of enjoyment and appealing vocal sound. The Junior Choir enjoyed their performance of the attractive Miley Cyrus song The Climb, a work which suited their young voices and enthusiastic approach. After the interval, the Junior Orchestra, which grows a little larger each year, presented arrangements of ABBA’s Super Trouper, the theme tune to Goldfinger, and Tchaikovsky’s dramatic 1812 Overture. The hard work done by the orchestra and Mr Gray paid off in their impressively accurate and convincing performances. The Senior Choir sang Keep Holding On, fronted by soloists Kezia Montgomery and Amy O’Donnell.  This was a rewarding arrangement, fun to prepare and very effective in performance for the senior girls’ voices. The Junior and Senior Choirs then joined forces for a medley of five songs from the musical, Wicked. This substantial piece gave the choirs the opportunity to work together on some ambitious harmonies and part singing, with each choir also featuring alone in one number: One Short Day for the juniors, and For Good for the seniors. The large joint choir sang with enthusiasm and made the most of the drama, excitement and tearful moments of this entertaining work. Three soloists featured during the evening. Megan Brown played a solo clarinet movement by Donizetti, her lyrical and expressive style matching perfectly its operatic character.  Amy Scott performed Shostakovich’s The Gadfly on the viola, with a beautifully warm tone and great sensitivity. Jordan Hawthorne played a flute arrangement of a Chopin nocturne, presenting the highly decorative melody with ease and elegance.

Tessa Eames, GCSE Level

WATER Water tumbling down The mountainside A continuous flow of Movement Power and energy That cannot be contained. Kim Gillott, L6T


The Music Department would like to thank all the students and staff who worked so hard through the months of preparation for the concert, and all the audience members, for their presence and enthusiastic support.

The Junior Drama Club Report

he Junior Drama Club convenes on Fridays in the gym. This year saw an increase in size due to the huge interest amongst form one pupils, and perhaps also because of the Junior Production that will return next summer. The Lower Sixth Drama Committee members hugely enjoyed meeting the group, which ranged from Form One to Form Three pupils.  All of the girls were enthusiastic throughout all of our activities, and they really progressed in terms of their confidence on stage, and in their creativity in drama. Highlights were the Junior Drama Club’s activities on Open Day, when they regaled parents, guests and primary sevens alike with a range of mini performances from Shakespeare to improvisations. The pupils involved included the younger visitors in all the entertaining warmup games. Recently we divided the large group into two sections for a dance-off, or should that be a drama-off? We had one group of pure drama aficionados rehearse and perform a scripted comedy from Alan Haehnal, whilst their ‘competitors’ combined Rihanna’s Umbrella and Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain for a Glee tribute. The competition will take place before the end of term. Overall, my time as a member of the Lower Sixth Drama Committee has really been very pleasant, and I hope inspiring to the many juniors who took part so graciously in all our activities! Lauren Wallace, L6T




Beauty and the Beast

eauty and the Beast began to take shape in the new school term of September 2010 with forty Strathearn girls and twenty Campbell boys making up a strong cast of sixty. Our first rehearsal was definitely a nervous experience for most of us, as we all stood in a circle in Miskelly Hall, singing through all the songs, chorus and solo numbers. By the end of this, however, everyone was getting on well and feeling excited about the months of hard work and enjoyment ahead. On-stage rehearsals shortly followed with Susannah Galbraith assuming the demanding role of choreographer; she directed the big choral numbers like Be Our Guest and Gaston. I’d like to thank her for all the hard work and time she put into rehearsals, as in the end an excellent result was achieved.

Rehearsals took place every week - often on two days after school for the principal cast, with a full cast rehearsal on Saturday until the final performance in December. Trying to perfect a full Broadway production in three months was a challenge, but everyone was willing and enthusiastic; an outstanding production was the end result. Becky Jordan and I took on the role of Belle, a sweet, innocent girl from a small provincial town in France. I loved playing the role of Belle as she was cheeky and stern, yet had a sweet and caring side shown particularly towards her father and, in the end, to the beast.The typical Disney storyline was well known, so it was a really brilliant experience to play such a well-loved character. I also loved the chance to sing on stage as it was something very new to me, never having had a main singing role before. Obviously the music was a very important part of this production, and it was directed by Mr Gray and superbly played by the orchestra of Strathearn pupils, and instrumental teachers from the school. Without Mr Gray and his orchestra, the music would not have been possible, so a huge thank you to them! As the first performance date began to approach, I really felt that everything was coming together and everyone was excited and ready to perform. We had two matinee and three evening performances which all went according to plan. We had a great audience every night and the buzz and excitement felt by all the cast on stage gave even more to our performances. I can say that Beauty and the Beast has really been one of the highlights of all my school years so far! Finally, a huge thank you to Miss Ferris, our director, who put so much into this production, and also to everyone who helped - the staging crew, the cast, and those who worked on set and costume. The hard work put in by everyone resulted in an excellent experience for the audience, and was perfect as the final production in the old school gym.  Let’s hope there will be many more great performances to follow soon in our new school! Erin Miley, L6R


Drama Showcase

he Fourth Year GCSE Drama Showcase took place in Strathearn on 11 January in aid of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. Twenty-three fourth year pupils prepared a selection of one act plays as part of their GCSE scripted assessments, and performed them to an invited audience of friends and family. There were three productions in total, including Josephine the Angel, following five firefighters in New York as they struggled to cope with the events on 9/11, The Perils of Penelope, a spoof melodrama, and The Fashionisatas, set in the fabulous world of fashion and based on the Greek myth of Narcissus. With a great amount of hard work and dedication, the girls put on a fantastic show which was enjoyed by all those who attended, and succeeded in raising over £230 for their chosen charity.


Drama Trip

n 10 February, thirty-four Lower Sixth and Fourth Form Drama students flew to London for the annual Drama Department trip to see live productions in the West End. The pupils had an exciting lineup of events that stretched over two days. On Thursday night they attended the Fortune Theatre for a spine-chilling viewing of The Woman in Black - an amazing piece of theatre that fourth formers will write about in their GCSE examination.  On Friday they had the opportunity to have a guided backstage tour of one of Britain’s oldest theatres, the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. This tour was guided by famous figures from theatrical history and provided an invaluable insight into the backstage areas that many never get a chance to see.

On Friday night, everyone enjoyed a performance of Wicked at the Apollo Theatre, which was particularly inspiring as local Belfast girl, Rachel Tucker, assumed the main role of Elphaba. On Saturday morning the girls visited the British Museum where they were challenged to photograph one piece of art that could be used as a stimulus for devised pieces of their own. The Lower Sixth also found the ancient Greek section fascinating, due to their studies of Greek Theatre.  All in all, the trip was educational and enjoyable!


house plays

House Play Competitions


Adjudicated by

Mrs Stephanie Leeman October 2010

Awards Inter-House Drama Cup for Best Production Watts House How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying by Jonathan Rand


McNeill Cup for Directing Katie Spratt (Watts House)


Rose Bowl for Best Actress Erin McClean & Chloe McLaurin (McCaughey House)

McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress Fiona Anderson (Boucher House)


Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Role Kerrie Craig (Barbour House)

Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

Romeo To Go by Jonathan Rand (Boucher House) 36

barbour house reports


House Report

his year has gone so quickly! I cannot believe that I will be passing on my badge and tie, when it feels like only yesterday that I was given them! The year was full of excitement, stress and long rehearsal schedules, but in the end the experiences I had were well worth it. We started off the year with the Penrhyn Sports Day, and it was great fun! Our job was to take scores, encourage everyone and organise events. It went extremely well and the girls really seemed to enjoy themselves! Unfortunately, due to unforeseen extreme arctic-style weather, we were unable to have our Inter-House netball competition and the Inter-House hockey and cross-country were also cancelled. Nevertheless, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who offered to help out and join in with these events before they were cancelled. I would also like to thank Emma Wilson, who worked really hard on the Barbour House board background picture - this year’s theme was Disney, and Emma drew us a fantastic Pluto. This year, even though most events didn’t go forward, I would like to say a massive thanks to Amy Scott and Jordan Hawthorne for all their help and support, as without them I might not have survived the House plays!

House Play


Cinders by Geoff Bamber

his year we had a very high standard to live up to. Barbour House is well known for their comedy and winning technical skill, and after searching for weeks for the right play,  Amy, Jordan and I came across Cinders by Geoff Bamber. Cinders is a parody of the traditional pantomime Cinderella story. The casting was extremely tough, as everyone who auditioned was great! I feel that special appreciation must go to Jasmine McCrory as the Narrator, who came to every rehearsal knowing all of her lines, and did a fantastic job of acting as a grandfather and remaining on stage for the entire play. I would also like to mention Demi Wright and Judy Shaw, who played Cinders and Prince Charming.  Also Megan McArthur beautifully portrayed an East Londoner, who was the Prince’s right hand man. Topaz Marshall, was given the task of playing Buttons, and she did an absolutely fantastic job. Sarah Hewitt and Nicole Sinclair, who played Petunia and Begonia, the evil stepsisters of Cinders, maintained their characters and accents fantastically well! Our play took place in Cinders’ house and the Palace, and luckily my mum, Lori Wilkinson, helped us to have as minimalist a set as possible, whilst Narrator ~ Jasmine McCrory making the setting understandable for the audience. We used two sheets and painted one half of each with a castle and kitchen set. Our costumes Buttons ~ Topaz Marshall came from the school’s supply of costumes and, because our play was set Cinders ~ Demi Wright back in time, the dresses from the green room suited perfectly.  Thanks King ~ Beth Anderson must go to the cast for inventively helping with costumes. The King, Queen Queen ~ Iseult Dawson and the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting did a superb job of sustaining posh Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting ~ Georgia Stewart English accents throughout the play, and remained in character brilliantly Prince Charming ~ Judy Shaw - well done Iseult, Alice and Georgia. The same should be said for Grace, Prince’s Bodyguard 1 ~ Tamsin Wills Lord Gripington and Lydia, Countess Gripington - thanks for playing such Prince’s Bodyguard 2 ~ Caitie Williams convincing characters. Rose, the play wouldn’t have been complete without Dandini ~ Megan McArthur the best Fairy Godmother - you played it so well and were great to work Fairy Godmother ~ Rose Hinds with! Not to forget our Wishy-Washy, and Royal Announcer - well done to Mrs Shifter ~ Fiona Gibson Holly and Kerrie for both getting nominations for Best Cameo Award and to Shifter’s Assistants ~ Cathy McCutcheon, Nina Kerrie for winning! Last and by no means least, thank you to our Dwarfs, Graham, Katie Brown Bodyguards and Shifters - you really made the play work! Lord Gripington ~ Grace Hill Carrying on the legacy, we won Best Technical Production, and this would not Countess of Gripington (Granny) ~ Lydia Duncan have been possible without our fantastic technical and backstage teams. T-J Petunia ~ Sarah Hewitt Bradley and Kathryn Boyd on the technical desk, and backstage the team Begonia ~ Nicole Sinclair of Cathy McCutcheon, Carly Ferguson, Sarah Greene, Tessa Eames, Sophie Newspaper Seller ~ Ellen Meredith Hood, Lauren Scott, Kira Hood and Caoimhe Brady. They all did a superb Wishy-Washy ~ Holly Magill job! A special thank you goes to T-J Bradley, who helped with lighting and Royal Announcer ~ Kerrie Craig took difficult mixes in her stride. Thank you all for your hard work on the Dwarfs ~ Rachel Cherry, Charis Forsythe-Wright, play! I had so much fun doing it, and I hope everyone involved feels the same! Rebecca Murphy, Clara Fetherston, Katie Mashford, Thanks again to Amy Scott and Jordan Hawthorne, and I couldn’t have put Catherine Trimble, Rachael Kelly, Lauren McDowell any of the play together without the help of everyone, so thanks! Naomi Wilkinson, House Captain

The Cast


boucher house reports


House Report

still remember sitting in Mr Manning’s office last year – possibly because it’s the only time I’ve ever been in it! From the moment we were told we would be this year’s House Captains, I knew it would be one of the most hectic years in Strathearn, and I was not wrong! But hectic as it was, I’ve enjoyed every second! Tessa, Kate and I couldn’t be more grateful for the honour of this appointment and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole year. Our first event was the Penrhyn Sports Day. With the weather on our side, we organised the classes and stood back to cheer as every girl enthusiastically participated. We also helped Penrhyn with their sponsored skip-a-thon, which raised money for Comic Relief. This involved swinging the ropes for the girls, timing them and - we couldn’t resist a skip ourselves! The first task in September began with choosing the House characters for the notice board; after a lot of discussion, we finally decided on Disney characters and Boucher claimed Donald Duck. Of course, being Boucher we couldn’t merely paint our character; we had to make a statement, and that statement was made with glitter and feathers!  A big thank you must go to Clare Andrews and Becky McFeeters for their creative and artistic talents! Our next task was to be the main event - the House plays!

House Play


Romeo To Go by Jonathan Rand

fter a long summer search, and a few frantic weeks at the beginning of term, Tessa, Kate and I finally settled on a play we felt would show our House’s talent off to the best advantage, and it definitely succeeded! The short comedy, Romeo To Go, follows the class, Drama One, as they attempt to embark on a performance of Romeo and Juliet. The only problem is they have no set, no costumes, only fifteen minutes to perform and a total of twenty minutes to rehearse... Oh, and due to a lack of participants, the school Principal would also have to be given a role! Needless to say, the play was chaos - as was the occasional rehearsal! Our play required a huge cast of twenty-six, so we really had to rely on the enthusiasm of Boucher House to make the play a realistic possibility. We were not let down, Mrs Gunnysack ~ Naoise Webster as over sixty people auditioned - of course this could have been largely due to the Cecile ~ Erin Prentice promise of sweets on arrival!  After the auditions, which was no easy task, we finally Wendy ~ Zoe Stephenson had our twenty-six-strong cast, and rehearsals could begin. Janine ~ Miranda Crawford Rehearsals lasted for about a month and were extremely intense; we rehearsed almost Larry ~ Lauren Naismith every lunchtime, on several occasions after school and we even went as far as holding Sunday rehearsals! With a further promise of sweets and chocolate, our fabulous cast Thad ~ Laura Rafferty worked extremely hard and committed to all the rehearsals - most of the time! Though Joseph ~ Charlie Aston frantic at times, our patient cast put up with our ranting and raving (which we liked to Mr Whipplestick ~ Crystal Yuen call ‘directing’) and for that I thank each and every one of them! Mr Trollybottom ~ Fiona Anderson As performance day loomed, it was clear we had nothing to worry about with this Walter ~ Caitlin Butler team of performers! Each person kept up with the fast-paced production and we Horace ~ Emma Entwistle were even able to throw in a traditional House play comic dance routine, complete Betsy ~ Chloe Young with feather dusters and back flips – a performance I must attribute to Caitlin Butler’s acrobatic talents! Of course, we could never have put on as good a show without the April ~ Nadia Mowlood aid of our backstage team and technical genius, so a huge thank you to Clare Andrews, Gina ~ Joanna Hicks Charlotte Cranston, Kerry Naismith, Becky McFeeters and Lara Dobson. I would also Dexter ~ Sarah Nicholson like to thank Miss Ferris for her advice and support throughout the rehearsal period. Bridget ~ Erynn Campbell Most importantly, I would like to say a huge ‘congratulations and thank you’ to the Seth ~ Sarah Wilson Boucher cast! You pulled off an amazing performance, and I would like to say an extra Trina ~ Emma Watson ‘well done’ to Fiona Anderson, who won the Best Supporting Actress award for her Greg ~ Megan McLaughlin hilarious portrayal of the school Principal, and to Naoise Webster, who carried the leading role of Miss Gunnysack superbly! I feel very honoured to have worked with Patrick ~ Matilda Storey Sarah ~ Sarah Stewardson such a talented bunch of people, especially after years of performing alongside them. Lastly, I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Tessa Chamberlain and Kate Hicks! You were Enid ~ Katie McMurran both so much fun to work with, and none of it could have happened without you! The Whitney ~ Abigail Crawford House plays have definitely been one of the most memorable things during my time in Paris ~ Rachel Bailie Strathearn, and so to the future House Captains: don’t overstress, trust your extremely Dancer/Geeks ~ Natasha Herron & talented House and enjoy every minute! Gabrielle Park Katie Cummings, House Captain

The Cast


mccaughey house reports


House Report

t was with some disbelief and a great deal of excitement that Claire, Rachael and I first stepped out of Mr Manning’s office last March with the responsibility of being the new McCaughey House Captains on our shoulders. It has definitely been a most rewarding year and has gone by so quickly! It would have been impossible to have had such a successful year without all the help we were given by both teachers and pupils. I would especially like to thank Katie Dickson and Katie Stringer for all the hard work that went into making our House board look so wonderful. Being McCaughey House Captain has been such an honour.  It’s sad to think that my final year is over, but my memories as House Captain will definitely be some of my most precious. My year has been a lot less stressful than it might have been thanks to my Deputies. It would have been impossible for McCaughey to have done so well without all the help and advice from you both. I would also like to thank all the members of McCaughey for their support. I wish the new House Captains the best of luck for next year and I hope you have as much fun as we have had.

House Play


Bad Reception by Paul Vincent

ouse plays have always been one of my favourite events of the year and, for the last few years, an event I was proud to be a part of.  As I had already experienced House plays first hand I thought I knew what I was getting myself into - but it wasn’t until I was given the daunting task of choosing, casting and directing a play, that I fully appreciated the sheer amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to pull the whole thing together. Our first task was to select a play and it was with a bit of desperation that we began to search. We soon found one that we all liked and that we could see working well - Bad Reception. This was set in a school and focused on a day in the life of two girls, Kayleigh and Lucy. Next up were auditions, and we were amazed by the amount of talent in our House! Casting the play was quite a challenge, as there were so many girls who auditioned. I was so proud of our cast who performed superbly, and especially of Chloe McLaurin and Erin McClean, who were both awarded the Rose Bowl for Best Actress - a well deserved recognition for all of their hard work! There were a great many people working behind the scenes and, although I can’t thank everyone individually, there are some I can’t ignore. Most notably were the members of the Upper Sixth who I really couldn’t have managed without: Megan Brown, Tori Marson, Chloe Stacey and Laura Wilson; my backstage team of Rebekah Hampton, Sarah Murphy and Katie Stringer, without whom we would have had a very inferior set and, of course, our sound and light team - Beth Isaac and Stephanie Jemphrey. I would also like to thank Ms Simpson, for the use of her room for rehearsals and Miss Ferris, for her invaluable advice. Helen Beattie, House Captain


The Cast Kayleigh ~ Erin McClean Lucy ~ Chloe McLaurin Lavinia ~ Judith McLean Miss Collins ~ Hana Nelson Mr Framlington ~ Rebecca Blundell Rick ~ Alana McVea Dave ~ Jill Fergie Miss Hicks ~ Katherine Beattie Mr MacFee ~ Jordanne Booth Delivery Driver ~ Harriet Brown Extras Lola Bingham Amy Dutton Katie Dutton Rachel Howe Cathy Ievers Lauren Jardine Chloe Jeanes Lauren McAdams Hannah McDowell Nicky Montgomery Charlotte Strain Kate Umphray

watts house reports


House Report

was called to Mr Manning’s office on 26 March 2010 and from then on have had a non-stop year, packed with fun, sweets and occasional responsibility! All joking aside, the role of House Captain was one I very much looked forward to fulfilling and with my two Deputies, Brenna McEwan and Susie McGowan, we set out to conquer the year in the only way we knew how - the Watts way! Our first challenge was to help out at the Penrhyn Day of Sport, making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time, and sorting out events! Soon afterwards we helped at Penrhyn’s sponsored Skip-a-thon, where all of the Office Bearers, alongside the Penrhyn girls, took the opportunity to have a go at skipping! Our theme for this year’s House board was Disney characters, and we were very pleased to have chosen Mickey Mouse as our mascot for the year! Mickey was beautifully made by Susie and Brenna. Our first challenge of the year was the House plays, which kept us all very busy for the first few months of the year from finding a script to the relentless rehearsals! Despite the rest of the year’s House activities taking a back seat, we still continued to uphold House spirit in true Watts’ style. So, whilst I leave this year behind me, I open the door to another eager Watts Captain to take the reins and make the most of her time as House Captain! I would like to thank my good friends and Deputies, Brenna and Susie, who have been through the good times and the bad times all year (especially during the House play times!) and I wish the very best to the new Watts Captains for the coming year.

House Play


How to Succeed in High School without Really Trying by Jonathan Rand

s we started school in September there was one thought on every House Captain’s mind… the House plays! So we set about finding the perfect script - one that was relevant and humorous, whilst maintaining a good moral lesson... well maybe we had to be a bit more lenient with the last point, but we still had to find a play that everyone would Agent 1 ~ Lauren Wallace love! As soon as we all read How to Succeed in High School without Really Trying by Agent 2 ~ Lucy Monroe Jonathan Rand, we knew we’d found one that had everything we needed and more!

The Cast

And so the audition process began! As in most years, we did things in the style of the X-Factor and had open auditions. Thank you to all who auditioned for the House plays – we were very impressed by everyone who tried out. After deliberation, we worked out who was to be cast as which character and put up our final cast list! Then, there came the intense rehearsals! With the weeks flying in and a lack of free lunchtimes we found ourselves rehearsing any time we could.  Despite all of the stress of line-learning, prop finding, stage directing and, of course, costume changes, it all came together brilliantly for the two performances, firstly for the Junior School and then the Senior School. The four main characters in our play, the Agents, were nominated for both Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. We were all absolutely thrilled when Watts won the award for Best Director, and then felt what can only be described as utter delight when Watts won the Best Play Award for the second year in a row! Everyone in the cast and crew deserves my utmost thanks and praise, because it really couldn’t have happened without their commitment and hard work. There was laughter, there were tears, and lots and lots of sweets, but I can genuinely say that I had an amazing time working with both my Deputies and everyone else involved in the House plays 2010 - thank you for an amazing time! Katie Spratt, House Captain


Agent 3 ~ Louise Brown Agent 4 ~ Emma Irwin Mrs Truckle ~ Rachel Stanfield Operator ~ Amy O’Donnell Sorry ~ Zara Millar What ~ Poppy Hanna Wendell ~ Amy Darragh Robbie ~ Lucy Hayes Girl ~ Darcy Rollins Subject A ~ Catherine Whiteside Subject B ~ Emily McGowan Subject C ~ Tara Gouk Subject D ~ Katherine Carson Subject E/Trig ~ Frances Wilson Quarterback ~ Cathie Lowry Leon ~ Rachel Henry Mr Zurm ~ Sophie Taylor PE Teacher ~ Joy Dalzell Principal ~ Sophie Taylor Students ~ Aimée Irwin, Saskia Craig, Rachael Thomas,  Amy Lynch, Olivia McCartney, Katy Anderson, Lauren Crosby

games captain’s report


here was great sporting success for Strathearn pupils once again in the 2010/2011 school year, with both individuals and teams excelling in a wide range of sports.

In hockey, the 1st XI, captained by Rachel Scott and vice captained by Claire Mercer, began strongly, reaching the final of the National Playing Fields Tournament before losing to a talented Lurgan College side. Lurgan was again our downfall in the Senior Schools’ Cup, when we went out to the eventual Cup winners in the third round. However, out of disappointment came the satisfaction of beating Larne Grammar 1-0 in the final of the Senior Schools’ Shield! The 2A XI have again had another successful season. Narrowly losing to Ballyclare High School in the early stages of the McDowell Cup, they came back to win the Plate Competition, defeating Lurgan College in the final. Congratulations must also go to the 2B XI. The team sailed through the rounds of the third XI Gibson Cup, but unfortunately lost 2-0 in the final of the competition to a strong Omagh Academy side. Such success proves the strength and depth of Strathearn Hockey. At junior level, the U14 XI were unlucky in their Cup run, but progressed well through the Plate Competition, losing in the semifinal to Dalriada. There have been a number of notable individual achievements in the sport this year.  Kirby O’Donnell and Rachel Scott were selected for the Ulster U18A and B Teams respectively, and at U16 level, Stephanie Jemphrey and Evie Bloor were selected for the Ulster B Team. A highlight of the season was our hockey tour to Holland in February. Twenty senior girls, accompanied by Mrs Lamont, Mrs Harvey and Miss Murphy, spent five days in The Hague. It was great to have the opportunity to play against Dutch players of such a high standard. All the girls really appreciated the support of everyone who helped with fundraising, particularly with highly competitive events such as the teachers versus pupils volleyball match! In netball, congratulations go to the Minor Team who reached the final of Belfast Area League. This team also reached the final of the Grammar Schools’ League, narrowly losing to Regent House. Well done also to Stephanie Jemphrey on her selection for the Northern Ireland U17 Squad and to many of the junior girls who received trials for a range of development squads during the year.

Following their performances during the season, congratulations must go to Elly Drinkwater, who was selected to compete for the Ulster U17 Athletics Team in the Inter-Provincial Championships (long jump) and to Kerrie Craig, who was selected for the Ulster U18 Celtic Games Team (high jump). It was to be another winning season on the tennis courts this year. The Minor, Intermediate A and B and Senior Teams all progressed as section winners, with the Junior Team finishing runners-up. From this, the Intermediate A Team of Helen Harvey, Kirby O’Donnell, Katie Allen and Tessa Eames, and the Minor Team of Anna Warden, Jemma Gillan, Emily Whiteside and Ariana Gallen, went on to reach the Ulster Finals of their respective competitions. Unfortunately, the Minor Team was narrowly beaten; however, the Intermediate Team defeated Victoria College in the final to be crowned Ulster Champions! There was success again for Strathearn’s swimmers in both the Ulster Schools’ and Ulster Secondary Schools’ Championships with the team winning the overall trophy in the latter. Particular mention must go to Sycerika McMahon, who was selected to represent the Northern Ireland Swimming Team at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.  She put in a number of superb performances and, perhaps most memorably, was part of the record breaking 4x100m Freestyle Relay Team who finished fourth. Congratulations also, to Eve Allister and Jenny Drennan who, over the season, won Ulster representative honours in swimming. Further individual successes include Frances Wilson, who was selected for Northern Ireland to compete in the Trampolining World Championships for her age group in France; she is now ranked twenty-fifth in the world in the DTM event! Congratulations to Sophie Rodgers who, at the World Junior Karate Championships in Nagoya, Japan, in August was placed fourth in the Kumite and Kata, and placed third in the Kumite at the British Championships in Edinburgh. In conclusion, I’d like to thank all of the Games Staff who do so much to promote sport for all at Strathearn. I would also like to thank my Deputies, Kerrie and Rachel. We have had great fun and like many before us will always remember sport at Strathearn. Good Luck to our successors next year; I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! And long may the success of sport in Strathearn continue! Katie Dickson, Games Captain

In sports hall athletics, both the U13 and U15 Teams won their age group finals in the East of Ulster Championships, and as a result, the two teams progressed to the Ulster Finals. There were a number of great performances during the competition, with gold medals awarded to the U13 Obstacle Relay Team of Emma Lowry, Aimée Irwin and Jemma Gillan, and to Megan Marrs in the high jump. The U13 Team finished a very commendable second place overall. On to cross-country, where there were more impressive results for the Strathearn girls.  At the Co Down Cross-Country Championships the Junior Team came away with the title and the Intermediate girls finished runners-up. Both the Junior and Intermediate Teams, and Rebecca Blundell at senior level, therefore progressed to the Ulster Championships. First up in the athletics season were the Co Down District Championships. Traditionally the girls perform very well at this competition and this year was to be no different, with both the Junior and Intermediate Teams winning the overall team trophy and the Minor and Senior Teams finishing runners-up.  Athletes who finished in the top three in their events then qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Championships. Here gold medals were awarded to both the Minor and Junior Relay Teams. This meant that the Junior Relay Team of Lois Wilson, Lauren Wheeler, Deborah Campbell and Isla Lockhart qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships, along with fellow junior, Natalie Wallace (javelin) and, at senior level, Claire Mercer (200m) and Katie Dickson (long jump and triple jump). All of our athletes performed exceptionally, but most notably the Junior Relay Team who came away with the bronze medal!



1st XI Hockey Team ~ Senior Shield Winners 2010-2011 Back Row: Stephanie Jemphrey, Brenna McEwen, Zara Millar, Katie Dickson, Rebecca Blundell, Barbara Jemphrey, Emma Jordan Front Row: Robyn Larmour, Kirby O’Donnell, Claire Mercer (V Capt), Rachel Scott (Capt), Evie Bloor, Kerrie Craig, Francesca Brown


Hockey Report 2010

his year has proved to be another successful season of hockey at Strathearn. With three of our senior teams reaching the finals of their respective competitions, it has certainly been a very exciting season with plenty to celebrate. Twenty of the senior girls were also fortunate enough to experience a tour to Holland, a country renowned for its hockey. The 1st XI had a promising start to the season after finishing second overall at the National Playing Fields Association Tournament, just losing out to Lurgan College in the final. The team, this year captained by Rachel Scott with Claire Mercer as Vice Captain, progressed to the third round of the Senior Schools’ Cup after beating Wellington 4-0 in the second round. Unfortunately, here the team was again defeated by Lurgan College, who turned out to be the eventual winners of the competition.  It was a tough game, and the 4-0 score line didn’t do justice to the work rate and team spirit displayed by the players.  Despite this disappointment, the team remained buoyant, and turned their focus to the Senior Shield.They fought their way to the quarter-finals, where they met local rivals, Methodist College.  After an impressive performance, Strathearn ended up victorious with a 3-2 win, and they progressed to the semi-finals.  Here they faced Regent House and, yet again, the team delivered another superb performance and secured their place in the final with a 3-0 win. The team faced Larne in the final, and anticipation was high in the run up to the match. The team didn’t disappoint, and went on to be crowned winners after beating Larne 1-0! Each player had a brilliant game and Strathearn was dominant throughout. It was the perfect end to a highly successful season! The 2nd XI, led by Captain, Emma Jordan, and Vice Captain, Holly Magill, continued this success. After being put out of the McDowell Cup in a close match against Ballyclare (losing only 2-1 after the match went into extra time), the team progressed to the Plate Competition.  After several impressive performances, they reached the final stages of the competition. In the quarter-finals they met Grosvenor Grammar School, whom they successfully defeated 3-0, after producing one of their best performances. They delivered another 3-0 win against Ballymena Academy in the semi-finals, and it was onwards to the finals where they met rivals, Lurgan College, in what proved to be a very competitive match. However, the team


went on to defeat them 2-0, bringing home yet more silverware to Strathearn. Congratulations to all the team for a brilliant season! The 2B XI, captained by Sarah Greene, alongside Vice Captain,  Amy O’Donnell had a very successful run in the Gibson Cup, reaching the final stages of the competition. They fought off Ballyclare High School and Sullivan Upper in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, and secured their place in the third final this year for Strathearn. Here they met Omagh Academy but, despite their best efforts, they were unable to defeat them and the final score was 2-0. A disappointing result, but all credit must go to the girls for reaching the final, which was a great achievement nonetheless. In junior hockey the U14A XI were captained this year by Lauren Wheeler, and she was assisted by not one, but two Vice Captains, namely Isla Lockhart and Natalie Wallace. The team made good progress throughout the year and, despite losing to eventual trophy winners, the Royal School, Armagh in the Junior Cup, they made it to the semi-finals of the Plate.  Here, unfortunately, they lost to Dalriada, and just missed out on a place in the final. Nevertheless, the team showed good promise all season, and their skills will help them make the transition to senior hockey next year. Further congratulations go to the girls who played representative hockey this year. Kirby O’Donnell was selected for the Ulster U18 Squad, and went on to represent Ulster at the Inter-Provincials, whilst Rachel Scott captained the Ulster U18B Team. Also congratulations to Stephanie Jemphrey who played for the Ulster U16B Team alongside Evie Bloor, who was also selected as Captain of the team. A final thank you to all the PE Staff, who have worked so hard and helped us to achieve these successes. Also many thanks to Cecil Swinton, our ever reliable stats man who has, yet again, shown brilliant commitment in producing his match stats. I would like to wish next year’s teams all the best for the forthcoming season, and I hope that the achievement experienced this year will motivate them to continue to work hard at their game, enjoy the camaraderie of playing in a team and bring success to the school in the 2011-2012 season. Rachel Scott, U6A

sport 2A XI Hockey Team Plate Winners 2010-2011 Back Row: Naomi Wilkinson, Helen Harvey, Bethanie Chambers, Katie Allen, Claudia Bedford, Barbara Jemphrey, Jessica Lowry, Lois Wilson Front Row: Rebecca Cowden, Emma McCracken, Holly Magill (V Capt), Emma Jordan (Capt), Emma Wilson, Robyn Larmour,Tammie Finlay

2B XI Hockey Team Gibson Cup Finalists 2010-11 Back Row: Naomi Wilkinson, Ali Finlay, Laura Rafferty, Claudia Bedford, Morgen Hunt, Lois Wilson, Shona Corry Front Row: Kelsey O’Donnell, Katie Tener, Amy O’Donnell (V Capt), Sarah Greene (Capt), Rebecca Cowden, Gemma Adair,  Jemma Quinn

Rebecca Wylie, GCSE Level

3A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Katie Entwistle,Vikki Wallace, Deborah Campbell, Rachel Bradley, Janey Deehan, Hannah Martin Front Row:Victoria Moore,Tessa Chamberlain, Kerry McCord (V Capt), Clare Andrews (Capt), Sophie Gribben, Hannah Crymble, Hannah King


Kirby O’Donnell Ulster U18 Hockey


3B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Charlotte Cavanagh, Chelsea Milligan,  Alexandra Guy,  Annabel Terry, Sarah Davidson, Rebecca Craig Front Row: Natalie Wylie, Florence Ogonda, Kezia Montgomery (Capt), Sarah Redmond (V Capt), Lauren Graham

Rachel Scott Ulster U18B Hockey

U14A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Shannon McClintock, Emma Flannigan, Sophie McKinney, Rachael Harbinson, Erin Prentice, Lauren Naismith, Lauren Duncan Front Row: Sophie Hood,  Jessica McCleery, Isla Lockhart (V Capt), Lauren Wheeler (Capt), Natalie Wallace (V Capt), Charlotte Lowry,  Jenny Drennan

Evie Bloor Ulster U16B Hockey U14B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Lauren Duncan, Jessica McCleery, Anna Chambers, Sarah Flack, Alexandra Nelson, Lucy McCracken Front Row: Catherine Whiteside, Lauren Watson, Amy Anderson (Capt), Hannah Craig, Bonnie Macrae



U13A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Nina Glendinning, Shannon Booth, Florence Ogonda, Sarah Simpson, Anieshia Bedford,  Aimée Irwin Front Row: Chloe McCabe, Lara Sweet, Gabrielle Park (V Capt), Erin Larmour (Capt), Rachael Thomas, Jemma Gillan,  Abby Larmour

Stephanie Jemphrey Ulster U16B Hockey Rebecca Wylie, GCSE Level

U13B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Hannah Adair, Katie Dutton, Rachel Powderly, Laura Middleton, Hannah Eakin, Becky Poots Front Row: Emily Whiteside,  Jenny Maynes,  Amy Hepworth (V Capt), Louise Owens (Capt), Chloe McCabe, Monique Knipe, Lauren Brooker

U13C XI Hockey Team Back Row: Nina Graham, Claudia Paulin, Megan Marrs, Emily Boyd, Natasha Herron,  Amy Gilpin Middle Row: Hannah Adair, Rosanna-Maria Johnston, Lucinda Morrow, Rachel Bailie, Emma Watson, Anna Ross Front Row: Ammaarah Ghafoor,  Ana Cabecinha, Sarah Wilson (V Capt), Leah Deehan (Capt), Emma Wilson, Courtney Dunlop, Katie Mashford


sport U12A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Kate Farrelly, Rhia Prentice, Eve Johnston, Ailie McKinty,  Jane Hunter, Georgina Gomes Front Row: Maddy Miskimmin, Hannah Craig, Sarah Brown (Capt), Bonnie Ramsay, Sophie Allen

THE CONCERT The large room was filled to the top, Rows of people piled to the ceiling, Screaming non-stop.

U12B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Matilda Storey, Emma Lowry, Gemma Burnside, Holly Crymble, Francesca Lynn, Georgia Coulter, Kerry Hepworth Front Row: Ellen Meredith,  Topaz Marshall,  Abigail Rivera (Capt),  Alex Gillan, Victoria White


The room was dark and the screams were loud, The smells of popcorn and a mix of perfume filled the arena, Pools of light covered the stage, As the audience once again erupted into chants, I threw my hands in the air and stood up on my seat And he stood at the mic as the music played, A smile on their faces as the audience swayed. Their voice filled my ears, Their dance filled my eyes, It was a night to remember! My first concert, Back in December. Lauren Patterson, 4T

Hockey Tour 2011

n February, twenty senior hockey players, accompanied by Mrs Lamont, Miss Murphy and Mrs Harvey,  jetted to Holland on hockey tour. We met at the International Airport at 4.45 am and after a short flight and coach journey to The Hague, we arrived at the Badhotel, which thankfully didn’t live up to its name! Despite our lack of sleep, we had our first hockey match that afternoon, which we drew 2-2.

We got the chance to train with Martin, the Dutch coach, during our morning masterclass on the second day. After lunch, which was kindly provided for us by the hockey club, we played our second match of the trip, which Martin watched. Unfortunately, we lost 2-0, but found it beneficial playing an experienced Dutch hockey team. We dined at The Pasta Company that night to regain our strength after a busy day! On the third day, during our second masterclass, Martin gave us feedback from our match. This advice helped us not only in Amsterdam, but back home in Belfast too! In the afternoon we took a break from hockey and went to an indoor swimming pool equipped with water slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. That night we were spoilt for choice of restaurants in The Hague, so we separated into smaller groups for dinner. On day four, we had a restful morning exploring what shops The Hague had to offer before a session of bowling.  Our last hockey match was played that evening, and we finally beat a Dutch team! It was a great way to end the tour after all the hard work we had put in throughout our time there. On our last day we headed into Amsterdam and took a canal trip to view the sights. For lunch we went to one of Holland’s many pancake houses. We spent our last afternoon experiencing some of Amsterdam’s well known attractions. Many of the girls visited Anne Frank’s home. Others braved the Amsterdam Dungeons.  After an enjoyable day spent in the capital city, we sadly headed to the airport to make our way home. A massive thank you must go to Mrs Lamont, Miss Murphy and Mrs Harvey, who put a great deal of time and effort into planning this tour. For me it has been a definite highlight of my time at Strathearn. Claire Mercer, U6T



Sports Hall Athletics Back Row: Bonnie Ramsay,  Jemma Gillan, Georgina Gomes, Monique Knipe, Gabrielle Park, Emma Lowry Front Row:  Aimée Irwin, Sophie Gribben, Deborah Campbell, Lauren Wheeler, Megan Marrs, Isla Lockhart, Emma Watson


Sports Hall Athletics 2010 Report ongratulations to all those who competed in another successful year of sports hall athletics.  Strathearn and Bloomfield pupils formed the Belfast East Team. Both the Under 13 and Under 15 Teams won the East of Ulster Championships to secure a place in the Ulster finals.

The girls travelled to Magherafelt to compete in the Ulster Championships, where they faced tough competition from the best teams in Ulster. All of the girls competed to a high standard with great team and individual success. The Strathearn team members were: Bonnie Ramsey, Monique Knipe, Gabrielle Park, Emma Lowry, Jemma Gillan, Megan Marrs, Aimée Irwin, Isla Lockhart, Lauren Wheeler, Sophie Gribben, Deborah Campbell and Emma Watson. We gained two gold medals - one was awarded to Megan Marrs in the high jump, and the other to the team which consisted of Emma Lowry,  Aimée Irwin and Jemma Gillan, who were placed first in the obstacle race. Overall both teams were placed second in Ulster. Well done to all participants! Deborah Campbell, 4T

WINTER HOME When Winter comes I know what I’ll do, I’ll hide away like the hedgehogs do! I’ll sleep all day, no time to play For that is not the hedgehog way! Emily Jamison, 3H Rebekah Kenny, 2A 47

sport Cross-Country Report


his has again been another successful year for Strathearn’s Cross-Country Club, which has proved to be as popular as ever, with girls from first year upwards participating every Thursday after school. The training included variations of endurance sessions, and the level of enthusiasm and commitment remained high throughout the season. The teams were chosen after Christmas and the level of intensity of training increased. On 3 February, the teams headed to Delamont Country Park to compete in the County Down Schools’ Championships. Thankfully the conditions were dry, but very windy, and all the hard training paid off. The first and second form teams, made up of Georgina Gomes, Sophie Allen, Victoria White, Maddy Miskimmin, Meabh Lowry, Shannon Booth, Emma Watson, Gabrielle Park, Jemma Gillan and Amy Hepworth, did very well, both coming in a very respectable fifth place. The Junior Team were the stars of the day coming first overall.  Jenny Drennan led from the start and stormed home first to take the gold medal, with Anna Campbell coming seventh and Jessica Fairclough eleventh. Lauren Wheeler, Natalie Wallace and Anieshia Bedford made up the rest of the team. The Intermediate Team also did very well coming second overall, with a great individual performance from Francesca Brown, who took the bronze medal. Her team members were Claudia Bedford, Hollie McKeown, Katherine Beattie, Joy Dalzell and Arden Armstrong.

Cross-Country Club Back Row: Fiona Gibson, Rachael Thomas,  Aimée Irwin, Emily Boyd, Rosalind Skillen, Becky Poots, Louise Owens Centre Row: Grace Turkington, Jessica Gunning, Charlotte Mowlood, Naoise Webster, Lauren Keenan, Chloe McMillan, Robyn Corry Front Row: Nadia Mowlood, Keziah Beattie, Georgia Coulter,  Ana Cabecinha, Chloe McCabe, Gemma Burnside, Corinna Clegg,  Alex Gillan

Rebecca Blundell kept the flag flying for the Senior Team, and finished in seventh place. The Ulster Championships on 23 February were again held at Mallusk, and for once it was a fine dry day, but conditions underfoot proved very muddy.  Again, all the girls performed very well with the Junior Team coming second overall, and there was another great performance from Jenny Drennan, who finished in sixth place. The Intermediate Team came seventh overall, with Francesca Brown finishing in seventh place. Rebecca Blundell finished eleventh in the senior race. The Junior Team, along with Francesca Brown and Rebecca Blundell, all qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships in Dublin, but only Rebecca Blundell,  Anna Campbell and Jessica Fairclough were able to make the trip down. Well done to all those competing this year and to those who faithfully attended the Cross-Country Club. Thank you to Kerry Harvey for all her hard work with the age groups. Rebecca Blundell, L6S

Cross-Country Teams Back Row: Sarah Brown, Hollie McKeown,  Anieshia Bedford,  Amy Hepworth, Francesca Brown, Emma Watson, Natalie Wallace, Jenny Drennan Centre Row: Shannon Booth,  Arden Armstrong,  Anna Campbell,  Joy Dalzell, Lauren Wheeler, Claudia Bedford,  Jessica Fairclough, Katherine Beattie, Kezia Montgomery Front Row:  Victoria White, Sophie Allen, Jemma Gillan, Sarah Wilson, Rebecca Blundell, Gabrielle Park, Georgina Gomes, Maddy Miskimmin, Meabh Lowry

Katie Dickson,  AS Level

Junior Cross-Country Co Down District Champions Back Row:  Anna Campbell, Shannon Booth, Lauren Wheeler,  Jessica Fairclough Front Row:  Anieshia Bedford,  Jenny Drennan, Natalie Wallace


sport Emma Wilson,  AS Level


Dance Report 2011

ollowing last year’s success, I was excited to start the auditions early in the year for the dance team. For a second year there was a fantastic turnout at auditions, with two hundred girls from first to third year auditioning. Sixteen girls were finally selected for the team, and a duo of Shannon Armour and Clara Kerr also entered the competition. The girls trained very hard from the start of October until 14 March and we put together an impressive jive routine. The duo also trained hard and learned their modern jazz routine to perfection.

Autumn leaves fall Dancing in the air – Finale on the ground! Hafsah Amjad, 3A

On the day, the girls performed both routines very well and came away with third place. As this is my last year at Strathearn, I wish the girls all the best for next year, and hope our participation in NICMAC continues to be a success. Tori Marson, U6A

Dance Team Back Row: Clara Kerr, Katy Anderson, Kathryn Hamilton, Katie Murphy, Katie Thompson, Shannon Armour Front Row:  Tamsin Wills, Molly Purdy, Lucy Spratt, Katie Brown, Olivia Brown,  Aimée Irwin, Sophie Taylor Absent:  Amy Filer



Intermediate B  Tennis Team

Intermediate A Tennis Team Ulster Champions 2010

Back Row: Stephanie Jemphrey, Rebecca Elliott Front Row:  Victoria Gibson, Rebecca Cowden

Back Row: Katie Allen,  Tessa Eames Front Row: Kirby O’Donnell, Helen Harvey

Minor Tennis Team ~ Ulster Runners-Up Junior Tennis Team

Back Row: Katie McMurran, Emily Whiteside, Jemma Gillan Front Row:  Ariana Gallen,  Anna Warden

Back Row:  Ashleigh Watson, Lauren Wheeler Front Row:  Alexandra Guy, Natalie Wallace


sport Tennis Report 2010


he tennis season got off to a great start with four out of the five teams winning their section and qualifying for the ‘knock-out’ stages of the Ulster Schools’ Cup.  As well as the Ulster Schools’ Competition, there was a lot of interest in the four Inter-Class Doubles Competitions and the Junior and Senior Singles Competitions. There were very high standards of tennis played throughout and Finals Day proved a highly skilled and competitive day. The results were as follows: The Alison Mills Cup for Form 1 Doubles: The winners were Anna Warden and Emily Whiteside, 1A. The runners-up were Jemma Gillan and Rachel Powderly, 1T. Form 2 Doubles: The winners were Natalie Wallace and Lauren Wheeler, 2H. The runners-up were Emma Flannigan and Laura McMillen, 2R. Form 3 Doubles: The winners were Charlotte Mowland and Olivia Storey, 3R. The runners-up were Alex Guy and Phillipa Harty, 3R. Form 4 Doubles: The winners were Jessica Hawthorne and Claudia Bedford, 4T. The runners-up were Stephanie Jemphrey and Rebecca Cowden, 4A. The Honor Braithwaite Cup for Form 1 & 2 Singles: The winner was Anna Warden, 1A. The runner-up was Natalie Wallace, 2H. The Hewson Cup for Form 3 & 4 Singles: The winner was Stephanie Jemphrey, 4A. The runner-up was Alex Guy, 3R. The five teams that entered the Ulster Schools’ Competition were: Minor: Anna Warden, Jemma Gillan, Emily Whiteside and Ariana Gallen. Junior: Bethanie Chambers, Alex Guy, Ashleigh Watson, Natalie Wallace and Lauren Wheeler. Intermediate A: Helen Harvey, Kirby O’Donnell, Katie Allen and Tessa Eames. Intermediate B: Rebecca Elliott, Stephanie Jemphrey, Victoria Gibson and Rebecca Cowden. Senior: Katie Dickson, Emily Mills, Barbara Jemphrey and Jenny Kirk. The Minor Team started the season well, defeating all five teams in their section. The team met Friends’ School in the semi-final, with a very close match throughout. Unfortunately,  Anna and Jemma lost their doubles 10-6, so the pressure was now on Ariana and Emily. They had to win their doubles to give Strathearn any hope of going through to the final - and they did! They came up against a strong Victoria College Team in the final and, unfortunately, after putting up a good fight, narrowly lost, still achieving second place in Ulster. Well done girls!

Senior  Tennis Team Barbara Jemphrey, Katie Dickson Absent: Jenny Kirk, Emily Mills

The Junior Team did well, beating Grosvenor Grammar School and Wallace High. Their last section match was against St Catherine’s College,  Armagh. They drew 3-3, which meant that, unfortunately, Strathearn missed out on winning their section by a single game (29-28). The team finished runners-up in their section.

The Intermediate B Team performed well and won their section. In the quarterfinal they were drawn against our very own Strathearn A Team. The girls played well and put up a good fight, but perhaps not surprisingly, lost. Perhaps there was some consolation in the fact that the team was defeated by the eventual Ulster Champions. The Intermediate  A Team cruised their way through their section without even dropping one match. The quarter-final against the Strathearn B Team put them through their paces, but the A Team still came out on top. The girls accomplished four straight set wins in the semi-final against Banbridge Academy, once again giving them a place in the final. The final brought their toughest challenge yet, with a strong Victoria College as their opponents. The girls played great tennis with Helen, Kirby and Katie winning their singles. In the doubles, Kirby and Helen played to a great standard, winning the first set, but, unfortunately, losing the second set in a tiebreak. The two girls then upped their game, and won the third set making them the Intermediate Ulster Champions. Well done!

Helen Harvey Ulster U18 Tennis

The Senior Team achieved success in their section, and earned themselves a place in the semi-final against Victoria College.  Again, this was a high calibre match that required the doubles to determine the outcome, but the winners were Victoria College, who went on to win the title. We have to thank Jenny for her loyal service to sport in school, particularly tennis. She never lost a singles match - what an achievement! Barbara Jemphrey, U6H



Intermediate Netball Team Back Row: Rachel Bradley, Iseult Dawson,  Abigail Crosby, Jenna Kerr Front Row: Megan Coalter, Ellie Stirk, Stephanie Jemphrey (Capt), Ellyn Anderson, Jemma Quinn

Stephanie Jemphrey N Ireland U17 Netball Team

Absent: Maeve O’Neill, Niamh Johnson

Junior Netball Team Back Row: Lisa Irwin, Hermione Anstey, Rebecca Davidson, Chloe Johnston Front Row: Bonnie Macrae, Lauren Watson, Francesca Ringrow (Capt), Jessica McCleery, Sarah Lavery

Lauren Irwin, 2R


Rachel Martin, A Level

sport Minor Netball Team Belfast League Finalists Back Row: Saskia Craig, Lucy Robinson, Shannon Booth, Charlotte Aston, Florence Ogonda Front Row: Erin Larmour, Emily Magowan, Nicky Montgomery (Capt),  Jemma Gillan, Alexandra Cush

ART A snowy white page sits in front of me, Like a polar bear in the snow. Hundreds of bright colours jeer at me, As I wonder what to do. I sit there thinking hard, Then it comes to me, I pick up a pencil and begin to draw The paint brush dances under my hand. Slowly my picture comes to life. Fionn Clarke, 1T

Year 8 Netball Team Back Row: Maddy Miskimmin, Eve Johnston, Jane Hunter, Francesca Lynn, Gemma Burnside, Rhia Prentice Front Row:  Topaz Marshall, Sophie Allen, Sarah Brown (Capt),  Victoria White, Clara Fetherston


Netball Report

ll teams and individual players got off to a great start this year in netball with many of our junior and senior girls being selected for trials.

Our Minor Netball Team played well throughout the season making the final of the Belfast Area League, where they were runners-up after a well played match against Rathmore Grammar School. The Minor Team still have many years ahead, so the experience will hopefully help them to bring the Cup home! We also had our Minor,  Junior and Intermediate Teams entered in the Grammar Schools’ League, where all three teams gave a very good account of themselves - particularly the Minor Team who won a place in the final! Special congratulations to Shannon Booth and Nicky Montgomery on their selection for the Belfast Regional Development Academy U13 Netball Squad.  Abigail Crosby, Jenna Kerr and Maeve O’Neill were selected to play on the Belfast U15 Regional Development Squad. Abigail and Maeve were further selected for the Podium 4 Sport Squad, and well done to all the other girls who were selected for the trials! Well done to Emily Mills and Barbara Jemphrey, who trained throughout the year with the U19 Northern Ireland Netball Squad, but unfortunately did not get selected for the final team - there’s always next year girls! Also, congratulations to Stephanie Jemphrey, who was selected for the U17 Northern Ireland Netball Squad, and played in the European Championships, held this year in Dublin. Netball has been a great success this year! Thanks must go to our coach, Helen McLaughlin and assistant coaches, Maria McLaughlin and Gemma Toland, for coaching all of our teams. We appreciate their dedication and hard work. This has been an enjoyable and encouraging year of netball. Next year we will hopefully be able to continue our success. Great season girls! Stephanie Jemphrey, 5A



Kerrie Craig, Hannah King, Ellyn Anderson and Jenna Kerr

Golf Report


trathearn’s Golf Team of Kerrie Craig, Ellyn Anderson, Hannah King and Jenna Kerr all played in the Irish Schools’ Golf Championships, Ulster Division, on 11 March 2011. They had to battle adverse weather conditions at a very blustery Kirkistown Castle Golf Club. Despite this, the girls had very respectable scores, with Hannah narrowly missing out on the Best Junior Nett and Kerrie not far off the Best Senior Nett score.

Gemma Nolan AS Level

Thank you to Miss Murphy for organising the team. Well done to all the girls who played, and good luck for the rest of the season to all of our Strathearn golfers, who are aiming to have their handicaps of 34 or lower in order to represent the school next season! Kerrie Craig, U6R

Squash MY FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL As I walk through the gates With pupils all around me I don’t know where to go And I’m feeling rather lost! Then I see my friend Looking just as lost as me. We wander round together Until our classroom is in sight So many smiling faces In such a big, big place!

Hannah Craig Ulster U13 Squash

Jemma Gillan Ulster U15 Squash 54

Anna Wilson, 1T


Junior Badminton Team

Minor Badminton Team

Back Row: Charlotte Mowlood, Deborah Campbell

Back Row: Catherine Whiteside, Erin Prentice Front Row: Nadia Mowlood, Emily Whiteside

Front Row: Hannah King, Ellyn Anderson


Badminton Report

he Senior and Junior Badminton Clubs meet on alternate Fridays in the sports hall from 3.30 - 4.30pm. We had another successful year, with the regular attendance of a large number of girls at both junior and senior levels. The club is open to everyone, from beginners to more experienced players and the standard of play noticeably improves as the year goes on. It is encouraging to see a number of enthusiastic and talented players developing throughout all age groups. As a result we were able to select teams at both minor and junior levels to represent the school. The Minor Team comprised of Catherine Whiteside, Erin Prentice, Nadia Mowlood and Emily Whiteside. The girls approached each game with enthusiasm and determination and achieved an excellent win against Belfast High School (6v0), but were unfortunately defeated by a strong team from Hunterhouse College (0v6) in the Ulster Schools’ League, Division 2, semi-final. Despite this disappointment, they are a young team who show great promise for the future. The Junior Team had a busier season with Ellyn Anderson, Hannah King, Charlotte Mowlood,  Jaime Anderson and Deborah Campbell defeating Banbridge Academy (5v1), drawing with Wallace High School (3v3), and losing a close match against Omagh Academy (2v4) on their way to the Ulster Schools’ League, Division 2, semi-final against Royal and Prior, Raphoe. Thankfully Strathearn were drawn at home and the team performed commendably against a talented team from Royal and Prior. Ellyn and Hannah have developed a strong first doubles partnership and once again successfully defeated the opposing first doubles pairing. Hannah went on to play exceptionally well in her singles match, but the team from Royal and Prior had strength and depth and won the tie overall 2v4. Congratulations and thanks to all the girls who represented the school. We hope to see many enthusiastic newcomers next year and hopefully build upon the experiences of this year’s Minor and Junior Teams. Thanks also to Miss Foster, Miss McFarland, Mr Atkinson and Mr Bradley for the great support they give to the club.


WINTER Christmas time is very near I can hear the children cheer! Cold, white snow is all around Falling swiftly to the ground Christmas dinner tastes so good Oh, how I love this winter food! Turkey, ham and chocolate galore Me I just want more and more! Spring is getting very near Say goodbye to Winter for another year! Catherine Whiteside & Mia Gibson, 3A

sport THE WIND The wind was like a whip, Strong and fast. It thrashed against the windows And ran across the grass. Sarah Curry, 3A

Athletics Report 2010


nce again Strathearn had an extremely successful athletics season with very commendable individual and team performances. The season kicked off with the Co Down Athletics Championships at the Mary Peters’ Track. Overall thirty-four girls competed, with twenty-seven girls finishing in the top three in at least one ofRow: their events.  All of the athletes had excellent Front performances, resulting in both the Junior and Intermediate Back Row: Teams being placed first overall. The Senior and Minor Teams were placed second. Those who were placed in the top three in their events qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships held at the Antrim Forum. The results were as follows: Alison Macneill, AS Level Minor:100m - 3rd Megan Marrs and 7th Shannon Booth; High Jump - 3rd Megan Marrs; Shot - 8th Robyn McCollum; Long Jump - 8th Aimée Irwin; 4x100m Relay - 1st Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth, Megan Marrs, Laura Middleton and Nicky Montgomery. Junior: 100m - 3rd Isla Lockhart; Javelin - 4th Natalie Wallace; Long Jump - 4th Elly Drinkwater; High Jump - 7th Sophie McKinney; Hammer - 5th Sophie Gribben and 7th Catherine Sheridan; 4x100m Relay - 1st Lois Wilson, Lauren Wheeler, Deborah Campbell and Isla Lockhart. Intermediate: 200m - 5th Morgen Hunt; Long Jump - 4th Hazel Jordan; High Jump - 4th Hazel Jordan and 6th Claudia Bedford Senior: 100m - 3rd Claire Mercer and 4th Rachel Scott; 200m - 2nd Claire Mercer; Long Jump - 3rd Katie Dickson; High Jump - 4th Kerrie Craig;Triple Jump - 3rd Katie Dickson; Shot - 6th Rachael Wilson; 4x100m Relay - 3rd Kerrie Craig, Rachel Scott, Katie Dickson and Claire Mercer. It was a great achievement for everyone who reached the Ulster Championships, and although medals were not won by all, the points that each girl achieved in the events meant that the Minor Team was placed second, the Junior Team was placed fourth and the Senior Team second. The combined scores of all the teams meant that Strathearn was placed third in Ulster, which is an outstanding achievement! Following these excellent results, girls in the top three in field events and top two in track events, qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships held in Tullamore, Co Offaly. The results were as follows: Junior: Javelin - 9th Natalie Wallace; 4x100m Relay - 3rd Lois Wilson, Lauren Wheeler, Deborah Campbell and Isla Lockhart. Senior: 200m - 6th Claire Mercer; Long Jump and Triple Jump - 5th and 4th Katie Dickson. Further Congratulations to Elly Drinkwater, who was selected for the Ulster Schools’ U17 Interprovincial Team; she competed at Tullamore and finished in a commendable eighth place. Congratulations also to Kerrie Craig, who was chosen for the Ulster U18 Celtic Team and competed in the Celtic International in Athlone in August, finishing in fourth place. U14 Team Athletics: This team was made up of second year students: Lauren Wheeler, Isla Lockhart, Natalie Wallace, Sophie McKinney, Hermione Anstey and Rachael Harbinson. Superb performances by the whole team meant that they were placed first in both the Area Heats and the Co Down District Final. The team qualified for the Ulster final and with one event to go, one point separated Glenlola and Strathearn and an excellent relay by Strathearn clinched the Ulster Trophy for the second year in succession! From these great performances, four girls were selected for the Co Down District Team, which competed in the Inter-District Ulster Final. The Strathearn girls’ results were: Isla Lockhart - 1st 100m; Sophie McKinney - 1st 75m Hurdles; Natalie Wallace - 1st Javelin; Lauren Wheeler - 5th Triple Jump. A small number of athletes entered the Northern Ireland Club Championships and were very successful.  All girls qualified for the Irish Championships, which is a great achievement. Isla Lockhart - 1st 80m; Sophie McKinney - 2nd High Jump; Natalie Wallace - 2nd Javelin; Vikki Wallace - 3rd Javelin; Sophie Gribben - 3rd Hammer and Elly Drinkwater - 4th 80m Hurdles and 4th Long Jump. Congratulations to all of the girls that competed this season, and a big thank you to Mrs Harvey, Miss Stewart and Mrs Lamont for all of their time and support, and I think that the superb results reflect all of the effort put in by the PE Department. Kerrie Craig, U6R


sport Senior Athletics Team 2010 Claire Mercer, Katie Dickson, Rachel Scott, Kerrie Craig

Kerrie Craig Ulster U18 Celtic Team Intermediate Athletics Team Co Down District Champions 2010 Back Row: Evie Bloor, Shona Corry, Emma McCracken Centre Row: Laura Rafferty, Morgen Hunt, Stephanie Jemphrey, Claudia Bedford, Hannah Martin Front Row:  Vikki Wallace,Tammie Finlay, Rebecca Blundell,  Jessica Lowry, Francesca Brown

Sophie Dalm,  AS Level


THE ROCK The rock just sits there As still as it can be A cold grey lump The perfect seat for me. Catherine Pooler, 1T


U14 Athletics Team ~ Ulster Champions 2010

Minor Athletics Team Co Down District Champions 2010

Back Row: Gabrielle Park, Nicky Montgomery, Robyn McCollum, Lauren Brooker Front Row: Aimée Irwin, Shannon Booth, Laura Middleton, Megan Marrs, Lydia Millar

Back Row: Natalie Wallace, Rachael Harbinson, Isla Lockhart Front Row:  Anna Campbell, Lauren Wheeler, Hermione Anstey Absent: Sophie McKinney


Junior Athletics Team ~ Co Down District Champions 2010 Back Row: Natalie Wallace, Sophie Gribben, Rachael Harbinson, Sophie McKinney, Deborah Campbell, Lois Wilson, Isla Lockhart Front Row: Jenna Kerr,Tara Gouk, Elly Drinkwater, Lauren Wheeler,  Janey Deehan

Elly Drinkwater Ulster U17 Schools’ Athletics

Artwork ~ Katie Dickson AS Level




Swimming Report

SWIMMING Water everywhere Colourful suits, back flips, dives Out of breath now! Abbie McMaster, 3A

his year has been yet another successful year for swimming in Strathearn. In school swimming galas, the age-groups are split into junior, intermediate and senior categories. The Junior Team consisted of Emma Watson, Jessica Fairclough, Helen Navalli, Eve Allister, Victoria White, Alex Cush, Robyn McCollum, Alice Campbell and Jenny Drennan. The Intermediate Team consisted of Tara Gouk, Shona Corry and Sycerika McMahon. The Senior Team consisted of Rebecca Blundell, Claudia Bedford, Marie-Claire Barry and Hannah Wishart.

Sycerika McMahon

This year Strathearn was well represented at the Minor Schools’ Gala, the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala and the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala.  All swimmers represented Strathearn with enthusiasm, with many appearances in finals, and several on the podium. Indeed, such were the performances at the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala that Strathearn was awarded the overall trophy. The most notable of the individual performances at this gala were put in by: Sycerika McMahon, who won gold medals in both 50m breaststroke and the 100m individual medley; Jenny Drennan, who won silver in both 50m backstroke and freestyle and Marie-Claire Barry, who won silver in 50m backstroke. The relay teams also performed well, with both Intermediate and Senior Teams appearing twice on the podium, with gold and silver and silver and bronze respectively.  Extra credit goes to Emma Watson who ‘swam up’ from the Junior Team, joining the Senior Relay Team to help achieve these results.


The Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala saw several more podium appearances by Strathearn pupils: Helen Navalli was placed third in the 100m backstroke and fifth in the 100m freestyle, Tara Gouk was placed ninth in the 100m backstroke and fourteenth in the 100m freestyle, Rebecca Blundell was placed fourth in the 100m breaststroke and Marie-Claire Barry was placed second in the 100m backstroke. The Senior Relay Team also gained silver and bronze medals. Overall, it has been another great year for swimming at Strathearn, and Strathearn swimmers have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Well done girls!

In the Ulster Open Championships in December 2010, Sycerika won a fantastic twelve gold medals and two silver medals! Later, at the Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala, she won seven out of seven gold medals. At the Dutch Open meet at Eindhoven, Sycerika won one gold and one bronze medal – a great achievement as, due to school commitments, Sycerika could only compete for a day and a half at this competition. In the Irish Open Nationals, Sycerika again excelled, winning nine out of nine gold medals.

Special congratulations must go to Sycerika McMahon who competed in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.To be selected to compete at this standard of international competition is an outstanding achievement for someone who was just fifteen! Whilst in Delhi, Sycerika put in brilliant performances, breaking several Irish Junior records and even managing to qualify for a final in the 400m individual medley. We are very proud of Sycerika, and wish her all the best for her future performances! Marie-Claire Barry, L6T

his has been a year of outstanding achievements for Sycerika, who took part in the Junior Europeans in July 2010 winning a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle, and participating in several other finals. Sycerika was the first person to achieve a medal from Northern Ireland, and the youngest to achieve one from Ireland at such a young age – she is still eligible to compete again this year! In a memorable Commonwealth Games in India, Sycerika reached the semi-final in the 50m breaststroke and the final in the 400m individual medley. Sycerika was the youngest member of the relay team which was placed fourth in the women’s 4x100m freestyle.

In total, Sycerika holds forty Ulster junior and senior records and sixteen Irish junior and senior records. In the summer, Sycerika will take part in the Junior Europeans in Serbia, the Junior Worlds in Lima, the Junior Commonwealths in the Isle of Man, and the World Seniors in Shanghai. We wish her continued success in all of these!

Swimming Team ~ Overall Winners Ulster Grammar Schools Back Row:Victoria White, Jenny Drennan, Shona Corry, Eve Allister, Robyn McCollum, Tara Gouk, Emma Watson, Alexandra Cush Front Row: Alice Campbell, Rebecca Blundell, Sycerika McMahon, Claudia Bedford, Helen Navalli Absent: Marie-Claire Barry (Capt)


Sycerika McMahon Ulster & Irish Senior Swimming Ireland 2012 Olympic Squad


Sophie Rodgers N Ireland Karate Team

Frances Wilson Ireland U15 Trampolining Team

Alexandra Clarke, GCSE Level


literary section THE SEASIDE The seaside is the place to be, I’ll tell you why just listen to me! The rocks, the caves, The giant waves. The sand that’s stuck between your toes, The bit of sun cream on your nose. The bright blue sky, the scorching sun, Making sandcastles is very fun, The ice cream van, Getting a tan. The saltwater that stings your eyes, The only bad thing is saying goodbye! Lauren McDowell, 1S

FROM A RAILWAY CARRIAGE As I look out my window, the colours whizz by Blues, greens and browns, the sun in the sky! I can hear the birds cheep and a dog’s lonely bark, We’ve entered a tunnel, it’s gone suddenly dark! The train sings its song with its clickityclack. I love the sound of the wheels on the track. We fly into the station – I’m so nearly home I’ve loved this journey, but how it has flown!

PARIS I see the Eiffel Tower, standing proud and tall, Dwarfing the rest of Paris, making it seem small. I watch the busy streets of Paris, bustling with life, The sun’s rays stream down on us giving out its lovely light. I see the Arc de Triomphe, its wall smooth but worn, I hear the sound of vehicles, the beeping of car horns. I smell nice French food, delicious, yummy and good. The French really do know the right way to make their food. I taste delicious croissants, crispy, warm and fresh, I feel the walls of the Arc de Triomphe, the views really are the best. Amy Dutton, 2S WATER A splash of water Sudden movement of a fish River never stops.

WINTER The Winter days are long and cold, The smells of Autumn becoming old, Nothing growing on the trees, People raking up dead leaves. The Winter days are long and cold, No fresh fruit, just stale mould, No farmers trying to sow their seeds Just pests picking at the weeds. Lauren Duncan, 3H

FROM A RAILWAY CARRIAGE Away it flew, twisting and turning They pass a plough as the soil is churning The birds fly by, chirping away The sun comes out – it’s a beautiful day! A newborn lamb lies in a barn Watched by a sheepdog to keep her from harm Our journey grows nearer to an end Around a corner, then around a bend. Chloe Young, 1S

Hana Nelson, L6S

Rachel Henry, 1S

MY MOMENT I had taken that moment It was mine Mine forever Always mine I see swaying trees Dancing there Is that possible? I don’t know But my camera could capture it, that I know I see a path A cobbled one too Winding past the trees And past me I see the sun Blazing through the wood Warming the ground Where a flower stood It was lilac The smell of spring Delicate petals A beautiful thing I had taken that moment It was mine Mine forever Always mine

Sara Davison, 3S

Catherine Trimble, 2H


literary section PHOTOGRAPHS One photograph can capture a moment Photographs make you smile, laugh, cry The moment you capture a scene, It’s like time frozen in your hands I remember piles of photographs Sitting in neat rows. Piles upon piles, moments sitting motionless; Fifteen years captured on a thousand pieces of paper. The many memories captured Come in any shape, size or colour, Blue, black, red, yellow, white, gold – The list is endless; imagination isn’t contained Photographs are personal, shared or forgotten, They remember loved and lost ones, One photograph can keep a loved one alive No matter how long ago they left you! Olivia Storey, 4T

THE PURE WHITE ARCTIC The cold, hard snow burns my eyes The stiff, unbroken ice claws my feet The smell of nothing is everything in my nose The taste of snow rubs raw in my tongue The roar of a polar bear murmurs in my ears. Ice melts by fire Water douses the flame The cold freezes the water.

AUTUMN The burnt orange leaves crunch as I pass through the wood I dance around, throwing leaves as only a child would Oh! The memories this wood holds for me Catching the acorns from this oak tree Listening to the cool breeze, running through the air And the trees blowing the wind through my long hair. Aimée Reid & Erin Prentice, 3A

THE SEASONS Spring, Summer,  Autumn, Winter! Spring I like the best! When new leaves grow and flowers too, Spring is better than all the rest. Summer I love so much, The sun shining every day! Birds tweet with delight, When everyone comes out to play. Autumn is so pretty, With all the leaves turning golden brown. Animals build nests for Winter, All the leaves swirling around and around. Winter is very cold, A sheet of snow - pure white. You never know if it will come or go I think it just might! Lola Bingham, 1R

The Arctic, the only place left untouched Except by nature’s fair hand. Phoebe Brigginshaw, 4T MEMORIES I could taste the heat of the blazing sun So as I dived into the crystal blue water I felt a chilling sense of refreshment Shiver down my spine When I opened my eyes An era of colour exploded around me As tropical fish effortlessly glided past me With their scales shimmering in the sun My heart skipped a beat When dark figures started charging at me But as they rose from the dark abyss I realised they were deep blue dolphins Going to Greece was my favourite memory As I could never forget the diving dolphins Soaring swordfish and tiny octopus While I was there. Anieshia Bedford, 2S WATER Dripping from heaven Into everybody’s taps To drink, bathe and cleanse.

Katherine Flack, 3S

Lucy Monroe, L6A


literary section CHILDHOOD NEVER DISAPPEARS Looking back, I see the faces, Looking back, I see the places, Big dimples, buck teeth, toys spread everywhere... When you’re young everyone says “Awk look!” It’s so clear, as if I’m reciting a book. Playing with pink Barbie dolls or fighting Evergreen army men Childhood never disappears! The things you see, the people you meet, Right from when you’re learning to speak. Though we’re not that age, don’t forget! We’ll grow up and have more memories, I bet! Robyn Todd, 4T

MEMORIES THE SUN HAS GIVEN Throughout my life, my strongest memories Have been those of sunny days. After all, a sunny day opens up so many activities, A reason to go outdoors!

Naoise Webster, 3H ART The smell of paint all around me, My artwork coming alive, I finish it off with a speck of glitter, Knowing later, it’ll become litter! Gemma Burnside, 1T

A picnic on the beach, surrounded by my family, The lapping waves, the warm gentle breeze The nagging sun cream reminders, as I ran towards the sea Playing in the garden, the smell of freshly cut grass A mixture of summery colours as the Flowers bend and sway Galloping through the fields, my horse and I are one, However, this wonderful feeling would be nothing Without the sun!

GHOSTS Some weight of emotion still lives on, some strength of feeling still resides although the owner is long since gone all they knew may still abide. No soul need linger to torture you, or to keep you from sleep in the night. No spirit cries out to be listened to, or means to frighten you with its sight. A residue of a memory may seep its way through time, ignoring the bonds of history to produce an immortal sign. Perhaps what was once kept as secret requires acknowledgment now. Perhaps what was another’s regret is left for us to allow. So it may be for us to tolerate the occasional knock, or creak, or thrill but I believe if we just wait more time may make them still.

Sarah Eccles, 4T

MONACO The sun beats down on sparkly, blue sea Big boats bob with music blasting The palm trees swish in the cool breeze That carries the chat from people Open-top Ferraris zoom round the track Leaving sniffs of petrol Everything touchable is hot Licking ice cream in baking heat The pale blue sky with cotton puff clouds And helicopters buzzing above our heads Markets selling anything and everything Sweepers sweeping streets Scaffolding hugs buildings everywhere Orange cones with cracks in roads Mopeds of any colour: baby pink, blue, duck-egg green with matching helmets Stray dogs begging for food, Looking for shade Ribs showing through their fur Speed boats splashing Monaco! Rose Hinds, 2S

Stephanie Erskine, U6S


literary section MEMORIES We take off with the first jump in sight, The smell of horses lingering in the air Speeding up quickly, We turn the bend My nerves worse than ever We’re over it! I hear people mumble,“Wow! She’s flying!” As I ride past the on-looking crowd Turning sharply And on to number two We’ve cleared that one as well! “Good boy!” I say keeping my focus, Searching the arena for the next jump Keeping control as we fly round the course We soar over numbers three, four and five! Only three more to go now! I try and stay calm As we turn to number six. People gasp at how fast we are going. We slow down just enough to make the tight bend. With a gentle tug on my reins I ride him on as the clock is ticking. The more I kick the faster we go! Number seven is now in front of us It looks bigger than I remember! No backing out now! We take off hoping for the best And land safely with a thud! One last push on to number eight. No room for mistakes! We canter in to one last jump Everyone’s watching! I’m feeling the pressure “We’ve done it!” I say, As the crowd cheers. Blue gets one sniff of the waiting polo mints Ready for his reward! I give him a giant pat on the neck. I’ve never been so proud of him! Katie McMurran, 2S

WATER Wandering, winding Liquid fluid clear and pure Mirror of the sky.


Katie Noble, L6H

The moon shines above me The city lights below All the people walking show me where to go! Sarah Curry, 3A

THE RAVEN Through my open window A single raven flew, A wilting rose in its jaw. Through its cruel beak I heard an awful, ‘caw’. Leaving on my bedside A rose past its bloom, I finally understood That it spoke of doom! Sarah Nicholson, 1R SNOW I open the curtains and look out at the bright, white snow, As blank as a canvas, clean, pure. I wrap up warm and go for a walk, Feeling the crunch under my feet as I go. I stay outside for hours, the time flies by, I change out of my wet clothes and sit by the fire, Hot chocolate in my hand, toasting marshmallows, Warm, dry. Melissa Robinson, 3H Running in the race Mind on only the red line Marking the sweet end. Katie Brown, 3H

Looking out of the tiny window Dark clouds parting for a second The lights of a city down below. Lucy Browne, 3H SUMMER FEELINGS Open your eyes - what do you see? A flower, a gate, or a bumble bee? Use your ears - what do you hear? A car, a lawn mower, or a big loud cheer? Open your hands - what do you feel? A stone, smooth glass, or some orange peel? Use your nose - what can you smell? A barbecue, some flowers, or some fish to sell? Open your mouth - what can you taste? Sweet, sour, or a tasty treat? Molly Guy, 1R THE SUN In the sun new colours are made, The dull, green leaves have now turned jade, The sea glitters, A bird twitters, The rays of the sun, Mean outdoor fun, Where I sit in a cave, It’s the best place to see a heaving wave. Caitie Williams, 1S

Katie Noble, GCSE Level









the penrhyn report


t was a lovely day in late August 2010 when the first of the very excited new P1 class and one very excited new Head of Department arrived in Penrhyn. It was of course not my first day in Penrhyn as I had visited the school as the future Head of Department in June. Mrs Norma McNeill had invited me to attend the Junior Sports Day. I received a very warm welcome that day from staff, parents and pupils alike. What particularly struck me during my visit is something that will always have a lasting impression on me and that was the genuine confidence, motivation and character of the P7 girls.  As they represented the end product of a Penrhyn education, I recognised that I had arrived at a very special place. The P7s I met have now progressed to the next phase of their school life. As the P7s have moved on, so too have two long serving key members of Penrhyn staff. Mrs Norma McNeill has given 26 years of dedicated service to Strathearn Preparatory Department, 16 of these as Head of Department. She has, and will always have a genuine, loving interest in Penrhyn. On behalf of all Penrhyn staff, parents and pupils, I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to Norma for her timeless investment in making the school the success it is. Mrs Stella Northover spent many years as Speech and Drama teacher in Penrhyn. She contributed immensely to the creative life within Penrhyn through choral speaking and stage performances. On behalf of her many pupils over the years, I wish her a well earned retirement. This year we welcomed two new teachers to Penrhyn. Mrs Johanna Armstrong is our new Speech and Drama teacher, and Mrs Caroline Nixon provides invaluable learning support. I am already enjoying leading this thriving school, and I am excited about building upon its excellent reputation for individual attainment, and maintaining its caring and creative ethos. The results of the 2010 statutory assessments in Mathematics and English at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 were excellent.  Being significantly higher than the Northern Ireland average, they are a key indicator of the academic success achieved in Penrhyn. Furthermore, we prepare the girls for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment which is held towards the end of the first term in Year 7. This preparation builds on the strong literacy and numeracy skills developed in earlier years. Results in this year’s AQE assessment were very pleasing and we are confident that most girls will be taking up grammar school places next September. A key aspect of success in any school is the recognition of the importance of the three way relationship of parent, teacher and child. In Penrhyn, we foster this relationship in many ways and in particular through the Parent/Teacher Information Evenings held at the start of the school term in September. The staff and I see this as a valuable opportunity to outline to parents practical aspects of the pupils’ day to day experiences at school, and to give an overview of the curriculum relevant to each year group.


A fourth key component of the success within Penrhyn is the continual support and leadership from our School Principal, Mr David Manning. His interest and commitment to the success of Penrhyn is very much evidenced by the time and involvement he gives to the Department.  Although separate to the main campus, Penrhyn is very much a part of Strathearn School. The continual excellent working relationship at all levels between Penrhyn and Strathearn plays a significant role in the smooth running of the Department. In October, at the Strathearn Parents’ Association Annual Meeting, the Department was presented with a cheque for £7,200. A great deal of hard work and commitment is needed to raise this amount of money. On behalf of the staff and pupils I extend a huge thank you to Mrs Fiona Andrews and the PA Committee.  We were able to purchase two interactive whiteboards for the school this year. We now have an interactive whiteboard in all of the Penrhyn classrooms. I have used my first year to get to know the staff, and to familiarise myself with the academic curriculum as well as the varied extra-curricular programme.  I have enjoyed meeting many parents. Most importantly, I have been getting to know each of the girls, all of whom make Penrhyn the unique and wonderful place it is. Penrhyn is a busy place: learning is enhanced by an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities and by residential and non-residential trips, visiting speakers and workshops. The girls have many opportunities for charitable fundraising and involvement with the local community. I hope that you will enjoy reading the reports that follow and that you will learn more about the ‘inner workings’ of our school and get a sense of life at Penrhyn. B Mawhinney

Hannah Meredith, P4

penrhyn school prefects School Prefects 2010 - 2011 Back Row: Ellen Gilpin, Connie O’Callaghan, Saskia McMinn Front Row: Ella Reid, Jenny McLeod, Beth McColl, Erin McCormack

MY SENSES Hear the crunching of people walking in the snow I can see the birds looking for food I can feel the snow melting in my warm hands I don’t like the taste of brussels sprouts I can smell the pine needles on the Christmas tree. Alex Agar, P4

House/Vice Captains 2010 - 2011 Back Row: Beth McColl, Connie O’Callaghan, Ellen Dobbs, Amy Greer Front Row:  Alex Reilly, Niamh West, Ella Reid, Erin McCormack

Laura Mitchell, P2

Duty Prefects 2010 - 2011 Back Row:  Alex Reilly, Kate Reid, Niamh West, Nicola McIlwaine, Amy Greer, Holly Chambers Middle Row:  Darcy Shanks, Eden Lamb, Emily Buchanan, Samantha Brown, Ellen Dobbs Front Row:  Olivia Donald, Eve Corry, Katie McVeigh, Sarah McCracken,  Ailsa Morrison,  Anna Park


the penrhyn year The Penrhyn Year 2010-2011 Educational visits, linked to the Programmes of Study across the curriculum, are an important feature in the life of Penrhyn. The girls benefit greatly from these and enjoy them immensely. Penrhyn also regularly welcomes visitors into the school to talk to, or to meet with, the pupils. Here are some highlights of the past year:

about the weapons used by the Normans and tried on pieces of armour. The weather was kind to us and this helped to make this field trip very enjoyable.

April 2010


Visit by M & M Productions...

A children’s theatre production company from Scotland. This was their eighth visit to Penrhyn, and they entertained us with their colourful performance of A Little Princess.


P7 Trip to Carlingford

On a sunny Monday afternoon in April, 23 excited P7 girls and 3 enthusiastic staff, arrived at Carlingford Adventure Centre for what was to be a week crammed with action and laughter! The girls, many of whom were away from home alone for the first time, eagerly took part in a host of outdoor activities from rock climbing to raft building. It was a fantastic week that the children and staff will remember forever!



P3 Trip to W5

P3 went on a trip to W5. We had to walk over the glass bridge to get to the ‘Materials’ workshop. It was scary! We built a raft for the three little pigs and then we built a bridge for them. Later, we went to play in ‘Start’ and we enjoyed playing in the café there. Eventually it was time to eat our lunch. We were ravenous! Then we went to play in the bigger play area. It was such good fun!

P2 & P4 Trip to Castle Espie

P2 and P4 went to Castle Espie to study birds and their habitats. This linked with the P4 topic on ‘Birds’ and the P2 ‘Environment’ topic. We had a glorious, sunny day which was perfect weather for observing the birds.


P3 visit to the City Hall

Finally, we went to the gift shop, making lovely music as we tiptoed down the musical stairs. Hannah bought a packet of sweets and Holly bought a fish. Holly Gilpin and Hannah Meredith, P3


P6 Trip to W5

In April, P6 attended the W5 Science Exhibition at the Odyssey. They took part in a ‘Technology’ workshop and enjoyed the challenge set for them, which was to build the fastest buggy. P6 also explored the interesting and educational exhibits, trying out many different scientific activities.

May 2010


P6 Trip to Carrickfergus Castle

As part of the connected learning topic – ‘Castles’, P6 visited Carrickfergus Castle in May. The pupils enjoyed a guided tour and had the opportunity to view a film about the history of the castle. Having lunch in the castle’s vaults was a highlight. The girls learnt


Our school took part in the Belfast City Council’s Partners Against Grime competition and we were very proud to hear that the judges

the penrhyn year had selected Holly Gilpin’s entry as a runner-up! Holly’s picture was called ‘Green Girl 99’. We were invited to the prize giving event on 11 May 2010 in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at the City Hall and we met the Lord Mayor, Naomi Long. She was very friendly and shook our hands and told us that our posters were lovely! Holly won a framed certificate and she also won £50 worth of arts and crafts vouchers for P3. Holly Gilpin and Hannah Meredith, P3

June 2010


P6 Trip to Greenmount

On 11 June, P6 took part in a summer education programme entitled Spring Awakening and Summer Spectacle. The programme was organised by the RSPB on Greenmount Campus. The pupils completed a minibeast hunt and then tried some pond dipping – which was a great success. They also went on a nature ramble focusing on the habitats of woodland creatures. P6 had an opportunity to explore the wonderful gardens of Greenmount, before returning to school.


P5 Biodiversity Day at Orangefield Park

On 3 June P5, Mrs McCormick and Mrs Stevenson went to Orangefield Park to learn about reducing, reusing and recycling. We got on the minibus at 9.15 and got there at 9.30. We met up with a guide called Cheryl.  She brought us to a tent where we met Ann; she talked to us about composting and then we looked through a pile of compost to find minibeasts. We put the minibeasts which we found into jars which you looked through to see them close up.

On 11 June, P3 went on a trip to Greenmount. It was a long ride to get there. When we got there we met our leaders and we divided into two groups.  Our group leader was called Maria. Our first event was to see the Thompsons’ house and we saw lots of plants and a mini maze. Then we went for a walk and we saw the big maze and we all got to go in.  We kept going to dead ends! It was really fun! Then we had our break. After that we went minibeast hunting. Heather and I found four woodlice, one snail, a caterpillar and a centipede. Then we got to see the minibeast hotel. Later we had another big walk and we met Tom and he had a strawberry plant but no strawberries were growing on it yet.  At last we had our lunch and we met the other group. So we went to our next event and it was pond dipping.  As a treat we were allowed to feed the ducks and we saw two baby ducklings. Then we went home. P3 really enjoyed Greenmount! Imogen McGimpsey and Amelia Kane, P3


P3 visit to the School of Music

On 18 June we went to the School of Music. We went on a bus and my mum came to help. When we got there we had to sing some songs and say a poem called Jungle by the Electric Light Orchestra. Imogen was the conductor and she was very good. I played the bells.  It was very fun! Emily Crockett, P3


Penrhyn Prize Day

After that we made musical instruments out of plastic bottles. One of them was a water whistle and the other was a toy, where you open and close your arms to move two bottle tops stuck together back and forth. We tried some of the instruments and loved them. When we got back to school we made the toy. Next we went to the third tent where we saw George; we had seen him before when he came to see us in school. We talked about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling and then we planted beans by reusing some things. We made pots out of newspaper and put in compost and one bean; we had to water them when we got home. Finally, we came to the last tent and in the tent there was a magician.  His name was Marvin the Magician; he had a bird called Billy the Bird (he was really, really funny). Marvin also made puppets and used balls as rubbish; they disappeared and came back again. After that Cheryl came and asked us questions on the trip and how we liked it. We said we loved it. When we came back on the minibuses it was time for lunch. We really loved our school trip and wish to come back again. Olivia Creighton and Aoife Khan, P5


P3 Trip to Greenmount

Winner of The Batho Cup L-R: Mr D Manning, Sophie Lewis, Mrs N McNeill and Mr P White On 25 June 2010 Penrhyn held their annual Prize Morning in Strathearn School assembly hall. Girls were awarded prizes for academic work, drama and sports. P6 performed their winning choral verse. P7 also performed some songs from the school production Annie. Parents came to watch their daughters perform and receive their awards. Prize day was a great way to end the term! Ellen Gilpin and Niamh West, P7

September 2010


P5 Trip to the Zoo

On 24 September, P5 went on a trip to Belfast Zoo. After our Friday test everyone got on the bus from the Belfast Bus Company. We arrived at the Zoo at about 10 o’clock. Mrs Stevenson, Mrs McCabe and my mum came with us. We met Mr Fisher who works at the Zoo and he took us into the Habitat Room to learn about some of the animals, how some are endangered because people are ruining their habitats and hunting them or selling them for money. Mr Fisher showed us some animals, letting us touch them if we wanted.  We saw a stick insect, a snail, a tarantula, a snake and a little white hedgehog. After our lesson we were allowed to explore the pet farm. We walked to the adventure park and everyone ate their break. I loved


the penrhyn year the slide the most. Next we started our walk around the Zoo to find out about the animals on our worksheets. All these animals are endangered. We walked a long way up a huge hill and saw lots of animals. We saw sitatungas, spider monkeys, a spectacled bear, Asian elephants, golden lion tamarins, colombus monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas. Mrs Stevenson told us lots of information about the animals and we had to fill in our worksheets.

of acorns underneath it. Then we went to see the site of a Motte and Bailey. Anne told us some facts about Norman times. We walked along the forest path and saw the Ice House owned by the Hills.  They got all the ice from the River Lagan when it was frozen. We continued our walk through the forest and talked about rabbits, squirrels and hedgehogs.  Anne told us that hedgehogs hibernate and she told us to help the hedgehogs and build hibernaculums. We used leaves, ivy and sticks. Then we had to camouflage them. We were all very hungry so we sat down to enjoy a yummy lunch! When we had finished our lunch we went into the Exhibition Centre. We all sat down and Ann McCormick told us about forest animals.  First she talked about badgers. Badgers live in setts with all their families. Then Ann talked about rabbits, hares, squirrels, foxes, otters and stoats.  Ann told us that the stoat was the deadliest animal in the forest. Lastly she talked about the pygmy shrew. At 2.30pm we got on the bus. We were all very tired.  It was a long journey. I really enjoyed our school trip. I really enjoyed all the things that we did and I hope we have another one like it. I loved it! Nina Reid, P5

November 2010

e We saw other animals too, like giraffes and zebras. I loved the penguins and seals. At the top of the hill we ate our packed lunches and walked back down the hill again. We went to the souvenir shop and spent our pocket money. I bought a green nightdress with a tiger on it, a pencil, a rubber and an animal colouring book. We went back to the adventure park again, where I climbed to the very top of the climbing frame. At 2.30pm we went back to the bus. Everyone was tired but very happy.  I really enjoyed my trip to the Zoo and hope to go back soon and have some more fun! Ellen McCormick, P5

October 2010


P5 visit by Knock Firefighters

On 9 November, the members of Green Watch from Knock Fire Station come to visit the P5 class at Penrhyn. Alan, Warren, Ian and Michael were the firemen who came to give a safety talk. First of all, Michael told us about fire hazards. He said never to leave candles unattended and not to have them beside curtains. Warren told us a little bit about having an escape plan and to make sure everyone in the family knows how to use it. Everyone went outside to have a tour of the fire engine. Warren lifted out the hose and we all got to knock over two orange cones to show how powerful the water was coming out of the hose. I enjoyed the Green Watch talk and learned a lot about the dangers of fire. I especially liked using the hose! Heidi McMillen, P5

P7 visit to Mount Stewart

In October P7 went on a wonderful trip to Mount Stewart to learn about the Victorians.


The Amazing Journey

When we arrived we had our break and then we dressed up as Victorians; we were either scullery maids or parlour maids. Shortly afterwards, we were spilt into two groups. Then we went to the kitchen where we were shown lots of different pots and pans and a knife polisher. We went to loads of rooms but my favourite room was probably the schoolroom because we learnt how to write in Victorian ink pens.  After we had practised, we wrote invitations to a party to celebrate the opening of Scrabo Tower. After that we had our lunch and then it was time to go back to school. It was great fun and I learnt a lot about the Victorians. I would definitely recommend it to anybody. Kate Reid, P7


P1 Autumn Walk

The P1s enjoyed a lovely October morning in the grounds of the Senior school for our annual Autumn Walk. The girls loved jumping through the crisp leaves and taking bark rubbings from the trees.


P5 Trip to Belvoir Park

On 12 October, P5 visited Belvoir Park to study trees and animal habitats.  We left Penrhyn at 9.30am accompanied by our teacher Mrs Stevenson and two parent helpers, Mrs McMillen and Mrs Reid. We travelled with the Belfast Bus Company. When we arrived at Belvoir Park we had our break and played. After break we were split into groups. I was with Anne McCombe, who was our guide through the forest. We saw an oak tree with lots


On 12 November, The Amazing Journey people came to speak to us about God and Jesus. The P1s, P2s, P3s and P4s were allowed to dress up and then we were able to taste a selection of food from Bible Times.  We enjoyed the stories about The Lost Coin and The Lost Sheep. There was a funny puppet show called In a Barn. Freya Beers & Lucy Milhench, P3


P5 Early Man Workshop

On 16 November, Rita and Martin came to the P5 classroom to talk about Early Man. First Rita talked about flint which is a kind of stone that they used for arrows for hunting boar. We were put into groups

the penrhyn year and we had to identify tools and weapons that Early Man would have used. After break we wove with wool in pairs and then we wattled with wood to build a wall. We also had a go at grinding corn into flour on a quern stone. Phoebe and I built a miniature-sized tomb out of stone. We got to make an axe, but out of card, not flint.

P7 Peace Proms

Finally, we went outside and cooked the flour that we had ground and made bread with it. I really enjoyed the workshop, especially making the axe. I can’t wait for our next workshop!

On Sunday 6 February, P7 went to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast to sing. We sang nine songs with fifteen other choirs. We arrived at 6.00 in the foyer for a rehearsal and then it started at 8.00. Standing in front of an audience was really scary because there were hundreds of people watching. We sang with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland.  Mrs Mladek and Mrs Devlin came with us.  All of the children who were singing had to wear black and white. The teachers had to wear black. Singing in front of all of those people was really fun. When the performance was over, we met our parents in the foyer.  Singing at the Waterfront was an experience that we will never forget.

Nina Reid, P5

Emily Buchanan and Eve Corry, P7

After lunch there was a PowerPoint on the Old Stone Age up to the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age was when metal was discovered. After the PowerPoint we made clay pots. It was a fun activity to do!



P3 Trip to Mount Stewart

On 24 November we went on our trip to Mount Stewart. First we made Christmas decorations and cards by recycling old materials. Second we sang some Christmas carols and Mia and Rachel got to dress up as a drummer.  Next, we pretended to make a cake. Then we went to the night nursery and heard a story about The Night Before Christmas.  Then we went back down to get some lunch, visited the gift shop and went for a walk around the lake. We saw a squirrel and when we were going back some ducks followed us.

P1 Valentine’s Day Expedition

The P1s went to the pillar box on the Belmont Road to post a very important letter for Valentine’s Day. Mummy and Daddy were so pleased when the postman arrived with their lovely surprise!


P4 visit to the RSPB Lookout at Belfast Lough

Sarah Catherall & Lauren Mooney, P3

December 2010


P6 Viking Workshop

On 2 December, P6 took part in a Viking Workshop to learn more about the Vikings’ lifestyle. The first thing we did was to watch a video and answer questions. After that we all decided which activity we wanted to do.  We had the choice of dressing up, weaving, making flour, playing Viking games and seeing how long we could hold a sword in the air. The type of sword was one that the Vikings would have used for battle. After lunch we got to go outside and fight with rubber swords. We had a competition, which Verity won. We also made axes and it was a great day. My favourite part was fighting outside with the swords. I would love to do it again. Tess McMillen, P6


The Christmas Play

On 10 December, our P2 class went to Strathearn School to take part in Pinocchio. First we got into our costumes. I was dressed up as a street child. Caitlyn was Tigger and Zara was a solider. We had great fun on stage. Everyone clapped at the end. Santa came to visit in the finale. Eloise McKnight, P2

P4 visited the RSPB Lagan Lookout and wrote about some of the things they found out there:

2 A swallow flies to Africa and helps people by eating mosquitoes. Emily Crockett

2 Swifts fly all the way to South Africa and back.

Hannah Meredith

February 2011

2 Some birds have to dig their beaks into the mud to get food.


2 Birds die because container ships sometimes spill oil that kills

P7 at the Peace Proms in the Waterfront Hall

Eve Greer

the birds. Francesca Park

2 Birds can have accidents with cars or other dangerous things and end up with one leg or wing. Ruby Allen


Some birds are very fussy eaters and some birds will eat anything. Holly Gilpin

2 The RSPB doesn’t just help birds – they also help frogs and earthworms. Imogen McGimpsey

2 Puffins only lay one egg each year.  Amy Creighton


penrhyn sports day P1 – P3 SPORTS DAY


he weather was kind at our P1 – P3 Sports Day in June. All the events were participated in with great enthusiasm. Many parents came to cheer on the athletes and we thank them for their support. A number of mums, dads, grandparents and young brothers and sisters also participated in our races. For many it was their first formal competitive experience, but everyone enjoyed themselves and all collected a participation certificate. Our thanks to Mrs Rae McGookin, a former pupil of both Penrhyn and Strathearn, who very graciously presented the prizes. Thanks also to the parents who served the refreshments.

RESULTS Race 1st P1


Eloise McKnight



Martha Cupples



Eloise McKnight



Mia Montgomery



Cheryl Watson



Rachel McDonald



Ruby Allen



Ruby Allen



Amelia Hopkins


P6 Vikings Display


P4 – P7 SPORTS DAY ur Sports Day was held at Strathearn on a dry, but cool, Bank Holiday afternoon. As usual, the events were competed for with great enthusiasm and many excellent performances were achieved. Congratulations to all the girls. Our special guest was Ulster rugby star, Bryn Cunningham.

A special thanks to the parents who served refreshments in the canteen. Our thanks to Strathearn and, in particular, to Miss Taylor for her co-operation and for the use of the facilities. Thanks also to the Senior Office Bearers and the Games Captain and her Deputies, who helped with the running of the event.

RESULTS Race 1st P4


Ellie Fullerton



Olivia Nelson



Olivia Donald



Bonnie Ramsay



Erin McConnell



Eve Corry



Georgina Gomes


50m Skipping

Rosie Park


High Jump

Ella Reid


High Jump

Georgina Gomes


Long Jump

Lily-Mai McKane


Long Jump

Olivia Donald


Long Jump

Bonnie Ramsay


Cricket Ball

Sophie Williams


Cricket Ball

Connie O’Callaghan


Cricket Ball

Bonnie Ramsay

Individual Sports Day Winners

HOUSE RELAY WINNERS:  P4 Barbour; P5 Watts; P6 Watts; P7 McCaughey INDIVIDUAL POINTS:  P4 Rosie Park; P5 Olivia Nelson; P6 Olivia Donald; P7 Bonnie Ramsay WINNING HOUSE:  Watts


Bonnie Ramsay, Rosie Park, Olivia Donald, Olivia Nelson

penrhyn extra-curricular

Key Stage 1 Gymnastics Back Row: Cheryl Watson, Eva McMaster, Ella Keane, Lucy Milhench, Ciara West, Halah Irvine, Madeleine Ievers, Nicole Hanna, Rachel McDonald Third Row: Eve Rainey, Emma Hylands, Ruby McWhinney, Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Sarah McDonald, Chloe Browne, Cecelia MacMahon, Eva McClean,  Aoife Moore, Gabriella Park Second Row: Eve Greer, Alyssa Campbell, Zara Conroy, Mia Montgomery, Lucie Maskery, Lauren Mooney,  Alexandra Coetzee, Madeline Doherty, Eve Canavan

Holly Higgins, P1

Front Row: Isabella Anderson, Rachel Brett,  Alice Browne, Ciara Moore, Laura Mitchell,  Victoria Murray, Caitlyn Corbett, Martha Cupples, Sarah Menary

Key Stage 2 Gymnastics Back Row: Erin Stewart, Sophie Williams, Bethan Andrews, Scarlett Reid, Eve Corry, Anna Park, Phoebe Spratt,  Ailsa Morrison, Mia Mouron-Adams Third Row: Katie McVeigh, Niamh West, Lily-Mai McKane, Rachel McClintock, Anna Brien, Emma Piggot, Isabella MacMahon, Rebekkah Lindores, Olivia Nelson, Olivia Donald Second Row: Ellie Fullerton, Grace Connor, Rebekah Mitchell, Molly Cahoon, Ella Reid, Eve McDowell,  Jennifer Bullman, Chloe Graham, Rebecca McDowell


Gymnastics Club Report

Front Row: Emma Caldwell, Hollie Andrews, Isabella Reihill,  Amber Allen, Beth Buchanan, Emma Carson, Marissa Esteban

he Penrhyn Gymnastics Club is run by Head Senior Club Coach, Miss Sinead Mouncey. Our club caters for all levels of ability with the main emphasis of each class being FUN!

Classes run on Wednesday afternoons for P5-P7 and on Friday afternoons for P2-P4. Each session begins with a pulse-raising warmup, and body preparation exercises to promote each individual child’s natural range of movement, preparing muscles and joints for the session ahead. The club aims to promote a healthy, active lifestyle and to help form the basis for physical literacy development, thus providing fundamental skills and actions necessary for both gymnastics and a range of other sports.  The club provides opportunities to all ability levels of general gymnastics within a range of controlled learning environments. The coaches aim to progressively develop core skills - such as balance, strength, flexibility and coordination - and to provide each child with encouraging motivation, challenge and achievement in the form of rewards, badges, certificates and medals. Each member of the club is affiliated to British Gymnastics and the whole club is affiliated to Gymnastics NI. Membership of British Gymnastics provides the girls with newsletters/magazines and links to follow gymnastics at all levels and disciplines. As a club we follow the British Gymnastics Proficiency, Sports Acrobatics, Floor and Vault Award Schemes. In January, a selection of gymnasts from P2-P6 performed in a fantastic Open Day Display. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the other coach and trainee assistant, Miss B Spence and Miss D Hart. for their dedication keep up the good work, you are doing fantastic job! I would also like to thank all the parents and teachers for their continued support. S Mouncey


penrhyn extra-curricular



he following girls represented Penrhyn in the Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships:

Emily Buchanan & Ella Reid, P7

Eve Corry, Erin McConnell, Saskia McMinn, Samantha Brown, Alex Reilly, Olivia Nelson, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams, Katie Wills, Amelia Kane, Phoebe Spratt, Amelia Hopkins, Erin Stewart, Rebecca Tunnah and Anna McCabe.

Results from the Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships Individuals who were in the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province: 50m Backstroke: Under 9 - Amelia Kane & Phoebe Spratt; 50m Butterfly: Under 9 - Rebecca Tunnah; 50m Breaststroke: Under10 - Katie Wills; 50m Backstroke: Under 10 - Erin McConnell, Sophie Williams, Katie Wills; 50m Breaststroke - Under 11 - Eve Corry; 50m Backstroke: Under 11 Samantha Brown; Individual Medley: Under 11 - Samantha Brown. Well done girls! The following girls won medals. At Under 10, second place in the 50m Backstroke went to Olivia Nelson. In the Under10 Breaststroke Sam McCormick won silver. In the Under 10 Butterfly we had a 1-2-3: Olivia Nelson was placed first, Sam McCormick second and Sophie Williams third. Erin McConnell won a silver medal in the Under 10 Freestyle. The Under 10 Medley and Freestyle Relays won gold medals. The squad members were: Olivia Nelson, Erin McConnell, Sophie Williams, Samantha McCormick and Katie Wills.

The Irish Schools’ Championships The following girls took part in the Irish Schools’ Championships: Erin McConnell, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams, Olivia Nelson and Katie Wills. Olivia won an individual bronze in the Under 10 Backstroke. The Under 10 Freestyle Relay Team won a gold medal. In the Medley Relay the team won silver. Congratulations to all! Individual Swimming Gala Winners: P3 Rebecca Tunnah; P4 Phoebe Spratt; P5 Olivia Nelson; P6 Samantha Brown and P7 Caitie Williams.  Winning House - Watts.

Minor Schools Swimming Team Back Row: Erin Stewart, Erin McConnell, Eve Corry, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams Middle Row: Katie Wills, Olivia Nelson, Samantha Brown, Saskia McMinn,  Alex Reilly, Phoebe Spratt Front Row: Amelia Kane, Rebecca Tunnah, Amelia Hopkins, Nina Reid,  Anna McCabe

Ulster Under 10 Medley Freestyle Champions Back Row: Samantha McCormick, Erin McConnell, Sophie Williams Front Row: Katie Wills, Olivia Nelson

P7 Zoo Display 74

penrhyn extra-curricular Sports Hall Athletics - A Squad Back Row: Niamh West, Saskia McMinn, Connie O’Callaghan, Samantha Brown, Nicola McIlwaine, Sarah McCracken Front Row: Ella Reid, Beth McColl, Eve Corry, Alex Reilly, Olivia Donald,  Anna Park


Sports Hall Athletics

ports hall athletics, supported by Norwich Union, is staged at over fifty venues across the UK. The national programme includes a calendar of regional festivals and a series of road shows during the 2010-2011 season. This year two events were held at Strathearn in February. The competition was between six teams of boys and girls, each with a maximum of fifteen pupils. As the competition rules this year stipulated that the teams were mixed, our A and B Squads joined the boys from Campbell College Junior School.  After the obstacle, over-and-under relays, speed bounce, chest push and jumping events, the points were counted and our A team were crowned runners-up! Even more pleasing was the fact that our B Squad also performed very well, finishing fourth. Many thanks to the senior school for their help in running the event. The Northern Ireland Athletics Association held trials to select pupils to represent the Belfast Primary Schools’ Team to take part in the Odyssey Arena during the Irish Indoor Athletic Championships. Only fifteen places were available; Olivia Donald was successful in making the team.  She enjoyed the experience of competing in the arena and also rubbing shoulders with so many high profile athletes - an inspiration for her and her future career in sport!

Sports Hall Athletics - B Squad Back Row: Katie McVeigh, Ellen Dobbs, Darcy Shanks, Emily Buchanan, Eden Lamb, Erin McCormack Front Row:  Ellen Gilpin, Kate Reid, Holly Chambers,  Jenny McLeod, Amy Greer,  Ailsa Morrison


Athletics Club

uring the summer term another group of budding 2012 Olympians took part in track and field events on Wednesday afternoons. The girls developed and improved their skills in high-jump, long-jump and throwing. Towards the end of the summer, hurdles were introduced. Building on their successful cross-country season, stamina and endurance were improved with distance runs and interval training. Speed work and pyramid training improved their fast ‘twitch’ muscles. Our throwers worked on the techniques for javelin, discus and shot. Everyone enjoyed the sessions and the extra practices produced great results on Sports Day. This year our P6 and P7 pupils did not have the opportunity to perform in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Athletic Competition. The track was being repaired. Instead, I organised a friendly triangular athletic match with Downey House and Fullerton House, which was held at Pirrie Park. All the pupils who attended the Athletics Club competed. The event was enjoyed by all. I was delighted this year that Penrhyn provided teams for the invitation relay at Downey House Sports Day, where we had great success - we won! Weekly practice has produced great results and we look forward to even better results this year! We entered the Belfast East heat of the Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Cross-Country where the team won first place. Eve Corry won an individual silver and Katie Wills an individual bronze.  We also had pupils placed 4th, 6th, 8th & 9th six pupils in the first 10 finishers. The Belfast final takes place at the end of March. We wish the team every success! M Harvey

Athletics Club Back Row: Ella Reid, Olivia Donald, Beth McColl,  Alex Reilly, Eve Corry Middle Row: Kate Reid, Holly Chambers, Saskia McMinn, Erin McCormack, Niamh West, Sarah McCracken Front Row: Ellen Gilpin, Eden Lamb, Connie O’Callaghan, Samantha Brown, Nicola McIlwaine


penrhyn extra-curricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment Curtains up! Light the lights…


t was time! I rushed downstairs to eat my breakfast. I was never so nervous in my whole life.  I was going to do our show, Pinocchio, on the stage today.  The day was 10 December.  I got to school – we didn’t need our school bags. Mrs Mawhinney and Mrs Manning were helping everyone to find a partner for the walk over to the senior school. I was going to be Jiminy Cricket in the school play. When we got to our room, I had butterflies in my tummy. We were doing the play with P2 and we were on first. I was getting my make-up done and I was thinking about my solo and my duet with Amy Creighton. It was time to line up for our play. I got so nervous when we had to wait so, so quietly while Mrs Mawhinney did her speech. Then it went dark and the music started and we had to walk on to the stage. Eight minutes went by and it was time for my lines and my solo. When our play finished the P1 and P3 play began. There were aliens approaching our planet. Then their spaceship went out of control, so they landed on a strange place called Earth. Mary was going to have a baby called Jesus.  An angel came and told Mary it was going to be God’s son. Mary said, “Why has God chosen me?”  The aliens were invited to learn about the baby Jesus. In the end the aliens got their spaceship working. In the grand finale we had to sing three songs.  After the show I went to Café Smart. Anna McCabe, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment Penrhyn make it look Easy Street...


ood morning my name is Rebecca Murphy writing for Murphy News.

On Friday 19 March 2010, I went to a fabulous production of Annie - and what a production it was! When I got there I was greeted by four bright, happy, welcoming girls all willing to take me to my seat. In the foyer there were many wonderful photographs of the dress rehearsal, the most magnificent miniature sets of the play and haiku poems about the play. When I got to my seat there was a delightful little programme which was very useful when I wanted to know who played which characters. Before the play started we were entertained by some brilliant music from the show. After a short while Mrs Northover, the director of the play, made a speech when she told us about rehearsals and how much effort all the girls had put in! Then the show started - and boy did it start with a bang!! It began with the P6 girls singing the song NYC, then the curtains opened and we were taken back to the 1930s in an orphanage which was run by a horrible woman called Miss Hannigan. The story really pulled on my heart strings and the actresses, who were so young, acted tremendously. I was stunned by their accents and the expressions on their faces, and their moves in the dances were smooth and slick. The costumes were vibrant and very well suited to the characters and the make-up was absolutely sensational. The scenery and props were out of this world. The pianist never made a mistake and did amazingly well playing all the songs as well as the incidental music. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Mr Warbucks, Molly, Miss Hannigan, Rooster and Annie presenting each teacher who had helped with a gift at the end of the production. Once again, Penrhyn have made it all look so easy and this year’s production was definitely worthy of a West End run! I loved this show and give it five stars!


penrhyn extra-curricular


Tin Whistle Report

he girls in the Tin Whistle Group at Penrhyn continue to enjoy an introduction to music through the simplest of instruments – the much underestimated tin whistle. The half-hour classes take place on Mondays and Wednesdays after school.  It is a joy to observe the growing confidence of the girls from P2-P7 as they perform in groups and as soloists at school events. Once again, many girls who performed at the Holywood Music Festival in November acquitted themselves with honour.  I gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the parents, grandparents and relatives who encourage their daughters to practise in preparation for these events.

Penrhyn has always been a hive of musical activity, with its pupils being encouraged to sing, and play the piano and other musical instruments. Music is a gift that can transform our lives.  The motto of the Tin Whistle Group is that: ‘we play music to make people happy’. After some initial over blowing through exuberance, I sincerely hope that parents and relatives are beginning to enjoy the musical sounds the youngest players are learning to produce on their tin whistles. After a relatively short time playing their whistles, many of the girls manage to produce rich and vibrant tones to the rhythm of music that sets the feet tapping. Many thanks to Mrs Mawhinney and to the staff at Penrhyn for their continued support and assistance in accommodating the tin whistle class.  “You are the music, while the music lasts.” T S Eliot. H Grimes


French Club Report


Ballet Report

e have had another busy year at Penrhyn during the Tuesday afternoon Ballet classes.

In September, the new P1 girls were all full of excitement and eager to start their dancing. It was lovely to see so many new faces, and also the return of girls from last year. The girls are all enjoying the new work of the Royal Academy of Dance. This new syllabus has a very different approach to ballet classes than the previous syllabus. There is much more opportunity for the children to use their own imaginations, music from around the world and freedom to use props which the girls all enjoy. At the same time, basic technique continues to be learned in a fun and varied way. The older girls have continued to work well and have been entered for examinations. Their syllabus is made up of classical ballet work, free movement and character dancing from around the world. This lets the girls get a feel for all of the different aspects of dance that they would see in a staged ballet. I hope these children continue to enjoy their classes, and return in September. N Campbell

Penrhyn Piano Results Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

he French Club meets on Monday afternoons for P4 (and beginners) and on Tuesday afternoons for P5-P7. The aim is to make learning French fun. Each class begins with juice and biscuits and, once fortified, the girls are ready to tackle the topic of the day.

March 2010

This year members of the Monday class made a promising start to French, learning greetings, numbers, the alphabet, days of the week and months of the year. They also enjoyed role plays which involved ordering snacks, drinks and ice cream. Some of the girls are already displaying linguistic flair.

Bethan Andrews, Holly Chambers and Erin Stewart, Preparatory Certificate Aoife Khan, Grade 1 Distinction. Jessica Moore, Ella Reid and Caitie Williams, Grade 1 Merit. Keziah Beattie, Grade 2 Pass. Katie McVeigh and Eve McDowell, Grade 2 Merit.

Talent abounds too among members of Tuesday’s class who covered wide-ranging topics, such as family, weather, colours, telling the time and, more ambitiously, European countries and their capitals. Through role plays the girls enjoyed shopping, especially for clothes! I am pleased to report that it has been another successful year for the French Club and I look forward to welcoming new members next year. J Erskine


Speech and Drama Report

n September 2010, I was delighted when sixty girls enrolled for speech and drama classes, and I was thrilled that before the end of the first term, over eighty girls had enrolled for the classes.

Speech and drama provides an opportunity for each girl to improve her communication skills, expand her imagination and think creatively. The classes foster an appreciation of literature, poetry and drama while building confidence and self-esteem. The interaction necessary for drama provides an arena where the girls develop team working skills. Classes take place in the drama room over the lunch period and after school, taking the form of performance of poems, drama games, puppet theatre, mime, role play and acting. The girls are all excited about their upcoming entries for the Holywood Festival of Speech and Drama and are diligently learning their poems. Later in the year, the girls will have the opportunity to enter for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Examinations, and I look forward to highlighting their successes in the next magazine. The excited buzz of the girls coming into class is the highlight of my day and I have no doubt I will see some of my little stars on stage some day! J Armstrong


Georgina Gomes, Grade 2, Distinction. Sophie Lewis and Faye Wallace, Grade 1 Distinction.

June 2010

November 2010

Emily Buchanan, Grade 2 Pass.

Halah Irvine, P4

penrhyn extra-curricular


Penrhyn Choir

he Penrhyn Choir meets every Monday afternoon after school and it welcomes girls from P5 to P7. This year, Mrs Mawhinney trained the choir and Mrs Manning provided piano accompaniment for performances. The standard of music throughout Penrhyn is excellent and there is a genuine love of singing from the youngest girls in P1. This is reflected every day in Assembly when all the girls sing beautifully with enthusiasm and energy. The first public performance for the choir was at the Annual General Meeting of the Parents’ Association in October. The choir performed three pieces -Today, Here I am Lord and The Violins. Mrs Coetzee provided the piano accompaniment for this event.

At the Strathearn Carol Service, held in Stormont Presbyterian Church, the Penrhyn Choir sang Children’s Carol in two parts and Christmas is a Time to Love with a descant. In our final carol, Christopher’s Carol, Rosie Park in P5 sang the solo.


B Mawhinney

Irish Dancing Report

rish Dance classes continue to be very popular with the girls from Penrhyn. The first class consists of children from P1 and P2, where we are able to combine fun with exercise, as well as achieving a good knowledge of the basics of Irish Dance. The second class consists of children from P3 to P7, where a firm grip of style and technique is definitely established. The girls manage to enjoy their dancing and have fun, whilst also making excellent progress. This is demonstrated by the displays they put on for Open Morning, St Patrick’s Day and on other occasions throughout the year. Well done girls! Keep up the good work! C McCamley


Cycling Proficiency

n October 2010, ten of the P7 girls did their cycling proficiency course. They completed some exercises designed to improve their balance and co-ordination. Then the girls began to learn how to ride their bicycles safely on the road. An important part of the course was learning about The Highway Code. The cyclists completed both a written and a practical test and were awarded certificates and stickers. G Boyd

P5 Cookery & Craft Club


uring the Autumn Term the P5 girls attended the Cookery and Craft Club, held in the P2 classroom and run by Mrs Stevenson and Miss McCleery. The tasty dishes included toasted sandwiches, yoghurt loaf, shortbread and fifteens.  For the craft activities the girls created decorative hand puppets, Hama bead designs and Christmas craft. The girls had a fun time and enjoyed being creative!

Lauren Mooney, P3 78

penrhyn literary section

Darcy Blair, P1

Zara Conroy, P2 CARLINGFORD Off we go to Carlingford, All excited on the bus, Taking pictures of each other, What a massive fuss! No more work for us – hooray! How will we ever cope? Twenty-two girls and three teachers, They’ll be fine I hope! Talk about a messy room, Eight, ten, and four, We tried to keep our clothes tidy But they ended up on the floor. On the very last day We did high ropes Raining very badly, But we were able to cope. On the way back home Eating junk food and sweets, All sad to leave Our little Carlingford treat. A memory I will never forget It was loads of fun, Thank you, teachers, for organising it, It’s my school trip number one!

Tabitha Allen, P2

Topaz Marshall, P7


penrhyn literary section ALPHABET CAT An awesome alphabet cat A brave birthday cat A curious clever cat A dancing disco cat An excited energetic cat A fast - no! fat cat A grubby grumpy cat A howling Hallowe’en cat An interesting indoor cat A jumping jealous cat A kind kitty cat A lovely lazy cat A marvellous magical cat A nervous night cat An old odd cat A precious pussy cat A quiet queen cat A rusty racing cat A spiteful sleek cat A tiny tabby cat An unusual uppity cat A victorious cat A wonderful whiskery cat An Xtra special cat A yawning yard cat A zooming zodiac cat Madeline Ievers, Eve Greer & Francesca Park, P4

HOW TO TURN YOUR TEACHER INTO A TOAD Ingredients: Teacher Glass of water Toad slime 3 drops of magic toad powder Method: 1. Get your teacher to sit at her desk and calmly ask to get a glass of water. 2. Fill half way and add 3 drops of magic toad powder into the glass of water. Fill to top of glass with toad slime. 3. Bring mixture over to the teacher and ask if she wants it. If she says ‘no’ leave it on her desk for later. Try to keep tempting her. 4. Wait ten minutes for the magic toad potion to work. Do not act at all suspiciously. Finally... watch your teacher turn into a toad and jump all around the classroom! Ellen McCormick, P5

HOW TO TURN YOUR TEACHER INTO A TOAD Ingredients: Hairy warts Wrinkly, slimy skin Rhinoceros fat ‘Oogley’ eyes Invisible spring Elephant entrails Method: 1. Boil cauldron of rhinoceros fat and elephant entrails. 2. Chant the ancient spell, whilst adding warts, eyes, skin and invisible spring. Stir and mix well. 3. Spoon some of the potion into liquidiser and mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. 4. Pour into glass. Add 2 straws and a cocktail umbrella and give to teacher to drink. Finally… stand back and watch in amazement as your teacher wriggles about, spins on her head and turns into a slimy toad! Phoebe Spratt, P5

OUR MAGICAL HARVEST On 7 October we had a different assembly. The reason it was unusual was because it was our Harvest Assembly.  Harvest is a time of year when everybody thanks God for all the food that He has given to us. We can praise him by song or by praying. To make this day even better we got a special minister called Reverend Auchmuty. He told us an interesting story. This is how it goes… One day I was about to drive to church, then I saw smoke - not steam - smoke!  I thought it might be someone having a barbecue, but it was too big for a barbecue. Then I realised the house next door, an old house, was on fire! So I had to call the fire brigade. They came really fast. I went to say thank you to the firemen. When I said thank you the fireman was surprised because no one had ever said thank you before. Sasha Barrett Ferris, P4

In P4 we have been reading stories by Dick King-Smith.We have read the story about Fat Lawrence. It was very funny and it was hard to keep track of where Fat Lawrence was getting each meal. Our class novel after Christmas was Under the Mishmash Trees. Dick King- Smith also wrote this book. It is a book about unique characters in an imaginary land. Here is part of the story told by Halah Irvine from P4.

IN YOUR IMAGINATION One day under the mishmash trees, Og and Ut were having a conversation. ‘If there’s one creature I can’t stand,’ said Og, ‘it’s a slobbadunk.’ Og was a gombrizil and all gombrizils like slobbadunks except Og! Ut was also a gombrizil and she liked slobbadunks. In the middle of the conversation a slobbadunk came sliding along and scared Og. Ut said, ‘Go away! You are frightening my husband!’ The slobbadunk didn’t go away because he couldn’t resist talking to him. ‘Hi, my name is Ut. What’s yours?’ The slobbadunk said, ‘My name is Tumblerum Wollycobble.’ As the years went by, Ut grew nearer middle age and Og grew used to Slobbadunks.  One day Ut laid an egg and she asked Tum to sit on it.  Six months later the egg hatched and a baby gombrizil was born.  Ut and Og were very happy. Then Ut said, ‘But what about her name?’ To find out what they called their baby, you will need to read the book. You will also find out about unusual birds called strollops that listen in to conversations and spread bad news!


HOW TO TURN YOUR TEACHER INTO A TOAD Ingredients: Frog parts Snake skin Slug juice Dried flies Method: 1. Wash and dry 4 frog parts. Put in a cauldron. 2. Add the slug juice to the frog parts. Mix well. 3. Dice the snake skin and add to the slimy mixture. Liquidise. 4. Break up 6 dried flies into tiny pieces. Add to the potion. Do not mix. Finally… tell your teacher that you have made her a very special drink. When she starts to drink shout out the magic words EXPLODE INTO A TOAD! TOADARRISSIMO! Rachel McClintock, P5

penrhyn literary section Holly Higgins, P1


GG First fill the tub with warm water GG Next catch the dog and lift it firmly GG Then splash the dog with the warm water GG After, rub the soap into the dog’s lovely fur GG Later rinse off all of the soap so it is lovely and clean GG Finally, dry the dog with a warm towel and let the dog go! Freya Beers, P3




Fat, sad chap in jail Joseph explained Baker’s dreams Death is approaching. Saskia McMinn, P7

Pharaoh’s dreams explained Joseph, Pharaoh’s number two Elvis a-ha-ha! Nicola McIlwaine, P7



Potiphar’s wife Unattractive man Wife not a Potiphar fan Used for his money.

Saskia McMinn, P7


Taken to Egypt Thrown in jail, done nothing wrong Reunites with Dad. Erin McComack, P7


Joseph went to jail Sent by Potiphar’s mean wife Because lies were told. Amy Greer, P7


Joseph stuck in jail Lonely, sad, upset, depressed What to do? Not sure. Ellen Gilpin, P7


Jacob’s favourite son Eleven jealous brothers He explains jail mates’ dreams. Olivia Donald, P7


Jacob’s favourite son Has a multicoloured dreamcoat All brothers jealous. Beth McColl, P7

My favourite pet is a rabbit. My rabbit would be fun. I would feed it every day. I would have to clean out its hutch and make sure that it is happy. My rabbit would stay with me for a long time. My rabbit would like to be held. I would sit or kneel to pick it up. My rabbit would like to eat. I would put the food in a heavy bowl. I would clear away my rabbit’s droppings and wet wood shavings every day. I would wash out my rabbit’s water bottle at least once a week. I would leave out boxes or baskets for my rabbit to explore. I would make sure my rabbit was healthy. I would get my rabbit a friend. My rabbit would grow very fast. Rachel McDonald, P3

What is a holiday? A holiday is when you get a day off school and work. Where can we go on holiday? People can go all over the world. Some people like hot countries and some people like cold countries. What can we do? GG I like going swimming in the swimming pool and going down the water slide GG I like going bike riding around the campsite GG I like going to the beach and jumping over the waves GG I like going to the restaurant and listening to the show. Lauren Mooney, P3


On Friday 10 December, Key Stage 1 performed in Strathearn Assembly Hall. P3 and P1 did Christmas with the Aliens. P2 and P4 did Pinocchio. We were very nervous but excited on the morning of our concert. First we put on our costumes and make-up in the library. I was a narrator. Mrs McKeown played the piano. Mrs McKinney helped us with our words. I sang a solo. When the concert was over the mums and dads clapped and clapped very loudly. Then we had a surprise. It was Santa! When it was home time I was very proud of myself. Aoife Moore, P3


Aoife Moore, P3


Hear the robins chirping See the fires burning brightly Feel the snow falling on my hands Taste the hot mince pies Smell the cinnamon Emma Hylands, P4

penrhyn THE WILLOW PATTERN Long, long ago in China, a rich merchant lived with a number of children. His favourite child was Koong-Se.  As Koong-Se got older she would try to please her father by bringing him flowers. She would sit beside her father, and watch him write letters. One day Koong-Se’s father got a new scribe. Chang was the new scribe’s name. When Koong-Se met Chang, she fell in love with him. One day Koong-Se started to cry because her father would never let her marry Chang. Her maid saw her crying and asked her what the matter was. Koong-Se told the maid that she wanted to marry Chang, but her father would not let her. The maid said she would help to get Koong-Se and Chang together to talk. Each day after Chang had finished working they would go to the summer house, without anyone noticing. Later one day Koong-Se’s father got tired of working, so he took a little walk. On his walk he found KoongSe and Chang together. He got his guards and they took Chang away so Koong-Se would never see him again. Koong-Se was so upset, but her dad did not care. The next day her father came to tell her that she was to marry someone else called Ta-jin. Her father chose someone who he wanted her to marry, and that was someone he knew. Koong-Se said she wasn’t marrying anyone else but Chang. Koong-Se’s father said she would do as he told her to do. Later Koong-Se wrote a note and sent it to Chang saying that she wanted to be rescued. On the day before the wedding, the future husband gave her a box of jewels. Her father said he had chosen someone nice. Koong-Se’s father and her future husband went to have some drinks together. Koong-Se cried for help and Chang came and rescued her. Soon her father found out that she was gone, and got his guards to chase her and Chang. Chang and Koong-Se got away on a boat and went with a maid to another place in China. Koong-Se’s dad got his guards to look everywhere for them, but could not find them. One day, however, he did find them, and he killed them by setting the house on fire. There were flames which looked like dragon’s breath and their spirits rose to heaven, never to be separated. Olivia Nelson, P6

Emma Carson, P5


Snowflakes, sliding people, sparkling tinsel, Cold snowmen and squirrels sleeping, Fires blazing, Santa squeezing down, sleigh bells ring, Metal spoon stirring the hot chocolate Juicy turkey, delicious stuffing crumbles, mince pies – hot, melting cream Smell the pine needles and festive candles, Pudding, fruity spirit Sharp holly leaves Scrunch wrapping paper, Robin celebrates Christmas. A group poem by P4

Penrhyn Charity Collections 2010 - 2011 May 10 Christian Aid Week Collection £85 June 10 Special Collection / Non-Uniform / Term 3 Charity Leprosy Mission £235 November 10 Poppy Appeal British Legion £120 December 10 Term 1 Charity & Special Collection – Children’s Heartbeat Trust £600 April 11 Term 2 Charity / Non-Uniform £270 Total £1310


parents'/old girls' associations Strathearn Parents’ Association Report


he Strathearn Parents’ Association runs discos, parties and Easter Egg hunts throughout the year for the girls.  For the parents we ran a May Ball, a Gardening Night and a sing-along Mama Mia evening at a cinema in Comber. The night was donated by one of the parents and the food was supplied by the Hastings Hotel Group.

In June, Mrs McNeill retired, and we provided refreshments on her last day. The Penrhyn parents were very generous with both their time and all the homebaking they provided. We are very fortunate to have the support of such helpful parents at both schools, and we thank them for their help in making last year such a success. Every ticket that is bought, the help that is given at discos and parties, and the donations that are made, all go towards extra pieces of equipment for the girls at Strathearn and Penrhyn.

Amy Creighton, P4

Thank you again to everyone for your support throughout the year. Fiona Anderson, Chairperson


The Old Girls’ Association Report he only event in the Old Girls’ Calendar is the  Annual Reunion Dinner.  The 2010 dinner was held in the restaurant at Ballyhanwood Golf Club, near Clandeboye.

The thirty-two people who attended enjoyed an excellent meal, followed by an interesting and informative talk by Louise McKee. She gave us a great insight into the running of an A & E Department in a large hospital. We look forward to seeing our regular diners, plus a few of the younger Old Girls, next year! Julie Bissett, Programme Secretary


The Boxing Day Tournament

s Boxing Day fell on a Sunday this year, the Strathearn Old Girls’ Association Boxing Day Tournament was held on a snowy Monday morning on 27 December.  Because of the snow, the all-weather pitches were unplayable and therefore, as was the case last year, the tournament was played indoors. The four teams - Strathearn Old Girls, Strathearn School 1st XI, Victorians and Victoria College 1st XI - all turned up bright and breezy ready to play some exciting hockey.  The tournament was fast and furious with end to end hockey being played by all four teams. Strathearn Old Girls put up a good fight; however, with a diminished squad due to illness and injury, the Old Girls lost to Victorians who were the overall winners of the tournament. This year the Dunlop Rose Bowl (which is awarded to a former pupil, whether she is a player, coach, umpire or administrator) was awarded to Kerry Harvey. Thanks to all those who helped with the organisation of the event, as well as all those who helped on the day.  In particular, thanks to Katherine Woods and Katy Bennett, who helped organise the Old Girls’ Team, and to Christine Reid, who umpired.  Thanks also to all the supporters who turned up and cheered on their teams. Finally, many thanks to Mr Manning and the Board or Governors for permitting us to use the facilities at Strathearn. Let’s hope the Old Girls can get back on winning form this year.  The tournament will be held on Monday 26 Dec 2011, on the brand new Astroturf pitch... hope to see you there!! Kerry Harvey

Sarah Murphy,  AS Level 83

degrees & awards


he wide-ranging destinations of our sixth formers are published annually in the Prize Night Programme. Congratulations to all of our former pupils who have graduated this year! The Queen’s University, the University of Ulster, Durham University, the University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Nottingham have notified us of a number of Degree successes, cited as follows:

Adams, Emma Adams, Rebecca Akay, Latifa Alexander, Christine Bowman, Rebecca Brown,  Andrea Brown, Emily Catterson, Leah Clawson, Holly Frew, Hannah Galloway, Cara Harvey, Kerry Hutchison, Hannah Hyndman, Charlotte Larmour, Kathryn Little, Rebecca Martin, Claire McGimpsey, Debra McGouran,  Alison McIlfatrick, Janet McMillan, Jill McMurray, Robyn Meidlinger, Nicole Miller, Rachel Moore, Karen Riordan, Emma Rodgers, Louise Sarah, Gregg Scates, Stephanie Scott, Sara Shannon, Louise Simms, Hayley Stewart, Pamela Thompson, Claire Thompson, Nadia White, Hannah Wong, Hiu Fung Wright,  Alison

Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Mathematics & Computer Science Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Theology and English Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law & Politics University of Ulster, BSc Dietetics Durham University, BA Combined Honours in Arts University of Ulster, BSc Criminology & Criminal Justice University of Ulster, BSc Occupational Therapy University of Ulster, LLB Law University of Ulster, BSc Communications,  Advertising & Marketing University of Ulster, BSc Communications,  Advertising & Marketing Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Psychology Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, Diploma Mental Health University of Ulster, BA History Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, MA International Management & Languages University of Glasgow, MB, ChB Medicine University of Ulster, BSc Human Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Mathematics Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English & Linguistics Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine University of Ulster, BSc Communications & Youth Work Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Politics with English University of Ulster, BDes Art & Design Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Physics Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine University of Ulster, BSc Business & Retail Studies University of Nottingham, BA Film & Television Studies Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Physics with Astro-Physics Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Mathematics & Statistics & Op Research

Queen’s University Entrance Scholarship Winner At the Queen’s Entrance Scholarship Awards held in the Whitla Hall on Thursday 10 March, past pupil, Sarah McCarthy, was one of only four recipients of the highest honour: the Queen’s Gold Medal Entrance Scholarship, which comes with a prize of £7,500. In addition, Sarah won a Mathematics Award, the David Russell Lappin Scholarship and the Sullivan Scholarship, all very prestigious awards. Sarah is in her first year at Queen’s studying Mathematics having gained an A* in each of her A level subjects at Strathearn - Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, and Physics. On top of this, she gained further distinction having been placed second in Geography, third in Further Mathematics and joint third in Physics among all candidates who sat the NI CCEA A level examinations. We look forward with anticipation to following Sarah’s career!



relax and u nwind....

Front Co ver ~ Erin Miley GCS E Level Back Co ver ~ Jenna Kelly GCS E Level


Magazine 2011  

Strathearn School Magazine 2011

Magazine 2011  

Strathearn School Magazine 2011