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from the principal


t is once again my pleasure to welcome you to the Strathearn School Magazine for 2012.  This has been a year of transition, and it is no exaggeration to say that the dreams of generations of Strathearn pupils are about to become a reality, as the first phase of our new building reaches completion. We have successfully maintained the rhythm of our year throughout this transforming process, and one of many highlights was our annual Prize Distribution. The event was a wonderful celebration of success and service. We paid tribute to the academic achievements of our pupils and applauded their many talents and creativity. We were also both moved and elated at the culmination of the Uganda Building Project, which has so conspicuously enhanced the lives and opportunities of children at the new Strathearn Primary School. It was a pleasure to have Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost of Magee at the University of Ulster, with us as our Guest of Honour, and her speech on the transforming power of education was inspirational. On our own site, old and much-loved buildings have disappeared and the ‘new build’ is now poised to become ‘our new school’.  In this time of change it has been the collective impulse of our school community to hold fast to everything that has been a valued part of our ethos. I have always believed that Strathearn School is much more than mere buildings, and this year has strengthened that conviction.  As you read through the pages of the magazine you will find that, despite the loss of the gym, the House plays were performed to acclaim, Miskelly Hall provided the perfect atmospheric venue for the staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and every event in the musical calendar took place to the delight of capacity audiences. In a true spirit of collaboration, our neighbouring schools and CIYMS generously facilitated many of our sporting events. So, this vibrant record of our community links, societies, visits, trips, art exhibitions, competitions, artwork,

creative writing and academic successes is an affirmation of our community’s capacity to emerge transformed from this chrysalis of transition and flourish in our exciting, new environment. As the vision of so many friends of our school is about to be realised, I would like to warmly thank every one of you for all the support you have given us. In reviewing this edition of the magazine, I am also very grateful to everyone who contributed to it.  The involvement of our whole community - from P1 to the Upper Sixth, Governors and Staff, Parents and our Former Pupils strengthens and renews our shared values and sense of identity. I would also like to acknowledge the editorial, design and technical expertise which brought this edition of the magazine together.

Katie Stringer,  A-level 3


Cynthia Chan,  AS-level 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 Uganda Update 18 Clubs, Events & Societies 19-34 Drama 35 House Play Competition 36 House Reports 37-40 Sport 41-60 New Build 60 Literary Section 61-64 Penrhyn 65-82 Parents’ / Old Girls’ Association 83 Degrees & Awards 84

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 N McKeown BSc (Econ) FCA

Vice Chairs Mr TWW Forde FCA Mr PA White MA (Cantab) Mrs C Auchmuty BA Mr WCP Caldwell MSc RIBA Mr N Crawford BA ACII Dr SSE Dermott BSc Dr M Ievers MEng PQHNI PGCE Mrs L Mallon LLB Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mr R Masefield CBE MA (Cantab) Mr GR McGowan FRICS Mrs L Myers BEd PQHNI Mr IC Noad MA (Cantab) Dr K Ross BSc PGCE Mrs P Stewart Mr M Whiteside MD FRCS

Artwork ~ Lauren Cammock,  AS-level 5

school staff PRINCIPAL


Mrs N Connery MA PGCE Mrs H Graham BA PGCE


Mrs E Murphy BA PGCE Mrs C Rea BA PGCE



Ms W Erskine MA PGCE Miss J Ferris BA PGCE Mr C Heaney BA PGCE Mrs D Ingram MA PGCE Mrs K Kernaghan BA PGCE Dr J McBride MA PGCE Dr J Pauley MA PGCE


Mr M Stevenson BSc PGCE Mrs N Connery MA 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 L Myers BEd PQHNI Mrs M Brown Dip HE Miss A Watterson BSc PGCE


Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal 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 P Foye BSc PGCE Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE Miss L Wallace MPhys PGCE


Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mr D Douglas BA 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 Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez


Miss J Stewart BSc PGCE PQHNI Miss E Foster MSc PGCE Mrs J D Gray MTeach 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


PREPARATORY DEPARTMENT 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 S Stevenson BA CertEd Mrs M Harvey BEd Mrs R Manning BSc PGCE Mrs C Nixon BA PGCE

Miss L Stevenson LLB



Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD


PREMISES STAFF Mr S Alexander Mr J Algie Mr T McConnell



Mrs A Hearst BA MSc



Mr A Anderson MEd BD PGCE Miss JS Gibson MA BEd Mr M Smith BD PGCE



Mrs A Flannigan BA FCA



Mrs L Collins MA


Ms J Kimber MA ARCM MTD CRE Mr E Gray MA BEd FTCL ARCM Miss G Taylor BA PGCE DIS Ms S Young BA PGCE DIS MEd Mrs M Harvey BEd


Mrs V Crymble Mrs S Campbell Mrs E Madden Mrs L McGookin Mrs C Sherlock

Mrs K Carson Mrs L Foster BEng Mrs J Griffin Mrs G Hanna Asc IM Mrs A Lynn Mrs R Moore Mrs C Norris BSc MSc Mrs C Quee Mrs A White Mrs L Wright


Alison Duffield, GCSE Level

Mrs E Annette Mrs A Cowie Mr A Faulkner BSc Miss E Feeny BSc Mrs L Gamble BA Miss J Harte BTh Mr J Hoeritzauer MA Mr S Millar HND BSc Mrs P Patterson BA Mr D Pinkerton Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS


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 Ms T Archer Mrs A Beattie Mr J Blakely Mrs L Gillespie Mrs C Greer Miss S Hall Miss N Irvine Mrs A McLaughlin Mrs M McLaughlin Mrs P McNeice Mrs C Mudd Miss E Pollock Mrs A Thompson

form 1s

Back Row:

Ellen Hamilton, Stephanie Black, Lauren Kirkwood, Eden Lamb, Sophie Anderson, Alicia Grattan, Saskia McMinn Middle Row: Mollie McClure, Katie Caldwell, Natalie McHugh,  Jennifer McLeod,  Anna Haslett, Niamh West Front Row: Beth Watson, Jemma Mercer, Nadia Hall, Victoria Hamilton, Rebecca Harper, Rebecca Robinson, Ellie Biggerstaff Absent: Jessica Cousins, Hannah Johnston

The Sky When I look up I see the sky Vast and beautiful It is. I know this as I can’t find Its end or start. In glory it shines through the cotton Bright and blue. Rebekah Kenny, 3A Lauren Cammock,  AS-level 7

form 1t Katie Noble,  AS-level

On the Steam Train

Swiftly moving through the trees, Daisies and daffodils, I hardly see, Out of the woods in the blink of an eye, Towards the village, as time flies by. There is a horse, who gallops along, A woman on horseback, singing a song. Emily Leitch, 1R

Back Row: Beth Crosbie, Katrina Kerr,  Anna Robinson,  Amy Anderson, Shannon Rietveld, Ellen Gilpin Middle Row: Ms Wallace, Alanna McHugh, Naomi Lamont, Amy Greer, Laura Gooding, Abbie McDougall, Katie McVeigh, Megan Chambers Front Row: Sophie Dalzell, Ailsa Morrison, Emma Beattie, Rebecca Mannus, Sophie Downey, Olivia Robinson, Sophie King Absent: Camryn Hill, Sydney Long, Sophie Macdonald


form 1r

Back Row: Middle Row: Front Row: Absent:

Maia Cunningham, Nicola McIlwaine,  Jenna Hume,  Jill Carson, Kristina Herron, Kathryn Neill Miss Watterson,  Jodie Chan, Kate Reid,  Anna Hussey, Emily Leitch,  Alex Reilly, Rachel Spence Abigail Topping, Sarah McCully, Ella Reid, Katie Mackay, Iona Lindsay, Katie Megarry Nina Gillen, Niamh Lemon, Georgia McCutcheon, Naomi Wylie

Roller Coaster! Roller coaster going fast, I see lots of people flying past; Swish and swash away they go, A loop’s coming up - OH NO! OH NO! Here I am up in the air, All I see now is just my hair; Now I’m looking up to the sky, And now I know I’m going to die! Nicola McIlwaine, 1R Hannah Martin,  GCSE Level 9

form 1a

Back Row: Eve Truesdale, Claire Hunter, Miriam Parker, Hollie Croft, Connie O’Callaghan, Darcy Shanks Middle Row: Mrs Wyeth, Danielle McDowell, Hannah Robinson, Katharine McIntyre, Erin McCormack, Bethany Craig, Lauren Clarke Front Row: Tegan Dunbar, Rhiannon Leathem, Katy Skillen, Zara McVea,  Jenni Noble, Rachael Geddes, Beth Rankin Absent: Beth McColl, Nichola Kelly,  Alyx Corry

Sweet Dreams

Children dream about fairies, they dream about snow, Dream about places they want to go, They dream about sport, dream about money, Dream about countries warm and sunny. When you are young, a little child, You dream about things crazy and wild, A princess with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes, Rabbits, flowers and butterflies. You dream about jewels as bright as the stars, Aliens, monsters, creatures from Mars, A world full of sweets and chocolate fountains, Ice cream, cupcakes, candyfloss mountains. So when I lie in bed at night, Ready to fall into a world of delight, Presents and sweets and these wonderful things, All of these are in my dreams. Katy Skillen, 1A

Amy Harbinson, GCSE Level


form 1h Lightning It’s coming… It’s going to Strike… His growl First Then the Flash! And then He moves On To his Next Target And The Process Starts Again! Mollie McBride, 2H

Shamara Thompson,  AS-level

Back Row: Anna Beggs, Olivia Day, Anna Kelly, Emily Martin, Emily Buchanan, Jessica Collin, Jennifer Scott,  Alice Graham Middle Row: Mrs Cochrane, Sarah McCracken, Chloe Brown, Rachel McCausland, Ellie Dobbs,  Jessica Leeman, Jordyn Spence, Emma Ferguson Front Row: Sophie Gillespie, Georgia Hardwicke, Lauryn Todd, Katy McKeeman, Katie Armstrong, Emily Hinds,  Amy Douglas 11

school year


t seems incomprehensible to me that we are once again into our summer term. Whilst the rest of the school is groaning at the prospect of the looming exams, I have been happily recollecting the past year at Strathearn.  What a year it has been! The Penrhyn Sports Day kicked off the duties for the new Office Bearers. The standard was high and the girls seemed to have a ball in spite of the changeable weather - I went from wearing sunglasses and commentating through the megaphone to huddling with my Deputies, Katie and Rebecca, in a truck totting up the scores! The next big event was the Art Exhibition, which never fails to impress. The talent was, as always, exceptional and there was a great turnout. Congratulations to the GCSE,  AS and A-level artists and the Art Department for putting on such a great display. (My Deputies and I, however, would like to take some credit for the refreshments display which was colour coordinated to perfection!) After exams came the sweet relief of summer, promising more fun with friends from school, as a team of twenty girls and five staff headed to Kampala, Uganda. Strathearn had previously sent out teams to build a primary school in Kampala, appropriately named Strathearn Primary.  It was our job to finish off the project. We spent a fantastic fortnight building the nursery school and kitchen, gluing glitter glasses and singing raucously to Ten in the Bed and Go Bananas! in our kids’ club and playing competitive games of football with the local kids. The whole community welcomed us with open arms, throwing us a party, complete with a bonfire, barbequed goat and native African dancing as a celebration of the school’s progress. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience and one which I am so grateful to have been a part of. September arrived bringing with it some fresh new faces – Miss Stewart, Mrs White and Mrs Kernaghan – whilst we said goodbye to Mr Hanna, Mrs Ferguson and Mrs Boal.  As we welcomed back the ‘old’ Upper Sixth Form to give them their year books and say our goodbyes and good lucks, the realisation dawned on many of us - this was our last year - scary thought! We became determined to make our last year a good one and so far I don’t think we’ve done a bad job! October’s Prize Distribution was a huge success with Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost of Magee at the University of Ulster, as our Guest Speaker. It was a real honour to have such an empowered, successful woman giving us her pearls of wisdom.  As a joint winner of the Most Glamorous Professional category at the recent IN! magazine Glamour Awards, Professor Heenan proved to the girls that you can balance fashion and fun with a successful career. Her humorous and inspiring speech encouraged us to seize the opportunities that our education provides, never admit defeat or settle for second best and always strive for what you feel passionate about. Next was the hilarity of the House Plays, where the senior girls directed their protégées in what was a brilliantly bizarre programme. From a dating site to urban hares – Strathearn’s House Plays had it all! We were fortunate to have Mr Webb, Head of CCEA Drama as our adjudicator, naming Boucher’s take on Alice in Wonderland as the winning play. The  Autumn Musical Evening was soon upon us with performances from GCSE candidates and the school orchestra. As always, a wonderful night! Then came ‘The Formal’,  bringing with it all the joyful stress of general beautification.  After months of frantic preparations and


fundraising efforts, the big night was upon us and we all arrived feeling fabulous at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel. Everyone had a great time and seemed to enjoy the surprise extras we had organised, such as a caricaturist, party bags, great prizes for the awards show and a champagne fountain, along with a beautiful backdrop for the photos. It was wonderful to see such a great turnout from both staff and pupils – thanks to everyone for making it such a special night! December brought with it a flurry of activity, including a Strathearn-Campbell production of South Pacific and Strathearn’s own A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Both went fantastically well and everyone who took part should be proud of their contribution. The Charities Committee and Miss Gibson must be thanked for their organisation of the Community Service Christmas Party. Residents of local care homes were invited to the Stormont Hotel for an afternoon of performances from pupils and Christmas dinner.  The Chamber Choir also visited our neighbouring care home, Strathearn Court, singing carols with the residents and delivering Christmas gifts. The Carol Service at Stormont Presbyterian Church was completely packed and, although we didn’t experience the miraculous snow of last year, the service was still very atmospheric and engaging. The Penrhyn and Strathearn choirs sang beautifully and many thanks to Ms Kimber and Mr Gray for their hard work. Thanks also to Mr Anderson for preparing the readers of the nine lessons and for organising such a lovely service. It was a busy year again for Strathearn’s sporting contingent with wonderful results from the cross-country teams at the recent Co Down District Championships at Delamont Country Park. Special congratulations to the Senior Team who finished as District Champions. The hockey girls did us proud, with the 1st Xl getting through to the semi-finals of the Senior Cup. Their controversial defeat was to Ballyclare High, who went on to become the eventual winners. As a whole, this school year has been somewhat surreal, with fresh piles of mud and the dulcet tones of drills becoming routine. This has been the year of The Big Build - the air electric with the anticipation of the grand opening. At our Open Day in January, the primary seven pupils were in awe of the rubble, as the beauty of destruction holds the tangible promise of what’s to come. We senior girls had to speak of the new school through clenched teeth – pretending we weren’t jealous of those who will experience the wonders of The Big Build. However, although perhaps well-worn, I will miss the building I have grown to love which has housed so many wonderful memories and helped mould me into who I am today. I hope that the new build will inspire fresh memories and friendships. Many exciting events lie ahead of us in Strathearn, including a Chamber Choir trip to Edinburgh with performances in St Giles’ Cathedral, Inter-House sporting events and the last ever Spring Concert with Mr Gray, our much loved music teacher. He will be sorely missed by all – I predict the tissues will be in strong demand on 27 March! I feel privileged to have been just a tiny part of Strathearn’s history and it is with bitter-sweet anticipation that the Class of 2012 will close this chapter in our lives and stride into the big, bad world. I am delighted to hand over ‘the badge’ to my successor and wish you all the very best. Rebecca Jordan, Head Girl

sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Susanna Galbraith, Lauren Wallace, Rebecca Wylie,Tessa Eames, Emma Entwistle, Helen Harvey Middle Row: Megan McArthur, Fiona Anderson, Demi Wright,  Judith McLean, Caitlin Butler,  Amy O’Donnell Front Row: Rebecca Blundell, Rebecca Evans, Rebecca Jordan, Katie Allen, Hannah Wishart, Kirby O’Donnell Emma Wilson,  A-level

Moving House Empty. Boxes in the moving van. Quiet. No creaks from the floorboards, Apart from the steps of the moving man. Memories... In this playground as big as a house. All left behind. With the rest of the neighbourhood As quiet as a mouse. Goodbye. Hello. New smells, new surroundings, New House. Empty, Lonely, Quiet. As silent as a mouse. Sarah Flack & Bonnie Macrae, 4A


sixth form

Back Row: Shelley Cooper, Rosie Davies, Isabel Brown, Bethany Shanks, Claire Stewart, Sana Ashraf, Becky Elliott, Stephanie Todd, Sophie Dalm,  Alex Clarke, Jenna Kelly, Sophia Bradley, Laura Phillips, Kathryn Mullan, Hannah Simpson, Megan Bannister

4th Row: Zarah Eadie, Erin Miley, Rachel Johnson, Holly Ross, Katy Webb, Eileen Allen,  Julia McKee, Emma Murphy,  Judith Murphy, Rose Ferguson, Shakara McCausland, Shamara Thompson, Erin Jeanes, Kezia Montgomery, Rebecca Maxwell, Kirsten McFarland,Tori McGowan, Chloe Erskine

3rd Row: Alex McClay, Lindsey Burns, Hana Nelson, Sasha Simms, Alison Shearer,  Jennifer Brown, Sarah Hewitt, Helen Marshall, Harriet Finnigan, Kate Hickey, Rebekah Heath, Sarah Neill, Hazel Jordan, Clarissa Courtney, Rachel Cairns, Cathie Lowry, Rachel Patterson, Kirsten Robson, Natasha Palmer

2nd Row: Lauren Cammock, Zoe Ketley, Nicole Brown,  Jennifer Livie, Anna McClatchey, Tabitha Darling, Katie Noble, Rachel Ferris, Mariel Duggan, Marie-Claire Barry, Amy McNally, Hayley McConaghy, Louise Malcolm, Caroline Winder, Lucy Monroe,  Victoria Livie, Kim Gillott, Eileen Hughes, Frances Thompson, Hanah Millar

Cynthia Chan, Rachel Dyer, Zara Millar, Hazel Scott,  Judith Shaw

Front Row: Rebecca Wylie, Amy O’Donnell, Lauren Wallace, Judith McLean, Susanna Galbraith, Helen Harvey, Rebecca Blundell, Rebecca Evans, Rebecca Jordan, Katie Allen, Hannah Wishart, Kirby O’Donnell, Megan McArthur, Demi Wright,  Tessa Eames, Emma Entwistle, Fiona Anderson, Caitlin Butler Absent:


prize distribution/principal’s speech


he Head Girl, Rebecca Jordan, warmly welcomed everyone to the Prize Giving and invited the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr McKeown, to address the audience. Mr McKeown welcomed everyone to this celebration of the hard work and effort of the girls and their teachers. He thanked the parents, relatives and friends of the school for all their support, and said that the excellent results being celebrated were the culmination of a team effort. Mr McKeown spoke of his delight that the new build had finally started and he stated that Mr Manning deserved a medal for his patience, perseverance and professionalism. He explained that the build would cost £14m and would be built in two phases; the first was scheduled for completion in September 2012 and the second in 2014. Mr McKeown stated that whilst the Board regretted the short-term disruption, they were determined to get everything

Susannah McGowan,  A-level


hairman, Professor Heenan, ladies and gentlemen, girls. It gives me great pleasure to add my welcome to you all on this very special occasion. I am particularly delighted that Professor Heenan has been able to take some time out from a very busy schedule to join us this evening. I trust that she not only enjoys the occasion but is greatly encouraged in her campaign to ensure widening access to Higher Education by meeting some prospective students here tonight. I understand that Professor Heenan is a past pupil of Banbridge Academy and I hope the colour of our uniform (the same as the Academy’s) makes her feel very much at home and reminds her of her own school days, not that long ago. One of my most vivid memories of primary school comes from my days in P1.  It was early in the summer term, a hot afternoon, and after playing ‘chasies’ at lunch time I am afraid my mind was not quite on my work. As I sat at my desk, head getting lower, my thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the teacher who asked me what I was daydreaming about. Having always been taught to tell the truth I explained that I was dreaming about my daddy building a garage. I remember the incident well and the subsequent smack I got with the ruler!

absolutely right. The building work would be done to the highest standards, and families in the present and future would feel the great benefits which the new school would bring. He thanked everyone for their support and, in particular, he praised the Parents’ Association for their sustained, generous support and assured them of the appreciation of the Board for all their efforts. On a more sombre note, Mr McKeown spoke of the death of Mr Haugh and paid tribute to him for his many years of service. Mr Haugh had served on the Board of Governors from 1980-2010 and acted as its Chairman from 1988 to 1998. Mr McKeown also thanked Mrs Edith Wilson, who retired from the Board this year, and welcomed Mr Nick Crawford and Mr Robin Masefield. Mr McKeown concluded his opening remarks by assuring the audience that Strathearn, though not complacent, was in good health and he then called for Mr Manning’s report.

Well, this last year we have at last seen the dream of new school buildings start to become a reality in concrete, steel and very soon, bricks and mortar. It has been a long time promised and up until March 2011, some photo images and the 2-dimensional line drawings were all we had to show for the hours and hours of time spent by designers, consultants and others.  But in came the diggers on to the tennis courts and down came the old buildings. Five months later the geothermal heating system is buried in the ground, the fitness suite is well up, and on Monday the steel work began to be erected for the main classroom block. We have been delighted with the work of our builders, McLaughlin & Harvey, and they have worked so well with us to minimise disruption as has James McAffee, our project manager, who has been coordinating it all. But I cannot praise enough our architects, Peter Niblock and Suzanne McCoy of Samuel Stevenson’s and Sons, who were appointed away back in August 2003 – eight years ago! They are very responsive and sensitive to our needs, they pay attention to all the fine detail and they aim to achieve the highest standards within a very tight budget.  I know they are as delighted as we are to at last see our dreams become a reality. You will know that Strathearn is a very special school, but I was not aware that even the clay that we took out for the geothermal heating is very special. It turns out that this makes a mud spa parexcellence for the elephants at Belfast Zoo! This all came about quite by chance and this afternoon I received the following email from the Zoo Manager. ‘A quick note to say thank you so much for the loads of clay. It is fantastic, and just what the elephants will love to bathe in and throw over themselves, and hopefully the flamingos will enjoy building nests out of it next spring. The elephant keepers are already asking for more.’ Our girls are encouraged to dream, although not in my class! For dreams to become a reality they need the pieces of paper which evidence academic success and are the fruit of hard labour. But they also need the skills to engage, communicate and co-operate, and to be independent in outlook and in their own learning. I trust you will see and hear all these in great abundance this evening as we celebrate their success. The GCSE results achieved by last year’s fifth formers were excellent - and the best ever.  We are all delighted at their outstanding success and particularly as they just managed to surpass those gained by our current Upper Sixth who had set the record last year. 60% of the year group achieved grades  A or A* in at least five of their subjects. 88% of the grades awarded were at grade B or better and I am delighted to report that 63% of the grades awarded were either A or A*. This compares very favourably with the Northern Ireland figures for girls in Grammar Schools and particularly so at the A* grade where the figure of 27% in Strathearn is significantly better than the Northern Ireland figure of 18%. Twelve students achieved eight GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Olivia Aston,  Alison Duffield, Chloe Gibson,  Alice


principal’s speech Graham, Kathryn Haddick, Robyn Larmour, Rachel Macdonald, Emma McGarrity, Nadja Pape, Helen Rutherford, Shannon Stanfield and Katie Tener. Twenty-nine girls achieved straight As in at least nine subjects, that is over one quarter of the year group. First, those sixteen girls who achieved 9 As with up to five at the top A* grade. Amy Harbinson, Ali Gallagher, Rachel Stanfield, Shannon McLeese, Jessica Hawthorne, Miranda Crawford, Olivia Brown, Anneli Power, Susan Ogonda, Chloe McLaurin, Emma McCracken, Lizzie Howard, Emma Darragh, Jenni Cunningham, Louise and Francesca Brown. Kathryn Egerton, Megan McLaughlin and Sycerika McMahon are all to be commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Shona Corry,  Jessica Logan and Ellie Stirk for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s and to Claudia Bedford, Rebecca Cowden, Hannah Martin and Darcy Rollins who all achieved a splendid 1 A and 8 A*s. In addition to all this brilliant 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: Catherine Graham, Stephanie Gregg and Megan Millar.

I am also delighted to announce that Kathryn Egerton was placed second in Northern Ireland in the CCEA Religious Studies Short Course.  Particular praise goes to all these girls and to their teachers for such exceptional achievement! At  AS-level we were expecting great things from a year group who had done so well at GCSE, and they did not disappoint! 92 out of 95 pupils achieved at least one grade A or B, and an amazing 88% 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 95 of the year group who have achieved this top level of performance with 16 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 our pupils achieved results on a par with the high standard of previous years.  44% of the grades were grade A or A* and 71% of the grades were either A*, A or B, that is 7 out of 10 grades achieved were either an A or a B which is a great level of success. This year 25 out of the 94, that is over one quarter of the year group, achieved 3 straight As or better and five girls; Claire McGarrell, Helen Beattie, Rebecca Wilson, Katie Stringer and Rebecca Beattie achieved four straight grade As - an outstanding level of achievement! Rebecca actually sat five A-levels achieving 4 A*s and 1 B thereby securing a place at Oxford to read French and Spanish. Previously Rebecca came first in Northern Ireland in the CCEA GCSE English Literature. I am delighted to announce that she adds to that achievement, having been placed joint third in the CCEA A-level English Literature and first in CCEA A-level Spanish. Our congratulations go to all of these girls and again to their teachers on this superb level of performance. I also bring to the attention of a wider audience the success of Megan


Gilbert. Before starting Strathearn seven years ago, Megan attended Mitchell House Special School and it has been our absolute privilege to have her in Strathearn. Despite suffering from hydrocephalus and spina bifida, Megan was always unfeignedly cheery; her outlook on life and appreciation of things that matter have been a lesson to us all. In a recent article Megan records her dream of a world without limitations for people with disabilities and a world in which young women like her can find employment in their chosen fields. We wish Megan well for her future as she begins a course in Spa Management. In your Prize Night booklet you will see the full list of all the prizes awarded to the Class of 2011 at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which our students are embarking. This is a very special evening for all our prize winners and their families, but I am always particularly pleased that on this evening we are able to invite all the parents of our Lower Sixth pupils so that we can together celebrate this wonderful success. I hope all the parents and friends who have gathered with us are rightly proud and have a real sense of the achievement gained by the girls. This is one of the top schools in the Province and it is the girls listed before us this evening who continue to give us that reputation. So later as they come forward and receive their certificates and prizes, we as teachers, parents and friends will gladly take that opportunity to honour them. This time last year the Education and Training Inspectorate had completed their work and we were delighted with the outcome and awaiting the published report. I was not surprised when they highlighted as one of the main strengths of the school, ‘the commitment and dedication of the teachers who have worked hard to develop the very good working relationships among the pupils and between the pupils and teachers’. But I preferred the summary they recorded of the parental comments; ‘the parents highlighted the approachable, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, the strong sense of community and positive ethos of the school, the positive response by staff to individual concerns and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere within the school.’  I concur fully with these views and am delighted these words were written by parents and pupils – that means a lot! The work, dedication and expertise of our teachers, in the classroom or through the many other activities, are the foundation of the education and development of our pupils. 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

Stephanie Jemphrey,  A-level

principal’s speech scenes to provide materials and assistance to the teachers, and keep the fabric and administration of the school running smoothly. Last year was a very quiet year for staff changes – having waited so long to see our building plans come to fruition I know a number of staff who want to enjoy the new facilities before they even think of retiring. We did say farewell to two long established members of staff. Inge Ferguson joined us in 1993 as a full-time teacher of English and after a few years she went part-time. Her own knowledge and passion for the importance of literature came across in all her classes. She was very thoughtful and caring towards her pupils and she had a thorough knowledge of each of their strengths and abilities. Inge loved Creative Writing and encouraged it in her classes, and she led by example having written at least one novel. In addition Inge taught GCSE Drama, served as one of our careers teachers and also ran the Junior Drama Club for many years. Inge resigned to give more time to her family, but there remain very strong ties to Strathearn, so we will continue to see her for some time yet. Mr Hanna retired after nineteen years of service in Strathearn. Sam came to us as Head of Science and in time joined the Senior Management Team with responsibility for, among other things, the school timetable. His knowledge of Chemistry was encyclopaedic and the thoroughness of his teaching, attention to detail and systematic approach have given great confidence to countless students and allowed them to secure success. His ‘dry’ sense of humour was enjoyed by many pupils, particularly by those in the Sixth Form.  Sam’s Science expertise was also made available outside school through his work with The Association for Science Education and CCEA. The School timetable also benefitted from his first class organisational skills and each year Sam carried out the task with careful planning and fastidious thoroughness to ensure a timetable which balanced the need to deliver the curriculum with the needs of individual staff and pupils. We do wish Sam a very long and healthy retirement. In addition, Janet Boal who had been with us for just over three years, was successful in obtaining a post as Head of Art in Bangor Academy. As well as a passion for all things Art, Janet was an active participant and supporter of the whole school community. We wish her well in her new position. In September we welcomed a number of new colleagues including three teachers: Mrs Kernaghan who will be teaching English; Mrs White, our first Business Studies teacher and Miss Stewart, who completed her teaching practice here some years ago and who has now returned as Head of Science. I hope all the new staff already feel at home and they will very much enjoy working here in Strathearn. I also pay tribute to the interest and dedication of our Governors. Voluntarily they take on considerable responsibility and give very significant amounts of their time and professional services to the running of the school. I record my thanks and that of the school to Mr White who has served us so faithfully and with great diligence as Chair of the Board of Governors for the last four years. I also acknowledge the passing of Mr Fred Haugh, who as a Governor had been so influential in the establishment of Strathearn School in its own right, and for putting everything on a firm and legal footing. We all miss his wisdom and candour.  I welcome Mr McKeown as Chair and wish him well at this exciting and challenging stage of our development. Our Parents’ Association do a wonderful job, mobilising support, assisting at events in the Preparatory Department, and organising a range of activities for pupils and parents, although the discos remain the number one attraction. In June they organised a Summer Fête in Penrhyn and it proved to be a great success in terms of atmosphere and finances raised. It total they raised a staggering £18,000 last year – I really do congratulate the committee and their band of faithful helpers in realising such a tremendous sum of money!  In the Secondary Department we purchased some more digital projectors for classrooms and stage lighting for the Drama Department, and

in the Preparatory Department it was used to purchase some play equipment and equip the remainder of the classrooms with Interactive White Boards. This year is going to be very challenging without the use of the Gymnasium, but do please continue to support their invaluable work and join us in a fortnight’s time at the AGM and performance of the winning House play. I am very proud of our School Magazine. The use of colour, photographs and the wonderful artwork complement, support and draw us into the narrative of another year in the life of Strathearn. It is not my job to retell that story but I do want to highlight just a few areas to give you a greater insight into some of what our pupils have experienced.

Stephanie Jemphrey,  A-level

The first performance for the Music Department each year is our very popular Autumn Musical Evening. An ever growing Junior Orchestra entertained us with pieces such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Money, Money, Money” and “Mr Blue Sky”. These were interspersed by a range of very competent soloists. And then we had our wonderful Carol Service when choirs from the Preparatory and Secondary Departments led the whole Strathearn Community in Christmas Praise. As ever, it was a wonderful occasion, and the line ‘countless stars that shine on snow’ from the song, “There is Faint Music”, became very appropriate as the snow began to fall outside, creating a perfect ending. And thus, unexpectedly, began our Christmas Holidays, as for the first time in my twenty-one years at Strathearn, the school closed because of snow. Last year we did not have to dream of a “White Christmas”! Our Sports Hall always fills quickly for the main event of the school Music calendar - the Spring Concert in March. All the choirs, orchestras and soloists demonstrated the talent and delight of music-making, with performances of a wide variety of music, all to the highest standard. There was something for everyone and a great finish as the combined forces of the Junior and Senior Choirs performed a medley of songs from the musical Wicked. Music is so important to the life of our school and the high proportion of the school involved in some form is testimony to its popularity. My thanks to all who so successfully played a part in music this last year in Strathearn. In June the Assembly Hall was knocked down and therefore our production of Beauty and the Beast at Christmas was the last big performance to be staged in that venue. It was a very fitting tribute to all the many pupils who over the years have entertained us through Penrhyn Nativity Plays, Penrhyn Senior Productions,


principal’s speech

Katie Noble,  AS-level House Plays and Junior and Senior School Productions.  Forty girls from Strathearn, twenty boys from Campbell, a mini orchestra and a backstage team of staff and pupils produced five magnificent performances across two matinees and three evenings. Audiences of primary school children and adults alike were spell-bound by the standard of music, singing, acting and dancing that held us scene after scene. It was a great delight and such occasions remind me of the wonderful creative talent of our pupils. Some of that creativity was also employed by the staff who tried to overcome the trials of a very leaky roof – a reminder that we really did need a new school! During the year there were also Showcase performances by the Drama classes and of course our wonderful House Plays. These in particular are a joy to behold and create a real sense of community as pupils from different year groups work together to entertain us all.  Best wishes to the House teams this year as they prepare to perform in the much more restricted venue which is Miskelly Hall. Congratulations and a big thank you to all who so successfully played a part in Drama this last year in Strathearn. The range of sport available in Strathearn is only equalled by the very high level of up-take by the pupils. At the moment work on our hockey pitches is on-going, although it has been held up by the wet summer we have had. The two all-weather pitches will be ready after Christmas and our Astroturf pitch should be ready near the end of the season, by which stage, I hope some of our teams will still be in the running for competition trophies. The athletics training track, shot and javelin enclosures, and the double width ‘tartan’ track for long jump will all be ready for the summer season. Our fitness suite is under construction and due for completion in late January so, although it is difficult at the moment to house all our sport with such limited facilities, we really are excited at the prospect of all that will be coming on-line very soon. By the end of the project we will also have added six tennis courts and a gym. I pay particular tribute to the staff who are working very hard to manage our extensive programme and as we keep saying – ‘it will be worth it in the end’. I also record my thanks to Mrs Mungavin and the staff at Ashfield Girls who have done all they can to help us out with sports facilities. With twelve teams, hockey continues to be the most popular sport, but because of the snow and very cold conditions many matches had to be played late in the season, with the finals held at the end of March. For us it was one of our best years; three teams made it to the finals – my theory is that the longer the season, the more time we have to get into our stride.  The 1 XI won the Senior Shield beating Larne Grammar 1-0. The 2A XI won the Plate beating


Lurgan College 2-0 and the 2B XI made it to the final of the Gibson Cup where they were defeated 2-0 by Omagh Academy. I have not time to expound the success of our Athletics, Squash, Swimming and Tennis teams (some of which is recorded in your programme) but tonight I do want to highlight the success of one particular pupil. Sycerika McMahon’s dream of succeeding at the 2012 Olympics must be nearer to reality after a spectacular summer of swimming success. In the European Junior Championships at Belgrade. Sycerika gained two gold and one silver medal, and was ranked the overall top girl performer. At the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man she took three gold and two silver medals.  A semifinalist at the World Senior Championships in Shanghi, Sycerika was placed 13th in the 50m breaststroke. She currently holds 42 Ulster Junior and Senior records and 21 Irish Junior and Senior records and is ranked number one in the world in the 50m breaststroke for her age group of 16/17 women. And by the way, you may have noticed that I read out her name earlier as she also fitted in her GCSE examinations, coming away with 6 A* and 3 A grades which is a tremendous performance! Sycerika, we salute your sporting and academic ability and are in awe of your determination, effort and time-management skills to attain such fantastic achievements. Our very best wishes for 2012. Pages in the Magazine detail the other experiences offered in Strathearn and I have picked out two which will give some flavour of the diversity on offer. In February, the young people’s Safer Internet Day Symposium brought together forty 15-17 year olds from across the UK at Microsoft’s London Headquarters for two days to discuss their experience of the internet, engaging them in discussion on what they do online, what they perceive to be the risks to their age group, what advice they would give to their peers and what form that should take. Northern Ireland was represented by four girls from Strathearn on an all-expenses paid trip (and Microsoft aren’t short of a penny!). With top Microsoft Executives from the UK and the USA and other experts in this field, this was a wonderful opportunity for the girls and allowed them to shape an Internet Safety Campaign and subsequently help raise awareness within our school. I have asked Rachel Stanfield to join me on the platform and give us an insight into what the group experienced. Rachel told the audience that she had just finished her GCSEs, and is now in the Lower Sixth studying Geography, ICT, History and Double Maths for A-level. She explained that she was one of four girls from Strathearn who flew out to London for two days of intensive activity at the Microsoft London Safer Internet Day. The purpose of the event was to come up with a marketing campaign to help teenagers cope with the threats that are present online.  To determine the winning team, these entrepreneurial ideas were then presented to a panel of judges in a Dragons’ Den format. The judges included Tanya Byron, a government adviser, and the head of Microsoft Safety US. Rachel said that they were divided into teams of five and assigned a facilitator. On the second day they had just two hours and ten minutes to create, design and prepare a marketing campaign and pitch. It had to be aimed at helping teenagers cope with the threats that are present online.  After this, they had the daunting task of pitching to the Dragons. Though this was challenging, it paid off for her group, as their: ‘Think! Who’s Watching?’ campaign was named as the winning pitch. They had three potential advertisements, all with an ‘ominous’ style. The campaign was also supported by a website, downloadable applications, a Facebook presence and a poster campaign. The event was widely covered in the media, and there were TV and radio crews present from across the UK – for both national and regional broadcast. Sophie Rodgers, who was also representing Strathearn, had the exciting opportunity of giving an interview to Sky News. When asked what she had gained from the whole experience, Rachel said that she had learnt three main things from the event. Firstly, that the internet can have huge consequences for your future, as employers can view Facebook profiles years from now. Secondly, going to Strathearn gives you the confidence and social skills to be thrown in at the deep end with young people from top public schools and successfully present to

guest of honour’s speech Microsoft directors in their own headquarters at Cardinal Place. Finally, Rachel said she had learnt that being successful is as much about how you communicate the message as the message itself. Mr Manning warmly thanked Rachel for her contribution, and continued: Going to school in some countries is a dream – a reality for those with money but not for the vast majority of young people. Well, because of Strathearn, many more children are enjoying that dream. After a period of six years, our Uganda project came to completion this summer, when twenty pupils and five staff went out and finished Strathearn Primary by building a nursery block and kitchen. Over this time the Strathearn community and friends have raised over £80,000.  Just one example of that spirit was evident in the Belfast

marathon when teams of staff, pupils and our governors ran to raise money for the project. We are very grateful for all who have given through Strathearn to make a difference in the lives of children in Uganda. Sit back, listen and watch as some of the girls on the team tell us about the project. At this point the audience viewed a film showing some of the highlights of the Uganda team’s experiences. Recently I met a group of past pupils at a wedding of one of their number. They delighted in expounding to me (and anyone who would listen), the value they place on their time at Strathearn. They spoke effusively of their teachers and the opportunities afforded to them as pupils; experiences they had taken for granted, but which they have subsequently discovered had not been the norm for many of their contemporaries at University.  Buildings are very important – a new school will be great. And yet I don’t think the impact of our £14m build will be nearly as significant for us as the £70,000 school is for the children who attend Strathearn Primary in Uganda. The fond memories of those past pupils are based around the relationships, opportunities and success they experienced during their time at Strathearn. Tonight, that is what we celebrate and it is what we have been able to share in a small way in Uganda. 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 McKeown gave a résumé of Professor Heenan’s distinguished career. The first woman Provost of the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster, Professor Heenan is a distinguished academic and social Kimberley Shaw, GCSE Level policy expert. Mr McKeown spoke very warmly of her significant contribution and invited her to address the audience.


rofessor Heenan warmly congratulated the prize winners and presented the prizes and awards. Then, in a witty and inspiring speech, she spoke of the power of education to change lives. She told the girls that they were fortunate to be educated at Strathearn, and that they should never take an excellent education for granted. Professor Heenan shared her own educational experiences at Banbridge Academy and also expressed her gratitude to her parents, who believed in the transforming power of education. She spoke of her friends and siblings, who had a clear perception of the path they wanted to take when they left school, and her own initial difficulty in finding her niche. She related her joy in the discovery of the Social Sciences, which finally provided her with a framework for the questions she wanted to ask. She then shared the rewards and challenges of her career and her personal highlights, like her meeting with President Clinton.

to contemporary culture had brought about changes that no one could have foreseen. Professor Heenan quoted Benjamin Franklin’s view that: ‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ and assured the girls that they would find that: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention and recession the father of opportunity.’ She concluded her speech by urging the girls to be optimistic, to seize the opportunities open to them and to confidently embark on their own journeys of discovery. Following a presentation to Professor Heenan by the Deputy Head Girls, the Chamber Choir brought the evening to a conclusion with a wonderful performance of Send in the Clowns and Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho.

Professor Heenan urged the girls to be first-rate versions of themselves, to avoid short-term thinking, to do something they truly cared about, and to take advantage of the immense opportunities open to them. Though the economic climate at present is challenging, she told them that a positive attitude was crucial to success and reminded them of Winston Churchill’s words that: ‘The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ She urged them never to accept boundaries, because ambition is the roadmap for life, and qualifications are the passport to somewhere else. Professor Heenan encouraged the girls never to be afraid of failure, setbacks or rejection, but instead to see these experiences as character building. She offered them encouragement by stating that her own career could not have been envisaged whilst she was a pupil at school, because it had not existed then! She praised those whose creativity and innovation transform the world, and paid heartfelt tribute to Steve Jobs, whose inspiring contribution

Eva Wallace, GCSE Level


Uganda Update


Uganda Update

n 9 July 2011, twenty sixth form students and five staff began the journey of a lifetime to Uganda. For most of us it was our first taste of Africa and no-one quite knew what to do with the surreal feeling we experienced as we took our first step on African soil. The initial bus journey from Entebbe Airport to the Abaana guesthouse through the African countryside was a momentous one and more green than we anticipated. Fatigue was pushed to the side as camera flashes captured the images which could have easily been mistaken for a television programme. The people we saw could not have been more welcoming to the visitors travelling through their streets. We spent just over two weeks in Uganda and during the first week we added a nursery department to Strathearn Primary School which had been built by two teams from Strathearn in 2009. The nursery would contain the lower, middle and upper nursery classes, which were meeting where the primary 5, 6 and 7 class should have been. During that week we also found time to build a new kitchen to provide daily lunches.  It was hard work and required determination, but everyone found the drive to keep going; it was the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced and by the second day it became a habit to ignore the heat and muscle pains so that we could get the job done. During that week we were helped by a group of friendly Ugandan builders, who were more than happy to fix our mistakes and help us get started. It was incredible to watch the walls grow in height and number until the final product was visible, and then to start the kitchen, which would benefit the children we were beginning to become so close to. While we worked we got to know the children of Strathearn Primary and the people of the surrounding community and heard their stories. It was humbling to learn of their hardships, but not one child stopped smiling at us for even a moment. The community was so warm and friendly and suddenly the fundraising efforts, the meetings and the packing we needed in preparation seemed even more worthwhile. It was also great to spend time with the teachers at Strathearn Primary and while we disrupted class time quite a lot they helped tremendously when we needed a translator! During the second week we spent our days playing games with two hundred children and the two hour sessions outside, with minimal English comprehension on their part and no Ugandan on our part, were certainly a challenge! That said, we wouldn’t have changed that week for anything, because all around were smiles on the faces of every child. We organised a ‘kids’ club’ and had a sports day, as well as making crafts and painting faces. For a few nights that week, we slept on one of the classroom floors and many of the local parents came out at night to sit with us and sing with us. We had a campfire each night and on our last night at the school, we learnt African dancing.  As the music played on, it was a very special night; we got to have fun with local people who proved to be the most kind-hearted we had met. It didn’t matter where we came from or who we were or what colour our skin was, everyone was together and enjoying themselves. On our final day we spent a morning on the streets of Kampala. That day with the street children was incredibly moving, and opened our eyes to the way life really is for many Ugandans. When it came to providing them with lunch, they cherished every last grain of rice as it was, perhaps, the only meal they would get that day. The last day with the Strathearn Primary children was sad to say the least. We presented the school with some gifts and it was incredible to see how they reacted to a single laptop and the promise of coming electricity. We said our goodbyes and spent the rest of the day reflecting on what we’d done in Uganda, who we’d met, and what we’d continue to do. It was an amazing trip - my sixth school trip and by far the best! It builds your character and I will never forget the people I met. Even though we are back in Belfast with phones, modern technology, cars, brick houses and a decent education, we should always think before we speak, or complain, because there are others on opposite sides of the world who are in far worse conditions than we are, and they are smiling. Thank you to everyone who has made our Strathearn Uganda project possible. Over the last five years we have raised over £80,000 which has allowed us to build a home for twenty-four street children, Strathearn Primary, Strathearn Nursery and a school kitchen. Every penny donated has been greatly appreciated! Jenna Kelly, U6H

Tessa Eames, A-level


clubs, events & societies Library Report


change of venue this year has brought the Library some new neighbours in the form of the Science, HE and Art Departments, and so there is still a busy thoroughfare making the Library as lively a place as ever. Reading Clubs continue every Thursday and the first form girls who have joined this year have enjoyed reading books recommended by the older girls. This year we have read war stories, humorous books, detective novels, children’s classics and books recommended by others. Some of the girls have been pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed reading a book chosen for them by someone else which they would not otherwise have read. The Scholastic Book Fair took place in November and was very well-supported with sales again exceeding that of the previous year.  As a result, many new books have been added to the Library’s ever-increasing stock, giving the girls a very wide range of books to choose from. A competition matching literary heroines with the books they appear in was held during Book Fair week for first form girls, and books were awarded to five prize winners. World Book Day was celebrated this year with a Book Swap for both staff and pupils, which enabled participants to exchange unwanted books for different ones brought by someone else.  Everyone who took part enjoyed rummaging through the selection of books and taking home something new to read. The Library is supported by a small army of loyal Library assistants and this year we have benefited from the addition of a number of first form helpers, who have fitted in well with the others to help keep the Library running smoothly.  Once again they have organised a ‘Library effort’ for charity, this time to raise support for YoungMinds, an organisation which supports mental wellbeing in children and young people.  The girls held two coffee mornings in the Library which were well attended by the staff, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the variety of excellent home baking produced by the girls.  All the Library assistants worked very hard planning, advertising, preparing, baking and serving in order to make this a very successful and enjoyable venture!

Night Time


The owl hoots softly Flying through the dark night sky. The full moon shines bright. Katy Skillen, 1A

Business Studies Visit to Tayto Castle


n 12 January 2012, a group of very excited Form Four Business Studies students visited Tayto Castle in Tandragee to view the production processes of one of Northern Ireland’s most famous brands. Students were given a stringent talk on Health & Safety with the Personal Protective Equipment required being modelled by our very own Sarah Flack. Students also had the opportunity to meet and have photographs taken with Mr Tayto! On the tour students learnt about the application of many of the topics they study at GCSE, including Flow Production, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Health & Safety, Stock Control, Quality Management, Marketing Mix and New Product Development. The experience was extremely beneficial and everyone enjoyed having the opportunity to sample many of the crisps on the production line.


Mathematics Challenges

he Mathematics Department in the University of Leeds runs competitions each year for schools and this year pupils from Strathearn School entered the Senior and Intermediate Maths Challenges. These prestigious competitions are UK-wide and have been running for around twenty years, so all certificate winners should be proud to record their successes on their Record of Achievements and also on their UCAS forms. The Senior Maths Challenge took place in November and the results were very good with Lower and Upper Sixth pupils achieving eight certificates between them. The Bronze Certificate winners were Kathryn Egerton, Emma Darragh, Jessica Hawthorne, Caroline Winder and Miranda Crawford. The Silver Certificate winners were Rebecca Wylie,  Jenna Kelly and Isabel Brown. A special mention goes to Jenna Kelly, who also received a Certificate for the best result within Strathearn. The Intermediate Challenge took place more recently, in February. This competition is aimed at fourth and fifth form pupils. The results were superb! Gold Certificates were awarded to Lauren Keenan – who was also Best in School Sarah Cairnduff, Natalie Wylie, Katie Jackson and Nikita Muir. Silver Certificates were awarded to Anna Wilson, Catherine Buchanan, Hannah King, Katherine Beattie, Morgan Shaw, Maeve O’Neill, Iseult Dawson, Heather Martin, Katherine Flack, Jenny Drennan, Kira McNeill, Hannah Craig and Dominque Forson. Bronze Certificates were awarded to  Nicola  McCann, Aminah Amjad, Victoria Wallace, Rebekah Craig, Lucy Webb, Sarah Coleman, Bethany Fairley, Lauren Graham, Sophie Craig, Tara Gouk, Emma Irwin, Natasha Foster, Jennifer Chambers,  Jessica McCleery, Eryn McQuillan, Poppy Gribben, Melissa Nagar, Rebecca Davidson, Erin Prentice, Shannon Armour, Catherine Whiteside, Emma Flannigan, Katie Gallagher, Sarah Lavery, Laura McMillen, Charlotte Hoey and Natalie Wallace. In addition to these competitions, second form Strathearn Maths pupils took part in a Number Day Event run by the NSPCC. The idea of the event was that pupils would collect sponsorship money in return for completing an NSPCC themed Code Breaker Challenge. In total, the second form pupils raised £210.77.

clubs, events & societies Senior Debating Society Report


lthough the Senior Debating Society may be small, our enthusiasm and determination means we will always be debating until the very end of lunch! Moreover, the Society has moved from strength to strength this year, with many new members catching the debating bug. This year has proved to be an interesting one for the Society with a mixture of motions, from key social questions of our time: ‘Britain is a broken society’, to ones that have plagued history: ‘Censorship is a good thing.’ In a year of inquiries into the practice of the Press and celebrations of the Royal Family, topical debates have included: ‘The private life of a politician is of no concern of the public’ and: ‘The Monarchy should be abolished.’ Our speakers have spoken convincingly on all these motions, being by turn extremely persuasive or simply thought-provoking. Between the excellent speakers and the enthusiastic floor, an enjoyable and stimulating debate is always guaranteed. In December, the debating committee decided to do something a little different for charity! We held our first, and hopefully not last, Teachers’ Question Time. Instead of a panel of politicians, we had an equally opinionated one of teachers, Miss Gibson, Mr Heaney, Ms Simpson and Mr Stevenson, answering questions put forward by the pupils. The debate was very interesting from discussion of the place of religious dress in schools to the problems and advantages of academic selection. There were also some comic moments as our panellists recounted some of their high points and low points in teaching! In true Christmas spirit the pupils and staff who came gave generously (over £120 was collected). I would like to thank once more the teachers who took part, and all those who came, making it such a success.

Childnet International’s Safer Internet Day


n 6 February, Rachel Howe, Ella Dougan, Vera Montgomery (Rachel’s Grandmother) and Mrs White travelled to London to participate in Childnet International’s Safer Internet Day. We arrived at Victoria Station at 9.30pm and got a taxi to our hotel, taking the scenic route past Buckingham Palace. The next morning, after breakfast, we met a member from Childnet International who organised our taxi to the Department of Education, which happened to be around the corner from Westminster Abbey. We met other people of a similar age to us and we worked with them during the focus group sessions. The theme for Safer Internet Day 2012 was Connecting the Generations, so there were three focus groups representing the opinions and experiences of primary school children, secondary school children, parents and grandparents across the UK. We met guests from industries including Google, YouTube, Facebook and Microsoft. In groups we discussed the real experiences that we have when using the internet, both positive and negative, and we suggested ways that some websites could be improved. After the focus group sessions we had lunch, and then we were put into pairs to organise our speeches for the afternoon debate in Portcullis House. Ella also volunteered to speak with a local radio station about our experiences throughout the day. During the debate we discussed the views and opinions of our focus groups in front of a large audience, which included politicians and industry leaders. The debate concluded at 5.30pm and we got the train back to Gatwick airport for our return flight to Belfast.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience and we would recommend the trip to next year’s third and fourth formers. Ella Dougan and Rachel Howe, 4R

Whether being Strathearn’s David Dimbleby in Teachers’ Question Time or offering interesting points from the floor, Dr McBride never fails to be encouraging and helpful. So, on behalf of the Senior Debating Society, I would like to thank him very much for his commitment and advice! Darcy Rollins, L6H


Politics Society Report

t has been another successful year for the Politics Society with our numbers steadily increasing. For the first time we dabbled in American Politics, avidly watching and, of course, debating the Republican candidacy race.  We also looked at issues closer to home - such as the possibility of Scottish independence and the current education system in Northern Ireland. The highlight of the year was attending East Belfast Speaks Out in February, which was a very lively panel debate between Sinn Fein,  Alliance, DUP, UUP and PUP representatives. The Politics Society will be greatly missed by those leaving this year, including myself. I would like to thank both the staff and pupils who have supported the society over the past two years and wish Sophie Rodgers the best of luck next year, as she takes over as Chairman. Caitlin Butler, U6H

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award


ver the last year we have been completing our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in school. The Award consists of four parts: skill, service, physical and expedition. For our Bronze  Award, we had to complete three months of physical, volunteering and skill work, with an additional three months of work on the area of our choice. For our physical activity we both attended zumba, which is a cardiovascular party workout. For our volunteering,  Joanna worked in a charity shop and Sara worked in a church youth club, while for our skill Sara taught another pupil how to make and sell jewellery and I attended horse riding lessons. For our practice expedition, we went to Castlewellan Forest Park. We walked twenty-four kilometres over a two day period and camped overnight. There were many lakes around the park that were fun to rest at during our breaks. There was a variety of wildlife around the park, such as horses, ducks and squirrels. Once we arrived at the campsite, we set up our tents and gathered wood for our bonfire. We then went to the nearby maze for an enjoyable activity before heading back to start dinner. For dinner, we set up our trangias and made a simple dish of pasta, as we were all exhausted from our twelve kilometre walk. After dinner, we all gathered around the campfire, sang songs and made S’mores. The next day, we had breakfast, packed up and began our second day’s journey. Overall, we think the practice expedition was fun and got us ready for our real expedition, which we can’t wait to do! Joanna Hicks, 4S, and Sara Davison, 4R


clubs, events & societies Art Report ‘Make voyages!  Attempt them... there’s nothing else.’ (Tennessee Williams) ur invitation for the 2011 Art Exhibition featured a travel theme and the text used for the strap line was a jaunty, ‘Wish you were here.’ As always, the wonderful variety of work from our dedicated pupils showed a willingness to engage with Art as a creative journey and to take risks even when the destination can be unknown. Two open afternoons allowed family and friends to join in the celebration of colour and creativity.  It was also a time to say ‘thank you’ to Miss Coates for her time teaching in Strathearn. Journeys to galleries and museums were also important to each exam candidate’s voyage of personal discovery. Sixth formers enjoyed travelling to Dublin, with tours of the National Gallery and Hugh Lane helping us gain insights into the work of Willie Doherty, Richard Hamilton and Louis Le Brocquy amongst other artists. Form Five had a packed day which began at the Ulster Museum and ended with a walking tour of Belfast City Centre cultural venues and public Art. The timing of this outing was great, as many of the galleries were presenting exciting work for Culture Night, and so we got to experience installation, photography and even try our hand at origami! Later in the year, shorter minibus trips allowed exam classes to be inspired by the Street Art, RUA, True Colours and The Queen Exhibitions at the Ulster Museum. Sixth formers also got an insight to the energy and creativity of Foundation students’ work at the Open Day for the University of Ulster in Belfast. Visitors to school always enrich the experiences of our students; Form Four loved having textile artist, Lyndsey McDougall, teach them beautiful hand stitching techniques. At the lunchtime Art Club, the wealth of topics this year included mosaic, astro-photography, Interior Design and Textile Art. A highlight for many former pupils of Gilnahirk Primary School was the visit by teacher, Derek Melville, about his paintings. His talk communicated the idea: ‘Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you Level can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively.’ (Eleanor Roosevelt). We look forward to the discovery, exploration and journeys that await the Art Department in the year ahead!


Philippa Harty, GCSE


n 24 October 2011, a group of fourth and fifth year girls made their way by bus to Dublin and then boarded a plane to Toulouse before finally making their way to the Dordogne, a region in the south-west of France. In the Dordogne, we stayed in a small village called Salignac; it had only a few shops, like the Patisserie which was within eyesight of our centre and was visited frequently throughout the week! Tuesday was our first full day, and it started with some inspiring French lessons with one of the three on-site teachers, Sophie,  Amandine or Elise. For three days on the trip, we studied in the mornings; this enabled us to practise and improve our French by talking to actual French people! Pierre-Yves, the manager of the centre, then taught us how to play Pétanque, a French variation of Bowls. Elise gave us a tour of the small village and showed us things like the ‘lavoir’, which was used until recently by local women to wash clothing.  We then enjoyed the view of the countryside and ate some of the Dordogne’s delicious walnuts. Later that night, we were given a presentation by some French students about the five departments of the Aquitaine region: Gironde, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Dordogne.  They invented games for us to learn about the places, but as the students didn’t speak a word of English, we had to use our knowledge of French to find out what to do. On our third day we travelled to the Château de Castelnaud, which is a castle high above the Dordogne River. We explored the castle and then did some medieval dancing.  It was great fun! In the evening, we watched my favourite film, Amélie. It was all in French - though we had the subtitles! On the final full day, our shopping trip to the main town of Sarlat was preceded by a treasure hunt, in which we had to find information about the town to answer the questions we were given.  This challenged us to break out of our shells and talk to French people! We were extremely proud of successfully ordering our ice creams in French. “Je voudrais deux boules au citron, s’il vous plaît.” At the start, it was the only thing we had the courage to say! Our last night was very interesting to say the least.  A lot of the girls decided to dress up in Hallowe’en costumes for dinner. There were people dressed up as cats, babies, and a banana! To finish everything off, we had a dance session with the French students. All in all, it was a fantastic trip, which hopefully not only improved our French, but also gave us the chance to meet French people and experience their culture. It has encouraged me to continue to study hard in French, so that I can visit the country again. Sarah Lamont, 4H



clubs, events & societies

Italia 2012


t 1.45am on Wednesday, 28 March, forty girls and six teachers turned up at Strathearn for the long-awaited trip to Italy. After months of careful planning, meetings, and trying to learn a bit of Italian, it was finally here.  Hours of travelling and a lot of sleeping later, we arrived in Rome for our first Italian pizza – every bit as good as anticipated! There was no time to rest as we were quickly led off on a tour of the Roman Forum and the very impressive Colosseum before finally returning to the hotel to our very welcome beds – only to be told the wake-up call was at 6.15 the following morning... Our next day included a tour of the opulent Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and some fairly frantic packing to get the bus to the beautiful town of Assisi – our home for the next few days. Our experiences in Assisi included the St Francis Basilica and eating excessive amounts of amazing Italian ice cream on the steps of an ancient Roman temple every night. Learning about the life of St Francis couldn’t be avoided here, and the Basilica and San Damiano were really interesting places to see. Rather a lot of souvenirs were also bought, with people buying anything that said ‘Italia’ or ‘Assisi’ on it. At the weekend we visited the beautiful city of Florence and left with our purses somewhat lighter due to the impressive San Lorenzo market.  We also visited Siena, and a few of us climbed the four-hundred-and-something steps to the very top of the tower – amazing view, but once is quite enough! Our last stop was the little hilltop town of San Gimignano, where we caught the locals’ Palm Sunday procession and added many more souvenirs to our collections! When our last night in Italy finally came, no-one wanted to leave. Our Italian experience was better than any of us could have expected and I have no doubt that we all could have stayed much longer.  I would love to go back to Italy and would recommend the trip to anyone who has the chance to go. Sophie Martin, 3R

Provence 2012


ercredi le 1er février, les élèves de français en premier et en terminale et Niall (de Campbell Collège) sont partis pour un séjour culturel à Antibes en Provence. Après y être arrives, nous avons visité la verrerie de Biot, un petit village médiévale. Puis, nous avons rencontrés nos familles d’accueil. Jeudi, nous avons passé toute la journée à Nice. On a fait un grand tour en bus et aussi du shopping bien sûr! On Friday we got up early for our big day out to a very cold St Paul de Vence, Grasse and Cannes.  The scenery from St Paul de Vence was really spectacular. Saturday was spent rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in Monaco! We saw the changing of the palace guard, the aquarium and the casino and, of course, had the opportunity for a little more shopping - including choosing our future engagement rings at the Hotel de Paris boutique! Our last day was spent visiting the old town of Antibes – the Provencal market and the Picasso Museum. The home stay families made us feel really welcome and everyone felt that the trip was a really worthwhile experience for improving our French and learning about the region. A la prochaine fois!


clubs, events & societies


History Trips

hird form groups were out of school in February as part of an initiative designed to raise awareness of Belfast’s industrial past. The special emphasis on the ‘Titanic Story’ was to the fore in this year of commemoration.  The group responded well to a very informative guide who led their boat trip on the Lagan and everyone was given access to the impressive collection of local memorabilia on board the larger vessel, the MV Confiance, which hosts a museum, a conference venue and a restaurant. Third formers also made the short trip to Newtownards to the Somme Heritage Centre and the informative talks given by our guides, Matthew and Neil, started with the weapons display and moved through a recruitment station to the simulated trenches. This year’s trips gave the pupils a meaningful insight into the reality of war with a special focus on the role of women. Form One pupils braved the elements on 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. This is a great local asset providing further evidence of the work of the Normans and John de Courcy who conquered much of Antrim and Down. Our final trip of the year will take place on 12 June, when the GCSE historians will make their way to the Stormont Assembly Buildings for an insight into the history of the building and the political processes of the current Northern Ireland Assembly.


he History Department and the Modern Languages Department joined forces for an unforgettable trip to Berlin in June 2011. The trip was led by Miss Gibson, Mrs Wyeth, Ms Murphy, Mrs Thompson and Mr Bradley; forty-three students spent five days exploring the diverse social, cultural and historical aspects of Berlin. The events in modern history are studied at GCSE and A-level; many of these events involve modern German history, with special emphasis on Berlin as a centre for both Nazi and Cold War history.  Each day was packed with activities and we travelled the length and breadth of the city and the surrounding areas.The weather was mostly hot and sunny, with temperatures still in the twenties in the evening. On our first day we visited The Story of Berlin museum, which gave us an overview of Berlin’s interesting and varied history before we explored it in more detail.  The Story of Berlin is a multimedia interactive exhibition, which traces the 800 year history of Berlin in an atmospheric and imaginative way.  One highlight of the visit was a guided tour through an original nuclear bomb shelter situated directly under the streets in the heart of Berlin. One of the most moving and emotional visits took place on our second day when we went to Sachsenhausen, which was a Nazi, and later a Soviet, concentration camp for political prisoners. This was an experience that was unforgettable and touched every one of us deeply, as we saw first hand what the conditions were like for prisoners, and the effects of the Nazis’ brutality towards those they saw as inferior. Other highlights of the trip included lunch in the Television Tower, which has a revolving restaurant 203 metres above the Alexanderplatz shopping area.  We also went to the Reichstag (Germany’s parliament), the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Museum, 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).  All these visits broadened our knowledge and were of great help to both History and German students alike, as we gained historical information as well as chances to practise our German! As students, we were free to experience the shopping and cultural atmosphere of Berlin, enjoying a wide range of restaurants and local specialities, such as the famous Currywurst, that we would not find at home. There were also lots of good shopping opportunities which we took full advantage of, especially exploring KaDeWe (which is the Harrods of Berlin), Kurfurstendamm, Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz. On our last evening we took a boat trip where we enjoyed the evening sun, drinks and famous sights of Berlin. The boat trip definitely made the last night a memorable one, which ended with dinner in a range of restaurants along the riverside. Overall, this trip was a fantastic experience and one which will undoubtedly remain with us forever! Meghan Herron, 5S, Olivia Storey, 5T, Sophie Craig, 5A, and Iseult Dawson, 5T

Berlin 2011


clubs, events & societies


Careers Report

he school year got underway in September with the usual round of University Open Days. Many girls attended sessions at the University of Ulster at the Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee campuses.  All Upper Sixth girls attended the Open Day at Queen’s University and the Higher Education Convention at Methodist College Belfast, where many UK and Irish universities were represented. These events proved very useful in allowing the girls to obtain last minute information and confirm university choices before submitting their UCAS forms later in the term. There was also a UCAS Information Evening for parents in September, which outlined the application process for university admission for 2012.

In the first term, several Lower Sixth students attended Open Days organised by professional bodies, which included pharmacy, radiography and physiotherapy. We had a speaker from Project Trust to talk to the sixth form about gap years and two students are currently having gap years in Thailand and Guyana with this organisation. We also had a lecturer from Stranmillis University College to talk about careers in teaching, and a nursing academic from Queen’s came into school to talk about opportunities in her profession. Our school Careers Adviser ran eight guidance sessions on personal statements for the following areas – history, geography, modern languages, engineering, accountancy, science, psychology and teaching.  She also held three interview workshops for medical applicants, and others for teaching and nursing which helped the girls with interview preparation. Applicants to Oxford and Cambridge had practice interviews with outside professionals, whilst all Upper Sixth girls had the opportunity for interview practice on our Mock Interview Evening on 21 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. Applications for universities in the Republic of Ireland got underway in December and some girls attended the Open Day at Trinity College, Dublin A representative from Sentinus delivered a Careers Planning Day for Form Three, while girls in this year group also had question and answer sessions with our Careers Adviser in the careers suite as they began to think about their GCSE choices. As always, we asked Form Five for their ten most popular careers and subsequently brought in the relevant speakers. This year we had presentations on law, medicine, police, interior design, journalism, social work, teaching, psychology, photography and accountancy. All these talks were very interesting, enjoyable and informative and we

are very grateful to these busy professionals taking time out from hectic schedules to visit. We also had a presentation on Chemical Engineering for all chemistry students from Form Five upwards who were interested in this area. In December, Sentinus delivered a session on Experiences of Work to the Lower Sixth which gave the girls some useful tips for their week of work experience in January. The placements during this week were as varied as ever, ranging from pharmacies and dentists, to hotels and advertising agencies. Also in the second term, Form Three had presentations on GCSE subject choices from Queen’s University and a Careers Adviser from the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL), as well as having an information session with Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst. Following their mock exams, girls from Form Five had careers guidance interviews with careers advisers from DEL and a talk on AS and A2 choices by Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst. We also welcomed a range of speakers from local and UK universities. These included presentations from the University of Ulster and Queen’s University, as well as Newcastle and Northumbria, the Scottish Universities Tour (covering the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde and Stirling) and Scotland’s Modern Universities Tour (covering the universities of Abertay, Edinburgh Napier, Queen Margaret and Robert Gordon). Some girls also attended a presentation by the University of Utrecht. All Lower Sixth girls attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention at the King’s Hall in March, where the girls were able to attend a range of seminars and talk to many of the university exhibitors about applications for next year. A representative from Queen’s University spoke to the Lower Sixth about personal statements and we also had two presentations to both the Lower and Upper Sixth about student finance, so that the girls are aware of the financial implications of going on to higher education. Throughout the year many girls attended a range of careers events. These included an  Almac Information Day,  a Dentistry Open Day,  A Flavour of Psychology event organised by the British Psychological Society, engineering and law conferences and a Medical Symposium, all at Methodist College, and the GETSET into Engineering Programme for Girls. Several girls from Lower Sixth attended the Stranmillis Open Day in May. Finally, all members of the Careers Department would like to take this opportunity to send our very best wishes to all our girls taking important exams this summer.

Catherine McCutcheon,  A-level Chocolate Cake Mmmm… the smell of chocolate fills the kitchen. I know what’s been made! I hear ‘ding!’ and my mum comes running. She lifts it out and there it is – The wonderful, delicious chocolate cake! Ella Reid, 1R


clubs, events & societies


My Work Experience

uring my week of work experience, I undertook a variety of placements.  My first placement was in Paediatric Dietetics at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. During the day I talked to the dieticians about what the job entailed, how to go on to specialise in children’s dietetics, and what courses and universities they recommended. I went into some of the wards and saw babies who were not putting on weight and was shown how to work out how many more calories they each needed to meet the appropriate centile.  As the babies’ only food intake is milk, there are special formulas for each individual, and these are all made up in the milk kitchen. My second placement was in Castlereagh Borough Council in environmental health; there are many different areas of work and I was in the health and safety section. There was office work involved, as well as home visits. I went to two different houses to carry out risk assessments and we left useful leaflets and devices that help to minimise risks in the home. When we got back I scored the risk assessments of each house and they were recorded in the system’s database.  To be able to do this job you need to have excellent communication skills and a caring personality. My next placement was in occupational therapy in Antrim Area Hospital. I went round the different wards and helped assess patients to decide whether they would be suitable for discharge or not. We were assessing how much help people would need at home, compared with how much they used to need. The things we were assessing were grip, eyesight, stability, memory, sensitivity and movement. For this job you need to be caring and interested in helping people, have good communication skills and also be a good decision-maker. My last placement was again in  Antrim Area Hospital in radiography. During this placement I was able to see many different aspects of this type of work. Firstly, I went to MRI and was able to see two brain scans. Then I went to the breast clinic, where I saw a mammogram and then the x-rays and ultrasound of the breasts. Then I saw a biopsy of the breast being done, as there was thought to be a tumour. I also went to the x-ray rooms, where I saw two chest x-rays and a hand x-ray. I also went to CT where I witnessed a brain scan. In addition I went to nuclear medicine where the patients get injected with isotopes and then a scan of the area is taken where the organs appear white in colour. I was able to see a scan of a patient’s kidneys, and visited ultrasound, where I saw neck and neonatal scans.  As well as this I was allowed to sit in on a Learning Disability Awareness talk. At the end of all my work experience, the field of work that most interests me is environmental health because it links in with the subjects I enjoy most and you get to travel about during the day, to interact with lots of different people, and it seems like an interesting line of work. Ellyn Anderson, L6R


My Work Experience

olin Glen Forest Park is a nature trust, which helps with the conservation and management of the park. They have an education programme for schools and youth centres to promote learning about the forest; they also run a volunteer programme which develops skills for the unemployed and which will hopefully help with their future employment. During the week I helped with a nature talk and walk around the forest park with a class of P1s from Fleming Fulton School. Throughout the week I also helped with the maintenance of the forest by cutting the ivy off the trees, as otherwise it would eventually kill them, and I took part in litter collections to clean up the environment. I also went into the river and looked for fossils from millions of years ago, which was fascinating. My work experience was only for a week and I would have loved to have spent a much longer time there. I have considered volunteering there in the summer, as it was so enjoyable. I liked everything about Colin Glen, especially the people who were so friendly and welcoming to a stranger.  By the end of the week I felt I really knew them as individuals and that we’d bonded. The people I was working with had many skills, and a variety of degrees such as Journalism, History and Geology.  They were knowledgeable about the environment and horticulture and good at public speaking for the school visits. Whilst this was not exactly the career I would like to pursue, as I would like to be a Geologist, aspects of the work experience, like the river study, were very interesting. I also learnt that I should really appreciate what I have, and not take anything for granted. I realised that I got on well in a working environment and I am now more prepared for the world of work. Helen Cairnduff, L6R


The Stock Market Challenge

n Wednesday, 7  March, a team of five girls from Mrs White’s Form Four Business Studies class had the opportunity to take part in the Stock Market Challenge, held at Queen’s University. There were twenty-five teams of Form Four pupils from the Belfast area working through a week of simulated trading on the financial markets, making decisions under pressure, taking calculated risks and experiencing the excitement of the trading floor. It was a very exciting day, as we made decisions about which shares to buy and sell according to news bulletins released throughout the day. This event not only showed us how the Stock Market works, but it also gave us an insight into career opportunities within the financial services sector. The day had many ups and downs in terms of the value of our share portfolio, but at the end of the week on the stock market, we had increased the value of our portfolio by over £35,000 - unfortunately not enough to gain a win however.  There was a huge amount of stress and adrenaline involved and we were all thankful that the money we were investing was not our own! Working on the trading floor was a great experience which the girls and I thoroughly enjoyed! Lucy Hayes, 4A


clubs, events & societies


Biology Field Trips

ach year as we set out for Delamont Outdoor Centre we anticipate days filled with biology, hard work and plenty of fresh air. We can do nothing about the February weather, but with a full set of waterproof gear we can survive quite comfortably. This year one group had some of the coldest, windiest, wettest days we have had in years! However, another group had a lovely evening under a clear sky with a bonfire and toasted mallows for supper! It had turned mild and woolly hats were put away for another year. We like to set work which stretches the pupils academically. As sixth formers they need to practise researching and selecting appropriate information which is then used to help explain the statistical data which has been gathered. The disciplines of recording and analysing data are an essential part of the work. Some of the activities involve group work and co-ordination, others require independence of thought.  It is great to see how all this comes together within a few days. One of our studies is a simple belt transect at the sheltered shore near Strangford village to illustrate the principles of zonation. There we have a beautiful view of the Strangford Lough whilst we work. The girls find all sorts of organisms at low tide including topshells, crabs, sponges, sea urchins and sea slugs, along with hundreds of edible periwinkles hidden under the masses of algae.  There are always squeals of horror when butterfish wriggle or crabs escape from the collection trays. Everything is carefully released back into its own habitat by the time we leave. We are fortunate to have this Area of Special Scientific Interest, which is so accessible, just a few miles from Belfast. It is certainly true that no two trips to this area are the same and it provides interest every time. Thanks to the girls for their hard work and we wish everyone success in the June exams.

Geography Report


e live in such a world of contrasts - from a retired American Space Shuttle being patriotically piggy backed across the USA on a Boeing 747 to a farmer in the foothills of the Himalayas transporting goods to market on the back of a donkey along mountain paths. Or how about the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai - an 830 metre tall statement of financial might - contrasted with the stark simplicity of the slums of Dharavi, Mumbai?

In Form Three we investigate ‘A World of Contrasts’ and part of our focus this year was to consider the challenges of getting access to fresh drinking water in countries such as Ghana and Uganda. We studied the work of Wateraid and their vision of providing clean, safe drinking water for everyone. We contrasted this with a visit to the Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn, where we saw first hand the might of a Multi-National Corporation, the slickness of its production lines and the sheer volume of products that are quickly available to us on shelves around every street corner - quenching our thirst. Sixth form students visited Magilligan earlier in the year for their annual residential fieldwork. This involved an urban study in Coleraine, a river study along the Curly Burn and a sand dune study in the Umbra Nature Reserve.  It was an action-packed three days that exposed each of us to the natural elements we normally seek to avoid in a blustery November. Again, it proved to be an eye-opening experience for those students whose life is predominantly centred under the big city lights. Life in rural Northern Ireland is as alien to some of our students as a can of Coca-Cola may be to a farmer toiling on the terraced slopes of southern Nepal. Our world really is full of contrasts, but understanding difference provides us with a challenge – to celebrate all that is unique while seeking to improve the lives of those who are less privileged.


clubs, events & societies


School Council Report 2012

trathearn School Council has become well established over the last few years. The venue for our meetings is constantly changing but the buzz of a group of students determined to have their voice heard is ever increasing. Caitlin Butler and Erin Jeanes have continued to chair the council for a second year, continuously reviewing and modifying how the council works in the interests of all the pupils. We have met monthly this year and would like to thank Mrs Collins for welcoming us to the Library, where she has been a most accommodating host. We have seen a record number of ‘suggested items for the agenda’ being passed on to the Planning Committee this year and while many issues never make it to the full council meetings, that is not to say that Caitlin, Erin and others have not been tirelessly working and networking in the background to resolve them. The undoubted highlight this year was in February 2012 when we welcomed Mr Manning, Mr Noel Reid of McLaughlin and Harvey and Mrs Suzanne McCoy (architect for the new school build) to our council meeting. We spent one hour with our guests, quizzing them on the new school build and gaining an insight into the complex world of building new schools. We left that meeting in a state of excitement as we look forward to entering a new school building with top class facilities. We were left in no doubt that all concerned are working collectively to give the pupils of Strathearn a new school building that will be sustainable for future generations too. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Caitlin and Erin for all their hard work over the last two years, working on behalf of the pupil body to establish a School Council that functions with authority. They have invested huge amounts of their time and energy into leading the council forward.  All class representatives have witnessed their passion and enthusiasm for the roles of Chairperson and Vice-Chair and they have set an example for those who will follow them. In conclusion, we have had a busy and rewarding year on our School Council. Thank you to all who have participated in this democratic forum and we look forward to the next academic year under the leadership of two new student chairpersons.


Junior Scripture Union

his year, Junior SU has continued to meet at lunchtimes in R17 and a large number of girls from Forms 1-3 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, challenging talks by visiting speakers, games, craft, quizzes and, of course, the Christmas and Easter parties. A particularly popular event was the bread-making demonstration with the symbolic relevance of the ingredients for our Christian lives.  A group of third form girls joined others in Senior SU at the annual weekend at Whitepark Bay. Many activities were organised and led by a dedicated team of Upper Sixth girls. We offer them our sincere thanks and good wishes for the future.

Community Service


n Wednesday, 14 December the Strathearn Community Service Party moved away from Strathearn School for the first time, due to our New Build. We hosted thirty-six of our Senior Guests at the Stormont Hotel which was very different for us all. Our singers and musicians ‘went on tour’ and were transported from school to provide the entertainment, which included singing, instrumental solos and some Irish Dancing, which is always a hit with our guests. One of our guests John, aged 92, then entertained us with a solo and he also recounted for the girls some of his experiences in the Second World War. The Party is always a highlight of the School Calendar. It is funded completely by the girls’ generous donations, which, this year again helped 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 charities of their choice. Form Classes come up with lots of novel ways of raising money from their peers and there is always ample evidence of entrepreneurial skills! One very popular Year Effort is our Form One Day of Sport which this year raised £1,500 for Barnardo’s and we are looking forward to passing over that cheque to a representative from Barnardo’s in June.

Senior Scripture Union

‘This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?’ 1 John 3:16-17


his year in Senior SU, our Committee wanted to reflect this passage from 1 John. We wanted to not simply be inward looking, but show our faith in practical ways. Our meetings on Tuesday afternoons can take many shapes and forms! We have had year groups directing us, as well as invited guests and teachers. We have had talks, Bible studies and even social events, but our meetings always involve some junk food! We enjoyed hearing about the work of mission organisations such as Abaana, and how they endeavour to make a positive impact in the world.  This encouraged us to take on a project.  We took on the running of the school’s Shoe Box Appeal.  We partnered with the Samaritan’s Purse to collect presents for children around the world who would otherwise not receive anything at Christmas. Classes were challenged to fill as many shoe boxes as they could with gifts. We had a huge response from across the school and collected 123 shoe boxes for the appeal.  A special mention should go to Miss Wallace and the pupils of 1T who collected 16 shoe boxes in all. At the end of the year our focus moved towards our annual weekend at Whitepark Bay. With a theme of ‘loving our neighbour’ we again thought about the positive ways that faith can impact on a world that so often sees it in a negative way.  The sixth form chose the theme of ‘Spies’ for our evening entertainment - though they came dressed more like cat burglars than James Bond! Thank you to our Committee of Kirsten Robson,  Jennifer Brown, Zoë Ketley, Rachel Stanfield, Kathryn Egerton, Rebekah Craig,  Joanna Smyth, Erin Prentice, and Catherine Whiteside for all their work putting together this year’s Senior SU programme.


clubs, events & societies


Minneapolis/St Paul Trip 2011 n 28 October, eight sixth form students (Judy Shaw, Hayley McConaghy, Shannon Stanfield, Ellie Penrose, Joy Dalzell, Rachel Stanfield, Claudia Bedford and Beth Hamill) and two teachers (Mr Smith and Mrs Dalzell) met at school at 8am to make the long journey from Belfast to Minnesota.

Our first flight lasted eight hours to New York City, where we had to run to get to our connection flight, which lasted three hours until we landed in St Paul.  At the airport we were greeted by a group of enthusiastic American students who attended the local private school, Cretin-Derham Hall.  We arrived at 6.30pm local time and we were all exhausted, due to all the travelling and the time difference.

We spent the whole weekend with our host families. Some went to a local theme park ‘Valley Fair’ which was Hallowe’en themed and temporarily renamed ‘Valley Scare’. Later we all met at the football game, where Cretin qualified for the play-offs. This was amazing to watch, as it was so different to anything that any of us had experienced before.  Afterwards we went to a costume party and enjoyed a ‘spooky hay-barrel ride’. On Sunday, 30 October, we all met at the home of one of the host families for a ‘Pumpkin Party’ at which we all had a great time carving pumpkins. On Monday, the host children had to attend school, so it was our first Strathearn organised activity. We went sightseeing through St Paul and Minneapolis and we stopped at the famous statue garden to see Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. As it was Ellie’s birthday, we all had birthday cupcakes and that evening we went to a Hallowe’en bonfire and some of us took this opportunity to dress festively for Hallowe’en, which was so much fun. On the Tuesday we spent the day with our host children in school, which was a great experience as their classes were so different to the lessons in Strathearn.  That evening we went to the volleyball game and went to an Irish themed restaurant called ‘Shamrocks.’ On Wednesday we spent 9am to 7pm in the Mall of America and some of us stayed even longer!  We shopped all day, had a great group lunch and even went on some of the rides.  We came out with so many bags that we couldn’t count them! That evening we relaxed with our host families after a long, hard day.  Thursday began with round two of shopping; we went to the Premium Outlets in Albertville and got some great bargains.  That evening we had a great night!  We all went to the Chanhassen Theatre, where we had a luxury dinner and watched Hairspray:The Musical. We even got to meet the cast afterwards, as one of the members had attended Cretin. On Friday we went to the Science Museum, which reminded us all of W5.  This was where our child-like qualities came out!  That night we went to a football game where Cretin won again! This was our last night together, so most of us spent the evening in one of the host families’ homes, which was a nice way to end this amazing trip. Saturday morning was bittersweet; it brought plenty of tears and plenty of memories and experiences that won’t be forgotten.  As we said goodbye at the airport, we all made promises to come back and visit. We then began the long journey home, and arrived on the Sunday morning in Belfast… greeted by the lovely rain! This was an amazing experience and each of us would strongly recommend it to others who might be offered this opportunity. Ellie Penrose, L6T and Shannon Stanfield, L6S


clubs, events & societies


Vision for Europe Competition

ongratulations to the group of thirteen Lower Sixth girls who travelled to Dublin on 2 March after reaching the All-Ireland finals of the Vision for Europe Schools’ Competition. Strathearn won first prize within Northern Ireland and, along with Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk from Co Kerry, the group will be heading off to the European Parliament at Strasbourg later on in the year to take part in Euroscola, a European youth forum.  This will involve taking part in discussions on topical European subjects, interacting with students from other EU member states and communicating using an EU language other than their own. Congratulations to everyone who took part and best wishes for Strasbourg!


Public Speaking Competition

his year, Sophie Rodgers and Darcy Rollins represented Strathearn in the Sixth Form Public Speaking Competition which was held in the Senate Chamber at Stormont on 12 October.  Twenty-eight competed and Sophie was placed third for her astute observations on sexism in contemporary culture and Darcy was given a commendation for sharing her views on the relevance of politics to our young people. The Ulster Unionist Women’s Council have run this event for ten years and this was the first time Strathearn entered a team!


English Department Report

n December all girls in second year visited the splendidly restored Ulster Hall for a morning performance of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This production, performed by the Wireless Mystery Theatre, was done in the style of a 1940s radio programme.  It was interesting for pupils to see one of their second year texts come to life on stage and to learn that Dickens himself read A Christmas Carol on stage at the Ulster Hall in 1867 and 1869. As part of the Cinemagic Festival, the British Board of Film Classification ran a course on issues relating to film categorisation. This was attended by both the Lower and Upper Sixth Media Studies classes. The pupils found the course interesting and useful, since it further developed their appreciation of film language and institution.

Chocolate Cake Get your apron on! It’s time to bake A great, big, yummy chocolate cake. The rich, chocolate taste just melts away… Until the next cake baking day! Jenna Hume, 1R

Creative Writing Club


he Junior Creative Writing Club has had a brilliant time this year writing a variety of poetry and fiction.  Additionally, five members of our club were published as part of the Young Writers’ Competition, Express Yourself. We are very proud of Sophie Macdonald, Jessica Cousins, Sophie Dalzell, Rebecca Mannus and Emma Beattie for this accomplishment. Well done!

Jenni Cunningham, GCSE Level


clubs, events & societies Mock Trial Competition


ell done to our Form Three team of lawyers, magistrates, witnesses and court officials who competed in the Citizenship Foundation’s annual Mock Trial Competition which was held in the Laganside Courts in Belfast on Saturday, 3 March.

The team of fourteen girls prepared a case and prosecuted it against Foyle College and defended it against Portora Royal School in two rounds. Real magistrates and court officials judged the performances and the girls were able to show off their understanding of the legal issues surrounding the case as well as their public speaking and interviewing skills.

Chamber Choir Report


The Chamber Choir Back Row: Katie Allen,  Ashleigh Watson,Tara Gouk, Emma Entwistle, Shamara Thompson Third Row: Holly Ross, Erin Miley, Sophie Craig, Rebecca Jordan,  Alex Clarke, Kezia Montgomery, Chloe McLaurin Second Row: Megan Coalter, Darcy Rollins,  Arden Armstrong, Olivia Storey, Lauren Keenan, Susanna Galbraith,  Amy O’Donnell Front Row: Miranda Crawford, Megan McLaughlin, Cathie Lowry, Megan McArthur, Demi Wright, Katy Webb, Helen Marshall

Alison MacNeill,  A-level 30

his year has undoubtedly been one of the busiest, but also one of the most enjoyable of the many years that Mr Gray has been running the Chamber Choir, as the twenty-seven girls from fifth year to Upper Sixth devoted a lot of time to practising and performing, and also went on a trip to Edinburgh! Our first performance came in October when the choir sang at the school Prize Night. As this was the first time the rest of the school heard us sing, it was important that we gave it our all. Our two songs, “Send in the Clowns” and the explosive “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, were very well received and were a great start to the year that was to come. Next up was the school Carol Service in Stormont Presbyterian Church. As always, the girls were on top form and full of enthusiasm. We were also very privileged to do a special Christmas concert at Strathearn Court Care Home. It was a really special experience to see the residents singing along to well known carols and even volunteering some requests! After the success of the Carol Service, the choir started rehearsing in earnest for the planned trip to Edinburgh and practices increased to three times a week. When the trip finally came the girls were understandably nervous, but also very excited. We sang at St Giles’ Cathedral and St Cuthbert’s Presbyterian Church. After both of these recitals, the girls and Mr Gray were inundated with compliments from listeners, who had loved the beautiful singing and hoped that we would visit again some day. Finally, came the annual Spring Concert, where the Chamber Choir is always a key element. It was a huge success, with the Chamber Choir contributing nine songs to the programme. We sang brilliantly, putting our all into the final performance of the school year that we had practised so hard for. Our grand finale was a rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song”, which the choir had practised in secret to surprise Mr Gray, who will be retiring at the end of this year. It will be a challenge to find a teacher with his enthusiasm and commitment, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have deeply enjoyed belonging to the Chamber Choir and are very grateful for all the hard work and dedication that Mr Gray has put in over the years. Katy Webb, U6R

clubs, events & societies

Alex Heath,  A-level


Orchestra Report

or the first time, Strathearn Orchestra was made up of seventy-four pupils from First Form to Upper Sixth, rather than the previous Junior Orchestra (Forms One to Three) and Senior Orchestra (Forms Four to Upper Sixth). We met every Wednesday after school from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, led by Mr Gray in Miskelly Hall.  A vast range of instruments in all shapes and sizes came together and made a fantastic arrangement. Our first performance was in the Autumn Concert, where the spotlight was on us to play a range of pieces.  After the Autumn Concert, we had no time to spare, as we launched straight into rehearsals for the Spring Concert, the main musical event of the school calendar. Despite the time pressure, we pulled it off, playing pieces such as “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals, the theme tune from The Great Escape, and March to the Scaffold and The Sleeping Beauty Waltz.  As a reward for working so hard, a number of girls, accompanied by Mr Gray, went on a trip to Paint Me Glaze Me in Bangor and displayed their artistic talents in a rather different way. This year, sadly, we will be saying goodbye to Mr Gray, as well as our Upper Sixth members and, on behalf of the Strathearn Orchestra, we would like to wish him a long and happy retirement. Georgina Pooler, L6S and Kathryn Haddick, L6R

The Orchestra Back Row: Keziah Mercer, Chloe Armstrong, Katie Gallagher,  Jenna Kelly,  Ashleigh Watson,Tessa Eames, Kathryn Haddick, Ciara Garrett, Kate Umphray, Megan Millar, Kathryn Hamilton Fourth Row: Rebecca Jenkins, Hannah Eakin, Lizzie Howard, Rachael Harbinson, Kirsten McFarland, Lauren Keenan, Emily Richmond, Kezia Montgomery, Demi Wright, Georgina Pooler, Kira McNeill Third Row: Caroline Winder, Kate Farrelly,  Ailie McKinty, Katherine Carson, Célèste Halliday, Emily Whiteside, Katherine Flack, Catherine Whiteside, Poppy Gribben, Francesca Lynn,  Tori McKechnie, Megan McLaughlin Second Row: Stephanie Devlin, Rebekah Kenny,  Alex Cush, Kerry Hepworth, Catherine Pooler,  Abby Sheridan, Miriam Parker, Hollie Croft, Susanna Griffin, Jill Carson, Honor Rowley,  Amy Dutton,Tori Megarry Front Row:  Jemimah Mercer, Iona Lindsay, Rebecca Mannus, Rachel Hinds, Bethany Craig, Rachael Kelly, Fiona Gibson, Grace Turkington,  Anna Wilson,  Amy Darragh, Kathryn Neill, Chloe Young, Sara Cabecinha


clubs, events & societies Junior Choir Report


Susanna Galbraith,  AS-level

ach Tuesday during lunchtime, the Junior Choir meets to prepare for the busy year ahead. We started the year in an upbeat way, by learning “ABC” by The Jackson Five. Preparations then began for the Christmas Carol Service, which is held by candle light, at Stormont Presbyterian Church. The Junior Choir sang two Christmas songs; it was a memorable evening and the church was filled with a wide range of joyous Christmas tunes. Our next performance was at the Spring Concert in March. One of the highlights of the evening for me was when we chorused with the Senior Choir to sing a selection of songs from The Sound of Music. This was great fun and very uplifting. However the evening was also tinged with sadness as we marked the retirement of Mr Gray, who has been a dedicated music teacher in Strathearn for many years. We are sorry to say goodbye to him and thank him for his leadership.

My Guitar

My guitar is music to my ears; The sweet, mellow chords that hang loose in the air. The vibrating motions as I gently pluck the strings Or as I strum to my heart’s content. My guitar is a delicacy to my eyes, The way it shines off the varnished wood When the sun’s rays glide down on it And the gold and silver strings from thick to thin. My guitar is my thoughts. I can play it anytime I want, Whatever way I’m feeling. The music reflects my mood when I strum. Rachel Cherry, 3S

This is my last year in the Junior Choir, and it has been a tremendous experience. I look forward to joining the Senior Choir next year. The choir is great for girls who enjoy singing and I would also recommend it as a way to make new friends with girls outside your form class. Finally, on behalf of the choir, I should like to thank Ms Kimber for being so patient, cheerful and encouraging – all our performances would not run so smoothly without her guidance and support! Rosalind Skillen, 3H

Junior Choir Back Row: Emily Martin, Saskia Craig, Rosalind Skillen, Matilda Storey,  Amy Anderson, Naomi Beckett, Charlotte Aston, Emma Watson, Lydia Millar, Morgan Harper, Emily Whiteside, Sophie Anderson, Catherine Pooler Fourth Row:  Alana McVea,  Jill Carson,  Jenna Hume, Shannon Rietveld,  Jill Fergie, Nicky Montgomery, Dakota Armour, Rachael Thomas,  Anna Kane, Emma Wilson, Rebecca Gallagher, Rachael Irvine Third Row: Louise Owens, Chloe Chapman, Grace Turkington, Stephanie Devlin,  Tori Megarry, Rachel Henry, Lola Bingham, Robyn Corry, Laura Bell, Sarah Wilson, Fiona Gibson, Leah Deehan, Hannah Tweedie Second Row: Nadia Hall, Chloe Scott, Rachel Cowan, Sophie Pružina, Ellen Gilpin, Nicola McIlwaine,  Amy Darragh, Sophie Macdonald, Lucy Dolan, Saskia McMinn,  Anna Wilson,  Anna Kelly, Chelsey McGarry, Katie Thompson Front Row: Naomi Lamont, Katie Mackay,  Victoria Hamilton, Lauryn Todd, Georgia Hardwicke, Ella Reid, Megan Chambers,  Alex Reilly, Emily Leitch, Catherine Reid, Sophie Downey, Rebecca Murphy, Georgia Stewart


clubs, events & societies

Senior Choir Back Row: Megan Millar, Emma Entwistle, Rachel Stanfield,  Tara Gouk, Iseult Dawson,  Ashleigh Watson, Katie Allen,  Judith Murphy, Rose Kerr Fourth Row: Charlotte Strain, Nicole Faulkner,  Jessica Logan, Rebecca Jordan, Sana Ashraf, Katy Webb, Shamara Thompson,  Alexandra Clarke, Eileen Allen, Sophie Craig, Ciara Garrett,  Anneli Power Third Row: Katherine Beattie, Lauren Keenan, Olivia Storey, Darcy Rollins, Chloe McLaurin, Kezia Montgomery, Melissa Nagar, Erin Miley, Holly Ross, Beth Hamill, Sarah Eccles,  Arden Armstrong Second Row:  Jessica Gunning,  Joanna Hicks, Megan McLaughlin, Charlotte Hoey, Helen Marshall, Rachael Thomson, Susanna Galbraith, Demi Wright, Célèste Halliday, Poppy Gribben, Emma Darragh, Keziah Mercer, Rebekah Cowan Front Row: Emma Murphy, Hope Smith, Megan Coalter, Miranda Crawford, Rachel Macdonald,  Amy O’Donnell, Cathie Lowry, Megan McArthur, Emma Andrews, Kira McNeill, Eryn McQuillan, Katherine Flack, Katie Smith


Senior Choir Report

he Senior Choir is a very popular extra-curricular activity and, as always, we had a huge choir of talented and enthusiastic girls, so this made rehearsals fun as we met new people. We were very busy preparing for the Spring Concert and the Carol Service, putting in hours of rehearsals for months beforehand. In this year’s Carol Service, the Senior Choir performed beautiful renditions of “Dona nobis pacem” and “Not that far from Bethlehem”, with Holly Ross performing an excellent solo. The girls filled the halls of Stormont Presbyterian Church with festive cheer and joy, and the service was enjoyed by the families and many friends of the girls. After the success of this we immediately started to work on pieces for the Spring Concert.  All the girls were very excited to sing the very modern songs Ms Kimber had chosen for us. We rehearsed the medley of the musical Chicago, a medley from The Sound of Music and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, with great enthusiasm. These songs went down a storm, and we made the Spring Concert a night to remember for Mr Gray. On behalf of the Senior Choir, I would like to thank Ms Kimber and Mr Gray for all the hard work they’ve put in to making this the most exciting and fun year of Senior Choir so far, always picking great songs and making the Senior Choir a very fun group to be part of.

Rachel Elliott, 2T

Nicole Faulkner, L6R


clubs, events & societies


The Spring Concert

everal hundred 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 particularly large and appreciative audience, who enjoyed hearing the results of all the hard work done by this year’s ensemble members. This year, the Senior and Junior Orchestras combined in rehearsal to form one full School Orchestra. This large ensemble opened the evening with a timely rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”, from the film Titanic. Later numbers from the orchestra, chosen from a wide range played during the year, included Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz, The Elephant by Saint-Saëns, featuring the cellos and double bass of the orchestra, and Berlioz’s March to the Scaffold. This group of players, ranging from the very experienced to those who have been playing only for a comparatively short time, produced a strong and disciplined sound and played with verve and enthusiasm. The Chamber Choir has a very wide-ranging repertoire, shown in their varied programme – an arrangement of the “Skye Boat Song”, the evocative Japanese piece “Sakura”, Bob Chilcott’s beautiful “I Lift My Eyes”, Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine”, the traditional song “Gartan Mother’s Lullaby”, Rutter’s attractive “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”, and the energetic spiritual “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”.  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 Alan Menken song “I See the Light”, from the film Tangled, a work which suited their young voices and enthusiastic approach. The Senior Choir had worked hard to learn two items of their own: first an authentically arranged version of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, and then a substantial medley of songs from the musical Chicago, which brought the first half of the concert to a dramatic close. The performers entered fully into the spirit of these classic jazz pastiche numbers, singing with strength and verve. Four soloists featured during the evening. Susanna Galbraith held the audience’s attention with Borowski’s Adoration, fully realising its dramatic lyricism. Megan McArthur’s poised interpretation of “Maybe this time”, from Cabaret, was mature and intense. Erin Miley communicated the humour and liveliness of  “Art is calling for me” with sparkling bravura, and Rebecca Jordan’s version of the beautiful “If I loved you” was expressive and moving. This was a special Spring Concert – the last for Mr Gray, who has taught at Strathearn for ten years and who has contributed a huge amount to the school and its students, both musically and personally. The concert’s final pieces reflected this.  As his last orchestra piece, he chose Elmer Bernstein’s The Great Escape. Then Susanna Galbraith,  AS-level the Junior and Senior Choirs joined forces for a medley of five songs from The Sound of Music, finishing, appropriately, with “So long, farewell”. The large joint choir sang with flair and enthusiasm, enjoying both the appealing music and the chance to pay tribute to their teacher. Mr Gray’s Chamber Choir finished the evening with a surprise for him – a performance of  “Your song”, rehearsed in secret as a thank you song. 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. We would also, particularly, like to thank Mr Gray for all his hard work over the last ten years and the indelible mark he has made on the life of the school, and to wish him a long and happy retirement.


The Junior Drama Club Report

nce House plays pass, the sixth form concentrate on organising the weekly Junior Drama Club. This year we met every Monday in Miskelly Hall - moving our time slot from Fridays as the competition from chip day proved too much! Our first task was to aim for the Open Day performances.  As a member of Lower Sixth it has been a really useful way of getting to know a wide range of younger pupils, their impressive dramatic skills and, perhaps most importantly, how to manage such an exuberant crowd! The performances of various improvisations, poems and extracts from the Junior Drama Club on Open Day proved very popular with the visitors. Our next focus was a series of workshops on American accents, singing and dancing as the Junior Production of Bugsy was advancing. These workshops really helped many in the club get selected for the lead and choral roles in the production and we look forward to their performance in June. Working with younger pupils has personally been a joy, as I have really been reminded of the enthusiasm and energy I once had! I would like to thank other members of the Lower Sixth Drama Committee, the pupils who attend the club and Miss Ferris. Evie Bloor, L6A




A Midsummer Night’s Dream

n 6 and 7 January, a cast of twenty girls ranging from fourth to sixth year put on the senior production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I played the role of Helena and for three months we rehearsed every Tuesday,  Wednesday and Thursday after school. In addition to this we did Saturday rehearsals in the final month leading up to the performances. Once all our lines were learnt - which wasn’t easy - Miss Ferris superbly directed us through every rehearsal, with the help of many other committed teachers. Unfortunately, because of the progress of the school build, the stage and gym were not available for performances and so the production took place in Miskelly Hall. This was the original site of drama productions in Strathearn, so it was great to act in this location. We put on a modernised interpretation of the original text, whilst remaining faithful to the language.  Miss Ferris came up with a vision of having a black and white theme, which was very innovative and fun to incorporate in terms of our costumes and the set.  What made it even more spectacular was the inclusion of the Junior Dance Team and the song “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter, which was sung by Emma Irwin. These elements all combined to create a lively and enjoyable production, which was very enthusiastically received by the appreciative audience on both nights. It was a great experience for the cast too. I have always been involved in our school drama performances, and I would encourage anyone interested to most definitely audition next year to have fun and mingle with those interested in drama in different year groups throughout the school. Chloe McLaurin, L6A


South Pacific

rom 30 November to 3 December, sixteen Strathearn girls performed in a spectacular run of South Pacific with Campbell College. Following the success of previous plays, everyone was very excited to get involved in another production. The musical is about an American nurse (Nellie Forbush) at a US Naval base, during World War II, who falls in love with an expatriate French plantation owner (Emile de Becque) with a dark past. I was privileged to play the role of Nellie alongside Matty Jeffrey, who played Emile.  Olivia Storey had to undergo a miraculous transformation into the gruesome Bloody Mary, but she played the part with remarkable enthusiasm and pulled off a perfect performance. Erin McClean took to the role of Liat with such ease that her onstage relationship with Cable (Ryan Armstrong) developed into a beautiful and heart-wrenching experience for the audience. After weeks of strenuous rehearsing, the cast and production team created an amazing musical. All of the girls involved were highly praised for the excellence of their acting, singing and dancing. Many friends have been made and it was a superb experience for all involved. I must say a huge thank you to the cast and production team for staging yet another wonderful show. I am very sad to say that this is my last school production, but what an amazing way to round off my time at Strathearn! Megan McArthur, U6R


Drama Trip

n February, the GCSE Drama class once more made their way to London to enhance their understanding of the running of professional theatre. The two-day tour encompassed backstage tours of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Albert Hall. They also experienced a workshop at The Globe with a professional actor to learn more about performance of the Bard’s work. The main focus for the trip, however, was their attendance at an evening production of War Horse, as it will be this play that they must review in detail for their examinations. Once more, the show proved emotionally moving for the twenty-eight students and teachers alike. However, it is its impressive staging and technical aspects that will now be analysed in detail in class. The class was a real pleasure to take away and thanks also go to Miss Ferris, Ms Erskine, Mrs Atkinson and Mr Heaney for accompanying the pupils.


house plays

House Play Competitions


Adjudicated by

Mr Arthur Webb October 2011

Awards Inter-House Drama Cup


for Best Production Boucher House Alice

McNeill Cup for Directing Amy O’Donnell (Watts House)

Frances Mulley Rose Bowl for Best Actress Louise Brown (Watts House)


McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress Susan Ogonda (Boucher House)

Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Role Sarah Hewitt (Barbour House)


Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

A Chemical Attraction (McCaughey House)


barbour house reports House Report


t is hard to believe that it was a year ago when Demi, Tessa and I were told the wonderful news of us being awarded the roles of Barbour’s next House Captains.  The walk from the English Department to Mr Manning’s office seemed to be as long as to Timbuktu, but it was with great pleasure, honour and excitement that we accepted our badges and ties.  We did not yet know of the action-packed year that lay ahead of us, but with dedication and teamwork, we managed to get through our hectic schedule and also have successes and great fun along the way. We started our duties with the Penrhyn Sports Day, which was great fun for all involved. Our next task was the most daunting - the House plays! In December came Inter-House netball, which I am extremely proud to say that Barbour won! Well done to all those who got involved and we were pleasantly surprised with the levels of skills our House displayed on the court. Unfortunately, Inter-House hockey was not so much in our favour, but again, thanks to all who signed up and it was great fun playing against our peers. I can safely say that the competitiveness of Strathearn girls is not easily matched, but it means that the support at Inter-House events throughout the year is always plentiful and is a great encouragement to those competing. Being the Barbour House Captain has been an honour, as I still remember looking up at my House Captains in first year with great respect and admiration, although I must admit it was rather embarrassing at our House play auditions when the majority of first years were shoulder to shoulder with me! This year has been the busiest yet at Strathearn and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my Deputies, Demi Wright and Tessa Eames. Demi’s background in drama was of great help during the House plays and Tessa’s sporting and artistic skills were of great value throughout the year, especially with her creation of our House board, for which I am very appreciative. I wish all the best to whoever I hand over my precious badge and tie to, and only hope you have as much craziness, fun and support as I have had this year.

House Play


Drama Geeks by Bradley Hayward

s a keen actress myself, I was excited to get stuck into House plays until I reached the first hurdle of choosing our script!  After weeks of deliberation, Demi, Tessa and I finally decided upon Drama Geeks by Bradley Hayward, as with a broad range of roles, a few cracking one-liners and a heart-warming moral story behind the plot, we thought this would be perfect for Barbour. It dealt with the reason why people got involved in drama, what they sought to get out of it and, most importantly, the friendships made when pulling together as a team. Producing the play seemed a daunting task, as this year we had very limited resources following the demolition of the stage in the gym, but being the resourceful Strathearn girls we are, we managed to create a stage, some degree of lighting and a sound system! With a positive mentality we began auditions in late September. This was my favourite part of the process as it was amazing to be on the other side of the audition panel for once! It took days of consultations and call backs to sort our final cast list, due to the huge amount of acting talent available in Barbour House, throughout all year groups. I was so pleased with the levels of enthusiasm and I would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone who auditioned. By the start of October rehearsals were in full swing and I knew already that I had a dedicated, talented cast who were a pleasure to work with. Catherine Trimble pulled off a witty, seamless performance as the narrator. Our nine actors each brought their individual characteristics to the play and embraced their roles remarkably. I must mention Sarah Hewitt, who was awarded the Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Performance. This was well-deserved as her comedic timing, macho American accent and dancing skills brought the house down! All of our cameo roles brought something special to the play, including Jessica’s role as the cleaner, Rose as the crazy ex-girlfriend and Rosanna as the bald Dad! I cannot say ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ enough to the entire cast and I wish you all the best with your future on the stage! Demi and Tessa were invaluable during this process, as without them I might have gone mad! I must also say a special thank you to Miss Ferris for her support and advice throughout the process of producing the play. Producing a play from start to finish was definitely a challenge, but it was great fun and I learned a lot about the preparation that goes on back stage, which I hope will be useful in my career in years to come. In the meantime though, I think I’ll stick to being on the stage, as directing is far too stressful not to get a curtain call! Megan McArthur, House Captain


The Cast Narrator ~ Catherine Trimble Actor 9 (Jess) ~ Rachel MacDonald Actor 6 (Bjorn) ~ Sarah Hewitt Actor 5 (Brooke) ~ Emily Hinds Actor 3 (Regina) ~ Rebecca Murphy Actor 1 (Emily) ~ Lucy McCracken Actor 2 (Nick) ~ Rebekah Heath George ~ Nichola Kelly Actor 4 (Tavia) ~ Katie Mashford Actor 7 (Rachel) ~ Judy Shaw Trudy ~ Rose Hinds Actor 8 (Megan) ~ Jasmine McCrory Principal ~ Lydia Duncan Ooops! ~ Alexandra McClay Dad ~ Rosanna Johnston Anna ~ Iona Lyndsay

boucher house reports House Report


aving been in the House plays for six years of my school life, it had always been an aspiration of mine to one day be Boucher House Captain and get to direct that play myself. It was a really great honour to be given the opportunity, and I was so lucky to get to share the experience with two of my friends, Emma and Caitlin, who I had met through the House plays and together we made a pretty good team. Our first and most challenging task was our House play, which was what I had been looking forward to most of all. It was unfortunate that our Upper Sixth year was spent as the new school building was under construction, so with the assembly hall now a pile of rubble we had to relocate to Miskelly Hall.  This was a great obstacle we had to overcome as we now had no stage, sound or lights! However, we still managed to pull off a winning performance and I’d really like to thank all my cast and friends for all their support throughout. The amount of Inter-House sports was limited this year due to the building work, but as usual the Inter-House netball went ahead and we had some brilliant players and enthusiastic supporters on the side lines. Our juniors put up a good fight, but were unfortunately defeated by Barbour. Honestly, we didn’t have high hopes for our Senior Team, with the only requirement for joining the team being the ability to walk... However, they shocked everyone with a fantastic win against Watts and managed to win the Senior Tournament.  We weren’t so lucky with our Inter-House hockey, despite having the best turnout of teams. Our Junior Team had some star players, but we were unlucky on the day and couldn’t get a goal. Our Senior Team played brilliantly, only losing to Watts by one goal.  We came third overall in both tournaments, and I’d like to thank everyone for coming along to support their House, whether it was voluntarily or not…! This has been the most fun and exciting year I’ve spent at Strathearn and I have enjoyed every second of being the House Captain - even standing on the sidelines of the Junior Hockey Tournament wearing a bin bag in the pouring rain! I was so fortunate to get to work with Emma and Caitlin, who both shared my enthusiasm and motivation in all the different events. I wish next year’s House Captains the best of luck; it will be sad to hand over my red tie, but I have no doubt that they will have their best year at Strathearn yet!

House Play


Alice ~ based on the play Alice in Wonderland by Jason Pizzarello

he House plays were the highlight of the year for Emma, Caitlin and I, and we quickly found a play we all agreed on - Alice in Wonderland.  The play was a parody of the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so it was a challenge to maintain the essence of the original, but with a fun and modern twist. We found ourselves laughing just reading the script and couldn’t wait to get casting! We were pleasantly surprised by the number of juniors who auditioned and we ended up making new roles to facilitate some of the best of those who auditioned. The challenge was in casting our senior girls; with so many talented actresses it was important to cast each one in the perfect role. We ended up with the best cast that I have worked with at Strathearn - all determined to win back the Cup! We held rehearsals most days after school, at lunchtimes and, nearer the time, on Sundays too, but all the hard work paid off.  With no sound or lights we recognised that costumes would be an important part of the play and I would like to thank Emma and her mum for some of the brilliant costumes they were able to lend us. From a Mexican Mouse to a Caterpillar, we had the most random collection of characters I had ever seen! With the House Captains in the wings, the play ran smoothly, despite a last minute change in the running order which left us only five minutes to get everyone organised and on stage! We all had a ball and it was the element of fun that made all the rehearsals bearable.  I will never forget the pride I felt during that final performance; it was a pleasure to work one last time with the friends I had made in Boucher over the years. There is no better feeling than to be part of the winning House Play; the adrenalin rush is unforgettable! A special thank you to our lead characters Miranda, Laura and Megan, who were all stars, as well as to Susan, who won the award of Best Supporting Actress as the March Hare. Congratulations to Emma, as the Red King, who despite only being in first year, received a Special Mention from the adjudicator.  It was a privilege to work with all of the cast and thank you to everyone involved in the production in any way. My advice to the House Captains next year is to enjoy every minute because the time really does fly by. Fiona Anderson, House Captain


The Cast

Alice ~ Miranda Crawford

Waldo/Mad Hater ~ Laura Rafferty Moob/Mock Turtle Ninja ~ Matilda Storey Mum ~ Charlotte Aston White Rabbit ~ Chloe Young Mary/March Hare ~ Susan Ogonda Ms Snodgrass/Red Queen ~ Megan McLaughlin King of Hearts ~ Emma Ferguson Stacey/Mouse ~ Sarah Redmond Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee ~ Emma Watson, Sarah Wilson Cheshire Cat ~ Joanna Hicks Caterpillar ~ Erin Prentice Tommy ~ Abigail Crawford Melanie ~ Rachel Bailie Katie ~ Katie McMurran Joey ~ Rosalind Skillen Trisha ~ Grace Turkington Security Guards ~ Ellie Biggerstaff, Sarah McCully Mushrooms/Wonderland Creatures ~ Ella Reid, Ellie Dobbs, Morgan Harper, Dakota Armour, Rachel Cowan, Sacha O’Prey

mccaughey house reports House Report


n the last day before Easter, Helen, Susie and I were appointed as the new House Captains.  With the new build underway, it was anticipated that this year was going to be somewhat different from those previous and I think it is fair to say it came with further challenges. Our duties began with the Day of Sport. Due to the mound of mud covering the front lawn, the Strathearn Day of Sport had to be postponed. All the House Captains were eager to take part in one way or another, so it was arranged that we would help out at the Penrhyn Sports Day. This proved to be even more energetic and we all had the chance to get into the House spirit for the first time – especially when we were given the opportunity to have our very own sack race! The decision was made to have Toy Story as the theme for our House board. McCaughey’s board soon came to life as an impressive painting of the much-loved character, Rex, was proudly pinned up - a massive thank you to Katie Noble for her outstanding efforts. In the Inter-House netball competition, the girls showed unbelievable House spirit, finishing in a commendable second place. The hockey competition was hugely competitive; the McCaughey girls fought their corner and finished in a well-deserved joint-first place! Without a doubt this has been the busiest, yet most rewarding year; it has been an honour to be the McCaughey House Captain. It was made possible by a House of enthusiastic, friendly and talented girls - thank you to all who took part in events. Special thanks must be given to my Deputies, Susie and Helen, who have proved invaluable; I couldn’t have done it without you both. Many thanks to the PE staff and Miss Ferris for all their help this year; it was much appreciated.

House Play


A Chemical Attraction ~ based on the play A Most Curious Phenomenon by Alan Haehnal

he thing I was looking forward to most was the opportunity to direct the House plays.  Having acted in the plays in previous years and now studying Drama and Theatre Studies as an  A-level, I felt I was strongly in my element. In reality the plays were much more challenging than any of us could ever have imagined although, as a result, they were also far more rewarding. Before leaving for the summer, the news that the House plays were to be performed in Miskelly Hall with no staging, wings, curtains, lights or microphones was broken to us.  This was where the challenge began! Over the summer I spent hours upon hours looking through script after script to find the ‘perfect’ play and I finally found a play to take inspiration from. Susie and Helen both agreed it would need serious work and after much editing, we finally named it A Chemical Attraction.  The play was based on an intelligent girl, who - by some power unknown - falls in love! It followed the journey as two scientists try to figure out how this could have happened. The play was hugely comical and very applicable to the girls of Strathearn. We were blown away by the talent at both the junior and senior auditions. The luxury of a large cast enabled us to involve many of these actresses from first to sixth form.  I must thank all the cast for their dedication to the endless lunchtime and after-school rehearsals. Every girl put in her best efforts at each of these rehearsals and the enthusiasm was outstanding. In what seemed like no time at all, the dress rehearsal was upon us; the cast were all true professionals by this stage and the play went off without a hitch. However, on the night before the last performance there was a last-minute change affecting almost one third of the script. The girls were sent their new lines by text message and by the time of the performance all new lines were learnt - a great example of the girls’ determination and dedication! The girls gave it their all and provided three exceptional performances; I could not have been more proud of their tremendous efforts. Overall, we were awarded the prize of Best Technical Performance, which was terrific as Susie, Helen and my own efforts were recognized through the hours we spent making props and posters. Huge congratulations must go to Molly Fairclough, who was nominated for Best Actress and is still only in second form! I would like to thank the entire cast for making this year’s House plays such a fantastic experience and such a success: you were all delightful to work with. Thanks must also go to Miss Ferris for her constant advice and encouragement and the effort she put in to bring Miskelly Hall to life! Judith McLean, House Captain


The Cast

Sarah Scientist 1 ~ Nicky Montgomery Sarah Scientist 2 ~ Jill Fergie Sarah Young ~ Molly Fairclough Sarah Present Day ~ Chloe McLaurin Sarah ~ Aimée Richardson Assistants ~ Rachael Irvine, Lola Bingham, Leah Deehan & Hannah Johnston Marcia ~ Rachel McCausland Bob ~ Jessica Collin Kim ~ Katie Armstrong Mandy ~ Anna Wilson Marly ~ Lauren Watson Mindy ~ Lauren Jardine Karen ~ Charlotte Strain Sue ~ Eve Truesdale Tim ~ Connie O’Callaghan Dixie ~ Harriet Brown Celia ~ Erin McClean Miss Blackman ~ Meghan Herron Questionnaire ~ Alana McVea Robin ~ Erin McLean Jane ~ Amy Dutton Christine ~ Eleanor Speer Myriam ~ Katie Dutton Mrs Mason ~ Phoebe Brigginshaw Mr Hillsbury ~ Bethany Fairley Simon ~ Katie MacKay Rodger ~ Rachel Spence Phil ~ Rachel Howe

watts house reports House Report


t’s hard to believe that a year ago Rebecca Wylie, Lauren Wallace and I were given the opportunity to be Captain and Deputies of Watts House. From then on we have had a nonstop year filled with rehearsals, competitions and sweets! Our first duty as House Captains was the Penrhyn Day of Sport - Watts won, of course!  We organised the girls, timed the races and even managed to fit in a House Captains’ sack race. At the start of the year, before House play stress began, our first task was to choose a theme for the House boards.  Our choice was Toy Story, and many thanks to Alison Shearer who painted Jessie for the Watts board. The biggest challenge, however, was the daunting advent of the House plays. Invariably, this meant the first few months of term were filled with script reading, rehearsals, learning lines, Miskelly dilemmas and a bear costume hunt! We were well-rewarded for the focus of our entire cast and crew as we took home two coveted awards! As the year went on we had plenty of other Inter-House activities to keep us busy after the House plays, with the second year, third year and senior netball competitions before Christmas.  At the beginning of March,Watts participated in junior and senior hockey, with Watts being placed first in the juniors! I would like to thank both Rebecca and Lauren, for being excellent Deputies and relieving the stress, as well as Watts House for coming out in support of all the events. I wish next year’s House Captain and Deputies the best of luck and if I could give them any advice it would be to always bring sweets!

House Play


How to Find Love in Less Than Two Minutes based on the play Check Please by Jonathan Rand

tarting back to school in September, our first thoughts were of the House plays! The stress began as we searched for the perfect play and, after reading countless scripts, we finally found How to Find Love in Less Than Two Minutes. Our next task was to cast it; we would like to thank everyone who turned out for auditions this year and made it so difficult to pick a cast from such a good selection! Once the rehearsals began, it made the casting look easy!  With several lunchtimes a week and after school rehearsals, the pressure was on to perfect the play in a matter of weeks. There was also the dilemma of where to stage it; with the gym gone, the House plays for the first time would not be performed on a stage. Instead, we set up a pop-up stage in Miskelly and the premises staff kindly blacked out the Hall for us, so that we would be able to use lights. Despite all of this, the stress of rehearsing, the venue and the set, we managed to pull it off with a lot of hard work and copious amounts of sweets!  Watts won the award for Best Director and Louise Brown won the Best Actress award, so very well done to her and thank you to all the cast and backstage crew, who put in the hard work and made us proud to be in Watts. I never thought I would enjoy House plays as much as I did! It was a lot of stress, but it was worth it to see the finished performance; it couldn’t have been done without both my Deputies and everyone involved in the House plays. The Only Way is Watts! Amy O’Donnell, House Captain


The Cast Laura ~ Rosanna Good John ~ Louise Brown Clown ~ Emma Irwin Jennifer ~ Alison Ramsey Mary ~ Emma Darragh Sean ~ Rachel Stanfield Kirsten ~ Darcy Rollins Velma ~ Poppy Hanna Francois ~ Joy Dalzell Brad ~ Frances Wilson Tim ~ Lucy Hayes Pat ~ Oriana Marsh Neil ~ Katie Sword Roland ~ Catherine Whiteside Nancy ~ Jessica Hawthorne Zap ~ Lauren Crosby Bell ~ Tegan Dunbar Speed-daters ~ Katherine Flack, Rachel Henry, Amy Darragh, Saskia Craig, Kristyn McCaughey, Amber Pollock,  Aimée Irwin, Katy Anderson, Shannon Rietveld,  Anna Hussey

games captain’s report


here was great sporting success for Strathearn pupils once again in the 2011/2012 school year, with both individuals and teams excelling in a wide range of sports.

In hockey, the 1st XI, captained by Kirby O’Donnell, along with her Vice Captains, Rebecca Blundell and Hannah Wishart, had an extremely successful run in the Senior Schools’ Cup. Strathearn drew against Banbridge Academy (tipped by some as the favourites for the Senior Cup) in the first round, which they won 2-1 after going to a Golden goal! After this very close match, Strathearn sailed through the next rounds to meet Ballyclare High School in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Strathearn lost this exciting match 1-0, but hopefully next year the 1st XI will go on to break the mould and make it to the final! The 2A XI, captained by Hannah Simpson, were unlucky in their Cup run, as they were put out of the McDowell Cup by Rainey Endowed. However, Strathearn once again had a team reach a semi-final, as the 2A XI progressed through the rounds of the Plate, where they unfortunately lost 1-0 to a very strong Ballymena side. The 2B XI, after a promising start in the Gibson Cup, progressed to the knock-out stages after winning their section. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Sullivan Upper in the quarter-final stage of the competition. At junior level, the U14A XI had an extremely strong team this year, progressing through to the semi-final of the Junior Cup against Methodist College, where they had a heartbreaking loss on sudden death penalty strokes. Individual congratulations go to Kirby O’Donnell, who was selected to play for the Ulster U18 Team in the Interprovincial Tournament and the UK School Games, and to Stephanie Jemphrey and Isla Lockhart who were selected for Ulster U18 and U16 training respectively. Such success proves the strength and depth of Strathearn hockey.

Traditionally tennis has always been very strong in Strathearn and this year proved to be no different.The Minor,  Junior, Intermediate and Senior Teams had no difficulty winning their respective league matches to go through to the knock-out stages of each of the competitions. The Minor Team took pride of place, as they deservedly won the Ulster Cup, beating Victoria College in the final. Congratulations to the Junior Team on finishing in the runners-up spot; to achieve second place in Ulster is indeed a worthy end to a busy tennis season! The Intermediate Team met Ballymena Academy in the final, after beating semi-finalist opponents, Methodist College. However, Ballymena took the title with 7 sets to 6 sets. The Senior Team reached Strathearn’s fourth Ulster Tennis final, where once again they came up against Victoria College, unfortunately losing the title after some enthralling matches.

place. The Ulster Schools’ Championships took place in very wet and muddy conditions at Mallusk. The Minor Team finished sixth, the Juniors finished ninth and the Intermediates finished eighth overall in their competitions. The Senior Team were named Ulster Champions and, along with Emma Watson, who finished fourteenth in the Junior Race, qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships in Galway. In netball, Strathearn had another successful season, with players put forward to represent Strathearn at the Podium 4 Sport Netball trials. Well done to Shannon Booth, Erin Larmour, Emily McGowan, Charlotte Aston, Jemma Gillan and Nicky Montgomery who were selected for the Belfast U15 Squad. Congratulations also to Stephanie Jemphrey, who was selected and played for the Northern Ireland U17 Team. Strathearn’s swimmers got off to a great start in the Minor Schools’ Championships, which took place in Ballymena.  The Relay Team won silver medals in the Freestyle and Medley Relays. Congratulations to the senior swimmers, who were placed first overall, and further congratulations to all the swimmers,  as Strathearn won the overall Girls’ Cup at the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala.  Again, at the Secondary Schools’ Gala, Strathearn produced some excellent performances to win the overall Cup. A special mention to the Senior Relay Team, who won gold medals in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays at the Irish Schools’ Championship in Dublin. Sycerika McMahon, deserves a particular mention, as she has not only been a vital member of the Senior Team, but has also enjoyed great individual success, breaking numerous Ulster and Irish Senior and Junior records and crowning this success with selection for the Irish Olympic Team for London 2012. Other individual successes came in gymnastics and trampolining. Congratulations to Shannon Armour and Hannah Eakin, who were placed first in the U19 pairs in NI Schools’ Gymnastics Championships in March and are going to the British Schools’ finals in May. Frances Wilson came first in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Trampolining Championships U15 elite category and second in the Northern Ireland Senior Open Championships - a super achievement! I would like to finish by thanking everyone who has contributed to sport this year and to the PE Department, whose endless hard work allows sport in Strathearn to reach its highest potential. I have enjoyed every moment of my year as Games Captain, and many thanks go to my Deputies, Kirby O’Donnell and Hannah Wishart, who have been brilliant throughout. On behalf of the Deputies and myself, we wish the best of luck to our successors; we hope you have as much fun and success as we did! Rebecca Blundell, Games Captain

In sports hall athletics, both the U13 Team and U15 Team qualified for the Ulster final, which took place at the Meadowbank Arena in Magherafelt. Both teams finished runners-up in Ulster. Congratulations! The Co Down District Championships were the first athletics event of the year.  Athletes who finished in the top three in their event then qualified for the Ulster Championships, where Strathearn was placed sixth in the overall girls’ team competition. Several of our athletes also qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships held in Tullamore. Congratulations to Francesca Brown, who was selected for the U17 Ulster Interprovincial Team. Strathearn gained yet another athletics title when the U14 Team was named overall Ulster Champions. In cross-country, the Co Down District Championships, which took place at Delamont Park, saw even more success for Strathearn, with four out of five teams qualifying for the Ulster finals in style. The Senior,  Intermediate and Minor Teams all finished in first place. The Junior Team finished in third place, while the Mini Team just missed out on a top three finish with a creditable fourth



Annabel Terry, GCSE Level


Hockey Report 2011-2012

nce again, the hockey season has proved to be another success for Strathearn teams.  The 1st XI, captained by Kirby O’Donnell, with Hannah Wishart and Rebecca Blundell as her two Vice Captains, maintained a very successful Senior Schools’ Cup run. A bye in the first round saw the team face a very strong Banbridge Academy side, one of the favourites to win the Cup, and so this match was crucial for both teams. Banbridge, with home advantage, didn’t seem to faze Strathearn with both teams playing some superb hockey and great pressure coming from both sides.  An edgy two halves were played, but a score line of 0-0 still remained at the end – this meant extra time with a Golden goal to steal the match. The girls stood strong against Banbridge’s attacking pressure and eventually broke to win a penalty corner. Every Strathearn player knew what corner was coming, but it needed to be executed well, and that it was!  A great disguised pass from Kirby O’Donnell at the top of the circle allowed Evie Bloor to tap the ball in on the right-hand post, resulting in a 1-0 victory over Banbridge and a place in the next round of the Cup. Strathearn never has easy Cup runs, with the team now meeting Rainey Endowed in the third round. Strathearn lost focus during the first few minutes and went 1-0 down, but after settling into the game, Strathearn began to dominate and won 2-1, gaining a place in the quarter-finals. Here, they met BRA, a team they beat 3-0 earlier in the season, but no complacency could be shown – anything can happen in a Cup match! Strathearn showed great commitment to the game, but a 2-1 lead at half-time didn’t seem convincing enough. In the second half, Strathearn retained their dominance and upped it even further and, with an outstanding hat-trick by Kirby O’Donnell, they secured a 5-1 win over BRA, and a place in the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, they faced Ballyclare High School, another very strong school. By half time the score remained 0-0, with both teams playing some great hockey, but not executing when the chances arose. Hopes still remained high that Strathearn would be victorious. However, a controversial decision was made during the second half to award the Ballyclare side a penalty stroke, which they executed with conviction, giving them a 1-0 lead. Strathearn tried to come back, but time quickly got the better of them and as the final whistle blew, Strathearn was left with a 1-0 defeat – a disappointing result, though the team worked hard in a tough game against the eventual Schools’ Cup winners. This year, the 2nd XI was captained by Hannah Simpson, with Tammie Finlay as Vice Captain. Unfortunately, the team were defeated 2-0 in the first round of the McDowell Cup against a strong Rainey Endowed side. However, the team turned their focus to the Plate Competition. In the earlier rounds, Strathearn ploughed through with comfortable wins, allowing them to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition against Omagh Academy. After an impressive performance by the 2nd XI girls, and two well executed goals by Lauren Wheeler, the team were safely through to the semi-finals.  After a couple of weeks, the semi-final against Ballymena Academy was upon them, but with the team bearing a few injuries, they got off to a slow start. However, despite eleven goal attempts not one seemed to make it into the back of the net for Strathearn, but Ballymena took their chance and defeated our girls 1-0.  This was unlucky for the 2nd XI, who had most of the possession but were just unfortunate not to score - a frustrating game, as Strathearn had everything but the last touch! Nonetheless, they are a very solid team and have produced some excellent hockey all season. The 2B XI progressed to the knock-out stages of the Gibson Cup after winning their section, with convincing wins over Wallace High School and Portadown College and a draw against Methodist College. However, after a promising start in the Gibson Cup, they were defeated by Sullivan Upper in the quarter-final stage of the competition.  A single goal separated the teams, but by their own admission, Strathearn played below par on the day and, although disappointed that they had not managed to produce their best, were unlucky not to progress further. The 3A XI played their first game of the group stages of the Gibson Cup against a strong Sullivan Upper side and, unfortunately, lost 3-0. In junior hockey this year, the U14A XI was captained by Shannon Booth with Erin Larmour as Vice Captain. The team had a very successful season, starting strongly in the Junior Cup against Grosvenor Grammar School with a 2-0 victory.  They then progressed to the third round, playing away against Foyle and Londonderry and, despite the travelling, managed to win 4-1 with a goal from Gabrielle Park and Aimée Irwin and two from Erin Larmour.  After such an impressive performance in the previous round, the confidence remained high going into the quarter-final match against Ballyclare High School, even though they knew it was going to be a tough match right from the start. They delivered another super match, with Gabrielle scoring the winning goal to make a 1-0 win over a strong Ballyclare side.  They went onwards to the semi-finals, where they faced local rivals, Methodist College.  After a very closely fought game, with chances from both teams and a superb display of skill, the score-line remained 0-0 at full time. This meant extra time, and with both teams level, it was all to play for! Only one goal was needed to win the match. However, after the first period of extra time, the teams were again level and this led to the dreaded strokes – astonishingly the strokes ended up in an equaliser too, and so ‘sudden death’ strokes came upon the girls, where the first team to miss a stroke when the score is equal, would be knocked out. Unfortunately, after all their hard work, commitment and competitiveness, they lost to Methodist College on the first sudden death stroke. Nevertheless, a great season was had and the team showed good promise, with their skills improving all the time, to make that transition into senior hockey. Individual congratulations go to Kirby O’Donnell, who represented Ulster U18s at the Inter-Provincials in October and also to Lauren Wheeler, Rebecca Cowden, Evie Bloor and Stephanie Jemphrey for being selected for the Belfast U17 Squad and further congratulations to Kelsey O’Donnell, who captained the team and went on to represent Ulster U16Bs.  At U15 level, Erin Larmour,  Abby Larmour, Florence Ogonda, Shannon McClintock, Gabrielle Park, Jemma Gillan and Isla Lockhart were all selected for the Belfast Area Team. A big thank you must go to all the PE staff, who have worked so hard and helped us achieve such great success this season.  A further thank you to Cecil Swinton for his invaluable match stats and support over the past year; it’s been very much appreciated. Without everyone’s contribution, the teams could not have achieved so much this year, and all the girls are grateful for their outstanding commitment to hockey in Strathearn. I would also like to wish next year’s teams all the best for the forthcoming season and hope that they continue to succeed and enjoy their experiences of playing in this sport. Hannah Wishart, U6H



1st XI Hockey Team Back Row: Robyn Larmour, Claudia Bedford, Lauren Wheeler, Francesca Brown Middle Row: Kelsey O’Donnell, Rebecca Cowden, Evie Bloor, Emma McCracken, Isla Lockhart Front Row: Stephanie Jemphrey, Katie Allen, Rebecca Blundell, Kirby O’Donnell (Capt,) Hannah Wishart, Hannah Simpson Absent: Zara Millar

2A XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Gemma Adair, Laura Rafferty, Lauren Wheeler, Claudia Bedford, Lois Wilson Front Row: Kelsey O’Donnell, Isla Lockhart, Shona Corry, Hannah Simpson (Capt), Natalie Wallace, Katie Tener,  Tammie Finlay

Kirby O’Donnell Ulster U18 Hockey

Hot Summer Days Sun is shining, high. Blazing sun rays hit my face. Warm, gentle, hot breeze. Alyx Corry, 1A

Lauren Darragh, 3T 43


2B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Sophie Gribben, Hannah Crymble, Rachael Harbinson,  Janey Deehan, Emma Flannigan, Natalie Wallace,  Victoria Moore Front Row: Shannon McClintock,  Ali Finlay,  Jemma Quinn (Capt), Charlotte Lowry,  Alex Guy Absent: Morgen Hunt

Kelsey O’Donnell Ulster U16B Hockey

U14A XI Hockey Team Back Row:

3A XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Amy Robinson, Sarah Davidson,  Annabel Terry, Erin Prentice, Sophie Hood, Jessica McCleery,  Vikki Wallace Front Row: Lauren Duncan, Hannah Craig, Hannah King (Co-Capt),  Janey Deehan (Co-Capt), Rebekah Craig

Sarah Carson,  A-level

U14A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Sarah Simpson, Hannah Eakin,  Anieshia Bedford, Florence Ogonda, Rachael Thomas,  Aimée Irwin, Nina Glendinning Front Row: Erin Larmour, Chloe McCabe, Gabrielle Park, Shannon Booth (Capt), Lara Sweet,  Jemma Gillan,  Abby Larmour



U14B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Louise Owens, Rachael Thomas, Becky Poots,  Anna Ross, Monique Knipe, Emily Whiteside,  Amy Gilpin,  Ana Cabecinha Front Row: Jenny Maynes, Hannah Eakin, Rachel Powderly, Chloe McCabe (Co-Capt), Laura Middleton,  Amy Hepworth, Dakota Armour (Co-Capt)

Jenni Watt, 3H

U13A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Eve Johnston, Georgina Gomes, Rhia Prentice,  Ailie McKinty, Francesca Lynn, Katie Megarry, Kate Farrelly Front Row: Maddy Miskimmin, Sophie Allen, Bonnie Ramsay, Sarah Brown (Capt), Hannah Craig,  Alex Gillan,  Jane Hunter

U13B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Keziah Beattie, Kerry Kepworth, Sophie Lewis, Roma Kelly, Alex Simpson, Ellen Meredith, Sophie Allen,  Anna Dobbs Front Row: Molly Guy, Emily Martin, Emma Lowry (Capt), Katy Miskimmin, Abigail Rivera, Meabh Lowry


Snow It’s cold and frosty outside, But it’s warm and toasty in here. I can see the snowflakes fall to the ground, Twirling and swirling. The snow is starting to cover the ground, It’s a Winter Wonderland! Rain The rain is streaming down the windows, Clouds have darkened the sky, A gloomy day ahead Everyone is cold and wet from being outside, Inside the blazing fire is on, warming us all up! Topaz Marshall, 2T

sport U12A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Rachel McCausland, Natalie McHugh, Sophie King, Ellen Gilpin,  Alanna McHugh,  Victoria Hamilton, Katie Caldwell,  Jordyn Spence Front Row: Beth Watson, Katrina Kerr, Claire Hunter,  Jessica Leeman (Capt), Lauren Kirkwood, Ellie Biggerstaff

The Wagon We travelled the world in a wagon, A wagon of blankets and chairs. We saw all of earth’s great wonders, From great cities to dinosaurs’ lairs We climbed up the Great Wall of China We fed penguins fish in the sea, We stroked the warm fur of polar bears, And got back in time for tea. Sophie Pružina, 2H

U12B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Rachel McCausland, Zara McVea, Katie McVeigh, Beth Crosbie, Eden Lamb, Emily Leitch, Katy McKeeman,  Jordyn Spence Front Row: Sophie Gillespie,  Jenni Noble, Lauryn Todd, Katie Mackay, Megan Chambers, Danielle McDowell,  Tegan Dunbar

Senior Cross-Country Team Co Down District & Ulster Champions 2012 Back Row: Claudia Bedford, Kezia Montgomery Front Row: Francesca Brown, Rebecca Blundell

Junior Cross-Country Team Back Row: Shannon Booth, Emma Watson,  Anieshia Bedford Front Row: Lauren Brooker, Gabrielle Park,  Jemma Gillan


Inter Cross-Country Team Co Down District Champions 2012 Back Row:  Jessica Fairclough,  Anna Campbell Front Row: Hollie McKeown, Chloe Johnston

sport Cross-Country Report


his year, the Cross-Country Club was taken by Miss Feeney, and after some strategic running around the new building site, we moved to Stormont to train with Raymond Adams, who really put the five teams through their paces with tough endurance runs and even tougher hill sprints every week.  The Co Down Cross-Country District Championships in Delmont Park went in Strathearn’s favour for the majority of the teams, with the Mini Girls finishing fourth and narrowly missing out on qualification for the Ulster Championships. Although the Mini Girls’ Team didn’t qualify, two brilliant individual runs from Jessica Leeman and Alanna McHugh meant they qualified as individuals. The Minor Girls, Intermediate Girls and Senior Girls all topped the tables to become Co Down District Champions, and the Junior Girls took bronze, which meant that all teams qualified for the Ulster Championships. The Ulster Schools’ Cross-Country Championships proved to be a much tougher race for all the teams with only the Senior Girls finishing first and qualifying for the Irish Championships after a superb team run - Rebecca Blundell ninth, Francesca Brown fourteenth and Claudia Bedford twenty-fifth. The Senior Girls were unable to attend these Irish Championships, due to other sporting commitments. Emma Watson also pulled out a good run, despite the mistake made by the marshals which shortened the Junior Girls’ course, and she finished fourteenth, which also qualified her to run in Galway. Well done, Emma, on this achievement! Thank you to the PE staff, Miss Feeney and Raymond Adams who helped ensure that this season was so successful! Francesca Brown, L6S

Cross-Country Club

Back Row:  Anna Kelly,  Anna Dobbs, Katie Dutton, Gemma Wilson, Hannah Craig Front Row: Rachel McCausland,  Jordyn Spence,  Amy Dutton,  Jemma Mercer, Rachel Cowan

Cross-Country Brenna McEwen,  A-level


Minor Cross-Country Team Co Down District Champions 2012

Back Row: Maddy Miskimmin, Georgina Gomes, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright Front Row: Meabh Lowry, Sarah Brown, Keziah Beattie

Mini Cross-Country Team

Back Row:  Alanna McHugh, Niamh West, Sarah McCracken Front Row:  Jessica Leeman, Natalie McHugh, Nicola McIlwaine


Sports Hall Athletics Back Row: Emma Lowry, Monique Knipe, Kate Farrelly,  Aimée Irwin Middle Row:  Jessica Leeman, Hannah Craig, Georgina Gomes, Natalie McHugh,  Alanna McHugh Front Row: Emma Watson, Bonnie Ramsay, Lauren Wheeler, Gemma Burnside, Megan Marrs


Sports Hall Athletics Report 2011 ongratulations to all those who participated in another successful year of sports hall athletics.  The Belfast East Team is made up of pupils from Strathearn and Bloomfield. In the U13 Team, nine of the twelve pupils were from Strathearn and in the U15 Team, five of the seven pupils were from Strathearn.

The girls travelled to Magherafelt to compete in the Ulster finals, where they performed to a very high standard against some of the best teams in Ulster. In the U13 Team the Strathearn pupils were: Hannah Craig, Bonnie Ramsay, Kate Farrelly, Georgina Gomes, Emma Lowry, Jessica Leeman, Natalie McHugh,  Alanna McHugh and Gemma Burnside. In the U15 Team the Strathearn pupils were: Lauren Wheeler,  Aimée Irwin, Monique Knipe, Megan Marrs and Emma Watson. Both teams did exceptionally well, with some great individual successes. Congratulations to Megan Marrs who was placed third overall as an individual. Overall, both teams were placed second in Ulster, which is a great achievement. Well done to all the participants! Claudia Bedford, L6R

The Sun I see a glimmer in the sky beaming down The rays are so bright, the heat is so powerful, It looks like an angry lion staring at its prey. It seems like a small, burning football on fire. Everyone loves the sun! Nadia Mowlood, 2H Stephanie Devlin, 3H 48

sport The Ballet Exam

Maeve Haslett,  A-level


The waft of hairspray as they enter the room, Hair is set to perfection and ribbons too. Laced up shoes and leotards Tutus and pointe shoes. Ballet dancers filled with nerves buzzing and excited, dip their shoes in resin dust and get ready to go As they balance on the bar all nerves are forgotten. They start to dance. Pirouettes - they spin Grand allegro - they jump. They twirled through the exam! Francesca Ringrow and Abigail Crawford, 4R

Dance Report 2012

ollowing our medal-winning success at the NICMAC Competition last year, I was excited to hold auditions and begin my first year coaching the dance team. I chose a team of twenty girls from first to fourth year from an overwhelming turnout at auditions in September, and we began work on a new routine for the competition. The girls worked extremely hard to perfect the modern-jazz routine for the competition, as well as learning two extra routines to perform on Open Day in January and a Charleston-inspired routine, which was performed as part of the A Midsummer Night’s Dream production. Despite being nervous on the day of the NICMAC Competition, the performance for the judges was energetic and confident.  All of the dancers really enjoyed their time on the team and made me a proud coach as they smiled and accepted their applause in their finish position. Each member of the team was committed to rehearsals, and also made buns to sell for the Sweet and Bun Sale, which was held to raise valuable fundraising money for costumes for the team. I am already excited for next year and hope to continue the Dance Team’s success in NICMAC and their involvement in other areas of the school. Olivia Brown, L6H

Dance Team Back Row:  Aimée Irwin, Saskia Craig, Ursula Moffitt, Lydia Millar, Emma Rowan Middle Row: Ella Reid, Katie Brown,  Anna Kane, Kathryn Hamilton, Katie Murphy,  Anna Tyson, Philippa Ringrow Front Row:  Tegan Dunbar, Shannon Armour, Katy Anderson, Olivia Brown,  Alana McVea, Megan O’Callaghan, Ellie Biggerstaff




Tennis Report 2011

espite hours of rescheduling matches and practices, due to not having any on-site tennis courts because of the start of our new school build, 2011 has yet again been a very successful year for Strathearn’s tennis teams. Strathearn entered four teams in the Ulster Schools’ Competitions, and all four teams won their respective league sections and progressed through to the knock-out stages of each of the competitions. The Minor Team of Jane Hunter,Victoria White, Meabh Lowry and Sarah Osborne take pride of place this year, as they deservedly won the Ulster Cup.  After qualifying for the knock-out stages of the competition, the girls had to travel to Magherafelt to play Rainey Endowed. The team sailed through to the semi-final with a 4-0 victory.  Friends’ School were the opposition in the semi-final. The overall score was 5-1 to Strathearn and the team now faced Victoria College in the final. The final was indeed a closerun affair; however, Strathearn emerged 4-2 winners and were crowned Ulster Minor Champions.  A great achievement - well done girls! The Junior Team of Anna Warden,  Jenny Maynes, Natalie Wallace and Jemma Gillan had to travel to Coleraine High School for their quarter-final; however, a place in the semifinal after a 4-2 victory compensated for the long journey. Their opponents in the semifinal, as in the Minor semi-final, were Friends’. Reserve, Lucy Robinson, had a late call-up to the team when Jemma was ill, and proved to be a worthy deputy, winning her singles and doubles matches.  The team convincingly defeated the weakened Friends’ Team and Sullivan Upper was the team to beat in the final. Sullivan had been tagged favourites and they lived up to their name winning by a 5-1 margin. Nevertheless, it was a great achievement to be placed second in Ulster!

Helen Harvey Ulster U18 Tennis

The Intermediate Team of Bethanie Chambers, Stephanie Jemphrey, Ashleigh Watson and Alex Guy also had a great season. Having won their section, they were drawn against St Catherine’s College, a match which they won comfortably. The team then went on to defeat Methodist College in the semi-final and only Ballymena Academy stood between them and the Intermediate Ulster Trophy. The match stood all-square after the singles and the doubles were completed and, to decide the winner, sets had to be counted. Unfortunately, it was Strathearn who were short one set, with Ballymena taking the title. A devastating way to lose, but the girls should be proud of their achievements this season. The Senior Team of Helen Harvey, Kirby O’Donnell, Katie Allen, Katie Dickson and playing reserves, Tessa Eames and Becky Elliott, reached Strathearn’s fourth Ulster Tennis final, after defeating Methodist College in the semi-final. Strathearn once again came up against Victoria College in the final.  As always, the matches were very tightly contested and a number of games could have gone either way. However, it was Victoria College who prevailed with a 4-1 victory, ending a five year winning streak for this group of girls. Well done to the girls and our thanks and best wishes go to Katie Dickson, who leaves for Cardiff University this year. As well as the Ulster Schools’ Competition, there was also a lot of interest in the internal competitions.  There were very high standards of tennis played throughout the Inter-Class Doubles and Senior (Forms 3 and 4) and Junior (Forms 1 and 2) singles competitions. The results were as follows: The Alison Mills Cup Form 1 Doubles:  The winners were Jane Hunter & Bonnie Ramsay, 1R. The runners-up were Victoria White & Francesca Lynn, 1H. Form 2 Doubles: The winners were Katie McMurran, Lucy Robinson & Anieshia Bedford, 2S. The runners-up were Emily Whiteside & Emma Watson, 2A. Form 3 Doubles: The winners were Lauren Naismith & Anna Chambers, 3R. The runners-up were Catherine Whiteside & Katy Gallagher, 3A. Form 4 Doubles: The winners were Bethanie Chambers & Ashleigh Watson, 4R. The runners-up were Tara Gouk & Heather Martin, 4T. The Honor Braithwaite Cup for Forms 1 & 2 Singles: The winner was Jenny Maynes, 2S, and the runner-up was Anna Warden, 2A. The Hewson Cup for Forms 3 & 4 Singles: The winner was Catherine Whiteside, 3A, and the runner-up was Natalie Wallace, 3H. Further congratulations go to Helen Harvey who represented Ulster in the Under 18 Interprovincial, where the Ulster Team was placed second.


Tessa Eames,  AS-level


Senior Tennis Team Back Row: Katie Allen,Tessa Eames, Becky Elliott Front Row: Kirby O’Donnell, Helen Harvey

Junior Tennis Team

Intermediate Tennis ~ Ulster Runners-Up 2011 Back Row:  Alex Guy, Bethanie Chambers Front Row:  Ashleigh Watson, Stephanie Jemphrey

Minor Tennis Team ~ Ulster Champions 2011 Back Row: Sarah Osborne,  Victoria White Front Row:  Jane Hunter, Meabh Lowry

Back Row: Lucy Robinson,  Jenny Maynes Front Row:  Anna Warden,  Jemma Gillan, Natalie Wallace

The Forest Rushing rivers flow Trees towering overhead Meadows full of life. Nichola Kelly, 1A Cynthia Chan,  AS-level 51


Alex Gillan Ulster U13 Squash

Squash Team: Back Row:  Victoria White, Hannah Craig

Front Row:  Jemma Gillan,  Alex Gillan

Squash Report


he Strathearn Squash Team qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships, in Dublin on 30 March. The team gave a very good account of themselves, beating the Connaught representatives and losing narrowly to the eventual winners from Leinster. Congratulations to Alex Gillan, who was selected for the Ulster U13 Team.  Hannah Craig and Victoria White have also both been very successful. Hannah won the Plate for the U15 Irish Junior Squash Open and was also placed third in the U15 Leinster Junior Squash Open. Victoria was placed second in the U13 Ulster Junior Open and the U13 Irish Open. She was also placed first in the U13 Leinster Junior Squash Open. Following these successes, Victoria was selected to play for the Ireland U13 Team in the Five Nations Tournament in Cardiff, where she competed against England, Scotland, Wales and France. Playing at Number one, Victoria helped Ireland secure a very creditable third place finish.

Victoria White Ireland U13 Squash

Minor Netball Team

Maeve Haslett,  A-level

Back Row: Suzanne McKinstry, Gemma Burnside, Sarah Brown, Francesca Lynn, Lola Bingham Front Row:  Topaz Marshall, Maddy Miskimmin, Rhia Prentice (Capt), Sophie Allen, Katy Miskimmin




Netball Report

his year, Strathearn saw yet another successful season of netball with all Minor, Junior and Intermediate Teams competing in the Belfast Area Leagues, with a number of individual achievements for some girls. ‘Well done!’ to all teams and players who took part and especially to the Minor Team, who won their section, gaining a place in the Belfast Minor League semi-final where, unfortunately, they were defeated by Methodist College in a very close and well-fought game. As well as the great team performances all round, Strathearn saw many individuals succeed this season. Our minors, Sophie Allen, Maddy Miskimmin and Rhia Prentice all trialled, and were successfully selected for the Belfast  Area U13 Regional Development  Academy. The junior girls did not disappoint either, with Shannon Booth, Erin Larmour, Emily McGowan, Charlotte Aston,  Jemma Gillan and Nicky Montgomery all being selected for the Belfast Area U15 RDA and they are training for their tournament in May. Congratulations and good luck for the tournament girls!

Intermediate Netball Team

Back Row: Rebecca Davidson, Iseult Dawson,  Abigail Crosby,Tara Gouk, Hermione Anstey Front Row:  Jenna Kerr, Megan Coalter, Maeve O’Neill (Capt), Chloe Johnston, Bonnie Macrae

In our senior section, congratulations to Stephanie Jemphrey, who was selected to represent the U17 Northern Ireland Squad, and competed in the 2012 European Championships, held this year in Glasgow. She is currently training with the U21 Northern Ireland Squad and we wish her continued success. Many thanks to all of our coaching staff,  Helen McLaughlin, Gemma Toland, Maria McLaughlin and Emma Feeney, whose dedication, time and effort resulted in another successful season of netball for Strathearn. This has been an encouraging season of netball, showing great promise for next year. Well done girls! Stephanie Jemphrey, L6R

Junior Netball Team

Back Row: Shannon Booth, Charlotte Aston, Lucy Robinson, Saskia Craig, Florence Ogonda Front Row:  Jemma Gillan, Emily McGowan, Nicky Montgomery (Capt), Alex Cush, Erin Larmour

Stephanie Jemphrey NI U17 Netball Team Katie Chambers, GCSE Level 53



Show Jumping Report

he annual Schools’ Show Jumping Competition took place at Balmoral Showgrounds on Saturday, 1 October. The Strathearn Team of Orla Cumming, Georgie Young and Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright finished with a total of eight faults, a commendable performance given the very slippery conditions. Strathearn’s show jumpers were in action again at the Schools’ Show Jumping Challenge 2012 on Monday, 19 March. Orla Cumming, Fionn Clarke, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright and Katie McMurran competed in the team competition and Georgie Young competed as an individual. The girls performed well - with many of them jumping double clear rounds - and finished fifth overall in the 80cm class.


Golf Report 2012

trathearn’s Golf Team of Ellyn Anderson, Hannah King and Jenna Kerr played in the Ulster Division of the Irish Schools’ Golf Championships on 9 March 2012. Unfortunately, however, Jenna had to pull out at the last minute with an injury. They had to battle at a very blustery Royal County Down Golf Club, but despite this the girls had very respectable scores. Thank you to Miss Murphy for organising the team, and well done to the players. Good luck for the rest of the season to all of our Strathearn Golfers, who are aiming to have their handicaps 34 or lower in order to qualify to represent the school next season. Stephen Crooks, of Holywood Golf Club, also came last year to give the first years - now second form - an insight into golf with some pitching practice. We hope this has inspired a few girls to consider joining a golf club and one day have a low enough handicap to represent the school. Hannah King, 5A, and Ellyn Anderson, L6R

Show Jumping Team Back Row: Fionn Clarke, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright Front Row: Katie McMurran, Orla Cumming, Georgie Young

Hannah King, Ellyn Anderson,  Jenna Kerr

SNOW A white, fluffy blanket lying Across the ground. The sweet, sharp crunch when you step on it. The cold nip you get when you touch it. Snowmen and angels – what fun times! Victoria White, 2H

Jenni Cunningham Ireland U18 Junior Endurance Team 54


Junior Badminton Team

Minor Badminton Team

Back Row: Rachael Curry, Erin Prentice

Back Row:  Jessica Leeman, Emily Whiteside,  Arianna Kennedy

Front Row: Sarah Curry, Catherine Whiteside (Capt),  Tori Megarry

Front Row: Nadia Mowlood, Francesca Lynn


Badminton Club

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 minor, junior and senior levels to represent Strathearn in the Ulster Schools’ League Competitions. The Minor Team comprised of Francesca Lynn, Nadia Mowlood,  Jessica Leeman, Emily Whiteside and Arianna Kennedy. This was an excellent year for the girls who approached each game with enthusiasm and determination. With a number of wins, they progressed to the Ulster Schools’ League, Division 1 semi-final but, unfortunately, they were defeated by a very strong team from Wallace High School (0v6). Despite this disappointment they are a young team who, with continued effort and practice, display great promise for the future. The Junior Team were drawn in a small section of the Ulster Schools’ League, Division 2 Competition and therefore only played two matches.  Unfortunately, they were defeated by strong teams from BRA and Coleraine High School.  Despite these results Catherine Whiteside, Rachael Curry,  Erin Prentice, Sarah Curry and Tori Megarry clearly enjoy their badminton and must be commended for their commitment to the Friday afternoon club and practice. The Senior Team had a more difficult season with Ellyn Anderson, Hannah King, Charlotte Cavanagh and Charlotte Mowlood winning one of their four matches. Once again, the first doubles partnership of Ellyn and Hannah proved hard to beat and, with continued practice, I am confident that this young team can build upon the experience they have gained and progress even further in the league next year. The season drew to a close with the Wilkinson Salver Tournament for pupils in Forms 4-6.  It was pleasing to see a number of pupils compete for the trophy, which was once again awarded to Ellyn Anderson. Congratulations and thanks to all the girls who represented the school. We hope to see many enthusiastic newcomers next year and build upon the experiences gained by this year’s teams.


Senior Badminton Team Back Row: Charlotte Mowlood, Hannah King Front Row: Charlotte Cavanagh, Ellyn Anderson


Skye Donaldson NI Judo Team


Sophie Rodgers NI U18 Karate Team Front Row: Athletics R eport 2011

Frances Wilson Ireland Trampolining

nce again Strathearn had an extremely successful athletics season, Back Row:with very commendable individual and team performances. The Co Down District Championships took place on Thursday, 5 and Friday, 13 May 2011. All of the athletes had excellent performances, resulting in the Senior and Intermediate Teams coming third and second respectively overall, with the top three in their events qualifying for the Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships. The results were as follows; Senior: Sophie Dalm, 1st High Jump; Kerrie Craig, 2nd High Jump; Rebecca Blundell, 1st 800m. Relay: 2nd Zara Millar, Rebecca Blundell, Kerrie Craig and Hazel Jordan. Intermediate: Morgen Hunt, 1st 200m & 7th Long Jump; Claudia Bedford, 2nd 200m & 4th High Jump; Tara Gouk, 5th High Jump; Sophie Gribben, 7th Discus & 10th Shot; Jenna Kerr, 14th Discus; Hannah Crymble, 5th 100m; Elly Ahern, 2nd Long Jump & 4th 80m Hurdles; Deborah Campbell, 5th Triple Jump & 7th 80m Hurdles; Francesca Brown, 2nd 800m & 3rd Javelin; Jessica Lowry, 4th Triple Jump; Vicky Wallace, 7th Javelin. Relay: 3rd Lois Wilson, Elly Ahern, Deborah Campbell and Morgen Hunt. Junior: Isla Lockhart, 8th 100m; Shannon Booth, 2nd 200m; Megan Marrs, 1st 75m Hurdles & 3rd High Jump; Lauren Brooker, 2nd 75m Hurdles; Jenny Drennan, 6th 800m, Emma Watson, 9th 800m;  Jessica Fairclough, 8th 1500m;  Anna Campbell, 11th 1500m; Lydia Millar, 6th High Jump & 7th Triple Jump; Natalie Wallace, 1st Javelin; Jemma Gillan, 9th Javelin;  Aimée Irwin, 11th Long Jump; Rachael Harbinson, 10th Discus & 13th Shot; Hannah Eakin, 8th Discus; Nicky Mongomery, 12th Shot. Relay: 2nd Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth, Lauren Wheeler and Megan Marrs. Minor: Gemma Burnside, 7th 100m; Bonnie Ramsay, 8th 100m & 10th Long Jump; Emma Lowry, 8th Long Jump; Kate Farrelly 4th High Jump; Georgina Gomes 13th High Jump & 10th 800m; Sophie Allen, 16th Shot; Francesca Lynn, 22nd Shot. Relay: 2nd Emma Lowry, Georgina Gomes, Gemma Burnside and Bonnie Ramsay. The Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships took place on 21 May 2011 at the Antrim Forum. Individual results were as follows: Minor: Relay: 8th Emma Lowry, Georgina Gomes, Gemma Burnside and Bonnie Ramsay. Junior: (Overall =6th) : Natalie Wallace, 2nd Javelin (Qualifying for the Irish Championships); Megan Marrs, 4th High Jump & 4th 75m Hurdles; Lauren Brooker, 6th 75m Hurdles. Relay: 3rd Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth, Lauren Wheeler and Megan Marrs. Intermediate: Elly Ahern, 6th Long Jump; Morgen Hunt, 4th 200m; Francesca Brown, 4th Javelin & 5th 800m. Senior: (Overall 5th): Kerrie Craig, 1st High Jump (Qualifying for the Irish Championships); Sophie Dalm, 2nd High Jump (Qualifying for the Irish Championships); Rebecca Blundell, 1st 800m (Qualifying for the Irish Championships). Relay: 4th Zara Millar, Rebecca Blundell, Kerrie Craig and Hazel Jordan. 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 Junior Team was placed sixth and the Senior Team fifth overall. The combined scores of all the teams meant that Strathearn finished fifth overall in Ulster in the girls’ team competition. The Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships took place at Tullamore on 4 June 2011. Congratulations to the three girls who represented Strathearn at the Irish Championships, competing against the best athletes in the country. The results were as follows: Natalie Wallace, 6th Junior Javelin; Rebecca Blundell 4th Senior 800m; Kerrie Craig, 8th Senior High Jump. Form Two Team Win Ulster Title: The Form Two girls competed in the U14 Team Competition where they qualified for the Ulster Final, having finished second in both the Area Heats and District Final. On both these occasions they were narrowly beaten by Glenlola Collegiate, so they knew exactly what they had to do at the Ulster Final… beat Glenlola and that’s exactly what they did! The girls rose to the occasion and literally ran away with the Ulster title - the third successive year for Strathearn, so well done girls! The team was as follows:  Aimée Irwin, 1st Long Jump; Megan Marrs, 1st High Jump; Jemma Gillan, 1st Javelin; Shannon Booth, 3rd 100m; Emma Watson, 4th 800m; Nicky Montgomery, 4th Shot. Relay: 1st Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth,  Aimée Irwin and Megan Marrs. From these performances many of these girls were selected on the Co Down U14 Team which competed on Thursday, 16 June at the Inter District Competition. District A (Co Down) Overall 2nd: Shannon Booth, 3rd 100m; Megan Marrs, 1st High Jump;  Aimée Irwin, 3rd Long Jump;  Jemma Gillan, 3rd Javelin; Lauren Brooker, 1st Hurdles; Hannah Eakin, 5th Discus; Emma Watson, 6th 800m. Representative Honours: Congratulations to Francesca Brown, who was selected for the U17 Ulster Interprovincial Team for Javelin.


sport Senior & Intermediate Athletics Teams Back Row: Lois Wilson, Rebecca Blundell, Morgen Hunt,Tara Gouk, Claudia Bedford, Jenna Kerr Front Row: Francesca Brown, Elly Ahern, Hannah Crymble, Sophie Gribben,Vikki Wallace

Francesca Brown Ulster U17 Athletics Junior Athletics Team Back Row: Nicky Montgomery, Isla Lockhart, Emma Wilson, Lauren Wheeler, Megan Marrs, Lydia Millar, Aimée Irwin Front Row: Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth, Laura Middleton, Rachael Harbinson, Natalie Wallace, Jemma Gillan

Minor Athletics Team

Back Row: Sophie Allen, Gemma Burnside, Bonnie Ramsay, Keziah Beattie Front Row: Emma Lowry, Georgina Gomes, Francesca Lynn, Kate Farrelly


Form 2 Athletics Team ~ Ulster Champions 2011 Back Row:  Jemma Gillan, Nicky Montgomery, Lauren Brooker Front Row: Emma Wilson, Shannon Booth,  Aimée Irwin, Megan Marrs


Ulster Overall Girls’ Champions ~ Ulster Senior Girls’ Champions Swimming Senior Swimming Relay Team Irish Champions 2012 Back Row:  Tara Gouk,  Jenny Drennan Front Row:  Marie-Claire Barry (Capt), Claudia Bedford

Back Row: Ferne Blackstock, Helen Navalli, Emma Wilson, Claudia Bedford,  Tara Gouk, Robyn McCollum, Eve Allister Front Row: Caitie Williams, Kathryn Childs, Marie-Claire Barry (Capt), Rebecca Blundell, Alex Cush,  Victoria White

Jenny Drennan Ulster Swimming Squad PE Standing in the lane waiting to start a running race, I bend down and tie my lace. I’m nervous and my heart’s pounding in my chest, As I have to do my very best. My teacher gives us the signal which says we have to go! Oh, no! When I crossed the finish line, I was happy because I had done fine. Jill Carson, 1R

Emma Darragh, GCSE Level 58



Swimming Report

his year Strathearn was well represented at the Minor Schools’ Gala, the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala, the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala and the Irish Schools’ Senior Championships. At the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala at junior level, Helen Navalli was placed first in the 50m backstroke, closely followed by Eve Allister, who took the silver medal, with Emma Watson placed a creditable fifth in this final. In the breaststroke final,  Alex Cush was unfortunate not to pick up a medal when she finished in fourth place, and in the freestyle final, Helen Navalli was placed fifth. The Junior Freestyle Relay Team, consisting of Eve Allister,  Alex Cush, Emma Watson and Helen Navalli, put in an excellent performance, finishing in first place. At intermediate level, Tara Gouk swam very well qualifying for the finals of the backstroke and freestyle events but, unfortunately, she was just edged out of the medals, finishing in fourth place in both finals. At senior level, Marie-Claire Barry won gold in the backstroke event and silver in the freestyle event, whilst Rebecca Blundell also picked up a bronze medal in the freestyle event. Sycerika McMahon showed all her class, winning both the breaststroke and individual medley events. Marie-Claire, Rebecca and Sycerika were then joined by Claudia Bedford for both the medley and freestyle relays, and with two brilliant team efforts, they won gold in both events. Congratulations to the senior swimmers who were placed first overall, and further congratulations to all the swimmers, as Strathearn won the overall Girls’ Cup! At the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala at junior level, Helen Navalli was placed third in the 100m backstroke, closely followed by Eve Allister who was placed fourth. Helen Navalli was also successful in qualifying for the freestyle final and finished in sixth position. The Strathearn junior swimmers showed their class in the relays, taking first place in both the medley relay and the freestyle relay. At intermediate level, Jenny Drennan took the gold medal in the 100m backstroke and Emma Watson was also successful in qualifying for this final, finishing in sixth position. Jenny Drennan also finished in third place in the 100m freestyle. Emma,Tara and Jenny were joined by Robyn McCollum who ‘swam up’ an age group for the relays. The girls managed a bronze in the medley relay and gold in the freestyle relay. At senior level, Marie-Claire Barry was placed third in the 100m backstroke and Sycerika McMahon won both the 100m breaststroke and the 200m individual medley. The girls were joined by Claudia Bedford and Rebecca Blundell to form an unstoppable relay, winning both the medley relay and the freestyle relay. After a successful weekend of swimming for Strathearn, a number of girls qualified for the Irish Schools’ Senior Championships in Dublin. At the Irish Schools’ Senior Championships, the Senior Relay Team of Marie-Claire Barry, Tara Gouk, Jenny Drennan and Claudia Bedford performed exceptionally well in the medley relay event, finishing in first place to win the Nereids Cup and securing an Irish title for Strathearn. Extra credit goes to Jenny and Tara in this event, as they had to ‘swim up’ an age group to help secure this result. The team also finished in silver medal position in the freestyle relay event. The Junior Relay Team of Eve Allister,  Alex Cush,  Victoria White and Helen Navalli also performed really well, clinching third place in both the medley and freestyle events. Individually, Helen Navalli won a bronze in the junior 100m backstroke and finished seventh in her 100m freestyle event. Jenny Drennan won silver in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m Backstroke and bronze in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m Freestyle event. The remaining individual results were as follows; Marie-Claire Barry seventh in the Senior Girls’ 100m Backstroke, Tara Gouk eighteenth in the Intermediate 100m Backstroke; Alex Cush nineteenth in the Junior Girls’ 200m Individual Medley and twenty-fourth in the 100m Breaststroke. Overall, it has been another successful year for Strathearn pupils in the pool and Strathearn swimmers have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Well done girls! Marie-Claire Barry, U6T


Sycerika McMahon

London 2012 ~ The Dream Becomes Reality!


ongratulations to Sycerika, who crowned another superb year of achievement in swimming with her selection for the Irish Olympic Team! Sycerika is also currently the holder of twenty-one Ulster Short Course Junior and Senior records, twenty-three Ulster Long Course Junior and Senior records, ten Irish Long Course Junior and Senior records and sixteen Irish Short Course  Junior and Senior records! Additionally, Sycerika was a World Senior Championships semi-finalist in the 50m breaststroke, where she was placed thirteenth; in the Junior European Championships she won two gold medals in the 50m breaststroke and 400m freestyle events and a silver medal in the 200m freestyle event.  In the Youth Commonwealth Games she won three gold medals in the 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and 400m individual medley and two silver medals in the 200m individual medley and the 200m freestyle events. Sycerika is also ranked number one in the world in the 50m breaststroke event for her age group. and at the recent European Championships in Hungary, she took the silver medal in the 50m breaststroke event, becoming the youngest ever Irish swimmer to win a major Championship medal. These outstanding achievements have led to numerous awards recognising Sycerika’s successes. She was the 2011 Belfast Telegraph ‘Young Sports Person of the Year’, the Texaco 2011 ‘Young Sports Person of the Year’ and the Irish Times recognised her as the ‘Sports Person of the Month’ in August. She received the 2011 ‘Young Woman of Achievement Award’ from the Ards Borough Council and was also the Ards Borough Council’s ‘Sports Person of the Year’. She received the 2011 Castlereagh Borough Council’s ‘Sports Personality Award’ and she recently received the 2012 ‘Belfast Junior Female Sports Personality Award’! We in Strathearn are also very proud of Sycerika and we offer her our warmest congratulations on a wonderful year of achievement and our best wishes for the Olympics!!


T Hannah Eakin, Shannon Armour U19 Gymnastics Pair

Gymnastics Report


n 3 March 2012, Hannah Eakin and Shannon Armour competed in the U19 section of the NI Schools’ Acrobatic Gymnastics Competition, where they were placed first, beating eighteen other pairs. They then qualified for the British Schools’ Acrobatic Gymnastics Competition on the 12 May in Stoke-on-Trent in England.  Although they just missed out on finishing in third place, they represented the school with a respectable fourth place overall. The girls had a very successful year and thoroughly enjoyed representing both Strathearn School and Northern Ireland. Hannah Eakin, 3S

The New Build

his has been a remarkable year in the history of Strathearn, as the New Build takes shape, and the enhanced facilities we have looked forward to for so long become a reality! The school buildings have advanced with a speed that promises well for the first phase of our move in October, and the groups of staff and pupils who have signed up for tours of the building have returned the regulation hard hats and yellow jackets with a keen sense of excitement, as they realise that a new era is indeed dawning! We have already taken possession of the new fitness suite and our two new all-weather hockey pitches. Staff and pupils have been truly impressed with the standard and finish of the pitches, and the fitness suite has been a superb addition to our provision. As the magazine goes to press, the completion of our own astroturf pitch is imminent!

As we are raising money to fund the extra accommodation in our new school, on 28 May pupils from first to fourth form, accompanied by staff, took part in a sponsored walk to Stormont Estate and back. The glorious sunshine and great community spirit at the event only added to the anticipation we all feel, as we look forward to the next great chapter in our school’s history.

Sarah Carson,  A-level


literary section The Little Bakery The little shop that lies among giants On the busy city street, That has all kinds of delicious wonders inside That I really want to eat. When you open the door, Your eyes open wide, mesmerised by glistening sugar, Your tongue starts to tingle, The smell is enticing, drawing me in. Freshly baked cakes, smothered in icing, Crisp, baked pastries and fluffy, white cream like clouds in the sky, Sugar-glazed, shimmering cherries, Biscuits, buns and doughnuts - every shape and size. That amazing heart-warming smell That takes all your cares away, That heavenly, delightful taste in your mouth Of vanilla cream and strawberry jam! Getting handed the brown, paper bag, knowing what wonders lie inside, Feeling that warm, sticky bun in your hand And licking your fingers after every bite I will savour the taste until the next visit. Dakota Armour, 3H


CHRISTMAS MORNING Waking up on Christmas morning, as excited as can be. Excited because of the presents, waiting downstairs for me.

To be a different person To do a different thing. To stand in the spotlight. Or nervously in the wings. To bring about a tear. Or bring on lots of laughter. To teach a different moral. That lasts from here on after. To have that rush of fear. And then that buzzing thrill The performance of a lifetime Has finally come so near. The show has come to an end. The curtains draw to a close That all important bow, the feeling only you will know The pride, joy, cheers and tears That’s the life of an actor! Lydia Duncan & Lucy Hayes, 4A

I dash downstairs as fast as I can, to see what’s waiting there. Then I see the mountain of presents and take in a breath of air. I thanked Santa Claus and all his elves For they made the presents all by themselves. I look at the mountain and what do I see? A really big present What could it be? I tore open the paper, to see inside. It was a big teddy bear and I snuggled it with pride.

sun Sun in Spring means a bright, warm day The Summer is coming - Hip! Hip! Hooray! Sun in Summer is the best of the sun Everyone enjoying it, having lots of fun! Children running about with ice creams. Upon my face I feel the sun’s beams. Sun in Autumn is very bold Everyone preparing for the bitter cold. Through the colourful trees they walk Enjoying the bright, coloured leaves as they talk. Sun in the Winter means there is cold. Poor people suffer, mostly the old. Bright blue skies don’t help the sorrow. People want snow, not more sun tomorrow! Alex Gillan, 2T

Pitter-Patter Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter… I won’t be wrong in saying I can sense some rain Lashing like lightning on the window pane Deathly pockets full of horror falling from the clouds Banging, smashing, shattering, like glass on the ground. Salted drops, damp and dead, Like anger spitting against your head, A hard, steel drum, robotic rain, Rhythmic tapping, drowning drains. Thundering like a madman, bouncing from a height, Clouds like guards, haunting the sky, blocking out the light, Rampaging like a tyrant, unleashing natural power So umbrellas out ladies, I can sense a shower! Rosalind Skillen, 3H

Alison Duffield, GCSE Level 61

Rachael Geddes,1A

literary section Cushendall Cushendall is the place to be The idyllic village beside the sea With its rich culture and festival every year Why don’t you come and join us here? The warmth in the air, with the breeze from the sea Go for a cycle or jump off the pier – whee! The calm all around Not a cloud to be found. Run down from the caravan, towards the rocks When you get there take off your shoes and socks. The feel of the barnacles is nearly crippling Step in, the water is slowly rippling.

WATER AND MEMORIES In a beautiful forest clearing, with a density of tall, aged trees, A smell of woody pine lingers in the warm, night air. Light from the moon filters through the trees And the crescent moon is reflected off a large, sparkling lake. The stillness and purity of it gives me a reassuring sense of calm. The lake glimmers and glistens - clear as a diamond And as a fish flicks its tail in the lake’s azure depths, A ripple appears on the glossy surface, the effect reaching the lake edge. I feel content in this tranquil setting and half-forgotten memories arise A picnic by the lake with my family when I was five years old, The time my friends and I went for a swim in the lake and lay on our backs To dry in the warmth while the sun tickled our skin And we wished the joy and tranquillity would never end.

Rachel Howe, 4R

Lough Erne Golf Resort The beautiful, green mountains of mystery, The mystical, blue water with the odd white swan, The squawking of this magic bird and the wind blowing against your face, Lough Erne Golf Resort. A white blanket is laid down on the ground, An ice rink on top of the water, The snowflakes fall past my eyes, Lough Erne Golf Resort at Christmas. The peace and serenity clears my mind, The crunch of the snow below my feet and the snowflakes landing on the tip of my nose, The swans waddling over the ice rink, This is when I’m happiest, Lough Erne Golf Resort.

Charis Forsythe-Wright, 3S

SEASONS Beautiful ponds, with a shimmering sun, Springtime freshness, winter undone. Cautious rabbits and leaping lambs All is peaceful, all is calm. A clattering tractor, works in the field, Baling up hay, the ground is dry. Summer strawberries - watery taste, sweet in the dry weather. Golden wheat - gone for another year. A cold sun - the winter’s bare white blanket over the ground, Wheat stubble is frozen, standing still. Fire started, smoke blazes. Emma Stitt, 4R

The usually beautiful, green mountains are tucked under a white blanket, The swans skating over the ice rink of water, The noises of the crunching of snow under my feet, I’m happiest in Lough Erne Golf Resort! Katherine Carson, 4R

Hailstones I hear the clock strike one Time goes by slowly when you are frightened, I hear the tapping upon my roof As if an intruder is near. The lightning flashes It momentarily lights my dark room I watch silhouettes of trees dance upon the wall They haunt me, make me feel afraid. The men of the sky are angry And at war. I hear their shouts Every time the thunder claps. I feel their bullets shot at my roof. I am petrified in the darkness Waiting for the storm to pass... Matilda Storey, 2H

Snowy Winter’s Morning Falling snow, soft, crisp, Ice-cold lake, frozen solid, Snowman standing tall. Bethany Craig, 1A

Evie Bloor, GCSE Level 62

literary section Spring The bird’s song rang in my ear, Apart from that there was nothing I could hear. Fresh, green leaves fluttered past my face, It was the dew in the air that I could taste. I could smell fresh grass from miles away, I saw fields of new-born lambs at play, New flowers were blossoming on the trees, Nothing beats that cool spring breeze. I could already taste rich Easter eggs, As the long grass brushed against my legs. Lots of yellow daffodils are standing tall, This time of year brings happiness to all!

Cathy McCutcheon,  A-level

Grace Turkington, 3H Eyes I believe that someone’s eyes tell a whole other story For some, the sorrow and cries waiting to be heard And others, the joy and enthusiasm ready to burst They evoke innumerable memories, Glowing in intensity Speaking of a thousand things, Leaving an imprint on so many. Many show kindness And others, blindness But each individual shade of colour beams In fear or delight, When the world seems dressed in celestial light. Which shows The power of eyes. Sarah Wilson, 3A Zip Wire I look down at the ground, we’re up so high, The long distance makes my hands shake with fright. As I grip the rope with all my might, I jump off the platform without a care. I let out a scream as I whizz through the air, I let go of the rope while the wind whips my hair. As it all came to an end, I smile and look over to my friends Once I’ve stopped spinning around, I am lowered ’til my feet find the ground. I watch as the next person does the same, As I make my way up the steps to do it again! Amy Martin, 2T wintertime Snow falling covering all in a white, fluffy blanket. Softly, softly. Having fun. Building snowmen, throwing snowballs. Look! It’s beginning to melt. Slush, slush. The fun ends… Victoria Hamilton, 1S

Snow The snow is falling white, Like feathers. It is soft and silent. The snow is falling down, Against the sun, it’s most defiant. Winter is here at its best, And as I watch amazed, I think of those painters. If only I had a palette, for in my mind The image blazed! The beautiful image of snow, Far too perfect to be real, So pure white it almost glows. My image is so special it makes me feel, Like I am drifting. Drifting in clouds to another place, Not a frown or an angry face. Hats and scarves galore, Snowballs against the window glass, Not a person sleeping, For the sight is not to miss. The sight of winter is here at last.

The Forest The colours of the forest merge together As the light from the sunny weather Fights to break through the canopy above The colours brown, green, gold and white as a dove. The enchanted sound of the trees gently creaking, The beautiful birdsong and the voles and mice squeaking, The brown, crumpled leaves rustle beneath my feet And the wind rushes round, cooling the afternoon heat. I feel the rough bark and the smooth, soft leaves, I taste the fresh air, like breath from the trees, They talk to each other, reaching out with stick hands. I love the forest, escaping to a different land. Amy Dutton, 3S

Sara Cabecinha, 2T Spring Clear, blue skies and a gentle breeze Whispering my name softly to me Shimmering sun high in the sky, Like a gentle flame warming my shoulders. Children laughing as they run by. Golden daffodils line my path like lanterns. Freshly cut grass, sweet and crisp Softly tickles my toes. Cool streams trickling on the rocks Sunlight glinting on water like a mirror. Fluffy clouds float like candyfloss across the sky All is peaceful and happy. Florence Ogonda, 3S


Fish and Chips Fish and chips on a cold winter’s night, Buttery and salty and unbelievably light Hot to touch, crispy and greasy Too good to ever make you feel queasy. Crispy, crunchy chips with crafted, cooked cod, Fluffy, tasty perfection from a fisherman’s rod, Served up golden, ready to eat, Better than any other unhealthy treat. When I eat them it makes me say: “Fish and chips! Why couldn’t I eat them every day?” Stephanie Devlin, 3H

literary section Weather Snow The car has been pushing on Through the heavy white flurries, Still many miles to go ’til home. The sky is now as black as coal. Ploughing cars have turned it White to black, fluffy to slushy, It won’t be around much longer, But we’ll still feel the cold!

The Kitchen Perched upon the kitchen counter, Transfixed by chopping, whisking, stirring Colours mix and sweet scents mingle, The product, a new and delicious creation.

Rain Pouring down the windows, A complex network of running streams, Cold and wet, would send chills down my spine, But I’m still safe inside. I run outside, the cold air shocking to my face, I feel the droplets make their way down my cheek, Reminding me of tears and sadness On this dark and dreary day. Sun The sun beating down on my neck, The heat making my clothes stick to my back, The blue, cloudless sky, Making the day feel more perfect than before. From horizon to horizon, From East to West, The sun hangs high in the sky, Until the dreaded sunset. Georgia Coulter, 2T

As I watch my mother working, Scents of seasonal spices waft towards me. The turkey’s in, the gravy’s brewing, Watching intently - Christmas dinner in the making. Hand gripping the cool, steel whisk, My other hand slipping on the clear plastic bowl. Anxious look around to check that no-one is watching, Slip a finger in quickly and lick it clean! Katie Brown, 4R The Life Cycle of Snow The life cycle of snow is very strange It starts to fall asleep in Spring and deeply sleeps through Summer Then when Autumn arrives, it slowly wakes up By Winter it is truly awake, once the cool breeze strokes it Awake, ready to fall Once water, once vapour, once rain, And now ready to be snow again, Only to fall asleep in Spring! Carley Magee, 2T

Sunrise…..Sunset Rising from the dead. Blossoming, exposing light. Sinking down below. Eve Truesdale, 1A Unfortunate An over-ripened fruit, Fills my canvas. Sitting alone in a widened bowl, A lonely place, Lost, faint memories. Discoloured skin A similar fragile silhouette, To be carefully handled, For the smallest of softly spread movement, Could promise to penetrate deep. Irreversible damage. Outdated and forgotten, Internal weak cells, No substance. A loveless rush of disturbed bile will Flow from one old, red apple, Quite like that one salt tear. Rachael Robinson, 3R Hedgehog Curls up in a ball, Spiky, cute and prickly. Fluffy underneath. Rachael Geddis, 1A SPRING You wake up just one morning And suddenly it’s here The bright, blue sky The fresh, green grass Spring is here again! Everything is growing The light is back at last The birds are singing The flowers are blooming The daffodils are back. All these amazing colours The new things everywhere The world is sunny The animals are happy I’m glad it’s spring again! Miriam Parker, 1A Lightning Silent but deadly Like a bright sword from the sky Lights up the dull night Lauren Clarke, 1A Spring Baby lambs are born Sun hanging high in the sky Flowers grow and bloom.

KS3 Felt Mola

Claire Hunter, 1A





Penrhyn 65

the penrhyn report

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved”. William Jennings Bryan

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.

In June 2011, at Prize Morning, I was delighted to present my first annual report as the new Head of Department of Penrhyn. It was a very special occasion when parents, staff and pupils gathered together with Mr Manning, the Principal, and Mr White, Chairman of the Board of Governors, to celebrate another year in the life of the Preparatory Department of Strathearn School. Mr White was our special guest invited to speak to the girls and to present the prizes.

A key aspect of the success in any school is the recognition of the importance of the three way relationship of parent, teacher and child. Our Parent/Teacher Information Evenings held at the start of the school term in September are invaluable opportunities for the staff to meet with parents to outline the practical aspects of the pupils’ day to day experiences at school and to provide a detailed overview of the curriculum relevant to each year group.

Every girl in P1 and P2 received a class prize recognising their effort, progress and achievement. This demonstrated our belief that, at the Foundation Stage, it is essential to value each child as they make their important early steps along their educational journey. At Prize Morning the most notable achievement and successes of the school year were highlighted and celebrated. For our P7 girls it was a particularly significant day which provoked many emotions; pride and satisfaction tinged with a little sadness as this chapter in their school experience was coming to an end. Mr Manning presented the girls with their personal Records of Achievement recording their special learning journey in Penrhyn. I encouraged the P7 girls to not only treasure all that Penrhyn meant to them, but to look forward to the next exciting phase of their school life. As the Records of Achievement reflect, life in Penrhyn is much more than academic achievements. Many facets of the school’s activities contribute to the girls’ development – physical education; music and drama; educational visits and school and community links. During my report some P7 girls added their personal experiences in these areas. Sarah McCracken, P7, reported on the year’s success in PE and sport. The creative and expressive aspects of a child’s learning experience are highly valued in Penrhyn. Through music and drama we encourage self confidence, we develop performing skills and in so doing we aim to foster a love of creativity that may last a lifetime. Jenny McLeod presented an interesting report on the Key Stage 2 Senior Concert production of Joseph. Learning in Penrhyn extends well beyond the classroom environment. We strive to provide many external experiences and opportunities through educational visits and visitors. The P7 girls have the opportunity to attend a five day residential trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre. Emily Buchanan’s report brought to life her Carlingford experience. The girls in Penrhyn continue to be mindful not only of those in their immediate community but also of those further away from Penrhyn. Ella Reid outlined Penrhyn’s links with our wider community. Penrhyn’s doors re-opened on 30 August to welcome everyone for the 2011-2012 year. Our P1 class had maximum enrolment, 24 pupils. In recent years many of our classes have reached their maximum number, a reflection of the thriving success of our high achieving school. Penrhyn prides itself on its excellent reputation for individual attainment and maintaining its caring and creative ethos. The results of the 2011 statutory assessment in Mathematics and English at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 were excellent being significantly higher than the Northern Ireland average. 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


In October, at the Strathearn Parents’ Association Annual Meeting, the Department was presented with a cheque for £6,000. A great deal of hard work and commitment is needed to raise this amount of money. On behalf of everyone in Penrhyn I extend a genuine thank you to Mrs Fiona Andrews and the PA Committee. We were able to purchase visualisers that link to the Interactive Whiteboards and to update ICT resources in the P3 classroom. A Hyland 4 outdoor climbing frame with enhanced safety features was installed for outdoor play-based learning and this money has allowed further environmental improvements to be made in the school grounds. Funds have now been allocated for the updating of the school library and enhancement of the Millennium Garden. The Summer Fête held in June 2011, was the first in over fifteen years in Penrhyn and the PA Committee must be thanked for their coordination of this wonderful event, enjoyed by the children, parents, visitors and teachers alike. Mrs Colette Quee was appointed as our new school secretary in January 2012 after Ms Sharon Pinkerton moved to a new career with Macmillan Cancer Support at the end of Term 1. We are delighted to welcome Mrs Quee to Penrhyn and I am sure that she will enjoy being part of this busy, vibrant and successful school. At our Open Morning in February, in early spring sunshine, our school welcomed present parents and many visitors. It was a wonderful chance for everyone to see the ‘inner workings’ of our school and to get a sense of life at Penrhyn.  Prospective parents met with staff and pupils and many people commended our P7 prefects who escorted them on tours of the school. I invite you to explore the following pages, which detail some of the many and varied events that combine to form ‘the Penrhyn Year’. I hope that the reports, photographs, literary contributions and colourful artwork will weave together to create a dynamic reflection of what is ‘Penrhyn’. B Mawhinney

penrhyn school prefects School Prefects Back Row: Olivia Nelson,  Tess McMillen, Olivia Creighton, Samantha McCormick Front Row:Verity McGimpsey,  Aoife Khan, Erin McConnell, Chloe Graham


Abbie Conroy, P1

House/Vice Captains Back Row: Isabella Reihill, Katie Wills, Lily-Mai McKane, Chloe Graham Front Row: Mia Mouron-Adams, Samantha McCormick,  Jessica Moore, Sophie Williams


High on the mountains A beautiful song is sung Maria sings it. Emma Piggot, P7

Duty Prefects Back Row: Lily-Mai McKane, Hannah Adamson, Emma Piggot,  Anna Brien Middle Row: Morgan Campbell, Mia Mouron-Adams, Rachel Bell, Bethan Andrews, Katie Wills,  Jessica Moore Front Row: Isabella Reihill, Maisie Hughes, Rebekah Mitchell, Eve McDowell, Molly Cahoon, Sophie Williams


the penrhyn year The Penrhyn Year 2011-2012

June 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 meet with the pupils. Here are some highlights of the past year:

March 2011


P3 Trip to W5


P3 Greenmount Trip

On Friday, 3 June, P3 went to Greenmount to learn about habitats. First we went to the pond to go pond dipping for water creatures like tadpoles and water boatmen. Then we went to the garden to look for different types of bees and we had a challenge to walk on stones that are wet and not get our feet wet. Next we went to the vegetable garden and we looked at tomatoes and carrots and other types of plants.

On 24 March, P3 went to W5 to learn about materials. First we had a materials workshop where we passed around balls and yucky goo to see if it could be used for a new clothing material.  Next, we made boats for the three little pigs out of plasticine, lollipop sticks and straws. After lunch we played in the Start area. We had a good day at W5. Lucy Milhench and Gabriella Park, P3

May 2011


P7 Trip to Carlingford

On Monday, 9 May, P7 went on a five day school trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre. The adults who came with us were Mrs Mladek, Mrs Mawhinney, Miss McCleery and Ms Pinkerton. At 5 o’clock we all got on a coach and in one and a half hours we were there. When we arrived at the centre we were introduced to the head instructor and we were shown to our rooms.  Before we even had time to unpack, we had to set off for our first activity. This activity involved going through a really small, really long tunnel. I felt quite claustrophobic in it so I only did it once but lots of people did it again. The next morning we did three things: the Flower, High Ropes and Jacob’s Ladder. The Flower was a really tall pole about as tall as a telegraph pole with a tiny platform on the top and you had to climb up and squeeze four people on it and then all hold hands and lean back. It was really scary! The other two were scary as well but they were nothing compared to the Flower.

Later we went on a mini beast hunt and we found flies, red beetles, ants and woodlice and other creatures. Then we went to look at some ducks and we fed them grain. Finally, we went to look at bees in a beehive and we tried to find the lazy queen bee and we found her! We returned to Penrhyn hot and tired, but very happy as we had spent a lovely, sunny day at Greenmount! Eva McClean and Alexandra Coetzee, P3


Parents’ Association Penrhyn Summer Fête

In the afternoon we did Raft Building.  We were split into groups and we had to work with two windsurfing boards, two planks of wood and some rope. We had to attach the wood to the boards using the rope. My group’s raft capsized so that meant we lost the race. That evening we did something called the Nightline where you were blindfolded and you had to follow some string with your hand. Emily Buchanan, P7


P2 and P4 Castle Espie Trip

On Tuesday, 31 May, P2 and P4 visited Castle Espie to find out information about birds.  They found out where the birds lived, what they ate and how we can look after them. The girls had a really good trip.


In June, Strathearn Parents’ Association organised a photography competition.  The photographs had the theme,  ‘This makes me smile!’ Mr Manning judged the entries and the winners were announced on Friday, 10 June at the Penrhyn Summer Fête. This new summer event was a great success and it was enjoyed by everyone.  Mrs Fiona Andrews coordinated the various stalls and events which included: cake box decorating and cakes sale, plant sale, bouncy castle, face painting, nail art and street artists to name but a few. The P7 girls organised a Roadshow upstairs in Penrhyn to raise money for The Children’s Heartbeat Trust. This year’s committee is already planning exciting events and stalls for our next fête. B Mawhinney

the penrhyn year e

P6 Trip to Greenmount

On a hot June day, P6 travelled to Greenmount Campus to take part in curriculum linked outdoor activities. The activities were entitled Butterflies and Blooms, Mini-Beast Safari and Investigating Pond-Life. Despite the weather, the pupils enjoyed the learning activities.

September 2011


P5 Trip to the Zoo

On Friday, 16 September, P5 went to the Belfast City Zoo. We went with Mrs Stevenson, Miss Corry, Mrs Surgenor and Mrs Kelly. When we got there we were introduced to Mr Fisher.  Mr Fisher then took us to the education room where he talked to us about endangered animals.  He showed us a giant African snail, a royal python, a redlegged tarantula, a white hedgehog and an African stick insect. These animals are endangered because of burning forests, pet trade, medicines and bush meat. We got to hold the python; it was scaly and we got to stroke the hedgehog. Once we got outside it was raining heavily. Then we went into the reptile room. There we saw more snakes and some turtles.  Next we went to a hut in the play park and had our break. After that we went to see the spider-monkeys. They were cute. Then we got to see some zebras, giraffes and even an ostrich. We walked up a big hill to see the spectacled bear.  Next we went on the cat walk. Once we did the cat walk, we had our lunch in the monkey house. Then we went to the penguins. We also got to see the sea lions and the white-tailed sea eagle. Afterwards we saw the exotic birds. Finally, we went to the shop. Some people got chocolate lollies, pens, pencils, notebooks, cuddly toys and keyrings. Then we returned to school. Ruby Allen,  Amelia Hopkins and Sasha Barrett-Ferris, P5


Later on we went to a rose bed where we picked some roses and took them with us. We played the stepping game and we made our way to the conservatory. In there we looked around and guessed the names of the plants. After that we looked at veggies that we could all eat and weird and colourful beans! Then we went back to the conservatory. I asked why we had come back and I was told by Katherine that I would find out later. She opened a door which we hadn’t noticed before. As we walked to the cow shed we smelt our lunch and I got teased by the smell! After lunch we went to hide chestnuts in the garden. Then we went to the maze where we had to find our way to the sundial. We then went back to find our chestnuts. I couldn’t find mine in the bush so I didn’t get mine! This was the last event of the amazing day! The bit I enjoyed most was the conservatory. Emma Conroy, P5



On Friday, 14 October, P4 went to Castle Ward for Applefest. We went on a bus and it took about an hour to get there. First we hung our coats and lunchboxes up and then the leaders told us their names, Jacinta and Amy. We played a game when there were six apples and six name tags and you had to match an apple to the tag.  Then we drew a type of apple with chalk in secrecy. After that we planted an apple seed.  Jacinta said the pots were biodegradable. We made apple bracelets out of foam and pipe cleaners. We went downstairs and outside and played fruit salad and pass the apple. After that we went back upstairs and played some games like apple-ozies. Then we had lunch. When we finished lunch we went to the gift shop. I bought a tube of jellybeans and a little wooden mouse. Soon it was time to go back to school. I thought Castle Ward was really fun.  My favourite part was when we played games outside. Lauren Mooney, P4

Visit by M & M Productions

The M & M Theatrical Production Company visited Penrhyn on Friday, 30 September to perform Robin Hood. The evil sheriff kept stealing money from the good people of Nottingham. The hero, Robin Hood, tried to steal it back with the help of his best friend... a giant bear called Little John. In Nottingham they don’t use real money they use chocolate money and Little John kept eating all the chocolate that Robin got back from the sheriff!


George Best Airport

We watched Robin Hood, Little John, the lovely Maid Marian, Madam Bounty, Wholenut, the evil Sheriff and Merlin the Magician dancing and singing. We enjoyed the song Price Tag by Jessie J and we had to sing along.  In April we will see The Railway Children.  The actors in the company visit many schools in Ireland and they stay in Greyabbey when they are working in Belfast. We love watching the M&M pantomimes. P4

October 2011


P5 Trip to Greenmount

On Tuesday, 4 October, P5 went to Greenmount to learn about trees. We left school at 9.00am with the Belfast Bus Company. We were accompanied by Mrs Stevenson, Mrs Kane and Mrs Gilpin. When we arrived at Greenmount we had our break. After break we were split into groups. I was with Mrs Kane and Katherine. First we went to see the ducks. Then Katherine went to get some duck seeds. In five minutes she came back with a large pot of seeds. Katherine gave out the seeds and we fed the ducks. Some of us fed the ducks by hand.  Secondly we did the tree trail.  First we saw the area where the bats were. Next we gathered leaves, nuts, apples, berries and other things. Then we walked to a gravestone. By it were two massive oak trees and an archway made of a fragile sort of plant. Next we found some plants that stick to fabric, fur, wool and hair. We found them very amusing. Afterwards we went to a sycamore tree. Then we hunted for sycamore tree leaves.

P3 went to George Best Airport on 18 October. Mrs McKeown, Mrs Moore and Mrs Rainey came with us. Mr Algie and Mrs Harvey drove us there in the school minibuses. When we got there we waited at the information desk until the guide was free to take us. She took us to see some aeroplanes taking off. Then we had to go through security and the bleeper went off because we were wearing our school badges. We watched Mrs McKeown’s handbag going through the scanner. We were able to count all her money! After that we went to the airport’s fire station and a fireman called Paddy Hughes taught us all about his job and he was very funny. We went downstairs to see some fire engines and we saw a fireman going down the fire pole. We had an exciting time at the airport. Eve Rainey and Ciara Moore, P3


the penrhyn year e


P1 Autumn Walk

P3 Visit Mount Stewart

On Friday, 25 November, P3 visited Mount Stewart. We went there on a coach. We had a tour of the big house. First we went to the kitchen and we learnt how to make a Christmas cake.  Then we went to the Nursery and saw the old toys and Christmas cards. The nanny read us the story of The Night before Christmas. We made a Christmas decoration by painting a pine cone, and we sang old Christmas songs. We had lots of fun!

On Wednesday, 26 October 2011, the P1s went on an autumn walk in the grounds of the Senior School. We wore our new ‘Penrhyn Wellies’ and we had great fun collecting leaves, taking bark rubbings and watching Mr and Mrs Squirrel hard at work gathering their nuts for the winter ahead!


P2 Visit to Castle Ward

On Wednesday, 26 October, P2 visited Castle Ward to study Animal Habits. They searched under logs for mini-beasts, played bird call games and discovered where the woodland creatures call ‘home’. It was a really good day.

November 2011


P6 Viking Workshop

In November, the P6 class participated in a Viking Workshop. The workshop was delivered by Mrs Rita Caldwell, a specialist teacher. The girls took part in a variety of activities – they dressed up in Viking costumes, ground grain, wove wool and played Viking games. P6 enjoyed a very interactive, hands-on day.


P5 Visit to School of Music

On Tuesday, 15 November, P5 went with Belfast Bus Company to the School of Music to perform and to participate in a music morning. We left school at 9.45am as the bus was late.  P5 was accompanied by Mrs Barrett-Ferris, Mrs Greer and our teacher, Mrs Stevenson. Amelia Kane and Emma Hylands carried the instruments. When we arrived at the School of Music we got introduced to Mrs Eames and Miss Shields. Miss Shields played the piano while Mrs Eames said the poems with all the schools. Miss Shields did tunes on the piano which told us to either stand up, sit down, or fold our arms and listen. The first poem we said was Buster Buster. Then there was a poem from another school – it was called Rain Rain.  Four schools did the poem Rain Rain. The song we did next was John Kanakanka.  In this song we left words out and then we just did the actions. When this was finished we did our poem The Storm. I played a round rain maker and I said the title and who it was by. Next there was the Three Bears Rap. It was about three bears, a daddy bear, a mummy bear and a baby bear who had come home to see their porridge eaten, their chairs sat on and someone in their bed who then woke up and the bears chased her round and round until she ran into the forest and never went back again. Mrs Eames said we were brilliant.  Mrs Eames thanked the teacher and the pupils for behaving well and for the hard work. We then had to go back to school for lunch. I thought the day was absolutely brilliant!! Sasha Barrett-Ferris, P5


Cerys McMurray and Lucie Maskery, P3


P5 Early Man Workshop

On 24 November, two women came to P5 to talk about Early Man. Their names were Rita and Sarah. Rita talked to us about animals in the Stone Age. In the Stone Age, boar was the meat that those people loved. There was a display on the tables at the back. We saw how if you strike flint together it would start a fire. In the Ice Age, Ireland was covered in ice and no one lived here. In the Old and Middle Stone Age, arrows had flint at the top around the tip, but in the New Stone Age they used flint for the tip and feathers at the back to make it go faster. In the Stone Age, houses and fences were made by wattling, which is weaving flexible hazel branches around big wooden posts. In the New Stone Age, clothes were made by weaving wool which was dyed using berries or grass. Flour used in cooking was made by grinding barley on Quorn stones. Grime’s Graves was a large flint mine in England.  It was mined about 5,000 years ago.  Flint was used for making stone axes in the Stone Age. To make our axes we used gold card shaped a bit like a fish and brown card about the size of a large ruler. After lunch we attached the axe head to the shaft with masking tape. We tied black string to the shaft and added red paint to look like blood.  Next we made pots out of clay. Finally, we made a fire and cooked bread made from the flour we had ground earlier. I really enjoyed spending a day in the Stone Age, but I wouldn’t like to live then as I would miss my books too much. Sorcha Corbett, P5



P5 Visited by Knock Fire Safety Team

On Tuesday, 6 December, the Fire Brigade came to our classroom mobile.  Michael talked about safety in our home. Michael drew a jigsaw on the board. He wrote in the first piece and it said the main causes of fire. He said plugs were one because if you

the penrhyn year kept them on all the time it would go on fire. Then candles - if you put a candle near furniture or windows it might blow down and catch on to something and go on fire.  Next it was matches - if you were lighting a match you might keep lighting it and it might cause a fire. Afterwards he talked about ashtrays.  When you’re smoking you have to stub it out to make sure that no flames are coming out and make sure you put a bit of water in the ashtray or else it will cause a fire.  Next it was chip pans - if you do not keep an eye on it, it could cause a fire. Then Michael talked about a plan for getting out of your house. Michael said that you are supposed to check your fire alarms every week and change the battery every year. Michael also said that you should have a bedtime routine, like close all doors, all plugs out of sockets, empty ashtrays and put a spark guard in front of the fire. Then everyone got a turn at moving the hose up and down or left to right. Then you went to the other side of the fire engine and you got to go inside the fire engine.  Finally, Michael gave us a pack.  It had a lot of stuff in it like cards, worksheets and letters.


Derek Keilty Visits P4

On Monday, 27 February, Derek Keilty came to visit P4. He talked to us about his new book, Will Gallows. He told us about how he writes his books – the characters, the setting and the title.  It was very interesting and exciting – snake-bellied trolls, cowboys and elves, all in the Wild West! He read a bit of his book to us and he did the voices too. He was very good at Will Gallow’s voice! His book is going to be made into a film by Elton John’s company. I really enjoyed our visit from an author. It was great fun and I can’t wait to read his book! Gabriella Park, P4


I thought that was the best day ever. I loved the hose the best, except it was very cold. Madeleine Ievers, P5


Jack and the Beanstalk

This year we had a new and very exciting whole school Christmas outing. On 13 December, all seven classes, accompanied by teachers and several parents, travelled by coach to the Grand Opera House to see the pantomime. In Penrhyn, we encourage dance, singing and speech and drama and our school plays at Junior and Senior level are always of a very high standard. The girls enjoyed seeing a professional stage pantomime and they watched the dancers and actors with real interest. The costumes and lights were colourful and the 3D special effects were amazing.  The whole theatre was buzzing with shrieks of surprise as the spiders and snakes appeared to be inches from your face when wearing the 3D glasses. I would like to thank the Parents’ Association for supporting this new venture by assisting with the cost. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we have booked to go to next year’s pantomime, Cinderella, in December 2012. B Mawhinney




On Friday, 9 March 2012, P5 went on a school trip to the Ulster Museum to learn about the Egyptians. Mrs McGimpsey and Mrs Browne came as helpers. So did Ms Moore and, of course, Mrs Stevenson, our teacher, came too. We did a workshop with Mrs Baird. Mrs Baird told us all about Egyptian Mummies. We even got to look at things which are over 2,000 years old. Mrs Baird explained how bodies were mummified. Some of the other things we saw were amulets, a scarab beetle, jewellery and Ushabti figures. Ushabti figures are tiny figures which are placed in tombs to help the deceased in the afterlife. Mrs Baird also told us that Egyptians liked their makeup, especially green eye shadow made from a mineral called malachite, which Ruby McWhinney got to hold. Another one was black eyeliner, made from galena, which is a type of lead and Amelia Hopkins held that one. It was very heavy.  Lipsticks were made from red ochre; I got to hold this one. At the end of the class we all tried out an Egyptian pillow, which is made from wood. I thought it was quite comfortable. After the workshop we all got to go upstairs in the museum to see the highlight of the trip, which was the Mummy, Takabuti! We looked at her coffin, which was covered in hieroglyphics, and also at lots of beautiful Egyptian jewellery. Then we filled in our worksheets; we had learnt a lot! Next we had our lunch. We then went up to the history room where we got to dress up and play about! After that we went to the gift shop before getting back on the bus and home to Penrhyn. I thought this was the best trip so far in P5! I loved it and I really enjoyed myself! Imogen McGimpsey and Chloe Browne, P5

P3 Visit the Recycling Centre

P3 went to Blackstaff Recycling Centre on Friday, 3 February. When we arrived, we met a man called George who works for Belfast City Council. He brought us around the recycling centre and taught us all how a recycling centre works. We also learned about the different types of bins and what we can put into them. Finally, we went to see Mr McKnight’s sculptures which are made out of lots of things that people can recycle. We had a very exciting trip. I am very proud of my dad! Eloise McKnight and Rachel Lyle, P3


P5 Trip to the Ulster Museum

penrhyn sports day



he weather was kind at our P1 – P4 Sports Day in June. Because of the temporary lack of outdoor facilities at Strathearn, P4 joined us for Sports Day on the Penrhyn lawn. All the events were participated in with great enthusiasm. Many parents came to cheer on our athletes and we thank them for their support. Many mums, dads, grandparents and young brothers or 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 Devlin who very graciously presented the prizes. Thanks also to the parents who served the refreshments.


P1 Running P1 Spider P1 Potato/Spoon P2 Running P2 Potato/Spoon P2 Spider P3 Running P3 Potato/Spoon P3 Sack P3 Inter-House Relay P4 Running P4 Skipping P4 Sack Race P4 Overall Winners Inter-House Relay Winners


First Place

India McNellis India McNellis Tiffany Fong Eloise McKnight Martha Cupples Alice Brown Aoife Moore Mia Montgomery Aoife Moore McCaughey Amelia Kane Hannah Meredith Sasha Barrett-Ferris Amelia Hopkins & Hannah Meredith McCaughey

Cross-Country Team Back Row: Samantha McCormick, Katie Wills Middle Row: Sophie Lewis, Erin Stewart,Olivia Nelson, Rebekah Mitchell, Kate Bell Front Row: Ellie Fullerton, Rosie Park

P4 – P7 SPORTS DAY ur Sports Day was held at Campbell College 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!

Mrs Barbara Mawhinney, our new Head of Department, handed out the prizes. Thanks also to the Senior Office Bearers and the Games Captain and her Deputies, who helped with the running of the event.


First Place

P5 50m

Ellie Fullerton

P6 75m Katie Wills P7 75m

Olivia Donald

P 600m

Ellie Fullerton

P6 600m Katie Wills P7 600m

Eve Corry

P6 Long Jump

Lily-Mai McKane

P7 Long Jump

Sarah McCracken

P5 Cricket Ball

Erin Stewart

P6 Cricket Ball

Emma Piggot

P7 Cricket Ball

Niamh West

House Relays P5 Barbour P6 Watts P7 Watts

Individual Points P5 Ellie Fullerton

Individual Sports Day Winners

P6 Katie Wills

Back Row: Amelia Hopkins, Sarah McCracken, Katie Wills

P7 Sarah McCracken Winning House

Front Row: Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Ellie Fullerton



penrhyn extra-curricular P2 Gymnastics Back Row: Sarah Hylands, Katherine Boyle, Elessa Deeny, Lucinda Park, India McNellis,  Jazmin McCormick, Lucy Wills Front Row: Celia Buchanan, Sophia Cochrane, Ellie Patrick, Amelia Hazle, Darcy Blair, Madelene Crawford-McCann, Holly Higgins, Laura Dunlop

P3-P4 Gymnastics Back Row: Eve Canavan, Cerys McMurray, Ella Keane, Gabriella Park,  Aoife Moore, Lauren Mooney, Mia Montgomery, Nicole Hanna Fourth Row: Eva Ralston, Mabelle Wilcox,Tabitha Allen, Cheryl Watson, Ciara West, Rebecca Kitchen,  Victoria Murray Third Row: Sarah Menary, Caitlyn Corbett, Eve Rainey,  Alyssa Campbell, Madeline Doherty, Zara Conroy, Lucie Maskery, Martha Cupples Second Row: Ciara Moore, Rachel McDonald,  Alex Coetzee, Rachel Brett, Rebekah Devlin,  Alice Browne Front Row: Laura Mitchell, Isabella Anderson

P5-P7 Gymnastics Back Row: Olivia Nelson, Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Ruby McWhinney, Sarah McDonald, Halah Irvine, Cecelia MacMahon, Hollie Andrews, Emma Caldwell (standing), Marissa Esteban (standing),  Amber Allen Front Row: Emma Hylands, Holly Gilpin, Bethan Andrews, Eve Greer, Molly Cahoon, Grace Connor, Ellie Fullerton, Emma Carson, Rachel McClintock


Gymnastics Club Report

he 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 on FUN! Classes run on Wednesday afternoons for P5-7 and Friday afternoons for P2-4.  Each session begins with a pulse raising warm-up 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, success and achievement. Each member of the club is affiliated to British Gymnastics. Membership to BG 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 awards schemes and this year our new coach, Miss Hare, introduced Rhythmic Gymnastics to the gymnasts this term. In January, a selection of gymnasts from P4-P6 performed in a fantastic Acro and Rhythmic Open Day Display. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the other coaches and trainee assistant, Miss Kara Hare (former Commonwealth gymnast and British Rhythmic Champion), Miss Bryanna Spence and Miss Donna Hart for their dedication. S Mouncey


penrhyn extra-curricular



he following girls represented Penrhyn in the Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships: Erin McConnell, Olivia Nelson, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams, Amelia Kane, Phoebe Spratt,  Amelia Hopkins, Rebecca Tunnah and Anna McCabe. Results from the Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships The individuals who were in the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province are as follows: 50m Backstroke: Under 9, Rebecca Tunnah; 50m Butterfly: Under 9, Amelia Kane; 50m Breaststroke: Under 11, Samantha McCormack; 50m Butterfly: Under 11, Samantha McCormack; 50m Butterfly: Under 11, Sophie Williams; 50m Backstroke: Under 11, Olivia Nelson; 50m Backstroke: Under 11, Sophie Williams; 50m Individual Medley: Under 11, Olivia Nelson; 50m Freestyle: Under 11, Erin McConnell. Well done girls! The following girls won medals:  Under 9, 3rd place 50m Butterfly,  Amelia Kane. In the Under 11 50m Breaststroke, Sam McCormick won Gold. In the Under 11 Butterfly, we had a first and third place - Olivia Nelson first and Sophie Williams third. Erin McConnell won a Bronze in the Under 11 Freestyle. The Under 10 Medley and Freestyle Relays were placed sixth and fifth respectively. The squad members were  Anna McCabe,  Amelia Kane, Rebecca Tunnah and Amelia Hopkins. Samantha McCormick, Olivia Nelson, Erin McConnell and Sophie Williams were in the Strathearn Under 12 Relay Squads, where they won Gold in both the Medley and Freestyle events. The Irish Schools’ Championships The following girls took part in the Irish Schools’ Championships: Erin McConnell, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams, Olivia Nelson and Amelia Kane. 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: Gabriella Park and Rachel McDonald; P4:  Amelia Kane; P5: Nina Reid; P6: Olivia Nelson; P7: Samantha Brown; Winning House: Watts.

Swimming Gala Winners Back Row:  Amelia Kane, Rachel McDonald, Gabriella Park. Front Row: Olivia Nelson, Nina Reid

Minor Schools’ Swimming Team Back Row: Sophie Williams, Phoebe Spratt, Erin McConnell, Katie Wills, Rebecca Tunnah, Olivia Nelson Middle Row:  Amelia Kane, Anna McCabe, Rachel McDonald, Lauren Mooney Front Row: Amelia Hopkins, Gabriella Park, Samantha McCormick

A Sense of Autumn Gardeners burning colourful leaves on a flaming bonfire. Apple pie hot and tasty browning in the warm oven, Raining leaves brown, golden, red, yellow and orange, Energetic grey squirrels curious and fluffy. Toffee surprises ready to eat Inside crunchy, delicious apple treat Crusty, fresh bread, Hallowe’en treats, spicy orange pumpkin pie, steaming, hot pumpkin soup Bumpy pine cones, rugged bark, smooth shiny conkers found in the park Hedgehog snuffling under the fence - slimy worms and slugs are best Gusts and whistles of the talking wind Squirrels nibbling the acorns and lovely nuts. P4 Class

Rachel McDonald, P4 74

penrhyn extra-curricular

Sports Hall Athletics - A Squad Back Row: Mia Mouron-Adams, Morgan Campbell, Isabella Reihill, Tess McMillen, Olivia Nelson, Hannah Adamson, Jessica Moore, Katie Wills Front Row: Sophie Williams, Samantha McCormick, Chloe Graham, Verity McGimpsey


Sports Hall Athletics - B Squad Back Row: Rebekah Mitchell, Lily-Mai McKane, Emma Piggot, Bethan Andrews,  Anna Brien,  Aoife Khan, Olivia Creighton Front Row: Rachel Bell, Erin McConnell, Maisie Hughes, Molly Cahoon, Eve McDowell

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 2011/2012 season. This year, two shows were held at Strathearn. Both were held in February. We held a competition for boys and girls - there were six teams with a maximum of fifteen pupils. The rule this year was that we had to have a mixed team of boys and girls. This year 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; our A team were crowned runners-up! Even more pleasing was the fact that our team 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 twenty places were available. Olivia Nelson and Katie Wills were successful in making the team. Unfortunately, Olivia was unable to participate in the Odyssey. Katie enjoyed her experience, competing in the Arena and also rubbing shoulders with many high profile athletes - an inspiration for her and her future career in sport!


Athletics Club

uring the summer term yet another group of budding 2012 Olympians took part in track and field events on Wednesday afternoons! The girls developed their skills in high-jump, long-jump and throwing. Towards the end of the summer hurdles were introduced. We were indebted to Mr Jay Piggot and Campbell College for the use of their athletics track for our club, though we look forward to our own facilities next year. Stamina and endurance, building on their successful cross-country season, 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 had the opportunity to perform in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Athletics Competition. I was particularly encouraged in the way the P6 pupils performed and look forward to their participation in this year’s competition. I was delighted this year that Penrhyn provided teams for the invitation relay at Downey and Fullerton Sports Days. Weekly practice has produced great results and we look forward to even better results this year! In the magazine last year we reported that the Cross-country team had won the East Belfast heat and we were looking forward to the Belfast Final of the Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Crosscountry Championships.  I am delighted to write that our Crosscountry team won the Belfast Primary Schools’ Cup! We had five runners in the top twenty finishers with Eve Corry, Katie Wills, Erin Athletics Club McConnell, Sam McCormick and Sophie Williams to the fore. In the Northern Ireland final we were placed fifth and were delighted Back Row: Jessica Moore, Lily-Mai McKane,Tess McMillen, Olivia Nelson, with the team’s success, especially when there were sixteen teams Molly Cahoon, Emma Piggot,  Anna Brien, Samantha McCormick in the final. Eve Corry was placed 10th, Sam McCormack 20th and Front Row:Verity McGimpsey, Sophie Williams, Rachel Bell, Chloe Graham, Katie Wills was placed 24th. Congratulations to everyone! Rebekah Mitchell, Bethan Andrews, Katie Wills, Isabella Reihill This year we again entered the Belfast East heat of the Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Cross-country where the team was again placed first.  Samantha McCormack won an individual gold, Katie Wills an individual silver. We also had pupils placed 4th & 6th.The Belfast final takes place at the end of March. With four of the squad in the successful team from last year we hope that we can repeat last year’s success.  Again we wish the squad the best of luck for this championship.


penrhyn extra-curricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment


The Late Wise Man

n Friday, 9 December P4 and P2 did The Late Wise Man in Belmont Presbyterian Church. I was a wise man called Melchior.  The other wise men are called Caspar and Balthazaar.  Artaban was the main part of the story (he was one of the wise men). Artaban had to go on a long journey to see the newborn king. But he was too late because he heard that Herod wanted to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and he wanted to help them. There were lots of songs. My favourite song was Artaban How Can We Repay You. I loved the whole thing – it was so much fun! My favourite part was at the end because it was really sad. It was the last Christmas play we would do, but at least we get to do other plays. It was the best play ever! Lauren Mooney, P4

My Memory Of The Play


n Friday, 9 December P1-P4 did their Christmas plays. P4s and P2s did The Late Wise Man. P3s and P1s did It’s A Party.  In the play I was a Wise Man. I was called Caspar. The Late Wise Man was Artaban and Artaban was Alexandra C. There were two other Wise Men and they were Balthazaar and Melchior. Balthazaar was Rachel and Melchior was Lauren.  The place we did the play was Belmont Presbyterian Church. The actual play was at 10 o’clock. My costume was sparkly blue and the cape was black. I really liked doing the play. It was the best thing ever! Ella Keane, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment


Joseph 2011

verybody was very excited on 7 and 8 April 2011 as Penrhyn had decided to perform Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. P7 took the main parts such as Joseph, Pharaoh and the narrators, with P5 and P6 as the choir. Joseph was played by Ella Reid who certainly deserved being chosen as she has an amazing singing voice. I was one of the narrators along with Connie O’Callaghan, Eden Lamb and Sarah McCracken. We had lots of rehearsals crammed into ordinary school days and the occasional Saturday morning on the stage in the Strathearn Hall. Building the new school has meant that the Hall has now been knocked down.  This meant that our play was the last one ever to be performed in the Hall. The costumes we wore were fantastic. Mrs Mitchell brought lots of lovely headdresses and outfits for us to wear. Miss Boyd and Mrs McKinney did the make-up; it was very good and you could tell if someone was supposed to be a boy or a girl in the play or if they were acting a rich or poor person. The music was magnificent and I was amazed and impressed at Mrs Manning being able to play the drums and the accordion. Mrs Devlin was excellent too; she is a very accomplished pianist. I think everybody enjoyed doing the play this year, from the auditions to the opening night. I know I certainly did! Jenny McLeod, P7


penrhyn extra-curricular


Tin Whistle Report

o blow or not to blow, that indeed is often the question! The enthusiasm of the P2 girls was evident as they began their introduction to music by learning the tin whistle. By the end of the second term, these very young girls could play ensemble.  The sense of satisfaction on their faces as they did so was a joy to behold. The Monday and Wednesday classes have been thriving during the past year, with many of the girls achieving an excellent standard of performances at the Holywood Music Festival. In December, the senior girls played a selection of carols at a charity event, organised by Mrs Mawhinney, at the Stormont Hotel. Some of the P3 girls have written their own compositions, which have been learnt and performed by the class. The girls in P4 and P5 have achieved a satisfactory standard of performance, thanks to parental encouragement in practising at home. The senior girls have reached a high standard, having mastered the fingering and blowing technique that will help them should they wish to progress to the concert flute, or other woodwind instrument at a later stage. Many thanks to Mrs Mawhinney and to the staff at Penrhyn for their continued co-operation and assistance in allowing me to use the technology in the Computer Room (with the help of my laptop) that enables the girls to see the tunes on screen. H Grimes


Speech and Drama Report

fter a year and a half of teaching Speech and Drama in Penrhyn, the number of girls enrolled has risen from 60 and I am now delighted to have over 100 enthusiastic girls enjoying speech and drama classes. Speech and drama provides an opportunity for each girl to improve her communication skills, expand her imagination and think creatively. The classes aim to foster an appreciation of literature, poetry and drama while building self-confidence and self-esteem, creating confident and motivated individual learners. The interaction necessary for drama provides an arena where the girls can 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. Who would have thought that one school would have provided so many natural born actresses! At the Holywood Festival of Speech and Drama, the individual entries produced very successful results with eighteen students being placed and highly commended.  The girls from P4-P6 all entered the class choral speaking competitions; their hard work was rewarded by two first places and a second place. The girls also have the opportunity to enter the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination, and, as I anticipated, the last sets of results were truly outstanding, with the vast majority of girls receiving the top grade of distinction. The energetic, 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



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 learnt in a fun and varied way! The older girls have continued to work well and have been entered for examinations. Congratulations to the following girls: Primary Exam: Emma Hylands, Distinction; Heather MacIntyre, Distinction. Grade One: Kate Bell, Distinction; Rosie Park, Distinction. Grade Two: Saskia McMinn, Merit; Ella Reid, Merit. 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 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

March 2011 Kate Bell, Prep Test, Certificate; Eve Corry, Grade 1, Merit.

June 2011 Holly Chambers, Grade 1, Distinction; Nina Reid, Grade 1, Merit; Emma Piggot, Grade 1, Merit. Ella Reid, Grade 2, Merit;  Aoife Khan, Grade 2, Distinction.

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


Lucie Maskery, P3

penrhyn extra-curricular The Penrhyn Choir


t takes a great deal of hard work and commitment on the part of the pupils, conductor and accompanist to create a successful and effective school choir. The Penrhyn School Choir has had a very successful year, culminating in recent successes in both the Holywood Musical Festival and the Belfast Musical Festival. Mrs Mawhinney trains and conducts the Penrhyn Choir and Mrs Manning is the piano accompanist. At the Holywood Festival we came first in our class, winning the Priory Cup. Furthermore, we were awarded the highest marks in the school choirs’ section and this was marked by the award of the Maurice Foster Cup and a prize of £100. In the Belfast Festival we entered three classes, gaining two first places and one second place. In the Hymn Singing class at the Belfast Festival we performed Praise the Lord in the Rhythm of Your Music and Jesus Loves Me. We performed Jesus Loves Me unaccompanied and in the second verse we portrayed the words through sign language. Having worked very hard in the preparation of each performance piece to recognise correct vowel sounds, to ensure correct diction and clarity, and to extend phrases with correct breathing, we were delighted when the adjudicators at both festivals commended our efforts in these techniques. The Penrhyn Choir was described as being ‘a very promising young choir’. However, perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the festival experience was the delight and genuine excitement shown on the faces of the girls when they experienced the reward for all of their hard work. The Penrhyn Choir also performed at the PA Annual General Meeting in Strathearn Miskelly Hall in October. The choir sang with enthusiasm and flair.  At the Strathearn Carol Service in Stormont Presbyterian Church the choir presented the following programme: What shall I give to the Child in the Manger, The Holly and the Ivy, Christmas Time and Il Est Ne. Sasha Barrett Ferris and Ellen McCormick and Tess McMillen and Emma Piggot performed the duets, and the soloists at the occasion were Eve McDowell, Erin McConnell, Bethan Andrews and Tess McMillen. The choir meets each Monday after school and the aims of the weekly practice are to learn the correct skills necessary for unison and the part singing, and also to have fun and enjoy working together. B Mawhinney

Cycling Proficiency


n the Autumn Term, 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

Penrhyn Charity Collections


harites supported in 2011-12 included: Tuesday’s Child – Pakistan Flood Appeal; Christian Aid; Poppy Appeal British Legion; Cedar Foundation; Marie Curie and The Children’s Heartbeat Trust. We raised approximately £1,300.


French Club Report

t was encouraging to welcome a new group of enthusiastic P4 pupils to Monday’s French Club in September. They learned various greetings, French songs, days of the week and months of the year.  The girls in Tuesday’s French Club covered a wide range of topics including classroom objects, sports and hobbies. The mastery of numbers allowed both groups to exercise their mathematical skills in French. As a reward, games of ‘Lotto’ were played with prizes of sweets and chocolate. Through role plays the girls enjoyed buying ice creams, ordering food and drinks and shopping for various items - useful survival skills when they go to France on holiday! The girls are very responsive and it is gratifying to see many of them showing linguistic flair. Très bien!

P5 Cookery & Craft Club


uring the Autumn Term of 2011, P5 attended the Cookery and Craft Club which was taken by Mrs Stevenson and Miss McCleery.

On Tuesday afternoons, wonderful smells wafted from the P2 classroom as the girls made toasted sandwiches, smoothies, Fifteens, shortbread and yoghurt loaf. The girls also created hama bead patterns, Christmas angels, glass art jewellery, tea light holders and key-rings. The P5 girls showed that they were very creative and really enjoyed the club.


penrhyn literary section

Holly Allsopp, P1

Clara McWhinney, P1

Sarah Hylands, P2

Katherine Boyle, P2


penrhyn literary section The Girl Who Saved Nine Lives Grace Darling lived in a lighthouse. She did not go to school. Her mum taught her to read, write and learn history. One night Grace heard a storm and she was worried. If there were any boats out there the people would be scared. She looked out of her window and she saw a boat that had a hole in it. Grace went to wake her dad who was asleep. Once Grace had told her father everything, they set out to sea. There were thirty-nine people on the boat. Most of the people had drowned but there were twelve people clinging on to the rocks. When Grace and her father had arrived there were only nine survivors clinging on to the rocks. Grace’s father left Grace in the boat while he helped the people into the boat. Later Mr Darling went back to rescue the others. Aoife Moore, P4

Sweets I love seeing sweets in the sweetie jar! They smell so scrummy! They taste so yummy! They feel so smooth just like silk! I like to hear them crunch in my mouth! I love the sweetie jar! Laura Mitchell, P3

My Brother Bertie Bertie smells like curry because he eats it every day. Bertie sounds like a monster when he wakes up in his bed. Bertie looks like batman when he puts on his blue pyjamas. Bertie’s hair feels so soft and silky because he eats up all his greens. Bertie tastes like kisses Yum, yum, yum, kiss, kiss, kiss. I love my brother Bertie! Mabelle Wilcox, P3

Mia Montgomery, P4

Home At Last! 9 December ~ Dear Diary, This has been the worst day of my life… and the best day! I woke to the sight of black storm clouds and the sound of thunder and crashing waves. All the crew thought we were going to die. We were thrown around for many miles and then, all of a sudden, I saw land that looked familiar to me: Sea Rock and the Tearing Ledges. I knew the ship was going to founder as a huge wave broke over the stern. The ship lay on her side and wallowed in the waves like a sick whale. Suddenly she hit the rocks!  We jumped into the water to save ourselves. I knew that Father and the chief would be getting the gig ready. I felt full of hope. I could see White Island and I called to the men to try and swim to it. Thankfully, we all made it! Once ashore, we waited to be rescued. I was so relieved when I saw the gig.  And, then, I felt shocked. Laura was running towards me. My heart missed several beats. We hugged and cried and laughed. What a wonderful surprise! Back home, Father and Mother were so happy to see me. Mother looked glowing and Father was so kind.  All the rows were forgotten. I was starving and in need of a hot bath. I was so glad to be home safe and sound and so proud of Laura. Phoebe Spratt, P5

Friday 11 November 2011 A poppy is a symbol to remember the people who died in the war and were injured. The money was raised for the ones who were injured or the families of some people who died. If they were alive they would get medals from their leader. Sarah Catherall, P4

My Puppy Lily

Haiku Elsa Engaged to Captain But then she sees Maria Leaves for Vienna Chloe Graham, P7

Edelweiss Small, white, clean and bright Reminds me of my homeland Austrian flower Lily-Mai McKane, P7


My puppy Lily looks so cute and cuddly,

Is an Austrian Locks music out of his life Captain misses wife. Molly Cahoon, P7

When I sniff her, she smells like strawberries, When I stroke her, she feels so soft, When she barks, she sounds so loud.

Louisa Von Trapp

I have never tasted her, but I think she would taste like chocolate!

Louisa, bad, bold, Likes to play tricks on people, Cheeky, mischievous. Bethan Andrews, P7

Isabella Anderson, P3


penrhyn literary section A Perfect Day For breakfast on my perfect day I would have French toast with cinnamon and syrup. Then I would fly to London with my family and my dog and have lunch with JK Rowling and get her to sign one of my Harry Potter books. After lunch I would fly to New York and meet lots of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Katy Perry. Then I would have dinner in a five star restaurant that allows dogs in.  After dinner my family and I would see the sights of New York, such as the Statue of Liberty, and go to shops such as Tiffany’s and Bloomingdale’s. Then I would go to a five star hotel and watch Roman Holiday. Nina Reid, P6

Wrecked Healthy Eating We believe that healthy eating is better than non-healthy eating. Firstly, foods give us energy to help us get through the day. You need energy so you can do the things you like, such as jumping, skipping, running, reading, eating and sleeping. Secondly, it is better for your health to eat good food at the proper meal times. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you don’t have it, you will be hungry for the rest of the day. Good things to eat would be cereal and porridge, which are slow releasing. Also water is good for you. If you don’t have it you will not grow or even stay alive. It helps nutrients in our foods to move around our bodies. In hot weather or when we exercise, we should drink even more water. If we drink too many fizzy drinks, our teeth will decay and that is very bad for us. Some people struggle to eat healthy food, as bad food tastes much better. However, if you balance your diet to the right amounts of healthy food, you will be just right. Therefore healthy eating is better than nonhealthy eating. Ellen McCormick, P6

In the Distance

A very spooky, haunted castle A gigantic, black cloud Floating ghost kings Shadowy guards Hallowe’en party A ghost host Scary blackbird Turns you to stone Brave knight roaming Round the castle Hoping to capture….. Gabriella Park, P4

Maria Not very good nun But is lots and lots of fun Her name (Maria) Isabella Reihill, P7

It was a dreadful night.  The storm raged with rain and wind. It was really, really cold. The ship rose and fell on the angry sea. We couldn’t steer against the tide and were pushed to the rocks. There was a loud crack as the ship hit rocks and we were washed off the deck by a very large wave. It was just like a wall of water. The sea was cold, like ice and I could hear the pounding of the strong waves on the rocks, the ship creaking and breaking up and the frightened screams and cries of my friends. I held on to a large piece of wood as the waves crashed over me throwing me towards the shore. I was lucky to reach the beach! Sorcha Corbett, P5

Haunted Castles Far away on a spooky hill A haunted castle. Inside a grumpy old man Outside a graveyard. Spooky Ghostly kings Cobweb parties Rusty brown branches Crooked trees Nicole Hanna, P4

Spooky Witch with Wart Below the floorboards A mouse party Witches and ghosts laugh Making evil plans Black cat has a nap Spiders hiding in grass Lunch of bugs and flies Black sky, black rain Next vampires! Rachel McDonald, P4

Jessica Moore, P7


penrhyn Disaster at Sea

I was a cabin boy on the Zanzibar and it was my first voyage. It was very stormy out at sea. The rain was bucketing down. The sails wouldn’t stop flapping and the door for my cabin wouldn’t stop swinging open. That really annoyed me! I kicked the door once or twice but it kept on swinging open and closed. Well that did it! Then suddenly the ship started to wobble.  Then I heard the Captain shout, “All hands on deck! Repeat! All hands on deck!” I ran out to see what was happening. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was running from every direction! “What happened?” I yelled to my brother Jim. “I think we might capsize.” He couldn’t have been more right, because suddenly I heard a crack, then the boat split in half!  We all fell into the sea with all the sails. I managed to grab on to one, so did Jim and the Captain. I started to cry. “It’s ok,” said Jim.  “We’ll find some help somehow.” I looked at him and smiled. I knew that if he was on my side then nothing bad would happen. He was my stepbrother and I trusted him. Then, on the horizon, I saw some people in the gig – we were saved! Alexandra Agar, P5

Moving Classroom

I walked into the classroom on the day of our big move. I couldn’t believe what I saw; it was very chaotic and there were boxes everywhere! Mrs Miller was pulling her hair out because most of the girls were misbehaving. Everywhere I looked it was untidy. Then suddenly there was a yelp! Mr Martain, the caretaker, had dropped a heavy box on his toe and believe me it wasn’t a pretty sight! The noise level was very high. Everything was very disorganised. All the girls had left the classroom. Mrs Miller told me to close the door since I was the last one out and just when I had closed the door I heard the ghostly sound of children laughing. Standing at the door of the bare, naked classroom made me feel very, very lonely. Everywhere I looked there was dust. My footsteps echoed throughout the classroom. There were scraps of paper in the corners.  There were no more pictures on the walls. It was an empty classroom. Ruby Allen, P5

The Daily Mail THROWN BACK IN TIME Breaking News!! The Penrhyn P7 Class of 2011 have been thrown back in time to 1857, to prepare a dinner party for Lady Londonderry in Mount Stewart. When they arrived at Mount Stewart, they were greeted by two servants. Their names were Judith and Audrey. They were taken into the servants’ quarters, where they changed into their uniform. They were shown around the house, and the first room they went into was the nursery. Judith and Audrey told them that Lady Londonderry was out for the day, so they could look freely around the house. In the nursery the P7s learnt etiquette, for example learning how to bow when responding to the Londonderrys’ friends and family. Secondly, we were shown the scullery where most of the P7s would work. They were told a disturbing secret by the two servants.  They were also told not to breathe a word. The secret was that to get the ice-cream out of the mould, the servants would have to blow on it, to heat it up. Maybe, it would come out. They were escorted to the dining room, where they were shown what order to serve the courses in. There were nine courses to serve. I am now walking down a creaking corridor where the girls are writing the invitations for the Londonderrys’ party. They found it difficult writing with the dip pens, but soon got the hang of it. Then we were walking down the steep steps leading to the library. The library is the place where the guests would go after dinner. In the room the men would smoke and make conversation. In the library we found a wig scratcher and lots of splendid paintings and furniture. The next room we were shown was the drawing room, where the ladies would withdraw after dinner.  The drawing room was much brighter than the library, and the lamps were made from tea caddies. Our attention was drawn to the music room where there would have been a lovely orchestra playing on the night of the dinner party. The floor and ceiling had the exact same pattern on it, like a mirror reflection. As we walked through the big house we saw some lovely art pieces and beautiful chandeliers. While we were walking through the corridors we found the hall which had a lovely checked, marble floor, and there were stone statues of people. This room is where guests would meet before the dinner. We then made tracks to the shop where we interviewed the girls. The girls said they were very tired at the end of their hard day’s work and were glad to get back to 2011. This column was written by the reporters: Samantha McCormick, Lily-Mai McKane and Emma Piggot, P7 Rebekah Devlin, P3


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


he Strathearn Parents’ Association exists to provide a means for parents to support the school, raise funds for additional resources and equipment and plan events to help the girls enjoy their time at school. We provide and serve refreshments at school events, organise parties and seasonal events, such as pupil designed Christmas cards and an Easter Egg Hunt at Penrhyn, and organise and run discos at Strathearn throughout the year. Last year for the first time we ran a Summer Fête at Penrhyn, which proved very popular with pupils, staff and parents from both Penrhyn and Strathearn. The cake stall in particular was a reflection of the parents’ enthusiasm and support.  Many thanks to all those who baked buns, cakes and biscuits. For parents there was the annual May Ball held in the Culloden Hotel, Cultra. A great night was enjoyed by all. I would like to thank all parents from both schools who give so very generously of their time throughout the year, enabling us to run events and activities and to continue raising funds to benefit the school.  In October 2011, we presented cheques to Strathearn for £9,500 and to Penrhyn for £6,000. Finally, I would like to thank all those who serve on the committee for their support, enthusiasm and encouragement. New members are always welcome. Come along to the next AGM; it’s a chance to learn new skills, use existing ones and share experiences. Juanita Cooke, Chairperson


The Boxing Day Tournament

his year, the Boxing Day Tournament took place indoors at Strathearn as, unfortunately, there were no outdoor pitches available to use.  Having the tournament indoors created a brilliant atmosphere, as the other teams checked out the competition in the viewing gallery and caught up with the old friends they might not have seen since last year. The tournament was played in a ‘round robin’ format, meaning that everyone plays everybody and this is always very exciting. Both Strathearn School and the Old Girls had enough players for two teams, so  A and B Teams were entered for both sides. The matches were close throughout the day and Victorians got off to an early lead by beating the Old Girls’ A Team by 1-0.  The Old Girls were missing a goal keeper and Victorians took their chance to grab some points. The tournament was fast and furious and, like last year, it was a nail-biting experience. The Old Girls’ B Team put up a good fight and narrowly lost to Victorians in a great game. However, the tournament was not over for the Old Girls’ A Team - they needed to beat the Old Girls’ B Team in the final game of the day by more than six goals to win the tournament - if they did they would have a more favourable goal difference. There was some lovely hockey played by both teams, but in the end one team dominated the score line - the Old Girls’ A Team.  With a 9-0 victory this meant the Old Girls won the tournament with three points to spare.  A brilliant victory for the Old Girls; it was great to see them back on a winning streak! 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 Margaret Harvey who helped organise the event, and to the rest of the Old Girls who provided the food and drinks.  Thanks to Ann Rosa, who took control of the announcements and order of play and to Christine Reid, who controlled all the action on the pitch by umpiring for the Old Girls. Thanks also to all the supporters who turned up and cheered on their teams. It is especially nice to see the younger generations turning up and getting involved - hopefully they will be playing in the future. Finally, many thanks to Mr Manning and the Board of Governors for permitting us to use the facilities at Strathearn. Let’s hope the Old Girls can continue with their winning form this year. The tournament will be held on Wednesday, 26 December 2012, on the brand new Tessa Eames,  AS-level Astroturf pitch - hope to see you there! Kerry Harvey


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, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Bristol, the University of Dundee, the University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Leeds have notified us of a number of Degree successes, cited as follows:

Barry, Roseanna Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Drama Beacom, Sarah Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Theology & Modern History Bell,  Joanna Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Bell, Karen University of Aberdeen, MBChB Medicine Bill, Katherine University of Ulster, LLB Law with Criminology Black,  Amy Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English Chan, Kar-Li Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Mathematics Clark, Suzanne University of Dundee, BA Art Philosophy and Contemporary Practices Dorbie, Sophie-Jane Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Dunlop, Ruth Queen’s University, Belfast, BSW Social Work Ferguson,  Amber University of Bristol, MEng Engineering Design Fitchie, Susannah Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English Gibson, Becky Queen’s University, Belfast, MB BCh BAO Medicine Hanna, Keelan University of Glasgow, BA French Harvey, Michelle University of Ulster, BEng Mechanical Engineering Kelly, Stephanie Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Ancient History Kennedy, Nichola Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography Manning, Rachel Queen’s University, Belfast, MB BCh BAO Medicine Manning, Rebecca Queen’s University, Belfast, MPharm Pharmacy Martin, Judith Queen’s University, Belfast, MPharm Pharmacy McCloskey, Natalie Queen’s University, Belfast, Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition McElveen, Lauren Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Applied Mathematics & Physics McIlveen,  Abbie Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Film Studies McKee,  Ashleigh University of Ulster, BSc Clinical Physiology Meaklim,  Anne Queen’s University, Belfast, MB BCh BAO Medicine Menice, Sarah Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English Monroe, Patricia Queen’s University, Belfast, BSW Social Work Moore, Sarah Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition Murray, Kathryn Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law Nolan, Katherine Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Politics Robson, Tanita Queen’s University, Belfast, BD Theology Scott, Rachel Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law Shaw,  Ashleigh University of Ulster, BEng Mechanical Engineering Squance, Kelly University of Ulster, BSc Environmental Health Stewart,  Jennifer University of Leeds, MBChB Medicine Stoney,  Jordana Heriot-Watt University, BSc Real Estate Management Topping,  Ann Queen’s University, Belfast, MB BCh BAO Medicine Wallace, Rosie Queen’s University, Belfast, MB BCh BAO Medicine


Awards and Individual Successes

ongratulations to Rebecca Beattie, who came first in CCEA A-level Spanish and joint third in CCEA A-level English Literature in 2011. She also won the MLANI (Modern Languages Association of Northern Ireland) Award for excellence in two foreign languages. Rebecca is studying French and Spanish at Keble College, Oxford.

Congratulations to our former pupil, Melanie Nocher, who has secured a place on the Irish Olympic Swimming Team. We wish her every success in London 2012!

Congratulations to our former pupil, Deborah Farmer, who has been awarded the Waterhouse Prize for German Studies and a Certificate for Distinction in Spoken French by the Queen’s University of Belfast.

CCEA Celebrating Excellence 2011 84


Front co ver ~ Fiona Anderson, AS-level Back co ver ~ Katie Stringer, A-level 86

Magazine 2012  

Strathearn School Magazine 2012

Magazine 2012  

Strathearn School Magazine 2012