Page 1

Strathearn School





from the principal


t is once again my privilege to welcome you to the pages of the Strathearn School Magazine for 2014. This has proved another memorable year, and in its course our school community sustained a great loss. In September we heard, with great sadness, of the sudden death from leukaemia of our Upper Sixth pupil, Catherine Buchanan. The death of so radiant a girl was keenly felt by all of us and our school community united in offering sympathy and support to Catherine’s parents, sister, friends and peers. Our special tribute to Catherine is recorded in this edition of the magazine. At Prize Night our Guest of Honour was Professor Dame Judith Hill, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice. This event took place shortly after Catherine’s funeral, and Professor Dame Judith Hill’s wise and heartfelt speech offered strength and compassionate understanding to everyone who heard her. Professor Dame Judith Hill reminded the girls to: ‘use all experiences to develop resilience, moral values and a sense of compassion’ and she concluded her speech by urging the girls to: ‘Live to make a better future’.

As a school we committed to supporting the ‘Wall of Hope’ Hospice initiative, which aims to build a new state-of-the-art hospice at Somerton Road, Belfast.  This project also resonated with us, as one of the highlights of this year has been the steady progress of our own build, and the experience of each new acquisition has been exciting. An Eco-Committee has been established to develop Strathearn as a sustainable school, fit for purpose in the twenty-first century, and we look forward to hearing more of its ideas on Biodiversity, Energy and Waste Management. We have always believed that Strathearn School is more than its buildings, and the pages of the magazine record the experiences and initiatives of the girls throughout the year, as the cycle of events we have always valued continues and the new buildings, with the marvellous resources and opportunities they bring, are integrated into our lives.

So, once again, I would like to warmly thank everyone who has contributed to the myriad events of another memorable year. I would also like to record my warm appreciation of all those who contributed to the magazine: the involvement of pupils from P1 to the Upper Sixth, of Governors and Staff, and of Parents and our Former Pupils strengthens our sense of community and enables us to move forward with a deepened sense of shared values. I would also like to acknowledge the editorial, design and technical expertise which have produced such a beautiful magazine.

Lauren Duncan, GCSE Level 3


Anna Campbell, GCSE Level

From the Principal Contents Board of Governors School Staff Form One Photographs The School Year Sixth Form Office Bearers Sixth Form Photograph The Prize Distribution The Principal’s Speech The Guest of Honour’s Speech In Memoriam Catherine Buchanan Clubs, Events & Societies Drama House Play Competition House Reports Sport Literary Section Penrhyn Parents’ & Old Girls’ Associations Degrees & Awards 4

1 2 3 4 5-9 10 11 12 13 13-17 17 18 19-34 34-35 36 37-40 41-60 61-64 65-82 83 84

board of governors Chair of the Board Mr N McKeown BSc (Econ) FCA

Vice Chairs Mrs P Stewart Mr PA White MA (Cantab) Mrs C Auchmuty BA Mr WCP Caldwell MSc RIBA Mr N Crawford BA ACII Dr SSE Dermott BSc Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mr TWW Forde MBE FCA Dr K Gibson BEd BA PGDip MMA EdD FHEA Mr R Harvey BSc DIS MCIEH IOA Mrs L Mallon LLB Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mr R Masefield CBE MA (Cantab) Mr GR McGowan FRICS Mrs C Meredith B. Comm Mr IC Noad MA (Cantab) Ms A O'Dwyer ACMA Mrs E Rodgers Mr M Stevenson BSc PGCE

Anna Campbell, GCSE Level 5

school staff PRINCIPAL


Mrs N Connery MA PGCE PQH 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 PQH 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 MEd PGCE Miss JS Gibson MA BEd



Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE


Mrs J Anderson BSc PGCE Mrs R Aiken BSc PGCE Mrs FE Cochrane BSc PGCE Mrs L Cozzo BSc PGCE Miss L McFarland MSci PGCE Mrs P Foye BSc PGCE Mr D Manning BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE Ms L Wallace MPhys PGCE

MODERN LANGUAGES Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mrs H Agnew BA PGCE Miss RG Cardwell BA PGCE Mrs S Morrow BA PGCE Mrs J Thompson BA PGCE Mrs S Wyeth MA PGCE Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez





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


Miss J Stewart BSc PGCE PQH Miss E Foster BSc 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



Mrs B Mawhinney BEd Mrs E Andrews BEd CertEd PQH LNEA Miss GM Boyd BA PGCE Mrs A McKeown BEd Mrs V McKinney BEd Mrs S Stevenson BA CertEd Mrs J Walls BEd (Cantab) Mrs M Harvey BEd Mrs K King STA Mrs R Manning BSc PGCE Mrs C Nixon BA PGCE



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

TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF Miss G Campbell BSc Mrs A Cowie Mr P Craig BEng Miss C Dyer Mr J Hoeritzauer MA ATDE Miss M Magee Mr S Millar HND BSc Miss S Morrow Miss A Mulholland Mrs P Patterson BA Mr D Pinkerton BSc Mrs R Quail BA PgDipSc Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS Miss L Warke Mrs D Welsh BA Dip IS


Mrs L Collins MA





Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD


PREMISES STAFF Mr S Alexander Mr J Algie Mr T McConnell

CATERING STAFF Mrs V Crymble Mrs C Girvan Miss K Gray Mrs C James Mrs E Madden Mrs J McConnell Miss S McNeice Mrs C Nesbitt Mrs S Nsuenchma Mrs E Walker Mrs E Wallace

SUPERVISORY STAFF Mrs R Silcock Mrs H Elliott Mrs C Harper 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 Miss J Boyde Mrs C Gibson Mr J Gibson Mrs L Gillespie Mrs C Greer Miss S Hall Ms JL McConnell Mrs A McLaughlin Mrs P McNeice Ms R Millar Miss C Pollock Miss E Pollock Mrs A Thompson

form 1s

Back Row:

Zoe Robinson, Olivia Allister, Eve Elliott, Leah Beattie, Laura Cabecinha, Murphy Miller,  Anna McKibbin

Middle Row: Miss McFarland, Emily Hall,  Amy Cooper, Ruth Gregg,  Ami Minnis, Kate Bell, Larissa Young,  Jasmine Trill, Megan Adair Front Row:

Jenny Bullman, Nicole Kane, Emma McCaughan, Rachel Caughers, Lauren Kerr,  Jodi Wilson, Sarah Baker

Lauren Watson, GCSE Level


form 1t

Abigail Crosby,  AS-level

Back Row:

Leah McClements, Faye Donaghy,  Taylor-Lauren Cowen, Zara Hepworth, Kate Wilson,  Alex Armstrong, Lauren Gibson.

Middle Row: Mrs Staples, Katy Strutt, Grace Hutchinson, Rebekah Spence, Emma Lynch, Heidi McMillen, Rachel Forsythe, Rosie Park, Eva Aston. Front Row:

Jill Nelis, Zara Barbour, Emily O’Callaghan, Ellie Davis, Evie Wilson, Zara Hamilton, Emma Carson, Emma Caldwell. 8

form 1r

Back Row:

Saioa Oscoz,  Jodie Priestley,  Anna Diekemper, Helen Dunn, Scarlett Reid, Rebecca Livingstone,  Aimée Stitt

Middle Row: Mrs Blayney, Ellie Nesbitt, Rebecca McDowell, Rebekah Hamill, Rhiannon Brady, Grace Connor, Lily Armstrong, Sian Roberts, Zoe White Front Row:

Miriam O’Reilly, Clara McClelland, Hannah Livingston, Lucy Mashford, Chloe Armstrong, Erin Vogan, Daisy Moore

Sophie Trinder, GCSE Level 9

form 1a

Back Row: Sophie Mitchell,  Anna Kenny, Freya Axten, Rachel McClintock, Emma Craig, Erin Stewart, Zoe Martin Middle Row: Mrs Wyeth, Sophia Hamilton, Laura Killiner,  Amy Bole, Rebecca Lewis, Riona Florence,  Anna Heyburn, Lauryn Hanson,  Tori Jackson, Miss Morrow Front Row: Nina Reid, Beth Buchanan, Brooke Robinson, Grace Ruding, Lauren Armstrong, Harriet Platt, Rebecca Lewis, Hannah Hornsby Absent: Alex Fawcett

Naomi Faulkner,  A-level


form 1h

Amy Harbinson,  A-level

Back Row:

Amy Welsh, Rebekkah Lindores, Daisy Shannon, Katherine Hunter, Phoebe Spratt,  Jana McCabe, Rebekah Horner

Middle Row: Mrs Cochrane, Iona Porter, Charlotte Crawford, Emily Marten, Kaitlyn Smith, Emma McGugan, Emily Pearson, Íde Simpson, Lauren White Front Row: Zoe Carvill, Beth Strahan,  Alice Huddleston,  Jenny Wilson,  Anna Kirkwood, Hannah Morrison,  Josie Knox 11

school year


very year at Strathearn School seems to pass by quicker compared to our usual school selves! The event raised £679.05 than ever - this year being no exception! The past year in which was donated to Leukaemia Research in memory of Catherine particular has been one of great highs as well as lows. The Buchanan. I would like to thank the Formal Committee and Mrs death of Catherine Buchanan came as a great shock to us all, and Graham for all their hard work and preparation which, along with a created a real sense of loss throughout the school. It is a testament record staff turnout, helped make the night so memorable. to the support we receive, both from members of staff and each Christmas was soon approaching and this meant preparing for the other, that the sense of school community is greater than ever and Christmas Carol Service. Due to the hard work of Ms Kimber, Miss we want to assure Catherine’s family of our continuing support McIvor and Mr Anderson, the service was as magical as always. A and sympathy. packed church sang along to traditional carols and followed the Once the honour of being elected settled in, the Office Bearers Christmas story through readings by pupils, teachers and members were soon put to work! The first duty faced by myself and my of the Board of Governors. Beautiful singing from all the school Deputies, Bethanie and Rebekah, was to practise the invaluable skills choirs, and the return of Mr Gray to the organ, helped make the of mingling and refreshment pouring at the annual Art Exhibition. evening even more engaging! There was fantastic weather and a great turnout, with everyone This year’s joint Strathearn-Campbell production of Oh! What a who visited awed by the exceptional talent of the GCSE, AS and Lovely War, was a fitting tribute in this, the centenary year of the A-level artists. Congratulations to the girls and the Art Department First World War, to those who lost their lives. Fourteen girls from for putting on such an enjoyable display! fourth year up gave engaging and sensitive performances in a play This term also saw the current Form One pupils visiting for their enjoyed by all who saw it.  The Drama Department is now currently Induction Evening, and I hope they have all settled in well! The in the midst of rehearsing for the Junior School Production of hugely successful Sports Day took place the following day, with Aladdin. Under the leadership of Miss Ferris, I am sure this will be a Forms One to Four participating in events ranging from the 100m huge success and I look forward to seeing it in June. Sprint to the Limbo. The day was made all the more enjoyable It has been another triumphant year for Sport at Strathearn. Our by the enthusiasm of the new Office Bearers, and the excitable 1st XI made it to the quarter-final of the Schools’ Cup, where they commentary courtesy of Mr Heaney. were narrowly defeated by Ballymena Academy in a very even After a long and relaxing summer break, we returned to school to match. The 2A XI Team were recently crowned the winners of the be met with some big changes to the teaching staff - in particular McDowell Cup in a well-deserved victory over Armagh. Just this the Languages Department, which welcomed a returning Mrs month, the student led Intermediate and Junior Dance Teams put Thompson and Mrs Agnew and Miss Caldwell. We also welcomed on a terrific display at NICMAC, where they were placed first and Mrs Cozzo to the Maths Department, Mr Black to the Technology second respectively. There have been further successes in crossDepartment and Ms Rimmer to the Business Studies Department. country, athletics, swimming and tennis. Unfortunately, this meant saying goodbye to Ms Meldrum, Mr Exam season is approaching and I now have only a few more events Douglas and long-time teachers Mrs Hoare, Ms Simpson and Mrs to participate in during my final year. One of these is the Spring Miller, all of whom are greatly missed. Concert, which is always a pleasure to sing in, and I am particularly September was an exciting month as we welcomed back the looking forward to the Les Misérables medley with the Junior and previous year’s Upper Sixth Form for their prize giving, where we Senior Choirs. The Upper Sixth are making plans for our end-ofwished them all luck as they headed off to university. This was the year celebrations, and although we don’t want to leave we know moment it really sank in for my year that we were now the ‘Big that Strathearn has prepared us well for the ‘Real World’. Girls’ and it made us determined to get the most out of our final It has been an often exciting, sometimes daunting, task to try year. Excitement reached fever pitch at the end of the month with and live up to my predecessors, but an honour nonetheless, and the opening of Miskelly Deli, which was to be expected by anyone I feel privileged to have had this wonderful opportunity. I would who knows how important food is to Strathearn life! like to thank the staff and pupils, in particular Mrs Graham and October’s Prize Night was a great success as we celebrated yet Miss Stevenson, for making my duties so much easier with their another year of record results and enjoyed a beautiful recital by willingness to help.  To Bethanie and Rebekah - I couldn’t have done the Chamber Choir. The highlight of the evening was having the this without you - thank you for keeping me sane and for helping privilege of hearing Professor Dame Judith Hill, Chief Executive of me have so much fun! the Northern Ireland Hospice, speak. She inspired us all with her And finally, to whoever I pass ‘the badge’ on to next, I wish you all compassion and work ethos. the luck in the world and I hope you have a brilliant year. It’s really The run up to Hallowe’en was dominated by rehearsals for the not as scary as it seems…I promise! ever-entertaining House Plays. This year featured outstanding Iseult Dawson, U6A performances by girls from all years in the school playing everything from air hostesses to the nightmare university roommate! After fierce competition, McCaughey House was crowned the winner by Richard Mills of the Belvoir Players, a feat made even more impressive by the fact their play was written by their House Captain, Meghan Herron. Next, was the intimate Autumn Musical Evening celebrating the talent in the Music Department with performances from the orchestra and soloists from the GCSE music class. The success of the Chamber Choir must also be commended, as they won the Northern Ireland regional final of the RTE All Island School Choir. There was a buzz in the air as a TV crew filmed around the school and I made my first (and hopefully last) onscreen appearance! The girls took part in the live final at the Titanic Centre, and although they didn’t win, they represented the school exceptionally well with their pitch-perfect performance. The main thought on the minds of all the Upper Sixth girls throughout the term was not the dreaded UCAS form but… the school formal! The night was an accumulation of seven years of preparation and hours spent stressing over dates, dresses and spray Head Girl and Deputies tans. We all arrived at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel L-R: Rebekah Craig, Iseult Dawson and Bethanie Chambers full of excitement and looking almost unrecognisable


sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Natalie Wylie, Emma Irwin, Catherine Sheridan,  Tara Gouk, Lauren Graham, Lara Dobson Middle Row: Lauren Keenan, Lois Wilson, Sophie Craig,  Jenna Kerr, Katherine Beattie, Gemma Adair, Meghan Herron Front Row: Nicole Sinclair,  Tamsin Wills, Rebekah Craig, Iseult Dawson, Bethanie Chambers, Sophie Gribben, Kelsey O’Donnell

Philippa Harty,  AS Level


sixth form

Back Row: Beth Anderson, Shannon Richards,  Jaime Anderson,  Arden Armstrong, Rachael Adamson, Lucy Webb,  Ashleigh Watson, Phoebe Brigginshaw,  Abigail Crosby, Emma Thompson, Bethany Fairley, Megan Gillespie, Lucy Spratt, Cherith Montgomery, Robyn McCaughey

Fourth Row: Bethany Lawrence, Nicole McElveen, Natasha Foster, Annabel Terry, Paige Jackson, Ali Finlay, Sarah Eccles, Janey Deehan, Heather Martin, Charlotte Mowlood, Chloe McMillen, Laura Mannus, Hollie McKeown, Rebekah McCready, Elly Drinkwater, Emma Murphy, Francesca Kennedy, Eva Wallace, Sarah Coleman

Third Row: Joanna Smyth, Hannah Moore, Kaitlin Wilson, Vicky Wallace, Holly Pentland, Maeve O’Neill, Harriet Brown, Alex Guy, Sarah Davidson, Jasmine McCrory, Beth Nelson, Chloe Dixon, Nicola McCann, Sophie Morris, Clare Chambers, Lindsay McWhirter, Chelsea Milligan, Emma Andrews, Sophie Boyle, Hannah King

Second Row: Sara McLachlan, Clare Bankhead, Jessica Gunning, Hope Smith, Emma McBurney, Eleanor Gorringe, Philippa Harty, Lauren Patterson, Sarah Cairnduff, Sophie Taylor, Anna Wilson, Robyn Todd, Nicole Douglas, Molly Fung, Honor Rowley, Rebekah Cowan, Emma McQueen, Katie Smith,  Aminah Amjad, Louise Nesbitt

Charlotte Cavanagh, Morgan Shaw

Front Row: Katherine Beattie, Meghan Herron, Lara Dobson, Gemma Adair, Sophie Gribben, Catherine Sheridan, Nicole Sinclair, Tamsin Wills, Jenna Kerr, Rebekah Craig, Iseult Dawson, Bethanie Chambers, Lauren Graham, Lauren Keenan, Lois Wilson,  Tara Gouk, Kelsey O’Donnell, Natalie Wylie, Sophie Craig, Emma Irwin Absent:


prize distribution/principal’s speech


irls, ladies and gentlemen, and in particular our guest of honour, Professor Dame Judith Hill, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to Strathearn Prize Night. It is wonderful to see so many of you here this evening. Thank you very much for coming and for showing your support. First, I must present the apologies of our Chairman, Norman McKeown, who cannot be here this evening due to a long-standing business commitment. Secondly, whilst we are here to celebrate the many achievements of the girls this past year, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Board of Governors to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Catherine Buchanan, who so tragically passed away not quite two weeks ago. Catherine was an outstanding pupil with great academic potential and I am sure the thoughts of all of us are with her mother, father and sister. It has been a difficult few weeks for Catherine’s sister and friends in Strathearn, but in the face of this tragedy we have seen how close a community our School is, and all of our staff are to be commended for their exceptional response in caring for the pupils. The political debate around the future structure of secondary education in Northern Ireland appears never-ending, confusing and, at times, both depressing and annoying, creating ongoing uncertainty amongst pupils, parents and teachers.  Thankfully, in the midst of this uncertainty, large numbers of people continue to think very favourably of Strathearn for the quality of life skills that it brings to its pupils.  This was publicly recognised when Strathearn was named as NI School of theYear 2012 by The Sunday Times. That all means that Strathearn has once again been oversubscribed with pupils, who have met the challenging entrance criteria, and that high quality teachers continue to be attracted to the ethos of the school and the rewarding work it does. We are very fortunate that into this mix has now been added the benefits associated with new, high specification buildings and facilities. I would like to thank Mr Manning and his team for the huge amount of work that has gone into this project and which, though not complete, has already been judged to be an overwhelming success. So, we have public acclamation, motivated pupils and staff and a great environment. Whilst I am certainly no chef - ask my wife - I do know that when you put together ingredients of such quality mixed with a dollop of great thought and care there can really only be one

Naoíse Webster, GCSE Level

outcome, and that is success! And so we have come here tonight to bear witness to that success, both at a very personal level and also to celebrate as a group because, let’s face it, celebrating on your own really isn’t much fun. Mr Manning will talk later about the terrific academic, sporting and vocational results achieved by the girls, but I must record the Board’s particular delight at another record year for results in public examinations, the GCSE scores especially. Later, when the prizes are distributed, I would encourage you to think about the combination of personal skills required not just to pass those exams, but also, for example, to play that instrument, participate in that sport or act in that play. You might then perhaps understand why the purpose of Strathearn is much broader than teaching for academic exams; it is about helping the girls to learn skills that will aid their chances of success in life. The reason why tonight’s success feels so good, is because it required so much effort and the outcome was far from certain. And girls, no matter how you define success in life, you are very likely going to need some help in deciding what you want to do after you leave here. It may be that you will also need guidance to develop greater determination, confidence and resilience; be assured that the staff at Strathearn are all very focused on helping you to develop those life skills. Girls, on behalf of the Board of Governors I congratulate you on your achievements.  We appreciate the huge amount of work that has gone in to getting to this point and we acknowledge the support of your families and friends. I hope that tonight’s celebration inspires each of you to further success in your chosen careers. None of this could have happened without the quality and dedication of the teaching staff and, of course, the non-teaching staff who carry on in the background making Strathearn ‘tick’. I pay tribute to each and every one of them. We are truly very fortunate to have such a great team led so ably by Mr Manning and I thank them all for their skill, enthusiasm and professionalism. Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the Board of Governors who give up their time so willingly and who contribute so much in terms of skill, experience and old-fashioned common sense. Four members of the Board left us at the end of June, Parent Governors Michael Whiteside and Michael Ievers and Teacher Governors Lynn Myers and Kate Ross. I would like to thank them for their significant contribution and their support over the last four years. I would also like to welcome our new Governors, Clare Meredith and Richard Harvey representing parents and Diane Eakin and Mark Stevenson as Teacher Governors. I hope they will find the next four years interesting and rewarding – with a bit of hard work thrown in! As ever, let me finish by assuring you that whilst we are extremely happy with all that has been achieved, we are definitely not complacent, and that the staff and governors will continue to seek out ways in which we can further enhance the pupils’ experience at Strathearn. I would now ask Mr Manning to present his report.


hairman, Professor Dame Judith Hill, ladies and gentlemen, girls. It gives me great pleasure to add my welcome to you all on this very special occasion. I am delighted that Dame Judith has been able to join us this evening. We appreciate her presence, look forward to what she has to say to us later, and I hope she will enjoy and be encouraged by her evening with us. Tonight we are here to celebrate the efforts and successes of the Strathearn Community; to rejoice at the academic and many other opportunities available within the school and reward individual success. However, our community has suffered great loss with the sudden death of one of our U6 pupils, Catherine Buchanan, just twelve days ago from a rare form of leukaemia. Catherine won a prize every year that she was here and last year she won our top prize at GCSE; the Eileen Hamilton Memorial Award, having gained A* grades in all of her subjects. I can honestly say that she must have been one of the most worthy recipients of that award as her academic ability and interest was acknowledged by staff and peers alike. Catherine joined us at P4 and so she had been with us for ten years. Last night I read through her twelve reports covering her six years in the Secondary Department. I noted that in my own concluding remarks on her reports I had used the word ‘excellent’ five times


principal’s speech and ‘superb’ seven times. I hope Catherine would have appreciated all those numbers as I am delighted that she was into her very hard sums. ‘Superb’ is a word I use sparingly in pupil reports but it was well-deserved by Catherine. Her reports were liberally sprinkled with words like; exceptional, brilliant, outstanding, impressive, gifted, and she often obtained full marks. But her natural ability was coupled with diligence, an excellent work ethic and meticulous attention to detail. Even in her early days in Strathearn it was noted that only her passion for reading and horses took her away from her studies. However, her great ability and diligence were no barriers to her thoughtfulness towards her fellow students. Her peers remarked at how good it was to sit beside Catherine in class - she exuded warmth, was easy to talk with and always willing to help. Her teachers often described her as a ‘joy to teach’. Like all of us through our teenage years, Catherine was finding her way and working out who she was and seeking how to pursue her interests and talents. She was fascinated by the stars and the make up of the Universe, and so had decided that she wanted to pursue a course in Natural Sciences, at which she would, no doubt, have succeeded. We have been deeply saddened by the death of Catherine and our condolences go out to her family at this time but, as her father has encouraged us, think of her when you look at the stars. As I said, our community has suffered great loss, but it has showed how precious and close is the community of Strathearn School, and how good it is to belong to such a community that holds us together and pulls us on even on the worst of days. The academic year, 2012-2013, has been one of the most significant in the School’s history. We began August 2012 by celebrating great GCSE and A-level results: in September we welcomed our first pupil boarding at Campbell College, but all the way from Hong Kong; in October we moved into the first phase of our wonderful new school; in November we were named The Sunday Times NI State Secondary School of the Year and on top of all that, in August 2013, the girls of Strathearn achieved record GCSE and record A-level results - a double success! It is remarkable how quickly we have all settled into ‘The New School,’ and all in less than a year. Even our Miskelly Deli with the bright ‘canary yellow’ painted walls, music playing, and lots of space, feels routine. For the second successive year, almost 500 Strathearn pupils from Forms 1-4 set out in June on a sponsored 7km walk. Thank you to everyone who so generously supported the girls as we raised money to kit out the Miskelly Deli with extra seating, both inside and out. When we add in Gift Aid the total raised was nearly £10,000. Unfortunately, we are unable to invite you all to supper this evening, as the route to our new canteen is through a building site. But there will be an open invitation to all current and past pupils and their families next year at some time when you will get the chance to explore the finished school. Please look out for that. Again, my thanks to our insightful architects; Peter Niblock and Suzanne McCoy, our diligent Project Manager - James McAfee, and our excellent builders – McLaughlin and Harvey. The colours in the school, walls and flooring, are down to Suzanne, and I am delighted with how good it all looks and others are very relieved that I didn’t choose them! It has not been easy building a new school around the old, but our builders have been most sensitive to our needs and developed a real partnership to ensure disruption has been kept to a minimum. By this time next year the builders should have left, the snagging lists finished - we hope - and all the departments in Strathearn will be offering the pupils first rate, purpose-built, facilities. I am therefore very pleased to accept a new Cup to be awarded tonight; The McLaughlin and Harvey Cup for Science. This will be awarded to the pupil who scores the highest mark in GCSE Double Award Science and will be a reminder of the legacy the builders have laid down in bricks and mortar for successive generations of pupils. We meet in this recently refurbished hall with its new windows, roof, heating, electrics, changing rooms, toilets, sound system, screen, projector and glazed partition, as it allows us to invite you all. Welcome girls and families who are here for the first time and welcome back those whose consistent performance ensures they are here again tonight! I am particularly delighted that on this occasion we can invite the families of every one of our L6 pupils, so that we can celebrate together the achievement of each of the girls in their GCSE examinations. The performance in public examinations of each of these girls contributes to the statistics that demonstrate just how


high is the attainment of the girls of Strathearn School. So we celebrate first the wonderful success at GCSE.

Naoíse Webster, GCSE Level Nearly two thirds of the year group achieved grades A or A* in at least 5 of their subjects. The percentage achieved at each of the grades A*,   A, B and C is the best ever, and for the first time over 90% of the grades awarded were at grade B or better. This all compares most favourably with the NI figures for girls in Grammar Schools. At the top A* grade it is particularly remarkable that 3 out of every 10 grades in Strathearn is an A*, compared to 2 out of 10 grades elsewhere. So the probability of a girl in a Grammar School in NI achieving a grade A* is 50% higher if she attends Strathearn – that is value added! Twelve pupils achieved eight GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Katherine Carson, Jenni Chambers, Abigail Crawford, Rachael Curry, Jessica Fairclough, Clara Kerr, Tina Long, Hannah McDowell, Tori McKechnie, Kira McNeill, Sophie McShane and Keziah Mercer. Thirty-one girls achieved straight As in at least 9 subjects, that is over one quarter of the year group. First, those twelve girls who achieved 9 As with up to 5 at the top A* grade. Dominique Forson, Anna Campbell, Charlotte Hoey, Eryn McQuillan, Christine McVeigh, Katie Brown, Jenny Drennan, Poppy Gribben, Katie Jackson, Shannon McClintock, Melissa Nagar and Emma Stitt. Shannon Armour, Emma Flannigan, Rebecca Jenkins and Alexandra Nelson are all to be highly commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Amelia Anderson, Hermione Anstey, Katherine Gallagher, Lisa Irwin, Madeleine McIlwain and Chloe Reihill for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s. Hannah Craig should be delighted with having achieved 1 A and 8 A*s and both Naoíse Webster and Catherine Whiteside achieved a splendid 2 As and 8 A*s. In addition to all this brilliant achievement, a record number of girls six this year - are being awarded with our top prize, having achieved straight A* grades in each of their GCSE subjects. Those girls are: Rebecca Davidson, Katherine Flack, Sarah Lavery, Jessica McCleery, Laura McMillen and Erin Prentice. I am also delighted to announce that three pupils have been placed in the top three positions in NI in the CCEA examinations. Erin Prentice came joint third in Religious Studies Short Course, Katherine Flack came joint second in Additional Mathematics and she shared that honour with Laura McMillen who also came joint second in Additional Mathematics, third in History and joint third in

principal’s speech Biology, English Literature and Physics! Particular praise goes to all these girls and to their teachers for such exceptional achievement across a range of subjects! Congratulations to all our GCSE candidates on having achieved such super results! It is a great credit to the staff, pupils, designers and contractors that the construction work has not had any detrimental effect on academic performance of the school. At AS-level we were delighted with the strength of achievement attained by the girls. 92 out of the 99 pupils achieved at least one grade A or B, and 84% achieved at least three grades A to C. Prizes are awarded to pupils in last year’s L6 who have achieved 3 or 4 grade As in their AS examinations. Tonight we reward 32 girls out of 99 in the year group who have achieved this top level of performance, with 17 pupils gaining grade As in four subjects. This is a super level of performance and a great base from which to secure success in A-levels next year.

At A-level and at AS-level, the number of top grades awarded by the examining boards has fallen for the third year in succession. Since 2010 the percentage of A* grades at A-level has fallen from 11% to 8% and at A or A* it has fallen from 40% to 33%. It is then particularly pleasing that in Strathearn our girls have maintained and even surpassed the record standards they set last year. Against the NI figure of 33%, Strathearn girls achieved 49% grades A or A*. The strength of the girls’ success is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that since 2010, the percentage of grades at A or B in Strathearn has actually risen from 74% to a new record of 85% this year. This super level of success is within only one percentage point of Lumen Christi School in Londonderry, which has always been away out in pole position in NI. This year, 24 out of the 95 girls - that is over one quarter of the year group - achieved 3 straight As or better.  Emma Darragh,  Alison Duffield, Miranda Crawford, Olivia  Aston, Catherine Graham, Ellie Stirk and Stephanie Gregg achieved 4 grade As or better. Congratulations to Stephanie Gregg who was top of the year with 4 A* grades and we wish Stephanie well as she goes to St Andrews to study Maths. In addition, congratulations to Ellie Stirk and Megan Millar who are both heading to Cambridge; Ellie to study Natural Sciences and Megan to study Law. In your Prize Night booklet you will see the full list of all the prizes awarded to the Class of 2013 at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which our students are embarking. The very high level of achievement of the girls and the excellent careers advice on offer in school have led to Strathearn being named as joint top of all Grammar Schools in NI for pupils to achieve a place in Higher Education. The parents here tonight should be very proud of the achievement of their daughters. More than once in September I have smiled as someone has expressed in humility - ‘I don’t know where she gets her brains from.’ But the success of the girls has also come from your commitment and support in terms of time for them, encouragement to give of their best, and

please remember that your daughter’s best is always good enough. Can I ask you to be careful to ensure that the encouragement and support you offer and the desire to achieve does not cross the thin line and become a burden and a pressure which takes the pleasure out of learning and in the end is counterproductive. And girls, a quote from Bill Gates that I used at the U6 Leavers Distribution in early September; ‘Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are.’ And a saying I have often used in my house, ‘insanity is hereditary you get it from your children.’ Girls - I think it would be most appropriate that you acknowledge the support and effort of your parents by joining with me and applauding them. We continue to be indebted to the commitment and hard work of the Parents’ Association, who organise a range of activities for pupils and parents, the ‘main stay’ of which are discos. Even heavy snow falls and power cuts did not diminish their attraction in this last year. We are very grateful for cheques totalling a tremendous £13,000 for the Secondary and Preparatory Departments. Thank you to all who have supported the Association to raise these much needed funds. We look forward to the fashion show next Thursday evening in the Stormont Hotel - tickets are available at the finance office and please also join us later in the month at the AGM and performance of the winning House Play. As we celebrate the success of the girls I am delighted to be able to record my thanks to the whole staff team. The knowledge, skill, expertise, and diligence of our teachers ensure that the girls of Strathearn gain top exam marks and helps them to secure places on high demand courses at University. There is also the work outside the classroom that adds so much to the learning and strengthens the relationships between staff and pupils. In these last few weeks I have also witnessed the tremendous compassion and pastoral concern shown by the teachers for our pupils. We have an excellent pastoral team who lead this work, but it is the day-to-day interactions of all staff with pupils which ensure that policies are real and relationships secure. I have no doubt that the strength of those relationships continues to be the DNA of this school and brings freedom on the good days and security on the bad. I am pleased to acknowledge the contribution of the management and staff of our collaborative schools in the success we celebrate this evening. My thanks to the great team of support staff who carry a significant burden and work hard behind the scenes to provide materials and assistance to the teachers. In addition to the routine work required to keep school going, they have had a significant part to play in the New Build. At each stage of our move into new buildings, it has been their work in a very limited time period, and often beyond what could be expected, that has allowed the transition to have minimal impact on the core activity of teaching and learning. At the end of last year we said a number of ‘good-byes’ to members of our staff. Mrs Meldrum joined us as a part-time teacher of History in 2007. She is fascinated by History and loves to talk about the subject to staff and pupils alike. Her care and compassion for people is well known in Strathearn and she was always prepared to go the extra mile for any pupil in any of her classes. She was also a significant founder member of our School Council and we wish her well in her post in Campbell College. Mr Douglas was also with us for four years as part-time teacher of French. In that time he quickly established himself as a very thorough teacher who thought carefully about what he was teaching and what the pupils were actually learning. He loved the classroom and worked to make learning an enjoyable experience. He was a great supporter of whole school events and, as well as school trips, he supported the Football Club and Politics Society. We wish him well as he moves to Canada. Mrs Annette had for fifteen years been our reprographics technician, and during that time she witnessed the demise of the TVs and video recorders which were replaced by DVDs played on computers linked to Interactive WhiteBoards. To ensure the pupils gained those top results we celebrate tonight, more and

...insanity is hereditary you get it from your children


principal’s speech

Kira McNeill, GCSE Level more staff have produced their own materials and Eleanor serviced all the very significant copying demands. She was also one of the First Aid Team and in all her roles we appreciated the very friendly and caring attitude she always displayed to staff and pupils. Ms Simpson was with us since 1989 and over these twenty-four years was involved in so many areas of school life. As her classes would testify, she is zealous about all things Spanish and used a range of teaching methods and aids including her guitar, bells, a xylophone and even a ‘speed dating’ game. Her classes could never be described as dull and she did much to promote languages including organising trips to the continent. During her time here Carol was also involved in the Badminton Club, public speaking competitions, the School Houses, and the Community Service Party. We already miss her humour, her great compassion for people and her long-standing support of hockey teams. Mrs Hoare had, for twenty-five years, also been a member of the Languages Department. Her first and last love has been in the classroom. She is an excellent German linguist and you only have to be talking to Vivien for a short time to note her enthusiasm for languages and her desire for others to share that interest. She thoroughly enjoyed working with the girls and had a detailed knowledge of the abilities and interests of each one. She was one of the first to see the potential of the use of ICT in teaching and she just loved her IWB. Her compassion was demonstrated in her classroom, her interest in charities and also in the Community Service Party. Mrs Miller joined Strathearn in 1989 and when she retired she held the positions of Head of Mathematics and Senior Teacher. I know she is held in very high esteem by her pupils who have appreciated her fairness, her straightforward approach to them, and the fun and time she has for them, as well as her ability as a teacher. For twenty years Margaret led the Mathematics Department with skill and dedication, and the high uptake of the subject is a testimony to the team she created. She was a great colleague and we appreciated her thoughtfulness and consideration. She approached all her responsibilities as a Senior Teacher with quiet diligence, working behind the scenes with a pragmatism that ensured situations were resolved. We do wish Mary, Dean and Carol well as they have moved on and trust that Eleanor, Vivien and Margaret will have long and fulfilling retirements. We have also said ‘good-bye’ to four of our Governors and they, and those who have worked with our Governors, will appreciate the commitment to the long-term success of Strathearn shown by those who so freely give of themselves to this role. I thank them all for their continued genuine interest and work over this last year. Sport in Strathearn has benefitted much from our new facilities and there is still more to come. Over this last summer as well as a refurbished Sports Hall, we got four new tennis courts and now we look forward to a new Gymnasium on the site where the canteen was, and two more tennis courts. Our new AstroTurf, flood-lit hockey pitch, which is the best sand-dressed pitch in Ireland, has been a great attraction and is in high demand by other clubs and we even let Campbell Old Boys play on it!  On a number of occasions over the winter it was the only pitch playable in Belfast, and this led to rumours among other schools that Strathearn had heating under their pitch. When I was questioned by the first head teacher who


raised that point with me, I explained that our underground heating actually drew heat from the ground to heat the school and not the other way around. When shortly after that I was questioned by a second head, I gave up explaining and stated that Strathearn take their sport very seriously! Strathearn hockey teams have made a habit of playing really well throughout the season, making it right through to the semi-finals but, unfortunately, getting knocked out at that stage. Well done to the U14A who made it through to the semi-finals of the Junior Plate, where they were beaten by the eventual winners – Banbridge Academy. The 1st XI faced a very strong team from Larne Grammar in the semi-final of the Ulster Senior Schools’ Shield. They kept us all on tenterhooks as, with just one minute to go, they managed to score the equaliser which made it 2-2 at full time. With no change after extra time the match went to the dreaded penalty strokes but Strathearn came out on top, securing a place in the final. There they came up against a tough and very physical Royal School Armagh side, but after great play won the Shield with a well-deserved 3-1 win. In the Gibson Cup, the 2B XI, like the U14A, met Banbridge Academy in the semi-finals, but this time Strathearn came out on top with a 3-0 win! In the finals they came up against Friends’ School, Lisburn and at the end of a fast-paced game the score remained 0-0. Despite Strathearn having the upper-hand in extra time, the score remained 0-0, leaving the Cup to be shared between the two schools. So well done to both the 1sts and 2Bs on bringing home some silverware! I should also explain that shortly after that success I had a call from the Headmistress of Friends’ asking for a favour. She wanted to know about our great hockey pitch and could she send over some staff to view the pitch and get the specifications. Well, what could I do? She is a former pupil and parent of Strathearn, and it wouldn’t have looked good if she was caught climbing over the fence at Sydenham Avenue. They were mightily impressed, so we need to keep our eye on Friend’s School, Lisburn! In Sports Hall Athletics, Strathearn entered with Bloomfield Collegiate as Belfast East and finished in a superb second place in both the U13 and U15 age groups. At the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Swimming Championships, Strathearn emerged as Overall Ulster Champions based on a combined effort from our Junior, Intermediate and Senior swimmers. In Tennis the school was able to put forward six teams. The Senior Team won their way easily through to the semi-finals where they met Belfast Royal Academy and lost the match overall by only one set. Congratulations to the Minor Team who won the Ulster Plate by winning all six matches in the final against Wallace High School. The Junior A Team played flawlessly throughout their section, winning all their fixtures without conceding a match. Having defeated Victoria College in the quarter-final, they played Banbridge Academy in the semi-final and again won 6-0. In the final, Methodist College were the opponents and it turned out to be spectacle, with both teams displaying excellent skill and determination! It was a most entertaining final and the final score of 6-0 belies how hard Strathearn had to fight for every point. A recent development has been the Dance Team who compete in NICMAC (Northern Ireland Creative Movement and  Aerobic Content Championships). This is only their second year in Strathearn, and a team of seventeen girls from Forms 1 to L6 competed against schools from all over Northern Ireland to become Intermediate Champions! Congratulations to the team and especially the choreographer, Olivia Brown from last year’s U6. At the Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships at the Antrim Forum the girls should not only have been congratulated for getting there and winning many medals, but for enduring the worst weather that any of us can remember. Strathearn girls were ranked third in Ulster with the Mini Team placed second, the Juniors placed sixth, and the Intermediates placed second. Three girls qualified for the Irish Championships and I am delighted to note that Emma Watson finished 7th in the Intermediate Girls’ 1500m Steeple Chase and Kate Farrelly was 5th in the Junior Girls’ Triple Jump and 6th in the Junior Girls’ 75m Hurdles. Special congratulations to Megan Marrs who was crowned Irish Champion in the Intermediate Girls’ 80m Hurdles and runner-up in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m.

guest of honour’s speech Well done to everyone who made it such a successful year for sport in Strathearn! Two departments that are eagerly waiting for their new facilities are the Drama and Music Departments Drama, in its myriad forms, continues to be very popular and, at this time of year, House Plays demand a considerable amount of time and effort from many of our pupils from all year groups. Last year the performances were held in the sparse environment of Miskelly Hall, and the same challenges are faced this year in our assembly hall, which is two classrooms converted into a hall. Chosen, cast and directed by senior pupils - and all completed to an incredibly high standard - we look forward to this year’s Plays in just a few weeks’ time. In December the School performed the musical Hairspray with the help of some of the boys from Campbell College. The five nights quickly sold out and deservedly so; the performances were as good as anything you would see in the West End. Those of you who were able to get a ticket will agree with me that the singing and acting of the girls from Forms 1 to U6 were faultless and truly believable, and the Campbell boys weren’t bad either! One Governor remarked at how powerful and commanding one of the girls was in her role and was shocked to learn that she was only 15. With many big pieces performed to an incredibly high standard, the some fifty-strong cast were rewarded with most appreciative audiences and richly deserved standing ovations. My congratulations to everyone who had a part to play in Hairspray and thanks to Campbell for the use of their drama theatre and support on the evenings. Each week over 200 pupils are involved in extra-curricular music – a testimony to the enjoyment and fulfilment that comes from being a member of the choirs or orchestra. At the Autumn Musical Evening we enjoyed two substantial pieces played by the orchestra, quite a number of solos and the fifth form music class performing an original song composed by one of their number. Shortly after that, a photographer working with The Times arrived in school. I am pleased to report that he was particularly struck with the Music Department; at how well the girls worked individually and collectively and how clearly they enjoyed making music together. The choirs continued to perform at events both in and out of school, with our Carol Service best demonstrating the sensitivity of the vocalists to the words and music of Christmas. It was most heartening for the Chamber Choir to be invited back to sing at a dinner for Examiners in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ Office in November. However, it is the Spring Concert that best shows off


rofessor Dame Judith Hill presented the prizes and awards. She then congratulated the prize winners and expressed her thanks for the kind invitation to address the girls at this special occasion, which was so tinged with sadness. She expressed her condolences to Catherine’s family and to the Strathearn community on the loss we have all experienced. Professor Dame Judith Hill then spoke of styles of leadership, which have so often been male-defined, and gave a thought-provoking speech on the changes in the opportunities open to women in her lifetime. She reminisced on her own career path, and urged the girls to stay true to their own transformational leadership styles. She asked them to consider: ‘What might you challenge or change?’ Professor Dame Judith Hill then used the acronym SHAPE to remind the girls to develop and use their Special gifts, seek motivation from the Heart, use the Abilities they so clearly have, work in a manner consistent with their Personalities and use all Experiences to develop resilience, moral values and a sense of compassion. Professor Dame Judith Hill reminded us of the history of the Hospice Movement, which had drawn on all of these attributes as it sought to find the best ways of helping those brave people dealing with life’s biggest challenge. She paid tribute to the innovative work of Dame Cicely Saunders, who founded St Christopher’s Hospice in South London in 1967, and established a model of compassion and excellence in care which has proved so inspirational. She then thanked the Strathearn Community for pledging its support for the Wall of Hope Hospice Appeal, which aims to build a state-of-the-art hospice at Somerton Road in Belfast. Professor Dame Judith Hill then encouraged all of the girls to take up the opportunities life offers to help shape our future, reminding them of Hannah Nelson’s inspirational speech at the Waterfront Hall

the wonderful talents of choirs, orchestra and a range of amazing soloists. The orchestra played a medley of pieces from the film, Pirates of the Caribbean, and demonstrated just how accomplished they are on a diverse range of music. The choirs had us tapping our feet and the soloists on a range of instruments blew us away with their confidence and ability to perform so wonderfully in front of a packed audience. During this last year former members of our Chamber Choirs, under the direction of Mr Gray, formed themselves into the Miskelly Chorale and you might not be surprised to note that they took first place in their class at Navan International Choral Festival. And girls, you should take note that they take bookings for weddings, and from personal experience, I can thoroughly recommend them. Tonight you have already enjoyed the playing of our octet and we look forward to the Chamber Choir who will round off the evening in their usual accomplished and entertaining way. My thanks to all who so successfully played a part in music this last year in Strathearn. Examinations, music, sport and drama; in future years I would plan to bring before you, as in the past, the work of other departments and societies within school. For this year it is sufficient to celebrate the wonderful success of our pupils in public examinations and other environments, to congratulate the younger pupil prize winners before us this evening, and to look to them and each member of this school, with all of our weaknesses, to be the best people that we can be – for the sake of our community in school and beyond. Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I commend to you all that makes Strathearn such a good school. The Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr White, then introduced our Guest of Honour, Professor Dame Judith Hill, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice for the last eight years. For ten years before that she held the role of Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Earlier in her career she was Senior Nurse and Tutor at Countess Mountbatten House in Southampton, where she was involved in the development of Palliative Care. Dame Judith is a Visiting Professor to the School of Nursing at the University of Ulster and in May 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Royal College of Nursing Fellowship Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and health care. Last year she was awarded a DBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in recognition of her contribution to palliative care services. The Vice Chairman then invited Professor Dame Judith Hill to address the audience.

during the visit of President Obama and his wife, Michelle. She then concluded by echoing Hannah’s appeal, urging the girls to: ‘Live to make a better future’. After a presentation to our Guest of Honour by the Deputy Head Girls, the Chamber Choir brought the evening to a conclusion with a great performance of ‘The Seal Lullaby’ and ‘Clap Yo’ Hands’.

Kira McNeill, GCSE Level


in memoriam


Catherine Buchanan Stargazer

he Strathearn community has been saddened by the sudden death in September 2013 of Catherine Buchanan from a rare form of leukaemia. Catherine was in our Upper Sixth and her loss has been keenly felt by the whole community.  I want to assure her parents, Richard and Julie, and her sister, Emily, of our continuing heartfelt sympathy and support as once again we pay tribute to Catherine. As the pupils and staff of Strathearn tried to take in the news of Catherine’s death, we set aside a memory board where pupils could post comments, which was later passed on to her family. In honour of Catherine, the physicist, the memory board was in the colours of the visible spectrum, and the girls began posting memories at the violet/purple end, because this was Catherine’s favourite colour. The tribute, which we record here, reflects those memories of the Catherine we knew and loved in Strathearn. We first met Catherine when she joined our Prep. Department in P4. Her arrival caused great excitement among the girls because she had an Australian accent and they enjoyed hearing all her stories about Australia. Over the years recurring themes for conversations have been horses (of course!), Dr Who and Harry Potter, chocolate and the colour purple. But the things that stood out about Catherine were her smile, her academic abilities and her thoughtfulness. Catherine had the biggest smile; she literally beamed. She was an unassuming, beautiful girl with a keen sense of fun. Her friends recorded memories of her little practical jokes and of Catherine’s spontaneous and contagious laughter. Highlights her peers will treasure include the Italy Trip, memories of sleepovers, and journeys with Catherine on the bus home at the end of the school day. Catherine’s academic abilities were renowned in Strathearn; she won a prize every year, and in 2012 she received our top award at Prize Night, having gained A* grades in all of her GCSEs. Catherine stood out in every way as not only the tallest girl in the school with beautiful long hair, but as a role model to others with regard to her studies. Nothing came between Catherine and her work - except maybe horse riding! Her great abilities were matched with grace and thoughtfulness. Her classmates found her easy to talk with and willing to help. She freely gave advice, so one friend commented: ‘You were right! Drawing Physics diagrams does help!’ and another posted: ‘If you got the same answer as Catherine – it must be right.’ And still others recorded her thoughtfulness outside of class; how at break in Penrhyn, Catherine would share a piece of her Galaxy Chocolate with a different pupil each day and how she made little personalised presents for her friends after sleepovers. Catherine was a star, and she was captivated by the wonder of the night sky.  Her academic brilliance was such that she was preparing her application for Cambridge University when she was so suddenly taken from us, and Dr Jennifer Pauley, who was helping with her application, wrote the following poem in memory of her.

(In Memoriam ~ Catherine Buchanan) You were intrigued by questions about the origins of the universe. Deep space beckoned – You were on a quest to explore beyond our current understanding... You used to go to a friend’s house to look at the moon through a telescope And took numerous camping trips Away from light pollution To gaze at stars and meteor showers in the night sky. At the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory you glimpsed only one star. Then On a clear night you saw the Milky Way – Brilliant, fascinating and inspirational! You took pictures of planetary nebulae – And found it very satisfying when everything fell into place To find the answer to a question… Your life was luminous Blazing a brief and brilliant trail that lifts our gaze To tell us in the darkest night The stars are shining.

Of Catherine it can be truly said that: “A life full of wonder is a wonderful life”, and we are all grateful for the privilege of having known her for a little while. D Manning


clubs, events & societies Library Report


he Library began its final year in the old school with inductions for the new pupils, and has continued to be a hive of activity as the year has progressed with regular class visits, Sixth Form study, reading clubs, and the usual break and lunchtime visits by the junior girls. As usual, the Librarian is aided by a helpful team of pupil library assistants, who help out on a rota basis with shelving, book jacketing, labelling, desk duties and many other tasks that arise in the day-to-day running of the library.

The Scholastic Book Fair took place again in November and the record sales this year provided the Library with over £900 in commission. The books bought with this are greatly welcomed and have very much enhanced the Library’s stock. During Book Fair Week, the First Form girls took part in a ‘Guess the Book’ quiz, where they had to identify books from the clues given, and five prize-winners were each awarded a £5 voucher to spend at the Fair. World Book Day was celebrated throughout the world on 6 March, and the Library took the opportunity to promote all the new books recently acquired. There was also a photo quiz where girls had to identify some mystery readers - members of staff reading books which covered their faces! This proved to be a more difficult task than some expected and a bit of detective work was needed to find the identity of some! The girls’ scientific knowledge was also encouraged through a wordsearch based on Simon Mayo’s book, Itch, the sequel of which was awarded to the winner. Café 641 returned as the Library’s charity effort, and the library assistants excelled again with their baking, producing some delicious cakes, traybakes, and other treats to raise money for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. Members of staff enjoyed taking a break from their busy day, while the girls had their own café and cake sale, following which not a single cake was left! A total of £388 was raised, which will go towards helping children with cancer and providing support for their families.


The Junior and Senior Reading Clubs combined this year, which they all have enjoyed, and have spent time reading books from various genres, as well as new books and the eight books shortlisted by the Northern Ireland Book Award. Five girls accompanied Mrs Collins to the launch of the Award, held at Victoria College, where they were enthralled by the professional storyteller, Niall de Burca, and nine girls attended the Grand Finale at the Lyric Theatre where the winner was announced. The girls were especially pleased to meet Christopher William Hill, the author of Osbert the Avenger, which was the runner-up, and to get his signature on copies of his latest book.


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. The Senior Maths Challenge took place in November, and the results were very good with Lower and Upper Sixth pupils achieving eighteen certificates between them. The certificate winners were: Bronze: Jenny Drennan, Katie Jackson, Melissa Nagar, Poppy Gribben, Lauren Keenan, Natalie Wallace, Chloe Reihill, Keziah Mercer, Catherine Whiteside, Lillie van Solingen, Erin Prentice, Laura McMillen,Tina Long and Hermione Anstey. Silver: Jenni Chambers, Hannah King, Hannah Craig and Nikita Muir. A special mention goes to Jenni Chambers and Hannah Craig, who also received certificates for obtaining the best result within Lower Sixth. Hannah King also received additional certificates for achieving the best result in Upper Sixth and the best result in Strathearn. The Intermediate Challenge took place in February. This competition is aimed at fourth and fifth form pupils. The results were superb and were as follows: Bronze: Sarah Simpson, Rachel Bailie, Sophie Martin, Dakota Armour, Fiona Gibson, Lucy Dolan, Any Cairnduff, Katie McLoughlin, Lauren Thompson, Florence Ogonda and Becky Poots. Silver: Catherine Trimble, Rachael Thomas, Amy Dutton, Laura Bell, Katie Mashford, Erin Larmour, Emily Whiteside and Rachel Bruce.  Gold:  Jemma Gillan and Hannah Eakin. Winning a mere certificate may not initially seem worthwhile but it is important to realise that this is a well recognised competition UK-wide and it has been running for around twenty years. This means any certificate winner at any level ought to record this on their Record of Achievement and also on their UCAS forms. In addition to these competitions, next term third form Maths pupils will take part in a charity LASCO Maths Competition, where they compete online against pupils in other schools. Aside from having fun with Maths, the aim of the competition is to raise money for projects supporting Children in Latin America.


n November 2013, the first Eco-Committee in Strathearn School was appointed with ten pupil representatives from five different year groups. We found pupils with a passion for developing and promoting Strathearn as a sustainable school fit for purpose in the 21st century. The committee quickly grasped the vision of the Eco-Schools programme and committed to gaining Eco-Schools status for our school. Following a full environmental review of ten areas across the school complex, the committee decided that the future focus of the group should be on: Biodiversity, Energy and Waste Management. With the doors opening in our new school, the grounds being landscaped and with radical new technologies in place, this is our opportunity to shape the way that we use the school facility in a sustainable way. Already the Eco-Committee has developed action plans, had them approved by Senior Management and worked with a local recycling company to gather waste products for a Cash for Clobber campaign, but the focus of the group is long term. We want all the pupils of Strathearn to work together with a shared vision of promoting our great school in the local community. There will be much more to come from the Eco-Committee in the year ahead – WATCH THIS SPACE!


clubs, events & societies


Senior Debating Society

aving been a member of the Senior Debating Society for the last four years, I was grateful to have the opportunity to help organise it over the past year.  With the constant backing and advice of Dr McBride, the Senior Debating Society has had an array of debates over the past year, continuing its tradition of debating until the last second possible of Thursday lunchtimes! This year has seen a wide variety of participation across Forms Four to Upper Sixth, with special mention of Hannah McDowell and Ella Dougan of Lower Sixth, for their help in organisation, and unmatched ability in finding willing speakers - even for the more controversial debates! The Senior Debating Society of Strathearn is all about expressing different views and ideas in an intellectual and balanced way, and the debates held this year tried to reflect that. With debates such as: “This House believes in God” and “This House believes gay marriage should be legal in Northern Ireland” the Society aimed to challenge people to consider others’ views, and all in all was extremely enjoyable and interesting for all who attended. Although the subjects may be serious, the ability to express and respond well to different opinions reflects the values we try to promote within the Society, and Strathearn as a whole. Special mention should be made of the younger years that participated and organised a debate this year: “This House believes that art subjects are better preparation for life than science subjects”. I hope that this chance to be involved in the very centre of the Debating Society for Fourth and Fifth Forms will increase interest in debating for these younger years, and that those who participate will continue to enjoy the chance to express their ideas on these different issues. Overall, my experience within the Debating Society has always been a positive one, and being able to see the different opinions of the girls of Strathearn has shown what a variety there is. Whether a motion passes or fails, the debate always succeeds, by allowing ideas to be exchanged and challenged, questions posed and perceptions expanded. I hope that future years will continue to use the Debating Society as a place to argue, think and improve their speaking and listening skills, as it has definitely given me that opportunity. Lauren Graham, U6A


Synagogue Trip

n 27 February, all Form Two classes went on a trip to the synagogue in North Belfast as part of our study of Judaism. The synagogue that we visited is shaped like the Star of David and at the front we noticed the Ark - double doors behind which the Jewish scrolls are kept. The scrolls in the Ark are called the Torah. It takes about one year for each scroll to be handwritten and is written on parchment in Hebrew. The scrolls also have to be sewn together by hand. The Torah is so special that it is not touched and when Jews read from it they use a special pointer called a ‘yad’.  We noticed that above the Ark was a light, which symbolised the ever-burning lamp in the Jerusalem Temple, showing that God is always present. We were shown around the synagogue by Dr Litvack, who is part of the Jewish community in Belfast, so he was able to tell us a lot about the history of the synagogue and how a service runs. We learnt a lot of facts including that the Jewish community in Belfast now consists of only three hundred people and only one hundred of them worship at the Belfast synagogue. He also explained to us the challenges of being a Jew in Belfast, which included the fact there is no Jewish school, kosher food has to be imported from Manchester and time off for religious holidays is sometimes hard to arrange. We really enjoyed our trip to the synagogue, as it was very interesting learning about a different culture and way of worship. Nicole Lawther, 2T & Tara Kane, 2T


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

he Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an experience that provides opportunities for students of all ages to develop a more rounded personality, which is why we chose to take part in it.  The experience helped us enhance our leadership qualities and co-operation skills through teamwork activities. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a journey which takes dedication and commitment because of its challenging requirements. We started off our Bronze Award by choosing three activities for skills, physical and volunteer work respectively. The experience of these activities was challenging, but nonetheless exciting; it was more than just criteria we had to fill - we ended up learning a lot! We gained knowledge of teamwork, were able to contribute to our community through the service element and we developed our own individual skills. After these activities, came our practice expedition, which was designed to prepare us for the qualifying expedition. It was a reflection of the actual expedition and stretched us to our limits, as it was physically and mentally demanding. We completed a night and a day camping and walking in Castlewellan Forest Park. Through all of this, however, it ended up being one of the most prized experiences of our lives. We made new friends, learnt new skills and discovered our real potential. It has been an experience of a lifetime and we would encourage everyone to give it a try! We now look forward to completing our qualifying expedition in June. Rhia Prentice, 4S and Mehika Sood, 4S


clubs, events & societies

Art Report

Rubbish Art” doesn’t sound great, but when it becomes “Trash fashion” in the hands of our talented Strathearn artists, then the result is something wonderful! Having created outfits from waste materials at the successful after-school club, the hardworking teams got to see their creations modelled in the Autumn.“Trash Fashion” was a highlight of the Parents’ Association Fashion Show, with the fantastic waterfall dress selected as the winning costume.  As a prize, Beth Rankin and Sophie Neale got to assist behind the scenes at Belfast Fashion Week for two shows involving professional designers and models. They reported back on their adventures for our Art assembly later in the school year. In October, textile artist, Lyndsey McDougall, visited school and delivered an inspirational day’s workshop for Form Four. It was great to learn how a practising artist gathers inspiration for their work from a wide range of sources. Other visitors to the Department have included young Belfast designer, Brooke Valentine Menown, who showed us great poster designs, illustration and paper cutting.  Former Strathearn pupil,  Joanna McNulty, shared her poetic and atmospheric photography at  the Art Club. Visits from staff at the University of Ulster and Northumbria also gave us an idea of the wealth of opportunities that now exist in the Creative Industries. Trips to galleries continue to be really memorable for our young artists.  All the exam classes managed to visit the diverse Royal Ulster Academy Show, and also CCEA’s True Colours in the Ulster Museum. In Dublin, Sixth Form were intrigued by the mysterious, unsettling Art of Leonora Carrington, and learned about the symbolism and message behind some key pieces in the National Gallery of Ireland. Design was then appreciated in its widest sense in Grafton Street! At the FE McWilliam in Banbridge, GCSE students learned about the important role of women artists in bringing Cubist influences to Irish Art. We are now very excited about the prospect of moving into our new Art accommodation, where we will be able to introduce new techniques to inspire our young artists in new ways. Kathryn Brooker,  A-level


Nuffield Research Placement

n the summer of 2013, I took part in a four-week research placement in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute organised by the Nuffield Foundation. I joined a team of scientists who were working on a twoyear project to find a solution to the growth of a plant pathogen which was destroying local crops by finding a natural inhibitor. The pathogen, Fusarium fungus, is a problem worldwide and research teams around the world are trying to find a solution that is sustainable and will not affect the natural ecosystem in any way. The first sign of the disease is a yellowing and drooping of the leaves and as the disease develops, growth is stunted and little or no fruit develops. For my project I investigated the effects of both plant extracts and bacteria native to the grower’s soil on different Fusarium species to find a suitable and sustainable solution to reduce the disease. My work included placing the Fusarium samples in proximity to a range of native inhibitors in plates of agar to provide nutrients and allowing them to grow. The direction and shape of fungus growth was observed and recorded to show the effect of each inhibitor on a range of Fusarium species. Each sample of fungi and bacteria was processed in a PCR machine and gel electrophoresis was carried out. The samples were then sequenced and the various species were identified. At the end of my placement I had to write a ten page project report, which has now been published in a scientific paper, and carry out a presentation. I really enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of knowledge and skills during it. I would strongly recommend the Nuffield Research Placement to anyone interested in a career in any STEM subject. Katherine Beattie, U6H


clubs, events & societies


Italia 2014

n 9 April 2014, forty third year pupils and six members of staff met in the lay-by at 1.45 to begin the long journey to Italy. A coach took us to Dublin Airport and, after a flight of roughly three hours, a coach took us to Hotel Noto in Rome. We dropped off our luggage and set off walking to the Colosseum. The Colosseum is a massive arena used in ancient Roman times to stage fights and public executions. As we were walking round the Colosseum, we met the famous Jedward and we managed to get some photos with them, which was very exciting. I really enjoyed the Colosseum because I found the stories of the Romans very fascinating. After the Colosseum we wondered around looking for a restaurant to serve pizza to forty-six, and we eventually found one! The next day we got an underground train to Rome where we went on a tour around the Vatican City. In the Vatican we went to St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistene Chapel. Michelangelo was asked to repaint the ceiling in 1508 and it is now one of the world’s masterpieces. The Sistene Chapel was my favourite part of the Vatican because the paintings were all so beautiful. After visiting the Vatican City, we went to a square in Rome to get lunch. They had many restaurants which sold traditional Italian foods, such as delicious pizza and pasta. We then went to the Trevi Fountain, which is the most famous fountain in Rome! We were allowed to go and explore the Trevi fountain and also throw in any change we had. We then went to the Spanish steps, where we had a little time for shopping or taking a break from walking.  We then got another underground train back to our hotel where we picked up our luggage and got a coach to Assisi and the Hotel Il Castello. On Friday, we went to the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi to meet our tour guide, Father Martin.  We walked around the Basilica as Father Martin pointed out different paintings and told us how they illustrated the life of St Francis.  We visited many different churches and religious sites in Assisi, but I personally liked the tiny Churches of San Damiano and the Porziuncola. The Porziuncola was very beautifully decorated with paintings and is the place where Francis formed the first Franciscan community. We also had some time in Assisi to get lunch, to shop for presents and, of course, to get more ice-cream. On Saturday we got the coach to Florence. We had time to shop around in the markets and then went to the Uffizi Art Gallery. My favourite painting from the Uffizi would be ‘The Birth of Venus’ painted by Sandro Botticelli. I like this painting because it makes me feel very calm with its use of pale pastel colours and small brush strokes. We also walked past many beautiful buildings in Florence, such as The Duomo, and the famous Ponte Vecchio. On our final, full day in Italy we took a trip to San Gimignano where we shopped, but most importantly got ice-cream from the famous Pluripremiata Gelatería, the gelato world champion 2006/07 and 2008/09. We then went to Siena, where we shopped for our final time. On Sunday morning we woke up early and went straight to the airport to begin our journey home. I really enjoyed going to Italy. It was an amazing opportunity and I’m really grateful to all the staff for giving up their time to take us. Sydney Long, 3T


St Raphael 2013

n 20 October 2013 at 6.45am, forty-four tired and excited Strathearn girls arrived at the school lay-by to board a bus to Dublin airport, where we checked in and immediately got on the plane.  A short flight was followed by an hour-long bus journey and we arrived at Le Lion Du Mer, which would be our home for the week. We spent the first night exploring our surroundings and walking on the beautiful beach in Saint Raphael (a note for all the people who might go on the trip in future years – the ice-cream is really good!). The next morning, we woke up significantly later than we had the day before; we ate some authentic French breakfast and went to school, which we attended every day from 9.00-12.15 with a 15 minute break, which we used to get French macaroons, croissants, pain au chocolat or - if you really wanted to get a taste of the local culture - McDonald’s! Monday afternoon was spent in Nice. We walked La Promenade Des Anglais, had a tour of the old and new town and got ice-cream from a shop with over 100 flavours!  Much fun was had at the cosmetics store Sephora - a favourite location for teenagers. On Tuesday after school, we went to Grasse, the perfume making capital of the world. Our guide spoke English, which was a refreshing change, and told us exactly how perfume was made. It was a really interesting tour from a really interesting woman. We got on the bus and were ready to leave to go to Cannes when the fourth form French teacher walked down the bus aisle giving each girl a little bar of soap, which was a lovely gift to us from the bus driver. We got off in Cannes, saw the outside of the famous film festival, which a host of A-list celebrities frequents every May, and then we got some free time to explore the beautiful promenade. On Wednesday we travelled to Monte Carlo, Monaco. The only thing I remember about being there was feeling poverty struck. In the shopping centre there were crystal chandeliers, the whole inside was made of marble and a single pair of shoes was 2,000 Euros! Safe to say, we didn’t spend much money in there! Thursday was pretty rushed; we went to school for only two hours, packed, ate and left! The trip was amazing – a lot of walking, but amazing! Tilly Storey, 4H


clubs, events & societies


History Report

wo of the most memorable experiences of the Strathearn History Department this year have been our visits to the Somme Heritage Centre with third form and to Carrickfergus Castle with first form. Both of these locations proved to be remarkably effective in bringing their topics to life for both the pupils and staff who attended. Third Year’s trip to the Somme Heritage Centre took place during the pupils’ study of ‘life and fighting in the trenches’ of WW1. The centre gave a demonstration of weapons and equipment commonly used during the Great War, which really gave the girls an idea of the brutality of life in the trenches.  A tour around a simulated trench followed, which really gave those present a sense of how soldiers in the Great War had to live on a daily basis. First Year’s trip to Carrickfergus also proved incredibly useful in helping the pupils to appreciate the scale of the castle founded by John de Courcy in 1177. The girls had been learning about life in a castle before their visit and were well-prepared for their medieval themed tour.This tour consisted of an exploration of the castle’s walls and keep, an interactive video resource which chronicled the castle’s history and even a chance to try on some armour and weaponry! In June 2013 the GCSE girls walked up to Parliament Buildings to gain an insight into the functions of the Local Assembly and the history of the magnificent building. The impromptu visit of a Member of the Local Assembly (MLA) added excitement to the occasion and gave the girls an insight into the life of one of our more colourful local politicians. All visits proved to be enjoyable, educational and ample opportunity for the girls to apply context to their extensive subject knowledge. NH


Berlin 2013

ach year, the History and Modern Language Department join forces to give their GCSE pupils the opportunity to visit Berlin, and the 2013 trip was as unforgettable as ever. For five days the group experienced Berlin in all its glory. Every day had something new to see, experience and learn, and there was no time to be bored. The historians among us were treated to first-hand insights of fantastic locations which we had already heard so much about and the linguists had a chance to show off their German speaking skills. On our first day we mustered at 1am at the Strathearn lay-by. From there we travelled to Dublin airport, where many of us crashed until it was time to get on the plane. Our hotel was situated in the middle of Berlin within easy walking distance of most memorable places.  After a short break, it was time to get moving to go to the unforgettable Stasi prison where the East German Communist State created a prison for the psychological and physical torture of its own people in an attempt to eliminate any dissent. One of the most emotional and moving experiences was visiting Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The silence in the camp was eerie and many of us shed a silent tear as we saw evidence of the industrialised and systematic torture of tens of thousands of people. It was truly the most memorable experience of the entire trip. Other experiences we had included Checkpoint Charlie,Wannsee (where the Nazi Holocaust plans were hatched), the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the 1936 Olympic Stadium and the Reichstag. Other many great places that we saw included the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdam and the Schloss Cecilienhof, where Churchill,Truman and Stalin met after the war to plan the future “carve up” of Europe and Germany. On the last day we spent some time in The Story of Berlin Museum, where we got to understand the birth and growth of Berlin in a most imaginative way.  Another highlight was our tour of an underground nuclear shelter in the heart of West Berlin. And how could we forget the shopping? We were lucky enough to find a spot in our busy schedule to shop in one of the most famous streets in the world, Kurfurstendamn. We shopped in the world famous KaDeWe. With a great range of restaurants and cafés, it was a perfect way to relax after all of our historical discoveries. Berlin was a brilliant experience and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to go away with our friends. It was unforgettable seeing all of these sites which we had heard so much about in our History Classes. The culture and the city are beautiful, and we all want to thank Mr Bradley, Miss Gibson, Ms Murphy, Mrs Hoare, Mrs Wyeth and Miss Coey for making it all possible. Roll on June 2014 for the next unforgettable trip!


clubs, events & societies Careers Report


he school year got underway with the usual mix of university open days. Many girls attended an Open Day at the Jordanstown Campus, whilst others attended the Saturday sessions at the Coleraine and Magee campuses of the University of Ulster. All girls in Upper Sixth attended the Open Day at Queen’s University and the Options XXI careers event at Methodist College. These events allowed pupils to confirm decisions and obtain last minute information. Mrs Hearst ran a series of guidance sessions on personal statements for specific university courses, and almost all UCAS forms were completed before Hallowe’en. We also welcomed several speakers: a lecturer from Stranmillis University College spoke to students about the teaching profession, a tutor from Queen’s School of Nursing & Midwifery came to talk about nursing careers, a lecturer from the University of Ulster gave a presentation on Art & Design courses and a speaker from Project Trust talked about gap years. We were fortunate in securing a place on the New York Stock Exchange Insight Afternoon for a Lower Sixth pupil, while another pupil attended a Pharmacy Open Day at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Form Five had three careers talks from guest speakers on careers in social work, law and medicine, and many girls had careers guidance interviews with careers advisers from the Department of Employment and Learning.  A representative from Sentinus delivered a Careers Planning Day programme for Form Three. During the second half of the first term, three Lower Sixth girls attended the GETSET into Engineering Programme for girls, where they spent two days at the Engineering Departments of Queen’s and the University of Ulster and two days in an industrial placement. Two Lower Sixth pupils attended a Radiotherapy Open Day at Belfast City Hospital, where they had the opportunity to learn more about the profession. As many girls were getting ready for university interviews, Mrs Hearst ran several interview workshops for medical, teaching and nursing applicants. In addition, we had a nursing professional to run a guidance session for our nursing and midwifery applicants. Our Mock Interview Evening was held on 25 November and we are indebted to all those who took time from their busy schedules to help with this successful evening. The girls benefited from all the guidance and expertise given.  All girls applying to Oxbridge had another interview and Mrs Hearst gave several girls additional interview practice. For the first time we had a visit from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and this was a great opportunity for sixth form girls to learn about courses there. Former pupils studying medicine and teaching and two former pupils studying at Cambridge talked to our current students about their courses, which was very useful for our girls. To prepare for their work experience, Lower Sixth had a presentation on Experiences of  Work by Sentinus and attended a talk by the Health and Safety Executive for NI.  All Lower Sixth went on a week of work experience during the week of 13 January. Placements were as varied

Rachel Howe, GCSE Level


as ever – in hospitals, schools, PR agencies, solicitors, accountants, film companies and vets to name a few. This was a great opportunity to help girls decide about their careers and university choices for next year. To bring university choices into sharper focus, we brought several universities into Strathearn in the second term to talk to Lower Sixth about courses and higher level education opportunities. These included Queen’s University, University of Ulster, St Andrews, Liverpool Hope, Newcastle and Northumbria, Leicester, the Scottish Universities Tour and Scotland’s Modern Universities Tour.  All Lower Sixth attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention where our girls had the opportunity to attend a range of seminars on courses and careers and speak to many university representatives from NI, the rest of the UK and Ireland. Pupils also attended a presentation on personal statements in school. Many pupils attended careers events outside school. One Lower Sixth pupil attended a Dietetics Open Morning at the RVH while another attended an Insight Day with Carson McDowell Solicitors. Several girls also attended the Open Day at Stranmillis, two girls attended the MCB Sixth Form Engineering Our Future Conference, and students had the opportunity to visit engineering companies. Methodist College also hosted a Medical Symposium and a Law Conference, which several pupils attended. Nine pupils attended the Queen’s School of Management Taster Programme. Some sixth form students attended A Flavour of Psychology organised by the British Psychological Society and a Careers in Psychology event sponsored by the School of Psychology at Queen’s. Several pupils also attend a Dentistry Open Day at the RVH.  The Lagan Valley Conference, hosted by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, was attended by a number of pupils in March. All Form Three classes had visits to the careers suite as they had important decisions to make about their GCSE choices for next year. With this in mind, Queen’s University and a careers adviser from DEL talked to the year group about choosing GCSEs.  All first form classes also had introductory visits to the careers suite. Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst talked to Form Five about A-level choices and girls have also had a talk from our careers adviser from the Department of Employment and Learning. The series of careers talks also continued in the second term. We welcomed Mr Ian Simons from Stranmillis, who spoke about teaching careers, Ms Gemma O’Donnell from Queen’s spoke about engineering, Eunan McConville from BBC NI gave a presentation on journalism, Ian Kennedy talked about Creative Careers, Deaghlan Page and Simon Harvey gave presentations on Psychology and Business respectively and Jonny Bloomfield gave a presentation on careers in sport.  Several other talks took place on Biomedical Science and Stratified Medicine, army careers and student finance. Finally, all members of the Careers Department would like to send our very best wishes to all girls taking important exams this summer.

clubs, events & societies My Work Experience


ow can I begin to fit everything that happened during my work experience into one page? I have learnt so much about working life throughout the week! I was in a placement with Iain Webster, at his television production company, Network TV. He can play the role of producer, director, editor, camera-man, reporter and journalist all at the same time when working, so it was a great experience to work with someone with so much knowledge about Media and Journalism. Upon arrival on the first day I was full of apprehension, but I was put at ease as I heard what I’d be getting up to that week. I was shown around the TV studio and radio booths on location. It was a great experience to see these up close, and gave me a real sense of what working in these environments would be like. When Iain told me we would be out filming later that day - I was thrilled! I was being thrown in at the deep end, and I would have to sink or swim! We packed up the countless boxes of lighting and sound gear, cameras and tripods before heading out to film a segment for the BBC charity programme Lifeline.  We interviewed several people involved in the Lighthouse Centre, and heard some amazing stories from the volunteers there. I held the huge sound microphone - which was unbelievably exhausting, as the equipment was so heavy! We also filmed a ‘laughter yoga’ class at the centre, which had all of us in stitches! It was a great day! The second day was another early start, but a day filled with editing. I found this fascinating, as you see how the images you filmed turn into a TV-worthy programme. We edited the footage from the day before, but also footage from Iain’s trip to India for the BBC programme Life Stories to create an extended cut for the DVD, along with a fast-paced RNLI chase edit that I was able to do single-handedly. I learnt how to use the AVID software - the same used by TV and film studios around the world - which is like an extremely advanced Windows Movie Maker! The third day was one of the most exciting - I got to play the role of a presenter by researching a news story and writing my own auto-cue script to perform to camera! This was one Holly Pinkerton, GCSE Level of the highlights, as it really felt like you were about to go live on the 6 o’clock news! Iain gave me all the tips and tricks he uses when training the BBC and UTV staff, so by the end I felt like a professional! Thursday was more editing, and meeting some clients, and also preparing for our busy filming day the day after. Just by talking to Iain, I found out so much about the industry I would have never known before! Friday was fantastic – we were filming all day again, this time meeting those behind the Reminiscence Network charity for this Lifeline programme. We met more inspiring people, and I held more heavy sound equipment, and also helped with controlling the lighting. Overall, I cannot believe the amount of information and experience I gained from work experience! It has really helped me see the realities of the working environment after university – and I can’t wait to get there! Lucy McCracken, L6S


My Work Experience

or my work experience I spent five days in Antrim Area Hospital in a number of different areas including Pathology,  A&E, Paediatrics, Theatre and Radiology.  On the first morning I went to an Outpatients Clinic, where the very first patient I saw refused treatment from the doctor despite complaining of some potentially serious symptoms. The doctor had to try and persuade her to go through with an examination, but unfortunately this was to no avail. This experience taught me that doctors can’t always do their job as they can encounter difficulties from patients, but it showed me how important it is for doctors to create a relaxed atmosphere in the room, put the patient at ease, and also the importance of explaining clearly the potential repercussions should the patient go against his advice. On the second day I visited the Neonatal Unit. This area of the hospital was much quieter and more spacious than other areas with the patients monitored more closely with salt levels, heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels checked regularly and monitors worn as babies can deteriorate rapidly. I was fascinated at how the health of the mother impacted on the health of the baby, as a baby born at 33 weeks by emergency caesarean to a mother who had high blood pressure, was much smaller than most babies of his age. Theatre was my favourite area, as I was captivated by the skill and concentration of the surgeons throughout intricate procedures. Having sat in on a Breast MDM Meeting on Monday (a multi-disciplinary meeting where oncologists, surgeons, radiographers, pathologists and radiologists meet to discuss the ongoing treatment of patients), I was intrigued to see how breast procedures were carried out. It was a complex process that demonstrated how teamwork was essential to effective patient care. In addition, I witnessed a cholecystectomy as the patient had large, painful gallstones; however, unfortunately the operation could not be completed by keyhole surgery as planned, which meant the surgeons had to open the patient up, indicating how a doctor’s role involves coping with unexpected situations. We also spent some time in Pathology, but I didn’t enjoy this as much because, whilst the science behind it was interesting, there was no patient contact, which I missed. I want my career to involve interaction with people because I enjoy talking and forming relationships with people on a personal level. I also noticed how modern technology has allowed healthcare to improve dramatically over the last number of years. For example the use of a cauteriser meant surgeons could burn small blood vessels to stop the bleeding rather than tying each individual one, saving valuable time and effort. The development of HD cameras allowed colonoscopies, bronchoscopies and OGDs in the day procedure unit as well as keyhole surgery to take place but, in addition, the digital voice recorder saves doctors time writing notes, keeps GPs better informed and prevents confusion over handwriting. The development of CT, MRI and ultrasound scanners has also allowed diagnosis and ongoing treatment plans to vastly improve, thus allowing patients to get better treatment more quickly. This experience has taught me a lot about myself; firstly, that thankfully I am not squeamish, but it has also taught me patience and independence, as well as giving me a phenomenal insight to medicine and the day-to-day activities of a hospital. I enjoyed every minute and would really love to pursue Medicine as a career, as I was inspired and motivated by the skill, care and passion that the doctors showed. Erin Prentice, L6S


clubs, events & societies


Biology Report

he study of ecology has always played an important part in Biology courses at Strathearn. Most children love to look for ‘mini-beasts’ in leaf litter or under rocks, as we see on Open Day when there is considerable interest in anything which jumps or wriggles in our sample trays. The excitement increases when the creatures are caught and examined under the lenses and microscopes. Our Key Stage Four pupils also become quite lively when the room fills with samples of leaf litter with springtails, slugs and spiders, and it is our chance to promote Biology as the study of living things, not just pictures and diagrams of them. Once A-level work is underway, there is the opportunity to take the study of ecology to a much higher level, investigating local areas of scientific interest at Murlough and Strangford Lough. This year we were able to see the effects of the winter storms at Murlough, where the embryo dunes had been partly washed away and the sea water had covered the dune slacks. The plants here recover quickly from such events and the staff of the National Trust have started to repair the damage to the paths. In recent years we have stayed at Delamont Outdoor Centre so that we can be fully involved in our studies, from early morning until late at night. The pupils gather original data, analyse and interpret their findings and have to produce a series of reports, usually working in small groups. It is interesting to see how in a short time the pupils can make huge progress in their understanding of ecology, and can work co-operatively to achieve success. Back at school, we are very fortunate to have valuable habitat resources on our doorstep. We were glad to see the reappearance of the school lawn as the first phase of the new building programme was completed. Former pupils may remember their early ecology studies using quadrats to sample the variety of plants in the lawn. Over the years it had been colonised by a diverse mix of grasses and flowering plants such as clover, chickweed, speedwell and sorrel. We could identify the trampling effects from the rounders pitches which were set up in the summer term and the shading effects under the trees near Miskelly House. We now have newly sown grass, and whatever seeds have been left in the soil may germinate this year, so we will be able to chart the colonisation of the new lawn and see the changes which take place over the years. As ecologists we know that nothing stays the same, and the natural succession will take its place. A new generation can chart its progress.


Geography Report etting an education is a privilege, and in Strathearn over 770 girls get the chance to do something that many across the world do not – go to school.

According to Save the Children, two-thirds of the world’s 880 million illiterate adults are women. Girls are more than 70 percent of the 125 million children who don’t have a school to attend. Significantly more girls than boys enrolled in primary one fail to complete the first cycle of primary school. In Geography, we strive to give our pupils the chance to understand their role and place in the world. With education comes responsibility. When our students leave Strathearn, they are equipped with knowledge of the physical processes on the Earth’s surface, under the ground and in the atmosphere that keep this world ticking over, but they also leave with more compassion for those less privileged than themselves. In Geography, we focus on the changing demographics on this planet, issues of inequality and challenges for future global citizens. We hope that all our students, just like the eight in the photograph opposite, will become the decision makers of tomorrow, shaping our world so that it gives all citizens a chance to have a fulfilling education.

Simply beautiful Sunset skies, ending the day Red and orange merge. Sian Anderson, 2R


clubs, events & societies School Council Report 2014


ach year, the School Council Chairs are elected along with the rest of the Upper Sixth Office Bearers, and this year Lauren Keenan and I had the good fortune to be chosen. The year has been very busy for the Strathearn School Council, and the variety of issues brought to the Council’s attention has resulted in many spirited discussions at our full Council Meetings, which normally occur on the first Thursday of every month. At the beginning of our term as Chairs, Lauren and I sat down with Mr Stevenson, the driving force behind the scenes, and discussed our aims for the year. Communication was a key issue we wanted to target, with the aim of making the school population more aware of the issues our School Council tackles. Once School Council had officially begun, the suggestions came in rapidly and, with the help of the school representatives from First Form to Upper Sixth, we began to deal with the concerns of the pupils, big and small. The main concentration this year regarded the new school canteen, Miskelly Deli which was greatly anticipated by everyone. With the move into the new building, a good relationship was founded between the Council and Mrs Crymble, the canteen manager. Mrs Crymble attended a School Council Meeting, a survey was sent out to every class, and from the results the canteen implemented some suggestions, such as more ‘Meal Deals’, loyalty cards and clearer advertising, which has resulted in a large amount of interest so far. The other major survey School Council conducted this year was to do with the Mock Exams that happen every January for fifth and sixth form. Once again the entire school participated to give their opinions on when the exams should be held, in early December or early January, and the Council worked very closely with Mrs Connery during this time. The results showed a clear split down the middle, reflecting the divisive nature of this topic and indicating that long-term analysis is sometimes needed to help the school run better. However, Strathearn School Council hasn’t been just surveys in the past year. The most recent discussion led by Miss Young of the PE Department involved the role of the School Houses, and how we can improve their image as well as encouraging more House-orientated events. This is an on-going discussion, and we hope that the succeeding School Chairs will continue to focus on it. Lauren and I have tried to make the workings of the Council more transparent by taking Assemblies with each year group and encouraging all representatives to speak out about problems no matter how small. Our main goal this year was to improve discussion and awareness and in that we feel we have succeeded. The past year has been extremely rewarding, and my favourite part has been working with girls from every year, all of whom have voiced opinions, problems and promoted change. I would like to thank every single class representative (and their deputies) for their work, as well as the numerous staff throughout the school, without whom Lauren and I would have been at a loss. Chairing School Council has been a great experience, and we wish the very best of luck to the incoming Chair and Vice Chair. Lauren Graham, U6A



Junior Scripture Union


he Junior SU members meet every Wednesday and have lunch together before the week’s activity begins. This year we have welcomed a number of most interesting speakers. These have included Kim from CEF who spoke to us about God’s guidance and having confidence in Him, Niall from Knock Church who helped us to recognise what it means to be authentic in our faith, and there was an eagerly anticipated return visit from Claire, a former pupil. On another occasion Mr Stevenson told us about the persecuted church worldwide, which was not only informative but also very sobering. Mrs Agnew and Miss Cardwell have also spoken and are a most welcome addition to the JSU team. We are much indebted to Lindsey Myles from SU headquarters, as she has not only led meetings but has been incredibly supportive.

There have also been quizzes, craft, teachers’ and sixth form panels and naturally parties! We would like to thank our sixth form helpers for their interest and input, and wish them well as they go off to university. LM/JET/SW


Senior Scripture Union

his year in Senior Scripture Union we have had a variety of interesting speakers, discussing challenging topics under our overall theme of ‘Strathearn’s School Survival Guide’. We have studied topics including image and self-esteem, stress, future worries and relationships, and learnt more about what the Bible has to say on these issues.  We also spent some time together studying the Frontline course which challenges us in how we share our faith in our everyday lives, our frontline. At Christmas Senior SU were again involved in organising the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal and collected 150 shoeboxes, and raised over £200 for their shipping. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to fill shoe boxes; we know how much they are appreciated by the children who receive them.

We finished the year by enjoying another fantastic weekend away at White Park Bay in April and looked in greater depth at the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. We discussed the character of Ruth and how we can be more godly women. On the Saturday afternoon we went to Whiterocks beach and were challenged to create sand sculptures of famous cartoon characters, and on the Saturday evening the Upper Sixth organised a series of team challenges and hilarious games. Once again the weekend was a great time to relax and have fun together. We have been blessed to develop new friendships and encourage one another throughout the year.


clubs, events & societies


Minneapolis/St Paul Trip 2013

t was a dark, rainy morning when we started our journey to the States at the Strathearn lay-by but the weather didn’t dampen anybody’s mood. When we arrived at the airport everyone was so excited to finally be on their way to America. Just before we landed at the airport in Minneapolis everyone was feeling nervous about meeting their host families. We were welcomed at the luggage claim by our host families with cheers. Our families soon eased our nerves and made us feel very comfortable; they were so excited to finally meet us! We were very tired and jet-lagged, but there was no time rest as a few of us were taken straight to a school football match. It was a really great way to get to know our hosts and their friends! The next two days were spent with our host families. Some of the group were taken around the Twin Cities and treated to some of the cities’ sights, while others were able to relax and get to know their host families better and catch up on some sleep! Both of our host families arranged for us to meet up and go to the cinema with a few other Strathearn girls and find out what they had been doing. On Monday we met at the school before getting on a tour bus to go sight-seeing. We saw the Capital Building, the Minnehaha Falls, the cathedral and other interesting places. We were lucky enough to be treated to an ice hockey game by our hosts and had great fun watching the Minnesota Wilds against the Chicago Black Hawks! On Tuesday we spent the whole day at the Mall of America. It was massive and was very tiring, but extremely fun going around all the shops. We spent Wednesday in school with our hosts. It was a very different experience than being at Strathearn, but it was interesting sitting in on some unusual classes, such as accounting or economics. Thursday was another day we spent shopping at an outlet mall, but the most exciting thing about this day was that it was Hallowe’en! Some of us went trick or treating while others simply got together and hung out around a bonfire making s’mores. They celebrate Hallowe’en much more than we do! Our last day was spent at the science museum, where we saw a film in the IMAX theatre and spent time in the interactive area. This was our last full day with our host families, so most of us spent our evening at the high school football game supporting the school team with their school chants and even wearing some school football jerseys! Unfortunately the team lost, but we all still had a fantastic night! It was really hard saying goodbye to our families at the airport and many tears were shed. All the families were so sad to see us go and have welcomed us back at any time. The trip was a really good experience and we loved every second of it. We highly recommend it as it is a great way to meet new people, see some more of the world, and do a bit of shopping! Hannah Craig, L6S and Jessica McCleery, L6S


Community Service

he month of December brought the season of giving and our annual Community Service Christmas party. While the Stormont Hotel was preparing the delicious Christmas Lunch for the elderly ladies and gentlemen, some girls from Strathearn were busy practising their talent for the afternoon of entertainment. The students of 1S donned Santa hats and chatted eagerly with the elderly guests as the last of the desserts and mince pies were eaten. The entertainment section got underway with Ruth Gregg and Leah Beattie introducing acts and telling Christmas Cracker jokes. We had a contemporary dance from Emily Hall and Larissa Young, a ballet dance from Jasmine Trill and a variety of Irish dances from Anna McKibbin, Hannah Hornsby and Harriet Platt. The programme continued with musical pieces from Rose Templeton (flute), Claire Whiteside (flute),  Amy Cooper (violin), Lauren Kerr (flute), Naomi Cochrane (violin) and Larissa Young (clarinet). Singing, poetry and storytelling were much enjoyed from Megan Adair, Eve Elliott, Zoe Robinson, Jenny Bullman, Jodi Wilson, Sarah Baker and Olivia Allister. All the students closed the show with a very sweet sounding We wish you a Merry Christmas. It was a hugely enjoyable afternoon which was summed up beautifully by a lovely lady named Chrissy…. “It was great and I wish the girls could do it all again.” Next year we will!


clubs, events & societies A Week in the Life of a Journalist In April, Kate Umphray and Rachael Adamson joined the editorial team at The Belfast Telegraph for its student week. Together with pupils from St Patrick’s Grammar Armagh, and Belfast Boys’ Model School, Kate and Rachael interviewed politicians, wrote stories and presented the views of young people in Northern Ireland. hen we first walked through the doors of that building for our first meeting, it was intimidating. We didn’t know who or what to expect - even Rachael Adamson and I had been complete strangers until that Thursday. Being thrown into a teamwork scenario with people you have never met before on such controversial issues was daunting – but proved worth it in the end! On our first meeting we met the editor and deputy editors of The Belfast Telegraph, as well as the majority of our ‘young journalist team’. We were told what we would be doing throughout the week and then assigned different tasks, as well as being told the general theme of the week: talking to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister about the progression of Northern Ireland towards peace. Being able to give our opinions on the matters, especially in such a widely read paper as The Belfast Telegraph, was a huge honour. It was good to finally get the word out about what Young People really thought about politics in Northern Ireland. However, personally, I found myself enjoying the less political side of journalism and focusing more on the entertainment and columnist work. I went to the Lyric Theatre for a read through of Demented by Gary Mitchell, a black comedy based around the controversial subjects of dementia, violence and affairs. Probably the highlights of my week were meeting Dame Mary Peters over tea in her home and Katie Couric in Belfast House of Sport for an interview on how the young can be inspired by sports heroes. I also met some lovely, hilarious people from schools I didn’t even know existed from Lurgan to Belfast, and I’m sure I’ll keep in contact with them after our work experience together. But Journalism involves so much more than running around after MPs, actors and the editor; it involves sitting at a desk for a long time during the day, writing up what you have found, and waking up early so that you don’t miss the taxi, the bus or the last parking spot in Belfast! Behind what we experienced is a tough job involving hard work and Journalists really do need coffee, that is no lie, but it sure is exciting.  And now we will be able to look back on our papers, our articles and our opinions in The Young. Kate Umphray, L6T



Public Speaking Competition

n February, Mia Mouron-Adams, Eve McDowell and Emma Ferguson participated in the Northern Ireland heat of the Irish Federation of University Women Graduates’ Public Speaking Competition at the Council Chamber of Queen’s University Belfast. Whilst the girls were given a number of specified topics to research in advance of the competition, they did not know what they would be asked to speak about on the night itself. Emma drew the topic of ‘The Teenage Years’, Eve received ‘Happiness’ and Mia spoke on the area of ‘Education’.  All three pupils were praised for the sophisticated content and fluent delivery of their speeches, but Mia won the prize for best speaker in this heat, progressing to the all-Ireland final at University College Dublin.


English Report

his year has afforded pupils many opportunities to produce their own writing and to share their enthusiasm for literature with others. Jessica Arbuckle, Anna Mercer, Mia Mouron-Adams and Rebekah Spence represented Strathearn at the Kids’ Lit Quiz at Wellington College. This competition attracted teams from more than twenty-five schools across Northern Ireland. The girls were placed ninth overall in the competition, and Mia Mouron-Adams won an individual prize. We were delighted to be invited by Ashfield Girls’ School to participate in an unseen poetry workshop as part of Belfast’s C S Lewis Festival. Fifty fifth year pupils from Strathearn attended this event where they worked collaboratively with pupils from both Ashfield and Bloomfield Collegiate on an unseen poetry task. They were fortunate to be guided in this by Belfast’s poet laureate and recent winner of the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry, Sinead Morrissey. This was the inaugural year of the English Department’s own poetry writing competition. Pupils were invited to submit poems on the idea of Change.  The winning poem in the senior category was Eva Wallace’s November, with Cathy Iever’s To Coin A Phrase, a close second. In the junior category the winner was Maia Collins’s A Change of Seasons, with Lara Mackie’s Time Passing runner-up. We were thrilled at the number of poems submitted and the remarkably high standard.

Katie Smith,  AS-Level 29

clubs, events & societies


Chamber Choir Report

his year for the first time the Chamber Choir entered the RTE All Island School Choir of the Year competition. In the first stage of the competition we had to send a recording of two songs to RTE. Shortly afterwards we received the good news that we had qualified for the regional heat which was held at the Braid Theatre in Ballymena. We all found this very exciting.  We were delighted when we were announced the winners! Hard work then began in preparation for the final at Titanic Belfast, which was televised live. Unfortunately, we did not take first place, but it was a memorable and enjoyable time and really helped us to bond as a choir. We also performed throughout the year at various school events. Our first event was Prize Day,  where we performed ‘Clap Yo’ Hands’ by Gershwin and ‘The Seal Lullaby’ by Whitacre.  At the Carol Service we sang  ‘Angels’ Carol’ by Rutter,  ‘A Maiden Most Gentle’ by Carter and ‘This Little Babe’ by Britten. We also had the privilege of entertaining the residents at Strathearn Court Care Home and were delighted when they joined in with the carols we sang. Our final performance of the year was at the Spring Concert, where we performed the difficult and complex Mexican piece ‘Las Amarillas’ by Hatfield. We also performed ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and a beautiful setting of the Yeats poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’. In April we recorded a CD of nine pieces entitled ‘In Every Heart’ to raise money for charity. On behalf of the Chamber Choir, I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for her commitment and dedication throughout the year. Her love of music can be seen in all our performances and has made being a member of the Chamber Choir a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. After being a member of the choir for three years I know myself that I and the other Upper Sixth members will truly miss it. Lauren Keenan, U6H

The Chamber Choir

Jenni Cunningham,  A-level

Back Row: Melissa Nagar, Rosalind Skillen, Kate Umphray,  Ashleigh Watson,  Tara Gouk, Lydia Millar,  Arden Armstrong, Sophie Craig Second Row: Susanna Griffin, Lauren Keenan, Catherine Whiteside, Saskia Craig, Katherine Flack, Naoíse Webster,  Amy Bell, Stephanie Devlin Front Row: Fiona Gibson,  Jessica Gunning, Kira McNeill, Keziah Mercer,  Aimée Buckley, Emma Andrews, Emma Murphy,  Victoria Megarry


clubs, events & societies The Orchestra Back Row: Emily Whiteside, Kate Umphray, Hollie Croft, Rachael Kelly,  Ashleigh Watson, Lydia Millar, Catherine Pooler, Katherine Gallagher, Ailie McKinty Fourth Row: Kathryn Neill,  Jill Carson, Kerry Hepworth, Lauren Keenan,  Tori McKechnie, Naoíse Webster,  Alexandra Cush,  Abby Sheridan, Arden Armstrong, Catherine Whiteside,  Amy Darragh,  Abigail Bester, Poppy Gribben Third Row: Sara Cabecinha, Fiona Gibson, Orla Bannister, Rose Templeton,  Abigail Acheson,  Victoria Megarry, Stephanie Devlin, Susanna Griffin, Hannah Eakin, Lauryn Todd, Mia Wheatley, Molly Longstaff,  Amy Dutton, Rebekah Kenny Second Row:  Amy Bole,Yuan Chen, Beth Minnis, Imogen Rose, Chloe Young, Niamh Carey, Keziah Mercer, Katherine Carson,  Jessica Gunning, Tori McKechnie,  Anna Wilson, Rachel Hinds,  Anna Kenny,  Aife Sansom, Naomi Cochrane Front Row: Siân Murray, Mia Mouron-Adams, Emma Gibson, Rachael Campbell, Claire Whiteside,  Jessica Marks,  Jessica Arbuckle, Larissa Young, Lauren Kerr,  Amy Cooper, Miriam O’Reilly, Sophia Hamilton,  Tori Jackson, Rebekah Hamill, Lauren White

Crystalline beauty Falling, floating, frozen, free Delicate, destroyed. Mia Mouron-Adams, 2R


Orchestra Report

he Orchestra met every Wednesday from 3.30 to 4.30 for rehearsals led by Mrs McIvor.  About sixty students from First Form to Upper Sixth came together to practise and share a love for music and performance. Our first concert was the Autumn Musical Evening in November. It was a very enjoyable event as the Orchestra was the main ensemble. The pieces we performed were the famous Can Can from Orpheus in the Underworld and the delightful Feather Theme from the film score of Forrest Gump. Our second performance of the year was the Spring Concert, which took place in late March. This was a larger concert, but despite the nerves it was still very entertaining. The Orchestra performed a medley from Wicked by Schwartz and music from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. The Orchestra has been great fun this year, with a wide variety of music and something for all abilities. Ashleigh Watson, U6H

Jenni Cunningham,  A-level 31

clubs, events & societies


Junior Choir Report his year the Junior Choir met on a Tuesday at lunchtime. During these practices we worked on songs that we could sing for our two performances during the year,

the Christmas Carol Service and the Spring Concert. For the Carol Service, we worked on ‘King Jesus is His Name’ and ‘Tiny Infant King’.  ‘King Jesus is His Name’ was a fun, in some places challenging, piece to sing because it needed a lot of energy to sing. ‘Tiny Infant King’ was also a fun piece to sing but it was soft and tender, meaning we got the experience of singing two types of piece. Once we had performed in the Carol Service, we got straight to work on the pieces for our Spring Concert performance because we wanted them to be as good as we could get them. For this, we worked on ‘What makes you beautiful’ and also a Les Misérables Medley.  ‘What makes you beautiful’ was a fun song, again requiring energy and life. The Les Misérables

Medley was challenging because you had to change the character of the song in a short time but it worked really well, once we had worked on it for a while! To sing the songs from Les Misérables we collaborated with the Senior Choir as they would have stronger vocals and would add some depth to our performance. The Junior Choir was lovely because we got to sing well-known pieces but make them our own, as well as meeting new people who also have a love for singing. Hollie Croft, 3A

Olivia Dunlop, GCSE Level

The Junior Choir Back Row:  Abigail Acheson, Olivia Creighton,  Anna Haslett,  Jill Carson, Ellie Mackey,  Jenna Hume, Emily Martin, Sophie Anderson, Hollie Croft, Miriam Parker,  Jessica Collin, Kristina Herron, Abigail Bester, Ellie Dobbs, Catherine Reid, Nicole Lawther Fourth Row:  Joanne Allen, Sophie Neale, Orla Bannister, Eve Elliott, Lauryn Todd, Rachel McCausland, Katherine McIntyre, Emily Leitch, Esther Henry, Jordyn Patterson, Emily Hinds, Katherine Hunter, Catrina Moore, Connie O’Callaghan,  Jessica Cousins, Nichola Kelly, Georgia Hardwicke, Daisy Shannon, Nadia Hall, Beth Minnis, Leah Hutley, Siân Murray Third Row: Olivia Creighton,  Anna Heyburn, Larissa Young, Erin McConnell,  Verity McGimpsey, Katie Mackay,  Yuan Chen, Danielle McDowell, Beth McColl,  Jessica Moore, Rachel Bell, Bethan Andrews, Katie Megarry, Katy Skillen, Ella Reid, Esther da Silva, Claire Whiteside, Natalie Maguire, Sophie Mitchell, Rachael Campbell, Isabella Reihill Second Row:  Amy Cooper, Sophia Hamilton, Laura Killiner, Saioa Oscoz, Lily Armstrong, Charlotte Crawford, Emily Marten, Emma McGugan, Naomi Cochrane,  Abigail Topping, Georgia McCutcheon, Hannah Cowan, Sarah McCully, Erin Rowe,  Amy Welsh, Kaitlyn Smith,  Amy Bole, Helen Dunn, Rebekah Hamill, Íde Simpson,  Tori Jackson, Rosie Park Front Row: Hannah Hornsby, Rebecca Welsh,  Anna Kirkwood, Katie Campbell,  Jessica Marks,  Jessica Butters, Sarah Donaghy, Laura Graham, Zara Hamilton, Brooke Robinson, Grace Ruding, Eva Aston, Beth Strahan, Clara McClelland, Sarah Baker, Lauren Kerr, Nicole Kane, Nina Reid, Alice Huddleston,  Jenny Wilson, Megan Adair


clubs, events & societies

The Senior Choir Back Row: Ciara Garrett, Chloe Armstrong, Helen Navalli, Emma Watson,  Ashleigh Watson, Iseult Dawson,Tara Gouk,  Jessica Fairclough, Rosalind Skillen, Lydia Millar, Saskia Craig, Lauren Jardine, Sarah Brown Fourth Row: Katherine Flack, Célèste Halliday, Naoíse Webster, Erin Prentice,  Arden Armstrong, Sophie Craig, Kate Umphray, Rachael Kelly, Catherine Pooler, Cherith Montgomery, Melissa Nagar, Rebecca Gallagher,  Tori McKechnie, Laura Bell, Catherine Whiteside Third Row:  Anna Kane, Emma Murphy, Meghan Herron, Beth Anderson, Poppy Gribben, Sarah Eccles, Emma Blakely, Lauren Kerr, Rachel Henry, Katherine Beattie,  Amy Darragh, Paige Jackson, Lucy McCracken, Charlotte Hoey,  Jennifer Graham, Emma Andrews Second Row: Katherine Carson, Kira McNeill,  Jessica Gunning, Hannah Moore,  Victoria Megarry, Susanna Griffin, Oriel Dawson, Imogen Spence, Alana McVea, Lucy Davidson, Sophie Pružina, Stephanie Devlin, Nicky Montgomery, Rebekah Cowan, Bonnie Macrae,  Jenni Chambers, Katie Brown Front Row: Lauren Watson, Louise Lynch,  Aimée Buckley, Keziah Mercer, Eryn McQuillan,  Tori McKechnie, Niamh Carey, Sarah Lavery, Fiona Gibson, Lucy Dolan, Rachel Cowan, Nikita Muir, Rebecca Murphy,  Anna Wilson, Chloe Young, Georgia Stewart, Molly Fairclough


Senior Choir Report write this report with mixed emotions, as my time in Strathearn is coming to an end, but I leave with many happy memories. I always looked forward to Senior Choir practice after school on a Monday, as it was a wonderful way to escape the demands of school work. The year began with rehearsals in preparation for Christmas. In this year’s Carol Service the Senior Choir performed settings of ‘Breath

of Heaven’ and ‘Gloria Deo’.  As always, the church was full with friends and family of the girls and it was lovely to see the support of past pupils and teachers who were there too! The service took place by candlelight, adding to the festive spirit of the season. With the Carol Service behind us, we began rehearsals for our Spring Concert. With the successful release of the movie of Les Misérables, we were all so excited when Ms Kimber told us we would be singing a medley from the show along with the Junior Choir. We also performed ‘Hold On’, a complete contrast to this with its swing style rhythms and uplifting melody. The Upper Sixth in particular liked this song, as it was a chance to let down our hair and enjoy our last Spring Concert with Strathearn. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks Ms Kimber for all of her hard work and dedication. There wasn’t one practice where she failed to make us smile and she always had so much patience and time for all of us. Thank you again Ms Kimber, I will cherish my fond memories of the Senior Choir. Arden Armstrong, U6R

Lucy Browne, GCSE Level 33

clubs, events & societies


The Spring Concert

particularly large number of Strathearn students took part every week this year in rehearsals with school musical ensembles. As usual, these groups have taken part in a range of public performances during the course of the year; the Spring Concert was the final musical showcase. The Orchestra played two pieces, one at the start of the concert and one after the interval. One was a medley from the musical Wicked, the other some movements from Tchaikovsky’s suite for the ballet The Nutcracker. The players performed with great discipline and enthusiasm, communicating effectively the expressive qualities of these very different pieces. The Chamber Choir sang a range of pieces. They opened with a setting of the beautiful Yeats poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”. This was followed by ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’, an appealing arrangement of the 1940s song. Finally, they performed Stephen Hatfield’s ‘Las Amarillas’, an impressively fast a cappella piece in Mexican style, complete with syncopated clapping. This has been a particularly successful year for the Chamber Choir, and their concert performance demonstrated the beautiful choral sound and careful attention to musical detail which took them to the finals of RTE’s All Island Choir of the Year competition. The Junior Choir enjoyed their performance of the One Direction song ‘What makes you beautiful’, singing with pleasing balance between the vocal parts and infectious enthusiasm. The Senior Choir had worked hard on their three-part version of ‘Hold On’, the 1990 Wilson Phillips classic, and they entered fully into the toe-tapping, life-affirming spirit of the music. The Junior and Senior Choirs combined for the concert’s last item, a medley of songs from Les Misérables. Each choir took its turn in a leading role, and the two choirs sang together for the most powerful passages. The months of work spent preparing this substantial piece paid off, and the contrasting emotions of the different numbers were communicated clearly. There were some very moving moments, with a dramatic final climax. Five soloists were featured during the evening. Sophie Craig sang Elgar’s ‘Shepherd’s Song’, creating a beautiful sense of mood and atmosphere. Lauren Keenan played Rutter’s Prelude for flute with lyrical sensitivity. Emma Irwin held the audience rapt with her powerful ‘Let it Go’, from Frozen. Ashleigh Watson gave a very stylish account of a Debussy Cakewalk for alto saxophone. Arden Armstrong sang ‘Defying Gravity’, from the musical Wicked, capturing the song’s drama and impact in a very appealing way. 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 members of the large and appreciative audience, for their presence and enthusiastic support.


The Junior Drama Club Report

he Junior Drama Club convened on Thursday lunchtime in the Assembly Hall.  As usual, the club was well attended and, due to the high numbers attending, the junior pupils were split into groups depending on their House, which added a competitive edge to the proceedings! The Upper Sixth Drama Committee hugely enjoyed working with their groups, who ranged from Form One to Three. All the members were enthusiastic throughout all our activities and they really progressed in terms of their confidence on stage and creativity in Drama. At Christmas, the groups devised pieces based on the Festive season with performances ranging from adverts for singing Christmas Trees to a humorous glimpse of the stress faced by parents when trying to buy pleasing presents. One of the highlights of the year was the Junior Drama Club’s activities on Open Day when they regaled parents, guests and primary seven pupils alike with a range of mini performances from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes to several school-based improvisations. The pupils involved were hugely encouraging to the younger visitors and gave prospective pupils an insight into drama at Strathearn. The club’s events culminated in a Talent Show with many groups getting together to showcase what they had learnt over the year – and a special mention must be made for the tiny, but very scary, Simon Cowell impersonator in Form One! Overall, the club was a great success – thanks to all the Sixth Year Committee members who gave up their free time so willingly and well done to all the junior pupils who took part and entertained us so thoroughly!


drama Oh! What a Lovely War


ecently, I was involved - as were thirteen other girls - in Campbell College’s production of Oh! What A Lovely War, which was performed over three nights on 3-5 February in the Grand Hall at Campbell College. This was a brilliant production to commemorate the 126 Campbellians who died fighting in the Great War, all of which was made more poignant given the fact that it is the 100 year anniversary of that war. We rehearsed three times a week from September to February, during which we made very good friendships with our Campbell associates. On the night we performed musical numbers, including Oh! What A Lovely War, Row Row Row, King and Country and And When They Ask Us. Sophie Craig, Sophie Taylor, Lola Bingham and Molly Fairclough stole the stage singing a beautiful solo each, whilst Lucy Hayes as ‘Mrs Pankhurst’ captivated the audience with her convincing performance.  Working alongside the Campbell staff and the talented Campbell boys was a wonderful experience and I am very much looking forward to the musicals to come. Lydia Millar, 5S

In, out, breathes the tide Dainty treasures meet the shore From lifetimes long ago. Caris Coulter, 2R


Drama Trip

ineteen form four students and seventeen Lower Sixth students enjoyed an educational two-day trip to London from 6-7 February 2014. On the Thursday the weary group of forty, including four staff, assembled at the City airport at 5am. Our first stop was Trafalgar Square for some sightseeing, before a trip to Covent Garden for lunch. The group split into two when Form Four pupils went to see Warhorse and the Lower Sixth went to see A Woman in Black. Both productions were spine-chilling for different reasons. That evening everyone was blown away by the production of Billy Elliot that we all saw. The skills of acting, choreography and singing displayed by a principal role that was so young, inspired all the pupils. The next day the group spent two hours at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, getting both a tour of the building and an acting workshop with professional actors. A couple of hours before leaving were spent at Covent Garden. The pupils would like to thank the four staff very much for a hectic but enjoyable trip! Isla Lockhart, L6A


house plays

House Play Competition


Adjudicated by

Mr Richard Mills October 2013

Awards Inter-House Drama Cup for Best Production Boucher

30,000 Feet McCaughey House

McNeill Cup for Directing and Writing

Meghan Herron McCaughey House

Frances Mulley Rose Bowl for Best Actress McCaughey

Naoíse Webster Boucher House

McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress

Janey Deehan & Leah Deehan McCaughey House

Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Role Watts

Lydia Millar Watts House

Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

30,000 Feet McCaughey House 36

barbour house reports


House Report

t’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that we were waiting to hear the names of the new office bearers. Tamsin, Nicole and I were told the great news of being awarded the roles of Barbour’s next House Captain and Deputy House Captains, which brought great excitement. We did not yet know of the action-packed year that lay ahead, but we managed to face the challenges and opportunities, get through our busy schedules and also have success and fun along the way! The first of our duties started at the end of Lower Sixth with Penrhyn Sports Day. It was great fun for all involved; it allowed us to get into the House spirit. Our next task was definitely the most daunting – the House plays! Unfortunately, after Barbour winning the Inter-House netball for the past two years, this year we had some immense competition and couldn’t defend the title! This was one of my favourite days as, during the senior matches, House Captains and Deputies were allowed to jump on to the court and take part! Congratulations to the girls, who played in the first form hockey and were placed second overall! The Junior Inter-House hockey took place and we won one of our matches 2-0! We came third in the Senior Inter-House hockey, which was brilliant with the limited amount of players available. The Inter-House cross-country took place on a cold and damp day. Well done to everyone who got involved! We had a great turnout and I was very impressed with the high level of skill that our House displayed in all of the sports. I hope it was enjoyed by all that supported and participated. I can safely say that there is great competitiveness within Strathearn, but all in a good spirit which gives great encouragement to those competing in Inter-House activities. It has been a real honour to be Barbour’s House Captain; I still remember looking up to the House Tamsin Wills and Jenna Kerr.  Absent - Nicole Sinclair Captain with a lot of respect and admiration from the very first Inter-House activity that I got involved in. I wish all the best to whoever I pass my precious badge and tie on to. The time really has flown in, and to the next House Captain – enjoy every moment and don’t get too caught up in the challenges you may face! This year has been the busiest year yet, and I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the staff who have helped throughout the year, from the PE staff during all of the sporting events to the support and advice from Miss Ferris during the House plays, and also Mr Atkinson and Mrs Morrow for allowing us to use their classrooms for auditions and rehearsals. Finally, I would like to thank my Deputies, Tamsin and Nicole, for all of their hard work and effort this year. I hope the next Captains enjoy it as much as I did!

House Play


The Perfect Roommate based on Meet the Roommates by J Rand

or me, the House plays were the most daunting Inter-House activity; this is because I am someone who is usually behind the scenes doing the lighting and sound, so the idea of directing a play was uncharted territory. Thankfully my two Deputies are keen drama students, so I gave them the opportunity to oversee the performance and technical side of things. The play is about two friends who are looking for the ideal roommate at university. There were many different stereotypes that were to be cast. During the audition stage I was astounded by the talent in every year; this gave us a number of very difficult decisions that had to be made. There was much debate, but we finally got down to our main character selections; every character has a well-deserved place and the calibre of performances was brilliant. I know many of the younger cast will be main characters of future House and school productions. The weeks between casting and the performance were - to say the least - chaotic; the pressure and tensions were all felt, but, due to the absolutely outstanding cast, I was well supported and they helped bring the play together. They each brought their own individual charismas to their characters by developing their own style and flair after countless hours of rehearsals. We had a very limited use of technical equipment, so coming up with alternative ways to convey the performance was a pressurised, but enjoyable, task. There definitely isn’t anything more nerve-wracking than watching the first words of the performance with no more power. To just sit in the wings and watch the cast perform was stressful, but I speak for the Deputies and myself when I say that we could not be more proud of each and every girl. Producing a play from start to finish was definitely a challenge, but it opened my eyes to another set of skills that I developed throughout the whole thing. It was great fun and I learned a lot, but I think I will stick to the lighting and sound, as the directing is far too stressful! It was an experience I will never forget and I would like to take this chance to thank my cast and everyone that was involved with the House play – you made it so memorable for me and I am so grateful for all of your hard work and support! Jenna Kerr, Barbour House Captain


The Cast Tom - Aimée Reid Jen - Jenni Chambers Tommy - Shannon McClintock Patrick - Ali Finlay Jenny Fakeout 1 - Bethan Andrews Jenny Fakeout 2 - Jenny Wilson Jenny - Lydia Duncan Emelyn - Lucy McCracken Todd - Aife Sansom Brenda - Charis Forsythe-Wright Brian - Molly Cahoon Brian’s Mum - Katie Horner Geek 1 - Chloe Johnston Geek 2 - Chloe Stevenson Season - Mia Wheatley Mike - Katie Mashford Sharon - Rebecca Murphy Carl/Derrick - Katie Majury Chorus: Jordan Hineson, Lauren Shankey, Niamh Meredith, Hannah Hornsby, Jenny Wilson, Kate Bell, Nicole Kane, Emma Caldwell, Scarlett Reid & Jill Nelis

boucher house reports


House Report

he day Gemma, Catherine and I were appointed as ‘Boucher House Captains’ is one of the many highlights of my time at Strathearn. It was an honour to receive our precious ties and badges, and we couldn’t believe we had been the ones to be chosen. Luckily Gemma, Catherine and I were all good friends, which made the year ahead even more exciting. Not long after being appointed to the House Captaincy, the other Captains - Gemma Adair and Catherine Sheridan - and myself were flung into our duties of rallying the Boucher troops at the Day of Sport. The endless supplies of sweets and blue paint had been unveiled for another year. The Boucher girls got off to a good start, quickly collecting the medals at the prize giving. We had started the year on a high and we were filled with excitement and anticipation for the year ahead. The next task was House plays, one which we hadn’t realised the extent of until the work began in the summer months. We began with choosing a play, reading endless scripts until we found the perfect one to present to our peers and teachers - After School Special by Donna Brightwell. After the House plays came the netball. Boucher proved its strength in sport and excelled, coming first overall in netball and second in hockey, which was all down to the commitment and talent of the girls (along with the sweets, paint and Gemma’s cheerleading). Sports proved a highlight for the three of us, and with three sporty House Captains it was difficult to stand calmly at the sideline instead of participating! This did mean, however, that we had the best view, meaning I can say without hesitation that each girl who participated did their House proud. Thank you to all that took part in each House event and helped behind the scenes! I would also like to thank Miss Ferris for her help with House plays. Thank you to the PE Department for putting up with us and hosting the popular sporting Catherine Sheridan, Sophie Gribben and Gemma Adair events this year. Most of all, I would like to thank Gemma Adair and Catherine Sheridan. It would not have been possible for this year to be the success it was without these two girls! This has been the busiest yet most rewarding of my school years to date; even with the stress and organisation that comes along with the House Captaincy, I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I have had the best fun working with so many great girls from Boucher House and will be sad to retire my badge and tie. To next year’s House Captains - it is difficult to describe the rollercoaster that has been this year, but the advice I do have is to enjoy every moment as it comes, because it will be over in the blink of an eye!

House Play


After School Special by D Brightwell

he work on After School Special began in the late summer months, with new characters and scenes being written by the literature genius of the trio Gemma. We worked hard devising new scenes and characters to impress our audience. We thought the theme of searching for a formal date with added outrageous characters was one everybody could enjoy. The auditions went extremely well with an overwhelming number of girls showing up to audition. Gemma, Catherine and I were blown away by the talent of all the girls who auditioned. Within the same week that we cast the play, the marathon of lunchtime and after-school rehearsals began.  As the weeks progressed, rehearsals became more frequent with some Saturday rehearsals as the performance drew nearer. In the final week before the play, nerves were heightened and the House Captains were on edge; the tension built until the day of performance when Philippa Harty was recruited to make over the girls with fake beards, moustaches, flags and hair gel working their magic creating an array of crazy characters to make the audience and myself laugh. The commitment and determination of the Boucher cast members were made clear through the sheer success and comedy value of each performance, with confidence building each time they set foot on stage. The whole experience was topped off with a large Dominoes order, calming the nerves of the cast and rewarding us all for our hard work. It was a privilege to direct and work with such talented actors and I can only wish the same success and fun that we had to next year’s cast. Finally, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all the girls who took part - the play couldn’t have gone ahead without them! Sophie Gribben, House Captain

The Cast Julie - Sarah McCully Taylor - Naoíse Webster Kim - Aimée Buckley Kristie - Erin Prentice Chris - Nikita Muir Scott - Carley Magee Julie’s Mum - Zara Barbour Chris and Scott’s Mates: Emma Ferguson, Rose Templeton,  Aoife Khan PE Teacher (Mervin) - Ella McAllister Geography Teacher - Mia Mouron-Adams English Teacher - Joanna Hicks Gertrude - Megan Adair Mervin’s Mates:  Alice Kirkwood, Olivia Allister & Miriam O’Reilly


mccaughey house reports


House Report

itting down to write this report, I am filled with a mixture of emotions. I am sad that my duties as McCaughey House Captain are almost at an end, but mostly I feel an overwhelming sense of pride, humility and satisfaction. What we as a House have achieved this year simply blows my mind, and I am incredibly honoured to have been known as McCaughey House’s 2013/2014 Head of House. I still vividly remember this time last year, standing in Mr Manning’s office with Katherine and Lara with a grin on my face that would have rivalled the Cheshire Cat’s! I remember thinking to myself, ‘Meghan stop smiling so much! Mr Manning is going to think you’re not taking this seriously!’ As it turns out smiling was to be something myself, Lara and Katherine would be doing a lot of over the next twelve months! Our duties began with the annual Day of Sport. Katherine, Lara and I referred to ourselves throughout the year as ‘Probably the Least Sporty House Captains Strathearn has Ever Seen’ and while other House Captains provided practical advice from the sidelines, sporting instruction from Lara, Katherine and myself has been limited to blaring three recurring phrases: “COME ON MCCAUGHEY!”, “GET THE BALL OFF THEM!” and “GET IT AWAY FROM THEIR GOAL!”. However, our lack of sporting abilities in no way reflects the talent of the girls within our House. We came an amazing first overall in the annual Day of Sport! In Inter-House Netball we came an admirable third overall (tying with Watts in joint second and just losing out on goals scored) and a special mention must go to our third year girls, who came first in their year! In Junior Inter-House hockey we came a commendable third overall and, although our Senior Team wasn’t quite as lucky, we managed to make a brilliant comeback, coming first overall in the Inter-House cross-country Katherine Beattie, Meghan Herron and Lara Dobson competition and in the first year Inter-House hockey. I want to thank every girl who participated in an Inter-House sporting event, or simply came out to support. The House spirit you have all shown has been outstanding, and for this reason you are the winners of every event in my eyes. This year has been the best I have spent at Strathearn and this is thanks to the brilliant members of McCaughey House. Many thanks must also go to everyone who supported us in any way, including the PE Department and Miss Ferris. Special thanks must go, however, to two very important people who were not simply my two Deputies, but also my two friends: Lara and Katherine. You have been incredible and without you my job would have been a lot more difficult! Finally, I wish next year’s Captains all the luck in the world! Cherish every day you get to lead this House because, believe me - it flies in!

House Play


The Cast

30,000 Feet by M Herron

few years ago I made a pact with myself that if I was ever fortunate enough to be given the opportunity, I would write the McCaughey House play and so, when school broke for summer in 2013, I was faced with the daunting (yet exciting!) task of writing a script. Developed from an idea Lara and I had discussed on the way home from school one day, 30,000 Feet was born by a pool in Spain, its plot following a group of whacky passengers on their way to Ibiza. Everything was not smooth sailing, however, and there were definitely times when I felt it would just be easier to give up. For this reason I would like to thank Lara, Katherine and Miss Ferris for their constant support and reassurance that yes, it was good enough! Three weeks into September and it was time to hold auditions! I would like to thank every girl who came to try out this year; you were all fantastic! If we could have found a way of squeezing you all onto that stage, you can rest assured we would have! Unfortunately, that was not possible, and after much deliberation we settled on our twenty-seven strong cast. The rehearsal schedule was intense and I want to thank my cast for turning up to G10 every day with a smile on their face! More than once rehearsals dissolved into laughing fits and I treasure each and every rehearsal I spent with you all. The time eventually came to show the school what we could do, and to this day I cannot think of those final performances without smiling. Not only did we walk away with Best Play but also Best Technical, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress which was shared between the brilliant sisters Janey and Leah Deehan for perfectly embodying the bolshie air-hostesses, Britney and Whitney! Words cannot describe what I felt watching my script and my characters come to life and it was all thanks to you girls! Without you none of this would have been possible - thank you all for everything! I would also like to thank Mr Heaney for helping us out by recording a voice-over for the character of the pilot, and my brilliant backstage crew of Lois Wilson, Katie Smith, Hope Smith, Paige Jackson, Kaitlin Wilson and Clare Bankhead. I will never forget the House play experience of 2013 or the amazing girls who made it so special. I hope you all had as much fun as I did as you remember that epic day in October when McCaughey House became the House play winners for the first time in thirteen years! Meghan Herron, McCaughey House Captain


Britney - Janey Deehan Whitney - Leah Deehan Dick - Isla Lockhart Rick - Sarah Flack Mick - Bonnie Macrae Gary - Rachel Howe Julie - Aimée Richardson Amy - Chloe Jeanes Becca - Anna Wilson Beth - Beth Lynas Mum - Lauren Watson Connor - Rachel Forsythe Sophie - Jessica Anderson-Bell Becky - Keely Whitla Katie - Eve Elliott Dr Whom - Molly Fairclough Mr Jones - Eva Perrott Mrs Jones - Molly Longstaff Granny Annie - Jill Fergie Ashley - Alana McVea Jay - Nicky Montgomery Pilot - Mr Heaney Co-Pilot - Bonnie Macrae Dodgy Character - Harriet Brown Extras: Zara McVea, Maya Savage Newell,  Jenna Montgomery & Maia Collins

watts house reports House Report


t’s hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since Emma Irwin, Natalie Wylie and I were appointed as House Captains for Watts.  We were called to Mr Manning’s office on 26 April 2013 and from then we have had an extremely busy year filled with sport, drama, fun and most importantly sweets! Our first task was to assist at the Day of Sport in June. Cheering from the sidelines, we helped with taking the times for the races. From there we were able to see how our last year would be filled with House events. The biggest challenge that Emma, Natalie and I had to face was choosing the House play in October.  As all three of us had participated in the House plays before, we knew it would be difficult to choose the right play. Throughout the year we helped organise the various Inter-House events which included InterHouse hockey and netball, which saw Watts coming a fantastic overall first and second respectively. With regards to the Senior hockey, Watts came out on top and was placed first. This was due to several goals being scored against rival teams and fantastic House spirit. I would really like to congratulate these girls, as they really did deserve that win for their House. From being given these positions as Head of House, the three of us have realised what a privilege it is to be given the Red Tie alongside the red badges. Having these positions bestowed upon us has really made us appreciate the responsibility we were given last year.  By having these roles of office bearers has really made our last year at Strathearn memorable by being Emma Irwin, Sophie Craig and Natalie Wylie able to see how much House spirit exists within Watts. I would like to thank the PE and the Drama Departments for working alongside us this year. However, I must say a huge thank you to all those girls who got involved in House events this year; we really wouldn’t have been able to do all this without you. But most importantly I would like to thank my two Deputies, Emma and Natalie. I don’t think I will be able to thank Emma and Natalie enough for all their hard work and contribution to Watts throughout their years at Strathearn. I am so grateful to both of them for their hard work and commitment this year to all the House events. I have really enjoyed being House Captain and I will find it hard to pass the red tie on to the next House Captain. I wish her and her two Deputies the best of luck for next year and - enjoy it!

House Play You’re Dumped based on It’s not You, It’s Me by D Zolidis


fter we were appointed as the House Captains of Watts, I think the one thing on all our minds was the upcoming House play competition. In mid-August my Deputies and I met up on several occasions to discuss what our play would be.  We chose the play, It’s not You, It’s Me by Don Zolidis, which was made up of several scenarios dealing with the painful art of breaking up. We realised that we had a busy couple of months ahead of us, seeing as we had all participated in the plays ourselves. Our play was made up of a cast of twenty people and, due to having over sixty girls audition, we had to expand our cast with a small chorus due to the high level of talent that we saw in the auditions. During each audition stage we had for the girls, they never failed to make us laugh. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of those girls who auditioned - and do keep auditioning, as each one of you has talent! Each House was given a budget of £50, and from this we paid for our script and also bought costumes and props.  After we had chosen our cast and put up the ‘cast list’, rehearsals began immediately during lunchtimes, after school and even at weekends. The six weeks we spent with our cast were wonderful; we were able to work alongside girls from different year groups and also meet new people and have a laugh with them. The final week came in October and our dress rehearsal happened with Miss Ferris giving us and the girls some extra advice before the big performance. Looking back now, I realise I was more nervous watching in the wings script in hand, with Emma and Natalie, than actually performing in a House play myself. I knew how hard the girls had worked by learning all their lines and being able to be entertaining at the same time. On the Tuesday, we put on a performance for first to fourth years, which gave the girls confidence for the next day. The girls performed extremely well and received positive feedback from their peers. When Wednesday arrived all the girls were excited to perform the play to the senior school and the outside adjudicator. They did exceptionally well and gave their best performance to date.  After lunch we returned to the assembly hall and waited nervously for the results.  Watts received the Best Cameo Award, due to Lydia Millar’s fabulous performance as a Russian spy, and we were praised for all our acting throughout the performance. Sophie Craig,  Watts House Captain


The Cast Jack - Frances Wilson Cathy - Rosanna Good Jacob - Tara Kane Ellie - Saskia Craig Jim - Sophia Hamilton Sarah - Clara Kerr Maisie - Rachel Henry John - Heidi McMillen Michael - Olivia Nelson Ashley - Katie Wills Angela - Rosie Park Thomas - Lydia Millar Mark - Shannon Rietveld Gabriella - Mehika Sood Sam - Sophie Taylor James - Tavisha Sood Vicky - Lucy Hayes Luke - Chloe Armstrong Jenny - Sophie Taylor Server - Chelsey McGarry Chorus: Maisie Hughes, Zoe Hepworth, Sara Cooper,  Amy Baker, Claire Whiteside & Ruth Gregg

games captain’s report


nother year of sporting success echoes around Strathearn’s Sports Hall! Medals, trophies and winners galore, both individually and as teams! Here are my top sporting highlights! Firstly, in hockey the 2A XI, led by Isla Lockhart, stormed to a win in the McDowell Cup against the Royal School, Armagh 3-2. The match was played at Friends’ School and the Strathearn supporters were in full voice.  After fulltime the score line was 2-2. The supporters and coaches were on tenterhooks, but the great skill and teamwork during extra time pulled the girls through. This excellent performance secured the girls a win and Isla brought home the trophy once again. Next, the strong Strathearn Swimming Team had an excellent season! Individually, the girls swam exceptionally well with a total of 14 individual medals at the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Championships and the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Championships. Strathearn formed unstoppable relays and each team won medals in both the Medley and Freestyle relays!  These remarkable performances meant that at the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Championships, Strathearn won the title of ‘top girls’ in the both Junior and Senior sections. The poolside support and camaraderie were inspirational. Strathearn’s firm swimming tradition makes us ‘the school to beat’ in 2015! Cross-country has gone from strength to strength. The challenging course at Delamont at the Co Down Districts Championships was nothing the Strathearn girls couldn’t destroy.  The blue sports kit stood out as the girls led the field. The Mini and Minor Teams were placed in the gold medal position overall, the Intermediate Team was placed third and the Seniors second. Strathearn continued on their winning streak at the Ulster Championships with the Mini and Minor Teams winning gold again. The Minor Team continued their successes at the Irish Championships in Cork, where the team finished in a very impressive second place. Olivia Nelson shone through as the star, winning two gold medals at the Co Down and Ulster Championships and silver at the Irish. Once again, the girls had excellent success at the NICMAC (Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic Content) Championships. Clara Kerr and Shannon Armour together choreographed a routine called jail breakers with a bit from the Pink Panther. The girls in black and white danced to a mash-up and came runners-up in Northern Ireland in the Junior section at this event. The Intermediate Team, led by Katie Brown, was crowned the Northern Ireland winner as the team danced flawlessly to a Michael Jackson classic.

In gymnastics, Shannon Armour and Hannah Eakin are the U19 Pairs Champions at the Acrobatic Championships 2014.  Their talent and hard work have gained them a place at the British Championships in Stoke-on-Trent! Watch this space! The summer term of 2013 brought plenty of success. Girls in athletics represented Strathearn in an honourable fashion at the Co Down, Ulster and Irish Championships. Nineteen girls at the County Down District Championships qualified across all the age groups for the Ulster Championships by finishing in the top three at this competition. Three girls - Megan Marrs, Emma Watson and Kate Farrelly qualified for the Irish Championships. Megan rose to the occasion and dominated the track, being crowned Irish Champion in the Intermediate Girls’ 80m Hurdles and 2nd in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m.  A fantastic tennis season rounded off the summer term. The Minor and Junior Teams were on fire with the Minor Team winning the Ulster Plate and the Junior Team winning the Junior Cup.  The Junior Team was the team to beat and won with a clean sweep! The new tennis courts, as part of the new build, will be of great benefit to the girls as they continue on their successful journey! Reward only comes with the hard work, dedication and support of the PE Department staff. Without Miss Taylor, Ms Young and Mrs Harvey the girls would not reach these exceptionally high standards. I have treasured every moment as Games Captain this year and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the PE staff. I would also like to give a special thanks to my two Deputies, Lois Wilson and Kelsey O’Donnell, who have been brilliant and have contributed to this successful sporting year! On behalf of my Deputies, I would like to wish the future Games Captain and Deputies the best of luck! I hope girls continue to take pride in Strathearn’s sporting tradition and may the trophy cabinet remain full! Tara Gouk, Games Captain

Games Captain and Deputies L-R ~ Lois Wilson,  Tara Gouk, Kelsey O’Donnell



Sarah Coleman, GCSE Level

Lauren Crosby, GCSE Level


Hockey Report 2013-2014

he Strathearn hockey girls always seem to enjoy themselves throughout the year and this season proved another exciting year filled with celebrations. The 1st XI Squad, captained by Kelsey O’Donnell, with Lois Wilson as her Vice Captain, came up against Dalriada School in the second round of the Schools’ Cup and the girls fought hard throughout. With a classic disguised penalty corner ball from Kelsey, Lauren Wheeler waited on the right post to touch the ball in, and the team finished the game with a 1-0 victory and proceeded to the next stage of the competition. They then went on to play Down High School. Totally dominating the play, the girls secured their place in the quarter-final of the Schools’ Cup, with the final whistle ending the game at 2-1, with Lauren Wheeler and Natalie Wallace scoring. On 25 January, the 1st XI played the quarter-final of the Schools’ Cup against Ballymena Academy. Despite the awful weather, the girls went out with a positive and confident attitude. As the first half progressed, pressure on our circle continued to build as Ballymena gained possession of the ball. 1-0 down at half-time, the girls came out strong in the second half. However, it followed a similar pattern to the first, and they went 2-0 down within the first 10 minutes of play. Unfortunately, despite each individual fighting their hardest, the score remained unchanged, and so the girls were put out at the quarter-final stage of the Schools’ Cup and could not take part in any further competitions. This year the 2A XI was captained by Isla Lockhart, with Ali Finlay and Victoria Wallace as her Vice Captains.  Although their Cup run started later than usual, the 2A XI remained focused throughout the season and their commitment to training paid off! The girls played Carrickfergus Grammar and Ballyclare High School in the first and second rounds, and their victories led them to the quarter-final of the McDowell Cup, where they faced sister school, Victoria College. This end-to-end match proved to be challenging for both sides, and the score was 0-0 at half-time. With good work from midfield, the girls won six penalty corners in a row in the second half, but the score still remained 0-0. The girls kept playing with great determination, and, within the final four minutes of play, Gabrielle Park and Isla Lockhart found themselves in a 2 v 1 situation against the Victoria keeper. Isla finished the good work from Gabrielle, and this meant that the girls proceeded to the semifinal with a 1-0 victory!  In the semi-final we watched the 2A XI sail through to the final of the McDowell Cup, as Aimée Irwin scored two excellent goals, and Gabrielle Park followed up with a tremendous third goal, all from open play; the final score was 3-1. On 12 March, the 2A XI faced the Royal School,  Armagh in the final of the McDowell Cup. With Strathearn dominating play, the girls were 1-0 up at half-time and still working hard, they secured another goal and continued the second half with a 2-0 lead, with Aimée and Gabrielle scoring. However,  Armagh came back fighting, and with a couple of errors from Strathearn, they managed to tie the score at 2-2 until the final whistle. Strathearn were the stronger team in extra time, and with only two minutes left Strathearn grabbed the victory, as Gabrielle Park got the ball in the back of the net: final score 3-2. Congratulations to the 2A XI on an excellent season! The 2B XI was captained by Lara Sweet with Rachael Thomas as her Vice Captain. The 3A XI was captained by Rachel Powderly with Sophie Hood as her Vice Captain. In the Gibson Cup, the 2B and 3A XI gained valuable experience in their round-robin phase of the competition, but narrowly missed the chance to get through to the knock-out stages. In junior hockey this year, the U14 XI, captained by Victoria Hamilton, with Ellie Biggerstaff as her Vice Captain, reached the quarter-final of the Junior Plate.  After being knocked out in the second round of the Junior Cup by Wallace High School, the team turned their focus to the Plate. The U14A XI faced Strabane Academy in the first round of the competition on 21 January. With the girls battling hard they secured a 2-0 victory with Ellie Biggerstaff scoring both goals. The team were then drawn away to the Royal School, Dungannon in the second round. From the start Strathearn dominated and opened the scoring after only two minutes, when Lauren Kirkwood deflected the ball in at the right hand post following Victoria Hamilton’s strike. Lauren was on target just before half-time with another excellent finish, and Victoria scored from a penalty corner midway through the second half to make it 3-0. With only seconds left in the game, Lauren rounded off a superb individual display to score her third and the team’s fourth goal, meaning Strathearn proceeded to the quarter-final of the Junior Plate. Unfortunately, the girls lost in the quarter-final. Well done to Florence Ogonda, Shannon Booth, Abby Larmour, Erin Larmour, Isla Lockhart, Jemma Gillan and Kate Farrelly, who were nominated for the U17 Belfast Area Board Trials. Congratulations to Florence, Shannon and Abby who were selected for the U17 Belfast Area Board Team.  Also to Sarah Brown, Alex Gillan, Bonnie Ramsay, Victoria Hamilton and Ailie McKinty who were nominated for the U15 Belfast Area Board Trials. Congratulations to Sarah Brown, who was selected for the U15 Belfast Area Board Team, from which she was further selected to attend Ulster U16 Trials. Finally, a massive thank you to all the PE staff, who have worked so hard and helped us improve and achieve great success this season.  A further thank you to our very own stats man and number one supporter, Cecil Swinton; it has been greatly appreciated.  All the hockey girls are very grateful for the commitment and support given to us by all parents and staff. Last, but not least, I would like to wish all the teams a huge ‘Good luck’ for next year! I hope the hard work, enjoyment and success continues throughout the 2014-2015 season. Kelsey O’Donnell, U6T



1st XI Hockey Team Back Row: Bethanie Chambers, Sarah Brown, Lauren Wheeler, Shannon Booth, Florence Ogonda Middle Row: Kate Farrelly, Natalie Wallace, Isla Lockhart,  Anieshia Bedford, Gemma Adair, Shannon McClintock Front Row: Erin Larmour, Lois Wilson, Kelsey O’Donnell (C),  Jemma Gillan,  Abby Larmour

2A XI Hockey Team ~ McDowell Cup Winners 2013-2014 Back Row:  Anieshia Bedford, Sarah Brown, Aimée Irwin, Sarah Simpson Middle Row: Gabrielle Park, Katie Majury, Dakota Armour,  Ailie McKinty, Kate Farrelly Front Row: Louise Owens,  Vikki Wallace (VC), Isla Lockhart (C),  Ali Finlay (VC), Charlotte Lowry


Abigail Crosby,  AS Level

sport 2B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Dakota  Armour, Laura Middleton, Rachael Thomas (VC) Middle Row: Francesca Lynn, Emma Wilson, Emma Flannigan, Bonnie Ramsay, Roma Kelly Front Row: Becky Poots,  Jane Hunter, Lara Sweet (C), Charlotte Lowry,  Alex Gillan

3A XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Amy Hepworth, Emily Whiteside, Georgina Gomes,  Amy Gilpin Middle Row: Monique Knipe, Ellen Meredith, Meabh Lowry,  Ana Cabecinha Front Row: Hannah King, Sophie Hood (VC), Rachel Powderly (C), Emma Lowry

Bethany Craig, 3A In the frosty morning chill The dew lies on the grass. Each flower opens and greets the morn. The early birds glide past. The trees sway in the morning wind Tall and strong they stand. The colour of each tiny flower Brightens up the land. Shannon Rietveld, 3T

3B XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Alex Simpson, Erin Prentice Middle Row: Caitie Williams, Rhia Prentice,  Anna Ross, Kerry Hepworth,  Ana Cabecinha Front Row:  Jessica McCleery, Sarah Davidson,  Annabel Terry, Rebekah Craig, Hannah Craig



U14A XI Hockey Team

U14B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Lauren Kirkwood, Natalie McHugh, Evanna Maxted, Katrina Kerr Middle Row:  Alanna McHugh,  Jessica Leeman, Katie Caldwell, Ellen Gilpin,  Jordyn Spence Front Row: Danielle McDowell, Ellie Biggerstaff,  Victoria Hamilton (C), Beth Watson

Back Row: Claire Hunter, Niamh Lemon, Eden Lamb, Beth Crosbie Middle Row: Katie McVeigh, Emily Leitch, Bethany Craig, Sophie King, Rachel McCausland Front Row: Zara McVea, Danielle McDowell (C), Evanna Maxted (VC), Tegan Dunbar, Katie Mackay

U13A XI Hockey Team

U13B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Hannah McCann, Maya Savage Newell, Katie Wills Middle Row: Zoe Hepworth, Lauren Shankey, Sophie Williams, Claire Whiteside, Emma Farrelly Front Row: Chloe Sweet, Niamh Meredith (C),  Jessica Anderson-Bell, Rebekah Mitchell

Back Row: Sophie Neale (VC), Rose Templeton,  Tess McMillen, Molly Longstaff, Kate Welsh Middle Row: Hannah Minnis,  Joanne Allen, Bethan Andrews, Olivia Nelson, Britney Haynes Front Row: Kerry Annett, Ruby Baxter, Samantha McCormick (C), Rebekah Mitchell, Molly Cahoon

Charis Forsythe-Wright ~ GCSE Level

The world through a green wrapper The trees, the sky, the birds, the homes All transformed. Emma Spreadborough, 2R



U13C XI Hockey Team

U12A XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Grace McAllister, Zara Wilson,  Arianne Whiteside Middle Row: Rachel Bell, Nicole Lawther, Orla Bannister,  Tess McMillen (C) Front Row: Sian Anderson, Mia Mouron-Adams, Emma Gibson,  Anna Mercer

Back Row: Eve Elliott, Daisy Shannon, Emma Craig Middle Row: Grace Hutchinson, Erin Stewart, Emma McGugan,  Anna McKibbin, Lauren Armstrong Front Row: Daisy Moore,  Jenny Wilson, Harriet Platt, Megan Adair

Lauren Fetherston, 2H

U12B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Kaitlyn Smith, Olivia Allister, Rachel McClintock, Saioa Oscoz Middle Row: Eva Aston, Íde Simpson,  Jasmine Trill, Rhiannon Brady, Heidi McMillen Front Row: Grace Ruding, Nicole Kane,  Anna Kirkwood, Emma Caldwell

U12C XI Hockey Team Back Row: Freya Axten, Kate Wilson, Leah Beattie,  Amy Welsh, Sophie Mitchell Middle Row: Rebekah Spence, Riona Florence,  Ami Minnis, Ruth Gregg, Heidi McMillen Front Row:  Josie Knox, Sarah Baker, Zara Hamilton, Rosie Park, Ellie Davis, Rebecca Lewis


sport Golf Report 2013


n 14 March, Strathearn’s Senior Golf Team of Hannah King and Jenna Kerr played in the Ulster section of the Irish Schools’ Championships. Featuring for the first time in the Junior section was Heidi McMillen. Also in the Junior Team was Tess McMillen. The Strathearn golfers performed admirably at a windy, cold and extremely challenging Royal Portrush golf course, with a good overall score of 35 points from  Jenna Kerr and Hannah King, Tess McMillen and Heidi McMillen all contributing with good scores. Finally, I hope any girls who want to play next year have a good 2014 season of golf and, as a consequence, can get their club handicaps down to 35 or lower by next March, so that they can join us in next year’s Ulster Schools’ Competition. Jenna Kerr, U6H


Equestrian Report

he annual Schools’ Show Jumping Competition held by North Down Pony Club, took place on 19 October in the recently built Balmoral Park. We are delighted to say that we had two teams participating. Our senior girls, Emily McGowan, Fionn Clarke, Christine McVeigh and Clare Bankhead, were placed a commendable eleventh, with a total of four faults. Meanwhile, we had another team of four girls competing in the Intermediate Competition. Sophie Ennis, Freya Axten, Katie McVeigh and Rose De Montmorency-Wright also finished on a total of four faults, but with a good result of tenth place.

On 22 February, three girls attended an Inter-schools’ Dressage Competition which took place at Gransha Equestrian Centre. The girls, Georgie Young, Emily Hinds and Rose De MontmorencyWright rode the same dressage test, but in different age groups. The competition proved popular which resulted in large numbers in each class. Georgie was placed just out of the ribbons, in a respectable sixth place in the Senior Novice. In the Intermediate Class, both Rose and Emily rode very well, with Rose finishing in seventh place. Georgie Young, 4S

Back Row:  Tess McMillen, Heidi McMillen Front Row:  Jennifer Kerr, Hannah King

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2013

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2013

Rose De Montmorency-Wright Charlotte De Montmorency-Wright

Golf Jenna Kerr, Hannah King




Sports Hall Athletics Back Row: Molly Longstaff, Bonnie Ramsay,  Arianne Whiteside, Katie Wills Middle Row: Sophie Williams, Murphy Miller, Hannah Craig, Kerry Annett, Claire Whiteside Front Row: Sian Anderson, Eve Truesdale, Kate Farrelly, Olivia Nelson, Lauren Shankey

Lauren Duncan, GCSE Level

Sports Hall Athletics

ports Hall Athletics for Forms 1-4 started in November, with training taking place each Tuesday lunchtime and Thursday evening in Strathearn Sports

Hall. Strathearn athletes combined with girls from Bloomfield Collegiate to form the East Belfast Teams at U13 and U15 levels. The teams then competed in the Ulster Sports Hall Athletics Final in March at the Meadowbank Arena in Magherafelt. This year was another successful year for the U13 and U15 Teams, with both securing overall third place. Medal winners in the U13 Team individual events were Molly Longstaff, second place in the 2 Lap Race, Olivia Nelson first in the 4 Lap Race and the Speed Bounce Race and Katie Wills second place in the 6 Lap Race with Murphy Miller in third place. Sian Anderson was third in the Vertical Jump, and Kerry Annett second in the Triple Jump.  Arianne Whiteside was placed second in the High Jump. In the Obstacle Relay the U13 Team of Kerry Annett, Sian Anderson and Katie Wills was placed third.  Also at U13 level, Lauren Shankey, Kerry Annett, Sian Anderson and Claire Whiteside came third in the 4x1 Lap Relay. In the U15 event, Eve Truesdale, Bonnie Ramsay and Hannah Craig came third in the 4x2 Lap Relay. Jessica Leeman and Kate Farrelly came third in the 8 lap Paarlauf Relay. Kate also finished first in the Vertical Jump, second in the Shot and second in the 2 Lap Race. This then placed Kate in second place overall in the individual competition. Thank you to Mrs Harvey for all her hard work in preparing and coaching the Sports Hall Athletics Teams. Kate Farrelly, 4A

Nature’s Change This must be winter... The crystal snow sparkles like a starry night And has the most magical feel, But faded away, Lost and gone the next day. Replaced with buds and fresh, green grass, Announcing the bird’s sweet lullaby of Morning’s welcome song. I know this is spring. The flowers of Spring have finally bloomed In an explosion of colour. Then the sun appears Scorching hot. We lose that hour of time... All is well, as our holidays are in sight. Summer has begun. The blazing sun beams down on the ground... Then I look around and see the trees are no longer green. Replaced by a beautiful splash of reds, oranges And golds - Nature gleams. Autumn is here! Lauren Kerr, 1S




Intermediate Dance Report

he Dance Team proved to be ever popular this year, with fifty girls from forms 1-5 auditioning in October. This gave me the tough job of choosing the seventeen who would compete as the Strathearn Intermediate Team at NICMAC, the Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobics Content Championships, in March. The girls met weekly at after-school rehearsals to perfect a routine - choreographed by Katie Brown - to Michael Jackson’s, They Don’t Care About Us. Throughout the year we collected coppers and held a sweet and bun sale in school; we managed to raise over £450, which went towards costumes for the performance. On the day of the competition, the girls used their nerves and excitement to give a powerful and impressive performance, which received high praise from both audience members and other competitors. The team was thrilled to be placed first in one of the toughest Intermediate Sections yet, becoming Northern Ireland Intermediate Champions for the second year in a row! The girls should be commended on their hard work and commitment, which certainly paid off! I would like to thank Miss Morrow, Mrs Eakin and the PE Department for their support of the team this year. I hope that it continues to go from strength to strength, and look forward to seeing what success the next year will bring for dance in Strathearn. Katie Brown, L6T

Intermediate Dance Team Back Row:  Alice Graham,  Anna Kane, Zara Wilson, Hannah Eakin, Mia Wheatley, Rebecca Black Middle Row: Ella Reid,  Anna Tyson, Katy Anderson,  Alana McVea,  Aife Sansom, Georgia McCutcheon Front Row: Sarah McTaggart, Emily O’Callaghan,  Alice Huddleston, Katie Brown (Coach), Hannah Hornsby, Keely Whitla

Junior Dance Report


Junior Dance Team Back Row: Eve Elliott, Phoebe Spratt, Evanna Maxted,  Alice Graham, Lauren Clarke Middle Row: Rebecca Welsh, Sian Roberts,  Aife Sansom, Jasmine Trill, Lauren Kerr Front Row: Shannon Armour (Coach), Erin Vogan, Hannah Hornsby, Harriet Platt, Clara Kerr (Coach)


n 8 March, the Strathearn Junior Dance Team competed in the NICMAC (Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic content championship) competition, which was hosted by Lisburn Leisureplex. The team consisted of thirteen girls selected by auditions from forms one to three, and it competed in the junior competition category against twelve strong teams from across Northern Ireland, including the Bloomfield Dance Team - the reigning Northern Ireland and Ulster champions. The girls did a brilliant three-minute performance - choreographed by Lower Sixth pupils, Shannon Armour and Clara Kerr - to a medley of music, themed around criminals. The team was placed second overall in the junior category, a great reward after the five months of hard work from all the girls! The competition day was filled with nerves and excitement, and the whole team was thrilled with the silver medal they achieved. We are now more determined than ever to go for gold in 2015! Clara Kerr, L6R

sport Tennis Report 2013


ennis continues to be a strong sport in Strathearn and the 2013 tennis season was every bit as successful as in previous years, with four out of the six teams winning their round-robin section, and making it through to the ‘knock-out’ stages of the Ulster Schools’ Cup. Congratulations to the Minor Team who managed to win the Ulster Plate. Having finished runners-up in their section, the team of Claire Whiteside, Maya Savage Newell, Molly Longstaff and Eva Perrott went on to defeat Friends’ School, Lisburn in the semi-final and then Wallace High School in the final. The girls showed excellent skill and determination as they managed to win all four singles matches and both doubles matches in order to lift the trophy. Well done girls! The Junior A Team of Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers, Arianna Kennedy and Jessica Moore played flawlessly throughout their section, winning all their fixtures without conceding a match.  After defeating Victoria College in the quarter-final, the girls faced Banbridge Academy in the semi-final where, once again, they showed their class as they won 6-0 and sailed through to the final. In the final, the team from Methodist College were the opponents and what a spectacle it turned out to be with both teams displaying excellent skills and determination! Strathearn had to fight hard for every point but, once again, came out on top to win the Junior Cup in style! The girls are to be congratulated on their contribution to such an entertaining final.  All four girls were selected for Ulster Tennis Squads, and special congratulations should go to Jessica Leeman and Megan Chambers, who were selected to represent Ulster at U14 level. The Junior B Team, consisting of Meabh Lowry, Sarah Osborne,Victoria Hamilton and Claire Hunter, outperformed the other teams in their section to make it through to the quarter-final. The girls played extremely well, but narrowly lost out on a games count to Friends’ School, Lisburn, having drawn the match 3-3. Better luck next time girls! The Intermediate A Team of Anna Warden, Jenny Maynes, Jemma Gillan and Saskia Craig played extremely well after facing a few tough matches in their section, but worked hard and came out the winners. They were then drawn away to Enniskillen to play Mount Lourdes in the quarter-final. Unfortunately, Strathearn was unable to secure a victory as Mount Lourdes proved too strong, with Jemma being the only Strathearn player to record a win. However, the girls should be congratulated on getting to this stage of a competitive cup. The Intermediate B Team of Catherine Whiteside, Emma Flannigan, Emily Whiteside,  Ariana Gallen and Rachael Thomas played well in their section, winning two out of three of their matches, but were unlucky to be drawn against a very strong Sullivan side, and so their progress out of the round-robin section was halted. There’s always next year girls! The Senior Team consisting of Bethanie Chambers, Ashleigh Watson, Sophie Craig and Alex Guy only had two matches in their section; they won these with ease and sailed through to the semi-final stage. Here they met Belfast Royal Academy and although Bethanie won her singles, and then paired-up with Ashleigh to win their doubles, the team narrowly lost by just one set. Congratulations to all the girls who participated in tennis over the past year as, once again, they proved that Strathearn is at the forefront of Ulster Tennis! Well done and let’s hope Strathearn can achieve similar success in the forthcoming tennis season! Emma Flannigan, L6R

Senior Tennis Team

Intermediate A Tennis Team

Back Row:  Ashleigh Watson, Bethanie Chambers Front Row:  Alex Guy, Sophie Craig

Back Row:  Anna Warden, Saskia Craig Front Row:  Jemma Gillan,  Jenny Maynes



Intermediate B  Tennis Team

Junior A Tennis Team ~ Ulster Champions 2013

Back Row:  Ariana Gallen, Emma Flannigan, Emily Whiteside Front Row: Rachael Thomas, Catherine Whiteside

Junior B Tennis Team

Back Row:  Arianna Kennedy,  Jessica Moore Front Row: Megan Chambers,  Jessica Leeman

Minor Tennis Team ~ Ulster Plate Winners 2013 L-R: Molly Longstaff, Claire Whiteside, Maya Savage Newell Absent: Eva Perrott

Back Row: Meabh Lowry, Claire Hunter Front Row: Sarah Osborne,  Victoria Hamilton



Ulster Tennis U14 2013 Jessica Leeman

Intermediate Netball Team Back Row: Cecilia Pierce, Sarah Brown, Shannon Booth, Francesca Lynn Front Row: Erin Larmour, Rhia Prentice, Florence Ogonda, Katy Miskimmin

Ulster Tennis U14 2013 Megan Chambers

Junior Netball Team NI U19 Football 2013 Catherine Sheridan

Back Row: Katie Caldwell, Lauren Kirkwood, Natalie McHugh,  Victoria Hamilton Front Row:  Alanna McHugh, Danielle McDowell, Evanna Maxted,  Alex Reilly


sport Netball Report


e are proud to announce yet another successful season for the Minor,  Junior and Intermediate Netball Teams, who have been competing in the Belfast Area Leagues.  As well as this, we also have a number of individual achievements to report. The enthusiasm of the Minor Team is something to be admired, and this has resulted in an impressive standard of play in all matches. The Junior Team is also very committed, which has contributed to a successful season. Some girls were nominated to attend trials for the Belfast Area U13 Regional Development Academy. Well done to Anna Corbett, Emma Farrelly, Molly Longstaff, Hannah McCann, Catrina Moore, Sophie Neale, Grace Ruding and Olivia Allister! We would also like to congratulate Megan Adair and Grace Hutchinson, who successfully earned a position on the Academy Squad. There is considerable talent in the Intermediate Team. The girls represented the school in the Belfast Area League, winning the majority of their matches and displaying an excellent standard of netball.  A number of the girls were nominated to attend trials for the U15 Regional Development Academy, including Francesca Lynn, Sophie Allen, Katy Miskimmin, Beth Watson, Maddy Miskimmin, Katie Caldwell, Sarah Brown and Natalie McHugh. Well done to all teams involved in the leagues and to those dedicated girls who come to training and make Strathearn Netball even more enjoyable! Many of the girls are looking forward to supporting the Northern Ireland U19 Squad at the U19 European Championships that are being held in Antrim this year. Inter-House netball was popular again this year, and we would like to thank every girl who played, supported and cheered on their House. This Year the competition was fierce, with both Junior and Senior Tournaments having a big turnout. Congratulations to Boucher House, who won overall! None of these results or achievements would be possible without the dedication of our talented coach, Helen McLaughlin. Helen’s time and effort has strengthened every aspect of Strathearn Netball, and we are extremely grateful to be able to benefit from her coaching. Abigail Crosby, U6H

Through the yellow wrapper I can see a World of freedom and happiness where all Darkness has gone. I see a world of Sunshine where nothing bad happens. No war or fighting,  just a happy, Peaceful world. Sophie Young, 2R

Minor Netball Team Back Row: Sophie Neale, Katie Wills,  Tess McMillen,  Arianne Whiteside, Rebecca Black Front Row: Hannah McCann, Molly Longstaff, Emma Farrelly, Lauren Shankey, Sian Murray

Year 8 Netball Team Back Row: Kate Wilson, Freya  Axten Middle Row:  Jasmine Trill, Daisy Shannon, Eve Elliott, Olivia Allister Front Row:  Jenny Wilson, Grace Ruding, Megan Adair, Grace Hutchinson




Cross-Country Report

his year, we saw excellent results in Cross-country from both teams, and individually across all of the age groups. The Co Down Cross-Country Districts took place on 30 January in Delamont Park. The Mini girls were up first with an incredible performance, finishing in first place and setting a high standard for the races to come. Particular congratulations go to Murphy Miller, who led the field from the start of the race and never looked back, striding home to take the gold medal. The results of the other members of the Mini Team were as follows: Harriet Platt was placed twelfth,  Aimée Stitt sixteenth,  Anna McKibbin nineteenth, Grace Ruding twenty-eighth and Megan Adair thirtieth. This high standard was matched with ease by the Minor Team. Olivia Nelson led the race from the start, finishing in first place, with Samantha McCormick hot on her heels in third place, Sophie Williams in fourth place, Erin McConnell in fifth place and Zoe Hepworth in twenty-sixth place. Unfortunately, Katie Wills had to pull out during the race due to an injury. These magnificent performances meant that overall, the team finished first! The Junior Team finished fourth overall, narrowly missing out on qualification for the Ulster Championships. Individual congratulations go to Jessica Leeman, who came an impressive first, qualifying for the Ulster Championships, followed by her teammates Megan Chambers nineteenth and Alex Reilly twenty-fifth. The Intermediate girls rose to the occasion with Emma Watson leading the team running an excellent race finishing third, followed by Sarah Brown who finished tenth, Meabh Lowry thirty-second, Keziah Beattie thirty-fourth, Hannah Craig thirty-sixth and Georgina Gomes forty-first. Overall, the team finished a commendable third. Senior Cross-Country Team The Senior girls finished second overall with the following results: Chloe Johnston eighth, Back Row:  Tara Gouk,  Amy Hepworth Anna Campbell ninth, Amy Hepworth thirteenth and Tara Gouk thirtieth. This great result meant that the Senior, Intermediate, Minor and Mini Teams all qualified for the Front Row:  Anna Campbell, Chloe Johnston Ulster Championships, which took place on 11 February. Strathearn got off to a flying start with the Mini Team, led by Murphy Miller, taking the A very large tree team trophy and Ulster title for 2014. Having won the Districts, Murphy finished just out of the individual medals in fourth place, with Aimée Stitt in tenth place, Harriet Platt in Standing tall and majestic twenty-second,  Anna McKibbin in thirty-eighth, Grace Ruding in fifty-first and Megan Reaching for the sky. Adair in fifty-second place. Abigail Bester, 2R Not to be outdone by the Mini girls, the Minor Team went out determined to bring home some silverware, and they did not disappoint! Olivia Nelson, who had also won the Districts, stormed home to claim individual gold. Her teammates were not far behind with Sam McCormick in tenth place, Erin McConnell in fourteenth and Sophie Williams in eighteenth place, Zoe Hepworth seventyeighth and Arianne Whiteside eighty-eighth. These brilliant results meant the team was crowned Ulster Champions! Jessica Leeman, who had won the Districts, ran as an individual in the junior race and finished in a very commendable tenth place. The Intermediate Team was once again led by Emma Watson, who finished an impressive tenth, Sarah Brown twenty-sixth, Meabh Lowry sixty-fifth, Keziah Beattie sixty-seventh, Georgina Gomes seventy-eighth and Hannah Craig eighty-third. The Senior girls finished sixth overall with the following results: Anna Campbell twenty-third, Chloe Johnston twenty-fifth, Amy Hepworth twenty-eighth and Tara Gouk fifty-sixth. The Minor Team, along with Jessica Leeman and Emma Watson, qualified for the Irish Championships in Cork, which took place on 8 March. The Minor Team performed to their exceptionally high standard, with Olivia Nelson running a superb race and finishing second overall. Sam McCormick came thirty-first, followed by Erin McConnell thirty-fourth and Sophie Cross-Country Club Williams forty-first. These fantastic results put the Back Row: Rebekkah Lindores, Daisy Shannon, Freya Axten, team in second place overall – other team members Shannon Rietveld, Rachel Cowan helping with this outstanding achievement were Zoe Hepworth and Arianne Whiteside. Congratulations to Middle Row: Amy Martin, Zoe Robinson, Olivia Allister, Emma Beattie, all girls who took part; we hope to see you next year Rhiannon Brady for another set of great results! Front Row: Ellie Davis, Beth Strahan, Grace Hutchinson, Nicole Kane, Chloe Johnston, L6S Emma Caldwell



Intermediate Cross-Country Team

Junior Cross-Country Team

Back Row: Georgina Gomes, Sarah Brown, Meabh Lowry Front Row: Keziah Beattie, Emma Watson, Hannah Craig

Back Row:  Jessica Leeman Front Row: Megan Chambers,  Alex Reilly

Back Row: Samantha McCormick,  Arianne Whiteside, Katie Wills, Sophie Williams Front Row: Zoe Hepworth, Olivia Nelson, Erin McConnell

Back Row:  Anna McKibbin,  Aimée Stitt, Megan Adair Front Row: Grace Ruding, Murphy Miller, Harriet Platt

Badminton Report


Minor Cross-Country Team ~ Co Down & Ulster Champions

Mini Cross-Country Team ~ Co Down & Ulster Champions

his year the Badminton Club has continued to run on Fridays after school for first form players and second form to the upper sixth players on alternate weeks. I have really enjoyed assisting Mrs Cozzo, who has been running the club this year. The Badminton Club is open to players of all abilities, and it has been great to see the standard of play improving as the year has progressed. All the players really enjoyed playing tournaments this year on Friday afternoons, as well as working on their technique and learning the rules of badminton. In the Form One Doubles Tournament there was an impressive number of entries, and all the girls played with great sportsmanship and enthusiasm.  After a number of very close matches, Ellie Davis and Emma Lynch played against Rachel McClintock and Grace Ruding in the final. Congratulations to Ellie and Emma, who won the doubles title. Thanks to all the girls who entered; they all show great promise for the future. In the Form One Singles Tournament there was a wide range of skills and everyone gave it their all; however, there can only be one winner, and Ellie Davis defeated Nicole Kane in a very close final, with both players showing great determination and sportsmanship. The second to sixth form Doubles and Singles Tournaments were also well supported, and the standard of play was very high. In a round-robin draw all the players approached each game with great determination and excitement. Congratulations to Evanna Maxted, 3A, who took a clear lead in all her matches. Well done to all the girls who participated! They must all be commended for their great enthusiasm and commitment to the Badminton Club. Thanks also to Mrs Cozzo for her commitment and contribution to the Badminton Club this year. Catherine Whiteside, L6T

I look through the blue wrapper. It makes the world look cold. It reminds me of the sea. Imogen Rose, 2R

Lauren Watson, GCSE Level 55

sport The star-scattered sky, Hidden beneath the dark clouds. Gentle winds blow cold. Robyn Dunwoody, 2R

Senior & Intermediate Athletics Team Co Down District Champions 2013

Back Row: Shannon Booth,  Anna Campbell, Emma Watson, Lauren Wheeler,  Tara Gouk, Laura Middleton Middle Row:  Jemma Gillan, Isla Lockhart, Lois Wilson, Florence Ogonda, Hannah Eakin, Natalie Wallace, Vikki Wallace Front Row: Chloe Johnston, Gabrielle Park, Megan Marrs,  Aimée Irwin, Lauren Brooker,  Jessica Fairclough


Athletics Report 2013

trathearn’s athletics teams competed very successfully in the Co Down and Ulster Schools’ Championships. Well done to all those involved, not only to the many girls who received individual medals, but also to those who competed and contributed to the overall team scores! At the Co Down District Championships the results were as follows: Mini: Molly Longstaff, 1st Long Jump 4.50m - New Co Down Record; Olivia Nelson, 1st 800m; Katie Wills, 3rd 800m; Zara Wilson, 7th Shot & 9th High Jump; Sophie Neale, 10th Long Jump; Arianne Whiteside, 10th High Jump. Relay: 3rd Sophie Neale, Louisa Williams, Olivia Nelson and Molly Longstaff. Junior: Kate Farrelly, 1st 75m Hurdles & 1st Triple Jump; Eve Truesdale, 3rd Long Jump; Sam Brown, 3rd Discus & 4th Shot; Francesca Lynn, 3rd Hammer; Maddy Miskimmin, 5th Hammer; Natalie McHugh, 6th Javelin; Clara Davidson, 7th 75m Hurdles;  Alanna McHugh, 9th Javelin. Relay: 1st Hannah Craig, Ellen Meredith, Eve Truesdale and Kate Farrelly. Intermediate: Overall 1st: Megan Marrs, 1st 80m Hurdles & 1st 100m; Laura Middleton, 1st Hammer; Gabrielle Park, 2nd Hammer; Shannon Booth, 2nd 200m & 4th Triple Jump; Emma Watson, 2nd 1500m; Hannah Eakin, 2nd Long Jump & 7th Discus; Isla Lockhart, 2nd 100m; Natalie Wallace, 2nd Javelin; Chloe Johnston, 2nd 300m;  Jessica Fairclough, 3rd 300m; Lauren Brooker, 4th High Jump & 4th 80m Hurdles;  Anna Campbell, 6th 1500m; Lauren Wheeler, 8th Shot. Relay: 2nd Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth, Isla Lockhart and Megan Marrs. Senior: Vicky Wallace, 2nd Javelin; Tara Gouk, 2nd High Jump. Relay: 2nd Lois Wilson, Claudia Bedford, Lauren Wheeler and Elly Drinkwater. All of the girls who finished in the top three at the Co Down Championships, qualified for the Ulster Championships on 17 and 18 May at the Antrim Forum. They performed extremely well, despite awful weather conditions. Individual results were as follows: Mini Team: Overall 2nd: Molly Longstaff, 1st Long Jump; Olivia Nelson, 4th 800m; Katie Wills, 9th 800m. Relay: 5th Sophie Neale, Louisa Williams, Olivia Nelson and Molly Longstaff. Junior: Overall 6th: Kate Farrelly, 1st Triple Jump & 2nd 75m Hurdles (Qualifying for the Irish Championships); Sam Brown, 5th Discus; Francesca Lynn, 8th Hammer; Eve Truesdale, 8th Long Jump. Relay: 7th Eve Truesdale, Ellen Meredith, Lauren Kirkwood and Kate Farrelly. Intermediate: Overall 2nd: Megan Marrs, 1st 100m & 2nd 80m Hurdles (Qualifying for the Irish Championships); Emma Watson, 2nd 1500m Steeple Chase & 7th 1500m (Qualifying for Irish Championships); Isla Lockhart, 3rd 100m; Chloe Johnston, 3rd 300m; Natalie Wallace, 4th Javelin; Shannon Booth, 4th 200m; Laura Middleton, 6th Hammer; Jessica Fairclough, 8th 3000m; Gabrielle Park, 8th Hammer. Relay: 3rd Lauren Brooker, Isla Lockhart, Shannon Booth and Megan Marrs. Senior: Vicky Wallace, 5th Javelin; Tara Gouk, 6th High Jump. Relay: 5th Lois Wilson, Claudia Bedford, Lauren Wheeler and Elly Drinkwater. The Irish Championships took place in Tullamore, on 1 June; the girls were up against tough competition, but again did Strathearn proud. Emma Watson finished 7th in the Intermediate Girls’ 1500m Steeple Chase and Kate Farrelly was 5th in the Junior Girls’ Triple Jump and 6th in the Junior Girls’ 75m Hurdles. Megan Marrs was the ‘star of the day’ and, despite having to work very hard at both events, she was crowned Irish Champion in the Intermediate Girls’ 80m Hurdles and was runner-up in the Intermediate Girls’ 100m. This is an outstanding achievement Megan! Megan has continued this success, as she emerged as the Irish U20 60m and 60m Hurdles Champion at Athlone on 20 January! Congratulations Megan! The Form 2 athletes have also been competing in the U14 Team Competition. They were runners-up in the Area Heats, and therefore went through to the District Final on 20 May. There was no room for error as only two teams would qualify for the Ulster Championships. Unfortunately, the Strathearn Team finished in fifth place overall, and so missed out on the Ulster Final. The team consisted of Eve Truesdale,  Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers, Lauren Kirkwood, Natalie McHugh, Sam Brown and Victoria Hamilton. Congratulations to Eve, who was selected to represent Co Down District in the Triple Jump at the Inter-District Competition on 13 June. She won the Triple Jump and the Co Down Girls’ Team were overall champions. Well done Eve! Lois Wilson, U6A



Minor Athletics Team 2013

Junior Athletics Team 2013

Back Row: Louisa Williams, Zara Wilson,  Arianne Whiteside, Sophie Neale Front Row: Katie Wills, Olivia Nelson, Molly Longstaff

Back Row: Lauren Kirkwood, Sarah Brown, Georgina Gomes, Natalie McHugh Middle Row:  Alanna McHugh,  Jessica Leeman, Ellen Meredith, Francesca Lynn,  Victoria Hamilton Front Row: Kate Farrelly, Emma Lowry, Hannah Craig, Keziah Beattie, Eve Truesdale

Ireland/Ulster NI U17 Schools’ Athletics 2013 Megan Marrs

NI U17 Schools’ Athletics 2013 Chloe Johnson

NI U17 Schools’ Athletics 2013 Isla Lockhart

Eryn McQuillan, GCSE Level


Junior Ireland Triathlon Squad 2013 Emma Watson


Irish U17 Squash 2014

Ulster U19 Squash 2013

Hannah Craig

Jemma Gillan

U15 Ulster & Ireland Squash Team 2014

U15 Ulster Squash Team 2014

Victoria White

Alex Gillan

Irish Schools U17 Champions 2014 L-R ~ Jemma Gillan, Hannah Craig, Emma McGugan

Seasons come and go Colours change the scenery Leaving an imprint Shanan McMillan, 2R

Squash Report


his year the Irish Schools’ Squash Championships were held at Galway Lawn Tennis Club on Friday, 11 April. The Strathearn Team of Hannah Craig,  Jemma Gillan and Year 8 pupil, Emma McGugan, played against teams from Leinster, Munster and Connaught, and emerged the winners – congratulations! Individually, Hannah Craig has once again been selected at Irish level, this year moving up to the U17 age group. Hannah competed for Ireland in the European Team Championships, beating players from France, Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden. Hannah also displayed excellent performances throughout the season winning the Ulster and Irish National Championships, the Ulster and Leinster Open Championships and she was runner-up in the Irish Open Championships, narrowly losing to the Czech number 1.

Artwork ~ Lauren Crosby, GCSE Level 58

sport Amy Harbinson, A-level

Swimming Teams Back Row: Caitie Williams, Emma Craig, Kathryn Childs, Robyn McCollum, Freya Axten,  Jenny Drennan Middle Row: Erin McConnell, Samantha McCormick, Georgia Gallen, Olivia Nelson,  Anna Heyburn, Sophie Williams Front Row: Helen Navalli, Emma Watson,  Tara Gouk, Sam Brown,  Alex Cush

Swimming Report


trathearn girls have excelled themselves in 2013-2014 swimming! The first gala of 2014 was the Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships, where Strathearn girls were prominent in the medals table. In Form One,  Anna Heyburn individually won a silver medal in the 50m Butterfly, and was joined by Amelia Kane, Freya Axten and Emma Craig to win two silver medals in the Freestyle and Medley relays. In second year the girls performed outstandingly, with each girl making it to at least one final. Individually, Olivia Nelson picked up two silver medals in the 100m Individual Medley and 50m Backstroke; Samantha McCormick won a gold medal, after a tight finish in the 50m Breaststroke and was placed fourth in the 50m Butterfly; Erin McConnell picked up the pace in the final and gained a bronze medal in the 50m Freestyle, and Sophie Williams was placed sixth in the 50m Backstroke. All these girls combined forces to form an unstoppable relay team, winning gold in both Medley and Freestyle relays. Next was the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Championships in which Strathearn girls again performed exceptionally well over a distance of 50m, overall winning ten individual medals and four relay medals! The Junior Team had many individual successes with Olivia Nelson winning a bronze medal in the Backstroke and a silver medal in the 100m Individual Medley, Samantha McCormick winning a silver medal in the Breaststroke and Samantha Brown winning a silver medal in the Backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100m Individual Medley.  After their individual successes, Olivia Nelson, Samantha Brown, Samantha McCormick and Erin McConnell combined forces to form the Junior Relay Team and won two silver medals in the Freestyle and Medley relays. The Intermediates lived up to the junior successes. Individually Alex Cush won bronze medals in both Breaststroke and Freestyle. Emma Watson narrowly missed out on a bronze medal, coming fourth in Backstroke and she was closely followed by Helen Navalli in sixth place. The senior girls swam in true Strathearn style; Tara Gouk,  Jessica Fairclough,  Jenny Drennan and Robyn McCollum formed the Senior Relay Team, and won double gold in the Freestyle and Medley relay. Individually Tara Gouk won two bronze medals in Freestyle and Backstroke and Jessica Fairclough won silver in the Backstroke. The last event of the season was the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala, and the Strathearn girls had a lot to live up to, but I’m proud to say that they delivered. In the Junior Age Group, individually Samantha Brown won a gold medal in the 100m Backstroke and a bronze in the 200 Individual Medley, Olivia Nelson won a silver medal in the 100m Backstroke, Samantha McCormick came fourth in the 100m Breaststroke, narrowly missing out on a medal and Erin McConnell came sixth in the 100m Freestyle. The Junior Relay Team of Samantha Brown, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams and Olivia Nelson won a silver medal in the Medley Relay and a bronze in the Freestyle. In the Intermediate Age Group Emma Watson won a bronze medal in the 100m Backstroke. Lastly, at senior level, Tara Gouk narrowly missed out on a medal in both Backstroke and Freestyle coming fourth in both. The Senior Relay Team of Alex Cush, Tara Gouk, Emma Watson and Jessica Fairclough won gold and silver medals in the Medley and Freestyle relays. Overall, once again it has been a very successful year for Strathearn girls in the pool and all their hard work has paid off! Congratulations! Irish Junior Squad 2013 Tara Gouk, U6A Jenny Drennan


sport Gymnastics Report 2014


n 16 March, Shannon Armour and Hannah Eakin competed in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Acrobatic and Tumbling Championships, which were held in Banbridge Leisure Centre. The girls faced tough competition from all over Northern Ireland with their modern style Bongo Song routine which they had practised all year. They performed exceptionally well to become the overall Northern Ireland Champions in the U19 Pairs Category, winning Strathearn a gold medal. They received the highest score of the whole competition and qualified to compete in the British Championships in May, which are being held in Stoke-on-Trent. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed competing for Strathearn and look forward to representing their school once again in May. Hannah Eakin, 5A

NI U19 Gymnastics Pairs Champions 2014 Hannah Eakin and Shannon Armour

Shannon Armour, GCSE Level


First comes Spring when the sun Shines. Easter comes And new-borns arrive. Then comes Summer when you’re At the beach, eating ice-cream And getting a tan. Then comes Autumn with a Blustery breeze, when Leaves start to change, And Hallowe’en. Finally, comes Winter with snow everywhere And snowmen on every front lawn. Then comes Christmas - everyone’s Favourite part, when They know Santa’s been! Nicole Kane, 1S


literary section A Change of Seasons The cold has left the frozen ground, The animals emerge with a rustling sound. Saplings push through the drowning earth, To finally rejoice at their season of birth.

Rachel Trimble,  A-Level

Leaves split the tiny branches on the aging trees. No more tiny avalanches can smother the grasses’ pleas. No more winds can choke the sky, as the birds begin to sing. They all welcome the tender hand of spring. Spring walks to another land The sky, so high, is a brilliant blue, The flowers and fruits, the brightest of hues. The grass basks in the heat of the sun, Which tingles with heat and radiant fun. The trees have bloomed both flowers and leaves, No longer assumed to be too old to breathe. For summer has run her mischievous hand Over the sun and the newborn lands. The spring, like winter, was so much number Than the playful hands of summer. Summer takes away her hand. The trees weep with silent goodbyes, As their leaves turn brown and slowly die. The flowers sink with wistful sighs, As they lose the strength to point to the sky. The rain covers the sickly sun, Who weakly remembers her summer fun. The animals hurry or quickly scurry, Some stock food or have nuts to bury. The wind gets ready with brisk, cold breezes, Waiting for when everything finally freezes. Nothing, really, can get to the bottom Of the deadly hatred of autumn. Autumn turns her withering glare The trees are the horns of an angry stag, Waiting to battle or wither and sag. The fox pops her head out of her hole, To spot a rather brazen vole. The sound of their chase through the wood, Is nothing to the trees who stood Witnesses to that unnatural streak, The red of blood in that wood so bleak. For everything is white or brown, Yet the sun can do nothing but huff and frown, For like a sore finger stuck with a splinter, Here comes the spoil-sport winter. Maia Collins, 2T

Christmas Poem Colour shines and lights up the room, The glint of tinsel erases the gloom, The baubles hang from the spiky branches, Santa, snowmen and gingerbread tranches. The stockings hang from the bright, sparking fire, Filled to the brim with what the children desire. The plate full of cookies - eaten by him, The red-coated man, with a white-bearded grin.

November A new season swept in, (the air’s dusty hum gave way at last, amber silk ripped from anorexic trees). The thirty-first is a precipice carved out by the tides, each hour borne away by the sea. On the edge, my bones are too long for my skin. Tomorrow they will be shards dug up in forgotten asphodel fields, chalky scratches upon the earth. Yesterday I sat in that turpentine, sunlit hall, picking at threads on outgrown socks, dreaming of becoming a woman who could live on bread alone. But years had slipped past the horizon, each day pulled underneath; last year’s first, sweet snow now a salt rock Cavern at the back of my mouth. Eva Wallace, U6H

Emily Leitch, 3R

The Passing of the Parcel Everyone was sitting steady, The birthday girl said, ‘We’re ready!’ Then the music began to play. ‘What a lovely game!’ I’d say. The present was going round and round The music making a joyous sound. Everyone was waiting on the edge of their seat For the present coming at the end of the beat. When the music stopped The person who had it jumped up with a hop! It was unwrapped and unwrapped... It got smaller and smaller... Everyone wanted to find out What the parents knew without a doubt Inside the shimmering wrapping paper There was a model of a skyscraper. Then the person who had it last Jumped up with a blast. ‘I won! I won! It’s mine! It’s mine!’ Then the mother shouted, ‘Come on! Let’s dine!’ I probably won’t play that game again. For nothing ever stays the same! Rebecca McAlees, 2S

Presents Parcelled in pretty wrapping paper Rumbles when you shake them Everyone is excited Santa has brought some too Elves have helped to make them Naughty people don’t get presents! Toys and games for children Socks and scarves too. Kristina Herron, 3R


literary section The Swing

The Stranger’s Last Stand

In autumn the swing hangs, sheltered from the chilly gusts by a cloak of golden leaves. It rocks to and fro as the cold wind gently heaves. In winter the swing is left all alone, its only company the trees, its ropes frozen as a stone while I stay snug inside, the fire roaring and my heart soaring as I watch the glowing fire. In spring the swing hangs triumphant – glad winter has passed – like a throne surrounded by a roof of young, green leaves – a roof that’s meant to last. And in summer the swing is always well-used because the pink and white blossom on the trees is a good place to hide from the scorching, hot sun - after you’ve had a lot of fun! Louisa Williams, 2S

Time Passing Sitting in my old, creaking, rocking chair, Almost seventy years have passed, From when my mother sat me on her lap and said, “Darling, remember whomever you are and will always be, There will be a time when I won’t be beside you, On this chair in this life, But I will always be here.” I remember her soft touch as she placed her hand over my heart, I mimic the action now, Whilst staring at family photos: Myself, in a bathing suit at the age of three, Me, in my very first school uniform, I watch the clock ticking behind my eyelids, As weddings, parties and family get-togethers, Make the tears run along my aged cheeks, As I stare at the photo of my mother, One week before her death, And I remember us sitting in a rocking chair, And her telling me; “Darling, remember whomever you are and will always be, There will come a time when I won’t be beside you, On this chair in this life, But I will always be here.” Lara Mackie, 2A

Chinese Take-Away

Along a dusty, winding road The stranger did pass by A cloak draped around his neck A knife strapped to his thigh.

Saturday night, Time for tea, My silver telephone, Right beside me

The stranger vanquished many towns And none survived his wrath Until one day a little boy Would come across his path.

I dial the number, Which I know off by heart, An employee picks up, Time for the journey to start

At dusk the dogs barked loud and long Yet no sound could be heard A trap was set for his downfall A trap most thought absurd.

I place my order, My mouth watering as I do, I prefer shopping this way, Without the long, tedious queue

The boy he watched and waited for The stranger to come near And when he came the stranger said, ‘Why do my ears not hear?’

I put down the phone, Now time to wait, They said it should arrive, At a quarter-past-eight

The boy replied both loud and strong, ‘It’s because we’re not afraid’ The stranger laughed and looked at him, ‘But still you all shall fade.’

Finally, I hear a ring, Time to collect, And eat like a king

The stranger thought he’d beaten him With his face full of pride But at that time a spade came out And smacked his left-hand-side. The shock reverberated up The man’s spine to his head Then with a small and silent squeak The stranger did drop dead. The town did celebrate that night The boy held his head high Songs of his terrific battle Were sung up into the sky. The stranger still knows not what it was That killed him that dark night But people now know not to judge By his or her first sight. Bethany Craig, 3A

I sit down, And take my first bite, I close my eyes to enjoy, The utter delight The crunch of the cracker, The spice and the heat, The sweet and sour sauce, The tender chicken meat But, with every bite, The joy cannot last, My Chinese meal, Is evermore in the past A colourful variety, Red, blue, green, Now all gone, My plate is now clean. Mia Wheatley, 2H

Sweatshop I’m alone in the darkness All alone in the night Lurking in the shadows Hiding from moonlight. Now it’s time for me to escape It’s time for me to be free I’m cushioned by moss on the ground Protected beneath the tree. After working long hours Working for little pay Stitching and embroidering Factory working all day. Slapped if I dare disobey Sacked if I work too slow But now that place is gone I do not know where to go. The conditions were so poor And the factory roof collapses So many lives are lost And the factory lies in ashes. The sweatshop was where I worked How I made a living Now everything has burned away And I am faced with nothing.

Philippa Harty,  AS-Level

Katy Skillen, 3A


literary section

Francesca Kennedy,  AS-Level Ballad of a Homeless Man How did my life my come to this? Sleeping in this alleyway, Freezing cold and starving I don’t know what to say. As a boy I went to school Like any other kid I did the work I had to do But all of that work undid After school I looked for a job Although I never had much luck There was always someone better So I never earned a buck All of my friends are happily settled With great jobs and a big family Nothing good ever happens to me My life is one big catastrophe I have nowhere to stay So I move around a lot Living out of my small rucksack With the few possessions I have got There’s no such thing as home to me I don’t know where I belong This is not the life I want to live Where did I go so wrong? Claire Hunter, 3A

Change Pieces can be put together! They say they can be fixed. Mended together again. But death and sorrow’s kiss Can never fade away After it left its imprint Upon what’s left Of those souls now shattered.

Christmas, Oh! Christmas! Putting up the tree, Oh! How this fills me with glee! Next up go the lights White colours, shining bright. Christmas decorations of different colours, Bobbles, fairies, and lots of others. On the top, there goes the star You could see it from afar! More and more presents gather under the tree, And I know that lots of them are for me. Stockings hanging on the fireplace, Staring back at you is Santa’s face! Christmas brings me so much joy, Along with every other girl and boy! Ella Reid, 3R


I open the cupboard door and what do I see? A big chocolate bar staring at me! Wrapped beautifully as perfect as could be A big chocolate bar staring at me! I go to bed and try to sleep tight, But I can’t - even when I turn out the light! I hate to think of it all alone, Like my dog when he doesn’t get his bone. So I creep downstairs as quiet as a mouse, Trying not to wake the whole house I open the cupboard door and what do I see? A big chocolate bar staring at me! I reach in and grab it, Then I sit down for a little bit I break it off, a bit at a time, While I think about my terrible crime! Christina Kirk, 2S

Rachel Spence, 3R


To Coin a Phrase A penny for your thoughts sir, At this moment in time. I pound on the door of your senses, As the bells of change they chime. Don’t leave our life together, Without giving a tuppence thought. To coin a phrase, “I run to stand still,” I am overwrought. I note your disenchantment, And the winds of change I feel. I will take you for all you’re worth, Because it’s my heart you steal. Cathy Ievers, 5T

Change Clacking in my pocket Are keys to a new life. Filling in the fabric of my worn-out jeans. Shifting in my satchel, Are subtle reminders of A life that’s passed me by. Playing through my head Are moments that I’d rather just forget. These two squeaking shoes Will carry me forward. Away from everything I’ve ever known. This trembling body Begins to hesitate And fears the change. This heavy thumping heart Tells me to keep going No matter what. Sarah Lamont, L6R

literary section Life

Fruit Salad

Roast Dinner

Life is like a book. A few lines skimmed with an oblivious look. Not taking in what lies around us Soon realising what lies beneath.

A collection of colours Some smoother, some rougher Together they all go splendidly well Something that all shops sell!

Like a book we all have tales to tell. We strive for truth, but humanity fell. Elegantly bound with enigma and mystery Telling tales of ancient history.

Ting, tang, zing! All slices cut into a ring Without any of that prickly skin. I prefer them fresh, not in a tin.

Sitting down at the table alongside my family, The rumbles and tumbles of hunger taking over my tummy. Smelling the scrumptious smells wafting through the air, Oh, how hungry I am!

But like a book, life must be read between the lines To escape the labyrinth of the passing of time. As a book we age, But the inside - never to change. Ana Cabecinha, 5S

Scrunch, munch, crunch! Great for a lunch! Some people bite into the core But I just think that’s sore.

Chocolate Ice-cream The delicious ice-cream entices you in, Waiting and ready for the journey to begin. Sitting on its immaculate, golden, wafer throne, The chocolate ice-cream – so alluring and cold. Bam! The soft, creamy texture hits your lips, Carving a path for the sweet chocolate bits. All you can do is smile As you work your way through your chocolate pile You feel as though you have made a great gain, With the feeling only true ice-cream can obtain. Hannah Cowan, 2H

Joy Tingling fingers Cheeks like rose-red, As I warm my toes, And my head. The moon looks for longer, And visits for tea, Though the light does not fade, As it drapes and dances, Round a tree. The roads glaze over, And yet eyes welcome with joy, As the sun leaves so quickly, And hoof prints stay hidden, As we wake up to toys.

Squeeze, suck, chew! And dribbling too! A burst of zest Would awake anyone from rest. Seed by seed by seed This is the stuff you need. Embedded in crimson flesh Best served fresh! All of these things, just so yummy They perfectly fill your tummy. Together they all go splendidly well Something that all shops sell! Kerry Annett, 2S

Mum’s Homemade Apple Pie Digging through a layer of Perfect puff pastry, Revealing slices of Sweet cooking apples Both tender and crunchy! Gently coated with Soft, brown sugar and Lovely mixed spice The final thing for Me to taste is Fresh ice-cream, with a Subtle vanilla flavour Oh, what a moment to savour!

The clanging and clinking of plates The dishes being set down ready to be eaten. Oh, how hungry I am! Loading my plate with the luscious foods No lumps, no bumps in the mashed potato! The carrots cooked with just a little crunch The cauliflower crisp on top with cheese and floating in cream Oh, how hungry I am! Cutting into the steaming roasties goldenly crisped With a centre of white fluff. The sweet crunch of parsnips and the little green trees of broccoli Oh, how hungry I am! Next comes the chicken - perfectly cooked and tender Soaked through in gravy juices. My plate is teeming to the brim with devourable foods All swimming in gravy, so pleasing to the eye Oh, how hungry I am! Kate Welsh, 2S The bell rings, we run fast fast fast to get the best seats We push we shove We get pushed we get shoved But sooner or later we get there get there We get there.

Philippa Sha, 2H

Georgia McCutcheon, 3R

The Lemon Drizzle Cake Proudly upon the table The cherished bake So anticipatedly awaited The Lemon Drizzle Cake! Their tongues were beginning to salivate, Their tummies were beginning to rumble, The cake was sweet and lemony So shy, withdrawn and humble. It was with the first slice That they were really in awe. The knife cut the yellow flesh No words could describe what they saw! The cake was shared out evenly. No one could wait To begin the delicious delicacy Lured to the special dessert, as fish is to bait! Martha McCamley, 2H

Sarah Coleman,  AS Level


Zara Hamilton, 1T




Penrhyn Artwork: Fiona Anderson,  A-level 65

the penrhyn report


he will to win The desire to succeed The urge to reach your full potential…

These are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. Confucius - Chinese Philosopher It was with this quote that I ended my annual report at Prize Morning in June 2013. I asked the P7 girls to consider this important message and also to think about the following words by Roald Dahl. ‘If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ Roald Dahl,  The Twits.

Strathearn Preparatory Department has continued to develop links with Glenveagh School. I was delighted when Mrs Margaret Jamison, the retiring Vice Principal of the school, agreed to join with parents, staff and pupils to celebrate achievements in Penrhyn. As our special guest, Mrs Jamison presented the prizes, and we were all interested to hear about her time at Glenveagh. She also reminded us of the signs for the lovely, positive, Glenveagh school song that the pupils had taught us when they visited Penrhyn. In the 2013 statutory End of Key Stage Assessments in Communication and Using Mathematics, our results compared very well with the Northern Ireland average. In the 2013/2014 AQE Common Entrance Assessments the Prep 7 pupils achieved commendable results. In Penrhyn we achieve very high standards in all areas of school life and our high academic results ensure that our Prep 7 pupils leave us with the knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive at secondary level. In September we were delighted to welcome Mrs Erin Andrews as our new permanent Prep 7 teacher. She very quickly settled in Penrhyn and she has made many excellent contributions to the life of the school.  We were also pleased to welcome Miss Jenny Lyness, who has been teaching Prep 2, covering Mrs Walls’ maternity leave.


In October, at the Annual General Meeting of the Parents’ Association, Strathearn Preparatory Department was presented with a cheque for £7,500. On behalf of all the staff and pupils in Penrhyn, I wish to thank Mrs Lisa Kitchen and the Parents’ Association Committee for this generous gift. We have purchased a significant number of new library books and some new literacy class textbooks. To further develop our phonics teaching at Foundation and Key Stage One level, we purchased an interactive ‘Phonics bug’ scheme. The money has also been used to add fencing and resources to the ‘Rainbow garden’, our outdoor play area. Again this year, our Junior Christmas Concert took place in Belmont Presbyterian Church. The Prep 1 to Prep 4 girls performed two musical plays that showcased the wealth of dramatic and musical talent that exists even among our youngest pupils and definitely encouraged everyone to feel the real spirit of Christmas. In Strathearn Preparatory Department we welcome teaching students from Stranmillis University College every year. Our partnership with the college was further developed this year when we performed Peter Pan, our Senior Concert, in the Stranmillis Drama Theatre. This was a marvellous experience for everyone involved and one which the Prep 5, 6 and 7 pupils will remember for many years. Over and above the aim of academic excellence, a Penrhyn Education offers a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils from Prep 1 to Prep 7. I hope that you will enjoy reading the various reports detailing our many events and outlining our many individual and group successes in sport, music and drama. We have included photographs, artwork and literary pieces to give you an insight into the busy life of our Preparatory Department. B Mawhinney

penrhyn school prefects Class Prefects Back Row: Emma Hylands,  Amelia Hopkins, Mrs Andrews, Sasha Barrett-Ferris Middle Row: Francesca Park, Holly Gilpin, Hannah Meredith, Ruby Allen Front: Chloe Browne

Mia McDowell, P3

House/Vice Captains Back Row: Rebecca Tunnah, Holly Gilpin,  Aimée McGill, Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Emma Hylands Front Row: Sarah McDonald,  Amelia Kane,  Amelia Hopkins

Duty Prefects Back Row: Rebecca Tunnah, Imogen McGimpsey, Halah Irvine,  Aimée McGill, Mrs Andrews, Anna McCabe,  Amy Creighton,  Amelia Kane, Ruby McWhinney Front Row: Emily Crockett, Sarah McDonald, Heather MacIntyre, Eve Greer, Cece MacMahon, Madeleine Ievers, Sorcha Corbett, Emma Conroy,  Alexandra Agar


the penrhyn year The Penrhyn Year 2013-2014

June 2013

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:


May 2013



We went to Greenmount on 20 June.  First we walked down the hill and saw the horses. They were called Jubilee and Tilly. After that we had our break. Then we went to feed the ducks. We got some grain each. Later we looked at a house that was over 200 years old. After that we had our lunch. It was very yummy. Then we went to the greenhouse and there were interesting plants there. Finally, we looked for mini-beasts. Amelia had a beetle crawling up her arm. She was terrified, but she thought it was funny too.  At the end Joe had a surprise for us. It was a Maze.We had to answer questions to get into the maze. We loved our trip! Greenmount is cool! Sarah Hylands and Amelia Hazle, P3

P4 Trip to Castle Espie

P6 Trip to Greenmount

On 20 June, 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 PondLife. The pupils enjoyed the learning activities.

P3 & P6 Trip to Greenmount

September 2013


On 28 May we went to Castle Espie. Thankfully it was a very sunny day.  First we got into two teams and played hide the ducks. I was in the first team so I helped hide the ducks. Then everyone found them and we swapped around. Next we played in Stoat Town.  My favourite part of it was the rope and the climbing frame. Then we had a build the nest competition. I found lots of moss for the inside, but we lost. After that we got a partner each and got some leaves and grass to make a smell. I was with Alyssa and ours smelt like cut grass. Then we fed the ducks.  At the end of the day after lunch we went shopping. I got a telescope and half a ball. What you do with it is you turn it inside out and put it on the ground and then it pops up! Today was a very good day at Castle Espie! Rachel Brett, P4


P6 Trip to Carrickfergus Castle

On 31 May, P6 went on a trip to Carrickfergus Castle. When we arrived we were told to leave our lunch down in the vaults of the castle. We met our guide; her name was Enid. Enid showed us the murder hole where defenders in the castle would throw boulders, boiling oil, and arrows down on their enemies. The murder hole is a little square hole in the ceiling of the gatehouse. Just before lunch we were taken upstairs to see the king’s solar (bedroom). We got to see all the different things you wore to battle. There were things such as chain mail, helmets and padded tunics (you wore these under chain mail). Alex tried on this solid metal helmet with only two slits for eyes and a few holes for breathing. She could hardly see and said it was very heavy! After that we were allowed down the original spiral stairway which was made of stone. There was a trip stair which was twice as tall as the others. It was marked with a red mark. Afterwards we headed to see the Oubliette. The Oubliette is a room with no windows and doors, so it means there was no escape! We also went to the top of the sea tower. It was fun to pretend to shoot people from the battlements! We then jumped on the bus and headed home. I had really enjoyed the day and I could not wait to tell Mum and Dad about it. Thank you Miss Boyd. Sorcha Corbett, P6


Visit to the Zoo

P5’s first visit of the year was on 17 September to Belfast City Zoo. The purpose of the visit was to learn about endangered animals. We were fortunate that the day was dry and sunny. Mr Fisher, the zoo’s Educational Officer,  gave us an excellent talk on why animals were endangered. The main factor always is mankind exploiting the environment or animals in order to make money.  After a quick break in the play area, we then walked around the zoo, filling in our worksheets, concentrating on the reasons why these animals were under threat. We left the zoo at 2.30pm having visited the shop before leaving and arrived back at Penrhyn at 3.00pm.  We were all tired but really enjoyed the informative day. S Stevenson

October 2013


P7 Visit Mount Stewart

P7 enjoyed a superb visit to Mount Stewart to learn more about the Victorian Era and about the environment. For the Victorian part, we had to dress up in Victorian costumes. It was great to learn about Victorians in an interactive manner as we got to go into the garden and play with games that the children would have used during this time.

My favourite part of the environment section was the games that we played. The best one was when we made dreys. It was a worthwhile trip and I would definitely recommend it! Chloe Browne, P7

the penrhyn year e

P5 Visit Belvoir Park

so good at changing character. Four people managed to play Peter Pan, Wendy, Smee, Captain Hook, John and Michael! All of the play was hilarious but my favourite bit was when Mrs Andrews was called up by Captain Hook for a dance! My favourite character was Tick-Tock the crocodile. He was really funny and very good at acting. He interacted well with the audience and was very kind and friendly. I really enjoyed the play and I am going to miss watching them when I go into First Form. Sorcha Corbett, P7

November 2013


On 11 October, Mrs Stevenson and P5 went in the school mini-bus to Belvoir Park to find out about different types of trees and how they disperse their seeds and what they provide to both animals and people. We were accompanied by Mrs McMurray and Mrs Lyle. We arrived at Belvoir Park early and had our break. We met our guides, Liz and Oonagh, and we were divided into two groups. My group went to look at the ash tree. Then Oonagh took us to get leaves as passports so that we could get out of the forest.  After that we went to look at the oak tree and we looked for acorns. Then we went to the beech tree and collected leaves from the beech tree. Next we went up the steps to the Spanish chestnut tree. We collected some Spanish chestnuts. We then did some more exploring and we came to the old ice house.  Oonagh then showed us to a diseased tree which was fenced off from all the other trees. This was very interesting because she told us that if we caught the disease on our footwear then we could pass it on to other trees. We then did some more exploring and we came to an elderberry tree. Then we went to see the tallest tree in the forest. It was called the Redwood tree.  The bark of this tree was soft and spongy. This soft and spongy bark protects it from fires.  At this point we met up with the other P5 group. Then we set down our bags and chose a partner and we started our mini-beast hunt.  After that we took a short rest before moving on to visit a badger sett. We then went into the centre to look at animals. First Liz showed us the badger. Badgers have very sharp claws and jaws and very wiry fur. Next Liz showed us the fox, the rabbit, the hare, the hedgehog, the stoat, the pine martin and lastly the two types of squirrels - grey and red. I liked the information about the squirrels. We then went back to school. I enjoyed this trip. My favourite bit was when we were learning about animals. Ciara Moore, P5


P2 Trip to Castle Ward

P2 visited Castle Ward in November to take part in a mini-beast programme, to complement the habitat topic being covered in class. The girls had a wonderful time exploring the gardens of the estate and searching for all kinds of wildlife. They had a great time playing bird song games and searching for colourful vegetation to create their own colour palettes. They had a lovely sunny day out and had lots of new animal facts to think about upon their return to school.


P6 Art Trip

On 7 November, we went on a trip to the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. When P6 arrived we met their guide who showed us around. The guide told us about the amazing art that the artists had made.  There was a piece made by Lauren Scott who made a mouse with lots of materials and was very crafty. There were also other great pieces that showed you about animals and the environment. Then we went into another part and saw art made out of wool, paper clips, sugar cubes and some paintings. We thought the sugar cube house was very impressive. Then we did a workshop where we made a collage of our favourite toy. After that we were allowed a few minutes to make something out of sugar cubes. We loved the day and had great fun. Eva McMaster, P6


Visit to Ulster Museum – P5

On 21 November, P5 and Mrs Stevenson went to the Ulster Museum. When we got to the Museum we went up to the Art Exhibition. The first picture we saw was called Bear by Peter Neill. After that we saw a sculpture called Mr Hedgehog. No matter how hard he tried Mr Hedgehog could not get out of this sticky situation by Lauren Scott. She used eight different materials for the hedgehog. After we went to The Hare by David Withers, the next sculpture we saw was called I have a Dream by Arlene McPadden.  It is of a red squirrel getting stabbed in the back by a grey squirrel!  I did not like it.

P3 Trip to George Best Airport

P3 went on a trip to the George Best Airport on 17 October.  On our trip we went to the airport. Our mummies took the girls and we saw the fire fighters. We saw their fire engines which were yellow. Some girls asked questions about the colour of the fire engines and the number of wheels on the fire engines. We got to go up and look out of the look-out tower and we got to go on top of the poles that the firemen went down. We also got to say ‘hello’ to our friends who were at the bottom of the poles. The firemen let us try their helmets on. We also got to see inside a private jet. Abbie Conroy and Sophie Campbell, P3


M&M Productions 18 October

During the first term in Penrhyn the M&M Productions came to visit. They put on a play of Peter Pan. Only four people form M&M Productions but you would think there are more because they are

We saw a city made of sugar cubes by Brendan Jamison and a


the penrhyn year red wool forklift truck also made by him. Then we went to our workshop. With Martin I drew a picture of Mr Hedgehog. We called the pictures Mr Hog has a disaster. Then we went down to the history section. We filled in our worksheets with facts about The Ice Age, The Middle Stone Age,  The Early Bronze Age,  The Bronze Age and  The New Stone Age. We saw lots of interesting artefacts like tools and weapons. I liked the bowls. Then we stopped for lunch. After lunch we went back to the History section to finish our worksheet. Then we went down to the shop. Then we had to get on the mini-buses and go back to school. I really enjoyed this trip especially when we saw the paintings and sculptures. Alice Browne, P5


The Viking Workshop – P6

On 22 November, P6 had a Viking day. We completed some challenges on Vikings’ everyday activities. The first challenge was grinding wheat to make flour. The second challenge was dressing up either as a woman, trader or raider. The third challenge was making bracelets out of wool, but I couldn’t do it! We were asked to see how far we could carry metal armour that the Vikings wore for protection. It was heavy! There were some quizzes at the end. After lunch we had a sword class. We learnt how to block blows and the names for when to move backwards or forwards. We had a sword skills competition. I came fourth. We learned that Vikings were from Scandinavia. Vikings were either raiders, traders or farmers. Alex Graham, P6


names on the wall, this bit was my favourite.

The Early Man Workshop – P5

On 29 November, Rita Calwell and Molly (her assistant) came to P5.

When we got back onto the bus we went on a little tour around West Belfast and our tour guide told us loads of interesting facts about Belfast! We also visited Queen’s University.  Our final visit was to the Titanic Quarter where we learnt that the 15,000 men who worked to help build the Titanic got paid only £2! I have been to the Titanic centre once but I never knew this information. I think the class thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and I think the trip was fun but also educational. Amelia Hopkins, P7


e e

Jenny’s Garden

At the end of November, Jenny from Jenny’s Garden gave a talk to P5 on seeds and planting. It was very much ‘hands on’ – with activities including planting and classifying.  Due to the mild weather the beans which were planted are thriving.

December 2013


Belfast Bus Tour – P5, P6 & P7

On 2 December, P7, P6 and P5 went on the Belfast Bus Tour.  On this trip we learnt all about the history of Belfast, including The Troubles, Queen Victoria’s visit to Belfast and the Titanic Quarter. Our first visit was to the Stormont Parliament Building where we learnt that there are 365 windows and it is 365 feet long, this represents the number of days in a year! We then visited the Peace Wall which separates the Shankill from the Falls. People from all over the world have signed the Peace Wall and it was fascinating to see all of the artwork that people had put so much effort into. Everyone got off the bus and signed their


Victorian Re-enactment Day

If you thought being a schoolgirl was bad… try being a Victorian school girl! On 4 December, P7 stepped back in time and transformed the classroom into a Victorian school! We were all in costume. We had to march in as the bell chimed. I was intrigued to know what Victorian lessons would be like. First we had times tables. What if I made a mistake? Thankfully I answered correctly! This lesson was followed by writing - we used slates and then ink pens.  After break we did some reading.  Lunchtime was an experience as we brought in a typical Victorian lunch - things like bread and cheese. After lunch a lesson in deportment followed. I thought Art would be fun until I realised I had to attempt a pencil drawing of Queen Victoria! The memory of Victorian day will stay with me for a long time! It made me realise something… how grateful I am that I go to the best school ever! Imogen McGimpsey, P7

P3 Visit to Mount Stewart

P3 visited Mount Stewart on 12 December. We travelled there by bus and when we arrived we had our break. Then we got into our groups and made Christmas decorations and Christmas cards. Our parents came on our trip with us. We went into a very old kitchen and we got to smell herbs and spices. Then we got to see the toys that they played with in the olden days.  We went in to the grand party room and we dressed up, played musical instruments and sang lots of Christmas songs.  At the end we went shopping in the gift shop. It was fun. Rachel Carson & Daisy Johnston, P3


Visit from Knock Fire Service

In December, Knock Fire service came to P5 to talk about what to do in a fire situation and how to stop fires from happening. The names of the men were Will, Steven, Peter, Kris and Warren. Steven talked to us about the fire safety jigsaw. It had four pieces. The first piece was Main Causes of a Fire, the second was the Fire Escape Plan,  the third piece of the puzzle was The Smoke Alarm and the fourth piece was Bedtime Routine. Then we went outside to have a look at the fire engine. I had a go with the hose and I put on a helmet. Next Will showed us the tools they used.

the penrhyn year I had a wonderful day. My favourite bit was squirting the hose and trying on the helmet! Zara Conroy, P5

February 2014


Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory

On 3 February, P7 went to Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory as a treat after receiving our AQE results. The first thing we saw was Ireland’s biggest rock bar! We were introduced to Willy Wonka’s cousin! We answered questions and lucky girls won sweets. At the end of the trip, Willy Wonka turned on the candy floss machine - yum! The trip was amazing and everyone enjoyed it! It was interesting and informative yet… the best part was definitely eating the sweets!! Halah Irvine, P7


My Dad came to talk to P5 about Recycling

On 28 February, my dad came into school to do a talk on the three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Ciara, Lucie and Eve sorted out all the glass, plastic and metal into three groups and he talked about each material and what it is made from. Glass is made from melted sand. He talked about paper – 6½ trees are cut down every year per family.  He also talked about plastic and metal which don’t rot. I think my dad did a really good job! Eloise McKnight, P5

March 2014

e e Grand Opera House Panto In December, Penrhyn went to the Grand Opera House to see Sleeping Beauty.The show was hilarious and the actors were superb!  My favourite part in the show was when Puddles was riding a magical motorbike because it was actually in the air! My favourite actor was the Queen because she was such a powerful singer. Overall, I think that this pantomime was probably the best yet! Amy Creighton, P7


Christmas Roadshow

Christmas came early in P7 as we were preparing for the Christmas Roadshow.  We had to make up ideas for stalls. I was in a group with Chloe Browne and Sorcha Corbett. Our stall consisted of two games and we also sold snowpops and glow sticks. We looked at ways of making the most profit as all the takings were going towards Clic Sargent. I learnt lots of valuable lessons - the importance of working together, keeping track of activities and a bit about marketing. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Christmas Roadshow! Ruby Allen, P7

The Pancake Factory

On 4 March, P7s recreated a very successful pancake factory which raised £150 for a charity called The Door of Hope.


P5 Trip to the Ulster Museum

On 7 March, P5 went to the Ulster Museum to learn about Egypt. What I found fascinating was the tree sap which they used for perfume. It smelt nice. I also learnt about the hieroglyphics. Next, we went to see Takabuti, the Egyptian mummy. After lunch we went to the shop. When we had all finished shopping, we went to the activity room, and I dressed up in clogs and a sailor’s vest! Then we gathered our stuff and returned to school. I liked the trip; it was interesting. Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, P5


P1 Ark Farm Trip

January 2014


Victorian Workshop

In January, P7 enjoyed a Victorian workshop. We went back in time to discover how Victorians lived.  We wrote on slates, dressed up in Victorian clothes, played games and participated in a Victorian quiz. After lunch we worked in groups to do some clay animations based on a Victorian coal mine. We made horses and people and then took still images which we played quickly together to make a movie. At the end of this exciting day, packed full of great activities, we had learnt lots of facts about the Victorians! Emily Crockett, P7


P5 Dairy Workshop

On 30 January, Fiona and Gemma, from the Dairy Council, came to conduct a dairy workshop on the benefits of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Fiona gave out stickers which said Yogurt, Cheese and Milk. We talked about the right balance of food and the different activities we should do every day for one hour. Next, we copied Gemma and Fiona doing exercises while listening to music. I really enjoyed the talk and I hope everyone else who sees that workshop enjoys it as much as we did. Cerys McMurray, P5

Our trip to the Ark Farm took place in March. The goslings, chicks rabbits and ducklings were handled with enthusiastic care and the lambs enjoyed their bottle-fed snacks from the young farm hands.  A fun-filled time on the swings and climbing frames brought the whole trip to an exciting conclusion!


penrhyn extra-curricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment


Our Christmas Concert

1 and P3 put on a lovely Christmas Concert. On the dress rehearsal all the school came to Belmont Presbyterian Church. Our play was called The Midwife Crisis. The Midwife Crisis play was on Friday 6 December. I was a midwife in our Christmas Concert. My Mummy and Daddy came to our play. I had to do lots of lines and I used lots of expression. On the day I wore a pretty dress. I had to put on some make-up. The DVD man did a film of us. I had a duet with Charley. I was feeling excited. I was a bossy midwife. We tried to find baby Jesus. At the end of the play we went to get dressed and the Mummies and Daddies were clapping for us. Then we went to sing  Away in a Manger with P4 and P2. When we finished Mrs McKeown gave us a Fredo. Finally, we went home. Rachel Carson, P3

The Little Match Girl’s Christmas


n 6 December 2013 we did our Christmas Concert. We did it in Belmont Church. Our play was The Little Match Girl’s Christmas, I was a Wise Man, actually (SK) short for Senior King! I sang three solos. They were: In the Bleak Mid Winter, some of While Shepherds Watched and some of Three Kings have Journeyed Far.  We performed it to entertain the parents. It was great fun.  Jazmin McCormick got sick at the very last minute and Elessa Deeny had to take her part! I loved the Mayor, he was just so, so silly! The Mayor was Darcy Blair. My Mummy and Nana came to see me. They thought it was very good. Sophia Cochrane, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment


Peter Pan

he 3 and 4  April finally arrived! With all the auditions and rehearsals piecing together, it was time for the 2014 Penrhyn production of Peter Pan! I played the part of Michael Darling and it was time for P7 to shine. When the curtain opened for the first time I was filled with trepidation and fear. After the overture, ‘The Darlings’ got their cue to leave, and I skipped away clutching my teddy for dear-life! As the curtains re-opened, it was my turn to shine as I was the first person to speak - well protest if you like, “I won’t go to bed! I won’t! I won’t, Nana!” After that I felt a little more relaxed and we were all ready for the show.

Scene after scene the P7s performed, astonishing the audience each time.  When the interval came everyone was so excited, never wanting the show to end. After having water and biscuits, P7 had enough energy to give them the last push of the night. When at last Peter Pan came to an end, there was just enough time for the curtain call. We listened for our cue, came out and took our bows.  When we thought the show was finally over, we got a huge surprise! Confetti shot from the roof of the theatre!  The show was over! P7 were very tired but all the hard work paid off! P7 have been left with enchanting memories that they will never forget! Eve Greer, P7


penrhyn extra-curricular


Strathearn Preparatory School Choir

t our weekly choir practice we focus on learning the correct skills necessary for unison and part singing. Perhaps more importantly the girls thoroughly enjoy working together and we have lots of fun. Singing as part of a choir develops confidence and self discipline and it requires commitment. These are very important life skills that will benefit the girls in future years. At Holywood Music Festival Strathearn Preparatory School Choir came first in the Primary School Class, winning the Priory Cup. We were invited to perform at the Gala Night at the end of the festival, where we were also awarded the Maurice Foster Cup for the highest marks in the school choirs’ section. Our two contrasting songs were Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines composed by Ron Goodwin and The Potter’s Hand by Darlene Zschech. 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 in October. The choir sang with enthusiasm and energy. At the Strathearn Carol Service in Stormont Presbyterian Church, the choir presented the following programme: Round the Christmas Tree ~ Alan Simmons; Baby Jesu ~ Nick Perrin arr. Simon Walters; Three Kings Have Journeyed Far ~ Nick Perrin arr. Simon Walters; Holy Child ~ Michael Baughen arr. Phil Burt. 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. G Boyd

French Club


t was encouraging to welcome a new group of enthusiastic P4 pupils to Monday’s French Club and to see familiar faces amongst the P5-P7 pupils at Tuesday’s French Club. Throughout the year the girls covered a wide range of topics. P4 learned greetings, numbers, days of the week and months of the year.  They particularly enjoyed role plays, in which they could order ice-creams, food and drinks, using props for added realism. P5-P7 girls learned to talk about themselves, parts of the body, health problems, colours and the weather. Through role plays the girls enjoyed shopping, especially for clothes! For both groups new vocabulary was reinforced through quizzes, songs and the ever popular game of ‘Lotto’. French Club is great fun and I look forward to having new members join us next year. J Erskine

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P5 Cookery & Craft Club

uring the Autumn Term of 2013, seventeen P5s attended a Cookery and Craft Club which was taken by Mrs Stevenson and Miss Lyness. For the first four weeks, the girls created a range of dishes, biscuits and cakes. The second four weeks the girls worked at hama bead patterns, glass painting and jewellery design, hand puppets and Christmas angels. The girls produced some very creative work and delicious treats which they took home.

Holly Humphries, P3


penrhyn extra-curricular


Ballet and Street Jazz

he P1 class are having a great time in their second term of Ballet. The girls have learned how to place their feet into first position, stand tall and point their feet. They just love to dance and are very enthusiastic to get all the exercises correct. The P2 girls are all extremely capable dancers and are progressing extremely well. We have covered most of the Primary Ballet syllabus and are working hard to remember the exercises. The P3 girls are very quick learners and love to be shown something new regularly. We have started to introduce some French terms into our class and the girls just love it.

Street Jazz P4-P7 This is a great bunch of girls who love to dance. Each week the girls love to hear the up-to-date music and see what dance routine is in store. The girls are progressing well with the technical side of the class.They work very well together and do their very best to please when shown new steps or routines. C Montgomery


Irish Dancing Report

rish dancing remains as popular as ever with the Penrhyn girls. From P1 right through to P7 the girls strive to complete their dances.  The highlight of the year for the girls is their performance on Open Morning which beautifully demonstrates their hard work and ability to work together. Here’s to another great year girls! C McCamley & J Armstrong


Rachel Bowen, P3

Speech and Drama Report

fter four years of teaching Speech and Drama in Penrhyn, the number of girls enrolled has risen to almost ninety enthusiastic girls enjoying speech and drama classes. Speech and Drama aims 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 break and lunch periods 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. The girls from P4-P6 all entered the class choral speaking competitions; their hard work was rewarded by two 1st places and a 2nd place. The girls also have the opportunity to enter the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art 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 high standard of the girls’ preparations was commented upon as ‘exceptional’, by one of the examiners. 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

Penrhyn Piano Results

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music March 2013: Eva McClean, Prep Test Certificate; Aoife Moore, Prep Test Certificate;  Alexandra Coetzee, Grade 1 Distinction. June 2013: Rebekah Devlin, Prep Test Certificate; Holly Gilpin, Prep Test Certificate; Freya Beers, Prep Test Certificate; Lauren Mooney, Grade 1 Distinction; Rachel McDonald, Grade 1 Distinction; Ellen McCormick, Grade 1 Distinction. November 2013: Laura Dunlop, Prep Test Certificate.



Tin Whistle Report

embers of the Penrhyn tin whistle family successfully continue to enjoy learning a variety of tunes. This was demonstrated during the past year at the Holywood Music Festival when first and second places went to girls from Penrhyn. Many of the girls now play on a plastic whistle, as they improve their standard of performance. This type of whistle is more pleasing to the ear, in particular on the top register. The tin whistle, being the simplest musical instrument encourages children by giving them confidence as they learn to play simple tunes at an early age. Obviously, the more they practise at home, the quicker they improve. By the time they are in P4, many will have become good players, who will be able to play a number of more demanding tunes with confidence. The girls begin to take lessons from P2, during which they learn to play a simple scale and melody. It is quite amazing how quickly many of them progress, as they practise for various school events. An introduction to group playing is always good training for the girls, who may later graduate to playing the flute or some other orchestral instrument. There is much publicity in today’s media of the importance of giving school children the opportunity to learn music. It has been demonstrated that children who have had three years or more musical instrumental training achieve higher academic standards than those who have not, especially in auditory discrimination abilities and other skills. Penrhyn must be commended for providing so many musical opportunities for its pupils. I commend the parents of the tin whistle groups who, through their support, continue to encourage their daughters to practise their whistles and enjoy their music. Music promotes confidence and is the best medicine for a stress-free and happy environment. I have enjoyed playing music along with the Penrhyn girls during the past year. It has been a pleasure for me to pass on a little of the joy that I derive from music-making to so many musically talented girls. H Grimes

penrhyn extra-curricular Penrhyn Charity Collections


undraising activities are held throughout the year by the pupils for local and international charity organisations, and personal links are often forged.  We supported the following charities. At Harvest time the pupils donated their Harvest collection of non-perishable food items to Storehouse Food Bank, Belfast. In Term I this year the pupils supported Clic Sargent, a children’s cancer charity, raising approximately £1,500.  We have just completed the Term II fundraiser for Door of Hope, a South African children’s charity, and have raised £340.



Scripture Union

e meet for Scripture Union on Tuesday afternoons in the P3 classroom. Scripture Union is not only a great way to make new friends but it is also a fantastic way to get to know God. We have learnt some exciting new songs, played many fun games and learnt a few memory verses. SU is brilliant fun! Why don’t you come along too? Holly Gilpin & Eve Greer, P7

Singing Report

enrhyn girls love to sing, and there is so much enthusiasm for singing lessons, which take place in small groups at break time, lunchtime and after school! The emphasis is on the fun and enjoyment of singing, aiming to develop a good aural awareness and confidence in performance whilst continuing to improve vocal technique. In the summer term the girls were asked to provide entertainment at the Penrhyn Fête, where they were all given an opportunity to sing a solo, which was a great experience for them. During the year some of the girls participated in the Holywood Festival, and the P7s recently took part in Belfast Festival. The girls all worked really hard for this and performed confidently. The following girls are to be congratulated for winning individual prizes: Clara McWhinney, Rachel Carson, Mia McDowell, Rebekah Devlin, Caitlyn Corbett, Cheryl Watson, Lauren Mooney, Aimée Magill,  Anna McCabe and Halah Irvine. T Devlin


P1-P3 Sports Day

he weather was kind at our P1-P3 Sports Day in June. All the events were participated in with great enthusiasm. Many parents came to cheer on 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. Congratulations to Mary McDowell, who won the Mum’s race and Craig Doherty, who won the Dad’s race! Our thanks to Mrs Joanne Boyd, a former class teacher in Penrhyn, who very graciously presented the prizes. Thanks also to the parents who served the refreshments. Results - Winners P1: Running - Lucy Andrews; Spider - Eve Downey; Potato/Spoon - Tiffany McGowan P2: Running - Velvet Meharg; Potato/Spoon - Katie Brown/Rachel Carson; Spider - Velvet Meharg P3: Running - Amelia Hazle; Potato/Spoon - Holly Higgins; Obstacle - Tiffany Fong Inter-House - McCaughey.


P4-P7 Sports Day

ur Sports Day was not held as a formal Sports Day at Strathearn, as the weather let us down. Instead we ran two Sports Day mornings where Mrs Mawhinney presented the prizes. As usual the events were competed for with great enthusiasm and many excellent performances were achieved. A new record was achieved in the P6 600m;  Amelia Kane now holds the P6 record at 2min 08sec. The Ben Madigan relay squads came to run against our P6 & P7 squads. Our A squad was victorious. Congratulations to all the girls. Our thanks to Strathearn, and Miss Glynis Taylor in particular, for her co-operation and for the use of the facilities. Thanks also to the Games Captain and her Deputies, who helped with the running of the event. We received an invitation to Downey House Sports Day, where we were placed first. Results - Race Winners P4: 50m - Niamh Hatfield; 50m Skipping - Martha Cupples P5: 50m - Aoife Moore; 600m - Rachel McDonald; Long Jump - Rachel McDonald; Cricket Individual Sports Day Winners Ball - Eva McClean Martha Cupples, Sasha Barrett-Ferris, P6: 75m - Sasha Barrett-Ferris; 600m - Amelia Kane (New Record); High Jump - Madeline Rachel McDonald Ievers; Long Jump - Sasha Barrett-Ferris; Cricket Ball - Sasha Barrett-Ferris P7: 75m - Ellie Fullerton; 600m - Ellie Fullerton; Long Jump - Ellie Fullerton; Cricket Ball - Erin Stewart; High Jump - Erin Stewart House Relays - Class Winners: P4 - Barbour; P5 - Watts; P6 - Barbour; P7 - Barbour Individual Points: P4 - Martha Cupples; P5 - Rachel McDonald; P6 - Sasha Barrett-Ferris; P7 - Ellie Fullerton. Winning House - Barbour.


penrhyn extra-curricular



he following girls represented Penrhyn in the Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships: Amelia Kane, Rebecca Tunnah, Gabriella Park, Rachel McDonald, Lauren Mooney, Niamh Hatfield, Rebecca Kitchen, Eve Rainey, Eloise McKnight, Alice Browne, Martha Cupples,  Amelia Hazle and Lucinda Park.

Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships The individuals who were in the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province: Under 11: 50m Freestyle - Rebecca Tunnah, 11th; 50m Backstroke - Rebecca Tunnah, 5th; 50m Butterfly - Amelia Kane, 4th; Individual Medley - Amelia Kane, 3rd. Under 10: 50m Breaststroke - Rachel McDonald, 10th. Under 9: 50m Backstroke - Eloise McKnight, 9th; 50m Backstroke - Alice Browne, 10th; 50m Backstroke - Lucinda Park, 12th. Well done girls! The following girls won medals. At Under 11, Bronze Medal 50m Butterfly - Amelia Kane. The Under 10 Medley Relay Team was placed 7th and was 7th in the Freestyle. The squad members were Rachel McDonald, Lucinda Park,  Alice Browne and Eloise McKnight. Rebecca Tunnah and Amelia Kane also swam in the Group 4 Relays with pupils from Strathearn. In the Medley Relay the girls won Silver. Amelia also swam in the Freestyle Relay and the team also won a silver medal.

The Irish Schools’ Championships

Minor Swimming Team Back Row:  Amelia Hazle, Eloise McKnight, Eve Rainey,  Amelia Kane, Rebecca Tunnah, Rebecca Kitchen Front Row: Gabriella Park, Lucinda Park, Rachel McDonald, Lauren Mooney, Alice Browne, Niamh Hatfield, Martha Cupples

The following pupil took part in the Irish Schools’ Championships: Amelia Kane as current Irish Under 9 and Irish Under 10 Butterfly Champion participated in two events. Unfortunately, Amelia was unwell on the day of the race but she made the final and was placed 4th and in the Individual Medley she was placed 5th - a great effort!

Individual Swimming Gala Winners P3, Lucinda Park; P4, Alice Browne; P5, Gabriella Park; P6, Amelia Kane; P7, Isabella MacMahon.

Winning House - Barbour.

Individual Swimming Gala Winners Alice Browne,  Amelia Kane, Gabriella Park, Lucinda Park


Sports Hall Athletics A Team Back Row: Emma Hylands, Sarah McDonald, Amelia Hopkins, Ruby McWhinney, Madeleine Ievers Middle Row: Amelia Kane, Eve Greer, Holly Gilpin, Francesca Park, Chloe Browne Front Row: Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Ruby Allen

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 2013/2014 season. All pupils in our P7 class take part and compete against five other schools. We split the class in half to make an A squad and a B squad. We had a couple of practice sessions in the sports hall using the sports hall equipment. This year two shows were held at Strathearn in February. It is a competition for boys and girls. There are six teams with a maximum of fifteen pupils. This year our P7 Class squads joined the boys from Campbell College Junior School. After the obstacle, over and under relays, speed bounce, chest push and jumping events, the points were counted and our A Team were crowned Champions! Even more pleasing was the fact that our Team B squad also performed very well. Many thanks to the senior school for their help in running the event.


penrhyn extra-curricular


Hockey Club

his year we were able to use the new state-of-the-art  AstroTurf hockey pitches and the tennis courts for our weekly hockey practice which started in January.

This year for the first time in many years Penrhyn entered a team in the Belfast Area Primary Schools’ Hockey Championships. We entered a couple of blitz hockey afternoons at Grosvenor Grammar School which gave us an idea of the opposition! We realised that after several matches we had the ability to take on other schools in the area. In total eleven girls have represented Penrhyn in matches this year; several P6 pupils also had the chance to play in competitive matches. During hockey practices on Wednesdays we were able to use some of the first years as opposition, as they also had practice on Wednesdays. This also helped our preparation for the matches. The qualifying tournament for the Northern Ireland Finals took place at Shawsbridge in early March. There were two sections, with six teams, with the top two teams in each making the semi-finals. We had a tough opening match with Victoria Prep A, which we drew. We beat Cairnshill, Strandtown B and drew with Gilnahirk A. We topped our section and played Strandtown in the semi-final.  After extra time and a 1-1 draw it went to a shoot out! A goalkeeper faced an attacker 10 metres from her goal line with 12 seconds to score! Strandtown were up first! Cece in the Penrhyn goal came out and saved the shot. Co-Captain Amelia Kane stood up for Penrhyn and neatly rounded the Strandtown keeper to score. For the second time Cece narrowed the angle for the Strandtown forward to shoot; her shot hit the post. Penrhyn’s other Co-Captain, Francesca Park, again used her skill to round the keeper. Penrhyn faced Victoria Prep, where we lost, but won the Silver medal.  The top three teams in this qualifying tournament go forward to the Northern Ireland Finals to be played on 2 April at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.  We wish the squad well with their practices before the finals! Congratulations to our goal scorers and Co-Captains.


Athletics Club

ast year we were able to use our athletic facilities at Strathearn. The girls developed and improved their skills in high-jump, long-jump and throwing. Towards the end of the summer hurdles and javelin were introduced. With stamina and endurance work, building on their successful cross-country season, times were improved with distance runs and interval training. Speed work and pyramid training improved their fast ‘twitch’ muscles. Everyone enjoyed the sessions and the extra practices produced great results on sports day. This year our P7 pupils had the opportunity to perform in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Athletics Competition where they sprinted, jumped and putt the shot. The event was enjoyed by all. I was encouraged in the way the pupils performed. 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! This year we again entered the Belfast East heat of the Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Crosscountry, where the team was placed second. Amelia Kane won an individual Gold and Amelia Hopkins a 3rd place and a bronze medal, a super performance by all the pupils. The Belfast Final is being held in early April.

Penrhyn Squad Ulster Finals: Francesca Park, Amelia Kane, Amelia Hopkins, Emma Hylands, Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Cecelia MacMahon, Holly Gilpin and Hannah Meredith.

Hockey Club Back Row: Cece MacMahon,  Amelia Hopkins, Holly Gilpin,  Alexandra Coetzee, Sarah McDonald,  Alexandra Agar, Sarah Hylands Middle Row: Rachel McDonald, Gabriella Park, Catrina Martin, Hannah Meredith, Sorcha Corbett,  Amelia Kane,  Anna McCabe, Francesca Park Front Row:  Alexandra Graham, Ruby Allen

Athletics Club Back Row: Sasha Barrett-Ferris,  Amelia Hopkins, Cece MacMahon, Madeleine Ievers Middle Row: Hannah Meredith, Holly Gilpin, Chloe Browne,  Amelia Kane, Eve Greer Front Row: Halah Irvine


penrhyn extra-curricular

KS1 Gymnastics Back Row: Sophie Campbell, Ellie Johnston, Laura Dunlop, Lucinda Park, Mia McDowell, Darcy Blair, Eva Gibson, Sarah Hylands, Ellie Patrick, Katie Brown, Daisy Compton. Middle Row: Elessa Deeny, Rachel Carson, Holly Humphreys,  Velvet Meharg, Rebecca Long, Molly Boomer,  Ayla Murray, Eve Downey, Lucy Andrews, Chloe McMullan, Ellen Eakin. Front Row: Aleena Wasim, Katie-Lynn Hill, Emily Tweed,  Abbie Thompson, Clara McWhinney,  Anaya Weatherburn-McGuire

KS2 Gymnastics Back Row: Madeline Doherty, Scarlett Mooney, Lucie Maskery, Sarah Catheral,  Amelia Hopkins, Gabriella Park Middle Row: Isabella Anderson, Martha Cupples, Caitlyn Corbett, Rachel Brett, Eve Rainey,  Aimée McGill,  Alexandra Coetzee, Ciara West, Front Row: Niamh Hatfield, Eva McMaster, Rebecca Kitchen


Gymnastics Club

he Gymnastics Academy was very pleased to be asked to run gymnastics classes within Penrhyn as part of their after-school activities programme. Classes were attended by approximately fifty girls from P2-P7 on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon. Throughout the year the girls have been working on their individual skills and balance work as part of the British Gymnastics National Development Plan. Each of the girls were also assessed for the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards. A team from Penrhyn competed at the Northern Ireland Schools’ Championships in Banbridge Leisure Centre on 16 March 2014, gaining silver medals in the U11 section. Whilst children gain a lot from the experience of competing, our main ethos is to develop confident girls in a fun and enjoyable environment. To help promote this all our gymnasts will perform at the TGA Showcase which will take place at the end of May this year. This has been a very busy season, which has been thoroughly enjoyed by both gymnasts and coaches alike. V Dowson


Golf Report

uring PE classes in the summer term the professional from Gilnahirk Golf Club came to school and introduced Tri golf. Following the two lessons a team of six pupils was chosen to take part in a Primary Schools’ Golf Challenge at Castlereagh Hills Golf Club at Gilnahirk in June. Fifteen schools took part in this event and we are proud to report that Heidi McMillen, P7 won an overall prize for best gross score. M Harvey


Ayla Murray, P3

penrhyn literary section Annabel Pollin, P1

Isabella Kenny, P1 79

penrhyn literary section Recipe for Keeping Friends You will need: 1 cup of kindness 1 pinch of love 1 teaspoon of sharing 1 plate of fun 100mls of caring Method: 1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl of laughter and mix well! 2. Cook in a classroom of joyfulness for 6 hours. Tips:  Never tell lies about your friend. Always be kind, never tease your friend. Lucie Maskery, P5

Keeping Friends Ingredients: A friend A smile A spoonful of kindness Ears to listen Honesty Method: 1. Reach out to a friend and smile. A smile goes a long way in keeping friends. 2. Be kind to your friend and don’t do anything to hurt them or make them sad. 3. Be a good listener and pay attention to what your friend says. 4. Be honest. Always tell the truth about yourself and be sincere as a friend. Friends like truthfulness in each other. 5. Include your friends in your games and activities. 6. Do not leave your friends out. 7. Mix together and you will keep a friend forever. Rebecca Kitchen, P5

Rachel Carson, P3

My Perfect Day Lilybella Burrows, P2

Early in the morning I opened my eyes and remembered IT’S CHRISTMAS! I quickly ran to wake up my brothers. Then the three of us ran downstairs to find deer food all over the floor.  Also Santa’s special snack plate, which had cookies on it, had nothing on it any more. My brothers and I ran over to my parents’ bedroom and woke them up. Afterwards we went into the sunroom and found presents of all shapes and sizes. Later on in the morning I had breakfast. At lunchtime I had a yummy three course dinner which my mum made. For starter it was brie and cranberry parcels, for main course we had the traditional Christmas dinner and for dessert we had ice-cream. In the evening, my grandparents came and they gave me a stocking with nice little toys inside. At around half past eight I went to bed. That was my perfect day. Freya Beers, P6

Lucy Andrews, P2


penrhyn literary section My Holiday

My House

I went on holiday to Greece at the start of P3. I went on a great big aeroplane.  When we arrived we had to sort out our bags and suitcases. We stayed at my auntie’s house. The next day we swam in my auntie’s large swimming pool. It takes up most of her garden. Then it was time for Anna’s wedding. I wore a pretty, gold dress as I was a flower girl and it was gorgeous.  All the people threw rice at the wedding party. Later we went and had ice-cream and it was so tasty.  I went to the water park and I loved the big slide. Finally, it was time to go home. I was sad but I had had a brilliant holiday. Clara McWhinney, P3

My house is number 51. My front door is brown and wooden. My dog likes to lie up on the settee and look out of the window at everyone walking past. He is called Nemo and he is so cute. I have four fish and they are called, John, Edward, Rocket and Rockset. I have a trampoline, slide and a swing in my back garden. In my front garden I have a big tree. My house is massive. My mummy and daddy’s bedroom is at the front of our house. My mummy is called Julie and my dad is called Paul.  We have nice curtains. My bedroom is pink and purple and very pretty. Daisy Compton, P3

How to choose a Good Holiday What is a good holiday? A holiday is when you go away and relax and have fun Where can we go on holiday? We can go anywhere in the world on holiday. What can we do? We can go swimming in the sea. We love to lick cool ice-cream. We love to build sandcastles. We like to spend lots of money shopping! Abbie Conroy, P3

The White Witch The White Witch is as white as snow. She wears white fur up to her throat. She is stern and very persuasive. She is cruel and turns innocent people, who are held captive in her castle made of ice, into stone. She holds a golden wand in her hand and wears a golden crown. The White Witch would be taller than any lady you would have met. She has a proud and cold face. She has sharp features and a pale complexion. The White Witch hates summer because winter represents how cold and bitter her heart is. She wants everyone to be miserable and depressed because she is evil. She is also very cunning and can fool people into thinking she is nice. The White Witch thinks she is the most important person in all the world and can rule all of Narnia, but there is no drop of human blood in her. Cheryl Watson, P6

How to Bath a Dog

First fill the bath with warm water, but not too deep or cold. Next lift the dog firmly, but carefully, into the bath. Then splash all the water onto the dog’s coat to wet it all over. Now rub the shampoo all over the dog’s wet coat to wet it all over. Later you will rinse off the shampoo so that your dog is squeaky clean. Finally, dry your dog with a nice, warm, fluffy, soft towel. Your dog is lovely and clean. Rachel Bowen, P3

Amy Creighton, P7 ‘Explain why the Population of Ireland Fell Dramatically in the Mid-19th Century’ Ireland before the famine had a population of 8 million, but the population decreased rapidly as a result of the Great Famine (1845-1852) and large numbers of people emigrated. Sadly, the Great Famine killed almost one million people and one million emigrated during that period. Irish people were also made to pay high rents to their landlords and these rents were to be paid from sales of the potato crop, leaving even less for them to eat. The poor Irish farmers were ravenous and unable to feed their children and many were forced to enter the workhouses. Workhouses started filling up with desperate and starving families and this led to disease spreading. With no potatoes the English landlords quickly took back the Irish families’ homes, by burning them down and destroying them so the families could not have a place to sleep in or shelter from the rain. Emigration was another factor of the population decrease. There were people who decided to flee the famine by their own choice, and then others who were either forced or assisted. Those who chose to leave went to mainly the USA or England, although England did not welcome them with open arms. Assisted emigration was funded by the government to encourage a more even balance between the numbers of men and women emigrating.  Another scheme was introduced to help poor London sewing women find a better life in Australia. It was hoped that they would marry and have a family of their own. Forced emigration involved convicts who were transported to Australia as a punishment for their crimes. The Great Famine was a sad milestone in the history of Ireland as it meant that a quarter of the population was killed in a very short period of time. It started a time in history of bad feeling and unrest between the Irish and the English. Hannah Meredith, P7


penrhyn A Witch’s Spell Ho! Ho! Ho! with the great bat’s toe Tail of unicorn and a dragon’s eye Give me wings to make me fly To soar up to the clouds above I’ll throw in the feather of a dove The hair from the mighty lion’s mane To take me over the African plain A nail from each of a penguin’s feet To soar above the icy peak A single pearl from the long lost caves To dip beneath the icy waves A whisker from my own cat Ben To bring me safely home again Cerys McMurray, P5

Emma Flipagram addict Instagram lover Fashion dreamer Movie watcher

P7’s Trip To Carlingford Every year our P7 class have a residential trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre, Co Louth. This trip is both challenging and enjoyable offering the girls the opportunity to experience activities including kayaking, raft building, high ropes, zorbing, rock climbing and abseiling.

Starbucks drinker Sweetie eater Deep sleeper Dancing lover

The Cottage Holiday At my half term I went on holiday. It was sort of boring because it was a cottage without heat and space to run around! I learned that a long time ago there were people who suffered a potato famine. They were poor and ate potatoes only. Poor potato famine! Anyway, my parents said that the cottage I was staying in might be a potato famine house! You see, it had a straw roof. My Granny came too, but my Granda didn’t sadly. Mind you it would have been fun if he did. We went to Donegal. Annie McLorinan, P4

Vans wearer Mischief maker Ice-cream licker Make-up user Friends forever One Direction fan Chloe Lukasiak lover Teddy bear hugger Gymnastics fun Love to run Out in the sun Having fun!

The Snow People

Emma Hylands, P7

Elsa lived in an ice palace with her snowman called Icicle. Poor Elsa had difficult ice powers! She was scared that she might hurt someone if she got too close to them – this is why she lived alone in the ice palace. No one knew she was there. Icicle was very cute and very funny so Elsa stayed entertained.  They did have lots of fun. Elsa could use her powers to make snow toys for her friend. Elsa also loved singing to herself. Elsa wore a beautiful blue velvet and white cape over her light blue dress. When Elsa and Icicle had a close escape from a visitor they set off snow works – similar to fireworks! Cece Buchanan, P4

Peter Pan the Musical

Jazmin McCormick, P4


On Tuesday 1 April we went to the dress rehearsal in Stranmillis Theatre. P7, P6 and P5 were performing Peter Pan on stage in front of P1, P2, P3 and P4. Our special guests were Glencraig pupils. My favourite character was Peter Pan; he was jumping about the room! Anna was Peter Pan. She is very flexible and did flips and cartwheels. I loved the part when they turned off the lights but they had glow in the dark dresses so it looked like they could fly! I felt sad when they took Tiger Lily; it looked like she was about to cry on the rock.  Then I was happy again when Peter Pan saved her. I sat beside my best friend Sarah. She got worried because we spilt popcorn all over the floor! When Peter took Wendy to Neverland, Tinkerbell got jealous and told the Indians to shoot her, so they did. I got upset that Tinkerbell did what she did. Wendy was not dead just sleeping (I think - I hope!). John and Michael came too. They were startled when Peter Pan built a house over her. Amelia Hazle, P4

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 to plan events to help the girls enjoy their time at school. This year we have held a number of discos for P7, Form 1 and Form 2. We have held these discos at the Stormont Hotel and they were very well attended by pupils from Strathearn and neighbouring schools.  We have a lot of parents and staff helping at the discos and I wish to thank them for their support. In October, we held our Fashion Show, also at the Stormont Hotel. We had over 70 pupils from Strathearn and Penrhyn modelling clothes from local boutiques. A number of teachers also took to the catwalk, but one of the many highlights was the Men in Black routine performed by some very brave dads and teachers!  There was a surprise performance from Greg Davidson of Cameoflage, who pretended to be the hotel manager before bursting into song and entertaining the 300 guests! It was a great evening which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Francesca Ringrow, GCSE Level

Other events that were held over the last year include the Summer Fête and Christmas and Hallowe’en parties at Penrhyn. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents who give so generously of their time throughout the year, enabling us to run events and to continue to raise funds. In October 2013 we presented cheques to Strathearn for £11,500 and to Penrhyn for £7,500. Finally, I would like to thank all those who serve on the committee for their continuing support and enthusiasm. Lisa Kitchen


The Boxing Day Tournament

he Boxing Day Tournament this year was a great success; not only was it played outside on our AstroTurf pitch for the second year running, but we also had a great turnout from families and friends of Old Girls coming to support and join into the spirit of the tournament. The Old Girls had a brilliant turnout again, and I would like to thank all past Games Captains for their help in the matter. Unfortunately, for the first time in thirty odd years, Victoria College could not field a team, and so the tournament continued with just the three teams; Strathearn Old Girls, Strathearn School and Victoria Old Girls. I have to say that this year was one of my favourite years as there was a great atmosphere (despite the frosty weather) between all the teams and players. The Old Girls got off to a good start and beat the current Strathearn 1st XI. They then beat Victoria Old Girls to secure the win and bring the trophy ‘back to where it belongs’! After the matches had finished, all the players and supporters made their way to the sports hall to have much needed hot drinks and nibbles. It was great to see everyone join in at our annual meet, and it really is a catch up of old friends. It is lovely to see the current players join in too, as soon they will be on our team! The speeches began and Mrs Harvey presented the Strathearn Old Girls with the shield, and Sophie Bloor with the Old Girls’ Cup, in recognition of her continued contribution to hockey. Thanks must go to Strathearn for allowing us to use the pitch, and to Mrs Harvey, who organised and ran the tournament. Thanks also to all the supporters and family, who always create a great atmosphere on and off the pitch. Finally, thanks to all the Old Girls who turned up to represent our old school; it is brilliant to win the shield again. I hope to see you all again this year and hopefully we will continue in our success! 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! We have received notification of the Degree successes which follow.

Barnes, Stephanie Beattie, Kathryn Beattie, Laura Bill, Rebecca Black, Rachel Calderwood, Sophie Curry, Lois Curry, Sarah Davis, Hannah Davison, Rachel Dobbin, Samantha Dunn,  Anne Dyer, Caroline Eames, Tessa Gray, Suzanne Hamill, Kellie Inkpin, Natalie Long, Nicola Matthew,  Jessica McBride, Lauren McCavana, Elizabeth McClean, Drew McClure, Natasha McClure, Sarah McCollum, Uisneach McLeese, Rebecca McMullan, Julia Mercer, Lindsay Morrison, Ellis Murray, Jennifer O’Neill, Roseanna Orr, Sarah Patterson, Carrie Patton, Jessica Preston, Nichola Reid, Christine Richardson, Katherine Sha,  Alexandra Stevenson, Jill Stirk,  Amy Stronge, Esther Sythes, Charlotte Taggart, Emma Trimble, Sharon Wallace, Kerry White, Leah Williams, Lauren Wong, Gigi Woods, Rebecca

Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Physics with Medical Applications University of Ulster, BSc Computing Queen’s University, Belfast, BEng Civil Engineering Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Physics with Medical Applications University of Ulster, LLB Law with Criminology University of Ulster, BA English Cardiff, BSc Accounting and Finance Oxford, BA Law Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English & Philosophy University of Ulster, BSc Optometry Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Nursing Queen’s University, Belfast, BDS Dentistry Queen’s University, Belfast, BD Theology University of Ulster, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Physics University of Ulster, BSc Human Nutrition Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Mathematics with Computer Science Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Management & Business Studies Queen’s University, Belfast, BSW Social Work Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English University of Ulster, BSc Interactive Multimedia Design Queen’s University, Belfast, BTh Theology Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Accounting University of Ulster, BDes Interior Design University of Ulster, BSc Human Nutrition University of Ulster, BSc Consumer Studies Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography University of Ulster, BA Media Studies & Production University of Ulster, BSc International Hospitality Management Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Mathematics Queen’s University, Belfast, PhD Electrical & Electronic Engineering Queen’s University, Belfast, BA History Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Archaeology & Palaeoecology University of Ulster, BSc Computing with Business Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Biomedical Science Queen’s University, Belfast, BMus Music University of Ulster, BA English Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Human Biology Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography University of Aberdeen, MBChB Medicine & Surgery Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Environmental Planning University of Ulster, BDes Textile, Design & Fashion Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Geography University of Ulster, BSc Food & Nutrition University of Ulster, BSc Physiotherapy University of Ulster, BSc Computing Queen’s University, Belfast, Dip Personnel Management University of Ulster, BDes Interior Design

The School Magazine was edited by J Pauley and designed by K Carson. Special thanks to everyone who contributed in any way. 84


Front co ver ~ Kath ryn Brooker, A-level

Back co ver ~ Rachael Da vidson, GCS E Level


Magazine 2014  

Strathearn School Magazine 2014

Magazine 2014  

Strathearn School Magazine 2014