Page 1

from the principal


t is once again my privilege to welcome you to the pages of the Strathearn School Magazine for 2015. This year has been truly momentous for Strathearn and there have been many highlights that will live in our memories for a long time.  We moved into the final phase of our new build and this transition into spacious, state-of-the-art facilities has been a wonderful experience.  The curriculum has been enriched by this new and exciting environment, and our rapid assimilation of the extended facilities has been a tribute to the readiness to embrace change, which has always been a hallmark of the Strathearn ethos. Of course, a major factor contributing to our willingness to look outwards has been our strong sense of identity and belonging. Our architects worked hard to realise a vision of the buildings which would enhance the physical landscape and preserve our sense of place. The sense of renewal we experienced in our move was strongly affirmed by the warmth and good wishes of the very many people who know and love Strathearn. We were particularly delighted that HRH Prince Edward,  The Earl of Wessex, came to officially open the new build, as twenty-two years previously he had opened our Sports Hall. His presence on the occasion, and the attendance of so many people who have given so much to Strathearn over the years, made the event very special. Strathearn has always been much more than its buildings and so, on the Saturday following Prince Edward’s visit, we held an informal, celebratory Open Day for our former pupils, former members of staff and friends of the school, who all returned to see the new build and wish us well in our new environment.

to record my 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 our shared values. I would also like to acknowledge the editorial, design and technical expertise which brought the magazine together.

Another highlight of the year was our Prize Night when we welcomed Professor Máire O’Neill to present the prizes and awards. We are, of course, very proud of the academic successes of our pupils and Professor O’Neill’s own intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for her chosen subject proved inspirational. The evening ended with a superb performance of “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” by the Chamber Choir. The Chamber Choir then entered the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition and, to our delight, they went on to become runners-up in an unforgettable final!

In particular, I pay tribute to Dr Pauley who has edited our magazine for 27 years. She has brought a strong sense of community, attention to detail and appreciation for capturing the character of each year. Hence the magazines record, in word and picture, the roots and development of the school. Under her leadership the number of pages has increased and the format developed, but her adept hand of editorial control and sense of audience have combined to make it such an attractive and appreciated publication. I thank her and wish her well as we enjoy this, her final issue of the Strathearn School magazine.

A particular joy this year has been the rejuvenation of the House System and the enhanced opportunities for drama and sport which our new facilities have made possible. We are grateful for all of these blessings and for the memorable year which the pages of the magazine record. I would like to warmly thank everyone who has supported us and made possible the range of successes which we celebrate here. I would also like

Philippa Harty,  A Level



Niamh Carey,  AS 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 The Official Opening of our New School Clubs, Events & Societies Drama House Play Competition House Reports Sport Literary Section Penrhyn Parents’ & Old Girls’ Associations Degrees & Awards 2

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 Mrs P Stewart Vice Chairs Mr N McKeown BSc (Econ) FCA Mr PA White MA (Cantab) Mrs C Auchmuty BA Mrs R Bailie BA MSW MBA 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

Joanna Palmer,  AS Level


school staff PRINCIPAL

Mr D Manning BSc PGCE

Anna Campbell,  AS Level


Mrs H Graham BA PGCE Mrs K Quinn BSc PQH


Mrs E Murphy BA PGCE Mrs C Rea MA PGCE



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


Mr M Stevenson BSc PGCE Mrs H Graham BA PGCE Mrs L Staples BSc PGCE Mrs D Millar BA PGCE


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



Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Miss J Rollins 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 K Quinn BSc PQH Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE Ms L Wallace MPhys PGCE

MODERN LANGUAGES Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mrs H Agnew BA PGCE Mrs S Morrow BA PGCE Mrs J Muldrew MA PGCE Mrs J Thompson BA PGCE Mrs S Wyeth MA PGCE Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez Mrs N Wilson


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 R Manning BSc PGCE Mrs K King STA Mrs S Iveston BEd





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




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


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

TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN Mr A Atkinson BEd Miss R Newburn BEd



Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD


PREMISES STAFF Mr S Alexander Mr J Algie Mr T McConnell

CATERING STAFF Mrs V Crymble Mrs E Madden Mrs J McConnell Ms L Gillespie Ms P McNeice Ms M Mellon Mrs C Nesbitt Mrs S Nsuenchma Mrs E Walker


Miss G Campbell BSc Mrs A Cowie Mr P Craig BEng Miss C Dyer BD Miss L Gormley BA Mrs C Hewitt Mr J Hoeritzauer MA ATDE Miss A Jordan BSc Miss M Magee Mr S Millar HND BSc Miss S Morrow BSc Mrs P Patterson BA Dip SW PQSW Mrs R Quail BA PgDipSc Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS Miss E Smyth Mrs D Welsh BA Dip IS


Mrs L Collins MA



Mrs R Silcock Mrs L Allen Ms N Gardener Mrs C Harper Mrs L Howe Mrs C Moore Mrs I Robertson Mrs L Toye Mrs V White

ANCILLARY STAFF Mr J Blakely Ms T Archer Mrs C Gibson Mr J Gibson Mrs L Gillespie Mrs C Greer Miss S Hall Ms S Humphries Ms JL McConnell Mrs A McLaughlin Mrs P McNeice Ms R Millar Miss C Pollock Miss E Pollock

form 1s

Back Row:

Sophia Meldrum,  Amy Creighton, Sarah West,  Alexandra Agar, Rachel Lemon, Olivia Knox, Emma Conroy

Middle Row: Sara Boyd,  Tatiana Brown, Isabelle Davidson, Clara Potts,  Abbey Connor,  Aimee Connor, Molly Scullion, Victoria Kerr Front Row:

Saya Caddy,  Amy McWhirter, Isabella McKnight, Sorcha Corbett,  Maya Renfrew, Erin McCullough, Jemima Thomas

Anna Kane, GCSE Level 5

form 1t

Emily McGowan, GCSE Level

Back Row:

Elizabeth Walker, Emily Crockett, Rebekah Burrows, Ella Rook, Emily Gault, Kaitlyn Eadie, Sarah McIvor

Middle Row: Grace Thompson, Felicity Johnston, Holly Gilpin,  Ashleigh Law, Hannah Meredith,  Amber Hamilton, Katie McMeekin, Emily Parker, Mrs Agnew Front Row:

Nicole Ferguson, Darcey Jamison, Bethany McFall,  Anna Conway, Eva Blakely-Hewitt, Eve Greer, Charlotte Keers 6

form 1r

Back Row:

Emily Stothers, Chloe Gregg,  Jaclyn Robinson, Ruby McWhinney, Sarah McDonald,  Jessica Baker, Sophie Longstaff

Middle Row: Haniah Ijaz, Kristin Kerr,  Jordan Savage, Erin Dunwoody, Maria Rafferty, Sophie Kenny, Molly Walker, Mrs Blayney Front Row:

Imogen McGimpsey, Rebecca Callaghan, Halah Irvine, Sophie Law, Rhianna Hawke,  Talia Irwin, Amy McAlees


Georgia Mitchell, Marnie Preston

Joanna Palmer,  AS Level


form 1a

Back Row: Charlie Saunders, Emma Johnston, Katie Robinson, Eve Hall, Chloe Browne, Emma Lennon Middle Row: Abbi Norris, Elly Ryan, Emily McConnell, Eve McKibbin, Emily Hicks, Rebecca Crymble,  Jessica Winton, Mrs Wyeth Front Row: Megan Fitzpatrick, Rhiannon Dowie, Francesca Park, Ruby Allen, Charlotte Macdonald,  Amelia Kane,  Ally McConnell Absent: Charlotte Black, Sara Black

Lauren Darragh, GCSE Level 8

form 1h

Hannah Tweedie, GCSE Level

Back Row: Madeleine Ievers, Emma Rutherford,  Aimee Carson,  Amelia Hopkins, Sarah Craig,  Amy Long,  Tara Kerr Middle Row: Sarah Blackmore, Rachel Neilly, Erin Patterson, Emma Hylands, Leah McCabe, Megan Johnston,  Anna Hutchinson, Rebekkah Cross, Mrs Cochrane Front Row: Anna McCabe,  Jade Scott, Faith Roberts,  Abigale McMaster, Nishtha Panchratna,  Aimee McGill, Chloe McBurney 9

school year


t’s hard to believe that a whole seven years have passed and it’s time for the Class of 2015 to move on! The years honestly have flown by, with this year definitely going faster than any of the previous. Hermione, Naoise and I have had an absolutely incredible final year, being lucky enough to represent the school at a number of events and even meet royalty! Following our appointments in late  April, we were quickly busy with events that took place at the end of the summer term. Our waitressing and mingling skills were put to the test at the Art Exhibition, which was held in the newly built Art Department, where both GCSE and A-level pieces were proudly displayed. Congratulations to all those girls who worked so painstakingly and diligently to produce such amazing work - the three of us were very envious of your artistic gifts! We were also able to welcome girls who were to join Strathearn in September at our Induction Evening. In June the Office Bearers also helped with the Penrhyn Sports Day, which thankfully stayed dry and was an enjoyable afternoon for all pupils and parents who were involved. Then came the long-awaited Day of Sport where the Houses of Boucher, Barbour, McCaughey and Watts went head-to-head in a number of events in a bid to win those allimportant House points!  Many thanks go to all the PE staff and U6 girls who helped, even though their last exam had finished just minutes before, and to Mr Heaney for his music and commentary which kept us all entertained and enthused. Soon September arrived and the year of ‘lasts’ began. The wonderful ‘New Build’ had finally finished and we were all welcomed into the final new teaching block. However, the best part for me - and I’m sure all of Upper Sixth and Lower Sixth would agree - has to be the sixth form centre! It’s such a brilliant space to have and it’s made even better for tea lovers like me with on-demand hot water meaning that a quick cuppa can be made in no time! Mrs Madden is always there to keep us in check and she gives us all great advice as our adopted mum. You are invaluable to us all, thank you for all your hard work and we will miss you next year! Our arrival in Upper Sixth also meant one thing which dominated all conversation, the one event which is seen as the pinnacle of your entire school career… that’s right, the Formal!! Who would have thought a meal and some dancing could be discussed and debated so much, but trust me - it was! It’s all thanks to the wonderful Formal Committee, Hermione, Naoise and Mrs Graham, who ensured that it turned out to be an amazing night and a great success. Good luck to anyone who volunteers to be on the committee for next year - there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye! In the autumn term we also had the return of the famous House plays which, as usual, were a wonderful display of dramatic talent with the mighty McCaughey retaining the title of Best Play. The House events and House spirit have dramatically increased this year with the introduction of some new House competitions. A House Quiz was introduced for both the senior and junior school, bringing out the competitive streak in us all, with rounds from music to sport and picture rounds with ‘guess the biscuit’ which was surprisingly difficult and frustrating! We also had our first InterHouse Talent Show, with two acts representing each House.  We had an eclectic array of talents from tap dancing to singing and gymnastics, but for me the most memorable has to be the

performance from Frances, who with only an hour’s notice sang her heart out and dominated the stage like a professional! Well done to all those who took part and to Ms Ferris for her hilarious commentary. I wish I was as brave and talented as any of you who participated! This event, however, also ran on Mrs Connery’s last day as Vice Principal.  Everyone in Strathearn is sad to see her go, but we wish her all the very best in her exciting new post as Principal of Wellington College. February brought even more excitement as the news soon spread that the Strathearn New Build was going to be opened. Talk about who the VIP guest could be heightened, and finally the big day arrived. It was an incredible honour and privilege to have HRH Prince Edward to officially open Strathearn, and I was even luckier as I was able to accompany him on his tour of the school and introduce him to some of my friends and teachers. The atmosphere was electric and he certainly didn’t disappoint, as he was enthusiastic and took a great interest in talking to staff and pupils alike. It was a truly special day and one I will never forget. On the Saturday following the opening of the school we also had an Open House for those who had previously attended Strathearn, or were simply curious having seen the construction process and wanted to look around! Again, there was a lovely, warm atmosphere with many friends reunited and fond memories of Strathearn exchanged. It was a lovely reminder of how much of a family Strathearn is and how the friendships we make here will stay with us for many years. It has been such an honour and pleasure to be Head Girl this year, and what a year to be a part of history in Strathearn! To Naoise and Hermione, thank you so much for all the laughs and support, as I’d really be lost without you both.  A special mention must go to Mrs Graham, who has kept us on track over the last year and made this such an enjoyable experience for us. You have been such a great mentor, not just to us but to all the previous Head Girls and Deputies over the last number of years. We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable retirement, which you have thoroughly earned after such tireless commitment to teaching and to your wider role as Vice Principal. I can only hope that the rest of the girls in Strathearn enjoy their time here as much as I have - it’s been a phenomenal seven years, and I will definitely miss everyone come September! Erin Prentice, Head Girl

Head Girl and Deputies Hermione Anstey, Erin Prentice, Naoise Webster


sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Catherine Whiteside, Katherine Flack, Shannon McClintock,  Jessica Fairclough, Chloe Johnston, Jessica McCleery Middle Row: Beth Lynas, Isla Lockhart, Clara Kerr,  Amy Anderson, Lisa Irwin, Natalie Wallace,  Aimée Buckley Front Row: Lydia Duncan, Katherine Carson, Hermione Anstey, Erin Prentice, Naoise Webster, Katie Brown, Shannon Armour

Annabel Terry,  A Level 11

sixth form

Third Row:

Fourth Row:

Back Row:

Chloe Reihill, Keziah Mercer, Rachael Curry, Louise Lynch, Lillie Van Solingen, Eryn McQuillan, Jayne Armstrong, Charlotte Hoey, Lucy McCracken,  Abbie McMaster, Emma Blakely,  Jenni Chambers,  Aimee Reid, Sophie Hood, Bonnie Macrae, Kira McNeill, Ella Dougan, Dominique Forson,  Jenny Drennan, Sarah Curry

Melissa Nagar, Rebecca Lindsay, Poppy Gribben, Tina Long, Sophie Trinder, Lauren Crosby, Emily Docherty, Frances Wilson, Jessie Yuen, Hafsah Amjad, Charlotte Strain, Ann McCollum, Clare Matthews, Ursula Moffitt, Rebecca Jenkins, Emma Flannigan, Katie Jackson, Célèste Halliday, Melissa Robinson, Rachel Howe

Laura McMillen, Rebecca Davidson, Lucy Browne, Dara Florence, Emily Jamison, Ciara Garrett, Rosanna Good, Lauren Wheeler, Emma Stitt, Sarah Flack, Victoria Richmond, Katie Gallagher,  Alex Nelson, Madeleine McIlwain, Zoe McCormack, Sara Davison, Mia Gibson, Kate Umphray

Front Row:

Anna Campbell, Sarah Lamont, Lauren Watson

Lydia Duncan, Clara Kerr, Jessica McCleery, Katherine Carson, Beth Lynas, Isla Lockhart, Katherine Flack, Jessica Fairclough, Naoise Webster, Erin Prentice, Hermione Anstey, Shannon McClintock, Chloe Johnston, Natalie Wallace, Lisa Irwin,  Aimée Buckley, Catherine Whiteside,  Amy Anderson, Katie Brown, Shannon Armour

Second Row: Poppy Hanna, Hannah Craig, Francesca Darling, Lucy Hayes, Nikita Muir, Joanna Hicks, Rebecca Morgan, Niamh Carey, Oriana Marsh, Christine McVeigh, Abigail Crawford,  Tori McKechnie, Megan O’Callaghan, Nisha Jose, Lauren Duncan,  Joanna Palmer, Holly Pinkerton, Courtney Campbell, Charlotte Lowry, Sarah Lavery, Leanna de la Torre



prize distribution/principal’s speech


his year the prize giving took place in the Sports Hall on 2 October. Our Head Girl, Erin Prentice, welcomed everyone to the event and invited the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mrs P Stewart, to address the audience. Good evening girls, families and friends, and our Guest of Honour, Professor Máire O’Neill from the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s University, Belfast. It gives me enormous pleasure, on behalf of the Board of Governors, to welcome you to the 2014 Strathearn School Prize Night. It is super to see so many people joining us this evening to celebrate the success of our pupils; success which has been made possible because of the support of families, friends, teachers and non-teaching staff and, of course, my colleagues on the Board of Governors. This is a celebration; a celebration of all the talents that Strathearn has nurtured and the girls’ achievements – so I hope you can sit back, relax and enjoy the proceedings. One of the benefits of holding an annual prize night and documenting the proceedings in our annual report is that, if in a number of years’ time you look back, you will be able to see that Strathearn did deliver and did what it said it would do! So, with a great deal of pleasure, I am pleased to report that since last summer a new school reception, assembly hall, drama studio, ICT learning centre, a sixth form centre, a home economics facility, a music suite and a series of art rooms have become available for pupils and their teachers. I must say I was really impressed to see the girls’ fantastic artwork in the new art rooms at the Exhibition held in June. The artwork was of outstanding quality presented in outstanding accommodation. I should like to pay tribute to the stewardship of the Board of Governors, past and present, and to the financial support of parents, past and present, as we have been able to invest an additional £1.5 million pounds of extras into our new school and, as a result, we have additional classrooms, wider corridors, a much bigger canteen and a sixth form centre. And, of course, there is more to come – we hope by November this year to see the completion of a new gymnasium and two more tennis courts. This evening families and friends will have the opportunity to see the new canteen, or to give it its official title - the Miskelly Deli – as that is where the evening

supper will be served. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding support and hard work of all the staff in making the move to the new facilities so smooth and so seamless. In particular, I think it right and proper that all of us here tonight demonstrate our appreciation for the enormous contribution made by our outstanding Principal, David Manning, in developing our new school. David, thank you for your knowledge and experience, for your attention to detail, for all the hours you have spent considering the plans – a huge amount of hard work – but I think you know it has all been worthwhile. Our school is, of course, more than bricks and mortar; and whilst modern, up-to-date facilities are important, it is the school’s culture, our ethos, that is crucial to the development of our pupils. It is our desire to provide a broad educational experience to equip girls to contribute to society. There can be no doubt of the excellence of our academic education – this year’s results, as you will hear, bear testimony to the successful partnership between the girls and their teachers. As I reflect on my daughter’s experience at the school, in addition to the first class education she received, she also had the opportunity, for example, to join the choir in first form and sing at the annual carol concert. And when she reached the dizzy heights of being stage manager for the House plays, she learnt skills which she continues to use today in her chosen medical career. All of our girls will have parts to play in society and we want to ensure that, in addition to a great education, they also have a broad experience of life skills. Many years ago the Board of Governors had a dream to rebuild the physical fabric of this school. To make this dream a reality, so many people have, over the past number of years, demonstrated determination, energy, drive and a real passion to succeed. I hope girls you will show the same passion and energy in all that you do and achieve. Before I conclude I would like to thank all of the teaching and nonteaching staff for their dedication and commitment over the past year – thank you for all that you do. And I must also thank the members of the Board of Governors who steer the school with such wisdom and give so generously of their time. I should like to say that the Board of Governors was greatly saddened to learn at the beginning of September of the death of John McCaughey who served on the Board of Governors for some twenty years.  We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to John’s family. I said at the start that this is a celebration and that is why we are gathered here tonight to celebrate the girls’ achievements - I want to offer my congratulations to each and every one of you. And all that remains for me to say is - please enjoy the evening! I should now like to call on our Principal, David Manning, to present his report.


hairman, Professor O’Neill, 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 Professor O’Neill 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.

Emma Watson, GCSE Level

So the new school is nearly finished. Indeed a few months ago a member of staff was talking about the old school when she caught on that she was actually talking about the classroom block that we moved into just two years ago. Eight years ago, when once again we thought we were about to start our building work, I stated from this platform that three characteristics of Strathearn that we must not lose in our new build are: a school that looks out, a school committed to excellence, and a school which has people at the centre.


principal’s speech Our new school is wonderful! It makes such a difference to have the water running down the outside of the walls, to have classrooms that are easy to make into stimulating environments, to have space and light and up-to-date equipment, to have seated assembly and a lovely sixth form centre, to have drama facilities and lots of places to sit inside and out and soon a gymnasium as well as the sports hall. It is all wonderful, but it is not the buildings that make Strathearn – even the new ones. It is always people who make the difference, and the people of Strathearn: pupils, staff, parents and Governors, make this such a rewarding place of which to be a part. No new building can make up for that, but already I can see our new school significantly enhancing so much of what we do in Strathearn.

top A* grade: Jennifer Graham, Courtney Dunlop, Shannon Booth, Natasha Herron, Megan Marrs, Emma Watson, Amy Cairnduff, Catherine Trimble,  Jenny Maynes, Rachel Powderly, Charlotte Aston, Fiona Gibson and Naomi Young. Tori Megarry,  Jemma Gillan, Lucy Dolan, Louise Owens and the twins Abby and Erin Larmour each achieved 4 As and 5 A* grades. Anna Kane,  Alana McVea, Lauren Brooker, Rachel Bailie, Hannah Eakin, Susanna Griffin,  Amy Hepworth, Florence Ogonda and Lara Sweet are all to be highly commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Laura Bell,  Aimée Irwin, Rebekah Kenny and Anieshia Bedford for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s.

My thanks to the large team of people who have made our new school a reality and especially to our insightful and patient architects, Peter Niblock and Suzanne McCoy, who have been working with us for eleven years, our diligent Project Manager, James McAfee, and our excellent builders, McLaughlin and Harvey. Thank you to you and your teams for your expertise, professionalism and appreciation of the high standards we aim to maintain in all areas of Strathearn School. In the Spring term we plan to have an Open Day to let our parents see around the school and celebrate the past and look to the future.

Gabrielle Park, Rosalind Skillen, Amy Dutton, Katie McMurray, and Anna Warden should be delighted with having achieved 1 A and 8 A*s and Rachael Thomas achieved a splendid 1 A and 9 A*s. In addition to all this brilliant achievement, five girls this year, are being awarded with our top prize, having achieved straight  A* grades in each of their GCSE subjects. Those girls are: Dakota Armour, Rachel Bruce,  Ariana Gallen, Sophie Martin and Emily Whiteside.

Tonight we are here to celebrate the efforts and successes of the people in Strathearn. I am delighted to welcome girls and their families from different year groups and acknowledge your hard work and efforts. I am always particularly delighted that on this occasion we have room to invite the families of every one of our Lower Sixth pupils so that we can celebrate together the achievement of each of the girls in their GCSE examinations. You are especially welcome, and I do hope all our guests and pupils will join us for refreshments over in Miskelly Deli. So we celebrate first the wonderful success at GCSE which even surpassed the records set in the previous year. Over two-thirds of the year group achieved grades A or A* in at least 5 of their subjects. For a second successive year, the percentage achieved at each of the grades A*,  A, B and C is the best ever, and for the first time over 70% of the grades awarded were at grade A or A*, trumping the previous record of 65% set by our current Lower Sixth in 2013.  At the top A* grade it is particularly remarkable that for the second year, 3 out of every 10 grades in Strathearn is an A*. This all compares most favourably with the NI figures for girls in Grammar Schools and once again 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! There is a real sense that the staff and pupils, with the support of their parents, have found the winning formula for GCSE examinations.

Congratulations to all our GCSE candidates on having achieved such super results. I also think that it is a great credit to the staff, pupils, designers and contractors, that the construction work has obviously not had any detrimental impact on the academic performance of the school. At AS-level we were delighted with the strength of achievement attained by the girls. 98 out of the 106 pupils achieved at least one grade A or B, and 80% achieved at least three grades A to C. Prizes are awarded to pupils in last year’s Lower Sixth who have achieved 3 or 4 A grades in their AS examinations. Tonight we reward 30 girls who have achieved this top level of performance, with a record 23 pupils gaining A grades in four subjects. This is a super level of performance and a great base from which to secure success in A-levels next year.

Tonight, as always, I will read out the names of those girls who have achieved so many top grades. The list is significantly longer than any other year, but each of these girls deserve to be recognised in this way. Eleven pupils achieved eight GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Lucy Robinson, Chloe Jeanes, Rachel Elliott, Alice Campbell, Catherine Ievers, Nina Graham, Stephanie Devlin, Katie Mashford, Kristyn McCaughey, Zoe Irwin, and Ella McAllister. Forty-three girls achieved straight As in at least nine subjects, that is eleven more girls than the record set in 2006. First, those thirteen girls who achieved 9 As with up to 4 at the

At  A-level, against the NI figure of 10.9% for girls in Grammar Schools, Strathearn girls achieved 15.9% grade A*, that is nearly 50% better, and the proportion of grades A and A* at 51.2% just beat the previous record of 50.8% set in 2012. This year 29 out of the 96 girls, that is 30% of the year group, achieved 3 straight As or better. Rebekah Craig, Emma Andrews, Lauren Keenan, Iseult Dawson, Tara Gouk, Katherine Beattie and Victoria Wallace achieved four grade As or better. Congratulations to Vikki who was top of the year with 4 A* grades and I just learnt


principal’s speech yesterday that she has also earned the distinction of being placed second in NI in CCEA A-level ICT. We wish Vikki well as she has started at Queen’s University, Belfast to study Mathematics and Computer Science.

Emma Watson, GCSE Level

In addition, congratulations to Bethanie Chambers, who was one of our Deputy Head Girls and is now heading to Cambridge to study Law, and also to our other Deputy Head Girl, Rebekah Craig, who is also going to Queen’s to study Mathematics. The Queen’s Scholar Award is given out each year to only ten of the brightest students in NI who have also demonstrated exceptional achievements outside academic life. Rebekah was one of 156 students who had been nominated by 83 different schools, and last night she was one of the ten to receive the Queen’s Scholar Award and she will now act as an ambassador for the University and have all her fees met. She is a most worthy winner! In your Prize Night booklet you will see the full list of all the prizes awarded to the Class of 2014 at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which our students are embarking. A recurring theme in August, from a number of the girls who had just received their GCSE results, was that they were genuinely surprised at how good they were. I thought that was lovely.  When I asked them to explain, they commented that they had been around average in Strathearn, but now having sat public exams and in comparing themselves with friends at other schools, the Strathearn average must be high and they are delighted to be back in the sixth form. Tonight we are giving out prizes and certificates to pupils who have reached very high levels of attainment in our school examinations, as well as those who have sat public examinations. To all parents here, I hope you are rightly proud of the achievements of your daughters in this one, but important, aspect of their lives. 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 at times stepping in and saying ‘enough is enough’ - please remember that your daughter’s best is always good enough. My office is now close to reception and I am surprised at the number of parents who are in each day bringing in forgotten lunch or books or homework or PE kit. Some years ago when Bill Clinton was president of America, his daughter Chelsea was told by the school nurse that parental permission would be necessary for the nurse to give some aspirin. Chelsea responded by saying – “Call my dad, my mom’s too busy.” So on behalf of the girls, and the staff of Strathearn, I say, thank you mum and dad for your support, in the big things and the little things. Thank you. On this occasion I pay tribute to the considerable amount of work carried out by our Governors who freely give very significant amounts of their time and professional expertise to the running of the School. Unless you have worked with our Governors, it is hard to appreciate their commitment and sense of responsibility. I have to say that the expertise and foresight of previous Governors, and the commitment of the current team have ensured we have been able to have the very best of buildings and education and care taking place within them. I thank them on behalf of us all. 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 ‘mainstay’ of which are the ever-popular discos. Last year they also organised a highly successful fashion show in the Stormont Hotel. It required many hours of organisation but the large room was packed out with pupils and parents from both departments, and everything went without a hitch despite some strange pieces of entertainment! We are very grateful for cheques


totalling an incredible £19,000 for the Secondary and Preparatory Departments. Thank you to all who have supported the Association to raise these wonderful sums of money. As we celebrate the success of the girls, I am delighted to be able to record my thanks to the whole staff team. In all the success I have elaborated upon this evening, more than a little reflected glory comes back upon the staff. The teaching staff in this school make the difference – they give the ‘value added’. Whether it is strictly in the classroom, or going over something individually for a second or third time, or out on an educational visit, or in one of the many extra-curricular activities, their tutorage created the path for this success. I have no doubt that the personal interest shown by the teachers of Strathearn for their pupils encourages each of them to give of their best. They are experts in their subjects and many take a leading role within their subject areas in the NI education system. They are also keen practitioners and delight in creating a stimulating environment where the love of learning is enthusiastically fostered. My thanks to them for their commitment and most significant contribution to the success we are celebrating this evening. I also give credit to the great team of support staff whose daily assistance and contribution have become so vital in securing the high standard of provision we offer our students. There has been very little changeover of staff this last academic year – perhaps after having waited so long for the new buildings, staff wanted to gain some pleasure from the environment before moving on. Ms Morrison joined the staff as a part-time teacher of Technology & Design in 1997, and shortly after that she took on the additional role of Technology Technician, a post which she held for 14 years.  A willing member of staff, she brought her creative and artistic skills to her work and at one stage ran a club for the girls to make jewellery – which, as you can imagine, was quite popular! Ms Nelson joined the Modern Languages Department in 1991 to teach French to A-level and German to Key Stage 3, but for many years she also taught conversational Italian to those going on the Italy trip.  A most able linguist with a particular expertise in Literature, Joan contributed much to the teaching and assessment of languages beyond Strathearn as she was invited on to a number of advisory panels for languages. In 2007 she was seconded to the examining board CCEA and she has worked there since developing assessment procedures in a number of subjects. We thank both Ann and Joan for the contribution they have made to Strathearn and we wish them well as they move on to other things.

principal’s speech Niamh Carey,  AS Level

As in previous years, I will highlight just a few of the areas from this past year which I hope give a flavour of life in Strathearn.

in sport fostered determination, team spirit and friendships and added that she loved winning!

Sport in Strathearn has benefited much from our new facilities and very shortly we will take possession of two more tennis courts, giving us six courts in total. The Gymnasium is also nearly ready and so with the fitness suite, hockey pitches, this Sports Hall and the athletics facilities, our amenities will be of the highest standard and allow for a very wide range of sports. I am delighted to say that this last year has been one of the very best for sport in the history of Strathearn in what has been achieved, and in the very high uptake of sport by the pupils which proportionally is the best of any school I know.

Mr Manning thanked Natalie for her contribution and continued:

I have asked Natalie Wallace, our Games Captain, to join me on the platform and share with us some of the highlights of last year. Natalie, who is in the Upper Sixth studying Mathematics, ICT and Business Studies, told the audience she plans to study Finance at Queen’s next year. With her Deputies, Natalie assists the PE staff with a wide range of activities. Natalie explained that her main sport was hockey, though she also participates in athletics, netball and tennis. She also gave an insight into other sports the school offers, which include swimming, dance and indoor athletics. Natalie spoke of some of the highlights of the year. She related the success of the 2A XI, which had an excellent season culminating in the team’s win in the McDowell Cup, and she also highlighted the sustained individual and team successes in swimming competitions. The success in the NICMAC Championships, where the Intermediate Dance Team emerged as Champions and the Junior Dance Team was awarded the Silver medal, proved another highlight. Tennis successes were also noteworthy, as our Junior A and B Teams contested the Ulster Junior Final and the Minor Team was also crowned Ulster Champions! Natalie told the audience of individual and team successes at Ulster and Irish level in athletics; these successes, and the honour Megan Marrs was given in captaining the Ulster Team, were a source of great pride. Natalie said that she is involved in sport every day, with the exception of Friday and Sunday. She shared her belief that participation


Well done to everyone who made it such a successful year for sport in Strathearn. Two departments that are at last in to much needed new facilities are Drama and Music. Already the Drama Studio has been put to good use and we look forward to the upcoming House plays which will be performed with the benefit of proper staging and lights in our new Assembly Hall. Last year the performances were held in the sparse environment of two classrooms converted into a hall, but we had great entertainment. The winning play was written by one of our very talented pupils, and allowed McCaughey to become the winners for the first time in thirteen years. With moving into the new school we are also committed to expanding the role of the four Houses in Strathearn. The House movement brings together pupils of all ages and enhances the sense of community and belonging in the School. Already this year we have introduced House Assemblies and House Badges, and we look forward to a range of activities that will interest the girls and give them the opportunity to work alongside girls from different year groups. In February, thirteen girls joined the boys of Campbell College to perform Oh! What A Lovely War. With the 100 year anniversary of the First World War, the production commemorated the 126 Campbellians who died in the war, many of them the same age as the cast. Then in June the Junior Drama Club were the first to use our new assembly hall for their production of Aladdin. After two matinees for local primary school pupils, the cast of 11-14 year olds was ready to entertain and impress parents and friends over two evenings –

guest of honour’s speech something they did with great ease and pleasure.  All the lead roles were performed by first and second formers, so we look forward to continued excellence in musical theatre for years to come. At the moment pupils and staff are busy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons rehearsing for our main School Production Grease which will be performed in December. Through drama classes, the Junior Drama Club, House plays and School productions, the drama skills of many girls are being developed and we look forward to more great entertainment in this coming year. Thank you to everyone who contributes so much to Drama in Strathearn.

I have invited Kate Umphray to join me on the platform and tell us something about the musical opportunities that are available in Strathearn. Kate, who is in Upper Sixth, told the audience that she studied English Literature, Business Studies and Media Studies and said that she hoped to study Business Management at either Queen’s or Coleraine next year. Kate studied Music at both GCSE and AS-level; each award is made up of three parts: composition, performance and theory, and Kate said she found the theory challenging, but definitely not boring! A large part of the theory involves studying musicals like Showboat, Anything Goes and twenty-first century musicals like Wicked, which Kate said she personally loved.  She then spoke of the extra-curricular opportunities available in the Junior and Senior Choirs and the Orchestra, and the opportunities to audition for solos, the Sextet and the Chamber Choir.  Kate then spoke of her experiences leading the Sextet and, as a member of the Chamber Choir for three years, she spoke of the success of the Chamber Choir, which had auditioned for and got into RTE School Choir of the Year, where they won the regional finals and got into the finals! Kate spoke of the


Mr Manning thanked Kate for her contribution and continued: Tonight you have already enjoyed the playing of our Sextet 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.

Each week over two hundred 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.

rofessor O’Neill presented the prizes and awards, and in her speech she congratulated the prize winners and expressed her pleasure at being present at the occasion.

final as an amazing experience! Kate then shared the Chamber Choir’s plans for a recording, and finally she offered advice to pupils who are wondering if they should persevere with music. She told them the hardest part of playing any instrument is at the beginning, and assured them that with perseverance they would succeed.  After that it becomes about reading the notes and interpreting the music, and that’s when playing an instrument becomes fun and fulfilling!

I could have reported on the charity work, the Sixth Form volunteer programme, some of the clubs and societies, the educational visits, competitions and the like. I mention in passing the activities that were new last year: a Form 1 Bonding Day,  the Eco-Committee which started just last November, the Formula 1 Schools’ Technology Challenge and for the first time we have girls who have gained their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award through Strathearn School. Much more detail of school life is recorded in our School Magazine and with all the academic success of our pupils and our new buildings we continue to be a school that looks out, a school committed to excellence, and a school which has people at the centre. Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I commend to you all that makes Strathearn such a good school. Following the distribution of prizes and awards, Mrs Stewart, gave a résumé of the distinguished career of Professor Máire O’Neill of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s University, and invited her to address the audience.

her inspiring speech by quoting Henry Ford who said: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t - you’re right.”

After a presentation to our Guest of Honour by the Deputy Head Professor O’Neill spoke of her enthusiasm for electronic Girls, the Chamber Choir brought the evening to a conclusion with engineering and urged the girls to consider this field as a rewarding a superb performance of “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”. career option, which would enable them to work with the latest technologies and solve problems Francesca Kennedy,  A Level that matter to society. She spoke of her love of Mathematics, Physics and Computing at school, and the inspiration she experienced at an early age when her father built a hydro-electric scheme on the river running near their house in Donegal. Professor O’Neill shared her career path to this point; her interest in research was sparked following a placement at Amphion in Belfast, where she was sponsored to carry out research into data security. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including ‘British Female Inventor of the Year 2007’ and the ‘UK Royal Academy of Engineering 2014 Silver Medal’, Professor O’Neill is now a leading cryptography expert, and the first female Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s. Currently, she leads the Data Security research group at the largest research centre in cyber security in the UK. Professor O’Neill urged the girls to be proactive, stating her conviction that you never know where this will lead. She illustrated the importance of being proactive by speaking of points in her career when she had demonstrated this quality and achieved significant breakthroughs. She concluded


the official opening of our new school


Our New School

n 25 February 2015, HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, officially opened the new school build at Strathearn School. This much-anticipated build was the fulfilment of many years of planning and effort, and many friends of the school joined us to celebrate the occasion, including our former principal, Miss Lamb OBE. As the identity of our royal visitor had been a closely guarded secret, the arrival of Prince Edward caused great excitement and the whole school gathered on the front steps to greet him with cheers. Coincidentally, the Prince had visited us to open our Sports Hall on the same date twenty-two years ago! On that occasion he had arrived spectacularly by helicopter and this time his arrival by car was another symbol of positive change, marking our progress in Northern Ireland towards a peaceful and stable society. From the moment of his arrival, the humour, warmth and interest the Prince displayed charmed all of us! Prince Edward was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Fionnaula Jay-O’Boyle CBE, and representatives from the Department of Education. The Prince and his entourage were escorted by Mr Manning, the Head Girl, Erin Prentice, and the Deputy Head Girls, Hermione Anstey and Naoise Webster, on a tour of the new build. He met with members of the Board of Governors, the architects and builders, the School Council, the Eco-Committee and with participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Pupils and staff in the Science and Art Rooms, the Library, Careers Suite, Technology Department, Canteen, Sports Hall and Fitness Suite also had the honour of meeting the Prince, whose interest, ease and informality made the encounters memorable. In the new Assembly Hall, after a superb performance by the Chamber Choir and a formal request from Mr Manning, Prince Edward unveiled the commemorative plaque and declared the building open. The wit, sensitivity and sense of humour he brought to this event created a real rapport with the audience and made the moment unforgettable! A wonderful finale to this momentous week was the Strathearn Open House on Saturday 28 February, when over six hundred friends of the school called to see the new school and wish us well for the future. Many former pupils and staff came to reaffirm their connections with us, and we were overwhelmed by their affectionate interest and encouraged to see all the new and impressive facilities so readily assimilated into their sense of the welcoming place that was - and is Strathearn! We want to thank everyone who came; it was a pleasure to see you all again!


clubs, events & societies


Library Report

he Library is finally in its new location, which is light and airy and has a wonderful view of the hills. It is as busy as ever with regular class visits, reading clubs and Sixth Form study, and is a hive of activity during break and lunchtimes when the junior girls come to do homework, use the computers, or read, and the library assistants are on hand doing various jobs. This year the Library has an army of helpers working in three teams: Junior Library Assistants, Senior Library Assistants and Student Librarians, and a new award has been introduced for ‘Library Assistant of the Month’ and ‘Student Librarian of the Month’, to reward the girls who are especially diligent. There is also a Library Committee made up of Upper Sixth girls, who keep the Library running efficiently during the busy lunch break. As always, the Scholastic Book Fair in November was a great success. The girls and staff enjoyed browsing the exceptionally wide selection of books and stationery available and, as a result, we gained an amazing £869 of commission for new books.  A ‘Who said?’ competition was held for first form girls, with a number of famous sayings from literature, and a £5 book voucher to spend at the Fair was awarded to five prize winners. To celebrate World Book Day on 5 March, the Library held a ‘Book Swap’ for both staff and pupils, where everyone enjoyed bringing in their old books and exchanging them for different ones.  As many of the books were in mint condition, it was just like getting a new book without having to spend any money. They also enjoyed taking part in a competition which involved having to guess book titles from their first lines, some proving more difficult than others. For this year’s library effort the library assistants held a staff coffee morning in January when members of staff enjoyed a welcome break from their busy day, relaxing and sampling the wonderful cakes and biscuits made by the girls. In March, they had a Craft Fayre for pupils, where they sold a variety of hand-made crafts, including origami bookmarks, Harry Potter bookmarks and coasters, book hedgehogs, greetings cards, button and felt brooches and much more.  This was a huge success and between the two events they managed to raise just over £700, which was given to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Junior and Senior Reading Clubs have been held on alternate Thursday lunchtimes, and the girls have enjoyed reading some of the new books recently purchased, as well as the six books shortlisted by the Northern Ireland Book Award. Seven girls accompanied Mrs Collins to the launch of the Northern Ireland Book Award on 18 March at  Aquinas Grammar School, where they enjoyed listening to the award winning Irish author, Oisín McGann. They are also looking forward to having the Grand Finale at Strathearn, when they will find out this year’s winner.


Young Cook of the Year Regional Winner

he clock moved closer to the start time and I was feeling nervous and really excited.  As a finalist in the NI Young Cook of the Year, I had to cook my chosen dish (stuffed chicken breast served on a bed of carrot and parsnip mash, with colcannon cakes and a cheese sauce) within an hour and then present it to the judges - just like Masterchef! The time seemed to fly, but I managed to get it all done and plated up - it was such a great feeling.  Waiting for the results was a bit nerve-wracking but everyone really put our minds at ease.  Although I didn’t win overall, as a Regional Winner I won some money for myself and the school. It was a fabulous day and an experience I’ll never forget! Rebecca Welsh, 2A


Mathematics Challenges

he Mathematics Department in the University of Leeds runs competitions each year for schools and this year pupils from Strathearn entered the Senior and Intermediate Maths Challenges. The Senior Challenge took place in November. This competition is aimed at Lower and Upper Sixth pupils. The results were excellent with Upper Sixth and Lower Sixth achieving fifteen certificates between them. The Bronze winners were as follows: Keziah Mercer, Dakota Armour, Chloe Reihill, Hermione Anstey, Natalie Wallace and Lauren Watson. The Silver winners were Claudia Paulin and Madeleine McIlwain. The Gold winner was Rebecca Davidson. A special mention goes to Rebecca Davidson who also received certificates for obtaining 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 the Bronze winners were:  Alicia Grattan, Katie McIntyre, Claire Hunter, Emily Leitch, Sophie Anderson,  Jenny McLeod, Beth Crosbie, Kate Farrelly, Sophie Allen,  Abigail Rivera, Georgia Stewart, Lauren Bailie, Sophie Lewis and Rebecca Gallagher. Silver winners were: Bethany Craig,  Amy Anderson,  Jane Hunter, Lola Bingham, Sarah Brown, Mehika Sood and Alex Gillan.  A special mention goes to Alex Gillan and Amy Anderson, who also received certificates for obtaining the best results within fourth and fifth form and Alex also received an additional certificate for achieving the best result in Strathearn. 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.


clubs, events & societies


Art Report

n September, our Sixth Form artists were inspired by a wealth of interesting artwork during our annual trip to Dublin. This year, we visited a range of smaller galleries in the morning. Girls were able to enjoy viewing a range of paintings and applied arts at the Oliver Sears Gallery and exhibitions visited included an interesting Dorothy Cross exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery,  Jennifer Trouton’s The Ties that Bind at the Molesworth Gallery, and Patricia Burns’ stunning landscapes at the Taylor Galleries. After lunch in the National Gallery, we visited the Royal Hibernian Academy, where girls were intrigued by the large abstract pieces in the Maria Simonds-Gooding retrospective. Form Five artists enjoyed a trip to the Island Arts Centre and the Ulster Museum, and Form Four pupils enjoyed a workshop held by textiles artist,  Aisling Smyth. Girls were impressed by her intricate embroidery samples and then worked hard trying some new stitches and embellishment ideas that they could then incorporate into their own work. All of our exam pupils got the opportunity to visit the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition again this year: as always, this proved to be an exciting and diverse exhibition and every pupil was able to find artwork to inspire their own processes and ideas. Forms Four and Six were also able to visit CCEA’s True Colours Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. Visitors to the Art Department this year have included past pupil, Katie Noble, who is now studying Animation at Ulster University. The girls very much enjoyed seeing some of the pieces Katie has been working on while studying for her degree and listening to her inspirational talk about what is involved in this fast developing area of Art & Design. Staff from Ulster University and Northumbria also visited the Department to discuss opportunities they offer in the creative subjects. We have very much enjoyed getting into our new Art classrooms this year. Girls are able to work with plenty of space and have enjoyed being able to try some new techniques.

Sarah Lamont,  AS Level


Night of Ambition

n event called Night of Ambition was organised in Belfast as an opportunity for two hundred young people in Northern Ireland to meet local employers and find out what degrees would be useful, and what opportunities exist for entry into schemes straight after school. It was also a chance to see what ideas and entrepreneurial skills the youth of Northern Ireland have. The event was held in St George’s Market on 18 March and was organised by Claire Burgoyne, the programme manager, who works for the NI Science Park. Nominees were selected from schools all over Northern Ireland, and after reading an interesting email on the event, we both accepted, excited to see what was in store. When we arrived we were met with a goodie bag, lanyard and tokens for food. There were stands from local businesses and other organisations. The representatives were more than helpful, and it was a great opportunity to do some networking. We then made our way to our allotted teams. Here we had the opportunity to chat with other students at the event and an entrepreneur, who was at our table. The night was introduced and hosted by Phil Taggart, a Radio 1 DJ, and then there was a series of talks from entrepreneurs who are working in Northern Ireland. In our teams we were given the challenge of designing a new product concept. Our team came up with a pair of high-tech ski goggles called ‘Slope Scope’ which emphasised safety. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but we were all happy with the concept we had come up with in such a short period of time. One of the speakers was a former pupil of Strathearn, who is currently working for Google in California. She emphasised to us the importance of networking, as that is how she ended up where she is today. The night concluded with thanks to everyone who had organised the event and an iPad was awarded for the best Tweet. The winner tweeted: “Not here to win an iPad - here to win a future although an iPad would be nice!” We were then encouraged to do some final networking before heading home. It was a great opportunity for us to see what’s available in the business world in Northern Ireland, to chat to inspiring entrepreneurs and to gain an insight into the career prospects on our doorstep, as well as further afield. Rachael Thomas and Rachel Bruce, L6H

Shadowing the Secretary of State


n Thursday, 12 March I was invited to shadow the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, for the day. We started off the morning by visiting the Shankill Women’s Centre in West Belfast, which is a centre that helps disadvantaged women in the community get the support and education that they need to improve their quality of life. We visited the different buildings that house the centre and spoke to some of the people that run the centre and some who benefit from its work. I was quite surprised by the number and variety of people going there to get GCSEs because they had left school without any qualifications. We then went to Hillsborough Castle, where I was taken on a tour and had my photograph taken with the Secretary of State. Claudia Paulin, L6S


clubs, events & societies The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award


he Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is offered in Strathearn at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels for girls from Form Four to Upper Sixth. The Award is open to all girls who apply. Activities are after school, at weekends and during school holidays. Expedition dates are planned to fit around the school calendar. Girls must show a weekly commitment to participate in activities in three areas: skills, physical and volunteering. Each girl plans her own programme around her existing interests and talents. Girls must ask an interested adult to verify and report on their activities, and for many this is the hardest part of the challenge! The purpose of the scheme is to teach self-reliance, personal organisation and self-confidence, and to boost self-esteem. The highlight of the programme for many is the expedition phase; training occurs throughout the year. Practice and qualifying expeditions take place in spring and summer. Canoeing expeditions for Bronze and Silver take place on the Lower Bann, and in Upper Lough Erne. This year the Gold participants plan to travel to the Royal Canal and the River Shannon in the Republic of Ireland. Hillwalking expeditions for Bronze and Silver take place in the Mourne Mountains. This year Gold participants plan to travel to the Jura Mountains on the French/Swiss border. M Magee, DofE Co-Ordinator



n 11 February, we set off for Dublin airport to catch our flight to Madrid. It was a long journey from Belfast to Valdepeñas but our excitement at meeting our host families kept us in high spirits. We were greeted with a warm, Spanish welcome and spent that evening getting to know our families who kindly gave us this opportunity. There were five people in our family: Paqui (mum), Angel (dad),  Angel (19), Miguel (17) and Celia (9). We couldn’t have had a better family; they were so kind and made us feel so welcome. On Thursday we participated in the organised activities in the local school in Valdepeñas. We performed the well-known play Narnia in Spanish, which the pupils enjoyed. It was also really interesting to sit in on several Spanish classes as this gave us the opportunity to appreciate their level of English. We were also lucky enough to catch the annual carnival, where hundreds of Spanish people paraded through the streets of Valdepeñas wearing medieval costumes. The atmosphere was buzzing and we got to try rosquillos con chocolate, a typical Spanish delicacy. We got to discover the town further on Friday when we had a tour of all the main attractions - including meeting the town mayor. Ending up on Spanish TV was an added bonus! We also went to the Plaza de Toros, which was eye-opening and provided us with an insight into Spanish culture. This was followed by a trip to Almagro, where we visited the open air theatre. The evening was perfectly rounded off by a trip to a local tapas bar, where all the families and students met up to enjoy a light dinner. On Saturday we went to Toledo. We had a thorough tour of the city and its attractions. It was also a good opportunity to bond with our family, who accompanied us throughout the day. Sunday was a great day because we got to spend the whole day with our family.  In the morning we met up with a few friends and their families and participated in another carnival parade. We then headed back home for a send-off party, where we were lucky enough to try some traditional Spanish paella. We played typical Spanish games around the table and there was a lot of laughter due to some communication problems. Saying goodbye to our family was an emotional moment on the trip. We set off early on Monday morning for Madrid, where we enjoyed some excellent shopping opportunities as well as trying chocolate con churros. This Spanish trip was one of the best, if not the best experience we have ever had. We improved our Spanish, made friends for life and, most importantly, made memories which we will treasure forever. We would like to thank our host families in Spain and our teachers, Mrs Agnew and Mrs Rice, for making this unbelievable experience possible. Laura Bell, L6A, & Rosalind Skillen, L6S


clubs, events & societies



n 25 March at 2am, a group of forty Form Three pupils and six teachers travelled to Dublin airport to embark on a trip to Italy.  On arrival in Rome, we went straight to our hotel to offload our bags before getting on our first Metro journey to the Colosseum. Despite the heavy rain, the Colosseum was a spectacular sight, which was a great start to our trip. The next day was my favourite day and was incredibly busy. We caught the first train to the Vatican City and spent the morning looking at incredible Italian artwork and architecture. We were lucky enough to be able to visit the Sistine Chapel: the art was truly spectacular! We had a lovely tour-guide called Paula who showed us around Rome; she was extremely helpful and answered all our questions.  Thankfully the weather was much better this day and we wound our way through cobbled Roman streets under the beating sun until we arrived at the Pantheon, just in time for a slice of pizza and our first Italian gelato. Then we packed our bags and hit the road again to travel to the hilltop town of Assisi. Our first day in Assisi was very wet, but we didn’t mind as we were shown around the beautiful Basilica of St Francis by a Franciscan Friar, who was very happy to answer our questions and explain why many men and women choose to live a life of poverty.  We were given free time to explore the small town, sheltering under our much-needed, emergency-purchased umbrellas! Day Four consisted of a day trip to Florence - which meant lots of shopping! When we were all full of pizza and ice cream and San Lorenzo street market buys, we went to the Uffizi Art Gallery to catch a glimpse of more Italian art. Then it was a walk across Ponte Vecchio, a final ice cream and back to Assisi. The next day many of us accidentally woke up very early; it was partly the fault of the clocks changing! But despite the early wake-up call, our last full day in Italy was spent in the sweet little town of San Gimignano.  While we were there, we had the opportunity to watch the local Palm Sunday parade. Then we went on to Siena for even more shopping! That night we went for our last evening stroll in Assisi. On Monday, 30 March, a group of forty Form Three pupils and six teachers packed our bags, had one last ice cream and said goodbye to Italy! Going on the Italy trip was so much fun - meeting new friends, visiting new places and experiencing new cultures! Italia 2015 was the best! Becca Black, 3R



pain, Santander, sunshine and salsa – what better way for a group of Form Four and Form Five girls to spend the week prior to the half-term holidays? Our first stop was the Parque Nacional de Cabárceno, a former iron mine of some 750 hectares, where wild animals take advantage of vast expanses of territory in semi-liberty. There we lunched on seafood paella, calamares and Spanish tortilla for our tapas. ¡Qué delicioso! When settled into our hotel we embarked upon four mornings of Spanish lessons at a language school located right in the heart of old Santander. I think we would all agree that the lessons helped to build our confidence in Spanish, especially when making our purchases in our favourite boutiques and shops! On our final morning at the language school, Carlos, our guide, took us to the local market where we were able to experience the colours, sights and smells and to recognise much of the relevant vocabulary. Other highlights of the trip included an afternoon visit to the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, fascinating for its curved exterior structure, as well as a lesson in a local restaurant on how a successful business functions.  Again, we acquired a lot of useful vocabulary there, but undoubtedly our ‘tapas’ competition proved most memorable. On our last afternoon we stopped off at a cafeteria for ‘chocolate caliente’ and some ‘churros’ which are long strips of battered dough; not great for the hips, but certainly tantalising for the taste buds! All in all, our trip to Santander gave us a great taster of the rich language and culture of Spain. The fact that the sun shone for our entire trip just rounded off our Spanish experience perfectly. Many thanks to Mrs Eakin, who organised the trip, and to Mrs Agnew and Mrs Muldrew who accompanied us.


clubs, events & societies


History Report

t the end of the 2013-2014 school year, the GCSE girls took the leafy walk up to the Stormont Assembly building where educational staff gave an interesting presentation on the history and function of the mansion house from its opening back in 1932. Proceedings were concluded with a brief visit to the public gallery to observe one of the topical debates associated with devolved government. Our Advanced Level historians were treated to an academic day out at the Somme Heritage Centre for a Conference featuring three informative lectures by Dr Russell Rees on Ireland 1900-1925. Our Key Stage Three visits to the Somme Heritage Centre proved to be very poignant this year with the latest of the centenaries unfolding and this time in relation to the Great War. The classwork which Year 10 undertook in the winter term encouraged pupils to pursue family involvement in the 1914-18 War and many important associations were discovered. These were shared in class and with a wider school audience by way of a whole school assembly. Open morning displays were enhanced by the extra memorabilia from pupils and extended collaboration with Somme Centre staff. Form One pupils followed up their work on the Normans and John de Courcy with our annual trip to Carrickfergus Castle. This timely trip reminds pupils of the perils of castle life and gives them a real sense of the strategic position of this medieval stronghold. The site is constantly evolving as an educational facility, but the yearly favourites of the banqueting hall and the weapons display continue to entertain and inform the girls of Strathearn. GM


Berlin 2014

n 21 June, forty-eight fourth year historians and linguists, with six teachers set off for the annual History/German trip to Berlin and, as with every other year, it did not disappoint! With a jam-packed schedule, building excitement and barely any sleep, we were whisked off to the unforgettable city of Berlin. We hit the ground running with a trip to the fascinating Stasi prison within hours of arriving. Although many of us were tired, operating on roughly two hours sleep - if we were lucky - the eye-opening tour of the prison kept us all alert as we were shown the psychological and physical torture used by the Soviets on anyone they deemed a threat to their power. It was informative as well as moving, as we were told some first hand accounts of the appalling things that happened in the prison. Another very moving experience of the trip was our visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp where we were free to explore, in our own time, the enormous and emotional camp where so many had suffered. It was one of the most memorable and powerful parts of the trip and, although there was a sombre and eerie mood to the camp, it had a profound impact on us all that I’m sure will stay with us for a long time. Other parts of the trip that were enjoyed immensely were the visits to amazing sights like Checkpoint Charlie, where we all enjoyed some photo opportunities; the astounding TV Tower, where we were treated to tea and apple pie in the revolving restaurant; and the beautiful Sanssouci Palace, where we all took part in Mr Bradley’s Sanssouci Selfie Quiz! Throughout the trip the linguists were given plenty of opportunities to put their German to the test and they impressed us all with their ability to greet shopkeepers, order meals and navigate us to our next destination. With visits to the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate and the much-loved Chocolate Shop, as well as a boat ride on the River Spree, an amazing tour of the Reichstag and the iconic image of the Olympic Stadium fixed in our memory, we set off on our final day in Berlin. We enjoyed the informative and interactive Story of Berlin Museum before experiencing the underground nuclear bunker, which opened our eyes to the threat of nuclear war at this time. It was very interesting and a great way to round off an unbelievable trip! A huge thank you to Mr Bradley, Miss Gibson, Ms Murphy, Mrs Wyeth, Miss Cardwell and Mrs Thompson for organizing yet another fantastic trip and leaving us with great memories for many years to come. Amy Truesdale, 5A


clubs, events & societies


Careers Report

he autumn term got underway with the usual round of Open Days. Many girls attended events at Ulster University’s campuses at Jordanstown, Magee and Coleraine, and all members of Upper Sixth went to the Open Day at Queen’s University and the Methodist College Options XXII careers event. Pupils were able to use these opportunities to confirm university choices and obtain useful last minute information. Many parents and girls attended our UCAS Information Evening in August and Mrs Hearst ran a series of advice sessions on personal statements. We welcomed a range of speakers during this term. Form Five had a talk on engineering and two others on law and medicine - both from former pupils. We also had presentations for sixth form pupils on gap years, teaching, nursing and midwifery, art school applications and healthcare professions. The careers guidance interview programme got underway for Form Five girls, and Form Three had their Careers Planning Day in October which was organised by Sentinus. A representative from Queen’s also spoke to Form Three about how GCSE choices can affect university applications and so stressed the importance of choosing wisely. We held our annual Mock Interview Evening on 24 November. This was a most successful evening and we are indebted to all the interviewers who took time from their busy schedules to help our girls. Girls applying to Oxford and Cambridge had an additional interview and Mrs Hearst gave one-to-one practice interviews for any pupil who requested one. She also organised a series of interview workshops for medical, teaching and nursing applicants. Former pupils also returned to talk to the sixth form about their experience at medical schools and Oxbridge. Our girls attended several STEM related events. Four Lower Sixth pupils attended the GETSET into Engineering Programme for Girls. This year they went to NIE, Northstone and Caterpillar. Three girls also attended a careers event at B/E Aerospace in Kilkeel.  As leading civil engineers in NI expect to see an upturn in the construction industry in the future, we welcomed a representative from the Institute of Civil Engineers to talk to Form Four upwards about opportunities in that profession.Three girls also went to the Engineering Our Future Conference at Methodist College Belfast. We welcomed many representatives from a range of universities who talked to our pupils about opportunities at their institutions. These included Trinity College Dublin, Dundee, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, St Andrews, Harper Adams University, Scotland’s Modern University Tour, Newcastle and Northumbria, Liverpool Hope, Southampton, Liverpool John Moores and the Scottish University Tour. All of Lower Sixth attended a Higher Education Convention at the King’s Hall Pavilions in Belfast which was organised by UCAS. The girls had the opportunity to attend a range of seminars on courses and careers and speak to university

Dakota Armour, GCSE Level

representatives from NI, the rest of the UK and Ireland. Pupils also attended a presentation on personal statements in school. Several year groups visited the Careers Suite over the year. Mrs Hearst had question and answer sessions for Form Three classes about GCSE subject choices. All Form One classes also had an introductory visit to the Careers Suite. Throughout the year, many girls have attended careers events outside school. One Lower Sixth student attended a Radiotherapy Open Day at the Cancer Centre at the Belfast City Hospital, while two girls from Lower Sixth attended a Physiotherapy Open Day at Musgrave Park Hospital. Four girls attended a PwC Insight Day at the Waterfront Plaza and one girl attended a Work Inspiration Programme with AV Browne on Graphic Design, Online Marketing and Advertising. Several girls attended the Queen’s School of Management Taster Programme. Seven girls attended an Educational Psychology Open Morning with BELB, while others attended a session on Careers in Clinical Psychology organised by the British Psychological Society. Four girls attended Dentistry Open Days at Queen’s and Lower Sixth girls interested in a career in teaching attended the Stranmillis Open Day in February. Four girls attended a Law Conference at Methodist College Belfast. One Lower Sixth pupil attended a Work Inspiration Workshop with Arthur Cox Solicitors in Belfast. Other girls in Lower Sixth attended a Medical Symposium, also at Methody, where they were able to hear from consultants and junior doctors to learn more about the profession. In preparation for our work experience week, all Lower Sixth attended a session on the importance of health and safety organised by the Health and Safety Executive for NI and another on Experiences of Work. All members of Lower Sixth went on a week of work experience during the week of 12 January. Placements were as varied as ever – in hospitals, schools, PR agencies, solicitors, accountants, film companies and vets. They were also varied in terms of their location, with girls having placements throughout NI, England and the Republic of Ireland During this second term we continued our programme of guest speakers for Form Five. Greg Maguire, a world-renowned animator who has worked on projects like Harry Potter, Happy Feet, Aladdin and Avatar, gave a presentation on the Creative industries. Form Five also had talks on Social Work, the make-up industry in NI (specifically within film and television), finance, the PSNI, psychology and physiotherapy. Form Five girls have had a presentation on A-level choices by our careers adviser from DEL, as well as having been spoken to by Mrs Connery and Mrs Hearst. All Upper Sixth girls attended a presentation on Student Finance. A representative from Deloitte came to talk to the girls about opportunities within the firm. We were delighted to welcome Gary Ormsby and were very interested to learn about the 338 new jobs Deloitte is creating over the next three years. We also welcomed a speaker to talk to the girls about the technical aspect of production. We also welcomed a lecturer from Queen’s to talk about studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering courses and the careers opportunities in those areas. The final event of the year was the Robotics Roadshow for Form One, which was an introduction to computer programming. The girls had to programme their own autonomous vehicle to carry out a range of tasks. Details of all our careers events can be found on the ‘Careers Calendar’ in the careers section of the school website. Finally, all members of the Careers Department would like to take this opportunity to send our very best wishes to all our girls taking important exams this summer.


clubs, events & societies


My Work Experience

began my work experience placement in Belfast Orthodontic Clinic, a large orthodontic practice containing four main treatment rooms. I felt it was a very pleasant working environment as each individual treatment room was very spacious; it was also highly organised, tidy and sterile. The surgery was very busy so this also ensured a calm environment was maintained. During my placement I observed the bonding up, de-bonding and adjusting of braces, retainer fittings and adjustments. I also observed the use of radiographs, and the relevance of x-ray machines in orthodontic treatment. In addition, I made a set of impressions from alginate moulds which would be used to make removable retainers. Aspects of the job I enjoyed included the idea that it is an ever-changing scene. I liked the way each case required the orthodontist to work out the best possible treatment plan using resources such as x-rays, and also creativity in producing a suitable plan unique to the patient. Patients varied in age and gender and some patients carried a physical or mental disability. I found it interesting to see how the orthodontic team dealt with each individual situation.  Bond ups and debonding of braces were interesting, as I was able to observe the breakdown of the equipment and composites used in attaching and removing the braces. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the debonding of braces as it brought the orthodontist and nurse great job satisfaction; I also liked the idea of working in a team as they were able to maintain a positive but professional relationship to work efficiently with a high level of accuracy and precision. In preparing braces for bond ups, I learnt I could work under pressure and in an organised way. I also gained social and communication skills when speaking to staff and patients. I also feel my confidence improved in an unfamiliar environment. High levels of manual dexterity were also required and I was reassured that I had these skills, gained from playing the piano. My second placement was Irvine Dental Care, a smaller dental practice with two treatment rooms and a hygienist. The environment was similar to that of the orthodontist, but more equipment was required. The dentists and dental nurses acquired similar skills to that of the orthodontic staff. However, I felt dentists had a more personal relationship with their patients. When speaking to the staff I learned that they must build great trust with their patients, especially those who were younger or nervous.  Also, this leads to very positive relationships between the staff and patients. Within the practice I observed a different aspect of oral health. I observed treatments such as fillings, root canal treatments, extractions, denture fittings, bridges, the cementing of a crown and general check-ups. I also carried out the filling of extracted teeth. This included drilling out the tooth, lining it with composite and filling with the silver filling material.  I also removed a filling and replaced it with a white one. I really enjoyed the practical side of this placement as I was able to use the tools and equipment used by dental professionals. I found the root canal treatment fascinating as it was a very technical and intricate procedure. I I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and it has strengthened my interest in the profession. It also gave me an insight into a profession possible if you have gained a dentistry degree. Anieshia Bedford, L6A


My Work Experience

ost of my work experience was spent in the city of London. A past pupil of Strathearn School, Sarah Tani, gave the girls of Lower Sixth the opportunity to spend time with her in London where she works. Two other girls and I jumped at the opportunity! The programme Sarah organised for us covered banking, accountancy, city law and corporate treasury. We also visited the House of Lords and the London Metal Exchange. During our time in London, Sarah organised an extensive programme where we were able to speak with her colleagues in ANZ Bank (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited). It was great to receive feedback on our CVs and advice for making us as employable as possible. We were encouraged to invest in a language and IT skills, as many foreign students speak English fluently as well as their first language. I was really interested to hear about analytical jobs, such as Annabel Terry,  A Level Credit and Quantitative. The opportunity to travel to visit clients was very appealing and the locations, such as Amsterdam and Singapore, sounded amazing.  Diana Brightmore-Armour (CEO) encouraged us to increase our knowledge of business, create a development plan and to network. These three things provide an excellent structure for planning your future careers, whether you are interested in business or not. Within ANZ specifically, there are programmes run to get graduate students into a rotation scheme which allows them to experience different jobs and then, if they perform well as a trainee, they may be offered a job at the end. I was thoroughly encouraged by everyone I met at ANZ and I loved the Canary Wharf working environment. Sarah also arranged for us to visit PwC Headquarters, where we met with the recruitment team and the head of the PwC Treasury.  This was a great insight into PwC, and their building was absolutely amazing! Stan Horowitz (Head of the PwC Treasury) provided us with excellent advice and told us the real world applications of the subjects we enjoy. The visit to the London Metal Exchange was very important as it allowed us to see what it is like on a trading floor and how decisions being made in front of us impacted the global metal market. The fast-paced nature of the trading was fascinating, and it was great to see trading happening face-to-face. Our visit to the Headquarters of Linklaters, a multinational law firm, was very interesting as we were able to see the large number of graduates they employ and the similar factors that they look for when employing people. My work experience gave me a great flavour of working in the corporate world as well as working in London.  Most of the advice I received was about doing a University course you will really enjoy! Rachel Bruce, L6H


clubs, events & societies


Biology Report he study of ecology is a vital part of the AS-level curriculum, and to develop a greater understanding of this topic the AS-level biologists braved the changeable weather of February and March to undertake a practical fieldwork trip to Delamont Outdoor Centre.

The purpose of study on the trip was to investigate how certain organisms are adapted to their particular habitat. Delamont is situated in an ideal location to allow us to carry out investigations at Murlough and Strangford. We were very fortunate to get a beautiful, sunny afternoon to carry out our sand dune study at Murlough, so instead of needing our waterproofs and wellies, we needed our sunglasses! During our hard work in recording the plant species we found at each area, we enjoyed a break to have a picnic and admire the crashing waves that were eroding the very dunes we were sitting on! The weather on our second day was not quite as pleasant, as we investigated the sheltered shore at Strangford village to illustrate zonation. Using a belt transect, we investigated the change in organisms present as the tide level dropped. Despite not wanting to linger too long in the wind and rain, there was great excitement among many groups when a starfish or crab was found. After spending each day working in groups to gather our own original data, we used the classroom facilities at the centre in the evenings to analyse and interpret our findings to produce the final reports. After the initial surprise of a couple of hours of work after tea time, writing the reports allowed us to work with new people and make huge progress in our knowledge of ecology. The field trip was extremely beneficial in letting us see the adaptations of organisms we had learnt about in class and understand the importance of these adaptations for each organism’s survival. Nothing quite illustrates the importance of a plant’s ability to withstand exposure and strong winds as experiencing the struggle yourself! We are extremely lucky to have access to such diverse environments so close to Belfast and the field trip really allowed us to investigate, admire and develop an understanding of them. Dakota Armour, L6A


Geography Report ur world is a special place, but it is also completely ‘weird’. Here are the Geography Department’s top five weirdest facts about our planet... 5 - Earth isn’t round! Centrifugal force pushes outwards at Earth’s equator giving it a slight waistline.

4 - The rocks you are standing on get recycled! Volcanoes spit them out as magma, they dry, harden, and after a very long time either get sucked down again by plate tectonics or get pushed towards Earth’s core by a fresh layer of rocks above. 3 - Gravity is not distributed equally! Yes, you read that right. Places like Hudson Bay in Canada actually have less gravity than other regions of the globe. This is due to the fact that there is less land mass in that part of the planet thanks both to retreating glaciers on the surface and swirling magma deep in the core. 2 - The deepest spot on Earth is in the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean. It is nearly 11km deep which means we could hide Mount Everest in there. 1 - If the world’s population of over 7 billion people stood shoulder to shoulder, we would only fill an area the size of the city of Los Angeles. In Geography, we encourage our pupils to engage with and explore the weird world around them. This year  519 pupils in Strathearn have been studying Geography,  just like the Lower Sixth students on the right seen participating in a river study at the north coast of Northern Ireland. Understanding the weird complexity of the physical environment enables us to make informed decisions about how to manage the world’s resources and make human existence a more comfortable and sustainable experience. We continue to strive to give all students a challenging and rewarding experience from Year 8 all the way through to Upper Sixth. Whether studying for a test in class, grabbing a clipboard to undertake a questionnaire survey, or pulling on a pair of green wellies for fieldwork activities, our students continue to impress us with their endeavour and commitment to greater understanding of their weird world.  MS


clubs, events & societies


School Council Report

his has been a busy year for the School Council! The move into the completed new school has brought up many items for our agenda, which has been packed full for each meeting, with issues ranging from the lack of bins in the newest section of the build, to the controversial classical music in the toilets! Our meetings this year have taken place in L7, and we would like to thank Miss Gibson for her hospitality. The representatives have been keen to debate the views and opinions of their classes, and this has been enhanced by the introduction of our online Fronter page. This gives the representatives an online forum for discussion where they can bring issues to the council 24/7. We have tackled lots of important issues this year, the first of which was the continued discussion regarding Miskelly Deli. We are grateful to Mrs Crymble, our Miskelly Deli Manager, for joining us again in council and giving pupils an opportunity to ask questions and discuss innovative ideas. We also welcomed Miss Stewart to our meetings on two occasions to discuss our school’s anti-bullying policy and the ways in which it can be made more accessible to both pupils and staff. Representatives were asked to survey their classes on the policy and provide feedback to the council.  The government also decided to carry out a survey on anti-bullying and representatives were asked to inform their classes about the opportunity to contribute to this large-scale debate. Once again Strathearn is leading the way in topical debates. Towards the end of the year we tackled our most comprehensive point of discussion, the junior school uniform and, in particular, skirts and scarves. We devised a survey for Forms 1-4 to collect views from each class on the current uniform and what changes they would like to see made. The collated results, along with some valuable input from Prince Edward, have allowed us to submit our recommended potential changes to the Senior Management Team. Overall, we have thoroughly enjoyed our year chairing the council and we would like to thank Mr Stevenson for his continued guidance and support.  We’ve had a very productive year and are grateful to all the representatives for their input and enthusiasm. We would like to wish the incoming Chair and Vice Chair all the best, and hope that next year council continues to give the pupils of Strathearn a voice. Shannon McClintock, U6R, and Katherine Flack, U6H


Junior Scripture Union

faithful band of pupils from Forms 1-3 has met every Wednesday lunchtime to enjoy eating together, chatting and learning more about their faith. The programme has been varied; there have been talks by staff, sixth formers and visiting speakers, quizzes, craft and, of course, parties at the end of term! A special highlight this year was in the spring term when Lindsay Robinson from Scripture Union ran a six-week Alpha course. This was lively and interesting and included short DVD clips and small group discussion. The topics were wide-ranging and challenging: who is Jesus and why did he die, how can we have faith and how can we pray, why and how do we read the Bible and involve ourselves in a church and in telling others? To our willing group of sixth formers who have assisted each week, we extend our thanks and best wishes. SW/LM


Senior Scripture Union

his year at Senior Scripture Union we had the opportunity to hear from different speakers who encouraged us on different topics and set many challenges for us as an SU. We looked at topics such as God’s love for us, the Bible, and talked about the challenges of trying to live as a Christian every day. We were all put to the test when ‘Crown Jesus’ led our SU for three weeks and taught us about the importance of SU and knowing how to put into practice what we learn at SU. They gave us the challenge of bringing a friend along to SU for the third week where we played some games and heard a short message on the topic of God’s grace. This was a really exciting opportunity for us to open our SU up to the wider school and allow them to come and find out how our SU works. ‘Crown Jesus’ also hosted a lunchtime event for the whole school where a special guest (a beat boxer) told us all about his life before and after becoming a Christian. He also gave us a taste of how to beat box! We were also lucky to have ‘24/7 Prayer’ lead one of our sessions, in which they told us all about their work in Ibiza and told us some incredible stories of how prayer and their work each night has really impacted the lives of the holiday makers. Before Christmas, the SU once again collected shoeboxes for the ‘Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child’. This year we were amazed to collect 165 shoeboxes, which were sent to deprived children in Bosnia. This is the largest amount we have collected over the last few years and we were so pleased to be able to help so many children have a great Christmas. Thank you to everyone who filled a shoebox and for all the effort that was put into making them. Our year at SU finished with our weekend away at White Park Bay Youth Hostel. This year, Lyndsey Miles from Scripture Union Northern Ireland was our speaker and we were all encouraged by what she taught us from 1 Samuel 25, and how we can learn from the people in this story and apply it to our lives today. On the Saturday afternoon we had a very competitive game of rounders and then headed to Portstewart for an ice cream! The Upper Sixth members organised the Saturday night extravaganza, which involved team challenges and some messy games! It was a fantastic weekend away and it really helped everyone at SU to get to know each other better and encourage each other in our faith. It has been a very eventful and fun-filled year at Senior SU. Even with the busy schedules we all have we have been blessed to have such a large number of girls regularly attending.  A key verse that has encouraged us throughout this year is John 10:10 – ‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’. This verse reminds us of the gift of life we have been given and we are reminded of it even more now that it has a place on the back of our new Scripture Union hoodies! Hannah Craig, U6S


clubs, events & societies


Minneapolis/St Paul Trip

ver the Halloween half-term break, nineteen Sixth Form girls headed off to the State of Minnesota in the USA as part of Strathearn’s on-going student exchange with Cretin-Derham Hall (CDH) High School. Everyone stayed with a host family and spent time exploring the new culture, whilst making sure to get some shopping done! It all began with an early 06:45 start on the Friday to make our way down to Dublin to fly out to Washington and then transfer to Minneapolis. We had feelings of both excitement and nervousness about meeting the host families. After meeting our families and not even having time to unpack, we were launched into American culture by attending a high school football game.  The next day was spent exploring the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  That evening several of the Strathearn girls and their hosts enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant. This dinner had memorable dishes including a giant sundae that included fried ice cream and chocolate tacos. The following day we spent time doing autumn activities, such as visiting a corn maze and an apple orchard. Later that evening I found out about my host’s interest in Irish culture when we went along to her Irish dancing class. After spending the weekend with our host families, we reunited and swapped stories with the other Strathearn girls and then set off for some more sightseeing in the twin cities, including going to see Minnehaha Falls and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. We also got to see different neighbourhoods, including where F Scott Fitzgerald lived. Retail therapy followed the next day when we visited the Mall of America, which is famous for having 520 shops, a theme park and aquarium all inside. A very intriguing aspect of the trip was being able to spend a day in an American high school; while there I was welcomed with some strange questions such as, ‘When did you learn to speak English?’ Our penultimate day was Halloween, which is much more popular in the USA. Some girls went Trick or Treating, collecting candy door-to-door.  Saturday then came sooner than expected and we had to make our emotional goodbyes to our host families and make our full day of travel back to Belfast. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Minnesota exchange trip to future sixth year pupils. I made a lot of amazing friends and have great memories that I will always cherish. Célèste Halliday, U6R


Community Service

very year Strathearn has put on a Christmas Party with a Christmas lunch and stunning entertainment - and this year was no exception! Our guests from the Silver Threads Group and Age NI Wednesday Groups were warmly greeted by members of the Charities Committee and the piano-playing talents of Verity McGimpsey and Rachel Lemon. The pre-lunch entertainment continued with violinists Jessica Arbuckle and Emma Lennon.  After the Christmas lunch, the entertainment was opened by the string quintet of Chloe Young, Kate Umphray, Poppy Gribben, Katie Gallagher and Suzie Griffin. A flute duet from Rose Templeton and Claire Whiteside followed. Bethan Jones treated us to an Irish dance and Molly Longstaff played a recorder solo. Eve Elliott and Megan Adair performed a singing duet. Erin McConnell and Mia Wheatley took the stage for a poetry reading. Hannah Hornsby and Rebecca Welsh performed a contemporary dance and Rachael Bell played a clarinet solo. Tilly Storey treated us to Freddie My Love from Grease and Naomi Cochrane performed a beautiful violin solo. Proving their flexibility with a gymnastics act were Anna McCabe and Ashleigh Law.  An ensemble from the Chamber Choir rounded off the formal entertainment and gathered everyone back on stage for a rousing rendition of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Mia Mouron-Adams and Zara Hamilton delighted the crowd with their humorous introduction. Many guests remarked on their enjoyment and delight at being at our party... Roll on next year!


clubs, events & societies Eco-Committee Report


fter a year of planning and reviews, this has been one of action for the Eco-Committee. Early on we decided to rebrand ourselves as Strathearn 21, committing ourselves to making Strathearn a more sustainable school in the 21st century. We have been addressing three key areas as part of our action plan this year. Biodiversity: Our goal is to increase plant and animal species diversity in the school grounds and promote urban wildlife awareness. We have worked closely with the RSPB this year to monitor bird numbers and other fauna in the school grounds. We set up a night vision camera in the autumn term and captured a fox roaming around the perimeter of the school.  As part of our research, we identified house sparrows as a bird species particularly at risk and in need of conservation. In fact, their numbers have declined by as much as 78% on this island in the last thirty years. We sent three of our committee members to address the Pledge for Nature conference run by the RSPB and this event was attended by local government officials. We decided to invest the money that we raised last year from the Cash for Clobber campaign into bird boxes, feeders and a camera, targeting the house sparrow population. We have recently mounted these boxes and wait in anticipation for the birds to colonise our grounds. We hope to undertake similar projects in the school grounds in the year ahead. Energy: Our goal is to decrease energy (and resource) consumption and promote strategies to increase awareness of energy efficiencies. Behind the scenes we have been very busy on this front during the last few months. We have been gathering lots of statistical evidence to show how our energy consumption in the new school compares to the old school. The results showing month by month analysis are quite revealing, and we will soon be presenting this data to the school body along with our vision as to how to reduce our energy consumption further. We are delighted that Strathearn is forward thinking in terms of its energy and, with both geothermal technologies and newly installed solar panels, we want to be a school that sets an example for others to follow. Waste Management: Our goal is to increase rates of recycling and promote further understanding of sustainable waste management. Last year we raised £400 through our Cash for Clobber initiative and we were able to reinvest this money in the last few months into our biodiversity project along with promoting this recycling initiative.  Again, we have used the last few months as a research period, building up evidence of our waste management practices, specifically focusing on the ratio of our waste being collected as general waste and that identified as recyclable materials. We have found that approximately 70% of our waste is still going to landfill and although this is a lower percentage than two years ago, we have a target of reducing this to 50%. We will soon be addressing the pupil body with our vision and strategies for increasing our recycling rate. Finally, we in Strathearn 21 were delighted to be asked to meet His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex in February.  It was a great opportunity to share our vision for Strathearn School. However, it is now over to all of us in school to make it happen.


English Report

n the autumn term, over fifty GCSE English Literature students attended a workshop on unseen poetry run by Ashfield Girls’ High School. This event was an opportunity for our pupils to work collaboratively on unseen poetry with pupils from both Ashfield and Bloomfield Collegiate School, and to hear local poets talk about their work. It was both an enjoyable and useful event.  As part of the Cinemagic Festival, all A2 Media Studies students, including our pupils from Campbell College, went to the Queen’s Film Theatre for a day-long study event on the television and film genre of Nordic Noir.  Guest lecturers traced the development of this genre and reasons for its popularity in the United Kingdom. Students were given opportunities to analyse key Nordic Noir texts. It was a fascinating day which allowed students to broaden their understanding of genre. In the spring term, the English Department hosted a drama workshop run by Belfast City Council. First year pupils were encouraged to explore issues relating to city hygiene through dramatic activities. The girls enjoyed working in groups to produce lively and entertaining dramatic pieces. In the summer term, we were invited by Queen’s University and Young at Art to participate in a series of creativity writing workshops focusing on the theme of identity in Northern Ireland. Members of third year who attended these events produced both prose and poetry that explored the theme in a meaningful and illuminating way.


Public Speaking Competition

achel Cowan and Mehika Sood achieved commendations at the Edgar Graham Memorial Public Speaking Competition held in the Senate Chamber at Stormont on 19 November. This placed the girls in the top six of a very competitive event, attended by twentytwo participants from schools from all over Northern Ireland. Most of the competitors were Upper Sixth, and so Mehika and Rachel did very well to get into the top six. Five pupils from Strathearn participated in the local heat of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition in Bangor on 26 November. Rachel Cowan spoke on the dangers and opportunities of the digital media age, Ella McAllister looked at the relative merits of degree courses and apprenticeships, Rebecca Murphy argued that sugar is the new tobacco and both Cathy Ievers and Mehika Sood considered the topic of international diplomacy. The girls deserve real credit for presenting genuinely detailed explorations of their chosen topics.


clubs, events & societies

Phoebe Gibson, GCSE Level


Chamber Choir Report

his year has been one of the most exciting, eventful and successful years for the Strathearn Chamber Choir. We started this year by performing at our Annual Prize Night where we sang one of our main pieces for the year: “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, a Traditional Spiritual. Our next event was the Carol Service in Stormont Church where we sang Rutter’s “Christmas Lullaby” and “Eatnemen Vuelie”, a piece that many people would recognise from the title sequence of Disney’s Frozen. Whilst preparing for these concerts we were also working hard to perfect our CD entry for BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition. For this we sang “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” and “My Song is Love Unknown”. This song was especially meaningful for us as it was arranged for us by Jonathan Rea, a Northern Irish arranger. We had the privilege of meeting him for a workshop where he showed us exactly how he wanted us to perform the piece. We also enjoyed a workshop with Greg Beardsell from the Ulster Youth Choir. The hard work we put in for this audition was not in vain as we made it through to the semi-finals - causing an uproar of excitement at Senior Choir where Mrs McIvor announced the amazing news. The competition also involved some travelling as it was held in Nottingham in the Albert Hall where the BBC filmed the performances.  After a few months of practice we all headed off to Nottingham with Mr and Mrs Manning and Mrs Atkinson as our main supporters! The Spring Concert shortly followed our return from Nottingham and, with our morale high, we were very excited to perform again at this concert. Unfortunately, despite our excitement we couldn’t tell anyone about our success until the BBC aired the show, so we had to keep our excitement to a minimum! The programme was aired on 3 May. We were excited that our friends and family were finally going to see it, as we were announced as finalists! The final was aired on 17 May, where we finished as runners-up with the title going to Hereford Cathedral School, Cantabile Girls’ Choir. It was such as privilege to perform alongside such amazing choirs. The experience we had at this competition was a once in a life time opportunity and one that I don’t think any of us will ever forget. To top the year off, we had one last unforgettable concert to perform at with the Miskelly Chorale conducted by Mr Gray. We had the opportunity to meet the choir and sing our last piece of the year, “Dubula” along with, them. “Dubula” is a traditional African piece that is performed along with dance moves that everyone was very excited to learn. We enjoyed singing it, as it took a step away from the traditional hymns we normally perform. We would all like to thank Mrs McIvor and Ms Kimber for all of their dedication to the Chamber Choir this year and for making it one of the best years for us. It has given us all memories that will last a lifetime! Kate Umphray, U6T

The Chamber Choir

Back Row: Kate Umphray, Saskia Craig, Lydia Millar, Katherine Gallagher, Rosalind Skillen, Rachael Kelly, Chloe Armstrong, Matilda Storey, Laura Bell Middle Row:  Jenni Watt, Lola Bingham, Melissa Nagar, Catherine Whiteside, Katherine Flack, Naoise Webster, Rebecca Gallagher, Rachel Henry,  Amy Darragh Front Row: Molly Fairclough, Aimée Buckley, Keziah Mercer, Tori Megarry, Susanna Griffin, Fiona Gibson, Kira McNeill,  Amy Dutton Absent: Stephanie Devlin


clubs, events & societies The Senior Choir Back Row: Lydia Millar, Naomi Beckett, Catherine Pooler, Sophie Anderson, Chloe Armstrong, Matilda Storey, Ciara Garrett, Katherine Gallagher, Rachael Kelly, Sarah Brown, Hollie Croft, Kate Umphray, Erin Prentice,  Ariana Gallen,  Aimée Irwin Fourth Row: Eryn McQuillan, Lola Bingham,  Jessica Collin,  Jenna Hume, Rebecca Gallagher,  Jennifer Graham, Katie Dutton, Dakota Armour, Saskia Craig,  Anieshia Bedford, Laura Bell, Rosalind Skillen, Emma Reihill, Emily Martin,  Jill Carson,  Abigail Acheson, Lucy McCracken Third Row: Bonnie Macrae, Oriel Dawson, Rachel Henry,  Jenni Chambers, Melissa Nagar,  Amy Anderson, Catherine Whiteside,  Jenni Watt, Célèste Halliday, Katherine Flack, Naoise Webster, Emma Blakely, Katherine Carson, Lucy Davidson, Sophie Pružina,  Amy Darragh,  Aimée Buckley Second Row: Katie Horner, Rachel Cowan, Connie O’Callaghan, Beth McColl, Lauryn Todd,  Amy Dutton, Susanna Griffin,  Alana McVea, Niamh Carey, Sarah Lavery,  Jill Fergie, Fiona Gibson, Kira McNeill, Nadia Hall, Nichola Kelly, Louise Lynch, Keziah Mercer Front Row: Molly Fairclough,  Amy Lynch, Rebecca Murphy, Nikita Muir,  Joanna Hicks, Ella Reid,  Anna Wilson, Courtney Dunlop,  Victoria Megarry, Lucy Dolan, Katie Mackay, Katy Skillen, Lauren McDowell, Faye Wallace, Chloe Young, Georgia Stewart

Senior Choir Report


he choir has always been a major part of my school life and I am writing this report with happy memories of my contribution to the Senior Choir where, over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to improve my skills, make friends and have fun.

Phoebe Gibson, GCSE Level

We started the year by rehearsing for the Carol Service, where the Senior Choir performed, “Christmas Lullaby” and “Wonderful”. The church was full, as usual, with friends and families of the pupils who came to show their support.  The service added to everyone’s festive spirit with performances from all of the school choirs and readings from pupils, teachers and governors. After the Carol Service, we started rehearsing for the Spring Concert. With the Disney phenomenon, Frozen, being released in 2013, we were all excited when we found out we would be performing a medley from the movie alongside the Junior Choir.  As well as the medley, we performed, “Some Things Are Meant To Be” from Little Women, a classic novel that was eventually turned into a musical. To change the mood with a more uplifting melody, we also performed, “I Say a Little Prayer”, a well-known song for the audience and performers to enjoy. As my time in Strathearn is coming to an end, on behalf of the Senior Choir and the Upper Sixth pupils in particular, I would like to thank Ms Kimber for all of her hard work. The effort she puts into developing performances, whilst also making practices enjoyable, is what makes the Music Department in Strathearn so successful. Thanks again Ms Kimber for brightening up Monday afternoons! Nikita Muir, U6A


clubs, events & societies


Junior Choir Report

very Tuesday at lunchtime the Junior Choir meet to rehearse. The songs we practise are the pieces we will perform at the Christmas Carol Service and the Spring Concert. We also learned,“When I Grow Up” from the musical Matilda. At the Carol Service we sang,  “Joy has Dawned” and, “Who Would have Thought”. “Joy has Dawned” included harmonies and was a very enjoyable piece to learn and perform. “Who Would have Thought” was a little more complex, with an overlap of three different groups; it went perfectly on the night and sounded wonderful and was enjoyed by everyone in the packed church. After the Carol Service and the Christmas break we began practising a piece for the Spring Concert.  This was a Frozen medley, which included different songs from the popular Disney movie. This medley was more complex than the two songs from the Carol Service because there are many key changes, and for each different song we had to change character. Everyone really enjoyed this medley, and many of us didn’t need to learn any new lyrics as we already knew them from watching the movie. To make us sound stronger, we collaborated with the Senior Choir. This was very well received by the audience, who showed their appreciation with a huge round of applause. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Junior Choir since Form One. It’s a great way to improve your singing and meet new friends who love to sing as well. Joanne Allen, 3T

Phoebe Gibson, GCSE Level

The Junior Choir Back Row: Phoebe Spratt, Olivia Allister, Nicole Lawther, Olivia Creighton, Esther Henry, Ellie Mackey,  Tess McMillen,  Abigail Bester, Eve Elliott, Katherine Hunter,  Jessica Moore,  Amy Welsh, Beth Minnis,  Verity McGimpsey Fourth Row: Kaitlyn Smith, Ella Rook, Leah Hutley, Caris Coulter, Ruby McWhinney, Naomi Cochrane,  Joanne Allen, Mia Mouron-Adams, Sophie Neale, Emma Spreadborough, Sarah McDonald, Ruby Baxter, Leah Fleming, Siân Murray, Emily Marten, Spencer Abraham Third Row:  Amy Bole, Emily Crockett, Hannah Cowan, Isabella Reihill, Rachael Campbell,  Yuan Chen, Grace Connor, Charlotte Crawford, Saioa Oscoz, Íde Simpson, Scarlett Reid, Rebecca McDowell, Emma Gibson, Bethan Andrews, Claire Whiteside, Rebekah Burrows, Larissa Young, Sophia Hamilton Second Row: Sarah Baker, Sophie Law,  Abigail McClurg,  Jessica Marks, Elizabeth Walker, Megan Adair,  Jenny Wilson, Rosie Park, Sophie Longstaff, Tori Jackson, Emily Stothers, Eva Aston, Zoe Carvill, Sarah McIvor, Molly Walker, Hannah Cowie, Laura Graham, Nina Reid, Lauren Kerr Front Row:  Amy McAlees, Eve Greer,  Jessica Butters, Katie McMeekin, Sarah Donaghy, Holly Gilpin, Kristin Kerr, Emily Gault, Zara Hamilton, Amber Hamilton, Katie Campbell, Emily Parker, Grace Thompson, Halah Irvine, Eva Blakely-Hewitt, Imogen McGimpsey,  Jill Nelis


clubs, events & societies Orchestra Report


t has been another exciting and fun-filled year with the Orchestra and it all started with the Autumn Musical Evening. The Orchestra played three pieces, “Lord of the Dance”,  “Married Life” from Up and “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4” by Elgar. “Lord of the Dance” proved to be the piece of the night and got the whole audience clapping along! The Orchestra’s next event was the Spring Concert and the pieces played were music from the film Schindler’s List and a medley of music from the movie Enchanted. Schindler’s List gave us a new experience of accompanying two soloists and allowing them to show off their musical talents. Overall it has been a brilliant year with the Orchestra and we have all enjoyed learning many new pieces. Keziah Mercer, U6A

The Orchestra Back Row:  Alex Cush, Lydia Millar, Emily Whiteside, Erin McConnell. Katherine Gallagher, Rachael Kelly,  Abigail Bester, Kate Umphray, Catherine Pooler,  Ailie McKinty, Kerry Hepworth Third Row: Susanna Griffin, Bethany Craig, Kathryn Neill,  Jill Carson,  Abigail Sheridan, Poppy Gribben,  Amy Darragh, Rebecca Jenkins, Catherine Whiteside, Hannah Eakin, Beth Minnis,  Abigail Acheson, Orla Bannister Second Row: Rachael Campbell, Emma Gibson,  Amy Dutton, Niamh Carey, Saioa Oscoz, Lauryn Todd, Fiona Gibson, Sara Cabecinha,  Aimee Stitt, Mia Mouron-Adams, Keziah Mercer,  Yuan Chen, Siân Murray,  Anna Kenny Front Row: Miriam O’Reilly,  Tori Jackson,  Amy Bole, Chloe Young, Sophie Mitchell, Rebekah Kenny,  Jessica Arbuckle,  Anna Wilson, Rachel Hinds, Claire Whiteside, Sophia Hamilton, Laura Killiner, Nina Reid


Traditional Group Report

his year Miss Corry, a past pupil of Strathearn, has been coming in on Mondays at lunchtime to take the Traditional Group. It is open to all ages and has attracted a wide variety of instruments, such as tin whistle, fiddle, flute, harp and bodhrán.  Around twenty pupils have joined the group, and it has been really enjoyable as many of us had never played this type of music before. However, it has also been challenging as Irish traditional music is usually played from memory! Our first performance this year was at the Autumn Musical Evening, where we played the “D-D Polka”, “Peg Ryan’s Polka” and “Lady Frances Power”. We were all very excited to play these pieces again at the official opening of the school in February. Finally, we played at the Spring Concert in March, where we performed “Eleanor Plunkett” and “The Plough and the Stars”. This was especially exciting as the Traditional Group accompanied Saskia Craig’s solo Irish dance. I would like to thank Miss Corry for all her hard work and patience with the Traditional Group this year. We have all really enjoyed our Monday lunchtime rehearsals, and it has been great to learn a new style of music and be able to perform at school events. Catherine Whiteside, U6T

The Traditional Group Back Row: Laura Bell, Saskia Craig, Lydia Millar, Eden Lamb, Emily Whiteside, Rosalind Skillen Second Row: Fiona Gibson, Susanna Griffin, Catherine Whiteside,  Abigail Bester, Kristen Haire,  Abigail Sheridan,  Victoria Megarry, Sophie Pružina Front Row: Lauren White,  Tori Jackson, Chloe Young, Mia Mouron-Adams,  Amy Bole, Sophia Hamilton, Nina Reid


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. The first was a medley from the film Enchanted. The other,  John Williams’s Schindler’s List, featured violin soloists Susanna Griffin and Kate Umphray in a beautifully played, expressive and moving arrangement. The Orchestra performed with great discipline and enthusiasm, communicating the different moods required very effectively. The Chamber Choir, fresh from their weekend’s filming at the BBC’s Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition semi-final, performed their two pieces from this event.  “My Song is Love Unknown” was a specially commissioned arrangement by Jonathan Rea. This beautiful hymn demonstrated the choir’s lovely choral sound and careful attention to musical detail. It was followed later by “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, a dynamic a cappella setting of the traditional spiritual, performed with verve and precision. The Senior Choir took us back to the sixties with their three-part version of “I Say a Little Prayer”, and then moved the audience with “Some Things Are Meant To Be”. This song, originally a duet between the characters Jo and Beth from the musical Little Women, also featured a lovely solo by Tori Megarry. The Junior and Senior Choirs combined for the concert’s last item, a medley of songs from the film Frozen. The months of preparation required to prepare this substantial piece resulted in an infectiously enthusiastic finale for the evening, with solo moments for each choir in turn and plenty of scope for the full one hundred and eighty voices to combine in the strongest songs. Two other smaller instrumental groups took part. The Recorder Consort played a spirited and catchy “Singin’ in the Rain”. The newly re-formed Traditional Group performed a very enjoyable set of two Irish traditional pieces, enhanced by the solo dancing of group member Saskia Craig. Five soloists were featured during the evening. Keziah Mercer played one of Schumann’s three Fantasiestücke for clarinet, impressing with her mastery of its technical challenges. Poppy Gribben played an arrangement for double bass of the popular 1930s song “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic”, her clear bass sound ideally suited to both its comic and its tender moments. Megan O’Callaghan gave a sparkling, witty account of “I Enjoy Being a Girl”, from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Kate Umphray’s violin rendition of Massenet’s Méditation was beautifully expressive, and Katherine Gallagher’s performance on the cello of The Swan by Saint-Saëns communicated perfectly the elegance and lyricism intended by the composer. 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 assembled every Thursday at lunchtime from half-term to Easter. As usual, the club was well attended and the junior pupils were split into House groups which were led by their very able sixth year House representatives. The Upper Sixth Drama Committee relished working with their groups, who ranged from Form One to Form Three. All the members joined in wholeheartedly with the various activities throughout the year, and they certainly developed their dramatic skills! One of the highlights of the year was the Junior Drama Club’s activities on Open Day when they entertained parents, guests and primary seven pupils with a range of mini performances from poetry to devised school-based pieces. The response from visitors was highly positive and club members gave potential pupils a real understanding of what drama in Strathearn is really like. Overall, the club was great fun – thanks to all the Sixth Year Committee members who gave up their free time so enthusiastically and well done to all the junior pupils who took part and entertained us so thoroughly!



Drama Trip

n February this year, a group of thirty pupils and three staff went to London on the annual Drama trip. The Form Four and Lower Sixth Drama students awoke early on a Thursday morning before flying to Gatwick to catch a coach to the British Museum. The morning was spent carrying out an Objet D’Art project, where pupils searched the many diverse exhibitions for inspiration for devised plays. The afternoon was spent watching the fantastic play, A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the Gielgud Theatre. A well-deserved pizza was then followed with a magical evening at The Lion King before the weary group finally checked in at their hotel at midnight! Friday began with a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, followed by an hour-long acting workshop with an inspiring Globe actress. Lunch in Covent Garden rounded the trip off enjoyably for everyone and the group made their way back to Belfast, exhausted but happy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the girls for their excellent manners throughout the trip and the staff, Mrs Ingram and Mrs Atkinson, for facilitating the trip.




n December 2014, a cast of fifty-nine Strathearn and Campbell College pupils, ranging from Form Two to the Upper Sixth, collected their poodle skirts and bowling shirts to present Grease, the stage musical. Following the success of previous productions such as Beauty and the Beast and Hairspray, it was safe to say that feelings of excitement and expectation were building up over the intense four months of rehearsals. It was a daunting task for everyone, putting on a musical that had so much recognition amongst both the cast and the creative team. However, under Ms Ferris’s careful direction and Mrs McIvor’s meticulous musical guidance, we were set to put on a great show. Rehearsals began in September and we met three times a week, on  Thursdays and Fridays after school and then for the dreaded Saturday rehearsals from 1-5pm.  I was privileged to play the role of Jan, a great lover of pigtails and lollipops, but also the slightly less sophisticated (to say the least) member of the Pink Ladies. Rehearsals were filled with laughter and were extremely beneficial in improving our performance skills. As we began to block the iconic numbers, such as: Those Summer Nights and Greased Lightnin’, everyone’s excitement for the end result dramatically increased as things started to come together. There were so many people involved in Grease that it would be impossible to mention everyone. The show would have lost its sparkle, however, without the amazing technical aspects of lighting, set and costume. Miss McFarland did a spectacular job as costume mistress, a job that I did not envy! She collected and organised multiple costume pieces for fifty-nine cast members, even creating some numbers herself. Mr Atkinson and his willing assistant, Carly Magee, attended every Saturday rehearsal to design the lighting and sound plan for the show. The amazing projections and lights really added to the onstage excitement and the swiftness of managing the mics certainly helped everyone in the backstage buzz. Mrs Ingram, as stage manager, and her trusty backstage crew were also a massive help in organising everyone and somehow managing to keep fifty-nine drama kids quiet. Mrs Atkinson and her team must also be commended for their fabulous props.  Without them I wouldn’t have had a reliable stash of lollipops ready to go every time I went on stage! Anna and Megan were an unstoppable team as choreographers for the show. The large ensemble dance numbers were undoubtedly the most fun to take part in and provided everyone with some laughs. After months of rehearsals, opening night rolled around. We opened the show with a matinee for P7 Strandtown Primary School pupils and it was a roaring success! The show continued over the next three nights from 10-12 December. Everyone involved in the show was highly praised for their excellent singing, dancing and acting. When the final bow came and the curtain closed, I was filled with sadness as Grease came to an end.  Hanging up my Pink Ladies jacket for the final time allowed me to reflect on just how close everyone had become, both teachers and pupils. We all had learnt so much and made so many new friends, some for life. I, and many others in the sixth form, would particularly love to thank Ms Ferris and Mrs McIvor for making our last joint production in Strathearn such an unforgettable one. Jill Fergie, L6T

Aladdin Jnr.


n June of 2014, over fifty members of the Junior School performed in a large, ensemble production of Disney’s Aladdin Jnr.  The cast was supported by a junior backstage crew and members of the GCSE Drama class. The performance ran for two matinees to local primary schools and sold out two evenings - a massive achievement to mark the first production on the new assembly hall stage. Megan Adair, Eve Elliott, Georgia McCutcheon, Aífe Sansom, Emma Carson and Hannah Hornsby were spectacular as the principals and led the audience admirably through familiar songs such as A Whole New World and You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me. Throughout the rehearsal process Ms Ferris, Mr Atkinson and Mrs Ingram were just lovely in helping us to make the performances so memorable. Georgia McCutcheon, 4R


house plays

House Play Competition


Adjudicated by

Mrs S Leeman October 2014

Awards Inter-House Drama Cup for Best Production


How I Met Your Father McCaughey House

McNeill Cup for Directing

Beth Lynas McCaughey House

Frances Mulley Rose Bowl for Best Actress


Frances Wilson Watts House

McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress

Jill Fergie McCaughey House

Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Role


AĂ­fe Sansom Barbour House

Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

How I Met Your Father McCaughey House 36

barbour house reports


House Report

his year, with arrival of the new school came the arrival of a rejuvenated House System, and so it was a great privilege to be chosen as the Barbour House Captain and to have a role in the exciting changes.  With a lot of work to be done Shannon and Lydia - my two Deputy House Captains - and I began our duties immediately. Our first House Meeting was a nerve-wracking one, but it was also great to be able to personally spur on a competitive spirit by convincing the members of the House that this year could be Barbour’s year! These monthly meetings proved to be important in encouraging participation and providing a friendly and collective House atmosphere. Our first House event was proof of this, as on Sports Day the Barbour girls competed with great enthusiasm, wearing their yellow House T-shirts and plenty of face paint! When we arrived back to school in September, planning was already underway for Inter-House Dodgeball.  This proved extremely popular and teams from all year groups, as well as staff, turned out in force to battle with the other Houses.  This was followed by First Form Potted Sports, at which Barbour excelled, being placed first overall. I would like to thank the Upper Sixth Peer Mentors who supported the girls at this event: your cheering, encouragement and motivation paid off! In November, the Inter-House Quiz was organised. We had a great turn-out and were able to compete with a total of eight teams. Whilst we did secure third place, so much fun was had at the Quiz that it is sure to become a main event in the House calendar. Netball, as the last event before Christmas, also had a large participation. Even girls who had no experience joined a team to take part in the festive spirit! In February, the House Captains were tasked with choosing two performers to compete in the Inter-House Talent Show. It was necessary for us to hold auditions, which provided Shannon, Lydia and me with some lovely entertainment over two lunchtimes.  After a lot of careful consideration, Amy Bole was chosen to sing and accompany her own song, My Liar, whilst Anna McCabe in First Form was chosen to perform an energetic gymnastics routine. The girls performed superbly and with great success; Amy achieved second place and Anna third. The girls not only won individual prizes, but also vital overall points for Barbour, in what was a nerve-wracking, but exciting day. This was followed by Inter-House Hockey and then Cross-country, which had an impressive number of participants from all year groups.  This event was the last duty of the current House Captains, so there were many Upper Sixth participants and a lot of photos taken. The year of 2014/15 was a great one for not only Barbour, but the whole House System! My Deputy House Captains and I would like to thank all of the Barbour girls and teachers for their continued optimism, enthusiasm and dedication, which provided us with many long-lasting memories of our Upper Sixth year in Strathearn!

Shannon Armour, Katie Brown, Lydia Duncan

The Cast

House Play


The Escape based on The Great Nursing Home Escape by Nathan Hartswick

lanning for the House play began in the summer of 2014. My two new Deputy House Captains and I met to brainstorm ideas for our House play, and we finally decided on The Great Nursing Home Escape.  We instantly loved the plot and the main characters, and with a bit of editing it became a comedy play suitable for twenty-four first to sixth years.  Auditions were a fun, but stressful process, and we were all impressed with the talent of the girls in Barbour. Once we had chosen our cast, auditions began straight away, with Mr Atkinson generously lending us the Technology Suite during lunchtimes. Shannon, Clara, Lauren, Marnie, Mia, Aífe, Alice, Eve and Katie instantly shone as old-age pensioners, working superbly together and capturing the characterisation perfectly. The school children were given artistic license to create their own scene together, being made to run riot and wreak havoc in the old people’s home. Needless to say, it came surprisingly naturally to them! As we neared the performance date, nerves began to emerge but these were soon overcome by excitement when we had our first costume and technical rehearsals. Many memories were made in the final rehearsals, which were usually filled with a lot more jokes and laughter than actual reading of lines. On the days of the performances, the girls performed the play the best we had ever seen, and their professionalism was far beyond what we expected. The highlight of the day, however, was the awards, where the school children were nominated for Best Cameo Role, and Aífe Sansom won Best Cameo Role. It was an emotional day, but our perfect performance was the ultimate award for all of the girls’ hard work. I would also like to thank the backstage and technical team, who worked to give us a seamless performance; we couldn’t have done it without you! Katie Brown, House Captain


Albert - Shannon McClintock Gino -  Aífe Sansom Libby - Mia Wheatley Stan - Clara Potts Marge -  Alice Graham Stella - Lauren Fetherston Edwina - Marnie Preston Josie - Eve Greer Betty - Katie Mashford Ms Fletcher - Lucy McCracken Nurses - Zara Hamilton, Emily Hinds Cook/Teacher - Chloe Stevenson Guards - Molly Cahoon, Charis Wright Family - Iona Lindsay, Katie Horner, Isabella McKnight, Rebecca Murphy School Children - Scarlett Reid, Hannah Meredith,  Jordan Hineson, Beth Strahan,  Jenny Wilson

boucher house reports


House Report will never forget the memory of being announced as the next House Captain of Boucher. The responsibility was a scary thought, but something I greatly looked forward to! I was extremely fortunate to have two of the greatest Deputies, Aimée Buckley and Amy Anderson, by my side to tackle the challenges this role would present.

This year there has been a greater emphasis on Houses and a newly developed House System has been introduced!  This new system gave more focus to the Houses through monthly House Assemblies, Year Representatives and new events. Boucher started the new year with a punch by coming first in the Inter-House Dodgeball. Many of the girls enjoyed taking part in the new sport and had a good laugh as the teachers went against one another for their Houses. The Inter-House Quiz went down brilliantly, with junior and senior pupils filling the hall on both days.  Another exciting event introduced this year was the Strathearn Talent Show. Our two acts were soloists - Sophie Law and Georgia Mitchell. They both performed amazingly and made Boucher very proud, even with a last minute song change the day before for Sophie! It was overwhelming to see the number of girls that came out to support Boucher in the cross-country and hockey and getting out of class was definitely a bonus! This year has flown by and without a doubt has been the greatest and most hectic year of my time at Strathearn. I have enjoyed every second and couldn’t have done it without the enthusiastic House spirit from all of Boucher. I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the girls and staff who were involved in the House events. It has been an honour to be Boucher House Captain, and although I will be sad to hand my red tie and badge over to the new House Captains, I wish them the best of luck!

Amy Anderson, Jessica McCleery,  Aimée Buckley

House Play Take  A Seat based on Hard Candy by Jonathan Rand


he House plays were probably the most daunting activity I faced in my role as House Captain. After searching endlessly for a script, we eventually found one that had Aimée, Amy and myself in agreement. We were all very nervous taking on our first experience of directing a play, but got stuck in very quickly. Our play consisted of funny interviews for a job at Boucher Enterprises.

Casting the play after the auditions was a very difficult process, but we eventually put together an excellent cast.  The rehearsals ran smoothly with the girls working extremely hard; I really enjoyed getting to know the girls from the years below and have made so many good friends. With the new school build we had the full use of the brand new assembly hall and stage! We worked hard on our set to make sure it was of a high standard and looked realistic. A special mention must be given to Russell Anderson for his tireless efforts in the construction of the famous door! The final performances went off without a hitch. I was so proud of how every single girl performed and it made all the stress worth it. I couldn’t have done it without  Amy and Aimée who have been a privilege to work with!  Thank you to all the girls and everyone that supported us to make this year’s House plays unforgettable. Jessica McCleery, House Captain


The Cast Adam - Abby Sheridan Bob - Amy Gilpin Omega 1 - Florence Ogonda Omega 2 - Louise Owens Omega 3 - Felicity Johnston Francine - Chloe Browne Flirty - Nicole Ferguson Cindy - Joanna Hicks Dave - Nikita Muir Emily - Mia Mouron-Adams Fred - Dakota Armour Pet Lady - Hannah Adair Gail - Ella McAllister Harry - Emma Ferguson Ira - Rose Templeton Jill - Ruby Allen Linda - Lauryn Todd Old Lady - Megan Adair Shifty - Anna Kirkwood Police 1 - Rebekah Burrows Police 2 - Maya Renfrew

mccaughey house reports


House Report

o begin with, I have to say that it’s been a great year for McCaughey. I honestly can’t believe that I’m sitting writing this report a year from the time when Mr Manning sat Lisa,  Jessica and myself down to ask us if we would be the 2014/15 House Captains! Who would decline that offer? I can distinctly remember the walk to Mr Manning’s office - all three of us were in complete shock and all I could manage to say was, “Jessica you’re in charge of sport, I’ll focus on Drama and Lisa - you’re organising us both!” To be totally honest I can’t say that the girls in McCaughey have let me down once this year! The first task of the new House Captains began on the Day of Sport - and this was an amazing welcome for Jessica, Lisa and me who watched our girls lead us into first place! However, this victory was only the beginning - because with an admirable second in tennis, third in hockey and two firsts in athletics and cross-country, it was clear that McCaughey was going from strength to strength. The role of a House Captain only goes so far - because without a doubt the participation, determination and House spirit shown by the girls in every event is the real key to our success! This year was particularly special for all of the captains because we became the first to experience many new events! These included an Inter-House Quiz, Inter-House Dodgeball and perhaps most successful for McCaughey was the Talent Show.  I must say that everyone who auditioned was amazing and it made our decision very difficult - but in the end it was Amy McWhirter with a tap routine that could rival Maddie Ziegler and Lucy Robinson, who I can only describe as an extremely talented musician, who went forward to represent and win the Talent Show for McCaughey! My year as House Captain would not have been so amazing without a huge amount of help along the way - and for that reason I want to finish by saying thank you. Firstly, to Lisa and Jessica for keeping me organised and standing beside me during every step of this amazing experience! To Ms Young for working tirelessly on everything and keeping us all updated on what we actually have to do! To every girl in McCaughey who has played her part in showing House spirit, becoming my friend and making my final year amazing. Most importantly, however, I would like to thank Strathearn itself for giving me seven amazing years in McCaughey and the opportunity to be a part of everything - it’s something I’ll never forget! Finally, I just want to wish the House Captains of next year a massive ‘good luck’! Although it can seem overwhelming at times, every stressful minute of being a House Captain is worth it. Make the most of the time you have leading this House, because it will be over before you know it! Jessica Fairclough, Beth Lynas, Lisa Irwin

House Play

How I Met Your Father based on That’s Not How I Remember It by Dan Zolidis


ne of the most daunting tasks of becoming a House Captain is the thought of putting on a House play. The first challenge comes from the fact that you actually have to find the perfect play! Jessica, Lisa and I met during the summer to begin our search, scrolling through pages upon pages of plays just not good enough to represent McCaughey. Everything changed, however, when we read: That’s Not How I Remember It, a play in which an American mom and dad reflect on their teenage years and tell two totally different stories on how they first met. It was three weeks into September when auditions for the play began, and I was totally surprised at the amount of talent shown by every girl who auditioned! Unfortunately, it was impossible to cast everyone and so, after some difficult deliberations, we decided upon our cast. One of my most memorable moments of the House play process was hearing nearly thirty girls read the script for the first time - and it was from this point onwards that we knew we had made the right casting decisions. Every member of my cast brought their own interpretation and flair to their characters in a way that made me extremely proud. However, not only did my cast bring something special to their own characters, but I would go as far as calling them ‘assistant directors’ because their input and ideas were crucial in making our play the success it was. As the time of the performance grew closer, I was completely stressed out! It took constant repetition of, “We’ll be fine!” and “I promise I’ll know my lines for tomorrow!” to put my mind at ease and in true McCaughey fashion - we pulled it off on the day! I honestly cannot believe how amazingly everything turned out! I can still remember the cheers of everyone in my House when it was announced that we had won Best Production! However, our success didn’t end there because we also managed to win the awards for Best Director, Best Technical and our ‘Mom’ Jill Fergie received the well-deserved award for Best Supporting Actress.  When I first read the script I could never have imagined that it would come to life in the way that it did - and I have my cast to thank for that. I must also acknowledge all of the hard work and lunchtimes the girls had to give up in making the play happen - I really appreciate it! Thank you also to Ms Ferris and to my backstage team for keeping everything running smoothly! As I said at the beginning, putting on a House play is one of the most daunting experiences for a House Captain, but it is also one of the most rewarding - and I wish I could go back to that week in October when everything came together. Beth Lynas, House Captain


The Cast Mom - Jill Fergie Dad - Bonnie Macrae Barry - Isla Lockhart Lola - Leah Deehan Lola’s Mum -  Aimee Richardson Lola’s Dad - Nicky Montgomery Karl - Sarah Flack Yann 1 - Molly Fairclough Yann 2 - Emma Carson Tricia -  Alana McVea Jessica - Chloe Jeans Melissa - Emily Marten Waiter - Eve Elliot Nurse 1 -  Jessica Anderson-Bell Nurse 2 - Keely Whitla Jim - Molly Longstaff Thugs - Molly Scullion; Sorcha Corbett; Rachel Spence;  Josie Knox; Imogen McGimpsey;  Amy McWhirter; Emma Wilson Partygoers - Íde Simpson; Erin McConnell; Emily O’Callaghan; Verity McGimpsey;  Amelia Kane; Hannah Morrison;  Talia Irwin; Jessica Baker

watts house reports House Report


ven after this very eventful year, I don’t think any of us can truly believe that we were privileged enough to be appointed House Captain and Deputies of Watts. I will never forget the emotional, adrenaline-filled day that I found out I had been selected. The announcement was made all the better by the fact that I was going to be working with two amazing girls, Catherine Whiteside and Katherine Carson. Over this year, I have created a bond with both these girls that can never be broken. We have been through triumphs and challenges, but somehow we have made it through to the end of this year stronger and, if possible, with even more House spirit than we started with! For the first time, House assemblies were to be held by each House on the first Thursday of every month. This was the first thing as House Captains that Katherine, Catherine and I had to face. Although being stared at by 100 expectant and curious eyes was daunting, as soon as we started explaining the exciting plans for the year to come, the famous Watts House spirit kicked in. These assemblies became so beneficial, not only to keep the girls up-to-date with upcoming events, but also to allow them to get to know all of us in a more personal way. In Strathearn, the House plays have become a huge, much anticipated event. Inevitably the first few months of term for Katherine, Catherine and me were filled with script reading, editing, rehearsals and more rehearsals! Watts House Cast did us proud, with Frances Wilson being awarded Best Actress for the second time in her school career. Throughout the year we’ve had lots of exciting new House events, including the Inter-House Quiz, Dodgeball, Hockey, Cross-country and the much anticipated Talent Show. Halah Irvine and Sarah McDonald took to the stage performing an outstanding piano and voice duet of Adele’s Skyfall. Next, proudly representing Watts in her last year, was Frances Wilson, who stepped in at the very last minute to ensure that Watts had two topnotch performances. Her performance went down so well she performed an encore!

Katherine Carson, Clara Kerr, Catherine Whiteside

I would like to thank my Deputies, Katherine and Catherine, for making this year so incredible - and making it easy for everyone to remember their names!  Although it was definitely stressful at times, the overwhelming support, not only from them, but from teachers and the whole of Watts House, made this year one I will never forget. We even have House key rings from Mr Hoeritzauer to prove it!

House Play Rejection based on Will Date For Food by Ian McWethy


he first thought I had after being appointed as House Captain was - House plays! During September Catherine, Katherine and I had numerous meetings and lunchtime chats about finding the perfect play, but we finally decided on Ian McWethy’s Rejection! or, Will Date for Food. The next step was to edit and cast it. We had an amazing turnout for the auditions and I would like to thank everyone who came along. You made our job very hard, but we finally did pick what we thought was the perfect cast. Rehearsals then started. I have never been so impressed by the amount of effort that every girl in Watts put into making this year’s House play as good as it could be, attending numerous extra rehearsals and handling last minute changes like professionals. This year we had the privilege of being the first House plays in our new state-of-the-art assembly hall. We had a fabulous, huge stage with all the technical equipment you could wish for. Once the day of the performance came, I was so confident in my cast and the work they had put into the play. They put on a brilliant performance, and made not only Catherine, Katherine and me so proud, but also the whole of Watts House. The cast was well rewarded for their efforts with great comments from the adjudicator, Mrs Leeman, topped off by Frances Wilson winning Best Actress! Overall, House plays were such an amazing experience. Rehearsals were sometimes tough and tiring but everyone pushed through and ensured that not only did we put on a great play, but we also had fun doing it! I want to wish next year’s House Captain and Deputies the best of luck - make sure you enjoy every second! Thank you everyone for an incredible year. ‘W-A-T-T-S who’s the best from east to west? GO WATTS!’ Clara Kerr, House Captain


The Cast Alice - Lydia Millar Brad - Frances Wilson Alice’s Dad - Sarah Baker Alice’s Mum - Shannon Rietvelt Brad’s Dad -  Amy Dara Brad’s Mum - Tess McMillen Bud -  Alex Agar Devon - Tavisha Sood Felicity -  Aimée Irwin Felicity’s Friend 1 - Katie Anderson Felicity’s Friend 2 - Zoe Hepworth George - Rachel Henry Caitlin - Katie Wills Caitlin’s Mum - Sam McCormick Elder - Sarah Hamilton Hilary - Rosie Park Zane - Claire Whiteside Camilla - Olivia Nelson Fred - Esther Henry Gabrielle - Rachael Thomas Gabrielle’s Dad - Emily Whiteside Luke’s Mum - Saskia Craig Luke - Halah Irvine Wendy - Sarah McDonald

games captain’s report


he end of another year of sport at Strathearn has brought a lot of success that everyone should be proud of.  These are some of the highlights of the past year.

In the summer of 2014, the athletics season brought brilliant success to Strathearn, as we carried home the huge Irish Intermediate Schools’ Champions Trophy.  All girls who competed represented our school with great pride and brought amazing success to the Strathearn PE Department.  Twenty-four girls qualified this year for the Ulster Schools’ Championships by competing at the Co Down Districts. The girls in the Mini Team achieved great success and were crowned Ulster Schools’ Champions. Following Strathearn’s outstanding performances at Ulster level, twelve individuals and the Intermediate Relay Team qualified to compete at the Irish Championships. Here the Intermediates became Irish Schools’ Intermediate Champions!  The second years competed at the Ulster U14 Championships, where they also became Ulster Champions! Another fantastic tennis season rounded off the summer term. Our Minors were crowned Ulster Minor Champions. Both Junior Teams fought hard throughout the competition, leading to an all Strathearn final! The B Team did put up a fight, but the A Team came out on top to become the Ulster Junior Champions! The Intermediates finished off their season by becoming runners-up in Ulster. My last hockey season at Strathearn has now passed, but it created some brilliant memories. In October, the senior girls travelled to Belgium for the hockey tour, where some amazing hockey was played, and we fitted in some sight-seeing as well!  Throughout the year, all of the hockey teams played to a high standard, although the results didn’t always go our way.  The 2Bs got to the semi-final of the Gibson Cup, where sadly they were beaten by Sullivan after a tough match.  The U14 Team played very well against Armagh in the Cup, but were beaten in the last minutes. The 1st XI ended their season against Sullivan, the eventual cup winners; this was

one of the best matches of the year, and so was a great way to end. Cross-country has always been of a high standard at Strathearn, and again this year the girls did not disappoint.  The teams were outstanding and brought home four out of five of the Co Down trophies. The Minis were Mini Champions, with Amelia Kane leading the girls to win Gold; the Senior girls finished in bronze medal position, with Emma Watson the first of the senior girls to cross the finish line in fifth place.  The Juniors were determined to continue their winning streak over the last two years and they did not disappoint!  The team were a massive forty-one points ahead of the next school and were crowned Co Down Champions for the third successive year.  The Minor Team finished in bronze medal position, with Aimee Stitt leading the girls to take a Bronze medal.  The team score was again better than any of the opposition, and Strathearn added the Minor title to our list of wins.  The Intermediate Team was the last girls’ race of the day and they had the challenge of running twice around the course to complete 3000m. Jessica Leeman led the Strathearn troops and finished in third place.  Again there were great performances at the Ulster Championships. Strathearn’s netballers have also been in action. Against Sullivan, the Minor Team won 13-5 and were also successful against Regent House winning 10-2. The Junior Team lost narrowly to Sullivan 7-9, but had more success against Regent winning 6-4. The Intermediate Team agonisingly lost by a single goal against Regent 18-19 and were defeated by Rockport 13-6. Meanwhile, the Senior Team lost 13-7 to Regent. Swimming has never been a sport I’ve participated in during my time at Strathearn, though it’s always been one of our strongest. The girls took part in the Ulster Schools’ Championships and won a range of medals. Some of the girls then raced at the Irish Schools’ Championships and the Minor Swim Team won two gold medals! Natalie Wallace, Games Captain

Games Captain and Deputies Isla Lockhart, Natalie Wallace, Chloe Johnston



Sarah Lamont,  AS Level


Hockey Report 2014-2015

his year was another exciting and enjoyable one for hockey at Strathearn; though the season was filled with celebrations and some disappointments, the girls worked hard and it was always a pleasure to be a part of it once again.

The 1st XI Squad, captained by Isla Lockhart with Shannon McClintock as her Vice Captain, faced Coleraine High School in the first round of the Schools’ Cup in a fast-paced and tense match. The end result was 1-0 to Strathearn as Gabrielle Park was able to slot one home, enabling us to move to the next round against the Royal School,  Armagh who are a tough side.  We were determined, and we played well and worked hard in defence but, unfortunately, as the final whistle went, it was 1-0 to Armagh. The Cup run was over, but all hope was not lost and the girls had the opportunity to compete for the Plate. The girls came up against Limavady Grammar in an away match for their third round of the Plate; they fought hard, but a few mistakes meant Limavady was 2-0 up at half-time. This meant that the girls had to come out all guns blazing if they wanted to stay in it, but even with our girls fighting to get back, Limavady played well and managed to slot away three more goals. We fought hard, but a disappointing 5-1 loss at the final whistle meant that the 1st XI were put out of the Plate and could no longer take part in the competition. Despite the premature exit from the Plate, it was still a very enjoyable season.  Well done to Sarah Brown, a member of the 1st XI, who was selected for the Ulster U16 Hockey Team! The 2A XI, captained by Aimée Irwin with Sarah Simpson as her Vice Captain, had a good season and worked hard throughout their McDowell Cup experience. (This Cup was won by Strathearn 2A XI last year.)  They faced Bloomfield in their first round and the score was 1-0. The goal came from a decisive drive across the circle from the right back,  Ailie McKinty, mid-way through the first half, and Bonnie Ramsay finished clinically into the goal. On 3 December they played Dromore High School, winning 3-0 with Bonnie Ramsey scoring two goals and Katie Majury scoring. Then they faced Down High School in the quarter-finals, but despite their teamwork and hard work, Down High School managed to score in the second half of extra time, making the score 1-0. The 2B XI was captained by Lara Sweet with Francesca Lynn as her Vice Captain. The 2B XI had a successful season, reaching the semi-final of the Gibson Cup, and in the build-up had a clean sweep in their section of the League beating Ballyclare High School 4-0,Victoria College 1-0 and Carrickfergus Grammar 1-0. Their semi-final was against Sullivan Upper, a tough side; we fought very hard until the last minute, but were defeated 2-0; the 2B XI did extremely well to reach that stage - well done! In junior hockey this year, the U14 XI was captained by Zoe Hepworth with Hannah McCann as her Vice Captain. The U14A XI started off their Junior Cup campaign with a 1-0 extra time win away to Regent House, and then played the Royal School,  Armagh in round three. This match was one of the best performances of the season so far, and one that the players will remember in terms of skill level and teamwork. Despite losing 3-2, the winning goal being cruelly scored with 40 seconds left on the clock, Strathearn played a great match and were unfortunate not to make it through, as it was Armagh who managed to gain the victory. A huge ‘thank you’ goes to all of the PE staff and coaches who have been a great help and encouragement throughout the season, working extremely hard as always. A further ‘thank you’ to our ever-committed number one supporter and talented stats man, Cecil Swinton we really appreciate all you do! And, of course, thanks to all the parents and supporters who are doing the work along the sidelines and encouraging the girls; we are very grateful.  And, of course, a massive good luck to our teams for next year! I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I have for the past seven years, and I wish you lots of success for 2015-2016 in your hockey, and may all your hard work pay off! Isla Lockhart, U6A



1st XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Ailie McKinty,  Aimée Irwin, Lauren Wheeler, Sarah Brown, Florence Ogonda Middle Row: Kate Farrelly,  Anieshia Bedford, Shannon Booth, Natalie Wallace, Shannon McClintock Front Row:  Abby Larmour, Gabrielle Park, Isla Lockhart (C),  Jemma Gillan, Erin Larmour

2A XI Hockey Team

Philippa Harty,  A Level

Back Row: Katie Majury, Sarah Simpson, Dakota Armour,  Ailie McKinty Middle Row: Kate Farrelly, Emma Flannigan, Bonnie Ramsay, Louise Owens Front Row:  Alex Gillan, Lara Creighton, Aimée Irwin (C), Charlotte Lowry


sport 2B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Lauren Kirkwood, Rachel Powderly, Laura Middleton, Natalie McHugh, Becky Poots Middle Row: Roma Kelly, Francesca Lynn,  Victoria Hamilton, Rachael Thomas, Katrina Kerr Front Row: Ellie Biggerstaff, Maddy Miskimmin, Lara Sweet (C),  Alanna McHugh, Emma Wilson

3A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Georgina Gomes, Evanna Maxted, Emily Whiteside, Meabh Lowry Middle Row: Jordyn Spence, Ellen Meredith,  Amy Hepworth, Emma Lowry, Katy Miskimmin Front Row: Ellen Gilpin, Danielle McDowell,  Amy Gilpin (C), Beth Watson, Katie Caldwell

Autumn As I walk down this small street The leaves twirl and dance around my feet Colours! All around Leaves are falling, spiralling to the ground! I see the trees – they are bare! The wind whips past my face and blows in my hair. Iona Porter & Íde Simpson, 2H

3B XI Hockey Team (below) Back Row: Katie Caldwell, Claire Hunter, Eden Lamb, Kerry Hepworth Middle Row:  Jordyn Spence, Emily Leitch, Beth Crosbie, Caitie Williams Front Row: Katie McVeigh, Bethany Craig, Ellen Gilpin (C), Alex Reilly

Alice Campbell, GCSE Level 44


U14A XI Hockey Team

U14B XI Hockey Team

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

Back Row: Molly Longstaff, Kate Welsh, Catrina Moore, Olivia Nelson Middle Row: Britney Haynes, Bethan Andrews, Kerry Annett, Rebekah Mitchell, Sam McCormick Front Row: Molly Cahoon, Hannah Minnis, Sophie Neale (C), Lydia McKane,  Jessica Butters

U13A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Erin Stewart, Olivia Allister, Emma Craig,  Anna McKibbin Middle Row: Lauren Armstrong,  Jenny Wilson,  Alex Fawcett, Grace Hutchinson, Rhiannon Brady Front Row: Daisy Moore, Grace Ruding, Eve Elliott (C), Harriet Platt, Megan Adair

Spring Opening the door and smelling the fresh air Dad’s just cut the lawn, the smell is everywhere Flowers are newly grown, the scent just makes you smile I should start to appreciate smells every once in a while! Jenny Wilson & Lauren White, 2H


Dakota Armour, GCSE Level


U13B XI Hockey Team

U12A XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Emma McGugan, Murphy Miller, Olivia Allister, Kaitlyn Smith, Jasmine Trill Middle Row: Heidi McMillen, Rhiannon Brady, Saioa Oscoz, Rosie Park, Megan Adair Front Row: Eve Aston, Íde Simpson (C), Leah McClements, Emma Caldwell

Back Row: Rachel Lemon, Sarah West,  Amelia Hopkins Middle Row:  Talia Irwin,  Tara Kerr, Sarah Craig, Sarah McDonald Front Row: Eve McKibbin, Francesca Park, Jemima Thomas,  Amelia Kane

U12 Hockey Club Back Row: Elly Ryan,  Jessica Baker, Emily Hicks,  Alex Agar, Emma Johnston, Chloe Brown, Chloe Gregg Middle Row: Rebecca Callaghan, Felicity Johnston,  Tory Kerr, Kaitlyn Eadie,  Tatiana Brown, Ashleigh Law, Sophie Longstaff, Kristin Kerr, Darcey Jamison Front Row: Sorcha Corbett, Rhianna Hawke,  Amber Hamilton, Sophie Kenny, Hannah Meredith, Erin McCullough, Holly Gilpin

Amy Dutton, GCSE Level



Equestrian Teams Intermediate Tack and Turn-Out Winners Back Row: Molly Cahoon, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, Sophie Ennis Front Row: Rose de Montmorency-Wright, Freya Axten, Zoe Martin, Charlotte Keers

Equestrian Report


t the North Down Pony Club’s Annual Schools’ Show Jumping Competition at the Balmoral Show Grounds on 17 October, Strathearn entered two teams. The Intermediate Team of Rose de Montmorency-Wright, Zoe Martin, Charlotte Keers and Freya Axten all jumped extremely well and won the Tack and Turn-out Trophy for the Best Turned-Out Team. The Senior Team, with only two riders available, Sophie Ennis and Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, combined with Saintfield High School to make the necessary team of four riders. Competition was tough and though the team was not placed, all riders got the opportunity to compete and thoroughly enjoyed their day. Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, 5H


Golf Report

n 13 March, the Junior Cup Golf Team of Amelia Kane, 1A, Heidi McMillen, 2T, and Tess McMillen, 3S, travelled to Kirkistown Castle Golf Club to represent Strathearn in the Ulster Schools’ Golf Championships. The girls thoroughly enjoyed their golf, playing in dry, bright and unusually calm conditions. With a record number of entries - including three Irish Internationals and with Amelia making her debut, the girls finished a very commendable third in the Junior Cup Team event, with Tess finishing in overall tenth place and winning the ‘Best Gross’ in the Junior Section. After three years playing in the Junior Cup, Tess will now move on to play in the Senior Cup. Tess McMillen, 3S

Photo: L-R: Heidi McMillen,  Tess McMillen,  Amelia Kane


NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2014 (from top to bottom, L-R) Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright Rose de Montmorency-Wright Freya Axten

sport Gymnastics Report


n 8 March, Hannah Eakin and Shannon Armour competed in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Sports Acrobatic Championships in Banbridge. They were placed second in the U19 section and they went on to represent Strathearn in the British Schools’ Finals in May. Lucy Mashford was also successful, winning a Silver medal in the U14 Tumbling section and also qualifying for the British Finals. Hannah Eakin, L6H

NI U19 Gymnastics Pairs Champions


Irish Dancing

n 21 November 2014, Lauren Clarke competed in her third Ulster Irish Dancing Championships in the Under 15 Girls’ Championship category. Lauren was placed fifth out of over fifty very talented young girls from Ulster, and she qualified to compete at Easter 2015 in Montreal, Canada. For the past two years Lauren has qualified to compete at World level in Boston 2013 and London 2014. On these occasions she was placed in the top fifty and top forty, out of hundreds of incredibly talented girls of her age. Lauren has done a lot of fundraising with her supportive dance school, Scoil Rince Realta, to help her get to Canada. Since Lauren’s first time qualifying in October 2012, she has won two Open Championship competitions - the Northern Ireland Championships, held in April 2014, and The Gates of Derry Championships in February 2015. Lauren hopes to win as many Open Championships as she can and she plans to pursue Irish Dancing professionally as a full-time career. In Montreal, at the World Irish Dancing Championships this year, Lauren was placed twenty-seventh overall out of 163 dancers! She was fifth out of the dancers from Ireland, and first out of the Ulster dancers - that makes the Ulster Championships in November something to look forward to this year!

Shannon Armour & Hannah Eakin

Francesca Kennedy,  A Level 48

sport Intermediate Dance Report


his year, a team of thirteen very talented girls from Forms Two to Five were chosen to dance on the school’s Intermediate Dance Team. On 7 March, the team competed at the annual Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic Competition (NICMAC) in Lisburn, performing a lyrical dance to a Bastille mash-up of Pompeii and Things We Lost in the Fire. During the five months of rehearsals - which even included a visit from Prince Edward - the team always worked hard and were 100% committed. On the competition day they all went out as a team with smiles and wowed the audience with a touching and powerful performance. After competing against nine other schools in the Intermediate section, the Strathearn girls were deservedly placed first, taking home the winning medals for the third year in a row! Congratulations to all the girls, especially Megan O’Callaghan, who choreographed the routine and coached the team to victory. Megan O’Callaghan, U6A

Intermediate Dance Team ~ NICMAC Champions Back Row:  Alice Graham, Zara Wilson, Evanna Maxted, Mia Wheatley Middle Row: Georgia McCutcheon,  Anna Tyson, Rebecca Black, Jordan Hineson,  Aífe Sansom Front Row: Naimh Meredith, Sophie Gillespie, Megan O’Callaghan (Coach), Hannah Hornsby, Sarah McTaggart

Junior Dance Report


he Junior Team was in action on 7 March. The team consisted of eighteen girls selected by auditions from Forms One to Three, and they competed against seventeen strong teams from across Northern Ireland. The girls performed a brilliant threeminute routine to a medley of music themed around the jungle, choreographed by Shannon Armour and Clara Kerr in Upper Sixth. The team was placed in a highly commendable second place, a great reward after such hard work over the past five months. The day of the competition was filled with nerves and excitement and the whole team was thrilled to achieve the Silver medal. Congratulations everyone! Shannon Armour, U6R

Junior Dance Team ~ Runners-Up NICMAC Back Row: Emma Hylands,  Jasmine Trill, Phoebe Spratt,  Amelia Hopkins, Emily Hall, Rosie Park Middle Row:  Aimee McGill, Lauren Kerr, Rebecca Welsh, Sian Roberts, Zara Hamilton, Emily O’Callaghan,  Jade Scott Front Row: Daisy Moore, Charlotte Keers, Shannon Armour (Coach), Clara Kerr (Coach),  Anna McCabe, Emma Carson Absent:  Alice Huddleston


Spring The flowers that bloom in the garden Are a wonderful sight to see. But it’s even more fulfilling To see the occasional honey bee! Phoebe Spratt & Kaitlyn Smith, 2H



Tennis Report 2014

aster saw an exciting new addition to the PE Department with the arrival of three new AstroTurf tennis courts ready for the season ahead. Six teams were entered for the Ulster Schools’ Tennis Competition, with four out of the six teams winning their sections and entering the knock-out stage of their respective competitions. A strong Senior Team, made up of Catherine Whiteside, Emma Flannigan, Alex Guy and playing reserves Rachael Thomas and Emily Whiteside, drew only two teams in their section - Mount Lourdes, Enniskillen and Grosvenor Grammar School. Whilst the team played well against Mount Lourdes, the opposition proved too strong and the match ended in defeat, but the team came back and followed this with a strong away win against Grosvenor. The team was not able to progress further, but experienced plenty of play around school enjoying the new facilities. The Intermediate  A Team consisted of Jane Hunter, Meabh Lowry,  Arianna Kennedy and Sarah Osborne. A strong team, they powered their way through their section before coming up against Belfast High School at the quarter-final stage and then Glenlola in the semi-final.  After a successful winning streak they met Methodist College in the final, where Jemma Gillan stepped in to replace Jane Hunter, who was out with an injury. The girls fought hard, but in the end Methody proved to be worthy opponents, and the girls can be very pleased with the runner-up position. The Intermediate B Team, consisting of Rachael Thomas,  Jemma Gillan, Saskia Craig, Emily Whiteside and Evanna Maxted, finished runners-up in their section, having to compete against some strong opposition A teams. The girls achieved good wins over Banbridge Academy, Victoria College Belfast and Wallace High School; however, they unfortunately lost to Glenlola Collegiate A Team. The Junior A Team, made up of Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers,  Jessica Moore and Victoria Hamilton had three strong wins against Grosvenor Grammar School B Team, Wellington College and Regent House, which took them through to the semi-final, where they met opponents Methodist College. Claire Whiteside stepped up to replace Jessica Moore, who was unavailable. The girls played superb tennis and secured their place in the final with a convincing 5-1 victory.

Senior Tennis Team Back Row: Emily Whiteside, Catherine Whiteside Front Row: Emma Flannigan, Rachael Thomas

With the Junior A Team having already secured their place in the final, they waited to hear who they would come up against. In the other half of the draw the Junior B Team, made up of Claire Whiteside, Claire Hunter, Katie Caldwell and Ellen Gilpin came up against Hunterhouse College, Friends’ School and Wallace High School and with three convincing wins they were through to the semi-final. With the Junior B Team through to the semi-final and the Junior A Team already through to the final, this posed one question: ‘Could it be an all Strathearn final?’ The Junior B then faced Sullivan in the semi-final. After the girls battled hard in the stifling heat, it finished 3-3 in matches; however, Strathearn won on games 42-40 and the question was answered! The Junior A and Junior B Teams were to play in an all-Strathearn final. The A Team were two players down, with Jessica Moore still absent and Jessica Leeman out due to an injury. Claire Whiteside and Claire Hunter, in keeping with the rules of the competition, faithfully stepped up to the A Team and Maya Savage Newell and Saskia McMinn joined the B Team. The A Team ultimately won and were crowned Ulster Junior Champions, but the B Team played hard and did not go down without a fight. Congratulations to all the Junior players - it was really great to have both the A and B Teams play in the Ulster Junior Final and this bodes well for the future. The Minor Team, consisting of Emma McGugan, Erin Stewart, Murphy Miller and Grace Hutchinson also proved to be a strong team and made their way easily through their section with wins over Regent House, Glenlola Collegiate and Sullivan. The girls then met Ballymena Academy in the semifinal, but with steely determination and a convincing 6-0 win, the girls secured their place in the Ulster Final. They then faced a strong opposition side in the final - Methodist College Belfast - but with yet more determination and skill, the girls won 5-1 and were crowned Ulster Champions.

Intermediate A Tennis Team Back Row: Meabh Lowry, Evanna Maxted Front Row:  Jemma Gillan, Sarah Osborne,  Arianna Kennedy

This year really has been a bumper year for tennis at Strathearn and congratulations to everyone who contributed to the success of this season. The girls all join me in saying a huge ‘thank you’ to the staff in the PE Department and, in particular, Miss Taylor for her unstinting hard work and enthusiastic support. Hopefully, this success will continue for years to come! Rachael Thomas, L6H



Intermediate B Tennis Squad Back Row: Emily Whiteside, Evanna Maxted Front Row: Saskia Craig,  Jemma Gillan, Rachael Thomas

Junior B Tennis Team Ulster Runners-Up

Back Row: Claire Hunter, Ellen Gilpin Front Row: Katie Caldwell, Claire Whiteside

Minor  Tennis Team Ulster Champions 2014 Back Row: Emma McGugan, Erin Stewart Front Row: Grace Hutchinson, Murphy Miller

Ulster U14 Tennis

Ulster U14 Tennis

Jessica Leeman

Jessica Moore

Junior A Tennis Squad 2014 Ulster Junior Champions Back Row:  Jessica Moore,Victoria Hamilton Front Row:  Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers, Claire Whiteside

Ulster U14 Tennis Megan Chambers



Trampolining Club Back Row: Chelsey McGarry, Robyn Corry Front Row:  Jodie Wilson, Sophie Neale

Senior Netball Team Back Row:  Jemma Gillan, Nicky Montgomery, Erin Larmour Front Row: Chloe Johnston, Bonnie Macrae, Shannon Booth, Florence Ogonda

Ireland Triathlon (above left) Emma Watson

GB U17 Foil Fencing Team (above right) Keziah Beattie

Intermediate Netball Squad Back Row: Francesca Brown, Rhia Prentice, Charlotte Thomas, Natalie McHugh Front Row: Beth Watson,  Alex Reilly, Sarah Brown (C), Katie Caldwell, Alanna McHugh

Through the Air Sailing through the sky Large, marshmallow clouds float by Letting relaxation sweep over me Looking out of my window to the sea. Amongst the blanket of blue, an island floats past. My life’s goal is to make this moment last. Amy Creighton, 1S

Amy Dutton, GCSE Level 52


Junior Netball Team Back Row: Emma Farrelly,  Anna Robinson,  Arianne Whiteside, Katie Wills, Lauren Shankey Front Row: Sophie Neale, Rebecca Black,  Tess McMillen (C), Hannah McCann, Laura Graham

Minor Netball Squad Back Row: Olivia Allister, Kate Wilson, Eve Elliott, Anna McKibbin Middle Row:  Alex Fawcett, Murphy Miller, Rhiannon Brady, Megan Adair Front Row: Grace Ruding, Grace Hutchinson (C), Harriet Platt


Netball Report

his has been another great netball season for the Minor, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Netball Teams who have been competing in the Grammar Schools’ League.

There have been a number of all-round, solid team performances. Well done to all teams, and especially to the Junior Team who excelled in their League and won all of their matches. The Minor Team’s enthusiasm and commitment contributed to their impressive start to the season, beating a strong Regent Team. The Intermediate and Senior Teams also played well this year, with many commendable individual performances, gaining valuable match practice against Regent, Sullivan and Rockport in very competitive matches.

Congratulations to Eve Elliott, Grace Hutchinson and Grace Ruding on their selection for the U13 Belfast Regional Development Academy. Also Congratulations to both Alanna McHugh and Natalie McHugh on their selection for the U15 Belfast Regional Academy. The girls will be involved in monthly training sessions from now until April 2015 in preparation for the Regional Development Games. Inter-House Netball was again very popular with many girls from all year groups playing and supporting their Houses. I would like to thank all of the girls who took part and contributed to the very high standard of netball that was on display. Competition was fierce and special congratulations go to Boucher House who won the tournament overall. I hope that this will encourage more girls to get involved in after-school netball next year. None of these achievements would be possible without the dedication and support of our coach, Mrs Helen McLaughlin, whose hard work and encouragement have made this another successful year of netball for all teams and players. We are grateful to have benefited from her excellent coaching. Also a big ‘thank you’ to Miss Katie Morris, Miss Emma Feeney and Miss Michelle Black for coaching the Year 8, Minor and Junior players. I look forward to next season, and hope that all teams will continue to successfully develop their netball. Florence Ogonda, L6A


Year 8 Netball Team Back Row: Rachel Lemon, Sarah West, Sarah Craig Middle Row:  Amelia Kane, Molly Walker,  Tory Kerr, Rebecca Callaghan Front Row:  Talia Irwin, Eve McKibbin (C), Jemima Thomas



Cross-Country Report 2015

his year, we saw excellent results in cross-country both from teams and individually across all of the age groups. The Co Down Cross-Country Districts took place on 4 February 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 Amelia Kane, 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: Eve McKibbin finished 7th, Rebekah Burrows 9th, Jemima Thomas 14th, Emily Gault 15th and Tara Kerr 29th. The Senior girls were next to take to the course and they finished in Bronze medal position, with Emma Watson the first of the Strathearn girls to cross the line in 5th place;  Anna Campbell was 11th,  Amy Hepworth 16th, Chloe Johnston 19th, Lauren Brooker 20th and Amy Dutton 21st. The Juniors were determined to continue the winning streak they had established over the last two years, and they did not disappoint! Olivia Nelson ran a magnificent race and sailed home full of running, with nobody near her. The battle was happening further back for the next places, with Erin McConnell and Sam McCormick fighting hard and finishing in 4th and 5th places respectively.  Jessica Anderson-Bell was 12th, Zoe Hepworth 14th and Ruby Baxter 45th. The team was a massive 41 points ahead of the next school, and was again crowned Co Down Champions for the third successive year! The Minor girls took on the challenge next and though there was some illness in the team, the others worked very hard to keep the trophies coming our way.  Aimee Stitt came home in Bronze medal position, with Harriet Platt and Grace Ruding not far behind her in 6th and 7th places respectively. Murphy Miller finished 14th, Freya Axten 23rd and Anna McKibbin 32nd. The team score was again better than any of the opposition, and Strathearn added the Minor title to our list of wins. The Intermediate Team was in the last race of the day, and they had the challenge of running twice around the course to complete 3000m. Jessica Leeman led the Strathearn troops and finished in 3rd place with Sarah Brown narrowly beaten at the finish in 5th place;  Alex Reilly was 17th, Keziah Beattie 30th, Jemima Mercer 36th and Georgina Gomes 45th. Again this team effort meant we finished first overall in the Intermediate Age Group. The Ulster Cross-Country Championships took place shortly afterwards on 24 February. The weather was not in our favour with snow showers throughout the day, but the teams did not let it affect them and all ran extremely well.  All the results are listed below, but special mentions go to Amelia Kane who was 2nd individually in the Mini race, Murphy Miller who was 2nd individually in the Minor race and Olivia Nelson who stole the show with her superb run winning the Junior race. Strathearn got off to a flying start with the Mini Team, led by Amelia Kane who came 2nd, closely followed by Eve McKibben 9th, Rebekah Burrows 21st,  Jemima Thomas 35th, Emily Gault 36th and Tara Kerr 79th. This fantastic set of performances meant the Mini Team was placed second overall. Not to be outdone by the girls in the year below them, the Minor Team went out determined to bring home some silverware, and they did not disappoint! Murphy Miller stormed ahead to achieve 2nd place, followed by Aimee Stitt 22nd, Harriet Platt 24th, Grace Ruding 34th, Freya Axten 59th and Anna McKibben 85th. The Minor girls’ gritty performance was rewarded with first place overall, qualifying the team for the Irish Schools’ event. The Junior Team lived up to this high standard and also qualified for the Irish Schools’ event being placed first overall. Olivia Nelson had an outstanding race coming in 1st place; Erin McConnell was placed 6th, Samantha McCormick 15th, Ruby Baxter 51st, Zoe Hepworth 54th and Jessica Anderson-Bell 61st. The Intermediate Team put up a strong fight coming 8th overall, with Sarah Brown 28th, Jessica Leeman 35th, Alex Reilly 67th, Keziah Beattie 70th, Jemima Mercer 81st and Georgina Gnomes 87th. The Senior girls also placed 8th overall, with the following results: Anna Campbell 25th, Amy Hepworth 37th, Lauren Brooker 44th, Amy Dutton 49th and Chloe Johnston 53rd; unfortunately, Emma didn’t finish due to an injury. The Minor and Junior Teams qualified for the Irish Championships in Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare, which took place on 7 March. Unfortunately, some members of the Junior Team had a swimming gala on the same day, so only Olivia travelled to Kildare with the Minor Team. The girls performed against the best in Ireland and did us proud, with Olivia finishing in Bronze medal position in the Junior race; Murphy also won individual Bronze in the Minor race and led her team home to finish in 3rd place in the team competition. Olivia has now been selected for the Irish Schools’ U15 CrossCountry Team and she competed at the Schools’ International Senior Cross-Country Team Race on 21 March at Santry in Dublin. Co Down District Bronze Medallists A very successful cross-country season girls - well done! Back Row:  Amy Hepworth, Chloe Johnston, Lauren Brooker Chloe Johnston, U6S Middle Row:  Anna Campbell, Emma Watson,  Amy Dutton



Intermediate Cross-Country Team Junior Cross-Country Team Co Down District Champions District and Ulster Champions Back Row: Keziah Beattie, Sarah Brown, Jessica Leeman Front Row:  Jemimah Mercer,  Alex Reilly, Georgina Gomes

Back Row: Ruby Baxter, Zoe Hepworth Front Row: Sam McCormick, Olivia Nelson, Erin McConnell Absent:  Jessica Anderson-Bell

Minor Cross-Country Team District Ulster Champions Irish Bronze Medallists Back Row: Grace Ruding, Freya Axten, Anna McKibbin Front Row: Murphy Miller, Harriet Platt, Aimee Stitt

Mini Cross-Country Team Co Down District Championships Back Row: Rebekah Burrows,Tara Kerr, Emily Gault Front Row:  Jemima Thomas,  Amelia Kane, Eve McKibbin

Ulster & Ireland U15 Cross-Country

Cross-Country Club

Olivia Nelson

Back Row: Chloe Browne,  Ashleigh Law, Kaitlyn Eadie Middle Row: Holly Gilpin,  Tory Kerr  Amber Hamilton, Felicity Johnston Front Row: Charlotte Keers, Katie Dutton,  Abby Sheridan, Darcey Jamison




Athletics Report 2014

et again Strathearn’s athletics teams produced great results, competing in the Co Down District, Ulster and Irish Schools’ Championships. Special congratulations go to the Intermediate girls, who were overall Intermediate Irish Champions! Well done to everyone who was involved, not only to the girls who received medals, but to everyone who contributed to the overall team scores. At the Co Down District Championships the results were as follows: Mini: Overall Co Down Champions: Anna McKibbin, 1st High Jump; Murphy Miller, 1st 800m; Aimee Stitt, 2nd 800m; Eve Elliot, 2nd Shot Putt; Harriet Platt, 5th Long Jump; Megan Adair, 7th Long Jump; Rhiannon Brady, 5th 100m; Leah McClements, 8th 100m; Erin Stewart, 8th High Jump & 18th Shot Putt. Relay: 1st Murphy Miller,  Aimee Stitt, Leah McClements and Rhiannon Brady. Junior: Overall Co Down Champions: Olivia Nelson, 1st 800m; Kerry Annett, 1st Triple Jump & 5th 75m Hurdles; Katie Wills, 2nd 1500m; Sam McCormick, 4th 1500m; Sian Anderson, 5th Long Jump;  Arianne Whiteside, 5th High Jump; Zara Wilson, 11th Shot Putt; Molly Longstaff, 13th Shot Putt; Eve Truesdale, 1st Long Jump & 3rd 100m; Sam Brown, 1st Hammer & 2nd Discus; Beth Crosbie, 2nd Hammer; Jessica Leeman, 2nd 800m; Natalie McHugh, 3rd Javelin & 9th High Jump;  Alanna McHugh, 4th Javelin & 7th Triple Jump; Lauren Kirkwood, 6th 75m Hurdles; Niamh Lemon, 12th Discus. Relay: 4th Molly Longstaff, Jessica Leeman, Lauren Kirkwood and Eve Truesdale. Intermediate: Overall Co Down Runners-up: Megan Marrs, 1st 100m & 1st 200m; Lauren Brooker, 3rd 80m Hurdles & 2nd High Jump; Shannon Booth, 4th 200m & 4th Triple Jump; Laura Middleton, 1st Hammer; Gabrielle Park, 4th Hammer; Emma Watson, 3rd 1500m; Hannah Eakin, 3rd Long Jump;  Aimée Irwin, 4th Long Jump; Florence Ogonda, 15th Shot Putt; Jemma Gillan, 8th Javelin; Katy Miskimmin, 20th Javelin; Kate Farrelly, 2nd 80m Hurdles & 1st Triple Jump; Georgina Gomes, 13th 800m & 7th High Jump; Sarah Brown, 8th 1500m; Evanna Maxted, 13th Shot Putt; Sophie Lewis, 3rd Discus; Francesca Lynn, 14th Discus. Relay: 2nd Shannon Booth, Kate Farrelly,  Aimée Irwin and Megan Marrs. Senior: Overall Co Down Runners-up: Isla Lockhart, 1st 100m & 3rd Triple Jump; Lauren Wheeler, 4th Long Jump; Natalie Wallace, 1st Javelin & 2nd Long Jump; Chloe Johnston, 2nd 400m; Tara Gouk, 4th High Jump; Vikki Wallace, 2nd 3000m & 4th Javelin. Relay: 2nd Natalie Wallace, Isla Lockhart, Lauren Wheeler and Chloe Johnston. All of the girls who received a medal at the Co Down Districts qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Championships Senior Athletics Team on 16 and 17 May at the Antrim Forum.  Again all of the girls produced excellent results, especially the Mini Team, as they were crowned Overall Ulster Champions! Well done to all girls who competed! Co Down District Relay At the Ulster Schools’ Championships the results were as follows: Runners-Up Mini: Overall Ulster Champions: Murphy Miller, 1st 800m;  Aimee Stitt, 3rd 800m;  Anna McKibbin, 6th High Jump. Relay: 1st Murphy Miller,  Aimee Stitt, Leah McClements and Rhiannon Brady Back Row: Lauren Wheeler, Junior: Olivia Nelson, 4th 800m;  Jessica Leeman, 5th 800m; Eve Truesdale, 3rd Long Jump; Kerry Annett, 2nd Natalie Wallace Triple Jump; Sam Brown, 8th Shot Putt & 5th Hammer; Natalie McHugh, 3rd Javelin; Beth Crosbie, 6th Hammer. Front Row: Chloe Johnston, Intermediate: Megan Marrs, 1st 100m & 2nd 200m; Kate Farrelly, 1st 80m Hurdles & 4th Triple Jump; Lauren Isla Lockhart Brooker, 6th 80m Hurdles & 3rd High Jump; Emma Watson, 2nd Steeplechase; Sophie Lewis, 7th Discus; Laura Middleton, 3rd Hammer. Relay: 2nd Shannon Booth, Kate Farrelly,  Aimée Irwin and Megan Marrs. Senior: Natalie Wallace, 3rd Javelin & 8th Long Jump; Isla Lockhart, 3rd 100m; Chloe Johnston, 2nd 400m. Relay: 5th Natalie Wallace, Chloe Johnston, Lauren Wheeler and Isla Lockhart. On 31 May, the Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships took place. Following Strathearn’s outstanding performances at Ulster level, twelve individuals and the Intermediate Relay Team qualified to compete at the Irish Championships. The weather was on our side as the Strathearn athletes stepped out against the best in Ireland. Every athlete did our school proud and did their utmost competing at this very high level. The results were as follows: Chloe Johnston was 4th in the 400m with a Personal Best of 59.90 seconds, Natalie Wallace was 7th in the Javelin and Isla Lockhart was 7th in the 100m. Natalie McHugh was 8th in the Javelin with a Personal Best of 27.78m. Eve Truesdale was 9th in the Long Jump and Kerry Annett competed in the Triple Jump. Megan Marrs was 2nd in the 100m and 5th in the 200m, Kate Farrelly was 5th in the 80m Hurdles, Emma Watson was 7th in the 1500m Steeplechase, Lauren Brooker was 7th in the High Jump and Laura Middleton was 8th in the Hammer with a Personal Best of 29.09m. The Relay Team of Shannon Booth, Kate Farrelly,  Aimée Irwin and Megan Marrs was placed 3rd. competitor’s points count, not just those of the medal winners, and the combined Ulster U17 Athletics Every Ulster U17 Athletics results meant that Strathearn reached new heights and emerged Overall Intermediate Megan Marrs Lauren Brooker Irish Champions, a phenomenal achievement! As a result of these successes in May, Megan Marrs, Kate Farrelly and Lauren Brooker were selected to represent Ulster (U17) at the Tailteann Interprovincial Championships. These took place at Santry in Dublin on 21 June. Lauren finished 8th in the High Jump and Megan, who captained the team, was 1st in the 100m and was also part of the relay which finished 3rd. Unfortunately, Kate was unable to compete due to injury. Megan went on to be selected for Ireland (U17) at the Schools’ Track and Field International Competition in Cardiff on 19 July, where again she ran extremely well and brought home the Gold medal in the 100m and Silver in the relay. The UK School Games was the next event on the calendar and they took place in Manchester from 4-7 September. At this event both Megan Marrs and Kate Farrelly were selected to represent Northern Ireland (U17). Kate was 7th in the 80m Hurdles and Megan excelled again winning the 100m. The Ulster Schools’ Multi-event Championships were held on 18 September at the Mary Peters Track. Strathearn was represented by Lauren Brooker and Kate Farrelly in the Intermediate Age Group. After a long day of competition, with five events each, the girls were placed 3rd and 5th respectively. The Form Two athletes competed in the U14 Team competition and again brought home the silverware. They won the Co Down District Semi-Finals and Finals to qualify for the Ulster Finals on 2 June at the Antrim Forum.  At the Ulster Finals, the girls’ results gave a total of 36 points and a clear lead over the other teams to make them Ulster Champions! From these great performances the following girls were selected to represent Co Down at the Inter-District Championships Ulster U17 Athletics on 12 June: Olivia Nelson, Kerry Annett, Katie Wills, Zara Wilson, Hannah McCann and Sian Anderson. The Co Down Team were runners-up. Well done girls! NI School Games So overall Strathearn have had amazing success this athletics season, and good luck to all competitors next year! Kate Farrelly Natalie Wallace, U6H



Intermediate Athletics Team Irish Schools’  Team Champions 2014 Intermediate Athletics Team 2014 Back Row: Florence Ogonda, Laura Middleton, Emma Watson, Sarah Brown, Aimée Irwin Middle Row: Ellen Meredith, Hannah Eakin, Kate Farrelly, Shannon Booth, Georgina Gomes, Francesca Lynn,  Jemma Gillan Front Row: Gabrielle Park, Hannah Craig, Megan Marrs, Lauren Brooker, Katy Miskimmin, Keziah Beattie

Back Row: Laura Middleton, Emma Watson, Lauren Brooker Front Row: Shannon Booth, Megan Marrs, Kate Farrelly,  Aimée Irwin

Minor Athletics Team Co Down District & Ulster Champions 2014 Back Row: Erin Stewart,  Aimee Stitt, Eve Elliott, Anna McKibbin Front Row: Harriet Platt, Murphy Miller, Leah McClements, Megan Adair

Junior Athletics Team Co Down District Champions 2014 Back Row: Katie Wills,  Arianne Whiteside, Niamh Lemon, Natalie McHugh, Zara Wilson Middle Row: Ruby Baxter,  Jessica Leeman, Eve Truesdale, Beth Crosbie, Lauren Kirkwood, Molly Longstaff Front Row: Kerry Annett, Olivia Nelson,  Alanna McHugh, Sian Anderson, Sophie Neale

U14  Athletics Team ~ Co Down District & Ulster Champions 2014 (right) Back Row: Hannah McCann, Zara Wilson, Arianne Whiteside, Molly Longstaff Front Row: Sian Anderson, Katie Wills, Olivia Nelson, Kerry Annett



Irish U17 Squash Hannah Craig

Ulster & Ireland U15 Squash 2014

Ulster U15 Squash 2014

Victoria White

Alex Gillan

Ulster & Ireland U13 Squash 2014 Emma McGugan

Ulster U19 Mixed Squash Jemma Gillan


U19 Squash Team Ulster Champions

U17 Squash Team Ulster Schools’ Champions

Alex Gillan,  Jemma Gillan

Back Row: Hannah Craig Front Row:  Victoria White, Emma McGugan

Squash Report

n 4 February 2015, two squash teams from Strathearn School took part in the Ulster Schools’ Cup at Belfast Boat Club. The U17 Team, consisting of Hannah Craig, Victoria White and Emma McGugan, played two matches against Laurelhill and Down High School.  All three girls won their matches without dropping a game and as a result qualified for the All Ireland Schools’ Cup Final at the  ALSAA in Dublin on 17 April. The U19 Team, consisting of Jemma Gillan,  Alex Gillan and Alex Reilly,  also delivered victory at the Ulster Schools’ Cup. Unfortunately,Alex Reilly could not attend the tournament as she was competing in the rescheduled Co Down Cross-Country Championships on the same day.  However,  Jemma and Alex Gillan both won their matches against Ballyclare High School to secure the team a place in the All Ireland Schools’ Cup Final in Dublin and the Ulster Schools’ Cup title. Unfortunately, due to other commitments and injuries,  Jemma Gillan and Hannah Craig were unable to participate in the All Ireland Schools’ Cup Final. For this reason Alex Gillan became the third member of the U17 Team alongside Victoria White and Emma McGugan. This team travelled down to the ALSAA in Dublin on 17 April to compete in the competition. The team had two matches against the Leinster Schools’ Cup winners, Santa Sabina, and the Connacht Schools’ Cup winners, Ballinrobe Community School. With only dropping one match, the team secured a victory over both schools and became the All Ireland Schools’ Cup Final champions! Victoria White, 5R



Swimming Teams Back Row: Georgia Gallen, Freya Axten, Emma Watson, Helen Navalli, Kathryn Childs, Olivia Nelson Middle Row: Sarah McTaggart, Chloe Browne,  Victoria White, Sam McCormick, Ferne Blackstock, Erin McConnell, Rebekah Burrows,  Jemima Thomas Front Row:  Amelia Kane, Caitie Williams, Eve McKibbin,  Jenny Drennan (C), Sophie Williams, Jess Winton, Rebecca Callaghan


Swimming Report

n 10 October, girls from Forms One and Two swam at the Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships in Ballymena. Everyone swam exceptionally well, but results have not been finalised by the Ulster Schools’ Swimming Association, so outlined below are those results that were made available on the day. In the Form One Age Group Amelia Kane won Bronze in both the Individual Medley event and the 50m Butterfly. Well done to Rebekah Burrows, who made the final in both Freestyle and Breaststroke! Congratulations also to the Medley Relay Team of Rebecca Callaghan, Rebekah Burrows,  Amelia Kane and Eve McKibbin on winning Silver. The same quartet also won Silver medals in the Freestyle Relay.

Ulster Grammar Schools’ Swimming Championships The Ulster Grammar Schools’ Gala took place on 28 February at Ballymena. Once again Strathearn’s Junior Relay Teams were in the hunt for medals and were successful in both the Freestyle and Medley events. Olivia Nelson, Sam McCormick, Sophie Williams and Erin McConnell swam their way to Gold in the 4 x 25m Medley and in the Freestyle won Gold again, this time Sarah McTaggart coming in to the team for Sophie Williams. Individually, Sam McCormick and Olivia Nelson won Silver and Bronze medals respectively. Rebekah Burrows,  Jess Winton,  Jemima Thomas and Georgia Gallen also competed very well on the day, but did not make it through to the finals of their events. At Intermediate level, Ferne Blackstock, Helen Navalli, Kathryn Childs and Victoria White competed and performed well, while Jenny Drennan was the only Senior competitor for Strathearn.

Minor Team Win Double Gold at Irish Championships Congratulations to our Minor Swim Team of Eve McKibben (Templemore Swimming Club), Amelia Kane, Rebecca Callaghan and Rebekah Burrows (all Ards Swimming Club) who won Gold medals in both the 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay at the Irish Minor Schools’ Championships held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on 8 February. Individually, Rebekah Burrows finished 10th in the 50m Freestyle event, while Amelia Kane finished 5th in the 50m Butterfly and 6th in the100m Individual Medley. Unfortunately, Rebecca Callaghan was too ill to compete in her individual events, but was instrumental in assisting the relay teams to double Gold in the relay events. Brilliant results girls! Also further congratulations to Amelia Kane, who competed in the Derventio Excel Open Competition in Sheffield on 6 and 7 February with Ards Swimming Club. Amelia performed excellently to win one Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals. Well done!


Lauren Duncan, AS Level

Sailing Racing through the ocean Wind pushing against my face All I can see for miles Is the ocean blue! Fish I can see below me Gone in the blink of an eye My worries vanish from my mind I hear the wind howling in my ears I feel so free, free, free! Jemima Thomas, 1S


U15 Sports Hall Athletics

U13 Sports Hall Athletics

Back Row: Jessica Leeman, Kerry Annett Front Row: Eve Truesdale, Molly Longstaff,  Alanna McHugh

Back Row:  Aimee Stitt, Murphy Miller, Sophie Longstaff Front Row: Jemima Thomas,Tara Kerr,  Amelia Hopkins, Rebekah Burrows

Sports Hall Athletics 2015


he Sports Hall Athletics Club starts at the end of November with sessions on Tuesday at lunchtime for first year and on Thursday evening for all participants.  As over the last couple of years we have combined with girls from Bloomfield Collegiate to form the Belfast East Squad, we welcomed our neighbours to sessions after Christmas. The Ulster Sports Hall Athletics Final was held in the Meadowbank Centre in Magherafelt at the beginning of March. We entered a team in both the U13 and U15 Age Groups. At U13 level, the results were as follows: Sophie Longstaff was placed sixth in the 2 Lap event and third in the Speed Bounce. In the 6 Lap event Murphy Miller was second and Erin Stewart was third in the Shot Putt. The Obstacle Relay and 1 Lap Relay Teams were placed second and third respectively.  Jemima Thomas and Tara Kerr were part of the squad. The U13 Team was placed third. At U15 level the results were as follows: Molly Longstaff was placed fourth in both the 2 Lap event and in the Shot Putt.  Jessica Leeman was placed fifth in the 4 Lap. In the Standing LongJump Kerry Annett was third. The Relays were placed joint second in the 4x2 Lap event and in the 8 Lap Paarlauf were placed third. Molly Longstaff and Eve Truesdale were part of the sprint relay, while Jessica Leeman and Alanna McHugh made up the Paarlauf Team. The U15 Team was also placed third. Well done to everyone who took part!


Badminton Report

s a member of the school Badminton Club, I would highly recommend that you come along and take part. The Club takes place every Friday throughout the winter season in the Sports Hall from 3.30-4.30pm. Mrs Cozzo runs the Club and enjoys taking part in fun matches with us. Sometimes matches can be very competitive, but always really enjoyable and exciting. If you are keen to have fun while doing exercise, come along and give badminton a go! Alex Simpson, 5H

Francesca Kennedy,  A Level


literary section Cupcakes

Twinkling Stars


Inside you can see them rise Perfecting! Standing beside each other, one by one, Each looking exactly the same.

When I look up to the Sky I start wondering how and why The twinkling stars above me glow And shine upon us down below?

Only eaten once a week, This is a favourite treat! Any topping, colour, flavour, Peppers, cheese, meat...

The warm air skipping past your hand, As you reach in to get them, The sweet, mouth-watering scent glides up your nose!

When I look up to the sky I see the moon pass me by And all the twinkling stars above It shows me beauty that I love.

Gleaming in the yellow haze, Shining in the light, Bubbling on my white plate, Ready for me to take a bite.

You set them on the rack only to grab the icing; Smooth, rich, vanilla icing glides onto the soft, golden sponge A perfect picture to the eye The anticipation is mounting, You can no longer wait, As the little dream dances towards your mouth You take a bite, And suddenly you feel like a fish in water, Happy and free! Katherine Hunter, 2H


It’s the layers of smooth chocolate, and the bumps of cocoa That melt in your mouth, as it slides down your throat smoothly. The creamy, milky taste is just ahhhh! The strong and rich smell just takes over everything. But then it all ends as the last piece goes in and Then just look forward to the next treat of... Chocolate! Zoe Carvill, 2H

Abbey Connor, 1S

From a Plane In the dark of the night Where the runway shines so bright Headlights on - slowly we go; Faster and faster - what a show! We’re in the air, in the sky, As twinkling stars pass us by. Further we go, on and on, Flying towards the coming dawn. Abbey Connor, 1S

Stained Glass Window I sat quietly on the windowsill I looked out of the window – I could see the old mill. I could see fields – All of the fields an array of different colours! I can see the new motorway. I see an old tractor Carrying bales of hay. My bunny, Fudge, comes up to me – I wonder, I wonder what he can see… Isabella McKnight, 1S

Katie Murphy, GCSE Level 61

A romantic, cold breeze rolls by, As we stand holding our box. It warms our hands, makes us smile, Helps us forget it all for a while. Melts in the mouth and warms your heart, Cheese rolling around your finger The taste stays on your lips, salty and sweet, The smell softly lingers… So to you, my dear friend, whom I love a lot, I love you pizza - you’re all that I’ve got! When you’re down and life is a bore, Pick up the phone and order pizza galore! Íde Simpson, 2H

Christmas Joy! Christmas glowing lights Draping round the tree, Everything is bright And as merry as can be. The sweet smell of cinnamon Wafts all through the home, Festive gifts never fail to stun As until now they have remained unknown. The family turkey piping hot Brand new toys for every girl and boy, Pleased with everything they have got Excitement in the air, with Christmas joy. Philippa Sha, 3H

literary section Ice Cream Walking to the parlour, On a sunny day, Everyone is happy, For the treat to come! So many flavours to choose from: Chocolate, strawberry and mint Then you decide on toppings: Sprinkles, sauce or flake! Sitting down to eat. Oh, what a treat! Soft and light in your mouth, And then it melts away, Like it was never there. Walking down the road, Chatting to my friends. What an afternoon I had I wished it never to end!

Train Journey


I see it standing there awaiting me, I hear,  “All Aboard!” I jump on, Grab a seat – off we go! Racing along like horses, Fast, faster and now we are at the fastest. The bright, blazing, beautiful sun and the green grass Whizzing by stations None my stop yet! Shovelling is what the workers are doing. They must be as warm as toast. Outside the train the sky is as blue as the sea I can see racing rabbits. The stunning sun is disappearing as I come to my stop. I jump off the train, not forgetting the sights I saw. Sophia Meldrum, 1S

We dance for friends We dance for foes We dance away We dance at home We dance for hopes We dance for dreams We are the dancers We dance as a team! Amy McWhirter, 1S

Lauren White, 2H


From a Helicopter

The smell of freshly baked bread, Breathing it in as you walk through the door, The smell lingers in your nose, You can almost taste it!

Round and round the blades turn Soon the engine begins to burn As we start to rise in the sky Our hopes are lifted high. Whizzing past fluffy cloud, Headphones in because it’s loud! As we pass the scenery down below, ‘Ants’ run to and fro. Our journey’s over! We begin to land Upon the dry, dusty sand. Aimée Connor, 1S

As it is brought out of the oven, I see the golden glow. The crusty edge, with a soft middle, Makes my insides melt. The knife saws through its hard skin, The insides start to crumble, I pick up a slice and take a bite… Oh, what a tasty delight! Alice Huddleston, 2H

Pasta Bake I come home from school, Walk in the door and I smile, As the glorious pasta is sizzling away in the wok, I shout to my Dad, “When is it ready?” He replies, “In a while!” and I sigh. He then shouts to us all, And I run downstairs, Eat my pasta, Until I’m full! Anna Kirkwood, 2H

Snow Floating down all around Sprinkling the frozen ground! Frozen drops of ice so bright Falling through the day and night. What a joyous sight they make The ground is white when I awake! Olivia Knox, 1S

Jessie Yuen,  AS Level 62

literary section

Eryn McQuillan,  AS Level Dear World

Dream of a Beautiful World

Dear world, protect my child. Let not disease and suffering near them! Let them live free. Howling creepers, ghouls and ghosts Come not near them, So nightmares never touch them Or beasts haunt them. Don’t let them be taken By machine, abducted from reality By the pocket-sized computer. Let them keep their humanity. Let them be kind and generous So that spite and greed cloud not their judgement Of the world or others. Let them explore Through innocent eyes and an open mind! Let curiosity guide them, Not timidity hide them from The vastness of nature If it is not yet destroyed. Dear world, protect them! Ellie Mackey, 3T

From a Flying Plane Through the blue, way up high We whistle through as we fly. Passing lots of clouds so white, Through the day and through the night. The lights of the city are a blur below As the birds out the window put on a show. Clouds and stars both pass by, Through the darkness as we fly. Flying high and flying low, There’s no limit to how far we’ll go!

Oh, hear me world, you must listen to me. For as small and insignificant to you I may seem, I need to tell you all that I see Before I am gone from this momentary dream. I see a world of many beautiful things, Nature, seas and mountains on your surface you bear, I see animals and humans, the living that cling, They are innocent to the ways of your darkening core. From my timeless slip between birth and life, I have spied on a world full of hidden evils and lies, I have seen the beauty, I have seen the strife, The poor and the helpless, I have heard their cries. I wish not your fearful horrors on anyone, Your terrible wars, your malicious massacres. The plight of the poor, their backs burned by sun, They toil in the dirt reluctantly driven by greed’s spurs. I see death and disaster, crimes and sins, Lying leaders, disastrous dictators, warring peoples, Their best policy is the richest man wins, The sick perish along with the needy and the poor, They say money turns the world around, you need nothing more! I see nurturing nature and beauty destroyed, By the hand of the foul, polluting machines, Because it is us people who demand more and more Of our trivial, material things. Maia Collins, 3T

Departure As I carried my bags down the stairs, An open window brought the smell of fresh sea air, The Californian sun shone in the sky, As I stepped on the bus I waved my goodbye, I was really going to miss my family house, When I got to the airport, it was as quiet as a mouse, I boarded the plane and took my seat, And the plane took off in a single heartbeat. Verity McGimpsey, 3H

Olivia Knox, 1S


literary section What is Joy?


What is joy? For the innocent newborn, It is the sight of a mother’s face, To be loved and to be encased in a mother’s love.

The chance to change everything slips right by, As you utter the painful word, “Goodbye”. Grasped with trepidation, is this the end? Someday in the future will we meet again?

What is joy? For the toddler, It is the sound of laughter, The sight of new toys, The smell of cooking food.

The key is returned, the dagger is plunged It hits you in a moment, the pain’s begun. Heart in your hand, not the same, now it’s broken. Will you persevere on now the last word’s spoken? The engine roars as it does every morning, Smiling, you wave at another day dawning. Waiting for this evening to incur a greeting, Rendering your farewell, mundane without meaning.

What is joy? For the child, It is the sight of their parents, A smiling face, welcoming them into their loving arms.

Believing their return certain as the sun rising, No fear of goodbye as words aren’t defining. Secure in your never-changing daily life, A simple day at work never caused much strife.

What is joy? For the parent, It is opening the pay cheque at the end of the month, Or opening the school reports And being blown away with positive comments.

One word conceals a sea of emotions Are they the same if the one word’s spoken? The joy and trepidation live to tell, A departure is more than a cheery farewell.

What is joy? For the grandparent, It is watching your children copy you, Do what you did, in raising children of their own!

Hannah Cowan, 3H Ruby McWhinney, 1R

Train Journey I’m going so fast and all I can see Are the trees rushing past - just a blur of green. We’re now near the mountains, the peaks are so tall But we’re going so fast, I can’t really see them at all! We pass some hikers climbing up high They’re gone in a flash, you might wonder why We are as fast as lightning on this hot summer’s day. I see some children come outside today That is my story, my train journey so fast You might even see me whizzing past! Isabelle Davidson, 1S

Ice Cream

Departure I said farewell - goodbye... What was left to say? I tried my best, I tried to make them stay. Thinking of how I took them for granted; Thinking of how they seemed obsolete; Now I see just how much they meant; Now I see I’m incomplete. Off they went leaving me alone; Off they went high into the sky. Now they’re gone, out of my life; Why did they leave - oh why, oh why? Isabella Reihill, 3H

Jessie Yuen,  AS Level

Ice cream brings back memories of hot summer days Memories of the sun, and having fun! Memories of family, memories of friends, With ice cream, the fun never ends! It brings back memories of beaches and the pool, It’s the only thing that can truly keep me cool. Wearing sunglasses and dressed in a bikini, I’m happy! And when I’m at home eating ice cream because I’m feeling down, Those memories come back And turn my frown upside down! Kaitlyn Smith, 2H

Up, Up and Away Up, up and away we go, All I see is a blur down below. Sitting on my seat watching clouds go by I feel like I am a bird as I fly. The clouds look as fluffy as can be That’s the thought I had when sipping my tea. After enjoying my tea I had a doze. It feels so good for my eyes to close! Clara Potts, 1S


the penrhyn report

Strathearn Preparatory Department





Then finally one day I took a good look And saw each of my flowers engrossed in a book It was obvious then that you had worked too Soaking up all the food I had given to you But although you have blossomed, you still need to grow!

t our Annual Prize Morning in June 2014 we celebrated what had been yet another memorable year in the life of the Strathearn Preparatory Department. Excellent academic achievement, sporting success and many outstanding performances in music and drama were all recognised. Dr Noel Purdy, Principal Lecturer and Head of Education Studies at Stranmillis University College, joined with our parents, staff and pupils as our special guest. Dr Purdy supports Stranmillis students on School Based Work Placement and when he arrived at Strathearn Preparatory Department, he immediately took an interest in all aspects of our school life. I particularly valued his many positive comments and agreed with his recognition of the importance of aiming for the highest possible standards.  The high academic standard achieved by our P7 pupils is evidenced by the fact that, having achieved very commendable results in the 2013/2014 AQE Common Entrance Assessments, every pupil was successful in securing a Grammar School place. This Prize Morning was particularly special for me because the P7 pupils had been my very first P4 class when I came to the school as Head of Department in 2010.  I ended my annual report by wishing each girl in P7 every success in her future journey. I explained that my thoughts were best conveyed in a poem that I had discovered recently – I named it …

The Garden of 2010 In 2010 at the beginning of September You came into my class, how well I remember! Some of you were smiling and giggling a lot Some were very quiet and real talent I could spot You came here to learn and I was here to lead You were then very much like a tiny new seed You were all in my garden just waiting to grow So this gardener got busy with her rake and her hoe I fed you the water and let in the sun You took in the soil, but we had only begun


So I’ll pass you on now to senior gardeners I know They too have a rake and a hoe they can use And plenty of food from which you can choose I know you will keep your roots open wide Take in all the food and keep it inside Yes, a gardener can work all night and all day But the flower must be WILLING to take in each ray So work very hard in your garden next year Do the best you can and you’ll have nothing to fear Grow strong and tall, reach up for the sun Stay as nice as you are and have lots of fun. This year, we extended a warm welcome to Mrs Sue Iveston, our new Learning Support Teacher. We also renewed our links with Glenveagh School and Campbell Junior School, inviting them to attend the dress rehearsal of Panto Pandemonium performed in the new Strathearn Assembly Hall. We were delighted to receive a cheque for £6,400 from the Strathearn Parents’ Association in October. On behalf of all the staff and pupils in Penrhyn I wish to thank Mrs Lisa Kitchen and Parents’ Association Committee for this very generous gift. This year we have been able to purchase further ICT resources. Over and above the aim of academic excellence, a Strathearn Preparatory Department Education offers a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities. I hope that you will enjoy reading the various reports detailing our many events. We have included photographs, artwork and literary pieces to give you an insight into the positive, stimulating and rewarding life of our Preparatory Department.

Each day as I worked in this garden of mine I saw you all growing so strong and so fine

B Mawhinney


penrhyn school prefects Class Prefects Back Row: Nicole Hanna, Ella Keane, Mrs Andrews, Gabriella Park Front Row:  Alex Graham, Freya Beers, Lauren Mooney, Eva McClean, Cheryl Watson

Molly Boomer, P3

Autumn Hours get shorter by the day While we sit here by the bay We are smothered by hats and coats As we stay here to watch the boats When dawn arrives you can hear The pattering feet of the deer The swallows cry Way up so high The squirrel collecting nuts We walk along the scattered rocks I see the crimson leaves I see the men upon the docks I see the naked trees Now autumn time whistles round my head We look forward to Halloween Above us is a sky of lead For some it’s time to party But for others it’s time for bed Rachel McDonald, P7

House/Vice Captains Back Row:  Aoife Moore, Lauren Mooney,  Mia Montgomery, Gabriella Park Front Row: Nicole Hanna,  Alexandra Coetzee,  Arabella Brown, Rachel McDonald

Duty Prefects Back Row: Catherine Kerr, Catrina Martin, Alexandra Coetzee, Mrs Andrews, Mia Montgomery, Aoife Moore,  Arabella Brown Front Row: Charlotte Traina, Lola Gibbons, Eva McMaster, Rachel McDonald, Sarah Catherall, Ciara West


the penrhyn year The Penrhyn Year 2014-2015

the birds – they were so cute! Our leaders were John and Janet. We played a duck game – we were split into groups of nine and one of the groups went to the gunpowder store where they went into the dark while we hid ducks around the garden! Then we had to put on headphones that had an electronic thing that made us hear the ducks louder.  After that we fed the ducks and one of the ducks ate out of my hand! Then we made smelly pots and I did one with Chloe and we called it the world’s famous big pot. Then we had lunch and went shopping. It was so much fun! Holly Higgins, P4

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:

APRIL 2014


P7 Trip to Carlingford

The P7 residential trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre allows the pupils to develop their inter-personal skills, including leadership, teamwork, trust and respect.



P6 Trip to Carrickfergus Castle

On 27 May,  P6 went on a trip to Carrickfergus Castle. When we got there our tour guide, Jackie, greeted us. We saw a model of a soldier guarding the castle. First, we left our lunches inside and we climbed up the stairs to get to the battlements. We could see far out to sea. Next, we went to the ground floor of the Keep. Jackie told us that this floor would have had two doors to keep out attackers. She also showed us a well which, when people lived in the castle, they would have drunk from. They called it a magic well because the castle was surrounded by sea and they would have been lucky to have water that would not have been poisoned. There was also a model of the castle. Then we went to watch a cartoon about the siege that came to the castle. After that we went to the Banquet Hall. Jackie told us that the Lord, Lady, their children and the important guests would sit at a high table at the top of the room.  The King would have had a food taster to make sure his food hadn’t been poisoned. To show your wealth in those times you would have put out a massive container of salt. It would be important to preserve your foods by using lots of salt. Next we went to the third floor of the Keep. There was a giant chest sitting on the floor. We all sat down on the benches and Jackie told us that this was the Lord and Lady’s solar. She then showed us lots of the armour they would have worn. Some of us tried the armour on. Then we went down the spiral staircase. It was very narrow and steep. There was also a trip step. The trip step was used to trick enemy soldiers and knights. After that we were outside of the Keep. We went to the oubliette. We saw a model of a prisoner trying to escape. Oubliette is a French word meaning forgotten. Jackie said prisoners in this oubliette were often forgotten. I really enjoyed our trip to Carrickfergus Castle. I would love to go back. Gabriella Park, P6




P4 Trip to Castle Espie

e e

2 June ~ P7 Trip to Eden Pottery P3 Trip to Mount Stewart

On 13 June, P3 went on a fun trip to Mount Stewart. Our programme was called ‘Bug Day’ and we did a mini-beast hunt and some pond dipping in the Shamrock Garden.



12 September ~ P5 Trip to Belfast Zoo


On Tuesday 27 May, we went to Castle Espie. The P2s came too. First, we had break and then we went outside and took a look at


1 October ~ P5 Trip to Belvoir Park

the penrhyn year e e e


6 October ~ P7 Trip to Mount Stewart

P6 Art Trip

10 October ~ P4 Trip to Castle Ward – Applefest 21 October ~ Pumpkin Day

Today we went to Assembly but it was not just a normal Assembly. It was a special Assembly. It was a pumpkin Assembly. I did a pumpkin and I called it ‘Mike the Minion’. Mike looks like a minion, but my

favourite pumpkin was the hedgehog. It had some straws. It really looked like a hedgehog. The colours of the straws were blue, red, green and pink. I am really excited to see who will win. They will tell us who has won on Thursday this week. Velvet Meharg, P4


P1 Autumn Walk

On 11 November, P6 went to an RUA Exhibition and workshop at the Ulster Museum. When we got to the museum we met a girl called Emma. Emma showed us some artwork. The pieces were all really interesting. After looking at lots of artwork we got to make our own. We got to make self-portraits using old scraps of newspaper and material. Everyone’s looked really creative. Soon it was time to leave. I loved the art exhibition. Caitlyn Corbett, P6


P6 Viking Workshop

On 14 November, P6 got to attend a  Viking workshop. Rita showed us a PowerPoint on the computer. After break we went to the hall.  We were split up into groups and then watched another video. Next we went to do our activities. My first activity was dressing up. Then my group learnt how to weave bracelets. Afterwards we learnt how to play a Viking game called Trip-Trap-Troll. I wasn’t very good at it. Next, my group had to solve a problem. We had to figure out what the words were in runes. Once everyone had finished we did a relay race with chainmail armour which was really heavy. Then we learnt about weapons and what they were made from.  After that my group did a challenge where you had to guess what the artefacts were. Finally, my group got to grind flour. After lunch we did sword fighting. When we were told how to do it, we did a competition to see who the best Viking was, but unfortunately, I wasn’t the best. Eloise McKnight, P6

e On 23 October the P1s went for an Autumn walk in the grounds of the Senior School. We made a bonfire, collected the crisp leaves to sort for colour and shape, and took bark rubbings as well.



7 November ~ P4 Pirate Workshop

Yesterday a man came to our school to teach us about compass points and Geography. First, we learned what pirate words meant in English. Then we played a game where we had to go to North, South, East and West. He had to call out something that you might be wearing. Next we did maps. He drew an island and Captain Sharkbait’s ship in the water, then a palm tree, a lake and an ‘x’ marks the spot. Abigail Conroy, P4


18 November ~ P5 Art Trip to RUA

the penrhyn year e


P5 Early Man Workshop

On 28 November, P5 had a workshop in the classroom. Rita and Michael (who were taking the course) had transformed the classroom into an early man’s life. Before break we talked about the different types of early man: there is Palaeolithic (Early Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) and Neolithic (Late Stone Age). We also talked about the animals that the Stone Age people hunted: wild boar, rabbits, deer and many more animals. There was also a display which was beautiful and looked so real! It showed how flint was used to start a fire and how arrows were made. People from the Neolithic period fashioned arrows with feathers at the back to make them faster and more accurate. The Mesolithic people used flint arrowheads, which were glued by beeswax into hazel shafts and tied with nettle fibres.  Afterwards we were told to identify nine tools. Unfortunately, my group only got seven because we could not work out what the last two were. After break we did five challenges.  In one we dressed up as cavemen and looked at the display. I found a club and started chasing people out of my territory. The challenges consisted of weaving with thread, wattling with willow branches, grinding barley on a Quern stone, building pretend tombs and last, but not least, making clay pots. My favourite challenge was weaving because it was very relaxing. Overall I thought that the workshop was extremely good because it was both educational and entertaining! Sophia Cochrane, P5

P2-P7 School Trip to the Mac Theatre

Today, on 11 December, P2-P7 went on a school trip to watch a brilliant show at the Mac Theatre in Belfast. We were all zapped into the magic of the story of The Amazing Vanishing Boy. The pantomime was about the magician’s family, the Hoffmanns, who were all magicians. There was a twist in the story when someone turns up in the wrong seat in the Theatre and has to disappear, but that seat (22B) should have been empty and Harold had to disappear. The magician admitted that he had never done that trick before and when Harold went into the box, he disappeared! Everyone in the whole school enjoyed it, especially me. Ciara West, P7


P7 Christmas Road Show

From 15 to 17 December we did our annual P7 Christmas Road Show. I worked with Lauren Mooney. I think we worked well together. Our stall was called ‘winter wonderland’. We sold gingerbread men and had three games. The games were sorting presents, throwing the rings on the snowman and catching the snowballs. The most popular thing was the gingerbread men. My favourite stall was Freya and Eva McClean’s because I really liked the game and the reindeer food. There were many different groups and every group had prizes; you were only allowed three prizes.



P7 Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory

On 1 December, as a special treat, P7 went on a trip to Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory to celebrate the AQE being over.

The whole point of the Road Show was to help charity. This year the charity was Helping Hand. It was very busy as sometimes there were three classes in at once. We made lots of money for charity, £626.40, which was a new record! The Road Show was great fun, but very tiring. Lola Gibbons, P7



We met a man called Jim. He made sweets with this boiling hot, blue liquid. He made a bunch of prizes too.  He made two phones, a grumpy man, a heart, a cat, a Lady Gaga bangle and a snake. I won the snake and the phone. He used the leftover mixture to make sweets for the class. He gave them to Mrs Andrews and we were scared she would eat them all! He let us taste a marshmallow dipped in homemade chocolate. We went into the shop and were allowed to buy a few things and then sadly we went back to school. I had a fantastic time. It was definitely a great way to finish the AQE! Eva McMaster, P7

15 January ~ Our Tennis Time

Today we went to the Strathearn Sports Hall to play tennis. Nearly all the class could take part, but Mia could not because of her broken ankle. We did volleys and we played games like dodgeball, jail and crocodile river. We did warm-ups. The coach is called Omar.  Doing tennis makes us healthy. You had to find a partner; my partner was Sophie Campbell. We had lots of fun. When we got back to school we did English; we had to write about what we did there. We got hot when we were there, but it was ok. Isabella Harvey, P4


the penrhyn year e

20 January ~ The Amazing Journey

Penrhyn girls got the opportunity to take an interactive walk through the Bible. Their understanding of main Biblical stories was increased through dressed characters, large displays and food typical of Old Testament times. The girls also had an opportunity to dress in traditional clothing. It proved to be a super learning experience for all and great enthusiasm was displayed.


P7 Victorian School Day

On 30 January, the P7 class took part in a Victorian school day. When we first came into school we went into the hall and had a chat, but when the bell went at a quarter-to-nine we had to line up in alphabetical order at the back of the hall until the teachers came. When they came, Mrs Mawhinney and Mrs Andrews told us to put out our hands and they gave us a hand inspection. We went up, we waited at the door and the teacher rang a bell and we had to go into the classroom at the beat of the bell. When everyone was in the classroom, the teacher told us to put 1p on our tables for our school fee. When they were collected we sat down at our table. We started the day with our times tables and the 3Rs which was writing, reading and arithmetic. During that time some people had to use the back straightener, which some people found uncomfortable. Then we went out for our break and next we had assembly. After assembly we stayed behind to do some singing; we all sang All Things Bright and Beautiful. We went upstairs again and did some geography about the British Empire. At lunch some of us had a Victorian lunch which may have contained crusty homemade bread, a cake and possibly an apple. After lunch we talked about being a lady - things like posture and being seen in public. Then we did art; we drew Queen Victoria. Next we did a recap of what we had learnt during the day. Overall the day was scary and the teacher and the class were glad that the day was finished and we were tired. I would not have liked to live in the Victorian times. Sarah Catherall, P7

the sons stayed and then married and he moved into the house with his wife and two kids, Elsie and Tom. Unfortunately, his wife died of disease so Meg, one of his sisters, agreed to help her brother because she was already living in the house and not married. My guide was Deirdre.  We were put into two groups and she told us all about the family history. The first thing we did was look through all the rooms of the house like the kitchen, the scullery, the dining room and Meg’s bedroom. I learnt a lot of information, for example there was a plank of wood near the ceiling in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I learnt that it was used to hang your washing on and it was near the fire so it would dry the clothes. When we went into Meg’s bedroom there was something on the dresser, which I didn’t recognise, but actually it was a letter opener! After break we went into a barn and looked at objects that Victorians would have used. Deirdre asked us to draw the objects and answer the questions on the sheet. My object looked a bit like scissors, but was actually a snuffer which was used to put out candles. We had our lunch and then we all joined together to plant flowers because Elsie and Tom loved to plant things and Tom got an award for growing strawberries. You got to choose whether you wanted to plant tulips or daffodils; I chose daffodils. We all got a bit of rosemary that had been trimmed off the plant and she asked if anyone wanted to know how to plant them and some of us said yes. I really enjoyed the trip more than I thought I would. I was so interested in all the artefacts and the building itself. I also liked playing around in the snow, but doesn’t everybody! Alex Graham, P7


St Valentine’s Day ~ P1 Post Box Trip



P7 Trip to Sentry Hill

On 2 February, P7 went to Sentry Hill, which is an original farmhouse. The house belonged to the McKinney family and generations lived here.

On 12 February, the P1s made their way to the post box on the Belmont Church Road to post a very important letter. The girls had been working on a Valentine’s project and had made beautiful cards for their parents. They thoroughly enjoyed the process of making, enveloping, addressing and posting the letter, which was to cause such a special surprise when it arrived at their homes on St Valentine’s Day!


Pancake Day

On 13 February, P7 were having a Pancake Day. What we had to do was to make pancakes before 10am. We were put into groups and I was paired up with Ciara. My group made pancakes for P3. There were 22 pancakes made and we didn’t have anything wrong with them. We had to get 240 pancakes and 84 bottles of water. Altogether we made £170 and last year the P7 class made £150. It was really fun, but stressful. Catrina Martin, P7

e The first person to live in the house was Mr William Fee McKinney and his wife; he had seven children, five boys and two girls. One of


P1 Princess Party

On 13 February, the P1s had a ‘Princess Party’ in school to celebrate the end of the ‘Fairy-tale’ topic. The girls were allowed to wear their favourite princess dress in class and we wore the pretty

the penrhyn year crowns we had made to top off the style.  We danced, played games, watched Frozen and had a ‘Princess’ cake as well.  What a super day!


staff, invited guests, Penrhyn and Strathearn pupils and teachers. On arrival, I observed lots of Police Officers on security duty and all school pupils lined up outside the main entrance awaiting his arrival. I was very excited because I had never seen a member of the Royal Family in person before. I waited patiently for approximately ten minutes, then all of a sudden I saw the blue flashing lights of several motorbikes and four black vehicles approach the school car park. Prince Edward stepped out of the vehicle waving to all the pupils who were shouting, attempting to catch the Prince’s attention! Mr Manning and other Strathearn teachers greeted Prince Edward who then proceeded to converse with a number of Strathearn girls. Sadly, I did not get to meet him personally because I was positioned quite a distance away. We did manage to squeeze forward and get a better view of him but, unfortunately, I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying. After approximately ten minutes Mr Manning escorted the Prince indoors for a full tour of the school.

A Visit from Knock Fire Brigade P5

On 24 February, we were visited in the mobile by Paul,  Alan, Eugene and Brian from Knock Fire Brigade. They came to talk to us about safety in our homes.  All P5s in Northern Ireland are delivered this talk by their local fire brigade. The first thing they told us about was the main causes of fire. There were five – smoking, electrics (plugs), candles, chip pans and matches. After that we did a worksheet on dangers. The next thing we did was a fire escape plan. Then a bedtime routine. Here are a few of them: blow out all candles, close all doors, cooker off, keys kept somewhere you can find them easily and keep your smoke alarm on. Later Miss Swanson dressed up in a fireman suit. We returned to Penrhyn at 2.40pm. Overall, I thought it was a tremendous experience and I was glad that I was able to be there for the official opening. However, I would have loved to have been able to join Prince Edward on his leisurely stroll around Strathearn! ... I wish! Cheryl Watson, P7



When we went outside we got to sit in the back of the fire truck and I played with the hose. I really liked that bit.  I absolutely loved the workshop and I will be very careful with hot things now! Lucinda Park, P5


P5 Trip to the Ulster Museum

On 6 March, P5 went to the Ulster Museum to learn about Ancient Egypt. We got there at 10am and had our break. After break we had a workshop about Egypt. Isla went up first; she had to find Egypt on the map. Then Mrs Baird talked to us about a man called John Gregg who went on a long holiday to Egypt and bought an Egyptian Mummy as a souvenir and brought it home and gave it to the Ulster Museum. The mummy was called Takabuti. Then we went upstairs to the exhibition room and did worksheets about life in Ancient Egypt. How they looked, materials, work, and death in Ancient Egypt.  After that we had our lunch.  After lunch we went to the shop. I bought a necklace that has a gold turtle on it and I also bought a packet of strawberry bonbons.  Then we went to the history activity room. We left at 2.30pm. It was 3pm when we got back to school. I learned that Egyptians use papyrus to make paper and their letters are called hieroglyphics. I liked seeing the mummy the best. The mummy was a she and she is called Takabuti. Alexandra Butters, P5


Prince Edward’s Visit to Strathearn School

On 25 February 2015 at approximately 2.15pm, I attended Strathearn School, Belmont Road, Belfast to witness its official opening by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex who is the youngest child of our reigning Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. I was accompanied by my P7 class and teacher, Mrs Andrews. Also present were PA,

23 March ~ P7 Cupcake Workshop

On 23 March, the P7 classroom was transformed into a cupcake workshop! Decorating techniques using a range of icing, buttercream and cutters were used. The girls were able to develop many artistic skills and were able to take home beautifully decorated cupcakes to enjoy with their family! It was a fabulous afternoon and was greatly enjoyed by all!


penrhyn extra-curricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment Our Christmas Concert


he P1-P4 Junior Concert is always a highlight of the school calendar, and this year was no exception. Belmont Presbyterian Church was beautifully decorated for Christmas and it buzzed with an audience of parents, relatives and friends, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the girls’ performance. The P2 and P4 girls performed Eddie the Penguin Saves the World! Eddie the penguin discovers that the world he lives in is changing and that the ice is melting. He discovers that human beings are causing the ice to melt. Eddie goes on a mission to save the planet and let the world know how they can change things for the better. This certainly was a very enjoyable way to learn about protecting the environment. Angel Express, the P1 and P3 play, follows the excitement of heaven’s host of angels as they hurriedly practise a new song for the birth of Baby Jesus – this will have to be an express production! Can the conductor prepare them in time? There are so many distracting headlines such as ‘Mary and Joseph Leave for Bethlehem’, ‘Enormous Star Seen in the East’ and ‘Three Kings Sighted from Afar?’ Both performances showcased the amazing singing, dancing and acting talents of our youngest pupils.  All the P1-P4 pupils joined together for a festive finale and it certainly put everyone in a wonderful, happy, Christmas mood. B Mawhinney

Eddie the Penguin Saves the World


n 5 December, the P2 and P4 classes did their Christmas concert. I was Eddie.  We did it in Belmont Presbyterian Church. First we got dressed and then we went on stage. We came in to Let it Go from Frozen. I felt really nervous and on the first song my friend lost her voice half-way through. The main characters were Eddie, Mother Penguin, Granny Penguin, Grandpa Penguin, Auntie Penguin, Uncle Penguin and the chicks. I liked everything. In the Finale the P1s and P3s joined us and we sang Away in a Manger and We Wish you a Merry Christmas and that was us! Daisy Johnston, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment


Panto Pandemonium

n Thursday 12 March and Friday 13 March, P5, P6 and P7 put on the production of Panto Pandemonium. Nerves were especially high for the P7s, as they had the main roles with P6 and P5 as the choir. As the curtains opened, the blackness of the stage sprung to life for the opening scene to begin. Everything went smoothly, thanks to the dress rehearsal we had had two days earlier. When it came to the interval, the audience were left wanting to see more! The second part turned out even better than the first, mostly because all our nerves had been replaced with excitement! As it came to an end, everyone was exhausted, but very happy with how we had performed. It was a really enjoyable experience that I will never forget! Eva McClean, P7


penrhyn extra-curricular Strathearn Preparatory School Choir


inging as part of a choir develops confidence and self-discipline and it requires considerable commitment. These are very important life skills that will benefit the girls in future years. This year we entered the Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year Competition reaching the regional finals. Our performance was broadcast on Radio Ulster and many of the choir members were interviewed. Strathearn Preparatory Department have supported P3 & P4 Choir the Holywood Music Festival for many years, and in October this year we were invited to perform alongside Festival Brass at a concert in Belmont Presbyterian Church to raise funds for the festival. We rehearsed many new songs for this event including Memory from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Cats, Streets of London by Ralph McTell and a selection of Dorothy Parke Irish songs. This year at the Holywood Music Festival, Mrs Devlin entered our P3 and P4 singing pupils as a Junior Choir. They did very well, winning their class. The Prep Senior Choir also came first in their Primary School class winning the Priory Cup. Strathearn Preparatory Choirs were also awarded the Maurice Foster Cup for the highest marks in the school choirs’ section. The Strathearn Preparatory Department Choir performed at the PA Annual General Meeting in Strathearn and at the Strathearn Carol Service in Stormont Presbyterian Church. B Mawhinney

Penrhyn Choir

Cycling Proficiency



Au Revoir to French Club

rench Club has now been running successfully for thirteen years at Penrhyn. On Monday afternoons the P4 girls learned greetings, days of the week, months of the year and French songs.  They particularly enjoyed role plays which involved ordering snacks, drinks and ice creams and buying fruit and vegetables at the market. On Tuesday afternoons the P5-P7 girls covered a wide variety of topics including hobbies, pets, food and drink and shops in town. New vocabulary was reinforced through quizzes, songs and role plays. For both groups ‘Lotto’ was a popular game which allowed the girls to practise French numbers and, more importantly, win prizes! French Club has been great fun and, as I retire, I would like to wish Penrhyn and all its pupils every success for the future. J Erskine

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


Street Jazz

treet Jazz from P4-P7 is a great class to have fun in and to learn new steps. The girls learn technique and we work on flexibility, confidence and the girls learn to create their own solos and routines. We use a wide range of music from pop to musical theatre. Each week is something different but equally great fun.

P5 Cookery & Craft Club



uring the Autumn term, P5 enjoyed attending the Cookery and Craft Club run by Mrs Stevenson and Mrs Walls. The P5 girls cooked up a storm and created tasty treats including fifteens and shortbread. For the craft sessions they worked with Hama beads, made owl cushions and created decorative candle holders. The P5 girls enjoyed expressing their creative talents.

Ballet Classes ~ P1-P3

he girls will learn balance, posture, expression and how to work with others. Classes follow structure and while ballet is a disciplined dance form, we encourage fun and creativity. Each week we learn set exercises through the ISTD syllabus, mixed with fun games and opportunities for the children to use their own imagination to create small dance pieces.


penrhyn extra-curricular Penrhyn Piano Results Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

March 2014 Prep Test Certificate: Martha Cupples, Laura Mitchell & Ciara Moore. Grade 1 Distinction:  Aoife Moore. Grade 2 Distinction:  Alexandra Coetzee & Lauren Mooney.

June 2014 Prep Test Certificate: Sophia Cochrane, Eloise McKnight & Mabelle Wilcox. Grade 1 Merit: Freya Beers, Rebekah Devlin & Eva McClean. Grade 1 Distinction: Laura Dunlop & Madalaine Wilson.


Speech and Drama Report

fter five years 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 provides an opportunity for each girl to improve her communication skills, expand her imagination and think creatively. The classes aim to foster an appreciation of literature, poetry and drama while building self-confidence and selfesteem, 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/lunch period and after school. They take 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? The Lagan Festival of Speech and Drama produced very successful results with individual entries winning prizes. Congratulations to Darcy Blair, Katie Barr, Annabelle Pollin, Julia Cochrane, Rachel Carson, Charley Dougherty, Velvet Meharg, Molly Boomer, Cara Logue, Mabel Wilcox and Isabella Kenny. The girls from P3 and P4 all entered the class choral speaking competitions; their hard work was rewarded by a first and second place. The girls also have the opportunity to enter the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination and as I anticipated the last sets of results were truly outstanding, with the vast majority of girls receiving the top grade of distinction. The 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

P2 combined project



Singing Report

he girls in Penrhyn have excelled themselves in singing classes this year. New repertoire has been learned, confidence has grown, and vocal technique is improving. In June, many of the P6 and P7 girls entered the ABRSM Grade 1 singing exam, and all of them achieved a very commendable merit or distinction. In November, many of the girls participated at the Holywood Festival, where the highlight for me was a group of P3/P4 singers forming a Junior Choir for the occasion, and going on to win the Maurice Foster Cup for Best Primary School Choir. I was very proud of all the girls who performed at the festival, but special mention must be made of the individual prize-winners: Tiffany McGowan, Tilly McWhinney, Rachel Carson, Charlie Dougherty, Darcy Blair, Elessa Deeney, Rebekah Devlin, Eloise McKnight and Caitlyn Corbett. Congratulations to Elessa Deeny, who won the Foster Prize for the singer with the highest mark in Music Theatre. Recently, at the Belfast Festival, the P7s put on a splendid programme of musical theatre songs.  The adjudicator commended the girls on the high standard of their singing. First prize was won by Cheryl Watson, and Sarah Catherall and Lauren Mooney came joint second. Well done to all the girls who have made a significant contribution to the musical life of Penrhyn this year. The girls are an absolute pleasure to teach, and they never cease to delight me with their enthusiasm and talent. P Devlin


Scripture Union

e have had a lovely time together in Scripture Union this year, meeting on Thursday afternoons in the P3 classroom. Mrs Manning, Mrs McKinney and Mrs McKeown followed a series of lessons on the ‘A-Z’ in the Bible’. Our student teachers, Miss Swanson and Miss Thompson taught us some new exciting songs and played fun games with us. We finished the year with an Easter treasure hunt around the school grounds.


Tin Whistle Report

he Penrhyn girls from P2 to P7 enjoy their weekly tin whistle lessons and have made significant progress during the past year. As the tin whistle is the simplest of instruments, the girls learn to play quickly and perform as a group at various school events. Members of the Tin Whistle Group were invited to perform in the Great Hall at Stormont in celebration of International Uilleann Piping Day on 18 October. Five members of the P6 class together with five children from St Caolan’s Primary School, Saintfield played before an appreciative audience with perfect timing and flawless performance. Their contribution was significant, since many a good piper began playing on a tin whistle. The feedback after the event was very complimentary to both schools. The whistle is an easy introduction to the concert flute and other wind instruments. One senior member of the tin whistle group (as was again the case in the previous year) has commenced to learn the concert flute, thereby paving the way for orchestral participation. As there are so many after-school activities available to the girls at Penrhyn, it is difficult to accommodate every applicant. Whilst during the past year, some left the group, it has been a pleasure to welcome new members, some of whom have become good players. Most of all, they are most enthusiastic and a pleasure to teach. As always, I take this opportunity to commend the parents who give their children an opportunity to learn music. Playing a musical instrument is a lifelong source of pleasure and achievement! H Grimes

penrhyn extra-curricular Penrhyn Charity Collections


e value opportunities to forge links with the local community. Strathearn Preparatory Department donated their Harvest collection of non-perishable food items to Storehouse Food Bank, Belfast. Fund-raising 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 in 2014-2015: Term 1: Helping Hand - supporting the immediate needs of children and their parents at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children; Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal); The Cedar Foundation (Stamps Appeal). Term 2: Save the Children; Christian Aid. The total amount raised for the year 2014-15 to the end of Term 2 is £1,455.

I saw Jesus on His way to Jerusalem I was sitting in my house one day when my mother came rushing inside shouting, “Jesus is coming into Jerusalem come and see quickly”. So I ran outside and people were gathered at the roadside singing, ‘Hosanna’ to God. I took my jacket off and laid it on the road for Jesus to walk over so I could show respect to him. I picked a leaf of a palm tree and waved it in the air as Jesus was walking past. I felt so happy. It was the best day of my life! Zara Conroy, P6


Gabriella Park, P7

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 Jenny Costello, who won the Mum’s race, and to James Pollin, who won the Dad’s race! Our thanks to Anne and May, long-serving members of our ancillary staff at Strathearn, who very graciously presented the prizes. Thanks also to the parents who served the refreshments. RESULTS - WINNERS P1 Running, Vanessa Minford; P1 Spider, Vanessa Minford; P1 Potato/Spoon, Vanessa Minford. P2 Running, Tiffany McGowan; P2 Potato/Spoon, Tiffany McGowan; P2 Spider, Eve Downey; P3 Running, Rachel Carson; P3 Potato/Spoon, Ellen Eakin; P3 Obstacle, Tilly McWhinney. Inter-House Winner - McCaughey.


P4-P7 Sports Day

ur Sports Day was held at Strathearn on the last Bank Holiday in May. Northern Ireland Commonwealth Athlete, Jason Harvey, presented the prizes. As usual, the events were competed for with great enthusiasm and many excellent performances were achieved. There was a new record in the P7 600m;  Amelia Kane now holds the P6 & P7 records. Sasha Barrett-Ferris also broke the P7 cricket ball record.  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 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. P4 - 50m, Niamh Hatfield; P5 - 50m,  Aoife Moore; P6 - 75m, Sasha Barrett-Ferris; P7 - 75m, Ellie Fullerton; P5 - 600m, Rachel McDonald; P6 - 600m, Amelia Kane NR; P7 - 600m, Ellie Fullerton; P4 - 50m Skipping, Martha Cupples; P6 - High Jump, Madeline Ievers; P7 - High Jump, Erin Stewart; P5 - Long Jump, Rachel McDonald; P6 - Long Jump, Sasha Barrett-Ferris NR; P7 - Long Jump, Ellie Fullerton; P5 - Cricket Ball, Eva McClean; P6 - Cricket Ball, Sasha Barrett-Ferris; P7 - Cricket Ball, Erin Stewart. HOUSE RELAY WINNERS P4 - McCaughey; P5 - Barbour; P6 - McCaughey; P7 - Barbour. INDIVIDUAL POINTS P4 - Amelia Hazle; P5 - Niamh Hatfield; P6 - Rachel McDonald; P7 - Sasha Barrett-Ferris. Winning House - McCaughey.


Individual Sports Day Winners Niamh Hatfield, Rachel McDonald and Amelia Hazle

penrhyn extra-curricular

Minor Swimming Team Back Row: Eve Rainey, Lucy Wills, Lucinda Park,  Amelia Hazle, Eloise McKnight, Niamh Hatfield, Rebecca Kitchen, Gabriella Park Front Row: Ellen Eakin, Rachel Carson, Katlyn Martin,  Alice Browne, Rachel McDonald, Martha Cupples



lster Minor Schools’ Championships The following girls represented Penrhyn in the Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships: Gabriella Park, Rachel McDonald, Niamh Hatfield, Rebecca Kitchen, Eve Rainey, Eloise McKnight, Martha Cupples, Alice Browne, Amelia Hazle, Lucinda Park, Lucy Wills, Katlyn Martin, Ellen Eakin and Rachel Carson. Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships Results The individuals who were in the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province: Under10 50m Backstroke, Eve Rainey; Under10 50m Breaststroke,  Alice Browne. Well done girls! The following girls won medals:  Lucinda Park won the Under 9 Silver Medal 50m Backstroke and the Under 10 Medley Relay won Gold in 1st place. The Under 10 Freestyle Relay won Gold in 1st place. The squad members were Rebecca Kitchen, Niamh Hatfield,  Alice Browne and Eve Rainey. Irish Schools’ Championships The following girls took part in the Irish Schools’ Championships: Lucinda Park, Rebecca Kitchen, Niamh Hatfield,  Alice Browne and Eve Rainey. Irish Schools’ Championships Results The Under 10 Freestyle Relay Team was placed 3rd and the Medley Relay Team was placed 2nd. Congratulations to all! Individual Swimming Gala Winners: P3, Ellen Eakin; P4, Lucinda Park; P5, Alice Browne; P6, Rachel McDonald and P7,  Amelia Kane. Winning House ~ McCaughey.

Rebecca Kitchen, P6

Individual Swimming Gala Winners Back Row: Rachel McDonald,  Amelia Kane, Lucinda Park Front Row:  Alice Browne, Ellen Eakin


penrhyn extra-curricular Hockey Club


uring hockey practice on Wednesdays we were able to use some of the First Formers as opposition as they also had practice on Wednesdays. We had a match against Victoria College. This also helped our preparation for the forthcoming matches. The qualifying tournament for the Northern Ireland Finals took place at Shaw’s Bridge in early March. There were two sections, with four teams, with the top team in each making the semi-finals. We had a tough opening match with Strandtown ‘B’ followed by Cairnshill, and MCB. Each match continued to be a learning curve for this young team. We played Victoria College Prep in the quarter-final and lost 2-0. We look forward to next year and will draw on our experiences from this year. Penrhyn Squad: Gabriella Park, Rachel McDonald, Niamh Hatfield, Mabelle Wilcox, Eloise McKnight, Eva McClean and Lucie Maskery.

Hockey Club Back Row: Gabriella Park, Mabelle Wilcox, Eva Ralston, Cerys McMurray,  Madalaine Wilson,  Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, Rachel Brett,  Alex Graham, Catrina Martin, Eva McClean, Lauren Mooney,  Aoife Moore, Niamh Hatfield, Zara Conroy Front Row: Lola Gibbons, Rebekah Devlin, Ciara Moore, Eve Rainey, Lucie Maskery, Sophia Knox, Rachel McDonald, Eva McMaster, Eloise McKnight, Laura Mitchell, Martha Cupples,  Arabella Brown,  Alice Browne


Athletics Club

he girls developed and improved their skills in high-jump, longjump and throwing. Towards the end of the summer term hurdles 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. Our throwers worked on the techniques for javelin, discus and shot. Everyone enjoyed the sessions and the extra practices produced great results on Sports Day.

This year our P7 pupils had the opportunity to take part in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Athletic Competition where they sprinted, jumped and putted the shot. The event was enjoyed by all. We are delighted to report that Sasha Barrett-Ferris won the cup for the best overall girl. I was also delighted this year that Penrhyn provided teams for the invitation relay at Downey & Fullerton Sports Days. Weekly practice has produced great results; we look forward to even better results this year!

Athletics Club Back Row:  Alex Graham,  Aoife Moore, Catrina Martin Front Row: Lauren Mooney, Cheryl Watson, Alexandra Coetzee, Rachel McDonald

The Cross-Country Team was 2nd in the East Belfast heat and 3rd in the Belfast Final. We are looking forward to the final of the Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Cross-country Championships next term. I am delighted to write that last year Amelia Kane won the Inter-County Title which was held at Ormeau Park.


penrhyn extra-curricular

KS2 Gymnastics Back Row: Niamh Hatfield, Laura Mitchell, Lucie Maskery, Lola Gibbons, Gabriella Park, Sarah Catherall, Isabella Harvey, Eve Rainey, Madeline Doherty,  Alice Browne, Scarlett Mooney, Martha Cupples Front Row: Laura Dunlop,Victoria Murray, Lucinda Park, Sarah Hylands, Chloe McMullan, Darcy Blair, Ellie Patrick, Rachel Brett, Caitlyn Corbett, Rebecca Kitchen


Gymnastics Club

he Gymnastics Academy has been running gymnastics classes within Penrhyn as part of their after school activities programme for the past two years. Classes this year 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 was also assessed for the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards.

We had two teams, and two pairs from Penrhyn competed at the Northern Ireland Schools’ Championships in Banbridge Leisure Centre on 8 March. The girls all performed brilliantly and learnt so much from the experience. We were thrilled to see Holly Humphreys and Molly Boomer receive gold medals in the U11 Novice Pairs 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 June this year. This has been a very busy season, which has been thoroughly enjoyed by both gymnasts and coaches alike. V Dowson



Ciara West, P7

he Cross-country Team were runners-up in Belfast East and were placed third overall in Belfast. The team now qualify for the Northern Ireland Finals.

Cross-Country Team Left to Right: Mabelle Wilcox, Sophia Knox, Eva Ralston,  Alice Browne, Martha Cupples, Lola Gibbons,  Aoife Moore, Nicole Hanna (behind)


penrhyn literary section

Heidi Dunlop, P1 Cecily Colmer, P1

Megan Carter, P2 Annabel Pollin, P2 79

penrhyn literary section World War One I remember the time when life was sweet I’d sit down at a table and there’d be food to eat Mother would be there and so would little John But that’s in the past Those days are gone. Now the little food I get Is nibbled by rats The eternal noise of shrapnel Ricocheting off our metal hats The fear, the tension, the noise, the pain, You wouldn’t understand The death, destruction, danger for all All over this land If I was a general What would I think? While all our soldiers’ lives are on the brink Of starvation and death, sickness for all I’d be feasting in a big, clean, shiny hall I had a best friend yesterday I don’t know why he had to pass away I remember the day I signed up for this job A day of excitement, happiness and a queue a mile long Now I’m full of regret, unhappiness, pain Where is my family? Will I ever see them again? The booming of cannons Sounds like thunder The Germans fight back They are not going under The noise, the screams, the stench, the fear I can’t take it much longer I remember the girl I spent the summer with The boy I played games with The brother I told stories to The mother who never left me Until now The days have passed and summer is gone Christmas is not celebrated Birthdays forgotten Each day melts into one No sleep, no wake Just the walking dead One thing on every soldier’s mind Is it my turn to die? Lauren Mooney, P7

Artwork - Chloe McMullan, P5

The Fox Is About! You’d Better Look Out! Once there was a fox who went out to find some food. When he was out looking for some food he spotted a little farm. So on that cold, damp night the fox went down to the little farm. When the fox got into the farm he noticed a little chicken coop. So he crept under the chicken coop, but then the chicken coop creaked and woke up all the chickens. So the fox went home hungry. The next night the fox came back to the little farm but this time the farmer heard the fox come in.  The farmer came out in his PJs and the fox went home hungry again. He came back the next stormy night; this time he came in as quiet as he could and came in the door of the chicken coop, and he got all the chickens and he ate all of them. Then the fox said to himself, “I’ll get the pigs next!” Tilly McWhinney, P4

A Letter Home Dear Mum Today we won against the German army. I helped load the cannons as well. I hope everything is alright back at home. I miss you a lot. My feet are starting to blister because of the mud in the trenches. I feel we might have a chance to win this battle.The other men and I carried the bombs to the front line to get ready for the battle tomorrow. We are absolutely ready to try and win tomorrow. They serve cold, canned food and give you so little. I’m so hungry. Please reply as quickly as possible. Your loving son xoxo Lucinda Park, P5

Life in Early Times – My Visit to a Neolithic Hut The unfamiliar aura struck me like an axe. The men who had caught me walked over to the fire they had lit inside. The smoke billowed out of a small hole in the roof. In a corner a woman a woman dressed in much better clothes than I was wearing was chopping wood with an axe made from a stone I’d never seen. The way they had made their house was odd too. It was rectangular.  The walls were made of wood with nothing covering them. Then a man ran in and said, “There’s a cow loose!” They ran through to another room leaving me alone. I grabbed a stone axe, smashed a wall and ran home. I told my family that strange people with odd houses and weapons had come to the wood. They didn’t believe me! Isla Mitchelston, P5

A Letter Home Dear Dad I hope everything is okay at home. Everything is well with me in France. I am now with an Irish Regiment near Thiepval Wood. The weather is getting better, but when it rains the trenches fill up with water and my feet get wet. I find the food here disgusting; it is always bully beef. Every morning we get up before dawn just in case the Germans attack. I have made lots of new friends from Scotland and Canada. Please could you send me some chocolate and fruit cake? It will give me something to look forward to. Your loving son, Willie Hannah Gilpin, P5

The Story of Esio Trot There once was a man called Mr Hoppy and a lady called Mrs Silver. Mrs Silver had a tortoise called Alfie. Mr Hoppy loved Mrs Silver but Mrs Silver loved Alfie. Mr Hoppy was shy and he didn’t feel brave enough to tell Mrs Silver he loved her. Mr Hoppy lived in a flat on the fourth floor. Mrs Silver lived on the third floor of the flat. Mr Hoppy sometimes wished he was a tortoise. Mrs Silver had a little house for Alfie to go into at night and in winter.  Mrs Silver really wanted Alfie to get bigger. “Oh! I do wish Alfie would get bigger!” Mrs Silver would say. One day Mr Hoppy had an idea. He made a tortoise catcher. It was easy. He went to lots of pet shops and got tortoises bigger than Alfie. He put all his tortoises in the living room. He gave Mrs Silver a piece of paper that had strange words on it.  “Say this to Alfie,” said Mr Hoppy.  Mr Hoppy got a tortoise weighing 2 ounces more and used his tortoise catcher to get Alfie from the balcony below. Tortoise number two loved the cabbage and crispy celery and started eating away at it. Over the next few weeks the tortoise became 27 ounces.  “You are the cleverest man alive!” said Mrs Silver. At the end they got married. Rachel Bowen, P4


penrhyn literary section A Letter Home My Beloved Daughter It is horrible here in the trenches! Our commander is awfully strict and it’s very scary. I think that we’re losing this battle. My feet are infected and I’m very tired for we rarely sleep. I had to help carry the cannons to the front line today as we are firing them tomorrow at noon. We all hate fighting and it’s very depressing and disgusting for when we’re not fighting we have to empty the latrines. It smells like rotten eggs because the latrines sometimes overflow and come into the trenches and there are dead bodies nearby. I hate it here and we only sleep in the afternoon. It’s very lucky that Germany, AustriaHungary and Turkey don’t know our sleeping hours or we’d be attacked while sleeping! There have been many bombs and lots of people have been killed. I feel very frightened and I’m not feeling brave at all. Why couldn’t I be in the cavalry? How come I’m trusted with a bayonet? I’m glad I’m not a pilot or a sailor though. That would be terrible. I don’t get much food so I’m starving. Yours sincerely, Father xoxo Laura Dunlop, P5

Aleena Wasim, P3

My House My house is a big, white house with a black roof. I live in Belfast very close to my school. My sister and I have a balcony under our window. I have a kitchen with a black bench. Chloe and I sit up at the bench and eat our dinner. We also have a wooden table and lovely white chairs. We also have one oven and a microwave and two cupboards which slide open. We keep our food in the cupboards. My bedroom is a very big room. I have a massive tub of stuffed toys and I have a fairy door. I have a big bed and two great big wardrobes. One is for me and one is for Chloe. I have three bathrooms. One is downstairs, one is upstairs and one is in my parents’ room. Lilybella Burrows, P3

Strathearn River of Girls On Wednesday 25 February, the whole school got to go to Strathearn to see Prince Edward. All the Strathearn senior girls rushed out to see the prince. The police motorbikes came and then four cars came. In the second car was Prince Edward. Some of the P1s got on TV because the BBC was there. Mrs Mawhinney, Miss Boyd and Mrs Manning were also on TV. Prince Edward even signed Saskia’s older sister’s cast. He even said hello to me. Sophie-Rose Atkinson, P4

The Three Little Pigs The three little pigs sadly waved goodbye to mother pig as she sobbed loudly, “No room for them.” Then they went and built their very own houses out of different materials – straw, sticks and bricks. The wolf who lived next door to Pig 1 was very hungry. He had empty cupboards and a big empty fridge. He didn’t want to eat fish and chips but he did want to eat pork. He went next door. “Rats,” said the wolf as he proceeded to blow down the straw house as Pig 1 escaped. The wolf then went to visit Pig 2. He tried to blow his house down. He succeeded but the second little pig also escaped! “Oh no!” He followed him to the house of Pig 3. It was made from bricks so there was no way that he could blow it down.“I never lose,” he said as he crept down the chimney. He landed in a big pot of boiling hot stew and that was the end of him! Anna Matthews, P3

Eviction Early one dark, damp morning when all in the house were sleeping, I was woken up with a loud thumping on the front door. The sound was like loud thunder claps. I feared the front door was going to cave in. My little brother John was shivering, not from typhus but from fear. My two little sisters woke up, “What’s happening Catherine?” said Mary and Peggy. I tip-toed down the hall trying very hard not to make a sound. I looked out to see who was at the door; it was the rent agent. I quickly ran back to wake my father but I was too slow. I could hear the crack of the wood as it splintered as the men broke down the front door. I was shouting for my dad to wake up, as I was very frightened.  The men were yelling for us to get out or we would burn with the house! I could hear my brother and sisters crying in our room so I went to comfort them. I found them hiding under our bed shivering with fear. I told them to get out from their hiding place as we needed to leave quickly. We scurried out like mice running away from a cat. As we reached the corner of our street, we glanced back to see our house burst into flames. Mary, my youngest sister, began to cry again. “Where are we going to live now?” she sobbed. I tried to reassure my brother and sisters that everything was going to be alright, but I knew the only option for us was the workhouse. I tried to explain that in the workhouse we would be given a bed to sleep in and warm food, but I knew really many people died in the workhouse because the conditions were so poor. I really feared for my family’s future. Catherine Kerr, P7


penrhyn Building a House

When Florence Nightingale became a Nurse

The builder arrives at the building site. Then he starts to make the cement and put it into the wheelbarrow.

Florence loved reading books; she studied very hard and became a nurse. She trained other nurses by getting them to work in a hospital. They went on a long journey to a hospital for sick soldiers. Many had broken bones and the hospital was very dirty. The nurses cleaned the hospital and made beds that were clean.  When she was little her sister always distracted her when she was reading. The soldiers called Florence The Lady of the Lamp because she carried a lamp around the wards at night when she was looking after the soldiers.  When the soldiers were better she put them in clothes and the soldiers went back to the army.

Next, the builder builds the walls of the house. When that is done he gives the plumber a call so he can put in the pipes. Now it is time to fit the windows into place.  We want to be able to see out but we need to feel nice and warm and cosy inside. After that, the electrician arrives to connect all the wires so there is electricity in the house. Now the hoover, television, fridge and cooker can work! Eventually the tiler comes to nail the tiles in place on the roof.  We don’t want to get wet from any leaks in the roof! At last the lovely family can move into their new house as it is all finished and ready to be lived in.

Katie Brown, P4

Our Christmas Concert Our Christmas show was called Angel Express. We had it on Friday, 5 December. It was in Belmont Presbyterian Church which is close to our school. It was such good fun! The first song was called News, news. I was a shepherd and I had to wear a long frock. I sat on the fourth seat on the left.  I sang a song with Katie-Lynn, TJ and Aleena. We sang, Hey Shepherds and we brought a lamb to baby Jesus. The kings were already there! My mum and dad came to watch me, At the end we sang, We Wish you a Merry Christmas and Away in a Manger. Mrs Day gave us some Smarties.  After the play I went to my nanny’s house and I played with my friend Katie. Lucy Andrews, P3

Chloe Nelson, P3

My Foxy Friend (Inspired by a novel written by Michael Morpurgo) One day I was out on Red, my horse.  The light breeze blew and it was a marvellous day as the sun shone brightly over the hills. I passed a pretty forest and I heard a cry - not any old cry - it was a fox!  The poor thing was cold and wounded.  As I got a closer look I realised that half of his little ear was torn. You see the evil fox hunt had come today! I hated the thought of the fox cub all hurt and alone so I picked him up. He struggled a little at first, but he calmed down eventually. I thought where would I take him? I couldn’t dare take him home. You see my family hate foxes. My dad says the only good fox is a dead fox! Then it came to me! I would take him to the fishing hut because no one ever went there anymore. It was dark but warm and anyway it had to do. Over the following weeks I fed the fox milk. There was a problem – I had no name for the cub. I thought long and hard and I settled on Larry. One day, as I was riding, I became a little cautious because Larry was barking and crying. I told Red that I had to let Larry go soon. To find out what happened next you will need to read Michael Morpurgo’s Fox Friend. Rachel Carson, P4

Rachel McDonald, P7


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 and to plan events for the girls to enjoy. This year we have continued with the discos for P7 and Forms 1 and 2 at the Stormont Hotel. They have been very well attended by pupils from Strathearn and neighbouring schools; however, we could not run them without the help of many parents. I wish to thank them for their help and support. We held a Table Quiz and Supper at Civil Service Sports Club. We had teams of parents from both Strathearn and Penrhyn, as well as a few teams of teachers. It was a lively and competitive evening with Mrs Connery’s team winning first prize. Other events that were held over the year included a Readathon for Penrhyn pupils, as well as Christmas and Halloween parties. 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 2014, we presented cheques to Strathearn for £9600 and to Penrhyn for £6400. Finally, I would like to thank all those who serve on the committee for their continuing support and enthusiasm.

Alice Campbell, GCSE Level


The Boxing Day Tournament

he Boxing Day Tournament this year was a great success; we had a great turnout from families and friends of Old Girls coming to support and join in with the spirit of the tournament. We were also fortunate enough with the weather and were therefore able to run the tournament on the school AstroTurf pitch. The Old Girls had a brilliant turnout again, and I would like to thank all past Games Captains for their help.

All teams were present this year, and I have to say that this was one of my favourite years, as there was a great atmosphere and marvellous chivalry 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 College, which meant it all rested on the final game against Victoria Old Girls. Unfortunately, they proved too strong and, after a narrow defeat, we had to settle for second place! 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 for 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 Victoria Old Girls with the Shield, and Katherine Kelly with the Old Girls’ Cup for her continued contribution to hockey as Captain of Grosvenor LHC. Thanks must go, as always, 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 families, 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 will be great to see you all again next year to fight for the title! 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.

Barry, Catherine

University of Aberdeen, MA French-Hispanic Studies

Bates, Rachel

Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine

Carson, Sarah

Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Architecture

Christie, Anne

Ulster University, BDes Graphic Design and Illustration

Davison, Lisa

Queen’s University, Belfast, MEng Mechanical Engineering

Duggan, Olivia

Newcastle University, BA Modern Languages

Earle, Christine

Queen’s University, Belfast, MPharm Pharmacy

Greer, Holly

Queen’s University, Belfast, Cert Clinical Education

Guard, Jennifer

Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Criminology and Sociology

Hawthorne, Jordan

Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law

Kewley, Abbie-Leigh

Queen’s University, Belfast, BTh Theology

Lister, Rachel

Ulster University, BA Fine Art

Magill, Holly

Newcastle University, BSc Information Systems


Ulster University, BSc Sociology

Martin, Ailsa

Ulster University, BSc Sociology and Criminology

McCarthy, Sarah

Queen’s University, Belfast, MSci Mathematics

McClements, Nicole

Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Computing and IT

McConnell, Katy

Queen’s University, Belfast, Cert Clinical Education

McConnell, Kate

Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine


Queen’s University, Belfast, BA Linguistics and Spanish

McKeown, Laura

Heriot-Watt, BSc Mathematical, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences

Megrath, Rachel

Ulster University, BSc Interactive Multimedia Design

Menice, Suzanne

Newcastle University, MMath Mathematics

Moffett, Stacey

Ulster University, BSc Leisure and Events Management

Noad, Rebecca

Queen’s University, Belfast, PhD Medicine

O’Neill, Julia

Ulster University, BSc Sociology

Seaton Kelly, Caelinn

Queen’s University, Belfast, BA English

Simpson, Laura

Ulster University, BSc Biomedical Science

Smyth, Helen

Queen’s University, Belfast, LLB Law

Smyth, Stefanie

Queen’s University, Belfast, BA French and Spanish

Somerville, Laura

Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine

Spence, Aislinn

Newcastle University, LLB Law

Thompson, Jennifer

Ulster University, BEng Engineering Management

Todd, Jennifer

Queen’s University, Belfast, MB Medicine

Wilson, Emma

Ulster University, BDes Graphic Design and Illustration

Wilson, Rebecca

Queen’s University, Belfast, BSc Architecture

Winder, Jennifer

Ulster University, BSc Computer Science

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

Front cover back cover -

Lauren Duncan - AS Level Annabel Terry - A Level

Magazine 2015  
Magazine 2015