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Strathearn School 2016

from the principal


elcome to the Strathearn School Magazine for 2016, which documents another great year in the life of our community. As you will see in the reports and photographs that follow, this has been a busy and rewarding year for our pupils and staff. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to share with you, through the pages of this magazine, some of the year’s highlights. We continue to be very proud of the academic success of our pupils, and we celebrated this together in our Prize Night. Full details about these successes can be found in the pages that follow. Our Guest of Honour at this event was Mrs Suzanne Wylie, the current Chief Executive of Belfast City Council, and a parent of two former Strathearn pupils. In her highly engaging and thoughtprovoking speech, Mrs Wylie challenged our pupils to establish high aspirations for their future careers. She also urged the girls to define themselves by what they are truly interested in, rather than what others expect them to be interested in.  The evening ended with a presentation to the Guest of Honour and two beautiful performances from our Chamber Choir. It is, however, a very important part of our ethos in Strathearn that we do not simply focus on the academic. In sport, we are delighted to have had a range of successes at both district and Ulster levels this year. In music, special congratulations should go to the Chamber Choir for their success in the Open Choral Competition in the Bangor International Choral Festival. In drama, our senior actors are to be highly commended for their very entertaining production of Daisy Pulls It Off. 

As many of you will know, this will be the last time that I welcome you to the Strathearn School Magazine. It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the life of such an excellent school, and I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to every one of you for the support you give us in so many ways. Our magazine celebrates Strathearn’s traditions, achievements and values; special thanks to everyone who has contributed to it. I think you will agree that a high level of design and technical expertise is evident throughout these pages, and I would particularly like to thank Dr McBride for his work in his first year as editor.

As you will see from this edition of the magazine, we are also proud of our strong links with the local community. The girls are involved in collaborations with other schools, work experience placements, educational visits, field trips, art exhibitions, competitions of various types, and much more. Full details of the girls’ involvement in these, and other, areas of extracurricular activity can be found throughout this magazine. I hope that the magazine’s articles and accompanying photos will give you a real sense of the genuine enthusiasm our pupils have for such a wide range of activities.

Holly Pinkerton,  A-level 1


Faye Wallace, GCSE Level

From the Principal 1 Contents 2 Board of Governors 3 School Staff 4 Form One Photographs 5-9 The School Year 10 Sixth Form Office Bearers 11 Sixth Form Photograph 12 The Prize Distribution 13 The Principal’s Speech 13-17 The Guest of Honour’s Speech 17 Clubs, Events & Societies 18-34 Drama 35 House Play Competition 36 House Reports 37-40 Games Captain’s Report 41 Sport 42-61 Literary Section 62-65 Penrhyn 66-83 Parents’ & Old Girls’ Associations 84 2

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 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

Faye Wallace, GCSE Level


school staff PRINCIPAL

Mr D Manning BSc PGCE

Megan McOuat, GCSE Level


Mrs L Myers MBE BEd PQH 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 Mr A Scott BA PGCE


Mr M Stevenson BSc PGCE Miss S McGahon BSc PGCE Mrs D Millar BA PGCE Mrs L Staples BSc PGCE


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



Mrs A Blayney BSc PGCE Miss S McGahon BSc PGCE

Mr A Atkinson BEd Miss R Newburn BEd



Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Mrs S Toal BSc PGCE


Mrs J Anderson BSc PGCE Mrs R Aiken BSc PGCE Mrs FE Cochrane BSc PGCE Mrs L Cozzo BSc PGCE Mr J English BSc 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 Mr D Newell BA PGCE Mrs J Thompson BA PGCE Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez Mrs N Wilson





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


Miss J Stewart BSc PGCE PQH Miss E Foster BSc MSc PGCE Mrs J D Gray MTeach BSc PGCE Miss MA Grier BSc PGCE Miss AM Griffith BSc PGCE Mrs A McCracken MEd BSc PGCE Dr KA Ross BSc PGCE Ms L Wallace MPhys PGCE Mrs J Dalzell BSc PGCE

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


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



Mrs L Collins MA




Mrs J Atkinson BEd Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD

PREMISES STAFF Mr S Alexander Mr J Algie Mr T McConnell


TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF Ms S Bole BEd DASEHIC Mrs M Butters Miss G Campbell BSc Mr D Carrington BSc Miss J Feeny Miss R Funston Mr J Hoeritzauer MA ATDE Miss A Jordan BSc Miss M Magee Mrs J Matthews Mrs J McCulloch BA MSc Mr S Millar HND BSc Miss R Morrison BA Miss N Nixon Mrs P Patterson BA Dip SW PQSW Mrs R Quail BA PgDipSc Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS Mrs E Smyth Miss E Smyth Mrs S Vollands Mrs D Welsh BA Dip IS


Mrs V Crymble Ms L Gillespie Mrs E Madden Mrs W McCluskey Mrs J McConnell Ms M Mellon Mrs C Nesbitt Mrs S Nsuenchma Mrs E Walker

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

ANCILLARY STAFF Mrs A McLaughlin Ms P McNeice

form 1s

Back Row: Amy Ellison, Hannah Stanfield, Lauren Nesbitt, Casey Dawson, Mia Davison, Sarah Lowry, Ella Baxter Middle Row: Andra Vladu, Gabriella Park, Sarah Catherall, Ella Keane, Rachel Childs, Ellie Van Giesen, Penny Hood, Mrs Thompson Front Row: Rachel McDonald, Ellie Massey, Emma Campbell, Sophie Killiner, Hannah McCartney,  Alice Henry, Catherine O’Reilly

Eryn McQuillan,  A-level 5

form 1t Amy Martin, GCSE Level

Back Row: Lucy Chambers, Lauren Lawther, Evie Gallen,  Amy Major,  Julia Rawson, Eva McClean,  Abi Stevenson Middle Row: Eloise Johnston, Mia Montgomery, Megan Allen,  Amy Titterington, Sophie McCann, Rachel Constant,  Alex Graham, Sophie Jordan, Mya Ruddock, Miss Stewart Front Row: Zara Hanna,  Alice Sloan, Laura Gordon,  Aliah McCurry, Kristanna Clegg, Sarah Clarke, Holly Darley, Sasha White


form 1r

Back Row: Rachel Neale, Ellie Dempster,  Anna Hughes, Elise Breadon, Grace Ross,  Amy Mawhinney, Emily Warnock Middle Row: Sophie Hagan,  Tilly Nield, Cheryl Watson,  Annabel Holden, Grace Bowman, Lara Finlay, Nicole Hanna, Rosie Elwood, Mrs Agnew Front Row: Lucy Bole, Faith Heyburn, Freya Beers, Lauren Mooney,  Aiswarya Venugopal, Lauren Farmer, Lara Whitten, Annie Heavern Absent:

Emily McAree

Niamh Carey,  A-level


form 1a

Back Row:

Lilli Boyd, Zara Rintoul, Rose Rebbeck, Zoitsa Leliveld, Isabella Todd, Lauren Ayre, Katie Holmes, Rebecca Moore Middle Row: Leah Howe, Natalya Ricketts,  Anna McKinty,  Aoife Moore,  Taylor McCullough, Louise Simms, Erin McConnell, Mrs Morrow Front Row: Lola Gibbons, Lois Gillan,  Alex Coetzee, Niamh Hanna,  Jessica Blair, Eden Byrne,  Anna Gillespie

Jenni Watt,  AS-level 8

form 1h Corinna Clegg, GCSE Level

Back Row: Ellie Dornan,  Jodie Morgan, Megan Stewart, Sarah Ellison, Molly Elliott, Emmerald Emerson, Sarah Lynch, Middle Row: Lily Oxborrow,  Alysha Andrews, Maia Simmons, Kate McEvoy, Emma Legge, Rachel Golden, Rebecca McCleary, Mrs Cochrane Front Row: Alexandra Speers,  Joanna Carson, Nicole Gallagher, Rebecca Hill, Seren Evans, Ellie Johnston, Eva Pagels, Catherine Welsh 9

school year


t really is difficult to believe that we have almost reached the those who worked behind the scenes. Special thanks should end of our time in Strathearn. The last twelve months have also go to Carly Magee and Mr Atkinson who helped with the brought much joy and excitement, along with some fantastic technical side of things. challenges. Rachel, Dakota and I have had a great final year. After This year has also seen the introduction of a further range our appointments in April 2015, we set to work. In our first task, of opportunities to participate in the House system. House we had the privilege of helping out at the GCSE and A-Level Art events included quizzes, talent shows, sporting competitions, Exhibition.  We were so impressed by, and a little envious of, the and of course the exciting House Bake-Off. Each of these artistic talent displayed by the girls of Strathearn. events turned out to be a great success. Many thanks to Ms In June we followed this up by welcoming and greeting girls at Young and her team who helped coordinate and plan all of these the Form 1 Induction Evening. We also enjoyed helping out at activities; they really did provide an abundance of opportunities Sports Day. Many thanks to all of the PE staff and the Upper to showcase the many talents hiding in our midst! Sixth girls who helped to organise this fantastic day. Events As this year draws to a close, I look back and reflect on my time ranging from running and jumping, to shot putt and rounders, in at Strathearn. I arrived in 2009 as a fresh and eager Form 1 pupil, both junior and senior school, provided us with opportunities to and I have loved every minute of my time here. Girls in this meet some more girls from around school and very importantly year’s Upper Sixth have seen many changes and developments have fun with the younger members of our school community. in Strathearn, from the great achievement of being awarded The The Formal Committee was announced in late April. Their Sunday Times Northern Ireland State Secondary School of the first challenge was organising the fundraiser - the Junior School Year for 2012, to the construction of our new school and even Disco. It had been a few years since we had last attended a the exciting arrival of Royalty for the official opening. I know the school disco, but we tried our best to provide an evening of fun Class of 2016 will look back fondly on all the memories made for girls and boys in P7 to Form 2. The evening turned out to be here, in Strathearn. a great success and we raised lots of money, which proved very During my Prize Night speech in October I quoted Marcus useful in the later stages of Formal planning! Tullius Cicero. He considered the act of gratitude to be not just The arrival of September had a bittersweet feel to it - our ‘Last the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.  With this in First Day.’ Upper Sixth welcomed the arrival of a common room mind, I will end my time here at Strathearn by saying thank you. period each day, along with many other perks including control Firstly, I must thank Rachel and Dakota. Your unfailing support, of the speaker in the common room. Mrs Madden provided encouragement, reassurance and advice made my final year a constant support and encouragement to us all throughout the really rewarding and enjoyable one. I am so glad to have had both year. She kept us in check but still managed to provide us with of you by my side throughout. Thank you so much! I would also many laughs and a seemingly never-ending supply of coffee, like to thank Mrs Myers, Mrs Graham and all of the teaching and tea and milk. Thank you Mrs Madden for your hard work and non-teaching staff of Strathearn. We only spent a few weeks support over the last two years - we wouldn’t have been able with Mrs Graham at the end of the summer term of 2015, but to cope without you! the advice she gave us during that time proved invaluable. Mrs September hit and so did the Formal frenzy. Whilst many of us Myers has been a constant voice of reason, support and gentle had been talking about this event for quite some time, Formal steering throughout the year - without her Rachel, Dakota and chat now moved to a new level. It amazed me how we still I would have been lost. Thank you Mrs Myers. had anything to talk about once the actual evening arrived!  The My final thank you goes to the Class of 2016. I have loved main topics under discussion included the band, the food, the spending my time at Strathearn with you all. Thank you for all awards, the photographer, the tickets and of course the guests. the memories we have shared over the past seven years.  To the The Formal Committee rose to the challenge with style, and current Lower Sixth, and the incoming Head Girl, Deputies and managed to coordinate every last detail to the highest standard. Office Bearers, we wish you the very best for next year. It will The team worked tirelessly for two months, with regular weekly fly by, so relish every moment of your final year. meetings and lots of organisation in between times. I cannot Rachael Thomas, Head Girl express my gratitude enough to each member of the committee. The hard work and preparation they put in behind the scenes in order to ensure that the night was a success was enormous. We will all remember it for many years to come. Of course, we would also like to thank Mrs Myers – her guidance and support were invaluable throughout the whole process, and we couldn’t have done it without her. The autumn term is always a busy and exciting one. With the first term comes the House Plays - one of the most anticipated events of the school calendar. I played the part of a wall in my first house play – such was my enthusiasm to be part of the two days of fun and laughter! The dedication and preparation put in by the House Captains is immeasurable. Preparation for the plays begins long before September, with each house choosing, casting, directing, and perhaps even writing, a play. This is certainly not a task for the faint-hearted! Despite all of these challenges, each of the Houses put on a Head Girl and Deputies fantastic performance. Congratulations to each of the House Captains, all of the actors and all Dakota Armour, Rachael Thomas, Rachel Bruce


sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Saskia Craig, Lydia Millar, Rosalind Skillen, Katie Mashford,  Anieshia Bedford Middle Row:  Alana McVea, Ella McAllister, Florence Ogonda, Shannon Booth, Hannah Eakin,  Jill Fergie Front Row: Gabrielle Park,  Abby Larmour, Dakota Armour, Rachael Thomas, Rachel Bruce, Erin Larmour,  Amy Gilpin Absent: Katy Anderson,  Aimée Irwin

Rachel Cowan, GCSE Level 11

sixth form

Back Row:

Sarah Simpson, Eve Allister, Zoe Irwin,  Ariana Gallen, Emily McGowan, Phoebe Gibson,  Anna Ross, Kate McCormack, Rachel Powderly, Emma Watson, Natasha Herron, Laura Middleton, Charlotte Aston, Lucy Robinson, Sophie Martin, Naomi Beckett,  Alice Campbell, Monique Knipe

Fourth Row: Lauren Darragh,  Amy Hepworth, Charis Wright, Claudia Paulin, Emily Boyd,  Jenni Watt, Lea McClenaghan, Katie Dutton,  Anna Warden,  Alex Cush, Hannah Adair, Jennifer Graham,  Amy Shields, Nina Glendinning, Emily Whiteside, Laura Bell, Megan Marrs, Georgia Barnshaw,  Jenny Maynes Third Row:

Nina Graham, Anna Kane, Rosanna Johnston,  Jade Stewart, Abby Sheridan, Chloe Stevenson, Lauren Irwin, Rose Hinds, Amber Pollock, Rebecca Poots, Kristyn McCaughey, Chloe Jeanes,  Aimee Richardson, Emma Wilson, Rachel Lemon, Susanna Griffin, Stephanie Devlin, Fiona Gibson, Leah Deehan

Second Row: Lucy Dolan, Courtney Dunlop, Rachel Elliott, Lara Creighton, Chloe McCabe, Rebekah Kenny, Katie McMurran, Naomi Young,  Amy Dutton, Lauren Brooker, Lara Sweet, Tori Megarry, Kezia Hobson, Sophie Hull, Nicky Montgomery, Louise Owens, Molly Purdy, Chloe Chapman, Katie Horner Front Row:

Ammaarah Ghafoor,  Anieshia Bedford, Katie Mashford, Hannah Eakin, Erin Larmour, Florence Ogonda, Ella McAllister,  Abby Larmour, Gabrielle Park, Dakota  Armour, Rachael Thomas, Rachel Bruce,  Amy Gilpin, Rosalind Skillen,  Alana McVea,  Jill Fergie, Shannon Booth, Lydia Millar, Saskia Craig,  Amy Cairnduff


prize distribution/principal’s speech


his year the prize giving took place in the Sports Hall on 6 October. Our Head Girl, Rachael  Thomas, welcomed everyone to the event and invited the Chair of the Board of Governors, Patricia Stewart, to address the audience. Good evening girls, families and friends, Strathearn staff, and our Guest of Honour, Mrs Suzanne Wylie. Mrs Wylie is the Chief Executive of Belfast City Council. It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Board of Governors, to welcome you all to the 2015 Strathearn School Prize Night. How lovely to see so many people join us tonight to celebrate the success of so many of our pupils. Over the last number of Prize Nights we have reported on progress regarding the new school build. The building programme started with the first sod being cut on 23 March 2011. This year I am delighted to report that, with the completion of the gymnasium and two more tennis courts, the final pieces are now in place and our new building was completed on 19 December 2014. During the past year there are so many highlights to choose to talk about, but tonight I wish to focus on two in particular which are linked to our new school. The first was our Open Day which was held on 17 January 2015. All our guests, and there were some 900 who attended the Principal’s talks, were warmly welcomed by pupils, staff and the Board of Governors. There was a wonderful energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and indeed pride in the school shown by pupils and staff, and I have no doubt that many left thinking what an excellent school Strathearn is. That morning demonstrated to me what a powerful combination we have - outstanding teaching, complemented by excellent facilities. My daughter, who is a past pupil and currently working in Australia, was home on holiday and she was able to come to the Open Day. She was so impressed to see the new school in all its glory, although I think when she visited the new Sixth Form Centre she could not help but contrast the new facilities with those she had experienced - she was very envious! The second highlight was the official opening of our school by His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex on 25 February 2015. What a day it was! We know the Earl had an enjoyable experience as we received a letter from his Private Secretary and I will just read you a small extract from it: “You will be unsurprised to hear that the Earl of Wessex visits

Anna Campbell,  A-level

quite a few schools, but I can safely say that the welcome he received at Strathearn upon his arrival was the most appreciative I have seen in a long while.  The Earl of Wessex was very impressed with the facilities and infrastructure of the new school buildings and was very aware of how articulate, polite, mature and keen were the girls whom he met during his tour.” I must thank David Manning and all the pupils and staff who were involved in planning the day which was a tremendous success. The common thread for me running through these two events was our pupils, who demonstrated so powerfully that we are providing an education and instilling values which will equip them throughout their lives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank David for yet another year of exceptional leadership of the school, and my sincere thanks to all the staff for your outstanding contribution over the past year. To each and every one of you, thank you for your continued commitment to Strathearn. We are very fortunate to have an energetic and skilful Board of Governors who not only faithfully attend Board meetings, but also participate in the Finance, Personnel, Health and Safety, Legal and Curriculum Committees, with the Chairs of all these committees sitting on the Forward Planning Committee. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Board of Governors for their continued commitment and support. Peter Caldwell, who served on the Board of Governors for twenty-nine years, stood down in June of this year. Peter played a leading role in the planning for the new school and we are most grateful for his efforts. We will shortly hear from our Principal, David Manning, about why we have so much to celebrate. In conclusion, can I offer my congratulations to everyone gathered here in the sure knowledge that you have all played a role in the life of Strathearn.


adam Chairman, Mrs Wylie, 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 Mrs Wylie has been able to join us this evening. She comes to us as a very important official in our local government, but also as someone who, for a number of years, sat down there in the body of the hall as a parent of two Strathearn girls. Mrs Wylie, I had the great pleasure of teaching one of your daughters, and in all that time I only remember her getting one thing incorrect - choosing Law over Mathematics for a career! We appreciate your presence, look forward to what you have to say to us later, and I hope you will enjoy and be encouraged by being with us this evening. Tonight we are here to celebrate the efforts and successes of the Strathearn Community, to rejoice at the academic and many other opportunities available within the school, and to reward individual success. Welcome girls and families who are here for the first time, and welcome back those whose consistent performance ensures they are here again tonight. I am particularly delighted that on this occasion, we can invite the families of every one of our L6 pupils so that we can celebrate together the achievement of each of the girls in their GCSE examinations. Their excellent performance in public examinations shows the value of being able to attend Strathearn School. You are especially welcome and I do hope all our guests and pupils will join us for refreshments afterwards over in Miskelly Deli. So we celebrate first the great success of the girls at GCSE. Nearly two-thirds of the year group achieved grades A or A* in at least 5 of their subjects. 63% of the grades awarded were at A


principal’s speech or A*, and it is particularly pleasing to note that 1 out of every 4 grades in Strathearn is at the top A* grade. This all compares most favourably with the NI figures for girls in Grammar Schools and shows the difference that attending Strathearn makes in terms of academic achievement - that is value added! Those are the numbers, but behind them are the individuals who have worked hard with their teachers to achieve this great success. Tonight, as always, I will read out the names of those girls who have achieved so many top grades, but later this evening each pupil in L6 will walk across the platform so that we can recognise and celebrate their individual achievement. 9 pupils achieved eight GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Eve Johnston, Helen Navalli, Hannah Craig, Sophie Lewis, Lauren Kane, Gemma Burnside, Amy Lynch, Oriel Dawson and Alex Gillan. 29 girls achieved straight As in at least 9 subjects. Firstly, those 8 girls who achieved 9 As with up to 4 at the top A* grade. Amy McCrossan, Rachael McNeill, Georgia Coulter, Maddy Miskimmin, Grace Deeny, Sophie Pružina, Kate Farrelly and Rachael Kelly. Jane Hunter, Amy Martin, Faye Wallace and Victoria White each achieved 4 As and 5 A* grades. Special congratulations to Faye Wallace, who I am pleased to announce this evening has been placed second in the NI CCEA Short Course RS examination. Rhia Prentice and Anna Wilson are to be highly commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Rachel Henry, Matilda Storey, Rachel Cowan, Georgia Stewart and Amy Truesdale for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s. Ailie McKinty, Fionn Clarke, Emma Lowry and Emma Reihill should be delighted with having achieved a splendid 1 A and 8 A*s. In addition to all this brilliant achievement, 6 girls this year, are being awarded with our top prize, having achieved straight A* grades in each of their GCSE subjects. Those girls are: Lauren Bailie, Keziah Beattie, Sarah Brown, Georgina Gomes, Kerry Hepworth and Mehika Sood. Congratulations to all our GCSE candidates on having achieved such super results. At AS-level we were delighted with the strength of achievement attained by the girls. 101 out of the 109 pupils achieved at least one grade A or B, and 81% achieved at least 3 grades A to C. Prizes are awarded to pupils in last year’s L6 who have achieved 3 or 4 A grades in their AS examinations.Tonight we reward 32 girls who have achieved this top level of performance, and 15 pupils who achieved A grades in 4 subjects. This is a super level of performance and a great base from which to secure success in A-levels next year. At A-level, against the NI figure of 11.3% for girls in Grammar Schools, Strathearn girls set a new record having achieved 18.6% of grades at  A*.  Our percentage of grades A and A* (50.8%), is also significantly better than the NI figure for girls in Grammar Schools.  At GCSE and A-level, big numbers can sound impressive, but when we have the context of the NI figures it helps all of us see the great success of the Strathearn pupils. This year 32 out of the 102 girls achieved 3 straight As or better - that is 30% of the year group for the second successive year. Hermione Anstey, Jenni Chambers, Hannah Craig, Rebecca Davidson, Emma Flannigan, Chloe Reihill and Laura McMillan each achieved 4 grade As or better. Congratulations to Laura who was top of the year with 4  A* grades. We wish Laura well as she starts Balliol College, Oxford, to study History and Economics.

In your Prize Night booklet you will see the full list of all the prizes awarded to the Class of 2015 at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which our students are embarking. In August we always receive some lovely comments from parents. This year I was particularly pleased by some who commented that not only were they delighted with the academic achievements of their daughters, but also that the school offered so much more and seemed to get the balance right between study and other activities. I am certain that those who do best academically are not sitting in the house every night doing homeworks or, at the other extreme, don’t have a moment to themselves because they are involved in too much. There must be a balance. Girls, I want to encourage you all to get and keep involved with sport, music, drama, clubs and societies, and activities outside school. Do something that is not for your CV or Personal Statement, but just for you. And parents, I am going to express a concern I have. As Principal of this school, and before a room full of your high-achieving daughters, could I ask you to be careful about two things? 1. Is your praise ever spoilt by ‘but’? You know what I mean ‘that’s great but what did you get wrong?’ Or, ‘but what did soand-so get?’ 2. Is your daughter overscheduled? Does she really need another activity or experience for her Personal Statement? How much free time does she have to herself? Please, for the sake of your daughters, answer those questions honestly and take action if required. All the girls here tonight deserve great praise. Parents, your interest, support and even that essential taxiing service have all contributed to the success we celebrate this evening. I hope you are rightly proud of your daughters’ achievements - whether she is in Form 2 or Form U6. On behalf of the girls and the staff of Strathearn, I say thank you mum and dad for your support and encouragement. At Prize Night over the last number of years, I have had the great pleasure of being able to declare another record broken in GCSE,  AS or A-level examinations. I am certain that we make and break these records because of our highly skilled, professional and dedicated staff. Each year I am delighted to receive cards of thanks after the examination results and this year there were two recurring themes: admiration for the skill and thoroughness of the teachers, and appreciation for the personal interest they have shown in the girls - helping them develop and build


principal’s speech Anna Campbell,  A-level

confidence.  Our teachers’ commitment to excellence, and their interest and focus on our pupils, continue to make learning in Strathearn a very rewarding experience. My thanks to them for their dedication and most significant contribution to the success we are celebrating this evening. I am also pleased to acknowledge all the work done by our great team of support staff. Their daily assistance and contribution in a wide variety of ways are essential to securing the high standard of provision we offer our pupils. Over this last year we have said good bye to a number of staff who have made a most significant contribution to Strathearn. Mrs Cowie had been Art Technician for seventeen years. Her calm, efficient manner and organisational skills have been invaluable to the department, and she was a great support to the teachers. She oversaw, for the department, the mammoth task of the move into the new school and left everything very well organized. We wish her well with her move to England. Miss McFarland began her teaching career in Strathearn in 2008. She quickly established herself as a most enthusiastic and able mathematician, earning an excellent reputation among pupils and colleagues. Her enthusiasm was demonstrated in the classroom, as a Form 1 tutor, and in a wide range of activities including sport and assisting behind the scenes with drama productions. Miss McFarland’s drive and determination were well seen by us all, and we wish her well in her appointment to Head of Maths in Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock. Miss Taylor joined Strathearn as Head of PE in 2000 with a vision for sport: to have every pupil physically active, and not just the elite performers. The purposeful and engaging experiences the girls received in lessons every week really encouraged them and led to a consistently extremely high uptake of extracurricular sport. In this area, she proved to be a very successful coach, especially in hockey and tennis. Miss Taylor’s relationships with pupils at all levels was exemplary and I don’t know how she remembered so many pupils’ names, individual characters and sporting abilities. A great team leader, she has also left a legacy in the superb sporting facilities we now enjoy and which she took great personal pride in seeing come to reality. We wish Glynis well as she takes time out to develop a range of interests. Mrs Wyeth has been a stalwart of the Modern Languages Department for twenty-three years. An extremely hardworking teacher, she has a fantastic knowledge of all things German and of course passed that knowledge and love to her pupils and colleagues. For most of her time in Strathearn, she was the prime mover for a host of different language trips. In addition, she led and co-led both the Junior SU and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme for many years. Her pupils knew her to be a gentle,


dedicated and committed teacher who always had their best interests to the fore. Her pastoral qualities were most evident over the eighteen years she worked as a Form 1 tutor, and also as Year Head for nine years.  A very faithful colleague and supporter of the whole Strathearn community, we wish her a very long and happy retirement. Dr Pauley was appointed to Strathearn thirty-six years ago, and so was our longest serving member of staff. Her academic ability and teaching skills are well renowned in the classroom and beyond, and epitomised by the esteem in which she is held by her pupils and the many who achieved top places in Northern Ireland in their examinations. She imparts her great love of literature, particularly poetry, and colleagues and pupils have benefitted from her thoughtful and scholarly insight. Over the years she has held many promoted posts, and was editor of the school magazine for thirty-two years and latterly produced the newsletters.  Jennifer has steered these publications with a steady and innovative hand so that we have one of the best school magazines in NI. In staff consultations and discussions, she brought wit, insight and a refreshing sense of perspective. A great scholar and teacher of English and a wise and trusted colleague, Jennifer will be missed by us all and we wish her well for a long and enriching retirement. Mrs Connery joined the staff eight years ago as our Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning. She quickly showed herself to be a very enthusiastic Geography teacher, and was equally at home in the classroom or out on field trips with Form 1 or Form U6. In her role as Vice Principal she enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in every aspect of school life, including working with our Preparatory Department and the Parents’ Association. We benefitted from her organisational skills, and many staff and pupils acknowledge the care and support she gave them at key and appropriate moments.  We all recognised in Nicola someone who had an interest in and ability for school management, and so we were not surprised when she was appointed as Principal to Wellington College. We do still keep in contact and wish her well in that most responsible position. Mrs Graham had been with us in Strathearn for ten years. She too has a passion for Geography and her extensive knowledge was used to great benefit, particularly in the Sixth Form. I have met quite a number of her past pupils whom she inspired to follow her into a teaching career. In her role as Pastoral Vice Principal, she worked tirelessly to oversee the day-to-day pastoral care and set the standard for compassion and commitment to the pupils. Helene put her heart and soul into the job, and it is an emotionally draining but also rewarding role. In addition she led us with patience and determination through very significant pieces

principal’s speech of work like the changes to uniform and the Positive Behaviour Policy, and a lesser person without Helene’s conviction and work ethic would have given up on either. Helene has left us a lasting legacy and an excellent pastoral reputation. We wish her well in the very active retirement that she has planned. To corrupt a quote from Oscar Wilde, “to lose one VP may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” Tonight, however, I officially welcome two new Vice Principals; Mrs Quinn to her first Prize Night in Strathearn, and Mrs Myers, who has been here even more often than me, but tonight in her new role. I am pleased to report that both have settled in very easily to their new responsibilities. I also pay tribute to all the work carried out by our Governors, which although rarely seen is vital for our success. We are most fortunate to have a group of individuals, from a variety of professional backgrounds, who are highly skilled and committed to Strathearn.  They have a proven track record in their oversight of the running of this school, and also in planning to ensure we have the resources to build and run the school against budgets that have been cut every year. On behalf of us all I thank them for their interest, commitment and vision. Our Parents’ Association continues to raise great sums of money at the same time as supporting the school and enhancing the experience of the girls. The year finished with a Fete in the grounds of Pernhyn with far from summer weather! During the year there was also a table quiz for parents but the highlight for the pupils continues to be the discos for pupils in P7, Form 1 and Form 2. Thank you to the parents who organise all these events and who, by their presence, make them such a successful experience. Last year we received cheques totalling a tremendous £16,000 for the Secondary and Preparatory Departments.  Thank you to all who have supported the School and Association to raise this wonderful sum of money. As in previous years, I will highlight just a few of the areas from this past year, beginning with sport, drama and music. In January this year, the PE Department was at last able to take possession of a new gymnasium and two more tennis courts. Our sports facilities are superb, and are used by community sports groups every night of the week. I would ask Mrs Wylie to pass on to the councillors of Belfast City Council our great thanks and appreciation in granting us permission to purchase 2.66 acres of Belmont Park. That piece, along with our own land, allowed us to fit in six tennis courts, one synthetic and two all-weather hockey pitches.  We still need to hire CI hockey pitch three times each week, but that piece of land has allowed us to provide great facilities on-site for the girls every day. Hockey and netball remain the most popular sports but there is a wide range of other sports to allow the girls develop their fitness and skills. Last year, we had teams crowned champions at Ulster level from each of these sports: athletics, cross-country, dance, showjumping, squash, swimming and tennis.  There were also a few Irish triumphs as well! A full list of all the awards and individual honours won by the girls at Northern Ireland, Ulster, Irish and UK level is included in the last few pages of your Prize Night booklet. I do recommend a read of those pages and acknowledge all the training and commitment of the girls to reach such a high level of attainment in so many sports. Well done to everyone who made it such a successful year for sport in Strathearn! Last year we were able to get to grips with all the new sound, lighting and projection equipment in our Assembly Hall. This added so much to the House Plays in October and then to our joint senior production of Grease with Campbell College in December. That performance was a tremendous success with the cast of fifty-nine pupils playing to the P7 classes of Strandtown Primary and then to packed houses over the three nights. The standard of the production was way beyond that expected of a


Clara Fetherston, GCSE Level

school and the singing, dancing and acting were all highly praised by those who attended. It really showcased the school and demonstrated the wealth of talent of the pupils which has been so well developed by the staff over a number of years.  Well done to everyone involved in Drama last year. The Music Department was also key to the success of Grease but they had their own triumphs including the Autumn and Spring Concerts, and the School Carol Service. Each week hundreds of pupils voluntarily gather together at lunchtime and after school to sing and play together, and already we have had great interest from our new Form 1 pupils. It has been lovely to see the re-emergence of the Traditional Group and we enjoyed their performances in both school concerts. Last year at Prize Night we heard from a member of the Chamber Choir about their success in the RTE All Island School Choir of the Year, in which we won the Northern Ireland heat to make it through to a live televised grand final from the Titanic Centre in Belfast. Since then, the Chamber Choir has been back on TV winning a place at the semi-finals and then the final of the BBC’s Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year. Like the RTE competition, this was the first time the Chamber Choir had entered for this competition. We enjoyed a great weekend filming and were thrilled to be awarded the runners-up position. Tonight you have already enjoyed the playing of some of our pupils and we look forward to hearing the Chamber Choir as they round off the evening in their usual accomplished and entertaining way. My thanks to all who so successfully played a part in the musical life of Strathearn in this last year. Our very attractive school magazine and the school website record in much more detail something of the life of Strathearn over this last year. I round off my report this evening by highlighting two royal aspects of our school experiences last year: The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and our official opening.

guest of honour’s speech The  Award Scheme has had a very long and successful association with Strathearn, and when Prince Edward was with us in 1993 he was Guest of Honour at a province-wide event hosted in Strathearn. Over the last few years we have added Silver and Gold to the thriving Bronze Award and have also been able to offer canoeing as well as hillwalking for the expeditions. Last year 159 senior pupils were involved in the scheme - 67 at Bronze, 36 at Silver and 26 at Gold, and I am particularly pleased to note the very high completion rate that we enjoy. Girls must show a weekly commitment to participate in three areas: skills, physical and volunteering. Last year Strathearn girls completed over 3,200 hours of voluntary service to youth and community groups, charities, and to individuals in need – that makes a difference to our community and to the girls! For many, the highlight of the award is the expedition which, after much training at Gold level, culminates in a 4 day and 3 night qualifying expedition. Last summer, one hillwalking group completed their Gold Expedition in the Jura Mountains on the French/Swiss border, and three groups completed their canoeing expedition along the Royal Canal and River Shannon in the Republic of Ireland. One of those groups recorded their experiences on video and edited it to produce a video report on what they learnt. I am going to play a short part of that to let you see how they got on and give you a flavour of what a canoeing expedition is like. Mr Manning showed the short film and continued: The other Royal aspect of last year was the official opening of the school by HRH Prince Edward, on 25 February 2015. On 25 February 1993 - 22 years to the day - HRH arrived in a red

helicopter on the front lawn to officially open this Sports Hall where we meet this evening. When I reminded him of that day, the Prince commented that he remembered that the girls were more interested in the helicopters and the pilots than they were in him. I have to say that was true.  This time, however, he was very much the centre of attention and so many pupils got a chance to see and speak with him. Let’s get a reminder of the official opening of our school. Mr Manning showed a video of the official opening of the school, and continued: The official opening of Strathearn School marked the end of an era with us at last having our new school complete. Planning for this began in earnest 12 years ago when the architects were appointed in August 2003. So we have arrived. We have great facilities, academic renown, recognition for music, sport and drama, and as a school which cares for its pupils.  We have arrived - arrived at the start of the next era. And we need the help of all pupils, parents and staff to shape how we plan for this next stage. In a few weeks, you, along with all the members of the Strathearn Community, will receive a questionnaire asking your opinion about Strathearn. Please do complete that - we need to know your views - and when all the responses are gathered we will be able to use them to prepare for the future success of Strathearn School. Madam Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to conclude my report on such a special year for Strathearn School.


rs Wylie presented the prizes and awards, and in her speech she congratulated the prize winners and expressed her pleasure at being present at the occasion.

The first ever female Chief Executive of Belfast City Council, Mrs Wylie manages a budget of over £200 million. Her role involves overseeing the Council’s management of high-profile events, tourism, and large-scale building projects. As part of her job, she has also met a number of very famous people, including the Queen, Jeremy Paxman, Van Morrison, and even the Irish rugby legend, Brian O’Driscoll. Whilst Mrs Wylie was quick to comment that she had never experienced any sexist discrimination in her professional life, she did express a concern that there are not enough women in positions of senior responsibility in the workplace. She stated her belief that this lack of female role models in high-level positions is problematic, and urged the girls not to place a limit on their aspirations. Mrs Wylie urged the girls to base their career choices not on the expectations of others, but rather on what they themselves are interested in.  A person should define themselves by what they love, rather than what society considers to be important. She also spoke of the importance of being open-minded in terms of choosing careers, and encouraged the girls to consider a wide range of options. She ended her speech by encouraging the girls to stretch themselves, to try new things, and to step outside of their comfort zones. In these ways, Mrs Wylie contended, an individual grows and develops. After a presentation to our Guest of Honour by the Deputy Head Girls, Dakota Armour and Rachel Bruce, the Chamber Choir brought the evening to a close with a beautiful performance of McGlynn’s Geantraí and a setting of the traditional Irish Blessing by Stopford.


Lucy Browne,  A-level

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 Scheme 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 their own programme around their existing interests and talents. Girls must ask an interested adult to verify and report on their activities. The purpose of the scheme is to teach self-reliance, personal organisation, self-confidence and 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. Hillwalking expeditions for Bronze and Silver take place in the Mourne Mountains.  This year Gold participants plan to travel to Scotland. Margaret Magee, DofE Co-Ordinator


Community Service

n 9 December, 1R and 2T donned their festive hats and got into the groove for the Annual Strathearn Community Service Christmas Party. Guests were welcomed from a variety of day care centres, church groups and the local area, and were escorted into the Assembly Hall where an inviting glass of Shloer was served. The hall itself was indeed a feast for the eyes, with handmade Christmas cards, crackers and tinsel all displayed on beautifully laid tables, whilst in the background, seasonal and traditional harp music, played beautifully by Ruby McWhinney, filled the air. It was not long until the conversation was flowing and the guests were seated at their tables. Pre-dinner drinks consumed, the guests were eagerly anticipating their dinner. Passers-by were envious of the guests as they tucked into their traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, stuffing, creamed and roast potatoes and, not forgetting, some good old sprouts! Fun, companionship and laughter filled the air while the plates were wiped clean and dessert was served. Fed and watered, the guests waited eagerly for the entertainment to commence. The talent on display from the Strathearn girls really was of a professional standard and everyone was blown away by the acts that performed. The programme included a variety of dance, starting with Modern Dance from 1R and 2S, Scottish dancing from Catherine Welsh and Rebecca Welsh, and Irish dancing from Bethan Jones. Musical instruments were played expertly and they ranged from a piano solo from Jessica Arbuckle, a flute and harp duet from Erin McConnell and Rose Templeton, an Irish Idyll violin solo from Naomi Cochrane and finally, an almost Broadway-worthy clarinet solo from Anna Hughes, entitled “Prince Ali”. Our final section of the entertainment programme resembled The X Factor as Lucy Robinson serenaded the enraptured audience with her own acoustic versions of “Take Me Home Country Roads” and “Silent Night”. The Chamber Choir then provided a seasonal selection of songs which had the audience singing along. All too soon, it was over. Every guest was given a handmade Christmas card and a small present to take away as a lasting memory of a wonderful afternoon. The visitors left full of Christmas cheer and booked their places, same time, same place, next year! Many thanks to Miss Gibson and her team for continuing to organise this lovely event. Freya Beers, Rosie Elwood, Lauren Farmer, (1R)


Lauren Duncan,  A-level

clubs, events & societies



he library year kicked off in September when the pupils were introduced to the new library system, Eclipse. Pupils can now search the library stock for themselves, place reservations, and write reviews of books. A team of library assistants and Sixth Form librarians continue to help keep the library functioning well and in good order. In addition to all the usual library chores, they organised a staff coffee morning and a craft fayre. They managed to raise £263 for Action MS from the coffee morning and just over £300 for Guide Dogs NI from the craft fayre. Prior to the event, the library invited local resident, Mary Hutchison (with her guide dog, Truffle), to speak about guide dogs at assembly, and the pupils were interested to learn all about the process of training guide dogs for the blind, and how vital these dogs are to their owners. The annual Scholastic Book Fair was held in November with great success.This year’s sales were our second highest ever, bringing in an amazing £964 worth of books in commission. During Book Fair week, a crossword competition was held for First Form pupils and a £5 book voucher was awarded to five prize winners to spend at the Fair. World Book Day on 3 March was celebrated in the library this year with a number of events. The Book Swap enabled pupils to bring in old books they no longer wanted to swap them for others, and as many of the books were in excellent condition, it was like getting a new book without having to spend any money! The Shelfie Competition involved having to match members of staff with photos of their bookshelves (shelfies). This proved to be more than a little tricky, but was very enjoyable to all who had a go. Some little clues were included in each shelfie, which the eagle-eyed pupils were able to spot. Joint winners of this competition were Kezia Hobson (U6R) and Isabelle Davidson (2S), who managed to get them all right. The Big 10 Quiz had ten book-related questions taken from the World Book Day Big Bumper Quiz, and was a bit of a challenge even to the most widely read.  Joint winners of this were Nishtha Panchratna 2H, and Emma Caldwell and Katy Strutt 3T, who completed the quiz together. This year the Junior and Senior Reading Clubs merged, with pupils from First Form up to Sixth Form meeting together to discuss the books they have read.  The older girls have enjoyed recommending books to the younger pupils, and the younger girls have appreciated the insight gained from the senior pupils. This year they have read detective novels, fantasy, sci-fi, horror and real life stories, and are also taking part in a shadowing scheme with the CBI Awards. On 27 April, Aiswarya Venugopal (1R), Halah Irvine and Sarah McDonald (both 2R), accompanied the Librarian to a BookTrust event in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, where the UK Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, spoke about his work as an author and illustrator. He kept the audience enraptured as he gave a very humorous account of his journey into book illustration and writing, after which he answered questions and signed books that pupils had brought with them.  An extra bonus at the end was to be given a signed poster of a drawing Chris had completed at the start of the event, which will be displayed in the library in pride of place.



he Mathematics Department in the University of Leeds runs competitions each year for schools, and this year pupils from Strathearn School entered the Senior and Intermediate Maths Challenges. The Senior Maths Challenge took place in November and the results were very good, with L6 and U6 pupils achieving thirty-three certificates between them – the largest number for at least ten years! The Bronze winners were Katy Dutton, Fiona Gibson, Florence Ogonda, Becky Poots, Lucy Dolan, Abby Larmour, Rachel Bruce, Katie Mashford, Keziah Hobson, Rebekah Kenny, Rebecca Gallagher, Rhia Prentice, Sarah Brown, Georgia Stewart, Marie Fung, Amy Martin, Emma Reihill, Amy Lynch, Victoria White Gabrielle Park, Anieshia Bedford, Arianna Gallen, Keziah Beattie, Mehika Sood, Fionn Clarke, Lauren Bailie. The Silver winners were Emma Lowry, Claudia Paulin, Abigail Sheridan,  Amy Dutton, Katie McMurran and Ailie McKinty. The Gold winner was Hannah Eakin. A special mention goes to Ailie McKinty, who also received a certificate for achieving the best result in L6. Hannah Eakin also received additional certificates for scoring the best result in U6 and the best result in Strathearn. The Intermediate Challenge took place in February. This competition is aimed at pupils in Forms 4 and 5. The results were superb. The Bronze winners were Bethany Craig,  Jenny McLeod, Darcy Shanks, Rachael Geddes, Emily Leitch,  Alanna McHugh, Rachel Bell, Yuan Chen, Jessica Butters,  Jessica Marks, Emma Gibson, Arianna Whiteside, Sophie Young, Isabella Reihill and Louisa Williams. The Silver winners were Alicia Grattan, Katie McIntyre, Emily Buchanan, Saskia McMinn, Claire Hunter, Sophie Anderson, Beth Crosbie, Zoe Hepworth, Claire Whiteside and Anna Robinson. The Gold winner was Amy Anderson. This time a special mention goes to Anna Robinson, who achieved the best score in Form 4. Amy Anderson (5H) is also to be congratulated as she qualified for the next round of the competition. Gaining a certificate in these challenges is no easy task. Participants may only use a pencil and paper as they work their way through twentyfive increasingly difficult multiple-choice questions.  After a certain point, penalties are incurred for incorrect answers, so it may not even be worth a guess! This is a well-recognised, UK-wide competition, which has been running for around twenty years. Any certificate winner at any level should certainly record this on their Record of Achievement and also on their UCAS forms. Well done to all the pupils who participated.


clubs, events & societies



ur Sixth Form artists very much enjoyed the annual Art trip to Dublin in September. Viewing an array of interesting art works allowed the girls to return to school inspired to create their own exciting work. In the morning, the girls visited the Irish Museum of Modern Art to see the impressive exhibition What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now. The exhibition included a range of modern and contemporary art works from some of the world’s leading collections: highlights included work by Dali, Picasso, Warhol, Duchamp, Yoko Ono and Giacometti. The thought-provoking exhibition challenged the viewer to consider the idea of love and how it has evolved within the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries. In the afternoon, the girls had the opportunity to view some more traditional art works at the National Gallery of Ireland, and the day was finished perfectly with some retail therapy and food! Form 5 also had a wonderful day on their Art trip Alice Campbell,  AS-level in September. The day began at the Ulster Museum, where we viewed the Colin Davidson Silent Testimony exhibition and the Lavery’s World exhibition. Pupils were deeply moved and enthralled by the Colin Davidson portraits, and considered how the artist managed to capture the emotion of the sitters in the portraits. In the afternoon, we moved on to The Mac to see the Paddy McCann Black Quarter exhibition which was followed by a painting workshop to help the girls try new techniques and explore the exhibition themes further. Girls were impressed by the curator’s talk which helped them to understand how McCann’s works are layered with historical and personal meaning. Everyone was encouraged to work outside their comfort zone at the workshop, and the girls produced some really exciting pieces. Form 4 artists enjoyed a Textiles Workshop on 8 December with visiting artist, Aisling Smyth. The pupils enjoyed hearing about Aisling’s exciting career, including her work in the costume department on Game of Thrones, and were excited to see examples of her work which she brought along.  Aisling demonstrated a variety of beautiful hand-stitching techniques for the girls to try out in their own projects. Also in the Art Department this year, all classes from Forms 4 to U6 got the opportunity to visit the annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. The pupils were impressed by the wide variety of art work on display at the exhibition, and left feeling inspired about how they could integrate some of the techniques and ideas into their own work. The CCEA True Colours exhibition was also an inspirational visit for all Art pupils from Form 4 to U6, helping the girls to see a wide variety of high quality work from schools across Northern Ireland. Congratulations to Philippa Sha and Emma Spreadborough (Form 4), and Crystal Yuen (L6) for being selected to take part in the Belfast Exposed Young Futures Programme. This programme has brought together a group of young people interested in pursuing careers as artists and the girls have enjoyed attending sessions once a month between January and June, including talks, workshops and gallery visits with curators, artists and arts professionals.

Citizenship Ceremony


he School Council was delighted to accept an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast to be special guests at a Citizenship Ceremony in Hillsborough Castle in December 2015. Rosalind Skillen, Chloe Scott, Niamh Lemon and Yuan Chen represented the School Council at this important function, welcoming people as citizens of our country. We were given a full tour of the castle and this included viewing royal memorabilia as well as important artefacts that have been gathered by national and international guests over the years. We heard stories about the Queen and her preferences when she stays, as well as details about the rare visits of US Presidents. The ceremony itself involved twenty individuals and families being formally welcomed as British citizens. For many this was the end of a long process that began many years earlier in countries such as Sudan, Sri Lanka and Russia. It was a great opportunity to be part of such an important day, and to be reminded of how diverse a nation we are.


clubs, events & societies


Belgium and France Trip

n 17 March, thirty-six Third and Fourth formers, along with five teachers, embarked on a jam-packed, four-day trip to Belgium and France. We departed from Dublin airport to Brussels with enthusiasm and anticipation. Shortly after our arrival, we visited the Flanders Field Museum in Ypres. We then set off with our tour guide, Miguel, to visit some of the cemeteries and the largest crater in the area, called the Pool of Peace. We also visited cemeteries such as Langemark German Cemetery, Poelcapelle British Cemetery and Tyne Cot Cemetery. It was so amazing to hear stories about the specific soldiers in the cemeteries, and to hear and see the names of the ancestors of girls on the trip. That night after dinner, we made the short trip back to Ypres for the daily Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. It was breathtaking to see all the names on the panels, and we were privileged to present a wreath on behalf of our school during the ceremony of commemoration. On the second day we headed into the Somme Region of France. We were very lucky to have Matthew (from the Somme Heritage Centre) with us on the trip, as he was able to tell us a lot about the Thiepval Memorial and The Ulster Tower. Those of us with relatives commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing were given the honour of presenting a plaque with the school crest on it to mark our visit to the Ulster Tower, a replica of Helen’s Tower in Clandeboye Forest. The Thiepval Memorial and a close-up vision of the trenches were very valuable to girls and staff, as some of us knew that our relatives had once fought in that area. We then moved on to see the spectacular crater at Lochnagar, which showed us just how powerful the explosion that caused it must have been. Our excellent guide, Miguel, shared his extensive knowledge with us in an informative and interesting manner. We finished off the night with some of us walking to the Irish Peace Park. On the third and fourth days of the trip we had further opportunities to practise our French language skills. We visited amazing and beautiful sites such as the Cathedrale de Notre Dame in Amiens, as well as many famous Parisian sites such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre and the ‘lock bridge’ at Pont Neuf.  Amazing photographs of the Eiffel Tower were snapped from the seats on the Bateaux Mouches that took us on a journey down the River Seine.  At the end of the third day we explored the streets of the Latin Quarter and dined out in small groups. On the fourth day we ascended the fifty-six floors of the Montparnasse Tower to get the best views of Paris. We took many photos before heading by coach to Montmartre to see the huge church at Sacré-Coeur. We also visited the Place du Tertre where we saw French artists painting, and sampled the Parisian café culture all over again. Our last stop was the Aéroville shopping centre before we headed to the airport. We would like to thank Mrs Millar, Mrs Muldrew, Mrs Eakin, Matthew and Ms Murphy for organising the trip and looking after us all. We have definitely made a lot of new memories and friendships that will last a long time! Katherine Hunter, 3H


Language Debates

he NI Schools’ A-Level Language Debates are organised by NICILT and take place annually at Queen’s University, Belfast. The purpose of the debates is to enhance creativity, develop communication and improve confidence. Teams are judged on the content of their speeches as well as their knowledge of the topic, accuracy in the spoken language, pronunciation and fluency. In this year’s Spanish debating competition, eight schools took part and argued their views in the target language across four different motions. Strathearn’s adversaries were the boys of Bangor Grammar and the motion was “La tecnología moderna en el aula es solo una distracción.” Rosalind Skillen, Leah Deehan and Sarah Brown represented the school and, despite the tension and jingling nerves, emerged as the victors of their particular debate. Indeed, Rosalind won Best Speaker for the skilful delivery of her speech. Six schools took part in the 2015 A-Level German Debating Competition and the Strathearn team of Rachael Thomas, Cathy Ievers and Sophie Martin went up against Bangor Grammar to argue against the motion “Selbst in 21.  Jahrhundert leben wir noch in einer sexistisch geprägten Welt”. This was a highly challenging topic and the team did very well to win their individual debate.  Overall, they were placed runners-up, with Cathy Ievers receiving a prize for Best Speaker in the team. It is really challenging to take part in a modern language debate; quick reactions under pressure are required …in another language! We felt, however, that these challenges really enhanced our linguistic skills and there was a real sense of satisfaction at the end of a hectic day. We would encourage anyone studying Modern Languages to take part in any future debates. Participating in the Language Debate is a great opportunity to meet with and compete against pupils from other schools. We would like to thank Ms Kirsch from Campbell College and Mrs Muldrew for organising the events. Sophie Martin and Rosalind Skillen, U6S


clubs, events & societies


Italia 2016

e left Strathearn School on 16 March in the very early hours of the morning. Everyone was very excited, but we were also tired as we had been up all day.  When we arrived in Rome the weather was very hot and sunny. We were all very tired but we had a busy day ahead. We went to see the Colosseum, where our guide gave us a tour and explained its history. We had time to take lots of photos and enjoy the views of ancient Rome. More importantly, we had the opportunity to taste our first Italian ice cream. It was amazing! It was really difficult to get up the next morning and some of us slept through the alarm. We were going to see the Vatican City, Basilica di San Pietro and the Sistine Chapel. We walked through St Peter’s Square, viewing the very impressive high colonnades of columns in two semi-circles, with statues of one hundred and forty Saints on top. When we entered the Sistine Chapel it was very quiet and the artwork was amazing. It was lovely to see the actual work of Michelangelo, rather than pictures in a book. The next day was spent in Assisi, the home of St Francis. It is a medieval town which is very picturesque, although you could still see some damage from the 1997 earthquake. We enjoyed following the story of St Francis through the beautiful frescos in the Basilica, and had lots of free time in the afternoon to explore the town and get more ice cream! On the Saturday morning we set off for Florence. The weather was very sunny and hot. It was quite a long journey to get there and the countryside was very nice to look at. Florence is another very beautiful city. We visited the world famous Uffizi art gallery, and our guide helped us to understand some of the most famous paintings. We also saw The Duomo, the fourth largest cathedral in Europe, with its beautiful orange-tiled roof. The next day was Palm Sunday and we were up early and off on the bus again. We visited the pretty hill-top towns of San Gimignano and Siena. This was a quieter day spent exploring the towns and doing some last-minute shopping. Many thanks to Mr Anderson, Mrs Atkinson, Mrs Dalzell, Miss Gibson and Mrs Gray. We all really enjoyed the trip and thought it was a great experience. Any of the present Form Two girls who get the opportunity, should certainly try to go to Italy next year. Rhiannon Brady, 3R

Lara Emslie, GCSE Level 22

clubs, events & societies



his academic year featured two trips for Sixth Form pupils. Ms Murphy and six AS-level pupils had an enjoyable day out at the Titanic Exhibition Centre as part of the Inspire 2016 event. This trip was also timed to dovetail with International Women’s Day. The girls were very interested to listen to a group of experts from a range of diverse fields, who delivered encouraging testimonies. The overall theme reflected the United Nations’ commitment to ‘help accelerate the world towards gender parity so that everyone can enjoy a better quality of life.’ In a separate event, a number of A2 students joined Mr Bradley in a gathering at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, to discuss the importance of the year 1916 in our history. This cross-community event involved an element of historical commemoration, but also looked at current representations of, and debates about, the Easter Rising and the Somme sacrifice. In April, history pupils from Form Three made the short trip to the Somme Heritage Centre to find out more about the First World War. Many of these pupils had also travelled with us to Belgium and France in March, and this made the trip to the Somme Centre all the more meaningful for them. Form One pupils followed up their class-based work on the Normans and John de Courcy with the annual trip to Carrickfergus Castle. This visit reminded them of the pitfalls of castle life and gave them a real sense of how the defensive features of a medieval castle were crucial to survival. GM


Berlin 2015

he Strathearn Berlin trip is the stuff of legend. It is always the highlight at the end of Form Four, and this year’s trip was no exception.  At the unearthly hour of three am on Saturday 20 July, fifty German and History students and five brave teachers left the school lay-by for the 2015 Berlin trip. On day one we visited the Stasi Prison. Operational from 1951 to 1989, it housed East Germany’s political prisoners and today serves as a grim reminder of the time when the city was divided by the Berlin Wall. What struck many of us were the cruel forms of punishment prisoners were subjected to. Another memorable part of our trip was Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The camp really highlighted the injustice of the Nazi regime and left all of us in a thoughtful state of mind. We then visited the Olympic Stadium, and were shown some of the renovations to remove the stadium’s Nazi associations, such as the levelling of Hitler’s stand. From the creative and moving Holocaust memorial to the imposing Checkpoint Charlie, the towering TV Tower and majestic Sanssouci Park and Palace, there was so much to see. We also had scope to explore for ourselves and shop to our hearts’ content. Our aching feet somehow always revived when shopping was mentioned... One of our final stops was the Reichstag Building. While we walked up to the top of the building, having braved the cramped lift, an audio guide informed us of all the landmarks visible across the city. This trip is a great opportunity to practise the language, as many of us did by speaking to shopkeepers, ordering meals, translating signs and completing the many quizzes given to us by Mr Bradley. Berlin has a vibrant cultural heritage and this trip provided a thoroughly enjoyable taste of what it has to offer. Somehow the teachers put up with us for those five days. Thank you Mr Bradley, Ms Gibson, Mrs Eakin, Mrs Thompson and Mrs Wyeth. Bring on 2016! Emma Ferguson, 5H


clubs, events & societies



he school year got underway with a series of university open days. Many girls attended an event at the Jordanstown campus, whilst others attended the Saturday sessions at the Coleraine and Magee campuses of Ulster University. All girls in U6 attended the open day at Queen’s, and the Options XXIII careers event at Methodist College Belfast. Mrs Hearst ran a series of subject specific guidance sessions for personal statements, and almost all UCAS forms were completed by the girls before half term. We also welcomed several guest speakers: a lecturer from Stranmillis University College spoke to students about the teaching profession, a speaker from Project Trust talked about gap years, and two tutors from Queen’s School of Nursing and Midwifery came to talk about nursing careers. Some pupils had opportunities to attend other careers events outside school. Two L6 girls attended a BBC Broadcasting Industry Insight Day at Blackstaff Studios, another pupil attended a Business Overview Day in the Financial Services Industry organised by the Progressive Building Society, while another pupil attended a Radiotherapy Open Day at the Belfast City Hospital. Form 3 attended a Careers Planning Day hosted by Sentinus which was held in school, while Form 5 had three careers talks from guest speakers (all former pupils) relating to careers in law, medicine, business and engineering. The programme of careers guidance interviews with our careers adviser from the Department of Employment and Learning also got underway. After Halloween, U6 began to focus on preparing for the Mock Interview Evening. Girls applying to Oxford and Cambridge got an additional interview, and Mrs Hearst carried out one-to-one practice interviews for several pupils who requested them. She also organised a series of interview workshops on medicine, nursing and teaching. As always, we have a number of girls who are interested in STEM careers. Some Sixth Form pupils attended a careers event at Montupet, which covered various aspects of engineering. Dr Ross took a group of five girls from Form 5 to a careers event at Schlumberger, in which they learned more about the company and the work of an engineer. In addition, a STEM ambassador spoke with them about their aim to help address the imbalance in the male to female ratio within engineering. We were also delighted to have a speaker from Trinity College Dublin talk about opportunities at that institution, and many girls attended another presentation on applying to a range of universities in the Republic of Ireland. A representative from Queen’s and our careers adviser from DEL both spoke to Form 3 about choosing GCSE subjects. Mrs Hearst also had Form 3 classes visit the careers suite for question and answer sessions about subject choices. Several girls from Form 4 upwards attended a talk on careers within sport given by a representative from David Campbell Soccer, which covered coaching, business opportunities, and public relations. One girl from L6 attended an Occupational Therapy Open Day at the Royal Victoria Hospital where she had the opportunity to talk to students and staff and learn more about the profession, while another pupil attended a Law Insight event at Pinsent Masons. With L6 work experience looming on the horizon after Christmas, L6 attended a session on the importance of health and safety delivered by the Health and Safety Executive for NI, and another on Experiences of Work in which they learned about job opportunities in NI (especially in the IT sector). Several former pupils also came into school to talk to the Sixth Form about studying medicine, and we also had an information session with a junior doctor In the second term we had our week of work experience for L6, which ran from 11 to 15 January. The placements were varied and gave the L6 pupils a lot to think about in terms of which careers they will pursue when they leave school. We welcomed representatives from a whole range of universities during this time, and our

pupils learned a lot about courses and life at those institutions. These included St Andrews, Liverpool Hope, Southampton, Oxford, Newcastle, Northumbria, Queen’s, Ulster, Cambridge, Liverpool John Moores, Imperial College, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Heriot Watt, Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling. L6 pupils also attended many events outside school. These included Open Days for Physiotherapy and Dietetics at our local hospitals, a taster day at QUB School of Management, a session on Careers in Clinical Psychology, another on Educational Psychology, an Open Day at Stranmillis University College and an Engineering Conference and a Law Conference (both at Methodist College Belfast). Several girls attended the Oxford and Cambridge Conference in Lisburn, and all of L6 attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention in which they had the opportunity to attend a range of seminars on courses and careers and speak to many university representatives from Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and Ireland and even further afield. L6 girls also attended a presentation on personal statements in school in order to prepare for their UCAS applications next autumn.  All U6 attended a talk on Student Finance to make the girls aware of the financial implications of going on to higher education. Form 5 continued with their careers guidance interviews with our DEL careers adviser (Miss Lemon), and the series of talks by guest speakers continued for Form 5. We had presentations on finance and economics, creative industries, nursing and midwifery, the makeup industry, psychology and teaching. We also welcomed Dr Dan Corbett from QUB School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology who spoke to the girls from Form 5 upwards about courses and careers. Representatives from Belfast Metropolitan College and SERC also did lunchtime presentations for girls from Form 5 upwards. Form 3 had visits to the careers suite to find out more about the importance of choosing their GCSEs carefully; they also attended the Bring It On Roadshow where they learned more about opportunities in the IT sector. Form 1 pupils have all had introductory visits to the careers suite during this term. In our final term, Form 1 attended a Robotics Roadshow in school in which the girls learned to programme their own autonomous vehicles to carry out a range of tasks. Several girls attended the Methodist College Medical Symposium, in which they had the chance to learn more about the medical profession. We then had a presentation from our final guest speaker for Form 5 on Social Work. A number of pupils attended A Flavour of Psychology at the Whitla Hall, and a former pupil talked to girls from Form 5 upwards about careers using maths. We also welcomed a representative on behalf of the Scottish Modern Universities tour which covered the universities of Abertay, Edinburgh Napier, Queen Margaret and Robert Gordon. 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.


Jennifer Graham,  AS-level

clubs, events & societies


My Work Experience

Olivia Sythes,  GCSE level

ast week I completed a five-day work experience placement with a firm of solicitors called A&L Goodbody, Dublin. I worked in the litigation department. Throughout my time in the firm I carried out some research into different types of law, and I found that cases of medical negligence were of particular interest to me. I also went to court and attended a motion regarding an upcoming case. My experience in court was a positive one, and I gained an insight into the vast amount of paperwork that needed to be compiled prior to each motion. I found my time in court very useful in terms of the legal language I picked up, something that makes up a great deal of a law degree. I was given vigorous computer training on my first few days, and was shown how the firm has adapted software packages in order to suit their needs as an international company. Throughout the week I typed up invoices that were to be used as evidence in an upcoming trial. I also saw the importance of good relationships between employees.  As I was meeting new people all the time, I definitely improved my people skills and noted the importance of this in the workplace. I was also told how a good relationship between client and solicitor is a key to gaining work, which was something I hadn’t thought about prior to my week. I saw how a hard-working attitude is vital to being a successful lawyer, and how a large degree of precision and accuracy is needed in all that they do. It was very interesting to learn about some of the skills and qualities needed to do well in this field, and it has encouraged me to pursue a career in law. Overall, I really did enjoy my week and I was lucky to do it in a firm with such helpful people around me. I learnt a lot about what I need to improve within myself in order to do law. I also developed my communication skills and IT proficiency. I am definitely more interested in doing law than I was prior to the week, and I felt I gained an great insight into the job. Cecilia Pierce, L6A


My Work Experience

s I arrived at the Ulster Museum for a week of work experience in Collections Care, I didn’t know what to expect. Now, looking back, I can tell you that it is certainly not simple. It is an area which involves conservators specialising in paper, natural science, art on canvas and much more. In one short week I was able to talk to people from many areas of the job, carry out hands-on work and witness the hanging of an incredibly valuable Rembrandt self-portrait. Over the course of the week, I saw many different methods of conservation. I saw round many of the store rooms for NMNI (National Museums Northern Ireland). These are huge warehouse-sized spaces packed full of historical artefacts. Each object is carefully stored in a way that will prevent its decay. Their whereabouts are recorded so precisely that, after looking at one line on a computer, you can find their exact positions. This is all organised by conservators. They also have to regulate atmospheric conditions, such as humidity, and control any pest species that enter the museum. The other conservation method is the mending of artefacts. This is a difficult task as, unlike in commercial restoration, as much of the original material is kept as possible. I was shown a Rolls Royce hearse which had been stripped down, cleaned, mended, and was now being put back together. One of the very important jobs of conservators is ensuring the safety of artefacts as they are transported between museums. I was really lucky to be there to see the whole process of receiving a priceless Rembrandt self-portrait.  After witnessing the preparation of the gallery, as other paintings were hung and lit, I came in one morning to see that the Rembrandt had arrived from the National Gallery in London. It travelled in a crate inside an air-conditioned lorry, accompanied by a courier. It then spent twenty-four hours inside its crate, acclimatising to pre-agreed gallery conditions. The courier was present again when the crate was finally opened, and the painting was condition-reported by a specialist conservator. We all held our breath as the object-handling team hung the painting and, when Rembrandt was finally in place, I think even he gave a sigh of relief! Now all there was left to do was to add the finishing touches to the gallery: hanging signs, putting up barriers and turning the bench to face the Rembrandt. We all tried out the bench at this point, just to make sure it was in the right place. With everything done, it was time for a photoshoot. I had a fantastic week. I met so many people and every member of staff was friendly, welcoming and helpful. Together, they helped me to understand what conservation is about, and I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to do my work experience. Sophie Pružina, L6R


clubs, events & societies Biology Field Trip


n February, the L6 Biology classes had their field trips to Delamont Outdoor Centre in Co Down. Unfortunately poor Miss Grier fell and broke her leg on the first field trip so we were a team member down, but Mrs Gray and Mrs Dalzell were able to continue with on with the second group. The focus of this trip was ecology, an important part of our studies for A-level Biology. We were able to investigate habitats and Sites of Special Scientific Interest around Murlough Bay and Strangford Lough. We stayed at the Delamont Outdoor Centre, but this was not a holiday; we were up early every morning, and worked late at night. As part of our fieldwork we gathered, analysed and interpreted data in order to produce specific reports. We worked in small groups, and everyone on the trip played their part in these studies. We were able to study many of the organisms around the shore, including starfish, crabs and limpets. We also studied plants such as Marram Grass, which is able to survive on the sand dunes. It was fascinating to learn about the range of organisms living at different parts of the tide line and the adaptations they have had to make for the harsh environment there. We used a belt transect to identify the changes at the different tide levels. It was really interesting to explore at low tide, as we were able to observe fish, starfish and crabs under the seaweed. This is the A-level Biology version of what we all enjoyed as children at the seaside! In the classroom, we collated and shared our findings within our groups and then with the whole class. It was good to see how much we had learned each day, and how our findings related to the theory we had looked at back in school. We had all types of weather on the trip, but while we were out and about, our bright red ‘space suits’ ensured we would not get lost. We all really enjoyed the trip, and it added a lot to our knowledge of Biology. Many thanks to Miss Grier, Mrs Gray and Mrs Dalzell. Kate Farrelly, L6T


Geography n Geography, we respond to topical local and global issues, seeking to grapple with the stories that are currently shaping our world. Without doubt, the buzz word that we are faced with at present is ‘Europe’ and this term has generated many questions in the last twelve months for us to consider.

Who are we? How important is our European identity? Where do our strongest cultural ties lead us? As a peripheral island on the edge of a European land mass, do we feel attached or isolated? What about the migrant streams? Should we close our borders or open them? What is our responsibility to those from beyond these European shores? There are many big questions and the answers are not always straightforward. In Strathearn’s Geography Department we are not scared to tackle these issues head on and we sometimes disagree about what the answers should be. Form 4 geographers spent some time this year studying a migrant family’s journey from the depths of war-torn Syria through several European countries to the promised land, the European hub – Germany. In Geography, we seek to push the boundaries of pupil understanding of these big themes. We want our students to analyse all the evidence and views, enabling them to make informed decisions. We want our students to develop empathy and compassion as well as fully considering the economic, social and environmental implications of decisions that are made. In twelve months’ time our status as EU citizens may or may not be in a process of change, but our responsibility as global citizens will endure. We hope that the geographers of Strathearn will take the skills and knowledge they have gained and apply them responsibly in an unpredictable world. M Stevenson


clubs, events & societies


School Council

chool Council has been expertly chaired throughout the last year by Amy Gilpin and Rosalind Skillen.  The girls sought to lead council productively, tackling issues that mattered to the school body. Under their leadership, council dealt with a number of big issues including supporting Ms Young with the development of the House system, and engaging with Ms Gibson regarding charity initiatives in school. This followed a detailed survey of the student population in Strathearn. We also welcomed Mrs Myers to School Council to seek clarification on some pressing uniform issues. As always, the council representatives have been appreciative of the time given to us by other members of staff as we seek to make Strathearn an even better school. There is no doubt that a highlight for us this year was to receive an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast to be special guests at a Citizenship Ceremony in Hillsborough Castle in December. Rosalind Skillen, Chloe Scott, Niamh Lemon and Yuan Chen represented the School Council at this important function, welcoming people as citizens of our country. We were given a full tour of the castle and this included viewing royal memorabilia as well as important artefacts that have been gathered by national and international guests over the years. We heard stories about the Queen and her preferences when she stays as well as details about the rare visits of US Presidents. The ceremony itself involved twenty individuals and families being formally welcomed as British citizens. For many of them, this was the end of a long process that began many years earlier in countries such as Sudan, Sri Lanka and Russia. It was a great privilege to be part of such a significant day in their lives. It also reminded us of the importance of values such as inclusivity and diversity. School Council continues to function as a forum for pupils’ voices to be heard in Strathearn. We look forward to even closer relationships between pupils and staff in the years ahead. M Stevenson


Senior Scripture Union

very Friday at lunchtime, Senior Scripture Union is held in the study hall for pupils from Forms 4 to U6. It has been wonderful to gather together to learn from the Bible, and encourage each other. This year we have welcomed a variety of speakers as well as leading sessions ourselves to help challenge, encourage and help the girls who choose to attend to better understand the Christian

faith. Our SU weekend was a real highlight. It was an excellent opportunity to explore the New Testament Book of James, have fun and get to know people from other year groups. We also quizzed a panel of teachers and pupils on life’s big questions. Below are comments from two members of SU who have shared their experience of what’s been happening this year: “Being part of Senior Scripture Union this year has been an amazing experience. From quiet prayer stations one week, to a speaker coming the next, each session has been varied and interesting. I found being able to come together each Friday at lunchtime a great way to end the school week. One of the most memorable events from this year would definitely be our weekend to White Park Bay in March when we explored the Book of James. Our few days away were filled with fun and laughter. Being able to see what God has done though Scripture Union this year has been a blessing and I’m really excited to see what we are going to do as a Scripture Union next year!” (Chloe Scott, L6R) “This was my first year in Senior SU and at first I was concerned about moving up from Junior SU. After my first week, however, I realised I had no reason to be concerned. The teaching is great and I have grown in my friendships with the girls in my year as well as other years through Senior SU. My involvement in the SU committee was great and I’ve got to know people from different years and work together with them to organise SU and plan events. The SU weekend was amazing! We studied the Book of James and I found it extremely helpful and eye-opening. We consumed way too much sugar and the only thing that was missing was sleep! SU provides a time in the week when I can have fun with friends and focus on God. I love it!”(Esther Henry, 4R) Rachel Bruce, U6H


clubs, events & societies


Junior Scripture Union

his year has seen a lot of changes for Junior SU. We have a new venue, a new style to our meetings, and new teachers. We have seen between forty and sixty girls coming along each Wednesday at lunchtime to the Sixth Form Study Hall to learn more about God, have some fun and make new friends too. Each Wednesday usually starts with a game provided by some Sixth Form SU members.  Mr Newell usually leads us in a song and then we have our topic time. These have been taken by Mr Newell, Mrs Foye and Mrs Thompson and have covered a wide range of interesting topics such as ‘Our journey’,  ‘A Study of Ruth’, prayer, and the role of media in our lives. We also enjoyed our visit from Kim Patterson (CEF worker for North Down), who challenged us on how we live out our Christian faith. We are joining with Senior SU for the last few meetings of this year, and looking forward to hearing from Crown Jesus Ministries.


Minneapolis/St Paul Trip

ver the Halloween half-term break, sixteen Sixth Form pupils jetted off to the state of Minnesota in the USA as part of Strathearn’s ongoing student exchange arrangement with Cretin-Derham Hall High School. The girls were paired with host families, and were able to take advantage of the great sights, food and shopping. It all began when we met in the Strathearn lay-by in the early hours of the morning and boarded the bus for our journey to Dublin airport. We flew from Dublin to Chicago before catching a connecting flight to Minneapolis. To say we were nervous about meeting our host families would be an understatement! After meeting our families and not even having time to unpack, we were immersed straight into American culture. Some of us attended a high school football game whilst others went to the school play which was Children of Eden.  The rest of the weekend was spent exploring with our host families, and on Sunday night we all attended a big barbecue.  This was a great opportunity to catch up with our friends and meet everyone’s hosts. On Monday the Strathearn group spent the day touring the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, seeing some memorable sights including the Minnehaha Falls and the ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’ sculpture at the famous sculpture garden. We spent Tuesday at the Mall of America, famous for its 520 shops, theme park and aquarium. This enabled us to get some much needed retail therapy. On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to experience what school life in America is really all about as we attended class with our hosts. This was an unforgettable experience for all of us. The following day we went to Minnesota’s Science Museum, where we got to enjoy an IMAX experience and explore the several interesting floors that the museum had to offer. On Friday, we had a second chance to spend our money as we visited the outlet stores for some more shopping. This was another great day, followed by an emotional evening spent packing and saying goodbye to our host families. Saturday came sooner than expected and we had to make our final goodbyes followed by a full day of travel back to Belfast. We would wholeheartedly recommend the Minnesota exchange trip to all future sixth year pupils. It was a great experience for everyone involved, and we made memories that we will always cherish. Nicky Montgomery U6T,  Amy Shields U6A,  Anna Kane U6R


clubs, events & societies



he Eco-Committee has been working hard this year to explore practical means to reduce, reuse and recycle waste produced by the school. The committee is currently researching innovative, sustainable waste prevention ideas. If you have any innovative waste prevention ideas, please let one of the Eco-Committee members know!




n the autumn term, the English Department and the school librarian, Mrs Collins, ran an internal competition to select the Strathearn representatives for the annual Kids’ Lit Quiz at Wellington College. This event attracts teams from over thirty schools who compete to become Northern Ireland’s best-read students. The girls on the Strathearn team showed their wide knowledge of children’s literature by answering some very difficult questions. Around seventy GCSE pupils visited the Lyric Theatre for a production of Dancing at Lughnasa, one of their English Literature set texts.  It was a highly enjoyable performance which allowed students to appreciate Brian Friel’s stagecraft more fully. As part of the Cinemagic Festival, a group of pupils had the opportunity to work on a creative video project with the Belfast novelist and short-story writer, Jan Carson. Pupils very much enjoyed Jan’s enthusiasm and freshness of approach. This year Strathearn had the good fortune to be involved in the Poetry In Motion project. This involved pupils working with poet, Deirdre Cartmill, over a number of weeks on their own creative work. This experience culminated in a wonderful event at the Ulster Hall where pupils from all over Northern Ireland read their poetry. This was a marvellous experience for those selected to share their work with the large audience. Mia Davison, Hannah McCartney and Ellie Van Giesen were awarded special certificates of commendation.

Public Speaking Competition

Clara Fetherston, GCSE Level

ive pupils from Strathearn participated in the local heat of the Soroptimist Public Speaking competition in Bangor on 25 November. The girls presented their arguments on a wide range of topics in front of the Soroptimist members as well as representatives from Glenlola Collegiate and St Columbanus, Bangor. All of the girls spoke very well but special congratulations goes to Mehika Sood who came 2nd, and Rachel Cowan who came 3rd. On 1 March, pupils from Strathearn were offered the chance to attend an EU Debate at the University of Ulster’s Belfast Campus in which Nigel Farage and Vernon Coaker debated about the potential implications of leaving the EU. The event was well attended, and the girls who participated found the event extremely informative. We are extremely proud of our strong public speaking tradition in Strathearn and would encourage all pupils with an interest in this area to join the group in preparation for the next competition. Many thanks also to Mr Newell for organising our involvement in these events.


The Debating Society

his year the school has been running a student-led Debating Society. For the first time ever, the society is now open to pupils from all year groups. We have held debates on topics as varied as racism, animal testing, modern media and single-sex education. The debates open with speakers for and against the motion, and are then opened to the floor. They are always lively occasions and have made a great contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school by encouraging us to think about a range of relevant contemporary issues. Special thanks to Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis and Amanda Scott for organising and chairing the debates so well. Thanks also to Dr McBride for overseeing the process.


clubs, events & societies Lucy Browne,  A-level


Chamber Choir

his year the Chamber Choir met three lunchtimes a week to rehearse. After welcoming new members, we began rehearsing for our first performance of the year at Prize Night. We performed Stopford’s beautiful setting of the “Irish Blessing” and an Irish folk song called “Geantraí”, arranged by Michael McGlynn for the choir Anúna. In the autumn we had a workshop with vocal coach Sylvia Burnside, who gave us lots of tips on how to use facial expression in our performances. Next we began to prepare for the annual school Carol Service, held in Stormont Presbyterian Church. Here we sang a French traditional carol called “Noel nouvelet”, arranged by Michael McGlynn, and a Spanish traditional carol called “Cantemos a Maria”, arranged by Guzmán, as well as “A Christmas Blessing” by Stopford. We were delighted to be selected to be broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM’s Classical Daytime show. We also had the privilege of visiting the local residents at Strathearn Court Care Home and joining them in singing Christmas carols. In February we had a vocal workshop with renowned tenor Alan Leech from the Ulster Youth Choir. In March we were honoured to be asked to perform at a charity concert held in Campbell College in aid of Brain Injury Matters and Reconnect. It was amazing to share the stage with performers such as Martin O’Hagan of The Priests and the Donaghadee Male Voice Choir. The concert raised over £3000, which will go towards supporting services for individuals living with an acquired brain injury and helping to rebuild their lives. At the school Spring Concert we sang the poignant “Weep no more” by David Childs, a captivating contemporary piece by Sarah Quartel called “Here on these branches”, and “Sing, sing, sing”, a piece made famous by jazz musician Benny Goodman. After the Spring Concert we still had two more events to prepare for. For the first time we competed in the Open Choral Competition of the Bangor International Choral Festival. This involved competing against experienced adult choirs and so we were delighted to be awarded first place, receiving excellent feedback from the adjudicators and being awarded prize money of £1000. Finally, our last performance was a joint Spring Concert held in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church with Miskelly Chorale and Ballyholme Primary School choir. The concert was in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, a charity close to the school’s heart. The concert finale featured all three choirs singing a Disney Medley called “Happily ever after”. This concert was a great way to end and reflect on another successful year of Chamber Choir. On behalf of the rest of the choir I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for all her work and commitment this year. I would strongly encourage anyone in Fourth Form upwards to consider auditioning next year. All of the Upper Sixth pupils leaving this year will miss Chamber Choir so much and we will forever cherish Back Row:  Jenni Watt, Emily Hinds, Chloe Armstrong, Rosalind Skillen, Rachael Kelly, Lydia Millar, the memories we have made in our Saskia Craig, Rebecca Gallagher three years as members. Middle Row: Fiona Gibson,   Amy Darragh, Rachel Henry, Laura Bell,  Anna Haslett, Lauren Kirkwood, Stephanie Devlin, U6R Stephanie Devlin,  Victoria Megarry Front Row: Chloe Young, Mollie McClure, Nichola Kelly, Georgia Hardwicke, Susanna Griffin,  Amy Dutton, Katie McVeigh, Ella Reid, Georgia McCutcheon

The Chamber Choir


clubs, events & societies

The Senior Choir Back Row: Emily Martin, Robyn Dunwoody, Esther Henry, Laura Bell, Saskia Craig, Lydia Millar, Sarah Brown, Sophie Anderson, Tess McMillen, Hollie Croft, Rachael Kelly, Rosalind Skillen, Chloe Armstrong, Abigail Bester, Nicole Lawther, Catrina Moore,Verity McGimpsey, Ria Matharoo Fourth Row: Amy Darragh, Rachel Henry, Chloe Brown, Isabella Reihill, Anna Haslett, Rebecca Gallagher, Jennifer Graham, Beth Minnis, Katie Megarry, Emily Hinds, Jessica Collin, Orla Bannister, Katie Dutton, Jenni Watt, Lauren Kirkwood, Meabh Lowry, Anna Beggs, Rhia Prentice Third Row: Alice Graham, Leah Fleming, Claire Whiteside, Joanne Allen, Sophie Neale, Susanna Griffin, Fiona Gibson, Emma Gibson, Shannon Rietveld, Emma Ferguson,Victoria Megarry, Stephanie Devlin, Katie Mashford, Jill Fergie, Alana McVea, Ella McAllister, Georgia Hardwicke, Rachel McCausland Second Row: Rachel Cowan, Katy Skillen, Rachael Campbell, Siân Murray, Yuan Chen, Rachel Bell, Nichola Kelly, Katie McVeigh, Sophie Pružina, Nadia Hall, Lauren Brooker, Amy Dutton, Naomi Cochrane, Natalie Maguire, Bethan Andrews, Kerry Hepworth, Philippa Sha, Ella Reid Front Row: Jessica Butters, Sarah Donaghy, Georgia Stewart, Lydia McKane, Georgia McCutcheon, Victoria White, Anna Wilson, Courtney Dunlop, Mollie McClure, Rachel Elliott, Lucy Dolan, Chloe Young, Martha McCamley, Hannah Cowan, Amy Lynch, Laura Graham, Katie Campbell, Sophie Gillespie


Senior Choir

enior Choir has always been a very popular activity in Strathearn. It brings together a large number of enthusiastic girls who are all passionate about music and committed to making both the Spring Concert and Christmas Carol Service huge successes. The Carol Service this year opened with a beautiful solo from Stephanie Devlin, and included the Senior Choir performing the lively “Cantate Domino”. Stormont Presbyterian Church was packed with family members and friends enjoying the music and experiencing the festive cheer. The start of the new term saw us starting to practise hard for the Spring Concert in April, and we were very excited by the songs that Ms Kimber had picked out.  We worked on a dramatic melody of songs from The Phantom of the Opera, which was performed alongside the Junior Choir.  Our second song then provided a major contrast in mood, in the form of the comedic love song “Taylor the latte boy”.  This also featured a brilliant solo from Rachel Henry.  Both songs were a great success, and made the night memorable for the huge number of girls for whom this was their last Strathearn concert. On behalf the whole Senior Choir, I would like to thank Ms Kimber for the incredible hard work she has put in all year into making both concerts a success, and for making it so much fun during all the long yet worthwhile rehearsals. Thanks to her dedication and enthusiasm, Senior Choir will always form a special part of our time at Strathearn. Jennifer Graham, U6H

Niamh Carey,  A-level 31

clubs, events & societies


Junior Choir

e have really loved choir this year. Rehearsals are taken by Ms Kimber, and Mrs Mclvor accompanies us on the piano. This year we have done two performances for our friends and families.  At Christmas time, the Junior Choir, Penrhyn Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir all took part in the service at Stormont Presbyterian Church. We sang some beautiful songs, our favourite being  “One Candle”. The harmonies created an angelic atmosphere and listening to the older choirs made us look forward to joining them when we are older. We also performed at the Strathearn Spring Concert. We appreciated the hard work that went in to every act; it was clear we had all practised so hard. We sang songs from The Phantom of the Opera. We particularly liked “The point of no return” as it created a strong and scary feeling and we had never sung a piece like that before. Mrs Atkinson was particularly entertained by our performance. Overall, this has been our favourite year of choir. We very much look forward to joining the Senior Choir next year, and taking on even more challenging music! Phoebe Spratt and Jana McCabe, 3H

~ Happiness ~ A fish under the water The tiled floor just like the ocean, As blue as the sky – That’s where I want to be. Lauren Nesbitt, 1S

Jessie Yuen, A-level

The Junior Choir Back Row: Rebekah Hamill, Grace Connor, Rosie Park, Heidi McMillen, Molly Elliott, Chloe Browne, Ruby McWhinney, Phoebe Spratt, Alex Armstrong, Eve Elliott, Katherine Hunter, Sarah West, Olivia Allister, Faye Donaghy,  Jana McCabe, Emma Lennon, Hannah Stanfield, Saioa Oscoz, Scarlett Reid, Rebecca McDowell, Emily Marten Fourth Row: Emily Stothers, Zoe Carvill, Rachel Childs, Ella Keane, Sarah Lowry, Lauren Lawther, Charlotte Crawford, Elly Ryan, Olivia Knox, Sara Black, Lauren Nesbitt, Emily Crockett, Ella Rook,  Amy Welsh,  Tara Kerr, Rebekah Burrows,  Julia Rawson,  Amy Ellison, Eva McClean, Sarah Catherall, Beth Strahan, Emily Gault, Kristin Kerr Third Row: Eloise Johnston, Ellie Dornan, Gabriella Park,  Abi Stevenson,  Abi Norris, Íde Simpson,  Amy Bole,  Tori Jackson, Ruby Allen,  Victoria Kerr, Sophie Longstaff, Hannah Meredith, Spencer Abraham,  Jenny Wilson, Sophie Kenny,  Amber Hamilton, Holly Gilpin, Megan Adair, Eva Aston, Andra Vladu,  Amy Titterington, Evie Hempstead, Sophie McCann, Zara Rintoul Second Row:  Joanna Carson, Darcey Jamison, Katie McMeekin,  Aoife Moore, Grace Ruding, Emily Parker, Emily O’Callaghan, Rhiannon Dowie, Jemima Thomas, Zara Hamilton, Rebekah Spence, Emma Carson,  Ally McConnell, Molly Walker,  Anna Hughes, Maya Renfrew, Sarah McIvor,  Anna Kirkwood, Grace Thompson, Rachel Constant, Eva Blakely Hewitt, Ellie Johnston, Zara Hanna Front Row: Rebecca Hill, Eden Byrne, Lauren Farmer, Lauren Mooney, Imogen McGimpsey, Laura Gordon, Hannah McCartney,  Alexandra Coetzee, Zara Barbour, Grace Bowman, Rachel Neale,  Alex Graham, Louise Simms, Megan Allen, Eve Greer, Cheryl Watson, Natalya Ricketts, Ellie Massey, Amy McAlees, Rosie Elwood, Saya Caddy, Lucy Bole


clubs, events & societies The Traditional Group Back Row:  Abigail Sheridan, Lydia Millar,  Abigail Bester, Hannah Eakin Second Row: Sophie Pružina,  Victoria Megarry, Stephanie Devlin, Naomi Cochrane, Susanna Griffin, Laura Bell Front Row: Chloe Young, Lauren White, Fiona Gibson, Tori Jackson, Amy Bole


Traditional Group

he Traditional Group meets every Monday at lunchtime to play a wide selection of jigs, airs and reels. Miss Corry, a past pupil of Strathearn, has shared her expertise with extreme patience and enthusiasm to teach us how to play from memory. The group is open to all ages and abilities and attracts a variety of instruments, such as tin whistle, fiddle, flute, harp and bodhrán. There are fifteen girls in the group and we all enjoy working towards school concerts. Our first performance of the year was the Autumn Musical Evening, where we played the air Inis Oírr and two jigs.  After months of dedicated rehearsals came the Spring Concert, where we played The Parting Glass and the Lisnagun Jig. I would like to thank Miss Corry for all her hard work with the Traditional Group this year. We have all really enjoyed the rehearsals, and it has been great to learn a new style of music. Abby Sheridan, U6



his year, the Orchestra met on Wednesday afternoons from 3.30 to 4.30, welcoming girls of all abilities from Form One to Upper Sixth. We enjoyed a mixture of sectionals and full rehearsals, allowing us to get to know other girls from different years. Our first event to prepare for was the  Autumn Musical Evening in November, in which the Orchestra is the main featured ensemble. In this concert we performed the Game of Thrones theme tune, “Kalinka” and “Liberty Bell”. Our other concert this year was the Spring Concert in April. For this concert we played more challenging pieces as we had more time to prepare for it. We opened the concert with the popular “Viva la vida” by Coldplay, followed by an orchestral arrangement of River Flows In You by the pianist Einaudi, featuring soloist Orla Bannister. Opening the second half we played the crowd pleaser “Mamma mia” by Abba, followed by Palladio by Karl Jenkins. Throughout the year we also played the Jurassic Park theme tune by John Williams and “America” from West Side Story. This year for the first time, we had a Chamber Orchestra which met on Monday mornings from 8.30 to 9.00. This was made up of girls who had achieved grades seven or eight in their instruments. This ensemble made its debut performance at the Spring Concert playing Pavane by Fauré and “Seventeen come Sunday” from the English Folk Songs Suite by Vaughan Williams. On behalf of all the girls involved in the Orchestra I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for all her hard work this year and for making it so enjoyable. Fiona Gibson, U6S

The Orchestra Back Row:  Amy Major,  Ailie McKinty, Orla Bannister,  Abigail Sheridan,  Abigail Bester, Hollie Croft, Rachael Kelly, Emily Whiteside, Erin McConnell, Beth Minnis,  Jill Carson, Kathryn Neil, Emma Lennon Third Row:  Amy Dutton, Rachel Bell, Susanna Griffin, Naomi Cochrane,  Abigail Acheson, Lauryn Todd, Rose Templeton, Kerry Hepworth,  Amy Darragh, Emma Gibson, Stephanie Devlin, Fiona Gibson, Bethany Craig,  Yuan Chen Second Row: Nina Reid, Ella Keane,  Anna Wilson, Elly Ryan, Elise Breadon, Siân Murray,  Anna Kenny, Lauren White, Rachael Campbell, Sophie Mitchell, Laura Killiner,  Tori Jackson, Rebekah Kenny, Claire Whiteside Front Row:  Lucy Bole, Lauren Mooney, Kristanna Clegg, Mia Montgomery,  Anna Hughes,  Jemimah Thomas,  Amy Bole, Miriam O’Reilly, Sophie McCann, Megan Allen, Laura Gordon,  Alexandra Coetzee, Catherine Welsh, Chloe Young


clubs, events & societies


The Spring Concert

large number of Strathearn students took part this year in weekly 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 four pieces: an arrangement of the Coldplay song “Viva la vida”, Yiruma’s lovely River Flows in You, featuring Orla Bannister at the piano, Palladio, by Karl Jenkins, and a lively rendition of Abba’s “Mamma mia”. The orchestra performed with great discipline and enthusiasm, communicating the different moods required very effectively. The Chamber Choir sang the beautiful arrangement by David Childs of the Keats poem “Weep no more”, Sarah Quartel’s otherworldly “Here on these branches”, and a swinging “Sing, sing, sing”.  Shortly after the concert, the same programme, performed once more with the choir’s customary clarity and focus, helped them to win the prestigious Open Class at Bangor Choral Festival. Many congratulations to all involved. The Junior Choir enjoyed their three-part version of “Touch the sky” from the film Brave, their fresh, clear voices effectively conveying the song’s uplifting message. The Senior Choir’s individual piece was “Taylor, the latte boy”, sung with appropriate emotion by all, especially Rachel Henry in her comical solo role as the lovesick coffee drinker. The Junior and Senior Choirs combined for the concert’s last item, a medley of songs from the Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera.The months of preparation required to prepare this substantial piece resulted in a dramatic and moving finale for the evening, with solo moments for each choir in turn and plenty of scope for the full 170 voices to combine in the strongest songs. Three other smaller groups took part. The A2 music class performed their own mellow and touching arrangement of the “Friends” theme tune, “I’ll be there for you”. The Recorder Consort played the 1959 cool jazz classic, Take Five and a spirited Beguine by Brian Bonsor. The Traditional Group, with their director Miss Corry, performed a very enjoyable set of two Irish traditional pieces,  The Lisnagun Jig and The Parting Glass. Six soloists were featured during the evening. Lucy Robinson’s distinctive vocals and effortlessly impressive guitar playing were perfect for “Ain’t no sunshine”.  Saskia Craig’s Puccini aria, complete with six top A flats, soared beautifully. Fiona Gibson played the second movement of Poulenc’s Flute Sonata with her customary sensitivity of expression and appealing tone.Tori Megarry’s performance of “Miss Adelaide’s Lament” was a sparkling journey through a convincing series of conflicting and sometimes comical emotions. Stephanie Devlin’s beautiful “If I loved you” was warm, human and totally convincing. Susie Griffin played the highly virtuosic Suk Appassionato with enormous skill and bravura, the final performer in this year’s particularly impressive group of soloists. 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.

Eryn McQuillan,  A-level




Daisy Pulls it Off

his year our senior actors got a chance to shine in a production of Denise Deegan’s Daisy Pulls it Off which we performed for two nights on 10 and 11 December.

This show lampoons some of the stereotypical views that society can hold about girls’ schools, including the competitive hockey matches, the pillow fights and of course the ‘fearful scrapes’. The plot follows a scholarship girl, Daisy, who arrives at Grangewood School and must find her way despite the snobs who try to thwart her. The final message, however, is one of acceptance and perhaps this is what allows the play to resonate forty years after Strathearn first performed it. Ms Ferris modernised the script with the addition of an ever-present chorus which physically and verbally responded to the action throughout. Their agility in presenting various locations (from trains to cliffs to hockey matches) must be commended. In particular, a lot of choreography was involved in the pillow fight scene which moved from slow motion into top speed. Indeed on more than one occasions in rehearsals, the timing went awry testing the strength of both the casts’ jaws and Ms Ferris’ patience! The rapid humour of the script really required some in-depth characterisation and pacing from the senior actors. It has to be said that many relished getting their teeth into the lengthy script and enjoyed the journey their character went on to finally accept Daisy. Perhaps what made the cast so closely knit were the high numbers of Upper Sixth pupils who were truly inspiring in the lead roles. For me, the fantastic on-stage relationship between Katy Anderson and Jill Fergie was phenomenal to watch and learn from; they made rehearsals so enjoyable and were so professional in terms of their work ethic. Other notable performances included Aimee Richardson as the hateful Monica, Nicky Montgomery as the Principal and Emma Rowan as the unforgettable Mr Scobolski. Mr Atkinson and his trusty side-kick Carley Magee Tollerton provided a fantastic multi-media backdrop that enhanced many scenes. Carley also included an extensive soundtrack which complemented the acoustic effects of the chorus. Ms Atkinson and Miss Dyer provided a plethora of props from hockey sticks to eye masks to ornamental frogs, all of which were tricky to get on stage due to the fact that few blackouts were used. Many thanks also to Mrs Ingram for the facilitating the smooth traffic of so many girls on and off stage. Daisy was an unforgettable experience which was enjoyed by everyone involved! Molly Fairclough, L6H


Junior Drama Club


Drama Trip

n a cold Thursday in February, thirty Drama students and three teachers gathered in the quiet of the International Airport for the annual London Drama trip. Despite the early start, spirits were high as the Form Four and Lower Sixth pupils got to know each other. After a stroll through Piccadilly Circus and a quick Italian lunch, we made our way to the Prince Edward Theatre for the afternoon matinee of The Phantom of the Opera. The musical lived up to our expectations, and many of our party wiped away tears on more than one occasion. A walk through the bustling Covent Garden for some light street food greatly aided the group’s emotional recovery. Our evening performance was the comical farce, The Play That Goes Wrong.

he  Junior Drama Club was held every lunchtime from October until Easter. Attendance was high, with the Assembly Hall initially being used to accommodate three year groups of budding dramatists. After a range of fun games and activities, the girls were split into smaller groups to work on a variety of short scenes and plays. They were aided in this by the Upper Sixth Drama Committee, who were able to offer their advice, and indeed their own dramatic skills, to the club. One of the standout moments was the Junior Drama Club’s contribution to Open Day. Performing short dramatic pieces they had devised themselves, they provided firstrate entertainment for parents and prospective pupils alike. The response was highly positive, and it is highly likely that we will see some of this year’s young spectators actually performing at our next Open Day.

By Thursday evening we were exhausted. Friday’s focus was less on modern productions and more on Shakespeare with a visit to the Globe Theatre. The acting workshop afterwards was brilliant and really helped us to improve our vocal projection and performances. A brief spell of shopping rounded our trip off perfectly; we then made our way back to Belfast to catch up on some sleep. Many thanks to the teachers who made our trip to the West End so memorable: Ms Ferris, Mrs Ingram and Mrs Atkinson.

The Junior Drama Club provided an enjoyable, creative and entertaining experience for everyone involved. Well done to the girls who participated throughout the year – all members contributed enthusiastically, with many showcasing a real talent and passion for drama that will surely be seen on the school stage and perhaps beyond in years to come.

Mia Wheatley, 4R


house plays

House Play Competition


Adjudicated by

Ms E DeDakis October 2015

Awards Inter-House Drama Cup for Best Production


Love Thy Neighbour McCaughey House

McNeill Cup for Directing

Lydia Miller Watts House

Frances Mulley Rose Bowl for Best Actress


Esther Henry Watts House

McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress

Emma Carson McCaughey House

Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Role Watts

Amy Gilpin Boucher House

Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

UFO Barbour House 36

barbour house reports


House Report

he Upper Sixth year went by so quickly! It doesn’t feel like a year has passed since we were called into Mr Manning’s office to be told about our new roles. That day was frantic and full of emotion. Hannah,  Anieshia and I had to start our duties right away. Our first task was to lead Barbour’s House assembly, a job which required the ability to be heard by all members of Barbour House whilst trying not to shout at those at the front. These assemblies proved useful in encouraging House spirit and persuading people to sign up for the various events throughout the year. The Inter-House Debate was our first competitive House event, with Barbour speaking against the motion “This House would Ban Beauty Contests.” Strathearn Sports Day was the first sporting event that we embarked upon as House Captains. Everyone participated with great enthusiasm and House spirit, helped along by face paint, House colours and copious amounts of sweets.  June proved to be a busy month for House sports, with rounders, tennis and novelty events all on the agenda. It was only as we arrived back to school in September that we could appreciate the amount of work that lay ahead. Sign-up sheets for Inter-House Dodgeball were up straight away. This proved to be a really successful event for Barbour, both in terms of raising money for our chosen charity (the Brittle Bone Society), and in competing with the other three Houses. Barbour was placed 2nd overall. The next event on our sporting calendar was First Form Potted Sports, with one of our teams coming 1st. This was a great day of sport, and we were extremely thankful for the help from the Upper Sixth Peer Mentors. This was the second year of the Inter-House Quiz. Spread over two lunchtimes, we were able to have eight teams competing, with juniors, seniors and staff members all taking part. The junior teams came 2nd and the senior and teacher teams came 3rd. This was a great test of Barbour House’s general knowledge and ability to work well in a team. It was the perfect opportunity for House members to mix with those from different classes; this created a great sense of House spirit! Next up was Strathearn’s Got Talent, and it was better than ever! We were lucky enough to have an incredibly talented and willing House, meaning Anieshia, Hannah and I had to hold auditions for the two lucrative performance spots. We chose our two performers after some difficult deliberation.  Amy Bole was to perform an original song called ‘Hold Your Head Up’, which is now available on iTunes as part of an album to be released in the next year. Amy, from Form 3, sang and played the piano beautifully. Zara Hamilton, also Form 3, was our other chosen performer who gave an excellent rendition of an emotional and difficult piece from Miss Saigon. We were all very impressed at the talent shown from these two third years, making us as House Captains very proud. In House cross-country, Barbour was placed equal 1st and in House hockey we won the Form 2 and 3 sections (finishing 2nd overall). This year was also the first ever Strathearn Bake Off, a homage to the incredibly popular Great British Bake Off. Hannah, Anieshia and I were given the very difficult but very tasty task of choosing our four bakers from each year. We were overwhelmed by the popularity of this event, and had to hold a knock-out round in which we tasted many buns of different varieties in an attempt to pick a winning team! Hannah,  Anieshia and I would like to thank every member of Barbour House for their enthusiasm in all House activities. I can certainly say that 2015/16 was a great year for Barbour, and we will George ~ Aife Sansom all take away so many memories that we will treasure! Beryl ~ Marnie Preston We owe a big thank you to Ms Young, who has helped us tirelessly throughout our year as House Captains. Stan ~ Zara Hamilton Photo: L-R:  Anieshia Bedford, Katie Mashford, Hannah Eakin Graham ~ Darcy Jamison

The Cast

House Play

Mary ~ Ellie Dornan

UFO based on Mam,  There’s a Spaceship in the Back Yard by Sarah Cowan

Rita ~ Katie Horner


reparation for House Plays began as soon as exams ended in the summer of 2015. With the little free time we had, Hannah, Anieshia and I spent hours trawling the internet in search of a play that would be perfect for Barbour House. We finally decided on Mam, There’s a Spaceship in Our Backyard. As soon as our cast was chosen, we began to rehearse.  The play was based on two families, and the actors immediately worked together as well as any real family. The play would not have been complete without the aliens, nosey neighbours, TV reporters, and police officers (who also side-lined as gardeners and Ministry of Defence agents). All the actors played their part in making the play very funny and a real treat for the audience. This was the first year I was not acting in the House Plays, and so watching from the wings was an interesting process. Our hours of “rehearsing” (mostly laughing, and not much reading of lines) paid off, and the show was a great success. Barbour House won Best Technical which was an achievement I never imagined we’d accomplish.  A few tears were definitely shed! It definitely justified the trouble we went through to get a smoke machine, and the trauma of fitting a 7ft spaceship into a Mini! In reality, however, our success was down to the cast, the amazing technical team and our supporters. Thank you! Katie Mashford, House Captain


Ernie ~ Chloe Stevenson Tommy ~ Alice Graham Susan ~ Ellie Johnston Mrs Riley ~ Mia Wheatley Dougie Hargreaves ~ Molly Cahoon MODs ~ Jenny Wilson, Beth Strahan, Katie Majury PC Corbett ~ Jill Nelis Sgt Wilkinson ~ Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis Aliens ~ Clara Potts, Lauren Mooney News Reporter ~ Rebecca Murphy

boucher house reports House Report


t is hard to believe that it was a year ago when Ella, Erin and I were appointed as the new Boucher House Captains for 2015/16. I can distinctly remember the anticipation as we walked from the Sixth Form study hall to Mr Manning’s office. We accepted our roles with great excitement, eagerly looking forward to the action-packed year that lay ahead of us. We decided to make Sesame Street the theme for our House board. Boucher’s board came to life with a very impressive painting of the character Cookie Monster – a huge thank you to Mrs Rea for all her help, and to Crystal Yeun, Mollie McBride, Amy Martin and Alice Hutchison for their amazing artwork. Our duties began with the Day of Sport which gave us the opportunity to get to know girls from all year groups, and the chance to get into the House spirit for the first time. House spirit was at an all-time high in Strathearn this year. The monthly House Assemblies in the very cosy drama studio helped us to keep the girls informed about upcoming events, and also allowed us to get to know each other. Year House assemblies were also introduced. These gave girls the opportunity to take on more responsibility by passing on important information to their peers, and by providing feedback to us. Alongside the highly competitive Inter-House hockey,  athletics and cross-country competitions were the increasingly popular Inter-House Quiz and Dodge Ball. These events were enjoyed by students and teachers alike. Our most commendable results included first place in netball and the Maths Challenge, joint first in rounders and second in the Tennis Competition.  Another exciting new event was the Talent Show. Chloe Young and Alice Huddleston both did Boucher proud, coming a very impressive third and fourth place respectively. Without a doubt this has been the most enjoyable and rewarding year I’ve spent in Strathearn. At times it was hectic and stressful, but I’ve loved every second of it. Thank you to all who participated in House events; you showed great determination and House spirit. I would also like to give a special thank you to Ella and Erin for their endless hard work and support, and for helping to make this year such a memorable one. I don’t know what I would have done without you both. Thank you also to Ms Young for keeping the House Captains on track, and to Miss Ferris for all her help, particularly with the House Play. I wish next year’s House Captains the best of luck; I have no doubt that they will have their best year in Strathearn yet. Photo: L-R: Erin Larmour, Florence Ogonda, Ella McAllister

House Play Accident and EMX by Florence Ogonda, Erin Larmour and Ella McAllister


lanning for the House Plays began during the summer of 2015. After sifting through what felt like hundreds of plays in search of the perfect script, we decided that the only way we could find one that was good enough to represent Boucher was to write it ourselves.

Accident and EMX was made up of several scenarios, as whacky patients came to visit an unenthused nurse in A&E.  A plot twist ensued as a suspected outbreak of a deadly virus sent the waiting room into disarray, whilst the patients tried to work out who was to blame for all of the commotion. It wasn’t always easy and there were definitely times when we felt like it would be easier to give up, but with the encouragement and reassurance of Miss Ferris we managed to produce a play that we hoped the audience would find just as funny as we did! Auditions began in mid-September and we were very impressed by the talent on show. Unfortunately, with over fifty girls wanting to take part, it was impossible to cast everyone. After a lot of deliberation and many call backs, we finally had our cast.

The Cast Nurse ~ Ruby Allen Mum ~ Chloe Brown Dad ~ Abby Sheridan Granda ~ Louise Owens Child 1 ~ Freya Beers Child 2 ~ Rosie Elwood Granny ~ Amy Gilpin Guy ~ Gabrielle Park Belfast ~ Sara Cabecinha Assistant ~ Emma Watson

One of the highlights for me was when we heard our script read out loud for the first time. It was now no longer just a Word document but a play brought to life by the humour and flair provided by the actors. Every single person contributed suggestions and ideas which helped to make the performance a real success.

Jesse ~ Rose Templeton

As the performance date drew closer, our stress levels were high as we worked hard to bring the play together. Rehearsals were held most days at lunchtimes, after school, and frequently on Saturdays as well. Thankfully all the hard work paid off! The final performance went off without a hitch and exceeded all my expectations. Not only did the cast do us proud, but their efforts were commended by the adjudicator, Emily DeDakis. This was all topped off by Amy Gilpin winning Best Cameo Role!

Dr Winter ~ Ellie Massey

Many thanks to everyone who took part. Florence Ogonda, House Captain


Normal Guy ~ Sophie Neale Q Doc ~ Anna Kirkwood Student Doctors ~ Catherine O’Reilly, Rebecca Moore, Holly Gilpin, Felicity Johnston, Zara Barbour,  Aoife Moore, Anna Hughes, Maya Renfrew, Rachel Neale

mccaughey house reports


House Report

can’t quite believe that the time to write the traditional House report for the school magazine has rolled around already! It seems like only a month ago that Shannon,  Alana and I stood in Mr Manning’s office to accept our roles as House Captains for 2015/16. That moment is ingrained in my mind as a very fond memory, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t just a little terrified at the thought of how much we would have to do in the coming year. Our duties began with the Penrhyn sports day, followed by Inter-House rounders and tennis, and then the much-anticipated Day of Sport. To say I was grateful for Shannon’s help at House sporting events during this year is putting it lightly; my sports knowledge has not stretched beyond compulsory PE in Fifth Form! Still Alana and I served our purpose as cheerleaders at the side-lines with a huge supply of sweets, face paint and motivational chants. McCaughey came first overall in tennis, first overall in the Inter-House quiz, and a commendable third place in House dodgeball and netball. Other events have included cross-country, hockey, badminton and the Inter-House bake off.  Another notable event for me was ‘Strathearn’s Got Talent’. Representing McCaughey we had Nistha Panchratna, who did some seriously impressive Bollywood dancing. We also had the wonderful vocals of Molly Fairclough and her beautiful backing dancers, Emma Carson, Emily O’Callaghan and Annie Heavern. It was Nistha’s self-choreographed, unique routine that went on to gain McCaughey second place! I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to my deputies, Shannon and Alana. These were the girls that kept me in my right mind whilst juggling House Plays, UCAS and A-levels! Thank you also to Ms Young. When you see behind the scenes of House events, you really appreciate just how much organisation goes in to make it all run smoothly. Finally, thank you to every single girl who participated in House events this year. Engaging with you was without a shadow of a doubt my favourite part of being a House Captain. This role allows you to meet and make friends with so many younger girls, who you wouldn’t get to know otherwise. People’s loyalty and House spirit made my job so much better, and for that I am so grateful! I conclude by wishing good luck to the next captains of McCaughey House. Chasing after House reps for signup sheets and organising House Play rehearsals around thirty teenage girls’ busy schedules is incredibly tiring, but also really enjoyable. Make the most of it, because it passes by in a flash. Also, a word of advice…sugar is always the answer, so a seemingly never-ending supply of sweets is always handy. Photo: L-R: Shannon Booth,  Jill Fergie,  Alana McVea

House Play


Love Thy Neighbour by Aimee Richardson and Jill Fergie

hannon,  Alana and I began our preparations for the House Plays by searching through online scripts, but we simply did not find anything that ticked all of the boxes. It was one evening in June when I decided to finally bite the bullet and attempt to write my own script. Despite coming up with a full concept, I was neither brave nor witty enough to write an engaging and comedic script in two months. This was where I enlisted the help of Aimee. We met up regularly during the summer to sort out characters, develop the plot, and plan how best to use our resources. When September rolled around we had tweaked the script until our hearts were content. Finally we had our play. The next step in the process was to organise the auditions, and it was great to see so many girls show interest. It goes without saying that if we could have fitted everybody in, we certainly would have! My cast of thirty-one was what made the House Plays for me; every single cast member showed admirable commitment and dedication. In addition to this, I came away from every single rehearsal with a belly ache from laughing so much. As performance week rolled around, the stress of filming deadlines, finding costumes and ensuring lines were learnt had begun to take its toll on me. My voice also decided to disappear and a nice little throat infection arrived in its place! However, that didn’t stop us. With the help of a radio mic and some honey and lemon, we were back on track. I can honestly say that pulling back the curtains for the first time and watching anxiously from the wings were amongst my favourite moments of my time in Strathearn. The girls brought the play to life on stage, and they added so much heart to the script. The brilliant and absolutely hysterical Emma Carson collected the award for Best Supporting Actress, and we were also presented with the prestigious award of Best Play. I would also like to express thanks to Mr Heaney for helping us out with a cameo performance in our voiceovers, and to Carley Magee who worked with Shannon to run all our tech in the final performances. Many thanks also to my efficient and hard-working backstage team of Emma Wilson, Rachel Lemon, Nina Glendinning and Lucy Robinson. Last but not least, I have to thank Aimee for agreeing to embark on this ridiculous journey with me in the first place, but also for the undoubtable talent and pure wit she brought to the play. Saying goodbye to my favourite part of school was always going to be difficult, but this was great way to finish! Jill Fergie, House Captain


The Cast

Phyllis ~ Molly Longstaff Desmond ~ Molly Fairclough Monty ~ Emma Carson JK ~ Aimee Richardson Mitch ~ Lauren Irwin Scotty ~ Nicky Montgomery Rick ~ Jenny Maynes Sheila ~ Chloe Jeanes Debbie ~ Íde Simpson Lynn ~ Eve Elliot Julie ~ Leah Deehan Connie ~ Annie Heavern Ethel ~ Emily Marten Steve ~ Jessica Anderson Bell Rachel ~ Molly Elliott Ronnie ~ Molly Scullion Donnie ~ Lola Gibbons Bonnie ~ Becca Black Mel ~ Molly Elliott Sue ~ Amy Mcwhirter Paul ~ Evie Gallen Mary ~ Bonnie McCallum Humphrey ~ Ellie Van Giesen Craig ~ Saya Caddy Len ~ Talia Irwin Darcy ~ Emily O’Callaghan Bruno ~ Nishtha Panchratna Dancer ~ Natalya Ricketts Lord Grantham ~ Gabriella Park Carson ~ Erin McCollough Violet Crawley ~ Sophie Longstaff

watts house reports House Report


even years ago I took part in my first Watts House Play. I was given a tiny role as “Mouse 2” and had just one line. I cherished those rehearsals working with the “much older and much cooler” senior school girls and those moments have formed some of my fondest memories of being at Strathearn. When I found myself shaking Mr Manning’s hand after being offered the position of House Captain last April, I felt a profound sense of achievement.  All my little roles played throughout my time in Watts House had paid off; I had gone from being “Mouse 2” to House Captain. For the next year I would be working alongside my wonderful Deputies, Saskia Craig and Katy Anderson, to organise and run House events. Our first duty began in Lower Sixth with the Penrhyn Day of Sport which involved us taking part in the timing of races, cheering on the different age groups and allowing us to encourage House spirit from the outset. Throughout the year, Watts enthusiasts appeared from all parts of the school during the various House events, from Inter-House Netball to Inter-House Athletics with the classic Watts chant “W-A-T-T-S! WHO’S THE BEST FROM EAST TO WEST? - GO WATTS” - being sung (or howled ferociously) more than once.  Seeing such energy and enthusiasm really made us appreciate our roles as House Captains. This has been a very rewarding year. The highlight for me, however, would be getting to know and become friends with girls from all years at Strathearn. It is safe to say that the House system definitely creates a sense of school community - one that was valuable to me as a Form 1 girl and still is to this day. Nothing would have been possible without the help of my incredible Deputies, our outstanding House of talented and enthusiastic girls, the PE Department, Ms Young and Miss Ferris, who worked alongside us and helped us in every possible way. Thank you very much for making my last year at Strathearn unforgettable. I must also mention that Watts has become the proud home of Strathearn’s very own Spice Girls - a group of five extremely talented and oh-so-sassy teachers who made their debut performance at Strathearn’s Got Talent performing a splendid cover of ‘Stop’. I believe this performance made the year for many, many Strathearn girls. Photo: L-R: Saskia Craig, Lydia Millar, Katy Anderson

House Play The Spelling Bee based on The 25th Putnam Spelling Bee by Finn, Sheinkin, Feldman, Reiss


s soon as Katy, Saskia and I were chosen as House Captains, we started to think about the House Plays. We had all participated in the annual plays from junior school and we looked forward to this opportunity with delight. There was also, admittedly, quite a bit of sheer terror. From the word “go” we were researching plays and it was on a sunny August day that the girls and I decided to sail into unchartered waters and perform a House Musical for the first time in Strathearn history.  As both Saskia, Katy and I are keen musical enthusiasts it made sense to us to take on this task. We selected The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and modified this 1 hour and 45 minute musical, to form a 35 minute mini-musical that we named The Spelling Bee. This told the story of an eclectic group of American 6th grade students, all eager to win the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Our next task was to audition and select our cast, and so our audition process began. We asked the girls to act a section from the musical and also to perform one of the solos from the musical. Lots of extremely talented Watts girls auditioned and we were really impressed by the turnout. Finally, after much deliberation, we selected our cast made up of a group of core actors, singers and a chorus. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls. They all coped very well with the multitude of lunchtime and Sunday rehearsals. Many thanks to all the girls who participated. On the day of the performances the girls sang, danced and acted their hearts out; singing solos in front of a hall full of friends, peers and teachers is an extremely daunting task, and they carried it out with great professionalism. I am proud to say that Watts won Best Director and Esther Henry won Best Actress for her performance as the eccentric Leaf Coneybear. To this day we are impressed at how the girls pulled off such a difficult challenge with both enthusiasm and elegance, and we will really miss all the fun and laughter that came with the House Plays and the duties of being House Captains. The year has flown in and I will greatly miss the experience and the friendship of all the Watts girls. To the next Watts House Captains, I wish you the best of luck. I am 100% sure you will have a blast being Captains of such a great, great House. Lydia Millar, House Captain


The Cast Rona ~ Aimée Irwin Panch ~ Zoe Hepworth Olive ~ Chloe Armstrong Olive’s Mum ~ Jemima Thomas Marcy ~ Alex Coetzee Leaf ~ Esther Henry Logainne ~ Rachel Henry Carl ~ Amy Darragh Dan ~ Abigail Bester Mitch ~ Tavisha Sood Elvis ~ Cheryl Watson Leaf ’s Mum ~ Sarah Hamilton Sister 1 ~ Olivia Nelson Sister 2 ~ Katie Wills Sister 3 ~ Claire Whiteside Sister 4 ~ Lara Whitten Chorus ~ Sarah Baker, Sarah Hamilton, Halah Irvine, Rachel McDonald, Sarah McDonald, Olivia Nelson, Rosie Park, Hannah Stanfield, Jemima Thomas, Sasha White, Claire Whiteside, Lara Whiton, Katie Wills

games captain’s report


nother year of sport in Strathearn has passed and with it has come a lot of success that everyone should be proud of.  These are some of the highlights of the past year.

In the summer of 2015, the athletics season once again brought brilliant success to Strathearn. Many girls competed at the Co Down District Athletics Championships and contributed to Strathearn bringing home four out of the five overall team titles – Minor, Junior, Intermediate and Senior. The Mini Team finished as runners-up. This led to many girls qualifying for the Ulster Schools’ Championships, in which we were crowned Ulster Champions in the Minor and Junior Age Groups and were runners-up in the overall competition. Due their outstanding performances at Ulster level, thirteen individual girls and two relay teams qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships. At this event, the Minor Team were crowned Irish Schools’ Champions! Another fantastic tennis season rounded off the summer term. The tennis players achieved a hat-trick of victories, winning three out of the four available Ulster Schools’ Cups.

My final hockey season in Strathearn has now ended but I can take away some amazing memories from my seven years. In October, senior girls travelled to Dublin for a training trip. Matches were closely fought and we also managed to fit in some sight-seeing and a trip to Tayto Park! Throughout the year, all of the teams played at a high standard. Unfortunately the 1st XI were narrowly knocked out of the Senior Schools’ Cup in the 3rd round by eventual runners up, Sullivan.  The 2B XI had a successful season reaching the semi-final of the Gibson Cup. The U14A XI put on a wonderful display of hockey to win the Junior Plate. Cross-country has always been of a high standard in Strathearn and this year the girls certainly did not disappoint. At the Co Down Districts, the girls managed to bring home three out of the five trophies and were runners-up in the other two age groups. There were some exceptional individual and team performances, which led to the girls qualifying for the Ulster Schools’ Championships.

There, the Juniors were crowned champions, the Minors, Seniors and Intermediates were placed 3rd, and the Minis 6th overall. The teams’ excellent performances led to four teams qualifying for the Irish Championships in Sligo. Strathearn’s netball teams have had another successful year. The Minor, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Teams played in the Sol Sports League and the Form 1A and B Teams in the Belfast Area League. There have been many great performances throughout the season, particularly for the Minor A Team who won all their matches but one. Some Strathearn girls also went on to be selected for the Belfast Regional Development Academy. Swimming is another strong sport in Strathearn.  The girls took part in the Swim Ulster Schools’ Championships and won a range of medals. There were some outstanding individual results, including Erin McConnell’s victory in the Girls’ 15-16 200m IM and Butterfly.  The relay teams also performed very well. Three girls went on to compete in the Irish Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships in Dublin. The girls excelled, bringing home the Irish bronze medals in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays. There are a number of other sports which Strathearn girls have been involved in at both recreational and competitive levels, including squash, badminton, dance, gymnastics, self-defence and kayaking. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who have been involved in sport at Strathearn over the years, and to the parents who support us all in our chosen sports. Special thanks to Ms Young and Mrs Grundie for all of their work throughout the year.  Many thanks also to Mrs Harvey who is retiring this year. She has worked with pupils from P1 to U6, and her dedication and expertise have played a major part in contributing to the success of sport at Strathearn. Gabrielle Park, U6

Games Captain and Deputies Aimée Irwin, Gabrielle Park,  Abby Larmour


sport Eve Johnston, GCSE Level


Hockey 2015-2016

he 2015/16 hockey season was yet another successful year which was thoroughly enjoyable for all involved. The 1st XI squad, captained by Erin Larmour with Anieshia Bedford as her Vice Captain, started the season very well by reaching the final of the National Playing Fields Tournament. Unfortunately the girls narrowly lost against a tough Banbridge Academy team. After half-term, the 1st XI started their School’s Cup campaign, beating Larne Grammar School 3-1, and then Ballymena Academy 3-1. In their third round match against Sullivan, Erin Larmour scored an excellent reverse-stick goal early in the game. They remained in control throughout the first half, however Sullivan managed to equalise just before half-time.  Although Strathearn continued to look dangerous, Sullivan got a late breakaway goal to win the match. The girls were now entered in the Senior School’s Shield. Unfortunately they took on a very strong side from Wallace High School and while it was a well-contested match, they lost 3-0. The 2A XI, captained and vice-captained by Bonnie Ramsay and Becky Poots respectively, had a successful season, reaching the quarter-finals of the McDowell Cup. With a bye in the first round, they faced Omagh Academy in the second round, who they defeated 1-0, with Bonnie Ramsay scoring. In the next round they faced Carrickfergus Grammar School, winning 3-1. In their quarter-final stage they met a very challenging side from Ballyclare High School. Although the team showed great determination and played good hockey, they were defeated 4-1. The 2B XI was captained by Rachel Powderly, with Lara Sweet as her Vice Captain. This team had one of the most successful cup runs of the whole Strathearn hockey 2015/16 season, as they reached the semi-final of the Gibson Cup. In the round-robin build up to the knock-out stages of the competition, they played Belfast High School, winning 6-0 and got a walkover against Grosvenor Grammar School. In their quarter-final they faced Ballyclare High School. Molly Longstaff scored in the first half, helping us to win 1-0. We then met Friends’ School, Lisburn in the semi-final. The team tried hard but it was not their day and Friends ran out as worthy 4-1 winners. In Junior hockey, both the U13 and U14 teams showed a lot of promise, which is exciting for the future of hockey at Strathearn. The U14A XI was captained by Harriet Platt with Grace Hutchinson as her Vice Captain. They started off their Junior Cup campaign against a very strong Methody XI, and unfortunately were beaten 3-0. The girls fared much better in the Junior Plate though! They made it all the way to the final, in which they played Ballyclare High School. Strathearn got off to a great start when Alex Fawcett scored a

fabulous goal from the top of the circle. Strathearn held the lead for the next ten minutes, but then Ballyclare scored to level the match as half-time approached. The score was still 1-1 at the final whistle, and so the match went to extra time. Strathearn forced a penalty corner in the early stages, and Erin Stewart managed to score from it.  After a nail-biting wait, the umpire’s whistle finally sounded and the match was ours! The girls gave a fabulous display of skill and great teamwork. Well done for bringing home the Junior Plate! The 3A, 3B, U14B and U13A and B Teams have all had successful seasons. The U12A XI competed in the Annual Year 8 Grosvenor Tournament on 8 March. They drew all matches in their section and unfortunately this was not enough to gain them a place in the semifinal. They did, however, show good skills and tactical awareness on the pitch. There was individual hockey success for many of our hockey players this season. Maya Savage Newell, Chloe Sweet, Eve Elliott, Harriet Platt, Zoe Hepworth and Jessica Anderson Bell were all nominated to attend trials for the Ulster Hockey Talent Development Squad back in September.  Maya, Jessica and Harriet were selected and have been training with the squad throughout the season. U17 Area Board trials took place on 1 March, with the following four girls being nominated: Sarah Brown, Ailie McKinty, Bonnie Ramsay and Victoria Hamilton. Sarah, Bonnie and Ailie were selected for the Belfast U17 Area Board Team, and played in the Area Board Tournament on 15 March, finishing as runners-up. Congratulations to Sarah who has been included in an Ulster U18 training squad over the next few months. U15 Area Board trials took place on 3 March, with the following five girls being nominated: Harriet Platt, Erin Stewart, Chloe Sweet, Maya Savage Newell and Jessica Anderson Bell. Harriet, Erin, Maya and Jessica have been called back for a second trial, and await to hear if they will be selected for the Belfast Area U15 Team. Many thanks to the PE teachers, the coaches and our supporters. I would also like to extend my gratitude to our talented stats man and number one supporter, Cecil Swinton. Thank you for being there every week despite the weather!  A special ‘thank you’ should also go to Ms Murphy who has devoted many years to hockey at Strathearn, but has decided to take a step back from it next season. I hope you use this extra free time to improve your song library. Finally, a huge ‘good luck’ to all our hockey teams next season and in the future.


Erin Larmour, U6A


1st XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Ailie McKinty, Shannon Booth, Sarah Brown, Flo Ogonda, Bonnie Ramsay Middle Row: Emma Farrelly, Hannah McCann, Maya Savage Newell, Becky Poots, Kate Farrelly Front Row: Louise Owens,  Abbie Larmour,  Anieshia Bedford, Erin Larmour (Capt), Gabrielle Park, Lara Creighton Absent: Aimée Irwin

Rising Again The sun setting like a lion’s mane Disappearing like magic, all is dark. Bright lights start to appear, Casting their reflection on the shimmering sea. Lauren Nesbitt, 1S Lauren Duncan,  A-level

2A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Katie Wills,  Tanith Jamison,  Victoria Hamilton, Alanna McHugh Middle Row: Emma Farrelly, Claire Whiteside, Maya Savage Newell, Rachael Thomas Front Row:  Jessica  Anderson-Bell, Hannah McCann, Bonnie Ramsay (Capt), Becky Poots, Chloe Sweet


sport 2B XI Hockey Team (left) Back Row: Dakota Armour, Laura Middleton, Natalie McHugh Middle Row: Roma Kelly, Georgina Gomes, Molly Longstaff, Lauren Kirkwood, Emma Wilson, Britney Haynes Front Row: Zoe Hepworth, Niamh Meredith, Rachel Powderly (Capt), Lara Sweet, Beth Watson Absent: Ellie Biggerstaff

3A XI Hockey Team (below) Back Row: Rose Templeton,  Amy Hepworth,  Alex Reilly Middle Row: Britney Maynes, Katie Caldwell, Katrina Kerr, Ellen Gilpin Front Row: Sophie Williams, Danielle McDowell, Amy Gilpin (Capt),  Taylor Healy, Becky Mitchell Absent: Ellen Meredith

Lisa Alsopp, GCSE Level

3B XI Hockey Team

U14A XI Hockey Team

Ulster Schools’ Junior Plate Winners

Back Row: Kerry Hepworth, Niamh Lemon Middle Row: Sophie Neale, Sam McCormick, Kate Welsh, Bethan Andrews Front Row:  Jessica Butters, Molly Cahoon, Bethany Craig (Capt), Kerry Annett, Hannah Minnis Absent: Rachel McCausland

Back Row: Lynzi Kennedy, Eve Elliott, Emma Craig,  Anna McKibbin Middle Row: Heidi McMillen, Grace Hutchinson,  Jenny Wilson, Daisy Moore Front Row:  Alex Fawcett, Grace Ruding, Harriet Platt (Capt), Megan Adair, Erin Stewart



U14B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Kaitlyn Smith, Ruth Gregg, Leah Beattie, Olivia Allister Middle Row: Kate Wilson, Saioa Oscoz, Jasmine Trill, Emma McGugan, Rosie Park, Lucy Mashford Front Row: Íde Simpson, Rhiannon Brady, Eva Aston (Capt), Leah McClements,  Anna Kirkwood, Emma Caldwell

NI Junior Commonwealth & UK School Games Fencing Team Keziah Beattie

U13A XI Hockey Team

U13B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Sarah West, Rachel Lemon,  Amelia Hopkins, Sarah Craig Middle Row: Sarah McDonald, Amber Hamilton, Kristin Kerr,  Tara Kerr, Francesca Park Front Row:  Victoria Kerr,  Talia Irwin, Eve McKibbin (Capt), Amelia Kane,  Jemima Thomas

Back Row:  Tara Kerr, Olivia Knox, Emma Johnston,  Jessica Baker Middle Row: Kaitlyn Eadie, Kristin Kerr, Elly Ryan, Sophie Kenny, Hannah Meredith Front Row: Evie Hempstead, Sophie Longstaff, Amber Hamilton (Capt), Holly Gilpin, Marnie Preston

Sophie Pružina, GCSE Level 45


U12A XI Hockey Team

U12B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Molly Elliott, Mia Davison, Lucy Chambers Middle Row: Rachel McDonald,  Anna McKinty, Hannah McGugan,Tilly Nield Front Row: Zara Hanna, Penny Hood, Lara Whitten (Capt), Anna Gillespie,  Joanna Carson

Back Row: Ella Baxter, Eva McClean,  Amy Ellison Middle Row: Katie Holmes, Ellie Dornan, Gabriella Park, Ellie Johnston Front Row: Lauren Farmer, Lois Gillan, Penny Hood (Capt), Rosie Elwood, Lola Gibbons

Crystal Yuen, GCSE Level



his year we had eight riders competing for Strathearn. In the Junior Team we had Freya Axten, Charlotte Keers, Felicity Johnston and Zoe Martin, and for the Senior Team, Katie McVeigh, Sophie Ennis, Rose de MontmorencyWright and Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright. Special congratulations to the Junior Team, who won the Tack and Turn-out at the Inter-Schools’ Showjumping Competition for the second year running. We had a very enjoyable time competing for Strathearn and hopefully next year will bring further enjoyment and success. Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, L6

NI Mini Polocross Team Charlotte Keers


sport Alice Campbell,  AS-level

Showjumping Teams Back Row Freya Axten, Rose De Montmorency-Wright Front Row: Felicity Johnston, Charlottte Keers Absent: Zoe Martin, Charlotte De Montmorency-Wright, Katie McVeigh, Sophie Ennis

NI Intermediate Tetrathlon Team 2015

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2015

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2015

Charlotte De Montmorency-Wright

Rose De Montmorency-Wright

Freya Axten



NI Celtic Gymnastics Team Rebecca Crymble



Gymnastics Teams Back Row: Rachel Caughers, Evie Hempstead,  Jasmine Trill, Emma Hylands Middle Row:  Judy Wills,  Aimée McGill, Gabriella Park, Sophie Jordan, Erin Vogan, Daisy Moore Front Row: Lauren Farmer, Lauren Mooney,  Alice Sloan, Charlotte Keers, Annie Heavern Absent: Hannah Hornsby

he Strathearn Gymnastics Club was held on Fridays after school. Throughout the year the girls learnt and perfected new skills, and worked towards their British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards. Fourteen of the gymnasts travelled to Ballysillan Leisure Centre on 28 February to take part in the 2016 NI Schools’ Acrobatic Championships. The girls faced tough competition as schools from all over Northern Ireland gathered to compete against each other. In the U14 Groups division, Strathearn entered both an A and a B Team and they were placed 4th and 5th respectively. In the U14 Novice Pairs section,  Alice Sloan and Lauren Mooney finished runners-up while Jasmine Trill and Jodi Wilson gained a respectable 3rd place. Emma Hylands and Aimée McGill were placed 3rd in the U14 Pairs category with an excellent score of 8.2. Well done to all the gymnasts! Hannah Eakin, U6



n 29 November, a team of eight girls from Strathearn competed in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Trampolining Championships, held at Ards Leisure Centre. Six girls were entered in the Under 14 Novice competition - a team from Form 1 (Alexandra Speers, Katie Holmes and Emma Legge) and another from Form 3 (Lucy Mashford, Zoe White and Erin Vogan). Sophie Neale and Robyn Corry were entered in the Under 19 Novice competition.  All the girls performed extremely well. Special congratulations to Sophie Neale, who came first and was named U19 Novice Champion. Sophie also qualified for the Schools’ Zonal Championships in Newcastle upon Tyne in January, in which she was placed 7th. Well done to all of the girls who participated this year. Sophie Neale, 4S


Trampolining Club Back Row: Emma Legge, Erin Vogan,  Alexandra Speers Front Row: Katie Holmes, Lucy Mashford, Sophie Neale Absent: Robyn Corry, Zoe White



Intermediate Dance he Strathearn Intermediate Dance Team took part in the Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic Championships held in Lagan Valley LeisurePlex on 5 March. The Intermediate Team was made up of sixteen girls from Forms 3, 4 and 5 and was led by Hannah Eakin in Upper Sixth. The team performed a piece entitled ‘The World Is Ours’. All the girls worked extremely hard in preparation for the competition, and the afternoons of practising really paid off on the day of the competition, as the team was placed 3rd in their category. Well done to all of the participants! Hannah Eakin, U6

Intermediate Dance Team Back Row: Phoebe Spratt, Zara Wilson, Evanna Maxted, Mia Wheatley,  Jasmine Trill Middle Row:  Aife Sansom, Rebecca Black,  Alice Graham,  Jordan Hineson, Hannah Eakin Front Row: Sophie Gillespie, Lauren Kerr, Sarah McTaggart, Lauren Shankey, Zara Hamilton,  Alice Huddleston Absent: Hannah Hornsby

Faye Wallace, GCSE Level

Junior Dance Team Back Row: Emma Carson, Evie Hempstead, Emily Hall, Rebecca Crymble,  Tatiana Brown, Emily O’Callaghan Middle Row:  Jade Scott, Sarah McTaggart, Aife Sansom,  Alice Graham, Rebecca Black, Sophie Gillespie, Marnie Preston, Rachel Neale Front Row: Penny Hood, Charlotte Keers, Seren Evans,  Aimée McGill,  Anna McCabe, Leah Howe, Lara Whitten


Junior Dance

his year, the team consisted of sixteen very talented girls from Forms 1 to 3. These dancers were carefully selected from over one hundred girls who attended the auditions in September. During the six months of rehearsals the girls worked extremely hard on perfecting the dance. On 5 March, the team competed at the annual Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobic Competition (NICMAC) against other schools from across Northern Ireland. They performed a three-minute routine to a mash-up of ‘Freedom’ and ‘For a Better Day’, choreographed by Aife Sansom, Rebecca Black, Sarah McTaggart,  Alice Graham and Sophie Gillespie. The team gave an emotional and touching performance which really impressed the judges, resulting in a highly commendable second place. The day of the competition was filled with excitement and lots of giggles, and the girls were thrilled to bring home a silver medal. Congratulations! Sophie Gillespie, 5S




Tennis 2015 his year was another exciting and enjoyable

one for tennis at Strathearn, with our players achieving a hat-trick of victories by taking home three out of the four available Ulster Cups. In total, Strathearn entered six teams for the Ulster Schools’ Tennis competitions. The Junior B Team of Murphy Miller, Maya Savage Newell, Grace Hutchinson and Niamh Meredith had a tough section and lost to both Hunterhouse and Sullivan, but then gave a better account of themselves with a win against Grosvenor. The Intermediate B Team of Evanna Maxted, Claire Hunter, Katie Caldwell and Ellen Gilpin finished runners-up in their section, losing narrowly to the eventual finalists, Down High School, but winning against both Grosvenor and Victoria College. The Minor Team, consisting of Jemima Thomas, Sarah Craig, Sarah West and Clara Potts, proved to be a very strong team and sailed their way to the Ulster finals day held at Bangor Lawn Tennis Club. The team met Banbridge Academy in the final and some tremendous tennis and smart tactical decisions saw the girls win each of their doubles and singles matches. The team were crowned 2015 Ulster Minor Champions. Well done girls! The Junior A Team of Emma McGugan, Claire Whiteside, Erin Stewart and Chloe Sweet also played some fantastic tennis and battled their way to the Ulster finals day where they joined the Minor Team. In the final, the team faced Methodist College, so the girls knew they had a real battle on their hands. Both teams displayed excellent skills and determination but Strathearn came out on top to win the Ulster Junior Cup. The Intermediate A Team consisting of Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers,  Jessica Moore and Victoria Hamilton reached the final of the Intermediate Cup in which they defeated Down High School. The players dominated their matches and won the Intermediate Cup in style, with straight set victories in every match. Congratulations girls! The Senior Team of Emily Whiteside, Rachael Thomas, Saskia Craig, Emma Flannigan and Jemma Gillan played in the Senior league, in which they won their section with ease and progressed to the semi-final stage. Here they met Methodist College and despite playing an excellent match, they were narrowly defeated. The tennis season ended with the internal tennis competitions – Inter-Class Doubles,  Junior and Senior Singles and the Inter-House Competition. These were fun and exciting events, enabling many girls to get involved in tennis.  A big thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to all our players on another outstanding year and best of luck for the 2016 season. Emily Whiteside, U6A

Senior Tennis Team L-R: Emily Whiteside, Rachael Thomas, Saskia Craig

Intermediate A Tennis Team UlsterSchools’ Intermediate Champions Back Row:  Jessica Moore,  Victoria Hamilton Front Row:  Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers



Intermediate B  Tennis Team

Junior A Tennis Team Ulster Schools’  Junior Champions

Back Row: Evanna Maxted, Claire Hunter Front Row: Ellen Gilpin, Katie Caldwell

Back Row: Erin Stewart, Emma McGugan Front Row: Chloe Sweet, Claire Whiteside

Junior B  Tennis Team

Minor  Tennis Team Ulster Schools’ Minor Champions

Back Row: Niamh Meredith, Grace Hutchinson Front Row: Murphy Miller, Maya Savage Newell

Back Row: Sarah Craig, Sarah West Front Row: Jemima Thomas, Clara Potts





his has been another great year of netball in Strathearn, with many girls getting involved at all age groups. Four teams (Minor,  Junior, Intermediate and Senior) were entered in the Sol Sports Grammar Schools’ League, and two Form 1 teams were entered in the Belfast Area League. There have been a number of solid team performances. Well done to all teams, and especially the Juniors; their enthusiasm and commitment has seen them come out victorious in all of their matches, and this included a superb 21-9 win against Regent House. Congratulations also to the Minor A Team who have been victorious in all but one of their matches. The final league positions are still to be confirmed, but we are hopeful that these two teams may well have done enough to be in contention for the number one spot! There have been a number of commendable performances from both the Senior and Intermediate Teams, with very valuable game-play experience being gained from extremely competitive matches against both Regent House and Sullivan Upper. Due to the increased amount of interest from junior pupils, we also enjoyed a number of friendly matches involving both A and B fixtures. We also had up to six teams from Form 1 playing in matches against other schools. This is very encouraging for netball in Strathearn. Individual congratulations to Grace Ruding and Katie Wills who got through to the second round of the U15 Belfast Regional Development Academy trials. Katie went on to be selected for the squad and has attended monthly training sessions since October.  She will go on to compete in the Regional Development Games and we wish her the best of luck. Inter-House Netball was, yet again, one of the heavily anticipated events of the school calendar. I would like to thank all the girls for their support and enthusiasm. The standard was very high and the competition was fierce. Special congratulations go out to Boucher House who were the overall winners. I hope that this year’s competition will encourage more girls to get involved with netball in school. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the dedication and support of our coaches, especially Miss Tara McLaughlin whose hard work has made this another year of successful netball for all teams and individuals involved. We are grateful to have been able to develop our own skills through her excellent knowledge of the game. Thanks also to Miss Morris, Miss Black, Mrs Harvey and Mrs Grundie for coaching Forms 1 and 2 this year. I wish the girls luck for future seasons. Nicky Montgomery, U6

Senior Netball Team Back Row:  Alanna McHugh, Charlotte Thomas, Evanna Maxted, Natalie McHugh, Front Row: Beth Watson, Rhia Prentice, Sarah Brown,  Alex Reilly Absent: Nicky Montgomery (Capt)

Intermediate Netball Team Back Row: Katie Wills (Capt),  Arianne Whiteside,  Anna Robinson, Molly Longstaff Front Row: Lauren Shankey, Hannah McCann, Taylor Healy, Sophie Neale, Bethany Smith Absent: Nicole Lawther

Form 1 Netball B Team (left) Back Row:  Taylor McCullough, Gabriella Park, Megan Stewart, Lauren Ayre, Anna McKinty Front Row: Lauren Farmer, Lauren Mooney (Capt), Rosie Elwood, Niamh Hanna



Junior Netball Team

Minor A Netball Team

Back Row:  Anna McKibbin, Olivia Allister, Eve Elliott, Megan Adair Front Row: Grace Ruding, Harriet Platt, Grace Hutchinson (Capt), Jenny Wilson, Rhiannon Brady

Back Row:  Victoria Kerr, Rachel Lemon, Sarah West, Eve McKibbin Front Row:  Talia Irwin,  Jemima Thomas, Molly Walker (Capt), Sarah McIvor

Minor B Netball Team

Form 1 Netball A Team

Back Row: Kristin Kerr,  Tara Kerr,  Alex Agar, Katie Robinson, Elly Ryan

Back Row: Leah Howe, Zoitsa Leliveld, Issy Todd, Joanna Carson

Front Row: Sophie Longstaff,  Rebecca Callaghan, Ella Rook (Capt), Sophie Kenny

Front Row: Lois Gillan,  Anna Gillespie, Ellie Van Giesen (Capt), Penny Hood

Megan McOuat, GCSE Level




Cross-Country 2015

t has been yet another successful year for Strathearn’s Cross-Country Club. On 28 January, Strathearn’s five dedicated teams made their way to the Co Down District Championships at Delamont Park. Despite the awful underfoot conditions, and a last minute change of course, the girls performed outstandingly. The Mini girls started the day off by setting the bar high, finishing second overall and just missing gold by three points. The girls had a great run with Lara Whitten 4th, Grace Ross 8th, Lucy Chambers 11th, Mia Davidson 18th and Faith Heyburn 46th. Next up was the Senior Team, who also finished as runners-up, with Sarah Brown 10th, Emma Watson 12th,  Amy Hepworth 13th, Keziah Beattie 16th and Jessica Leeman 21st. The Juniors were determined to continue their winning streak from the previous two years by winning gold, and they didn’t disappoint. Murphy Miller gave an excellent performance to finish 3rd, closely followed by Aimée Stitt in 4th, and Harriet Platt in 5th. The rest of the team followed closely with Rhiannon Brady 10th, Grace Ruding 12th and Freya Axten 16th. The Minors were keen to mirror the Junior Team’s success.  An outstanding performance came from Amelia Kane who took to the front of the field early, and powered home well ahead to win individual gold. This helped her team to become Minor Champions, with Jemima Thomas finishing 11th, Rebekah Burrows 12th, Emily Gault 27th, Charlotte Kerrs 44th and Chloe Brown 46th. The last girls’ race of the day involved the Intermediate Team, who had the challenge of running three times around the course to complete 3000m. Olivia Nelson ran a magnificent race and sailed home with nobody near her. Erin McConnell was next, storming through to finish in 2nd place. Katie Wills was 8th, Sam McCormick 10th, Ruby Baxter 18th and Alex Reilly 19th. The team was well ahead of the next school and the girls were crowned Co Down Champions for the fourth successive year. All five teams qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Cross-Country Championships on 10 February. Strathearn’s girls gave another excellent performance with the Mini’s coming 6th, the Senior, Intermediate and Minor girls coming 3rd in their respective categories, and the Juniors giving a brilliant performance to finish 1st overall. The Senior Team had Sarah Brown finishing 24th, Emma Watson 25th, Keziah Beattie 28th, Jessica Leeman 33rd,  Anieshia Bedford 45th and Shannon Booth 51st. The Intermediate Team had Olivia Nelson in 1st, Erin McConnell 25th, Katie Wills 35th, Samantha McCormick 49th, and Alex Reilly 62nd. Ruby Baxter ran but unfortunately an injury prevented her from finishing. The Junior Team had another great run with Murphy Miller 9th, Harriet Platt 19th,  Aimée Stitt 22nd, Grace Ruding 39th, Freya Axten 42nd and Rhiannon Brady 47th. In the Minor Team,  Amelia Kane gave a great performance coming 2nd, Eve McKibbin finished 29th, Rebekah Burrows 43rd,  Jemima Thomas 46th, Emily Gault 78th and Chloe Browne 96th. These performances helped to secure the overall bronze medal. The Mini Team ran their best in a very competitive field. Lara Whitten led the team home coming 25th, Grace Ross 31st, Lucy Chambers 32nd,  Anna McKinty 45th, Mia Davison 58th and Faith Heyburn 88th. Due to their super individual performances at the Ulster Championships, Olivia Nelson and Amelia Kane were selected to run in the London Mini-Marathon in April. As a result of these outstanding performances, four of our teams qualified for the Irish Schools’ Cross-Country Championships on 5 March at Sligo Race Course. Not all of our athletes were available to travel, but we still received special commendation for being the only school represented at all four age groups. This really is a fantastic achievement.  After an early start and long journey, Strathearn’s teams took on the best runners in Ireland. It was a tough course despite the beautiful backdrop of Benbulbin in the background. The Minor Team of Eve McKibbin, Rebecca Burrows and Chloe Browne were placed 11th overall. The Junior Team of Murphy Miller, Harriet Platt,  Aimée Stitt, Freya Axten, Rhiannon Brady and Grace Ruding were 7th, with Murphy finishing a very commendable 10th place individually. The Intermediate Team of Olivia Nelson, Katie Wills, Ruby Baxter and Alex Reilly finished 9th with Olivia being placed 9th individually. The Senior Team of Sarah Brown, Jessica Leeman and Hannah Craig also finished 9th. Lauren Brooker, U6

Senior Cross-Country Team Back Row: Sarah Brown,  Amy Hepworth, Emma Watson Front Row: Keziah Beattie,  Jessica Leeman,  Anieshia Bedford, Shannon Booth


Intermediate Cross-Country Team Down Champions Back Row: Ruby Baxter, Katie Wills, Sam McCormick Front Row: Erin McConnell, Olivia Nelson,  Alex Reilly


Junior Cross-Country Team

Minor Cross-Country Team Co Down Champions

Back Row: Murphy Miller, Freya Axten,  Aimée Stitt Front Row: Harriet Platt, Rhiannon Brady, Grace Ruding

Mini Cross-Country Team Co Down District Championships Back Row: Lucy Chambers, Mia Davison, Grace Ross Front Row: Lara Whitten,  Anna McKinty, Faith Heyburn

Back Row: Charlotte Keers, Emily Gault, Chloe Browne Front Row:  Amelia Kane, Eve McKibbin, Rebekah Burrows, Jemima Thomas



he Ulster division of the Irish Schools’ Championship took place on 11 March at Portstewart Golf Club. Until the day prior to the event, the Strathearn Team consisted of Tess McMillen (4T) and Heidi McMillen (3T).  Heidi, however, was forced to withdraw due to another sporting commitment to the school. Despite this sudden change, Tess was still able to compete in the individual section of the competition with great success. Although the weather conditions were undesirable, with the rain proving persistent, Tess achieved a total of 24 gross points, and was awarded the Junior gross prize for the second year running. Tess McMillen, 4T


sport Athletics 2015


Ulster U17 Athletics Team Olivia Nelson

Great Britain & Northern Ireland Junior Athletics Team Megan Marrs

UK School Games & Ulster U17 Athletic Team Kate Farrelly

trathearn’s athletics teams have had another great year, competing in the District, Ulster and Irish Championships. Special congratulations to the Minor girls, who were crowned overall Minor Irish Champions! Well done to everyone who was involved in athletics this year. At the Co Down District Championships, the results were as follows: Seniors: Overall Co Down Champions: Megan Marrs 1st 100m & 1st 100m hurdles; Isla Lockhart 2nd 100m; Natalie Wallace 2nd Javelin; Chloe Johnston 2nd 400m; Lauren Brooker 2nd High Jump & 3rd 100m Hurdles; Laura Middleton 1st Hammer & 3rd Discus; Hannah Eakin 4th Long Jump & 5th Discus; Shannon Booth 3rd 200m & 6th Triple Jump; Gabrielle Park 3rd Hammer;  Aimée Irwin 2nd Long Jump & 4th Triple Jump; Jessica Fairclough 4th 1500m;  Amy Hepworth 3rd 3000m; Florence Ogonda 7th Shot; Relay: 3rd (Lauren Brooker, Isla Lockhart,  Aimée Irwin & Megan Marrs). Intermediates: Overall Co Down Champions: Kate Farrelly 1st Triple Jump & 1st 80m Hurdles; Eve Truesdale 1st Long Jump & 4th 100m; Beth Crosbie 1st Hammer & 4th 300m; Natalie McHugh 2nd Javelin & 5th High Jump; Evanna Maxted 2nd Hammer & 10th Shot; Sarah Brown 4th 1500m; Bonnie Ramsay 5th Discus; Lauren Kirkwood 5th 80m Hurdles;  Alanna McHugh 8th Triple Jump & 11th Javelin; Charlotte Thomas 9th Long Jump; Kezia Beattie 9th 800m;  Alex Reilly 9th 1500m; Frankie Lynn 12th Shot; Niamh Lemon 14th Discus; Relay: 2nd (Bonnie Ramsay, Eve Truesdale, Ellen Meredith & Kate Farrelly). Juniors: Overall Co Down Champions: Zara Wilson 1st Hammer & 1st Discus; Kerry Annett 1st Triple Jump & 4th Long Jump; Olivia Nelson 1st 1500m; Molly Longstaff 2nd Long Jump & 4th 100m; Hannah McCann 2nd Javelin & 20th Shot; Katie Wills 2nd 800m & 10th Javelin; Ruby Baxter 5th 200m & 6th 800m;  Arianne Whiteside 6th 75m Hurdles & 8th High Jump; Sophie Neale 8th 100m; Caitlyn Thompson 16th Shot;  Anna McKibbin 3rd 75m Hurdles; Harriet Platt 4th Triple Jump; Erin Stewart 4th Hammer; Freya Axten 7th 1500m; Eve Elliot 13th Discus; Relay: 2nd (Sophie Neale, Ruby Baxter, Kerry Annett & Molly Longstaff). Special congratulations to Kerry Annett who broke the Co Down Triple Jump record with her winning jump of 10.03m, and to Olivia Nelson who broke the 1500m record with a time of 4.49.39 mins. Minors: Overall Co Down Champions: Murphy Miller 1st 800m;  Aimée Stitt 2nd 800m; Eve Elliot 3rd Shot; Rhiannon Brady 5th 100m; Leah McClements 6th 100m; Harriet Platt 5th Long Jump; Megan Adair 6th Long Jump;  Anna McKibbin 7th High Jump; Freya Axten 16th High Jump; Erin Stewart 20th Shot; Relay 1st (Murphy Miller,  Aimée Stitt, Leah McClements & Rhiannon Brady). Special congratulations to Murphy Miller who also broke a Co Down District record by finishing the 800m in 2.19.45 mins. Minis: 2nd Overall in Co Down: Amelia Hopkins 1st High Jump; Amelia Kane 2nd 800m & 7th Long Jump; Eve McKibbin 4th 800m & 9th Long Jump; Sophie Longstaff 4th 100m & 14th Shot; Hannah Meredith 20th High Jump; Sarah West 21st Shot; Relay 4th (Eve McKibbin, Emily Gault,  Amelia Hopkins & Sophie Longstaff). All girls who received medals at the Districts qualified for the Ulster Schools’ Championships on 15 and 16 May at the Antrim Forum, where they produced excellent results. Well done to everyone who competed! At the Ulster Schools’ Championships the results were as follows: Minis: Overall 5th in Ulster: Amelia Hopkins 3rd High Jump & Amelia Kane 3rd 800m. Minors: Overall Ulster Champions: Murphy Miller 1st 800m; Aimée Stitt 2nd 800m; Relay 1st (Murphy Miller, Aimée Stitt, Leah McClements & Rhiannon Brady). Juniors: Overall Ulster Champions: Hannah McCann 1st Javelin; Olivia Nelson 1st 1500m; Zara Wilson 2nd Hammer & 3rd Discus; Kerry Annett 3rd Triple Jump; Molly Longstaff 4th Long Jump; Katie Wills 10th 800m; Relay 3rd (Sophie Neale, Ruby Baxter, Kerry Annett & Molly Longstaff). Intermediates: Overall 2nd in Ulster: Kate Farrelly 1st 80m Hurdles & 1st Triple Jump; Eve Trusedale 3rd Long Jump; Beth Crosbie 3rd Hammer; Natalie McHugh 6th Javelin; Relay 2nd (Bonnie Ramsay, Eve Truesdale, Ellen Meredith & Kate Farrellly). Seniors: Overall 3rd in Ulster; Natalie Wallace 3rd Javelin; Isla Lockhart 3rd 100m; Emma Watson 3rd 1500m; Laura Middleton 3rd Hammer & 7th Discus; Lauren Brooker 3rd High Jump & 3rd 80m Hurdles; Gabrielle Park 5th Hammer; Shannon Booth 6th 200m;  Amy Hepworth 6th 3000m; Chloe Johnston 8th 400m; Relay 4th (Lauren Brooker, Shannon Booth,  Aimée Irwin & Isla Lockhart). As a result of their outstanding performances at Ulster level, thirteen individuals and two relay teams qualified for the Irish Championships which took place in Tullamore, Co Offlay on 30 May. The Strathearn athletes stepped out against the best in Ireland, and while not all of them won medals or got personal bests, they all did our school proud and did their utmost to compete at this very high level. The results were as follows: Senior: Lauren Brooker 5th in the 100m Hurdles and 7th in the High Jump. Intermediate: Kate Farrelly 3rd Triple Jump & 5th 80m Hurdles; Eve Truesdale 10th Long Jump; Beth Crosbie 9th Hammer; Relay 7th (Bonnie Ramsay, Eve Truesdale, Ellen Meredith & Kate Farrelly). Juniors: 6th overall out of over 70 schools in Ireland: Kerry Annett 3rd Triple Jump; Olivia Nelson 4th 1500m; Hannah McCann 6th Javelin; Zara Wilson 6th Hammer & 8th Discus. The highlight of Strathearn’s performances came from our youngest athletes in the Minor Girls’ Competition. This is the first year this age group has had an opportunity to compete at the Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships, and Strathearn made sure it was one to remember. Murphy Miller was placed 1st in the 800m and Aimée Stitt was placed 5th in the 800m. These two girls, along with Rhiannon Brady and Leah McClements, finished in 4th place in the Minor Girls’ Relay. Overall points were added up in each age group and in the inaugural year of Minor competition these Strathearn athletes have made history being crowned Overall Minor Irish Champions! This is a phenomenal achievement and comes straight after winning the Irish Intermediate title last year. This clearly bodes well for the success of Strathearn athletes at national level in the future. As a result of these successes in May, Kate Farrelly and Olivia Nelson were selected to represent Ulster at the Interprovincial Championships on 19 June in Santry, Dublin. Kate finished 2nd in the Triple Jump with a Personal Best of 11.00m and was also 5th in the 80m Hurdles. Olivia was 4th in the 1500m with a Personal Best of 4 minutes 41 seconds. Well done girls! The athletics season continued for many through their clubs during the summer months, and in September, a few of our athletes entered the Multi-event Championships. Congratulations to Beth Crosbie who came 4th in the Intermediate competition, and to Murphy Miller and Molly Longstaff who were placed 5th and 6th respectively in the Junior age group. So overall Strathearn has had great success in this athletics season. Good luck to all of next year’s competitors! Aimée Irwin, U6R



Senior Athletics Team ~ Co Down Champions Back Row: Emma Watson, Laura Middleton Middle Row: Hannah Eakin, Shannon Booth, Florence Ogonda Front Row: Megan Marrs, Lauren Brooker, Gabrielle Park, Amy Hepworth Absent:  Aimée Irwin

Intermediate Athletics Team ~ Co Down Champions

Back Row: Sarah Brown, Naimh Lemon, Evanna Maxted Middle Row: Charlotte Thomas, Lauren Kirkwood, Eve Truesdale, Natalie McHugh, Beth Crosbie Front Row:  Alanna McHugh, Bonnie Ramsay, Kate Farrelly,  Alex Reilly, Keziah Beattie Absent: Francesca Lynn, Ellen Meredith

Junior Athletics Team Co Down & Ulster Champions

Minor Athletics Team Co Down, Ulster & Irish Champions

Back Row:  Arianne Whiteside, Zara Wilson Middle Row: Molly Longstaff, Katie Wills, Olivia Nelson Front Row: Hannah McCann, Kerry Annett, Sophie Neale, Ruby Baxter Absent: Caitlyn Thompson

Back Row: Freya Axten, Eve Elliott Middle Row: Erin Stewart, Murphy Miller, Aimée Stitt, Anna McKibbin Front Row: Rhiannon Brady, Harriet Platt, Leah McClements, Megan Adair



Mini Athletics Team Back Row: Eve McKibbin,  Amelia Hopkins, Sarah West Front Row: Hannah Meredith, Sophie Longstaff, Emily Gault, Amelia Kane

U13 Sports Hall Athletics Back Row: Rebekah Burrows,Tara Kerr, Emily Gault Middle Row: Kristin Kerr, Sophie Kenny,  Victoria Kerr,  Amber Hamilton Front Row:  Amelia Kane,  Andra Vladu,  Jemima Thomas, Anna McKinty, Zara Hanna

Sports Hall Athletics 2015


ports Hall Athletics started in November for Forms 1 to 4. The girls trained in the Sports Hall on Tuesdays at lunchtime and on Thursday evenings for many events, including the Standing Long Jump, 6 Lap Race, Shot and many more. The East Belfast Team was made up of Strathearn athletes at U13 and U15 levels. They competed in the Ulster Sports Hall Athletics Final at the Meadowbank Arena in Magherafelt on 10 March. The U13 Team consisted of Zara Hanna, Emily Gault, Jemima Thomas, Amber Hamilton,  Amelia Kane, Anna McKinty, Sophie Kenny, Tara Kerr, Kristin Kerr, Rebekah Burrows, Victoria Kerr, Andra Vladu and Hannah Meredith. The U15 Team involved Kerry Annett, Molly Longstaff, Katie Wills, Aimée Stitt, Rhiannon Brady, Sophie Longstaff and Murphy Miller. At U13 level, the results were as follows: Jemima Thomas was placed 3rd in the 4 Lap event and 3rd in the Speed Bounce. In the 6 Lap event, Amelia Kane was 3rd and in the Standing Long Jump Anna McKinty was 3rd. The team was U15 Sports Hall Athletics Back Row:  Aimée Stitt, Katie Wills, Molly Longstaff placed 2nd in the Obstacle Relay and 3rd in the Parlauf. The girls came 3rd in both the 1 Lap Front Row: Kerry Annett, Sophie Longstaff, and 2 Lap relays. The U13 Team was placed 3rd Rhiannon Brady overall. At U15 level, the results were as follows: Molly Longstaff was placed 1st in the 2 Lap event and Kerry Annett was placed 1st in the Standing Long Jump. Katie Wills was 3rd in the 4 Lap event and Sophie Longstaff finished 3rd in the Speed Bounce. The team was 1st in the 2 Lap Relay and 2nd in the Parlauf Relay. The U15 Team came 1st overall, and will be competing at the British Sports Hall Athletics Finals to be held in Manchester. Well done to everyone who competed and thank you to Mrs Harvey for all her hard work in preparing and coaching the Sports Hall Athletics Team. Katie Wills, 4T


Butterflies They flutter around me when I’m scared Then they scatter when I laugh They rummage through my tummy Like a twisting and turning ride. Kayla Irvine, 1S

Ulster U17 Swimming Team Sam McCormick




his has been another great year for Strathearn’s swimmers. The first gala of the year was the Ulster Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships which took place on 2 October. Rebekah Burrows qualified for the 50m Freestyle final and won bronze in the 100m Individual Medley. In the Swim Ulster Schools’ Championships on 17 and 18 October at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic Complex our swimmers did very well to win six gold medals, two silver medals, three bronze medals and an Ulster Schools’ team title. In the Minor Team, Rachel Childs, Grace Ross, Lara Whitten and Faith Heyburn all swam very well individually to qualify for the finals. Their Relay Team also won gold in the Freestyle Relay and silver in the Medley Relay. The Junior Team also swam very well with Rebekah Burrows, Mia Davison and Amelia Kane reaching the finals of their individual races. Extra congratulations to Mia Davison who won bronze in the Senior Swimming Team Intermediate Swimming Team 100m Breaststroke and Amelia Kane Back Row: Ferne Blackstock, Ulster Champions who won bronze in the 200m Individual Helen Navalli Back Row: Georgia Gallen, Olivia Nelson Medley as well as a 4th place finish in the Front Row:  Victoria White, Front Row: Sam McCormick, Erin McConnell, Open Invitational 400m Freestyle. The Caitie Williams Sophie Williams Relay Team of Amelia Kane, Mia Davison, Rebekah Burrows and Eve McKibbin won gold in the Medley Relay and bronze in the Freestyle Relay. Well done to the rest of the Junior Team who all swam well individually. In the Intermediate Team, Olivia Nelson, Sophie Williams, Samantha McCormick and Erin McConnell all made individual finals. Erin had a clean sweep, securing gold in the 100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley and 400m Freestyle. The Relay Team of those four girls won gold in the Freestyle Relay and silver in the Medley Relay. The team (Erin McConnell, Samantha McCormick, Olivia Nelson, Sophie Williams and Georgia Gallen) did really well to be crowned overall Intermediate Schools’ Champions. In the Senior Team, Helen Navalli and Victoria White qualified for individual finals, and with Ferne Blackstock and Caitie Williams also competing, their Relay Team came 6th in both the Freestyle and Medley Relays. The next gala on the calendar was the Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala in Ballymena on 5 and 6 February. The Senior Relay Team of Helen Navalli, Ferne Blackstock, Caitie Williams and Victoria White were first to swim, and won silver in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays. In the Junior category, Rebekah Burrows qualified for the 100m Backstroke final and won bronze in the 100m Freestyle final. The Junior Relay Team of Lara Whitten, Evie Gallen, Lauren Nesbitt and Rebekah Burrows, came 4th in the Freestyle Relay, and the Relay Team of Rachel Childs, Lauren Nesbitt, Lara Whitten and Rebekah Burrows came 5th in the Medley Relay. At Intermediate level, Sam McCormick took home Junior Swimming Team 100m Breaststroke silver and 200m Individual Medley Back Row: Evie Gallen, Mia Davison, Grace Ross, Lauren Nesbitt gold. The relay team of Sophie Williams, Sam McCormick, Middle Row: Rachel Childs, Rebekah Burrows, Eve McKibbin, Georgia Gallen and Olivia Nelson matched the Senior Evie Hempstead Team’s success by winning gold in the Medley Relay and Front Row: Faith Heyburn,  Amelia Kane, Gabriella Park, Rebecca Callaghan, silver in the Freestyle Relay. Lara Whitten On the same weekend Strathearn swimmers were also in action at the Irish Minor Schools’ Championships in Dublin. Lara Whitten qualified for finals in both Backstroke and Butterfly and came 7th in both. Grace Ross and Rachel Childs also swam well individually and their Relay Team, also including Alice Brown from Penrhyn, won bronze medals in both the Freestyle and Medley Relays. Congratulations to Sam McCormick who was part of the Ulster Interprovincial Team for 2015, and to Erin McConnell who has been selected for the 2016 Ulster U17 Interprovincial Team. Congratulations to all swimmers for yet another very successful year! Victoria White, L6S


sport Squash


U19A Squash Team Back Row:  Alex Reilly Front Row:  Victoria White, Rachael Thomas Absent: Hannah Craig

016 proved to be another successful year for the Strathearn Squash Teams. The U19 Team of Hannah Craig, Victoria White,  Alex Reilly and Rachel Thomas took part in the Ulster Schools’ Cup at the end of February. They dominated the event, winning 3-0 in the final against Laurelhill. Furthermore, the U15 Team consisting of sisters Emma and Hannah McGugan and Jemima Thomas, took victory with an overall 3-1 win over St Patrick’s High School, Lisburn. In the Ulster Novice Cup, the U19B Team of Katie Mashford, Nicky Montgomery, Rachel Thomas and Alex Reilly played Victoria College A, Victoria College B and Down High School to take first place. The U15 B Team of Darcy Jamison, Tilly Neild and Jemima Thomas mirrored this and took home the U15 Trophy. Strathearn girls have also had superb individual success this year. Hannah McGugan from Form 1, is currently ranked 1st in Ulster and 2nd in Ireland at U13 level. Her sister Emma has duplicated this success and is currently ranked 1st in both Ulster and Ireland at U15 level. Hannah and Emma were selected for the U13 and U15 Interprovincial Teams, but unfortunately Emma will be unable to play as she will be away on the school trip to Italy. They will both be travelling to England to compete for Ireland at the Five Nations Championships in April. Both Victoria White and Alex Reilly have also been selected to represent Ulster and will play on the U17 Team at the Interprovincial Championships in March. Hannah Craig has also had a memorable squash season, her greatest win to date being the Swiss Junior Open in December. This helped her reach a European U17 ranking of 2nd. She is currently ranked number 1 in Ireland at U19 level. She will be playing for the Irish Senior Team at the European Team Championships in Poland this May, and in the European Individuals at Easter time. This year Strathearn linked up with Ulster Squash to make coaching available for those interested, on Fridays after school at David Lloyds, Dundonald. Girls with little or no squash experience made use of these lessons and were pleasantly surprised by their progress They all participated in at least one competition during the year. Well done to all who participated, and we would encourage more new pupils to give it a go next year. Hannah Craig, L6

U19B Squash Team

U15A Squash Team

Back Row: Nicky Montgomery,  Alex Reilly

Back Row: Emma McGugan Front Row: Hannah McGugan,  Jemima Thomas

Ulster Schools’ U19 Novice Champions Front Row: Katie Mashford, Rachael Thomas

Ulster Schools’ U15 Cup

U15B Squash Team

Ulster Schools’ U15 Novice Champions

Back Row:  Tilly Neild Front Row: Darcey Jamison,  Jemima Thomas

Jennifer Graham,  AS-level



Irish U19 Squash Team

Ulster U17 Squash Team

Ulster U15 Squash Team

Hannah Craig

Victoria White

Emma McGugan



he Badminton Club meets on Fridays in the Sports Hall from 3.30-4.30 and there is always a great turnout of girls from all year groups. Everyone is warmly welcomed at the Badminton Club! It is also evident that the quality of play and knowledge of the game has improved dramatically as the year has gone on. This year Strathearn’s team consisted of Tess McMillen, Claire Whiteside, Tavisha Sood, Hannah McCann and Arianne Whiteside, all from Form 4. The bond within the team was magnificent, and everyone was so supportive and encouraging towards one another. Over the course of the year, the team competed against a number of other schools including Sullivan Upper, Hunterhouse College and Bloomfield Collegiate. The Strathearn girls showed plenty of determination in every match, even though they didn’t always manage to walk away victorious. We are all very excited this year because Inter-House Badminton has been introduced, and I am positive that there will be a great turnout and lots of fun!

Thanks to all the girls who came to the Badminton Club, and we hope to see some newcomers next year.  Also, a massive thank you to Mrs Cozzo from all the girls, for coming each week and for organising the team and their matches. Hannah McCann, 4T

Badminton Team Back Row:  Arianne Whiteside,  Tess McMillen Front Row: Claire Whiteside, Hannah McCann,  Tavisha Sood

Jennifer Graham,  AS-level


literary section War

The Reality of Fear You’re not afraid of heights, you’re afraid of falling. You’re not scared of the dark, you’re scared of what’s in it. You’re not afraid of letting go, you’re afraid of regretting your decision. Sometimes you’ve got to look inside to find true light.

There once were beautiful sights outside my window, Brightness and blue skies and no clouds at all, Tickling grass through my toes as I’m running – Now all that’s gone.

Laughter I shared with you was more than laughter And time I spent with you was more than time. You were the light that always shone inside me And now that colour has turned to dullest gray.

Freezing cold room, I hear people crying, Screaming for mothers and daughters and sons The foul smell of sick is flying around me. Mia Davison, 1S

Life Pain isn’t just a feeling. It’s an emotion. Love isn’t just an emotion. It’s a way of life. Heartbreak isn’t just a way of life. It’s torture. Losing someone you care about is like going to hell and back. Casey Dawson, 1S

Sunlight The sunlight reflects on the glimmering sea Left, right, left, right, the oars stroke the water, On my way to the rocky shore.

You treat us like animals! We are humans too! You think we’re puppets and you are our masters! You think we’re like stupid mice, catching us in little traps! I’m hearing loud noises outside of the camp ground I’m telling my brothers, “Yes, we can get through!” I hear the doors opening! I can see light! My eyes are squinting as I run to the exit, Fresh air through my nose as I’m breathing. There once was a foul smell of sick and blood, And a stone-cold floor under my tiny bare feet, Massive, old jumpsuit just like everyone else’s – Now I am running through grass in the sun. Catherine O’Reilly, 1S

Sunlight shining brightly in my face Up, down, up, down, the canoe bounces on the waves, I feel so free out here on the sea The water begins to get shallow As the canoe scrapes against the sand, This journey must come to an end.

Father? Mother? Are you still alive? Split up for weeks in this hell of a place, The taste of blood in my mouth as I’m coughing – Spitting it out on the hard concrete floor.

Anna Huthchinson, 2H

A New Life There is a world inside my kitchen, Can you guess where it is? It’s not in the oven, It’s not in the fridge This world sits small on the sill Dark and still. It works tirelessly without us knowing, It just keeps growing and growing, With the naked eye we cannot see What’s going on deep in the soil like sea. After all those hours out of sight, This magical world creeps up to light, It creates a beauty of wondrous bloom, Brightening up this once lifeless room. Now we stop and take a look Before the chapter closes in this book And sadly wait another year Before this plant brings us cheer. Sophie Killiner, 1S

The Anaesthetic Like you are slowly fading away, The beeping of the machine, The medicine like bullets coming into sight, And all I can think of is – Will I be ok? What is wrong with me? My mum and dad stand waiting, I nuzzle into my teddy My eyes drift away until it’s all black, I can’t stop now, no turning back, I have no control. Hannah Stanfield, 1S

Lauren Duncan,  A-level 62

literary section Jennifer Graham,  AS-level

Regrets Regrets are like a world of darkness, no light is to be seen. But there is no going back. When I think about them I realise how much I would give To have one more smell of his minty breath, Or his mothball-scented clothes. To have one more laugh One more cry One more hug One more kiss One last goodbye. How could I have known That the last glance was this one? How could I have known While holding tears back, not trusting myself to speak, That this was the last time, The last time forever, Before my regrets started? Ellie Massey, 1S

Bonfire Beach Sitting on the beach On the cold summer’s night The glowing red bonfire Gives off spectacular light My frozen feet are buried in the sand The heat of the bonfire Warms up my hands. Marshmallows are roasting Hot chocolate’s on the go Living in the moment I don’t want to go home The stars above me Reflect off the sea The happiest person here Is no doubt me! All my friends are singing A very cheerful tune I think how lucky I am Looking up at the full, bright moon. Amelia Hopkins, 2H

Darkness I used to recognise myself, It’s funny how reflections change. Light goes out, I reach out in the dark… Looking in the lake, I kick the water to kick myself away, Dancing in the wind, Writing on the wall, I feel so small. Sophie Killiner, 1S

Eczema Sore and alone and scared, Like a small, curled-up, pale-blue creature, The sensation of tears trickling into my ears, And the remainder in my eyes. Sleepless nights repeated and everlasting, Complete humiliation, Everyone else is perfect, Laughter at me ringing in my ears, But some day I will emerge like a butterfly From a chrysalis. Hannah McCartney, 1S


What Am I ? I shoot a burst of colour into the sky Over the moon I explode like a volcano over the city I twinkle and sparkle till I die down. The laughter and joy of the children Watching me in the sky Create a beautiful atmosphere. My noise makes everyone jump, And as their hearts pump in their chests, The last one goes off ...BANG BANG ...BANG! What am I? Megan Johnston, 2H

Last Minute of Primary School Sitting on the cold hard seat, As the ringing begins, Something trickling down my face I watch the others’ faces It’s time to say goodbye. Sarah Lowry, 1S

Roller Coaster Three hundred-and-sixty degrees I’m in a spin. Flying round and round, I just don’t know if I’m alive! Alice Henry, 1S

literary section Cinema Moon’s Light

Lumina Lunii

Up comes the full moon Its light glides into the house – The night’s dark trees – It rises in the mirror And on the water its white face Drowns into the depths.

Lumina lunii pline Aluneca in casa Întunecaţi ai nopţii pomi Ea-nalta in oglinda Si- n ape fata-i alba Ea la fund o lasă

It’s even whiter now. Slinks in like a cat, Beams through the windows, And its untold love You cannot hide. Andra Vladu, 1S

Si iat-o si mai alba Tiptil ca o pisica Pătrunde prin fereştri Si cea mai tăinuita iubire N-o fereşti. Andra Vladu, 1S

I buy the ticket for the movie The drink and popcorn too Then I shuffle along the carpet Trying to find my seat. Butterflies in my stomach Before the movie starts The taste of tears and popcorn As the movie ends I walk out of the cinema And while my eyes are adjusting To the new found light I recall the events of the movie And think of it all night. Ellie Massey and Andra Vladu, 1S




I stand on the pier looking out to sea, The moonlight shimmering on the water The sight of the moonlight makes me calm The waves slowly rolling onto the sand I sit down and close my eyes I start to drift off into my own world The sound of the sea in the background of my thoughts I open my eyes to see the moon gaze back at me I stand on the pier, looking out to sea. Emma Campbell, 1S

Sailing on a misty, still river, Drifting off to an unknown world, Nothing, nothing around you except water, Emptiness inside and out, You stop to ask yourself one question. What is out there? Sarah Catherall, 1S

It feels like weights are being lifted off your ankles. It smells like candyfloss and lemon drops. It tastes like sweet roses and watermelon. It looks like splashing around in pools and sleepovers with friends. Casey Dawson, 1S

Abigail Rivera,  GCSE Level

Tabby Cat Your fur running through my fingers Your paws padding my stomach Your breath against my face Your nose touches mine And now? You’re getting fat Yet not eating You’re now meowing Yet not purring You’re slumped against the sofa No longer chasing the shadow You’re up in heaven Not in my arms where you belong. Penny Hood, 1S

Days I wake up in the morning With that feeling of dread And the sunshine on my face I’m in dream world yet A new day awaits New adventures and new challenges Lie before me. With my eyes I’ll discover the world With my mind I’ll listen to my heart I’ll do what I desire I’ll run, I’ll laugh, I’ll play I’ll live life to the full And live for eternity. Andra Vladu, 1S


literary section Treasure

The Moon

Heart Scans

You’re my treasure, My prized possession, Like a rose swaying in the breeze. Our hugs, our cries, Our laughs, our fights, My love, my life, You’re a lamp to my path, I love you with everything My treasure. Hannah Stanfield, 1S

The moon shines bright and still in the sky, He lightens up my life even at its darkest moments

Like an elephant lying on your chest, Heart buzzing like a bee around nectar, A sterile land of nothingness, Black – the colour of the ultra-sound, An alien in a lab being tested, As they poke and prod, stick and peel, A swarm of fire ants come over me, They don’t care what they have done Or what they are doing to me. Ellie Van Giesen, 1S

Summer Love Sand in-between my toes, Salty air, Smoke in my long, blonde hair, The soft, fluffy taste of marshmallows, The smell of Lynx and hair gel, His lips like soft pillows, Moist like a damp cloth, And now I drift off To let the clouds take me anywhere… Rachel Childs, 1S

The Sea When it walks you see the force of the sand, Hearing the force and the rocks colliding, It’s dressed in a deep blue coat, Getting ready for the night ahead Alice Henry, 1S

He watches the people down below him Keeping them safe as the night wanders by He listens to their secrets But keeps them safe at home He takes them on his journey To where he needs to go He loves to see new places Places he doesn’t know


He listens to the voices Of the people he sees and loves But once in blue moon he disappears Leaving the people to face their fears They cry for the moon But he’s no longer there He leaves them in darkness With no love to spare Kayla Irvine, 1S

The Sea Running down sandy steps, Salty air, crisp and clean, The piercing, blue waves gently lap Against the rugged rocks. Slimy sea-weed slithers beneath my feet, As I swim in the fish’s home, Until the footprints in the sand wash away. Gabriella Park, 1S

They are coming at me Like dark horses trampling on me Their hooves breaking my every bone My breath is taken away with every crash Everything is a blur… I can’t wake up, If I do it will just come back I have to fight But will I win? Dead dreams, nightmares Are they the same thing? Ella Keane, 1S

Goodbye Light Your eyes were filled with brightness Your laugh lit up my day Your life was like a flicker But now you have gone away Sarah Lowry, 1S

Joanna Palmer,  A-level


the penrhyn report

Strathearn Preparatory Department






t our Annual Prize Morning in June 2015, we celebrated what had been yet another memorable year in the life of Strathearn Preparatory Department. I was delighted when Mrs Nicola Connery, Principal at Wellington College Belfast, agreed to be our guest speaker. She encouraged the girls to make the most of their opportunities in life, and mentioned that it was Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who noted that ‘You miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t take.’ Every day in Penrhyn, the girls have wonderful opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in our happy and safe environment. The high academic standard reached by our P7 pupils is evidenced by the fact that, having achieved very commendable results in the 2014/2015 AQE Common Entrance Assessments, every pupil was successful in securing a grammar school place. This year we extended a warm welcome to Ms Suzanne Bole and Mrs Janet McCulloch, as our new classroom assistants. Our Preparatory Department now offers an early morning supervision service from 8am, and we also welcomed Miss Lorraine Stevenson as supervisor. In addition to academic excellence, an education in the Strathearn Preparatory Department offers a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. It is always amazing to look back on the school year and see just how much we have achieved. I am delighted to invite you to read about our academic achievements, our outstanding performances on the stage, and our sporting successes in what has been yet another enjoyable and memorable year. B Mawhinney


penrhyn school prefects

Class Prefects Back Row: Cerys McMurray, Laura Mitchell, Lucie Maskery, Mrs E Andrews, Niamh Hatfield, Ciara Moore, Rebekah Devlin Front Row:  Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, Rebecca Kitchen

Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, P7

House/Vice Captains Left to Right: Rebecca Kitchen, Laura Mitchell, Sophia Knox, Karis Hamilton, Mabelle Wilcox, Ciara Moore, Niamh Hatfield, Lucie Maskery

SPRING Sunshine shines Primroses bloom Robins sing their little songs too Icicles melt Nothing but joy Good times are coming! Martha Cupples, P7

Duty Prefects Back Row: Fiona MacIntyre, Rachel Brett, Zara Conroy, Rachel Lyle, Scarlett Mooney, Eve Rainey, Eloise McKnight, Mrs E Andrews, Sophia Knox,  Alice Browne, Karis Hamilton Front Row (seated): Isabella Anderson, Caitlyn Corbett,  Victoria Murray, Madeline Doherty, Madalaine Wilson, Mabelle Wilcox, Eva Ralston, Martha Cupples


the penrhyn year eggs in a nest and a mute swan. It was looking after its eggs. Then we saw a swallow’s nest in a hut.  After lunch we went to the shop and then back to school.

The Penrhyn Year 2015-2016

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 2015


P7 Residential Trip to Carlingford - 27 April

This trip allows the pupils to develop their inter-personal skills, including leadership, teamwork, trust and respect.


Ellen Bryans, P4


P6 Trip to W5 - 26 May

On 26 May, P6 attended the W5 Exhibition at the Odyssey. The class participated in a Forces and Energy workshop.


M & M Production ‘The Little Princess’ - 29 May

On 29 May, M & M Productions came to Penrhyn to perform The Little Princess. This was a fantastic performance! They really got us involved in the show. After the production, P5-P7 got the honour of having a workshop by the actors. I would love to see M & M perform again. Aoife Moore, P7



P3 Trip to Hillmount Garden Centre - 12 May


Last night I could hardly get to sleep thinking about the next day - our school trip! Finally the morning arrived! I could hardly eat my Weetabix. Then our class got on the minibus. My friends and I laughed and laughed together singing songs.

e The weather was brilliant! Our guide, Suzy, took us to do some planting.  Suzy then took us to the park and we played on a Loch Ness Monster slide and fairy house! I loved our trip to Hillmount so much! Anna Matthews, P3

e e

P6 Trip to Carrickfergus Castle - 1 June

On 1 June, P6 went to Carrickfergus Castle. It was a long trip and we were all eager to get there.  We met our guide Jackie and she took us to the vaults. The vaults are where they used to store all their food and drinks. Some girls in our class dressed up as people who used to live in the castle. I dressed up as a peasant. The next stop on our tour was the most frightening part of the castle - the oubliette. Oubliette means forgotten in French. If you were thrown down the trap door into this dungeon you were forgotten about. Another gruesome place was the murder hole. If you tried to enter through the main gate and you weren’t welcome the soldiers of the castle would pour boiling oil over you.  Another welcoming room was the solar.  This is where they would have kept all their best furniture and slept.  Jackie showed us weapons such as arrows, swords and a crossbow. I had a lovely educational trip. I had great fun and I learnt lots about Norman castles. Alice Browne, P6

P7 Eden Pottery Workshop - 1 June

On 1 June, Eden Pottery came to Penrhyn to do a pottery workshop. As soon as we sat down we could see an array of colours on the table from dark blue to bright yellow. At the front of the hall there was an abundance of sponges which were cut into shapes like trees and animals. After the demonstration we got our colour on our sponges and set to work. Our plates became injected with colour and shapes of all sorts. After about an hour our P7 souvenirs were completed and looking very professional and picturesque. Eva McClean and Alex Graham, P7

P2 Trip to Castle Espie - 26 May P4 Trip to Castle Espie - 26 May

On 26 May, P4 went to Castle Espie because we were learning about birds. We met a man called John and he took us to see some


the penrhyn year e

P7 Trip to Titanic Centre - 2 June

On 2 June, P7 went to the Titanic Centre. There were lots of different exhibitions to look round with lots of interactive games and videos. My favourite part was looking at all the different bedrooms they had on show. I also really enjoyed watching the video on the tour of the ship. I would definitely recommend going there and I would love to go back. Gabriella Park, P7



Our Special Assembly - Friday 18 September

Today we had an extra special Assembly. First, Shirley talked about all the equipment you would need to train a dog. She is part of Assistance Dogs NI. Then a very special visitor walked in with Annie. It was Connie, the black Labrador. She is a therapy dog. She is so cute. She is so intelligent and clever. She understands everything that you say. She is really soft. Chloe Nelson, P4


P5 Trip to Belfast Zoo - 11 September


P4 Trip to Castle Ward ‘Applefest’ - 2 October

The day of the school trip was Friday 2 October 2015. We saw and learned about extraordinary apples. It was called the ‘Applefest’. It was really foggy on our journey with Mrs Mawhinney and Mrs Matthews. We learned about lots of different kinds of facts about apples. We made an apple mouse pad. Then we had break and while we were eating our break there was a wasp flying around Grace’s break. After we had all finished our break we did a drawing of apples. Then we had lunch and after lunch we went to the gift shop and then we went back to school. Sophie Mae Holmes, P4


P5 Trip to Belvoir Park - 8 October


On 8 October, P5 went to Belvoir Park to look at plants and trees. The class was accompanied by Mrs Stevenson, Mrs Bole, Mrs Campbell and my mum. We went into the woods and looked at trees and talked about why some trees had fallen down. They had fallen down because a rock was blocking the roots. The Redwood tree’s side had been eaten by a badger. Then we went to collect conkers that had fallen off the horsechestnut tree. We made a leaf picture of a flower. Next we found a badger trail.  We then found the ice house where they stored ice in the olden days. After lunch we went into the centre to look at the animals. We saw the badger,  red and grey squirrels, a stoat, a hare, a shrew, an otter, and lastly we looked at a hedgehog. Then we made palettes using leaves and berries. This was my favourite part of the trip. Abbie Conroy, P5



On 11 September, P5 visited Belfast Zoo to find out why certain animals have become endangered. We had an interesting workshop in the Zoo classroom, handling some of the animals before going round the Zoo to see and find out about endangered species. The highlight for the girls this year was the new outdoor play area which certainly tested their agility skills.

P7 Trip to Parliament Buildings at Stormont - 2 October

M & M Production of  ‘Pinocchio’ - 9 October

M & M Productions came to Penrhyn to perform to P2 to P7. It was a really witty performance. There were lots of songs that everybody could sing along to.We would like to say a big thank you to M & M Productions for coming to our school year after year. Mabelle Wilcox and Scarlett Mooney, P7

On 2 October, P7 visited Parliament Buildings. The purpose of our visit was to learn about how our country is governed. We left the school at 9.15. When we arrived we went inside and were told the history of the building. We then went outside and looked at the design of the building, which was really interesting. There is a hidden floor at the top! We went into the learning room and held our own pretend vote. Isabella won! After that we were shown the red room where they used to hold debates. We had a debate about the tax on plastic bags. On the way to the blue room, we saw artefacts from around the world such as a Tiffany glass ornament from Hilary Clinton. All in all, we all enjoyed our trip to Stormont. It was all very informative. Cerys McMurray and Rebekah Devlin, P7


Festival Brass Concert - 24 October

On 24 October, the Penrhyn Choir performed with Festival Brass, St Joseph’s Primary School and Peter Corry at the Glenmachan Church of God. This event was a celebration of Festival Brass’s twentieth anniversary. Festival Brass played a couple of pieces and after that it was Penrhyn’s turn to sing. In the first half we sang ‘Food Glorious Food’ and sang ‘Please Tell Me’ and ‘No More Songs


the penrhyn year to Sing’. Then everyone sang ‘I Wore My Coat’. It was great and everyone enjoyed the concert. Caitlyn Corbett and Laura Mitchell, P7

On 12 November, P5 went to the Ulster Museum to the RUA Exhibition to learn about art. The first sculpture we saw was called ‘The Red Crane’ by Brendon Jamison. It was made out of red wool, and wire was used to help it stand up. He did not use any glue and he wanted to show different textures. The next painting we saw was called ‘The Paper Boat’ by Mary McCaffrey. It was a picture of a paper boat which her son had made when they were on a walk by the River Lagan. The reason for the painting was to show the journey of life. We also saw a lovely painting called ‘Paddie Mackie’ by Julian Friers. This was a portrait of Paddie at Castle Espie. I could see Scrabo Tower in the background. Paddie owns Castle Espie and the painting showed him bird-watching. He looked kind and gentle. My favourite sculpture was called ‘Once Upon a Time’ and it was by Arlene McPadden. It was a rocking chair with two foxes, a chicken and an umbrella. It was unusual and it showed movement. I loved this one. Clara McWhinney, P5



P2 Trip to Castle Ward - 3 November


P3 Trip to Mount Stewart - 16 November

We went to Mount Stewart on 16 November. Isabella’s favourite part was when we went to the nursery where Rose and Elizabeth played. Vanessa’s favourite part was when P3 made Christmas decorations. We also learnt how to make a Christmas cake. Finally we went to the gift shop. Isabella Kenny and Vanessa Minford, P3


On 26 November, P6 went to see The Royal Ulster Academy’s 134th Annual Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. Miss Boyd and Mrs McCulloch went with us.  The exhibition featured work by Academy members and invited artists. We began by looking at a sculpture of a crane, a painting of a woman splashed with paint and another painting of the previous owner of Castle Espie. We also enjoyed seeing a sculpture of two foxes and a hen on a rocking chair. My favourite piece of art work was a sculpture of a dress on a mannequin made from wood. It was my favourite because its design was detailed and eye-catching. We were also lucky enough to do some art. We did the story of a sculpture of two foxes and a hen on a rocking chair. I really enjoyed the exhibition and I would definitely recommend it. Sarah Hylands, P6

P2 visited Castle Ward to take part in the National  Trust Birds, Bugs and Beasts programme.  The girls enjoyed searching for minibeasts, collecting autumn leaves to make a nature picture, searching for the native animal species and making forest perfumes. We had a lovely day and learned lots of new facts to help us with our class topic of Habitats. Mrs Walls


P6 Trip to RUA Exhibition - 26 November

P5 Trip to RUA Exhibition - 12 November


P5 Visit by Knock Fire Dept - 30 November

On 30 November, Green Watch from Knock Fire Brigade came to see P5. They came to talk about safety in your home.  Alan told us about a jigsaw puzzle. The first piece of the puzzle is the cause of the fire. Candles, plugs, ovens and cigarettes can all cause fires. The next piece of the jigsaw is the smoke alarm. We should check our smoke alarms every week. The next piece is the night time routine. You must switch off electrical appliances, put a spark guard over a fire, empty ashtrays and close all doors. The last piece is the escape plan. Make a plan so if a fire happens you can escape safely. The last thing he talked about was his own fire-protective clothing. Soon after we split into groups and we got to play with the hoses. I really enjoyed the visit by Knock Fire Brigade. Rachel Carson, P5


P7 Trip to Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory - 30 November

On 30 November, P7 went to Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory to celebrate the end of the AQE! Test papers were replaced with sweets! The building was bright pink like candyfloss. Our guide told us all about the history of the factory in a humorous way.  We were drooling looking at the delicious candy and the smell was delightful. We were all rewarded with candy floss at the end! It was a fantastic trip! Alice Browne and Karis Hamilton, P7


the penrhyn year DECEMBER



P5 Stone Age Workshop - 8 December

and chairs. The man who was helping in the workshop was called John. He told us to go into groups and he showed us how to make rafts. All the groups had different materials to make the rafts with. Our group’s raft was made of straws and it floated! We went to the Climbit area. We had lots of fun. Before that we went to another level called Discovery. We loved our W5 trip! Lydia Greer and Essie Costello, P3

Trip to The MAC to see ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ - 10 December

On 10 December, P2 to P7 went to the MAC to see Rumpelstiltskin. The show started off in the miller’s house; there was a miller and his daughter Emily. One day the King was sending out letters to post to people like the millers and woodcutters, just to get gold and money. The miller then went to the King and said that Emily could spin straw into gold! This turned out to be a big mistake for poor Emily. Luckily she guessed Rumpelstiltskin’s name in the end! It was a great show. Lilybella Burrows, P4



P7 Christmas Roadshow ~ 14 - 16 December

On 14 December, the P7 girls transformed their classroom and the school library into a ‘winter wonderland’, beautifully decorated for the annual Christmas Roadshow. Girls from all the classes visited the P7s who had organised lots of fun games and stalls on a Christmas theme. They raised an impressive £830 for charity.



P3 Trip to East Belfast Mission - ‘Follow the Star’

We went to see the nativity show called Follow the Star at East Belfast Mission on 11 December. First of all we saw the show and it was great fun. Then we did some arts and crafts and dressed up in nativity costumes. We loved making the kings’ crowns, hanging angels and Christmas cards. We played with King Herod and tried to steal his crown and we watched a lovely puppet show. Katie Barr and Sophie Crawford, P3



P3 Trip to W5 - 7 January

On 7 January, P3 got ready to go on a trip to W5.  To get to W5 we went in a bus. Once we arrived at  W5 we went to see the robot. He was remote controlled. I thought he was cool but creepy. After that we played with all the other things downstairs. My favourite was the steam pusher because the steam came out in rings. When we went upstairs we walked across a glass bridge and then we entered a workshop. In the workshop there were lots of cushions and tables

P5 Belfast City Council Litter Talk

In January we had three visits from Belfast City Council staff. The first visitor talked about litter in Belfast and the cost of cleaning our streets. Mr George Lyttle gave two workshops about recycling, reducing and re-using. As in previous years, we made our own paper. The making of paper captured the interest of a number of girls who have successfully made their own paper at home, even adding dye to improve the colour.

P3 Trip to Belfast City Airport - 26 January

We went to The George Best Belfast City Airport on 26 January. First, we had to get ready and get on the bus with Mrs McDowell and Mrs McKeown. We were feeling very excited. When we got there we had to wait a bit and the adults were checked out and got their badges. After that we went through security. Then it was time to visit the firemen. We loved watching them going down their fireman’s pole. We loved trying on their helmets and coats and heavy backpacks. Their fire-engines are fluorescent yellow so they can be seen in the dark. We watched the firemen spray their big hoses on a pretend fire on the runway. At the end we saw a plane landing. We waved at the pilot and copilot and passengers and they waved back! Erin McDowell and Julia Cochrane, P3


P7 Trip to Mount Stewart - 29 January

On 29 January, P7 went to Mount Stewart to learn about life in the Victorian era. First we went to the entrance hall, which was very grand. Next we proceeded to the dining room. After that we had a look at the drawing room where the ladies would chat after eating dinner. They would often chat about men, dinner and children.  Next we proceeded to the breakfast room. As we walked up the grand staircase there was a picture of Hambletonian, the Londonderry family’s horse.  We wrote invitations with Victorian pens. We then went to the nursery to dress up and look at Victorian items. We had a lovely walk around the lake and we ran about and climbed trees.


the penrhyn year We really enjoyed this trip and learnt a lot about Victorians.


The Princess Party - 12 February

On 12 February, P1 celebrated their Topic of Fairy Tales by having a Princess Party. The girls dressed up as their favourite Princess and they made crowns, danced at the ball and ate a delicious Princess Cake. After all that fun they relaxed by watching and singing along to the wonderful film Frozen!



P5 Egyptian Workshop at Ulster Museum - 4 March

On 4 March, P5 went to the Ulster Museum to find out about the Ancient Egyptians. We learnt that they crushed stones that were all different colours and mixed them with water – this made their make-up. She also told us about canopic jars. The Egyptians put some of the body parts in these. Then we went to see Takabuti. After lunch we wrote our names in hieroglyphics, dressed up and got to see lots of artefacts. by Zara Conroy and Rachel Brett, P7



P7 Trip to Sentry Hill - 1 February

On 1 February, P7 went to Sentry Hill Farmhouse. We went on this trip to extend our knowledge of  the Victorians. We learnt about the people who used to live there. The master was called William McKinney and he lived there with his wife and children. We also had to name some Victorian everyday objects such as a candle-snuffer. Next we went into the farmhouse.  We saw the kitchen. There was a large range and many pots and pans. The next room we went into was the scullery. The scullery is a room where the maids washed clothes and dishes. The third room we saw was the dining room. There was a movable fire screen beside the fire. We were told this was to stop a woman’s make-up from melting off her face when she sat by the fire. We all enjoyed our trip to Sentry Hill Farmhouse. Madalaine Wilson and Victoria Murray, P7


Pancake Factory run by P7 - 9 February

On Shrove Tuesday, P7 girls organised a pancake factory for the P1-P7 girls.  The whole school placed their orders and handed them and their money to the P7s for them to prepare. We bought in all the food and equipment supplies that we needed, and each group took a class to serve and prepare for. We were all under pressure to get all of the pancakes made and delivered on time! It was a great success as we made over £100 for our school charity. It was a lovely experience and everybody enjoyed their pancake. Niamh Hatfield and Eva Ralston, P7


P1 Trip to the Post Office - 11 February

On 11 February, P1 walked to the local Post Box to post cards to celebrate St Valentine’s Day.  Several days later the beautiful cards arrived to surprise Mummy and Daddy!


Alana Higgins, P5


P1 Trip to the Ark Open Farm - 10 March

On 10 March, P1 went on a trip to the Ark Farm in Newtownards. The most popular experiences were holding the fluffy baby chicks and of course feeding the new born lambs and calves with a bottle full of milk. A new development at the farm was a wonderful wooden ark, which the girls enjoyed climbing into and looking at the magnificent view over the animals in their setting. The sun shone all day and a very happy trip was had by all.

penrhyn extracurricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment


Our Christmas Concert

n 4 December, P3 and P1 went to Belmont Presbyterian Church. P1 and P3 performed A Miracle in Town. We went into the church hall and sat in a circle. We took off our uniforms and got into our costumes. After that we got our make-up on. I was a narrator in the play. We were also the Bethlehem crowd. All the narrators got to sing a solo. It was called ‘Such a Perfect Moment’. Finally the play was over. We went back to the hall. We took off our costumes and put our uniforms back on. Then we went home exhausted but happy, with a chocolate Fredo. Mrs McKeown said we were brilliant! Annabel Pollin, P3

The Snowman at Christmas


n the morning of Friday 4 December we went to Belmont Presbyterian Church. First P1 and P3 did their play and then we did our play called A Snowman at Sunset which was a Christmas play. The P1 and P3 play was a true story told a long time ago in Bethlehem. Ours wasn’t true it was made up. My outfit was Mrs Claus because I was a narrator. My dress was red and white. I even sang a solo. It was the best play ever! Sophie Mae Holmes, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment



n 10 and 11 March, P5, P6 and P7 performed the play Oliver. In the changing room we were eager to put on our costumes and get our make-up applied. My costume was attractive and frilly! After weeks of rehearsals, it was finally time to perform. The stage was transformed by the setting at the back. We were all very excited to start acting in front of lots of spectators, but when I was waiting in the wings about to go on stage, I was very nervous and scared that I would do the wrong thing. However, I had lots of fun and began to have more confidence. It was a great feeling when the spotlight was on you and I really enjoyed acting Mrs Sowerberry. It was a brilliant experience to perform Oliver and it made me see how much fun it is to be on stage. Ciara Moore, P7


penrhyn extracurricular


Strathearn Preparatory School Choir

enrhyn School Choir has had a very busy year. In October we performed in the Glenmachan Church of God at a concert organised by Festival Brass to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. It was very exciting when Peter Corry attended one of our Wednesday choir rehearsals in Penrhyn. Our programme for this concert included songs from Oliver and Scheherazade.  Velvet Meharg and Rachel Carson from P5 sang solo verses in ‘Close Every Door to Me’ from Joseph, and Peter Corry joined with us to sing ‘Any Dream Will Do’. At Christmas, the choir was invited to sing at the NSPCC Carols by Candlelight Service. It was particularly exciting to sing in the stunningly beautiful St Anne’s Cathedral. We performed John Rutter’s haunting melody ‘The Colours of Christmas’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ by Alan Woods. We also joined Strathearn School Choirs in Stormont Presbyterian Church for the annual Carol Service. Zara Conroy and Victoria Murray read two of the lessons beautifully. At the Holywood Music Festival, Penrhyn Choir retained the Priory Cup and the Maurice Foster Cup for the fourth year in a row, competing against three other primary school choirs. We also participated in the Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year Competition at the Transport Museum in Cultra. Our performance was broadcast on Radio Ulster in March. Well done girls! This has been an extremely successful year. B Mawhinney

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 and confidence. The girls also learn to create their own solos and routines. We use a wide range of music from pop to musical theatre. Each week there is something different but it is all great fun.


Lilybella Burrows, P4


P5 Cookery & Craft Club

Ballet Classes ~ P1-P3

he girls learn balance, posture, expression and how to work with others. While ballet is a disciplined dance form, we do also 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.

uring the Autumn term, the P5 pupils faithfully attended cookery and craft sessions. This year the cooking repertoire included toasted sandwiches, yogurt loaf, shortbread, ‘fifteens’, Rice Krispie and top hat buns. The girls worked hard and enjoyed eating their wonderful creations. For the craft tasks, they sewed ornate elephant cushions, made Hama bead pictures, decorated candle holders and made personalised Christmas stockings to hang up for Santa. The girls enjoyed utilising their creative talents to make these interesting items.


Cycling Proficiency

n the  Autumn Term, the P7 girls did their Cycling Proficiency Course.  They completed some exercises designed to improve their balance and co-ordination.  The girls then began to learn how to ride their bikes safely on the road. An important part of the course was learning about  The Highway Code. The cyclists completed both a written and a practical test, and were awarded certificates G Boyd


French Club

n French Club this year, we enjoyed singing, language games and competitions. It is always great fun. We made French books and cards. Everyone loves French chatter about family and animals. Every week two girls are on duty, serving in the very popular Café Français. French Club is buzzing with activity.


penrhyn extracurricular Penrhyn Charity Collections




Speech and Drama

fter six years teaching Speech and Drama in Penrhyn, the number of girls enrolled has risen to almost ninety enthusiastic girls. 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. The Lagan Festival of Speech and Drama produced very successful results with many individual entries winning prizes. The girls from P3 and P4 all entered the class choral speaking competitions; their hard work was rewarded by a first and third place. The girls also have the opportunity to enter the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination, and as I anticipated the last sets of results were truly outstanding with the vast majority of girls receiving the top grade of distinction. The energetic, excited buzz of the girls coming into class is the highlight of my day and I have no doubt I will see some of my little stars on stage some day! J Armstrong



inging has continued to play a significant role in the musical life of Penrhyn. During classes, the girls have enjoyed learning many new songs and, as well as developing good vocal technique, they have been building up their confidence in performance. In the summer term, the P7 girls were invited to sing at Drumbeg Parish Church’s Music in May evening, where they were highly commended for their beautiful singing. In June, many of the P6 and P7 girls were entered for the ABRSM Grades 1 or 2 singing exams, and achieved super marks. We were very proud of all the girls who performed so confidently at the Holywood Festival, and special mention must be made of the individual prize-winners, who were: Macy McCormick,  Annabel Pollin, Chloe Nelson, Tiffany Magowan, Rachel Carson, Velvet Meharg, Charlie Dougherty, Darcy Blair and Elessa Deeny. The girls are an absolute pleasure to teach, and we are always delighted with their enthusiasm and talent. T Devlin

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. Last year in Terms Two and Three we supported Save the Children, and raised £529.46. We supported the following charities in 2015-2016: Term One: Assistance Dogs NI; The Cedar Foundation (Stamps Appeal); Save the Children Syrian Appeal; The Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal).  The total amount raised for the year 2015-2016 to the end of Term Two was £1511. Our chosen charity for Terms Two and Three will be The Northern Ireland Hospice.


Scripture Union

t Scripture Union we do lots of fun activities as we learn about the Bible. This year we have been learning about the fruit of the spirit while singing songs and playing games. We learn about the importance of being kind, obedient and patient. We really enjoy going to Scripture Union every week. Ciara Moore & Rebekah Devlin, P7

Penrhyn Piano Results Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

March 2015: Prep Test Certificate: Rachel Lyle, Niamh Hatfield

& Hannah Gilpin. June 2015: Grade 1 Merit: Eloise McKnight; Grade 1 Distinction: Laura Mitchell. Grade 2 Merit: Madalaine Wilson. Grade 3 Merit: Lauren Mooney; Grade 3 Distinction:  Alexandra Coetzee. November 2015: Prep Test Certificate: Lucy Andrews, Rachel Bowen, Holly Humphreys. Grade 1 Merit: Sophia Cochrane. Grade 2 Merit: Laura Dunlop. P Williams


Tin Whistle

embers of the Tin Whistle Group were again invited to perform at Parliament Buildings, Stormont in celebration of International Uilleann Piping Day. The girls were joined by the Tin Whistle Group from St Caolan’s Primary School, Ballynahinch, and produced a wonderful sound in the magnificent Great Hall. The group has performed at school events during the past year, including Open Morning and the St Patrick’s Day Assembly. Many girls who have played the tin whistle for four or more years become very able players due to the simplicity of the instrument. It was also most encouraging to observe the speed at which the girls learned to play the songs from the school musical Oliver. It is a privilege to teach so many enthusiastic and musical children. I commend Mrs Mawhinney and the teachers at Penrhyn who have facilitated the Tin Whistle Group and the parents who continue to offer their children the opportunity to learn music, which will give them a lifelong source of pleasure and achievement H Grimes


Squirrels springing up from sleep Ponds full of ducklings that cheep Really small lambs new to the world, In fields buds have unfurled. Not many clouds in the sky Gone is Winter, time to fly! Cerys McMurray, P7

Isla Aldworth, P2

penrhyn extracurricular


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 they all collected a participation certificate. Congratulations to Mrs Petrie, who won the Mum’s race, and Mr Pollin, who won the Dad’s race! Congratulations to Sophie Nelson who won the Children’s race. Our thanks to Mrs Lisa Kitchen who very graciously presented the prizes. RESULTS - WINNERS P1 Running, Leila Wallace; P1 Spider, Clara Petrie; P1 Potato/Spoon, Katie Allen. P2 Running,  Vanessa Minford; P2 Potato/Spoon, Laurie Eakin; P2 Spider,  Vanessa Minford. P3 Running, Tiffany McGowan; P3 Potato/Spoon, Chloe Nelson; P3 Obstacle, Eve Downey. Winner of the Inter-House Relay - Boucher.


P4-P7 Sports Day

ur Senior Sports Day was held at Strathearn on the last Bank Holiday in May. Miss Taylor, Head of PE at Strathearn, who was retiring at the end of the year, presented the prizes. As usual the events were competed for with great enthusiasm and many excellent performances were achieved. The Ben Madigan Relay Squad came to run against our P6 and P7 squads. Our A Squad was victorious. Congratulations to all the girls who were part of the relay squads.

Individual Sports Day Winners Back Row: Niamh Hatfield, Aoife Moore, Amelia Hazle Seated: Sophie-Rose Atkinson, Rachel Carson

Our thanks to Strathearn for the use of the facilities, and to Miss Taylor for her participation. Thanks also to the Games Captain and her deputies, who helped with the running of the event. RESULTS - WINNERS P4 50m, Velvet Meharg; P5 50m, Amelia Hazle; P6 75m, Niamh Hatfield; P7 75m, Aoife Moore; P5 600m, Amelia Hazle; P6 600m, Niamh Hatfield; P7 600m, Nicole Hannah; P4 50m Skipping, Sophie-Rose Acheson; P6 High Jump, Eloise McKnight; P7 High Jump, Aoife Moore; P5 Long Jump, Amelia Hazle; P6 Long Jump, Niamh Hatfield; P7 Long Jump, Lola Gibbons; P5 Cricket Ball, Ellie Patrick; P6 Cricket Ball, Lucie Maskery; P7 Cricket Ball, Ciara West. HOUSE RELAY WINNERS P4 - McCaughey; P5 - McCaughey; P6 - Boucher; P7 - McCaughey. INDIVIDUAL POINTS P4, Rachel Carson/Sophie-Rose Atkinson; P5,  Amelia Hazle; P6, Niamh Hatfield; P7,  Aoife Moore. Winning House - McCaughey.

Sportshall Athletics Club Left to Right: Karis Hamilton, Ciara Moore, Lucie Maskery,  Juliette RuellandKennedy, Sophia Knox, Mabelle Wilcox, Niamh Hatfield, Alice Browne, Rachel Brett, Martha Cupples, Eloise McKnight

CARLINGFORD Carlingford was fun and rewarding. My confidence grew and I tried things I’d never tried before. Madalaine Wilson, P7


Sportshall Athletics

portshall athletics is staged at over fifty venues across the UK. The national programme includes a calendar of regional festivals and a series of roadshows during the 2015/2016 season. In February three roadshows were held at Strathearn. We held a joint boys and girls’ competition comprising of six teams with a maximum of fifteen pupils. This year we had to have mixed teams of boys and girls and so we were joined by the boys from Campbell College Junior School.  After the relays, speed bounce, chest push and jumping events, the points were counted. Our A Team were crowned champions. Just as pleasing was the fact that our B Team also performed very well. Many thanks to the senior school for their help with running this event.


penrhyn extracurricular

Minor Schools’ Swimming Team

Individual Swimming Gala Winners

Back Row: Grace Davison, Niamh Hatfield, Eve Rainey, Lucinda Park, Amelia Hazle, Lucy Wills

Back Row: Lucinda Park, Gabriella Park, Rachel Carson

Seated: Lucy Andrews,  Alice Browne, Rachel Carson, Ellen Eakin


Front Row:  Alice Browne, Lucy Andrews


ongratulations to the following girls, who represented Penrhyn in the Swim Ulster Swimming Championships: Niamh Hatfield, Eve Rainey, Alice Browne, Amelia Hazle, Lucinda Park, Lucy Wills, Ellen Eakin, Rachel Carson and Lucy Andrews.

Swim Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships The individuals who were in the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province are as follows: Under 11 50m Breaststroke, Niamh Hatfield (7th); Under 11 50m Backstroke, Alice Browne (6th); Under 11 50m Individual Medley, Alice Browne (7th); Under 10 50m Breaststroke, Lucy Wills (6th); Under 10 50m Backstroke, Lucy Wills (7th). The following girls won medals: Under 9 50m Breaststroke, Grace Davison (gold); Under 9 50m Backstroke, Grace Davison (gold). The Under 10 Medley Relay Team won silver in the Breaststroke. The squad members were Lucy Wills, Amelia Hazle, Rachel Carson, Ellen Eakin. The same girls were placed fourth in the Freestyle Relay.

The Irish Schools’ Championships The following girls took part in the Irish Schools’ Minor Championships: Grace Davison, Alice Browne and Niamh Hatfield. Grace Davison won gold in the Under 9 Butterfly and silver in the Breaststroke. Congratulations! All the hard work paid off. The Under 10 Freestyle Relay Team was placed 7th and the Medley Relay Team was placed 6th. The squad members were Lucy Wills, Amelia Hazle, Rachel Carson and Ellen Eakin. Well done to all! Alice Browne was part of the Under 12 Relays, and they were placed 3rd in both the Freestyle and Medley Relays.

Erin McDowell, P3

Individual swimming gala winners: P3, Lucy Andrews; P4, Rachel Carson; P5, Lucinda Park; P6, Alice Browne; P7, Gabriella Park. Winning House - McCaughey.


penrhyn extracurricular


Hockey Club

n Wednesday afternoons from January to March, thirty enthusiastic pupils turned out for hockey practice. Improvement in ball skills and game awareness were high on the agenda. During hockey practice on Wednesdays, we were able play against the First Form pupils as they also had practice at that time. We also had a match against Victoria College, which helped our preparation for the forthcoming fixtures. The Belfast qualifying tournament for the Northern Ireland Finals took place at Shaw’s Bridge in early March. There were two sections of five teams, with the top two in each making the semi-finals. Penrhyn had a very successful tournament, with wins against Stranmillis, Lisnasharragh, Methody B and Strandtown A. We topped the section and played the quarter-final, in which we beat Strandtown B 4-0. The semi-final was against Strandtown A again! We won 1-0, setting up a final against Methody A. We narrowly lost 1-0, after another hard-fought game. Penrhyn made the Ulster finals for the second time in three years.  After five group matches, two quarter-finals and a semi-final, the girls reached the final of the Plate Competition. Gilnahirk were the opposition. After full time and extra time we went to penalty runs. We had to go to sudden death, but with Eloise and Karis on target Penrhyn were crowned Ulster Plate Champions 2016! Penrhyn Squad: Lucie Maskery (Capt), Niamh Hatfield, Mabelle Wilcox, Eloise McKnight, Karis Hamilton, Martha Cupples, Eva Ralston, Laura Mitchell and Darcy Blair.

Hockey Club Back Row: Madalaine Wilson, Sarah Hylands, Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, Cerys McMurray, Eloise McKnight, Niamh Hatfield, Sophia Knox, Mabelle Wilcox, Laura Mitchell, Scarlett Mooney, Ellie Patrick,  Amelia Hazle, Lucy Wills Seated: Laura Dunlop, Lucinda Park, Hannah Gilpin, Martha Cupples, Karis Hamilton, Rebecca Kitchen, Lucie Maskery, Rachel Brett, Caitlyn Corbett, Darcy Blair, Holly Higgins, Katlyn Martin,  Thalia Taylor, Chloe McMullan

Athletics Club Fiona MacIntyre,Victoria Murray, Caitlyn Corbett, Rachel Lyle, Cerys McMurray, Zara Conroy, Laura Mitchell, Rebecca Kitchen, Scarlett Mooney, Madeline Doherty, Isabella Anderson, Eve Rainey, Rebekah Devlin, Madalaine Wilson


Athletics Club

ast year the girls developed and improved their skills in high-jump, long-jump and throwing. Hurdles were introduced towards the end of the summer. Stamina and endurance work helped the girls to build on their successful cross-country season, and 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 P6 and P7 pupils had the opportunity to perform in the Belfast Primary Schools’ Athletics Competition in which they sprinted, jumped and putt the shot. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We were particularly encouraged by the way the P6 pupils performed, and we look forward to their participation in next year’s competition.


penrhyn extracurricular

KS1 Gymnastics Back Row (standing): Eve Downey, Grace Davison, Ellie Johnston, Heidi Moore, Chloe Burrows, Beth Hill,  Amira Asim, Katie Barr, Sophie Boyle, Cecily Park, Clara Petrie, Delphine McGimpsey,  Tara McNeill, Zoe Greenaway, Megan Chercoles-Carter Middle Row (seated): Molly Boomer, Sophie Mae Holmes, Katie Allen, Iona Blair, Erin McDowell, Isabella Kenny, Nyla Mallon, Isla Aldworth, Grace Conroy,  Vanessa Minford,  Julia Cochrane Front Row (seated on floor):  Aleena Wasim, Brodie Crawford,  Annabel Pollin, Leila Wallace, Katie-Lynn Hill


Gymnastics Club

he Gymnastics Academy has been running gymnastics classes within Penrhyn as part of their after-school activities programme for the past three years. Classes this year were attended by approximately fifty girls from P2 to P7 on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Throughout the year, the girls have been working on their individual skills and balance as part of the British Gymnastics National Development Plan. Each of the girls was also assessed for the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards. A team from Penrhyn competed at the Northern Ireland Schools’ Championships in Ballysillan Leisure Centre on 28 February. The girls all performed brilliantly and learnt so much from the experience, just missing out on a bronze medal. 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



he 2016 Cross-Country Competition started very well for Penrhyn. In the Belfast East Heat the girls were first overall with six girls in the top ten places. Special mention to Mabelle Wilcox who was first and Karis Hamilton who was third.

Cross-Country Team Left to right: Niamh Hatfield,  Alice Browne, Eva Ralston, Elena Gourley, Mabelle Wilcox, Sophia Knox, Lucy Wills, Karis Hamilton


Vanessa Minford, P3

penrhyn literary section

Heidi Dunlop, P2

Leila Wallace, P2

Eve Graham, P1

Izzy Jones, P1


penrhyn literary section The Dark Forest

My Perfect Day

The trees of the dark, dark forest loomed menacingly above the little lost boy. He was shivering with fear, he was so incredibly frightened! He heard screeching bats and growling wolves. He picked up his little legs and tried to run out of the dark, dark forest but… Ellen Eakin, P5

I woke up to my dogs licking my face. I tip-toed down the stairs and found a letter addressed to me! I tore it open and I saw the words, “You have been invited to meet all the Harry Potter cast!” As I read it through, my family came and read it over my shoulder. I ate my breakfast as quickly as possible, and got changed into some Harry Potter clothes that were sent with the letter. Soon a limo drove up my lane and I climbed in, only to find Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint sitting inside. I waved goodbye to my family and started chatting to the actors. Then I noticed David Heyman driving the car! We went to the airport and got a plane to England. When we got there, I met more of the Harry Potter actors. I liked Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright best. I got a VIP tour around the studios. Then I went to Buckingham Palace for lunch, where I met the Queen, all the most famous pop stars and every single Harry Potter actor! The Queen gave me a credit card that never runs out! Next, we went to swim with sea animals, but I didn’t swim with the sharks. I was taught how to do a backflip by a famous gymnast. Sadly we had to go home then flying carpet! Emma Watson came for a sleepover at my house and she told me that they were making a new Harry Potter movie, and I was to star in it! I finally went to sleep after a midnight feast with Emma Watson. Laura Dunlop, P6

Spacecraft 010 Spacecraft 010 crashed with a menacing thud on the pink planet, Plutonomous. Luckily none of the Earthlings was badly hurt as Plutonomous was covered in pink marshmallows. The double doors opened before the spacecraft 010 could self-destruct. The Earthlings lived happily on marshmallows forever... Sophie Campbell, P5

The Lily Pond Once there was a frog who was lying on his comfortable lily pond in the hot sunshine.  A sneaky river snake swam quietly underneath him and thought he would give the happy frog a big fright. He saw a sharp hook moving in the still water… Eva Gibson, P5

Spring is Here Spring is happy, spring is here Spring is fun, bringing us cheer All of the plants have freshly grown leaves And the wind’s in the air blowing through trees The animals appear from their long winter sleep And they start to come out taking a peep If you’re in the woods you may see some deer Winter is gone now, Spring is here! Zara Conroy, P7

Arrival of Spring As I walk through a meadow of daffodils Little birds chirp their first song As I jump on to stepping stones Fish and tadpoles merrily swim on As I listen to the wind Smells of freshly cut grass wisp around my face As I sing a song of newborn joy I feel the world slowly reveal itself into Spring Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, P7

A Perfect Day I woke up with my cat purring on my chest. I got on my comfy leggings and soft blue T-shirt. I went downstairs and had a lovely breakfast of toast with honey and hot chocolate. My family and I drove in our blue limousine to our library. We opened The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and were transported into the world of Narnia, where we fought an evil witch set on world domination. After winning the battle we had tea with the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland. We thanked them politely and (after passing by Mr Bilbo Baggins) we returned home. I sat down in front of the fire and watched my favourite movie, The Box of Delights. I read The Hobbit until dusk, then settled down in my forget-me-not four-poster bed and fell asleep. Isla Mitchelson, P6

Grace Davidson, P4

Halloween The orange pumpkins come alive with glowing eyes, Hear the sound of the screaming people and werewolves howling. Zombies are rising from their graves. A witch with her evil laugh ha ha, Mischievous blood suckers, demons and ghouls beware! The creepy dungeons with cobwebs everywhere, Flapping bats in the night sky – Halloween! Toni-Jayne Lovell-McCann, P4


penrhyn literary section Eric and his Journey My name is Eric. I am fifteen years old and I live in a village in Denmark. One stormy day, my dad and the Vikings were getting ready to go on a trip when they heard that one of the Vikings had an accident and was unable to go. My dad said to me that I could take the Viking’s place and go on the trip. When we were ready, we hopped on the boat and set sail before the storm got louder and before it lashed down. In the middle of the journey the storm was so fierce it sounded like a roaring lion. Suddenly a mysterious creature appeared …it was …a sea monster! Then a Viking said,“Let’s pray to Thor so the storm might stop and the sea monster might go away”, but it did not work.  We decided to kill it, but how? One of the Vikings jumped in and tried to kill the sea monster. The Viking was eaten in a flash and the monster was gone, so we decided to get our swords out and wait. After a few seconds, the sea monster’s head came out of the water and into the boat. We went closer to the sea monster and killed it! The sun came out and it felt like a summer’s day. Finally we decided to go back home. Katlyn Martin, P6

Halloween As the wicked vampire walks into the spooky, dark, ghost castle The demon, the witch, the rattling skeleton and all the bats Float far away in the distance The spooky, evil witch is behind the scary skeleton Ha ha ha! Halloween is sure to come! Emma Barr, P4

Chloe Burrows, P2


My Spring Poem

Spring time has come, Peace has been restored, Realise the beauty of Spring, Individuals have been born, New life has been brought into the world, Good times are coming. Eva Ralston, P7

Oh Spring, Oh Spring It’s a wonderful thing. Spring, Spring, Spring It makes me want to sing. The birds are chirping, The sun is stirring, Everything is bright. Every day and every night, The flowers are blooming, The trees are blossoming, The days are growing, The streams are flowing. Ciara Moore, P7

Spring Sunshine sparkles Primroses sprout up Rivers glisten Insects play around New born lambs Growing plants. Alice Browne, P7

Katie-Lynn Hill, P4 82

penrhyn literary section When I Grow Up I want to be an ice skating instructor and a champion as well. When you start ice skating you will start from grade 1 and can go up to grade 10. Before I start teaching, I want to go to college and learn to teach children to ice skate. When I finish college, I am going to start doing competitions. I want to be good at ice skating so I am able to go to the Olympics and I hope I will win a gold, silver or bronze medal or trophies. I am going to teach children to learn to ice skate, to do spins, jumps and all sorts of other exciting things. Megan Chercoles Carter, P3

Lucy Andrews, P4

When I Grow Up When I grow up I want to be a dentist. A dentist is a person who looks after your teeth. If they are sore they may need to give you a filling or take your teeth out. Every six months you need to have a check-up. There is a special light above the chair which shines into the patient’s mouth. Children have 20 baby teeth, 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.  An adult has 32 teeth. They are the letters of the alphabet. The top is A to J and the bottom is K to T. Katie Barr, P3

When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up When I grow up I want to be a fashion designer. I will make red and blue dresses and many more kinds. Designers have to know every colour in the world. Some colours have funny names. I may bring my fashions to a fashion show. I will not just make people clothes; I will make pet clothes and pet handbags. Erin McDowell, P3

When I grow up I want to be a doctor because I like to give people advice. I like to care for my family and I like to save lives. I need to go to university and study Science. I want to be a pop star and artist too. Doctors wear blue tops and white coats and carry a stethoscope and a clipboard. They need to take an x-ray to see if everything is ok in your body and you have no bones broken. Lydia Greer, P3

Martha Cupples, P7 83

parents’ & old girls’ associations Strathearn Parents’ Association


trathearn Parents’ Association exists to provide a means for parents to support the school, raise funds and to plan events for the girls to enjoy. It consists of parents from both Penrhyn and Strathearn, and various events are run throughout the year to support both schools.

Anna Campbell,  A-level

This year we continued with the discos for Years 8 and 9. They were held at the Stormont Hotel, a venue loved by the children, with P7 also being allowed to attend after the AQE exams. They were very well attended by pupils from Strathearn, Penrhyn and neighbouring schools.  In March, at CIYMS, we held a very competitive and wellattended Table Quiz followed by supper. It was a fun evening and a successful fundraiser.  Thank you to everyone who came along and also to those who donated prizes for this evening. Another successful event was the Penrhyn Summer Fete which was held in May. This included many fun activities, a barbecue, and a very popular “Bake Off” competition. This event was thoroughly enjoyed by all the younger girls and their families. We also held Christmas, Halloween and End of Term parties for the Penrhyn pupils, in which they could dress up and dance the afternoon away. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents who gave so generously of their time and money throughout the year, enabling us to run events and to continue to raise funds. It is very much appreciated. These events, however, could not be run without the help of many parents.  New members would be very welcome for 2016/17. In October 2015 we presented a cheque to Strathearn for £4500, and to Penrhyn for £3000. Finally, a very sincere thank you to all those who serve on the committee for their continuing support and enthusiasm.


The Boxing Day Tournament

he  Annual Strathearn Old Girls’ Boxing Day Tournament was held on 26 April 2015 on the School’s AstroTurf pitch.  All four teams (Strathearn Old Girls, Strathearn School 1st XI, Victoria College Old Girls and Victoria College 1st XI) competed this year and it proved to be an exciting morning. Our Old Girls got off to a great start by defeating the current 1st XI, 2-0. This success was continued as they defeated both Victoria College sides comfortably (3-0 and 1-0). This was an emphatic victory for the strong Old Girls’ side and it was lovely to bring the trophy home. After the matches, supporters, friends and family made their way upstairs to enjoy some light refreshments. There was a great atmosphere with everybody enjoying the annual catch-up. New faces and old discussed who had won the trophy the most times, and reminisced about old times. Mrs Harvey presented the Old Girls with the trophy and also presented Lindsay Mercer with the Anne Dunlop Rose Bowl for her individual contribution to hockey. Thank you to all the supporters who attended and created a brilliant atmosphere.  A massive thank you must go to Mrs Harvey for all her organisation both before and during the tournament - the tournament would simply not run without her and we are indebted to her efforts. Long may they continue! Strathearn Old Girls look as though they will have a strong squad for the next couple of years which is very exciting! Please come along and join us next year, whether you have attended before or not. There is always a great atmosphere and plenty of free food!

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

Front cover ~ Lauren Duncan, A-level Back cover ~ Eryn McQuillan, A-level

Magazine 2016  

Strathearn School Magazine 2016

Magazine 2016  

Strathearn School Magazine 2016