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be humble be humble bumble bee be humble be humble bumble bee

from flower to flower hour after hour be humble

be humble bumble bee be humble be humble bumble bee

from flower to flower hour after hour

from the principal


elcome to the Strathearn School magazine for 2017. It is a pleasure and a privilege to write my first foreword as Principal. This magazine documents another great year in the life of the school. In my short tenure as Principal, I have already been able to share many moments of celebration with our pupils; they really do make the school proud, as they achieve so much in their studies, in music, in drama and in sport. It is a pleasure to share these experiences with you through the pages of this magazine. This academic year was also notable because we bade farewell to Mr Manning. We are all indebted to him for his dedication to Strathearn School. In the autumn term this year, we celebrated our commitment to academic excellence at Prize Night, and we welcomed our guest speaker, Judy Brown. Judy is a former pupil of Strathearn, and she delivered a highly engaging speech in which she inspired our current pupils with words of wisdom about their future career paths. The evening ended with superb performances of Over the Rainbow and Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet by the Chamber Choir. Although we appreciate the marvellous surroundings and wonderful facilities of this state-of-the-art building, it is the Strathearn community itself that brings most joy to our hearts. The articles and photographs within this magazine provide clear evidence of the ways in which that community thrives. We are very proud of the girls’ activities in our many extracurricular societies, our field trips, our art exhibition, our many internal and external competitions, sport, music, creative writing, and of course academic work. The pages that follow display the resilience, energy and talents of the Strathearn pupils in all of these areas. Our tradition of public service remains undiminished, as we continue to support a wide range of charities, both at home and further afield. The Strathearn Parents’ Association have had a busy year with all of their energetic fundraising efforts; we are very grateful for their support and unfailing service to the School. I would also like to thank Penrhyn for their contribution, as the Preparatory Department continues to give our youngest pupils such a warm welcome to the world of learning. In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone for their kind support and good wishes as I undertake the role of Strathearn Principal. I would also like thank everyone who has contributed in some way to the production of this magazine – this includes girls from Primary One to the Upper Sixth, Governors, Staff, Parents and Former Pupils. This range of contributors clearly indicates that the Strathearn community is continuing to go from strength to strength. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts and expertise of the magazine’s editor and designer. I trust that you will enjoy reading it as much as I have!

Emily Buchanan, GCSE 1


Danielle McDowell, GCSE

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 Prize Night 13-17 Mr Manning’s Retirement 18 Clubs, Events & Societies 19-34 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


board of governors Chair of the Board Mrs P Stewart

Vice Chairs Mr N McKeown BSc (Econ) FCA Mr PA White MA (Cantab) Mr A Anderson MEd BD PGCE Mrs C Auchmuty BA Mrs R Bailie BA MSW MBA Mrs N Connery MA PGCE PQH 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 R Masefield CBE MA (Cantab) Mr GR McGowan FRICS Mrs C Meredith B Comm Mr IC Noad MA (Cantab) Ms A O'Dwyer ACMA

Mr Manning’s Retirement Dinner at Parliament Buildings, Stormont


school staff PRINCIPAL


Mrs L Myers MBE BEd PQH Mrs K Quinn BSc PQH





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 Miss J Myles MA BA 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

Faye Wallace,  AS-level


Mrs A Blayney BSc PGCE Miss S McGahon BSc PGCE


Mrs D Martin BSc PGCE Miss R Mallon BSc PGCE


TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN Mr A Atkinson BEd Miss R Newburn BEd


Mrs J Anderson BSc PGCE Mrs R Aiken BSc PGCE Mrs FE Cochrane BSc PGCE Mrs L Cozzo BSc PGCE Mrs P Foye BSc PGCE Miss R Mallon BSc PGCE Mrs K Quinn BSc PQH Ms L Wallace MPhys PGCE

Mrs B Mawhinney BEd Mrs E Andrews BEd CertEd PQH LNEA Miss GM Boyd BA PGCE Mrs P Devlin BEd ALCM Mrs A Hanna BEd Mrs D Hyndman BA PGCE Cert Ed Mrs A McKeown BEd Mrs V McKinney BEd Mrs J Walls BEd (Cantab)



Mrs D Eakin MA PGCE Mrs H Agnew BA PGCE Mrs S Morrow BA PGCE Mrs J Muldrew MA PGCE Mrs J Thompson BA PGCE Ms M Y Perdomo Rodríguez Miss L Vincent BA PGCE Mrs N Wilson





Mr A Anderson MEd BD PGCE Mrs R Browne Miss JS Gibson MA BEd


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 A Flannigan BA FCA


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

TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF Mrs M Butters BSc Miss G Campbell BSc Mr D Carrington BSc Mrs J Fox BA Miss R Funston Miss H Gingles Mr M Hamilton BEd Miss A Jordan BSc Miss M Magee Miss O McParland Mr S Millar HND BSc Miss N Nixon Mrs P Patterson BA Dip SW PQSW Mrs R Patterson BA Mrs J Shaw BSc DIS Mr M Smith Mrs E Smyth BEd DASE MEd Mrs S Vollands Mrs D Welsh BA Dip IS








Mrs J Atkinson BEd Mrs R Browne BSc PGCE Dip PD

PREMISES STAFF Mr J Algie Mr T McConnell Mr M Paxton

CATERING STAFF Mrs V Crymble Ms T Gibson Mrs L Gillespie Mrs E Madden Mrs W McCluskey Mrs J McConnell Ms N McMaster Ms M Mellon Mrs C Nesbitt Mrs N O’Brien

SUPERVISORY STAFF Mrs L Allen Ms N Gardener Mrs C Harper Mrs L Howe Ms C Macartney Ms K Morton Mrs I Robertson Mrs L Toye Ms M Watson

ANCILLARY STAFF Mrs A McLaughlin Ms P McNeice

form 1s

Back Row:

Molly Leitch, Cate James, Kate Hunter, Sophie Hoey, Charlotte Nicholson, Eloise McKnight, Kathryn Finlay, Lucy Hutchinson Middle Row: Emily Hanna, Lucie Maskery, Cara Murray,  Anna Kirk, Sarah Tweedie,  Ava Inman, Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh, Mrs Thompson Front Row: Ellie Gilmore, Emma Lowey, Liana Hawthorne, Evie Hamilton, Rebekah Devin,  Alice McIvor, Martha Cupples

Amy Douglas, GCSE


form 1t Amy GCSE Level AliceMartin, Campbell,   A-level

Back Row:

Ellie Campbell, Leah Orr, Madeleine Terry, Cerys McMurray, Daisy Johnston, Madeleine Heawood, Katie Smith Middle Row: Connie Hanna, Katie Briers, Maddie Twamley, Rachel Johnston,  Anna Nicholl,  Victoria Murray, Molly Bladon, Miss Stewart Front Row: Ciara Moore, Evie Huddleston, Katie Sweet, Laura Mitchell, Natasha Hegan, Ella Simms,  Jodie Flaherty 6

form 1r

Back Row:  Akhila Dondapati,  Amber Brown,  Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy,  Alexandra Faloon, Sophia Knox, Daisy Robinson,  Abi Herron. Middle Row: Emma Owens, Romelly Roberts, Rebecca Mawhinney,  Aiza Ghafoor, Charis Neill, Eirys Leathem, Molly Leeb, Mrs Agnew Front Row: Indira Fuller-Patterson,  Alice Browne, Rachel Brett, Natasha O’Tiarnaigh,  Jessica Ryan, Katie Dawson, Emily Jackson

Amy Martin,  AS-level


form 1a

Back Row:

Tara Winton, Erin McClure, Hannah Alexander, Freya Murray, Madalaine Wilson, Nicole Patterson, Lauren Tracey Middle Row: Amy Wilson, Sian MacInarlin, Katie Darley, Heather Dunn, Rosie Hardy, Niamh Hatfield, Emma White, Zoe Boyce, Miss McGahon Front Row: Aimee Blair,  Josie Bailie, Caitlyn Corbett, Hannah Pollock Chan, Madeline Doherty, Ella Buchanan, Alia Cairns

Isabella Smyth,  AS-level 8

form 1h

Sophie Pružina, AS-level

Back Row: Sophie Wilson, Molly Graham, Lucie McNaught, Madeline Best,  Amy Hanna, Sophie Thomas, Zara Conroy Middle Row: Emma Wilson,  Jessica Pennick, Lois Whiteside, Caitlin Clarke, Sydney Heatley, Eliza Chittick, Charlotte Scott, Stella Moore, Mrs Cochrane Front Row: Mabelle Wilcox, Hollie Massey, Eva Ralston, Christiana Thompson, Freya Rowe, Hannah Watson, Lauren Wilson 9

school year


ur seven years at Strathearn are finally coming to an end. Sarah, Kerry and I are so grateful to have been part of this eventful year in the history of Strathearn. We have so many exciting memories and good times to look back on. It has been an incredible final year. The year began for Sarah, Kerry and I in April 2016 as we were appointed to our new positions and began the tasks that were planned for the year ahead. The first privilege we had in our new roles was to help out at the A-level and GCSE Art Exhibition. Here, as we served refreshments and chatted to pupils and parents, we also got to see the talent on display and how all the hard work of the pupils paid off. Penrhyn Sports Day took place in May. The sun shone and it was great to see the Penrhyn girls having fun competing in the races and other activities.Thank you to all the Upper Sixth girls who helped with this event. We all have fond memories of our Strathearn Sports Day that followed in June. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time. Thank you to all the PE staff and Sixth Form girls who helped organise and run the day. Many House points were won that day as girls showed their sporting talent in events such as the 800m, Long Jump and the Wellie Boot Throw.  A highlight of Sports Day for me was the teacher relay race, in which Mr Manning stole the show, leading Boucher to victory! Ice cream from the van was a great way to round off the day. When September came around, our last year officially began with our ‘last first day’ of school. As we moved over to the Upper Sixth side of the Common Room, the reality hit us that we were the oldest in the school. I want to thank Mrs Madden, or as she lets us call her, Eileen, for how she looked after us all in the Common Room. She kept us all in check, but also encouraged and laughed with us. It was then, at this point of the year, that the whispers about the formal began to rise to full volume. The Formal Committee worked very hard to plan all the essentials, such as the photographer, the band, decorations, table plans, awards and lanyards. When the evening finally arrived, everything and everyone looked wonderful and the evening was a great success. I want to thank the Formal Committee for all their hard work - it really paid off! As the autumn term arrived it was time for the most anticipated event of the year - the House Plays. The House Captains put in lots of hours, with pupils from all year groups, to put on four spectacular House Plays. I want to congratulate all who took part for putting on such entertaining and enthusiastic performances. House Captains, you did an amazing job and I want to thank you for your dedication. Thank you also to all the behind the scenes people; your help was invaluable to the success of the plays. Yet again, I want to offer sincere congratulations to McCaughey for winning the award of Best House Play. As 2016 came to an end, it also brought an end to Mr Manning’s time as Principal. There was an emotional goodbye to Mr Manning on his last day on 21 December. There is no doubt that Mr Manning will be always remembered in Strathearn’s history. Thank you again, Mr Manning, for your contribution to Strathearn as a school, but also for your impact on the pupils, especially those of us who enjoyed your

Further Maths classes. We hope you have a very enjoyable retirement. As we said goodbye to Mr Manning we also said hello to Mrs Connery. Mrs Connery had previously been the Vice Principal of Strathearn a few years earlier, so we welcomed back a familiar face to begin a new era in the school. I want to wish Mrs Connery all the best for her many years ahead as Principal. It has been wonderful being able to get to know you this year and I know you will do great things for Strathearn. When the senior school were glad that their mocks were finally over, it was time for Open Morning. This was a great success as we had all of the talent of Strathearn on display. I want to say thank you to everyone who took part, whether helping in departments, tour guiding, or on the sports pitches. Your smiles, politeness and enthusiasm are part of what makes Strathearn so great. To finish, I want to say that it has been such a privilege to have been given the opportunity to be Head Girl this year. My time at Strathearn will always be a wonderful memory. I have seen first-hand how the senior girls look out for the junior girls, how we all laugh together as we colour coordinate our Maths notes, and how we smile when we think about those good times with our friends. I would also like to thank all the teachers in Strathearn. Although you sometimes set us more homework than we would want, thank you for the time you take to help us to learn and to grow as individuals. I want to say a big thank you to Mrs Myers who has provided incredible support to Sarah, Kerry and I throughout this whole year. Your encouragement and guidance has been invaluable to us. I also want to say a big thank you to Sarah and Kerry. I couldn’t have managed this year without you both, and I am grateful for the great times we have shared together. Your help and support have allowed me to really enjoy this year. I also want to say a big thank you to the class of 2017. It has been a great seven years and we will all have many memories to take with us. I want to wish you all the best in everything that is to come in the years ahead. To the new Head Girl and Deputies, Office Bearers and Upper Sixth, I would like to wish you every success in the year ahead. Treasure every moment of this final year as you’ll be at our stage before you know it! Rachel Cowan, Head Girl

Head Girl and Deputies Sarah Brown, Rachel Cowan (HG), and Kerry Hepworth


sixth form office bearers

Back Row: Ellen Meredith, Rhia Prentice, Rebecca Gallagher, Chloe Armstrong, Kate Farrelly, Rachel Henry,  Amy Darragh Middle Row: Victoria White,  Amy Truesdale, Mehika Sood, Bonnie Ramsay, Gemma Burnside, Hannah Craig Front Row: Molly Fairclough, Carley Magee-Tollerton, Sarah Brown, Rachel Cowan, Kerry Hepworth, Rebecca Murphy, Georgia Stewart

Alice Campbell,  A-level 11

sixth form

Back Row:

Emma Rowan, Rachael McNeill, Alex Simpson, Tanith Jamison, Sara Burke, Helen Navalli, Roma Kelly,  Megan McOuat, Emily Richmond, Rachael Kelly, Rebecca McCarter Morrow,  Alice Hutchison, Cecilia Pierce, Clara Davidson, Sophie Lewis, Amy McCrossan

Fourth Row: Nadia Mowlood, Grace Deeny, Lauren Kane, Georgia Coulter, Amanda Scott, Emma Reihill, Katie Majury, Holly Crymble, Ailie McKinty, Georgina Gomes, Catherine Pooler, Lucy Davidson, Lisa Allsopp, Neve O’Neill, Meabh Lowry, Lauren Bailie, Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright Third Row:

Rhianna Gourley,  Jane Hunter, Eve Johnston, Faye Wallace, Emma Lowry, Oriel Dawson,  Anna Dobbs, Chloe Scott, Sophie Pružina, Chloe Wilson, Sarah Hamilton, Antonia Gray, Chelsey McGarry, Olivia Patterson, Fionn Clarke,  Anna Meldrum, Olivia Sythes, Imogen Spence, Sara Cabecinha, Keziah Beattie

Front Row:

Rebecca Murphy, Georgia Stewart, Ellen Meredith, Rebecca Gallagher,  Amy Truesdale, Molly Fairclough, Mehika Sood, Gemma Burnside, Kerry Hepworth, Rachel Cowan, Sarah Brown, Bonnie Ramsay, Kate Farrelly,  Victoria White, Rhia Prentice, Carley Magee-Tollerton, Hannah Craig,  Amy Darragh, Rachel Henry, Chloe Armstrong

Second Row: Amy Martin, Eve Dougan, Molly Fung, Carol Mak, Philippa Ringrow, Isabella Smyth, Sarah Osborne, Hannah Carvill, Georgina Young, Rachel Hinds, Anna Wilson, Corinna Clegg, Ferne Blackstock, Katy Miskimmin,  Abigail Rivera, Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis, Crystal Yuen, Caitie Williams,  Amy Lynch, Chloe Young, Mollie McBride


Maddy Miskimmin, Morgan Harper, Mai Wilson, Orla Cumming, Sophie Allen, Olivia McCartney, Rachel Cherry, Charlotte Aston, Gemma Wilson, Juliette Dundas, Clara Fetherston, Francesca Lynn


prize night


his year, the prize giving took place in the Sports Hall on 6 October. Our Head Girl, Rachel Cowan, welcomed everyone to the event. Guest of Honour, Dr Judy Brown, Madam Chairman, Board of Governors, staff, ladies and gentlemen and girls – welcome to our Strathearn Prize Night for 2016. Well done to all the girls sitting here tonight. You all have done extremely well in school over the past year and tonight we want to celebrate that. Tonight we want to recognise all the hard work, late nights and juggling of school work with all the other activities you do. I can assure you that everyone here tonight, whether parents or teachers, are proud your excellent achievements. As I was considering what to share with you this evening I began to think of my time at Strathearn over the past few years. It was interesting to see that most of my memories were either of the big occasions such as the new school opening or the royal visit, or of the small occurrences that could easily be overlooked. I will remember sitting by the crowded round table in the canteen or Miskelly Deli just eating lunch and hearing about everyone’s days. I will remember the time when my friends and I laughed so hard in the Common Room that tears came out of our eyes. The House Plays, when that girl I thought was quiet stole the show. The good times the whole class had with the teacher. The fire drills when we got to miss class. The Christmas Carol Services. The canteen chocolate muffins. And of course Mr Manning. Just as I am looking back on my time at Strathearn, I am sure that soon Mr Manning will also do that. Mr Manning will not be remembered just as our Principal, but so much more than that. Everyone can remember at Open Days or the first day of school that Mr Manning’s friendly face was the first you would see. Everyone will remember smiling at the camera lens, or the photos you didn’t know Mr Manning was taking. I will remember his enthusiasm for Maths as he told us that teaching was his favourite part of the day. Everyone will remember their first whole school assembly when

Anna Haslett,  GCSE

Mr Manning told us that we would have a great time here and that it would fly by. Well here we all are at another Prize Night and I am sure the previous year has indeed flown by. It is a real honour for us tonight to welcome Dr Judy Brown to speak to us. As she was a previous Head Girl of Strathearn, I am sure that Mr Manning will be in her memories of Strathearn. We are looking forward to hearing what she has to share with us. To conclude I want to encourage you all in this year ahead. Keep up the good work as I know you all will go on to do great things in life. Don’t let the small moments pass you by. Remember the good times. Make memories as they will last. And Mr Manning, we will all miss you but you will always be part of our memories of Strathearn. So I want to wish you all a wonderful night as we celebrate our achievements together. I will now hand over to Mrs Stewart to give her remarks. The Chair of the Board of Governors, Patricia Stewart, now addressed the audience. Good evening girls, families and friends, Strathearn staff and our Guest of Honour, Dr Judy Brown. Judy is a former pupil and Head Girl of Strathearn. Thank you, Judy, for being with us tonight. Prize Nights are very special occasions when we can celebrate and acknowledge the success and contribution of our pupils. Tonight’s Prize Night is even more special as it gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that David Manning has made to school life at Strathearn. As you might imagine, it was a highly significant moment when on 16 March this year David formally tendered his notice to resign as Principal on 31 December 2016. David’s association with the school began in September 1989 as Head of Maths, prior to becoming Principal in 1997. We will hear more, shortly, about David’s time at school. Once again this year, there are so many highlights to choose from. This year, to assist our pupils, we have just seen the launch of our iPad programme to enhance teaching and learning for Key Stage 3 students, with Key Stages 4 and 5 having access to Chromebooks. Girls, I hope you learn from, enjoy and respect these new tools. The Board of Governors was pleased that the Kirkland Rowell Survey was issued to our pupils, parents and staff, and we carefully studied the findings. Many thanks to all the parents, staff and pupils for completing the survey. Well done to our pupils as 91% completed the survey, which is fantastic, with 82% giving the school an excellent overall performance score. The girls ranked 87% of our subjects in the good and outstanding categories, which is extremely encouraging. Interestingly, under the non-academic criteria, pupils ranked the school facilities highest, with community spirit in second place. Our staff said that, for them, the top areas for improvement are developing confidence, developing potential and promoting the happiness of the child. I have no doubt that this community spirit and care for our pupils shone through to the 840 people who attended our annual Open Morning this year, and that it will have influenced so many girls to make Strathearn their choice of school. And of course this success, this development, took place under David Manning’s leadership. I said earlier that we would hear about David’s career. David graduated in June 1981 with a BSc in Applied Mathematics. He took a PGCE in June 1982 and started his teaching career in Regent House - teaching Maths in 1982 before coming to Strathearn in 1989 as Head of Maths. The then Board of Governors appointed David as Principal in 1997. Since then, David has overseen the education and development of nearly 15,000 girls! David has opened doors and provided so many life opportunities for all our pupils, past and present. And, of course, three of those girls were his own daughters – what a testimony to the quality of the educational experience provided by the staff in Strathearn. The Board of Governors has supported David’s clear aim to provide excellence in education, and to create an environment in which each girl’s potential is recognised and valued so that she can achieve her best in all areas of life. David is also recognised as an authority in the wider field of education, and we know that he has quietly and diligently provided advice and guidance to many


prize night colleagues on areas such as the curriculum and the implementation of Department of Education circulars. David also provided advice to the AQE and is an Associate Assessor with the Inspectorate. David has worked with six Chairs of the Board of Governors, which is no small undertaking. At this point Mrs Stewart invited Wallace Forde, a former Chairman of the Board of Governors, to pay tribute to David’s contribution. David, we will be sorry to see you leave Strathearn. But when you leave at the end of December, you will do so in the very privileged position of knowing what a positive impact you have had on so many lives. Before I finish I would like to thank all the staff for their outstanding contribution and commitment to school. Every year is so busy and productive and this year has been no different – thank you. Can I also thank my colleague Governors who continue so willingly to give of their time and expertise. Sadly one of our former Governors, Professor Ken Bell, died this year and we send our deepest sympathy to his family. On a more joyous note we offer our congratulations to one of our current Governors, Lynsey Mallon, who gave birth to a baby girl in May. And on that happy note I hope you will enjoy the rest of the evening. Thank you. Mr Manning then began his report of the school year.


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. Over half of the year group achieved grades A or A* in at least 5 of their subjects. 57% of the grades awarded were at A or A*, and it is particularly pleasing to note that, again, over 1 out of every 5 grades in Strathearn is at the top A* grade. 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. 17 pupils achieved 8 GCSEs at grades A or A*. Those girls are: Katrina Kerr, Catherine Reid, Ellen Gilpin, Jenni Noble, Emma Ferguson, Lauryn Todd,  Alice Graham,  Abigail Acheson, Iona Lindsay, Nichola Kelly, Darcy Shanks, Beth Crosbie,  Jennifer McLeod, Rachael Geddes, Sophie Anderson, Megan Chambers and Eve Truesdale. Another 17 girls achieved straight As in at least 9 subjects. First, those 5 girls who achieved 9 As with up to 4 at the top A* grade. Eden Lamb, Katie Megarry, Claire Hunter, Jessica Leeman and Saskia McMinn. Amy Anderson and Alanna McHugh achieved 4 As and 5 A* grades. Abbie McDougall, Jill Carson and Katie Caldwell are to be highly commended for having achieved 3 As and 6 A*s. Well done to Ella Reid for achieving 2 As and 7 A*s, and Shannon Montgomery should be delighted with having achieved a splendid 1 A and 8 A*s. In addition to all this brilliant achievement, 5 girls this year are being awarded with our top prize, having achieved at least 9 A* grades in their GCSE subjects. Those girls are: Katy Skillen, Sophie King, Emily Buchanan, Bethany Craig and Emily Leitch, who achieved A* grades in all her subjects. I am also delighted to announce that two pupils have been placed in the top three positions in NI in the CCEA examinations. Ella Reid came joint third in GCSE French and Naomi-Jean Wylie came joint second in GCSE German. Particular praise goes to these girls and to their teachers for such exceptional achievement. 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 108 pupils (94%) achieved at least one grade A or B, and 77% achieved at least three 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 24 girls who have achieved this top level of performance, with 9 pupils gaining 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.

adam Chairman, Dr Brown, ladies and gentlemen, girls. It gives me great pleasure to add my welcome to you all on this very special occasion. This will be my twentieth and final Prize Day speech at Strathearn, and thank you Rachel, Mrs Stewart and Mr Forde for your very kind words. And yes, Rachel – I will miss my Maths classes; getting you to spot 3, 4, 5 triangles, to think through all those hard sums and, most importantly, to keep me informed about what is really happening in Strathearn! It is also the last opportunity I have to fulfil my wish to have Judy back to speak to us at Prize Night. Judy has been interviewed on this platform twice before. The first time was in 2000 when as a third former, Judy had won the Joyce Craig Cup for Best Speaker in the all-Ireland final of the girls’ U15 Public Speaking Competition. In 2004 she was back again, having successfully applied for a place on a trip to Chicago which was organised by the Belfast Rotary Club to look at the theme of conflict resolution. Seeds were obviously sown then for what would eventually be Judy’s career, and that shows the importance of education beyond the classroom. On that last occasion I said that one day,  Judy, you would be back as our guest speaker. Thank you for honouring us in this way. Tonight we are here to celebrate the successes of the Strathearn community, to rejoice at the academic and many other opportunities available within the school, and to reward individual successes. Welcome to the girls and families who are here for the first time, and welcome back to those whose consistent performances ensure they are Bethany Craig, Emily Buchanan, Emily Leitch, Sophie King and Katy Skillen who achieved at here frequently. Year prizes in Forms 1 to least 9 A* grades in their GCSE subjects 4 are given to the top 15 girls in each year group based on their performance in all subjects in the summer examinations, and Special Mention certificates go to the next 10 girls in the year group. All the girls within Strathearn are very able, as is demonstrated by their achievement in public examinations, so especially well done to those who are in the top 25 girls of your year. We recognise your hard work and abilities, and that of those who are being awarded other Individual Cups and Trophies. Well done. I am particularly delighted to welcome the families of our L6 pupils so that we can celebrate together the achievement of each of the girls in their GCSE examinations. You are especially welcome and I do hope all our


prize night

Sophie Downey, GCSE At A-level, against the NI figure of 11.2% for girls in Grammar Schools, Strathearn girls achieved a super 14.7% grade A*, and for the third successive year, over half the grades achieved were A or A*, which is also significantly better than the NI figure for girls in Grammar Schools (both co-ed and all-girls). This year 86% of the year group achieved at least three grades A* to C, and over a quarter of the year achieved 3 straight As or better. Dakota Armour, Amy Dutton, Hannah Eakin, Rebekah Kenny, Sophie Martin, Katie McMurran and Emily Whiteside each achieved 4 grade As or better. Congratulations to Amy, Sophie and Emily who were together top of the year with 3A*s and 1A grade – it is quite a while since we have had so many girls achieve such top results. I am also delighted to report that Sophie Martin, Rosalind Skillen and Anna Warden have all been successful in securing places at Cambridge; Sophie and Rosalind to read Modern and Medieval Languages, and Anna to read History. As at GCSE, we have 3 pupils who were placed in the top 3 positions in NI in the CCEA examinations. Nina Graham was placed first in NI in A-level Religious Studies, Susanna Griffin placed first in NI in A-level Music, and Sophie Martin came third in both French and German. It really has been a great year with so many girls being placed top in the CCEA NI examinations. I am delighted to congratulate all these girls and their teachers on such outstanding achievement. In your Prize Night booklet you will see the full list of the prizes awarded at our Prize Distribution held in early September, and a list of the courses on which each of them are embarking. All the girls here tonight deserve great praise, and parents, your interest, support and even that essential taxiing service have all contributed to the success we celebrate this evening. I hope you are proud of your daughter’s achievements, whether she is in Form 2 to U6. On behalf of the girls and the staff of Strathearn, I say thank you to the mums and dads for their support and encouragement. That support and encouragement allows you to be here tonight basking with us in much reflected glory. I have given due praise to our pupils, and they deserve it, but it is my pleasure to also give credit to all the hard work, dedication


and support for the girls from the staff at Strathearn. Tonight I am delighted to express my, and our, thanks to them for the work they put in to make this such a great school. The results we celebrate were achieved under their direction and careful words of encouragement. The members of staff have a pivotal role in this through their knowledge, skills, personalities and most importantly relationships with the pupils and one another. In the context of ever-changing specifications and assessments, new technologies and more complex pastoral issues, Heads of Department and teaching staff have worked diligently to make learning accessible and their care relevant and appropriate for each girl. I am also delighted to acknowledge all the work done by our great team of support staff. Their daily assistance and contributions are essential to securing the high standard of provision we offer our pupils. Any school’s number one resource is its staff. I am really proud of the staff of Strathearn and what they do and achieve each day. On this occasion I would ask you to join me in showing our appreciation for their work. I also record my thanks to the Principals and staff of neighbouring schools who, over recent years, have played an increasingly significant part in the education we provide in Strathearn. Pupils in the Sixth Form move between Strathearn, Bloomfield and Campbell, and this year, stronger relationships have been forged with the two Ashfield schools. At Open Morning I have always celebrated the quality of education offered in this area. Where else within such a short distance do you encounter such recognised excellence in schools? Over this last year we have said goodbye to a number of staff who have made a very significant contribution to Strathearn. Mrs Collins joined us in 2008 having worked in a new school in England, and was thus well prepared for setting up our new library. She created a very welcoming environment so that, with her large team of pupil librarians, the library was always packed at break and lunch. We wish her well as she takes up the post of librarian at the Belfast Bible College. Mrs Ruth Manning, a past pupil of Strathearn, began her teaching career in Regent House as a Physics teacher. After subbing in primary schools for a time, she joined Penrhyn sixteen years ago as part-time teacher of P4. She loved the classroom, and her specialisms included Maths and ICT. She also introduced the girls

prize night

Emily Buchanan, GCSE to needle craft and ‘joined-up’ writing. As an accomplished pianist, Ruth contributed much to the music in Penrhyn, but she surprised many the first time she accompanied the performance of Joseph on a set of drums – an unexpected instrument for Ruth. Mrs Harvey, like Mrs Manning, was also a past pupil of Strathearn and also a part-time teacher for sixteen years in the Preparatory and Secondary departments. A very talented sportswoman in her own right, Margaret loved coaching young people. She took teams and individuals to that same high level because of her expertise and ability to spot and hone raw talent. Hockey and athletics were her particular interests, but she was a most willing member of staff who helped out with whatever needed doing. We wish Margaret well in her retirement and I am sure we will see her in the years to come supporting Strathearn from the side-lines. Mrs Stevenson joined Penrhyn twenty-three years ago and taught different year groups in Key Stage 2, as well as coordinating Science and then latterly The World Around Us. A very hard worker, Sue took all her responsibilities most seriously and she developed many resources for her pupils - organising a variety of trips to make learning come alive. She embraced new technology and her pupils got lots of opportunities to make things. Outside of class she ran the cooking club, baked for countless Penrhyn occasions and assisted back stage with the Penrhyn shows. We wish Sue well in her retirement and as she enjoys her remodelled kitchen. Mrs Toal was appointed in 1984 as the first teacher of Computer Science and Mathematics before being promoted to Head of Computing in 1987. Later she went part-time to concentrate on her family. As a member of the Department, I worked closely with Stephanie on Mathematics, and also as she developed the first computer network in the school. Her pupils appreciated the care and attention she gave them, the thoroughness of her notes, and they held her in extremely high esteem. We miss her thoughtfulness and wish her well as she considers different opportunities. This time last year, I paid tribute to Mrs Nicola Connery who, after nearly eight years, left us to take up the position of Principal at Wellington College. Tonight I am delighted to record a formal welcome back. I know she is rightly proud of having been given the opportunity to lead this school forward, and that she is determined to uphold our ethos and high standards. I really do wish her well. I have been on the Board of Governors for 23 years and have had the privilege of working with many governors over this time. Strathearn has always been blessed with a most committed and dedicated group of governors. We are most fortunate to have individuals, from a variety of professional backgrounds, who give so freely of their time and expertise. Only a few of us are able to see all they do - they prefer working in the background, but please take


my word for it, their dedication to this school has ensured that we have had the staff and facilities to succeed. At the very least, every one of us staff owe our livelihood to them – after all, they appointed us! On behalf of us all, pupils, parents and staff, I thank them for the time they put into this role, and the interest, dedication and vision they show in exercising their responsibilities. I particularly want to acknowledge the support, guidance and direction I have received from the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Board and by the committees over that time. In shaping the direction of Strathearn, you also shaped the direction of my leadership. I thank you. 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. There were the ever-popular discos, another table quiz and the Penrhyn Fete. Thank you to the parents who organise all these events and who, by their presence, make them such successful experiences. Last year we received cheques totalling a fantastic £7,500 for the Secondary and Preparatory Departments. In the Secondary Department we purchased the Accelerated Reader Scheme. Through this, we want to expand the range and challenge of the books our pupils read, thereby improving their learning and reading for understanding. We have also been storing away money provided by the Parents’ Association to allow for the expansion of our iPad and Chromebooks in future years. Thank you to all who have supported the School and Association to raise such vital sums of money. As in previous years, I will highlight just a few of the areas from this past year beginning with music, sport and drama. There are many opportunities in this school to be involved in music, both inside and beyond the classroom. With a Chamber Choir of 25 girls, a Senior Choir of 90, and a Junior Choir of 115 pupils, singing remains a vital and enjoyable part of Strathearn.  At our Autumn and Spring Concerts, our Carol Service and other events during the year, the 55 strong Orchestra and 15 girls of the Traditional Group, along with choirs and soloists, have done so much to enrich our experience of school life. Over the years we have watched with pleasure the growth of music in the school and packed-out events are a testament to the standard of the music. For the third successive year the Chamber Choir has gained external recognition. Last year they competed in the Open Competition of the Bangor International Choral Festival against many experienced adult choirs, and came away with first prize and a cheque for £1000. 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 consummate style. My thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make it such a successful year for music in Strathearn.

prize night Sport has always been strong in Strathearn and I think it is great that we can say that we have the best sporting facilities of any school in Belfast and we have proportionally one of the highest uptakes of sport in any school in Northern Ireland. That is down to the great staff, the super facilities, the infectious enthusiasm of our pupils and supportive parents. Mr Manning then invited Kate Farrelly on to the stage to talk about her duties as this year’s Games Captain. Kate is a pupil in Upper Sixth. She went to Gilnahirk Primary School and is currently studying A-levels in Biology, Further Maths and Physics. Next year she hopes to go to university to study Biomedical Engineering. Kate explained that she is the goalkeeper for our 1st XI Hockey Team, and does athletics both inside and outside school. Kate explained that she trains three times a week with hockey, and has a match on Saturday mornings. She also trains four times a week at the Mary Peters Track, and goes go to the fitness suite in school once a week. Kate spoke about how she enjoys the feeling of being part of a team and how sport provides a break from school work.  Drama continues to bring great fulfilment and enjoyment to many pupils in Strathearn. Our tradition of the House Plays has continued through the years, even when we were without a stage during the building works. In more recent years, there has been a new tradition of joint drama productions between Strathearn and Campbell College, with Campbell staging a spectacular production of Joseph last December. This was followed shortly afterwards by our own production of Daisy Pulls it Off. The presence the girls commanded on stage, in this very tightly-written script with rapid humour, was spell-binding. Then at the end of the year it was the turn of the juniors as they staged the very popular Disney version of The Little Mermaid. This all-singing, all-dancing production was an absolute delight. The House Plays and all these productions 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 all the Drama productions over this last year. Each year the staff lead day excursions and trips further afield, and Form 3 have, for some years, visited the Somme Centre at Conlig to bring their study of World War 1 to life. In this Centenary Year, senior pupils joined those from neighbouring schools at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, to debate the significance and legacy of the battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising. Then the History and Languages Departments organised a trip to Belgium and France to take in the reality of Flanders Fields. Mr Manning then invited Katherine Hunter on to the stage to talk about this trip. Katherine is in 4R and went to Comber Primary School. She explained that the class had been learning about the causes of the First World War, but also about the daily experiences of individual soldiers. Katherine spoke about how the trip gave the girls the chance to find out more about their ancestors, and even where they were buried. A

memorable moment for Katherine was seeing the difference between the British cemeteries and the German cemetery at Langemark. The British were given many sites for cemeteries after the war, so each solider whose body was found had his own grave with its own head stone.  The German soldiers, however, did not get as many graves so they had to put at least six bodies in each one.  The girls were also able to see some of their ancestors’ names on the memorials. When Katherine was at Thiepval, where her great-great-great uncle was buried, she was able to see the reconstructed trenches. She spoke about how she was able to picture how her uncle would have felt living in the small, cramped conditions where diseases would have spread easily and flooding would have occurred frequently.  The girls also presented a plaque to the Ulster Tower. Katherine explained how the highlight of her visit was the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. There is a commemoration ceremony there every night at 8pm. Before and after these ceremonies, the Last Post is played. Strathearn was able to get involved by laying a wreath on behalf of our school, to show our respect towards the men who fought in World War One. Mr Manning thanked Katherine and resumed his speech. In Form 1, the pupils study something of the history of Strathearn. I want to thank past pupil, Rae McGookin, and former Strathearn teacher, Maureen Dibble, for producing a history of Strathearn. Their work in trawling through records and interviewing past pupils and staff has been invaluable. Very soon we will be launching that history as a timeline on our school website. My thanks to them. Happiness at school is more than academic success.  As parents, we know that all the grade A*s in the world cannot make up for a bad experience. I was delighted, therefore, that in the recent Kirkland Rowell Survey, the pupils rated the community spirit in Strathearn very highly. I have always been struck with how the older girls really do look after the younger ones. Quality relationships which inspire learning are at the heart of a good school. I often meet with past pupils and I am always delighted that they still talk about their experiences of the Strathearn community with great affection. I have had the privilege and honour of being part of this great school for 27 years. Over this time I have watched countless girls, including my own three daughters, receive a first class and very full education. I hand over the responsibility of Principal, but, as I said in my first report in 1997, schools are more than the Principal. They are the community of adults and young people who, through strong relationships, enjoy working together and are committed to the good of each other. There is nothing as exciting as supporting or belonging to a winning team. Strathearn is such a winning team and, whatever the future brings, I am convinced that our pupils will continue to succeed. Madam Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to conclude my report of another great year for Strathearn School.

Anna Haslett, GCSE 17

special event


Mr Manning’s Retirement

dinner was held on Thursday 1 December 2016 in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, to mark the retirement of David Manning after nineteen years as Principal of Strathearn School. The event was attended by current members of the Board of Governors, along with Mr Manning’s family. The guests enjoyed a tour of the buildings which was followed by dinner and speeches. The evening concluded with a presentation from the Governors to Mr Manning (photo page 3).

Current and former staff of the school attended a function at the City Hall on 20 December to mark Mr Manning’s retirement.  An excellent Christmas dinner was served, and this was followed by speeches from Mrs Myers and Mr Manning himself. There were also some special surprises for the departing Principal, when the Miskelly Chorale performed some of his favourite pieces, and when he was presented with a highly original piece of artwork created by the renowned local artist, Keith Drury. Mrs White organised this memorable evening, and all of the guests agreed that it was a fitting way to pay tribute to Mr Manning. On the last day of the Christmas term, the pupils and staff of Strathearn gathered in the Sports Hall to bid a final farewell to Mr Manning. The Chamber Choir sang beautifully, and our Head Girl, Rachel Cowan, presented Mr Manning with a number of commemorative gifts, including a short film with tributes from pupils and staff. Mr Manning himself then spoke about his time at the school, emphasising his view that successful education is based on caring relationships. Whilst it is certainly the case that one aspect of his legacy is our excellent new school, Mr Manning used this speech to focus on the idea that a school is more than just a building; it is a community of people who care for each other. The genuine affection felt by the pupils and staff for Mr Manning was very clear throughout the entire event. There was a mood of sadness as we said our goodbyes, but this special assembly also allowed us to celebrate Mr Manning’s enormous contribution to the Strathearn community. We wish him well for his retirement.

Function at the City Hall:  Alison White, David Manning, Ruth Manning

On 5 April, representatives from Strathearn’s pupils, governors and staff attended the official opening of Manning Hall, an event which included musical items from the Chamber Choir, a presentation from the Head Girl, Rachel Cowan, and an address from the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mrs Patricia Stewart. Mr Manning himself then spoke to the assembled guests about the great honour he felt on the occasion, before the unveiling of the commemorative plaque.

Prize Night: Chair of the Board of Governors, Mrs Stewart, Mr Manning and Guest Speaker,  Dr Judy Brown

Mr Manning’s Last Assembly, 21 December, 2016

The Official Opening of Manning Hall, 5 April, 2017: Kerry Hepworth, Sarah Brown, Rachel Henry, Rachel Cowan, Mr Manning,  Amy Darragh, Shannon Montgomery


clubs, events & societies


Spanish Debate

n 4 March, a team from Strathearn took part in the Northern Ireland A-level Spanish Debate, which was held in Queen’s University Belfast. We were arguing against the motion, ‘This house believes that social media only encourages school bullying’. This was a challenging topic on which to debate in a foreign language. Our team focused on the word ‘only’ and, all in all, we performed well against very strong opposition. Finally, in front of the microphone in a packed hall, we were able to control our nerves and deliver our speeches reacting spontaneously in Spanish to points raised by the opposing team. It was interesting to listen to candidates of such a high calibre throughout the day, and it definitely helped to improve our accents and language. We found the experience extremely beneficial in improving our debating skills, as well as challenging us to write a speech with such difficult content and extreme accuracy. However, the best part for us was getting the opportunity to take our Spanish out of the classroom and into a real life environment. Grace Deeny, U6T & Sarah Brown, U6S



n 7 February, we gathered at the school lay-by to begin the first leg of our journey to Valdepeñas. Our flight was early on Wednesday morning, so we stayed overnight in Dublin. We boarded our flight to Madrid at 6.30am and we were finally on our way! When we arrived in Madrid we took a walking tour of the city and ended up in the beautiful Parque del Buen Retiro.  After a fascinating guided tour around the Prado Museum, viewing the work of many influential Spanish artists such as Goya, we received some well-deserved shopping time. Later that night we arrived in Valdepeñas and were warmly welcomed by our host families. On our first day in Valdepeñas, we went to the local school where we enjoyed listening to a number of interesting presentations about the area which were given by the pupils. After sharing our own presentations in Spanish about Northern Ireland, we joined in on some of their classroom activities. It was exciting for all of us to speak to the pupils in Spanish and find out about school life in Spain. We had free time with our families in the afternoon, and then visited a museum where we learnt more about the history of the town. It was a great day and we were able to pick up a lot of new vocabulary from our conversations with the pupils. On Friday, we went to an archaeological site just outside Valdepeñas where we enjoyed learning some more history about the region through interactive activities in the museum. On Saturday, we travelled to Granada and visited the Alhambra Palace. We were all amazed by the beautiful architecture and detailed design. We experienced a lot of firsts on this day: our first time in Granada, our first time trying churros, and our first time playing Spanish games on the bus with the pupils! Our final day was particularly special as we got the opportunity to spend the whole day with our host family. After visiting a churrería for breakfast, the family took us to the Angel of Valdepeñas which overlooks the town. Our last meal together was a typical Andalucian dish followed by an Oreo pie! It was a great way to finish our time with our host family. Our time in Spain was eye-opening and we appreciated the authentic Spanish experience with our host families. However, the late meals were definitely a culture shock and a few of us nearly fell asleep at the dinner table! We would like to thank our host families and the primary school children for enhancing our experience. We also extend our thanks to Mrs Agnew and Miss Minihan for accompanying us and making this fantastic trip possible. Sophie King and Katrina Kerr, L6H


clubs, events & societies


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

ronze, Silver and Gold participants have been working hard all year, training in First Aid and Map Skills and planning their expeditions for the Summer. Every DofE participant has also undertaken weekly Volunteering, Physical and Skills activities throughout the year. Volunteering activities include helping with Brownies, GB, BB, youth clubs and junior sports and dance teams. Some girls work in charity shops, churches, animal shelters, environmental projects and help local charities with fundraising. Over 3,000 hours of voluntary work are completed by Strathearn DofE participants every year. Expedition training for all groups started at Easter. Good luck to all our hill-walkers and canoeists as they explore the mountains and waterways around Northern Ireland. Let’s hope for good weather and sunshine for all!


Mock Trial Team

upils from Forms 2 and 3 have worked hard this year, having formed a Mock Trial Team for the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial competition. In February, the team toured Dungannon Courthouse and were able to ask the court staff questions about legal procedures and matters of etiquette.

It was competition day on Saturday 11 March, and five schools competed in the Northern Ireland heat of the Citizenship Foundation’s competition. The girls took turns at prosecuting and defending a burglary case. Each trial ran in front of a real judge in a real courtroom. Students took on roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff. Teams even brought court artists and court reporters. There was a great atmosphere in court. Strathearn’s Defence Team competed against the Prosecution Team from St Dominic’s, and then ran the prosecution against Foyle College’s Defence Team. In both trials the defendant was found guilty. Ellie Massey, 2S, adopted the role of the defendant and was handed a six-month-long custodial sentence! Ella Rook, 3T, made an excellent witness, and Andra Vladu, 2S, acted as usher, keeping the proceedings in order. The two judging Magistrates commended Darcey Jamison, 3T, our first prosecution lawyer, who spoke with great confidence and argued her case succinctly. Strathearn won the competition, and will keep the Northern Ireland Trophy for the year, which was collected by lead Magistrate, Sarah McIvor, 3T.  As winners of the Northern Ireland heat, our pupils earned a place in the national final in England in June. Participation in this competition enhanced the pupils’ understanding of the law and helped to develop their confidence at forming arguments and speaking in public. The pupils really enjoyed the collegial atmosphere of healthy competition and meeting a wide range of pupils from other Mock Trial Success - Strathearn Team won the schools. Northern Ireland Trophy Dr Haire


Creative Writing

upils at Strathearn have been putting their pens and keyboards to work. A number of students from the junior school entered BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition. Congratulations to Amy Major, 2T, who will be competing in the forthcoming final. Emma Beattie and Laura Gooding, both L6H, and Emma Ferguson, L6A, submitted work to the National Flash Fiction Youth Competition, a UK-wide contest, and Emma also offered her poem, ‘Song of the Stonemason’, to the 2017 Tower Poetry Competition. Participation in these external competitions is an important chance for pupils to develop their own voice as they write prose and poetry. Dr Haire


clubs, events & societies Library


his was another busy year in the life of the library at Strathearn. The Library Team, made up of volunteers from Form 1 pupils all the way through to U6 girls, did an excellent job of keeping the library working smoothly all year, shelving books, processing new stock and running the library loans desk.  Junior English classes enjoyed their regular scheduled library periods, taking time to browse the books and borrow from the collection. Other classes visited the library for special research projects on a range of diverse subjects. The library ran a programme of lively events during the year. In November, Strathearn welcomed the Scholastic Book Fair. Students had the chance to win vouchers to spend at the fair, by designing their own book covers for their favourite stories, writing a short story and guessing the names of some literary character just by looking at their silhouettes. Members of the Library Committee and the Library Team ran a cash desk and raised more than £716 worth of free books for the library. In January, the library hosted a staff coffee morning, catered by members of the Library Team. This raised £250, which was enough to purchase two donkey-drawn libraries for communities in Africa without access to a public library. In February, pupils in Form 3 had the chance to meet local author, Jan Carson, who came to school to discuss reading and writing. She conducted a workshop with the pupils, who were all given postcards upon which to write their own micro-fiction stories. Read All About It Competition: Presentation of a cheque for £2,400 Olivia Knox’s piece, ‘Rain’ was a great example of how a small for the Cancer Fund for Children number of words can make a big impact on the reader. The beginning of March saw Strathearn join in the global event that is World Book Day. Staff vied to be voted the school’s most Extreme Reader by pupils who came to see the special display in the library. Pupils entered the Read All About It Competition, which had them guess book titles from newspaper-style headlines. Students in Forms 1 to 3 managed to raise more than £2400 for the Cancer Fund for Children by undertaking a sponsored read. The Book Club was well attended throughout the year, and gave pupils the chance to chat about reading and the opportunity to shadow the CBI Book of the Year Award which is made annually in May. The atmosphere at the Book Club was always a warm one, and it was great to have students from across the school get to know each other over a shared love of reading. Pupils in Forms 1 and 2 participated in the Accelerated Reader Programme, which monitors reading practice by allowing pupils to quiz themselves after they have read a book. Pupils were able to put a star on the Wall of Fame in the library when they scored 80% or more in a quiz, and prize winners were selected from a regular draw of these stars. Each class was also working to read the most books during the year, to win a mystery prize in June. Kids’ Lit Quiz Six pupils from Forms 1 and 2 participated in the Northern Ireland Heat of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, which was held at Wellington College on 29 November.  Amy Major, 2T, Sophie Thomas and Zara Conroy, both1H and Cerys McMurray, 1T, made up the team, which was admirably supported by reserves Victoria Murray, 1T and Julia Rawson, 2T. The girls tested their knowledge of children’s literature through topics as diverse as ‘Cutlery’ and ‘Rodents’. The team scored top marks in three rounds and each member took home a book as a prize for their success in the ‘Furniture’ round. Despite maintaining a steady third position for most of the competition, the team finished seventh out of twenty-three teams after the final two tricky sets of questions. The pupils had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, which truly celebrated a love of literature. Dr Haire


Public Speaking

iriam Parker, L6R, Grace McAllister, 5A, Tavisha Sood and Emma Ferguson, both L6A, spoke to an assembled audience of Soroptimist International members and a panel of judges in Bangor, at the local heat of the Soroptimist International Public Speaking Competition in November.  Miriam discussed the relationship between population growth and environmental sustainability and Grace spoke about whether living to 100 was a good or a bad thing. Freedom of the press was Emma’s topic and Tavisha considered the limits of individual rights. Each spoke with poise and confidence, and there was a great supportive atmosphere among competitors from different schools. The chief adjudicator commended the high standard achieved by all the participants, but it was our own Tavisha who emerged victorious. In February, Tavisha represented Strathearn at the Northern Ireland final. She spoke articulately again on her chosen topic of human rights, and was praised by the judges for her solid research skills and well-structured talk. Tavisha was given five minutes to prepare an extempore speech and spoke with confidence and poise about the idea of ‘challenge’. The judges had an incredibly tough job selecting the winners.  Although Tavisha was not placed, she received a certificate and a goody bag as a prize for reaching the final. Dr Haire Photo - Right:  Tavisha Sood, L6A


clubs, events & societies



e arrived in Rome on the morning of 5 April. After checking in to our hotel, Mr Anderson took us for our first taste of Italian pizza; it was the best pizza I have ever tasted! We then set off for our first official sightseeing visit – the Colosseum. It was amazing to be able to look around such an ancient and famous gladiatorial arena. We had an early start to our second day, when we visited the Vatican City. For me the highlight was the Sistine Chapel, which was designed and built over five hundred years ago. After lunch, we visited the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and did some shopping. Later that afternoon we headed north to Assisi, arriving in the early evening. After dinner we were encouraged to walk up a steep hill to be rewarded with great views (and even more delicious gelato). On day three, we appreciated a short ‘lie-in’ before a relaxed day exploring Assisi. After lunch we visited San Damiano, where we met a monk originally from Lurgan! A short bus journey took us to where St Francis died, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. After relaxing, we had dinner and watched the start of the Easter Parade, in which local people follow the friars around the city. The following day, we went to Florence, to see the Ponte Vecchio and the famous and fabulous Uffizi Art Gallery. On the fifth day, we visited San Gimignano and Siena, hill-top Tuscan towns which were beautiful. In Siena I climbed the bell tower with Eve, Sarah, Ella and Charlotte. We were rewarded with outstanding views of the surrounding countryside and towns. We left our hotel early on on our last day. While waiting to board the plane, some of us played the grand piano sitting in the middle of the departure lounge. On landing in Dublin, the pilot allowed us to see into the cockpit which was very exciting! As we stepped outside we all noticed the twenty degree drop in temperature! We had a wonderful time. Thank you to all the teachers, led by Mr Anderson. If you have the opportunity to go on this trip – go! Sorcha Corbett, 3S



hen we arrived in Bilbao, in the late afternoon of 22 October, we visited the Guggenheim art museum. It was very interesting.  The architecture was incredible and the art work inside was spectacular- it was a great start to the trip.  Then we got a coach to our hotel in Santander and went to get some sleep to prepare for our Spanish classes the next morning. During our trip we visited the Cabárceno Wildlife Park which was amazing. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the park was surrounded by rocky hills and lots of trees and plants. On the same day, in the evening, we visited the Old Town of Santillana del Mar which was very quaint and pretty.  There was an impressive church, old-fashioned houses and cobbled streets.  There was also an ice cream shop with delicious ice cream! One of the highlights of the trip was the salsa dancing and ‘hip-hop’ classes. To get there we had to walk up lots of steep steps (or catch the funicular) in the heat, with the sun beating down on us. It was worth it, because the view from the top was stunning. Once we arrived at the dance studio, the lessons began and it was so much fun, despite the fact that it was so warm. We then got some chocolate con churros which were “ muy delicioso”. We finished off that day with a shopping trip. On another day we went on a walking tour of Santander.  The sun was shining and the town was beautiful.  We also had a quick visit to the Maritime museum and got to see lots of fish in the aquarium. To finish off that day we had a tapas making competition in a restaurant where we also learnt a lot about how a professional restaurant works. During the tapas making competition we had to try and make a creative and unique tapa; things got quite competitive! It was really great fun. On our final day we had our last lessons, and then it was time to leave Santander to head home.  We were all very sad to leave as it was an incredible trip and it was so much fun.  We all made lots of new friends and memories, and are very grateful for the experience. Thank you very much to Mrs Eakin, Mrs Muldrew, Mrs Agnew and Ms Murphy for bringing us on this wonderful trip! Kaitlyn Smith, 4A


clubs, events & societies


Minneapolis/St Paul Trip

or some years now, Strathearn School has had a very successful student exchange programme with Cretin-Derham High School in the state of Minnesota, USA. During the half-term break, a group of sixteen pupils had the opportunity to travel to America, where they stayed with individual host families who have daughters of the same age. The trip began with an early Friday morning rendezvous at the school lay-by, where we boarded the coach which took us to Dublin airport. The flight from Dublin to Chicago was on time, but the connecting flight to Minneapolis was slightly delayed. This, however, did not hinder us in any way, as we were preoccupied with excitement about meeting our hosts. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and getting to know each of the families we were staying with. Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to make us all feel very welcome. On Monday morning, we were taken on a tour around the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, where we had a chance to see all the local sights. During that evening, each of the hosts took us to a Halloween party with other local families. On Tuesday, we visited the Mall of America, famous for having 520 shops under the one roof. Everyone had hours of shopping bliss. It also had an inside theme park and aquarium! Wednesday was spent at the school, where our group had the benefit of experiencing school life by attending classes. We went to the Minnesota Science Museum on Thursday. There was so much to see and learn, and it also included an interesting IMAX experience. On Friday, we had another shopping trip to the outlet stores, giving us a chance to spend any remaining dollars.  This was the last evening with our host families, and it was time to pack up and get ready to return to the UK. The next morning, after our final farewells, we made our way to the airport for the long journey home.  Although we were sorry to go, we were looking forward to sharing our fond memories of Minnesota with our friends. It was a super trip, and I would personally recommend the exchange programme to other pupils. Lauryn Todd, L6S



pon arrival in Berlin, the surprisingly warm weather brought smiles all round. Some even questioned whether we were in Berlin or the Sahara! Our first visit was to the TV Tower.  At 368 metres tall, the tower was an intimidating sight. Fortunately for our weary limbs, we used the lift to reach the café at the top. What a treat this was, whilst experiencing the revolving restaurant that gave us a 360 degree view of Berlin. By stark contrast, our next stop was the Stasi Prison, where the East German Communist State used psychological and physical torture on its own people. It was a unique and disturbing experience. The eeriness of the prison made us thankful that we were not alive in Berlin during USSR occupation. Another thought-provoking and very moving visit was to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The haunting and deathly silence of the camp seemed to reflect the terrible suffering that had taken place there. Hardly anyone left dry-eyed. We also visited Checkpoint Charlie, and were able to purchase pieces of the Berlin Wall. In Potsdam and Cecilienhof, we had the chance to visit the place where Churchill,  Truman and Stalin once sat, when they made their plans to “carve up” Europe and Germany. Although the days were jammed with activities and long walks, we all managed to survive on a diet of coffee and bratwursts which the German students helped us order. On the final day we were told the heartbreaking news that our trip to the zoo had been cancelled and replaced with shopping. Somehow everyone managed to overcome their grief and rapidly dispersed into the variety of shops on Kurfurstendamm, one of the most famous streets in the world. Many of us found ourselves rationing our food intake in order to have enough Euros to pay for the copious amount of items we wanted to buy! Finally we visited The Story of Berlin Museum, which educated us on the birth and history of the city Berlin in unique and innovative ways. It was with heavy hearts that we boarded our flight back home. The Berlin trip was a brilliant experience. Seeing the places we studied in History really brought them to life, and helped us to gain a far better understanding of our course. We are all very grateful to Mr Bradley and the rest of the staff who accompanied us on this wonderful trip. Molly Longstaff, 5A


clubs, events & societies



his year began with the UCAS Parents’ Information Evening on 1 September, which gave parents the opportunity to learn more about the UCAS application process. Parents also heard about the careers programmes for Forms 4 to U6 at other Information Evenings in September. All U6 pupils attended the Queen’s Open Day and the Methodist College Options XXIV careers event which allowed our girls to get many last-minute questions answered before submitting their UCAS forms. Several pupils attended the Ulster University Open Days at Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee. We welcomed a range of speakers during this part of the autumn term. PwC staff talked to our girls about their programmes for school leavers and graduates, and the RAF talked to girls from Form 5 upwards, about the fifty different career opportunities within their area of the armed forces. Representatives from the University of Dundee and Lancaster University talked to U6 and L6 pupils about courses and opportunities at those institutions. Lecturers from Stranmillis University College and Queen’s School of Nursing & Midwifery talked to girls in the senior school about teaching and nursing/midwifery respectively. We were also delighted to host a presentation by a former pupil who talked to girls from Form 5 upwards about gap years on behalf of an organisation called Project Trust. Form 5 also had talks on law, medicine and engineering all delivered by former pupils. Careers guidance interviews got underway for this year group and finished in February. These were conducted by Jill Lemon, our careers adviser from the Department of the Economy. Mrs Hearst delivered a series of sessions providing advice on personal statements for particular university courses, and after half-term she talked to all U6 about interview preparation to get the girls ready for the Mock Interview Evening on 22 November. Applicants for Oxford and Cambridge had additional interviews, and Mrs Hearst ran interview workshops for medical, dental, nursing and teacher training applicants throughout November, December and January as interviews are required for selection onto those university courses.  Any pupil may have a practice interview with Mrs Hearst at any time throughout the school year. Our girls continued to attend careers events outside school throughout the rest of the year. Ms Wallace took five girls from Form 5 to an open day for girls at Schlumberger’s Belfast site. This STEM event was especially aimed at girls, in an attempt to address the gender imbalance in engineering. Several former pupils returned to school to talk to our girls about life at the University of Cambridge, while other girls, currently studying medicine and dentistry gave useful insights to pupils about their university courses. We also welcomed several speakers to Strathearn. Jill Lemon talked to Form 3 about choosing their GCSE subjects and also to Form 5 pupils about choosing their A-levels. All L6 attended a talk by an IT expert who also outlined job opportunities within this sector in NI. A tutor from Trinity College, Dublin, talked to pupils about that institution, and a representative from the Health & Safety Executive for NI talked to all L6 about keeping safe in the workplace, which is especially important when the girls complete their week of work experience in January. 2017 got underway with L6 going on 5 days’ work experience from sixteen to 20 January. The placements were as varied as usual, including placements at photographic studios, law firms, PR agencies, hospitals, engineering organisations and primary schools. We also welcomed representatives from Southampton, Oxford, Liverpool Hope, the Scottish Universities Tour (consisting of presentations on behalf of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde), Northumbria, Queen’s, Cambridge, Ulster, the Scotland’s Modern Universities Tour (consisting of Robert Gordon University, Abertay Dundee, Queen Margaret, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh Napier and Glasgow Caledonian), Liverpool John Moores and SERC. We also had a talk from an ambassador from Harvard University and a question and answer session with one of our U6 girls, Hannah Craig, who has an offer to study there this autumn.

Megan McOuat, AS-level Several girls in L6 attended the Stranmillis Open Day while Form 1 classes had their introductory visits to the Careers Suite. One girl from L6 attended an engineering insight day at Montupet, while another attended a Speech & Language Open Day at Belfast City Hospital. All L6 attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Sprucefield, and pupils interested in applying to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge attended a Student Conference in Lisburn. Other girls went to Engineering and Law Conferences at Methodist College and a Medical Symposium at the MBC at Queen’s. During the latter part of the second term we continued with our programme of guest speakers for Form 5. We welcomed Eunan McConville a journalist and producer from the BBC who talked to the girls about journalism. Steffan Hill spoke to the girls about a career in photography and a newly qualified chartered accountant from EY talked to the girls about working in the financial sector. In addition, a tutor from Queen’s talked to Form 5 about psychology, and a lecturer from Stranmillis gave a presentation on a career in teaching. Members of the Careers Department had one-to-one interviews with Form 3 girls and their parents about their GCSE choices, and there have been additional question and answer sessions in the Careers Suite to clarify any queries or issues. Girls in Form 5 have also had presentations from Mrs Quinn and Mrs Hearst about A-level choices. Mrs Hearst also ran sessions for L6 girls interested in working in a hospital setting, school or those considering a job in social work. She also delivered a presentation on Student Finance to all of U6 so that they are made aware of all the financial implications of going on to higher education. Just before the Easter break, with STEM in mind, Form 3 girls attended a Bring IT On session, in which they learned about opportunities in the IT sector, and Form 1 went to a Robotics Roadshow hosted by Sentinus, in which pupils learned how to programme a toy vehicle. Finally, the Careers Department would like to send its very best wishes to all girls who have taken important exams this summer.


clubs, events & societies


My Work Experience

he focus of the Public Record Office is to preserve and make accessible information about Northern Ireland. It is currently housed in a beautiful building in the Titanic Quarter, with huge windows to allow natural light to flood in.

PRONI certainly throws you in at the deep end. I spent my first day getting to grips with how cataloguing works and the basic concepts of it. The first three days of my work experience were to be spent in Records Management, Cataloguing and Access (RMCAT). I was handed seven boxes of records pertaining to the history of a travelling salesman around ninety minutes after my arrival. My first three days were spent sifting through photos and documents of this man’s personal and business life, and what an exciting life it was! This man had saved every paper possible and it made putting his life together all the easier. Every letter he wrote and received contributed to the narrative of his life. I was fortunate enough that I also had the opportunity to write the descriptions to go alongside the collection. These descriptions will be published on the PRONI catalogue later this year and any user who researches events linked to this man’s life will receive my descriptions as a guide. I also spent one day working in the public services sector of PRONI. Here I got to accompany a tour group around the building, and to respond to email requests about how people could achieve more results on their family history. By day five, I will be honest, I was exhausted. The extra two hours of travel and work every day had taken its toll. My final day was spent in Preservation. This is a wonderland of ICT.  I watched as they took photos which had almost completely faded over time and saw them draw the figure lost to the years out of the photo. It is hard hitting to think that many of these photos are likely to be the only images left of a person. I got to operate book scanning machines myself and answer orders from the public for high quality copies of maps. I left PRONI having learnt that an upbeat and open personality was a prerequisite to working there. Every person appeared to make it their duty to ensure that I felt welcome, from the lovely supervisor who was endlessly facilitating, to the kind staff who let me eat lunch with them. There is such a feeling of community there, so much so that I even had people occasionally dropping by and stopping what they were doing just to ask me how I was finding things. I cannot overstate how much of an impact they all made on me. What did I learn about myself? I suppose I learnt that I have a tendency to get hugely engrossed in the subject matter available to me. I learnt that I can be independent and organised and that I can encourage myself to keep going and persevere. This week allowed me to assess what I thought the role of historical archivist entailed and to learn how wide this field really is. PRONI offers so much to the public which is largely untapped but, by day four, I had signed up to a readers card to allow myself access to the search room in order to research my genealogy and to check on the progress of the collection I had begun. I would return in a heartbeat. Emma Ferguson, L6A


My Work Experience

or my work experience I went to Start360, which is Northern Ireland’s leading provider of support services for young people, adult offenders and families in the community. I had a very busy schedule there and always had something new and different to do. My hours also varied each day because each job within the business had different hours. On the first day I went to Hydebank Prison. Here I got to spend time with social workers, psychologists, probation officers and counsellors. I also spent time with the prisoners themselves. I spent the next day with the Corporate Services Team. I saw how they managed different events and had a lot of responsibility within the business. I also talked with the communication manager who told me about her role. I spent another day listening in on sessions. I sat in on classes taken by the prisoners, and I also talked with many youth workers. I learned a lot at Start360 and had a very beneficial and interesting experience. It was an excellent organisation to have my placement in because I didn’t just see one job type, I saw a range of jobs and saw how they all linked together and worked alongside each other in order to provide help and support to disadvantaged groups in society.

Ellen White, GCSE

Mollie McClure, L6H


clubs, events & societies



he Mathematics Department in the University of Leeds runs competitions each year for schools, and this year pupils from Strathearn entered the Intermediate Maths Challenge. The Intermediate Challenge took place in February.  This competition is aimed at pupils from Forms 4 and 5.  The results were superb. Bronze: Rebekah Spence, Alice Huddleston, Alex Armstrong, Josie Knox, Amy Cooper, Isabella Reihill, Tess McMillen, Jessica Butters, Sophie Williams,Tara Kane, Joanne Allen, Rebekah Mitchell, Aoife Khan, Eva Perrott, Sarah McTaggart, Rebecca Black, Samantha McCormick, Mia Tighe, Erin McConnell, Olivia Creighton and Esther Henry.  Silver: Sophie Dow, Ellie Mackey, April Irvine, Robyn Dunwoody, Tavisha Sood, Bethan Andrews, Georgia Gallen, Philippa Sha, Yuan Chen, Olivia Nelson and Aife Sansom. Gold: Congratulations to Claire Whiteside and Orla Bannister who both received Gold certificates. Claire Whiteside also received certificates for Best in Year and Best in School. This year the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge took place in November. We had a typically large number of participants (52), and also a high number of certificate winners (36). The questions in the Maths Challenge certainly are difficult, especially given that the participants are not allowed to use calculators! All the pupils did well just to make it to the end of the paper. Well done to everyone who took part, but particular congratulations to the following girls. Bronze: Keziah Beattie, Sarah Brown,  Jill Carson, Fionn Clarke, Rachel Cowan, Grace Deeny, Eve Dougan, Kate Farrelly, Marie Fung, Georgina Gomes, Katie Armstrong,  Jodie Chan, Bethany Craig, Rachel Geddes, Alicia Grattan, Camryn Hill, Claire Hunter, Nichola Kelly, Hilary Lau, Emily Leitch, Kerry Hepworth, Lauren Kane, Jenny McLeod, Emma Lowry, Ella Reid, Amy Martin, Beth Watson, Emma Reihill, Abigail Rivera, Georgia Stewart, Victoria White, Anna Wilson. Silver: Rhia Prentice, Sophie Anderson (Best in L6), Lauren Bailie (Best in U6 and Best in School).


School Council

his has been a very exciting and productive year for Strathearn’s School Council, which has had a vital role in conducting several important reviews throughout the school. Towards the start of the year, we welcomed Mrs Myers to the Council. She spoke to us about two very important issues that were integral to this year’s school development plan. Firstly, Mrs Myers requested the Council’s help in conducting a review of the Sixth Form Positions of Responsibility in Strathearn. During her attendance at a couple of meetings in October and November, she outlined the current procedure for selecting the Office Bearers. Representatives from Forms 5 to U6 took suggestions from their respective classes, and then participated in round-table discussions during subsequent meetings. We then collated the information and forwarded it to Mrs Myers. This research then contributed to forming the new Office Bearers Policy. As a part of the ongoing review of the Merit System, representatives of Forms 1-4 brought questionnaires to their classes in relation to the recognition of achievement in Strathearn. With their feedback in mind, the reps debated and came up with a few suggestions. Mrs Myers used our summary of this discussion to inform the review of the Merit procedure. The Council beta-tested a pilot survey as a part of Mrs Quinn’s revision of the E-safety Policy and discussed Mrs Myers’ Mobile Phone Policy. We identified a number of areas for improvement, and presented them with our suggestions. Other items on our agenda this year included the Friday afternoon minibus shuttle for squash, uniform clarifications, water fountains on the upper floor, Apple IDs and Chromebooks. We were delighted to be formally representing the Council at not only a Board of Governors meeting, but also to the Senior Management Team for the first time in School Council history. The SMT was very responsive to the issues we brought forward and were interested in hearing our synopsis of the Council year. With the invaluable help of Mr Stevenson, we were honoured, as the Chair and Vice Chair for the Council, to do a short presentation for the Board of Governors.  We had the opportunity to give them a brief overview of how the Council works and an account of the Council’s business this year.  We found it to be a great opportunity to bring forward the pupil voice and to begin the process of ‘vertical integration’ in Strathearn. We hope that these meetings are carried into the following years as annual events. Finally, we would like to say a massive thank you to Mrs Connery, Mrs Myers, Mrs Quinn and most of all, Mr Stevenson. It has been a pleasure, and indeed a privilege, to serve as Strathearn’s Chair and Vice Chair for 2016-2017. Gemma Burnside, U6T & Mehika Sood, U6S


clubs, events & societies



upils from Form 3 who had learned about the First World War visited the Somme Heritage Centre before Easter, where they were given a guided tour around the exhibitions. They saw artefacts and photographs from the time of the conflict, and heard about accounts given originally by eyewitnesses. They also got a chance to experience a glimpse of the cramped conditions of the trenches and to listen to a very informative weapons talk. Many of the girls attending had carried out their own research into family members who had served in the 1914-18 War. They were very interested in what the guides had to say, and in the visual images which made the learning all the more memorable. At the beginning of May, Form One pupils were able to visit Carrickfergus Castle. This visit followed their classwork on the Normans and John de Courcy. The pupils were able to gain a sense of what life in a castle was like and to see, in person, the defensive features of the castle. The weather always has a bearing on the trip, but this year we were lucky as there was not too much rain! Ms Murphy


Community Service

n 7 December, 1R and 3T donned their festive hats for our Annual Strathearn Community Christmas Party. This year, we hosted guests from the local community, from the Age NI Skainos Centre, and from Silver Threads at St Mary’s, Ballybeen. Strathearn girls and staff had been busy and the hall was bedecked with handmade Christmas cards, crackers and tinsel, all displayed on beautifully laid tables. The guests were seated at their tables and there was lively conversation between the generations, with talk of school stories and family news. As always, the guests eagerly anticipated their traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, stuffing, creamed and roast potatoes and, of course, the good old sprouts! Fun, companionship and laughter filled the air during the meal. Mrs Crymble and her team were ready for the number of requests for the ever-popular Christmas pudding and custard, but mince pies and shortbread were also available with tea or coffee. Fed and watered, the entertainment programme commenced, and Anna Wilson and Sophie Pružina did a fine job compering the show. The talent on display from the Strathearn girls didn’t disappoint. The programme included a variety of dances, starting with Irish dancing from Bethan Jones and then Scottish dancing from sisters Rebecca and Catherine Welsh. Musical instruments were played expertly, including piano solos from Hannah Pollock and Alexandra Coetzee, Stella Moore’s violin solo, and a clarinet solo from Anna Hughes. Everyone enjoyed the violin solos from Naomi Cochrane and Ailie McKinty, who was persuaded to play at the last minute in this, her final year at Strathearn.We had a little breather between the soloists and the choir,  and Emma Owens, 1R, gave us an impromptu rendition of ‘It’s Harry I’m Planning to Marry’, bringing appreciative applause from our guests. Our Chamber Choir rounded off the entertainment with seasonal songs, and sadly, our party had come to an end. Every guest was given a handmade Christmas card and a small present to take away as a lasting memory of a wonderful afternoon. Mr Manning wished all our guests a Happy Christmas and one of our guests proposed a vote of thanks to the girls and the school. Girls escorted our guests to their transport, and our visitors all said they would be back at the same time, in the same place, next year! Congratulations to 1R and 3T for their contribution to the event, to all our entertainers and to all of the staff involved, including Miss Gibson, Mrs Agnew, Mrs Atkinson, Mrs Smyth, and Mrs Wright. Special thanks also to Mrs Crymble and her team.


Orienteering Club

he Orienteering Club was new to Strathearn this year. Orienteering can sometimes have a bit of an image problem. Picture your orienteering experience; was it in a youth group, or school trip to an outdoor pursuits centre? Now forget that, because it is nothing like the real sport. Orienteering is a long-distance running race around a pre-set course over rough, unfamiliar terrain, following a map. Last summer, I mapped the school grounds using orienteering mapping software, and at the start of the year, I advertised the club in school. It ran on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30pm, and we ran courses and trained around the school and in Belmont Park. We focused on a different skill each week, progressing from learning map symbols, to taking bearings, and using attack points.  While some enjoyed racing each other, others preferred to devote their full attention to developing their navigation skills. Before Christmas we enjoyed a game of ‘orienteering capture the flag’, while other weeks we were able to borrow the electronic equipment used in events outside school. Everyone who came regularly has clearly progressed and is ready to put their new skills to the test outside of school, whether they join a club or just take control of navigation on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Thanks to everyone who came along, and especially to Ms Young for all her help and support. Sophie Pružina, U6R


clubs, events & societies


Junior Scripture Union

he Junior SU meets in the Sixth Form Study Hall during lunchtime on Wednesdays. We have seen a steady number of girls attending each week, keen to learn and deepen their understanding of their faith. Over the year, several topics have been studied including worship, prayer and more recently, a series from SU entitled One Another, in which we have looked at how we relate to one another from a biblical perspective. These have been taken by Mrs Foye, Mr Scott and Mrs Thompson. We have also enjoyed two guest speakers, Glen Johnston, the youth pastor from Scrabo Hall, Newtownards, and Lyndsey Miles, our local SU worker.  The Senior SU girls have also been involved in taking some of the meetings. We look forward to next year and would like to wish our Form 3 girls the very best as they move on to Senior SU.


Senior Scripture Union

his year at Senior Scripture Union, we have focused on the topics of Sacrifice, Creation,  Advent, our Relationship with God, and Fellowship, making our acronym SCARF, an easy word to remember amongst the Strathearn girls! Whilst looking at these topics, we have enjoyed looking at God’s word and how it can impact on our own lives. This year we were excited to welcome along some guests, Rachel Jackson from Belmont Presbyterian and Play It By Ear, a group aiming to tell others about God through drama. Rachel Jackson came to talk with us about the idea of sacrifice, and how, through Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice, we can have forgiveness. Play It by Ear helped us to consider what it means to be made in God’s image and urged us to find our worth in him. We were also excited to welcome along Kirsty from Exodus Ministries to our SU weekend at White Park Bay. As Christmas time approached, we encouraged the whole school to take part in the Samaritan’s Purse - Operation Christmas Child, in which shoeboxes were packed with toys and other essentials for children who would otherwise not be getting a present.  We gathered an amazing 141 shoeboxes from the whole school which we brought down to Connsbrook Congregational Church, where we saw all the shoeboxes collected by the community.  A big thank you to all who filled a shoebox this year! Before Mr Manning departed, we decided to hold a whole-school event called “An Audience with Mr Manning”. Questions submitted by pupils were answered by Mr Manning, including questions about his life and his Christian faith, as well as some funny questions! This was a great event to welcome the wider school along to, and we also got to hear some amazing guitar playing by Mr Manning himself! This year at SU, we also saw the introduction of small groups, where pupils gather together, create fellowship and study God’s word. We also introduced a prayer room in Strathearn which has been put to great use and provides a place to come on Wednesday break times and talk to God. It has been a very exciting year for Senior Strathearn Scripture Union. It has been a real blessing to meet on Friday lunchtimes after a busy week of school and refocus our minds on God. Here, we are able to reflect on what Psalms 46:10 tells us: “Be still and know that I am God”. If you want to find out more about Scripture Union, come along next year to see what we’re all about! God Bless, Chloe Scott U6R,  Anna Wilson U6T, Anna Meldrum U6R


Fitness Fanatics Club

itness Fanatics is a great after-school club on Tuesdays. It’s a brilliant opportunity for girls in senior school to have a fun and interactive exercise session. There is a range of equipment for cardiovascular exercise, muscular endurance and strengthening exercises. Sara Alexander, a personal trainer, comes to help us advance our workout and personalise it for our specific needs. I really enjoy Fitness Fanatics as it’s not only a brilliant opportunity to increase my fitness levels but I can also socialise with my friends and strengthen relationships with Sixth Form girls which I wouldn’t normally have done in school hours. I would really recommend others to come and join us on a Tuesday afterschool. Release some school stress! Rachel Bell, 5S




elf-Defence runs on Wednesday afternoons after school. Mr Tsang teaches us to defend ourselves in different scenarios. As well as self-defence being very useful, it is also fun. Recently we have learnt how to defend ourselves from knife attacks, blows around the head and most importantly, when somebody touches your hair! Mr Tsang brings out the best in all of us and I would recommend self-defence to anybody who is looking for some fun and key skills in life. Ellie Massey, 2S

clubs, events & societies



he elected members of the Eco-Committee have been working enthusiastically to lead the way for a sustainable Strathearn. The committee conducted a school waste audit and as a result have distributed recycling bins to each classroom. In doing so, the committee members have been working hard to educate and promote the use of these bins throughout the school. The bins accept a range of materials including empty water bottles, metal cans, cardboard and paper. Please help us by using these bins when you can!


The Debating Society

trathearn’s Debating Society has been active as usual this term, encouraging confident and dynamic public speaking from students of all ages. Over the course of the term, we have tackled some controversial motions such as ‘This house believes that the church is a force for good in the world’. We have had some brilliant audience engagement and contributions, as well as some very perceptive and though-provoking speeches. Debating has really helped to open up discussion and awareness of current issues and topics within the school. We are very grateful to everyone who took part and helped make the society a success. Special thanks to organisers Naivasha Pratt Jarvis and Amanda Scott, and to Dr McBride who oversaw the society’s events.

Faye Wallace,  AS-level



he Art Department has been a hub of creative activity this year. Our talented young artists have continued to impress, with the production of a range of highly skilful and exciting artwork in a range of disciplines, including Fine Art, Textiles and Ceramics. Students have enjoyed an array of inspirational exhibitions and workshops, extending their experience beyond the classroom. This commenced in October with the Sixth Form annual Art Trip to Dublin, where students visited the Hugh Lane Gallery in the morning, and then viewed the exceptional Lucian Freud Exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, before concluding the day with some much needed food and an opportunity for a little retail therapy! This was an inspiring day and students returned with enthusiasm and readiness to create their own sensational work. During December, Forms 4 to U6 visited the annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition at the Ulster Museum. The girls were impressed by the wide variety of exciting local artwork on display, and came back with a wealth of ideas about how they could integrate a range of techniques and concepts into their own work. Form 4 artists enjoyed a full-day Textiles Workshop on 6 December with visiting artist,  Aisling Smyth. Ailsling brought along examples of her intricate and beautiful work and discussed her flourishing career, which includes working in the costume department of the hugely successful Game of Thrones.  Aisling demonstrated a variety of beautiful hand-stitching techniques and assisted the girls in creating a range of samples relating to their project themes. This was a most enjoyable and stimulating day of textile creativity. In January, Forms 4 to U6 returned to the Ulster Museum to attend the True Colours Exhibition of the finest GCSE and A-level work created by pupils in schools across Northern Ireland. This was highly inspirational to all of our students, and everyone returned with enthusiasm for their forthcoming projects. Congratulations to Sophie Pružina, whose AS work was selected to feature this year. We are confident that students from Strathearn will continue to be selected to exhibit their exciting artwork each year. Throughout the year, a number of A-level artists attended life drawing and experimental drawing workshops at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Everyone involved enjoyed this experience, which encouraged them to be expressive and take risks, while further enhancing their technical and creative skills. And finally, best of luck to our very talented KS3 artists, who have entered the prestigious Texaco Children’s Art Competition.


clubs, events & societies Biology Field Trip


t may seem strange to do field work in February, but there is always plenty to see and do at any time of year - even though it may also involve plenty of woollen hats, warm clothes and flasks of hot chocolate! Each year we take two groups to the Delamont Outdoor Centre and use it as a base to study the area. This year the first group had mild but very wet weather. There was enough rain to flood the driveway to the Delamont Outdoor Centre, and we had to get the 4x4 wagon to rescue the staff! The field trip is a chance for the AS Biologists to look at particular habitats that are of national importance. Staying at Delamont gives us ready access to the rich habitats of the shore at Strangford Lough, the dune system at Murlough, and the remains of the estate which is now Delamont Country Park, designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Each year we try to gather at the Strangford Stone - the tallest megalith in Ireland, and we tell the story that if you hug the stone, you will be successful in your exams! Everyone is keen to join in! There is a fabulous view from the stone, looking out over the drumlins of Strangford Lough and on a clear day we can see across to the Mournes.  Whilst studying the rocky shore habitat, the discovery of shore crabs, anemones, butterfish and sponges always generates excitement and there is also the challenge of gathering data as the tide rises at your feet. At the dunes the girls have to crawl about the dune slacks with a magnifying glass to identify tiny wild geraniums and thyme plants, something they may remember when they visit the beach again during the summer holidays. It is important that our pupils get the opportunity to gather real data and learn how to analyse it, working together in small groups to produce detailed reports on their findings. Each year the pupils are challenged to stretch themselves in terms of both the level and the quantity of work they can complete in a day, a valuable lesson as they mature as Sixth Form learners. When asked to think about their learning at the end of the trip, the pupils all recognise the skills they have used and can reflect on how to continue to work effectively at all their studies. The fresh air and outdoor activity tends to make everyone very hungry, so there is always plenty of supper supplied for the end of the day. This tends to re-energise everyone for a short time, before peace and sleep overtake us all! Miss Grier



he term ‘geopolitics’ refers to the global balance of political power and international relations. We now live in an era of geopolitical change, uncertainty and also aspiration. Internationally, we have witnessed the election of an unlikely President of the USA and we monitor the reverberations across the world. Nationally, we continue to wrestle with our place in the European Union, debating the merits of economic unity against political independence. While some of us may wish to ignore these issues, the reality is that geopolitics has a day-to-day impact on our lives. Out students tackle the current global geopolitical issues from Form 1 right through to U6. Our Form 1 students consider the refugee flows into the UK from war-torn parts of the Middle East and Africa, considering the rights and responsibilities of all involved. Our Form 2 students study the challenges of population growth across the world and consider the political responses to over and under-population. By Form 3, our pupils are encouraged to investigate topical global themes of interest to them. In recent times this has included the challenge of achieving international political agreement to tackle the unfolding climate change crisis. At GCSE and A-level the depth of study and complexity increases, with studies of recent ethnic conflicts being a top priority. We also reflect, however, on the positive interactions between nations, the international successes and the agreements that have made life better for many people across the planet. We might live in a corner of what many may call an insignificant island on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the continent of Europe, but our Geography students are being nurtured to become the informed, educated and equipped decision makers of tomorrow. No one doubts that the geopolitical landscape will continue to shift in the years ahead, but we are confident that our students are prepared to step into the world with the knowledge and skills that will make a difference. Mr Stevenson


clubs, events & societies The Chamber Choir

Back Row:  Abigail Bester, Rachael Kelly, Ellie Mackey, Emily Hinds, Rebecca Gallagher Third Row:  Amy Darragh, Lauren Kirkwood, Esther Henry, Lexi McKechnie, Chloe Armstrong, Sarah McCracken, Rachel Henry Second Row: Ella Reid,Yuan Chen, Rose Templeton, Georgia Hardwicke, Katie McVeigh, Mollie McClure Front Row: Molly Fairclough,  Amy Lynch, Hannah Cowan, Leah Fleming,  Joanne Allen, Chloe Young, Georgia McCutcheon


Chamber Choir

his year the Chamber Choir has practised three lunchtimes per week. As soon as the school year started, we began rehearsing for our first performance of the year at Prize Night. We sang ‘Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet’ by Greg Gilpin and an arrangement of ‘Over The Rainbow’. We then started to prepare for our Christmas Carol Service in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. We sang songs in three different styles. Our most challenging piece was ‘The Lamb’ by John Taverner, but we all enjoyed the challenge and were satisfied when we finally performed it a cappella.We also performed a very fast piece called ‘This Little Babe’ by Benjamin Britten, and finally ‘Candlelight Carol’ by John Rutter. We were also privileged to be invited to Strathearn Court Nursing Home to join them in singing Christmas Carols. In the New Year we had the great opportunity to sing in a workshop led by Greg Hallam from Ulster Youth Choir. He gave us helpful tips on how to improve our diction and tone. Our final event of the year was the Spring Concert. After lots of hard work we finally performed all the pieces to the best of our ability. The three pieces included a mash up of ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars and ‘Just a Dream’ by Philip Lawrence, from the popular film Pitch Perfect, ‘Bumble Bee’ by Anders Edenroth, and our last piece was a beautiful setting of ‘Ubi Caritas’ by Ola Gjelo. I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for all her hard work this year and helping us by providing useful tips to improve our singing. I have enjoyed my three years in Chamber Choir immensely and I will take away many great memories and a great love for singing. Amy Darragh, U6R


Mindfulness Sound is the light of the mind Light is the sound of the eyes Laughter is the joy of your heart, And love is the warmth of your heart. Ellie Van Giesen, 2S

Chamber Orchestra

he Chamber Orchestra was started up last year and is a group of fifteen girls who have all achieved Grade 6 or above in their individual instruments. The group is led by Mrs McIvor and this year we met every Thursday morning before school to practise a selection of pieces for the Spring Concert. This year we played two pieces from the film Shakespeare in Love, composed by Stephen Warbeck, as well as ‘Summertime’ by Gershwin and a medley of songs from the musical Chicago. We have all really enjoyed meeting each week to play together and to learn these more challenging pieces. On behalf of the Chamber Orchestra, I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for all her hard work and commitment this year. Anna Wilson. U6T

The Chamber Orchestra

Back Row:  Kerry Hepworth, Sarah West, Beth Minnis, Hollie Croft, Elly Ryan, Emma Gibson Second Row:  Jemima Thomas, Lauren White, Naomi Cochrane, Bethany Craig, Anna Hughes Front Row: Lara Whitten,  Amy Bole,  Anna Wilson, Chloe Young, Lauren Mooney, Hannah Pollock Chan


clubs, events & societies

The Senior Choir Back Row: Hollie Croft, Rebecca Gallagher, Niamh Lemon,  Abigail Bester, Sophie Anderson, Sarah Brown,  Tess McMillen, Laura Gooding, Ellie Mackey, Rachael Kelly, Emily Hinds, Nicole Lawther, Erin McCormack, Lexi McKechnie, Chloe Armstrong, Eve Elliott Fourth Row: Rachel Henry, Rose Templeton, Anna Beggs,  Jessica Grant, Emma Gibson, Orla Bannister,  Jenna Hume,  Jill Carson, Kristina Herron, Esther Henry,  Jessica Collin, Miriam Parker, Catherine Pooler, Sarah McCracken, Kathryn Neill, Kerry Hepworth,  Amy Darragh Third Row: Sarah Baker, Rosie Park, Lauren White, Philippa Sha, Beth Minnis, Katherine Hunter, Chloé Brown, Georgia Hardwicke, Shannon Montgomery, Abigail Acheson, Rachel McCausland, Nadia Hall,  Amy Cooper, Faye Donaghy,  Yuan Chen, Charlotte Crawford, Katie McVeigh, Sophia Hamilton Second Row: Beth Strahan, Eva Aston, Rachael Campbell, Emma Ferguson, Sarah McCully, Ella Reid, Sophie Pružina, Leah Fleming, Katy Skillen, Miriam O’Reilly, Naomi Cochrane, Caris Coulter, Chloe Scott, Rachel Cowan, Danielle McDowell, Anna Wilson, Martha McCamley, Scarlett Reid, Rebekkah Lindores Front Row: Jodie Chan, Jessica Butters, Sian Anderson, Chloe Young, Georgia McCutcheon, Joanne Allen, Lydia McKane, Grace Ruding, Laura Graham, Sophie Neale, Anna Kirkwood, Tori Jackson, Amy Bole, Rebekah Spence, Hannah Cowan, Bethan Andrews, Amy Lynch, Georgia Stewart, Molly Fairclough, Katie Campbell


Kathryn Neill, GCSE Level

Senior Choir

his year, the Senior Choir was as popular as ever, bringing together a large number of girls who are passionate about their music and committed to making the Christmas Carol Service and the Spring Concert great successes. The Carol Service this year opened with a beautiful solo from Chloe Armstrong, and included the Senior Choir performing ‘An earthly blessing’ and ‘Breath of heaven’. Many friends and family members packed into Bloomfield Presbyterian Church to enjoy the music and experience the festive cheer. At the beginning of the new term we started to rehearse for the Spring Concert and we were all delighted with the songs Ms Kimber had chosen. Our first song was the romantic ‘City of stars’ from the recently released musical, La La Land. We also worked hard on a medley of Adele songs from her album 21, which was performed alongside the Junior Choir. Both performances were fantastic and made the night memorable for the huge number of girls for whom this was their last Strathearn concert. On behalf of the whole Senior Choir, I would like to thank Ms Kimber. Without her incredible hard work throughout the year, such a high standard of performances and such enjoyable rehearsals wouldn’t have been imaginable. Thanks to her enthusiasm and dedication, Senior Choir will always form a significant part of our time at Strathearn. Sarah Brown, U6S


clubs, events & societies


Junior Choir

unior Choir practises at lunch time every  Tuesday.  The songs we rehearse go towards the next musical evening which is either the Christmas Carol Service or the Spring Concert. This year at the Christmas Carol Service we performed two pieces. The first song was ‘I See a Star’. This had quite a lot of harmonies and was very gentle and soft. The second song was written by Rosie Elwood in Form 2 and it was simply titled ‘Song of the Angels’. It was fun to learn, and the crowd of people at the church loved hearing this original song as it was new and different.

Mollie McBride, AS-level

After returning from our Christmas holidays, we started into the pieces we were going to sing at the Spring Concert. The first song we learned was ‘Ordinary Miracle’ which is from Charlotte’s Web and it had a beautiful innocent tone. It was also more challenging due to the key change near the end of the song. We also sang, with the Senior Choir, a collection of songs from Adele’s album, 21. These were ‘Rolling In The Deep’, ‘Rumour Has It’, ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ and of course ‘Someone Like You’. These songs were very enjoyable to learn as they all had very different characters; it was also quite nice because we didn’t have to learn the words as most of us already knew them. All the songs turned out well and the audience showed their appreciation with a round of applause. We have thoroughly enjoyed the past three years in Junior Choir. Not only does it help you to improve your voice, but it also helps you to make new friends from all the different year groups who love to sing too! Sara Black & Emma Lennon, 3A

The Junior Choir Back Row: Kristin Kerr, Ruby Allen, Lauren Lawther, Sara Black, Ella Rook, Lauren Nesbitt, Hannah Stanfield, Olivia Knox, Chloe Browne, Sarah West, Emma Lennon, Elly Ryan,  Julia Rawson, Sarah Lowry, Ella Keane, Maya Renfrew, Molly Elliott, Eva McClean, Katie McMeekin, Sophie Kenny Fourth Row: Marnie Preston, Rhiannon Dowie, Eva Blakely-Hewitt, Emily Parker, Sophie Jordan, Amy Titterington, Zara Rintoul, Sophie Longstaff, Eloise McKnight, Evie Hempstead,  Jemima  Thomas,  Victoria Kerr,  Abi Stevenson, Megan Allen,  Alice Henry,  Amy Ellison, Ellie Van Giesen, Faith Roberts, Molly Walker Third Row: Joanna Carson, Cheryl Watson, Hannah Alexander, Annabel Holden, Anna Hughes, Sarah Lynch, Sophie Thomas, Natalya Ricketts, Rachel Constant,  Jordan Savage, Aoife Moore, Alex Graham, Madalaine Wilson, Sophie Wilson, Nicole Gallagher, Emily Warnock, Grace Bowman, Rachel Neale,  Alexandra Coetzee, Madeleine Heawood Second Row: Amy Wilson, Freya Beers, Maddie Twamley, Rebecca Hill, Ellie Massey, Rosie Elwood, Tara Winton, Sarah McIvor, Kathryn Finlay, Darcey Jamison, Bethany McFall, Amy McAlees, Laura Gordon, Andra, Vladu, Hannah McCartney, Chloe McBurney, Alice Sloan, Eve Greer, Lauren Mooney, Stella Moore, Catherine Welsh Front Row: Christiana Thompson, Ellie Campbell, Madalaine Wilson, Connie Hanna, Lucy Bole, Lauren Farmer, Annie Heavern, Sasha White, Zara Hanna, Saya Caddy, Madeline Doherty, Emily Hanna, Ella Simms, Rebekah Devlin, Hannah Watson, Lauren Wilson, Hollie Massey, Liana Hawthorne, Ciara Moore,  Alice McIvor


clubs, events & societies Traditional Group Back Row: Sophie Pružina, Ella Keane,  Anna Kenny, Sophie Mitchell, Sophia Hamilton Second Row:  Amy Bole, Charlotte Crawford, Martha McCamley, Lauren White,  Tori Jackson Front Row: Stella Moore, Rosie Elwood, Sydney Heatley, Chloe Young, Lauren Mooney


Traditional Group

he Traditional Group has been going for three years now and I have really enjoyed playing in it each week. Each year, the people and instruments in the group change slightly, so that the sound is constantly changing. This year we had fiddlers, flautists and tin whistlers from throughout the school, giving us a chance to mix with people we wouldn’t normally get to know. It is a very relaxed group, meeting on a Monday lunchtime to learn jigs, reels, airs and other Irish music.  We performed in the Spring Concert, playing ‘Carolan’s Dream’ and ‘The Boys of Bluehill’. Each section of the group was given a chance to shine, playing alone for parts of the music, and this year I was lucky enough to get a solo part, introducing the first piece. Miss Corry is always encouraging and patient, and we would like to thank her for all her work and support. Sophie Pružina, U6R



he Orchestra has always been a very popular activity in Strathearn for girls from all year groups. This year we worked on a range of pieces which were both challenging and enjoyable for everyone. We were able to work together in both full rehearsals and in sectional rehearsals to learn from other musicians throughout the school. In the Autumn Concert we played Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach and Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Dvořák At the Spring concert in March we played two well-known crowd-pleasers, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen and a medley of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ by Klaus Badelt. We all particularly enjoyed this piece due to the fast-paced, driven soundtrack with which we were all so familiar. On behalf of everyone in the Orchestra, I would like to thank Mrs McIvor for all her hard work in choosing such interesting music, helping us learn the pieces, and making the group so exciting and enjoyable. Chloe Young, U6H

The Orchestra Back Row: Orla Bannister,  Amy Major,  Abigail Bester, Rachael Kelly, Hollie Croft, Emma Lennon,  Jill Carson, Kathryn Neill, Catherine Pooler Fourth Row: Rose Templeton, Beth Minnis, Lauren Ayre,  Anna Kenny,  Ailie McKinty, Emma Gibson, Sarah West, Kerry Hepworth, Katherine Hunter, Elly Ryan, Lauryn Todd Third Row: Megan Allen, Lauren White,  Abi Stevenson, Ella Keane, Bethany Craig,  Amy Darragh,  Yuan Chen, Naomi Cochrane,  Amy Ellison, Sarah Baker, Sophia Hamilton, Mia Montgomery Second Row:  Anna Conway,  Anna McKinty, Miriam O’Reilly,  Amy Bole,  Jemima Thomas, Sian Murray, Rachael Campbell, Martha McCamley, Sarah Black,  Anna Wilson,  Anna Hughes,  Tori Jackson, Kathryn Finlay Front Row: Hannah Watson, Emily Hanna, Zara Hanna, Lucy Bole, Lauren Mooney, Laura Gordon, Chloe Young, Daisy Johnston, Rosie Elwood, Stella Moore, Lara Whitten, Hannah Pollock Chan, Rebekah Devlin, Ciara Moore


drama The Little Mermaid


n June 2016, over forty members of the Junior School performed Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jnr. The cast was ably supported by a junior backstage crew, and choreographed by members of the GCSE Drama class. The production included two matinees for local primary schools, and successfully sold out two evening performances! Megan Adair, Emma Carson,  Amy McWhirter, Eve Elliot, Holly Darley and Sasha White were outstanding in their principal roles, enchanting audiences with famous songs such as ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Part of Your World’. The perfected dance numbers and the imaginative backdrops truly reflected the atmosphere of awe and wonder. Throughout the rehearsal process, Ms Ferris, Mr Atkinson and Mrs Ingram provided great assistance to all the girls, from the principal leads to the first years in the chorus, and their dedication helped to ensure the production of a marvellous show. Thank you to everyone who participated and attended! Emma Carson, 4R


Junior Drama Club

he Junior Drama Club took place this year every Thursday from Halloween to Easter in the Manning Hall. Attendance this year was excellent. Junior Drama was led by the U6 Junior Drama Committee and was supervised by Miss Christie. The first term was spent playing a variety of fun Drama games. During the second term, pupils devised their own plays which, much to the excitement of those involved, will be performed before the Easter holidays with the chance of winning prizes! The committee approached their role in the club with enthusiasm. The members of the club, who ranged from Forms 1 to 3, participated with excitement and commitment. Pupils developed their acting skills and had the chance to meet new friends and have some fun at lunchtime. The highlight of our year had to be the Junior Drama Club performances at Open Day. Members offered a sample of what the Drama Club had to offer, showcasing the talent of all involved to parents and potential pupils of Strathearn. The girls performed Roald Dahl’s quirky adaptations of two well-known fairy tales: Red Riding Hood and Snow White. In between performances, members played Drama games with prospective pupils, bringing a smile to the faces of all who participated. The Junior Drama Committee have thoroughly enjoyed both developing junior pupils’ acting ability and getting to know the younger pupils better. The Junior Drama Club is a great way to build your confidence, make friends and, of course, help you to become the actor you would love to be! Alex Simpson, U6R


Drama Trip

ur first day in London was action packed. We started with a visit to the National Gallery before we made our way to the Fortune Theatre where we watched an afternoon performance of The Woman in Black. After the show, we headed to Covent Garden for dinner. My favourite part of the entire trip, however, was the evening performance of Les Miserables. The show was amazing; it was the perfect way to end our first day in London. The following morning, we made our way to Shakespeare’s Globe where we were given a tour and took part in a Drama workshop. The workshop was fantastic as it was taken by Phillip, who has performed roles such as Macbeth and Mercutio in the Globe. After our morning in the Globe, we made our way back to Covent Garden for some shopping and lunch. Sadly, our fun soon came to an end as we went to the airport to catch our flight. As we finally boarded our plane, the two-day trip to London came to a close, but I am sure that none of us will ever forget our amazing trip. Jill Nelis, 4T


house plays

House Play Competition


Adjudicated by

Ms Emily DeDakis 26 October 2016


Inter-House Drama Cup for Best Production

Murder on the Island of Fernando Boucher


McNeill Cup for Directing

Rhia Prentice

Boucher House

Frances Mulley Rose Bowl for Best Actress

Molly Longstaff

McCaughey House

McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress

Aife Sansom

Barbour House

Ievers Shield


for Best Cameo Role

Zoe Hepworth and Joanne Carson


Watts House

Gillian Douglas Award for Best Technical Production

Pranked Boucher House


barbour house reports House Report


t’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that Rebecca, Georgia and I were awarded the roles of Barbour House Captain and Deputy House Captains. We were enormously proud and honoured to accept our ties and yellow badges, but we didn’t quite realise just how action-packed the year ahead would be! Our duties began with the Penrhyn Sports Day. It was a glorious June day and it was great to see such enthusiastic House spirit amongst the younger pupils. We were so proud to see their enthusiasm paying off, with Barbour coming first overall.  June proved to be a very busy month in terms of Inter-House events with Rounders, Tennis, Athletics and novelty events all on the agenda in the senior school. With the new school year came an array of Inter-House events, including Dodgeball, the House Quiz, Netball and the Inter-House Debate. Special congratulations must go to our duo of Emma Rowan and Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis, both in Upper Sixth, who came first overall in the senior debate. One of my personal highlights of the year was Strathearn’s Got Talent. We were lucky enough to have an incredibly talented House, meaning that Georgia, Rebecca and I had to hold preliminary auditions for the two coveted spots. After much deliberation, we chose a musical ensemble consisting of Rebekah Devlin, Stella Moore and Hollie Massey, all from Form 1, as well as a comedy act from Emma Rowan and Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis - this was new territory for the talent show! Both acts gave very entertaining performances on the day, making us as House Captains very proud. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every Barbour girl who has participated in some shape or form this year. Your enthusiasm for the House in every event, no matter how we ranked, was inspiring. Having the opportunity to engage with you all was without a doubt my favourite part of being House Captain this year. I would also like to say a massive thank you to my Deputies - Georgia and Rebecca. Without you both, chasing after year reps for sign-up sheets or organising House Play auditions would have seemed like impossible tasks! Your endless enthusiasm, hard work and support was invaluable and I couldn’t have picked two better girls.  A special thank you also to Ms Young and all of the PE Department for working tirelessly to organise InterHouse sport all year, as well as to Mrs Ingram for all her help getting our House Play ‘stage ready’. I conclude by wishing the next Barbour House Captain all the very best for next year. In true Barbour fashion we didn’t win the trophy but we are not defeated yet! Ellen Meredith, U6 photo: Rebecca Murphy, Ellen Meredith, Georgia Stewart

House Play


The Declassified School Survival Guide based on The Ten Best/Worst Things about High School by MG Davidson

hen first elected as House Captain, my mind suddenly jumped to House Plays and I was filled with sheer terror! My drama career extends as far as the newspaper seller in the Barbour House Play when I was in Form 1, and so directing a play with a cast of thirty pupils was unchartered territory for me! After sifting through what felt like hundreds of scripts in search of the perfect one, we finally found one in which we saw potential. With a few minor tweaks and the addition of a few handwritten scenes, we finally had our play. The next step in the process was to organise the auditions, and with over sixty talented girls to choose from it was no easy task! After much deliberation, we finally decided on the cast who we hoped would bring our play to life. Once the rehearsals began, however, it made the casting look easy! With the pressure on to perfect the play in a short space of time, we had to rehearse at lunchtimes and after school. Despite the time pressure and the stress of rehearsing, we managed to pull it off with a lot of hard work and copious amounts of sweets! I will never forget the feeling of standing in the wings before the curtain opened on our House Play.  The adrenaline and excitement were overwhelming and I could not have been more proud of everyone’s tremendous efforts. Special congratulations have to go to Aife Sansom for winning the McMinn Cup for Best Supporting Actress with her incredible comedic performance. It was a pleasure to work with such a talented and amazing cast. A massive thank you must also go to my two Deputies, Rebecca and Georgia, whose input was truly invaluable. Finally, we would all like to thank Ms Young and Mrs Ingram for working tirelessly in the run-up to the House Plays to ensure that the productions went smoothly. It has been a great year for Barbour and the House Play was testament to this!


The Cast Narrator 1:  Aife Sansom Narrator 2: Emma Rowan Scary Coach Jason: Katie Majury Janice: Mia Wheatley Jake:  Alice Graham Head Teacher: Taylor Healey Boring Tour Guide: Hannah Meredith Lanie: Leah Orr Brendan: Naivasha Pratt-Jarvis Music Teacher: Caitie Williams Chester:  Juliette Ruelland Kennedy Chess Club Geeks: Akhila Dondapati, Aiza Ghafoor Snakes: Jenny Wilson, Beth Strahan, Ellie Dornan, Ellie Johnston and Scarlett Reid Students: Maddie Twamley, Rebekah Devlin, Mabelle Wilcox,  Victoria Kerr, Kristanna Clegg, Rachel Childs, Emma Campbell, Lucy Bole, Lauren Mooney, Jordyn Patterson

boucher house reports


House Report

hia, Hannah and I were delighted to be appointed, and we really have had an amazing year. The year started slowly, but through our sporting successes in Rounders, Athletics and Dodgeball, and also the House Quiz, we slowly gained more and more House points. We were blown away by the amount of House spirit the Boucher girls displayed. Their cheering, enthusiasm, and all-round positivity really helped all of the participants perform to the very best of their ability. The House Plays, of course, are very important in the Strathearn calendar. The process of auditioning so many talented actors proved to be very tricky; well done to all of the girls who participated. Difficult choices had to made, and we eventually agreed on our cast. With these thirty-two hilarious girls from all year groups, we worked hard to prepare the play Pranked for the school. After countless after-school and lunchtime rehearsals, the girls pulled off amazing performances that we couldn’t be happier with. We could not have been more proud of the commitment the girls had towards our play. It is also really important to register our appreciation of the hard work done behind the scenes by the backstage team; their dedication added so much to the performance itself. We also discovered that Boucher had a lot of talented bakers. In the heat of the kitchen, the girls performed well at the Bake Off - even when I was poking a camera in their faces and distracting them from their Gordon Ramsay-esque levels of concentration. Throughout this year, I have been able to meet girls in Boucher House and work with them to compete in various activities, and it has been an absolute pleasure. I was also overwhelmed with the generosity of the girls who donated so much of their own money to Cancer Research. Many thanks to Rhia and Hannah. I couldn’t be more grateful for their dedication to Boucher House. I was so proud to take on the role of House Captain, but there were certainly many times throughout the year when I had to rely on the help of others. When I was worried about the House Play performance, or needed help to rally girls for sports events, Rhia and Hannah were always there. I also want to thank all the girls of Boucher House for their commitment, perseverance, optimism, and most importantly, their House spirit. We couldn’t have had the wonderful year we did without you all supporting your House so loyally. I wish Boucher all the best for next year! Carley Magee-Tollerton, U6H Photo: Rhia Prentice, Carley Magee-Tollerton, Hannah Craig

House Play


Pranked by Carley Magee-Tollerton

lanning for our House Play began in the summer of 2016, when Rhia, Hannah and I bounced ideas back and forth to see what would be the funniest topic to create a play around. This was a really enjoyable process, but we were always aware that we needed to come up with an idea for a play that would be entertaining and possible to stage effectively. It was soon decided enthusiastically that the idea of pranks was a good one. Pranked was about a school being terrorized by an evil prankster, who succeeded in blaming another character, poor Stacy, for all of the mischief. Stacy and her best friend Bridget try to find clues as to the true identity of the prankster. Along the way, they recruit the help of a wide range of comical characters from the school and have a series of humorous adventures. We hoped that this would go down well with the Strathearn audience. The auditions began early in the year, and of course we had to make many tough decisions throughout this process. With our final cast of thirty-two hilarious girls from all year groups, we began to work on our play Pranked. This also involved many hours working on the set, the technical aspects of the play, and on costume design. Many thanks to everyone who helped with these jobs; it really was a complete team effort. The actual performances were soon upon us. In the end, all of the hard work paid off; the play seemed to go down well with the audience, and we all enjoyed the experience. From the point of view of an organiser, I couldn’t have been more proud of the level of the girls’ commitment towards this play. I would also like to record our sincere thanks to Mrs Ingram, who sacrificed her lunchtimes and assessed our plays before the final show. She really did go above and beyond the call of duty in helping us to develop our performance.

Finally, I want to express thanks to the behind-the-scenes crew. This team had to find solutions to a wide range of problems, and they always carried out their work with patience and determination. Their faces were not seen on stage, but their work ensured that everything went smoothly.


The Cast

Stacy: Ruby Allen Brigit: Megan Adair Ashley: Sara Cabecinha Hilda:  Anna Kirkwood Micky: Alex Simpson Darnell: Morgan Harper Nate:  Alia Cairns Peter: Rachel Neale Benny: Ciara Moore Tabitha: Ellie Massey Principal McDonald:  Arabella Brown Nurse: Holly Darley Phil:  Aoife Moore Bill: Hannah Pollock Chan Felicia: Catherine O’Reilly Peter’s Fan/HM: Martha Cupples Peter’s Fan/E:  Emily Hannah Trevor: Georgie Young Donald: Mollie McBride Gary: Gemma Burnside Mrs Wilson: Rosie Elwood Mr Jameson: Maya Renfrew Gardening Club/Courtroom: Anna Hughes, Freya Beers, Nicole Gallagher, Rebecca Moore

mccaughey house reports


House Report

am delighted to report that McCaughey House has had another wonderful year. It makes me really proud to say that, as a result of a lot of hard work from everyone involved, we have achieved success in many House events. We won first place in the House Plays back in October. The House Plays are such an important part of Strathearn life, and I have been involved in them since I joined the school seven years ago. I have to say, however, that writing, directing and organising a play is an entirely different experience from acting in one! In the end, though, all the hard work was worth it. It was great to have this success recognised by the judges, and the audience seemed to really enjoy the play as well. We also won the Talent Show in February, so congratulations to our participants in this event. These achievements would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of everyone who took part, both on and offstage, and we are grateful to each and every person who helped out. It can be tricky to balance commitment to House events with school work, so I want to express genuine gratitude to all of our enthusiastic participants and organisers. Regarding the House Plays, the process of writing a script and transforming it into an actual performance was, whilst undoubtedly stressful, an extremely rewarding experience for everyone involved. Similarly, choosing acts for the Talent Show was made almost impossible by the number of talented girls who auditioned, and we were over the moon when our two acts attained first and third place. Sporting events this year, such as Dodgeball, Netball and Cross-country, have highlighted McCaughey’s team work and House spirit and we are thankful to all those who participated in these events, either as competitors or supporters. Like the House Plays and the Talent Show, these activities play a great role in bringing girls from different year groups together. Many lasting friendships are formed through these enjoyable activities, as members of the same House work together in a team to achieve a goal of some sort. The Bake Off was another exciting event this year, as it presented us with the enviable task of sampling cupcakes from all of the talented bakers in McCaughey House. We hope that everyone who took part in this event enjoyed it as much as we did. Lastly, I would like to thank every single person who has participated or contributed to our House this year, either through donations to our charity, The World Land Trust, or by taking part and supporting House events. Being House Captain has been an amazing experience and I wish McCaughey the best of luck for next year! Molly Fairclough, House Captain Photo:  Amy Truesdale, Molly Fairclough, Rebecca Gallagher

House Play


Murder on the Island of Fernando by Molly Fairclough

rom the moment we were appointed, Amy, Becca and I started planning our approach to the House Play. We first explored the various scripts available to us on the internet but, unsatisfied with what we had found, we decided that our only option was to write our own. This was an exciting but daunting task, but we set about it with enthusiasm in the hope that we could produce something entertaining for the Strathearn audience. After brainstorming with Becca and Amy, and taking inspiration from Murder She Wrote and Ex on the Beach, I set about writing our play. The process of writing a play quickly appeared to be slightly less exciting than I had anticipated, as I spent a lot of time just staring at a blank screen, and sometimes crying over the realisation that I was not, in fact, the next JK Rowling! After these initial setbacks, however, the ideas started to flow. Many aspects of the plot started to fall into place, and the story began to develop. Before long, I had written the majority of what would become Murder on the Island of Fernando. The next step was auditioning the plethora of talented girls from Forms 1 to U6. It was very strange to be casting roles rather than actually auditioning. After three lunchtimes of auditions and call-backs, we were faced with the almost impossible task of casting the roles. Many thanks to all of the actors who auditioned. The competition for parts really was intense, and it caused us many hours of deliberation. Tough decisions, however, had to be made. Soon we had a full cast and script and were ready to start rehearsing! Each and every rehearsal was extremely entertaining, and at times we ended up weeping with laughter. We did in fact manage to get ourselves organised for the week of the performances, and luckily everything went to plan. During the two performances I could be found sitting in the wings anxiously, with my eyes glued to the stage, like one of the mums from Dance Moms. I think that watching the play like this was even more nerve-wracking than acting in one! Despite my nerves, however, we ended up winning a number of awards, including Best Play. The House Plays have always been my favourite part of Strathearn life. Getting to experience another side of the plays by taking on a role behind the scenes was everything I had hoped for and more. I know that the process of writing, directing and performing this play is something that none of us will ever forget, and we’re so grateful to everyone who helped us along the way.


The Cast Host: Molly Longstaff Detective: Lola Gibson Luke: Rebecca Black George:  Jessica Anderson-Bell Xander: Sophie Longstaff Nelson: Zoe Robinson Zoe: Mollie McClure Fliss: Idé Simpson Anna: Molly Scullion Paramedics 1 & 2: Katie Darley, Annie Heavern Family & Friends: Caitlyn Corbett, Talia Irwin, Molly Elliott, Evie Gallen, Lucy Chambers, Emily Martin, Lois Wilson, Freya Rowe, Saya Caddy, Sorcha Corbett,  Anna Diekemper, Romelly Roberts, Madeleine Ievers, Leah McCabe Men: 1, 2, 3: Sophie Allen, Grace Deeny, Saya Caddy

watts house reports


House Report

ast April, as Chloe Armstrong,  Amy Darragh and I walked into Mr Manning’s office to be appointed, we knew we had a demanding but an incredibly exciting year ahead of us, with more House events coming up than ever. The first few House events of the year, including Junior House Debate, Tennis and Rounders, were completed while we were doing our exams, but Watts carried on smoothly and started with great enthusiasm, finishing first in both Tennis and Rounders. The Day of Sport in June was our first real chance as new House Captains to witness the eagerness of the girls in Watts to show up and give House events their all (powered on by lots of Haribo). By September, all of our minds were focused on the House Plays. We were so proud of the cast’s performance. Several other highlights in the House calendar this year have included the ever-brilliant House Quiz, and the House Talent Show in February.  After an incredible array of talent at auditions, we whittled down the acts to Lara Whitten, 2R, Leah Howe, 2A and Tara Winton, 1A. It was a very proud moment for us when Lara and Leah were awarded third place for an amazing dance act.  A sweet event for us was the House Bake Off, in which we ended up having over a dozen sets of buns to taste-test between the three of us. This was a duty I think we were all more than happy to undertake; Watts has some great bakers! Other sports events included Dodgeball, Badminton, Netball, Cross-country and Hockey, and Watts did very well, particularly in coming first in Netball. A massive thank you goes to Amy and Chloe, who were lifesavers, full of ideas and talents. It was a joy to be appointed beside you two. Thank you to Ms Young, who tirelessly works to make the House system better and supports every single one of us, to Mrs Ingram who averted many House Playrelated headaches, to the PE Department, to the other House Captains, and to our brilliant year reps - thank you for carrying out your crucial duties so wonderfully, and most importantly, to every single member of Watts. You are all enthusiastic and gifted and it has been a privilege to get to know some of you through the House system. For me, that’s been the best part of the role. To next year’s House Captains I wish you all the best of luck. There will be long nights, lots of running about trying to collect sheets and sign-ups, and you’ll have made so many posters your ICT skills will have improved drastically, but it’s beyond worth it and you will love working with the fantastic girls that make up Watts House. Rachel Henry,  Watts House Captain Photo:  Amy Darragh, Rachel Henry, Chloe Armstrong

The Cast

House Play


12 Reasons Not to be in a House Play based on a play by Alan Haehnel

or me, the House Plays are one of my favourite parts of Strathearn life, and I remember every September I couldn’t wait to see what my House Captain had come up with. After six years of performances, the chance to choose, cast and direct the House Play alongside girls I’d performed with was incredibly exciting, but also terrifying. As we trawled the internet in June for something Watts could make hilarious and would have fun doing, we came across Alan Haehnel’s play, and thought that this ironic compilation of brilliant reasons against being in a House Play would be perfect.  After editing the script to make it our own, we embarked on casting, and we were spoilt for choice. I want to say a huge thank you to all the talented girls who auditioned.  After a lengthy deliberation, our incredible cast was chosen, involving as many people as possible. Making a rehearsal schedule around forty girls was not a simple task, but for the next few months, rehearsals took over and despite the stresses, it was amazing to see our cast take on their roles and watch it all come together. On the performance days, I couldn’t have been prouder. The girls really gave their parts all the enthusiasm they had. I was able to watch from the front row at the girls’ last performance, script clasped tightly in hand, and I couldn’t have smiled any wider as I watched the last few months’ work and time pay off for everyone. The cast really made it my favourite House Play. It was a huge joy for Joanna Carson and Zoe Hepworth to win the Ievers Shield for Best Cameo Performance together (they really are two of the funniest girls I know). I need to thank Chloe and Amy massively - it wouldn’t have happened without you. Your drama knowledge, creativity and encouragement were priceless. A big thank you is also necessary to our U6 backstage team, Maeve Lowry and Abie Rivera on technical, and everyone else who helped out. Finally, thank you to our phenomenal cast. I really appreciate every single one of you - keep doing House Plays for as long as possible! This year was my last House Play and thank you for making it such a good experience.


Jake: Sarah Hamilton Misty: Jemima Thomas Miss Griswold: Daisy Johnston Sharon: Jessica Pennick Alan: Shannon Montgomery Emily: Heather Dunn Pete: Liana Hawthorne Jane: Anna Kirk Stewart: Mia Davison Mandy: Joanna Carson TOGS 1, 2 &3: Sophie Thomas, Sydney Heatley, Sasha White Travis: Megan Fitzpatrick Rob: Halah Irvine Megan: Lara Whitten Cecily: Esther Henry Boy: Hannah Stanfield Zach: Sarah McDonald Chris: Abby Bester Mum: Zoe Hepworth Nora:Victoria Murray Censor: Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh Becca: Alex Coetzee Mum 2: Chelsey McGarry Baby: Indira Fuller-Patterson Director: Sarah West Butch: Orla Bannister Gina: Rhiannon Dowie Reason Person: Natasha O’Tiarnaigh Chorus: Madeleine Terry, Niamh Hatfield, Ellie Gilmore, Emma Owens, Hannah Stanfield, Rachel Brett, Jess Winton, Emma Owens, Rhiannon Dowie,Tara Winton, Emma White,Victoria Murray, Jessica Cousins, Rachel McDonald

games captain’s report


trathearn has had another fantastic year of sport with many successes. The 1st IX Hockey Team made it to the final of the Ulster Schools’ Senior Plate after beating The Royal School Dungannon and Bloomfield in the quarter and semi-finals. Our great supporters, came in full force with face paint, posters and drums to create an energetic atmosphere, and we managed to play very well, but unfortunately we lost in the last seconds of the match 2-1. Some of the senior hockey girls went on tour to Manchester in January.  They played two matches and had a master class training session. It was a great way for the team to bond before the Plate matches started, and of course they managed to squeeze some shopping in too! Athletics proved to be a popular and successful sport again this year, with Strathearn winning over forty medals and three overall trophies at the Co Down District Championships. Strathearn had thirty athletes at the Ulster Championships, in which we managed to get the most points overall to win the Ulster Schools’ Challenge Cup. We also had the success of ten athletes and a Relay Team qualifying for the Irish Championships. The girls did not disappoint at the Irish Championships with outstanding performances from all athletes, especially the Junior Team which was crowned Irish Champions! Megan Marrs and Harriet Platt deserve special mention as they were individual Irish Champions in the Senior 100m Hurdles and Junior Triple Jump respectively. Strathearn has also recently earned the Overall Ulster Champions title for Cross-Country.  This is a fantastic achievement which could not have been done without great performances from all members of the five teams. The Junior and Intermediate CrossCountry Teams went on to become bronze medallists at the Irish Championships which is a superb achievement at an event with such a high standard. The tennis girls played very well this year with the Intermediate Team becoming Ulster Champions and the Junior A Team runnersup. Netball continues to be a very popular sport in Strathearn with large numbers of pupils from all year groups taking part weekly in practices and matches. Swimming was also very successful this year with Strathearn becoming Ulster Junior Champions and winning the Firth Cup which was presented to them by Bethany

Firth, the GB Paralympic swimmer. The Badminton Club has gone from strength to strength in terms of participation and team performances.  The Form 1 Badminton Team were cup finalists against Coleraine Grammar School and played very well, only just missing out against a strong side. Strathearn’s Trampolining, Gymnastics and Dance Teams were all in the medals in their respective Schools’ Championships, showing our pupils’ strengths in the more artistic and creative sports as well. Alongside all the competitive sports, there are also many recreational activities and clubs that have proven popular amongst the girls.  These include Self-Defence, Football and our Fitness Fanatics Club, as well as the Belfast Kayak Academy which takes pupils on a weekly basis to learn how to kayak and play canoe polo. This year, an Upper Sixth pupil – Sophie Pružina, started an Orienteering Club.  This has been a great success, with pupils of all abilities taking part in the new activity.  Whether they were running the route competitively, or completing the route with their friends, they all seemed to find it a fun and enjoyable sport. There are so many talented individuals in Strathearn it is hard to mention them all, but here are a few who deserve special congratulations. Amelia Kane, 3A, who has had an exceptional season in both Athletics and Cross-country.  Amelia was selected to represent Ireland at the Schools’ Internationals in both Athletics, U17 1500m and Cross-country for the U15 Team. Hannah Craig, U6, is currently National Junior and Senior Champion in Squash and is a member of the Irish Senior Team which will play in the European Championships in Helsinki. Congratulations also go to Keziah Beattie, U6, who has competed for Great Britain and more recently Ireland in their U20 Fencing Teams. I would like to thank all the staff involved with sports at Strathearn for all the hard work they have put into coaching us – regardless of the weather! A big thanks to Ms Young, Mrs Grundie and Miss Brittain for all their work this year. Also, many thanks to all the parents of pupils who come and support us in our chosen sports. Kate Farrelly, U6T

Games Captain and Deputies L-R: Bonnie Ramsay, Kate Farrelly (Capt) and Victoria White



Nicola McIlwaine, GCSE Level



he 2016-17 hockey season was another successful year defeated Down High School, Carrickfergus Grammar and which was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. Cookstown High School leading them to the knock out stages The 1st XI Squad, captained by Sarah Brown with Bonnie and an all-important match against Ballymena Academy. It was a Ramsay as her Vice Captain, started their Schools’ Cup journey well fought match but it was not their day and Ballymena took with a defeat, losing to Regent 2-1 on strokes. This didn’t hold the win. Ballymena were a very strong side who later went on the team back, as they were determined to be successful in the to reach the final. Senior Schools’ Plate and they did not disappoint. In the first round Strathearn played Killkeel on home ground and won 8-0. This set the tone for the rest of the competition, and in the quarter-final, we defeated our local rivals Bloomfield 1-0. In the semi-final, we travelled to Portadown to play The Royal School Dungannon and won 1-0. The girls were set to play Ballymena Academy in the final. Ballymena scored an early goal in the first half but Strathearn were still fighting. In the second half Strathearn dominated and brought the score back to 1-1, but then Ballymena managed to sneak in a goal with just five seconds to go.  After the initial disappointment and a few tears, the team can look back and be proud of how they performed. They were a strong and determined team who fought right to the final whistle.

In Junior hockey, the performances of the U14 Team suggest that there is a bright future for Strathearn hockey. The girls went on a winning streak which involved beating Royal and Prior School Raphoe, and Regent House. This secured them a spot in the quarter-finals of the Junior Cup against Wallace High School, a well-known and very strong side.  After a great display of skills and teamwork, the score was even at full-time and after extra time, meaning that the girls would have to fight it out in penalty strokes. With strokes, the game can go either way and unfortunately Strathearn narrowly missed out on victory.

There were individual successes for many of our hockey players this season. Grace Hutchinson, Sarah Craig, Eve McKibbin, Amelia Kane, Anna Gillespie, Francesca Park,  Alex Fawcett and Amelia Hopkins were all nominated to attend trials for the The 2A XI, captained by Victoria Hamilton, with Frankie Lynn and Ulster Hockey Talent Development Squad back in September. Alanna McHugh as her Vice Captains, lost against a very strong The U17 Area Board Trials took place with Maya Savage Newell, Ballyclare High School side in the first round of the McDowell Hannah McCann, Chloe Sweet, Katie Wills, Claire Whiteside, Cup. The girls, however, went on to reach the quarter-final of Jessica Anderson-Bell and Harriet Platt nominated. Hannah, the Plate, defeating Glenlola along the way. The team showed Chloe, Katie and Harriet were selected for further trials, with great skills and determination against Friends’ School Lisburn, Katie being selected for the Belfast Area U17 Team. in a match that finished 1-1 at full time. The game continued on The U15  Area Board Trials took place, and the following into extra time, with the silver goal rule in place; unfortunately girls were nominated: Eve McKibbin, Francesca Park, Amelia we lost lost 2-1. Hopkins, Sarah McDonald, Grace Hutchinson and Alex Fawcett. The 2B XI was captained by Katie Caldwell, with Beth Watson as Congratulations to Francesca Park and Grace Hutchinson her Vice Captain. This team had a successful season competing for making the team which played at the U15 Area Board well in the Gibson Cup beating Ballymena Academy, Omagh Tournament on 14 March. and Rainey Endowed which are all very good wins. They found Many thanks to the PE Department, the coaches and our themselves in the knockout stages of the competition but supporters. Special thanks also to Cecil Swinton, our number unfortunately lost to Ballyclare Secondary School, who later one supporter and stats man. Thank you for your unconditional went on to win the cup. support (and Quality Streets!) The 3A XI Cup results were as follows. Strathearn played and Bonnie Ramsay, U6



1st XI Hockey Team Back Row:  Alanna McHugh, Katie Wills,  Ailie McKinty, Maya Savage Newell Middle Row: Emma Farrelly,  Jessica Anderson-Bell,  Victoria Hamilton, Claire Whiteside, Grace Hutchinson, Kate Farrelly Front Row: Chloe Sweet, Bonnie Ramsay, Sarah Brown (Capt), Hannah McCann, Harriet Platt

2A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Lauren Kirkwood, Eve Elliott, Natalie McHugh Middle Row: Erin Stewart,  Alex Fawcett, Grace Hutchinson, Emma Farrelly Front Row: Zoe Hepworth, Francesca Lynn,  Victoria Hamilton (Capt), Alanna McHugh, Grace Ruding Absent: Ellen Gilpin


Rebecca Mannus, GCSE

sport 2B XI Hockey Team (left) Back Row: Katrina Kerr, Evanna Maxted,  Anna McKibbin Middle Row: Hannah Minnis,  Jenny Wilson, Molly Longstaff, Megan Adair, Roma Kelly Front Row: Daisy Moore, Niamh Meredith, Katie Caldwell (Capt), Sophie Williams, Beth Watson

3A XI Hockey Team (below left) Back Row: Olivia Allister, Evanna Maxted, Becky Mitchell Middle Row: Heidi McMillen, Eva Aston, Hannah Minnis, Rosie Park, Sophie Neale, Britney Haynes Front Row: Rhiannon Brady, Leah McClements, Alex Reilly (Capt), Lauren Shankey, Emma Caldwell

3B XI Hockey Team (below) Back Row: Kate Wilson, Beth McColl,  Jasmine Trill, Rosie Park Front Row: Emma Caldwell, Nicole Kane, Eva Aston, Lucy Mashford Absent: Saioa Oscoz, Leah Beattie, Ruth Gregg

U14A XI Hockey Team

U14B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Sarah Craig, Sarah West,  Amelia Hopkins, Rachel Lemon Middle Row: Sarah McDonald, Olivia Knox, Elly Ryan,  Tara Kerr, Jemima Thomas Front Row:  Talia Irwin, Eve McKibbin, Francesca Park (Capt), Tory Kerr,  Amelia Kane

Back Row:  Jessica Baker, Elly Ryan, Emma Johnston, Madeleine Ievers Middle Row: Holly Gilpin, Hannah Meredith, Kristin Kerr, Amber Hamilton, Saya Caddy Front Row: Marnie Preston, Sophie Longstaff,  Tara Kerr (Capt), Sophie Kenny, Evie Hempstead


sport U13A XI Hockey Team Back Row: Ellie Dornan, Lucy Chambers,  Amy Ellison, Gabriella Park Middle Row:  Tilly Nield, Hannah McGugan,  Anna McKinty, Joanna Carson, Rachel McDonald Front Row: Penny Hood, Lara Whitten, Molly Elliott (Capt), Anna Gillespie, Zara Hanna

Faye Wallace,  AS-level

U13B XI Hockey Team Back Row: Ellie Johnston,  Amy Ellison,  Abi Stevenson, Sophie Jordan, Tilly Nield Middle Row: Rosie Elwood, Lois Gillan, Cheryl Watson, Catrina Martin, Alice Henry Front Row: Rachel McDonald,  Alice Sloan, Gabriella Park (Capt), Lola Gibbons, Lauren Farmer Absent: Freya Adams, Eva McClean

U12A XI Hockey Team

U12B XI Hockey Team

Back Row: Sophie Thomas, Lucie McNaught, Sophie Hoey, Kate Hunter Middle Row: Eva Ralston, Connie Hanna, Niamh Hatfield, Anna Kirk, Sarah Tweedie Front Row:  Jessica Ryan, Cara Murray, Lucie Maskery, Mabelle Wilcox

Back Row: Katie Smith, Sophie Knox, Eloise McKnight,  Alex Faloon, Sophie Thomas Middle Row: Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh, Laura Mitchell, Emma Wilson, Aiza Ghafoor,  Anna Nicholl, Hannah Pollock Chan Front Row: Hollie Massey, Katie Sweet, Katie Dawson, Mabelle Wilcox




Senior Netball Team Back Row: Evanna Maxted, Sarah Brown Middle Row: Katie Wills,  Arianne Whiteside, Rhia Prentice Front Row:  Alex Reilly, Francesca Lynn, Ruby Baxter, Hannah McCann


his year, Strathearn has had yet another great season of Netball, with many girls getting involved at all age groups. Well done to all of the teams, but especially to the Intermediates, who came out victorious in all of their matches, including an impressive 24-3 win against Sullivan. Congratulations to the Minor B Team, whose enthusiasm and commitment has seen them victorious in all but one of their matches. There have also been a number of solid team performances from the Minor A, Junior and Senior Teams, with valuable game-play experience gained from competitive matches against schools including Glenola and Bloomfield. Individual congratulations to the following girls who were nominated for U13 Development Trials: Lauren Farmer, Zoitsa Leliveld, Isabella Todd, Leah Howe and Niamh Hanna. Well done also to Olivia Allister, Megan Adair,  Grace Hutchinson, Grace Ruding, Talia Irwin, Sarah West and Jemima Thomas, who were nominated for the U15 International Academy Trials. Special mention goes to Megan Adair who was selected for this squad. Inter-House Netball was, yet again, an extremely popular House event, with girls both playing and showing support for their Houses. I would like to thank everyone who got involved. The standard was very high and the competition was fierce. However, special congratulations go out to Watts House who won the tournament overall. I hope that this year’s competition will encourage even more girls to get involved in Netball in the years to come. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support of our excellent coaching staff. We are extremely grateful for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my netball career at Strathearn and I wish the girls luck for future seasons. Sarah Brown, U6S

Summer Topping up on tan BBQ in the hot sun Sitting by the pool Hannah McGugan, 2S

Intermediate Netball Team Back Row: Katie Wills,  Arianne Whiteside, Eve Elliott, Ruby Baxter Middle Row: Megan Adair, Sophie Mitchell, Olivia Allister,  Anna McKibbin, Grace Hutchinson Front Row: Grace Ruding, Sophie Neale, Hannah McCann, Rhiannon Brady

Junior A Netball Team (right) Back Row: Elly Ryan, Rachel Lemon, Sarah West,  Tara Kerr Front Row: Sophie Longstaff,  Jemima Thomas,  Talia Irwin, Molly Walker



Junior B Netball Team

Minor A Netball Team

Back Row: Katie Robinson, Ella Rook Middle Row: Evie Hempstead, Holly Gilpin, Rebecca Callaghan Front Row:  Amber Hamilton, Molly Walker, Sophie Kenny, Tory Kerr

Back Row: Megan Stewart, Rachel Golden Middle Row: Niamh Hanna,  Joanna Carson, Leah Howe Front Row: Lauren Mooney, Lauren Farmer, Ellie Van Giesen,  Andra  Vladu

Showjumping Teams Back Row F

Form 1 Netball Team Minor B Netball Team Back Row: Emmerald Emerson, Lauren Ayre, Isabella Todd, Zoitsa Leliveld,  Julia Rawson Front Row:  Arabella Brown, Lois Gillan, Erin McConnell, Lola Gibbons

Back Row: Charlotte Nicholson, Sophie Hoey, Madeline Best, Freya Murray, Lucie McNaught Middle Row: Leah Orr, Rosie Hardy,  Juliette Ruelland-Kennedy, Lois Whiteside, Madalaine Wilson, Erin McClure,  Amber Brown, Stella Moore Front Row:  Aimee Blair, Eva Ralston, Romelly Roberts,  Aiza Ghafoor, Sarah Tweedie, Hannah Pollock-Chan, Ella Simms Absent: Molly Bladon

NI Intermediate Tetrathlon Team 2015

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2015

NI Junior Tetrathlon Team 2015


Rose De

Freya Axten

Jessica Collin, GCSE 47

sport Gymnastics


he Gymnastics Club has been up and running for two years, and is continuing to go from strength to strength. It is run by Victoria Dowson who also runs The Gymnastics Academy in Comber. Its twenty-five enthusiastic members attend every Friday to learn and choreograph routines, learn new individual skills and practise pair and group balances. On 25 February, a number of girls took part in the Northern Irish Schools’ Sports Acrobatics Championships, which was held at Newry Sports Centre. The Strathearn A Team was represented by Emma Hylands,  Aimee McGill, Rebekah O’Tiarnagh, Hannah Pollock Chan, Cara Murray and Freya Murray who came 3rd in the U14 Groups section.The B Team members were Erin McClure, Rebekah Devlin, Hannah Watson, Caitlyn Corbett, Lauren Wilson, Molly Bladon and Ellie Gilmore who came 6th in the U14 Groups section.  Jodi Wilson and Rachel Caughers were placed 1st in the U19 Novice Pairs section, and Emma Hylands and Aimee McGill were placed 3rd in the U14 Pairs section. Special thanks to Victoria, who helped make the day such an enjoyable experience. Jodi Wilson, 4T

Gymnastics Teams Back Row: Ellie Gilmore, Lauren Wilson, Caitlyn Corbett, Hannah Wilson,  Alia Cairns Middle Row: Rebecca O’Tiarnaigh,  Aimee McGill, Erin McClure, Freya Murray, Molly Bladon Front Row: Emma Hylands, Rebekah Devlin, Cara Murray, Hannah Pollock Chan,  Jodi Wilson Absent: Rachel Caughers



n 20 November, a team of ten girls from Strathearn competed in the Northern Ireland Schools’ Trampolining Championships, held in Ards Leisure Centre. Strathearn entered  A and B Teams, which each consisted of four girls. Both of these teams were entered in the U14 Novice Competition. The A Team consisted of Alexandra Speers, Katie Holmes, Eliza Chittick and Erin McClure. The B Team consisted of Emma Legge, Ellie Johnston, Ella Simms and Amy Wilson.  All girls performed really well, with the A Team finishing in 2nd place.  Also in the U14 Novice Category, Eliza Chittick was placed 2nd individually. Erin Vogan was entered in the U19 Novice Competition and Sophie Neale in the U19 Intermediate Competition. The A Team then qualified to travel to Wigan to compete in the School’s Zonal Championships in February. The girls represented Strathearn very well. Congratulations to all the girls who took part! We hope next year will bring us further enjoyment and success! Sophie Neale and Eliza Chittick have also been selected for the Northern Ireland Level 2 and Level 3 Teams respectively, and will compete in the British Gymnastics Regional Team Final in Birmingham in June. Sophie Neale, 5S

Trampolining Teams Back Row: Ellie Johnston, Emma Legge, Erin Vogan Middle Row: Ella Simms,  Alex Speers, Erin McClure,  Amy Wilson Front Row: Katie Holmes, Sophie Neale, Eliza Chittick


sport Junior Dance


his year, the Strathearn Junior Dance Team consisted of eighteen talented dancers from Forms 1-3. The girls met weekly for after-school rehearsals to perfect a routine, choreographed by Form 5 pupils Rebecca Black, Sarah McTaggart and Aife Sansom, to a song named ‘Run Boy Run’ which was based on the tribal theme which was decided at the start of the year. In December the team took part in a sponsored silence during school which helped to raise over £500 for costumes needed for the competition. On 9 March, the team competed in the Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobics Competition held in Lisburn Leisureplex. Their hard work and dedication paid off, and they were placed third overall in the Junior Section. The day was filled with nerves and a lot of excitement and the whole team was thrilled to receive their bronze medal. Congratulations to everyone who participated. Aife Sansom, 5A


Junior Dance Team Back Row:  Aife Sansom (Coach),  Aimee McGill, Emma Hylands, Marnie Preston, Charlotte Keers, Rebecca Black (Coach), Sarah McTaggart (Coach) Second Row:  Alex Faloon, Molly Elliott, Sophie Hoey, Rebecca Crymble, Ellie Dornan Third Row: Seren Evans, Penny Hood, Rachel Neale, Hannah McCartney, Niamh Hatfield, Leah Howe Front Row: Rebekah Devlin,  Annie Heavern, Lara Whitten

Intermediate Dance

his year the Intermediate Team consisted of seventeen girls from Forms 3-5, who auditioned with fifty other pupils in September. Rehearsals started in October, and the girls worked extremely hard in perfecting the choreography that was assigned. On 10 March, the team competed in the annual Northern Ireland Creative Movement and Aerobics Competition (NICMAC) against forty other routines performed by other schools from across Northern Ireland. The team performed a three-minute routine to ‘Dare’ by Shakira, choreographed by Ellie Biggerstaff, Evanna Maxted,  Alice Graham and Sophie Gillespie from L6. The theme for the dance this year was a puppet show with the team giving a tremendous performance. The standard was extremely high but the girls managed to pull off a very commendable second place. Congratulations to all the dancers who participated! Sophie Gillespie, L6R

Sport Sport is memories of my primary school. It helps me think and relax after a long day at school. Sport is Irish dancing in a hall of happy children, dancing to the Irish dancing rhythms. Sport is gymnastics, flipping flopping on the mats, trying new skills and stuff like that. Sport is trampolining, jumping and bouncing, while learning the competition routine Sport is football, being a solid defender, kicking the ball up the pitch. Sport is hockey, tackling the forward

Intermediate Dance Team

and whacking it up field to your friends.

Back Back:  Jordan Hineson, Mia Wheatley, Zara Wilson, Phoebe Spratt,  Jasmine Trill Middle Row:  Alice Graham (Coach),  Taylor Healy, Evie Hempstead, Emily O’Callaghan, Aife Sansom, Zara Hamilton, Rebecca Black, Kaitlyn Kennedy, Evanna Maxted (Coach) Front Row: Sophie Gillespie (Coach),  Jade Scott, Rebecca Welsh,  Anna McCabe, Sarah McTaggart,  Alice Huddleston, Ellie Biggerstaff (Coach)


Sport is netball, shooting and scoring, working hard to keep the ball up the court. Erin McClure, 1A



Tennis 2015-2016

016 was another strong year for Tennis in Strathearn. It saw two teams bringing silverware back to the school. The facilities we have at Strathearn for tennis are first rate and really help those participating in the sport, whether competitively or not, to have a very enjoyable experience. Strathearn entered six teams in various Ulster Schools’ Tennis competitions. Form One Tennis proved to be a popular afterschool activity with many girls attending. From this group, a Minor Team emerged consisting of Anna Gillespie, Hannah McGugan, Lauren Mooney, Rachel Golden and Tilly Nield. This team saw victories against Bloomfield and Hunterhouse, but unfortunately suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Sullivan and Victoria. 2016 saw a change in the structure of the Intermediate Section, from a round-robin competition to a knockout system. The Intermediate B Team of Claire Whiteside, Ellen Gilpin, Claire Hunter and Katie Caldwell successfully progressed to the second round of the competition, in which they were defeated by a strong Methody A Team. The Senior Competition saw a similar change in structure. This team of Saskia Craig, Bonnie Ramsay, Emily Whiteside and Rachel Thomas made it through to the quarter-finals of the competition. There they lost to a competitive Sullivan side.

Intermediate B & Senior Tennis Teams Back Row: Claire Hunter, Katie Caldwell Front Row: Bonnie Ramsay, Claire Whiteside Absent: Ellen Gilpin, Claire Hunter

The Junior A Team of Emma McGugan, Jemima Thomas, Grace Hutchinson and Erin Stewart proved to be a strong team and sailed through to the Ulster finals at Bangor Lawn Tennis Club. Methody came out on top in a highly-contested match, which saw some fantastic tennis. The girls fought hard and should be very pleased with their runners-up position. Following their exit in the third round of the cup competition, the Junior B Team, consisting of Murphy Miller, Emma Craig, Sarah Craig, Sarah West, Clara Potts, went on to win the Junior Plate competition. They played a strong and tactical game, securing a comprehensive win against Victoria College. The Intermediate A Team of Jessica Leeman, Megan Chambers, Jessica Moore and Victoria Hamilton took on the task of defending the Ulster Intermediate title they won in 2015. They were more than equal to this task. The girls dominated all of their matches and secured their place in the final once again without dropping a game. Here they met the Methody A Team and won in straight sets, taking home the Ulster Intermediate Cup for the second successive year. the girls have won the Ulster title in each age group over the last five years, and hope to continue with this winning streak in their final two years at school. At representative level, Jessica Leeman and Anna Gillespie were selected on the Ulster U18 and U14 Teams respectively. Jessica was also selected to act as a ball girl at the ATP World Tour in the O2 Arena in London this year, and was on duty for the final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. As well as the Inter-schools competitions, Strathearn girls also had the opportunity to participate in Inter-House competitions. These competitions are a great opportunity for lots of girls to get involved in tennis at Strathearn.

Intermediate A Tennis Team Ulster Schools’ Intermediate Champions

Ellen Gilpin, L6

Back Row: Megan Chambers,  Victoria Hamilton Front Row:  Jessica Leeman,  Jessica Moore



Junior A Tennis Team

Junior B  Tennis Team Ulster Schools’  Junior Plate Winners

Back Row:  Jemima Thomas Front Row: Grace Hutchinson, Erin Stewart Absent: Emma McGugan

Back Row: Murphy Miller, Emma Craig Front Row: Sarah Craig, Clara Potts, Sarah West

Ulster U18 Tennis Team (2016)

Ulster U14 Tennis Team (2016)

Jessica Leeman

Anna Gillespie

Exams are Done The final test ends We run out like we’re on fire Time to celebrate! Ella Baxter, 2S

Minor Tennis Team Back Row: Rachel Golden,  Tilly Nield Front Row: Lauren Mooney,  Anna Gillespie Absent: Hannah McGugan

GB U20 Women’s Foil Squad & UK School Games: NI U19 Team Keziah Beattie







n Friday afternoons during lunch, a group of girls ranging from Forms 1 to 4, play and learn about football. The team is coached by Mr Karrington and Miss Minihan. Usually we practise a particular skill (for example, free kicks) and then finish the session with a match. Many of us had the opportunity to play against Dundonald High School last year in a friendly match, but unfortunately we lost narrowly. This year we hope to play more school teams. Jana McCabe, 4T

he Ulster Division of the Irish Schools’ Championship took place on 31 March at Ardglass Golf Club. Tess McMillen, 5T, Heidi McMillen, 4R and Lucie McNaught, 1H, took part in the event.  Although the weather conditions were undesirable, with the wind and rain proving persistent, the team performed well with Tess and Heidi achieving commendable results respectively. Lucie had a tremendous score and was awarded the Senior Nett prize. Tess McMillen, 5T

Cycling UK School Games: Ulster U16 Team Katie Armstrong

Golf Team


Back Row: Lois Gillan, Lucie McNaught Front Row:  Tess McMillen, Heidi McMillen


have been a member of the Kayaking Club at Strathearn since the start of last year. The club is run by Belfast Kayaking Academy (BKA). We meet every Friday after school and get the minibus to the Ormiston Estate just across the road. We get picked up later at 5.30pm. It is a fun way of exercising and you can make new friends. On the Ormiston Estate there is a lake and an indoor swimming pool. When we arrive, we change into our wetsuits, put on our safety equipment, and then get into a kayak in the pool. A professional kayaking instructor is always there to guide us, and teach us new skills and techniques. There are opportunities to go on regular outings to other parts of Northern Ireland with BKA. We have started a Strathearn Canoe Polo Team and we will be competing against other schools. I would really recommend joining the club because I believe that it is an excellent opportunity available to us at Strathearn. Alex Armstrong, 4A

Sailing: NI U15 Topper Squad Jess Winton

Orienteering: Ireland & NI Junior Squads Sophie Pružina


sport Badminton


his year has been another eventful and successful year for the Badminton Club. Badminton has continued to run on Fridays after school from 3:30-5:00pm for girls of all abilities and year groups. This has given everyone a great opportunity to learn from other players and improve their skills and knowledge of the sport.  All the girls have enjoyed playing games and matches and their standard of play and understanding of the rules have greatly improved over the course of the year. This year, due to the growing popularity of the club, we were able to enter teams at Form 1,  Junior and Senior levels to represent Strathearn in the Ulster Schools’ Badminton Competitions. The Form 1 Team consisted of Aiza Ghafoor, Sarah Tweedie, Lois Whiteside and Cara Murray. This was an excellent year for our youngest team, which reached the Ulster Schools’ Cup Final after defeating Friends School Lisburn and Wallace High School. All four girls played an outstanding match against Coleraine Grammar School. Unfortunately, the match went to 3:3 and in the end, the team narrowly lost by only one point! This displays great promise for this young team’s future. The Junior Team comprised of Nicole Kane, Ellie Davis, Tavisha Sood, Heidi McMillen and Arianne Whiteside. The team got off to a very strong start, defeating Bloomfield 4-2 and drawing against Banbridge Academy and Cavan, but were beaten by Friends’ School Lisburn. The Senior Team consisted of Marie Fung, Hannah McCann, Tess McMillen, Evanna Maxted and Claire Whiteside. Our oldest team started off the season beating Down High 4-2 and drawing against Cavan. Unfortunately the team narrowly lost to a strong Friends’ School Lisburn, 2-4. Congratulations to all the girls who represented the school and attended the Badminton Club every week. They showed great commitment and enthusiasm throughout the year.  Additionally, thanks to Miss Brittain for all her hard work in running the Badminton Club and arranging our matches. We hope to continue our success next year! Claire Whiteside, 5A

art and level

Senior Badminton Team Back Row:Tess McMillen, Evanna Maxted Front Row: Claire Whiteside, Hannah McCann Absent: Marie Fung

Junior Badminton Team

Form 1 Badminton Team

Back Row: Ellie Davis,Tavisha Sood Front Row:  Arianne Whiteside, Nicole Kane, Heidi McMillen

Back Row: Cara Murray, Sarah Tweedie Front Row: Lois Whiteside,  Aiza Ghafoor

Nicola McIlwaine, GCSE



Senior Cross-Country Team Co Down District Schools’ Senior Champions

Intermediate Cross-Country Team Co Down District & Ulster Schools’ Intermediate Champions

Back Row: Georgina Gomes, Sarah Brown, Keziah Beattie Front Row:  Alex Reilly, Harriet Platt, Beth Crosbie

Back Row: Katie Wills, Ruby Baxter,  Aimee Stitt Front Row: Erin McConnell, Murphy Miller, Olivia Nelson



n 9 February, all of the Strathearn athletes competed in the Co Down District Cross-Country Championships. The event took place at Kilbroney Forest Park in Rosstrevor.  All the teams put in an exceptional performance bringing home all five of the Co Down trophies. We then set off to the Ulster Championships with high expectations and the girls did not disappoint, winning both the Intermediate and Mini Team events, finishing as runners up in the Juniors, 5th in the Seniors and 6th in the Minors. Due to these results, Strathearn were crowned the Overall Ulster Schools’ Cross-Country Champions. On 11 March, the Junior and Intermediate Teams were back at Mallusk for the Irish Schools’ Cross-Country Championships. Due to the excellent combined efforts of the teams, both the Juniors and Seniors achieved bronze medals. Special mention goes to Amelia Kane who achieved a silver medal at the Irish Schools’ Championships, and was selected for the U15 Irish Schools’ Cross-Country Team which will run at the Schools’ International Competition in Wales on 25 March.


Mini Cross-Country Team Co Down District & Ulster Schools’ Mini Champions Back Row: Sophie Thomas, Mabelle Wilcox, Kate Hunter Front Row: Connie Hanna,  Alice Browne, Hollie Massey, Niamh Hatfield


The colourful van trundles into a small street. The familiar tune starts to sound, a signal for children to alert their parents They start to panic, looking for loose change jingling in their pockets. A queue starts to form - they wait for their own snowy mountain in a cone. Abbey Connor, 3S



Junior Cross-Country Team Co Down District Schools’ Junior Champions

Minor Cross-Country Team Co Down District Schools’ Minor Champions

Back Row: Eve McKibbin, Chloe Browne,  Jemima Thomas Front Row: Charlotte Keers,  Amelia Kane, Sophie Kenny

Back Row: Lucy Chambers,  Anna McKinty, Mia Davison Front Row: Lara Whitten, Freya Adams, Rosie Elwood

Show Jumping

he Show Jumping Team competed at the Inter-Schools’ Show Jumping Competition on 1 October at Balmoral Park, Lisburn. In the Open Competition, the Senior Team of Charlotte De Montmorency-Wright, Fionn Clarke, Orla Cummings and Freya Axten came second overall after an exciting jump off against Down High. In the Open Individual 1m Competition, Fionn Clarke finished 4th. In the Novice Competition, the Junior Team of Charlotte Keers, Felicity Johnston, Molly Cahoon and Katie Smith were unfortunate to miss the jump off with a total of four faults and were not placed overall, but won the Tack and Turnout Trophy for the third successive year. In the Novice Individual 95cm Competition, Zoe Martin came 6th overall.

Show Jumping Teams Open Show Jumping Team (left)

Back Row: Freya Axten Front Row: Charlotte de Montmorency-Wright, Orla Cummings Absent: Fionn Clarke

Novice Show-Jumping Team: Tack & Turnout Winners (right) Back Row: Molly Cahoon, Felicity Johnston Front Row: Katie Smith, Charlotte Keers Absent: Zoe Martin




UK School Games: Northern Ireland Under17 Team Olivia Nelson

Ireland & Ulster Schools’ Under17 Team Amelia Kane

Ulster Schools’ Under17 Team Natalie McHugh

Athletics 2015-2016

ongratulations to all the athletes who competed at the Co Down District Athletics Championships on 4 and 12 May 2016. Strathearn were crowned Co Down Champions at Intermediate, Junior and Minor levels. Seniors: 2nd Overall in Co Down with great performances from the following girls: Megan Marrs 1st 100m & 1st 100m Hurdles; Kate Farrelly 1st Triple Jump (with a new district record of 11.25m) & 2nd 100m Hurdles; Lauren Brooker 1st 400m Hurdles & 2nd High Jump;  Aimee Irwin 2nd Long Jump; Lara Creighton 2nd Javelin; Laura Middleton 2nd Hammer; Gabrielle Park 3rd Hammer; Evanna Maxted 3rd Discus & 9th Shot; Hannah Eakin 4th Long Jump & 6th Discus; Sarah Brown 4th 1500m; Keziah Beattie 7th 800m; Flo Ogonda 8th Shot; Relay: 2nd - Lauren Brooker, Kate Farrelly,  Aimee Irwin & Megan Marrs. Intermediates: Co Down Champions with 10 of the 16 girls qualifying for the Ulster Championships. Kerry Annett 1st 80m Hurdles & 1st Triple Jump; Beth Crosbie 1st Hammer & 2nd 300m; Eve Truesdale 1st Long Jump; Olivia Nelson 1st 3000m; Molly Longstaff 2nd 100m & 3rd Long Jump; Erin McConnell 2nd 3000m; Sam McCormick 2nd 1500m; Zara Wilson 2nd Hammer & 5th Discus; Natalie McHugh 3rd Javelin & 7th High Jump; Sian Anderson 3rd 80m Hurdles & 11th Triple Jump; Hannah McCann 4th Javelin & 12th Shot; Ruby Baxter 6th 200m & 6th 800m; Sophie Neale 7th 200m & 9th Discus; Katie Wills 5th 300m; Alex Reilly 6th 1500m; Victoria Hamilton 8th Shot;  Arianne Whiteside 8th High Jump; Relay: 4th - Molly Longstaff, Kerry Annett, Beth Crosbie & Eve Truesdale. Juniors: Co Down Champions, including a first class performance by Murphy Miller who broke the 800m record with a speedy time of 2 minutes 18.9 seconds. Other junior results were as follows: Harriet Platt 1st Triple Jump & 1st 75m Hurdles; Murphy Miller 1st 800m & 3rd 200m;  Amelia Kane 1st 1500m;  Aimee Stitt 2nd 200m & 3rd 800m; Emma Craig 2nd Javelin; Lucy Mashford 3rd Hammer & 5th Shot; Daisy Moore 3rd Long Jump; Alex Fawcett 4th Javelin; Megan Adair 4th Triple Jump & 9th Long Jump; Erin Stewart 4th Hammer; Eve Elliott 4th Discus & 4th Shot;  Anna McKibbin 7th 75m Hurdles & 10th High Jump; Leah McClements 7th 100m; Freya Axten 7th 1500m & 15th High Jump; Rhiannon Brady 8th 100m; Grace Hutchinson 8th Discus; Relay: 2nd - Murphy Miller, Aimee Stitt, Leah McClements & Rhiannon Brady. Minors: Co Down Champions, with some fantastic performances from girls who are only 12 or 13 years old.  Amelia Hopkins 1st High Jump & 2nd 75m Hurdles; Sophie Longstaff 2nd 100m & 6th Long Jump; Evie Hempstead 3rd 75m Hurdles; Eve McKibbin 3rd Long Jump;  Andra Vladu 10th Shot; Tara Kerr 12th High Jump; Sarah West 22nd Shot; Relay: 4th - Eve McKibbin,  Andra Vladu, Tory Kerr & Sophie Longstaff. Minis: Overall 4th in Co Down. Maia Simmons 2nd Long Jump & 16th 100m; Mia Davison 4th High Jump & 30th Shot;  Anna McKinty 7th Long Jump; Molly Elliott 9th 100m & 12th Shot; Rosie Elwood 12th High Jump; Relay: 2nd - Maia Simmons,  Anna McKinty,  Alice Sloan & Molly Elliott. At the Ulster Schools’ Athletics Championships on 20 and 21 May 2016, Strathearn was represented by over 30 athletes spread across all 5 age groups in a variety of events. Strathearn finished with the most points overall, and so we brought home the Ulster Schools’ Challenge Cup. Well done to all our athletes! Minis: Maia Simmons 1st Long Jump; Relay: 5th - Maia Simmons,  Anna McKinty,  Alice Sloan & Molly Elliott. Minors:  Amelia Hopkins 5th High Jump & 6th 75m Hurdles. Juniors: 2nd overall in Ulster; Harriet Platt 1st Triple Jump & 5th 75m Hurdles;  Amelia Kane 2nd 1500m; Aimee Stitt 2nd 800m; Murphy Miller 3rd 800m; Emma Craig 5th Javelin; Lucy Mashford 8th Hammer; Relay: 2nd - Murphy Miller,  Aimee Stitt, Leah McClements & Rhiannon Brady. Intermediates: we had outstanding performances from all members of the Intermediate Team which led to them being crowned overall Ulster Champions! Olivia Nelson 1st 1500m; Eve Truesdale 2nd Long Jump; Kerry Annett 3rd Triple Jump & 5th 80m Hurdles; Beth Crosbie 4th Hammer & 5th 300m; Natalie McHugh 5th Javelin; Zara Wilson 7th Hammer. Seniors: 3rd overall in Ulster. Megan Marrs 1st 100m Hurdles; Kate Farrelly 2nd Triple Jump & 3rd 100m Hurdles; Lauren Brooker 3rd High Jump & 6th 400m Hurdles; Laura Middleton 4th Hammer; Lara Creighton 4th Javelin; Gabrielle Park 5th Hammer; Aimee Irwin 6th Long Jump; Relay: 3rd - Shannon Booth, Kate Farrelly,  Aimee Irwin & Molly Longstaff. Following our athletes’ exceptional performances at District and Ulster level, ten individual girls and a Relay Team qualified for the Irish Schools’ Athletics Championships which took place in Tullamore, Co Offaly, on 4  June. 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. Seniors: 2nd overall in Ireland. Megan Marrs 1st 100m Hurdles (Irish Champion!); Kate Farrelly 2nd Triple Jump & 5th 100m Hurdles; Lauren Brooker 8th High Jump. Intermediates: Olivia Nelson 4th 3000m; Kerry Annett 5th Triple Jump; Eve Truesdale 7th Long Jump. Juniors: Irish Junior Champions! Harriet Platt 1st Triple Jump (Irish Champion!);  Amelia Kane 3rd 1500m; Murphy Miller 4th 800m;  Aimee Stitt 9th 800m; Relay: 3rd - Leah McClements,  Aimee Stitt, Murphy Miller & Rhiannon Brady. This year a record number of Strathearn girls were selected for the U17 Interprovincial Team to represent Ulster at the Tailteann Schools’ Championships in Santry on 25 June. On this day Murphy Miller finished 5th in the 800m, Kerry Annett was 3rd in the Triple Jump,  Amelia Kane was 2nd in the 1500m and Natalie McHugh was 11th in the Javelin. Eve Truesdale and Olivia Nelson also qualified, but were unable to attend. The Strathearn athletes’ representative honours continued over the summer months, with Megan Marrs competing for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland U20 team, Olivia Nelson for the Northern Ireland U17 UK School Games Team and Amelia Kane for the U17 Irish Schools’ Team. Well done also to the Strathearn athletes who competed at the Ulster Schools’ Multi-Event Championships on 15 September at the Antrim Forum. The girls had to battle it out over five different events - Hurdles, High Jump, Long Jump, Shot and 800m. In the Minors, Eve McKibbin finished 9th and Amelia Hopkins 10th. In the Juniors, Harriet Platt finished 4th, Murphy Miller was 7th and Aimee Stitt 9th. In the Intermediate Competition Molly Longstaff took home the silver medal and Beth Crosbie was placed 4th. Well done to all athletes this year and good luck for the seasons to come. Kate Farrelly, U6



Senior Athletics Team Back Row: Sarah Brown, Evanna Maxted Front Row: Keziah Beattie, Kate Farrelly

Intermediate Athletics Team Co Down District & Ulster Schools’ Intermediate Champions

Back Row: Katie Wills, Zara Wilson,  Arianne Whiteside, Natalie McHugh, Beth Crosbie Middle Row: Hannah McCann,  Victoria Hamilton, Olivia Nelson, Eve Truesdale, Sam McCormick,  Alex Reilly Front Row: Ruby Baxter, Sophie Neale, Kerry Annett, Sian Anderson, Erin McConnell, Molly Longstaff

Ulster Schools’ Under 17 Athletics Team Kerry Annett (above) Murphy Miller (below)

Junior Athletics Team Co Down District & Irish Schools’ Junior Champions Back Row:  Aimee Stitt, Freya Axten, Emma Craig, Eve Elliott,  Anna McKibbin Middle Row: Daisy Moore, Leah McClements, Murphy Miller, Erin Stewart, Grace Hutchinson,  Alex Fawcett Front Row: Megan Adair, Lucy Mashford, Harriet Platt, Rhiannon Brady,  Amelia Kane



Mini Athletics Team

Minor Athletics Team Co Down District Schools’ Minor Champions

Back Row: Molly Elliott, Mia Davison Front Row:  Alice Sloan,  Anna McKinty, Rosie Elwood

Back Row: Sarah West,  Amelia Hopkins Middle Row: Evie Hempstead, Emily Gault,  Tara Kerr,  Jemima Thomas Front Row: Sophie Longstaff,  Tori Kerr, Eve McKibbin


Sports Hall Athletics

n November, girls from Forms 1-4 began training on Thursday nights and Monday lunchtimes for Sports Hall Athletics. They trained in events such as the Standing Long Jump, the Speed Bounce, the 2 Lap Sprint and the Obstacle Relay. On 23 March, the team went to the Ulster Championships at the Magherafelt Meadowbank Arena, where they competed against four other teams from Londonderry, Fermanagh,  Antrim and Donegal. The team got off to a great start coming 2nd in the 4x1 Lap Relay, the 4x2 Lap Relay and just missing out in the Obstacle Relay. There was also individual success, with Sophie Longstaff gaining a bronze in the U15 Speed Bounce and Sophie Hoey silver in the U13 Standing Long Jump. Overall the girls put in a great team performance and the U13 Team finished 3rd overall.

U13 Sports Hall Athletics Team

U15 Sports Hall Athletics Team

Back Row:  Anna McKinty, Sophie Hoey, Casey Dawson, Kate Hunter Middle Row: Mabelle Wilcox, Mia Montgomery, Sophie Jordan, Alice Sloan Front Row: Connie Hanna, Zara Hanna, Hollie Massey,  Anna Kirk, Jessica Ryan

Back Row: Evie Hempstead, Sarah West,  Tara Kerr, Emily Gault Middle Row:  Andra Vladu, Murphy Miller, Hannah Meredith, Kristin Kerr Front Row: Sophie Kenny,  Jemima Thomas, Leah McClements,  Tori Kerr, Sophie Longstaff


sport Sophie Pružina, AS Level



he Ulster Schools’ Cup took place at Belfast Boat Club on 6 March, with Strathearn entering two teams. The U15 Team, consisting of Hannah McGugan, Jemima Thomas and Sophie Thomas, beat Methodist College Belfast 2-1 to become Ulster Champions. The U19 Team of Emma McGugan, Victoria White and Alex Reilly also claimed the Ulster title, which means that both our teams have qualified for the Irish Schools’ Championships in Cork in April. Sophie Thomas U13, Hannah McGugan U15, Emma McGugan U17 and Victoria White U19 were all selected to represent Ulster at this year’s Irish Junior Interprovincial Championships in Dublin and from this Sophie and Hannah have been selected to compete for Ireland at the upcoming Five Nations Championships in Wales.

U19 Squash Team Ulster Schools’ U19 Champions

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

U15 Squash Team Ulster Schools’ U15 Champions

Hannah Craig has had a busy year competing around the world in a variety of squash tournaments. Currently ranked 5th in Europe, she has enjoyed a number of successes, including winning the French Junior Open in February and recently picking up 3rd place at the German Junior Open. Hannah is also the current Irish Senior and Junior U19 Champion, and will be competing at the European Senior Championships in Helsinki and at the U19 European Championships in Portugal next month, where she will play both the individual and team events. She will also be representing Ireland at the World Junior Championships in New Zealand in July before taking up her scholarship at Harvard University. This is an amazing opportunity for Hannah to be able to train with some of the best players in the world and to benefit from top class facilities and coaching. Victoria White, U6

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

Ireland Senior & U19 Teams (2016)

Ireland U15 Team (2016)

Hannah Craig

Emma McGugan

Ulster U17 Team

Ulster U17 Team

Victoria White

Alex Reilly


Ireland & Ulster U13 Team

Hannah McGugan




t has been another great year for Strathearn’s swimmers, with many individual and team successes. The first gala of the year was the Swim Ulster Schools’ Cup on 15 October at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic Complex; our swimmers came home with five gold, three silver, two bronze medals and an impressive Ulster Schools’ title. The Minor Relay Team of Alice Browne, Martha Cupples, Niamh Hatfield and Gabriella Park were first to swim and were placed 7th in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays.  Alice Browne qualified for the 50m Freestyle final, in which she finished 9th. The times she clocked in both the 50m Freestyle and 100m IM meant that she qualified for the Irish Minor Schools’ Gala on 12 February in the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin, but unfortunately she could not compete. The Junior Team swam exceptionally well, with at least one Strathearn swimmer in each final. Rebekah Burrows and Rebecca Callaghan qualified for the 100m Backstroke final and finished 6th and 9th respectively. Rebekah Burrows also finished 8th in the 100m Freestyle final and Eve McKibbin finished 9th in the 100m Butterfly final. Mia Davison and Amelia Kane qualified for both the 100m Breaststroke and 200m IM finals, with Mia winning gold and silver and Amelia winning silver and bronze respectively. The Relay Team of Mia Davison,  Amelia Kane, Eve McKibbin, Rebekah Burrows and Rebecca Callaghan were double gold medallists, winning both the Medley and Freestyle Relays.  A combination of the whole team’s individual results meant Strathearn also emerged Overall Ulster Schools’ Junior Champions, and brought home the Firth Cup. They had the privilege of being presented with this cup by Bethany Firth herself who had recently returned from Rio having swum in the Paralympics for Team GB, where she won winning three gold medals and one silver medal. The Intermediate Relay Team of Erin McConnell, Samantha McCormick, Sophie Williams and Olivia Nelson were also double gold medallists winning both Freestyle and Medley relays. Erin McConnell took home the bronze medal in the 100m Butterfly final and the silver medal in the open 400m Freestyle. Sophie Williams just missed out on a medal, finishing 4th in the 100m Backstroke final and 6th in the 100m Freestyle final. Samantha McCormick qualified for both the 100m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley finals, in which she finished 5th and 8th. The Senior Relay Team of Victoria White, Caitie Williams, Freya Axten and Rachel Childs came 8th in both the Freestyle and Medley relays. The next gala of the year was the Ulster Grammar Schools’ Swimming Gala in Ballymena on 26 November. The Junior Team swam very well with Alice Browne, Lauren Nesbitt, Rebecca Callaghan and Faith Heyburn all finishing in the top ten in their events. The Relay Team of Rebecca Callaghan, Lauren Nesbitt, Faith Heyburn and Freya Adams won bronze in the Medley Relay, and just missed out on a medal in the Freestyle Relay finishing 4th. Samantha McCormick took home bronze in both the Intermediate 200m IM and in the 100m Breaststroke finals. The Ulster Secondary Schools’ Gala took place in Ballymena on 18 March and in the Junior Competition, Rachel Childs was 7th in the 100m Butterfly and 8th in the 100m Backcrawl. Freya Adams was 8th in the 100m IM and 10th in the 100m Freestyle. The Relay Team of Faith Heyburn, Evie Gallen, Rachel Childs and Freya Adams finished in 6th place in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays. In the Open Competition Anna Heyburn was 6th in the Intermediate 100m Freestyle, Sam McCormick was 11th and 12th in the Intermediate 100m Butterfly and 200m IM respectively. Victoria White came home with a bronze medal in the Senior 100m Backcrawl, finished 6th in the 100m Freestyle and was a member of the Relay Team which took gold in both the Medley and Freestyle relays. The rest of the team was made up of Sam McCormick,  Anna Heyburn and Sophie Thomas. Congratulations to Erin McConnell,  Amelia Kane and Mia Davison who were selected to represent Ulster at the Interprovincial Swimming Championships in the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin, on 29 April. Erin and Amelia also represented Ireland in the UK School Games back in September. Well done! Congratulations to all swimmers for yet another very successful year! Victoria White, U6

Swimming Teams

Back Row: Evie Gallen, Sam McCormick, Mia Davison, Freya Axton, Chloe Browne, Olivia Nelson, Lauren Nesbitt Middle Row: Gabriella Park, Erin McConnell, Rebecca Callaghan, Rebekah Burrows, Evie Hempstead, Sophie Williams, Eve McKibbin Front Row:  Alice Browne, Rachel McDonald, Freya Adams,  Victoria White,  Amelia Kane, Niamh Hatfield, Lara Whitten, Martha Cupples Absent: Rachel Childs, Caitie Williams, Sophie Thomas, Romelly Roberts



Swimming: UK School Games: Ireland U16 & Ulster Schools’ U16 Team (2016)

Erin McConnell

Junior Swimming Team Ulster Champions – Swim Ulster The Firth Junior Schools’ Cup Back Row: Evie Gallen, Mia Davison, Chloe Browne Middle Row: Rebecca Callaghan, Rebekah Burrows, Lauren Nesbitt, Evie Hempstead Front Row:  Amelia Kane, Gabriella Park, Eve McKibbin Absent: Rachel Childs, Romelly Roberts, Rachel McDonald, Lara Whitten, Freya Adams

Swimming: UK School Games: Ireland U16 Team

Amelia Kane

Anna Haslett, GCSE 61

literary section Summer in the City The sun, shining through school and office windows. Birds singing at ridiculous morning hours. Parks filled with dogs and people and birds. Cats seen lazily sunbathing beside their homes. Friends meeting friends, for ice cream! And then a shower of rain, that refreshes the air. Sorcha Corbett, 3S

Spring in the City As I stroll along the city park, I notice the daffodils beginning to bloom, And amongst the green grass a small, brown mushroom, And in a puddle from the latest rain shower, I spot a pale butterfly land on a spring flower, And enjoying the mild weather, on a brown park bench, a pensioner, Smiling, as a dog scavenging through the grass, runs up to her. Aimee Connor, 3S

Summer in the City Walking through town with my friends Shopping in the summer sun The town is filled to the brim with identical girls Short sleeved shirts, denim shorts, sunglasses and backpacks All excited for school to finally be out Traffic everywhere as families rush to the beach Trying to soak up the little bit of sun.

Winter in the City Holding a hot chocolate in my gloved hands The steam fogging up my glasses Making the freezing cold walk to school Shaking and shivering as I go It is so cold I can see my breath in front of me. Trying not to slip along the icy path Like the cars skidding along the road beside me. Amy McWhirter, 3S

Summer in the City Tourists flood the city, like swarms of bees, Looking to take the best photograph. Sun cream Regularly being applied all over. The ice cream Queue really long, it melting in your hands, and the sun Splitting the fully-blossomed trees. Clara Potts, 3S

Autumn in the City The grass in the pavement cracks, hidden by leaves. Crunching through them on a journey. Finding the hats and scarves again. The sun shining through the dying leaves,

My Lucky Charms My charms have a story... When I hold them, Memories come, And I remember where they’re from. When I was young, I went on a trip To the lonely deserts Of Egypt. We visited Giza, The land of the lost, And to the pyramids We walked and walked... A man popped up And said, “Hello!” He gave me a charm, But my mum said, “No!” I cried and cried, Until the man Again popped up And put a charm in my hand. My dad replied, “My wife said no!” The man chuckled, And yelled, “FREE!” My mum smiled And bought two, And then the charms Belonged to me! Alia Cairns, 1A

But a piercing wind taking away the heat. The colour, orange, sneaking into people’s wardrobe.

Amy McWhirter, 3S

Sorcha Corbett, 3S

Emily Buchanan, GCSE 62

literary section My Little Cow

Jessica Collin, GCSE

My little baby cow, All cute and cuddly, I got when I was born, The minute I arrived. I don’t know why I called it this. It sounds funny now. It sounds like a stupid joke. I called it Moo Moo! I used to sleep with him all the time; I still do sometimes. He’s now a little worn out. Some fluff has disappeared, But once when I lost him I don’t know why, but I didn’t really care. I didn’t see him for ages Until I found him at the bottom of my drawer. I slept with him for months, But then I had a nose bleed. He was covered in blood. He was all hard and red. My mum put him in the wash, But he didn’t smell the same. His softness turned to hardness. His face became hard to make out, But he’s still my little Moo Moo. I love him with all my might And I’ll keep him till I’m older, Then pass on to my children. Hannah Pollock Chan, 1A

Poetry Should... Poetry should be like opening an old, familiar book. Poetry should be the hop in hopscotch. Poetry should be sitting beside a warm fire on a cold, crisp night. Poetry should be like the day you hurt someone. Poetry should turn tears to laughter. Poetry should have an imagination wider than the universe. Poetry should be wondering at the smallest flower. Poetry should be like the chill when you first enter the ocean. Poetry should be like the tears of your best friend. Poetry should fear nothing but fear itself. Poetry should be the excitement on a plane. Poetry should be nothing the same. Poetry should have the wildest dreams. Poetry should comfort you when life gets tough. Poetry should be the bridge over a dangerous stream. Madalaine Wilson, 1A

Winter in the City

My Favourite Book

Sitting in the coffee shop, watching people go about their days,

Crispy, smooth pages smell old and familiar. The joy it brings inside me every time I open the crumpled pages. I got the full set for Christmas four years ago, But this one is special. Lines, quotes - they’re all great. My favourite book. The pages curve from all the times I’ve read it. I could read it over and over And never get bored. The danger, the excitement Harry Potter brings. My favourite book. The cover shows daunting gravestones. One has the deathly hallows sign on it. All the fantastic chapters: The Battle of Hogwarts, The Seven Potters, Malloy Manor - all bring Such joy and sadness. My favourite book.

Groups of teens, huddled with their Starbucks for warmth, Cars skidding by on the ice, People rushing to do last-minute Christmas shopping, Woolly hats and scarves being pulled on for heat, And snowflakes falling, at my feet. Isabelle Davidson, 3S

Believe Believe in the trees, dropping all their leaves. Believe in the sun, shining bright. Believe in the wind, tickling the grass. Believe in the rain, splashing in puddles. Believe in the clouds, racing each other across the sky. Believe in the flowers, swaying in the fresh breeze. Believe in life and its steady pace. Josie Bailie, 1A

When I am... When I am trampolining it feels like nothing can stop me! Once I am up in the air, It feels like I am reaching for the sky, As if a tube of Smarties is up there, And I am fighting to get them. Well, That’s what my coach says anyway! When I’m horse riding it feels like time passes, As I gallop away to a different world. Flying over a jump, With my best friend, I put all my faith in her and hope we make it! I love these feelings, And being at one with the horse. Amy Wilson, 1A


Madalaine Wilson, 1A

It’s Fascinating to Think that... It fascinates me to think that, … We need to sleep, Drink, Eat, Excrete, All over the world people perform the same functions, Behind closed doors, Some in view of others We are all the same inside, And have nothing to hide, But we do! Sophie Killiner, 2S

literary section My Special Item

Spring in the City

My special item is a photo Of my eleventh birthday party And all the friends I left behind at my primary school. This photo reminds me of All the fun times we have had together And how much I miss them. It makes me think of All the memories And the first time I met everyone.

Cherry blossom floating through the air, And landing in my hair, As I breathe in the crisp air, Looking up at the birds gliding through the blue sky, Oh spring, Oh spring, How you make everyone smile. Sophia Meldrum, 3S


It makes me wish That I could go back And start it all over again. Lauren Tracey, 1A

Poetry Should... Poetry Should... Be a pen so it can write all day Be a film so it can show its real colours Be the sun so it can show its beauty Be a balloon – if you pop it, it will explode with ideas Be that one lonely tear that runs down someone’s face in the movies Be your friend’s laugh that makes everyone else laugh Be the seven dwarfs with their different emotions Be like you getting angry with your sister because she ate the last doughnut Be a plane, up in the air and free Be an inky pen so it all keeps coming out Nicole Patterson, 1A

Winter is the crispy sound as you step on to the snow. The blindness of the fog and the blankets of white fluffiness. Winter is waking up on a bright, cloudy day and seeing the land painted white. Winter is wearing your cosy clothes and slipping on ice! Cobwebs glisten as you travel to school, while snowmen guard each garden.

Rainbow Rain Rainbow rain Running through the gutters Rainbow rain Pattering on the shutters Rainbow rain Making puddles on the road Rainbow rain Everywhere you go Rainbow rain On everyone’s umbrella Rainbow rain Soaking the roadside dwellers Rainbow rain Filling up my rain boots Rainbow rain Ruining businessmen’s suits Rainbow rain Rainbow rain Tara Winton, 1A

Summer The warm weather and long nights The beach days with warm sands The BBQ’s with friends and smells The free days with no school. Crowds of people in shorts and sunglasses. Isabella McKnight, 3S

Siân MacInarlin, 1A

Emily Buchanan, GCSE

Frightening Frightening is like not knowing what’s going to happen to you. It’s being in an unpredictable situation, like finding out the worst news ever. Frightening is like having your hands tied behind your back, like you are paralysed all over and you just have to sit there and watch. When something bad happens, everything stops. It’s like your head just zones out and it’s all in slow motion and your head just keeps replaying it over and over again. Frightening is the worst. Rosie Hardy, 1A

My Garden My garden was beautiful, it had grass and flowers all around. It was my palace, my mighty fort, my battlefield. It was speckled with little flowers, like dots along the grass I could feel the warm sun on my face And the cool grass under my feet The smell was that of a large bouquet of flowers or the sweetest, fragrant candle. I lay down on the bench, looking up at the willow tree, swaying in the gentle breeze. I listened out for the birds singing their sweet song I heard the rustling of the leaves and BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! Monday morning had come! Rebekah Devlin, 1S


literary section Autumn As the leaves change from bright pinks and oranges to a rainbow of colours, we know that autumn is near. The sun begins its hibernation once again, and the warm coats come back into play. We shut the windows in the day and light the fires in the night. Winter is coming! Tatiana Brown, 3S

Summer in the City The sun is shining once more The city parks are flooded with mums and men in black suits And I hear the joyful shrieks of children playing, Later getting soaked by cruel siblings. Erin McCullough, 3S

Nina Gillen, GCSE

Autumn in the City

They’re Coming...

Green and White Army

Leaves falling on the pavement, Scarves and jumpers are worn through the town Small picturesque coffee shops everywhere, Cars driving creating clouds of leaves, The noise of the city surrounds me, Walking my dog through the cold, leafy park.

Leaves beginning to fall, leaving trees bare. Pavements hidden by carpets of red, yellow and bronze. Halloween decorations beginning to appear in shops. As people wander the streets in layers upon layers of warm clothing.

I’m waiting. Waiting. Waiting… Not thinking about anything but what I will gain from this. Not wanting to think about what I will lose. It’s twelve midnight. The witching hour. Should I stay and wait? Stay and gain all that I ever wanted? Stay and lose everything that I have ever loved? Or should I run? Run from this nightmare, This trap? They’re coming, coming, coming. They’re knocking. I must run now. Too late. They’re here…

Emma Conroy, 3S

Ella Buchanan, 1A

Green and navy wool, as soft as a dog’s silky fur. ‘Northern Ireland’ written in white. Smells like home and cold, winter nights. Held above my head or wrapped around my neck. Ripped at the ends, desperately in need of a few stitches. Dirty with mud from times dropped in puddles. Seven pounds, a scarf which my dad thought was a bargain. Half-time on the clock, winning two nil, my dad seemed to have disappeared... A minute before the next half and suddenly he’s back, a scarf in his hand, soon to be wrapped around my neck. Keeping warmth in and cold out. Keeping memories alive from that cold winter night.

Isabelle Davidson, 3S

Autumn in the City

Winter In this city there is one season - winter People walk around in large, thick coats To protect themselves from the cold rain. On the road there are patches of ice That the salt couldn’t get to On the road are cars containing one person each Almost all of them, late to work Some of them swearing silently behind windscreens. At the side of the road, a patch of frosty grass Lined by trees with no leaves. Sara Boyd, 3S

Autumn The leaves are yellow, red and brown A shower sprinkles softly down The air is fragrant, crisp and cool And once again I’m stuck in school!

Winter Rain beats rapidly off windows like a drum. Amber leaves start to parachute off the trees, Forming nature’s new carpet for vehicles to slide on Meanwhile, the wind’s faint whistle can be heard through the storm. Abbey Connor, 3S

Summer Long days, short nights. The search for shade in the scorching heat. Car windows down, air conditioning on Ice cream galore cooling kids down Shops selling hats, sunglasses and more Carefree days, free of school. Jemima Thomas, 3S

Zoe Boyce, 1A

Summer The ground is warm the sun’s ablaze It is a time of carefree days And bees abuzz that chance to pass May see me snoozing in the grass! Saya Caddy, 3S

Spring in the City Walking along the sunny pavements, Wet from yesterday’s rain, Flowers popping through the cracks, People carrying umbrellas, indecisive. Maya Renfrew, 3S

Saya Caddy, 3S


the penrhyn report

Strathearn Preparatory Department






very day, in Strathearn Preparatory Department, our girls have wonderful opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in a happy and safe environment. Alongside our aim of academic excellence, we offer a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities. It is always amazing to look back and see just how much we have achieved. I am delighted to invite you to read about the many exciting events that have happened this year. While it is impossible to set out the complete myriad of activities that go on in our school, I hope that you will become aware of the happy, productive and caring community that we share. This year we extended a warm welcome to our new P6 teacher, Mrs Hyndman, our new P4 teacher, Mrs Devlin, Miss Hunter who has been teaching P2 and to Mrs Butters who has assisted in P7 as a classroom assistant. At our Annual Prize Morning in June 2016, we celebrated the hard work and achievement of our pupils. I was delighted when Miss Julie Douglas, a successful local artist and teacher, agreed to be our guest speaker. She encouraged the girls to make the most of the creative opportunities in life, and we thoroughly enjoyed her lively speech. She focused on the importance of drawing, not only for children but for all of us, encouraging us all to see drawing as a really important skill, one just as important as reading, writing and mathematical understanding! B Mawhinney

The New Life Choir from Uganda


penrhyn school prefects

Class Prefects

Aleena Wasim, P5

Back Row: Hannah Gilpin, Sarah Hylands, Mrs Andrews, Elena Gourley, Sophia Cochrane Front Row:  Thalia Taylor, Darcy Blair, Isla Mitchelson, Laura Dunlop

Mr Manning There once was a man from Belfast Who could take photos super fast He took with a click A move very slick His Strathearn years end with a blast. Elena Gourley, P7

House/Vice Captains (right) Alexandra Butters,  Amelia Hazle, Lucy Wills, Lucinda Park, Elena Gourley, Laura Dunlop, Isla Mitchelson, Darcy Blair

Duty Prefects Back Row:  Amelia Hazle, Sophie Livingstone, Mrs Andrews,  Jazmin McCormick, Ellie Patrick, Elessa Deeny Front Row: Lucy Wills, Katlyn Martin, Alexandra Butters, Holly Higgins, Grace Steed, Chloe McMullan, Manasi Chowdalla, Lucinda Park, Cece Buchanan


the penrhyn year The Penrhyn Year 2016-2017


ducational 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:

My group caught a newt tadpole! Finally it was time for us to have our lunch. I was very sad when it was time to go. I was exhausted as I travelled back to school on the bus. Annabel Pollin, P3


P2 and P4 Trip to Castle Espie - 31 May


APRIL 2016



On 2 June, P3 went to the School Of Music. We went into the building and sorted out our instruments and waited for the other classes to arrive. We all felt very excited! We met two ladies called Mrs McBride and Mrs McCoy. Mrs McBride played the piano and Mrs McCoy introduced all of the songs and schools. First Holy Cross boys did their performance. Then we did our performance about the Penrhyn Circus Parade. Julia was the ring master. We enjoyed singing all the action songs and playing our percussion instruments. Julia Cochrane & Zara Gray, P3

P7 Residential Trip to Carlingford - 25-29 April

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


P3 Trip to School Of Music

P7 Eden Pottery Workshop - 6 June

Eden Pottery worked alongside the P7 pupils to design creative and colourful plates to serve as a keepsake of their time at Penrhyn.  The girls worked hard and everyone was delighted with their plates. It was a lovely way to end their final year at Penrhyn and I know the girls will treasure the plates in years to come.





P3 Trip to George Best City Airport

Litter Lab

On 25 April, P4, P5 and P6 had a talk on litter. The first thing we talked about was how people don’t clear up dog mess. We then moved on to discuss which rubbish is biodegradable and which rubbish is not biodegradable. We talked about where rubbish comes from.  We discussed packaging and plastic bags. Some of the girls were chosen to take part in fun science experiments. To finish, we talked about what we could do to make our city clean and tidy. Thalia Taylor, P6

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P6 Trip to Carrickfergus Castle - 24 May P3 Trip to Mount Stewart

On 13 September, P3 went to the George Best City Airport. Our mums came to help as well. We saw a fire engine and it was yellow and blue! It was a special fire engine because it was used only for the airport. We saw the firemen’s hose and one of the men sprayed the water everywhere! We saw his axe which was really, really heavy. We even got to see the fireman go down the fireman’s pole which was very cool. We got to go through security and had to take off our coats. Cecily and her mum got searched all over and it was very funny. Heidi Dunlop & Cecily Park, P3


On 26 May, P3 went to Mount Stewart. First P3 got onto a bus. Soon we were approaching Newtownards. Our leaders were Mrs McKeown and Mrs Pollin, my lovely mummy. First we took off our coats.  Then we gobbled up our delicious break. Next Mark divided us into two groups. After that Mark took my group to the leafy forest. Then he told us that we were going to have a minibeast hunt.  We were all given KFC pots to put our minibeasts in. I found three millipedes and a slug. After that we went to the Look Out.


ZooLab Visit - 20 September

On 20 September, the ZooLab came to talk to us about some animals. The person who was telling us all about the animals was Sarah. She brought in an African snail which can grow up to the size of a football, a creepy cockroach, a slithery snake, a terrifying tarantula and a timid tortoise. We learnt all about the bodies of the animals - their heads, abdomens, thoraxes and legs. My favourite was the tortoise because I have a pet tortoise at home called Yoda. My least favourite was the cockroach because I don’t like big bugs and creepy-crawly things! We got to handle the majority of the animals. P7 really enjoyed this visit and we had great fun! Sophie Livingstone, P7

the penrhyn year e

about our local government. On arriving at Stormont, we had to go through security and were given a card to show that we had been checked. The foyer of Stormont was very grand with marble covering the walls and floor. In the middle of the foyer was a huge staircase. Our guide met us and led us into a room where we held our own election and learnt how an actual election works. We were then told that our class could go into a chamber to watch an actual live debate about health! After this, we went to the main chamber where you see the politicians debating on television. We had our own debate about school uniform with the outcome being that we should keep it! Ellie Patrick, P7

P5 & P6 Trip to Seaforde Gardens


P5 Trip to Oxford Island Discovery Centre - 11 October

On our visit to Oxford Island we found out the following: Lough Neagh is the largest lake in the British Isles; the water in Lough Neagh is so clean and clear that it is used in our homes and Lough Neagh is the earliest known inland site of prehistoric man in Ireland. On our trip we did bug hunting.We laid a white sheet under a tree, shook the tree, and lots of different insects fell out but luckily not on anyone’s head! We also did pond dipping and caught sea snails, water boatmen and tadpoles.  A few people got wet!  The man who took us was so strong that he could rip wood in half. We found larvae inside the wood. We had an amazing day. By P5

On 30 September, P5 and P6 began a double adventure. First we visited Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House, and then Clough Castle Motte and Bailey. Our big bus could not fit down the lane and we sloshed through brown puddles to reach the Butterfly House. We left our bags in the tunnel and began our first activity, visiting all the animals at the Tropical Greenhouse. The sight we saw was beyond what we had imagined; it even had a banana tree! The tour man showed us butterfly eggs which were smaller than a mouse’s tear drop! We saw empty and working chrysalises, as well as Owl butterfly caterpillars. Ms Boyd then took us to the Reptile House. This was my favourite. It was so tranquil, with only the sound of the babbling stream and the oohs and aahs of the P5 girls over the tortoises, fish and birds! The final house was the Insect House and this was everyone’s least favourite! The creatures were venomous neon fish, sea snails, slimy land snails, a desert scorpion, a king python, two tarantulas and a cockroach. Everyone was glad to visit the gardens next to revive themselves. We explored the maze and frustratingly met lots of dead ends. We next had lunch and then made haste to the gift shop. Once we made our purchases we boarded the bus to Clough Castle Motte and Bailey and as we scrambled up the Motte, it was time for more mud for our collection! After we reached the summit we explored the ruins. We then became artists and drew Clough Castle. This challenged our artistic skills because you had to draw the ruins as they are today and the original design of the castle from the information board. Back at school we all agreed that it had been a very memorable day that we had all thoroughly enjoyed. Anna Matthews, P5


M&M Production of Robin Hood - 14 October

On 14 October, M&M Theatrical Productions came to Strathearn Preparatory Department to perform the show Robin Hood. It was quite a dramatic performance, full of both frivolous and sad scenes. The main character was Robin, an obliging boy who tried to save the town from the sinister king along with his two other companions. The king tried to change the laws and take lots of money from the poor. My favourite character was Maid Marion, who at first didn’t seem to like Robin Hood but later fell in love with him and got married. My favourite part of the play was when a few of the teachers were reluctantly pulled up to the front to perform different dances. Mrs Andrews, although apprehensive, was remarkable at doing the chicken dance. Ms Boyd was also very impressive! Amelia Hazle, P7


Harvest Assembly - 18 October



P7 Trip to Stormont Parliamentary Buildings

Today we had a very special Assembly. Mr Manning was giving Cycling Proficiency Certificates to P7s. Lots of P7s won them for learning to cycle safely. Mrs Devlin played the piano while we sang some songs about harvest. We had a visitor to fit in with the harvest theme. Our visitor’s name was Lyndsey. Lyndsey had brought some vegetables. “Have you ever eaten a potato?” she said. “Yes” said everyone. “Do you like them?” said Lyndsey. “Yes” said most of the girls. Lyndsey told us that the brown lumps and domes on potatoes were called eyes. She told us that when you eat a potato they normally scoop the eyes out of the potato. The eyes reminded us of our eyes that God created. She took out some corn and said corn normally was cut into cylinder shapes but corn grew

On 6 October, P7 went to visit Stormont, as part of our World Around Us topic on Diversity. We were going to learn more


the penrhyn year with leaves around it. These leaves were called ears. We thanked God for our ears and for the corn. She had some bananas as well. A bunch of bananas was called a hand. We thanked God for our hands. She had a lettuce too. The middle of the lettuce was the heart. We thanked God for our hearts and said a prayer. We gave Lyndsey a box of Milk Tray to thank her. Emma McNally, P4


P5 Trip to Royal Ulster Academy Art Exhibition - 18 October

there, told us she would be showing us around the exhibition. The first thing she showed us was the colour wall; the colour wall was a mix of colourful paintings, big and small. I would say my favourite art piece in that room was a mix of things that had been washed up on a beach and made into a wall piece. In the next room there was a painting we were shown that really caught my eye. It was a dog in the middle of a flood, sitting on a small stool with a little red cushion on top of it. Moving into the next room was a piece that I automatically loved; it was a number of music sheets with a bar code on them. The idea was that if you scanned the bar code with your phone, you could hear the piece of music on the sheet. My favourite piece of art was the musical dress. I really enjoyed this trip and I can’t wait until next year’s entries

Tilly McWhinney, P6

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The Haunted Halloween Party

On 27 October, Penrhyn held a Halloween party. There were spooky decorations everywhere. There were pumpkins and also a squishy hand which was made from rubber. There were tickly and sticky cobwebs which were very fragile. It was a disco with a DJ playing music.  Everyone was wearing a costume. There was a screen with animations dancing to the rhythm of the music. There were biscuits and a selection of crisps to eat and juice to drink. It was very loud. There were fake spiders and bats and skeletons. There were prizes for the best costume and for the best dancer.

P1 Autumn Walk

Emma McNally, P4


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P5 Visit from Knock Fire Station - 9 November P6 Viking Day - Visit from The Active Learning Company

On 25 October, the P1s went for an autumn walk in the grounds of the Senior School. We wore our wellington boots so that we could jump in the heaps of crisp leaves. We sang songs, played games and took rubbings off the barks of the trees. It was great fun!


P6 Trip to the Royal Ulster Academy Art Exhibition

On 25 October, P6 travelled by bus to the Ulster Museum to look at the artwork of the students in the Royal Ulster Academy.  We were allowed to play outside for a few minutes before we went inside the museum. After our play time was finished, we went inside. We were shown a box to put our belongings into and then we went into the exhibition. A woman called Jayne Cherry, who worked


On 25 November, P6 had a Viking Day. When we walked into the Assembly Hall we watched a video about the Vikings. In the middle of the video, a man dressed up as a Viking ran out from behind

the penrhyn year some doors and scared everyone! We got to dress up as Vikings, and we made bracelets out of yellow wool. Then we got to hold some swords and axes.  They were very heavy.  After that there was a table with Viking items. There was a sheet with pictures and we had to find the objects on the table that matched them. The final activity in the hall was the chainmail race. The chainmail was very heavy. The final thing we did was sword training. We used foam swords to fight each other. I really enjoyed the day! Clara McWhinney, P6




On 1 December, two people called Lillian and Hamilton came to Penrhyn. When we first came into the hall we saw the big screen. We saw the mascot, who was called Buddy. The NSPCC is a children’s organisation which cares. First they told us about Sam and how she was getting bullied. Then, Hamilton stopped the screen and told us about how bullying can happen. Then he finished the clip. What happened to Sam? She got help from the NSPCC. We then we practised saying the Childline phone number which is 08001111. Zara Gray, P4


P7 Trip to Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory

On 5 December, P7 visited Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory. The trip was very enjoyable and yummy! They told us the history of Aunt Sandra’s and many more things. They made giant lollies in front of our eyes and decorated them with sweets.  The lollies were a cat, a love heart, a face, Lady Gaga’s bracelet and many more. There was a chance to win these at the end during a quiz.  They also made some fizzy, boiled sweets which they gave to Mrs Andrews. We were given candy floss which was spun right in front of us.  After this we were allowed to buy some sweets. We all agreed that the trip was a very pleasant experience. Grace Steed, P7



P3 Trip to Mount Stewart

On 15 December, P3 went to Mount Stewart in Newtownards.  We learnt about how Mary and Elizabeth used to celebrate Christmas sixty-six years ago. First we got divided into two groups. My group was with Mrs Tick. Mrs Burrows and Mrs Boyle were our helpers. We went to do some art.  We listened to the instructions and then we painted our pine cones white, like snow. After that we made pop-up Christmas cards. Next, we went to meet Mr Cranberry’s group. After we met them, we swapped groups. Then we went into the big, old kitchen and we learnt which ingredients are used to make a Christmas cake. Finally we went to the gift shop. Most of the class bought a Mount Stewart teddy or gem stones. Then we were ready to go home.  We were exhausted but we had a very exciting day at Mount Stewart! Chloe Burrows & Sophie Boyle, P3


Christmas Party

The P1 Christmas Party took place on 19 December in the school Assembly Hall. We played games and had a party tea in the classroom. Later we gathered around the beautifully decorated tree to wait for Santa Claus to arrive. He spoke to every girl about their Christmas wishes and posed for a photograph with the class before leaving with a very merry “Ho! Ho! Ho!”



P7 Trip to Crumlin Road Gaol

School Trip to the Strand Cinema

On 12 December, the whole school went to the Strand Cinema for a Christmas treat. We saw the new Disney movie, Moana. I really enjoyed the movie, especially the songs. Everyone enjoyed eating their sweets and relaxing together. It was really nice to do because we usually go to the pantomime every year. Thalia Taylor, P7


P5 Early Man Workshop - Visit from The Active Learning Co

In December, we had two mystery visitors. We were very excited when we found out that they were going to teach us about a day in the life of early man. We dressed up as cavemen, made small burial tombs out of rocks and learned to weave cloth with wool. We then built a fire, and ground some wheat between stones to make bread. After this, we cooked the bread over a fire. We also learnt to make walls by weaving willow branches, and to make pinch pots from clay. Finally, we pretended to hunt and kill wild boar for dinner. It was a fantastic day, but we are glad that we live in the present day. By P5


P7 Christmas Roadshow

In December 2016, P7 transformed their classroom into something which looked like a winter wonderland! Desks and chairs got replaced with stalls and Christmas trees, wall displays were covered with festive paper and Christmas music filtered around the room. This was all in aid of the annual Christmas Roadshow, a threeday event which is organised and run by P7 to raise money for charity. This year, well over £700 was raised for the charity, Tiny Life. This was a super achievement and I was very impressed with the entrepreneurial skills shown by the girls.

On 10 January, P7 visited the Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast. The first thing we did was go to the reception area, which is where the prisoners took all their clothes off.  They then were given a blanket to cover themselves before having a bath and getting their uniform. We got to see what it would be like to be locked in the tiny cubicles they got changed in. They felt very claustrophobic. Then we went to the tunnel that connects the gaol to the courthouse across the road.The prisoners had to go through the tunnel instead of crossing the main road in case they tried to escape. The guide who took us around, told us a story about when he was taking a tour and a little boy asked, “Who is that girl down at the end of the tunnel?” When the guide turned round to look there was no one there. It is thought that the gaol is haunted, and that this might have been a ghost of one of the children who was a prisoner there many years


the penrhyn year ago. Our guide also showed us some of the punishments that were given to the prisoners. The men had to push a box with a cloth attached to the bottom of it to polish the tiles on the floor. The box was filled with bricks and stones to make it heavy so it was really hard work. The women and children had to oakum pick.  This is when you had to uncoil all the fibres in big, heavy ropes. Then we went to visit the cell that you went to if you were going to be executed.  We also got to see the ropes they used for the execution. There were seventeen prisoners executed while the prison was in use. The most recent was in1961. It was fascinating to see how prisoners were treated in Victorian days and it made me want to find out more about Crumlin Road Gaol and its history. Alexandra Butters, P7


P3 Trip to Cultra Folk Park

On 19 January, P3 made a visit to the Cultra Folk Park to learn about houses and homes in the past. People used to have to go outside to use a toilet. It would have been very cold doing this in the winter. We are glad that our toilets are indoors now and that we can flush them! Later we were allowed to explore the houses on our own. We were tired but we had a lot of fun learning about houses Stuti Mehta & Sophie Boyle, P3


On 10 February, the P1s made their way to the post box on the Belmont Church Road to post a very important letter. The girls had been working on a Valentine’s project and had made beautiful cards for their parents. They thoroughly enjoyed the process of making, enveloping, addressing and posting their letters.


Pancake Factory

P4 Trip to RSPB WOW Centre

On 25 January, P4 visited the RSPB WOW Centre at Belfast Lough. When we got there we met our instructors, Eleanor, Shelia and Chris. Eleanor told us about lots of different interesting birds: gold finches, green finches, long-tailed tits, great tits, black and blue tits, chaffinches, robins, sparrows and gulls. My favourites are robins and gulls. Then she gave us a quiz. If you got one right you would get to hold a laminated sheet with the type of bird on it and you also got to hold a plush toy of it. Then we went looking for birds. We used binoculars and we saw some around the bird feeder. Then we went to a place called a hide where birds can’t see us but we can see them. They also had two wild ponies that would eat the grass so the birds could nest. Lydia Greer, P4



P1 St Valentine’s Day - Post Box Trip

P3 Visit from Belfast City Council

On 17 January, Belfast City Council visited our P3 class. We learned not to be litter louts, and that we should put our litter in the bin. We were also told that litter in the sea is dangerous to fish. We also heard about how to recycle some of the items which we no longer use. We loved being litter detectives. Beth Hill & Amira Asim, P3



P1 Princess Party

On 9 February, P1s had a ‘Princess Party’ in school to celebrate the end of their Fairy Tale topic. The girls were allowed to wear their favourite princess dress in class and we wore the pretty crowns we had made to top off the style.  We danced, played games, watched a Disney movie and had a ‘Princess’ cake as well. What a super day!


On 28 February, P7 delivered pancakes to pupils who had ordered them on previous days.  This was for Shrove Tuesday to raise money for the Children’s Heartbeat charity. There were approximately 250 pancakes ordered, so this took a lot of organisation! We had to make sure everybody got whatever they had ordered which could include pancakes with butter and sugar or jam, pancakes with lemon juice and a bottle of water. It was a huge success and I really enjoyed doing this activity! Hannah Gilpin, P7



P6 Drama Workshop

On 9 March, the people involved in the Lyric Theatre’s production of Nivelli’s War came to see us. They taught us how to play some games and how to open our imagination. We imagined we were in the war and going on a train far away to safety.  I didn’t like imagining that; it was sad and scary. We played some emotion games. Then we had to pretend to be  Tom and Jerry.  I was Tom trying to pounce on Velvet who was being Jerry. We had to freeze in that position. I really enjoyed it and loved the games. Cara Logue, P6

penrhyn extracurricular Key Stage 1 Entertainment


Christmas Counts

e had a Christmas concert on 9 December in Belmont Presbyterian Church. P2 and P4 also did a play. They did a play which was called Santa’s Hat. Our play was called Christmas Counts. A lot of people’s grandparents and parents came along to see us. I wore a pretty, blue dress and I even wore makeup like lip stick.  I was a narrator.  I had to say a speech to Mr Manning. Mr Manning was very proud of me giving my speech and he gave me a big smile. I had to dance to the song ‘Caesar Had Asked Us’. I had lots of lines to learn and I had to speak clearly and with expression. Finally the play was nearly over. My friend Charlotte kindly gave Mr Manning a bunch of blue balloons. Then the three census takers had to lead us off stage. I was very hungry and tired. Heidi Moore, P3


Santa’s Hat

n 9 December, P2 and P4 performed Santa’s Hat. We performed in Belmont Presbyterian Church. There were lots of people in the audience. Here are a few of them: Mr Manning, Mrs Manning, Mums, Dads, a video technician and many, many more. My role and Vanessa’s role were really the same. I was Christmas Cookie and Vanessa was Christmas Cracker. Those roles were clowns. Our costumes were clown costumes with a gold waistcoat and a gold hat. One of the lines that I liked the best was “Good morning everyone. I am Christmas Cookie and welcome to a performance of Santa’s Hat”. My makeup was two red cheeks. I had my hair in two plaits. I think everyone was very good. Annabel Pollin, P4

Key Stage 2 Entertainment


Cinderella n 23 and 24 March, P5, P6 and P7 performed Cinderella. It took months of preparation and we were very glad when we finally got to


Everyone was full of nerves on the nights of the play, but luckily we managed to perform an excellent show. On Friday night there were lots of extra surprises. In the Ball scene Mrs Mawhinney and Mrs Andrews arrived on as Lady Blackbinney and Lady Grandrews dressed in bin bags! At the end of Friday night, a huge confetti cannon exploded. Our cast was great at improvising.  When people forgot to come on they covered it up very well. The audience was very surprised when Cinderella’s sisters came down the steps and picked on people. Mrs Connery was made to stand up and give a twirl in front of everyone while the sisters asked her questions about her dress. Mr McGowan very kindly provided us with lights and microphones and we couldn’t have produced Cinderella without him. On Friday night we had to be extra good because it was being filmed. Overall it was a fabulous experience and it inspired everyone to ‘just go for it’. It was amazing to be involved in such an incredible performance! Laura Dunlop & Katlyn Martin, P7


penrhyn extracurricular Strathearn Preparatory School Choir Creative Arts


usic helps us to learn to listen and provides an opportunity to develop our personal creativity, self-confidence and self-esteem.  As a school we support these extremely important elements in our pupils’ overall development. In term one, our School Choir met every Monday afternoon after school. Girls from P5 to P7 thoroughly enjoyed learning new songs and working to prepare for our many and varied performances.  At the Holywood Music Festival we came second in our class. We were delighted to be invited to sing in St  Anne’s Cathedral at the yearly Carols by Candlelight service in aid of NSPCC Childline.  We also performed with Festival Brass at their Christmas Concert in Glenmachan Church of God, and at the Strathearn School Carol Service in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. All of the Strathearn Preparatory School Choir members deserve praise for their commitment during an extremely busy term and a special well done to all our soloists. Mrs Connery also invited the choir to perform at an amazing night of musical celebration to support the charity Abaana. The ‘New Life Choir’ from Uganda inspired positivity through their lively singing and dance. It was a truly wonderful experience. B Mawhinney

Cycling Proficiency Scheme


uring September and October, a group of enthusiastic P7s started their training for the Cycling Proficiency Course. The girls were trained on their bicycles to master the manoeuvres of completing a spot control test, making a left turn and a right turn from a minor to a major road, overtaking a parked vehicle and using traffic lights correctly.  All the practical tests were carried out in the school playground and the girls all worked hard to perfect these new skills and have fun as well. A theory test demonstrating knowledge of the Highway Code also had to be studied for, in order to gain the much coveted certificate and badge of success. This year the students all passed and now wear their Cycling Proficiency honour with pride. Well done! V McKinney


Ballet Classes P1-P3

n this class, the 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. C Montgomery


Street Jazz

treet Jazz, for 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. C Montgomery


Irish Dancing

rish Dance classes remain very popular with the Penrhyn girls. From P1 through to P7, the girls enjoy learning both solo and team dances as well as developing the skills involved in Irish Dance. The classes provide a relaxed, fun environment for all involved. C McCamley



French Club

rom September to December there were two French Clubs, a large P3-P4 group on Monday afternoons, and a smaller P5-P7 group on Tuesdays. The Monday group were all beginners so they enjoyed learning the numbers and colours. The older girls had been learning French for some time, so they benefitted greatly from the Linguascope Programme which we shared with the Grammar School pupils. This included short videos, online games and worksheets to take home.  These activities provide a great platform on which the girls will continue to build their skills in French. Both groups continue to enjoy our French juice bar, where they take turns to order and serve beverages in French.  There is a wide variety of games, songs, activities, mini-books, dialogues and role plays to provide fun, entertaining learning experiences in another language. For example, we set up our crêperie and ordered a variety of (virtual) pancakes when we were learning about the French custom of celebrating ‘Chandeleur’ on 2 February. This led on to an enthusiastic discussion about individual likes and dislikes in French! We also looked at more familiar customs for Christmas and New Year. French Club continues to be a lively, fun after-school activity. E Black

Tara McNeill, P5

penrhyn extracurricular Penrhyn Charity Collections



e value opportunities to forge links with the local community. Strathearn Preparatory Department donated their Harvest collection of non-perishable food items to Storehouse Food Bank, Belfast. Fund-raising activities are held throughout the year by the pupils for local and international charitable organisations and strong links are often forged. In Terms 2 and 3 last year, we supported the Northern Ireland Hospice and we raised £455.57. In Term I for 2016-2017, we raised the following amounts: • TinyLife Charity £858.96 • Childline £474.00 We also raised money for the Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal). Our charity for Terms 2 and 3 is the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.



inging classes for girls in P4-7 have continued to be very popular this year.  We have been working on a wide repertoire of classical, folk and theatre songs, whilst developing our vocal skills and improving our performance techniques. Some girls were entered for an ABRSM prep, Grade 1 or Grade 2 singing exam in June, with many achieving a very commendable distinction.  A number of girls took part in the Holywood Festival in November and the Belfast Festival in February and I was very proud of them all for their performances. Individual prizes were won by Tiffany McGowan, Mia McDowell, Saskia Brown, Elessa Deeny, Darcy Blair and Alexandra Butters. T Devlin


Tennis Club

n Tuesdays, girls from P5-7 play tennis with coaches Stephen and Katie, and on Wednesdays, P3 and P4 have coach Sumeet. The coaches and girls walk through Strathearn’s grounds to next door CIYMS, and in the winter months, play in the indoor bubble. The girls enjoy drills, games and matches, as they make their way through CI Tennis Academy’s unique grading system of red, orange and green levels. We cover all the techniques of the major strokes including forehand, backhand, volleys, serves, and we also work on tactical and physical development. We hope to run a tournament at the end the year. S Garvin

Speech and Drama

fter seven years teaching Speech and Drama in Penrhyn, the number of pupils 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 self-esteem, creating confident and motivated individual learners. The interaction necessary for Drama provides an arena where the girls can develop team-work skills. Classes take place in the Drama room over the break/lunch period, and after school. They include the 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 2nd and 3rd 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


Scripture Union

cripture Union takes place on Wednesdays in Term 2 from 3.00-4.30pm for P3-P7.  When we arrive at SU, we initially chat over a cup of orange juice. Then we sing a great variety of lovely songs, play games, complete craft activities, watch DVDs and do science experiments through our exciting topic of ‘Science and the Bible’. The P7 girls, Hannah and Alex, lead us in our songs and actions. We love going to SU. Alex Butters and Hannah Gilpin, P7

Penrhyn Piano Results Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Spring 2016: Prep Test Certificate: Anna Matthews, Ellen Eakin,

Chloë Nelson & Jazmin McCormick. Summer 2016: Prep Test Certificate: Clara McWhinney & Abbie Conroy. Grade 1 Distinction: Niamh Hatfield & Mabelle Wilcox: Grade 2 Merit: Rebekah Devlin; Grade 3 Pass: Madalaine Wilson November 2016: Prep Test Certificate: Sophie Campbell & Ellie Johnston. P Williams

P5 Cookery & Craft Club


n Thursday afternoons between 3 and 4:30, we came to the P2 classroom for Craft Club. We made Hama beads for a couple of weeks. Lucy made a pencil, TJ made a gingerbread house, Aleena made a violin, Brontie made a cupcake, Johanna made a cola bottle, Ellie made Minnie Mouse, Jemima made an Angry Bird, Chloe made a giraffe, Tara made a Dalmation and Lilybella made a hot air balloon.  Then we learned to create different stitches on colourful Binca. Some of us gave our creations to our friends and family. We all really enjoyed it and didn’t want it to end. It was the best club in the world! by the girls in the P5 Craft Club


penrhyn extracurricular


P1-P3 Sports Day

1–P3 Sports Day was once again a success, with the girls participating in events with great enthusiasm. Many parents and grandparents came to cheer on our athletes and we thank them for their support. For many it was their first time competing in a Sports Day, but everyone enjoyed themselves and they all collected a participation certificate. P1 Running, Ava Sweet; P1 Spider, Scarlett Childs; P1 Potato and Spoon, Layla Corry. P2 Running, Cecily Park; P2 Spider,  Tara Thom; P2 Potato and Spoon, Clara Petrie. P3 Running, Megan Chercoles Carter; P3 Obstacle, Grace Conroy; P3 Potato and Spoon, Isabella Kenny.


P4-P7 Sports Day

ur Senior Sports Day was once again held at Individual Sports Day Winners Strathearn, making the most of the fantastic facilities Elena Gourley, Sophie Mae Holmes,Tilly McWhinney, Molly Boomer we have available. The events were competed for with great enthusiasm and many excellent performances were seen. Many thanks to the Games Captain and her Deputies for her help with the running of the activities. P4: 50m - Molly Boomer; Skipping - Sophie Mae Holmes. P5: 75m - Tilly McWhinney; 600m - Daisy Johnston; Cricket Ball - Daisy Compton; Long Jump - Tilly McWhinney. P6: 75m - Elena Gourley; 600m - Elena Gourley; Cricket Ball - Chloe McMullan; Long Jump - Holly Higgins; High Jump - Elena Gourley. P7: 75m - Karis Hamilton; 600m - Karis Hamilton; Cricket Ball - Scarlett Mooney; Long Jump - Niamh Hatfield; High Jump - Eloise McKnight. House Relay Winners P4 - Barbour, P5 - Boucher, P6 - McCaughey, P7 - Barbour Individual Points: P4 Winner - Sophie Mae Holmes & Molly Boomer; P5 Winner - Tilly McWhinney; P6 Winner - Elena Gourley; P7 Winner - Karis Hamilton. Winning House - McCaughey.


Sports Hall Athletics

ports Hall Athletics had another successful year, with every girl from P7 competing in the event held in the Strathearn Sports Hall. The P7s had two teams entered which each paired up with a team from Campbell.  The girls were impressive across all the events, in particular the Speed Bounce, Obstacle Relay and 4x1 Relay.  The A Team were the overall winners with the B Team finishing as runners-up.

Sophie-Rose Atkinson, P6 Rachel Bowen, P6

Sports Hall Athletics A Team Back Row: Ellie Patrick, Holly Higgins, Sophie Livingstone, Elena Gourley Middle Row: Katlyn Martin, Laura Dunlop, Chloe McMullan, Sarah Hylands, Darcy Blair, Lucy Wills Front Row:  Thalia Taylor


penrhyn extracurricular

Minor Schools’ Swimming Team Back Row: Lucy Wills, Grace Davison, Lucinda Park,  Tilly McWhinney Middle Row: Megan Chercoles Carter,  Velvet Meharg, Lucy Andrews, Lilybella Burrows, Cara Logue, Clara McWhinney Front Row: Julia Cochrane, Sophie Mae Holmes



ongratulations to the following girls who represented Penrhyn at the Swim Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships: Julia Cochrane, Essie Costello, Megan Chercoles Carter, Lilybella Burrows, Lucy Andrews, Sophie Mae Holmes, Grace Davison, Cara Logue, Tilly McWhinney, Clara McWhinney, Velvet Meharg, Lucy Wills,  Amelia Hazle.

Swim Ulster Minor Schools’ Championships The individuals who were the top twelve swimmers in their event and age group in the province are as follows: U10 50m Breaststroke: Grace Davison (1st); U9 Backstroke: Lucy Andrews (7th) and Julia Cochrane (12th); U10 50m Butterfly: Grace Davison (1st); U11 50m Backstroke: Lucy Wills (8th); Medley Relay: Lucy Andrews, Cara Logue, Grace Davison and Megan Chercoles Carter (5th); Freestyle Relay: Grace Davison, Megan Chercoles Carter,  Velvet Meharg and Sophie Mae Holmes (6th). Congratulations also to Grace Davison and Lucy Wills who competed in the Irish Schools’ Swimming Championships. Both girls performed well and Grace Davison came home with an impressive two gold medals in both the U10 Breaststroke and U10 Butterfly.  A fantastic achievement!

Mr Manning There once was a man, the boss of Strathearn His desire was for children to learn Mathematics he taught He loved it a lot Now retirement is his main concern. Cece Buchanan, P7

Individual Swimming Gala Winners Ellen Eakin, Grace Davison, Megan Chercoles Carter, Lucinda Park


penrhyn extracurricular Hockey Club


his year we had another fantastic turnout at the Hockey Club, with twenty-six P6 and P7 girls attending training after school on Wednesdays. The girls showed a lot of promise competing in the Strandtown tournament at the start of the season. Out of eight games across the A and B Teams, we managed five wins, two draws and a loss, with Holly Higgins scoring an impressive twelve goals. In addition we had friendly matches against Victoria Prep in preparation for the Ulster Hockey Tournament. During the East Belfast Heats of the tournament, the team performed superbly, finishing top of their group and qualifying for the semi-finals.  After full-time, the girls were unlucky to lose against a very strong Methody side who were the eventual winners of the tournament.  An excellent all-round performance from the team.

Hockey Club Back Row: Sophie Livingstone, Sarah Hylands, Lucinda Park, Laura Dunlop, Lucy Wills, Holly Higgins, Saskia Brown, Sophie Campbell Middle Row: Sophie-Rose Atkinson,  Tilly McWhinney, Daisy Compton, Katlyn Martin, Elessa Deeny, Grace Steed,  Alana Higgins, Sophia Cochrane, Chloe McMullan, Daisy Johnston,  Thalia Taylor, Lillie Blair Front Row: Darcy Blair,  Alexandra Butters, Ellen Eakin, Ellie Burns


Athletics Club he Athletics Club proved popular again with twenty-six girls attending training in the summer term. The girls were able to practise and refine their skills across a wide range of events which were then used at the Primary Schools’ Athletics event held at the Mary Peters Track. The event was enjoyed by all and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.

Mr Manning There once was a man called Mr Manning He loved nothing more than caravanning He didn’t fool about When he was out But instead did a lot of school planning. Grace Steed, P7

Athletics Club Back Row: Holly Higgins, Ellie Patrick, Sophie Livingstone, Elena Gourley Middle Row: Lucy Wills, Laura Dunlop, Sarah Hylands, Katlyn Martin, Chloe McMullan,Thalia Taylor Front Row: Elessa Deeny, Darcy Blair


penrhyn extracurricular

KS1 Gymnastics Back Row: Stuti Mehta, India Campbell-Morrison, Zoe Greenaway, Megan Chercoles Carter,  Annabel Pollin,  Julia Cochrane, Farrah Taylor, Jessica Kerr, Scarlett Terry, Chloe Burrows, Zara Gray Middle Row: Delphine McGimpsey, Bella Houliston, Nyla Mallon, Isabella Kenny, Chloe McKittrick, Elodie Perais, Layla Corry,  Vanessa Minford, Sophia Blair,  Alexandra Savage, Lexie Johnston, Katie Allen,  Valentina Danielli, Cecily Park,  Amira Asim Front Row: Grace Chercoles Carter, Scarlett Childs, Essie Costello,  Anna Ritchie, Iona Blair


Gymnastics Club

he Gymnastics Academy has been running gymnastics classes within Penrhyn as part of their after-school activities programme for the past four years. This year, classes were attended by approximately fifty girls from P2-P7 on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

Throughout the year, the girls have been working on their individual skills and balance work as part of the British Gymnastics National Development Plan. Each of the girls was also assessed for the British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards. 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. V Dowson



he Cross-Country Team had another great year of running, with a number of promising new girls stepping onto the team.  The girls were entered in the Flahavans Primary Cross-Country League, in which they got off to a great start, finishing in third place after the first round of competition. In March, the girls were entered into the East Belfast Heats at Orangefield Park.  Lucy Wills finished fourth overall, and our team came third. This meant that the girls once again qualified for the Belfast Cross-Country Finals, which were held at the end of April.

Into the Woods

Cross-Country Team Back Row: Elena Gourley, Ellie Patrick,  Tilly McWhinney, Lucy Wills Seated:  Velvet Meharg,  Thalia Taylor, Chloe McMullan, Daisy Johnston, Ellie Burns, Cara Logue


I was walking in the woods. I was terrified. I could hear owls hooting and crows squawking. I could feel the wind brushing past my face. I could see it getting darker as I tip-toed deeper into the woods. Then all of a sudden, I heard a bloodcurdling shriek! I wanted to run back but I couldn’t ...not now. I was past half-way. As I walked on, my heart was thudding, I felt like it was going to pop out of my chest. Then, out of the corner of my eye I could just make out my home. I started to run. Every minute I ran faster and faster, fighting my fear. Finally I got to my front door. I opened it as quick as a flash and sprinted over to Mum and gave her a big hug. I felt happy. I will never go into the woods again! Lucy Brown, P6

penrhyn literary section

Freya Brand, P1 Jemima Agbaje, P1

Sarah Bryans, P1 Alex Savage, P2

My Mum I love my mum. Her name is Amanda. My mum works in a bank. I like playing with her. She loves me very much. Amelia Maze, P1 My Mum I love my mum. She is a teacher. I like to bake with her. She likes to eat porridge. She is a good mum. Sarah Matchett, P1

Penguins Penguins are birds but they can’t fly. The daddy penguin looks after the egg. The mummy penguin looks for fish. It takes 35 days for a penguin egg to hatch. Over millions of years penguin wings have turned into flippers to help them swim. Eve Graham, P2

Sophie Nelson, P2 80

penrhyn literary section The Best Day of My Life The best day of my life was when I got my kitten, Pippi Betsy Eakin. She was quite small at first but she is quite big now. I was quite scared at first. She was quite crazy when we first let her out of the kitchen. She was scratching the sofa. I got used to her after a while. I am still not that keen on this rascal kitten! Laurie Eakin, P4

Florence Nightingale Florence Nightingale was born in 1820. She was called a bookworm because she loved to read. Her sister Parthenope liked to distract her. Her father wanted her to marry a wealthy man but she said having children and a husband wasn’t enough! She decided she would do something with her life and wouldn’t let this idea go. She started training her nurses and she was strict with them. When her nurses were ready, they left. They walked for seven weeks until they got to the hospital at the Crimean War where they would nurse wounded soldiers. But when they got there the first thing to hit them was the smell of sick. They went inside. It was like Hell on Earth! Zoe Greenaway, P4

Natasha McMullan, P2

Tinkling the Ivories Today I missed Assembly and went to Piano. My teacher is called Ms Williams. She is very sweet. Now I am practising for my piano prep test. I have to learn three pieces off by heart. They are called Cracking Open a Nut, Swinging Through the Trees, and Dreaming. My favourite out of them is Dreaming. The other two pieces you do not have to learn by heart. Their names are Train Ride and Brass Band. In Brass Band, Ms Williams has to play a piece at the same time I am playing. Train Ride is a very bouncy song. I also have to do some clapping games. Another thing I have to do is see if the piece Ms Williams is playing is soft or loud, fast or slow. I have to practise Poco Piano – There’s a Hole in My Bucket and Angel Bells. One piano lesson is thirty minutes. I started at the start of P3. I love my lessons and I practise on my keyboard in my living room. Annabel Pollin, P4

Chloe McKittrick, P4

Snowdrops Shimmering soldiers about to awaken. Nature’s winter beauty. Over the mountains like a field of awakening snowflakes. Winter warriors opening to an icy oblivion. Drifting off, dreaming to see spring. Rising up to the frosty moon and the sleeping rivers. Oathed to rise up to the sun, withering slowly. Peaceful. Never ending sleep awaits them. Tara McNeill, P5

Esio Trot Mr Hoppy lived in a flat. He was a very lonely man and also very shy. On the balcony below Mr Hoppy, lived Mrs Silver - Mr Hoppy’s love! Sometimes Mr Hoppy wished that he was Mrs Silver’s pet tortoise called Alfie. Mrs Silver loved Alfie very much and gave Alfie a house that he would sleep in at night so he would not get cold. In the winter Mrs Silver would put leaves in his house to keep him warm from the cold night air. Katie Barr, P4

Snowdrops Snowdrops shimmering in the silky snow. Never knowing where to go. Opening out of their buds, they pop. Winter warriors wearing a beautiful white glow. Dreaming while their heads droop low. Raising their heads while rocking back and forth. Off they are in the open, out into the open. Praying they will live for longer, they have played their part in the world. Sadly they are dying now, snowdrops swaying in the snow. Lilybella Burrows, P5


penrhyn literary section Please don’t Abolish our Uniform

The Liver

I heard that you are planning to abolish our school uniform. I don’t want you to abolish it. These are my reasons why. Firstly, it represents my school and the uniform is neat. It makes us look smart and it looks well on everyone. Secondly, we wear it for safety. If we are on a school trip and get lost it would be easy for us to spot the rest of our group if we were all wearing the same thing. Finally, when we are out on school trips in our school uniform, we are well-behaved. People see this and we make a good impression. They might decide to send their child to our school. Our school would get a very good name. Mrs Mawhinney, I hope I have persuaded you to change your mind. Johanna Hegan, P5

The liver is the largest organ in the body. It sits on the right hand side of the abdominal cavity, underneath the diaphragm and behind the ribs. An adult liver weighs about 1.4 kg. The liver is about the size of a football. The liver does over 500 functions. The portal vein carries blood to the liver. However the hepatic artery carries blood away from the liver. These are the main three things that the liver does. The liver sorts the food into two groups. One is the products that the body would need and the other is the waste products. The liver creates glucose. Some of the glucose travels in the blood to the rest of the body where it is used for energy. The rest of the glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen and it is there to provide extra energy when needed.The liver takes toxic products out of the blood. All the waste is sent to the kidneys and then it comes out in the urine. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver so badly that it cannot do its job. The liver is bigger than the brain. It can rebuild itself into a full liver again. The liver cleans the blood. At any one time the liver contains about 10% of the blood in the body and it pumps about 1.4 litres through per minute. The liver is a really important organ. Without it, the body wouldn’t live, so it is important to keep it healthy and not damage it. Lucy Brown, P6

The Bully Do you know what it feels like to be bullied? It’s not a very nice feeling. So that is why I am going to tell you what you should do if you ever get bullied. It is a very good thing to tell an adult like your teacher or your Mum or Dad. Another thing you could do is stand up for yourself. Or if a friend is being bullied you can stick up for them. What I would do is talk to the bully and say to him or her “I don’t like what you are saying to me. Can you please stop making people feel upset?” That is what you should do if you are being bullied. Chloë Nelson, P5

The Lost Fortune The boat was shaking and breaking from the storm. I was trying to stop my dad from staying by the wheel, he wouldn’t go. He told me to get into the bottom of the boat with my brother, I refused. Soon I knew I had to go down so I did, leaving my dad behind. I knew my dad wouldn’t be there when the storm ended and my mum was lost in Cyprus probably kidnapped. The next day the storm ended. I ran to the top of the boat hoping to see my dad.  All I saw was my dad’s sailor cap. I ran down to tell my brother his dad had died. How were we supposed to live without any parents? Pay bills? Survive….. Ellie Burns, P6

Jazmin McCormick, P7


penrhyn literary section My Kind of Childhood I wasn’t always this way. It wasn’t my fault … but I still paid the price. My name is Tom Red, I grew up in World War Two. I was only four when my parents were taken away, I was so confused but even though I was so young I still knew they weren’t coming back. I am now eighteen, living on the streets. Living off a few crumbs I would take from a pigeon, running from Nazis and praying. But isn’t that what everyone is doing now? It is all we have for now. Today was my birthday, I’m sorry for not writing to you for so long, old friend, only friend. I am nineteen and I am sitting in a bomb shelter half alive but I am the only one still alive. The Nazis found our shelter and shot everyone. Do you know what it is like having sixteen dead people beside you? Helpless people? No, you don’t but that is my kind of childhood. Tilly McWhinney, P6

A Pot of Gold A long time ago there lived a little girl called Emily. Emily had long brown hair with lovely white teeth. Her dream was to find a pot of gold at the end of a sparkly rainbow. One day when Emily’s mum went to work she ran outside to see if there was a big rainbow and to her surprise there was one right in front of her and that’s when the fun began. Emily thought because her mum was at work she could ride the rainbow to get the pot of gold. She had to climb all the way up but when she got to the top she slid all the way down. When she got there she saw a leprechaun. The leprechaun said “Hello, would you like some of my gold?” “Yes please” said Emily excitedly. The leprechaun gave her two coins to share with her mum. So she slid down the rainbow again back to her house and when she got there her mum was walking through the front door and gave Emily a big hug and went to bed. Mia McDowell, P6

The Vikings by P6

A Day in the Life of a Victorian Child I am nine years old and my family is poor. I live in a one-up, one-down with my three brothers, two sisters and my mother. I am the middle child and my father died when I was only five years old. Father had been the only person in the family who worked. He had earned a wage of fourteen shillings a week which was enough to keep our family going but when he died, mother had to resort to making us work in the coal mines. Not all my siblings work. My brothers are twins and only four years old and my mother refuses to make them work. I get up at six in the morning and put on my dirty, worn-out dress and cap; it’s usually still dark outside. Once I am ready I start the trek to get to work. It takes between twenty and twenty-five minutes. I don’t see daylight a lot because when I go into the mine it is dark and when I come out it is also dark. I walk down to the mine, coal dust clinging to my feet. I work as a putter in the coal mine, pushing the trucks of coal along the mining tunnels. The job is treacherous, the coal dust falls into my eyes making them water uncontrollably. There is coal dust in my hair and dirt under my nails. I have many bruises and cuts on my hands, arms and legs. The other day I was pushing a truck and a piece of sharp stone crumbled from the tunnel wall and fell, scratching my face the whole way down. I now have a large scar down my cheek. I usually get home around nine o’clock and I am so tired I can barely feel the excruciatingly painful, sharp stones sticking into my feet as I walk back home. I earn only ten shillings a week. When I go to church on Sunday I often see rich children all dressed-up in their Sunday bests. I wonder what it would be like if I had been born into that type of family. Lucy Wills, P7

A Day in the Life of a Flower Girl It’s 5.30am, a very rushed part of the day for me because I have ten minutes to get into my bonnet and rush to get to the market to buy my flowers. I am not good at getting up this early because I don’t sleep well. The damp, cold, draughty house is full of other girls and there are noises all night long. Unfortunately my father died when I was three and my mother was so upset she fell sick. I now live with my four younger sisters, my auntie and her three daughters. It is not easy feeding this many under one roof so I have been a flower girl for five years, along with my sisters. We stand patiently near the station in the hope that some rich people will buy our roses. It is cold and some days not a soul stops to buy. Those are the bad days, then there’s no money to give auntie and she is not best pleased. Often we huddle together under the station arches to avoid freezing; the rain and wind can tear your skin from the bone. I’m lucky to have my sisters - some flower girls are all alone and who knows what happens to them after darkness falls. One day I’ll meet a rich man and I’ll steal his heart. I want to go to school someday and learn to be a nurse. I want to be like Florence Nightingale. I’ve seen her in the papers. Today is a good day, the sun is shining and I think people will be up for buying my pretty roses. Amelia Hazle, P7


parents’ & old girls’ associations Strathearn Parents’ Association


trathearn Parents’ Association exists to provide a way for parents to support the school, raise funds and to plan enjoyable events for the girls and parents. It consists of parents from both Penrhyn and Strathearn, with a Chairperson from each school on the committee. This year, we continued with our very successful discos for Forms 1 and 2. They were held at the Stormont Hotel, a venue loved by the children, with P7 also being invited after the AQE exams. They were, once again, very well attended by pupils from Strathearn, Penrhyn, Campbell College and neighbouring schools. In May, we held our annual Table Quiz and supper at CIYMS.  This is a very competitive, fun evening and also a successful fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who came along, and also to those who donated prizes for this evening. We couldn’t run this without your support, and we invite you all next year to bring a table of friends along. Another successful event was the Penrhyn Summer Fete which was held in June. This included a very popular Bake Off competition, and many other fun activities, such as a climbing wall, tombola, bouncy-castle slide and much more. This event was thoroughly enjoyed by all the younger girls and their families. We also held Halloween, Christmas and end-of-term discos for the Penrhyn pupils, in which they could dress up and dance the afternoon away, with lots of party games and treats provided. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who give so generously of their time and money throughout the year, which enables us to run events and raise funds. It is very much appreciated. Thanks also to Mrs Quinn for her invaluable support as teacher representative. We are always looking for new members and new ideas, so please feel welcome to join us at any time throughout the year, or at our AGM.

Amy Douglas, GCSE

In October 2016, we were delighted to present a cheque to Strathearn for £6,300, and to Penrhyn for £4,200.

Finally, a very sincere, heartfelt thank you to all those who serve on the committee for their continuing support and enthusiasm. M Bowen


The Boxing Day Tournament he Boxing Day Tournament was held on a sunny, but cold morning. The weather, however, did not deter the supporters, and in the end we had a great turn out, with friends, family and players getting into the spirit of the competition.

All four teams had full squads, with players waiting eagerly to play their part in competitive tournament matches. The Old Girls started strongly, beating the Strathearn School 1st XI 2-0 on the AstroTurf pitch. They then went on to beat Victoria College 1-0 in a very close game. Unfortunately they lost 1-0 to Victoria Old Girls who had a strengthened side with some ‘old stalwarts’ appearing before the game.  The tournament ran smoothly and although it was a competitive morning, it was played in good humour with a friendly atmosphere. After the matches had all been played, the players and supporters made their way upstairs to defrost and catch up. Victoria Old Girls were presented with the shield and Margaret Harvey was presented with the Anne Dunlop Rose Bowl for her contribution to hockey over the years. Thank you to all the organisers, players and supporters. There was a great atmosphere and despite the cold, everyone appeared to have had a good time. We hope that this excellent event continues in the years to come; please come down and show your support for the school, whether you are a current pupil or an Old Girl. Let’s hope we can win in 2017!

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

Front Cover: Ellen White, GCSE Back Cover: Alice Campbell, AS-level

Magazine 2017  

Strathearn School 2017

Magazine 2017  

Strathearn School 2017