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St Malachy's Year 14 students prepare for future

Mock Interviews were held at St Malachy’s High School, Castlewellan, on Thursday 28 January 2016. Local employers from business and education attended the school to prepare the students for future university interviews and employment. The Principal, staff and students wish to thank those who attended and gave so generously of their time to give their professional advice and guidance. This was a very worthwhile experience for the Year 14 students.

Pictured are the interviewers with Principal, Mrs Orla O’Neill and Head of Careers, Mr Peter Murray

Northern Ireland Youth Forum Facilitator visits St Colman's High School, Ballynahinch

Northern Ireland Youth Forum facilitator Miss Mel Murray, of the Comber, Ballygowan, Ballynahinch and Drumaness area was invited into St Colman’s on 27 January to provide an informative and significant presentation to senior pupils.

The presentation informed and encouraged students to attend the Ards-West-Ballynahinch Youth Forum. Mel discussed with pupils the opportunities and experiences that were available in becoming a member of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum including: new friendships, residentials, event management, fun runs and team building activities such as rock-climbing.

All students were persuaded to have their voices heard by putting themselves forward in becoming a representative on the Youth Down Council in the Ballynahinch area.

Similarly, Year 13-14 pupils were also educated as to how the Youth Forum enables students to attain and develop new skills and qualities for the future. It was highlighted in Mel’s presentation that this is beneficial to students who will be completing CVs, job applications for employment and UCAS applications for Further Education in the forthcoming weeks.

Picture left to right: Year 12 student Niamh Rice, Year 13 Prefect Rian Commander, Guest Speaker Mel Murray, Vice-Principal Mrs Carol Potter, Year 13 Prefect Niall McDonald, Year 13 Mark Campbell and Year 12 student Lisa Casement

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International Publication Success for Literacy in Science in St Pius X College, Magherafelt

Miss Pat Hanson, Head of Science and Mr Ciaran Quinn, Literacy Coordinator have been involved in a series of collaborative initiatives relating to literacy in science under the guidance of Dr Ruth Jarman, School of Education, QUB. One such initiative involved raising pupil awareness of ‘Science in the News’. This involved pupils participating in a media conference on ‘Antibiotics of the Past, Present and Future’ delivered by Professor Christopher Shaw, School of Pharmacy, QUB. This topic, which is naturally embedded in the pupils' science curriculum, resulted in each pupil writing a scientific article. This article was based on the impact antibiotics have had on humanity since their discovery in the 1930s and the potential impact of a recently discovered possible antibiotic found on the skin of Waxy Monkey frogs.

As a follow up to this initiative both Miss Hanson and Mr Quinn were invited to write a paper along with Dr Ruth Jarman and this was published in the International ASE School Science Review (SSR) in December 2015.

Apex gives St John's Primary School, Derry, CRED Ability

In September 2015 Apex employees in association with Children in Crossfire travelled to Miwaleni, in Northern Tanzania to inspect recent renovations to the Miwaleni Primary School and view the newly constructed Early Childhood Development Centre. Both projects had been funded by Apex staff and tenants through various fund raising activities.

On this trip resources such as a football kit, footballs, skipping ropes, chalk, pens, pencils and toiletries were donated to Miwaleni Primary School on behalf of the wider St John’s Primary School community, many of whom live in local Apex accommodation.

On Monday 11 January 2016 staff from Apex gave the children at St John’s Primary School a presentation of their visit. The children learned that £25 per month funds a teacher’s salary in Miwaleni - with up to 100 children assigned to each class. They also saw photographs of learning resources made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and bags. The greatest impact on the St John’s children however, was seeing the picture of sheer delight on the Miwaleni children’s faces when they received glossy, leather footballs as replacements to their banana leaf and plastic bag fashioned balls.

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Special award ceremony in St Colman's High and Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch

On Wednesday 13 January 2016, Principal, Vice-Principal and Head of Year 8-12 held a special award ceremony for pupils in St Colman’s High and Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch.

Guest speaker, Conor O Toole, Games Development Manager for the County Down was invited into the assembly to discuss the pathway he took to accomplish success in his own sporting career and highlighted his ambitions for the future.

As well as developing sport throughout the country, Conor is currently part of the Loughisland panel competing alongside St Colman’s past pupils Rory Mason and Conor and Patrick Megoran in the All Ireland club championship which will take place in February.

Principal, staff and pupils would like to thank Conor for his time and inspirational words in motivating students in our ceremony, and wish him every success in his sporting career.

Pictured: left to right/ top to bottom - Mrs Brid McKinney, Head of Year 8 - Ms Berni Walsh, Head of Year 11 and 12 - Mr Paul Hazzard, Head of Pastoral Care - Stuart Walsh, Year 9, Conor O Toole, Guest Speaker - Mrs Carol Potter, Vice Principal - Mrs Shauneen McGourty, Head of Year 9 and 10 - Jerrin Jimmy, Year 9 - Aaron Walsh, Year 9 - Ellen Barlow, Year 8 - Aaron Brennan, Year 9 and Cliodhna Murphy, Year 8

Champion School Status awarded to St Peter's Primary School

St Peter’s Primary School, Collegeland, have been awarded ‘Champion School Status’ for their success in the Accelerated Reading Programme and Rennaissance Learning, the parent company, has paid tribute to this special achievement. Champion School status is awarded by Renaissance Learning to schools that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their implementation of Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading for the benefit of pupils, teachers and parents to engender a true reading culture.

Dirk Foch, Managing Director, Renaissance Learning UK: “On behalf of everyone at Renaissance Learning, I would like to congratulate everyone at St. Peter’s Primary School on the success they are achieving with the help of Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading.  The benefits of not only being able to read, but also enjoy it and read for pleasure, cannot be understated and it is with great pleasure that we award St. Peter’s Champion School status.”

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