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Published by dwalls733, 2019-04-20 19:16:48

Easter Bulletin to Parents

April 2019 Parent Bulletin

MAGHERA Easter 2019

Message from the Principal

We are at the end of yet another long and busy term. The pupils have achieved a lot
thus far, as you will see in the rest of the bulletin. Year 10 and 12 pupils have made
their subject choices for next year. Pupils will, in a very short time, sit their public
examinations and we wish them well. Easter is a great opportunity to complete some
really focussed revision and that includes Year 10 who will have their very important
Year 11 Entrance Exams. Thank you to all of the staff who have gone ‘above and
beyond’ to support the pupils in their preparations for their exams. This includes the
staff who are supervising our very popular after school study facilities.

It is very important that you contact relevant members of the Pastoral Team if your
son/daughter has any issues. This includes academic difficulties, medical conditions
and relationship difficulties with peers. If we are informed, it makes it easier to support
your son/daughter.
I need to emphasise the need for all outstanding School Fund monies to be paid. The
College, like the majority of other schools in N. Ireland is now in deficit. We simply are
not getting enough money from the Department of Education to buy the resources that
we need and also to maintain our buildings, never mind updating and improving upon
our Sports, Music and Performing Arts facilities. To save money for the incoming year
two members of the teaching staff will be made redundant. This is a decision that the
Board of Governors and I have not taken lightly. Please support our school financially.

Our Easter Draw has raised £4115. Thank you for your support as always.
Week 4 winner of £200: Ciaran Bradley sold by Cara Bradley 8Mn
Week 5 winner of £1000: Eileen McFalone sold by Oisin Davis McFalone Year 13
Our top ticket sellers each received a £200 gift voucher - Cormac Donnelly, Year 11,
sold 31 tickets and Michael McKenna of 10 Ti sold 30 tickets.

Have a happy and peaceful Easter.

Best wishes,
Mrs B. Mussen

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Preparing for Examinations - How parents can help:

1. Know the exam schedule; have it displayed at home,
with each exam to be taken highlighted.

2. Ensure that your son or daughter is present for each
exam. Ensure they are up and dressed before you leave
home for work each morning.

3. Draw up a check list of daily requirements, based on
the day’s exams. Black pens along with the other
requirements such as rulers, erasers, calculators and a
clear pencil case should be checked, along with reading
glasses and water (remove label).

4. Listen to the story of the day and move on. After
each day’s exams allow your son or daughter to recount
to you their story. Don’t dwell on errors in the paper.

5. Help them to focus on the next challenge. Simple
questions such as, what is up next? Are there any
compulsory sections? Are there any predictable
questions? These questions can be useful in helping
your son/daughter devise a study schedule for the time
available before the next exam.

6. Help them maintain a well-balanced daily routine.
You should ensure your son/daughter has a proper
balance between study and rest. After an exam they need time to rest and recharge before
they can do any beneficial study for the next paper. Remember they need to be as sharp on
the morning of their final paper as they are on their first. Avoid late-night study sessions.

7. A good night’s sleep improves exam performance. All study should end at least an hour
before bedtime to allow the student to unwind before sleep. To help relaxation at this time,
simple treats such as a hot bath, or some simple breathing exercises to slow down the body
and mind can result in a refreshing night’s sleep.

8. You are what you eat. What you eat and drink affects your performance in any activity,
especially one involving mental sharpness. Ensure your son or daughter has nutritious food
during the coming weeks, starting with breakfast each morning, the lunch they bring with
them if they are facing two exams, their evening meal, as well as snacks during the day.
Grazing on junk food is very tempting at times of increased stress. Avoid this at all costs.

9. Success is always a team effort.
10. Do not over hype the importance of any examination. Parents need to be aware that

sons or daughters taking terminal examinations can sometimes mistakenly believe their
standing in their parents’ eyes is dependent on their success in the exam.

Parents should ensure their child facing into the exams over the coming weeks is
absolutely clear that your unconditional love and regard for them is in no way dependent
on how they perform in their GCSEs or A Levels. This affirmation is the greatest gift you
can give them at the start of their examinations.

Please note: Year 11 students will be on study leave from 13th – 31st May
inclusive. Years 12, 13 and 14 study leave dates have not been announced.

Study facilities are available in school.

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Pupil activities:

Our pupils celebrated World Book Day on 6th March 2019
 Year 8 – dressed up and prizes were given for best costumes
 Year 9 – decorated cereal boxes with their favourite book designs
 Year 10 – decorated classroom doors with their favourite book
 Pi Day activities took place on 14th March organised by Miss
Devlin (Maths Department)
 We celebrated World Downs Syndrome Day on the 21st March by
wearing odd socks.
 A group of Year 10 pupils attended a Maghera Public Realm
meeting with Mrs McGuckin.
 Our Autism Awareness Month began on Monday 1st April and a range of events are
continuing across the College. Autism Awareness Assemblies took place, led by children
directly affected by Autism. A bake sale took place on Tuesday 2nd April. Staff and pupils
were invited to wear something blue (socks, hairband, wristband, etc.) on World Autism
Awareness Day, and to make a donation to Autism support in the College. Subsequent
fundraising events have continued throughout April including the sale of Crème Eggs and an
Easter Hamper raffle.

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 Pupils and Staff from St Patrick’s College, Ballarat in Australia visited the College during the
week commencing 8th April. They played a ‘combined rules’ match against some of our
boys and generously sponsored two Year 13 boys – Ethan Doherty and Eoghan MacOscar
to go to Australia next February for 2 weeks.

 Study facilities started for KS4 and 5 in the 6th Form Centre – Monday to Thursday 3.45 –
6.30pm and Sunday 5 – 8pm – supervised by members of SLT.

 23 pupils have volunteered to go on the Derry Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes in July. 3
members of staff will also attend – Mrs Mussen, Mrs Baxter and Marie Bell.
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Paddy Buggy (All-Ireland hurling)
Our Senior Hurlers lost out in their Paddy Buggy All Ireland Hurling semi-final to a very sharp St
Raphael’s Loughrea (who went on to be crowned champions) at the magnificent National
Sports Centre, Abbotstown. We thank the boys for their tremendous efforts during the year and
also Mr Hughes, Mr O’Donnell and Kevin Hinphey for their work with the boys during the year.

MacRory Cup
Our Senior footballers lost out by the narrowest of margins in their MacRory Cup semi-final to
St. Michael’s, Enniskillen (who went on to be crowned All-Ireland champions). Again, we
appreciate the boys’ hard work and would like to thank Mr McConnell and Mr Lockhart.

Forrester Cup
Our U16½ hurlers were defeated by a late scoring fest from St. Killian’s College at the semi-
final stage. Thanks to the boys, Mr McGale and Mr Toner for their hard work.

U14 Ladies Football
Our U14 LGFA team are through to the quarter finals with opponents and details yet to be
confirmed. Best of luck to the girls and to team managers - Mrs Maureen Quinn and Mrs
Mairead Griffin.

U14 Camogie (St. Clare Cup)
Our girls have qualified for the Ulster final after beating local South Derry rivals St. Mary’s
Grammar School, Magherafelt in their semi-final. Venue, date, etc. are still to be confirmed.
We wish the girls and their coaches, Miss N. Donnelly and Miss N. O’Neill good luck for the

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U14½ Football (D’Alton Cup)
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Key Stage 3 End of Year Trip

It is proposed this year that we take our pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 to The Jungle on Friday
21st June 2019 for their end of year trip. Activities on offer include:

Archery Climbing Wall Power Fan Jump
Pedal Boats Crazy Golf Cart Challenge Quad Train
Body Zorb Football Llama Walking Segway
Bungee Trampoline Mini Quad Bikes
Fun Zorbs Paintball Target Shooting

This trip will cost £20, which includes transport (pupils will bring a packed lunch or
purchase one at the venue for £5). Any family who wishes to pay by instalments should
contact the College Bursar (02879642451)

Pupil Successes

The Irish Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) is a competition for Irish students in the final year of second
level education. It is held annually in Dublin City University. More than 100 students from all over
Ireland took part in this year's competition. Oisin McCullagh, Year 14, was one of only 2 students
to be awarded a Gold medal. He now progresses to the next stage, from which the top students
will be selected to represent Ireland at the IChO 2019 (July 21st – 30th) in Paris, France. Good
luck Oisin.

Alex Moore, Year 9, returned from Dublin where she competed in the Irish Open International, the
largest kickboxing tournament on the planet. She performed brilliantly and was placed in three
different divisions. Alex won gold, silver and bronze. What a fantastic achievement.

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Aoife Doherty – Shortlisted for Children’s Illustrator Competition for in an
ADULT competition – earning a prize of £100. She is through to the next stage, where she has
been asked to complete 3 illustrations to accompany given text. We wish her the best of luck.

Our All-stars were recognised at their gala dinners. Ceat McEldowney picked up her Camogie
award and Fintan Bradley was recognised for hurling.

Our ABP Young Farmers semi-finalists didn’t make it to the final, but this is what ABP had to say:
‘Thank you to Eoghan Birt, Donal McShane, Ben McNally & Aaron Ferris for attending the recent
event in Loughry College for the ABP Angus Youth Challenge. The overall standard of the
presentations of the participants was amazing. We were completely overwhelmed by how
excellent you were and the amount of work you had put in was a credit to your group and your
leader. We would dearly love to advance everybody who attended Loughry College but obviously,
that is not possible. Our job in selecting four finalists was an extremely difficult one and was done
with a heavy heart for those who did not qualify. Sadly, on this occasion, your project was not
selected as one of the finalists. Having said that, you should be aware that we were extremely
impressed by your group and you should be very proud of your display in Loughry College.
Getting that far in itself was no small achievement. We wish you the very best success in your
future studies and career which we are certain that based on your performance in this competition
will be successful. We would hope that we might have the privilege of meeting you again in your
career. Thank you once again and we hope you gained knowledge and experience from your

Northern Irish Angus Producer Group

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Communication from Parents Show My Homework App

We welcome open communications We hope that you will
with our staff. You can contact us by continue to engage with the
email on the College Info Account Show My Homework app.
We believe that this is an
[email protected] innovative way that you can
support your son/daughter in managing their
OR by phone during office hours (8.30am to homework. It is also useful if they are absent
4.00pm) when you can ask to speak to your from school or for communications from the
child’s Head of Year. College.

Parent App

Parents of pupils in Years 8 and 9 will have received their invite to download our new parent app.
Track 3 data has been uploaded – This is the only platform on which parents can access
Assessment Data for their child. Please ensure you have downloaded the accept and follow the
link on the invite you receive.
It is hoped that Year 10 reports will also be uploaded to the App also.

Health and Safety

We ask your support in not driving into the school grounds in the mornings and evenings. These
are very busy times in the College with 1300 pupils arriving to and leaving the College. We ask if
you are dropping your son/daughter off or collecting them that you please arrange to do so outside
the school grounds. Unfortunately, we do not have space on site for parents’ cars.
Pupils must not dismount from the school buses in Maghera, or anywhere other than in the school
grounds. Once off the bus pupils must remain on site. In the afternoon, pupils must mount the
buses in the school grounds. Drivers have been directed by Translink not to pick up pupils
anywhere else.
Reminder – pupils are not allowed to bring scissors to school.


Standards of uniform and hairstyles are good this term. This represents the high standards that
we wish to maintain in the College. Thank you for your support with this.
Please continue to encourage your children to wear the College uniform with pride.

 All shoes should be leather – canvas shoes or trainer style shoes are not permitted.
 Boys must wear black socks – white socks are not allowed.

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Hair styles Page | 10

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Important Dates for Your Diary

Tuesday 30th April Year 9 UKMT Maths Challenge
Wednesday 1st May – Friday 3rd May GCSE Languages Examinations
Friday 3rd May Year 14 Leavers’ Mass
Monday 6th May Bank Holiday (closed)
Wednesday 8th May Primary Schools Cross Country
Thursday 9th – Tuesday 14th May Year 10 examinations (Year 11 Entrance Exams)
Monday 13th May Year 11 Study Leave commences
Friday 17th May Pink Friday & Balmoral Show
Thursday 23rd May Year 9 (girls) HPV vaccination
Monday 27th May Staff Inset Training Day
Tuesday 28th May Year 10 Report issued on Parent App
Friday 31st May Years 8 and 9 Study Day (Year 10 in school)
Year 11 Study Leave ends
Monday 3rd June – Friday 7th June Years 8 and 9 Examinations
Saturday 8th June Primary 7 testing
Monday 10th June Primary 7 testing
Tuesday 11th June Primary 7 testing
Wednesday 12th June Castle Cup football
Thursday 13th June Primary 7 testing
Monday 17th June Years 8 and 9 Reports issued on Parent App
Tuesday 18th June Castle Cup hurling and camogie
Friday 21st June Key Stage 3 JungleNI Trip
Saturday 22nd June PTA 5K fun run
Monday 24th June Junior Awards Day
Year 11 Work Experience Week
Wednesday 26th June JCQ’s Examination Contingency day

Please note: Thursday 18th April is
a targeted Revision Day in school for some Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils.
Translink buses are not running – pupils who have class must arrange transport.

Key Stage 3 pupils are not in school.

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