STEM is an essential element of today’s curriculum expectations coupled with the necessity to educate children for industry. The club aims to develop pupil interest and enthusiasm in STEM subjects . The team engage in the design, building and racing their our own electric powered car as well as developing a portfolio showing the process of the build. This exciting activity develops skills such as teamwork, communication and listening alongside working to specifications and deadlines. The team will race against schools from all over Ireland at the annual GreenPower F24 race in June.
Pupils who are involved in studying business often do not have the opportunity to experience the practical side of running a business. This project will help pupils to establish the daily running activities of managing a business and seeing how they function. From the running of the club in previous years, pupils have grasped the main concepts of business management. Highlighting the need to consider target audience, mark up and predict sales.
The ICT club runs on a Wednesday afternoon and make use of Raspberry Pis, Arduinos and Microbits to help teach our students coding skills. The ICT Department are aware that there are many jobs available for people with good skills here in Northern Ireland and the ICT club helps students to develop these skills. The club recently purchased a 3D printer and a drone and as well as coding projects undertaken the club there is always an emphasis on E.Safety. Each year the club produce an E.Safety video such as E.Awareness, the winner of the UK Childnet E.Safety competition in 2017. The club have also worked in conjunction with the Agriculture Department to win the Data NI Challenge 2018 for an innovative C Sharp coding project to show farming statistics through a Raspberry Pi. Contact any member of the ICT department for further details of this club as you are more than welcome to attend.
The school is keen to provide a range of platforms for all its pupils to develop their skills, talents and raise self-esteem and confidence of young people. The exploring of arts and crafts allows for skills to be developed through a range of activities including language, fashion, crafts and drama. Allowing pupils of all ages, ability and background to get involved. Through such activities the school have embarked with many competitions and have displayed to the public through social media platforms and local businesses. A skilled member of staff works with pupils after school in the areas of fashion and clay. Pupils work towards producing innovative fashion designs using waste materials to enter the well-known Junk-Kouture competition. The ceramic classes provides pupils with the opportunity to design bespoke items of their choice.
Raising Standards (Curricular)
Teachers from all subject areas deliver Raising Standards programmes. These sessions mostly include after school revision to maximise pupil performance. Teachers deliver these lessons weekly from Nov – May. The targeted pupils are identified at departmental level and also by our Key Stage Co-ordinator. To complement the learning; study sessions will be introduced on Saturday mornings(09:30-12:00) allowing for computer access and resources, running over 20 weeks. KS3 pupils who are having problems with ICT access and printing have also been identified in need of support. Lunch time access to allow for the completion of schoolwork in a supervised environment is available throughout the week.
Pupils enjoy being able to participate in a wider variety of sports outside of the normal school day. This extra- curricular clubs provide pupils with the opportunity to get involved in games and physical exercise with experienced coaches and instil personal belief and confidence in pupils. A number of leaders run a variety of sport classes weekly, attending any organised events at weekends e.g. 5K and 10K Runs. Each leader leads a different activity with the group and will cover various activities mainly; walking, camogie, hurling, running, table tennis, the fitness suite, football and pool/snooker.
In an attempt to involve more pupils and to manage the restrictions of Covid 19 a programme runs for Year 8. This includes Form Class teams managed by two coaches. The coaches identify matches on a weekly basis and through a point system the overall champions are celebrated.
The club provides an opportunity to experience Irish in a social setting and encourage pupils to use knowledge acquired in the classroom during the club. At present the government are trying to implement an Irish Language Act. When implemented this will mean greater job opportunities for current pupils studying the language at present. Also, CCEA are regularly seeking to employ Irish language translators. This proves that in the current times, with a continued growth in the number of Irish Medium schools, jobs will be readily available to those pupils with Irish. This club will encourage pupils to continue with the language, and show them the opportunities available to them. It will enhance their skills, and equip them for furthering their language skills.
Weekly drama workshops are delivered, consisting of a range of practical activities. This club generates an appreciation of culture & the arts. Students learn to trust their own & others’ ideas and abilities. The workshops builds confidence & skills gained from taking part in the arts are inter-linked to skills needed in school, work & life. Students will gain valuable skills in the Drama Club that will encourage them to join local Youth Theatres and support them within these groups.
The club intends to create it’s own play which will help bully-proof students during their transition to and their time at secondary school. The School feels that bullying is an issue that regularly needs to be addressed in schools and it can be difficult to think of new ways to engage students’ enthusiasm & focus.
These anti-bullying drama workshops will teach students assertiveness & skills to deal with bullying situations while increasing their confidence & self-esteem. The Government & community groups works closely with anti-bullying campaigns to improve both students’ and parents’ knowledge of the key issues surrounding the topic and ways of dealing with these. These workshops will develop students’ & parents’ knowledge & levels of resilience on anti-bullying matters that they may face in life – community groups, clubs & societies, theatre groups etc.
The LRC is open at 8.10-8.40am on Tues, Wed, Thurs & Fri. News/current affairs/sports results etc are available via Fast Text on a TV screen. DVDs of recent film adaptations are shown to encourage reading of the original books. There are daily & weekly newspapers & a wide selection of recreational periodicals. Pupils have an input into the selection and purchase of material for the LRC. Regular competitions are also offered to pupils. Appropriate reading material linked to television programmes or films is purchased immediately from the local bookshop. Our professional librarian encourages, supports and advises pupils on an informal one-one basis. There is constant liaison with Form/Class Teachers, to promote the LRC and Early Bird opening.
Agri and Cooking Club
In the Agri club the pupils will invest in animals in the hope of get sponsorship from a local butcher along with using the profits from the previous year. The animals are fed at the teacher’s home farm, monitored for performance and sold on again. A maiden heifer has been purchased for this year’s project. A plot of ground has been given by the local parish to allow for vegetables to be grown. The control of pesticides will be managed and the growing of vegetables throughout the year will be measured.
In The Food Kitchen, the club runs over 5-week intervals. Pupils learn the basics of producing meals in a defined time frame. There are groups of pupils chosen to choose good food and gain skills preparing the food. Under the restrictions of the pandemic, the pupils are restricted to working within their bubbles for both the Agri and Kitchen activities.
We find that both these clubs develop skills such as teamwork, meaningful communication and listening to others to collectively complete tasks. The content of the projects enhance their STEM subject knowledge. Students gain an understanding of animal science, plant science, environmental issues and food production. As a result of this, standards in numeracy including calculating costs and analysis of successes in terms of profit and labour are measured and evaluated. Promotion of literacy is also be a factor; with ongoing communication and writing up of reports for social media.
Pupils who are involved in studying often do not have the opportunity to experience the practical side of learning. This club help pupils to establish employability skills through working to deadlines and managing a budget. It improves communication skills bringing to reality the life of a business owner which includes the bargaining for and selling their products. Pupils grasp the main concepts of business management and highlight the need to consider target audience in their chosen product designs. The activity is run by our highly esteemed Art Teacher. The priority of the programme is to;
- Allow practical skills to be explored
- Improve communication skills
- Become more aware of the environment (Reuse)
- Become aware of employability skills
- Identify budgets and Deadlines
- Improve Business Acumen
Visits to SVP and Charity Shop take place and checking of online items through ‘buy and sell’. It is hoped that completed items will be sold on a section of the School Website and FB.
Transition can be difficult for young people and pupils often struggle to settle in to a new, bigger school. Pupils worry about things like not making friends and having problems with the transition to taking on new subjects in a more specialised mode. This extra worry can lead to stress and anxiety and may also result in them not achieving their full academic potential. This is also a time of worry for parents hoping their child will settle into the new school easily and adapt to their new surroundings. The summer scheme addresses the many of these anxieties.
From the running of this scheme in previous years, pupils have entered into Year 8 less anxious and more content in September and in the first term. Parents" feedback also has been very positive because they can see a change in their child over the week of activities. Our specialised subject leaders and student volunteers deliver a programme in August for our incoming year 8 pupils. A dynamic and challenging range of activities have been planned by our staff which included;
-Tie dying t-shirts in Art
-Building Minecraft plans of the school in ICT
-Writing of poems in English
-Using co-ordinates to navigate in Maths
- Rocket launching in Science
- Team completion of an assault course in PE,
- Tic Tok Dance in Drama
- Gathering and sharing thoughts and getting to know one another in our pastoral sessions with the school Pastoral Support Officer.