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2024 College Prospectus

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— HOLY CROSS COLLEGE — Prospectus Holy Cross College 35 Melmount Road Strabane BT82 9EF Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: 2024-2025 Student entrance, south side

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 1 Principal/Chairperson, Board of Governors ................................................. Page 2 Head Girl/Head Boy ..................................................................................... Page 3 Mission Statement: Excellence in Education ............................................... Page 4 Mission Statement: Formation in the Catholic Faith ................................... Page 5 Mission Statement: Care for All ................................................................... Page 6 Admissions Criteria ...................................................................................... Page 7 Year 8 Pupil Comments/Educational Visits .................................................. Page 8 The College in Pictures ................................................................................. Page 9 Curriculum ........................................................................................ Pages 10 & 11 Policy Documents ....................................................................................... Page 11 Results – Summer 2023.............................................................................. Page 12 Pastoral Care/Child Protection................................................................... Page 13 Positive Behaviour/Outstanding Achievement .......................................... Page 14 College Uniform ......................................................................................... Page 15 Who Will I Meet? ............................................................................. Pages 16 & 17 Past Pupil Supplement ........................................................................ Pages 18-24 Behaviour for Learning ............................................................................... Page 25 CONTENTS Website and Social Media If you would like more information about our school, including staffing, school policies and curriculum, as well as events that are happening in the school, you can find them : • On the school website • Parent app is an effective way for Holy Cross College to engage with parents on all aspects of school life; from access to your child’s timetable, monitoring of attendance and the sending of school reports. Parents with more than one child attending the same school can easily access grouped information on each child via the app. It's easy to use and accessible from a smart phone, tablet or PC. It uses SIMS ID, a secure single sign-on function so schools don’t need to manage logins. • We are also on Facebook and Twitter. Parent App

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HolyCrossCollege, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 2 I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to prospective students and their parents to Holy Cross College’s Open Day, 2024. Open Day provides staff with the opportunity to showcase what is on offer in Holy Cross College. We have an experienced and highly motivated staff who ensure that the aims of the college: Excellence in Education; Formation in the Catholic Faith; & Care for All are promoted and worked towards with all children. We are fortunate that we have state-of the-art facilities that assist staff in delivering educational provision of the highest quality. Holy Cross College offers a range of subjects for students to study, aligned to the Entitlement Framework. Up to eighteen subjects are studied at Key Stage 3, over twenty at Key Stage 4 and almost thirty subjects are offered for Post-16 students. The college also promotes a wide range of extra-curricular activities and clubs for students to enjoy, develop their skills and form new friendships. We enjoy a strong history of success in music, drama and sports and celebrate the achievements of the students regularly in school and through our social media platforms. Central to everything we strive for in Holy Cross College is our Care for All ethos and this has our robust pastoral care system at its core. We aim to provide a safe environment, built on trust and respect, for all students to enable them to reach their academic potential whilst also developing their emotional, spiritual and physical strengths and qualities. I hope you enjoy your visit to Holy Cross College today and thank you for considering the college for the next step in your child’s educational journey. Mr Ciarán Johnston Principal --------------------------------------------------------------- My name is John Dudgeon and I am Chairperson of the Board of Governors of Holy Cross College. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Open Day 2024 and I hope you find your visit to the college informative and useful in helping you choose a post-primary school for your child. The governors and I oversee and support the work of Mr. Johnston and his staff in delivering quality education to the young people of Strabane and the surrounding areas. The staff of the College work hard to ensure that that every child has the opportunity to succeed and reach their potential. As a Board of Governors, it brings us great satisfaction to see the achievements of the students and to watch the college go from strength to strength. Enjoy your visit to Holy Cross. Mr John Dudgeon Chairperson, Board of Governors PRINCIPAL / CHAIR, BOARD OF GOVERNORS

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 3 From the moment I entered the building in 2017, I knew I was always going to be supported. Our school has a dedicated Pastoral Team who attend to any pupil who needs help. We have a fantastic Peer Mentoring programme in place which ensures each Year 8 is welcomed by the senior pupils and guided in those crucial first weeks, even before starting the college there are days dedicated to transitioning the pupils into school life. It’s a chance for them to not only meet the other people in their year, but also to learn from the pupils who have been through the same process and are now ready to pass on their wisdom after many years of attendance. The building itself is a state-of-the-art facility with all the equipment and resources needed to attain academic excellence, along with the expert teaching staff who go above and beyond to ensure we get the highest level of education. The wonderful teaching and support staff always uphold the sections of the school ethos Excellence in Education and Care for All. They work tirelessly to ensure everyone in the college not only meet their academic potential but feel truly part of the school community. In my role as Head Girl, I have been given even greater insight into just how dedicated the staff are to supporting every person. We are lucky to have a strong network of teachers, classroom assistants, chaplains and many others who are here to help us with any challenges life presents. We also have external counsellors who are available within the school for anyone who needs additional support. All of these individuals help to foster a safe environment where we can grow and learn. It is also so important that mental health and welfare are taken seriously within the school. I have been involved in countless school events and clubs and want to encourage every student to embrace life in Holy Cross. I myself have been a member of the choir since my first year in the school, have taken part in school shows which are always a huge success, am on the Student Council, a member of the Period Dignity club and many other things which have helped my feel included and nurtured my skills and qualities. The school offers a multitude of extra-curricular activities, there truly is something for everyone. Whether you enjoy sports, have a passion for music, want to take part in drama or make your voice heard on the Student Council, the school always encourages participation. I have helped in the organizing of many school events which are thoroughly enjoyed by all including school masses, charity fundraisers and, most recently, the 7th Year Formal. Holy Cross College has presented me with a wealth of opportunities, and it is a privilege to be named the Head Girl of this school. I have easily built relationships with my peers and teachers and am honoured that they place their trust in me to fulfil this position. I owe everything to the college for shaping me into the individual I am today. It has given me invaluable life experiences and equipped me with all the skills I need for the future. I could have never imagined just how incredible my time at the school would be when I started out all those years ago and I am confident that the years I have spent here may well be the best of my life. Looking back on all the laughter, friendships, memories and hard-work I am proud to call myself a member of such an incredible establishment. I unreservedly endorse this school for everyone thinking of attending. Laura Doherty, Head Girl Holy Cross College. A school located in a small town with a big town attitude. This is shown by students and staff alike through their upmost dedication to the college mission statement – Excellence in Education, Formation in the Catholic Faith, and Care for All. I was first introduced to this in 2018 when I joined the school in second year. This was a very nerve-racking time for me due to starting a new school when everyone else in my year group had a full year of integration into secondary school life ahead of me. Although I was apprehensive to begin with, I was presented with a wealth of support from staff and students. I was met with a surplus of subjects and extracurricular activities to choose from which provided me with countless opportunities to facilitate my academic growth, develop my passions and discover new interests. During my years at the college, I have developed as a person and taken part in many different opportunities that encouraged stepping out of my comfort zone such as being a member of the senior choir and receiving a lead role in the latest school production, the Addams Family. Both of which opportunities I was hesitant about at first, but with an excellent support network provided by staff members I agreed to take part, which benefited me as a person. The school building itself further reflects the ambition and drive this college has to push each student to reach their full potential as each department contains state-of-the-art facilities for students of all abilities. These facilities would not be complete without the staff who are dedicated and attentive when pushing students to strive for success. As a result of the network of teaching staff, assistants, counselors, chaplains, and many others, who have worked tirelessly and shown remarkable commitment, they have created a safe and inclusive environment where students can learn, flourish, and express themselves freely. The post primary journey can be intimidating, but stories like my own should provide students with comfort that in Holy Cross College no one is left to fend for themselves; from the outset you will be met with overwhelming support from both staff and senior students such as myself who will guide you throughout the school and make you feel at home in this unfamiliar environment. To conclude, I would like to express my gratitude to this magnificent school. I owe everything to Holy Cross College for equipping me with the essential skill set for a successful future. Throughout the years I have made lifelong friendships, countless memories, and grown as a person. I will miss this school when I leave and can almost guarantee that your years in Holy Cross College may very well be some of the best years of your life. Ronan Connolly. Head Boy HEAD BOY / HEAD GIRL

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 4 EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION As teachers, we firmly believe that the greatest and most enduring gift that we can offer our students is that of education. We believe that all our students can progress towards, develop and achieve their potential along the myriad of educational pathways which we place at their disposal within the college. All our work is focused on attaining the best possible educational outcomes for the young people we teach. EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION The following pupils received Exceptional Achievement awards at GCSE in 2023: Conor Boyce, Gerry Brown, Charlie-Ann Corry, Fintan Devine, Niamh Dunne, Fionn Harte, Millie Houston, Cora Johnston, Ella Kelly, Mae Langan, Mia Maguire, Jonathan McAleer, Ashleigh McArdle Elliott, Lucia McConnell, Tia McCormack, Katie McIntosh, Shea Monaghan, Kelsey-Lee Ryan, Realta Walsh The following pupils received Exceptional Awards at A-Level in 2023: Joseph Bishop, Sophia-Loren Cardenas, Sophia-Lynne Cardenas, Aaron Brown, Niamh Coyle, Eathan Harkin, Kacey Harron, Liam Harte, Leda Hasson, Chloe Kelly, Cara McAleer, Lauren McColgan, Chloe McConnell, Aiyana McGinley, Mischa McGinley, Rachel McKenna, Cassie McLaughlin, Cadhla Moore, Lucy Moore, Aoife Woods Key Stage Three Awards Day GCSE and A-Level Prize-Giving Moving Image Arts NI winner

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 5 FORMATION IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH POLICIES FORMATION IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH As a Catholic school, Holy Cross College integrates the life and work of the college into the local parishes. The college’s stained glass window (below) highlights our journey through life towards eventual eternal happiness with God. It is a journey which does not always follow a straight path. The three figures at the bottom of the window could be student, parent and teacher on their path of life, helping, encouraging and caring. It is an aim of Holy Cross College to form our pupils in the faith, to help them in a practical way to love God and their neighbour and to appreciate that they themselves are children of God. The College Oratory Senior Choir Junior Mass Church Music

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 6 CARE FOR ALL POLICIES CARE FOR ALL The Pastoral Care Policy of Holy Cross College is intended to help pupils develop into caring, independent and responsible young people. Holy Cross College is committed to providing a secure, stable and well-ordered environment based on traditional values and genuine care and concern for individuals. We have a close association with many charities including: Saint Vincent De Paul; Foyle Hospice; Road of Hope; Cancer Research; Shoebox Appeal; Kicking for Autism Above: Travis and Thomas Jack, Year 8, completed an 8km mud run, To Hell And Back, in aid of multiple charities. Left: Year 8 pupils Megan Skeffington and Tori Crawford helped raise over £15,000 in a “Kicking for Autism” challenge Below left: Signing up to the Anthony Nolan blood cancer register Below right: The pupils and staff of Holy Cross raised £2320 in aid of “Healing Hearts” at Foyle Hospice, in memory of their teacher, colleague and friend Helena Fitzgerald.

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 7 Admissions Criteria for Entry September 2024 Open Day Saturday 13th January 2024 - 10.00 am – 12 noon and 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm Principal’s Address - 10.00 am and 1.00 pm RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND PRINCIPAL IN RELATION TO ADMISSIONS The Board of Governors draws up the admissions criteria and delegates to an Admissions Sub-Committee, which includes the Principal, the responsibility for applying these criteria. Any reference herein to the term the Board of Governors includes any Committee or Sub-Committee appointed by the Board of Governors for the purposes of applying the Admissions Criteria set out herein. ADMISSIONS CRITERIA 2024 During the admissions procedure when applying the criteria punctual applications will be considered before late applications are considered. The application procedure opens on 30 January 2024 at 12 noon (GMT) and an application submitted by the closing date of 22 February 2024 at 12 noon (GMT) will be treated as a punctual application. An application received after 12 noon (GMT) on 22 February 2024 and up to 4pm on 4 March 2024 will be treated as a late application. The process for applying for a Post Primary place in Year 8 for September 2024 has moved online and the online portal will be open for parents to submit their application from 12 noon on Tuesday 30th January 2024 to 12 noon on Thursday 22nd February 2024. The Board of Governors has determined that, in the event of the number of applicants being greater than the admissions number for the school, the following method will be used to select pupils for admission. Applicants domiciled in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be considered before all other applicants. 1. Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals* (FSME): Priority to be given so that the proportion of such children admitted is not less than the proportion of first preference FSME applications received within the total number of first preference applications received.** * “Entitled to Free School Meals” will mean applicants who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has submitted their post-primary Transfer Application, or at any date up to and including Monday 4th March 2024 no later than 4 pm. ** The calculation of this proportion will be on the basis of first preference applications received by the post-primary school on or before Thursday 22nd February 2024. 2. Applicants who normally reside in the following Parishes: Camus, Mourne, Leckpatrick, Sion Mills, Urney, Donemana, Newtownstewart, Castlederg. 3. Applicants who have a sibling or legally adopted sibling presently enrolled in Holy Cross College or who will be enrolled in the coming year. 4. Applicants from other Parishes who are presently resident in Northern Ireland. 5. Applicants from other Parishes. In the event that the school would exceed its permitted admission number by accepting all applicants qualifying for selection using the final criterion so required, then selection for all places remaining in this category will be on the basis of initial letter of the surname (as appears on the birth certificate), in the order set out below: A M E D Mac J N C H L T O’ B F Mc O P W R Q S G Y K I U V X Z Surnames beginning with the same initial letter, the subsequent letters of the surnames will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of 2 identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the initials of the forename will be used. In the event of over-subscription in the last criterion that can be applied, selection for available places will be on the basis of proximity of home to school as the crow flies with priority for those closest to the school. If a place(s) becomes available after Monday 2nd September 2024 and there are more applicants than places then decisions will be made on the application of the Year 8 Admissions Criteria to those pupils seeking admission at the time the place(s) becomes available. NUMBERS OF APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS Year Admissions No. Total Applications All Preferences Total Admissions 2021/2022 300 277 277 2022/2023 300 255 255 2023/2024 300 261 261 ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY TO YEARS 9 – 12 Details of criteria available by contacting school office. ADMISSIONS CRITERIA POLICIES

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 8 When I first stepped inside the massive school building, I was stunned! There were long corridors and twists and turns, I was sure I was going to have difficulty finding my way around. I was very wrong. My kind peer mentors navigated me to all my classes for the first couple of weeks. Initially I was worried that I wouldn’t get into the same class as my friends. However, I was put in a class with one of my friends and made lots of new ones too. There is a great choice of after school activities such as choir, homework club, gaelic, soccer, rugby and much more! I can’t forget to mention the wide range of canteen food to choose from. Everything on the menu is delicious. My form teacher, Mr McCay, was very kind and informed me about everything I needed to know. My experience at Holy Cross College so far has been outstanding and everyone here has helped me settle in well. It is an amazing school and I highly recommend becoming a student like me. Emily Christy 8LM My journey at Holy Cross College began on the 1st of September 2023.I came from a small primary school in Castlederg, so my initial thoughts were that the school was enormous and reminded me of a maze that I’d get lost in. Luckily my form teacher and my peer mentors were all so kind to me and helped me get to my classes, we eventually found our own way around. Unfortunately, I was in a form class without any of my previous primary school friends, however this encouraged me to make new friends. At break and lunch time I still get to see my primary school friends and we travel on the same bus. I love all my subjects and the teachers are all so kind and helpful. If I was you, I would definitely come to this school. The canteen has a wide variety of food to choose from (you need to try the pizza and chips!). I would never regret choosing Holy Cross College. Noah McLaughlin 8LM -------------------------------------- YEAR 8 PUPIL COMMENTS / COLLEGE TRIPS EDUCATIONAL VISITS To enhance our students’ educational experience beyond the classroom, we offer a selection of school trips annually in which students may choose to participate. Each of these trips provides a marvellous opportunity for travel and a chance to sample different cultures, activities and languages. Visits planned • February 2024: Ski Trip • June 2024: Science trip to London • May 2025: Trip to Paris • October 2025: Music/Drama trip to London’s West End

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 9 THE COLLEGE IN PICTURES

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 10 The Aims of the Curriculum The curriculum on offer at Holy Cross College will be broad, balanced and coherent, reflecting the priorities of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. The needs, aptitudes, abilities and aspirations of all pupils will be addressed in flexible and efficient arrangements. Key Stage 3 (Years 08, 09 & 10) Subjects The curriculum is arranged in Learning Areas: 1. Religious Education 2. Learning for Life and Work (Citizenship, PSHE, Home Economics, Employability) 3. English 4. Mathematics 5. Science and Technology (Science, Technology and Design) 6. ICT 7. Environment and Society (History, Geography) 8. The Arts (Art, Music, Drama) 9. Modern Languages (French, Irish, Spanish) 10. Physical Education It is expected that pupils will experience learning from each of the areas to the optimum of their ability and aptitude. Assessment The assessment process in Key Stage 3 is both formative and summative. As well as ongoing assessment for learning, there are two periods of formal assessments, one in December and one in late May. The results of December exams are reported to parents on Reporting Day in February and a written report is sent to parents in June. Transition from Primary School Holy Cross College offers a very exciting "Induction Programme" for Year 08 students. This starts with an Open Day hosted by staff on Saturday 13th January 2024. The programme continues in the summer term when our Induction Team will visit the local primary schools to meet our new students. In June, we will have activities to welcome our new Year 08 students (2024-2025). All pupils will sit standardised tests in NUMERACY and LITERACY. The results of these, plus information provided by the primary school, will be used to place the pupil into the most appropriate class for his/her ability. We have in place a streamed system where there are three pathways (see page 11). Movement between the bands will be possible throughout Key Stage Three (Years 08-10) and Key Stage Four (Years 11-12). Pupils in receipt of a Statement of Special Educational Needs will be provided for in the most suitable class/band for his/her particular needs. In September, the focus will be on 'settling in' and we will have a Team Building Programme for all Year 08 students. Shared Education At Holy Cross College, students are given the opportunity to be involved in our Shared Education Project. As part of the project, our students work closely with students of Strabane Academy, taking part in a variety of activities and adventures. In the past, students have sampled books from a human library; been involved in creative workshops; climbed a mountain; been on a Peace Line tour of Belfast and much more… We are excited about our future plans, meeting new people and fostering new friendships. We value this chance to build new relationships within our community and learn new skills and information that build on our study of curriculum subjects. CURRICULUM

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 11 Learning Support The Learning Support Department in Holy Cross is committed to supporting all pupils to reach their full potential. Learning Support contributes to the development of a "can do" attitude by motivating and supporting pupils' individual needs. There is a comprehensive programme of identification and support for pupils with additional needs. Current provision includes: after-school homework club, peer mentoring, in-school Literacy and Numeracy, small group withdrawal, support from specialist staff in the Learning Support Team and external agencies. Guidance and Careers At Holy Cross College the Guidance Team provides support for pupils across a range of areas. We provide Careers Education and advice throughout the school, most particularly at times of transition. We support pupils in their choice of subjects and as they move on to other institutions and into employment. In addition, we provide support for pupils who may be experiencing personal difficulties of a social and/or emotional nature. This support is provided by qualified teachers within the school and by working closely with outside agencies and professionals. Religious Education “A Catholic school with a Catholic ethos” All pupils will study Religious Education to enhance their spiritual journey, as well as contributing to their educational experience. The formation of the pupils in the Catholic Faith will be a feature of the College, in partnership with the parishes, priests and families of all our pupils. Subjects on offer at Key Stage 4 and Post-16: At Key Stage 4 pupils will follow one of three pathways, combining a mixture of academic or vocational courses. Key Stage 4 subjects Art and Design, Business and Communication Studies, Drama, English, English Literature, French, Further Maths, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, Home Economics, ICT, Irish, Journalism, Learning for Life and Work, Mathematics, Media Studies, Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies, Moving Image Arts, Music, Religious Studies, Science Double Award/Single Award, Spanish, Sports Studies, Technology and Design. A range of BTEC courses 'in-house', and a range of vocational/occupational studies courses linked with NW College Strabane Campus are available. Post-16 students will have a choice of academic and vocational courses. Post-16 subjects Applied Science, Art, Biology, Business Studies, Business Studies Applied, Chemistry, Child Care (National Award), Children’s Play Learning and Development, Construction (National Award), Drama and Theatre Studies, Engineering (National Award), English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, Government and Politics, Health & Social Care, History, ICT, ICT Applied, Irish, Journalism, Leisure Studies, Mathematics, Media Studies, Moving Image Arts, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Education, Spanish, Design and Technology. We work in conjunction with SW College in Omagh. Extra-Curricular Activities Holy Cross College offers a wide range of after-school activities catering for the diverse interests and talents of students. These include soccer and gaelic (girls and boys), hurling, cross-country, netball, athletics, cricket, golf, basketball, drama, music (junior choir, strings, drums, brass, homework club, science club, film club, eco club etc. POLICIES All updated policy documents are available on the college’s web site. CURRICULUM / POLICIES POLICIES

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 12 Year 12 Occupational Studies GCSE BTEC GCSE Science Double Award A-Level BTEC RESULTS – SUMMER 2023 / SENIOR PREFECTS GCSE RESULTS – Summer 2023 A-LEVEL RESULTS – Summer 2023

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 13 Pastoral Care Holy Cross College is committed to providing a secure, stable and well-ordered environment based on traditional values and genuine care and concern for individuals. Although Holy Cross may seem a large school to many parents, it will be organised in such a way that every child is known individually. We will work hard to make sure that the individual needs of each child are identified and met, both academically and pastorally as a member of the college community. It is our aim that at their new college children will feel happy and secure. When a pupil joins Year 08 the first person he or she will work closely with is the Form Tutor. The Form Tutor will be the first point of contact for parents if worries arise or when information on your child's progress or welfare is required. The Form Tutors are supported by Year Heads, Heads of School and Vice Principals. From Year 08 to 14, Holy Cross will provide the support, which will allow all its students to fulfil their own potential. Within this whole school vision we will have internal structures that will promote academic achievement, individual growth and healthy competition as well as ensuring that all students feel safe within the school environment. Child Protection Procedures One of the college aims is “Care for All.” Every child has the fundamental right to be safe from harm and to have proper care given to their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is the duty of all members of staff to protect children from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and from neglect. Any concerns a parent may have will be taken seriously and dealt with in a professional manner. How a Parent Can Make a Complaint Holy Cross College Safeguarding Team Principal ................................................................. Mr Ciarán Johnston Designated Teachers for Child Protection ................... Mrs N Gallagher, VP (KS3) Mrs P Devine, VP (KS4, Post-16) Chairperson, the Board of Governors ......................... Mr John Dudgeon Designated Governor for Child Protection ................. Mrs M. Cunningham PASTORAL CARE / CHILD PROTECTION I have a concern about my child’s safety I can talk to the class/form teacher or Head of Year If I am still concerned, I can talk to the appropriate designated teacher for Child Protection: Mrs Gallagher (KS3) Mrs Devine (KS4, Post-16) If I am still concerned, I can talk to the Principal, Mr Johnston If I am still concerned, I can talk/write to the Chairperson of Board of Governors: Mr John Dudgeon At any time I can talk to a social worker at the Gateway Team (Western Trust), Tel. 028 71314090, or the PSNI at the Child Protection Unit, Tel. 08456008000

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 14 Promoting Positive Behaviour Holy Cross College aims to promote and reward positive behaviour for all our students. A “Reward system is in place for Years 8 – 10 using comments on Sims. Rewards include items with the College logo, e.g. pen, the monthly NICE (Nice Individual Caring for Everyone) Award from each Form Class and End-of-Year reward. We celebrate student success in Assembly, on Social Media and through the outstanding achievement Award. These awards are distributed throughout the year Letters of Commendation Letters of Commendation are sent out at the end of Term One to those students in Years 8 – 11 who have shown commitment to the academic challenges, adhered to the rules and embodied the ethos of Holy Cross College. POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR / LETTERS OF COMMENDATION Below: NICE certificate recipients – November 2023

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 15 The College Uniform For all: Black blazer with college crest White shirt Black and gold tie with broad stripe Black flat heeled laced or slip-on shoes - trainers or boots are NOT allowed Grey jumper with crest (optional) Durable schoolbag Plain outside jacket for travelling in cold weather (optional). [Coloured “hoodies” or sweatshirts are NOT permissible] College scarf (optional) Boys: Grey trousers Dark socks Girls: Grey knee-length skirt with inverted pleats, or plain grey trousers Black tights Uniform Suppliers: Mark James Menswear Railway Rd., Strabane. J. Kemps Main St., Newtownstewart PE Uniform Supplied by MFC via on-line link, and by Raymond McGoldrick Sports. Sweat shirt with school logo; Black footwear. COLLEGE UNIFORM Year 8 Creggan Outdoor Centre

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 16 WHO SHALL I MEET? From top: The administrative staff; Mrs Catherine Cheeseman – Administration Officer; Mrs Shauna Kelleher – College Nurse Mrs Georgina McGonigle – College Nurse Year Heads – Mr Declan McGuire, Miss Catriona McLaughlin, Mrs Leah McCay, Mrs Oonagh McHugh., Mrs Zara Devine; Bottom right: Mrs Joan Crossle – Librarian; Back Row (L-R): Mrs Sonia Murphy, Mrs Roisin McGillian, Mrs Margaret Harte, Mrs Louise Harkin. Front Row (L-R): Mrs Marah Boyle, Mrs Carol Mahon

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 17 Right: Mrs Patricia Devine, Vice Principal Mr Ciarán Johnston, Principal Mrs Nicola Gallagher, Vice Principal Left: Mrs Marita McCullagh - Head of Key Stage 4; Mr Fergal McCrory - Head of Post-16; Ms Claire Doherty - Head of Key Stage 3. Right: Mr A McAlary, Organisation Mrs Julie Ross Learning Support Co-ordinator Mr Phil Raw Learning Support Co-ordinator Mrs Marie Strawbridge, Careers & Guidance Mrs Cathy Hasson, Assessment Below: College Chaplains: Fr Declan Boland,Fr Michael Doherty, Fr Colm O’Doherty, Fr Malachy Gallagher WHO SHALL I MEET? Above: Mr John Dudgeon Chair, Board of Governors

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement As one of the first ever pupils at Holy Cross College, I can wholeheartedly say they were some of the best days of my life. I look back on my time at secondary school as a period during which I met my lifelong best friends and received the grounding which helped me achieve my career goal. English Literature and Geography were my two favourite subjects, my love of Seamus Heaney ultimately influencing my decision to study English as an undergraduate at Queen’s University, Belfast. As for Geography, it didn’t quite feel like studying. I learned about the world around us - volcanoes, meanders and the Gulf Stream. From those early teenage years, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. Each summer, I undertook work experience in local media outlets and, with that desire of following my dream still very much alive and following my graduation with a BA in English, I entered into a Masters degree course in Journalism at Ulster University, Coleraine. Right from that first day in Coleraine I knew I was on the right path. I loved every single element of Journalism and the art of turning anything into a story. I graduated with a Masters degree with the view to remaining in print journalism, having previously worked therein. That was until three years ago when I stepped inside Highland Radio and never looked back. Now working as a broadcast journalist on Ireland’s number 1 local radio station, every day feels like a school day, always something new to experience, new skills to master and proudly following my teenage dream. Michaela Clarke – Broadcast Journalist Looking back at my school days ten years on I have very fond memories I will treasure forever. I appreciate these memories more as I get older and as I reflect back I can relate to the well-known cliché ‘school days are the best days of your life.’ Secondary school is where you discover who you are becoming; you get to choose what subjects interest you and focus on studying them further; you build lifelong relationships with teachers and mentors who help shape the person you will become after school; you meet friends that become your family - it’s a time for discovering who you want to be in this world. My favourite subjects in school were Drama, Art, Music, English, History, I moved on from Holy Cross College to study a degree in Theatre/English at Queens University Belfast with the intent of becoming a teacher. I always loved the creative side of theatre. It felt great to be part of a group bringing an artistic vision to life on stage. I can relate my degree to what I do now; I’m an owner of Enchanted Hair & Beauty Salon. I mainly do wedding parties: I’m part of someone’s creative vision and I help bring their special day to life. I’ve always liked making people feel good about themselves and my job gives me that opportunity every day. Although the teaching career didn’t go to plan, I feel like I fit perfectly into my role in society and my educational journey helped develop the skills I need to run a successful business. I’ve always been a believer in ‘what’s meant for you won’t pass you.’ If I was to give my younger self a bit of advice starting school: take full advantage of all the opportunities school offers, try not to get too stressed with exams and assignments, trust the process, trust in yourself, and you only get back what you put in. Toni Kelly – Business Owner

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement I have very fond memories of my time at Holy Cross College and can hardly believe that it's eight years since I've been at school! I've been so fortunate to remain close to friends that I met as far back as first year. We have such happy memories of our time at school. My year group was the first Year 8 group of Holy Cross College and so we were initially based in the old Convent site. I was Year 12 when we moved into the school as it is now. Teachers played such an important part in shaping my future, they were always encouraging and pushing me on. I remember a strong desire to learn Irish but this never came natural to me. So aside from being a bit chatty and testing Mrs Kyle's patience, I don't think I gave my teachers much bother. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the caring profession and so Health and Social Care was an easy choice when it came to subject choices for my A-Levels. Geography was one of my favourite subjects in school. I remember being so disappointed the morning of my results in not having secured my predicted grade. But they say everything happens for a reason! I went on to complete an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Ulster University and then Social Work at Queen’s University and I am now a Social Worker with the Western Trust. Danica Conway – Social Worker I thoroughly enjoyed my years at Holy Cross College and I gained a lot of admirable qualities from my peers and teachers. They inspired me to reach for my goals and supported me through my education. Now having graduated in ICT from Ulster University and a PGCE in Liverpool, I am a Business and ICT teacher in Doha, Qatar. I have my school and teachers to thank for all my achievements. Holy Cross College encourages students to be their best, work to their potential and enjoy their time at school. Nadine O’Kane - Teacher My career path has taken some unexpected turns in recent years with the acquisition of my Master’s degree in Business. I was employed as a Wealth Advisor at a bank here in North Dakota until I was head-hunted into the Digital Marketing world to Townsquare, which is the second largest media company in the U.S. The digital world is fast paced and ever changing which makes it interesting and keeps me on my toes. In addition, I coach the Century High School Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ football team here in our state. My time at Holy Cross was great and I look back on it with fond memories. Academically, Holy Cross showed me that I can always do better and do more. I wasn’t your typical “A” student. However, my teachers pushed me to do more and be the best possible version of myself. That persistence has enabled me to get to where I am at today, I don’t know where I would be without it. From a sporting standpoint, there is no better place to play sports in N. Ireland. The coaching and advice of Mr Boyle and Mr Donaghey helped me to refine my skills and adjust my attitude (I didn’t always have the best attitude). Their coaching and advice put me in a position to take advantage of the football scholarship opportunity that was presented to me. Eight years removed and I owe a tremendous amount to Holy Cross and its staff. Take advantage of the school, its teachers, and listen to their advice; it will be the best decision you make. Aaron Brennan - Business

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement As a pupil of Holy Cross College from 2009-2016 I will be eternally grateful for their massive support in not only my education but also in my determined pursuit to one day fulfil my dreams of joining the world renowned “Riverdance.” I love reflecting back on my time at the school as I have an abundance of fond memories with not only my friends but also the teachers and staff of the school. Two of my favourite departments in Holy cross are the state of the art Sports and Drama departments. I remember training in cross country for PE, I always loved the challenge and how our PE teachers helped us find motivation to get fitter and stronger. I then competed for Holy Cross at a county Championships and very much enjoyed running alongside other pupils. Perhaps my favourite GCSE subject was Drama, my passionate teacher Mrs McCay helped me fall in love with the very enjoyable subject- her work with the class and myself has helped me on stage in my role in Riverdance today. I had so many days of excitement and laughter with my form class, trips that included paint-balling and kayaking, bringing us all very close as friends. As a senior pupil in the school I enjoyed being a Peer Mentor as it gave me a chance to be a leader and to help the younger pupils settle into their new school. I also felt very honoured to be Deputy Head girl working alongside other pupils to help organise school events. With the support of my teachers I was able to continue to dance throughout my GCSE’s and A-Levels. I finished my time at Holy Cross college with three A’s in Biology, Maths and Chemistry and got offered my dream job of joining Riverdance. None of this would have been possible without my always positive, supporting, encouraging teachers who went out of their way to make sure I had enough time for both my school work and dancing. I now travel the world, dancing almost every night for audiences as big as 7,000 people. I perform my dream role of lead dancer in the show - the biggest goal I ever set for myself and feel like the luckiest girl the world getting to do what I love as a job. One of my biggest achievements has been performing in Croke Park for the Papal visit to a live TV audience and a stadium audience of 90,000 people. I want to thank Holy Cross for everything they have done for me throughout my time in school and their continuous support I still receive today. I will always remember my time at the school as happy, positively challenging and a great time of growth. Thank you for helping shape the person I am today and for helping make my dream come true! Amy Mae Dolan – Lead role in Riverdance I am a past pupil of Holy Cross College and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school. During my studies there, I found that all teachers were very enthusiastic and very willing to help students strive for excellence. I have great memories of my schooldays at Holy Cross College and met many friends there, all of whom I am still friendly with. I studied History, Religion and Spanish at A-Level and qualified as a Solicitor in 2016. My experience at Holy Cross College and the opportunities provided there paved the way for my future and my career. Andrea McGill - Solicitor Hi, my name is Thomas Mullen and I was a pupil at the Holy Cross College. I enjoyed my time at Holy Cross College and achieved well. Holy Cross had a wide range of subjects that I could choose from and I was particularly interested in Sport Studies. The College helped me to achieve at the highest level in sports because of the facilities and the excellent P.E. staff. I enjoyed success with the football squad and Gaelic football team. I also represented the golf team and competed in all school athletics competitions. I believe that all the hard work I put in at the Holy Cross helped me to gain a scholarship for university in the USA. I am now finished my first semester at the University of Arkansas as a student Athlete. I played soccer for the University and we became Regional Champions and I was awarded “striker of the region”. Thomas Mullen – Soccer Player & International Student

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement During my time at HCC I had so many positive experiences. I’ve met many life-long friends, enjoyed numerous trips to different countries as well as the day-to-day hustle and bustle of college life, all whilst studying a variety of subjects in a bid to further my education. Holy Cross is very much a close-knit school community where everyone is made to feel welcome and valued. I enjoyed all of the subjects on offer but I had a particular love for PE! With a keen interest in sport I was excited to experience the contemporary facilities at the College. Another passionate subject of mine was Biology which involved the Study of the Human Body, this ignited an interest which is still evident in my vocation today! From Year 8 I joined both the Soccer and Gaelic teams which involved training after school as well as playing matches against other schools from across the province. The college is very lucky to have the sporting facilities it has and it would be a shame not to make the most of them! I enjoyed many days away representing the college in a sports team, the highlight of which would be winning the Northern Ireland Schools’ Cup for the first time in HCC history in 2012. In Year 10 I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Barcelona on a football trip. This was a week-long trip which involved training and playing matches against Spanish ppposition and sampling the local Catalan culture, with a visit to the world-famous Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, an experience never to be forgotten. After completing my GCSE’s and A-Levels at Holy Cross, I was in a position to apply for University. Applying to Universities can be a daunting task but the careers team at the college are extremely helpful with this aspect. I studied Dentistry at the University of Dundee, Scotland for 5 years. I have since returned home and I’m currently working as a Dentist in Castlederg and have recently started a Facial Aesthetics business. I can’t thank the staff at HCC enough for all their help and guidance throughout my seven years with them. Luke McGeehan - Dentist On leaving Holy Cross College I continued my education in North West Regional College gaining a Diploma in Engineering. This enabled me to apply to universities. I chose a mechanical engineer course in Ulster University. Near the end of completing the course, I was selected to continue with my studies in Augsberg University, Germany, for 6 months. This experience was a life time opportunity. From this I gained a Masters Degree in both Mechanical Engineering (Ulster University) and Masters Degree in Mechatronics (Augsberg University, Germany). I am presently employed as an assistant consultant with this company in RPS since July 2019. I am involved in planning exciting new developments in the water division of the company. So I live in Belfast during the week and come back home at the weekends as I play Gaelic football and to spend time with my family. My tips for Holy Cross College pupils today. All experience is relevant. Ask for help when you need it. Get involved in sport or some recreation to promote a healthy lifestyle . Lorcan Glackin - Engineer During my education, in Holy Cross, NWRC and University, I received support with literacy as I have dyslexia. This enabled me to progress and reach my potential. Since leaving HCC in 2009 I completed a National Diploma in Health & Social Care at North West Regional College and a degree in Adult Nursing from Oxford Brookes University. Through my nursing training I have gained a wealth of experience working in the different areas of nursing. My first post was in a Cardiology ward which I loved but this was very demanding. Also I trained as an endocrine specialist nurse and I split my work hours between the two posts, working part time in both Cardiology ward and Endocrine clinics. Since then I have recently gained promotion to a Band 6 position as an Endocrine Specialist Nurse in The John Radcliff Hospital, Oxford. I have made Oxford my home, doing my dream job. I manage to have a good work life balance by ensuring I have a holiday or event to look forward to! My tips for HCC pupils: I have learned to be confident and ask for help and accept help when needed. I am here today, through hard work, determination, lots of support and encouragement from teachers, lecturers an d my family. I always take setbacks as a learning experiences and I ask for feedback to progress. Fionnuala Glackin - Nurse

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement I attended Holy Cross College until 2006. Before attending I knew I wanted to be an actor but I hadn’t any idea how I would go about achieving that or what it took to be one. Mrs McCay and Mr McBride guided me through the foundations of acting as a craft and introduced me to legendary practitioners like Stanislavski and Brecht. After Holy Cross I went to Queen’s University to study acting and then to The Gaiety School of Acting – The National Theatre School of Ireland in Dublin. Once graduated, I started acting in Dublin, became a producer and director and worked with companies like Jameson Whiskey to bring events to life. I played a role in RTE’s Fair City and I got one of my first big jobs on HBO’s Game of Thrones acting alongside the wonderful Peter Dinklage and amazing Charles Dance. Before leaving Dublin I played one of the most amazing characters, Lucky from Sam Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ in a production that ran for 4 weeks and then went on tour in Brazil, in Rio De Janeiro and Brasilia. When I moved to London I set up my own theatre company, a company not just for new actors but for older, returning actors as well. All or Nothing Repertory Theatre Company was born in 2018 and we began an ambitious first season. The Remember the Clause season was a huge success during the Pride festival for us. Our next step was to enter into the Camden Fringe Festival with an adaptation of three of Shakespeare’s history plays. ‘My Other Self’ was brought together to explore the mental health and psychology of Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s most infamous villains. We were nominated for a Fringe Festival award for Best Production. We were incredibly proud as this was our first festival and I personally felt wonderful as I had adapted the play. All throughout this journey I have never lost the sense of wonder at the exploration of emotions I learnt from my Drama teachers in school. I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and an immense sense of that gratitude goes to the Drama Department I had during my years at school. Thank you and see you soon! Simon Stewart – Actor & Director/Producer After successfully completing A-Level Art & Design at Holy Cross College in 2011, I was inspired to study a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at North West Regional College where I developed a fascination for textiles and was first introduced to weaving. This led to completing a HND in Fashion & Textiles at North West Regional College in 2014, specializing in Woven Textiles, and gaining a 2nd year place on the Textile Art, Design & Fashion Degree Course at Ulster University Belfast. In 2016 I won a Future Makers Ireland Award for one of my graduate collections “Windows into The Past” from my brand “To Be Frank”, a range of luxurious woven fabrics. My work also featured in a week long solo exhibition and was on “Tyrone County Matters” shown on Sky TV, and I was interviewed for BBC Radio Ulster’s The Arts Show by Michael Bradley from The Undertones, where I show-cased my two graduate collections “Windows From The Past” and “The Mill Collection”. After graduating in 2016 I was awarded the position as a Weave Designer in Residence for Ulster University, which allowed me to create and exhibit work and also ignited my passion for education. I progressed onto studying for a fellowship and was awarded Associate Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy in 2017. After this I went on to launch a range of statement hand woven cushions and wall hangings with my “To Be Frank” brand. Since 2017 I have been working in Special Education, facilitating art classes and workshops to children from 7-19 years of age and am currently working in an EOTAS setting, whilst also creating work in my weaving studio. I hope to launch a new interiors collection in 2020 for “To Be Frank”. Rachel Finlay – Textile Designer

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement When I was a pupil at Holy Cross College I enjoyed participating in team sports at a high level; I was involved in both the Gaelic and soccer teams which were both hugely successful. There was always a great sense of camaraderie amongst the players and it was a privilege to represent the school at various tournaments and blitzes against other schools over the years. I spent most of my spare time outside of school playing football at a high level for Dunganon Swifts which was an amazing experience, one I have never forgot. I still play Gaelic for Strabane Sigersons and also play soccer with Strabane Athletic F.C. I enjoyed all the social aspects of school; making friends, learning new skills and carving a future for myself. My favourite subjects at school were PE and History. I left Holy Cross College in 2009 and went to NWRC where I continued to study Sports Science and I worked in gyms and leisure centres throughout my studies as a fitness instructor, developing my knowledge and getting a lot of hands on, practical experience. I then returned to NWRC to achieve a formal qualification, a HND in sports science. In 2016 I secured a job in STS as a fitness instructor tutor and assessor and, I continued working in the leisure centre too. At the age of 25 I decided to do something that I had wanted to do from a very young age. I joined the Irish Defence Forces and I haven’t looked back! It is an amazing job with fantastic opportunities and prospects. I am based in Finner Co. Donegal which is great because I am so close to home. Holy Cross College was a great foundation for me to build my future on and, I have memories from my time there that I will never forget. Dylan Arnold – Irish Army I was a pupil at Holy Cross College from 2003 to 2009 and I have great memories of my time spent there and the friendships I formed. At school I really enjoyed studying English, Art and PE. I was part of the Holy Cross College cross-country team and I really enjoyed the team spirit, competing and of course the achievements. Being able to represent the school was an honour. I left school after completing my GCSE’s in 2009 and went to NWRC to study an NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development with a focus on special needs provision in education. I worked full time for a year in primary schools as a special needs classroom assistant before returning to Further Education to complete a HND in Child Development. I knew this was the career path I wanted to choose and it was important for me to gain the qualifications I needed to do the job to the best of my ability. After completing this course I began working in Holy Cross College as a Special Needs classroom assistant and I have been here for the past 5 years. I really enjoy working in the school, getting to know the pupils and helping them to realise and achieve their full potential. Shaunagh McMenamin – Classroom Assistant Strabane born and raised; I had a passion and love for all things fashion and art orientated from a very young age. During my time at HCC I studied Art & Design for A-level which was the first step in pursuing my career path. Under the guidance of the HCC art department I was encouraged to attend an interview with North West Regional College, Derry. I had three incredible years at NWRC and studied under the most incredible lecturers who were not only able to deliver a first class course but they were able to offer practical advice and support as they had experience within specific sectors of the fashion and textile design industry and could relate to the journey that we were all undertaking. On graduating I was awarded the Adria Award for Best Fashion Design. Moving forward I decided to advance to a Higher National Diploma in Fashion and Textile Design (2 years). Graduating from my HND I was awarded The Desmond and Sons Award Cup for Best Fashion Collection. I felt then that I could now begin to carve out a career for myself within the fashion and design industry. I established the Haus Of MoHawk brand in 2016. We are a family run business who work closely with industry professionals to help create and finish our products. We have show-cased twice at London Fashion Week, we were resident in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing during China Fashion Week and we have a growing customer base across Europe, America and Australia. We currently have two sub-collections within the brand; MoHawk Unorthodox & MoHawk Exclusive. We specialise in lifestyle fashion suitable for women, men and kids. We also offer a custom design service for special occasions creating unique one of a kind pieces completely tailored to our client’s needs. I have been self-employed for almost four years but our Haus Of MoHawk team includes a range of industry professionals who come together to create and finish our products with numerous years of specialised skills and experience. Currently our MoHawk Unorthodox range is available to purchase online at It has been a crazy couple of years with amazing highs and lots of steep learning curves but by overcoming each obstacle makes the direction for Haus Of MoHawk that much clearer.

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Holy Cross College – Past Pupil Supplement Let me leave you with this thought; if journeys were meant to be direct and convenient we would all travel on straight roads from A to B but similar to life’s journey, the journey to success is filled with crossroads, roundabouts and no right turns. Sometimes you have to take the scenic route to get to where you want to be but just because the direction has changed doesn’t me your final destination will. Work hard, be kind to yourself, don’t take your setbacks too much to heart and remember you only fail if you stop trying; so fail a million times, you are just ruling out the options that don’t work but please don’t quit before the miracle happens. Lynsey McGarrigle – Fashion Designer I owe a lot to Holy Cross College and the subject of Moving Image Arts. Not only did it fuel my passion for film and animation, it created some of the best memories I have experienced so far in life. Filming, animating and being creative with friends was such a rewarding experience. After studying for a BA (Hons) in animation at Northumbria University I’m now currently working as a Props Designer for an American cartoon called Pinkalicious, an American-Irish educational animated children’s television series made by Belfast company Sixteen South. I love my job. I doubt I’d be here if it wasn’t for Moving Image Arts and Mr Meyler’s inspirational teaching. Rian McDaid – Animator I left the Holy Cross College in 2006 and studied medicine in Liverpool. During my student years I formed and was chairperson of a GAA club called Liverpool Wolfe Tones. I graduated from medicine in 2011 and I have worked mainly in Liverpool, moving recently to Belfast. In 2015 I formed and volunteered for a charity helping raise over £16,000 to medically assist 5,000 refugees within Uganda. In 2017 I completed my masters with distinction in Sports medicine at UCLAN. Since then I’ve been working between geriatrics and in elite sport internationally with Fleetwood Town FC, Northern Ireland and Wales international teams, British Gymnastics and London broncos. Chris Elliott - Doctor Hi I’m Moya, a proud past pupil of Holy Cross College. I started during the time of the amalgamation of the three schools and the first three years were a bit hectic as the teachers were travelling between three sites. However, that all changed in 2010 when we moved into the spanking new building, which is the wonderful Holy Cross College. After A levels I left the College in 2012 and attended St. Mary's University College Belfast to complete a BA Liberal Arts with Geography. By that stage I had decided I wanted to become a Geography teacher, following in my mother’s footsteps, although to be honest I wasn’t her greatest ever A-Level Geography student! Let’s say it took me a while to realise my passion for the subject and I may have rebelled a bit at having mum as a teacher. I always had an innate desire to travel and spent summer holidays backpacking on trains around Europe and travelling the east coast of USA, where I undertook ‘Camp America’ one year, aa great experience. After three great years in Belfast, I undertook a PGCE in St.Mary's Twickenham, London, where I had to become really independent. Following my tertiary education, I took immediate employment in an all-girls’ secondary school in Brentwood inner- London, where I spent two cherished years. Teaching in London was challenging and I had to grow up quickly, learn to be resilient and tolerant of cultural differences. In 2018 I made the decision to move to Sydney Australia with some university friends. Since then I have spent three of the best years of my life living and teaching here in 'Oz' where the work-life balance is desirable and the weather is great. Currently I’m teaching in a private Catholic school, which has provided me with a whole variety of new experiences and has expanded my CV. However, I still long for the green hills of Ireland so I plan to return in 2021. I am currently studying an MSc in Environmental Science with the University of Dublin (online) and hope to one day move into the ever-changing field of environmental policymaking and resource management. During my seven years at HCC, I made life-long friends, got to know some great teachers, went on school trips to Spain and France, took part in three musicals, was a member of the junior and senior choirs and learned important values that I still carry with me every day. I will be forever thankful for my time at HCC and my number one tip for Year 8 students would be to join the school musicals/productions; they will provide you with the best laughs you'll ever have! Moya Bradley - Teacher

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Holy Cross College, Strabane Tel. 028 7188 0315 Email: Web: PROSPECTUS 2024-2025 Page 25 BEHAVIOUR FOR LEARNING POLICIES

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