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College Prospectus 2021

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Welcome Dear Parent Guardian The choice of secondary school is one of the most difficult and significant decisions that you and your daughter will make I am delighted that you are considering making St Cecilia s College your daughter s home at post primary level We understand that this process has been made particularly difficult this year as normal activities and selection processes have changed so significantly Some things however have not changed St Cecilia s College remains a childcentred warm and friendly environment in which our pupils can learn grow and achieve The fundamental ethos of the school is to develop within each of our pupils self belief resilience and a desire to succeed Whilst we may not be able to welcome you to a traditional Open Day we invite you to browse our FaceBook page enjoy our virtual Open Day and the other online opportunities we have created to help you with your decision As always we are here to answer any questions you may have too so in January we will host a series of live chats with senior staff At St Cecilia s we have high expectations of all of our pupils Every year our outstanding results confirm this and we are delighted to consistently be well above the Northern Ireland average for similar schools Our teachers are highly qualified enthusiastic and dedicated with a love of their subject that inspires the pupils in their care Our outstanding success has been recognised nationally with St Cecilia s achieving Finalist status in both the Pearson Teaching Awards and TES Awards as UK Secondary School of the Year 2020 We then went on to win GOLD and are proud to be named as the Pearson UK Secondary School of the Year I would be delighted if you and your daughter would consider St Cecilia s College as her secondary school home for the next few years If there is anything we can do to assist you in making this important decision please do not hesitate to contact us Mrs Martine Mulhern Principal

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The teachers and pupils share high expectations and enjoy excellent working relationships ETI

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An Outstanding School St Cecilia s College continues to inspire through our ethos the highest possible achievements for ALL our pupils Our outstanding school shows a consistently high quality of teaching and learning across all subject areas Approaches to assessment are consistent across the school with pupils progress rigorously monitored and reported on at four key points in the school year Pupils have access to academic and vocational pathways that are tailored to suit their individual abilities and interests St Cecilia s College is at the forefront of curriculum development working with business industry and other educational establishments to ensure we provide quality courses that meet the needs of a modern progressive society Girls aspire to careers professions and occupations that are the result of quality provision and experiences St Cecilia s pupils are inspired to see endless possibilities for self development and they are always encouraged to be the very best that they can be Each pupil will be offered limitless opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed Outstanding Success in Examinations Our most recent examination season saw 96 8 of our year 12 students achieving 5 or more A C grades in their GCSEs Whilst a record breaking 73 4 of students achieved a minimum of 5 A C grades including their maths and English When we consider the NI average is 52 you can understand what a truly outstanding achievement this is Examination Headlines St Cecilia s College NI Average 2018 19 5 or more GCSEs at A C 96 8 77 5 or more GCSEs at A C 73 4 52 Including English and Maths However what is most pleasing is the very high percentage of students across the board in every subject and at every level who surpassed their personal target grades

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A Happy School In all my 11 years coming to St Cecilia s is one of my best decisions ever Grace Flanagan Year 8 pupil At the core of our happy school lies the strength of relationships between the pupils and the staff Positive behaviour is at the heart of our school This comes about through mutual respect between pupils and staff We foster an enjoyable working atmosphere which allows pupils to engage in their learning These relationships are developed further through a wide range of extra curricular activities St Cecilia s College is an outstanding and vibrant learning community Our Catholic ethos pervades all aspects of school life making St Cecilia s a focused caring and happy community in which all our girls can flourish We value each member of our community recognising the dignity and unique nature of each individual In this way the presence of Christ is celebrated The introduction of our House System has provided further opportunities to foster relationships throughout the school celebrate pupil achievement and to have fun

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I have only been here a short time but I think any P7 would really enjoy it and feel at home here Hannah Daly Year 8 pupil

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I know if I ever feel down I can talk to a teacher or an older student Madison Arnold Year 8 pupil

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A Caring School The quality of provision for care and support is highly effective The pupils are supported well by their teachers and classroom assistants ETI We pride ourselves on being a caring school St Cecilia s is a happy place where respect for others underpins all our dealings with one another Our aim is to create an environment where every child feels safe and where everyone can succeed The welfare of our students is our highest priority Form Teacher You and your daughter will develop close links with her Form Teacher You can rely on the dedicated and caring support of your daughter s Form Teacher to comfort challenge and motivate her through her life at St Cecilia s Head of Year The Head of Year s principal role is to ensure the welfare of the children within their year group They will guide the academic social and emotional progress of all the students in their care Designated Teachers Every pupil s safety is paramount at St Cecilia s You and your daughter will be made aware of the role of the Child Protection Officer her deputies and how they can be contacted for support Counsellor We have a professional counselling service available one day a week for pupils in need of extra support Pupils can refer themselves or be referred by a parent or member of staff We are also the only school to have a qualified CBT practitioner on our staff Guardian Angel Our Guardian Angel team play their part in ensuring a smooth transition from primary to secondary school for our Year 8 pupils Each Year 8 pupil has her own Guardian Angel This is a 6th Year pupil committed to helping her little St Cecilia s sister settle in and find her feet in her new school Anti Bullying Policy At St Cecilia s we have a comprehensive anti bullying policy which was written in consultation with pupils parents the Education Authority and the NI AntiBullying Forum Bullying reports are dealt with quickly and sensitively in a professional and caring way Community Support We benefit from support from a wide range of external organisations We have a dedicated family support worker from FACT Families Achieving Change Together as well as numerous programmes delivered by community partners and experts

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A Digital School Here at St Cecilia s College we are committed to using innovative and creative ways of delivering our curriculum through the use of ICT We aspire to ensure that all our students are digital citizens and to this end we focus on seven key concepts empathy how the internet works understanding user data practicing digital literacy acknowledging the digital divide practicing digital wellness and securing digital devices Under the guidance of staff students enjoy opportunities to collaborate and share to be truly creative and have fun We have an innovative Create Code and Communicate ICT curriculum at KS3 and offer coding and software development courses at both GCSE and A Level Junior pupils are introduced to programming and can attend our Coding Club at lunch times Our pupils are encouraged to engage in coding from Year 8 as we recognise the importance of developing these particular skills to enhance their future employability prospects We must not forget the moral and ethical challenges posed by the Internet Learning to use digital devices responsibly is an essential part of the education of all our students and we have a comprehensive eLearning Policy To keep up with the pace of change we engage local expertise to support the teaching of online safety Here at St Cecilia s we are proud of how we use technology across the school to enhance student learning experiences and we are recognised as leading the way in the post primary sector across Northern Ireland St Cecilia s College is the 2017 winner of the post primary classification in the Capita C2k annual NI Schools ICT Excellence Awards and the 2018 NI Digital Schools Award This year we are happy to announce that we are applying for the new Cyber Resilience Internet Safety Special Recognition Badge CR IS for our school and expect to be successful in the 2020 award announcement Education should prepare young people for jobs that do not yet exist using technologies that have not yet been invented to solve problems of which we are not yet aware Richard Riley

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I have improved so much since I moved here especially in my spelling and reading I also love being part of a House Hannah McDevitt Year 8 pupil

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A Home Within a School You did not pick the names of local town lands or of colours Instead you picked Faith Courage Peace Grace and Hope That speaks of the values and ideals that the school wants to hand on to its young people In a world of very fragile heroes you invite them to dream of doing beautiful things with their lives and you offer them the vocabulary which will support them in that Bishop Donal McKeown November 22nd 2016 saw the launch of our school House System The aim of the House System is to further build on the effective relationships across the school and to have each pupil be part of a House Family Every pupil is placed with their Form Teacher in one of five Houses Courage Faith Grace Hope and Peace Houses are identifiable by their ties and each house competes each term to collect the most house points to win a treat for the entire house Treats could include a house breakfast or a movie afternoon Points are awarded for kindness good deeds manners participation in after school activities and for representing the school

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An Inclusive School Every child is unique and so is the way we work At St Cecilia s we believe that every pupil should have the best possible learning opportunities and we therefore promote inclusive practice We recognise that all of our pupils are different and have individual needs We take strategic action to support and encourage our pupils within a nurturing environment Our SENCo and our Learning Support team work closely with staff pupils and parents to provide extra support where it is needed We enable all pupils to participate fully in a varied curriculum which responds to a wide range of individual talents We work closely with parents and other agencies to monitor pupil progress carefully We provide effective additional support to meet our pupils needs One such strategy is the Lexia Reading Programme Pupils in Year 8 9 and 10 are registered online for the Lexia programme allowing pupils access in school where pupils are supported by school staff and at home where parents can offer additional support All of our pupils are screened for dyslexia in Year 8 Pupils identified with dyslexic tendencies are offered bespoke one to one support with one of our qualified Dyslexic Tutors Our homework club operates four afternoons per week The homework club affords pupils the opportunity to complete homework access school resources attempt assignments and revise for exams

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St Cecilia s College celebrates all pupils and their successes as individuals It is the strength of our relationships our knowledge of each child that allows them to be the best they can be

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Would you like to build and race an F24 racing car Join our team of UK champions

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A School for the Future How do we prepare our young people for a future that few of us can define It might seem strange to be thinking about what your daughter will do when she leaves school but rest assured that at St Cecilia s College we are constantly preparing all of our students for whatever they choose to do next We aim to build your daughter s confidence skills and abilities through a balanced and flexible curriculum as well as through a vast array of enriching opportunities Curriculum planning is well led evaluated and reviewed to very good effect It is pupil centred and takes account of the pupils interests abilities and career aspirations providing them with the core skills and capabilities to meet the demands of the next phase of their education or the world of work ETI Through conversations with employers and our partners in further and higher education we have developed a multi award winning careers programme that enhances the pupils understanding of the world of work and of the education training and employment opportunities available to them locally and regionally ETI At St Cecilia s we are aware that our young people will be entering a world of work that is very different to what we currently know We recognise that the pace of change in technology means that the ability to cope with change will be a key skill for all our students All of our year 8 pupils are given the chance to develop the key skills identified by employers such as flexibility problem solving resilience and change agility Major local employers such as Allstate NI and Seagate are supporting our pupils and training our staff to ensure that St Cecilia s students are equipped for the world of work St Cecilia s understands that the world is changing and they are supporting their young people to develop the skills and determination to take that world on

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A School without Walls You teach much more than subjects You have taught thousands of young people from all sorts of backgrounds and have been committed to giving them qualities and not just qualifications Bishop Donal McKeown 50th Anniversary Mass St Cecilia s pupils enjoy a wealth of experiences outside the classroom As well as Extended Schools activities and clubs there are a number of extra curricular activities organised throughout our school year the first being our Summer School every August for new Year 8 pupils Our commitment to Shared Education provides opportunities for students across KS3 to participate in learning experiences with their peers in other schools The Modern Languages department have organised trips to Disneyland Paris Gardaland in Italy and Rhineland in Germany Our pupils have had the opportunity to go skiing in Italy and to participate in outdoor pursuit residentials Our most recent trip was to New York City and one lucky pupil won the raffle for a free place Many St Cecilia s pupils are Millennium Volunteers John Paul II Award volunteers and have active roles in the community Our pupils volunteer as Maths mentors sports leaders librarians anti bullying ambassadors student council representatives House Captains and Guardian Angels for Year 8 pupils This commitment to service to others is the very essence of a St Cecilia s pupil We continually encourage our students to broaden their learning experiences We aim to establish and maintain a sense of responsibility co operation fairness and discipline within our young women which will serve them into adulthood

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I really believe I can be anything I want to be Madison Arnold Year 8 pupil

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St Cecilia s was my first choice school I am so glad I came here and I think you will be too Brooke Murray Year 8 pupil

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An Active School At St Cecilia s College we provide a wide range of activities and services during and beyond the school day to help meet the needs of our pupils their families and the wider community Free transport home is provided for pupils who attend after school programmes St Cecilia s pupils learn and achieve so much outside the classroom They learn to compete win well accept defeat follow rules treat others fairly and respect decisions made by officials All pupils in St Cecilia s have the opportunity to improve their level of fitness and skill in a range of activities including Netball Cross Country Athletics Swimming Aquathon Soccer and Cheerleading Pupils develop resilience through sport Here are some of the opportunities normally available at St Cecilia s College Art Athletics Brass and Woodwind Choir Coding Club Cycling Club Cross Country Dance Club Debating Drama Drumming Environmental Club F24 Robotics Football School Band Gaelic Football Science Guitar Singing lessons Gymnastics STEM club Language Clubs Student Council Lego Club Study Centre Lunch Bunch Club Swimming Club Maths Technology Club Netball Traditional Irish Music Piano Triathlon Public Speaking Ukelele Reading Club

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A School with a Voice I am confident that the Student Council has a positive influence on school life Assessor for Investors in Pupils Dear P7s n t decision It does know it is a big I ol ho at sc w th ne oosing a rd to believe excited to be ch Days too It is ha en Op is e at th I hope you are l Th al g ge s doin cilia s Colle ago when I wa ad Girl of St Ce He as en u m seem that long yo wo to g un ng iti ilds us in to yo d girl is now wr g girls an d it bu shy an d awkwar kes us as youn ta it es etty special do pr ol e world That s what this scho th in e ac pl r to take thei who are able to make u will be able this school yo in es iti house un es rt po e trips activiti re d so many op to be There ar it nt to be You will be offe wa ng u iti yo wa ever new talent is Cecilia s what e Try it all your your time in St vic ad y M re d so much mo events teams an Cecilia s St in rs discovered es to help othe kes opportuniti ta o wh ne st eo m ity or by ju cilia s girl is so raiser for char we For me a St Ce n Angel a fund dia ar kind In what Gu be a to t efec always asks us d either as a pr rn an he ul nd M ki a rs will fin d r Principal M we post You being kind Ou write an d what we at wh do say what we ol here welcoming scho s t at St Cecilia for grante d bu ke ta es d im lve et vo m in so We are also something we st we can be be Confidence is e r th Ou be ol to ho encouraged king in the sc we are always the decision ma hool to Year 14 in up ht licies to the Sc rig po 8 from Year erything from ev that on ed ed os ult op ns is co s ago we pr Student Council d to Two year ne ts te en lis e ud st ar e e us W an rning beca Development Pl break in the mo the school ld be given a ou sh management of ol ho or sc ni e se th e th d e the an rn helped influenc g Mrs Mulhe were strugglin e then we have nc to Si em ed st re sy ag ir idea an d d even a fa listene d to our lies we have an s rl mb gi se as ar ye of is er th e numb ent Council ud St to PE uniform th ks an r Th to school fo lunchtime rush aring trousers help with the e option of we th n ve gi re we ly smart in our school they look real an d we think the first time listene d will feel valued cilia s girl you Ce St a o to be n cide to ble educatio I hope you de get an incre di Oh an d you ll r fo d re ca d to an rl 2020 21 ghlin Head Gi Jeannie McLau

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A School of Faith St Cecilia s College is a caring inclusive school rooted in local parish communities We are committed to the development of the whole person and believe personal relationships help establish an aspiring community of girls with confidence which stems from self belief a Catholic conviction and personal success Our College cares for young people in a way that encourages them to develop to their full potential within a supportive Christian community We seek to prepare our students to play an active and responsible role in society and to use their talents for the service of others The primary aims of St Cecilia s College are to develop the whole person as a follower of Christ to exist as an extension of the Catholic Home to create a believing community committed to the Christian Way of Life to promote justice in all areas of College Life to prepare the individual to live in a changing social political cultural and technological environment Our faith and worship are an essential part of daily life within the college Our day begins with morning prayer at assembly Significant events are marked with communal prayer and events such as our annual Carol Service which is enjoyed by our whole community We celebrate the start of our academic year with a mass attended by the whole school As in all Catholic schools the intention of the College is to build on the faith already laid down in the home The Religious Education Department of St Cecilia s College has as its primary objective the development of the student s spirituality in order to equip our girls for the rigours and the full enjoyment of life It approaches this task in a holistic way in an attempt to enrich all the dimensions of the student s school life

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Creativity takes courage Henri Matisse

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A School with a Difference To some of you going to St Cecilia s might feel nerve wracking Don t worry you ll make loads of friends to help you along your journey Shannon Mooney Year 8 Pupil We don t think you will find another school like St Cecilia s College and here is why Results Our pupils achieve great results Every Single Year In fact the GCSE results our pupils achieve are consistently above the NI average with pupils attaining very highly at GCSE or equivalent at grades A C including English and Mathematics ETI Pastoral Care You don t have to take our word for it that your daughter will be well looked after in St Cecilia s The quality of provision for care and support in our school has been rated highly effective by the Education Training Inspectorate who commented that there is evidence of a genuine rapport between the pupils teachers and peers which fosters a positive climate for learning Experiences Every opportunity we give our pupils is designed at developing them either socially intellectually emotionally or spiritually This holistic approach to education means that St Cecilia s pupils are known to be kind community minded and highly employable young people House System Our House System provides our pupils with a home within school Their House family includes pupils from Year 8 to 14 as well as both teaching and non teaching staff This means that our pupils build strong relationships and have an all important sense of belonging from their very first day A School For You

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An Award Winning School

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02871267509 02871279439 I REALLY LIKED HOW THE SCHOOL LOOKED AND I LIKED HOW I like the assemblies ORGANISED IT WAS and moving around I like the restaurant and the outside area where we go at lunch time I LOVE HOW MUCH EFFORT THE TEACHERS PUT IN TO WHAT WE DO IN CLASS different subjects ALL OF MY FAMILY CAME HERE You make lots of friends so fast I met so many I didn t know that I would s fun on the summer It make so many friends at learning the new school scheme languages My sister was going to the school so I went too I love it YOU DON T NEED TO GO TO A SCHOOL THAT ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE GOING TO BECAUSE YOU MAKE NEW FRIENDS It s a big school with so many I like the merit system activities I get my own locker I LOVE THE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT CHEERLEADING AND GYMNASTICS I like PE ICT and Technology

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St Cecilia s College Bligh s Lane Derry Northern Ireland BT48 9PJ T 028 7128 1800 F 028 7128 1802 E office stceciliascollege com W www stceciliascollege com stceciliascollegederry StCeciliasDerry