We warmly welcome you to
St Cecilia’s College
Virtual Open Day
Welcome to our Open Day 2021
Firstly, I would like to say how disappointing it is that we cannot welcome you to
our school in person. We LOVE Open Day. Every year we throw our doors open
and welcome hundreds of P6 and P7 girls in to our school and every year we get the
most amazing feedback. Pupils and parents talk of the atmosphere in the school,
how warm and inviting it is. They talk about the relationships between our pupils and
our staff, between our junior and senior pupils and between colleagues. St. Cecilia’s
College is a truly special place to visit.
In such uncertain times and as things continue to change, we have had to quickly
think about how best to let you see our school.
We have therefore created a number of opportunities which we hope will give you a
sense of what it means to a part of the St. Cecilia’s family.
This booklet will allow you to explore different departments within the school.
There are parents and pupils telling you a little about their experiences also.
Our Facebook page is a true reection of our school, please explore through the posts and videos, the
celebrations, assemblies, challenges and messages. We are proud of our school and how we have continued to
thrive in 2020, this is captured beautifully on Facebook.
We have a number of promotional videos that can be accessed on our website. These range from a professionally
made snapshot of a school day to a video scripted, lmed and edited by a past pupil who wanted to capture what
St. Cecilia’s meant to her. There is also a moving retrospective of 2020 gifted to us by one of our administration
Our school prospectus is available to view online at www.stceciliascollege.com also. Have a browse through at
your leisure.
Our Principal’s Address by Mrs Mulhern is on our Facebook page and will take you through our new admissions
If, after all of this, you have a question for us then please get in touch!
You can:
Email the school address ofce@stceciliascollege.com
DM the school’s Facebook page @stceciliascollegederry
Ring the school on (028) 71 281 800 and ask for a member of the senior team to contact you.
Names of teachers in your department:
Ms Catherine McGlinchey (Head of Department)
Miss Lesley Anne McGrory
Subjects on offer:
KS3 Art & Design
KS4 Fine Art
Textile Design
KS5 Fine Art
Textile Design
Best thing about the department?
Art generates a love of learning and creativity. It develops the brain and helps prepare students for the future
Teaching problem solving
Supporting emotional intelligence
Awakens the senses
Promotes self-expression and creativity
Builds self-esteem and nurtures teamwork
Fuels the imagination
Did you know?
The Mona Lisa has her own mailbox in the Louvre because of all the love letters she receives.
Names of teachers in your department:
Miss Mary Currie (Head of Department)
Mrs Mary Jo O’Carolan
Subjects on offer:
KS3: Yr 10 Enterprise/Business
KS4: CCEA GCSE Business Studies
CCEA GCSE Business and Communication Systems
KS5: CCEA A-Level Professional Business Services
Cambridge Technical Extended Certicate in Business Studies Level 3
Business Studies helps students to develop a lifelong interest in the world of business. They will be inspired,
moved and changed by following an exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile course. Students are given the
opportunity to visit local businesses and will be involved in various business projects with outside organisations.
Students will learn to apply skills that will benet them in everyday life and in any career path they follow, for
example carrying out research, working with others, proposing a business strategy or solution, understanding the
role and viewpoints of a range of stakeholders in a business decision, and using nancial information to make
and justify a decision. Many St Cecilia’s students are top business women in this city, in N. Ireland and beyond.
The Business Studies department is rmly committed to high expectations and classroom practice to ensure
pupils enjoy rich learning experiences in a positive environment.
The Business Studies department continue to excel with 100% of students achieving A*-C in A-Level Business
Studies with a number of students achieving the top grades. 90% of students achieved A*- C in GCSE Business
Studies with 45% of students achieving grade A.
The Business Studies Department actively encourages entrepreneurship and last year students from Year 12
and 13 came together to form the Young Enterprise Company “Green Defenders ” The students (Company
Shareholders/Directors) successfully designed and personally illustrated an educational storybook for children to
learn about the importance of Climate Change, “The Adventures of Globert”.
The “Adventures of Globert” was a huge success with local primary schools buying class sets for primary 2/3
groups. The company continued to live up to its environmental objectives by planting trees in a local community
“Green Defenders’ went onto to win FOUR Awards at the North West Young Enterprise Company of
Year competition: Best Digital Presence, Highest Sales, Learning and Development Award and Best Overall
Company. But it didn’t stop there they went on to become Runners Up in the NI YE Company of the Year
Through this experience students enhanced their skills in teamwork, communication, resilience, problem
solving, organisation, nancial capability, condence and overall their entrepreneurial ability.
This year we introduced an Enterprise course in Year 10. This gives all students the opportunity to gain an
insight into how Business activity affects the daily lives of all people, as they work, spend, save, invest, travel,
and play. This course will help students to see the importance of developing communication skills, marketing,
budgeting and developing entrepreneurial skills. This could be the inspiration students need to be the next
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).
Ms Conaty has been a careers leader at St Cecilia’s
College since 2005, co-ordinating a whole school
approach to CEIAG at St Cecilia’s College. Recently
Ms Conaty was awarded the UK Careers Champion
Award in 2020, rewarding those who make a difference
in Careers Advice and Guidance. In 2019 Ms Conaty
was selected as the rst ever National Careers Week
Ambassador representing N. Ireland, her role includes
raising awareness of NCW and supporting other
schools organising NCW activities. We are the only
school in our City that has invested in a full time, fully
qualied careers advisor.
The CEIAG Department at St Cecilia’s College has won the Irish News “Careers Inspiration” WEA Award
4 times.
Ms Conaty provides professional, impartial careers advice and guidance to all pupils. We have an effective
CEIAG department which provides a comprehensive programme of activities for pupils to develop their
employability skills and make informed career choices. In 2019 alone we had over 186 events for St Cecilia’s
pupils to attend. Examples of Work- Related learning for pupils to develop their employability skills, raise
awareness of Career knowledge and LMI are various Careers Weeks such as Entrepreneur’s Week, STEAM
Week, TECH Week and National Careers Week. We are very proud of the tremendous engagement of our
students in a diversity of entrepreneurial learning opportunities.
Name of teacher in your department:
Mrs Audrey O’ Donnell (Head of Department)
Subjects on offer:
KS3 Dance,
KS4 Dance
KS5 Dance
Best thing about the department?
You get to work with professional dance companies.
We get to attend workshops with West End shows.
You get the chance to perform at many different events across Northern Ireland.
We have an outstanding Dance studio.
Did you know?
That many famous actors/ dancers have studied Dance at St. Cecilia’s College:
Saoirse – Monica Jackson: Derry Girls (2018), The Five (2016) and Finding You (2021)
Pauline Hutton: Five Minutes of Heaven (2009), This Is My Father (1998) and Omagh (2004).
Judith Roddy: Derry Girls (2018), The
Fall (2013) and Rig 45 (2018).
Cyra Taylor: Currently Dancing in Lord
of the Dance
Names of teachers in your department:
Ms Greta McTague (Head of Department)
Mrs Catherine Currie
Subjects on offer:
KS3: Performing Arts
KS4: GCSE Drama and BTEC Performing Arts
KS5: GCE A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
Best thing about the department?
We are amazing. We consistently reach above NI
average. We create an opportunity for pupils to
explore the world around them now and in the
past, from Greek Theatre (441 BC) to the Future (TBC)… Pupils this year – despite Covid – have been involved
with outside theatre companies, studied plays and discussed, via Zoom, how different theatre makers, such as
playwright, director, set designer, actor, stage manager work together to create a piece of drama. The original
devised work of our Year 14’s is being entered into local and national competitions and we are in discussion with
the Playhouse Theatre’s Director Kieran Grifths, to arrange an event to showcase young peoples engagement with
the arts during Covid.
The very best thing about this department is that imagination grows new branches here every day, that the spirit of
creativity gives it space to grow and that the support it gets gives it strong, resilient roots.
Names of teachers in your department:
Mrs Susan Parlour (Head of Department)
Mrs Tanya Wakeley
Mrs Janita Murray
Ms Mary Dillon
Mrs Catherine Currie
Subjects on offer:
KS3: English
KS4: English, English Literature
KS5: English Literature
Best thing about the department?
The English Department is a vibrant one, made
up of well- qualied and highly motivated teachers who make English fun and relevant in an increasingly changing
world. Pupils are encouraged to have their voices heard, on the page and in person in a range of forums. Through
engagement with poets, playwrights and authors, English Literature comes alive for the students, and pupils are
encouraged to participate in regional and national competition for poetry, prose and short-stories. Our grades
speak for themselves, and we are proud to be a winning department.
Did you know that Malorie Blackman and Carol Anne Duffy both Laureates in their own elds came to visit St.
Cecilia’s College at the request of the English Department to inspire our girls in green?
Names of teachers in your department:
Mrs Davina Talbot (Head of Department)
Mrs Cheryl Rainey
Mr Chris McMenamin
Mrs Charlene McNulty
Subjects on offer:
KS3: Geography
KS4: Geography
KS5: Geography
Best thing about the department?
Geography is such a popular subject among pupils because of its variety. Fieldwork, outdoor lessons, using
ICT, teamwork and insights into topical human, physical and environmental issues are just some of what to
expect in the subject. Every lesson is different from learning about volcanic eruptions to investigating why it
always rains in Ireland! Drawing diagrams, analysing maps and graphs, watching documentaries or creating
presentations/newspaper reports are what our Geographers get up to. The subject will foster respect for the
planet and the people within it.
Did you know?
We offer Geography at A-Level and have an Environmental Club. Our plan is to organise a Geography
eldtrip to Iceland soon!
Names of teachers in your department:
Mr Conlaoth Rodgers (Head of Department)
Mr Adam McAteer
Subjects on offer:
GCSE History
A-Level History
A-Level Government and Politics
Year 8:
The Middle Ages:
What is History?
How and Why did the Normans Conquer the British Isles?
Why did people in Medieval times live in such simple houses but build such grand cathedrals?
The Black Death: what can we learn about public health from past pandemics?
Year 9: Early Modern Europe and Ireland:
Why did Europeans begin to explore in the 15th and 16th Centuries?
What was life like for enslaved Africans?
Should Europeans apologise for their role in the Slave Trade?
How and why did England takeover Ireland? What were the Ulster Plantations?
Why where walls built in Derry?
Year 10: Modern History:
The 20th Century: Total War: Why did Europe go to War in 1914?
How did women get the right to vote?
Why was Ireland divided in the 1920s?
Why did Europe go to War AGAIN in 1939?
Why was the 20th and 21st Century so troublesome?
Students take part in a range of activities ranging of historical eld studies to class debates. Students will
complete site studies of the Derry Walls and attend the Siege and Tower Museum as well as opportunities to go
to Belfast, Stormont and Dublin.
KS4: We follow CCEA GCSE History and in Year 11 we study Option 1: Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-45 and
Unit 1 Section B Option 2: Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its neighbours 1965-98. In Year 12 we
study: International Relations, 1945-2003.
KS5: Students follow CCEA GCE Advanced History. Students study on Unit 1: Germany 1919-45 and in
Unit 2: Russia 1914- 41. In A2 students will study A21 Clash of Ideologies in Europe 1900-2000 and A22 the
Partition of Ireland. Politics Students follow CCEA GCSE Advanced course and we study the Government
and Politics of Northern Ireland; the British Political Process. At A2 we study American Politics and Political
Best thing about the department? Our students. Our students love of History is what drives us and keeps us
going. History has become one of the most popular option subjects in recent years and we love to get our
student feedback on what we are learning and their enjoyment of it!
Did you know? The new US President Joe Biden studied History at the University of Delaware and other great
gures of the 20th Century such as Winston Churchill, President John F Kennedy as well as Columbian singer
Names of teachers in your department:
Miss May McGuire (Head of Department)
Mrs Susan Deery (Technician)
Subjects on offer:
KS4 Hospitality
KS5 Hospitality
Best thing about the department?
Skills you develop in HE will remain with you for life. You can even pass on your skills to others at home.
You will develop independent, problem-solving and decision making skills which will help to improve your
self-condence. Lessons will provide you with current relevant information regarding healthy eating to help
you make correct choices in relation to what you are eating.
Previous competition winners in Dairy Council and Irish News/Mount Charles Young Chef Cookery
We train future employees for the hospitality industry, by providing you with personal experiences and skills
used in the hospitality industry.
Did you know? How HE has changed!!!!
Name of teachers in your department:
Mrs Jacinta Hardy (Head of Department)
Mrs Marie Patton
Ms Clare Coyle
All learners acquire appropriate skills, capabilities,
dispositions for lifelong learning and the skills to
become a global digital citizen. They will be able to use
information effectively; adapt to changing workplace
and environments; and keep abreast of technological
advances through the transformative and innovative use
of technology in and beyond the classroom. With over
450 computing devices across the school in every department every pupil has the opportunity to engage be inspired
and achieve.
Department Highlights
100% of A Level pupils received A-C in Cambridge Technicals ICT with 19 of them receiving an A*!
100% of GCSE OCN Information Technology Applications pupils received Grade B
92% of GCSE Occupational studies ICT students achieving and A-C grade.
which suits their aspirations and ability.
Throughout The Year
Collaboration with LYIT in Teaching Programming at A level
This year, students from the Year 13 ICT class undertook a unit - Systems Programming, from the Cambridge
Technical A Level qualication in collaboration with the Letterkenny Institute of Technology. On a weekly basis, two
visiting lecturers Gary Cullen and John from the Institute came to St Cecilia’s to introduce App Inventor software and
programming language.
Collaboration Between MTech and Year 10 ICT pupils.
In collaboration with MTech business partners, one Year 10 ICT class undertook a year-long project every week
during their ICT class, where the CEO from MTech, Diane Morrow in conjunction with ICT and Business
departments, investigated smart solutions to everyday problems. The year-long investigation developed the students
computational thinking and energised their desire to build a better city the year culminated in a trip to Barcelona for
some members from the class to present their solution to a world audience at the Mobile World Congress event.
Learning for Life and Work (LLW) it involves pupils completing
learning activities three distinct strands:
1. Citizenship which explores issues such as racism, democracy
and how to be an informed and active citizen.
2. Employability including how to be an entrepreneur and how best
to prepare yourself for future jobs. This strand has been devised
specically by heads of business and education.
3. Personal Development which helps us to understand ourselves
and relationships. This aims to promote a healthy, managed and
realistic life essential for a successful future.
All students have some experience of this subject, which has been designed to be both relevant and to
incorporate new active learning strategies. This means that LLW often includes group work, informal activities
and discussions. Pupils have reected that their LLW lessons have been both useful and fun.
Another focus of LLW is to develop links with the world around us. LLW pupils can see the important role that
they have to play in society and so facilitating a development of strategies to make a positive difference to the
world around us. Students also study Entrepreneurship as a separate subject in Year 10.
Assistance is given to students in choosing GCSE and A Level options in Year 10 and Year 12 in discrete Careers
Names of teachers in your department:
Mr Brian Rogan (Head of Department)
Mrs Martina Coyle
Mrs Maoiliosa McCabe
Mr Kevin O’Connor
Mr Dermott O’Kane
Mrs Anne Sweeney
Subjects on offer:
GCSE Mathematics
AS Level Mathematics
A-Level Mathematics
Best thing about the department?
We have very high expectations of all our pupils and we endeavour to make sure that all our girls achieve their full
potential in mathematics.
Did you know?
In a room of 23 people there’s a 50% chance that two people have the same birthday.
Names of teachers in your department:
Mr Brian Rogan (Head of Department)
Mrs Martina Coyle
Mrs Maoiliosa McCabe
Mr Kevin O’Connor
Mr Dermott O’Kane
Mrs Anne Sweeney
Subjects on offer:
GCSE Mathematics
AS Level Mathematics
A-Level Mathematics
Best thing about the department?
We have very high expectations of all our pupils and we endeavour to make sure that all our girls achieve their full
potential in mathematics.
Did you know?
In a room of 23 people there’s a 50% chance that two people have the same birthday.
Names of teachers in your department:
Miss Catriona Toland (Head of Department)
Mrs Angela Carlin and
Mrs Bernadette Ó Mianáin
Subjects on offer:
KS3 French, Irish and Spanish
KS4 French, Irish and Spanish
KS5 French, Irish and Spanish through FLC
Best thing about the department?
Outstanding GCSE Results
Languages are more than school subjects we have lots of activities all year round
European Day of Languages
French Plays
Spanish Plays
Euro Quiz
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Visit to Irish-medium Primary Schools
Lunch at the Cultúrlann Caife
School trips to Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium
Did you know?
We are the only all-ability secondary in Derry to offer all three languages at GCSE.
Names of teachers in your department:
Miss Helen McConnell (Head of
Mr Ryan Quinn
Subjects on offer: Music and
Performing Arts
KS3: Fun practical topics such as
Film music, Musicals, Rock n Roll
and African music. Use of instruments in
the classroom such as keyboard, ukuleles
and djembe drums
KS4: CCEA GCSE Music & BTEC Music Tech Award in Music Practice
KS5: A level Music
Best thing about the department?
•Our award winning choir
•Instrumental lessons every week such as ukulele, piano, drums, strings, woodwind and brass.
•Jazz band
•Irish traditional group
•Green Lounge Studio sessions for all ages
•School shows every 2 years.
Did you know?
•We currently have 124 pupils taking part in
instrumental lessons every week!
Names of teachers in your department:
Ms Gemma Thompson (Head of Department)
Mrs Joanne Nicholl
Jim Herron, Shauna Mullan., Ciara McGurk
Subjects on offer:
KS3- 8 weeks of swim lessons (yr8)
1 PE lesson a week
KS4 – CCEA GCSE Physical Education
OCN Level 2 Certicate in Sport
KS5 – BTEC Level III in Sport
Best thing about the department?
Watching the girls coming out of their comfort
zone and challenging themselves.
Nurturing and developing talent.
Boosting self-esteem.
We promote psychological well-being.
We develop social skills, condence, contributing
to academic performance and mental health.
Did you know?
In 2018, 25 pupils including staff travelled to
Birmingham to spectate at the World Indoor
Athletics Championship. The girls met a number
of Elite athletes (medal winners) and coaches!
We offer a wide range of extra-curricular sport 6 days a week.
We are the only school to have an active cycling club (Monday night 6:30pm)
We have 100% A*-C pass rate at GCSE.
We are currently Northern Ireland U17 Football champions.
Our Swim team have won the Intermediate cup at the North West swimming gala the past two years!
Names of teachers in your department:
Mrs Martina Davidson (Head of Department)
Mrs Jennifer Kearney
Subjects on offer:
KS3 Religious Education
KS4 GCSE Religious Education
OCN level 2 Award in Religious Education
KS5 A Level Religious Studies
Best thing about the department?
It is more than just an academic subject. You
discover the key to living a full, purposeful, joyful
life by following Jesus. You grow to know and to love Jesus. You will learn that the spirit of God lives in and you
were created by God to spread the love of God throughout the world. You will learn that as a child of God you
are precious, unique, important, good and sacred in the eyes of God.
Did you know?
Did you know that the amazing Sister Clare Crockett was a St Cecilia’s girl.
Names of teachers in your department:
Mrs Paula McLarnon (Head of Department)
Mrs Alison Dalton,
Ms Charlene McNulty,
Mrs Patricia Kerr
Mr Simon Gill
Mr Kevin Lafferty
Subjects on offer:
KS3: Biology, Chemistry and Physics
KS4: GCSE Double Award Science, GCSE
Single Award Science and OCN Level 2
Certicate in Applied Science.
KS5: A Level Double Award Life and Health
Science, BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in
Applied Science.
Best thing about the department?
The Science teachers love Science! It is a big
part of our lives and we enjoy reading about it,
telling jokes about it and nding fun ways to
make it enjoyable for our pupils.
Did you know?
Many of the Science teachers have worked in
Science based jobs before becoming teachers
so they have practical experience in a range of
area that will benet pupil learning.
We offer a number of qualications to ensure
that pupils of all abilities can achieve in
Names of teachers in your
Mr Gareth Haughey (Head of
Mr Connor McClafferty
Mr Connie Taylor (Technician)
Subjects on offer:
KS3 Technology and Design
KS4 Technology and Design
KS5 Technology and Design
Best thing about the department?
St. Cecilia’s College Technology and
Design department is a National and
International award winning department that specializes in Product Design and Engineering. We have won many
competitions including the F1 in schools Irish and UK championships, F24 All Ireland racing car championships
and many more.
Our students study Technology and Design at both GCSE level and A level and we have had many students who
have studied university courses in engineering, architecture and product design, to name a few.
We have a very well equipped department
with two ICT suites. We have 3 workshops that are
equippedwith the latest CNC technology including
3D printers, laser cutters and CNC routers.
Did you know?
Our students consistently achieve well above the
UK average at both GCSE and A level.
Don’t just take our word for it ......
“My Favourite thing about
St. Cecilia’s College is that
everyone helps each other. The
teachers and my classmates all
help me with my work.”
“My Favourite thing about
St. Cecilia’s College is all the
new sports they offer.”
“My Favourite thing about
St. Cecilia’s College is the
House System. It’s fun and
“My Favourite thing about
St Cecilia’s College is Dance!
I use my dance class techniques
in class.”
“My Favourite thing about
St. Cecilia’s College is being
part of the St Cecilia’s
“My Favourite thing about
St. Cecilia’s College is Art. I
love being creative and the Art
department is so relaxing.”
testimonials from some parents and
St. Cecilias College
Blighs Lane, Derry, Northern Ireland, BT48 9PJ
T: 028 7128 1800 F: 028 7128 1802 E: oce@stceciliascollege.com
W: www.stceciliascollege.com
stceciliascollegederry @StCeciliasDerry
Videos were produced by Zoe Carlin, Past pupil of St Cecilia’s College
Audio Provided by Audio Library Plus Track: Wanderlust - extenz [Audio Library Release]