Return to flip book view

St Josephs Prospectus 2021

Page 1

prospectus 2021 St Joseph s Grammar School Scoil I saef Donaghmore

Page 2

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Principal s Address Dear Parents and P7 Pupils Thank you for your interest in St Joseph s Grammar School Scoil I saef Whether you are considering applying for a place in the main school or for a place in the Irish Medium Stream I hope that you will find this prospectus helpful in giving you some insights into what life at St Joseph s Scoil I saef will be like for you Our school has a long and proud history of delivering high quality education to generations of children from right across mid Ulster Whilst we are a school firmly anchored in the values of our past we have our eyes fixed resolutely on the future We are about to embark on a second 4million investment on the school site which will deliver new library canteen sixth form and manufacturing facilities and these will augment the recently constructed sports hall and drama facilities But of course a school is about more than bricks and mortar At St Joseph s Grammar School Scoil I saef we are proud of our reputation for providing first class pastoral care for all our children and young people as they navigate their way through their teenage years We are ambitious for all our pupils and believe that success and personal fulfilment is accomplished by having access to a high quality education Our objective is to deliver this both inside and outside the confines of the classroom Our curriculum meets the needs of all our leaners satisfies their interests and ensures that they will achieve outstanding results in public examinations The extra curricular life of the school is rich and varied even though the pandemic has temporarily pressed pause on some of our programmes Our objective is to tailor our extra curricular offer so that our pupils have opportunities to develop their unique gifts and talents and to discover new ones along the way In 2022 we will celebrate the historic centenary of the foundation of this school I warmly invite you boys and girls to join us at St Joseph s so that you too can make your own history in the story of this remarkable school Yours sincerely Geraldine Donnelly Principal

Page 3

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore History of the School St Joseph s Grammar school in Donaghmore was founded in 1922 by a Belgian Order of Sisters the Daughters of the Cross The first contingent of nuns arrived in 1920 having been permitted to open a hospital in the only building on the site at that time now commonly known as the Convent building The purchase of the land for the school site had been facilitated by the then parish priest Reverend Fr Joseph O Neill and the first three Sisters arrived with very few belongings but were able to rely on the generosity of local people who supplied them with farm animals and other provisions Within two years of arriving the Sisters had managed to persuade the Diocese that there was a need for another Catholic school in the area and St Joseph s opened its doors as a boarding and day school for both boys and girls in 1922 and the hospital was quietly shut down Initially enrolment numbers were small but over time St Joseph s came to be the school of choice for many families and particularly so during the second world war years when parents evacuated their children out of Belfast to the relative safety of the countryside The boarding facility ceased to operate in the 1980s and there followed a period of uncertainty for the future of the school as enrolment figures dipped below 300 before stablishing to the 700 pupils we now have today As the number of vocations to the Order diminished and so as to provide for the future of the school the decision was taken by the Daughters of the Cross to transfer the trusteeship from their Order to the Armagh Diocese in 1998 Sadly the last 3 Sisters left the school community for retirement in Dublin in 2007 but the legacy they have left us lives on and is deeply treasured by all who are connected to the school The school has always been forward thinking and has seized all opportunities presented so as to reposition itself as one of the leading post primary schools in Ireland The Board of Governors of the school changed its admissions criteria in 2003 so as to admit boys and the gender balance of the school population is now approximately half male and half female In 2010 the school again re invented itself by opening a non selective Irish Medium Stream to meet the growing demand for post primary IME in Mid Ulster The demand is so great that the school plans to double the enrolment number to the IMS for 2020 Equally capital investment in the school has been significant in recent years Having recently developed a new state of the art sports and drama facility in 2016 the Department of Education has committed to investing another 4 million for a new building at the school to include canteen library engineering and general classroom facilities As the school continues to go from strength to strength we invite you and your child to be an important part of our future success story

Page 4

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Head Boy s Address My name is Conor Logan and I am privileged to have the role of Head Boy at St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore I attended St Patrick s Primary School prior to joining St Joseph s I knew that choosing the right post primary school was a crucial decision for my future and I also knew without a doubt that the best decision for me was to attend St Joseph s Because I grew up in the local area I was aware of many friends and family who had attended the school and it was very clear to me how highly regarded this school is by current and past pupils It was evident from listening to pupils at the Open Night that the culture and ethos of St Joseph s was the perfect environment to help develop my learning and allow me to become the person I am today my future career Each teacher provides high quality teaching and are willing to adapt to each individual pupil s learning style so as to improve their learning and success in exams These approaches in the classroom give us the best possible opportunity to achieve highly and creates an atmosphere where you are supported in all your subjects This means that you can achieve your personal best When I stepped into the foyer on my first day I was nervous but that all quickly changed The teachers and pupils who were there to greet me on my first day were all so welcoming and willing to help me and all the other pupils in any way they could They made the daunting transition into a new school very easy In September of this year I hope to continue my learning by studying Law at Queen s University Belfast The careers advice available to me as well as the skills I have developed through my time here have convinced me that this is the career I would like to pursue and that I feel I am well suited to Apart from the excellent educational aspect St Joseph s helps you to discover new interests and hobbies through the extracurricular activities and there is something for everyone I have been involved in various successful sporting teams throughout the years involving Gaelic Hurling and Soccer and these have been instrumental in developing my communication teamwork and decision making skills Likewise the school places great emphasis on giving pupils opportunities to travel so as to broaden the mind The school s partnership with Habitat for Humanity focuses on creating sustainable housing and communities for those less fortunate than ourselves Other trips of course are linked to the curriculum such as visits to Italy France Poland and Iceland and of course for many pupils the annual ski trip to Italy is a must When the time comes for me to leave St Joseph s I know I will look back on all the memories I have created and the friends I have made in this very building This is more than just a school to me The ethos of the school which originated from the Daughters of the Cross has stood the test of time and is very much part of the culture of everyday life in St Joseph s I know I will feel regret when the time comes to leave in June of this year but as the saying goes all good things must come to an end I am currently studying Geography Business Studies and IT at A Level These subjects have enabled me to gain the skills and knowledge that I will carry with me through life and into As you boys and girls embark on the next chapter of your lives I wish you every possible success I can say whole heartedly that choosing to attend St Joseph s was the best decision I ever made and I can guarantee you that if you decide to attend here in September you too will be making one of the best decisions for your future

Page 5

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Head Girl s Address My name is Niamh Quinn and I am Head Girl at St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore I transferred to St Joseph s Donaghmore from St Mary s Primary School Pomeroy I had a lovely primary school experience so was a little apprehensive about moving to big school on my own I attended the Open Night and this gave me the opportunity to chat with lots of the pupils and to meet many of the teachers who spoke so passionately about their subjects and the school I just knew then that St Joseph s Grammar School was definitely the school for me It had such a warm and welcoming feeling and I knew I would be happy here From the very beginning I knew I had made the right decision The teachers were there to welcome me on my first day and to show me where I was to go The senior pupils were also very kind and supportive guiding all of the new first years and keeping us right whilst we adjusted to our new school I was surprised at how quickly I got to know my new classmates and others in my year group and the induction days and fun activities made this so much easier I am still amazed by how quickly the teachers got to know each and every one of us by name Looking back over my time in this school I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single day We are continually challenged to build and improve on what we did last term or last year both academically and personally and we are supported by our teachers every step of the way We are encouraged to work on our own initiative to find what we are passionate about and to aim for our own personal best I have achieved far beyond what I could ever have imagined and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had What sets this school apart for me is the quality of the teaching and the pastoral care The teachers are passionate about their subjects and that is infectious and inspiring for students like me But they don t only care about their subjects they care very much about the pupils too I have experienced first hand the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff and the way they ensure that every individual is looked after We are encouraged to try harder and achieve the very best we can That atmosphere has meant that I have excelled academically and personally too I am currently studying Maths Food Nutrition and Geography with a view to studying teaching and returning to the classroom where I aspire to emulate the kind caring challenging and supportive approach of my teachers As a senior student I have availed of the many enrichment opportunities and experiences which have helped to build my CV and prepare me for my university applications My personal highlight was being chosen to volunteer each week in Sperrin View Special School as part of the school s Community Link Programme In St Joseph s we are taught from day one that you get back what you put in so I was only too happy to play my part in helping younger students through various my leadership roles in senior school I have been a Maths mentor a Mental Health Ambassador and a Senior Form Prefect All of these experiences have not only allowed me to give back something to help others but have developed my communication and leadership skills I have recently completed my Millennium Volunteer Award of Excellence which is recognised by many universities and employers and was encouraged all the way by my teachers to accomplish this prestigious award Our faith is an integral part of school life at St Joseph s With the mission to enrich through education the life of our students faith plays an important part in our own personal development too I was proud to be appointed to the Faith Development Team and to complete the John Paul II Award which was instrumental in supporting my own faith journey as a young adult In my final year at school I was thrilled to be appointed as a Charities Prefect and to be selected as a participant in the school s Habitat for Humanity Build project

Page 6

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore catholic CATHOLIC ETHOS ETHOS Our school was founded by The Daughters of the Cross of Li ge a religious congregation established in 1833 by the Blessed Marie Th r se Haze whose motto we share Our motto In hoc signo vinces In this sign thou shalt conquer reflects our mission to enrich through education the life of our students and underpins our pastoral care system While the last of the sisters left Donaghmore in 2007 their rich legacy continues to permeate our daily actions and their vision of being a compassionate heartbeat in the world continues to guide us today development of the whole person While we enjoy a very strong tradition of academic excellence we know that young people only achieve their full potential when they feel happy secure and are invigorated by their school environment It is therefore central to our mission to ensure that all our students experience success which is recognised celebrated and commensurate with their individual ability In light of our motto we are an inclusive and caring community who takes seriously our core aim to be a visible expression of the love and compassion of the cross The mantra of The Daughters be kind be kind be kind shapes all relationships across the school and ensures all members of our community are treated with dignity and respect As a school we take seriously our call to service and strive to make a tangible difference in the world 1 Corinthians 12 4 I am here among you as one who serves Luke 22 27 Jesus said St Joseph s rooted in the person of Jesus Christ welcomes young people from all cultures backgrounds and faiths The measure of our success as a Catholic School is found in the reality that every aspect of life in St Joseph s reflects the teachings of the gospel All our activity implicitly or explicitly is sacramental in making the loving presence of Jesus Christ a reality for every child As a Catholic School we are committed to the There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit At St Joseph s we are clear that the human person is holy ground everyone is made in the image and likeness of God Genesis 1 27 All those working in St Joseph s as teachers leaders support staff and governors seek to recognise and treasure the unique gifts of each pupil and to do all they can to allow these to develop and flourish in response to the creative action of the Holy Spirit We acknowledge individual needs and respond positively using professional skill experience and loving care to draw out the best in everyone as Jesus Christ did I give you one commandment love one another Just as I love you you must also love one another John 13 34 Jesus said

Page 7

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore S J S Social Distancing Coffee Morning The McKenna family Eglish Supporting our local NHS SVP S J S Social Distancing Coffee Morning Mona O Connor and family Supporting our local NHS SVP

Page 8

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore tHE GLOBAL DIMENSION The significant problems that exist today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them Albert Einstein At St Joseph s Scoil I saef we recognise the importance of empowering our students to become confident capable critical thinkers who are ready to contribute to and shape their world We appreciate that growing interdependence between countries changes the way we view the world and ourselves At St Joseph s we are actively responding to the demands of globalisation to support our students to develop a responsible international outlook which is based on an appreciation of the impact of their personal values and behaviours on global challenges thinkers and learners We have embarked on an exciting journey where we are applying the science of cognitive education to the classroom to explicitly teach our students to think critically and independently Our commitment to develop students who are able to deal with the local and global challenges of tomorrow begins in the classroom here in Donaghmore We adopt a forward thinking and innovative approach to teaching and learning which helps ensure that our students are future proofed with the skills necessary to become independent Our students work as part of a team to help develop sustainable communities with decent housing and water sanitation and electricity access Their fundraising also supports the development of training programmes to promote gender equality income generation and appropriate responses to HIV AIDS and vulnerable groups We have a well established link with Habitat for Humanity in Cambodia Our students have the opportunity to travel to Cambodia to help support some of the 2 5 million people who live below the poverty line as the country emerges from decades of conflict and inequality

Page 9

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore By working with Habitat Cambodia our students developing a global vision to help them develop the skills needs to be global citizens Supporting the Daughters of the Cross missionary work in South America and Asia We have recently established a new charitable foundation to support The Daughters of the Cross Missions in Asia and South America This will help support the Sisters mission in Brazil where they work with children who have profound special needs in Cameroon where the children are thirsty for knowledge but are denied it because of the civil war and in Nepal where the Children have no resources It is our aim that in the coming years our students and staff will travel to a school founded by the Daughters of the Cross far up in the Himalayas facing Kanchenjunga to carry out missionary work Other Global Opportunities We have a link with our sister school in Li ge where our students have the opportunity to take part in an exchange programme Other destinations our students have travelled to in recent years include Greece Rome Krakow Italy Iceland

Page 10

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Scoil I saef If you talk to man in a language he understands that goes to his head If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart Nelson Mandela F ilte Welcome T fearadh na f ilte romhaibh anocht chuig O che Oscailte Scoil I saef Is am corraitheach an t aistri n bhunscoil chuig an scoil mh r agus geallaim daoibh go mbeidh eisp ireas iontach ag do mhac in on linn i Scoil I saef Is sruth uile chumais Sruth na Gaeilge agus t imid tiom nta do sh rchaighde n scola ochta a chur ar f il do Scol ir an tSrutha Gheobhaidh do ph iste neart deiseanna barr a gcumais a bhaint amach sa seomra ranga agus sna himeachta seach churaclaim a bh onn ar f il T blianta corraitheacha romhainn anseo i Scoil I saef T plean forbartha ar na bac in chun uimhreacha iontr lacha an tSrutha a mh ad sol thar EC4 a leathn agus a fhorbairt agus deiseanna chomhoibri le pobal na Gaeilge a chaomhn agus a neart Gu mse gach rath agus bl th oraibh anocht Beirig bua Mr Dessie Tennyson M inteoir Sinsearach Ceann an tSrutha SRUTH NA GAEILGE D theangach D liteartha Gaelach Sruth na Gaeilge Scoil I saef was founded in September 2010 to provide high quality postprimary Irish Medium Education in the Mid Ulster area The aim of the IMS was to promote and develop a curriculum tailored to bilingual students in a supportive and caring environment Since its inception nine years ago students from An Sruth continue to excel in all aspects of school life We have grown from our first intake of 15 and now have 185 students in Sruth na Gaeilge Scoil I saef provides a holistic education that caters for the academic cultural and extra curricular progression C ad M le F ilte to Open Night Transferring to big school is an exciting time and I promise you that your son daughter will have a superb educational experience here in Scoil I saef Sruth na Gaeilge is an all ability stream dedicated to providing excellent educational opportunities to IMS students both inside and outside the classroom I am genuinely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead of us here in Scoil I saef We have recently published plans to expand our IMS intake and are currently developing and extending our KS4 provision as well as strengthening our relationships with the Irish language community here in Mid Ulster I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening with us Beirig Bua Mr Dessie Tennyson Senior Teacher Head of IMS of our students Sruth na Gaeilge is staffed by seven experienced members of staff trained in Irish medium education and supported by a Language Development Officer Rath Acad il Academic Success 96 of our Irish Medium Students transfer to university and are currently studying a range of subjects including Engineering Business Maths and Applied Physics Academic success for IMS students continues with GCSE success in 2017 outperforming the NI Average by 19 3 Such academic excellence is nothing new to Scol ir an tSrutha with our students placed first second and third in GCSE Irish in 2012 2013 2014 2017 and

Page 11

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore SRUTH NA GAEILGE D theangach D liteartha Gaelach Sruth na Gaeilge Scoil I saef was founded in September 2010 to provide high quality postprimary Irish Medium Education in the Mid Ulster area The aim of the IMS was to promote and develop a curriculum tailored to bilingual students in a supportive and caring environment Since its inception nine years ago students from An Sruth continue to excel in all aspects of school life We have grown from our first intake of 15 and now have 185 students in Sruth na Gaeilge Scoil I saef provides a holistic education that caters for the academic cultural and extra curricular progression of our students Sruth na Gaeilge is staffed by seven experienced members of staff trained in Irish medium education and supported by a Language Development Officer Rath Acad il Academic Success 96 of our Irish Medium Students transfer to university and are currently studying a range of subjects including Engineering Business Maths and Applied Physics Academic success for IMS students continues with GCSE success in 2017 outperforming the NI Average by 19 3 Such academic excellence is nothing new to Scol ir an tSrutha with our students placed first second and third in GCSE Irish in 2012 2013 2014 2017 and 2018 Success continued in 2019 as seven students shared 1st 2nd and 3rd place Sol thar Provision Sruth na Gaeilge is an all ability stream which provides an opportunity for children from local bunscoileanna to continue with their Irish medium education Our vision is to offer a bilingual biliterate and gaelic education to provide our pupils with the best education life skills and life long learning opportunities for an ever changing world At Key Stage 3 we offer 50 of the curriculum through the medium of Irish Our IMS students sit their GCSE Irish examination at the end of Year 10 and at KS4 Scol ir an tSrutha benefit from a full choice of subjects as well the opportunity of achieving an additional GCSE in Gaeilge Turais Trips IMS pupils benefit from regular school trips as part of whole school opportunities Every year we take our Year 10 students on a trip to the Donegal Gaeltacht to get a taste of our native language and culture We meet up with the local secondary school Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair and our pupils get an insight into life in a Gaeltacht school In 2017 Year 10 students had the opportunity to visit European Parliament in Brussels along with IME students from other post primary schools across the North to get an insight into the workings of the parliament and opportunities for Irish Language employment Gairmoideachas Careers Education As well as following the excellent Employability Careers programme in St Joseph s senior students have the opportunity to attend university seminars both in the North and in the Republic of Ireland and can consider the degree courses through Irish We regularly have Irish Language guest speakers to provide relevant and up to date careers advice on current job opportunities with Irish at home and abroad An Ghaeilge Irish Scol ir an tSrutha are encouraged to use Irish outside of the classroom and this is facilitated through the organisation of a range of events throughout the school day such as Tae agus Pl An Cumann Gaelach Gaeilge 24 Seachtain na Gaeilge and An Cumann Scoildr ma ochta agus An Cumann D osp ireachta This year our newly formed Coiste na Gaeilge has been an excellent asset to our students led by our senior pupils all students have the opportunity to learn music cookery skills drama skills and play sport through the medium of Irish

Page 12

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Keystage 3 Gaeilge French Drama History Employability Citizenship Religion PE Home Economics Personal Development Eochairch im 3 Gaeilge Fraincis Dr ma ocht Stair Saor nacht Infhostaitheachta Reiligi n PE eacnama ocht bhaile Forbairt Phearsanta Rath na Gaeilge Ard Leibh al Gaeilge 2018 19 A C 100 TGMO Gaeilge 2017 2020 A C 98 TGMO Irish 2017 2020 A B 100 Centre of Excellence Best Post Primary Irish Medium school in Ulster for spoken Irish Corn an Bhiataigh winners 2018 and 2019 Academic Success GCSE 7 incl English Maths 2020 92 5 2019 88 2018 85 96 IMS students transfer to University FE Scl ip Ulster Champions 2018 Joint 1st 2nd 3rd GCSE Irish in the North of Ireland 2018 2019 Rath Acad il GCSE 7 B arla Mata san aimreamh 2020 92 5 2019 88 2018 85 96 scol ir an tSrutha ag aistri chuid Ollscoil L rionad S rmhaitheasa Iarbhunscoil is fearr i gC ige Uladh Buaiteoir Corn an Bhiataigh 2018 2019 Scl ip Curaidh Uladh 2018 1 2 3 it GCSE Irish i dTuaisceart na h ireann 2018 2019 Extra Curricular Abair Public Speaking Debating Feiseanna Scoildr ma ochta Scl ip Gaeltacht Trips Seach churaclaim Caint Phoibl Diosp ireacht Feiseanna Scoildr ma ochta Scl ip Turas Gaeltachta Irish Success A Level Irish 2017 2020 A C 100 GCSE Gaeilge 2017 2020 A C 98 GCSE Irish 2017 2020 A B 100 Seach churaclaim Ard Leibh al Gaeilge TGMO Gaeilge TGMO Irish 2017 2020 A C 100 2017 2020 A C 98 2017 2020 A B 100 Year 8 Gaeilge Provision 3 hours per week Focus on literacy oracy Literacy support Emphasis on reading Independent reading Literacy workshops Sol thar na Gaeilge Bliain 8 3 uaire sa tseachtain B im ar litearthacht agus ar labharthacht Taca ocht litearthachta B im ar l itheoireacht Leitheoireacht neamhsple ch Ceardlanna litearthachta

Page 13

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Year 8 At St Joseph s Scoil I saef we recognise that the move from Primary School to Secondary School can be daunting At St Joseph s Scoil I saef we recognise that the move from primary school to secondary school can be daunting To make the transition process as smooth as possible and to assist the pupils to settle into school life at St Joseph s Scoil Ios ef we have a broad induction programme in place The first event in the induction programme is the Induction Meeting at the start of June All incoming Year 8 students and their parents are invited to attend a meeting with a member of the Year 8 team This event provides an opportunity for pupils and their parents to meet staff and to become familiar with the school environment at St Joseph s Scoil I saef This is followed by a Year 8 Registration Evening for parents and pupils where pupils are introduced to the Principal Vice Principals Head of Year 8 and the Year 8 form teachers In mid June all incoming Year 8 pupils are invited to attend a Familiarisation Day in St Joseph s Scoil I saef This is an opportunity for the students to meet the other students in their form class To help students to settle in and develop friendships all Year 8 students are invited to attend a Year 8 Transition Programme at the end of August In September the return to school dates are staggered This gives the new Year 8 students an opportunity to become familiar with their new surroundings before all seven year groups return During their first day the Year 8 students remain with their Form Teacher and Year 14 Form Prefect while participating in a range of activities Also on this day the new Year 8 students who travel to and from school by bus will meet their Year 13 bus buddy who will meet with them before the end of the school day for the first month and accompany them to their designated bus pick up area Year 8 students can avail of the Peer Buddy System The peer buddies will offer support and advice to our new Year 8 students Towards the end of September parents and pupils are invited back into school for an Induction Evening This is also an opportunity for parents to speak with their child s form teacher Year 8 pupils meet with their form teacher every morning for registration and also for a timetabled form period once a week This time has been provided to support the Pastoral programme but also to allow the pupils to build relationships with the other pupils in their form class and their form teacher particular during the first term At various times throughout the year the students will attend a Year 8 Assembly This gives the students an opportunity to meet as a year group During the first term the assemblies focus on topics around the transition from primary to post primary

Page 14

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore typical day Here at St Joseph s we take pride in every aspect of school life and we believe that our school uniform plays a key role in promoting this pride self confidence and a strong feeling of belonging among the pupils School Day Our school day begins officially at 8 55 a m On arrival at school pupils have the option to go to the school canteen until registration begins Uniform All students are expected to wear full school uniform and full PE kit during PE lessons Girls Uniform PE Kit Blazer School jersey Jumper School shorts Blouse School socks Bottle green pleated skirt Tie Bottle green tights Black shoes Boys Uniform PE Kit Blazer School jersey Jumper School shorts Shirt School socks Trousers Tie Black shoes Black socks

Page 15

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore looking forward Is mise F idhlim O Hagan I am a Year 8 IMS student in Scoil I saef Domhnach M r I moved from Gaelscoil U N ill in Clonoe I was a little nervous on my first few days but after getting to know the teachers they made me feel very comfortable and I managed to settle in well I have made so many new friends since starting my journey at Scoil I saef and I have also got to study a range of new subjects that I find very interesting My favourite subject is PE and we have used the new sports hall for learning new sports such as foot golf athletics and volleyball I also really enjoy the Gaelic football as it s my favourite hobby I use the school canteen every day and the food is delicious We even get to use the entire canteen for ourselves as Year 8s which is really good Choosing Scoil I saef was definitely the best choice for me It is a caring and welcoming school and the kind teachers and friendly atmosphere has made my transition from primary to secondary school much easier Is mise F idhlim h g in Is scol ire m sa tSruth i mBliain 8 i Scoil I saef Domhnach M r Th inig m anseo Ghaelscoil U N ill i gCluain Eo Bh m giota beag neirbh seach ar mo ch ad c pla l ach i ndiaidh dom aithne a chur ar na m inteoir chuir siad ar mo chompord m agus d irigh liom socr isteach go maith T an oiread sin cairde nua d anta agam thosaigh m mo thuras ar Scoil I saef agus d anaim staid ar ar r imse d bhair scoile nua a bhfuil sp is agam iontu Is corpoideachas an t bhar is fearr liom agus go dt seo i mbliana d s id muid an halla sp irt r ag foghlaim sp irt nua ina measc galf na gcos l thchleasa ocht agus eitpheil Is bre liom peil Ghaelach fosta mar is an pheil an caitheamh aimsire is fearr liom s idim ceaint n na scoile gach l t an bia blasta agus fi b onn an ceaint n ar fad againn f in mar Bhliain 8 rud at an mhaith Roghnaigh m Scoil I saef agus is cinnte gurbh sin an rogha cheart domsa Is scoil chomhbh ch agus fhailteach agus mar gheall ar na m inteoir cine lta agus an t atmaisf ar cairdi il bh an t aistri a rinne m bhunscoil go me nscoil n os fusa dom

Page 16

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore looking forward My name is Katie Begley and I am in 8J I had a really good feeling from the first moment I attended St Joseph s at the Open Night All the teachers and older pupils were so friendly and made me feel so welcome in St Joseph s and I just had to put it as my first choice I really enjoy this school and have learnt so many new things and made so many new friends I love all my subjects but I really enjoy Irish and Drama I try my best in every subject and always have good feedback from all my teachers I was so nervous on my first day but as soon as I walked in through the door I knew it was the school for me Looking back now I have no idea why I was nervous because I ve loved every minute of it My name is Aoife O Neill and I am a Year 8 student at St Joseph s Donaghmore From my first day at St Joseph s I felt very much part of the School and I was proud to be wearing the St Joseph s Uniform On my first day I was met at the main door by the senior pupils who walked me to my class this really settled any nerves I had that morning It also meant so much to me that the teachers and staff at St Joseph s were supportive and understanding when welcoming me into Year 8 I have a great form class and I have made so many new friends since I started I love my new subject range and the new skills I am developing I am particularly enjoying French Religion Maths and Science The sports facilities at St Joseph s are brand new and allows us to try many different sports in PE There is also a fantastic Drama Suite where singing and music lessons take place My advice for those of you starting in Year 8 is don t be afraid to ask for help if you need it as there are many people in St Joseph s willing to help you along the way I always aspired to go to St Joseph s Donaghmore and now I feel very much at home at this school I know that I made the right choice for me

Page 17

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Sixth Form Sixth Form where every student achieves Sixth Form at St Joseph s Scoil I saef Grammar is a vibrant and exhilarating experience Our provision in Sixth Form enables our students to be resilient grounded and ready for new challenges There are approximately 200 pupils in the Sixth form and this allows for a lot of time to be dedicated to each and every pupil big enough for choice small enough to care The emphasis in Sixth Form is on self motivated learning extracurricular involvement and achieving your potential This approach will provide the life skills necessary for university study and future career paths The aims and objectives of the Sixth Form are to enable AS and A2 students to realise their full academic and personal potential In additional to excellent A level grades universities and employers are looking for bright and innovative young people with a range of transferable skills The Sixth Form experience will be one that fosters social and personal development By becoming a volunteer in many of our extracurricular activities you will develop a sense of purpose which will allow you to empathise with young and old within your community enriching your own personal development Upon completion of A level studies pupils should have developed as critical and independent thinkers with an awareness of occupational opportunities and an ability to make considered choices for their future career path There is access to a wide range of courses both academic and vocational to suit students needs and interests These subjects are in The Curriculum section of the Prospectus Pupils are encouraged to study four AS subjects during Year 13 Pupils will be expected to take responsibility for their own learning supported by their teachers The study facilities ICT provision and study hall all afford pupils the space and amenities for constructive private study Achieving the best possible AS A2 grades is at the core of Sixth Form life and therefore time management and how best the pupils utilise the facilities on offer are crucial to their success Enrichment programme At St Joseph s we acknowledge that academic achievement is important and we strive to develop well rounded individuals ready to face the next stage of their career be that university apprenticeships or employment This means that there is a substantial enrichment programme to ensure that pupils are given every opportunity to develop their interpersonal communication and leadership skills

Page 18

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Some of these activities include Champions League Soccer Charity Fund Raising Choir Orchestra Music Box Community Link Programme Debating Club Digital Leaders Drama Club Driver Safety Workshops Duke of Edinburgh Irish Presidents Award English Mentoring Formal John Paul II Awards JP Mc Manus Awards Lourdes Summer Pilgrimage Maths Mentoring Mencap Summer Scheme Much Haddam Nolan Cup U19 Boys GAA Pioneer Society Prefect Positions Rosary Club Rotary Exchange Programme Sacred Space School Bank School Newsletter Soroptimist Public Speaking Special Olympics Traditional group U19 Camogie U20 Ladies GAA

Page 19

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore THE Curriculum Our policy is to provide a curriculum characterised by quality breadth balance and scope taking cognisance of DENI and the needs of the students St Joseph s Grammar School Scoil I saef has a broad balanced curriculum which meets all of the statutory requirements of the Entitlement Framework Our well qualified experienced and dedicated staff help students to reach their full potential Key Stage 3 pupils followed the relevant programmes of study Key Stage 3 Years 8 9 and 10 study Art Drama English French Geography History Home Economics Information Communication Technology Irish Mathematics Music Physical Education LLW Citizenship Personal Development Employability Religious Education Science covering Biology Chemistry Physics Technology IMS students study some of these through the medium of Irish

Page 20

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Policy on Option Choices It is the school s policy to facilitate as many optional choices as possible The school uses free choice model to allow maximum possibility in choosing at both Key Stage 4 and Post 16 The results of this consultation are then used to provide a best fit model whereby as many pupils choices are facilitated as possible In the event that some pupils choices cannot be facilitated these pupils will have priority in choosing a back up optional subject Pupils will be allowed to change subject up until the third Friday in September provided there is room in the subject they wish to move to After this date no movement is permitted Some pupils will be asked to follow a reduced curriculum in Key Stage 4 based on their individual needs and aptitudes If this is the case there will be conversations with parents carers in the June of Year 10 before the holidays This is to ensure that all pupils maximise their full potential French Further Maths Geography History Irish Music Physical Education Technology Post 16 A Level We offer a huge range of subjects at Post 16 level To further enhance our provision we are part of the Dungannon Area Learning Partnership The following subjects are on offer Art and Design Biology Business Studies Chemistry Key Stage 4 GCSE Digital Technology Pupils were encouraged to sit at least nine subjects at GCSE Six are compulsory and three are optional subjects BTEC Engineering English Compulsory Subjects Geography Maths all pupils History English Language all pupils English Literature the majority of pupils Religion the majority of pupils or OCN RE Double Award Science worth 2 GCSEs or Single award science and Occupational Studies worth 2 GCSEs Gaeilge for IMS pupils only French Health and Social Care Irish Mathematics Music Nutrition and Food Science Physics Religious Education Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry Optional subjects Technology Art and Design Business Communication Systems Business Studies OCR Cambridge Technical in Business Digital Technology Programming Digital Technology Multimedia Drama Engineering Food Nutrition OCR Cambridge Technical in IT Performing Arts through Collaboration Moving Image Arts through Collaboration Systems Software Development through Collaboration All these subjects are offered but some may not run due to small numbers

Page 21

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Pastoral Care History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children Nelson Mandela In St Joseph s Grammar School the child is central in all that we do We pride ourselves on the pastoral care provided to our students by all members of staff through the provision of a nurturing caring and supportive school community In St Joseph s Grammar School pastoral care permeates all aspects of school life and is integral to the academic social physical emotional and spiritual education of our students This is achieved through our pastoral care arrangements and provision We hope to assist each student to apply themselves fully and confidently to the learning process and hence acquire the knowledge understanding values attitudes and skills necessary for a successful and satisfying school experience and future personal and professional life We provide the opportunity for every student to develop into responsible self aware confident and capable young people equipped to cope with the challenges of the 21st century In particular our aim is to help Promote the holistic development of students in a happy secure supportive and stimulating environment To develop in students a strong sense of their own dignity identity self esteem and a mutual respect for others To facilitate the exploration and comprehension of personal and health related issues pertinent to the students i e mental and physical health To prepare students to become Christian citizens in the community

Page 22

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore To develop their talents to the fullest extent To empower students to become effective lifelong learners To promote positive relationships at every level within the school and with stakeholder groups involved in the school To develop good relations with parents carers for the mutual benefit of all To establish and maintain active links with the wider community The pastoral care of students is an integral part of the education programme of the school and the pastoral dimension permeates all school activities and is complementary to the academic work of the school The delivery of Pastoral Care is coordinated by a Pastoral Team led by the Vice Principal Mrs McGleenan through a general and specialised focus General Focus This demands a caring community by all teachers to guide and advise pupils on both a formal and informal basis on personal educational and vocational matters Specialised Focus This helps ensure that the teachers within the school especially the Form teacher have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the many individual needs aspirations interests and academic progress of each student It is hoped this serves to integrate the worth of teachers parents and others in supporting the holistic development of each student Every student in St Joseph s Grammar School has daily contact with their form teacher who has responsibility for the students in their form group A Year Head supported by the Key Stage Coordinator Vice Principal and Senior Leadership Team oversees the general welfare of all students in the Year Group and supports the Form Teacher at all times The help and support of a number of services is also made available to students including an Educational Welfare Service Medical Services Social Services Careers Personnel School Counsellor and School Chaplain which continue to meet the varied and often complex needs of students We ensure that any external agencies used to support our work with students adhere to the values and ethos of our school School Counselling Service In St Joseph s Grammar School we endeavour to support and empower our students at challenging times in their lives when they need help and guidance A Counselling Service is provided weekly by Familyworks School Counselling Service funded by the Department of Education The service is non judgemental confidential and free Students are seen by appointment by self referral or referral from a member of staff to the Vice Principal Mrs McGleenan

Page 23

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Art Music Sport In St Joseph s Grammar School we understand the value of participating in the creative arts and in sport Our pupils are able to avail of many opportunities both inside the classrooms and beyond it to augment their skills and talents The quality of our pupils art work is outstanding so much so that our pupils GCSE and A Level portfolios are regularly showcased at the annual Northern Ireland True Colours exhibition Individual pupils have been placed 1st 2nd and 3rd place overall in NI at both GCSE and A Level in recent years Our pupils enjoy the workshops provided by visiting artists and craftsmen who provide insights into their speciality and show our pupils how to prefect their skills There are annual visits to local art galleries and a trip is currently being planned to a visit to Barcelona Spain to view the artworks and architecture on display just as soon as it is safe to do so

Page 24

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore The Music Department is one many active departments in our school not only providing an excellent base knowledge of Music to all students but giving the opportunity to excel in musical development and performance outside the classroom Along with providing music for all school events our choir and instrumental groups have performed with Peter Corry Liam Lawton Malachi Cush and for the Lady Mary Peter s Foundation The rich history of music in our school has developed into a vibrant and dynamic expression of talent and ability recognised far beyond the confines of St Joseph s Sport in St Joseph s is constantly evolving and we are justifiably proud of the progress our many teams have made working their way up through the various grades in Ulster Colleges football Our new state of the art sports building is augmented by access to the local GFC pitches and our pupils are able to benefit from specialist GAA coaching in their after school training sessions We understand that sport is to be enjoyed by all not just in the competitive sense but also because of the health and well being benefits it brings We encourage our pupils to find the sport they love be that swimming cross country netball handball basketball or gymnastics Ultimately we aim to ensure our pupils enjoy a healthy mind in a healthy body

Page 25

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME The pastoral care of our students means responding to their needs at a period of their young lives when they are growing physically and acquiring a wide range of knowledge and skills Personal Development is fundamentally about the holistic development of our students The Personal Development Programme is designed for our students with the qualities attitudes values knowledge understanding and skills necessary for personal development It also aims to facilitate the acquisition of social competencies and to encourage responsible social participation The Personal Development Programme is delivered in a weekly timetabled series of lessons which have been planned in a progressive manner The programme includes topics relevant to each year group to enable our students to achieve their potential become confident independent and participative citizens make informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives The topics for this programme which may be added to in response to the needs of individual class groups address the following ten key themes Health and the whole person Self Concept Feelings and Emotions Morals Values and Beliefs Managing influences and making decisions Managing change Learning about learning Relationships and Sexuality Safety and Managing Risk Drug Awareness Our Personal Development Programme also includes topics on personal safety for each year group which aim to develop the skills values attitudes knowledge and understanding to help them resist or avoid potentially dangerous situations and to reject inappropriate behaviour Important elements of this personal protection education include age related information on Relationships and Sexuality Education RSE Substance Abuse Bullying and e Safety Drugs Education St Joseph s Grammar School does not condone the misuse of drugs However we recognise that there has been a considerable increase of drugs in recent years in Northern Ireland We believe that our school has a vital preventative role to play in combating the misuse of drugs by young people and we therefore include a Drug Education programme in our curriculum We see our role as that of a caring community committed to the physical mental social emotional moral and spiritual health safety and well being of our pupils and staff The drugs education programme provides opportunities for students to acquire the values skills and aptitudes which enable them to make informed choices

Page 26

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Safeguarding Children Our Child Protection Policy aims to safeguard our students by ensuring that everyone who works in our school teachers support staff and volunteers has clear guidance on the detection and interagency management of situations where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected The overriding concern of all caring adults must be the care welfare and safety of the child and the welfare of each child is our paramount consideration In all their contact with students staff in St Joseph s Grammar School follow the guidelines and procedures described in the DENI publication Pastoral Care in School Child Protection 1999 The following principles form the basis for our safeguarding activity Children should be listened to and complaints investigated thoroughly A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and need of parents and families where there is conflict the child s interests must always come first Children with disabilities are children first and have equal rights to protection However they may have particular needs which require specialist attention In particular the central principle which our staff support is that every child has a fundamental right to be safe from harm and to have proper care given to their physical emotional and spiritual well being In all cases of suspected child abuse the action that will be taken in St Joseph s is that of informing Social Services and the Education Authority The school will not be involved in investigating the suspected abuse It should be noted that information given to members of staff about possible child abuse cannot be held in confidence In the interests of the child staff members need to share this information with other professionals However only those who need to know will be told The Pastoral Team in St Joseph s Grammar School update the school Child Protection Policy and procedures in the light of any further guidance and legislation as necessary and review it annually Copies from the school office

Page 27

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Partnership with Parents We believe that the fostering of trust and good relationships with the Parents Carers of our students is very important A close partnership between home and school helps ensure that all our young people learn and develop to their full potential in a caring supportive and safe environment Good communication is essential if we are to achieve this We therefore urge parents and students to share any concerns so that effective solutions can be found as quickly as possible Attendance at Parent Teacher meetings is essential in supporting our young people to fulfil their full potential Developing our young people The Temple of the Holy Spirit Maynooth Catechism As Individuals Students are expected to behave in a mannerly We aim to inculcate self discipline self esteem and respect for others Older pupils example is most valuable here Neither indiscipline nor vandalism are problems in our school As an ongoing contributory formative process emphasis is laid on Christian courtesy and consideration Those already in school lead by example honest open and cooperative way They must The Grace of God is in Courtesy Belloc should another student s dignity or character be Discipline in the school is traditionally excellent and is organised for the good health good training and happiness of the students as a body Christian courtesy is the keynote Students are encouraged to treat each other considerately and to practise charity in its widest sense Younger students assimilate school standards and attitudes from those older senior students encourage and maintain discipline in all areas of school life spoken word is to be nurtured and emphasised Students are representatives of the school and their conduct should reflect credit on themselves and on all members of the school community In dress attitude and demeanour their standards should be exemplary right to attend school free of intimidation of any Self Discipline is the key to communal discipline School rules are laid out in the students planners and are discussed in PD class and at the School Council on a regular basis The inculcation of high personal standards borne of self esteem is an integral part of the Pastoral Care system In working with others students are working for themselves respect the dignity and property of others and of school and treat facilities and fittings with the same care and respect as in their own homes They may not impinge on another student s right to learn or encroach on their privacy Under no circumstances attacked by word or deed Responsibility in the Bullying Bullying may be defined as Any deliberate repeated action by word deed or intent which causes harm or distress to anyone The school believes that every student has the kind and that every student has the duty to respect each other s person property time and point of view To this end any individual or group act of bullying is viewed as a serious offence against the individual and the school community Any such complaint will be thoroughly investigated and the parent guardian notified Where it is deemed necessary a psychologist will be involved and in more extreme incidents it will be punishable by suspension or expulsion

Page 28

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Local and Global Context Relationships with the local and global community are highly valued We have many well established partnerships with a wide range of organisations Existing projects include Business Education Partnership Pebbles Charity South Africa Twinned with San Augustin School in the Philippines Involvement in Credit Union Competitions and Activities Twinned with Daughters of the Cross in Brazil Links with Sperrinview St Patrick s P S Donaghmore St Joseph s P S Galbally Donaghmore County P S Edendork P S St Mary s P S Lisbuoy and Gaelscoil Na scoil Aodha Rua In addition our facilities are used by Donaghmore Bowling Club Tyrone Towers Basketball and St Patrick s GAA Club Careers Education Careers education is an integral part of the curriculum at St Joseph s and has a vital role in guiding our young people towards a place of employment in the future In the first three years Careers is delivered through Education for Employability lessons and in Year 10 this assists the students with making informed subject choices for Key Stage 4 study Our Year 10 pupils also receive detailed careers information from their subject teachers and Head of Departments as well as attending a Year 10 options evening where parents and pupils receive detailed presentations from the Head of Careers Mr P Corrigan and Head of Curriculum Mrs O McCourt Our curriculum team in school liaise closely with the careers department and are determined to ensure a learning pathway which maximises both the learner s potential and their career options In Year 12 all students have careers lessons which seeks to inform them of the various training work and study options available to them at 16 years of age Year 12 students also undertake valuable work experience which helps to increase their knowledge of specific jobs and work places Year 12 pupils also take part in an A level subject choice afternoon and mini careers fayre where they are able to engage with subject teachers A level pupils and businesses to help inform their choice for progression at Post 16 Each year group avails of a dedicated careers workshop delivered by Young Enterprise N I where they engage in a range of interactive activities to explore a theme relating to the world of work Our careers officer Nuala Madden has a very important role in school delivering individual tailored advice to our pupils at important transition points like Year 10 Year 12 and Year 14 The school is a member of the Dungannon Area Learning Community where careers staff meet regularly to develop resources and skills to enhance the teaching of careers in their schools Careers staff also regularly attend events organised by Mid Ulster Council to enable them to stay fully informed of career and skill needs in our local area Throughout our CEIAG programme in school there is widespread commitment to capacity building in terms of STEM Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics and STEM CEIAG Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance A level students avail of interviews in August by our Senior Management Team at the beginning of Year 13 and Year 14 to help guide subject choice and align it with the pupil s specific career ambitions Year 13 and 14 pupils have Careers timetabled in classes and have individual attention and consultation as required in the careers suite Our Year 13 pupils receive detailed presentations from Ulster University Queens University Scottish Universities South of Ireland Universities and South West College Work experience is also organised for Year 13 pupils in term 3 of Lower Sixth to further develop their knowledge of specific careers and work place environments Year 14 pupils receive presentations from South West College on Foundation degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities as well as from Student Finance N I Recently we have introduced a training programme for life at university which seeks to fully inform our Year 14 pupils of the many life challenges university can present The vast majority of our pupils progress to third level education where they graduate and gain employment in an array of public and private sector settings emerging to become valuable employees entrepreneurs and valuable contributors to society Monitoring Progress In keeping with our aim to ensure that every student reaches his her full potential in all aspects of school life it is essential that progress is closely monitored Class teachers monitor and assess progress on a regular basis using a range of methods including written or oral aural work as well as practical experiments demonstrations or investigations Tracking pupil progress is an integral part of the school s Assessment for Learning AFL Other forms of assessment include homework which is designed to complement the classroom experience unit topic tests and coursework assignments More formal synoptic assessment takes place regularly with results being monitored by the Year Head who highlights achievement any improvements are noted Year Heads employ a number of strategies to ensure that areas requiring improvement are identified and achievable goals set so that students feel they are being supported in their efforts to improve their performance in their efforts to improve their performance One full written report is provided each year with additional interim reports Form teachers provide comments on the personal development and extracurricular commitment of each student

Page 29

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore

Page 30

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Extra Curricular ACTIVITES Staff give time effort and planning to help students experience their subjects outside the classroom and outside the campus In all areas competition is encouraged and the volunteer method is universal Music Gaelscoil Na scoil Aodha Rua Competitions Choir Orchestra Traditional Group String Group Musical Theatre Club Clubs Media Club Drama Club Maths Puzzle Club Chess Club Debating Club Public Speaking Club Arts and Craft Club Film Club Cookery Club Eco Committee Harry Potter Club Table Tennis Club Contemporary Arts Club Coding Club ICT Club Cumann Gaelach Liturgy Sacred Space Science Club Horticulture Club Engineering Club Link up Groups Sperrinview St Patrick s P S Donaghmore St Joseph s P S Galbally Donaghmore County P S Edendork P S St Mary s Lisbouy Irish Language Competitions Ashbourne Shield Rotary Club Competition Quizzes Environmental Youth Speak Irish Drama Competitions Mathematiques Sans Frontieres University of Leeds Maths Challenge Geo Challenge Other Charity Fundraising Literacy Mentoring Numeracy Mentoring Credit Union School Bank Driving Lessons John Paul II Award Habitat for Humanity Cambodia Language Experience Every effort is made to encourage students to attend language courses both in the Gaeltacht and in France The Irish Department organises bookings and savings for children who wish to attend Col ist Samhraidh The French Department facilities placement of au pair and family exchanges through the Central Bureau and in a private contact capacity as well as our annual trip to Paris

Page 31

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Extra Curricular Sporting Activities Participation in sporting activities is encouraged and where possible efforts are made to meet the interests of our students Running Badminton Basketball Gaelic Football for both Boys and Girls U 14 U 16 U 19 Hurling Camogie European Handball Rugby Northern Ireland Schools Cup Soccer Year 8 Under 14 Athletics Golf Netball Volleyball Tennis Table Tennis Equestrian Circuit training Year 8 9 and 10 one wall Handball Championship Year 13 and 14 Champions League Soccer Fitness Suite Jiving Yoga Futsal We also offer Duke of Edinburgh Gaisce Award The following lunch time activities are also offered Inter form Gaelic Inter form Soccer League Cookery Club Guitar for Beginners Tae agus Pl Choir Eco Committee Netball Sacred Space Digital Leaders ICT Club String Music Group Poetry Public Speaking Gaelic Football Art revision Club History Mentoring An Phicti rlann Orchestra Geography Clinic Mock Magistrates Numeracy Mentoring Traditional Group Rosary Club Literacy Mentoring An Cumann Gaelach Debating Club Soccer Drama Club

Page 32

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore Belgium September 2018 Manchester United Vs Tottenham game December 2019 trips Ski Trip Italy January 2019 London December 2018 Cambodia July 2018

Page 33

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore trips Belgium September 2018 Brussels June 2018 Rome October 2018 Donegal Summer 2019 Athens October 2019

Page 34

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore past pupiL TESTIMONIES Matthew Mc Ilvenna Past Pupil I joined St Joseph s Grammar School having previously attended St Patrick s Primary School in Donaghmore It was a fairly easy switch of location for me as I m from Donaghmore village so St Joseph s was always going to be my first choice The fact that the school was local to me and that most of my friends were coming from the same primary school made the decision really easy to make My parents probably gave more thought to the academic side of things than I did at that age but again it was an easy choice for them too given the reputation of the school for its exam success St Joseph s is small enough so that every teacher knows you by name but equally it s large enough to provide all the facilities and range of subjects that you could wish for at both GCSE and A Level In hindsight choosing St Joseph s was a great choice for me as it gave me the best in terms of academics sport and friendships I have a lots of fond memories from my time in school and winning the Nolan Cup in my lower sixth year was a particular sporting highlight for me amongst many others But it is probably the friendships that I made at school that are most important to me and I have maintained contact with so many of my friends even though we work in different parts of the world now More locally if you meet someone from school out and about a simple handshake is all it takes to get us chatting about school and catching up on the news about how the people we all know are getting on That s something that I believe everyone takes away from their time at St Joseph s it s the connections you make with new people from right across midUlster and these friendships last a lifetime I studied Maths Further Maths Physics Biology and Geography at A Level I didn t really know what I wanted to do at this stage of my school career and I found it difficult to decide which subjects to pick That s probably why I ended up studying five A Level subjects as these were the ones that I thought I was best at and which I enjoyed most As it turned out it was because of my A Level studies that I felt that my calling would be to pursue a degree related to Mathematics After leaving St Joseph s Grammar School I decided to study Actuarial Science and Risk Management at QUB I had a brilliant time as a student and the degree gave me the opportunity to do a placement year in Dublin which was my opportunity to work away from home in one of Europe s busiest and friendliest cities I worked for the Aviva insurance company before completing my final year of study back in Belfast I have since graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Actuarial Science and Risk Management After graduation I joined Milliman Consultancy an actuarial consultancy firm based in Dublin and I have just completed my professional qualification in Actuary I know it sounds like a bit of a clich but in my experience my school days really were the best days I have many happy memories of coming through junior school and learning new subjects and experiencing great opportunities for travel with my school group each year As a senior student I realised just how special the connection is that you have with your A Level teachers and we had plenty of craic and banter alongside the hard work I would very much recommend St Joseph s Grammar School to the young boys and girls who are about to move on from their primary schools In terms of facilities the school has gone from strength to strength even in the short time since I was here as a pupil with the new sports hall and drama facilities When the second phase of building is complete I m pretty sure that the new library canteen and new classrooms will be awesome But I always come back to the ethos of the school That s what really makes St Joseph s so special In many ways I feel a bit jealous of you new pupils who will get to experience the best seven years of your lives at this school Sometimes I just wish I could turn the clock back and I d happily be right back here in the morning

Page 35

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore past pupiL TESTIMONIES My name is Cara Christie Past Pupil My story is a little bit unusual as I actually moved to St Joseph s Grammar School from another local school when I was in third year I was lucky because many of my old friends from primary school were already here so when I joined St Joseph s it actually felt a lot like coming home The teachers were incredibly welcoming so it was an easy move and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of my time at St Joseph s I was quite a sporty person so I remember looking forward to getting stuck into the full range of sports that were on offer and I was very soon involved in the ladies football teams the netball teams and I managed to squeeze in a bit of traditional music too by joining the school s trad group I remember the great support network that there was for each pupil in the school which helped develop you as a person There was also the right amount of push from the teachers who wanted you to go on and do well Looking back I realise that my involvement in both sport and music at the school gave me the confidence to believe in myself and that I could realise my ambitions For A Levels I chose to study Biology Chemistry and Technology I enjoyed all three of them not just because I was interested in the content of the courses but because the teachers were very supportive and knowledgeable They really encouraged me to do my best and to get the results that I needed for my university course which was and still is challenging to get in to Whilst I enjoyed all of my subjects I probably enjoyed Technology that little bit more because at that time I was the only girl who had chosen to study it for A Level and I found myself in a class full of boys I think I may have received a wee bit more support from the teacher who might have felt a bit sorry for me but in truth I found Technology to be the perfect antidote to my other A Level subjects because of the practical element to it One of the memories that really sticks in my mind was the last four classes we had on a Friday when myself and two other fellas I was really friendly with just laughed non stop from the minute we stepped into the class until we got home that day I m sure we managed to get a bit of work done along the way too mind you After I left school I attended Queens University Belfast and I studied Dentistry for five years I really really enjoyed my university experience though in truth it was a close second to my school experience Since graduating I have been working in a dental practice in Coleraine as an Associate Dentistry can be a tough course but it does offer a very rewarding career I ve also recently launched my own Facial Aesthetics business from home as well and even though I didn t study Business Studies at school I am always open to trying new ventures and taking a bit of a risk and that confidence was instilled in me in Donaghmore I met my two best friends at St Joseph s and I am so glad I got the opportunity to meet them as I imagine we will still be nattering away as we always do when we re all old ladies I m also in touch with quite a few others from my class though many of them are living and working in Australia St Joseph s was just that kind of school where everybody knew everybody and that s what made it a really nice place to be If I have any advice to offer you it would be to be to choose the school where you know you will be happy If you are happy in your school everything else just falls into place If you come to St Joseph s Grammar School I know you will get the welcome I received as a new student The teachers will not only know you by name they will also know your dreams and they will do their best to make sure you fulfil them just as they did for me

Page 36

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore

Page 37

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore

Page 38

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore general notes

Page 39

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore general notes

Page 40

St Joseph s Grammar School Donaghmore St Joseph s Grammar School 58 Castlecaulfield Road Donaghmore Co Tyrone BT70 3HE Scoil I saef 58 B thar Bhaile U Dhonnaile Domhnach M r Co Th r Eoghain BT70 3HE Tel 028 87761227 Fax 028 87767124 Email info stjosephs donaghmore ni sch uk www stjosephsdonaghmore com