Fujitsu- we love you!

Posted by tbrown353 on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

ICT Trip to Fujitsu, Belfast

Similar to the past couple of years in St. Louis and thanks to Mrs McMullan, year 13 ICT students had the opportunity to go on a day trip to Fujitsu; a company who provide information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products.

What was the purpose of the students going to Fujitsu?

The main purpose of us going on this day trip was to see first-hand what it was like to be in a company and practice the skills that we, as students, were learning (such as web design, handling a customer’s needs and working with databases in an efficient way) in a real environment that is time sensitive.

What activities did we do?

As both Applied ICT students and ICT students attended the event, there were two different workshops that took place. Since I do regular ICT we had a quick session of what the workers like to call “speed dating”, which is essentially asking selected workers in the company questions in quick succession in relation to their job/their opinion of it. Following this, we were given a talk from one of the workers about web design – which was very interesting as he used a real example of the Belfast Library and how the company remodelled their entire website.

Next was my favourite part; the lunch. Just kidding. It was good though.

After this came the final part of the day which was a talk given by one of the workers on the topic of databases, which was very helpful as we are currently in the exact same position as they are, except they are getting paid to do it and we are not (sadly).

Personally, I think that this trip to Fujitsu was very beneficial! It gave us the chance to put our written theory and coursework outlines into something that we could see as a physical and ongoing project.

An opportunity I would heartily recommend if you get the chance!



Worst Bond Ever?

Posted by tbrown353 on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

James Bond: Spectre

Bond is back and, arguably, worse than ever.

Film critics are raving over 007’s newest action packed adventure, reviews range from ‘Worst Bond Film Ever’ to ‘Cinematic Masterpiece’. The experts just can’t seem to agree, but with such a controversial and much loved character and film franchise, what else would you expect?

In Bond’s latest escapade, Bond is lead on a cryptic trail to uncover the secrets of a corrupt organisation. Being on the run from the Secret Service, who have essentially ‘grounded’ him, he must simultaneously keep a low profile and take down the world’s largest terrorist organisation in operation. As Bond ventures closer to the answers he seeks, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy.

Let’s face it, you either love Bond or you hate him. The franchise raises its head every two or three years with all the accompanying hype and speculation over whether or not it should be put out to pasture or put down.

Every new Bond brings with him the inevitable discussion as to whether or not he lives up to the expectations that the role brings, is he handsome enough? Arrogant enough? British enough? Daniel Craig does add a certain Connery-esque charisma to the role and wears his modern Armani suits tight enough to give him an edgier look to appeal to a more modern audience.

This outing certainly returns to the elements that more traditional fans will love, the aloof and intelligent love interest (a doctor). The Aston Martin, the vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, there is even a watch with a bomb cunningly disguised, in fact the only thing missing was a pool of sharks and a laser gun dangerously close to Bond’s most important faculties.

The villain was charismatic and all too infrequently seen, there were nostalgic elements and references to favourite past villains-(the white fluffy cat and a family link to Blowfield, one of Bond’s more memorable antagonists) all of the references to the past films were a suitable homage to Craig’s final outing in the iconic role.

If you’re a fan, you’ll love it, if not, don’t waste your time. I loved it a reverential appreciation of all that we love about Bond-with two great villains and a comment on the dangers of such open communication networks in the modern age, for me, it was a slightly heavy handed marriage of the modern with the traditional and as a final farewell for Daniel Craig, suitably clichéd.

Bring on Idris Elba, I can’t wait to see what you will do with the role.



Moving Image Arts

Posted by tbrown353 on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

This is the first year that the A-level Moving Image Arts is available to St. Louis students in connection with Kilkeel High, where it is taught. The subject is extremely interesting and would appeal to those who are interested in Film and Media studies.

Despite my initial thoughts, going to another school for class is really fun and not at all daunting. The teachers and students at Kilkeel High are very friendly and welcoming and we get on very well with them. It was easy to settle in and has now become my favourite subject.

Currently we are working on our coursework that requires us to make a short film after studying a filmmaker of our choosing, in order to get inspiration. The coursework, although stressful at times is very enjoyable, working with friends to create a film of any genre of my choosing and being able to explore different camera techniques.

I would definitely recommend Moving Image Arts to anyone who enjoys Film Studies or has studied Media Studies for GCSE and thoroughly enjoys it as the subject allows you to work with cameras and learn new things about film through both theory and practical work.


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John Moore’s Comes to St Louis!

Posted by tbrown353 on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

On the 26th of February St Louis welcomed the Liverpool John Moore’s University for a talk with the year 13 students.  The award winning university was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2005 and now holds more than 24,000 students.  Liverpool John Moore’s university has 1,405 Northern Ireland student enrolments, making it the most popular university for Northern Ireland.

Peter Dolan, a representatives from John Moore’s university, gave a very insightful talk on the courses and activities that Liverpool University has to offer. The university offered badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rugby league and many more activities to enjoy alongside its academic attractions!  A few of the courses the university had to offer were Art and Design, Astrophysics, Biological Anthropology, Built Environment, Computer Science and Informatics and English etc.

The students also got an insight into what night life Liverpool had to offer such as a range of clubsl and a vibrant night-life, which really caught the student’s attention. All the students were very interested in what the university had to offer and a lot of the students who had not considered it as a university choice may have now changedt their minds!

Peter also spoke about the all expenses paid summer school to the year 13s who are considering studying at John M. Hmm…all expenses paid trip to Liverpool doesn’t sound too bad at all!



Work Experience Week

Posted by tbrown353 on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

My week

Work experience, some people may look at this as a week of picking a place where they don’t need to do that much work and not putting too much thought into it. But this is not the way to go about as you may have an idea “hmm I want to be a nurse” and you may know a slight bit about the job and so this why this week is so crucial! This is giving students a chance to see if their idea of the job they want is the one for them.

For my work experience I went to IFC Media.  They publish a series of magazines and digital content for the international finance industry researching news for daily news briefs and magazine features.

I believe going here really helped me in my future career choice which is, in fact, journalism. It is a case though that you must make sure it is something you want to do as you may only have one chance to go on work experience.  From my work experience I have learnt how a magazine is put together and how much work and time goes into making a magazine. I really enjoyed my work experience. My aunty is the editor and she went through the editorial process of the magazine. I was also given tasks to write blog posts based on different topics which I really enjoyed and found it gave me more confidence in my writing.

So I would advise everyone who is planning their work experience to think long and hard about their placement as you do not want to regret your choice. It may be the case that you don’t know exactly what you want to do but don’t pick something you have absolutely no intentions of doing in the future as this would be a waste of a valuable opportunity and could save you a lot of time later when you have to make choices based on what career you want.

So, to end in a high note, work experience is one of those weeks that really helps you choose the path you want to follow for your future and could be one of your best weeks as you could be having the full experience of your dream job!




St. Louis Boys in Ulster Final win!

Posted by tbrown353 on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Friday 6th March was the date of the fantastic performance by the school’s senior football team, winning in the Ulster Final 1.7 to 1.4 against Rathmore Grammar.

The buzz from the weekend win has carried through to this week with the upcoming All Ireland semi-final in Kildare on Saturday.

The school’s Twitter page has been alive with positive messages and comments from local teams and supporters of the school,
‘Aughlisnafin GAC – @stlouisgrammar: O’Doherty Champions! #greenandgoldarmy #super’
‘Kevin McAllister – Congratulations @stlouisgrammar – O’Doherty Champions! #greenandgoldarmy #GAA’
‘Warrenpoint GAA – Congrats to @stlouisgrammar on a fantastic win 2nite in the O’Doherty cup! Strong team performance! Great goal from our own Darcy! #champs’

The team itself is delighted with their success and immensely appreciative of the support they have received,
‘St Louis Grammar – After many defeats we are now Champions #proud Thanks to all the players, staff and supporters along the way’

The scene of the St Louis victory on Friday night

And we hope to see a #greenandgoldarmy of students and teachers at the semi-final on Saturday.
Best of luck to the boys!

photo 2

Our champions!


St Louis Welcomes Oxford!

Posted by tbrown353 on Feb 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Students and Representatives for the Oxford Conference hosted by St Louis
St Louis had the pleasure on the 4th of February of welcoming Oxford University representatives as St Louis hosted the Oxford University Conference. A variety of schools within the Newry and Mourne area attended. The schools that attended were St Colman’s College, The Abbey Grammar School, Sacred Heart and of course St Louis Grammar School.

Mrs Kathryn Thompson who represents St Catherine’s college, Oxford gave the students an overview on the world renowned university. The students were fully engaged in listening to what Oxford had to offer our students.
Students were informed about the Oxbridge eight week term and the intensive tutorial system which offers weekly opportunities to engage with a leading academic in their chosen discipline.

The students were particularly interested by the variety of clubs and societies that Oxford had to offer. The activities included the rowing club and of course the world renowned debating society.

To conclude the conference Mrs Thompson wished all of the students well in their forthcoming exams and she relayed that she hoped she had encouraged them to consider Oxford as one of their university options. Mrs Thompson also conveyed that the number of students from the locality has increased over the years.
So fingers crossed the same will be said again next year!


Trinity Talk in KHS!

Posted by tbrown353 on Feb 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Trinity College DublinLast week a group of St. Louis year 13 students (including myself) who are considering studying at Trinity were invited to a talk in the Kilkeel High School organised by the TCD. Two representatives visited us to introduce and tell us a little bit about the new entry rules for students from Northern Ireland.

One of them was a current student of TCD from NI who she told us a little bit about her experience of studying at Trinity, her response was very positive. She told us what it is like to live in Dublin and what is it like studying at Trinity.
For those who don’t know, Trinity is one of the best universities in the Republic of Ireland. It has the highest ranking in Ireland. It got first place in the ROI ranking and 71st place on the world scale. Now this is impressive! Trinity is also well known for high entry demands. It takes a lot of effort for students of Northern Ireland to gain enough points to meet the demands. Pupils would have to keep on 4 A-level subjects and do very well in them all.

However, recently Trinity College Dublin has made certain changes to its admissions policy. Trinity has decided to ‘relax’ Northern Ireland entry rules hoping to increase the amount of NI students. They’re hoping to admit approximately 300 students from Northern Ireland each year as recently the numbers of NI students have dropped. As statistics show only 1 in 8 students do 4 A-levels meaning only 1/8 of all the students in NI had an opportunity to study at TCD.

The good news is that they decided to lower A-level grade requirements. From September 2015, TCD will accept students doing three A-levels with minimum grades of one A and two B’s. They called it the Feasibility Study aiming to find a new way of admitting A-Level applicants from across the EU.

From now on all of the students doing 3 A-levels will have an opportunity to study at Trinity, applicants will be selected on the basis of their 3 A-levels results and will be able to study any of the courses (apart from Medicine) that TCD offers. Each course will have two or three spaces available for students of NI. However if many NI students are considering a particular course, a selection will take place, 2-3 students with the best grades are more likely get the places however if there is more students with the same grades another selection will take place, this time as our visitors said “names will be picked out of the hat”.

However there are few more things to note, smaller courses will only accept two NI students and bigger courses will accept three. Students who don’t get the place by the Feasibility Study can also be eligible for places in the regular way. This means that even though you don’t get a place by the Feasibility Study students doing 4 A-levels can still have a chance of getting a place by simply applying the standard way.
And finally to conclude there are few more things to watch out for.
Trinity does not accept Applied and/or BTEC subjects, for example applied I.C.T. or BTEC Engineering. And unfortunately bad news for students doing A-level General Studies, Media Studies and/or Physical Education, as TCD does not accept any of these subjects either. Another thing Trinity is looking for is a GCSE English Language, Maths and another language(not English). So if you think have all of the entry requirements mentioned above Trinity may be the university for you!

t2 Trinity College Dublin-The Long Room-Old Library


Liam McNeill scores with St Louis Pupils!

Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

President of the GAA Liam McNeill gave paid a surprised visit to the year 10’s at St Louis Grammar school on Thursday 22nd of January to give a talk about some subjects and matters within the GAA.

Liam spoke to year 10s about the GAA in general and what changes the pupils would like to be made to the GAA. Liam also spoke about how the GAA are trying to introduce a policy where players are trained to be able to speak and interact with each other and they should show respect to each other on and off the pitch.

Liam expressed concerns about the drinking culture of teens in Ireland and explained how the GAA encouraged responsible drinking and even told athletes to  try and avoid it before any upcoming matches they may have.
Pupils told me that he was very helpful as he told them if they ever had a problem with the GAA then they should report it and the matter would hopefully be fixed.

I interviewed a few of the pupils who had attended the talk in which Liam had spoke at and one student said “I really enjoyed the talk Liam gave us, I learnt so much about the GAA that I didn’t know before” another pupil stated that “It was really good that Liam wanted our opinions and tried to take on each of our ideas”.
Well it does seem that Liam has been quite a hit in St Louis and he really has opened the year 10 student’s eyes to the GAA. Liam has made quite an impression on the pupils here at St Louis and the pupils I spoke to said they would be delighted if Liam visited again. I am guessing that St Louis now has a few more GAA fans!



A Frosty Forum at St. Colman’s!

Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

Forum Group

Once again the students at St. Louis have attended St. Colman’s Annual Politics Forum, and we were not disappointed!

Aside from the snowy start to the day, we managed to battle the elements and arrived at the school with a whole fifteen minutes to spare!

As one of the four schools attending the forum we were sceptical as to whether our questions would be answered or not, but on arrival we were happy to find we were presented with a list of questions to be addressed coming from all schools.

With a guest panel of Margaret Ritchie, Danny Kennedy, Jim Wells and John O’Dowd, and well-known journalist Eamonn Mallie as chairman, things were already off to a lively start!

Students were asked to present their questions when selected off the list and were addressed personally by the MLA targeted. The panel were certainly strong about their views on every matter, with some even sparking heated debates between both themselves and the students, about important issues such as abortion and blood donation restrictions for homosexuals.

That being said, the debates were conducted in good spirit and often the panel had the audience laughing.

Following the forum was a ‘light’ lunch, consisting of sandwiches, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, tea, coffee, and of course, biscuits.

Will full stomachs and engaged minds we headed back to St. Louis just in time for (a second) lunch!

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