Posted by tbrown353 on Feb 12, 2015 in Uncategorized
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!
Posted by tbrown353 on Feb 12, 2015 in Uncategorized
Last 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!
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!
Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
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!
Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
Choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life is a hard, scary and often daunting experience for all involved. However, last week for the pupils of St. Louis, the staff made it so that the pupils who would make this decision were fully informed!
Last week, Options Week took place in our school. This is an opportunity for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils to discover the wide variety of options available to them for their all-important GCSE and A-Level years. Teachers gave interesting presentations in order to inspire the pupils to choose their subject. Subjects included ranged from Sociology and Physics to Home Economics and Music Technology, a few examples of the wide variety of subjects on offer.
Teachers explained through presentations what their subjects were, what the pupils would do within these subjects, and how the grades were worked out through the years of study. They also gave guidance as to the careers their subject could lead to.
Year 10 pupils received an options booklet and their option sheet to look at and fill out. The sixth formers got their very own website! http://www.stlouis6thform.com . Those moving into A-Level were also given a prospectus with details of subjects at Post 16.
However, as this is a hard choice for students, and having been through this difficult time myself, I have a list of tips for those struggling to pick what they want to do at A-Level and GCSE.
1) Don’t pick subjects because you’re friends are doing them. Pick subjects because YOU enjoy them, not just so you can be with your friends.
2) Don’t pick subjects based on the teachers; from my own experience, I picked a science based on the fact I liked one teacher compared to another, and I regretted my choice. You have to pick subjects based on your interests and what helps you pick a job later!
3) Pick subjects that YOU ENJOY!
4) If you’re unsure about the subjects that you’re thinking of choosing, ask the subject teacher! They’re here to give friendly advice on their subjects and tell you what you need to know!
5) If you’re stuck on choosing a subject that applies to your dream job, ask the careers advisor about what subjects you need to progress to your dream job, after GCSE’s and/or Post-16 Education.
Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
Anti-Bullying Training For St Louis Seniors
Last Thursday the 20th January, all the senior prefects gathered in C4 to try and get everyone more aware of how to do with bullying!
The man running the programme was called Lee and he has worked with many schools to try and get us pupils to recognise the signs of bullying and how to deal with it. It is we pupils who see what happens in the corridors, not the teachers. I’ve got to say he made a sometimes very uncomfortable topic fun and there was a real atmosphere of trust in the room.
Firstly we had to try and come up with all the different types of bulling for example, physical, social, emotional cyber etc. We were all a bit shocked by how many different types of bullying there is and how much of it takes place without us noticing.
Bullying is the deliberate and repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Bullying occurs everywhere and needs to be stopped. Lee made everyone write a secret down on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and set it on a seat. He asked us would we mind if he read them and I’m not exaggerating when I say there were a lot of very nervous faces! In the end he promised he would burn them but it just goes to show, the simplest thing in the wrong person’s hands can have the power to really upset someone. I think it’s safe to say that none of us liked being in the victim’s position and we all regretted disclosing our secrets!
Overall, it was a very enlightening process and I am much more aware of how bullying can occur and how to deal with it if the situation arises.
If you do see someone being bullied, don’t take a step back or turn a blind eye. If you think it is a relatively small issue then you can approach it yourself but if ever in doubt tell the designated child protection officer or any teacher for that matter. Even if you do think you can sort if yourself it’s best to make a teacher aware of the situation anyway, you don’t want to put yourself or anyone else in a difficult position!
Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
Skies, snow and slopes, sounds good to me! This is what some of our students spent the week doing in Andorra’s spectacular ski resort. Our annual ski trip took place from the 3rd of January to the 10th and it made to be the best one yet! With stunning views and some not so stunning skiing, this ski trip was one that certainly won’t be forgotten.
The journey began early on Saturday morning and ended late on Saturday night, with many students anxious to get out on the slopes the next morning… After arriving to the breath-taking location in which their hotel was situated, the students just couldn’t wait to get out onto the snow, and that happened soon after. The students were woken up early on the Sunday morning to get fitted for all their equipment and then raced outside to begin skiing! Finally! It seemed to come as a bit of a surprise to some that they wouldn’t actually be professionals first time round and so groups were made of the pros and the… well not pros.
The students soon got to grip with their new ski feet and began to challenge even the pros, and by pros I mean our expert teachers Mr.J.Raffery, Mr.Sloan and Mrs.Colgan! After all of them being many times before I’m sure it’s safe to say that they weren’t modest about their skills! As well as skiing, there was bowling, sledging, a movie night and even a shopping day! There are just some things that the teachers will never be able to match, how to shop until you drop!
Again the school trip didn’t disappoint and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers that helped to make it happen!
Posted by admin on Jan 22, 2015 in Year 13
, Year 14
As I’m sure you’re all aware, it’s interview season at the universities! I had my first interview of three for Broadcast Journalism last week in Glasgow Caledonian University and, believe me, it is a nerve-wracking experience.
I’ve put together some tips for anyone looking for help or advice in the run up to your interviews!
- Find out what form the interview will take: is it a group or individual interview? In many cases it’ll be a one on one interview, but in the case for my interview for Salford next week, it’ll be a group interview.
Some courses may look for you to complete an entrance exam, some of these you cannot study for! If it is for Journalism, look at events that happened over the past year. My current affairs exam asked me to name the typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013 and who was the founder of Glastonbury Festival!
For more vocational courses like Veterinary or Medicine a good understanding and application of scientific knowledge is key.
Revise for weeks beforehand!
You want to impress them!
- Prepare!! – Never underestimate the importance of preperation. Although you don’t know the exact questions they will ask you, you can definitely prepare a few sample answers.
- Many interviews will ask you about information in your personal statement; prehaps what you did exactly during work experience. They may ask you about after-school activities or hobbies you enjoy. It’s important to fully explain every answer and show them that you are suitable for their course.
- Of course, the question they always ask, “Why do you want to do _____?”. Give a full explanation! This is your chance to show them that you’re fully committed to this course and talk a little about where you would like to end up. For Journalism, I mentioned my love of reading when I was younger and how that eventually led me to creating a hand-made newspaper for my neighbourhood. The University want you to show them that this isn’t just an alternative choice, it’s what you want to do for the rest of your life!
- If need be, plan a mock interview with a senior teacher. They want you to succeed just as much as you do!
- Ask questions at the end. I unfortunately forgot the questions I wanted to ask, but now have a few written down! It never hurts to enquire more about the course you’re applying for. It shows your interest and it’ll demonstrate that you’ve done your research about the course. How many holidays you get would not be the best way to impress them with your work ethic.
- On the day of the interview, remember to get plenty of sleep! I got four hours before mine and I felt exhausted by the time my interview came around, no matter how much caffeine I had! I had to wake up at half four to get my flight, go to bed early and don’t stay up all night beforehand worrying. It will never go as badly as you think it will!
- Dress appropriately for the interview. Something that isn’t too formal, but nothing too casual. One guy at mine came in a suit whereas someone else turned up in jeans and a hoodie. You want to show them that you’re mature and although it is superficial, Universities do judge you on how you look – it’s their first impression of you.
- Try to relax! Take some deep breaths! Just show them what you know, why you’re the perfect candidate for this course. If it doesn’t go well, don’t worry about it too much! Many interviews are used as a way of challenging candidates. Every interview is a new experience, if you do badly in one, ask yourself what went wrong and improve on it for your next one.
- Be yourself – interviewers want to know about you, not just what tips you’ve read off the internet! (How ironic!)
- And finally, don’t worry about whether you’re offered a place or not afterwards! Most universities will take a few months to respond. You have done the best you could do, use it as a learning experience. If you’re declined an offer, ask them why. Usually they do give a reason but you can ring up the course director and ask them further in detail. Use it to improve for future interviews!
Remember eye contact and smiling is important!
Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
Four year 9 students were taken to the Ramada Hotel in Belfast to recognise their amazing fundraising effort in the recent MS walk in Kilbroney Park for the junior school.
“A long journey but it was so worth it! As we came into Lisburn it was snowing and it looked absolutely amazing as it was lying in the fields like a white blanket. As I stepped out of the car, I glanced up at the hotel which looked very posh and homely!”- Aoife
“I enjoyed raising money for Action MS as I know it will help lots of people. Everyone is very kind and generous when it comes to charity! My fundraising took a lot of time and effort but I knew at the end of the day, it would make a change in the world, and it would make someone smile. I had raised £424!” -Nicola
“The Lunch was held in the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, which was very fancy. We entered a big room with lots of people who were all listening to the already on-going presentation but thankfully, we were just in time for our school to be called out.
We went and lined up in order of alphabetical surnames, I was first to go up, then Conor and Aoife but Nicola, who had raised over £200, didn’t line up with us. I was anxious as the got shorter and I neared the front, but thankfully it was okay and everything went very smoothly. They called my name out and I went up to accept my certificate and got a picture taken with Conor Philips, the CoolFM Radio Presenter, then went back down to our table.
When all the names were called out, we had lunch which was a buffet and you could choose from a mini pizza, chicken nuggets, chips, beans and sausages. The food was very delicious and then dessert came round: Ice-cream and jelly which was equally delicious.
After that, we had a picture taken and Nicola was called up with the group of people who raised £200 or more. She got a special plaque for her efforts and then we left and headed back to school.
Over-all, it was an amazing day! I loved every second of it!”
Posted by admin on Jan 28, 2014 in Uncategorized
To quell the inevitable start-of-term blues, the St Louis students of music, drama and art were treated to a bewitching matinee performance of Stephen Schwartz’s hit musical Wicked. The 9th January saw reams of excited students descending upon the cutting-edge Bord Gais Theatre in the heart of Dublin’s bustling docklands.
The Bord Gais itself was a magnificent piece of architecutre, extremely modernist from the outside but decadent with the plush red seats and gold filigree befitting of only the finest of theatres. The St Louis crowd were sat in the Upper Circle (watch out for nosebleeds!) but the seats were perfect for taking in the colossal stage with its glittering set.
From the moment the show started it was obvious that it was going to be spectacular; with catchy hits such as “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” and a plot twist to silence even the most cynical; the audience was spellbound. It truly was a delight to watch, and aided the music, drama and art students in their knowledge of how a stage show works.
After the show, there was a quick stop to the Apple Green for a bite to eat before everyone trundled home, still singing the numbers at the tops of their voices, much to the teachers’ delight…
Thank you to Mrs McDonagh and all the other teachers (Mr Brown, Mrs Cunningham and Miss Keary) who helped organise everything!