Year 8 Welcome Service

While it seems like a long time ago, it is worth considering our new year 8 students and how well they have settled in. One of the main activities organised by the school is their Welcome Service, organised by the RE department in the school.

On Wednesday 12th of October St Louis celebrated its annual Year 8 mass and it was a chance to officially welcome the new pupils, and to acknowledge them as members of our school family. It was also a time for our first years to reflect on their first month at St Louis and how they are settling in here, after all it is a huge change from primary school where you knew everyone to a big school where you might still not know everyone in your own year! Hopefully you are coping with all the new challenges being at big school throws at you, but if not here are some tips to make settling in that little bit easier:

  • Get to know everyone in your form class-these are the pupils you are going to spend the next 5 to 7 years of class time with, so making friends with them will make school life a lot easier!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help-teachers are there to help you, so don’t hesitate to ask if there is something you don’t understand! The workload is a huge jump from primary school and it’s very easy to let yourself become overwhelmed. Instead of getting a bad note for incomplete homework, go to the teacher before or after class and ask them to explain it to you, they’ll be happy to help!
  • Stay organized-you have a lot more subjects now, and that means a lot more books to carry to and from school. Pack your bag the night before to avoid rushing around in the morning like a headless chicken trying to grab all your books for the day and shoving them in your bag, inevitably forgetting something and earning yourself a dreaded bad note!
  • Use your planner-I can’t stress this enough, USE YOUR PLANNER!! It will make staying on top of work so much easier believe me. I know you think you are going to remember what homework you have by the time you get home, trust me, you won’t. Taking a few seconds in class to write down what your teacher asks you to do will save you chasing after your classmates begging them to tell you what the work was.
  • Join an extracurricular club-joining a club will not only help you become more integrated in school life, but will allow you to make so many new friends who enjoy the same things you do! With a range of activities on offer, all you have to do is ask your form tutor and choose one that interests you.
  • Don’t stress-first year is scary for everyone at first, but hopefully by now you’ve come to see that there’s nothing to be afraid of! Our school is unique in the fact that we have such a friendly and close knit student body, and you’ll easily find somewhere to fit in. First year is a chance to get in to a routine when it comes to school work, and to make friends. Assessments are there to monitor your progress, not have you sitting over your books studying to all hours of the morning. So work hard, but not too hard!

Good luck to all first years and welcome to St Louis. Its cliché but these really are the best years of your life, so make the most of them!

Aine J

NCC- Newcastle Community Cinema

As many people may have seen the posters around the school they may know the film club are going to see Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in the NCC this week.

The Newcastle community cinema is a multi-award winning voluntary run non-profit organisation. They are current holders of the British Film Society of the Year award for the second year in a row! The NCC specialise in providing the community with a varied programme of quality cinematic entertainment. They constantly show a large variety of movies from ‘Inside Out’ to ‘Psycho’.

As it is a voluntary run non-profit organisation I think that it is amazing what they are doing as they are bringing the community together and organising an activity that costs very little and can still continue on the stormy winter nights that we will soon be having!

I think that the school taking a trip to the NCC will be a great experience and not only benefits the students but it also benefits the NCC as the revenue they will receive from the trip can go towards their community service and this will hopefully help keep the NCC open far into the future, to provide more people with the experience!

The venue was comfortable, the popcorn delicious- we will definitely be returning again and are trying to make this a monthly event, look out for the posters around the school and definitely check out their Full Moon Festival line up on Facebook. Don’t waste this valuable local resource, go on, get down there.


Concern Debate

As you should know debating is going strong in St Louis and the year 13/14 debate team was up and running last Wednesday night in a heated discussion with their guests from Rathmore Grammar, Belfast. The motion was

“Ending world hunger by 2030 is an impossible dream”.

Our panel, composed of Caolon McQuaid, Madden Hall, Matthew Carvill and Sophie-Ann Rooney, were proposing the motion this time as the host school, with many effective and compelling points from both themselves and the opposition, and some expert bell-ringing from Mrs Calderwood.

A close call for the adjudicators, our team lost to Rathmore, which came as quite a surprise to the team as well as some of those in the audience (I’m looking at you, Mrs Cunningham). Hard luck, guys.

Next Wednesday the team, our panel this time being Aine Cunningham, Morgan Maguire, Daniel Goodwin and Madden Hall, will be facing Friends School in Lisburn, opposing the motion

“France should allow religious symbols in public institutions”.

Good Luck!


Senior Film Club

This week in the senior film club, we watched Pan’s Labyrinth, by Guillermo Del Toro. The movie is set in Fascist Spain during 1944, and follows the young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer who escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

I found the film really enjoyable, the well written characters, detailed set pieces and the spell-binding creatures and costumes make up for a compelling movie that will maybe, just maybe, force you to shed a tear or two through a captivating narrative that blurs the genres of dark fantasy and war-torn drama combined with subtle echoes of a more grown-up version of Alice in Wonderland. It is the perfect movie to watch for the upcoming Halloween holidays, and its mesmeric gothic style would keep you hooked until the credits. It is truly a movie that is not to be missed.

About the Director:

Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He started making short films at an early age, experimenting with a Super 8 camera and some Planet of the Apes toys. His first feature film was released in 1993, at the age of 29, entitled “Cronos”, a film about a mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life that resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. Since then, Del Toro has since went on to direct movies such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and more recently, 2015’s Crimson Peak. He is known for his formalist style of filmmaking, including dark fantasies and a gothic approach to the styles he has made recognisable in his movies.


Ban on Energy Drinks?

Sweets, Chewing Gum and Energy Drinks.

As many of you probably know in school we aren’t allowed any chewing gum, sweets or energy drinks. Many of you more than likely think that this rule is incredibly pointless as we should be allowed to eat and drink whatever we want.

I would agree with this to an extent as it should be our decision to decide what we put into our bodies. However, in reality energy drinks are not good for our bodies at all due to their high caffeine levels and high sugar levels. The caffeine content in energy drinks can be as high as 300 milligrams per serving and they also have 35 grams of sugar! Many of these energy drinks will usually include some amount of taurine which is a type of amino acid that enhances neurological functions, but is an ingredient that is banned in many European countries!

Despite the fact that we usually all need something to wake us up every morning before school so we can pay attention in class energy drinks aren’t really the best way to do this. Energy drinks can have a negative effect on your body as they can increase your heart rate they can also affect your metabolism greatly.

Sweets and chewing gum can also have negative effects on our bodies as they can increase the risk of tooth decay etc. and can sometimes also lead to obesity or other health related problems. For these reasons maybe it is actually an advantage to us that the school does not allow sweets, gum or energy drinks!


School and Part-time Work

Katie tells us how she does it.

How to balance part time work whilst being at school?

In all honesty, it’s probably safe to say that you probably shouldn’t try and manage school work and part time work. However, many people need a part time job so the reality is that many people do need to balance both.

I work in the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle as a member of the function staff. As I usually work weekends it’s easy for me to balance work and school because I can focus on school work during the week and my job during the weekend.

Unfortunately, not everyone can only work weekends and sometimes you have to go in when asked or risk losing those valuable hours.

The past few weeks I have been working on school nights and I usually finish at around one in the morning which leaves me really tired and with little time for homework.

To ensure that I complete all my school work as well as going to work I never leave work until the last minute. Do the work as soon as you get it because even if the deadline isn’t for another week, something might come up which could prevent you from getting it done. Also take advantage of free classes because, instead of doing nothing during these classes, you could be doing homework. This means that you have less to do when you get home, so that you don’t have to rush out to work with no homework for the next day done.

It is possible to have both part-time work and good school grades but you do need to manage your time carefully.


Cakes, Buns, £500 in Funds???

Cake sale raises much needed funds.

As those of you who brought in the delicious sweet treats and those of you who got to enjoy them know, the annual St Louis coffee and cake morning for Macmillan Cancer Support was held last Friday morning (the 23rd of September). Macmillan is a life saving and changing charity, their work has helped thousands of people each year who suffer from cancer in taking back some control over their lives, financially, emotionally and physically.

This years bun sale was no disappointment with miles and piles of mouth-watering bakes being sold on Friday morning for both teachers and students alike to enjoy. From homemade brownies to freshly baked bread, the whole stock sold out in just one break time.

And how successful was the morning? Well, in the twenty minute break, the sale made £500.13 for the charity!

A massive thank you to all of you who supplied, bought and enjoyed every last crumb, as your support is going to an amazing cause that I’m sure everyone has some relation to in some way or another, be it through friends or family. Cancer is an ongoing fight in humanity, but even with small contributions such as this, we are fighting back.


You are fighting back.


…. With cake


… The absolute best way to fight.


Have a nice day


Once upon a time in America…

Who would have thunk it- a reality TV star, billionaire is starting to look like a realistic candidate for the US presidency. Eoin gives us a brief summary of what it is all about.

The next American president?

Currently in America, the most important democratic decision for the next four years is about to be made. Soon there will be a new president, a stranger in one of the most powerful positions in the world.

The US presidential election 2016 will take place on the 8th of November in possibly the most unlikely, unfortunate race to the white house of all time.

Running for the Republican Party is the infamous Donald Trump. Faced with constant accusations of sexism, racism and general bigotry, he stands by his claims to ‘make America great again’ proposing such ideas as tax cuts for big businesses (such as his own) and building a wall between the US and Mexico.

With most of his backers now pulling support and facing multiple claims of sexual assault against him, Trump’s surprising progress towards president seems doomed to fail. However, he could still pull off an unlikely victory, as he was never expected to get this far in the first place.

Running for the Democratic Party is ex-first lady Hillary Clinton. With actual political experience she is the most endorsed and most likely candidate for the position. In her term as secretary of state she leaked some 30,000 confidential emails however, narrowly avoiding prison time.

With the front-runners both having experienced a tad of criminal offenses, it looks more and more like a no win situation, foreign relations tattered by the rest of the world’s confusion as to how the ‘world’s greatest democracy’ could get itself into this situation.

With third parties having no shot in the first past the post voting situation, this could possibly be the last election the US holds as its doom seems sealed.

Who will win? In a presidential race between two of the least popular candidates in the history of democracy in America it really does seem to be time to look at just how successful the “greatest democracy in the world” really is.

National Dessert Day! Thank you very much!!

Caitlin gives us a simple dessert recipe to celebrate but don’t forget to share!

National Dessert Day on 14th October – Banana Pancakes

What’s a better way to celebrate national Dessert Day than healthy but tasty banana pancakes? Here’s how you can cook this simple but delicious recipe at home:

  • ¼ cup of plain flour
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • some butter for the pan


  • In a bowl, mash up the banana with a and beat an egg and mix the two together
  • Mix flour, cinnamon and flour together
  • Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients together to make a pancake mix
  • Pour pancake mix into pan and cook like a regular pancake



Top 5 Must-have Apps

From homework, exercise, hydration and even meditation there is an app to have, Caitlin and Sian give us a run-down of what they have found the most useful apps around at the minute.

Our to 5 must-have app’s

Sian and Caitlin give you their favourite apps of the year!!

These days most teenagers have a phone, whether it’s an apple IPhone or android, we all have them. Everyone is obsessed with the latest apps to come out so we thought we’d introduce you to the must-have apps of 2016! No they aren’t cool games or social media (sorry to disappoint) but they will really benefit you and help in your everyday life so give them a try!

Sian’s favourites:

  1. Depop

Depop is an app that allows you to buy and sell all sorts of items for a cheap price.

It’s basically like EBay but better!! It’s a perfect way to make money easily and safely by selling the clothes you don’t wear anymore. Found a dress online but it’s too expensive? Try Depop to find it for cheaper!

  1. depopDaily Workouts FREE

This workout app allows you to have your own personal trainer wherever you are! Simply choose your workout length and which body part you want to focus on and you’re ready to go. The video tutorials are easy to use and best of all its free. This is perfect for during the winter months when you’d rather not leave the house to exercise.


Caitlin’s favourites:

  1. St Louis G.S. (the school app)

This app is surprisingly very helpful as sometimes you may not be able to access a computer when you need to for school purposes but this app lets you access the School VLE, pupil blog and a variety of other school related websites and materials.

  1. stlouisSkedule

This app is hugely beneficial for me as it allows me to enter my school timetable and homework entries entirely from my phone rather than hauling my planner out of my bag every class.

  1. skeduleiHydrate

We all know that hydration is up there with the most important things that needs to be maintained in a person as well as food and sleep. This app allows you to enter how much water you drink when you drink it so you are able to make sure that you get at least 2 litres of water a day.