Saint Catherine’s College Choir Winners at Bangor International Choral Festival 2018

Congratulations to St Catherine’s College Senior Choir which won two Awards at Bangor International Choral Festival 2018 – They scooped first place in the Secondary/High School Choir Competition and won The George Best Belfast City Airport Trophy!

Jubilant Choir Director Siobhan Mallon commented: “Although everyone in the choir worked extremely hard, special mentions go to our two soloists, Aine McGrane and Emily Druse, with whom the adjudicator was most impressed and to our accompanist Lydia Quine, who rose to the challenge of learning two extremely difficult pieces!” The choir’s picture will be displayed in George Best City Airport.

Soloists (yr10 -14) pose for a photo with Head of Music, Dr Eunan McCreesh and Choral Director Siobhan Mallon, after performing at the Spring Concert held recently in Saint Catherine’s College. Back row l/r: Emily Tiffney (piano); Eve Parker (Piano); Alice Parker (Voice); Katie Watson (Bass Guitar); Analise Whyte (Whistle); Lisa Toal (voice).

Front row l/r: Melanie Lavery (Voice); Genevieve McGeown (Voice); Clara Mackle (Harp); Kate Donnelly (Flute); Esmee O’Donnell (Cello); Shannon Convie (Whistle); Aideen O’Hanlon (Harp); Lydia Quine (piano); Niamh McGuigan (Voice).

Saint Catherine’s College Strings Ensemble were the U16 Winners at Portadown Féis. They performed “The Music of Spey” (JS Skinner) accompanied by Mrs J Hutchinson (EA Music Service). Also pictured is Dr Eunan McCreesh, Musical Director at the school. 

The Traditional Group played lively reels and jigs including “Connaught Man’s Rambles” and “The Fair Maidens” at the Spring Concert in Saint Catherine’s College. Head of Music in the school, Dr Eunan McCreesh (back right) and Choral Director, Siobhan Mallon (back left) were joined by Eleanor Hughes, Head of Vocational Education, and Damian Mullan, Technology Dept.

At the Spring Concert held recently in Saint Catherine’s College, the orchestra performed “Little Brown Jug” (Arr. Dr E McCreesh) and “Canon in D” (Pachelbel). The students are pictured with their Musical Director Dr Eunan McCreesh. 

After performing at the Spring Concert, Saint Catherine’s College Junior Choir poses for a picture with Choral Director Ms Siobhan Mallon. The choir sang “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Revolting Children”.

Choral Director Ms Siobhan Mallon is pictured with Saint Catherine’s College Chamber Choir who regaled the audience at the Spring Concert 2018 with beautiful renditions of “Seasons of Love” (from Rent) and “It’s Quiet Uptown” (from Hamilton).


Proud participants in St Catherine’s College Culture Night who were wonderful ambassadors for their countries, cultures and languages. Their families kindly provided food and refreshments after the event

Year 8 pupils Gabriela Blagoeva and Stefka Ivanova showing Bulgarian culture with a display of traditional song and dance.

Year 8 pupils Áine Ní Dhuibh, Sorcha Ní Thuathail, Caitlin Ní Raghallaigh and Cadhla Nuinseann singing a traditional Irish song in Irish.

Sisters Zuzanna and Oliwia Osinska perform poetry by well-known Polish poets.

Year 11 pupil Maram Alissa from Syria proudly representing her country, culture and faith on Culture Night.

Year 10 pupil Miruna Popescu who represented her dual culturalism, Romanian and Italian, taking part in an international prayer service as part of Culture Night in St Catherine’s College.

St Catherine’s College student Gabriela Blagoeva and her family pictured following her Bulgarian performance on Culture Night.

Year 12 pupils Maria Oliveira and Ariana Pereira De Oliveira, representing the Portuguese culture, are pictured with their parents.

Head Girls and MCs for the evening, Christy Benny and Gabija Kaciulyte, make a presentation to Mrs Deirdre McMahon who organised the event to showcase the talent of our International Students and to celebrate the richness they bring to St Catherine’s College.

Saint Catherine’s College Students have a Winning Streak!

Term 2 saw competition success in Coding, Sport, Poetry, Business Studies, Cookery & the Bar Council.

Nearly a thousand pupils from across Northern Ireland filled the Ulster Hall to listen to the students who participated in “Poetry in Motion Schools 2018”. Eight of our pupils were published in the anthology while Rhiannon Reilly was the overall winner in Northern Ireland and was presented with the Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement.  

Well done to our Team of Year 9 students came second in the N.I. Mock Bar Trial competition.  This was a fantastic achievement given the winning team had already participated four times in previous years.  

Congratulations also to our two Super Chefs, Lucia & Aoife, who reached the final in the Mount Charles Big School Cook Off 2018, held in Belfast Met, Titanic Quarter.

St Catherine’s College is celebrating outstanding success in the sports’ field this year with no less than 3 Ulster Titles in Senior C Football, Under 16 B Football and Camogie!

The term ended with the annual candle-lit Prayer Service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. The programme featured music, singing and reflections inspired by the Taizé tradition.

An amazing eight KS3 pupils from St Catherine's College had their poems published in the 'Poetry in Motion' anthology: l/r: Cara McCoubrey, Rhiannon Reilly (individual winner of the Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement), Clara McConville, Megan Haughian, Megan Cairns, Ellie McArdle, Anna Rose Tennyson and Helen McGrane. The girls are pictured here with their English Teacher, Miss K Nesbitt.

Fifteen St. Catherine’s College students participated in the Citizenship Foundation’s Mock Trial Competition in Antrim Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 10th March. Students took on the roles of Prosecuting barristers, Defence barristers, defendants, witnesses, legal advisers and Magistrate judges, competing against other schools from the North of Ireland.

Finalists in The Big School Cook Off 2018 held at Belfast Met, Titanic Quarter, were Super Chefs Lucia & Aoife who represented St Catherine’s College so well.

Pete Snodden, Charity Ambassador and host of Young Enterprise NI ’18, joins St Catherine’s College, winners of the “Social Impact” Award for their company “Footsteps”. Special congratulations to Orla on being named “Entrepreneur of the Future”.

Our French Exchange group 2018 thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Armagh – they were stranded here for an extra 4 days due to a French Air Traffic Controllers’ strike! Our sincere thanks to our 20 Host families who entertained our young visitors from Orléans so well for 12 days! The French students now look forward to hosting our students in lycée St Paul, in October.

Cyber-savvy Students 2nd in U.K.!

Cyber-savvy “Furious Four” Top  in N.I. & 2nd in U.K. in the 2018 CyberFirst Girls’ Competition. The year 9  students, Susannah Conway, Annarose Tennyson, Aoife Tiffney and Molly McNally enjoyed a trip to Buckingham Palace as a reward.

Four students from St Catherine’s College, Armagh are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Buckingham Palace today (Wed 2 May, 2018) after reaching the final of a nationwide codebreaking challenge. The 2018 CyberFirst Girls Competition saw girls aged 12-13 test their sleuthing skills and technological mettle against a series of head-scratching challenges set by masterminds from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ. The Armagh team known as ‘The Furious Four’ had previously seen off over 1,200 other teams before making it as the only NI team in the grand final of 10 teams held in Manchester.

The surprise invitation from The Duke of York to Buckingham Palace will recognise the tremendous efforts of all the finalists. The challenges at the grand final tested the girls’ problem-solving and technological skills as they tracked down a cybercriminal to help decrypt the files of a vlogging ransomware victim, and find hidden clues in the room for points.

Later, the teams pitched their findings to a panel featuring BBC broadcast journalist Steph McGovern, Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth, and Nicky Hudson, NCSC Director for Communications.

Speaking about getting involved in the competition, Head Teacher of Digi Skills

at St Catherine’s College, Armagh, Dr. Caroline Pereira-Lynch, said:

“Our school ethos is about opening up all opportunities for girls and this competition gave us a unique and practical insight into the cyber security industry and helped us learn more about it. We were delighted to make it to the finals as the girls were so eager and worked incredibly hard. To be the top NI school and get a special invitation to Buckingham Palace gives the girls a great sense of achievement.”   

Now in its second year, 4,500 girls entered this year’s CyberFirst Girls competition, which aims to knock down some of the barriers that have resulted in women being so worryingly under-represented in cyber security, where only one in ten of the workforce is female.

Local cyber security company, Cyphra has been working closely with NCSC to get more schools and young people from NI involved in the CyberFirst competitions. Speaking about this year’s participation, Director Conrad Simpson said: 

“The CyberFirst competitions are an important step in giving students an insight into this exciting dynamic industry sector which currently has a skills shortage and can offer a very interesting career pathway. Cyphra are committed to identifying, nurturing and helping start careers in cybersecurity. The girls from St Catherine’s College, Armagh along with all the other schools who entered the competition are trailblazers and I’ve no doubt we will see some of them lead the way as future cyberists. It also shows the value of growing future talent and diversity in the cyber sector”

The competition has seen a highly positive take up on its return, with a 52% rise in the number of schools who registered teams to compete this year..

Recognising the achievements of the ‘Furious Four’, Dr Irene Bell, Chair of Computing at Schools NI (CAS NI) attended a school assembly with Conrad Simpson, Cyphra and presented the pupils with the CyberFirst ‘Top NI Girls Team’ trophy. Speaking she said:

“What you achieved has helped put the next generation of NI cyber and computing talent on the map. You are great ambassadors not only for your school and other girls but for raising the importance of computing and STEM led subjects for everyone”.

The girls also received individual sponsored prizes from Cyphra at the assembly. The overall UK winners of CyberFirst 2018 were the Church of England Piggott School in Berkshire who received £1,000 towards their school’s IT equipment. NCSC have recently published the dates for their CyberFirst free summer courses. Anyone interested in more information on these should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSC website.

Informative Careers’ Forum at St. Catherine’s.

At St Catherine’s College Career Pathways event, representatives from local industry, training, further and higher institutions gave information and advice to GCSE students on a variety of career options.  Staff were delighted to welcome back three past pupils in particular, who are now pursuing apprenticeships at PWC and Greiner Packaging in Dungannon.  Their advice was warmly received by year 12 pupils who were enthusiastic in their pursuit of information, that will help steer their future career pathway. Our thanks to all who gave up their valuable time to ensure the success of this event.

St Catherine’s College Yr12 students enjoyed meeting representatives from 20 organizations at their Careers’ Fair.

PWC representatives at St Catherine’s Careers’ Fair were past pupils Conn Hanna and Jane Mc Cann (school leaver 2017/ PWC apprenticeship programme).

At St Catherine’s College Careers’ Fair, Conn Hanna (PWC) advises pupils from his own alma mater - Sruth na Gaeilge, Coláiste Chaitríona!

Greiner Plastics representatives at St Catherine’s Careers’ Fair were past pupils Aideen O’Neill & Ellen Donnelly (school leaver 2017/ Greiner apprenticeship programme).

Having blood pressure checked at Stroke Association stand at St Catherine’s College Careers’ Fair - pictured helping past pupil, Madeline Donnelly, are Yr11 volunteers Rebecca Fields, Rhianna Arris and Ella Conroy.

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