May 012017

TEAM R&D: Team 2 (Pictured left) & Team 1 (on right)

Two groups of four AS Level Physics students were mentored through an engineering research and development problem for the past six months by Mallaghan Engineering.

This challenge was a real life and current engineering problem that Mallaghan are dealing with, that of manufacturing automated rig testing software and machinery. The pupils received the problem at a visit to Mallaghan Engineering and then worked both independently and alongside Sentinus and the University of Ulster to achieve a solid proposal. The scheme culminated at a presentation and assessment day at The Braid Centre in Ballymena, where pupils faced a panel of assessors to present their findings. Pupils then dealt with intricate questions regarding their research at their set up display stand. All pupils received glowing praise both by their assessors on the day and from the link engineer at Mallaghan Engineering, who will take the students’ research on to the next level.

As a result all eight pupils have been awarded the prestigious and internationally recognised Gold Crest Award. The school would like to congratulate them on this excellent achievement.

Team 1: Cameron Mullan, Jono Shrestha, Joel Stewart & Patrick Greeves.

Team 2: Jack Thompson, Adam Irwin, David Saygi & Matthew Scott.


 Posted by on May 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm
Apr 102017

On Thursday 6th April, Year 10 went to Tayto Castle as part of their learning for the Food Safety topic in Food Technology. Pupils had the opportunity to see how the crisps were made, learn about the safety procedures in place and of course sample crisps.

Everyone had a great time- we were kindly treated to some complimentary bags of crisps at the end of our tour and we even got to meet Mr Tayto himself!

Apr 012017

Eighteen Year 13 Geographers went on a field trip to Magilligan Field Centre from 22nd to 24th March. They learned about sand dunes at the Umbra-Magilligan Sand Dune System and fluvial characteristics of the Curly Burn River.

One of our students gives an insight to their recent trip:

“The trip was definitely an unforgettable experience for me! After we all braced ourselves with many layers of warm clothing and waterproof jackets to help retain some heat, we each stepped into a river to observe fluvial characteristics that we had learnt about in class. The icing on the cake was spending two fun evenings, warming up again, watching movies with my classmates that Mr Turner had prepared for us. Miss Montgomery brought snacks for us all which were also devoured!  The field trip was really great.” Sophie Wilson (Yr 13)

 Posted by on April 1, 2017 at 11:22 pm
Mar 182017

On Wednesday 15th March, four Year 11 pupils set off for Riddel Hall at Queen’s University Management School in Belfast. They took part in the final of the Stock Market Investment Challenge, sponsored by Erskine Hill Investments. RSD had successfully reached the final along with five other schools.

The competition consisted of two parts, first the Investment Challenge and second the Presentation & Poster round.

Congratulations go to Katharine Black, Joanne Shaw, Rachel Reid and Chloe Davison (pictured above) who were placed 4th in the Investment Challenge and a very creditable 1st in the Presentation and Poster round.

Well done to each of the girls who were very worthy ambassadors for RSD.

 Posted by on March 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm
Mar 182017

On 15th of March both Sixth Form RE classes (accompanied by Mrs Matthews, Mr Graham and Mrs McClatchey) had the opportunity to spend a day at Queens University Belfast. We experienced an insight into university life and went to two lectures, both applicable to our courses. The first lecture was about Constantine- The first Christian Emperor who changed the relationship between church and state forever. The second was on The Theology of Acts -an opportunity to delve more deeply into Acts. Both lectures were insightful, interesting and will definitely help with our studies. We also got to spend time in Union Theological College where snacks were provided and we were had the opportunity to socialise with other schools. We finished off our day with lunch at Town Square. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day for all!

Report written by Megan Forster.

 Posted by on March 18, 2017 at 11:07 pm
Mar 162017

Rebecca Richardson (Year 13) pictured with Dungannon Rotary Club President Jim Lamb,
upon winning the Youth Leadership Devepment Competition back in November 2016.

“On the 29th January 2017, I embarked on a 5 day ‘experience of a lifetime’ run by Rotary Ireland along with 23 other young people, most of whom I’d never met before. Arriving at the Jury’s Inn in Belfast on that Sunday was honestly one of the most exciting, but terrifying, moments I’ve ever experienced. Upon meeting several other young people, both from Northern Ireland and the Republic, it became clear to me that these people were very educated on politics and current affairs; topics which I was only beginning to dip my toes into. Despite feeling slightly out of my depth to begin with, I can honestly say that by the end of week, I have never felt more at home. The group that I shared this experience with educated me and made me consider so many different points of view, some of which I would never have discovered on my own. For me, this experience was made truly amazing by the people I shared it with, as I met so many people from all parts of Ireland and was looked after so well by our leaders, Sheila, Monica and William.

Our first stop was on the morning of Monday the 30th of January, at the EU offices in Belfast. Here, Karen Morrison, who works at the offices, gave us an insight into her work and allowed us to ask many relevant questions, such as Brexit and the future of Europe. From here, we proceeded on to Stormont. Despite there being no politicians to address us, the tour conducted by our tour guide James, was highly interesting and really showcased the beautiful parliamentary building of Northern Ireland. From Stormont, our next step was the 2 hour journey from Belfast to Dublin, made even longer by our bus breaking down in centre of the Irish capital! Regardless of the slight setback, we managed to make the rest of the way to our hotel on foot, where we prepared to go out once again.

From our hotel, just off O’Connell Street, we made our way to Mansion House Dublin, where we were fortunate enough to meet Deputy Lord Mayor Rebecca Moynihan. For me, this was a massive highlight of the trip, being shown around the beautiful building and meeting such a strong, female, Irish leader, who shared her views on topics ranging from European politics to the American Presidency. Whilst at Mansion house, we were also given an insightful presentation by two Rotarians, Alan Foy and Niamh Mulholland, Mr Foy having been on our trip 15 years ago. Each presentation really focused on the amazing work of Rotary, which hosts many charity events, supports great causes, and involves young people, with ‘Interact’ being for under 18 year olds and ‘Rotaract’ being for those aged 18-30 looking to be involved with Rotary. We were also introduced to another young man, Eoin, who had been on the programme just last year. After informing us on his own personal experience at the European Parliament, he accompanied us to dinner at TGI Fridays… a great end to such a busy day!

The next morning we had a tour of the gorgeous Trinity College by a third year student, Sam, who told us of the many stories and famous alumni of Ireland’s oldest university. From here, dressed in our formal attire, we made our way to Dublin’s European Offices, where we were informed on European affairs and the running of the European government by Harry O’Connor and Anne McEvoy and were even fortunate enough to be greeted by Margethe Vestager, a Danish European Commissioner, who shared her vast knowledge on Europe. It was here that we were all presented with our certificates for winning the Youth Leadership competition by the District Governor of Rotary Ireland Gerry Kierans and the Rotary Foundation Chairman David Murray.

After a busy two days in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it was time for us to make our way to the airport to depart for Germany. We arrived in Frankfurt late on the Tuesday night, but still managed to make time to prepare for our topics of discussion on Thursday. Early the next morning we left Frankfurt and began the 3 hour journey to Strasbourg, on the French-German border. Arriving in the city, the beauty of the area was evident straight away and the time we got to spend in the city exploring, taking photos and trying new foods are my most prominent memories from the trip. Despite the cold temperatures and temporary loss of feeling in my toes, the tour we received from a local man was entertaining, intriguing and definitely worth braving the elements for! That night, in our groups, we worked extremely hard, putting the final touches to our debates and answering questions from the rest of the group.

After the late night of studying and the early rise for parliament the next day, it’s safe to say the group was extremely tired, yet extremely prepared for a day of discussion ahead. We arrived at the European Parliament and were introduced by some of the staff who worked there, giving us a run down for the Euroscola event. Immediately, the Irish delegation began integrating with other young people from different countries across Europe, getting to know one another and discovering different cultural traits. After a video conference with French MEP Edouard Martin, each delegation had the opportunity to present itself to the hemisphere, offering culturally rich and entertaining presentations. Then we got into groups based on the topics we were assigned, which, for me, was one of the most educational parts of the trip, as I not only learned from the rest of the Irish group, but I also learned a range of knowledge from young people from all over Europe… at one stage attempting to speak with the Spaniards in their native tongue! The day was topped off by discovering that all six possible spokespersons were filled by the Irish delegation, the only downside being that the rest of the Irish were avoided by the speaker when questions were opened to the floor. The day at the European Parliament in Strasbourg was truly amazing and I have never been so proud to be a part of such a hard-working and diligent group.

Our last meal together rounded off our trip beautifully, sending us home with amazing memories and even more amazing friends. I cannot thank Rotary Ireland enough, including my local Rotary Club of Dungannon, as they have supported me every step of the way and believed in me even when I doubted myself. This truly was ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’ that shaped me greatly and one that I will look back on with such pride in years to come.”

Mar 072017

On Monday 13th February, Year 10 visited the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards with the History Department, as part of their World War I topic.

Pupils had the opportunity to handle historic weapons, try on uniforms and even walk through a replica trench. Overall Year 10 had a great time at the centre and learned a lot from the experience.

Feb 282017

On Tuesday 28th February, pupils studying Chemistry and Biology in Years 11 and 12 participated in a Crime Scene Investigation workshop in the Lower Campus. Pupils had a chance to solve their own murder mystery whilst learning about the stages involved in doing so.

The day was highly informative and students were able to gain a real insight into the CSI line of work through interactive tasks. Each task pieced together to solve a real-life crime case, giving pupils the opportunity to dip into the world of a detective or police officer to help them see if that’s what they wish to do as a career.

“The activity was based on a real life murder case, which occurred many years ago in Australia. Pupils had to find and examine replicas of evidence found at the scene of the crime, which were set up in stations for the pupils to tour around. Pupils then tried and come to a conclusion about how the murder took place and who was the killer. It was a very interesting and different experience for the pupils involved; everyone really enjoyed it!” Katrina Cairns, Year 12

Feb 262017


Art and Design GCSE and A Level pupils at RSD visited the Ulster Museum in Belfast this month to view the CEA True Colours art exhibition. This annual exhibition presents some of the best art work created by GSCE and A-level art students across Northern Ireland, from the previous year.

Our students look forward to this exhibition, taking inspiration from some of the work on display. Pupils were able to see a large variety of styles and themes from a number of different local schools, gaining valuable insight into the exam board’s preferred techniques when creating their own art work. Moreover, the pupils looked carefully at how the displayed work was presented, the artists researched, media used and how this could inspire their own work.

The trip proved a great success and was very popular among the students. Hopefully many students can make use of what they learned from the trip, in their own ongoing Art projects. Our thanks go to Mrs Clingan and Mrs Best for organising the event.

Feb 262017

Year 14 Biologists went on a field trip to Greenmount on Friday 27th January to look at dairy farming, horticulture and waste disposal among many other things.

Two of our Biology students have given their views on the recent trip:

“I felt that the field trip was very informative and interesting. Examples of environmental control methods were shown to us and how they were included into the grounds of the campus. It was also very good to see the farm management aspects of the campus and how they operate for milking of the different dairy herds.”
Callum Ferguson (Yr 14)

‘During the field trip, we were given a lot of information about Greenmount, their aims and goals in the future, through a presentation. Then we were brought to a greenhouse where they explained how they control the temperature, water availability and light intensity to grow plants in any season, and how they maximise the yield. It was fascinating and interesting to know how they combined technology and agriculture to manage the “weather” in the greenhouse.
We were then brought outside to study ecology based information. They also told us what they did to protect the environment and increase species richness. For example, they wouldn’t remove trees that fall but instead just leave it there and allow fungus or other species to grow within it, hence increasing biodiversity. In conclusion, I found the field trip really useful; especially for ecology aspects and also new information that I had never come in contact with. It was also a good opportunity to spend some quality time with my classmates.”
Geoffrey Cheng (Yr 14)

 Posted by on February 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm