May 282017

Year 9 pupils participated in a visit to the Ranfurly House Visitor Centre in Dungannon earlier this month, in conjunction with their studies on the Plantations of Ulster. This brought the subject to life for the pupils and allowed them to engage in a visual and interactive way with what we had been learning in the classroom.

They groups enjoyed a tour of the Visitors Centre, question time on the history of the Plantations, the Flight of the Earls and Hugh O’Neill, as well as the highlight, a walk onto the Hill of the O’Neill in the sunshine to see the remains of the fort that stood there 400 years ago.

Some pupils enjoyed the trip so much that they have been back already for a picnic and to take in the views from the top of the hill!

 Posted by on May 28, 2017 at 11:08 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 032017

On 26th and 27th March, 27 pupils (in Year 14) from RSD and St Patrick’s Academy travelled to Dublin as part of their Shared History Programme. Pupils visited Glasnevin Cemetery on the Sunday afternoon and saw the resting place of many giants of Irish history. They then went to Kilmainham Gaol where pupils got to visit the cells of many men and women who were involved with the Easter Rising of 1916. Pupils and staff alike shared dinner together in a restaurant in Dublin on Sunday evening.

Monday began with a walking tour of Dublin where the tour guide brought pupils around key sites of historical importance, especially those with significance in light of the 1916 Rising. The afternoon finished off with a little ‘free time’ where pupils were able to get lunch together before travelling back to school. All in all, the trip was a great success. Pupils developed strong relationships and their understanding of their A Level course was enhanced, as well as further preparing them for the presentation they are doing together in Ranfurly House on 5th April.

 Posted by on April 3, 2017 at 10:57 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 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.

Mar 032017

On Thursday 2nd March, fourteen pupils from our Senior and Junior SU travelled to Raphoe in Donegal, for a Royal Schools Scripture Union event at Royal & Prior School. Students from all five Royal schools were in attendance; Royal & Prior School, Royal School Cavan, Royal School Armagh and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School. We all enjoyed a range of fun games, worship and an inspirational testimony from James Goldie at the event. The food was great too!
All of our SU group had a great time and we are looking forward to the next SU event.

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
Feb 232017

Last month, Year 13 Biology students travelled to Killowen Outdoor Education Centre to participate in a Field Work day. Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to develop their knowledge on the topic ‘Ecology’, which is studied at AS Level.

Students started off their Field Work by carrying out an interrupted belt transect, using quadrats and tape measures, on a rocky shore at Killowen, identifying organisms and noting abiotic and biotic factors which affect the distribution of these organisms. Students also carried out random sampling to estimate the abundance of edible and rough periwinkles.

After lunch, students then travelled a short distance to carry out point sampling on a well-managed hedge so that they could calculate Simpson’s Index, to get a quantitative value for the biodiversity of plant species in this hedgerow.

Despite feeling the effects of the cold weather, the students really enjoyed the day. It was a great opportunity for Year 13 Biologists to participate in this field trip activity, allowing them to develop their skills and improve their knowledge to assist them in their AS Level coursework and studies.

Feb 132017

On Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd of February, Year 10 went to the Ulster Museum with the Art Department. Students went on a gallery tour and saw paintings work by Strickland Lowry, Sir William Orpen, Edward McGuire and Frank Auerbach.

During the gallery tour, students learned more about the technique, style and lifestyles of the aforementioned artists. They studied these styles and attempted to replicate this in their own self portraits during the workshop. After the gallery tour, students visited the True Colours exhibition at the Museum.

Before heading home, all students visited the the Palm House in the Botanic Gardens.  Many photographs were taken of the very unusual and exotic plants, in preparation for a Photoshop project in Art in the forthcoming weeks. They were particularly taken by a giant flowering plant that had a very unusual odour! They all had a great time and they enjoyed it very much.

 Posted by on February 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm