Nov 292017

On Thursday 16th November, the five Royal Schools participated in the annual 1608 Royal Schools Debating Competition. The competition was hosted this year by Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

Our Year 13 team performed very well missing out on the semi finals by a mere 2 points! Abbie Ballantine, Dion Di Maio, Robyn Talbot and Joseph Hamill debated motions on online privacy and the controversial nature of historical monuments.

Overall, the debates proved to be a major success, and were thoroughly enjoyed by those involved.

 Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 11:36 pm
Nov 292017

Photographs above were taken during a Debating Society event held on Friday 24th November. Pupils debated the motion ‘this house believes that bullying is a bigger issue now than ever before’. There was great discussion on the impact of cyber bullying in today’s society due to social media and the impact of this on mental health among many other things.

The motion was defeated by a narrow margin, due to convincing arguments from the opposition; pupils were of the opinion that there is much more help available today (both inside and outside of school) to help deal with the issue. The proposition did raise some shocking facts regarding statistics on cyber bullying and its impact.

Lots of questions from the floor made for a very interesting lunch time and well thought through arguments on both sides.

 Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm
Nov 292017

On Friday 17th November 2017, the whole school took part in fundraising for the charity Children in Need. In RSD tradition, the whole school was dressed in non-uniform, with the charities committee holding a bun sale at break and lunch for fundraising. The buns went down a treat, with an incredible £784 raised for the charity! Well done everyone.

 Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm
Nov 292017

Above photographs were taken during a recent Hockey match against local rivals, Drumglass High School. It was a perfect autumnal afternoon for the match, it was chilly but dry with lovely light; our girls played brilliantly securing a 2-0 win for the team. Goals were scored by Ellie Wilkinson and Emily Welton.

Well done girls, great achievement!

 Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 10:37 pm
Nov 282017

Emily Carson (Year 13) pictured recieving her prize from Rotarians: Barbara Cuddy, Hugh Finnegan and Jackie Campbell

On 21st November, Emily Carson in Year 13 represented Dungannon Rotary Club at the regional finals of the Rotary Youth Leadership Competition held in Ranfurly House at the Hill of the O’Neill. At this stage of the competition, participants were required to undergo a rigorous interview on topics including leadership qualities, environmental issues and current European policies. A wide range of Rotary Clubs from all over Ireland had candidates taking part in the competition, including Sligo, Monaghan and Enniskillen.

Alongside strong and fiercely competitive opposition, Emily remained calm throughout the process which resulted her being recognised as one of the three winners of the competition. As part of her prize Emily has won a place at the highly esteemed Euroscola, Strasbourg, where she will be debating current issues with other young delegates from all over Europe in February 2018.

This is the second consecutive year that RSD has been represented at the Euroscola, with Emily following Rebecca Richardson’s success at last year’s prestigious competition.

Well done, Emily!

 Posted by on November 28, 2017 at 11:06 pm
Nov 232017

RSD Girls’ Football Team travelled to Omagh yesterday to take part in the NISFA 11 aside Regional Cup. They beat Devenish College 1-0 in their first match, with the goal scored by Hollie Abernethy, Year 10.

The team played Holycross B team next but unfortunately lost 1-0 in a really close game. Our last match was against Holycross A team. The girls drew 0-0 in an excellent match.

Our team of girls displayed both great talent and promise and we wish them well in future matches. Well done!

Team pictured above (Back row, left to right: Ellie Khan Yr 9, Katie Browne, Katie Hudson, Kasia Caddoo and Holly Henderson all Yr 11, Cassie Parr, Yr 9, Jessica McClung, Shana Murphy and Chloe McCaughey all Yr 10. Front Row: Sophie Khan and Ellie Greenaway Yr 11, Emma-Jane Orr and Hollie Abernethy Yr 10, Rebecca Willis and Abbie Hampton Yr 9)

 Posted by on November 23, 2017 at 12:20 am
Nov 172017

Two teams of four Year 11 pupils represented RSD at the Young Enterprise Challenge event held at South West College on Tuesday 14th November.  Their challenge was to come up with an innovative lunch box designed primarily for school children.  They had to make a prototype, design a marketing poster and make a pitch to the judging panel.  One team came up with an idea they called ‘Flap Attack’ which was a lunch box with a magnetic flap that also served as a snack tray instead of a zip.  The other team named their idea ‘Lunch Well’ as their circular lunch container had coloured containers based on the Eat Well guide to ensure lunch contents fulfilled the recommended guidelines of fruit, protein, dairy, etc.  Both teams had a great opportunity on the day to test their communication, team work and entrepreneurial skills and the judging panel gave positive feedback on each idea.

Team: Flap Attack

Zara Chambers
Toni Montgomery
Jessica Jardine
Rebecca McCaul

Team: Lunch Well

Josh Graham
Toby Lau
Dylan Lewis
Jordan Moore


 Posted by on November 17, 2017 at 11:41 pm
Nov 172017

Students and staff met at lunchtime on Tuesday this week, to spread a very powerful visual anti-bullying message during Anti-Bullying Week. Finger prints were used with a personal message to convey courage, strength and positivity.

“All different, all equal”

Many students and staff gave up their time to support this important message and our Year 13 students acted as superb ambassadors for both Ant-Bullying and the Safer School Team. Many thanks go to our team for their excellent work so far and continued commitment to this over the coming weeks.

Well done!

 Posted by on November 17, 2017 at 11:06 am
Nov 142017

This year’s school production of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ transported audiences back to America’s Mid-West in the 1840’s, where all enjoyed the tale of young, troublesome Tom Sawyer growing up along the Mississippi river for three nights from 9th-11th of November 2017.

The story begins by introducing the intriguing characters of the town, all of whom have their own individual quirks and characteristics. We meet a gaggle of gossiping middle-aged woman, comprised of Mrs Thatcher, Mrs Harper and Widow Douglas, mothers of some of the rebellious youngsters of the town, expertly portrayed by Sophie Older, Hannah Ferguson and Laura Saunders, as well as the local school teacher Walter Potter –played by David Saygi- and his love interest Mary Rogers –played by Lauren Boyd. However, the plot thickens immensely upon realising that Doctor Robinson –portrayed by Owen Rea- is also in love with Mary and will do anything possible to spoil Walter’s chances with her. The deceptive ‘Doc’ pays Injun Joe –the antagonist of the play, performed by Stephen Black – to keep Walter’s father, Muff Potter – played by Peter McClements – inebriated so as to disgrace the teacher and ruin his chances with young Mary, allowing the Doctor to take the lead. However, Joe, being the ruffian that he is, demands more money from the Dr. who refuses, threatens to put him in prison and thus ends their agreement. Sinisterly, Joe vows revenge, foreshadowing what is soon to come.

Meanwhile Aunt Polly –played by Dion Di Maio- punishes her nephew Tom Sawyer, the eponymous protagonist of the drama, performed by Bebhinn Elliot-Murphy, for skipping school, making him whitewash a fence to discipline him. However, Tom cleverly manipulates his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He has a flirtatious interaction with Becky Thatcher –portrayed by Sarah Boyd- and the two children comically decide to get “engaged”, but all falls to pieces when Tom lets slip that he’s been “engaged” before to Amy Lawrence, played by Cherith Robinson. After Becky shuns Tom, he arranges to sneak out with Huckleberry Finn, portrayed by Aimee Johnston, to the graveyard where they stumble upon the murder of young Dr Robinson by the evil Injun Joe, who will soon blame Walter’s father Muff potter, a hapless drunk, for the crime. A comic interlude then ensues in the schoolroom, where a disastrous spelling recital involving Ben Rogers (Ellie Curry), Gracie Miller (Kamile Grydziusko) and Alfred Temple (Zara McDermott), alongside Tom and co. Similarly, Judge Thatcher (Justin Lam), an honoured guest in town, has the dubious honour of presenting the school merit medal to the undeserving Tom. Our hero has managed to gain ‘yellow tickets for the medal using his charm and wit, but his lack of academic knowledge is soon comically exposed. However, the scene ends with the shocking discovery of Dr Robinson’s body being announced. Terrified, the two young boys swear a blood oath to never to tell anyone about the horrific event they have just witnessed. The small Missouri town is jarred on hearing of the doctor’s death and with Muff Potter being blamed instead of Joe, Tom and Huck are racked with guilt, deciding that running away is their only option, and so they flee with Tom’s best friend in tow, Joe Harper –played by Catherine Boyd- and become pirates on Jackson’s Island on the Mississippi River.

The discovery of their disappearance and some evidence found on the banks of the river, lead the town to believe the trio are dead, prompting an emotive scene involving Aunt Polly and the other mothers, relatives and guardians of the boys. We also witness some humorous scolding of the Rev Sprague (played by Robin Kirk) by Mrs Douglas (Laura Saunders), when he suggests Huckleberry Finn will not join the other two boys in heaven. However, the meddling Tom, not being far away from his hometown, returns that night to hear that his funeral will be held the next day and is suddenly struck with the comedic idea of appearing at his own funeral, surprising everyone. As the boys prepare for their return home the following day, they discover Muff Potter near their hide out, running from the law and his unjust charge. The boys and Muff sleep, ready for their homecoming, however trouble lurks ever closer and Injun Joe arrives on the scene, tricking Muff into return to the town with him in order to claim the reward set for Muff’s retrieval.

The boys, on waking and being unable to locate Muff, arrive promptly back in town while their funerals are in full swing. Lurking out of sight, they observe the grieving town for a few moments, beginning to see that their lives in their small-town homes weren’t so bad. On making themselves known when the mourners exit the church, there is jubilation for the boys’ safe return. However, the frantic joy is soon disturbed by a grapple between the men of the town, who want to inflict summary justice upon Muff Potter, and execute him for the murder he committed, without an official trial. Tom and Huck, finally deciding to break their impulsive oath, speak up and tell the townspeople all they saw that fateful night. Injun Joe, now a known criminal, attempts to flee, but is stopped short by Sheriff Jones- played by Dylan Mason. The town, overcome with happiness at the prospect of having their boys back, celebrate, prompting the young trouble makers to come home, giving up their dreams of becoming pirates once and for all.

The show was a huge success for all those involved. The gifted cast was guided skilfully by Mr McDowell and Mr McGuinness, creating a quality and superb show that made the Assembly Hall come alive for three nights. The production, as always, would not have been such a success without the incredible teamwork of the Costume Committee, the talented hair and make-up team and the committed backstage team –run by sixth-form pupils, who were involved in painting, construction of props and various necessary tasks, long before the actual nights of the performance. Congratulations to all staff and students involved in another amazing production!

Reporters: Laura Anderson and Rebecca Richardson (both Year 14)

Nov 142017

Arianne Ferran, Year 9

Huge congratulations go to Arianne Ferran Year 9 (pictured) who attended a prize giving ceremony at the City Hall, Belfast yesterday after coming runner up in the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) Creative Arts Competition, which had 2187 entries in total! Everyone at RSD is very proud of her achievement.

Celebrations for Anti-bullying Week (13th-17th November) are also already well under way in RSD. It started a week early with PSNI’s Constable Sue Wright talking to Year 9 and Year 10 about the negative effects of bullying and she will return throughout the month of November to lead discussion during Year 8 Form Tutor periods. The Safer School Team, made up of Year 13 pupils, led assembly this morning and will continue their efforts, working with Year 8 Form Tutor groups over the coming weeks. They will also host a whole school drop-in session along with a school debate open to all year groups. The Safer School Team will themselves receive training from NIABF at the end of November. A busy month for all but well worth it. Keep up to date with all things pastoral at RSD following RSD Pastoral Facebook page or @RSDPastoral twitter feed.

 Posted by on November 14, 2017 at 11:06 pm