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Boarding Christmas Dinner 2023

At the start of this December, the long tradition of RSD boarding dinner was once again hosted. It was a great night packed with boarding, teachers and staff.

The night started off with a traditional Christmas meal, a feast of turkey. Not only was the main dish gorgeous, the desserts were also a work of art. A big thank you to our team kitchen staff for their hard efforts.

After dinner was a talent show from the boarders. Firstly, we had a performance from our first ever boarding orchestra. It was of a talented bunch of musicians presenting the piece “Joy to The World”.

The second show was a production featuring an impersonation of our very own Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Watterson, and Mr. Black Jr. It was a great success that was well received by everyone

A round of games was next on the programme. It was of a concept of elimination, made up of a total of 5 rounds. The first round was a game of Mr Wolf, followed by tug of war, musical chairs, tangrams and a game of marbles. The winner of the contest was our very own Head of boarding – Miss Winslow.

Certificates for the year and a funny kahoot followed. And the night finished off with an emotional video to recap memories featuring the leavers of 2024 and the photos from the past year.

Once again a big thank you to everyone that made the night possible.

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Celebrating Success | Swim Ulster Minors Championship

Thanks and congratulations to our 4 Year 8 pupils who represented the school in swimming so admirably at The Swim Ulster Minors Championships. Mia Ruddy, Harry Davidson and Olivia Watt all outperformed their entry times and set new pbs individually. Particular congratulations to Alex Pokorna who also set new pbs and qualified to represent RSD at the Irish Minor Schools Championships in Dublin in March and narrowly missed the 50m back crawl final. Well done everyone!

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Learn Spark | Year 12

As the Year 12 Mock Examinations loom we invited Maria from Learn Spark in to work alongside Year 12 pupils to encourage and motivate them to not only put good effort into their revision but also to direct them to methods that are most effective and time efficient for them individually.
In this event they were challenged to think about ways to revise which are in tune with the complexities of GCSE. Year 12 were also asked to reflect on grades achieved in Year 11 modules, ‘what worked, what didn’t?’ and to make those experiences, negative or positive, count. Pupils were also asked to think about daily habits that could be significantly undermining good study habits. One of these was, of course, mobile phones. When pupils checked their screen time through ‘settings’ even they were alarmed at the amount of screen time per day they clocked up which amounted to 8 or 9 hours per day on average for some. Given that a fair proportion of the day is spent in class where they cannot access phones this is an incredible amount. Perhaps a moment for a Pause for Thought, both for parents and pupils?
Pupils were also given a QR code (in the booklet provided) with access to study schedules that can be used to plan each week and exam revision schedules. There are also links to over 20 blank resources that pupils can trial to break notes down in a manner that initiates and integrates learning at the same time. The idea is that pupils try a range and see which works best for them and in the variety of subjects that they study as they prepare for End of Topic Tests and work towards mock exams and CCEA units.
Hopefully the course (which was fully funded by RSD) has helped to set pupils on the correct track from the start of Year 11 so that they can work towards their best goals and indeed achieve them in the most positive manner. #BeYourBestSelf #perseverando
Thanks to Learn Spark for working alongside our pupils!

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A talk from Logos Ministries International

It was a delight to welcome back past pupil Matthew Winning to RSD. As part of his work with LMI (Logos Ministries International). On 7th December, Matthew spoke to the Sixth Form pupils on the topics: Modern Day Persecution and Why does God Allow Suffering? The pupils found the sessions both informative and beneficial in their R.E. studies and would like to thank LMI for taking the time to share their knowledge and expertise with them.

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Ignite with Inspire NI

On Tuesday, RSD hosted Inspire Education who led our Year 8 pupils in their “Ignite” study skills programme. This provided the pupils with lots of helpful and practical tips on how to begin their journey in “big school” when it comes to preparing for examinations. On the same evening, it was great to see so many Year 8 parents come out to hear how they can support their children and to learn how to promote good learning and study habits. A big thank you to Shane from Inspire who led both sessions throughout the day.

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