Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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16/09/2009 SENIOR PRIZEGIVING AT LORETO COLLEGE COLERAINE

The annual Senior Prizegiving took place at Loreto College Coleraine on the evening of Wednesday 16th September 2009, recognising the academic and personal achievements of the College’s senior students, including those who left the school in June 2009.

The guest speaker at the event was Mr Rex Humphrey, MBE. In an inspiring and interesting address, Mr Humphrey said:

“It is a great privilege to be asked to speak to you this evening.

“The message I want to get across is that, You can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be, provided you want it badly enough.

“If you want it enough then you will put in the work and the commitment to achieve your goal.

“The only think which can hold you back is YOU.

“You are attending one of the top Grammar Schools in the Province, the fact that you are here means you have above-average intelligence so it is up to you to make the most of it while you have the chance.

“Not everyone does.

“I left school at 15 with very little formal education. 

“After leaving primary school I went to the Boys Secondary School for two years and then to the Technical College, both good schools, they tried hard to give me an education, I was intelligent and had a good brain but I was not interested and I wasted my time and the time of my teachers.

“At 15 I went to work on our small family farm as a farm labourer.  At that time farming was not the high-tech, mechanised, computerised industry it is today.  My main job was cleaning out the animals and spreading farmyard manure on the fields.  Not very inspiring work.

“I was not at this very long before I realised my mistake at not making more of an effort to get an education.

“I started going to night class at The Tech, doing woodwork, metal work, English, French, Art, and I was still going to night classes when I was 40 years old.

“This helped a lot but it was no substitute for a good schooling in the early years.

“After 10 years on the farm I hurt my back very seriously, to such an extent that I could no longer do heavy manual labour.

“All I knew was farming and I was fortunate to get a job selling animal feed, fertiliser and seed to farmers.

“I did this for 5 years and I discovered I was very good at it.

“After 5 years I decided I could do this for myself and I started my first business selling fertiliser and seed to the same customers, only this time for my own Company.  I was able to do this because a local bank manager gave me a £2,000 overdraft unsecured.

“This was 1975    £2000 then was equivalent to £50,000 plus today.

“Not many bank mangers today would have the power and authority to do that.

“Again I discovered I was good at running a business and over the next 30 years I started up or rescued from bankruptcy many companies.  I would start them up, run them for 6 or 7 years and then sell them on, and I got involved in an amazing range of businesses all of which I knew nothing about at the time of bought them.

“One such company was Nicobrand.

“It was a small Company which made Pesticides from Nicotine because that’s what nicotine is.  A natural pesticide produced by the tobacco plant to stop bugs from eating the leaf.

“The person who first thought of rolling the leaf into a tube, sticking it into his mouth and setting fire to it must have been a seriously warped individual.

“The Company was about to close, it was down to one part-time worker and the owner who was 72 years of age.

“I bought it to see what, if anything, would be resurrected.

“That was 1982.  Little did I know that the smoking cessation industry would be conceived in 1983 when we got our first enquiry for a pure form of Nicotine.

“That was the start of our journey into the Pharmaceutical Industry.

“One important lesson I learned was that you can not build a business on your own.

“My wife was the first to join me in 1976, she knew about book keeping and office practice, and I employed other skills as the need arose.

“When we acquired Nicobrand I quickly realised that I would need people with knowledge of chemistry and the sciences.  We employed some young people straight out of University and some experienced people who brought with them the knowledge and disciples of big industry.

“To distil 27 years into a few sentences: Nicobrand is now a world leader in Anti-Smoking Technology.  We employ 25 highly skilled, highly motivated young people (one or two oldies as well!), all with science degrees of one type or another. 

“We make the API, that is the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for Nicotine Gum, Nicotine Patches, Nicotine Sprays and a plethora of other Anti-Smoking products.

“Our big market in the 90’s was the USA but now we sell all over Europe and Scandinavia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia.  We are talking to potential customers in Iran, Columbia, Brazil.

“I spent 122 days last year travelling and my marriage so far has survived it.

“I no longer own the Company, I sold out in 1998 but they kept me on because of my knowledge  of the Industry and maybe because of my management and selling skills, but I will have to hang up my order book soon.

“Nicobrand was my introduction to the fascinating world of science and the realisation that science is the fountain from which all innovation, invention and discovery flows.

“Every industry depends on Science whether it is food and farming, heavy manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical, even right down to the clothes we wear and the shoes on our feet.

“Scientists invent them, Scientists develop them, and scientists design the equipment to make them.

“Without science and scientists we would still be living in the stone age.

“That is where you young people are so fortunate to be attending a school which is a recognised centre of excellence in the science subjects and that is why we, as a Company, were pleased to support the College in your bid to become a Specialist School.

“We recognise the need for such centres of excellence, and we recognise the need to encourage young people to make a career in the sciences.  We need people like you in the future.

“I come back to where I started – you can be whatever you want to be, provided you want it badly enough.

“The only think that can hold you back is the breadth of your vision and the limits of your ambition.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.  But you have to dream it first.

“My time is running out but I want to leave you with a true story.

“You will have heard of the Eden Project in Cornwall, some of you may even have visited it.  If not, I strongly recommend it.

“The original idea came from a man called Tim Smit, he had been instrumental in assisting in restoring the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.

“He wanted to show the dependence of man on plants.

“He needed a site that would take gigantic green-houses tall enough for rain forest trees and big enough to show the bio-diversity of the sun-baked landscapes and anything in between.

“He put together a team of scientists, architects, designers, engineers and a group of students.

“As the project developed, every now and again they hit a major problem, a problem to which the experts could not find a solution. 

“At times like this Tim Smit would say, Give the problem to the young people.  No-one has told them that it is impossible.  And in every case a viable solution was found by the students.

“For you, Nothing is impossible.  You, in your working life, will solve problems and find solutions that today are still considered the impossible.

“My generation has taken our world to the brink of disaster, it will be the task of your generation to find the way back.

“There are major problems to be solved, new and innovative solutions to be found to reduce carbon emission, to reduce greenhouses gases and, most of all, to feed the world population without destroying the world in the process.

“Big solutions need big minds, minds which are not restricted by convention and precedent.

“We need young imaginations which are open, agile, fertile, even a little arrogant.

“This world and the generations yet unborn need you.

“You must expose yourself to the opportunities, the challenges, and maybe some disappointments, but most of all the thrill and satisfaction of finding the solutions.

“It is your world.

“You must save it.”

Paying tribute to Mr Humphrey for this profoundly motivational speech, Mr Brian Lenehan, Principal of Loreto College, continued:

“Ladies and gentlemen we are indebted to Mr Humphrey for the support he has given to the College, for accommodating the links we have established with his plant and of course his presence here this evening as our guest.

“I would like to develop the theme that Mr Humphrey has just spoken to you about from an educational perspective because I feel that it is something immensely important, something that will define our future prosperity, our future well-being and our future place in a rapidly changing world.  I am talking about the place of STEM in our education system. STEM,   S-T-E-M stands from science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  The College was awarded Specialist School status in April 2007 by the Department of Education and Mr Humphrey generously supported us in acquiring Specialist status.  The curricular area we chose for our Specialist status was Science, with closely related subjects mathematics and technology and English.  Although these were our focus we hope that all curricular areas in the school have benefited in a variety of ways including sharing good practice; focusing on classroom teaching and learning; identifying individual pupils or small groups for extra assistance whether very able or struggling somewhat; additional financial resources and classroom resources such as the powerful interactive teaching tools that ICT now provides.  On way or another we hope the whole school has benefited as well as our link schools and community organisations.  And we would be very confident that that is the case.

“Yet the central importance of STEM subjects is not reflected in the health and well-being of these subjects in our education system.  The number of pupils taking STEM subjects to “A” Level has dropped dramatically over the last 25 years.  This in turn has fed into universities where chemistry, physics and mathematics departments up and down the country have contracted sharply, in many cases closing and to world leading engineering firms like Rolls Royce having to recruit engineers from abroad.

“Last year India produced 5 million graduates.  In the last 20 years over one billion extra workers have been recruited in India and China.  These figures illustrate the scale of the competition from emerging economies. Fifty years ago the international division of labour was still largely defined in terms of the Developing world providing low-cost, low value raw materials for the Developed World.  The Developed world, largely wealthy, western democracies, took these raw materials, processed them, added value and exported the manufactured products back to the Developing Countries.  It is not difficult to see how such a system would have perpetuated the status quo of rich and poor, haves and have nots.  But the mass emigration of people, cultures and ideas, made possible by a revolution in travel and communications, together with the expansion of free and fairer trade and the most basic human instinct to seek a better and more comfortable life has changed that forever.  We live in a global economy, a global village, we are told, where we are more interdependent than ever before.

“So what you may ask is the link between my observations on the status of STEM subjects in our education system and the emergence of a global economy – a new and changing order in the world?

“Fifty years ago the UK had a significant manufacturing, industrial base accounting for approximately 50% of its economy.  Making products, selling and exporting them is wealth creating.  In contrast, the service sector was relatively small, accounting for approximately 42% of the economy.  The service sector consumes wealth.  Over that period of time however manufacturing has declined to approximately 20% while the service sector has expanded to approximately 65%.  In short we are making less and consuming more.  Manufacturing jobs have gone abroad to countries like India, China and Eastern European countries where labour costs are significantly more competitive and where there are large pools of labour.  These countries have risen to the challenges and opportunities that more open world trade has brought, investing heavily in education and training.

“Northern Ireland provides us with an excellent example of this reversal in fortunes in microcosm.  Up until the 1960s the economy here was based squarely on manufacturing – it was a manufacturing and science based economy.  Harland and Wolffe, the ship builders of the world, engineering, textiles and aerospace were the backbone of the economy, all were leading edge industries in their time.  They were also industries that developed and grew to become world renowned largely from indigenous sources and entrepreneurship.  In its hayday, Harland and Wolffe employed 55,000, yes 55,000, 1½ times the entire population of Coleraine.  The company could design, engineer and build ships from start to finish.  Apart from the steel, practically everything that went into a ship could be made here in Northern Ireland.  During the 2nd world war Harland and Wolffe were launching a ship every week.  And their vessels were innovative market leaders – ships like the Titanic, the Ark Royal, The Canberra and Sea Quest are or were household names.  These were  vessels ahead of their time and from which other ship builders abroad, destined to become Harland and Wolffe’s competitors in the future, learned so much.  It is not surprising therefore that Harland and Wolffe became known as the “Shipbuilders of the World”.

“Similarly, Northern Ireland’s textile industry exported, high quality linen, carpets and textiles all over the world.  Its textile engineering plants designed and built the ever sophisticated textile machinery, itself exported the world over.  Again, like shipbuilding, it was a mass employer and generated a multitude of spin-off and service industries, all indigenous to Northern Ireland.

“In the aerospace industry, originally Shorts and Harland, we see similar industrial characteristics, - innovation, high technology, and exports world wide.  Products like the Skyvan aircraft, the Belfast aircraft, the Rapier anti-aircraft missile system, the vertical take-off jet and the aircraft ejector seat were among world beating products in their time.

“Quite apart from the innovation, the world export markets and the quality of science and engineering that was common to these industries, what was truly remarkable about these industries is that they were largely indigenous to Northern Ireland.  The combination of local entrepreneurship and skills made them world beaters.  As competition from abroad increased particularly from developing countries where labour costs and investment in new technology were highly advantageous, our industries here could simple not compete.  And during the 60s and 70s as our traditional industries declined we saw the first of the big multinationals begin to dominate the economy here.  Synthetic fibre plants owned by British Enkelon and Monsanto; plants owned by Good Year and Michelin and in the last 15-20 years high technology plants owned by Intel and Seagate came to dominate the industrial landscape.  These companies were the very opposite of the old industries.  Yes, they provided mass employment but they were not indigenous, they were multinationals, part of the growing and rapid movement towards globalisation.  They would locate where and when the conditions were right to maximise profits and satisfy shareholders and could move out just as quickly as they had moved in to satisfy these demands.

“The UK as a whole had a similar employment structure based firmly on manufacturing.  In 1955 manufacturing accounted for 50% of the economy in the UK; in 1971 it was 33%; in 1995 it was 23%; today it is approximately 20%.  The manufactured goods that Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain made and exported all over the world are now made all over the world and imported.

“The demise of manufacturing is directly correlated with the growth in the service sector – public services, education, health, social services, tourism and financial services.  Yes, services like education and health invest in the quality of young people and others for the future but at the “chalk-face” these consume wealth.  And the growth of the financial sector in Britain – banking, insurance, stocks and shares – has brought into sharp focus just how vulnerable the country has been to the present financial crisis we are living through.  Two decades of growing dependence for economic growth on financial services has come to a shuddering halt.  Likewise two decades of growing dependence for economic growth on the property and construction industries in the south has come to a shuddering halt.  Here in Northern Ireland the public sector now accounts for approximately 70% of the economy.  We are largely financed by taxpayers money and one has to ask how long the government in Westminster will finance this state of affairs.

“There is a growing realisation that out of the present grave economic circumstances we are now in there is in fact a great opportunity, an opportunity to rebalance and restructure the economy where the manufacturing base is given far greater importance, where entrepreneurship is nurtured and rewarded and where there is a cultural change in our attitude to manufacturing and engineering.  One of the ironies is that we are very good at producing high calibre people for the professions, doctors, lawyers, teachers, civil servants, but not so good at producing high quality people with entrepreneurial skills.  A second irony is that by 2011 the UK will be spending approximately £4 billion on scientific research.  We still retain an enviable capacity for innovation, design and research and development.  But we need a much greater targeting of resources to retain the manufacturing of the products that stem from this considerable brain power at home, because too often in the past these products and individuals have been lost to manufacturing abroad.  These resources need to be targeted at anchoring not only our existing manufacturing base but in investing in new and innovative technologies in industries like energy production, low carbon transportation, engineering and computer technology.  And I’m sure that Mr Humphrey would agree that investment in people, technology and product design is the single most important factor in sustaining a business and staying ahead of the competition.  In Northern Ireland particularly we need a cultural change based on the realisation that producing things and selling them is what creates the wealth for public and other services.

“So why this emphasis tonight ladies and gentlemen?  Well we have seen starkly how a bloated financial/services sector, property sector and reliance on multinationals has exposed our vulnerability in times of economic recession and slowdowns.  It isn’t difficult to see in the present circumstances how social unrest resulting from unemployment and property repossession could threaten political instability.  The government at last, after years of allowing decline in these vitally important curricular subjects, is now supporting STEM subjects (sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics) and as a Specialist school where science was the curricular area supporting our bid as a Specialist School we are delighted to be part of this initiative and strong in it.  We are also delighted to have present this evening a local entrepreneur and science-based industrialist who firmly believes that despite the present economic circumstances there are still many opportunities for ingenuous businesses out there and when recovery comes we need to be in a strong position to maximise these opportunities.  We need to retain our best young people, those with the knowledge, skills and adaptability that are vital to any society’s success and well-being.  We need to promote and reward leadership skills and promote a culture of life-long-learning for our young people who will continually need to retrain and re-skill.  And we need a cultural change in our attitudes toward industry, engineering, manufacturing and entrepreneurship that will reshape our future economy sustainability.

“We have had a particular reason for our focus on STEM subjects this evening.  But of course the school’s curriculum is much, much broader than this group of subjects.  Whether our students are studying STEM subjects, humanities, languages, arts etc, in whatever combination the challenge for us is to create the best possible opportunities for all our students and challenge them to be the best they can.  Being the best they can also means challenging our students to be “agents of social change”, confronting injustice, inequality, prejudice and standing up for the marginalised and disadvantaged.  As future leaders, decision-makers and people of influence I am sure our pupils will not shy away from these challenges and I will return to this challenge again a little later on.”

Mr Lenehan went on to give a summary of the events and achievements of the academic year 2008-2009 at Loreto College.

“I would like now to turn to the events and achievements of our students, their teachers and staff members over the last academic year.

“We provide a great range of sport, extra-curricular activities and opportunities for pupils to participate in the wider life of the College.  We firmly believe that wider participation complements the academic life of the school, helping to develop the many different attributes of our students.  With so many students giving generously of their time to give back to the College we are blessed with a great richness and variety.

“In Gaelic games teams competed in the Faul, the Ennis and the Nolan Cups, captained by Dermot Morrow, Liam McGoldrick and Colm McGoldrick respectively.  Hearts were broken when the senior Herald Cup team were narrowly beaten in the final by the team that was the All-Ireland winners in the same competition.  In hurling the College was represented in the Casement Cup, the McGreevy Cup, the Kirk Cup and the McFarland Cup, each captained by Colm McGoldrick, Brendan McKillop/Seamus McAllister, James McLister and John McLister respectively.

“Not to be outdone, Senior and Junior teams also competed in Ulster Colleges’ camogie where the junior camógs, captained by Claire McAtamney, had a wonderful tournament taking a well-deserved place in the final of the Liatroim Fontenoy Cup.  The team was bitterly disappointed to lose to a team that clearly should have been competing at a higher level in Colleges’ camogie.  This is nonetheless a team with great potential for the future.

“The Gaelic season closed with the wonderful news that Gavin McWilliams had been selected as an Ulster Colleges football All-Star.

“In soccer, six teams competed in the Coleraine and District Leagues with all teams competing strongly.  It has however been the senior team that has enjoyed particular success, especially Stephen Dooley and James Peden, both selected as NI Schoolboy Internationals and both making their mark in the local soccer sphere and further afield.  James captained the senior soccer team to the Morton Halifax Cup with convincing victories over all their opponents and never conceded a goal. 
The girls’ U-15 team matched the boys’ success by winning their Coleraine& District league, again like the boys, unbeaten.  The team was captained by Bronagh Ward and progress to the A League this year.

“The Yr10 NEBSSA Rounders third tournament was held at Loreto on 18 June.  The Loreto team,  captained by Cristin O’Kane, won the tournament.

“In Hockey, U-12, U-13, U-14 A & B teams, together with the 1st and 2nd XIs competed in the Derry & Antrim Leagues.  There is a lot of fine young talent coming through from the junior teams and the senior captains Ella McCloskey and Bronagh Ward are to be congratulated on their leadership.

“As usual netball occupies a busy slot in the autumn sports schedule with four teams competing in the Coleraine and District leagues.  Pride of place goes to the Year 8 team, winners of the Coleraine and District Tournament and the Year 9 team, runners-up in the Minor A League.  Not to be outdone the Year 10 team were winners in the Junior B League.  The teams were captained by Victoria Bell, Eilis McNamee and Aileen McAlister respectively.

“Previous years’ successes were replicated in Trampolining again this year, most notably in the NI Schools Championships.  Eve O’Loan (Year 10) became the NI U-15 Girls’ Intermediate Champion and took the top performer award.  Fellow Year 10 student Aidan Carlin became the NI Boys U-15 champion while Maeve Lofthouse (Yr10) and Aisling O’Kane (Yr10) took four places in the U-15 Intermediate and Novice classes respectively.  On the day, six students qualified for the Zonal Schools event in Manchester.  These were Aidan, Stephen McCloskey (Yr12) and the Year 8 Boys Team of Barry Daly, Jack Danton, Callum McCarthy and Evan Wall.

“Badminton reaped the rewards of players’ commitment when Ronan Gaile (Yr8) became the U13 Badminton Champion at the Irish Open Competition held in Dublin.  Ronan also trains and competes with his local club and competes throughout NI on a regular basis.

“In basketball the Year 10 team has been playing together for three years and now paying great dividends.  Captained by Liam McGoldrick the team qualified from the Ulster Colleges group for the All-Ireland play off.

“A 25 strong Athletics team represented the College in the NEBSSA heats, out of which 4 went on to compete in the NEBSSA finals at the Antrim Forum where Eilis McNamee (Yr9) took 3rd place in the U-13 100metres. 

“Meanwhile in cross-country a large squad of junior and senior runners competed in the district cross-country championships with a significant number of personal bests recorded, pride of place in the seniors going to Colm McGoldrick, Fergal Rainey and Peter Doherty, while Maeve Lofthouse and John McLister ran very well in the juniors.

“The Year 8s competed in their own 13th annual Mary McCabe Cup and Challenge Shield cross-country competitions.  Again a host of excellent performances and personal bests were recorded with Theresa McIlwaine and Calvin Heavern taking the top places.
The Year 8s also competed in their annual swimming gala where again impressive individual and team performances were recorded.  No doubt many of these young novices will go on to represent the College with distinction in lots of ways in the future.

“A first for the College this year was entry into the Inter-Schools show-jumping competition where Eimear McMahon (Yr11), Nicole O’Hagan (Yr9), Rebecca Lagan (Yr 11), Conal Gormley (Yr11) and Mark Gormley (Yr 9) took first place in the Novice competition.

“Also a first for the College was the archery team of Chris Kwong, Roisin Rafferty , Amy O’Brien , Ruairi Quinn (all Yr12 students) and Daniel Brown (Yr11) which took a very commendable fourth place in their first Inter-Schools’ archery competition.

“The Duke of Edinburgh/President’s Award is now firmly established in the College with a total of 48 pupils having successfully participated.  Based on the outdoors it is wonderful training in life skills, team work, endurance and resilience.  This year, 11 pupils completed their silver awards and Gerard Carlin, Hannah Johnston, Caroline McCambridge and Kevin McLaughlin completed their Gold Awards.

“Mr Mickey Harte needs no introduction and over the last three years he has very kindly visited the College to address the Sixth Form students.  The capacity audience was enthralled and inspired by his motivational talk and of course on this visit he brought the Sam Maguire with him.

“Art students continue to enjoy great success in the wide variety of competitions and events entered for.  The internal competition amongst junior students to have their designs selected for the College’s Christmas Card series attracts great interest.  In doing so they raised over £300 for the College’s charities.  Tara Stewart (Yr9) and Aoife McReynolds (Yr10) won the NI Office Awards for their firework safety work, part of the fireworks enforcement campaign at Halloween.  In another health and well-being sphere Year 10 took top place in the Coleraine Council Anti-Smoking campaign, both groups displaying their work in the school with considerable effect.

“The College has a fine tradition of public speaking.  Orlagh Mailey (Yr12) took second place in the Soroptomist Public Speaking Competition while the team of Aoife McNicholl (Yr14) and Emma Morren (Yr12) travelled to Omagh to participate in our own Mary Ward Public Speaking Event.

“Our junior quiz teams have continued to excel.  Year 8 pupils Annie McBride, Clodagh McBride, Beth McIvor and Rebecca McKillen won the district and NI Credit Union quiz.  They then went on to represent the College and NI in the All-Ireland finals where they finished in a highly commendable 10th place out of approximately 50 teams and the second highest scoring school from N Ireland.  In May, the school enjoyed further success when the Y8/9 team of Paige Browne, Peter Devlin, Annie McBride and Conal McGinley won the NI final of the Junior Schools’ Challenge quiz, which follows a similar format to University Challenge.  In the final, Loreto’s speed of recall gave them the advantage on buzzer questions and they travelled to Oxford for the UK finals of this competition in June.  In only three years in this competition, Loreto have been in all three finals, have won it twice and we hope to continue this success in the future.

“Music and Drama make a great contribution to the life of the school through the Drama club, the junior and senior choirs, the traditional group, orchestra, our biennial Musical and music and singing tuition.  This year the Senior Choir competed in the Sligo International Choral Festival, the second largest choral festival in Ireland, taking second and third places in the sections entered.  Both the junior and senior choirs competed in the Ballymena Festival and both took the top awards.  The Choirs performed to their usual high standard for the public in the Spring Concert in April last. 
In the Coleraine Festival Yr12 students Gemma Mullins and Rachael Gaile took the top awards in their respective Vocal Solo classes as well as taking the top award in the Vocal Duet section.

“As mentioned above the Spring Concert of music, dance and drama in April last was a wonderful exhibition of students’ talents.  In a few weeks’ time the College will be performing its biennial musical Carousal, no doubt to packed houses – so book early ladies and gentlemen.

“The performance of Economics students has been outstanding over the years.  Consistently taking top place in the UK in the Bank of England Target 2.0 Interest Rate Challenge and the ifs National Investors programme, this year has been no exception.  The team of John Ward, Elizabeth Lane, Andrew Crozier and Aine Quigg took top place in NI, and the Northern UK regional final in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to proceed into the UK finals in London where they took first place winning £2000 for the school, £200 each and an all expenses paid educational trip to New York – this was a wonderful achievement.

“The Junior Mathematics Challenge for Year 9s attracted great interest once again and its usual crop of high achievers, and celebrating both World Book Day and World Mathematics Day helped keep vital areas of the curriculum much to the fore.

“Science is the curricular area that forms the core component of our Specialist School status and every year our young scientists participate in a wide variety of events and competitions.  Science week is now a regular slot in the calendar with pupils from local primary schools enthralled by the variety of activities, especially the “Mission to Mars”.  This year we were delighted to have planned, developed and opened our environmental trail that is proving so popular with our link primary pupils in particular.

“To promote the importance of STEM subjects early in our junior pupils our Year 9 students attended a STEM Experience day at the University of Ulster, organised by SENTINUS in conjunction with the Department of Education.  Mr Scullion best summed up the worth of the day when he commented, “The best ideas often come from young minds, but they need something to spark such ideas.  Even experienced scientists can renew the spark of their earliest inspiration when viewing some of the fresh ways in which science can be demonstrated”.

“Our Year 11 Physics team of Caoimhe Bond, Mary Kate Mackle, Margaret Mooney and Marie Reynolds took first place in the Physics at Home Competition at Queen’s University.  A Year 14 Chemistry team, namely Malo Scullion, Christopher Sharkey and Patrick Tunney, competed in the Royal Society Science Competition in Stranmillis College.
 
“Science students Kevin McLaughlin, Clare Hill and Dearbhla McCotter were invited to attend the launch of the Matrix Report by Minister Foster of the Department of Trade & Industry as a result of their success in the Engineering Education Scheme and Seagate Young Innovators competitions.  At the heart of this report, ladies and gentlemen, is the core recommendation for a much greater emphasis on STEM subject teaching in schools.  Clare and Dearbhla represented the College and NI at the annual British Association UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair in London taking the Silver Medal Award.

“Science students have also been out to visit Mr Humphrey’s plant, Nicobrand, and Armstrong Medical to see the application of science in the workplace and our science students have played a large part in the setting up of our environmental trail (mentioned earlier) and in mentoring Primary School pupils in relation to it.

“The Engineering Scheme run by Sentinus is a great opportunity for pupils to see the practical application of science.  Kevin Cassidy, Kevin McLaughlin, Stephanie Paul and Christopher Sharkey found the experience to be very beneficial and worthwhile, working with Armstrong Medical in developing a new method of reducing condensation in breathing tubes.

“Other competitions, visits, guest speakers and activities connected with science went on throughout the year.  But without a doubt the highlight of such visits was that by Commander Kenneth Ham, NASA astronaut and only just returned as pilot of the space shuttle.  Our junior pupils and those invited from other schools were enthralled with his story and experiences.

“Residential courses for Irish students were organised once again in the Gaeltacht while a wide variety of cultural and linguistic events marked An Seachtain Gailge (Irish week) and European Day, culminating with Mass in Irish.  The Yr10 team of Conor Carlin, Clodagh Connolly, Megan Kerr and Vincent McMullan competed in the Gael Linn quiz, Orlagh Mailey took second place in the GCSE Abair Linn competition and Sinead Lagan took first place in the A Level competition.  Year 14 students were also delighted to take first place in the Feis Charn Tochair Irish debating competition, held for the first time this year.

“Educational visits to Europe are now well established via the History and Modern Languages Departments.  In April last a group of French students experienced the culture and ambience of the south of France as part of our exchange programme with our link school there.

“In the field of Careers and High Education the College hosted its 27th annual Trial Interviews, an invaluable experience for Yr14 students making career/course choices.  The panels of professionals who provide this are consistently highly impressed with the quality of our pupils and we are extremely grateful for their support.  This service has now been extended to Yr12 students by the Careers Department via Sentinus, a major provider of links between education and industry.

“The College also embraces the work of Young Enterprise N Ireland, The Causeway Enterprize Agency, Sentinus and UUC.

“Collapsing the timetable for Year 8 – Year 11 allows us to deliver important aspects of the curriculum more effectively and with greater impact e.g. areas such as enterprise and entrepreneurship, careers planning, success skills and financial capabilities.   And in September last year our own school bank opened again, run and administered by our Sixth Form students. 

“Invest Northern Ireland takes entrepreneurial skills a stage further with older pupils.  All Year 11 Economics classes had the opportunity to attend interactive workshops and challenges on Enterprise and Business Skills organised by Coleraine Enterprise Agency and Invest Northern Ireland.

“As in previous years the College enjoyed great success in public examinations, details of which are contained in the Governors’ Report to Parents, which you will receive shortly.  The College has been consistently in the top rankings of schools in NI.  In the June 2008 examinations we were consistently above the key NI grammar bench marks e.g. in the key criteria of percentage achieving 3+ A Levels at grades A – C (or equivalent) the NI grammar average was 74%; our teachers and pupils achieved 85%.  In 2009, the summer just past, this was 86%.  Although the NI grammar average data is not yet available for this year our analysis of results to date again reflects the dedication and commitment of students and teachers in the pursuit of academic excellence.  These trends are also replicated at GCSE level.  It is our goal to maintain and grow our excellent academic record in the future.

“The College attaches great importance to Education for Mutual Understanding, reaching out and engaging with other groups and institutions across the whole community.  You can see the great range of our pupils’ participation.  We are especially proud of our links with Sandleford Special School, now one of our Specialist School link schools, the community work of our Christian Life Community group, our links with St Vincent de Paul and the wider Loreto Justice & Peace group.  We continue to develop and assist Loreto schools in developing countries especially the new Loreto school in Sudan which admitted its first pupils in March last and our sister school in Darjeeling, India.  In addition the generosity and caring nature of our pupils is amply reflected in the £24,300 they raised here in school last year for our designated charities, including Trocaire, Loreto Missions, Children in Crossfire and St Vincent de Paul.  Over the last number of years the Justice & Peace group has been formed as a direct result of the Loreto Sisters’ commitment to promoting the articles in the Kolkata guidelines particularly in relation to nurturing in Loreto pupils the values and moral perspective that informs the “agents of social change” agenda.  This group continues to grow and its work continues to be felt and appreciated around the school.  They, along with all the other related groups mentioned, are a wonderful testament to the spirit of our pupils.  And a group of Year 14 students, Connor Lennon, Aisling Devine, Gemma Faulkner, Aisling O’Neill and Catherine Diamond, received Pope John Paul II Awards from Bishop Hegarty in recognition of their contributions to the service they give to their parishes/communities.

“Year 14 students Louise Bogues and Ciara McGrath along with two of their teachers spent a period over the summers as leaders and carers in Lourdes.

“The Ulster-Delaware project is another community based programme running for many years now.  We are delighted that Conor Carlin (Yr10) and Conal Gormley (Yr11) will be representing their communities and the College in the US over the summer.

“There are numerous other events, activities and opportunities available to students throughout the year, including liturgies, retreats, World Book Day, trips, outings, fieldwork, competitions and so on.  And although I have highlighted the higher profile events and successes throughout the last year, there are numerous other pupils giving generously and participating consistently in a whole host of ways.  This is what contributes to the richness and variety of the College.  I commend them all highly and I firmly believe that academic success and wider participation go hand in hand.

“Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure you would agree that the College provides a wealth of opportunities for all its students, from the gifted to those who find school more of a challenge.  We are very proud of our students’ achievements and delighted at the high levels of participating and hope that we provide every pupil with the opportunities to develop and further their interests and help them to find their niche in school and in life.

“Every school year brings its challenges, its highs and lows and occasionally moments of great sadness.  The school community was shocked and saddened by the loss of Eamon McIntyre just days before Christmas.  Eamon displayed all that spirit of youth so typical of someone his age, making the circumstances of his loss so tragic.  We remember Eamon, his family and friends in our prayers.

“On your behalf I would like to pay tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the teaching staff, day in, day out, they give of their very best in the interests of the students and I believe that they provide a level of service to our young people here that is second to none anywhere.

“The non-teaching staff also plays a vitally important role in the service of our students, often working unobtrusively and quietly to maintain the quality of services, buildings and grounds.  My thanks to Mrs McDonnell, the librarian; Mr Lynn, the Bursar and Mrs McGuckian, the Bursar’s assistant; Mrs Maxwell, Mrs Dougan, my own secretary; Miss Stewart, office manager, and Mrs Ferris; Mr Otterson, senior technician on behalf of all the technicians; Mrs Johnston and Mrs West, classroom assistants; Mr Weir and Mr Mullan, caretakers and on behalf of cleaning staff; Mr Turner, groundsman; Miss McCann, head cook on behalf of the canteen staff.  Thanks also to Fr Keaney and the Religious Education Department for the time and effort they put into organising the liturgies, retreats and seminars throughout the year.

“My thanks also to our Governors, many of whom are here tonight.  The Governance of schools has become more and more demanding and the next 5 years will bring very significant changes.  Yet the Governors give generously of their time and expertise in making the many important and often onerous decisions in the best interests of the College and its students.

“My thanks to the Loreto Community both here in Coleraine and further afield for their continued prayers and support this year and every year.  This year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute from which Loreto was founded by Mary Ward.  A bus full of pupils travelled to Mullingar Cathedral for a major celebration last February while Yr14 students attended a wonderful conference on mental well-being for young people in Dublin in March.

“Thanks also to you the parents for your trust and co-operation.  Working together we can achieve so much and we are very grateful for your support.

“Finally my thanks to you the students for your courtesy and co-operation throughout your years here – that is something we appreciate very much.  And I’m sure the best has still to come.

“Every day in school here we see young people who are full of energy, who are inquisitive, creative, caring and supportive and who have the boundless potential to do good and I’m sure the best has still to come.

“Thank you all very much indeed for your support.”

The prizes were distributed by Mr Rex Humphrey, by members of the Board of Governors and the Loreto Community, Coleraine, by College Principal Mr Lenehan and by various Heads of Department and Heads of Year from the College’s teaching staff.

Year 14 Academic Awards
Louise Bogues
Gerard Carlin
Allison Cartwright
Kerri Cassidy
Adrian Craig
Eoin Deeney
Aisling Devine
Catherine Diamond
Kirsty Doherty
Peter Dowds
Gemma Faulkner
Rebecca Hill
Katie Howell
Hannah Johnston
Patrick Kelly
Sinead Lagan
Anna Maguire
Stephanie McAleese
Donagh McAllister
Caroline McCambridge
Fergal McCloskey
Conor McCotter
Colm McGoldrick
Ronan McIlvenny
Kevin McLaughlin
Nicola McLister
Claire McNamee
Ceire McNicholl
Ciara McWilliams
Gavin McWilliams
Sean McWilliams
Sarah Mulgrew
Tereza Novakova
Kiefer O’Boyle
Rory O’Kane
Stephanie Paul
Mary Louise Rafferty
Fergal Rainey
Malo Scullion
Christopher Sharkey
Charles Stuart
Patrick Tunney

Year 13 Academic Awards
Adrienne Bradley
Claire Butcher
Zoe Cheng
Andrew Crozier
Andrea Doherty
Stephen Dooley
Brandon Eastwood
Hannah Eastwood
Sean Fisher
Elizabeth Lane
Naomi Lynch
Clare McAllister
Kirsty McAllister
Rachel McCloskey
Cillian McCotter
Aoife McGrath
Fiona McLaughlin
Leanne Millar
Kayla Molloy
Niamh Nugent
Beth O’Loan
Aine Quigg
Meghan Rafferty
Paraic Rafferty
John Ward
Harvey Webber

Year 12 Academic Awards
Gemma Black
Bronagh Bogues
Samantha Borland
Eamonn Cassidy
Ciara Christie
Erin Costen
Therese Doherty
Jarlath Eastwood
Claire Hill
Roisin Ingram
Jordan Kealey
Christopher Kwong
Sam Maguire
Eimear McAllister
Claire McAtamney
Erin McCloskey
Martin McCloskey
Dearbhla McCotter
Shane McGowan
Shannon McKeever
Dominic McNeill
Eoin Melby
Dermot Morrow
Conall Mullan
Shane Mullan
Niall O’Boyle
Shannon O’Neill
Katherine Owens
Una Race
Gregory Rafferty
Roisin Rafferty
Christina Robinson
Samantha Rogers
Luke Stuart

Year 11 Academic Awards   
Caoimhe Bond
Anna Breslin
Natalie Costello
Katherine Giddins
Emma Kelly
Aodhan McIlvenny
Maria Mooney
Shannon Mullan
Joshua Quigley
Conor Reid
Bronagh Ward

Year 11 Diligence
11A Eimear McMahon
11B Oisin McGahon
11C Conal Gormley
11D Eoin Cunning
11E Marie Reynolds

Year 11 Progress
11A Darryl Wills
11B Shannon Stanfield
11C Olivia Doherty
11D Katie Shaw
11E Conor Dowds

Year 11 Co-operation and Leadership
11A Daniel Brown
11B Katie Burns
11C Laura Christie
11D Matthew Mailey
11E Clare Magee

Year 12 Diligence
12A Emma Campbell
12B Claire McAtamney
12C Luke Stuart
12D Olivia Hamilton
12E Shannon Law

Year 12 Co-operation and Leadership
12A Aoife Owens
12B Roisin Ingram
12C Louise Mullan
12D Jordan Kealey
12E Matthew McLaughlin

Other Awards
1. The Patricia McDermott Memorial Trophy for achievement in GCSE English:
Jordan Kealey
2. The Macaulay, O’Neill & Martin Perpetual Cup for achievement in GCSE Mathematics:
Eoin Melby
3. The BKS Perpetual Trophy for contribution to A level Geography:
Nicola McLister
4. The AVX Computer Awards for achievement in Computing:
A level Michaela Cunning
 GCSE:
Eoin Melby, Ciara Christie
5. The Stanleigh Cup for achievement in Music:
Clare Kelly
6. The McGeown Cup for outstanding achievement in A level Economics:
Patrick Kelly
7. The Ryan McCloskey Memorial Cup for most improved student in Economics:
Andrea O’Connor
8. ifs Student Investor Programme National Winners 2009:
Elizabeth Lane, Aine Quigg, Andrew Crozier, John Ward
9. The N&N Trophies’ Cup for achievement in A level Art & Design:
Fergal Rainey
10. The Physical Sciences Award:
Malo Scullion
11. Corn Brugha for achievement in Irish at GCSE:
Eimear McAllister
12. The Michael Clarke Memorial Cup for achievement in Drama presented by Year 14 students 2002-2003:
Patrick Kelly
13. The Bank of Ireland Trophy for achievement in A level Home Economics:
Sinead Lagan
14. The Northern Bank Award for achievement in A level Physics:
Kevin McLaughlin

The following awards are for outstanding achievement in individual subjects:
15. A level Biology:
Gerard Carlin
16. A level Chemistry:
Malo Scullion
17. A level Religious Education:
Sinead Lagan
18. A level History:
Ronan McIlvenny
19. A level Government and Politics:
Sean McWilliams
20. A level Mathematics:
Anna Maguire
21. A level English Language:
Janette Loughlin
22. A level English Literature:
Katie Howell
23. A level Technology:
Charles Stuart
24. A level German:
Tereza Novakova

25. Sports Captains 2008-2009:
Mary Louise Rafferty, Colm McGoldrick
26. Sports Person of the Year, recipient of the Louise McLaughlin Trophy for outstanding contribution to the Sporting Life of the College:
Colm McGoldrick
27. The Mother Rose Cup for best female athlete in Year 11:
Anna Breslin
28. Award for best male athlete in Year 11:
Sam Boylan
29. Award for outstanding achievement representing the College in sport at National Level:
Stephen Dooley, James Peden
30. McLarnon Cup Player of the Year:
Gavin McWilliams
31. Loreto Challenge Gold Award:
Catherine Diamond, Ronan McIvenny, Aisling O’Neill, Fergal Rainey

32. Award for achievement in Public Speaking:
Orlagh Mailey
33. Award for the best article in School Magazine:
Andrew Crozier
34. The Teresa Ball Trophy for Commitment and Spirit:
Una Race, Sam Maguire
35. The Kathleen Toner Memorial Cup:
Aisling O’Neill
36. The Ciara McLaughlin Memorial Cup:
Michaela Cunning
37. For outstanding contribution to the Loreto Ethos in GCSE years:
Rachael Gaile
38. For outstanding contribution to the Loreto Ethos in A level years:
Anna Maguire, Cormac Hasson

39. For Full Attendance in 2008-2009 academic year:
Year 11:
Ciara Brankin, Natalie Costello, Shannon Costello, Clare Magee, Matthew Mailey, Connor McCann, Aodhan McIlvenny, Justin Millar, Avril O’Donovan, Mischa Railton, Peter Reid, Katie Shaw, Bronagh Ward.
Year 12: Connor Bradley, Olivia Hamilton, Roisin Ingram, Christopher Kwong, Kathryn Lemon, Louise Logue, Claire McAtamney, Dearbhla McCotter, Matthew McCloskey, Matthew McLaughlin, Paula McLister, Dermot Morrow, Roisin Rafferty.
Year 13: Adrienne Bradley, Zoe Cheng, Ciara Cunning, Hannah Eastwood, Sean Fisher, Eimhear Kealey, Rachel McCloskey, Cillian McCotter, Suzanne McGahon, Alex McQuillan, Michaela Molloy, Niamh Nugent, Shonagh O’Neill, Fiona Shannon, Eunan Smyth, Harvey Webber.
Year 14: Lee Brussard, Damian Christie, Catherine Diamond, Cormac Hasson, Joanne Law, Janette Loughlin, Connor McCotter, Ronan McIlvenny, Ciara McWilliams, Sean McWilliams, Aisling O’Neill, Christopher Sharkey.

Senior Prefects
Louise Bogues
Gerard Carlin
Kerri Cassidy
Damian Christie
Adrian Craig
Michaela Cunning
Eoin Deeney
Aisling Devine
Kirsty Doherty
Peter Dowds
Paul Friel
Cormac Hasson
Katie Howell
Jonny Howell
Hannah Johnston
Sinead Lagan
Rachel Law
Donagh McAllister
Caroline McCambridge
Fergal McCloskey
Eimear McDermott
Megan McGonigle
Ronan McIvenny
Aideen McKeague
Lucy McLaughlin
Kevin McLaughlin
Nicola McLister
Connor McMahon
Aoife McNicholl
Anna McWilliams
Gavin McWilliams
Sarah Mulgrew
Kiefer O’Boyle
Andrea O’Connor
Barry O’Kane
Aisling O’Neill
Stephanie Paul
Malo Scullion
Christopher Sharkey
Patrick Tunney

Special Awards
Deputy Head Boy
Fergal Rainey
Deputy Head Girl
Anna Maguire
Head Boy
Patrick Kelly
Head Girl
Catherine Diamond

The evening concluded with eloquent speeches of appreciation from the 2008-2009 Head Boy, Patrick Kelly, and Head Girl, Catherine Diamond, and presentations to the Guest Speaker by 2009-2010 Head Boy, Paraic Rafferty, and Head Girl, Aoife McGrath.