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St Colum's Xmas Fair 18


Dominican pupils delighted to help out at St Colum’s Christmas Fair.

Well done to each and every one of our pupils who helped make the St Colum’s Christmas fair such a resounding success yesterday. The fair was held to raise much needed funds for the pre-school and primary school.

Our pupils were face painting, nail painting, applying glitter tattoos, leading the arts & crafts table, selling buns and manning the tombola station. They were also entertaining children with 'pin the nose on the reindeer', the selfie frame and the beanbag/Christmas tree game. Pupils worked hard to clear tables and wash dishes whilst always ensuring people had a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit to enjoy.

Mrs Carey ,Chairperson of the Pre-school Committee praised the Dominican pupils ,

“They are a very talented and fabulous group of young people. I was so proud to say that I taught at Dominican when people remarked on our pupil’s enthusiasm and kindness. They truly were an absolute credit to our school. Our DCP pupils also made great Elves at Santa’s Grotto! They all helped to make happy memories for younger children. Well done, one and all”

The pupils who helped out at the fair were:

Year 8
Molly Kettyle
Anna Smyth
Brianna Shaw

Year 9
Lucy Hanway
Olivia O’Brien

Year 10
Lucy Shields

Year 11
Craig McLean
Sam Ingamells
Mia Ramage
Bethany Donaghey
Lilian McLernon
Kaitlyn McCrudden
Jack Dalzell
Olivia Dunbar
Jodi Adams
Margo Deering
Sophie Smyth
Micaela Riche
Zoe Henry
Aoife Loughrey
Katie Coulter

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Year Nine NEBSSA Netball success!


Well done to our Year 9 Netball team and Mrs Park who were the winners of last week’s NEBSSA Netball Competition hosted in Loreto College.

This is the third year of the NEBSSA competition with Dominican winning the inaugural final in 2016 and Loreto winning last year’s competition.

On their way to the final the Dominican team were convincing winners against teams from Ballyclare, Slemish, St Louis’ and Loreto B.

The semi-final proved a very tough challenge as the Dominican team found themselves 4-3 down at half-time before coming back to win 9-5.

The final was an even closer encounter with the Dominican team emerging as victors over the hosts by 9- 8 to bring the NEBSSA trophy back once again to Portstewart.

Emma Park and Megan Cairns, the Dominican captains, gave this assessment of the Dominican team’s performance:

“Each of us played to our full potential throughout this competition and gave our all right to the very final seconds of the final as we so badly wanted to regain this trophy.”

Well done to the victorious Dominican team:

Natalie Dello- Sterpaio
Emma Park
Zoe Patterson
Georgia Quigg
Molly Crocker
Macy Thorpe
Kaitlyn Mc Erlain
Megan Cairns
Skyla Parke

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Year 10 Irish class win Conradh na Gaeilge


At a special School assembly on Tuesday our Year 10 Irish class were announced as County Derry winners of a Conradh na Gaeilge competition to help promote the Irish language.

Bliain na Gaeilge is a year-long celebration of the Irish language organised around five key themes - the revival of the language over the last 125 years; the creativity of the language; the vibrancy of the language; community participation; and the value of Gaeltacht areas.

Earlier this month, students in 340 schools across the country as well as participating groups abroad took part in an annual challenge in which participants were encouraged to speak Irish for 24 hours. Schools across the country have received awards for taking part in the Gaelfhíseán competition which was run as part of Bliain na Gaeilge.  The video competition attracted many high-quality entries from a wide range of schools, and a winner was selected in each county.

Gaelfhíseán na Bliana, held by Conradh na Gaeilge, attracted over 300 entries with students from primary and secondary schools participating in the competition. Schools were invited to create a short video featuring a song in Irish and students had to produce, record and edit the final product.

Earlier this term the Year 10 class, with the support and encouragement of their teacher, Mrs McErlean, decided to enter this competition. After careful deliberation, the Avicii Song “Wake Me Up” was selected and the group set about translating the song into Irish and putting together the video.

Mrs McErlean described the motivation of the pupils and explained how she was, “So very, very proud of the collaborative efforts of the pupils and how hard they worked together to bring their goals to fruition. I am so pleased for them to have been announced the regional winners. A special mention goes to Liam Broadway, U6, for helping the group produce their promotional video”.

Our special guest on Tuesday was our Mayor, Mrs Brenda Chivers who came to Dominican to express her support and congratulations to the pupils and staff. Reflecting on her own days learning Irish at school, the Mayor encouraged pupils to “keep up your language” and how she hoped to be able to be involved in working on a project with the group at some later date.

The school was also delighted to welcome Seán O’Murcha, Awareness Raising Officer with from Conradh na Gaeilge into school to present the winning pupils with their cheques for one thousand euros. Seán explained the vision of Conradh na Gaeilige as one of wishing to develop and promote the Irish Language and how this was the 125th anniversary of the movement to revive the Irish language.

Seán told Dominican pupils, "The Gaelfhíseán contest was highly competitive and the standard of entries was excellent.  It is clear that students really enjoyed taking part in the competition and the teachers all deserve recognition of the effort they put in to the competition.  More than 10,000 people have taken part in Bliain na Gaeilge competitions since the beginning of the year, which is remarkable.”

A fund of 32 thousand euros was gathered this year to allow the organisation to promote the language, within and beyond the school. Concluding his presentation, Seán stressed his hope that he would return again to Dominican in the future as the school continued its positive relationship with Conradh na Gaeilge.

Very well done to Mrs McErlean and her Year 10 Irish pupils.

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Christmas Tree Festival


Dominican Students plan for Festive season

Miss Anderson’s Y13 Common RE students have been busy decorating a Christmas tree for the Methodist Church Christmas Tree Festival based on Chapter 2, v6-7 of Luke’s Gospel. The Christmas Tree Festival runs in association with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and RNLI”

Miss Anderson explained,
“These verses detail the story of there being “no room at the inn” for the Infant Jesus. With this in mind, we were asked to interpret our verse to come up with a theme, and then decorate our tree to represent our chosen theme. We decided to choose ‘Refugees’, who often find themselves seeking refuge in similar ways to the Infant Jesus in our country today. Our tree aims to represent the stories of those who are faced with “no room at the inn” this Christmas. “

Our tree will be on display alongside many others from Thursday 6th-Sunday 9th December in both the Methodist Church and Church Hall.

Parents and members of the local community are also reminded that our annual Dominican Carol Service will be in Star Of The Sea church, Portstewart on Wednesday 19th December at 7.30 PM. Our choirs are currently busy rehearsing for this night and for the School Carol Service on Thursday 20th.

Our social justice efforts also continue with pupils visiting local care homes, members of the local parish coming into school for coffee mornings and many of our pupils are helping with Christmas toy and food appeals.

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YENI run Digital Youth workshop for year 10 pupils is a resounding success


Bronagh McAuley and Alastair Cameron from Young Enterprise NI, with volunteers from Zimplify Portstewart, arrived in the school on Wednesday 7th November to deliver the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council Digital Youth Programme with our Year 10 pupils. 

Mr McDaid, our ICT Co-ordinator explained: “This was a wonderful opportunity for our talented year 10 pupils to showcase their ICT and entrepreneurial skills. We were delighted to invite YENI into the school to challenge our pupils to come up with creative solutions to problems and to have the confidence to pitch their ideas to their wider year group”.

Bronagh McCauley,Development Manager Young Enterprise NI commented,

“Thank you so much for having us! It was a pleasure to be in the school the students were lovely to work with and had some great ideas.  Sam Stuart is such an ambassador and was a great help on the day.”

Alastair Cameron from Young Enterprise NI further reflected:

“On Wednesday I was running a Digital Youth masterclass in Dominican College, Portstewart. The aim of the programme, funded by The Causeway Coast and Glens council, is for students, within three hours to conceive, design model canvas and pitch a digital solution for a specific problem. Sam Stuart, Dominican Head Boy, helped members of YENI and Zymplify to judge the 11 teams each with their fabulous ideas and decide on an overall winner. Sam was a great example to both his school and himself.”

All the organisers praised the ingenuity and creativity of the Dominican pupils and the high standards achieved across all eleven groups on the day. The feedback from our Year 10 pupils was overwhelmingly positive also.

Images of Wednesday’s workshop can be found here:

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Celebrating our Golden Jubilee of Co-education at Dominican College, Portstewart.

Celebrating our Golden Jubilee of Co-education at Dominican College, Portstewart.
By Sr. Lucina Montague

In September 1968 Dominican College became co-educational, an enormous change for a small day and boarding school for girls. It was a rocky start, as those who were here at the time and in the succeeding years could tell you. A favourite debating subject, “ This house is on the rocks” was all too symbolic. It was difficult for all concerned – a huge change for those already here, a challenge to attract boys to what had been a girls' school for 51 years, and of course a financial challenge to provide at least the basics of suitable extra accommodation in days when our finances were precarious, to say the least.

The transition took time and patience, as well as commitment and faith in what we were doing. Happily DCP, and its students, male and female, thrived, and became a very special part of Dominican educational provision.

To celebrate this Golden Jubilee is important, but after a year of celebrating the centenary of the school something different is demanded. One very appropriate idea emerged – could we form a link with a co-ed Dominican school in a very different part of the world, who could benefit from our annual fundraising, as we and our present pupils could mutually benefit from broadening our horizons through our contact with them and another country and culture?

Through the mother house of the Dominican Order in Rome, we are now in touch with a small school in Mandalay, Myanmar, which may be young in years, but has so much in common with DCP. It is small now , as we were back then and, like us, it is co-ed, welcoming pupils from different traditions, Catholic and Buddhist. It is struggling, as we did for so long.

The official name of the school is Dominican, St Martin de Porres’ Boarding School, founded in 2014. At present there are 103 students, in four levels, 44 boys and 59 girls, approximately half Buddhist and half Catholic. The pupils are 14+ years old. These pupils go to government schools during the day, and to Dominican at night, where 10 teachers help to prepare them for university and other higher education. The final grade, which is essential for university admission, is very difficult to attain. While we expected hard work from our students in DCP, we did not have to go to school in the evenings as well!

Pupils in this school in Myanmar pay what they can towards their education, but the needs are great, and more students could come if the accommodation expanded. Also, sponsorship of students would be a tremendous help, as there is real poverty within the whole community.

Dominican College were delighted to announce the Dominican school in Myanmar as one of this year’s school charities along with the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and the SVP. Acknowledging those in need and reaching out in support continues to be a vital part of our Dominican ethos.

As a Golden Jubilee suggestion: could we suggest that DCP past pupils make a one-off contribution, however small, towards our sister-school, and thus make our jubilee memorable for so many young people who also would benefit so much from Dominican education?

Please send what you can to Dominican College, Portstewart in support of Dominican Mandalay.

Every contribution will be acknowledged, and we will keep you up to date through the website and social media.

Watch this space for other Golden Jubilee information!!

We're raising £1500 to help a Dominican school in Mandalay, Myanmar, which is similar to DCP. It is co-ed and welcomes pupils from many different traditions..
Please donate to my JustGiving Crowdfunding Page and help make it happen:
Thanks for your support

Sincere thanks in advance.

Sr Lucina.

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