On Thursday 12th Nov, Janet Schofield and Stephan Clarke from Compass Advocacy Network (C.A.N) located in Ballymoney talked to our Year 11 Business students about operating as a social enterprise. Janet explained that C.A.N. was established in 1999 and its aim is to, ‘Enhance the lives and Create Change’ for people with learning disabilities and associated problems aged 12+. The business recycles clothing, textiles, cardboard, aluminium cans and plastics. They provide this service to many different companies where they will sort out your waste problem. In 2014-2015 the company processed over 90 tonnes of waste. The social drive of the business gives people with learning difficulties the opportunity to experience a real work environment. They now work with over 140+ service users and employ 14 staff and sessional workers. The business has a many different services, Can Can Recycle, Can Can Bazaar, Can Can Upcycle, Can Can Bubbles and Can Plus. All profit generated is ploughed back into the business to train the staff and fund a variety services such as Best Buddies NI, Adult Buddy Programme and many more. Janet and Stephan delivered an extremely interesting talk that gave our students an insight into a different business model. A business that of course needs profit to survive but also gives back so much more to society as a whole. On the 28th November C.A.N. will be holding their Christmas Fair at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine.
Dalriada had the honour of being one of four schools, selected by CCEA, who were asked to share good practice.
The Speaking and Listening unit of the GCSE English Language course is worth 20% of the overall exam and to fulfil the criteria pupils must perform a variety of oral tasks, both individually and as part of a group. To assist in teacher training and exam standardisation, CCEA asked Dalriada pupils to complete several tasks, whilst being recorded. This DVD will eventually be distributed to all exam centres to enable effective marking.
Our pupils certainly rose to the occasion, with the moderator (Mr S Lambe) stating that he can now show ‘clearly what an A* performance looks like’.
It was an interesting experience for the pupils and the English Department were very proud of all those who participated.
The fieldwork trip has been a definite high point of the geography course. We spent a glorious morning exploring the sand dunes at Benone Beach. It was warm and sunny, and collecting the data barely felt like work! Applying the knowledge that we learnt in class, we traversed the dunes with all the appropriate equipment and set out to investigate the plant succession. When we returned to school, we got together in the labs for lab data analysis which was super interesting. It was pleasing to see how what we learned in the classroom linked up with the world around us. Oh, and the cheeky McDonald’s on the way home definitely made it more enjoyable!
A large team from Years 8-10 travelled to the University of Ulster at Coleraine to take part in the NEBSSA cross-country competition on Tuesday 24th November. The weather meant that the ground conditions were far from perfect but this did not deter the runners who braved the mud and the showers and performed to their best. Highlights of the day included the performances of Saskia Love, James Wright and Andrew Symmington who were all well placed in their respective age groups.
Renowned local Chef and journalist Paula McIntyre paid a visit to her old school in October to deliver a talk and demonstration to the Year 12 GCSE Home Economics pupils. In line with the pupils’ GCSE practical examination, she showed a creative use of fruit and vegetables. A great advocate of local produce and use of seasonal ingredients, Paula prepared Gnocchi cooked in chestnut oil, leeks, black garlic and smoked black pepper; Pumpkin wedges roasted with local rapeseed oil, flavoured with Sumac and served with her own fermented tomatoes. This was followed by indulgent Brownies with local caramelised plums, raspberries, orange blossom flowers and honeycomb shards. The pupils were enchanted by the skills she showed and the new ingredients she introduced.
2014-2015 proved to be a very successful and rewarding year for Dalriada’s Debating Society! Under the instruction of Miss Turner and Thomas Hancock, the society continued to meet at lunchtime – every other Friday – to examine, discuss and contest important (and sometimes not so important!) ideas.
Some of the motions this year included: This House believes men are the weaker sex, This House would censor the internet and This House believes sportspeople should not be seen as role models. And, of course, one of the highlights of the year was the Staff-Pupil debate which saw Chris McLean and Mr Gamble take on – and beat – the mighty Dr Hunter and Thomas Hancock!
Year 11 Dalriada pupil Cara Dorrans will be going on the trip of a lifetime this summer as a Best Buddies ambassador to attend a leadership conference in Indiana. Cara is the current President of the Dalriada Best Buddies group and she will leave with the Best Buddies delegates on Tuesday 14 July for the two week trip.
Dalriada Headmaster Tom Skelton commented ‘We are extremely proud and delighted that Cara has been chosen to attend this international event. Cara is President of the growing Best Buddies group in Dalriada. She is an excellent role model and fully deserves this recognition’.
Dalriada recently held a fundraising event at The American Car Wash where the Best Buddies group sold refreshments and raised the commendable figure of £250 for Best Buddy funds. The school are indebted to Rachel Hall, owner of The American Car Wash for sponsoring the event which also raised £300 for the Nepal Appeal.
Three pupils from 8R, representing Calvert House, won a hard-fought competition on Monday, 15th June in the 5th annual Year 8 Spelling Competition. Over the course of the year, all Year 8 pupils have been learning new words from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which they have been studying in their English classes. The pupils spent a lot of time learning these spellings, along with their meanings and had been tasked with attempting to use some of this very ambitious vocabulary in their own writing. Pupils spent most of the spring term committing these words to memory and being tested on how well they could remember them. The top three spellers in each class were selected by their English teachers to compete against each other. Congratulations are due to the following pupils who were entered as the top spellers in their year:
Thomas came to Dalriada in September 2008. From the minute he stepped into my class I knew he had a special Mathematical understanding. The questions he asked were well above the level associated with Year 8 and I was excited to see what this young student would achieve. I was certainly not disappointed. Thomas gained everything I hoped he would and more. However, the thing that surprised and delighted me most was watching Thomas grow into a confident, well-rounded individual with so many talents outside the classroom.
In Year 8 Thomas was quietly confident. By Year 14 that confidence was more visible and he had obtained an incredible array of goals – most of us would have been proud to gain any one of these achievements! He studied five A Levels including Maths and Further Maths and he achieved five A*s. He was joint second in Northern Ireland in ‘A’ Level Maths and First in Music ‘A’ Level. Moreover he had taught himself Further Maths as well as studying his four other A Levels. To do all this and achieve the best grade possible is remarkable. It takes determination and really good time management. He planned carefully, setting targets that he met with determination and industry. Not only did he manage to do this but he also took part in the UKMT Maths Challenge and was awarded a gold certificate.