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Shimna News - Spring 2024

Shimna News

Learning From Each Other


Dear Parents & Carers,


As the term draws to a close, it is heartening to consider how much has been achieved this term. While work on the new school has continued apace, things have been equally busy and productive on our side of the perimeter fence.


There has been a great buzz across the College, with the day-to-day business of teaching and learning. Public examinations have been sat, GCSE and Sixth Form mocks have been completed and progress interviews conducted with Years 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. We will interview Years 8 and 9 next term. The Easter break has been well earned.


The restoration of Stormont will hopefully see a settlement to the industrial dispute and the return of normal routines and practices. Throughout this challenging period, Shimna staff have displayed admirable professionalism and resilience, for which I am very grateful.


We are committed to developing well-rounded young people with a strong sense of social responsibility, which underscores the importance of learning from each other and from experiences gained both inside and outside the classroom. There have been so many causes for celebration.


Sporting success


Our girls’ and boys’ sports teams have enjoyed unprecedented success this term, bringing home no less than four trophies. The roll of honour: U14 Boys Ulster Schools Gaelic Champions; U16 Boys Ulster Schools Gaelic Champions, Junior Girls NI Netball Division 2 League Champions; and U16 South Down Football Cup Winners.

In our thirtieth year, this has been far and away our most successful term in sport, a tremendous achievement by our teams and coaches.

Left to right: Calum Simmons (Vice-Captain, U16 Boys football), Mr McCormick (U14 Boys Gaelic coach), Pierra Corrigan ( Junior girls netball captain ), Ms Doyle (Head of Girls PE), Darragh Russell ((U14 Boys Gaelic captain), Mr Dagen (Head of Boys PE) and Conall King (Captain, U16 Boys football and U16 Boys Gaelic)

Musical highlights have included our 30th anniversary concert was a wonderful evening, showcasing the immense talent in our ranks, and as part of Mental Health Week we welcomed back former student Conor Marcus and his group Absnt Minds for an unforgettable gig in our assembly hall .



Unforgettable memories have been made on school trips - to London, Austria, Paris and Washington DC.


Students have engaged in a range of enrichment opportunities, collaborating with organisations such as the EA’s Emotional Wellbeing Team in Schools, the Your Time to Shine programme, Cyberfirst, the Big Bridge project with Engineers Ireland and the creative writing workshop with Fighting Words. 


And, typically, our students continue to demonstrate a strong sense of social responsibility.


Following on from a week-long programme of assemblies, an own clothes day was held to raise funds for Daisy Lodge, the charity chosen by our Student Council. Thank you to our Student Leaders in Year 14 for organising the collection.


Over £600 has been raised so far and we welcome further donations. Please contact Mary Devlin in the Finance Office if you wish to contribute.


And our very own Mr Magee, who hosts his own boxing podcast in his spare time, joined in by raffling a glove signed by various world champions he has interviewed and raised £350.


New Build


The new build site is a hive of activity, with work on equipping classrooms and other internal spaces also progressing well. A fuller update will follow in the next edition of Shimna News.


New faces


Over the past few months, the following colleagues have joined our ranks


Key dates coming up


Monday 8 April: College reopens

Friday 3 May: Study Leave begins for Year 12

Monday 6 May: Bank Holiday 

Tuesday 7 May: Staff Development Day - College closed to students

Thursday 9 May: Study Leave begins for Year 13

Friday 10 May: Study Leave begins for Year 14

Friday 24 May: Staff Development Day - College closed to students

Monday 27 May: Bank Holiday

Thursday 6 June: P6 Day - College closed to students

Tues 11 - Thurs 13 June: Three-day ‘Looking Ahead’ programme for Year 13

Friday 14 June: Interviews - Student Leadership team for 2024-25


Sports Day will take place in the week starting Monday 17 June.


Activities Week will run in the last week of term, starting on Monday 24 June. Further details will follow next term.


Next year’s calendar has now been posted on the website here.



Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and peaceful Easter break.


Steve Pagan,




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