Wholeschool Portal | Home 17 October 2016

                                           Enniskillen Old Collegians

Another year has raced past since my last annual letter. Both the Association and the Collegiate Grammar School have had another very successful year. Again our main function was our AGM and Dinner which was held in the Killyhevlin Hotel on 14th June 2012. We were delighted to welcome Roy Cathcart, former Head of English, as our speaker for the evening. He reminisced on all the musicals and drama productions which had been produced over his years teaching in the school. Many of those present enjoyed seeing themselves and their friends in their parts as they watched the power-point presentation of photographs selected from the thousands in Roy’s collection. Our thanks go to the Killyhevlin Hotel for once again providing us with an excellent meal and a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy it.

 During the past year many of our friends, both members of the Association and others connected with the School, have lost loved ones. We send their families our sympathy and prayers, especially at those times when remembrance is most difficult. Memories are always precious and comforting as the sting of loss recedes.

 On 20th April 2013 I welcomed members and their friends to my home in Fivemiletown for our Spring Coffee Morning. Again, this was another very enjoyable occasion with even the weather being kind to us.

 On Saturday 28th September we had our Autumn Coffee Morning in the Staffroom in the School. Thanks go to the Principal, Miss Elizabeth Armstrong and the Vice-Principal, Mrs Irene Dunn (nee Owens), for having us and showing people round the School after coffee. At a very busy time of the school year, we appreciate them giving up a precious Saturday morning for us. We also thank the Staff of the School Meals Kitchen for providing us, once again, with delicious home-made tray-bakes. I would also like to thank the Committee for providing the scones etc and their unfailing, cheerful help at our Coffee mornings.

 The Committee have decided to change the date of the Coffee Morning held in the School from the last Saturday to the third Saturday of September for this event in future because of other events which take place in the area on that day.
Change has also taken place for the venue for lunch on 1st Wednesday of each month. We are now going to the Killyhevlin Hotel at 12.30pm where a table is reserved for us and having the buffet lunch.

News of Old Collegians
 Henrietta Wisbey (nee Elliott) has published her first book of poetry and short stories.
Laura Elliott received her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. She is studying dentistry at Queen’s University.
 Alison Cathcart is Superintendent Registrar at Westminister Registry Office. She had the honour of registering the birth of Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Just recently she took part in a two part documentary “Births, Deaths and Marriages” on ITV.
Claire Cathcart featured in the new series of “Call the Midwife” at the end of January.
Jane Veitch has been working in the media since she graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2002. She started her career in research and assistant producing for various BBC documentaries before moving into journalism in 2009. She edited and presented ITV Daybreak Northern Ireland news for three years and is now working as a producer and presenter at Macmillan Media in Belfast and Glasgow. Her work includes delivering media training, producing online and corporate video for clients all over the UK and presenting weekly news bulletins for the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture legacy project. She is about to start presenting and coordinating a news service for Tourism Ireland.
Shona Morrison, Kylie Noble, Jessica Campbell and Julianne Elliott, a former Head Girl, write columns in the Impartial Reporter whilst continuing to study at university.

 A twenty year anniversary reunion day was held in October when around 42 girls came together. It was an action packed day starting with coffee in the school. Miss Armstrong and Mrs Dunn were there to welcome them. I was pleased to be able to join them too. There was great joy in catching up with news of those who hadn’t seen one another for some time and much reminiscing on the tour of the school as well as seeing the changes since their time there. Some had travelled from England, Dublin and Belfast. Others from that year group are living in New Zealand, Kenya, Germany and United States. I do hope that some will endeavour to join us for our Annual Dinner on 13th June 2014.
I am hearing that the Class of ’59 is planning a reunion on 5th September 2014.

News from the school
 Our Head-girl is Emily Donaldson and her Deputies are Rachael Burleigh and Alice Rooney. The girls are performing their duties very well.

 Once again the girls achieved very high results in the academic field. At A2 level one third of the girls had at least one A* or two A grades in their portfolio. Top achievers were Danielle Robinson (2A* and 2A), Georgia Gebler (1A* and 3A), Faith Viney (2A* and 1A), Gillian Atwell (1A* and 2A), Sophie Jones (1A* and 2A) and Amy Hetherington (3A)
In Northern Ireland, Louise Vaughan gained first place equal in GCSE German and Naairah Khan also shared a first place in GCSE Home Economics. Errin McElhinney distinguished herself in GCSE Art and Design by gaining full marks for her work.
Kerrie Brown, a student in Agricultural Technology at Queens based at Greenmount, was awarded the Ulster Grassland Society Scholarship at Christmas: Kerri Crozier, a student in Pharmacy at the University of Ulster also gained a prize sponsored by Randox Laboratories.
Last summer just before the A level results came out the Collegiate was named in the top eight schools in Northern Ireland for pupils going on to university in 2012 in the lists compiled by ‘The Detail’. 90% of the Collegiate girls went on to university which was considerably higher than many similar schools.
 Our Celebration of Success took place on 21st November when the Guest of Honour was Mrs Dawn Livingstone, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland. Her very humorous speech shared insights from her own career path and encouraged the girls to always be true to themselves in all their decisions. She strongly emphasized the need for the girls to develop their ‘people skills’ through valuing everyone’s contribution and through learning and listening to others while working with them. Faith Viney received the Old Collegians Cup for special achievement on behalf of the Ulster Tag Rugby Champion’s Team who brought back their fourth Ulster Trophy in April 2013. The prize for English Literature, which is presented by the Old Collegians in memory of Mrs Ada Malone was awarded to Faith Viney.
 Collegiate girls also continue to distinguish themselves at a national level. In the UK Senior Mathematical Challenge three girls won Silver certificates: Nicola Barton, Debbie Brown and Erin Crozier. A further nine won bronze certificates: Megan Atwell, Katie Benson, Rebecca Bleakley Kathryn Dane, Rebecca Dane, Alanah Kerr, Shannon Scott, Lisa Sheridan and Rebecca Watterson. In the Intermediate section Megan Atwell won a Gold certificate. Three Year 13 students, Alice Rooney, Jane Simpson and Olivia Skuce gained places on the GET SET Insight into Engineering Programme for girls.
 Kathryn Bothwell and Lisa Sheridan went with Mr Hall, Co-ordinator for Life and Work to sit on a panel answering questions at the launch of Dr Michael Brown’s DVD on Disability and Development in Stormont which had been piloted in the Collegiate.
 Innovation in the use of Technology was to the fore when Mr Peter Richardson, Head of ITC explained the use of Elluminate as part of a virtual learning platform in a BBC news report.

 The local heat of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition took place in November. Siobhan Kerr gained 1st place for the second year running speaking on the topic “Opt in or opt out – which way for organ donation?” Siobhan will represent Fermanagh in the Northern Ireland Competition.
Melissa Woods was one of two students chosen to meet David Cameron to discuss the IF campaign during the G8 Summit. This had followed on from her television appearance reading the poem she had composed as part of her contribution to the Interschools E8 Summit.
Annabel Stewart and Kelly Vaughan from Year 8 had their short stories shortlisted in the Chris Evans Breakfast Competition.
 Nine girls from Years 12 and 13 took part in the school heat of the Rotary Youth Leadership competition. Four girls, Gemma Campbell, Ellen Cupples, Susannah Irwin and Lisa Sheridan, represented the school. Ellen went on to win the overall Fermanagh Competition and acquitted herself very well at the Regional Final in Letterkenny in November. Caitlin Johnston, Year 9, won the Rotary Young Photographer Competition in the Intermediate Section of the All-Ireland Competition on the theme of peace. Julie Stinson was an All-Ireland finalist in the Rotary Young Chef Competition.
Grace Kettyle was the WELB winner in the Dairy Young Cook of the Year competition.
Sophie Sherlock represented Fermanagh in Northern Ireland final of the Future Chef competition and was third at All-Ireland level in Key Stage 3 section of the Safe-Food Cookery Competition.

 A new venture for the School Council has been the production of a short DVD. It is a celebration of school life and the school community and what it means to the girls of the school to be a Collegian. A former Collegian, Mrs Arlene Foster (nee Kelly) MLA and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Development kindly gave of her time to do the introduction on what the Collegiate meant to her. To watch the DVD you can log on to the School website www.enniskillencollegiate.org.uk and play it. Please do. It will bring back that sense of belonging to a very warm and happy environment.
Eight girls in Year 10 completed the Level One qualification in Mandarin Chinese last June through the local South West College hub. They were presented with their certificates recently at a splendid ceremony in the Waterfront Hall to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the achievements of the hubs across Northern Ireland
 The Music Department continues to support the school by providing music for all school functions and some events in the Community.
Collegiate girls also experienced an impressive level of success in the Drama, Public Speaking, Poetry and Classical and Contemporary Music Sections of Fermanagh Feis.
The girls supported a variety of charities during the year raising over £4000 to help Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, Women’s Aid, Horizon West Children’s Hospice Appeal, Action Cancer, Diabetes UK, Downs Syndrome Association, Operation Rescue, Amnesty International, Aisling Centre and Clic Sargeant.
 Mrs Aly Finlay (nee Allen) organised and gave encouragement to the girls taking part in the House Play Competition. A former pupil, Mrs Gillian Wilson (nee Mulligan) was the adjudicator. Cambridge House swept the board for the prizes, emerging as winners, Siobhan KerrBest Overall Actress and Saskia Hale winner of programme and ticket design.
 The Tag Rugby Team won at Ravenhill in March beating Grosvenor Grammar School scoring nine tries to five. The team has been successful in bringing home the Moore Trophy four times out of five which is a superb achievement.
 Years 8&9 football team reached the Northern Ireland finals. Kathryn Dane has played on the NI Women’s Under 17 team in several international matches. In Hockey the senior teams had wins against Royal and Prior, Raphoe and Dungannon and a close contest against a strong Armagh side. The juniors also played well in their matches against Castlederg and Drumragh.
In Netball the Year 12 team won a Bronze medal in their blitz in November. In February the Year 10 tournament involved six schools in total: the Collegiate team played well, holding one team to a draw and narrowly losing out to another. In March the Year 11 tournament involved five schools: in this competition the Collegiate fielded two teams in what was a very close competition. Both Fivemiletown College and the Collegiate were level on eight points apiece in the final score and Fivemiletown narrowly won on goal difference.
 In Sportshall Athletics pupils were involved both on and off the track in the autumn competition as the AS and A level pupils studying Physical Education helped in the officiating team. In the U13 competition Jade Ballantine was first in the 6-lap, Sophie Coalter was second in the 2-lap and first in the vertical jump while Jessica Elliott was third in the 4-lap and second in the standing long jump and Morgan Aiken was second in the vertical jump and third in the 8-lap Paarlauf. In the U15 competition Jane McCutcheon was first in the 4-lap, Ellie Rix was third in the shot putt and second in both the 2-lap relay and the 8-lap Paarlauf. Laura Trimble was third in the speed bounce. In the Spring Term three of our athletes were selected to be a part of the Fermanagh Team as it headed to the Ulster Sportshall Championships in Magherafelt on Thursday 14 March. The girls all acquitted themselves admirably, with Jade Ballantine coming second in the 6-lap race and Jessica Elliott coming third in the 4-lap. Together with their teammates drawn from schools across Fermanagh, their efforts helped the U13 Girls Team to come third overall. Meanwhile, in the U15 Girls’ competition, Jane McCutcheon performed very well in her events particularly in the Paarlauf and the Fermanagh Team was placed fifth overall.
 In the annual E-district Athletics competition at Antrim Forum the girls produced some fine performances with five qualifying for the Ulster championships.

These are just a flavour of the successes which were celebrated during 2013.

The school web-site: www.enniskillencollegiate.org.uk will keep you up to date with ongoing successes.

The School Magazine
The magazine is now coming out at the end of the first term with a new full colour format. Mrs MacCombe is the new Editor. Copies of the magazine can be purchased from School Reception for £6.

The Future of the School under Area Planning
Last year I reported to you that once again The Western Education Library Board is proposing an amalgamation of the Collegiate Grammar School and Portora Royal School as part of the Area Plans which they submitted to the Minister of Education in December 2012. The Board of Governors of the Collegiate have not given their assent to this proposal which will result in the reduction of grammar school places for young people in our area by 150 and in the removal of a high achieving grammar school. Mr Barry Mulholland came to the Board of Governor’s meeting on 30th April 2013 and said that consultation would take place with parents, staff, governors and pupils in June 2013. At the time of writing nothing further has happened. The Board of Governors has written to the parents of the school to update them on the current situation and to reiterate their determination to oppose this proposal. They are determined that the strong tradition of grammar school provision in this area is not diluted in any way and that the Collegiate as a high achieving single-gender grammar school is allowed to continue its positive contribution to the future provision of education in this area. In this the Board of Governors are pleased to welcome the support of the Action Group set up in May 2013. The Action Group has been very active in writing to MLAs, Councillors and anyone with influence to make sure that they are fully aware of the position being taken by parents and the Board of Governors of the school. They have also set up a petition to take to the Minister at the appropriate time so please sign it. The School would value any support that you can give to it in the days ahead. We will keep you informed of further developments through the school website.

Our programme for the coming year is as follows:-

Saturday 12th April 2014 at 10.30am Coffee morning at the home of Mrs Mavis Fleming (nee Wilkin), 176 Enniskillen Road, Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh BT94 2DN All Old Collegians and their friends are most welcome.

Friday 13th June 2014 at 7.00pm – the AGM and Annual Dinner in the Killyhevlin Hotel. Our speaker after dinner is Dr Diana Cody (nee Day)
Please reply, either to me (028 89521203) or by email to the address given in this letter or Hazel Scott (028 66323229) by 7th June. Also, in order that friends may have the opportunity to sit at the same table, please tell Hazel or myself if you are a member of a particular party. We have found that this arrangement has worked well for several years.

Saturday 20th September 2014 at 10.30am – A Coffee Morning in the Staffroom of the Millennium Building. A tour of the school is available if required.

The funds that we raise through our Coffee Mornings are used to benefit the school.

Lunch in Killyhevlin. On the first Wednesday of each month during term-time the Old Collegians have a table. If you wish to go, please phone Florence 028 89521203 and ask for your name to be added to the Old Collegian’s table. Friends are also welcome.

I am delighted to be able to pass on news of your old School and its pupils. I rely on receiving news from you, so please send on any information you may have at any time throughout the year, either by letter or preferably by email, address florence_brunt@hotmail.com To receive this letter electronically in future please send me your E-mail address which will save on stationery, time and postage, which is becoming very expensive. Please send me a message, subject – Old Collegian, with your name, so that I may add it to my list. It is also important to have registered as a member of the Old Collegians to receive the letter and news of events being organised. The Life Membership fee is just £20 or £10 for school leavers. The form can be accessed on the school’s website. If your details need updating please let me know preferably by E-mail. If you have any ideas or suggestions of activities which might interest Old Collegians, the Committee would be delighted to know of them. Contact can be made with me as already mentioned.

I trust that news of your old School has been of interest to you. If there are any other aspects on which you would like me to report, please let me know. Do try to send news of past pupils to me or mention it to any member of the committee.

Yours sincerely

Florence Brunt (President)

President Florence Brunt (nee Crawford)
Vice President Ingrid Logan (nee Wood)
Honorary Secretary Anne Wilson (nee McConnell)
Honorary Treasurer Hazel Scott (nee Gordon)

Janice Murray (nee Robinson) Olive Elliott (nee Beacom)
Averil Dunlop (nee Fleming) Carole Graham (nee Rutledge)
Evelyn Hassard (nee Moore) Catherine Irwin (nee Morrison)