News and Events

Rachel Williamson Foundation
Posted June 28 2019

On Tuesday 25 June, Mr Simon Williamson, founder of the Rachel Williamson Foundation, spoke to members and prospective members of Glastry College’s Student Council about a new education project to educate young people about the dangers of asthma. Mr Williamson’s daughter, Rachel, tragically died in July 2017, and Mr Williamson was inspired to educate young people about the dangers of the disease. Mr Williamson

showed the group materials which could be used in secondary schools and was impressed by the Council’s enthusiastic and positive response, as well as its constructive suggestions. Glastry College wishes Mr Williamson every success as the asthma awareness project is rolled out throughout schools in Northern Ireland.

Musical Evening
Posted June 25 2019

The annual musical evening took place on Monday 17 June and showcased the many and varied musical talents of Glastry pupils, with solo, choral and instrumental items, and played to a large and appreciative audience.  Andrew Graham, Joshua McClements, Naomi McDowell, Katy Rodgers and Rebecca Walker are to be particularly commended for performing solo instrumental or vocal items – for some the first time in public. Dr Timpany paid tribute to Rebekah Bristow and Joseph Nickell, who have now reached school leaving age, having been continuous choir members for five and seven years respectively. There was certainly something for all tastes, including a nod to the recent winners of the Champions League! Thank you to Mr Sinclair who also worked extensively with pupils in preparation for the concert.

Launch of the Rachel Williamson Foundation
Posted June 19 2019

On Tuesday 11 June, Glastry College was honoured to host the launch of the Rachel Williamson Foundation, a new asthma awareness campaign for schools in Northern Ireland. Following Rachel’s tragic and untimely death in July 2017, Rachel’s dad was inspired to educate young people about the dangers of asthma, a disease which currently affects 36,000 children in Northern Ireland, and which caused the deaths of 182 young people between 2012 and 2016.


Speakers at the launch included Simon Williamson (Rachel’s dad), Dara O’Donoghue (consultant paediatrician), Barbara Maxwell (paediatric respiratory nurse) Professor Mike Shields (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Councillor Robert Adair (Chairman, Rachel Williamson Foundation). A large audience, which included local educationalists, medical practitioners, politicians, students, staff, and members of the community, attended.


The college wishes the Rachel Williamson Foundation every success in the months and years ahead.

Councillor Redmond, Mr S Williamson, M McIlveen MLA, Councillor R Adair, Councillor K Douglas (Deputy Mayor North Down and Ards Borough Council)

K Scott (Director of Education, Education Authority), M Carville (Principal, Regent House School), A Hutchinson (Principal, Glastry College), M Weir (Education Authority and former Principal, Strangford College), E Huddleston (Principal, Bangor Grammar School), S Patton (Principal, Victoria Primary School, Ballyhalbert), and C Craig (Principal, Ballywalter Primary School)

GCSE Geography River Fieldwork
Posted June 19 2019

On Thursday 13 and Friday 14 June, GCSE Geography classes visited the Enler River in North Down. Students were collecting primary data about how rivers change from source to mouth to use in their Unit 3 Fieldwork paper. While suitable primary data was collected for analysis and interpretation, much fun was had avoiding holey waders, flicking water at teachers and of course, enjoying lunch at a well-known fast food restaurant. 

An Evening with the Arts
Posted June 19 2019

Glastry hosted our annual ‘Evening with the Arts’ on Monday 17 June, which showcased work by our GCSE and A Level Art and Technology students, alongside excellent Musical accompaniment from Dr Timpany, the College choirs, soloists and musicians. Glastry Art Department is also proud to announce that for the thirteenth year in a row, it will be contributing thirteen pieces of work by our students, to the Creative Peninsula: Next Generation Art exhibition. This will take place in Newtownards Town Hall throughout the month of July and is open to the public, which we would encourage you all to go and see. Glastry will exhibit alongside other secondary schools from the North Down and Ards area. The Art, Music and Technology departments, would like to thank parents, pupils and friends for their continued support and encouragement of the creative arts, here at Glastry College.

An Evening with the Arts
Posted June 13 2019

You are cordially invited, together with your son/daughter and friends and relatives, to our Annual Concert and Art and Technology display on Monday 17 June from 7 pm – 9 pm. This will include a musical performance featuring choirs and instrumentalists, commencing at 7.30 pm, and lasting approximately 40 minutes. There will also be a celebration of work produced by GCSE & GCE Art and Design and Technology students on display. This will be available for viewing before and after the musical performances in A1, A2 and the Assembly Hall.


In addition, there will be an exhibition of this year’s entries for the Year 10 Annual Photographic Competition, announcement of the winning entry for 2019 and the awarding of prizes.Light refreshments and supper will also be provided.



The evening presents an excellent opportunity to celebrate the work of Year 12 and Sixth Form leavers with family and friends. Many of the pieces will go on to be showcased in local Art exhibitions and/or be used as exemplar pieces with future students.


For students due to commence GCSEs in September and current Year 11 students, the displays afford the chance to see a wide variety of completed project pieces, gain a greater understanding of what is involved in developing an idea through to completion and may even prove to be a good starting point for the beginning of a project idea. You may also gain an insight into how to best support your child in their work.


As a matter of respect for our performers, we request that viewing is paused for the entirety of the musical performance, so that everyone has the opportunity to listen to our talented singers and musicians.


We look forward to seeing you and your family on Monday 17 June.


Thank you for your continued support of our students and the work of the College and we wish you and your family a happy and restful summer break.

Glastry Receives Positive Feedback from Inspection
Posted June 10 2019

The results of an inspection of Glastry College, Ballyhalbert, undertaken in March, have recently been published by the Department of Education.  Six inspectors visited the school, and although they were unable to observe lessons, owing to current industrial action by the teaching unions, were able to examine, and comment upon, outcomes for learners, quality of provision for learners, safeguarding and leadership and management.


The inspectors commented that the pupils who met the inspection team were polite, confident and articulate and particularly noted that the proportion of pupils attaining five or more GCSE (or equivalent) at grades A* - C (including English and Maths), is above the Northern Ireland average for similar non-selective schools.  The percentage of pupils attaining three or more A levels (or equivalent) has also increased and is now well above the Northern Ireland average.


The inspector’s notes said there had been a significant improvement in GCSE outcomes and praised the school’s tracking system which monitors pupil’s progression as they move through the school enabling support and intervention for underachieving pupils.  Pupils who met with the inspectors spoke very positively about the care and welfare provided for them in their pastoral needs, support and guidance for career planning and the benefits of work experience.  Arrangements for safeguarding pupils reflected guidance from the Department of Education.


The inspection team observed that the College’s leadership communicates a clear, strategic vision for school improvement based on the needs, aspirations and interests of the pupils and notes that the school development plan is well–informed by appropriate self-evaluation and analysis of data, and by consultation with our stakeholders.


Mr A Hutchinson, Principal comments “I am delighted with the outcome of our recent school inspection.  I am particularly pleased that the Inspectors very favourably commented upon the College’s recent GCSE and A level results, both of which are above the Northern Ireland average. In fact, the results were the best ever in the history of the College.  It is also worth noting that the College’s A level results were not only the best of any non-selective school in the North Down and Ards area, but also better than a number of Grammar schools. I wish to pay tribute to pupils, parents, governors and staff for working together so effectively to ensure the very best outcomes for our pupils”.

A copy of the full report can be read here.

Glastry Success at North Down Athletics Championship
Posted June 4 2019

Glastry College attended the North Down Athletics Championship on Tuesday 4th June 2019, at Bangor Sportsplex. Despite the wet weather our spirts were not dampened. Well done to the whole team with many pupils achieving their personal best scores in various events. The following individuals deserve a special mention: 4th – A. Hawkins (Year 8 Shot), C. Herron (Year 9 100m), J. McMaster (Year 10 100m), Year 8 relay team (4x100m). 3rd – S. Morton (Year 8 200m), E. Clapham (Year 8 800m). 2nd - J. Moreland (Year 8 Cricket ball), E. Allan (Year 9 Javelin), J. McMaster (Year 10 800m). 1st  – E. Allan (Year 9 shot).

Primary Schools' Tournament 2019
Posted May 20 2019

Summer has now officially arrived! The annual Glastry Tournament took place on Friday 10 May in the school grounds, and, as usual, there was a great atmosphere, with friends and family arriving in large numbers to support the competitors. Eleven schools participated in the rounders and football matches and competition was intense.  In the rounders competition, Kircubbin Integrated emerged as the winners, with Ballywalter Primary in second place. Portavogie won the final of the football tournament, with Kircubbin Integrated in second place. Well done, everyone, and see you next year!

Raising Aspirations
Posted May 20 2019

Recently members of the  Year  11 Business Studies classes travelled  to St Columba’s, Portaferry,  for Day Four of the ‘Raising Aspirations’ Programme. Students explored work-related learning, and  learned about growth sectors in Northern Ireland and opportunities for work experience. Many thanks to Sharon McClements, from the University of Ulster,  for running this very worthwhile programme.

ABP Angus Youth Challenge
Posted Mar 28 2019

Some of our Y11 pupils have been competing in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge. Watch the clip below to hear them talk about farming here on the Ards Peninsula and their thoughts on getting more young people into the wonderful world of farming!

Year 8 and 9 Shared Education History Drama Workshop
Posted Mar 28 2019

On 12 March Year Eight pupils from St Columbas’, Portaferry joined our Year Eight pupils in a Shared Education History workshop at Glastry College.  The hall was filled with excitement and there was a real sense of anticipation. The pupils re-enacted the roles of the Normans and Irish Celts, and explored their shared history of the Normans in Ireland.  The gentlemen from Armagh City Council engaged the pupils’ imagination and the pupils really got into the spirit of it, by dressing up, deploying medieval battle tactics and interacting with each other with a sense of real fun and enthusiasm.  Pupils from both schools competed against each other in the skills of warfare, but thankfully no one was slain in battle for real!  In the afternoon the production changed to match the Year Nine Programme of Study on the Ulster Plantation, which the pupils also thoroughly enjoyed! It certainly was a great success and a huge thank you to the actors from the Navan Centre, two of whom were new this year, who as usual brought history to life and ensured that learning took place accompanied by lots of laughter and giggles!

Quick Start Programme
Posted Mar 28 2019

On Friday 22 March a group of ten Year 10 students, accompanied by Mrs Gargan,  set off for the final day of the Shared Education Quickstart Programme. This was the day they had all been waiting for, the one they had been working towards, the one where they got to put all their skills and qualities into practice and show their entrepreneurial talent - and boy did they do themselves proud! Every single student who took part received a participation certificate, but most were awarded with in the special categories also, which were presented by  Ards and North Down Mayor, Richard Smart.

No Hate Here
Posted Mar 8 2019

The 8.3 Citizenship class attended a Shared Education Event at St Columbas College in Portaferry run by Ards and North Down Borough Council Good Relations team and the PSNI. Pupils from both schools worked alongside one another to explore issues surrounding ethnic minorities living in NI. They learnt about different cultures from around the world, meeting individuals from Belarus and Singapore, and concluding that despite our differences we all have so much in common. They discussed issues of hate crime in the borough area and how it is important to take a no tolerance approach so we can all live peacefully together.

Our Day Out
Posted Mar 8 2019

On Thursday 28th February, a cast of exceedingly-talented pupils ranging from Year 8- to Year 14 performed their version of Willy Russell’s ‘Our Day Out’ for all of Year 10.


The play tells the tale of the ‘progress class’ taken out of school on an exciting day trip by the lovely Mrs Kay and the rather grumpy and reluctant Mr Briggs.  Audiences were transported to such destinations as Scrabo Tower, Dundonald Ice Bowl and the Ark Open Farm as mischief ensued and memories were made.


Mrs Forrester and Mr Drury were very proud of all the cast and would like to say a huge well done for all their hard work both on Open Night and during the performance last week.

True Colours Art Exhibition
Posted Feb 11 2019

On Friday the 8th February, Glastry Year Eleven and Sixth form Art students attended the 2019 True Colours Exhibition  at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. The exhibition showcased a great range of work from students around the province at both GCSE and A-Level. Unfortunately this year no Glastry work was on show, but I have no doubt our students will feature again soon. As well as this there was a superb opportunity to attend the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, and  to see his work in Belfast was incredible! The trip was a great success and our students are now inspired and ready to take their work forward.

Agriculture and Rural Life in the Ards Peninsula
Posted Feb 4 2019

Recently five Year Eleven pupils entered the ABP Angus Challenge,  which aims to help young people see the importance of agriculture and rural life in their area.

Working with Mr Neill, pupils created a three minute video outlining their ideas for  promoting agriculture and attended an event at CAFRE at the end of January.

Hockey Club
Posted Feb 4 2019

Would you like to learn a new sport? The Hockey Club will meet every Thursday after school, up to Easter.

All welcome, including beginners or those who have played before. If you don’t have a hockey stick, don’t worry, as one will be provided.

Bring outdoor PE kit and shin guards if you have them and meet in PE at 3.45pm. See you there!

Internet Safety Day
Posted Feb 4 2019

Each year, as a College, we participate in Internet Safety Day.  This year the focus is ‘What do we share on line?’  Please click here for advice and tips for parents on how to support our young people on line.

Update on Parental Consultations
Posted Jan 24 2019
Annual Carol Service
Posted Dec 21 2018

The annual Carol Service, featuring  music from college choirs and instrumentalists, together with readings, took place on Tuesday 18 December. The familiar Christmas readings from the Bible were read by students from Year Eight with musical interludes from the Year Eight Boys’, Year Eight Girls’ and Senior Choirs, soloists and instrumentalists. It was encouraging to see so many participants and a large, appreciative audience in attendance. The evening concluded with festive refreshments.

Charity Carol Singing
Posted Dec 21 2018

As part of the ongoing Shared Education initiative with St. Columba’s, Portaferry and Strangford College, members of the college choir sang Christmas carols at Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Belfast, on Thursday 13 December. It wasn’t all work however, with choir members enjoying social interaction and lunch at the Foodcourt upstairs. Over £200 was raised for the charity Autism NI. Well done, everyone.

Glastry Community Contributes to Local Food Bank
Posted Dec 21 2018
Principal's Christmas letter 2018
Posted Dec 18 2018

Since early December, Mrs Meaney (Head of Home Economics)  has co-ordinated contributions of grocery items from Glastry students and  staff, for the Thriving Life Food Bank in Newtownards. Members of the Glastry community have contributed an amazing 169kg of food over the past few weeks! Mrs Meaney would like everyone for their generosity, and Denzyl Macmillan and Andrew Nixon for their assistance in packing the items during their free time at break and lunch. Well done, Glastry!

Click here for a pdf version of the letter

College Open Night Monday 21 January 7.00 pm - 9.30 pm
Posted Dec 13 2018
DoE Review of Home to School Transport
Posted Dec 10 2018

Please visit to complete the online questionnaire.

Year 8 Visit the RADAR Centre, Belfast
Posted Dec 10 2018

On Monday 10 December Year Eight had an amazing day out at the RADAR centre in Belfast, learning how to become  more environmentally aware. Pupils were asked to pass on practical tips to their households on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. In 2019 families can pledge to do their bit in the  Ards and North Down Borough Council area to improve the  borough’s recycling rates. This new scheme will help to reduce rubbish going into landfill sites, and also assist with fund raising for school. Thanks to ANDBC for this fantastic educational opportunity!

PTFA Craft Fair a Great Success
Posted Nov 16 2018

Once again the Annual Craft Fair, which took place on Tuesday 6 November, was a great success. This special evening gives everyone the opportunity to purchase some beautiful gifts but to come together as a wider community.  The fantastic amount of £950 was raised and PTFA are very thankful to pupils, parents, staff and members of the public for continually supporting us.


Mrs K Dunbar (committee member)

Prize Distribution 2018
Posted Nov 16 2018

The college’s annual Prize Distribution took place at the end of October. Pupils were presented with many awards for a wide range of achievements, in front of a large number of friends and family. In a comprehensive speech, Mr Hutchinson praised the students, parents and staff for the college’s excellent 2018 examination results at GCSE and at ‘A’ level, which were the best in the college’s history, acknowledged the sizeable contribution of the Board of Governors to the smooth running of the school, and repeated his concern about the poor state of the school building. He further commented that the area-based plan proposal that Glastry should relocate to Newtownards would not be contemplated by the Board of Governors under any circumstances. Dr M Armstrong (Chair of Governors) and Mr T Mayne (NI Director of BASC) also spoke, and musical interludes were provided by the college choir. This year’s Prize Distribution closed with a vote of thanks by Joseph Nickell (Head Boy) and Bethany Smyth (Head Girl).

Anti Bullying Week
Posted Nov 14 2018

This week is Anti-Bullying Week and the theme is ‘Respect’.  We can all show respect to others in the way we speak  and behave towards others, how we treat their belongings as well as their thoughts and opinions.  Please take some time this week to stop and think about how respecting others can prevent bullying.  For further information and ideas on the role that you can play, please log onto

The DerryTrasna Pastoral Care Award 2019
Posted Nov 14 2018

The Department of Education, in partnership with the Public Health Agency, is seeking examples of outstanding pastoral care in schools. The Awards recognise school communities that have demonstrated exceptional co-operative effort in supporting the pastoral care of pupils in the 2017/18 academic year. The closing date is Friday 14 December 2018 and communities are being urged to nominate now. Schools cannot self-nominate but parents or others in the wider school community can nominate a school that has provided exceptional pastoral care.  If applications should be made by no later than 14 December 2018 using the online form available at

Girls Compete in Futsal Football Competition
Posted Oct 26 2018

The Futsal Area Heat took place at Lisburn Leisureplex recently. The Glastry Year 8 and 9 team finished fourth in their section, while Year 10/11 emerged as runners-up in their section and were unlucky not to progress to the semi-finals.


Well done to everyone who took part, especially to those representing the college for the first time.

Sixth Form Enjoy University Roadshow
Posted Oct 22 2018

On 12th October the University Roadshow visited the College. Sixth Form pupils found the experience enjoyable and particularly valuable in informing their next steps on their career pathways.

Mary Peters' Trust Interview with Mr Ferguson
Posted Oct 15 2018

At the end of September, Glastry pupils participated in a fundraising activity ‘Trainers for the Trust.’ Mr Ferguson talks about how the Trust helped him when he was competing in the Commonwealth Games.

Y14 Travel and Tourism Class Visit the Titanic Museum
Posted Oct 8 2018

Year 14 Travel and Tourism pupils attended Titanic Belfast for a seminar 'White Star to Five Star' and participated in a Q&A with Judith Owens, the Chief Executive. We would like to thank Judith, Siobhan and their team for their insight into the NI tourism industry.

Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning
Posted Oct 8 2018

Glastry College staff were proud to be part of Macmillan’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ last Friday (28th September).  Well over £300 was raised at the event in school which they dedicated to friends, family, colleagues and members of the local community who have had a cancer diagnosis. This is just one of the many charity events that Glastry organises, and is delighted to support, throughout its calendar year.

Parental Letter 28th September 2018
Posted Oct 1 2018
Parent Letter in Response to Chronicle A
Gideons Visit Glastry
Posted Sep 25 2018

On Tuesday 25 September, Mr B Cowan and Mr B Curran, representatives of Gideons UK, visited the college to present each member of Year Eight with a copy of the New Testament and Psalms. Representatives of Gidoens UK have been visiting Glastry for many years, and copies of New Testament and psalms are always gratefully received by pupils.

Year 8 Induction
Posted Sep 25 2018

On Tuesday 11 September, 103 excited Year 8 pupils participated in their Induction Fun Day, where they had the opportunity to get to know each other, their peer mentors, registration teachers and Head of Year in a more informal setting. They participated in a range of activities, including team building exercises, wall climbing, an inflatable obstacle course and archery. The group gelled together very well and an enjoyable day was had by all!

Calling All Actors - Auditions for College Play
Posted Sep 12 2018

The College play this year will be Willy Russell's 'Our Day Out'. Pupils should see Mrs Forrester and Mr Drury to collect audition pieces and time slots. Auditions will take place on Thursday 13th September at lunchtime and after school in Mobile 10! All pupils are also welcome to help in other areas - scenery, make-up, sound etc

Senior Prefect Team for 2018-2019
Posted Sep 12 2018

Presenting our Senior Prefect Team for 2018/2019! Congratulations to our newly appointed Head Boy J Nickel and Head Girl B Smyth and to our Deputy Head Boys M Robinson and E McKee and our Deputy Head Girls A Baxter and M Miller. Well done on your recent appointments!

Glastry Welcomes New Year Pupils
Posted Aug 31 2018

On Friday 31 August, 104 very excited Year Eight students were welcomed to their first day at Glastry College. The students were welcomed by Mr Hutchinson (Principal), Mrs Harris (Vice-Principal) and Ms Menary (Head of Year Eight), group tutors and student mentors.  Glastry prides itself on its caring, family ethos and high standards of behaviour and examination results. Although pupils in this year’s Year Eight come from 16 feeder primary schools, they are now all Glastry pupils and the college looks forward to following the new pupils’ achievements in the months and years ahead.

Class of 2018 Achieve the College's Best Ever GCSE Results
Posted Aug 24 2018

Following last weeks’ excellent A level results which were the best in the college’s history, with almost 70% of students achieving 3 A*-C grades and 100% of students achieving 2 A level passes, the Year 12 class of 2018 repeated this accomplishment with almost 70% of students achieving 5 A*-C grades.  Almost 50% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades, including English and Mathematics, and a remarkable one third of students achieved 8 A*-C grades including English and Mathematics.


Outstanding individual results were achieved by Elliott McKee (5 A*s and 5 As) Lucy Cunningham (1 A*, 5 As, 3 Bs) Chloe McAvera (1 As, 1B, 2 Cs) Melissa Millar (3A*s, 5As, 1B) Jessey Van Oostende Swanepoel (3As, 4Bs, 1C) Hannah Brown (4As, and 4Bs) and Matthew Burke (2As and 6Bs).


Mr Hutchinson, College Principal, commented ‘at Glastry College we focus on academic success with all students taking a minimum of 5 GCSE subjects.  The ongoing improvement in student outcomes is due to maintaining a focus on high quality teaching and learning, the excellent relationships between students and teachers and the hard work, commitment and dedication of students, teachers and parents’.

Sixth Form Pupils Achieve the College's Best Ever Results
Posted Aug 16 2018

The whole College community is delighted that almost 70% of our pupils achieved 3 A* to C grades at A Level. This is the highest ever achieved by the College. We would like to thank all of our wonderful pupils for their hard work and dedication and for all the parental support. We look forward to welcoming new pupils from across the Ards Peninsula into our high achieving and successful Sixth Form next week. To find out more about the exciting opportunities available in our Sixth Form and for an application form, please click here.

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