PTFA Fireside Quiz Winners                                Posted November 26, 2015

The PTFA are delighted to announce they have raised £203.00 from their recent Fire Side Quiz.  The successful winners were Mrs C Johnson(mum of Erin) and Mrs L McDowell (mum of James ).  Both pupils were delighted to take the winning vouchers home to their parents!  


We would like to remind parents and friends of Glastry College, that our next PTFA meeting will be held on Thursday 10th December at 7.30 in the Sixth Form Centre and we are always keen to welcome new members.

Glastry College Art Department commemorate WW1 with Ceramic Poppy display                                                    Posted November 11, 2015

To commemorate the centenary of WW1 and the loss of so many in subsequent conflicts, Glastry College Art Department have been producing their own commemorative exhibition, inspired by the work of Paul Cummins and Tom Piper.


Their ceramic poppy installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ featured 888,246 ceramic poppies filling the Tower of London’s famous moat, from July to November 2014.


All of our Year 10 students have been busy making their own commemoration in class over the last month. Our poppies have also been made out of clay (ceramic) and displayed in our Environmental garden for all pupils to see. We will remember them.


“When you go home

Tell them of us, and say

For your tomorrow,

We gave our today.”


― Patrick O'Donnell, Into the Rising Sun: In Their Own Words, World War II's Pacific Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat.

Thanks go to Miss Dickson for this memorial, and to the Year 10 pupils that created this memorial piece in remembrance of all of those who fell in conflict.

Creative Peninsula Art Exhibition                          Posted November 08, 2015

As I write this article, I simply can’t believe that Glastry College has been exhibiting its GCSE and AS / A-Level work now for eight years with the Ards Arts Council’s Summer exhibition, The Creative Peninsula. Over the years Glastry has showcased work of over 100 of our students. We are proud to support such an excellent event, and to give our pupils the superb opportunity to have their Final Pieces exhibited alongside the work of many popular and well-known Artists in the Peninsula. The exhibition runs for the months of July and August, held in the Galleries in Newtownards Town Hall.


This year saw a small change in the format of the exhibition. With the merger and creation of the new Ards and North Down Council, more schools from outside the Peninsula, in North Down were invited to be involved.


Glastry was proud to have the work of 8 of our GCSE pupils on display, as well as 3 of our AS / A’ level pupils this year in the newly re-branded Future Artists exhibition, as part of the Creative Peninsula.


The Launch Evening was extremely well attended, with local dignitaries, teachers, pupils and families members present.


The work received great praise from all who attended and special mention should go to our students. Joshua Rainey, Rebecca McBratney, Kendal Smith, Katie Cairnduff, Charlotte Armstrong, Hannah Savage, Drew Riley, Megan Whiteside (GCSE level). Niall Scott, Georgina Donaldson, Chloe McVeigh (AS / A-Level).


Keep an eye out for the work of Megan Whiteside, who has had her GCSE work chosen for the True Colours Exhibition in the Ulster Museum in January 2016. Well-done Megan!

Glastry Rugby - Peninsula U14's Cup                    Posted November 08, 2015

With the great support of our Rugby Development Officers from Ulster Branch and an idea formed back in 2008, Friday 16th October 2015 was the first competition day of the Peninsula Cup.


This idea, I take full credit for, for once, was designed to bring together the schools of the Peninsula to play home and away games in a league format, for the ultimate prize of the Peninsula Cup. To get it off the ground, this year was a one off day involving five schools in the locality. Held at Ards rugby Club and sponsored by the Stove Yard, medals were also up for grabs. However on this occasion, there appeared to be added interest from Ulster Branch.


When we arrived at Ards with a full bus and carload of what can only be described as ‘talent’, we were met by Paddy McGrath (RDO for Ards and U17’s Ulster Coach). The clubhouse changing rooms were open and the smell of Deep Heat wafted on the breeze, piercing the nostrils and focussing the minds of the boys as they got changed. It seemed to be oozing out of the very fabric of the building giving a true sense of history and the thought of teams and players that went before.

The beautiful Autumnal morning that we had been blessed with demanded running rugby from each of the sides. Conditions were too good to be true as the boys in all black poured forth from the clubhouse sporting the red Glastry hound with pride on their chest. Regent and Strangford College stopped in their tracks to weigh up the opposition in black. It was like a modern day western with the noise only broken by a local private plane coming in to land at the airfield like some kind of lone eagle scouting for prey.


It was time to warm up and run through some drills while we waited for the two other teams to arrive. All of the boys were unaware of the potential opportunity that today brought their way. Several Ulster Rugby clad men seemed to be talking to Paddy and taking notes. There were scouts, and I don’t mean the helping an old lady across the road whilst pitching a tent kind of scouts, Ulster Rugby Scouts, looking for any kind of talent amongst the teams that attended. The prize should you stand out, trials for the Ulster Development Squads both this year and in the future. A chance to be taken seriously, to have your talent recognised, nurtured even. With this added spice the Glastry boys had extra focus.


After a long wait, phone calls were received that the other two teams weren’t able to attend. Medals were on the cards then for the top three teams and the Cup for the victors.


Regent kicked off the day against Strangford College. Regent clearly a well oiled machine, with great organisation through their backline. Strangford took it to them up front with their large pack, giving Regent a real headache in the scrums, mauls and lineouts. Regent realised that the space was in the wide areas, sucking in Strangford and then running the ball through slick attacking passing to score on numerous occasions and kicking their conversions. An eventual win and a big score left Regent clearly the team to beat.


Second match of the day saw Glastry take to the field against Strangford. Our team, mainly made up of Yr 10’s and supported by some ‘big units’ and ‘speedsters’ from year 9 fancied their chances. We spoke about patterns of play, taking it on through the forwards and then spinning it wide and attacking through the backs. That is what the boys did! Our forwards took the ball on time after time, picking and going at rucks, thundering on with Humza, Isaac, Joe. Clearing out the rucks, pods of forwards hanging back to give scrum half Ewan Kelly options. On through Kane McCormick, Jack Stewart and Harry McCarroll, tackling, turning over ball and doing the dirty work brilliantly. It was like watching proper patterns of play from the Rugby World Cup on ITV. I confess I had to hold back and maintain a certain decorum, but inside I was screaming them on the entire time with real pride! Our impact player, James McDowell was asked to ‘Hulk up’ to see green and to use his sheer size and pace to make punching runs and holes in the opposition defence. To my delight, and to the delight of those watching in Ulster scouting gear James duly obliged on several occasions. Taking four, sometimes five players to stop James trucking in the open and, picking up from number 8 at the base of the scrum, making meters, eating up the ground, he caught the eye, Black Beauty running free!


Scott Lowry came in as Hooker and performed beautifully, hooking ball at the scrum, throwing and hitting his man in the line out every time! The back line ran the ball at every opportunity, with great passing and precision. From Kelly to Burke to Gallogly, to debutant Lewis Croft on one wing and Matt Lyttle, who we now call ‘The Wall’ as no one passed him all day in defence, on the other! Matt was immense tackling anyone who came anywhere near him. Elliot McKee with his attacking dancing feet jinked and jived his way through many tackles time and time again.


In the end Jack Stewart powered over after superb work from the forwards to take the lead. Burke missed the conversion, but Glastry were all over Strangford. Scrums we won against the head, simply out muscling the Strangford pack, line outs we won all afternoon and penalties we ran and kicked for touch giving us field position. Proper Rugby! A few decisions to run the ball from penalties had us held up on the line by Strangford on 3 occasions. These unconverted chances and our decision not to take kickable points all, inevitably, came back to haunt us. Strangford scored a break away try and converted kick to win. All the boys were gutted, but I was elated. There was so much good throughout the game. We just got stung in the end.


As we licked our wounds and took on water Strangford’s coach was the first of many to come and say that ‘the best team, who played the best rugby lost’. I have to agree. It was great to hear that other coaches seen the quality in our Glastry boys, the way we played, the pride we displayed. Many of the boys caught the eyes of the scouts, again not the camping kind, and I had great conversations with them as the matches progressed. Who is that? What age is he? Does he play at a club? No! Really! He should! Time and again the same chat. All our boys should hold their heads high! Special mention should go to the main three boys who really stood out for the Ulster Scouts on this occasion. Matthew Burke for his attacking running, passing, keeping the backs moving and tackling, Harry McCarroll for his aggressive tackling, turning over ball at rucks and carrying the ball forward, and James ‘The Hulk’ McDowell for hopefully realising his massive potential as a Thundering number 8!


The match against Regent went the same way as it did for Strangford. Better organisation and game understanding prevailed. Other mentions should go to Oliver Spence and Christian Locke from yr 9 for great play, Matthew Herron, Daniel Donnan and Oliver Hinsdale got stuck in up front again taking the ball forward, tackling and rucking hard!


No cup this year, third place at the first time of asking and some awesome rugby to boot. I only wish I had a camera to film it. Thankfully the memories live on in my head. Thanks again should go to Mr Swift who drove the boys in the bus. We greatly appreciate it! I have no doubt that the win is around the corner. Dare to peek with me…? ‘STAND UP FOR THE GLASTRY MEN ‘

Glastry College celebrates Chris Ferguson's Rugby Legacy                   Posted October 20, 2015

Ten years ago a rugby ball could have been mistaken for a dinosaur egg at Glastry College. However, on Saturday 10th October over 60 current pupils, 20 former pupils, 15 staff and hundreds of parents, former parents and spectators gathered at the Clay Pits Arena to participate in and enjoy a festival of rugby in memory of Chris Ferguson. Indeed, it was Chris’ love of rugby, his enthusiasm for extra-curricular activities and vision and desire to provide opportunities for pupils to learn and develop as individuals outside of the classroom, that led to rugby becoming such an important part of the College and therefore, for so many people to come and celebrate his legacy.


The event kicked-off with our Year 8 pupils competing against each other in an 8-a-side game. Both teams displayed some superb running rugby with slick handling skills and excellent tackling – all elements of the game they have been developing in their PE lessons and rugby training on Wednesdays after school.


Our Year 9 team then played the Year 10 pupils in a 15-a-side game on the full pitch. As the pupils were cheered on by the watching crowd there were some terrific performances from both teams with enterprising, running rugby and a fast off-loading game on display. The Year 10 pupils eventually ran out as winners by 15 points to nil.

The main event was however the match between staff and former pupils and with tag rugby victories for both teams from yesteryear, this was to be the decider. A surprisingly fast-flowing and physical game got underway with both teams’ early inroads being stopped by strong tackling. The staff team         

were able to put together some strong phases and repeated infringements from the ex-pupils for off-side eventually led to a kickable penalty opportunity. Mr Higgins drilled the chance between the posts to give the staff an early lead. It is reasonable to summarise that the next 20 minutes were played in the staff 22, with good attacks from the ex-pupils orchestrated by the impressive Oliver Glenn at scrum-half, only stopped by strong defence from the staff tight five and flankers in particular. However, the pressure eventually told and from a 5 metre scrum the ex-pupils worked a super angle on the blindside to put Ben Keenan over in the corner. The conversion was missed. More good work from the ex-pupils led to desperate defence from the staff team and the concession of a penalty for holding onto the ball, the penalty opportunity was missed and with the half-time whistle blown the ex-pupils led 5 points to 3 – the low number of points belying what was an entertaining half of rugby.


With the game having the potential to become a nail-biter both teams took every opportunity to catch their breath, take on water and eat tray bakes, as key messages were espoused by charismatic captains Mr Drury and Scott Heanue.


The second half started with controversy. The staff couldn’t remember which end they started from and despite the confusion the ex-pupils had the good grace to allow the staff team to play down the hill in the second half as well as the first. With the wind behind them, the staff team began to dominate proceedings in terms of territory and possession. The boots of Mr Higgins and Mr Falloon were punishing the ex-pupils’ handling errors and indiscipline. The efforts of the staff pack should be commended also, as their greater rugby ‘nouse’ was starting to frustrate the ex-pupils. A series of driving mauls led the staff team to the ex-pupils’ 22 where more infringements led to another kickable penalty. Mr Higgins, fresh from missing an earlier longer range opportunity drilled the ball between the posts to give the staff a deserved 6 points to 5 lead. With under 15 minutes left, tension was mounting, would experience or youthful exuberance win through? The ex-pupils were making some ground through strong running from their back row and centres but costly errors led to possession being coughed up and with a shift in strategy away from a conservative 10 man rugby game plan to something akin to total rugby, the staff team were making serious inroads.

Quality supporting lines, one-handed off-loads, dummies, side-steps the staff were beginning to regale the crowds with rugby skill that could have been mistaken for the All Blacks were it not for the red Talbot hound instead of a silver fern adorning their black shirts. Repeated drives from the staff forwards took them deep inside the ex-pupils’ 22. Quick ball was sprayed out to the backs, a grubber kick was put through and with slight downward pressure all that was needed from a staff player for the try, it took an incredible piece of defence by Jack Coulter to touch the ball down in the in-goal area first and prevent the 5 points. From the resulting 22 drop out the staff team attacked again but resolute defence from the ex-pupils, reflecting their determination not to concede kept them at bay. With another staff attack came the decisive moment, a loose pass, an interception by Cameron McKee who out-sprinted the defence to score under the posts to huge roars from the ex-pupils! With the conversion completed, the ex-pupils led by 12 points to 6 with 5 minutes to go. Possession was coughed up by the ex-pupils at the restart giving the staff team the opportunity to hammer away, with their tap-and-go rumbles proving effective following continuous infringements from the ex-pupils. First Drury, then Hutchinson, then Scott attacked from 5 metres out, then Hutchinson again but to no avail – the ex-pupils’ defence held firm and with that impenetrable defence, the spoils of victory!


At the end of the game the players were delighted to be photographed with Peter Brown, Ulster Rugby’s most recent signing. Indeed, the College would like to thank Peter for finding his way down to Glastry, for his support and his willingness to be photographed with so many of the pupils and female staff! It was even overheard that he was quite impressed by the standard of rugby on display!

That standard, amongst the ex-pupils in particular, and of course, rugby at Glastry, were only possible because of one man’s vision. Indeed, as the game ended, all of the players walked from the pitch sharing laughter, stories, handshakes and man-hugs in what they hoped was a reflection of that vision, just as they had stood at the start of the game, shoulder to shoulder, in prayers of thankfulness for a life they were blessed to encounter.


For a full gallery of pictures from the day please click here.

I.F.A 5-a-side Cup - Girls' Football                      Posted October 19, 2015

On Thursday 27th August 2015 the newest cohort of Year 8 pupils arrived bright eyed and dressed in their new school uniforms for their first day at Glastry College.


All were welcomed personally by the Principal Mr Hutchinson at the front door as they arrived before gathering in the school Assewmbly Hall to be greeted by the Head of Year 8, Mr Wallace and group tutors.


They spent the morning learning timetables, school rules and walking to each of their classes so they would be ready to go on September 1st!

All tutors spoke of the good behaviour and wonderfully neat uniforms on display. To see more pictures of the Induction Day click here and finally - Welcome Year 8 to Glastry College!

The Belfast Tattoo - by Danielle Andrews                    Posted September 23, 2015

Five months ago, I thought I would be brave and audition for the Belfast Tattoo.  I had no real idea what it really involved, but I had been told that some of the best Irish dancers had the opportunity - if they were talented enough -to perform during this festival. So I thought -why not give it a go!


I sent in my audition video, not really expecting to hear a reply with over 200 other interested dancers and with only 40 places available I thought I didn't have a chance.  However, within a few days a letter arrived with brilliant news -I had been selected!  I squealed with delight!  I was so loud I think that the whole of Ballyhalbert heard me!  But then the nerves set in.  Was I talented enough to dance in front of hundreds of people in the Odyssey Arena?


However, once the two hour training sessions started, which happened every Friday night, the nerves quickly disappeared.  I was too tired to be nervous!  


Then in the blink of an eye, the time had arrived for our show stopping extravaganza.  It really was like something out of the movies - lights, camera, action.   

The shows were amazing.  We all looked fabulous due to wearing handmade costumes and having our makeup and hair done professionally - I actually felt like a professional dancer, well a nervous professional dancer.  All too soon the shows were over, the audience gone and the lights faded.  However, for me I can still remember it all so vividly.  It was such a memorable experience that I can't wait to apply next year.

Year 8 Induction Day - 27th August 2015            Posted September 22, 2015

On Thursday 27th August 2015 the newest cohort of Year 8 pupils arrived bright eyed and dressed in their new school uniforms for their first day at Glastry College.


All were welcomed personally by the Principal Mr Hutchinson at the front door as they arrived before gathering in the school Assembly Hall to be greeted by the Head of Year 8, Mr Wallace and group tutors.


They spent the morning learning timetables, school rules and walking to each of their classes so they would be ready to go on September 1st!

All tutors spoke of the good behaviour and wonderfully neat uniforms on display. To see more pictures of the Induction Day click here and finally - Welcome Year 8 to Glastry College!

Coming this December! - The Wizard of Oz              Posted August 27, 2015

Glastry College Drama Society Presents: The Wizard of Oz


Join Dorothy as she finds herself transported over the rainbow to the merry old land of Oz and meets some strange (yet loveable) new friends!


With another superbly-talented cast, this year’s production will not disappoint and what better way to get into the festive spirit?


Tickets coming soon, don’t miss out!

Glastry Newsletter

Throughout the year Glastry College produces a newsletter for parents & pupils with what's been happening in the College. Please click the links below for the latest editions.



Events 2015 - 2016
13 August
A-Level Results Day
20 August
GCSE Results Day
26 August
Sixth Form Induction Day
27 August
Year 8 Induction Day
01 September
Term 1 begins - whole school

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