Assumption Grammar School
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2015)|
|Motto||ex sola virtute honor (From virtue alone comes honour)|
|Headteacher||Mr Peter Dobbin|
|Founder||Mother Baptist McKenny|
|Location||69 Belfast Road
|Houses||Knock, Saul, Drogheda, Iona, Faughart|
|Website||Assumption Grammar School|
Assumption Grammar School (known as 'The Assumption', 'Assumption Grammar' or 'AGS') is a voluntary Catholic girls' grammar school in Ballynahinch, County Down, Northern Ireland with approximately 869 students on roll aged 11–18. It was founded by the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption in 1933, and approved by the Ministry of Education in 1936. Admission to the school is by examination and entrance to Year 13 or Lower Sixth is based on GCSE grades.
The school officially opened its new school building on Friday 4 May 2012 by Sister Anne Patricia Flynn MSA, the Congregational Leader of the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption. The building hosts two multi-purpose halls, Windmill Restaurant, library, drama suites, ICT suites and music facilities including a music technology suite.
The school grounds include a Gaelic football and camogie pitch and an astro-turf pitch.
Subjects offered include: Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama, Economics, English, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Health & Social Care, History, History of Art, Home Economics, ICT, Irish,
Learning for Life and Work, Local and Global Citizenship, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Relationships & Sexuality Education, Religious Studies, Science, Sociology, Spanish, Statistics, Technology & Design and Theatre Studies.
Upon entry to the school, students are placed into one of the five houses that include Knock (Blue), Saul (Green), Drogheda (Purple), Iona (Red) and Faughart (Yellow).
The school has several sports teams including netball, camogie, dance, athletics, horse riding, cross country and Gaelic football. The Gaelic team is split into four teams: Year 8, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 20. The camogie is split likewise with the exception of the Under 20s, which is simply called the Senior team. The school has entered five netball teams into the NI League and Cup competitions and three into the East Down League. Two teams of 8 pupils will be selected from Year 8 for the East Down Tournament which is to be held in May.
The minor team and Year 9 A team are entered into the Rockport Invitational Tournament held in May. A dance team takes part in the NI Creative and Dance Competition, which is held in March.
The music department offers lessons for strings, woodwind, brass, traditional instruments, percussion and voice. Students are prepared for graded examinations through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in both practical and theory. They may also take exams in Traditional Music through the London College of Music and Drums through the ‘Rockschool’ system.
The current music groups and ensembles are Senior Orchestra, Training Orchestra, Senior and Junior Chamber Ensembles, several string ensembles such as quartets, trios and sextets, Senior and Junior Choirs, Senior and Junior Barbershop, Chamber Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Irish Traditional Group and a djembe group. The school hosts an annual concert which have taken place in the Waterfront Hall and the Ulster Hall, both situated in Belfast. Many of the music students take part in the Holywood and Ballymena Festivals every year. Assumption won the Best School (Instrumental) award at the Ballymena Festival in 2011.
Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch, the only Assumption school in Ireland, was founded in 1933 by Mother Baptist McKenny. The school is linked with the Assumption school in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Assumption Grammar School is currently a Specialist School for Music with PE as a subsidiary subject. Assumption Grammar now works along with 8 partner schools in the community providing opportunities for primary school children to have greater access to music both in and out of the classroom and allowing post-primary students the chance to study Music at GCSE.