Regent House School
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Regent House School is a co-ed controlled grammar school situated in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland. It comprises two parts: the preparatory department, known as "the Prep" and the main school itself. It has over 1550 pupils from ages 4 to 18.
The school is known for its sporting achievements especially in rugby, athletics and hockey, as well as its music department, including the senior choir which often performs in high-profile venues. It has also an excellent reputation for drama, producing a high standard of school plays over many years.
The school is divided into 4 houses: Castlereagh, Strangford, Scrabo and Clandeboye.
|Principal||Mr M C Carville|
|Gender||Boys & Girls|
|Houses||Castlereagh, Clandeboye, Scrabo, Strangford|
|Colours||red & black (boys)
red & green (girls)
The final phase of the school's building work has recently completed, concluding the six year renovations. The school buildings are among the most extensive in Northern Ireland and feature a specialised Technology department with 3 workshops, state of the art Music department with performance hall and recording studio, a dozen modern science labs, a completely refurbished library and languages block, drama studio, new staff room, "B" block containing new English and Maths departments, sports facilities including gym with full range of modern equipment and a new canteen and sixth form centre.
Regent House has appeared in 4 Schools' Cup Finals; the first in 1977, where they lost out to Royal School Armagh 12-9. Future Irish International Phillip Matthews and ex-Ulster Head Coach Brian McLaughlin played in the game however future British Lion Nigel Carr missed the occasion due to injury.
Regent would next reach the final in 1994 where they defeated Wallace HS 8–3 in what has proved to be their only outright victory. Two years later, Regent shared the Schools Cup with Methodist College following a 9–9 draw.
Promising start for the 1st XV in the 06/07 campaign, but fell short in the 4th round. Regent reached only their fourth School's Cup Final in 2008. The team started with a 17–0 home victory against internationally acclaimed Carrickfergus Grammar. This was followed by a very tense 10–6 victory away to Coleraine AI. Having already caused one upset in the Cup, they defeated RS Armagh 13–7. Regent reached the final following a 17–8 victory against Ballyclare High at Ravenhill, with tries from Neil Armstrong and Paul Henderson and a conversion from Armstrong in the second half proving vital. Regent were defeated 36–0 in the final by Methodist College Belfast at Ravenhill on St Patrick's Day 2008.
Regent House also has a successful hockey team, with the boys 1st XI doing well in most competitions over the past 20 years. The 2015/16 season was noteworthy for the girls 1st XI, who reached the final of the Senior School Shield, only to be beaten by a last minute winner. The school has a proud past in the sport and has produced many players who went on to succeed at international level.
Even the athletics team is one of the best in the country regularly producing Ulster and Irish Schools Champions. The school has produced a long list of international athletes at junior level with many also going on to gain senior international honours.
The cricket team reached the final of the 2006 Ulster Bank Schools Cup, only to disappointingly lose to RBAI by 10 wickets. The team contained many talented players who have a bright future in the game. However, in the shorter McCullough Cup, the 1st XI recorded an incredible one wicket victory against the same opponents in the semi final, with a four being struck off the very last ball. They duly didn't disappoint in the final, bowling Ballyclare out for 34 and winning by six wickets.
The music department of Regent House thrives with extra-curricular groups and performances; all pupils have the opportunity to become a member in one of the many musical groups that practice on a weekly basis in preparation for the Carol Service and Spring Concert, along with other outside concerts throughout the school year.
The Music Groups consist of: Junior and Senior Wind Band, Junior and Senior String Orchestra, Junior and Senior Choir, Junior and Senior Chamber Choir, Senior Woodwind Octet, Senior Brass Consort, Senior Saxophone Consort, Senior Dixie Band and the Senior String Octet. There is a very high standard of music education in RHS with Music becoming a popular choice at GCSE, even more so at A-level for the school year of 2012-2013. Students enter the AS course of Music with no less than grade 5 theory of music, going on to A2 with grade 6 and are expected to leave the school with grade 8.
Private musical tuition is a large component of the music experience at Regent House. From the first period of the day to the last, different students are taught each and every day, building up their knowledge and skill of their chosen instrument(s). With six soundproof tuition rooms equipped with an upright Yamaha piano, adjustable piano stool, desk, office chair, floor length mirror, multiple music stands, poster boards filled with music events, and modern electronic sound system, lessons are filled with activity and learning.
Air Training Corps
Regent also boast an Air Cadet squadron, 2241 sqn, a school squadron. The squadron was created out of an army cadet unit in 1951 by Flt Lt Duff, a teacher and the squadron's first Commanding Officer who had been a pilot during WW2 flying B-25 Mitchell bombers.
There are a number of opportunities on offer from the squadron including Gliding/flying training. The Squadron is well located as Newtownards Airfield is nearby, this was the home of 664 VGS flying Grob 109 Vigilant T.1 motorised gliders until March 2016.
2241(R.H.S) Squadron has a very successful record of sporting achievements in Athletics, Swimming, Hockey, Cross country, Shooting and Rugby.
There are a number of RAF camp opportunities throughout the year, Autumn camp, Easter camp as well as Summer camp, held at RAF bases around the U.K. Additional opportunities include Cyprus, Gibraltar and Germany camps as well as the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE).
2241 are winners of the NI Wing SRAFONI (Senior RAF Officer Northern Ireland) Trophy for best overall ATC Sqn in Northern Ireland 2011-12.
2241 have recently received a new building which is located beside their old one which is now used by the school for storage.
The 2013 shooting competition for both the team award and individual award was won by the 2241 team of four.
A 2241 cadet has held the Northern Ireland and Scotland and Northern Ireland Sports Cadet of the year for the last three years, she is also NI Wings best Cadet 2015 and has been appointed Lord Lieutenants Cadet for County Down 2016-17.
At the 2015 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford one of the Regent cadets was awarded the "Best Cadet " award from eight hundred cadets at RIAT camp, his prize was twenty hours of flying instruction at Oxford Aviation the premier flying school in the UK.
Notable former pupils
- Jim Allister, Unionist politician and MEP for Northern Ireland
- Nigel Carr, Rugby Former British Lions player
- David Coulter, Church of Scotland minister and Chaplain General in the British Army
- Felix Dodds, Sustainable development advocate and writer
- Michael McGimpsey – Ulster Unionist Party MLA and Minister for Health in the Northern Ireland Executive
- Eddie Irvine, Formula One racing driver
- Phillip Matthews, Rugby Irish International
- Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Blair 'Paddy' Mayne DSO & 3 Bars, founding member of the Special Air Service, Rugby Former British Lions player.
- Catherine Jean Milligan, former Miss Northern Ireland
- Colin Murray, Radio 1 DJ
- Ottilie Patterson, Blues singer