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GCSE English Language Master Class

20 March 2017



Pictured l-r standing: Grainne O’Dowd, Patricia Hampson, Louise McEntee, Amy Mulgrew and Matthew Martin

Pictures l-r sitting: Catriona Murphy, Naomi King, Fiona McMahon, Maggie Hagan


St Mary’s students recently were invited to facilitate a Queen’s University Belfast GCSE English Language Master Class which was organised for students from secondary schools throughout Northern Ireland. Patricia Hampson, Outreach Officer for the Queen’s Widening Participation Unit, described the day as a terrific example of Queen’s and St Mary’s sharing their expertise as they work to make the experience of a university education accessible to as many students as possible:

“We have been working with students from these schools ever since they were in primary school. The day-long workshop, which was run by Matthew Martin [Senior Lecturer in English at St Marys] and seven St Mary’s students, was perfectly pitched to meet their needs as they progress towards completing their English Language GCSE. I have not seen this kind of group so willing to contribute in the past. I think they found the workshop thoroughly enjoyable and educational. I really do think that this will benefit these Year 12 pupils in relation to their GCSE English exam and across the wider curriculum. It was a pleasure having Matthew and our next generation of teachers at Queen’s.”

Hampson also noted that the participating high school students gave the day very high praise in their feedback, including this comment: “A brilliant experience. I enjoyed each activity and would 100% recommend for this to happen again! Especially for Year 11.”

Another student observed: “The workshop was amazing – I wouldn’t change anything.”

Students from the following schools attended the event:

• Belfast Model School for Girls
• Corpus Christi College
• Glengormley High School
• Malone Integrated College
• St Louise’s Comprehensive College
• St Rose’s Dominican College

The following St Mary’s students facilitated the workshop in cooperation with Matthew Martin:

• Louise McEntee
• Maggie Hagan
• Catriona Murphy
• Naomi King
• Fiona McMahon
• Grainne O’Dowd
• Amy Mulgrew


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