Welcome from the Principal

I extend a very warm welcome to all visitors to the website of St. Mary’s CBGS.

We are a Catholic Grammar School situated in a spacious and pleasant location in West Belfast. We have 1200 students and an intake of 175 to Year 8. We are part of the network of schools founded by the Christian Brothers.

We wish to take the school forward focusing on our core aims as outlined in the charter of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST).
• Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values;
• Promoting partnership in the school community;
• Excelling in learning and teaching;
• Creating a caring school community;
• Inspiring transformational leadership.

As a Catholic school, we are responsible not only for offering a first class education but are also equally concerned to ensure that this is conducted within the context of a living Christian faith. We are proud of our heritage as a Catholic institution founded by Christian Brothers in 1866 which still retains the tradition for the care and education of our students. As an ERST school our pupils have a particular concern for the disadvantaged, both home and abroad.
We believe that St Mary’s provides a welcoming, purposeful environment for our students and that each student has a real sense of belonging to our school community. We attach a great deal of importance to each student feeling safe and enjoying school in an atmosphere of mutual respect and positive behaviour.

High quality effective learning and teaching is at the centre of all that we do so that each student achieves his full potential and can develop the skills required for higher education, the world of work and adult life. We have a very broad curriculum, fully compliant with the Entitlement Framework, that ensures students have a wide range of pathways through the school and beyond to Higher Education.
We constantly develop our curriculum to ensure that the needs and interests of our boys are fully met, and to equip them for the ever changing demands of the labour market. A key part of our curriculum is ensuring that our students are skilled in the technologies of the future. To that end we have entered into partnerships with two global technology giants, Samsung and IBM. We are the first Samsung Smart School in Europe and only one of two schools in Northern Ireland to be chosen by IBM to work with them as a Global Exemplar School. These are very ambitious projects for the school but we believe in being ambitious for our boys and, in particular, equipping them with the skills to succeed in the rapidly growing Computer / IT sector.

We also want our students to experience success outside of the classroom and leave the school as fully rounded young men. As well as tremendous academic success, our students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities including, Gaelic football and hurling, water polo, soccer, basketball, cross country, golf, lifesaving, public speaking, debates, traditional Irish, rock and classical music groups and trips abroad. We have a long track record of success in the sporting and cultural fields.

Students are also provided with opportunities to serve their community through the St. Vincent de Paul, the John Paul II Awards, the Welcome Centre, Edmund Rice Awards and our Zambia Immersion Project.
Our strategic plan is long term and aims to shape lifelong learners, critical and innovative thinkers whose moral and spiritual integrity will enable them to be effective and happy adults.

We know that you have great hopes for your son and we regard it as our privilege to help realise these hopes. We look forward to working in partnership with you and to enabling your son to achieve excellence.

John Martin