IT WAS another fantastic year of achievement for local school children across the borough as they received their A Level results this week.
Ballyclare High School ended what has been a momentous year for the school on a high note.
On the sports fields the girls hockey team celebrated a fantastic victory in the Senior Schools’ Cup, while the boys made it all the way to the final of the Schools’ Cup in rugby.
Reflecting on the A Level results, Principal Mr David Knox said: “There has been a good sound performance at the school, very similar to last year’s results and we are all pleased.
“Twenty-three students recorded straight As and overall the pass rate has been very good.”
Mr Knox paid a special mention to Danielle Allen, Scott Barr, Laura Douglas and Laura Shannon who scored incredible results.
He added: “Everyone has done incredibly well in what has been a difficult year - nationally - for results and we have done our very best to maintain results.”
Mr Knox also commended the school’s students who received their AS Level results.
He added: “Two girls received five A grades in their exams. Kathryn Orr did very well given one of her As came in Japanese and Esther McNeill, our head girl for next year did fantastically well to get the five A grades.
“The entire year group’s results were good and it augers well for next year’s results.”
He concluded: “It’s been a terrific year for the outgoing year group given their endeavours on the sports field in the hockey and the rugby. That year group has been particularly successful and we are sorry to see them go, but of course we wish them well in their future careers and in life.”
Ballyclare Secondary Principal, Kathryn Bell, hailed her school’s results as “superb”.
She said: “There were very many outstanding performances being celebrated by pupils, parents and the staff. It was an absolute delight to see so many young people fulfil their potential and realise that all their hard work has been worth it.
She went on: “The Year 14 pupils achieved an impressive 97 per cent A* to E success rate which is an incredible six per cent improvement on last year’s results.
“We are particularly pleased that the number of pupils achieving A* to C grades has improved by almost 10 per cent.
“Our pupils can certainly achieve at the very highest levels.
“Leading the way with 3 A*/A grades were Hannah Ireland, Iram Rasool and Victoria Taylor and followed closely by Kelly Hoey and Christina Hunter who achieved two A*/A grades.
“All Year 14 pupils have achieved very impressive results and are now anticipating the start of their university and further education courses, indeed on Thursday morning a number had already been accepted to their chosen courses.
“For a number of our pupils who had opted not to go on to further study they have successfully gained places in the world of work.”
Mrs Bell also praised those students who received their AS Level results.
She continued: “Year 13 pupils achieved a very pleasing 95 per cent A to E success rate with 71 per cent of these being at A to C level.
“This shows a very encouraging two per cent improvement on the results obtained last year and a secure platform for these pupils to build on next year. Our new link course this year with the Northern Regional College in engineering has been very successful with all 12 pupils achieving at least a merit grade with two distinction grades awarded.
“In addition to these superb A Level results, students studying OCR Level 2 National Certificate in Business also achieved success.
“Every student who completed the course achieved at least a pass grade and five pupils gained distinctions.”
She concluded: “At a time when there is so much uncertainty around education and financial pressures on schools one thing remains constant, it is always a pleasure to see pupils rewarded for all their hard work.
“As a school we aim to challenge and inspire all our pupils regardless of ability and it is both pleasing and encouraging to note that our pupils have been able to achieve above and beyond their expectations in the wide range of courses available to them.
“This year’s results were very promising and represent further improvement on previous years.
“Pupils and staff have all worked extremely hard and deserve the great results they have achieved. As in previous years we acknowledge the support of parents and the very important role they play in the continuing success of Ballyclare Secondary School.”