Belfast High School has “much to celebrate in terms of achievement and success in all spheres of the life of the school”, according to principal Lynn Gormley.
In her address at the annual prize distribution, Mrs Gormley stated that the school had embarked on a new three-year development plan.
“We strive to improve and develop the resources and facilities for our pupils and staff”, she said.
“This is an exciting time for Belfast High School. As the school continues to flourish and grow, we will continue to have high expectations for all our pupils and encourage them to fulfil their potential and follow their dreams.
“We will do our utmost to provide a high quality, fit for purpose educational environment and as new buildings emerge, we can continue to build upon our remarkable successes and move forward with confidence into the future.”
The principal confirmed that work will start on a new £3.5million building project in February 2015. This will include a new sports hall, astroturf pitch, fitness suite and drama studio. ICT facilities have been upgraded and the long-awaited installation of new windows will take place during November.
The principal continued: “In external examinations, Belfast High School achieved excellent results. The performance at GCSE was record-breaking with improvements in every category. More than 55 per cent of our entries achieved A-Starred or A grades.
“Over 99 per cent of pupils achieved five C grades or above and more than 75 per cent achieved at least seven GCSEs at grades A-starred to B. These outstanding results augur well for AS and A-Level performance over the next two years, Congratulations to Joshua Edwards, John Mackey and Emily Morgan who all achieved 10 A-starred grades. A remarkable achievement.
“Our pupils again achieved high standards at AS and A Level. Special congratulations go to Matthew Kingston and Zack Millar who each achieved five A-starred grades at A Level. Matthew was placed first in Northern Ireland in both physics and further mathematics. Congratulations also go to Bethany Corbett who was placed third in Northern Ireland in A Level English literature.
“These magnificent results were achieved by sheer hard work done by pupils and teachers as well as the support of parents and governors.”
The principal noted: “This evening, we are celebrating success in a wide range of school activities not just in the academic sphere. Belfast High School staff give many hours of their free time to extra-curricular activities, and to sport, and I thank the PE staff and all staff involved for their much-appreciated contributions.”
Mrs Gormley also noted that Belfast High’s community service group raised just over £6,000 for various charities and proceeded to detail success for the school in rugby, hockey, netball, cross-country, golf, tennis, athletics and Irish dancing.
The school’s “outstanding development of the international dimension of the curriculum” was rewarded for a third time, she said, with an International School Award in September.
Guest of honour for the evening was soprano and opera singer, past pupil Emma Morwood.