Leaving on a high note! Retiring St. Patrick’s principal praises ‘O’ level pupils

Three of St Patricks Colleges highest achieving students (l-r Clodagh Slattery, David Garai,  Kamila Pietras) with retiring Principal Mrs Magee and incoming Principal Dr Knox
Three of St Patricks Colleges highest achieving students (l-r Clodagh Slattery, David Garai, Kamila Pietras) with retiring Principal Mrs Magee and incoming Principal Dr Knox

The principal of St. Patrick’s College in Ballymena has praised the commitment of pupils, staff and parents as she unveiled the school’s ‘outstanding’ set of GCSE results.

Mrs Catherine Magee extended particular congratulations to Connor Stephens, who achieved nine GCSEs at A*-C, with seven at A* or A.

Retiring Principal, Mrs Cate Magee, welcomes Dr Martin Knox, St Patricks Colleges new Principal

Retiring Principal, Mrs Cate Magee, welcomes Dr Martin Knox, St Patricks Colleges new Principal

A further four students – David Garai, Cormac Magill, Kamila Pietras and Clodagh Slattery – have also achieved nine GCSE passes, again with a significant proportion of their grades being A* or A.

In all, 34 St Patrick’s pupils are celebrating seven or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, while sixteen have achieved eight or more at these grades.

There has been particular success in Modern Languages, where 100% of candidates have achieved A*-C in French or Polish. All candidates who took English Literature have achieved at A*-C. Other subject areas also with a 100% pass rate are Child Development, Further Maths, Learning for Life and Work and PE.

A further nine subject areas have seen A*-C performance of over 70%, while this figure rises to 80% and above for History and Additional Science and to over 90% for Art & Design, Construction and ICT.

St Patricks College GCSE students, celebrating their results with Principal Mrs Magee

St Patricks College GCSE students, celebrating their results with Principal Mrs Magee

Mrs Magee congratulated all of the school’s Year 12 students on their hard work and success.

She said: “These results are the culmination of a great deal of hard work on the parts of both students and teachers, and I congratulate each of the students, as well as their teachers. I would also like to thank the parents of the young people, for the encouragement and support they have provided to their children during the two years of their GCSE examinations.

“We are proud of the successes of all of our pupils, who between them have achieved 13 A* grades, 56 A’s and 112 B’s. These are excellent results from children who, in many cases, had enrolled in St Patrick’s College five years ago with their confidence severely dented by the Transfer procedure. I am sure their achievements will give them the confidence and encouragement to go onto further success at A level.”

And she continued: “In an excellent year for our Modern Languages, I would particularly like to recognise the achievement of our Polish students, five of whom have achieved either an A* or A grade in GCSE Polish, a qualification which will be very useful to them should they return to Poland to continue their studies or seek employment.

“Overall, these GCSE results, coupled with the excellent results at A Level achieved by our GCE students this year, give us great confidence as a school as we continue to ensure that the students leaving St Patrick’s do so with the highest qualifications they can possibly achieve.”

Mrs Magee also praised other successes within the Year 12 group, particularly eleven students who have completed the Prince’s Trust course, gaining a Level Two qualification equivalent to two GCSEs. In addition, thirteen students have achieved Level 2 qualifications in Occupational Studies, equivalent to GCSEs at A*-C.

“As a non-selective school, we celebrate success at all levels across the full range of ability. These are vocational courses, many of which our students access through the Northern Regional College, and they aim to broaden the educational experience of the young people, with a view to preparing them for further training or apprenticeships. I am delighted that these students have successfully embraced this opportunity, and I would like to thank the staff of the Northern Regional College for the partnership we enjoy, which is obviously benefiting our students.”

Mrs Magee wished all of the school’s Year 12 students success in the next stage of their education and welcomed many of them back to begin Sixth Form studies in St Patrick’s.

Mrs Magee, who is retiring after thirteen years as Principal of the College, also welcomed the incoming Principal.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish our new Principal, Dr Martin Knox, every success. I know that he will continue to build on the great success our pupils and teachers have achieved in St Patrick’s.”