Slideshow: Cullybackey College

‘Every child who comes to Cullybackey College has a right to the highest possible standard of teaching and support’, its principal has said.

Speaking to a packed gathering of parents and pupils at the College’s Open Night, David Donaldson welcomed the opportunity to give them an insight into what makes him so proud of the school.

Charlie McCready dressed as Henry the 8th along with his six wives for the Cullybackey College open night. INBT04-210AC

Charlie McCready dressed as Henry the 8th along with his six wives for the Cullybackey College open night. INBT04-210AC

He expressed his delight at the GCSE and A-Level results achieved by pupils in August when the percentage achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C was 62%, representing a superb 19% increase on the previous year.

The percentage of students achieving passes in two or more A Levels is 100% - the highest it has been in at least five years, and the percentage of students achieving passes of A*-C in three or more subjects is 42%, up by nine per cent on the previous year.

Mr Donaldson indicated that this success was achieved through a combination of real commitment and hard work on the part of the teachers, the effort of pupils and home support.

Mr Donaldson suggested Cullybackey College is ‘an ideal sized school’ in that it is not so large in size that it becomes impersonal and hard to fit in and yet not so small that it is limited in terms of curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities.

He said: “As a school of just under 700, comprising a mixture of pupils from the village itself, the wider, rural community as well as the town, we feel we are ideally placed to really get to know your child.

“When you walk around any school you get a feel for the atmosphere. One of the strengths of Cullybackey College is its friendly and supportive atmosphere.

“As a staff, both teaching and non-teaching, we take great pride in this. There is a well-developed induction programme for all Year Eight pupils and pastoral support, which was deemed outstanding by the Inspectorate in 2011, to ensure children settle in quickly and we will endeavour to work in partnership with you, the parents, to make this the case.”

Mr Donaldson stated that every child who comes to Cullybackey College has a right to the highest possible standard of teaching and support. In turn, he said, every child who comes to Cullybackey College accepts their responsibility for contributing positively to the College community by displaying the highest standards of behaviour to enable them to learn effectively.

He said: “As I am always keen to point out, success is about doing your best, not always being the best – and doing your best is what we expect from all our pupils.”

He went on to point out that the 106 pupils currently in Sixth Form is the largest number in the history of the College, adding that there is an expanding curriculum offered at both A-Level and GCSE.

The audience also heard that the College is in the process of developing a Sixth Form Learning Area to support the education of its Sixth Form pupils which, Mr Donaldson said, reflects that Cullybackey College is expanding.

In conclusion, he highlighted that ‘meeting the needs of all its pupils’ is at the heart of what the College is all about, stating: “Ensuring we know your child academically helps us to support them effectively during their time with us and this, coupled with the support of home and a lot of hard work and effort on the part of the pupil, remains the recipe for success.”