“Although the national trend has shown signs that achieving the top grades is becoming increasingly difficult, many Cullybackey students went against that trend this year by gaining the best results the College has achieved in four years,” principal David Donaldson has said.
Addressing a packed Prize Night audience, he reported that the proportion of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C rose to 62% - the highest pass rate in five years and a significant improvement of 19% on last year’s results.
“This achievement is, in no small part, due to the hard work and partnership that was created between teachers and students. Many teachers went the extra mile with students to encourage them to achieve their very best,” he said.
Mr Donaldson pointed out that Cullybackey College sixth form continues to grow in size with 106 pupils currently involved at post-16 level. Some of the top students who achieved superb results at GCSE level included Jacqui McKee, Catherine Reid, Danica Donnelly, Michael Kerr, Sam Whatmough, Jordan Park, Georgina Thomson, Rebecca Arbuthnot, Karla Gilliland, Josephine Paul, Joel Harris, Scott Harris, Sarah O’Neill and Laura Park.
At A-Level, Year 14 students left with results that they can be extremely proud of and which are hugely encouraging, reflecting a marked upward trend in pupil performance, Mr Donaldson said.
The proportion of students achieving two or more A Levels at A* to E was 100% - the first time in five years that every student in the year group attained this, the audience heard.
The proportion of students achieving three or more A Levels at A* to C was 42% - an improvement of nine per cent on last year’s results.
Nine per cent of all entries ended up with an A* grade and over 73% of all entries achieved a grade C or above.
Mr Donaldson also highlighted the success of Cullybackey students in accessing collaborative courses through Ballymena Learning Together – especially with NRC and St Patrick’s College where they were supported to achieve A* grades.
Top achieving students who secured superb results included Jessica Byers, Ruth McCloy, Stephanie Lennox, Jemma Tweed, Rebekah Cubbitt, Trevor Holmes, Jordan McBurney, Christopher McKay, Fabrice Wallace and Rachel Gillespie.
Mr Donaldson said: “At Cullybackey College our priority is, and always will be, seeking to push our young people to realise their full potential, morally, socially, physically, emotionally and, ultimately, academically. We won’t always get it right – but I can assure you we will always try.”