Slideshow: Academy prizegiving

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Ballymena Academy’s position as one of Northern Ireland’s highest performing schools has been reinforced by this year’s external examination results, results which bettered last year’s best ever performance at ‘A’ Level, Principal Stephen Black has said.

Addressing junior and senior prize day audiences at the school on Friday, he stated that at ‘A’ Level over 93% of the examinations sat resulted in grades of C or better and 84% of the year group attained three or more grades at A* – C, well in excess of the NI Grammar School figure of 77%.

Ballymena Academy year 8-11 form prize winners.

Ballymena Academy year 8-11 form prize winners.

Other noteworthy statistics, he said, included 18 individual subjects exceeding NI Grammar School averages for A*-C grades, almost half of the year group achieving at least one A grade and more than a quarter achieving a minimum of 3 A grades.

“Continuing the school’s excellent tradition of realising top three placings in Northern Ireland, we were delighted to hear that in GCE History Katie McGaughey had been placed first and Sarah Kelso joint second while Mairi Dundee had been placed Joint second in French,” said Mr Black.

At GCSE it was a similar success story with over 98% of grades at grade C or better, 99% of the year group achieved five A*-C grades with 98% achieving seven A*-C grades including English and Mathematics, a figure once again significantly in excess of the NI Grammar School average of 91.6%, Mr Black said.

At subject level, 25 distinct subjects exceeded NI Grammar School averages not only at A*-C but also at A*-B. Ballymena Academy also featured heavily in the NI GCSE placings with six pupils achieving seven awards. Andrew Hogg achieving first place in Construction while Michael Knowles secured joint first place in Biology.

There were joint second places in Economics for both Rebecca McCaw and Stefan McLees while David Dunlop secured joint third place in Additional Mathematics and Sarah McClean gained two third places, one in Double Award Science and the other in Religious Studies (Short Course).

Mr Black told the packed gatherings that all achievements listed “reflect positively on the hard work and ability of the pupils, the support of their parents and the quality of teaching within the classroom.”