Open Night events at St. Patrick’s College

A P7 pupil using the Maths Department's Photo Booth at St Patrick's College, Ballymena, Open Night.
A P7 pupil using the Maths Department's Photo Booth at St Patrick's College, Ballymena, Open Night.

St Patrick’s College has welcomed a large number of Primary Seven pupils and their parents to the first of two Open Nights.

The young people and their parents who attended the first open event on January 16 were able to get a clear picture of what Post Primary education in St Patrick’s College would offer them in September 2019.

Surveying work in the Technology Department at St Patrick's College during Open Night.

Surveying work in the Technology Department at St Patrick's College during Open Night.

The visitors began their evening by viewing a new DVD of the school which was produced by St Patrick’s past pupil, Sean O’Donnell.

College principal, Dr Martin Knox then invited Year 13 student Rhiannon McArdle and Year Eight pupil Wiktoria Gatkiewicz to talk about their experiences of St Patrick’s College.

During his Open Night presentation Dr Knox, emphasised the importance of the strong co-operation and support the school receives from its parent body, which he said was central to all that is done in St Patrick’s College.

The visitors learned that pupils coming to St Patrick’s College are offered a caring and supportive educational environment where they are nurtured and encouraged every step of the way when they join the school.

P7 pupils working with modelling clay in the Art Department at St Patrick's College Open Night.

P7 pupils working with modelling clay in the Art Department at St Patrick's College Open Night.

St Patrick’s College, like all Post Primary schools, is delivering the Entitlement Framework and is offering pupils of all abilities the opportunity to access provision which is appropriate to their needs.

The visitors heard that, in St Patrick’s College, Ballymena, pupils will find a full range of both academic and vocational courses, enabling them to pursue their chosen career pathway.

They learned too that increased enrolment is enabling the College to offer a wider range of ‘A’ Level courses, with a number of new academic ‘A’ Levels being introduced over the past few years.

This is helping the College to offer a full and varied educational programme to all GCSE and post-16 students.

Underpinning all that work is high quality learning and teaching, with a strong emphasis on ensuring that every child reaches his or her potential, both in the classroom and outside through participation in extra-curricular activities.

However, Dr Knox also pointed out that education is about more than academic qualifications and the strength of St Patrick’s staff, both teaching and non-teaching, rests in encouraging and helping pupils to develop personal qualities such as self discipline, self worth, respect for others and independence.

Visitors also learned ath one of the school’s main strengths is the very good transition arrangements, particularly from Year Seven to Year Eight, assuring parents that all pupils coming to St Patrick’s College will be provided with all the support necessary to make their entry into Post Primary school as seamless as possible.

St Patrick’s is very proud of its Pastoral Care System which is ably supported by the Sixth Form Mentors who look after the Year Eight pupils and ensure that any issues or difficulties they may be experiencing are dealt with sensitively and effectively.

Following Dr Knox’s presentation, the parents and pupils were then invited to tour the school to see at first hand the work which goes on in all areas of the curriculum.

The visiting groups were guided by Sixth Form students, who were able to knowledgeably answer any questions and give a further insight into life in St Patrick’s College.

Anyone who missed the first Open Night can take the opportunity to visit the school on Wednesday, January 30, when a second Open Night will take place at 7pm.

After that, prospective parents are invited to contact the school for more information on (028) 2564 5059 or 2565 6984, or via email at info@stpatricks.ballymena.ni.sch.uk