Pupils, parents, governors and staff of Priory Integrated College, Holywood, were joined by a host special guests, community representatives and Guest Speaker, Ian Jeffers of the Prince’s Trust, for their annual Celebration of Achievement afternoon on Friday.
‘This is a very special event in the college calendar,’ said Principal Mrs Magennis. ‘We have come together to celebrate the many successes of our students in their academic studies, the creative and expressive arts, community involvement and sport.’
As you can imagine, there was much to celebrate, not least because the college isonce againcelebrating its best ever performance in GCSE examinations. ‘Today we are celebrating with pupils and parents the outstanding results achieved in August 2018. ‘There are few areas of educational provision that are more important than academic outcomes,’ said Mr Stephen Clarke, the Chair of the Board of Governors. ‘But they only come about when all aspects of a school’s provision is right. The results achieved by the young people in August demonstrate to us that we have all of the ingredients in place to ensure outstanding provision for all young people regardless of their cultural background or academic ability.
In August 2018, over 80% of Priory pupils in Year 12 achieved at least 5 GCSE qualifications at the top grades of A* – C in at least 5 subjects, with over 50% of students achieving A*-C grades in both English and Mathematics. This represents the best ever GCSE results for the college and enabled many students to secure places in Sixth Form in Priory.
At A level, the students’ results were also excellent, with 75% of the students entered for 3 or more A Levels achieving at least 3 A*-C grades. ‘These results compare very favourably with schools in all sectors,’ said Mrs Magennis, the Principal of the college. ‘It is also important to remember that these outstanding results were achieved by studentswho joined us in Year 8 with a wide range of abilities. In Priory, we welcome young people of all abilities, including the academically gifted and those who struggle with aspects of their learning. So these results are also a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff of Priory Integrated College, and to the wonderful parents and carers who support their children at home.’
Guest Speaker, Ian Jeffers,addressed the audience of prize winners and their families. As Deputy Chief Executive of the Prince’s Trust, Mr Jeffers works to support young people between the aged of 16-30 to overcome barriers to success. He spoke of the potential of every young person to succeed. ‘You need to have a plan and the right attitude in order to be successful in life,’ he said. ‘But also, don’t be afraid to dream. Dreams are just big plans that haven’t become a reality yet.’
Mrs Magennis also spoke of dreams finally being realised when she expressed the delight of the college at the progress now being made towards a new school building. ‘We have a development proposalout for consultation at the moment which proposes to increase our approved enrolment from 500to 600. We already have a student population of over 650, so the Department of Education have plenty of evidence to demonstrate that the young people of this area want and need an integrated college big enough to accommodate them. We hope to realise this dream within the next 3-4 years when, thanks to Fresh Start Funding, the young people of Priory will finally have the educational facilities they deserve.