Dungannon’s Catholic grammars top exam performance list
PUPILS at Dungannon District’s two Catholic grammar schools are amongst the highest achievers in A-levels and GCSEs in Northern Ireland.
St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon and St Joseph’s College, Donaghmore are in the top six performing schools in Northern Ireland.
The Academy was placed 4th, while St Joseph’s came a close 6th in the league tables which show the schools with the highest percentage of pupils attaining more than three A-levels at grades A-C.
In fact, eight out of the top 10 ranking grammar schools in Northern Ireland are Catholic, according to the list.
Schools were ranked on the highest percentage of pupils achieving three or more A-levels at grades A to C.
In the top slot was St Mary’s, Magherafelt, which achieved 95% success in A-levels. This was followed by Lumen Christi, in Londonderry (92%), Our Lady’s, Newry (91%) then St Patrick’s in Dungannon and St Dominic’s in Belfast both with 90%.
In addition, St Joseph’s, Donaghmore was one of only two grammars in the North to have a 100 percent success in pupils attaining at least 7 GSCEs.
St Patrick’s Academy Principal Mr Fintan Donnelly commented: ”We are delighted to feature among the top four schools in NI. It is particularly gratifying to see the fruits of years of hard work in developing a sound pastoral system that supports learners at each stage of development.
“Personalised learning and individual support lie at the heart of what we do and it is very rewarding for our students and teachers to see their hard work recognised.
“I commend all of our pupils for their high aspirations and determination and I would like to thank all of our staff, parents and partners in education who contributed to this success. It is the outworking of our mission statement, Achieving excellence together. The process of raising standards is a continuous one. We always set out to achieve excellence and we will not be resting on our laurels as there is always more we can do for our young people.
“These league tables, of course, do not provide a full measure of school life and, equally important to us, is the endless hours of commitment given by our staff to extracurricular activities that span almost every aspect of sport, music, debating, enterprise, engineering, public speaking, MasterChef and educational trips to all parts of the world. These are as much part of the Academy experience as excellent academic education and, we believe, they contribute to the high aspirations and motivation that generates excellent results and well-rounded young people who contribute widely to their community and economy.”
St Joseph’s Donaghmore School Principal Enda Cullen said: “We are delighted that the recently released Irish News league tables recognise the outstanding achievements of St Joseph’s Grammar School students. Warmest congratulations to all the boys and girls, their teachers and their proud parents.
“St Joseph’s Grammar School, Scoil Iosáef, is a vibrant and very happy community. The size of the school is important; with approximately 600 students we are large enough for children to have real opportunity. But St Joseph’s is also small enough that each and every one of our students receives unique individual attention and care.
“Academically, this is an exceptional school. The results in public examinations are outstanding indeed, with 90% of A level students this past summer achieving 3A*-C in A Levels and subsequently gaining a place at university. For the second year in a row 100% of our students gained at least 7A*-C at GCSE. Only three schools in N Ireland have attained this 100% result in 2011.
“But this school is not an exams factory. We do not pursue academic success at the cost of all else, we are very aware of the many values that we need to cherish and encourage in our students.
“The Daughters of the Cross, our founding order, many of whom are buried in our graveyard, have left us with a great legacy and future, they are to be thanked for the sacrifices that have made us the school we are today.
Key to the strength of St Joseph’s, as with all good schools is excellence of the teachers and the quality of pastoral care. All students need pastoral help and guidance as they make their way through school. At St Joseph’s we understand the importance of pastoral priority and, through form teachers and year structures we provide outstanding support to our students.
“These excellent results demonstrate the effectiveness of great students, incredibly supportive parents and excellent teachers and support staff. St Joseph’s Grammar School is consistent in producing excellent examination results. We will not sit on our laurels and we are always looking at ways that we can improve the school and the learning on offer.”
According to the Department of Education figures, the average for grammars across Northern Ireland was 77 percent of pupils attaining three or more passes at A-level. St Patrick’s Dungannon had 90% of pupils attaining the benchmark, while St Joseph’s had 89%.
In a corresponding list for non-grammar schools, Aughnacloy came highest of the local schools, in 20th place, followed by Drumglass in 31st place, St Ciaran’s Ballygawley in 33rd and Fivemiletown College in 34th.
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Weather for Dungannon
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North