Gallery: A-level celebrations at St Joseph’s Donaghmore

“I am really delighted for all our students who have done so well in their exams. I congratulate each and every one of them and acknowledge the supportive role that their parents have played in helping them to achieve so successfully.

This group of young people have always been remarkably focused on their future plans and their work ethic was second to none. But they have always been concerned about more than achieving the top grades.

They are kind, good humoured and have a strong social conscience. They are courteous and respectful and their personal qualities, as well as their remarkable academic achievements, mark them out as future leaders.

All grammar schools are measured against the baseline of the percentage of students who achieve at least three A* to C A Level grades. Our students have again surpassed the NI average of this group measurement by reaching 87%.

This is itself is impressive, yet if you dig deeper you will find that there are many, many inspirational examples. If I can choose just two to illustrate let me point to our Head Boy and Head Girl’s story.

Our Head Boy managed to gain A* grades in all five of his subjects including Maths and Further Maths, which will no doubt be a huge advantage when he takes up his Actuaria Science course at QUB. Our Head Girl gained A* grades in all of her subjects including Chemistry and Biology, important given that she is off to read Medicine in Glasgow!

I would like to pay tribute to all our hard working staff who nurture and encourage our students throughout their time with us in St. Joseph’s Grammar School, in particular I want to acknowledge the significant role played by our outgoing Principal, Mr Enda Cullen.

During his six years as Principal we have gone from strength to strength and I know that pupils, parents and staff will want to extend every good wish to him.