There were celebrations at Banbridge High recently when the school held its annual senior prize giving ceremony.
Principal Mr Andrew Bell welcomed everyone to the event and took as his theme for the evening “being challenged and moving forward with confidence.”
Addressing students, parents, staff and special guests, Mr Bell said: “The two phrases are very much linked and it is especially appropriate that we talk about such things in an evening when we celebrate the achievements of so many of our young people as they move on to new beginnings.
“As a school community we have had the challenge of an inspection process which has seen the school move from satisfactory to good. The greatest of challenges in this process is an acceptance that there are things that need to change and that they need to change for the betterment of all. The journey has been an interesting one and no less a challenge because of the judgements that have been made and the work that needed to be done. It can be hard to accept these views and to work towards an improvement. No one likes criticism, and yet the best reaction to criticism is to accept it in the spirit that it is given, to take stock and move forward.
“There should not be one of us in this school who should not rise to the challenge that each day brings. We are each here to serve the young people that we have been entrusted with; we are here to give them the best possible opportunities and to give them the best possible chances for the future. When criticism is constructive, reflective and sincerely meant we should all respond to it in the same spirit.
“To the young people gathered with us this evening can I reiterate always rise to the challenge. Being challenged in our work and in our relationships with others allows us to take a fresh view at what we do, they way that we do it and the outcomes that emanate from it. Being challenged allows us to progress to improve and in the round to become better people or better organisations These young people are entering a new phase in their lives experiences and no matter what area of work or career that they will be involved in or indeed in life in general, there will be challenges for them to meet. Meeting these challenges with a positive perspective will change the situation around. Challenge is not a negative thing but rather a positive stimulate to move forward and progress.”
Congratulating the students on their hard work throughout the year, Mr Bell concluded: “We all need each other to work together to achieve those things that will improve and instil within our young people a greater sense of achievement and a greater confidence as they enter their brave new world.”