New school - ‘Let’s make it happen’

Recipients of Special Awards at the Celebration of Achievement Afternoon in Dromore High School, Bombardier Shield and  British Legion Shield for Best Contribution to Sixth Form Ellen Woods, Cup for Outstanding Achievement at A Level and Biology Cup Aaron Carlisle, Maths Cup Lilburn Cup for Science & Technology Claire Beckett � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-217EB
Recipients of Special Awards at the Celebration of Achievement Afternoon in Dromore High School, Bombardier Shield and British Legion Shield for Best Contribution to Sixth Form Ellen Woods, Cup for Outstanding Achievement at A Level and Biology Cup Aaron Carlisle, Maths Cup Lilburn Cup for Science & Technology Claire Beckett � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-217EB

In limiting this year’s intake of new A-Level students, Dromore High demonstrated its “huge” need for a new school.

That’s according to principal, Mr John Wilkinson, who - as he addressed a Celebration of Achievement for Level 3 A Level and BTec students who received their results last month - called on everyone concerned with delivering a new school to honour their promises.

This year Dromore High School admitted 70 students into Lower-Sixth, a mark, said Mr Wilkinson, of the community’s continuing recognition of the good work being done at the school.

“We value the support of the community and especially the parents and pupils who attend our school,” Mr Wilkinson told Friday’s assembly of students, staff, parents and guests.

“Together with Governors and Staff great things can be achieved as long as the focus remains firmly on the standards achieved by our pupils.”

Mr Wilkinson had earlier touched on the physical limitations to the school’s A-Level development.

“This year we limited and reduced our intake to match our physical accommodation,” he said. “Hence our huge need for a new school.

“I would urge all involved with this to honour their promises given to us. It would seem that all are in agreement about our need. We simply need the finance.

“The long-term sustainability of the school is clear. Let’s make it happen.”

For Mr Wilkinson, who recently announced he would be retiring at the end of February next year, Friday’s event was his last A-Level celebration as principal, but in terms of the future, he said, Dromore High needed to continue to develop the sixth form programme, reflecting student needs and the needs of the regional and national economy.

The chief purpose of the afternoon was, of course, to mark A-Level student successes, something the annual speech night could not accommodate.

Among the guests were Lagan Valley MLA and Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots and Lagan Valley MLA Jonathan Craig. Chief guest was the SELB’s Mr Aidan McCormick.

Though the event lacked the formaility associated with a traditional speech night, it was nonehtless with delight, said Mr Wilkinson at the outset, that he recorded the achievements of the class of 2014.