Rathfriland High School rated ‘very good’ in inspection report

Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School and Vice Principal Ruth Chalmers pictured with pupils Emma Harmon, Georgina Thompson, James Toal and Craig Wilson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-323EB
Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School and Vice Principal Ruth Chalmers pictured with pupils Emma Harmon, Georgina Thompson, James Toal and Craig Wilson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-323EB

Rathfriland High School has been awarded a rating of ‘very good’ following a recent Education and Training Inspectorate Report.

The school achieved the rating of ‘very good’ in the achievements and standards, provision and leadership and management categories which lead to the overall rating of ‘very good’.

Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School pictured with pupils Emma Harmon, Georgina Thompson, James Toal and Craig Wilson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-322EB

Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School pictured with pupils Emma Harmon, Georgina Thompson, James Toal and Craig Wilson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-322EB

This rating is only one ranking below the top mark that could have been achieved which is ‘outstanding’.

Inspectors observed teaching and learning, scrutinised documentation, data and the pupils’ written work and held formal and informal discussions with pupils (individually and in groups) teachers and staff with specific responsibilities.

Principal AmandaMcCullough said: “I am so proud of all the school community and what they have achieved. This really is a close, family-orientated school. We share responsibility collegially for the development and achievements of our pupils. This school continues to grow and go from strength to strength.

“We are particularly pleased that the report recognises and commends the young people in our care. They are described as ‘enthusiastic’ with ‘high levels of self-esteem’. Their behaviour is described as ‘exemplary’. This is a great tribute to the young people and to the supportive parents who ensure they work to the best of their ability.”

Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School and Vice Principal Ruth Chalmers �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-321EB

Amanda McCullough, Principal of Rathfriland High School and Vice Principal Ruth Chalmers �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1525-321EB

The school was noted as having a “coherent, whole-school approach to planning, learning and assessment,” while the quality of the arrangements for pastoral care in the school was said to be “outstanding”.

The quality of Leadership and Management was also very good. The senior leadership was described as highly effective and the collegial approach adopted allows for a clear focus on raising further the ‘very good standards achieved by the pupils’.

The school’s motto ‘big enough to deliver, small enough to care’ was reported as evidenced in all aspects of school life.

The report concluded that ‘in the areas inspected, the quality of education provided by this school is very good’ and that ‘the school is meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the learners; and has demonstrated its capacity for sustained self-improvement.’

Mrs McCullough added: “I would like to thank all those who have contacted the school and supported us through this process. The job is never finished.

“We always have more to do. With continued support from everyone we can sustain the standards achieved and continue to ensure we provide a very good education for all the young people in our care.”