‘Success built on belief - anything is possible’ says High School headmaster

The Girls' GCSE Group pictured at Dromore High School Annual Speech Night � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1446-234EB
The Girls' GCSE Group pictured at Dromore High School Annual Speech Night � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1446-234EB

“The cornerstone of our success in public examinations is the relationship between teachers and pupils, a relationship built on trust, respect, and the belief that anything is possible.”

That was among Dromore High School principal Mr John Wilkinson’s messages at the school’s recent Speech Night, where he addressed the overall theme of ‘Making a Difference’.

“Someone has said that ‘the best way to make a difference in the world is to start by making a difference in your own life’,” he said. “This I believe to be true, and many of our young people did that through many of the school activities in which they got involved.

“It is not surprising that the vast majority of our pupils really engaged in their learning and this is reflected in excellent results achieved.

“Whilst we realise that outcomes at KS4 and 5 are critical, we are also aware of the critical nature of the work we do at KS3, and so we continue to develop this area.

“Last year in particular staff focus was on intervention strategies, extending writing, IT competency, tracking and refreshing basic teaching and learning strategies.

“As a school we have embarked on a new form of assessment in Years 8-10, called ipsative assessment.

“This form of assessment, measures the performance of a student against their own ability.

“Not only that, but this form of assessment has also enabled us as a school to answer the question - ‘How do we know pupils are progressing in all subjects – not just English and Maths?’”

Last year, the princpal said, evidence confirmed pupils were performing and progressing well, as was reinforced in KS3 results in English and Maths, wherein Dromore High, he said, was out-performing schools of a similar type.

He went on: “Similarly our pupils were making a difference in GCSE examinations. Eighty-four of our students attained 5+ A*-C with 67 getting 5 or more including English and Maths. . . Our young people achieved a 67% subject-entry pass rate, a 75% C+ pass rate in Occupational Studies and a 100% pass rate in BTec level 2 qualifications.

“ . . . We congratulate all our students at this level who have made a difference to their own lives, the lives of their family and school-life. As education continues to be the passport to success, the dedication of both staff and pupils, coupled with excellent teamwork and supportive relationships with parents ensure that our pupils are well placed to achieve great things.

“This year we are particularly delighted that all of our high performing GCSE students have remained with us to study ‘A’ levels and Btec level 3. Our ‘A’ level results this year were also very good.”

The school, said Mr Wilkinson, was delighted with its students’ performances.

“They are indeed making a difference and are in the process of making their dream a reality,” he said. “We wish them every success as they journey on into the next stage of their education.”