New-Bridge Integrated College welcomed Education Minister John O’Dowd to it’s senior prize giving last week.
Mr O’Dowd congratulated pupils at the Loughbrickland school which saw 100% of its pupils achieve 5A*-E grades at GCSE level and at A level, 100% of the year group left with a minimum of two A Levels.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “I believe it is important to recognise individual achievements in education and to celebrate the successes of pupils over the past year.
“Prize-givings serve not only to highlight the success of the young people themselves, but also the commitment and dedication of the teachers and staff in our schools.”
His response to the Principal Mrs Anne Anderson’s comment that ‘fully integrated schools must remain on the agenda within the mainstream funding for shared education’ was that whilst he is promoting shared education, it is not a replacement for integrated education and he will continue to support the integrated sector.
The Minister said: “We have high-quality education professionals working in our schools, but they alone cannot provide young people with a quality education.
“They need parents and indeed the wider family circle to provide support and encouragement to children, helping them do better at school.
“It is for this reason that I launched the advertising campaign ‘Education Works.’ A new phase of the campaign has just begun which will help drive home the importance of parental and wider family involvement in supporting teenagers as they make decisions about their future careers and further education and training .
“In addition to encouraging parental involvement in education, I have also increased the number of courses available to pupils.
“The Entitlement Framework is the post-14 curriculum which became statutory last year and is one of my key policies for raising standards and closing the achievement gap.
“It is about meeting the needs of all our young people by offering all pupils, regardless of where they go to school, a wider and more balanced range of courses that are relevant to their needs, aptitudes, interests and future job prospects.”
The Minister thanked the School Principal for the warm welcome. He said: “Integrated Education is an important part of the education landscape here and I fully support the valuable contribution it makes.
“I congratulate every child at New-Bridge for their achievements which are the culmination of many years’ hard work and dedication.”
Mrs Anderson said it had been “another exceptional year of results”.
She commented: “As a school we are narrowing the performance gap between the highest and lowest achievers, as our hard working staff engage in a range of strategies to maximise performance.
“We are grateful for the OFMDFM Social Signature appointments and I can report to the Minister that this invaluable resource is making a difference to our pupils’ learning in English and Maths. Long may that funding opportunity continue.”
She continued: “Our results demonstrate that all ability education works as each child is nurtured and directed to follow their own educational pathway – the learning experience at New-Bridge ensures progression for all our pupils, There is a future pathway for every young person and our excellent careers guidance has helped identify the right one for each of our pupils.
“We have achieved parity of esteem with Vocational and Traditional Qualifications evidenced through the Leavers’ Destinations of our pupils.”
Top GCSE Performance
Art:Maria McAnearny, Niamh Casey; Drama; Patrick McKinley; English Language; Niamh Markey; English Literature; Maria McAnearney; Geography; Rian Owens; HE – Child Development: Caroline Von Cysewski; HE-Food: Maria McAnearney; History: Rian Owens; ICT: Luke Dodds; Additional Maths: Maria McAnearney, Samuel Trimble; Maths: Samuel Trimble; Modern Languages: Rian Owens; Motor Vehicle Studies: Lee Richardson; Music: Fiona McIlroy; PE: Ross Fitzpatrick; Occupational Studies; Rachel Maxwell; RE: Luke Dodds; Science (double Award); Rian Owens; Science (Single Award) Christopher Johnston; Technology: Caroline Andrews.
Top A-Level Performance
Art: Tara Curran (BSc Physics with Astrophysics - QUB); Biology: Mark Carvill (BSc Economics with Finance - QUB); Business Studies (Applied): Chloe Harrison (BSc Hons Interactive Multi-Media - UU); Chemistry: David Taylor (BSc Hons Medicine - QUB; Engineering (BTEC): Jonathan Louden (Foundation Degree 1 yr Advanced Maths in Belfast Met); English Literature: Sarah Hamill (BEd Primary Education-Stanmillis); Geography: Mark Carvill (BSc Economics with Finance - QUB); HE: Jessica McClune; BSc Hons Human Nutrition in Jordanstown; Health & Social Care: Kirstynn Steritt (BSc Nursing - QUB); History: Sarah Hamill (BEd Primary Education - Stanmillis); Home Economics: Jessica McClune (BSc Hons Human Nutrition in Jordanstown); ICT (Applied): Jonathan Louden (Foundation Degree 1 yr Advanced Maths in Belfast Met); Maths: Mark Carvill (BSc Economics with Finance - QUB); Moving Image Arts: Jamie McArdle (BSc Hons Interactive Multi-Media - UU); Multi-Media(BTEC): Louis McQuaid (HND Art & Design - SRC Newry); Performing Arts (BTEC): Sophie Jones(BA Hons Degree in Theology & History - QUB); Physics: Mark Carvill; BSc Economics with Finance - QUB; Psychology: Conor Morgan (Foundation Degree in Sports & Exercise -SRC Newry); Religious Education (Sophie Jones): BA Degree in Theology & History - QUB); Sociology: Kirstynn Sterritt (BSc Nursing - QUB); Sports Studies (BTEC): Adrianna McMullan (BSc Hons Sport Theory & Pra - UU)