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St. Patrick's College Prize Giving

 Many thanks to St. Patrick's College for sending in the photos below and sharing their success with Tullylish Parish! 

 

SUPPORT OF PARENTS AND EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AND LEARNING PUT ST.PATRICKS FIRMLY AT THE TOP OF RESULTS TABLE

Thursday evening was an evening of celebration for St. Patrick's College as the annual school Prize Night took place. Mrs Ann Mallon School Principal opened the ceremony speaking passionately about the effort parents, pupils and teachers alike had made over the past year.

“We established ourselves last year as a high achieving school, beating all our local competition and being placed fifth in the north of all non-selective schools. This statistic is based on those pupils who achieve over 5-7 GCSEs including GCSE English and Maths.”

“I am very happy to report to you tonight that again, the GCSE results in St Patrick’s College far exceeded the overwhelming majority of non-selective schools in the North of Ireland. We have 58% of our year 12 last year leaving with at least five GCSEs; almost all getting seven GCSEs or more including GCSE English and Maths at grade C and above.”

“We achieve this by placing teaching and learning at the top of our agenda. English and Maths are the core; literacy and numeracy are central to all teaching. Many of our students achieve their GCSE Maths in Year 11 at grades A, B and C. In year 12, they seek to improve their grade and many will undertake an additional Maths qualification in their fifth year.”

“We are proud of you, boys and girls for your successes; we are grateful to your teachers who did everything possible to ensure your success and we are grateful to your parents who supported you each step of the way; coming to meetings when you needed mentored, collecting you late in the day, arranging for your transport on midterm breaks when lessons were held to boost your progress.”

Mrs Mallon went on to speak about the current changes that have taken place in St. Patrick’s College.

“We are currently enjoying the fruits of the Department of Education’s investment in us. Our foyer has been transformed; our bathroom facilities and PE changing rooms brought up to the standard one would expect in a thriving school. And a well-equipped, modern Art room has been opened which will ensure that your sons and daughters can enjoy creative and technological art”

She spoke about St. Patrick’s as a school that works closely with the community.

“We believe in life-long learning and, to facilitate our local community, we have established a Learning Hub within school. Last July saw their graduation in a variety of IT qualifications; their pride in their success at being more computer literate was a joy to see!”

Mrs Mallon went on to explain how St. Patrick’s is closely linked with the Banbridge Area Learning community and how pupils can study A-Level at this school.

“We have also enabled many of our Year 13 pupils to return to study here. They have opted to undertake two or three A levels with our staff and one or two more A levels in schools within the Area Learning Community. From Dromore to Loughbrickland including Banbridge High; to all these schools. I wish to express our thanks. Through their co-operation, our students are able to maintain their own identity and, at the same time, make full use of the curriculum on offer with the community.”

“We are moving forward; steadily and quickly, to be a key provider, at many levels within the learning community of Banbridge.”

A strong message was given to all pupils and parents to conclude the Principals opening speech.

Boys and girls, Years 11, Year 13 ; past and present; in conclusion; what you want from life is to be happy; and being content is the key to being happy; So, accept yourself as you are. Work with your strengths; don’t judge yourself against other people; that only brings a sense of dissatisfaction. Work hard, enjoy working hard; and you will find real happiness.

Parents; aim to empower your sons and daughters; find areas of their lives to praise; focus on the positive; it is with positive support that young people can grow to fulfil their potential. You will be a successful parent when you produce young people who have the confidence to be themselves; with the skills developed to follow and realise their own dreams.”

Saint Patrick’s College were proud to welcome their guest speaker Miss Alicia Kearns, past pupil and recently qualified Barrister. Alicia left Saint Patrick’s, having achieved excellent results in her GCSEs and A levels to pursue a Degree in Law with Criminology.

Upon completion of her Degree, she then went on to complete a Masters in Human Rights Law with Transitional Justice. During that time Miss Kearns volunteered in the Law Centre of Northern Ireland and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Miss Kearns is of the firm belief that her voluntary work helped her secure a job with a large commercial solicitors practice in Belfast where she spent 1 year. She then decided she would like to take her career pathway into a different direction. Miss Kearns was one of 600 candidates who took an exam to secure a place to train as a Barrister and in June 2014, she successfully graduated from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. On the 5th September she was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland and we are delighted and very proud to report that not only was Miss Kearns awarded 4th place for her achievement in over 21 examinations but she also scored 99/100 in her ‘Wills’ exam.

Miss Kearns attributed her success to the hard work and determination of the teachers and staff of Saint Patrick’s College.

‘They were always willing go that extra mile to help students. Boys and Girls, what I want to say to you here tonight is that many of the teachers from Saint Patrick’s who are here tonight are the same teachers who taught me and while you know and I know that they will strive to give you the best education possible it is ultimately up to you what you do with that education.’

Miss Kearns believes that self-belief is a key contributing factor to success.

‘Please believe that if you strive and have confidence in yourself you will get the results you deserve. Always have in the back of your mind that entrance into university today is very competitive as are jobs; I don’t wish to paint a picture of doom and gloom but simply give you an insight that hard work now, will pay off in the long run.’

She went on to explain the importance of a CV rich with qualifications and experience in today’s competitive environment.

‘I cannot stress enough the part that work experience and volunteering played in my career pathway; not only are they invaluable additions to your employment history in your CV and in your UCAS forms but they are also testament to any university or employer that you are determined to develop the necessary skills and attributes that set you apart from your peers.’

Her final words of advice for pupils and parents were to ‘aim high, work hard and seek voluntary or alternative opportunities to develop your work and skills base; in order to succeed you must set yourself apart!’

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