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Prize Giving at St. Patrick's College

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St. Patrick's College celebrated the success of their students at the Annual Prize-giving on Thursday evening. 

In her address, Mrs Woods said:  

"Tonight we have much to celebrate as  2014/15 was a record breaking year for our year 12 pupils.  As I am sure many of you already know, 98% of our year 12 pupils achieved 5 or more GCSE grades A*-C with a truly outstanding 74% achieving 5 or more GCSEs including English and Maths .  I have no doubt that once again we will be one of the top, if not the top performing non-selective post primary schools not only in the local and wider Banbridge area but also in the North of Ireland."...............

 

Boys and girls, look around you.  You are all here because you deserve to be here.  Continue to work hard and you will find that you will continue to have much to celebrate in life.  I wish each and every one of you continued success for the future and I look forward to building partnerships with pupils, parents and teachers so that Saint Patrick’s College continues to deliver the highest quality education for the people of the local and wider Banbridge area.

(Full text of Mrs. Woods' speech at the bottom)

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Principal of St. Patrick's College, Mrs. Roisin Woods
with Past Principal and Guest Speaker, Mrs. Anne Mallon.

Mrs. Mallon's speech is available to read further down the page.

 

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Left to right:  Mrs R Woods, Mrs M Lively, Mrs A Boyle, Mrs J Quinn, Mrs A McGlade, Mr R Forrest

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Full text of Mrs. Woods' address

Reverend Father, members of the Board of Governors, invited guests, boys and girls, on behalf of the community of Saint Patrick’s College, I welcome you to our annual prize giving celebration especially our year 11 pupils, our past year 12 pupils and our current year 13 and 14 pupils.

Tonight we have much to celebrate as  2014/15 was a record breaking year for our year 12 pupils.  As I am sure many of you already know, 98% of our year 12 pupils achieved 5 or more GCSE grades A*-C with a truly outstanding 74% achieving 5 or more GCSEs including English and Maths .  I have no doubt that once again we will be one of the top, if not the top performing non-selective post primary schools not only in the local and wider Banbridge area but also in the North of Ireland. 

Even more significant is the percentage of pupils achieving 7 or more GCSEs.  96% of our pupils left year 12 with at least 7 GCSE grades in range of high quality GCSEs.  In fact we had a number of pupils who achieved 10, 11, 12, even an astounding 13 GCSE grades.  Over the last number of years we have had students who have been awarded top place in Northern Ireland for some subject areas; and we are delighted to announce that this year we are celebrating this achievement again...but more about that later in our ceremony!

So what is our secret??... Teaching and learning is truly at the top of the agenda at Saint Patrick’s College.  We believe that the focus on literacy and numeracy  across the curriculum in KS3 and right up into year 12 has enabled us to reap rewards in all subject areas, particularly in the core subjects of English and Maths.  Many of our students achieve their GCSE maths in year 11 at grades A, B and C and they seek to improve their grades as well as undertake an additional maths qualification at GCSE level to improve their overall grade profile.

We endeavour to ensure no class size is over 20 which has enabled us effectively monitor the personalised learning journey of each and every child; the positive pastoral and evidence based academic systems in school enables teachers to quickly identify underachievers so that the appropriate support and interventions can be implemented.  The smaller class sizes also provide a better opportunity for pupils to avail of one to one attention from their teachers so that they can thrive and maximise their learning potential.   

I want to pay tribute to the committed and hard working teachers in Saint Patrick’s College who time and time again go over and above to ensure each and every child is well prepared to achieve as highly as they can in their GCSE examinations.  After school revision and support classes are now common place in Saint Patrick’s College at key times of the academic year.  In fact, as many of you will be aware, during our recent Halloween holidays our maths department came in to facilitate intensive maths work in preparation for the November maths exams.  It would also be remiss of me if I did not mention the important role our support staff have played in the successes our pupils have enjoyed over the last few years; the smooth organisation and administration of the annual examination series, a cup of tea or a listening ear for stressed pupils or teachers, a lovely big fry up or the healthier option of a sandwich during a revision day....where else would you get it but in Saint Patrick’s College!

Boys and girls, we should not forget the important role your parents and guardians have played in your achievements.  Parents, guardians, we are so very grateful to you for your support at each and every stage;  your attendance at mentoring meetings with form teachers or pastoral managers; collecting your sons or daughters late in the day when they attended after school revision classes; arranging for transport on mid term breaks when  lessons were held to boost the progress of our students.  Our results are evidence that we are living out our vision; excellence through partnership; pupils, parents and teachers.

We are delighted that many of our Year 12 pupils have decided to return to us, where they feel most at home, to study at least 3 A levels.  It is important to recognise the significant role the schools in the Banbridge Area Learning Community have played in ensuring that our pupils have access to as many subjects as possible in the Entitlement Framework.  To those schools I wish to express our thanks. Over the next number of years we will work hard to ensure we can continue to offer a wide and varied curriculum for our year 13 pupils. 

You will have noticed over the last couple of years there have been significant changes to our school building; the transformation of our foyer; the refurbishment and modernisation of our boys and girls bathrooms and changing facilities; our newly equipped and modern art and ict rooms.  We also now have the welcome addition of Saint Mary’s Primary School who have temporarily ‘moved in’ while their new premises are being constructed. To date it has been a very successful process and we look forward to developing further our links with our main feeder primary school.

We are currently working in partnership with ACBC, CCMS, the DENI and many sporting organisations to secure funding for the development of a full size 3G GAA pitch and we are confident that within 2 years our plans will come to fruition so that our sporting facilities are as good as if not better than the facilities provided  by many of the post primary schools in the Banbridge, Newry and Mourne and Craigavon areas.  The significant investment by the DENI, the potential development of our football field along with our outstanding academic achievements have ensured that these are very exciting times for Saint Patrick’s College and it is indeed and privilege to lead this school as we continue on our journey.

We have many friends of Saint Patricks’; many who have joined us here tonight; our parent teacher association, past teachers, board employees and parish neighbours.  We need your continued friendship and we are so very grateful for your endless support.

We are quickly earning the reputation of being a centre of excellence; many schools already have  been in touch to see how we are managing to achieve so highly.  Can i tell you that this is so very reassuring for us as a school community to know that we are considered as a progressive and dynamic school.

Before I conclude can i just mention one very important lady here tonight; Mrs Anne Mallon.  As you know Anne was our inspirational leader for almost 4 years. She has been instrumental in the significant achievements we have experienced here in Saint Patrick’s College in recent years and for that we as a school community will be eternally grateful. Anne, we are delighted that you accepted our invitation to come here tonight and it is very fitting that you are a guest so that you too can share in this celebration of achievements that you played such an important role in.

Boys and girls, look around you.  You are all here because you deserve to be here.  Continue to work hard and you will find that you will continue to have much to celebrate in life.  I wish each and every one of you continued success for the future and I look forward to building partnerships with pupils, parents and teachers so that Saint Patrick’s College continues to deliver.

 Mrs. Mallon's Speech

Good evening Boys and Girls; Parents and family members; Colleagues; members of the Board of Governors and invited guests.

It is lovely to be back!!!!!!!!!!!

As many of you know, I returned to the school I came from in Bessbrook in September past ; really to work my final years. Four years ago; when I arrived in Banbridge, the decision was made over a weekend and I left lots of unfinished business behind me in Bessbrook. So I have returned there to get a sense of closure  before retiring.  But it is good to be back in the place that was my home for four whole years.

Two words can sum up tonight.

Celebration and Gratitude.

We are celebrating success  and we are grateful to those who made it happen.

I want to congratulate each and every pupil sitting here tonight; YOU deserve the success you have achieved, your parents who supported you;  they deserve that success because they played  a key role too; and your teachers, who taught you all the elements of the GCSE courses, played a really key role in that success as well.  Be grateful to those people boys and girls; to your parents, carers and your teachers. Thank them for what they have done to support you.

 A school is a community; and the spirit of that community absolutely depends on the positive partnerships working together to make that community a tight knit and successful one. There may be many challenges to a community spirit;  a lack of resources is one; another is when an individual works against the team spirit and  tries to prevent good learning and teaching taking place. But if we all work together , and keep the focus on positive good teaching and learning and support those youngsters who find learning difficult; if we work together we will be absolutely sure that the best school community will blossom and grow and every citizen in the Banbridge area and catchment area will be justifiably proud of St Patrick’s college.

To our Year 11; you will witness tonight what can be achieved by hard work and good teaching; I ask you to learn from it.

How you will live the rest of your life, after leaving school, depends , for most of us, on the qualifications you achieve, and those qualifications depend on what you get at the end of fifth  year.

They are now called Level TWO qualifications;  some GCSE will be ABCDE grades; others will soon be 123456 grades. And others, like BTEC, are  pass, level and distinction grades.

Whatever they are called; their currency is the same; they are Level Two qualifications and they will enable you to proceed on your career path, to further study and qualifications.

They will dictate how you will live; what you will earn and how the rest of your life maps out.

So year 11; treat them with the respect they deserve; work hard; make as much use as you can of your teachers;  they are able to help the hard worker get the best possible out of each and every subject.

Later tonight, we will be presenting  an award to an individual for TOP result at GCSE in Northern Ireland.

I was only here for four years; and this is not the first time we have presented an award for TOP result in Northern Ireland.

What these awards tell you, the parents, is this; of course we have outstanding pupils who worked incredibly hard to achieve the top result in the north. What St Patrick's has as well is outstanding teaching; teaching that ensures that our pupils are up there  at the top, achieving with the very best in the North. So, of course, I am absolutely delighted for the student concerned, and the teacher .

But I am more heartened  for the future. We in St Patrick’s have the edge over many many schools; we can therefore assure you, the parents, that the best choice you can make , In order to ensure that your son or daughter achieves their potential, is to choose St Patrick’s College.

 

 

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