Commissioner to visit centre

Carrick College principal Hedley Webb speaking during open night. INCT 03-757-CON
Carrick College principal Hedley Webb speaking during open night. INCT 03-757-CON

A Carrickfergus secondary school’s innovative approach to pupil well-being is beginning to attract wider attention in the province.

Northern Ireland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People is to visit Carrickfergus College next month to see the new ‘Well-being Centre.

Addressing guests at the annual open night, college principal Hedley Webb revealed: “In mid-February the school will host a visit from the Commissioner for Children and Young People who wants to see the ground-breaking work which is ongoing in the area of Emotional Health and Well-being. The opening of the school’s ‘Well-being Centre’ has been hailed as a unique and innovative approach, ensuring that the Emotional Health and Well-being remains of paramount focus for staff and senior leadership in the school.”

In his speech to parents and prospective pupils, the headmaster emphasised the school’s consistently impressive exam results. “This year the pass rate for five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C was 68.4% and at ‘A’ Level the pupils secured a 100% pass rate for two-plus GCEs at grades A* to E . The three year average at GCSE stands at 69% - impressive statistics indeed.”

Mr Webb emphasised these results were obtained through the hard work and determination of pupils and staff. He drew attention to the school’s inspection in May 2013 with pupils described as “friendly and welcoming”. It was noted that teachers had a “vibrancy, enthusiasm and love for their subjects”. The Pastoral Care system at the college was deemed “very good” by the Inspectorate.

Mr Webb was joined on stage by a number of pupils and teachers who detailed the range of subjects available to study from Year 8 to 14, including more than 25 ‘A’ Level subjects. Those in attendance also heard there are more than 30 clubs and societies on offer at the school. It was pointed out the annual ski trip leaves in a few weeks, and just before Christmas GCSE Music students went to Dublin to see the musical ‘Wicked’.

Mr Webb also explained in the last two years the school has been asked to offer guidance to at least 12 other post primary schools to help them improve their performance.

During the evening the departments were buzzing with people. Activities and attractions included pancakes in Home Economics, a clubs and societies fair, performances in the Music Department, painting in the Art rooms and reporting by keen podcasters and journalists in the Media Studies department.