Downshire School celebrates 40 great years with a flurry of fabulous results

All smiles at Downshire are Katie Mulholland, Mrs Thacker, Rebecca Hinchey and mum Shirley with Jackie Lindsay. INCT 34-209-AM
All smiles at Downshire are Katie Mulholland, Mrs Thacker, Rebecca Hinchey and mum Shirley with Jackie Lindsay. INCT 34-209-AM

The 40th and final results day in Downshire School was one for the record books.

Year 12 students began arriving for their GCSE results early this morning and the Assembly Hall was soon buzzing with excitement as students opened their envelopes to find superb grades and celebrated with family and teachers.

Francesca Giani achieved a fantastic set of GCSE results.  She is pictured with her proud mum, dad and sister Karris.

Francesca Giani achieved a fantastic set of GCSE results. She is pictured with her proud mum, dad and sister Karris.

In this the last year of the school, Downshire went out on a high note with 72 percent A*-C grades - the best ever in the school’s history.

Principal, Mrs J Stewart commented that she was “absolutely thrilled” with the excellent results which reflect the hard work of pupils and staff alike.

She noted that in this year where the school was moving towards a merger and teachers were under enormous pressure preparing for next year and going through interviews, it would have been easy to lose some focus in the classroom.

However, this was not the case and they continued to work extremely hard in the best interests of the young people, and despite union action, continued to run revision classes in their spare time, encouraging and driving pupils towards success.

Brother and sister Scott and Sarah Alexander with their excellent exam results at Downshire School on Thursday morning.

Brother and sister Scott and Sarah Alexander with their excellent exam results at Downshire School on Thursday morning.

The combined efforts of teachers, Learning Support Assistants, pupils and parents have reaped their just rewards.

Another statistic of note is that the percentage of five or more A* - C including English and Maths has increased by 10 percent from last year to 40.5 percent.

As all young people are entered for GCSE English and Maths, this is significant, as is the percentage of five or more GCSE A* - G which now stands at 94.8 percent, 87 percent for pupils on Free School Meals.

In total just under half of the year group achieved between seven and 10.5 GCSEs each.

Andrew Arbuthnot was delighted with his GCSE results in Downshire School.  He is pictured with his mum Jennifer.

Andrew Arbuthnot was delighted with his GCSE results in Downshire School. He is pictured with his mum Jennifer.

Top performing subjects included Contemporary Craft, Art, Engineering, ICT, Music, Double Award Science, Film Studies, Geography and Princes Trust, with English and Maths securing significant improvement on last year.

Mr T Creighton MBE, Chair of Governors, extended his congratulations to the pupils and staff on excellent final results and added his best wishes to all the students for the future, to the staff for their new challenges in Carrickfergus Academy, and to the principal for her retirement.

Mrs Stewart praised the pupils for wonderful results and wished them every success as they take the next steps on the educational ladder and thanked the Governors and all the staff, teaching and non-teaching for all of their excellent work throughout Downshire’s history, and parents for their support.

Lewis Beattie and Andrew Arbuthnot did exceptionally well in their GCSE examinations.  They are pictured with their mums, Michelle and Jennifer, and Principal Mrs J Stewart.

Lewis Beattie and Andrew Arbuthnot did exceptionally well in their GCSE examinations. They are pictured with their mums, Michelle and Jennifer, and Principal Mrs J Stewart.

Receiving their GCSE results at Downshire are Katie Mason with mum Lisa, Martha McChesney, Mrs Blosom and Miss Waring. INCT 34-211-AM

Receiving their GCSE results at Downshire are Katie Mason with mum Lisa, Martha McChesney, Mrs Blosom and Miss Waring. INCT 34-211-AM

Downshire School student Lewis Beattie collected a fantastic set of GCSE results with his mum Michelle on Thursday morning.

Downshire School student Lewis Beattie collected a fantastic set of GCSE results with his mum Michelle on Thursday morning.

Downshire school pupil Molly Harbinson and her mum were delighted with Molly's GCSE results.

Downshire school pupil Molly Harbinson and her mum were delighted with Molly's GCSE results.

Downshire School year 12 boys Rhys, Harry, Finlay and Justin collecting their results from class teacher Miss L Aicken and Year Head Mr M Patton.

Downshire School year 12 boys Rhys, Harry, Finlay and Justin collecting their results from class teacher Miss L Aicken and Year Head Mr M Patton.

Downshire School student Josh Sloan and his mum Carol picked up his GCSE results.  Josh achieved 10.5 top grades (A*-C).

Downshire School student Josh Sloan and his mum Carol picked up his GCSE results. Josh achieved 10.5 top grades (A*-C).

Downshire pupils, Angela Chen and Natalie Johnson celebrate with family and friends. INCT 34-213-AM

Downshire pupils, Angela Chen and Natalie Johnson celebrate with family and friends. INCT 34-213-AM