‘Largest intake of any school in Carrickfergus’ - college principal

Luke Bennett displays his art skills at Carrickfergus College open evening. INCT 02-705-CON
Luke Bennett displays his art skills at Carrickfergus College open evening. INCT 02-705-CON

Carrickfergus College had the largest intake of pupils of any school in the borough this year, according to principal Hedley Webb.

The headmaster drew attention to the statistic in his address to parents and prospective pupils at the annual open evening.

Mr Webb also pointed out that in the last three years the college has been asked to offer guidance to around 20 other post-primary schools to help them improve their performance. It is viewed, he noted, as a centre of excellence in tracking/target setting and assessment.

“Don’t take my word for it – ask the pupils and parents you meet about Carrickfergus College – our reputation and the quality of what we do speak for themselves. This has seen us have the largest intake of any school in Carrickfergus - 130 pupils this year,” he continued.

Thursday evening’s audience was also addressed by Mrs Irvine, vice principal with responsibility for Emotional Health and Well Being and pupils Thomas Blain (year 8) and Jack Chalmers (year 14).

Mr Webb spoke of his pride at the school exam results - a pass rate of 68% in five or more GCSEs at grades A*- C. At A-level the pupils achieved a 100% pass rate for two-plus GCEs at grades A* – E – “again outstanding”.

The speakers were keen to emphasise the school is about much more than work with more than 30 clubs and societies on offer.

The principal revealed: “Our annual ski trip leaves in a few weeks to go to Italy and pupils from sixth form will soon head to Poland to visit the Holocaust sites at Auschwitz.”

Mr Webb added: “As a parent of three children myself I know all too well how worrying this period of transition is.”

Highlighting that the impressive grades mentioned were achievable, he emphasised: “These were obtained by pupils like your sons and daughters. My teachers consistently go the extra mile to help pupils achieve.

“During our inspection in May 2013 our pupils were described as ‘friendly and welcoming’. It was noted that teachers had a ‘vibrancy, enthusiasm and love for their subjects’. Our pastoral care system was deemed ‘very good’ by the Inspectorate.”