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We visit our local schools to meet staff and students

A-Level joy for youngsters as results come in

St Dominic’s pupils jump for joy on receiving their A-Level results St Dominic’s pupils jump for joy on receiving their A-Level results
By Ciara Quinn

THERE was an air of jubilation in West Belfast last Thursday morning as thousands of pupils received their A-Level results.

The Andersonstown News was there to capture the atmosphere as nervous and excited pupils learned how they did after two years of hard work. First stop was St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls as pupils opened their all-important envelopes.

Rachel O’Halloran was celebrating after achieving an A* in Chemistry and As in Geography and Biology. “I’m going to take a gap year and then reapply in 2014 to study Medicine at Queen’s University,” she said.

Tara Crawford was thrilled to receive an A* in Business Studies, an A in Biology and a B in Chemistry. The delighted pupil told the Andersonstown News: “I will be going to Queen’s to study Pharmacy.”

“I’m going to study Actuarial Science, which is a maths course at Queen’s,” said Niamh Sloane who achieved an A* in Maths and two A grades in Biology and Physics. “I’m really happy to have got into my course of choice.”

Off to study Civil Engineering at Queen’s was Laura O’Mahony who scored an A* in Irish and two As in Maths and Physics.

Delighted Principal Carol McCann told us: “I am extremely proud of the girls, who have shown amazing determination and commitment to their studies. Many of the students availed of evening and weekend study throughout the year, which has undoubtedly contributed to their amazing success. These fabulous results are undoubtedly the culmination of two years of hard work of pupils and staff. The school, working collaboratively and in close partnership with the parents, has seen its results improve year on year.”

At St Mary’s Grammar School, Ciaran Doherty was the top student, achieving a remarkable three A*s and an A. Head Boy James McComish was celebrating two A*s in Chemistry and Maths and two As in Further Maths and Physics. James told the Andersonstown News that he’s off to study Engineering at the prestigious Imperial College in London. Peter Ferguson was “over the moon” with his A* in Maths and three A grades in Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry and the high-achieving student has been accepted to read Theoretical Physics with Mathematics at Lancaster University. But he’ll be undertaking a year-long scholarship in the United States before embarking on his degree.

Also celebrating and looking forward to starting his degree in English at Queen’s was Stiofán Trainor, who achieved two A grades in English Literature and Chemistry and a B in Physics.

St Mary’s Principal Jim Sheerin expressed his pride in the success of his pupils – and his staff.

“We are very pleased with our ongoing academic improvement,” he said. “These are extremely strong results and the school is delighted that our pupils’ hard work and commitment and the support of their parents has been rewarded.  I am sure that our A-Level pupils, who have contributed greatly to the life of the school community, will now go on to great success in their universities and employment.”

The buoyant atmosphere continued further down the road at La Salle College where School President Pearse Knocker was celebrating three A grades in History, Politics and Religion. Fellow pupil Tom Gray was also in top form after achieving three A grades in History, Politics and IT. He and Pearse will be taking up places at St Mary’s University College in September. Off to study Finance at Queen’s is Sean Dornan who secured three A grades in Maths, ICT and Religion.

Deputy Principal Fiona Kane said she was “absolutely delighted” with the College’s success in the 2013 exams.

“I’m just thrilled to bits for the students, their success is a true reflection of the hard work they have put into their studies. They worked very hard and were superbly supported by their teachers, support staff and parents,” she said.

Success was also the order of the day at St Genevieve’s High School where Megan Diamond celebrated two A* grades in Religion and Sociology, an A in History and a C in French. The delighted 18-year-old will be  taking up a place St Mary’s University College next month.

Laura Dowling achieved two As and a C grade in Maths but was “still deciding” where to study next, as was Kareena Adair who was thrilled with an A in Religion, a B in Biology and a C in Chemistry.

Cliódhna McAllister is Coleraine University-bound after she secured three B grades in History, Sociology and ICT to study Psychology.

The Principal of Belfast’s Irish medium college, Coláiste Feirste, Micheál Mac Giolla Ghunna, expressed his satisfaction as pupils collected their A-Level results at the college on Thursday morning.

“Yet again I must congratulate our pupils and teachers on producing wonderful results,” he said. “The overall results have continued to prove that Irish medium education delivers top-level outcomes for our students and it is especially gratifying to note that practically all of our students have been accepted to their third-level courses of choice.”

And Micheál’s students certainly did the college proud. Conor Mac Gafraidh achieved two A*s and one A while Cait Ní Chianáin achieved three As in her exams.  Students from  Coláiste have been accepted to courses in all of the local universities and accross the water as well.  Clodagh Ní Mhaicín has been accepted to undertake a law degree at  Magee College while Searlas Mac Toirealaigh is to read Economics and Politics at Sterling University in Scotland.

Micheál continued: “I am also very proud of our pupils in the vocational stream who all achieved high grades in their Irish A-Level and the various NVQ and BTEC courses.

“Our vision is of a school community which caters for all abilities, all talents and all interests – a pupil-centred curriculum.  We set ourselves very ambitious targets for our Sixth Form development in the past few years and I am absolutely  delighted to say that we are well on track to meet those targets.”


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