NORTH Belfast’s newest co-educational school officially opened its doors this week to welcome the beginning of a historic new era.
Formed after the amalgamation of Little Flower and St Patrick’s College, Trinity College welcomed 1,300 students across its Antrim Road and Somerton Road sites.
Excitement has been building in North Belfast since the birth of Trinity College was announced last December and this week the school welcomed each new year group.
On Wednesday morning, it was the turn of the new 218 Year 8 students, who took the first steps in their academic journey with Trinity College.
Principal Jim McKeever said it was an exciting time for everyone involved at Trinity College.
“It is the beginning of a new era and co-ed education with the opening of Trinity College to serve the whole community of North Belfast,” he explained.
“It is a historic first day in welcoming our Year 8 pupils to Trinity. There is great excitement amongst us all.
“The staff are also privileged with the new role they have in North Belfast for educating and helping to develop our pupils.
“There is also great pride in our staff also to be part of such an historic occasion. It is our role to help students ‘Achieve Excellence Together’.
“What a wonderful sight to see all our new students look so stunning in the new distinctive uniform, with the Trinity symbol representing home, school and parish.”
New Year 8 form tutor, Gilah McCarroll also expressed her excitement at the dawn of a new era at the school.
“It’s so exciting for myself to be a form teacher for a group of our new Year 8s. They are the first group who will help shape Trinity.
“I can’t wait to meet and get to know each and every one of them and do my best to help them on their journey through school.”
Over at the Antrim Road site, it was the post-16 students who were getting to know each other as they prepared for a day of bonding activities.
Trinity College will cater for 200 students for AS and A-Level provision from a broad range of subjects, some available as one-year courses.
Vice-Principal Paula Stewart said she was delighted to welcome so many post-16 students to Trinity College.
“We are delighted to welcome to former students of St Patrick’s College and Little Flower who have elected to continue their studies post-16 level here at Trinity College,” she explained.
“We have a broad range of subjects available, for A-Level and B-Tech provision.
“Everyone is looking forward to working in a new co-ed environment.
“I think the buzz here today speaks for itself.
“We have more than 90% retention rate for students coming back and we have a huge interest in students from other schools who are keen to join us for some of our A-Level courses.”