WEST Belfast schools and pupils are celebrating after another round of top GCSE results. As the envelopes were being peeled open last Thursday we travelled round our schools to discover just how well everyone had done. Our first stop was St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School who were celebrating unprecedented success in their GCSE results with 80 per cent of students achieving seven grades from A* to C.
Aidan Churchill achieved four Bs, five Cs and one D grade. “I’m definitely coming back for my A-Levels,” he said.
Aidan’s friend Ruairi Wilson received one A*, one A, seven Bs and one C. The delighted 17-year-old told us he was “really happy and can’t wait to get stuck in to my A-Levels.”
St Mary’s Principal Jim Sheerin told the Andersonstown News he was extremely pleased with the school’s success. “Once again St Mary’s has produced a very strong set of GCSE results and demonstrated continued improvement,” he said
Across the road at CBS an over-the-moon Ryan Young told us that he had done very well.
“I got an A* in Financial Studies, an A* in Music and six C grades, I’m really happy and it’s definitely on to A-Level for me.”
16-year-old Danielius Banys from Lithuania was in fine form after achieving four A* and two B grades. Danielius had completed some of his GCSEs last year and is now planning what step to take next. “I hope to study Maths, Physics and Biology and go to university,” he said.
In between celebrating with her pupils, CBS Vice-Principal Bronagh Farrimond said that once again the school had received outstanding results due to the hard work of teachers and pupils.
The jubilant atmosphere at De La Salle College was spilling out into the car park as we arrived. Pupil Robert Harvey beamed as he told us his results. “I got two A*s in Music and English, four As, one B and one C grade.”
“I’m just glad to get it over and done with,” said a relieved Pearse Knocker. “I did really well in my GCSEs and I‘m looking forward to what I can do in La Salle in the future.”
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Ryan Long was celebrating with friends after he achieved four Bs and four C grades.
School Principal Paul Barry was in the thick of the excitement and said it was great to see the smiles on the students’ faces.
“We have celebrated our best-ever GSCE results and it’s great that these young men will be continuing their educational journey here at La Salle,” he said.
Students excitedly chatted with friends at Twinbrook’s St Colm’s where Principal Imelda Jordan was delighted to see “the big smiles in the school today.”
“We have outstanding pupils here at St Colm’s with outstanding futures. It’s very much a big congratulations to all our teaching staff, pupils and parents after these brilliant results.
“These results are great for these young people, it is money in the bank and no-one can take them away from them.”
Securing passes in over 10 GCSEs each, Nicole McCabe, Niamh Duffy and Kaitlin Maughan spoke of how they will now be thinking long and hard about what A-Levels to choose – but would definitely be celebrating their successes.
Following on from their outstanding A-Level results, pupils and staff at St Dominic’s Grammar School were thrilled at the outcome of this year’s GCSE results.
A massive 93 per cent of pupils achieved grades of A* to C in at least seven subjects.
Celebrating in the foyer, Dearbhaile Slane, Laura O’Mahony, Jennifer Norling and Ciara Mulhern achieved an incredible 11 A* grades between them. Speaking of her success a delighted Dearbhaile said: “I am thrilled with these results, I worked really hard over the last two years and would like to thank my teachers for all the support they gave me.”
Principal Carol McCann paid tribute to the sustained and concerted effort that Year 12 pupils and teacher have made over the last two years. “I am overwhelmed at such outstanding success at both GCSE and A-Level. They are due in no small way to the ongoing dedication and commitment of our teachers, who have built strong working relationships with the girls in their care,” she said.
At St Rose’s Dominican College Roisin Rice had seven GCSEs under her belt. “I got two Bs and five Cs and I’m coming back to take up ICT, Travel and Tourism and Health and Social Care studies.”
Karen McDonagh and Aisling Toner were celebrating in the college’s library after they received 10 GCSE passes each.
St Roses’s Principal Teresa McNamee praised all the students and teachers who had worked so hard to secure such excellent grades.
“I’m just thrilled to bits for our girls as they received the best-ever set of results. It’s a fantastic way to start off a new school year. We had some parents accompany their children this morning and it would be fair to say that there was an amount of trepidation, but that soon disappeared as they are just as overjoyed as we are after their success.”
At St Louise’s Comprehensive College, delighted Principal Carmel McCartan celebrated with pupils and parents as 90 per cent of the Year 12 students achieved five or more GCSEs A* to C grades. “For the past two years the college has been the highest performing non-selective school in Belfast. Last year 87 per cent of our students achieved at least five GCSEs at A* to C level. We are absolutely delighted to see that not only have we maintained this high standard of academic success, but we have done even better this year.”
Corpus Christi College Principal Isabel Russell said the pupils had excelled themselves with their “outstanding GCSE results”.
“The students have achieved brilliant GCSE results, and it reflects the hard work of the students themselves, their teachers and of course the support given to them from their parents and guardians. There has been a huge amount of time invested in preparing for the examinations over the past two years and now the hard work has paid off – all students should be very proud of their achievements.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the students back to continue with their studies,” she added.
At Coláiste Feirste Sinéad Ní Thuamáin, who travels from Downpatrick each day to study at the school, was celebrating her three A*’s, one A and six B grades.
Principal Micheál Mac Giolla Gunna said: “Yet again Coláiste Feirste pupils have produced impressive GCSE results. In addition we have had outstanding individual performances with A* grades not only in Irish but in English and Art also. Other subjects, such as Science and Drama, have had wonderful overall results.
“We have increased our GCSE curriculum choice to 26 subjects in recent years, which means that every pupil, from the academically gifted to the artistic, the sporting and the kinesthetic, can choose the mix of subjects which best matches their interests, abilities and aspirations.”
At Malone Integrated College in Finaghy, with his proud parents at his side, student Matthew Adams was celebrating with seven As and two Bs. “Of course I’ll be coming back for A-Levels,” he said.
“I’m very happy and will be choosing Geography, History and at least two Sciences.”
16-year-old St Agnes’ boxing club member Sean Higginson was pulling no punches with his grades as he achieved four Bs and five Cs. “I’ll be back next week to start my A-Levels,” he said. “I’ve chosen to do Leisure Studies, Sport Studies and Technology.”
Principal Gerard Price said that many of the pupils at GCSE have scored highly and will return to Malone College to continue their education in post-16 studies.
“Many of our A-Level students have gained access to the university of their choice. Others have chosen to continue their studies in colleges of further education while others have elected to go into the world of work.
“As the integrated college of South and West Belfast we pride ourselves in accepting pupils from all backgrounds, cultural, religious, political and social,” he added.