THE PUPILS, parents and staff of Holy Cross Boys’ PS were celebrating an ‘outstanding’ achievement this week after a  recent school inspection.

The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI), responsible for keeping an eye on school standards, awarded the school the ‘Outstanding’ grade in all key areas in its results published on Monday 13 January.

The quality of teaching and learning, as well as the levels of achievement and standards within the school, also received the highest possible grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst the principal, School Leadership Team and governors were also judged as ‘Outstanding’ during the November inspection.

The inspection report noted the ‘Outstanding’ provision of ICT, making reference to how ICT was “seamlessly integrated across the school” to enhance teaching and learning. Notably, the inspectors made reference to the culture of expectation and achievement in the school when commenting, “the drive for improvement in this school at all levels is continuous and unrelenting.”

Speaking after the publication of the report, Principal Kevin McArevey said, “The entire school community is delighted with this inspection report, and rightly so. We pride ourselves on setting high standards and striving to ensure that all of our children are supported and challenged to achieve their full potential.

“Less than 10% of primary schools receive the Outstanding Grade in ETI inspection reports, and even fewer receive that grade in every key criterion assessed, so this is an achievement of which all of our children, their parents, the entire staff and school community have every right to feel very proud.

“Holy Cross Boys’ PS, with 78% of the pupils entitled to free school meals, ranks amongst the highest 2% of the most socio-economically deprived schools in the north of Ireland. But we believe in leaving excuses outside the blue gates at the entrance to our school. Our pupils and their parents are entitled to the same aspirations and expectations as those from any other area, and it is this desire to nurture the talent of our children to help them fulfill their potential which underlines our commitment to excellence.”