Schools celebrate strong GCSE performance
SCHOOLS across Northern Ireland were yesterday celebrating another year of strong GCSE performances.
Following on from record-breaking success at A-level last week, Hazelwood Integrated College welcomed confirmation that 90 per cent of pupils obtained five or more GCSE grades A*-C.
The percentage of young people achieving five or more `good' grades including English and maths rose significantly from last year.
There was double success in the Caldwell household with twins Phoebe and Robyn achieving 18 grade A*-C between them.
Principal Kathleen O'Hare said "breaking new barriers is not something new to Hazelwood".
"We are delighted for our Year 12 students and staff and their success," she said.
"Our incoming Year 13 will continue their ground breaking achievements by opting for a wide range of academic and vocational courses as well as being one step ahead of their peers in securing their future in the world of work'.
Elsewhere, a Belfast girl's perfect 10 clean sweep of A stars was a dream come true.
Sarah Hand dreamt that she would notch top marks in 10 GCSEs ahead of waking up to that reality on Thursday morning. The 16-year-old Victoria College pupil has a long-term ambition to be a reconstructive plastic surgeon.
"I was surprised by a few but not surprised by others," she said.
"I was surprised by English Literature and French. I was really nervous about those results, but the others I was confident about. It's weird, before results you get results dreams where you dream what it's going to be like and there are different results in each dream. And I had one like that (10 A*s) and it was today, so it was really surreal. So it is literally a dream come."
Sarah brought the family dog Kenny down to school on Thursday as she and classmates celebrated their achievements.
The success of controlled schools was celebrated by their new sectoral support body, the CSSC.
CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said pupils' diligence and determination had been rewarded.
"I also wish to recognise the commitment and support of the teachers and Principals who have played a key role in ensuring pupils have achieved these successful results," he said.
"Controlled schools provide a wide range of educational pathways and opportunities for over 140,000 pupils to ensure they have the skills they will need for the future."