Northern Ireland news

Schools celebrate best ever A-level results

Twins Amy and Megan Wilkinson leave St Dominics with four A* each. Picture by Mal McCann

PUPILS have been celebrating top A-level achievements with friends and family - with many schools welcoming their best ever results.

At St Killian's College in Carnlough, young people "shattered all previous records" with 92 per cent of pupils scoring at least three A*-C grades.

Almost one in three achieved three A*/A grades while 90 per cent were awarded A*-B.

Many of the pupils, the school noted, had made significant contributions both locally and internationally to the community "which is the mark of Catholic education".

Hannah Craig, who is going to study medicine at Glasgow, spent four weeks of the summer holiday building homes in Kenya, while Christina McCambridge, who is going to NUI Maynooth to study theology and philosophy, spent two weeks in Lourdes tending to the sick and disabled.

Three of the sporting schools' all-stars are also academic high achievers; Ellen Hynds, who captained Antrim to the All-Ireland Minor Camogie title and Antrim Minor hurlers Edward McQuillan and Francis McCurry.

St Dominics pupils celebrate their A Level results Claire Colton, Emily Scott, Melissa Mullen and Caoimhe NicArdail all off to Queens University. Picture by Mal McCann

Principal Jonny Brady acknowledged exceptional results achieved in the `stem', arts and vocational areas reflecting the broadening of the school curriculum.

"This highlights the success the college has in delivering a broad range of educational pathways to develop the interests and talents of all our students, providing them with the academic results and key life skills to confidently contribute to our society and growing economy," he said.

"With university places in high demand we are pleased that with the help, advice and guidance of the college’s careers department, the vast majority of our students have gained entry to their first choice courses. In addition, there have been a growing number of our students selecting and accessing Higher Apprenticeship routes.”

At Ballyclare High School, 99.9 per cent of pupils secured pass grades in three or more A-level subjects this year.

The top student was Imogen Forbes with five A*/A grades.

Principal Dr Michelle Rainey said pupils, parents and staff had worked hard to secure the grades needed for university places, further education and employment.

"Not only am I delighted with their academic achievements but am privileged again to see another year group of fabulously articulate and socially accomplished young people step forward confidently to their next chapter in life," she said.

Hazelwood Integrated College in Belfast was also celebrating its best ever A level results with 100 per cent passing. A total of 70 per cent achieved three A*-Cs.

The school's reputation for excellence in educating international students has continued, many of whom came with little English.

Principal Kathleen O'Hare said: "Once again it is great to witness the A-level students at Hazelwood achieve their dreams."

The Controlled Schools' Support Council acknowledged the hard work of pupils, teachers and principals.

Chief executive Barry Mulholland said attaining A-levels opened up many career paths.

"For some, the results may not be as expected. If this is the case, be aware there are still many higher and further education opportunities out there. School careers advisers or the Careers Service could provide some useful guidance.

"I would like to acknowledge the teachers who have delivered a varied choice and intensive academic curriculum to their pupils despite the ongoing financial pressures facing schools."

Read more: Belfast triplets get matching A-level results

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