Northern Ireland news

Schools celebrate record GCSE results

Hazelwood Integrated College pupils Sophie McComiskey and Megan Greer. Picture by Mark Marlow

GIRLS are catching up with boys and scoring top grades in GCSE maths and physics.

Across Britain and Northern Ireland, females are achieving increasing numbers of grades A/7 or above in the two subjects, in which their male classmates have traditionally scored better.

The number of boys achieving higher grades in maths dropped slightly this year across the UK.

At the same time, the number of girls getting top maths marks rose. There were similar trends in physics.

Individual schools, meanwhile, are celebrating GCSE success.

At Hazelwood Integrated College in Newtownabbey, 91 per cent of pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades.

Pupils performed well in subjects including English literature, ICT, art, engineering, business and sports studies.

Principal Máire Thompson, congratulated pupils on their hard work and success.

"I share in the pride of so many parents and guardians as I congratulate our Year 12 pupils and their fantastic GCSE results," she said.

"I would also like to commend the efforts of all of the pastoral staff, especially the year tutors, who have provided the individual care and attention that has enabled so many of our pupils to meet and, in many cases, exceed their personal targets. The breadth of opportunities now open to our pupils proves that hard work brings its own rewards and I wish them all the best."

Lumen Christi College in Derry welcomed "outstanding results" - 100 per cent of pupils earned at least seven A*-C grades.

"These results reflect the caring and nurturing relationships that lie at the heart of our ethos and create the environment in which our students thrive," said principal Siobhan McCauley.

"We are extremely proud of the diligence of our students, the high level of commitment of staff and the unstinting support of parents, all of which are key to our continued outstanding academic success. We are delighted now to welcome our students back to begin the next stage of their educational journey."

Twins Ross and Scott Mackay (16) from Antrim Grammar, celebrated a catalogue of success.

Ross scooped nine A*s which he described as "quite exceptional".

"It is every emotion under the sun thrown into 10 seconds of your life when you look at that paper, crazy, but I could not be happier," he said.

He hopes to take maths, chemistry and biology at A-level and go to Queen's University in Belfast to study biochemistry.

Scott obtained a double A grade in science and an A in maths among others. He wants to study maths and engineering at A-level and ultimately work in the renewable energy industry.

Something to smile about for pupils from Lumen Christi College Aoife Lynch and Aoife Hegarty, collecting their GCSE results

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