Ballymoney High School Principal, Mrs Cynthia Currie addressed a large gathering of pupils, parents and friends of the school at the school’s Annual Prize Distribution.
She highlighted how the past year had been a year of change for the school in terms of the school facilities, the Senior and Middle Leadership teams and the many new developments and initiatives which have been introduced. She also shared how the school was excited and looking forward to another pivotal year as they undergo consultation for Post 16 provision.
The Chief Guest was Mr Jonathan McAuley, Managing Director of McAuley Engineering, a past pupil of the school. The Principal remarked how the school is seeking to strengthen and build on links to the business community particularly at a local level as a means of preparing young people for the world of work. She highlighted how a particular focus was the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career pathways as this is an identified need in the competitive labour market.
The Guest speaker Mr McAuley was welcomed by Head Girl, Jessica Dunlop and Head Boy, Jamie McIntyre who were excellent in their debut appearance as the Head Girl and Head Boy 2016-2017. The Chamber Choir and musicians also entertained those present with an excellent ensemble of pieces including the moving School song: In the Shadow of Knocklayde.
Mr McAuley said: “I am proud to be a past pupil of the school and feel that Ballymoney High gave me strong foundations for my present career.”
He shared with those present his career pathway post Ballymoney High and he highlighted to the young people the importance of being themselves and being proud of where they come from; challenging and stretching themselves towards greater things and working hard.
Mr Desmond Fulton, Chair of the Board of Governors commended the staff for their continuing work in supporting young people. Mr Fulton also shared with those present the high hopes for getting the proposals for Post 16 provision passed. He highlighted how the opportunity for the young people to stay on at Ballymoney High School and complete their 16-19 studies, would bring many educational and pastoral benefits building on the positive sharing currently occurring between the three Post Primary Schools in Ballymoney.
Also in attendance at the event was Mr Barry Mulholland Chief Executive of the Controlled Schools Council. Mr Mulholland commended the good work of the school and shared with those present the key aims of the Support Council in championing the Controlled sector. He highlighted how many Controlled Schools have shown interest in being affiliated with the Council and this was a positive sign for future work.
In keeping with the theme of change and new beginnings the Principal encouraged all present to positively embrace the opportunities in the year ahead and urged all to continue to be determined and committed to ensuring that Ballymoney High is an outstanding school at the heart of the Ballymoney community giving young people the quality educational and pastoral experiences they deserve.
Mrs Currie shared how the school continues to enjoy good relations with local Primary Schools and was delighted in the past year to be maker closer links in order to improve the transition process between Primary and Post Primary. She paid tribute to the Parents and community who continue to support and show confidence in the school as the admissions into Year 8 in the last 4 years have shown an increasing pattern. Indeed 133 Year 8 pupils enrolled this academic year- a testament to the level of provision and learning experiences on offer.
Full report online!