Another successful Open Day for Dalriada in their 75th year

A massive turn out of over 950 people attended Dalriada School’s Open Morning on Saturday, 12th January.

Primary school pupils from Year 6 and Year 7 and their parents enjoyed an impressive insight into all aspects of daily life at Dalriada.

Visitors were treated to a superb compilation of photographs under the heading ‘Spread the News’ which depicted life at Dalriada. A compilation of photographs was displayed on the school’s electronic screens and during the separate P6 and P7 talks by the Headmaster, Mr T Skelton, in the John Armstrong Hall.

The work of all academic departments and many extra-curricular activities was on display. Visiting pupils had the opportunity to take part in practical activities in laboratories, workshops, art rooms, information technology rooms, the Sports Hall,and the new 3G all-weather pitch and to listen to a wide range of musical performances from the Chamber Choir, Wind Band, Jazz Band and Traditional Group. The Sony Robotic Dog display in the ICT Department created great interest amongst the young visitors, and, in Geography, visitors saw erupting volcanoes. Year 8 drama classes performed role plays and entertained all with a balloon debate.

Many parents who were ‘old Dalriads’ showed great interest in the “Blast from the Past” display of school magazines in the Library and the 75thAnniversary Display which documented life in Dalriada since 1937. The Business Studies department put on a ‘taste test’ to see if the young visitors could identify brands and also had their very own Dragon’s Den contest.

The Science labs and the Technology workshops were some of the most popular venues as Year 6 and Year 7 pupils were given the opportunity to help current Dalriada pupils carry out exciting experiments and innovative practical projects. The corridors were not only full of people but also full of the pleasant smell of freshly cooked food from the Home Economics Display and the refreshments in the school canteen. Within the sports hall, and on the new 3G pitch, various displays demonstrated the wide range of Sports that the school offers and also reinforced the growing levels of success the school is enjoying.

In his introduction, Mr. T. Skelton, the Headmaster, pointed out that Dalriada attracts pupils from a wide catchment area of some 400 square miles. Dalriada welcomes pupils from the full range of social, religious and cultural backgrounds. He also highlighted the consistently impressive examination results at GCSE and A level, stating that the 2012 GCSE results were the highest in the school’s history.

Mr. Skelton pointed out that Dalriada is a happy school, where children and staff feel safe, secure and comfortable. The school ethos is evident in the everyday life of the school and is based on positive relationships where respect for each other is paramount. He stated “Happy, interested children work hard and achieve highly. Our pupils and teachers set their sights high and constantly work to improve the quality of what they do, in order to achieve the highest possible standards in academic work, and in a very wide range of sporting and cultural activities”. He encouraged visitors to talk to the staff and especially the 400 current Dalriada pupils, all of whom had volunteered to participate in the Open Morning.

In addition to Mr Skelton’s presentation a number of Year 8 pupils gave a short account of what life was like for them at Dalriada and this was greatly appreciated by visitors, particularly the P6 and P7 pupils.

To the Year 6 pupils Mr. Skelton emphasised the requirement for pupils to sit the Common Entrance Test devised by the Association for Quality Education, in order to be considered for admission to Dalriada.

All visitors received a copy of the prospectus which contains detailed information about many aspects of the life and work of the school with comments from current Year 8 pupils such as “I get lots of opportunities to show off my skills and talents in Dalriada”; “I am amazed by the wide range of subjects and extra-curricular activities Dalriada has to offer”; ‘Dalriada rewards all achievements” and “each day in Dalriada I have really good fun and I face exciting challenges and opportunities”.

Any Year 7 pupils and their parents who were unable to attend the Open Morning can contact the school to arrange a visit. Anyone requiring further information or wishing to visit the school should contact the school office (tel: 028 2766 3066 or

For a detailed account of what Dalriada has to offer, pupils and parents can visit the school’s website at