On Thursday 22nd October 2015 Ballyclare Secondary School held its annual awards evening for the Presentation of Certificates and Trophies. Principal, Mrs Bell welcomed parents, carers, staff, Governors, pupils and guests to the evening.
Guests of honour at the event were Mr and Mrs Euel Agnew. Mrs Agnew served as a teacher in Ballyclare Secondary School for over 30 years. During that time she held a number of positions of responsibility including Head of Geography Department, Primary School Liaison Officer and Teacher in Charge of Year 8 Induction. Mrs Agnew ensured the successful transition from Primary to Post Primary School for literally thousands of young people and it was lovely to welcome her back to school following her retirement in August.
Mrs Bell’s theme for the evening was to “celebrate” the many successes of the young people in all aspects of school life and to commend the endeavours of the staff.
During her annual report, she outlined the excellent standards achieved by pupils at GCE A level, GCSE level and in the Cambridge Technical Business Course pointing out how more pupils than ever before are staying on to sixth form to continue with their studies. Mrs Bell commented on the broad and varied curriculum offered to pupils and how this provided different pathways for pupils of all abilities to follow and to achieve their own personal levels of success and that all were worthy of celebration. She also highlighted the exam success of students who took courses run in conjunction with Ballyclare High School as part of the now well established Ballyclare Learning Community.
Praising the pupils for their hard work and dedication in all aspects of school life the Principal reflected on the work of the Music Department, Home Economics Department, Charity Work and the many sporting successes throughout the year. Mrs Bell also highlighted the many popular extracurricular activities which take place throughout the year,
Mrs. Bell commended the teaching staff for their efforts over the past 12 months, and also paid tribute to the Board of Governors and the Education Authority for their support and encouragement throughout the year.
The Principal went on to comment on the three major areas of the school – Pastoral Care and Pupil Welfare, Educational Provision and School Organisation and Improvement. She highlighted the work and support of her Senior Leadership Team.
Turning to the issues affecting secondary education Mrs. Bell commented on the current proposals for Area Based Planning and that Ballyclare Secondary School was currently benefiting from inclusion in the School Enhancement Programme. Mrs. Bell detailed the major new extension to the school providing a new state of the art Home Economics Suite, Drama and Performing Art facilities, new entrance hall and a significant number of new classrooms. Mrs. Bell acknowledged this major investment in the school by the Department of Education at a time when there are such tight constraints on the public purse and that she was very much looking forward to the enhanced learning and teaching environment it will provide for young people and staff.
In closing her annual report, Mrs. Bell welcomed the new members of the Board of Governors and thanked them for their dedication, faithful attendance at meetings and contribution to the school and stated that Ballyclare Secondary School had, once again, demonstrated that it is a very good school and she paid tribute to students and staff alike for their contribution in making it a year of outstanding success and progress.