On Thursday 26th October 2017 Ballyclare Secondary School held its annual awards evening for the Presentation of Certificates and Trophies. Mrs Bell welcomed parents, carers, staff, Governors, pupils and guests to the evening.
Guests of honour at the event were Mr Alan and Mrs Linda Beattie. Mr and Mrs Beattie were very familiar faces to all in attendance as they served as teachers in Ballyclare Secondary School for a combined total of over 58 years. Mrs Beattie joining the staff in 1985 and Mr Beattie in 1991. During that time as well as being busy classroom teachers, Alan and Linda had both held a number of positions of responsibility within school, Mrs Beattie as Head of Music Department and a Head of Year and Mr Beattie also a Head of Year, Subject Leader for Performing Arts and Drama and Community Liaison Officer. Collectively they were known as “The Beatties” and under their leadership over the years the Music and Drama Departments had grown from strength to strength. Mrs Bell thanked Mr and Mrs Beattie for the inspiration, passion and enthusiasm in their teaching which had contributed so much to the life, ethos and environment of Ballyclare Secondary School.
Mrs Bell’s theme for the evening was “Building Success Stories” and celebrating the many achievements 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, AS Level, GCSE level and in Level 3 BTEC Courses 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 collaboration 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 high quality learning and teaching evident in all departments throughout the school, on 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 including recent achievements in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Investor in Careers is a Licensed Awarding Body, which showcases and supports the management of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) and is a widely used quality award recognised nationally. It was with great pride that Mrs Bell informed all present that the school had recently been awarded the Investor in Careers Award at Level 2 – a great achievement for the school!
“As an Investor in Careers holder we have demonstrated our ability to provide impartial, independent careers education, information, advice and guidance to all young people”. Mrs Bell went on to say that this really was one of the highest accolades a school can receive for excellence in this area of work. The Quality in Careers Standard is about improving pupils’ awareness of opportunities, raising their aspirations and working with them to ensure they achieve their full potential. To achieve this award really was a team effort and Mrs Bell acknowledged the work of Senior Teacher, Mrs Valerie Beattie for her work in securing this award for the school.
Mrs. Bell commended the teaching staff for their efforts over the past 12 months, and also paid tribute to the Board of Governors for their support and encouragement throughout the year.
The Principal went on to comment on the major areas of the school – Pastoral Care and Pupil Welfare, Educational Provision, CEIAG, and School Organisation and Improvement. She highlighted the work and support of her Senior Leadership Team.
In closing her annual report, Mrs. Bell thanked the members of the Board of Governors 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 pupils and staff alike for their contribution in making it a year of outstanding success and progress.