11/11/16 - Prize Night Celebrates Outstanding GCSE Success
Newtownhamilton High School celebrated another year of outstanding GCSE results at Thursday's Prize Night. A full house heard Principal Neil Megaw state “I am delighted to announce that a massive 93% of pupils this year achieved five GCSE grades at A*-C or equivalent. This result places the school 22% above the Northern Ireland average, while 79% of pupils achieved five GCSE grades at A*-C, when the all-important GCSE English and GCSE Maths grades are included. This statistic is an unbelievable 30% above the Northern Ireland average," said Mr Megaw. "These are statistics that any non-selective school in the country would be proud of and once again proves that our small school can compete with the very best schools that Northern Ireland has to offer." The recipient for the G Mullan Cup for Academic Achievement was presented to Glen McBride for achieving an outstanding 4 A* grades, 5 A grades and 1 B grade while Jack McKnight collected the McNiece Cup for the Best All Round Pupil on the Vocational Enhancement Programme.
Mr Megaw gave a warm welcome to special guest, Danny Kennedy MLA and his wife, Karen. "I am delighted to welcome our local MLA Danny Kennedy back to familiar territory – a community that he knows and serves extremely well," said Mr Megaw. "I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support that Danny has given to me personally since my appointment two years ago. He is a very busy man with many public engagements but he always has time to help if and when required."
The Newtownhamilton Principal also gave a warm welcome to the other invited guests including principals from neighbouring schools, the Board of Governors and members of the clergy.
Mr Megaw also spoke about the close links the school enjoys with St Joseph's in Crossmaglen, St Paul's in Bessbrook and Newry High School. "Our shared education programme has continually developed since its introduction in 2009 and has enriched the learning experiences of both controlled and maintained pupils in the local area by offering greater subject choice in Years 11 and 12. This year, we celebrated the fruit of this labour when Rebecca Nesbitt and Joanne King gained B.Tech qualifications at St. Paul’s HS Bessbrook. However, a special mention must be reserved for Ethan Cranston who made the journey, on his own, every Thursday to St. Joseph’s HS Crossmaglen and achieved a ‘B’ grade in his GCSE Agriculture & Land Use Studies”. Educational programmes from organisations like the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland helps to support this work and therefore Mr Megaw welcomed their representative David Scott.
Mr Megaw gave a special welcome to the parents and grandparents of pupils who attend the school. "I thank you for putting your trust in us and also for all that you have done in supporting this school during the past year and indeed for many years”.
Also on this topic of the school in the community, Mr Megaw thanked all the organisations and individuals that enriched the learning experiences of the pupils. "There are too many people to mention individually, but collectively they all contributed to the wonderful opportunity that our pupils have to receive a broad and balanced education”.
To the class of 2016, both Mr Megaw and Vice Principal Mr Andrew Cousins offered their best wishes for every success in the future. Mr Megaw concluded by stating "Whatever you end up doing in life and no matter how long that it takes you, I believe that the experiences that you have had in Newtownhamilton High School will prove beneficial."
Special mention must also go to the choir for their musical performances and also to the joint effort of staff, School Association Members, pupils and canteen staff for providing a magnificent supper.
To conclude, it was an excellent evening which was very fitting to acknowledge the achievements of the class of 2016.