Antrim Grammar School principal Stephen Black has reflected on a successful academic year at the school’s annual prize day last week.
Describing it as having been a “year of considerable success for Antrim Grammar School”, with Mr Black saying the school was delighted with the many excellent results achieved by pupils in external examinations last summer.
“In particular at GCSE level, where we achieved perhaps our best ever results, reinforcing our reputation as a top performing school,” Mr Black said.
He added: “We have already recognised the success of the whole year group at our GCSE Celebration of Achievement evening in November but today we recognise those individuals who achieved nine or more A* or A in their full GCSE examinations - Bryce Allen, Jose Benchikh-Rodriguez, Janet Bingham, Carys Brown, Ben Hardy, Stephen Houston, Sophie Hutchinson, Rebecca Kennedy, James Mawhinney, Lauren McWilliam, Josh Morrison, Abby Patterson, Jack Rankin and Daniel Todd.
“We also offer special congratulations to those who received full UMS marks in their GCSE examinations, Joseph Iredale in French, James Mawhinney in Mathematics, Rhian Allen in Performing Arts, Rebecca Kennedy and Phillip Magowan in Religious Studies and to Jose Benchikh-Rodriguez who was placed 2nd in Northern Ireland in GCSE Spanish.
“There were also many excellent results achieved at AS Level with, in particular, outstanding individual performances by Sarah Carson, Esther Graham, Ross McIvor and Matthew McWhinney who all attained 4 A grades.
“At A Level, there was also improvement on the previous year with an increased percentage of the students attaining three or more grades at A*–C, indicating good performance across the whole Year group.
“There were, of course, some terrific individual performances, with particularly noteworthy achievements for Billy Millar who was placed 1st in Northern Ireland in Further Mathematics, the school’s third top two placing in this subject in the last five years, and Grant Addison who attained A* in all his four subjects and who became the school’s first winner of a J P McManus All Ireland Scholarship, a phenomenal performance.”
Mr Black said that “like all good schools, despite its focus on academic excellence, Antrim Grammar School is about much more than success in examinations” and said there had been many highlights in the traditional sports of rugby and hockey.
He said that under the direction of Mr Ferguson and Mr McNerlin, the school was pleased to enhance its cricket provision thanks to the support of Muckamore Cricket Club, adding congratulations to Sam Gordon on his selection for the NCU Under 15 side.
He also added that pupils continue to perform very well in athletics with athletes winning numerous medals at District, Ulster and Irish levels, while Show jumping, under the direction of Mrs Lavery, had another successful year with one of the highlights being a win in a national competition held at Portmore last summer.
Individuals have also excelled at national and international level in many other sports including Daniel Cathcart in Trampolining and Molly Hodge in Taek Won Do.
“Special mention must go to Ross McMaster who is currently the number 1 tennis player in his age group in NI and to Hannah Morrison for being chosen to represent NI in Gymnastics and on her selection for the Irish Gymnastics Training Squad for the 2016 Olympics,” Mr Black added.