Record A-Level results celebrated across the district

August 18, 2014

By Christine Keighery

Students and teachers across the district are celebrating another successful year of A-Level excellence, with the vast majority of local pupils securing places at the universities of their choice.

St. Paul’s High School in Bessbrook recorded the best results the school has ever attained, with an increase in the number of A* and A grades achieved across traditional academic, applied and vocational subject areas.

This is the first year of A-Levels at the school with new Principal Jarlath Burns at the helm and the proud Principal was keen to congratulate the students, their families and the entire staff of the school for their roles in the exceptional performance of this year’s cohort of A- Level students.

“We celebrate, as always, all the students’ achievements and the efforts they made towards the life of this school. We are proud of their academic, sporting, musical and personal successes and wish them continued success as they take the next step,” said Mr Burns.

The two top performers at St.Paul’s were Barra McAteer who scored 3 A* grades in Chemistry, Biology and Physics and an A grade in Maths, and Aoife Malone who scored 2 A* grades in ICT and Religion and 2 A grades in Biology and Health and Social Care and has been accepted into Teaching at St Mary’s in Belfast.

Speaking to The Examiner about her remarkable A-Level success Aoife said she was delighted to have done so well and relieved that the hard work had paid off to allow her to pursue her chosen career in teaching.

Fellow pupil Ciaran Finnegan, who achieved 4 A grades in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and is currently enjoying a gap year before going on to study Medicine said his achievement would not have been possible without the help and support of his teachers over the last two years and added,

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here and met some very nice people along the way. I wish the school the best of luck in the future.”

Another ‘A’ grade student Conor McCrink, who achieved 3 A’s in Chemistry, Biology and P.E, said he was delighted with his results and thanked all the teachers and staff in St. Paul’s for their hard work and support throughout his time at the school. Conor is going on to study Dietetics at the University of Ulster and told us he hopes his journey there is “as rewarding as it was in St. Paul’s.”

Eileen Muckian , another triple ‘A’ student said she was “totally over the moon” with her A grades in Biology, Geography and Music .

“It’s such a relief that after all the hard-work, stress, pressure and studying it has all finally paid off!” said a jubilant Eileen who is set to return to St. Paul’s to study for a full Chemistry A-Level in one year so she can pursue a career in medicine.

“It’s going to be extremely tough,” said the dedicated student, “but I’m willing to give it my all, and put in a lot of hard-work if it means that I will be able to do a career that I love and am passionate about in the near future.”

John McAleer, who also achieved 3 A’s in Maths, Biology and Chemistry has been accepted into a Masters Degree in Chemistry at Queen’s Univeristy – a course earmarked specifically for high calibre students.

Principal Burns told The Examiner he was “extremely proud of all the students.”

“At St.Paul’s we are as proud of our “high tryers” as we are of our “high flyers,” he said.

“In a school like ours where we welcome and nurture all abilities we celebrate the achievements of all our students and those who excel in their studies. We are so proud of our A-Level results this year and all our hardworking students.

“I am always especially heartened that so many of the students come to the school in person to collect their results to enjoy the atmosphere with their friends and teachers.  It’s a great tradition and makes it a very special day.  It was particularly poignant this year as we have all endured a very difficult week with the loss of our young Year 8 student, James Babe” added Mr Burns.

Meanwhile students at St.Joseph’s in Crossmaglen have once again achieved excellent A-Level results, with most students attaining or exceeding their target grades.

Congratulating the students on their A-Level achievements, Mr Jones, Principal of St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen School said,

“As ever, this is a very impressive set of results and I am delighted that so many of our students have done so well. I am particularly pleased that the vast majority have secured places at the universities of their choice and I wish them every success in the future.

Head of Sixth form, Mrs McMahon echoed those sentiments adding,

“We are delighted by another year of success that is a true reflection of the dedication of St Joseph’s students and staff. We wish them all well in their future studies and careers.”