THE ‘MOST IMPROVED’ school in terms of exam results in the North has been revealed as St Eugene’s College, Roslea.
Jumping a whopping 89 places – the school, with just under 100 pupils and 12 teachers, now sits at number 69 in the annual results table.
Ironically the future of St Eugene’s is uncertain with proposals to merge Catholic secondary schools in south and east Fermanagh contingent on the Roslea school closing.
While delighted with the school’s achievements, vice-principal Malachy McConnell was keen that the school staff and pupils remained grounded.
“Any positive news is always a great boost for staff morale and so on. I suppose we had anticipated even before pupils sat their exams that they were a very good group with plenty of ability,” he explained, “We had put in a lot of work as they had as well. So it was a boost, it was uplifting.”
The rating was based on the percentage of year 12 pupils with seven or more GCSEs A* to C including English and Maths. There were 30 pupils sitting GCSE exams at St Eugene’s last year. This group of pupils were also the school’s highest ever achievers at this level.
The vice-principal put the achievement down to a number of things.
“We put a lot of emphasis in target setting throughout the two years – both from the pupils themselves setting high expectations for themselves and then from the teachers – and constantly reviewing those targets and liaising with parents.
“We did mark their achievements at their prize giving last term – because this was the group that have achieved highest in the history of the school. So we marked that with an award for each member of that year group.
They have built on that success by most of them going on to the next stage in terms of doing A Levels and further studies. Some of them came back to us to do A Levels too.
Mr McConnell said that the majority of the subjects taken by the pupils were ‘core traditional GCSE subjects’, including 70% achieving C or above in English and Maths.
He also noted the impact on results that after school studies programmes have had, the ‘Signature’ project – which allows the additional employment of parttime staff for English and Maths, and parental support.
“I suppose here in St Eugene’s, we don’t get carried away – the achievement is great and the recognition is great – we have sound foundations here and have had over the years in terms of academic achievement.
And this was a welcome boost and equally this year’s group we’re going through the same process and would like to think that they’ll achieve as well.”
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