ERNE Integrated College Principal, Jimmy Jackson-Ware, has commended both students and staff for achieving in the face of adversity.
The principal was speaking at the College’s “Celebration of Student Achievement” – the first they have been able to stage since 2019.
Like many schools, Erne Integrated College had to adapt and adjust in order to deliver high-quality educational services to their pupils as the pandemic – and the various lockdowns that came with it – intervened.
Pressures were met and faced down as students and staff negotiated the obstacles to learn and teach respectively and come out the other side with a high standard of grades.
Principal Jackson-Ware said: “It’s great to see a full hall – good for the soul and all our sense of well-being.
“We welcome parents, carers, grandparents, friends and most importantly the students who are receiving rewards tonight. We especially thank those former students who have returned tonight to be with us.
“In face of adversity, high quality learning and teaching led to excellent exam results both at GCSE and A-level and maintained the pre-pandemic levels of achievement.”
Principal Ware-Jackson cited last April’s visit from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) to highlight the College’s academic achievements.
He added: “Between 2017 and 2019, there has been a year-on-year improvement in outcomes attained by the pupils at KS 4. The proportion of pupils attaining five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C rose from 53.8 per cent in 2017 to 80.8 per cent in 2019. Again we achieved 80 per cent in August 2022.
“In the small sample of lessons observed, learning and teaching were consistently effective and founded securely on positive working relationships.
“The teachers used a variety of engaging strategies and resources to extend the pupils’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts, and to develop skills. They provided individual support when required.
“As a result, the pupils were well engaged and motivated to learn. They responded readily to their teachers and worked capably with their peers in well-structured activities.
“In discussions with inspectors, all of the pupils reported that they are happy and feel safe in school.
“They value, in particular, the integrated ethos, the support and guidance they receive and the positive relationships they have with their teachers. The pupils appreciate the opportunities to participate in a range of sporting activities.”
Principal Ware-Jackson also commented on the College’s proud history of making sure of that everyone – regardless of background – would equally receive a good education.
He continued: “The College has now been existence for 27 years. It is important to remind ourselves of our founding principles and core values as an Integrated school.
“Catholics, Protestant, Muslims, Hindus, all religions and atheist, learning and playing together and breaking down barriers and build understanding and positive relationships
“Where it is normal for girls to have friends but who are not boy friends and vice versa and that you don’t have to pass an exam to get into our College.
“By your child attending this school you are a making a physical expression of support of our ethos and the conviction that this type of school and other integrated schools will continue to be a positive force for change to make an even better Northern Ireland.”
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